Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14099

1 Monday, 6 November 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

5 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.

6 Are we ready, Mr. Borovic -- oh, Mr. Bulatovic.

7 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we're ready. I'd

8 like to call witness Paunovic. Could he please be brought into the

9 courtroom.

10 [The witness entered court]

11 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Would you please read aloud the

12 affirmation that is on the card given to you now.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.

16 Mr. Bulatovic.

17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good

18 afternoon to all participants in the proceedings. Good afternoon to all

19 in the courtroom.


21 [Witness answered through interpreter]

22 Examination by Mr. Bulatovic:

23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Paunovic.

24 A. Good afternoon.

25 Q. Mr. Paunovic, please, before we start with this examination,

Page 14100

1 please take into account some of the instructions I will give you. In

2 order to have your testimony interpreted properly and recorded properly in

3 the transcript, please wait for my question to end and then, after a

4 while, could you please answer, so that you and I would not overlap, so

5 that the questions and answers will not overlap. That way we'll just

6 create confusion, and we really don't want to have any problems in the

7 transcript. Do you understand me?

8 A. Yes, I follow you.

9 Q. Fine. Mr. Paunovic, to begin with, could you please tell the

10 Honourable Trial Chamber and us your full name and surname, your date and

11 place of birth, and your marital status, and your family situation.

12 A. I was born on the 30th of January, 1956, in Ursule, municipality

13 of Sjenica, Serbia.

14 Q. Mr. Paunovic, could you please give us your full name and surname.

15 We haven't heard that.

16 A. Sorry. Radoje Paunovic.

17 Q. Mr. Paunovic, is it correct that you completed the military

18 academy of the ground forces in 1979?

19 A. That is correct.

20 Q. Is it correct that in the period from 1979 until 1988 you served

21 in the garrison in Zajecar?

22 A. Yes, that's correct.

23 Q. Is it correct that in 1988 you were reassigned to the Guards

24 Brigade, to the 1st Battalion of the military police?

25 A. Yes, that is correct.

Page 14101

1 Q. Is it correct that in 1990 you were appointed deputy commander of

2 the 2nd Battalion of the military police in the Guards Motorised Brigade?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. We will agree that the duty of the 2nd -- the commander of the

5 2nd Battalion of the military police is a duty that you assumed in 1991,

6 and that, as for that duty, commander of the 2nd Battalion of the military

7 police within the Guards Motorised Brigade, is a duty you held during the

8 events in Vukovar in 1991.

9 A. Yes, that is correct.

10 Q. Upon your return from Vukovar, that is to say the end of 1991,

11 were you assigned to the command of the Guards Brigade in the teaching

12 department?

13 A. Yes. In 1992, I was assigned to the teaching department of the

14 Guards Motorised Brigade.

15 Q. In 1994, were you in the corps of special units as desk officer

16 for the units of the military police?

17 A. Yes, that is correct.

18 Q. According to the information that I have, in 1999 you were

19 assigned to the command of the 72nd Special Brigade as desk officer for

20 the units of the military police; is that correct?

21 A. Yes, that is correct.

22 Q. In 2002, you were sent to the centre for training cadres for the

23 military security service as commander of military police courses.

24 A. Yes, that is correct.

25 Q. Is it correct that as for the rank of major, you got it in 1993?

Page 14102

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. You were retired on the 22nd of July, 2005, as a colonel, and you

3 got the rank of colonel in 2001; is that right?

4 A. Yes, that's right.

5 Q. Mr. Paunovic, can we agree on the basis of all of this that in

6 your military career you held responsible duties and posts from company

7 commander, deputy battalion commander, battalion commander, and these

8 duties that I mentioned, these posts that you held after your return to

9 Vukovar, and these are military positions of responsibility. Is that

10 right?

11 A. It can be put that way.

12 Q. Mr. Paunovic, let us now move on to the subject of this trial here

13 and what we are all primarily interested in, and that is the events in

14 Vukovar.

15 We heard that you were commander of the 2nd Battalion of the

16 military police within the Guards Motorised Brigade, when you were sent to

17 Vukovar. What I'm interested in is the following, and what everybody here

18 is interested in, could you please tell us and the Trial Chamber: When

19 was it that you were sent to Vukovar with your battalion?

20 A. I was sent to Vukovar on the 30th of September, 1991.

21 Q. When you were sent to Vukovar, was your entire battalion sent

22 there, the 2nd Battalion of the military police, or rather, was that

23 battalion at its full complement when you were sent to Vukovar?

24 A. On the 30th of September, the entire battalion was sent to Vukovar

25 but not under my command.

Page 14103

1 Q. Can you explain what that means, the whole battalion but not under

2 your command. Were some parts of the battalion somewhere else? Were they

3 attached, resubordinated, to somebody else?

4 A. I can explain that. This is how it happened: There were two

5 companies, specifically the 1st and the 2nd one, under my command, and one

6 company, specifically the 4th Company, according to the decision made by

7 the brigade commander, was resubordinated to the armoured battalion of the

8 Guards Brigade.

9 The 3rd Company was engaged, according to platoons, in the

10 following way: The 1st Platoon of the 3rd Company was resubordinated to

11 the 1st Motorised Battalion of the Guards Brigade; the 2nd Platoon of the

12 3rd Company was resubordinated to the 2nd Motorised Battalion of the

13 Guards Brigade; the 3rd Platoon of the 3rd Company was securing the rear

14 command post of the Guards Brigade.

15 That is my answer to your question as to how the battalion was

16 engaged.

17 Q. Could you please tell me about the 4th Company.

18 A. I think I told you that the 4th Company was resubordinated to the

19 armoured battalion of the Guards Brigade.

20 Q. Could you please tell me who the commander of the 1st Motorised

21 Battalion was? And one company from your battalion was resubordinated to

22 that commander.

23 A. The commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion was Major Tesic.

24 Q. And who was commander of the 2nd Motorised Battalion?

25 A. The commander of the 2nd Motorised Battalion was Major Adem Bajic.

Page 14104

1 Q. Was he commander all the time?

2 A. During the initial period, as we were leaving from our peacetime

3 location, it was Bajic, Major Bajic. But at the beginning of the month of

4 October - I cannot remember the exact date now, of course - this duty was

5 assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel Lukic.

6 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you mentioned your 3rd Company from the

7 2nd Battalion of the military police that was divided into platoons. I

8 just did not hear about the 3rd Platoon. What was the duty of the

9 3rd Platoon of the 3rd Company? Where was it deployed? Perhaps you've

10 said it. I am sorry. Oh, yes, they were providing security for the rear

11 command post. Yes, thank you. Sorry about that.

12 Your 2nd Battalion of the military police, was it taken into

13 combat action?

14 A. In the initial period, that is to say, for some four or five days,

15 the 2nd Battalion of the military police was a reserve of the brigade, and

16 it was in the village of Berak, which is to say the 1st and 2nd Company,

17 with a command and the signals squad and the logistics.

18 Q. Were you taken into combat action; if so, how?

19 A. After four or five days, perhaps even less - now with this time

20 distance, I cannot remember - I was given an order by the brigade

21 commander to be ready with my battalion to go into combat, which is,

22 indeed, what happened after these four or five days, I think.

23 Q. Mr. Paunovic, were you taken into combat action as an independent

24 establishment unit, the 2nd Battalion of the military police, or were you

25 within some other composition; do you recall?

Page 14105

1 A. When I said that I was taken into combat action, in that period of

2 time, I don't know up until when, I carried out my duties as a battalion.

3 In the later period - again, I cannot give the exact dates - the

4 2nd Battalion of the military police became part of the 2nd Assault

5 Detachment.

6 Q. Mr. Paunovic, would you tell me who the commander of the 2nd

7 Assault Detachment was?

8 A. The commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment was Lieutenant-Colonel

9 Lukic.

10 Q. When you were brought into combat, as commander of the 2nd

11 Battalion of the military police, did you have a command post of your own

12 in Vukovar? If so, can you explain where this command post of yours was.

13 A. When I was taken into combat action, of course I had a command

14 post. It was in Prvomajska Street. I cannot remember the number now.

15 Tentatively it's to the north, or perhaps a bit to the north-west of the

16 barracks.

17 Q. Mr. Paunovic, I'm just going to ask you another thing. You've

18 already referred to it. You actually mentioned the 2nd Battalion, and as

19 far as I understood you, the 2nd Battalion of the military police, where

20 you were commander, had four companies. Did it have any other units

21 within its composition?

22 A. Well, the establishment of the battalion, in addition to these

23 four companies, included the command of the battalion, the signals squad,

24 and a logistics platoon.

25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Paunovic. Now that we're on this subject, since

Page 14106

1 some names may come up during your evidence, so in order for us to know

2 what this is all about, could you tell us who the commanders, komandiri,

3 of these four companies were, the 1st, 2nd, the 3rd, and 4th?

4 A. Milan Pavlovic was commander of the 1st Company. The commander of

5 the 2nd Company was Captain Dragoslav Kapor. I'm sorry, I beg your

6 pardon. The commander of the 2nd Company was Nenad Bajic. The commander

7 of the 3rd Company was Captain Dragoslav Kapor. And the commander of the

8 4th Company was Captain Esad Paldum.

9 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you are convinced -- you were brought into combat in

10 the manner that you described. Could you tell me, please -- it's been

11 said that there's something wrong with the interpretation.

12 You, Mr. Paunovic, described the way that you were brought into

13 combat. You mentioned that you were part of the Assault Detachment 2, or

14 2nd Assault Detachment. Throughout your combat engagement, was this

15 situation the same, that you were part of the 2nd Assault Detachment, or

16 were you, at times, an independent entity of the 2nd Battalion in combat?

17 A. In the initial period, I was an independent battalion but within

18 the brigade. In the subsequent period, over a longer period of time, I

19 was part of the 2nd Assault Detachment. As far as I can remember, around

20 mid-November, I acted independently; I wasn't part of the 2nd Assault

21 Detachment.

22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Paunovic. I will not insist on an accurate

23 time-line because I know that much time has lapsed and it's very difficult

24 for you to remember. But if you can remember approximately some dates,

25 please indicate so.

Page 14107

1 Tell me, Mr. Paunovic, in accordance with the rules of service of

2 the military police of the JNA, is it customary for military police to be

3 used in combat? And before that question, whether the military police

4 troops have the proper training for combat? And what is the predominant

5 purpose of their training?

6 A. The military police is primarily trained for military police

7 tasks. And during training, military policemen are trained to perform

8 such tasks but not to such an extent as is the training of the performance

9 of military police tasks. Military police primarily performs military

10 police tasks pursuant to the rules of service of the military police of

11 the armed forces, the rules of service and the guidelines for the

12 applications of rules of service of the military police. But pursuant to

13 a brigade commander's decision and order, military police may be used to

14 perform other tasks.

15 Q. Mr. Paunovic, as battalion commander, the commander of the

16 2nd Battalion of the military police, did you attend the reports being --

17 the briefings in the motorised brigades in Vukovar? And I'm referring to

18 the period of 30th September until your return, and, if I'm not mistaken,

19 that took place on the 24th of November, 1991.

20 A. I did attend briefings at the command of the Guards Brigade.

21 Q. At these meetings at the command of the South Operative Group of

22 the 1st Guards Motorised Brigade, did you receive any tasks? And could

23 you explain to those present how this briefing looked like and how the

24 issuance of tasks did take place at the OG level.

25 A. Well, in brief, a briefing would look like this: Commanders of

Page 14108

1 the subordinated units, subordinate to the brigade commander, would report

2 on the conditions in their units, on the tasks achieved, tasks handed down

3 to them, on problems, requirements, et cetera.

4 Afterwards, the floor would be given to members of the command.

5 The commander would recognise anybody seeking to take the floor, if he

6 would be touring the units, to relay their opinions, their remarks and

7 impressions. And finally, the commander of the brigade would issue tasks

8 for the forthcoming period for the subsequent day.

9 That would briefly be a cross-section of such briefing.

10 Q. When you received -- when you receive a task during a briefing for

11 the forthcoming periods, one day or the subsequent several days, what you,

12 as battalion commander, do after that? Do you, at your command post, hold

13 a briefing, in turn, to elaborate that task further, or not?

14 A. Of course, having been issued a task, I then, with my subordinated

15 officers, company commanders, the commander of the logistics platoon,

16 would elaborate these tasks further and I would issue them with concrete

17 tasks.

18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Paunovic. Now we are approaching the dates that

19 are of great interest for all of us here.

20 My first question refers specifically, if you may remember,

21 whether, on the 19th of November, 1991, did you have a task, any task,

22 which would refer to your activities in the area of the water-tower in the

23 direction towards Mitnica? If so, could you explain what kind of a task

24 it was, and when did you start performing this task?

25 A. On the 19th of November, I received from the brigade commander a

Page 14109

1 task to frisk and to search the area from the water-tower towards Mitnica.

2 The task, and the reason for me performing this task, was to make sure

3 whether some individuals from paramilitary formations had stayed behind;

4 to detect and find unexploded mines, other explosive devices. And another

5 task was to evacuate the population from that part of the town for their

6 security's sake.

7 Q. Mr. Paunovic, I believe that one date is beyond questioning.

8 We've heard this date so many times before. The day is the 18th of

9 November, which is, depending on the perspective of the speaker, is the

10 day when Vukovar was liberated or occupied. Could you take this date as

11 reference to your explanations? Do you know anything about the surrender

12 of the Mitnica Battalion on the 18th?

13 A. What I described just now is connected in my mind with the 19th of

14 November, because I know that on the day before, on the 18th of November,

15 the Mitnica group had surrendered.

16 Q. Thank you. During performing this task on the 19th of November,

17 did you, during its performance, receive any other task; and if so, from

18 whom?

19 A. During the performance of this task that I described just now, I

20 received a task from the brigade commander. And I don't believe I

21 remember; I think the Chief of Staff did relay this order. And the order

22 was to take a company of military police and to come with it to the area

23 of the Vukovar Hospital, to take over the task of securing the same.

24 Q. Did you set out to perform this task? And which units did you

25 reach the hospital with?

Page 14110

1 A. I ordered the 4th Company commander - at this particular point in

2 time that we're referring to, it was commanded by Captain First Class

3 Simic Milivoje - to advance with his company towards the hospital, and

4 this is exactly what he did.

5 Q. Mr. Paunovic, lest there should be any doubt, you just stated that

6 the 4th Company was commanded by Esad Paldum and now you are mentioning

7 Mr. Simic. Can you give us an explanation.

8 A. The answer is the following: Either in the first or in the second

9 half of October - I really cannot pinpoint any dates after so much time

10 has lapsed - Captain Esad Paldum, the then-commander of the 4th Company,

11 fell ill. And from that point on until we returned to Belgrade, the

12 4th Company was commanded by Captain First Class Simic Milivoje.

13 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Paunovic. Let us make this clear, lest

14 there should be any doubt about that. Can you tell me, if you remember,

15 during that day, the 19th of November, when did you reach the Vukovar

16 Hospital compound?

17 A. I cannot remember the exact hour, but it was in the afternoon.

18 Afternoon, around 1400, 1500 hours. I know that it was still daylight; it

19 hadn't grown dark.

20 Q. When you say "it hadn't grown dark," does it mean that relatively

21 quickly after your arrival, dusk fell?

22 A. No. I'm just sorting out these facts in my mind. I know which

23 activities we performed upon our arrival, how long it took us. So I

24 believe this is the hour.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us, when you arrived with this

Page 14111

1 company, commanded by Captain Simic, on the 19th, did you come upon any

2 present -- any JNA commander officer already present at this date; and if

3 you could indicate the unit that they came from?

4 A. When I arrived in the area of the hospital, I found Major

5 Sljivancanin, Major Tesic, and I believe a Captain Bojkovski was there as

6 well. This is as far as I remember when it comes to the officers that I

7 saw in the area of the hospital.

8 Q. You said that you'd arrived to perform a task issued by the

9 brigade commander, that you had arrived with a company of soldiers to

10 secure the area of the hospital. Could you conclude that prior to your

11 arrival there had been some security apparatus that you took over from,

12 and could you assess the situation?

13 A. When I arrived to the area of the hospital, as I said, I already

14 saw that person and I contacted him, and that was Major Tesic. He showed

15 me where his soldiers were deployed. I cannot remember now how many

16 soldiers there were. But talking about security, in military police

17 terms, there was no security in that sense.

18 Q. When you say that "security, in military police terms," can you

19 explain what that means, to provide security for a facility in military

20 police terms?

21 A. When I said that it had not been provided in military police

22 terms, and Major Tesic also told me about this, elements of this security

23 could not seen there, the security that we're talking about; namely,

24 entrance posts, patrols, guards, and so on and so forth.

25 Q. Did you issue any order to Captain Simic related to the security

Page 14112

1 of the hospital; and if so, what was that order?

2 A. As for the commander of the 4th Company, Captain Simic, I issued

3 him an order to search the area surrounding the hospital and to set up

4 security.

5 Q. When you say search the area of the hospital, what does that mean?

6 And why is that done?

7 A. According to our rules, when security is set up for any facility,

8 the area is searched, and it is only then that the security is set up. In

9 this case, the search was carried out in order to perhaps find some

10 paramilitary groups or formations that had been left behind; also, to find

11 mines, booby-traps; and also for the security to function properly and

12 safely.

13 Q. Mr. Paunovic, is there a rule in these instructions about the work

14 of the military police, or, generally speaking, is there a document of

15 this kind or is it really a matter that the commander assesses, what area

16 will be searched, what is the diameter, 5, 10 metres, 50 metres, or

17 whatever?

18 A. Well, it depends. It depends on the facility that is being

19 secured. It depends on the configuration of the terrain, the combat

20 activities that had taken place in that area beforehand. In this specific

21 case, the area was searched to the left and right of the said facility,

22 namely the hospital, 2 to 300 metres, that is.

23 Q. Mr. Paunovic, did you have any information before you came to the

24 area of the hospital in terms of a possibility of having disguised members

25 of Croatian paramilitary forces in the hospital? If you did have such

Page 14113

1 information, how had you received it? Where did you hear about this?

2 A. As for this information that you're referring to, we got it from

3 the security organs; namely, that it is very likely that, in the hospital

4 itself, in addition to patients, there are also disguised members of

5 paramilitary formations, of the paramilitary formations of Croatia, that

6 is. As for their exact number, at that point in time, I did not have any

7 information.

8 Q. Was this information one of the reasons, too, for you to search

9 the terrain in that diameter or in that perimeter?

10 A. That was the primary reason. And also, what I said a few moments

11 ago, namely that there was this possibility that even outside the

12 hospital, there could be some left-over individuals or groups, members of

13 the paramilitary formations of Croatia.

14 Q. Mr. Paunovic, we have information, I think that there is no doubt

15 about that, but I'm going to ask you the following: What was the

16 situation like in the hospital? Who was in the hospital? Was it only the

17 sick and the wounded who were in the hospital, or were there some other

18 structures that you saw?

19 A. There's no doubt that in the hospital, in addition to the sick and

20 wounded and the hospital staff, there were also members of the

21 paramilitary formations of Croatia.

22 Q. Were there any civilians in the hospital?

23 A. There were civilians, too.

24 Q. When searching the terrain, did you find anything that would

25 indicate that in that area there were armed individuals, armed groups or

Page 14114

1 formations?

2 A. During the search of the area around the hospital, parts of

3 military equipment were found. A certain amount of light weaponry was

4 found. When I say that, I'm referring to pistols and rifles.

5 Q. Did you perhaps have some information about where weapons could be

6 found due to the stay of these armed individuals, or rather, did you

7 perhaps get this information from civilians, from local people? Because

8 there was quite a bit of commotion there - that's my understanding - that

9 there were lots of people there.

10 A. Well, as you said, there was great commotion there. In addition

11 to this information that I had received, as I already mentioned, there was

12 also information received from civilians; namely, they were saying that

13 weapons were thrown away. "Take a look at this." They did not tell us

14 exactly where to look, but as we searched the area, as I've said, we did

15 find a certain quantity of weapons.

16 Q. All right. You said that, Mr. Paunovic. I'm only interested in

17 this: Whether you received any information from the local people. Did

18 you have any information, and did you perhaps go to a particular area or

19 particular place where somebody indicated to you that perhaps this could

20 be a place where some command of some parliament formations had been --

21 MR. WEINER: Objection --

22 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. -- do you remember any such thing?

24 MR. WEINER: -- Your Honour.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.

Page 14115

1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this is outside the first preliminary

2 notes provided by the Defence on November 1st. This is outside the second

3 preliminary notes provided on November 2nd. This question is outside of

4 the 65 ter information as to what this witness is going to testify to, on

5 the 12th of July. And it's outside of the amended 65 ter information as

6 to what this witness was going to testify to on the 4th of August, 2006.

7 The first time this issue was ever even raised was last week in the

8 testimony of Mr. Sljivancanin.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must admit that, if

11 we look at it this way, the Prosecutor is right. But I think that we have

12 a witness who gave an order to his company to search an area, and this has

13 to do with what the Prosecutor referred to as well. If you think that I

14 cannot proceed with this line of questioning, no problem whatsoever. I

15 won't do it.

16 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's best left, Mr. Bulatovic, in view of

17 the number of identifications of the areas of potential evidence and this

18 one being outside of all of them. Thank you.

19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

20 Q. Mr. Paunovic, do you know about this day, the 19th of November,

21 when you were providing security, were any members of paramilitary

22 formations surrendering or was anybody surrendering in the hospital area?

23 Just say yes or no.

24 A. No, no, I do not have any such information.

25 Q. All right. Will you tell me about what you found, these parts of

Page 14116

1 equipment, weapons, arms, and so on? Did you inform the security organ

2 about that, specifically Mr. Sljivancanin, whom you did see there within

3 the hospital compound, once you arrived?

4 A. Well, of course I informed the security organ about that. In this

5 case, it was Major Sljivancanin, because at that point in time he was

6 physically close to where I was.

7 Q. Is it your duty, is it your obligation, to inform the security

8 organ about such matters?

9 A. Yes, it is compulsory, and I did that.

10 Q. You say that you came to the area of the hospital on the 19th of

11 November, around 1500 hours. Do you remember how long you stayed there

12 and whether, in the meantime, up until the end of your stay, whether you

13 went somewhere? If so, where did you go, how many times? To the best of

14 your recollection, can you explain this to us. Can you tell us about your

15 movements on the 19th, from the hospital onwards.

16 A. From when I came to the hospital on the 19th of November all the

17 way up to 2400 hours, I left the hospital a few times and came back to the

18 hospital a few times.

19 The first reason why I left was the fact that I was supposed to

20 go - and, indeed, I did go - to the brigade command for a briefing.

21 Q. Mr. Paunovic, sorry for interrupting. When you say "a briefing,"

22 can you explain what this means? Was there a customary time when these

23 briefings took place? And then please go on.

24 A. Thank you. As far as I can remember, the briefings took place

25 around 1800 hours, 1800 hours, yes.

Page 14117

1 May I proceed, Mr. Bulatovic?

2 Q. Yes, yes, about this briefing on the 19th, and how long you stayed

3 there.

4 A. When I went to the briefing, I stayed there for about two hours --

5 Q. Mr. Paunovic, sorry for interrupting. After that, what did you

6 do; do you remember?

7 A. After that, I returned to the hospital. I called the company

8 commander and gave him some tasks to continue securing the hospital.

9 As for the commander of the 1st Company, I told him to prepare a

10 platoon and send it to the hospital.

11 Q. This platoon that was to be sent to the hospital, was it to be

12 sent on that day, the 19th of November, or perhaps some other day? I

13 didn't understand.

14 A. Well, I was not precise enough. I gave the company commander a

15 task, namely to prepare the platoon, but to send it to the hospital area

16 in the early morning hours of the 20th.

17 Q. When you returned to the hospital after the briefing, two hours

18 later, what would the time be when you returned to the hospital, if you

19 can remember?

20 A. I cannot specify an hour after such a long time has lapsed. I

21 believe that it was possibly 2000, 2100 hours. I really cannot remember.

22 Q. At that briefing on the 19th of November, 1991, in the command of

23 the Guards Brigade, did you see Major Veselin Sljivancanin?

24 A. No, I did not see him.

25 Q. When you returned to the hospital, did you see Major Sljivancanin

Page 14118

1 at the hospital?

2 A. Yes, I did see him.

3 Q. Let's go back to the briefing, Mr. Paunovic, that briefing on the

4 19th of November. I'm interested in certain matters.

5 You explained the way a briefing would unfold, what is the

6 procedure, what is the schedule. What I'm interested in is the following:

7 Do you recall, on the 19th of November, in the evening, was there any talk

8 at the OG staff and 1st Motorised Brigade level, if there was any talk

9 about the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital?

10 A. There was talk about that. It was said that on the 20th of

11 November the hospital will be evacuated, but I don't remember any time

12 being specified for that activity.

13 Q. Did you hear at the command post of the JUG of south operational

14 group the name of Major Sljivancanin to command the forthcoming evacuation

15 of the hospital?

16 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. I'd object.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.

18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we've coming very close to the major

19 issues in the case and these should be non-leading questions.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Weiner.

21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I will rephrase my question.

22 Q. Mr. Paunovic, was there any talk at the briefing in the OG South

23 command about the identity of the officer to command the evacuation of the

24 hospital?

25 A. No names were specified as to who would command the operation of

Page 14119

1 evacuating the people.

2 Q. Could you tell us - and we heard from your CV you are a person who

3 held positions of responsibility - could we hear from you, should there

4 have been a written order for such a task, or not?

5 A. In my opinion, there should have been a written order.

6 Q. As a competent person who held positions of responsibilities and

7 duties -- responsible duties, could you tell us, such a task, what would

8 it entail? What services, what structures, would have to be engaged? And

9 what elements of such an order should there be?

10 A. As you said yourself, this is a very complex operation and such an

11 operation should involve all segments of the brigade, and by this I mean

12 the following: The brigade command, logistics; military police should be

13 involved; security organs, and similar.

14 And an order to this effect should comprise the following

15 elements; of course I cannot remember all of them, but I will spell out

16 the basic ones: So the commander should appoint a responsible officer who

17 would be in charge of the evacuation. Other personnel from the command

18 who would be involved in the area of logistics, what should be regulated

19 are vehicles, means of transportation, food, medical care. As far as

20 organs of security are concerned, they are supposed to triage the

21 personnel, together with physicians, all the people present.

22 Another thing that slipped my mind, if one has the list of people

23 in the hospital, it should be specified whether such persons are armed,

24 whether they present a threat, et cetera, et cetera.

25 That would be it.

Page 14120

1 Q. On the occasion of any type of evacuation, not this one, when

2 people are transported, does the military police play a role in

3 accompanying such people? And what is the purpose of such an escort?

4 A. During such and similar operations, the task for the military

5 police is to secure the persons being transported, which would mean the

6 following, pursuant to our rules: The reception of these persons,

7 maintaining security of them during transport, and delivering them to the

8 competent organ.

9 Q. Mr. Paunovic, on the 19th, you were at the hospital, and from your

10 testimony and from exhibits, we heard testimony about the conditions in

11 the hospital. What I'm interested in is the following: Were there

12 members of, let's call them so, paramilitary formations, Territorial

13 Defence, armed civilians, around the hospital?

14 A. Around the hospital there were civilians dressed in various

15 clothes. Some were armed with light weaponry. You know, at that time,

16 almost everybody was carrying arms. They were in groups of four or five

17 people. I really cannot specify the number.

18 Q. What was their conduct? Could you describe their conduct.

19 A. I cannot say that their conduct was violent, but they did issue

20 provocations. Individuals wanted -- I mean, asked whether they could

21 enter the hospital. They shouted. There were curses as well. I really

22 cannot remember every detail.

23 Q. When you said "curses," who were these curses directed at?

24 A. Everybody, including members of the JNA.

25 Q. Why? What did they utter to you?

Page 14121

1 A. The most frequently used expression used by that population was

2 communist, or komunjara.

3 Q. Do you know the reason why they used that term? What was the

4 association in their minds for using that term?

5 A. I don't know what. Presumably because of the insignia that we

6 wore, a five-pointed red star, JNA, Yugoslav People's Army insignia.

7 Q. Mr. Paunovic, could you tell me, please, what was your opinion of

8 these groups? You made your views public on these. What term did you use

9 to denote them?

10 A. Since I communicated personally with some of them, I did not

11 regard them as a threat, as dangerous, as people who may jeopardise the

12 security and safety of the hospital and the hospital itself. In some of

13 my previous statements, I referred to them as model Chetniks, or Chetnik

14 models.

15 Q. When you say "Chetnik models," could you explain to the Court why

16 you coined this phrase. Who were those people, in your opinion?

17 A. In my regard, in my opinion, these people were among the local

18 population. They were not fighters. I believe that they didn't even

19 engage in combat. And, in my opinion, they did not constitute any danger.

20 Q. Mr. Paunovic, I have a hypothetical question for you. If you

21 concluded, as a person in charge of the security of the hospital that

22 these people presented a threat, what would you, as an officer in charge,

23 have done?

24 A. Of course I would buff up the security around the hospital, and I

25 would have reported immediately to the brigade commander. But in this

Page 14122

1 case, I did not report to the brigade commander because, according to my

2 estimate, as I already stated, they did not constitute a threat, neither

3 to my security personnel, nor to the hospital.

4 Q. You recently said, Mr. Paunovic, that, on the 19th, you received a

5 task to reinforce, with a platoon or a part of a company, the security

6 detail around the hospital on the subsequent day. Do you know the reasons

7 why you were issued with such an order? I don't want to lead you. You

8 know the reason. Please tell us, if you know.

9 A. Previous -- in response to previous questions, I believe I replied

10 to this. I said that on the 20th the evacuation of the hospital was

11 supposed to start, and, given that I had one company securing the hospital

12 but that company was not at its full complement and I knew that I would be

13 needing personnel to provide escort to vehicles, carrying the evacuees.

14 Furthermore, I needed men to frisk people upon leaving the hospital, and

15 to avoid undermining the overall security system I ordered for this

16 platoon to be involved.

17 Q. Can we agree, Mr. Paunovic, that this reinforcement of security

18 had nothing to do with the greater threat? We're dealing with military

19 police operations.

20 A. Yes, of course. Had there been any threats, I would have informed

21 the brigade commander immediately and would have requested reinforcements;

22 or, alternatively, I would have reinforced, using my men, to buff up the

23 security and would have informed the brigade commander immediately. But

24 in this case, I believe that I've already provided an answer to this, to

25 wit: My assessment was that the civilians and persons located around the

Page 14123

1 hospital did not pose a threat to the security apparatus and system.

2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Would it be the right time for the

3 first break, Your Honours?

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic, yes.

5 We will resume at ten past.

6 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

7 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

9 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

10 Q. Mr. Paunovic, we were talking about the 19th, so we've basically

11 dealt with that subject; however, there are a few other things that I'd

12 like to ask you about the 19th.

13 Do you remember some corpses around the hospital, having seen some

14 corpses around the hospital, when you got there, around 1500 hours?

15 A. Yes, I remember the corpses. There were some near the hospital;

16 as a matter of fact, even outside the hospital compound. As for the

17 number of corpses, I could not say.

18 Q. Since obviously we have this big time distance, and it's probably

19 hard for you to remember the actual time and other things, but let's try,

20 let's have an approximation. Was it 20, 30, 50, more, less? Can you give

21 us an approximation?

22 A. There certainly weren't less than 20.

23 Q. I assume that's when you came there, so it was daylight, right?

24 Not at night. You cannot really conduct a search at night. Do you

25 remember whether Mr. Sljivancanin saw these corpses together with you when

Page 14124

1 touring the area around the hospital?

2 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. This is leading. And there

3 was never any evidence about Sljivancanin touring the hospital, the area

4 around the hospital either.

5 JUDGE PARKER: It is technically leading, Mr. Bulatovic, although

6 I don't see it's as significant as Mr. Weiner fears. If you could try and

7 watch the leading. Thank you.

8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] You're right, Your Honour. That

9 was my feeling, too, that it wasn't really that dangerous and there was no

10 reason for Mr. Weiner to be afraid.

11 Q. So now I'm going to ask the witness whether somebody went together

12 with him to see those corpses.

13 A. In addition to the officers from my battalion, as I said in my

14 previous answers, in the compound of the hospital, there was Major

15 Sljivancanin, and he also saw those corpses.

16 Q. Mr. Paunovic, during your stay there, that is to say when you went

17 to that briefing, again, I mean, I'm not going to refer to any specific

18 time because it really has been quite a while, and I know that during the

19 proofing there was this problem of remembering the actual time, so I'm not

20 going to ask you about time specifically. I will try to link things to

21 certain events, certain things that happened.

22 So when you went from the hospital to that briefing, did you see

23 the representatives of the International Red Cross at the hospital?

24 A. Yes. Before I went to the briefing, I saw representatives of the

25 Red Cross.

Page 14125

1 Q. Thank you. As for this representative of the International

2 Red Cross who you saw on the 19th, at that time, that is to say up until

3 you went to the briefing, did you perhaps see this person the following

4 day in the hospital too?

5 A. Yes, this same gentleman I had seen that evening. I don't know

6 his name. I saw him on the next day, in the morning; that is to say, on

7 the 20th.

8 Q. All right. I said that I'm not going to refer to any specific

9 time, so this is the only thing I was interested in. On that day,

10 the 19th, when you saw the representatives of the Red Cross and hospital,

11 did you see anyone talking to them? Specifically, was Mr. Sljivancanin

12 talking to them?

13 A. Yes. The gentleman was speaking to Sljivancanin. He was in

14 Sljivancanin's company, if I can put it that way.

15 Q. While you were at the hospital and up until the moment when you

16 went to this briefing, did you receive any orders, any instructions, to

17 take some person out of the hospital? Just say yes or no, please. Let us

18 keep things as brief as possible. We have a problem with time and we want

19 to be as efficient as possible.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you take the person from the hospital?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Do you know the name of the person?

24 A. Yes. The person's name is Marin Vidic, Bili.

25 Q. Where did you take him?

Page 14126

1 A. I took him to Negoslavci, and I handed him over to the desk

2 officer of the security organ, an NCO. Momcilovic, specifically,

3 Momcilovic, I know who it was.

4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Paunovic, let us now move on to the 20th of

5 November. Do you remember on the 20th you came there in the morning

6 hours, right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. If I understood you correctly, the platoon or the reinforced

9 platoon, whatever the formation was, had already arrived in the hospital.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. This platoon, this formation, did it have an officer of its own?

12 A. Yes. Lieutenant Milomir Todorovic.

13 Q. Was he your subordinate?

14 A. At that moment, yes.

15 Q. As for that officer and the soldiers from that platoon, reinforced

16 platoon --

17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the speaker please

18 not touch the microphone, Mr. Bulatovic, please.

19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. -- did you issue him any orders to carry out some military police

21 work?

22 A. Yes. I gave them a task to carry out some military police work,

23 and that is to say frisk persons while they were being taken out of the

24 hospital. That is to say, that this took place in front of the hospital.

25 Q. Can you perhaps describe this military police work of the

Page 14127

1 frisking.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Bulatovic please

3 not touch the microphone while it's on.

4 A. After the triage was carried out, groups were taken out of the

5 hospital. Now, as for the size of the groups, I cannot say, but it was up

6 to ten people. They would be lined up, up against a wall, because near

7 that exit there is a wall opposite the hospital. And every one of these

8 individuals was frisked by a soldier, a military policeman. Nearby there

9 was a table where objects that were taken away from these individuals were

10 put.

11 When this would be completed, the group would be sent to the buses

12 that were behind the hospital. Now, I cannot say --

13 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Mr. Paunovic, we'll get to the buses. I'm interested in this

15 particular part now. Now, the frisking of these persons was carried out

16 by members of the company or the platoon that is immediately subordinated

17 to you. You are their first or second superior officer, right?

18 A. Specifically, in this particular case, I am the second superior

19 officer to these soldiers. As for the company commander that we referred

20 to, I am his immediate superior.

21 Q. Did you issue an order to have these persons frisked, or was this

22 order issued by somebody else?

23 A. I did not understand your question - would you care to clarify

24 it - about this order.

25 Q. All right. Who issued the order to have these persons who were

Page 14128

1 taken out of the hospital frisked?

2 A. I don't need any kind of order to do that, not to go back to what

3 we have already said, what our assumptions were, who was in the hospital.

4 As for the frisking, that is part of military police work.

5 Specifically, that is one of the powers or duties of the military police.

6 Q. Is this a specific action, a complicated action, or is it an

7 ordinary, routine thing?

8 A. It is not a very complicated thing to do. We cannot say that it's

9 just a routine thing, but we can say that it is normal military police

10 work.

11 Q. Do you know how long the frisking of these individuals took?

12 Again, I'm telling you, yet again, I am fully aware of the fact that it's

13 been 15 years and that a great many things happened. But can you tell us

14 approximately? It doesn't have to be the exact time.

15 A. Well, roughly, this lasted for about two hours; perhaps a bit more

16 than that. But something like that.

17 Q. A few moments ago you said that you didn't need any kind of order

18 to do that kind of thing, but soldiers cannot just do it on their own. Do

19 we agree on that?

20 A. Yes, we agree on that.

21 Q. All right. Did you issue an order to the soldiers to carry out

22 this military police work?

23 A. Yes, I did.

24 Q. Did you see Mr. Sljivancanin before that, in the morning, in the

25 hospital, on the 20th?

Page 14129

1 A. Yes, I saw him.

2 Q. Did you see Mr. Sljivancanin issuing an order to someone, to

3 anyone?

4 A. No, I didn't see that. If he was issuing an order to someone, it

5 could have only been me, but I never received such an order.

6 Q. Can a security organ issue any kind of order to you?

7 A. No, it cannot.

8 Q. On the 20th of November, did you see, as you saw -- that you had

9 seen, the same representative of the International Red Cross that you saw

10 on the 19th, in the morning of the 20th, together with Sljivancanin?

11 Could you please be more specific as to the time when you saw him on

12 the 20th in the hospital?

13 A. I cannot remember the exact time that I saw that person. The only

14 thing, I can try to tie it to some actions or activities. I saw him at

15 the moment, approximately, towards the end of the frisking.

16 Q. Mr. Paunovic, could you recollect, where did you see him in the

17 hospital? In the courtyard, close to the entrance? Can you specify the

18 location within the hospital compound?

19 A. Within the hospital compound is where I saw him, very close to the

20 hospital.

21 Q. Did you see him talk with anybody within the compound?

22 Specifically, did you see him talk to Mr. Sljivancanin?

23 A. Yes. When I saw him, he was talking to Major Sljivancanin.

24 Q. How far were you at the time from them?

25 A. I cannot recall, 5 to 10 metres. Relatively close but not that

Page 14130

1 close.

2 Q. Was it an amicable or inamicable conversation that you -- they

3 were having, in your opinion, as far as you could see on the basis of

4 their gestures, tone, if you heard or did not hear the words themselves?

5 A. Now, when I think back, I believe this was a normal conversation,

6 nothing special. There were some other people, journalists,

7 representatives of I don't know who, around them; they were not the only

8 people. It was a normal conversation, although I don't know the content.

9 Q. When you say there were other representatives there, which

10 representatives do you mean?

11 A. They were representatives of the International Red Cross. Maybe

12 observers. There were journalists. I don't know how to label these

13 organisations. I don't know their titles from this time distance.

14 Q. On the 20th of November, did you see any other JNA officers in the

15 hospital, irrespective of the time that you spent there on the 20th?

16 A. I did see -- well, there were many, maybe not many, but there were

17 officers. I don't know their names. I remember one particularly, since I

18 knew him personally. I still know that person. Nebojsa Pavkovic is his

19 name.

20 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you mentioned some buses. Where were they parked or

21 stopped? Could you specify, with reference to the hospital entrance, from

22 where persons frisked by your unit were?

23 A. Well, I don't know the name of the street. They were

24 perpendicular to the hospital. And the persons frisked by our troops

25 headed towards the buses, in a straight line.

Page 14131

1 Q. Is it known to you whether members of the military police from the

2 unit subordinated to you provided security service around these buses?

3 A. Yes. On each coach there were two military policemen, pursuant to

4 my order, to secure said coaches.

5 Q. You issued an order to members of the military police from your

6 unit to secure the buses; is that correct?

7 A. Yes, that is correct.

8 Q. What does the specific order that you issued encompass? What was

9 the task of the military policemen escorting those buses?

10 A. The soldiers and the policemen were given an order to secure the

11 persons on those buses, primarily to make sure that such persons would not

12 attack the driver or other members; second -- or one of the tasks was to

13 prevent these persons from being attacked from without.

14 Q. Was there a real threat of an attack, or would it be a presumed

15 threat, pursuant to the rules of service of the military police?

16 A. At that point in time there was no danger of an attack, but as I

17 already explained previously, pursuant to rules, escort activities in

18 place the reception of escorted persons, securing during transport, and

19 handing over of such escorted persons.

20 And in the second element, or the second activity, rules of

21 service envisage, if there is a presumption of an attack against these

22 escorted persons, military policemen have the duty to protect them.

23 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you issued an order to the soldiers of your unit to

24 frisk such people; you ordered them to escort the buses. Did you notice,

25 during issuing such orders, that there were any groups that may present --

Page 14132

1 pose a threat to the persons who were being led onto the buses?

2 A. No, I did not notice any persons who may pose a threat to the

3 execution of this activity.

4 Q. When you issue an order to soldiers to escort buses, carrying

5 escorted persons in whichever form, until which point this task is valid?

6 At which point -- until which point is it in force?

7 A. In certain cases, and in this one, it cannot be specified in terms

8 of duration, but it is in force, that order, until the escorted persons

9 are handed over to the competent organs.

10 Q. Is it known to you whether officers are appointed to be on the

11 vehicles carrying people who are being either escorted or evacuated?

12 A. Yes. Officers are appointed for each bus.

13 Q. Do you know who appoints them?

14 A. The brigade commander in this case, I presume.

15 Q. Do soldiers escorting a bus, while on the bus, do they receive

16 orders from that officer or somebody else? Is it known to you or not?

17 A. When this task of escorting begins, soldiers do receive orders

18 from that officer because they don't have anybody else to receive orders

19 from. I, as battalion commander, company commander, am not in their

20 presence.

21 Q. Of course it is clear to us that there is a distance between you

22 and them. You stayed behind at the hospital, et cetera. I had to clarify

23 this.

24 You said that you had received information that there were in the

25 hospital disguised members of the paramilitary forces. Did you have any

Page 14133

1 information, what was their disguise?

2 A. Could you explain this question to me.

3 Q. Yes, I will. They were disguised into somebody else. Do you know

4 what their disguise was, the disguise of the members of paramilitary

5 Croatian forces? What were they -- what was their guise? What kind of

6 information you received?

7 A. I received information that they were disguised as patients, as

8 injured people, as medical staff, and such-like.

9 Q. Is it known to you, Mr. Paunovic, that before frisking, performed

10 by members of your unit, there had been a triage of such persons in the

11 hospital?

12 A. Yes. Before the frisking that you're referring to, within the

13 hospital, triage was executed.

14 Q. Do you know who did the triage of wounded or who could check

15 whether somebody was really wounded or not? Who can verify that?

16 A. Physicians, doctors performed that task.

17 Q. I did not ask you before: Do you know how many buses were there?

18 A. I'm sure I cannot specify a number. Maybe four, five, even more,

19 but I did not see all of those buses in the vicinity of the hospital.

20 Q. I'll ask you what uniforms people from your unit wore.

21 A. Members of the military police, of the 2nd Battalion of the

22 military police, wore olive-drab uniforms, so a single colour, not

23 variegated. They had no special marks, in terms of the uniform they wore,

24 from other members of the brigade.

25 Q. Did they wear any special insignia or parts of their uniform that

Page 14134

1 would distinguish them from other members of the JNA?

2 A. When it comes to equipment, members of the military police, in

3 performance of military police tasks and duties, wear the following items

4 of equipment, such as: White belt, rubber baton, handcuffs, and

5 such-like.

6 Q. May I ask you, Mr. Paunovic, you see the buses; you provide troops

7 to escort the buses and secure the buses. Do you have information at that

8 point where these buses are headed, with the persons being evacuated from

9 the hospital after being frisked by your men?

10 A. I had information that the persons who had been frisked and sent

11 to the buses would be transported to the Vukovar barracks.

12 Q. Do you know why they were headed there? Could you tell us more

13 about what you know about that.

14 A. Well, since, in the vicinity of the barracks, there is a facility,

15 the Velepromet facility, in accordance with my information, persons who

16 had to be taken from that facility had to be merged with the persons from

17 said buses to be transported to Sremska Mitrovica.

18 Q. Do you know why it was Sremska Mitrovica?

19 A. Well, at that time the prisoner -- the prison, as well as the camp

20 for prisoners of war, was in that town.

21 Q. Mr. Paunovic, did your unit provide security for some civilians

22 who were being transported from Mitnica? Did you work on their evacuation

23 to Croatia and further on?

24 A. Members of the 2nd Battalion were providing security in several

25 directions, of civilians, that is. It had to do with the direction

Page 14135

1 leading to Croatia. Who wanted to go to Croatia went to Croatia; then in

2 the direction of Novi Sad and I don't know what other places.

3 Q. Do you know that there were some problems regarding the sending of

4 these convoys to Croatia, that they were returned by Croats and that they

5 had to go about things like that?

6 A. Well, I cannot remember the date. There were such cases. So

7 these convoys were returned. Now, where they went after that, did they go

8 to Sid or back to Croatia, I really cannot say.

9 Q. All right, Mr. Paunovic. Of course, if you don't know something,

10 then I'm not going to ask you about it.

11 Let me ask you about the locality of Ovcara. Do you know where it

12 is and do you know what it is?

13 A. I know where it is, this particular location, that is. Ovcara is

14 a farm, a farm, an agricultural estate, depending on what people call it.

15 Q. Do you know that every brigade, every unit, has its own area of

16 responsibility?

17 A. Yes, I know that.

18 Q. Do you know about the locality of Ovcara? On the 20th of

19 November, 1991, do you know in whose area of responsibility it was, in the

20 area of responsibility of what brigade, that is?

21 A. At that point in time, it was in the area of responsibility of the

22 80th Motorised Brigade.

23 Q. Do you know who the commander of that brigade was?

24 A. The commander of the brigade was Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic.

25 Q. Do you know whether this brigade had any military police

Page 14136

1 establishment; and if so, what it was?

2 A. Specifically, the 80th Brigade had a company of military police

3 within it.

4 Q. Do you know what the difference is, Mr. Paunovic, between that

5 brigade and the Guards Motorised Brigade, or between the Guards Motorised

6 Brigade and some other brigade, a mountain brigade, an infantry brigade,

7 an alpine brigade, and so on? Do you know what the difference is in terms

8 of this establishment related to military police?

9 A. The difference between the Guards Brigade and some other brigade

10 with regard to the military police is, first and foremost, reflected in

11 establishment and then in the mode of commanding military police units.

12 Q. Can you explain both, in the briefest possible terms.

13 A. The Guards Brigade has two battalions of military police. Some

14 other brigade, like the ones you mentioned, has a company of military

15 police. In the Guards Brigade, battalion commanders are commanded by the

16 brigade commander, and in the military police company, in this other

17 brigade, whatever it may be, the company is commanded by the security

18 organ.

19 Q. Under the authority of the brigade commander.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now we are clear. Mr. Paunovic, I've asked you this quite a few

22 times but I'm going to ask you yet again so that we will have completed

23 that subject: Did you ever hear at any of the briefings attended by

24 battalion commanders and other officers, motorised battalions, military

25 police battalions, that anyone ever reported that Veselin Sljivancanin, as

Page 14137

1 security organ, ever issued anyone any kind of order?

2 A. No, I never heard of any such thing.

3 Q. What about you? During your stay in Vukovar, in the contacts that

4 you had, did Veselin Sljivancanin ever issue any order to you?

5 A. No, he never issued any order to me.

6 Q. Mr. Paunovic, during your stay in Vukovar, did you have any

7 contact with Veselin Sljivancanin in terms of him touring your command

8 post and your unit?

9 A. Yes, I had contacts when the unit was toured and things like that.

10 Q. Can you explain what the reasons were, why Veselin Sljivancanin

11 came to your command post and to your unit. What was the point of these

12 visits of his, if I can call them that?

13 A. The point of his visit primarily had to do with security problems,

14 if any. He always asked whether there were any problems. He asked about

15 the situation in the battalion from the point of view of security. He

16 would talk to the soldiers and officers that he was seeing. That would be

17 it, in the briefest possible terms.

18 Q. While you and your unit were in Vukovar, in the 2nd Battalion of

19 the military police, did you have any problems that required notification

20 of the command and the commander of the unit; and if so, could you explain

21 what it was.

22 A. At one point in time, specifically, sometime around the 4th of

23 November, I had some problems in the unit regarding morale and security.

24 I can explain that. Since, at that time, the 45-day tour of duty of

25 reserve soldiers was up in our units, they were supposed to go back to

Page 14138

1 Belgrade. The assistant brigade commander for morale informed the other

2 troops, that is to say, regular soldiers, that they would be sent to

3 Belgrade too. Since they were not sent to Belgrade, of course, the

4 soldiers protested. Some individuals left the positions.

5 I informed the brigade commander about this, and, on the following

6 day, he sent the Chief of Security, Major Sljivancanin, to the positions

7 of my battalion. He had a meeting with the officers and soldiers. After

8 that, the soldiers returned to the positions.

9 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you mentioned that your unit was providing security

10 for the civilians on the 19th and the transport of civilians who were

11 going to Croatia, and then we have the situation of the 20th, and so on.

12 Do you know that some unit of yours provided security in the area of

13 Velepromet; and if so, do you know in what period?

14 A. Yes. As for the Velepromet facility, external security was

15 carried out by parts of my unit. As far as I can remember now, I think it

16 was from the 20th onwards, up until the end of our stay in Vukovar, that

17 is to say, up until the 24th of November.

18 Q. When you say "the 20th," what month are you referring to?

19 A. I'm referring to the month of November.

20 Q. Who took over the security of the hospital after the 24th?

21 A. The security of the hospital, on the 24th of November, was taken

22 over from the 2nd Battalion of the military police by the company of

23 military police of the 80th Motorised Battalion.

24 Q. Do you know when the 80th Brigade was brought into the area of

25 Ovcara?

Page 14139

1 A. As far as I can remember, it was around the 18th of November,

2 1991, of course.

3 Q. Mr. Paunovic, I didn't ask you something. Do you know whether

4 Sljivancanin toured any other units? I am only talking about this period

5 up until the 20th, that period up until the 20th of November.

6 A. Well, yes, he did tour other units. He didn't only tour my

7 battalion.

8 Q. How come you know that?

9 A. I know that primarily from the briefings, because when I explained

10 the technical aspect of briefings, in the briefest possible terms, I said

11 that members of the brigade command presented their observations from

12 their tours of different units.

13 Q. Were these security-related observations or some other

14 observations?

15 A. Well, primarily security-related observations.

16 Q. Mr. Paunovic, how many times did you give statements related to

17 what happened in Vukovar, and to whom?

18 A. I gave my first statement in January 1999, at the military court

19 in Belgrade. I gave my second statement in April 2005, in the special

20 court in Belgrade. Then, in July 2005, I gave a statement at the office

21 of the investigator from The Hague in Belgrade.

22 Q. On that occasion you -- or, rather, were you then asked about all

23 of these relevant matters pertaining to the events about which you're

24 testifying here today?

25 A. Yes.

Page 14140

1 Q. Finally, Mr. Paunovic, you spoke in those statements, and today,

2 about your contacts with Veselin Sljivancanin. I'm interested in your

3 personal opinion of Veselin Sljivancanin as an officer.

4 A. I think I am not competent enough to assess him, but since you

5 asked me, I believe, I think, that he was professional, good. Nothing bad

6 to say about him.

7 Q. I should have maybe asked you this at the very beginning: What

8 was the reasons for the Guards Brigade to be sent to Vukovar?

9 A. The reason for the Guards Brigade going to Vukovar was -- as far

10 as I can say, followed from the commander of the brigade's order. One of

11 the tasks was to lift the blockade of the JNA barracks in Vukovar and the

12 liberation of the Vukovar population from paramilitary forces.

13 Q. Whose?

14 A. The paramilitary forces of Croatia.

15 Q. Mr. Paunovic, what was the ethnic composition of the Guards

16 Motorised Brigade and your battalion, as part of that brigade?

17 A. The ethnic composition of the Guards Brigade and of my battalion,

18 the 2nd Battalion of military police, was multi-ethnic. To be more

19 specific, I have information about the brigade, but I'm much more familiar

20 with the situation in my battalion.

21 Q. Mr. Paunovic, with regard to Mr. Sljivancanin, your contacts with

22 him, you said the multi-ethnic composition, you were speaking about terms

23 that you were thrown at by the so-called Chetnik models who labeled you

24 commies. Do you know what was Mr. Sljivancanin's position on these

25 people?

Page 14141

1 A. I can't really say which term he would use, but I'm sure that he

2 neither liked them nor sympathised with them, because, in our opinion, a

3 synonym for Chetnik is one pertaining to traitors, because we are dealing

4 with the experiences from World War II.

5 Q. Okay, Mr. Paunovic, I'm not going to elaborate on this topic. I

6 was interested in Mr. Sljivancanin's opinion of that.

7 Do you know if Mr. Sljivancanin had any contacts with the TO,

8 pursuant to any line of command?

9 A. I don't know that.

10 Q. Did you see, ever, Mr. Sljivancanin with any representative of

11 the TO?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You mentioned in your testimony the presence of international

14 representatives in the hospital; then some journalists, TV crews,

15 et cetera. One of your statements given to the representatives of the

16 Prosecution - I will not waste time on all of these, but may I remind

17 you - you spoke about the media appearance of Mr. Sljivancanin and you had

18 some criticism of that. Could you explain the situation to us, please.

19 A. Your question pertains to what statements I made. What I thought

20 then I think now.

21 Q. And that is?

22 A. Which is reflected in the following: Sljivancanin was in love

23 with the media, and media, being media, are prone, for reasons of

24 increased circulation and whatnot, to exaggerate certain things, so that

25 in the domestic public and among the international public as well, an

Page 14142

1 impression was created that Sljivancanin was the top man; that there were

2 no other people in charge, that he was the top dog. And on several

3 occasions in the media, you could hear it said that he was the brigade

4 commander, that he was commander of this, that, or the other thing, and

5 such-like.

6 Q. And, in reality, how far removed was Mr. Sljivancanin from the top

7 man? A little or a lot?

8 A. He was one of the assistants to the commander. He was in charge

9 of security.

10 Q. So we can deduce that quite a lot of distance was between him and

11 the top man.

12 A. Yes, you can.

13 Q. Mr. Paunovic, I'm going to ask you a couple of things with regard

14 to the indictment. You had contacts with Sljivancanin; you had contacts

15 with Mr. Mrksic, commander of the Guards Brigade; with other officers at

16 the command post, whenever you received your tasks and on other occasions.

17 Did you ever, during your stay in Vukovar, or at such briefings or

18 meetings, or in any other way, attend anything? Or did you hear anything

19 that may indicate an agreement for any action to be directed against the

20 non-Serb population in terms of torture, extermination, murder, expulsion

21 from territory? Did you ever attend such a meeting? Do you know anything

22 about that? Or during your stay there, you could feel that somebody may

23 be harbouring such plans in their mind?

24 A. No, I never could conclude that such a thing would be at work.

25 And from the brigade commander to the last soldier, we treated the

Page 14143

1 population equally.

2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I've just

3 concluded my examination-in-chief of this witness.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic.

5 Mr. Domazet, do you have questions?

6 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] I do have some questions, Your

7 Honour.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Are they likely to take more than five minutes?

9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE PARKER: We will break now, then, and I'll allow you to

11 commence after the break.

12 We will resume, I hope, at a quarter to, but I'm once again having

13 to see the President and I may be a little delayed.

14 --- Recess taken at 5.22 p.m.

15 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.

17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

18 Examination by Mr. Domazet:

19 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Paunovic. My name is Vladimir

20 Domazet, one of the Defence counsel of Mr. Mrksic, and on behalf of his

21 Defence team, I'm going to ask you some questions.

22 In response to my colleague Bulatovic's question, you explained

23 where and when and which posts you held during your career. I'm going to

24 ask you a question relating to that. You said that then Colonel Mrksic

25 was your commander. For how long was your commander?

Page 14144

1 A. If you mean my immediate commander, one year, maybe a couple

2 months more than a year.

3 Q. Thank you. Given that is a substantial period, and you're

4 referring to the period where he was your immediate commander, I would

5 like to start with what Mr. Bulatovic asked you with regard to

6 Mr. Sljivancanin towards the end of his examination, and I'm going to ask

7 you towards the beginning.

8 As far as you knew Colonel Mrksic as a commander, what can you say

9 about Mr. Mrksic, both as a commander and as a person?

10 A. As in the case of the question of Mr. Bulatovic with regard to

11 Mr. Sljivancanin, I must express a reservation as to my competence to

12 assess my superior officer. My opinion, however, is that Colonel Mrksic

13 was a professional, very correct, was an expert and -- in one word: A

14 good officer.

15 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Paunovic. My colleague Bulatovic also

16 asked you this: When and how many times you testified before your

17 testimony here in this court, and you cited three such instances. First,

18 in 1999, before the military court in Belgrade; is that right? That was

19 your first testimony. And then two times subsequent to that.

20 Do you recall your statements given then? Have you refreshed your

21 memory by perusing those statements soon before coming to this court?

22 A. It can be said that I have refreshed my memory. Of course, I

23 still cannot recall now what I said in each of these statements. By this,

24 I mean the hours and time in certain statements, what was contentious was

25 the date. But during proofing with a lawyer, he pointed out some of the

Page 14145

1 quotes from my previous statements, and that would be it.

2 Q. Mr. Paunovic, if we were to neglect some of your doubts as to

3 dates, but can you say or can it be said, since you testified before the

4 court and you had to take a solemn declaration then, can it be said that

5 you told the truth as to the facts? Of course, dates may be incorrect.

6 A. Not only can it be said, but I did tell the truth.

7 Q. Thank you. I'm going to ask the usher to hand a statement of -- a

8 copy of your statement to the Prosecution and the military court in

9 Belgrade to consult in the event I ask you something about those

10 statements, but do not consult them before I do so.

11 Mr. Paunovic, I'm going to ask you something that was the subject

12 of your interview with representatives of the OTP, but I'm going to ask

13 you directly, to see whether you remember that. Do you remember that a

14 document had been put to you, an order of the 1st Military District, dated

15 the 18th of November, signed by General Zivota Panic; and that this

16 document was shown to you and that you expressed your views with regard to

17 that document? If necessary, we're going to put the order on the screen

18 so that you can see it. Perhaps that will jog your memory.

19 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit 415. Could it

20 please be shown on the screen. Can the witness see the B/C/S version.

21 Q. You can have a look, can't you?

22 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] And then can we have it lifted a bit

23 so that we see the further text of this order.

24 Q. I would like to draw your attention to paragraphs 5, 8, and 3, in

25 particular, please.

Page 14146

1 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] If you've had a look, could we see

2 paragraph 8 now as well.

3 Q. You've read it, right? Thank you. Do you perhaps remember that

4 in relation to this order or, generally speaking, you were giving answers

5 to the Prosecutor, and do you remember what you said in relation to this

6 in your answer or do you need to have your memory jogged through the

7 statement itself? But if you remember, can you tell us?

8 A. Yes, Mr. Domazet, I am aware of this order. I first saw it, as

9 you said yourself, before the investigators of The Hague Tribunal in

10 Belgrade. So I cannot quote myself in the statement, which I believe is

11 only natural. And in the statement, roughly, I said the following: That

12 I was not aware of this particular order but that the commander did make

13 us aware of the following: I think that I stated there that similar

14 orders in relation to the Geneva Convention were, on several occasions,

15 addressed by the brigade command, and he gave us orders in order to act

16 properly towards prisoners.

17 Q. Thank you. You talked about that, the implementation of the

18 Geneva Convention, and that your commander told you about that. And you

19 also stated your views about what is here, that is to say, revenge,

20 retaliation by local persons. Can you remember what you said about that,

21 if you don't look at the document? Do you know about such cases of

22 revenge?

23 A. I personally was not aware of any cases of retaliation. Since

24 you're talking about this order now, in the beginning of the order, you

25 can see that it was not sent only to the command of the Guards Brigade but

Page 14147

1 to all subordinate levels. So one cannot deduce on the basis of this that

2 it was happening in our area of responsibility.

3 Q. I agree with you. It is certainly possible that it pertained to

4 other zones too. That's why I asked you whether you were aware of any

5 such cases of local revenge in your zone.

6 A. No. I repeat once again: I did not hear of any such thing and I

7 did not see any such thing.

8 Q. Could you please look at your statement now, paragraph 51. In the

9 English version, it is also 51.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that they have not received

11 any documents.

12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

13 Q. I'm going to read it out and you're going to tell me whether I

14 read it out properly and whether that is your statement and whether you

15 have any comments with regard to that as to whether it's correct or not.

16 It says that a document was shown to you here. I'm not going to read out

17 all of it. 1614-81/81, issued by the 1st Military District, on the 18th

18 of November, 1991.

19 81/82, there's a mistake in the transcript. Sorry, it is actually

20 82/81.

21 That is what it says in your statement: "As for

22 paragraph 5, (prevention of disobedience, appearances that are not fitting

23 for the military), and paragraph 8, (that units of the TO committed acts

24 of revenge and retaliation), I recall that similar orders were regularly

25 issued by Operations Group South. I'm not aware of any such cases of

Page 14148

1 revenge on the part of members or units of the local Serb TO. As I

2 mentioned previously, in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Assault

3 Platoon, there weren't any TO units. I did not see any act of revenge and

4 I have not been informed that any such things took place."

5 Have I read your statement correctly? Is that your statement?

6 Have you got anything to say perhaps by way of comment?

7 A. I could make a comment. I signed the statement in English.

8 There's probably a mistake in the translation. It is not assault platoon,

9 it is assault detachment. It's towards the end of the paragraph.

10 Q. Yes. I read it the way it's written here, but you are correcting

11 it now, that it could only be the 2nd Assault Detachment. You have no

12 other objections, if I understand you correctly.

13 Do you remember during that interview whether you talked about the

14 implementation of the Geneva Convention on any other occasion? And did

15 you make any comments about whether you and your soldiers were

16 sufficiently aware of the Geneva Conventions?

17 A. Now, whether I testified along similar lines, well, possibly

18 before the special court; I cannot be sure of that. But all JNA officers,

19 including myself, were aware of the provisions of the Geneva Convention

20 from 1949. I am primarily referring to how armed forces act in the

21 situations that we were talking about, that is to say, vis-a-vis the

22 population, prisoners, and so on.

23 Q. Thank you. So with regard to this subject, I have no further

24 questions.

25 The next topic that I would like to deal with is what you

Page 14149

1 testified about earlier on, and some of it you referred to today as well,

2 and that is with regard to your briefings at the command in Negoslavci.

3 Do you remember that you spoke about that in your previous statements, not

4 only today?

5 A. I think so.

6 Q. Yesterday I think that you spoke more about a specific day, a

7 particular briefing on the 19th, whereas my question refers to briefings

8 in general. How often did you personally attend these briefings? I'm

9 actually only referring to the briefings that took place in the evening,

10 between 1700 and 1800 hours, at the command in Negoslavci, in view of the

11 obligations that you had in the assault detachment and the other

12 obligations you had?

13 A. I always attended briefings.

14 Q. Can I understand your answer to mean that you were there

15 practically every evening or quite literally every day?

16 A. The briefings usually took place - I mean the regular briefings -

17 usually took place around 1800 hours, as I've already said. Perhaps -

18 well, I don't remember now - there were a few times when they were held in

19 the morning, but that primarily had to do with being handed out certain

20 tasks.

21 Q. Thank you. Well, that's why I asked you about these regular

22 briefings, as we've been calling them here, that took place in the

23 afternoon, or rather, it is already the evening, isn't it? You said that

24 you attended practically every one of them.

25 A. Yes.

Page 14150

1 Q. What about the other officers? Did they come to these briefings

2 regularly, too, or were there some exceptions? What did you see,

3 yourself?

4 A. As for the other officers, the subordinate commanders, as far as I

5 can remember, were present at all briefings. As for members of the

6 command, I could not remember now whether they attended all the briefings,

7 because sometimes certain members of the brigade command, at the time of

8 the briefings, had some tasks. And I cannot remember any of them

9 specifically right now.

10 Q. Oh, yes, well, you made a distinction there between the

11 subordinate commanders and the members of the command. Could you explain

12 to the Trial Chamber, to the rest of us, who these other members of the

13 command were and who sometimes were not present all the time because of

14 other tasks they may have had.

15 A. Well, I'm just going to mention the inner circle of the command,

16 so to speak. I'm referring to the Chief of Staff of the brigade, the

17 chief of the security organ, perhaps somebody from the operations and

18 training department or organ. Those are the ones I meant.

19 Q. Thank you. So, to be quite certain, those are the ones you meant

20 when you said that they were absent sometimes, as opposed to yourself and

21 the other subordinates who were there practically every time. Did I

22 understand your answer correctly?

23 A. Yes, you understood it correctly.

24 Q. Do you remember whether there were any representatives of the

25 local Territorial Defence at these briefings?

Page 14151

1 A. These local TOs, as you've called them, were not present at

2 briefings.

3 Q. I'm asking you that because you gave a similar answer, or rather,

4 an identical answer, when you were interviewed by the investigators of the

5 OTP. So now I would like to ask straight away about that, too, and you

6 spoke about that as well in one of your statements; whether at that time

7 you knew Dusan Jaksic.

8 A. No, I did not know him.

9 Q. And did you know Stanko Vujanovic?

10 A. I cannot give a specific answer to your question; namely, that I

11 knew him. I know who this person is because, on one occasion, in Vukovar,

12 I encountered him. But I do not know, and I did not know then, what his

13 position was.

14 Q. When I'm asking you this, I'm actually referring to that period,

15 of course, October/November, up until those days, up until the end, not

16 later.

17 One more thing. At that time, did you know Miroljub Vujevic?

18 A. No, I didn't know him either.

19 Q. We may go back to the issue of the briefings that you discussed

20 today, but I would like to take this order. First, what transpired that

21 afternoon that you referred to, and that is your role in securing the

22 hospital. You said that you had a task to hold positions between the

23 water-tower and Mitnica, when you received orders relayed by the Chief of

24 Staff to go in the direction of the hospital; is that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 14152

1 Q. First, the action that you were engaged in, did this mean that

2 this action was finished or was just a part of your subordinate sent

3 towards the hospital and the others stayed behind? Could you please

4 explain this situation further for us?

5 A. The task that I explained included -- involved the engagement of

6 two companies. That task was not achieved and fulfilled in its entirety.

7 One company, the 1st Company, continued on that task, and having received

8 the order to secure the hospital, as I said, I ordered the commander of

9 the 4th Company to set out towards the hospital to fulfil this task.

10 Q. Do you remember, in the preceding action between the water-tower

11 and Mitnica, you explained the goal, to detect remaining elements or

12 members of paramilitary forces or detect unexploded mines. Did you

13 encounter anybody? Did you capture any members of the paramilitary

14 Croatian units, you or your troops?

15 A. No. There were no captured members of the Croatian paramilitary

16 forces.

17 Q. When you reached the hospital, you explained your orders, what was

18 done; the search, the securing of the hospital. I'm not going to dwell on

19 that, but I'm going to ask you about something that you said in response

20 to a question by my learned colleague, which refers to the taking away of

21 Marin Vidic, Bili. First of all, who ordered you to take Marin Vidic,

22 Bili, to Negoslavci?

23 A. I cannot really specify whether somebody phoned me -- not phoned

24 me, but through radio contact. But I was told what I was supposed to do.

25 Q. Before you transported that person, had you ever seen that person;

Page 14153

1 and if so, where?

2 A. That person was in the hospital, which means that I saw him

3 immediately before taking him away.

4 Q. When was that, on the first evening or the first day that you

5 reached the hospital, or some other time?

6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same day.

8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Bulatovic.

9 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for having to rise to

10 my feet.

11 In response to my question, the witness said that it was on

12 the 19th that he took Vidic Bili to Negoslavci immediately before going to

13 the briefing to the command. I believe that such hypothetical questions

14 should not be allowed.

15 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think I would interfere with Mr. Domazet's

16 question, Mr. Bulatovic.

17 Carry on, Mr. Domazet.

18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

19 Q. You heard my question concerning said Vidic. You said that you

20 saw him immediately before. My question would be: When did you take him

21 to Negoslavci?

22 A. On the 19th. I can't recall the hour. I cannot really recall,

23 but I can give you a range, a period: Between 2100 hours and 2200 hours.

24 This takes place after the briefing had ended.

25 Q. As far as I can understand your words, you came back from the

Page 14154

1 briefing and then you received an order - you do not recall from whom,

2 through the radio - to take this person to Negoslavci. Was this the only

3 instance that you saw him or took them there -- you saw him either at

4 Negoslavci, at Vukovar, or in the hospital?

5 A. This is the only time that I took him there. As I said, I handed

6 him over at the place I specified, and after that I never saw him in my

7 life.

8 Q. If I understand you correctly, you do not know whether he was

9 returned the following night, subsequent days. Did I understand your

10 answer?

11 A. I'm afraid you haven't grasped my answer fully. I said that I

12 never saw him, but I'm sure that he did not return to the hospital.

13 Q. This is exactly why I'm asking you this question. There were

14 statements to the effect that that person returned to hospital, but if you

15 don't know anything about that, I'm not going to press this matter

16 further.

17 A. These may be statements provided by other people. My statement is

18 that, with responsibility, I state that he did not return to the hospital.

19 Q. Would it surprise you that that person gave such a statement and

20 that he was taken to Negoslavci around 7.30, 8.00 p.m.?

21 A. That person may say whatever that person pleases. As to the time,

22 whether his 7.30 is correct to the same extent that my claim of after

23 8.00 p.m. is also correct. But I have to reiterate that I'm not stating

24 decidedly that this took place at 2000 hours.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

Page 14155

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 Q. Please take a look, Mr. Paunovic, to the -- at the statement

16 before you given to the military court in Belgrade around these facts. I

17 believe it's towards the middle of the page, paragraph 2, maybe 17th row,

18 in the second paragraph. I'm going to read it out to you and you will

19 tell me whether it really states so.

20 A. Excuse me, which page?

21 Q. Page 3, 17th row. It starts with: "I remember that day ..."

22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have the document;

23 interpreter's note.

24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]

25 Q. I'm going to read this sentence: "I recall this day that I,

Page 14156

1 sometime around 900 hours, pursuant to an order of the brigade security

2 organ, took Marin Vidic to the command post of the brigade. And Marin

3 Vidic is a Croatian government's commissioner who was located at the

4 hospital. I drove him and left him at the command post, and then I

5 returned to the hospital. And in the meantime, Vesna Bosanac was taken

6 there."

7 You have managed to locate that part of your statement?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. First, my question referring to the time indication, 9.00 in the

10 morning; is that correct? And is your testimony as to the orders and the

11 facts surrounding Vesna Bosanac, which was for the first time mentioned

12 here, are these correct?

13 A. As to the indicated time, it does say in this statement 9.00. It

14 doesn't state whether it's in the a.m. or the p.m. But with full

15 responsibility, I say, and I remember this very well, that it was dark.

16 It was night-time when I took Marin Vidic.

17 Secondly, I see that I gave this statement as to somebody from the

18 security organ relaying to me the order, but now, nor then, I do not

19 recall specifically who relayed that order to me.

20 Q. It doesn't say "relayed," it says "order." So would you agree

21 with me that it follows from this that somebody ordered you, not relayed

22 an order to you? Do you have any other explanation?

23 A. I just recently explained that the order was relayed to me through

24 radio communication, but I cannot recall who exactly that person was.

25 Q. Thank you. Do you recall anything about Vesna Bosanac? Has this

Page 14157

1 jogged your memory with regard to her being taken there?

2 A. Yes. I know, partially, something about that. She was taken

3 there but after Marin Vidic. She was taken to Negoslavci, but I cannot

4 recall who drove her there, who took her there.

5 Q. Thank you. At any rate, you did not. But you recall that she was

6 taken there after Vidic, Bili, was taken there; did I understand you

7 correctly?

8 A. Yes, you did.

9 Q. As you stated today, responding to my colleague Bulatovic's

10 questions, it follows that on the 19th, you attended the regular briefing,

11 and that, in your opinion, it lasted around two hours. Have I understood

12 today's testimony correctly?

13 A. Yes, you've understood me correctly. But I reiterate: With such

14 time distance, whether we spent one, one and a half, two hours, me and the

15 other commanders, at the command most, I really cannot remember. Maybe

16 even longer.

17 Q. Thank you. But you state today that you attended that briefing

18 that evening.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Please take a look at the same testimony, slightly above the

21 portion of the text that we examined just now. Second paragraph, maybe

22 12th row, it states, and I quote, and you are going to verify whether I

23 quoted you correctly or not.

24 "On that first night, only this company did security service, and I

25 stayed at the hospital until approximately 0100 hours, after midnight,

Page 14158

1 when I returned to my command post, which was located in the area of the

2 Vuteks football ground, in the Radnicka Street."

3 So if I read this correctly, there's no mention of your going to

4 Negoslavci or that you were absent for one or two hours. Do you agree

5 with this: You can read the whole of your statement and tell us whether

6 it indicates that you were at Negoslavci, at the briefing, that evening.

7 A. It would take me more time to read my entire statement, but

8 probably the president of the military court, Colonel Gojevic, never asked

9 me anything about that. I answered questions put to me.

10 Q. I agree that it's possible that he did not ask you about that

11 specifically; it's possible that he did not know about that. But do you

12 agree with me that on the basis of this statement of yours it seems that

13 all the way up to 0100 hours, you were at the hospital, near the hospital,

14 and that it is only then that you went to your command post. You did not

15 mention any departures to Negoslavci.

16 A. I'm afraid that you didn't really quite understand this.

17 Q. This statement is not long, by the way. If you wish, you can have

18 a look at it and you can see whether you mention that particular departure

19 at any point. But if not, let's not waste any time over that. Do you

20 remember whether this was referred to when you spoke to the investigators

21 of The Hague Tribunal, whether you talked about that? I'm talking about

22 the meeting, the briefing, that you left the position near the hospital

23 and that you came back.

24 A. First of all, Mr. Domazet, I did not leave my position. This is a

25 question of terminology. Secondly, I said a few moments ago, from this

Page 14159

1 distance now, I cannot recall everything I said in each and every

2 statement.

3 Q. It's not referred to anywhere that you attended the briefing. If

4 you wish, you can have a look at this later and then perhaps something can

5 be said about this. That's why I'm asking you once again: Are you sure

6 that you attended the briefing that night too?

7 A. I'm sure that on the 19th of November I attended the briefing.

8 Q. You said that you were there and that future tasks were discussed,

9 but I did not quite understand what you said, whether the evacuation of

10 the hospital or this triage was part of your tasks, the triage of persons

11 who were brought in there. I mean, was that referred to at all?

12 A. What was referred to that evening was the evacuation of the

13 hospital. As for a detailed elaboration of this operation, there wasn't

14 any while I was at the command post.

15 Q. Yes, that's my question precisely, whether it is possible that

16 this was talked about after the meeting that you attended, as you keep

17 saying, and whether that was perhaps at some other meeting with higher

18 officers, because you said that this meeting was attended by members of

19 the command and all subordinate officers.

20 A. I allow for the possibility that perhaps the brigade commander

21 elaborated some order, but I personally do not know about any details.

22 Q. Thank you. On the following day, because you possibly do not know

23 what happened on that day afterwards, did anyone tell you about any

24 specific assignments or tasks; and if so, did anyone tell you about that?

25 A. I did not see any such order, and no one conveyed that kind of

Page 14160

1 order to me. I'm not aware of any such order.

2 Q. Well, my question now is: How did you act on the following day,

3 when the evacuation of the hospital started, if you personally did not

4 receive any order from anyone, or any task?

5 A. Perhaps I have already responded to these questions, in part,

6 during the first part of my testimony. During the evacuation, I saw

7 officers from outside the brigade. Specifically, I saw Colonel Pavkovic.

8 Maybe at that point I thought that he was in charge of that activity, but

9 to this day I'm not sure. But I knew what my tasks were, even without

10 these orders, and, as I've already said, that is to frisk these persons

11 who were getting out of the hospital and to secure the buses.

12 Q. You mentioned Colonel Pavkovic. He did not belong to your

13 brigade, right?

14 A. No, he did not belong to our brigade.

15 Q. Do you know in what capacity he was in Vukovar then?

16 A. Well, in what capacity he was there, I cannot respond to that.

17 But I knew him from before that, that he worked in the cabinet of the

18 Federal Secretary for National Defence; that was his workplace.

19 Otherwise, I often saw him in Negoslavci, primarily at briefings. That is

20 to say, that I could not really say anything about his role.

21 Q. At this meeting, at this briefing, that you talked about, was any

22 reference made to the 1st Military District and any order issued by the

23 1st Military District about the evacuation of the hospital?

24 A. I cannot remember that.

25 Q. And do you remember whether the hospital in Vukovar was in the

Page 14161

1 area of responsibility of your brigade and generally of Operations Group

2 South?

3 A. It was not in our area of responsibility, if we're talking about

4 these dates that we have been referring to until now.

5 Q. Who could have possibly changed that decision about the area of

6 responsibility of the hospital, that is in your view?

7 A. I'm afraid I don't understand what you were saying. Could you

8 please clarify your question.

9 Q. If, as you say, the hospital was not in the area of responsibility

10 of your brigade or of Operations Group South up until those days, and if a

11 change took place, who could have made this change of decision for the

12 hospital to become part of the area of responsibility of Operations Group

13 South?

14 A. To the best of my knowledge, unless I'm mistaken, up until these

15 dates that we have been referring to, the hospital belonged to the area of

16 responsibility of Operations Group North. Again, I'm saying, unless I'm

17 mistaken, the boundary between Operations Group South and Operations Group

18 North was the Vuka River. Then, the logical conclusion would be that an

19 order about a change of area of responsibility can, in this case, be

20 issued by the commander of the 1st Military District.

21 Q. Is this conclusion of yours based on the fact that this was the

22 superior command of both Operations Group South and Tactical Group North?

23 A. Precisely.

24 Q. But if I understand you correctly, you don't know anything more

25 about this, whether the command of the 1st Military District issued any

Page 14162

1 kind of orders related to the evacuation of the hospital.

2 A. I have no such knowledge. I am not saying that they did not issue

3 any orders, but I don't know about that.

4 Q. Thank you. Now, as for the explanations you gave regarding your

5 work on the 20th of November, in the morning, in front of the hospital,

6 you were talking about the way in which your soldiers searched or frisked

7 persons there.

8 My question is: Did this pertain to all the persons who were

9 leaving the hospital; namely, women, children, men? Or were there

10 different groups there that were getting out of the hospital and that were

11 not submitted to these checks and searches that you have been talking

12 about?

13 A. All persons, if I understand you correctly, all persons who were

14 leaving the hospital were searched. Now, it depends on when and in what

15 time-period this was.

16 Q. I am interested in whether this pertained to women, men, children,

17 irrespective of gender or age, whether all persons were searched.

18 A. All persons were searched.

19 Q. Where did women go, if they went separately, and where did men go?

20 A. I don't know about that. And that was not my task to know that.

21 Q. All right. I'm going to rephrase this question. Were special

22 groups set up after persons left the hospital, that is to say, special

23 groups of civilians and special groups of those who were considered

24 suspects after the triage; namely, that they were suspected of having

25 taken part in something which then required further checks?

Page 14163

1 A. As you said yourself, there is this one group of suspects, so to

2 speak. As for others, other groups, it was mixed, irrespective of gender

3 and age, where they were going to. During the introductory part, I talked

4 about that, I talked about where they went, but I could not know about

5 that for sure.

6 Q. I don't want to go back to your statements and remind you of all

7 of this, but I don't think this really matters that much. I think you

8 talked about a group that was returned from the Croatian border, that you

9 had received information to that effect. You are saying that there were

10 both men and women there, if I understood you correctly. Are those the

11 ones who were searched by you but who were in some other group, as opposed

12 to these who were taken to the buses that have been referred to?

13 A. In one of my statements I spoke about that group. I did not mean

14 that it only had to do with the people from the hospital, because there

15 were people from other parts of town there as well. Some expressed a wish

16 to go to Croatia; others, to Serbia. As far as I can remember, this has

17 to do with the border - I don't know which part exactly - between Serbia

18 and Croatia. Croatia did not want to receive these civilians who wanted

19 to go to Croatia. Now, who was that problem resolved later? I don't know

20 about that.

21 Q. Thank you. Those who were going to the buses are going to be our

22 next topic, but I'm afraid we're not going to be able to finish tonight.

23 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that I will

24 deal with this subject tomorrow morning, then, and finish it tomorrow

25 morning.

Page 14164

1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.

2 We will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.

3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,

4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of

5 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.