1 Tuesday, 17 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. May I remind you, sir, of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
9 Mr. Lunny.
10 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: ZORAN ZIROJEVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Lunny:
14 Q. Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, please tell us in some detail what you were doing
17 15 years ago today, on the 17th of October, 1991. What you were doing 15
18 years ago today?
19 A. 15 years ago today, I was in the area of the town of Vukovar, the
20 street of Svetozara Markovica. We were carrying out combat activities.
21 Q. What sort of combat activities were you carrying out?
22 A. Well, the combat activity of attacking the paramilitary forces of
24 Q. Your answer is very general without detail, Mr. Zirojevic, and
25 yesterday you were giving us answer after answer of a specific date,
1 without any reference to any document, without any reference to any diary,
2 without any reference to any record, and without any hesitation. Now this
3 morning you seemed to hesitate when you were asked the question and you
4 thereafter have given an answer with a very vague general terms. Isn't it
5 the case, Mr. Zirojevic, that your memory is not as good as you want this
6 Court to believe?
7 A. Well, I do not remember the details of every particular day, but I
8 remember some details that remain firmly etched in my memory because they
9 involved either tragic events or happy events. I cannot tell you exactly
10 what I did on the 17th of October 15 years ago. But at any rate, I was
11 engaged in combat activity commanding my unit, and had anything left a
12 special impression on me on that day, of course I would have remembered
13 it. But if I saw with my very own eyes the death of a man who was my
14 friend, of course I'm going to remember that date and that day very well.
15 Q. One of the incidents you remembered yesterday at page 70 in your
16 testimony was the leaving of Major Tesic to go to Belgrade on the evening
17 of the 20th of November, 1991; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And your testimony yesterday also at page 70 was that he returned
20 the next day, the 21st of November, 1991; is that also correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, this Court has heard evidence at page 12.086 that
23 contrary to your memory, Major Tesic left on the 21st of November, 1991,
24 not the 20th. That he left in the morning, not in the evening. And that
25 he returned on the 22nd, not the 21st of November. Do you accept that you
1 could be wrong about that date?
2 A. On the evening of the 20th, for about 20 minutes, he was at the
3 regular briefing at the command post and that after that, he said he was
4 going to Negoslavci and from there to Belgrade. Now whether he went on
5 that evening or the following morning, I have no way of knowing that
6 because after the briefing, we first went to the area of disposition of
7 our own units and then to Captain Vuckovic's for dinner. I saw him at the
8 briefing on the 21st.
9 Q. If I've understood your answer correctly, Mr. Zirojevic, it's your
10 memory that you saw Major Tesic on the briefing -- at the briefing of the
11 21st of November, 1991; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if other witnesses have told us he did not return until the
14 22nd of November, is it they who are wrong or you?
15 A. I don't know what other witnesses said to you. I told you what I
16 know and the way I remember it.
17 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, you stayed in the army after Vukovar until 1996;
18 isn't that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And I don't need to know any details of what you were doing, but
21 for the five years after Vukovar, you were involved in military
22 operations; isn't that correct?
23 A. I was involved in protecting the state border vis-a-vis the
24 war-torn areas of the former Yugoslavia.
25 Q. And you being a professional soldier, being good enough for the
1 Guards Motorised Brigade, your mind would be on the tasks you were
2 performing at that time when you were protecting those borders; isn't that
4 A. I hope so, since there weren't any objections on the part of my
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this has
8 nothing to do with the indictment. We clarified this question earlier on
9 before the Court, but I did not understand it to have anything to do with
10 credibility either. So I do not see in which direction my learned friend
11 is taking this cross-examination. If it has nothing to do with the
12 indictment, then I think it's a waste of time.
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny.
15 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, there certainly has been no question with
16 regard to the details of what happened between 1991 and 1996. The witness
17 was asked if he was involved in combat operations and was his mind focused
18 on the job he was doing. It's more a question and a line of questioning
19 with regards to his memory and nothing to do with actual content of where
20 he was and what he was doing.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, carry on for the moment, Mr. Lunny.
22 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. With you being involved with these other operations between 1991
24 and 1996 and being focused in that job as you've told us, you would not be
25 constantly thinking about Vukovar and inconsequential dates, would you?
1 A. I've already given you an answer, that I did not take part in
2 combat operations. I took part in protecting the state border vis-a-vis
3 the war-torn areas, that is to say that I secured the state border with my
4 unit lest there be any penetration from the areas that were engulfed in a
5 war. That is to say the territory of the federal republic of --
6 Q. I don't want any details of what activities you were doing, just
7 with regard to your memory. You were not sitting at this border
8 protecting former Yugoslavia trying to remember about stopping the use of
9 messengers on the 10th of -- 10th of October, 1991, you were not sitting
10 during your duties thinking about an order of the 14th of November
11 dividing the 1st Assault Detachment, were you?
12 A. Of course not. But the impressions I have from Vukovar, since
13 that was something quite new and it was the first time in my military
14 career, of course that remains firmly etched in my memory.
15 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, when did you first know that you had become a
16 Defence witness?
17 A. I first heard that I would become a Defence witness at the
18 beginning of July this year.
19 Q. So for 14 and a half years since the fall of Vukovar, you did not
20 know you would have to give evidence on any of these matters; isn't that
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. And when did you first speak to the Defence team about these
24 matters and discuss your testimony?
25 A. We first spoke about subjects that had to do with this trial in
1 the year when Mr. Radic was detained. It wasn't only me; there were quite
2 a few of us. It was in general terms about everything that was going on
3 in that period in the territory of the town of Vukovar.
4 Q. And the year in which Mr. Radic was detained, you spoke to a few
5 people; is that correct?
6 A. I spoke to the team of Mr. Borovic, the Defence team, Mr. Borovic
7 and his associates.
8 Q. And during your times in Vukovar, Mr. Zirojevic, you did not keep
9 a diary of any kind, did you?
10 A. The company commander was duty-bound to keep a war diary at
11 company level.
12 Q. You have not answered the question you were asked, Mr. Zirojevic.
13 You, yourself, did not keep any diary, did you?
14 A. Yes, I did keep a war diary.
15 Q. And what did you do with that war diary at the conclusion of the
16 Vukovar operations?
17 A. On orders from the battalion commander upon our return to
18 Belgrade, the war diary and all documents related to the operations, all
19 the maps that we drew there, if we drew any, we handed over to the
20 battalion command. That was archived and it is probably in the archives
21 of the brigade command.
22 Q. The diary you're talking about would include information,
23 important information about combat activities, wouldn't it?
24 A. Well, for the most part, everything that is important, that is to
25 say orders, losses, everything that was significant in terms of dates.
1 Q. That diary would not have any record of any dinner held on the
2 20th of November, 1991, would it?
3 A. Of course that was not a combat action.
4 Q. And you, yourself, have no personal diary about what you were
5 doing, never mind professional operational matters and combat activities,
6 but you have no personal diary about what was happening in Vukovar in
7 November 1991, do you?
8 A. No. No, I don't have a personal diary.
9 Q. And you have no written record whatsoever about this dinner on the
10 20th of November, 1991, do you?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. You have no list of who attended that dinner on 20th of November,
13 1991, do you?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. You have no list of how many people attended that dinner on 20th
16 of November, 1991, do you?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. You have no list of when the dinner guests arrived on the 20th of
19 November, 1991, do you?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And Mr. Zirojevic, you have no record of when people left that
22 dinner on the 20th of November, 1991, do you?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, you fought alongside Captain Radic at Vukovar and
25 you're friends with him; isn't that true?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. And you are here in The Hague to help your friend; isn't that
4 A. I came here to give my contribution to proving the truth in these
5 proceedings. If that helps my friend, I will be happy.
6 Q. But Mr. Zirojevic, your contribution has gone beyond simply coming
7 here to give your evidence, hasn't it?
8 A. I'm afraid I haven't understood your question. Could you please
9 rephrase it?
10 Q. You have gone out of your way, Mr. Zirojevic, to help your
11 friend's Defence team by contacting at least one other Defence witness;
12 isn't that true?
13 A. I'm afraid that yet again, I have not understood what your
14 question was. I told the Defence what I know about these events. Now,
15 whether they came to some conclusion on the basis of that and whether they
16 called some other witness on the basis of that, I cannot say.
17 Q. But Mr. Zirojevic, not the Defence, but you, you, yourself, called
18 a potential Defence witness and you, yourself, arranged for that person to
19 make contact with Mr. Borovic's Defence team, didn't you?
20 A. No.
21 Q. It's your evidence you did not call any other witness and arrange
22 a meeting with Mr. Borovic; that's correct?
23 A. I assert that that is not correct. Perhaps I got a telephone
24 number or address, but I did not organise a meeting.
25 Q. Perhaps, Mr. Zirojevic, I can refresh your memory. This Court has
1 heard evidence at page 12.958 that Slavko Stijakovic received a telephone
2 call from you arranging for him to meet Mr. Borovic. Do you know who
3 Slavko Stijakovic is?
4 A. Yes, I know who Slavko Stijakovic is. He was the deputy commander
5 of the 1st Motorised Battalion at the time of the Vukovar operation.
6 Q. And if this Court heard evidence that he received a telephone call
7 from you, is the witness who told us that telling a lie or are you telling
8 us a lie?
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I would not like to obstruct, but
12 big words have been addressed to the witness. He was saying what he knows
13 and telling him that he is lying once the witness already said that there
14 was telephone contact, I don't think that such a big word should be used
15 in addressing this witness, and what my learned friend is saying is not
16 correct anyway.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny.
18 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I think in testimony the witness has said
19 that he did not make any telephone call, that he may have provided at best
20 a telephone number to Mr. Borovic's office and allowed them to make
21 contact. He has denied twice making any contact directly.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Lunny, it might be more useful to
23 wonder in your question whether this witness is mistaken or the other.
24 MR. LUNNY: That certainly would be --
25 JUDGE PARKER: That would perhaps will achieve all your purposes
1 if you ask that.
2 MR. LUNNY: Sorry, Your Honour. I do not think so, with respect.
3 It is the Prosecution's position that the witness is indeed not being
4 truthful on this point, and I am simply putting the Prosecution case to
5 him. It certainly would be open to him to answer "I may be mistaken."
6 But he has not done so, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that is the case you say you wish to put,
8 you should put it.
9 Carry on.
10 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. This Court has heard evidence, Mr. Zirojevic, that you made a
12 telephone call to Slavko Stijakovic. You are now -- you, rather, are
13 denying making any such phone call. Are you being truthful in that or are
14 you telling a lie?
15 A. I have to explain something to you. Before I give anyone a
16 telephone number, before that, I contact the said person and I ask whether
17 I can disclose their telephone, so that this person would not be
18 disturbed, if he or she doesn't want to be disturbed.
19 Of course before I gave this telephone number to Mr. Borovic I
20 talked to Mr. Stijakovic and I asked him whether I could give his
21 telephone number. I did not say that I had no telephone contacts. I just
22 said that I did not organise the meeting.
23 Now, what Mr. Borovic and Mr. Stijakovic agreed upon after they
24 spoke and where they met up eventually, I do not know about that.
25 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, you are not changing your testimony midstream;
1 isn't that true?
2 A. You asked me if I had organised the meeting. I did not organise
3 it. I told you that I obtained the telephone number. I have just
4 explained to you the way I did it.
5 Q. Did you contact any other potential Defence witnesses whilst
6 trying to help your friend's Defence team?
7 A. The same way I may have done it with several others. The same way
8 I have just explained to you.
9 Q. Who were the several others?
10 A. I can't remember, but there (redacted)
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Closed session.
12 MR. LUNNY:
13 Q. You've given us one name, Mr. Zirojevic. Were there any others
14 you contacted?
15 A. There was the commander of the military police platoon who was at
16 the time within the 1st Battalion, Predrag Stefanovic, Second Lieutenant;
17 there was the commander of the anti-armour company, Sladjan Kopcic; the
18 commander of the 1st Company, Sasa Bojkovski.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise. I rose
21 too soon, but you do know which the witnesses have protective measures and
22 have to be protected. I wanted to move that we move into closed session
23 whilst mentioning these names.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic. It may have been a very
25 valuable move but as you will have seen, I have grown concerned about the
1 extent of interruption of questioning at the point which could be critical
2 either to fact or merit, so I'm dealing with that by delaying the
3 interference until the answer is given. This is, I think, the only fair
4 way to all sides.
5 Thank you for thinking of the question of confidentiality.
6 Carry on, Mr. Lunny.
7 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, what about Davor Vuskovic; is that someone you
9 know? Sorry, Vukovic, I beg your pardon.
10 A. Yes. That's -- do you mean Davor Vuckovic?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Davor Vuckovic was the commander of the mortar battery.
13 Q. And in providing help to your friend's Defence team, did you
14 contact him?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. What about Major Tesic? Did you contact Major Tesic to see if he
17 could help your friend's Defence team?
18 A. No. Major Tesic, no.
19 Q. Now, when you contacted all of these men to provide help to your
20 friend's Defence team, you'd have discussed Vukovar, old times, old
21 memories good and bad, wouldn't you?
22 A. If this question has to do with that other question as to whether
23 I gave names and contact numbers to Mr. Borovic, well, I did it the way I
24 just explained. And of course when we met, we would reminisce about
25 the -- those times, yes.
1 Q. You would reminisce by discussing what your testimony would be in
2 The Hague, wouldn't you?
3 A. Up until early July of this year, it was not certain that I would
4 indeed be a witness in these proceedings. I was one of the potential
5 witnesses. It was only in early July, earlier this year, that I was told
6 that I was proposed as a witness and that I would most likely testify in
7 these proceedings.
8 Q. You have not answered the question you were asked, Mr. Zirojevic.
9 You were at least a potential witness, you were meeting with other
10 potential witnesses. You had fought together in Vukovar in 1991 and you
11 would have discussed, amongst this group, what happened in Vukovar and
12 what your testimony might be if you were called to The Hague; isn't that
14 A. I said that we reminisced about those times. We did not
15 specifically cast our minds back to certain dates or events. We merely
16 recalled those times and what they involved. We did not go back to any
17 specific events. We talked about matters that remained etched in our
19 Q. Captain Radic had been called to The Hague. You were meeting with
20 other people from Vukovar, former colleagues. You knew you were a
21 potential witness, you were discussing Vukovar. You knew about Ovcara at
22 that stage and the dates involved, and are you telling this Court that
23 when sitting together you did not cast your mind back to specific dates,
24 for example, the 20th of November, 1991?
25 A. I repeat: Yes, we talked about the matters and events that
1 remained firmest in our memories. We could not recall every single date
2 and every single event, but what was very striking, what remained
3 impressed in our memories, those were the subject of our discussion.
4 Q. Just before I move on, Mr. Zirojevic, with regard to contacting
5 potential witnesses for your friend's Defence team, did you have the
6 ability to contact Major Tesic?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Having that ability, did you contact him?
9 A. In the sense you asked me about the other potential witnesses, no,
10 not in that sense, but I did meet with him on several occasions. But the
11 purpose of our encounters was not the one we discussed.
12 Q. Having that ability and having gone out of your way to find other
13 potential witnesses for your friend's Defence team, why did you not ask
14 Major Tesic for help?
15 A. I don't know. It's simply that I think that -- well, I don't
16 know. Either Mr. Borovic did not wish to speak to him or else I don't
17 know why I didn't ask him.
18 Q. If you just bear with me one moment, Mr. Zirojevic.
19 When you spoke to Major Tesic, did you ask Major Tesic if he was
20 prepared to give evidence on behalf of Mr. Radic?
21 A. I told you that I didn't speak with him about that matter.
22 Q. If I can move on, Mr. Zirojevic. Now by the fall of Vukovar,
23 18th of November, 1991, you had been fighting for over six weeks; isn't
24 that correct?
25 A. Yes. From the 1st of October up until the 18th of November.
1 Q. And this period was stressful, wasn't it?
2 A. From the first to the last day.
3 Q. And during that period, having that stress, you wouldn't get much
4 sleep, would you, Mr. Zirojevic?
5 A. Well, one couldn't put it that way. At nightfall, all the
6 activities ceased, positions were organised and fortified and then one
7 could rest. Naturally, there were times when we awoke at night for combat
8 actions but this did not take place every day.
9 Q. I think you said yesterday at page 72, Mr. Zirojevic, that by the
10 20th of November, you were decompressing from all of that stress; isn't
11 that correct?
12 A. I didn't say that we were decompressing. I said that from the
13 20th November on, the very fact that we were in an area where there were
14 no more combat activities, it was only natural for a person to relax and
15 not feel the way one felt before the fall of Vukovar.
16 There were no more threats of attacks from the other side, that is
17 to say from the Croatian paramilitary forces. It was not time of peace,
18 but it was time of semi-peace. We were still in an area of combat but the
19 threat to one's person and soldiers was not high.
20 Q. Now, this period at the end of November 1991, the 20th of November
21 to be specific, it's late November and it's cold outside, isn't it,
22 Mr. Zirojevic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And we've heard evidence, Mr. Zirojevic, at page 12.665 that the
25 house where you had the dinner hadn't been finished being built yet; isn't
1 that true?
2 A. I don't know what you mean by the fact that it was not finished.
3 Well, it wasn't finished in terms of the fact that it hadn't been
4 plastered on the outside. There was no facade. You could see the bricks.
5 But for the rest, the house was finished. The men lived in the house.
6 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, this dinner didn't last all night until dawn, did
8 A. The dinner lasted deep into the night, yes, almost until dawn.
9 Q. Captain Radic left this dinner early and went back to
10 Nova Ulica 81 certainly before 1.00 a.m. and perhaps even earlier, didn't
12 A. No, that's not correct. We left together.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was waiting for the
15 I waited for the answer to come. I would appeal to my learned
16 friend to treat the witness properly. Captain Radic never stated that.
17 He said that it was just up until dawn, that it was quite chilly, and this
18 is the way it should be put to the witness.
19 JUDGE PARKER: But I don't think Mr. Lunny is putting evidence of
20 your client, Mr. Borovic, if you've look closely at his questions. He is
21 putting a situation, a set of facts. On what they're based, I don't know.
22 Yes, Mr. Lunny.
23 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour is quite correct. Your Honour, I'm
24 putting to the witness evidence this Court has heard previously from
25 Prosecution witnesses as to times they met with Captain Radic at
1 Nova Ulica 81 and nothing more than that. I'm certainly not trying to
2 twist any of the words of Captain Radic.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Carry on, Mr. Lunny.
4 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Captain Radic went back to Nova Ulica 81 before 1.00 a.m. to go
6 back to the house he'd been staying in and to go back to sleep in the bed
7 he'd been sleeping in; isn't that correct?
8 A. Did you put the question to me? I told you a moment ago this
9 wasn't correct.
10 Q. This dinner, Mr. Zirojevic --
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] You made a good suggestion but I
14 don't believe that my learned friend is proceeding along the correct road.
15 This Prosecution witness who is being referred to never mentioned
16 the dinner or when -- the period when they were leaving the dinner. I
17 know what the case is. But the witness is in -- being misled to a
18 statement that was never stated by anyone in this courtroom. The witness
19 said: I met him at the dinner at 1.00.
20 Now, you can put a statement to the witness and then ask him
21 whether this is correct or not. As it is, it is misrepresentation of
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny.
24 MR. LUNNY: Again, Your Honour, I would submit I'm simply putting
25 to the witness a contrary position based on Prosecution evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: But is it based upon specific evidence or are you
2 drawing inferences?
3 MR. LUNNY: A combination of the two, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It's the drawing of inferences that's the problem,
5 Mr. Lunny.
6 MR. LUNNY: It's -- the specific evidence refers to two witnesses,
7 P-018 and P-022, who speak to returning to Nova Ulica 81 late in the
8 evening of the 20th of November, 1991, between 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m.,
9 and finding Captain Radic there -- sorry, 10.00 p.m., I beg your pardon.
10 And they place Captain Radic at Nova Ulica 81 at those times.
11 This is an alibi defence with regard to this aspect of the
12 testimony, and I would submit that the Prosecution is entitled to put to
13 this witness the inference that Captain Radic left early so that those
14 witnesses that the Prosecution relies upon are indeed correct and are
15 indeed telling the truth.
16 JUDGE PARKER: You can certainly, Mr. Lunny, put to the witness
17 the Prosecution case that Captain Radic was not at the meeting after a
18 certain time -- not at the dinner after a certain time if he was there at
19 all, et cetera.
20 MR. LUNNY: Indeed.
21 JUDGE PARKER: But don't clothe it with the impression that it is
22 the evidence of witnesses if it is, in fact, an inference you want to be
23 drawn from the evidence of witnesses. You're just pushing it too far.
24 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour. That was never my intention.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MR. LUNNY:
2 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, this dinner was also in Petrova Gora, and
3 Nova Ulica was only a couple of minutes away by car; isn't that correct?
4 A. The dinner was at Petrova Gora but I wouldn't be able to agree
5 with you that it was only a few minutes' drive by car.
6 Q. We've heard evidence at page 12.665 that Captain Radic had a car
7 with him, isn't that true, at the dinner?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And again, Mr. Zirojevic, isn't it true that Captain Radic left
10 this meeting, left this dinner earlier than you're telling this Court, and
11 he left well before 1.00 a.m.; isn't that true?
12 A. I've already answered in the negative. I said that it wasn't
13 correct. We left the house together just before dawn.
14 Q. You, Mr. Zirojevic, are stretching this dinner out to dawn to help
15 your friend Captain Radic, aren't you?
16 A. That's not correct, sir.
17 Q. And after 15 years, you have no written record of this dinner
18 whatsoever; isn't that correct?
19 A. You've put that question to me already, sir, and I told you that I
21 Q. If I could move on and move away from the dinner, Mr. Zirojevic.
22 Yesterday you testified about changes in the make-up of
23 Assault Detachment 1 in late October; isn't that correct?
24 A. The change in the make-up of the assault detachment came about on
25 several occasions. Among others, there was one change just before the
1 fall of Vukovar, about a week before.
2 Q. However, with regard to late October, you told us yesterday at
3 page 48 that the changes brought the Leva Supoderica, the TO and the
4 Petrova Gora into Assault Detachment 1. Do you remember saying that, sir?
5 A. In late October, the TO Petrova Gora detachment and the TO
6 Leva Supoderica detachment became part of the Assault Detachment 1.
7 Q. And isn't it true, Mr. Zirojevic, that one of the reasons they
8 were brought into Assault Detachment 1 was because of problems with
9 cooperation between the various units fighting in Petrova Gora; isn't that
11 A. I don't think I understand your question. What do you mean by
12 "cooperation"? I'm not familiar with the term.
13 Q. As an officer of the JNA and as an officer of the Guards Brigade,
14 you are not familiar with the term "cooperation"?
15 A. Coordinated action, yes, I'm familiar with that. But as for
16 cooperation, "kooperacija," that's not the term that I'm familiar with in
17 the military.
18 Q. Before the TO and the Leva Supoderica and the Petrova Gora were
19 brought into Assault Detachment 1, you were fighting in a coordinated
20 fashion, weren't you?
21 A. The Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora TO detachments were in
22 coordinated action with the Assault Detachment 1 in carrying out their
23 combat missions.
24 Q. And in carrying out those missions, there was cooperation between
25 the various units involved, wasn't there?
1 A. There is coordinated action between two units carrying out an
2 attack along the same axis, in that the two units each have their own
3 commands or commanders, depending on the unit involved. There has to be
4 coordination; otherwise, there is confusion in the attack against the
5 enemy. I coordinated my actions with the 3rd Motorised Company, as it did
6 with me. So we had coordination in our -- in the execution of our combat
8 Q. And in the coordination between the Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora
9 and the 1st Assault Detachment before they were joined, there was
10 confusion, wasn't there? That was the reason they fell together, wasn't
12 A. I don't know whether there was confusion among the commanders
13 of -- or, rather, between the commanders of the two TO detachments
14 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora and the motorised battalion. I don't
15 know why the command of the Operations Group South decided that these two
16 Territorial Defence units and the Motorised Battalion should fuse to form
17 a new assault detachment for the purpose of the execution of the task.
18 This is something that I was unable to know.
19 Q. You testified yesterday about the assault detachment, but over and
20 above that, rather, within that assault detachment, there were a number of
21 assault groups, weren't there?
22 A. Yes. The commander of the battalion, or the commander of the
23 assault detachment can form several assault groups with a view to carrying
24 out specific tasks. It can set up at least one assault group or more.
25 Q. And in the 1st Assault Detachment, there had been three companies
1 and they became three assault groups; isn't that correct?
2 A. A company cannot be an assault group. An assault group is a
3 temporary establishment within combat disposition which is established
4 in -- until a mission is completed and it can go up to the strength of a
5 reinforced detachment, so that a company may not act as an assault group.
6 A company may be an assault group but it has to be established by a higher
7 command, a command higher than that of a battalion. A commander of a
8 brigade may establish an assault group at the level of a company. But as
9 I said, that's a higher level of command.
10 Q. And Mr. Zirojevic, you, being the commander of the 2nd Motorised
11 Company, you were placed in charge of a second assault group, weren't you?
12 A. Yes. Within my company, an assault group was established, which
13 was under my command.
14 Q. And under your command, there were also volunteers from Novi Sad,
15 weren't there?
16 A. Volunteers from Novi Sad were used for securing the lines that had
17 been achieved. They did not take part in direct combat, no. They only
18 secured part of -- or, rather, they only secured the front line and it was
19 done by a part of the Novi Sad volunteer group.
20 Q. But that volunteer group was fighting along your axis, wasn't it,
21 Mr. Zirojevic?
22 A. I told you that they did not take part in direct combat, which is
23 to say they were not part of offensive operations, no. They only secured
24 the lines, the front line that had been reached. They were not
25 professionally competent to take part in such operations as you described.
1 Q. But they secured the lines along your axis, didn't they?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And they were subordinated to you for that purpose, weren't they?
4 A. They were attached to me; they were not subordinated to me.
5 Q. If I may have a moment, Mr. Zirojevic.
6 You're the professional officer; these men were not professional,
7 and whether they were attached or subordinated, they received orders from
8 you, didn't they, Mr. Zirojevic?
9 A. In the sense of security, the task aimed at securing. In that
10 sense, yes.
11 Q. And this, Mr. Zirojevic, would be a good example of a single and
12 unified chain of command, wouldn't it?
13 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand the question. What do you mean by
14 a "unified chain of command"?
15 Q. You couldn't have two commanders responsible for the same group of
16 men at the same time, could you?
17 A. Naturally. The principle of singleness of command was applied in
18 the JNA.
19 Q. And as your assault group was set up in that way on your axis,
20 Captain Radic would have exercised command in the same way, wouldn't he?
21 A. I can't answer that question because I don't know how he organised
22 it in his axis, how it was organised along his axis. I don't know that.
23 Q. You have just told us that singleness of command applied in the
24 JNA. That applied along your axis and it also applied along the
25 Captain Radic, didn't it?
1 A. I will repeat once again: I don't know how Captain Radic
2 organised these affairs along his axis. I don't know how he organised it.
3 I told you that after combat operations were completed for the day, just
4 before the night fell, I showed to the officers of volunteer units where
5 to deploy these people. If you consider that to be a function of command,
6 then, yes. But I don't think that that falls under the term "command,"
7 but that is your opinion, so be it. Which means that during daytime, they
8 were not in direct combat, they were in the rear, resting, and only
9 towards the rest of the day were they introduced in order to secure the
10 lines reached, so that my people, members of the assault group, could rest
11 during the night.
12 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, you have not answered the question that you were
13 asked. You have told us a few minutes ago that singleness of command
14 applied in the JNA. Now, I'm not asking you what you knew about what was
15 happening from day to day. I'm asking you: That theory that applied to
16 the JNA, as you have told us, would have applied also on Captain Radic's
17 axis; yes or no?
18 A. I'm telling you, once again, that I don't know what was applied
19 along the axis of Captain Radic. I don't want to give you assumptions and
20 tell you whether that was likely or not likely. I don't know that and I
21 can't answer that question.
22 Q. It was the doctrine and it was the rules that prevailed at the
23 time. You had to follow it and Captain Radic had to follow it; isn't that
25 A. The fact is that the rules were supposed to be delivered. Now
1 whether that was the case, I don't know.
2 Q. You told us yesterday when you were talking about Captain Radic,
3 you were asked by Mr. Borovic at the end of your evidence how good an
4 officer he was. You were singing his praises. You also told us that the
5 Guards Brigade were the elite. It's the case that that JNA doctrine was
6 applied by Captain Radic, just as it was applied by you. Isn't that true?
7 A. Once again, you're putting the same question to me but in a
8 different way. Can it be supposed, assumed? Yes. Now, whether that was
9 indeed the case I can't tell you that.
10 Q. And it would need to be applied, Mr. Zirojevic, that singleness of
11 command, because without it there would be confusion, wouldn't there?
12 A. Absolutely.
13 Q. And without it, fighting in a built-up area, there would be
14 accidents, wouldn't there?
15 A. Most likely.
16 Q. And that's why you applied it and that's why Captain Radic would
17 have applied it; isn't that true?
18 A. You're repeating the same question again. So I can only speculate
19 and say yes. Now whether that was the case, I don't know.
20 Q. And as the Novi Sad volunteers were in your axis and received
21 orders from you, the Leva Supoderica, the Petrova Gora, and the TO were in
22 the axis of Captain Radic, weren't they?
23 A. Those units were neighbouring units to Captain Radic.
24 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, we've heard evidence in this Court there were not
25 neighbouring units but they were subordinated to Captain Radic underneath
1 the 1st Assault Detachment. Captain Radic was in charge of the 3rd
2 Assault Group and within that assault group there were the Leva
3 Supoderica, the Petrova Gora and the TO; isn't that correct?
4 A. I think that I already spoke about that, saying that an assault
5 group can be established at the level of the battalion up to the strength
6 of a reinforced platoon. A detachment of TO in the establishment
7 formation can be only equal to a battalion, so there cannot be a case
8 where there are two TO detachment with an assault group which are both
9 above or larger than a company within which an assault group of the
10 strength of a reinforced platoon can be established. So theoretically,
11 they could not have been part of an assault group established within the
12 3rd Motorised Company.
13 Q. The Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora, and TO were fighting along the
14 same axis as Captain Radic, weren't they?
15 A. The Petrova Gora TO detachment and the Leva Supoderica TO
16 detachment were on the left side of the 1st Motorised Battalion. Since on
17 the left frank of the 1st Motorised Brigade, there was the 3rd Motorised
18 Company, automatically they were all neighbours of the 3rd Motorised
20 Q. When you say "neighbours," how close are we talking about here,
21 Mr. Zirojevic?
22 A. I can't tell you about that because I don't have accurate
23 information, but they could have been very close, which is to say, that if
24 a part of the unit of Captain Radic, that is to say the 3rd Motorised
25 Company, was moving along one side of a street, they could have been
1 moving along the other side of the street. So they could have been just
2 10 metres apart, they could have been that close.
3 Q. Captain Radic then, in your evidence, could have been fighting on
4 the same -- the very same street as the Leva Supoderica and the
5 Petrova Gora. You've told us about the need for singleness of command.
6 You've told us that without it in a built-up area there would be a danger
7 of accidents. If there was shooting and killing of your own forces by
8 friendly fire, if we can call it that, by accident, there would be an
9 inquiry, wouldn't there? The army would want to know what went wrong,
10 wouldn't it?
11 A. Absolutely, yes.
12 Q. And for Petrova Gora, for 1991, there was no such inquiry because
13 there were no such deaths by friendly fire, were there?
14 A. I can't answer that question. That wasn't within my competence.
15 I simply don't know. Whether inquiry was made or not, I don't know.
16 Q. After you left Vukovar, did you hear of any inquiry into any
17 accidental deaths along Captain Radic's axis of attack?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And as the Novi Sad soldiers or volunteers took orders from you,
20 the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora, when fighting down the same street,
21 took orders from Captain Radic, didn't they?
22 A. Definitely not. As an element of combat disposition within an
23 assault detachment, they could have only received orders from the
24 commander of assault detachment, not from a commander of the company of
25 the 1st Motorised Battalion, if we are applying the principle of
1 singleness of command. That is to say, the commander of the assault
2 detachment is the commander to all units within that detachment and they
3 can only receive orders from him.
4 Q. If I can move on, Mr. Zirojevic. You testified yesterday about
5 meetings at the 1st Motorised Battalion headquarters and who attended
6 those meetings; do you recall that?
7 A. Yes. I said that we had daily briefings at the command post of
8 the battalion.
9 Q. And do you recall telling us that the Leva Supoderica TO and
10 Petrova Gora leaders did not attend the same briefings as you?
11 A. Yes. People who led the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora units
12 did not attend briefings at the 1st Motorised Battalion.
13 Q. As I understand it, yesterday in your evidence you also testified
14 that on occasion, when you came out of the briefings, the leaders of the
15 Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora, and TO would be waiting there to go back --
16 rather, were waiting outside to go inside to receive their briefings. Do
17 you recall saying that?
18 A. Yes, and I said so.
19 Q. Do you agree, Mr. Zirojevic, that with the giving of military
20 orders, there is a need for clarity?
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. There is a need for precision, isn't there?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And there is a need for consistency, isn't there?
25 A. You would have to clarify the word "consistency" for me, please.
1 Q. For soldiers and their leaders fighting in the same area, you
2 would not repeat an order twice and have two different briefings. You
3 would issue the order to everyone at the one time to ensure that it was
4 clear, that it was precise, and that everyone heard the same order, that
5 it was consistent. Isn't that true?
6 A. I agree with you, but in this particular case, commanders of
7 various levels of units cannot all attend the same meeting. I told you
8 already that detachment is a higher formation than a company. It was part
9 of the assault group, so in addition to the 1st Motorised Battalion, there
10 was the Leva Supoderica unit and the Petrova Gora unit.
11 The fact of the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion was also
12 simultaneously a commander of the detachment for a while is a different
13 story. He would simply give out the tasks. He was first and foremost the
14 commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion and then he would go out and give
15 tasks to others within the assault detachment.
16 Q. Moving on, Mr. Zirojevic, but again dealing with orders and
17 communicating those orders. You testified yesterday about the use of
18 Motorolas and the fact a single frequency was used for that. Do you
19 recall giving that evidence?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And how many Motorolas did you have within the battalion at that
23 A. Given that this was outside of the formation system, I think that
24 there was 7 to 8, that is to say, that every company commander had his own
25 Motorola, then the battalion commander had some, I think the commander had
1 one and the deputy had another one. And that was it.
2 Q. And as I understand it, with this single frequency you described,
3 only two people could communicate to each other at any given time; isn't
4 that true?
5 A. That means that at one point in time, only two people could
6 communicate. The others could listen on to their conversation but only
7 two people could talk to each other, as is the case with any other radio
8 equipment that is part of a network.
9 Q. And that means, then, that if two company commanders were
10 communicating, Major Tesic would not be able to communicate to the third
11 company commander; isn't that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. In the case of an emergency, Major Tesic could not communicate
14 with a third officer, could he?
15 A. In order to establish connection, one has to push an appropriate
16 button on the Motorola. You have to say what you have and then release
17 the button. The other person responding to you applies the same
18 procedure. In the meantime, there are pauses between communication.
19 Commander of the battalion was authorised to order silence on the
20 frequency and then announce whatever he had to announce.
21 Q. How did you communicate, Mr. Zirojevic, with your subordinates?
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny, is this a convenient time, do you think?
23 MR. LUNNY: Yes, Your Honour, it is.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have our first break now, and resume at 25
25 past because of redaction.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lunny.
4 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, before the break, we were talking about
6 communications and the use of the Motorola radios. You told us earlier
7 today that your battalion had 7 or 8 in total for the entire battalion.
8 That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you described who they were distributed to; Major Tesic,
11 Stijakovic, the three company commanders. They would also be given to
12 those in charge of mortar batteries, wouldn't they?
13 A. Yes, the commander of the mortar battery and the commander of the
14 anti-armour unit had them. And I believe I explained as much yesterday.
15 Q. So that's Mr. Tesic, Mr. Stijakovic, three commanders of the
16 companies, that's five, mortar and artillery is 7. You said 7 or 8.
17 That's all the Motorolas distributed, isn't it? They're all taken care
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. How did you communicate with your own platoons within your
21 company, Mr. Zirojevic?
22 A. Through the establishment means of communications and personally.
23 One of the platoon commanders was killed at the very beginning on the
24 7th of October, one of my platoon commanders fell ill on the 10th of
25 October and went back to Belgrade, and one platoon commander before we set
1 out from Dubrava also fell ill, so that I spent most of the time alone
2 with my soldiers.
3 In view of the fact that the front line was not that wide, I was
4 able to pass on my orders and communicate with my soldiers verbally, but I
5 also used the radio communications device I had at my disposal, which was
6 the RUP-33.
7 Q. We can move on now, Mr. Zirojevic.
8 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I would be obliged if we can move into
9 private session for the next series of questions.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in public session, Your Honour.
19 MR. LUNNY:
20 Q. You and Mr. Vuckovic, you are staying in the same hotel, I take
21 it, yes?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On what dates did you speak to the Defence about your evidence
24 when you were here in The Hague this week, Mr. Zirojevic?
25 A. On the day of my arrival and the following day.
1 Q. If I may have one moment, please, Mr. Zirojevic.
2 What times did you meet with the Defence on the Saturday and the
3 Sunday, Mr. Zirojevic?
4 A. At around 12.00 and then at about 6.00 in the afternoon. That was
5 the Saturday.
6 On the Sunday, we met at 11.00 and were together until around
7 6.00 p.m.
8 MR. LUNNY: Your Honour, I have one final question. I would be
9 obliged if again we could move back into private session.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honour.
23 MR. LUNNY:
24 Q. And did you speak to the Defence yesterday, Mr. Zirojevic?
25 A. Yesterday? No.
1 MR. LUNNY: Thank you, Mr. Zirojevic. I have no further questions
2 for you.
3 Obliged, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Re-examination by Mr. Borovic:
9 Q. Mr. Zirojevic, do you know whether there appeared as witnesses
10 before the ICTY Predrag Stefanovic, Captain Kopcic and Captain Bojkovski?
11 A. I don't know that they did.
12 Q. Thank you. Before leaving the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, what was
13 your post in the army?
14 A. I was the commander of the 2nd Battalion -- of the 1st Battalion
15 of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
16 Q. Thank you. Please be so kind as to tell me the following. Both
17 my learned friend and I asked you about the Guards Motorised Brigade of
18 where I your unit was part. Can you tell me the following: Which moral
19 traits did the persons admitted into the Guards Motorised Brigade had to
21 A. High moral integrity, no blemish in their personal background, and
22 that of their fathers and grandfathers. For instance, when I became part
23 of the Guards Motorised Brigade in Brcko, I learned from the senior
24 officers who were involved in the selection more about the -- my family
25 and the family of my wife than I, myself, knew.
1 Q. Thank you. Did they draw upon the personal backgrounds of your
2 family, of your wife's family, and your grandfathers, and had they found a
3 blemish in your background, could you have become a member of the Guards
4 Motorised Brigade?
5 A. No, it was not possible to be a member of the Guards Motorised
6 Brigade if, among members of the most immediate family, there were persons
7 who had a criminal record or had even been called to account for their
8 political activity.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have completed my
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zirojevic.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
15 You will be pleased to know, sir, that that concludes the
16 questioning in this trial of you. You are free to return to your ordinary
17 activities. May we thank you for your attendance here and the assistance
18 that you've given us. Thank you. And the court officer will show you
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir. Would you please read allowed
24 the affirmation on the card that is given to you.
25 WITNESS: DAVOR VUCKOVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
3 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
5 Mr. Borovic.
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
8 Q. Sir, please tell the Trial Chamber your name, date and place of
9 birth, your educational background, and your family status. Please, for
10 interpretation's sake, take it slowly and carry on.
11 A. My name is Davor Vuckovic. I was born on the 3rd of September --
12 on the 3rd of September, 1964, in Imotsko -- Imotski, the Republic of
13 Croatia. I am married and have two sons.
14 Before graduating from the military academy, I completed my
15 primary education.
16 Q. Where?
17 A. In my home town of Imotski, whereupon I completed the military
18 high school in Belgrade.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Vuckovic. Upon completing the military
20 high school, you enrolled in the military academy. Where was that and
21 what rank did you hold upon graduation?
22 A. I enrolled in the military academy in Belgrade in 1983 and I
23 graduated in 1987 and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant.
24 Q. Thank you. Before leaving for the Vukovar front line, can you
25 tell us which duties you held and in what -- with what rank?
1 A. Upon graduating from the military academy, I was assigned to the
2 duty with the Guards Motorised Brigade, the 1st Motorised Battalion to the
3 duty of platoon commander in a mortar battery.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Thereupon, in 1991, I became commander of that same battery.
6 Q. We will talk in greater detail about your activities in Vukovar
7 later on.
8 Please tell us: After the end of the Vukovar operations, which
9 duties did you hold and which course did your military career take, and
10 what is your occupation at present?
11 A. In mid-1992, I was assigned to the duty of the battery commander
12 in the 2nd Motorised Battalion and I stayed at that duty up until the end
13 of 1994 when I was put to the duty of the commander of the 3rd Motorised
14 Battalion, where I stayed until the month of May of 1998 when I was
15 appointed deputy commander of the 2nd Guards Battalion, as it was called
16 at the time, and I carried out that duty until the month of September of
17 2000 when I was appointed commander of the 2nd Guards Battalion.
18 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, which rank did you hold when you held the duty of
19 the commander of the 2nd Guards Battalion?
20 A. In 1998, I was promoted to the rank of major and that was my rank
21 at the time.
22 Q. Thank you. And after that?
23 A. After that, I was assigned to the duty with the command of the
24 Guards Brigade where I stayed until the month of November 2005.
25 Thereupon, I was assigned to the duty of the chief of the department in
1 the head of the -- or, rather, of the department in the office of the
2 General Staff of the army of Serbia where I am at present.
3 Q. The Guards Brigade was known to be an elite unit. Can you tell
4 the Trial Chamber what sort of men of what moral traits and abilities
5 could be admitted into the Guards Motorised Brigade? What sort of duties
6 was the Guards Motorised Brigade assigned to in peacetime conditions?
7 A. Briefly, it could be put in the following way: I came to the
8 Guards Brigade at the end of August 1997 [as interpreted]. However,
9 already in the course of January 1997 -- or, rather, 1987, that was during
10 my schooling, I was interviewed by superior officers as to whether I would
11 wish to be assigned to the Guards Brigade. I received a definite answer
12 about this only upon my graduation. Superior organs were basically
13 checking me to see what my abilities were, what my family circumstances
14 were, and my personal background was.
15 Q. You mentioned these checks or vetting. Can you tell us who it was
16 who was unable to be admitted into the Guards Brigade?
17 A. No person with a criminal record could be admitted into the
18 Guards Brigade. And not only the person contemplated to become a member
19 of the Guards Brigade but also his or her family.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what the ethnic make-up of the
21 Guards Motorised Brigade was and specifically in the battery whose
22 commander you were before and during your time in Vukovar?
23 A. The ethnic make-up was as follows: The -- all the peoples and
24 minorities from the territory of the former Yugoslavia were represented in
25 the Guards Motorised Brigade. I had soldiers from all republics and of
1 all ethnicities.
2 Q. Was the ethnic make-up the same at the point you were sent to
3 Vukovar and did the same ethnic make-up of people eventually end up in
5 A. Yes. Soldiers of all ethnicities held all the different duties
6 and specialties required.
7 Q. When you came to Vukovar, how many site-setters did you have in
8 your -- or gunners did you have in your battery?
9 A. I had six artillery pieces or. Rather 120-millimetre mortars and
10 I therefore had six gunners.
11 Q. Thank you. At the time in Vukovar, do you recall the ethnicities
12 of these six gunners?
13 A. Yes, I do. By happenstance, there was the following ethnic
14 make-up: There were three Croats, two Serbs, and as far as I remember,
15 one Montenegrin.
16 Q. Thank you. The three Croat gunners, did they take direct part in
17 the combat actions in Vukovar?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, can you tell the Trial Chamber what VES means and
20 the procedure based upon which persons are sent to serve their military
21 service or assigned to the Territorial Defence?
22 A. VES is short for "military occupational specialty" and it consists
23 of a code, of a four-digit code. For instance, I had scouts, signalmen,
24 site-setters, gunners, soldiers manning the artillery pieces, and drivers.
25 Q. Do you know how the soldiers were being sent to their military
1 service in terms of the territories where they would be sent and in terms
2 of the needs for the reserve forces?
3 A. Every territorial organ, in accordance with its own needs or the
4 needs of his Territorial Defence units or the units within their purview,
5 planned and defined which VES would be of service and persons were sent
6 for their military service accordingly. We, the unit carrying out the
7 training, were unable to have any influence over the VES or to change it
8 in any way.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us when it was that you arrived with your
10 battery at the Vukovar front line and what it was all like?
11 A. We arrived there on the 1st of October. During the march along
12 the way, we experienced some unpleasantries; namely, enemy fire in the
13 sector in the village of Djeletovci and at the entrance to the village of
15 Q. Carry on, please?
16 A. In Negoslavci, I was met by the chief of artillery of the command
17 of the Guards Motorised Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Milorad Penic, who
18 took me to the area where my fire position was. We took up positions,
19 organised the positions, deployed the unit and prepared for action.
20 Q. Thank you. You said a moment ago that there was enemy fire. Who
21 was your enemy at the time of your arrival at the Vukovar front line and
22 what were your tasks in such a situation where enemy fire was opened upon
24 A. Croatian paramilitary forces. I consider them to be the enemy.
25 Our task was to deblock the barracks in Vukovar, to liberate the civilian
1 population that had been taken prisoner in town, or, to put it briefly, to
2 establish law and order and freedom of movement.
3 Q. Thank you. Briefly, as the commander of the mortar battery,
4 [microphone override] axis were you at the Vukovar theatre of war, were
5 you tell us what axis of activity that was at the moment when you came to
6 this assignment?
7 A. By virtue of the fact that I was within the 1st Motorised
8 Battalion, in terms of its establishment, it was only natural that I
9 should be support to my battalion in combat activity.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know where the 3rd Motorised Company was and
11 who commanded it?
12 A. I know the 3rd Company was at Petrova Gora, Nova Ulica, and
13 Sesta Proleterska neighbourhood. Captain Miroslav Radic was in command.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us who was commanding the 2nd Company
15 within the 1st Motorised Battalion?
16 A. Yes. The 2nd Company was commanded by Captain Zoran Zirojevic.
17 Q. Did you ever provide fire support along this axis and, if so, what
18 did it look like, and along the axis of which company? Specifically which
20 A. Yes. My zone of activity was to the right in the street of
21 Svetozara Markovica, to the left it was the railroad, and in depth, the
22 Vuka River with -- focusing on the axis of activity of the 3rd Company.
23 Q. Thank you. When you say "focusing on the axis of activity of the
24 3rd Company," what does that mean specifically, and what does this "focus"
25 mean in military terms, generally speaking?
1 A. By virtue of my deployment along the axis of the 3rd Company, the
2 commander of the 3rd Company of the battalion actually focused the
3 activity on the 3rd Company, because the artillery officer who was
4 providing support is always in the focus of the attack.
5 Q. Thank you. Since you are on that axis of activity of the
6 3rd Company providing support, did you often see Captain Radic while he
7 was engaged along this axis of his activity?
8 A. Of course I did. I saw him every day.
9 Q. Thank you. And on that day, when there would be a lull in the
10 fighting, would you see him after that?
11 A. Of course. Because we spent many years together. We know each
12 other; we were friends.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know where the observation post of Captain
14 Radic was, where he was staying?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you please be so kind as to tell the Court where this was?
17 A. His observation post was in Nova Street. I think it was the
18 fourth or fifth house on the right-hand side.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. Did you ever go to see Miroslav Radic at
20 his observation post?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Several times?
23 A. Several times.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us at the time when you went to the
25 observation post, and of course that could not have been during the fire
1 operations, but only after that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. At any point in time, did you attend any kind of regular meeting
4 or any kind of meeting, for that matter, that was held at the observation
5 post of Captain Miroslav Radic?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And did you ever hear of him having regular meetings with the
8 commander of the TO Petrova Gora and the commander of Leva Supoderica?
9 A. Never.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see meetings being held at that
11 observation post that were attended by Colonel Mrksic in addition to
12 Captain Radic, then Major Sljivancanin, Major Borivoje Tesic, and members
13 of TO Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica?
14 A. No, I never saw Colonel Mrksic within the disposition of the
16 Q. And were you present on did you hear of some kind of regular
17 meetings being held there of the persons that I just enumerated?
18 A. No.
19 Q. This observation post that I'm asking you about, was it ever a
20 command post for planning operations in terms of liberating Vukovar; at
21 least that part of Vukovar?
22 A. No. I just know of two command posts and that is the command post
23 of the 1st Motorised Battalion and the command post of the brigade.
24 Q. And did you ever hear of this house?
25 Actually, a brief question before that. Do you know who owned
1 this house where Captain Radic's observation post was?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Please be so kind as to tell us.
4 A. As far as I can remember, this was the house of the father of
5 Stanko Vujanovic.
6 Q. Thank you. Since you say --
7 The interpreters are asking us to slow down because the names are
8 not getting into the transcript but that will be dealt with.
9 Do you know what Stanko Vujanovic looks like?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. When you came to visit Miroslav Radic at the
12 observation post, now my specific question is as follows: Did you see him
13 there every day, and did he go to the observation post at all?
14 A. I never saw him in that house and I never saw him in front of it.
15 Q. Thank you. And at the observation post, were you ever present or
16 did you hear of Radic having meetings with the commander of the TO
17 Petrova Gora and the commander of Leva Supoderica, and do you know what
18 these people's names were? And then to put it the other way around, did
19 you ever hear or see --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
22 A. I did not hear or see these people but I know these people.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What are their names?
25 A. The commander of the TO at first was Jaksic and then Miroljub
1 Vujovic. As for Leva Supoderica, there was a man named Kameni.
2 Q. Thank you. I put another question to you that is not in the
3 transcript. I will repeat it.
4 Were you ever present or did you hear that Captain Miroslav Radic
5 with Miroljub Vujovic and Lancuzanin, nicknamed Kameni, that he had
6 meetings with them in terms of planning operations in Vukovar?
7 A. I never heard that have and I never saw anything.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. When you came to the observation post of
9 Miroslav Radic, did you ever see any kind of detention centre there or
10 prison, did you ever see any prisoners there where Miroslav Radic's
11 observation post was?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vuckovic, could you briefly tell us how these
14 units of the Territorial Defence functioned and whether they cooperated,
15 acted in concert with the 1st Motorised Battalion or, more specifically,
16 how did they function? You tell us whether there was cooperation or not.
17 A. As far as I can remember, units of the TO always acted in concert
18 with the 1st Motorised Battalion in carrying out combat activities in the
19 following way: The battalion commander would issue orders or, rather,
20 tasks to them.
21 Q. Can you tell us what the role of the battalion was in establishing
22 JOD 1 or, rather, where was it in terms of JOD 1 and the 1st Motorised
23 Battalion, and do you know anything about the existence of assault groups?
24 A. By virtue of the fact that Major Borivoje Tesic was the most
25 senior-ranking officer there and the best trained, educated officer in
1 that area, he was appointed commander of the 1st Assault Detachment. His
2 task was to command and issue tasks to all units that were within
3 Assault Detachment 1.
4 Q. Thank you. I don't want to lead so I'm going to ask you: Where
5 was the command post of Major Tesic?
6 A. The command post of Major Tesic was in the street of
7 Svetozara Markovica. When viewed from Negoslavci, it's after the
8 railroad. I think the seventh or eighth house on the right-hand side.
9 Q. Thank you. Who was at that command post and were there any
10 regular briefings there by you company commanders?
11 A. At the command post, in addition to Major Tesic, Captain First
12 Class Slavko Stijakovic was there as his deputy. Then a reserve captain
13 whose name I do not recall. Then Staff Sergeant Bojic and Sergeant
15 Q. Thank you. Were there any regular briefings at the command post,
16 and who came to these regular briefings, if any?
17 A. Briefings took place every day regardless of whether there was
18 activity or whether there was a cease-fire. All company commanders came
19 to the briefing and I, as the commander of the battery.
20 Q. Thank you. And what time was this usually this command post, this
21 briefing, and is that where you were given your assignments and tasks for
22 the following day?
23 A. The briefings usually took place sometime between 1900 hours up to
24 2100 hours, actually.
25 At these briefings, there would be an analysis of the activities
1 that took place on that day and we were given assignments for the
2 following day, for the activity that was to take place on the following
4 Q. Thank you. At these regular briefings when you were given tasks
5 for the following day, was Miroljub Vujovic, the commander of the
6 Petrova Gora territorial detachment, ever present?
7 A. This was the briefing of the 1st Motorised Battalion and by virtue
8 of that fact Mr. Vujovic did not attend these briefings
9 Q. Thank you. And did it ever happen that the commander of the
10 Leva Supoderica Detachment, Lancuzanin, was ever present at a regular
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see them at any point in time at the
14 command post of the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion and at the
15 same time the commander of the 1st JOD?
16 A. I saw them but only when we would finish our briefing, and as we
17 would leave I would see them in the yard in front of the house.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear of them getting assignments there
19 from Commander Tesic?
20 A. I did not hear of that because I was not present but that was
21 probably the case.
22 Q. Now, please, in relation to this command post, did anyone provide
23 security there and, if so, who was it that secured it; and what was the
24 regimen of access to that command post, meaning could a regular soldier,
25 an ordinary soldier your enter the premises where the briefing was taking
1 police station or could anyone get nearby?
2 A. At the very outset of the combat activity, that is to say at the
3 beginning of October until I became familiar with the terrain, or rather
4 until I became familiar with what the safe and what the unsafe areas were,
5 I had one or two soldiers accompanying me from my unit, and upon arrival
6 at the command post, they could never enter the yard, let alone the house.
7 We would put them up in the house across the street.
8 Q. Thank you. I did not fully follow this. Did you tell us who it
9 was that provided security there? What was the composition of the
10 security detail of the command post of the 1st Motorised Battalion, the
11 1st JOD?
12 A. Security of the command post was carried out by the platoon of the
13 military police from the 2nd Battalion of the military police. That was
14 assigned to the battalion with that purpose in mind. At the entrance into
15 the yard of the command post, there were always two soldiers who were
16 military policemen.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. As for your artillery support tasks that
18 we've already referred to, you carry them out in accordance with whose
19 plan and on whose exclusive orders?
20 A. In the evening, during the briefing, the battalion commander would
21 give me precise tasks in terms of who I was to support on the following
22 day, in what area and possibly additional tasks related to something else.
23 That is what I wish to say. Because it would happen that during the
24 course of the day, the commander would ask me to come to the command post
25 to issue other tasks to me.
1 Q. Thank you. How did the commander do that during the day,
2 Commander Borivoje Tesic, how would he communicate?
3 A. He would call me by a means of communication, that is to say, the
4 Motorola that we had.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you have your own couriers and when were these
6 Motorolas introduced as a means of communication within the 1st Motorised
7 Battalion? Do you know about that?
8 A. Within the artillery units, there are no couriers for the simple
9 reason that the artillery communication system is a much more complex one
10 and a multi-level one in comparison with infantry units.
11 Q. So what means of communication do you use in the artillery in
12 addition to the Motorola you used to communicate with Major Tesic?
13 A. In the course of combat operations, in order to establish contact
14 with my unit, I mostly used wire communication, that is to say field
15 telephones. Whenever that line was down, for whatever reason, the other
16 means of communication was the radio relay, and then as the ultimate
17 solution we would use radio communication. I'm now referring to the
18 communication between myself and my unit which was at the firing position.
19 As for communication between myself and other company commanders
20 and the battalion command, the main means of communication there is the
21 radio communication.
22 Q. Thank you. You say that in a mortar battery there are no
23 couriers. Did you personally have a security detail or not?
24 A. As I have said previously, I had that only during the first four
25 or five days.
1 Q. Thank you. When you came to the command post in November of 1991,
2 did you come there on your own or were there people escorting you?
3 A. I came entirely on my own, and mostly I would come in a vehicle.
4 Q. Thank you. What about other company commanders when they came to
5 the command post for regular briefings. Did they bring along couriers or
6 their security officers or would they also come by themselves as you did?
7 A. They would always come on their own because there was no need for
8 any security detail whatsoever.
9 Q. Thank you. You and other company commanders, did you have an
10 observation post where you spent time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where was it?
13 A. It was in Oslobodjenje Street in Petrova Gora settlement.
14 Q. Thank you. During these combat operations, that is to say as you
15 were providing firing support, did you ever change the location of your
16 observation post and did that depend on some factors, or would some
17 factors prompt that, or did it have anything to do with the specific task
18 that you were given?
19 A. My position in relation to other commanders was quite unique for
20 the simple fact that I moved about and always created new observation
21 posts in order to have better visibility and better ability to observe the
22 deployment of our forces and to be able to see the objectives better.
23 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell the Chamber, before the fall of
24 Vukovar, in which location was your last observation post located?
25 A. My last observation post which I took sometime around the 7th of
1 November was in the sector of the school called 2nd Congress.
2 Q. And this sector of the school 2nd Congress -- actually, that's the
3 name of the school, right? It was called the 2nd Congress school?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you describe in closer terms where this sector is
7 A. Yes this school is located between the Sesta Proleterska
8 settlement and Bosko Buha settlement.
9 Q. Thank you. From that location, from that observation post were
10 you able to see the bridges on the Vuka River, did you have visual control
11 over that area?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you have visual control of the area in the hospital sector
14 from that observation post?
15 A. Yes, but that's far away.
16 Q. Thank you. We spoke about the system of communication within the
17 artillery independent of the communication system that existed within the
18 battalion. Can you tell us whether that system was centralised, and what
19 does it mean when, for example, a cease-fire is announced, or a truce,
20 what kind of problems could arise? And for the purposes of your tasks,
21 how could you communicate? How could you establish communication at that
23 A. I, as an artillery officer, and somebody who was in charge of
24 observation monitoring was informed by two sides about any cease-fire. I
25 would be informed by the commander of the battalion, and I would also be
1 informed by my superior artillery officers. As soon as a cease-fire was
2 announced, or a truce, our lines were disconnected. Our lines of
3 communication with the units deployed at firing positions so that we
4 couldn't give an order for them to fire.
5 Q. Thank you. When you spoke about the direction of activities of
6 the 3rd Company and as you were giving fire support, were you able to see
7 who was present in that direction of activity?
8 A. As I have already told you, I changed my observation post
9 depending on the activities I had for that day, and depending on my tasks.
10 From my observation post, I would always see and survey the movements of
11 our units, that is to say, the units of the 3rd Motorised Company and the
12 TO units, and I would also survey and observe firing points or targets.
13 Q. Thank you. Since this is something that my learned friends from
14 the OTP are extremely interested in, tell me, if we have that direction of
15 operation, who else acted in coordination with the 3rd Company?
16 A. The Territorial Defence under the command of Miroljub Vujovic and
17 Leva Supoderica detachment.
18 Q. From your observation post when following activities in that axis,
19 activities of the 3rd Motorised Company, were you able to see who issued
20 orders to the members of the Leva Supoderica unit and who issued orders to
21 the members of 3rd Company?
22 A. Yes, mostly I was.
23 Q. Would you please tell the Judges?
24 A. In order to protect the young soldiers, there would always be
25 members of TO moving ahead of young soldiers because they were more
1 familiar with the terrain; they had more combat experience and they were
2 older. They were always commanded by Miroljub Vujovic.
3 Q. What about Captain Radic. Just a minute please. Captain Radic,
4 in the direction of the activity when you were following the entire
5 operation, to put it in layman's terms, were you able to see to whom he
6 issued orders and what did these persons who received orders from him do?
7 A. Captain Radic always commanded his soldiers from his company and
8 they were always behind the TO people, moving and taking the points that
9 had been cleared and liberated by the TO members.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vuckovic, do you know -- or, rather, have you ever
11 heard of Milovo Brdo or Milovo hill and do you know where it is?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Where is it?
14 A. It is to the east of Bosko Buha settlement, that is to say between
15 the Bosko Buha settlement and the bridges, or as we used to call that
16 area, log market or timber market.
17 Q. Thank you. Do you know on which date Milovo Brdo was taken or
19 A. Yes, I know that. That was on the 10th of November.
20 Q. How do you know that? And could you please explain to the Chamber
21 how come you remember precisely that date?
22 A. I remember that date because there was great joy among all of us.
23 We were all excited because we knew that that was the last task in our
24 area and that by liberating Milovo Brdo, we had accomplished the mission
25 that we received from our superior command and our excitement was even
1 greater because we were the only unit within the operations group that had
2 managed to accomplish its mission.
3 Q. Thank you. When you say "units," do you mean the 1st Motorised
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, after you accomplished that mission, that particular mission
7 and until the fall of Vukovar, what specific task did you have from the
8 10th or 11th -- or, rather, from the 10th of November, 1991, until the
9 fall of Vukovar?
10 A. My task was to control or survey the area in front of the lines
11 reached in the direction of the Vuka River, and to the left, towards the
12 Luzac settlement, because from my observation point, I had a very good
13 visibility over that area. The purpose of this was to avert incursion of
14 any forces.
15 Q. When you say "I had good visibility," "I had visual control," what
16 does that mean? What would you do if there was an emergency and under
17 whose orders?
18 A. Had I observed that there was a movement of some units of
19 paramilitary forces, my task was to inform the battalion command of it and
20 they, in turn, would inform the command of the operations group because
21 our area was inclusive of the Vuka River. Then, most likely, somebody
22 would have taken some measures or opened fire against those targets.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know on which date Vukovar was liberated?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Since it seems to be an important date, or at least it was within
1 your combat tasks, would you please tell us what date it was?
2 A. Certainly. On the 18th, in the afternoon hours, we were informed
3 that the negotiations with the paramilitary forces of Croatia were in
4 progress and that they were about to surrender, most likely, and we
5 consider that moment to be the end of hostilities and the moment of their
7 Q. Did you eventually hear that the paramilitary formations
8 surrendered on the 18th of November?
9 A. Yes, I heard that. It was communicated to me from the
10 communications centre of artillery by my artillery commander,
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Penic.
12 Q. Thank you. Since we are approaching our break, would you please
13 tell me: In relation to your battery from the 10th of November, 1991,
14 until the liberation of Vukovar, what positions did you occupy throughout
15 that time?
16 A. I was mostly on my observation point next to the 2nd Congress
18 Q. Is this specifically the broader sector of Milovo Brdo?
19 A. Yes, one could say so.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you hear -- did you see at that time in the
21 broader sector of Milovo Brdo whether there were any units of the
22 1st Motorised Battalion there and, if so, which ones?
23 A. I know that on the 10th of November, when Milovo Brdo was
24 liberated, in that axis, I supported and the 3rd Motorised Company was
25 active in that axis as far as the battalion is concerned. That is to say,
1 all forces that were along the axis Nova street, Sesta Proleterska
2 settlement was completely the same as in the operation of liberating
3 Milovo Brdo.
4 Q. Well, that's fine. That was until it was liberated. And when
5 Milovo Brdo was liberated, what tasks were given to the units in that
6 sector? Did they remain in Milovo Brdo sector or did they move forward,
8 A. I didn't understand you previously. When we had briefing with our
9 battalion commander, as I have already said, we received specific, precise
10 tasks. Sometimes towards the 12th, if I remember well, at the briefing,
11 the battalion commander issued an order to the companies to reinforce the
12 lines reached and to remain in that area. And as for other forces from
13 the assault detachment, they were to continue activities outside of our
14 area, if I can put it that way. I didn't inquire further about it because
15 that was outside of my area and I did not provide support to them.
16 Q. Thank you. In order to protect the lines reached, to preserve
17 them, in addition to members of the 3rd and 4th Company, did you hear, did
18 you see, did you observe alongside with them members of the Petrova Gora
19 and Leva Supoderica units?
20 A. No, I didn't see them and I wasn't interested in that.
21 Q. Did they and JOD 1 have a different area of activity?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think this would be
24 a convenient time for our break because I'm about to move to another
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
2 We will resume at 2.00 p.m.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 2.03 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, you mentioned Motorolas. Do you know how many
8 Motorolas there were in the 1st Motorised Battalion and how the work with
9 Motorolas functioned?
10 A. Yes. I know -- as far as I know, there were about 8 Motorolas in
11 the battalion. The company commanders had them. I had one. The officers
12 from the battalion command had them.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us in practical terms how this functioned
14 on the ground?
15 A. Yes. It functioned as follows: They were all on the same channel
16 which changed from time to time. And all persons, or rather, all officers
17 who had Motorolas were on the same channel and heard all the conversations
18 taking place on that channel.
19 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that if you were on this channel and
20 Major Tesic was issuing an order to another company commander that you
21 could hear at the same time the content and text of that order?
22 A. Absolutely.
23 Q. Thank you. You told us that you defined the 18th of November as
24 the date when Vukovar was liberated. The question is the following -- or,
25 rather, you told us even how you were informed of the fall of Vukovar?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So in terms of fire support, did you have any fire support at all
3 on that day? You told us about the previous days but now we're talking
4 about the 18th of November.
5 A. On the 18th of November, I did not have any firing activity.
6 Q. And were you on the same position where you were during the
7 previous days?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you agree with me that if a company would have had a task that
10 you could have offered fire support from the position where you were?
11 A. To the companies, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. On the following day, on the 19th of November, did you
13 move anywhere from the area of Milovo Brdo? Specifically, where were you
14 yourself on the 19th of November, 1991; that is to say, a day after the
15 fall of Vukovar?
16 A. On orders from the commander of the battalion, Major Tesic, there
17 was issued to me on the evening of the 18th during the briefing my task
18 was to be at the observation post and to be on the ready for possible
20 Q. Thank you. On the 19th in the morning, on that day, what did you
22 A. On the morning of the 19th, like almost every other day, sometime
23 around 7.00, I came to the observation post, I placed the equipment there,
24 and I prepared for the day.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you have any Motorola communication on that day
1 with anyone, Commander Tesic, Major Tesic or someone from the companies
2 that were within the 1st Motorised Battalion?
3 A. My Motorola was on -- or, rather, it was working in the system and
4 since there was no need to engage in action, I was not in direct
5 communication, if I can put it that way, but I was on the channel that was
6 valid for that day.
7 Q. Thank you. On that day, since you say that you were on that
8 channel, your Motorola was, did you hear Major Tesic issuing an order to
9 anyone on that day, and if so, tell us about it?
10 A. Yes. I heard that he first issued a task to Major Zirojevic and
11 then to Captain Radic.
12 Q. Did you hear the task for Captain Zirojevic?
13 A. The task for Captain Zirojevic was that he should go to the Dunav
14 hotel, the Danube hotel, and that he should inspect the hotel. To clean
15 it up - that was the jargon that was used in those days - and to provide
17 Q. Did you hear what kind of order he issued to Captain Radic?
18 A. Yes, I heard. Major Tesic issued an order to Captain Radic that
19 with part of his soldiers he should set out towards the area of the
20 hospital and to place external security of the hospital there.
21 Q. Thank you. Is that what the order was?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know what kind of order if he did issue an order to Captain
24 Bojkovski, he issued to him, that is to say, the commander of the 1st
1 A. Captain Bojkovski got his order on the previous evening during the
2 briefing that he should reinforce his positions and remain in that area.
3 Q. Thank you. After that, since that was in the morning, I asked you
4 about that, do you know when they went to carry out this task and whether
5 they went out to carry out this task?
6 A. Like all other tasks, they went to finish this task immediately.
7 They got their people and they went out.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether you had a regular
9 briefing on the evening of the 19th of November, 1991, and who was
11 A. On the evening of the 19th, we had the classical regular briefing
12 that was attended by officers, like on all other days.
13 Q. Thank you. And the next day, the 20th of November, you and your
14 battery, did you have any tasks?
15 A. On the 20th of November, in the morning, I was given a task to
16 change the direction of my artillery pieces, that is to say, the direction
17 to the village of Bogdanovci in order to repel a possible attack at our
18 positions from that direction.
19 Q. Thank you. And how is direction changed? Could you explain that
20 to us a bit, what does that mean? In what axis of activity do you
21 possibly provide fire support in such a case?
22 A. Changing the direction of an artillery unit in terms of a new
23 direction of activity calls for certain fortifications, or to put it in
24 simpler terms, to do certain things with the soil there and then certain
25 mathematical operations. At any rate, it's a process that goes on for a
1 few hours.
2 Q. Thank you. When you answered a few moments ago that you heard of
3 the orders to the company commanders, my question now is: Were you next
4 to them when they were receiving those orders or did you just hear this
5 through the Motorola? Were you at another place then? Were you right by
6 them or not?
7 A. I was at my own observation post next to the school of the
8 2nd Congress, Drugi Kongres, that is to say that I was not next to them
9 but I was within the communication system.
10 Q. Thank you. From the place that was then your observation point,
11 could you see the timber market? Do you know where it was?
12 A. I know where it is, but I did not have full visibility, only
13 partial visibility, just a small part.
14 Q. Where is it?
15 A. It is below Milovo Brdo in the area before the bridges across the
16 Vuka River.
17 Q. Thank you. On the 20th of November in the evening, did a regular
18 briefing again take place and, if so, who was present there?
19 A. I repeat once again: A briefing was held every evening. That is
20 to say that every evening, these briefings were attended by the same
21 officers. On the 20th, again, it was --
22 Q. I'm asking about the evening of the 20th. Was Major Tesic
24 A. Yes, yes, that's what I wanted to explain. At the beginning of
25 the briefing, they were all there. Major Tesic, after about half an hour,
1 went to the command of the operations group.
2 Q. Thank you. And who continued chairing the meeting that was this
3 briefing actually?
4 A. His deputy, according to establishment, Captain Stijakovic.
5 Q. Thank you. And do you remember that second evening after the fall
6 of Vukovar where it was that you went after that?
7 A. After the briefing was over, I went to my own area, or my own
8 observation post, if I can call it that way, where I was awaited by the
9 soldiers and some of the neighbours from the street.
10 Q. Do you know where the other company commanders went? Do you know?
11 A. I know because after the briefing was over, I invited all of those
12 present to come when they could to my place, because my neighbours
13 insisted that they prepare some dinner and that we sort of socialise
15 Q. Thank you. So who was present, in addition to the people from
16 your unit and the neighbours from among the members of the 1st Motorised
17 Battalion at that dinner?
18 A. Regrettably, most of them could not come but Captain Zirojevic
19 came, Captain Radic came.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us a bit more about this dinner which is
21 important for us here, not as a dinner, but as a moment which is mentioned
22 during those days between the 18th and 24th of November. Can you tell us
23 a bit more about it, what you did there, how long did you stay, what you
24 talked about? If you can remember all of that and what it looked like,
25 generally speaking, because you are our main witness with regard to this
2 A. This is the way it was: Since my observation post, in relation to
3 all the others, was at the safest place of all, or rather in a street
4 where there was no combat activity, in a street where people, if I can put
5 it that way, lived normal lives to the extent that it was possible then.
6 Not a single house was empty. How should I put this? Not a single house
7 was badly damaged.
8 I have a -- I had a very close relationship with the population
9 there, and as a token of their gratitude, they wished -- or, rather, they
10 asked me whether they could organise or prepare some food and that I
11 should organise a dinner that would be attended by officers from the
12 battalion. Of course I accepted. We helped with certain supplies that we
13 had and that we provided and they, among the other small things there,
14 they roasted a pig. Things like that. They made a particular effort for
15 this to be - how should I put this - in a family environment so that the
16 atmosphere would be very pleasant starting from the way the food was
17 prepared, served, and so on.
18 Q. Thank you. Was this the first dinner of this kind that you had
19 after you came to Vukovar until the fall of Vukovar?
20 A. Yes. That was the first dinner in that composition and in that
22 Q. Thank you. Do you know how long Captain Radic stayed at that
23 dinner and how long you were there before you went to sleep?
24 A. Yes, I know for a simple reason because it was almost daybreak.
25 And as far as all our activities on the following day were concerned, we
1 practically had to resort to the last atoms of our energy left.
2 Q. Thank you. It was stated here that Captain Radic went sometime
3 after 1.00 at night, after midnight, or do you stand by what you said,
4 that you left in the morning?
5 A. I stand by what I said. It's quite simply impossible for him to
6 have left earlier because practically everyone left together.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you remember in what part of the house you were
8 seated and what the seating order was, if you remember?
9 A. Of course I do. In the front part of the house, or rather in the
10 part of the house facing the Oslobodjenje Street, there was a large room
11 which was in fact a dining-room together with the kitchen, as it were. I
12 stayed in that house for a month and a half, and I know very well what the
13 layout of the rooms was like. Tables were put together and chairs were
14 around them.
15 Q. Do you know where you were seated in relation to Captains Radic
16 and Zirojevic?
17 A. Since the three of us were the only active-duty officers there,
18 Radic sat at the head of the table, Zirojevic and I sat next to him. And
19 we remained thus seated throughout the evening. We were close to the
20 corner, to the left-hand side and there was no need for us to get up
21 because nobody was passing there.
22 Q. Thank you. On the evening of the 20th of November when you
23 attended the dinner, did you know what your task was going to be on the
24 following day, the 21st of November?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Please tell us.
2 A. We received our task from Deputy Commander Captain Stijakovic and
3 it had to do with the inspection that he, as an officer, several months
4 earlier he had come from the school, wanted to organise in order for the
5 guards unit to maintain its high level and to inspect the troops to see
6 whether they were all in proper order, clean, their hairs properly cut and
7 their faces clean-shaven.
8 Q. Thank you. And on the 21st of November, the day after the dinner,
9 was the inspection of the units in the first garrison of the battalion, in
10 fact, carried out?
11 A. Yes it was. My unit's turn came at around noon. Captain
12 Stijakovic came to the firing position which was about 3 kilometres away
13 from us in the direction of Negoslavci and carried out the inspection.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you talk to Major Tesic about the dinner and about
15 the fact that you had stayed there for quite a while with Captain Radic,
16 did you tell him this?
17 A. Yes, I did. I told him because I had been criticised by Captain
18 Stijakovic with regard to the state of matters in the unit and because the
19 entire day on the 21st of November, I spent trying to redress these
21 In the evening, as Major Tesic returned from Belgrade, he noticed
22 that I was angry and tired and as I was on closer terms with him because
23 he was the platoon commander of mine at the academy, he wanted to talk to
24 me about this. It was at that point that I explained everything to him.
25 Q. About the dinner?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you tell him that Radic was there with you that night?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Thank you. On the evening of the 21st, do you remember where you
5 were following the briefing and the discussion you had with Major Tesic?
6 A. On the 21st, after the end of the briefing, Captain Zirojevic
7 asked me to come to his observation post which I, to be quite frank, tried
8 to refuse. However, on his insistence, I went there and spent about half
9 an hour there.
10 Q. Thank you. Was Radic there as well?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vuckovic, since you were oftentimes at the
13 observation post, you were along the same axis, you were in Vukovar, what
14 can you tell about Miroslav Radic's character, personal traits, about him
15 as a soldier, his military abilities, moral qualities, and all the other
16 characteristics that speak of his moral -- of him as a moral and military
18 A. Miroslav Radic is the exemplary soldier and he proved as much in
19 his work both before Vukovar and after. He was the exemplary soldier of
20 the Guards Brigade, and he was a responsible person, extremely honest, a
21 family man with -- without any vice and, to put it in short, a top-notch
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vuckovic.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I have completed my examination of
25 the witness, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
2 Mr. Domazet.
3 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
4 questions of this witness.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
6 Mr. Lukic. Mr. Bulatovic.
7 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
9 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, I am one of the lawyers for Mr. Sljivancanin, and I
10 will put several questions to you that are of interest to his Defence
12 Tell us, do you know Major Sljivancanin?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. At the time of your stay in Vukovar, did you have any contacts
15 with him?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Can you explain the -- to the Trial Chamber and to us the purpose
18 of these contacts, where they took place and what the substance of them
20 A. In the course of combat activities, Major Sljivancanin would come
21 to my observation point oftentimes, or rather to my observation points
22 because I -- I changed them. He inquired after the situation in the unit,
23 the objectives we had, or rather the targets that we were able to detect,
24 the forces that I was able to gauge from the observation post and in
25 general about the activities of artillery and whether there were any
1 problems there.
2 Q. Did Major Sljivancanin ever issue an order to you or try to issue
3 an order to you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You spoke of the information that was of interest to Major
6 Sljivancanin which concerned artillery, enemy forces, the positions and so
7 on and so forth. Can you explain to us what sort of artillery pieces the
8 paramilitary formations of the Croatian army used, of the so-called
9 Croatian army?
10 A. Yes, I can, for the simple reason that I am a professional and on
11 the basis of the debris left by the artillery projectiles fired by the
12 Croatian forces and the directions to which these -- the debris scattered
13 I was able to infer the type of activity, the calibre, these were mortars,
14 60 millimetre, 82 millimetre.
15 I was also able to establish that we were fired upon by these
16 so-called partisan, one-barreled rocket launcher of the calibre
17 128-millimetres. We were also shot at by the 152-millimetre Howitzer for
18 which I established that it fired from the direction of Nustar.
19 Q. On the basis of the information you thus gathered, were you able
20 to detect any other positions of the artillery of the so-called Croatian
21 army in addition to Nustar?
22 A. The position of their weapons was very difficult to uncover for
23 the reason that they constantly moved their weapons and changed position.
24 At the end of the combat activities, we found several mortars mounted on
25 trailers of some sort of vehicles.
1 Q. Finally, Mr. Vuckovic, let me ask you this: Were there problems
2 in artillery fire by the JNA in terms of lack of precision, and if so,
3 could this affect the security of units as such?
4 A. Yes, there were problems on several occasions. These problems
5 boiled down to the fact that certain weapons fired projectiles that fell
6 short of targets. In the interest of security, the officers had to
7 establish what was going on and why. I learned later that these were
8 technical problems, they were not deliberate.
9 Q. Therefore, I can conclude that in contacts with the security
10 officer, with Major Sljivancanin, if there were such problems, you also
11 informed him thereof because it was of interest to the security of the
13 A. Absolutely, because this was a huge problem which could cause
14 friction among men and it had to be solved as a matter of urgency.
15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no more
16 questions for this witness.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic.
18 Mr. Moore.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore:
20 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, I think we met before in Belgrade, if you recognise
21 me with my robes still on.
22 Can we just deal with one or two matters that occurred in Belgrade
23 when I saw you. It's right to say that you consider that you owe your
24 life to Mr. Radic. Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I think it's right to say that you actually believe that you
2 owe him your life on no less than two occasions; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. It is also correct that he owes me his life on several
5 Q. Thank you. And I think it's also right to say that unfortunately
6 you had a brother who was killed in the war; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when I was speaking to you briefly at Belgrade, I think you
9 indicated that you considered Radic as being almost like a brother to you
10 now; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right. The conversation wasn't that brief; it lasted
12 an hour.
13 Q. Well, I think it lasted 30 --
14 A. An hour and a half.
15 Q. We have got the timings, if you wish. Time sometimes move much
16 quicker and slower than you imagine as this trial, I'm sure, will be able
17 to understand in stress situations [sic]. But it's right, I think, you
18 view Mr. Radic as akin to a brother. That's right, isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you also described Mr. Radic as the sort of person who would
21 take a blow to protect others, even though he may not have been involved
22 in that particular act. That's correct also, isn't it?
23 A. Your Honour, if I may be allowed to explain what I meant by that.
24 Q. Before we go, go any further, you accept you said that; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you have to explain Bench,
3 I'm sure they will want to hear.
4 A. I believe that Captain Radic, just as any other professional
5 officer of discipline and responsibility of the JNA who completed all the
6 schools he did, is ready to take upon himself full responsibility for all
7 the matters that take place in his area of responsibility and within his
8 unit. That was what I meant when I stated that.
9 Q. Of course, we would say that Mr. Mrksic perhaps does not adhere to
10 that particular view. Do you follow?
11 A. I stated my opinion.
12 Q. And I think it's also right to say that you said that you wanted
13 to find out the truth but you wanted to help your friend Mr. Radic so he
14 could be released. That is correct also, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. May we deal with one or two other matters? Clearly you've given
17 evidence for a period of time, but if I try and summarise it, could I
18 suggest, perhaps, it comes down to five principal heads. The first head
19 would be your evidence that the TO Vukovar Leva Supoderica were not
20 subordinated at any time to the guards battalion and the 3rd Company when
21 we're talking about Mr. Radic. That's right, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, they were in coordination.
23 Q. At no time were they ever subordinated, that's what you're
24 actually saying. That is the guts of your evidence, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Secondly, that the battalion stopped its military -- significant
2 military activities on the 10th of November. Would that be correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And if -- I'm not trying to trivialise it in any way, the guards
5 soldiers were protecting houses up in the heights rather like a Serbian
6 securitas; isn't that right? They weren't fighting.
7 A. Sir, the guards soldiers, that is to say, the soldiers who were
8 not wounded, who were not ill, performed that because in every company,
9 there were between 30 and 40 soldiers remaining and, simply speaking, that
10 is not a sufficient force that can continue to fight.
11 Q. So I take it that the answer to my question is that the fighting
12 stopped for the guards battalion on the 10th of November. For whatever
13 reason, it stopped. That's what you're saying, isn't it?
14 A. In principle, yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, the third point which you seem to be giving
16 evidence on is that -- again, not trying to trivialise it, that of all the
17 orders in all the world that you heard, you happened to hear Major Tesic
18 issuing an order over the telephone to Radic on the 19th of November to go
19 to the hospital. You've given evidence about that; isn't that right?
20 A. Let me correct you. Not telephone line but, rather, radio
21 communication. And yes, I heard. I heard that order for that date.
22 Otherwise, we were on line incessantly, 24 hours a day.
23 Q. Thank you. But you remember that quite clearly. That's what
24 you're saying?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. 15 years after the event you remember that order?
2 A. Yes, I remember that order.
3 Q. Fourthly, that you had a dinner of which Mr. Radic attended, along
4 with others, on the evening of the 20th and that he stayed to daybreak.
5 That's also one of your principal parts of evidence; isn't that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that you told Major Tesic on
8 the 21st: By the way, I had dinner with Radic on the night of the 20th.
9 That's correct, that's what your evidence is?
10 A. Yes. Tesic asked me why I looked the way I looked at that time
11 and then I explained to him the reason for that.
12 Q. And then fifthly, that he is an exemplary officer.
13 Now, there are other topics which I will deal with, but I want to
14 deal with really the following question: Reflection of time, passage of
15 time, would you describe the then Major Tesic as an excellent officer?
16 A. Yes. He is an officer who taught me what discipline was, as well
17 as responsibility, honesty, professionalism, and who hated alcohol above
18 anything else. This is why, on the 21st, I talked to him.
19 Q. And would it be fair to say -- I think he was your commander at
20 the college; is that right? He was your platoon commander when you were
21 at the military college; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I think he's risen to great heights, has he not? What rank
24 did he achieve?
25 A. Yes, he advanced in his career, and now he is a general within the
1 police force.
2 Q. And if one was to use one word to sum up Tesic, if I may use the
3 surname in that way, would the word "integrity" be the appropriate word?
4 A. I consider him to be an outstanding professional and a disciplined
6 Q. It's right to say that Major Tesic, as we know him, is a person
7 who is easily contactable. Obviously one has to go through channels, but
8 he is not a man who is a hermit hiding in a cave.
9 A. I don't consider at all that he was a man who would be hiding. I
10 continue to have a lot of respect for him to this day, and I don't think
11 that I said anything that could offend him or hurt him in any way.
12 Q. Do you remember I said the first plank was in relation to your
13 evidence that you are saying, and others have said, that the TO were not
14 subordinated to the 1st Battalion or, in this case, the 3rd Company?
15 Would it surprise you if I told you that Major Tesic, in his statements,
16 both to the Office of the Prosecutor and to Belgrade indicated, and I
17 read: "The 3rd Assault Group conducted by Milorad Radic also comprised a
18 TO Vukovar detachment led by Vojnovic which comprised the TO Petrova Gora
19 as well as the Leva Supoderica."
20 Would that surprise you that he has said that?
21 A. It would surprise me because that is not consistent with what
22 transpired on the ground. Initially, the TO acted in coordination with
23 the battalion, and later on it acted in coordination with the 3rd Company.
24 Q. But the situation is you are an officer from the guards battalion,
25 if I may use that, and you have given very clear evidence, well aware of
1 the consequences of your evidence and the importance of this issue. Now,
2 someone is wrong. Either you're wrong, or the commander of the battalion
3 is wrong because there is no middle ground, is there?
4 A. Your Honours, I gave an oath here. This is what we call in Serbia
5 an oath, and I also gave an oath to my country and to my army. I'm still
6 an active officer, and I consider myself to be an honourable and decent
7 person. I think that I've answered sufficiently to your question.
8 Q. Well, I'm not suggesting that you're lying. I am simply
9 suggesting to you that here is the commander of the battalion where
10 singleness of command is essential, and he is saying in two instances,
11 Belgrade and OTP statement, that in actual fact Mr. Radic's unit comprised
12 of TO Vukovar, which also surprised of TO Petrova Gora, as well as the
13 Leva Supoderica numbering between 30 and 40 men whose commander was Milan
14 Lancuzanin, a la Kameni. So might it be that he is right being the
15 commander of the battalion and you are wrong?
16 A. No, for the simple reason that I spent 40 days in that axis, day
17 after day.
18 Q. Well, then can you just give, not only myself but perhaps this
19 Bench and other people listening, how it is that the commander of
20 battalion has been working on the basis that the TO are actually
21 subordinated to him?
22 A. I cannot explain that. I just know the facts which took place and
23 I know what I saw on the ground.
24 Q. Explain to us, please, what "singleness of command" means?
25 A. Singleness of command means, for example, specifically in a
1 battalion, nobody but the battalion commander can command the battalion,
2 and that I, as a battery commander, cannot receive orders from anyone else
3 but him or that my deputy cannot receive orders from anyone else but me.
4 In other words, if somebody else attempts to issue an order to
5 him, somebody who is senior in rank, then my deputy needs to inform me
6 about it.
7 Q. Let's take a hypothetical situation on the evidence that you have
8 given. We have the TO, you say they are not subordinated to Tesic. You
9 say they are subordinated to whom, Jaksic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Well, then, how does one have singleness of command when you have
12 Tesic saying, quite simply, that this particular unit or units were
13 attached to Radic's company, and therefore would be subsumed within the
14 command structure of that company?
15 A. Jaksic commanded the Territorial Defence. Now as to whether he
16 received any tasks from Tesic, whether something transpired there, I don't
17 know, because I didn't attend those meetings.
18 During the execution of combat operations, I stayed in
19 communication, and I coordinated the work only of company commanders
20 within the composition of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
21 Q. But if what you say is correct, then there would be no need for
22 people like Lancuzanin and Vujanovic to go to Tesic's headquarters for
23 briefing because they are not subordinated to him. That is correct, isn't
25 A. I only know about the structure and subordination within the
1 1st Motorised Battalion.
2 Q. Could you answer my questions, please?
3 A. Do you believe that they were subordinated to the battalion and
4 battalion commander or to the command of the assault detachment, let's
5 clarify that first. Because I believe from my point of view that Major
6 Tesic had two roles. He was both the battalion commander and commander of
7 the assault detachment.
8 Q. But Major Tesic says, quite simply, that the TO was subordinated
9 to him and Captain Radic. You say: No, no, that's certainly not the
10 case, there is another almost parallel command structure. And I'm saying
11 if that is the case, you would not, therefore, expect to see people like
12 Lancuzanin and Vujovic at Tesic's headquarters with regular officers
13 because it's the wrong line of command for subordination.
14 Can Mr. Borovic please keep his voice down.
15 A. One thing. You say "parallel." It was not parallel. Tesic, as
16 commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion, conducted briefings with company
17 commanders and myself as a battery commander at the command post of the
18 battalion and that -- he also issued tasks to us.
19 Later on, later on, commanders of the TO would come to him because
20 I used to see them in the yard as well as commanders of Leva Supoderica.
21 And at that time, he, as commander of the assault detachment based on the
22 tasks he had already issued to us, would issue tasks to him -- to them as
24 Q. If what you say is right, can you explain then the
25 following: "Vujanovic and Lancuzanin came occasionally until the fall of
1 Vukovar but Vujovic and Captain Radic came regularly. I would be lying if
2 I said that the relationship between Captain Radic and Kameni or Vujovic
3 was not friendly. I know that Radic's orders were fully complied with."
4 Can you explain that to me?
5 A. I don't know what Major Tesic stated. All I know and all I'm
6 telling you is what I saw and the impression that I had. It wasn't my
7 impression that there was closeness in their relations.
8 Q. Let's move on to another topic. Would you agree with the fact
9 that -- or the following statement: "TO Vukovar were not forces that one
10 could rely on."
11 It's from, by the way, Major Tesic, in fairness to everybody. Do
12 you agree with that? "TO Vukovar were not forces that one could rely on."
13 To help you a little bit further: "Sometimes we had to delay operations
14 either because TO Vukovar did not show up or if they did show up, they did
15 not feel like fighting."
16 A. The operations were delayed, that's true, but it's also true that
17 their combat experience was much greater than ours. They were also much
18 more familiar with the terrain and it is also true that they wanted to
19 liberate their town. So this statement that they could not be relied on
20 is simply, in my view, not a true one.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] It seems to me that my learned
24 friend is to certain extent abusing the rights given to him by the
25 Chamber. I don't see any reason for him to be reading page by page a
1 statement that a witness gave to the OTP and to put that to the witness
2 who keeps denying that that's true.
3 I think that an individual statement could be put to the witness
4 in a different context, but to take the entire statement and read it in
5 its entirety, that's wrong.
6 Why don't they bring witness Tesic here and if they were to bring
7 witness Tesic here and we cross-examine -- and if we were to cross-examine
8 him, then we would see whether anything would remain standing, anything
9 contained in that statement.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Continue, please.
11 MR. MOORE:
12 Q. Do you agree with that analysis of TO Vukovar or not?
13 A. No, and I gave you my opinion.
14 Q. Can I deal with the 10th of November. You said that basically the
15 battalion -- others have said so you're not misled. Others have said that
16 the battalion stopped on the 10th of November, and you have said today:
17 Well, there were only 30 or 40 men -- standing men left; is that right?
18 A. Your Honour, I never mentioned reserve forces. I said that in
19 companies there remained 30 to 40 regular soldiers.
20 Q. Well, I didn't -- I wasn't aware I had mentioned reserve forces;
21 if I have, I apologise. I don't see it.
22 But let's deal with it this way. I think that you say there
23 remained 30 to 40 regular soldiers, my words, who were fit to fight.
24 Would that be fair?
25 A. No, one couldn't say so. Because if there remained 30 to 40
1 soldiers in a company, times three companies, which is what we had, this
2 adds up to 120 soldiers. I'm referring to infantry people who were in
3 direct combat. That did not include the military police platoon, that did
4 not include my battery, the logistics platoon, and so on.
5 Q. And I didn't say 30 or 40 people in the company. I mentioned 30
6 to 40 regular soldiers who were fit to fight. So I want to know how many
7 soldiers were fit to fight, in toto?
8 A. I told you, in three companies, 30 to 40 soldiers in each, that
9 adds up to 120 soldiers.
10 Q. So it adds up basically to a company, fully staffed company,
11 doesn't it? A company is normally about 90?
12 A. Yes. These three infantry companies came to Vukovar with about 90
13 soldiers each.
14 Q. So what was it that these battle-hardened soldiers were then doing
15 after the 10th?
16 A. These soldiers were positioned in the lines reached. They
17 reinforced the reached lines and they conducted what we soldiers call
18 firing control of the area in front of them. And occasionally, they would
19 try to move the line a bit but not to a significant extent.
20 Q. So what you are saying is that the elite guards battalion, and I
21 wasn't using "battle-hardened" in a pejorative way, because they had been
22 through a difficult time, these soldiers were basically left to look after
23 houses by way of consolidation? Is that your evidence?
24 A. Yes, for the simple reason to attempt to prevent anyone else from
25 getting killed, wounded or hurt. We tried to preserve our men, these
1 young soldiers who happened to be there.
2 Q. So if there was any suggestion either in evidence or documents
3 that some of these units continued fighting, that would be wrong, would
5 A. I don't know what you are referring to when you say "fighting."
6 If you think that that means going 50 metres further to take up a house
7 that would be more safe, that would be stronger, that would provide
8 greater visibility, then yes, there was fighting. However, if you believe
9 that after the 10th streets and whole settlements were taken, then that's
10 not true.
11 Q. So it's a case of consolidation, perhaps consolidating in a
12 stronger position, but no more; is that right? That's your evidence?
13 A. The mere fact that they reached Milovo Brdo, the entire centre of
14 the city and the bridges over the Vuka River and the timber market, that
15 whole area was kept under firing control which means that they prevented
16 the relocation of units. They prevented the replenishment and
17 reinforcement of units. That is to say, at the time we believed that the
18 fact that Milovo Brdo was reached meant that the town was split into two
19 parts and all that remained for us to do is to wait for them to surrender.
20 Q. What is the purpose of a daily briefing?
21 A. At the daily briefing, every officer reports on the tasks carried
22 out during the day, the problems he faced within his work, what sort of
23 requests he had vis-a-vis the superior command in terms of resources,
24 equipment, and so on and so forth, and what his proposals for future steps
25 are or were. On the basis of that, the commanding officer running the
1 briefing defines and issues tasks and takes any further measures.
2 Q. It's right, isn't it, that a briefing is not just a superior
3 officer or a senior officer walking up and down with a clipboard issuing
4 orders. That, of course, does play its part, but there is a give and take
5 where there are questions and answers whether, for example, a target is
6 achievable, whether logistics are sufficient to achieve an aim, issues of
7 coordination. That's correct, isn't it?
8 A. As company commanders, we proposed the activities for the upcoming
9 days from the area of our competence. I was talking about the proposals.
10 And the commander took decisions on the basis of our proposals and his
11 conclusions and on the basis of the tasks conveyed to him by the superior
13 Q. It doesn't really matter what - with the utmost of respect to
14 them - what the superior command may actually order if units physically
15 cannot do it. They perhaps will say they will do their best but if they
16 cannot physically do it, that is one of the problems that can arise in a
17 briefing. That's the purpose of briefings: To find out what is, to use
18 your words, within your level of competence at that time. Isn't that
20 A. I repeat: At the start of the briefing, every commander reports
21 on his matters. The commander, based on our proposals and the reports
22 concerning our units, issues tasks. Once we receive our tasks, the tasks
23 are no longer discussed. My duty as an officer is to carry out the task
24 or to at least try to carry it out. And in case I'm unable to carry it
25 out, my duty is to report to him about it. You know what the effect of
1 insubordination is, of the refusal to carry out the task.
2 Q. I want to deal with that last part where in actual fact there may
3 be a task and it is your duty to report to your superior officer that
4 there may be difficulties in achieving that task. However, if he, having
5 heard you, says you've still got to do it, you'd do it. That's right,
6 isn't it?
7 A. No, things weren't done at any cost. In other words, I tried to
8 carry out the task. If I was unable to, then I informed the commander
9 accordingly and the commander decided on the next steps to be taken. But
10 to be going head over heels and causing the death of 10 to 15 men, this
11 wasn't something that was done.
12 Q. Thank you for that. Let us now deal with an axis of attack.
13 An axis of attack is perfectly obvious, but let us assume there
14 are two units on that same axis of attack. One is TO, and another one is
15 regular soldiers. Do you follow me so far?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If in actual fact there has been a briefing only for the regular
18 soldiers, and there has been discussion about the level of competence of
19 what can be achieved on that axis of attack, how is it then that the
20 regular soldiers know what the problems will be from the TO or the TO know
21 about the problems from the regular soldiers if you're not at the same
22 briefing and under the same command?
23 A. Captain Radic advanced behind the Territorial Defence and behind
24 Vujovic. He was able to see what was going on.
25 My question to you is: Under the system prevailing at the time,
1 would you expect for -- would you expect the person who completed I don't
2 know what schools and has no military education at all and who is not
3 familiar with the system at all to support you? Because an error in
4 requesting support can cost lives.
5 Q. Well, that leads to my next question: You were in charge of the
6 mortar company, I think; is that right?
7 A. It was called the mortar battery at the time.
8 Q. My apologies. And the function of a mortar battery often involves
9 close support of ground troops; is that right?
10 A. It is predominantly intended for close support.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. There is an error in the
13 transcript. There was a misinterpretation. Could my learned friend put
14 the question again concerning Miroljub Vujovic. Because the text that can
15 be read in the transcript, these are lines 17 to 22 were something else
16 than what the witness said, but I would like my learned friend to check
17 that. That was page 84, lines 18 to 22.
18 I can tell you what the witness said but I don't want to. So
19 perhaps my learned friend should put that question again as to what
20 happens if two units are following the same axis of attack concerning
21 artillery support.
22 MR. MOORE: I think the problem is in the answer rather than the
23 question. I didn't mention Vujovic at all; it was the witness who did.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It appears, from Mr. Borovic's ear anyway, that
25 there has been a mistranslation.
1 Are you going to deal with the matter, Mr. Moore?
2 MR. MOORE: I wasn't going to deal with the matter. It can be
3 dealt with in re-examination. The answer is there and it keeps
4 disappearing off the screen as I speak.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
6 Mr. Borovic, if you would be kind enough if you wish to deal with
7 that matter when it comes up again in re-examination. Thank you.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is not a great
9 problem for the Defence or for re-examination but the sentence was
10 translated differently because the answer said such people who have no
11 education like Miroljub Vujovic could not request artillery support, and
12 the answer as it is in the transcript is something quite different. It
13 was important for me to point this out in order for my learned friend to
14 know how things worked. Otherwise the matter becomes moot.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic. You've done your best to
16 help Mr. Moore.
17 MR. MOORE: Well, may I just try and find the question. We have
18 managed to locate it.
19 Q. Can I ask this question -- I'll read it because I certainly
20 couldn't remember it. "If in actual fact there has been a briefing only
21 for the regular soldiers, and there has been discussion about the level of
22 competence of what can be achieved on that axis of attack, how is it,
23 then, that the regular soldiers know what the problems will be from the TO
24 or the TO know about the problems from the regular soldiers if they're not
25 at the same briefing or under the same command?"
1 Now, I've read that from the transcript, and I see Mr. Borovic is
2 not happy.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] You are reading the wrong question.
4 I gave you references. That was page 84, lines 18 to 22, where artillery
5 support along the axis of attack is mentioned.
6 If my learned friend doesn't wish to pursue this matter, as His
7 Honour said, I'm perfectly content with the matter as it is.
8 MR. MOORE: Well I'm sorry, the reference that my learned friend
9 gives is 18 to 22, and my 18 to 22 is an answer, not a question.
10 Therefore, how can I --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Therefore, Mr. Moore, I could give you the
12 reference on our screen which is yet a third one. I'm sorry about that
13 and the system but that is it.
14 Now perhaps you might pay a little more attention to Mr. Borovic
15 and identify the question on your screen and perhaps deal with it.
16 MR. MOORE: Well, Your Honour, I have been paying attention to
17 Mr. Borovic but he refers to an answer, not a question. May I try and
18 glean what it is.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct. I was talking about
20 the answer, because there is an error in the answer and not in the
21 question, and that's for the third time now.
22 MR. MOORE: Right. The answer apparently -- let me read out what
23 your answer is and then perhaps we can see if we can take it from there.
24 "Captain Radic advanced behind the Territorial Defence and behind
25 Vujovic. He was able to see what was going on.
1 "My question to you is: Under the system prevailing at the time
2 would you expect for -- would you expect the person who completed I don't
3 know what schools and has no military education at all and who is not
4 familiar with the system at all to support you because an error in
5 requesting support can cost lives."
6 Well, I'm sorry the answer, to me, makes sense.
7 Q. Are you saying in that reply that in actual fact because a person
8 was not educated, shall we say, overly, and had no military education at
9 all, that he therefore would not be able to call in fire support for
10 regular troops who were on the same axis of attack? Is that what you're
12 A. The only officers who had the right to seek to call fire support
13 were active-duty officers, namely commanders of companies and battalion
14 commanders. At no point in time throughout the combat activities not -- I
15 did not carry out a single combat action without receiving such calls from
16 any other persons than company commanders and battalion commanders.
17 Q. So therefore what you are saying is as follows: That in actual
18 fact if you had irregular and regular troops on the same axis of attack,
19 it would be the regular officer who would coordinate the fire support.
20 Would that be right?
21 A. He detects targets of fire -- firing positions and issues the
22 request to destroy them, and I'm talking about the active-duty officer.
23 On the basis of the map of the town that we had, the officer would send
24 such a request to me.
25 Q. So - almost finished with the topic - if you had a TO separate
1 briefing and a regular officer separate briefing that seems to be
2 suggested by yourself and others, what I simply want to know is: How does
3 one know what the other's goals are?
4 A. Major Tesic, who carried out the briefing with us, issued tasks
5 and set out objectives. Most probably at a later stage, when issuing
6 tasks to the Territorial Defence, he would adopt the tasks he issued to
7 them with the task he -- tasks he had issued to me, in terms of fire
9 Q. And I am suggesting to you that if there is one person who knows
10 about coordination and subordination and fire support, because it has to
11 go through the regular officers, it will be Major Tesic; that is right
12 isn't it?
13 A. In essence, yes, he is the one who issues tasks.
14 Q. And therefore he is the one who will know whether units are
15 subordinated to him, units under his control, isn't that right, and under
16 the control of the companies?
17 A. I'm telling you again: Within the composition of the
18 1st Motorised Battalion, the commander of which was Major Tesic, not a
19 single unit was subordinated or attached, but Tesic also carried out the
20 duty of commander of the assault detachment, if you get my point.
21 Q. Then, quite simply, explain why Tesic should use the phrase: "I
22 know that Radic's orders were fully complied with," if in actual fact
23 these units were not subordinated to him?
24 A. Radic's orders to his troops and his company were fully complied
25 with because that was the sort of officer he was. But Radic was not
1 entitled to command the unit he was acting in coordination with.
2 Q. Can we deal then, please, with the fact that you said that you
3 heard Tesic order Radic to the hospital on the 19th, so that you're
4 familiar with the topic.
5 Prior to speaking to myself, did you compile any document which
6 you supplied to the Defence indicating that you had overheard this
7 particular order?
8 A. I didn't compile any document.
9 Q. So what are you using to remember an order 15 years ago where you
10 said that the airwaves were being used 24 hours a day? Did you use a
12 A. No, I used my memory only. I remembered the important dates of
13 certain events.
14 Q. Would it surprise you to know that Major Tesic, in his interview
15 with the Office of the Prosecutor, said that he did not issue any orders
16 to Radic on the 19th of November?
17 A. I don't believe that Tesic said that he didn't issue the order
18 because I heard as much.
19 Q. But would it surprise you for Tesic to say that? "I saw Captain
20 Radic in the hospital on the 19th of November. I did not issue him any
21 orders relating to the evacuation of the hospital."
22 Now, does that surprise you, bearing in mind what you've just
24 A. I can't believe that Major Tesic stated that. Therefore, this
25 goes to show that it surprises me.
1 Q. In actual fact, paragraph 38, he says as follows: "On the 19th of
2 November, there were members of the local Serb Vukovar TO in the hospital
3 compound. I arrived at the hospital with a small number of men of the
4 1st Assault Group led by Sasa Bojkovski. Parts of the 3rd Assault Group
5 of Captain Radic came from the flank, from the direction of the bus
6 station. I had not issued orders to that effect to Radic."
7 Now, you have told us the high regard that you hold Tesic in. So
8 would you like to reflect upon your answer after 15 years of time elapse?
9 A. No, I can -- I still hold Tesic in high esteem. He is the
10 commander of the battalion I was waging a war with, or I served in in
11 war. And I can't believe that he stated that. I don't know what to say.
12 Q. Well, if you can't believe why he stated that, can I suggest one
13 of the reasons that he stated it was because he said: "I did not issue
14 him any orders relating to the evacuation of the hospital. That would
15 have brought me into conflict with my commander since he had not issued
16 orders to me."
17 That was Mrksic. So he's saying he didn't get the orders from
18 Mrksic and therefore he didn't order Radic. That was why. What do you
19 say to that?
20 A. So you mean to say that after 49 days of war, during which no
21 orders were refused, and after I and everyone else carried out Tesic's
22 orders, someone on the 19th dared not to comply with his order or dared do
23 something without an order from him. This was simply impossible.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Before we go on a break, as I presume, Your Honour, my learned
2 friend is putting his questions carefully and that's all very well.
3 However, at the end, he talks about Tesic's order concerning the 19th of
4 November and refers to a part of Tesic's statement concerning the
5 evacuation of the hospital and the order of -- on the evacuation of the
6 hospital which did not take place on that day and has nothing to do with
7 it. Because this is the order dated the 19th and the other the order
8 dated the 20th.
9 I believe in this way the witness is being misled. The question
10 can stand without the reference to the evacuation of the hospital and then
11 the witness can answer it. And I think my learned friend should put to
12 him the question in this way, mentioning the evacuation of the hospital
13 and the 19th.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, you have relied heavily upon a statement
16 of a person that neither you have called nor is any Defence intending to
17 call. You may, of course, properly put matters from that statement to the
18 witness to see if the witness has a reaction.
19 On a point, I think, different from the particular point
20 Mr. Borovic has made but which has become apparent to the Chamber, you are
21 by the end then using the answer as a point of argument to put to the
22 witness. That, in the circumstances, in our view is taking the use you
23 can make of that statement too far.
24 Thank you.
25 We will resume at 4.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
4 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
5 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, you will be pleased to hear I've looked at all my
6 questions to come, I have about 15 or 20 minutes, I think, and no more,
7 and that may assist my learned friend with his next witness.
8 Can I deal then, please, with the dinner that you say you had with
9 Mr. Radic. I want to deal with that topic.
10 Was the general intention to invite the officers, generally, to
11 that dinner?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And presumably you were the focal point of the invitation from the
14 local people. Would that be correct?
15 A. I don't understand your question. Was I the one who decided which
16 local people would be invited to the dinner? Is that what you want to
18 Q. No. What I really wanted to try and clarify - I'm not trying to
19 catch you out in any way - is was it a dinner that was organised by local
20 people, shall we say, to say thank you to the soldiers for liberating
21 them, in general terms?
22 A. Yes. Local residents, yes. But only residents from the street
23 where I was, which includes some seven to eight houses, meaning seven to
24 eight families, not local residents of the entire settlement or anything
25 of the sort.
1 Q. And would it be right to say then again, in general terms, the
2 officers were to be invited through you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And Major Tesic was invited; is that correct?
5 A. No. Major Tesic wasn't there.
6 Q. But Major Tesic was there on the 20th.
7 A. On the 20th, Major Tesic went to the command for a briefing or to
8 report. Now you got me all -- yes, on the 20th, Major Tesic went to the
9 command to submit a report, and I don't know when he came back.
10 Q. That may well be the case. Are you saying Major Tesic was not in
11 Vukovar on the 20th or he just was not around to go to the dinner?
12 A. Major Tesic was there for the beginning of the reporting and then
13 went to the command. Captain Stijakovic completed the reporting and then
14 issued tasks. Upon completion of the reporting, I called the officers.
15 Q. Yes, but my point is very simple. Here is what I will call a
16 party, a dinner - take that back - a dinner organised in general terms by
17 the civilians in your local area for the officers, and the one person I'd
18 suggest who you're going to ask to come, even if he can't make it because
19 of obligations, will be Major Tesic; he's your commanding officer. Now,
20 he doesn't drink, you tell us he doesn't like drink, but he is the one
21 person, I'd suggest, that you would invite.
22 Now, I'm asking: Did you invite him?
23 A. Had he stayed until the end of the briefing, I would surely have
24 invited him, just as I did invite Captain Stijakovic who thanked me for
25 the invitation but said that he was unable to come because he had to stay
1 at the command post where he had duties to attend to.
2 Q. How far away was Tesic's command post from where the dinner was
3 being held?
4 A. In my view, some 400 to 500 metres.
5 Q. And can we assume that as there are 7-8 Motorolas, that we were
6 not in party mode as such, that the Motorolas still remained with company
7 commanders and people like Tesic?
8 A. Yes. But I think that that's not relevant or important because
9 these things were not discussed on Motorolas. How could I call my
10 commander, who had gone to the superior command, how could I call him on a
11 Motorola and invite him to a dinner? That would be inappropriate.
12 Q. All right. Well, we can deal with it a different way. I would
13 suggest it is not inappropriate, perhaps, to contact Major Tesic because
14 this clearly was an all-night affair. You could have contacted Major
15 Tesic at 10.00 at night. The briefings in the command were over long
16 before that, weren't they?
17 A. I don't know when he came back, and I really didn't pay attention
18 to the time. We were sitting together in good company, in good mood, we
19 were laughing, singing, so I simply wasn't paying attention to that. I
20 considered everyone to be invited, and Major Tesic could have asked
21 Captain Stijakovic. I don't even know whether they discussed it.
22 Q. But are you saying that Tesic had gone for the command briefing to
23 see Mrksic on the 20th?
24 A. I don't know with whom, but he definitely went to the command in
25 Negoslavci. That's all I know. I don't know what was taking place in
1 Negoslavci. But he went for a briefing to the brigade headquarters
2 command. Every officer has his deputy and if he is absent, there are
3 rules about substitution, just as Stijakovic substituted for Tesic when he
4 was absent. The same applied to everyone else.
5 Q. Well, you see, we've heard evidence that Mr. Mrksic left his
6 command because he was off to Belgrade to see his wife and the boiler was
7 being heated up, so that was around about 7.30, 8.00. Did you ever check
8 to see if Major Tesic was back and perhaps you could either contact him by
9 Motorola, which you deem to be inappropriate, or send someone round, or
10 indeed you personally go round and say: Look, we're having a dinner,
11 would you like to come and join us?
12 A. No, I didn't go anywhere from the house after coming back from the
13 briefing. And if Colonel Mrksic went to Belgrade, Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Panic was the one who briefed. That would be logical to me.
15 Q. Well, never mind who's briefing. All I'm asking is: Did you or
16 did you not contact Major Tesic, as an officer, to come and join you at
17 the dinner? The answer is yes or no, please.
18 A. No. Because I didn't know at all when he came back, nor did I
19 check that.
20 Q. And you have told us it was a long and enjoyable night which you
21 felt, English phrase, a little rough the next day. Would that be right?
22 A little fatigued?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you told Tesic on the 21st about the problems that you had had
25 and the fact that you had been to the dinner?
1 A. Yes. Because Tesic asked me why I had not been clean-shaven. We
2 had been given an order that we can't have unkempt appearance, we had to
3 look properly, so I was unshaven and rather dirty.
4 My unit or, rather, some people from my unit were in the field
5 where it was quite muddy, and the entire day we worked on my equipment
6 pulling it out of the mud and so on. So as soon as he saw me, he said to
7 me: Why do you look like this? This is improper. And Captain Stijakovic
8 had already said that he had criticised me about it. So what he did was
9 asked me about my dishevelled appearance and then I explained it to him.
10 Q. That your dishevelled appearance had been because had you stayed
11 late or basically until the early hours of the morning and then had been
12 busy working that day; is that right? That's why you had not shaved?
13 A. Yes. And since Major Tesic knew me really well, he was probably
14 able to see on my face that I had partied hard last night. And since he
15 absolutely cannot stand alcohol, he criticised me, he asked me who, when,
16 where, and why, and then I explained it to him. I told him there was a
17 dinner and this and that.
18 Q. There's a small problem, Mr. Vuckovic. Major Tesic wasn't in
19 Vukovar on the 21st, he was in Belgrade, and he didn't come back to
20 Vukovar until the 22nd. What do you say to that?
21 A. As far as I can remember, he came back on the 21st in the evening.
22 Q. And I would suggest to you, regrettably, that you are a gentleman
23 who has come to tell lies to help your friend and have been caught out.
24 What do you say to that?
25 A. Sir, the Judges' job is to establish whether I'm lying or not.
1 I'm telling you what I know and what I remember.
2 Q. When did you arrive in The Hague?
3 A. On Saturday.
4 Q. And who did you travel with?
5 A. With Zirojevic.
6 Q. I thought you were going to say the airline, and I didn't mean it,
7 it was an imprecise question.
8 And what time did you come to the hotel?
9 A. I'm not sure exactly. I think at around 10.00.
10 Q. That's in the morning; yes?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And I think it's correct to say, as indeed you're entitled, you
13 saw Defence lawyers. Did you see them on Saturday?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At what time did you see the Defence lawyers, approximately,
17 A. Sometime in the afternoon, towards the evening.
18 Q. And which lawyers did you see, can you remember the name, male or
19 female? And Mr. Borovic wins on this one, I think.
20 A. I met with Mr. Borovic.
21 Q. And at what time did you see Mr. Borovic and for how long?
22 A. I'm not sure exactly. I saw him on Saturday towards the evening.
23 In the evening we were together for an hour, hour and a half.
24 Q. And did Mr. Borovic make notes of what you were saying?
25 A. I think so. We talked. I don't know what he noted down.
1 Q. And did you see Mr. Borovic again on Sunday or did you see the
2 ladies on this occasion?
3 A. Yes, Mrs. Mira was there.
4 Q. Ms. Tapuskovic, as we know her.
5 A. Yes, yes, yes.
6 Q. And at what time did you see her?
7 A. I'm not sure. I think it was 9.30 in the morning.
8 Q. And how long did the conversations last with the lawyers on
10 A. Approximately, again, hour to hour and a half.
11 Q. And was that the last time you saw the lawyers or had contact with
12 the lawyers? And please reflect upon your answer.
13 A. No. I think that we had a coffee together yesterday, or rather
14 last night.
15 Q. And who did you have a coffee with?
16 A. With Mr. Borovic.
17 Q. And anyone else?
18 A. Yes, Mr. Forca was present last night as well, whom I happen to
19 know professionally.
20 Q. Who will be our next witness; is that right? You may know that,
21 you may not.
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. I, at the very start, reminded you, although I'm sure you remember
24 it, that we met in Belgrade. I want to deal with that, if I may, briefly.
25 You saw me along with an interpreter and an investigator at the
1 offices of the Tribunal in Belgrade. That's right, I think, isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the format was that the -- I think there were introductions,
4 the investigator read out some prepared form about taking a statement, and
5 you were asked whether you had received a waiver. Now, do you remember
6 that question?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And isn't it right to say that you said that you had not received
9 a waiver?
10 A. Yes, that's what I said.
11 Q. When did you actually receive the waiver? Because we have heard
12 evidence the waiver was issued on the 13th of September.
13 A. Sir, I explained it to you back then. I said that around the
14 22nd of August I was on vacation and I returned from my vacation on the
15 18th of September. Upon returning to work, I received a call from my
16 chief, my superior officer, who handed me in the appropriate paperwork.
17 That is to say, that during my vacation, nobody contacted me, nobody
18 called me to tell me to come in so that I can receive the waiver.
19 Before going on my vacation, I received a notice to attend the
20 interview with you. I signed the receipt which was sent to you. I came
21 to see you at the set time, and I said to you all of these things during
22 our interview. I received the waiver on the 18th, and our interview was
23 on the 14th of September. And I apologise, that can be verified with my
25 Q. And when were you informed that in actual fact you were being
1 asked to see officers from the Prosecution? We know you attended on
2 the 14th. When did you receive notification that you were going to be
3 spoken to?
4 A. Just before going on my vacation, in mid-August.
5 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour forgive me one moment, please.
6 Q. Can I deal with just two other matters. I will suggest it to you,
7 because I think it's only fair and right. There may or may not have been
8 a dinner on the night of the 20th, but I would suggest to you that in
9 actual fact Captain Radic left much earlier than you said and had left
10 somewhere between 11.00 p.m. and 1.00 a.m. What do you say to that?
11 A. I stand by my statement. I know how this transpired because it
12 was taking place in the house where I was.
13 Q. Finally this: Did company commanders, did they have a soldier who
14 escorted them, what I would call a quasi body-guard? When they were
15 serving in Vukovar, obviously.
16 A. Yes, they did, but in the very beginning. We are now speaking of
17 the beginning of October, up until the 9th or 10th or at around that
18 time. Because at that time, we were still not sufficiently familiar with
19 the streets. There were many ruins, and it was unsafe, generally.
20 However, as soon as we consolidated our lines, as soon as the fire
21 system was established, there was no need for that any longer and, among
22 other things, the battalion commander, Major Tesic, had ordered that all
23 movement be reduced to minimum. At night, we were banned from any
24 movement except from the observation post to the command.
25 Q. Zirojevic, who was the previous witness, said that he attended
1 your dinner, that -- no, it's my fault, it's Mr. Radic said that he went
2 to your dinner, acquired some cigarettes and took them across to yourself
3 and your soldier. What is the name of that soldier whom you were with and
4 that he referred to?
5 A. He didn't bring it just to me and my soldier. I had a total of
6 seven soldiers with me, not just one. I remember the names of some of
7 them. One of them was called Nikola Kaludjerski, the other one was Mirko
8 Ilic, and then Mehmedovic or something like that, and I don't remember the
9 names of others, I just remember their faces.
10 Q. Why should he merely refer to singular, a soldier, rather than
11 soldiers? Who might that be if he's just referring to one person?
12 A. I don't know how four or five or six cartons of cigarettes can be
13 given to just one soldier. What is one soldier going to do with that?
14 What about all the other soldiers? What are they to do? The cigarettes
15 were given to the troops and they were on the table.
16 MR. MOORE:
17 Q. So you are saying that --
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
19 MR. MOORE: Sorry, my fault.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. My learned friend, just
21 to avoid any confusion, there was no mention of one soldier, and my
22 learned friend can verify this if he wishes to.
23 MR. MOORE: Well, my recollection it was a soldier, singular,
24 unnamed, and I merely inquire whether -- what the name was.
25 Your Honour, I can assist the Court if Your Honour would give me
1 one moment. Just reading back at 12.664/23, this is Mr. Radic: "I still
2 had some cartons of cigarettes left there, and I grabbed one of those to
3 take back to the Second Lieutenant Vuckovic and his soldier."
4 Q. And I'm just asking who your soldier is, not plural.
5 A. I'm telling you, first of all, Radic never saw me at the
6 observation post with less than four soldiers. That is to say, during
7 operations, I always had four soldiers around me; two who were dealing
8 with communications, and two who were scouts, by specialty. So it cannot
9 possibly be that I had just one soldier with me.
10 In town, if I can say so, or at the observation point in
11 Oslobodjenje Street, there were a total of seven soldiers with me. The
12 rest of the unit was at the firing position.
13 Q. So if Radic says that he's wrong. You don't have a soldier?
14 A. No. I was always in the company of several soldiers. And I'm not
15 talking about escorts. I'm talking about the work at the observation post
16 and I had several posts. My main observation post was in the Oslobodjenje
17 Street and I went there every night.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 12.236, this
20 isn't what it says on that page. I wasn't able to locate it anywhere.
21 And in the notes that I made, it says "soldiers" which arises logically
22 from the answer. But at any rate, I believe the witness has answered this
23 question on several times.
24 If my learned friend wishes to insist upon this matter, he should
25 find the page and the relevant lines where it was stated.
1 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I've given the reference and I'm not
2 going to repeat it. I certainly have got a printing, a printout of the
3 examination-in-chief. I don't know if there are two translations or not.
4 I certainly have singular soldier. That's all I can say.
5 And I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
7 Yes, in the English version, Mr. Borovic, it is "soldier" in the
9 Now, Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] In our notes, which we didn't know
11 that they were going to be used anywhere, it says "soldiers." It may have
12 been misinterpretation. But on the basis of the witness's answers, the
13 matter is quite clear, and I will accept any decision by the Trial Chamber
14 in this regard. Thank you.
15 If Mr. Moore has finished, I would like to start my
17 Re-examination by Mr. Borovic:
18 Q. Mr. Vuckovic, do you know that Mr. Radic was given the medal of
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know whether he received the medal because he saved your
22 life on two occasions or because of the military activities in Vukovar?
23 A. He received the medal for the totality of the activities.
24 Q. In proofing you, did I speak to you on a separate occasion and did
25 I speak to Mr. Zirojevic separately?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As the Prosecutor put to you Borivoje Tesic's statement on several
3 occasions and he did not present to you paragraph 48, I will put it to
4 you. To the question from the OTP whether he had seen Radic on the 20th
5 of November, his answer was as follows: "I saw Radic on that day, on the
6 20th of November in the evening." He went on to say: "The commander of
7 my mortar company told me later on that Radic" --
8 MR. MOORE: [Previous translation continues] ... the form of the
9 question. Mr. Borovic is merely trying to give evidence as such and not
10 elicit an answer by way of re-examination. It is to the form that I
12 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid Mr. Borovic may be learning bad habits,
13 Mr. Moore. He is following very much the form that you used persistently
14 in your cross-examination.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 I'm not taking this against Mr. Moore. We are complementing each
17 other. "The commander of my mortar company told me later on that Radic
18 had stayed on with him on the 20th of November, 1991, late into the
20 Tesic gave the statement to the OTP investigators in 2003. Is
21 this consistent with what I asked you, whether you spoke to Tesic on that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You said that you heard from Radic that Tesic visited him -- his
25 company only once during these combat activities. Do you have any such
2 A. Well, he was never at my observation post.
3 Q. From the 10th to the 18th of November, who was the commander of
4 Assault Detachment 1?
5 A. Major Borivoje Tesic.
6 Q. Thank you. From the 10th of November to -- through to the fall of
7 Vukovar, under whose control were the TO Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica
9 A. They were within Assault Detachment 1.
10 Q. Under whose control therefore?
11 A. Major Tesic's.
12 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you about the reason why Tesic
13 stated many matters differently because --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Defence counsel please repeat the last
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation].
17 Q. If I'm telling that you these are the reasons, do you think that I
18 am right?
19 A. Now that I look back at things, of course.
20 Q. You were an artillery soldier?
21 A. I am still.
22 Q. Are the rules governing infantry different?
23 A. Yes, drastically different.
24 Q. And that means?
25 A. That means that an infantry officer cannot directly control an
1 artillery unit.
2 Q. Thank you. Borivoje Tesic gave his statement to the OTP in 2003.
3 Would you be surprised if I told you that in 2004 Sasa Bojkovski gave a
4 statement to the same OTP and he, in answering the question as to where he
5 was on the 19th of November when the captured soldiers were released, in
6 paragraph 23 --
7 MR. MOORE: [Previous translation continues] ... perhaps that's a
8 different issue. I have not referred to Bojkovski's statement in any way
9 at all.
10 JUDGE PARKER: No, I'm trying to discern what the point of the
11 statement is that's relevant for -- or arises from cross-examination,
12 Mr. Borovic. Can you tell me?
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Openly and briefly, the -- Bojkovski
14 was the person who Tesic ordered to provide military security for the
15 hospital on the 19th of November, and Bojkovski in his statement to the
16 OTP in 2004 says: "I didn't have any orders concerning the visit to the
18 The Prosecutor made -- mentioned Bojkovski on page 10 concerning
19 this order -- or, rather, I apologise, on page 95 -- or rather -- on
20 page 35, not -- and page 90.
21 Q. Would you be surprised if I told you that he didn't have the order
22 to secure the hospital?
23 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... I still
24 haven't seen, Mr. Borovic, how this arises out of cross-examination. I
25 know it's late in the day and I'm probably slow, but I still haven't got
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] This witness was told that Tesic
3 claimed that on the 19th of November, he did not issue Radic with any
4 orders concerning external security of the hospital. The witness stated
5 that he heard the order issued over the Motorola.
6 He was also given Tesic's statement about giving this order to
7 Bojkovski, and I'm reading here Bojkovski stated in the statement that he
8 didn't have an order to that effect and that's all.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note again that a question and
10 answer were not interpreted because the interpreter didn't catch the
12 JUDGE PARKER: We are all three still not able to see that this
13 arises out of cross-examination.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that the
15 witness's explanation of the order was sufficient. I do not wish to waste
16 any more time. I simply wanted to put to the witness that Sasa Bojkovski
17 never had the order to provide security to the hospital by following the
18 way in which my learned friend did it. If this is not re-examination
19 proper, then we can let the matter stand where they are.
20 Or once again, briefly, it was put to the witness that Tesic
21 issued the order to provide security for the hospital to Sasa Bojkovski,
22 and I presented the witness with Bojkovski's statement where Bojkovski
23 stated that he didn't have any such orders. Bojkovski gave his statement
24 one year after Tesic did.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Borovic, you've battled strongly but
1 you may have to accept defeat. We're still not able to see it as a matter
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can afford one defeat a day.
4 I have the following question for the witness.
5 Q. Is there a Serb news agency who prepares witnesses for testimony
6 before this Court?
7 A. No.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have completed my
9 re-examination. Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: You will be pleased to know, sir, that that
11 concludes the evidence that you will be asked to give here. We would
12 thank you for your attendance and for the assistance that you've been able
13 to give. You are, of course, now, at liberty to return to your ordinary
15 Thank you again, and the court officer will show you out.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE PARKER: This is becoming a habit with witness after
19 another, we've finished with about 10 or 12 minutes today to go. Is there
20 any point in bringing the witness in and swearing him in, Mr. Borovic?
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] This is called efficient work on the
22 part of the Defence. And I would request that we ask the examination --
23 that we start the examination of the expert witness tomorrow morning.
24 We would also tender 92 bis witness statements into evidence. It
25 would take only five minutes.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Before you do that, while we still have our mind on
2 the expert witness, what would be your expectation of the time that
3 witness will take?
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, having heard your
5 decision concerning the Defence for Mr. Sljivancanin, my intention was to
6 shorten the testimony. However, I would like to give the opportunity to
7 my colleagues to examine Mr. Forca in detail. I do believe that we would
8 be able to finish his examination tomorrow, perhaps we would need to use
9 up some time on Thursday as well, but it will be depend entirely upon my
10 learned friend opposite. We hope to finish tomorrow and possibly we will
11 need some time on Thursday.
12 JUDGE PARKER: When you say "we," is that including your friend
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I do believe that we
15 cooperated well and are doing the same job.
16 JUDGE PARKER: All right. That's not just an estimate of the
17 Defence evidence but of all evidence of the witness. Very well.
18 Does any other counsel have any different view of that?
19 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I wonder if my learned friend would be
20 able to estimate, and I don't attempt to tie him down in any way, but how
21 long does he anticipate that he will actually be in chief and whether in
22 actual fact the Defence on behalf of Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Sljivancanin, how
23 long they might be? Because that gives a much better time estimate for
25 JUDGE PARKER: While you're on your feet, how do you see your
1 cross-examination at the moment, Mr. Moore?
2 MR. MOORE: Well, actually, it's Mr. Weiner's cross-examination,
3 so -- but we are indivisible. So I would have thought that we would take
4 no more than, I would have thought, three to four hours. It just really
5 depends how -- how long and what issues Mr. Forca deals with. I can see
6 it being a lot shorter. That would be our intention, to have it shorter.
7 But until we actually know what issues are going to be dealt with, it's
8 rather difficult to estimate.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet, do you have any expectation of
10 cross-examining tomorrow?
11 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I do.
12 JUDGE PARKER: How long do you think?
13 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] My examination should not take
14 longer than an hour. If all of us invested additional effort to finish
15 tomorrow, I would be able to shorten it down to 30 or 40 minutes to the
16 very relevant if all the others would do the same, but if the Prosecution
17 requires three to four hours, then I really don't see the possibility of
18 finishing tomorrow, and therefore I don't see the point of me shortening
19 my cross-examination of the witness.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic. Oh, Mr. Bulatovic.
21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will be examining
22 Mr. Forca. On the basis of what was said, I estimate our
23 cross-examination of the witness would last about 45 minutes, it could be
24 less, but not more than 45 minutes.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Well, even if Mr. Moore is at the lower
1 end of his estimate, I think we are likely to creep into Thursday, by the
2 sound of everything put together, although we do have a full day tomorrow,
3 so we live in hope.
4 Now, Mr. Borovic, you promised us the prospect of some exhibits.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you're right. My
6 colleague Tapuskovic has just completed the filing. Perhaps we could
7 leave that for tomorrow.
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as we promised, our
9 motion is being translated and we will do it in writing after all because
10 the witnesses on our exhibit list, and there is 41 of them who were not
11 tendered through the witnesses we called so far, we will give an
12 explanation as to why we believe that they have to be admitted into
13 evidence. The motion will be officially filed tomorrow.
14 We believe that before the testimony of our military expert,
15 Mr. Forca, we should use up three or four minutes to move that two 92 bis
16 witness statements be admitted into evidence. Your decision was of a
17 provisional nature because the witness statements had to be accompanied by
18 92 bis certifications which were formerly certified by the Registrar, and
19 we would need to discuss this matter tomorrow for -- briefly for only two
20 to three minutes.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Is it that you need those statements for the expert
23 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I will remind
24 you, 92 bis statements go to the character of the accused and are in no
25 way linked to the testimony of the expert witness.
1 JUDGE PARKER: That being the case, it may be that we should go
2 straight to the expert witness and deal with your formal written motion
3 when we have finished with the expert witness. That, in particular, would
4 give an opportunity to the other parties to see the document before it's
5 raised. It's not to be filed until tomorrow, it may be a cause of
6 unnecessary delay if they've not had a chance to look at it.
7 We will, therefore, unless there's some need for those statements
8 for the last witness, we would, I think, prefer to leave it until after
9 the witness's evidence has been dealt with and it may be possible that
10 that can be all accomplished in the course of tomorrow. We will live in
11 that hope.
12 Thank you all.
13 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is the way we
14 will proceed.
15 JUDGE PARKER: And we will adjourn now and resume again tomorrow
16 at 9.30.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.57 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 18th day of
19 October, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.