1 Thursday, 12 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir. May I remind you of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence. That still
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 WITNESS: SLAVKO STIJAKOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, and thank you, Your
15 Examination by Mr. Borovic: [Continued]
16 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, would you be so kind as to explain the difference
17 between an observation post, a command post, and a headquarters staff?
18 A. These three concepts are closely interrelated to the concept of
19 command in the army. Observation posts are organised by squad leaders,
20 platoon leaders, and company leaders or commanders.
21 A command post is organised by a battalion command, a brigade
22 command and higher levels of command.
23 Headquarters staff is a professional body or organ which for the
24 needs of higher levels of command, professionally analyses problems and
25 suggests how the unit should be used in keeping with the assignment that
1 was given.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear of Stanko Vujanovic's house where
3 Captain Radic's observation post was as being used at any point as a
4 command post or as headquarters for liberating Vukovar?
5 A. I never heard of that having been a command post. The command
6 post of the 1st Battalion was in the street of Svetozara Markovica which I
7 stated to you yesterday.
8 Q. Thank you. Since during the course of this trial, for a while we
9 had some dilemmas in this courtroom, what is a komandir and what is a
10 komandant? As someone who took immediate part in command and was
11 subordinated to a company commander, can you definitely explain from a
12 military professional point of view, what is a commander in the sense of a
13 komandir and what is a commander in the sense of komandant?
14 A. Komandir is the lowest level of command in terms of a person, an
15 individual. In our army, komandirs are squad leaders, platoon leaders and
16 company leaders. Further on, commanders in the sense of komandant are
17 battalion commanders, brigade commanders, division commanders, corps
18 commanders and so on. That is to say that the concept of komandir is one
19 that pertains to a lower level of command, because up to the level of
20 company commander there are no headquarters. There is no staff as a
21 professional organ. There is not a body that works for the commander in
22 order to assist him make his decisions. That is to say that a company
23 commander does not have its own staff. Only an assistant commander, that
24 is to say a person who helps him from the point of view of logistics.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. While you were in Vukovar, did you hear of
1 Vojislav Seselj, president of a political party at that time, visiting
3 A. Yes. I heard that the mentioned person did pay a visit to the
4 theatre of war.
5 Q. Do you know anything about this, anything?
6 A. I know that one morning during the regular preparation of tasks,
7 the commander of the Leva Supoderica Detachment came to our command, Milan
8 Lancuzanin. He said to me that during the course of the previous day, Mr.
9 Vojislav Seselj had come to his unit. He asked me whether I had the time
10 or ability to attend or, rather, why I did not attend this gathering. I
11 said to Milan that our command post is in the street of
12 Svetozara Markovica and that that is where we receive guests.
13 Q. Thank you. Major Tesic, as commander of the 1st Motorised
14 Battalion, did he go to the command post of group south and did that
15 happen every day?
16 A. As for the 1st Motorised Battalion and the temporary composition
17 of the 1st Assault Detachment, Major Tesic, in his role of commander,
18 sometimes he would go there several times a day. From time to time he
19 would go every three or four days for briefings, but he was the only
20 person who went to the Supreme Command, the only one from among us who
21 went there.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stijakovic, you have already stated that after
23 some 20 days or so, after the attack began, local -- the local detachment,
24 the Leva Supoderica, was engaged as well and that the commander of this
25 detachment was Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni. My question is, and I'm asking
1 whether you agree with this, Lancuzanin, once he was attached to JOD 1,
2 did he receive tasks from the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion?
3 A. When, in accordance with the order issued on the 29th of October,
4 the order issued by the superior command, the assault detachment was
5 established, and I represented its composition on a sketch yesterday, the
6 commander of the Leva Supoderica Detachment was Milan Lancuzanin. In this
7 way, he, from that day onwards, came and received tasks from the commander
8 of the 1st Assault Detachment.
9 Q. Thank you. The commander of the Territorial Defence, Vukovar, was
10 Captain First Class Dusan Jaksic, as you said. My question is: In a
11 given period of time, was he replaced and who was it that replaced him; do
12 you know?
13 A. I said that the commander of the Petrova Gora Detachment was
14 Captain Jaksic and that person, in accordance with the mentioned order,
15 from the 29th of October, regularly came to receive tasks and assignments
16 and to discuss matters with Major Tesic with a view to the pending tasks.
17 Q. Thank you. Before he appeared at the command post, he doesn't
18 deny it, Jaksic stated that before he received orders from the commander
19 of operative group south, Mrksic, was that before?
20 A. Before the assault detachment was established, yes.
21 Q. You've already explained that.
22 A. After that, after that; that is to say, in accordance with the
23 order issued on the 29th of October.
24 Q. And he received orders from Major Tesic; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that in combat actions, Captain Radic
2 was always in the combat disposition of his units, if you can answer that?
3 A. Captain Radic, during combat action, to the best of my knowledge,
4 was a disciplined officer. Whenever he had to leave his unit, he asked
5 Major Tesic for his permission.
6 Q. Very well. Did he come every day to the command post of the
7 1st Motorised Battalion and was that for the most part when the commander
8 of the 1st Motorised Battalion would return from the command post of
9 operative -- Operations Group South?
10 A. Yes. As for the 3rd Motorised Company, it was attended on behalf
11 of -- every briefing was attended only by Captain Radic. He was there on
12 behalf of his company. He was the only one.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you remember, since you already spoke about this,
14 whether, at the regular briefing on the 20th, on the evening of the 20th,
15 can you state this, can you confirm this with certainty, was Miroslav
16 Radic there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. What can you say as the superior officer, about
19 Captain Miroslav Radic, company commander, during the Vukovar events?
20 A. That would be a long story.
21 Q. Please go ahead.
22 A. I'll try to say just a few sentences. Captain Radic is an officer
23 who, before the combat action in Vukovar, always had problems with the
24 officers within his unit. The problems were due to the fact that he did
25 not have a sufficient number of officers, or rather that he had poor
1 quality officers within his unit.
2 To our great joy, about a month before combat started, Lieutenant
3 Radivoje Vostic was transferred to that company and his duty was commander
4 of the 1st Platoon and at the same time he was Radic's deputy. Then
5 Captain Radic, for the first time, had an excellent officer, because
6 Lieutenant Vostic completed the military academy as one of the best
7 students there.
8 At the theatre of war, these two officers, he, Captain Radic, and
9 Lieutenant Vostic, displayed a high degree of responsibility for their
10 men, care for their soldiers, and I know that from the first day of war,
11 when a tank in Nova Ulica was stranded where there was an abandoned truck,
12 I know that Captain Radic removed his soldiers so that they would not get
13 harmed and he made a personal effort to pull out the tank crew. I know
14 that Lieutenant Vostic, as an excellent officer, always led his group
15 ahead, that is to say that he was at the head of the group, and as such,
16 during the first days of the conflict, I remember sometime in the
17 beginning of October, was it the 5th, was it the 4th, Lieutenant Vostic
18 got killed.
19 The death of Lieutenant Vostic affected Captain Radic by giving
20 him a high degree of motivation. In his wish to carry out tasks received,
21 he worked with even greater responsibility. We, the command, that is to
22 say Tesic and I, often warned Captain Radic that he should take care of
23 himself as well, bearing in mind the death of Lieutenant Vostic. I
24 remember once there was this piece of news that Captain Radic had been
25 wounded. We were very worried. It turned out that he had indeed been hit
1 but that the shell hit his pistol. Even then he did not vacillate. In a
2 soldierly, disciplined manner, he continued carrying out the task he had
3 received. He was brave, responsible and resolute, but above all else,
5 I claim that not a single officer subordinated to us did not obey
6 to such a degree. That is why his unit carried out the tasks received in
7 the most successful way. That is why his road taken was the longest, all
8 the way up to Milovo Brdo. That is why he was the first one who was
9 proposed for an award leave to go home and visit his family. If the tasks
10 that we had were to be repeated, I would again propose Captain Radic to
11 carry them out.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Stijakovic, I must forgotten about this or maybe
13 it's something you didn't say at the outset about your military background
14 in terms of which schools you completed before you took up your important
15 posts in the JNA.
16 So first there was the military academy but then you mentioned
17 something else, too, didn't you? But you haven't quite finished your
18 story. Is there anything very important that needs adding?
19 A. No, not really of any relevance in relation to this event. I had
20 completed the military academy, the political sciences faculty, certain
21 advanced courses in the army. I was a teacher of tactics and that was
23 Q. What about after the war?
24 A. After the war, I finished a specialised course for command staff
25 officers at the academy in Belgrade. This was a brigade commander level
2 After that I also completed the All People's Defence school, which
3 is the highest possible level of training in the JNA, or what is today the
4 army of Serbia. At both these academies, I performed in an exceptional
5 manner and my grade point average was one of the highest ever.
6 I am now an associate lecturer for military strategy.
7 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Stijakovic.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe this
9 concludes my examination-in-chief of this witness.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
11 Mr. Domazet, are there any questions?
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Mr. Mrksic's Defence has no questions for this witness. Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I won't
17 be long. Although you see I've placed the lectern in front of me, I just
18 need it to shuffle my papers for a little. Do I have a couple of
19 questions for the witness, though.
20 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
21 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, good morning to you, sir. I'm Novak Lukic. Now
22 that I've introduced myself, can you please tell the Court first when you
23 first met me, just to avoid any confusion?
24 A. It was second-last evening, two days ago, in the corridor of my
1 Q. How long did we meet for and what was the reason for us meeting?
2 A. It was you who had asked to see me in order to ask me about
3 certain things that you say would be discussed at trial. Our conversation
4 took between 15 and 20 minutes.
5 Q. I'll say one thing. I wanted more time to talk to you but I had
6 to leave more time for Mr. Radic's defence counsel.
7 A. Yes, and I was tired from my trip after all.
8 Q. Yes. You had arrived that same evening, hadn't you?
9 I'll ask you something about the fighting in Vukovar. During the
10 OTP case, we heard a lot about the fighting itself but not so much during
11 our cases. Can you please take the war log? You have it in that set of
12 documents in front of you, and if we could please have the following
13 displayed on our monitors. This is the war log of the Guards Brigade,
14 401, Exhibit 401. The English reference is L 0100499, page 4 of the war
16 Before you start looking at the war log, Mr. Stijakovic --
17 A. Can I just take a minute to find it.
18 Q. I'll give you the page number but first let me ask you a question,
19 if that's all right. Do you remember any incident where your ambulance
20 was attacked?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Can you please describe that for us? Who was it attacked by and
23 what exactly occurred?
24 A. That was right at the very beginning of combat action. In our
25 unit we had a Pinzgauer ambulance. It was visibly marked with a red
1 cross. The vehicle was driven by a driver and normally there was a doctor
2 accompanying him. This team was supposed to go wherever anyone had been
3 wounded, and based on an oath that doctors normally take they were
4 duty-bound to provide medical assistance to any such persons regardless of
5 the -- these persons' affiliation, whether they were Croat or Serb. And
6 along the axis of the Motorised Company, where Captain Bojkovski was in
7 charge, the 1st Motorised Company, the enemy at one point suddenly opened
8 mortar fire, leaving two or three soldiers from his unit wounded. We
9 quickly dispatched the ambulance, and since the street was an open area,
10 while approaching the location of the wounded, the vehicle came under
11 fire, under sniper fire to be more specific.
12 When we got there, when they got there to help the wounded, again
13 there was mortar fire. They came under mortar fire. As a result, the
14 vehicle was hit but still moving. The doctor picked up the three wounded
15 men, he took care of them, and once he was back he came to our command
16 post to report what had happened, this being the reason I remember this
17 with particular clarity. I also remember the doctor; he was shaking like
18 a leaf.
19 Q. Can you please look at the entry in the war log for the 2nd of
20 October, 1600 hours?
21 I thought it might be a good idea to have the English on the ELMO
22 for the benefit of the Bench and that's why the reference I provided is
23 the English reference.
24 A. 2nd, 16.
25 Q. Indeed, sir.
1 A. Oh, yes.
2 Q. I'll read it out loud and you just tell me if my reading is all
4 "The village of Negoslavci, the 2nd of October, 1600 hours,
5 commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion informs that an ambulance was hit
6 and destroyed. Some were wounded."
7 Is this in reference to the event you've just described?
8 A. Yes, precisely. Except the vehicle was not destroyed but there
9 were wounded, yes.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Another question in relation to the war log,
11 the entry, generally speaking. In the fighting where your units were
12 involved, what exactly was the fire-power of the enemy? Which sort of
13 equipment were they using while fighting you?
14 A. From day one of the fighting in Vukovar, I was truly surprised at
15 the extent of good organisation, equipment, and personnel that the enemy
16 deployed. All the artillery, the 120-millimetre mortars, the
17 60-millimetre mortars, anti-armour equipment and weapons and so on and so
18 forth, mines, snipers, armour-piercing bullets and all that. I was really
19 astonished at the sort of equipment that they had and that they were
21 Secondly, I really marvelled at the organised manner and high
22 professionalism which they used to organise the town's defence. In every
23 location they seemed to have highly mobile intervention teams. And what's
24 more important - and this is something that Mr. Jagetic explained to me on
25 the very first day - the enemy had managed to get that section of town
1 blocked off in its entirety. Not even a little bird could leave. Nobody
2 could leave except by those roads that were under their control. To my
3 knowledge, the only roads remaining under their control were the
4 Bogdanovac road and a village road across the village of Luzac.
5 My surprise was confirmed by the fact that when we finally freed
6 the barracks we had to stay there for nearly 20 days. And it wasn't
7 possible to move about for our manpower during the day precisely on
8 account of the mortar and artillery fire, because when shells start
9 falling, you know, people tend to run, don't they?
10 Q. I know it's a crystal clear answer from you, sir.
11 I think we can now look at the list which I found in relation to
12 the 9th of October at 1106 hours. I'm asking you, because this is in
13 reference to your unit. I'll read it out loud for your benefit, sir.
14 "At 1105, the commander" --
15 I'll just wait for you to find that reference.
16 A. The same log?
17 Q. The same log.
18 A. Which date?
19 Q. The 9th of October, 1100 hours.
20 For the benefit of the Chamber in e-court this is L 0100514,
21 page 19, but I believe we'll have it shortly.
22 A. Yes, 1106. Is that the one you mean?
23 Q. Yes, that's right. It reads: "At 1105 the commander of the
24 1st Assault Detachment, Major Tesic, informs that along the front end he
25 was under heavy fire from mortar Zoljas and hand-held rocket launchers."
1 When they say "MB" I suppose that's mortars, right?
2 A. Yes, that's mortars.
3 Q. I'm not asking for a comment from you because you've already said
4 that all these weapons were being used by the enemy while fighting you; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes, indeed.
7 Q. Okay. Let's move to another subject. We will be leaving this
8 behind for the time being but now I'll ask you something in relation to my
9 client. Thank you.
10 We've heard evidence before this Court - and I think we are about
11 to hear more, aren't we? - my client was often visiting, so to speak, the
12 front line, wasn't he? What do you know about that? Did Sljivancanin
13 ever come to tour your unit in your sector, so to speak, and how
14 frequently in relation to other officers from the brigade, from the
15 brigade command, and what were these visits like?
16 It's my fault entirely, Mr. Stijakovic. Can you please pause
17 after each of my questions and I'll try to pause after each of your
18 answers in order to allow the interpreters sufficient time to do their
20 A. That's all right. Based on what I remember about the general mood
21 and atmosphere at the battalion command, there were three persons who were
22 particularly welcome when they came to visit our unit. The first being
23 Colonel Mile Mrksic, the commander. The second being Major Veselin
24 Sljivancanin. And the third such person being Major Stojkovic, the chief
25 of engineers. This third person was unfortunately killed.
1 At the command post of our unit the commander came less
2 frequently. He always had accurate reports and he was absolutely up to
3 date on what was going on in our unit. Major Sljivancanin was the one who
4 came most frequently of all the command staff to the command post of the
5 1st Battalion. It's difficult for me to be very specific in terms of how
6 many times he came but I'm certain that he came at least once a day. He
7 would either phone or come over and see us.
8 Q. First of all, sir, can you tell me what the reasons were for him
9 coming and what I want to know most of all, as everybody else in this
10 courtroom, did he ever issue any orders to you? To you, I mean your unit.
11 I mean the command and I mean officers working in individual units,
12 including those who you were coordinating and fighting with?
13 A. I understand your question. Major Sljivancanin held the post of
14 chief of security in our unit. Given the fact that the 1st Motorised
15 Battalion was physically the closest to the enemy, our command post was a
16 mere 150 metres away from the Kruno Mesar building where paramilitary
17 groups were stationed.
18 It is only to be expected that as one goes about gathering
19 intelligence on the enemy, whoever is doing that must approach the enemy
20 as closely as possible, where the forces are in direct contact with the
21 enemy, the 1st Motorised Battalion carried out its task on the 10th of
22 November, which clearly tells you that this was a successful unit. It is
23 only to be expected that this person would put in an appearance for the
24 success to grow even greater, but also in order to establish contact with
25 the population in the liberated area, as far as Milovo Brdo.
1 As for the third reason, in our unit, the 1st Assault Detachment,
2 we also had the TO detachment of Petrova Gora and that of Leva Supoderica.
3 It is only to be expected that while coordinating business, all sorts of
4 different business in the area, this person should be in control of the
5 situation and should know exactly what is going on. Never, never and
6 never did Major Sljivancanin order anything to Major Tesic. Never ever.
7 Nor did he ever even try. Sometimes we would share a joke, perhaps.
8 There was a bit of an atmosphere, you know. He was a merry person. And
9 despite the fact that one of his sergeants had been killed over the
10 previous days, his courier Zoran, he managed to overcome this due to his
11 lightness of spirit. And that is why I suppose he came to see us so
12 often, because that was the sort of atmosphere he found whenever he came.
13 We were a group of people going about our business in a strictly
14 professional manner.
15 Q. Thank you very much. You say he never gave any orders to Tesic,
16 did he? Did you ever hear him give any orders to any other officer? And
17 let me ask you straight away: Did he interfere with your work? When I
18 say "your work," I mean your professional duties at any point in time
19 whenever he came, whenever he talked to you?
20 A. I remember just before the close of combat action, we talked, and
21 Mr. Sljivancanin paid me a compliment, given the fact that I was still a
22 captain at the time in terms of rank and he was a major. He
23 said, "Slavko, how come I didn't know you earlier? How come I didn't know
24 you were this tough?"
25 So this answers your question, I hope. There was absolutely no
1 need for him to interfere.
2 Q. I think that's a sufficient answer and a very accurate one. Thank
4 I would like to broach yet another topic with you. We've heard
5 testimony here about the replacement of Dusan Jaksic and the appointment
6 to his post of Miroljub Vujovic. We heard testimony that allegedly
7 Sljivancanin had replaced Dusan Jaksic. My question to you first is
8 whether you know whether there were any problems in terms of command and
9 control performed by Jaksic? Did you know about it and what was actually
10 done about it?
11 A. Well, as for Mr. Jaksic's personality, he was a captain of the
12 reserves, he was the commander of the Petrova Gora Detachment. I remember
13 him as a lounge officer. He would always be clean shaven, his boots would
14 be shiny. He was always spick and span, and as the fighting continued, I
15 assume that he encountered ever more problems in his unit. I mean he
16 personally. Because I never recall any of his reports in which it would
17 be stated that he had led his group into attack or to carry out any tasks.
18 And as days went by, and as combat actions developed, new people came to
19 his unit. They were brave and they gained their authority in the field.
20 For this reason, Jaksic lost his nerve and he simply did not dare
21 issue any commands to his soldiers, and from time to time, he would get in
22 conflicts with his subordinates but also with the Leva Supoderica
23 Detachment, because the commander of that detachment was from the same
24 area as he was. At one point, we had to get involved in their conflict.
25 We had to try and achieve reconciliation and to get them to focus on their
1 real task and not to squabble about the billeting, the logistics and so
3 Up until the 29th of October, Captain Jaksic performed the tasks
4 he received from his superior command. He was acting in concert with us.
5 Once the assault detachment was established, he was under the command of
6 Major Tesic. But it has never been our practice when a unit is attached
7 to another unit, Major Tesic, this is our practice, would never replace a
8 person or change anything in terms of the personnel of that unit. Why?
9 Because that would result in yet another kind of problems for him, because
10 then he would have to appoint somebody, his own man, and then he would be
11 in a situation when he would be solving other people's problems. That is
12 why we took the detachment as is, or as was, and we tried to use them to
13 their maximum.
14 The second reason why Major Tesic, Major Sljivancanin, did not
15 have the authority to replace Mr. Jaksic lies in the fact that there has
16 to be an order for any personnel-related issues. Tesic did not have the
17 right to issue an order, a written order, a written document, relieving
18 somebody of his duty, and in particular, he could not have had -- in
19 particular, the assistant to the brigade commander, Major Sljivancanin,
20 could not have had this kind of authority. In other words, the Operations
21 Group was the level from which Captain Jaksic could be replaced, and there
22 had to be a written order to that effect.
23 Anything else simply brings me back to what I was talking about in
24 the beginning. The jocular references, perhaps people saying jocularly,
25 "Jaksic, you really need to be relieved of your duty." But mostly these
1 remarks were made by people from his own detachment.
2 Q. Unfortunately, we don't have Major Borivoje Tesic here. He
3 testified before.
4 But perhaps if we could give the English -- put the English
5 version on the e-court, it's the same exhibit, L 0100531. This is an
6 entry, page 36 of the English version. This is the entry in the war log
7 for the 6th of November; the time is 1030.
8 Did you find it? It's right there at the end of the page. I will
9 read it now. "Village of Negoslavci, 1030, 6th of November. The
10 commander of the Assault Detachment 1 reported that he had a problem with
11 the engagement of part of a unit in combat (misunderstanding between
12 members of volunteer units, Seselj's men and members of the TO). Remark,
13 the column remark states that the commander of the Operations Group South
14 ordered the Assault Detachment 1 to call and resolve the problems."
15 Does this refer to what you were just testifying about?
16 A. Yes. I've just described the misunderstandings that would occur
17 between them from time to time, and how we had to get involved in order
18 for them to resolve those difficulties.
19 Q. In the testimony Major Tesic gave before the Court in Belgrade, he
20 said that he had reported --
21 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny.
23 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour. I have an objection at this
24 stage with regard to my learned friend leading on this point.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
1 MR. LUNNY: It is my understanding from the ruling made by this
2 Chamber that co-defendants could not lead in such areas.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I think I would expect it's the same thing.
4 Are you objecting simply on the point of leading rather than having the
5 witness give evidence of their own knowledge, or what is it that you're
7 MR. LUNNY: Certainly the witness can give evidence on his own
8 knowledge, but the answer shouldn't be given to him in advance or anything
9 suggested to him as to what Mr. Tesic has said from his testimony in
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: I withdraw that.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Just one question to clarify your previous answer. You said that
16 Mr. Jaksic could be replaced only by the command of the Operations Group
17 South, and my client was the security office chief in the Guards Brigade,
18 which means that he would be a part of that command of Operations Group
19 South. Who in the Operations Group South command could have made the
20 decision to replace Mr. Jaksic?
21 A. It was only Colonel Mile Mrksic, the commander.
22 Q. My last question. On the 19th, you were in the area where the
23 hospital was. My question is: What was the situation on the access
24 routes to the hospital in security terms and in the overall area, the
25 bridges of the Vuka River, were you able to reach the hospital fairly
1 easily or what was it like?
2 A. I can describe this as follows: From the 10th of November, when
3 our unit reached Milovo Brdo, until the 18th, from across the river Vuka
4 and from all the buildings there, the Ministry of Interior, the Dunav
5 hotel, the hospital and some other structures there, our unit was targeted
6 at its positions in Milovo Brdo. Probably at that period, the Vuka River,
7 its left bank, had been -- mines were laid there, because that was our
8 assessment. All movements on the other bank of the Vuka River were -- was
9 restricted to the bridge and one of the streets there, because we knew
10 that this was the only route that could be used in light of the fact that
11 all the other access routes were defended fiercely. That is why there was
12 this dilemma and a great deal of caution from the evening of the 18th,
13 throughout the night and in the morning of the 19th, how to get to the
14 hospital. On the 19th, we used the road to get to the hospital. The
15 reason for this was because we were afraid that in the side alleys and the
16 areas between the houses, there would be mines.
17 After the battle, it turned out that we were right, because the
18 demining group found a certain number of anti-personnel mines in this area
19 leading towards the hospital.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Stijakovic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
22 questions for this witness.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
24 Mr. Lunny.
25 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Lunny:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Stijakovic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Serving as an officer in the Guards Motorised Brigade in Vukovar
5 in 1991, is that something you're proud of?
6 A. As an officer, I am very proud.
7 Q. And very briefly, Mr. Stijakovic, can you tell us why serving with
8 the Guards Motorised Brigade in Vukovar made you proud?
9 A. I had a very difficult, very big professional task together with
10 my colleagues, and my superior command gave me this task and I carried it
11 out successfully.
12 Let me repeat: I did it in a professional manner, and the joy
13 that I managed to perform this task, this is something that has to do
14 solely with the professional side of this task.
15 Q. And would part of your pride stem from the quality of the officers
16 and the soldiers you were fighting with within the Guards Motorised
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You told us yesterday, Mr. Stijakovic, about the role of the
20 Guards Motorised Brigade and some of its functions before going to Vukovar
21 with regard to guarding special facilities within former Yugoslavia, with
22 regard to protecting the leaders of Yugoslavia, and with regard to
23 visiting dignitaries. That's correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The higher echelon, the leaders of Yugoslavia who were being
1 guarded by these people, they would not want to be guarded by cowards or
2 ill-trained soldiers; is that correct?
3 A. Any leadership of any state in the world would deal with this
4 issue in this manner.
5 Q. And specifically what attributes did your officers and soldiers
6 hold that made you proud?
7 A. We went to carry out our task in Vukovar in a situation in which
8 the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, an internationally
9 recognised state, was still whole, and every soldier in the army, on the
10 basis of the tasks, the constitution and all the relevant legislation, was
11 duty-bound to defend that country because, in one part of the country,
12 there was armed rebellion and clashes in which paramilitary forces were
13 involved. And to go on a mission in which you're supposed to defend your
14 own country is something that every officer should consider as great
15 honour. This is one of the reasons why an officer who performs such a
16 mission feels so proud.
17 Q. If I could stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic, you're not actually
18 answering the question you've been asked. What were the attributes of
19 your soldiers and your fellow officers? Were they brave?
20 A. Yes. Most of the soldiers and officers were brave.
21 Q. Were they dedicated?
22 A. Would you please repeat your question?
23 Q. Were they dedicated to the tasks they were performing?
24 A. They were disciplined and they performed tasks that were given to
25 them, and I can assert that the factor of their determination, their will
1 to perform the task, was in fact a key factor in the successful
2 performance of their tasks.
3 Q. This Court has heard evidence, Mr. Stijakovic, that amongst
4 soldiers of the Guards Motorised Brigade the fear was so palpable they had
5 to be kept away from the front line. Is that true or is that a lie?
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I will try not to interfere but the
9 stage should be specified. We know this description. This was right at
10 the start of the beginning, at the start of the operation in Vukovar, but
11 to phrase it this way is highly leading and whimsical.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, this is cross-examination. If the
13 position is put on a false factual basis, the evidence is without merit.
14 So I would propose to leave Mr. Lunny with his cross-examination without
15 disruption on that basis.
16 Carry on, Mr. Lunny.
17 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. If I could just ask you the question again, Mr. Stijakovic: This
19 Court has heard evidence that the fear amongst soldiers of the Guards
20 Motorised Brigade was so palpable they were kept away from the front line
21 and direct combat. Is that the truth or is that a lie?
22 A. When it comes to the Guards Brigade as a unit, and the composition
23 of the Guards Brigade, this is not something that I can really evaluate.
24 I can only talk about the soldiers that I had dealings with and these were
25 the soldiers of the 1st Motorised Battalion. So that would be one-seventh
1 of the Guards Brigade.
2 When it comes to fear that you mentioned earlier, fear that the
3 soldiers felt, let me tell you with complete honesty, I myself was afraid.
4 Q. If I could stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic. Again, you're not
5 answering the question you've been asked. I'll rephrase it, given the
6 first part of your answer. You can only speak about the 1st Motorised
8 With regard to the 1st Motorised Battalion, we've heard evidence
9 that soldiers were so afraid they were kept away from the front line.
10 Given what you've said about courage and dedication, is that statement the
11 truth or is that statement a lie?
12 A. As for individual soldiers, as for individual soldiers being
13 afraid, they would tell their commanding officers very honestly and such
14 soldiers were then removed to less important duties.
15 Well, yes, there were soldiers who were afraid and who were
16 removed from the actual front line.
17 Q. And would the soldiers you're talking about be a whole company or
18 just limited individuals?
19 A. I'm talking exclusively about individuals.
20 Q. You've told us several times yesterday about your own attributes,
21 about how you were one of the best non-commissioned officers in the
22 academy, a very good student, and a good teacher. And is it the case that
23 you also excelled in your duties as Major Tesic's deputy?
24 A. Yesterday I said, when talking about myself, I did not say that I
25 was excellent. I said that I was one of the best.
1 As for what Major Tesic said about me during combat, or any one of
2 my superiors, you should ask them about that. I cannot be so immodest.
3 Q. In your own mind, did you perform your duties well in Vukovar?
4 A. Yes, yes. I think that I performed my duties well.
5 Q. One of your duties was to deputise for the 1st Motorised Battalion
6 when Tesic was away from the command post; that's correct?
7 A. Yes. My duty was to deputise for him when he was absent.
8 Q. And having to deputise for the commander of the 1st Motorised
9 Battalion, you would have to be informed, equally well informed, of the
10 situation around you with regards to the fighting and what was happening
11 around Vukovar; is that correct?
12 A. No. My deputising for Major Tesic was exclusively in the zone and
13 in the duties where he had command. As for the broader area, cooperation
14 with neighbours, contacts with the superior command and --
15 Q. If I could please stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic, and rephrase the
16 question, then. With regard to the area for which you had responsibility,
17 you had to keep yourself well informed of what was happening to be able to
18 effectively deputise for Major Tesic; isn't that correct?
19 A. In our area of responsibility, everything that happened there and
20 that had to do with the implementation of our duties, yes, it is true. I
21 had to be well aware of that, yes.
22 Q. Another duty for which you had responsibility was the keeping of
23 the 1st Motorised Battalion war diary. And again, was that a duty you
24 performed well?
25 A. I think that I performed that duty well. As for the diary, I
1 recall that after combat action, when documents were being analysed in the
2 superior command, Lieutenant-Colonel Trifunovic, the person in charge from
3 the brigade command, pointed out that these documents were good and
5 Q. And in keeping the diary in a good and proper fashion, you must
6 have been recording all the important events that occurred within your
7 zone of responsibility; is that correct?
8 A. As for all events related to subordinate units that were recorded
9 in the war diary, they were indeed recorded. They were indeed written
10 down there.
11 In addition to the war diary, there were a number of other
12 documents that we kept there; namely, schematics, maps, plans of
13 deployment, graphs and so on. So there were other documents that refer to
14 what I spoke about a few moments ago; namely, the documents that
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Trifunovic said were good.
16 Q. And again, Mr. Stijakovic, to perform that duty well, to keep the
17 diary properly, you would need to be well informed of what was happening
18 round about you within your zone of responsibility?
19 A. Events and knowledge was recorded in this diary, namely what we
20 knew of. That means that it is an authentic recording of the knowledge
21 that we had at the command.
22 Q. Now, as well as the diary, you had other duties, including
23 discipline for the battalion; isn't that correct?
24 A. On orders from Major Tesic, I gave my contribution, in terms of
25 disciplined conduct and the disciplined implementation of tasks received.
1 Q. And again, was this a task you performed well?
2 A. I think that I performed that task well.
3 Q. That task would again involve you being informed of what was
4 happening round about you in the zone of responsibility?
5 A. I had to be well informed as to what was happening in the zone,
6 not round about. That is to say, in the zone of our responsibility.
7 Q. Due to the death of a colleague before you left for Vukovar, you
8 were also given responsibility for morale; isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And as the officer in the 1st Motorised Battalion responsible for
11 morale, was that a task you performed well?
12 A. I performed that task in addition to my regular duties as deputy
13 commander. I made an effort to do it as best I could. As for most of the
14 work involved in carrying out that duty, namely as far as the battalion is
15 concerned, it had to do with contacts with the media, that is to say
16 people from that line of work who came in accordance with approval issued
17 by the superior command. I was authorised to brief journalists about
18 events that had to do with the 1st Battalion. As for the level of quality
19 of this work done, again, I cannot say that it was high, but I made an
21 Q. And to make an effort as officer for morale, you would need to
22 know how the men subordinated to you were feeling. You would need to know
23 the mood of those men, wouldn't you?
24 A. The most responsible person for morale is the commander. Tesic
25 was regularly informed about how the soldiers were doing, what the state
1 of morale was, and he was the only person who had the right to issue
2 orders on the basis of our proposals in order to maintain that state,
3 improve it, and in order to prevent anything undesirable from happening.
4 Q. And you, being at the same command post as Major Tesic, you would
5 be in receipt of the same information with regard to the state of morale,
6 as you said?
7 A. As for morale, we received the same information up to the 10th of
8 November. From the 10th of November, Major Tesic, in addition to his
9 regular duty as battalion commander, up to the 18th of November, led the
10 remaining part of the 1st Assault Detachment. In that period, I could not
11 be aware of the state that prevailed throughout all these units that he
12 was in charge of.
13 But specifically as for the 1st Motorised Battalion, yes, I had
14 information throughout this period, from when we set out to carry out our
15 task up until we were returning from having carried out our task.
16 Q. The visit of Seselj to Vukovar and to men within your zone of
17 responsibility was a significant incident, wasn't it, Mr. Stijakovic?
18 A. That was not an incident. That was a visit of a man, a person,
19 who had his own party and a certain level of personnel that voluntarily
20 took part in action. I repeat that that visit was not an incident. A --
21 it was a reminder. He came to see his own people, just like many other
22 persons from other lines of work showed up in that zone. Specifically, I
23 was -- I was visited by Mr. Saric, the director of Beteks, a major company
24 from Belgrade. He brought some clothing to the front line for the men
1 Q. If I could stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic, the question was in
2 relation to Seselj only and his visit to troops within your zone of
3 responsibility. You, as having a role in morale of the men, and knowing
4 that the Leva Supoderica were Seselj's men, you would know that Seselj's
5 visit would be good for their morale, wouldn't you?
6 A. I could have only assumed that after his visit. I repeat: I did
7 not know about the visit. It was only on the next day, once it had taken
8 place, Lancuzanin told me about the visit.
9 Q. And you, assuming that it was good for morale, no doubt would have
10 approved of that visit, wouldn't you?
11 A. That was not within my duties. The right or the possibility to
12 grant permission for visits --
13 Q. If I could stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic, I wasn't asking you
14 about what your duties were and what you could or could not grant
15 permission for. I was asking for your view on Seselj's visit and the
16 effect it would have on the morale of the men. You've agreed that you
17 assumed it would be good for morale. And I'm asking you for your own
18 opinion. Being the morale officer, you would have approved of that visit,
19 then, wouldn't you?
20 A. I shall repeat what I have said to you. I did not have the right
21 to approve of that visit. If you're asking me now about my opinion
22 regarding this visit, are you asking me about my present day opinion?
23 You're asking about what I think today, right?
24 Q. Does your view of the visit change between now and then?
25 A. Then, when the visit took place, I know that that visit
1 contributed to that unit being involved with -- in carrying out this task
2 with even greater responsibility. Was it because he addressed the units?
3 What he did with them, what they talked about, that is something I don't
4 know about. I, as a professional, was exclusively interested in the task
5 that we had. If you're interested in what I think about it now, I assume
6 that that has nothing to do with the events that are being considered
8 Q. You mentioned an address to the men and not knowing what was said.
9 Is it your position, then, Mr. Stijakovic --
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'm following your instructions.
13 This is already the third time that he is putting in different words what
14 the witness said. This is not what the witness said. We have heard the
15 continuity of his remarks. We can read all of this. This was too leading
16 a question, in addition to everything else.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I don't disagree with you, Mr. Borovic, but I would
18 judge this witness well and truly capable of seeing if words are his words
19 and evidence or not. So I don't think he needs to be protected.
20 So carry on, Mr. Lunny.
21 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, at page 29, lines 4 into 5, you stated -- sorry,
23 line 5: "What he did with them, what they talked about, that is something
24 I don't know about."
25 So you don't know what was said to the Leva Supoderica by Seselj;
1 is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I do not know what Mr. Vojislav Seselj said to his soldiers.
3 Q. No one reported back to you after the Seselj visit that Seselj had
4 stated not a single Ustasha must leave Vukovar alive?
5 A. I have not heard of such a statement before. This is the first
6 time I hear about it, from you.
7 Q. So the second in command of the 1st Motorised Battalion, who has
8 duties for a diary for which he needs information and needs to be well
9 informed, who has duties for discipline for which he needs information and
10 to be well informed, and who has responsibility or part responsibility for
11 morale within the battalion and needs to know what is happening within the
12 zone of responsibility, you heard absolutely nothing until today about
13 that statement? Is that your position?
14 A. As for the statement that you presented before the Court a few
15 moments ago, I first heard about it from you now.
16 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, this may be an appropriate point for the
17 morning break.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lunny.
19 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at 20 minutes past 11.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.57 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.23 a.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny.
24 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Your Honour, can the witness please have before him Exhibit 409,
2 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, this is an order of 19th of October, 1991.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to raise an objection, but
4 think I'll give this particular objection up.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, you're very understanding. We will
6 use that as a model for all future objections in the mind of all counsel,
8 MR. LUNNY:
9 Q. Do you see that order in front of you, Mr. Stijakovic?
10 A. Indeed, I do. But not so clearly, if that could please be blown
11 up a little. That's okay now. It's perfect now.
12 Q. Can I refer you -- sorry, before I do so, this is an order from
13 Lieutenant-General Zivota Panic of 19th of November to a number of bodies,
14 including Operations Group South, and you were in Operations Group South
15 on the 19th of October, 1991. That's correct, isn't it?
16 A. This order is dated the 19th of October, 1991, on which day I was
17 a member of the 1st Motorised Battalion. Through the command of the
18 1st Assault Detachment, this was effectively part of Operations Group
20 Q. And can you look, please, at numbered paragraph 4 in that order?
21 It's page 3 on the English translation, Your Honour. And in the
22 second page of the B/C/S.
23 Could you please read out paragraph 4 for us, Mr. Stijakovic?
24 A. "In order to prevent looting, mistreatment of civilians, and" --
25 can't quite make out the following word, "mistreatment of civilians
1 and" -- it goes on, "even prisoners, all armed persons and groups not a
2 part of the JNA or TO, Chetniks and such-like, shall be disarmed and
3 detained while their leaders shall be locked up with legal steps being
4 taken against them."
5 Q. I think, Mr. -- rather, Mr. Stijakovic, the word that you couldn't
6 read on the first line, is it not "murder"? And the statement reads: "In
7 order to prevent looting, the abuse" --
8 A. "Mistreatment of civilians," that is possible, yes, "murder." I
9 couldn't quite make out the first two letters but that is a distinct
11 Q. Were you aware of that order when it was issued in October 1991?
12 A. Had this order not been issued, we were doing all these things any
13 way. I suppose this is a result of information and indication that there
14 were things like this going on in certain areas.
15 As for the 1st Assault Detachment, or rather the 1st Motorised
16 Battalion, on the date you specified there were no such things happening
18 Q. But in any event, as early as 19th of October, 1991, you were
19 aware of potential for mistreatment and murder of detained persons; isn't
20 that correct?
21 A. No. By Your Honours' leave, I can describe for your benefit our
22 experience with prisoners. This occurred on the second night of the
23 fighting, as early as the 2nd of October. The first person that was
24 captured, this person was armed. He was a member of the paramilitary
25 units. He was captured in the area of operations of Captain Zirojevic's
2 Q. Can I stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic? I wasn't asking you about a
3 specific incident on a specific time, but I'm asking you about what
4 information you had in October 1991 with regard to the possible risk of
5 mistreatment and murder of detained persons and this order from Zivota
6 Panic warning of such mistreatment, and is it not the case that the
7 1st Motorised Battalion, yourself and Major Tesic and everyone else within
8 OG South, was fully aware of the risk to detained, captured prisoners from
9 the other side? Isn't that correct?
10 A. We bore that danger in mind throughout. We always tried to do
11 whatever we could under the law to take steps to ensure this didn't
13 What I tried to tell you a while ago, I tried to describe for you
14 the capture of this paramilitary person, in order to describe our firmest
15 conviction to act very strictly and in a very professional manner --
16 Q. Could I stop you --
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness
18 please be allowed to finish his answers? My colleague seems to have
19 gotten into the rut of cutting him off in midstream, whereas I think it
20 would only be fair for the witness to be allowed to finish his answers.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on.
23 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Could Mr. Stijakovic now have before him Exhibit 415, please. And
25 if I can direct the registrar to the last page of the document, page 4 of
1 the English translation, and in particular paragraph number 8.
2 Q. Can you please read out paragraph number 8 for us, Mr. Stijakovic?
3 A. "Each unit in its own area of responsibility must establish full
4 control over the overall situation in the territory. The commanders at
5 all levels shall henceforth be responsible for this. The laws of war have
6 not taken effect yet. By the same token, and anyway, no one has the right
7 to any acts of retaliation or other forms of revenge, such as those
8 committed by certain local units of the TO. Any such future actions shall
9 see their perpetrators arrested with legal action being brought against
11 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, this is an order again from General Zivota Panic.
12 It's now the 18th of November. It's a month later. And it's a very
13 similar warning to, amongst others, Operations Group South, to be
14 particularly aware of retribution carried out to people within the area.
15 Again, this is something you were aware of, wasn't it?
16 A. I can only repeat that this order, as well as the previous one,
17 did not bring anything new that we, in our area of responsibility, the
18 area of responsibility of the 1st Motorised Battalion, were not doing
19 already. I repeat: Throughout our time in the area that was assigned to
20 us, we were in full control of the situation.
21 Q. Now, you say you were in full control of the situation. The first
22 order from 19th of October is a warning. The second document, a month
23 later, refers to retribution and revenge which some local TO units carried
24 out, and "carried out" is in the past tense, meaning that retribution and
25 other kinds of revenge have actually taken place. Do you agree with that?
1 A. I knew of no such acts of retaliation or retribution. There was
2 no retaliation in the area covered by the 1st Motorised Battalion.
3 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, you were in charge of the diary. You were in
4 charge of discipline. You had responsibilities for morale. You told us
5 you had to be well informed or informed. It's your position that you knew
6 nothing of any such acts between mid-October and mid-November?
7 A. I knew of no such acts committed in the area of responsibility of
8 my unit. There were no such acts committed, nor was I aware of anything
9 like that occurring in the general area.
10 We were a small unit, that's true, and we covered a relatively
11 limited area. As for what was going on outside that area in Operations
12 Group South, Operations Group North, and other parts of the front is not
13 something that I was able to ascertain.
14 Q. This small area that you had command for included Nova Ulica
15 street, didn't it?
16 You're nodding, Mr. Stijakovic. If you please answer verbally, so
17 it's recorded.
18 A. Yes. Nova Ulica was part of our area of responsibility.
19 Q. And Nova Ulica was close to where your headquarters were,
20 Svetozara Markovica street; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes. Nova Ulica was close to the HQ.
22 Q. This Court has heard evidence of killings taking place in a house
23 opposite 81 Nova Ulica street, and you, being the officer for the diary
24 and discipline and morale, were fully aware of what was going on in
25 Nova Ulica street, weren't you?
1 A. I knew nothing of any killings at Nova street. First I hear of
2 it, in fact.
3 Q. The Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora and the TO volunteers who were
4 fighting within your zone of responsibility were fighting for their own
5 homes and their villages and towns, weren't they?
6 A. What were the motives for the combat involvement of the
7 Leva Supoderica Detachment or the Petrova Gora Detachment? Were they
8 fighting for their own personal profit? This is not really something that
9 I know.
10 Q. But the battle-ground that you found yourself in within OG South
11 and Vukovar, that contained the area of Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora
12 and units from those members were fighting with you and under you and they
13 were fighting to liberate their home town and their own houses and their
14 own people, weren't they?
15 A. Some of the units, some of the troops from the Leva Supoderica
16 unit did indeed hail from the area. There were members of that unit who
17 had joined voluntarily, who hailed from other areas as well, who weren't
18 locals. Both units had within their composition people who were outside
19 Vukovar -- from outside Vukovar.
20 Q. Members of the Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica were based in and
21 around Nova Ulica, Leva Supoderica street and Svetozara Markovica street,
22 weren't they?
23 A. You specified the locations of these detachments. Some of those
24 units were indeed deployed the way you've just suggested. However, these
25 are places where these units stayed, slept or rested. But it was from
1 there that they would join battle in an organised manner.
2 Q. But they stayed, slept and rested in very close proximity to your
3 headquarters, didn't they?
4 A. I repeat this for you: The area in which a combat task was
5 carried out was a relatively small area but it was a built-up area,
6 populated area, with many houses and many buildings. So under the weather
7 conditions that prevailed at the time, it was only natural for people to
8 take shelter in houses, shelter from the elements and precipitations. It
9 was much in the same way that the Leva Supoderica Detachment was for the
10 most part in various houses in Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora.
11 As for the other one that you mentioned, Leva Supoderica people
12 were mostly in the Leva Supoderica district. It is true that,
13 geographically speaking, these areas were in close physical proximity to
14 our command post.
15 Q. You also mentioned yesterday at page 63 in your transcript a great
16 concentration of different people, civilians, people that were moving
17 around, people that lived in that area. So as well as the Petrova Gora
18 and other volunteers and TO detachments, there were civilians staying
19 nearby your headquarters within the Petrova Gora neighbourhood; isn't that
21 A. Yes. There were whole families living in some of the houses, some
22 families that just happened to be there when the fighting erupted and were
23 in no position to leave. Likewise, our own host, Mr. Jagetic and his wife
24 Dubravka, were spending most of their time in an outbuilding that was
25 located next to our own headquarters.
1 Q. I understand, Mr. Stijakovic, that after the fall of Vukovar, on
2 the 18th of November, you left to return to Belgrade on the 24th of
3 November; isn't that correct?
4 A. After the liberation of Vukovar, and the surrender of the
5 paramilitary units from the 18th of November onwards, we were carrying out
6 preparations pursuant to orders from our superior command, and eventually
7 on the 24th we returned to Belgrade.
8 Q. And in that period between the 18th and right up to the 24th, you
9 were still based at Petrova Gora, weren't you?
10 A. Ever since our arrival in the town, and I'm talking about our HQ,
11 we stayed at Svetozara Markovica street and that's where we left when we
12 were off to Belgrade. What I mean is that the HQ never moved.
13 Q. And indeed on the 19th of November, your direct superior, Major
14 Tesic, was appointed the Petrova Gora commander, wasn't he?
15 A. No. Major Tesic, pursuant to orders of the superior command, was
16 the person responsible for the area. This area can be indicated on a map,
17 if necessary. He was the person responsible to his own superior, the
18 commander of Operations Group, for everything. He was to make sure that
19 there was order and discipline in the area, and Tesic was the most
20 responsible person. And this area covered part of the Petrova Gora area.
21 MR. LUNNY: Could the witness please have before him Exhibit 418?
22 Excuse me, Your Honour. Would Your Honour please bear with me for
23 just a moment? Just checking the exact reference.
24 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, is it not the case that on the 19th of November
25 Tesic was appointed the town commander for Petrova Gora?
1 If you just allow me a moment.
2 Could you please look to paragraph 4 on page 2, Mr. Stijakovic.
3 A. Should I read this out, paragraph 4?
4 Q. If you would, please.
5 A. "During the day, three members of our unit were pulled out from
6 the hospital."
7 Q. If I could stop you there, I think it's the wrong reference. I do
8 apologise, Mr. Stijakovic.
9 It's page 2, paragraph 4 in the English translation, Your Honour.
10 I do apologise for this. There appears to be two paragraph 4s on page 2.
11 It's further up the page.
12 A. Paragraph 4, is that the one you want me to read out?
13 Q. Yes, please, sir.
14 A. "Now that Vukovar has been liberated, the following persons have
15 been appointed commanders. For Vucedol and Mitnica, Major Miroslav
16 Stupar. For Petrova Gora and the area to the west of the cemetery and as
17 far as the Vuka River, Major Borivoje Tesic. For the area between
18 Sajmiste street and the area east of Mitnica, Major Adem Bajic. At one
19 point in time, during the day, the tactical group of the 195th Motorised
20 Brigade joined the composition of OG South. This element" --
21 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, the rest of the paragraph we don't need to hear.
22 But from that document is it not clear that Major Borivoje Tesic was
23 appointed town commander for Petrova Gora?
24 A. It is patently clear based on this order that Major Tesic was the
25 komandant of the area in which we operated.
1 Again, if you'd like me to, I can mark that for you on a map. The
2 settlement of Petrova Gora lies within the area.
3 Q. During this time from 18th to the 24th of November, you were based
4 in Petrova Gora, your direct superior is the commander, town commander of
5 Petrova Gora, you are surrounded by the civilians of Petrova Gora, you
6 have members of Petrova Gora TO living in houses nearby your command post,
7 and from the 20th of November to the 24th in particular, you hear nothing
8 about the deaths of 260 people within the farm at Ovcara?
9 A. That's correct. Back in 1995, I hadn't yet heard about
10 200-something persons having been killed at Ovcara.
11 Q. And you told us yesterday it wasn't until 1995 that you found out
12 about these deaths at Ovcara farm.
13 A. That's true. And as I repeated a while ago, I first heard of
14 Ovcara as a concept back in 1995 in the public media. I happened to be in
15 Banja Luka at the time I heard this. This was the very first time I heard
16 that proceedings had been instituted and that a number of officers were
17 suspected of that crime.
18 Q. And the officers suspected and later some convicted in Belgrade,
19 some of those convicted persons came from the Petrova Gora Detachment,
20 didn't they?
21 A. As for the Belgrade Ovcara trial, I know that a trial was held,
22 whether this year or last year. And what I also know is that Major Tesic
23 appeared as a witness. I was never summoned by the Court to speak about
24 that crime.
25 Q. This Court has heard evidence that the killings at Ovcara were
1 reported as early as 1992. It's still your position that you remained
2 ignorant of all of these deaths for a further three years?
3 A. Yes. It is still my position, and for the umpteenth time I say
4 that I only heard about this event in 1995.
5 Q. Is it not the case, Mr. Stijakovic, that from the morning of
6 21st November, in the last few days that you were at Vukovar, that
7 everyone in the town was talking about the deaths that had occurred at
8 Ovcara farm? Civilians were talking about them, Petrova Gora,
9 Leva Supoderica, people involved in those killings were going around the
10 streets talking about what had happened, and you, as the officer of the
11 1st Motorised Battalion, responsible for keeping information in the diary,
12 responsible for knowing information for disciplinary purposes, as an
13 officer responsible for morale of those within your zone of
14 responsibility, it is in fact the case that you heard those rumours and
15 knew very well that those deaths had occurred back in November 1991, from
16 the 21st of November onwards?
17 A. The period that you mentioned, from the 19th until the 24th, is
18 the period in which I, together with Major Tesic and the company
19 commanders, focused our activities on the regular troops that we had
20 brought in from Belgrade to the war zone. And we had so many things to
21 do, from the equipment, to the ammunition and weapons that were issued to
22 them, the fact that some of the weapons were rusty, the equipment was out
23 of order, mortars were damaged, the vehicles were not functioning, the
24 clothes were strewn all over the place, so many problems that oppressed a
25 professional officer, and the task was also sometime ahead to bring that
1 all back.
2 Imagine what it is like when you're responsible for a single
3 pistol being lost, and here you're talking about a situation where loads
4 of weapons were being lost. All my energy was focused on this issue, and
5 I can state that I really did not have any contacts with any civilian
6 structures from the 18th onwards because the fact that the city had been
7 liberated was a great event for everyone.
8 My hosts disappeared. Dubravka left in search of her father who
9 had been killed at Mitnica, who was at the other side of the front line.
10 So everybody was focused on performing tasks that were important for them,
11 and my task was as I have just described to you, so that I could not have
12 heard or I could not have participated in any discussions of the -- of
13 this crime. And as an officer, I can be held responsible by my superior
14 and to tell him why I didn't know something, but when I say that I didn't
15 know, I didn't know. I only learned about that in 1995.
16 Q. I'll move on to a new topic, Mr. Stijakovic.
17 Yesterday, at page 74 in your evidence, you said that there were
18 problems with cooperation between battalion and the TO detachments. Can
19 you please give us some examples of the problems with cooperation?
20 A. Well, how should I put it? These are just run-of-the-mill
21 problems one encounters in one's work. If you're a businessman today, you
22 encounter all kinds of problems, and the same goes for this situation.
23 This is a specific situation where you have people working, people living
24 there, and problems are inevitable. I can share my experience with you,
25 the first -- my first meeting with the people that lived there, how the
1 problems simply grew.
2 Q. If I can stop you there. If you could please do that, then,
3 Mr. Stijakovic. I was afraid you were beginning to go off on a tangent
4 with regard to business relationships.
5 But what were the difficulties, then, with cooperation with the
6 people who were there, particularly between the battalion and the TO
7 detachments, as you said yesterday.
8 A. I would like you to show me that. The problems that I talked
9 about yesterday could only be of this nature. These are the problems
10 involving cooperation, mutual support, problems related to the evacuation
11 of the wounded and the sick, the freedom of movement within the zone. So
12 those are the problems that were encountered every day, and at that level
13 of cooperation, and acting in concert, we solved them as we went along.
14 So I would like you to tell me what specific problem you want me
15 to respond to, what did you want to ask me about? What specific problem?
16 And then I will try to answer.
17 Q. Yesterday you mentioned problems with cooperation between
18 battalion and TO detachments and that this resulted in the order of
19 29th of October bringing the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora and TO
20 detachment under the 1st Motorised Battalion and under Captain Tesic. You
21 mentioned there problems with mutual support. Can you tell us what do you
22 mean by "problems with mutual support"?
23 A. The execution of any mission or action had to be prepared well, in
24 light of the quality of our enemy, the support they had, the fire that
25 they would open on us. The problems occurred because nobody could force
1 anybody to take up his rifle the next day and head down Nova Ulica street
2 towards the mini market.
3 There had to be a certain amount of determination for a subgroup
4 or group to implement the plan that had been drawn up. That means that
5 there were situations in which a subgroup belonging to the Leva Supoderica
6 Detachment disagreed or simply did not want to take the axis that we had
7 envisaged, and then you have to go over the plan again and then it's a
8 long process before all those elements of the combat disposition are
9 brought where they have to be and the task is performed.
10 These are the problems that you encounter where you have human
11 beings trying to reach an agreement and then sometimes they are willing to
12 do some things, at other times they are unwilling, then somebody claims
13 he's tired, and that is why we had to analyse those problems day in, day
14 out, make plans, and then we had to implement those plans.
15 Q. Is it the case, then, that the original setup you described
16 yesterday, with the TO and other volunteer detachments fighting alongside
17 in cooperation with the JNA army, with the 1st Motorised Battalion, simply
18 wasn't working?
19 A. It did function, but it required proper preparation, planning and
20 execution of tasks. This means acting in concert, all those structures
21 acting in concert in the performance of all the tasks such as the
22 liberation of the mini market, the "seste proleterske divisije," Milovo
23 Brdo, and once this team was -- started functioning well, everything was
25 Q. But you told us yesterday, Mr. Stijakovic, on the 29th of October,
1 the structure was changed on account of problems with cooperation between
2 battalion and TO detachments. Can you give us some further examples of
3 what those problems were?
4 A. I will try to respond to your question in this way. This was not
5 a private war in which every unit would do only those things that were in
6 its interest. It is quite logical that the volunteer forces, or, rather,
7 I apologise, members of the Territorial Defence, should be grouped
8 together in such a way that we, the JNA units, and we the JNA officers led
9 them, lest we should find ourselves in a situation in those decisive days
10 of the battle, people who would be exercising command as they saw fit. So
11 the decision of the superior command to group all those units in a single
12 whole is just an expression of the focus.
13 Focus is a military term. It means that at a certain front, the
14 focus is something which is where you concentrate your forces and your
15 support, and our command decided that the focus should be on the
16 1st Motorised Battalion, and as for the -- and then, in fact, the
17 1st Assault Detachment, and the 1st detachment commander decided that the
18 3rd Motorised Company should be on the focus, which means that Captain
19 Miroslav Radic had this role. And that is how all this was decided.
20 Our intention to make a winning team out of all those units was
21 the result of this decision to turn them all into military units, lest
22 there should be any actions that would be outside of any control or result
23 of somebody's own initiative.
24 Q. You mentioned that the 3rd Motorised Company should be on the
25 focus with Captain Radic in this role. Was this partly because -- this
1 was because of Captain Radic's personality and command he held with the
2 soldiers? He was respected and they followed him; isn't that correct?
3 A. There are two reasons why this focus was selected. The first is
4 the result of the study of the situation on the enemy lines. We, in our
5 detachment, realised that it would be best to liberate the town, that we
6 would do it the fastest if we took Milovo Brdo. We also knew that if we
7 cut the Bogdanovci road, then the paramilitary forces would find
8 themselves completely encircled, and from Nova Ulica to mini market there
9 were just a couple of hundred metres. That is the first reason why the
10 focus for the deployment of the unit was reassigned to the left wing of
11 our unit.
12 The second reason is that this is where the Leva Supoderica
13 Detachment and the Petrova Gora Detachment and Captain Radic were located
14 there. They were preparing for their engagements there. And there was
15 also Captain Radic, who had already shown his mettle in previous
16 engagements. These were the reasons that led us to refocus the deployment
17 of our unit to Bogdanovci to the Prvog Maja street and to get to Milovo
18 Brdo as soon as possible. Milovo Brdo was a strategic feature in the
19 battle for the city of Vukovar.
20 Q. And in that group that you've described with Captain Radic and the
21 Leva Supoderica and the Petrova Gora, he was the only professional officer
22 within that group, wasn't he?
23 A. No. Lieutenant Elvir Hadzic was also a professional officer in
24 his unit. There was also Sergeant Jovanovic. He had fallen ill. And
25 there was also (redacted), who was his company NCO.
1 Q. But --
2 A. They were there as professional officers.
3 Q. But Captain Radic was the most senior professional officer amongst
4 those men and therefore also amongst the Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora,
5 and the volunteers, wasn't he?
6 A. In every 24 hours, there were two stages, or two parts of this
7 relationship. Please allow me to explain how Captain Radic was, in
8 fact -- in what sense he was the most responsible person there.
9 Q. So you're agreeing with me, Mr. Stijakovic, that Captain Radic was
10 indeed the most senior and the most responsible person within the group
11 you've described?
12 A. The commander of the assault group, which is a temporary
13 formation, which in 24 hours, as a temporary formation, in most instances
14 was active from 8.00 a.m. until, let's say, 1500 to 1600 hours, this
15 temporary formation had its subgroups in accordance with the task ahead
16 for that day. And it is true that on the part of the superior command,
17 Major Tesic, myself, that the best person to command this temporary
18 formation, the assault group, was Captain Miroslav Radic.
19 Q. You've described this as a temporary formation, Mr. Stijakovic.
20 That's not true, is it? This relationship was set up and continued until
21 the 21st of November, 1991; isn't that correct?
22 A. No, no. That is not true. If the Honourable Chamber allows me to
23 explain how this temporary formation carried out its tasks, and once I do
24 that, it will be clear to you.
25 Let me repeat: A temporary formation functioned only in combat,
1 or any other active tasks, movement and so on. Once the action was
2 finished, then soldiers who were less able are brought to the line that
3 had been attained. Guards are put there, and this whole area is guarded
4 against any possible attempts of the opposite side to retake it. And the
5 assault group, all its members, go back to their original units to rest.
6 This means that this temporary formation, once it's liberated Milovo Brdo,
7 ceased exist de facto and de jure.
8 Q. That's different from what you said yesterday, Mr. Stijakovic,
9 isn't it? Yesterday you described the 1st Motorised Battalion as the most
10 able, as the most successful, and after they had reached their target,
11 from the 10th to the 18th, they were left to control the ground taken, and
12 now you're telling us that the less able ones, the less able soldiers, are
13 sent to carry out that task. Which one is correct, Mr. Stijakovic?
14 A. Yesterday I spoke about the 1st Motorised Battalion and the
15 1st Assault Detachment, and I explained how those two units were split
16 apart after the 10th of November and also what happened after the 14th of
17 November, and now I want to explain to you about the temporary formation
18 that is called an assault group.
19 The assault group commanded on the focus of the action by Captain
20 Radic was a temporary formation composed of the bravest and best soldiers,
21 and I can tell you the following. When this assault group is deployed and
22 when it liberates, for instance, Bosko Buha neighbourhood, from
23 1400 hours, 1500, 1600 hours, once the task is over, the assault group
24 withdraws into the depth of the territory to Leva Supoderica, Nova Ulica,
25 whatever, and the line that was attained is then guarded by less able
2 I now explained to you the functioning of the assault group
3 commanded by Miroslav Radic until the 10th of November.
4 Q. You've told us -- you told the Court, Mr. Stijakovic, about this
5 division between the 1st Motorised Battalion and the
6 1st Assault Detachment, and it starts with an oral order of Major Tesic on
7 the 12th of November; that's correct?
8 A. Major Tesic issued an order, oral order, on the 12th of November
9 relaying an order received from Mile Mrksic on the separation of the
10 1st Assault Detachment and the 1st Motorised Battalion, or, to be more
11 specific, ordering that the 1st Motorised Battalion be taken out of the
12 composition of the 1st Assault Detachment. This oral order of the 12th of
13 November was then turned into a written order that reached our unit on the
14 14th of November and we had the opportunity to see it yesterday.
15 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, could you please look at Exhibit 401 for me? It
16 is the diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade, war diary. And for the
17 B/C/S version of this exhibit, would you please look, first of all, at
18 02935475? And in the English translation, L 0100532.
19 You've told us the oral order came, first of all, from Mrksic to
20 Tesic. Can you please show us in Exhibit 401 where that oral order is
21 referred to?
22 A. This is the war log kept by the superior command, so this oral
23 order that I'm talking to you about can only be -- its existence can only
24 be proven through witness testimony, but in the actual fact, the order
25 issued on the 14th covers all that. I don't know anything about the
1 contents of this war log because some other person kept it.
2 Q. With regard to the issue of witness testimony about this oral
3 order, are you -- you've told us already, Mr. Stijakovic, that Major Tesic
4 gave evidence in the Belgrade trial; isn't that right?
5 A. I heard, and I read in the media, that Major Tesic had testified
6 before the Court in Belgrade.
7 Q. At no time in the course of his testimony in Belgrade did he ever
8 mention an oral order of the 12th of November. Can you please comment on
10 A. Yes. The oral order that was -- that later on took the form of a
11 written order has no significance. Therefore, Major Tesic received his
12 written order on the 14th to act in accordance with the oral order, which
13 means that, that an introduction to the 14th of November dated the 12th of
14 November can be accepted or not, but the written order confirmed the state
15 of affairs and that is that from then on, the 1st Motorised Battalion
16 would no longer be part of the 1st Assault Detachment. I am testifying
17 about what I heard on the 12th, but it has no such weight as the written
18 order that you were able to see yesterday.
19 Q. Major Tesic also gave three statements in Belgrade prior to
20 testimony, and again in none of those statements did he ever mention an
21 order of the 12th of November. He further gave a statement to the ICTY,
22 to the Office of the Prosecutor, and again, he made no reference to this
23 oral order of the 12th of November. This order didn't happen, did it,
24 Mr. Stijakovic?
25 A. That order did happen, and this oral order, by way of an
1 introduction, I can say that it was a process that was prepared from the
2 10th of November, when already in the evening, on the basis of company
3 commanders, our subordinates, we heard their views regarding further
4 activity. Each and every one of them presented their position, that,
5 having reached Milovo Brdo, they completed their combat activity, that
6 they were exhausted and tired, that it was only logical that other
7 detachments and other battalions should carry out their tasks. And I
8 assume that Mr. Tesic did not talk about that anywhere because, in a way,
9 that briefing had displayed the feeling that existed among the
10 subordinates that, as for future tasks, there is not the kind of will that
11 existed up until the 10th of November. What ensued was a process of
12 accommodating this kind of feeling within the unit, and trying to find a
13 solution by way of bridging the problem that occurred. It was only
14 logical for it to have been written the way it was on the 14th of
16 The 1st Battalion had completed its combat activity. We were
17 extremely grateful, all the company commanders and I, to our superior
18 command for having exempted us from --
19 Q. You're coming away from the original question which was the
20 existence or otherwise of this oral order of the 12th. Can I now refer
21 you, please, to your own diary?
22 It should be in e-court, Your Honour, under Y 0079884 to Y
24 Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Stijakovic?
25 A. Would you just ask for it to be enlarged, please?
1 Q. You made reference to this document yesterday in your
2 examination-in-chief, Mr. Stijakovic, with regard to keeping a copy of
3 this after you returned from Vukovar to Belgrade. And is this the
4 document we're talking about?
5 A. Yes. This is a copy that was written by soldier Dobras, my
6 messenger, and I was the one who dictated the content.
7 Q. And you told us yesterday, Mr. Stijakovic, that the purpose behind
8 this was for scientific research and military research so that when the
9 time was right you could write about Vukovar and the battle for Vukovar;
10 isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes. My intention was, and it still exists, in relation to this
12 part of my statement that I'm proud of, I wished to transform this into
13 useful material for officer training as to fighting in built-up areas.
14 Q. And in that regard, you would then be careful to retain all the
15 important information from that diary when you made the copy, information
16 that you could then pass on as part of that training, wouldn't you?
17 A. Yes. I selected the content regarding each and every day, the
18 content that I assessed that I could use later.
19 Q. And the change in formation that you have described on the 12th of
20 November with this oral order, that was something that you would select as
21 being important, wouldn't you?
22 A. Well, that change of formation, now that we are talking about
23 the 12th, it was actually more important as far as the 10th of November
24 was concerned, as I said I described or only pinpointed those occurrences
25 that had to do with tactics, where activity takes place, where certain
1 features are reached, those that involve deaths and injuries, because I
2 wished to make a comparison between activities and possible casualties,
3 human losses.
4 With your permission, it was my claim and still is --
5 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, you've mentioned the information you wanted to
6 retain. The order of the 12th that followed from the change on the 10th
7 is a significant incident, isn't it?
8 A. I shall repeat: An oral order --
9 Q. No, no, please don't repeat your answer. I'm asking you a
10 specific question in relation to the oral order of the 12th and the change
11 in the disposition of the 1st Motorised Battalion and the 1st Assault
12 Detachment, as you described yesterday. Was that or was that not an
13 important incident or decision? And the answer to that question is yes or
15 A. The change of the 14th of November is important. The 12th was a
16 preceding one. It was only conveyed orally. The 14th is the most
17 important because there is material evidence. There is a document stating
19 Q. The purpose of this diary was for your thesis for training. We
20 are talking about the last week in the fight for Vukovar and how troops
21 are divided or not divided, and how they are used in this those last few
22 days of Vukovar was of crucial importance, wasn't it?
23 A. Yes, yes. That is very important.
24 Q. And the timings of any resubordination or changes or use of troops
25 would be important as well, wouldn't it?
1 A. Yes, important, yes.
2 Q. And the actual physical change or movement or resubordination,
3 that would be more significant than any follow-up written order; the
4 actual change itself, if one took place, would be more significant than
5 anything in writing, wouldn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can I ask you, then, please to look at your diary, this record
8 that was going to be used for this thesis of yours? And will you look at
9 page 9893 in the B/C/S, please, and the entries dealing with the 10th to
10 the 12th of November?
11 It's on page 9 of the English translation, Your Honours.
12 A. May I read the entry of the 10th of November or the last sentence
13 of that particular entry?
14 Q. I'm not asking you to read out the entries. I want you to find on
15 that page, on the 10th, 11th, or 12th, if there is any reference to any
16 oral order from Major Tesic.
17 A. It is not mentioned in these writings. But I asked you for
18 permission for me to read out the last sentence of the 10th of November.
19 Q. That's not necessary, Mr. Stijakovic. We have your answer. On
20 the 10th, 11th, or 12th there is no mention of any oral order having been
21 issued. That's correct, isn't it?
22 A. I said a few moments ago that I am proving this assertion through
23 my own testimony.
24 As for writings, this oral order is not in this copy of mine where
25 already on the 12th these two units are being separated.
1 Q. You mentioned this separation of the 1st Assault Detachment and
2 the 1st Motorised Battalion. Isn't it the case that there was in fact no
3 separation and that the troops who were under Captain Radic, the
4 Leva Supoderica and the Petrova Gora, were not moved in any way, shape or
5 form by that written order of the 14th of November, 1991?
6 A. I am telling you that the separation followed from the evening of
7 the 10th onwards, and I assert that from that evening onwards, the company
8 commanders, Captain Radic, Zirojevic and Bojkovski, asked that their
9 further military engagement should stop. That separation was certainly
10 carried out.
11 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I see the time is just leaving 20
12 to 1.00.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It's probably a convenient time, is it, Mr. Lunny?
14 MR. LUNNY: It is, thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, though, thinks you need more time.
16 MR. MOORE: I don't think that.
17 Your Honour, could I just clarify one or two small matters? It's
18 quite simply this. I know there is another witness to follow, but I
19 wonder if my learned friend could assist whether in actual fact it is his
20 hope to have two witnesses today and tomorrow or just one? Because there
21 is one small problem.
22 Your Honour may remember that we had sought to introduce three of
23 the -- what I will call alibi witnesses, and unfortunately the waivers
24 seem to have been delayed. They now have been served. The one witness is
25 here, and Mr. Weiner was hoping to interview him. We received a briefing
1 note which tends to change matters somewhat, and it's really a case of
2 trying to work out and coordinate time. That's the first point.
3 The second point relates to Mr. Sljivancanin. It may well be that
4 the case for Mr. Radic will conclude perhaps on Tuesday or Wednesday,
5 perhaps with the exception of the expert and that has to be clarified.
6 Would it be the Court's intention, indeed Mr. Lukic's intention to
7 commence Mr. Sljivancanin, let us say, on Thursday rather than waste time?
8 JUDGE PARKER: From the point of view of the Chamber, we would
9 expect to move on to the evidence to be led by Mr. Lukic at the end of the
10 case for Mr. Radic. Whether in the course of the evidence now being led
11 by Mr. Borovic we will reach not just one but a second further witness in
12 the course of today and tomorrow, time will tell. I anticipate that if
13 Mr. Borovic had any problem with a witness being available, he would
14 indicate that. And we do know that next week, among the witnesses to
15 follow in Mr. Borovic's case, is an expert who is anticipated to take a
16 longer time than the other witnesses.
17 Would you at this moment, Mr. Borovic, be able to estimate when
18 your case might finish?
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this
20 significantly depends on the effectiveness of the Prosecution, and it's
21 nothing to write home about based on what we've heard today. Then we will
22 have a problem. I examined my two witnesses according to my plan. If
23 that plan is observed, in accordance with the time limits set, then
24 everything will be the way we presented it to the Trial Chamber. My next
25 witness is prepared to take the stand today. That's all I have to say.
1 As for --
2 JUDGE PARKER: To the end of your case, Mr. Borovic, is it to be
3 Wednesday or Thursday of next week, do you think?
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, one witness is planned
5 for Monday, another one for Tuesday, and the expert at the end, Wednesday
6 or Thursday. That, of course, is the end. That is before the 20th of
7 October, as you had planned.
8 Since the Prosecution is worried about whether they can interview
9 my witnesses during the weekend, they can. I don't mind them interviewing
10 all my witnesses, and I'm stating that yet again, now, in public.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, you're already anticipating me. Is it
12 convenient to you to start your evidence before that long weekend that we
13 have or not?
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I personally would not like that. It
15 actually depends on how much time we have left next week. If it's only
16 one day, I would kindly ask that we start on Wednesday. I mean, possibly
17 I could do my opening statement, but I would like to do a bit more work
18 with Mr. Sljivancanin, and Monday and Tuesday would really be important
19 for me. I wouldn't like the testimony to start because then I cannot
20 contact him any longer.
21 Yesterday I got over 1.000 pages of material, and I'll say that
22 quite openly, from the OTP and it has to do with my client, and I already
23 discussed this with Mr. Moore. It has to do with questions that they want
24 to put to my client. I'm afraid that if they start showering me with
25 these documents, some of which are quite new, then I really have to deal
1 with them before that.
2 I know that Mr. Sljivancanin is going to say that he is prepared
3 to testify straight away, but I, as his Defence counsel, would really like
4 him to start on the 25th, as envisaged, and that's what I said to my
5 witnesses, that that would be the time frame for their arrivals, and I
6 will strictly abide by the guidelines set for my case.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good. As long as by starting on the 25th we can be
8 sure of finishing on time.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE PARKER: It's, we feel, too early at the moment to make a
11 firm direction. If there are two days of evidence available next week, I
12 think we should press on, and it should be borne in mind that we will have
13 longer sitting days on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, trying to get
14 as much time as possible for -- to assist the Defence in the presentation
15 of its case.
16 But if the evidence should slow down during Mr. Borovic's case,
17 and you're really hemmed into the Friday, Mr. Lukic, you may find our
18 hearts soften. But I would at the moment plan on the basis that the
19 greater likelihood is that we will conclude Mr. Borovic's evidence and be
20 ready for you by Thursday.
21 Today, I think it would be convenient, because we are a little
22 later than expected breaking, if we did not resume until 10 past 2.00, and
23 we will adjourn now until then.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.47 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 2.13 p.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny.
2 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. In the course of your evidence yesterday, Mr. Stijakovic, you told
6 the Court that: "Up to the 18th of November, the whole battalion, not
7 only the company, remained at Milovo Brdo, deployed according to companies
8 from that sector, our units did not take a single step from there."
9 Are you then saying that from the 10th until the 18th, the
10 1st Motorised Battalion did not move from Milovo Brdo and did not take
11 part in combat activities?
12 A. Yes. The 1st Motorised Battalion was not involved --
13 Q. Thank you. You've answered the question with a yes.
14 Can you please now look at your diary again, Y 0079884 to
15 Y 0079894, and in particular at pages 10 and 11 in the B/C/S, and pages 9
16 and 10 in the English translation. If I can start with the 10th of
17 November, please, Mr. Stijakovic, it states: "On the basis of the
18 previous plan of attack, the battalion carried out an action and captured
19 Milovo Brdo."
20 So you're fighting still on the 10th, that's correct? Yes or no?
21 A. Yes. The fighting continued until the afternoon on the 14th and
22 our unit reached Milovo Brdo.
23 Q. Stop. You answered it with a yes, that's correct.
24 But you've told us that from the 10th until the 18th the battalion
25 was not involved in military actions or combat.
1 Can you now please look at the entry for the 13th of
2 November? "In the course of the day, the battalion carried out offensive
3 actions and captured the neighbourhood itself at the foot-hills of
4 Milovo Brdo."
5 That entry, Mr. Stijakovic, contradicts your evidence yesterday,
6 doesn't it?
7 A. No.
8 Q. You told us yesterday between the 10th and the 18th there was no
9 combat, and yet your diary says on the 13th there was combat. Can you
10 please explain why that is so?
11 A. On the 10th of November, our unit reached Milovo Brdo. Having
12 reached Milovo Brdo, the firing as well as the involvement of the
13 1st Motorised Battalion stopped. This means that by the 10th of November,
14 we had managed to liberate the Milovo Brdo area itself.
15 Milovo Brdo is a geographical concept. There are streets there
16 descending towards the downtown area and the Vuka River. Given the fact
17 that our orders on further action said, "Be at the ready for any further
18 action," the unit commanders, in order to reinforce the lines reached up
19 until that point, took action in the Milovo Brdo area. Therefore, this
20 entry is merely in relation to reinforcing the lines already reached by
21 this time.
22 Q. You are entry for the 13th of November does not use the
23 word "reinforce" anywhere; isn't that correct? Yes or no?
24 A. Yes, it is true that the word "reinforce" is not used. But, on
25 the other hand, you have an action described there which means precisely
2 Q. Are you trying to tell the Court, Mr. Stijakovic, that the
3 phrase "offensive actions" is the equivalent of "reinforcement"?
4 A. No. Reinforcing any lines reached might also comprise offensive
5 actions. This is an action carried out by a small group of people who in
6 order to fortify any lines reached may decide to move forwards or
7 backwards, left or right, but only small distances, such as the hundred of
8 metres specified in this particular entry.
9 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, if we can now look at the entry for the 17th of
10 November. "The battalion today organised an attack and entered the very
11 centre of Vukovar."
12 Again, Mr. Stijakovic, you told the Court yesterday that up until
13 the 18th, you were not -- the battalion was not involved in combat
14 operations. Do you agree that this entry shows that the battalion was
15 very much involved in combat operations?
16 A. On the 17th, the battalion entered Vukovar's downtown area. We
17 liberated the first bridge.
18 Q. Please stop, Mr. Stijakovic. The answer to the question should be
19 yes or no. I don't want you to describe what happened or what fighting
20 took place. The question was: On the 17th of November, were you still
21 involved in combat operations, the 1st Motorised Battalion?
22 A. Yes, yes. The 1st Motorised Battalion was active from Milovo Brdo
23 on the 17th as well.
24 Q. We also see in the entry of the 17th, the use of the
25 word "detachment." You've given an explanation about the division of the
1 1st Assault Detachment earlier that week, the 1st Motorised Battalion
2 holding Milovo Brdo and the assault detachment fighting elsewhere. Is it
3 not then the case on the 17th of November the 1st Assault Detachment was
4 back together with the rest of the 1st Motorised Battalion?
5 A. On the 17th, the 1st Assault Detachment was not recorded, at least
6 as far as I can tell by looking at my own entry.
7 Q. You do say on the 17th of November, Mr. Stijakovic: "We had six
8 wounded members of the detachment in these battles."
9 You're referring to the same battles that the 1st Motorised
10 Battalion is engaged in, and you use the word "we," meaning soldiers
11 subordinated to you, don't you?
12 A. Yes. This is a reference in relation to the 1st Motorised
13 Battalion, and obviously it has to do with the 1st Motorised Battalion.
14 Q. Do you agree, though, Mr. Stijakovic, that you used the
15 word "detachment" in that paragraph? Yes or no.
16 A. Yes. The entry says "detachment" but --
17 Q. Thank you. I think you've answered the question with a yes. You
18 do refer to the detachment on the 17th of November.
19 I want to ask you now about the issue of tasks. In the course of
20 your evidence yesterday, you mentioned carrying out tasks on a number of
21 occasions. And is it the case that a task is simply a definite goal,
22 something to be achieved, and you had given an order to carry out that?
23 A. The assignment mentioned yesterday has an objective, a final
24 objective, and this assignment is issued because of this objective.
25 Q. And different tasks, Mr. Stijakovic, would involve different
1 numbers of men; isn't that correct?
2 A. Different tasks involve different numbers of men, and the
3 equipment also varies according to each task.
4 Q. Can you now please look at Exhibit 420 -- sorry, 430,
5 Mr. Stijakovic? And if you look at, please, paragraph 4, at the foot of
6 page 1 in the B/C/S version, and paragraph 4 on page 2 of the English
8 As I understand it from yesterday, and from your evidence
9 yesterday, it was your position that this order removed the TO
10 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora who were at that time acting under
11 Captain Radic and then subordinated them directly to Major Tesic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, just a
13 minute, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were continually subordinated
15 to Major Tesic.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note we are not sure we got the
17 answer right because there was overlap. Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, you do not interrupt the witness.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
20 JUDGE PARKER: What is it that you want to say?
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] What I want to say is that I believe
22 my learned friend might use some preparation for this trial. Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Lunny.
24 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. It was your position earlier this morning, Mr. Stijakovic, that
1 Captain Radic was the highest professional soldier within the assault
2 groups, and that under Captain Radic, he had command of the
3 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora; isn't that correct?
4 A. No. I never said that.
5 Q. The order of the 14th, Exhibit 430, refers to regrouping. There
6 is no reference anywhere in that order to resubordination; isn't that
8 A. Can you please repeat the question for me? And what exactly is
9 that supposed to be in reference to?
10 Q. The order, Exhibit 430, which you have said divided up the
11 1st Assault Detachment from the 1st Motorised Battalion at no time
12 mentions resubordination but only refers to regrouping; isn't that
14 A. Of the detachment, you mean? Yes. It is true that the order
15 separates --
16 Q. Thank you very much. There is no reference to resubordination.
17 The order then continues to provide tasks, or a task, for the
18 1st Assault Detachment without the 1st Motorised Battalion; isn't that
20 A. That's how it was. The assignments were received by the assault
21 detachment separately and the 1st Motorised Battalion for themselves.
22 Q. And isn't it true, Mr. Stijakovic, that this order of the 14th of
23 November was simply issuing a specific task to be carried out by a
24 specific number of men who then returned to the 1st Motorised Battalion,
25 the 1st Assault Detachment came back together before the 17th of November
1 as is reflected in your diary?
2 A. You wouldn't allow me to explain the entry dated the 17th, what it
3 means, the reference to the six wounded soldiers from the detachment.
4 By the Chamber's leave, I would like to explain that, and then I
5 will move on to the other question too.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Please go ahead.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 17th of November, six wounded
8 members of the detachment of the neighbouring unit were taken in an
9 ambulance back to positions held by our own forces and they were taken to
10 the collection site in the hospital itself. This entry is only in
11 reference to activities that had to do with assisting one of the adjacent
12 units. Therefore, the separation that we are looking at, a separation of
13 these two units, was solely in reference to active movement and active
14 assignments between the 14th and the 18th of November.
15 MR. LUNNY:
16 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, if you again look back at your diary, and on
17 page 11 of the B/C/S and page 10 of the English, the entry for the 17th of
18 November makes no reference to neighbouring detachment; isn't that
20 A. Six wounded soldiers, members of the detachment. This is the
21 neighbouring unit.
22 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, you're not answering the question you've been
23 asked, which is the entry of the 17th of November makes no reference to
24 neighbouring unit or neighbouring detachment; isn't that correct?
25 A. The term "neighbouring detachment" does not appear there. What
1 I'm trying to explain through my evidence is that this was the
2 neighbouring detachment, six of whose wounded members we evacuated.
3 Q. If we can return, please, to Exhibit 430, and paragraph 4, this
4 order does not make any reference or does not describe the makeup of the
5 assault detachment after the 14th of November, does it?
6 A. This is what this order is about. It's the order that came after
7 the previous one, and we looked at the previous one yesterday, and the
8 previous one describes the exact structure of the assault detachment.
9 The one that I have in front of me now, the only thing that
10 happens here is that the motorised battalion is taken outside the
11 detachment, leaving the structure, the composition, exactly the same as in
12 the previous order, minus the 1st Motorised Battalion.
13 Q. And this smaller 1st Assault Detachment, did it still comprise of
14 assault groups?
15 A. It still comprised the Petrova Gora Detachment, the
16 Leva Supoderica Detachment, and some support forces.
17 Q. You've not answered the question, Mr. Stijakovic. You were asked
18 if the 1st Assault Detachment after the 14th of November contained assault
20 A. I have no further knowledge about the structure or composition of
21 the assault detachment, especially in light of the fact that the assault
22 detachment was still under the command of Major Tesic. Now, did he set up
23 any assault groups by using the detachment and how exactly did he use
24 these units is really not something that I can talk about.
25 Q. And even though you shared the same headquarters as Major Tesic
1 and were responsible for making entries in the war diary, this was never
2 discussed with you?
3 A. To what specifically do you mean when you say "this was not
4 discussed"? The contents of the war log?
5 Q. The composition of the 1st Assault Detachment and how it was made
6 up after the 14th of November, 1991.
7 A. This is the way I remember it. A unit like that might have been
8 trying to do something, but the paramount thing was to carry out the
9 assignment and to reach the water-tower, as stated in the order, and this
10 is not something that they succeeded in doing.
11 Q. Could I stop you there --
12 A. If you make Milovo Brdo where you had a whole --
13 Q. You're not answering the question you were asked which was did
14 Major Tesic not discuss with you at any time the makeup of the 1st Assault
15 Detachment after the 14th of November?
16 A. He did not discuss with me the makeup. Quite the opposite, in
17 fact. He used to complain a lot. He complained about the fact that he
18 did not believe the assignment would be that easy to carry out.
19 Q. If this assignment to take the water-tower was so difficult, why,
20 then, did Major Tesic not use Captain Radic and his successful company?
21 Why did he send the TO Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica?
22 A. Because from as early on as the 10th of November, which is when
23 the 1st Motorised Battalion had completed its task, the prevailing mood,
24 atmosphere, the spirit among the men, in terms of going anywhere else
25 outside of their previous area of assignment was weak, and people were not
1 willing to go anywhere else. Tesic might have been minded to enlist
2 Radic's assistance or somebody else's perhaps. It's just that he never
3 told me. All he ever did was complain about this assignment of reaching
4 the water-tower. He said that would be a very difficult task.
5 Q. Does that then mean that within the Guards Motorised Brigade, this
6 elite unit that we've heard about, the soldiers did not want to fight; if
7 they didn't feel like fighting, they were allowed to rest and do nothing?
8 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, I am the creator of what you are suggesting.
9 It was me who was with the company commanders, having reached an important
10 location like Milovo Brdo, when I pleaded, when I asked everyone else,
11 when I proposed that we not go any further, since we've taken -- since we
12 had taken all that we could. We had the whole town at our feet, and we
13 had all the bridges under our control. It was only a matter of days when
14 soldiers would refuse to fight on. Please try to understand how the mind
15 of an average soldier works. The fighting goes on until a town is taken.
16 After that, everything else is easily wrapped up.
17 At this point, there was no reason remaining to keep on sustaining
18 casualties, having our soldiers killed only in order to eventually reach
19 the downtown area then.
20 If you allow, what that means is it's not about lack of
21 preparedness. It's not about any lack of fighting spirit. It's not about
22 a drop in our morale. Quite the opposite, in fact. Everybody had the
23 feeling that this thing was now over.
24 Q. You said they had the feeling that everything was now over. Was
25 it not the case that casualties were sustained after the 18th of November
1 and that orders were issued for you to be on high vigilance for fear of
2 further activity from the defenders of Vukovar, pockets of resistance?
3 A. In a war zone, when there are predictions or the likelihood that
4 the battle would end, every life is valuable. And what you should do at a
5 time like that, and this is precisely what we did, you should heighten the
6 security measures, you should heighten the alertness, the awareness of the
7 soldiers and try to forestall any form of surprise.
8 Q. If we can move on, please, Mr. Stijakovic.
9 You have told us that Mr. Tesic was directly responsible for the
10 Vukovar TO, Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora. They were subordinated to
11 him. That's correct? That's your position?
12 A. Until the 18th of November.
13 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, Major Tesic was in no position to command and
14 control the TO, the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora at the ground level,
15 was he?
16 A. That is not the impression that I had. Until the 18th of
17 November, he had been trying to perform this task all the time, and that
18 would be to get as far as the water-tower.
19 Q. Major Tesic wasn't fighting at the front line, was he?
20 A. Sometimes he would be at the very front line itself.
21 Q. But only sometimes?
22 A. Yes, sometimes.
23 Q. Captain Radic, however, was at ground level, he was a company
24 commander, he was involved in the fighting on a direct basis from day to
25 day, and he was the man responsible, as the immediate superior, of the TO,
1 the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora up until the 21st of November; isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. No. That is not correct.
4 Q. Can you please look at Exhibit 422, please? This, Mr. Stijakovic,
5 is an order for resubordination on the 21st of November, 1999 timed at
6 6.00 a.m. from Colonel Mrksic and expressly resubordinates divisions of
7 the Vukovar TO and withdraws and dispatches the Leva Supoderica to
8 the 80th and 12th Brigades respectively. Can you see that?
9 A. Perhaps if we could enlarge it a little bit. I can see it now,
11 Q. If you look at paragraph 1 -- rather, if we start with the
12 heading: "Regulating the issue of resubordination and return to the home
13 units," and in paragraph 1: "The Leva Supoderica are dispatched to the
14 12th PMBR," and in paragraph 4: "The Vukovar TO units are resubordinated
15 to the 80th Motorised Brigade." Isn't that correct?
16 A. I see this order for the first time now. I don't remember it from
17 the war. But this is also part of this course of events that already was
18 in place on the 18th of November, because on the 18th of November after
19 the liberation of the city, all the units went back to their home units,
20 and this order merely talks about further resubordination of those units.
21 MR. LUNNY: If Your Honour would allow me a moment.
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 MR. LUNNY:
24 Q. Thank you, sir. If we can move on from there just now.
25 If you allow me, Mr. Stijakovic, I apologise but I do want to go
1 back to that and just finalise one point.
2 You're saying that this order of the 21st was part of a course of
3 events that was already in place on the 18th of November. What do you
4 mean by "already in place on the 18th of November"?
5 A. Well, on the 18th of November, when the action ceased and they
6 ceased the moment when the other side surrendered, I mean the
7 paramilitaries, all the units were brought back to their original state,
8 to their home units, where they had been before the regrouping and
9 resubordination and joining of units started. And in this order, the
10 superior command, as you can see, lays ground for the handover of the
11 entire territory to other units because the units that were there were
12 about to return to Belgrade. Because you can see all the units that were
13 temporarily attached to the Guards Motorised Brigade are mentioned here.
14 Q. If you could please look at Exhibit 401, Mr. Stijakovic, in the
15 Guards Motorised Brigade diary, and the entries for the 18th of November,
16 1991. That's L 0100533, page 38 in the English translation, and B/C/S
17 page 02935477 -- 5479. I beg your pardon, 5477.
18 Now, can you please look at the entry for the 18th of November and
19 tell us whether there was any resubordination on the 18th of November,
20 whether there is any reference to an order, whether it be oral or written?
21 A. Which entry are you referring to, 0700 hours?
22 Q. If you could please look at all of the entries for the 18th of
23 November, 1991.
24 A. You asked me whether there was any indication that there would be
25 this resubordination. Is that what you meant? Did I understand you
2 Q. Yes, Mr. Stijakovic.
3 A. As far as I know, and based on my analysis of this entry, we can
4 see that the commander of the operations group invited the subordinate
5 brigades and already started issuing orders for their independent action.
6 In terms of the territory and the tasks were being coordinated here, you
7 can see that at this meeting this issue was discussed.
8 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, for the 18th of November, of which there are three
9 separate entries, on page -- there are eight, sorry, separate entries for
10 the 18th of November, in none of those 8 entries for the 18th of November
11 is there any reference to resubordination with regard to the TO Vukovar?
12 A. The fact that it is not contained in the entry the way I just
13 described it in the war log of the Guards Motorised Brigade, I don't know
14 why it isn't there. It is my testimony that on the 18th, when combat
15 ceased, the very next day, all the units went back to their peacetime
16 stations. Specifically I'm talking about the Leva Supoderica Detachment
17 and the Petrova Gora Detachment, and the order of the 21st merely provides
18 a documentary basis for this situation.
19 Q. You gave evidence earlier today, Mr. Stijakovic, that an oral
20 order was not authoritative when you spoke about the oral order of
21 the 12th and the written order of the 14th of November. You said the oral
22 order did not have any authority. Are you now changing that position?
23 A. No, I said that an oral order is just as authoritative as a
24 written order but once there is the written order, it is physically there,
25 there is a material side to it, it's tangible, and there is no need any
1 more to discuss the oral order because an oral order that was followed by
2 a written order has been confirmed by this written order, which means that
3 the oral order of the 12th confirmed in writing by the written order of
4 the 14th, becomes legally valid because now there is the tangible written
5 form thereof.
6 Q. If I can move on, Mr. Stijakovic, to a new topic. You gave
7 evidence yesterday that you attended at the Vukovar Hospital on the 19th
8 of November, 1991.
9 A. Yes. On the 19th of November, I was in the hospital.
10 Q. And you -- when did you first speak to the Defence team for
11 Mr. Radic about these matters?
12 A. With regard to the issue of the hospital?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Counsel, Your Honours.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please specify your
15 question so that I know what you're referring to.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Borovic.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] As a matter of principle, yesterday,
18 or perhaps it was today, when I asked Mr. Stijakovic whether he was in
19 hospital on the 19th, the -- my learned colleague first said that I did
20 not mention that in the summary and I withdrew my question. So something
21 that was not mentioned in the examination-in-chief should not be brought
22 up in the cross-examination. I don't really mind, but this is a matter of
23 principle and principles should be complied with.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I've mentioned before, Mr. Borovic, that if it goes
25 to matters of credibility, or the advancement of the other party's case,
1 the other party in cross-examination is not confined to the subject matter
2 of the evidence in chief. And that is, as I see it, what is happening
3 here. But there may be more that I haven't yet seen. We will find out.
4 Mr. Lunny, carry on.
5 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. To recap, Mr. Stijakovic, you told us yesterday that on the 19th
7 of November, 1991, you attended at Vukovar Hospital.
8 A. Yes, yes. On the 19th --
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in hospital on the 19th, and
11 there is something that I told Mr. Borovic.
12 As for the second part of your question --
13 MR. LUNNY:
14 Q. That was the second part of my question, Mr. Stijakovic. When did
15 you first meet with the Defence team for Mr. Radic?
16 A. I met with Captain Radic's Defence team in the capacity of a
17 witness about five or six days ago, here in The Hague, and that was the
18 first time that we discussed my going to the hospital, because one of the
19 recordings, TV broadcasts, showed my face as -- showed that I was standing
20 there in front of the hospital, and Mr. Borovic asked me whether I was in
21 hospital and I said yes. So that is my answer.
22 Q. The first time you spoke to the Defence was five or six days ago,
24 JUDGE PARKER: No, about this topic.
25 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. When were you first contacted by the Defence?
2 A. Well, I can't be specific about the date, but the Defence
3 contacted me immediately after Mr. Radic's decision to be represented
4 before this Tribunal by Mr. Borovic's law office, and through my
5 colleagues, more specifically my colleague Mr. Zirojevic, I was asked to
6 come to the office for some consultations, and perhaps for potential
7 testimony. I don't know the exact date. I know it was in the -- in
8 summer, and I know that the first meeting was rather formal, and I would
9 like to stress once again this is something that I told him too. I said
10 that I wanted to testify but that I don't care who calls me as a witness,
11 since I have already stated several times that I was the deputy commander
12 of the battalion, I expected --
13 Q. Could I stop you there, Mr. Stijakovic, I think you answered the
14 question that was asked about when you met with the Defence and when you
15 first spoke about the Vukovar Hospital. And it's your position it was
16 merely five or six days ago, that's the first time you mentioned it to
18 A. As far as I can remember, the first time that we discussed the
19 hospital was during my last stay in The Hague.
20 Q. With regard to that visit to the hospital, you told us that Radic
21 was there on Tesic's orders; that's correct?
22 A. Yes. To secure the wider perimeter of the hospital, that was the
23 order that Captain Radic received from Major Tesic on the 19th.
24 Q. Major Tesic, as you said earlier, gave a statement to the ICTY, to
25 the Office of the Prosecutor, in 2003, and he expressly stated that he
1 gave no such order to Captain Radic and that Captain Radic was at the
2 hospital of his own accord. Isn't it the case that there was no such
3 order for Radic to be at that hospital?
4 A. Radic went to the hospital on express orders, and the presence
5 of -- his presence and the presence of his soldiers is something that you
6 can verify through testimony.
7 As for what Tesic told you or anyone else about this going to the
8 hospital is something that I don't know.
9 Q. If I can move now to the 20th of November, 1991. You mentioned
10 that the regular briefing at your headquarters for the 1st Motorised
11 Battalion, the daily briefing, was held on the 20th as before. That's
12 correct, isn't it?
13 A. The battalion.
14 Q. I beg your pardon, battalion.
15 A. You asked me about the 20th, whether there was a briefing; is that
17 Q. Yes, sir.
18 A. Yes. There was the regular briefing in the evening of the 20th,
19 at the headquarters of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
20 Q. What time was this briefing held at, Mr. Stijakovic?
21 A. As far as I can remember, it was at around 2000 hours. It was
23 Q. And Captain Radic, he was present at that meeting?
24 A. Captain Radic was present at the meeting.
25 Q. What time did the meeting end at, Mr. Stijakovic?
1 A. The meeting had two stages. In the first stage that was chaired
2 by Major Tesic was the part when we defined the tasks for the 21st. He
3 then left to the superior command in Negoslavci.
4 Q. Could you please stop, Mr. Stijakovic? I didn't ask you what the
5 content of the meeting was. I merely wanted to know when the meeting
7 A. I'm merely saying that it took about an hour and a half to deal
8 with all that, an hour, an hour and a half, as far as I can remember,
9 because we lingered there for a while after the meeting ended. After the
10 commander left, we stayed there at the headquarters, and I remember that
11 Captain Vuckovic invited us all for dinner at his place. He invited me.
12 I couldn't go because Major Tesic was absent. But Staff Sergeant Bojic
13 went with him. So some of the commanding officers there went to have
14 dinner because they were invited by this captain. So I can't really tell
15 you exactly how long this meeting took but anywhere between an hour and an
16 hour and a half.
17 Q. This dinner you've referred to, did you tell this to the Defence
18 of Captain Radic when you met them five or six days ago?
19 A. You asked me -- I was asked whether I attended this dinner and my
20 response again is I did not.
21 Q. That wasn't the question you were asked, Mr. Stijakovic. You're
22 avoiding the question. You've now made reference to a dinner on the 20th
23 of November. This is the first we've heard about it. Did you mention
24 that, did you tell the Defence of Mr. Radic when you met them five or six
25 days ago that there was a discussion about a dinner on the evening of the
1 20th of November? It's a yes or no.
2 A. Yes, I did tell the Defence that this dinner was discussed.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. We can now move forward again.
4 Could you please look at an article in Narodna Armija. It's in
5 the e-court system and it's the -- has a reference 01147733, 01147784.
6 Now, the magazine we are looking at, Narodna Armija, this was the official
7 military magazine of the JNA, wasn't it?
8 A. Narodna Armija was the journal of the Yugoslav People's Army.
9 Q. Can we please look at page 10 in the B/C/S. The ERN number
10 is 7742, which is page 1 of the English translation.
11 And, Mr. Stijakovic, could you please read for us the first two
12 paragraphs --
13 THE REGISTRAR: I'm sorry, but we cannot find the document in
14 e-court, at least under this reference.
15 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I have one copy. It was supposed to be
16 placed in e-court and I have to apologise for that. I have one copy but
17 it's marked with highlighting. If Your Honour would allow a very short
18 recess I will obtain an unmarked copy that could perhaps be used with the
19 witness and on the ELMO.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's desirable. Is it inconvenient to
21 move to some other topic?
22 MR. LUNNY: I only have one more question after this matter, Your
24 JUDGE PARKER: We will take our break now, resuming at 25 to 4.00.
25 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour, I'm obliged.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.12 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 3.37 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Tapuskovic.
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation].
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker's microphone please be
6 adjusted? The interpreters cannot hear her.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I spoke to my colleague,
8 Mr. Lunny, and I heard that his cross-examination will last only for
9 another five minutes or so, and in the redirect Mr. Borovic is going to
10 take about 15 minutes.
11 In the meantime, the OTP tried to interview the witness, and I
12 asked to be given some notes regarding this attempt to have an interview.
13 My colleague, Mr. Weiner, said that he would be examining or rather
14 cross-examining that witness and he tried to speak to him. So I would
15 appreciate it if I could receive some information now, as to whether the
16 witness said something and what it was that he said, whether he wanted to
17 give an interview or not, so that I would know whether I could start with
18 the examination-in-chief today of that witness once this witness has
19 completed his testimony.
20 So I kindly ask you for your instructions. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: I suspect.
24 MR. WEINER: We approached the witness today through the victim
25 witness unit. We notified that we received this morning some proofing
1 notes with items that we had never previously received. As a result, we
2 would like to speak to the witness.
3 We -- the VW unit approached the witness and told him that the
4 Prosecution would like to speak to him, that there were matters that he
5 had recently given to the Defence that had not been raised previously by
6 this witness, and he has refused, he will not speak, even though he had
7 previously indicated that he would speak to the Prosecution.
8 JUDGE PARKER: So that examination can proceed this afternoon.
9 MR. WEINER: It can proceed.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Is that clear enough?
11 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 Mr. Lunny.
15 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour. We are very much obliged for
16 the Court's accommodation in rising early to allow the difficulty with the
17 article to be resolved.
18 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, before we get to that article, I've had the chance
19 over the break to have a -- another look at your proofing note, proofing
20 note that was provided to the Prosecution two days ago. And I'm looking
21 at 10 different topics within that proofing note. Within those 10 topics,
22 there is no mention at all of any dinner on the evening of the 20th. Now,
23 either you didn't tell the Defence about that dinner, when you spoke to
24 them five or six days ago, or you did tell them and it was left out.
25 Which of those two positions is correct?
1 A. I've already said what I had to say about that dinner.
2 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, I've asked you a question and you must answer that
3 question. The proofing note provided by the Defence to the Prosecution
4 makes no reference to any dinner on the 20th of November, 1991. Now
5 either you told them and it's been left out, or you did not tell them at
6 all. Which of those two positions is correct?
7 A. I told them about that dinner.
8 Q. Are you telling the truth about that?
9 A. Should I repeat once again? As for the dinner --
10 Q. I'm not asking to you repeat your answer. I'm asking you,
11 Mr. Stijakovic, if you're telling the truth.
12 A. Yes, yes, yes, under oath, yes.
13 Q. And is that the same standard of proof that you've been using all
14 throughout today with regard to the rest of your testimony?
15 A. Absolutely, yes.
16 Q. If we can now move on, Mr. Stijakovic. When you left Vukovar and
17 returned to Belgrade on the 24th of November, you were still second in
18 command of the guards 1st Motorised Battalion. You had responsibilities
19 for discipline. Were any officers investigated -- sorry, any officers of
20 the Guards Motorised Brigade, were any of those officers investigated or
21 punished for taking part in the killings at Ovcara?
22 A. I know that Lieutenant Radovic was under investigation because his
23 rifle had not been empty, and the first day, when he returned to Belgrade,
24 one of his soldiers got killed.
25 As for Ovcara and the question whether there was any investigation
1 against any one of the officers, I was not aware of any such proceedings.
2 I am actually saying that I did not hear of any proceedings related to
4 Q. Just before the break, Mr. Stijakovic, you had mentioned your
5 contact with the Defence and the role of Zoran Zirojevic. Can you please
6 provide some details as to how -- or, rather, as to what Zoran Zirojevic
7 did to put you in touch with the Defence team?
8 A. He contacted me by telephone and he asked me whether I could come
9 to the office of Mr. Borovic, the lawyer. That is all the work he had to
11 Q. And when did you receive that phone call from Zoran Zirojevic?
12 A. I cannot remember the exact date.
13 Q. Can you provide us with the month that you were contacted by Zoran
14 Zirojevic? Month and the year?
15 A. Well, it must have been the year when Captain Radic had already
16 arrived in The Hague, in the period when he was physically present here.
17 I cannot remember that particular year now either.
18 Q. If we can now move on to look at the document that was provided
19 during the break, Your Honour. I understand that it's 65 ter number 942.
20 And copies, Your Honour, have been made available in English and in B/C/S
21 to parties in the room. I understand the witness also has one to hand.
22 And if I can ask Mr. Zirojevic [sic] to look at the article from
23 Narodna Armija, which is entitled "Vukovar in the hands of the
25 A. I'm sorry, my name is Stijakovic, and you were asking Zirojevic.
1 Q. I beg your pardon, Mr. Stijakovic. My mistake.
2 Mr. Stijakovic, the article -- the first two paragraphs of the
3 article reads: "Assault detachment commander Major Borivoje Tesic and his
4 deputy, Captain First Class Slavko Stijakovic, discovered the frequency on
5 which the members of ZNG, National Guards Corps, and MUP, Ministry of
6 Internal Affairs, communicated and they intercepted their conversations
7 with ease. One can easily hear from the black box in Tesic's hand that
8 the ZNG -- sorry, the ZNG and the MUP members are suffering heavy
9 artillery blows in the buildings of the city hall, MUP and municipal
10 court, that the city hospital in the proximity has been spared as well as
11 the city museum buildings near the Danube River. Major Tesic occasionally
12 attempts to establish connection with Mile Dedakovic, also known as
13 Jastreb, or Hawk, the commander of Vukovar Defence, to call on him to tell
14 his subordinates to lay down arms in order not to devastate the so-called
15 old Baroque heart of Vukovar and prevent hand-to-hand combat with
16 additional victims. 'Jastreb, Jastreb, come in,' Tesic repeats, and waits
17 in anticipation. Silence ensues. There is static coming from the gadget.
18 Jastreb finally responds and asks Tesic what he wants. When he is given
19 the conditions of surrender and guarantees that all prisoners unless they
20 have blooded their hands on innocent people would be treated fairly
21 Jastreb was silent for a moment. It seemed he was thinking but then
22 refused the offer and started swearing and insulting. He was immediately
23 told that he would get what is coming to him. And the thunder of
24 successive explosions spread along the semi-arch of the fire line in the
25 town depths."
1 With regard to the passage in the second paragraph, "when he is
2 given the conditions of surrender and guarantees that all prisoners unless
3 they have blooded their hands on innocent people would be treated fairly,
4 Jastreb was silent for a moment," Mr. Stijakovic, what was going to happen
5 to defenders of Vukovar if they had blooded on their hands of innocent
7 A. According to the rule of international warfare, they should have
8 been brought before a court of law.
9 Q. In the article there is no mention of court of law, there is no
10 offer of trial, simply a threat that only those who had no blood on their
11 hands would be treated fairly; isn't that correct?
12 A. I did not hear this conversation. This is a conversation that
13 Major Tesic conveyed to the journalist, but even if I had heard it, I
14 certainly would have taken steps on my part to have prisoners treated
15 according to rules of warfare, and that they be taken before a court of
17 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, I have no further questions.
18 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Oh, I beg your pardon, Your Honour, I wish to tender that 65 ter
20 document as an exhibit.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am opposed - by your
22 leave - to having this document admitted into evidence because no one
23 confirmed the authenticity of this document. The witness says that he did
24 not attend this conversation, that he was not present there, so for these
25 formal reasons, I object.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Are there any other submissions? No?
2 MR. LUNNY: No, thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Nothing further.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE PARKER: The Chamber will mark this document for
6 identification at the moment, and will consider its admission in
7 conjunction with the other media news concerning Mr. Hadzic, which is
8 presently being considered.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, it will be marked for identification
10 with the reference number 792.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Borovic:
14 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, today my learned friend asked you about fear in
15 Vukovar, and he said to you that one witness had stated that fear was so
16 great that it was palpable and that that was the reason why soldiers
17 should not go to the front line. I am drawing your attention to
18 page 12601, the witness said that this happened on the 2nd of October and
19 that the fear in his first action was so great that it was palpable. He
20 never said that it was a reason for --
21 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny.
23 MR. LUNNY: I have an objection to my friend's question at this
24 stage. He seems to be quoting the witness.
25 I beg your pardon, Your Honour, I withdraw the objection. I see
1 that the witness's name is not referred to.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Borovic.
3 MR. LUNNY: Thank you.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. That witness -- I mean, if I tell you that that witness stated
6 that it suited him fine to have members of the TO Leva Supoderica be on
7 the front line and that his young men would be in the second line and that
8 in this way he wanted to preserve their young lives, that is the real
9 context that my learned friend did not want to put to you, but since he
10 didn't put it to you I'm putting it to you.
11 During this first march that your unit had, when they came to
12 Vukovar, was there fear among these young men?
13 A. I said to the Prosecutor as well that that is a natural fear, a
14 normal fear, that I felt too.
15 Q. And did it suit you as deputy commander of the 1st Motorised
16 Battalion that later along the axis of this combat activity, young
17 inexperienced soldiers should stay in the back, whereas the territorials
18 would be in front either as guides or in cooperation or in any other way,
19 not to go into that question now, that they go ahead?
20 A. For the most part -- or, rather, most of the soldiers who secured
21 the line that had been attained were precisely young soldiers. A certain
22 number of them, the most courageous ones, were involved even in the front
23 line of combat.
24 Q. Thank you. On the evening of the 20th, when Major Tesic left the
25 briefing, you say that on the following day he was in Belgrade. So in
1 that period, while Major Tesic was not there and while he did not take
2 over his duty, was there any firing action or any kind of combat action on
3 the part of the 1st Motorised Battalion?
4 A. In that period, there was no such action.
5 Q. My learned friend of the Prosecution put it to you that before the
6 Belgrade court some officers were convicted, the so-called Belgrade
7 Ovcara. My question is: Have you heard of any officer in the Belgrade
8 court being convicted because of Belgrade Ovcara?
9 A. I did not hear of any officer convicted on account of Ovcara in
11 Q. Thank you. I'm now just asking you about the 3rd Company that
12 Miroslav Radic commanded. Although you spoke in detail, I would ask to
13 you give me an unequivocal answer.
14 The company of Miroslav Radic from that action on the 10th
15 and 11th, when it was Milovo Brdo, until the 19th of November, was it a
16 participant in any action in any other area?
17 A. No. Radic's company remained at Milovo Brdo and that is where it
18 ended its activity.
19 Q. When you say Milovo Brdo, are you referring to the area of
20 Milovo Brdo and the neighbourhood of Bosko Buha, is it the same area?
21 A. Milovo Brdo is a geographical concept and around it and in that
22 area is the neighbourhood of Bosko Buha as well.
23 Q. Thank you. My learned friend, my young friend, showed you today
24 some notes that are part of the diary of the 1st Motorised Battalion. Am
25 I right?
1 A. Yes. This is a note and copy.
2 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that this is not a verbatim copy but
3 that you dictated to your soldier from this diary what you thought that
4 you would need from your -- for your scholarly work?
5 A. I have already said that and I will tell you once again. From the
6 content of the diary, I dictated the text and soldier Dobras did the
7 writing. So this dictated text was corrected up to a certain degree in
8 terms of the actual content of the war diary.
9 Q. Thank you. My next question: My learned friend objected to you
10 stating why, in these notes of yours, that are a copy of the diary but not
11 a comprehensive copy, why you did not record the order of the 12th of
12 November, 1991; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. My question is the following: In this copied notes, are there
15 orders from the 16th and the 14th that we showed you here?
16 A. In this copied version there is not a single written order.
17 Q. Thank you. I have already asked you whether you gave an interview
18 to the OTP here in The Hague.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How long did it last approximately?
21 A. About an hour and a half.
22 Q. Thank you. There is an audio recording of this interview, right?
23 A. Yes, the interview was recorded.
24 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour. I wish to object at this stage. This
25 does not arise out of anything in cross-examination. I did not ask the
1 witness any questions about his interview with OTP. My friend did. My
2 learned friend did ask him in-chief yesterday about this interview and he
3 mentioned an hour and a half. He's now revisiting that interview with no
4 basis from cross-examination.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, how does it arise in re-examination?
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I spent all this time
7 expecting that my learned friend would have an audio recording of this
8 interview, which they had promised. Stijakovic is leaving in a matter of
9 seconds and this recording is something that I wish to tender into
10 evidence, since I don't have a transcript and the transcript should
11 already have been translated into English. I don't have the B/C/S either,
12 because very often there are errors in the English translation. I'm not
13 saying that this sort of thing is done deliberately, but we have the audio
14 recording which is an accurate reflection of Mr. Stijakovic's interview;
15 and on the other hand, we have a poor English translation. If I tender
16 that, it should be easy enough for you, through CLSS, to know what the
17 matter really is. I like that interview. It's very convenient for me.
18 And I wanted to tender it under Rule 68 as video evidence. I can't have
19 the whole thing admitted into evidence.
20 Why didn't I react earlier? Because up to now I had been
21 expecting to receive a B/C/S transcript, which I have not. I did say that
22 I'd be tendering that under Rule 68.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, at the moment, I don't believe this to
24 be a matter for re-examination. However, the Chamber would give you
25 leave, when you receive the audio recording, to seek to tender it if you
1 think it is in some way material to questions that have arisen. We do
2 that because you had not received it at the time when you led your
3 evidence and re-examined.
4 So that matter can be left on that basis for the time being.
5 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, if I could interject at this moment to
6 clarify. It's my understanding that the audio recording was indeed
7 delivered prior to Mr. Stijakovic commencing his testimony and an English
8 translation was provided shortly thereafter. There were difficulties in
9 having that typed up in time to be made available with the recording.
10 The recording was made available I think a day or two after the
11 interview took place. The English translation I provided to my learned
12 friend before Mr. Stijakovic gave his evidence and a formal copy was
13 disclosed formally today but he was in receipt of the English
14 translation. And I'm told from my office, Your Honour, that B/C/S
15 transcripts, a full transcript of what is on the tape rather than an
16 English translation is something not normally requested or provided.
17 JUDGE PARKER: We are told, Mr. Borovic, that you had the audio
18 tape some days before.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've been very clear.
20 I got the audio. I listened to the audio. And I ascertained that the
21 English translation was indeed a very poor one.
22 What I asked my learned friend to do is to submit to us a
23 transcript in the B/C/S so that we might have it displayed on our monitors
24 so that the witness can go through it and confirm its authenticity or lack
25 thereof. And they say that on account of the Scottish accent, they
1 weren't able to get it translated or something like that.
2 But there is nothing special in that transcript. There is nothing
3 there that isn't in the interview that he provided to the OTP. This is
4 only evidence that a man in the absence of Defence counsel is repeating
5 the same thing word by word. I think that can buttress this witness's
6 credibility if it is ever challenged.
7 I missed my opportunity if indeed I burnt my bridges behind me by
8 not receiving a timely translation, then that's all right, I guess.
9 However, I do think it is the case that the Prosecution were late serving
10 these copies on us.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Lunny.
13 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Your Honour, I would submit that my learned friend is attempting
15 to lodge a statement as an exhibit to show consistency for the point of
16 view of bolstering credibility, and in my submission that is not
17 admissible. One can use prior statements where they are inconsistent to
18 attack credibility but they cannot be used to promote credibility.
19 Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lunny.
21 I was misled in my own understanding earlier by thinking that
22 Mr. Borovic had not received the audio tape before the evidence of the
23 witness commenced.
24 At the moment, there is no apparent reason or basis upon which
25 that audio tape or a transcript of it would be admissible in evidence.
1 The witness has been called and given his evidence. There was some
2 cross-examination as to whether certain things were said to the
3 representatives of the Defence in the course of his proofing, but that's
4 not the issue that is dealt with on these tapes. Therefore, unless there
5 is some further issue which hasn't become clear at the present time,
6 Mr. Lunny's objection is well-founded.
7 We, I'm afraid, Mr. Borovic, have come to the point that the
8 witness has given his evidence, he's told us what he says occurred. In so
9 far as it's relevant, which is scantly so, he has told us that he has put
10 certain things to you and certain things to the Prosecution when he's been
11 questioned, but what is relevant, as far as we are concerned, is the
12 evidence that he's given here. And you've been able to cross-examine,
13 having heard the audio tape of his questioning, and I'm sure that if there
14 was something material revealed in that, the matter could properly have
15 been addressed in the course of your questioning.
16 So we must leave that subject matter. Thank you.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I accept
18 your ruling and will not be raising any further points.
19 Next, can this entry from a part of the copied diary be brought up
20 on our monitors? It's 2D 14-0001. Can we have the page bearing the 10th
21 of November brought up?
22 Q. Mr. Stijakovic, can you see this?
23 A. I don't have it yet. The 10th of November? I don't have that. I
24 have the 3rd of October.
25 Q. Could we please have the 10th of November, 1991.
1 A. It's fine. I can see it now.
2 Q. Would you please be so kind, sir, although it might be slightly
3 tiring, to tell us exactly what you wrote down on the 10th of November?
4 But, please, the entire entry. I won't be interrupting you like the
6 A. "Based on a previous plan of attack the battalion carried out an
7 action and took Milovo Brdo, the last important point along the axis of
8 attack of the battalion. The focus of the attack was on the action of the
9 3rd Assault Group which, having received support, took the sector. The
10 2nd Assault Group remained blocked and the 1st Assault Group took the
11 sector of the school and the kindergarten. In the course of today's
12 action, nine of our men were wounded and two killed. These men were
13 members of our unit. We shall further be planning our own actions
14 depending on the actions carried out by our neighbours."
15 Q. Full stop, right? Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Stijakovic, look at the 11th of November, 1991, now. Would
17 you please read out the first sentence. And if there is any need, we can
18 have the entire paragraph read out. But what does the first sentence say?
19 A. "The 11th November. Today we did not carry out any offensive
20 action. Rather, we rested our men."
21 Q. Comma?
22 A. "We put our combat disposition back together and we organised for
23 the lines reached to be firmly held."
24 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Stijakovic, the next day is the 12th of
25 November; isn't that right? Could you please read aloud the first two
1 sentences in that entry.
2 A. "The 12th of November. Today the battalion organised the sorting
3 out of the combat disposition. We carried out no actions with the
4 exception of having the 1st Assault Group join up along August Cesarac
6 Q. Thank you. The 13th of November is the only date that was invoked
7 by my learned friend. You read in that entry that the battalion was
8 carrying out combat actions in a settlement at the foot of Milovo Brdo.
9 My question is: Which settlement is it? Which neighbourhood at the foot
10 of Milovo Brdo? Is that the Milovo Brdo area?
11 A. Yes. Geographically speaking, this is still the Milovo Brdo area.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Can we now go to the 14th of November, 1991,
13 please. Can you please read that bit since it's a short one.
14 A. "Today the battalion managed to sort out its combat disposition.
15 We did not carry out any actions. Instead we prepared our men for further
16 actions. We organised for a regular flow of supplies and for
17 replenishment in order to continue actions."
18 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Stijakovic, can you now please read the
19 following entry, the 15th of November, 1991.
20 A. "The 15th of November. Today the battalion prepared for the
21 following action. We did not have any wounded or killed. We prepared our
22 future actions and we were sorting out the combat disposition of our
24 Q. Thank you very much. If it's not too hard, we have the 16th of
25 November before what you previously read. What is your entry say?
1 A. "The 16th of November. Today the battalion carried out
2 preparations for future actions. We have organised regular supplies for
3 our men. The unit was visited by the brigade commander and while speaking
4 to soldiers, he demanded that further support be lent to the actions of
5 the assault detachment."
6 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Stijakovic, ever since this period of
7 time, the 10th, the 11th, the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, the 15th, and
8 the 16th of November, 1991, did you ever find yourself along any axis of
9 operations or in the midst of an action that would not be consistent with
10 what you wrote down in this entry or did you stay in the Milovo Brdo area
12 A. The units of the 1st Motorised Battalion did not go anywhere else
13 but the Milovo Brdo area at this time.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Next: Mr. Stijakovic, my learned friend
15 quoted for your benefit a portion of the order by Operations Group South
16 dated the 14th of November, 1991, which you had already interpreted for
17 our benefit over the last day, so I would just like to read out a single
18 line to you from item 4. That's the most famous one. And this is what he
19 told you: "Assault Detachment 1 (minus the 1st Motorised Battalion) from
20 their present sector of combat disposition to be transferred to the
21 following axis: Dalmatinska street-Alije Alijagica-water-tower." Isn't
22 that what says?
23 A. Yes, indeed.
24 Q. Thank you. My learned friend further said -- or, rather, asked
25 you why this small element of Assault Detachment 1, the weaker element,
1 which was his graphic expression, why did they not get any support from
2 Radic's 3rd Company, which had previously turned out to be an
3 exceptionally capable unit. My -- that was the question of the Prosecutor
4 and you answered what you answered. Can you now please read out the
5 assignment for Assault Detachment 1 which is just underneath item 4?
6 I'll read it out for your benefit, since you don't have it on the
7 screen. "Assignment, in close cooperation with the 2nd Battalion of the
8 military police, Assault Detachment 4, take control of buildings in the
9 following area, Alije Alijagica street, Stjepan Supanac school, and get as
10 fast as possible to the Slavija area and the water-tower in order to
11 prevent a withdrawal of the Ustasha forces from the Mitnica area." Full
13 This Assault Detachment 1, on this axis that I've just read out to
14 you, are they alone there or are they actually working closely with the
15 2nd Battalion of the military police and Assault Detachment 4 as I've just
16 read out?
17 A. It's just like you've read out. Assault Detachment 1 minus the
18 1st Motorised Battalion was working closely with the above-mentioned units
19 along this axis of operations.
20 Q. Thank you very much. What the Prosecutor failed to read out today
21 is the following item, item 5. Can we please show that to the witness
22 since I'm nearing the ends of my re-examination or perhaps you have that
23 in front of you. Please try to track it down. It's number 4. This is
24 Exhibit 430. Can you please read out item 5 because this is something
25 that you were not confronted with today. My learned friend stated that
1 you had never been taken from Assault Detachment 1. Exhibit 430.
2 I'm sorry, Your Honours. Just a minute, please.
3 A. Can we just please blow this up slightly?
4 Q. We have the B/C/S on our monitors. I'm not sure if the Chamber
5 has that.
6 A. "The 1st Motorised Battalion from their present sector of combat
7 disposition secure the line reached, establish full control" --
8 Q. Just a minute. I don't think the Chamber have this on their
9 screens so ...
10 I will repeat this for you. My learned friend has read out
11 to you item 4. He said Assault Detachment 1 was alone but you've read out
12 the assignment now, and it appears they were working with other units. So
13 what I want to look at now is item 5. Read it out, please.
14 A. "The 1st Motorised Battalion from its present sector of combat
15 disposition secured the line reached, establish full control over the area
16 conquered, and coordinate action with the attacking forces along the
17 following axis: Sundarciceva street and Marsala Tita street. Be at the
18 ready for active action along the following axis: Milovo Brdo and the
19 bridges over the river Vuka."
20 Q. Thank you very much. The question is: The axis of operations of
21 Assault Detachment 1 is Dalmatinska-Alije-Alijagica-water-tower. Is that
22 the axis of operations that you were -- you were on or were you at the
23 opposite end near Sundarciceva street and Marsala Tita street? Are these
24 two different streets leading to the water-tower?
25 A. Indeed, these are two entirely different streets. The 1st
1 Motorised Battalion was headed for the downtown area and the bridges.
2 Q. All right. I asked if these were two entirely different axes of
4 A. Indeed they are.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours could we please
6 have 431, Exhibit 431 brought up on our monitors? This is the OG South
7 order dated the 16th of November, 1991.
8 Q. You read that yesterday. I won't make you go through this again.
9 If we look at the item called the assignments for units, under number 1 it
10 says: "The 1st Motorised Battalion, in keeping with the assignment given
11 on the 14th of November, 1991, and with the support of some elements of
12 the armoured battalion of the Guards Motorised Brigade continue the attack
13 along the axis," so and so. Sundarciceva street and so on and so forth.
14 What does all of this mean again?
15 I'm also asking you this: On the 16th of November, along your own
16 axis, a predesignated axis, Milovo Brdo but also the axis that you would
17 reach at a later stage. But at this point in time Assault Detachment 1 is
18 along a different axis on the 16th of November, 1991.
19 A. According to this order, we are heading for the downtown area and
20 the bridges. However, we carried out this particular assignment simply by
21 firing, for the simple reason that there was no need for us to go further
22 down. Once at Milovo Brdo, you have a great view of all the three
24 Q. Assault Detachment 1 was not along the same axis on the 16th of
25 November, 1991. They were elsewhere. Isn't that a fact? Because that's
1 what it says.
2 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny?
4 MR. LUNNY: I have an objection. My friend is leading on that
5 point. I would prefer if he ask the question.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I think you're right, Mr. Lunny, but to what
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Where is Assault Detachment 1 under the command of Borivoje Tesic
10 at this point in time, which axis?
11 A. At this point in time it's at Milovo Brdo, "vodo toranj," the
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll try to explain something for
15 the benefit of my colleague. I think that he --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note we did not understand
17 Mr. Borovic's remark at all.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lunny.
19 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I have a secondary objection with regard
20 to the point put to the witness. There seems to be no reference to
21 1st Assault Detachment within that document.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Are you putting to the witness that the document is
23 dealing with the 1st Assault Detachment, Mr. Borovic?
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sure you know
25 this, but it's down to the ability of my learned friend to see what the
1 order dated the 14th of November might mean, and then the order dated the
2 16th of November refers you back to the order date the 14th of November
3 and it's all pretty obvious. I'm really being brutally honest here and
4 this is beginning slightly to get on my nerves, because I think my learned
5 friend should learn to interpret these orders. It is crystal clear that
6 the order dated the 16th of November is in reference to the order dated
7 the 14th of November. If you look at the order dated the 14th of November
8 you can clearly see that.
9 Fine, all right. I'll try to adopt a slightly mellower tone.
10 I think if we look closely at the 16th of November document, we
11 can see that it contains the assignments issued on the 14th of November
12 because it's crystal clear that the assignments of the 1st Motorised
13 Battalion are one thing, whereas the Assault Detachment 1 assignments
14 remain unchanged in keeping with the decision that was made on the 14th of
15 November. I don't think we are really facing a dilemma here.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, your approach to this issue is open to
17 criticism. You know what you want and you know what you understand these
18 orders to mean. And you are alternately putting your understanding to the
19 witness or submitting it to this Chamber. If there is some matter of
20 evidence about which the witness can speak, you put questions that are
21 non-leading to the witness about it and get his answers. It's then a
22 matter later for your submissions what those orders mean. And you are
23 putting the two processes together at this time.
24 You may not agree with the way an order is being understood or an
25 argument being advanced by the Prosecution about the meaning of an order,
1 but that does not necessarily mean that it is wrong. That's a matter that
2 you have to establish by the end of the day. Just because you have a
3 clear view to the contrary, which may be right, it doesn't mean at this
4 stage that you are in a position simply to assert that from the bar table
5 to us or to the witness and to say no other view is open or possible.
6 So please understand that it is necessary to observe courtesy to
7 views that may differ from yours. They may prove to be wrong. They may
8 prove to be right. Certainly, where this witness can assist with evidence
9 that would help support your view, you may put those questions in your
10 re-examination, the matter, of course, arising out of cross-examination.
11 Now, I'm sorry that became something of a little lecture, but
12 tensions are growing between counsel over this matter, and we feel that it
13 would be important for counsel each to back off a little and understand
14 their role at this stage in the trial is limited and does not involve any
15 argument about their final positions.
16 I hope in the course of that, Mr. Borovic, you're able now to see
17 whether there are any further questions you want to put to this witness
18 about these orders or related matters. Thank you.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I thought we had gone over
20 this with the witness yesterday but since the Prosecutor raised this
21 issue, I felt the need to readdress this issue in my redirect.
22 Q. So the order of the 14th of November, in accordance with this
23 order, is the 1st Motorised Battalion a part of the 1st Assault
25 A. In accordance with the order of the 14th of November, the
1 1st Motorised Battalion is not part of JOD 1.
2 Q. My next question the order defining the tasks, does it stipulate
3 that the 1st Motorised Battalion is part of the Assault Detachment 1?
4 A. The order of the 14th of November and any further order stipulate
5 that this battalion was never again part of the Assault Detachment 1.
6 Q. You were shown an order from the Operations Group South of the
7 21st of November about the resubordination of the Leva Supoderica
8 Detachment. Now my question to you is: Have you ever seen any order or
9 has anyone from the Prosecution, either in the course of the interview or
10 here in the courtroom, shown you any piece of paper, any order, that would
11 indicate that the Leva Supoderica Detachment was subordinated in any other
12 way than stipulated here?
13 A. I told the Prosecutor that I had seen this order of the 21st of
14 November for the first time here, and I explained that this was an order
15 about the resubordination of the units within the Operations Group, in
16 which I had no insight.
17 Q. And did you ever in the area of Milovo Brdo, after the 10th of
18 November, see members of the Territorial Defence detachment, I mean
19 Petrova Gora, and the Leva Supoderica Detachment, did they participate in
20 any activities related to the retention of the lines that had been reached
21 or not?
22 A. Members of the Petrova Gora Detachment and of the Leva Supoderica
23 Detachment passed through this zone as they went on to carry out their
24 task as part of the JOD, but they did not linger in this area at all and
25 they did not have any activities related to the area of Milovo Brdo.
1 Q. Thank you. On the 19th of November you said that you were in the
2 hospital when my learned colleague asked you about that. The securing of
3 the outer perimeter of the hospital was carried out by any other -- was it
4 carried out by any member of the Petrova Gora Territorial Defence
5 detachment or Leva Supoderica Detachment in addition to Miroslav Radic's
7 A. When I was present there in front of the hospital on the 19th of
8 November, apart from some of the soldiers doing their national service and
9 the doctors and nurses who were there in front of the hospital, I did not
10 see any other person.
11 Q. At the regular briefing on the 19th and the 20th of November,
12 1991, did you see the commanders of the Petrova Gora Territorial Defence
13 and Leva Supoderica Detachment or were they absent?
14 A. From the 10th of November until our return to Belgrade, I did not
15 see the commanders of the Leva Supoderica Detachment and the Petrova Gora
16 Detachment at the briefings in the command of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Stijakovic. This concludes my redirect.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
19 You'll shall pleased to know that that concludes your questioning.
20 The Chamber would like to thank you for your attendance here in The Hague,
21 for the assistance that you've been able to give. You'll be pleased to
22 know that you are now free to go back to your ordinary occupations and
23 interests. Thank you very much. The court officer will show you out.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
2 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I take up some of
3 this time to make an application? Mr. Mrksic's Defence has filed a
4 motion --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Can I ask you to pause, Mr. Domazet? Because we
6 have a witness waiting and I had encouraged Ms. Tapuskovic to think that
7 we would go on with the evidence.
8 Two things, the completion of this witness's evidence has taken
9 quite a lot longer than we anticipated; and secondly, I sense that it
10 might not be a bad idea if we gave counsel a slightly earlier break now,
11 before continuing. So that I would --
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: I would suggest that the occasion now has come when
14 we should not think of calling the next witness. We cannot even have the
15 20 minutes because we take about half of that time to set up the special
16 protection measures, and it's in that context that I apologise to you but
17 I suggest that really the more practical step is to start your witness now
18 first thing tomorrow morning. And Mr. Domazet's motion that he wants to
19 put now perhaps just adds to the realisation that we can't effectively
20 start this witness tonight. Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Domazet.
22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I more or less expected
23 this outcome. I wanted to present this application while we were waiting
24 for the witness.
25 Mile Mrksic's Defence has filed a motion on the evidence it
1 intends to present and the Prosecution responded on the 6th of October,
2 partially accepting the motion and partly opposing it, and Mile Mrksic's
3 Defence would like to reply to the Prosecution response before the
4 Honourable Chamber rules on this matter. And in fact, the deadline for
5 this reply is tomorrow. Now I would like to ask you for an extension of
6 the deadline by a few days, until Tuesday or Wednesday, in light of the
7 fact that Mr. Vasic left last Saturday and I have been alone, and I hope
8 that his -- the medical procedure he underwent today went well and I hope
9 that he'll be joining us next week. So I really -- this week has really
10 been tough, what with the trial and some other obligations that our team
11 had because we had to complete the stage report until -- by tomorrow. So
12 I really haven't been able to do that, what with the absence of Mr. Vasic,
13 and I would like to respectfully ask you to extend this deadline until
14 mid-next week.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, by 1.00 p.m. next Tuesday.
16 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I hope you enjoy the weekend with the submissions.
18 We will adjourn now and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.41 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Friday, the 13th day of
21 October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.