1 Monday, 30 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Sljivancanin takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. We're ready to continue with the
7 evidence of Mr. Sljivancanin.
8 I would remind you, Mr. Sljivancanin, of the affirmation that you
9 made at the beginning of your evidence which still applies.
10 Mr. Lukic.
11 WITNESS: VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to all the
15 participants in these proceedings.
16 Mr. Sljivancanin, good afternoon.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. If you remember correctly, on Friday, if I can put it that way, we
19 sort of rounded off your testimony with the end of your stay in Vukovar,
20 so I would actually like to add a few questions to that very shortly.
21 Do you remember when you returned from Vukovar? Did you return
22 together with your unit and if so, do you remember the date?
23 A. I remember it was a Sunday and the date was the 24th of November,
24 1991. I returned around 2200 hours to Belgrade.
25 Q. Now we are going to look at a few more documents. These are your
1 reports. So we're going to comment on those reports. Before that, we
2 spoke about your reports generally and we looked at them too. How often
3 did you send reports from the Vukovar front that went to the assistant for
4 security at the SSNO and to the security administration? How often were
5 these reports written?
6 A. These reports were written or sent sometimes every three days,
7 sometimes every other day, depending on the information gathered and the
8 needs involved in terms of my reporting.
9 Q. On Friday, when you described that telephone conversation with the
10 security administration in the evening of the 20th of November, you
11 testified about that. In relation to that oral conversation, did you
12 write a written report about that or not?
13 A. The day I testified, you interrupted me. After the TV programme
14 was over, I went to the premises where the security organ was and I wrote
15 a report regarding security which I sent on the 21st of November to
16 Belgrade. In that report, as far as I can remember, I briefly described
17 what I did or, rather, what the security organs did, and I also wrote that
18 part of the suspects, the crime suspects that were brought to the barracks
19 were taken over by the government of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now, I would like to
22 look at two or three documents. Could two of them go -- be dealt with in
23 private session because a witness is being referred to that requires
24 private session. So could we please just deal with that in private
1 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
2 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We're confused, Mr. Lukic, whether the document
25 should be under seal or in public. You dealt with it in private but the
1 content doesn't seem to be ...
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid -- well, perhaps we could
3 wait for the break and then I will check. I'm afraid that when we
4 questioned a certain witness during our cross-examination that we asked
5 him about certain facts from this document, so in that sense, perhaps it
6 should be under seal because that was in public session. So perhaps --
7 but if you like, I can check that part of the transcript during the break
8 and then I can come back to you with that.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We will just leave that for the moment,
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document is a document
12 marked -- I mean from the 65 ter list, it is 15, so it can be dealt with
13 in public; 3D050066. It is a document that is entitled "Use of Units of
14 the Military Police in Carrying Out Combat Activities," dated the 10th of
15 December, 1991.
16 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, just in a word or two, not to analyse the
17 document, who is the author of this document and who was it sent to and
18 for what purpose?
19 A. I am the author of this document as well. After returning --
20 after the units returned from carrying out their mission in Vukovar, it
21 says here, on the 10th of December, 1991, at the request of the chief of
22 the security administration, I wrote my own positions and views with
23 regard to using the units of the military police in combat activities and
24 my proposals as to what should be done.
25 Q. That does belong to the duties of the security organs, using the
1 military police and proposing measures for using the military police;
3 A. That is one of the tasks involved in the specialist direction of
4 the military police and of security organs.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we get a number for this document,
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 841, Your Honours.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The last document that I wish to
10 analyse now -- again, for a moment, I would like to move into private
11 session, and then we are going to take a position as to whether this
12 document can later be exhibited in public because of part of its content.
13 This is a document that is also from the 65 ter list and I think it is
14 number 16. It's the document numbered 3D050070. It is a document also
15 addressed to the security administration. It is entitled, "The Course of
16 Combat Activities in the Fighting for Vukovar." The date is the 10th of
17 December, 1991.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "The Liberation of
20 Interpreter's note: We do not have any of these documents.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 13677 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] During the break, I'm going to check
11 this out and I'm also going to consult Mr. Moore to see what his position
12 is regarding these documents.
13 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, let's move on to another subject and then let's
14 draw this to a close. You heard the testimony of Mrs. Florence Hartmann;
15 there's no problem mentioning her name now. Were you in Vukovar in 1992?
16 And did you talk to her? And why did you go to Vukovar then? You
17 remember what her evidence was.
18 A. I heard here the testimony of Madam Florence Hartmann, and, to
19 tell you the truth, I was surprised. I was in Vukovar in 1991 but not in
20 order to celebrate. I went to pay my respects to the victims, especially
21 two young men who got killed as they were helping me to get out the body
22 of my late driver, Popovic. And I went straight to the cemetery in
23 Vukovar. I did not meet with anyone, but I believe that I would have
24 remembered the lady, had I met her. I first saw her here in this
25 courtroom, and before that I saw her once on television.
1 I read the words that she said here in her notebook. It is
2 correct that I said then that "This is Yugoslavia and this is Montenegro,"
3 when I made a statement for Radio Vukovar, because many were provoking me
4 and asking me how I could come without a passport. I never had a passport
5 and I did not have it even when I was brought to The Hague. I believe
6 that she recorded these words in her notebook from that statement because
7 it was broadcast several times on that day in Vukovar.
8 Q. In view of the documents that we have seen here before this Court,
9 obviously, towards the end of 1992, the media started talking about the
10 discovery of the mass grave at Ovcara. When did you hear about this event
11 and about the story about Ovcara, and what was your position at that time
12 when you heard about it?
13 A. Regarding your first question, I forgot. At that time, I had
14 collected some money and I took it to the children of these killed people
15 who were salvaging my driver, and that was one of the principal reasons
16 why I was going to Vukovar at that time.
17 As regards your second question which you have just put to me, the
18 media at the time carried a lot of misinformation. In fact, I did not
19 read much of the press at the time, especially not the so-called yellow
20 press. I did not believe that something of the kind could happen, nor
21 could have happened, nor did I know that anything of the kind had
22 happened. And, as sometime in 1993, I went to Podgorica, there was less
23 talk about it there. I actually did not believe the press, what was being
24 said in the papers, and I didn't pay much attention to it then.
25 Q. I shall now ask you something about the statements that you gave
1 to the security administration and before the military court. Please be
2 so kind as to give me brief answers so that we can go through this
3 quickly. Probably the OTP will have some other questions in that
4 connection and we shall leave that to them.
5 You were called - I believe that I can, in fact, be leading when
6 asking you this question - in February 1998 to the security
7 administration. My question is: When you went for that talk on the 14th
8 of February, were you told what the reason for your having been called to
9 that talk was?
10 A. In February 1998, I attended the National Defence School as a
11 trainee. It was Saturday; I remember that well. The chief of the centre
12 called me and he gave me the phone to talk to the Chief of Staff, General
13 Perisic. So I took it and I called him and he said that I was to go to
14 the chief of security, Aca Dmitrijevic, the chief in the security
15 administration. I didn't know why.
16 When I arrived there, General Aca Dmitrijevic told me that we were
17 to talk about the events in Vukovar, actually, what I knew at that point
18 in time about Vukovar. And he assigned Colonel Branko Gajic to talk to me
19 and he conducted this interview with me all day, from 11.00 a.m. to,
20 perhaps, 1900 hours. I cannot remember with precision, but it took the
21 whole day. That, I know for a fact.
22 I asked him to give me the reports that I was writing at the time
23 and had written prior to that, because I could not recall all the details,
24 or to let me go and find the notebook of mine. Mr. Gajic told me that it
25 wasn't necessary; that it was important that I tell him what I knew about
1 it. And he asked me not to make any references to any names, except
2 Mr. Mrksic, Mr. Radic and me, myself, and some people that were there
3 working with me, because they were referred to in the indictment of the
4 Tribunal at The Hague, and that I should not be calling out any other
6 Q. On that occasion, were you read the indictment of the OTP of the
7 Tribunal at The Hague?
8 A. No, it was not.
9 Q. Were you presented at that time any material from that period -
10 any orders, reports, working diaries, notebooks, statements by persons?
11 A. No, nothing of the kind was presented to me, although I asked them
12 to give me at least a couple of my own documents that I had written in
13 order for me to remember certain things. But I was given no material.
14 Q. Was it made possible for you to consult any attorney, any lawyer,
15 at that time in connection with the topics that were being discussed?
16 A. No, it was not. I said, the moment I arrived there for talks, we
17 started and I had to stay there until 7.00 p.m. And actually, I said much
18 more than is contained in this official memorandum which was dictated by
19 an official and he actually dictated more things that he wanted to go into
20 that statement than my very words.
21 Q. Upon finishing that conversation, were you given a copy of the
22 statement for you to keep?
23 A. No. No statement was given to me. That statement was not given
24 to me. In fact, after I finished -- I had finished my account, we had a
25 bit of an argument, so to speak, because I said that I wouldn't go on
1 talking anymore as the gentleman was insisting on putting things down the
2 way he saw fit, without any references to any names that were crucial in
3 certain terms; people from the security administration who had been coming
4 to Vukovar and that of Mr. Aca Vasiljevic.
5 So I said that I was going to leave the office, that I was hungry,
6 that I could no longer listen to that. I told them, "Give me what you
7 have to sign," and I didn't even read, frankly speaking, what it was that
8 I was signing.
9 Q. Sometime in the winter of that year, you also were heard before
10 the military court in the capacity of witness, which statement will
11 probably be presented to you as well. Let me ask you a couple of
12 questions connected to that particular procedure.
13 First of all, on that occasion, as we can see from the transcript,
14 The Hague investigators, the OTP's investigators, were also there. Were
15 you handed the indictment of the Tribunal at The Hague?
16 A. I don't remember it having -- that it was handed over to me, the
17 indictment, that is. I remember that I received a summons for appearing
18 before the court and I arrived in the court. Having arrived there, I
19 waited for a while in the waiting room; then they ushered me in. I took
20 the stand and immediately the giving of my testimony started.
21 Q. You don't remember whether an indictment was given to you. Do you
22 remember whether the indictment was retold to you; and if so, were you
23 given any time to give it some thought prior to beginning to make your own
25 A. I believe that in the introductory remarks, when the judge was
1 introducing the case, he said that I had been summoned in connection with
2 The Hague indictment about events at Ovcara in 1991. I believe that that
3 is how he ushered in the case. And he said that people from the Tribunal
4 at The Hague were present and, as far as I can recall, they were sitting
5 to my right-hand side, three of them.
6 Then the questions immediately started, and I replied to the
7 questions being put to me by his honour, the judge, and I do not remember
8 any other details.
9 It goes without saying that what I was telling them, he then
10 retold -- re-dictated to the typist in his own words and he typed it down.
11 Q. On that day, before the examination, during the examination, did
12 you get from the examining magistrate any material associated with the
13 indictment, any document? Were you given or shown any document by anyone
14 when your statement was being taken?
15 A. No one gave me any materials or any documents associated with the
17 Q. On that occasion, did anyone read you your rights as a person
18 accused before the Tribunal at The Hague, according to the Statute of this
19 Tribunal then?
20 A. No, no, there was no mention of it at all.
21 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, when you stated your first views, so to speak,
22 on the indictment, which was in the summer, I believe, of 1993, do you --
23 2003 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear counsel, who could
25 kindly slow down.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. -- were you given any documents? Do you remember that?
3 Would you repeat, sir, when you were giving -- when you were
4 stating -- making your plea as to your guilt before this Tribunal, do you
5 remember whether you got any accompanying/supporting material with the
7 A. Yes, I remember that I did get such material. I was without
8 counsel then, so that people here in the courtroom actually gave it to me.
9 I do remember.
10 Q. Had you seen that material ever before?
11 A. I saw those materials for the first time when I arrived here.
12 Q. I'm drawing to a close my examination. I wanted us to go in
13 details through the specific paragraphs of the indictment, but I believe
14 that we have dealt with a lot of those through your testimony.
15 Mr. Sljivancanin, when you were stating your plea in connection
16 with this indictment of this Tribunal and before your first initial
17 appearance, and also later when the indictment was amended, you pled not
18 guilty. You are now speaking under oath and I am asking you, in
19 connection with just one topic, one subject, because I believe we have
20 dealt with the other topics so far.
21 You have read the indictment. You see that it is the contention
22 of the OTP that you are a participant in the joint criminal enterprise
23 with inter alia Mr. Mrksic and Radic and other known and unknown persons
24 whose goal was to persecute non-Serbs from the Vukovar Hospital after the
25 fall of Vukovar by way of murder and extermination. This is, of course, a
1 paraphrase but you know what my question is: Did you know of any
2 enterprise, of any agreement, to commit this crime as stated in the
3 indictment, and did you participate in it?
4 A. Many of these things in the indictment have been written
5 arbitrarily and as someone saw fit. First and foremost, I never
6 participated in any agreements or enterprises.
7 Mr. Mrksic was my superior and I had a professional position
8 vis-a-vis all the tasks that he gave me. He never issued me any order
9 which was in contravention of the law, nor did he ever require anything of
10 the kind from me. And then I would not have executed any order that would
11 have been outside the ambit of my duty.
12 Mr. Radic was a company commander and I saw him, I mean, tour the
13 company, the front line, several times, just as I did the other
14 commanders. I never issued him any orders, nor did he have any need to
15 associate with me in regard of any question. He had his own superior
16 commanding officers.
17 Q. Did you hear that such an agreement existed between any persons
18 while you were there in the territory of Vukovar for the commission of
19 such a crime?
20 A. I only heard about anything of the kind from this indictment that
21 I read here for the first time, and I know that there were never any such
22 agreements at that time. Had there been any such deals being made, we
23 would have taken measures to prevent them, certainly.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with my examination.
25 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, would you like to add something which you
1 believe I have, perhaps, omitted to ask and which you believe is of
2 importance and should be stated here before the Trial Chamber, and relates
3 to the events we discussed the last three days?
4 A. I should like to ask the Chamber, if it is necessary - and I am
5 endeavouring to be as brief as possible and not to tire everybody -
6 perhaps they will ask me something about what I wanted to say, so if I
7 could ask the Trial Chamber to ask me their questions, and if I feel that
8 I haven't been asked that crucial question, then I shall say it myself, by
9 your leave, Your Honours.
10 Q. You heard what Mr. Radic had to say to the Trial Chamber prior to
11 redirect, but I should like to ask you to say what it is that you want to
12 say before this Tribunal. Of course, they will be topics that will be the
13 subject of redirect and cross-examination as well.
14 A. If there is something that I wish to say, this is something which
15 distresses me the most as a human being; the fact that I should feature in
16 this kind of an indictment, and that the crime which was conceived of, as
17 I said in my introductory remarks before this august Chamber, by non-human
18 beings, by cowards and by [Realtime transcript read in error "my"]
19 psychopaths in order to tarnish the prestige and the dignity of all of us
20 who loved Yugoslavia and of all members of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army who
21 honourably discharged what they had pledged to, in order to inflict great
22 pain and suffering on the families of the victims.
23 Thinking whether I should take the stand, I decided that I,
24 indeed, should sit in this chair and say the truth about everything that I
25 know in order not to have the reputation and dignity of the honourable
1 members of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army tarnished, that of me, myself, and
2 that of my family; and also in order to respond to all those who have used
3 the media in a bid to present many things untruthfully; so that I could
4 tell what the truth is; and also, when it comes to the families of the
5 people who were unfortunately killed at Ovcara, to tell their families
6 what it is that I know and to try and, if at all possible, alleviate their
7 pain, to tell them what I know.
8 I am here. I have taken the stand. I am at your disposal.
9 Please ask me all and any questions. I will say everything that I know.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On page 16, there is a correction,
12 line 16. The transcript says "my psychopaths" and, of course, the witness
13 has just said "psychopaths."
14 Thank you, Your Honours, I have finished with my
15 examination-in-chief at this point.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
17 Mr. Moore.
18 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, could I possibly ask the Court's
19 indulgence for 15 minutes, for the Court to rise for 15 minutes. It's for
20 the following reason:
21 Files have been prepared for cross-examination. There was a
22 typographical error, or errors, and I want to make absolutely certain that
23 it has been done properly so that when we commence - and I believe we may
24 commence in cross-examination on behalf of the Prosecution - sooner rather
25 than later, then there will not be the danger of any problems, and that
1 perhaps 15 minutes spent now will ensure that there will be no
2 difficulties later on.
3 JUDGE PARKER: You want this before we hear from Mr. Vasic and
4 Mr. Borovic.
5 MR. MOORE: I just wanted to make sure that if there was any
6 error, if there was any error, that it would be dealt with now when
7 there's cross-examination going on that does not relate to us. Otherwise,
8 it would be not desirable for documents to be in the wrong position.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, is it your intention to put questions to
11 the witness? It is?
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Indeed, it is. I
13 don't have too many questions, but yes, I will have questions.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
15 Mr. Borovic.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think I
17 will need about ten minutes, also. Thank you.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 Mr. Moore, the members of the Chamber are not altogether clear
20 about your concern. In view of what Mr. Vasic and Mr. Borovic have said,
21 do you still feel the break now is important?
22 MR. MOORE: There are 32 documents that have been put into a file
23 and there are three other files. I want to make absolutely certain that
24 they are accurate. There have been problems with the machines upstairs in
25 relation to the documents going through for those files. I could leave
1 it, quite clearly, until the conclusion of Mr. Borovic's
2 cross-examination. Then I would hope we would have reached the break, but
3 we would not have the time to use -- to repair or to alter anything. I
4 would like to have the documents to start immediately because that way,
5 then, the cross-examination can flow without any fear of interruption. As
6 I said, the machine, unfortunately, has jumped at some paper and has
7 created problems.
8 JUDGE PARKER: We will take our first break now and resume at half
9 past 3.00, Mr. Moore.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.05 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 3.30 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
13 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, may I just thank the Court for the time.
14 We have the documents, and perhaps I prayed a little harder today than
15 normal, but they're all available.
16 JUDGE PARKER: If we've managed to get you to do that, we have
17 achieved a great deal in the interests of humanity, Mr. Moore.
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I conducted some checks but I can only
20 tell you about them in private session, about the documents that we spoke
21 of earlier.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 13690 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Examination by Mr. Vasic:
6 Q. Good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom. Good afternoon, Your
7 Honours. Good afternoon, Mr. Sljivancanin. Witness, good afternoon.
8 I am going to ask you the same thing that Mr. Lukic asked you;
9 namely, to make a brief pause after my question and I will do the same
10 after your answer so that the interpretation service can interpret our
11 dialogue and so that everything can be recorded properly. Thank you.
12 First of all, I'd like to start with a topic where I think there
13 was a slip of the tongue in your evidence, and it has to do with Colonel
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see on our screens
16 Exhibit 404, which is the order that instructed Colonel Pavkovic to go to
18 Q. As we are waiting for this document, let me ask you: Do you know
19 that in 1991, during this period of time, what was the post held by
20 Colonel Pavkovic?
21 A. Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Federal
22 Secretary or Federal Minister.
23 Q. You said Federal Secretary of ...
24 A. National Defence.
25 Q. Thank you. Based on the order that we can see on our screens, it
1 was precisely the Federal Secretary who had sent Colonel Pavkovic to
2 Negoslavci, and in item 4 of this report -- of this order, it says that
3 Colonel Pavkovic is expected to send reports, observations, and proposals
4 to the cabinet of the Federal Secretary. Does this mean that Colonel
5 Pavkovic, at the time, was sent there as some kind of a supervisor,
6 somebody who is supposed to check how things were going, as a
7 representative of the Superior Command?
8 A. I know that Mr. Pavkovic was in Negoslavci throughout the entire
9 time; that he cooperated with Mr. Mrksic; and that very frequently he
10 acted as a sort of a supervisor, somebody who was there to control the
11 work of others. He was the only one authorised to give any sort of
12 criticism to Colonel Mrksic.
13 Q. Thank you. Given that Colonel Pavkovic had come from the Superior
14 Command, Colonel Mrksic was not his superior because that would have
15 violated the chain of command and the principle of singleness of command.
16 What Colonel Mrksic could do, though, was to entrust him with certain
17 tasks upon prior agreement with him.
18 A. Pursuant to the regulations that were in force in the Yugoslav
19 Peoples' Army at the time, since Pavkovic came from the Superior Command,
20 it is true that Mrksic was unable to issue any assignments to him.
21 However, they were able to carry out many assignments in cooperation, upon
22 prior agreement between the two of them. Naturally, there should have
23 been, perhaps, an instruction from the Federal Secretary or the Chief of
24 Staff of the Federal Secretary, and I had nothing to do with that. It was
25 completely outside of my responsibilities. But he could have supervised
1 how the implementation of these assignments was conducted.
2 Q. Thank you. While we're still dealing with Colonel Pavkovic, and
3 in relation to something you gave about here, namely, the evacuation of
4 the Vukovar Hospital, I would like to see Exhibit 314 on our screens,
5 please, page -- with ERN number 04687773.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] While we're waiting, let me clarify.
7 This is an excerpt from the notes of Mr. Kypr, which was the notebook used
8 by Mr. Lukic yesterday. This is a different excerpt from that notebook.
9 No, that's not the right page. 04687773. This is an entry --
10 THE REGISTRAR: I apologise, but Exhibit 314 has only got one page
11 and it's the one currently displayed on the screens.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] In that case, I need to apologise. I
13 was given a wrong reference. Just a minute, please. I need to verify the
14 number under which this was filed; namely, the diary of Mr. Kypr.
15 While we're looking for the number, let me just explain what this
16 concerns. This is an entry made by Mr. Kypr - the exhibit number is 344,
17 I apologise - namely, this is an entry about Colonel Pavkovic saying that
18 the wounded members of paramilitary formations need to remain here and
19 that it was ultimately resolved with General Raseta.
20 This page is going to come up. This is page 04687773. Can we
21 please zoom in on the first portion.
22 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, do you see this entry at the very beginning of
23 the page?
24 A. I see the page but I can't read anything on it, nor do I
25 understand what's written on it.
1 Q. I'm going to try and read this out and then you can follow.
2 "The wounded members of paramilitary formations need to remain
3 here. This was definitely resolved with General Raseta."
4 Do you know anything about the conversations between General
5 Raseta and Colonel Pavkovic regarding this?
6 A. At the time Colonel Pavkovic never informed me, nor did he tell me
7 about any conversations he had with anyone else, because he was from the
8 Superior Command. Now, as to whether he informed Colonel Mrksic about
9 this or not, I don't know. You need to ask the two of them about that.
10 Now, another matter that has to do with the chain of command and
11 with relations that existed between them, item 35 of the rules of service
12 in the armed forces specifies that, in a particular area or in a garrison
13 or in the barracks, the most senior officer is the one so designated by
14 the commander.
15 If Colonel Mrksic had received an order, which I didn't see, from
16 the commander of the Military District about him being the commander,
17 then, in terms of discipline, he was able to specify certain rules for
18 everyone, including Colonel Pavkovic. I know for a fact that Colonel
19 Pavkovic frequently contacted the Chief of Staff, the chef du cabinet, of
20 the Federal Secretary and some generals from the General Staff. And as
21 for what kind of orders and assignments he received from them, I know
22 nothing about that.
23 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to turn to another topic which, once
24 again, has to do with the evidence you gave; namely, when you mentioned
25 that the commissioner of the Croatian government for Vukovar called the
1 command in Negoslavci at one point in time, and that a meeting with
2 Colonel Mrksic was scheduled for the following day, in the afternoon, and
3 that you were informed of the substance of these talks; namely, the
4 conditions of surrender which Colonel Mrksic, in your words, conveyed to
5 the Croatian government commissioner.
6 I'd like to know whether these conditions of surrender pertained
7 to the entire paramilitary forces of Croatia, those which were in the
8 inner urban area, including Borovo Naselje, since Mitnica had been cut off
9 the minute the units of the JNA took that area.
10 A. I know for a fact that Colonel Mrksic spoke sometime in the
11 morning, at around 9.00, or perhaps even earlier, at 8.00. At any rate,
12 it was not yet 10.00 in the morning. I know that he talked to Mr. Vidic
13 and that he dictated to him very specific conditions for surrender. I was
14 present when they talked. I listened to that conversation.
15 Later on, Mr. Mrksic said that he hesitated and that he wasn't
16 sure that everybody would agree to those conditions and that he would let
17 him know later on. I know that this pertained to the forces which were in
18 the central area of Vukovar and in the area towards the hospital. I can't
19 be sure that Borovo Naselje was included because I didn't listen on.
20 Colonel Mrksic had the phone in his hands. But I remember when Colonel
21 Mrksic said that all those with weapons need to go to the stadium - and I
22 told you that I could point that stadium out - and that if they
23 surrendered and dropped their weapons, not a hair would be harmed on their
24 heads. And as far as I remember, at least not to my knowledge, there were
25 no further contacts with Marin Vidic. He did not call later on, and if I
1 am mistaken, then Colonel Mrksic can tell you what he knows.
2 Q. We heard from many witnesses here about what happened after
3 members of these paramilitary formations went to the hospital; namely,
4 some went to the hospital and some left Vukovar. I'd like to know whether
5 you know when the commander of the Vukovar defence, called Mladi Jastreb,
6 left Vukovar?
7 A. I know based on my talks with Mrs. Vesna Bosanac and Mr. Marin
8 Vidic. I inquired, I said that I wanted to meet those people because I
9 knew that they had been officers of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, and I
10 wanted to see what was it that prompted them to fire at each other and to
11 kill our own soldiers, those that we had trained together with until
12 recently. And this is what Mrs. Vesna Bosanac told me: "You will never
13 find the two of them. They had escaped from Vukovar five days ago. Don't
14 look for them. The only ones who remained faithful to this town and to
15 these people are Marin Vidic and myself. There are others as well who
16 didn't manage to flee. They changed their clothes and they hid in the
17 hospital. I will point out those people to you. And as for when he left,
18 I truly don't know that."
19 Later on, in the evening, Marin Vidic, when talking, confirmed the
20 same thing that Mrs. Vesna Bosanac said. And, coincidently, as I have
21 quite a lot of time available to me here in prison, I frequently watch
22 Croatian television; they have good programmes and I understand the
23 language. And last year, I watched a TV programme - it was the
24 anniversary of the liberation of Vukovar - and there were two men in that
25 programme, including some other people who wrote books about Vukovar, and
1 these same questions were put to both of these men as to when they had
2 left Vukovar and why. This gentleman, who was nicknamed Mladi Jastreb, if
3 I can say so, was barely able to stutter that he had left before the 17th,
4 but he wouldn't give the precise date as to when he had left. That's all
5 I know.
6 Q. Thank you. You said that you talked to Marin Vidic and Vesna
7 Bosanac. Are you familiar with the details surrounding the attempt of
8 Marin Vidic to negotiate the surrender with Goran Hadzic, who, at the
9 time, was the Prime Minister of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western
10 Srem, and immediately prior to the fall of Vukovar, which is to say, from
11 the 15th to the 18th of November?
12 A. When I talked to Mr. Marin Vidic, he was a man prepared to say
13 many a thing. We had come to a sort of meeting of minds, to a common
14 position; namely, we thought -- both thought that it was ugly that things
15 should have come to that point where combat operations had to be carried
16 out. And I believe I think -- I remember that there was this attempt, but
17 the meeting did not come about. I cannot remember why not. But he gave
18 me three letters which he had written to the president of -- the then
19 President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Franjo Tudjman, and I submitted
20 those letters to the security administration.
21 In these letters, he described in detail that it was not good that
22 there should have been armed combat. He wrote how a lieutenant of the
23 Yugoslav Peoples' Army had been killed who had come to a session of the
24 municipality, the municipal assembly of Vukovar. He was an assemblyman
25 and he came to this assembly session in Vukovar in 1991, after which
1 session he was treacherously killed. He told me the following: In his
2 view, the army had also done wrong, and it was wrong, as he put it, three
4 The first time was in August, in the month of August, when the
5 army entered the city and was able to control the city and all of a
6 sudden, it just withdrew. I wasn't there then. I don't know why it
8 The second time it was remiss was between the -- was the period
9 between the 2nd and 10th of October, when they felt that a disciplined and
10 strong unit was there; and the minute they wanted to lay down their arms,
11 the army stopped. I remember that -- I remember that. And we stopped
12 because we had received orders to the effect that all combat operations
13 were to cease, that the convoy be let into Vukovar. And we had no combat
14 operations, we did not conduct anything until the 20th.
15 The third time it was wrong, he said, was when the army stopped,
16 on the 10th of November, having reach Milovo Brdo. Then, again, they also
17 wanted to lay down their arms but we stopped because we had no troops,
18 because the reserve force had left. We had discharged many volunteers for
19 lack of discipline and we were afraid lest we be surrounded.
20 And this is what the Mr. Marin Vidic personally told me in this
21 talk that we conducted. I can say here publicly that he treated me very
22 fair and that the conversation that we had was a very correct one.
23 Also, he told me this, when I asked him, "Why did you burn our
24 soldiers?" And I have to say to this distinguished and honourable Chamber
25 that, of the ten people who went missing and we couldn't find, I only
1 found five burned bodies, their five bodies, in the street of Sremski
2 Boraca. They also showed me six mounds. I asked Mr. Vidic why these
3 bodies had been burned, and he told me this: At a certain meeting,
4 President Tudjman had told them that the then well-known Serbian
5 nationalist Vuk Draskovic had said that the borders of Serbia would be
6 where Serb graves are, and it was ordered that they should not be,
7 therefore, buried but burned. I was really surprised by that, but I
8 presumed that he was telling the truth. And he gave me his log, his
9 diary, in which he had written that down, which diary I then handed over
10 to the security administration.
11 Q. Please tell me, on that occasion, did he tell you that the session
12 of the government of the Republic of Croatia discussed, on the 17th of
13 November, whether to allow Mr. Vidic to negotiate with Goran Hadzic or
14 not? Did he tell you anything about that particular issue?
15 A. At that time he had numerous objections levelled at the leadership
16 and top of the Croatian government and authorities. He had the most
17 criticism for Mr. Tudjman.
18 I cannot remember all the details, but I know that he had a lot of
19 objections levelled against the conduct of the Croatian leadership, and,
20 as he put it, then he was in favour of a peaceful coexistence of all the
21 people who were living in Vukovar then. This is what he told me and I
22 believe that that is also what he meant, that he really believed in that.
23 Q. Thank you. In your testimony, we saw some footage in which you
24 also touched upon the question of the relationship of the JNA vis-a-vis
25 the civilians - women, children, and the elderly - and, in fact, the
1 desire of the JNA for the women, children, and the elderly to be taken out
2 of Vukovar already in October 1991.
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I should now like to ask that we take
4 a look at video 1D42, the mark it bears. It is from a Croatian television
5 programme called Latinica.
6 We have a technical glitch. Just a minute. Obviously this is a
7 major technical problem, or at least more than I thought. Let us go to
8 another topic and hopefully we shall be able to see this video a bit
10 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you spoke about the establishment of
11 the Operations Group South --
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I started dealing with
14 another topic but then the video started. Obviously, we can't continue
15 with that so I'll resume this subject.
16 Q. So you spoke about Operations Group South and you presented your
17 position as part of the units which were at the Vukovar front line at that
18 time. I should like to know whether you were there during the change-over
19 of duty between the command of the Operations Group command -- the
20 Operations Group South command, led by Bajo Bojat, and the command of the
21 Guards Motorised Brigade, headed by Commander Milan Mrksic, because, in
22 the war log, the entry for the 8th of October states that there, indeed,
23 was such a change-over of duty.
24 A. I remember that the -- I said that I remember that for a while the
25 commander was Bajo Bojat and the Chief of Staff was Ljubicic, and that
1 they were accommodated in a house on the outskirts of Negoslavci, in the
2 direction of Vukovar, closer to there.
3 In the initial days of the combat operations, I very often was, as
4 I have said, on the front line because of my operational duties, and I
5 really do not remember having attended such a meeting. I cannot recall
6 one. Perhaps one was held. If it is entered in the war log, it probably
7 took place, but I cannot remember having attended it.
8 What I do remember is that on one occasion I attended a meeting
9 when General Zivota Panic came, when I was supposed to bring Lieutenant
10 Colonel Novakovic from the barracks in order for them to explain to him
11 that he was no longer independent but shall be subordinated to Commander
12 Mrksic. But I didn't manage to do that and General Panic later just
13 removed that lieutenant colonel, so to speak, from that zone. This is
14 what I remember.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether certain chiefs of the services
16 and branches within the command of the Guards Brigade were issued orders
17 that they would be thereafter chiefs of the services and branches of the
18 Operations Group, or was this dealt with by a change-over document? What
19 do you know about this?
20 A. What I know is that we worked the most and devoted the most
21 attention to the discharge of the task of lifting the blockade on the
22 barracks and the disarming of the paramilitary units in the city of
23 Vukovar, and that task, as you can see, by the orders and commands here,
24 was carried out by the Guards Brigade in conjunction with the Territorial
25 Defence detachment of Vukovar.
1 I don't know whether the other chiefs had any powers, and what
2 powers they had. They knew what their duty and work was. But I never
3 received any orders, nor did I know that I was the chief of security of
4 Operations Group South. And let me emphasise, also, according to the
5 rules of service, the work of security organs does not involve specialised
6 direction in ad hoc formations, in terms of the work of security organs.
7 Q. Tell me, from what we hear now, it emanates that -- it stems that
8 the chief of the security organ in the Guards Brigade only dealt with
9 units of the Guards Brigade. Who discharged this work in other units
10 which were part of the Operations Group South? And where was the
11 singleness of control and command established with these units in terms of
12 the specialised direction of security organs; at which level, namely?
13 A. Organs of security are not units; these are specialised command
14 organs, organs of the command. The organ of security of the brigade is
15 subordinated to the commander of the brigade. I tried to familiarise
16 myself with the entire security situation in the zone of operations or
17 zone of responsibility, what you will, of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
18 Every chief of security of other units also had to be informed and had to
19 inform their commanders, and, according to the specialised technical line
20 of duty, they were to be issued certain tasks in terms of
21 counter-intelligence, estimates, evaluations, and their work from -- would
22 be directed by the organs of the Superior Command in terms of
23 counter-intelligence work.
24 Next, units which were deployed, which came to the area of
25 Vukovar, changed very quickly; units from the 1st Military District,
1 namely. I'm talking about the 453rd Mechanised Brigade. It was,
2 therefore, a very short stint. The Nubia -- the Podunavska Brigade, only
3 for 10 days or so; the 20th Partisan Brigade, some 10 to 20 days or so;
4 and then the 80th Motorised Brigade came which was to inherit that zone
5 from us.
6 It was not -- there was no possibility for establishing any
7 counter-intelligence work and to direct it in any specialised or technical
8 manner with such organs. They are not separate organs which are something
9 separate from the line of duty of their particular unit. This is what I
11 Q. Does this mean that these units which were outside the Guards
12 Brigade, were, in fact, not covered by counter-intelligence in this period
13 during which there was no, as you call it, specialist direction line?
14 Does that mean that?
15 A. No, that does not mean that. It means that it was the territory
16 of the 1st Military District on which they probably had also certain
17 counter-intelligence groups, so to call them. Evidence about that has
18 been given here by Dragoljub Vukosavljevic, the chief of security of the
19 80th Motorised Brigade, who said that he had met some people from those
20 groups. He said so here.
21 But throughout my stay in that terrain, I never met those people
22 or such people, except on the 19th, in the evening, with those who had
23 come there with permission to perform specific tasks. They had specialist
24 direction from their own superior security organs.
25 Q. You mean those officers from the security administration and from
1 the security department of the 1st Military District, I assume?
2 A. I primarily mean the professional organs of security that from the
3 1st Military District that were somewhere in the area of Sid. I don't
4 know where they were exactly.
5 Q. Did you have any knowledge whatsoever about these groups that came
6 from Sid? We heard that from Witness Vukosavljevic without any doubt.
7 They came to the Vukovar front. How long did they stay? What were their
8 tasks? Or did you not know anything about this?
9 A. We did our best to establish full security in the zone of activity
10 of the Guards Brigade; however, you cannot have policemen at every corner
11 and you cannot have them monitoring who is moving about where. Different
12 people could have come as civilians, whatever. No one reported to me and
13 I did not have any knowledge of any one of my security organs having any
14 kind of contact with such persons during our stay in that area.
15 Q. Tell me, according to the rules of your profession, an officer who
16 comes from a counter-intelligence group, would he have to report to the
17 security organ on the territory to which he came?
18 A. I have already said that this was the territory controlled by
19 units of the 1st Military District. That was their territorial
20 jurisdiction. We came for a concrete task and that task of ours was the
21 task of the Guards Brigade; namely, to deblock the barracks and to disarm
22 paramilitary formations in the town of Vukovar. It was not their duty to
23 report to us and to tell us what they were doing in the field of
24 counter-intelligence, nor were they supposed to report to me, as the chief
25 of security of a tactical unit, as the brigade was.
1 Q. Just one more question in relation to this: The members of these
2 counter-intelligence groups, are they also subordinated to the security
3 administration? Is the security administration actually the organ which
4 secures this professional unity in terms of the work of all organs?
5 A. The security administration gave professional specialist direction
6 to the organs of the 1st Military District. The chief of security of the
7 1st Military District had, within his composition, intelligence groups, as
8 far as I know. Now, how he directed them, how he guided them, how they
9 worked, I really cannot say. I don't know.
10 Q. Do you know what kind of security organs existed in the units of
11 the Territorial Defence of Vukovar, in the Leva Supoderica unit? Do you
12 have any knowledge about that, whether the security organs had a network
13 from these units?
14 A. If I'm supposed to give any answers regarding the method of work
15 of security organs, could we please move into private session.
16 Q. By all means.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly ask that
18 we move into private session, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 13706-13707 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honour.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
7 Q. As for these problems of functioning, did Aca Vasiljevic, the then
8 chief of the security administration, did he know about these problems?
9 And you told us about when he came there. Was he aware of the situation?
10 Did he know what the security situation was, or rather, the situation with
11 the security organs in this area?
12 A. When Aca Vasiljevic stayed in Vukovar, he talked to me only about
13 security and the tasks of the security organs in the Guards Brigade, and
14 he gave me advice as to what it was that I should do and how I could best
15 do it. We never talked about any kind of security problems of other
16 units, nor did I ask him anything about it or about the staffs of the
17 Territorial Defence.
18 Q. Thank you. During the examination-in-chief, you mentioned a
19 telegram that you got, and you said that you talked to Mr. Vasiljevic
20 about this telegram on the 19th, after midnight, when he came to
21 Negoslavci, the house that you were staying at. On that occasion, did you
22 get any instructions from him as to where you should provide security for
23 those 2.000 persons for the exchange?
24 A. As far as I remember, I said then to Mr. Vasiljevic that we
25 provided the kind of security that we could provide then for the people
1 who surrendered at Mitnica, and that it would be very difficult to provide
2 security for that many people. He said to me, "Sljivancanin, I sent
3 professional people who know what the tasks are. You are supposed to
4 cooperate with them. They have been through thick and thin. Do your best
5 to carry this task out together."
6 He did not make any special reference to 2.000. He probably knew
7 the figure of people who had been taken prisoner better than I did,
8 figures for the entire JNA. There were many people who were taken
9 prisoner then.
10 Just think of the scenes from the Bjelovar barracks, when, on the
11 3rd of October, the commander of the brigade was killed and when an
12 enormous group of soldiers was taken prisoner in those barracks, and so on
13 and so forth.
14 I believe that Aca Vasiljevic was guided by that. It's not that
15 we had a particular discussion as to it having to be 2.000.
16 Q. You mentioned this group that came to conduct selection or triage
17 of these prisoners of war, and that was from the security administration.
18 In actual fact, was that the task of that group, that you had only
20 A. From the moment they arrived that evening, they primarily took
21 over the focus of this attack in terms of finding the perpetrators of the
22 crime, and we cooperated with regard to all matters, as I have already
23 testified here. I did not go beyond what they had asked me to do.
24 Q. Yes. In your evidence, you said that at one point in time, when,
25 on the 20th of November, you were in the hospital in Vukovar, Colonel
1 Vujic said to you that you should stay in the hospital, that you should
2 check the people who were still there, and that he would regulate the
3 transport of crime suspects, their transport to Sremska Mitrovica. Have I
4 interpreted this properly?
5 A. Well, this is the way it was. Perhaps I made a mistake at some
6 point as I was talking about this. But when the colonel assessed that
7 there was no further work to be done in the hospital, and when he saw that
8 the military police and we, the security organs of the Guards Brigade, are
9 doing our work properly, carrying out the tasks that we came there to
10 accomplish, he left.
11 If I can repeat his exact words, more or less, he said,
12 roughly, "Sljivancanin, I am going to Velepromet. You stay here until the
13 end, until this work is carried out." And he said that he would regulate
14 the rest, that is to say, what was still to be handled at Velepromet.
15 At that point, my understanding was that those people who would
16 additionally be found in Velepromet as crime suspects and who would be
17 brought from other parts of town that were still being searched -
18 different basements, different buildings - as well as these people who
19 were brought from the Vukovar Hospital, they would organise a single
20 convoy and, during the course of the day, all of them together would be
21 transported to Sremska Mitrovica. That is what I meant. If I misspoke, I
22 do apologise.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, this group of officers from the
24 security administration, did it actually have authority given to them by
25 the Supreme Command to carry out what you said just now, that is to say,
1 to select people for this transport and to have them escorted to Sremska
3 A. That's what they did on the evening of the 19th, and the only
4 thing was that the transport of these people, that is to say, the
5 vehicles, were organized by the command of the 1st Military District
6 through our logistics assistant commander, that is to say, of the Guards
7 Brigade. I really do not know enough about this; how many buses and other
8 equipment what unit gave. The logistics assistant commander knows about
9 this better than I do and Colonel Mrksic knows about this better, too. I
10 really am not aware of all of these details who had to do what.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Vasic please keep
12 his microphone off while the witness is speaking. Thank you.
13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will switch off my microphone.
14 The interpreters have asked me to keep the microphone switched.
15 As far as the technical aspect of matters is concerned, I think
16 everything is fine now and I think that we can play this footage, 1D42, an
17 excerpt from 1D42. This is a TV programme of the Croatian television.
18 The programme is called Latinca. So can we watch it a bit of it, please.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Later on I'll
21 ask that this be translated.
22 Q. But let us first establish whether the witness is familiar with
23 this or not, so that we know whether we need to elaborate on it or not.
24 A. This is the footage that I remember seeing on Croatian television
25 last year. This was broadcast in the programme called Latinica, on some
1 other programme. But at any rate, last year, they discussed the Vukovar
2 events for two nights in these TV programme.
3 Q. Yes. This is the Latinica TV programme devoted to the issue of
4 whether Vukovar was betrayed, and it has to do with the October events
5 that you gave evidence about.
6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Could we now play this footage and
7 could I ask the interpreters to interpret the subtitles. I think they are
8 rather clear and not going too fast, and there are only several sentences.
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Listen, there are not enough; right?
11 What we have must be sufficient. Are we going to pull out the civilians?
12 No, no, no. How are you going to do it? How are you going to pull them
13 out? No. Therefore, do you know what conditions they are putting, sir?
14 No, no, that's out of the question. Yes, I agree with you about it, but I
15 would just like to remind you that there are 2.000 children there. What
16 are we going to do about these children? All right. All right. I am
17 still here. You do your job and I'll go and inquire about this. No
18 pull-out can be discussed, not at all.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I'd like to thank the
20 interpreters for the effort they invested in interpreting what was said.
21 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, do you recognise the speakers in this footage?
22 A. The man in the camouflage uniform is the so-called Mile Dadekovic,
23 aka Jastreb, who, at the time, was the commanders of the paramilitary
24 forces in Vukovar, and the other voice is the Croatian president,
25 Mr. Franjo Tudjman.
1 Q. In this conversation, Commander Jastreb wants to pull out the
2 civilians and President Tudjman does not allow that; correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct. And this also reminded me about another
4 occasion when Mr. Marin Vidic told me that children had been taken out of
5 Vukovar to the coast, or something like that, in July of 1991. And he
6 also complained about what the Croatian government did, because they
7 wanted to remove the children out of Vukovar before combat started;
8 however, they didn't allow that. They said that the children needed to
9 come back and that allegedly they would serve as a shield. They would
10 ensure that they would not be attacked. This is what Marin Vidic said.
11 However, I have to tell you, when we reached certain basements in
12 Vukovar, as we swept the terrain in order to ensure that there were no
13 members of the paramilitary formations there, we came across some members
14 of the ZNG who said that they had told civilians that they had to stay in
15 the basements because the JNA would come and slaughter them. So when
16 these civilians saw that we were there to help them, they were surprised.
17 So there were cases like that.
18 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I now tender this
19 footage into evidence.
20 MR. MOORE: I have no objection.
21 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 844, Your Honours.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, we spoke about the cable you received from the
25 security administration, and you said to Mr. Lukic, you described the
1 circumstances of how you received this cable from the communications
2 centre of the brigade. Were there other instructions from the chief of
3 the security organs of the Ministry of Defence that you received in the
4 same way as this cable, or were some other means of communications used,
5 or rather, did you use the same centres of communication?
6 A. I received very little information through the communications
7 centre. One of such pieces of information was this cable, and perhaps I
8 received another one or two such requests throughout the entire combat
9 operation. Everything else arrived by mail, in writing.
10 Q. Does this mean that these cables were urgent, because they were
11 not sent through this regular channel, in writing?
12 A. Yes, it means that it was urgent. We were surprised ourselves.
13 We had very few soldiers at the time, and we did not expect that the
14 paramilitary formations would surrender in Vukovar on that day, at least
15 it was a surprise to me and I believe the same is true of others.
16 Q. Thank you. When answering the questions of Mr. Lukic, you
17 described the evacuation on the 18th from Mitnica. You gave evidence,
18 saying that the members of Croatian paramilitary forces who surrendered
19 their weapons at Mitnica were sent to Ovcara because it was nearby, and
20 that on the 20th of November, the persons who had been separated in triage
21 as suspects were not supposed to go to Ovcara. This is why I'd like to
22 look at the entry in Exhibit 375, which is the war log of the 80th
23 Motorised Brigade.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] This is the entry made on the 19th of
25 November, at 1800 hours. This is page 10 in English and in B/C/S ...
1 MR. MOORE: I'm not quite sure what the question is going to be,
2 although I suspect I have an idea, but the war log relates to the 80th as
3 opposed to -- as far as I'm aware, that's the document my learned friend
4 is referring to. And, as far as I understand, this witness has no
5 responsibility, as he says, to that particular brigade. That's the first
6 objection I would make, and the second is it's leading the witness.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the question is leading
8 because it arises from the answer that Mr. Sljivancanin gave. I agree,
9 but I am just now turning to the inquiry that was sent to the 80th
10 Motorised Brigade by the Superior Command and Mr. Sljivancanin can simply
11 tell me whether he knows about this or not. I think that it is proper for
12 that type of question to be leading. However, I haven't yet found the
13 page number in B/C/S.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, you may put to the witness whether he
15 does know about this, but you will leave it to him to tell you what he
16 does know about, if he does.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 So could we please put on the screen Exhibit 375, the entry made on the
19 19th of November, at 1800 hours.
20 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, can you please read this to yourself. You don't
21 need to read it out loud. We've already read it several times here in the
23 A. It's hard for me to read this handwriting.
24 Q. I'll try to do that and you can follow.
25 "In the morning hours, the imprisoned Ustashas were taken to the
1 prison in Sremska Mitrovica. Combat continues only in the sector of the
2 hospital where the surrender of the remaining members of the ZNG and MUP
3 is expected (about 200). Thus, it was ordered that we be on alert in
4 order to organise the guarding of the prisoners."
5 Do you know anything about such an order; namely, that the command
6 of the 80th Motorised Brigade should be ready to organise the security of
7 the prisoners who were supposed to come from the hospital to the sector of
8 this brigade?
9 A. I see this entry made on the 19th of November, at 1800 hours. I
10 saw this war log for the first time here in the courtroom, or rather, I
11 received it as a document upon arriving to The Hague. I did not have
12 occasion to see it previously.
13 The first thing I need to say is that on the 19th, in the
14 afternoon, as I have told you, sometime after 1500 hours - although I'm
15 not sure about the time - I was at the hospital with the representatives
16 of the International Red Cross and I did not observe that there was any
18 As for this entry, in addition to receiving reports of the
19 security organs, organs for morale, guidance, and logistical support, he
20 also received reports from his subordinates and other commanders. So I
21 cannot explain this entry. I don't know whether Mr. Mrksic issued any
22 assignments to the commander of the 80th Brigade about this issue because
23 I wasn't present, so I can't provide any additional information about
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was about to say that
1 it's perhaps the right time for our second break. I am nearing the end of
2 my examination and I would require a couple of minutes to, perhaps, review
3 my notes and I may get rid of some of the questions and hence conclude
5 JUDGE PARKER: It is a bit early, Mr. Vasic, and because of the
6 earlier break for Mr. Moore, we're going to run out of tape time before
7 7.00. We don't want to squander time. Do you think that we should --
8 that it's important now for you to have the break at this moment?
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. Let's continue for
10 an additional ten minutes - I think that's what we have left - and then we
11 can break afterwards. Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, when speaking of participation in creating and
13 accompanying the convoy of civilians and the wounded, you said that it was
14 in the jurisdiction of the logistical units of the 1st Military District.
15 Did I understand you well?
16 A. Based on the information I had available at the time, I know that
17 after the 18th, the assistant commander for logistics of the 1st Military
18 District, General Zeljko Simanic, was present there with quite a number of
19 officers from that logistics organ, and I believe that they were quite
20 active in ensuring transportation means and providing assistance for
21 evacuation of the people from the area of combat operations.
22 Q. This convoy of the wounded was led by a representative of the
23 cabinet of the Federal Secretary, Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic; correct?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. You told us that the convoys with civilians, as well as this one
1 with the wounded, were supposed to travel via Nustar, across the Croatian
2 territory, and we know that later on the route was changed. Can you tell
3 us, why was that? And how come these convoys did not travel via Nustar
4 towards Vinkovci, if you know?
5 A. The first time that the paramilitary formations of Croatia decided
6 to surrender, an order arrived from the Superior Command which was
7 conveyed to us by our commander, Colonel Mrksic, and it said that there
8 were three centres where people from Vukovar were supposed to go. One was
9 in Sid, arranged by the Red Cross; the second one was the prison in
10 Sremska Mitrovica; and the third were agreed locations towards the
11 Republic of Croatia, where the separation of forces was conducted.
12 I know that the convoy from the hospital was supposed to go to
13 Nustar, and as far as I can remember, but I'm not entirely certain because
14 this was dealt with by Colonel Pavkovic, in the evening, I heard that they
15 did not want to accept that convoy and that it went to Sremska Mitrovica.
16 On the 19th, or rather, the night between the 18th and the 19th,
17 the convoy led by Major Skoric, which is to say, that within the staff of
18 the brigade in Negoslavci, through the communications means with the
19 Superior Command, they always made arrangements, because we didn't have
20 direct contact with Croatian authorities; it was done through the 1st
21 Military District. So it had to be agreed with them where these people
22 needed to be sent. Usually, the Chief of Staff would designate somebody
23 from the operations organ to lead the convoy, and the 1st Battalion of the
24 military police would provide escort. And, once again, they refused to
25 accept this convoy, and then after much ado, it was returned back to
1 Ovcara, as I've already said to you.
2 Q. Do you know that on the following day, on the 20th, in the
3 morning, once that convoy left from Ovcara towards Nustar, it was fired
4 upon by the Croatian side? Do you know anything about that?
5 A. I heard that later on at the command post. I personally wasn't
6 involved. I just heard about it because it was discussed. And later on I
7 also heard it from Colonel Pavkovic.
8 Q. Thank you. Now we are going to turn to the portion of your
9 evidence where you said that the original plan was that people who had
10 been considered suspects were to be transferred to Sremska Mitrovica, but
11 that Colonel Vujic, on the 20th of November, believed that it was better
12 for them to go to the barracks. Did I understand you well?
13 A. No. The position was that all citizens, if I may call them that,
14 all civilians, who had not surrendered as members of the paramilitary
15 formations with weapons, in which case we didn't know whether they had
16 committed any crimes or not, were supposed to go to Velepromet from
17 Vukovar and that whole area; and only Mitnica, which did not gravitate
18 towards Velepromet, in order not to create a lot of commotion, only
19 Mitnica gravitated towards Ovcara and those people went towards those
21 On the 20th, in the morning, when I met with Colonel Vujic at the
22 gate of Velepromet, where he ordered me to report in order to go to the
23 hospital together, I suggested, and I demanded, that these people that had
24 gone through our triage were not supposed to go through the same process
25 at Velepromet, but that it would be best for them to it go temporarily to
1 the barracks until the convoy for Sremska Mitrovica was ready to set out,
2 so that we could find other people that were supposed to join that
3 convoy. The colonel had nothing against it. It was simply an arrangement
4 made that morning in order not to trouble these people twice, to conduct
5 the triage twice.
6 Q. Was your suggestion approved by Colonel Vujic?
7 A. Yes, absolutely. We agreed on this together.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is this a good time now?
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 5.22 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I only have
14 a couple of questions.
15 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, now I should like to go back to that part of
16 your statement which refers to the 20th of November, when you say you
17 arrived at the command post in Negoslavci and when, as you said, from
18 Colonel Mrksic, you learned what the further tasks of the Guards Brigade
19 were and that a government session had been held and, as you said, that
20 they had taken over the group of suspects.
21 Tell me, please, were you present at the regular briefing,
22 reporting on the 20th of November, or did this take place after that
23 regular briefing?
24 A. I was not -- I did not attend any meetings at the command of the
25 Guards Motorised Brigade either on the 18th or the 19th or the 20th, in
1 the afternoon. I was discharging the operational tasks of the security
2 organs at that time, so I'm not aware of what meetings were being held,
3 and, at any rate, I did not attend any.
4 Q. I just have to explain the position of my client. He believes
5 that you do not remember well and that he couldn't say that the government
6 took over these suspects on that day.
7 I shall now read to you, in respect of the conclusions from that
8 session, what was said before this Tribunal in another case, the
9 Dokmanovic case, by one participant in that meeting, namely, the Prime
10 Minister Goran Hadzic. And that is on pages -- rather, on page 3124 of
11 the transcript ...
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, we have both Mr. Moore and Mr. Lukic --
13 MR. MOORE: May I let Mr. Lukic go first.
14 JUDGE PARKER: You're so generous, Mr. Moore.
15 Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I should have deferred to
17 Mr. Moore. I have nothing against the asking of questions, but perhaps
18 now I wish to raise something which is much more of a formal issue. I'm
19 against the presentation to witnesses of transcripts of other persons, in
20 principle, generally speaking. During the OTP's case, we established some
21 rules of the game, which I believe we have all fully respected. Sometimes
22 we could have said that someone was saying or had said something and we
23 strictly paid attention not to make any reference to the name of the
24 person being quoted during our examination, and the OTP actually asked us
25 to abide by that principle. But it seems as if the rules of the game have
1 been confused a bit as we went along, and certain persons, who have not
2 even taken the stand in the Tribunal, are being quoted, i.e., their
3 statements are being presented. Of course, I agree that those who were
4 present in the court are quoted - that is okay - but I am generally
5 against the reading of statements of other persons.
6 So what I'm saying: I would prefer if this were interpreted in
7 his own words, if something is being claimed by another person was
8 interpreted in his own words. And Mr. Sljivancanin is familiar with the
9 testimony given by Mr. Hadzic because he has received the relevant
11 JUDGE PARKER: At the moment, of course, we don't have any
12 testimony from Mr. Hadzic.
13 Now, Mr. Moore, is there anything ...
14 MR. MOORE: Yes. Firstly, it is cross-examination and, from my
15 memory, the rules of the game, as they're being called, that my learned
16 friend should not lead the witness on a topic, but, I would submit, more
17 importantly, it is the way that the matter should be put.
18 Mr. Sljivancanin says he was not there on the 18th, 19th, and
19 20th. It seems to me that Mr. Mrksic is saying that that may be
20 incorrect. If that's what is being said, it should be put directly to
21 Mr. Sljivancanin that, on behalf of Mr. Sljivancanin -- on behalf of
22 Mr. Mrksic, Mr. Sljivancanin is incorrect; that he was there on such a
23 such a day and that on that day a topic was mentioned in the presence of
24 Mr. Sljivancanin. That means, therefore, that Mr. Sljivancanin knows the
25 area; that he is able to answer in relation to it; he can either agree or
2 As matters stand, the way it has been put, from my part, I fail to
3 see the logic of its presentation, so I would suggest it has to be put
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
6 Now, Mr. Vasic, are you adapting your position in view of the
7 helpful comments of your colleagues, or do you want me to give you a few
8 more helpful comments?
9 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm going to
10 rephrase my question, but I think that my position has not been understood
11 very well by my colleagues. My position was that Mr. Mrksic claims that
12 he did not say to Mr. Sljivancanin that the persons who were suspects were
13 taken over by the government of Eastern Slavonia, and I wanted to support
14 that by a fact stemming from a statement made by Goran Hadzic, which he
15 made before this Tribunal.
16 In that statement, he claims that the meeting was attended by a
17 lieutenant colonel who said that any surrender was out of the question.
18 That is the point of what I wished to put to this witness.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Well, that isn't evidence that's been given in this
21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. Indeed, it was given
22 in the Dokmanovic trial, not in this trial.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I would suggest to you, Mr. Vasic, that you
24 should go no further than to suggest that in another trial evidence was
25 led that whatever it is precisely that you want to say, and then have the
1 witness see whether that reminds him that that could be the case or
2 whether he disagrees with that evidence or what is his position. But you
3 can't dress it up any higher than that, and that is Mr. Lukic's matter of
4 principle, as I understand it. And we're somewhere approaching
5 Mr. Moore's point, but I think he was off on a slightly different one.
6 Yes, Mr. Vasic.
7 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am
8 precisely going to stand on the ground that you just delineated. I fully
9 agree with what you just said.
10 Q. You heard what was being said, Mr. Sljivancanin. Does this
11 refresh your memory? Was this information somewhat different 15 years
12 ago; namely, that they were not handed over?
13 A. I did not hear what Hadzic said during his testimony. I read a
14 great deal of material and many inaccurate, untrue statements. I claim
15 with full responsibility - I am looking everyone square in the eye here -
16 I know not 100 per cent but with 1 million per cent certainty that I was
17 at the commander's on the 20th, in the evening. As for the government
18 session, before hearing about it from the commander, I heard it from my
19 security officer, Srecko Borisavljevic. I don't want to repeat that. I
20 told you what he said. And I fully stand by what I said; that that was
21 said that evening at the command post.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Vasic please keep
23 his microphone off while the witness is speaking. Thank you.
24 A. I told you that I was surprised when Srecko Borisavljevic said to
25 me that these persons, instead of being taken to Mitrovica, were taken
1 over by the government of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem/Krajina.
2 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Could we please have a look at Exhibit 843, if possible. That is
4 3D1665; it was a 65 ter document, that is. Page 2.
5 Thank you. Could you please enlarge the fourth paragraph. Thank
7 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, you are aware of this document, aren't you?
8 It's the report of the 10th of December. Or do you want me to show you
9 the first page?
10 A. No need. I'm aware of this document; I know this document.
11 Q. Your positions were presented here in relation to what the
12 government was doing, and it says here:
13 "The command of the Guards Motorised Brigade was compelled to
14 carry out mobilisation of personnel in the zone of combat activities as
15 well and to include them in the fighting in Vukovar. The response of
16 personnel was very low, especially in the village of Negoslavci. The few
17 people who did respond to call-up remained on their positions for two or
18 three days. On the whole, the majority of the Serb population in the zone
19 of combat activities OG South was not ready for participation in battle
20 and they all wanted to guard their village, house, or the like. Such
21 conduct and this poor call-up was mostly contributed to by the government
22 of SO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem. That same government appointed,
23 as commanders of staffs of the Territorial Defence, persons who were not
24 respected or held in high regard by the population because of what they
25 had done previously, as well as persons who were in high positions and who
1 were corrupt and who had 'proven themselves' in dirty deals and dirty
3 "At one of the meetings of this government (none of the members of
4 that government appeared in Vukovar practically until the liberation),
5 attempts were made to diminish the success of the units of the JNA, and
6 Prime Minister Hadzic figured in that most prominently. The feeling of
7 the majority of the population towards the government and its
8 representatives is bad."
9 Mr. Sljivancanin, can you agree with me that, in this report, you
10 included events from the government meeting held on the 20th of November,
11 in Velepromet, when you said that they were trying to diminish the success
12 of JNA units?
13 A. I have testified here and I said that Srecko Borisavljevic told me
14 about what Bogdan Vujic had told him about in terms of that government
15 session, and the way I understood it then was that their attitude towards
16 us, members of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, was practically negative, too.
17 In addition to that, this attitude of certain members of the
18 government was negative during the course of our stay in that territory,
19 and I wrote about that in my counter-intelligence estimates. As a matter
20 of fact, I was compelled to bring people in for interviews. When I was
21 given the task to carry out operational work towards this Minister of the
22 Interior that I had brought in for an interview, he left the town. I
23 personally, at that time, did not feel that it was right, and I did not go
24 by that; namely, to have any kind of organs established that were not in
25 accordance with the constitution of the Socialist Federalist Republic of
1 Yugoslavia. That was my position then, that is what I wrote then, and I
2 think that I wrote this briefly but in very realistic terms.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Yet again, we have great
4 trouble hearing the witness if other microphones are on. Thank you.
5 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters
6 because of the microphone.
7 Q. You will agree with me that in this report that you submitted at
8 the request of the head of the department you did not state that the
9 government of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem took over a
10 number of certain persons on the 20th of November. That is not written in
11 this report of yours; right?
12 A. I said here that I wrote this report on the 21st and sent it to
13 the administration or department. You had occasion to see many other
14 counter-intelligence reports that I had sent; I showed them here. I did
15 not copy anything from those other reports in the new reports that I
16 wrote. I thought there was no need for repetition. Now it's easy to be a
17 general after the battle, as the saying goes. Had I known that I would be
18 here, facing the Hague Tribunal, perhaps I would have written a great many
19 other things in my report as well.
20 Q. Can you say, after that report on the 21st of November, did you
21 get any instructions from the security administration regarding that
22 report and questions raised in that report?
23 A. No. No, I did not get any instructions, except for what I said.
24 When, together with the chief of security of the cabinet of the Federal
25 Secretary, I, after returning from Vukovar, went to see the head of the
1 administration, he suggested certain questions to me regarding which I
2 should have written a report, and I did that to the best of my ability,
3 and no one raised any objections at that time. Whether they read this,
4 whether they looked at this, what they did, I don't know. But they did
5 not ask me to do anything else.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like us to comment upon the following: A
7 document which is marked 3D050171.
8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] It is 3D38 in terms of the 65 ter
9 documents. Can we please have it on the screen. Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, do you know what this is and whether that is the
11 document that has yet another document attached to it, including
12 information about members of paramilitary formations of Croatia?
13 A. I know what this is. This is a document of the chief of security
14 of the cabinet of the Federal Secretary, dated the 10th of November, 1991,
15 about information concerning members of the National Guards Corps and the
16 MUP in Vukovar. And he is instructing us what we should do in
17 professional terms, in terms of specialist direction, that is to say, us,
18 the security organs. And it is addressed to the security organ of the
19 Guards Motorised Brigade.
20 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask for the second
21 page to be displayed; namely, the report. Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, this is actually the document that was
23 submitted, attached to the previous document that we saw, and it includes
24 information about the paramilitary formations of Croatia that are supposed
25 to be a guideline for the work of security organs.
1 A. Probably, if this document was attached to the previous document.
2 Q. Yes. And it was admitted as 826; I see that now. Thank you.
3 Tell me, as for these guidelines that you received, you acted in
4 accordance with them, right, after having received this document? Is that
6 A. Whenever I would receive this kind of document, I would make the
7 commander aware of it and the assistant commanders, too, as well as some
8 commanders, for example, the commander of the battalion of the military
9 police, if he can -- or if they can give me information that would be
10 important for us, the security organs. And we worked, in operative terms,
11 we, the security organs, on the basis of this document.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Now, I would like to ask that we see document 3D050912; 3D39, as a
14 65 ter document.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Could we please have the document identification
16 number again.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. 3D050192; 3D39
18 is its 65 ter number. Thank you very much.
19 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, are you familiar with -- is this document
20 familiar? Take a look at it.
21 A. This is one of the reports on the security situation in the Guards
22 Motorised Brigade which was compiled on the basis of the report of the
23 security organ of the Guards Motorised Brigade by the chief of security of
24 the cabinet of the Federal Secretary and sent to the security
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at the end of this
2 page, and zoom in on it, please.
3 Q. This last sentence says:
4 "In work on processing prisoners of war, the organ of security of
5 the Guards Motorised Brigade was suggested --" rather, "it was suggested
6 to the organ of security of the Guards Motorised Brigade to adopt a
7 selective approach focussing on the detection and identification of war
8 criminals and documenting of war crimes; the identification of foreign
9 mercenaries; the elucidation of the objectives and intentions; the
10 documenting of the conjunction with the foreign factor; the documenting of
11 espionage activities in favour of foreign intelligence institutions; the
12 collection of important intelligence on the disposition, strength,
13 armament, and intentions of the enemy forces; and the creation of
14 conditions for the operational combining or planting of misinformation.
15 "We shall regularly report on the situation of security in the
16 Guards Motorised Brigade and the measures undertaken."
17 Q. These are guidelines from the department of security and the
18 cabinet of the SSNO, sent to the security organ of the Guards Motorised
19 Brigade; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. And it is according to these guidelines that you acted.
22 A. We tried. We did our best to act upon these guidelines. If you
23 have read any of the reports that I sent, you could have seen that, in our
24 reports, we actually referred to the individual cases that we had
25 detected, which does not mean necessarily that our reports were always
1 correct. This was preventive work on our part, and all the information
2 that we arrived at was there.
3 As data from a number of sources are collected in one centre,
4 later, if two or three pieces of information should coincide, then they
5 would provide concrete guidelines as to what is to be done in the
6 operative work directed to certain specific individuals. So if you look
7 at any of my reports, you can see that there are a lot of names that we
8 listed there, giving their secret names, what we had learned about them,
9 including the work of foreign mercenaries or some persons that have been
10 infiltrated into the territory.
11 Q. Yes, I believe that you have said to us, if I understood you
12 correctly, that all this data that was ultimately collected by the
13 security administration filtrated, verified, is then again returned to the
14 security organs for further action. Did I get you right?
15 A. The security organ cannot charge anyone, nor can it immediately
16 consider someone an enemy or the perpetrator of a crime unless it has
17 collected detailed and reliable information on that person. That is why
18 the work of the security organ is laborious and it is answerable for its
19 actions should it charge anyone incorrectly.
20 I'm sorry that we, perhaps, might have suspected some person
21 without concretely proving it, because that requires further processing,
22 further work, to see what the ultimate outcome would be. So these are
23 some elements that I regret, but it was so. Our members, the troops and
24 the officers of the Guards Motorised Brigade, as far as they were
25 concerned, we had precise and correct data; and we knew if charged
1 someone, why we were charging that someone.
2 But it was difficult to follow suit in the territory, generally
3 speaking. That is why the collection, the screening of perpetrators, of
4 suspects, of suspected perpetrators of criminal offences, was a very
5 serious exercise. We didn't come to a person and say, "You have killed
6 someone," or so. We would just have people who were suspects and we were
7 suggested to detain such persons as briefly as possible, and then to send
8 them, during combat operations, to Sid, where the investigative
9 authorities were working, and then also as soon as possible to Sremska
10 Mitrovica, where the competent investigative authorities were in
11 operation, for them to actually deal with them.
12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Your Honours, at this point, I should like to propose that this
14 document be tendered into evidence.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 845, Your Honours.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Sljivancanin,
18 for your answers.
19 That ends my cross-examination, Your Honours. Thank you very
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
23 Mr. Borovic.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Sljivancanin.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. In giving your testimony here, you said that you regularly toured
4 the units of the Guards Motorised Brigade on the front line, did you not?
5 A. Yes, every day, from morning, and sometimes even at night I went
6 to the positions where some units were and I spent the night there. But I
7 spent most of my time with the Guards Brigade troops at the front line.
8 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind, then, as to tell us: To what
9 extent were you familiar with the tasks of the Assault Detachment 1 and
10 Assault Detachment 2? Were you familiar with the direction of operations
11 of these Assault Detachments, with their war disposition, combat
12 disposition? And were you familiar -- could you observe any problems that
13 they were encountering, and how?
14 A. I was always present at the command post whenever a decision was
15 being taken on the use of units of the Guards Motorised Brigade. I
16 endeavored, I did my best, to remember as much as possible to which unit
17 the commander had issued some specific tasks, because I was interested in
18 that, as the chief of security, whether the commanding officers were
19 correctly honouring their obligation, i.e., executing their tasks. And
20 also, if I considered that the decisions of the commander were not being
21 respected, I also wanted to let the commander know about that.
22 I always knew what particular assault detachment had -- what task
23 it had. Initially, there were three assault detachments; later, I believe
24 that there were five. And I was aware of what their missions were.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, from this time distance, what was the
1 task of JOD -- of the Assault Detachment 1 and that of the Assault
2 Detachment 2?
3 A. Yes, I can. Assault Detachment 1, according to the decision of
4 the commander, should move along the direction, the street of Svetozara
5 Markovica to the settlement of Bosko Buha and then to Milovo Brdo. And
6 along this axis it was to disarm paramilitary units, dismantle the
7 obstacles, the barricades, and clear the roads to enable free passage,
8 free movement.
9 And Assault Detachment 2 was to go through Sajmiste Street and
10 then on from Dalmatinska Street towards the water tower, lift the siege,
11 the blockade, on the barracks, disarm paramilitary formations along that
12 direction, remove the barricades, and create the necessary, i.e., normal,
13 conditions for the city.
14 And initially, the assault detachment -- Assault Detachment 3 was
15 to go from Vucedol through Mitnica and to break out at the water tower.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what assault detachment took Milovo
17 Brdo, and in which time period was that?
18 A. I would say that Assault Detachment 1 reached Milovo Brdo and
19 cleared that part of town of all those who were opening fire on the troops
20 and on members of the Yugoslav Peoples' Army. And I remember that that
21 was, perhaps, on the 9th or 10th of November, because at that time a
22 colonel from the General Staff, who I believe was a Croat, asked me to
23 find the person, if I could. He gave me the name of that person who --
24 that was his brother's daughter, in fact; and to send her to Sid. And I
25 had a lot of problems about that and I asked people to help me out, and
1 that is why I remember the exact date.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask Your Honours
4 for Exhibit 430 to be placed on the screen, but that is the only one that
5 I will be showing.
6 So, Exhibit 430, the last paragraph, please. Not the first one,
7 the last. Thank you. Number 4. Would you be so kind as to zoom in on
8 the last paragraph, please, a bit more. Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, could you please read this under "Tasks." You
10 have a task under item 4, if you could, please read it for us.
11 A. It says here under item 4:
12 "Assault Detachment 1, without the 1st Motorised Battalion, from
13 the current area of combat disposition, to be transferred to the axis
14 Dalmatinska Street to Alija Alijagic Street, and then to the water tower.
15 "Task: In direct conjunction with the 2nd Battalion of the
16 military police and Assault Detachment 4, take features within the scope
17 of streets Alija Alijagic, the Stjepan Supanac school, and reach as soon
18 as possible the area of Slavija (the water tower) from which point prevent
19 the possible pull-out of Ustasha forces from the Mitnica axis."
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask now, Your Honours, as the
22 witness has read this, to place Exhibit 156 on the screen, and to zoom in
23 on the central part of town, as much as possible, to enlarge it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before this comes up on the screen,
25 may I add that this document that I'm now reading --
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] No, you don't have to. Thank you
2 very much. We want to be specific. Please don't mind my interrupting
3 you, but I wish to expedite proceedings.
4 Can you please zoom in on the centre.
5 Q. Is this enough for you, Mr. Sljivancanin, what you can see on the
6 screen, for you to be able to show on this map how it is that you
7 perceived the task of Assault Detachment 1 and the units acting in concert
8 with it? Can you show it on this map?
9 A. Yes, it is sufficient. I can.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the usher to provide
11 Mr. Sljivancanin with a pen so that he could show it to us.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. This is how it was. This here is Sajmiste Street. Should I mark
14 it with a number?
15 Q. I don't think there is anything on the screen.
16 A. But I am marking it with a red line.
17 Q. That is okay.
18 A. That is Sajmiste Street.
19 Q. Well, you can put number 1 and then circle it. Thank you.
20 A. This here, next to 1, this red dot here, that is the barracks.
21 Should I encircle it?
22 Q. Yes, you may encircle it, and where the barracks is, put a number
23 2. But slowly, please.
24 A. Okay. This here is the barracks. That's number 2.
25 This here is Dalmatinska Street.
1 Q. Mark it with number 3, but I believe this is not the readily
2 visible on the screen.
3 A. This here is Dalmatinska Street. Of course, I can tell you where
4 the other streets are; Radnicka, Svetozara Markovica, the water tower.
5 Here is the water tower, number 4.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. And Milovo Brdo is this area here, as far as I can recall, number
9 Q. Thank you. Could you, on the basis of what you have drawn in this
10 map, explain to us this mission of Assault Detachment 1 and the units
11 acting in conjunction with Assault Detachment 1, to explain to the Court
12 what that mission looked like.
13 A. In this task which I just read, it is stated that the Assault
14 Detachment 1, without the 1st Motorised Battalion, should be transferred
15 to the axis Dalmatinska Street, marked by 3, and the water tower, and
16 should act there in conjunction with the 2nd Battalion of the military
17 police and Assault Detachment 4.
18 Q. Thank you. Before I ask for this to be admitted into evidence,
19 can you tell us whose decision was it to use the units in this way, as you
20 have described just now?
21 A. I was just about to tell you. As here, this was frequently
22 referred to as an order. It was not an order, it was a decision, a
23 decision of the commander of the Operations Group, for the execution of an
24 immediate task. The commander changed his decisions. When he saw that he
25 failed the first time, he organised his forces differently the next time
2 Q. Whose decision was it, then?
3 A. It was Commander Mrksic's decision.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we tender this map
5 into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 846, Your Honours.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] We won't be needing the usher's
9 assistance any longer. No need to draw anything else. And now a question
10 for Mr. Sljivancanin:
11 Q. Do you know, Mr. Sljivancanin, whether Captain Radic was at the
12 hospital on the 18th of November, 1991?
13 A. The last time I saw Captain Radic in Vukovar was when the units of
14 the 1st Motorised Battalion reached Milovo Brdo. On the 18th, I wasn't in
15 the hospital myself. I believe that none of the members of the Motorised
16 Guards Brigade were at the hospital on that day, because, based on the
17 information that I have, our 1st Motorised Battalion, on the 19th at some
18 point, entered the hospital. The documents can confirm this, but I can't
19 tell you anything further about this.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether Captain Radic was with you at
21 the hospital on the 19th when Borsinger was there with you?
22 A. I'm telling you again: The last time I saw Captain Radic was at
23 Milovo Brdo, and I don't remember, that is to say, I didn't see him, or
24 rather, he wasn't with me.
25 Q. I'm asking for a direct answer to my question. On the 19th of
1 November, 1991, did you order Captain Radic to arrest Dr. Njavro in the
2 morning hours, between 8.00 and 10.00 a.m., or at any other time during
3 the day?
4 A. Captain Radic was commander of the motorised company within the
5 1st Motorised Battalion. I had absolutely no powers to issue orders to
6 him, nor did I order anything to him. Mr. Njavro was not arrested.
7 Pursuant to my decision on the 20th, Mr. Njavro was taken from the Vukovar
8 Hospital to Sremska Mitrovica.
9 Q. Thank you. And at the same time, did you issue any other order to
10 Radic to arrest the male nurse called Ante Aric; yes or no?
11 A. I never issued such an order, nor was I authorised to issue any
12 orders to Radic.
13 Q. Specifically, did you order, on the following day, Captain Radic
14 to return the aforementioned person back to the hospital, or not?
15 A. That's not true either.
16 Q. Thank you. On the 20th of November, 1991, you were at the
17 hospital. My question is: Did you, at any point in time during that day,
18 in the morning hours, issue an order of any sort to Captain Radic to
19 conduct a selection or to search, with his soldiers, for the men who were
20 moving towards the buses on Gunduliceva Street, by telling him the
21 following, and I'm quoting: "Captain Radic, search these prisoners"?
22 A. This is completely untrue. Neither was I authorised, nor did I
23 see Radic there. The search of the soldiers within the hospital was done
24 by the members of the 2nd Battalion of the military police.
25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the reference for my
1 last question is page 9732, line 14 through 17, the evidence of Witness
3 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, did you order Captain Radic to take Njavro and
4 Ante Aric to the barracks on the 20th, at any point during the day, or
6 A. I never issued such an order to Radic. On the 20th, in the
7 morning, after the consultation with Mr. Aco Vasiljevic, Tumanov issued an
8 assignment to my assistant for counter-intelligence tasks, Mladen Karan,
9 and Captain Bozic from the military police to escort four persons to the
10 prison in Sremska Mitrovica. And I gave you the names of those four.
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, line -- page 69, line
12 5 is recorded as a question whereas, in fact, it was the answer provided
13 by Mr. Sljivancanin. Page 69, line 5, that entire segment is the answer
14 of Mr. Sljivancanin. Thank you.
15 Q. Did you, at any point in time, and specifically on the 20th of
16 November, order Captain Radic to return from the barracks 15 to 20 men to
17 the hospital who were members of the medical staff or were related to the
18 medical staff?
19 A. I never issued such an order to Captain Radic. The list of the
20 medical personnel was sent by me, by my driver, to the barracks to my
21 assistant Vukasinovic Ljubisa, and pursuant to my request, he returned
22 persons from that list to the barracks on the 20th, as I have told you,
23 between 11.00 and 12.00.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sljivancanin, did you at any point in time issue
25 any sort of an order to Captain Radic, or not?
1 A. I never had occasion, nor was I capable of issuing any order to
2 Radic. I saw him as any other company commander. It was my duty to tour
3 him and to have a conversation with him that I was entitled to as a
4 security organ, in order to find answers to questions from my
5 jurisdiction, about the location of soldiers, the weapons, and disposition
6 of paramilitary formations in the axis of his company.
7 Q. When you say "the disposition of paramilitary formations," do you
8 have in mind Croatian paramilitary formations?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Did you have any kind of a command post at Vuteks, or not?
11 A. I explained to you the deployment of my organs in Negoslavci. I
12 never had any sort of a command post or -- what did you call it? You call
13 it a warehouse at Vuteks? No, nothing of the sort.
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you,
15 Mr. Sljivancanin, I have no further questions.
16 Your Honours, I have concluded my examination.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
18 Mr. Moore.
19 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore:
21 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, when one talks about the security organ, and I
22 try and use ordinary language, would it be fair to say that it could be
23 described as the eyes and ears of the command in security areas and
24 advises the commander when necessary?
25 A. Sir, it could not be put that way, that it's the eyes and ears.
1 That is one of the organs, according to establishment, of a brigade and it
2 first appears in the brigade command according to that formation. As for
3 the purview of its tasks and its work that I have already spoken about
4 here, those are prescribed by the rules of service of the security organs.
5 Q. No. Please just answer the question. Security organ, it's the
6 eyes and ears of the command, isn't it? It watches what is going on.
7 That is its function; that is its purview, as you describe it.
8 A. Sir, I am telling you, once again: The security organ is a
9 professional organ of the commands and institutions that has tasks from
10 the field of state security in terms of protecting the constitutional
11 order and the constitution of the state and uncovering hostile activities
12 vis-a-vis a unit and within a unit.
13 Q. What do you mean by "uncovering hostile activities," if it isn't
14 acting as eyes and ears of a command or commander?
15 A. Well, hostile activities are everything that jeopardises law and
16 discipline and the combat readiness of units; namely, criminal offences,
17 discipline, and concealing such acts if they are not reported on through
18 the chain of command; that is to say, all are duty-bound to take care of
19 security in the units, starting from squad leader, platoon leader, company
20 leader, all the way up to the commander of the brigade, and the soldiers
21 themselves within a unit.
22 The security organ leader should, through his own activity and the
23 application of certain methods of work, should - how should I put this? -
24 prevent things from happening, if one does not know that this is going on
25 within a unit because it's being done in a secret way, and even if there
1 are persons who are infiltrated into a unit with regard to a particular
3 Q. That's exactly what I am suggesting. It is not a passive
4 organisation. It is capable of being passive but its function is also
5 active and proactive. That is correct, isn't it?
6 A. I told you, I cannot go outside the purview of my work to explain
7 some kind of theory of security organs. I spent a short period of time
8 working in security organs. It was my understanding that this is one
9 lines of this security function, taking care of these tasks that I already
10 mentioned to you. There's no need for me to repeat them again. But
11 everyone in a unit, from the commander onwards, is in charge of security.
12 Q. But the security organ is a specifically-designed - and I will use
13 the ordinary English word - it is a specifically-designed unit to assist a
14 commander in finding out what may be going on which would be detrimental
15 to that command. That is your task. It's certainly one of your tasks, I
16 would suggest. That's its purview; that's its reason, isn't it?
17 A. Mr. Moore, that's not the way it is. A security organ is not
18 there to discover everything that is going on in a unit. Then there would
19 be no other officers and there would only be a security organ. A
20 commander receives reports according to the chain of command and the
21 security line and moral guidance and logistics. So the security organ is
22 one of these elements taking care of the compactness of the unit and that
23 it acts within the purview of its tasks. The way you put it, there should
24 only be --
25 Q. I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt. The security organ adds an
1 additional element to the function of what I will call "everyday
2 officers," doesn't it? Otherwise, it has no purpose at all. That's
3 right, isn't it? It's an additional element.
4 A. Every officer in the structure of the unit, as envisaged by the
5 Yugoslav Peoples' Army, is important in his own right. I cannot single
6 out anyone, including security organs; say that a security organ is more
7 important to the brigade commander than, say, his chief of staff or his
8 logistics assistant commander. It depends on the tasks involved.
9 Everybody is important in his own right, and they make up this compactness
10 that is in the interest of the combat-readiness of that unit, so that it
11 would be as it should be, so that the unit carries out the tasks assigned
12 to it.
13 Q. That's very well. We will have to go through, regrettably, some
14 of the exhibits. Let me just look at this, then, from a common-sense
15 point of view.
16 In 1991, we know over 200 people were murdered, innocent people
17 murdered, and buried in Ovcara. You are, as you say, an innocent man, but
18 whether you like it or not, you have been indicted and stand trial for
19 that. Who do you consider is responsible for the murder of these innocent
20 people? You must have thought about it.
21 A. First of all, it is a great shame and it is highly inhumane on the
22 part of those who killed those people, murdered those people. That was
23 done by cowards. It really -- if I knew who did it, I would have told
24 you. I would tell you here and now, but I did not have occasion to deal
25 with this in detail. I heard everything that you heard here, too.
1 That event occurred - I showed you here - in the zone of
2 responsibility of another unit and at a time when the members of the
3 Motorised Guards Brigade were exhausted, very tired, and when they could
4 hardly wait to get some rest after a mission accomplished. And this was
5 perhaps the most sensitive period, when there is a change-over of duty
6 among units including us, a replacement of units. And one should talk to
7 the people who were in that zone and who testified here to the effect that
8 they did know something about that.
9 Q. I'm sorry, I will ask the question again. You know perfectly well
10 that it's been suggested that you were in charge of OG South, but I am
11 asking you, categorically - we know about the perpetrators - but who was
12 actually responsible for the murder of these innocent people at Ovcara?
13 Are you saying it's the government? Are you saying it is Panic? Are you
14 saying that it is Mrksic? Are you accepting it's yourself? Who is
16 A. I never said that it was the government or Panic or that it was
17 Mrksic. I have imparted to you the information -- I have here imparted to
18 you the information that I knew then, and I believe that the collection of
19 all the testimonies, all the evidence presented, can actually result in a
20 finding of who actually perpetrated that heinous crime. I really don't
22 Now, to give you some just suppositions on my part, I am here as a
23 witness to tell you my truth or about what happened then, what I know
24 happened then, and that is what I'm doing. It is very hard for me to say
25 or judge who did that.
1 Q. Well, that is not correct, I would suggest to you, because what
2 you are saying, is it not that, firstly, Ovcara is not in your zone of
3 responsibility? That's one of the things you are saying, ergo, it's not
4 my fault. It's not my zone of responsibility; it's not my fault; I'm not
5 to blame. You are also saying that you heard that it was handed over to
6 the government and then we now know that people were killed.
7 So I'm asking you, as the innocent man that you say you are, when
8 an indictment was issued in 1995, you must have been racking your brain,
9 saying, "What on earth happened? Who is to blame for this?" So what is
10 your answer?
11 A. Mr. Moore, really, really, when I heard about it, I was extremely
12 distressed and I was extremely sorry, and it is, indeed, the height of
13 abomination that those people should have been killed. And, as I have
14 said in my introductory remarks here, this inflicted great damage and a
15 great blot on the honourable members of the -- members of the Yugoslav
16 army who only wanted to actually carry out their oath, their
17 constitutional oath, to preserve Yugoslavia. And now these people have to
18 bow their heads and, because of those murders, cannot even say that they
19 were in Vukovar because of this dirty business that was perpetrated by
20 somebody else.
21 I have not undertaken any investigations, but I contend this was
22 not a zone of responsibility of the Motorised Guards Brigade. We did not
23 commit those crimes.
24 Q. It's certainly the zone of responsibility of OG South; that is
25 correct, isn't it? The answer is just yes or no, Mr. Sljivancanin.
1 A. Well, overall, this entire area was the operational zone of
2 Operations Group South, but it is primarily in the zone of responsibility
3 of the actual unit in whose ambit it is, and the commander of that unit is
4 responsible. We can say, generally speaking, that it was the zone of the
5 1st Military District of the entire Yugoslavia, but that, then, would be
6 correct. But then other units and other commanders would not be necessary
7 if it were just up to one person.
8 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, you have made great noises about honesty,
9 looking people in the eye, being truthful. The reality is that this is in
10 the zone of responsibility of OG South; that's right, isn't it? Can we
11 have yes or no on this?
12 A. Well, I have replied. If it is accepted that such a group
13 existed, I am not excluding that it was not its zone. But first it was
14 the zone of the battalion and then the battalion is in the zone of the OG
15 and then it is the zone of the Military District, generally speaking. So
16 what I'm telling you is that the first responsible is the directly -- the
17 commander directly responsible for the zone of the immediate unit, and
18 then we go on along the chain of command.
19 Q. I will ask the question one more time: Ovcara is within the zone
20 of responsibility of OG South; that is correct, isn't it?
21 A. Mr. Moore, in a nutshell, very briefly, Ovcara was first in the
22 zone of responsibility of the 80th Motorised Brigade at the time when it
23 is alleged here -- when it is said here that this crime happened, and the
24 zone of the 80th Motorised Brigade comprised the zone of the OG South.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We had three clear questions and three
2 clear answers. This is my comment. I believe, really, that if Mr. Moore
3 asks this question for a fourth time -- Mr. Sljivancanin was quite clear
4 in his first reply, and then the question was repeated and then the answer
5 was repeated.
6 JUDGE PARKER: I know the answers were repeated, Mr. Lukic.
7 Carry on, Mr. Moore.
8 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
9 Q. Can we take it, then, that this level of honesty, directness,
10 precision and integrity that you say you are going to display in court,
11 that the answers you have given are a representation of that? Is that
12 what we are to expect?
13 A. Well, I am doing my best to say what I know, in keeping with how I
14 was brought up and reared, and not to withhold anything from you.
15 Mr. Moore, according to our military rules, every commander is,
16 first and foremost, responsible for his own zone, so I'm telling you the
17 zone in which Ovcara was on the 18th, 19th and 20th, first and foremost,
18 was the zone of the 80th Motorised Brigade, and that zone belonged to the
19 zone of OG South.
20 Q. Let's deal with it, then, a different way, if that's the way you
21 are going to answer.
22 Let us take a situation, and a hypothetical situation, that OG
23 South is in the zone of responsibility for Mr. Mrksic. Can we just deal
24 with that for a moment. You don't disagree, I presume?
25 A. Mr. Mrksic, if he was issued orders, although I did say here that
1 we were drawn attention then not to refer to the establishment name of the
2 brigade, but I accepted that that was a secret name for the Guards Brigade
3 as well, and I never, in my appearances, ever referred to the Guards
4 Brigade in Vukovar. So, if he was appointed the commander by an order,
5 then he was the commander of the OG South and he was answerable for the
6 zone of Operations Group South.
7 Q. Can I try and abbreviate that? Is that answer saying Mr. Mrksic
8 was responsible for his zone of responsibility, which was OG South? Is
9 that correct? Is that what you're saying, in shortened form?
10 A. That is correct, if he had the such orders and then appointment to
11 that effect.
12 Q. And if a commander of a zone of responsibility is informed that
13 criminal acts are occurring within his zone of responsibility, he is under
14 a duty to, at the very least, investigate what is occurring; do you agree
15 with that? Yes or no, please.
16 A. I agree with that.
17 Q. And, in accordance with his duty, it is also right to say that if
18 there is a criminal act which is occurring, he should use such force as is
19 necessary in all the circumstances to stop that criminal act occurring.
20 That, also, is correct, isn't it?
21 A. If he should learn that in the zone of the OG South, which is a
22 large zone, any crimes are being committed, he should order first to the
23 commander of the zone where such criminal offences are being perpetrated,
24 be it the brigade, what measures are to be taken in order to prevent such
1 Q. I will ask the question again. How he does it is a matter for
2 conjecture. But it is right, is it not, that a commander should use such
3 force as is necessary in all the circumstances to stop that criminal act
4 occurring. That is correct, isn't it, as a general principle?
5 A. The general principle would be that the -- for him to ask the
6 commander in charge of the area where such crimes have been committed to
7 take steps to prevent it. If that commander was unable to do that by
8 himself, then to help him; and if he cannot help him, to ask for
9 assistance from the Superior Command.
10 Q. So can I take it that the answer is yes?
11 A. I've given my reply. Please don't hold it against me, but I
12 really should not like to answer with just a yes or no, as in a quiz.
13 I've explained how this was regulated by our rules then in the Yugoslav
14 Peoples' Army.
15 Q. Your rules are quite clear on the matter, I would suggest - and I
16 will deal with it tomorrow - but the reality of the situation is that if
17 an incident occurs, a criminal act occurs, within a zone of responsibility
18 of a commander, that commander has a duty to intervene to stop the
19 criminal act. You've already agreed to that; isn't that right?
20 A. I have agreed, we have agreed, that it is his duty to intervene
21 and request from the specific person responsible for the zone where the
22 crime is being committed to take measures. If he cannot, to help him; if
23 he cannot help him, to seek further assistance from the Superior Command.
24 I think I have been clear.
25 Q. Well, let us just take that one step further. You say it is for
1 him to request from the specific person responsible for the zone where the
2 crime is being committed to make measures. The superior commander, in
3 this case, Mrksic, has an ongoing duty to ensure that the measures that
4 are being taken are adequate and appropriate to stop the criminal act
5 occurring; that is right, isn't it? He can't just issue an order and walk
6 away with blind eyes, can he?
7 A. That is correct. The commander, if he has issued an order, he
8 should actually see to it that that execution -- that that order is
9 executed to the full. He should certainly control whether it has been
10 carried out to the full.
11 Q. And how does he control to the full? Explain to this Court the
12 techniques and methods and systems that a commander can put into place for
14 A. First of all, a commander, if he issues a task to a subordinate
15 commander to the effect that he should deal with a problem in his zone for
16 which the former has learned exists, shall seek from the latter feedback
17 information to the effect whether the problem has been dealt with,
18 resolved, to be informed by that subordinate commander.
19 Secondly, a second way, he can personally go to the unit, the
20 subordinated unit, in question and verify whether the problem has been
21 resolved; or he can issue a written order and assign an officer from the
22 command to go to the subordinated command, to control and verify how the
23 subordinated commander has executed the tasks issued him by the superior
25 Q. And why would it be important for a commander to go personally to
1 the unit to verify whether his order is being carried out or not?
2 A. In my view - this is from my standpoint - it is not necessarily
3 correct. I, as the commander, was very often to go and verify whether
4 certain tasks that I had issued were, indeed, being executed, whether they
5 had been dealt with properly, and, at the same time, to also gain personal
6 insight into the attitude of the commander in question vis-a-vis the
7 orders which I issued him; of course, when weather permitted and
8 conditions generally.
9 If I was unable to do that, I was entitled to send certain
10 officers from my own command whom I empowered to carry out that control.
11 But when the task is very important, it is much better for the commander,
12 in person, to check how his orders are being carried out.
13 Q. If a commander was informed that, through the day, there had been
14 abuses and that there was a probability of not only grievous injuries but
15 also death occurring to prisoners of war, would you, in your judgement, as
16 a professional officer, consider it desirable for personal attendance to
17 that subordinate unit?
18 A. If the superior commander had such information, I believe that any
19 commander would, and I would, go and see whether something like that was,
20 indeed, taking place.
21 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I would like to move on to a different
22 topic and I wonder, even though it's slightly early in the evening,
23 whether it would be possible to conclude 12 minutes early and continue
24 tomorrow morning. I can, however, continue if you wish.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Because of our adjusted timetable, you have only
1 three minutes left, not 12 or 13, and if you're moving to a new topic,
2 this would be a convenient --
3 MR. MOORE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: -- time.
5 We'll resume tomorrow, in a different courtroom, at 9.00 in the
6 morning. I think it's Courtroom II. We'll adjourn now.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.47 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 31st day of
9 October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.