1 Wednesday, 18 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir. Would you please read aloud the
7 affirmation on the card that is given to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: BOZIDAR FORCA
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
13 Mr. Borovic.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Before we start, I think that the court officer has distributed
16 the report to the Bench and to my learned friends. In order to follow
17 this testimony, I would like to ask my colleague here to distribute this
18 document about footnotes so that everybody can follow easier. The
19 testimony and the footnotes refer to the exhibits -- to documents that we
20 are going to tender into evidence.
21 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Would you so kind to state your full name and last name, year of
25 birth, and your occupation?
1 A. Your Honours, I am Colonel Bozidar Forca, an active-duty
2 serviceman in the army of Serbia. That is to say, I am currently serving
3 as deputy chief of administration for development of the army of Serbia
4 General Staff.
5 Q. I also asked you to give us the year of birth, place of birth.
6 And then please slowly tell us about your educational background as well
7 as your career details, the offices you held individually, and what have
8 you done in your academic work so far?
9 A. I was born on the 8th of January, 1957, in the village of Brovac,
10 the municipality of Backa Palanka, which is located in Serbia in the
11 province of Vojvodina. I completed elementary school in that village and
12 I completed my secondary school in Backa Palanka.
13 Following the secondary school, where I received military
14 scholarship throughout four years, I enrolled in the military academy in
15 Belgrade in the infantry department. The education was first conceived in
16 such a way at that time that the first three years of schooling took place
17 in Belgrade and the last fourth year was attended in Sarajevo in
19 I completed military academy, the infantry department in 1979, and
20 I was appointed to my first post in the centre of military technical
21 schools of ground forces in Zagreb. This is the centre that mostly
22 educated and trained officers and other military personnel for technical
23 specialties, logistical specialties and so on.
24 As an infantry man, I was appointed commander of a platoon of
25 cadets attending the military academy, and I served in that post until
2 Given that I was trained as an infantry man, we, from various
3 branches of service were sent to attend training for teachers and then
4 they selected teachers among us. So that from the rank of lieutenant, I
5 also was appointed as a teacher. I taught tactics. I taught at the
6 military secondary school level, and I also taught at the military academy
8 Q. Would you please slow down.
9 A. Certainly. I always said -- or, rather, it was always said that I
10 served as an example of a leader among teachers. What does this mean?
11 This means that as soon as I started teaching, I was sent to the Zagreb
12 university where I completed a training course for young teachers which
13 lasted for four months.
14 As I developed as a teacher, I was sent to the school centre in
15 Sarajevo where I completed a course for commanders of infantry battalions
16 which lasted five months. Following that, I passed exams for the rank of
17 major which was a condition to be appointed to a higher function at the
19 In the military academy in 1985 when my year graduated, I remained
20 within that same military academy, and I was appointed to the department
21 of military education where I served as a teacher of tactics.
22 When I retired --
23 Q. Mr. Forca, could you slow down even more.
24 A. Certainly. When I retired -- or, rather, when the colonel who
25 taught command and control subjects retired, I was appointed teacher of
1 command and control and I served in that post until the centre was
2 relocated from Zagreb to Belgrade in 1991 due to the well-known wartime
3 events in Croatia at the time.
4 Q. Thank you. During the operations in Vukovar in 1991, where were
6 A. In 1991, as the Vukovar operation was in progress, I was under the
7 siege in the centre of military and technical schools. The siege was laid
8 by the Croatian paramilitary forces, and the siege meant that we were
9 unable to leave the barracks. Water and electricity supply had been cut
10 off, they fired at us, they launched grenades and bombs at us, and they
11 insulted us on ethnical grounds.
12 Q. Where was the centre?
13 A. It was in Zagreb in Crnomerec municipality.
14 Q. Now, would you please be so kind and describe the rest of your
15 military and professional career but in less detail, please. You have to
16 follow the words on the transcript in front of you, otherwise not
17 everything you say will be recorded.
18 A. Upon my arrival in Belgrade in December of 1991, I remained at the
19 military technical academy which had been relocated to Belgrade. I
20 remained there until September of 1992 when I was transferred to the
21 institute of war skills, which is an academic facility now called military
22 research institute.
23 There, in that institute, I had to focus on my own professional
24 and academic advancement, and to that end I completed my masters studies
25 in 1994. I acquired a Ph.D degree in 2003. This is as far as the
1 academic advancement is concerned, as it is known in our country.
2 Q. Could you please slow down. Please follow the transcript and
3 when you see that the typing has stopped, then you may proceed. I'm sure
4 that you are nervous a little bit, but with time it is bound to get
6 A. As I said, within my academic advancement, I completed my masters
7 degree and acquired a Ph.D degree.
8 As for my professional advanced learning, there were several
9 trainings. There was a command staff school and the school of national
10 defence, which were the highest learning facilities within our army.
11 In 1997, I also graduated from the school of national defence.
12 Thus, within my professional advancement, I have achieved the maximum, if
13 one may say so. I hold a Ph.D degree in military science, and I am also a
14 graduate of the school of national defence.
15 Naturally, this is not the end of it. In addition to that, I was
16 sent to England, to York, to further my knowledge of the English language.
17 I visited many countries of Europe where I attended various advanced
18 learning courses. I went to Zagreb to RACVIAC centre, where we dealt with
19 regional arms control. Then I went to Madrid, to Spain, which was
20 sponsored by the Human Rights Commissioner for European Union, or Council
21 of Europe, and owing to the donation of the Ministry of Defence of Italy,
22 I completed the first degree studies of the Italian language.
23 I also attended a school of -- NATO school in Oberammergau in
24 Germany where I attended some courses. I also travelled professionally to
25 Bulgaria, to the United States, and I also met with various foreign
1 military dignitaries when they visited our country.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Forca. The report that you drafted has two parts.
3 Am I right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Does the first part pertain to the doctrinal and legal provisions
6 of the armed forces of the SFRY and is it focused on command and control
7 system from brigade to squad?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. This first part of your report, does it have two subparts and can
10 you tell us something about them? We will first cover the table of
11 contents and then we will proceed to individual questions.
12 Is the first subpart dealing with tasks, organisation,
13 recruitment, and replenishment of the armed forces?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then within the second subpart, you deal with command and
16 control of the armed forces?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The second part of your report once again has two subparts; the
19 first subpart is previous operations, and the second subpart is Guards
20 Motorised Brigade, Operations Group South in Operation Vukovar?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Now, I would like to ask you to turn to the questions pertaining
23 to the first part of your report, which is the part dealing with command
24 and control of the armed forces, and this will serve as an introduction
25 into what we will need further on from your analysis.
1 My first question, Professor: Briefly can you explain to us the
2 relationship between the -- such terms as command and control in the armed
3 forces of the SFRY?
4 A. Your Honours, in our theory and practice, as well as in the theory
5 and practice of the period that we are dealing with, there was a dilemma
6 and there was a disagreement, there was a lack of full consensus on the
7 relationship between the terms "command and control." In that sense, I
8 stated in my report that in different rules and regulations, this notion
9 was given different names.
10 As a result of that, as one of the sources which was respected a
11 great deal in the armed forces of the SFRY, there was a book called "Some
12 Issues and Problems in the Command and Control of Armed Forces." That was
13 the source that I referred to.
14 Essentially, during that period of time - I must stress this - one
15 of the leading theoretician of the theory of command and control in the
16 armed forces of the SFRY was Dr. Branislav Jovanovic, a colonel at the
17 time. In his observation of command and control, he most frequently spoke
18 of two options or directions. The first one was that the notions of
19 command and control were actually synonyms, that they had the same
21 The second option was that the control was a broader notion or
22 concept than command and that command and control entailed planning,
23 organising, command, coordination, and control or inspection. Bearing in
24 mind the rules that are known to you, and bearing in mind the relationship
25 between theory and practice, the person who is in command may be said that
1 he is the one deciding on the use of the unit, that he issues orders, and
2 conducts the inspection.
3 In the process, the other functions in that same field, they
4 constitute command and control.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Forca. Here is the second question. Can you tell
6 us what the difference is between the notions of principles and factors of
7 command and control? Because of course we want to hear your opinion, as
8 opposed to the opinion of some other expert witnesses.
9 A. Of course. Your Honours, you will know that I was present here in
10 the courtroom when Prosecution expert witnesses testified, and this issue
11 of the relationship between the principle, on the one hand, and the factor
12 on the other was raised. In my view, General Pringle, who was the expert
13 witness for the Prosecution, confused the provisions relating to the
14 principles and factors.
15 Now, why do I say this? Because in our theory, and before this
16 Tribunal there is the exhibit, the manual on command and control for
17 military academies, there is a clear distinction between the control
18 principles and control factors. You see, in our theory there existed
19 alongside the notions of principles that were referred to in the B/C/S in
20 two different ways, "nacela" and "principi." But what is the difference
21 now between the notion of principle if it's taken from the legislation on
22 the unity of command, continuity of command, flexibility and so on and so
23 forth, and factors on the other side? It stems from the practice and
24 experience a priori and a posteriori. The principles govern the rules
25 according to which the soldiers have to behave in combat. It doesn't
1 really matter whether a theory arises from experience or from theoretical
2 or empirical aspects. The principles have to be valid both before and
3 after combat operations, and then it is possible to say that. If it was
4 not the case that the principles were adhered to, one could say that this
5 is the case of deviating from the standard practice.
6 The principles always fit into the circumstances of a given case.
7 Specifically, in order for an event to take place, certain conditions have
8 to be put in place. They can be either sufficient, necessary, or active
9 factors. In the point where these three groups of conditions overlap, the
10 causes of a certain event can be established.
11 When we speak of certain social events, such as an armed combat or
12 an armed operation, in these social events, there exists the factor which
13 is called an awareness of the objective. Therefore, the factors, unlike
14 the principles, are the determinants of a specific situation, and they are
15 clearly stated in the manual on command and control of the academy, and
16 they consist in objectives, discipline, processes, responsibilities and so
17 on and so forth. And with all due respect, I had to say that Mr. Pringle
18 did confuse the principles and factors, because when talking about the
19 principles he mentioned the discipline and responsibility and so on and so
20 forth which, in fact, are factors rather than principles.
21 Q. On the matter of control and command, specifically on the climate
22 of command, can you tell us which factors impacted on the climate of
23 command in the Vukovar operation?
24 A. Your Honours, I will once again have to refer to my learned
25 colleague Mr. Pringle. When talking of the climate of command in his
1 report, Mr. Pringle specifically talked of the commander, or komandir, as
2 being relevant. This isn't in fact inaccurate but is incomplete.
3 When we speak of the climate of command in a given operation,
4 namely the Operation Vukovar, we cannot overlook the influence of the
5 commander but this is taken into account only as a third step.
6 Now why? The climate of command, in a given operation, is subject
7 to different influences, factors, and I defined them a moment ago, and
8 they can be categorised as general and specific: The break-up of the
9 country, civil war as perhaps the most difficult form of war. The
10 decision that the reserve forces should be used for up to 45 days, and all
11 the other conditions were the ones who overrule or carry more weight than
12 the commander himself, regardless of the commander's qualifications,
13 knowledge, authority, and the extent to which he adhered to the other
15 Therefore, in connection with this, I conclude that it wasn't only
16 up to the commander, or komandir, to define what sort of climate command
17 will have.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Forca, can you tell us what the following terms
19 mean: Resubordination, attaching, and finally, the notion of coordinated
20 action or coordination; and, technically speaking, what is the difference
21 between these different terms?
22 A. Certainly. Your Honour, I have to say that these terms, just as
23 the other terms of military skills are part of military theory. I decided
24 to highlight certain differences existing between these terms, and they
25 are quite evident, in order to clarify the position and actions of the
1 commanders and units involved in the Vukovar operation.
2 When we say "resubordination," what we mean to say is that the
3 commander, or the komandir, detaches from his establishment formation
4 elements of a certain unit and resubordinates them to the commander of
5 another unit. For example, the commander of the Guards Brigade in his
6 first decision dated the 1st of October, 1991, detached one platoon from
7 the military police battalion and resubordinated it to the commander of
8 the 1st Battalion or, rather, to the commander of the element of the
9 combat disposition, which was called the 1st Assault Detachment. Every
10 unit in times of peace and war has its well defined establishment.
11 Detaching elements of units from an establishment formation and
12 resubordination to another commander is called resubordination.
13 In a specific situation where in a certain area of combat
14 operations several units are present which are active under the command of
15 a single commander but which do not belong to the same establishment
16 formation, such as, for instance, Operations Group South, this was not an
17 establishment formation. An establishment formation is the
18 Guards Brigade.
19 When one of these units -- or, rather, when the commander detaches
20 from one of these units its assets such as tanks, vehicles, and so on and
21 so forth to another unit, then this constitutes attaching.
22 When units involved in combat have a clearly defined task and the
23 objective that they are to achieve, as well as the area in which they are
24 to be active, and they also have a neighbour in front, to the right, left,
25 and back, their joint action is called "coordination." Units that act in
1 coordination are not in a relationship of subordination. Not one of them
2 is superior or subordinate to any of the others.
3 Q. You explained to us the notion of resubordination. You can refer
4 to specific example, of course. Can you remember any example of attaching
5 or coordinated action in the Vukovar operation? You can refer to this now
6 or at a later stage, but at any rate it would be good that in testifying
7 you refer to specific examples.
8 A. Well, I hope I will have enough time.
9 Q. I do believe that this would be very helpful for the Bench. But
10 you can do this at a later stage.
11 A. Of course, yes, I will find it.
12 Q. Mr. Forca, you can do that later. I just wanted to let you know
13 that it would be very helpful to us in the courtroom if you are specific.
14 Can you tell us what the difference is and what the definition is
15 of the command post and observation post?
16 A. Your Honour, in addition to the obvious linguistic difference in
17 terms of the title, there are substantial differences in terms of meaning.
18 Both the command post and observation post serve for the purposes
19 of command and control in the preparation stage and combat stage. The
20 command post is set up by units which have the command at the time and
21 these are units from the strength of battalion and above. Specifically
22 speaking, battalion and a brigade.
23 A command post is located on a given area which is proportionate
24 to the size of the units. It may cover features, and I mean fixed
25 features such as buildings or built features, or fortifications, temporary
1 features such as tents, and motor vehicles.
2 In higher level units, there are several types of command posts,
3 such as the main command post, the rear command post, alternate command
4 post, or reserve command post, and, for the purposes of camouflage, there
5 is also the so-called decoy command post. The observation post of the
6 komandir, commander, therefore the observation post of the komandir and
7 not the command, is set up and organised by the units of the strength of
8 company, platoon, and squad.
9 Just as was the case with the command post, the observation post
10 can be housed in a building or in the open area, in a fortification, and
11 it is set up by the commander, komandir, and he uses the post to command
12 combat activities.
13 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Forca, the duty of a company commander
14 was considered to be one of the most difficult positions in the JNA; is
15 that right? Do you agree with that? If so, why?
16 A. Yes, indeed. I would put it this way, Your Honours. There was no
17 law stating that this was the most difficult post. It was a general truth
18 among us officers. This was a maxim that was tried and true. Why?
19 Everything done by a commander and his assistants within a command, that
20 is members of the command as a totality, is done by the commander alone at
21 company level.
22 For a while in the JNA, even a company officer, company NCOs were
23 abolished so that the commander at the time had to take care of everything
24 in the unit, the replenishment, their life and work, all the conditions,
25 the equipment, as well as the security of his unit. All these different
1 jobs are performed by special bodies in a command.
2 An infantry company at the time numbered about 150 men, including
3 all their equipment. What it took was to know each of the commanders,
4 each of the soldiers, and to look after all of them was an exceptionally
5 difficult duty and most officers considered this to be the most difficult
6 stage in their military career.
7 Q. Mr. Forca, at the time, what was the make-up of the personnel in
8 the Guards Brigade and by that I mean both officers and ordinary soldiers?
9 A. Your Honours, this specific answer is also contained in my report.
10 I do wish to point out the following: When talking about the factor of
11 personnel, of manpower, officers, NCOs and civilians, as well as ordinary
12 soldiers involved, the Guards Brigade was a top-notch unit of the JNA.
13 You might even call it an elite unit.
14 Just to digress a little, in any country where you have a
15 guard-like unit such as the Guards Brigade, and I have had occasion to see
16 for myself that this was indeed the case, invariably this unit involves
17 top-notch officers, elite officers, and NCOs.
18 As for ordinary soldiers and replenishment, recruitment
19 officers -- or, rather, military officers were obliged to send top-class,
20 top-notch soldiers only to a unit that was the equivalent of a Guards
22 As for NCOs and civilians, these normally had to be highly
23 qualified NCOs and very successful ones who enjoyed a high degree of
24 respect in their military environment but also in their civilian
25 environment. These are to be men, if I may put it this way, who, under no
1 circumstances, were allowed to have any sort of criminal record at all.
2 One took a lot of pride and all of us soldiers know that in serving in the
3 Guards Brigade. It was a great honour. And that was the view we held of
4 any officers or NCOs from the Guards Brigade.
5 Q. Mr. Forca, can you now please explain the relation between the
6 temporary forces of operations group and the tactical group, on the one
7 hand, and the assault detachment, or JOD, and assault groups on the other?
8 A. Your Honours, as far as theory goes, there are the definitions and
9 there is the defining of these concepts mentioned by Mr. Borovic. You can
10 find it in dictionaries, you can find it in the encyclopedia, which are
11 the most general theoretical sources available, but you can also find
12 these in the rules governing the work of JNA units. Any units in which
13 these formations could, in theory, have been established.
14 What do all these share, operations group, the tactical group, the
15 assault detachment, and the assault groups? What they all share is that
16 these are temporary formations. What is the distinction exactly? There
17 is a distinction. I would like to say that the distinction has not been
18 clarified to a sufficient extent the last time I was here when
19 Mr. Theunens and Mr. Pringle testified about these subjects.
20 We have an operations group and we have a tactical group. There
21 is a difference in level between these two. However, they are both
22 formations, functional formations or organisational formations, which
23 means that they comprise the establishment's units or establishment units.
24 When whoever is charge of taking decisions decides that an
25 establishment unit such as, for example, the Guards Brigade cannot
1 possibly carry out a task on its own, it is then that this person enlists
2 the assistance of other establishment units for the purposes of this task.
3 For example, in Vukovar, you had the 80th [Realtime transcript read in
4 error "18th"] Motorised Brigade, the 20th Partisan Brigade, and other
5 establishment units coming in to assist. Tactical group and the
6 operations group are somewhat more than the Guards Brigade but fall short
7 of being the corps, because the corps is an operations formation, and
8 that's why it was called an operations group, because it comprised
9 establishment units.
10 The assault detachment and the assault group are also
11 establishment units but they are mere elements of a combat disposition.
12 Now what does that mean? What this means is, for example, the commander
13 of the operations group, I'm talking about the structural organisation
14 such as battalions, divisions, and detachments, the commander takes a
15 decision to make a functional organisation and then this is the combat
17 The elements of this combat disposition, or combat order, because
18 actually both terms were used, are not the same as establishment units.
19 For example, in the establishment of the Guards Brigade, there was several
20 battalions, the motorised Battalion, the armoured battalion, but when we
21 introduce the elements of combat disposition, then you say, for example,
22 offensive forces.
23 Since the attack is on a built-up area, and this is what the rules
24 dictate, one must set up an assault detachment and an assault group as
25 elements of the disposition. They perform this task until the task is
1 completed, and then pending further decisions they can be sent back to
2 their original unit. These two must be distinguished regardless of the
3 fact that they are both temporary formations. The operations and tactical
4 group on the one hand, and the assault detachment and group on the other.
5 Q. There is an error in the transcript, Your Honours. The transcript
6 says the 18th Motorised Brigade as an example cited by Mr. Forca. It
7 should be the 80th Motorised Brigade but we all know that by now. This is
8 at line 16 -- page 16 line 2, rather. Thank you.
9 Mr. Forca, which unit could have been given the role of an assault
10 group within the brigade's battalion, which unit could have been appointed
11 to perform that role?
12 A. Your Honours, when we talk about an assault group at brigade level
13 as envisaged by the rules for brigades, it is possible to set up assault
14 detachments. If you have a battalion, assault detachments can be set up
15 within the combat disposition as well as assault groups, and according to
16 these rules for battalions, they normally have the strength of a
17 reinforced platoon.
18 If we look at the provisions of the rules for platoons and
19 companies, there is explicit reference there to the company as a possible
20 element of combat disposition within the brigade but of the assault
21 detachment, which means an assault group normally has the strength of up
22 to a reinforced platoon. In the rules there is no reference to the
23 company as an assault group.
24 Q. Thank you very much. That's fine. How can one reinforce a
25 company in combat? If you could perhaps refer to a specific example, and
1 please continue slowly, carry on with this subject. Pages 11 and 12. I
2 think there are references to that at pages 11 and 12.
3 A. Your Honours, we talked about the concepts of resubordination and
4 attachment. And we said that these two constituted jointly reinforcement
5 of a unit to which another element had been subordinated or attached. In
6 terms of principle, and in terms of the rules, any unit can be reinforced
7 by a lower-level unit. Specifically, when looking at an infantry company
8 involved in fighting, and this is also in the company and platoon rules,
9 that's 11/12, item 4, in order to carry out a combat task, a company can
10 be reinforced by a platoon of recoilless -- of 82-millimetre recoilless
11 cannon, an 82-millimetre mortar platoon, and in exceptional circumstances,
12 by a mortar battery 120-millimetre, a guns battery, a platoon of pioneers
13 or tanks or ABHO scouts.
14 Under special circumstances, it can also be reinforced by a TO
15 platoon. That's what the company platoon rules say. A company can be
16 reinforced by using lower-level units, lower-level in relation to its own
17 level. That's what it means.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Forca, having said this, can you please
19 answer a very important question: What is the relation between the
20 responsibility of a commander, or komandir, on the one hand, and command
21 responsibility on the other? Can you please explain this as closely as
22 possible to the Chamber?
23 A. I'll do my best. Your Honours, this appears to be a mere pun, the
24 responsibility of a commander, or komandir, on the one hand, and command
25 responsibility on the other. However, both in terms of rules and in terms
1 of practice, I, and I believe I'm right on this one, draw a distinction
2 between these two concepts.
3 First of all, all JNA commands, all commanders and all komandirs
4 had their duties and competencies clearly defined. They were responsible
5 for the overall situation in their own units, which means for life and
6 work in their units. In this sense, it meant the carrying out of combat
7 missions as part of combat operations performed by their units. This is
8 the responsibility of the commander or komandir. As a factor -- earlier
9 we spoke about the factors affecting command and control. This is
10 assessed in relation to each new situation arising.
11 On the other hand, command responsibility as a concept did not
12 exist in our military science at the time or indeed in our military
13 practice. However, the concept of responsibility for acts committed by
14 subordinates is something that did exist, and this is explicitly stated in
15 item 21 of the rules on the application of the international law of war
16 and its provisions.
17 I'm not sure if there is any need to go into that and read out
18 parts of it now, but that item says: "Responsibility for acts committed
19 by one's subordinate: A military officer is personally responsible for
20 any infractions of the law of war. In as far as he knew or had reason to
21 know that any of his subordinates or other units and individuals were
22 preparing to commit any such violations at the time when it was possible
23 to prevent these violations, he failed to take appropriate pressures to
24 stop them."
25 Also, an officer who knows that violations of the law of war were
1 committed is personally responsible if he fails to take legal action
2 against the perpetrators or unless it is not within his remit if it is --
3 if it is not within his remit to take legal steps, he should at least
4 report this officer to his superior.
5 That's the first thing. And the next thing in that item is: "A
6 military officer is responsible as a co-perpetrator or instigator if, by
7 failing to take measures against those subordinates in violation of the
8 law of -- the provisions of the law of war, he contributed to his
9 subordinates, units or individuals committing other such violations."
10 That's it.
11 The term we mentioned, "responsibility for acts committed by one's
12 subordinates" is here defined as command responsibility, and it specifies
13 here to which persons that refers, as opposed to the responsibility of a
14 commander for the overall life and work, so to speak, of his unit.
15 Q. Mr. Forca, I think that we can turn now to part 2, which has two
17 Again, we don't need to repeat what is stated in your report. Can
18 we now turn to the portion entitled -- to the part that is
19 entitled "Previous operations." I think it would be useful if you were to
20 tell us, based on the entire literature that you had available or that you
21 studied whether you were able to establish what were the tasks of the JNA
22 in combat operations in Vukovar and in Croatia itself back in 1991, and
23 then we can turn to Vukovar itself.
24 A. Your Honour, as for the tasks that the Yugoslav Peoples' Army had
25 in the fall of 1991, there are documents to that effect, the documents of
1 the highest military leadership. And by your leave, in reply to this
2 question of Mr. Borovic, I would like to mention the statement given by
3 the deputy federal secretary for national defence given at the session for
4 national defence board or committee on the 6th of November, 1991, where he
5 gave two key tasks. The first one was to protect the Serbian population,
6 and the second one was to lift the siege or blockade of the garrison.
7 These facts can be found in the document entitled "collection of documents
8 regarding defence and security of Yugoslavia 1990 to 1991." This was
9 published and all of these documents can be found in this collection.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever find out who ordered the attack on
11 Vukovar in the military sense?
12 A. Your Honour, the answer to this question has an implicit and an
13 explicit aspect. An implicit aspect is that the statement given by the
14 late General Panic are well-known. He gave them in his interview as he
15 was explaining the significance of Vukovar. In that regard, they are
16 implicit, or it was implicitly stated that the attack and the liberation
17 of Vukovar came as a result of the decision taken by the commander of the
18 1st Military District.
19 If this can be seen as a general aspect, we should also look at
20 the more particular aspect, and that can be gleaned from the order given
21 by the commander of the 1st Guards Brigade on the 1st of October.
22 Although I personally did not see that document -- I'm not referring to
23 the order of the commander of the Guards Brigade, but the other one,
24 namely that the commander of the Operations Group South at the time when
25 that post was not occupied by the commander of the Guards Brigade issued
1 an order to attack. The document that was available to me at that level
2 was the document of the commander of the Guards Brigade dated the 1st of
3 October, 1991.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know who served as commander of the Operation
5 Group South at the time?
6 A. Would you please specify the time?
7 Q. The 1st of October, 1991.
8 A. Thank you. Based on available data and the war log books, the
9 commander of the Operations Group South was Colonel Bajo Bojat.
10 Q. What about after that?
11 A. I don't have the document -- or, rather, it wasn't available to
12 me, the document specifying that the post of the commander of the
13 Operations Group South was taken over by Colonel Mrksic who is a retired
14 general now.
15 However, based on the inspection of the war log which mentions the
16 date of the 8th of October, 1991, one can conclude that Colonel Mrksic
17 took over the post of the commander of the Operations Group South from
18 Colonel Bojat.
19 Q. But you remain to your previous statement that you did not see the
20 document about the handover of duty?
21 A. No, I didn't see that document. It wasn't available to me.
22 Q. We heard you refer to Serbian and Croatian population in Vukovar.
23 Would you please tell us: In addition to there being Serbian population,
24 why else Vukovar was supposed to be liberated?
25 A. Your Honours, as I have already stated, there is a barracks in
1 Vukovar where there were members of the JNA who had come under the attack
2 of Croatian paramilitary forces. I was one of such people who found
3 themselves in a besieged barracks and there were many such barracks. I
4 quoted to you the statement given by the deputy federal secretary of
5 national defence, and I told you about the tasks that they gave. The
6 second one was to lift the siege of the barracks.
7 Q. Thank you. I was referring to the first bit; namely, that they
8 needed to save both the Serbian and Croatian population who were besieged
9 by Croatian paramilitary forces. Was that also the task?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: That was not the testimony. And that's a leading
13 question. That was not the testimony that he gave.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
15 MR. WEINER: I don't mind if they ask him what the first objective
16 was but not do it leadingly, especially where it's not according to his
17 testimony, previous testimony, or his report.
18 JUDGE PARKER: You see the issue, Mr. Borovic? Would you like to
19 rephrase your question.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Forca, you quoted the words of General Kadijevic, and based on
22 the entire documentation that you analysed in your capacity of an expert,
23 in addition to the lifting of the siege of the barracks, what were the
24 other goals of liberating Vukovar?
25 A. I quoted to you the two tasks that were specified, and in response
1 to your question, I can reply that it is a well-known fact that in the
2 shelters, basements, refugee groups, there were citizens of the city of
3 Vukovar. And that could have been the objective, too, to free those
5 Q. Thank you. Now, would you please turn to your expert report, and
6 let us now turn to its part 2, which I believe is the most important one
7 for us here. It deals with the Guards Motorised Brigade; that is to say,
8 with the Operations Group South in the Vukovar operation. I'm going to put
9 some questions to you that mostly concern my client and the 3rd Company
10 that was under his command.
11 The commander of the 3rd Company, that is to say, Miroslav Radic,
12 was he able to effect the mission of going to Vukovar? Was he able to
13 effect it in any way?
14 A. No, Your Honours, the answer is no. Because for an operation of
15 that complexity the decision is made and the mission is defined by command
16 at a much higher level. So my answer is no.
17 Q. Thank you. My second question: Upon being sent to Vukovar, was
18 the commander of the 3rd Company in the position to effect the composition
19 or make-up of his company?
20 A. Once again, my answer is in the negative because it is well-known
21 how the units of the JNA are staffed. The task of the company commander
22 in that respect was to assign these soldiers with different military
23 specialties to different establishment posts.
24 Q. You just mentioned this military specialty. Is it also known
25 under the acronym VES?
1 A. Yes, it is known as VES.
2 Q. The commander of the 3rd Motorised Company, Captain Radic, did he
3 effect in any way the objective of the attack on Vukovar?
4 A. Your Honours, once again, when it comes to the attack on Vukovar,
5 my answer is in the negative yet again. As I said previously, the
6 decision to attack Vukovar is not taken at that level.
7 Q. At which level is it taken?
8 A. It is taken at the operations and strategic level, only at that
9 level could such a decision be taken.
10 Q. And to reduce it to the terms that we are familiar with, tell us
11 what commander could have made that decision?
12 A. If we go from top to bottom, which is the logic of the chain of
13 command, that decision could have been taken by the commander of the
14 1st Military District who would have conveyed it to the Operations Group
15 South, and then the one that he would be conveying this to the commander
16 of the Guards Brigade. And then we have a document detailing how that was
17 conveyed further down to his subordinates. Only the commander of the
18 1st Motorised Battalion or his deputy could have issued an order to the
19 3rd Company.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, the commander of the 3rd Motorised Company, could
21 he have effected the replenishment and reinforcement of his unit?
22 A. Well, the answer is both yes and no. How come yes and no? As we
23 have said already, that bringing up the unit to the establishment strength
24 is a matter which is regulated. Troops are sent to the commander of a
25 unit for certain purposes, so to that extent, the answer is yes. It is
1 yes in the sense that there can be certain events in the course of combat.
2 For example, people could be killed, wounded, or the numbers of troops
3 could be reduced for whatever reason. Based on that, the company
4 commander is authorised to turn to his superior through regular channels,
5 asking for additional men, or in view of a specific mission, he can ask
6 for additional reinforcement. That doesn't mean that he will necessarily
7 get what he asked for.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Forca. Now, will you please assist us and briefly
9 describe the procedure in adopting and implementing a decision in combat
10 operations in Vukovar two levels above and two levels below the level of a
11 company commander? I believe this is quite important for us.
12 A. Very well. The principle of two levels above and two levels below
13 is not the principle that exists only in the JNA, no, it is present in the
14 armed forces of other countries as well. It is important to have
15 knowledge of it in order to find out the answer as to how a company
16 commander was given a task in any particular case and how he conveyed this
17 task to his subordinates.
18 Your Honours, in that sense, as we analyse brigades, since a
19 brigade is exactly two levels above a company, in our theory and practice,
20 there are documents concerning command and control which describe this in
21 great detail. One of such documents is the instruction for the work of
22 staff commands. In addition to that, in all rules, rules of battalions,
23 brigades, companies, this process is detailed. This process entailed
24 procedures and methods. Procedures were full and abbreviated. Those were
25 the possible procedures. Or there was also a procedure without a
2 What does this mean? Let us illustrate this through an example.
3 A commander of a brigade with his command has a basic task, let's say. So
4 he received a task from his superior, or perhaps he defined the task
5 himself, this is irrelevant for our example. He studies the task. He
6 gives guidance to the organs of command. He informs them of his design,
7 if this is a so-called sector method. Mr. Theunens mentioned this in his
8 report too. But if this is a team method, I can clarify if necessary,
9 then the main design is not imparted to the rest; rather, the command
10 proceeds immediately to assess the situation.
11 If the sector method is applied, then the organs of command, upon
12 receiving the task, upon hearing what the design of the brigade commander
13 was, start preparing within their jurisdiction, proposals, proposals as to
14 the resources they had under him. For example, they had assistant for
15 intelligence affairs, or organ for intelligence affairs or, for
16 example -- or assistants for operations affairs and so on, or they had,
17 for example, assistants for atomic, biological, and chemical warfare, or
18 for artillery, and other branches of service. So all of these staff
19 organs of various specialties who are typically deployed to basic posts
20 within the command post in accordance with a plan drafted by the assistant
21 for operations affairs at the time specified by him submit their
23 There are two ways, in principle, how these proposals can be
24 adopted by the commander. The first method or the first way is as
25 follows: As the organs submit their proposals, the commander can say, "I
1 agree." I'm telling you this on the basis of my experience. Or the
2 commander can say, "I disagree."
3 The second way which is in compliance with the rules is to hear
4 the proposal in full, the proposal of the command, and then the Chief of
5 Staff who was simultaneously deputy commander proposes his own decision.
6 The Chief of Staff in formulating his proposal does not need to repeat
7 everything he heard from various specialty organs. He can say, for
8 example, as the chief of artillery stated.
9 Following that, commander takes the decision. He notifies the
10 decision to the command organs. I said that in the staff there is the
11 operations organ, who is in charge of converting the decision taken by the
12 commander into an order that is sent down the chain of command. The
13 difference between the commander's decision and the order or -- is in the
14 first three items, because the commander's order contains, under number
15 one, information about the enemy; under number two, the tasks conveyed to
16 the brigades; item three, or point three, contains the information on
17 neighbouring units.
18 Now, from point four, or item four, until the end of the order,
19 that is where the decision is contained. There is an office at the
20 command, and the office staff will, together with the operations officer,
21 draft the order. Now, this order, as a written document, is mandatory.
22 It -- at the level of the command, it has to be drafted in writing and
23 that is not an obligation for the lower levels.
24 The brigade commander passes the order down to his subordinates,
25 battalion commanders. This can be done in more than one way. One way is
1 to -- for the commander to call them to his command post. The other way
2 is that they call conduct command reconnaissance on the ground, which is
3 most highly recommended of all the other ways but is extremely difficult
4 in the conditions of a conflict taking place in built-up areas.
5 The third way which is not recommended for such highly complex
6 operations is that the order is submitted through communications officers
7 in written form to subordinated commanders. This is the complete process
8 all the way down to the battalion commander.
9 When the battalion commander receives the order or the task, he
10 acts upon it regardless of the way in which he received his task. The
11 process will be the same, but not completely the same as in the brigade
12 command because the battalion command doesn't have all the different
13 specialty organs as the brigade command has.
14 There's another difference here. To examine or review the task,
15 this means to read the task that was produced in the written form and to
16 fully comprehend it. Therefore, to read and understand what the intention
17 of the brigade commander is, what his design and objective is, and what
18 the task addressed to this particular battalion commander is, which assets
19 are placed at his disposal, and when he is expected to be ready for
21 Now why is this important? According to the rules of service in
22 the armed forces, the commander, or komandir, who did not fully understand
23 the task assigned to him can contact his superior commander for additional
24 clarifications. The commander who deems it impossible for him to
25 implement the task can notify his superior commander as much --
1 accordingly, and it is for this reason that it is important for him to
2 understand the task fully.
3 Q. Please, I want you to pause there and to know exactly what it is
4 that you still wanted to say on this matter.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] But Your Honour, at this point, I
6 believe this is a convenient time for a break.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic. We must take the first
8 break and we will resume at 25 past 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.01 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Borovic.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Unless I'm mistaken, in giving your answer, you came at the point
14 of discussing this shortened procedure. Carry on, please.
15 A. The shortened procedure, unlike the full or complete procedure, is
16 applied by those commands that do not have the time to apply the full
17 procedure or the commands that are not fully staffed and therefore cannot
18 carry out all these activities.
19 At the level of the brigade command, the shortened procedure
20 applied also means that the commander will develop the design and the
21 order and then pass it down, either he or the Chief of Staff, whereupon a
22 short assessment -- or a brief assessment of the situation is made or an
23 assessment on such matters only as were selected by the commander. At the
24 end of the process, the decision is taken and is passed down to the
25 subordinate units.
1 Thirdly -- or, rather, the third procedure under the rules is
2 the "no consultation" procedure. The very name of the procedure clearly
3 indicates that the commander is not bound to consult with anyone in the
4 decision-making process. This particular procedure is not adequate for
5 the brigade level. If such procedure is applied at the brigade level,
6 however, then it is applied in the course of combat activities when rapid
7 reaction is required to take a decision which deviates from the plan.
8 Now we come to the battalion commander who will not have all the
9 organs in his command as the brigade commander will. Therefore, it is
10 appropriate for the battalion commander to apply the full procedure,
11 shortened procedure, and no consultation procedure vis-a-vis his command
12 organs as required by the situation.
13 The company commander who does not have a command of his own or
14 headquarters of his own will always have to apply the no consultation
15 procedure because he doesn't have anyone to consult with. He himself
16 assesses the situation, takes the decision and passes it down to his
17 subordinates. His subordinates or the subordinates of the company
18 commander are the platoon commander who is in a similar situation to that
19 of the company commander and the squad commander who carries out the task.
20 It is very important to note at this stage that the order as the
21 initial document, a starting document, must be in writing at the brigade
22 level. At the battalion level, the order is issued verbally and must
23 not -- and need not necessarily be in written form. However, the most
24 important parts of the order must be entered into the war diary.
25 The war diary at the battalion level is kept by the deputy. It is
1 not a document serving the purpose of command, but is kept as a record.
2 The company platoon and squad commanders, therefore, this lowest level in
3 the chain of command, will issue their orders verbally and need not
4 produce a written document.
5 Q. Thank you, Professor. Will you be so kind as to tell us now
6 whether the Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica Detachment could be -- could
7 have been resubordinated to the 1st Assault Detachment or the
8 3rd Motorised Company under the command of Miroslav Radic which was
9 otherwise referred to, and we heard it in the courtroom, as --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Defence counsel please repeat the last
11 word he said.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Therefore, could these two detachments have been resubordinated to
14 the Assault Detachment 1 and whether they could have been resubordinated
15 to the 3rd Motorised Company.
16 A. Your Honour, in answer to this question, I wish to state that my
17 report was submitted in the month of August. As a member of the Defence
18 team -- or, rather, members of the Defence team placed at my disposal
19 voluminous material that they had in their possession. Presumably the
20 same documents were in possession of the Prosecution.
21 On the basis of the documents I had access to, and in response to
22 this question, this is what I can state: The basic sources that can be of
23 service are the order for blockade and attack by the commander of the
24 Guards Brigade, and decisions to continue the attack on the town of
25 Vukovar, as well as the handwritten diary or transcript of the diary done
1 by the deputy commander of the 1st Battalion.
2 The position of the instant detachments was, according to the
3 documents I mentioned and to my understanding of them, as follows: The
4 Petrova Gora detachment, in initial combat operations, that's to say in
5 the order to lay down the blockade and launch an attack, that's
6 Exhibit 405, issued by the commander of the Guards Brigade was not part of
7 the composition of the Guards Brigade. That this is, in fact, true is
8 indicated by item 2 of the order. It was established at item 2 of the
9 order lays down the tasks of the instant unit, in this case, the
10 Guards Brigade.
11 I have to say that I did not have insight into the document
12 whereby the Guards Brigade received the task in -- concerning the attack
13 on Vukovar. I have the document entitled "order for blockade and attack"
14 from the commander of the Guards Brigade, and we stated that -- said that
15 under item 2, the task of the brigade was set out. There, it reads that
16 the Petrova Gora detachment is the neighbour of the Guards Brigade, which
17 means that it was not within or subordinated to the commander of the
18 Guards Brigade.
19 The next decision involving the continuation of the attack on
20 Vukovar dated 15 October.
21 Q. 1991?
22 A. Yes, 1991. Exhibit 408.
23 Q. Exhibit number 408. Mr. Forca, pause there. If my learned
24 friends deem it necessary, we can place the document on the ELMO, but I do
25 believe you have the documents and we can proceed this way. Thank you.
1 Carry on, Professor.
2 A. This exhibit shows that the said Petrova Gora detachment was part
3 of Operations Group South and that it acted in coordination with the
4 Assault Detachment 1. Specifically in the tasks assigned to units under
5 point 2 concerning JOD 1, its composition is stated, and it reads: "In
6 coordination with JOD 2, 3/211 Armoured Brigade," which means the
7 3rd Battalion of the armoured brigade, "and with the units of
8 Petrova Gora."
9 Therefore, JOD 1 and the Petrova Gora detachment act in
11 In the following document, decision to continue the attack on
12 Vukovar -- or, rather, to continue the Vukovar operation, Exhibit 410, the
13 Leva Supoderica detachment is mentioned for the first time, as far as I
14 was able to see. It is quite evident from the tasks assigned to the units
15 that they were subordinated to JOD 1, because the document reads: "JOD
16 comprises 1st Motorised Battalion, one platoon of the 3rd Company of the
17 2nd Military Police Battalion, Leva Supoderica detachment, Petrova Gora
19 Therefore, these are the units within that formation as well as
20 other ones, the composition of the 1st JOD. And there the detachments
21 subordinated to the commanders are also listed.
22 Q. Which date is that?
23 A. 29th of October, 1991.
24 Q. Please, sir, try to slow down a little and I'll do my best too.
25 A. I understand. The document dated 0800 hours on the 14th of
1 November, 1991, produced by Operations Group South command 398-1,
2 Exhibit 430, the commander decides and issues the following orders in
3 item 4, specifically: The following unit is detached from JOD 1, the
4 1st Motorised Battalion. And a special task is given to JOD 1, while in
5 item 5 or, rather, item 2, tasks for units under 5, a special task is
6 given to the 1st Motorised Battalion.
7 Now, the answer. Who were they subordinated to? The Petrova Gora
8 detachment and the Leva Supoderica detachment. In practical terms, there
9 can be two answers. It is possible that they remained subordinated to the
10 command of JOD 1 which, as of the 1st of October, 1991, was the -- a post
11 occupied by the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion because that is
12 what the first order by the brigade commander says.
13 Alternatively, it could be to the commander of OG South. Because
14 the task was given to the detachment by the commander of OG South. And
15 the last in this series of documents is the decision and order by the
16 commander of OG South dated 1900 hours on the 16th of November, 1991, 431.
17 Q. Exhibit 431?
18 A. Exhibit 431. Where there is an addendum -- or, rather, a new task
19 is issued to the 1st Battalion under item 1 -- item 2, actually,
20 paragraph 2, item 1.
21 The 1st Motorised Battalion, in keeping with the task issued on
22 the 14th, which means two days previously in relation to that previous
23 one, and now, there is the task given to the 1st Motorised Battalion.
24 In item 2, tasks, but under 10, as there is no explicit reference
25 to JOD 1, it can be understood that its task was the same as that issued
1 on the 14th of November because that's what item 10 says. "The remaining
2 units of OG South will be used in keeping with the previous decision," and
3 then in brackets, the 14th of November. It is along these lines that the
4 Petrova Gora detachment and at a later stage, the Leva Supoderica
5 detachment, based on the documents I have referred to, based on the
6 documents available, could have been under the command initially of
7 OG South but not the Guards Brigade.
8 In later operations, they could again have been under the command
9 of OG South but now also the commander of the Guards Brigade who is also
10 the commander of OG South; whereas during the final operations, they could
11 have been under the command of the commander of OG South or the commander
12 of the 1st Battalion.
13 Q. Thank you. Dr. Forca, would you be so kind as to explain the
14 term "until the completion of the mission." You talked about temporary
15 formations, and you used this phrase "until the completion of the task or
16 mission." What does that mean?
17 A. Your Honours, if you allow -- I am a scientist. If you allow, I
18 will approach this phrase, "the completion of a task," from a practical
20 This phrase, "the completion of a task," involves two concepts;
21 the first being the concept of task, and the other being the concept of
22 completion. Each of these two concepts, plus the overriding concept of
23 the completion of a task, have their own definitions. In the literature,
24 that means if you go to the military lexicon, to the military
25 encyclopedia, a task is related to an objective that must be reached by
1 using certain forces in a certain area over a certain time period. In
2 addition to that principal meaning of the concept of task, a task is also
3 an element in an order, and as we have already said, one of these elements
4 is normally tasks for units. "To complete" is a verb which means to
5 complete an activity, to get something done. Therefore, the phrase "until
6 the completion of the task," means that those forces specified in an
7 order, in an area that they were designated and assigned must carry out
8 such objectives as have been assigned to them over a specified period of
10 From the brigade level, or rather the level of OG South down to
11 the lowest possible level of control -- command and control, which is the
12 squad level, and especially the temporary formations, there are
13 large-scale differences involved. To complete a task, what does that mean
14 for a brigade? We must go back to the order given by the brigade
15 commander. What does it mean to complete a task contained in a decision?
16 To complete a task in terms of JOD 1 or the 1st Motorised
17 Battalion requires a lot less space, a lot less time, and a lot less
18 manpower. But if we look up the assault detachment level, there can be a
19 great many small individual tasks which unfortunately we can hardly now be
20 expected to specify since we do not have a written document to this
21 effect. However, we are able to assume, based on how the operations
22 unfolded each task that had specified areas, time period, or manpower, was
23 carried out. If the assault group within JOD 1, for example, had the task
24 of taking a certain house or a certain street, having done this, the
25 assault group thereby completed its task. Sure enough, some tasks don't
1 necessarily coincide with the general task that, for example, Operations
2 Group South had.
3 What is particularly important during the completion of a task, if
4 you have this phrase, "the completion of a task," is the information
5 dimension. Now what exactly is this a reference to? Please allow me to
6 quote an example by Tofflers in their book, "War and Anti-War." This is
7 what they said back in 1815 in the New Orleans battle, 2.000 British and
8 American soldiers killed each other because the news of a cease-fire
9 signed in Geneva was seven days late. If the news had arrived in time,
10 2.000 people would have remained alive. Things being what they were, they
11 killed each other.
12 Q. Professor Forca, let us leave this issue aside for the time being.
13 At the time, in 1991, do you know if party affiliations or
14 political organisation were allowed in the JNA?
15 A. Of course I do know that, since I was a member of the JNA at the
16 time. What I wish to say now is not only was it not allowed, it was
17 strictly forbidden in the JNA. I provided a reference to a document, a
18 collection of documents from the defence and safety of Yugoslavia in 1990
19 and 1991. This was published by the military publishing house, VIZ in
20 Belgrade in 2000. There is reference there to a document banning any form
21 of party activity in the JNA. This is an order of the federal secretary
22 for All People's Defence dated the 8th of October, 1991.
23 Item 1 of this order says: "Any form of political or party
24 activity in command staffs, units, or military institutions shall be
25 strictly forbidden."
1 This order is in reference to the TO as well, because as is well
2 known, the armed forces comprised both the JNA and the TO.
3 Item 5 of the specified order, which had a total of five items, so
4 the last one contains the following order: "All of the army must be
5 familiarised with this order."
6 Q. Thank you very much. Would you please be so kind as to say --
7 take the Vukovar operation as an example, what is the difference between
8 organisation informational [as interpreted] structure and the combat
9 disposition? In this operation, for example.
10 A. Yes. Your Honours, for those who have my report, take a -- have a
11 look, this is at page 70 of the Serbian.
12 Q. Can you please specify the paragraph number?
13 A. It's 58. 58 in part 2 of my report, as well as the following
14 page, page 71, paragraph 60.
15 In one of my previous answers, I explain the difference between
16 what is establishment and what is temporary. Each JNA unit had an
17 organisational structure and formation that were -- or establishment that
18 were precisely defined. It's called the organisational and establishment
20 Speaking of organisation, organisation of a unit, what this
21 normally means is that this unit had a command, a commanding element, if
22 you like, a combat element, a security element, and a support element.
23 Speaking of establishment, what that means is that the manpower
24 and the equipment are precisely specified. One must know in relation to
25 this that companies are the basic tactical units and a battalion is a
1 basic joint tactical unit, and these were forms of establishment that
2 could not be altered or changed. Each infantry company had a precisely
3 pre-determined or specified number of men and pieces of equipment. An
4 organisational structure which has a command, the 1st Motorised Battalion,
5 the 2rd Motorised Battalion, the 1st Armoured and the rest, the Howitzer
6 battalion and all the other units, in order to complete a task, this is
7 transformed by a decision into a functional structure, and you can see
8 that at page 71, paragraph 60.
9 The diagram from paragraph 58 is a chart, an organisation chart
10 for OG South made up of the units specified in the chart. The Guards
11 Brigade plus reinforcements by the decision of the commander of OG South
12 by the 15th day of October, because that is the example that I chose,
13 since that was an excellent example of an order well written and a
14 well-written decision.
15 Q. Just a minute, please.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you can have this
17 displayed in the e-court system. It's even done in colour there which
18 makes for ease of handling.
19 Q. Mr. Forca, please continue.
20 A. The organisation of OG South is converted into elements of combat
21 disposition or order. These elements are no longer called 1st Motorised
22 Battalion, 2nd Motorised Battalion, but are now elements of combat
24 As you can see in paragraph 60, on the left-hand side, the colour
25 should be yellow, designating the forces -- the assault forces. You can
1 see that in terms of establishment, these are units with reinforcements
2 making up the assault utilities; that's JOD 1, JOD 2, JOD 3, JOD 4,
3 20th Partisan Brigade, 3rd Battalion of the 211th Armoured Brigade, and TO
4 detachment Petrova Gora.
5 So you see that a unit which has an establishment also becomes an
6 element within the combat disposition, but not only do they have the
7 command organs, they also have communications units.
8 On the right-hand side in red colour are marked the other elements
9 of the combat disposition involved. You can see that there are three
10 artillery battalions but only one of the elements is the fire support
11 unit. You have the anti-aircraft defence units -- or, rather, the PVO
12 artillery battalion, you have the territorial units which were assigned to
13 Sremska Mitrovica detachment by that commander, and security forces
14 consisting of the units mentioned herein. The logistics battalion, the
15 ABHO platoon, and so on. In this order, there was the armoured battalion
16 of the brigade that was the main organisational element, so there is a
17 large difference between the organisational and establishment structure
18 and combat disposition.
19 The organisational and establishment structure of each and every
20 unit is defined in very specific terms. The strength of the units making
21 up a certain combat disposition is not defined by their establishment but
22 pursuant to a decision taken in a very specific situation, and that is the
23 essential difference between the two different elements and structures.
24 Q. Thank you. I believe you've clarified this. Can you tell us: In
25 your view until what time was there a need for assault detachments and
1 groups to exist?
2 A. We talked about what it means to complete a task. As the
3 commander ordered in his order dated -- he says, "I decided in the course
4 of the night before dawn on -- that on the 2nd of October lines should be
5 deployed to the contact line and then with air and artillery support,
6 wherein the artillery support should last for 20 minutes, engage
7 fiercefully in an attack in the area assigned in coordination with JTO,"
8 which means TO units, "and JNA units with the following objective: To
9 crush enemy forces, take control of the town, and to cease all the
10 activities within the area of the Guards Brigade."
11 The rest of the order is not relevant for my answer.
12 On the 18th of November, 1991, according to the documents
13 available, the last group surrendered at Mitnica whereby, de facto, the
14 need for the existence of assault detachments no longer existed or ceased.
15 Q. This also applies to assault groups as well, doesn't it?
16 A. Yes. Perhaps for the assault groups the need ceased even earlier
17 because they are lower-level units.
18 Q. Thank you. Dr. Forca, what is the observation post of the
19 commander of a company in a situation where there is an attack on an
20 inhabited area, and I mean in the course of the attack itself?
21 A. We have already discussed the terms "observation post"
22 and "command post" and the difference between the two. This question
23 refers to the observation post in the event of an attack on a built-up
25 You see, all the rules of engagement treat the attack as one form
1 of combat action. In this context, when we are talking about the company
2 commander's observation post, this is regulated by the rules of companies.
3 Since this is a very specific form of combat, in addition to the
4 general provisions governing attack or assault as one form of combat, or
5 rather, one aspect of combat, not one form of combat as the Prosecution
6 expert report stated, there are specific provisions governing assault in a
7 woodland area or on a river-crossing and specifically an attack on a
8 built-up area. In this context, the observation post of a company
9 commander in the course of an attack on a built-up area will not be the
10 same as the observation post of a company commander involved in a
11 classical attack on a hilly area.
12 The observation post of the company commander who, under the
13 rules, must always issue orders directly on the ground, will always be
14 wherever the company commander is. This need not necessarily be a fixed
15 observation post that must be on that same location over a longer period
16 as would be the case in a classical attack.
17 In an attack on a built-up area, the company commander issues
18 order on the ground, and the observation post of the company commander is
19 the location at which he is to be found at a given time. Depending on the
20 attack, it can be 1, 5, 10, or even 50 different houses.
21 Q. Thank you. Dr. Forca, in the event of an attack on a built-up
22 area, the company commander or the company itself uses communications
23 means in a built-up area. Which means of communication are used in an
24 attack on a built-up area?
25 A. Your Honour, an explicit answer to this question can be found in
1 the rules governing companies and platoons. The main means of
2 communications used in an attack on a built-up area is radio
3 communications. There are many reasons behind that and they are quite
4 evident when one knows all the means of communication available.
5 Historically speaking, and in terms of military experience, one of
6 the most frequent attacks is the attack on a built-up area. From that
7 point of departure, and keeping in mind the means available to the
8 commander, the communication by couriers is to be strictly avoided because
9 radio communication and all the devices necessary for it available to the
10 commander will not entail manpower as is necessary in the case when a
11 courier is applied who needs to pass a certain distance. That is why
12 radio communication is preferred.
13 Q. Thank you. When speaking of radio communication, is the network
14 of Motorolas that sort of communication?
15 A. Yes, a Motorola is radio communication.
16 Q. You mentioned couriers. Under the rules and based on experience
17 in practice, who and how designates couriers for company commanders?
18 A. In the rules on -- of communications, there is one provision
19 stipulating that the communication will be chosen by the superior and the
20 subordinate will be held accountable for it, which means that in the case
21 of couriers, the company commander has three platoons, if we're speaking
22 of the specific commander of the 3rd Company. Every platoon is duty-bound
23 to designate a courier for the company commander because the company
24 commander himself doesn't have couriers. The same will be done by the
25 company commander if the battalion commander requests that courier service
1 be established between them.
2 Q. In view of some evidence we've heard before this Tribunal, I have
3 the following question to you which is very important for the Tribunal:
4 What is the relationship between the brigade security organs and company
5 commanders in combat? And of course I'm referring to specific combat
7 A. Generally speaking about security - thank you - we normally touch
8 upon two aspects; the general security aspect and the counter-intelligence
9 aspect. The security organ -- I have to apologise because I have not been
10 a security organ and have never dealt with these matters but I know the
11 rules, and under the rules, the security organ will carry out these other
12 activities, notably counter-intelligence activities.
13 In performing these duties, the security organ may also be
14 involved in the detection of crime and causes and other elements that have
15 a bearing on the security situation. The general security aspect lies
16 within the competence of command and not counter-intelligence, that is to
17 say the command does not deal with counter-intelligence but with the
18 general security situation, the protection of plan manpower, equipment,
19 data protection and so on.
20 In this sense, the security organ of the command and the security
21 organ can and must cooperate. The company commander who is tasked with
22 general security need not know, nor is the security organ duty-bound to
23 inform him thereof what the reasons and methods applied by the security
24 organ are.
25 Q. Thank you. Professor, can you tell us what the notion of the town
1 command is, how it is set up and by whom, and can you tell us what are the
2 duties of the town commander under the rules?
3 A. If you will allow me a minute.
4 Q. Of course.
5 A. In the documents of Operations Group South and orders and related
6 documents issued by the commander of the 1st Military District, on several
7 occasions it was ordered that town commands be set up. By way of an
8 example, I can refer you to the order from the commander of Operations
9 Group South dated 9 November 1991. The order bears the following number,
10 340-1, wherein it is stated that: "Commands are set up in the villages of
11 Negoslavci comprising the following," and now Ljubisa Vukasinovic is
12 mentioned as town commander, Deputy Captain Bozic, and Janko Sretko [as
13 interpreted] is there as the subordinate. And then Jabukovac, Grabovo,
14 and the village of Berak mentioned as locations where town commands are
15 set up.
16 In these -- or, rather, in this document orders were issued
17 designating certain persons, and it reads there that the authority is set
18 up in accordance with the rules of service and that all measures are to be
19 taken with a view to preventing incursions by sabotage, terrorist groups
20 and preventing terrorist actions. It is also ordered that instructions be
21 set up governing their work and that conditions be created for life and
22 work of the population. I have to actually start from the latter and
23 state that as an expert witness, I did not have occasion to see the
24 instruction governing the work of the town command, and I can only assume
25 that the town commands worked as per rules.
1 Specifically, in the town of Vukovar, persons were appointed town
2 commanders who came from the level of battalions or artillery battalions
3 and, as we were able to see from this specific example, from the command.
4 Mr. Vukasinovic came from the command of the Guards Brigade, specifically
5 from the security organ; he was deputy chief of security. Therefore,
6 company commanders could not have been, nor were they appointed town
8 The commander of the Guards Brigade issued the orders that we
9 mentioned on how town commands were to be organised. By the same token,
10 his subordinate commander, specifically the commander of the
11 80th Motorised Brigade, in keeping with the order issued by the commander
12 of the Guards Brigade or OG South, issued their own orders to set up town
13 commands -- or, rather, command posts.
14 As we said, town commands must be set up in keeping with the rules
15 of service. The rules of service make no reference to town commands;
16 rather, there are references to garrisons. That is in item 78. And then
17 it goes on to explain what a garrison is, who is appointed garrison
18 commander, the sort of business to be conducted in a garrison, and so on
19 and so forth. This is then associated with the order saying that one must
20 act in keeping with the rules of service and along the following
21 principle: Garrison, garrison command, and then back to the order that
22 was issued.
23 What is obvious is this: In terms of discipline, the town
24 commander was the superior of whoever happened to be there. This means he
25 was not required to give them any assignments in the sense of combat
1 operations or even try to affect their -- whatever assignments they happen
2 to have. What he was required to do, however, was to make sure there was
3 order and to make sure there was discipline. And that's what the order
4 says, even to prevent mistreatment.
5 In terms of practical experience, it is generally known that a
6 town commander, as the order says he must prevent any incursions by
7 sabotage and other groups, was required to determine call-signs which
8 means that the place occupied by the commander could not possibly have
9 been accessed by anyone without this person's presence becoming known.
10 The principal reason for this is the order that came from the brigade
11 commander, the commander of OG South, but it was also to protect his own
12 men and ensure there was discipline in his area of responsibility, because
13 all persons moving about that area, going from one place to another, had
14 to know this. He had to make sure they knew.
15 Q. Thank you very much, Professor. Regardless of the town commander,
16 let me ask you something that we want to know here in this courtroom. Who
17 has the power to order the commander of a brigade's military police unit
18 anything, who has the power to issue him orders?
19 A. Specifically in the Vukovar operation we had two different levels
20 of military police units. These were the military police battalions,
21 the 1st and the 2nd, and the Guards Brigade, and the military police
22 company in the 80th Motorised Brigade.
23 As there was a linear command system in place, the tasks to all
24 commanders in the brigade, and I mean the Guards Brigade, the battalion,
25 or the directly subordinate ones, when talking about the 80th Motorised
1 Brigade, all these tasks are issued by the brigade commander. Or, rather,
2 this can also be done by his deputy in the commander's absence with the
3 commander's approval.
4 Q. Thank you. But there were those brigades who also had a military
5 police company; for example, the 80th Motorised Brigade. Can you please
6 tell us who was in charge of issuing orders to the commander of the
7 military police there? There is a specific example from Vukovar that we
9 A. Yes, in the 80th Motorised Brigade, the person who had the power
10 to issue assignments to the military police commander was the commander of
11 the 80th Motorised Brigade.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. It says
13 the komandir of the military police company and the transcript says
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, in a company say commander.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Okay. The commander of the military police company of the
18 80th Motorised Brigade. Who would have had the power to issue them any
20 A. According to the rules, it would have been his superior. In terms
21 of the linear system of command, his superior would have been the
22 commander of the 80th Brigade.
23 Q. Thank you. What about the Chief of Staff? Would he also have had
24 the power to issue him orders to him?
25 A. Yes, having previously been authorised by his own commander.
1 Q. Another question about this, if you don't mind: What about the
2 commander of an infantry company? Can he be in command of a military
3 police company? For example, the commander of the 3rd Motorised Company,
4 could he have been in command of another military police company or not?
5 A. A company commander doesn't have the required level of training,
6 nor can he do this in terms of the establishment. So the answer to your
7 question is no.
8 Q. Thank you. During an attack, who is appointed to what is normally
9 referred to as the main axis of attack, both in theory and in practice?
10 A. Both in terms of the rules and in terms of practical experience it
11 is the best trained units that are sent there. When I say "the best
12 trained units," what I mean is these are the best trained men from that
13 unit. They have the best possible equipment available to their unit and,
14 in particular, the units morale has to be exceptionally high.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Forca, you provided some conclusions
16 that you attached to the -- your expert report. We want to know about
17 some specific conclusions. Can you please go to number 24 and can you
18 read it out for our benefit, please? This is item 24 of your conclusion.
19 Before you do that or rather -- go ahead, please. We can't go
20 through all the conclusions, we simply don't have the time, and I want to
21 focus on this one now.
22 A. "Commander of the 3rd Motorised Company of the 1st Motorised
23 Battalion, according to the 1st MTB command documents, commander of the
24 3rd Motorised Company of the 1st Motorised Brigade, Captain Miroslav
25 Radic, in combat operations, carried out the functional duty, commander of
1 the 3rd Assault Group. In the initial operations, TO Vukovar units
2 Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica detachments engaged in coordinated
3 actions with it. Tasks issued by the commander" --
4 Q. Can you slow down, please.
5 A. "Tasks issued by the commander of the 1st JOD were received at the
6 same time by Captain Radic and the commander of TO Vukovar Dusan Jaksic,
7 later Miroljub Vujevic, as well as the commander of the Leva Supoderica
8 Detachment, Milan Lancuzanin, Kameni, from the time these detachments were
9 attached to JOD 1," or the 1st Motorised Battalion.
10 In other words, Captain Miroslav Radic was not the superior of the
11 commanders of the above-mentioned TO detachments.
12 Q. Thank you very much. You will probably have occasion to interpret
13 all these other conclusions when cross-examined by the OTP.
14 Just to make sure there is no doubt about this, can you please
15 explain what item 27 means, where you mention a certain TO? The question
16 is: Which specific TO units that you have in mind and what exactly does
17 this mean? Before I go on with the other items.
18 A. Shall I read it out?
19 Q. Yes, silently, please, just tell us what it means.
20 You can read it out for the benefit of the Chamber, actually.
21 A. "The engagement of the 3rd Motorised Company as the 3rd Assault
22 Group in combat operations in Operation Vukovar lasted until the seizure
23 of Milovo Brdo, 10th of November, 1991, according to the diary of the 1st
24 Motorised Battalion and the latest until the 14th of November, 1991. More
25 precisely, until the decision of the OG South commander, strictly
1 confidential number 398-1, at 0800 hours, on the 14th of November, 1991.
2 As of that time, all TO units were excluded from the complement of the
3 3rd Assault Group and were not under the command of Captain Miroslav
5 Q. Thank you. It is precisely this last sentence. Can you please
6 explain what that means?
7 A. Your Honours, as I have pointed out already, while writing my
8 report, the report that was submitted to you, I used, above all, numerous
9 documents among which I referred in my previous testimony the decisions by
10 the OG South commander as well as handwritten copies of the war log of the
11 1st Motorised Battalion which was produced by the deputy commander.
12 What this means is that this order means the following: When
13 Milovo Brdo was taken on the 10th of November, 1991, any reasons for the
14 existence of the 3rd Assault Group ceased to exist. This group was
15 mentioned in the handwritten copy of the log written by the deputy
16 commander of the 1st Battalion. He referred to the 3rd Company in this
17 document as the 3rd Assault Group.
18 By the decision of the commander of OG South dated the 14th of
19 November, the 1st Motorised Battalion and JOD 1 were physically
20 separated. And also in terms of their assignment, the 1st Motorised
21 Battalion, which is an establishment unit, now received a different
23 During the fighting, units of the 1st Motorised Battalion were
24 joined by members of the TO and volunteers, most of them from the Republic
25 of Serbia. That is the meaning of this last sentence. All those who were
1 assigned to the 3rd Company, which the deputy commander described as an
2 assault group, were pulled out from the company, and as of the 10th, to
3 all practical purposes, at least based on the log that was written, or
4 pursuant to the 14th of November decision, all Captain Radic was left with
5 were the recruits, conscripts doing their military term.
6 Q. Can you please explain this, too, and try to be as precise as
7 possible: When we say TO units, TO units that were pulled out, does that
8 mean the Petrova Gora detachment and the Leva Supoderica detachment or
9 not, does that include those two detachments?
10 A. No, it doesn't
11 Q. You're positive, aren't you?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Would you please be so kind - we're nearing the end of the
14 examination-in-chief - as to read out item number 29, your conclusion
15 number 29.
16 A. "Captain Miroslav Radic's unit - the 3rd Motorised Company, a mere
17 establishment formation after the seizure of Milovo Brdo - carried out the
18 regular tasks after the conclusion of combat operations and was preparing
19 for its return to Belgrade, making sure to take all appropriate security
20 measures in their own deployment sector until their return on the 24th of
21 November, 1991."
22 Q. Thank you. Before we break for lunch, will you please make an
23 effort and tell the Trial Chamber what conclusion number 30 of your report
24 says and then we'll no longer be reading these. I suppose you still abide
25 by everything that you wrote there, right?
1 A. Yes. Number 30: "Establishment units, commanded by Captain
2 Miroslav Radic, upon the seizure of Vukovar, no earlier than the 18th of
3 November, 1991, did not have any tasks related to the transport or
4 security of the convoy of captured Croatian paramilitary formations,
5 civilians and wounded. It can be asserted with certainty that the
6 3rd Motorised Company, Captain Radic, only the soldiers received a verbal
7 order via the communications system and a task from the commander of the
8 1st Motorised Battalion to provide security for the hospital grounds in
9 Vukovar on the 19th of November, 1991.
10 "In the late afternoon hours on the 19th of November, 1991, the
11 units of the 3rd Motorised Company securing the hospital in Vukovar were
12 relieved by a military police unit (the 2nd Battalion of the military
13 police) which is in fact a military police task."
14 Q. Thank you very much, Professor.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a proposal to
16 make now and I would like to have guidance from the Chamber with this. I
17 would like to tender the documents along with this report, so how should I
18 tackle this? Should I be tendering the documents first, the documents
19 that I submitted, and move on to the other thing that I propose or maybe
20 that would be a -- the more practical course of action because in this
21 case it is not the summary of the footnotes that I'm talking about but the
22 other sheet of paper. If my assistant can please read out the numbers for
23 your benefit, since I'm getting a little tired myself, just the numbers
24 from this document, it's all in the e-court system, and then I would
25 propose that -- and all these documents -- if you don't have that, maybe
1 the court officer can give this to you so you have the English of what I'm
2 about to tender there.
3 I just try to make this easier for us and avoid wasting hours and
4 hours on going through the various binders that are there. That's what I
5 was trying to do. So all these are documents invoked by Professor Forca
6 in his report. They are here, and could my co-assistant kindly please
7 read out the relevant numbers, or do you think there is an easier way to
8 go about this which I'll gladly accept.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Well, you first want to tender the report itself
10 and then the documents on this two-page sheet or -- are ones that are
11 referred to in the report and you want separately to tender those as
12 exhibits; is that right?
13 I am not sure whether other counsel have had a chance to consider
14 them and indicate whether or not there is any objection.
15 Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: I would have to look through them, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. What we will do, I think, Mr. Borovic,
18 is to look at this matter when we resume after lunch. It's now past the
19 time and this will give counsel an opportunity to look at this list of
20 documents over the lunch-break and see whether they maintain any
22 So we will break now and resume at 2.00 p.m.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 2.04 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Your Honour, I tender the expert report of expert witness
3 Dr. Forca into evidence. There's number 2D12-0456, that's the number of
4 the original, and the translation bears the following 2D12-0569.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number 798, Your Honours.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I don't think the first number was
8 entered correctly into the transcript. The number of the original version
9 is 2D12-0456. I believe that it is correct now. Yes, thank you.
10 Your Honour, over the break I spoke with my learned friends from
11 the Prosecution concerning these exhibits and, if you agree, I would ask
12 my colleague to read exhibit by exhibit and I tender all these exhibits
13 into evidence. If you agree.
14 JUDGE PARKER: I take it, then, you anticipate no opposition.
15 MR. WEINER: We have no opposition, except I think there are two
16 things. One is on number 10, that's being withdrawn.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] As far as number 10 is concerned, we
18 will not read it out in accordance with our agreement with our learned
19 friends. And I'm referring to the text that my colleague will read out.
20 MR. WEINER: And the -- and number 6, it's been partially
21 translated. We've translated maybe another 10 to 15 more sections of
22 that, and we would introduce the sections relating to command
23 responsibility -- I'm sorry, command and control. So there will be
24 additional translations.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I agree with the proposal by my
1 learned friend.
2 MR. WEINER: We are in agreement then. Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 MS. GUDURIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. The first document is
5 "Law on Military Duty," e-court reference 2D12-1003.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 799, Your Honours.
8 MS. GUDURIC: The second document is "Rules of mobilisation of the
9 armed forces of SFRY." That's e-court reference 2D12-1026.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 800, Your Honours.
12 MS. GUDURIC: The next one is "Strategy of armed struggle,"
13 e-court reference 2D12-0732.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 801, Your Honours.
16 MS. GUDURIC: The next one "Some issues and problems of command
17 and control of the armed forces of the SFRY." E-court reference
19 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 802, Your Honours.
21 MS. GUDURIC: Then we have "Rules of mountain alpine companies
22 platoon." That's Defence 65 ter document 2D-0002. 8-digit e-court
23 reference 2D02-0050.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received, and there will be added into
25 the exhibit the supplementary provisions of the rules when they are
2 MS. GUDURIC: As Your Honours can notice, this document already
3 has two translations.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We're going to be translating forever. I
5 understand that will be Exhibit number 803.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honours.
7 MS. GUDURIC: "Rules of service of the armed forces of SFRY."
9 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 804, Your Honours.
11 MS. GUDURIC: "Manual for squad commanders," with reference
13 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: 805, Exhibit 805, Your Honours.
15 MS. GUDURIC: "Collection of documents regarding defence and
16 security of Yugoslavia from 1990 until 1991." 2D12-0098.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 806, Your Honours.
19 MS. GUDURIC: Number 10 has been withdrawn.
20 Number 11 is the summarised diary of the 1st Motorised Battalion
21 command. That's 2D14-0001.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 807, Your Honours.
24 MS. GUDURIC: "Report by the Guards Motorised Brigade command to
25 the office of the SSNO signed by the Chief of Staff Lieutenant-Colonel
1 Miodrag Panic." That's strictly confidential order dated 1st of October,
2 1991. That's Prosecution 65 ter number 943, and e-court reference is
4 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 808, Your Honours.
6 MS. GUDURIC: Then we have confidential order of the 1st Military
7 District command dated 16th of October, 1991. E-court reference is
9 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 809, Your Honours.
11 MS. GUDURIC: The next one is "1st Military District command
12 confidential order dated 17th of November, 1991, with reference 2D12-0999.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 810, Your Honours.
15 MS. GUDURIC: And another Prosecution 65 ter document with number
16 954. That's strictly confidential order dated 2nd November, 1991,
17 e-court reference 0327-1208.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 811, Your Honours.
20 MS. GUDURIC: And finally, "FRY government report to the
21 commission of expert established pursuant to security council resolution,
22 number 780/92, Belgrade, dated 3rd November, 1992," e-court reference
24 JUDGE PARKER: Received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 812, Your Honours.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to thank the better part of
2 my team.
3 Q. Mr. Forca, is there anything you would like to say concerning your
4 expert report, as I have finished my examination-in-chief? Is there
5 anything you would like to add?
6 A. Your Honour, Mr. Borovic, I can only repeat what I have already
7 said and that is that the report was submitted in August due to
8 translation and other procedures. It was drafted in this form on the
9 basis of the documents the Defence sent to me.
10 Q. Thank you, Professor.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as I said, I have
12 completed my examination-in-chief.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
14 Mr. Domazet.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examination by Mr. Domazet:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Professor.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. My name is Vladimir Domazet. I am one of the lawyers for
20 Mr. Mrksic, and on behalf of his Defence I will put several questions to
22 First, I would like to discuss the first part of your expert [as
23 interpreted]. Wherever possible, I will refer to page numbers and
24 paragraph numbers for the benefit for the two of us and for the benefit of
25 the parties to the proceedings.
1 Let us also be mindful of the fact that we have to speak slowly in
2 order for the transcript to accurately reflect whatever we say.
3 On page 11 of your report, you speak of the Guards Motorised
4 Brigade as an elite unit in terms of human and material resources, but
5 particularly in reference to human resources. I will have no questions on
6 this matter because you have been quite clear in your report.
7 I would put a different question to you as a military expert: Did
8 you take into account certain decisions of the 1st Military District --
9 or, rather, you did take them into account concerning the operation of
10 Vukovar. Do you think, as an expert, that it was warranted for such a
11 unit which had specific purposes to be used for Operation Vukovar, for the
12 purposes it was used?
13 A. Your Honour, all the units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army had
14 specifically defined tasks and competencies, the task of priority of the
15 Guards Motorised Brigade was not the task it was in fact used for. My
16 expertise dealt with control from the squad to the brigade level
18 This is what I can say in response to Mr. Domazet's question.
19 First, I, as an expert, don't know why the Guards Brigade was used
20 for Operation Vukovar. I can assume, and I repeat I can only assume, that
21 knowing what the composition of the Guards Brigade was and the high
22 quality it exhibited, and knowing the level of responsibility of the
23 military personnel, be it officers or ordinary soldiers, the military
24 leadership relied on these factors in issuing the -- such an order to the
25 Guards Motorised Brigade which was not primarily intended for that
1 particular task. I say this without knowing what the reasons behind the
2 order and the decision were. I know that the units are best employed and
3 used for the purposes they were initially intended. I don't know if I was
4 clear enough.
5 Q. Thank you. I have two questions concerning what you stated on
6 page 47 on the issue of command responsibility and the responsibility of
7 superiors. That's in paragraphs 113 and 119. You mentioned the
8 instructions on the application of the international laws of war in the
9 armed forces of SFRY from 1988.
10 First of all, I'd like to know whether this also applied in the
11 event of an aggression on the SFRY and the international conflict or not?
12 MR. WEINER: I object to that, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
14 MR. WEINER: He's asking for a legal opinion as to the application
15 of certain international rules to -- what he describes as "an aggression."
16 JUDGE PARKER: You are here asking about matters of law, are you
17 not, Mr. Domazet?
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Well, it is true, Your Honour, that
19 I am putting this question if the expert witness, who is a professor and a
20 doctor of military science knows the answer to this.
21 In paragraph 119, he also spoke of another matter that I wanted to
22 deal with, another point of law.
23 JUDGE PARKER: The problem with points of law, Mr. Domazet, is
24 that it is the role of this Chamber to decide questions of law and the
25 subject matter isn't even one of particular expertise about the law in the
1 former Yugoslavia. And further, while the witness may be eminent in his
2 knowledge of certain aspects of the military, it does not appear that he
3 would claim to be an expert military lawyer. So I think that your
4 question really has to be put aside.
5 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will not
6 be asking the question then. The interpretation of it by the witness in
7 item 119 is of a rather legal nature, but then I suppose I won't be asking
8 any questions about that either. Thank you.
9 Q. Sir, Mr. Forca, can you please look at paragraph 55, this is
10 page 68. Your comment in this paragraph, do I understand it correctly as
11 your criticism of the way the command of the 1st Military District
12 organised Operations Group South. You seem to be saying that this was
13 done in a fashion that was contrary to the theory, and the rules for the
14 reason you explained here: "Operations Group is superior to a brigade and
15 a special command must be assigned."
16 Can you please elaborate on that?
17 A. Your Honours, as Mr. Domazet has just stated, in paragraph 55, I
18 criticise the way Operations Group South was set up. When I say the way
19 Operations Group South was set up, I mean from the moment when the
20 responsibility of the commander of OG South was taken over by Colonel
21 Mrksic. Having studied the theory behind temporary formations, the theory
22 specified in my reports where it addresses temporary formations, and I can
23 also say that OTP expert witnesses seem to have referred to more or less
24 the same or similar documents, I have come across several definitions
25 provided by experts. Above all, in the document that has now been
1 officially admitted, some questions and issues concerning command and
2 control in the armed forces of the SFRY, again temporary formations are
3 considered, and in these theoretical sources, where there is reference to
4 an operations unit or a temporary group, a definition is always provided
5 as to what it is made up of. It can be made up of a corps, a division, or
6 several brigades. This is a level which is not prescribed, at least not
7 the way it is organised such as the case may be with a brigade, a
8 division, or a corps.
9 Among other things, when you set up an operations group by setting
10 up several brigades, in principle, the recommended course of action is to
11 set up a special command which, in the specific case of Operations Group
12 South, was simply not done. Operations Group South comprised the
13 Guards Brigade, the 20th Partisan Brigade, and the 80th Motorised Brigade,
14 at least throughout the period of time that I analysed in my report.
15 What actually happened was units of the same level being
16 resubordinated to the commander of the Guards Brigade who then became the
17 commander of the operations group. Brigade level units were subordinated
18 to him, resubordinated to him. I analysed this in the latter part of my
19 report, what the effects of these actions were.
20 Just to give you an example, the commander of the 80th Motorised
21 Brigade was at the same level as his company commander. There is an order
22 by Commander Mrksic or a decision that we mentioned saying that the
23 reconnaissance company of that brigade was the reserve force as an element
24 of its combat disposition.
25 Now, as the commander who is in command of any element of the
1 combat position. Secondly, given the way that the composition of the
2 operations group was determined, brigade commanders and battalion
3 commanders were brought up to the same level because the commander of
4 Assault Detachment 1 or the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion was
5 first subordinated to the commander of the Guards Brigade or the commander
6 of OG South.
7 Along these lines, and bearing in mind everything that I have just
8 told you as well as my research on the subject, I believe that the command
9 of the 1st Military District did not act in keeping with these provisions
10 when they set up the operations group, especially as of the moment when
11 Colonel Mrksic took over.
12 Q. Do you think this affected the exercising of command in any way?
13 A. To be quite honest, the execution of a task is closely linked to
14 the rules of service. A task which is received must be carried out.
15 Given the particular features of the officers involved in the Guards
16 Brigade and their men, I suppose they accepted this task and of course
17 that sort of thing does have a bearing on how command is exercised.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please go to paragraph 45 on page 66 of the
19 B/C/S. Here you address the operations area of the Guards Motorised
20 Brigade and OG South at an early stage in operations.
21 Further down you provide the exact boundaries of that area, and
22 you say that the Vukovar Hospital lay outside the operations area covered
23 by OG South until the 19th of November, 1991, when the order came that you
25 Is my understanding correct, sir? The reason I'm asking this is
1 there was an OTP witness, it was Trifunovic, I think, who said that the
2 hospital did in fact lie within the operations area of OG South?
3 A. Your Honours, based on the documents that were available to me --
4 or, rather, each area has four dimensions: The front, the rear, the left,
5 and the right. As for what Mr. Domazet's question is about is the front.
6 According to documents where commanders address the issue of the area, the
7 Guards Brigade with OG South was attacking as far as the River Vuka. As
8 for as the area across the River Vuka, the unit attacking there was
9 Tactical Group North. It was for this reason that I understood the
10 commander of the 1st Military District to have issued an order for the
11 Guards Brigade or, rather, for OG South to continue the operation and take
12 the hospital. I interpreted this to effectively mean an extension of the
13 area covered by the Guards Brigade or OG South.
14 Q. Thank you. One of the last sentences there, the task to go
15 towards the hospital in coordination with TG North. Does that mean that
16 TG North continued to be responsible for that or does it not mean that at
18 A. Can you please --
19 Q. Look at the last answer.
20 A. Yes, I've gone through it, but what exactly do you want me to
21 answer. Where is the question?
22 Q. It says: "Because it was OG South, they brought the task in
23 coordination to TG North to take the hospital on the 19th November by 1000
25 A. In keeping with what I was saying about coordination, the task
1 given to TG North implied more or less the same thing.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Can we now please go to paragraph 101 on
3 page 86 of the B/C/S version of the report.
4 You address the evacuation of the hospital, and you say that this
5 was an activity of the greatest possible importance with security organs
6 of the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence being involved, and
7 you go on to quote a portion of the war log.
8 In your opinion, what would the arrival of a team like that mean,
9 a security organ of the Federal Secretariat for the All People's Defence,
10 specifically their arrival there for the evacuation of the hospital or any
11 of the related missions?
12 A. Your Honours, I don't know exactly what it meant, meaning I don't
13 have any document ordering those bodies to go to the area of OG South.
14 However, if we look at some other documents, it can be deduced that these
15 organs were supposed to conduct a triage of those present at the hospital,
16 since there was every indication at the time that not everybody taking
17 shelter at the hospital was the sick and wounded by rather those who
19 Q. Mr. Forca, based on what you just told us, one of their tasks was
20 to get involved in the selection and separation of those members from the
21 civilians -- the civilians at the hospital specifically. That's what we
22 are talking about.
23 A. Yes, separating the wounded and injured -- separating them from
24 the wounded and injured who belonged in the hospital anyway, by rights.
25 Q. You will remember that you referred to the presence of Colonel
1 Nebojsa Pavkovic, the then Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic, you remember that?
2 And according to your research, was Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic there and in
3 just what capacity?
4 A. As for the presence of General Pavkovic, there's an order to that
5 effect issued by the chef du cabinet of the Federal Secretariat for All
6 People's Defence mentioning that he would be there on their behalf in the
7 Vukovar operation.
8 Q. Thank you. What about the presence of such a high-ranking officer
9 from the cabinet of the federal secretary for All People's Defence? Would
10 that not indicate that the Federal Secretariat deemed the Vukovar
11 operation and what was going on there at the time as a matter of
12 particular significance?
13 A. I think -- yes, I think that's exactly what it might be taken to
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 Can you now please go to paragraph 115 at page 92 of the B/C/S.
17 It seems that based on the documents available to you, there are three
18 things that remain insufficiently clarified which you state under A, B,
19 and C respectively. What I want to know about is the one under B. You
20 believe one thing that remains unclear is just who ordered the military
21 police unit of the 80th Motorised Brigade to guard prisoners at Ovcara on
22 the 20th of November.
23 My question is: According to the regulations, who would have had
24 the power to issue an order like that?
25 A. Your Honours, as I have said already, the question was raised
1 about the regulations and who would have had the power to issue orders to
2 the commander of the military police or the battalion commander. It could
3 have been the brigade commander, he would have had the power to issue
4 orders to the commander of the MP company.
5 Q. That means the commander of the 80th Brigade?
6 A. Yes, that is indeed what it means.
7 Q. Did you have look to see what was recorded in the operations log
8 of the 80th Brigade in relation to the 20th and securing the prisoners and
9 securing Ovcara, since there is a reference to that in the log?
10 A. Yes. What I used in my report is the fact -- rather, that can be
11 found in the documents; namely, that the security detail withdrew at
12 around 2200 hours, I believe.
13 Q. But that's not the entry that I meant. I meant the entry that the
14 prisoners would come. It doesn't reflect who ordered it but I had in mind
15 the previous entry that the arrival is expected. Only if you remember
16 that, otherwise not, because we have the other information that you
17 mentioned in our evidence.
18 Mr. Forca, I would now like to go back to the second part where
19 you analyse the Vukovar operation and the then situation both in the JNA
20 and in the Territorial Defence. You were quite detailed there. I will
21 skip all of those parts that are not relevant in my view.
22 First of all, a little bit about the National Guards Corps. You,
23 as a military expert, what can you tell us about the ZNG and what it
24 represented at the time?
25 A. Your Honours, in reply to this question, I wish to say the
1 following: The second part of the Operation Vukovar, and its first
2 subpart and the activities - this is something that you can see in one of
3 the conclusions - it is necessary to analyse the conditions, the
4 circumstances under which "one little company commander" found himself. I
5 apologise to the commander of the 3rd Company for calling him a little,
6 insignificant commander. All I wanted was to describe and to make it
7 clear to you --
8 MR. WEINER: I object, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, the question is: Could you please -- or
11 basically I'm summarising it, tell us about the National Guards Corps or
12 the ZNG, and the witness is now talking about the circumstances in which
13 one little company commander found himself. And he's talking about
14 Mr. Radic and the situation where he found himself. That's not the
15 question. The question is: Please tell us about the National Guards
16 Corps. He's off on another tangent.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It's not really a point of objection, Mr. Weiner.
18 But you will understand that you were asked about a topic that was
19 different and you've gone to something else. If you would be able to come
20 back to the ZNG, that is what Mr. Domazet would like your assistance with.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes, Mr. Forca. The question was about the ZNG.
23 A. Yes, yes. Your Honours, I apologise for making such a long
24 introduction, but I wanted to say that -- and this is reflected in the
25 footnote, the bit about ZNG, I wanted to say that I took this over from
1 Professor Radovan Radinovic from the general part in the Kunarac case.
2 However, as I can see, this was not admitted into evidence, and my reply
3 to Mr. Domazet is that these views were taken over from Professor
4 Radinovic who was a military expert.
5 Q. Mr. Forca, when speaking of what occurred in the first half of
6 1991 in Croatia, paragraphs 6 and 7 on page 52, you also speak of the
7 beginning of some spontaneous resistance in the areas of Croatia where
8 Serbs constituted a majority. And then in paragraph 7, you speak of two
9 processes. The first one was the paramilitary organisation and arming of
10 Croatia and its multiple preparation for war, and the second one is
11 organisation of the Serbian people in Croatia for self-defence.
12 My question is whether these two facts are interlinked and can you
13 give us a bit of a broader explanation? Can you expand on this?
14 A. Your Honours, yet again I have to say to Mr. Domazet that these
15 views were taken over from Professor Radinovic, from his expert analysis.
16 They were included here in order to illustrate the background, to
17 illustrate what preceded the Vukovar operation.
18 Q. Thank you. Yes, you explained that. But given that you referred
19 to it, does this mean that you accept these views and that you included
20 them in your report, regardless of where they come from, but you included
21 them in your report as part of your own opinion?
22 A. This is the opinion of Professor Radinovic and I as an expert
23 consider it to be acceptable.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. Would you please look at paragraph 12 on
25 the following day where you quote a speech of the Croatian president
1 Franjo Tudjman. Would you please read the words that follow "on the
2 Ban Jelacic Square"? Read the text in quotation marks which is what
3 Tudjman stated at the time on the 24th of May, 1992.
4 A. Under quotation marks: "There would have been no war if Croatia
5 had not wanted it, but we assess that the only way to win Croatia's
6 independence was through war. This is why we held political negotiations
7 and while these negotiations were in progress, we formed our own armed
8 units. If we had not done so, we would not have reached our goal. So war
9 could have been avoided only if we had given up our goals, that is to say,
10 the independence of our state."
11 Q. Now that we are dealing with this, there was a question put to you
12 by Mr. Borovic where you explained the role of the JNA in the fall of
13 1991; you gave us several elements. What I am interested in is your
14 assessment, based on everything you have done so far, about the role of
15 the JNA in the first half of 1991.
16 A. Your Honours, can we just specify whether the first half means
17 including June?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. To tell you the truth, I didn't focus on this. This wasn't the
20 focus of my research, the role of the JNA during that period of time.
21 However, what can be considered as something that is generally known
22 during that period of time, there were already conflicts within the
23 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, namely in Slovenia, and in
24 Borovo -- or, rather, in some settlements, some towns in Croatia.
25 If I had to give you my opinion about the role of the JNA - how
1 should I put it? - not in the sense of what was ordered to the JNA but in
2 the sense of how I, as an expert, see the role of the JNA during that
3 period of time, then I would say that the role could be defined as
4 separating two belligerent sides or two sides to the conflict.
5 Q. Thank you. Something concerning paragraph 14 and what you
6 described in detail there. This concerns the incident in Borovo Selo
7 which took place in May, on the 2nd of May, 1991. I believe this to be
8 quite important because this event was mentioned by a lot of OTP witnesses
9 as an event which was a turning point in the events in Vukovar. The Serbs
10 stopped going to work after that, barricades were erected and so on.
11 Thus, I think that it is extremely important to establish what actually
12 took place on that day in Borovo Selo.
13 You described this in detail here, and I do not wish to repeat
14 this, but tell us this: You say that there were five buses with armed
15 policemen. So based on that, can you tell us how many policemen
16 intervened and how can that be related to the number of casualties, both
17 those who were killed and wounded after the conflict?
18 So would you tell us whether, in your experience, such an
19 operation would be justified or not? And the role of the JNA is also
20 mentioned here.
21 A. Your Honour, as is stated here, the Presidency established that
22 the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, through a consistent and resolute engagement
23 in the implementation of its constitutional duties again managed in
24 extremely difficult circumstances to reduce and stop the spreading of
25 interethnic conflicts. This means that the statement which can be found
1 in the collection of documents which were admitted into evidence today as
2 Exhibit - just a minute please - 806, that during that period of time,
3 which is to say the first half of 1991, the JNA was involved in separating
4 two warring parties.
5 Naturally, all of those who, during that time, were in the area
6 and who received various information can possibly have a different opinion
7 from their own point of view.
8 In reply to your question, all I can say is that in that sense,
9 the JNA separated the warring sides.
10 Q. Thank you. One more question on this topic. Would you please
11 look at paragraph 39, which is page 62 in your copy.
12 In reply to a question put to you by Mr. Borovic, you touched upon
13 this subject, thus there is no need to repeat. All I am interested in is
14 this: You speak about the Vukovar operation, and I would like to know
15 whether this is your personal criticism of the decision of the commander
16 of the 1st Military District, Commander Zivota Panic, concerning the way
17 in which the siege of Vukovar was conducted.
18 A. Your Honours, do I need to read what I wrote and then give the
19 interpretation, or can it be seen on the screen?
20 From my point of view, from the theoretical point of view, and
21 that of the doctrine which doesn't date back only to the JNA time and the
22 SFRY, but it dates back to the times before Christ. Sunsu [phoen] used to
23 say that that the towns are not to be attacked. They are bypassed but not
24 attacked, because a conflict in an urban environment always requires the
25 use of greater number of troops. That is to say, that urban conflict
1 makes it impossible to use all types of equipment. As Gavez [phoen] says,
2 when one starts sabre rattling when one employs the entire force, then one
3 needs sufficient space.
4 Based on that, I think that the way Vukovar was liberated
5 contradicts the theory and the doctrine. It is not consistent with it.
6 Q. Thank you. You've explained that and you've answered
7 Mr. Borovic's question. You gave your own view, which is to say that in
8 your opinion, this was a mistake committed by Zivota Panic and the command
9 of the 1st Military District.
10 I'm now approaching the final stages of my examination, and I
11 would now like to turn to several of your conclusions. Can we please look
12 at page 97. Paragraph 7, where you say that what took place, in a way,
13 surprised the JNA which was partially unprepared for that type of war
14 because it had been created on a different premise. And then you speak
15 about the TO which existed in the republics which, at that time, was not
16 lawful, was not permitted.
17 Do you have any additional comments or do you believe that this
18 was completely clear?
19 A. Your Honour, precisely as I put it in paragraph 7, it is a fact
20 that the system of All People's Defence and social self-protection in the
21 then SFRY, if viewed from the perspective of armed forces, their place and
22 role was primarily designed and oriented toward repelling an external
23 aggression, as it is in fact stated here.
24 One of the most important matters that was constantly being
25 promoted was the brotherhood and unity of peoples. It is a fact that the
1 Yugoslav Peoples' Army was manned by members of all peoples and
2 minorities. The experience shows that once civil war breaks out in a
3 country, the first to perish or the first to suffer are the armed forces
4 because there, they start bursting at the seams.
5 Q. In paragraph 9 of your conclusions, you speak of what you just
6 mentioned, that the first task of the JNA was to separate the warring
7 parties until, as you put it here, there broke out direct conflict with
8 the Croatian paramilitary forces. You speak here of the lifting of the
9 blockade of the barracks. I have two questions in relation to this.
10 Generally speaking, the JNA barracks, in view of the JNA doctrine
11 which was focused on external aggression could it have been easy to block
12 the JNA barracks in view of the fact that we were predominantly positioned
13 in towns? Would you have an assessment to make in that respect as to how
14 it was possible for them to be imposed blockades?
15 A. Your Honour, the fact of the matter is that the barracks which
16 housed the commands of units and other facilities of the JNA were blocked
17 to different -- and were exposed to different degrees of fire-power. In
18 one of such barracks in Zagreb, I, myself, was present, and that was the
19 Centre of Technical Schools.
20 The second matter I wanted to say was that none of the JNA
21 facilities can abandon a certain location without receiving prior orders
22 which means that those who happened to be in the barracks at the time were
23 unable to leave the premises of their own accord. All the barracks
24 present in a certain town were easy prey and could easily be blocked. The
25 exercise did not require strong forces. Whoever wanted to impose a
1 blockade on a barracks was able to do so in view of the strength of the
2 forces present in the barracks.
3 I don't know if I made myself sufficiently clear.
4 Q. You did. Thank you. The blockade of barracks also implied the
5 cutting off of water, electricity, and other supplies. Was this easily
6 done as well?
7 A. I can speak from the experience I had in the barracks where I was.
8 From the 15th of September, 1991, onwards, water, electricity, and phone
9 lines were discontinued and we were not allowed to leave the barracks'
10 perimeter. I cannot speak for other barracks, but I can assert that this
11 was the case in the barracks where I was.
12 Q. Thank you. Although you say you cannot speak about the other
13 barracks but let us take the barracks in Belgrade -- in Bjelovar because
14 it was quite a typical example. Do you know what happened to the barracks
15 in Bjelovar, if you have any information to that effect?
16 For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, Bjelovar is in Croatia,
17 specifically in western Slavonia; is that right?
18 A. Your Honour, Mr. Domazet, we were learning about what was
19 happening in the barracks in Bjelovar based on what we heard over the
20 radio and television. In view of the fact that I only have this
21 information concerning the barracks, I would say that they do not allow me
22 to objectively portray the situation as it was there.
23 Q. Of course. I understand. Do you recall that that particular
24 barracks surrendered to the forces surrounding it?
25 A. I believe that it was in Virovitica that the barracks was
1 surrendered, if I am correct. I don't know.
2 Q. Well, I do not want to ask you about the facts you're not certain
3 of. I thought you knew something about it.
4 But let's speak briefly about paragraph 11. That's your comment
5 concerning the fact that the state of war was not declared. This seems to
6 be a sort of criticism of yours. Is it your view as an expert that the
7 country should have declared a state of war, or am I mistaken? Although
8 this was the impression I got from the text you wrote there.
9 A. Your Honour, Mr. Domazet, this was not my opinion, as you
10 summarised it now, that there should have been a state of war declared.
11 Rather, paragraph 11 as one of the conclusions of a general nature relates
12 to the following: When a state of war is declared in a country, one
13 knows that a completely different system of relationship ought to apply in
14 that country. I said that the fact that a state of war was not declared
15 is something that should not be drawn upon at all, that it was along those
16 lines that I meant and not that a state of war should have been declared.
17 Q. Since you examined Operation Vukovar and the combat activities
18 taking place there, do you have an assessment to make on the following
19 matter: You did give an assessment about the number of officers and
20 soldiers involved in the operation. Would you have an assessment to make
21 about the strength concerning the 204th Vukovar Brigade, that's to say
22 among the forces on the other side? Would you have an assessment of the
23 strength of those forces?
24 A. Your Honour, the figures indicating the size of the forces engaged
25 in Operations Group South can be found at page 71, paragraph 62 of my
1 report. The figure was provided by deputy commander of the 1st Military
2 District, General Stojanovic, if I'm not mistaken. Therefore, this was
3 not my position as to the size of the force. Rather, this was a figure
4 taken from strictly confidential number 1614-162 dated 16 of November,
5 1991, and the figure was given in that document by deputy commander of the
6 1st Military District.
7 In view of this, it is quite difficult to speak of the strength of
8 the 204th Vukovar Brigade of the ZNG.
9 Q. If I understand you well, this was the only source you used in
10 presenting this figure. Since you examined the documentation you had,
11 would it come as a surprise to you if I were to tell you that recently the
12 Croatian government passed a decision whereby more than 7.000 decorations
13 were given to members of the 204th Brigade which meant that the brigade
14 was more than 7.000 strong. Would this figure come as a surprise to you
15 as an expert who examined the matter?
16 A. To tell you the truth, I didn't hear about this and I didn't know
17 that. But if you look at the JNA brigades, under the wartime
18 establishment they had around 6.000 troops, so this wouldn't come as a
19 surprise really to me, the 7.000 men from the 204th Brigade, but I would
20 not be inclined to think that the -- this was the establishment unit
22 Q. In your expert report, you rightly concluded that in respect of
23 some matters, orders and papers were missing, especially so concerning
24 some important decisions and the operations log of the Guards Brigade and
25 so on and so forth. Can you tell us how can this be, since under the
1 rules, every officer was duty-bound to hand over all the notes, the
2 official notes he made, and this was in particular true of the operations
3 logs, and especially in view of the fact that we are dealing with an elite
4 Guards Brigade here.
5 A. Your Honour, I feel quite uncomfortable at this time to have to
6 assess how and why these documents went missing. This would constitute a
7 speculation on my part and nothing more.
8 Q. Well, thank you very much. You don't have to answer.
9 I have another question. We had, as part of the Prosecution case,
10 an expert, Mr. Wheeler, who gave an assessment of what happened in
11 Vukovar, including the casualties and damage, as well as the extent of the
12 destruction of the town itself. This view was given also in terms of
13 whether it went in favour of either sides and that this was a God's given
14 thing for the Croats and for Franjo Tudjman. Do you have an opinion in
15 that regard?
16 A. I must admit that I am unfamiliar with the position you presented
17 by Mr. Wheeler. I can therefore only assume which factors were taken into
18 consideration by the said gentleman either in favour or against this
19 particular view.
20 Q. Please look at page 10, paragraph 11 of the report where you speak
21 of Article 7 of the Law on the Armed Forces of the SFRY. I believe you
22 quote the text of the oath taken by the soldiers, and could you please
23 slowly read out the text?
24 A. "I, full name, take -- hereby pledge to defend the independence,
25 constitutional order, inviolability and integrity of the Socialist Federal
1 Republic of Yugoslavia and to protect and spread the brotherhood and
2 nations and our nationalities. I shall always scrupulously and with
3 discipline fulfill the obligations and responsibilities of a defender of
4 my -- as a defender of my socialist self-managed homeland and be prepared
5 without sparing my own life to fight for its freedom and honour."
6 Q. Thank you. You go on to speak of the significance of this oath
7 and that it was even signed and so on and so forth. Does it follow from
8 there something that many people discussed and that was the defending of
9 the integrity or the -- rather, yes, the integrity of the territory of
10 what was then SFRY?
11 A. My answer can be yes, but it wasn't the task of the JNA alone. It
12 was a task enshrined in the Law on the Armed Forces, which included the
14 Q. Mr. Forca, thank you very much.
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] This concludes my cross-examination.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
17 I think this might be a good time for the break, Mr. Bulatovic.
18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I have nothing against that, Your
20 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at a quarter to 4.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.22 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
24 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
25 Good afternoon to all.
1 Examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Forca.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. It is on behalf of Mr. Sljivancanin's Defence team that I will be
5 asking you some questions about issues of interest to our Defence.
6 The first thing I want to know is you were asked a question about
7 the fact that the Guards Motorised Brigade was used in a way that was
8 contrary to its purpose. What I want to know is what was the purpose of
9 the Guards Motorised Brigade. Can you tell us that, sir?
10 A. Your Honours, it wasn't my understanding, I didn't say contrary to
11 its purpose, I would say contrary to its fundamental purpose.
12 Q. All right. Fundamental purpose.
13 A. The fundamental basic purpose of the Guards Brigade was to protect
14 important persons and buildings as well as a number of activities
15 involving protocol.
16 Q. Mr. Forca, was it not precisely because of the nature of its
17 fundamental purpose that the structure of the Guards Brigade was different
18 from the structure of other brigades, the alpine brigade, the mountain
19 brigade and so on and so forth.
20 At page 12 of the your report, you provide a chart of the
21 structure of the Guards Brigade as it was when it was sent to Vukovar back
22 in 1991 when there were units there that were attached. I want to know
23 about the structure of the Guards Brigade. Was it any different before it
24 was dispatched to Vukovar, so if I may term that in its peacetime
1 A. If I understand you correctly, there are two questions there.
2 First of all, was it structure any different from that of other brigades?
3 The answer is yes.
4 The other question at page 12 in paragraph 20, you have a
5 description of how the Guards Brigade was organised at the time it was
6 sent to Vukovar. It is stated that the security battalion which was part
7 of the brigade was not sent there as specified by the order for the chief
8 of the General Staff.
9 The security battalion was not sent to Vukovar.
10 Q. Under peacetime conditions, would the structure of the Guards
11 Brigade have been different from any other kind of brigade, such as the
12 alpine brigade, the mountain brigade, the infantry brigade, and so on and
13 so forth?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Very well. When you wrote your expert report, did you bear in
16 mind the Zagreb agreement on the evacuation of wounded and ill from the
17 Vukovar Hospital which, as we heard here, was signed on the 18th of
18 November, 1991? Did you look at that document too?
19 A. The document known as the Zagreb agreement is a document that I
20 took into account in the sense of not having come across -- I at least did
21 not come across anything to indicate that this document was known to any
22 of the commanders and komandirs from the Guards Brigade.
23 Q. But that wasn't my question. I wanted to know whether you are
24 aware of the document? You are, fine.
25 Bearing in mind the importance of the hospital evacuation, which
1 is something that you address in your report, you have this document
2 signed at such a high level, an order for the hospital to be evacuated in
3 keeping with this agreement. Would that sort of thing not have to be
4 provided in writing containing all the criteria and all the elements of
5 the evacuation itself?
6 A. In my reply, first of all, I wish to say something about the
7 Zagreb agreement which is what Mr. Bulatovic is asking me about. As the
8 Defence made available to me whatever they had at the time, I looked at
9 the -- a lot of OTP expert evidence. Personally I did not realise that
10 the Zagreb agreement was there. There was no copy of the Zagreb agreement
11 that was included in my sets.
12 Another thing I wish to say is any operation at that sort of level
13 should, in my understanding, in my understanding of the way the system of
14 command and control works, should be in writing or in a written form, the
15 wording used by Mr. Bulatovic.
16 Q. Mr. Forca, you say that Tactical Group North and Operations Group
17 South were supposed to be involved in concerted action to take the
18 hospital. That was the operation.
19 Bearing in mind what we've just said, would it not be logical for
20 an order like that, I mean the evacuation order, precisely because of the
21 involvement of both Tactical Group North and OG South to have been written
22 by the command of the 1st Military District, would that not be a logical
23 sequence of events in keeping with the rules and regulations that applied
24 throughout the JNA?
25 A. I must say I remember the order to take concerted action to
1 achieve this. This was sent to OG South. It is hardly logical or against
2 the rules for the specific order or an addendum of a previous decision to
3 be written by the command of the 1st Military District. That would not be
4 contrary to the system of command and control, it would not run counter to
5 the system of command and control.
6 Q. Mr. Forca, based on the documents which you inspected and which
7 you used in writing your report, and based on which you draw your
8 conclusions, can you tell us whose zone of responsibility did the Ovcara
9 farm fall under from the 18th of November onwards? It was the area of
10 responsibility of which specific unit. Can you help with us that?
11 A. The way I see it as operations were unfolding within the framework
12 of the Vukovar operation, and as the combat disposition was being shifted,
13 the location of Ovcara, from the date you specify onwards -- just a minute
14 please. Let me see if I have that.
15 I mean it is a well-known fact that commands were designated, town
16 commands, rather, for those parts of the area that were liberated or for
17 those parts of the area that were within the general area covered by the
18 ongoing operations. Therefore --
19 Q. Mr. Forca, perhaps I could give you a hand. The question was very
20 specific. You say that Operations Group South had its own area of
21 responsibility so this is my question, just in order to clarify, and we
22 can get to this later on. What about the units that are part of OG South,
23 do they have their own area of responsibility?
24 A. When we talked about the area assigned to an attacking unit, at
25 the joint tactical level, such as the brigade or further up the chain, we
1 talk about the operations area of that unit. Within that operations area
2 of a tactical unit such as a battalion or an assault detachment, an axis
3 is designated or assigned. The technical term is an axis of attack or a
4 sector of attack, and that was also specified in the decision to attack a
5 built-up area.
6 Along that axis of attack of those units, yes, I suppose you could
7 speak of their area of responsibility as referring to the area in which
8 they carry out combat operations.
9 Q. What about what we find on page 83 of your report, paragraph 93
10 when you say that: "Command posts were established in the villages of
11 Negoslavci, Berak, and Ovcara."
12 And as stated in paragraph 98: (redacted)
1 Q. Mr. Forca, based on the rules of command and control and in
2 keeping with the relevant regulations, all what you've been saying about
3 the structure of OG South, namely that in terms of the establishment, they
4 were all brought up to the same level, Colonel Vojinovic, as the commander
5 of the 80th Brigade, who does he take his orders from? You said the level
6 was the same.
7 A. The commander of the 80th Brigade, which within OG South was
8 subordinate to the commander of OG South, can take orders from the
9 commander of OG South.
10 Q. You say that the commander of the military police company of the
11 80th Brigade takes orders from his own superior, the brigade commander
12 Vojinovic; is that not right, sir?
13 Now, if we have the military police company commander of the
14 80th Brigade and someone gives him an order and this person giving the
15 order is not a member of the superior command and is not his direct
16 superior, what is the commander of the military police company to do,
17 having received an order from someone who is not his superior?
18 A. This is a matter of principle. It mustn't necessarily involve the
19 commander of the military police company. As such, this applies to any
20 commander or unit commander. There are two types of relationships in the
21 army, the superior/subordinate relationship, which is a relationship of
22 subordination; and the junior/senior relationship which normally implies a
23 difference in rank or a difference in the time when a rank was awarded.
24 At any rate, if any officer takes an assignment from a senior
25 officer or a higher-ranking officer in relation to his own direct
1 superior, this officer is duty-bound to first and foremost inform his
2 direct superior.
3 Q. And before informing his superior, must he carry out the order?
4 A. He is duty-bound to tell the person issuing him the order that he
5 must inform his superior.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, let us go back to the town commands which are
7 quite interesting to us. We're speaking specifically of Ovcara now.
8 In your report, paragraph 98 says that in the war book of the
9 80th Motorised Brigade for the 19th of November, it is recorded that the
10 order was that Captain First Class," I'm not going to mention his
11 name, "was appointed commander of the village of Ovcara on the evening of
12 the 19th of November."
13 Now I'm now interested in the rules of service and legal
14 regulations of the JNA. What are the powers of the town or village
15 commander? You said that one set of rules applied to peacetime and one
16 set of rules applied to wartime. I'm now focusing on the wartime
18 A. Your Honours, I already spoke about this to a certain extent. In
19 the orders issued on establishing the town command, there was a clause
20 specifying that rules of service were to be complied with, namely the
21 provisions pertaining to garrison and service in the barracks.
22 The rules of service in those provisions that I just specified,
23 meaning from Article 78 onwards, deal with garrisons and barracks, but not
24 in wartime. In that respect, the order for everyone to draw the
25 instructions on how to act as town commander there should be tasks very
1 specifically defined as well as conduct and actions to be taken in a
2 particular town as ordered by the town commander.
3 Town or village commands are first and foremost in the
4 disciplinary sense superior to everyone located in that town or village as
5 they were, in my view, unable to effect the combat tasks received by the
6 units stationed in that town or village.
7 Q. Very well. Mr. Forca, what can the town commander do in order to
8 exercise his duty to ensure discipline?
9 A. Most likely it should have been regulated in relation to each
10 particular town or village and the units stationed there were different.
11 Commanders of battalions and artillery battalions functioned under
12 different circumstances and their composition was different too. So it
13 was a very diverse situation, and thus it's hard to say exactly what each
14 of town commanders had available in order to implement their task unless
15 it was specified in the order.
16 Q. Mr. Forca, in accordance with the roles of service in the armed
17 forces, is it possible for someone uninvited, unannounced or any other
18 term of that nature to come to the area of responsibility of a particular
19 unit, and if that happens, what is the procedure? What must the commander
20 of that unit do in relation to such unannounced, uninvited persons?
21 A. In keeping with the orders on establishing town or village
22 commands, there shouldn't be an occasion where somebody unannounced or
23 uninvited comes to an area of responsibility. This is something that
24 shouldn't happen, at least not deliberately. However, that doesn't mean
25 that somebody uninvited, as you said, can come into the area of
1 responsibility without being noticed by the person in charge.
2 So there are two aspects there. If a person who was uninvited
3 entered an area of responsibility, and if the commander of that town or
4 village knew about that, then the person appointing him can take measures
5 in relation to that town commander as specified by the regulations. If
6 this uninvited, undesired person entered the area of responsibility
7 without that being known to the commander, if this was, that is to say, a
8 complete surprise to the commander then, logically speaking, one would
9 need to establish who was responsible for this, for this uninvited person
10 entering the area of responsibility.
11 Q. Mr. Forca, I am interested in what a town commander can do in such
12 a person, uninvited, unannounced person entering the area of
13 responsibility. Do they send them away, do they inquire as to why, how,
14 and for what purpose they have come? Do they ask for a report of the
15 command to which this uninvited person was subordinated? That's what I'm
16 interested in.
17 A. Your Honour, now, in a portion of my answer, I can speak both in
18 hypothetical terms and in terms of the roles.
19 In hypothetical terms, I never received any kind of instructions
20 which town commands were duty-bound to write in compliance with the
21 orders. On the other hand, there are rules which regulate the guard
22 service and how they must treat persons who are either uninvited or
23 undesired and enter the area. So these are the rules of the guard service
24 which regulate how these persons are halted or apprehended and, in case
25 that they respond to the order to halt, how they are to be treated. And
1 likewise, how they are treated if they fail to respond to the call to
3 Q. All right, Mr. Forca. We're not going to spend more time on this.
4 I'm now interested in something else. In accordance with the
5 rules and regulations applied in command and control of the armed forces,
6 can a brigade commander send his subordinate officers or, rather, instruct
7 his subordinate officers to receive their orders from some other officers
8 who are not members of that establishment formation, establishment unit,
9 and is there such a possibility envisaged in the regulations?
10 A. Forgive me, Mr. Bulatovic, can a brigade commander --
11 Q. Yes, yes, can a brigade commander instruct his subordinate officer
12 to receive an order from, say, a major who is a member of some other unit?
13 A. In order to reply, I need to tell you something first. Within a
14 brigade, there is a command system where the relations are defined. These
15 relations within the command system may be linear; that is to say,
16 commander of a brigade, commander of battalion, commander of battalion to
17 the commander of company. This is the linear relation or the relation of
19 The other type of relations are functional relations. Within
20 functional relations, there is the staff of the brigade and commander of
21 battalion, which is to say that commander of brigade is superior to the
22 commander of battalion and only he can issue orders to him or the Chief of
23 Staff in the absence of the commander.
24 So this is as far as the functional relations are concerned.
25 Battalion commander cannot receive orders from staff organs without prior
1 authorisation from the brigade commander.
2 The third type of relations that exist within the command and
3 control system are staff relations. In staff relations, each command
4 organ of the brigade has a staff relation with the brigade commander and
5 the brigade commander has a linear relation with them.
6 Now we're all speaking in hypothetical terms now. If, in the
7 command and control system there are -- or, rather, there is a so-called
8 principle of competence, this principle of competence means that when
9 orders are issued, levels may not be skipped, which is to say that, in
10 principle, when the situation does not so require, and only on rare
11 circumstances will the brigade commander issue a task to a company
12 commander if there exists a battalion commander. As I am saying, this is
13 in principle, depending on the situation.
14 Theoretically and practically, it is possible to expand the
15 competence in issuing orders. What does this mean? The competence in
16 issuing orders can be expanded in two cases. The first one is in relation
17 to units and organs and competencies or authorities. For example, if, in
18 an area, if in a captured territory there are several units from various
19 establishment units, then one of them, usually the most senior one, will
20 take over the command over those units, and this is how his competencies
21 are expanded in relation to the organs of these units.
22 The second case is this: If a unit receives an order to carry out
23 an operation and competencies are specified for that operation, and in
24 view of the commander the situation requires that another operation or
25 task be carried out, then such a commander can have his competencies
2 So this is the theory behind it. And in accordance with this --
3 Q. Please proceed.
4 A. The brigade commander can, as you said, exempted or detached the
5 company commander and sends him to another officer who is not his
6 commander to receive an order from him. Now, for that to happen, the
7 situation would have to be an extremely extraordinary one.
8 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Forca, once again, something to do with the
9 roles. If the officers from superior command happen to come on some basis
10 for an inspection or for some other purpose, they happen to come to
11 subordinate units, can then any orders be issued by officers from
12 subordinate command to these officers from superior command? Could you
13 please answer this briefly?
14 A. If I understood your question, a superior sent to the subordinate
15 unit an inspection team and there arises a situation where members of the
16 inspection team --
17 Q. Can the officer of the subordinate unit issue any order to those
18 inspection team members?
19 A. In principle, no. Because these officers who had come to conduct
20 an inspection had to have authority granted to them by the commander as to
21 what they were to inspect and what is covered by their inspection.
22 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Your Honours,
24 Q. Mr. Forca, I'm now going to turn briefly to another topic and then
25 I will be concluding my cross-examination -- or, rather, my examination.
1 You were asked by Mr. Domazet about previous actions, and you said
2 in your report that in order to understand the Vukovar operation, one had
3 to know the processes and events in the SFRY that were taking place at the
4 time and so on and so forth. I don't want to belabour the point and what
5 was covered by Mr. Domazet and I will ask you something else.
6 In your report, would you please find page 55, paragraph 18, where
7 you speak about cease-fires signed between the Republic of Croatia and the
8 Presidency of the SFRY or whoever was signing these cease-fires at the
9 time. Apparently there was an agreement reached in The Hague on the 4th
10 of October, 1991, on cease-fire until the 19th of October, 1991. Then
11 there was a meeting between Lord Carrington and Hans Van den Broek, Franjo
12 Tudjman, Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Kadijevic. The UN Security Council passed a
13 resolution on the 25th of September, 1991, this is Resolution 713. Can
14 you tell us how many times the cease-fire was violated, the cease-fire
15 signed at these levels?
16 A. Your Honour, the cease-fires -- or, rather, the violations of the
17 cease-fires mentioned on page 55, paragraph 18, were taken from the
18 collection of documents and reprinted here, although these matters are
19 also mentioned in the subsequent parts of the report where documents from
20 the 1st Military District were mentioned as were those from the level of
21 the SSNO.
22 I cannot say how many cease-fires were reached exactly, but I
23 believe that there were around 10 or at least we have -- and how many were
24 violated. I know that the cease-fire signs were 14 but the violations
25 were definitely more than 10.
1 Q. Do you know how many attacks on JNA installations and JNA troops
2 took place in this period? I'm speaking about the period from the 4th of
3 October to the 3rd of November.
4 A. Yes. Paragraph 18 does read that the paramilitary forces of
5 Croatia carried out 247 attacks on JNA facilities and occupied five
6 barracks and two military facilities. This is the report --
7 Q. This is the period from early October up until -- or rather --
8 until the 19th of October? So that is the number?
9 A. Yes. In this mentioned period, from the 19th of October to the
10 3rd of November, there were 217 attacks on JNA units and facilities as
11 stated in that document I mentioned on page 55.
12 Q. Mr. Forca, do you know that in the month of April there were
13 attacks on JNA facilities? Specifically, do you know of the attack on the
14 JNA military court during trial against Mr. Spegelj in Zagreb?
15 A. Yes. I was in Zagreb at the time, but I am not familiar with
16 details. I know that there was an attack.
17 Q. Are you familiar with the instance where a JNA soldier was being
18 strangled in Split?
19 A. Oh, yes. I think that there are a few who have not seen the image
20 of what you were referring to in Split.
21 Q. Do you know or are you aware of the methods employed by the
22 paramilitary forces of Croatia, the ZNG, HOS forces in arming themselves
23 and the channels they used for the purpose?
24 A. Your Honours, in Exhibit 806, collection of documents, among other
25 things the methods used for the illegal [Realtime transcript read in error
1 "legal"] arming of the Croatian paramilitary army are indicated.
2 Specifically, in paragraph 24 at page 56 this particular piece of
3 information is to be found.
4 Q. If I can only intervene, on page 95, line 3, in the transcript, it
5 reads "legal arming," and I was speaking of the illegal arming of the
6 Croatian paramilitary army and of their paramilitary formations.
7 Are you aware of the instant where a train carriage was
8 intercepted on its way from Slovenia and the contents of the carriage,
9 namely weapons, were seized by the Croatian paramilitary formations?
10 A. Yes, I can say that I heard of the incident but I am not familiar
11 with details. I can merely say that I heard of this.
12 Q. Mr. Forca, I wasn't asking about any details. I merely wanted to
13 know if you were aware of this, and when the time comes, we will deal with
14 the other aspects of it.
15 I'm interested in something else. Did you hear of Boeing 707, of
16 the Bulgarian air company that the JNA air force planes forced to land on
17 the Pleso airport in Zagreb? The plane was used for transporting weapons
18 intended for the Croatian paramilitary forces, and the funds were
19 collected through the Croatian National Fund in Toronto. Since you were
20 in Zagreb at the time, are you familiar with this? And do you know that
21 the Croatian paramilitary forces and the MUP forces fired upon the
22 aircraft as it landed on the airport with the intention of destroying
23 its -- the cargo it held?
24 A. Yes, I am familiar with the incident, but I don't know whether the
25 events really took place the way you said. The documents which I used and
1 consulted do mention the plane that was popularly knowing as Kikas, or
2 otherwise Boeing 707. I believe the public at large is aware of the
3 incident, although I'm not familiar with the details you mentioned later
4 on as to who opened fire on the plane and the details about it.
5 Q. In paragraph 23 of your expert report, you mention some details
6 along those lines, not the ones that I mentioned, but you state that this
7 was the transporting the weapons collected by Croatian businessmen and
8 intellectuals in Toronto. There were 225 persons in all who were also
9 members of the HDZ.
10 Another matter that is contained in your expert report in
11 paragraph 103, there it states that the evacuation of the hospital was
12 also a problem in terms of security. Does this mean that security organs
13 had to be present during the evacuation of the hospital in order to
14 exercise their powers as defined by the legislation that was in force at
15 the time? And I do not wish to go into the specific pieces of
17 A. Yes, the paragraph does read the way you put it that, in my view,
18 the evacuation of the hospital was also a security problem and of course
19 since it was a security problem, the security organs had to be involved in
20 the operation with the authorities that they had.
21 Q. Do you know, Mr. Forca, in 1991 at the time of these events, who
22 was the president of the SFRY Presidency, or was it Mr. Stipe Mesic?
23 A. Yes, I presumed that this was your question. After several
24 attempts, he was elected president of the Presidency.
25 Q. And he was the president until the 12th of December, 1991. Do you
1 know what his statement before the Croatian parliament was upon the expiry
2 of his term of office as president of the Presidency? Do you remember
4 A. I wouldn't dare speak of his statement in any certain terms. In
5 other words, I don't know exactly what his statement was.
6 Q. If you do not, no matter. It was broadcast and reported on, but
7 the statement was that he had accomplished his task, that Yugoslavia was
8 no more. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes, along those lines, I do.
10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
12 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that was effective, Mr. Weiner.
13 MR. WEINER: I'll withdraw the objection.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic.
15 Mr. Weiner.
16 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, there's approximately 20 minutes to go.
17 Could we break today and start tomorrow morning?
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. How long would you hope to anticipate?
19 MR. WEINER: I hope to finish within the second session.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Within the second session, yes.
21 MR. WEINER: I'm not going to go all day tomorrow. It would be
23 JUDGE PARKER: It would be convenient if we started at 9.30
24 tomorrow, but that shouldn't interfere with your ...
25 MR. WEINER: That would be fine, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. I think this is the third time recently
2 we've done this, so it's probably most people now have had the benefit of
4 We will adjourn now. We will resume tomorrow at 9.30 and we will
5 finish the witness by no later than 1.45 tomorrow. And that should leave
6 you at least the last session, Mr. Borovic, given Mr. Weiner's
7 anticipation -- Ms. Tapuskovic.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.39 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
10 October, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.