1 Wednesday, 25 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Mr. Lukic, you are ready?
6 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation].
7 JUDGE PARKER: For some reason, Mr. Lukic, you have eluded the
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I see that. Once again, good morning,
10 Your Honours. I'm not sure if everybody can hear me now.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, you are loud and clear.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we're ready to start our
13 Defence case, at the outset of which I will be giving an opening statement
14 as announced at the Pre-trial Conference.
15 Your Honours, when, before the beginning of this trial, we were
16 taking the decision as to whether we would be giving our opening statement
17 at the beginning of the trial or whether we should do it now, before the
18 start of our Defence case, we were aware of the fact that this moment will
19 be a lot closer to the end than to the beginning of this trial. We were
20 aware of the fact that we would be much closer to the closing arguments
21 and that we should refrain from evaluating the massive amounts of evidence
22 that has already been presented.
23 On the other hand, we believe that we would be much better able to
24 articulate what we believe to be the very purpose of giving an opening
25 statement, the purpose being to announce to the Chamber what we would be
1 presenting during our defence case and to focus on the most important
2 allegations that will be heard. Our conclusion was we would be better
3 able to achieve this once the Trial Chamber has already been acquainted
4 with all the important evidence up to this point.
5 We didn't think at the time, given the pre-trial brief and the
6 list of the witnesses announced by the OTP, that there will be quite a
7 turnaround in the OTP's presentation of evidence and that what I will call
8 key witnesses would be dropped that were announced during the Prosecutor's
9 pre-trial brief and opening statement.
10 It is for this reason that, from our present standpoint, when
11 nearly all the cards are on the table, we believe all the more that it is
12 appropriate to give our opening statement now, before the beginning of our
13 defence case.
14 Your Honours, most of the cards are already on the table and have
15 been laid on the table by all the parties. You are piecing together a
16 mosaic of terrifying story. I am convinced that, after all the evidence
17 so far, this image is still unclear and you are still lacking a lot of
18 material information about key moments from the time covered by the
20 When I met Mr. Sljivancanin - and we first met here in the
21 Detention Unit - and when we first went through the indictment, as it was
22 at the time, I informed him that the onus of proving those allocations was
23 on the OTP and I informed him about the legal standards applied in
24 presenting evidence before this Tribunal. He then told me that he wanted
25 the truth to be established before this Tribunal. It was not his idea to
1 defend himself from the allegations raised by the OTP. All he wanted was
2 for the truth to be established about Ovcara, and this is what he told you
3 in his own opening address. This was also the principle that we tried to
4 abide by when preparing for this trial.
5 After the end of the OTP case, we found ourselves facing a list of
6 witnesses that we were intending to call. One thing I can tell you is
7 that during our preparation, we talked to a great number of persons.
8 Mr. Sljivancanin set another demand in relation to the witnesses that we
9 would be calling. He said he would not be calling anyone to testify
10 against their will but rather only those witnesses who were willing to
11 appear before the Tribunal and testify. He said he did not want a single
12 witness on his behalf asking for any form of protective measures or to
13 testify in closed session. He was also adamant that he should appear as
14 the first witness in his own defence case.
15 We were lucky in terms of this position he took in regards the
16 witnesses. Everyone we spoke to agreed to testify. There was one person
17 who asked not to be called as a witness for family reasons and we simply
18 didn't put his name on the list. There was another witness who has a
19 serious health condition. We are still considering whether his possible
20 testimony might adversely affect his health. All the remaining witnesses
21 will be appearing in our defence case, according to a schedule that we
22 have been trying to establish.
23 In the presentation of our evidence, the Defence of
24 Mr. Sljivancanin intends to call 16 viva voce witnesses, fact witnesses;
25 two 92 bis witnesses already approved by the Trial Chamber, and their
1 statements have been submitted. Our military and security expert will
2 also be appearing live in this courtroom, since Mr. Moore has pointed out
3 his wish to cross-examine him.
4 Before anyone else, you will be hearing Mr. Sljivancanin taking
5 the stand. We have also prepared to present and tender into evidence a
6 certain number of written documents throughout our case.
7 Your Honours, I will not use this time to describe the factual
8 allegations as we see them. I will try to use this opening statement in
9 order to guide you through important segments of our evidence that our
10 witnesses will be testifying to. I wish to use this opportunity to draw
11 your attention to some of the key moments of our evidence, events only
12 partially elucidated, not elucidated at all, or even, let me say,
13 intentionally obscured.
14 I think the position of Mr. Sljivancanin's Defence is entirely
15 clear to you. It was even at the pre-trial stage, the agreed fact stage,
16 our cross-examination of OTP witnesses and other Defence witnesses, and
17 our confronting the other witnesses about our own allegations and the
18 facts as we see them.
19 You know - and I'm only trying to point out what is most important
20 about the sequence of events and allegations in the indictment - that our
21 client, on the 19th of November, 1991, was escorting Mr. Vance, that he
22 was in the Vukovar Hospital on that afternoon; that, on the 20th of
23 November, he was again in the hospital; that he was not in the barracks on
24 that day and that he was not at Ovcara on that day. This is the factual
25 framework of our defence case.
1 It may not have been until late in the proceedings that it became
2 clear to you, Your Honours, why this Defence was so adamant to get the
3 timing right described by various witnesses. It was the OTP that foisted
4 this task on us. It was the OTP, through their own witnesses, whom they
5 so extensively examined about Mr. Sljivancanin, who wanted to paint a
6 picture of the events showing Mr. Sljivancanin being literally all over
7 the place all the time, or to put it more simply, in different places at
8 the same time. His face was a familiar one to all and sundry. The
9 footage with Mr. Borsinger must have been shown a thousand times. All the
10 photographs, all the TV footage, there wasn't a single witness who was not
11 able to provide an accurate description of Sljivancanin's physical
13 All those descriptions, precise descriptions of the physical
14 appearance of Mr. Sljivancanin that the OTP were so insistent about became
15 an important tool for our cross-examination. That is why, as early as the
16 pre-trial brief, we said that it was through the OTP witnesses that we
17 would really be getting our defence case underway, especially as to where
18 Mr. Sljivancanin was or was not physically present.
19 One thing I would like to clarify is that, throughout this trial
20 so far, we have presented important evidence to corroborate our own
21 position. We weren't merely biding our time, waiting for Mr. Sljivancanin
22 to take the stand himself.
23 What are the cards that we shall be laying on the table? What is
24 it that you are about to hear during our defence case, Your Honours? I
25 will now explain several things that I deem to be particularly important.
1 You will hear testimony about the structure, the make-up of the
2 Guards Brigade, its peculiar nature, its elite nature, as Mr. Moore called
3 it. But this make-up and this structure will be explained in terms of
4 what the facts were at the time, what the unit was trained for and what it
5 was facing. You will hear about its peacetime activities and how it came
6 to be involved in something that wasn't its original purpose, as well as
7 the consequences of this exceptional use.
8 Unequivocal evidence will be presented about the security organs
9 and the security service in the JNA as a whole, especially in the Guards
10 Brigade. We shall be paring back down to the bare bones the evidence to
11 show you what they were doing, what they could possibly have done and what
12 they could never have done based on the regulations or in purely factual
13 terms. Obscuring the exact role of the security organs is the weapon used
14 by all those who are jeopardised by their precise position and by their --
15 by any legal steps that they take.
16 You will have in this courtroom witnesses have security organs
17 from the 1st Guards Motorised Brigade of the 1st Military District and
18 from the security administration. In addition to what happened in
19 Vukovar, they will provide a lot of answers about the functioning of the
20 security organ.
21 Specifically, precise evidence shall be presented before you on
22 the place and role of the military police in the Guards Brigade. The most
23 competent people from the military police itself will take the stand;
24 namely, the commanders of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the military
25 police, who were members of the command of the Operations Group South; the
1 commander of the anti-terrorist company; and other commanding staff from
2 the military police.
3 They will present specific testimony on the events on the 19th and
4 20th, and what the OTP's particularly interested in - and I believe this
5 Trial Chamber as well - about the relationship of the military police and
6 the security organs de jure and de facto.
7 On this subject, evidence shall be led by presenting the expert
8 report of our expert, military security expert. We shall lead evidence on
9 the arrival of the brigade itself in Vukovar, with focus primarily being
10 on security problems. And you shall also have occasion to hear some
11 details about the other activities of the Guards Brigade; the heroic moves
12 of its members, the deaths of young soldiers and courageous commanding
13 officers. We cannot be indifferent when only terrible things that have
14 been presented by witnesses of the OTP are heard by this Court.
15 We, therefore, consider that it is necessary for the facts to be
16 comprehensively presented, primarily with a view in order to receive all
17 the work done by the security organs during the fighting in Vukovar. But
18 this is also substantial from the position of the Defence to the effect
19 that the events and operations in Vukovar were neither apart nor in
20 themselves a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population.
21 This was an armed conflict, a cruel one, with all the implications that
22 fighting in the city entails, plus with elements of a civil war. But it
23 was not an attack targeting the civilian population.
24 You will hear evidence as to how the members of the Guards
25 Brigade, how Veselin Sljivancanin and other commanding officers, did
1 everything they could in order to help the civilian population of Vukovar
2 and to alleviate the plight that had befallen them.
3 Evidence will also be led about the problems in the OG South
4 itself, on problems with the commanding officers, on the PT company, the
5 leaving of the reserve members and the opposition of Sljivancanin to such
6 a decision, the problems with volunteers and problems with TO members. We
7 shall be presenting evidence on how and why and when Dusan Jaksic was
8 replaced as commander and who appointed Miroljub Vujovic to head the TO.
9 You will see that neither formally, nor factually, did Sljivancanin have
10 any power to do that, although some have attributed that ability to him.
11 The three charge days, so to speak, the 18th, the 19th and the
12 20th of November, 1991, will be the ones to which most of the evidence
13 will be devoted. Virtually no witness of the OTP failed to contend -- to
14 make a statement about Mr. Sljivancanin. We shall now have an opportunity
15 to state our views on all such contentions and to confirm them if they are
16 truthful or to challenge them if they are false.
17 It is not our aim, Your Honours, to show that the OTP's witnesses
18 are not convincing enough, but to provide, on our part, cogent evidence
19 with a view to helping establish the truth.
20 Evidence will be led before you on the surrender of the Mitnica
21 detachment on the 18th of November, 1991, on Mr. Sljivancanin's activities
22 in connection with his contacts with Marin Vidic, his encounter with the
23 European Mission observers, among whom with witnesses Kypr and Schou,
24 their escorting to tour Vukovar by Mr. Sljivancanin. You will hear
25 evidence on how a group of captured people from Mitnica were taken to
1 Ovcara on the 18th of November and how they were handed over. You will
2 hear that from testimonies of the direct participants in that event.
3 Important evidence shall also be led on events that evening at Ovcara, not
4 only in the hangar but also at civilians of which testimony has been led
5 in the proceedings so far.
6 You will hear firsthand evidence of Mr. Vance and his visit to
7 Vukovar on this event to which the OTP has devoted significant attention.
8 You will have occasion to hear a witness say, "I decided that Mr. Vance
9 should not visit the hospital." The witness who was the leader of this
10 whole delegation on the behalf of the Federal Secretariat for National
11 Defence will personally describe for you what happened during that visit
12 which was fully covered, I shall stress, by the media.
13 You will hear another officer of the JNA who, on that afternoon,
14 was a member of the delegation of the JNA in negotiations with the
15 European observers, what was the subject of the talks, and who attended
16 the talks. You will also hear the witnesses of -- the testimony of
17 eyewitnesses to events in the hospital on the 19th of November, 1991, the
18 arrival of the security or military police, the arrival of Sljivancanin,
19 his meeting with Vesna Bosonac and Vidic and what they told him on that
20 occasion and how they behaved.
21 Evidence shall be led before you on the arrival of a group of the
22 security organs from the security administration and the 1st Military
23 District on the 19th of November, 1991, to Negoslavci, the events in
24 Velepromet that evening. On the other hand, you will hear about all the
25 activities that Sljivancanin had that evening with Vesna Bosonac and
1 Vidic, how General Vasiljevic arrived and what he did there when he came
2 with his deputy Mr. Tuman [phoen].
3 Your Honours, you will have occasion to hear what happened on the
4 20th of November in the hospital. You will hear facts about the screening
5 itself, the searching and the accommodation and the taking away of people
6 from witnesses who were actively involved in all this.
7 We shall show that the notes of Mr. Kypr were completely correct,
8 even though the OTP sought to provide evidence to the effect that the
9 person indicated in his notes as Colonel Pavkovic was, in fact,
10 Sljivancanin. We shall prove that there was a dialogue between
11 Mr. Pavkovic and Borsinger prior to the so widely media-covered dialogue
12 between Sljivancanin and Borsinger.
13 Two moments in the further course of events, in the view of the
14 Defence of Mr. Sljivancanin, will particularly be focused on in the
15 presentation of our evidence, two events that so far remained deliberately
16 neglected in these proceedings; namely, what happened in the barracks on
17 the 20th, who was present there, how the buses were secured, how the buses
18 left; and the second moment, the meeting of the government of the SAO
19 Slavonia Baranja and Western Srem, in Velepromet, while the buses were
20 still in the barracks. How and why the convoy was sent to Ovcara from
21 Vukovar, what kind of dialogues took place at the government meeting, what
22 conclusions were reached and what the consequences were.
23 The Defence of Veselin Sljivancanin asserts and shall prove that
24 that is the key moment in this drama; that it is that moment that changed
25 the course of events, that that is what sidetracked this evacuation, or
1 rather, made it deviate from the standards that were shown only two days
2 before that during the Mitnica evacuation, the task that could have been
3 carried out completely clearly and precisely.
4 Mr. Moore devoted, in his opening remarks when we look at the
5 transcript, all of 16 lines and one page to the meeting of the government
6 of the SAO Krajina. He called one witness, one live witness, and gave up
7 on bringing a few more witnesses who were participants in this meeting.
8 And he announced that he would call these witnesses in his pre-trial
10 Afterwards, he was very actively opposed to admitting Goran
11 Hadzic's interview in evidence. Our Defence will give its own
12 contribution to establishing the facts related to that meeting. We're
13 going to shed light on that meeting from a different angle, and this will
14 be done by an important participant. He will be the one to describe where
15 the buses were supposed to go from the barracks and how it came to be that
16 they went in a different direction. We are going to prove that
17 Sljivancanin was not in the barracks on the 20th of November, at a single
18 point in time, when the buses were there.
19 Your Honours, I would like you to pay particular attention to
20 evidence about the barracks and the meeting of the government. We would
21 like to proffer evidence that will show that Ovcara would not have
22 happened had the convoy not changed its course; namely, had it gone to
23 Sremska Mitrovica as it was supposed to rather than to Ovcara.
24 You will hear testimony about what happened at Ovcara on the 20th
25 of November. We are going to provide evidence that he, Sljivancanin, on
1 that day, was not present at Ovcara just as almost all Prosecution
2 witnesses testified - victims, Croats, those who, as Mr. Moore, would put
3 it, have no interest in concealing facts related to Sljivancanin's
4 presence at Ovcara on that day.
5 The accusations brought against all three accused persons in this
6 case are very serious. Sljivancanin is being charged with extremely grave
7 crimes. The procedure before this Tribunal made it possible for the
8 Prosecution to make general allegations in this case, all of those that
9 are in the Statute, including a form that was challenged in the appeals
10 proceedings in Stakic. You will recall that indirect co-perpetration.
11 Such broad charges constituted an additional burden on the
12 Defence, making it incumbent for the Defence to speculate as to where the
13 Prosecution is charging our clients in terms of them having planned,
14 instigated, ordered, or committed acts within a joint criminal enterprise
15 or whether they aided and abetted this enterprise.
16 In the same way, the Defence was made to establish standards and
17 elements indispensable for proving the existence of command
18 responsibility, in accordance with Article 7(3). The Defence shall
19 provide evidence, although we are not the ones who have the burden of
20 proof, that Sljivancanin did not have any knowledge or that he could have
21 assumed that a plan would be made against non-Serbs as described in the
23 Your Honours, it's already been a year now that evidence has been
24 called before you in terms of what the Prosecutor has charged in the
25 indictment. Allegations are made about an event that took place 15 years
1 ago. We are all aware of the fact that although memories may pertain to a
2 period that has to be remembered, nevertheless, memory does fade on the
3 part of any witness and therefore cannot be a fully reliable source for
4 your own conclusions on facts.
5 We know how important a role written documents should play in that
6 situation in terms of analysing evidence. This Defence, just like the
7 Prosecution, tried to obtain documents that they consider relevant for
8 establishing the full truth about Ovcara.
9 We also asked the institutions that are in charge a countless
10 number of times, as the Prosecution did, and we received the same answer,
11 that there is no documentation referring to this and it was destroyed
12 during the NATO intervention. We wish that we could have proffered many
13 more documents because we believe that, after all these years, this could
14 be truly valid evidence in these proceedings.
15 In the period that is envisaged for the Defence case of
16 Mr. Sljivancanin, we will come to the day of the 20th of November, 2006,
17 when 15 years from the Ovcara events will be commemorated. I deeply
18 believe that, before this Court, we can rely on the professional standards
19 of all the participants who will appear in this courtroom on that day and
20 that we will all bear in mind the 11 bis proceedings held before the
21 Chamber and the conclusions that led to having this trial held in The
22 Hague after all.
23 At the end of my introductory statement, opening statement, I wish
24 to say that in the days ahead of us, you will have the opportunity of
25 hearing evidence that primarily has to do with the defence of
1 Mr. Sljivancanin in terms of the charges brought against him. You will
2 hear his story and you will learn his truth. He wishes to tell that truth
3 to you and the public.
4 Mr. Sljivancanin is going to take the witness stand and tell you
5 what he knows, but he will not know the answers to some of the most
6 important questions related to what happened in Ovcara, the most important
7 ones, in my view.
8 On the basis of what you have heard so far, and on the basis of
9 what I expect you will hear until the end, I believe, Your Honours, that
10 you will remain deprived of direct testimony about important matters.
11 Some persons who could, perhaps, give answers to you are no longer
12 among the living. Some are trying to flee from this witness stand.
13 Others, perhaps, do not care to have the truth established. If that is of
14 relevance to you, you will have to reach conclusions about this on the
15 basis of indirect evidence. I believe that by carefully assessing the
16 evidence that you have heard and that you are yet to hear you will
17 nevertheless be able to reach conclusions not only in terms of excluding
18 the responsibility of Mr. Sljivancanin for what the indictment charges him
19 with but also in terms of the question how and why Ovcara happened.
20 Your Honours, before we call our first witness, Mr. Sljivancanin,
21 I wish to thank you for having granted the Sljivancanin Defence time for
22 presenting our evidence as we had asked for. We shall do our best to take
23 full advantage of this period very rationally, in the spirit of Article
24 21(4)(E) of the Statute. I sincerely hope that the rest of the
25 participants in this proceedings shall make an effort to render a
1 sufficient contribution to completing this evidence in accordance with
2 your decision and ruling.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to call
6 Mr. Sljivancanin so that we start with the testimony.
7 [The accused Sljivancanin takes the stand].
8 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read allowed the affirmation which
9 is on the card shown to you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
11 solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing
12 but the truth.
13 WITNESS: VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE PARKER: Please sit down.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sljivancanin.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I'd like to go through this quickly, since your personal details
22 are agreed on. Please tell us something that the Chamber might want to
23 know and something that's not in your personal details, and I'm talking
24 about your family situation, your family background.
25 A. I'm married. My wife is a clerk. She has a job. I have three
1 children. One of my daughters is a graduate of the law faculty and the
2 other of the medical faculty. My son is still at college and he is a
3 professional athlete, too. I have a granddaughter, too.
4 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, do you know about the interpretation problems we
5 are facing here? I'm not sure if you have a transcript in front of you.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. We discussed this a great deal. We're both fast speakers, so
8 every time I finish my question, please make a pause and try to slow down
9 a little when speaking.
10 A. That's all right.
11 Q. We know you were born in Montenegro in 1953. I will now go
12 quickly with you through your military career. First of all, tell us a
13 couple of words about your training at an early age -- rather, your
14 upbringing, at an early age. What was your family like?
15 A. I never used to say I was born in Montenegro. I would always say
16 I was born in Yugoslavia because that was the state I loved above all, and
17 I think during my lifetime this was the most beautiful country in the
18 world, at least that's what it was like for me. I was brought up in the
19 spirit of love for all people, especially those living in Yugoslavia, if
20 that means anything.
21 My family, both on my father's and my mother's side, were part of
22 the partisan struggle in World War II. Both my mother and my father were
23 partisan fighters in World War II and they were involved in fighting all
24 those who wanted to subjugate my country. It was patriotism and love of
25 all people that were the guiding ideas in the area where I grew up. No
1 one hated anyone else. The important thing was to be a good human being;
2 that's what my father always said. Everything else was not so important
3 for one's life and work.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] These are leading questions, Your
5 Honours, and I do know that, but I would like to use a couple of these now
6 just to get us through this as quickly as possible, to go through
7 Mr. Sljivancanin's military career. I have a copy -- I have copies of
8 these documents to be distributed to all the parties for his entire
9 testimony. The first thing is his personal file so everybody can follow
10 in English. We'll have this brought up in our e-court system, but I think
11 this may actually speed us up a little. The Chamber is already familiar
12 with Exhibit 592.
13 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, just say yes or no, please, so that we may go
14 through this quickly. I'm talking about your military career, which is
15 quite a long one, if I may put it that way. You completed secondary
16 military school in 1972; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The next was the military academy, and you completed that in 1976;
19 isn't that right, too?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. After which you went to the Command Staff School for Tactics of
22 the Land Forces. That was when?
23 A. In 1987 or 1988, I think, thereabouts. 1988.
24 Q. Flying colours; right? Any commendation or anything like that?
25 A. I was ranked the first, the top of my class.
1 Q. In 1998, you finished the college for All People's Defence; is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And your average -- your grade point average was 9.41?
5 A. Yes. Again, I was at the top of the class.
6 Q. There is some small errors in the transcript, but I think the
7 documents speak for themselves.
8 Military academy completed in 1976?
9 A. 1976. Yes, that's right, 1976.
10 Q. You became second lieutenant in 1976. You became a lieutenant in
12 A. That's right, too.
13 Q. Captain, 1980?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Captain first class, 1984?
16 A. Yes, that's how long it took. I think that's what it says.
17 Q. A major in 1988?
18 A. Probably that's what the document says.
19 Q. You became an infantry lieutenant colonel on the 26th of November,
20 1991, but this only takes effect as of the 18th of November, 1991. When
21 were you actually supposed to be awarded this rank of lieutenant colonel,
22 officially speaking?
23 A. I remember it being on the 22nd of December, 1991, which is the
24 JNA Day. And you've read the documents, so I was actually awarded the
25 rank on the 18th of November, 1991.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 18, line 15, my question was "a
3 Q. You became a colonel in 1995; is that right?
4 A. Yes. I was in Podgorica, that's right, on the 31st of December,
6 Q. In your personal file, we have the exact course of your military
7 service. I would like to focus on a couple of important dates that I
8 believe might be helpful for the Chamber in order to follow your
10 The file says that you came to the Guards Brigade in 1976; do you
11 remember that? Was that how it was?
12 A. I'll remember that for as long as I live. It was an ideal for
13 everybody to come and work and live close to Comrade Tito. So it was
14 based on my own personal desire and because I was selected that I came to
15 the Guards Brigade.
16 Q. You were first a member of the Infantry Battalion, but on the 2nd
17 of September, 1980, you became commander of the military police company.
18 Not long after, you became commander of the Special Purpose Military
19 Police Company. We shall be talking about the peculiar nature of the
20 Guards Brigade later on, but first tell me if all of this is correct, sir?
21 A. While Comrade Tito was still alive, the Guards Brigade had two
22 guards battalions - that's what they were called - and one officers
23 battalion. They were only into security and protocol. After Tito's death
24 in 1980, I left the Guards Battalion where I was dealing with security and
25 protocol. The Guards Brigade itself was being reorganized and I became
1 commander of the military police company. In 1982, I became commander of
2 the Special Purpose Military Police Company, which was only made up of
3 junior officers. That's what we called them at the time, NCOs.
4 The peculiarity of this company consisted in the fact that, for
5 the first time in the JNA, units were being established for anti-terrorist
6 struggle or anti-terrorist operations. I was one of the first to draft a
7 programme and plan for these units, and the first such unit was in the
8 Guards Brigade. This company only dealt with training officers for
9 anti-terrorist operations and securing the Josip Broz Tito Memorial
10 Centre, as well as some other important buildings and features, important
11 for the top-most leadership and political leaders at the time.
12 Q. You were then deputy commander of the military police battalion.
13 That was from 1986 onwards; correct? In 1988, you became commander of the
14 1st A Battalion of the military police. We'll discuss the make-up of
15 these battalions later on. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. At one point in time, you were assistant Chief of Staff for
18 operations and training. That was in 1989; is that right?
19 A. That's right, too.
20 Q. And then, on the 7th of September, 1990, you became assistant
21 chief of the security organ; right?
22 A. I was with staff of the Guards Brigade and I was holding a
23 high-ranking position. I was the chief for operations and training. When
24 Veljko Kadijevic became the federal minister, they were looking for
25 someone who would do the security job for the minister. I was offered the
1 job and I started working with the security organs. It was a
2 lower-ranking position, to be sure, a demotion, if you like. But I loved
3 working with that man and that's why I decided just to go there and give
4 it a go.
5 Q. You became chief of the security organ on the 12th of August,
6 1991; right?
7 A. Yes. That was in August 1991. It was then that I became Chief of
8 Security of the Guards Brigade.
9 Q. And when you came to Vukovar at the period of time covered by this
10 indictment, you held that rank; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You later became Chief of Staff of the Guards Brigade. That was
13 in September of 1992, and then you were transferred to Podgorica where you
14 were first commander of the brigade there, as of September 1993, after
15 which you became commander of the Podgorica Corps, and that was in 1994.
16 Isn't that right?
17 A. That's not quite right.
18 Q. Let's hear it, then.
19 A. It's true that in 1992 I became Chief of Staff of the Guards
20 Brigade, and it was in 1993 that I was transferred by the then Chief of
21 the General Staff, General Perisic. The transfer was to Podgorica. I
22 never asked for it, but that was the order that eventually came. I was
23 never the commander of the Podgorica Corps. In 1996, late February 1996,
24 I was sent back to Belgrade, to the military school centre.
25 Q. Yes, that's right, the error was on my part. You were the
1 commander of the Motorised A Battalion -- Brigade in the Podgorica Corps,
2 from 1994 onwards; right?
3 A. Yes, that's right. I was the commander of the 5th Motorised
4 Brigade, a formation in Podgorica between 1993 and February 1996.
5 Q. After that, you were back in Belgrade. That was in 1996. You
6 worked in the -- as a desk officer in the special training centre at the
7 higher military school.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then you were the chief of an organ for staff affairs in that same
10 centre; right?
11 A. Yes. After I was into training, I was now appointed Chief of
12 Staff-related affairs in the military school centre.
13 Q. Finally, on the 21st of April, 2002, you became assistant chief
14 for operative and staff-related affairs in the sector for schools and
16 A. Let me give you a hand with that. After I was chief of general
17 affairs, there was a transformation, as they called it, a reorganisation,
18 of the army and the same thing applied to the General Staff, and I was
19 appointed assistant chief in the schooling and training sector for
20 operative personnel-related and legal affairs.
21 Q. Your personal file states at the very end that you were removed
22 from this duty for which, by a decision of the President of Yugoslavia,
23 you were awarded the rank of major. You were retired on the 15th of
24 January, 2002; isn't that right?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. Your rank at the time was colonel; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Major general.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, general major, that was my
5 establishment rank at the time.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You said you were involved in some purely technical work when you
8 speak about the anti-terrorist company. Can you tell us briefly whether,
9 in the course of your career, you took part in any technical aspects of
10 military work; if so, what exactly, and when?
11 A. When I became commander of the military -- of the Special Purpose
12 Military Police Company, I helped draft these programmes and plans for the
13 training of anti-terrorist units in the JNA. I actually completed the
14 first section. It was later that I started working with Colonel Djordje
15 Petrovic from the security administration. We analysed and wrote several
16 things about the instructions on the training and use of the military
17 police. This is about training military police units and anti-terrorist
19 Q. When was that, roughly speaking; do you remember?
20 A. This went on for about three or four years. It started in 1982
21 and went on until I went to the General Staff School for Tactics to
22 receive further training there.
23 Q. Let us now talk about your arrival at the Guards Brigade. You
24 said that the Guards Brigade was peculiar in nature while Tito was still
25 alive, but then it was transformed, it was changed over into something
1 else. Please tell us briefly about any links between the security organs
2 while Tito was still alive -- security administration, then and later,
3 according to the regulations that applied then and also later when you
4 assumed these positions?
5 A. Everybody in this courtroom has heard already a great many
6 witnesses talking about the Guards Brigade. Of all the witnesses who have
7 so far appeared, I perhaps should be proud of the fact that I was the only
8 one to serve in the Guards Brigade while Josip Broz Tito was still alive.
9 This was a special unit of the JNA. And yes, if you choose to
10 call it an elite unit, well, I suppose it was an elite unit in terms of
11 its patriotism, in terms of its dedication, in terms of the way it did its
12 work, and in terms of its respect for Tito, who was Yugoslavia. The
13 Guards Brigade was not an elite unit in terms of how it carried out combat
14 operations or its level of training for combat operations. It was an
15 elite unit for purposes of our presentation and protocol and for securing
16 the important persons, buildings, and archives in the former Yugoslavia.
17 I don't know much about how the security organs functioned while
18 Tito was still alive, because that's one of the things you asked me. I
19 was a low-ranking officer at the time. But I do know that the Guards
20 Brigade was subordinated directly to the chef du cabinet of the
21 then-President of Yugoslavia, Tito.
22 After his death, the Guards Brigade was subordinated to the chef
23 du cabinet of the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence. It did
24 not have any direct command or chain of command linking it to any other
25 bodies in the JNA, such as armies, military districts, corps, that sort of
2 The Guards Brigade remained unchanged, but then it started
3 securing buildings in which the then-Presidency of the SFRY was staying
4 and working. It also provided security for the various persons from the
5 General Staff, especially the Federal Secretary of the Chief of Staff.
6 Each unit, and this includes the Guards Brigade, is -- any unit is
7 never established just for peacetime purposes and this applied to the
8 Guards Brigade, too. Its tasks also included wartime duties and uses.
9 After Tito's death, the purpose of the Guards Brigade was to continue to
10 secure buildings and command posts of the Supreme Command in wartime
12 Therefore, the training of such units within the Guards Brigade
13 was done with a view to the securing of command posts of VIPs, and within
14 the plan of the training of such units, we devoted less attention to
15 offensive actions, to defensive actions and similar, which is something
16 that the other units of the army had to be trained for.
17 I can say that if one looks at the weapons and the equipment of
18 it, the Guards Brigade had light infantry weapons and did not have any
19 units within its framework that could have strong firing power, such as
20 artillery, armoured units and similar.
21 It is true that before the departure for Vukovar, an armoured
22 battalion came and was comprised within the brigade. It came from
23 Kraljevo and it did have more military might.
24 Q. We shall now move to the military police. How was the military
25 police in the Guards Brigade specific and how was the Guards Brigade
1 specifically in relation to other motorised brigades as far as the
2 military police is concerned?
3 A. Generally speaking, in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, the largest
4 establishment unit of the military police was a battalion, and the
5 military police was established, organised, in keeping with a need to
6 secure the command posts of certain commands of the Yugoslav Peoples'
7 Army. The establishment unit which was in the military district was the
8 battalion of the military police in the Independent Brigade and the A
9 Formation Brigade, as we called it, which covered a very important
10 tactical axis. We had the units of company strength, and in some
11 installations, perhaps, there were squads, such as, for instance, in the
12 military police -- military academy, the military court, et cetera.
13 The greatest problem was how to training the young soldiers for
14 these units, how to group them in the different centres. The Guards
15 Brigade, being specific in terms of its purpose, from 1980, started also
16 to train soldiers for its own needs. Up to that time, we received the
17 trained soldiers from other units when we asked for them.
18 According to war establishment, the brigade only had one battalion
19 of military police, but in peacetime, it had two battalions. The 2nd
20 Battalion dealt with the training of young soldiers which were -- they
21 were to complete -- took five months and 22 days. Then they would be
22 assigned to the 1st Battalion which dealt primarily, exclusively, with the
23 securing of facilities and persons escorting columns, convoys, traffic
24 security, and the like.
25 All the MP units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army which were part of
1 the military districts of the brigades also had their territorial
2 jurisdiction in peacetime. That territorial jurisdiction meant that
3 members of the military police were to control law and order and the
4 implementation of the decisions of the legal service of the Yugoslav
5 Peoples' Army by members of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army on the territory in
7 Let me clarify: If a soldier took leave and went to his home town
8 and created any problems in terms of discipline or any other, at that
9 time, in charge of intervening, of apprehending such a soldier, would be
10 members of the military police which had jurisdiction in the territory in
11 question, which would be addressed by the police of the city in question.
12 The Guards Brigade, relative to other units of the Yugoslav
13 Peoples' Army, did not have any territorial jurisdiction. It handled
14 exclusively -- it was exclusively in charge of securing, as I've been
15 saying, facilities in which state, the top the leadership, the top
16 political leadership, and the Federal Secretary and the Chief of Staff.
17 Q. Did any other motorised brigade have a military police battalion
18 comprised within them? You have told me but give me a precise answer.
19 That is very important.
20 A. The biggest establishment unit of the military police could be a
21 company, so that in no brigade there existed a battalion except in the
22 Guards Brigade.
23 Q. Thank you. Heading the military police battalion was whom, and to
24 whom was that person answerable? And I'm talking exclusively about the
25 Guards Brigade now.
1 A. The military police battalion in the Guards Brigade was commanded
2 by the commander of the military police, and the rules precisely and
3 clearly defined that the commander of the battalion was subordinated to
4 the commander of the unit in question, in this case, the commander of the
6 Q. Will you tell us how it came to be set up? And how was this
7 anti-terrorist company specifically? I'm specifically interested also in
8 their chain of command. To whom were they subordinated; from whom did
9 they receive their orders?
10 A. The counter-terrorist, as I've said, some witnesses have said here
11 there was an anti-terrorist squad within the military police battalion of
12 the then Federal Secretariat of National Defence that was formed first,
13 and then in 1980, when the Guards Brigade was reorganised, that battalion
14 of the military police came to be comprised within the Guards Brigade and
15 the SSNO, the Federal Secretariat for National Defence. And in 1982,
16 there was set up a platoon for anti-terrorist operations. That was the
17 first time that such units were formed in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army to
18 carry out tasks and obligations which the times may require, because there
19 were different terrorist actions; there were hijackings of airplanes and
20 ships. So we followed the worldwide trend and we wanted also to plan for
21 any such contingencies and to have a unit intervene in any such
23 The specificity of all that was that that unit -- to that unit
24 were elected the most capable non-commissioned officers from the entire
25 Yugoslav Peoples' Army. Their ability was reflected in the moral and
1 psychological, as well as physical fitness and ability. I was fortunate,
2 perhaps, to be able to go to the various units and elect my
3 non-commissioned officers. What I was looking for and what I did was
4 measure their physical fitness and their ability, and I received data
5 about their family, to see that their mental and physical state, their
6 family status, from other organs.
7 Among others, I selected one young and capable non-commissioned
8 officer. He also took the stand here. His indication was POO1. And I
9 was hurt, because when you asked him whether he knew me - and I was his
10 company commander from 1982 to 1987 - he actually said no, he didn't
11 remember me. He didn't know who I was. But okay, that it is -- everyone
12 is entitled to speak his mind.
13 Let me just say that the training of these units was conducted in
14 such a way that a day of training could not start without there being at
15 least three hours of physical exercise at the beginning. I did not carry
16 out this training by starting from scratch, because people had some
17 training in the military school, but rather I would be the first one to
18 overcome an obstacle, and anyone who couldn't follow suit would not be
19 able to form part of my unit. If would be better if that someone was
20 better than I was.
21 Q. Tell me something else: What is the Military Police Special
22 Purpose Squad?
23 A. The Military Police Special Purpose Squad was set up upon the
24 arrival -- upon the assumption of Branko Mamula or Veljko Kadijevic of the
25 post of Federal Secretary, I'm not quite sure, but it consisted of the
1 elite non-commissioned officers of this unit for anti-terrorist operations
2 who exclusively dealt with important security issues for the Federal
3 Secretary of the Chief of Staff. And at the time when I was the Chief of
4 Security, they were subordinated directly to me, who was in charge of that
6 Q. This is the only group, shall I say, of commanding personnel or
7 non-commissioned officers from the military police who were directly
8 subordinated to the Chief of Security in view of the specificity of their
9 task; is that right?
10 A. That is the only group of such people, and that was done by a
11 special order of the Federal Secretary for National Defence that they
12 would pursue those tasks with a view to not having those people change on
13 a daily basis and not to disrupt the work and the obligations of the other
14 units who were to pursue their basic tasks. And they were the
15 best-trained and the best-fit people.
16 Q. I shall ask you one question but the answer is probably clear, in
17 view of the specificity that you described. Was this squad at the Vukovar
18 theatre of war?
19 A. This squad was not at the Vukovar front, but a part of the
20 commanding personnel did come when General Adzic came to visit the units
21 in Vukovar.
22 Q. I have a couple more questions to cover the structure of the
23 Guards Brigade. Tell me about the security organ. Later, we shall go
24 through the rules of service and its articles, but tell me about the
25 security organ in the Guards Brigade. To whom was it subordinated in the
1 chain of command and to whom, in terms of professional control and
2 command, and about its instructions and tasks in general.
3 A. All this was regulated by the rules and regulations, and I shall
4 be saying nothing new in relation to what we have already heard. But, of
5 course, people are entitled, as I said, to say what they like. The Chief
6 of Security in the brigade, including the Guards Brigade, is subordinated
7 to the commander of the brigade and he exclusively does work related to
8 that unit and to that command.
9 The specificity, however, of the Guards Brigade is that the Chief
10 of Security could also do other work, perform other duties from within the
11 ambit of security organs which were of relevance to the members of the
12 Yugoslav Peoples' Army, i.e., other persons who came to the buildings
13 which were secured by the Guards Brigade, such as top political and
14 military leaders. The commanding personnel, the desk officers in the
15 Guards Brigade, for security - and I had two assistants in my squad and
16 five desk officers - were subordinated to the Chief of Security.
17 Q. To you?
18 A. Yes. And I did exclusively work for the Guards Brigade, nothing
19 outside the brigade. And in terms of professional guidance, professional
20 command, the application of the methods of work of security organs,
21 orientation, guidance, and everything else, from the time I assumed the
22 post of Chief of Security, I was the one who was, in terms of such
23 professional command, associated to the Chief of Security in the cabinet
24 of the Federal Secretary from whom I received my instructions, exchanged
25 experiences and liaised in terms of all the reports, and I sent reports on
1 security to the chief of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary.
2 Q. At the time which we are interested in, which is the autumn of
3 1991, who was the assistant for security in the cabinet of the Federal
5 A. The Chief of Security in the cabinet of the Federal Secretary in
6 1991 was Lieutenant Colonel Dragoljub Djukic.
7 Q. A correction, but I believe you have corrected this in your answer
8 to be precise. In your previous answer, on page 31, lines 19 and 20, you
9 said that you were in the professional command, that you were subordinated
10 to the Chief of Security of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary, i.e.,
11 the assistant for security of the chief of cabinet of the Federal
12 Secretary for National Defence; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that is right.
14 Q. In this security and command relationship, did you ever receive
15 any orders from the security administration?
16 A. All the orders that were issued by the security administration
17 came from the chief of the security cabinet, as far as I was concerned.
18 So through the chief of cabinet of the Federal Secretary, there were
19 orders -- not orders, but documents with which day they required us to do
20 something or to help the security administration in dealing with their
21 operational tasks, and we complied with such requests.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could we take
23 a break now because I want to move to a document, a specific document.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic. We will, I think in view of the
25 circumstances, have a half-hour break, Mr. Lukic. We will resume at five
1 minutes to 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sljivancanin, during the course of the break,
7 I spoke to several interpreters. They all indicated to me that we're
8 going to have a problem with the transcript if we both do not slow down.
9 I kindly ask you: Pause after my question. Shorter and more concise
10 sentences. It is in your interest more than anyone else's to have
11 everything stated clearly. Please bear that in mind. So we will both
12 assist the interpreters in this way. And in the meantime, we've managed
13 to provide copies of documents for them, documents that we will be working
14 with, and I hope that that will be helpful.
15 A. I do apologise to the interpreters and I will try to slow down.
16 Q. Now I would like to speak from the point of theory and practice
17 about the work of security organs and therefore we are going to analyse
18 certain provisions of the rules of service of security organs in the armed
19 forces. That is Exhibit 107.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I asked the registry to display the
21 B/C/S version on e-court for the other participants because the honourable
22 Trial Chamber and the Prosecution have hard copies in English before them.
23 A. May I, before we start with the rules. When I gave an answer
24 earlier on, in terms of this professional guidance with the security
25 organs, I would like to add something else to that, since this was
1 discussed in great detail here. There was no dual chain of command in the
2 Yugoslav Peoples' Army, ever. I repeat that once again. Every Chief of
3 Security is subordinated, with regard to all matters, to the commander of
4 the unit that he is in, just like any other officer.
5 I, as Chief of Security of the Guards Motorised Brigade, from this
6 professional point of view, was guided exclusively with regard to tasks
7 relating to counter-intelligence that had to do with state security
8 affairs and that have to do with undermining and destroying the
9 constitutional order of Yugoslavia as well as questions and tasks
10 pertaining to intelligence work within the Guards Brigade and which would
11 reduce their combat readiness and the moral political situation.
12 These tasks could not have been public by nature. They were
13 carried out according to certain methods and principles as regulated by
14 the rules of security organs. All the rest was resolved at brigade level,
15 just like for every other officer, and there are no unknowns involved in
17 As Chief of Security or the security organ, I could not resolve
18 any task or I could not go out to any assignment without the brigade
19 commander knowing about that, and no officer from the security organs
20 could do that.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Lukic, please.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Please tell us in a few words - and then we are going to deal with
24 the articles themselves - what is the purview of the security organs'
25 work? Are there different tasks involved there, and what kind, generally
2 A. Well, I've already stated in my previous answer that security
3 organs are professional organs of units, commands, and institutions that
4 carry out tasks related to state security and that have to do with
5 protection from undermining and destroying the constitutional order of the
6 state, that is to say, the then Yugoslavia.
7 Security organs had tasks that they carried out as the mainstays
8 of those tasks, whereas they had other tasks that they took part in with
9 other units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army. Security organs were primarily
10 protagonists of preventing intelligence activities vis-a-vis units and
11 within units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army; then, discovering and
12 preventing hostile activities within and vis-a-vis units of the Yugoslav
13 Peoples' Army.
14 They were also protagonists of counter-intelligence protection of
15 documents, facilities, and personnages of importance to the Yugoslav
16 Peoples' Army. They were also protagonists of collecting and verifying
17 certain data that is important for the work of security organs with regard
18 to certain persons from the Yugoslav Peoples' Army. It was their duty to
19 develop an information network for analysing data within the security
20 organs, and one of their tasks was to prepare security organs and train
21 them for the eventuality of a war. As far as I know, those were the tasks
22 whose protagonists the security organs were.
23 Q. Just a moment, please. Can we place on the screen and you can
24 have a look at it yourself.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Article 6, that is, Exhibit 107, Your
1 Honours. The B/C/S version is on page 6; the English version, page 7,
2 Your Honours; 00920105.
3 Q. That is roughly what you said. What I see in Article 6 is what
4 you referred to just now, in general terms.
5 A. I have it before me and I see here on the screen, that is, the
6 Rules of Service of Security Organs in the armed forces of the Socialist
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and here in Article 6, it says, "Security
8 organs are responsible for --" I don't think it's necessary for me to read
9 all of this out.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. Well, in addition to these tasks, there are other tasks that they
12 participate in, the security organs participate in them, together with
13 other units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army.
14 Q. I'm going to interrupt you now. Let's not read through all of
15 this. It is Article 7. We don't really want to read all of this,
16 Mr. Sljivancanin. Could you just explain briefly what tasks these are,
17 where security organs participate, in general terms.
18 A. Well, you already referred to security organs participating in, as
19 stated in the Article 7, "the protection and prevention of serious crimes
20 may involve ..." and so on and so forth. And then, "the recommendation,
21 regulation and organisation of security and self-protection measures ..."
22 and so on and so forth; I already said that. "... planning and
23 programming of for permanent reserve members ..." et cetera, et cetera.
24 Then "professional work in military police units..." Then "the units of
25 the military police as such ..." And also in previously started criminal
1 proceedings and possibly -- exposing the possibility of an aggression
2 against the state.
3 Q. Can you explain in your own words what the difference is, from an
4 essential point of view, what is the difference between the words
5 "mainstays," "protagonists" and the like, and, on the other
6 hand, "participation"? So what does a security organ do when they are
7 the mainstays of a certain activity and what do they do when they
8 participate in a certain activity?
9 A. Well, when they are the mainstay, then they are the most important
10 protagonist in that particular job. They spend most of their time working
11 on those jobs, whereas for the rest, when necessary, they participate or
12 take part if the need arises for that.
13 Q. Thank you. In your view, what is stated in Article 6 and 7, does
14 it actually constitute the purview of work of security organs?
15 A. It is certainly quite clear there, because this is the way it's
16 prescribed through the rules of service of security organs. There is
17 really no comment for me to make because this is stated clearly in the
19 Q. Now I'm going to ask you to look at Article 16 and I'm going to
20 ask you about who commands security organs. Who are they subordinated to?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For Your Honours, it is page 10 in the
22 English version; 00920108. And for e-court, it is page 9 of the B/C/S.
23 A. I've already explained that. The security organ is subordinated
24 to the commander of the unit that he is in, and as for
25 counter-intelligence, he receives professional guidance from the security
1 organ of the Superior Command. As you said, it's all regulated here and
2 stated in Article 16, in the rules of service.
3 Q. Article 18, can you comment on that. That is actually what you
4 said just now, but can you tell me what it means, in your view? What does
5 this management mean, from a professional point of view, in terms of
6 security organs? We have not dealt with that.
7 A. Well, in the same article, it is precisely stated that security
8 organs of the Superior Command - in my case, it was the cabinet of the
9 Federal Secretary for National Defence - from a professional point of
10 view, they are in charge of the security organs of the Guards Brigade,
11 that is, the unit that I was in. And as I said, they only provide
12 professional guidance to them in counter-intelligence work.
13 I've already referred to particular questions in this regard:
14 Preventing undermining the constitutional order of the country and
15 preventing hostile activity from taking place in the Guards Brigade in
16 this specific case, which would reduce its combat readiness and the level
17 of morale for carrying out its tasks.
18 Q. Let us be quite simple. The security organ of the Superior
19 Command, in addition to providing this professional guidance, can it issue
20 any orders in terms of the chain of command to the security organ of the
21 subordinate unit?
22 A. The security organ from the Superior Command can only channel the
23 security organ subordinated to it, if we can put it way, "subordinated."
24 In terms of finding the best methods and applying the methods of security
25 organs in terms of resolving a particular matter from the domain of
1 counter-intelligence work, we cannot issue any tasks in terms of command.
2 If there is a task where the security organ from the subordinate
3 command should be engaged outside the purview of the unit that it is in,
4 then the security organ has to address the commander of the unit in
5 writing and to ask for this organ to be engaged in other work outside the
7 Q. Can you give me your comment on paragraph 3 of Article 19, because
8 it is directly related to Article 17 - the Trial Chamber will interpret
9 that - but these provisional or temporary groups and this assignment in
10 terms of different tasks.
11 A. In Article 19, paragraph 3, it is clearly stated that superior
12 commands and institutions can send certain teams and security organs to
13 carry out tasks in subordinate units but only within the purview of
14 security. It can also be in the garrison and the territory, as stated
15 here, or institutions that have to do with carrying out
16 counter-intelligence tasks. Such officers have to receive authorisation
17 and also written orders in order to carry out such an order. When they
18 are to carry out this task, once they arrive in the unit, they, first and
19 foremost, report to the commander of that unit.
20 Q. I'll ask you about an example that we heard about in this trial.
21 Say a group from the security administration arrives in Vukovar on a
22 certain mission. Are they subordinated to you, and do they take orders
23 from you and from the command of the Guards Brigade?
24 A. It's superfluous for me to interpret this, but it's already in the
25 rules, isn't it? As far as I remember - and we'll be talking about that
1 later - a certain group of officers arrived, security officers from the
2 security administration, a group of officers from the 1st Military
3 District. They came to us from the superior commands. They could not be
4 subordinated to us. They were carrying out only those assignments
5 previously assigned to them by whoever had sent them there to begin with.
6 But they couldn't come to our unit or to our area of control to carry out
7 any missions whatsoever there, unless they had previously received a
8 written order.
9 Throughout the duration of that particular assignment or mission,
10 they can channel the work of the security organ, of the unit, to which
11 they came. They can provide guidelines on how best to accomplish their
12 assignments, how best to accomplish -- to help them accomplish the
13 assignments that they were there for.
14 Q. Thank you. Let us now please analyse Article 23, the relationship
15 between the security organs and the military police.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is page 11,
17 00920109; the B/C/S page is 10.
18 Q. We've heard evidence here - and we're about to hear more
19 evidence - by military police witnesses. What does this mean, where it
20 says that the security organ provides technical or professional management
21 for a military police unit? Can you please put that in more graphic terms
22 for us.
23 A. This issue is explained in the instruction on the application of
24 the rules for the military police, in paragraph 14 of that set of rules,
25 where there is a precise definition of how a security organ provides
1 specialist or technical guidance for a military police unit.
2 It's been a long time, but if I remember correctly, the issues
3 boil down to this: The first thing is drafting programmes and plans for
4 military police training; next, the control of how these programmes and
5 plans are implemented and actually training the units; selection of
6 personnel or of men, if you like, that will make up those military police
7 units. Security organs are also involved in analyzing any tasks carried
8 out by military police, and later they try to build on that experience to
9 find other ways, the best ways, of going about such problems. Next, they
10 are involved in monitoring and evaluating the combat-readiness of military
11 police units alongside with other bodies belonging to the command of which
12 that particular military police unit is a part. Next, they advise the
13 unit commander and make proposals on how best to use a certain military
14 police unit on a certain mission, and how to use it to the best possible
16 There may be other issues, but you can go back to paragraph 14.
17 As far as I remember, those are the issues.
18 Q. Let's not do the exam routine and just keep listing all these
19 minutia. Can a security organ issue any orders to a military police
20 commander pursuant to any of the various regulations that you've analysed
21 and listed? You were MP; you were also a security organ, so you have both
22 perspectives, so to speak.
23 A. As far as that's concerned, for a security organ to be able to
24 carry out its most material tasks, the ones that I've addressed, the
25 security organ must always keep one thing in mind: It must avoid any form
1 of command while issuing assignments and orders. A security organ must be
2 a mother to everyone in a unit; the behaviour must be like that of a
3 mother. There can be no command and the rules don't allow for that.
4 If a security organ thinks that a military police unit should be
5 used for a certain assignment, from the purview of the security organ,
6 this security organ must first draw up a plan on what exactly they want to
7 achieve, what sort of manpower should be involved, military police
8 manpower, in this case. And then this is submitted to the commander for
9 approval. If the plan is approved, then they can go ahead. They can take
10 as many men as they need and use them to achieve a certain mission from
11 the direct purview of the security organ.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go for a moment to
13 Article 48. The English pages are 19 and 20; the B/C/S is page 16 and
14 that's in the e-court system.
15 Q. We needn't read this out, not the entire paragraph, anyway. Let
16 me ask you this: Can a security organ carry out any assignments? Does
17 this rule, or any other rule, envisage the possibility for a security
18 organ to carry out assignments outside its strictest purview, which we
19 have just described?
20 A. I've heard a lot of evidence here - you've all heard a lot of
21 evidence - where everybody's said whatever they liked, it seems. But one
22 thing I would like to point out to the Chamber and everyone in this
23 courtroom is that the JNA was a serious institution. Rules and
24 prescriptions were complied with, and until they started breaking up our
25 country, we remained throughout a strong and well-respected institution.
1 Not just anyone could be appointed commander in the JNA. People were
2 hand-picked, and the choice was normally based on individual ability and
4 Each commander was supposed to understand the work of all his
5 underlings, all his subordinates, as well as the work of security organs.
6 In some way, these were organs who performed work that was, well, if I
7 might put it that way, secret. At least some of it was.
8 A commander knew and the security organs knew that a security
9 organ could carry out assignments outside their functional purview but
10 only such tasks that were related to the security organ and no other tasks
11 at all.
12 Personally, as head of a security organ, I would never embark on a
13 task unless it was something from within the purview of the usual work of
14 the security organ.
15 Q. Article 57. Just a couple of questions about the security
16 administration subject that was widely debated before this Chamber.
17 There's a whole chapter in reference to that.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Article 57; the English page is 23 and
19 the B/C/S reference is 18.
20 Q. Article 57, second paragraph, can you please comment on that, sir.
21 A. Security administration was an institution within the Secretariat
22 for All People's Defence and it had great powers. I never worked in the
23 security administration. All I can tell you is what you can read in the
24 rule and what was well known. Their assignment was to provide technical
25 and professional guidance to other security organs, even those outside the
1 JNA, such as the TO, the Territorial Defence, which was a constituent part
2 of the armed forces of the SFRY. And this applied to all security-related
4 There was a very important element in the work of security
5 organs. This element entailed cooperation. And it was probably in terms
6 of the territorial division of the units over the entire area of the SFRY
7 that they formed networks. But I did not involve myself in any of these
8 issues except as they were occurring in the Guards Brigade. So I wasn't
9 involved in any of that.
10 Q. You sort of answered the question, but let's try to be specific.
11 Could anyone from the security administration issue any orders to you in
12 the command sense of the term?
13 A. In the purely command sense, for anyone to issue any orders to me,
14 they would have had to go through the brigade commander, and that was the
15 only way.
16 Q. Thank you. You mentioned something about the relationship between
17 the security administration and the TO, and I believe this is something
18 that everybody in the courtroom wants to know about. I think Article 58
19 addresses that issue. In case of an imminent danger of war or a state of
20 emergency, they provide technical guidance for bodies belonging to the
21 Territorial Defence. You, as part of OG South, while you worked as Chief
22 of Security of the Guards Brigade, did you provide any technical or
23 professional assistance in terms of the security of any TO units in
25 A. You just mentioned OG South. My views of OG South are quite
1 different from what we have heard so far. As for the Territorial Defence,
2 and we'll probably be addressing this issue at a later stage, I was not in
3 charge of providing any sort of guidance to them, nor did I ever provide
4 any sort of guidance. Only they came to me, for example, to ask for help
5 on something that had to do directly with a certain mission and the
6 carrying out of this mission. Perhaps there were persons who were
7 violating the rules and order prevailing in the unit.
8 Q. Again, I must warn you, Mr. Sljivancanin: Please so down.
9 A. Apologies.
10 Q. What relationship was there between the security organ in the
11 command, the technical sense of the term, and temporary formations?
12 A. Well, I can tell you what I know. I can tell you about my
13 experience on the ground. There is no technical control carried out by
14 security organs in temporary units. The organ providing technical
15 guidance to me as a security organ is the security organ of my Superior
16 Command. And, again, this was the Chief of Security of the federal
17 minister's cabinet. And I can show that based on a number of documents
18 that we'll probably be using.
19 The unit commanders, if they are involved in this temporarily -
20 and this can be true for 15 or 16 or 17 days on a certain mission, for
21 example - they're still in touch with their original command, and you've
22 seen that. In this case, there are daily combat reports that were sent by
23 the commander of the Guards Brigade to the 1st Military District to which
24 they were subordinated for the time, but specifically for the mission of
25 lifting the siege of the barracks in Vukovar. And they always sent daily
1 reports to their original command, which was the federal minister's
2 cabinet. So that was exactly the procedure applied in the work of
3 security organs.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a small correction for the
5 transcript. The answer is entirely all right, but my question, on page
6 45, lines 4 and 5: "What was the relationship in temporary formations?"
7 And then you provided your answer.
8 In the sense in which you have just provided this answer, if an
9 operations group is a temporary formation, I believe that is one thing at
10 least that we all agree on in this courtroom. In a purely technical
11 sense, as a security organ, who was Mr. Drago Vukosavljevic subordinated
12 to, or rather, the security organ of the 80th Kragujevac Brigade, for as
13 long as they were part of OG South? Who would they be submitting their
14 reports to?
15 A. If you analyse thoroughly all those issues, the issues that had to
16 do with technical guidance, if you go back to the rules and look at the
17 way these were defined there, then one thing is clear: When carrying out
18 a combat mission, there is no training; there is no drafting plans and
19 programmes for training; there is no checking combat-readiness; there is
20 no personnel selection; there is nothing like that involved at that stage.
21 The Chief of Security of the 80th Brigade was supposed to be
22 submitting reports to his own superior and receive from him, in return,
23 technical assistance and reports covering that. But for the more
24 practical matters, he would have had to take up any issues with his own
25 brigade commander. He could have - but this is something we will probably
1 be discussing later - he could have warned the security organs of the
2 Guards Brigade about some issues to do with counter-intelligence,
3 something that he heard was occurring in our own unit. It would have been
4 easier for us to track these things down then. Likewise, we could have
5 warned him.
6 I do have to say, however, that this security organ, as far as I
7 remember, emerged for the first time once the mission had already been
8 accomplished, the mission that we were in Vukovar for. There was, by this
9 time, no need any longer for me to get in touch or provide any sort of
10 guidance to them. The task was completed on the 18th. If you look at all
11 the war logs and all the other documents, you can check when this unit, or
12 any of its parts, arrived in Vukovar.
13 Q. Who, then, is the superior in terms of specialist direction to the
14 security organ of the 80th Brigade? Also, during their stay in Vukovar,
15 the superior organ, in terms of specialised -- specialist direction,
16 according to the rules of service of the security organs, is the Chief of
17 Security of the 80th Motorised Brigade -- was the organ of security of the
18 corps of the 24th, one -- the formation from which they came --
19 A. From Kragujevac, you mean? Well, I don't know right now from
20 where they were. I heard and I read here that it was the 24th Corps.
21 Q. Now we are going to move to a different topic all together.
22 My next question has to do with facts. I believe that this Trial
23 Chamber and all of us in the courtroom know that certain political senses
24 and certain political changes started mounting and happening on an
25 intensive case at the end of the '80s and beginning of the '90s. Can you
1 tell us, Mr. Sljivancanin, how did these political developments,
2 especially in 1990 and 1991, how were they reflected on you, on members of
3 the JNA, on your specific unit and on you personally?
4 A. I believe that it was not only me, but every honourable and decent
5 human being in the then state of Yugoslavia, in particular members of the
6 Yugoslav Peoples' Army, it was humiliating to all of them and all of us
7 and it was inconceivable for us that something like that should be
8 happening in our state.
9 I have always spoken publicly about those events and I am not
10 ashamed of anything. That is why I am here, to speak publicly, because it
11 was a shame, it was a disgrace, that young men of 18 or 19 years of age,
12 who came to do their military service, and that was according to the law,
13 that they should be killed, strangulated by members of their own people
14 with whom we had lived until the day before that.
15 And I believe that all of you have seen images of a soldier
16 securing the command in Split without a single live bullet in his rifle,
17 and that soldier was killed and was strangulated by some hooligans.
18 I, as the security chief, Chief of Security, had occasion to read
19 the letters which were written by commanding staff and soldiers to the
20 Federal Secretary for National Defence and others have not had that unit.
21 They wrote mostly from Slovenia, from Croatia. And I know that young men
22 who came to study at the naval academy in Split were strangled and thrown
23 into the sea; that they did not dare go out in the street and use the
24 telephone to call their parents, or to the post office. I know that they
25 were surrounded, encircled. Warehouses of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army were
1 also surrounded, which warehouses were secured by squads, five to ten
2 troops strong, and they would even be blown up. And there was torture and
3 there was killing and so on and so forth.
4 There is a lot to say - let me not go on - but it was very ugly
5 and literally incredible.
6 Q. Can I have a short answer, please. This is also related to the
7 political circumstances at the time. What was your position regarding the
8 burgeoning of nationalism at the time?
9 A. When I said what the commanding staff and the soldiers were
10 writing in their letters sent from the ten republics of the former
11 Yugoslavia, Croatia and Slovenia, that does not mean that such occurrences
12 did not also occur in Serbia. There were verbal attacks there also. We
13 were being attacked as being members of the communist party, "the
14 commies," they called us, and those were the verbal assaults. And, of
15 course, there was nationalism also there and in some milieus where I
16 worked. And any and every -- nationalism was, to me, something that had
17 to be condemned and prevented at any price. And I especially have that
18 attitude towards nationalism coming from the -- from the town where I
19 hailed from and from my own environment.
20 Q. You heard testimony before this Court - I believe that this was
21 during the Prosecution case and also in regard to Mr. Mrksic - where we
22 talked about the Spegelj affair and the engagement of certain commanding
23 officers in that particular affair. I'm not interested in details but I
24 am interested about it in terms of our analysis of the regulations.
25 Could the security administration engage anyone from the Guards
1 Brigade to perform any specific task?
2 A. Testimony has been given in that regard here already. The
3 security administration, as I've already said in answering certain
4 questions before, engaged part of the commanding staff from the Guards
5 Brigade but solely by written order through the commander, i.e., through
6 the cabinet of the Federal Secretary. And the following is true: The
7 commander, for instance, I, myself, would not know at the specific moment
8 what would be the task that we would be engaged on, but I did know that
9 they would go to the security administration up to the accomplishment of
10 that task, and no one had the right to actually inquire what would be his
12 The task would be handled by the commanding officer who would be
13 in charge at that point of the operational processing, as we called it, in
14 order to deal with certain questions, counter-intelligence tasks, in order
15 to prevent intelligence and hostile work targeting units of the Yugoslav
16 Peoples' Army on the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of
18 But I should like to stress once again: The commanding officers
19 could not go to perform such a task without there having been received a
20 written order to that effect.
21 Q. Were there any instances of desertion in the brigade? When did
22 that happen, and what did you do when it did?
23 A. When we talked about the elite character of the Guards Brigade,
24 namely, up until the 1990s, it was inconceivable that a soldier, let alone
25 a commanding officer, in the Guards Brigade should be late from his leave
1 or be late for work, half an hour or an hour, let alone desert. We never
2 had any such occurrences. And let me underline, once again, that being a
3 -- becoming a member of the Guards Brigade was also on a voluntary
4 principle. It wasn't only by dint of law. So that desertion -- desertion
5 occurred for the first time towards the late '80s, early '90s - I cannot
6 remember the exact date - with, first, the Albanian soldiers, serving
7 military service, starting to desert, and the greatest blow to me
8 personally - and I believe all the other commanding personnel of the
9 Guards Brigade - was when the troops of Slovene ethnicity deserted, which
10 I believe was in the beginning of 1991.
11 By operational work, we managed to reverse that desertion and
12 bring them back to the unit. But immediately the following day, orders --
13 an order came from the Superior Command that the Slovenian troops should
14 be sent to do their military service to the Republic of Slovenia.
15 In my view, that already meant the start of the break-up of
16 Yugoslavia, with an erosion also of the morals and combat-readiness of the
17 units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army starting as well, because young people
18 of other ethnicities as well, individuals, also started wondering why, if
19 the Slovenians should be serving their military service in Slovenia, why
20 wouldn't they be allowed to do the same in their own republics.
21 Q. Thank you. Another question regarding this particular topic of
22 political developments. Did there start certain obstructions on the part
23 of the military boards, the military department, when it came to the
24 assigning of specific soldiers to the Guards Brigade; and if that was the
25 case, what can you say about it?
1 A. The security organs of the Guards Brigade kept analysing and
2 checking the personnel that was assigned to the brigade, especially the
3 troops, the soldiers, because we had to be mindful of the fact that it was
4 not the same thing to assign a soldier and arm him with a rifle and
5 ammunition and have him secure a foreign delegation or a top foreign
6 political or military leader or a certain facility, because that person
7 can do a lot with arms, the weapons, issued him. We cannot stand by his
8 side at all times.
9 And I remember well that when I was analysing the soldiers'
10 composition in 1991 and when I informed the commander of the brigade of my
11 results, the worst soldiers were actually sent to do their military
12 service in the Guards Brigade. The overwhelming majority of the soldiers
13 had bad characteristics, as, for instance, children of divorced parents,
14 drop-outs from schools; they engaged in some petty crimes; were mentally
15 unstable or not sufficiently stable. In a nutshell - and this is
16 something that I only realised later - the chiefs of the military
17 districts of the military departments that assigned such soldiers to us,
18 to serve in our brigade, actually did that deliberately.
19 Q. Thank you. I will not pursue these preliminary stories any
20 longer, although there would be a lot more to say from your career in
21 securing different political leaders and the different encounters of high
22 political leaders, between the political leaders of the former Yugoslavia
23 as the country was breaking up.
24 Now I shall move to Vukovar. When did the brigade set out for
25 Vukovar? With what mission? And how and when did it arrive in Vukovar?
1 And please speak a bit more slowly, Mr. Sljivancanin. If you can, follow
2 the transcript and adjust your pace to it, please.
3 A. In order not to repeat myself - and this is something that we
4 already know - the Guards Brigade was assigned to the mission of lifting
5 the blockade on the Vukovar barracks and the creation of normal conditions
6 for the work and life of all citizens of the city of Vukovar, and
7 disarming all paramilitary units in that city. It set out on that task on
8 the 30th of September, 1991.
9 Q. And when you set out, what happened en route? Did anything happen
10 en route? And where were you quartered? What was your final destination?
11 A. Well, normally, as for any other task, the commander of the
12 brigade issued instructions/tasks to the subordinate commanders. I
13 actually did not dwell much on those issues. The brigade marched,
14 according to the rules and the regulations which were then in force in
15 the -- governing the conduct of the units of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army,
16 they marched up to the town of Sid, up to which place it went unhindered.
17 From Sid, through Tovarnik and Oriolik, up to Negoslavci, there
18 were frequent attacks on the column of our brigade. Personally, I was
19 hit. Actually, the vehicle that I was in was targeted near the village of
20 Djeletovci. My late driver, Popovic, when the first shell impacted on the
21 road in front of the tires of our vehicle, he cried out, "Comrade Major,
22 let us stop." I saw a small elevation on the road in front of us and I
23 told him, "No. What do you mean, 'Stop'? Step on it so that we can seek
24 shelter behind that hill." So that we avoided being hit, because two
25 shells actually landed and we avoided being hit in the beginning.
1 The units deployed for battle. There were -- some were wounded.
2 There were no killed. And I realised at that point that those units were
3 actually following the slogan that we saw in the video footage on Spegelj
4 that we had seen, our former general, our former General Spegelj, who up
5 -- brought me and educated me, which was: First target the commanding
6 officers and we will then easily deal with the troops who will disperse
7 once you have hit the commander.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. Let me just add this: Once we arrived in the area of Negoslavci,
10 mortar fire was opened at the units of the brigade. And I remember well
11 that a soldier who was at the headquarters of the Guards Brigade - and the
12 headquarters was actually the unit which directly catered to the command
13 to create the necessary conditions for the quartering/overnight stays, and
14 so on - when they started erecting the first tents in a garden for
15 overnight stays, this soldier was a Croat, and a mortar shell landed and
16 killed him on the spot.
17 Q. A brief question and a brief reply. Where was the seat of the
18 department of security, the squad of security, of the Guards Brigade
19 during the Vukovar operation?
20 A. During the execution of the tasks in Vukovar, the command of the
21 brigade deployed its basic combat post in the village of Negoslavci and
22 the logistics rear command post in the village of Berak. Security organs
23 were deployed in the region of the basic command post in the house in
25 Q. Can you tell us who of your commanding staff of the squad of the
1 security organs stayed -- was with you on this mission, who stayed in
2 Belgrade, and who did what of the commanding personnel? I mean the names
3 that have been mentioned before the Court and will be material for later
5 A. Two officers from the security organs remained in Belgrade to
6 carry out this task, and along with me, the following persons went to
7 Vukovar for security organs -- sometime after the 5th of October, I got
8 yet another security organ from the security administration who was
9 appointed my assistant for counter-intelligence work.
10 Q. Can you give us their names and ranks and what they covered in
11 terms of their work? What work were they actually engaged in?
12 A. I went to Vukovar to carry out this task as Chief of Security.
13 My then assistant for military police affairs, Major Ljubisa
14 Vukasinovic, and at the same time he covered the 1st and 2nd Battalion of
15 the military police from a security point of view.
16 Then, Captain First Class Srecko Borisavljevic set out as well,
17 who covered, from a security point of view, the 2nd Motorised Battalion
18 and at the same time, Assault Detachment 2 in Vukovar.
19 Then, Captain Borce Karanfilov set out as well. In peacetime, he
20 covered the 1st Motorised Battalion from a security point of view;
21 however, since one of my security organs could not perform due to certain
22 problems, I gave Karanfilov the rear command post and the rear units at
23 that command post from the point of view of security.
24 Then, Desk Officer Momcilovic set out, too, who was involved in
25 control services at the command post.
1 Q. Who came later, and what did that officer do?
2 A. At that time in the security organ of the Guards Brigade, there
3 was only one trained officer, Captain Karanfilov had completed a course
4 for security officers. I, Major Vukasinovic and Srecko Borisavljevic came
5 to the security organs - how should I put it - on the eve of the Vukovar
6 operation when we had not completed the course yet. And I asked
7 instructions from the cabinet of the Chief of Staff of the Federal
8 Secretary for National Defence. And we had Mladen Karan assigned to us;
9 he was captain first class at that time. He had done security with
10 security organs work, and he was appointed my assistant for
11 counter-intelligence. He came to Vukovar, if I am not mistaken, and I
12 hope that I remember this correctly, it was after the 6th of October.
13 Q. Were there officers in charge of security who were attached to
14 motorised battalions as well? And what kind of persons were they? And
15 how were they attached to your squad?
16 A. In terms of war formation, in terms of peacetime establishment,
17 every motorised battalion of the Guards Brigade had a security officer
18 from the reserve force, and these officers were mobilised.
19 Now, I remember with certainty that an officer named Stanisic was
20 mobilised and came to the battalion. He worked as a security officer in
21 the battalion and he was only subordinated to the commander of the
22 battalion. He contacted me with regard to counter-intelligence
23 protection, and he resolved all other matters at battalion level.
24 As for the other units -- I mean, while in the battalions of the
25 military police, there weren't any security officers in terms of the war
1 establishment, whereas in the 2nd Battalion I think that this officer did
2 not actually come; he did not respond to the call-up.
3 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, can we hear now what the primary, basic, tasks
4 were that your squad dealt with during the Vukovar operation?
5 A. Well, the primary tasks that our squad dealt with during the
6 Vukovar operation were primarily those that I already referred to, that
7 are based on the rules of service. However, now, on the ground, they
8 became expanded.
9 It consisted of the following: That at that time, due to
10 propaganda and everything that was going on vis-a-vis the Yugoslav
11 Peoples' Army, conditions had to be created for all delegations coming to
12 the zone where combat actions were taking place in terms of deblocking
13 barracks and disarming paramilitaries, and all accredited journalists who
14 we were told would be coming in, we were supposed to provide security for
15 them and not to conceal anything from them. They should be allowed to see
16 everything. That was the position I took as well; however, nothing should
17 happen to them either.
18 What surprised me at the time, and what affected me as Chief of
19 Security, was that on the first day, we lost ten soldiers when we came to
20 Vukovar and we didn't know where they were. This was on the 2nd of
21 October, 1991, when they went to help their comrades in the barracks and
22 they simply went missing then.
23 I, as Chief of Security and as a human being, who looked upon all
24 these soldiers in the Guards Brigade and all others as my own children,
25 the most important task for me was to find these soldiers and to save
1 their lives. That is why all the time, from the first instant, I was at
2 the very front line. I didn't have to be there all the time, but I was
3 there all the time in order to find out where those soldiers were and what
4 happened to them.
5 Q. When did you first reach the barracks in Vukovar?
6 A. At my own initiative, if I can put it that way, I know I reported
7 to the commander and I tried to get to the Vukovar barracks immediately
8 either on the 30th, when we arrived, or on the morning of the next day.
9 And I suffered grave consequences, if I can put it that way. I was
10 attacked by mortar shells, and it was very hard for me to get through; I
11 even had to leave my vehicle behind. However, I had to spend two or three
12 hours sitting in the basement of a house and then I actually waited for a
13 lull in the fighting. And then I met a lieutenant colonel there whose
14 name was Rajko Novakovic.
15 Indeed, I experienced something that I could not have dreamed of
16 happening; namely, that people lived in such conditions as our soldiers
17 did at that time in the barracks. But I also experienced something else:
18 That these young men did not want to leave the barracks at the cost of
19 their lives, that they didn't want to get out, although we were suggesting
20 to them to get out and to come and join our brigade.
21 When I returned, I told the commander about this and, of course,
22 after that an action was planned to deblock the barracks.
23 Q. All right. Perhaps somebody else is going to talk about that.
24 Just tell us, after how many days was the barracks deblocked; do you
1 A. Well, the action for deblocking the barracks started in the
2 morning hours of the 2nd of October. I remember that on that day, I came
3 to Dalmatinska Street, which is the first time I came across one of the
4 radio transmitters that was used at that time by the members of the ZNG,
5 of the Croat forces, and we came across a machine-gun nest there that was
6 near that street. And they probably abandoned their positions there once
7 our units arrived.
8 From that moment onwards, I kept listening to their conversations
9 through that radio transmitter, and I was trying to find out who was
10 controlling who and what.
11 Q. You, as security organ, why did you find this radio transmitter
12 that you came across to be important?
13 A. It was most important for me so that, through their coded names, I
14 could find out the strength and disposition of their forces. I often used
15 this radio transmitter to talk to some of my former colleagues who crossed
16 over to the other side, the paramilitary forces of Croatia, and I found
17 out that they had been officers of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army. And I was
18 trying to persuade them that we should not fight; that only until
19 yesterday we had lived together and lived well; and let us leave it to the
20 politicians to see what the sociopolitical system of Yugoslavia is going
21 to be like; and that we should not kill each other; and that we should not
22 destroy that kind of beautiful city, the way Vukovar was.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Sljivancanin, I would like to ask you to draw
24 something for us, to mark something on a map that is relevant to me and, I
25 believe, to the Court.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please place map
2 156, Exhibit 156, on the screens.
3 Q. You know the procedure, Mr. Sljivancanin. You will be assisted by
4 the usher; you will get a pen. The first thing that I would like you to
5 mark, if you can, on this map - and during our preparation for your
6 testimony you said that this suited you fine - is to show what the area of
7 responsibility of Operations Group South was.
8 A. The zone of responsibility of Operations Group South, as we've
9 heard here from the experts who spoke about it, has a certain boundary, or
10 rather, certain boundaries on all sides. This is where the zone was.
11 This is the right-hand boundary of the zone. There it is.
12 The village of Berak cannot be seen where the rear command post
13 was in terms of depth. So the boundary was the village of Sotin and then
14 further on, Grabovo. You cannot see it because of the picture. And then
15 further on towards the village of Berak. To the left, feature 102 on the
16 road leading from Bogdanovci to Vukovar. Then the village of Petrovci and
17 further on towards Berak. In terms of depth, the Vuka River and its mouth
18 into the Danube.
19 Q. In this zone 1, so to speak, could you mark the zone of
20 responsibility of Operations Group South. What units were next to you,
21 JNA units, that took part in this operation?
22 A. Operations Group South kept changing its composition. At first
23 and all the time, the Guards Motorised Brigade was there. Then, for a
24 while, perhaps for five or six days, the 453rd Brigade from Sremska
25 Mitrovica was there and then it was withdrawn from the area, I think, on
1 the 5th or 6th of October. Then, there was the Podunavska Brigade, the
2 Danubian Brigade, which also, in the month of October, got out of
3 Operations Group South. And the 20th Partisan Brigade of the Territorial
4 Defence came, which got out of the composition of the -- on the 18th of
5 November, as far as I managed to see here in the war log, and it came to
6 replace this 20th Partisan Brigade, or rather, the 80th Motorised Brigade
7 came to replace the 20th Partisan Brigade in the following way:
8 On the day when this task was being accomplished, that is to say,
9 on the 18th of November, 1991, Operations Group South, while we cannot
10 call it that, although it was not that way, according to the rules, the
11 Motorised Guards Brigade came there. The 80th Motorised Brigade and a
12 Territorial Defence detachment of Vukovar, which acted in concert with the
13 Guards Brigade, and the Territorial Defence detachment of Kragujevac which
14 acted in concert with the Guards Brigade in its area of responsibility.
15 Then there was the Territorial Defence detachment of Sremska
16 Mitrovica which was resubordinated to the 80th Motorised Brigade. And
17 there was the so-called tactical group of the 195th Motorised Brigade
18 which was resubordinated to the 80th Motorised Brigade. And there was the
19 544th Armoured Battalion that was resubordinated to the 80th Motorised
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Lukic, please.
22 MR. LUKIC: I have an intervention in terms of the transcript.
23 Page 60, line 7, the witness said, from the Vuka River to the Danube
24 River, when he was drawing this boundary in depth of the Operations Group
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Vuka River to the mouth
2 into the Danube.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Who was on the other side of the Vuka? Whose area of
5 responsibility was that?
6 A. On the other side of the Vuka River, as far as I know, were the
7 units of the 12th Corps of the 1st Military District. They established
8 some groups within their composition, but I was not there and I do not
9 know what they called these groups. But I know it was the 12th Corps.
10 Q. Were they mentioned as Operations Group North?
11 A. Over here I heard in these testimonies, and in various documents
12 that were presented here, that somebody was calling them Operations Group
13 North and somebody else was calling them Tactical Group North. Now, what
14 their actual name was is hard for me to say.
15 Q. Can you place number 2 there.
16 A. Number 2 where this --
17 Q. Where the Novi Sad Corps is?
18 A. Novi Sad Corps, number 2. Here it is.
19 Q. So the boundary is the river Vuka?
20 A. The river Vuka and further on. I don't know what their boundaries
21 are. But the task, in terms of how far our unit was supposed to go, was
22 to the Vuka River, and the Novi Sad Corps, from the north up to the Vuka
24 Q. Please before we have this document removed, or rather, admitted
25 into evidence, can we see the position of the guards division on this
2 A. Units of the 1st Guards Division were the left-hand neighbour of
3 the Guards Motorised Brigade, meaning the village of Petrovci, the village
4 of Marinci, and then on to Nustar and Vinkovci.
5 Q. Put a number 3 there, please.
6 A. [Marks].
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I request that this be
9 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 815, Your Honours.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, if we could please have this same
12 map but an unmarked one.
13 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, if you can, please mark on this map the area of
14 responsibility of the Guards Brigade and that of the 80th Kragujevac
15 Brigade within OG South, respectively. We want to know about the 18th,
16 19th and 20th, of course.
17 A. On the 18th of November, 1991, the Guards Motorised Brigade, which
18 was working on this mission with, as far as I remember, the Vukovar TO
19 detachment, and the Kragujevac TO detachment had an area that was within
20 the area covered by OG South. In terms of the area's depth, the boundary
21 would be the Vuka River, where it bordered on the corps, and to the left,
22 elevation 102, excluding the village of Petrovci and then on to the
23 village of Berak. On the right, it included the village of Mitnica, or
24 rather, the neighbourhood of Mitnica, and then past Negoslavci and on to
25 the village of Berak. This was the area covered by the Guards Motorised
1 Brigade within OG South, and it worked with the units that were in the
3 Q. Put a number 1 there, please.
4 A. All right. The 80th Motorised Brigade, with units resubordinated
5 to it by orders of the commander of the Operations Group - again, I repeat
6 this is the Sremska Mitrovica TO detachment, the 544th Armoured Battalion,
7 and the tactical group that came from the 195th Motorised Brigade - their
8 area was -- the left-hand border of their area was the same as the Guards
9 Brigade Mitnica and next to the village of Negoslavci, and on the right,
10 not including the village of Sotin but past it, and then the area next to
11 Grabovo, facing the village of Berak.
12 Q. This is the area to the right of the Guards Motorised Brigade,
13 number 2; right?
14 A. Indeed.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. This was the situation on the 18th of November, 1991, to the best
17 of my recollection, of course.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd request that this be admitted,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE PARKER: It will be admitted.
21 THE REGISTRAR: With Exhibit Number 816, Your Honours.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For a third time, the same map, but
23 could we please blow up the Negoslavci area as much as possible.
24 Q. Is this helpful, Mr. Sljivancanin? You know what I wanted to show
25 now. Do you like this map?
1 A. Yes, it's fine, if you want me to draw the position of the command
2 post in Negoslavci.
3 Q. That's right. Our next topic: Where, in your opinion, was the
4 command of the Guards Brigade of Operations Group South? Can you please
5 draw that for us first and please put a number 1 there.
6 A. The command post of the brigade, at this point in time we're
7 talking about the Guards Brigade, is an area about one and a half
8 kilometres by one and a half kilometres. And in that area, you have all
9 the other elements of the command - the operations room, the commander's
10 place, the signals room, the security organ, whatever the commander
11 says -- whoever the commander says should be there. And then there was
12 the command post which I said was deployed in Berak.
13 In Negoslavci, the following were set up and in the following
14 order, in solid buildings: In one of these buildings over here - I'll
15 draw a circle there and I'll put a number 1 there - this was the
16 commander's place and the operations room.
17 Security organs. The security organ was right in this house,
18 across the way from this church. Right here. I'll put a number 2 there.
19 If you want to know about this, too, on the 9th of November, the
20 commander issued an order to set up town commands. By this order, Major
21 Ljubisa Vukasinovic was appointed town commander of the village of
22 Negoslavci, and his place was right there in this house. I'll mark this
23 with a small circle and put a number 3 there.
24 In addition to this, something I knew: I often held meetings with
25 international organisations in a house where there was the permanent press
1 centre throughout the duration of combat operations in Vukovar. The house
2 was right here. It was Captain Forca [as interpreted] who was in charge
3 of this. Number 4.
4 Q. Fair enough.
5 A. What I knew at the time, as for the other elements, something else
6 that I can tell you, because they were helping me to track down the
7 perpetrators of any crimes: There were the forensic technicians from the
8 military police battalion, and they worked closely together with my
9 assistant for counter-intelligence. They were based in a building right
10 here. I'll put a number 5 there. As for the rest --
11 Q. No matter. No matter.
12 A. As for the rest, the moral guidance organ was here, too, as well
13 as the judge. Everybody else was stationed in the village of Berak, at
14 the command post.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just one correction: Page 65, line
16 10, Captain Zvorcan not Captain Forca.
17 Can we please have this admitted into evidence. Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 817, Your Honours.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps it would be a good idea to
21 have the break now, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at a quarter to 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before we continue, I would like to
2 make an official correction in the transcript. When officers and their
3 names were being mentioned belonging to the security organ, on page 55, we
4 see that there are omissions in the text. But just to clarify matters for
5 the benefit of the transcript, page 55, line 6, the witness said "Major
6 Ljubisa Vukasinovic"; line 9, he said "Captain First Class Srecko
7 Borisavljevic"; line 11, he said "Captain Borce Karanfilov"; and line 16,
8 "Momcilovic"; and line 25, "Mladen Karan."
9 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, now for something that occurred during the
10 combat operations, which I believe to be of relevance to this trial. Did
11 the military police unit join the fray, the combat operations in Vukovar;
12 if so, when and why?
13 A. A lot of evidence has been adduced, as well as documents, on the
14 use of these units used to lift the siege of the barracks and disarm the
15 paramilitary units. What I want to say is: Those documents are not
16 orders. They're not orders; they're just commands and decisions of the
17 commander on the use of forces to accomplish that mission at the time.
18 Military orders are something entirely different. These decisions are
19 often revised by the commander as a mission develops or fails to develop.
20 At the outset there is the first decision of the commander of the
21 Guards Brigade, and pursuant to this order, part of the military police
22 units were attached to the motorised battalion, which, in practical terms
23 and under the rules that were applied at the time, was simply not
25 As I pointed out already, the lowest-level unit, comprising a
1 military police presence within its composition, is a brigade; however,
2 since the Guards Brigade comprised quite a number of policemen, the
3 commander had every right to make this decision. We analysed the decision
4 here, and what it says is, at the outset of combat operations, the
5 commander tasked one battalion minus a company to secure the command
6 posts. He decided to use another battalion as a reserve and later used it
7 to establish control over the territory. However, as the enemy was
8 well-organised, strong and well-equipped, we were, in a way, surprised.
9 We had not been trained for that, nor had we ever believed that we would
10 find ourselves facing a situation where, in our own country, we would have
11 to fight our own people, to put it that way.
12 Personally, I was convinced at the time that it would be
13 sufficient for us to just turn up as soldiers and that the entire
14 population of the town, regardless of their ethnicity, would accept our
15 presence as someone who was there to help everyone and restore order.
16 However, that was not the case.
17 Immediately, on day 1, we suffered great losses on account of this
18 surprise factor, and the commander had to step in and do something about
19 it. He used the anti-terrorist unit to strengthen the 2nd Assault
20 Detachment, and to establish control over the area on along Sajmiste
21 Street, at the junction between the 1st and the 2nd Assault Detachments,
22 or rather, the 1st and the 2nd Motorised Battalions.
23 Later on, as changes occurred and the reservists left the Guards
24 Brigade, we were also taking measures to disarm all volunteers and those
25 units who were not in line with the discipline. The 2nd Battalion of the
1 military police was introduced and used along the front line where combat
2 was underway with the enemy.
3 Q. Can you, first of all, please tell us whether there were any
4 problems with officers. First of all, quite specifically, the officers of
5 the anti-terrorist company, were there any problems with those, or with
6 the officers of the 2nd Battalion of the military police in relation to
7 their active involvement in combat?
8 A. I'm not sure if I'm able to depict the situation for you by just
9 talking about it. We had emerged from peacetime conditions and our
10 families were safe and there was no shooting. No state of war had been
11 declared. It was never our intention to wage war on anybody at all. We
12 were just there and we had certain missions. And I told you what these
13 missions were. We had to preserve the lives of those young soldiers,
14 return them to their parents. It was inconceivable for a country
15 theoretically at peace to see all those young soldiers being killed,
16 because the behaviour of an officer is different in peacetime conditions
17 and, again, it's different under conditions of war, when there is the risk
18 involved that soldiers might be killed. So this was the first such
19 situation that we came across.
20 The first signs of hesitation were in that anti-terrorist unit,
21 and much to my surprise, the focus of all this was the commander of the
22 1st Battalion of the military police. This is something that I wrote down
23 in my observations. I thought that this was one of the results of enemy
24 activity in trying to disrupt or impair the combat morale of that
25 particular unit.
1 Just briefly, something I found out later on by intelligence
2 activity: The commander of this anti-terrorist unit - and, after all, he
3 confided in me and then told me about this - he had received a letter from
4 his wife that, how should I put it, had an adverse effect on him and was
5 causing him to feel mentally unstable. He was beginning to worry whether
6 Yugoslavia would survive or not, that sort of thing.
7 Q. This was Maric, Mladen Maric, right, the commander of the
8 anti-terrorist unit? He was the very person I was going to ask you
9 about. This person you're talking about is P0001, isn't he?
10 A. Yes. Commander P0001, the commander of the anti-terrorist
12 Q. What became of Mladen Maric?
13 A. Mladen Maric, the commander of the anti-terrorist company, was
14 seriously wounded when he tried to enter the barracks with his unit to
15 supply some food and water to the soldiers in there. He was the first to
16 get in. He wanted to get some food and water to the soldiers who had been
17 inside the barracks for quite sometime. And then he was taken for
18 treatment, to receive treatment, in Belgrade. It was towards the end of
19 combat operations, towards the end of that particular mission that he was
20 returned to Vukovar and rejoined his unit. But I can't remember the
21 specific date when he did.
22 Q. Were there, at any particular point in time, changes in the post
23 of commander of the 2nd Motorised Battalion, instead of the -- no, the
24 post of the 2nd Military Police Battalion? I correct myself.
25 A. I can give you a reply right away. After the first day, when the
1 units entered the barracks, the commander of the 2nd Motorised Battalion
2 complained to the commander of the brigade that he was not mentally fit to
3 continue to be in command, that he needed assistance, and the commander
4 assigned a commanding officer from the operations and training organ, a
5 deputy commander, to assist this commander.
6 And after the first failure by the first commander of the Military
7 Police Battalion to discharge his task, he was transferred to the military
8 medical academy, the military hospital, for treatment, and Captain First
9 Class Jovan Susic, I believe, was appointed in his stead.
10 Q. As this will involve reports that we will later comment on, how
11 was he sent from the 1st Battalion of the military police to Belgrade for
13 A. The commander of the 1st Military Police Battalion was Major
14 Branislav Kavalic.
15 Q. So Susic replaced him later.
16 A. Yes. When he left, Susic replaced him.
17 Q. Did the Chief of the General Staff visit the Vukovar battlefield;
18 and if he did, when was this, and what can you tell us about it?
19 A. The Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army,
20 Lieutenant General Blagoje Adzic, visited the units in the zone of what we
21 call south on the 1st of November, and that is probably noted in the log
22 of the Guards Brigade, in 1991. I remember that vividly also because
23 the -- because the Chief of the General Staff came, that's one thing; and
24 secondly, because I was exposed to criticism then.
25 So General Adzic arrived at the commander's command post. The
1 commander briefed him on the situation in the combat zone. The major
2 problems that we were faced with were the order that had come from the
3 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia to the effect to the reserve
4 forces should be returned, and I personally, and others, thought ourselves
5 to be an armed force of the Socialist Federalist Republic of Yugoslavia
6 and that as such we needed to be respected. But that's the way things
7 were and that's what happened. And we had problems with other units, with
8 other formations, which were not part of the Guards Brigade, and the
9 resubordination of specific units; I particularly have in mind the
10 Territorial Defence and volunteers.
11 Thereafter, General Adzic expressed the desire to visit the young
12 soldiers who were on the front line to see whether it was, indeed, combat
13 fighting or something that we had not experienced before, as even before
14 going to Vukovar, I was in charge of security for General Adzic. With the
15 approval, with permission, from Mrksic, I proposed that the general should
16 go and see the soldiers, and that I certainly can see to it that his
17 security is guaranteed and that nothing would happen to him.
18 And I proposed the plan, how we should proceed, that we should
19 reduce security, because every movement of ours was watched and artillery
20 fire was opened on all moving vehicles. The General accepted my
21 suggestion and we set out, I and his three escorts from this special
22 purpose department or squad, i.e., non-commissioned officers who were
23 under my direct command.
24 With General Adzic came the chef du cabinet of the Federal
25 Secretary for National Defence, Colonel Vuk Obradovic, and he asked to go
1 with me. I took the general to exactly the front line, the barracks,
2 Dalmatinska Street, the Vuteks stadium, where the anti-terrorist units
3 were. And we came to the command of the 1st Assault Detachment to see
4 Major Tesic. There, the general was received by Colonel Mrksic.
5 From there, we toured a number of units from the 1st Assault
6 Detachment, and I remember when they heard that General Adzic had arrived,
7 that many civilians - women, elderly people - wanted to come out and greet
8 the general and have their photos taken with him. I never asked any of
9 the people whether they were Hungarians, Ruthenians, Croatians, Serbs.
10 For me, to me, they were all equal, and to General Adzic as well. And we
11 stayed in that disposition area of the 1st Assault Detachment for about
12 half an hour.
13 Q. We shall not go into all the details. What I would like to hear
14 from you, to wrap up this visit quickly and briefly, you said that you
15 came under some criticism.
16 A. Yes. Let me just finish this.
17 General Adzic later came to the positions of the mortar company of
18 the 1st Assault Detachment, 120-millimetre mortars, and that is where he
19 ended his tour of the unit.
20 I had to write a report on the visit and I was criticised for the
21 first time by General Vasiljevic, who later came to inspect, and he told
22 me that I was exposing myself to a grave danger; that I should not have
23 allowed myself to take the general to the first line of fighting, and what
24 the consequences would have been for us had he been wounded or killed or
25 something else, and what a risk I had been running. Because he said it
1 was not ordinary, under such circumstances, before checking all the
2 security measures and verifying all such steps, for the Chief of the
3 General Staff to be taken to precisely the front line, whereas I thought
4 that at that particular time they were not armed conflicts, that it was
5 fighting paramilitary formations and terrorist groups, and that the
6 general had to see all the problems that our young soldiers were faced
8 Q. Did Mr. Vasiljevic suggest anything to you in respect of any
9 further such visits in terms of your desirable behaviour and conduct
10 vis-a-vis such persons?
11 A. Yes, he did. He suggested, as an experienced and still-commanding
12 officer, he suggested that I should never do anything of the kind again,
13 especially not in respect of larger delegations or higher-level
14 delegations and important persons; that, first, I would have to undertake
15 an evaluation, a plan of the visit, and to take them and escort them
16 exclusively to where it was safe.
17 Q. You heard the testimony of P018, Witness P018, who had personally
18 escorted General Adzic. Do you have any comment on account of that? You
19 were there, personally present.
20 A. Yes, I was present and I heard the different testimonies here
21 also. But this is a great nonsense. Not that I'm making things up or
22 just telling stories for story's sake. But General Adzic had security,
23 professionally trained people for that particular task, and there were a
24 large number of MPs, military police, members there so that such a person
25 could not even approach him, come close to him.
1 Q. Thank you. Now I'm interested in another episode which we shall
2 also go through by consulting documents later. Who was Dusan Jaksic, and
3 what do you know about his replacement? How did that come about, the
4 appointment of Miroljub Vujevic to that post?
5 A. I know full well who Dusan Jaksic was, and I heard his testimony
6 here as well. It is simply surprising to one, but then, again, one
7 perhaps should not be all that surprised because I have seen that people
8 can say whatever they please.
9 Dusan Jaksic, when we arrived in Vukovar, was the commander of the
10 Territorial Defence detachment of Vukovar. I know that initially he
11 attended all the meetings held by the commander of the Operational Group,
12 which he attended together with Major Borivoje Tesic. I know that I, too,
13 was given information by Major Tesic, and in the informative talks, the
14 interviews that we had, which is one of the methods of security organs'
15 work, that Jaksic did not enjoy confidence in his own detachment; that he
16 was not aware of the actual situation in his detachment; that there were
17 instances of lack of discipline, breach of discipline; that he didn't know
18 the strength of his detachment, the number of members; and that he was
19 very often absent from the detachment and that no one knew where he went.
20 Through the other security desk officers, the collected data, we
21 also learned that he liaised with certain persons from that territory who
22 were smugglers; that is not to say that he was involved in the smuggling.
23 And the reference was made that I wrote something about it. I never wrote
24 anything about him. You can see that by consulting all of my reports.
25 Anyway, Jaksic came with Tesic to talk to Commander Mrksic very
1 often and brief him on these problems, and he expressed the opinion, he,
2 himself, expressed the opinion that he was unfit to command units at the
3 front. Therefore, he proposed that he be replaced and that someone from
4 his formation be installed in his stead, while the units were executing
5 their combat tasks, until they had executed it.
6 As far as I recall, that is the way it happened. Mrksic,
7 according to the rules of the brigade, did not have the right at that time
8 to replace and appoint the commander of the Territorial Defence, and I
9 believe that he consulted his assistant in charge of manning and
10 mobilisation, who was a professional in that regard and who gave him the
11 guidelines to follow in the particular instance.
12 I informed Mrksic about Borivoje Tesic's observations about Jaksic
13 and, in agreement with Jaksic personally, Commander Mrksic and Tesic - so
14 in agreement, all of them - decided, as far as I know, for Jaksic to
15 remain in the Territorial Defence detachment to coordinate the rear
16 operations, the supplies, et cetera, while the units on the front line
17 executing the combat missions should be guided by Miroljub Vujevic, who
18 was his commander of the 1st Territorial Defence Company at the time. That
19 was the way it was until the task was completed.
20 Later, I don't know whether anyone wrote an order on the relieving
21 or dismissal or appointment of anyone, but I believe that even the
22 layperson is certainly clear on the fact, as Jaksic said here -- and this
23 is not to defend me. I just want to say: As the Chief of Security, I
24 could not, I did not, have the powers, nor did I appoint or dismiss anyone
25 from duty. So, for what it's worth, I did not get any operational
1 processing report for Jaksic, and you can find nothing of the kind in my
2 reports. And as far as what he said is concerned, that is perhaps some
3 observation of his. Maybe he knows something more about it, but I don't.
4 Maybe, as I said, he knows more about it himself and that's why he said
6 Q. Tell me, who is Boro Bugunovic, and what do you know about this
8 A. I know that allegedly at that time, Boro Bugunovic was a minister
9 in a government of the -- what they called the autonomous district of
10 Western Srem, which was self-proclaimed. They self-proclaimed it. I
11 didn't believe in it and I didn't respect it. I did not honour it,
12 because the state of Yugoslavia existed at the time. Yugoslav laws were
13 in force. There existed the republics and there existed the
14 municipalities. I had never heard of such governments prior to that
15 time. But he introduced himself as a minister in that government.
16 Q. Of what?
17 A. Of the interior, Minister of the Interior. By operational work,
18 the collection of data, I received information that he was engaged in
19 smuggling; in arms dealing, actually.
20 I called Mr. Bugunovic for a talk, an informative talk, because he
21 lived in Negoslavci and I knew where his house was, but he would not
22 come. He did not want to come. So I informed the commander about this
23 fact and he allowed me to send the military police to actually bring him
24 in, to call him and bring him in for a talk.
25 He came for a talk. We also searched his house and we found
1 weapons in it. The weapons that he found is something that he, as a
2 civilian, should not have had. I wrote a security report, a security
3 memorandum, addressing it to the chief of cabinet for security of the
4 Federal Secretary, and he responded and told me what further course of
5 action I should take.
6 At that informative talk, I asked Mr. Bugunovic to report on a
7 daily basis to my security organ, security officer; however, he actually
8 left the territory and I never, ever saw him again, until the end of the
9 mission in Vukovar. Later, I found out that he had been in Novi Sad and
10 in Sid, but as we left the territory, I didn't know anything about his
11 whereabouts then.
12 Q. All right. Soon we will analyse these documents, these reports of
13 yours. Before we start doing that, could you please tell the Trial
14 Chamber whether you sent reports, how you sent them, to whom you sent
15 these reports, and what kind of correspondence existed between you and
16 other security organs. Did they send anything to you; if so, what?
17 A. I had two ways of reporting. Firstly, regular reports at command
18 meetings. I reported to the commander about all observations related to
19 security in the zone that was controlled by the Guards Motorised Brigade;
20 namely, whenever these meetings were held and, if necessary, even on extra
21 occasions if there was anything relevant of this nature or if the
22 commander would call me in requesting some information.
23 There was such information when, through professional lines, I got
24 information regarding counter-intelligence. I would receive information
25 in terms of counter-intelligence tasks to the Chief of Security of the
1 cabinet of the Federal Secretary for National Defence. Later on, when
2 General Aca Vasiljevic came to Vukovar, he asked that this information
3 that I write to the Chief of Security and the cabinet of the Federal
4 Secretary, that I should submit copies to the security administration so
5 that less time would go by in terms of the reports that would come
6 eventually to his office as well. So that is how I sent this information
7 to this security administration as well.
8 I sent this information in sometimes every day; sometimes every
9 two days or every three days, depending on what was going on and depending
10 on what I had to report about.
11 Q. And from whom did you receive information and instructions in
12 relation to security organs along the lines of this professional
13 information, if I can put it that way?
14 A. In terms of tasks for the unit and what was going on in the Guards
15 Brigade, I heard about these tasks at the briefing with the commander. As
16 for counter-intelligence, I only received information and tasks from the
17 Chief of Security of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary for National
18 Defence, which is what we will see through the documents here.
19 Q. During combat actions, did you receive professional direction from
20 the security organs of the 1st Army?
21 A. I never received any such document, nor did they cooperate with me
22 with regard to any security matter. It was only with the representatives
23 of the command in Sid with regard to lists and perpetrators of crimes who
24 were brought in that we found while carrying out our tasks up until the
25 18th of November. That is the only cooperation I had with them.
1 Q. Why? What was in Sid at that time?
2 A. As far as I know, in Sid, there was some command, part of the
3 command of the 1st Military District. That's where the security organ
4 was. Or was it the security organ of the 1st Guards Division? I cannot
5 say exactly now because did I not attend a single meeting with them but
6 somebody was there. And this is where the reception centre was, outside
7 the zone of combat actions, where persons who were suspected of having
8 committed crimes were processed or persons who surrendered in the combat
9 zone with weapons, up until the 18th of November.
10 On the 18th, an order was issued, because there were a great many
11 such people who cropped up and they should be taken to Sremska Mitrovica
12 instead of Sid.
13 Q. And what was there in Sremska Mitrovica at that time?
14 A. As far as I know now, and as far as I saw from these documents,
15 this is where a camp was established for taking in perpetrators of
16 criminal offences in the zone where combat action was taking place.
17 Q. All right. Now I would like to start this analysis. We are going
18 to do this several times during this evidence, but we are going to analyse
19 some of the 65 documents that we wish to tender.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the first documents that
21 I would like to have a look at - I think that is the first document you
22 also have on this list - that is a letter of the security administration
23 dated the 3rd of October, 1991; 3D 050001 is the number of the document.
24 It is marked as 3D 01 as a 65 ter document. I don't know if we can see it
25 on e-court, on the screen. If we can have it enlarged please.
1 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, first of all, tell me, in terms of form, what is
2 this that we see now on our screens and this copy that you have?
3 A. Well, we can see here that this is a document of the security
4 administration which requests that information be collected about persons
5 from the Yugoslav Peoples' Army who were taken prisoner. And the second
6 part says that information should be sent about imprisoned members of the
7 MUP and the ZNG of Croatia.
8 Q. Who was this sent to?
9 A. This was sent by the security administration and it was sent to
10 the Chief of Security of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary, and the
11 Chief of Security sent it to me, along with his own accompanying letter,
12 because what started happening was that many prisoners were taken, many
13 prisoners -- rather, many soldiers from the Guards Brigade went missing
14 and we needed to have clear records as to where people were.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we admit this into evidence, Your
16 Honours? Can we tender this?
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 818, Your Honours.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document is marked as 65
20 ter -- as a 65 ter document, 3D 02, and in the system it is 3D 05-0003.
21 It is a handwritten document and Mr. Sljivancanin is going to explain this
22 to us, what this is. This is a report of the security organ of the 12th
23 of October, 1991.
24 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, what is this? Can you describe it to us in
25 terms of -- not in terms of content but in terms of form. What do we have
1 in front of us now?
2 A. This is one of the reports security organs of the Guards Motorised
3 Brigade, and you will see, since the Operations Group was referred to
4 several times here, never, ever did I receive either oral or written
5 orders that I was Chief of Security of an Operations Group. I knew that I
6 was Chief of Security of the Guards Brigade. And I'm not trying to say
7 that anybody is lying, but here are my reports, here are the documents, so
8 none of this was made up.
9 In that report, I say what my counter-intelligence assessment is
10 and what my knowledge is in the units of the Guards Brigade and in its
11 zone, in terms of what my desk officers had learned by then and what I had
12 learned by then, and I'm sending this to the Chief of Security of the
13 cabinet of the Federal Secretary. This is one of the reports. It is for
14 the 11th of October, 1991.
15 Q. Who wrote this document? Whose handwriting is this?
16 A. Of my assistant for counter-intelligence, Major Mladen Karan, or
17 rather, then captain first class.
18 Q. Lest there be any misunderstanding, it says that the report is for
19 the 11th, whereas we see here in the document itself that it's the 12th of
20 October, 1991.
21 A. I'll explain that, too. We sent it on the 12th of October, at 900
22 hours, depending on when the courier and when the post went. It was for
23 the date of the 11th of October, but this is when we sent it.
24 Q. And what do you know in terms of what happened to this report
25 afterwards? Where was it sent to?
1 A. As it can be seen here, this report went to the Chief of Security
2 of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary. He gathered information there,
3 and probably on other sides, too. Well, I don't know what his methods of
4 work were; I'm not familiar with that. And on that basis, he wrote a
5 brief, a piece of information, that he sent to the security
6 administration. On the basis of information received from us, he would
7 write his own information to the security administration, stating what the
8 counter-intelligence situation was in the zone of the Guards Brigade.
9 Q. As we're going to see in the documents further on, did it ever
10 happen that these documents would be retyped?
11 A. It would happen that the Chief of Security, because we did not
12 have the necessary resources on the ground, we would send all our reports
13 written in hand and then sometimes he would attach them to his own
14 document -- these documents of ours, as they were, attached to his report
15 to the security administration, whereas sometimes our reports would be
16 retyped and, as such, sent to the security administration.
17 Q. I don't want to dwell on this document because there is this
18 retyped information on the basis of this handwritten information.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So I would like to ask that that be
20 tendered, Your Honours. And we are going to analyse the content of the
21 report later.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 819, Your Honours.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document that I would like us
25 to analyse is a document that is marked 3D 05-0018, and that is
1 information dated the 13th of October. If we can please see it on the
2 electronic system. 3D 05-- or rather, 03 ...
3 Q. Can I ask you now, Mr. Sljivancanin, what is this that we see on
4 the screen now? What is it that we have in front of us?
5 A. Here, on the screen, we see the form of information compiled by
6 security organs in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, specifically this has to do
7 with the Chief of Security of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary. This
8 was compiled on the 13th of October, 1991, in three copies. Two were
9 submitted to the security administration and one remained in the archives
10 of the security organs of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary. The Chief
11 of Security compiled this information concerning intelligence regarding
12 the state of security in units and in the area of responsibility of the
13 Guards Motorised Brigade on the basis of preceding information that I had
14 sent on the 12th of October, 1991.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to ask that we look at page 3 of the
16 B/C/S version.
17 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry for interrupting my friend this morning.
18 Can he please just refer us to the exact page in his bundle. We don't
19 have it.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I gave it to the
21 interpreters and now I do not have the English version.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have it either.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The first page is 23 in the English version so it is probably --
25 the first page is marked 23 and this is on page 3, so it's probably 26.
1 The paragraph starts with about registering cases of looting in war. I
2 will read that part very slowly though so then we will all be quite aware
3 of what it is that I'm trying to ask the witness.
4 Could we please have the page lifted a bit on the screen, on the
5 e-court system because I'm going to read out the second paragraph, and
6 that's how it's going to be easier for the interpreters as well who will
7 be doing the sight translation. Thank you.
8 "The work of security organs registered and documented several
9 cases of war looting in the territory in the zone of combat actions by the
10 Guards Motorised Brigade on -- this was committed by volunteers and
11 members of the staff of TO Negoslavci. The mentioned crimes are assuming
12 special proportions due to the fact that they are being carried out when
13 combat action is taking place and combat positions are being abandoned and
14 attack powers being weakened therefore. Operations information indicates
15 that the looting is being carried out in the organisation of Milan Bibic,
16 the commander of the staff of TO Negoslavci as well as his associate,
17 Jovica Kresovic. In cooperation with the command organs, energetic
18 measures are being taken to suppress the above-mentioned occurrences.
19 "According to statements made by local persons, inter alia the
20 parents of Popovic Banislav from the 1st Battalion of the military police,
21 Boro Bugunovic, minister of the interior of the SAO -- SBIZS, Slavonia
22 Barinja and Western Srem, was selling arms received to local persons at
23 prices that ranged from 800 to 1800 Deutschemark, as well as food that
24 came in as aid to the endangered population. According to some
25 indications, part of the weapons that are owned by the JNA is even at this
1 time in the basement of the Bugunovic house and it is being sold in
2 cooperation with Bibic who is giving local persons special permits."
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.
4 A. I talked about this person a great deal and now we see other
5 persons referred to here. Right now, I cannot remember their names but I
6 remember this minister very well.
7 All the time throughout our stay in this zone, we tried to
8 establish law and order and to take all measures to prevent looting and
9 any other type of crime.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now --
12 A. This can be seen on the basis of our reports.
13 Q. Next page. Next page, page 4 of B/C/S -- of the B/C/S version.
14 Paragraph 2, will you please put that up.
15 "According to information obtained by the security organ of the
16 Guards Brigade, Muharem Besic, Captain first class, Chief of Security of
17 the 453rd Motorised Brigade, while staying in the Negoslavci area with
18 members of the reserve forces of the military police, unlawfully issued to
19 civilians special permits in the attachment, thereby preventing any
20 misuse. The members of the military police authorise in this way cruelly
21 mistreated citizens and even carried out assassinations based on their own
22 decisions. It was in this way that the messenger of the commander of the
23 Croatian armed forces in Vukovar was killed, although it was well known
24 who this person was and this made any further gathering of important
25 intelligence impossible."
1 Mr. Sljivancanin, can you tell us anything about this and what was
2 your personal assignment in relation to this?
3 A. This was recorded at the time and it says that - and this was
4 true - security organs have no -- how should I put it, power to protect
5 anyone, not even one of their own. Each man fends for himself. What we
6 recorded here reflects what we learned at the time. This unit in which
7 this Chief of Security was, this gentleman, left our area as soon as the
8 4th or 5th of October. We forwarded information that we had to those in
9 charge who were to continue processing this intelligence and gathering
10 more intelligence as well as to make an assessment as to whether these
11 were mere rumours or whether there was any substance to these stories. Our
12 job was to forward this report, and then the higher levels of intelligence
13 were supposed to verify this information and to collate it if necessary.
14 Sometimes you can have information that is reliable. When intelligence
15 work is being carried out based on that, it is our job to stop this work
16 being carried out and to report any suspicions of falseness.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think at this point,
18 we deserve a rest.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
20 MR. MOORE: Right. Could I just clarify one or two small matters
21 just to assist me. I may be in error. Is my learned friend saying
22 that -- as far as I can understand it, that Mr. Sljivancanin is saying
23 that he was -- is he believed it to be, only the security organ for the
24 1st Guards Motorised Brigade as opposed to OG South? Because that is my
25 understanding. And if that is the case, I've not seen that in my 65 ter
1 summary. I've not seen it in any of the supplementary notes. I have not
2 been aware of it being put to any of the witnesses. There are three or
3 four witnesses, certainly I would have thought it should have been put
4 to. But if I am in error, then I apologise. But could he possibly
5 clarify that, with the Court's leave.
6 JUDGE PARKER: My understanding is that of yours, Mr. Moore.
7 Is it correct, Mr. Lukic?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like that to be the first
9 question I ask Mr. Sljivancanin tomorrow: What is his personal view of OG
10 South? That is one thing.
11 The other thing is, while cross-examining witness Vukosavljevic, I
12 put our case to him in no uncertain terms; namely, that Sljivancanin, or
13 rather, the Chief of Security of the Guards Brigade, and I was using the
14 expression "OG South," whereas Mr. Sljivancanin is adamant we should keep
15 saying the "Guards Brigade," and tomorrow I'm about to explain that, or
16 rather, he's about to explain that to us, that he was not in charge. And
17 that was the sort of question that the witness Vukosavljevic was being
18 asked. So the relationship between Operations Group South and the
19 security organ is something that we have, so far, put to all of our
20 witnesses in no uncertain terms.
21 Mr. Sljivancanin has a view on Operations Group South. It's his
22 own view. I was going to be asking that as the very first question
23 tomorrow morning, because that may require a minute or two for his answer
24 to be given, and then you will be familiar with his position on this very
25 issue. He was a member of the command of OG South. You will hear more
1 about that, too. However, he believes that he was not the Chief of
2 Security of OG South. That's his position. He'll explain it himself.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It appears, Mr. Moore, we must wait in patience.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May I just ask something, for this
5 last document to be admitted, Your Honours, because we didn't enter it.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Can I be clear how you describe this document?
7 It's dated the 13th of October, as I understand it; is that correct?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And what is it?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The document, dated the 13th of
11 October, it contains a report dated the 12th of October, which you had
12 previously seen. It's the handwritten report. If you look at the
13 English, you will see both documents right there. They're very similar.
14 I just wanted to give you the technical background of how exactly these
15 reports are sent.
16 I will call it the information dated the 13th of October by the
17 Chief of Security of the cabinet for the Federal Secretary for All
18 People's Defence.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 820, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn until tomorrow, at 9.00.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1:48 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day of
24 October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.