1 Wednesday, 1 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Sljivancanin takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 Mr. Moore.
8 Mr. Sljivancanin, you will remember the affirmation that you made
9 which still applies.
10 WITNESS: VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
13 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I would like to go more quickly today if
14 possible, please; however, I would like to refer to two or three documents
15 in the file we looked at yesterday and then move off that file all
16 together. Have you got a copy of that document that was provided to you?
17 A. No. I've got it now.
18 Q. Thank you. Would you be kind enough please to turn up tab 21 for
19 the English, and then for you, it is tab 22. I want to deal with the
20 topic of Velepromet.
21 Have you got tab 22?
22 A. Yes, I've got it.
23 Q. Just to remind ourselves, we have seen within the war diary, our
24 Exhibit 401, an entry about Borisavljevic becoming responsible on the 21st
25 of October. I'd like to deal, if I may, please, with this particular
1 document which I think is Exhibit 834. It's the 9th of November, 1991,
2 and as I say, just to repeat to assist other parties, it is tab 21.
3 Very well. Let's proceed. It is a document, "Guards Motorised
4 Brigade, security organ Negoslavci, 9th of November, 1991." It's to the
5 security organ of the office of the SSNO and it deals with Velepromet
7 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, would you give me one moment, please. It
8 should be tab 23. I'm one tab out, I'm sorry. Tab 23, Exhibit 835.
9 That's it now. My apologies. So it is tab 23 in the English, and tab 24
10 in the B/C/S.
11 Q. Have you got that?
12 A. Yes, Mr. Moore.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, this document has the name of protected
15 persons on it; however, I don't believe it will be on the screen and
16 therefore, if we are careful, there is no need to go into closed session.
17 Q. The date of the 10th of November; it deals with Velepromet. It's
18 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence and it is transcript of
19 intelligence report by the Guards Motorised Brigade security organ,
20 basically your organ; that is right, isn't it?
21 A. The first document at tab 23 is my document, and the one that you
22 had just invoked is the document of chief of the security of the cabinet
23 of the Federal Secretary produced based on reports that we sent from where
24 we were.
25 Q. Yes, but it's a transcript. It actually says "A transcript of
1 intelligence report by the Guards Motorised Brigade security organ." So
2 it's based on your information, on your report. That's the reality, isn't
4 A. Some of the information is based on the report that I sent and
5 some of the information was based on his own opinions and views.
6 Q. Well, let's deal with the matter. I'm quite sure it's your
7 material we will be dealing with.
8 It reads, "We hereby send you the report by the Guards Motorised
9 Brigade security organ upon which we acted and took the necessary measures
10 of guidance, primarily concerning efficient organisation of work for
11 prisoners of war. We have sent more recent information to the SSNO, the
12 security administration. We are currently carrying out identity checks in
13 accordance with information gathered in interviews."
14 So I would suggest it's perfectly clear that it's from the Guards
15 Motorised Brigade security organ.
16 Continuing, second paragraph, "A centre for the admission of
17 civilians and preservation of material goods Vukovar south has been set up
18 within the offices of Velepromet, which is directly managed by Srecko
19 Borisavljevic, first class captain from the Guards Motorised Brigade
20 security organ. Our first mechanism for finding extremists and possible
21 disguised members of the MUP and ZNG."
22 So, here is a specific reference to one of your subordinates; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Mr. Moore, the interpretation I received -- perhaps your reading
25 was accurate, but my interpretation was not. My interpretation was
1 different from how the document actually reads.
2 Q. Well, mine reads, "Which is directly managed by Srecko
3 Borisavljevic." Firstly, is Mr. Borosavljevic or was he your subordinate
4 at that time?
5 A. Srecko Borisavljevic was a security organ and he was in charge of
6 the 2nd Assault Detachment. The document says clearly that Ljubinko
7 Stojanovic was in charge of the holding centre at Velepromet. Srecko
8 Borisavljevic was a security officer from the 2nd Assault Detachment and
9 it was in that capacity that he monitored the selection of those people
10 who were suspected of hiding among innocent civilians but were in fact
11 perpetrators of crimes. So in fact the person in charge of the centre was
12 Ljubinko Stojanovic.
13 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, the question was simple. Was he one of your
14 subordinates; yes or no?
15 A. Srecko Borisavljevic was my subordinate. He was a security
17 Q. Thank you. He was a subordinate to you and you consulted with him
18 on a regular basis; that is correct, isn't it?
19 A. Almost on a daily basis or as needed.
20 Q. And you were aware that he was involved in the -- at Velepromet
21 itself; that is correct, isn't it?
22 A. In addition to his regular duties as a security officer in the 2nd
23 Assault Detachment or, rather, the 2nd Motorised Battalion, he also worked
24 with the security organs at Velepromet.
25 Q. And when they use the phrase "which is directly managed by
1 Borisavljevic first class from the Guards Motorised Brigade," that's
2 exactly what it means.
3 Mr. Lukic objects.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to lead anyone on this or
6 suggest an answer, but I think the sentence was taken out of context by
7 the Prosecutor. I think he should provide the entire context, the whole
8 sentence, and then ask the question. In order to avoid any problems, the
9 best thing would be for Mr. Sljivancanin to read the sentence in the B/C/S
10 original and then the interpreters can perhaps interpret the sentence for
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
13 MR. MOORE: I did read the sentence to the full stop exactly as my
14 learned friend has suggested I do. I have not done the whole paragraph
15 and I have no reason to do so. I have read the sentence and I am now
16 breaking it apart.
17 JUDGE PARKER: I think we've heard enough, Mr. Lukic.
18 Carry on, Mr. Moore.
19 MR. MOORE:
20 Q. Mr. Borosavljevic was directly managing the mechanism for finding
21 extremists; that is correct, isn't it?
22 A. Again, Mr. Moore, I must tell you what it says. He was in charge
23 of discovering extremists or any members of the MUP and the ZNG. He was
24 not in charge of the centre. He was a security officer of the 2nd
25 Motorised Battalion. The 2nd Motorised Battalion were worked closely with
1 the security organs of the TO that were there. Major Zigic was the main
2 security officer, the principal security officer.
3 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I didn't say that he was in charge of the whole
4 operation. I said that he managed the mechanism for finding extremists.
5 That is the phrase that I used. So perhaps we are in agreement after all.
6 Now, what is an extremist? What is meant by an extremist at this
7 time? Can you give us a definition of that, a short definition, please?
8 A. As I explained yesterday, as I have been explaining indeed
9 throughout my evidence, most of all, we were after the leaders of the
10 armed insurgency in Vukovar, those who had been firing and killing
11 innocent soldiers and civilians. Those were the people that we referred
12 to as extremists.
13 Q. But this makes no mention, whatsoever, of leaders. I'm not
14 suggesting for one moment you weren't looking for the leaders, but this, I
15 would suggest, this document refers to looking for disguised members of
16 the MUP and ZNG. It's a much more general brief, don't you agree?
17 A. I do agree; however, this is a document produced by the chief of
18 security of the Federal Secretary's cabinet. You are quoting his words.
19 The previous document that you wanted me to turn up dated the 9th, that
20 was produced on the basis of my document. What I would like to do is
21 interpret my own words and tell you what's behind my words, not his. All
22 I can do is the same as you. I read this document. I accept this to be a
23 document that he phrased in his own words based on a document that I had
24 submitted to him.
25 Q. And this document indicates that the man called Stojanovic, who
1 was otherwise an OB source, who was given detailed instruction and work on
2 security matters when it came to Belgrade, "six persons from various
3 Vukovar local communes are continuously employed at the centre which
4 facilitates the identification of local people."
5 Now, let's look at that part. Six persons continuously employed
6 in identification of local people. That, I'd suggest, does not indicate a
7 seeking of leaders; it is specifically designed to look at the population
8 in general. Would you agree?
9 A. Your Honours, there have been a number of questions now concerning
10 the matter of work employed by the security organ. It might be a
11 convenient idea for us to go to private session for me to have an
12 opportunity to provide a complete answer.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, I don't want to cut into your
14 cross-examination. Is that something that would suit the course you're
16 MR. MOORE: I would like to deal with an additional point and if
17 it becomes necessary, then of course I have no objection to that
19 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Carry on.
20 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
21 Q. And when one reads on, it says, "We have put in a request to have
22 the number of staff at the centre increased and improve the security
23 system and control of movement in the liberated part of the town where the
24 situation is not under proper control at the moment."
25 So the suggestion is that six persons are not enough; they want
1 more, because they want to expand their filtering system, I would
2 suggest. Do you agree with that?
3 A. I don't have that right now, what you just read out. I haven't
4 found it. As for what you suggest, I don't agree, so if we're on the same
5 page, I don't think that is consistent with my own opinion.
6 I would like to explain what the method of work was employed by
7 the security organ the way I knew it at the time. If I were allowed to do
8 that, I think it would certainly become clear to everybody.
9 Q. The passage that I'm referring to follows on from the earlier
10 passage referring to Stojanovic saying that he's an OB source, security
11 organ source, and that he had been given instructions on security matters
12 when he was in Belgrade, six people are employed. So just read on and it
13 says, "Six persons from various Vukovar local communes are continuously
14 employed at the centre which facilitates the identification of local
16 You've got that? "We have put in a request to have the number of
17 the staff at the centre increased," and then it continues. Have you got
19 A. What it says here is for security measures to be stepped up and
20 for control of movement to be established in the liberated area of the
21 town itself. I see nothing about the central or Velepromet as you're
22 suggesting, where the situation is not under control. If you want me to
23 interpret that for your benefit, here is what I say: Suggestions were
24 made to us and instructions were given to set up military police
25 checkpoints in which ever areas had been cleared from paramilitary units,
1 so to speak, in order to establish some sort of control and keep other
2 sabotage and terrorist units from infiltrating into those areas. We
3 needed more people because we were short in manpower. We needed to
4 establish some sort of control over the territory where the cleansing of
5 the paramilitaries had been completed, to keep new groups from penetrating
6 these areas and committing acts of violence, sabotage, what have you. So
7 that's how I read this and that's exactly what the case actually was. But
8 I don't see this as being uniquely in reference to Velepromet and I don't
9 see it as being specifically a security-related assignment.
10 Q. Well, it clearly does refer to Velepromet. It refers to direct
11 management by your subordinate Borisavljevic, the head of the centre is
12 Stojanovic. The fact is that he is an OB source, that's security organ
13 source. It goes on to say six people from various Vukovar communes are
14 chosen, are continuously employed for the identification of local people.
15 I'm asking you if what you say is right, that you're just trying
16 to target ringleaders, why is it necessary to have this level of
17 filtration of local people? It's a simple question.
18 A. Well, Mr. Moore, there's a large group of civilians arriving and
19 we, the JNA, who arrived in the area that was new to us, and I pointed out
20 before that the Guards Brigade was never territorially in charge of that
21 area. We didn't know anyone there. The only possible source to provide
22 information to us, for example, if people didn't have their IDs on them or
23 they had discarded their personal documents, were the TO people who knew
24 all the locals and they were the only ones who could tell us where those
25 people were actually who they said they were.
1 And based on any information that we received, among so many
2 civilians, there may have been one single person who was infiltrated and
3 hiding among the crowd. It would have been impossible for us to tell
4 whether there were five or ten of them or what have you. As I said
5 before, during the actual combat, we had not actually discovered more than
6 10 such people who were hiding among civilians and then we brought them in
7 on the grounds that they were suspected of crimes, but there weren't that
8 many such people really in the course of ...
9 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, the point is perfectly straightforward.
10 Velepromet was being used as a filtration unit or a filtration location
11 for any individuals who you might, I say "you", I mean the security organ
12 or others, might have thought were MUPs or ZNG. That was the purpose of
13 Velepromet, wasn't it? That's why people were going there. That's why
14 six people were being employed.
15 A. Mr. Moore, please, that's your interpretation. You weren't there;
16 I was. I was on the spot. You want to hurry me along. I can do that for
17 you, but please don't force any answers on me. I'm an honourable man from
18 an honourable country. Velepromet was a holding centre for Vukovar
19 civilians and all of Vukovar civilians came there. It was the Red Cross
20 that were supposed to help them, not us. They wanted to choose whether
21 they would stay and live in Vukovar in as far as there was room for them.
22 If not, by the 18th of November, the army had been told that the Red Cross
23 should take any people for whom there was no longer any room in Vukovar to
24 the Red Cross office in Sid. They would then be dealt with there until a
25 more permanent solution was found.
1 Velepromet was a holding centre for those civilians in order to
2 assist them. However, what the security organs wanted to do was to check
3 whether anyone was hiding among those civilians. And they did just that,
4 having enlisted the assistance of the TO members who were running the
5 centre. If we suspected someone of having been a member of those
6 paramilitary units or a person who possibly had committed crimes, we would
7 send any such persons to Sid because that -- those were the orders. If
8 not, we would just say, "Don't touch this person, he or she is a civilian
9 and they will now go with the Red Cross." That was the purpose of the
10 holding centre.
11 Q. When you say "the assistance of TO members", does that mean that
12 local TO members were being used to identify individuals whom they
13 suspected might have been involved in the commission of crimes or to be
14 politically unsafe?
15 A. You see, for example, the area where they all lived together, all
16 those people had been living together in that area and the same thing
17 applied to the TO members of Vukovar. They said they had heard of someone
18 for example. For example, there is a man named Janko Jankovic and they
19 say we heard that he had planted explosives, that he had been involved in
20 some sort of sabotage, that he had been committing acts of violence
21 against the people. We would go through our list to see if there was any
22 such person. We would go and talk to our technical organs to see if they
23 had anything on that particular person. We would have an interview with
24 that person. So if the person confesses, then that's the person. If the
25 person doesn't confess, if there's no evidence, then we would just let him
1 go in his capacity as an ordinary civilian. We didn't do anything else
2 with those people really.
3 And on top of that, there is a suggestion here in this paragraph,
4 if you read the last sentence, "to as soon as possible send those people
5 over to Sid, to keep them there for as short a time as possible." It may
6 have been the last hour or two and they'd be off to Sid immediately.
7 Q. You referred to the phrase "our list". Does that mean, then, that
8 you had lists actually there of people that you wanted to speak to or
10 A. We looked at a document here produced by the security
11 administration that was sent and contained certain names. They got those
12 names from somewhere, from a source, but the names may have been
13 inaccurate. For all we knew, they were given to us to check if there were
14 any such persons by those names there in the area. What I tried to say
15 several times, mind you, there are a number of sources from whom the
16 security organs obtained their information and then some sort of
17 classification is needed. Operative, where cooperative action and will it
18 not go into all the methods that we used at the time now.
19 Q. So what does the list contain? What is the purpose of the list
20 that you referred to? Never mind where it came from. What's the purpose
21 of the list?
22 A. As I said, and you saw for yourself, the document is right there.
23 I think it's been exhibited. Next to each person, a reason was stated as
24 to why the person was on that list, what the person was suspected of.
25 Were they a MUP member? Did they do anything in particular? Did they
1 fire at anyone? Did they kill anyone? Were they one of the organisers?
2 I can't just tell you off the bat right now. I would have to see the list
3 and see what it says in relation to each person. For example, the person
4 may have been the leader of a rebel unit or something like that. You can
5 go back to that document. We can analyse the names one by one. I can
6 hardly be expected to say off the bat what he meant in reference to each
7 one of those individuals.
8 Q. No, Mr. Sljivancanin, you used phrase, "We would go through our
9 list." I want to know whether, in actual fact, there were lists of people
10 being constructed, being compiled at that time as a result of information
11 from wherever. Were there lists prepared or not?
12 A. A list existed, the list that we received as information from the
13 professional body and where we were able to see who these people were and
14 if we were given a name, a specific name, the name of a specific person,
15 for example, somebody who had been detained as someone who had perpetrated
16 a crime, who said, "My group leader is in Stjepan Supac school and his
17 name is so and so, such and such." So we had a name when the man told me
18 who his commander or leader was. And I remember that on one occasion, a
19 man said that in Stjepan Supac, he said that the commander was such and
20 such and he was in command of everybody in the area. That happened on one
22 Q. Were there lists of -- or did those lists contain names of people
23 who, perhaps, were individuals who had taken up arms against the JNA?
24 A. Well, they were the names of those people, the names of people
25 bearing arms and shooting at our soldiers. We weren't interested in any
1 civilian who was innocent and in a cellar somewhere. We helped those
2 people. There was no need for us to focus on those at all.
3 Q. Were there names of lists -- were there lists of people who,
4 perhaps, were believed to be criminals or had committed a criminal act?
5 A. There were those too.
6 Q. Were there names in relation to people who had committed, as was
7 believed, had committed atrocities against Serbs or JNA soldiers?
8 A. Well, I remember, and I even received a film here as an exhibit
9 which you handed over, of a man and he is mentioned in my report. It is
10 somebody who, when he gave himself up, in front of foreign journalists
11 asked to speak, but he asked for him to be blindfolded, and I heard about
12 the very brutal killings that he perpetrated. I don't want to talk about
13 them here now and recount them again. But on that footage, you have the
14 man and the statement he gave to journalists from Austrian and German
15 television. They asked him and I said, well, why don't they film him and
16 he talked about all this. He told the story -- he said that in front of
17 15 mothers, he took aside two children and slit their throats with a
19 Q. Would you be kind enough, please, to look at tab 21. It's tab 22
20 for you. Now this was the document you wanted us to refer to, but I will
21 do things in my own time, if I may.
22 A. 23?
23 Q. 22 in English, 23 in B/C/S.
24 MR. MOORE: Would Your Honour forgive me. I'm just trying to get
25 this index sorted out. It is tab 21, which is Exhibit 834, and tab 22 in
1 the B/C/S. That's what I thought I'd --
2 JUDGE PARKER: Not in our set.
3 MR. MOORE: Is it not?
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mine is tab 21 and 22, where as Judge Thelin has
5 the numbering you suggested. I cannot tell you what the witness has.
6 MR. MOORE: We will try and find out.
7 JUDGE PARKER: But you want a document dated the 9th of November.
8 MR. MOORE: It's the 9th of November.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And it's either 21 or 22.
10 MR. MOORE: I have got the English version in tab 21 and the B/C/S
11 version I thought was 22. Your Honour doesn't have that?
12 JUDGE PARKER: I have that, but not Judge Thelin.
13 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I think Judge Thelin says he does.
14 Q. Well, in any event, we'll carry on. And the important thing, Mr.
15 Sljivancanin, is that you and I have got the correct tab. So tab 21 --
16 A. Mr. Moore, I've found tab 23 and that is a document dated the 9th
17 of November, 1991, if that's it.
18 Q. No, I'm referring to tab 21, which is the 9th of November in
19 English, Exhibit 834, and tab 22 should be exactly the same document in
20 B/C/S. And I see nodded heads all around, but you should have exactly the
21 same bundle because it's done by one of these brilliant machines here. So
22 can we go to tab 22?
23 A. I have it. Here it is. Yes, I've got the document.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Now, can we just deal with this particular
25 document. There it is, the 9th of November. It's the Guards Motorised
1 Brigade security organ and it is to the security organ of the office of
2 the SSNO; is that right?
3 A. This is a report by the security organ of the Guards Motorised
4 Brigade in the SSNO, office of the SSNO, and the date is the 9th of
5 November, 1991.
6 Q. Would you be kind enough, please, then, to turn to the last three
7 paragraphs. Now, in English, it commences, "In an interview with the OB,"
8 in an interview with the security organ, and then it refers to a name,
9 Marko Crevar. Do you see that? Have you got that, Mr. Sljivancanin?
10 A. I have Marko Crevar, a member of the TO Vukovar, in an interview
11 with OB.
12 Q. Yes. Can I read that, please. We've got the same document and
13 the same paragraph, thankfully. "In an interview with the security organ,
14 Marko Crevar, a member of the Vukovar TO, said that Osja Suman, an HDZ
15 extremist Ustasha, is currently staying in the intercontinental hotel in
16 Belgrade. He is probably using the name Suman."
17 Next paragraph. "After the Bosko Buha estate in Vukovar was
18 liberated, a large number of inhabitants suddenly appear in shelters.
19 Over 300 persons have been evacuated to Velepromet where they have been
20 individually processed. During the day, around 100 persons were processed
21 of which around 25 have been selected. They are of interest to the
22 security organs in the future collection of information about Ustasha
23 positions and forces and in possible exchanges for captured JNA members."
24 So we're talking about 25 per cent detention rate on that group.
25 Then the third paragraph. "These persons have close relations in
1 the MUP and ZNG or have themselves participated in various forms of combat
2 against our forces. These persons are currently in Velepromet. We are
3 expecting that future combat operations will generate more such people and
4 we therefore request that you send us any new information about all the
5 extremists in the Vukovar area and the vicinity for future intelligence
6 work." Signed, yourself.
7 So, let's just look at this material. Firstly, there is
8 nomination by you of individuals who are politically opposed to the JNA,
9 and secondly, who may have used force against the JNA. So I'm suggesting
10 to you, you are picking out people, not leaders, but people who are
11 politically and militarily opposed to you. Do you agree with that, Mr.
13 A. I do not. First of all, and I apologise to Mr. Moore, but maybe I
14 have the wrong translation again, or interpretation. I do believe that
15 you read it quickly, but it doesn't say that we set aside 25 per cent, but
16 the detention rate was 25 per cent, but that members of the Territorial
17 Defence set aside 25 individuals. 25 individuals have been selected whom
18 they consider to be of interest to the security organs, in the sense of
19 collecting information about the positions and forces of the Ustasha
20 formations and a possible exchange for captured JNA members. Which means
21 that at that centre of those 300 persons who arrived as civilians, they
22 considered that 25 of those could provide us with that kind of
24 And we interrogated those people, interviewed them. And knowing
25 the area, these people considered that they were members of the extremist
1 section of the HDZ, that is to say, people who had armed formations who
2 they referred to as the ZNG, the Croatian National Guards Corps. That
3 does not mean that these 25 were all suspects and that we took them to
4 Sid, but we talked to them, we interviewed them, and those who confessed
5 to some criminal act or were active participants and engaged in combat, we
6 handed them over later on as suspects, as people whom we suspected of
7 having committing criminal acts.
8 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, when the utmost of respect, when one looks at
9 this final paragraph, it says, "these persons have close relations in the
10 MUP or ZNG, or its disjunctive". So in actual fact, they are being
11 isolated because of their close relations with persons who either
12 politically or militarily may be opposed to you or have themselves
13 participated in various forms of combat. It is entirely separate. It is
14 disjunctive. You are isolating people who either are militarily involved
15 against you or have relations who maybe involved. That is right, isn't
17 A. Well, you can interpret it as you see fit, but I am telling you,
18 and I was a fighter in the war, I write about these things, I know what I
19 did, and I'm telling you how things were. And it is this: These people
20 were separated -- singled out from those 300 by the TO members because
21 they had suspicions of these people having something to do with all these
22 things you mentioned. And they say, "Here we have the people. We've
23 found these people and, we, as the professional organs, are there to
24 conduct interviews together with the OBs, to establish whether these were
25 indeed that type of person and, if so, to send them to the prison Sid; if
1 not, to release them and they could go back with the other civilians and
2 the Red Cross.
3 I cannot accept your interpretations as you see fit. I'm telling
4 you how things were.
5 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin?
6 A. Yes, go ahead please.
7 Q. What I'm suggesting is it wasn't the case of just lists of 10 or
8 15 people, as you have been trying to suggest, of leaders. There were
9 large lists of people being compiled either for political, militarily,
10 various reasons that perhaps is suggesting that they were against the JNA.
11 You were compiling lists, not small lists, large lists. Do you accept
12 that or not?
13 A. Well, Mr. Moore, that is just not true. That is what you say.
14 And you can see here, we didn't write down a single name, the name of a
15 single person because we didn't want to name names and say that such and
16 such was an extremist or had committed a crime until that had been
18 Perhaps none of these suspects had committed any crimes or were
19 perpetrators and perhaps they were sent back. Had they been suspects,
20 proper suspects, we would say: We have five persons and they are as
21 follows with the names. And you can look at another of my reports where I
22 do stipulate the -- who the perpetrators of crimes were and where I name
23 names. I set out their names. This is just a number, not names, which
24 means that they were not proved to be suspects.
25 Q. Let us look at something else then, shall we.
1 I would like to put before the Court another file, please. It
2 comes under the generic heading "Lists."
3 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, there are copies for everyone and the
4 interpreters have got this document. I hope that all parties have got
5 this document. It's a fairly straightforward and simple document.
6 Might I respectfully inquire from the Bench if there are
7 indictments or appendix to the indictment in that file?
8 Very well. I'll deal with that in due course if I may. Thank you
9 very much. We have the copies done.
10 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, this file is a compilation of various documents
11 that have been adduced. Can we go to tab 1, please.
12 May I assist the Court in any manner?
13 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: Sorry, I was always taught never to proceed if a Judge
15 was talking. My apologies.
16 JUDGE PARKER: With this Bench, carry on.
17 MR. MOORE: Very well.
18 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, can we please turn, in your case, to tab 2. Tab
19 2 is the B/C/S version of our tab 1, and it is dated the 22nd of October,
20 1991. The stamp is the office of the SSNO and it is a report.
21 "The security situation in the Guards Motorised Brigade units in
22 the zone of combat operations." It is signed by the assistant chief of
23 office for security and Dukic. Now you have told us about material lists
24 and how things were obtained. I just want to deal with one or two parts,
25 please of this report.
1 The first paragraph relates to friendly fire. I'm sure the Court
2 will remember that. Daily losses and ceases, exposure to artillery fire
3 from Croatian armed formations gives rise to distrust and rumours of
4 losses inflicted by friendly artillery fire, Captain Galib, commander of
5 the 155-millimetre howitzer battalion for reasons of mistrust refused to
6 send the coordinates of firing positions to the gun computer section and
7 this resulted in serious consequences for the positions of our fire.
8 Serious consequences for the precision of our fire, is that a
9 rather polite way of saying the guns were firing at locations where they
10 shouldn't have been and the consequences was either the destruction of
11 property or killing of people? Is that the actual reality of what that
13 A. In -- what I've said so far, I dwelled at length with what the
14 serious consequences of imprecision was, imprecision of firing. Now, I
15 see this Military District here, I -- perhaps I received information from
16 my security officer who was in the area. I don't remember now. But there
17 was imprecise firing, imprecision in the firing, and after all the
18 measures taken, this was corrected. But we later received a report that
19 it was because the ammunition was damp. And it was our own forces that
20 suffered as a result of that because the artillery weapons would be 400
21 metres off the target, and when the head of the artillery arrived and we
22 toured the positions or, rather, they toured the positions, they came to
23 the conclusion that the gunpowder fills were damp.
24 We spent quite a long time talking about that over the past few
25 days, but if you like, I can repeat it all.
1 Q. I want to go to the paragraph which commences, "According to a
2 number of sources ..." In the English version, it's page 2. It is the
3 fourth paragraph. So "According to a number of sources, Miroslav Macura
4 of Vukovar," do you see that? Have you got that particular paragraph?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Shall we just read it? "According to a number of sources,
7 Miroslav Macura of Vukovar, assistant to the minister of internal affairs
8 for Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, took part in the organised sale of
9 weapons of the Vukovar TO."
10 Next paragraph. "A preliminary interview with Goran Oreskovic of
11 Vukovar provided information about individual members of the ZNG, Croatian
12 National Guard Corps. According to him, the following are armed with
13 Kalashnikov automatic rifles, and then he gives various names: Zvonko
14 Batalon, Damjan Gaspar, Jurica Mikic, Zvonko Mikic, Drago Markobasic,
15 Sinisa Gudelj, Zvonko Condic, Miroslav Pap, Tomislav Kolak, and Darko
16 Todorovic. And the following are armed with sniper rifles: Goran Duraj,
17 Bobo Duraj, Sasa Molnar, Oreskovic, also pointed to a group of armed
18 civilians possibly HOS, Croation defence forces, among whom are the
19 following: Andrija Baric, Sasa Vulic, Goran Segavac, Stevica Kresic,
20 Branko Gavaj, Josip Gavaj and Tomislav Lorberger."
21 Would it surprise you that there are a significant number of
22 people named in this document, not just this paragraph, who actually were
23 killed in Ovcara or were potential relatives of people killed in Ovcara,
24 namely having the same surname? I will continue, by the way, with the
25 other names, but I will give out the names to assist parties. Would that
1 surprise you that in this document, no less than three of them were
2 killed, and with regard to Gaspar, there is a Gaspar in the indictment.
3 Marko Basic; there is a Marko Basic in the indictment. Gudelj is in the
4 indictment. Pap; there is a Pap in the indictment. Baric; there is a
5 Baric in the indictment. Vulic; there were three Vulic's who were named
6 as deceased in the indictment. Kresic; Kresic is in the indictment. And
7 Hovat; two Hovats in the indictment.
8 Now is it just mere chance that people with this surname, as I
9 call it, and actually three specific individuals, have actually either
10 ended up dead in Ovcara or the names themselves are coincidently the same
11 as people who were being killed in Ovcara?
12 A. It's like this you see, Mr. Moore. I need a give a more lengthy
13 explanation. What it says here, this individual here, the person
14 providing this information might have, perhaps, might have been a civilian
15 who had fled from the area or he might have been a member of those
16 paramilitaries. I don't know. But if he was a member, it would have said
17 so. It just says that in talking to Oreskovic, which means that he was a
18 civilian probably, which had crossed over to the over side and might have
19 crossed at Velepromet or whatever, I can't say now. And he provided us
20 with the names. He said that he had seen these people with arms, with
21 weapons and then he said, here, who had a rifle, who had an automatic
22 rifle, a sniper, whatever, as we set it out here in this document.
23 Now, we sent on that information. That does not mean that he
24 provided us with the right information. So we sent off this information
25 as the security organs do. This data was collected as was information
1 from other sides and was checked out to see whether what they had told us
2 was the truth or not. And later on if we came across any of these
3 individuals, then we could assess whether the source was a reliable source
4 or an unreliable source or, rather, whether these individuals had really
5 committed crimes or not. And then steps are taken and legal proceedings
6 are taken again these individuals. We can call back the person who
7 provided the names and use him in the proceedings.
8 Now, this is what I'm surprised at. I'm most surprised at the
9 fact that innocent people could have suffered and been victims and if some
10 people were on this list as you, yourself, say, then there is the
11 possibility that those were indeed members of paramilitary formations,
12 that they did not surrender, they did not give themselves up, but went
13 into hiding. And if they were detained from the hospital as people who
14 had committed crimes were taken to the barracks, then later on, I told you
15 what I know about their destiny, the destiny of these people after the
16 barracks. I don't want to repeat all that. I know what people told me.
17 So if that's the case, then this source had indeed provided us
18 with the right information. The person went into hiding, he was brought
19 in as a suspect. Now what happened to him afterwards, where he went in
20 what direction, can be checked out.
21 Q. Yes, yes, but what's an answer to the question?
22 A. I've answered your question.
23 Q. Well, I'm asking you how all these names of people, similar
24 surnames, is it just coincidence that they have ended up dead in Ovcara,
25 and here are the same names coming through, along with others, in a
1 security organ documentation? It's coincidence or not?
2 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I've already said that this man, the man who
3 provided the names of these individuals at the time told us what he had
4 seen and how he had seen these people. That does not mean that he gave us
5 the right information. We sent it -- we forwarded it to be checked and if
6 the people found on this list, I can conclude on the basis of what you
7 have said here that these people were -- had indeed been armed, and that
8 they had not given themselves in and handed in their weapons, but that
9 they went into hiding and then were probably found in the hospital, taken
10 to the barracks in Sremska Mitrovica and so on, which means that some of
11 the people --
12 Q. They were taken from the hospital and taken where?
13 A. To the barracks in Vukovar. If they were in the hospital. I
14 don't know if they were in the hospital or not.
15 Q. You said to the barracks in Sremska Mitrovica. What I'm saying to
16 you is that these people here, there are surnames of people who have been
17 killed in Ovcara. These people have not gone to Sremska Mitrovica unless
18 they've gone all the way to Sremska Mitrovica and been brought back in
19 again unbeknownst to everybody for the past year and two months in this
21 A. Well, I testified I found out that night from Srecko Borisavljevic
22 of what Mr. Mrksic had told me. The people from the barracks were taken
23 over by the government that was in session on that day in order to have
24 them exchanged for Serbs. I didn't realise there would be any vengeful
25 acts committed against them nor did I ever hear that these people had been
2 Q. What I want to know is, were lists made of names of the people in
3 documents like this or did they just float off into the air?
4 A. Nobody just floated off, Mr. Moore. This is information provided
5 by the person named right here. If these people were to be tried or found
6 out to have committed crimes, then this person would have been called to
7 testify as being the original source of that information.
8 We sent this information along to the effect that we knew that
9 these were armed people, what sort of weapons they had, and that they had
10 been firing at soldiers.
11 Q. This is a document dated the 22nd of October. We know on the 21st
12 of October, Velepromet was set up under the control of the security organ.
13 I want to know two things: One, were these names put down in documentary
14 form either in a list? And two, if they were, were they given to other
15 members of the security organ? For example, Mr. Borosavljevic or yourself
16 or Mr. Karanfilov or Mr. Vukasinovic to name but a few?
17 A. Right. These names provided by the men who talked, all my
18 security officers heard the names and they were in a position to check as
19 we were putting together this report. Maybe he was talking to the person
20 from the security administration, Borisavljevic. I don't exactly know who
21 was talking to him at the time. It really depends on which organ produces
22 the document. But we have these names, and should we happen to be looking
23 for any such people later on, if they suddenly turn up anywhere in the
24 territory, then we can check the reliability of the source. We can check
25 the authenticity of the information about these people and then
1 potentially we can bring these people in as criminals.
2 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to divider 3 in English and 4 in B/C/S.
3 Do you have that particular document? It is dated the 23rd of October.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Let's just look at this particular document. It's the security
6 situation in the unit and the zone of responsibility daily operations
7 report for the 22nd, 23rd of October and signed by yourself. Do you
9 A. I do.
10 Q. Thank you. This is going off to the office of the SSNO.
11 Now, again, there is a protected witness. I don't want to mention
12 names in relation to that. There is reference to looted items, but what I
13 really want to do is, in the English version, to turn to page 2, and for
14 you, please, to locate a list of names just under the line, "In interviews
15 with several sources, we have gathered information."
16 Have we got that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "In interviews with several sources, we have gathered
19 information." What do you mean by "interviews"? Is that some sort of
20 polite chat or is that, perhaps, sources from ZNG or MUP? Can you just
21 lift the curtain a little on that?
22 A. In interviews conducted by security officers with certain persons.
23 This may be one of the 25 persons that you mentioned earlier, those at
24 Velepromet. They had arrived from the side where the paramilitaries were
25 and they provide information as to what they know about people who were
1 fighting the JNA.
2 Q. You have named 24 people here. There are obviously other names
3 but you've actually numbered 24 people. I just want to deal with one or
4 two matters.
5 Number two, Pavko Zivkovic and his two sons are members of the
6 ZNG. Does it surprise you for you to know that there was a Zivkovic who
7 was killed in Ovcara or should I say murdered in Ovcara?
8 A. Again, I have to go back to this, Mr. Moore. During their
9 interviews, these people gave the names of people whom they suspected of
10 being armed and of being members of the ZNG. Again, this doesn't
11 necessarily mean that the information is entirely accurate; I mean
12 accurate. This is the information that we were given. We can take it to
13 be accurate if, in the course of combat, or while cleansing the area, we
14 find a person named Zivkovic Pave, we bring him in, he's armed, we see
15 that this is the person. If this person is to be tried, we can call this
16 person, whoever it was that provided the information. They can say that
17 indeed they did provide that sort of information and they did see him
18 committing criminal offences. So this is the very first information we
19 ever got. This is preliminary intelligence work. We know that these
20 persons exist but there is no verification to that effect.
21 Q. All I am asking is, in actual fact, the name Zivkovic is -- there
22 are two names in Ovcara who were murdered, and here it is Pavo Zivkovic
23 and his two sons are members of the ZNG. Does it surprise you in any way?
24 It's just a coincidence?
25 A. Mr. Moore, there are people called Zivkovic in my village too.
1 Perhaps Zivkovic is something, I don't know. All these names sound alike
2 throughout the former Yugoslavia. This might as well be Zivkovic Pave, if
3 indeed we found such a person with some documents on them. But what I'm
4 telling you is this doesn't mean that those were the very people stated
5 here. Somebody is giving us names. We're checking these names. We look
6 for those people to see if these indeed are the right people we're looking
7 for. This is just preliminary information. This is not confirmed. We
8 never got these people. We never captured these people. If we'd caught
9 them and they turned out to be perpetrators of crimes such as those at
10 Mitnica, who were armed, we would write down exactly who it was that
11 surrendered with weapons on them. All right. I'll slow down.
12 Q. That's all right. Don't worry.
13 Look at number 2. Milan Magdic. Well that actually wasn't just a
14 name; he was actually murdered in Ovcara. If we look down at number 8,
15 we've got Zugec, different one, Christian name, he was a sniper. If we
16 look over the page, number 19 and 20, we have got Mirko Baketa and Zoran
17 Baketa, not victims but the name Baketa ends up being murdered in Ovcara.
18 And then Horvat, we've already mentioned Horvat before, but here is
19 Horvat, another name again mentioned, a victim in Ovcara.
20 So out of the 24, we have got one victim and two, four, six, seven
21 names out of 28. What I want to know is what was happening to these
22 names? Were they being collated by the security organ?
23 A. I don't think I understand the last part of your question. Were
24 they what?
25 Q. What I'm suggesting is that through various sources, you were
1 being given names of people who were opponents to the JNA as perceived,
2 either as extremists or criminals and that list was compiled and was used
3 as a filtering system to isolate those same individuals. That's what I'm
4 suggesting to you.
5 A. Mr. Moore, that was the purpose of this list.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That wasn't the purpose of
7 this list.
8 A. After each of our interviews, we were required to put together
9 lists of persons who were referred to as potential perpetrators of
10 criminal offences. If, indeed, this is confirmed, if a person is caught
11 in the act of actually committing a crime or if they surrender while still
12 armed, such as was the case at Mitnica, then we put together a list.
13 These people confessed to crimes that they committed and there were no
14 further interviews. They are just dispatched to the Sremska Mitrovica
16 Those persons still in hiding, whom we haven't tracked down yet,
17 because they still -- they are still hiding, we try to look for them and
18 find them based on their IDs. If not, we ask the TO members to give us
19 the names of any people we didn't know and then we would send them for
20 interviews to Sremska Mitrovica. And then later, we used these lists to
21 cross-reference them to see if these were the same persons who committed
22 crimes or not.
23 So, these people on this list, the names that we mentioned back
24 then, we didn't find any of them carrying weapons or committing crimes.
25 Whoever provided this type of information told us that they had seen them
1 and that we would just send them further down the line to be processed or
2 tried or whatever.
3 Q. Would you mind turning to tab 5 in English, for you, tab 6,
4 please. Tab 6, document dated -- it's actually a double document, it's
5 the 10th of November is the -- what I call the preamble, but the document
6 I really want is the 9th of November, that is tab 6. It's your second
7 page. Do you follow?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. We can see that it is the 9th of November. It is the Federal
10 Secretariat of National Defence, strictly confidential, to security chief
11 SSNO. Let's just read one or two parts of this document and practice the
12 same system as I've been doing: "We are in possession of certain
13 partially-verified intelligence on members of the MUP and ZNG in Vukovar.
14 The location of firing points, weapons, amounts of ammunition and shelters
15 in Vukovar being used by members of Croatian paramilitary units."
16 And then this document breaks into parts. I will try and assist
17 everyone with it. The first part is, one, some information on members of
18 the Vukovar police administration. And it gives various names.
19 Do you see Milan Grejza? Do you see that name? It's the fifth
21 A. Yes, I see that.
22 Q. From Vukovar, previously an inspector, now commander of the
23 traffic and transport station. He was wounded and is currently in
25 Note the date, the 9th of November, this man was murdered in
1 Ovcara. I would suggest he was taken from the hospital and this was a man
2 on your records actually was wounded.
3 If you turn over in the English format, the second page, Matko
4 Rimac. Have you got that?
5 A. Yes, Mato, Rimac.
6 Q. Mato Rimac from Nustar is a member of the HDZ. Rimac is the name
7 of an Ovcara victim.
8 Let's move on down. Stanko Duvljak, have you got that?
9 A. Duvljak Stanko, indeed.
10 Q. From Vukovar was a policeman before. He actually was murdered in
12 Two lines below that. Mato Babic from Vukovar, shift leader in
13 the duty service, previously employed as a policeman. He again has the
14 name of an Ovcara victim.
15 Four names below that, Ilij Baketa from Lovas, operative, still
16 employed at the Vukovar PU. That person has the name of an Ovcara victim.
17 Let us then just move down to Dragan Bosanac from Vukovar, still
18 employed at the Vukovar PU.
19 Well it's right, isn't it, that the name Bosanac referred to two
20 persons who were killed in Ovcara.
21 Next name, Miroslav Pap. Again, still employed at the Vukovar PU,
22 that's an Ovcara victim name.
23 Then there is a gap. And I want to move on down to the sentence
24 starting "Men by the names of Hegedus." Have you got that? It's
25 four-fifths of the way down the page in the English version. It's just
1 above number 2. I'm sorry, I can't be more precise. Do you see Hegedus?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Men by the names of Hegedus, and then it mentions
4 others, all policemen. Tomislav Hegedus was named in the indictment and
5 there is no Christian name here at all. He was murdered at Ovcara.
6 Branko Lukenda. Another name mentioned in this document of the
7 security organ. Lukenda was killed at Ovcara.
8 Let's move on to number 2. The following people were recorded as
9 members of the Croatian ZNG in Vukovar in the middle of October this year.
10 Now, this is the ZNG. And we're talking about the hospital.
11 Have you got that particular section?
12 A. As members of the ZNG, the Croats in Vukovar, the following
13 persons, and then a list follows.
14 Q. Thank you. I want to deal with a sentence that starts, "A man
15 called Zeljko last name unknown, a haulier from Vukovar who was named as
16 Veliki Boljer in radio communications." Would it surprise you that he was
17 an Ovcara victim?
18 Three lines below that. A man called Dalic, also known as Macak
19 from Vukovar. He was released early from prison where he had been for the
20 crime of robbery.
21 I suggest he was murdered at Ovcara.
22 Two lines below that, the Molnar brothers from Vukovar, who were
23 resident in Petrova Gora now in Olajnica, members of the ZNG responsible
24 for raiding flats. They were murdered in Ovcara.
25 Josip Horvat, also known as Madar. There is intelligence that he
1 tortured Stevo Obradov from Barane, owner of the Carda Cafe on the Danube
2 with electric shocks.
3 What is the next phrase? Executor of JNA and TO prisoners? Is
4 that what it says?
5 A. I apologise. I haven't been able to follow and track down
6 everything that you read, but perhaps I'm just not on the right page.
7 So --
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... name Horvat.
9 A. Horvat Josip, aka Madar. Yes, I've got that one.
10 Q. And he was supposed to be a gentleman who executed JNA and TO
11 prisoners; is that right? That was the security organ information?
12 A. Yes. Yes. Prisoners of the JNA and TO.
13 Q. He was murdered as Ovcara. Markobasic brothers, Drago and Anton,
14 both from Vukovar, members of the ZNG. As we know, Marko Basic was the
15 name of an Ovcara victim.
16 Vulic from Vukovar, two lines down, a known criminal, gambler and
17 swindler, a member of the ZNG, current whereabouts unknown. He was
18 murdered at Ovcara.
19 And son of Ivan Vulic, also known as Salas, also a criminal, a
20 member of the ZNG, current whereabouts also unknown. He was also murdered
21 at Ovcara.
22 Now, are you saying that this is coincidence?
23 A. So, Mr. Moore, I was following you closely. This list, this
24 document is a result of long intelligence work up to the 9th of November.
25 It was collated by JNA security organs. It was produced by the security
1 administration. What are the sources? I don't know. It was eventually
2 sent down to us for us to have a copy of that list because these people
3 were suspected of having been involved in the armed insurgency in the town
4 of Vukovar. The people on this list. To the extent that we could, we
5 were expected to track these people down, and if these people were hiding
6 in the hospital, the morning that the triage was conducted, then those who
7 were involved in the triage, specifically, the Vukovar Hospital's doctors,
8 and they turned these people in as members of the ZNG. They were
9 suspected of crimes and on that account, they were brought over to the
10 Vukovar barracks.
11 My interpretation of this is that triage was conducted properly,
12 if that's what you're asking. I'll say it again: The people from the
13 Vukovar barracks were taken over by the government in order to be
14 exchanged for their own captured Serbs. I don't know who took that
15 decision or why, but one thing I can confirm is that in as far as we've
16 read this accurately, I don't know that all these people were killed at
17 Ovcara and I never actually cross-referenced the lists that you are now
18 using with those in the indictment, but I see that you obviously have and
19 I can tell that you some of these people were hiding, if they were among
20 the people at the hospital. And the selection process carried out by the
21 people who were in charge of that, and I was there too, was done properly
22 and according to the rules. That's one thing I can definitely say and
23 then I can also say that these people obviously were hiding there
24 concealing themselves.
25 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, at the hospital, the security organ -- you were
1 there, Vukasinovic was there; isn't that right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And the security organ had these names?
4 A. We had the names but they never introduced themselves and said:
5 My name is such and such. They didn't have IDs; they didn't introduce
6 themselves. Rather, it was the Vukovar Hospital doctors who told us, as I
7 said before, which of the people that were hiding and were in actual fact
8 members of the ZNG.
9 Q. But isn't it right, and we've heard evidence from one of the
10 nurses there, that in actual fact, lists, that some of the soldiers, the
11 JNA soldiers, had lists at that particular time when the triage was
12 occurring; isn't that right?
13 A. We, the security officers, did not give any lists to any of the
14 JNA soldiers. Through our intelligence work, through our interviews, or,
15 for example, if a person was brought in who was armed, we would check
16 whether that person's name was on our list. Between the 18th and the time
17 the triage was completed, as envisaged in the original assignment, Bogdan
18 Vujovic from the security administration was in the hospital too. It was
19 said that we would not be conducting any interviews with suspects.
20 Rather, they would be sent to Sremska Mitrovica and their fate would be
21 decided there, who would be tried or who would be released as an innocent
23 So between the 18th and the 20th, we conducted no more interviews
24 with these people, rather, the gist of the matter was to have them
25 dispatched to Sremska Mitrovica as soon as possible where they would then
1 be interviewed.
2 Q. But, Mr. Sljivancanin, let's deal with reality for a moment. The
3 18th of November is when the fighting basically stopped. The Mitnica
4 battalion is extracted and taken to Ovcara where lists are compiled. You
5 have got information and a belief that there are defenders who have
6 secreted themselves in the Vukovar Hospital. Are you seriously suggesting
7 that you did not have lists of individuals to try and track people who
8 might be hiding in the hospital and whom you wanted to speak to? Is that
9 what you're seriously suggesting?
10 A. I'm seriously suggesting to you that my only desire was to speak
11 to Lieutenant Colonel Dedakovic because he was a fellow soldier. I wanted
12 to speak to see to see how it had ever come to pass that we were killing
13 each other. I had been wanting to meet him throughout the fighting in
14 Vukovar. All the others that we were supposed to track down and have them
15 tried for their crimes or exchanged, after the 18th, we conducted no more
16 interviews, we just sent them to where we had been ordered to send them
18 As for the Mitnica group, they surrendered and said: Here, we
19 shall lay down our arms and a list was drawn up by their own commander, as
20 a matter of fact. He draw up a list with the names of all his men but we
21 had no doubts about that because those people had willingly laid down
22 their arms and we just took them to the Sremska Mitrovica prison. The
23 people I'm talking about right now were identified at the hospital by the
24 Vukovar Hospital doctors. They said these were the people who had been in
25 hiding and who were suspected of being members of the ZNG. We didn't
1 check if their names were even Vulic, Solomon Dranko or what have you. We
2 just wanted them taken to Sremska Mitrovica where they would then be
3 reliably identified.
4 Q. Can I ask you a very direct question: Did you know the name of
5 the -- the surname of Dosen when you went to that hospital on the 20th?
6 A. I didn't. He may have been on one or the other lists, but I
7 really couldn't check everything. I didn't look at any lists in the
8 hospital and I didn't have any lists on me in the hospital. It was back
9 in a drawer in my office. But as for your question, no, I didn't. That's
10 the answer.
11 Q. Three Dosens were murdered at Ovcara. One of them was Martin
12 Dosen and Martin Dosen was considered to be one of the fiercest fighters
13 against the JNA. Are you saying that over a six week period, when you got
14 there in early October, until you moved into the hospital on the 18th,
15 19th of November, the name of Dosen never crossed your desk?
16 A. I don't remember. I really don't. Now, the names you just read
17 out, I have forgotten them all. If you brought the man in and he
18 introduced himself and I looked at the list, then I could circle his name,
19 but otherwise, I don't remember coming across the name of Dosen. I
20 remember Medakovic and I remember Kolas Stipo, those two names, but
21 otherwise, I don't remember any of the other names, just those two. And
22 Marin Vidic of course, I know him.
23 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, would that be an appropriate moment?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore. We must have the first break now
25 and we resume at 10 minutes past 4.00.
1 Before we do that, there was a time, Mr. Lukic, when you were on
2 your feet, but you sat before the end of the answer. Is there something
3 you wanted to bring up?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I know you don't like any
5 interruptions when the questioning is underway. I wanted to object
6 because some of the names, a significant number of names mentioned by Mr.
7 Moore, when he spoke about the fact that all of these ended up in Ovcara,
8 he must have told you whether the bodies were found or not although it is
9 his assertion that all of them ended up at Ovcara. Then he says, when he
10 mentioned Horvat Josip, Horvat Josip doesn't exist in the indictment at
11 all. So I'll clear that matter up in redirect. I didn't want to
12 interrupt Mr. Moore. But for the record, I would like to say that some of
13 the facts were incorrectly stated.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. We adjourn now until 10
16 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore.
19 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, can I just indicate, to assist the Court
20 and my learned friends, I had the opportunity of speaking with Mr. Lukic
21 about the evidence of who was found at the graves, who was nominated on
22 the annex. I, for my part, am quite happy to create a schedule to assist
23 all parties in conjunction with my learned friend so we know who was
24 actually exhumed, who was missing and who was in the annex. That way,
25 then, there is no error, I hope.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will save a lot of work for a lot of people,
2 some of which has been underway for a little time.
3 MR. MOORE:
4 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I want to deal with one part of this document
5 and then move into more general topics.
6 Could we please go to your tab 6, the very end of that document
7 where there is reference to Mrcep, Tomislav Mrcep. So it would be tab 6,
8 and it is basically the large penultimate paragraph at the very bottom.
9 If you look towards the very bottom in English it's about six
10 lines from the bottom.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I just want to deal with this in general
13 terms. There's reference here about, "After the departure from the town
14 of Tomislav Mercep, commander of the Vukovar ZNG, for abuses when selling
15 weapons receiving and keeping the money for himself, Djukic apparently
16 filmed the individual members of the ZNG who were led by Mercep, taking
17 statements from them about who may have killed in the cellar of the
18 Vukovar TO building, when they had killed them and how. According to some
19 intelligence, these amount to confessions to the killing of about 100
20 people who were mutilated." And then refers to a videotape.
21 Would it be right to say that there was a belief that atrocities
22 had occurred towards Serbs by the belief being held by the JNA and TO and
23 this demonstrates one of those beliefs?
24 A. Well, at the time, there was information according to which Mr.
25 Mercep had engaged in certain liquidations and liquidated certain Serbs in
1 the town of Vukovar.
2 Q. And there was also a belief, whether correct or not, for example,
3 that there were people wandering around with a necklace made of children's
4 fingers; isn't that right? We've heard about that.
5 A. Well, Mr. Moore, various rumours were going around at the time. I
6 can't remember them all. But there was panic generally and a lot of
7 misinformation and stories going around, as far as I was concerned, what I
8 found myself was what I considered to be true.
9 Q. I understand that. But what I'm trying to suggest is whether it
10 is true or whether it is untrue, there was circulating at that time
11 rumours about dreadful atrocities committed on Serbs and local people.
12 Isn't that right? The fingers, as a necklace, was one of the examples.
13 A. Stories like that were told, yes, and there were other rumours too
14 which arrived from the locals and the population to the effect that
15 terrible atrocities were committed.
16 Q. One of the others, for example, on Serbian television, there was
17 an interview with an elderly soldier, whether regular or not, about
18 finding children that were going to be literally baked, going to be
20 A. At the time, I remember that there were tales being told whereby
21 40 children in Vukovar had been killed. And then there were stories going
22 out that some other children had been killed in Mitnica and they even
23 pointed to the cellars where these people had been killed, but I didn't
24 find anything like that, which means that I didn't watch all the
25 television programmes for me to be able to assert whether they were true
1 or not.
2 Now, if you can show me some, I'd like to see them, but -- that
3 these 40 children were killed in Vukovar, I heard about that rumour. And
4 the other children in Mitnica, I went to look for them, to search for
5 them, but I didn't find any traces of that there.
6 Q. Well, I'm going to do that. I'm going to give you an example of
7 something that came from the Serbian television. It is video V0003845, 65
8 ter number 338. I'm going to take short extractions, if I may.
9 Now, we will endeavour to do that from here.
10 This is an example of -- or an interview from Serb TV with this
11 particular soldier or military person.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, certainly we had that checked today and
14 there was sound. I don't know why the sound isn't there. It has all been
15 checked this morning.
16 Q. Obviously, Mr. Sljivancanin, there is a transcript at the bottom.
17 The sound seems to have disappeared.
18 [Videotape played]
19 JUDGE PARKER: It would be necessary for the subtitles which are
20 in English to be translated, Mr. Moore.
21 MR. MOORE: Yes. As I said, it was all checked this morning and
22 was working correctly.
23 What I will do is I will move off to another topic and come back.
24 I don't have sound, but as I say, it certainly is there.
25 JUDGE PARKER: All we can do is proceed by using the interpreters
1 reading the subtitles.
2 MR. MOORE: We certainly could do that. I see that there is
3 electronic assistance coming.
4 Your Honour, what I will do is I will move on to another subject
5 and we'll come back to that. There may be some sort of gremlin ...
6 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, the hospital itself, I want to deal with that.
7 Whom did the security organ believe were actually in the Vukovar Hospital
8 at that time? That's on the 18th, 19th and 20th.
9 A. On the 18th, I don't know. On the 19th in the afternoon when we
10 arrived, they gave me information or, rather, individual doctors among
11 whom Vesna Bosanac and Dr. Njavro said that there were a large number of
12 civilians, that there were wounded too, and that there was -- there were
13 some people, as they then said, who had taken part in the armed formations
14 of the ZNG and MUP and that they were hiding in the hospital.
15 That information was confirmed, as I have already said, by Jovic
16 and two other soldiers who were wounded and lying in the hospital, members
17 of the Guards Motorised Brigade.
18 Q. So the situation, as far as I understand it, was as follows: That
19 the Mitnica contingent had surrendered, in what I call proper military
20 fashion, as far as you were concerned, but the individuals who were at the
21 hospital, individuals who, perhaps, had committed atrocities, would that
22 be right?
23 A. Mr. Moore, there were three categories of individuals in the
24 hospital. There were the wounded, the civilians, and certain members of
25 the Croatian National Guards Corps and MUP who were hiding there and, of
1 course, the medical staff working in the hospital.
2 Q. But isn't it right that there was a belief that in the hospital,
3 atrocities had actually occurred?
4 A. Well, the doctors themselves, that evening when I arrived, and
5 part of the medical staff were talking about the fact that there were a
6 lot of corpses in the street in front of the hospital, and some even said
7 that certain atrocities had been committed by some of the doctors in --
8 from the Vukovar Hospital, who did not treat the population in the correct
9 manner, and later provided information on the 19th in the afternoon and
10 the 20th in the morning, according to which in some of these inhumane acts
11 that Dr. Njavro took part and didn't treat some of the wounded soldiers
12 and certain evidence to that effect was presented here, and there were
13 quite a lot of dead bodies in the street opposite the hospital.
14 I wasn't able to establish, on that occasion, or was I a
15 pathologist to see who those bodies belonged to but I remember that many
16 of the corpses had numbers around their necks.
17 Q. I'm not talking about the information from the doctors. I'm
18 talking about the belief that existed within the JNA forces, whether they
19 be TO or regular forces, there was a belief that atrocities had occurred
20 in the cellars underneath the hospital; isn't that right? That the
21 hospital was being used for such acts.
22 A. I had a document from the security department previously,
23 according to which the hospital was said to be used for acts of that kind
24 and that the neuropsychiatric department was used for these inhumane acts,
25 as it said in the document. And as I say, those were the suspicions, but
1 that wasn't the prevailing way of thinking. It was thought that many of
2 those who had escaped, when I talked to Vesna Bosanac and Marin Vidic, I
3 received information also from this corporal who was lying in the hospital
4 and the people who came in and began to the medical staff to point to the
5 person who was a member of the paramilitaries.
6 Q. But isn't it right that you were aware that local people were
7 extremely angry about such allegations and such suggestions?
8 A. Well, the local people, Mr. Moore, I wouldn't wish that upon
9 anybody to experience what that interethnic conflict led to, and so on.
10 The locals were angry throughout and, of course, they had every right to
11 be angry because their nearest and dearest were suffering, their houses
12 were being destroyed. They were angry at the JNA and they were angry at
13 those shooting against the JNA, which means that you couldn't tell the
14 people in the town, people are dying, there's fighting going on, and you
15 have to be happy. No, they weren't happy. They were suffering because of
16 all this -- because of the situation and all they wished for was peace.
17 Q. What was the brief given to you by Mrksic on the 19th, vis-a-vis
18 the evacuation?
19 A. I was -- or, rather, I said that Mr. Mrksic, that evening, on the
20 19th, or in the afternoon of the 19th, said that the vehicles to transport
21 the wounded would be insured by the logistics of the 1st Military District
22 and that the column would arrive which would be led, as far as I was able
23 to understand at the time, by Colonel Pavkovic and somebody else from the
24 1st Military District. And that most of those wounded persons would be
25 driven to Croatia and that they would be taken over at Nustar. And it was
1 my task, my brief as a security organ, was to uncover the perpetrators of
2 the crimes committed who were in the hospital to take them into custody
3 too, and take them to the prison in Sremska Mitrovica, and to ensure that
4 there was -- that not a single person brought -- their lives should be
5 jeopardised or threatened in any way. People coming in from Major Tesic
6 and when his men entered the hospital, weapons were uncovered, and
7 camouflage uniforms belonging to the members of the Croatian National
8 Guards Corps. And people were pointing to where these individuals had
9 buried their weapons in the sand in front of the hospital.
10 So conditions had to be created to prevent anybody who was in a
11 mental state to throw a bomb anywhere and jeopardise the lives of people.
12 So the first duty was to create secure and safe conditions and also that
13 anybody from the Vukovar Hospital who was believed to have committed a
14 crime must not be taken out before Dr. Ivezic together with the Vukovar
15 hospital's -- examined the person to see whether they were actually
16 wounded or whether they were just trying to hide there and playing truant.
17 Q. So can I put it this way in very simplistic terms, the people who
18 had surrendered at Mitnica were respected as being soldiers even though
19 they were Croatian soldiers, but the individuals who were in the hospital,
20 perhaps, were individuals who had committed atrocities or had behaved
21 badly? In very general terms, would that be correct?
22 A. Well, generally speaking, it might have happened, that in this
23 group of suspects, there might have been a man taken off who had not taken
24 part in combat, but who might have been in logistics, in the rear, or
25 whatever. You could all -- there could always have been a mistake in the
1 triage. But the entire investigation would be conducted in the prison in
2 Sremska Mitrovica to decide whether he was a civilian or whether he was
3 somebody against whom legal proceedings should be initiated and further
4 investigations carried out.
5 Now the people that you mentioned from Mitnica, for example, there
6 was no need to do anything further there because they had laid down their
7 arms, they said they were soldiers, and they were taken into custody and
8 taken off as being members of the Croatian paramilitaries and taken to
9 Sremska Mitrovica. And it was up to the investigating organs to decide
10 what they were going to do next. That was not my job.
11 Q. But Mr. Sljivancanin, it's right to say that the local TOs were
12 not happy at all about the individuals from Mitnica being taken away to
13 Sremska Mitrovica; isn't that right? They were extremely unhappy about
14 that position.
15 A. Well, that evening, I didn't notice anything like that, nor did I
16 hear anything like that being done, nor were there any remarks of that
17 kind made within my earshot. I would say this one would go in the group
18 with the civilians. I didn't separate them from their families if they
19 didn't have any weapons or anything like that. Now then perhaps somebody
20 from the TO would say we suspect that he was engaged in something like
21 that, but unless proven otherwise, I considered him to be a civilian and
22 they left with the civilians. So, we, in the security organs, endeavored
23 to ...
24 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, isn't it right though that Vukasinovic and
25 yourself had a scene with Vujevic, I believe, on the morning of the 20th
1 because he was complaining that the Mitnica people had been taken away
2 from their control and you were going to be doing and were doing the same
3 at the barracks. So there was dissatisfaction, wasn't there?
4 A. As I explained to you, the dissatisfaction did exist, as I
5 understood it, because I, after conducting a triage, and after having
6 promised at the meeting of the medical staff that we would not separate
7 families unless there was absolute justification for that and proof that
8 somebody had been doing the shooting, and I asked that 24 persons be
9 returned to the hospital. 24 persons returned to the hospital who had
10 compiled a list by -- by the list of that -- 5 or 6 of them came to me
11 asking for a list to be compiled and I understood that Vukasinovic had
12 informed me that Vujevic had some objections to make while I was
13 separating these people, when they were suspected of having committed
14 crimes. Why was I releasing them and letting them go free. So it was
15 this incident, because of these 24 people, that's why the incident broke
17 Q. But that, I would suggest, cannot be entirely correct because they
18 are complaining about your approach in releasing the Mitnica -- I'll call
19 it the Mitnica Battalion -- the Mitnica battalion releasing that battalion
20 away to Sremska Mitrovica. Are you saying you were never told about
21 unhappiness about that course of conduct? Never told by any member of the
22 TO, Vojinovic, Vujic, Lancuzanin, they never said anything to anybody in
23 the security organ?
24 A. No, Mr. Moore, I heard at Mitnica, in the evening, when civilians
25 who were supposed to go to Croatia, when one of the members of the
1 Territorial Defence suggested to us, the security organ, and said that we
2 ought to separate them because they hadn't turned themselves in. So with
3 the OB, I conducted investigations and checks and we did not accept all of
4 their suggestions. And then they said to us how -- why was it that I
5 released these civilians without checking them. We did check them out.
6 But at the time, I didn't have any real reason to arrest somebody if we
7 thought they were a soldier and say, Well, we found you, but we didn't
8 find a weapon on you.
9 Q. With the utmost respect, the Mitnica Battalion was seen by the TO
10 as being or containing some of the worst defenders of Vukovar, in Croatian
11 terms. They were outraged, were they not, that you were releasing them to
12 Sremska Mitrovica; isn't that right? And you had them in your hand. That
13 was the problem, wasn't it? That's why they were so angry.
14 A. First of all --
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I have to
16 object now because Mr. Moore, Your Honours, has twice, through his
17 questions, wanted to put forward the thesis that Mr. Sljivancanin let the
18 group go to Sremska Mitrovica, the Mitnica group go to Sremska Mitrovica.
19 Now, if this is his case, that Sljivancanin personally decided that this
20 group go to Sremska Mitrovica, then he should clear that matter up,
21 because he's been putting that idea through as an indirect question and as
22 being part of his case. That is Mr. Moore's thesis.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
24 You have absorbed that, Mr. Moore?
25 MR. MOORE: I tried to absorb it, Your Honour, yes, but I'm
1 suggesting to Mr. Sljivancanin that, in actual fact, the TOs, logically
2 and sensibly, were outraged that the Mitnica battalion was being taken
3 away to Sremska Mitrovica.
4 Q. And one of the manifestations of that was comments that were made
5 on the morning of the 20th, when you were doing it again. I'm asking
6 you: Were you ever told by the TO about the Mitnica Battalion? Were you
7 ever told that they objected to that course of conduct?
8 A. I didn't talk to them about that at all. They had no authority to
9 exercise any sort of control over me, as a member of the JNA. I'm telling
10 you what Vukasinovic told me when he arrived. He said they had been
11 complaining about me releasing some people as civilians. They left with
12 the civilians and these people now believed that they may have been
13 potential perpetrators of crimes. We didn't talk about the Mitnica
14 Battalion. But that morning at the hospital, specifically, we talked
15 about those 24 persons who I was looking for. At the meeting, I promised,
16 as a human being and as an officer, that I would be doing everything
17 within my power.
18 I'm not saying no mistakes were made. Maybe some people were
19 suspects during the triage and eventually they were released. We didn't
20 wish to separate, to break-up, families and we wanted to avoid sending
21 some people to Sremska Mitrovica. I wanted to see on the spot what could
22 be done in terms of distinguishing perpetrators of criminal offences from
23 those who were innocent civilians.
24 But one thing is certain: I never discussed the Mitnica battalion
25 with them, and it wasn't my call to make, the Mitnica Battalion. It is
1 the commander who makes those calls in terms of any prisoners of war. I
2 would not have been within my rights. This man had surrendered his
3 weapons. He was there and he said: Here I am. Here is my weapon. I
4 fired shots. There is nothing else I can do. And it certainly wasn't my
5 place to discuss that.
6 Q. Let me read out what you said in your evidence, at page 13656,
8 "Major Vukasinovic brought them on the bus. It was sometime after
9 all went into the hospital, perhaps after 11.00 in the morning, closer to
10 12.00, if I can put it that way. Then, when the major came, he said to me
11 roughly, these were his words --" or "he said to me, roughly these were
12 his words: Comrade major, I had a problem in the barracks because members
13 of the Territorial Defence think that you are releasing the most notorious
14 Ustashas and that you did that last night at Mitnica, too."
15 So, there is Vukasinovic indicating to you, one, that there was
16 the concern that you were releasing them at the barracks; and two, that
17 you had done so at Mitnica, namely, you had let them go. They were on
18 their way to Sremska Mitrovica.
19 Now, are you saying that that was the first time you were aware of
20 that concern?
21 A. So maybe the interpreter didn't interpret properly. What we did
22 at Mitnica, the civilian population, the evacuation and the TO, when the
23 Mitnica Battalion members surrendered, the TO men weren't there at all. I
24 don't know if they knew at the time. They were taken somewhere. We
25 didn't exactly tell them. Again, they were complaining about the
1 evacuation of men.
2 When I talked to me and they talked to me, they say, for example,
3 We suspect this man to be a perpetrator of a criminal offence. I talked
4 to him; I talked to the other people there. I saw that he was a civilian
5 and he wasn't carrying a weapon. I'm not having anything being put to me
6 by anyone else, the TO. I have the right to say what I think. I may be
7 wrong, but I couldn't possibly allow myself to be influenced by anything
8 that the TO told me or failed to tell me at the time. So there's my
10 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if we can have a little
11 break, there's something I need to say about the transcript before we
12 start running away with it. The page number is 51, lines 3 and 4. The
13 witness said that, in relation to the Mitnica group, the Mitnica
14 Battalion, the commander is the person who makes the calls or calls the
15 shots in terms of those who surrender, the soldiers who surrender. The
16 last bit is not included. All it is says that he has responsibility over
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
19 MR. MOORE:
20 Q. What I want to know is, quite simply, this: You're saying the
21 phrase, 52, 2, again: "They were complaining about the evacuation of
22 men. When I talked -- when they talked to me," or "they talked to me" is
23 the way it is, "they say, for example, when he suspects this man to be a
24 perpetrator of a criminal offence ..."
25 What I want to know, apart from this rather strange
1 interpretation, is when were they actually complaining about the
2 evacuation of men? Is it only on the 20th or is it beforehand?
3 A. They complained to me on the morning of the 20th when they arrived
4 at the hospital.
5 Q. As you know, part of the Prosecution case is that there was a
6 deliberate policy to block individuals going to the Vukovar Hospital.
7 You're aware of that fact, aren't you?
8 A. Which individuals?
9 Q. Well, I would suggest that there is evidence from Schou, from
10 Vance, from what I will call the Borsinger video; there is documentary
11 evidence that the ICRC had been removed at 8.00 in the evening of Friday.
12 Now, I'm suggesting that there was a blocking procedure in place,
13 certainly on the 19th, and also on the 20th. I can't imagine you're not
14 aware of that particular suggestion, or is this the first time you've
15 become aware of it?
16 A. Mr. Moore, there was no blocking in relation to anyone. As you
17 know, and we've heard many witnesses on this, on the 19th, I went with the
18 ICRC men to the hospital. They were bringing medicine to the hospital.
19 The journalists were allowed, too, as were the international monitors.
20 That night, I heard that sort of thing being said, nor did I meet
21 Mr. Schou on the 19th, in the evening, nor did I know that he was in the
22 area, nor did I have the right to ban him from doing anything, nor did I
23 actually ban him from doing anything.
24 At night-time, there was curfew until 6.00 the following morning.
25 It was for everybody's safety. We didn't want anybody moving about. I
1 explained that. I explained that to Mrs. Vesna Bosanac, who I was
2 interviewing, and she spent the night at the hospital in Negoslavci. She
3 came here; she testified. I didn't hear her say a single word about
4 anybody mistreating her, touching her, or us bringing her in.
5 Well, if you just let me finish --
6 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, some of your answers are rather lengthy. The
7 question is very simple. You're aware that Dr. Schou said that he wanted
8 to go to the hospital and was stopped from doing so by you. Let me read
9 the transcript so that, in fairness, you're aware of it. It's transcript
10 6887 -- well, perhaps it's better if I do 6886, 24: Question -- and it's
11 about the 19th:
12 "Q. Were you able, or did you tell anybody from the JNA that you
13 had made a phone call to Dr. Bosanac?
14 "A. Yes. We -- I'm not sure which person we said it to, but we
15 said that we had contact with Dr. Bosanac and that we want to go to the
17 "Q. And what did he say?
18 "A. I know that Major Sljivancanin at that time, or maybe just an
19 hour later or something, said that we are not allowed to go to the
20 hospital due to they were still fighting."
21 "Q. This was on the 19th?"
22 "A. It was on the 19th."
23 So there is Schou saying quite specifically that you had said to
24 him that he was not able to go to the hospital, even though he wanted to,
25 because you had said that they were still fighting.
1 Now, the first question: Do you accept that you had such a
2 conversation with Schou?
3 A. Mr. Moore, it's not a question of me accepting. This is entirely
4 false. I was with Mr. Schou on the 18th and I met Mr. Schou on the 20th
5 when I entered the hospital with him. When he came, he went into the
6 hospital with me immediately. I remember that exceptionally well. On the
7 19th, I was with Mr. Vance and the delegation. That afternoon, I was with
8 Mr. Borsinger at the hospital. And I can assert in front of everybody
9 that I did not meet Mr. Schou on the 19th, nor, indeed, did I know that he
10 was in the area. You can have all the records and you can read for
11 yourself who it was that the European Monitors on the 19th --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: No verb.
13 A. -- Mr. Schou said that I had the rank of colonel at the time. I
14 never displayed any sort of rank. Whenever they clamped eyes on, they
15 said, "There you go, that is Sljivancanin." And whenever they saw someone
16 on TV, everybody said, "That is Sljivancanin." There may be a hundred
17 other people who look exactly like me, but what I'm telling you is, on the
18 19th, I did not even have an opportunity of meeting Schou, nor, indeed,
19 did I actually neat him.
20 Q. In this reply he refers specifically to, "I know that Major
21 Sljivancanin ..." It wasn't a case of Colonel Sljivancanin. In this
22 instance he was talking about Major Sljivancanin and said that "we are not
23 allowed to go to the hospital as they were still fighting." You are
24 saying it was not you and you had no dealings with Schou on the 19th.
25 That's it, isn't it? It wasn't you.
1 A. I didn't meet him. How was I to take Borsinger to the hospital if
2 there was fighting? This is the afternoon of the 19th. That is simply
3 not true. I apologise, but Mr. Schou testified here that he saw me with
4 the rank of colonel and asked me why I was now demoted to the rank of
5 major. But I never displayed my rank at the front line. All I ever
6 displayed was the Yugoslav flag. I did not have the insignia of my rank
7 on my uniform and nobody could possibly have seen it.
8 Q. Well, let's just look at the chronology. You accept that you saw
9 Schou on the 18th; that is correct, isn't it?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. And is it correct to say - and, again, I give the page number,
12 68706 - here was the question:
13 "Q. Here we are at the elevated height. Did you actually go to
14 the hospital itself on the 18th?
15 "A. No, we could not go to the hospital because of the fighting."
16 So I will deal with the 18th. You met Schou on the 18th. You
17 accept that; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And how long were you with Schou?
20 A. As I have testified already - and it was shown, wasn't it? - from
21 that morning, sometime after -- well, I can't -- sometime after the
22 arrival of Mr. Borsinger, it may have been 10.00 or 11.00, perhaps later,
23 and then I believe that I was between 1400 and 1500 hours, thereabouts,
24 but it's very difficult to be specific. Up until 1400 hours, perhaps even
25 14 --
1 Q. This was not a fleeting glimpse by Schou. Schou was having
2 specific dealings with you on the 18th; isn't that right? You were the
3 contact person.
4 A. First we had a conversation in the house where the press centre
5 was in Negoslavci and then we went on the 18th to Velepromet. It wasn't
6 just Schou. There were, perhaps, about ten persons. I don't know the
7 exact figure. And then we went to Milovo Brdo. It was from Milovo Brdo
8 that we returned to Velepromet, and there we parted ways.
9 Q. So what you're saying is it is a misidentification by Schou on the
10 19th, the next day.
11 A. Mr. Moore, I can assert with full responsibility that I did not
12 meet Mr. Schou anywhere at all on the 19th.
13 Q. I'd suggest you did, but you are avoiding meeting him for very
14 obvious reasons.
15 The 20th of November, you certainly met Schou; isn't that right?
16 A. What on earth for? You can't possibly go around saying things
17 like that. Give me some evidence so that I see what you base this
18 statement on. If you're putting something to me, I'd like to see what you
19 have to back that; otherwise, everything is just entirely arbitrary.
20 You're not believing anything that I'm telling you. I'm doing my best, as
21 a human being, as a soldier and as an honourable soldier, for the sake of
22 my family, for the sake of my children, I took the stand so that nobody
23 has any suspicions, because there is so much noise in the media and
24 everywhere that I'm hiding something, trying to complete something.
25 If you have evidence to show me that I met Schou on that day,
1 please produce it and you will find me apologising for everything, every
2 single word, that I have been saying. But please, don't just arbitrarily
3 skip any questions. You say -- you suggest I did. Well, that's your
4 question, but there must be some evidence, Mr. Moore. You can afford to
5 say whatever you like. You are here on behalf of a very powerful
6 organisation. I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. But
7 if you're putting to me you know exactly what happened, then I think it
8 would be pointless to continue asking me any more questions, wouldn't it?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I need to react but I believe my --
10 the client has already reacted. This is the second or the third time,
11 possibly, that Mr. Moore is making a statement not asking a question. If
12 that's a statement he's making what exactly is he suggesting? He just
13 made a statement there and he just forged ahead and that is probably what
14 prompted this reaction on the part of Mr. Sljivancanin.
15 JUDGE PARKER: As I heard it, Mr. Lukic, and Mr. Sljivancanin, Mr.
16 Moore was putting to you a part of the Prosecution case on this point. It
17 might be something that is not agreed with by Mr. Sljivancanin. It may be
18 something that is shown not to be proved or established by evidence. But
19 it is part of the Prosecution case and Mr. Moore properly is required to
20 put that to Mr. Sljivancanin or else when he comes to rely on it later,
21 you, then, Mr. Lukic, could have a great deal to say.
22 Carry on, Mr. Moore.
23 MR. MOORE: Thank you.
24 Q. And it's right, isn't it, you saw Schou on the 20th. You agree
25 with that, do you not?
1 A. I do agree that I saw Schou on the 20th. It was sometime after
2 talking to Borsinger at the bridge.
3 Q. You see, Mr. Schou said that he thought that he should go to the
4 hospital immediately, he says, at 8.00. The question was asked. "And
5 were you able to get to the hospital at 8.00?
6 "A. No, we were stopped at the bridge in the middle of the city
7 and we were stopped because there was an APC on the bridge and Major
8 Sljivancanin was at that place.
9 "Q. And did you have any conversation or did you hear any
10 explanation given by Major Sljivancanin about why you couldn't proceed?"
11 "A. He said we couldn't proceed because the road was not clear.
12 There were snipers and there was still some fighting."
13 "Q. Did that surprise you?"
14 "A. Yes, because we saw no fighting. We only saw shooting in the
15 air, so celebrating the victory. And we saw some vehicles driving on the
16 other side."
17 Now, given the whole tranche of evidence for you, do you accept
18 that the ECMM spoke to you at the bridge?
19 A. Mr. Moore, first of all, I wasn't at the bridge that morning, I
20 was at the hospital. At about 10.00 that morning, I headed for that place
21 where soldiers had been killed the previous evening. I was informed that
22 Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic wanted to see me and was asking me to go to the
23 other bridge. As soon as I was there, I first reported to Colonel
24 Pavkovic and I talked to him.
25 After that, I talked to Mr. Borsinger. You have it all exactly
1 what I told him at the time, I'm not repeating it. The first time I spoke
2 to Mr. Schou was at the gate that morning at the entrance to the Vukovar
3 Hospital when we arrived with the entire convoy. I don't remember ever
4 seeing him anywhere before that morning, nor had I spoken to him earlier.
5 Even when we met at the hospital entrance, we didn't exchange any
6 words. I just advised the policeman and the officers there not to stop
7 that convoy or those people, but rather to allow them to pass and go
8 inside the hospital. That is all that I ...
9 Q. Your answer, I take it, then, is that you did not speak to anyone
10 from the ECMM as far as you can remember, and you didn't give any
11 explanation for the delay because of shooting; is that right? Yes or no?
12 A. That's right. I did not speak to them that morning at all because
13 we had talks at the hospital later, they came -- perhaps they even asked
14 me: Did you take those -- some persons away? And I think I told the
15 journalists. I think I even told them, as for the shooting and all that.
16 I don't think I talked to the ECMM about that.
17 Q. And you don't recall any conversation about mines or demining at
18 the bridge, that was the reason for the delay; is that right? You didn't
19 give any such explanation like that?
20 A. I did give an explanation to Mr. Borsinger and that's true and
21 that's what I told you that the APC, because I found -- I found out later
22 on that the engineers had wanted it, for that to be set up until they
23 cleared the mines from all the shelters. And then I said that in the
24 hospital, we should first check if it was clear, if there were any
25 booby-traps, any rifles, any everything. And then once the conditions
1 were in place, we did not try to keep anyone at all from going into the
3 Q. I am asking you about the morning of the 20th. Did you at any
4 time say to either the ECMM or the ICRC, Borsinger, whoever, there were
5 problems about mines or there was shooting? Did you ever say anything
6 like that at all?
7 A. I told Mr. Borsinger that there were problems with the booby-traps
8 and this was about clearing the shelter that was right next to the
9 hospital. One needed to set up a safety zone just to prevent any
10 booby-traps going off and when there is firing, there's always some firing
11 but I can't remember us talking about firing specifically. We did discuss
12 booby-traps though.
13 Q. But your evidence was that you had been at the hospital that
14 morning, that you had gone down to meet someone at 10.00 about the killing
15 of some young JNA soldiers, and you had travelled down just as the buses
16 were leaving; isn't that right? You saw the buses with what I will call
17 the Ovcara people on it. You saw the buses leaving as you were on your
18 way to the bridge; is that your evidence?
19 A. I saw two buses moving in front of me and I believe that at a
20 distance, I can't remember what sort of distance exactly, I believe that
21 those were the very buses carrying those suspects, those people who were
22 suspected of having committed crimes, but not to the barracks, rather,
23 they took them to Ovcara.
24 Q. What you said in your evidence is that you were supposed to
25 meet -- or "to be met by a captain whose unit soldiers had got killed in
1 order to find out how they got killed and I know that I scheduled a
2 meeting with them at 10.00 in the morning. I remember that. That remains
3 in my memory. And when I was leaving, going to that bridge, I saw that
4 the buses were already moving away."
5 So what you are saying presumably is it is coincidental that your
6 meeting at 10.00, your moving off to meet an officer and the buses moving
7 off, that is an entire coincidence; is that right?
8 A. Well, as I said, I remember that I told that captain to see me at
9 the bridge at 10.00. But then when he asked me that thing about the time,
10 Lukic or whoever, I saw two buses moving ahead. So I made this link in my
11 head thinking that this might have been at 11.00, remembering that
12 conversation that I would be seeing that captain to show the place where
13 those three soldiers had been killed, and to see how they had been killed,
14 whether it was on account of that booby-trap over there. So this is what
15 I wanted to know.
16 Q. And what I want to know is, is it just chance that you see buses
17 leaving, you have an appointment at 10.00, and that is the time that the
18 monitors pretty much are released from the bridge? Is it all chance, all
19 a coincidence, or is it a case that you were keeping people out until all
20 the Ovcara individuals were put on the buses?
21 A. We weren't keeping those people. All I know is I set up this
22 appointment at 10.00 to see that captain. As for the buses, probably once
23 he got people on to them, it was Major Vukasinovic who set out. He was in
24 charge of taking those buses away. I didn't go every other minute just to
25 check on Vukasinovic and what he was doing. I believe him capable of
1 carrying out a task like that. What sort of job would that have been for
2 me if I had to control each and every one of my officers every two
3 minutes. It had may just have been a coincidence that he had just set off
4 minutes before I got, but the buses left when they left. And it may have
5 been a coincidence, but I do know that I set up that meeting to see that
6 man at 10.00.
7 Q. I want you to look at a particular report. If you go back to the
8 miscellaneous military file, it is tab 19, tab 20. So Tab 19 is the
9 English version, tab 20 is the B/C/S version. It's Exhibit 341. I hope
10 the tabs are correct. So tab 19 for English, tab 20 for B/C/S.
11 Now, this is a document created by Dr. Schou. We can see his
12 signature at the bottom. I just want to go through one or two matters and
13 we'll just deal with this document, I think in toto now, if I may. "19th
14 of the 11th, hospital taken over by JNA, arresting of all CRO wounded
15 soldier 410 and then arresting of Dr. Bosanac and Mail, but never mind,
17 "20th of the 11th, 10.30, ECMM arrived to hospital." So it wasn't
18 11.00. We have got here a record from Dr. Schou that in actual fact
19 that's when the ECMM arrived.
20 All right so far?
21 A. So far so good, but Dr. Bosanac was not arrested on the 19th, she
22 was arrested on the 20th.
23 Q. But I think she was taken away on the 19th, wasn't she?
24 A. On the evening of the 19th, she was brought in for an interview to
1 Q. She was taken into Negoslavci, she was taken and she was kept
2 there and brought back by military escort on the 20th; I think that's
3 right, isn't it?
4 A. She wasn't held back, she just stayed to spend the night. I told
5 you why and she was driven there in a vehicle. She wasn't escorted. She
6 came with us in the same vehicles. And another thing I can tell you,
7 Marin Vidic slept in the same room that I did. We didn't treat him as a
9 Q. Well thank you for that these of information.
10 Let's just move on down for that. We've got the 20th of the 11th,
11 unloading of approximately 100 wounded, unloading of 50 women, 50 small
12 kids, and there is a reference to the numbers. Then as we look down,
13 we've got 1700 hours, bus with medical staff entered by Chetnik with
14 knife. And then there is a reference to what occurred.
15 Now, the part that I want to direct your attention to, if you
16 would be kind enough, please, is the comments, because you were at the
17 hospital from the very early morning of the 20th; isn't that right?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. And what time did you leave that hospital, as you say?
20 A. I have testified, as far as I remember, that it was dark. Now,
21 whether it was 1800 hours, 1900 hours, 1830 hours, I can't really remember
22 exactly to the minute, but it was dark anyway. And I said --
23 Q. Can we just look please at this document on comments. 19th of the
24 11th, ICMM doctor were not allowed to go to the hospital." So there is
25 the reference to not being allowed to go to the hospital. "Told by JNA,
1 remove Ustasha wounded 8 and 2 staff, 20th of the 11th, ICMM held back two
2 hours due to security." Do you see that?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. And then "Chetnik in hospital." Now, your evidence was in chief
5 that when you were at the hospital on the 20th, you didn't see any
6 Chetniks, you couldn't remember seeing any; isn't that right?
7 A. In my presence, where I was, I don't like the word "Chetnik."
8 It's a bad word as far as I am concerned and everybody knew that in
9 Vukovar from the very first moment. And I never encountered such people.
10 Now there were people that looked unkept, untidy, even amongst the
11 hospital staff, but I don't know what Schou meant when he said Chetnik.
12 You should have asked him to explain what he thought Chetniks were. I
13 really can't interpret what he wrote, whether it was indeed a Chetnik or
14 not. If he mentioned Chetnik, he should have mentioned a name as well,
15 saying who that Chetnik was.
16 Q. There are two or three issues I want to deal with, but the first
17 thing is, there is the clear suggestion -- your evidence is when you were
18 asked by Mr. Lukic the following question:
19 "Q. One more thing, Mr. Sljivancanin, during that triage, during
20 the search and while these persons were being taken away, did you see
21 whether in that hospital, within the hospital compound, by the buses,
22 there were any volunteers, territorials?"
23 "A. I really did not observe any such things. I did not see
25 Well, you were there for the best part of about 11 or 12 hours.
1 Can you explain how it is that this document compiled by a doctor should
2 actually refer to Chetniks in the hospital when you, yourself, who were
3 there for 11 hours, didn't see anything?
4 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness is now being
7 asked to comment on the report of another person through that question.
8 He asked whether he saw any Chetniks as Mr. Moore described them. Now
9 he's being asked to comment on Mr. Schou's report.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Perfectly acceptable, Mr. Lukic.
11 Carry on, Mr. Moore.
12 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
13 Q. Can you explain -- I mean, you were there, you are looking around,
14 you're in charge ostensibly of security, you are the security organ. Are
15 you saying you didn't see any Chetniks, any TOs?
16 A. Mr. Moore, as far as I'm concerned, it is unacceptable. I did not
17 accept, since I was a small boy, and in my family, I never accepted the
18 term Chetnik, and I considered at that time and said in Vukovar, that we
19 were members of the Yugoslav People's Army and the people of Yugoslavia
20 that we were neither Chetniks nor Ustashas. If somebody referred to
21 themselves in that way, they would keep far away from me, keep away from
22 me. They weren't next to me.
23 I cannot define what Mr. Schou considered to be a Chetnik. I
24 state with full responsibility that there were people who, because of all
25 things that were going on, and because they looked a little unkept and
1 untidy wearing old clothes, that there might have been some locals coming
2 into to try and help someone. But I know that the military police didn't
3 allow anybody to come in who wasn't authorised. And that morning while I
4 was there in the hospital and I was there throughout that whole day,
5 whether there was anybody outside the gates, I don't know, I can't say,
6 but where Schou moved about, I didn't follow him that day. I didn't
7 accompany him. And he had permission to walk around everywhere, perhaps
8 we didn't be in the same place, perhaps he saw some people that I didn't
9 see. And he would move around the hospital and the area outside. If you
10 look at the films and clips you would see Mr. Schou moving around very
12 Now, what he thought was a Chetnik, what he considered to be a
13 Chetnik, I really can't say, I can't interpret this report. You should
14 have asked him when he was there and he could have explained to you what
15 he meant when he wrote the word Chetnik.
16 Q. Tell me, did you see any chap with a big black hat and little
17 beard? Did you see any of those fellows wandering around? They often are
18 described as Chetniks, you know.
19 A. I don't remember. I really don't remember. It's difficult for me
20 now. Well, take a look at the film. There's enough footage. You can
21 look at the soldiers carrying the wounded. They're not -- they're a bit
22 untidy because they spent such a long time up at the line. And then
23 somebody might say, "Look at that army, look at the soldiers. They are a
24 bit unkept and a bit untidy." But they were soldiers of the Yugoslav
25 People's Army. That's all. They might not have looked as tidy as they
1 ought to have.
2 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm not talking about a fashion statement. I'm
3 talking about a mode of dress by individuals with big black hats and
4 beards often described as Chetniks. Did you ever see them, even in the
5 conflict in Vukovar?
6 A. I explained this. Mr. Moore, now I'm going to tell you the
7 following: You gave us a list of your witnesses including a witness P010,
8 I don't want to mention his name. I have read his statement. Now, why
9 didn't you bring him in? Because he's the person who says what I was
10 doing and how I was acting towards the people who represented themselves
11 as Chetniks. And he even heard that I suggested to the military police, I
12 said: Don't let me see any individuals turning up with any kind of
13 insignia of that kind and with the tall fur hats or anything. So maybe
14 they were somewhere around, but not in my presence. I didn't see them.
15 Bring in that witness and he can testify. It was a Prosecution witness on
16 that list.
17 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, you can bring as many witnesses as you like.
18 Can we just look, please, at the comments for the 20th of the
19 11th, this same document. Can you just go down at the very bottom of the
20 page. Would you be kind enough to look at the ...
21 A. Well can I ask something? Do you remember what that witness said
22 about Sljivancanin?
23 Q. I'm asking you very simply. Would you be kind enough please to
24 look at that ECMM report. You've got it in front of you. You've got a
25 very able barrister representing you.
1 Now, let's look at comments.
2 A. Yes, thank you, Mr. Moore.
3 Q. Thank you. 20th of the 11th. "ICMM hold back two hours due to
4 security. Chetnik in hospital. Two less ambulance and buses. Nothing
5 prepared by JNA and ICRC. A", please follow it, Mr. Sljivancanin. "1,
6 leader ICRC only criticised JNA. 2, make no list of wounded. 3, do
8 "JNA. No security. Many Chetnik." So it's not just the case of
9 a Chetnik in the hospital, it's many Chetnik.
10 So did you see any individuals around at that time who could be
11 considered to be a little scruffy, perhaps wearing a black hat, perhaps
12 having a beard, not being, what I will call, regular JNA? Can you think
13 of any set of circumstances that would give rise to that comment?
14 A. Mr. Moore, I tell you again: I don't know who wrote this comment,
15 and how he thinks that a Chetnik -- what he thinks a Chetnik looks like.
16 I don't say that everybody was well-groomed and dressed properly in that
17 combat situation, but I don't remember having seen, in my presence, people
18 with the tall fur hats or any other insignia which would be different from
19 what the members of the JNA should be wearing. And I state again that I
20 personally wasn't satisfied with how our soldiers looked. They were a bit
21 scruffy. They weren't as clean-shaven and tidy as they should have been
22 and might have been.
23 Now, the person that -- if this person thought that they might be
24 Chetniks, well I have no comment to that.
25 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, look at number three.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Moore, it might be a time to break.
2 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I want to check the electronics because
3 it wasn't working. Apparently there's some problem.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
5 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We will break now for 20 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.25 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
10 MR. MOORE:
11 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I was hoping to show you some video clips that
12 had been prepared but there seems to be a glitch in the system, so I will
13 try and deal with it away from video evidence. So I what I want to do is
14 deal with this document and then we'll go back to certain fact issues.
15 So, can we please one more time look at this document that's
16 created by Dr. Schou. You have got it there, I think, on the comments.
17 He says that, "Too many officers, only few soldiers. No control. No
18 organising. Only few soldiers helped carrying wounded."
19 And then the following phrase, "Some Chetniks beat the wounded."
20 Now, did you ever see Chetniks or anyone beat the wounded?
21 A. Mr. Moore, if you want me to interpret what somebody else wrote,
22 then I have to ask you to go back to the first page where it says that
23 something like that happened at 1700 hours, on page 1, that is, when the
24 buses had left the hospital. I did not see anybody beat the wounded,
25 that's the first point. And secondly, I was in the hospital and we saw a
1 video clip here, and I remember that the soldiers of the Yugoslav People's
2 Army mostly helped the wounded -- they were the ones who helped the
3 wounded into the buses. They didn't only do that, other people did too,
4 but they did most to help.
5 If we look at these comments, it says there was a shot in the
6 air. The first comment says that that shot was seen in town and then ...
7 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm asking you a simple question, did you ever
8 see anybody or did anybody ever complain to you about a member of the --
9 other patients being beaten by anyone?
10 A. Yes, it is true that you asked a simple question but you're moving
11 very fast over things that are important. If there were shooting -- if
12 there was anything else we couldn't have moved the wounded.
13 Now, I don't know whether what it says here is exact and true; I
14 didn't write the comments. I didn't see, nor did anybody complain to me
15 on that day that somebody had beaten the soldiers and that there were Red
16 Cross observers and journalists there, but nobody came to me to complain
17 about anything like that. And we must look at what has been written in
18 realistic terms and ask the person who wrote them whether it was actually
20 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, one of the other matters I want to draw your
21 attention to says, under the heading of "Staff," "No priority of the
22 patients." We had evidence that basically there was not the priority
23 given to injured parties that one would expect. A triage as it's called
25 Now, I'm asking you, as far as you're aware, was there priority
1 given to wounded patients by way of severity of injury?
2 A. All I know is that everything we could have done we did. And we
3 tried to give priority to these individuals. This should have been done
4 first of all by the doctors and medical staff, but you remember from the
5 video clip, when the buses arrived, everybody started running towards the
6 buses and there was very little thought of helping the wounded. It was
7 the soldiers that helped them mostly. And here it says that the soldiers
9 Now Mr. Moore, you've brought in so many witnesses who passed by
10 through this courtroom. I didn't see anybody making objections or
11 criticising the conduct of soldiers towards the people in the hospital.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, could I interrupt to say there's been a
13 message that it would be possible to play the video clip if you wanted.
14 I'm not inviting you to, I just let you know.
15 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I was told that, but, quite honestly, I'm
16 a faint heart and therefore, I was a little doubtful about doing it. But
17 may I just finish this area and I will go back, as I've gone slightly out
18 of sequence. But thank you for that information.
19 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, clearly, what has been suggested by Prosecution
20 witness Schou is that the patients were not prioritised by way of severity
21 of injury. So, for example, the most severely injured person was not put
22 into the ambulance, whereas you seem to suggest that there was rather
23 splendid care exercised. Can you help us with that?
24 A. Well, I'm not saying that everything was splendid. I wasn't an
25 expert in medicine myself; there were doctors there. But as far as I
1 remember from the testimonies, Mr. Schou was there as an observer. He was
2 a physician himself. Why didn't he help and indicate this to the doctors?
3 That's my comment. I can't go further than that. I don't know why he
4 wrote what he did, but if he did write what he did and if it happened, he
5 could have assisted, because the observers were there in the hospital
6 there for months and were taken aback by what was happening, I suppose.
7 So that conditions were difficult, people lived in difficult conditions,
8 it was difficult for us soldiers experiencing what we were experiencing in
9 our own country. We never thought we would experience anything like that.
10 I never said we did everything, but we did our best to help people
11 and Schou was an expert, a professional himself, he could have been of
13 Q. Do you remember the name Dosen, which you couldn't remember, and
14 Mrs. Dosen giving evidence about Martin Dosen being put on a bus even
15 though he was on a stretcher. Did you ever see anyone who was --
16 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour. [Interpretation] Just a
17 moment, please. Just a moment, Mr. Sljivancanin.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Don't take over running the Court, please. You
19 know the process that I'm following and there times I know when you get
20 impatient. If we don't run it this way, we will have you and others on
21 your feet the whole time as experience has shown.
22 Now, on this occasion, what is the point you want to make, Mr.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to react because Ljubica
25 Dosen didn't say that her husband was put into the bus. She didn't say
1 that at any point in time. She testified that her husband was brought to
2 the bus on a stretcher and that then she returned to the hospital
3 compound. That was her direct testimony. And this was pointed out many
4 times, that if a witness is referred to, they should be referred to
5 correctly in terms of what they actually said.
6 MR. MOORE: I will deal with the piece of evidence, because it
7 involves you, actually, Mr. Sljivancanin. It's 3800.13.
8 "Q. Mrs. Dosen, did you take any action? You mentioned here that
9 there was a dreadful feeling and that you had your 14-year-old daughter
10 and his father was crying. Did you do any actions when you were standing
11 there and what did you do then?"
12 "A. Yes, I turned to look at the other buses and I spotted a tall
13 officer with a black moustache wearing a camouflage uniform. I didn't
14 know at this time who this person was. I just walked towards him and I
15 heard him being addressed as Major Sljivancanin. I stood right there in
16 front of him and addressed him. Excuse me, can I ask you a question? He
17 answered in a robust way, yes, go ahead, ask me. And I said: What are my
18 daughter and I doing here since there seem to be no women and children
19 around here? He said: Have you been arrested? My answer was: Why on
20 earth would I be arrested? Is this the convoy?
21 "He just looked at me and said well, yes, so why are you here?
22 And I said: I am here because of my husband. And then he asked me:
23 Where is your husband? And I said: He is right there on the stretcher.
24 And he said: Why isn't he on the bus? And I said: Well the stretcher is
25 too big to be placed on the bus through that narrow door. And he said:
1 Well, they should put him on the bus. They should lift him on the bus.
2 And I said: Well he's not able to even sit down. And he said: Well, who
3 is he? And I said: It's my husband. He said: Yes, I know that, but who
4 specifically? And I said: Martin Dosen. And then he said: Oh, it's
5 Dosen. And I gave him a strange look wondering how on earth he knew who
6 Martin Dosen was and then I said, well, yes, and then he said, well, then
7 he should go."
8 I'm suggesting to you, and I've read as much as I can to assist
9 you with you the context, there is reference to Dosen on a stretcher,
10 there is reference to the stretcher being too big, there is reference to
11 you being there and saying quite simply that that stretcher should be
12 put -- they should put him on the bus.
13 So I'm asking you very simply, and there it is specifically for
14 you: Did you ever suggest taking a man off a stretcher and putting him in
15 a bus?
16 A. Mr. Moore, I listened to what the witnesses said here very
17 carefully and I listened to what the lady had to say. And she goes on to
18 testify, and you didn't say -- you didn't mention that allegedly that I
19 said that he should be taken back. And I'm telling you the following now:
20 I don't remember that conversation, nor does the name ring a bell. It
21 doesn't mean anything to me today or then.
22 When I listened to all the suffering she had to go through, I'm
23 very sorry that she had to experience that, but I don't remember having
24 talked to the lady. I don't remember having seen a wounded person on a
25 stretcher next to the bus. When the people were loaded up on to the bus,
1 this whole process was led by Major Vukasinovic, my deputy. He will be
2 testifying here so you will -- you can ask him and see what he says. I
3 really don't remember that whole incident. Now, if we have to read
4 through everything, I'll have to -- I'll say this: The lady testified,
5 the person on the stretcher was returned to the hospital, perhaps somebody
6 issued an order to that effect. But as I say, I don't remember that
7 particular conversation and the name Dosen doesn't ring a bell at all. It
8 doesn't mean anything to me.
9 Q. Thank you very much. I'm not going to deal anymore with that
10 document because there are time constraints.
11 I'm now going to take a risk and ask that a video being played
12 because I have suggested to you there was an atmosphere existing at that
13 time, often created by Serb TV, suggesting that numerous atrocities had
14 occurred. And you asked me to play a video for you.
15 Faint heart never won fair maid. I regret to say on this
16 occasion, faint heart has failed to activate the video. So let's move on
17 to a different topic, if I may.
18 You've told us about Mr. Vujic arriving on the 19th; do you
19 remember that?
20 A. The 19th in the evening, yes, I do remember that.
21 Q. And of course it's quite correct that he was sent from Belgrade to
22 assist OG South in the execution of its tasks; isn't that right?
23 A. According to the rules, Mr. Vujic and the officers who arrived
24 with him, should have had authorisation and an order about the assignments
25 they were there for and to report to the commander. They did report and
1 I'm sure that the commander saw the order and they should have been given
2 clear-cut assignments for having come to the subordinate unit. And I said
3 how I came upon the man, how I met him.
4 Q. Can I just try and get the sequence correct. Vujic arrives. He
5 or they speak to Mrksic. After that, do you accept that they spoke to you
6 or not?
7 A. They did speak to me when the commander called me to inform them
8 about the security situation.
9 Q. Moving on, is it right that they then were going to Velepromet?
10 A. It is right. After that conversation, they did go to Velepromet.
11 Q. Velepromet was an area that you knew because Borisavljevic was
12 assisting in some respects there; that is right, isn't it?
13 A. At the time, on that assignment, the assignment that they had come
14 about was Velepromet where this triage was taking place because there was
15 no other place in Vukovar except the hospital. It was night-time, and
16 during the night, the commander didn't allow any of the wounded to be
17 touched or anything done to them that shouldn't have been.
18 Q. On the triage itself that was existing at Velepromet, what steps
19 were being taken to isolate individuals who may fulfill the criteria of
20 being of interest to the security organ?
21 A. I didn't attend any triage at Velepromet. It was Mr. Vujic and
22 his team, the team that arrived that were in charge of that. They were
23 professionals and probably organised it according to the rules and
24 regulations for such procedure.
25 Q. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking what you, as the security
1 organ, chief of the security organ, zone of responsibility of the Guards
2 Motorised Brigade, what steps had you taken to ensure that persons from
3 that list, persons who may be of interest to the security organ, how were
4 you going to isolate them? How was the triage going to occur?
5 A. The triage was supposed to occur in the following manner: The
6 whole -- the whole civilian population had gathered there from the central
7 part of Vukovar and, using members of the Territorial Defence, who knew
8 the inhabitants and the organs of security and the military police organs,
9 they separated those into part of the bus who were considered to have
10 committed crimes and all civilians were boarded up on to other buses that
11 were taken off in two groups, one to Croatia, the other to Sid. This was
12 done by the representatives of the Red Cross who were also at Velepromet.
13 Q. What steps were being taken to control or to detain those ZNG,
14 MUP, or suspected terrorists?
15 A. They were not detained, nor did we have any conditions for this.
16 They could stay in Velepromet if there was room for that or below the
17 premises and then they were sorted out in groups, boarded on to buses in
18 three groups as I've already said, and driven off. And there was a leader
19 for each group, in charge of each group, but we didn't have anywhere to
20 actually detain them, any facilities for that.
21 Q. I would suggest that's complete and utter nonsense. Velepromet is
22 a warehouse facility with plenty of rooms, highly secure, and perfectly
23 easy to put individuals who may be of interest to the JNA, not difficult
24 at all, I'd suggest. Do you agree with that?
25 A. Well, Mr. Moore, I really find myself unable to agree with that.
1 We were told that we should take people away as soon as possible from
2 there, depending on whether the logistics people had enough vehicles to
3 use for that and whether the road was clear. There were no conditions for
4 people to be kept there or indeed interrogated since, at that time, there
5 was a huge crowd there. A man fit for military age, for example, was
6 taken away and was taken to that group of suspects. People suspected of
7 having committed criminal offences, they were then taken to Sremska
8 Mitrovica and were to be interrogated to see if they were blameless or
9 guilty of any crimes. Therefore, I cannot possibly agree with what you
10 are suggesting.
11 Q. We have heard about what is called the room of death, so it's not
12 a case of just Vujic giving this evidence, there is clear evidence from
13 civilians and witnesses in this trial that individuals were being
14 isolated, and I would suggest targeted, and put in the room throughout the
15 evening of the 19th and perhaps earlier.
16 Now, were you aware of an intention to keep people in rooms until
17 such time there was a bus leaving for Sremska Mitrovica?
18 A. I heard that for the first time here from these witnesses. I was
19 surprised to hear such a high-ranking and professional officer talking
20 about these things. But when you asked me about the powers of a security
21 organ, and then he told you he gave you a sketch about him commanding an
22 APC to arrest a loose cannon committing breaches of discipline. People
23 are starting to praise other people and then give sketches and this is all
24 inconceivable to me. I didn't hear of any such thing as a room of death.
25 But Mr. Vujic was there, he had a sufficient number of qualified people
1 about him and he could have taken any number of measures to deal with that
2 if that indeed had been the case. Nor was he in any way required to
3 inform me ...
4 Q. The question I asked --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Moore, please.
6 MR. MOORE:
7 Q. The question I'm asking you is that if you have a filtration
8 process, and you don't know exactly when someone is going to be coming
9 through that may be of interest, there will often be, what I will call, a
10 collection facility, a room to put them there and then eventually they can
11 be taken off.
12 Now, we have heard evidence that there was a room where a number
13 of people who might be considered to be of interest to the security organ
14 were detained. I'm asking you, as the head of the security organ, were
15 you aware of any arrangements being made for the detention, the temporary
16 detention of individuals who might be of interest to the security organ in
18 A. As I said, I wasn't aware of anything like that, nor did any of
19 the security organs ever make any requests to that effect. I told you,
20 even on the morning of the 19th, we took Mr. Vance and this
21 high-ranking -- the highest ranking possible delegation of the UN there.
22 We took the EC monitors there. We ensured there were conditions in place
23 for the ICRC to proceed with their work there. I didn't have any
24 information whatsoever to indicate that sort of thing.
25 If I had been in possession of that sort of information, I would
1 never have take Mr. Vance there, would I? It would have been a very risky
2 business for me taking him there. I thought those people needed help.
3 As for the filtration, nobody ordered to set up any sort of
4 detention or anything. As for what this other man was saying --
5 Q. So who was actually then in charge of Velepromet on the evening of
6 the 19th? Was Borisavljevic supposed to be there?
7 A. Throughout this time, Velepromet was under the control of the
8 Vukovar TO and the director of this holding centre was Ljubinko
9 Stojanovic. As I said, Srecko Borisavljevic was there as a security organ
10 on behalf of the Guards Brigade and he took part in providing technical
11 assistance to those organs and in terms of receiving people until as late
12 as the 18th. As for any interview -- as with any interviews with the
13 security officers who were arriving.
14 As for the 18th, an order came for those three groups of people to
15 be evacuated immediately and not to remain in Velepromet. All this
16 depended on was the number of vehicles, whether there were sufficient
17 vehicles available.
18 Q. Do you remember the letter that I showed at the very start of
19 today, the 10th of November, where Borisavljevic was empowered to assist
20 in what I will call the filtration system, trying to ascertain who might
21 be of assistance to the ZNG, MUP. Can I take it that at the 19th or on
22 the 19th, that that would be probably one of the best times for him to be
23 there to assist in that process?
24 A. Well, Mr. Moore, it wasn't the letter you mentioned. I remember
25 this was a report from the chief of security of the cabinet of the Federal
1 Secretary stating accurately that Srecko Borisavljevic as a security
2 officer was providing assistance. But again, during the actual fighting,
3 among the civilians arriving in Velepromet, there might have been certain
4 civilians who were of interest to the security organ in terms of being
5 able to provide useful information.
6 As of the 18th, there was an order to take people away as quickly
7 as possible. And I'm telling you, on the 19th, we took all the
8 organisations that we could to Velepromet, since this was a holding
9 centre, and this included Mr. Vance. We had nothing there that was ugly,
10 at Velepromet, or at least nothing that I was aware of.
11 Q. Bearing in mind Borisavljevic is one of your subordinates, is it
12 right to say that Borisavljevic was there on the evening of the 19th?
13 A. Borisavljevic was there on the evening of the 19th with those
14 gentlemen and the security officers from the security administration.
15 Q. And is Borisavljevic one of your witnesses?
16 A. Borisavljevic is not one of my witnesses. I haven't called him.
17 Q. Thank you. And can I suggest to you that when Vujic, Tomic, and
18 Kijanovic went to Velepromet, it was with your knowledge and understanding
19 that they would be looking at what was happening there and then report
21 A. As for that, Mr. Moore, that is entirely untrue. I apologise to
22 have put it like this. It had never happened, up to that point, nor has
23 it been known to happen in any army in the world that a Colonel would be
24 reporting to a Major or that an officer from the General Staff would be
25 giving a report to someone from the brigade. It's unimaginable and it's
1 simply impossible.
2 If you look in terms of the hierarchy, both in terms of rank and
3 in terms of seniority, this would have been impossible. They weren't
4 there to inform me about anything; they were there on a mission that they
5 had to carry out. And the only report that was due was to whoever had
6 given them that mission. So please don't paint all these things in these
8 Q. I did not say report back to you. I merely said "report back."
9 Very simple. There was a mandate by Mrksic, you gave the briefing, they
10 went off for a purpose, forgive me again, for suggesting it, but it is
11 normal for a person to report back either to his subordinate like yourself
12 or perhaps to Mrksic. Was it your understanding that they would be coming
13 back to report either to Mrksic or yourself?
14 A. First of all, Mr. Moore, you have just started a great many
15 notions that happened to be untrue. First you said Mrksic had given them
16 that mission and then I had, as far as my interpretation is accurate. My
17 English is not much, so please don't hold it against me. Mrksic was not
18 supposed to give them any mission. They should have been there with a
19 precise mission. They should have reported to the commander of that unit
20 and then if the commander then believed that there was no mission to be
21 handed out, he could have called on their superior to have them sent away
22 from the zone, since he had to receive them.
23 Therefore, the mission they had received was clear to him. They
24 could have received no mission at all from me, not on any basis, because
25 they were my seniors in terms of rank and position. I was listening to
1 Mr. Vujic. I didn't quite laugh out loud but I felt the courtroom
2 spinning around me, because based on his testimony, what sort of an army
3 were we? A laughable one. I think that was disingenuous on his part, the
4 testimony. They could have directed me. They could have gone to Mrksic
5 for assistance but no more than that. And if Mrksic proved unwilling to
6 provide any assistance, they could have told their superiors that Mrksic
7 was reluctant to offer any assistance. So that is the right sequence of
8 these events and it's not quite the way you're putting it.
9 Q. What I am simply asking is, when they went off to Velepromet, why
10 were they going to Velepromet?
11 A. They said exactly what the mission was and it was accurately
12 recorded in the war log. I'm too tired to remember every single word now,
13 but it says that they were there to conduct a triage and to take to
14 Sremska Mitrovica the perpetrators of crimes and those who had been
15 involved in the armed insurgency in Vukovar.
16 Q. But again, with the utmost respect, if that was the case, surely
17 one would expect them to inform either yourself or your commander or
18 someone: We have found individuals who are of interest to us, and we are
19 detaining them and taking them away. Wouldn't you expect that to occur?
20 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Vujic testified that buses had arrived
21 and then he was personally in charge of that. And loaded on to those
22 buses between 600 and 800 people like that, sending them to Sremska
23 Mitrovica. He even gave an assignment to the military police officer
24 escorting the convoy.
25 Under the rules, he could have informed the commander and told him
1 how many people had been taken away, but the most important thing would
2 have been for him to report to whoever had sent him out of that mission.
3 If indeed he needed assistance and was unable to carry out this task
4 again, he should have gone to his commander for assistance. And he could
5 have called upon me to get involved if he saw fit, but he didn't and he
6 didn't call, he didn't tell me what to do that evening and he required no
7 sort of assistance at all from me.
8 Q. I am suggesting to you that Vujic is an honest and honourable
9 officer who you thought would go along with your comment about: Don't be
10 surprised if you're finding that Ustashas are being injured or killed at
11 Velepromet, and that you did make such a comment. What do you say to
13 A. Mr. Moore, I really hold you in high esteem. You're a clever man
14 from an important country. You know a great deal. But if you accept that
15 as the truth, and it's quite superfluous for me to confirm or deny because
16 that is entirely false.
17 Mr. Vujic provided that information in an addendum when he came
18 here. You should go through all of his statements. How many amendments
19 there have been. How many amendments he made to his statements and
20 changed them over, countless times. He mentions Srecko Borisavljevic.
21 Why am I not going to calling him to appear as a witness? There will be a
22 witness from Mr. Vujic's team appearing. Srecko Borisavljevic told me
23 that he had done exactly as he had been ordered to do by Vujic. Because I
24 demanded that he meet the team, and get to know the team and do whatever
25 they said he should.
1 Colonel Vujic stated a lot of inaccuracies, things that would have
2 been inconceivable in the JNA at the time. He even said this, and I
3 apologise for saying this, he said they had to walk at night, Colonels
4 aged around 60 and that I had ordered them. Do you know the distance
5 between Negoslavci and Velepromet. Must be 7 or 8 kilometres and them
6 walking all the way back. They would have been unable to do anything at
7 all if I had made them do anything like that.
8 These are arbitrary concoctions and insinuations on his part. Why
9 did he say all these things? Why did he make all the addenda when he came
10 here? Well I suppose you should know because you were the one who talked
11 to him.
12 Q. If what you say is right, you don't know Vujic from Adam. Why
13 should Vujic make up an allegation like that against you? There's
14 absolutely no reason to do so, is there? You've never come across him
15 professionally before, have you?
16 A. Well, Mr. Moore, for example, he stated here that I was the
17 commander of the military police company of the Belgrade city defence and
18 that he had heard that I was an excellent officer from the chief of
19 security. I never, never, and he had my document, served as the commander
20 of that particular company.
21 Secondly, I first laid eyes on Mr. Vujic in my entire life when he
22 arrived in Negoslavci and then when he took the stand here. I don't know
23 why he said the things that he said. I am quite concerned, though. I'm
24 asking myself: Was it the dignity of a JNA officer to go on and say such
25 things that are completely baseless? Could a Major possibly exercise any
1 sort of command over an officer as high-ranking as a Colonel? I assure
2 you, Mr. Moore, that sort of thing has not been known to happen in the
4 Q. I'm not suggesting that a Major had command over a Colonel. What
5 I am suggesting, that this Major, namely yourself, was appointed by Mrksic
6 in relation to the evacuation and that you were the chief of the security
7 organ, you are in a very specific role. I'm not suggesting that you
8 commanded him. What I am suggesting is that you misjudged this man, you
9 made a comment, and it's come back to haunt you. That's what I'm
11 A. I'd not judge him in any way to begin with. I'm said what I felt
12 and I'm saying what I feel. In no way was I assigned to any evacuation at
13 all, nor did I receive any orders. I was the chief of security of the
14 Guards Motorised Brigade. I did my best, to the best of my ability, to
15 carry out my tasks. Maybe I wasn't up to par on everything. You live and
16 learn. I try to work in a professional manner and well, and I try to
17 provide guidance to all my officers to do the same thing.
18 I did not try to analyse anything or anyone. I put my trust in
19 Bogdan Vujic. I put my trust in the fact that those officers were
20 professional officers, well-trained, more than able to do their job. I
21 believe they would just do the job properly.
22 Q. You meeting at 6.00 in the morning, you say that was Vujic's
23 suggestion or yours?
24 A. Mr. Moore, that evening at the meeting in the hall of the
25 operations centre at Mrksic's, I said what the two facilities were and Mr.
1 Vujic said that he would go with his team to Velepromet to conduct a
2 triage. That I should appoint a security officer to meet them there and
3 introduce them to the TO men. And that I should continue my interview
4 with Vesna Bosanac, prepare for my interview with Marin Vidic and report
5 to him the next morning at 6.00 sharp at the Velepromet gate and that he
6 too would be joining me on my way to the hospital.
7 Q. Well, forgive me if I'm wrong, you are saying that Vujic is
8 stating that you should meet at the gate of Velepromet before he even gets
9 there, before he even knows where it is? Is that what you're saying?
10 Because he had only arrived at 10.00 that night and had gone straight to
12 A. Well, Mr. Moore, he had people escorting him to Velepromet. There
13 would be an officer to meet him there. I didn't ask him at the time
14 whether he knew where Velepromet was or not. He demanded that I report to
15 him the next morning at 6.00 at Velepromet. He probably implied that at
16 least I knew where Velepromet was because he certainly had been assigned
17 men to take him there.
18 Q. But where were you staying that night, Negoslavci?
19 A. As I said, that evening, I first -- or rather, I'd heard those
20 stories about people who were at risk and who had been sent back from
21 Croatia and then I went to that yellow house at Ovcara with Vukasinovic.
22 I returned, I continued my interview with Vesna Bosanac. Before that, I
23 had gone back to the command and met General Aca Vasiljevic there. After
24 my interview with Vesna Bosanac, I proceeded with my interview with Marin
25 Vivic and after that, General Aca Vasiljevic was on my premises and
1 Colonel Tumanov too. And they knew that the group was there and that I
2 should receive any instructions from them and go to them if any matters
3 needed clarifying because they were the professionals there.
4 Q. It's not the most important point in the world, but what you seem
5 to be saying is that Vujic, a man who is new to the territory, had gone to
6 Mrksic in Negoslavci, with you in Negoslavci, goes to Velepromet, and then
7 he says that you should all meet at 6.00 at Velepromet that morning, even
8 before he even gets there, even before he even knows what's there, even
9 before he knows whether he's going to have to be staying or leaving.
10 Isn't the simple truth that in actual fact it was you who made such a
12 A. No, it's not true. I told Mr. Vujic since before he had arrived,
13 Mrksic had authorised me to go there for the triage and whatever needed
14 doing at the hospital at 6.00, of course, that I should first speak to the
15 chief of the medical corps to ask him about medical assistance for those
16 who would be subjected to the triage. And then I told Mr. Vujic that we
17 should be off at 6.00 and then Vujic, in simple terms, said: Comrade, Mr.
18 Sljivancanin, you cannot go to the hospital tomorrow alone. I'll come
19 with you. And that was the request that he made.
20 Q. I will move on from that topic. I want to deal, please, with your
21 visit to Ovcara, you say, on the night of the 18th/19th. Perhaps the best
22 way and fairest way to you: How many times did you actually visit Ovcara
23 through this period from the -- let us say the 18th to the 21st? How many
24 times did you visit there?
25 A. The 18th, the afternoon of the 18th, the 18th of November
1 afternoon. Just before nightfall, I was off to Vucedol. I stayed there
2 until at least as late as 2300 hours and then we got to Ovcara in that
3 convoy that I described. It may have been 1.00, past midnight.
4 It was pitch black, really dark. And then I drove back to
5 Negoslavci. I spend sometime at the command post and told them about
6 everything that we'd done and then I rested. The next morning I received
7 the assignment to go and see the commander about Mr. Vance's visit and I
8 spent the day the way I've described.
9 That evening, after the team had set out for Velepromet by Bogdan
10 Vujic, at that time, was it 2100 hours, 2200 hours, I don't know, but it
11 was roughly at about that time that I was with Major Vukasinovic in the
12 yellow house at Ovcara and then I went back to the headquarters where I
13 met General Vasiljevic.
14 Q. So you were never there on the 20th?
15 A. No, not on the 20th. Not at all. I never went back there after
16 the 19th.
17 Q. I would like to just go through these parts. The afternoon of the
18 18th, was that in connection of the Mitnica evacuation?
19 A. Well, Mitnica, it's entirety was in the area covered by the Guards
20 Brigade. I was the security organ. And when they decided to surrender,
21 of course, I had to be there to see what was going on. That was a job for
22 the security organs.
23 Q. And the persons that went with you were Vukasinovic. What about
24 Karanfilov, did he go to Ovcara on the 18th?
25 A. At the request of Colonel Pavkovic, I assigned Karanfilov to him
1 as his escort during the talks and during the actual surrender at Mitnica.
2 Q. So on the 18th, you go to Ovcara. I think, did you say, it was
3 dark? How long did you stay there for?
4 A. On the evening of the 18th, it was past 11.00 in the evening, I
5 arrived at Ovcara with a convoy of civilians and cars. I helped people
6 get organised there. Major Skoric took away those who wished to go back
7 to Croatia. He probably received this assignment from the commander for
8 people to be taken there and surrendered.
9 Q. And how long did you stay at Ovcara on this occasion,
11 A. Well, Mr. Moore, it may have been half an hour. All the business
12 there, all the loading up, talking to various people, it may have been
13 about an hour altogether, but we were all gathered there in - what should
14 I call it - some sort of a clearing or a road near that building and
15 people were assembling there in order to set off.
16 Q. And did anything untoward, anything unusual happen when you were
17 there on the night of the 18th/19th?
18 A. Nothing that would have -- maybe a TO man came up to me at some
19 point to make suggestions such as, say, we think this man is going there
20 and they were all going in together and saying maybe this is a suspect,
21 but I really didn't see any men among them that looked suspicious at the
22 time. It was all very difficult, what was happening to us and those
23 people there. And my understanding was that all the people should go as
24 planned, that the people should go as planned, that one team should be
25 sent to Zagreb and one to Sid or, rather, one team sent to Croatia and the
1 other to Sid, those two groups.
2 Q. Did you ever go in or approach the Ovcara hangar? And when I
3 say "you", I mean yourself and Vukasinovic?
4 A. Mr. Moore, my lawyers are here. When I saw these pictures when
5 they draw drew them, I thought it was a hangar. When I listened to all
6 this, I thought it was a hangar. I thought a hangar was this kind of
7 semi-circular-shaped arch. I never went up close to the hangar. I've
8 seen the picture 100 times but I didn't know that that was called a
9 hangar. So when the hangar was mentioned, I thought it was like the ones
10 at Velepromet, those semi-circular arched, vaulted type building. I
11 thought that was a hangar. I didn't consider that to be a hangar. I
12 thought it was some hall, room, but I never went up to it anyway.
13 Q. Let us deal with the second time you went to Ovcara. What were
14 the circumstances in you going to Ovcara on that occasion?
15 A. As the people turned up, I think my -- Major Skoric returned to
16 report back. Somebody said that the people were being mistreated. That
17 rumour was going around, and I understood it that he was returned and sent
18 back to Ovcara and that some Territorial Defence members said that we
19 hadn't returned their motor vehicles and mechanisation that we brought
20 from Mitnica, and that they were afraid that the army would seize it for
21 themselves, if I can put it that way. So that's why I went to Ovcara.
22 Q. I would like to know why it was that you went to Ovcara. Was it
23 as a result of information from any person? Or any order from any person?
24 A. I didn't receive any orders as far as I remember, but I went there
25 because I personally had taken part in -- shall I say taking care of those
1 people and sending them -- sending the column. And I took part and I said
2 that the mechanisation, the vehicles would be handed over to the
3 Territorial Defence in Velepromet and that nothing would be appropriated
4 from Vukovar, that it wasn't in the army's interest to take anything
5 away. As this was in that area, I wanted to check it out and see whether
6 they had turned over all the technical equipment and that that they had
7 abided by the agreement reached. So that was what I wanted to do at
9 Q. On the 19th, what I will call the evening of the 19th, did you
10 first go to Ovcara when it was light or dark?
11 A. I have already said that on the 19th, I went to Ovcara in the
12 dark. It was between 21 and 2200 hours. I might be wrong, give or take a
13 minute, but it was dark. After the meeting with the group of officers
14 from the security department.
15 Q. And how long did you stay there?
16 A. 15 minutes at the most, but before that we were -- there, there
17 was a curfew, so we had to stay back 10 to 15 minutes at the entrance of
18 Ovcara. We were kept at the entrance because there was security. The
19 commander of the place was in charge of security. The soldiers providing
20 security weren't from our unit and they didn't allow us through until the
21 commander gave permission. So we were there for 10 to 15 minutes and
22 during that -- we didn't stay longer than 15 minutes discussing the
23 matter. We were talking in front of the so-called yellow house.
24 Q. And on the evening of the 19th, who did you go with to Ovcara?
25 A. I went with the driver and Major Ljubisa Vukasinovic.
1 Q. And is it right that nothing happened on that evening that caused
2 you any concern?
3 A. Well, it's like this: When you enter an area where you are not in
4 charge, but somebody else is, and an officer, Captain First Class appeared
5 in front of the building who introduced himself. I said that I didn't
6 remember his name, but he introduced himself. I forgot what his name was
7 later on. And he said that he was the commander there, he was in charge
8 and that everything was all right there and that the people had been
9 returned, that they didn't wish to leaves buses, and that everything had
10 been insured, the police had to be brought in to provide security. I
11 didn't go back to those people. The people I helped the first evening, I
12 didn't want to exercise any control at all and that wasn't my task either.
13 But he informed me, he told me, that everything was all right, everything
14 was in order. And I came across the commander there Vujovic with a group
15 of men, who said that they had arrived because of the motor vehicles,
16 because the motor vehicles had still not been transported to Velepromet as
17 the agreement reached stipulated, allegedly.
18 Q. So your visit on the 19th was to clarify about motor vehicles and
19 nothing else?
20 A. Well, that was mostly it. And the second point that I heard
21 information to the effect that they said that people were being
22 mistreated. But the man told me that everything was all right, that
23 nobody was being mistreated, that the people who had been returned to
24 Ovcara been given food and water and tea and they wanted to spend the
25 night in the buses. So I left it there. I was sure that other people
1 were taking care of that situation and that what I had been told was, in
2 fact, quite true.
3 Q. And from whom did you hear information that people were being
5 A. I said "people." I think that in the stories going round, it was
6 the head of the column mostly that returned the column back to the place
7 where he failed to turn them over, and that this was a problem for the
8 people because they were driven left, right, centre, sent back and so on.
9 So those were the stories going round.
10 Q. So the mistreatment involved the evacuation to the Croatian border
11 unsuccessfully and coming back, that's the mistreatment you're talking
12 about; is that right?
13 A. Well, that was a major form of mistreatment too, yes.
14 Q. MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. We have a little time left. I
15 will try and fill that time with one other small topic.
16 You are aware that a journalist has given evidence here in this
17 Court about on the 13th of November, you being present when Seselj uttered
18 the words, "Not a Ustasha will leave Vukovar alive." And the suggestion
19 is that you were present at that meeting. Do you accept that you are at
20 any meeting involving Seselj at any time?
21 A. Mr. Moore, if we have time, this is an important question, I would
22 really like -- well, I was never in that house or any meeting, especially
23 not with Mr. Seselj, because I never respected politics or the way in
24 which it was expressed by Mr. Seselj. And if we have enough time, I could
25 tell you a great deal about why I did not respect that and I don't respect
1 it today either.
2 Mr. Radic is here too. Just once throughout the time I was in
3 Vukovar, I went up to the gate or, rather, the road in front of the gate
4 of that house for Mr. Radic to hand me over some weapons which they had
5 found in battle. But I didn't even go into the house, nor was I
6 interested in it.
7 The only place that I did enter, the only houses I did enter was
8 the subordinate commanders, commander Tesic, in fact, at his command post,
9 and all the rest is fabrication, pure fabrication. Witness P 002, all
10 this is pure fabrication. And let me tell you this, he offered his diary
11 here. And when you asked him about the words, the words he wrote
12 commending me, I'm not interested in his commendations. You asked him
13 where he got that from and he said, I made a note of all that in my diary
14 and you have it verbatim in my diary. And now I appeal to you as a man,
15 as a Prosecutor, to take up the diary and if you find a single word of any
16 commendations there about me then I accept you can execute me, hang me,
17 whatever you like. They're just pure fabrications, all of that.
18 Q. That's not within my function, Mr. Sljivancanin. All I simply
19 asked was whether in actual fact you agreed or disagreed with the
20 political doctrine of Mr. Seselj?
21 A. I did not agree with Mr. Seselj's doctrine and I never attended
22 any meeting which Mr. Seselj allegedly had in Vukovar.
23 Q. Have you, at any time, indicated that there is nothing in what
24 Seselj has said that you disagree with?
25 A. Yes. The first time when I wanted to arrest him, when he came to
1 destroy the house of flowers and President Tito's tomb. I can tell you
2 about that.
3 Q. Perhaps it's the way I have put the question. Can I suggest to
4 you that you have on a previous occasion indicated that there was nothing
5 that you disagreed with in respect of Mr. Seselj's politics?
6 A. I don't remember that. I have my positions and I'm putting them
7 publicly here before you, and I'm not afraid of holding those opinions.
8 I was just not interested in any of the politics waged by the
9 party leaders who were extremists and I was especially not interested in
10 the stories told and politics waged by Mr. Seselj.
11 Q. Because I would suggest that you gave an interview, I think it was
12 1996, where you suggested that in actual fact, there was nothing that you
13 disagreed with in relation to -- you did -- let me rephrase. I'd like to
14 suggest that in an interview where you suggested that there was nothing in
15 what Seselj said that you disagreed with.
16 A. Well, they can only be words concocted by some journalist, perhaps
17 they asked Seselj something, but I stated here publicly what my views are,
18 how I feel and what I think and feel today.
19 Q. Can I just read out the small area of the interview. "It would be
20 wrong to tell it differently now that time has passed. Seselj had a very
21 positive opinion about the members of the JNA when I met him. I spoke
22 with a great sense of patriotism about Yugoslavia and the Serb and
23 Montenegrin nation. I am not a politician, but I did not feel anything
24 wrong in what he said. He talked about being in a situation where we had
25 no other choice but to fight, about what Germany and the intelligence
1 services did to our country and supported our fight completely." You then
2 go on to say, "Arkan is a very capable and brave man."
3 Do you remember that particular interview where you were asked
4 about Seselj and Arkan?
5 A. Well, sir, I would have to see what those -- which that paper was,
6 when that was. And they can be just arbitrary words on the part of that
7 journalist. Now, if you're asking me about this, when Mr. Seselj was
8 supposed to come and he came to Vukovar twice, the first time when we
9 heard that he had arrived, that he had come to Vukovar, I was informed
10 about that and I suggested that we ought to mobilise him, give him a
11 rifle, and make him a member of the JNA. And I made that statement in
12 front of the commander, I think it was of the TO, the Territorial Defence,
13 to see if we had the right to do anything like that.
14 I think that that was conveyed to him and that was the first time
15 that Seselj was in Vukovar. He left. The second time he was supposed to
16 come, the commander of Leva Supoderica, since we were establishing law and
17 order, he asked permission whether Seselj could come and visit the Leva
18 Supoderica Unit and I informed Mr. Mrksic about that and we agreed that we
19 should report back to the superior command and the information that came
20 back to us from Mr. Vuk Obradovic, and I say this quite publicly and
21 openly, was that we ought to grant permission for him to tour that
22 detachment, that Seselj had positive views about the Yugoslav People's
24 So perhaps that's what I meant to tell that journalist. So that
25 Seselj did spend time --
1 Q. Mr. Sljivancanin, were you aware of Seselj's arriving in Vukovar
2 on the 13th of November?
3 A. Yes, I was, and I met him. I met him, him and his entourage, if I
4 can put it that way. I was moving from the Bosko Buha settlement with my
5 driver, moving in the direction of the textile school which was located in
6 Otokar Kersovani Street. And I met that group then on that occasion. I
7 came across them near the crossroads at Prvomajska and Ulica Nova and I
8 stopped to take a look and that was the first time that I had ever seen
9 Mr. Seselj live. We stayed there for a short time and I knew that he had
10 been granted permission to come. And in those few sentences that we
11 exchanged, he said I have positive views about the Yugoslav People's Army,
12 nothing can be done in Yugoslavia without the Yugoslav People's Army and I
13 asked my volunteers to carry out orders issued by the Yugoslav People's
14 Army. I never heard him say anything bad about the army.
15 Let me just finish. Then I said to him, well sit down, sir, to
16 see what our soldiers are like. And he said, Where is your security?
17 Where are your bodyguards, your security? And I said, What do we need
18 security, we are soldiers. And I said, Where are your security guards?
19 Any way, he didn't want to sit down with us and the next morning I
20 received information to the effect that Seselj had left the Vukovar area
21 and that's the truth of it.
22 Q. Well, that's what you say. But what I would suggest to you is not
23 only did you attend the meeting on the 13th of November, is it also not
24 correct to say, that apart from this article, you met up with Seselj on
25 the anniversary on the liberation of Vukovar in 1992 and were talking to
1 him then? Perhaps I can put it this way: Did you attend the anniversary
2 of the liberation of Vukovar in 1992?
3 A. Mr. Moore, I said that I was not present at that -- those
4 festivities but that in 1992, I went to the cemetery of Vukovar to pay my
5 respects to everybody who was killed and especially the people who were
6 courageous to pull out the body of my driver and to take money to the
7 orphans, to the children that remain behind those two people. Perhaps he
8 was at the cemetery, Seselj, but I don't remember that and I didn't talk
9 to him. And as far as I remember when I came to the Dunav Hotel, in front
10 of the Danube hotel, there were a lot of people gathered there and Mr.
11 Seselj was one of them, but I didn't meet him.
12 Q. So it would be wrong for anyone to say that you were speaking to
13 Seselj in 1992 at that anniversary or visit to the graveyard; is that
15 A. I am quite certain that I had no talks with Mr. Seselj but you
16 call this anniversary celebrations. As far as I know that, was held in a
17 hall in Borovo Naselje. I wasn't there.
18 MR. MOORE: It's now 7.00. I suspect the Court would like to
19 break. Tomorrow morning, I'd like to move on to the factual basis on the
20 20th, deal with one or two other matters and I will finish, I hope fairly
21 easily, tomorrow, in time, tomorrow morning.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Does that mean in the first session?
23 MR. MOORE: No, it doesn't, I'm afraid. There are areas that I
24 want to deal with that are important areas. I would merely ask that I
25 have the same time that the Defence had to call their witness, but it will
1 finish tomorrow.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Could I make it known that because of the need to
3 accommodate a special hearing in another case on Friday morning, we won't
4 be able to commence until 10.00 a.m. There will be another case in the
5 courtroom before, so it will obviously to everybody's advantage and the
6 progress of the case if Mr. Sljivancanin's evidence can finish before the
7 end of this week.
8 So if you would be mindful of your time tomorrow, Mr. Moore, and
9 we will sit on Friday from 10.00 until 1.45, no earlier and no later.
10 We will adjourn now, tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the Courtroom 2,
11 I believe.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
14 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.