1 Tuesday, 10 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. May I remind you, Mr. Radic, of the
6 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence, which still
8 Mr. Borovic.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Can we
10 please briefly go into private session?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
12 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Radic, yesterday we got as far as the 20th of November, 1991.
19 Let us try not to repeat everything you talked about yesterday. You told
20 us where you spent some of that time and before you were off to your
21 regular briefing, where else did you go on that day -- or rather, having
22 left the Danube Hotel, did you go anywhere else at all?
23 A. There's one thing that I would like to say again just to link-up
24 with yesterday's testimony. After leaving the hospital, I started moving
25 back towards the down-town area. I went back to the Vupik cellar and then
1 proceeded to the down-town area, where I stayed in the hotel for a while.
2 I remember wanting to climb up to the upper floors of the Danube Hotel so
3 that I could gain a vantage point, an elevation from which I would have an
4 open view of the town that had been destroyed. Having spent some time at
5 the Danube Hotel, I walked back down the axis of operations of my company
6 to the area in which I was normally staying at, Nova Street. I got the
7 impression at this time that the soldiers whom I had given orders to that
8 morning to inspect the route and collect all combat and non-combat
9 equipment found along the route had done their work very thoroughly. I
10 don't remember coming across a single piece of equipment, a single weapon,
11 a single case of ammunition, grenades, or any other sort of ordnance which
12 was of paramount importance to me at this point in time.
13 Having reached Nova Street, I lingered there until I was off to
14 our regular briefing at the headquarters of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Who attended this regular briefing and did
16 you receive any assignments?
17 A. As far as I remember, the command members were there as well as
18 the company commanders of the 1st Battalion. At the briefing we heard
19 that, over the course of the following morning, the commander, Major
20 Tesic, would go to a reception organised by the federal secretary. He
21 showed us a camouflage uniform that he had received, which I had already
22 had the previous day.
23 Q. Do you remember if Captain Stijakovic was there, too?
24 A. What I remember is that they were both present at one point in
25 time. A little later -- I seem to remember Major Tesic was off somewhere.
1 Perhaps he had imparted some brief orders and was then off to prepare. I
2 really can't remember.
3 Q. What happened when the meeting eventually drew to a close?
4 A. One of the principal orders given at the meeting was about the
5 fact that Captain Stijakovic had taken over command responsibility for the
6 following period of time while the commander was absent. The order was
7 for the following morning to prepare our companies so that he might attend
8 a review of troops so that he could check the condition and physical
9 appearance of all the soldiers, that being one of the tasks. This was one
10 of the steps taken by the command to bring order back to the unit, both in
11 terms of discipline and in terms of the sort of physical appearance
12 normally required from soldiers.
13 Q. Right. After this, where else did you go?
14 A. Just before the meeting ended, we officers talked among ourselves.
15 Second Lieutenant Vuckovic called us, other commanders, to come for dinner
16 over to his place, because, as far as I remember, one of the locals from
17 his own neighbourhood had roasted a pig and he wanted to have us over for
18 dinner. As far as I remember, Zoran Zirojevic and I ended up going. I
19 can't remember, but I think Captain Kopcic was not there or Captain Sasa
20 Bojkovski for that matter. I remember that I meant to do something for
21 his benefit and the benefit of his soldiers, so I left the command post
22 and went back to Nova Street because I still had some cartons of
23 cigarettes left there. I grabbed one of those to take back to Second
24 Lieutenant Vuckovic and his soldiers.
25 A little later I reached a street that was called Oslobodjenje
1 Street; this was at the top of Petrova Gora. As far as I remember, I was
2 met there by one of Lieutenant Vuckovic's soldiers, who then took me to a
3 house. I think it was still being built and the walls had not been
4 white-washed yet. I remember us staying in a rather large room, which I
5 believed at the time to be the living-room. We sat there at a table -- or
6 rather, it was several tables put together for the occasion, and we sat
7 down on benches and chairs --
8 Q. Who was there as far as you remember?
9 A. I think I was seated next to Lieutenant Vuckovic. Next to us --
10 or rather, facing us across the table there may have been Captain
11 Zirojevic. There were other soldiers there from Vuckovic's own unit as
12 well as some locals, I think, but I can't be certain.
13 Q. Thank you very much. I won't ask you about the food and drinks.
14 The OTP perhaps might want to know, so they should ask. How long did you
15 stay there for and where did you go next?
16 A. That evening we managed to relax somewhat. We knew by this time
17 that the war was now over and it had been a very difficult time. We
18 exchanged stories, each from our own respective areas. In a way, we were
19 exchanging jokes. We were trying to relax. We were there until just
20 before daybreak. I can't remember specifically what time it was when I
21 left, but I had some trouble igniting the engine of my car because it was
22 bitterly cold and it took quite some time. Something had frozen inside
23 the car, and I took some time trying to remove the ice so I could drive
24 back to the house where I was sleeping at that time.
25 Q. Where did you sleep that particular night? You remember the
1 ground-plan we were looking at yesterday. Do you remember the specific
2 room in that house in which you slept that night?
3 A. No -- rather, yes. The previous day Stanko Vujanovic's sister
4 had left the hospital compound. I now knew that she was in
5 Stanko Vujanovic's house, or rather, their father's house. I arrived very
6 late, and this is why I didn't want to go to the large house in which I
7 normally slept but rather I spent the night -- I spent the night in the
8 smaller house, which is what I sometimes did from time to time.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Do you perhaps remember something - and I'm
10 sure you've had your memory refreshed over the years - do you remember
11 what happened the next day? Did you have any assignments that you had
12 received on the previous day? Were you carrying these out? What happened
13 when you woke up, in one word?
14 A. I remember that I found it very difficult to get up that day. I
15 had lost sight of the fact, so to speak, to the fact that Captain
16 Stijakovic had ordered a review for the following day. I know someone
17 came over to wake me up. I know that eventually I rose and the company
18 had already assembled at the near end of Nova Street. I went to review
19 and I can't remember every single thing that Captain Stijakovic checked,
20 but one thing I do remember is we did our best throughout that time to
21 behave as we normally would have back in the barracks. After just under
22 two months at the front line - and this applied equally to everyone, the
23 foot soldiers and me as their company commander - we faced situations
24 every day where we had to make our own independent calls. So this
25 situation struck me as somewhat strange at the time because it now
1 appeared that we were going back to normal, something that we had totally
2 forgotten about during the fighting. I can't remember exactly how long
3 the review took, but I suppose it must have been something between half an
4 hour and an hour. This wasn't just for checking; this was also for the
5 purpose of socialising with a soldier, having a chat, familiarising
6 himself with the situation, what have we done, what have we not done yet,
7 what remains to be done, that sort of thing.
8 After the review, to be quite frank, I could hardly wait to get
9 this over with so that I could go back to my room and get some rest, some
10 rest that I very badly needed.
11 Q. Does it mean that you went back to sleep or just to get some rest?
12 A. Well, I slept.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know where Captain Stijakovic went after that?
14 A. He went to visit one of the companies. I don't recall whether it
15 was the 1st or the 2nd Company, I can't recall now, but I think that it
16 was the 2nd Company.
17 Q. Thank you. At this review, were all the soldiers from your
18 company present except for those that had been wounded or in hospital?
19 A. The basic objective of the review was for the battalion command to
20 see for themselves what the situation was at the time, because in this
21 period, in those days, there were rumours circulating among us that the
22 unit should continue with combat activities on the axis leading towards
23 the town of Osijek. All of us were exhausted, and we literally prayed to
24 God for the command to reach the decision that we should all go back to
1 Q. Thank you very much. Now if you would be so kind, tell us whether
2 all the soldiers were in uniforms, regular army uniforms, or whether
3 anyone was dressed in any other way.
4 A. Well, in the last few days before this event, I personally issued
5 a task to Second Lieutenant Hadzic and the company officer, commanding
6 officer, to take all the measures necessary for the soldiers to look as
7 soldiers should. During the combat activities, in fact, I personally took
8 great efforts and I never allowed any of my soldiers to appear before me
9 pretending that he was, I don't know what. They all had to have a
10 soldierly appearance.
11 Q. Thank you. At the review, was this Spasoje Petkovic, a soldier by
12 the name of Spasoje Petkovic present there?
13 A. All the soldiers were present there.
14 Q. Thank you, fine. Let me now go back to the command post of the
15 1st Motorised Battalion. My question is: When you get your task and the
16 plans from the commander, Tesic, you, the commanders of the regular
17 companies of the 1st Motorised Battalion, you get your orders from Tesic.
18 And would you agree that this is what you stated yesterday, that the
19 Territorial Defence got their orders and plans related to the coordination
20 of their activities from Tesic and Jaksic. Is that correct? Is that
22 A. I can say the following --
23 MR. WEINER: I'd object to that, Your Honour. Your Honour, that's
24 a very leading question. He can ask who he got orders from. This is in
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, that's very well-founded, as you know.
2 What you put to the witness then was not a repeat of the evidence he gave
3 yesterday, it was some of your own evidence and on a very important point.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I would not like to get into an
5 argument. This was Radic's statement, that was his testimony, and I
6 wanted to merely go back to his statement and refer to it, but okay. I
7 accept the ruling.
8 Q. Who issued orders to you, the company commanders, the next day?
9 I'm just trying to make things simple; that's what I'm asking these
11 A. In all the situations in combat from the very first day until the
12 very last moment that we spent, that my company spent there in the Vukovar
13 area, I only and exclusively received my orders from battalion commander,
14 Major Tesic. In certain situations, I received orders from his deputy,
15 Major -- I'm sorry, Captain Stijakovic, Slavko Stijakovic.
16 Q. Thank you. And then when you went to the observation post - you
17 talked about that yesterday - did you then make some special sketches
18 based on those tasks and plans when you were on your own and when you were
19 trying to elaborate those plans. Is that correct?
20 A. Every commander, when he receives a task from his superior
21 commander, he then engages in a certain mental process in which he has to
22 comprehend the essence of this task. He had to grasp the idea and the
23 objective that his commander had in mind. He then makes an assessment of
24 the situation in terms of time and space, and then he makes his own
25 decision on the manner in which the combat mission is going to be carried
1 out. This rule is something that exists. This is something that I was
2 taught in military school, and there is no other way in which a
3 subordinate commanding officer can act, no other procedure that he can
4 follow, once he has received his task from his superior. I think that
5 this is quite clear.
6 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that you elaborate the tasks and the
7 plans you received from Commander Tesic?
8 A. Yes, this is precisely what I said.
9 Q. Thank you. Who issues tasks and plans at the command post to the
10 Territorial Defence, to the leaders or commanders of the Territorial
11 Defence detachments? That's what I mean. Just very briefly.
12 A. Well, we heard a witness here; he was the commander of the staff
13 and a detachment of the Territorial Defence --
14 MR. WEINER: I'd object to this, Your Honour. This is
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.
17 Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please go ahead, Mr. Radic.
20 A. I did not attend the situations where orders were issued by the
21 detachment commander, the TO detachment commander, because there was no
22 need for me to attend those meetings. The coordination and cooperation
23 was something that was organised by the commanders, and we, the
24 subordinates, we simply implemented it.
25 Q. Thank you. In the field, do you command the 3rd Company, yes or
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did Miroljub Vujovic command the Territorial Defence units and the
4 members of the 3rd Assault group in the field?
5 A. Miroljub Vujovic commanded the unit of the Territorial Defence.
6 Now, whether it was a company or a detachment, I never actually needed to
7 know that nor was I at all interested in this issue. But he commanded
8 this -- the troops along the same axis where my unit, my company, was
9 deployed with the Territorial Defence unit up until the time when he was
10 wounded, which is on the 5th of November, and after the 14th of November
11 when he returned to Vukovar.
12 The Leva Supoderica unit, from the first to the last moment when
13 the Leva Supoderica unit reached the axis of operation of the 3rd
14 Motorised Company was under the command of Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni. The
15 assault group --
16 Q. Okay. We heard all about that, the axis of operation. What I
17 wanted to know is who commanded them. The second question: 10th of
18 November, 1991, Milovo Brdo. You were present in court when an order was
19 exhibited dated 14th of November, 16th of November, 20th of October, and
20 so on by General Mile Mrksic, so issued by General Mile Mrksic. So my
21 question to you is: When you took Milovo Brdo and when, according to your
22 evidence, three companies remained there at Milovo Brdo, did your one have
23 its own axis of operation - and now we will not go back to what was heard
24 about the 1st Motorised Battalion - I wanted to know who commanded the JOD
25 1, what troops were there, and who was there after you left Milovo Brdo.
1 A. Let me correct you here. So it is not correct to say that three
2 companies remained at Milovo Brdo. The 3rd Company remained there, the
3 2nd Company was in some kind of a reserve, so to speak, because it was the
4 smallest in size and they mostly received tasks from the commander to
5 secure certain facilities that had already been liberated. Now, as for
6 the 1st Company, it was in the Pionirsko Naselje part of the town, and it
7 went to the 1st of May Street all the way up to the textile school. So it
8 is not correct to say that all three companies were at Milovo Brdo; only
9 my company was there.
10 Q. Thank you very much for your correction. What about JOD 1?
11 A. In the course of a meeting with a battalion commander, after the
12 10th of October, Major Tesic, the battalion commander --
13 Q. Are you talking about October or November?
14 A. November. I do apologise.
15 So the battalion commander, Major Tesic, told us that all the
16 members of the Territorial Defence, that all members of the Leva
17 Supoderica units, and that all the volunteers in their units had to
18 provide support to the 2nd Assault Detachment by moving to an axis and
19 that they would be under the command of Major Tesic. Now, I know that at
20 one point they left Milovo Brdo and they continued fighting towards --
21 going towards the city centre, towards the workers' hall, the Danube
22 Hotel, and that on the 7th of November, they actually -- the 17th of
23 November, they actually did get there.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
1 MR. WEINER: I didn't want to interrupt until he finished his
2 answer. Your Honour, this is outside of the summary for this witness.
3 Yesterday I didn't object to at least two or three occasions when matters
4 were outside of the summary. Again, it's outside of the summary. We've
5 received no notice of this.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Was Stanko Vujanovic at any point on the axis of operation of your
11 A. Never.
12 Q. Can you now tell the Court where he was, on which axis of
13 operation during this whole operation.
14 A. The unit commanded by Miroljub Vujovic was in the same area where
15 I was, on the same axis. And from what I know, Stanko Vujanovic was on
16 the axis of the 1st Motorised Company, which was itself commanded by Sasa
18 Q. Thank you. And Stanko Vujanovic in the course of combat, did he
19 actually sleep in his father's house where you had your operation post or
21 A. I can state with full responsibility that he did not. Stanko
22 Vujanovic was on the axis of the 1st Motorised Company at all times.
23 Q. Thank you. Does it mean that he had no reason to discuss anything
24 with you and to arrange anything with you regarding your axis of
1 A. He did not have any reason at any time whatsoever with regard to
2 combat activities to say a single word to me.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Radic, you probably remember we heard in
4 court that on the 20th of November, 1991, you allegedly sent three
5 soldiers to Ovcara. You did not mention this in your statement, in your
6 evidence. What is your opinion on this statement that was made here in
7 court? You yourself were here, you heard it; I'm not going to now recount
8 what was said. What do you think about that?
9 A. This statement was strange to me, to say the least. Were the
10 situation not serious, I would even go as far as to say it was ridiculous
11 because it was made by a person that I had spent a lot of time with,
12 invested a lot of my time with the very best of intentions, primarily in
13 an effort to make this person see that his priority task had been to
14 survive. And I can now state with full responsibility that at that time I
15 did not have a single reason whatsoever that I did not need at all to send
16 any of my soldiers to a site where I had never been, either before or
17 after. And at that time, I did not know at all that any activities were
18 going on at Ovcara.
19 I would like to also corroborate this with the following fact. I
20 believed -- and had I been told or informed about any kind of event, I
21 would have gone to that place myself; I wouldn't have sent a soldier in my
22 place. Had I been convinced that there was any need for my unit to go
23 there or any of my soldiers to go there, I would have sought permission
24 for that from my superior command, the battalion commander, or his deputy.
25 I cannot say, but it was a big surprise for me, especially because I hoped
1 that the person who talked about that would tell the real truth. I was
2 satisfied in some way that he would testify -- when I heard that he would
3 testify, but I'm actually very surprised by what he actually said.
4 Q. All right. Thank you very much. That person, who is a protected
5 witness in this case, mentioned the presence of soldier Vidacek and a
6 person by the name of Dzankovic. Did you know this older person,
7 Dzankovic, and did he come to you to the observation post?
8 A. In view of the fact that I have been in this courtroom for a long
9 time, I will say that witness P022 during his testimony made up two
10 persons who allegedly went with him to Ovcara. Both of those people are
11 dead. I am not in a position to confront any one of those people, but I
12 assert that soldier Vidacek did not go with witness P022. And I would
13 particularly not send Dzankovic because I never exchanged a single word
14 with that man. I knew who he was. I used to see him around when I was in
15 Vukovar, but I didn't know anything about that man. And to send him with
16 two of my soldiers to a place where I didn't know what was going on is
17 something that I would -- that would have never crossed my mind.
18 Q. Thank you. And would Dzankovic and Vidacek be able to confirm the
19 statement of P022? Do you know what happened to those two people? If you
20 were asked that, what would you say?
21 A. While I was still in active service in early 1992, I received
22 information that soldier Vidacek was killed in Zenica. I tried to check
23 this information, but I wasn't successful. As for Dzankovic, I know that
24 he activated an anti-tank grenade. He didn't know, actually, how to
25 operate that, and that's how he was killed.
1 Q. Does that mean that witness P022 cannot confirm what he said in
2 his testimony and nobody who is alive can confirm that testimony?
3 MR. WEINER: I object.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: It's argumentative and it's very leading.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Well, it is of no weight, whatever it is, Mr.
7 Weiner. Thank you.
8 It's a matter for your address, Mr. Borovic.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Radic, did you ever physically abuse your soldiers or any
11 other soldier in the area of Vukovar? What is your position? What was
12 your attitude towards the soldiers who were in combat at that time?
13 A. Yesterday I tried to explain to Their Honours and to all the
14 parties in the courtroom that I personally believe that I put in all of my
15 human and professional qualities for the purpose of protecting and
16 assisting all those present on the axis of the 3rd Motorised Company. If
17 anyone ever saw me behaving in a non-professional, unprofessional manner,
18 I would like them to come forward and tell the Court about it. Only once
19 was I in a situation where in attempting to save my own reputation, the
20 reputation of an officer of the Yugoslav People's Army to react
21 personally, this was on the 5th of October when there was an unsuccessful
22 attempt to bring out the body of Vostic, Radoje, who had been killed.
23 The house where I was with a number of soldiers who were also
24 trying to help me was also the place where at that point there was a
25 reservist who had arrived with my company from Belgrade. His name was
1 mentioned in this courtroom before; his last name is Krstic. And on that
2 occasion he attacked me verbally, saying that I was an unfit officer, that
3 he did not want to be under the command of officers -- commanding officers
4 who were unfit, and that all of them - thinking of the soldiers - would be
5 killed by the enemy side, and that he did not want to continue to fight
6 anymore. Since there were some other members of my company from the
7 reserve forces and also some regular soldiers and in order to defend my
8 honour and the honour of officers of the Yugoslav People's Army, I
9 personally disarmed Private Krstic and asked the others present, those
10 from the reserves, whether any one of them shared the opinion of Krstic.
11 Two other reservists spoke up. They were not undisciplined. They also
12 said that they didn't want to fight any longer either. And I had sent
13 witness P022 to the command post, the -- where the battalion commander
14 was. There was a platoon of military police at that command post under
15 the command of Lieutenant Predrag Stefanovic at the time, second
16 lieutenant. And I had requested the commander to send some military
17 policemen, who would then escort these three reservists to the command.
18 I state with full responsibility that in my presence no one laid a
19 finger on those soldiers, and I know also that after speaking with them,
20 the commander sent them to Negoslavci, where they were on guard duty
21 guarding the motor vehicles that were at Negoslavci.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. Your explanation was longer than
23 necessary. We have to keep time in mind. At the command post of the 1st
24 Motorised Battalion, that room where the command held its meetings, was
25 that someplace that soldiers who were escorting you could enter? Could
1 they attend those meetings?
2 A. If soldiers happened to be in the -- on the personal security of
3 the commander, there was a yard with the house where the command of the
4 battalion was situated. On the left side of that house was a small room;
5 we called it a summer kitchen. And all the soldiers could go in there to
6 be warm so that they wouldn't have to wait outside for their commander.
7 The house itself had a soldier posted in front of the door, so nobody
8 could enter that building without permission of the battalion commander.
9 Q. Mr. Radic, you heard and you probably met (redacted)
10 (redacted). Is that correct?
11 A. I never had the opportunity to meet the gentleman face-to-face. I
12 never exchanged a single word with him in my life.
13 Q. You heard talk about him being in Vukovar. Do you have any
14 information about that?
15 A. From the first moment --
16 Q. Just one moment, please.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think maybe we could
18 move into private session.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 12679-12680 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness P022 claims that he was your courier. Can you explain
5 that person's role and his assignments in Vukovar.
6 A. Witness P022 was a courier of the commander of the 1st Platoon
7 that was attached to the company commander in the early days of combat
8 operations performed by my company. My courier was a soldier whose name I
9 mentioned at the outset who hailed from Zagreb. Witness P022 was the
10 courier of the commander of the 1st Platoon. All platoon commanders sent
11 their couriers to the company commander at my request or when requested by
12 those same platoon commanders.
13 On the 10th of October, when I was hit and taken to the Negoslavci
14 hospital, upon my return to our axis of operations - and I had been driven
15 to Negoslavci by witness P022 of all people - in a yard outside which I
16 had been hit myself, I found six wounded -- or rather, five wounded and
17 one dead soldier. This dead soldier was a member of the 3rd Motorised
18 Company and the only soldier to be killed during the fighting in Vukovar.
19 He was also the signals officer in my company. There was the RUP-12 radio
20 that he was carrying. This radio had been hit and damaged by a mortar
21 shell. This was the main reason for the battalion command to decide that
22 all company commanders and platoon commanders would be given Motorolas to
23 use so that they would have better communications equipment over the
24 course of the operations.
25 Once the fighting was over, there was no need for me to send
1 couriers anywhere because I had a line of communication that was both safe
2 and reliable. It would indeed have been a very strange decision for me to
3 take in addition to having this Motorola, which is a state-of-the-art
4 piece of communication equipment, to use a courier in addition to this,
5 especially since I knew that radios were the --
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] There's an error in the transcript.
7 He said he had no need to send couriers anywhere since he had no Motorolas
8 and the transcript says: "Once the fighting was over."
9 So can this please be recorded in the transcript.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It needs to be clarified what the witness was
11 saying, Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you please be so kind as to explain when the need ceased to
14 send out couriers.
15 A. Soldier Djordje Nikolic died on the 10th of November. I can't
16 specifically remember if this was on the next day or two or three days
17 later -- the 10th of October. The 10th of October is when Nikolic died.
18 I'm sorry if I made a slip of the tongue. After that, the battalion
19 command distributed to all its subordinate units the required number of
20 Motorolas. The TO staff command distributed to all TO commanders the same
21 type of equipment so that we all had Motorolas in our system of
23 Q. Thank you, but I think you forget the first part of my question.
24 What about witness P022 and witness Vidacek, were they part of your
25 security in Vukovar?
1 A. I wish to go back to something briefly. From that moment on, I
2 did not have any couriers, nor did I need any for that matter. Therefore,
3 neither witness P022 nor Dragan Vidacek were my couriers or part of my
4 escort. All I can say is over the first 15 or 20 days of my time there, I
5 had gained sufficient self-confidence as an officer to enable me, after
6 about a fortnight, to go to the service facilities at Petrova Gora and I
7 got a motor vehicle issued to me there that I was using. And I no longer
8 had anyone else escorting me.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Witness P018, you were in the courtroom
10 then, weren't you? He also says that he was your courier. Which precise
11 assignments did he have as a member of your company?
12 A. Unlike witness P022, who was an arrogant soldier, he was
13 undisciplined but he was exceptionally capable. So unlike him, witness
14 P018 was such a poor soldier that I, as his commander, was in no position
15 to entrust him with even the simplest of tasks. At one point in time he
16 claimed to have cleaned my boots; I simply don't remember that. I don't
17 remember ever ordering anyone to clean my boots; however, I claim with
18 full responsibility and without meaning to slight anyone that this man was
19 a soldier fit only for that type of assignment and nothing more. I would
20 never have dispatched him to combat simply because I would never believe
21 that he would be safe.
22 At one point in time when we were at Nova Street, he left for Sava
23 Kovacevica Street in the middle of combat at his own initiate. This
24 street was still being held by the enemy at the time. Since those two
25 streets are parallel and there's an open view from one of these streets to
1 the other, at one point in time we noticed him crossing Sava Kovacevica
2 Street. This was a hair-raising experience for me because I was certain
3 at the time that he would be captured by the enemy and probably killed. I
4 don't know how, but he got lucky and he returned safe and in one piece. I
5 know one thing. From this moment on I banned him from being in any place
6 where his life might have been in danger.
7 Q. Thank you. You heard about the allegations concerning your
8 interview to a journalist Slavoljub Kacarevic. What can you tell us about
9 that interview with journalist Kacarevic?
10 A. I didn't even know his name at the time. This occurred on the
11 24th of November, the day we returned to Belgrade. It was in the kitchen
12 of Stanko Vujanovic's father's house. The two of us were alone. I don't
13 remember whether his photographer was there, too, but I do believe that we
14 were alone. I know that I was in no mood for interviews. He tried to
15 talk me into it, tried to talk me into feeding him some information.
16 Eventually, I agreed to talk to him. I gave him a rough account of the
17 situation along my axis of operations.
18 Q. Excuse me, sir. During this interview, did he take any notes?
19 Did he take sporadic notes or was he taking notes all the time or was he
20 in fact recording this conversation?
21 A. I know that he had a notebook on him. I know that occasionally he
22 wrote things down, but he was trying to have a conversation. I wasn't
23 dictating my account to him. We were just talking. There is a situation
24 I would like to tell the Chamber about. In the course of this
25 conversation I told him that along the axis of operations of my company
1 there may have been over a thousand soldiers. His understanding was that
2 I was being boastful, at least that's my take on it, which was absolutely
3 ridiculous. I never told him that I was in command of all those soldiers,
4 but his impression was that I was being boastful and that I was boasting
5 about having commanded over a thousand soldiers. In actual fact, what I
6 was trying to do was put him in the picture. The OTP are saying that I
7 told him certain things; well, I'm giving you my own testimony now. I did
8 talk to that journalist and I tried to explain to him that I had
9 previously trained a unit from Kragujevac the strength of a battalion,
10 comprising perhaps 400 or 500 soldiers. These soldiers now came to our
11 axis of operations, and I had managed to train them to stand guard, to
12 secure the liberated areas. There were between 400 and 500 of those; I
13 didn't exactly keep track.
14 One thing that I can say is that among those and among the other
15 soldiers along my axis and along all the other axes, there were those who
16 described themselves as Chetniks. But a Chetnik unit could never have
17 survived there, nor would I have ever agreed to being command of a
18 self-styled Chetnik unit. I know who the Chetniks were. I was no Chetnik
19 officer; I was a JNA officer. I assume that it was based on that story
20 that Mr. Kacarevic wrote what he wrote. If any further explanations are
21 necessary, I'll be happy to provide those two.
22 Q. Thank you. We heard the evidence here of a member of the 80th
23 Kragujevac Brigade --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner?
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we have two problems here. One of them
1 is that we have no notice of this particular incident, but the more
2 important problem is this counsel, this Defence counsel, has never put
3 this matter to Mr. Kacarevic. Mr. Kacarevic came and testified as a
4 journalist and this story that he's coming up with today was never put
5 before him that he's confused as to these 400 to 500 soldiers. In their
6 opening statement this has never been placed into testimony. This is the
7 first time today that we're hearing that this reporter was confused what
8 this person had said, made a mistake on what this person had said. We
9 have never had any notice. They've had the opportunity to put their case
10 to that witness and it was not done; in fact, they brought out the best
11 facts they could from that particular story. As a result, this testimony
12 should not come in because it hasn't been properly put to the witness when
13 they had the opportunity to do so.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner. It will be a matter we will
15 consider when we come to weight.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I think it was the OTP, of all
17 people, pushing this piece.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic --
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I think it is the right of every
20 indictee --
21 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... we're trying to
22 help you move along.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I apologise.
24 I jumped the gun on this one.
25 Q. Yesterday we tendered into evidence the map which you drew and
1 marked your own axes of operations with the four stages. This is exhibit
2 785. You drew two lines to mark your axes of operations. Can you please
3 try to be a little more specific about this. How broad was the area
4 covered by your operations? Because the way you drew it, it wasn't that
5 easy to understand the breadth of the area covered. As briefly and
6 specifically as you can, please.
7 A. The breadth of a company's operations in a built-up area is
8 defined by the conditions prevailing in this built-up area. Given the
9 peculiarities of fighting in a built-up area, the front is much narrower
10 as a rule in relation to fighting going on out in the open.
11 Q. There, you have the map in front of you. Can you please try to
12 mark the exact breadth of this area. Is it the way you drew it yesterday
13 or could you be more specific?
14 A. The right-hand boundary would be Nova Street.
15 Q. What about the left-hand boundary?
16 A. Vergaseva Street and as far as Leva Supoderica Street.
17 Q. Fine.
18 A. I can be very specific about all the streets that were included in
19 this area if you think that is required.
20 Q. I was only interested in the exact boundaries of your operations
22 What about the area in which your observation post was positioned,
23 did you have any prisoners there or any detention facilities?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thank you. In the course of combat operations, did you ever have
1 occasion to visit the Vukovar barracks?
2 A. No.
3 Q. During the combat operations in Vukovar, did you ever go to
5 A. No, never.
6 Q. Did you know Dr. Radomir Dejanovic; and if yes, was he your friend
7 and did he actually study with you at one point?
8 A. The first time that I heard of his name was in this courtroom. I
9 had never ever met him or got introduced to him in any way before.
10 Q. Thank you. In the course of the combat operations in Vukovar, did
11 you at any point personally take the prisoners to Sremska Mitrovica at any
12 point and in any manner whatsoever?
13 A. Never ever did I take any prisoners anywhere, and I had never been
14 to Sremska Mitrovica in fact.
15 Q. My next question is: Did you at any point in time and place
16 before and during the Vukovar operations, did you have any agreements with
17 Mrksic, Sljivancanin, and the members of the Territorial Defence, either
18 altogether or individually, regarding the people from the Vukovar
20 A. No.
21 Q. And with regard to any issues related to Vukovar, except the
22 commands -- the chain of command with regard to Mrksic?
23 A. As I studied in military schools from the secondary military
24 school all the way up to the academy, I learned one thing, and that is
25 that the relationship between the superior and his subordinate is very
1 clearly defined. The superior commander is responsible to maintain this
2 relationship and for the nature of it. There can be no discussions, no
3 agreements. The superior issues orders to the subordinate and is
4 responsible for the actions of his subordinate. So I did not have any
5 discussions or talks, nor did it occur to me -- I did not think that it
6 was possible at all. And in particular, I would not have any discussions,
7 I would not be reaching any agreements or arrangements of the nature that
8 I have been charged with.
9 Q. After the 10th of November, 1991, did you have command and control
10 or any other kind of effective control of the Territorial Defence troops
11 and the Leva Supoderica unit?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you personally take part in the taking out and the selection
14 of 400 non-Serbs from the Vukovar Hospital on the 20th of November, 1991,
15 and did you in any way whatsoever take part in the evacuation of those
17 A. I didn't even witness personally the events that you described,
18 let alone participated in them.
19 Q. Thank you. When you were in the Vukovar area, did you have any
20 knowledge of the crime at Ovcara?
21 A. I can assert as an officer, as a commanding officer, that I would
22 have taken appropriate measures against any person, even if that person
23 had been my own brother, had I known at all of any crimes. And I can also
24 assert that I did not get any information until 1992, as I have already
25 described in my evidence when I read in the paper, that something had
1 happened at Ovcara. So I had no knowledge up until that time.
2 Q. Did you hear that the non-Serbs captured in Vukovar received any
3 death threats and that the members of the Territorial Defence and the Leva
4 Supoderica Detachment were about to commit any crimes against them, yes or
6 A. No.
7 Q. This is something that I have already asked you, but I want you to
8 state this very clearly. Did you have regular meetings in Stanko
9 Vujanovic's father's house with Miroljub Vujovic, Mrksic, Sljivancanin,
10 and Stanko Vujanovic, yes or no?
11 A. No. I was a troop officer; I was not a staff officer.
12 Q. Did you at any point make a selection of the prisoners that were
13 to be put on the buses at the Vukovar Hospital?
14 A. No, never.
15 Q. Did you at any time on the orders of Veselin Sljivancanin or any
16 other person take out 15 prisoners from the bus at the Vukovar barracks
17 and took them back to the Vukovar Hospital?
18 A. No, never. I never received any such orders from Mr.
19 Sljivancanin, nor was I ever in a situation to bring anyone back from the
20 barracks to the hospital.
21 Q. Thank you. As for witness P022, did he at any point tell you that
22 he had committed a crime?
23 A. If he had told me that, there would have been no need for him to
24 be court-martialed at all.
25 Q. Did at any point witness P002, did he talk to you on the 21st of
1 November, 1991, about the events at Ovcara?
2 A. This is a fabricated story.
3 Q. Did you know and do you know who (redacted) is?
4 A. While I was in Vukovar, I had never ever heard of that person,
5 before I arrived in Vukovar and later.
6 Q. Did you ever see, got introduced, or got to know (redacted)
8 A. (redacted)
9 Q. Did you ever get introduced to him?
10 A. No.
11 Q. So you don't know who that is, only in the courtroom?
12 A. Yes, only what I heard in the courtroom.
13 Q. Thank you. Did (redacted), was he ever on your axis
14 of operations?
15 A. No, never.
16 Q. Did you ever hear that he was wounded?
17 MR. WEINER: [Previous translation continues] ... these names.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Which ones are they, Mr. Weiner?
19 MR. WEINER: Can we go into private session?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
21 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Okay. So now we are in public
9 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session, Your Honours.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I have just one more question.
11 Q. Mr. Radic, you heard about the crime at Ovcara. What is your
12 attitude towards this crime today?
13 A. Never in my whole life have I condoned crimes, and not only
14 crimes, but any error that might endanger anyone's life. I'm so sorry
15 that I had never been in a situation to use my knowledge and my will and
16 determination to assist any of those people who had been captured, and I
17 abhor the way in which they were liquidated. And I think that there is no
18 honour, no chivalry, no humanity in those actions.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have concluded my
21 examination-in-chief and we are, in fact, getting close to our time for
22 the break.
23 JUDGE PARKER: We are past our time for the break, Mr. Borovic,
24 and we will need now to have a half-hour break because of the redactions.
25 We will resume at 25 minutes to 12.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.36 a.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have concluded my
5 examination-in-chief of this witness. Thank you very much.
6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
7 JUDGE PARKER: I understood, Mr. Borovic, that you or your client
8 wanted to add something; that's why I called on you.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you very much. I
10 would like to ask Mr. Radic, although in fact I was originally thinking of
11 asking this in my re-direct, but now I'm going to ask.
12 Q. What is your attitude towards the indictment and everything that
13 has been said here, or if you have anything in particular to say to the
14 Chamber at this point?
15 A. Your Honour, my English is so bad that the gentleman from the
16 registry probably did not understand what I wanted to say. I merely
17 sought the permission to address you. I wanted to ask you that all the
18 Defence counsel from other Defence teams and the gentlemen from the OTP,
19 they use all the documents, all the arguments at their disposal and -- to
20 ask anything they want to ask because I have been waiting for this moment
21 for the last 11 years. And I want to be able to personally defend my own
22 honour, the honour of my family, and the honour of my profession, and I
23 would not like for anyone observing this trial to criticise me and to say
24 that there was any reason, any fault on my part for -- because of which
25 there -- some things may not have come to light.
1 I have to apologise to my Defence counsel, Mr. Borovic, this is
2 not something that we've discussed. I hope that he won't get angry with
3 me. I'm saying this because you restricted the right of the Prosecution
4 to use some documents, but I would like to ask you to allow them to use
5 any documents that they want to confront me with. So this is all I have
6 to say.
7 Q. What is your view of the indictment? And now, as for your desire
8 to be confronted with documents, the Chamber has already ruled on this
9 issue so you will not have this opportunity to see the documents that
10 cannot be admitted. This is not something that we discussed. This is not
11 something for the two of us to discuss. This is a procedural matter. But
12 as far as the indictment is concerned, as far as your voluntary surrender
13 is concerned, this is not something that I asked you about. But since now
14 you are in position to say so, can you now tell us: How did you make this
15 decision and what is your view of the indictment? Please tell us.
16 A. I did not take part in any action that I am charged with in the
17 indictment. I never committed any crime. I never issued any order that
18 might result in any crimes. At the beginning of the trial, I pleaded not
19 guilty and this is something that I still maintain. I'm not guilty. But
20 I would once again like to make sure -- I would like to ask you to allow
21 all the parties to ask any questions whatsoever, despite the position
22 taken by my Defence counsel.
23 Q. And when -- when you decided to surrender yourself voluntarily to
24 the Tribunal, how did this come about? What actually happened?
25 A. I had thought for many years that I would never come before this
1 Tribunal because I know that there is no reason, no cause for me to be
2 here. But when I realised that this would be inevitable, from that moment
3 on I have felt this need to say things in defence of myself, my family, my
4 honour, my dignity. I feel the need to say things that, in my opinion,
5 need to be said. I personally thought that with the arrival of Mr. Mrksic
6 one year before I came here, it would become clear to everyone that all
7 the allegations in the indictment have nothing whatsoever to do with me.
8 But the situation is as we see it now. I am now here, and I ask everyone
9 to ask me all the questions that they see fit. And, Mr. Borovic, I would
10 like to ask you to make that possible, to allow everyone to ask me
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Radic.
13 Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
14 Very well.
15 Mr. Domazet, is there any matter you wish to raise with Mr. Radic
16 on behalf of your client?
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But Mr.
18 Radic -- or rather, Mr. Mrksic's Defence does not have any questions for
19 Mr. Radic.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I will
23 have a few questions. I will try to be as brief as possible.
24 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Radic, there's no need for me to introduce
1 myself. I will be asking you a few questions related to the claims --
2 allegations made by the Prosecution in the indictment that are relevant
3 for my Defence and I will also refer to some of the questions asked by my
4 colleague, Mr. Borovic. So please answer very briefly to those few
5 questions that I have for you.
6 Did you personally hear of any agreement -- Mr. Borovic asked you
7 about agreements between Mrksic, my client, and yourself as alleged in the
8 indictment. What I want to ask you is whether you have heard of any
9 agreements that the Croats remaining in the Vukovar Hospital after the
10 fall of Vukovar to be tortured, maltreated and killed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you hear whether there were any ideas to that effect in your
13 circle where you were moving that there were people and that such people
14 should be liquidated?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You testified about Mr. Seselj's visit, so I'm going to ask you
17 about certain allegations from the indictment. In that period in Vukovar,
18 did you hear from anyone re-telling alleged -- the alleged sentence by
19 Seselj that no Ustasha can leave Vukovar alive?
20 A. No. If I may say so, this is ridiculous. Who is Seselj?
21 Q. I'm just asking you specific questions which relate to the
22 allegations in the indictment. Did you hear from anyone this idea that no
23 Ustasha can leave Vukovar alive? It doesn't have to be connected to
24 Seselj, but it can be something that was said by anyone in your
1 A. No, I did not hear anything like that before I came to this
3 Q. Very well. Now I'm going to ask you something that I'm interested
4 in and maybe you can give me answers relating to some other assertions
5 that you heard during this trial. I heard from your testimony that
6 practically during your combat operations you had contacts with Dusan
7 Jaksic and Miroljub Vujovic. Did you have personal contacts with them?
8 A. I did have contacts with Mr. Jaksic, but it was a visual contact
9 only. At the command post of the command of the 1st Motorised Battalion
10 or the 1st Assault Detachment. I didn't have any need to discuss or to
11 talk with him about anything or anything like that.
12 Q. All right. Since I'm interested in him primarily, I'm going to
13 put two further questions relating to that gentleman. Did you personally
14 hear anything about the ways and the reasons and who actually replaced him
15 and why?
16 A. I don't have any information about him being replaced. I have no
17 reason to doubt his words either when he says that he was replaced, but I
18 don't have any knowledge about that. I do know that members of the
19 Territorial Defence were not satisfied with his work, and this
20 dissatisfaction of theirs was expressed. And I believe him and I believe
21 the commander of my battalion, Major Tesic, I believe that this was
22 expressed to him and to the commander of my battalion. I think that I was
23 not present at any conversation relating to his replacement.
24 Q. Do you remember what was the substance of their dissatisfaction
25 with his work? Do you remember any objections that they made?
1 A. Yes, he was a staff officer. He never wanted to get his boots
2 dirty, and that was the main reason for the dissatisfaction of the other
3 members of the TO. What I mean is that according to them, he did not have
4 the courage to go to the front line.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Borovic asked you yesterday about my client. You
6 explained and you testified that he never issued any orders to you on
7 combat actions or any other types of orders. What I would like to ask you
8 is that whether the senior officers that you did have contact with during
9 combat operations - I am thinking of Zirojevic, the 2nd Company Commander;
10 Bojkovski, the other commanding officers that you had contact with - did
11 you ever hear from them if Sljivancanin ever issued any orders to them?
12 A. Allow me to -- just to say briefly. I personally think that Major
13 Sljivancanin was not familiar with our assignments. And for that reason,
14 and especially because he was the security chief in the Guards Brigade, he
15 could not issue any orders to me, in any case. I did not hear from any
16 other commander of other companies that he issued orders to anyone else
17 either. I believe that many things that I have stated just now are coming
18 as a surprise to him.
19 Q. Well, actually he did tell me during the break that he was
20 surprised with a lot of things that you said in your testimony, but this
21 is not the subject of my questions now. We heard from the testimony of a
22 certain witness that my client was in charge, that he was in command of
23 all the operations, and so on and so forth. And this relates to what we
24 have just said because this is the testimony of a witness who testified on
25 the 10th of April of this year.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, I do not have
2 the specific transcript page.
3 Q. Did you at any time during combat operations send a report to
4 Sljivancanin about the combat operations?
5 A. When visiting my unit, I was obliged to inform Mr. Sljivancanin
6 with the current situation, to inform him about what I knew in relation to
7 information that he sought. He would usually request to know what was
8 going on with the soldiers, did we have any information about captured
9 soldiers, did we have any captives, did we seize any weapons. This is the
10 information that I would provide to Major Sljivancanin. He was an officer
11 from my superior command. He was an authority figure to me, not just to
12 me, but for all of us commanders.
13 Q. Thank you. My colleague, Ms. Tapuskovic is helping me now. The
14 page that I needed -- the page reference is page 7.395.
15 Well, let me put it to you this way: Do you know whether Mr.
16 Sljivancanin's headquarters was near -- was near Vuteks in Radiceva Ulica
17 or do you know where the headquarters were? I'm not going to use that
18 word "headquarters," but do you know where the premises of the security
19 section were?
20 A. I remember the words by a witness. I remember that Mr.
21 Sljivancanin, as part of the staff of the motorised brigade command was
22 located in the village of Negoslavci. I was in that house on the 13th and
23 the 14th. At one time, once on the 13th, once on the 14th of November,
24 when I sought the approval from a clerk, a desk officer, Zoran Momcilovic
25 to go to Belgrade. That is the only time when I went to that facility in
2 Q. You were going to Belgrade. Was that the regular procedure for a
3 commanding officer to leave? Why were you asking for this permission?
4 A. In order to be able to pass through all the check-points to enter
5 Belgrade and to return from Belgrade, I had to have a pass for my vehicle.
6 The pass had to be in my name and would make it possible for me to go and
7 to return. I received this permission on the 13th, and on the 14th I
8 dropped by at the command post in order to tell the gentleman, Zoran
9 Momcilovic that I was actually at that point in time leaving for Belgrade.
10 Q. One last question relating to the statement of a witness, you will
11 probably recall which witness it was. Did you hear that Major
12 Sljivancanin ever went around Vukovar in an armoured vehicle and with a
13 loudspeaker was heard to say that Vukovar was liberated?
14 A. I didn't hear of that and I didn't see it either.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
17 questions for this accused.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
19 Mr. Weiner.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner:
21 Q. Good morning, sir.
22 A. Good morning, sir.
23 Q. My name is Phil Weiner. I'm with the Office of the Prosecutor and
24 I'm going to be asking you some questions.
25 Now, during the war in Vukovar, you fought with soldiers from the
1 Vukovar TO. Isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. As well as volunteers and members of the Leva Supoderica unit?
4 A. Yes, with the remark that volunteers did not have a separate unit;
5 they were part of the TO forces. They were used to replenish the ranks of
6 the TO forces.
7 Q. That's correct. And you fought with them along your -- that axis,
8 that same axis, for several weeks?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And this was urban fighting or urban street fighting where you
11 fought house-to-house, street-to-street?
12 A. We fought, on the one hand, against the Croatian forces, which
13 happened to be on the other side in conditions that you have just
15 Q. And the fighting was fierce, wasn't it, sir?
16 A. Any fighting is fierce.
17 Q. Well, this was guerilla-style fighting, if you want to call it, as
18 opposed to two large armies approaching each other.
19 A. I will correct you. It was combat in a populated place where
20 there were two armed formations and the fighting in an inhabited location
21 is one of the most difficult forms of combat between two opposing sides.
22 I cannot define whether it's -- the proper term for it is guerilla
23 fighting or not.
24 Q. Okay. And it's a very difficult form of fighting, and members of
25 the TO and volunteers as well as JNA were killed. Isn't that correct?
1 A. During fighting, during assault operations, there were casualties
2 on both sides.
3 Q. And the question was: Members of the TO, volunteers, and JNA were
4 killed. Is that true or not?
5 A. They were killed in the fighting.
6 Q. Okay. And others were injured and maimed. Isn't that correct?
7 A. I agree with you.
8 Q. And people were -- and soldiers were psychologically affected.
9 Isn't that correct?
10 A. I would like to describe the category -- the term you name
11 soldiers in the following way. There were soldiers on the side I was on
12 who were in a special psychological state. I'm referring to soldiers who
13 arrived with me together from Belgrade who were members of the 3rd
14 Motorised Company. A large number of the TO members and volunteers
15 already had certain combat experience, and I did not form the impression
16 that they were under any kind of psychological pressure. They, I would
17 say, withstood these conditions of heavy fighting much better.
18 Q. Now, you referred, meaning the members of the JNA, your
19 commanders, as well as members of the TO, and volunteers referred to the
20 enemy you were fighting as "Ustasha." Isn't that correct?
21 A. I really cannot recall using that term, but I can say with a lot
22 of responsibility that at the time that term was used because the
23 circumstances we were in at the time for the opposing side for soldiers,
24 which we at the time considered to be paramilitary soldiers of the
25 Croatian side, were called Ustashas. We called them Ustashas. That does
1 not mean that all Croats were Ustashas.
2 Q. And members of the TO, volunteers, and Leva Supoderica were
3 hostile to the enemy or the Ustasha soldiers, weren't they?
4 A. We were all hostile to the enemy. What else were we supposed to
5 be if they were on one side and we were on the other? The enemy side was
6 also hostile to us in the same way.
7 Q. And as TO members, Leva Supoderica members, volunteers were
8 killed, hostility increased, whether they were killed or whether people
9 were injured, hostility would increase. Isn't that correct?
10 A. I wouldn't put it that way. You are using terms TO members, Leva
11 Supoderica members, and volunteers. I assert here that all volunteers
12 were within the TO ranks or Leva Supoderica ranks, meaning that the
13 volunteer formation -- there was no volunteer formation on the axis where
14 I was. As to whether hostilities grew, I didn't notice that. There was
15 hostility from the first to the last moment, but I couldn't tell to what
16 extent and to what -- or what its intensity was.
17 Q. Now, let's talk about that middle period and then we'll get back
18 to the hostility. From November 10th onward, you knew that the JNA troops
19 would succeed in Vukovar. You'd taken Milovo hill and you were moving
20 towards the Danube. You knew you'd succeed from the middle part of
21 November onward. Isn't that true?
22 A. Look, I'm a soldier. When I'm given an assignment, I want to
23 carry that assignment out --
24 Q. Sir, sir --
25 A. I will use --
1 Q. -- the question is: From the middle part of November onward, you
2 knew that you would succeed, didn't you?
3 A. That was what we aspired to, to be successful. I wasn't looking
4 into the future as to when that would happen, though.
5 Q. And liberation or so-called liberation occurred on November 18th,
6 a little over a week later. Isn't that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And having fought closely with the Leva Supoderica - or if you
9 want to call them all TO people, TO soldiers - did you anticipate any acts
10 of retaliation or revenge at that time, knowing the hostility that was
12 A. Well, my communication with the Leva Supoderica Detachment or the
13 TO was cut off, not because I wanted it to but by an order of my commander
14 of the 10th of October -- 10th of November, excuse me. From that point
15 on, I had no need to know what Leva Supoderica was doing or what the TO
16 members were doing from that point on.
17 Q. Sir, sir, that's not the question. The question is: Having
18 fought closely with those people and being aware of the hostility, did you
19 anticipate any acts of retaliation or revenge? That's the question, sir.
20 A. I am answering your questions like this: I cooperated with them
21 until the 10th of November. After that, and even before that, I had no
22 need --
23 Q. Sir, that's the question. The question is: Did you anticipate
24 from that unit or the TO any acts of revenge? That's the question. You
25 can answer yes, you can answer no, you can answer maybe. Did you
1 anticipate any acts of revenge or retaliation?
2 A. I didn't anticipate anything. I didn't have any need to
3 anticipate anything at that point in time, not from them.
4 Q. Well, sir, we've had testimony here from witness Van Lynden, a
5 reporter, who testified that he was fearful of a massacre occurring
6 between the soldiers and Chetniks who were drunk and firing weapons. He
7 and the other reporters were worried - and that's at pages 3118 and 3119 -
8 but you didn't anticipate any retaliation, sir?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is an objection in
11 principle. I'm not going to protect Radic and intervene when I think that
12 there are other irregular questions. But I think it was so far the
13 position of the Court that when a statement by a witness is mentioned, the
14 name of the witness should not be mentioned and the contents of the
15 statement are mentioned in a slightly different way. But I think -- maybe
16 there's no need to go into that so much now, but I think that there should
17 be on the part of the Prosecutor an awareness that the question needs to
18 be put differently.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer the question?
20 JUDGE PARKER: Please do.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was something that Mr. Van
22 Lynden saw. I did not see a single Chetnik unit with my own eyes. I'm
23 not saying that certain members of the forces who were on the side of the
24 Yugoslav People's Army did not feel themselves to be members of the
25 Chetniks, that they did not declare themselves as Chetniks. But I did not
1 see a formation calling itself a Chetnik formation ever in my life,
2 meaning --
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, there is a mistake in the
4 transcript. It says "members of the JNA" feeling or considering
5 themselves as Chetniks. That is something the witness did not say.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
7 MR. WEINER:
8 Q. Sir, we've had as an exhibit in this case, Exhibit 415, 415, which
9 is an order from General Panic. And General Panic indicates that he is
10 concerned of retaliation or revenge by the Territorial Defence. Now, sir,
11 that was on the 18th of November, 1991. You still didn't anticipate any
12 acts of revenge or retaliation?
13 A. In the command and control system, the chief of the General Staff
14 can address his inferior or subordinate officers in writing. I assume
15 that this was the command of the 1st Military District. That order, then,
16 also in writing, is relayed by the commander of the 1st Army District to
17 the commander of the operations group, that was Colonel Mrksic. Colonel
18 Mrksic, either by a written or oral order, can issue the battalion
19 commanders or the assault group commanders assignments arising from that
20 order, while the battalion commander decides what he would say or what he
21 would order his subordinate commanders and companies to do. So if on that
22 day I was the commander, the komandir, of the 3rd Company, all the orders
23 that the battalion commander, Major Tesic, issued to me or his deputy
24 issued to me, I - I assert here - carried them out.
25 On the 18th of November, I did not have any contact with the
1 Territorial Defence or the Leva Supoderica.
2 Q. Sir, did you receive notice from your superior, Major Tesic, to be
3 worried or to be concerned about acts of retaliation and revenge by TO
4 members or soldiers on November 18th and 19th? Did you receive that?
5 A. I do not recall that Major Tesic said anything to us, the company
6 commanders, about the activities, possible assignments relating to the
7 Territorial Defence. There was no need for that at that point in time.
8 Q. Sir, Major Trifunovic has testified that it was reasonable to
9 assume that acts of retaliation could occur, but do you still want to
10 maintain that you did not anticipate any acts of revenge? Is that what
11 you'd like to maintain, sir?
12 A. Mr. Weiner, Major Trifunovic is an officer from the superior
13 command. He was a staff officer. I never saw Major Trifunovic at the
14 front line where the fighting was going on. As for what he may have meant
15 and for what he may have stated, well that's his own position and there's
16 nothing I can say about it. What I can tell you is that I never knew or
17 heard from any of my superior officers about any warnings in relation to
18 the TO or the Leva Supoderica unit.
19 Q. And you, sir, did not warn Major Tesic and say to him: Having
20 fought with some of these people who were not professional soldiers and
21 knowing their hostility, you better be very careful about acts of
22 retaliation and revenge? You never said that, did you, sir, to your
24 A. Mr. Weiner, in everyday communication with Major Tesic, at least
25 three or four times during a single day I found myself talking to him in
1 terms of informing him about what was going on so that as a result at
2 every single point in time he was always fully aware of anything going on
3 in my unit. There was really no special exceptional need for me to brief
4 him on anything at all, such as you have just defined.
5 Q. So I take it that the answer is no, sir. Isn't that correct?
6 A. As for your allegations, they are not true. The hostility that
7 you mention was something that went without saying. We were fighting
8 paramilitary units. You can't expect that --
9 Q. Sir, sir, the question is: Did you warn Major Tesic that there
10 were volunteers and unprofessional soldiers in the TO and Leva Supoderica
11 who were hostile and could take acts of revenge and retaliation? I
12 believe your answer is no. Is that correct?
13 A. Why would I do anything like that? I never knew they were
14 planning any sort of revenge or retaliation to begin with.
15 Q. Now, sir, you had been in -- a member of the Guards Motorised
16 Brigade for some time. And in 1991, were there any other Captain Radics
17 within the Guards Motorised Brigade?
18 A. Not to my knowledge.
19 Q. And you're not aware of any other Captain Radics in Vukovar in
20 October and November 1991?
21 A. Not that I'm aware of.
22 Q. So when Dr. Njavro stated or testified that a captain introduced
23 himself on November 19th as Captain Radic, you're not aware of any other
24 Captain Radic being at the hospital on November 19th?
25 A. This is a fabrication by Mr. Njavro.
1 Q. When witness P30 states that Captain Radic was outside the Vukovar
2 Hospital receiving orders from Major Sljivancanin on November 20th, you're
3 not aware of any other Captain Radic being in Vukovar on that date, are
5 A. I think I've answered that. I have no knowledge of there being
6 yet another Captain Radic in the Guards Brigade.
7 Q. Now, you testified that you did go to the hospital on the 19th.
8 Isn't that correct, sir? You testified to that yesterday at pages 60 and
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And isn't it true that you were also at the Vukovar Hospital on
12 November 18th, on the previous day?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Well, Dr. Njavro has testified that you were at the hospital on
15 both the 18th and 19th. Isn't it a fact that you went to the hospital on
16 both the 18th and 19th?
17 A. The Guards Brigade, of which I was a member, entered the hospital
18 in the manner that I described on the 19th, not on the 18th.
19 Q. Now, sir, you've given two statements in Belgrade. Isn't that
21 A. I provided one statement to the security administration officers,
22 and the other statement I provided was before the military court in
23 Belgrade back in 1998.
24 Q. Thank you. And did you tell the truth when you gave those
25 statements? Were you truthful?
1 A. I was truthful, and I was saying things based on my memory,
2 everything that I was aware of.
3 Q. And you would agree that in 1998 you had a better memory about
4 these incidents because it was much closer in time to now, which is almost
5 ten years later than that?
6 A. I don't agree.
7 Q. Well, let's look at the first statement, sir.
8 MR. WEINER: That's 03054580 through 4582 in English and in the
9 B/C/S it's 02188354 to 8357 in the B/C/S. Could we please go to page 1 in
10 the B/C/S 02188354, Mr. Registrar?
11 Q. Now, if you look below the word "statement," do you see in the
12 middle, sir, where it says: "In the afternoon hours of 18 November"? Do
13 you see that, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Let me read that.
16 "In the afternoon hours of 18 November 1991, at the orders of
17 battalion commander Major Borivoj Tesic, I set off from the worker's club
18 with a group of soldiers and headed towards Vukovar Hospital, crossing
19 territory which units had not searched and reached the hospital grounds at
20 around 1500 hours on 18 November 1991 from the direction of the town
21 centre over the middle bridge."
22 Is that what that says there? Did I read that correctly?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And you know you signed that statement on the following page -- on
25 page 3 of that statement -- I'm sorry, page 4. Your statement is on that
1 statement. Isn't that correct?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Now, sir, you gave a second statement to the military court on
4 December 17th, 1998. Do you recall that statement?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And before giving that statement, you were warned that you were to
7 tell the truth and not to hold anything back. Do you recall that?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And you were also given a perjury warning. Do you recall that,
11 A. No.
12 Q. You were warned that perjury is a crime. Do you recall being
14 A. I don't.
15 Q. All right. We could look at that. Could we go to -- in the
16 English it's 0303-2056 to 2058. And in the B/C/S it's 02188288 to 8290.
17 Sir, if you go to page number 2, first, which is 02188288. And
18 just very briefly, do you see the warning, the words "perjury" there by
19 231, in relation to Article 231? Do you see it there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Thank you. Now -- so you were warned to tell the
22 truth and you were warned about perjury. Now, let's go to page 2 in the
23 English which is page 3 in the B/C/S which is page 02188289 in the B/C/S
24 to the second full paragraph which begins with: "Only on 18, November
25 1991." Do you see that paragraph, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I'll read that.
3 "Only on 18 November 1991 did I receive a task from battalion
4 commander Major Borivoj Tesic to organise with my unit the securing of the
5 Vukovar Hospital grounds and not to allow unauthorised persons to enter or
6 leave the Vukovar Hospital grounds. I performed this task for less than
7 24 hours, because on the next day, on 19 November 1991, I transferred
8 securing of the Vukovar Hospital grounds to a military police unit."
9 Did I read that correctly?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And if you continue on to the end of this document, you state --
12 go to the next page.
13 "I read the record and it contains everything I said, and I hereby
14 sign it without any remarks."
15 And you signed that document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Having given two statements in 1998, which you signed, stating
18 that you went to the hospital on November 18th, will you now agree that
19 the first time you went to that hospital, the Vukovar Hospital, was on
20 November 18th, 1991?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you're changing your testimony since Dr.
23 Njavro has placed you at that hospital on November 18th abusing patients?
24 Isn't that why you're changing your statements?
25 A. No. Do you want me to explain this?
1 Q. Please do.
2 A. Back in 1993, I quit my career as a professional soldier in the
3 JNA. Between 1993 and early 1998, my new job was something that had
4 nothing to do with the JNA at all. Throughout this time I was not at all
5 in touch, nor did I meet anyone at all from the Guards Brigade, no one at
6 all that I could talk to and evoke what had occurred in Vukovar. I don't
7 remember the specific date, but I think it was wintertime early 1998. One
8 morning I got a phone call from one of my former professors who taught me
9 the subject that we call security back at the academy. He called me at
10 home and told me that I was to go to the security administration, so that
11 we could discuss something. He also asked me to come right away. Given
12 the fact that this was the first such call ever in my life, many years
13 after the termination of my active-duty service, I packed my things
14 immediately and I was off to the security administration headquarters,
15 which at the time was in the General Staff building.
16 On arriving there, I was met by a colonel whose last name I
17 believe to have been Bjelinac, Bjelinac. And there were two other persons
18 sitting there, one in uniform and one in plain clothes. He told me that
19 they wanted to speak to me about the time in Vukovar and about my memory
20 of my time in Vukovar. I was a professional soldier back then, and I knew
21 what sort of an institution the security administration was. So I
22 accepted to talk to these people. This man named Bjelinac left and the
23 man who stayed with me was a colonel who I later learned was called Tomic.
24 I don't remember the name of the other one. They interviewed me about
25 everything that I remembered in relation to Vukovar. After the interview
1 they told me that they would draw up an official note and that there
2 should be a typist present who would take this down. I had no problem
3 with that at all.
4 A lady came over with a typewriter. We reconstructed my entire
5 account. Mr. Tomic dictated my statement to her and all the allegations I
6 made. I was there for any corrections that I deemed necessary. What I'm
7 trying to point out is, that day I was entirely unprepared and it was all
8 out of the blue that I was dragged there to be interviewed by these people
9 about things that I had not been thinking about for the previous five or
10 six years. My memory at the time suggested that I did go to the hospital
11 on the 19th of November. Why did I draw that inference at the time is
12 really not something that I can explain now. What I can say with sure and
13 certain knowledge is that I never entered the hospital at my own
14 initiative, I never set foot there, I never lingered in the hospital, and
15 I never ever mistreated anybody at all, let alone a wounded person --
16 Q. But sir --
17 A. When I provided that statement --
18 Q. Okay. Sorry.
19 A. When I provided that statement, I did not wish to deviate from my
20 account before the military court. I was fully conscious of the fact that
21 I had done nothing of which I should be ashamed. I repeated my account
22 before the military court with no intention of hiding anything, altering
23 anything, sweeping anything under the carpet to prevent anything from
24 becoming generally known. My conviction at the time is that this had
25 occurred on the 18th, not because I was trying to conceal something.
1 However, when I arrived here, when I started delving into this
2 case, when I realised that this case was nothing but a continuation of my
3 own life, when I received all the documents which I then first laid eyes
4 on, when I started remembering all the details, when I started thinking
5 through this as hard as I could, I started remembering exactly what had
6 occurred on the 18th and the 19th, those two crucial days. I kept
7 thinking about those days, and I can now assert before this honourable
8 Trial Chamber with full responsibility that I never did anything to put
9 anyone's life at risk, not my own side, not the enemy, nor would there
10 ever have been a motive for me to try and do anything like that.
11 Q. Well, sir, you have no writings or no diary indicating the dates
12 that you went to the hospital. Isn't that correct?
13 A. Much as all other active-duty officers, officers and NCOs, I did
14 keep what we call a working notebook. However, when I quit active service
15 I handed over all my documents, as we are supposed to under the law, so
16 that no document was left in my own private archive. I don't have any
17 documents left from the time.
18 Q. So you have no writings, sir. And having no writings, the
19 earliest writings that we have in this court, sir, are those in which you
20 say you went to the hospital on November 18th. Isn't that correct?
21 A. I'll try to explain how exactly this was. I'm not saying
22 anything. I do believe that I made a factual error at the time when I
23 specified this date. There is no escaping from that. I have been given
24 an opportunity to explain, and I wish to continue my involvement in this
25 discussion regarding the specific date.
1 Q. Well, continue on that, sir. You just testified a few minutes ago
2 that you would never go to the hospital on your own initiative, and
3 that's -- that's about page 55, I believe, 54, 55. On page 54 you
4 never "entered the hospital at my own initiative."
5 Sir, would it surprise you that Major Tesic has told an
6 investigative judge that he never gave you orders to secure the hospital
7 and that you did this against his specific orders? Does that surprise
8 you, sir?
9 A. Yes, that does surprise me and how. I don't know what Mr. Tesic's
10 reasons are or what he remembers; however, the moment he ordered me to go
11 to the hospital and secure the building with my soldiers until the
12 military police arrived, we were not there alone. There were many
13 officers surrounding us. On the other hand, I am convinced, since I read
14 Major Tesic's statement, that it wasn't Captain Bojkovski who had received
15 that assignment and it wasn't he and his soldiers securing the hospital,
16 as Mr. Tesic had originally stated. I am telling you that it wasn't
17 Captain Zirojevic either. I'm telling you that there was no other unit
18 carrying out that task, and I'm also telling you that Major Tesic would
19 not have been able to accomplish this task with the soldiers at his
20 command alone.
21 I am telling you that I secured the hospital building until the
22 arrival of the military police. My unit was then withdrawn from this
23 assignment, and we took no further steps within the hospital compound or
24 in the hospital building itself, not myself, not my unit.
25 Q. But you agree, sir, that Major Tesic says he doesn't know why you
1 were at the hospital because he never ordered you there, that you had no
2 right to be there? Are you saying Major Tesic is wrong, too?
3 A. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
4 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you purposely went to the hospital in
5 violation of Major Tesic's orders to determine who was impersonating the
6 medical staff and the wounded? Isn't that why you were at that hospital,
8 A. Mr. Weiner, I appreciate your efforts. I understand everything
9 you're trying to put to me. However, what you have just suggested is
10 something that no officer would ever do. I would have been supposed to go
11 a kilometre deep into an area that I had never previously been to only to
12 establish what was going on at the hospital? Why would I have wanted to
13 know? What would have been my objective? What would have been my reason
14 for going there? I couldn't give a hoot about what was going on at the
15 hospital. I can assert with full responsibility, had Major Tesic never
16 ordered me to go there, I would never have set foot in that hospital.
17 Q. You didn't care what was going on in the hospital, but you just
18 wound up there again on the 20th of November to see what was happening
19 there. Isn't that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I'm not certain of the times. Do we
22 brake at 12.45 today or 1.00?
23 JUDGE PARKER: We do specifically, Mr. Weiner, if that's a
24 convenient moment.
25 MR. WEINER: That's fine.
1 JUDGE PARKER: We resume at 2.00. We finish this evening at 5.00.
2 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.44 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 2.00 p.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
6 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Now, yesterday -- we're staying with the hospital. Yesterday you
9 testified that you followed Major Tesic in to the hospital, and you
10 eventually realised that Sergeant Jovic and two other JNA injured were
11 there. Is that correct?
12 A. I explained how I came to be in the hospital, and I explained that
13 for a very brief time -- in fact, briefly after Major Tesic entered the
14 hospital I did the same, and this is where I saw Sergeant Jovic and two
15 other JNA soldiers.
16 Q. And you didn't go in there intentionally to see Sergeant Jovic and
17 the JNA wounded, did you?
18 A. I followed the battalion commander in.
19 Q. So it wasn't your intention to see those people in the hospital,
20 was it?
21 A. I knew that Sergeant Jovic was in the hospital itself, and I was
22 not surprised when I saw him.
23 Q. But when you went into the hospital, it wasn't your intention to
24 see Sergeant Jovic and the other two injured JNA soldiers, was it?
25 A. I cannot now say to you what my intention was at the time. The
1 fact is that I went into the hospital itself immediately after my
2 battalion commander.
3 Q. And you testified that you spoke with Sergeant Jovic but you
4 didn't take him out of there or escort him out. Isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes. I saw him. We exchanged a couple of sentences. It was a
6 very brief encounter, and it is true that I did not take him out of the
8 Q. Could we look again at your second statement which is 03032056 to
9 2057, page 2 in the English. In the B/C/S it's 02188287 to 02188290 on
10 page 8289, please. And could you go to 8289, please. There you go.
11 Now, if you look at the third -- the second full paragraph which
12 is -- appears to be the third paragraph which begins with: "On 18
13 November 1991 ..." If you go down to the bottom of that paragraph you
14 state - and you're referring to securing the Vukovar Hospital on the
15 18th - you say: "While we were securing Vukovar Hospital, I entered it
16 only once with battalion commander Major Borivoj Tesic, accompanied by
17 soldiers who were my personal escort to take out three JNA Yugoslavian
18 People's Army soldiers who had been taken prisoner" --
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] The text does not say the 18th of
22 November but the 19th of November. You just said the 18th, so could this
23 please be corrected, Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER: If you read the full paragraph it's clear because he
25 said he transferred on the following day and then he says while securing,
1 so it's a reference to the 18th. I'll be happy to read the full paragraph
2 to make you happy.
3 "Only on 18 November 1991 did I receive a task from battalion
4 commander Major Borivoj Tesic to organise with my unit the securing of
5 Vukovar Hospital grounds and not to allow unauthorised persons to enter or
6 leave the Vukovar Hospital grounds. I performed this task for less than
7 24 hours because on the next day, on 19 November, I transferred securing
8 of Vukovar Hospital grounds to a military police unit commanded by Milovo
9 Simic. While we were securing the hospital, I entered it only once with
10 battalion commander Major Borivoj Tesic, accompanied by soldiers who were
11 my personal escort, to take out three JNA (Yugoslav People's Army) who had
12 been taken prisoners and two nurses. After taking these prisoners and two
13 nurses, I did not enter the premises of the Vukovar Hospital nor did I
14 have any need to do so."
15 Now, sir -- first, did I read that correctly, sir? Is that what
16 it states?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. And was your purpose of entering to take those JNA soldiers out or
19 did you just come upon them like you stated yesterday while following
20 Major Tesic into the hospital?
21 A. The purpose of my visit to the hospital was to secure the hospital
22 until the arrival of the military police on the orders of the commander,
23 Borivoj Tesic. And the activities that followed after we actually entered
24 the hospital itself, I did not have any control over them; and since my
25 commander was present there, he was in control. When I said to take out
1 three soldiers and two nurses, I meant us, those of us who were present
3 Q. Yesterday, however, you testified that you didn't escort those
4 persons out. In 1998 you said you did escort those persons out. Which is
5 it, sir?
6 A. I did not take them out personally, nor was I present in the
7 hospital at the time when they left; that is correct.
8 Q. You didn't take them out personally but you wrote or you
9 stated: "After taking out these prisoners and the two nurses, I did not
10 enter the premises of Vukovar Hospital."
11 So if you didn't take them out, why did you previously state you
12 did take them out?
13 A. Since I gave this statement before a military court, as far as I
14 can remember in the course of my testimony before the military court, when
15 I was called as a witness in a trial against unknown persons who had
16 committed the crime at Ovcara, I replied to the questions that were asked
17 by the presiding judge. And after I actually replied, the judge dictated
18 for the record a version of my reply. At that time I did not think that
19 he had made any mistakes because in terms of a description of the event,
20 it corresponded to the actual situation. So I apologise, if you allow me.
21 Q. Please do.
22 A. I was inside only once, in the hospital itself I mean. The image
23 that I have is very dark. A large number of people being there in
24 conditions that were not appropriate for a hospital, so it was a gloomy
25 picture. I did see Sergeant Jovic there and two reserve soldiers. I was
1 there with Major Tesic and some other JNA troops. Captain Sasa Bojkovski
2 was in there, too, and some other soldiers, a couple of other soldiers.
3 At that time I felt uncomfortable, and I did not want to stay there. And
4 there was absolutely no need for me to linger there for a single moment.
5 The moment I left that part of the hospital, I never returned, never. I
6 have never in my whole life revisited that part of the hospital.
7 Q. Now, sir, you indicated that the -- you gave a statement to the
8 investigative judge and that he got it wrong. However, on the last page,
9 sir, of this statement you indicated: "I have nothing else to add. I
10 dictated my statement and read it. It contains everything I said, and I
11 hereby sign it without any remarks."
12 You then sign that as your statement. Isn't that correct?
13 A. In 1998 I found myself for the first time in my life before a
14 Trial Chamber. Up until that time, I had not had an opportunity to even
15 see how it -- what it looks like. I never committed any kinds of
16 infractions to traffic violation that would bring me in front of a Trial
17 Chamber. At that time, I did not feel that it was so important for every
18 single letter to be put down the way I think it should be. So it is
19 stated here that I was in the hospital. I was in the hospital. The
20 statement says that three soldiers, Sergeant Jovic and two soldiers, were
21 taken out. They were taken out, but I did not know that it should be so
22 specific and so precise. So I'm now telling you that I did not order them
23 to go out because I did not have the authority to do so; it was Major
24 Tesic who ordered that. And I am stating here and now that I did not take
25 part in the taking out of the -- of Sergeant Jovic and the two soldiers
1 because nobody had asked me to do so.
2 Q. So your earlier statement is wrong again, according to you?
3 A. I have to apologise. My statement is not wrong. I just think
4 that it's imprecise. I am sure that I would have been as precise in my
5 statement at that time had I paid more attention to that. At that time I
6 thought that it did not contain any false statements. It is just that I
7 saw it in the way that I just explained to you. I am very unhappy that
8 the statement is imprecise, but there was no ill intention behind it at
10 Q. Let's move on. While you're in the hospital you walked past
11 offices and rooms and you see people inside the hospital, don't you?
12 A. When I entered the hospital, I remember that it was a small room
13 located in the hall to the left. So at that time I did not notice other
14 offices, but I saw people observing us. They were in a very difficult
15 situation, at least to my mind. And this impression was very
17 Q. And, sir, you saw people from several rooms and you saw people who
18 you believed were being disguised as staff or were impersonating staff in
19 white coats. Isn't that true, sir?
20 A. Yes, I did notice a certain number of people wearing new coats,
21 and it was obvious that they had been taken for use a moment ago because
22 you could see the creases --
23 Q. And you thought that these people were Croatian paramilitaries,
24 didn't you? That's what your suspicion was?
25 A. In my evidence I stated that I had seen some clothes that had been
1 discarded on the grounds. And, yes, you're right, I believed these people
2 to be Croatian paramilitaries.
3 Q. And wouldn't it be logical if you think that there are
4 paramilitaries impersonating staff to bring in local people or soldiers
5 that are familiar with the hospital to assess the situation. Isn't that
6 logical, sir?
7 A. Mr. Weiner, I was an officer at the time. I was a captain. I was
8 a company commander. I carried out the orders I received from my
9 superiors. What you believe to have been logical at the time is not the
10 same as I do. I was not an adventurer. I did not feel any need for that.
11 I was in the presence of my commander. If he had thought that something
12 needed to be done at any point and in any way, he had the duty and the
13 right to issue an appropriate order to me. I did not take any
14 unauthorised action, and I did not call anyone to do any checks the way
15 that you just suggested to me.
16 Q. Sir, the first question is a general question. Would it be
17 logical, not for you, but would it be logical, in general, to bring in
18 someone who was local, who had maybe worked at the hospital, who was
19 familiar with the hospital to assess the situation and determine who was
20 disguised -- who, if anyone, was being disguised as hospital staff or
21 patients? Isn't that logical?
22 A. I'm sorry. Can you be more specific. Who should think that this
23 was logical?
24 Q. The JNA, whether it's the military police or the security organ.
25 Would that be logical to do, to bring in someone to check?
1 A. I have to repeat. I was a company commander. My commander was
2 present there. If he felt that some action should be taken along the
3 lines that you just suggested, he would have issued appropriate orders to
4 someone, informed his superior, and now it would be up to them to decide
5 what to do. I was not thinking along those lines, as you just put it to
7 Q. Sir, wasn't it the reason that Bogdan Kuzmic was brought to that
8 hospital was for him to assess who was a member of the staff and who
9 wasn't? Wasn't that the reason that Mr. Kuzmic was brought there?
10 MR. BOROVIC: Objection.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I've tried hard to restrain myself,
13 but this is a provocation that -- this is really -- he is really out of
14 line. But so many questions have been asked, and the only question that
15 should have been asked is whether this was indeed within his sphere of
16 authority, security issues and so on. We heard what Mr. Radic said with
17 regard to Mr. Kuzmic. He did not know who Kuzmic was, he didn't know
18 about Bogdan Kuzmic at all, and I would like this question to be rephrased
19 and speculations or other -- in other words, asking the witness to
20 speculate on security issues, I think this goes beyond what this witness
21 can reasonably be expected to do. Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. There has been testimony in
24 relation to this defendant and Bogdan Kuzmic on the 18th going from room
25 to room through the hospital, making that determination as to who was in
1 fact a patient, who was in fact staff, and who was not. And that's what I
2 want to raise next.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, this is cross-examination. The
4 Prosecution is entitled to put its view to your client and to receive your
5 client's reactions to its view. Its view, obviously, differs from your
6 client's evidence on a number of matters. They are not limited to what
7 your client says occurred in what they can put in cross-examination. So
8 as long as the question is clear, it's, I think, very obvious that your
9 client can say: Well, I know nothing about Kuzmic or whatever it is that
10 he wants to say about it. Okay.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Okay. But if you will allow me. If
12 he wants to confront the witness with what Kuzmic was doing, going from
13 room to room, then he should be very clear about it. And to tell the
14 witness -- to tell Radic: Kuzmic had been going from room to room so that
15 Mr. Radic can then make his mind up.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We will be observant, Mr. Borovic, if a question is
17 not clear, but I don't see that position at the moment.
18 So carry on, Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER:
20 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you and Bogdan Kuzmic went from room to
21 room inspecting patients and staff in that hospital to determine who was
22 impersonating patients and staff?
23 A. That is not true. I would like to say that the first I heard
24 about the man that I had seen accompanying Major Tesic, who had come in
25 with Major Tesic, was when I came here in The Hague. This is the first
1 time that I heard that this person's name was Bogdan Kuzmic. I have never
2 met him, talked to him, or indeed known who he is. So I can assert quite
3 categorically that up to the moment when I entered the hospital, I had not
4 known Bogdan Kuzmic, let alone to accompany him in the hospital and go
5 checking anything in the hospital. So this statement is just not true.
6 Q. Sir, didn't you look into every room in which it was possible to
7 put hospital personnel?
8 A. Your Honour, I am an emotional man, and the suffering that I
9 witnessed in this corridor caused me very, very difficult emotions inside
10 me. It never occurred to me to go from room to room and to check who is
11 in there and what is in there. I knew that there are wounded people, sick
12 people there, but it never occurred to me to go checking. And I had no
13 reason to do so, in particular, not with a person that I had never seen in
14 my life up until that moment.
15 Q. Sir, could you look at that first statement again, 0305-4580 to
16 4582, page 2 in the English; 02188355 -- I'm sorry, 8354 at page 8355 in
17 the B/C/S. In the second large paragraph in the B/C/S where you talk
18 about in the presence of Major Tesic at the very entrance to the hospital
19 building and let us continue.
20 "I saw hospital staff in every room in which it was possible to
21 put personnel."
22 Isn't that what it says?
23 "I saw hospital staff --"
24 A. Yes, yes, I can see what you just read. What this means is -- I
25 think that, again, this is imprecise. What I'm telling you is that I gave
1 this statement to security officers. There is a certain degree of
2 imprecision, but I can assert now that I never went into any rooms, apart
3 from the room where Sergeant Jovic was and the corridor where I went in.
4 I saw the wounded. I saw the sick people. I saw people observing me. I
5 did not feel comfortable at the time, and it was never my intention to do
6 anything else. And I don't think that my commander would have allowed me
7 to do anything in his presence. So I can say that I never walked around
8 the hospital. I went only into that room that was to the left where
9 Sergeant Jovic was, and I remember that there was a bed on wheels, a green
10 one. It was just sitting there. And after that I simply left the
12 Q. Sir, Dr. Njavro has testified that he received complaints that you
13 and Mr. Kuzmic went through that hospital room for room on November 18th,
14 inspected patients and personnel, and abused them. Do you deny this?
15 A. Yes, I do. I absolutely deny it for reasons I have already
16 stated. I never met Bogdan Kuzmic in my life. Nobody said to me this is
17 Bogdan Kuzmic and this is Miroslav Radic. We were never introduced. I
18 did not have any reason or need to do anything with Bogdan Kuzmic. I
19 learned the name of that person once I came to The Hague.
20 Q. Let's continue on at the hospital. You testified that on the 19th
21 of November you left the hospital in Lieutenant Hadzic's care to wait for
22 the arrival of the military police, for them to take over security. Is
23 that your testimony, sir?
24 A. Would you please show me where that is.
25 Q. One moment. Yesterday's testimony on page 66.
1 "I had already left the hospital compound before he returned," and
2 you're referring to Major Tesic, "leaving Second Lieutenant Hadzic to
3 await for the arrival of my military police commanded -- of a military
4 police unit commanded by captain," and it's a mark, it's "Simic."
5 So your testimony is you left the hospitals during the afternoon
6 of November 19th and you left it in the care and custody of Lieutenant
7 Hadzic, and he was the one who waited for the military police and to
8 transfer the custody of -- the control of the hospital compound over to
9 the military police. Is that your testimony?
10 A. All of us commanders, either of the companies or platoons, were
11 working or carrying out the assignments of our superiors. When you say
12 that I left control to the military police, that implies that the military
13 police company came in accordance with orders of their superior commander,
14 and that on the basis of that order there was a handover of the facility
15 that was being secured, meaning that Lieutenant Hadzic handed over the
16 security duties and Captain Hadzic assumed the security duties for the
18 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you were at the hospital waiting for
19 Captain Simic from the military police, you handed over the custody of
20 that hospital, and then you left with your company? Isn't that true?
21 A. From what I recall, I was not there during the actual handover of
22 duties. I probably left the hospital compound before that. I don't
23 recall the moment of being face-to-face with Captain Simic and being
24 present at the handover together with him. But I do recall that
25 Lieutenant Hadzic came with soldiers from the hospital to the sector where
1 we were.
2 Q. Now, sir, could you again look to your first 1998 statement,
3 0305-4580 to 4582. In the B/C/S 02188354 to 02188357 at page 2 which is
4 8355, please. In the English, page 1 and page 2, the bottom of page 1 and
5 the middle of page 2. 02188354 but at page 8355. I think there is an
6 8286 there.
7 Now, sir, if you could look at the top paragraph there beginning
8 with "I carried out this task and secured the hospital until 19
9 November ..." Do you see that? It's the -- begins in the fourth line
10 down. Do you see it?
11 A. Yes, yes, I see it.
12 Q. "I carried out this task and secured the hospital until 19
13 November 1991, when in the afternoon hours I transferred the security duty
14 to a military police company, that is to its commander, Captain Milivoj
15 Simic. After transferring my duty, I was ordered to assemble the soldiers
16 in my company and carry out a search of the terrain on my direction of
17 operations and collect parts of weapons and equipment."
18 And then if you go down to the fourth paragraph, it's a short
19 paragraph, one up from the bottom --
20 JUDGE PARKER: Just a minute, Mr. Borovic.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, excuse me.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Weiner, with your question.
23 MR. WEINER: Okay.
24 Q. There's one other little paragraph and it's on the same issue.
25 "After transferring the duty --" do you see that, sir? It's the
1 fourth paragraph down in the English. It's also the fourth paragraph down
2 in the B/C/S.
3 "After transferring the duty of securing the hospital and its
4 grounds, I withdrew my unit to our previous location, battalion command
5 post sector, where I issued orders to my subordinates about further
7 JUDGE PARKER: If you just pause there, Mr. Radic.
8 Yes, Mr. Borovic.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor read everything
10 correctly except that it was on the 19th in the afternoon, because here in
11 the original text it says "in the morning." This can be very important.
12 That was my intervention; everything else is quite correct. So it's in
13 the morning hours of the 19th.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I respond?
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
16 Now, Mr. Radic, can you remember the question and answer it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
18 Then, now, and always I would say that pertaining to the
19 assignment being carried out by my unit, that is also my personal
20 assignment, which means that if I were to say that I relieved someone, I
21 am responsible for this relief and I would always say that I did it. I am
22 responsible for that. Whether it was done by my company commander in my
23 name, I absolutely accept that as if I were the one who did that. So when
24 it says here in the text "following the handover of the security of the
25 hospital compound I withdrew my unit to the previous location", it means
1 that that was my assignment and I was obliged to implement it. In the
2 course of the implementation, if I transferred my powers to one of the
3 platoon commanders or the squad commanders or anyone else, they had to do
4 it the way the orders instructed them to do it. So I don't believe that
5 in this part of the statement I said anything by mistake or anything
6 wrong. I don't know if you understand what I'm saying.
7 Q. Sir, I understand. But you never said that you transferred the
8 authority to Lieutenant Hadzic and that Lieutenant Hadzic was the one who
9 turned over the control. Isn't that correct? It's not stated here.
10 A. I am trying to tell you this. I, as a company commander, order
11 Lieutenant Hadzic as the platoon commander. And if --
12 Q. I understand that. But I'm saying, sir, you just didn't say it in
13 this document here. Isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, sir, let's move on to the 20th. You've indicated you went to
16 the hospital on the morning of the 20th; that's what you've testified to.
17 Dr. Njavro has testified that you entered the hospital on the morning of
18 the 20th. Are you denying that, sir?
19 A. I would just kindly ask you to indicate where I said "morning" is
20 a broad term. Now I'm being asked to be quite specific and precise, so
21 could you please tell me when it was that I said that I left to go to the
22 hospital early in the morning. This is what I understand is being said.
23 Q. Page 70 of yesterday's transcript you said that. Now, did you not
24 go in the morning?
25 A. No. Look, I went to the hospital at some point. It was probably
1 closer to noon than morning when I went. I categorically state that in
2 the morning hours I was not -- all my recollection indicates that I saw
3 women and men entering buses. I didn't see any action that took place
4 before that, meaning that I wasn't at the hospital at no point in time. I
5 have heard here quite clearly that there was some selection going on,
6 which I did not see myself, that people were being boarded into
7 ambulances. This is something that I didn't see.
8 Q. Well, we'll get to that shortly, sir. But Dr. Njavro says that
9 you entered the hospital building on November 20th. Is that correct?
10 A. That is not correct.
11 Q. Witness 18 testified that he went with you to the hospital on the
12 20th, that you entered it, and you met with Major Sljivancanin; and that
13 you, Major Sljivancanin, and Stanko were speaking, and Stanko who was
14 saying who of the injured there, which ones were Ustashas. Is that
16 A. As for witness P18, I state in most responsible terms that that
17 young man at that time, as far as he was concerned, my only objective was
18 not to have him step on some mine, personnel mine or something. This is
19 just an ill-intentioned claim. It's lucky that I managed to save the
20 life -- his life and the lives of others. I most responsibly state that
21 that soldier never, that I'm aware of, came to me. And this story that he
22 told isn't even close to the truth. I don't know what his motives were
23 for telling it, but what he said is absolutely inconceivable to me.
24 Q. All right. Witness number 30, who has no apparent relationship to
25 either -- with Dr. Njavro or witness 18. He says that you were out in
1 front of the hospital receiving orders from Major Sljivancanin on the
2 morning of November 20th. Do you know deny that, too?
3 A. I deny it because the way witness P30 explained it, and in view of
4 the fact that I knew who Major Sljivancanin was and that he knew who I
5 was, according to the rules of service, it is regulated how a senior
6 officer or a superior officer addresses a subordinate or junior officer.
7 So it's clear to me, whoever you ask in this courtroom and who did serve
8 in the army, that a senior officer or a superior officer would never
9 address a junior officer in that way. On the other hand, I was not in
10 front of the unit, the line, in the way that P30 explained. I did not
11 command the soldiers of the military police, and I didn't even know that
12 such an activity was underway in the hospital compound. I really don't
13 know what his motives were to say something like that, but I firmly stand
14 on my position.
15 Q. So it's your position that these people are all wrong and that you
16 never saw anyone boarding those buses or being placed on those buses on
17 the morning of November 20th or during November 20th, 1991?
18 A. I state responsibly that I never saw any selection. I didn't know
19 that this selection would take place, nobody informed me about it. I
20 didn't see what was being done with those prisoners. The first specific
21 information I had was when I received documents here confirming that. I
22 began to put the pieces together about all the events only when I received
23 the voluminous documents here at The Hague Tribunal.
24 Q. Sir, weren't you present -- you just said about -- on page -- at
25 about 72 that you were not present when the people got on the ambulances.
1 Weren't you present when the people from the hospital were placed on the
2 buses or were boarding buses? Weren't you present for that?
3 A. What I remember is that civilians who were in the hospital
4 compound, they were told that they can choose if they wanted to go to
5 Serbia or to Croatia. So absolutely at no point in time do I recall
6 attending at the hospital when men who had been selected were boarding the
7 buses. So I assert that I did not see any man or any group of men who had
8 been selected in that way to board the buses. I assert that I saw
9 civilians who were allowed to either go to Croatia or to Serbia, and this
10 was only in a very brief time-period. I don't know if they went or where
11 they went; that's something that I don't know, other than what I heard in
12 this courtroom.
13 Q. Did you see anybody being placed on a bus or anyone boarding
15 A. As far as I can recall, there was no mention of any coercion or
16 force. People, from what I understood, were going of their own free will.
17 I didn't even see them boarding. All I recall is the detail when they
18 were leaving, going towards the main exit of the hospital compound. I
19 don't know who went where. At the beginning I saw perhaps a couple of
20 buses. As for how long the column was, I never went in that direction and
21 I didn't see that at all. So absolutely there was no coercion there at
23 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at your first statement 03054580 through
24 4582, and in the B/C/S 02188354, page 2 at the bottom going into page 3
25 on -- which is 8355 in the B/C/S, 02188355. In the English it's on page
1 2, the fourth full paragraph down.
2 MR. WEINER: Is that page 8355? Can you move it down to the --
3 the last paragraph? Thank you.
4 Q. Would you follow along with me as I read?
5 "As far as the organisation and evacuation of the hospital, I was
6 not a direct participant either in decision-making or its execution, but I
7 was at the hospital grounds at certain times as were other officers of the
8 Guards Brigade. About the evacuation of the hospital, all I can say is
9 that I saw people boarding army buses, and I heard they were being taken
10 in groups to destinations of their choice, either Croatian territory,
11 Vinkovci, Osijek, the Velepromet enterprise grounds in Vukovar, or the
12 army barracks in Vukovar. I did not see anyone being maltreated because
13 there were journalists in the hospital grounds at the time, and they would
14 have certainly registered anything of the kind were it happening. As far
15 as I saw, the evacuation was organised with a military police escort. I
16 do not know who was in charge of evacuating Vukovar Hospital, nor do I
17 know how many people were inside."
18 Sir, you saw people -- first, did I read that correctly? Is that
19 what it says?
20 A. Unfortunately, I was able to just follow the previous page that
21 you read. But I'm sure that you read it all correctly.
22 Q. Would you like to look at it again or -- or see a hard copy?
23 A. There is no need. No need. Go ahead. You can put your question.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps he can refer
25 to the statements. He has both statements. I can let him have both
1 statements. He can refer to them, if that's all right.
2 MR. WEINER: That's fine.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] He doesn't have to, but he should
4 have them at hand in case he wishes to consult them.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Sir, so you actually saw the people boarding those buses?
7 A. Mr. Weiner, in 1998 when I was called to the security
8 administration, Colonel Tomic and this other senior officer who was
9 present when I was talking with them were familiar with many of the
10 details that I knew. At that time I wasn't an active member of the Army
11 of Yugoslavia. What I discussed with him he dictated in his own words
12 into the record. At that time I did not think that being precise at any
13 time or at any moment would be questioned of that statement or that I
14 would have to then say whether I said that specific word or not. So I
15 would like to ask you. I state that I saw people walking towards the
16 buses. I cannot say the most logical conclusion would be that perhaps I
17 saw the odd one going in. I know people were going into a part of the
18 bus. I know they did have the option to choose where they wanted to go,
19 whether to Croatia or to Serbia.
20 Any -- each detail that you would like me to say, I'm really doing
21 my utmost. And it's been a full 15 years since those events started, and
22 in my life when I left the army I tried to forget all the ugly things that
23 happened to me. I cannot for the moment answer. Anything that I would
24 tell you, other than what I have said, would be some sort of a speculation
25 or a conclusion on my part. So if I were to tell you -- what I mean is if
1 I was looking at those people, the most logical thing would be that they
2 were boarding the buses. Whether at that point in time I saw any of them
3 entering the buses, perhaps I did see that, but anything further that I
4 would say about that would be guessing or speculation. And that is
5 something that I do not wish to do here.
6 Q. Sir, you said that you were there with other Guards Brigade
7 officers. What other Guards Brigade officers were there?
8 A. I didn't often have the opportunity to meet Colonel Pavkovic. At
9 one point in time he was an officer from the highest-ranking command, and
10 I knew exactly who he was. I remember seeing him there. There were other
11 officers, too. As far as I remember, Major Tesic was present, too.
12 Members of the military police were there, too, but I can't be more
13 specific. I wish -- I wish I could remember, but I can't. If you'd be so
14 kind, please, as to point me to a situation that might jog my memory,
15 perhaps then I'd be able to tell you whether it's something that I
16 remember or not. Things being what they are, I'm now unable to do that
17 for you.
18 Q. All right. Let's try something you said yesterday on page 71.
19 Your answer is: "I claim with the greatest of responsibility that at that
20 moment none of my soldiers were present, either in the hospital or in the
21 hospital compound around the hospital."
22 Sir, if you didn't enter that hospital on November 20th or walk
23 through the compound, how can you guarantee that none of your soldiers
24 were inside or on the compound?
25 A. Mr. Weiner, that morning all of my soldiers, all of my squad
1 leaders, all of my company officers received an assignment from me
2 directly to search the entire area along our own axis. All of my soldiers
3 were instructed to pick up any weapons, equipment, ammunition, protective
4 masks and helmets found there, or anything else that could be defined as
5 combat or non-combat equipment. I personally told them to go and do that.
6 I personally appointed squad leaders and told them where to go. I
7 personally -- well, it's hard to verbalise this, but I think I told
8 (redacted) at one point in time what he was supposed to be doing.
9 What this means is my soldiers didn't have -- after that I went
10 back to the town. I went back to the hospital. It is my deepest
11 conviction that they could not have possibly got there at the time when I
12 was there. There had been no time. They had their own commitments and
13 assignments. At no point in time was I actually informed by anyone about
14 any of my soldiers being or indeed needing to be at the hospital.
15 Q. So, sir, you can just offer your judgement, your personal
16 judgement. You can't state for sure that none of your soldiers were
17 inside because you can't tell if someone disobeyed your orders and was
19 A. All right. I did not come across any of my soldiers in the
20 hospital compound.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. It is my deepest conviction --
23 Q. Please continue. I'm sorry.
24 A. It is my deepest conviction that the military police would not
25 have allowed anyone uninvited to enter the hospital itself. Why then
1 would they have allowed any soldier they didn't know, any officer they
2 didn't know if this officer or soldier had no place being there in the
3 first place? My personal inference follows. My soldiers simply had no
4 time to get to the hospital, to reach the hospital compound, let alone to
5 enter the hospital building itself or take any action inside it. I am
6 convinced that none of them were inside the hospital building or, indeed,
7 within the compound at the same time that I was there.
8 Q. Did you see Vukasinovic there? He's indicated in his statement
9 that he was present at the hospital on that date.
10 A. I can't for the life of me remember. I've known who Mr.
11 Vukasinovic is for a very long time, but I cannot at all remember meeting
12 him at any time or talking to him, or seeing him in any of those
14 Q. What about Karanfilov, did you see him at the hospital on the 20th
15 of November?
16 A. Captain Karanfilov was a fellow student at the military academy, a
17 fellow student of mine. We go back to our time at the military gymnasium.
18 I don't remember seeing him at the hospital at any time.
19 Q. Major Sljivancanin, did you see him at the hospital on November
21 A. I do not remember a single situation that would now jog my memory.
22 I've heard many stories about his presence there, here in this courtroom,
23 but I can't remember seeing him there. He may have passed me at some
24 point, but even for me this was -- well, not exactly interesting situation
25 but I really don't remember seeing him. This might have been the ordinary
1 situation, so ordinary in fact as to leave me unable to even remember it.
2 I apologise. I do remember Colonel Pavkovic because he was an officer
3 that I did not exactly get to see every day.
4 Q. How many officers did you see at the hospital on that morning of
5 the 20th?
6 A. You see, my impression is that there were a great many officers
7 there on the 20th. There was quite a crowd there. There was a general
8 sense of commotion and confusion. It's difficult to name names. I did
9 like to know, as I indicated yesterday, what became of certain people that
10 I used to know. But I think at one point in time I may have even
11 exchanged greetings with some of those officers, but I can't for the life
12 of me remember their names right now. I regret to have to say this, I
13 sincerely do, but that is the case.
14 Q. And were you able to determine who was in charge, sir, while you
15 were there?
16 A. I must say one thing. I didn't get the impression at the time
17 that this was some sort of an operation. My impression at the time was
18 that the crowd there, the civilians, were perfectly free to say what they
19 would like to do and to go wherever they chose. I didn't understand why
20 the need would ever arise to begin with. I know that the town had been
21 disarmed. I personally witnessed all of that. I saw this with my very
22 own eyes. I saw what Vukovar was like, and I didn't believe that people
23 could continue to live in a place like that. I thought that's why
24 everybody was leaving and not because somebody was actually forcing them
25 to leave. I didn't see this as an operation where people were being
1 shifted and sent this way or that. I'm telling you my impression at the
3 Q. So, sir, you don't know who was in charge. Is that correct?
4 A. At the time, I was not aware of the fact that there had been an
5 evacuation there previously, nor was I trying to find out at the time,
6 honestly. I thought everything was going according to plan, some plan
7 devised by someone back at the superior command. I thought there was no
8 need for me to interfere, nor indeed was I in a position to interfere with
9 something like that.
10 Q. Now, sir, witness 16 places you at the hospital while people are
11 being taken away and speaks to you. And he said you were upset over a
12 number of soldiers being killed, and you referred to the prisoners who
13 were being taken away as dead men. How did you know prisoners were going
14 to be killed, sir?
15 A. Firstly, given the serious nature of this situation, the statement
16 itself is so illogical, so biased. Firstly, I find it to be illogical,
17 and as soon as this was uttered, I realised that I was now being pushed
18 into a situation where I had to start hating someone, where I had to start
19 wishing evil upon someone, whereas eventually it turns out that this
20 person had never even experienced that. If indeed I was an eye-witness to
21 this, as this witness seems to be claiming, as far as I have so far heard
22 over the course of this trial, those people who left in the ambulances
23 came to no harm at all. I really don't know what the reasons are driving
24 this gentleman to tout this story to anyone and to offend me like that, as
25 a human being. I don't think I have ever been in a situation where the
1 look in my eyes might freeze anyone. I don't think I don't know what this
2 means at all, a freezing glance. I myself never caught myself in a
3 situation where I said that people walking past me were dead just because
4 I was wishing them dead and then nothing happens in the end. You see what
5 I'm saying.
6 I claim with the utmost responsibility for this honourable Trial
7 Chamber that this scene never took place, as described by the gentleman.
8 And I think the reference here is to witness P016. I tried hard to
9 understand what his motives might be, but I have so far failed.
10 Q. So you know of no motive for him to lie about you?
11 A. That person claimed he knew me from before, that he wrote to my
12 unit when we were at Pasuljanske Livade which is a training camp that JNA
13 units sometimes would be sent to. You have Mr. Mrksic here who was the
14 commander of the Guards Brigade at the time. You have the then-Major
15 Sljivancanin, who was chief of security. There will be other officers
16 coming. If any one of them ever says that they went to Pasuljanske Livade
17 and that I was there, well I am telling you, I assure you that I have
18 never in my life been to Pasuljanske Livade, that I have never spoken to
19 this gentleman, that he has never laid eyes on me in his entire life, and
20 that I never found myself in the situation that he described within the
21 hospital compound -- or rather, outside the gate.
22 There are no steps outside the door, as he described. No scene
23 like that ever took place. I am telling you what this man said is a total
24 fabrication. I don't know what might have driven him to do anything like
25 that. I suppose a large-scale fabrication of that nature takes a lot of
1 courage, which I don't think I would ever be able to summon up myself.
2 Q. Let's move on. Seselj visited in November of 1991, and he went to
3 the house where you were staying, that same house that was being used as
4 your observation post. Were you aware that Seselj was going to be
5 visiting your observation post?
6 A. Mr. Weiner, I associate Seselj's arrival with a particular
7 situation, if I may be allowed to give you just a short account of this.
8 Q. Sir, there's a question. Were you aware that Seselj was visiting
9 your post?
10 A. No. What this means is Seselj was never in the house in my
11 presence, the house that I used as an observation post, the house in which
12 I was staying.
13 Q. Okay. You said he was never in your presence. Were you aware
14 that he was visiting -- going to visit that observation post?
15 A. I don't see any reason for him to be visiting my observation post
16 at all, nor did any of my subordinates ever inform me of the fact that he
17 had been there. I also wish to point out something else. The day he
18 visited Vukovar I had been preparing to leave for Belgrade, and the next
19 day -- as a matter of fact, I spent that entire day in Belgrade.
20 Q. So you were never made aware on that day or the next day that
21 Seselj visited your observation post?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. We had a Defence witness, Jaksic, who said he saw Seselj's
24 secretary present at your observation post. Were you aware that Seselj's
25 secretary was there?
1 A. I have no idea who Seselj's secretary is, and I certainly don't
2 know that Mr. Jaksic ever came to my observation post. He was perfectly
3 entitled to come, but I simply never saw him there, nor did I ever hear of
4 him coming.
5 Q. Witness 018 testified that you were present at that
6 apartment/observation post when Seselj visited. Do you deny that?
7 A. Witness P018 said a lot of things that I wish to deny, what you
8 have just indicated being one of the many things.
9 Q. Witness P022 stated that you were present at your
10 apartment/observation post when Seselj visited. Do you deny that?
11 A. Most certainly.
12 Q. Witness P002, who seems to have no ties to 018 or 022, has
13 testified that you were present in your apartment/observation post when
14 Seselj visited and that he placed this information in his diary. Do you
15 deny that too?
16 A. Is there anything linking P002 and P022? I think the witness
17 himself, P022, said that at one point they were back in his own native
18 place, as far as I remember, and please correct me if I'm wrong. The way
19 they both described this, at least in my understanding, involves a lot of
20 discrepancy. Witness P002 wrote down in his notebook a number of
21 different things and stated before this Chamber things that couldn't be
22 further from the truth or further from evidence which I myself found in
23 his notebook.
24 I assure you that I was never in the situation described by
25 witness P002, and the scene simply never took place involving Seselj and
1 the officers which he named or, indeed, the circumstances that he
2 described. If you can allow me to show you all of this on the sketch that
3 I used to indicate certain things to the Trial Chamber yesterday, I can
4 explain in very simple terms why this would not have been feasible to
5 begin with.
6 Q. Well, after the break. Let me just finish asking you some
7 questions. You can show that after the break.
8 MR. WEINER: Can we go into private session?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 12747-12749 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn. There must be a redaction, so
12 we'll resume at five past 4.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
17 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Let us continue with the Seselj meeting. Do
18 you know which -- did you learn which of your soldiers or subordinates
19 were present for that meeting that occurred at your observation post with
20 Mr. Seselj?
21 A. I claim that this meeting did not take place at my observation
23 Q. Were you aware, sir, that Seselj made some remarks at your
24 observation point or elsewhere that not a single Ustasha must leave
25 Vukovar alive? Were you aware of that?
1 A. The first time I heard this statement was here at the Tribunal in
2 The Hague.
3 Q. Sir, if you weren't at your home and observation point on November
4 13th, as you state, you cannot state for sure whether or not Seselj was
5 there. Isn't that correct?
6 A. Mr. Weiner, as far as I am able to understand, Seselj did not have
7 a single reason to come to a house. If I were in that house, if I resided
8 at their house but was not present there. And I can tell you that no one
9 ever told me that meetings were ever held in that house at any point, and
10 that is why I state that no meeting was held there of the kind described
11 in some evidence before this Tribunal.
12 Q. So no one has every told you that and you weren't there, according
13 to your testimony. Sir, if someone -- or let's say Seselj, who was a
14 noted politician in the former Yugoslavia, makes statements of that kind
15 to troops that no Ustasha is allowed to leave alive, is that a dangerous
16 situation when something like that is made to troops?
17 A. First of all, at that time -- in fact, throughout my military
18 career I was not politically involved. At one point, along with perhaps a
19 hundred -- almost a hundred per cent of the officers in the JNA, I was in
20 the communist party --
21 Q. Sir, sir, sir --
22 A. -- but when the League of Communists of Yugoslavia --
23 Q. Sir, there is a question. When a statement like that is made from
24 a politician, is that a dangerous situation? We don't need your whole
25 political history what you did with other officers. It's a question. Can
1 you answer the question, please. When a statement like that is made, is
2 that a dangerous situation?
3 A. So your claim that Seselj was a famous politician is something
4 that I do not share. I did not see him as a famous politician at all, but
5 I allow that somebody else might think that. But any attempts to lure
6 somebody to do evil is potentially a dangerous situation. If he really
7 did say at one point that no Ustasha should be allowed to leave Vukovar
8 alive, that's something that I don't know about. I did not witness that.
9 If this is something that he said, then you should ask him or people who
10 were present when he made that statement. Such a sentence uttered by a
11 politician of this kind would not have any effect on me whatsoever.
12 Q. But you know within one week of that statement being uttered, over
13 200 people were killed. Isn't that correct, sir?
14 A. That is your claim. So I cannot accept that since I -- because I
15 did not witness when this statement was made, I cannot now say whether
16 this motivated anyone to do anything; it did not motivate me. Nor had I
17 known about this statement -- had I known about it at all, I'm sure that I
18 personally would have taken measures to prevent anything like that. But I
19 absolutely did not know about this statement, and it is an insult for me
20 when somebody says that I had known about it and that I took it just like
21 that without doing anything, with equanimity.
22 Q. Okay. So you took no action because you didn't know about it.
23 Are you aware of anyone who took any action after that statement was made,
24 any action taken by anyone in the military?
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
1 JUDGE PARKER: It's too obvious, Mr. Borovic.
2 MR. WEINER: Withdrawn, Your Honour.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I thought your client -- on that one.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Let's move on to a few other issues quickly.
7 Sir, you testified yesterday that between November 10th and
8 November 19th you provided security for homes in two neighbourhoods, and
9 you mentioned Bosko Buha and I think Milovo Brdo. Is that correct, sir?
10 That's on page 57 of yesterday's testimony.
11 A. This was the line that we had reached according to the last task
12 that I received from my commander. When we reached the line at Milovo
13 Brdo, my troops remained there to secure a part of Milovo Brdo and of the
14 Bosko Buha settlement. So what you said is true.
15 Q. And, sir, were you involved in -- was your company involved in
16 combat operations after November 10th?
17 A. No. I think I was quite clear. My company had two combat
18 missions. The first was to come to the 6th Proleterske Division
19 settlement and the second was to reach the Milovo Brdo settlement. My
20 company and myself, we did not receive any other combat missions.
21 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you and your company were carrying out
22 combat missions right through the end of November 17th, 1991?
23 A. If you take it to mean that one of the combat missions was to
24 secure the line that had been reached, then I agree with you. But
25 missions that would involve attacking, I say that the assault detachment
1 did have such tasks, but I personally did not.
2 Q. No, your company, was it carrying out combat operations - and you
3 know what combat operations are - after November 10th? Isn't it true it
5 A. I would like to correct you. A company cannot perform combat
6 operations. A company is assigned its axis of action, and this is the
7 lowest unit of permanent composition. I have to apologise stressing this,
8 but I think a misuse of those terms actually resulted in this confusion
9 whether I am a commander or a leader, whether I was engaged in operations
10 or in actions, because a company cannot perform combat operations. A
11 company is given a combat task and it has to carry it out on a given axis.
12 Q. So, sir, isn't it true that your company was carrying out combat
13 operations along a certain axis or direction right up until November 17th,
14 1991? Is that correct, sir?
15 A. I have to repeat. My company --
16 Q. Sir, sir, sir --
17 A. -- carried out its combat task.
18 Q. Sir, please state yes or no. If you disagree, please let us know,
19 but not a long statement repeating over and over your views on life. Were
20 you carrying out combat operations up until November 17th, 1991? If it's
21 no, it's fine, if it's yes, it's fine.
22 A. I never performed combat operations, "operacija" in B/C/S. That
23 is my answer.
24 MR. WEINER: May the witness please be shown his first statement.
25 In English 03054580 through 82; in B/C/S it is 02188354, and that
1 particular page. The middle of the page just below "statement." In
2 English it's page 1, Your Honours. It's page 8354 in B/C/S. The seventh
3 line down in the middle -- or actually you can go to the sixth line, one
4 above. Starting: "I received all orders for the preparation ..." Do you
5 see that, sir, sixth line down after "statement."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay.
8 "I received all orders for the preparation and the execution of
9 combat operations from the two of them. My company was carrying out
10 combat operations in the direction of Petrova Gora settlement-Seste
11 Proleterske division, settlement, as far as the Vuka River. Along the
12 Vuka River towards the Dunav," and it says Danube Hotel, "which was
13 situated at the mouth of the Vuka into the Danube. The right border of my
14 company was Promaska Street. My company reached the Danube River in the
15 afternoon hours on 17 November when the active combat operations of my
16 battalion ceased."
17 Is that what that says there, sir?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Sir, you've told the security organ in 1998 that you were
20 performing combat operations up until November 17th, when active combat
21 operations of the battalion ceased. Isn't that correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. And today and yesterday you said that you weren't performing
24 combat operations, and the reason for that change, sir, is that you don't
25 want those troops still resubordinated to you, the troops that committed
1 the murders. Isn't that correct?
2 A. It's entirely wrong. If you allow I will explain. We keep
3 talking about the battalion now, and to this day, I accept that the 1st
4 Battalion was my unit. I was a member, a soldier, of that unit. I was
5 not a commander of the 1st Battalion, but the Guards Brigade was the unit
6 that I belonged to, that was my unit. Let me just say here that my
7 company was engaged in combat along the axis of Petrova Gora-Seste
8 Proleterske settlements. This is an axis; it's an imaginary axis. And I
9 said many times that I had two tasks. The first task was to reach the
10 Seste Proleterske settlement and the next one was to reach the Milovo Brdo
11 settlement. And if somebody says differently, then please tell me, where.
12 Q. Well, your commander, Mr. Tesic, says the same thing, that your
13 axis was that south-east of the hospital and that the battalion finished
14 its combat operations at the end of the 17th, which is consistent with
15 your statement, sir, that combat operations ended on the 17th. Isn't that
17 A. I think that I have already said once before that the assault
18 detachment, Major Tesic -- when my unit reached the Milovo Brdo area, up
19 until that time he visited my area only once. And after that time, he was
20 at Milovo Brdo every day and he was present at the rest of the axis where
21 the assault detachment was active. I didn't want and I couldn't control
22 what he was doing every day, to stand behind his shoulder. But he was a
23 responsible, serious officer, and he knew what he was doing. And if the
24 assault detachment was supposed to do those things, then this was probably
25 in accordance with the orders that he himself received from Colonel
2 Q. Sir, in your statements and the summaries that were filed by your
3 attorneys to this Court, in no place does it say that you stopped combat
4 operations on November 10th. Isn't that correct?
5 A. Your Honours, I never saw the summaries submitted by my Defence
6 team. I doubt that they actually wrote something to that effect because
7 they have been aware of my defence -- what I intend to use in my defence
8 all along from the start. In my statement given to the military court in
9 1998, I said quite clearly that I finished with my task at Milovo Brdo.
10 Please check, and if I'm wrong, tell me so. Show me where it says that
11 I'm wrong.
12 Q. Sir, you said in your statement, in the first statement,
13 that: "My company reached the Danube River in the afternoon hours on 17
14 November when active combat operations of my battalion ceased."
15 Your company was still active in combat operations until November
16 17th; that's what you said. Are you now saying something different, sir?
17 A. No, no. You present this in a wrong way. In the statement that
18 you now show me it says that my unit reached the Danube River on the 17th
19 of November in the afternoon hours when the active combat ended within my
20 battalion. I still maintain that I am a -- I was a member of the 1st
21 Motorised Battalion.
22 Q. And the active combat of that -- operations of that battalion
23 ceased on that day, just as yours did, too, when you reached the Danube.
24 Isn't that correct, sir?
25 A. I did not reach the Danube River. I say again that my last combat
1 task was completed at the time when I took Milovo Brdo. I did come to the
2 Danube River and to the Dunav Hotel after the fall of Vukovar, but this
3 does not mean that my actions resulted in this. It is my statement that
4 Major Borivoj Tesic commanded the actions from Milovo Brdo until the 17th
5 of December when the units, certain units, reached the Dunav Hotel. If
6 anyone says anything different, please show me that statement.
7 Q. Sir, you said: "My company reached the Danube River." You just
8 said on page 98, line 10: "I did not reach the Danube River."
9 I did not put that in the statement. Sir, you signed that
10 statement, didn't you, in 1998? You signed that statement in 1998, didn't
11 you, sir --
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's a mistake in
13 the transcript.
14 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am telling you persistently that
16 in the statement that you are showing me says that my unit reached the
17 Danube River on the 17th of November in the afternoon, when the active
18 combat ended in my battalion. I did not mention the company anywhere, did
19 I? No. As I said, I was and remained after that a member of the 1st
20 Motorised Battalion, but that does not mean that I was in command of the
21 1st Motorised Battalion. It does not state in any way at all that my
22 company reached the Danube River on the 17th of November, as you claim.
23 Q. Sir, I'll read it again.
24 "My company reached the Danube River in the afternoon hours on
25 November 17th when the active combat operations of my battalion ceased."
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
2 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, Mr. Borovic --
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] -- there are mistakes.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Weiner, I provided the statement
6 in my language, not in your language. And I assert that in my language,
7 in the statement, which I agree is my statement, it says that my unit
8 reached the Danube River, not my company, the way you are translating
9 it, "company." In my language it says "moja jedinica," my unit. I am a
10 member of the 1st Motorised Battalion. The entire time from the beginning
11 of the statement the battalion is discussed and mentioned. In places
12 where I emphasise that my company had an axis, I emphasised that. So if
13 you permit, my company carried out combat along the axis, along the
14 imagined line of the Petrova Gora settlement, the 6th Proletarian Division
15 settlement, up until the Vuka River. And then again along the axis along
16 the Vuka River towards the Hotel Dunav. I didn't say I reached the Hotel
17 Dunav which is located immediately at the mouth of the Vuka river to
18 the -- into the Danube River. The right boundary of my unit was next to
19 the Purvomajska [phoen] Street. My unit reached the Danube River on the
20 17th of November. So I'm speaking here in the context of the battalion.
21 MR. WEINER:
22 Q. So you were saying your unit, but you didn't mean it as your unit.
23 Is that what you wanted to say?
24 A. What I'm trying to say is that I was a company commander. The 1st
25 Battalion was my unit, the Guards Brigade was my unit. I still feel today
1 as a member of the 1st Motorised Battalion. What I mean is that the 1st
2 Motorised Battalion or the 1st Assault Detachment as it was called then,
3 reached the Danube River. But I am stating in most responsible terms that
4 I did not command at any point or was not in command at any point after
5 Milovo Brdo. If any of my superior officers claims that I was in command,
6 I will accept that. But I am saying that there is no order to that effect
7 and that there is no reason for such an assertion because this simply did
8 not happen.
9 Q. Sir --
10 JUDGE PARKER: Now, I think we can break there.
11 Mr. Borovic, you must understand this is cross-examination. You
12 and I both recognise what was coming and what was wrong, but it's more
13 important that the witness say it than you indicate that there's a fault
14 in the translation. It's more important for us. I stopped you at
15 critical parts. I certainly tried to ensure that afterwards, either in
16 your re-examination or in your submission, you can point out what you
17 submit has gone wrong. But I think it's important that we don't shelter
18 the witness, the accused, and your client from having to stand up for
19 himself on his position. That's the whole point of cross-examination. So
20 I trust you will understand that in the long run your point, if it doesn't
21 come from the witness, will be able to come from you.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes, you are perfectly
23 right. So the principle of cross-examination and other examinations are
24 familiar to you more than they are to me, and I accept them. But of
25 course I'm reading the translation, and that does not correspond to the
1 authentic, original statement of Miroslav Radic before the court in
2 Belgrade. There is the word "ceta" and "jedinica", a comapny and unit
3 mentioned there but it was not translated properly, so there is a
4 confusion there.
5 When the unit reaching the river Danube on the 17th is mentioned,
6 that is authentic, but my intervention is also aimed at assisting Mr.
7 Weiner because what he's insisting on is creating confusion. So I waited
8 and he did say three times "my unit reached the river Danube." I don't
9 want to keep on going about this, but maybe this section of the statement
10 can be translated again and then it will become evident that the word
11 "jedinica," unit is referred to there and not the word "ceta," company.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Borovic, we can all be confident that
14 what the witness is saying has become clear by the process. Whether by
15 the word "unit" he meant his company or the battalion or the brigade is a
16 question that will have to be resolved in light of all the evidence.
17 Thank you.
18 Carry on, Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, I just want to state you used -- if you look at the first
21 page, you used the word "battalion" at least six or seven times. Isn't
22 that correct? Count them.
23 A. I believe you. Please go ahead.
24 Q. And you used the company -- the word "company" when you have to,
25 about another six or seven times.
1 A. Yes, go ahead, please.
2 Q. So when you're referring to the battalion, you've always used the
3 word "battalion." Isn't that correct?
4 A. Mr. Weiner, I assert that I completed my assignment at Milovo
5 Brdo, and at any point later I did not go on. If it's important for you
6 to establish the truth, then I would please ask you to check that piece of
7 information. On that -- on this occasion, I would like to say that I feel
8 responsible for everything that happened along the axis of operation of my
9 company up to Milovo Brdo.
10 After Milovo Brdo, I cannot take upon myself anybody else's
11 responsibility, and I do not wish to do that. If anything happened after
12 Milovo Brdo, I cannot assume that responsibility because I was not in the
13 position from that point on to decide anything. Therefore, I would like
14 to assure you once again that after Milovo Brdo I did not command any unit
15 regardless of whether I used the word "company," "unit," "battalion" or
16 not. The factual state of affairs is -- and you will not manage to
17 convince me at any point in time to accept that after Milovo Brdo I
18 undertook, commanded, controlled or did anything with any unit. Thus, I
19 simply cannot accept that because it is not true.
20 Q. But, sir, your writing which you've signed says something
21 different. Isn't that correct? Isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. I'm telling you one thing. Never in my life did I go to the
23 security administration. When I was an active commanding officer the
24 summons to come to the security administration several years after I left
25 that army -- when I received it at that point was a surprise to me. The
1 security administration organs had the right, since I was a member and an
2 active officer of the army, had the right to know. I don't believe that I
3 lied to them in -- on any point. I don't believe that I deceived them at
4 any point. I think that I was clear to them. And once again --
5 Q. Sir, whether or not you're an active officer, that has no relation
6 to the facts and how you state the facts. There is no link between you
7 being an officer and the facts that you give. Isn't that correct? You're
8 asked to tell the truth of certain facts and you did that?
9 A. Mr. Weiner, I cannot accept the fact that you are putting to me
10 that I commanded any unit after Milovo Brdo because that is not what I
12 Q. All right. Let's move on to a few other areas that we can do
13 quickly before the day ends. Sir, while in Vukovar in November of 1991,
14 you did not request or initiate any investigation into the murders at
15 Ovcara. Isn't that correct?
16 A. My position did not make it possible or did not oblige me to do
17 anything like that, thus I didn't have any information. Had I had any
18 information, I would have definitely informed my superior about it and I
19 would definitely have insisted to have this matter clarified.
20 Q. So, sir, you're answering in the negative. You did not initiate
21 or request the initiation of an investigation. Isn't that correct? You
22 might have your reasons or lack of knowledge, but you did not initiate an
23 investigation or request one. Isn't that correct?
24 A. A company commander does not initiate or request or orders
25 something like that. It was my duty to inform my superior if I found out
1 that a crime had been committed anywhere. Had I known that, I would have
2 done that, definitely.
3 Q. So you never informed your superior of a crime. Isn't that
5 A. In the area where I was active, where I was in command and
6 control, I did not have information --
7 Q. Sir, sir, sir, the question is: Did you inform your commander of
8 a crime? It's either yes or no. When we have re-examination or re-direct
9 you can explain whatever you would like. The question is: Did you inform
10 your commander of a crime, yes or no?
11 A. There was no crime along my axis, and in accordance with that
12 fact, there was nothing to report to the commander.
13 Q. So you didn't do that. While in Vukovar, sir, were you aware of
14 any investigation relating to the murders that occurred at Ovcara?
15 A. I didn't know that any murders had occurred, never mind knowing
16 anything about an investigation.
17 Q. Now, you returned to Belgrade on November 24th. Also returning
18 with you was 022, Lieutenant Hadzic, and Dragan Vidacek. Isn't that
20 A. All members of my company who had been in Vukovar until that time
21 returned together with me, including the three that you mentioned.
22 Q. Through the end of 1991 and into 1992, until you left that unit,
23 did you ever inform a superior that an investigation was necessary because
24 of murders at Ovcara? Did you ever do that or initiate an investigation,
1 A. I'm trying to explain that I was at such a level, at such a
2 position where the company commander does not initiate anything. He
3 informs or reports about what he finds out and the investigation can be
4 ordered at a level higher than the level of company commander. I -- and I
5 said this, I think, yesterday in my testimony that --
6 Q. Then did you inform your superior that an investigation was
8 A. Investigation of what?
9 Q. An investigation in relation to the murders at Ovcara. Did you
10 ever inform your superior in 1991 or 1992, up until the time you left?
11 A. No, because I did not have any information that would convince me
12 that that had taken place at all.
13 Q. Were you aware of any investigation in 1991 or 1992 in relation to
14 the murders at Ovcara?
15 A. No, I wasn't.
16 Q. And there were no -- no one was ever interviewed or are you aware
17 of anyone ever being interviewed or anyone ever asked to write a statement
18 in relation to allegations of murder at Ovcara?
19 A. I don't know who from what I know and from what I remember.
20 Q. So you don't know?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Are you aware of anyone ever being punished or disciplined in 1991
23 and 1992 in relation to the murders at Ovcara?
24 A. From what I know, no.
25 Q. Now, speaking of Ovcara, you never went there on the evening of
1 November 20th; we agree with that, don't we?
2 A. No. I wasn't there on the 20th or before that or after that ever,
3 so I will agree with your assertion. Yes, I agree.
4 Q. And you never issued any orders prohibiting your troops from going
5 to Ovcara, isn't that correct, on the 20th?
6 A. I didn't even know Ovcara existed. That term I didn't even know
7 existed when I was in Vukovar. I didn't know what Ovcara meant. I only
8 found out what Ovcara means later.
9 Q. So you never did issue any orders or prohibit your soldiers from
10 going to Ovcara?
11 A. I don't know why I would prohibit anything if I didn't have any
12 knowledge of that. Why would I prohibit anyone from going anywhere if I
13 didn't even know that that -- someplace existed.
14 Q. So finally, since you claim you didn't know it existed on November
15 20th, you also didn't make any request to superiors that military police
16 be sent to Ovcara on November 20th. Would you agree with that, too?
17 A. I would like to ask you to try and understand my answers. Had I
18 asked my battalion commander to send military police to Ovcara, he would
19 have laughed at me. I do not want to trivialise my answer, but this is
20 something that has absolutely nothing to do with the axis of my company or
21 of my battalion. And had I had any knowledge at all that something had
22 happened, I feel that it would have been my duty to say: Major, sir -
23 addressing Major Tesic - I heard that something happened at Ovcara. My
24 information is such and such. How Major Tesic would then use this
25 information or how he would have used it had I said something like that to
1 him would have been up to Major Tesic. This is how I understand my
2 responsibility. I was in no position to initiate an investigation; I
3 simply didn't have the competence for something like that.
4 Q. Well, speaking of investigations, sir, you indicated that you went
5 to your commander's command post in 1992 and the guard outside showed you
6 an article tying you to murders or crimes at Ovcara. As a result of that
7 article, was any investigation initiated? Did you have to file a written
8 statement in response?
9 A. I would like to say the following. That day at the Guards Brigade
10 command there was a group of members of the Vukovar TO, Territorial
11 Defence, whom I did not meet. They were waiting for me, from what I
12 understood, to speak with me about the allegations from that article.
13 Since I did not turn up within the time-frame that they had to wait for
14 me, they left that with a policeman who was at the entrance to the
15 building to hand that to me once I arrived. I did arrive and the
16 policeman handed that over to me. I immediately sat down, because there
17 is a set of chairs there where you can sit, and I read it. Since this was
18 a photocopy of the article, it was on a white piece of paper, on the back
19 of the paper it was written "Who is Jovan Dulovic?" I read the
20 allegations from the article in which I was described in some situations
21 in which I never was. I recognised some names from the article --
22 Q. Sir, one second --
23 A. -- just --
24 Q. -- I'm not looking for a whole history of how you came about and
25 learned about the article. I just have a basic question. As a result of
1 that article, was any investigation initiated, yes or no?
2 A. I did not believe that the allegations in the article were true.
3 Q. Whether you believed them or not, were any investigations
4 initiated as a result of that article?
5 A. I state responsibly that as far as I'm concerned, I do not recall
6 whether anyone in my battalion at any point said that anything had
7 happened at Ovcara. I believe that Ovcara was not part of my area of
8 responsibility, and since I had already witnessed false statements by
9 so-called journalists written about Vukovar, I did not believe that this
10 was a piece of information that I should really pay any attention to --
11 Q. Sir, once again, one again --
12 A. In that article --
13 Q. Without talking about that article and other articles. Was any
14 investigation initiated as a result of that article? I'm asking you a
15 very simple question. Was any investigation initiated, sir?
16 A. I am saying that if you are alluding to whether I informed anybody
17 about the article, I am telling you that I did not inform the battalion
18 commander because I believe that the allegations in that article, based on
19 what it contained, were not true.
20 Q. Obviously you weren't the only person in the world or in the
21 former Yugoslavia that read that article. Did you or did any member of
22 your unit have to write a written report in response to that article?
23 A. I don't understand your question at all.
24 Q. Sir, did you or any member of your unit or of your company have to
25 file a written report as a result of that article?
1 A. I've already explained to you -- look, absolutely I could have in
2 my statement not mentioned -- since you say that I am the only person in
3 the world who says that that article existed, I could have just not
4 mentioned it, but it actually did not correspond to the truth. I did see
5 the article. If you place your authority --
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... did you -- did a superior --
7 did a superior officer or your commander ask you or any member of your
8 company to file a report in response to that article? Simple question.
9 Yes or no?
10 A. Why would he do that? I'm telling you that I did not inform my
11 commander about the article. At the time I believed and now I believe --
12 Q. So you or members of your company never filed any written reports
13 in relation to that. Isn't that correct?
14 A. A written report is never submitted by a company commander to a
15 commander of the battalion, no matter what it's about, unless the
16 battalion commander orders the company commander of -- or any other member
17 to do that.
18 Q. That's my question. Were you ordered by anyone to file a report,
19 you or any members of your company, yes or no?
20 A. I'm telling you again that there was no need for such a report.
21 My superiors or my battalion commander had no need for such a report.
22 Q. Okay. So no one ever asked you to write it. Thank you.
23 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, we've reached the hour when we must
25 stop. Is that convenient?
1 MR. WEINER: [Microphone not activated]
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume tomorrow at 9.30.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.00 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of
5 October, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.