1 Tuesday, 7 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I apologise that because I had been
7 sitting in another matter since 8.00, I am a little late this morning in
9 Sir, could I remind you of the affirmation you made at the
10 beginning of your evidence which still applies.
11 WITNESS: RADOJE PAUNOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Domazet.
14 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Examination by Mr. Domazet: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning to everyone in the courtroom. Good morning,
17 Mr. Paunovic. We shall continue and I hope we shall conclude with my
18 of the examination.
19 Right at the outset, I have several questions for you about your
20 evidence yesterday, about the meeting, the briefing on the 19th. You said
21 how long it took and what you heard. Yesterday, you said that during that
22 briefing, you didn't hear anything about the task involving the evacuation
23 of the hospital; and since, based on what you said, that meeting took
24 quite a long time do you remember at all what was discussed at this
25 meeting or at the briefing, if you remember?
1 A. As I said yesterday, I can't remember the details. I will repeat
2 again that the evacuation of the hospital was discussed. As for some
3 other details, I really can't remember now.
4 Q. Did I understand you well that you said that it was discussed, or
5 it wasn't discussed? I mean, the hospital.
6 A. Yes, you understood me well. The hospital evacuation that was to
7 take place on the following day was discussed.
8 Q. Yesterday, you said that you attended almost all of the briefings
9 or perhaps even all of the briefings. Do you remember the day before
10 that, on the 18th, did you attend the briefing on that day and, if so, was
11 the evacuation of the hospital discussed then?
12 A. On the 18th of November, the evacuation of the hospital was not
13 discussed. It couldn't have been discussed because, as I have told you,
14 we came to the sector of the hospital on the 19th of November.
15 Q. Yes, I fully understand that, that you came on the 19th; however,
16 why would that rule out the possibility of the evacuation of the hospital
17 being discussed on the 18th in the evening; or is it your evidence that on
18 the 18th, this was not discussed at all?
19 A. I don't remember that the hospital was discussed at all on the
20 18th of November.
21 Q. Very well, Mr. Paunovic. You spoke about the orders that you
22 personally received from your commander, and in general. Can we agree
23 that you said that you would normally receive those orders either in
24 writing or verbally, somebody would transmit them to you, or via radio
25 link; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Furthermore, as for the evacuation of the hospital, it is your
3 evidence that you personally never saw a written order; correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Do you know whether there was a written order about it or not?
6 A. I don't know that. Perhaps there was one, but I have no
7 information about it.
8 Q. Very well. If you personally didn't have occasion to see a
9 written order, can you explain who conveyed what to you about your tasks
10 in the evacuation?
11 A. As I said yesterday, my task was to secure the hospital, to search
12 these persons, and to secure the buses. I didn't have any other tasks.
13 Q. Who gave you this task?
14 A. As for the buses, the task was issued to me at the briefing on the
15 19th, that particular task. As concerns the search of the persons, as I
16 explained yesterday, nobody specifically gave me that task because it
17 falls under the regular procedure of the work of the military police.
18 Q. Does this mean that right there on the spot, you realised that
19 these people needed to be searched; and that without anybody's orders, you
20 proceeded to search all of the persons leaving the hospital?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. You said that it was your task to secure the buses. You explained
23 yesterday how you did that. Tell me, please, as you did that in front of
24 the hospital, did you -- as you were searching these people in front of
25 the hospital, together with your policemen, were you aware of where these
1 buses were supposed to go?
2 A. What I knew was that these buses were supposed to go to the
3 barracks in Vukovar. I think that I explained this in detail yesterday to
4 Mr. Bulatovic.
5 Q. Does this pertain to your explanation that they were supposed to
6 go to the barracks in order to unite with those who were at the Velepromet
7 and then go together to Sremska Mitrovica, was that the explanation you
8 had in mind?
9 A. Yes, that's the explanation that I had in mind.
10 Q. Does this mean that that particular moment, as you were in front
11 of the hospital, you knew that the people boarding the buses were headed
12 towards the JNA barracks?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you please take your statement, the one you gave to the
15 military court -- or rather, your evidence before the military court. Let
16 us see the part of your statement, and then I'm going to read it out and
17 then I'll ask you to comment on it.
18 This is page 3, somewhere towards the second half where a new
19 paragraph begins, and it says there, I'm going to read slowly, and you'll
20 tell me if you found it:
21 "After that, I think it was on the 20th of
22 November, 1991, everybody was evacuated from the hospital, but prior
23 selection had been performed. The organ of security conducted a
24 classification of people so some of them were separated aside to go to
25 Croatia, some were earmarked to go to Vojvodina, and some were kept there
1 and then put on buses which took them somewhere, but I don't know where."
2 Let me continue with the quote and then we'll hear your comment:
3 "The only thing I know is that my unit was tasked with securing a
4 of civilians who were supposed to go to Croatia, and that the Croatian
5 didn't want to let them in so they had to return. Then they were taken
6 again, and I know they were turned over to Croats, but I don't know"
7 Based on this, would you say that some six to seven years ago,
8 your position was different from the one you gave us today? It says here
9 that you didn't know where the people, who had been separated and put on
10 buses, were headed.
11 A. I wouldn't agree with you because what I said, what you just
12 quoted, is correct. But when giving statements following this one, they
13 put more detailed questions to me about these issues and conduct. You
14 asked me about the group of buses that I gave you an explanation about
16 I said that they were headed to the barracks. But you have to
17 realise that at the hospital, there were wounded, sick people; then there
18 were civilians, and as I've said, members of the paramilitary formations
19 of Croatia. So when I said, in my statement, that I didn't know where
20 those buses went, I was referring to the buses which transported
22 Q. And the civilians were put in those buses that were sent to
23 Croatia and turned back; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's how it was. I received this information several days
25 after this event. I was not able to know this at the time, right away,
1 that they would be sent back, that is, and that there would be problems in
2 this respect.
3 Q. Very well. I agree you couldn't know this at that point in time,
4 but I cannot agree with your explanation because it says quite clearly in
5 your statement that one group was separated off to go to Croatia, another
6 group to go to Vojvodina; and we agreed that these were all civilians and
7 this is a third group. You say some were held back and taken into buses
8 and took them off to somewhere but I don't know where.
9 Will you agree with me that this third group can only refer to the
10 ones who were separated off, searched by you, and who boarded the buses.
11 It follows from your previous statement that you did not know then where
12 those buses were going?
13 A. Well, I'll explain once again. You should realise what it was
14 like at the hospital then. How can I remember where each bus was headed?
15 Q. Yes, I agree. But seven years previously, this is how you
16 remembered it and now you remember it differently. That's why I put this
17 question to you.
18 Please look at the last paragraph on this page, the third line
19 from the bottom. You are probably responding a question by whoever was
20 asking you the questions. You said:
21 "Whether some people from the Vukovar Hospital were first taken to
22 the barracks and then to the Ovcara farm, I don't know, because my unit
23 had no tasks in this respect. All I know is that in Velepromet, in
24 Vukovar, there were some kind of collection centre where all those who
25 were considered to be prisoners were placed. Besides these, there were
1 other people who were collected there as civilians; and from there, they
2 were sent on to wherever they wanted to go."
3 The first sentence in this passage shows that you were being asked
4 about the barracks and Ovcara and this was your reply, you said you did
5 not know anything about this because your unit had no tasks in this
6 respect. So you repeated something that is in here and that I asked you
8 My question is: Did you know that these buses were to go to the
10 A. Yes. In this statement here, I'm saying that it was not my task
11 to conduct persons to the Ovcara farm.
12 Q. No. Mr. Paunovic, it says that you do not know whether they were
13 taken first to the barracks and then to Ovcara. You said something quite
14 different, that you didn't know whether they were taken either to the
15 barracks or to Ovcara and that it was not your task.
16 If we cannot agree on this, we will have to leave it up to others
17 to decide. When you say that you knew they were going to the barracks,
18 who told you this?
19 A. Well, I can't remember that now.
20 Q. Thank you. And yesterday, in response to my colleague, Mr.
21 Bulatovic's question, you said they went to the barracks in order to be
22 put together with the persons from Velepromet and then sent on to
23 Mitrovica. Did you find this out -- in what way did you find this out?
24 A. Well, as I've already told you, I can't remember that.
25 Q. Very well. Yesterday, you said that those groups that were going
1 towards the buses were searched in groups of about ten, that's what you
2 said, that they stood next to the wall and then proceeded towards the
3 buses; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You also said there was a table on which property, I assume
6 confiscated property, was to be placed; am I right?
7 A. Yes, you are.
8 Q. Was anything else confiscated from those persons or was the search
9 aimed solely at weapons and things that might pose a security risk?
10 A. When those persons were searched, apart from dangerous objects, as
11 you say, nothing else was confiscated. Their personal belongings were
12 left intact, except for those which could be used to inflict an injury on
13 others. Their personal documents were not confiscated. That's it.
14 Q. Although my question follows from your answer, the reply follows
15 from what you just said, I'll still ask you this: Did your soldiers find
16 money and jewelry, and were such things taken away from the people who
17 were searched?
18 A. Well, right now I cannot remember whether, during the search, they
19 found money. But if they did, it was certainly not confiscated because
20 the soldiers were not doing this on their own initiative.
21 Q. Thank you. Another question: Apart from your soldiers, that is,
22 military policemen, were there any other soldiers or territorials
23 participating in the search?
24 A. When performing this task, territorials, as you call them, and
25 members of other units were not even present so they could not have
1 conducted any searches. The search was carried out only by members of my
3 Q. Thank you. The persons who were searched and sent on towards the
4 buses, were they able to walk unassisted, or did some of them need
5 assistance, were some even on stretchers; do you recall that?
6 A. Yes, I remember that. The persons you are now referring to were
7 all able to move, which means they walked to the buses unassisted.
8 Q. Thank you. At any point in time before these buses left, did you
9 approach the buses?
10 A. I personally did not approach the buses.
11 Q. Very well. If you did not approach the buses, would I be correct
12 in concluding that you were not able to see whether there was a senior
13 officer in each bus? I assume there was such an order and that there was
14 an officer in each bus. I think you said something to that effect.
15 A. Yes. Yesterday, I said that I didn't see all the buses, so of
16 course I couldn't have seen all these officers. But one has to conclude
17 that soldiers would not have been sent to perform such a task on their
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for counsel.
20 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Does that mean that you consider due to the specific nature and
22 importance of the task, it was important that on each bus, in addition to
23 the two military policemen designated by you, there should also be an
25 A. Precisely so.
1 Q. As I understand it, you don't know whether these officers were
2 actually there and who they were. Perhaps you do know.
3 A. I don't know who they were.
4 Q. I assume, then, that you cannot tell us whether they belonged to
5 the military police or some other unit.
6 A. I have just told you I can't remember who they were, in fact, I
7 didn't even see them.
8 Q. Thank you. As you say, that due to the nature of the task, in
9 your view, it was necessary that an officer be on each bus, in addition to
10 two military policemen providing security. My question is: If you knew,
11 as you say, that they were going to the barracks, which is only a few
12 kilometres away from the hospital, why was it so important in view of the
13 distance, that they be escorted in this manner? Do you have any other
15 A. No, I don't.
16 Q. Mr. Paunovic, did you see Vukasinovic in front of the hospital at
17 that time; do you recall?
18 A. I don't think I saw him in front of the hospital. He may have
19 been near the buses, but I don't remember seeing him in front of the
21 Q. I assume you saw the buses leaving. Did you stay at the hospital
22 after that point; you didn't go to the barracks afterwards?
23 A. I personally was not in the hospital non-stop. I don't want it to
24 be thought, on the basis of what I said yesterday and today, that this was
25 the case. From time to time, I left to go to my command post which was
1 located, at that point in time, behind the Vuteks playing field, sports
3 Q. Go ahead, please, I didn't want to interrupt.
4 A. In the hospital, the commander of the 4th Company was there all
5 the time, Captain First Class Milivoje Simic.
6 Q. Mr. Paunovic, wasn't the evacuation of the hospital such an
7 important operation that you needed to be present all the time, or did you
8 think it not necessary?
9 A. I may have been misunderstood. I didn't say I wasn't there during
10 the evacuation. I said, rather, that I wasn't there all the time in the
11 hospital area.
12 Q. Very well. But you did spend most of your time that day in the
13 hospital or in front of the hospital; is that correct?
14 A. Not the entire day, but yes. Yes, one could say that.
15 Q. Today, you said that you received no special orders from anyone
16 about the search or your duties, but were you able to conclude who was in
17 charge of the entire operation, which of the officers was in charge of
18 evacuating the hospital?
19 A. I said something about this yesterday. At the time of the
20 evacuation, I saw Colonel Pavkovic there. Perhaps that was what I thought
21 at the time. I had the impression that he was in charge of the operation.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Paunovic, my questions today about the departure
23 the buses, and what I said about your not mentioning in your first
24 statement about their going to the barracks or the Ovcara. First you said
25 you didn't know, and today you say that you heard from someone that they
1 were going to the barracks. Did you hear from anyone that they would go
2 to Ovcara?
3 A. No, Ovcara was never mentioned at all.
4 Q. Did the military policemen, designated by you to escort the buses,
5 go on to the Ovcara farm from the barracks; do you know that or not?
6 A. I don't have this information.
7 Q. May I understand, then, that none of these military policemen or
8 their officers ever briefed you about this or told you anything about it?
9 A. No, never.
10 Q. Does this mean that, even today, you don't know whether your
11 military policemen possibly went on from the barracks with those who were
12 on the buses?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. The task you gave your military policemen that morning in the
15 hospital, was it something that would be described as "escort duty" in
16 your rules of service? You know what I'm referring to. That was one of
17 the tasks of the military police.
18 A. Yes. One might say that with the proviso that the point to which
19 persons were to be escorted was not something I told the soldiers. As you
20 mentioned escort service, military policemen performed this task until
21 they hand over the persons being escorted. Whether this happened in the
22 barracks or somewhere else, I don't know.
23 Q. Do you consider that this manner of proceeding was in line with
24 the rules of military service for the military police, in view of what you
25 said yesterday and today?
1 A. Yesterday, I spoke about the rules, but you must understand the
2 special circumstances that obtained. Although I still consider that my
3 soldiers performed their task well.
4 Q. Mr. Paunovic, you spoke about that task, about them going to the
5 buses and them going to the barracks; and then you said that somebody told
6 you that they would all unite and then be sent to Sremska Mitrovica. What
7 about your military policemen, the one that you assigned? Were they
8 supposed to escort them further on all the way up to Sremska Mitrovica or
10 A. At the time, I didn't know that. And the soldiers carried on with
11 the task until it's completed. The soldiers cannot abandon buses halfway
12 through and leave those people unattended.
13 Q. Did you receive feedback from anyone, not only your military
14 policemen, but from anyone as to what kind of tasks they performed from
15 the moment you sent them off from the hospital?
16 A. Upon the completion of the task, commanders did not inform me
17 about each individual patrol. I was informed that the mission was
18 accomplished, that the soldiers had returned, or something along those
19 lines. But I didn't receive individual information for each individual
21 Q. Would you please tell me about the procedure of the hand-over of
22 persons escorted by the military police?
23 A. I didn't understand quite which hand-over do you have in mind.
24 Q. Well, the location where the persons are taken to, the escorted
25 persons, is there any document that is compiled on how that is done?
1 A. If we are referring to the final destination, which is the
2 prisoner's camp, during that final stage, a list is compiled; and then
3 people are searched in detail and separated into various categories.
4 Q. Thank you for this explanation. Can you tell us who does this?
5 Who compiles these list? Who categorises people and so on?
6 A. The lists are made up in the prisoners' camp. It can be done by
7 the commander or by a person designated by him or by somebody else.
8 Q. Does this pertain to the search and other acts as well?
9 A. As regards the camp, then, yes, other jobs are performed as well.
10 A detailed search is conducted. If you need me to explain what a detailed
11 search entails, I can do that.
12 Q. No. No, Mr. Paunovic. Just something briefly, is there a
13 document on the hand-over that is signed? Did they receive a document
14 that the hand-over was completed?
15 A. They were supposed to receive only a document confirming the
16 number of people handed over.
17 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Paunovic. I don't
18 have any further questions for you. Your Honours, I have completed my
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
21 Mr. Borovic.
22 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
23 Q. Thank you.
24 Good morning, Mr. Paunovic. Yesterday, you said that the first
25 platoon of your 3rd Company was attached to the 1st Motorised Battalion
1 commanded by Borivoje Tesic; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind and tell us what tasks they
4 performed within the 1st Motorised Battalion?
5 A. I wouldn't be able to answer that question. I don't know what
6 tasks they performed.
7 Q. Thank you. Did they secure the command post of Borivoje Tesic?
8 A. A part of the unit, I don't know whether, perhaps, it was the
9 entire unit secured the command post of the 1st Motorised Battalion.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. Did you, at any point in time, go to the
11 command post of the 1st Motorised Battalion to tour, to visit your men,
12 members of your unit? And did you see them there securing that command
14 A. Yes. On several occasions, I went to the command post of the 1st
15 Motorised Battalion. When I went to the command post, I saw my soldiers.
16 Naturally, I wouldn't see all of them. The ones I saw worked on reception
17 tasks and performed guard duty at the command post.
18 Q. Thank you. Tell us, do you know whether anybody could come to
19 that command post, any soldier, or did your military policemen, those
20 performing reception duty and guard duty, control ingress and egress, and
21 did they supervise that? And could you please speak a little bit faster?
22 There is no need to speak a little bit slow, if we all fall asleep in the
23 courtroom there will be nobody listening to you.
24 A. It is clear that not everybody had access to the command post.
25 The commander of the platoon received an order from the commander, to whom
1 he was subordinated, as to who was entitled to enter. And one can, based
2 on that, conclude that people didn't have open access to the command post,
3 whenever they wanted and whoever wanted.
4 Q. Thank you. When arrested by the members of your unit, when
5 somebody is arrested by the members of your unit, if force is used on that
6 occasion, is there a requirement to compile some kind of a written report
7 about that?
8 A. It depends on the method used. When a rubber baton is used, then
9 there is a requirement to write a written report.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear and were you ever informed that
11 members of your unit, who were attached to the 1st Motorised Battalion
12 beat the volunteers, or some other members, who were attached to companies
13 when they were arrested? Did you ever hear something like that?
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. You said yesterday that on the 19th of
16 November, 1991, you sent Captain Simic to secure the hospital. My
17 question is: How long after him did you, yourself, go to the hospital?
18 A. It could be said that Simic and I arrived almost simultaneously to
19 the hospital sector.
20 Q. Who arrived first?
21 A. I can't remember that now. I think that it was me, but he arrived
22 shortly thereafter. The time difference was minor.
23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you also said how you replaced Tesic's men,
24 that they secured the hospital. And that when you arrived, they withdrew
25 and that you created a proper security force. In the police sense, you
1 created a reception desk, then you created patrols, and so on; correct?
2 A. Yes, correct.
3 Q. Would you please tell us, where did you establish the reception
5 A. The first one was at the entrance into the hospital compound, and
6 then there were various reception posts at the areas where one could leave
7 the hospital.
8 Q. Thank you. On the 19th or the 20th, could any soldiers or
9 officers enter the hospital to check the patients, mistreat people and so
10 on, or was it the case that nobody could either come in or come out?
11 A. Nobody could either come in or come out. That was my task and I
12 accomplished my task.
13 Q. During the night, on the 19th of November, did somebody come in
14 and mistreat the wounded in the hospital or not?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. Where did you find the equipment and the weapons? The
17 evidence that you gave yesterday, in which part of the hospital did you
18 find those items?
19 A. The majority of the equipment was found around the hospital.
20 There was some containers around the hospital, then there were large
21 mounds of sand. The weapons were dug in the sand and then they were also
22 in containers.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. Do you know where the entrance into
24 emergency room was at the time?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In relation to that emergency room entrance, and in relation to
2 Gunduliciva Street, where were those containers located. Was it close to
3 Gunduliciva Street?
4 A. There were some there near Gunduliceva, but in relation to the
5 emergency room also on the other side of the hospital, and there was a
6 large pile of sand there, as far as I can remember.
7 Q. So does this mean on both sides?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. On the 19th of November in the course of the day or
10 not, did you see Captain Radic in any location either within the hospital
11 compound or within the hospital itself?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. On the 20th of November, you said that you ordered
14 that the people from the hospital be searched. My question is: Who
15 ordered that these people be taken from the hospital to the buses where
16 Vukasinovic stood?
17 A. Was your question who ordered?
18 Q. That was my first question.
19 A. I can't remember that now. I know who was in command. I know
20 that this was done by my soldiers.
21 Q. Very well. Did Captain Radic take any part in triage, in the
22 search, or in taking away of the people to the buses which were in front
23 of the hospital?
24 A. Captain Radic didn't do that, and as I said, he wasn't present
25 there either on the 19th or on the 20th in the sector of the hospital.
1 Q. Thank you. Could any commander of any company issue an order to
2 the military policemen or not, unless that commander is commander of the
3 military police company?
4 A. Only in one case. If that entire unit is attached to his unit,
5 and then based on an order, he is in command. That is the only case, the
6 only scenario.
7 Q. All right. Thank you. Did you hear, and did you see - because we
8 here in the courtroom heard from a witness - that 15 to 20 people who were
9 on the list, once they left from the hospital to the barracks, were
10 returned from the barracks to the hospital. Did you hear about that, 15
11 to 20 people from the barracks were returned to the hospital as family
12 members of hospital staff?
13 A. Perhaps there were such cases but I can't remember that. I really
15 Q. All right. My last question: Do you know who did you give your
16 statement to, the statement that you gave to the Hague investigators?
17 A. You mean which person?
18 Q. Yes?
19 A. The gentleman from the Prosecution.
20 Q. What's his name? Is it Mr. Weiner?
21 A. No, the person to the right.
22 Q. All right. This is the OTP expert.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
1 Mr. Weiner, is it most practical for you to proceed now or after
2 an early break?
3 MR. WEINER: It doesn't make a difference. If the Court would
4 like a break now, that's fine with me.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It's a matter of what will suit you most, Mr.
7 MR. WEINER: We could take a break now. A cup of coffee or tea is
8 always pleasant before cross.
9 JUDGE PARKER: If you're lucky you might have time for that, yes.
10 We will resume at 25 minutes to 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.38 a.m.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] A technical question, Your Honours. I
15 have spoken to Mr. Weiner, and he informed me that he will take a session
16 and a half, a little less than two sessions. So if there is redirect, if
17 there is a little time left, could the next witness not be called, or
18 shall we wait until we see what happens after the next session?
19 JUDGE PARKER: If we finish this witness today, I think we need
20 not move to the next witness.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Any other adventurous ideas?
23 Mr. Weiner.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner:
25 Q. Good morning, Mr. Paunovic, my name is Phil Weiner. I'm with the
1 Office of the Prosecutor, and I'm going to be asking you some questions
2 this morning.
3 Now, you were familiar with the 80th Motorised Brigade, weren't
5 A. I can't say that I was familiar with it, but I know what brigade
6 this is.
7 Q. And you know, sir, that it was largely made up of reservists;
8 isn't that correct, sir?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And you testified that it had a police company in it, didn't you?
11 A military police company.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. And was that also largely comprised of reservists?
14 A. I'm not sure, but I think that's correct.
15 Q. Now, the Guards Motorised Brigade had military police units, and
16 those were not largely comprised of reservists; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now -- excuse me, sir. I would like to refer you to the statement
19 you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor. It's 04238944 to 04238966 in
20 the e-court. And I'd like to go to page 13, paragraph 66, which is
21 04238956, 8956, Madam Registrar.
22 That will come up in front of you very shortly.
23 There's an English and a B/C/S version.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I have a B/C/S version if the defendants
25 would like to follow along on the ELMO.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think that could be a good idea, Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Sir, I invite your attention to the next to last sentence in
4 paragraph 56 -- I'm sorry, paragraph 66. Do you see that where it says,"I
5 agree that it was not logical." Do you see that, first? Do you see that
6 sentence, sir?
7 A. Just a moment, please. I don't know what sentence you're
8 referring to. Is it in paragraph 66?
9 Q. Paragraph 66, the next to last sentence, it begins with
10 the words: "I agree that it was not logical." Do you see that, sir?
11 A. Yes. Yes, I see it.
12 Q. I'll read it to you, sir:
13 "I agree that it was not logical to delegate the responsibility
14 for the protection of the evacuees to the military police company of the
15 80 Motorised Brigade, knowing that the Guards Motorised Brigade," or you
16 use GM, TB, R, "has two battalions of military police to accomplish this
17 task." Is that what it says there, sir?
18 A. Yes, that's what it says.
19 Q. And that's your signature at the bottom of the page?
20 A. Yes, but in the English version.
21 Q. Thank you. And sir, could you please explain why it was not
22 logical to delegate the responsibility of protecting the evacuees to the
23 military police company of the 80th, where you stated that the Guards
24 Motorised Brigade had two battalions of military police. Could you please
25 explain that?
1 A. At the time I was making this statement, I did not know that they
2 had been entrusted to this company of the military police. So when the
3 investigator convinced me that they had been handed over to that company
4 of the military police, that was my opinion at the time.
5 Q. Sir, please explain why it wasn't logical to hand over the
6 evacuees to the military police company of the 80th Motorised Brigade.
7 A. Well, I'm trying to explain to you, but I can't do it in a single
9 Q. Sir, isn't it true that you always assumed that the evacuees had
10 been handed over to the military police of the 80th Motorised Brigade?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Sir, could you look at the first full sentence on that same page,
13 right at the top. I'll read it in English, please follow along:
14 "I always assumed that the evacuees had been handed over to the
15 military police of the 80th Motorised Brigade." Isn't that what it says,
17 A. That's what it says. But I'm telling you when the investigator
18 put something to me, this was the statement I made. I don't remember
19 exactly what happened then.
20 Q. Why would it be illogical to hand those evacuees over to the 80th
21 Motorised Brigade?
22 A. At that point in time, what I stated was guided by the fact that
23 there were two military police battalions in the Guards Brigade; and
24 without entering into the problem any deeper, that is, without taking into
25 consideration that they were already busy with other tasks.
1 Q. And you also knew, sir, that the Guards Motorised Brigade units,
2 or military police units, were better trained than the military police
3 units in the 80th Motorised Brigade.
4 A. Yes. One could say that, although I didn't know how well-trained
5 this company of the military police was.
6 Q. And you also knew that your unit had two military police -- I'm
7 sorry, that there were two military police battalions in the Guards
8 Motorised Unit with hundreds of members of military police; isn't that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you knew that there were two military police companies in the
12 Guards Motorised Brigade that were equipped with armoured personnel
13 carriers; isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. WEINER: Just a correction, Your Honour, on page 24, line 15,
16 there were two military police battalions in the Guards Motorised Brigade.
17 Q. Was it two guards motorised battalions or companies with armoured
18 personnel carriers?
19 A. You're mixing battalions and companies up here, but I'll explain.
20 The Guards Brigade, in its establishment, had two military police
21 battalions. In the establishment of the 1st Battalion of the military
22 police, there were two companies and two APCs.
23 Q. Okay. And also, the Guards Motorised Brigade had the only
24 anti-terrorist unit in the SFRY armed forces; isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes. It had an anti-terrorist company.
1 Q. Not just an anti-terrorist company, the only one in the SFRY armed
3 A. As far as I can recall, that was probably the case.
4 Q. So, sir, if there was an order or a task was issued on November
5 20th, the Guards Motorised Brigade military police battalions had the
6 resources available to protect the prisoners or evacuees; isn't that
8 A. I don't know. This was the area of responsibility of the 80th
10 Q. Sir, if an order or task was issued on November 20th, the Guards
11 Motorised military police battalions had the resources available to
12 protect those prisoners; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the Guards Motorised Brigade military police battalions could
15 have sent its members to Ovcara to protect the prisoners if the commander
16 issued that order.
17 A. I was the battalion commander not the brigade commander.
18 Q. If Colonel Mrksic, the brigade commander and commander of
19 operational Group South, issued and an order to the Guards Motorised
20 Brigade military police battalions to go to Ovcara to protect those
21 prisoners, they could have done it.
22 A. Certainly they would have carried out the commander's order.
23 Q. And if that commander ordered those military police battalions to
24 provide around-the-clock security for those prisoners at Ovcara, that
25 could have been done.
1 A. Yes, I assume so.
2 Q. And you know, sir, that no such orders or tasks were ever issued
3 on November 20th, 1991; isn't that correct?
4 A. I don't know about such orders.
5 Q. And would you agree that Colonel Mrksic was your commander, sir?
6 A. I didn't understand your question.
7 Q. Would you agree that Colonel Mrksic was your commander?
8 A. Yes, I did say that. He was my brigade commander.
9 Q. And the commander's advisor or Colonel Mrksic's advisor on the use
10 of the military police was Major Sljivancanin, as the security organ;
11 isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And as the advisor, he could have counselled Colonel Mrksic on the
14 use of the military police.
15 A. Yes, he could have.
16 Q. And as advisor, it was his job to discuss threat assessments with
17 Colonel Mrksic.
18 A. I assume that's correct.
19 Q. And he could have advised Colonel Mrksic as to the use of the
20 police based on threat assessments; isn't that correct?
21 A. Depends on what he -- what assessment he made. If that was the
22 assessment he made, then that's probably the advice he gave.
23 Q. If an assessment was made that a threat or serious threat
24 occurred, then advice could be given on the use of military police; isn't
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. We'll get back to the prisoners a little bit later,
3 but I have some more just general questions for you.
4 You mentioned that you had two military police battalions; and
5 within one of the battalions was a crime scene, an investigation section;
6 isn't that correct?
7 A. In the 1st Battalion, according to the establishment, there was a
8 crime prevention squad.
9 Q. And within that crime prevention squad was a crime scene
10 investigation section.
11 A. In the establishment of my battalion, this was not there. So how
12 they were organised precisely, I wouldn't know.
13 Q. In the 1st Military Police Battalion, there was a crime scene
14 investigation unit; isn't that correct, sir?
15 A. No. It had a different name. It was called the crime prevention
17 Q. And when -- within that crime prevention squad was crime scene
18 investigation and other aspects of criminal investigation for crimes;
19 isn't that correct?
20 A. I don't remember that within this squad, there was some other
21 section or squad. This was not part of the establishment of the 2nd
22 Battalion of the military police.
23 Q. Sir, let's continue on your statement to the ICTY which was a
24 little over a year ago, given a little over a year ago. Could we go to
25 page 3, paragraph 17. And page 3, for the record, is 04238946.
1 Sir, do you have it in front of you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And I'll read it. "The 1st MP," or military police battalion,"was
4 organised as follows: The commander with his command (i.e., staff) a
5 section for crime fighting, (crime scene investigation and other aspects
6 of criminal investigation for crimes that fell within the jurisdiction of
7 the military courts)."
8 Does that refresh your recollection, sir, that there was a crime
9 scene investigation and other aspects of criminal investigation personnel
10 within that 1st military police battalion?
11 A. I'm afraid we don't understand each other. I'm not trying to
12 evade this. What I said is correct. It says "crime prevention squad"
13 here. And in parenthesis, it refers to this squad, not some other squad,
14 which would be part of this squad. It deals with pre-investigative
15 activities. They deal with pre-criminal proceedings for crimes falling
16 within the competence of military courts. So this is the squad in
18 Q. All right. While in Vukovar, were you or anybody else in the
19 military police, asked to investigate any crimes or murders occurring in
21 A. No. Neither I nor the members of my unit were asked to do this.
22 Q. In 1991 and 1992 in Belgrade, were you ever asked to investigate
23 any murders or crimes which occurred in Ovcara?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And, sir, you're not aware of any investigation in 1991 and 1992
1 relating to the murders or other crimes that occurred in Ovcara; isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. I'm not aware of this.
4 Q. Thank you. You've testified that an evacuation operation is a
5 complex process; isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it requires the consideration of various military matters
8 ranging from road plan, to hand-over, to protection of evacuees. It
9 requires a number of factors for consideration; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And usually there is a written order defining the tasks and
12 discussing all of these factors; isn't that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And within that order is a risk or threat assessment; isn't that
15 required as part of an evacuation process?
16 A. Yes. I said that in my statement to the best of my recollection,
17 referring to what should have been in that order, including that
19 Q. And if there is a threat to the evacuees, it must be neutralised
20 or dealt with.
21 A. Regardless of whether there is or is not a threat, it always has
22 to be assumed or, rather, one always has to decide what has to be done
23 should such a threat arise.
24 Q. And that's part of the planning and anticipation which is
25 necessary in an evacuation; isn't that correct?
1 A. Well, yes. We can say that this is planning and anticipation
2 before the task was carried out.
3 Q. And you know that you can't ignore any threats.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I would like to show you a document which you discussed with
6 the OTP investigators.
7 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown Exhibit 581, please. It's
8 called, "The Participation of Military Police in Guarding Prisoners of
10 Q. Are you familiar with that document, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you discussed that document with the investigators, or you at
13 least mentioned that you were familiar with that document to them.
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And would you agree that even though that manual, that training
16 manual that you have in front of you is dated 1993, the methods for
17 guarding prisoners as described in that manual also applied in 1991.
18 A. I can partially agree. I don't remember exactly what it looked
19 like in 1991, but something resembling this, yes.
20 Q. And when you said in paragraph 44 of your statement that this
21 manual was also valid for 1991, you still agree with that statement that
22 you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes, I gave such a statement. It sounds a bit illogical what I
24 said, but I agree that there is no major difference between the initial
25 manual and this one.
1 Q. And I just want to refer you to one page, page 28 of that manual.
2 Page 28 in the English. And just the first part of it,.
3 "Security is aimed at preventing prisoners of war from attempting
4 to escape and rejoin in their armed forces, liberation attempts by members
5 of their armed forces and supporters on the ground, and attempts to kill
6 or torture them."
7 One of the reasons for security is to protect the prisoners from
8 being attacked, tortured, or murdered; isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes. That's what it says in that rule, too.
10 Q. And if you go to page 29, the last paragraph, it says -- 29 with
11 the text. I think it's 28 that's being shown. 29 in the English.
12 "In order to protect prisoners of war from reprisals carried out
13 by local population during transfer through inhabited areas that they have
14 terrorised, security can be augmented with a cordon which requires
15 stronger security forces."
16 Are you familiar with that?
17 A. Yes, I am familiar with that. Everything you're saying is
18 contained in that rule.
19 Q. And you know from that that when you bring prisoners through an
20 area where local people are hostile towards them, you must anticipate the
21 chance that a problem can occur or attempts will be made to attack them,
22 hurt them, injure them, or kill them.
23 A. When carrying out an attack of that nature - now that you're
24 quoting it - there is a previous paragraph where it says that an attempt
25 should be made not to go through such areas, but if it's necessary, then
1 additional measures are to be taken in order to avoid precisely the cases
2 that you enumerate.
3 Q. Thank you. I'd like to turn to another section in your statement
4 to the Office of the Prosecutor. Paragraph 72 to 77, page 14 which is
6 While we're waiting for that to come up, let me ask you some
7 questions about that. While you served in Vukovar from September 30th to
8 November 24th, there were no civilian police forces in existence.
9 A. As far as I could see at the time, no, they were not in existence.
10 Q. Because if they existed, you would have had to have some contact
11 with them as fellow police officers; isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. But you never had any such contact?
14 A. I didn't.
15 Q. And while you were in Vukovar, you were not aware of any
16 functioning judicial bodies.
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you never dealt with any civilian authorities.
19 A. No.
20 Q. And there was never any discussion at any of those briefings or
21 meetings at the OG South command concerning civilian authorities.
22 A. I don't remember that.
23 Q. And there were never any orders issued at those OG South command
24 meetings in relation to your dealing with civilian authorities; isn't that
1 A. No orders.
2 Q. In fact, if there was a crime that occurred such as civilian
3 looting, the security organ and the crime prevention section of the 1st
4 Military Police Battalion would do the investigation and make the arrests,
5 because there were no functioning police, civilian police, or judicial
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, your police battalion had a war diary.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that was maintained while you were in Vukovar.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you listed all orders that you received in that war diary.
13 A. I think I did.
14 Q. And you listed them not only that you received them and what they
15 were, but who issued those orders; isn't that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. You know yourself what a war diary looks
18 Q. Yes. And they are listed by date, not only the orders received,
19 the activities which you executed are listed by date.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have this war diary with you?
22 A. I don't.
23 Q. When did you last review the war diary?
24 A. The last time I looked at it was in 1991.
25 Q. Did you ever make a request for it?
1 A. I didn't.
2 Q. I'm assuming it's in Belgrade in the military archives.
3 A. I wouldn't know where it is now.
4 Q. So you don't even know whether it exists; isn't that correct?
5 A. I can't say either way that it exists or it doesn't. All war
6 diaries are normally kept at the brigade command. During the war
7 operations, a unit, a battalion, keeps a war diary. But once the combat
8 operations are completed, the diary is turned over and it is kept in a
9 secure way at the brigade command. This applies to all diaries, not just
10 to my diary.
11 Q. Now, did you maintain a personal diary or personal calendar
12 describing your activities by date?
13 A. No. I had no personal diary or personal calendar. Every
14 commander from the lowest level to the highest level typically had a
15 notebook where some basic tasks were recorded.
16 Q. Did you maintain this notebook while in Vukovar?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. And do you have that?
19 A. No. The same applies to these notebooks, they are considered
20 official documents. When one is issued with a notebook, that notebook is
21 recorded in the registration books at the command. Once it is completed,
22 or perhaps the person whose notebook it is, is transferred to another
23 unit, such a notebook is returned, which is what I did.
24 Q. And within this notebook and the diary, would all oral orders be
1 A. Well, I can't say that all of them would be listed, some were
2 brief; and perhaps I didn't record them in the notebook. As for longer
3 orders, yes, I certainly recorded them. But now after so many years, I
4 really can't remember all of the details.
5 Q. And orders such as those relating to an evacuation would be listed
6 in the diary or notebook.
7 A. I suppose so.
8 Q. And having not looked at either of these documents since 1991,
9 you're testifying today solely on the basis of your memory.
10 A. One couldn't say so. In the introductory part, I said to whom I
11 gave statements. In this statement as well, there were many paragraphs
12 where the investigator put some documents to me. And that refreshed my
13 memory and I was able to link the documents with some events. So what I'm
14 telling you today is not simply a reflection of what I remember from 1991.
15 Q. But since there were no documents relating to the evacuation, that
16 portion of your testimony is solely related to your memory.
17 A. That's correct; however, I don't know whether there are documents
18 concerning the evacuation of the hospital or not.
19 Q. We'll get to that in a bit. Now, you testified that you had
20 attended briefings or meetings at the command of the Operation Group South
21 in Negoslavci.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you're familiar with the members of that Operations Group
24 South command, the command staff.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you know that the Operations Group South consisted of the
2 Guards Motorised Brigade, and some attached units.
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And you knew that in October of 1991, Colonel Mrksic was named the
5 commander of the -- I'm sorry, Colonel Mrksic of the Guards Motorised
6 Brigade was named the commander of Operations Group South.
7 A. We knew that he was the commander but he didn't come in and say to
8 us, "I am the commander of the Operations Group South from today on." We
9 saw that in the orders. After all, he was our brigade commander, nothing
10 bad about it.
11 Q. And you know that the Guards Brigade commander, Colonel Mrksic,
12 and the command staff and that of Operations Group South were one and the
14 A. You are probably referring to something similar that I stated
15 either in the statement or before the special court, and my conclusion was
16 based on the following: When we attended briefings, brigade commander
17 Colonel Mrksic was still my superior, that is to say, at the brigade
18 command. I didn't see any other officers from other formations who had
19 been sent to be additional staff on this command, at least that was my
21 Q. So you knew or you concluded that the command staff and the
22 commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade and OG South were one and the
24 A. That was my conclusion, which doesn't necessarily mean that it was
25 a correct one.
1 Q. Well, it was more than your conclusion. You stated that you knew
2 that, didn't you?
3 A. I already said to you that I mentioned something of that nature in
4 some previous statements, and I'm now not denying it.
5 Q. So when you stated to the Office of the Prosecutor, in paragraph
6 23 on page 5: "I know that the command staff and commander of the Guards
7 Motorised Brigade and Operations Group South were one and the same,"
8 you're not denying that, are you, sir?
9 A. I can deny it only partially. I can deny only some words. Yes,
10 that's true I stated that, but there's a big difference between saying "I
11 know" or "I think"; however, what I stated here is correct and I don't see
12 any contentious about it.
13 Q. Yesterday, you mentioned that there was a triage or selection
14 process in the hospital; do you recall that testimony?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And do you agree that that selection process was carried out by
17 the security organs?
18 A. The security organs were present, yes, but there were other
19 elements there, doctors, some others I can't remember. It wasn't just
21 Q. Would you agree, sir, that the selection process was carried out
22 exclusively by the security organs under the direction of Major
24 A. No, I wouldn't agree.
25 Q. You just mentioned doctors. You testified yesterday that there
1 were doctors involved in this selection. Were these JNA doctors, Yugoslav
2 People's Army doctors?
3 A. At the time, I didn't know the doctors. Whether they were the JNA
4 doctors or civilians or both of them, I wouldn't be able to say.
5 Q. Are you saying that it was the local doctors at the hospital who
6 assisted in the selection process?
7 A. No. There were doctors from elsewhere. They were not from the
8 Guards Brigade, perhaps they were from the 1st Military District. I don't
9 know. I don't know that.
10 Q. Sir, I put it to you that no such thing happened, that doctors
11 were not involved in the selection process, and that you know that; isn't
12 that correct?
13 A. That's your position. My position is quite different, that the
14 doctors, together with security organs and other people, participated in
15 the triage or selection, as you call it.
16 Q. Sir, we've talked about the statement that you gave to the Office
17 of the Prosecutor. When you gave the statement, did you tell the truth?
18 A. I told the truth then and I'm doing the same now. It all depends
19 on how the questions were phrased by the investigator.
20 Q. And after you gave the statement, you signed each and every page;
21 isn't that correct?
22 A. I don't remember, but it was an English version. I didn't sign a
23 Serbian one.
24 Q. And after you gave your statement, sir, it was read back to you in
25 the Serbian language, and you signed that it was read back to you; isn't
1 that correct?
2 A. Yes, you are correct.
3 Q. And you signed that it was true, to the best of your knowledge and
4 recollection; isn't that correct?
5 A. I don't know. I can't remember those details.
6 MR. WEINER: May be witness be shown page 04238960 which is page
8 Q. Do you see that in front of you, sir? Do you see where it
9 says, "Witness acknowledgment"?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And it first sentence says, "This statement has been read over to
12 me in the Serbian language and is true to the best of my knowledge and
13 recollection." Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I see that.
15 Q. And you signed below that?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown paragraph 60 beginning on
18 pages 11 and going into page 12. It's page 12 in the signed version which
19 is 04238955. ERN 04238955.
20 Q. Do you have that in front of you, sir?
21 A. Paragraph 60, you mean?
22 Q. Yes, sir. I'll read it, why don't you follow along.
23 "The selection was aimed at identifying members of the Croatian
24 forces who were hiding in the hospital. The security organs had
25 information that among the people in the hospital, there were indeed
1 members of the Croatian forces. I do not know how the security organs
2 were carrying out the selection -- or who were carrying out the selection
3 were able to determine who belonged to the Croatian forces and who did
5 "I do not know whether any medical personnel from the JNA were
6 involved in the selection process. As far as I know, only the medical
7 staff of the hospital was there. I do not know, either, whether anyone
8 from the ICRC or International Community participated in the selection. I
9 did not see anyone from the TO present during the selection process, but
10 then I did not know anyone from the TO."
11 "So in conclusion, I believe that the selection was carried out
12 exclusively by members of the security organs of OG South under the
13 direction of Major Veselin Sljivancanin, chief of the security organs of
14 the Guards Motorised Brigade."
15 Did I read that out correctly, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And will you agree that you signed the bottom of that particular
19 A. Well, you seem to be concentrating on the signature. I can say
20 that I signed in English. What I said is correct. However, this refers
21 to the selection of personnel, not triage. The security organ cannot
22 carry out a triage in order to establish whether someone is injured or
23 ill. I am not trying to evade what I said, that the security organs
24 participated in selecting people, because I assume they had information as
25 to who was in the hospital.
1 Q. And you said that, "This selection was carried out exclusively by
2 members of the security organs." You never mention any doctors
3 participating here; isn't that correct?
4 A. I mention doctors. I didn't say they were from the JNA. Maybe
5 they were not part of the JNA. I was not saying specifically that they
6 were from the JNA because I didn't know them.
7 Q. Do you say anywhere in this paragraph that the selection unit or
8 the key persons who performed the selection and those who performed the
9 triage were different?
10 A. I didn't understand your question.
11 Q. Do you say anywhere in this paragraph that the persons who
12 performed the triage and those who performed the selection were different?
13 A. I didn't say that. The investigator probably didn't ask me that.
14 Q. Do you say anywhere in this paragraph or anywhere in this
15 statement or in any other statement or testimony that you've ever given
16 other than yesterday or today that doctors were involved in a triage or
18 A. I may have said that, but I can't recall now whether I did or not.
19 Q. Proofing notes were filed upon the Office of the Prosecutor on
20 November 1st and November 2nd. Do you accept that no mention was made in
21 either of those proofing notes that doctors were involved in a triage at
22 the Vukovar Hospital?
23 A. No, I don't.
24 Q. Did you ever tell counsel that doctors were involved in a triage
25 or selection process at the hospital?
1 A. I don't recall telling them that.
2 Q. So you just thought about it for the first time yesterday when you
3 testified for the first time in 15 years.
4 A. I didn't say that I said it for the first time yesterday, because
5 I cannot remember all the details of each and every one of my statements.
6 In this case, I did not discuss this in detail with the lawyers.
7 Q. So the first time you ever recall discussing it in detail was
8 yesterday, 15 years after the incident.
9 A. No, that's not correct. I may have spoken about it before.
10 That's what you're saying.
11 Q. Please tell us, when did you speak of this in your statement at
12 the -- to the Belgrade military court, to the special court in Belgrade.
13 We know you didn't mention it in your statement to the Office of the
14 Prosecutor. When did you ever discuss this previously or mention it
16 A. I said I couldn't remember when I mentioned it. It's different
17 when you are talking and linking certain events to others, your memory
18 gets refreshed, things jog your memory. And everything I said, not just
19 in this paragraph or in this statement, is 100 percent correct. There may
20 be things to add, but probably it was because that's how questions were
21 put to me by the investigators.
22 Q. So you mentioned it yesterday suddenly because a question was put
23 to you.
24 A. I didn't say that. You said that.
25 Q. Well, sir, when you accept that you have never mentioned this
1 statement previously, at the break you can examine your testimony before
2 the Belgrade court or the Belgrade military court, you can look at your
3 prior testimony, you've never mentioned it previously.
4 And having never mentioned it previously and not believing you
5 discussed this matter with the attorneys, the Defence attorneys who have
6 called you, what is the basis for you suddenly saying yesterday that
7 doctors were involved in the triage or selection process?
8 A. I don't remember what the question was yesterday, but I do
9 remember talking about it.
10 Q. And would you agree, sir, if you accept you've never mentioned it
11 in any of your prior statements, that was the first time in 15 years that
12 you've ever mentioned that to anyone?
13 A. I repeat again: I can't recall everything. I don't accept this.
14 If I didn't say something before and you now ask me about it, it doesn't
15 mean that I omitted it purposely before.
16 Q. But you agree you've never mentioned it previously in 15 years?
17 A. I don't agree.
18 Q. Okay. Yesterday, you also testified about groups of civilians
19 being outside the hospital. You testified to that at pages 22 and 23. Do
20 you recall that testimony?
21 A. You mean in the statement to the investigator or yesterday? I
22 didn't understand you correctly, sorry. Could you please repeat your
24 Q. Yesterday in your testimony, you testified about groups of armed
25 civilians cursing, issuing provocations, being outside the hospital; do
1 you recall that?
2 A. Yes, I do. Now I understand your question.
3 Q. And you testified that you didn't consider these groups to be a
4 threat, yesterday; isn't that correct?
5 A. That's correct, yes.
6 Q. And in fact, you also testified in Belgrade at the special court
7 that you didn't believe these groups to be a threat; do you recall that?
8 A. If that's what it says in the statement, probably I did. But as
9 for the details, I can't remember everything I said in detail.
10 Q. Are you aware that a member of the press has testified in this
11 case, at page 3118, that he also arrived in Vukovar on November 19th and
12 saw soldiers drinking heavily and firing weapons?
13 Did you see anything like that, sir?
14 A. I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know what
15 journalist, what soldiers.
16 Q. A journalist testified that in the city centre of Vukovar - and
17 we're not speaking of New York City or Tokyo; we're speaking about
18 Vukovar, in the city centre - there were soldiers who were drinking
19 heavily and firing off weapons. Did you also see that while you were in
20 Vukovar centre and at the hospital?
21 A. Sir, if you're not talking about New York, I'm not talking about
22 Belgrade. This journalist may have seen that with his own eyes, but I did
23 not see it with mine.
24 Q. The journalist also indicated that there were people who were
25 calling themselves Chetniks walking around, and that they were setting up
1 musical systems to play music throughout the area. Did you see these
2 people who were drinking heavily too?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. Were you aware that members of the international press on that day
5 feared that a massacre would happen, and they made a plan to split up and
6 cover as much of the area as they could to prevent a massacre from
7 occurring? Were you aware of that, sir?
8 A. I am afraid this is a very complicated question. Could you please
9 repeat it and give me a precise date? And could you put it briefly?
10 This question seems to contain more than one question.
11 Q. Were you aware that on November 19th, members of the international
12 press in Vukovar centre feared that a massacre would happen? They made a
13 plan to split up so they could cover as much area as they could to prevent
14 a massacre from occurring. Were you aware of that?
15 A. I'm afraid I have to repeat again, I didn't hear that and who was
16 supposed to split up, the journalists? And where did the journalists get
17 this information?
18 Q. The journalists got the information from seeing the drunken
19 Chetniks and soldiers walking around firing guns, which you didn't see any
20 of that, did you, sir?
21 A. I'm telling you the journalists could have seen all sorts of
22 things, but I did not.
23 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that you increased the security due to this
25 A. What security are you referring to?
1 Q. You said that you increased the security at the hospital. Wasn't
2 it due to this threat; these drunken soldiers walking around through the
3 streets, and the chance that some harm would come to the people in the
4 hospital; isn't that correct, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And that's --
7 A. That's not correct. Had there been such a threat, I would have
8 either strengthened the security on my own initiative and then informed
9 the brigade commander about it, or had the brigade commander had such
10 information, he personally would have ordered me to strengthen the
11 security with a company or more, whereas the strengthening that you are
12 referring to amounted to only one platoon which arrived only on the
13 following day. Yesterday, I described what its task was.
14 Q. Whose decision was it to increase the security, yours or the
15 brigade commander's?
16 A. At my proposal, the commander issued this order to me. Every
17 movement of every unit was something that I had to inform my superior
18 officer about. He had to know where my units were.
19 Q. And you testified yesterday as to your reasons for increasing the
20 security, and those related to the evacuation and the escorting of
21 vehicles. Wasn't that your testimony at page 24 yesterday?
22 A. Yes, that's what I meant.
23 Q. And when you testified yesterday, you said, "I had one company
24 securing the hospital, but the company was not at its full complement and
25 I knew that I would be needing personnel to provide escort to vehicles
1 carrying evacuees. Furthermore, I needed men to frisk people upon leaving
2 the hospital and to avoid undermining the overall security system. I
3 ordered for this platoon to be involved."
4 Do you recall that testimony yesterday?
5 A. Yes. That's what I said.
6 Q. Now, sir, 15 months ago, you testified before the Belgrade special
7 court, and you were asked about the increase in security and you gave
8 conflicting answers; do you recall that? Answers that conflict with the
9 testimony you gave yesterday. You don't recall?
10 A. I can't recall every detail of everything. You always adhere to
11 everything I said, but if I were to give a statement next month, it would
12 not be exactly the same, not because I would be lying, but simply because
13 one cannot recall everything.
14 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, can we move to his Belgrade testimony
15 now, or would you like to take the lunch break or the 20-minute break.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I would be thinking of about another ten minutes or
17 so, Mr. Weiner, is that a practical time?
18 MR. WEINER: That's fine, Your Honour.
19 May the witness be shown e-court Belgrade testimony 0461-9343
20 through 0461-9395. Page 9 in the English version of the Belgrade
21 testimony which would be 0461-9348. Page 9 in the English version. In
22 the B/C/S, page 9348. And if you could move down on the page to where the
23 presiding judge says, "I understand. Was there any reason to increase
24 security?" It should be towards the middle of the page.
25 Q. Do you see that?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And the judge says, "I understand. Was there any reason to
3 increase security? I mean was there an objective reason, an objective
4 need in that sense?"
5 Witness Radoje Paunovic: "I don't know. The command's assessment
6 that it should be. I don't know. To tell you the truth, I didn't discuss
7 this as far as I recall. This was a regular order and I had the men."
8 Presiding judge: "I understand. But you were a commander and you
9 were asked to reinforce security, and so I'm asking you if you have any
10 information or recollections in that respect as to the reason for this,
11 what were the assessments about?"
12 "To tell you the truth, I cannot. It's been 13 years. I can
13 remember some details, but that ..."
14 And then they ask you if there were any problems, and you say no.
15 When did you first realise -- first, is that your testimony; is
16 that correct?
17 A. In this statement, yes. I mean, yes, about the statement.
18 Q. In the proofing notes and the witness summary provided by the
19 Defence during the summer and last week, there is no mention of the
20 reasons that you testified to yesterday for increasing the security. Are
21 you aware of that?
22 A. I don't know about anybody's testimony. I'm not familiar with it.
23 Q. We're talking about the summary of your testimony. The Defence
24 has never notified the Prosecution, the Court, or Defence counsel that
25 were going to change or provide new statements as to the reason for the
1 additional security. Are you aware of that, sir?
2 A. That's not in my sphere of competence. I don't understand you.
3 Why have I come here then? You could have read all the statements and
4 come to your conclusions; both you and the Defence.
5 Q. One and a half years ago, you were asked by the Court, and you
6 were told -- and you stated that you didn't know why the commander chose
7 to increase security.
8 Yesterday, you testified it was your decision to increase
9 security, and you provided all of these reasons for it. In the past year
10 and a half, when did you arrive at these reasons for increasing security
11 and realise that it was your decision to increase security?
12 A. I can't recall every detail now. It was mostly the court
13 investigator who refreshed my memory because he showed me many documents.
14 If I signed something, not just this statement, but in general, it doesn't
15 mean I remember every detail. Of course I signed this statement.
16 Q. In your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, you never
17 provided the information which you testified yesterday as to the reason
18 for increasing security; isn't that correct?
19 A. I didn't say I stated that before the court investigator. But in
20 my testimony before him, which lasted for two days, many documents were
21 shown to me, and perhaps these documents contributed to jogging my memory
22 with respect to certain issues. And even now, I cannot remember every
24 Q. Well, sir, in no statement that you have ever given previously or
25 your testimony at the Belgrade special court, did you ever mention those
1 reasons, which you testified to yesterday, and that it was your decision
2 to increase security. So when, in the past 15 years, did you suddenly
3 realise the information that you provided yesterday?
4 A. 15 years ago, and yesterday I recalled it.
5 Q. So you never mentioned this in your proofing to Defence counsel.
6 A. Nobody asked me. If they had, I might have. But nobody asked me
7 about it.
8 Q. So yesterday, for the first time in 15 years, you recalled it?
9 A. I didn't recall it. Yesterday was the first time I was asked
10 about it.
11 Q. Well, you were asked directly by the presiding judge in Belgrade,
12 and you couldn't answer a year and a half ago; isn't that correct?
13 A. The question wasn't put like that.
14 Q. When you told the Belgrade presiding judge that you didn't know
15 the reasons for increasing security, were you telling the truth?
16 A. I always tell the truth.
17 Q. So you didn't --
18 A. But it could also be that on that occasion, I simply could not
20 Q. And you suddenly recalled yesterday for the first time?
21 A. I didn't recall. I'm telling you for the hundredth time that
22 yesterday, they put a question to me and I answered that question.
23 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
24 Your Honour, is it time to take the break now.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner. We will resume at 25 minutes to
2 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Good afternoon. Good afternoon, sir. Can you hear me?
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Now, sir, isn't it true that you received tasks and orders from
9 Major Sljivancanin while in Vukovar?
10 A. No, that's not true.
11 Q. Are you saying that it wasn't possible for Major Sljivancanin to
12 issue you orders or tasks?
13 A. Correct.
14 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown his statement, his 1998
15 statement to the military court in Belgrade, 0218-8231 to 0218-8234 at
16 page 2, which is 0218-8232 in the English; and it's also page 2 in the
17 B/C/S, 8232.
18 Could you go down to where the narrative is. Thank you.
19 Q. Can we go to, sir, the middle. Do you see the words "That is when
20 I got an order"? It's after the words -- do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Okay. And you stated to the military court:
23 "That is when I got an order, as far as I can remember, from the
24 brigade staff chief, Lieutenant Colonel Miodrag Panic, or maybe from Major
25 Veselin Sljivancanin, chief of brigade security, to go along with the part
1 of the unit that was at Mitnica, to go towards the hospital and to take
2 over security of the hospital in Vukovar."
3 Did I read that correctly, sir?
4 A. You read it out correctly.
5 Q. And of all your statements, sir, this statement here, this 1999
6 statement was closest in time to that particular order.
7 A. Correct, but not in 1998, rather 1999, although it's not much of a
9 Q. And, sir, you signed -- this statement is in Serbian, or
10 Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and you signed it. It's in your native tongue
11 and you signed it, didn't you?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And above your signature, on page 4 in the English and also page 4
14 in the B/C/S, which is 8234, you wrote -- or it's written: "I will not
15 read the record because I was listening to dictation, and everything is
16 into record as I stated it and I will sign it without complaint." And
17 then you signed that. Isn't that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's beyond dispute.
19 Q. So do you agree in 1999, you conceded that Major Sljivancanin
20 could have issued orders to you?
21 A. As you read out in the first part of this statement, I said that I
22 received that order from the Chief of Staff, and it's true that I
23 said "maybe". I added "maybe"; it was given by Major Sljivancanin. I
24 wasn't that it was him.
25 Q. So the fact that you said it could have been given by Major
1 Sljivancanin, you are conceding that Major Sljivancanin could have issued
2 orders to you; isn't that correct?
3 A. That's not logical. I said about who had issued the order. This
4 involves just this one occasion. I said "maybe".
5 Q. So by saying maybe it came from Major Sljivancanin, sir, you're
6 admitting that this initial order may have come from Major Sljivancanin.
7 A. No. I disagree with that. You're just building assumptions on
8 that basis.
9 Q. Sir, you stated that the order may have come from Major
10 Sljivancanin; isn't that correct? That's what you stated.
11 A. It says here "maybe" but I'm telling you how it was in reality.
12 Q. You're telling us or you're testifying today that it came from
13 Panic. But in 1999, you told the military court that it came from either
14 Panic or maybe from Major Sljivancanin.
15 A. Why aren't you quoting first what I said, that I received it from
16 Panic. Why are you just focussing on Sljivancanin? I said from the Chief
17 of Staff, Panic, and then it's true that I said "maybe from Sljivancanin."
18 At any rate, you can ask Panic if he comes here to testify.
19 Perhaps he remembers that better; perhaps he doesn't.
20 Q. So by saying you may have received it from Major Sljivancanin, you
21 are admitting that you could have received orders from Major Sljivancanin;
22 isn't that correct?
23 A. I don't accept that.
24 Q. You said -- since Mr. Panic is coming here, maybe we should ask
25 Mr. Panic. Are you aware that Mr. Panic has given a statement, sir?
1 A. I suppose that he gave statement, maybe not about this particular
2 detail. But I'm sure that he must have given some statements. He was
3 Chief of Staff, after all.
4 Q. And are you aware that Mr. Panic or Colonel Panic gave a statement
5 to that same military court as you did?
6 A. I don't know where he gave his statements. I think I know about
7 the military court but I don't know about other occasions.
8 Q. And were you aware, sir, that Major Panic has denied ever giving
9 you an order to go to the hospital and cordoning it off?
10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
12 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Once again as a matter of
13 principle just as the last time, I think that finally the time has come
14 for us to put an end to this and to limit this putting of statements to
15 witnesses. We had a case where Mr. Domazet was putting to the witness
16 what the witness said. What can be said to the witness is that a certain
17 person said this and that, and then we can give the details about that
18 particular witness, the name and so on. After all, Mr. Panic will be
19 coming here to the courtroom.
20 I think that what is happening here is that the OTP is trying to
21 challenge what this witness is saying in an indirect way.
22 JUDGE PARKER: There is a difference on this occasion; it was the
23 witness which introduced the prospect that it was Mr. Panic. So I think
24 we'll leave counsel to get on with his cross-examination. Thank you.
25 Mr. Weiner.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Sir, the question is: Were you aware that Major Panic has denied
3 ever giving you an order to go to the hospital and cordoning it off?
4 A. I don't know about such a statement, nor was his statement put to
6 Q. Based on your lack of records, sir, or diary, and based on Colonel
7 Panic's statement that he didn't issue an order, will you concede that
8 someone other than Colonel Panic ordered you and your unit to the Vukovar
10 A. If we read this text again, by your leave, I'm going to repeat my
11 words, "I received orders at the time," and this bit is important, "as far
12 as I can remember now, I did sign this statement." But I put in here "as
13 far as I remember, I didn't receive anything from Sljivancanin or Panic."
14 I cannot claim with certainty, but I definitely did not receive it from
16 As for what Panic stated, I don't know. Perhaps his memory is
17 faulty; perhaps mine is.
18 Q. Well, since your memory might be faulty, will you concede that
19 someone other than Colonel Panic ordered you to go to the hospital?
20 A. Who would that other person be?
21 Q. Well, as noted in your --
22 A. Do you wish me to say that it was Sljivancanin who ordered it?
23 You keep insisting on it, so you would be happy if I said that and we
24 would proceed, right? I can't remember, and I stand by my statement. I
25 signed it, but I can't remember.
1 Q. Sir, in 1999, you notified the Court, the military court in
2 Belgrade, that Major Sljivancanin may have issued that order. Would you
3 agree that it was possible that Sljivancanin issued that order?
4 A. No. I disagree, and I have told you so already.
5 Q. Well, let's continue. You testified that while at the hospital,
6 you met Marin Vidic and you transported him to the security organ desk at
7 Negoslavci. And that's at pages 27 and 28 of your testimony yesterday.
8 Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, I remember.
10 Q. And you took this action in response to an order; isn't that
12 A. Certainly. It wasn't on my own initiative that I took him there.
13 Q. And would you agree, sir, that it was Major Sljivancanin who
14 issued that task or order for you to transport Marin Vidic?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. The fact that you don't remember, are you saying that it was
17 possible, then, that he issued that order?
18 A. I don't want to speculate now. I told you that I don't remember.
19 Q. Well, let's see if we can refresh your recollection. Let's turn
20 to your 1999 statement to the military court, 0218-8231 to 0218-8234.
21 Page 3 in the English; and B/C/S, 8233.
22 Do you see where it says, "I remember that day around 0900 hours
23 per security organ's order," in the middle? Do you see that, "I remember
24 that day around 0900 hours per security organ's order."
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. It says, "I remember that day, around 0900 hours, per security
2 organ's order gave a ride to Marin Vidic Republic of Croatia trustee, who
3 was at the hospital to the brigade command position. I gave him a ride.
4 I left him at the command position, and I returned to the hospital. In
5 the meantime, Vesna Bosanac was brought there."
6 Did I read that correctly?
7 A. Yes, you did.
8 Q. And you said that you gave him a ride pursuant to the security
9 organ's order. The security organ was Major Sljivancanin; isn't that
11 A. What you say about Sljivancanin being the organ, no. Sljivancanin
12 was the chief of security organ, and there were a number of other officers
13 belonging to the security organ. So somebody called via communication
14 channels and conveyed the order to me to take this person, in order to
15 gain some information, collect information, I don't know what it was
16 about. It doesn't say here: Per security -- per order of the chief of
17 security organ, no. It just says per security organ's order, although I
18 wrote here -- I stated in this statement "ordered," yes.
19 Q. So someone, you're saying, in the security organ ordered you to
20 bring Vidic to the security organ desk at Negoslavci. That's what you
22 A. That's what it says there.
23 Q. And when you say, "that's what it says," that's what you said in
24 1999 to the military court.
25 A. It is true that I stated that, but had I read it in greater detail
1 and understood its importance, I probably would have modified this.
2 Q. And that's all speculation, sir, isn't that?
3 A. No, it's not speculation. I'm telling you how it is.
4 Q. Well, sir, are you aware that there has been testimony in this
5 case that Major Sljivancanin ordered or tasked you to transport Marin
6 Vidic to the headquarters; are you aware of that? And that's at page
8 A. I don't know about that case. But even had it been so, I don't
9 see anything bad, although I see what you're driving at. This person
10 needed to be interviewed by security organs. I don't see anything bad
11 about such an order, even if it was the case; however, I don't remember it
12 being the case.
13 Q. Sir, is it true, as that testimony appears, that Major
14 Sljivancanin ordered you to drive Marin Vidic to Negoslavci and that you
15 obeyed the order and did so? Is that correct?
16 A. No. No one made mention of Major Sljivancanin. I don't remember
17 receiving such an order from him.
18 Q. Sir, on page 13595 of this trial, Major Sljivancanin has testified
19 that he gave you the task of transporting Mr. Vidic. Are you saying that
20 the accused, Sljivancanin, isn't telling the truth?
21 A. I'm not saying decidedly. I'm not 100 percent certain. I'm only
22 saying that I don't recall who transmitted this order to me. It might
23 have been him, because he was in the hospital area. But I see nothing
24 terrible about this because it's the security organ that's dealing with
25 this person. I'm not taking him to the brigade command; I'm taking him to
1 the security organ.
2 Q. And the security organ can issue orders to you, isn't that
3 correct, just like he did for you to transport Marin Vidic?
4 A. I repeat again: The security organ cannot issue orders, that is
5 the chief of the security organ. You keep insisting on this one case
6 which, in my view, is not really important.
7 Q. So when Major Sljivancanin, according to his testimony, ordered or
8 tasked you to bring Marin Vidic to Negoslavci, we should reject that
9 testimony; is that what you're saying?
10 A. It's up to you to decide. Maybe Major Sljivancanin doesn't
11 remember some things so well. I am not -- I'm not asserting that. He
12 might remember them better than me.
13 Q. You testified yesterday and today that the order was relayed to
14 you by radio, and that was the reason that you don't know who issued that
15 order. Do you recall that testimony? That's on page 59 yesterday.
16 A. Yes. That's what I said yesterday, to the best of my
17 recollection. That's a detail which is difficult to recall, but I
18 remember with 100 percent certainty that I personally conducted him there.
19 Q. Would it surprise you that Major Sljivancanin testified at pages
20 13593 to 594 that while he was with you at the hospital, he gave you that
21 task? So you didn't receive any notice by radio.
22 A. That's his statement. He may have better recollection, or I may
23 have a better recollection.
24 Q. So based on Major Sljivancanin's recollection and testimony, would
25 you agree that he issued you orders and tasks?
1 A. I would not agree.
2 Q. So when he's testified to having issued you orders and tasks, it's
3 just a figment of his imagination?
4 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner --
6 MR. WEINER: I will withdraw that question.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Are you in the middle of that issue or --
8 MR. WEINER: I'm waiting for the objection.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I'm waiting before turning to that objection to see
10 whether you have finished that point.
11 MR. WEINER: Yes.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good.
13 Mr. Bulatovic.
14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think Mr.
15 Sljivancanin, in his testimony, nowhere said what Mr. Weiner is trying to
16 put to the witness as Mr. Sljivancanin's testimony, that he issued him
17 tasks in the plural, to give the impression that Sljivancanin was
18 constantly giving tasks. But we are now talking about one single task,
19 the taking away of Marin Vidic. So I believe counsel is misleading the
20 witness by using the plural, "tasks" allegedly given by Sljivancanin.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
22 Have you finished with the point, Mr. Weiner?
23 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour, I will withdraw the question.
24 JUDGE PARKER: You withdraw it?
25 MR. WEINER: Yes.
1 Q. Sir, I'd like to discuss a few other areas of your testimony today
2 and yesterday. And you testified that you knew or you were aware that the
3 buses would be going to the barracks; isn't that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's what I knew, that they were going to the barracks.
5 Q. When you were questioned previously in 1995 -- I'm sorry, 1999,
6 and 2005 in Belgrade, you indicated that you were not aware of where the
7 buses were going; isn't that correct?
8 A. One might say it's correct because, of course, they wouldn't
9 remain at the barracks. What I meant to say was I didn't know where they
10 would go on from the barracks. That's probably the gist of what I said.
11 Q. Sir, that's not the gist of what you said. Let us go to the
12 testimony. Let's start out with your statement of 1999, which is
13 0218-8231, 0218-8234, page 3 in the English. Can you move down a little
14 bit, please. Thank you.
15 Do you see the next to last paragraph, sir? "After that, I think
16 it was on the 20th of November, 1991." Do you see that, sir?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. "After that, I think it was on the 20th of November, 1991,
19 evacuation started of people who were in the hospital. Previously, some
20 sort of selection was done. Selection was done by security organs, so
21 some people were separated to go to Croatia, some to go to Vojvodina, and
22 some were held and moved into the buses that transported them somewhere,
23 but I do not know where."
24 "I only know that my unit got a task to secure one group of
25 civilians that were separated. They were supposed to go to Croatia, but
1 the Croatian side did not want to take them over and they had to return.
2 They were transported again and I know that they were turned over to
3 Croatians, but I do not know where."
4 Now, you never said that these people had been transported to the
5 barracks, did you?
6 A. That's correct. With respect to this question, I was responding
7 to a question by Mr. Domazet, because the evacuation of civilians was
8 carried out later from the hospital. And it was those buses I was
9 referring to when I said that I didn't know where they would go. I knew
10 that some people wanted to go to Croatia; and later on, I learned that
11 there had been some problems about their being received there. That's
12 what I was referring to in this passage. I think my reply to Mr. Domazet
13 was similar to the reply I gave you concerning this question.
14 Q. Sir, you never mentioned the word "barracks" in this statement,
15 isn't that correct, in relation to the buses leaving the hospital?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Now, you were asked again in Belgrade about -- at the special
18 court in 2005 about this situation. And if we go to page 12 in the
19 English, which is 0461-9343 to 0461-9395; page 12, 0461-9350. Pages 12,
20 which is 9350, going into page 13. It would be 9350.
21 Now, do you see where the presiding judge says "yes," it's in the
22 middle: "Yes, you say here that everyone was evacuated from the hospital
23 on November 20th." Do you see that? Do you see that?
24 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
25 Q. The presiding judge: "Yes, you say here that everyone was
1 evacuated from the hospital on 20 November. But earlier, a selection or
2 separation was carried out by security organs; and some were singled out
3 to go to Croatia, some to Vojvodina, and some were kept back and put in
4 buses which took them somewhere but I don't know where."
5 "Witness Radoje Paunovic: That's right. I don't know where they
6 were driven to. I just know, based on the statements of some regulars who
7 were doing their military service and who accompanied them to the
8 barracks. I don't know whether there were one or two buses, that's where
9 their assignment ended. And as I said, there was a selection because I
10 was present, not that I took part, but I saw people there; for instance,
11 one would say he wanted to go to Croatia, another towards Serbia or
12 Vojvodina, and that's what I meant in that context."
13 "Could one conclude that there was a third group that wasn't going
14 to either Croatia or to Vojvodina but to some buses which drove away, but
15 you don't know where?
16 "I don't know but I assume -- no, I don't assume. They were
17 driven to the barracks. I know that some were driven to the barracks,
18 whether it was one or two. I don't know, because I did not personally
19 issue any assignments to that military patrol, nor did I participate in
20 the selection. I mean, neither I nor members of my unit did, other
21 personnel did."
22 Sir, you never said that you knew, prior to those buses leaving,
23 that they'd be going to the barracks. You learned that from people who
24 had gone to the barracks; isn't that correct?
25 A. What you are reading here, my statement, where it says who is
1 going to Croatia, who is going to Vojvodina, those are completely
2 different people. Those are civilians. This is correct, that a certain
3 number of soldiers went to the barracks. But I said, both yesterday and
4 today, that I am not aware that they went in the direction of Ovcara or
5 any other facility. We are mixing things up here.
6 So let me emphasise once again. It was not only those suspect or
7 suspected members of Croatian paramilitary formations that were in the
8 hospital; there were also civilians there and members of the general
9 population. So when they were evacuated, they expressed their wishes as
10 to where they wanted to go. That's why I said I don't know to what
11 destinations these buses went. These what I meant to say.
12 Q. Sir, you never said that you knew, prior to those buses leaving,
13 that they were heading to the barracks. You found out after they went to
14 the barracks from the -- your soldiers, your police officers who escorted
15 them there; isn't that correct? Yes or no.
16 A. I can't recall, so I can't give you a yes or no answer. But I'm
17 sure that I received reports through their commanders from some soldiers
18 that they went to the barracks.
19 Q. So you agree, sir, that you may have learned after the fact that
20 they had gone to the barracks?
21 A. In the case of some of the buses, not all of them.
22 Q. Thank you. You testified today that a -- you saw a Colonel
23 Pavkovic at the hospital. You didn't say that he was in charge of the
24 evacuation, but you said you thought then maybe he was in charge of the
25 evacuation. Is that the gist of your testimony, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Prior to testifying in this court, had you ever said to anyone --
3 have you ever stated in any court or in any statement that Colonel
4 Pavkovic was in charge of the evacuation?
5 A. As far as I can recall, I never said anything like that. I am not
6 sure even today that he was in charge of the evacuation. It's only my
7 opinion that he might have been. Whether he actually was, I don't know.
8 Q. You spoke with the Office of the Prosecutor in July of 2005, and
9 if we go to that statement, on page 61 -- I'm sorry, paragraph 61, page
10 12, 0423-8944, and paragraph 61 is on 0423-8955.
11 You stated in paragraph 61: "I never saw a written order for the
12 evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital. I assume that there was a written
13 order taking into account the complexity of such an operation. I do not
14 remember who informed me or how I was informed. I did not know either who
15 was to be in charge of the evacuation."
16 You never knew who was in charge of the evacuation.
17 A. No.
18 Q. And when you said today that Colonel Pavkovic was in charge of the
19 evacuation, you said that to help your friend Major Sljivancanin; isn't
20 that true?
21 A. I don't think that's the way I put it. If I stated that, then
22 when I was talking about Pavkovic, he might have been, because I saw him
23 around at that time.
24 Q. So you --
25 A. But that has nothing to do whether Sljivancanin is a friend of
1 mine or not. I am testifying here as a witness.
2 Q. In fact, in your statement at paragraph 67, your statement to the
3 OTP, you indicated that it was possible that Sljivancanin was in charge of
4 the evacuation; isn't that correct, sir?
5 A. I may have stated something to that effect, but I certainly never
6 stated anywhere that Sljivancanin was in charge. I may have said in that
7 statement -- may I comment on paragraph 67, what you're asking me about?
8 Q. Please do.
9 A. This reply in paragraph 67, the court investigator put a document
10 to me or maybe put something to me orally saying that Major Sljivancanin
11 was in charge of the evacuation. And right at the start of this
12 paragraph, my reply is, I quote: "At that time, I did not know that Major
13 Sljivancanin was in charge of the evacuation."
14 Q. Would you like to continue reading, sir.
15 A. Yes. "It is up to the security organs to first interview the
16 persons who are to be evacuated and to select them. The military police
17 then has to carry -- or has to conduct the evacuees and hand them over to
18 the authorities as agreed. It is most logical for the commander of the
19 military police unit to be in command of the transport and hand-over."
20 "In the case of Vukovar Hospital, it is not clear whether the
21 evacuees were prisoners of war. So it does not seem illogical to me that
22 the security organ was in charge of the operation, because they were the
23 ones carrying out the selection. I do admit that the selection process is
24 only one of the aspects of evacuation."
25 Q. When you said: "It does not seem illogical to me to appoint the
1 security organ as the one in charge of the operation, because they carried
2 out the selection," you're indicating that Major Sljivancanin could have
3 been in charge of that evacuation operation; isn't that correct, sir?
4 A. No, that's not correct, sir. I said that the investigator put to
5 me - I don't know on what basis - that it was Major Sljivancanin who was
6 in charge of the operation. So my reply followed from that.
7 Q. And you said: "It does not seem illogical to me to appoint a
8 security organ as the one in charge of the operation, because they carried
9 out the selection." Isn't that correct?
10 A. I don't know. Please don't put your ideas into my statement. I
11 didn't say that he was in charge. But that based on evidence put to me, I
12 don't remember what. Even if he had been, I didn't think about this but
13 that's not how I saw it.
14 Q. But you said: "It wouldn't seem illogical to appoint a security
15 organ as the one in charge of the operation, because they carried out the
16 selection." Those are your words, aren't they?
17 A. I don't see anything bad in what I said.
18 Q. Well, sir, you know that the person who Colonel Mrksic placed in
19 charge of an evacuation operation has certain powers and duties, and can
20 issue orders to others, isn't that correct, to facilitate that operation?
21 A. I spoke about that yesterday and today. I don't know any details.
22 Q. You know, having been a soldier for your career, that a person who
23 is placed in charge by a commander of a military operation has the powers
24 and authority to issue orders to those persons and units participating in
25 that operation; isn't that correct?
1 A. You are working on the basis of a hypothetical case, and you are
2 quoting our rules. I don't see anything contentious there, but you keep
3 focussing on one person only.
4 Q. Well, sir, if Major Sljivancanin was in charge of that evacuation
5 operation, he had the authority to issue orders to you and your -- and the
6 members of your military police unit; isn't that correct?
7 A. I can't answer that question because the same questions -- or
8 rather, similar questions were put by an investigator, and I gave answers
9 of this nature, which now you are interpreting to your advantage or as it
10 suits you best.
11 Q. Sir, there's a question: If Major Sljivancanin was in charge of
12 that evacuation operation, he had the authority to issue orders to you and
13 the members of your military police unit; isn't that correct? Can you
14 answer that.
15 A. I cannot.
16 Q. And if Major Sljivancanin was in charge of the evacuation
17 operation, he had the authority to say to you: "Take Marin Vidic from the
18 hospital and drive him to Negoslavci." And you would obey his order;
19 isn't that correct?
20 A. Again, you are phrasing it in terms of a hypothesis. Ask me about
21 specific cases. I don't want to work on the basis of assumptions here.
22 Q. Sir, there has been testimony that Marin Vidic was driven from the
23 hospital to Negoslavci as a result of orders given. That was your
24 testimony. If Major Sljivancanin was in charge of the evacuation
25 operation, he had authority to issue those orders to you, and you had to
1 obey him. And that's what happened; isn't that correct, sir?
2 A. Once again, it isn't correct. When I took Marin Vidic, the
3 evacuation of the hospital was completed. And one cannot link Marin Vidic
4 with the evacuation of the hospital at all, or rather, I apologise, I
5 first took Marin Vidic and then the evacuation was carried out. I'm
6 sorry, that was -- I'm sorry, that was the slip of the tongue.
7 Q. So why don't you try my question. If Major Sljivancanin was in
8 charge of the evacuation operation, isn't it true that he would have the
9 authority to issue the orders to you to take Marin Vidic to Negoslavci,
10 and you would have to obey him. And that's exactly what happened.
11 A. Why are you always bringing up Sljivancanin? Why don't you bring
12 up another name in charge of the operation? I don't understand this
13 question. You are asking me to speculate.
14 Q. You're here to testify. You've been called to testify on behalf
15 of the accused, Major Sljivancanin. And that's why I'm asking you
16 questions about him and the other accused. And you still haven't answered
17 my question. Would you like me to repeat it again?
18 A. You don't need to repeat it. You want me to say that Major
19 Sljivancanin was in charge of the operation. I keep insisting on the fact
20 that I don't know that he was in charge of the operation, and I am not
21 aware of any orders.
22 Q. But the question was, sir: If he was in charge of the operation,
23 he had the right and authority to order you to bring Mr. Vidic to
24 Negoslavci, and you had to obey that order, and that's what happened;
25 isn't that correct? You can say yes, you can say no, or refuse to answer.
1 A. I can't say either yes or no, and I'm not refusing to answer. Let
2 me repeat, I took Marin Vidic on the 19th in the evening, and the
3 operation of the hospital evacuation began on the 20th, and I don't see
4 any link there.
5 Q. While we're on the 19th, let's move briefly to another subject.
6 You testified today in response to counsel for the accused Radic that it
7 was not possible for people to have entered the hospital while it was
8 under the control of your military police unit. Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Now, sir, on the 19th and the 24th of November, you weren't
11 present at that hospital on a 24-hour basis; isn't that correct?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And you can only answer or provide information about those times
14 that you were present at the hospital; isn't that correct?
15 A. Concerning certain information, yes, and other information, no,
16 because the company commander informed me about the events which took
17 place in my absence, that is to say, Captain First Class Simic.
18 Q. But again, you can't state whether or not people entered that
19 hospital while you were not present; isn't that correct?
20 A. I can state, because I believe my company commander. He was the
21 one informing me, as I told you, that nobody came in or out.
22 Q. But if you weren't there, sir, you can't state whether or not
23 people entered or left the hospital.
24 A. I told you what my position was and why.
25 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown his testimony from Belgrade,
1 page 44 and 45 of the Belgrade transcript. On the e-tran system, it's
2 0461-9343 to 0461-9395; page 0461-9365 in the B/C/S.
3 Q. Could you go to the middle of the page, sir. "Presiding Judge:
4 Despite the security, do you know whether any residents of Vukovar entered
5 the hospital to visit?" Do you see that?
6 A. Just a minute, please. Would you please give me the beginning
7 again, the beginning of the quotation.
8 Q. The speaker is the Presiding Judge asking a question: "Despite
9 the security, do you know whether any residents of Vukovar entered the
10 hospital to visit?"
11 A. Yes. Yes, I can see that.
12 Q. All right. So question: "Despite the security, do you know
13 whether any of the residents of Vukovar entered the hospital to visit?"
14 "Witness Radoje Paunovic: No one entered the hospital.
15 "Presiding Judge: To their relatives, friends, and so on to
16 perhaps even lead them out.
17 "Natasa Cannedic: That someone came out of the hospital?
18 "Presiding Judge: And perhaps they took someone out.
19 "Witness Radoje Paunovic: No.
20 "Presiding Judge: For instance, Mr. Vujanovic, that Vujanovic
21 whom you know, let out his sister.
22 "Witness Radoje Paunovic: I told you that I wasn't there
23 continuously. I'm talking about what I know while I was there. As to
24 whether Vujanovic or whoever came, if you ask me, I'm telling you that I
25 don't know. I'm not saying that this didn't happen, but I don't know
1 about it."
2 Did I read that correctly, sir?
3 A. You did.
4 Q. So you can't tell if people entered or exited the hospital while
5 you weren't there, according to your testimony in Belgrade.
6 A. My statement is true, and I stand by it. The president of the
7 chamber, as you can see here, didn't put any documents to me. He just
8 said that Mr. Vujanovic had taken out his sister. I don't know about that
9 case. And who knows whether this pertains to the 19th at all, this issue
10 with Vujanovic.
11 As I have stated to you, I wasn't at the hospital the entire
12 time. But based on the reports I received from the company commander,
13 nobody came in or out.
14 Q. And as you said: "I'm talking about what I know while I was
15 there. As to whether Vujanovic or whoever came, if you ask me, I'm
16 telling you that I don't know. I'm not saying that this didn't happen,
17 but I don't know about it."
18 And when you said that, sir, you're indicating you only knew what
19 happened while you were there; isn't that correct? That's what you told
20 the court.
21 A. Yes, that's correct, that I said this in this statement. I failed
22 to say in this statement that perhaps Vujanovic took somebody out prior to
23 this. But let me repeat, my company commander didn't inform me about such
24 instances. And why would I not testify on the basis of the information I
25 received from the company commander, when previously you asked me to
1 speculate about certain issues.
2 I'm not denying this. I wasn't in the hospital constantly.
3 There's nothing contentious here. I stand by this statement.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Even though I think that the witness
6 has already explained this, I think we need to say that we are spending
7 too much time on this, because I didn't put this to the witness. What I
8 put to the witness was whether any soldiers or officers went into the
9 hospital to mistreat the wounded, and the answer was clear, nobody. Now,
10 another instance is being put to the witness when the sister was taken
11 out. I think that my learned friend Weiner is belabouring the point
12 without a solid reason.
13 JUDGE PARKER: He won't be able to belabour it any more, Mr.
14 Borovic, because we've reached the time when we must adjourn for the day.
15 So we adjourn now. We resume tomorrow at 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
18 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.