Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13951

 1                          Thursday, 2 November 2006

 2                          [Open session]

 3                          [The accused entered court]

 4                          [The accused Sljivancanin takes the stand]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

 6            JUDGE PARKER:  Good morning.

 7            The affirmation still applies, Mr. Sljivancanin.

 8                          WITNESS:  VESELIN SLJIVANCANIN [Resumed]

 9                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

10            JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Moore.

11                          Cross-examined by Mr. Moore: [Continued]

12       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, just so there's no misunderstanding, can I

13    suggest to you that your explanation that you went to Ovcara at -- or late

14    evening on the 19th, that that is a lie and that in actual fact, you were

15    at Mitnica - not Mitnica -  you were at Ovcara in the afternoon when you

16    had contact with the commander of the yellow house.  You don't accept

17    that, I know.  That's right, isn't it?

18       A.   Good morning to everyone.  Good morning, Mr. Moore.

19            First of all, I do apologise.  I thought you were hurrying along.

20    Yesterday, I thought it was time to complete your cross-examination.  I

21    thought there was no time, but I now see that there is more time.  And I

22    tried to cut some of my answers short, therefore I do have a number of

23    additional remarks to make now that I see there is more time.

24            You read a quote out of some newspapers that I'd never seen and --

25    please I will answer that one too.

Page 13952

 1       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I am putting to you, on behalf of the

 2    Prosecution, that the explanation that you gave being at Ovcara late in

 3    the evening of the 19th is not true.  You were there in the afternoon.

 4    That's the only thing that I am putting to you.  You have a counsel who

 5    can re-examine you on many things, I would suggest.

 6            May we move on, please.  It's tab 13, tab 14, and I'm just going

 7    to read it out.

 8       A.   May I just answer?  Shall I answer the question, what you read out

 9    to me that I was addressed in the army as Major Sljivancanin.  It was

10    Major, sir, in the JNA, no mention of the name.  So this person who said

11    Major and then my name just added that to add emphasis to the fact that it

12    was me, that it was my name.

13            As for what you said about me being at Ovcara on the afternoon of

14    the 19th, I had been with Mr. Vance on that day until late in the day and

15    then later on, I was with Mr. Borsinger in the hospital.  And then on the

16    19th, on the afternoon of the 19th, I was not at Ovcara.

17            If you have any evidence to show for that, by all means, please do

18    so.

19       Q.   From recollection, Mr. Sljivancanin, Mr. Vance was away from the

20    Vukovar area by 2.00 in the afternoon, although you have said on previous

21    occasions you were there until 5.00.  So we will deal with document or

22    divider or tab 13, if we may.  For the English, it's page 3.  But I just

23    want to read it out.  It's tab 14 for you.  It's quite simply this, under

24    B, "Teams Belgrade, Sarajevo."  I just want to ask you about one entry

25    there, "B1."  It reads as follows:  "On the 20th of November, 2 ECMM teams

Page 13953

 1    went to Vukovar via Negoslavci.  They reached the centre of Vukovar at

 2    8.45 hours and waited two hours whilst mines were cleared.  The centre of

 3    the town was described as totally destroyed, occupied by bands of Serbian

 4    irregulars who were drunk and aggressive.  Dead bodies were visible in the

 5    ruins."

 6            Now what I want to ask you is:  Did you see bands of Serbian

 7    irregulars who were drunk and aggressive at that time?

 8       A.   Mr. Moore, you seem to be asking a number of different questions

 9    there, so please it will only be fair to allow me to answer to all the

10    questions.

11            You asked me questions that run into half pages or thereabouts.

12    Again I'm telling you, Mr. Vance came for me in Negoslavci at 1400 hours

13    on the 19th -- or left at 1400 hours.  And if you look at the documents

14    that were tendered here, you see that it was at 1400 hours.  After that I

15    went to see Mr. Mrksic.  After that I looked for Mr. Borsinger.  And then

16    on the 19th, the afternoon of the 19th, I went with Mr. Borsinger to the

17    hospital.  Therefore, I was not at Ovcara.  That's what you're trying to

18    gloss over, that question persistently.  So if you want to know, allow me

19    to clarify that.

20            As for the report, this is a report produced by other people.  I

21    know that in the town of Vukovar itself around my zone, there were the

22    members of the Guards Motorised Brigade, there was the Vukovar TO

23    detachment with me and within its composition was something they called a

24    detachment.  I thought it was a company actually, the Leva Supoderica.

25    And then there was another detachment which was replaced at one point or,

Page 13954

 1    rather, at one point had its name changed.  I thought it was the

 2    Kragujevac detachment.  I didn't know that there were any other forces

 3    there, irregular forces, more specifically, that you referred to as

 4    Serbian.

 5       Q.   I am asking you a very specific question.  Did you see anybody

 6    around there who was irregular, that could be described as drunk and

 7    aggressive.  It's a very simple question.  Did you see anybody or not on

 8    the 20th who perhaps would fit that description?

 9       A.   Mr. Moore, it's a large town, a great number of people and

10    civilians who resided there.  A misfortune struck them, there were

11    probably all sorts of things happening that those people didn't like, but

12    I was moving about town and wherever I was, there were no such people as

13    you have described around.

14       Q.   And when you talk about size, it's right, isn't it, that the

15    actual hospital grounds are not large, they're actually extremely small

16    and in what I will call hospital terms.  And I asked you yesterday whether

17    you'd seen anybody who perhaps could be described as Chetnik or

18    paramilitary.  So size wasn't a problem there; was it?

19       A.   I answered your question yesterday, didn't I?  It's not really

20    such a small area; there were two buildings there.  The new building, the

21    old building and the building yard and then I moved as far as the shelter.

22    If you want me to, I'll draw that for you, where it was near the hospital,

23    where the command of the ZNG were and the perimeter was being secured by

24    the military police.  I know and I'm telling that you everything was

25    perfectly in order there.  You've heard witnesses who were in the

Page 13955

 1    hospital.  Nobody complained about having been mistreated or any trouble

 2    caused them about the hospital.

 3            I didn't see, and I said that the term Chetnik is something I was

 4    taught at school.  I thought it was an abominable term at the time.  I

 5    didn't like those people because they fought with the Nazis and I didn't

 6    want any such terms used.  What I want to use was JNA and TO.  Chetnik to

 7    me is an alien term.

 8       Q.   Is the term Ustasha an alien and abominable term to you?

 9       A.   I said that too, didn't I?  Back at school, when I was a young

10    pupil and later at the secondary school and the academy, I learned that

11    the Ustasha sided with the Chetniks in terms of being on the same side in

12    World War II, so it was an alien term to me.  When I used the term

13    Ustasha, I applied that term to people who used those radios to introduce

14    themselves to each other like that by using the term Ustasha.  So I used

15    that term to apply to those people who used it themselves.  I don't

16    describe the whole of the Croatian people as Ustasha, just those who

17    described themselves as Ustasha, just like I described myself as a member

18    of the JNA.

19       Q.   Let's move to the morning of the 20th.  Who was in the command of

20    the evacuation?

21       A.   I told you what I know about the progress of that situation.  As a

22    security officer, I went along with a group of security officers.  I can

23    give you their names yet again just to check whether all the security

24    conditions at the hospital were in place to prevent any surprises and to

25    find and single out potential perpetrators of any crimes.  At the

Page 13956

 1    Velepromet gate, we decided that they should be taken as far as the

 2    barracks, that they should wait and the convoy should proceed for Sremska

 3    Mitrovica.  They were all supposed to go to Sremska Mitrovica and then

 4    after that, the convoy for taking away the wounded and sick.  Colonel

 5    Pavkovic brought those and then there was the bus convoy to take the

 6    civilians to Sid.  I can't remember right now who led that convoy, but the

 7    civilian convoy that was supposed to go back to Croatia on those buses was

 8    supposed to be joining that convoy on the wounded with ambulances led by

 9    Colonel Pavkovic.

10            Some of the wounded stayed behind in the hospital since we didn't

11    have sufficient vehicles that day to take everybody away.  As you know,

12    they were evacuated on the 21st.

13       Q.   Can you think of any reason why it is that colleagues of yours,

14    military colleagues of yours, might think that you were in charge, you

15    were the commander of that evacuation from beginning to end, i.e., Sremska

16    Mitrovica?

17       A.   Mr. Moore, this is entirely untrue.  Whoever says that, bring

18    anyone, bring them on.  I'll tell them straight to their face, it's a lie.

19    I wasn't in charge of that.  I should have received an order in writing

20    for a -- verbal one, especially for a mission like that.  It should have

21    been a written order.  And then for me to hold a meeting with the people

22    who were supposed to be in charge of this or of that and then I should

23    have planned for the use of equipment but I did none of that.  All I did

24    was the job of a security officer and I'm not shying away from that, but

25    that was all I did.  This was quite an enterprise.  It took quite some

Page 13957

 1    planning and doing.  Nor was I at any stage involved in the planning of

 2    this.  Therefore, the answer is I just don't know.  I think this statement

 3    is simply erroneous.

 4       Q.   Were you involved or were you in charge of the evacuation of the

 5    Mitnica battalion to Ovcara?

 6       A.   I wasn't in charge of that either, Mr. Moore.  I explained that to

 7    you, haven't I?  I told you, in my capacity as a security officer, I was

 8    required to work with my officers, use different methods and identify the

 9    perpetrators of crimes.  The command of the commanders were supposed to

10    deal with the POWs.  If you see -- if you look at the rules for our

11    security organ, there is no mention there whatsoever of POWs, not a single

12    mention there.  The only reference there is in the military police rules,

13    it's Article 25 and Article 57.  There are references there to the

14    military police having the power to take part in the escorting of POWs,

15    does not necessarily take part, but can.  I didn't take part in that

16    evacuation myself.  I do the job of a security officer.  I've described

17    that for you.  If you want me to go through that again, I will.  No

18    problem at all.

19       Q.   In relation to the 20th, then, you say that you were involved in

20    the selection, what I will call the triage.  Who was responsible, then,

21    for the vehicles?

22       A.   So, as early as the evening of the 19th when I got specific tasks,

23    security-related tasks from the commander, Colonel Mrksic, he told me that

24    I could go and see the logistics assistant commander for him to assign me

25    a sufficient number of vehicles to take away those who were suspects, who

Page 13958

 1    were suspected of committing criminal offences.  That was the job that I

 2    had.  I was supposed to take those crime suspects from the hospital as far

 3    as the barracks, and I put Major Vukasinovic in charge of that.  I

 4    remember that he will be here to testify any way, and I can't be expected

 5    to remember every single word.  I told him to get two buses.  It was my

 6    assessment based on my conversations with Vesna Bosanac and Marin Vidic

 7    that maybe that many would be sufficient for the first tranche.  Then I

 8    heard that two other buses were supposed to arrive because as many people

 9    would be arriving but my first assessment was two buses.

10            So he reported and he got the two buses from the logistics

11    assistant commander.

12       Q.   So who got the other two buses?

13       A.   Major Vukasinovic was in charge of that job.

14       Q.   And is it a case that two buses arrived on the morning of the

15    20th, you came to the conclusion that it wouldn't be sufficient, I

16    say "you," I mean collectively you, and two other buses were summoned

17    afterwards; is that what you're saying?

18       A.   If you want me to go into interpreting that, perhaps I could

19    confirm, but I think you better have Vukasinovic tell you about that.  The

20    previous evening, I thought two would be sufficient and then later on, he

21    was in a position to ask for more, two or whatever it took.  I really

22    don't know right now.  I haven't spent any time thinking about it.  If two

23    would have been sufficient or if another two buses came or if the very

24    same two came back twice to get the people and take them there.  I think

25    he probably would be better able to explain that for you.

Page 13959

 1            At the time, I was with Vesna Bosanac in the office.  I went to

 2    the shelter and I thought that job was in progress and I realised that it

 3    was a job that was being done in a routine fashion and strictly in keeping

 4    with the rules.

 5       Q.   So your assessment, your initial assessment was you would have two

 6    buses or two buses would be sufficient to accommodate the number of

 7    individuals from the hospital who might interest the security organ; is

 8    that correct?

 9       A.   Those were people I found out that night when I was in the

10    hospital from talking to Sergeant Jovic and the doctors who were treating

11    people there, the medical staff and Mrs. Vesna Bosanac and Marin Vidic

12    that they were hiding in the hospital.  And they believe that they had

13    taken part in the armed insurgency.  According to us, we didn't capture

14    them in the act of actually doing it.  They had no weapons on them and for

15    us all they were suspects.

16            They were supposed to be taken for interrogation to Sremska

17    Mitrovica.  That evening, it may have been a misjudgement on my part, but

18    that's how I remember it happening.  I told Vukasinovic "I think two buses

19    should do for the number of people that we are supposed to take there."  I

20    may be wrong, but that's what I think.

21       Q.   Can I suggest that you had a list of your own prior to going into

22    the hospital on the 19th.  Do you accept that, a list of people who might

23    interest you?

24       A.   Mr. Moore, the list that you quoted yesterday is a list produced

25    by the security administration for the entire territory.  And you read out

Page 13960

 1    names from your log from the -- some other places too, that referred to

 2    the entire eastern Slavonia sector.  We, as security officers, used this

 3    list in these cases.  Should a person like that turn up a person who is

 4    suspected of having committed criminal offences, there was a suspicion and

 5    this person was to be taken for an interview.  We didn't believe that all

 6    those people were at the hospital, nor did we believe that we would find

 7    all of them inside the hospital.

 8            Whenever a person like that was found, this person was to be taken

 9    to the Sremska Mitrovica prison, as far as their name was on the list and

10    this person was found by us at the hospital.

11       Q.   So the selection process was going to be either from the list that

12    you had - by the way, I don't accept that Bosanac was trying to help you

13    to pick out individuals who fought against you - the list that you had, or

14    the information or identification by the TO of the persons who were taken

15    from the hospital; is that right?  There were two principal sources of

16    identification.

17       A.   The most principal source of identification for me and for my

18    officers at the time was that provided by the doctors of the Vukovar

19    Hospital and medical staff.  I didn't ask about their ethnicity.  Croats,

20    Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians and whoever, they were just doctors for

21    me.  And they said what they said.  I'm not saying that Vesna Bosanac did

22    all of that.  She said she was ready to work with us.  She'd be asking the

23    doctors to tell us who were the people who were hiding in order to not

24    cause any trouble to the wounded.  She didn't literally go from man to man

25    picking them out saying, "That's him."  And in the morning, when she had

Page 13961

 1    the doctors summoned, she told them to work the together with the military

 2    doctors and with us and that all those not belonging there and not medical

 3    staff should be sent away from the hospital.

 4            I'm telling you the greatest assistance we ever got in that

 5    process from anyone was from the doctors and the medical staff of the

 6    Vukovar Hospital.

 7       Q.   Can you think of any behaviour or words that you were uttering

 8    that morning that would give people the impression that you were in charge

 9    of the evacuation, that you were the commander of the evacuation with your

10    own officers and your own troops?

11       A.   In my personal opinion, I worked exceptionally well with Mrs.

12    Vesna Bosanac and with Mr. Marin Vidic too.  I was enthusiastic about the

13    conclusions that he provided.  As a human being, I saw him as a human

14    being.  He was being honest when talking about the JNA and talking about

15    the HDZ and Tudjman.  I think he was right in everything he said.  If he

16    was here, I would be glad to tell him.

17            If you want me, I'll run that past you again.  Vesna Bosanac asked

18    me to hold a meeting to explain the situation.  And then my understanding

19    was that those peoples' understanding was because I spoke to Dr. Ivezic,

20    Lieutenant Colonel, because he asked me for me to tell them that.  I don't

21    know why he wouldn't, since I believed him to be an important person at

22    the hospital.  I told them what I told them.  If I have to say it again,

23    I'll say it again.  I think that this was the only thing that possibly

24    could have led them to believe that I was some sort of commander.

25            After that, there was a lot of media noise being created about my

Page 13962

 1    conversation with Mr. Borsinger at the bridge.  And then everybody said

 2    okay, that's Major Sljivancanin, so that's my interpretation.  That was

 3    the only time I gave my name to anyone or indeed focused on the fact that

 4    I was some sort of a commander.  So it's not the method of work of the

 5    security officer to use fear to make people confess anything.  Our method

 6    of work was a silent one, stealthy if you like, and slow.  Sometimes, I'm

 7    perhaps prone to raise my voice a little, it's just a soldierly thing that

 8    I do, so that might be the impression that I make on certain people.  But

 9    I'm telling you, that's the only meeting that possibly could have been the

10    meeting that I helped with those people.  And as for everything that

11    happened in Vukovar, there was a lot of media noise being stirred up about

12    that and directed against my person.

13       Q.   So the security organ don't use fear; is that right?

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   Let's just look at the method of selection.  It has been said that

16    individuals were told either -- "and men and those who could walk to the

17    left," is that correct?  Was that said?  Was that a method of selection?

18       A.   In the room where the meeting was held, which is the room where I

19    was, people asked questions and I explained about the groups that were

20    there.  The crime suspects who would be interrogated, who were civilians

21    who wanted to go to the Red Cross in Sid, the civilians who were to go

22    back to Croatia and those who wanted to remain in the hospital.  And then

23    people asked me, "Where shall we go to get our staff ready?"  And then at

24    that meeting, I may have been prompted by some people, perhaps the

25    hospital doctors themselves.  I said, "To the left, those to be

Page 13963

 1    interrogated at the barracks, and to the right, the hospital yard, all

 2    those split up in two groups outside that yard."  That's how it was.

 3       Q.   "To the left to be interrogated at the barracks."  Just out of

 4    interest, did you bring gender into it by any chance, perhaps men to the

 5    left?  Or were you expecting a few women to wander down there as well?

 6       A.   I didn't suspect a single woman of having committed a crime.

 7    Somehow, I didn't feel that there was any need to mention that, that any

 8    women were to be taken in.  I didn't have the feeling at the time.  There

 9    may have been women like that, but at the time, it's not women that I had

10    in mind.  Men were all I had in mind, and I wasn't thinking about women at

11    all.

12       Q.   So did you or did you not say, "Men to the left, and those who can

13    walk to the left."  It's a very simple question; yes or no, please?

14       A.   I didn't say "men" and I didn't say "those who can walk."  I

15    said, "Those who are suspected of any crimes will head left towards the

16    gate and towards the street outside."  That's what I said.

17       Q.   If that is the case, then, can you explain how a woman came up to

18    you and asked, "What is happening to my husband?"  And you basically

19    explained to her that, "They are going down to the barracks to be

20    interviewed and then they would be on their way to Sremska Mitrovica,"

21    because if you're putting it out on a -- if you're indicating it in a

22    meeting, it's not -- it's something that everybody would know, isn't it?

23       A.   Well, you see, as I testified here, maybe as I was passing, there

24    were people approaching me, even women to ask me questions.  I didn't say

25    at the meeting that people would be sent to the Sremska Mitrovica prison.

Page 13964

 1    I said for interrogation to the barracks.  I didn't want to cause any more

 2    commotion, that they'd been through enough by this point.  Me telling them

 3    at this point that they would be taken to prison, I don't think that was a

 4    good idea.  I was trying to be humane in a way.  I didn't wish to frighten

 5    them or anything.  And I may have told that particular lady as I was

 6    passing that those people had been taken for interrogation to the

 7    barracks.  There is no escaping that.  It's a possibility.  But I can't

 8    remember every single thing I said to every single person there.  One

 9    thing is certain, at the meeting, I made no reference whatsoever to the

10    Sremska Mitrovica prison.

11       Q.   Being the sensitive and humane man which you obviously are, is it

12    a case, then, that you were saying to this woman to relieve her concerns

13    that her husband was going to go to the barracks to be interrogated?  Was

14    that a phrase to relieve her concerns, Mr. Sljivancanin, as a person who

15    might be interviewed for suspected crimes?  Is that your explanation?

16       A.   Well, I'm telling you that I said this because I didn't want to

17    add something to all the trouble that these people were experiencing.  I

18    didn't want to say to that woman, "Oh, your husband is going to prison."

19    In order to alleviate things, perhaps I said, "interrogation in barracks

20    and then we would consult there."  And also these women, they asked for

21    these lists and again we returned those people who I thought were

22    misselected.  I thought that they should be released, therefore, I did not

23    tell anyone then that they would go to prison.  Whatever they asked me, I

24    didn't say to anyone that they would be going to prison in Sremska

25    Mitrovica.

Page 13965

 1       Q.   So there was no interview at the barracks, was there?

 2       A.   Not in barracks.  There weren't supposed to be held any in

 3    barracks.  And no one was assigned to interview anyone or interrogate

 4    anyone.  They were supposed to wait there for a convoy to be formed and go

 5    to Sremska Mitrovica.

 6       Q.   So you lied to the woman; that is correct, isn't it?

 7       A.   Oh, Mr. Moore, I said how I felt then.  You can interpret it any

 8    way you want.  That is what you think that I lied.  Her husband was

 9    perhaps among those 20 that we released ultimately.

10       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, there were going to be no interviews.  What you

11    told this woman was a lie.  That's correct, isn't it?  There were no

12    interviews.  It's not a case of my interpretation.  It was a lie.

13       A.   It was not a lie, because before that, women asked me to make a

14    list -- that they would make a list of their husbands who they thought

15    were not crime suspects, and I released a great many of them so they could

16    return to their families.

17       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, there was no interview and there was going to be

18    no interview at the JNA barracks; that is correct, isn't it?

19       A.   That is correct, but it could have happened in that selection as I

20    said to you, because I promised at the meeting that families would not be

21    split up, that the people who had made this selection had made a mistake

22    and that mistake could be corrected while they are still in barracks.  The

23    mistake could also have been rectified in Sremska Mitrovica too, so it's

24    not a lie at all.

25       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin --

Page 13966

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   -- you told the woman that her husband was going to be interviewed

 3    in the barracks.  You knew there were no interviews at the barracks.

 4    That, by any standard, is a lie.  For whatever reason, it is a lie, isn't

 5    it?

 6       A.   Mr. Moore, that's not the way I see it.  These are your

 7    conclusions.  I'm telling you once again, I do not know what I said to

 8    what woman, but I do know that women walked up to me, put questions to me,

 9    they asked for their husbands to be returned, those who were not

10    perpetrators of crimes were returned.  I let them make these lists, and I

11    knew that these people would be temporarily in the barracks until the

12    convoy was established.  They would go to Sremska Mitrovica.  There was

13    always the possibility that, as I promised them at the meeting, if anyone

14    indicates that they have information that they took the wrong man, it was

15    possible for such a man to be released from barracks.  We did everything

16    that they asked us to do.  Yes.

17       Q.   Do you know the name of that woman?  You heard her name here.  Her

18    name was Polovina.  Would it surprise you to know that there is a Polovina

19    in the annex of the indictment?  We would suggest it is her husband?

20       A.   Sir, at that time, in the hospital, I did not hear that the

21    woman's name was Polovina.  I did not ask any of the women to introduce

22    themselves to me by name and surname.  If that man is indeed in the

23    indictment, and if he indeed went missing, I am really moved, as a human

24    being, but I really had no intention.  I don't know whether Polovina or

25    some other woman asked me.  If she was the one who asked me, I really

Page 13967

 1    wanted to reassure her then so that she would not be stressed out.  I

 2    tried my best to be fair to people and I didn't know whether her husband

 3    was in barracks or was not in barracks.

 4       Q.   And I suggest, and I don't mean to be discourteous, please

 5    understand that, and I hope others do, that you were and are, an

 6    egotistical gentleman, who went that day controlling a situation and it

 7    was you who called that meeting, not Dr. Bosanac.  You went in there in

 8    charge; isn't that right?

 9       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, you see, you are using very ugly words, very

10    harsh words, and you are behaving here from positions of power.  You

11    represent a powerful world organisation that I respect.  And what am I

12    here?  As a Montenegrin poet said, I'm just a straw in the whirlwinds, so

13    what is my position?  What did I try to do?  I was not egotistical.  I

14    tried to help these people and I also want to bring before justice those

15    who created commotion, trouble, who killed innocent people, soldiers, that

16    was the law, and I strove for that.  I cannot accept what you're saying

17    now.

18            I don't want to squabble with you.  You have the right to use any

19    words you want to use and I will always try to behave courteous and

20    properly to you.  And then it is for you to decide what kind of words you

21    are going to use when addressing me and when speaking about me.

22            JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Lukic.

23            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I didn't want to interrupt Mr. Moore,

24    but I am going to refer to something that he referred to in the

25    Prosecution case.  When he referred to the tone of Mr. Borovic's question

Page 13968

 1    put to one of the Prosecution witnesses.  Of course I don't mind that Mr.

 2    Moore puts questions related to the facts, but in terms of qualifications

 3    like this, comments on Mr. Sljivancanin's personality, those are facts

 4    that can only be part of a second part of a question, the way I understand

 5    it.

 6            JUDGE PARKER:  Have you finished with that matter, Mr. Moore?

 7            MR. MOORE:  I have, Your Honours.

 8            JUDGE PARKER:  Move on.

 9            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

10       Q.   Can I suggest, perhaps if I put it this way, you refer to

11    Montenegrins being a straw in the wind.  The second time you have

12    mentioned Montenegro.  You are from Montenegro.  Obviously, it's a gross

13    generalisation, but would it be fair to say that Montenegrins can be plain

14    speaking people?  You are not the only one in this court who is from

15    Montenegrin, but would that be a trait?

16       A.   Well, if you're interested in what Montenegrins are like, I have a

17    book here in prison that was written by a German author who spent quite a

18    bit of time with Montenegrins and he described the people there.  I can

19    bring it for you tomorrow and I can give it to you.  You can read it.

20            I really don't want to talk about that now.  I think that we are a

21    civilised people, normal people.  I cannot denounce my origins.  I was

22    brought up the way I was brought up.  I am the way I am.  It would be best

23    for you to come to Montenegro and to spend a bit of time with Montenegrins

24    and you will see that we are normal people just like anybody else.

25       Q.   Let's move on to the actual evacuation itself.  Who was in charge

Page 13969

 1    of the buses and the transfer of Ovcara people?

 2       A.   I don't understand.  What kind of transfer of Ovcara and when did

 3    this occur?

 4       Q.   The people who were taken from the hospital, I often called them

 5    the Ovcara people or the Ovcara victims, the people who were taken from

 6    the hospital and eventually ended up at the JNA barracks and then went on,

 7    minus some individuals at Ovcara, who was in charge of the transportation

 8    of them?  Who was in charge of the control of the individuals?

 9       A.   People who were in hospital and who were suspected of having

10    committed crimes and who were to be taken to the barracks, Major Ljubisa

11    Vukasinovic was in charge of them.

12       Q.   Who supplied the soldiers on the buses?

13       A.   As far as I know, soldiers for securing these buses were from the

14    2nd Battalion of the military police commanded by Major Radomir Paunovic.

15       Q.   Did you have any discussion with Paunovic that morning at the

16    hospital about what was to be achieved or indeed any discussion with him

17    about these individuals being removed from the hospital?

18       A.   Well, I talked to Paunovic on the afternoon of the 19th and I

19    talked to him on the morning of the 20th.  He was there.  As far as I can

20    remember, there was a company commander of his there too.  I saw the two

21    of them.  They said that the night was peaceful and that there was nothing

22    going on.  And I said that what would be done then would be the work that

23    we came there for and that his soldiers would be helping.  Those were the

24    tasks and the jobs that he had, normal police work.

25       Q.   But the important thing to bear in mind, I would suggest, is that

Page 13970

 1    you have a double function here.  You are responsible for the triage, as

 2    you call it, but you are also commander of the security organ within the

 3    zone of responsibility of the 1st Motorised Brigade, Guards Motorised

 4    Brigade; isn't that right?

 5       A.   Mr. Moore, I was not a commander, I was the chief of the security

 6    organ of the Guards Motorised Brigade.

 7       Q.   But you still had a function as chief of the security organ of the

 8    Guards Motorised Brigade.  That task still subsisted; isn't that right?

 9       A.   Yes, that's right.  I was chief of security of the Guards Brigade

10    when I was there in hospital.  Yes, that's right.

11       Q.   And the barracks were within the zone of responsibility of the

12    Guards Motorised Brigade; that is correct, isn't it?

13       A.   The barracks were within the zone of responsibility of the Guards

14    Motorised Brigade.  That is correct.

15       Q.   And criminal behaviour or acts is a matter of concern to the

16    security organ; isn't that correct?

17       A.   Well, security organs take part in these tasks, but crimes are

18    something that everyone has to deal with, soldiers, commanders, the

19    military police, crime prevention, control, resolving these problems.

20       Q.   I will ask the question again.  Criminal behaviour or criminal

21    acts are a matter of concern to the security organ; that is correct, isn't

22    it?  It may well be other officers as well, we can deal with that later

23    on, but for the security organ, it is one of your areas of concern; isn't

24    that right?

25       A.   That is one of the tasks in which the security organs participate

Page 13971

 1    as well.  Yesterday we interpreted the rules.  Now I don't really want to

 2    interpret it the way it suits you.  I want to give the interpretation that

 3    the regulations stipulate.  Now we explained that very nicely yesterday.

 4    Where they are the mainstays of certain things and where they participate

 5    in certain matters.

 6            THE INTERPRETER:  The answer went too fast.  The interpreter did

 7    not catch the last sentence.

 8            MR. MOORE:

 9       Q.   You were told by Vukasinovic -- Your Honour, it's very difficult

10    to know how to deal with it.

11            Mr. Sljivancanin, you're talking rather quickly sometimes.  The

12    interpreter, I think, failed to get the last part of the answer and I'll

13    read it to you.  And it's the last part of the answer if you can just

14    expand although I don't think it will change much.

15            "One of the tasks in which the security organs participate as

16    well, yesterday, we interpreted the rules.  Now, I don't really want to

17    interpret it the way it suits you, I want to give the interpretation that

18    the regulations stipulate.  Now we explained that very nicely yesterday.

19    Where they are the mainstays of certain things and where they participate

20    in certain matters."  That is all that is recorded.  Is there anything

21    else that you want to add to that?

22       A.   I do apologise to the interpreters and to you, sir, if I went too

23    fast.  I don't want to repeat myself, that's why I'm hurrying, but I will

24    be patient enough to speak slower.

25            Yesterday, when we discussed the rules and regulations, we said

Page 13972

 1    what the main tasks were or, rather, where the organs of the -- security

 2    organs were the mainstays, the protagonists.  And there is this other

 3    group of tasks which they participate like other officers, commands and so

 4    on and they are not the ones who are in charge of these tasks; they

 5    participate, they assist therein.  One of these tasks where they

 6    participate is crime prevention and control and finding the perpetrators

 7    of criminal offences.

 8       Q.   And you were told by Vukasinovic that there had been problems at

 9    the barracks; that is correct, isn't it?

10       A.   I did my best to be precise.  Vukasinovic, when he brought a group

11    of people that I had asked to be returned, after having talked to the

12    women, which is what you asked me about, he said that certain members of

13    the Territorial Defence, as he was taking these people out of the buses to

14    take them back, they tried to abduct some of these people.  And they were

15    making noise, so to speak.  They were cursing, they were saying ugly

16    things about them, shouting at them.  There were also a group of members

17    of the Territorial Defence who had gathered near the barracks and they

18    were asking why I was setting these people free, these 24 who were on that

19    list.  Now, that is what Vukasinovic said to me.

20       Q.   Well, if you are referring to abduction, abduction means taking

21    away; isn't that right?

22       A.   No, they were not taking them away.  It was my understanding that

23    they were moving towards these people that Vukasinovic had singled out --

24    that's what I meant, that they did not abduct anyone because the military

25    police was there so that was prevented.

Page 13973

 1       Q.   I suspect this is a problem on translation.  What you said

 2    was, "They tried to abduct some of these people."  What I'm suggesting to

 3    you, it's not a case of just words, there was an attempt to remove people,

 4    so it was an extremely serious situation.  The removal of people who were

 5    suspected of committing criminal acts against Serbs.  That's the point.

 6    It's not just words, it's the attempt to remove people that's the issue.

 7       A.   Well, I think differently, and I thought differently then too.

 8    There were always some frustrated people in that town, people who had

 9    experienced many traumas, people who lived through that, this interethnic

10    conflict.  It was not easy.  And now, in that nervousness, one could -- a

11    person could get very upset, perhaps somebody recognised a neighbour,

12    whoever, I don't know.  But I know that nothing happened to these people

13    and as I had requested, all of the people who were on the list were

14    returned to the hospital.

15       Q.   And they had tried to mistreat the people whom you had extracted.

16    These are very benign words, "mistreat."  Did you ever ask, Well, what

17    were they trying to do?  Were they hitting them?  Were they beating them?

18       A.   When these people came, Vukasinovic informed me that he did not

19    allow anyone to approach them, and none of these people who were brought

20    in had been hurt and none of them complained to me that they had been

21    beaten.  I'm telling you again, there were frustrated people in town,

22    especially these civilians who were there in town and then finally when

23    the town was free and when they could move about, some people saw

24    destroyed houses, some had somebody close to them killed.  So of course it

25    was our suspicion that people could feel frustrated in that kind of

Page 13974

 1    situation and could be saying all sorts of things.  And most often they

 2    were saying to them that they were Ustashas, they were cursing them, using

 3    these swear words that I remember Vukasinovic told me about then.  Well,

 4    such things did happen among the population, yes.  That wasn't new.

 5    Nothing was ideal there.

 6       Q.   I'm asking you, and as I suggested yesterday, there was a

 7    possibility of revenge; isn't that right?

 8       A.   I was convinced, and I am convinced now as well that where these

 9    officers were, the ones that I had assigned different tasks or where the

10    officers of the Guards Motorised Brigade were, that no retaliation could

11    take place.  We did our best to take correct measures and to protect and

12    shield people.

13       Q.   Might I respectfully suggest to you that is complete nonsense

14    because many of these people in the TO were armed and were perfectly

15    capable of shooting someone.  This was not an unarmed group of people

16    completely, was it?

17       A.   I know that members of the Territorial Defence were armed and from

18    day one, there was this situation until we introduced law and order.  On

19    one occasion, Colonel Mrksic even issued an order to the Colonel.  He

20    said, If necessary, you can trample upon them with tanks but they are not

21    going to --

22       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, the question is perfectly straightforward.  It's

23    not a case of just words.  You had a group of frustrated individuals, some

24    of them TO, some of them who might have lost loved ones, who were armed

25    and attacking the bus or attempting to attack the bus; that's right, isn't

Page 13975

 1    it?

 2       A.   I heard what people said here while they were giving evidence, but

 3    I was not in barracks, so it's not for me to conclude whether it was that

 4    way or whether it was not that way or whether people are adding things,

 5    but the fact remains that nothing happened to anyone in the barracks.

 6            I am giving you my word that I am sure that the guards would have

 7    used tanks and weapons and anything and they would have prevented the

 8    Territorial Defence from doing anything if they wanted to.

 9       Q.   And yesterday or the day before, you indicated to this Court you

10    did nothing to contact anyone at the barracks to see whether the situation

11    was deteriorating; that is right, isn't it?

12       A.   Mr. Moore, you always draw some kind of conclusions that you want

13    to draw.  That is your opinion.  That's not what I said.  So please, read

14    that page to me.  I don't know.  Perhaps I spoke very fast and I just

15    spoke too fast.  I asked Vukasinovic who was there.  I asked him, Is

16    Colonel Panic there?  And he said, Yes.  Is lieutenant Colonel Lukic

17    there?  Yes, that was the commander of the barracks or, rather, the

18    commander of the garrison.  Knowing those officers, that is not secret

19    work on the part of security organs.  One knows what discipline is.  The

20    security organ does not resolve this discipline.  It is for the command to

21    resolve that.  If they were there, I was convinced and I am convinced

22    today that they would take measures and they would resolve the question of

23    discipline and they would improve the discipline.  That was my position

24    then and that is what I said to you yesterday.

25       Q.   You had a radio, you had individuals at your disposal, you never

Page 13976

 1    sent Vukasinovic back to clarify the situation and you never made any

 2    radio attempt to see what was happening at the barracks; that is the fact,

 3    isn't it?

 4       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, I gave my answer yesterday.  As for this radio

 5    communication I had, I had it with Negoslavci, not with the barracks, but

 6    with the building where I was, with my desk officers, so that they could

 7    send a message to me if necessary, and things like that.  Again, I'm

 8    telling you, as for the chain of command, it was not my duty to introduce

 9    order and discipline in barracks.  It was not for me to give assignments

10    to officers.  The officers who were in barracks are going to come and

11    testify and they are going to explain what the order was in barracks.  At

12    that time, I did not think it was necessary, if responsible officers in

13    barracks were there, that I was supposed to caution them about something.

14    It was the day-to-day duty of the commander there.

15       Q.   And it's much more than that, because the people who were sent

16    back on your suggestion when they came with Vukasinovic, Vujevic was with

17    you on the re-selection at the hospital.  And I think you told us that in

18    actual fact, that there were individuals in that re-selected group who

19    indicated that they had killed some people and they said who it was they

20    had killed.  And as a consequence of that, they were, as it were,

21    re-apprehended.  So you had people who actually admitted, so you say, had

22    admitted murdering or killing individuals; isn't that right?

23       A.   So, when those people were returned to the hospital compound,

24    there were journalists there, there were EC monitors there, even Mr.

25    Vujevic came with some TO men and addressed me, saying, that he knew that

Page 13977

 1    the people whom I was about to release were perpetrators of criminal

 2    offences and I said, That's up to you.  And then I took some people

 3    outside the hospital who knew those people and I called the MPs who were

 4    there.

 5            For example, I read out the name of this particular person, he

 6    responds.  I say, Does anyone know what this man did?  And I ask Vujevic,

 7    Do you know if there were any criminal offences that he committed?  You

 8    are from the area, so you should know.  And he said, I heard he was a

 9    member of the HDZ.  And I said to him, Well, you were a party member too

10    of some party, rather, right?  This man wasn't carrying a gun, he wasn't

11    shooting.  So he's leaving with his family and that's that.  Those four

12    people who remained said themselves, We shot at people and we killed some

13    people.  And they told us about some people they killed at a petrol

14    station in front of everybody there in the hospital, and I had no doubts

15    any longer.

16            I told Vukasinovic, Take these people to the Sremska Mitrovica

17    prison.  That's where they should go and that was all the selection that

18    was done.

19       Q.   I would suggest that is complete and utter nonsense that four men

20    would confess to killing or murder to you or the TO and that you are using

21    that as a means to justify them getting back on that bus.  That's what I'm

22    suggesting to you.

23       A.   Mr. Moore, you weren't there.  How can you possibly know?  What

24    you're saying, again, you can say whatever you like, but I'm telling you

25    from the depths of my soul, the very truth, what we experienced.  I even

Page 13978

 1    admired that particular commander, Mitar Karaula, who was -- I admired his

 2    honesty, he honour.  It doesn't matter that we were enemies.  He was an

 3    honourable man.  So, Your Honours, that's what I'm trying to say, there

 4    were people -- allow me to answer this, please.  Allow me to answer this

 5    question.  There were honourable Croats.

 6       Q.   This is about four people you say confessed to killing, to murder,

 7    in front of the TO commander and yourself, the TO commander objecting that

 8    they were being released because he knew they were killers.  I'm

 9    suggesting it's complete nonsense, it's not about Karaula?

10       A.   Those people too, quite specifically, Mr. Moore, it's not nonsense

11    at all.  There were people who regretted their actions, who were proud and

12    who were honourable, perhaps, and they said there right on the spot, I did

13    this or I did that.  Either, among those people who were sent back, there

14    were people who said we have mobilised by force and we were just there to

15    take food to these ZNG men, but we didn't shoot or use a weapon.  I didn't

16    believe that such people should be taken away as crime perpetrators.  I

17    felt that most of the people there were telling the truth; that's the

18    feeling I had.

19       Q.   Let's move off from this topic, but the situation was that you

20    were told that there were TO members up at the barracks.  Now, let us move

21    on.  It's right to say that you, at no time, knew about a government

22    meeting until you returned to Negoslavci; is that correct?

23       A.   The first I heard about the government meeting was what I heard

24    from my desk officer Srecko Borisavljevic when I came to Negoslavci.  I

25    had not known of that before.

Page 13979

 1       Q.   So the answer to that question was yes.

 2       A.   I didn't know about that government meeting.

 3       Q.   And it's right to say when you heard about it, you were surprised;

 4    is that correct?

 5       A.   I was surprised, yes.

 6       Q.   It's also right to say that one of your other security organs, Mr.

 7    Karanfilov, told you that day about the incidents at the JNA barracks when

 8    the buses were attacked.  That is correct also, isn't it?  You've not

 9    given that in evidence, but I'm suggesting it to you?

10       A.   I met Karanfilov.  I told him to bring Marin Vidic to that shelter

11    where the ZNG were on that day, that afternoon, but I don't remember

12    talking to him about the barracks at all.  I simply can't remember.  I

13    don't remember, as simple as that.

14       Q.   Well, I'm suggesting to you that Karanfilov told you about the

15    violence at the JNA barracks that day.

16       A.   That's what you're saying.  I never heard Karanfilov utter

17    anything like that.  I don't remember.  The only thing I heard is what I

18    was told by Major Vukasinovic at the barracks.

19       Q.   Mr. Karanfilov is allegedly one of your witnesses and I have a

20    statement from him and I'm suggesting to you that is what he said when

21    that statement was taken.  Might he be right?

22       A.   Karanfilov will take the stand.  We'll hear his story.  As for

23    these words, him telling me about acts of violence committed, I simply

24    don't remember.  I can't even remember that we talked about the barracks.

25    We talked about his mission, the mission that he'd been assigned but I

Page 13980

 1    told him nothing in relation to the barracks and I gave him no tasks in

 2    relation to the barracks.

 3       Q.   And when you went to Negoslavci, you saw Vukasinovic again and he

 4    told you that he had been to Ovcara with this group of people who had been

 5    taken from the barracks; that is correct, isn't it?

 6       A.   Vukasinovic told me he had been informed by Captain Predojevic and

 7    this had originally come from the brigade command to the effect that the

 8    last group that he had brought was now to be taken to Ovcara because that

 9    was the conclusion that no one should now stay at the barracks.

10       Q.   It is right to say that Vukasinovic told you that the people had

11    been taken to Ovcara.  That is what surprised you; isn't that right?

12       A.   It surprised me, sure enough.  I knew people were to be taken to

13    Sremska Mitrovica, so yes, I was surprised by that at the time.

14       Q.   And I will read what you have said in evidence:  "He found the

15    other people from the barracks there and members of the TO including

16    Miroljub Vujevic.  He said they were behaving - how should I put it -

17    violently."

18            So you have got Vujevic having an incident with you at the

19    hospital where, I believe, I think it's right, that he raised a gun

20    towards you, but certainly he was objecting to individuals being removed.

21    And here, you are being told by Vukasinovic that those people were now at

22    Ovcara, the same man was there, and the TO were behaving violently.  That

23    is correct, isn't it?

24       A.   So, it's true, Vukasinovic said that the TO men had again tried to

25    act in a frustrated and violent way.  He said he'd met Vujevic there and

Page 13981

 1    had warned him about this.  Vujevic allegedly reacted and restored order

 2    to that scene.  He also told me that the military police of the 80th

 3    Motorised Brigade then arrived and took over securing those people who

 4    were where they had previously been brought.

 5       Q.   But you had been told that they had been behaving violently.  Did

 6    you ask him, What do you mean violently?

 7       A.   Well, I asked him.  He said foul language, calling out names,

 8    threats being made, you murderers, that sort of thing.  Those were the

 9    words that I heard.  I can't be expected to repeat every single word I

10    heard, but it struck me as very frustrated people calling other people

11    names such as Ustasha and that sort of thing.  That's what I remember, the

12    words being used and what Vukasinovic told me in terms of what sort of

13    language was used.

14       Q.   With the utmost respect to you, Mr. Sljivancanin, violently in

15    normal usage does not mean saying nasty words to people, it tends to mean

16    physical acts of violence.

17       A.   Mr. Moore, well, that depends on your take on it, doesn't it?

18    That's what I took it to mean, insults, taunts.  I didn't understand

19    Vukasinovic to be saying that they had been physically attacked, since the

20    military policemen from the 80th Motorised Brigade had already set up a

21    security system.  I'm telling you that was my impression at the time.  I

22    wasn't physically present at the scene, but that was the impression that I

23    had.

24       Q.   You have told this Court what a noble and decent man you are and

25    your concerns.  Were you concerned for the welfare of those people at

Page 13982

 1    Ovcara when you heard that?

 2       A.   I was concerned throughout.  The idea of violent behaviour was

 3    totally alien to me.  We were all concerned.  And that's why eventually I

 4    went to see the commander to see what our further tasks would be and then

 5    Major Vukasinovic told me that he had informed the commander of all these

 6    things so those were no longer secret missions for intelligence bodies.

 7    The chain of command was well-known.  And he told me that Lieutenant

 8    Colonel Panic had been there too.

 9            So my understanding was these were perfectly normal, simple tasks.

10    If there was anything that was known, it was all known and it was normal.

11    And security would now be taken over by a fresh well-rested unit.  They

12    were in charge of the area and there could be no further riots or anything

13    there.  That was my understanding then.

14       Q.   I asked you the question, "Were you concerned for the welfare of

15    those people at Ovcara when you heard that?"  And you replied, "I was

16    concerned throughout."  Does that reply, "I was concerned throughout," run

17    from the hospital through the day?  Is that concern an ongoing concern?

18       A.   You're adding something to what I said about my own opinion.  I

19    said I was concerned throughout.  I meant the area of combat operations.

20    Throughout, from day one, until the very end.  I tried to make sure that

21    all that misfortune, whoever was free to still be safe and for conditions

22    to be ensured for people to get on with their lives to the extent that

23    they could.

24            From the hospital to the barracks, there were officers in charge

25    of certain tasks and I believe those officers to be capable, perfectly

Page 13983

 1    capable of carrying out their tasks in a regular manner.

 2       Q.   I asked you about the people at Ovcara.  I was specifically

 3    targeting that group.  When you heard from Vukasinovic the first time

 4    you've given your reply, you've heard now Vukasinovic telling you about

 5    violence, were you concerned about the welfare of those people from Ovcara

 6    or at Ovcara.  What is your answer, please?

 7       A.   Given the fact that Vukasinovic had informed me about him

 8    establishing full control and that security was now in the charge of the

 9    military policemen of the 80th Motorised Brigade, my conclusion was that

10    people were safe.

11       Q.   Does that mean that you were not concerned?

12       A.   I wasn't particularly concerned.  I knew that the police were

13    there, the unit was there, the commanders were there.  I knew that people

14    would now be safe, there was nothing out of hand, there was nothing that

15    was not known.

16       Q.   But you indicated you were going to tell Mrksic about it; isn't

17    that right?

18       A.   I went to see Mrksic to tell him what I'd seen at the hospital,

19    and what happened at the hospital that day and to see what would be

20    further tasks and duties.  Vukasinovic had previously told me, when he

21    had returned from Mitnica, he went to see Mrksic and met him -- or,

22    rather, informed him about all of that.  And since the chief of staff, Mr.

23    Panic was there, I believed them to be in the know in the sense of knowing

24    exactly what was going on why those people had gone there.

25       Q.   Was it your intention to tell Mrksic about not only the hospital

Page 13984

 1    but also the JNA barracks, the behaviour there, and the behaviour at

 2    Ovcara towards those prisoners?  Was that your intention when you were

 3    intending to go and speak to him?

 4       A.   Well, to be quite frank, I thought the chain of command and the

 5    commanders were informing people about what had been going on, and

 6    everything.  I wasn't in charge of the barracks myself.  I wasn't in

 7    charge of discipline since the barracks actually had a commander.  I

 8    believed that Mrksic was in touch with the commander.  I had no

 9    possibility of reminding Mrksic or the barracks commander all the time

10    about what their duties were.

11            Any officer doing all of that would not have been a mere chief of

12    security.  Since all of the commanders and officers were in place, I

13    simply took it for a fact that everything was going smoothly.

14       Q.   So does that mean you were not going to tell Mrksic about the

15    attacks at the barracks and you were not going to tell Mrksic about the

16    attacks at Ovcara?  Now what is the straight answer on this, please?

17       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, I didn't hear of any attacks.  Again, at the

18    time, I had no task in relation to the barracks or Ovcara, for that

19    matter.  The officers who were there were supposed to report on anything

20    that went on and anything to do with those tasks.  It's difficult to say,

21    off the bat, I would be lying to the Chamber and I would be lying to you

22    if I said everything that you are suggesting I should say.  I can't

23    remember every single thing that crossed my mind at the time.

24            I went to see the commander to ask him why those people had gone

25    to Ovcara and not to Sremska Mitrovica and to tell him about what had been

Page 13985

 1    done at the hospital for as long as I was there.

 2       Q.   "So I went to see the commander to ask him why these people had

 3    gone to Ovcara," yes, "not to Sremska Mitrovica, and to tell him what had

 4    been done at the hospital."

 5            Is that because you knew from Vukasinovic that Vukasinovic had

 6    told Mrksic about the threats at the JNA barracks and the violence, as

 7    you've described, at Ovcara; is that right or not?

 8       A.   Well simply because I knew that those people were to go to Sremska

 9    Mitrovica.  Based on what Vukasinovic had told me, I was now surprised

10    that they were taken to Ovcara.  Instead I didn't know what was going on

11    or what they were there for.  As for what Srecko Borisavljevic told me, he

12    told me that they had been at a government meeting and that was a surprise

13    for me too simply because I never believed that any such government should

14    exist and that's a political issue and it's not my place to discuss that.

15            He told me that Bogdan Vujic had told him that there had been some

16    mistreatment --

17       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm dealing with the state of knowledge that you

18    had at that time and the information that had been given to Mrksic.  Now,

19    you say that Borisavljevic had spoken to Mrksic.  Did Borisavljevic -- I

20    beg your pardon, Vukasinovic had spoken to Mrksic.  Had Vukasinovic had

21    said to Mrksic that he had told him about the behaviour at the barracks

22    and the behaviour at Ovcara.  That's all I want to know, it's a simple

23    question.

24       A.   Well, as far as I learned from Vukasinovic that day, I think he

25    informed Colonel Mrksic about what had happened at Ovcara.  My

Page 13986

 1    understanding was correct, that order was restored and that the people

 2    were there.  I don't know whether he talked to him about the barracks that

 3    day.  I can't be expected to remember every single little thing.  You

 4    asked me why I went to see Mrksic and that's precisely what I am trying to

 5    explain, because of what he told me, when he told me about those people

 6    going to Ovcara and not to Mitrovica.  And also because of that, because

 7    of what Bogdan Vujic had told Srecko Borisavljevic, that someone from

 8    higher up had given orders for those people to be taken over or

 9    surrendered to the government.  So I went to see the commander whether

10    that was in fact true.

11       Q.   Let's just look at this reply you've given.  Vukasinovic said he

12    told Mrksic and Mrksic said nothing.  That is correct, isn't it?

13       A.   I never said that Mrksic said nothing.  All I said is Vukasinovic

14    told me that after coming back from Ovcara, he had informed the commander

15    about what had gone on at Ovcara and that Lieutenant Colonel Panic was

16    present too.  That's what he told me.

17       Q.   No, your evidence was as follows:  "After this," this is

18    Vukasinovic, "After this, he went back to the command post and informed

19    Colonel Mrksic about all of this.  He said Mrksic told him nothing."

20    13663: 22 is the reference.  Mrksic told him nothing.  That was your

21    evidence.

22       A.   I don't remember saying that.  Perhaps that should be read back.

23    It may be a slip of the tongue or a misinterpretation, but I really don't

24    remember Vukasinovic telling me Mrksic told me nothing.  I was surprised.

25    I was just listening to all of this.  I was surprised that all those

Page 13987

 1    people had been taken to Ovcara and not to Mitrovica.  I don't remember

 2    him telling me he told me nothing.

 3       Q.   And you then went to see Mrksic because you wanted to report to

 4    him about what had happened at the hospital; is that right?

 5       A.   That's right.  I wanted to tell about what I had done in the

 6    hospital, what I had done with the shelter, the tasks I was performing,

 7    and how many people were still left in the hospital.

 8       Q.   Did it concern you that Vukasinovic had told you that Mrksic had

 9    said nothing about potential threats and acts of violence towards the

10    Ovcara individuals?

11       A.   I've answered that, haven't I?  I don't remember Vukasinovic

12    telling me that Mrksic had told him nothing.  All I was surprised at -- I

13    can't remember every single word that was exchanged.  Vukasinovic will be

14    coming along, so we'll ask him, won't we?  I was surprised that the people

15    were taken from the barracks to Ovcara, rather than to Sremska Mitrovica.

16    That was what caused my surprise.

17       Q.   When you went to see Colonel Mrksic, did you tell him about the

18    threats at the barracks and the account that Vukasinovic had given you

19    about what had been happening at Ovcara?

20       A.   I didn’t… we didn’t talk.  I didn’t repeat what Vukasinovic had

21    told me.  And we did not talk about the threats.  This was a spontaneous

22    conversation.  I called in, I don’t know if Mr. Mrksic too was in a hurry

23    then, but time was short.  And I told him that the convoy carrying the

24    wounded had set out, that they were done there, that we cleared the

25    shelter for booby-traps, that all the equipment had been taken away and

Page 13988

 1    sent to Belgrade, as far as I remember.

 2            As I was talking, Mrksic said what I said to you, what was said

 3    here and then if necessary, I can repeat that for you.  During that

 4    conversation or dialogue, Mrksic said that there had been a government

 5    meeting, that our Guards Brigade would now be going off to get some rest

 6    and that the 80th Motorised Brigade would be taking over responsibility,

 7    that the government took charge of some of the people back in the barracks

 8    in order to have been exchanged for their own Serbs.  And that was the end

 9    of that conversation.  It was at this point that it dawned on me that

10    those people from the barracks had been taken away and had been taken to

11    Ovcara because of that.  I believed that those people would be taken from

12    there somewhere else, that they would not be held at Ovcara, that they

13    would be taken to some centre because, to begin with, there was no proper

14    conditions in place at Ovcara for holding people.

15       Q.   Did Mrksic say to you that that day, he had been contacted by

16    Susic who was at the barracks and had telephoned him to warn he, Mrksic,

17    about the behaviour at the barracks?

18       A.   Mrksic didn't say anything else that evening, apart from that.  He

19    said, Go and see General Vasiljevic.  Go get some rest.  He said he would

20    be going to Belgrade the next day and he said the next morning, I should

21    see Colonel Panic to give him a hand and to set up security for the press

22    conference in Vukovar the next day.  But Mrksic was in no way duty bound

23    to report to me what the battalion commander had told him and what they

24    had done.  This is above the chain of command.  He is a commander that was

25    not supposed to report to me.

Page 13989

 1       Q.   I've asked you a very simple question.  Did Mrksic say he knew

 2    about it from Susic; yes or no?

 3       A.   He didn't tell me anything about Susic.

 4       Q.   Did he say that he knew about it from Panic, because Panic had

 5    been at Ovcara and had witnessed the beatings?

 6       A.   As far as I remember, Panic was seated right there at headquarters

 7    and he made no reference to Panic whatsoever.

 8       Q.   Did he say that he had been contacted by Tomic who had expressed

 9    concerns about what was happening at the barracks?

10       A.   He didn't tell me anything about Tomic, nor do I remember that

11    name at all.

12       Q.   Did he say that he had spoken or been spoken to by Vukasinovic

13    about the concerns and did nothing about it?

14       A.   I'm telling you what I remember him telling me.  I don't remember

15    anybody else being mentioned by the commander, nor did he submit any

16    reports to me as to any reports that have been submitted to him, simply

17    because he wasn't required to do that.

18            MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm afraid the

19    transcript is running away from us.  Page 38, line 21, the witness said

20    that Mr. Mrksic had told him that he would be going to Belgrade and the

21    transcript said that Mrksic told him that he would be going to Belgrade

22    the next day, so this is not something the witness said, he only told him

23    that he would be off to Belgrade.

24            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.

25            MR. MOORE:

Page 13990

 1       Q.   I want to deal, if I may, please, with General Vasiljevic.  You

 2    were told that General Vasiljevic wanted to speak to you as a matter of

 3    urgency and you then went and telephoned him; is that right?

 4       A.   That's right, I phoned the security administration.

 5       Q.   And as far as your evidence is is that General Vasiljevic was

 6    concerned about some documents; is that right?

 7       A.   So, the previous evening, when General Vasiljevic was with us on

 8    our premises, the evening of the 19th, we informed him about what we had,

 9    what we had collected, documents, letters.  And I told him that we had not

10    been able to get all the documents from the commander's shelter because

11    the shelter was booby-trapped.  I said that we would do it the next day

12    with the assistance of the engineers.  And he said I was supposed to send

13    these documents to the chief of security of the cabinet.  And then he said

14    that he would talk to him that evening because of the importance and

15    priority of this matter for that to be sent to him directly to the

16    security administration because certainly this was by all means to reach

17    the chief of security of the cabinet at the administration.  He said he'd

18    see to this with Jukic and that I shouldn't worry about this.  And this

19    one time that he said he called me, I said I don't remember.  I haven't

20    completed my answer.

21       Q.   I apologise.

22       A.   And that evening, when I phoned, he picked up the phone -- or,

23    rather, General Vasiljevic didn't pick up the phone immediately, maybe it

24    was the Colonel who was on duty and maybe he conveyed to me the request of

25    General Vasiljevic or maybe he put me through.  I just can't remember.  He

Page 13991

 1    did ask me though to quickly send through whatever it was that we had and

 2    I said it's already on its way to you.  It was sent that afternoon before

 3    nightfall when we had pulled out from that shelter, whatever we were able

 4    to, and that was the extent of our conversation.

 5       Q.   That's what I want to ask you about.  Here you are, you have got a

 6    government meeting that you don't actually think should even exist.  You

 7    have got a group of individuals who have been routed away from their

 8    intended route itself.  You have got indications of possible violence,

 9    putting it mildly, and you have a commander saying, Our task is done.  Why

10    didn't you tell Vasiljevic, General or comrade General, what is going on

11    here?  I don't know what's going on and I am the chief of the security

12    organ.

13            Did you mention to General Vasiljevic these problems just so that

14    he could give you one of his pearls of wisdom, perhaps?

15       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, I told you that I wasn't sure whether I talked to

16    General Vasiljevic that evening or the Colonel on duty; however, since the

17    General on the previous evening said to me that all questions related to

18    security, I can fully accept all the demands made by Colonel Vujic who

19    came from the security administration with those tasks.  According to the

20    information given to me by Srecko Borisavljevic, Vujic had been at the

21    government meeting, he was present all the time, he was present in the

22    barracks when these people were taken over by the government.  I believed

23    then -- well, if I knew everything I know now, and the advice you are

24    giving me is very wise advice, I would have been the happiest man in the

25    world if I would have thought of that then and if I had sacrificed my own

Page 13992

 1    life and if I released all those people and even if I would be

 2    court-martialed as a traitor in my own army, but if I released all of them

 3    and in this way saved their lives.  But I believe that if Vujic was there

 4    and the security people were there, the people knew.  And I did not give

 5    any kind of advice to the General or to the Colonels because they were on

 6    the spot and they were resolving things.  And when the commander said to

 7    me that this government was in session and that it was agreed that they

 8    would take over these people, I thought that all of this had been agreed

 9    upon normally.

10            Then I thought that perhaps they needed to exchange their own

11    people, that's what crossed my mind then.  I really didn't discuss it.  I

12    wish I had all the experience then that I have now and then perhaps I

13    would have acted differently.

14       Q.   Does that mean the answer is "no"?

15       A.   The answer is not no.  The answer is the answer I gave you.  I

16    gave you an extensive answer.

17            MR. MOORE:  Your Honour, is that an appropriate moment?

18            JUDGE PARKER:  Perhaps this is a good time, Mr. Moore.

19            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

20                          --- Recess taken at 10.38 a.m.

21                          --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.

22            JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Lukic.

23            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a technical matter.  I talked to

24    Mr. Moore during the break.  He cannot say anything in very strict terms,

25    but he thinks that he will finish with his cross-examination around the

Page 13993

 1    next break, perhaps a bit before that, perhaps after that, he said.  I

 2    would have about 35 minutes to 40 minutes for my redirect, so I would

 3    kindly ask the Trial Chamber for permission to release our next witness so

 4    that we don't keep him here today.

 5                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 6            JUDGE PARKER:  Yes, Mr. Lukic, we then resume with another witness

 7    at 10.00 tomorrow.

 8            Mr. Moore.

 9            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

10       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, 1995 was a period when you were aware that an

11    indictment had been issued against you from this Tribunal; that's right,

12    isn't it?

13       A.   In 1995, I was in Podgorica and, as far as I remember, I was out

14    in the field near Herceg Novi between Herceg Novi and Dubrovnik and then I

15    read in the newspapers that an indictment had been issued against me.

16       Q.   And clearly you were appalled at such an allegation and

17    presumably, you made inquiries to see what the basis of the allegation was

18    against you; is that right?

19       A.   Like any normal person, I was absolutely astonished because I

20    remembered what I had learned in schools, that only SS officers were

21    tried, having been charged with aggression against different countries and

22    the fascism that they had perpetrated.  It was hard for me to see myself

23    in that kind of group of people.  I was a person in my own country and I

24    asked the army commander for permission to be received by the Chief of

25    General Staff of the then army of Yugoslavia.

Page 13994

 1       Q.   And is it correct to say that you were aware that Mr. Mrksic was

 2    also indicted as well as Mr. Radic?

 3       A.   I told you I read about that in the newspapers, that this

 4    indictment had been issued against the three of us.

 5       Q.   And is it also correct to say that you were subsequently informed,

 6    presumably by some authorities, that it really dealt with the murder of

 7    individuals at the Ovcara farm?

 8       A.   When I was received by the Chief of General Staff, of course I had

 9    to wait for a long time, quite a bit of time had to go by before that

10    happened.  As far as I can remember now, he told me then that he had read

11    about that in the newspapers, too, that he had not received any official

12    notification about that, that he did not believe that that kind of thing

13    could have been done by the officers of the Guards Brigade and that there

14    is no evidence against us, but that he would seek whatever was in --

15    within the realm of his possibilities, that matter be fully investigated,

16    that I should normally go on with my duties, of course, that I should be

17    concerned, that he would take all measures to investigate that and that he

18    personally would ask to see me and talk to me again when the need arose

19    for that.

20       Q.   But it's right, isn't it, and it's logical that you would ask:

21    Well, what is it I'm supposed to have done?  Where has this occurred?  I

22    want to know details.  Isn't that what you wanted to know?

23       A.   Well, I tried to contact many people in order to gather

24    information who were not serving together with me then, who were in

25    different garrisons then, but we all served in Vukovar together.  But we

Page 13995

 1    were all astonished because we knew that at that time we were not aware of

 2    a crime, we had not heard of a crime and we could not believe that that

 3    kind of crime could have happened.  It never crossed our minds that

 4    something like that could have happened.

 5            First of all, I was concerned as to whether, perhaps, people had

 6    been killed who were taken prisoner at Mitnica.  I never thought of the

 7    people from the hospital because I thought that the government had taken

 8    those people and exchanged them, as I was told then.  And I was checking

 9    the list of names of persons in Mitnica who surrendered with weapons and I

10    did not see any of those names mentioned in the newspapers.  Then I

11    thought whether it was the civilians from Croatia, whether they were

12    returned to Ovcara, and then I did not see on that list -- at first there

13    weren't any women's names and I quite simply could not believe it, in a

14    nutshell.

15       Q.   Let's just try and narrow it down.  You thought it might be

16    Mitnica, it wasn't Mitnica.  So then you thought might it be -- sorry, did

17    you think it might be people from the hospital?  If it wasn't Mitnica, it

18    had to be another group.

19       A.   Well, no, I didn't think of it then because I believed that if

20    these people were handed over to serious people to be exchanged for their

21    prisoners, I think that everyone then strove for the end of this violence

22    to have this exchange carried out and I really did not think that these

23    people had been killed.  I thought that they had been exchanged.  That is

24    what I thought then.

25       Q.   Well if I deal with it then fairly quickly, you didn't have any

Page 13996

 1    suspicion it might be the hospital people, it might have been some other

 2    group; is that what you're saying?

 3       A.   At that time, I didn't have a shade of doubt along those lines,

 4    that these people had been killed, those who were taken to be exchanged.

 5    I thought it was a great virtue to save a single human life at least, and

 6    to establish peace in that territory because again we have to live

 7    together, geographically, and in any way, we simply cannot survive without

 8    each other and I simply thought that these people had been exchanged.

 9       Q.   Before you went for your interviews in Belgrade in 1998,

10    therefore, you were not aware that there was the suggestion that it was

11    the people from the hospital who had been killed; is that right or not?

12       A.   No, I told you I didn't know about that.  There were different

13    rumours in the newspapers, these people killed, those people killed, but I

14    did not know that it was that group.  I really thought that that group had

15    been exchanged.  That is what I thought then.

16       Q.   I've got two files created or I've created two files.  I'd like to

17    hand those out now, please.

18            Thank you.

19            Now, what I want to do, again, it's exactly the same format as

20    I've used in the past.  There is an index, four tabs, one, two, three and

21    four, English, B/C/S.  I want to deal, if I may, please, with tab 1,

22    English, tab 2, B/C/S.

23            This is a publication.  It's called, "Monitor".  It's a

24    Montenegrin newspaper or publication; isn't that right?  It's tab 2 for

25    you, Mr. Sljivancanin?

Page 13997

 1       A.   Yes, I found it.  Mr. Moore, that is true, there is this newspaper

 2    that is published in Montenegro by that name, but it's a tabloid.

 3       Q.   Thank you very much.  And it is -- it describes an interview with

 4    Lieutenant Colonel Veselin Sljivancanin, Yugoslav army 1st Motorised

 5    Brigade Chief of Staff, headline, "Why I razed Vukovar to the ground."  A

 6    gentleman called Vladimir Jovanovic.

 7            Now, I want to deal with certain parts.  Now, I want to go, if I

 8    may, please --

 9       A.   May I say something about this interview?

10       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, you've got a splendid barrister defending you

11    and I'm sure he will be able to deal with it.  But for the moment, I'd

12    like to deal with the question and answer scenario.

13            Now, the first question is from monitor, sir:  "You have probably

14    heard about the report of a UN special rapporteur, for human rights on the

15    fate of about 175 patients of the Vukovar Hospital."  Note the word

16    "patients" and note the word "Vukovar Hospital."  "On the 20th of

17    November last year, i.e., after the liberation.  Many of them were taken

18    out of the hospital by the back door while you stood in front of it and

19    prevented the ICRC representatives from entering, saying, 'This is my

20    land.'  What do you know about all of that, about the crimes and mass

21    graves?"  This is what they say was your answer:  "I know a lot about

22    those events and I want to speak openly and objectively.  First during the

23    liberation of Vukovar, I maintained that all Europeans were against

24    Serbia, the Serbian people and the army.  They did not want to listen to

25    many positive things.  Second, it was clear what they really wanted.  They

Page 13998

 1    wanted to force the Serbian and Montenegrin peoples to their knees.  To

 2    this day, the Europeans have not mentioned the suffering of the Serbian

 3    people.  I am convinced - I know for sure - that we from the guard unit

 4    treated everybody in accordance with international law.  We formed columns

 5    of people according to the following criteria:  We first wanted to take

 6    care of the women and children and then the rest.  We sent the columns to

 7    Croatia but the Croats returned the people the same day.  So, we simply

 8    did not have the opportunity to take care of them.  Some of the prisoners

 9    and other people attempted to escape through the cornfield at night."

10            "Furthermore, a few people who belonged to the other population

11    group attempted to do things.  You know, somebody's house had been blown

12    up so they wanted revenge, to kill or mutilate people.  But as long as we

13    controlled the situation, nothing happened.  I am not sure that were any

14    mass graves.  Well, we sent 50 buses to Vinkovci which was about 20

15    kilometres away and they returned them.  They said to the people, 'Let the

16    army feed you.'  Well, I don't have that much room and facilities.  We let

17    them sleep in the building and houses and did not bother them because they

18    had been disarmed."

19            Dealing with this very first issue, I suggest there is reference

20    to patients, there's reference to hospital, and the fact that there are

21    missing people from the hospital.  Now, do you accept that you had an

22    interview with "Monitor"?

23       A.   Mr. Moore, first of all, you read a lot out and this went public

24    and you didn't allow me to explain anything.  I am telling you that this

25    is an invented interview.  As for the gentleman who wrote this interview,

Page 13999

 1    at the request of the then chief of information of the general staff, his

 2    name was General Bavcar [phoen]; I remember that.  He was my professor at

 3    the military academy too.  Mr. Bavcar called me and said, Sljivancanin,

 4    since you're a Montenegrin, a man from the Montenegrin newspaper is asking

 5    you for an interview.  Please receive him and talk to him.  And I said:

 6    Oh, please don't, there have been plenty of interviews, there's enough of

 7    that.  I don't really want to talk about anything.  So in order not to

 8    explain this at great length, he was my professor, after all, I did

 9    receive him.

10            When I received this man, he was so full of hatred against me.

11    All of these are his words.  I simply did not want to give him an

12    interview.  I said to him, sir, if my General tells me to give you an

13    interview, I will give you an interview.  Go write up your questions,

14    bring your questions, I'm going to answer your questions in writing and

15    then I want to authorise the interview.  We chatted a bit off the record,

16    and he went away, promised that he would write up these questions.  He

17    never came.  He never brought his questions, and then he published this

18    interview.  If you wish to read it out, read it out.  If necessary, bring

19    the journalist in here.  Let us confront each other and let us see whether

20    this is my interview.  I do not accept this interview as my own.  Perhaps

21    some of the words do come from the chat that we had but this is something

22    that he compiled without my knowledge.

23       Q.   Well, let's see about the material that you said you had a chat

24    with him.  When you had a chat with him, did you maintain that all

25    Europeans were against Serbia, the Serbian people and the army?

Page 14000

 1       A.   Those are his words.  I never claimed that.  To this day, I am a

 2    civilised person belonging to a civilised people.  We like other people.

 3    We like to extend hospitality to other people.  We received everyone

 4    nicely.  I talk to everyone and I never claimed that people were against

 5    Serbia and the Serbian people.  Everybody, of course there are some who

 6    are against, but I always speak up if I feel that somebody is against

 7    someone or something, as I said to my friend Borsinger, when I said what

 8    happened to my soldiers, but we still remained friends.

 9       Q.   We'll talk about your friendship with Mr. Borsinger in a moment,

10    but did he mention to you about the fate of patients from the Vukovar

11    Hospital?

12       A.   You see, this man who came to see me, came filled with hatred

13    towards the Yugoslav People's Army, and he was saying that I was a Serb.

14    There is no hesitation in my mind and I was born in Montenegro and I've

15    always known that and when I was first asked in Sarajevo at secondary

16    school what my ethnicity was, I said I was a Montenegrin and I always said

17    that freely -- yes.

18       Q.   I asked you very simply, did he mention about patients from the

19    Vukovar Hospital?

20       A.   Quite simply, after all these years, I do not remember all the

21    things that he mentioned to me.  But this is an invented interview.  The

22    gentleman did not bring it to me to authorise it and all of these are not

23    my words.  There's nothing more for me to say.  He attacked me, he

24    insulted me when he came to see me and he expressed that hatred through

25    this interview.  Bring this gentleman here to testify and let me question

Page 14001

 1    him and let my lawyers question him too.

 2       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, we couldn't let you interview him.  Now could I

 3    just deal, please, with the Vukovar Hospital.  Did he or did he not

 4    mention it to you?

 5       A.   I really do not remember because I was so upset because of the way

 6    he approached me.  I didn't even listen to everything he was saying.  I

 7    said bring your concrete questions, I will give you concrete answers and

 8    then we'll have it authorised.  He never came.  And he published

 9    this "interview" and, regardless of all the bad things he did, vis-a-vis

10    me -- I mean he talked to me for five or ten minutes and then he wrote

11    this up and he put his own words in, whatever suited him.

12       Q.   And did you say, "To this day, the Europeans have not mentioned

13    the suffering of the Serbian people"?  Was that not a view that you took

14    at the time?

15       A.   That was not my view and, as a matter of fact, I had good

16    relations with many people from Europe that I met.

17       Q.   Well, did he correctly report, "I know that for sure that we from

18    the guards unit treated everybody in accordance with international law."

19    That was your view, wasn't it, that you in the guards unit had treated

20    everybody properly?

21       A.   I have already said here many times until now that I truly am

22    convinced.  Whatever I managed to learn, the members of the Guards

23    Brigade -- well, I'm not talking about each and every individual because

24    there are always people that are not as good as the rest but I did not

25    know that members of the Guards Brigade doing anything that was not

Page 14002

 1    correct and that was not consistent.

 2       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I want to move on.  I said to Mr. Lukic we're

 3    try to finish this session.  Please keep your answers short if you can.

 4            Is it right that you said, moving on down, "... that a few people

 5    who belonged to the other population group, attempted to do things, you

 6    know, somebody's house being blown up, so they wanted revenge to kill or

 7    mutilate people."  Did you mention the fact that there was behaviour that

 8    might generate revenge?

 9       A.   Mr. Moore, I am speaking very frankly all the time.  And now that

10    you mention this interview, when I first saw it published, I was horrified

11    and I actually sought the man many times because I wanted to see him and

12    speak to him.  And from the editorial desk of "Monitor" they actually

13    offered me what they call the golden page.  He actually contacted some

14    relatives of mine and he offered me this golden page to write my own

15    answer to this.  And I said that I don't want to engage in any kind of

16    correspondence with such unfair and incorrect people and I do not want to

17    engage in correspondence through the press.

18            And I -- yes --

19       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, did you mention to him about the fact there

20    might have been incidents, somebody's house blown up, which would generate

21    revenge to kill or mutilate people?  It's a simple question.

22       A.   I do not remember having talked to him.  Everything that was said

23    had to do with some ethnic questions, really.  I don't remember that we

24    talked a lot about Vukovar.

25       Q.   Did you mention to him that you were not sure if there were any

Page 14003

 1    mass graves?

 2       A.   Well, I'm telling you, Mr. Moore, he was obviously irritated by me

 3    when he came and I was simply stunned by his behaviour, a journalist who

 4    was there to interview me, based on a recommendation issued by one of my

 5    superiors, a General.  And he even went as far as to insult me.  I can't

 6    tell you anything very positive or very negative, I simply can't remember.

 7    I'm telling you, this interview is a fabrication, it's entirely made up.

 8    He used a lot of phrases and words there that are simply not mine.

 9       Q.   Well, did you mention the fact that you are not sure whether there

10    were any mass graves?  Was mass graves mentioned to you?

11       A.   I'm telling you again, I remember this encounter and I can't give

12    you a specific answer.  I can't tell you that I mentioned this to him or

13    that I didn't.  I don't know -- I don't even remember what it was

14    precisely that he asked me, but all I can say is the questions were

15    utterly offensive.

16       Q.   Well, let's just look at the next question.  "It has been alleged

17    that a mass grave exists two and a half kilometres south-east of the

18    Ovcara farm.  People talk about two nights of constant slaughter and about

19    more than 300 people killed among whom were civilians and women.  The

20    government of the so-called Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina did not

21    allow the" -- I can't pronounce the word, "and UN experts to investigate

22    there."

23            Now was there any reference to a mass grave existing south-east of

24    the Ovcara farm?

25       A.   Well that appears to be his question but I think he just made it

Page 14004

 1    up and made up the answer too along with that.  I may have shown him

 2    documents about Mitar Karaula at the time to show that these people were

 3    still alive.  I may have shown him that for all I know, because I was

 4    thinking about that.  There is a reference to Mitar Karaula.  I wanted us

 5    to have a man-to-man conversation but he did what he did.

 6       Q.   Was there any mention about a large number of people being

 7    murdered in that area?

 8       A.   Again, I'm telling you, we are looking at the figures here, 183

 9    and Mitar Karaula, and I showed him a document with people that this

10    wasn't true, that the people were alive, probably.  If you consider the

11    charge that he had against me.  I really don't remember.  Again, I was

12    telling him that he should bring the questions and that I would write the

13    answers up for him to have the interview.

14       Q.   Was there any mention about the government?

15       A.   I don't remember.  I can't remember.

16       Q.   The answer that you're supposed to have given is, "Why is Ovcara

17    being mentioned?  We offered the commander in Mitnica, a certain Mitar

18    Karaula, a free passage for the people and all the guarantees.  He came to

19    me and said he wanted us to try him and leave the people alone.  I

20    respected his suggestion although he was the greatest criminal.  The

21    number of people mentioned (175) is not correct.  There were 183 of them,

22    I think.  I have the list somewhere.  They called us themselves and said:

23    We are the Ustasha army."

24            Well, let's just see about the state of knowledge that you had at

25    the time.  Firstly, you've told us that in actual fact there was

Page 14005

 1    discussions about Karaula with him; that's right, isn't it?

 2       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, if I talk to him, I can't remember talking to a

 3    man like that that I talked to.  I asked him to bring questions and we

 4    could have a proper conversation but he may have insinuated something or

 5    other about deaths.  And then I gave him, since he mentions a specific

 6    figure and the man's name, maybe I showed him the list that very moment

 7    and the people who were all alive, as I previously checked, back in 1995,

 8    when I said I had read the papers, and that none of those people had come

 9    to any harm.

10            But as for all the details with this man who started irritating me

11    the moment I laid eyes on him, I would never have agreed to see him had

12    the General not asked me to.  So these are totally arbitrary words, the

13    ones that he used here.

14       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm dealing with the state of knowledge that you

15    had at the time.  "I respected his suggestion although he was the greatest

16    criminal.  The number of people mentioned, 175, is not correct.  There was

17    183," but from memory, off the top of my head, I think there were

18    182.  "But the reality is is it was around about that figure, it was just

19    over 180.  I think it was 175 troops and 7 officers from memory.

20            So if that's the case, there is only one number out here and that

21    was knowledge you had, isn't it?

22       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, if I knew, as early as Vukovar, that at Mitnica

23    they surrendered, I'm sorry I can't keep track of every single figure, but

24    I think that 183 armed men had surrendered at Mitnica, that's what I seem

25    to remember.  I may have been off by one or two.  But this is what I knew

Page 14006

 1    in Vukovar.

 2       Q.   But in your evidence, not four or five minutes ago, you said, when

 3    I was talking about Mitnica, you said, "I think I had a document and that

 4    you were going to show it to him.

 5            Let's look at what he says in your reply.  "There were 183 of

 6    them, I think.  I have the list somewhere."  That's entirely consistent

 7    with what you've just told this Court, isn't it, that you had list of

 8    them?

 9       A.   Well, I didn't tell him I had the list on me.  I still have it.  I

10    have a list with 100 -- maybe I should look it up, the documents I

11    provided to my lawyers.  Is it 183?  Is it 182?  I have an individual list

12    of people who were armed when they surrendered at Mitnica in the area of

13    responsibility of the Guards Brigade.  I have that list.  I had it in

14    Vukovar, I have it today.  I had it then too.

15       Q.   And the question, "But this is about the patients from the Vukovar

16    Hospital."

17            So he's saying:  Yes, you're talking about Mitnica, but this

18    inquiry is about the patients from the Vukovar Hospital.  It's got

19    nothing to do with Mitnica.  And you are supposed to have said:  "Let me

20    tell you ... we brought the prisoners to Ovcara.  It's a village you know.

21    However, they were protected by the guards and we prevented any massacre

22    of them.  They were there for a day or two, I can't remember exactly, and

23    we took from them from there directly to prison in Sremska Mitrovica.

24    Many of them were recently released and all of them in the hospital were

25    taken to Croatia escorted by the EU and other organisations.  The Croats

Page 14007

 1    returned them on the same day."

 2            So, with regard to that answer, there is the reference about, "...

 3    and all of them in the hospital were taken to Croatia."  Did you ever make

 4    that reply about the patients taken from the hospital being taken -- all

 5    of them being taken to Croatia?

 6       A.   Mr. Moore, again, I'm telling you these are arbitrary words by a

 7    man who tried to talk to me and I told you what it was like.  I'm not

 8    going into that again.  It is with full responsibility that I assert

 9    before this Chamber and before you.  You should read the Red Cross

10    reports.  You should read the ECMM reports.  In their reports, they claim

11    that the 400-odd patients from the hospital were evacuated based on an

12    agreement.  It's all right there.  I don't know why this man wrote what he

13    wrote.

14            If you look at this, this just confirms what I said previously,

15    that I never even suspected that any of the people who were to be

16    exchanged and who had been sent to Ovcara had been killed.  I thought it

17    was some civilians coming to grieve but I didn't have the information or

18    anything to indicate that these civilians had come to grief.  I simply

19    didn't know.

20       Q.   Well that cannot be right, with the utmost respect, because your

21    evidence before the break was that you'd been told about bad behaviour at

22    the barracks, and you'd been told about violence at Ovcara.  Therefore,

23    there is always the danger, just on a common-sense basis, that something

24    might have gone wrong; isn't that right?

25       A.   Mr. Moore, the war itself, and especially this sort of interethnic

Page 14008

 1    armed conflict, is the greatest evil that can possibly befall a people.

 2    Everybody's armed.  Everybody's tense.  Everybody's nervous.  I gave the

 3    examples about our own officers who had suffered mental breakdowns leaving

 4    their positions and then ending up at the military hospital academy.  This

 5    is a great evil but that befell all of us.  It just struck us.  And you

 6    can't expect me to say that everything was fun and games or that

 7    everything was ideal.  It wasn't.  But we did everything we could to

 8    prevent any form of riot and any sort of evil happening.

 9            Back where I come from, that's how they bring us up.  Any

10    misdeeds, any evil deeds, any treason is a curse that will haunt families

11    through generations, and that's what I stick to.  I tried to help people

12    and not contribute to the growing amount of misdeeds that were happening.

13       Q.   What I'm going to do is I'm going to go through this question and

14    answer and you can say whether it was said or it wasn't said or whether

15    the topic was touched on; do you understand?  And we'll get on much

16    quicker that way.

17            "Monitor, question:  You have not been heard about patients being

18    taken at night by buses from Ovcara?"

19            "Sljivancanin:  No.  They were all taken to the penitentiary in

20    Mitrovica, according to the list.  The international organisations have

21    the list and they checked it.  Therefore, there were executions by firing

22    squad or killings.  Nevertheless, there were corpses which they collected

23    on a heap during cleaning of the city.  They were mostly Ustashas.  Can

24    you imagine how difficult it was to bury them and, at the same time,

25    decorate them?"

Page 14009

 1            Now, was that question never put?  Just yes or no, please.

 2       A.   All of this is an arbitrary random comment made by a man who

 3    extrapolated some questions, rephrased them the way he liked them, and

 4    then he added something that he wanted there.  But I simply don't remember

 5    the two of us talking about anything like that.

 6       Q.   "Do you know who Arkan is?"  Answer:  "Yes."  Was that asked?

 7       A.   Again, I'm telling you -- you asked me yesterday but I didn't

 8    finish.  Please, with all due respect, don't speak ill of the dead.  I

 9    can't remember us talking about that gentleman, nor was he anywhere near

10    me during our combat missions in Vukovar.

11       Q.   So the next question about the fact, "I want you to write this:

12    Arkan's unit did not take place in the liberation of Vukovar or of Borovo

13    Naselje.  This has to be distinguished."  You didn't say that; is that

14    right?

15       A.   That's what he says.  Maybe he knew better than I did about

16    Arkan's whereabouts.  Arkan may have been in the area, for all I know, but

17    he certainly wasn't in the Guards Brigade, in Borovo Naselje, not with

18    us.  He probably had more accurate information to indicate Arkan's

19    whereabouts at that time.

20       Q.   Next question:  "That does not make a difference," says he.  You

21    allegedly said, "They tried to make contact with us but I did not want to

22    admit anybody who was unwilling to fulfill orders issued by me or my

23    superiors into Operations Group South.  As for Arkan himself, I used

24    to ... no, we never met in Vukovar, nor did he come to Vukovar while we

25    were there.  Never."

Page 14010

 1            Now, this context of Arkan, was that mentioned at all, about him

 2    assisting at OG South, or not?

 3       A.   Sir, this gentleman, the journalist, introduced me as a commander,

 4    as a great number of media at the time did.  But this phrasing, this

 5    answer, is something that he made up.  The gentleman that you are

 6    referring to is dead.  I never speak ill of the dead and I certainly never

 7    discussed that gentleman with this gentleman.

 8       Q.   I just want to deal with one aspect of page 3 in the English.

 9    There is a large reply after Arkan.  It starts:

10            "No, I cannot confirm Arkan's or anybody else's crimes.  It is our

11    weak point because we talk about it ourselves.  We are constantly looking

12    for quarrels amongst ourselves ... I can only accept what I see in front

13    of me and not what I hear about.  For example, the Croatian newspaper

14    Globus claims that the Croatian population considers me the greatest

15    criminal.  I could not even have dreamt of what they are now accusing me

16    of.  I can talk about Ustasha crimes because I experienced them (for

17    example, they killed my chauffeur).  Croats were the ones who started

18    committing atrocities."

19            Did you mention to this journalist about your chauffeur,

20    Mr. Popovic, being killed?

21       A.   Again, I'll answer for the umpteenth time, if that's what it

22    takes:  This journalist irritated me the moment he came into the room.  We

23    sat there for a brief while.  I don't remember telling him about my

24    driver.  Maybe he'd read that elsewhere.  I did talk often about my driver

25    getting killed.  I really felt sorry for him.  He was a young man.  I'm

Page 14011

 1    still sorry.  Never fired a bullet, never even carried weapons, and yet he

 2    was killed in this ambush.  He may have watched some TV programme or read

 3    some papers and got the story about my driver from there.

 4            But, Mr. Moore, if you insist on quoting this interview - I can't

 5    prohibit you from doing that - but I'm telling you it's a fabrication.

 6    Most of the questions are made up, most of the answers are simply made up,

 7    and I do not acknowledge this interview as one that I actually gave.

 8       Q.   You were asked at the bottom:  "Sir, are you aware that both

 9    Croats and Serbs defended Vukovar?

10            "Sljivancanin:  That Serbs defended it, no.  They were not Serbs.

11    They were only two Serbs from mixed marriages.  They surrendered to me and

12    told me that they had been forcibly mobilised."

13            Was there any reference to that with this journalist that you

14    spoke to?

15       A.   My view was always that Vukovar was defended by all the honourable

16    citizens of Yugoslavia and the JNA included.  They had nothing to defend

17    it from.  They were just disarming paramilitary formations, because the

18    town belonged to us.  But this is not the sort of thing that I shared with

19    any journalists.

20       Q.   I've almost finished this document.  Next question:  "Tell me, why

21    did you raze Vukovar to the ground?"  And then there's an answer; I'll

22    read it because, in fairness, it should be done:  "We didn't want to

23    destroy Vukovar, but if we want to pursue a military option ... the

24    question was raised as to how to destroy cities, how to destroy your

25    mother country, how to kill your own people with whom you have been

Page 14012

 1    friends.  But after all instruments were used by Ustasha Croatia, by

 2    Europe, and all others to attack the army and the Serbian people, we

 3    launched a decisive battle for Vukovar.  Let's say that the Ustasha

 4    commander Dedakovic came to me and said, listen Sljivo, hey, major,

 5    officer, Chetnik.  If he had said that, listen, let's talk as human

 6    beings, I would have forbidden my troops to fire, but when they killed my

 7    chauffeur on the 6th of October, people may say what they like, but I have

 8    no mercy towards the Ustashas nor will I ever have."

 9            Now, was there any discussion about the Ustasha commander

10    Dedakovic?

11       A.   Mr. Moore, again I'm telling you, I, and there was another witness

12    here allegedly P002, who told stories that weren't true.  I did speak to

13    Mr. Dedakovic.  I said, Let's not kill each other.  Let's not keep dying.

14    Let's find a solution.  But the journalists wrote whatever they saw fit.

15    Some dramatised the whole thing, some made it out as something rather

16    funny.  You know what journalists are like, they just scribble away.  And

17    this journalist may have picked up some of that, but I don't remember

18    talking to this gentleman about all these things that he reports.  What he

19    says about my driver, this is something that really affected me as a human

20    being, when my driver was killed.  It was a difficult time and again, I'm

21    repeating, when we first got to Vukovar, I thought that these people, the

22    people of our town and of our country, once they saw their own army, they

23    would say:  This is our own army, don't fire at them.

24            It was a horrible feeling that I experienced when my driver was

25    killed.  It's not something I remember, it's just an experience that

Page 14013

 1    sticks with you.  Well, I don't know, you're reading the answer of a man

 2    who you know well, then you should bring the man and talk to him.  I don't

 3    know what to say, you keep interrupting me.  I'm trying to give you my

 4    opinion.  Why don't you bring this man to Court and he can tell you all

 5    about it.

 6       Q.   The next question, "Now what do you think about the defenders of

 7    Vukovar?"  Now you've mentioned Marin Vidic this morning as being a decent

 8    human being, I think.  "Sljivancanin:  They allowed rascals and hooligans

 9    to wage war.  When I captured Marin Vidic," so you knew that.  "I thought

10    he was somebody.  He was the Croatian government's commissioner for

11    Vukovar.  When I first saw him, he was nothing but a bum and he was the

12    person who led the Croatian people.  He?  Well, while we were talking, he

13    drank up a bottle of brandy which I gave him.  How can such individuals

14    lead a people towards freedom and democracy."

15            Well, Marin Vidic, you did have dealings with; right?

16       A.   I said this publicly in front of all the world, the world public,

17    everyone, that my talk with Marin Vidic was very respectful.  It is true

18    he asked for a drink.  He told me how he had been part of an orchestra

19    before, they played the pubs, that sort of thing.  He had a glass or two -

20    I didn't keep track - three, perhaps.  But would I allow a hooligan to

21    spend the night in the same room as I, the way this journalist makes it

22    out to be?  If I stated on the record somewhere that I had had a brandy

23    with Marin Vidic and they made him out to be a hooligan.  So that's

24    exactly the sort of words that this dishonourable journalist is using.

25    And I think he should be confronted with this, so I can look him in the

Page 14014

 1    eye.  Do you think I would have been sitting with Marin Vidic there

 2    singing our songs and talking about the things that he wanted to talk

 3    about if I had made him to be out like that.  There is no need for me to

 4    tell any stories about Marin Vidic.  What I'm telling you is the truth.

 5       Q.   I want to move on to the next question, because it deals with

 6    Seselj.  Remember I asked you questions about Seselj.  "Lieutenant

 7    Colonel, sir, can Seselj lead another people?  Sljivancanin:  I don't say

 8    he can and I think he never will.  Monitor:  Don't be too hard.  Yesterday

 9    you were in Vukovar with him chatting."

10            I asked you yesterday about Vukovar and the memorial service and

11    in fairness to you, you said that you didn't speak to him.  But this

12    timing of this article is clearly at a time when it's being suggested by

13    this witness that he saw you at Vukovar and secondly, that Florence

14    Hartmann said she saw you in Vukovar.  That's right, isn't it?

15       A.   Well, first of all, if this is the journalist, you mean he could

16    have not possibly have seen me in Vukovar because he wasn't there.  I

17    mean, with Seselj.  That means I didn't say yesterday that I didn't see

18    Seselj.  I saw him in Vukovar when he came for the second time somewhere

19    near the junction of Prvomajska Street and Nova Street.  I can draw that

20    for you if you like.  I was on my way back from the Bosko Buha

21    neighbourhood.  We passed each other briefly and I told you about all of

22    that.

23            So if he wrote that down, well, then, I said publicly here that I

24    never had any respect whatsoever for Mr. Seselj's political views.  I

25    don't think that he's a great politician.  I didn't think so then and I

Page 14015

 1    don't think so now.  If you want me to explain that, I'll be glad to

 2    oblige.

 3            Secondly, when you have children watching the cartoons just before

 4    the evening news, then, you have a granddaughter, for example, she wants

 5    to see the news and the granddaughter wants to see the cartoon.  And she

 6    was watching all the coverage of the assembly where Seselj was staging a

 7    ridiculous acts of humour and then the granddaughter would switch to the

 8    comics channel and that's what our people used to do.  They had to add

 9    some humour to our overall experience and to all the things that we were

10    going through, so the granddaughter would then just end up switching to

11    the cartoon channel.

12       Q.   But you were in Vukovar, in November 1992; that is right, isn't

13    it?

14       A.   1992, yes, I was, and I explained when it was that I was.

15       Q.   And finally, can I go, please, to the last question:  "If the

16    Yugoslav army introduced the traditional Serbian hat and that of the

17    cockade to it as an official insignia, would you put it on your head?

18    Sljivancanin:  I would.  Why not?"

19            Well, now, Mr. Sljivancanin, was that mentioned?

20       A.   Mr. Moore, allow me to explain.  This is the greatest fabrication

21    in this interview.  Let me tell you something else, too.  When I was

22    commander in Podgorica, my late father was dying in hospital.  I was

23    notified.  I came in to see him and I had the JNA insignia on my cap, the

24    two eagles, I'm not sure what it's called.  My father saw me and he was on

25    his deathbed and he said:  There you go, my son.  You have the eagles up

Page 14016

 1    too, don't you?  Because that was the sign of the Yugoslav army.  He said,

 2    you know how much blood has been shed for the five-pointed star to be worn

 3    on these caps.  This will come to no good at all, we'll never have a

 4    country for as long as you keep wearing these.  So I was always against

 5    the cockade.  I'm still against the cockade.  And all I can say about your

 6    quote, it is a total fabrication.

 7       Q.   If we turn to divider 3 and 4, I'm not going through the details,

 8    I don't have time, but there is an interview here on the 29th of November,

 9    1991, literally within a week of the fall of Vukovar.  And you can see a

10    photograph of you relaxing in your uniform.

11            Now, this particular interview is an exhibit -- it's Exhibit, I

12    believe, 354.  It's headlined "The return of the warrior."  Do you accept

13    that this interview occurred?

14       A.   The gentleman who conducted this interview with me was in this

15    courtroom.  Everybody examined him.  The interview occurred under very

16    peculiar circumstances.  On the 24th of November, late in the evening, it

17    may have been between 11.00 and 12.00, I came back, I was tired.  I was in

18    a hurry to get home but the journalists pressed and so my superiors had

19    decided, so I briefly talked to them but not nearly as much as they wrote

20    down.  Journalists, being what they are, concocted an interview based on

21    this but -- yes, in short, I do remember this interview.

22       Q.   And would you say, in general terms, it is accurate?

23       A.   Well, for me, an interview is accurate when you have a journalist

24    bring questions and I write my answers.  Then I can acknowledge that as my

25    interview.  If he talks to me first and then writes up the answers however

Page 14017

 1    he sees fit, well, those are just random interpretations, totally

 2    arbitrary.  He adds some, he takes some away.  And then the journalist

 3    writes down whatever is best for his newspaper at any given time.

 4            But I don't agree that maybe in this interview is everything that

 5    I said because it wasn't written by my hand, it was written by the hand of

 6    the journalist.

 7       Q.   But did you write in and complain and ask for the golden page to

 8    complain?

 9       A.   I didn't ask at the time what I said about Monitor, the golden

10    page.  They were offering me, but I didn't want.  And for these, then,

11    when the interview came out the following morning, I talked to journalist

12    Slahovic [phoen] that there he is for you, call him.  And I criticised why

13    they had published my photograph on the front page, why they called me at

14    night.  I said this was not the least bit respectful and then they offered

15    another interview.  Like okay, now we'll give you a new one and then I

16    didn't want any more to talk to, nor did I ever conduct an interview with

17    them again.

18       Q.   I want to move on from this file.  I will make application for the

19    Monitor article to be made an exhibit.

20            JUDGE PARKER:  It will be received.

21            THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit 849.

22            MR. MOORE:  Your Honour, I think it is the last file that we

23    have.  It's called "Belgrade statements", to assist all parties.  It's

24    exactly the same format as before, one to four tabs, interview one, one

25    and two, interview 3, interview 2, 3 and 4.

Page 14018

 1            To assist the Court and all parties, I hope that you have on the

 2    English version a page number on the left-hand side, that is the page

 3    number of the B/C/S so that we know where we are.

 4       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, the first interview, and I'm going to call them

 5    interview for convenience, I don't want to be thought I'm trying to take

 6    any advantage of it, but the first interview was 14th of February, 1998.

 7    Now, it's tab 2 for you.

 8       A.   So the interview that took place on the 14th of February, 1998,

 9    that was on the premises of the security administration and I think that

10    it lasted all day.

11       Q.   Thank you.  Now, what I just want to deal with is some short

12    issues.  There is a date at the very top saying 12th of January.  It

13    doesn't say exactly what it refers to.  But what I want to know is when or

14    how much before, in time, were you told that they wanted to interview you

15    and that was going to be the 14th of February.  So when were you told that

16    you were going to be interviewed?  I don't need to know the exact date,

17    just give us an estimate of time.

18       A.   No, I have to be very exact and precise.  I know that and there

19    are no approximations here, Mr. Moore.  What I know I want to say exactly.

20    I attended the school of national defence.  It was a Saturday morning

21    around 8.00, Saturday.  The head of the centre called me in.  I came to

22    his office and he said:  "Please call the chief of general staff, General

23    Perisic, he wants to talk to you on the telephone."  I called and that was

24    say 8.30 or 9.00 that Saturday.

25            General Perisic said to me on the telephone:  "Colonel, sir, at

Page 14019

 1    11.00," or at quarter to 11.00, I don't remember exactly, "report to the

 2    security administration to General Aca Dmitrijevic, he wants to talk to

 3    you about something and I have given my approval for that."  So then I

 4    reported to General Aca Dmitrijevic and it was then that I first heard

 5    from General Aca Dmitrijevic that an interview was supposed to be

 6    conducted with me in relation to Vukovar.

 7       Q.   And can we work on the basis that by 1998 you knew that there was

 8    a suggestion that you were involved with others in the murder of people

 9    from the hospital and that the murders occurred in Ovcara.

10       A.   Well, you can't put it that way.  That was not my understanding.

11    I told you in the press there was this indictment that we had been

12    accused.  I said that I went to speak to the chief of general staff and

13    that he asked for the matter to be investigated.  I imagine he went to the

14    military prosecutor and then I asked to see Mr. Dmitrijevic too but he

15    didn't receive me.  When I went to see the General, he said the General

16    would receive me when he would have the time and afterwards, as I was

17    waiting to see what would be done by the military organs in charge, I

18    believed that they would call me when necessary and I was not in a

19    position to take any other measures.

20       Q.   That's not what I asked you.  It was a very easy question, that

21    is:  You, by that time knew, there was an indictment in existence from an

22    International Tribunal and I'm asking, did you know that it related not

23    only to Vukovar but the murder of people from the hospital, the murders at

24    Ovcara?

25       A.   Again, I'm giving you my answer.  I did not have that indictment

Page 14020

 1    in my hands to read specifically what it said, except for what it said in

 2    the newspapers.  And all newspapers wrote about this any way it suited

 3    them.  So I was waiting to hear from official organs on the basis of

 4    official regulations what it is that I'm being charged with.

 5       Q.   Were you aware that unofficially, there was a suggestion that you

 6    were one of a number of people that were responsible for the killings at

 7    Ovcara?

 8       A.   I knew that allegedly an indictment had been issued against me,

 9    Radic, and Mrksic, that we were being charged for war crimes but with

10    regard to what questions and what it was that we were being charged with,

11    I did not know all of that to tell you the truth, because I did not have

12    the indictment in my own hands.

13       Q.   Never mind the indictment.  There are lots of newspapers around.

14    The indictment was 1995, this is 1998.  Newspapers are abounded I suggest,

15    with the suggestion that atrocities had occurred at Ovcara.  Now, did you

16    know the location was Ovcara or not?

17       A.   Well, I'm telling you now that I heard that it was being talked

18    about, said in various newspapers, but basically I avoided reading

19    newspapers then because one gets so upset when one reads different

20    newspapers and then you see all these different comments in different ways

21    in different newspapers.  I was waiting for the official position of the

22    military organs.

23       Q.   Does that mean, then, that you knew it was Ovcara but you hadn't

24    official confirmation of it?  Is that your answer?

25       A.   Well, I cannot agree with that, that that's the way it was.  I did

Page 14021

 1    not believe that that crime had been committed at all until I came here to

 2    The Hague and until I heard what people were saying.  I did not believe

 3    it.  I could not understand that that kind of thing could exist in a human

 4    psyche, that people could commit such crimes.

 5       Q.   It is not a case of whether the crimes have been committed.  I am

 6    asking you again:  Did you know or believe or did you believe

 7    unofficially, or as a result of unofficial sources, i.e., newspapers, that

 8    the atrocities were supposed to have occurred in Ovcara?  I'm talking

 9    about the location.  Whether it was done or whether it wasn't, I'm wanting

10    to know:  Did you know about the name Ovcara?

11       A.   The name Ovcara, as a geographic concept, I knew that from Vukovar

12    when I was there, but I did not believe then that such atrocities and

13    crimes could have been committed as some newspapers wrote.  I did not have

14    any information about any such thing having happened.

15       Q.   So you are accepting that newspapers had written that a crime had

16    occurred at Ovcara; is that right?

17       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, I'm telling you once again:  If you're giving the

18    answers then what I said was that I heard stories, I read things, and then

19    I stopped reading because everybody was writing in different ways and

20    commenting in different ways.  But I did not know that that crime had been

21    committed until it was confirmed, until an investigation was carried out.

22    I heard about the indictment and then I went to see the responsible people

23    to see why I was being charged with that kind of thing, but I did not know

24    about that crime itself.

25       Q.   But wasn't it correct that when it came to the content of the

Page 14022

 1    interview, that it was perfectly obvious that they were talking about

 2    Ovcara?  It was mentioned to you, wasn't it?

 3       A.   Ovcara is a geographic concept.  It is a settlement, a farm.  As

 4    far as I knew, while I was in Vukovar, it was a farm, a livestock farm.

 5    It also had some kind of administrative part and different rooms where I

 6    really never went.  I never went there.  I wasn't interested in that.  And

 7    as I said here, my interest as security organ was to deblock the barracks

 8    and to disarm the paramilitaries in town itself.  In that area, there were

 9    no operations going on, it was outside the zone where there was shooting

10    and where there was anything that was going on.  So I really wasn't

11    interested in finding out more about Ovcara and I never really stayed

12    there.  Perhaps only if I went down the road in a vehicle once to Mitnica

13    and once when I went to see the commander of the 20th Brigade, I don't

14    need to repeat all of that yet again, I already told but that.

15       Q.   You certainly discussed Mitnica during this particular interview;

16    isn't that right?  And the Mitnica evacuation?

17       A.   I spent all day talking to the security organs under very complex

18    conditions.  Everything I knew, not only about Mitnica, but all the time,

19    while the mission was being carried out, deblocking the barracks and

20    disarming the paramilitary formations, I talked to them about all of that.

21    However, I have to tell you that this is the note they compiled.  That is

22    how I understand it.  This is not my statement.  This was dictated by

23    Colonel -- Colonel -- may I look at the name?  May I tell you what the

24    name is?  I really forget.  My mind seems to stop.  Colonel Gajic, yes, he

25    was dictating this to a clerk.  When I would talk to him, then he would

Page 14023

 1    dictate some sentences to the clerk.  But I asked him to give me

 2    permission to go and find my papers and to try to remember everything.  So

 3    it was four years later, no, seven years later that I asked for my reports

 4    that I sent to the security administration.

 5            He did not allow that, though.  He said:  All of this is just an

 6    initial interview, information, it's not necessary now.  When it becomes

 7    necessary, we will make all of that possible.  I mentioned some names,

 8    like representatives of the security administration -- please, let me

 9    finish.  I have to tell you about this.  This is important.  I asked for

10    Vasiljevic to be mentioned --

11       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm sorry, you had a long time with Mr. Lukic

12    where you have explained this.  I merely want to ask some questions.

13            Now, what I want to know is, when it came to the interview in

14    Belgrade, it was perfectly clear that the interview was about what

15    happened at Ovcara; that's right, whether it was the Mitnica Battalion or

16    whether it was something else, but that is correct, isn't it?

17       A.   I know that at that time, the Colonel asked me about all the tasks

18    from the first day of our arrival to have this mission accomplished until

19    our mission was ultimately accomplished.  We talked all day about

20    everything, about everything.

21            May I add that he did not allow me to give other names for them to

22    be written down here except for me, Mrksic and Radic because we are like

23    on this indictment and the others don't matter and we will see about that

24    later.  I was a bit irritated by that, but what was written was what he

25    had dictated.

Page 14024

 1       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, what you say is simply not right, because when

 2    one looks at the English page 2 at the bottom, there is reference to other

 3    names, two lines from the bottom, on your page it's 0218/8349.  There is

 4    very clear statement on orders from the brigade commander Mile

 5    Mrksic, "They were evacuated to Sremska Mitrovica with military trucks in

 6    an organised manner and with military escort.  On the 18th of November,

 7    continuing into the 19th of November, I was personally at Ovcara with

 8    Vukasinovic and Karanfilov."  So it's not a case of just names of the 3

 9    defendants; there's Karanfilov, there is Vukasinovic and if you want to

10    know there's Borisavljevic, as far as I remember, on the next page.  So

11    you were saying that you were at Ovcara on the 18th, 19th, for the Mitnica

12    evacuation; isn't that right?

13       A.   Mr. Moore, it is correct that names are mentioned of my men who

14    were with me from the security organs, because this man knew them too;

15    however, I'm trying to say that key names like Vujic, Vasiljevic, and some

16    other commanders are not being mentioned.  Especially, at that time, the

17    gentleman suggested to me that it was -- it would not be a good thing to

18    mention them because what I was saying then is what I am saying to you

19    now.  He didn't want these names to be mentioned.

20            This is his vocabulary, these are his words, this is his official

21    note, the way he wrote it, from my talk to him.  I was at Mitnica or,

22    rather, at Vucedol on the 18th of November with Vukasinovic in order to

23    carry out tasks from the purview of security organs.

24            Now, as for the words written here, this is military vocabulary

25    that he used then.  I didn't write this in my own hand.  He dictated this

Page 14025

 1    to the young lady who was typing this.

 2       Q.   Let's look at page 8 of the English version.  In your page, it's

 3    0218-8352.

 4            Now, leading in on page 7, if I may just for the moment, in the

 5    English version it's the second paragraph I want to deal with and then

 6    turn over the page to page 8.  So Mr. Sljivancanin, 0218-8352, "The

 7    brigade staff consisting of Panic, Lieutenant Colonel Lukic, Major Bajic

 8    and other people whose names I cannot remember, led the further evacuation

 9    of the people from the barracks in Vukovar.  I do not know what happened

10    in the barracks in Vukovar or how the process of evacuating these people

11    continued."

12            Well, that is not right.  You did know what was happening in the

13    barracks.  That is correct, isn't it?

14       A.   Mr. Moore, I am answering you yet again.  These are the words that

15    were then deemed necessary by the gentleman who was an official there on

16    behalf of the security organs.  He thought that he should write it this

17    way.  I talked differently.  Perhaps he didn't like the way I talked so he

18    was the one who was dictating the record.

19            At the end, I even got upset.  I said, "We are going to stop this.

20    I'm not going to go on any longer.  Let me sign this.  I want to go and

21    have lunch.  I haven't eaten anything all day."  It wasn't really a

22    quarrel, but it was sort of a squabble and that's how we ended our

23    conversation.  He was the one who was dictating.  Now why he dictated this

24    way, I don't know, but I already explained to you, I explained everything

25    to you.  I -- yes.

Page 14026

 1       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, if we look on your page halfway down, the

 2    English page is page 8, halfway down it starts, "Regarding the allegations

 3    in the indictment that 260 persons were shot dead at Ovcara on the 20th of

 4    November, and that these were people who had been evacuated from the

 5    hospital in Vukovar, I claim that I know nothing about this.  I just know

 6    that after the completion of the evacuation of the wounded and medical

 7    staff from the hospital in Vukovar and my return to the command post, on

 8    the evening of the 19th of November.  I heard from somebody, perhaps it

 9    was Major Vukasinovic, although I am not sure about this, that "it was not

10    nice that they were maltreating these people at Ovcara."

11            So there is a reference to the 20th.  There is the reference to

12    the indictment.  There is the reference to the people who were killed and

13    there is the reference to Vukasinovic telling you.

14            Now, isn't it right that that was said at the time?

15       A.   Mr. Moore, if we look at this official note very carefully, you

16    will see that I made a mistake with many of the dates there because I

17    didn't have any documents.  The first thing that I was primarily guided

18    with was Mr. Vance's visit to Vukovar and the visit of his delegation.  I

19    can tell you that I claimed then and that was correct that Mr. Vance was

20    in Vukovar on the 18th.  And until I came here to the Detention Unit,

21    until I saw the diaries, because I didn't have any documents then, until I

22    saw the diaries, until the documents were shown here, and the records, I

23    was convinced that Mr. Vance came to Vukovar on the 18th, really.  I did

24    not know.  I forgot got, quite simply.  I knew everything we did, but I

25    did not know the time.  I did not know those events.

Page 14027

 1            Now, when you read this, I note again the 19th of November.  He

 2    asked me about the 20th.  I said:  I don't know about the 20th.  And that

 3    is where we came to squabble.  I kept saying to him -- he asked me how is

 4    it that you took people from the hospital on the 20th or, rather, on the

 5    19th when they were killed on the 20th.  And I said, I don't know that

 6    they were killed.  I didn't know that at the time.

 7            So that's when we started squabbling about these dates.  And then

 8    he concluded what he concluded here.  I don't know if I mentioned all

 9    these names; I cannot remember.  But he wrote these names from the Guards

10    Brigade and everything else.

11       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin?

12       A.   Yes.

13       Q.   Forget about dates.  Just remember incidents.

14       A.   All right.

15       Q.   When one looks at this, there is the reference to "It was not

16    nice.  They were maltreating those people at Ovcara."  So there was a very

17    specific indication of maltreatment of the people at Ovcara.

18            Now, when one reads on about it, it goes on, "As far as I

19    remember, Colonel Mrksic tried to telephone the 80th Brigade to determine

20    what was going on.  But the line was -- it says not down but I presume it

21    was down."  Then he sent me, Karanfilov, or Vukasinovic and Karanfilov to

22    determine through the brigade command, on the spot, to the Ovcara facility

23    of what was going on.  When we arrived there, it was between 2200 and

24    2230."

25            So the reference is about what was going on vis-a-vis the

Page 14028

 1    maltreatment at Ovcara.  So never mind the dates.  We're talking about the

 2    Vukasinovic information which you say was the evening of the 20th, that

 3    things were going on.  And what you're saying here is Mrksic tried to

 4    contact the 80th, couldn't do so, and sent you, Vukasinovic and Karanfilov

 5    to find what was going on.  That's right, isn't it?

 6       A.   Mr. Moore, I'm reading this here now, this note, and he has here

 7    in relation to the indictment on the 20th and then he says in the late

 8    evening hours, this is allegedly what I'm saying, on the 19th, that I

 9    heard that somebody was being maltreated in Ovcara.

10            I testified here that I heard about that on the 19th but not from

11    Vukasinovic, but Mr. Skoric, as I testified here.  He is the one who

12    returned these people.  What I testified about is correct and here it is

13    also confirmed.  You asked me about the hour 20 -- 2300 hours.  It

14    pertains to the people who were returned -- who were sent out as a convoy

15    to the Republic of Croatia and then was returned.  That was my

16    understanding and as far as I can remember, I was explaining it to the

17    gentleman at that time too that that was it.  And no crime suspects are

18    referred to here or prisoners.  It is people that is referred to.  I

19    remember having said that then.

20            Now, whether he wrote everything down the way I had put it and

21    whether he dictated it properly, well, people make mistakes, don't they.

22    And I said what I had to say and it seems that the time is right here, on

23    the 19th at 2200 hours.  Perhaps that's the way it was.

24       Q.   No, Mr. Sljivancanin.  The topic of concern was the mistreatment

25    of the people at Ovcara which was coming as a result of the information

Page 14029

 1    given by Vukasinovic.  And you have told us this morning that Vukasinovic

 2    gave that information on the evening of the 20th.  It is the incident that

 3    is important not the date.

 4            Now let's look on at what you say you found:  "However, you say

 5    you got there and you didn't notice anything special.  However, we found

 6    Miroljub Vujanovic, a TO commander, with several of his men.  When I asked

 7    him what was he doing there at the time, Vujanovic answered that he had

 8    come to find out what would happen to the vehicles which were there but

 9    were originally from Vukovar and that he had come to take these vehicles.

10    I just replied to him that these things regarding the vehicles would be

11    arranged over the following days.  We stayed there for ten to 15 minutes

12    at most.  We then returned to the command post.  I reported to the

13    commander that everything was peaceful at Ovcara."

14            Well, the word "peaceful," might I respectfully suggest to you,

15    does not refer to vehicles.  You don't have peaceful vehicles, do you?  It

16    refers to the situation at Ovcara, the people?

17       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, that is what my testimony was here, except that I

18    didn't testify about being sent by Commander Mrksic as it is written here.

19    Perhaps the person just wanted to link this up to Mrksic because Vujic and

20    Vasiljevic were being talked about.

21            When I -- in the evening, I came across Vasiljevic in the command

22    and that was not mentioned, but around 2200 hours, when I was at Ovcara on

23    the 19th with Vukasinovic, there was total order, peace, no gunfire was

24    heard, there was nothing that -- I was not talking about peaceful

25    vehicles.  Oh, please let me answer.

Page 14030

 1       Q.   I'm sorry, Mr. Sljivancanin, the question was quite specific.  The

 2    information had come from Vukasinovic about what had happened at Ovcara

 3    and you had been sent there by Mrksic along with Vukasinovic and

 4    Karanfilov.  That's what the question was about.

 5            Now, how do you account for that answer and what you have said in

 6    evidence today?

 7       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, on the 19th, in the evening, Vukasinovic and I

 8    went to Ovcara, Karanfilov did not go.  This name was put in.  I don't

 9    know why then, maybe the man made a mistake.  I don't remember having

10    mentioned that name because he did not go with me.  I don't remember.  He

11    really didn't go with me.  And everything I said or, rather, everything

12    that is written here for the most part is what I testified about here as

13    to what happened on the 19th and this concerning the vehicles, well,

14    perhaps, written a dit bit differently, but I talked about that to all of

15    you here as well.

16            Well, you are insisting on now that I should tell you, on the

17    20th, Vukasinovic told me about this evacuation or, rather, that these

18    people being taken away from the barracks to Ovcara.  But it wasn't

19    people, these were suspects, crime suspects.  And then I'd say that that

20    was that but then he didn't write about that.  He didn't write what I said

21    so this term was not presented here in this statement.  It was not

22    written.  And what happened this time coincides with what I answered you

23    during my previous testimony.

24       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, please look at the end of that document that you

25    have?

Page 14031

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   Where you refer to "Before a court of my own country and my own

 3    people and nowhere else."  And it says as follows:  "I have nothing else

 4    to say and I do not want to read the statement because I listened to the

 5    reading of my words which were incorporated in the statement and I hereby

 6    sign it without any objections."

 7            I would suggest to you, you are an experienced man, you are an

 8    officer, but much more importantly, you knew there was an indictment out

 9    for you in relation to the killings at Ovcara and you were not going to

10    sign your life away just on some -- if you excuse me -- some hissy fit,

11    because it suited you and you wanted to have lunch.  You gave this as a

12    way of trying to get out of your responsibility at Ovcara; isn't that

13    right?

14       A.   Mr. Moore, again, I'm telling you, you keep drawing your own

15    conclusions that I disagree with.  I was suddenly summoned to this

16    interview.  As a human being and as an officer, I cared, however and how,

17    to tell my story, everything I knew and for all these problems to be

18    resolved and for the truth to finally be known.  I didn't shy away from

19    the truth, not when I was on my mission.  I spoke to journalists, I spoke

20    to international monitors, I spoke to everyone.  I didn't keep them from

21    seeing everything.  Wherever I went, they went too.  I cared a great deal

22    for all of this to be known, but an altercation ensued between this

23    gentleman and myself because he did not convey my statement faithfully.

24    He mentioned all the persons that he had mentioned and he dictated this

25    statement the way he saw fit.

Page 14032

 1            At the end of it all, I said, "I won't read this.  Just give it to

 2    me to sign."  And I've been fooled because that morning when I set out

 3    from my home, I hadn't even had breakfast and I was fed up, I just wanted

 4    to get my documents and go.  I said I would be called again, summoned with

 5    my documents to go again and see them but they never called again.  And

 6    did I care?  Yes, I did care for light to be shed on all of this.

 7       Q.   And Mr. Sljivancanin, you had another interview on the 17th of

 8    December of that same year.  Now, you say that you had been badly treated

 9    in interview, in your first interview.  You were then perfectly aware of

10    what the nature of the allegation was so the situation came for an

11    interview in December; isn't that right?

12       A.   Mr. Moore, it wasn't mistreatment but it was certainly

13    disrespectful treatment.  They should have made it possible for me to have

14    my papers, have the reports, all the reports that I submitted that I've

15    been trying to show you here for the exact facts and the exact dates to be

16    established for that statement to be authentic.  So that's that.  As for

17    the 17th of December, as you can see here, I was summoned to go to the

18    military court and I responded to this summons.

19       Q.   Let's very briefly look at this particular interview.  You were

20    called to say everything you knew about the case.  I'm not going to go

21    through the earlier parts.

22            Now, I want to go, please, to page 6 of the English version, and

23    your page, B/C/S, it is 0218-8293.

24            Now, on that particular page 6 of the English version and on your

25    page, it is the penultimate paragraph and it starts as follows:  "That

Page 14033

 1    day, on the 18th of November, 1991, at around 1100 hours," well, we know

 2    that's the 19th, "Cyrus Vance also came to that sector as a representative

 3    of the international community."  Then it goes on about things occurring.

 4    You say the following:  "I stayed with him until 1700 hours."  Isn't that

 5    right?

 6       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, this is also --

 7       Q.   That is right, isn't it, Mr. Sljivancanin?

 8       A.   Well, it says 1700 hours.  I don't remember actually saying 1700

 9    hours.  I didn't stay the whole day.  This is something else that the

10    judge dictated.  I was giving him my account and he was dictating it to

11    the clerk, the secretary, so the actual words are his.

12       Q.   Are you saying that the judge fabricated or was inaccurate about

13    the time of 1700 hours on the 19th of November?  That's all I'm asking at

14    this stage.

15       A.   Well, I don't remember.  I'm not saying that he fabricated this.

16    But 1700 hours, that's nightfall isn't it, that time of the year.  I

17    wasn't with Mr. Vance until 1700 hours and I can't say we didn't part

18    before nightfall.  I remember that Vance completed his visit around

19    lunchtime and it reads here 1700 hours.  I just don't believe I said that

20    because that's dark already, that time of winter.  It may be a typo for

21    all I know.

22       Q.   Would you then say in evidence today that you left Vance around

23    about 2.00, somewhere between that, around 1.00 or 2.00?  Would that be

24    accurate?

25       A.   Well, there, even the date is wrong.  It was probably me, the

Page 14034

 1    18th, whereas it was the 19th.  Well, the date that was misrecorded, I

 2    accept that was my mistake because I didn't have any documents to be

 3    brutally frank.  I remember that we parted ways.  According to what I

 4    remember, it certainly was at about 2.00 or 1400 hours in the afternoon if

 5    you prefer on the 19th, and the date here is wrong on top of that, the

 6    18th.

 7       Q.   So it would have been perfectly possible for you to have been to

 8    the yellow house that afternoon on the 19th, that is correct, isn't it, as

 9    has been suggested?

10       A.   Well, Mr. Moore, that is simply impossible.  I don't think there

11    is any option at all open to allow for the possibility that I was at the

12    yellow house on the afternoon of the 18th.  That is entirely impossible.

13    On that afternoon, I was in the Vukovar Hospital.

14       Q.   I want to move on, as I say, I've got time constraints.  Page 10

15    of the English.  On your page it is 0218-8295.  In the page 10 and I'm

16    sorry, I can't be more specific about this, it's towards the bottom of

17    your page about four-fifths of the way down the page.

18            It starts "To understand this better, I would like to point out

19    that the barracks were about three to five kilometres away from the

20    Vukovar Hospital and the large number of citizens were arriving in Vukovar

21    at the time of the evacuation.  They were returning because they had

22    previously fled and they were all local people who knew each other and

23    knew who had antagonised whom and who had done what to whom, and since

24    many serious things had happened, there was motive for revenge.  So the

25    safest thing to do was to drive them first to the barracks and then secure

Page 14035

 1    their transportation from there to Sremska Mitrovica.  I am stressing this

 2    in particular because I was also in a situation to be exposed not just to

 3    insults but even to an assault when I allowed about 24 people from that

 4    group to leave."

 5            Now, there, you are saying that there was clearly a motive for

 6    revenge.  Do you accept that that is accurately recorded in relation to

 7    motive for revenge?

 8       A.   Again, Mr. Moore, I'm telling you the judge was dictating what he

 9    was listening to, what I was saying.  I did my best as I have explained to

10    explain exactly what had happened.  And I'm telling you, throughout the

11    fighting, throughout our attempt to lift the siege on the barracks and the

12    disarming process, we always kept one thing in mind, that the population

13    there was suffering under dire circumstances, that those people were to be

14    comforted, helped.  There were certain loose cannons, psychopaths who were

15    creating a lot of trouble.  I'm not sure if I should go back to that now.

16    I believe that I told the judge at the time and the judge dictated that in

17    his own words in order to keep the record as short as possible as, the way

18    he saw fit, the way he thought it should be reflected in the record.  I

19    didn't see any need to change any of his words.  And the representatives

20    of The Hague Tribunal were listening too, both to what I was saying and

21    what the Judge was dictating.

22            But you can't say that it was peaceful because, had it been

23    peaceful, there would have been no need whatsoever for JNA presence.

24       Q.   Can I ask you to move on to your page 0218-8297.  Before I do it,

25    it's my fault because I was trying to find it and I couldn't, and now I

Page 14036

 1    have.  Could you just go to 0218-8294, first of all.  So 0218-8294, the

 2    English version is page 6 at the bottom.  So 0218-8294, page 6 in the

 3    English.  It reads as follows:  "I had with me a list of people who

 4    organised, together with her, the rebellion in Vukovar.  Vidic, Dedakovic,

 5    Pol and others, including Bosanac, were on this list."

 6            So is it right that you did have a list at that time when you

 7    arrived at the hospital?

 8       A.   We talked about that yesterday Mr. Moore, the list that I got from

 9    the security administration.  I don't remember if I had that list on me at

10    the hospital.  Maybe it was on the table in that room.  But I had my --

11    where we stayed.  I didn't carry those lists in my pocket all the time, so

12    to speak, but the list that we discussed yesterday I got such lists.  I

13    had those for perpetrators of crimes to be found or suspects at any rate,

14    although not all of those were from the Vukovar area but, rather, from the

15    general area as you read out with more detail yesterday.

16       Q.   Can I ask you, please, page 0218-8297, English page 13, going into

17    14.  It is approximately two-fifths of the way down your page.  It reads

18    as follows, at the bottom of page 13, English:  "While I was in the

19    Vukovar area, after the cessation of fighting and the completion of the

20    evacuation, I was not informed that a group of prisoners were taken to the

21    hangars at the Ovcara farm.  I learned about this only later from the

22    media, and it surprised me."

23            Can you assist me on this little point?  What about Vukasinovic

24    telling you that in actual fact, there had been a group of people from the

25    hospital and the barracks taken to Ovcara?  Because that has been your

Page 14037

 1    evidence.  And how do you reconcile it with this?

 2       A.   Well I can explain that too.  After the interview at the security

 3    administration, I asked to find those documents and I was waiting,

 4    thinking that I would be summoned for another interview.  I phoned the

 5    Guards Brigade command since I was no longer an officer of that unit.  The

 6    then commander of the Guards Brigade told me that he didn't have the

 7    documents, nor was there anything he could do about it.  He said I should

 8    speak to General Panic, who was the commander of the special unit corps.

 9    And back in Vukovar, he had been the Chief of Staff of the brigade.  So I

10    called Mr. Panic.  The General set up an point -- well, I have to tell

11    you, don't I?

12       Q.   Well, no.  With the utmost of respect to you, the question I would

13    suggest is perfectly clear.  What you are saying in this interview is that

14    you did not know about a group of prisoners being taken to Ovcara.  I am

15    asking you why are you not saying to the judge, well, I did know about a

16    group of prisoners being taken to Ovcara because Vukasinovic said it to

17    me?

18       A.   Well, what I'm trying to tell you is what I kept silent about at

19    the time.  Back at the military court, I wanted there to be a certain

20    order to this but you are just disrupting me.  I went to see Panic.  I

21    found Mr. Mrksic there.  I wanted to have the documents.  Mr. Mrksic then

22    repeated the very same words, he said he had been summoned to the military

23    court too.  He said that the government had taken over those people, taken

24    charge of those people.  That he would explain in court why that happened

25    and that I and Mr. Radic had nothing whatsoever to do with that.

Page 14038

 1            I kept silent in court then, waiting for the commander to speak up

 2    about that, since he had a great deal of information of why the people

 3    were taken charge of by the government at the time.  So I kept silent

 4    about that and I told you about how the judge recorded that.

 5       Q.   Does that mean, then, you did not tell the truth at your interview

 6    on the second occasion?

 7       A.   I told the whole truth except I kept silent about this final

 8    exchange between Mr. Mrksic and myself.  I told everything else as I had

 9    previously told at the security administration and all of my statements

10    here.

11       Q.   Is that reply -- does that indicate, the phrase that's used in

12    English, that you were economic with the truth, you only put in that that

13    you wanted?

14       A.   No, Mr. Moore, I was not being economic with the truth.  Everybody

15    knew about it.  It was a public session.  So I obtained that information

16    from elsewhere, from the commander and from the people that I told you.  I

17    expected that it wouldn't be me raising that point in court.  I thought

18    Mr. Mrksic would be.  The judge didn't ask me.  I didn't say anything.

19    And that's how it came to pass and I can hardly come up with a different

20    story now.

21       Q.   The last question for this document, page 0218-8298 is yours, the

22    English version is page 15 moving into 16.  So for you, 0218-8298, 15/16

23    for English speakers.  Answering a question for the military Prosecutor in

24    Belgrade, the witness stated:  "As far as I remember now, I came once to

25    the Ovcara farm with my deputy Vukasinovic to check if the machinery and

Page 14039

 1    other vehicles located at the farm had been handed over to the civilian

 2    authorities and the Territorial Defence of Vukovar municipality.  I'm not

 3    sure when this happened and whether this was on the 19th of November or

 4    some other day, but I do know that it was sometime in the evening, around

 5    about 8.00 p.m.," you say 2000 hours.  "And that I found the commander of

 6    the 80th Brigade there but I am not sure that it was this unit.  This

 7    commander informed me that everything was all right there and that the

 8    handover of the equipment and the machinery was going on without

 9    difficulties.  The area of the Ovcara military farm was not in the area of

10    responsibility of our brigade and, therefore, it was not in mine, as the

11    chief of security either.  Perhaps the road I was travelling then led me

12    there and I asked about the handover of vehicles and other machinery.  I

13    wanted to check this and also draw their attention to prevent any theft of

14    that machinery since there were many cases of looting," and other

15    incidents.

16            So here is a question from the military Prosecutor.  You say

17    you've been once to Ovcara and it was only to do with machinery and you

18    were only with Vukasinovic.  How do you reconcile that answer with the

19    earlier answer where in actual fact you had been sent by Mrksic to find

20    out what had been going on at Ovcara and you had found Vojinovic not the

21    leader or the officer in charge of the 80th?  How do you reconcile those

22    positions and your answers today?

23       A.   Mr. Moore, Mrksic never sent me.  I don't remember stating that.

24    I don't remember ever saying that Mrksic sent me to Ovcara.  I told you

25    everything that I told you.  These are the words of the judge dictating

Page 14040

 1    the statement.  I repeated to the judge at the time the story that I told

 2    here about the mechanisation of other people, what I heard about that and

 3    that this occurred on the 19th as agreed.  And I believe I said at the

 4    time the same thing as I had said previously at the security

 5    administration, but that I need to express reservation.  There I may have

 6    misspoken or something.  It is very similar but these are the words of

 7    that judge recorded by that secretary.  I used my language, the language

 8    that I'm using here now.  Did he record every single word I said into that

 9    record or not, I don't know, but it's very similar.  I said that

10    Vukasinovic and I were at Ovcara.  There's reference there to

11    mechanisation and everything you're telling me about the officers of the

12    80th Brigade because we they'd only just arrived.  I didn't know a single

13    one of them.  I'd never worked with them previously and I didn't know

14    specifically what their names were.

15            I didn't explain to them everything; I didn't give them the entire

16    story as I did at the military court.  I talked about the 18th, Vucedol

17    and Ovcara, you can go back and read that statement.  It's right there.

18    What exactly was it that he eventually dictated just that once, I really

19    don't know.  It may have slipped my mind.  May have slipped my attention

20    when there were all the questions and answer.  Maybe there were omissions

21    in this process of my statement being dictated into the record.

22            MR. MOORE:  Your Honour, might I make application for these

23    statements to be made exhibits?

24            JUDGE PARKER:  They will be, Mr. Moore, but we must break now.

25    We've reached the limit of our time, I'm afraid.

Page 14041

 1            MR. MOORE:  Yes, I'm sorry.  It's taken a little longer than I

 2    thought.  Your Honour, there is only a very small area of evidence that I

 3    was going to deal with yesterday.  You remember there were video problems.

 4    In fairness to Mr. Lukic and Mr. Sljivancanin, I would like to put those

 5    matters to him, perhaps, after the break.  They will not take more than 10

 6    minutes.

 7            JUDGE PARKER:  They can't, Mr. Moore, and I think that means that

 8    Mr. Lukic will run out of time today.  He may be able to manage.

 9            We must break now.  We resume at a quarter past.

10            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

11                          --- Recess taken at 12.55 p.m.

12                          --- On resuming at 1.20 p.m.

13            JUDGE PARKER:  Mr. Lukic was on his feet following your motion,

14    Mr. Moore.

15            Yes, Mr. Lukic.

16            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Indeed, Your Honour, I must say I'm

17    actually surprised by Mr. Moore's motion.  I think your 16-page written

18    ruling ...

19            JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Lukic, by

20    chance.

21            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is precisely why I was surprised

22    that Mr. Moore was raising the point.

23            JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... to be

24    continued, not changed.

25            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You've cut my arguments short, I

Page 14042

 1    believe, unless you want me to elaborate or unless you think there is

 2    anything special that I should add in relation to how I interpret or

 3    understand your decision.

 4            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Lukic.

 5            Mr. Moore, first, can it be clear what reports or statements you

 6    are moving for admission?

 7            MR. MOORE:  Yes, I'm asking for the two Belgrade statements to be

 8    admissible.  I seek to use Rule 89(C).  I would submit that that

 9    subsection:  "A Chamber may admit any relevance evidence which it deems to

10    have probative value."

11            This defendant has given an account, extensively.  He has now been

12    cross-examined on the accounts that he gave before the magistrates or the

13    judges and as such, it facilitates a clear understanding by way of

14    comparison and in relation to his credit of the evidence that Mr.

15    Sljivancanin gave.

16            JUDGE PARKER:  You suggest for those reasons that circumstances

17    have now changed from those considered in the decision that was given

18    earlier?

19            MR. MOORE:  Yes, I do, because he has now given evidence.  And in

20    relation to that, the Court is entitled to look at that evidence, that

21    account, compare it with the accounts that he has given beforehand, and to

22    assess his credibility in relation to important topics.

23            So in my submission, the ruling was correct initially, but it is

24    the giving of evidence that changes that and modifies it and a court in my

25    submission, and there is provision within the rules, can attach such

Page 14043

 1    weight as they deem appropriate to those statements.

 2            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Moore.

 3            Now, Mr. Lukic.  I thought I should flesh that out before you

 4    spoke.  Do you want to add anything further to your submissions?

 5            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You know what our position is in it's

 6    entirety, Your Honours.  I don't think anything's been raised here in

 7    relation to our written positions as far as the desire of Mr. Moore was

 8    concerned to use these statements in cross-examination and the facts

 9    testified to by Mr. Sljivancanin.

10            What you allowed the OTP to do and your understanding of Rule 89

11    and the case law from the Mucic case that we referred to, when that

12    statement was admitted, that just reinforces our argument from our motion.

13    Your ruling on cross-examination was used and that much is clear.  Mr.

14    Moore showed certain segments in his cross-examination to check the

15    credibility.  He did that.  He did what you required him to do by that

16    decision.  None of the facts have changed.

17            We addressed in our motion something that Mr. Sljivancanin

18    addressed in his testimony, how those statements were taken.  Those are

19    facts.  And you were familiar with those facts when you made that

20    decision; therefore, I think Mr. Moore's new argument brings nothing new

21    to this discussion.  It's nothing that you haven't addressed before.  Your

22    ruling is very thorough and it thoroughly analyses the arguments proposed

23    by both parties.  It is not for me to remind this Trial Chamber that none

24    of the statements were tendered in their entirety; sections were shown and

25    that was evidence.  We believe this statement is contrary to the Statute

Page 14044

 1    and especially as far as his status before this Court is concerned.

 2            I think this would set a precedent in the jurisprudence that has

 3    applied throughout this trial so far.

 4            JUDGE PARKER:  The motion, Mr. Moore, will be -- the decision on

 5    the motion will be reserved and we will evaluate the submissions we've now

 6    had.  Thank you.

 7            Now, you have more questions?

 8            MR. MOORE:  Very few.  There was a video compiled yesterday that I

 9    wanted to deal with the propaganda that existed at that time and we submit

10    is an element that should be taken into account and Mr. Sljivancanin has

11    already indicated that there were certain beliefs, whether erroneous or

12    not.  And I would wish to deal with those extractions at the request,

13    indeed, of Mr. Sljivancanin, to show him those video clips if they indeed

14    existed.

15            There are four clips.  They are short, and I would wish to play

16    those to him.  So may I ask for the first video to be played.

17            Mr. Sljivancanin, this is from the Serbian television.

18                          [Videotape played]

19            MR. MOORE:  I'd like to deal with the next clip, please.

20                          [Videotape played]

21            MR. MOORE:  Mr. Sljivancanin, the next clip I'm going to ask you,

22    please, to consider about lists and the availability of lists to soldiers.

23                          [Videotape played]

24            MR. MOORE:

25       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, those are four short extracts of material taken

Page 14045

 1    from Serbian television in relation to Vukovar.  That last extract related

 2    to a soldier who was asking about sons.  So clearly, the soldier knew,

 3    either personally or from something, the names of individuals who were

 4    supposed to be fighters against the JNA.  Were you ever aware of soldiers

 5    being given lists or names of people that they wanted to find?

 6       A.   Mr. Moore, the clips you've just shown, I watched all the videos

 7    that I received when I came here to the Detention Unit.  These are all

 8    parts of the video set.  And as far as I know, with the exception of the

 9    bodies outside the hospital, this is all part of the video material in

10    relation to Borovo Naselje.  I found out about this while watching this.

11    I am familiar with these.  These are dreadful scenes, dreadful imagery.

12    And the last man to be shown wearing a military uniform with a short

13    beard, that's the section I'm talking about, are soldiers, members of the

14    guards unit never got any lists at all.  The only exception was what I

15    explained, the lists given to the security officers for intelligence work.

16    That's all they got.

17            The first footage, you called that a JNA soldier giving his

18    account.  That's no JNA soldier at all.  It's an old man aged over 70.

19    And he is wearing just part of a uniform.  Therefore, those who were

20    recording him, the journalists who were creating propaganda for

21    television, since I wasn't an employee of the television myself, could

22    probably shed more light on that, why they recorded it the way they did.

23    There is a lot of material here and I just didn't see that on TV at the

24    time.

25       Q.   Can I take it then that the bodies that we saw at the hospital,

Page 14046

 1    that footage, was the same group of bodies that you said you had seen when

 2    you got to Vukovar and had so appalled you?

 3       A.   Mr. Moore, I remember this footage.  This is exactly the way I saw

 4    bodies lined up and in another street too there were several bodies, when

 5    I came on the first day before the Vukovar Hospital.  This remained in my

 6    memory and the footage shows quite realistically the way it was.  I didn't

 7    know whether these were bodies of Serbs or Croats or whoever.

 8       Q.   Thank you very much.  I want to now move and play a video which

 9    Mr. Lukic has played but it didn't have a transcript.  I think it was

10    Exhibit 839.  We have got a transcript which I hope will assist, and the

11    version we are using is V0001411 but the transcript links with that

12    Exhibit 839.  If I can just give that transcript out now, please.

13            I wish to play, if I could, please, Exhibit 839, and this is the

14    transcript from it.

15                          [Videotape played]

16            MR. MOORE:

17       Q.   Mr. Sljivancanin, I'm not going to go through the whole video, but

18    the transcript, and we have heard the interpreter about it, he interprets

19    and our translation is the following:  "I am very proud to be the

20    commander of these soldiers and officers."

21            Now, this was taken outside the hospital on the 20th; isn't that

22    right?

23       A.   That's right, in front of the hospital on the 20th.

24            MR. MOORE:  Mr. Lukic has an objection.

25            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Since we have the transcript in his

Page 14047

 1    words, Mr. Sljivancanin said he was proud to have been at the helm of, na

 2    celu, at the helm of; he did not say that he was the commander.  Those

 3    were his exact words.

 4            MR. MOORE:  Mr. Lukic --

 5            JUDGE PARKER:  We seem to have an interpretation issue there.

 6            MR. MOORE:  Well, may I deal with my interpretation and then we

 7    can deal with Mr. Lukic's interpretation.  I'm quite happy to try and deal

 8    with it as best I can.

 9       Q.   Do you accept that you said that:  "I am at the helm of these

10    soldiers and officers"?

11       A.   You see, Mr. Moore, I tried many times to explain this to you.  As

12    an officer, and as a man, I spoke then before the media, and I had this

13    argument as I had agreed on with Colonel Pavkovic, that after all I do

14    represent a person from the Yugoslav People's Army who is speaking

15    publicly for the media.  And I did not want to explain to journalists what

16    duties I had and what it was that I was doing.  I did not explain that I

17    was chief of security then, but as I got carried away and at that moment,

18    as I felt things about these young people and that any officer would have

19    been proud to be with such young people, I thought that all soldiers,

20    especially ours from the Guards Brigade, were good people, young people,

21    and that one should be proud to be with these young people.  And it's at

22    that moment that I said that I was at the helm of these people.

23            I'm not changing what it was that I thought.  I don't want to

24    comment on this.  I'm commander, I am commanding.  How should I put this?

25    This is sort of a phrase, sort of representation before the public, to put

Page 14048

 1    it in the briefest possible terms.  It wasn't for me to explain exactly

 2    what position I held.

 3       Q.   But with the utmost respect to you, Mr. Sljivancanin, even with

 4    Mr. Lukic's beneficial interpretation that you were at the helm of these

 5    soldiers and officers; helm means captain of the ship, doesn't it?  That's

 6    exactly what it means.  In charge.

 7       A.   Mr. Moore, it can be interpreted the way you're putting it but I'm

 8    just telling you at that moment, as the representative of the army, I was

 9    speaking in order to refute what Mr. Moore was saying.  At the request of

10    Mr. Martin Bell, I felt then that I was representing the Yugoslav People's

11    Army and the public would hear it and that is what I said at the time as

12    the representative of the army which, in my opinion, at that time, was

13    honourable and honest.

14       Q.   On the second page of the English version, you repeat the

15    commander element.  It's halfway down the English version.  It's one word

16    in.  "I told this gentleman this morning that I was the commander in my

17    homeland, in my country."  Now, I think in fairness to you, we will play

18    all of the video up to that and we'll hear what the interpreter also says.

19    So if that could be done, I would be very grateful.  So shall we start

20    from the beginning, please.

21            MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps I may be of

22    assistance.  Let me not challenge so that we don't have to watch the

23    entire video that that is indeed what it says on the second page.  "I'm

24    commander in my own country."  I mean I want to speed up the proceedings.

25    It's on the second page, yes.

Page 14049

 1            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you very much.

 2            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

 3       Q.   I would suggest to you that in actual fact, you were not only de

 4    jure commander at the hospital and elsewhere, you were the de facto

 5    commander.  And secondly, you were the chief of the security organ, the

 6    zone of the responsibility of the Guards Motorised Brigade at the least,

 7    was not only from the hospital but also the barracks, and I'm suggesting

 8    you knew perfectly well that you were part of the structure of OG South

 9    and your zone of responsibility included Ovcara.  What do you say to that?

10       A.   Mr. Moore, really, with all due respect, I do not accept that but

11    I am telling you the following:  This word that I said to this man,

12    this -- I met Mr. Borsinger, and there is video footage of what I said to

13    him but then it just came out of my mouth and in front of the

14    journalists.  Because I was not very good at this, dealing with

15    journalists.  Then I repeated other words.  I did not know how to say

16    those words about the death of the young soldiers.  It just came out

17    because of exhaustion and because of the killing of these young men.  I

18    was chief of security of the Guards Motorised Brigade and as a

19    professional organ of the command of that brigade, with regard to state

20    security matters, I tried, to the best of my ability, to conduct my duties

21    professionally and correctly and I do not agree that I had any kind of

22    command function de jure and de facto.  It says in the rules and

23    regulations what I was and also in my personal files and documents you

24    have exact information as to what duties I held, what I was, and what I

25    did.

Page 14050

 1            That is my position.

 2            MR. MOORE:  I have no further questions for you, Mr. Sljivancanin.

 3    Thank you.

 4            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Moore.

 5            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you, Mr. Moore.  Clearly, we should now break

 6    for the day and continue tomorrow, Mr. Lukic.

 7            MR. MOORE:  Your Honour, could I just deal with one small matter.

 8    I didn't make an application to put in what I call the propaganda videos.

 9    Might I make an application for that to be made an exhibit?

10            JUDGE PARKER:  The four clips will be received as one exhibit.

11            MR. MOORE:  Thank you very much.

12            THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the four clips will become Exhibit

13    850.

14            JUDGE PARKER:  Thank you.  We resume tomorrow at 10.00.  May I

15    thank, in particular, the -- those supporting the court, in particular,

16    the interpreters for the unusual time we extended the sessions this

17    morning to try and ensure the proper flow of the evidence and the -- what

18    I thought was to be the end of the cross-examination at the end of the

19    last session.  With those words of thanks, we adjourn for the day to

20    resume tomorrow at 10.00.

21                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

22                          to be reconvened on Friday, the 3rd day of

23                          November, 2006, at 10.00 a.m.