1 Wednesday, 15 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon. Unfortunately, the Chamber was not
7 able to sit until now because the previous trial ran over time; it's
9 Sir, Mr. Simic, if I could remind you of the affirmation that you
10 made at the beginning of your evidence which still applies.
11 WITNESS: MILIVOJE SIMIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Mr. Moore.
14 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
15 Your Honour, could we please have 65 ter number 3D22 shown on the
16 screen. I've got hard copies in English for assistance of the Court which
17 sometimes is better than the electronic version. If they could be handed
18 forward, I would be very grateful.
19 Your Honour, I don't have anything on the e-court system.
20 THE REGISTRAR: We would need to have the document ID rather than
21 the 65 ter number, please.
22 MR. MOORE: Well, what I have got is ET 04675901 to 5902.
23 Your Honour, I'm told that it's a Sljivancanin document
24 originally. The reference we have is 3D050215. Does that help?
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Moore: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Simic, can you see the screen all right?
2 A. Instructions for using the military police, right?
3 Q. Well, what I've got is a translation just -- I don't know if this
4 is right. It should be JNA guidelines for application of service
5 regulations of SFRY armed forces military police. But it's of application
6 to the military police. That's right, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go to I'll call it paragraph 255. Can
9 that be located, please? It may assist if it's 3D05, then it's 263
10 and 264. In the English version, there are two pages.
11 So 255, have we got it? Yes.
12 The subheading here is "escorting the prisoners of war." It's
13 guidelines for the military police when they find themselves in such
14 situations. That is correct, is it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'd just like to deal with 255. I will move on, but I'm going to
17 read it out and I hope at a speed that is acceptable to all parties.
18 255: "Military police participates in the escort of the more
19 important prisoner of war from the division station where they are
20 gathered to the prisoner of war camps. Troops appointed for the escort of
21 prisoners of war must be well-trained." And then it goes on: "Whenever
22 possible, people with knowledge of the language spoken by the prisoners of
23 war shall be appointed to the escort organs." So that is the preamble.
24 256, I'd like to deal with this, please. "The commanding officer
25 who orders the escort of the prisoners of war is obliged to inform the
1 commanding officer of the unit appointed to escort on the number and the
2 category of the prisoners of war to be escorted, the manner of the escort,
3 the access of movement and the manner in which food and other necessities
4 are to be supplied."
5 Well, clearly, there is a subdivision here of command and control,
6 because we're dealing with the commanding officer who orders the escort
7 and he is obliged to inform the commanding officer of the unit who is
9 Now, in this scenario from the hospital at Vukovar on the morning
10 of the 20th of November, who was the commanding officer who ordered the
11 escort of the prisoner of war? Can we have his name, please.
12 A. Mr. Moore, my task was not to escort persons. My unit had the
13 task of searching persons. As for escorting, I don't know about that.
14 Q. So are you saying to this Court that on the 20th of November,
15 1991, you did not know who was the commanding officer who ordered the
16 escort? Is that actually what you are saying?
17 A. I am telling you that the battalion commander gave me the task of
18 searching these persons. I did not escort prisoners, I only searched
19 persons. Probably when my commander received tasks, the person who gave
20 him his tasks gave the person who was escorting these people his task as
22 Q. But Paunovic never told you this in your briefing. Is that what
23 you're saying?
24 A. No. He told me only the task of searching persons. Escorting, I
25 was not involved in that.
1 Q. And what about the person who was escorting the prisoners of war?
2 Who was responsible for that? Who was the commanding officer of -- or who
3 was the commander of that particular task? What was his name, please?
4 A. I told you yesterday that Major Vukasinovic took over the persons
5 who I had frisked. I assumed that he was the one responsible for
6 escorting them.
7 Q. So the security organ, as far as you could see, were responsible
8 for escorting them; is that right? That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Major Vukasinovic then worked in the security organ.
10 Q. Thank you. Let's move 256 the second paragraph, because I'm going
11 to suggest to you that this is a guideline, maybe a duty when it comes to
12 military police, but it's a guideline generally. "Upon receiving the
13 escort task, the commanding officer of the escort -- or the escort unit
14 takes the following measures, carries out a roll-call of the prisoners of
15 war from the list received by the organs of the command, searches the
16 prisoners of war, warns the prisoners of war through interpreters that in
17 case of an attempted escape, they will be prevented by the use of arms."
18 A rather polite way of saying "shot."
19 Now, when we're talking about these three criteria, searches of
20 prisoners of war, that's what you're doing. That's correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So: "Carries out a roll-call of the prisoners of war." Who was
23 carrying out the roll-call?
24 A. It was carried out in the hospital. I don't know, because I was
25 outside the hospital. I was in front of the hospital.
1 Q. So what you are saying is, as far as you are aware -- well, it's
2 not a case as far as you were aware. You yourself made no list. That is
3 correct, isn't it?
4 A. No, I did not make any lists, nor did I receive any lists.
5 Q. So you were not ordered to make a list and you did not make a
6 list. So when we talk about lists around we talk about you, Mr. Simic,
7 lists and yourself don't go together. Someone else's responsibility.
8 That's right, isn't it?
9 A. No, no, I didn't have any lists.
10 Q. Well, bearing in mind these are the guidelines for an evacuation
11 or an escorting of prisoners of war, and bearing in mind we have heard
12 evidence about the Mitnica evacuation where lists were compiled with some
13 precision, who was compiling the list of these people coming out of the
15 A. I am not aware of that.
16 Q. Well, who went into the hospital dealing with the initial part of
17 the evacuation? Was that Major Sljivancanin and some others?
18 A. I told you that a group of officers, including Major Sljivancanin,
19 entered the hospital. Now, what the organisation of work was in the
20 hospital, who was the organiser, who was implementing it, I don't know
21 because I didn't enter the premises.
22 Q. Well, I want to move on in time - we will come back - look at 258,
23 please. Again, the guideline for the military police. Could you look up
24 at 258? I'll read it out to assist you. "When transporting the prisoners
25 of war by vehicles (trucks) they should be boarded so that one or two
1 escorts board first and then a certain number of prisoners of war."
2 So the modus operandi that was used for the buses, I think, were
3 two soldiers, isn't that right, on each bus?
4 A. Sir, you keep asking me about escorting and transporting these
5 people, whereas I was only responsible for the search. Now, how that was
6 organised, how many of them were in their -- involved in the security, how
7 many escorted them, that was not my task. I don't know anything about
8 that task.
9 Q. But you may not know about the tasks, so you say, but you
10 certainly know that there were soldiers on the buses; that is correct.
11 You saw them, didn't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. And as far as you could see, it would conform with
14 258, that there were soldiers on the bus for control. That's right, isn't
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you were able to see the buses, because you've told us that
18 in evidence. That's correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But it's also right to say you weren't able to see the buses every
21 second of every minute, but you saw them over a period of time. That is
22 right, isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Let's look, then, at the next paragraph of 258: I read: "The
25 commanding officer of the escort," or "the escort unit, controls the
1 boarding, checks the disposition of the escorts, and the prisoners of war
2 on every vehicle and the regularity of" -- there's a difficulty in the
3 translation: "The place next to the driver in the first vehicle."
4 Well, clearly there is reference to the commanding officer of the
5 escort unit. You were able to see the buses. I would like to know, then,
6 please, who you considered was the commanding officer of the escort unit?
7 So can you tell us a name, please? That you considered was in that
8 position, not what you know, of course, but what you considered, from what
9 you saw?
10 A. I said yesterday as well that I had assumed that it was Major
11 Ljubisa Vukasinovic.
12 Q. In fairness to you, I think you've said you were doing a lot of
13 things, so you weren't able to see the bus all the time. That is right,
14 isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And therefore, you cannot say whether Major Sljivancanin was at
17 the bus at some time when you were not looking at it. That is correct
18 also, logically, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, it's logical.
20 Q. Let us then move, please, to 260 and 261. "When the prisoners of
21 war are escorted through the zone of combat activities," this escort was
22 supposed to be going to Sremska Mitrovica, "the commanding officer of the
23 escort is obliged to leave it as soon as possible, shorten the depth of
24 the column, avoid the movement in the area which facilitates the escape
25 and in the regions where infiltrated or remaining enemy groups activities
1 have been felt."
2 261: "Following the completion of the escort, the prisoner of war
3 are handed over to the prisoner of war command when the commanding officer
4 of the escort patrol (escort unit) takes a confirmation note on the
5 hand-over of the prisoners of war, their belongings and their money. The
6 confirmation note is then handed over to the commanding officer who
7 ordered the escort to take place."
8 Now, 261 basically creates a circle of command because what is
9 being suggested in 256 about commanding officer and the commanding officer
10 of the unit to escort ensures that you have a full circle of command, so
11 you count them all out and you count them all back in. That's right,
12 isn't it? That's the whole purpose.
13 A. Naturally, what it says in item 261 is all correct.
14 Q. So when we are talking about an evacuation, we're talking about
15 the compilation of lists, a number of lists, or a list with a number of
16 people on it, and then when it comes to the hand-over, to ensure that
17 nobody's being taken off the bus. That, in substance, is what it means,
18 isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can I just ask you, then, please, to deal with one part of your
21 statement. May I just find it. It is page 5 of the first translation.
22 It's the B/C/S version of -- which is page 021-88241, and I hope the Court
23 have now got the correct bundle that is correctly paginated.
24 Have you got that document in front of you?
25 A. 046198.
1 Q. If you go to tab 2. On the English version, page 5, it is the
2 last line: "During the search, no register was kept, nor were lists made
3 of people taken out of the hospital and their loading onto the buses. I
4 do not know whether anyone had kept a record in the hospital before this."
5 Would you accept from me that if there is to be an evacuation of
6 prisoners of war or detained persons, that it is a fundamental -- that
7 there should be a list made of people taken away and put or detained in
9 A. I said in my statement that in the company -- or, rather, I, as
10 company commander, didn't keep any records. You would have to ask
11 somebody else whether they kept any records. I didn't. I don't know
12 whether somebody else compiled lists and made records.
13 Q. Mr. Simic, I have already said that I accept that you did not make
14 lists and that's not what I'm asking you. I am asking you as a military
15 policeman, having seen the military police regulations, that it is a
16 fundamental, that when you are removing people and putting them into
17 custody, that you take a list or you compile a list of those people so you
18 have a record of whom you have under your control. It is a fundamental,
19 is it not?
20 A. Yes, naturally. The rules provide for that too.
21 Q. When you were given your task by Paunovic, and it was merely the
22 searching task, did you ask: Who is keeping the list of the people who
23 are coming through, or do you want me to do it?
24 A. I asked him and he said that no lists needed to be compiled, that
25 people would be taken from the hospital and that my only task was to frisk
1 them, to confiscate any cold or fire weapons if we find them. So I did
2 only a minor portion of that entire task.
3 Q. Were you aware that the security organ had lists of people that
4 they wanted to speak to or investigate in relation to the matters in
6 A. I'm not aware of that.
7 Q. So you never heard of the security organ having a list or going
8 into the hospital and using that list to isolate or identify individuals.
9 Is that what you are saying?
10 A. I didn't hear any information about any lists, and I don't even
11 know whether there were any.
12 Q. It's axiomatic, it's obvious, is it not, that if you do not
13 compile lists, there is always a danger that you can lose or individuals
14 on that evacuation can be removed without record. That is correct also,
15 isn't it?
16 A. Naturally.
17 Q. Did you ever hear phrases by soldiers such as: These are dead
18 men; or, They should be swallowed by the night? Did you ever hear any
19 soldiers saying that about the people who were being taken out to the
21 A. No.
22 Q. A battalion of military police, I believe, is not the normal size
23 of a battalion, which is around about 600 or 700 men. A battalion of
24 military police, I believe, is around about 150 men. Is that correct or
25 not? In 1991, I'm talking about.
1 A. The 2nd Battalion of the military police was supposed to have
2 about 500 people in the establishment terms, and at the beginning of the
3 war, that's how strong it was. Yesterday I gave you the reasons for the
4 decrease in the number of troops, and I told you that my company initially
5 had over 100 men, and then later on we were down to 48 men.
6 As for total numerical strength of the battalion at the end of
7 combat operation, I truly don't know what it was. I don't know how many
8 people there were in other companies.
9 Q. Would it be right to say that your understanding, although you say
10 you hadn't heard about it directly, your understanding was that this
11 evacuation was going to go to Sremska Mitrovica?
12 A. I was not told exactly the place where they were supposed to be
13 taken. The people who were there, I heard from them that
14 Sremska Mitrovica was mentioned. I can tell you that I even joked with
15 them saying that perhaps I should go with them in order to reach Belgrade.
16 Q. But there was no suggestion of them stopping for a government
17 meeting, was there?
18 A. At the time, I was not aware that there was any cabinet session in
19 progress or that they were stopped.
20 Q. And you were not aware, were you, that they were going to be
21 stopped at the JNA barracks; is that correct?
22 A. I told you that I only overheard that Sremska Mitrovica was being
23 mentioned. I repeat: I did not receive any tasks related to the
24 transportation of these people. I'm not familiar with that.
25 Q. I want to move on to a different topic. My last question on this
1 one is: To whom did the soldiers belong who were in the buses, to what
3 A. I don't know which unit they were from, but I know that they were
4 not from my company.
5 Q. Would you be kind enough, please, to turn to your tab 4; the
6 English is tab 3. Now, you have dealt with this topic already but I just
7 want to top and tail it a little, if I may.
8 I'd like, if the Court would be kind enough please to turn to
9 English page 9; the B/C/S is 0461-9788. It's a question from the
10 presiding judge. It reads as follows, the top of page 9: "From the
11 moment when you secured the hospital from the outside, did any people,
12 anyone from the outside enter the hospital, soldiers, officers, civilians,
13 were there attempts to enter the hospital?"
14 Now, clearly that question relates not only to the 20th but it
15 also relates to the 19th of November, because you say you secured the
16 hospital on the 19th and then the 20th.
17 This is your reply: "There was a very large crowd around the
18 hospital. Someone heard that so-and-so who had killed his brother was
19 inside, another that so-and-so had set his house on fire. People were
20 trying to enter to mete out justice on their own."
21 Now, what did you mean by the phrase -- I see there is an
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
24 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a minor
25 intervention. I think it would be fair to the witness if the Prosecutor,
1 when reading the statement given by the witness, would read absolutely
2 everything. But after the first question of the president of the chamber,
3 there is a different answer provided by Mr. Simic in the original. First
4 he said no, and then the rest of the text followed. And I think that it
5 would be fair if the text would be put to the witness in its entirety.
6 MR. MOORE: I must confess, I missed the word "no," so my
7 apologies for that; that's just my eyesight.
8 So Mr. Simic: "Answer: No." And then: "There was a very large
9 crowd around the hospital -- someone heard that so-and-so who had killed
10 his brother was inside, another that so-and-so had set his house on
11 fire -- people were trying to enter to mete out justice on their own."
12 What do you mean, "people were trying to enter to mete out justice
13 on their own"? What does that phrase mean?
14 A. It was their term. They wanted to mete out justice; that's how
15 they phrased it. Now, whether they had a trial in mind or something else,
16 I truly wouldn't know.
17 Q. But it's right, isn't it, because we have heard evidence of it,
18 that the TO, Vukovar TO were being used to identify, to assist in the
19 identification of individuals within the hospital.
20 Now, what I'd like to know is: Who gave them the authority to
21 come inside?
22 A. I don't know whether they took part in identifying the
24 Q. We have heard evidence that they did, evidence from
25 Mr. Sljivancanin, whom you are here to assist in giving evidence. So I
1 would like to know who was giving them the authority to come into the
2 hospital? Because you were in charge of the cordon of protection.
3 A. Sir, I stated that a group of people came in, a group of officers.
4 Whether anyone among them was from the TO, I don't know. All I know is
5 that everybody who came in was uniformed.
6 Q. No, with the utmost kindness to you, talk about the 19th, we'll go
7 to the 20th. On the 19th, you were there. You were the officer in charge
8 of protecting the hospital. I will use the word "securing the hospital."
9 That is correct, isn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And I'm asking who gave the authority for TOs to come into that
12 hospital compound?
13 A. I don't know. Perhaps they had entered before I arrived.
14 Q. But your task --
15 A. If they did at all.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would kindly like
18 to ask the Prosecutor in such a case where he is putting somebody's
19 statement to the witness, to give us references so that we can verify
20 whether that can be found somewhere. Namely, that on the 19th, the TO had
21 entered and that somebody stated that. Could we please have the
22 reference. Sljivancanin did not speak in his evidence about the 19th and
23 about the identification in the light that the Prosecutor just described.
24 MR. MOORE: I will deal with it in general terms, if I may, and
25 then deal with it specifically.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's fair in the circumstances,
2 Mr. Moore.
3 MR. MOORE: Yes, certainly, I hope so.
4 Q. We have heard on, for example, reselection processes in the
5 hospital, on the 20th specifically, that there were TO members there
6 assisting on the reselection -- what I will call the reselection of
7 individuals from the hospital.
8 What I want to know is: Who was giving them the authority to
9 enter, if you were in charge of the cordon?
10 A. I told you that a group of officers had arrived. All of them were
11 in a uniform. They entered with Major Sljivancanin. I didn't check
12 whether all of these men were from the Guards Brigade or the TO or some
13 other units. I simply believed that if they were present there with
14 Major Sljivancanin, who was chief of security organ, that they had proper
15 authorisation to enter.
16 Q. But we have documents from ECMM monitors who said that Chetniks
17 were seen within the ground of the hospital. And I can give the reference
18 on that, if there's any difficulty.
19 So did you see Chetniks within the grounds of the hospital? I
20 think it was on the 20th.
21 A. No.
22 Q. So what was the method of control for people coming in and out on
23 the 19th, in and out of your security organ -- your security cordon? Did
24 you have a list of people who could come in? Did you have a booking in,
25 or was no one allowed in?
1 A. I explained yesterday that those who were not part of medical
2 staff and who were not patients could leave freely, and I told you that
3 that lasted for about an hour or two after the dark. Those who had to
4 enter the hospital and were allowed to enter were announced by the brigade
5 command, by the battalion commander, and that would go through me, they
6 would call me and say such and such a person would come in, but I told you
7 that there were not too many visitors on the 19th, a representative of the
8 International Committee of the Red Cross came and then a TV crew and
9 Major --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the name.
11 MR. MOORE:
12 Q. Could you repeat the name of the major, TV crew and Major -- your
13 voice tailed away. Could you repeat that, please?
14 A. There was a foreign TV crew, I think it was from SkyNews, it was
15 brought in by Captain Maric. Yesterday I explained that procedure with
16 that TV crew. I told you that Major Mladen Karan came to fetch
17 Dr. Bosanac. I explained that yesterday as well.
18 Q. But would it be right to say that in actual fact who came in and
19 out was a matter of discretion?
20 A. No, one couldn't say so. I told you just a minute ago that if
21 somebody was supposed to come, announcement was made down the chain of
22 command so that we would receive information that somebody was supposed to
24 Q. So if Major Sljivancanin arrived at the gate you wouldn't allow
25 him in. Would that be right?
1 A. No, that's not correct. Major Sljivancanin was from the brigade
2 command; therefore, he was authorised to enter.
3 Q. Did that apply to other officers of the brigade command or
4 OG South?
5 A. As for the details concerning entry and exit, I really don't
6 remember. I can tell you what the rules provide. Now, as to whether they
7 called me, whether they sent me a list of people who were authorised to
8 enter, I definitely don't remember that. It is possible, though, that at
9 that point in time, there was a list of persons who were authorised to
11 Q. You told us that after your evidence in 2005 I think that you then
12 spoke to a group of other officers to discuss this situation. Those are
13 my words not yours. But I think that's correct, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, I spoke to people who took part in these events. My goal was
15 to refresh our recollections, because some people remembered some details,
16 other people remembered other details, so I thought that it would be
17 easier for us to refresh our memory.
18 Q. I don't want to discuss what was said, do you understand, but I do
19 want to know who you were speaking to. Now, did you speak to Paunovic?
20 Or perhaps a fairer way of putting it is, you tell us who you were
21 speaking to, because we have already heard evidence about various things.
22 So can you tell us the names of the people you were speaking to?
23 A. I can't remember all of the people, but now that you've mention
24 Paunovic, yes, I talked to him, and the list is longish.
25 Q. Well, do you want to make a start in telling us who is on the
1 first names of the list?
2 A. Todorovic, Second Lieutenant; Major Vukasinovic; Major Susic.
3 Those would be the people.
4 Q. There were a few more, weren't there?
5 A. Well, there were people. For example, Djorja Borovcanin, he was
6 my best man, and he was in the 2nd Assault Detachment. Sasa Bojkovski.
7 Well, those would be the people.
8 Q. What about Borisavljevic?
9 A. I don't remember whether I spoke to him about this.
10 Q. You were here in The Hague from Wednesday, and of course you are
11 what is called part heard from last night. Did you speak to anyone last
12 night about this case?
13 A. Nothing particular. I had a dinner together with Susic and
15 Q. And of course it's correct to say that Susic and Vukasinovic are
16 two witnesses who are about to give evidence. That is right, isn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were you not told by your lawyers that you should not speak to
19 other people who are witnesses in this case?
20 A. We didn't discuss the case. I didn't tell them what I had stated.
21 I simply explained the procedure concerning what happens when one enters
22 the courtroom and so on.
23 Q. So Simic, who will be giving evidence -- Susic -- I beg your
24 pardon. Susic, who will be giving evidence probably on Friday, and
25 Vukasinovic, I think gives evidence next week. He's already here. When
1 did Mr. Vukasinovic come?
2 A. Monday, Tuesday, was it? Is today Wednesday? Monday.
3 Q. So did you have dinner with Mr. Vukasinovic on Monday as well?
4 A. I think so, yes.
5 Q. When did Mr. Susic come?
6 A. Came together. But they had some problems because their luggage
7 hadn't arrived, so most of the time we talked about that luggage and we
8 were trying to get a hold of that luggage. They didn't have anything to
9 wear. They were nervous. We talked mostly about that luggage.
10 Q. So you had dinner with them, I presume, on Monday and last night
11 as well.
12 A. Yes, as far as I can remember.
13 Q. Let us deal with one or two other small areas. It is right, is it
14 not, that it was known, or you certainly were aware, that there had been
15 negotiations for an evacuation pending the fall of Vukovar. Is that right
16 or not? That you knew what we will call the Zagreb Agreement?
17 A. Sir, during the war, I was just a company commander, and you are
18 asking me about some decisions that were made by the top echelons of the
19 state. All sorts of things were talked about. I cannot remember all of
21 Q. Well, can I just ask you, please, the English version is page 17;
22 the B/C/S version I hope will be 0461-9792.
23 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I must just check, it's this
24 pagination again. I'm going to read it out; that's the best thing.
25 Q. It's one of the replies that you made. It's on the B/C/S page
1 number 0461-9792 and the reply that you gave is this: "Well, later there
2 was that when everyone came on the basis of that agreement by the
3 government of Croatia, and I don't know with whom. But at that time, we
4 did not have any other assignments other than to provide security."
5 On the agreement by the government of Croatia, did you not know
6 about it at the time?
7 A. You asked me whether on the 17th and 18th I had heard about that
9 Q. So when did you hear about it?
10 A. Well, I'm talking about the 20th and the 19th here. You asked me
11 whether I heard that there were negotiations taking place during those
12 days, the 17th and 18th, and I said no, but later on I found out. This is
13 already the 19th or the 20th. I don't know what day it relates to.
14 Q. So would it be right to say that you were aware that when those
15 people were taken away on the buses it was prior to the ICRC or the ECMM
16 arriving? At the hospital, obviously.
17 A. We are talking about the 20th, are we?
18 Q. Yes, we are.
19 A. I think after the evacuation, the representatives of the
20 international community came and that the Red Cross team came after that
22 Q. So there's no mistake about it, these men who were taken off on
23 the buses, they were taken away before the ECMM and the ICRC arrived.
24 That's correct, isn't it?
25 A. I told you that I think that they were taken before that.
1 Q. I would suggest you knew perfectly well that they were taken away
2 before that and that it was a very specific plan to make sure that those
3 people were taken away before the ECMM and the ICRC arrived. That is
4 right, isn't it? They were going to be taken to Sremska Mitrovica.
5 A. I don't know about that. Sir, you are asking me about something
6 that was outside the purview of my work then. I repeat once again that it
7 was only the search that was the task of the company. I was told when
8 this was supposed to begin and I know that we finished by around 10.00.
9 Now, who decided what is something that you will have to ask these
10 other people who are making the decisions. I don't know.
11 Q. Two final questions. Could we please have MFI 689. Can we turn
12 it round.
13 Now, we have a photograph here. I don't think it's unreasonable
14 to say - that's fine, thank you - photograph, Mr. Sljivancanin in the
15 middle with his arms apparently around two gentlemen. Do you know who
16 they are?
17 A. No, the quality of the photograph is very poor. I cannot
18 recognise anyone.
19 Q. Can I suggest the gentleman on the left is Lancuzanin, otherwise
20 known as Kameni, and the one on the right is Stanko Vujanovic, the man who
21 has the beard with the black hat?
22 A. This first gentleman that you mentioned, I never saw. As for
23 Stanko Vujanovic, I knew him but this is very unclear. I cannot recognise
25 Q. And the reality is when it comes to the actual subordination of
1 the assault detachment, you actually didn't know which TO units were
2 subordinated to whom, if at all? You simply didn't know. That is right,
3 isn't it?
4 A. Within my unit, there weren't any Territorial Defence units. I
5 really don't know about other units in the brigade, whether there were any
6 subordinated units of the Territorial Defence.
7 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
8 Your Honour. May I tender two matters, the first is the 3D22.
9 Which is the regulations for the military police. I would seek to tender
10 that as an exhibit, please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: You mean the regulations or the two pages extract?
12 MR. MOORE: Just the two pages extracts.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Those two pages will be received.
14 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. And the --
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 856, Your Honour.
16 MR. MOORE: And finally, the photograph which is MFI -- but I
17 think there may be an objection. Mr. Lukic, I think, objects.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic -- Mr. Bulatovic.
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, an attempt had
20 already been made by the Prosecution to bring this photograph into
21 evidence when Mr. Panic was questioned; Mr. Weiner tried to do that. We
22 oppose having it admitted into evidence for the same reasons.
23 Today you heard from the witness that quite simply he did not
24 recognise these persons so let it remain marked for identification only,
25 and then if somebody appears who can confirm its authenticity, and the
1 identity of the persons in the photograph, then we can discuss that.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Can you counter that in any way, Mr. Moore?
3 MR. MOORE: No. Upon reflection, it's a fair objection.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. A good try-on, Mr. Moore.
5 MR. MOORE: Never a try-on.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Bulatovic.
7 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you Your Honours. Good
8 afternoon to all in the courtroom.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, good afternoon to you as well.
11 On the basis of the particulars you gave to the Trial Chamber, I
12 see that today is your birthday, so may I wish you a happy birthday.
13 That's the way it is. You're here today, so what can I say?
14 You talked to my colleague from the Prosecution about this
15 agreement today. Do you know anything about this agreement, who signed
16 it, where, when, what the content is, how many articles it contains? What
17 do you know, if anything, about this agreement?
18 A. No, except for the fact that there was an agreement and that
19 people talked, that part of the people who were taken to Croatia were
20 returned because they did not want to have them there. I really was not
21 involved. I'm not aware of any particular point from this agreement.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have this
24 back on the screen now, what was admitted into evidence, what the
25 Prosecutor proposed, that is to say 3D050263, Exhibit 856. I think it has
1 been admitted. Can we see that? I think that it's paragraph 255.
2 Q. Mr. Simic, I'm going to ask you what escorting means. What does
3 that particular action of escorting involve?
4 A. I will try to remember, because I haven't been working in the
5 military police for about 11 years now, and even when I did work in the
6 military police, it was for a short span of time, only four years. But it
7 is a tactical action that can be carried out either on foot or on vehicles
8 with the aim of transferring persons who are in custody from one location
9 to another.
10 Q. Thank you. Please look at paragraph 255 of this exhibit. I am
11 going to read it. It says: "The military police takes part in escorting
12 major prisoners of war from division stations for their collection to the
13 camp for prisoners of war."
14 Is that what it says?
15 A. Yes.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note they did not have the
17 text. They did not hear the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a very old rule. It was
19 written at the time when there was a regiment, a brigade, a division, an
20 army. And then at brigade level, only a place was set up for bringing
21 prisoners of war together at a particular location, and from that
22 location, they were transported to the division stations. And at army
23 level, according to the rule, it was regulated that camps for prisoners of
24 war should be set up.
25 So this rule could not have been carried out in our case, at least
1 this segment.
2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In line with this rule, can the hospital be a division station?
4 A. No, the hospital or a hospital cannot constitute a division
6 Q. You said that you had the task of searching persons and escorting
7 them to the buses. What you did, that is to say, searching these persons
8 and having them over by the bus, can that action that you took constitute
10 A. No. Practically these people went on for 20 or 30 metres. It was
11 only 20 or 30 metres. We can only say that they were escorted to the bus,
12 or rather ushered to the bus.
13 Q. If I'm not mistaken you said you went to the bus only once with
14 the group that was seen off to the bus?
15 A. Yes, I went there so that I would show these soldiers how this was
16 supposed to be done and so that I'd see who was taking the persons in
18 Q. Mr. Simic, throughout this time, as you carried out these tasks
19 that you were given by the battalion commander, did you do all of that in
20 the area in front of the hospital that you described, or is this a biggish
21 area where you were moving about?
22 A. Sorry, I did not really understand you. Are you referring to the
24 Q. Yes, the search, the task that you got to search people. Where
25 were you during that search?
1 A. During the search, I was incessantly from the entrance for
2 emergencies to the gate, and I did not leave the area all that time.
3 Q. All right. When you came to the hospital and before you set up
4 the security, did you establish how many entrances the hospital had, and
5 exits, too, of course?
6 A. Well, what we could see without any kind of special search was
7 that in the new building, the new hospital, there were two entrances. I
8 don't know whether we later established that there were more than that,
9 but I know that later we did establish that one could enter the new
10 building from the old building through a tunnel.
11 Q. During your stay in front of that entrance where you were
12 searching these persons and where you saw the persons concerned go to the
13 bus, did you see Veselin Sljivancanin ever going to the bus?
14 A. I saw him going in and out, but I really don't know where he went.
15 Q. Where was he going in and out?
16 A. The entrance into the hospital.
17 Q. So if I understand you correctly, you just see him going in and
18 out of the hospital?
19 A. Well, yes, yes, really. I mean, I had my own task and I was
20 paying attention to that. I was not looking at others, who was going
21 where and who was doing what.
22 Q. What about the other officers who came, who you did not know, did
23 you see them going in and out of the hospital? Did you notice them
24 somewhere around there?
25 A. I don't know. I think that one of them just went out through this
1 entrance taking out these people for whom the triage was carried out.
2 Q. Yesterday when the Prosecutor asked you on a number of occasions
3 about your statement, you gave two statements, and I will ask you about
4 two dates which are relevant and I will distinguish between evacuation 1
5 and evacuation 2. Evacuation 1 was the one on the 19th. You came at --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear what time.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. -- you placed your security personnel. Do you remember what -- so
10 it was 1400 hours and then you saw Sljivancanin there and your battalion
11 commander, Mr. Paunovic; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Yesterday, you said that on the 19th, Mr. Sljivancanin left the
14 hospital before dark?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Following that, did Veselin Sljivancanin come back to the hospital
17 on the 19th?
18 A. No, I didn't see him come back.
19 Q. The evacuation of civilians which you conducted on the 19th, when
20 did it begin, do you remember?
21 A. Listen, I truly don't remember. I think it began during daylight
22 and it continued for another hour or two after it became dark.
23 Q. Yesterday, if I remember correctly, you told the Prosecutor that
24 you knew that these people were going to Velepromet where there was a
25 holding centre or collection centre.
1 A. When I spoke about the search at Mitnica, I said that we had been
2 told that all of these civilians needed to be directed towards Velepromet
3 where a collection centre, or a holding centre, had been set up. I don't
4 know now whether this notion of Velepromet remained with me from that task
5 or whether later I received some additional information about there being
6 a collection centre at Velepromet. But at any rate, I knew that there was
7 a collection centre at Velepromet.
8 Q. During the evacuation, were there any officers there who took part
9 in that process, other than you? You were obviously present and --
10 A. No, there was no need for that because everybody who wanted to
11 leave the area was free to do that. No selection whatsoever was
13 Q. Very well. You said that the evacuation began during daytime; and
14 based on what you said, I concluded that Sljivancanin was there for some
15 time. While he was there, before he left the hospital, did he in any way
16 take part in the process of evacuation of civilians on the 19th?
17 A. I apologise. I don't remember whether he left before the
18 evacuation or while it was in progress. I really cannot distinguish it
19 now. I can't tell you that he was indeed there when the evacuation
20 commenced. I don't remember that detail.
21 Q. Do you remember observing a portion of evacuation during daytime?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you see Veselin Sljivancanin there where the evacuation was
24 being conducted?
25 A. I truly cannot answer the question. I don't know whether he was
1 present when the evacuation started.
2 Q. Very well. You say that on the 19th, your battalion commander
3 came back from the briefing, Mr. Paunovic, and told you that the
4 evacuation would be held on the following day?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did he tell you that the command had designated somebody who would
7 be in charge of the evacuation, who would be the main person for the
8 evacuation? Did he tell you anything of the sort?
9 A. No. He just told me about my portion of the task, and he said
10 that he would come in the morning and that everything would be fine.
11 Q. Very well. Mr. Simic, did you ever attend briefings at the
12 command of OG South?
13 A. No. As company commander, I went to the briefings which were held
14 at the commands of assault detachments only.
15 Q. On the 20th, when you escorted the people you had frisked to the
16 buses, did you know where the buses were headed? Not what you overheard,
17 not hearsay, but did somebody tell you directly where the buses were
19 A. No. I told you that I simply overheard that, but nobody told me
20 anything officially. Battalion commander, when giving me my task, never
21 told me where the buses were headed; he just told me to bring people to
22 the buses.
23 Q. All right. Let's be brief. I'm asking you directly, nobody told
24 you that, all right. You handed over these people to Major Vukasinovic,
25 you brought them to him. Did you ask him where the buses were going?
1 A. Even if I had asked him, I don't remember whether he answered but
2 I don't even remember asking.
3 Q. The Prosecutor put two statements to you, two statements that you
4 gave. Would you please now look in the set of the documents before you, a
5 transcript of your statement given at the Belgrade Ovcara trial where you
6 testified, which is page 7046 --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the number.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] -- B/C/S version, English page 13.
9 Q. I'm going to read the text out to you. Page 0461-9790, which is
10 the B/C/S version; English page 13. This is what the presiding judge
11 asked, Mr. Simic.
12 "And your soldiers, they escorted the group which had been frisked
13 to the bus?"
14 Witness Simic answered: "Yes."
15 Presiding Judge: "Did somebody guard them in the bus?
16 Witness Milivoje Simic: "At the time, I think that
17 Major Vukasinovic was. As far as I know, he was responsible for the
18 transport and I handed them over to them, and I think that there was
19 security on the buses, too. I really do not know whether there were
20 policemen on the bus."
21 Did I read your words accurately?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Simic, this pertains to which date?
24 A. The 20th.
25 Q. The 20th. Based on your answer, the one I just read out, who was
1 responsible for the transport from the hospital onwards in these buses?
2 A. I stated back then and I still think that it was
3 Major Vukasinovic.
4 Q. What do you base your answer on?
5 A. I explained that yesterday, that out of all the people present
6 there, he held the most senior rank. He was the person that I
7 communicated with at the time.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic. Now would you please look at your
9 transcript. B/C/S page 15 of the transcript, number 0461-9798.
10 MR. MOORE: May I just respectfully object. At the moment, I'm
11 not quite sure of the purpose of the re-examination is; is it
12 re-examination for consistency, which I would submit is impermissible?
13 Why would the witness be directed to his transcript if in actual fact he's
14 being directed already to his account that he gave in Belgrade? I wonder
15 if my learned friend could clarify what the purpose of the question is.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I truly regret this
18 position that Mr. Moore has in believing that what I am asking now here is
19 boring, the fact that I'm putting the transcript.
20 If you remember well, yesterday even though the witness had these
21 transcripts, Mr. Moore quoted for a good 40 minutes verbatim the words of
22 the witness, both uttered before the military court and before the
23 district court in Belgrade. This topic now is precisely the topic on
24 which Mr. Moore insisted in the beginning of his cross-examination. All
25 I'm doing is attempting to compare two statements given by this witness
1 about the same fact and this will conclude my redirect. I see nothing
2 boring about what I'm doing, and I believe that it is completely improper
3 to make such objections.
4 So by your leave, I would like to continue.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic, the word "boring" was not used in
6 English. Something happened in the translation. That's my one defence of
7 Mr. Moore today.
8 Now Mr. Moore, is there anything you would want to add?
9 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I can resolve the problem. I will
10 instantly apologise to Mr. Moore. The translation I received
11 was "boring," the word in Serbian is "dosadan," whereas the actual word
12 that was uttered was "dosledan" which means "consistent." I apologise for
13 that; I misheard the translation.
14 MR. MOORE: I suspect my learned friend is merely expressing a
15 view that other people have taken.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I will leave that comment, Mr. Moore.
17 Carry on, Mr. Bulatovic.
18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I will do the same, Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Simic, page 15 of the transcript from the Belgrade Ovcara
20 trial. Page number 0461-9798. English version page 29.
21 The question put by Deputy Prosecutor Dusan Knezevic: "Who was in
22 charge of -- you said something about it, let's turn to it -- screening
23 and organising the transport of these persons from the hospital elsewhere?
24 "Witness Milovo Simic: As far as I'm concerned, my battalion
25 commander was in charge, and I think that Major Sljivancanin was in charge
1 of the entire operation."
2 There, Mr. Simic. When this question was put to you about the
3 transport of these persons, what did that mean to you, the transport of
4 persons? What did you understand that to mean when you answered that?
5 A. Transporting these people away from the hospital sector.
6 Q. Could that be understood by the word "transport"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Simic, given what you said a bit earlier, I gave you the exact
9 quotation, you said, and it was recorded in the transcript that Major
10 Vukasinovic was in charge of that transport; whereas here, you say that
11 with respect to triage and transportation of these persons,
12 Mr. Sljivancanin was in charge.
13 Can you reconcile what this means, what -- were you laboring under
14 misapprehension or what was it about?
15 MR. MOORE: I'm sorry --
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
17 MR. MOORE: I would submit that there is absolutely no basis for
18 the way my learned friend puts the question. The issues, I would submit,
19 are different. There is reference to and answers given in relation to the
20 entire operation as opposed to merely Vukasinovic and the transport
21 itself. And I would submit it is not a correct topic for re-examination
22 in this form.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
24 Mr. Bulatovic, you are trying to squeeze more from the statement
25 and the witness than I think can be justified. If there are matters about
1 the witness's answer that you're not clear on, please put those.
2 If you believe that any of his answers or any of his statements to
3 the Judge have not been properly understood, you can ask him what he meant
4 by them, but not suggest to him what he meant by them or argue to him that
5 he probably meant something else because of some thought that occurs to
6 you. Understand? You're going too far. I'm not stopping you from
7 dealing with the topic if you see those things need attention.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just tried to put
9 two things to the witness; namely, that he spoke differently about the
10 same fact on two occasions. One was the transport on page 7, B/C/S
11 version -- or, rather, page 13 where the witness said that Major
12 Vukasinovic was in charge of the transport.
13 Later on, within the same testimony --
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic, you can say that, you can put it to
15 the witness and get him to confirm that, but we don't want your ideas of
16 what it is, we want his ideas. Can you understand that? Thank you.
17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. I
18 fully accept your suggestion and I will retrace my steps.
19 Q. Mr. Simic, page 7 of the transcript, the Belgrade Ovcara trial,
20 English page 13. 0461-9790. You said you were speaking of Major
21 Vukasinovic. You said: "As far as I'm concerned, as far as I know, he
22 was responsible for the transport."
23 My question is: Please tell us, based on what did you make this
24 conclusion when you stated that? Based on what parameters did you
25 conclude this?
1 A. Because he was the most senior officer in the vicinity of the
2 buses, standing next to the buses. And when I came there, I handed over
3 these people to him, precisely to him. Based on that, I concluded that he
4 was the most responsible person with respect to that transport.
5 Q. All right, Mr. Simic. If that is the case, based on what did you
6 then, when answering the Prosecutor's question, on that same day but a bit
7 later, about transport. So the question was once again about transport,
8 and you answered on the second occasion that Veselin Sljivancanin was in
9 charge of the transport. English page 29. In the prosecutor's question,
10 triage is mentioned, or screening and the organisation of transport.
11 MR. MOORE: My page 29 bears no reference to transport.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Try the question at the end of 28, Mr. Moore.
13 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much. That's very helpful.
14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I don't know how it was translated into English, but would you
16 please answer, Mr. Simic.
17 A. To tell you the truth, I don't remember any longer whether I even
18 heard the entire question because there's obviously something illogical
19 here. On one occasion, I stated that Major Vukasinovic was in charge.
20 What I had in mind here were the activities which were unfolding in the
21 hospital compound. Most likely had Major Sljivancanin been responsible
22 for the transport, he would have left with the buses. However, Major
23 Sljivancanin remained at the hospital even after the buses left.
24 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Simic.
25 Your Honours, just a minute, please.
1 Your Honour, I have concluded my redirect. I have no further
2 questions for this witness.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Bulatovic.
4 Mr. Simic, you will be pleased to know you are now free to leave
5 and to celebrate your birthday as you wish and to go home at a convenient
6 time. The Chamber would thank you for your attendance and the assistance
7 you've been able to give us.
8 The Chamber will now rise for the first break and the court
9 officer will show you out.
10 We will resume at 20 past.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 --- Recess taken at 4.00 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, you are being given a priority.
15 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, it's just very briefly this. Clearly we
16 heard from the last witness that there are two other witnesses who are now
17 present. I appreciate the difficulties that my learned friend has on time
18 but there are nevertheless three on that team. We would be very grateful
19 if we could have proofing notes within a reasonable time rather than
20 perhaps the night before.
21 With regard to Mr. Korica, we got the proofing note yesterday
22 which related to discussions prior to our discussions. We haven't had a
23 supplementary note as yet, but I don't want to delay the trial, and I
24 would hope my learned friend could try and achieve that, if at all
1 JUDGE PARKER: You have to keep a very straight face saying that,
2 Mr. Moore, when I think of some of the difficulties the Defence had with
3 your proofing notes.
4 Memory has softened it, has it, in time.
5 Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what I wanted to hear. That's
7 exactly what I wanted to say by argument. Your criticism, or, rather, can
8 I say your instructions is something that I took very seriously.
9 They have been receiving detailed proofing notes. Branko Korica
10 is an interesting person because no one ever talked to him officially or
11 took any statements from him, so that's why I needed to talk to him
12 extensively and the proofing notes are rather extensive, too, for
13 Mr. Moore. But this is a man who never testified before, which is really
14 surprising, but we are going to do our best not to create any problems,
15 because it's in our own interest, after all.
16 There are three brief matters I'd like to refer to before the
17 witness walks in. The first has to do with the witness himself. Branko
18 Korica is 70 years old. Since we are in public session, I don't want to
19 go into this in detail but he is a heart patient, so I told him that we
20 can take breaks more frequently, if necessary, but he thinks that he can
21 handle it, but I just want to tell you that before he enters the
22 courtroom, that we have shorter breaks but more frequent breaks.
23 Then MFI 5, the photograph that Mr. Moore is showing witnesses,
24 the way I showed the Hadzic video. First of all, in the captions it does
25 say in B/C/S who is on the photograph, so if Mr. Moore is going to show
1 this photograph to other witnesses, it would only be right to delete the
2 names, the caption.
3 Another thing, the photograph is from the Prosecutor's pre-trial
4 brief and 65 ter list, but it is interesting to note that the Prosecutor
5 told us that he would show it to Mr. Sljivancanin while he gave evidence
6 but he didn't. Not going into his own tactics, I think that it would have
7 been the most reasonable course to take; namely, to show the photograph to
8 the man who is actually in the picture.
9 Thirdly, I want to talk about the end of the hearing yesterday. I
10 was not present. I looked at the transcript. I just have two things to
11 say on behalf of our team. Perhaps we come from a different legal system
12 where not everything is quite clear to us and that is why we have these
13 situations when we collide with other legal systems, but I wanted to ask
14 you for some instructions so that we do not have some kind of controversy
15 in the future.
16 You probably know that when witnesses give statements to The Hague
17 Tribunal they get a copy for themselves, and we dealt with many witnesses
18 like that. I just want to ask you whether you are opposed to the witness
19 having his own statement before he starts testifying. That was my
20 interpretation that it would be right for them to have their own
21 statements before they started testifying, but tell us what to do. I
22 think that the point was that during the course of his testimony -- well,
23 I mean, that's why I'm addressing you so perhaps I did not quite
24 understand all of this.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, last point first. There is no
1 impropriety about a witness being shown his previous statements, having
2 his own copy of them, having them even with him when he gives evidence.
3 It is open, though, whether it is a Prosecution or Defence witness, it's
4 open, though, to counsel who is to cross-examine that witness where there
5 is an overnight or a longer break in the course of the testimony to seek
6 directions from the Chamber about restricting the use of such statements.
7 It only arises where the anticipated course of cross-examination is likely
8 to be adversely affected if the witness is constantly having access.
9 On the occasion last night, it seemed that there was a reasonable
10 basis for Mr. Moore's concern and action was taken. I don't recall it
11 having happened at any other time in this trial; it may have slipped my
12 memory if it has. It happens just occasionally. It certainly is not a
13 matter of standard practice, and it would not be a thing about which we
14 would give a standard direction.
15 So I would not suggest that you need to change what you are doing
16 because of that incident, but there may be other occasions where Mr. Moore
17 will make some application.
18 As for breaks, we cannot have any shorter break, we now are having
19 theoretically the shortest break that we can have, 20 minutes, to enable
20 the things to be done that have to be done in a break, but if it's
21 necessary to have more frequent breaks, well, then, we will do that. If
22 somebody is ill, well, we have to keep an eye on that and clearly respond
23 if there are signs of the process being too much of a problem.
24 I don't think any of the other matters call for comment by me at
25 this time.
1 I think we should have the witness.
2 While the witness is coming, all counsel will have noticed that
3 we've managed to get reservations, as it were, on the use of the courtroom
4 for full days during some days next week. When the opportunity arose, the
5 Chamber took it in case your case is running behind time, Mr. Lukic. We
6 want to give you every opportunity to keep to your 8th of December so that
7 we will certainly need to know by the end of this week whether you feel
8 you need some of the longer sitting days next week or not, because we will
9 need to indicate to others. There's one other Chamber wanting the
10 courtroom if we're not going to use it. But that's why it's there, to
11 give you a little bit of extra time. So if you could keep that in mind,
12 and we will learn from you late tomorrow or on Friday when you are clear
13 in your mind whether we will need to sit any of the longer hours that can
14 be sat next week.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I bore that
16 in mind even when I made my own schedule for the witnesses. But
17 nevertheless, I would like to assess things on Friday and then we will
18 notify you.
19 Our evaluation of the situation right now is that we are on
20 schedule, more or less, because we really want to be.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Korica, good afternoon. Would you please take
23 the card and read allowed the affirmation.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 WITNESS: BRANKO KORICA
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, sir. Please sit down.
5 Now, Mr. Lukic is going to ask you some questions.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Korica.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. Could you please give us your name and surname first for the
12 A. I am Branko Korica.
13 Q. Mr. Korica, you were born in 1936 in Croatia in a village near
14 Gospic, right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now I am going to talk about your career, but just tell me what is
17 your ethnic background?
18 A. I am a Serb.
19 Q. We can say that your entire career was linked to the military, to
20 the JNA, right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In 1953, you went to a school for non-commissioned officers in
23 Zrenjanin, and then in 1955 you completed that school in Bileca, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You were an active-duty officer until the 31st of December, 1986,
1 when you were retired as warrant officer first class?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Please pause a bit after my question, I already told you that, so
4 that everything can be interpreted.
5 As for most of your career, you spent it in the security
6 organs or, rather, from 1959 all the way up to 1986 when you were, in
7 fact, retired; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. As for your work in the security organs, from 1971 until you
10 retired, you worked in the counter-intelligence group of the
11 1st Military District of the 1st Army; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You are a widower and you have one child. But I wish to underline
14 that in that period while you worked in the counter-intelligence group of
15 the 1st Army, for a while your heads of the counter-intelligence group
16 were Geza Farkas, Lenko Milic and Bogdan Vujic; isn't that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you remember for how long Bogdan Vujic was your superior?
19 A. Bogdan Vujic was the head, I think, say, from 1981 until 1983.
20 I'm not sure.
21 Q. Thank you. I already said that you retired in 1986. At one point
22 in time, were you reactivated, called back into the JNA and, if so, when?
23 A. On the 1st of January, 1991 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: On the 1st of November, 1991; interpreter's
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. What happened then? Where were you? Who were you with? How did
3 this happen?
4 A. Three of us came there. I, Krgo Mladen, and Mitrovic Bozo. We
5 had retired together, and we went to visit our colleagues at the command
6 of the 1st Army. Among other people, we visited the chief of security of
7 the army, General -- right this moment I cannot remember.
8 Q. Well, I guess it's initial excitement. It's Mile Babic.
9 Everybody in this courtroom knows it and it's not a problem.
10 A. Well, I'm sorry.
11 Q. And what happened?
12 A. After a brief conversation, the late Bozo said, since they knew
13 each other well, as far back as from Sarajevo. He said: Comrade-general,
14 I brought these two so that you can send them to the front line. The
15 general took this seriously, and he said: Go straight away to the police
16 battalion, have uniforms issued to you, and come here tomorrow morning to
17 the army command. You, Korica, are going to Sid, to Colonel Petkovic and
18 Grgo will stay here at the command to work on administrative affairs.
19 Q. Thank you. I did my arithmetic. You were 55 years of age then,
20 you had already retired. But tell me, at that time, were you still a
21 reserve non-commissioned officer of the Yugoslav People's Army in view of
22 your age?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. So what happened then. Where did you go?
25 A. Grgo stayed at the command, and I went in a military vehicle to
1 Sid. I reported to Colonel Petkovic who was stationed at the post office
2 in Sid. After a brief conversation, he sent me to Captain Muncan who
3 would be my boss, Dragan Muncan. A colleague came to pick me up from the
4 post office and he took me to an apartment nearby where they were staying,
5 and that is where we stayed throughout.
6 Q. Please tell me, do you know what position he held at the time,
7 Mr. Petkovic?
8 A. He was chief of security of the Operations Group centre.
9 Q. Thank you. Where was the seat of that organ?
10 A. At the post office in Sid.
11 Q. You said that Captain Muncan was your direct superior. How many
12 other persons, in addition to you, were there in that group?
13 A. Captain Muncan was the superior, and in addition to us, there was
14 Captain Musesku Petar and Staff Sergeant Radakovic Nebojsa.
15 Q. Very well. Can you tell us briefly what you did in Sid at the
16 time. What you were your duties and tasks?
17 A. Initially my tasks were to conduct interviews with persons of
18 interest to us who had been taken into custody and taken to the holding
19 centre for further screening as well as to conduct interviews with persons
20 who had fled from that area engulfed by war, and they were mostly Serbs.
21 Q. Where were those people brought from to the holding centre and
22 what were -- was their ethnicity?
23 A. Persons from all over the territory covered by war in that area
24 were brought to the holding centre, they were mostly Croats, but there
25 were other ethnicities as well, Slovaks and some others.
1 Q. Do you know how long they stayed there and whether they went
2 elsewhere from there?
3 A. They stayed there briefly. After the screening, we would send
4 some of them home immediately if their stay there was safe, and as for
5 others, they went in two or three days, depending on the transport, either
6 to Sremska Mitrovica, or to the camp in Begaci.
7 Q. Who did you furnish the information you obtained in those
8 interviews? Who did you inform about your activities?
9 A. I submitted reports to my immediate superior, Captain Muncan, and
10 Captain Muncan then compiled the information and went to brief Colonel
12 Q. Who gave you your tasks?
13 A. I received my tasks from Muncan, whereas he received his tasks
14 from Petkovic.
15 Q. The type of activities you performed, is that the kind of work you
16 did while you were still active in the counter-intelligence service of the
17 1st Military District? Was that part of your typical activities at the
19 A. Yes, I can tell you that that was my basic work. Everything
20 begins with an interview.
21 Q. While you were in Sid, do you remember whether you had contacts
22 with the security organs from the Guards Brigade, OG South,
23 Major Sljivancanin, or any of his associates?
24 A. I don't know whether Petkovic had contacts, but I never met any of
25 those people.
1 Q. Thank you. Mr. Korica, please tell us whether at one point in
2 time you went from Sid to the Vukovar region and, if so, when, what was
3 the reason, and how did that come about?
4 A. I think that in the evening, and possibly in the morning, in the
5 morning, on the 19th, Captain Muncan told us to go to Negoslavci, to
6 Colonel Mrksic in the Guards Brigade, because we were needed there in
7 order to assist in the screening of people in Vukovar. Many people had
8 surrendered, there were many captured persons and many refugees, and
9 Sljivancanin alone couldn't deal with that. Therefore, we were attached
10 to the group that had come from the security administration comprising
11 Colonel Bogdan Vujic, Tomic, Kijanovic, and another person.
12 Q. Did you meet with the people from the security administration
13 there in Sid or not?
14 A. We met up with these people in Negoslavci in the premises of
15 Colonel Mrksic.
16 Q. Very well. Do you remember who comprised your group and how you
17 went to Negoslavci and when you arrived?
18 A. We went to Negoslavci at night. Muncan, myself, Musesku and
19 Radakovic were in the group. We went in the car. We arrived there at
21 Q. Where did you arrive?
22 A. We entered the building of the command of the brigade where we
23 found the group comprising three colonels as well as Colonel Mrksic. They
24 were in an office. I think that it was the operations room.
25 Q. Very well. Can you tell us what you remember, what took place
2 A. Well, I remember that we sat down in several arm chairs and chairs
3 and we all sat around a table, all of us. And then further away, on a
4 podium, there was another table where Colonel Mrksic sat. There were maps
5 hanging on the walls with positions marked and other items.
6 Q. All right. Do you remember what happened next? Was there a
8 A. Colonel Mrksic had already started a discussion with colonels.
9 When we arrived, we simply joined in. We sat at the table and started
10 listening. Colonel Mrksic was telling us about the situation in Vukovar,
11 around Vukovar, the situation in the unit, and how many people had been
12 put out of action in the Guards Brigade. That was quite a number. I
13 think it was around 600. He spoke for about half an hour.
14 Q. All right. Did you see Sljivancanin, if so when, and what can you
15 tell us about that?
16 A. While Colonel Mrksic spoke to us about these things, he told us to
17 sit there and wait for Sljivancanin who was going to inform us in detail
18 about the tasks that needed to be done. Sljivancanin came some half an
19 hour later, maybe even more than that. He greeted all of us individually
20 and said that he didn't have much time to socialise with us because he was
21 in the process of talking to Vesna Bosanac who was also supposed to help
22 us with the work that needed to be done.
23 However, he said that the main job was at the Velepromet for that
24 evening, and the main job that awaited us was at the hospital on the
25 following day.
1 Q. Did he say anything else? Did he give any other details?
2 A. As regards that, he said that not all of us could go to the
3 hospital because he had some men of his own and that from our group, he
4 needed just two more men. At that moment, Colonel Vujic volunteered right
5 away and said: I will go with Branko Korica.
6 Q. All right. Just a minute, please. Based on your CV, I said and
7 you confirmed that Bogdan Vujic was your supervisor for a while. When you
8 met up in Negoslavci, were you on good terms? What were your relations
9 like, given that you had worked together previously?
10 A. My relations with Vujic were always good. First of all, he was my
11 boss. And all of us have some complaints about our bosses, I was no
12 exception; however, that did not sour or relations. So when we met up in
13 Negoslavci, we greeted each other cordially, and there were no problems.
14 Q. Did Sljivancanin tell you anything about Velepromet for that
15 evening? Was there any discussion about what needed to be done?
16 A. Yes. There was discussion about that. Sljivancanin said that
17 Vujic and I should go together with him the following morning at 6.00,
18 whereas everybody else would be at Velepromet. But that evening, there
19 were things that needed to be done at Velepromet because there was a large
20 commotion there and they expected to conduct an evacuation of the people
21 who had arrived at Velepromet.
22 Q. Very well. Did Sljivancanin give you, on that occasion, any
23 details about Velepromet as to who was in charge of that facility, who had
24 it under their control?
25 A. He told us that that facility was the TO facility, but that there
1 was a captain of ours there at that moment. I think it was Captain
3 Q. Did Sljivancanin mention to you that something unpleasant could
4 happen to you at Velepromet?
5 A. No, not that evening.
6 Q. Did Sljivancanin mention to you on that occasion that there was a
7 possibility of a Chetnik slaughtering and Ustasha there, or something
8 along those lines?
9 A. No. I was there the entire time. It's a limited area where we
10 were, and I would have heard that, had he uttered that; however, I heard
11 no such sentence.
12 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember whether you left that room
13 together with Sljivancanin or did he go out first and you remained, or was
14 it vice versa perhaps? Do you remember that?
15 A. Sljivancanin was the first one to leave and then the rest of us
16 got organised and went to Velepromet in two cars. I was in one car with
17 Muncan and, the other four men were in the other car, three colonels and
18 another man. I don't remember who it was.
19 Q. We're going to turn to the events in Velepromet, but prior to that
20 I'm going to put another question to you. When was the next time you saw
22 A. I saw him next in the morning at around 6.00 as we were leaving to
23 the hospital.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, please, if you remember after all
25 these years, upon arriving in Velepromet, what did you find there? What
1 was the atmosphere like?
2 A. The atmosphere that I came upon at Velepromet was unpleasant.
3 There was a large commotion there. People intermingled with our men, with
4 TO members, with women, with children. It was quite cold, especially for
5 children. Mostly women, children, and the elderly.
6 Later on I heard, and I didn't go to the hangars, but I heard that
7 in the hangars there were men who needed to be evacuated.
8 Q. Do you remember, was there a meeting held at Velepromet when you
9 arrived there?
10 A. I came afterwards, a bit after the car of Vujic had arrived, and
11 they had already organised a meeting in a room, in an office where I
12 didn't enter. Given that my boss was at the meeting, there was no need
13 for me to go in as well.
14 Q. When you say your boss, who was your boss, as you saw it?
15 A. Up until that time, Muncan was my boss and then afterwards,
16 Colonel Bogdan Vujic.
17 Q. How come Bogdan Vujic became your boss?
18 A. Because he's a colonel.
19 Q. Do you mean the situation at Velepromet or the situation at the
21 A. Well, both in Velepromet and at the hospital.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Korica, you've already mentioned Srecko
23 Borisavljevic, but does that name mean anything to you?
24 A. Yes. We were told that at Velepromet, among the members of the
25 Territorial Defence, there is one captain of ours, too, Borisavljevic, who
1 we found there and who was at this meeting that had been organised by
2 Colonel Vujic, and Ljubinko Sreckovic, a member of the TO who was at
3 Velepromet, one of the main people there, perhaps actually the man in
5 Q. You said Ljubinko Sreckovic.
6 A. Stojanovic. Sorry about that.
7 Q. Mr. Korica, would you perhaps like to take a bit of a rest or a
8 sip of water? No problem whatsoever, we cannot communicate directly but
9 please tell the Trial Chamber.
10 A. Let's go on.
11 Q. I support you on that.
12 This Srecko Borisavljevic, did you meet him, did you see him that
13 evening in that area?
14 A. Yes, I did. I met him.
15 Q. Tell us what happened after that. Actually, before we go on, can
16 you tell us what time it was roughly in the evening. You said that you
17 arrived at night-time in Negoslavci. We have testimony and some documents
18 here stating when it was that you were there, but can you tell us now
19 after all these years whether it was midnight, before midnight, late at
21 A. We arrived in Negoslavci in the early evening hours. And as for
22 Velepromet, I think it was pretty late in the evening, say 9.00 or
23 even 10.00.
24 Q. So what we are going to be talking about now is happening
25 after 10.00, right? So tell us now what it is that you remember. What
1 did you -- saw at that time in Velepromet. What was going on there?
2 A. I said there was lots of commotion there and I sort of fitted into
3 the commotion. I looked around, Velepromet, that is, observing what was
4 going on, and there was nothing unusual in that situation. What really
5 affected me the most was children crying.
6 Then, I saw a room as I was walking around, in front of the
7 hangar, towards the end, where the door was open, and I saw a group of TO
8 men there milling about that room. As far as I could see, most of these
9 people were drunk.
10 I came back and informed Colonel Vujic about that; namely, that
11 there were some suspicious people, that's the expression I used, in that
12 room that looked like drunkards to me and perhaps they could do something.
13 I informed him about that and he decided to go there himself. I did not
14 accompany him. And he had a bit of a clash with these persons who indeed
15 were drunk.
16 One man, and later I heard that they called him Topola, figured
17 most prominently among them, tall, dirty, unshaved, long hair, a
18 disreputable person by anybody's standards. But he was pretty drunk. He
19 immediately got into a conflict with Vujic because he asked that he not
20 take his prisoners.
21 Q. Just a moment, please. You described this Topola.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said that you were not present there when Vujic went there.
24 Did you hear this story from Vujic or did you see their conflict? Could
25 you please describe, first of all, what you saw from where you were or
1 then what you heard? So let's start from there.
2 A. All right. I told you what you saw, what was going on inside. I
3 went to where Vujic was, near the office. He had business to attend to
4 there, and there were people all over the place that we contacted, and
5 when I reported to him, he went to the actual place, but I did not see
6 this quarrel with Topola at that moment, but Vujic told me that he had
7 quarrelled about him.
8 Q. And did you personally see that Topola later in that area and what
9 was he doing, if you saw him yourself?
10 A. I did see Topola. I saw him myself that same evening when the
11 buses came and when we were making lists of people on the buses. He was
12 also by the buses where Bogdan Vujic was making these lists. And again,
13 he asked that Vujic not take their prisoners.
14 Q. Tell us, when you came there to Velepromet, what was your task?
15 What was it that you were supposed to do? I didn't ask you that. I first
16 wanted to hear about the atmosphere, but what was your task at Velepromet?
17 A. Our task in Velepromet was to organise the evacuation of persons
18 in accordance with the number of buses that would arrive and that then
19 these persons should be sent on to the camp in Sremska Mitrovica.
20 Q. Did you personally separate people there or had those people
21 already been separated somewhere?
22 A. I personally did not separate someone, nor did I enter the hangar.
23 These people had already been separated and that is why women, children,
24 and the elderly were in front of the hangar.
25 Q. Tell us, to the best of your recollection, these people who you
1 are just going to describe later who entered the buses, were they all in
2 the same hangar, in one hangar? You described the room that you saw. Was
3 it in several locations?
4 A. No, I don't remember consider that to be the hangar, this room
5 that Vujic went to. That's a smaller room. I don't know how many hangars
6 there were where people were.
7 Q. Did the buses arrive, and what happened afterwards?
8 A. Well, when the buses arrived, Bogdan Vujic ordered that we write a
9 list of the names of all the persons who entered the buses. So I was
10 making a list of people on the last bus. People from the hangar were
11 brought to the bus. They were all supposed to sit down and to have the
12 bus 100 per cent full.
13 Q. What did these people look like to you? First of all, what
14 gender, if we can put it that way, or can you tell us their age and what
15 did they look like physically?
16 A. Well, physically, perhaps they were exhausted but they behaved
17 normally. They sat down as a matter of course. There were no incidents,
18 no nothing. No one had any bandages. I didn't see anyone injured. I
19 personally went up to every one of them and wrote down their names and
20 surnames. So I asked some of them why they were there, since they were,
21 say, from Herzegovina, and this man answered me: Well, I'm wondering the
22 same thing.
23 Q. Could you draw any conclusions as to what the ethnicity was of
24 these persons? You said that somebody was from Herzegovina; we know that
25 this is not an area close to Vukovar. When you took their names, how did
1 you find out where they were from, these people on your bus?
2 A. On my bus, I made a list, but we were not supposed to write down
3 anything else but the names and surnames of these persons. However, I did
4 ask some of them, as I looked at them, I asked them where they were from.
5 Quite a few of them were from Herzegovina, and quite a few were from
6 behind Zagreb, even further off, towards Slovenia, and from the
7 surrounding area.
8 Q. Could you conclude what their predominant ethnicity was?
9 A. For the most part, they were Croats, judging by their names and
11 Q. Do you remember how many buses came there, in your view?
12 A. As far as I can remember, there were four buses there.
13 Q. These buses, were they military buses and did they have any
15 A. As far as I saw, that was the first time when part of the military
16 police came to Velepromet providing security for the buses, but before
17 that, I did not see any soldiers there.
18 Q. This security provided by the military police, was that only in
19 terms of personnel or was there something else too; do you remember?
20 A. Well, for the most part, it was personnel, and there was this
21 security for taking the convoy there and escorting it with an armoured
22 vehicle, a combat armoured vehicle, BOV.
23 Q. Mr. Korica, do you remember this BOV arriving in front of the
24 hangar, turning its lights on towards the hangar, did you see any such
25 scene? Does that jog your memory?
1 A. No. No, I did not see that. I guess I would have seen the lights
2 on. I don't know how I could not have seen something like that.
3 Q. Did you see or hear that there were some corpses there in that
4 area in Velepromet and around it on that evening?
5 A. That evening I was only in Velepromet. I did not leave the
6 Velepromet compound to view the area. But within Velepromet itself, I did
7 not see any corpses anywhere.
8 Q. On that evening while you were in Velepromet, did you hear any
9 shooting in the immediate vicinity, if I can put it that way, that would
10 sound like shooting nearby, if I can put it that way?
11 A. Shooting nearby? I didn't hear any such thing. But there was
12 shooting further away, most of it with tracer bullets. People were
13 celebrating the fact that the war was over, and that was a normal thing.
14 Q. When you say "tracer bullets," let's be very precise. How do you
15 see this trace, does it go up or do you see it horizontally?
16 A. It goes up and it makes an arch.
17 Q. Thank you. Another thing in relation to what was going on in
18 Velepromet, did you personally hear any threats that somebody was supposed
19 to kill the colonel there or any one of you? Did you hear any such thing
21 A. There were some things that were said like what Topola was saying,
22 protests over the fact that the prisoners of war were being taken away
23 because they thought that they belonged to them.
24 As for threats or more serious incidents, there weren't any, not
25 at all. I did not hear anyone say to anybody else that he was supposed to
1 kill him or anything like that.
2 Q. Did you hear from Vujic that somebody threatened him that way at
3 that time?
4 A. No, I didn't hear about anything like that from Vujic either.
5 Then in Belgrade, we're neighbours, and he told me some things that I had
6 not heard but he was convincing me that I had heard them.
7 Q. We'll deal with that later. Tell me -- just a moment, please.
8 You said that this Topola and these territorials had something to
9 say. Do you remember what it was that they were saying? What was it that
10 they wanted; do you remember?
11 A. I don't know what his intention was later but what he was asking
12 for was that the prisoners remain there, that we should not take them
13 away. That they would judge them.
14 Q. All right. Were you there -- or, rather, were the buses filled up
15 and what happened then?
16 A. All the buses were filled up and their police commander, I think
17 it was a captain, he gave instructions to every soldier who was behind the
18 driver on every one of the buses what to do during the ride if the people
19 who were being transported start protesting or if they start rocking the
20 bus, because the bus could fall over if they did that. Then the buses
21 left with a vehicle in front of them and an armoured vehicle behind them
22 and they went in the direction of Sremska Mitrovica.
23 Q. As far as I understood this, were there soldiers or military
24 policemen on these buses, on all the buses?
25 A. Military policemen were on every one of the buses.
1 Q. How many, if you remember?
2 A. Two on my bus. I didn't see how many there were in the other
3 buses and they were right behind the drivers. As we were boarding the
4 buses, they were at the door and nobody else could enter the bus, the
5 buses, only those who were boarding the buses and we who were making the
7 Q. Tell us another thing: What did you do with these lists of these
8 people that you had compiled on the bus?
9 A. As for the list that I compiled on the bus, since Bogdan Vujic was
10 still writing up the list of his bus, I handed my list over to Srecko
12 Q. During that stay there, and before the buses were boarded and as
13 they were boarded, was Borisavljevic with you and what was he doing?
14 A. Borisavljevic was with us that evening. I think he was there the
15 entire evening, but he also had other things to attend to, and he
16 continuously went here and there. He went to the office, he received
17 reports, requests from the town, so he was dealing with the current issues
18 and wasn't very actively involved in boarding the buses.
19 Q. Could you be able to specify approximately what time it was when
20 the buses left the Velepromet, were you still there?
21 A. I was there when the buses left Velepromet, which was either
22 midnight or even after midnight.
23 Q. How long did you stay there and where did you go from there?
24 A. We stayed there briefly. After the men left the hangar, we first
25 took women and children into hangars and I think that Srecko organised for
1 water to be brought to them because children asked for water so that they
2 could spend the night indoors because it was quite cold outside. It was
3 November, after all.
4 Q. Do you remember Vujic and his group with Kijanovic and Tomic, did
5 they remain there until the end? Do you remember them being there when
6 the buses left?
7 A. Vujic was definitely there. As for Kijanovic and the other two,
8 I'm not sure that they remained until the end. But I think that all of
9 them left together to Negoslavci, but I'm not sure.
10 Q. How did you go back to Negoslavci?
11 A. I went back to Negoslavci with my group, and in our vehicle.
12 Q. Where did you go?
13 A. We went again to the same building, to the same room from where we
14 had gone to Colonel Mrksic's.
15 Q. Can you be more specific about the time? I'm trying not to be too
16 demanding on you, I know it's been 15 years, you don't have to be fully
17 accurate if you are unable to.
18 A. I'm not able to be fully accurate, but I think that it was
19 after 1.00 a.m.
20 Q. Who did you find there, upon entering that room?
21 A. I think that when we came to that room, Colonel Mrksic was no
22 longer there. Rather, there was a duty officer or duty operations
23 officer. I'm not sure about that.
24 We sat there, Vujic came after us, but I think that Kijanovic and
25 Tomic had already arrived.
1 Q. You think that Kijanovic and Tomic were already there and that
2 Vujic came after you? Did I understand you well?
3 A. I think that's how it was.
4 Q. What did you do next? Where did you go?
5 A. We went to the basement where they offered us something to eat.
6 Some people took a can, some didn't, and then we went back and sat in the
7 office in those same chairs where we had sat earlier. And we stayed there
8 until the morning.
9 Q. So I take it that you spent the entire night in that room
10 sleeping, if you slept at all?
11 A. Some people slept. I may have slept half an hour to an hour, not
12 longer than that. I slept in an upright position, sitting in a chair, and
13 it wasn't very comfortable. And the chair wasn't as comfortable as this
15 Q. What about Vujic, was he there with you?
16 A. We were there together the whole time. There was nowhere else to
18 Q. I asked you earlier and I'll ask you again whether there, that
19 night, upon your return from Velepromet, you saw Veselin Sljivancanin
20 anywhere there?
21 A. I'm sure that I didn't see him until I left for the hospital.
22 Q. Do you remember perhaps seeing another tall officer that evening
23 whom you hadn't seen earlier?
24 A. In the course of the night, a bit later, General Jerko Crmaric
25 came. I asked him why he had come because he also used to be a chief, and
1 he said that he came to see what buses and transportation means were
2 needed in order to evacuate the people.
3 At that point in time, he was the logistics commander of the
4 1st Army.
5 Q. Tell me, please, during the discussion that was held when you
6 arrived in Negoslavci and met with Mrksic and then Sljivancanin came, was
7 it discussed at all what was to be done at the hospital on the following
8 day, what tasks were to be performed by security organs?
9 A. Sljivancanin told us that that was the main task for us for the
10 following day and that we would be conducting screening in the hospital
11 and that we would send some people to Sremska Mitrovica.
12 Q. Why?
13 A. He said that it was because there were many people there who had
14 taken shelter in the hospital and didn't go to the Velepromet compound
15 when they were told that they could go there. He said that there were
16 some members of the ZNG, of MUP, and that there were work criminals who
17 had taken shelter in the hospital and camouflaged themselves in doctor's
18 uniforms. He said that those people needed to be separated and that
19 everything needed to be cleared at the hospital and prepared for the
20 arrival of the International Red Cross so as to avoid any incident.
21 Q. Where were these people supposed to be taken?
22 A. These people, at least that's what Sljivancanin told us, were
23 supposed to be taken to Sremska Mitrovica, just like those from
25 Q. Thank you. All right. Now let us turn to the morning of
1 the 20th, what happened then? Did you leave Negoslavci, who was with you,
2 and where did you go?
3 JUDGE PARKER: From what you're saying, you're now moving on to
4 quite a different topic. I think this is probably a good time for a
5 break, and it will give Mr. Korica a chance for a little rest.
6 So we will adjourn now for 20 minutes and resume at 10 minutes
7 to 6.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Korica, we are now up to the 20th in the morning. Let us be
13 more specific, where did you spend the entire night? Was it in that
14 building that you called the command building?
15 A. Yes, we were in that building and we were in the same room where
16 we had first come in after arriving from Sid.
17 Q. All right. Now let us turn to the 20th in the morning. What do
18 you remember? Where did you go? Who went with you? What time of the day
19 it was? Do you remember any of those things?
20 A. In the morning at around 6.00, we left from Negoslavci to the
21 hospital in a military vehicle with Mr. Sljivancanin, Mr. Vujic, myself, a
22 captain - I don't know his name - and another individual, fifth
23 individual, I don't know who he was.
24 We set out towards the hospital. It was still dark. We drove
25 slowly. Perhaps we stopped in two or three locations, but I don't know
1 why we stopped because I was in the back of the vehicle. We went straight
2 to the hospital.
3 Q. What happened when you reached the hospital?
4 A. As we were driving towards the hospital, Sljivancanin told us in
5 the car in greater detail what we were supposed to do at the hospital,
6 saying that we could perhaps need to stay longer because, as far as I
7 understood, Vesna Bosanac had not made a list of the hospital staff so
8 that needed to be done.
9 Once the hospital staff was separated from those who were not
10 members of the staff, we were supposed to conduct triage of those who
11 belonged to neither of those groups and were also neither wounded nor
13 Q. When you came to the hospital, did you enter the building? Did
14 you start with your work right away?
15 A. When we came to the hospital, Mr. Sljivancanin went inside. I
16 stayed back -- I don't think that any of us entered the building. I
17 stayed outside of the entrance and I could see Sljivancanin through the
18 glass. I think that he stood on an elevated object and the hospital staff
19 stood around him. He spoke to them, most likely about this need to
20 separate themselves from the others.
21 Once Sljivancanin concluded, we entered in order to start our
22 work. Bogdan Vujic and I came in. We were to do the same kind of work.
23 Q. Please tell me, did anybody else arrive at the hospital with you
24 at the time?
25 A. No, nobody arrived with us, but while we were there, four or five
1 officers arrived. They came in. I didn't even know who they were. Later
2 I heard that those were our doctors who had arrived in order to assist in
3 technical/professional matters, to conduct the triage of the patients in
4 the hospital.
5 Q. When you entered the hospital, what did you do?
6 A. When we entered the hospital, Vujic went to one side, I went to
7 the right. We went from one bed to the next one. Next to me was a person
8 who was previously employed in the hospital and who knew a lot of people,
9 and if somebody was in bed and wasn't actually wounded or sick, I would
10 take that person outside to the front of the hospital. That was the
12 Q. How could you tell whether somebody was wounded or not, the people
13 that you inspected?
14 A. Well, I talked to them. I asked them whether they had been
15 wounded or were sick. One of them even said that he was wounded. I asked
16 him to show me and he rolled up his sleeve a bit and he had a scratch just
17 a few centimetres long; it wasn't even bandaged. I told him to get up.
18 Once he got up, I could tell that he could stand perfectly normally. I
19 turned over the pillow and -- on his bed and I could see a hand-grenade
20 under the pillow. I told him, I asked him: What's this? He said: I
21 have no idea.
22 I didn't have any time to discuss it any longer with him. I
23 simply took him outside, and there were already people out there who,
24 pursuant to Sljivancanin's request, had gone out on their own because they
25 were neither members of the hospital staff nor wounded, and they left the
1 building pursuant to his request.
2 And in front of the emergency room, women stood on one side, so I
3 didn't take them out. Men were on the other side next to the hospital
4 wall. They all came up to the table, to this one table where the military
5 police had organised a search. I handed them over to them, and then I
6 returned to the hospital to get the others. Sometimes I'd take one person
7 out, sometimes two, sometimes even three people at a time.
8 At any rate, they were all men, healthy, able-bodied, and I think
9 I took about 20 of them out that way.
10 Q. Tell me, what did you do when somebody lay in bed in plaster, in
11 bandages. When somebody was truly a patient, a sick person, a wounded
12 person, what did you do in that situation?
13 A. In that situation, Sljivancanin told us that we had nothing to do
14 with the wounded, that they would be dealt with by professionals and that
15 professionals would examine them to see whether they were wounded or sick
16 or not. I assume that this was done by the doctors who came from the
17 Novi Sad hospital.
18 Q. These doctors who came, were they in uniform, these people from
19 Novi Sad, were they military or civilian doctors, to the best of your
21 A. As far as I can remember, they were officers, military physicians,
22 military doctors.
23 Q. What was Vujic doing during that period of time; do you remember?
24 A. I'm telling you, I went to one side, Vujic went to the other side,
25 and we worked independently of each other, and we did exactly the same
1 type of work, and we came across each other as we took people out. He
2 took people out, I took people out, and then we'd go back.
3 Q. Can you tell us approximately how many people Vujic took out that
4 way, as you did?
5 A. I cannot say because I really do not know. But he took out quite
6 a few people. I don't think that I took out more than he did.
7 Q. What did you do when you'd come across a person who was a civilian
8 who had not been wounded, not sick, who was just standing there? Were
9 there such situations?
10 A. Yes, there were such situations. I would ask that person who
11 worked at the hospital whether this individual was an employee of the
12 hospital, medical staff or non-medical staff, and then he'd say no, and
13 then I'd ask if he had an ID, and then if he'd say no, then I'd take him
14 out too.
15 Q. Who was your boss there? Who was it that instructed you what to
16 do? Whose orders did you carry out? Who did you obey?
17 A. Colonel Bogdan Vujic at Velepromet and in the hospital.
18 Q. Tell me, did you see where these people were taken out once they
19 were taken to the entrance to the hospital? Did you see what happened to
20 them after that?
21 A. I just saw them while they were in front of the hospital lined up,
22 as I already told you, and I really don't know whether they went to the
23 main gate, whether they went to some other area, or to the buses, which I
24 did not see at all. That's what Vujic asked me in Belgrade, too, whether
25 I saw how many buses there were behind the hospital. I told him that I
1 did not see the buses, and he said: Well, how was it that you didn't see
2 the buses? And I said: Well, I didn't.
3 Q. When did Vujic ask you that in Belgrade?
4 A. Oh, say a year later. He was chasing me around the marketplace
5 and -- all over the place.
6 Q. Now that we are dealing with this area, did Vujic tell you that he
7 had talked to The Hague OTP? Did you hear about that from him? Did you
8 know anything about that?
9 A. He saw me a few times in a cafe, here and there and everywhere,
10 and ultimately he managed to take me to his home, although I had refused
11 until then. It's not far away from my apartment.
12 When we came to his home, he showed me a statement that he had
13 given to an investigator from The Hague. Then he started reading it out
14 sentence by sentence. I know -- well, he said: "When I first came to
15 Velepromet, I found Branko Korica there sitting in an armchair and holding
16 a rifle on his knees."
17 And I said: Bogdan, don't you understand that I never had a rifle
18 or any kind of long-barreled weapon. I have an ID for the front line that
19 says exactly what kind of weapon I have. And I still have the originals
20 of those IDs. And it says exactly what motor vehicle I use, what
21 direction I go in, and what weapon I have. Otherwise, I could not pass
22 any check-point. And the question is what would happen if someone
23 established that I had something that was not recorded there.
24 Q. All right. When you talked to Bogdan Vujic, how did he react to
25 your information? Did he accept what you were saying as accurate? Did he
1 oppose what you were saying?
2 A. I remember he said --
3 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, could I just respectfully ask my learned
4 friend if he'd be kind enough just to tell me exactly where there is in
5 the proofing notes. There have been two other areas which I let go past,
6 but I don't see this in this proofing note at all. Perhaps it's my fault.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My last sentence in the proofing notes
8 is Vujic also showed him his statement that he had given to the OTP from
9 The Hague and he asked Korica to confirm the accuracy of that statement.
10 That is my last sentence.
11 MR. MOORE: Well, with the utmost respect, that is just one
12 particular line. My learned friend is now going into the minutiae or the
13 detail of it, and with the utmost respect, I would ask that that should
14 have been clarified.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Well, I mean -- well, just tell us that, Mr. Korica. Do you
18 remember how Mr. Vujic reacted when he talked to you about these
19 recollections of Vukovar when you were presenting your own recollections,
20 how did he react?
21 A. He asked me for several pieces of concrete information, and I
22 believe that he changed his statement then. But he says that it didn't
23 matter what he wrote, what he said, and I said that it mattered to me,
24 that it was important for me because I cannot go to Croatia to visit my
25 father's grave and my mother's grave because of that rifle. So that is
1 very important to me whether he said that before this court.
2 But there were these other things, too, that I did not agree with
3 at all.
4 Q. How come you have this information that he testified before this
6 A. I have this colleague who is retired, he retired early, and he was
7 telling his friends that he watched a direct broadcast from The Hague when
8 Bogdan Vujic testified. Well, he was probably exaggerating, but he said
9 that in every other sentence, he said: Branko Korica saw this. Branko
10 Korica heard this. Branko Korica told me this and that. And many other
11 things. As a matter of fact, even that I was his security in the war, and
12 then they were teasing me as to why it was that I went to Vukovar.
13 Q. Just my last question, I'm not going to deal with this any longer:
14 What did you mean when you said "how would I go to my father's and my
15 mother's grave"? So why did that affect you, that Vujic mentioned your
17 A. Well, I was in Vukovar. I was in the war operations zone, but I
18 did not take part in war operations, and I did not have a long-barreled
19 weapon, a rifle. I know that the president of the State of Croatia said
20 that he could forgive everyone everything but he could forgive no one for
22 Q. Thank you. Let us move on. We'll go back to the subject that we
23 had dealt with before.
24 Mr. Korica, do you remember, can you tell us how many people were
25 out in that corridor separated, to the best of your recollection, roughly?
1 I'm not asking you for an exact figure.
2 A. I took out 20 and a bit more, and then in terms of what I saw, I
3 assume that Bogdan Vujic did the same thing. I guess it was about 60, 70
5 Q. Perhaps I asked you but perhaps I didn't, who searched them, who
6 frisked them? Did you see?
7 A. They were frisked by the military police.
8 Q. What did you do with this grenade that you had found?
9 A. I handed it over to the military police.
10 Q. Did Vujic find anything?
11 A. I didn't see that he found anything. I know that he was carrying
12 around this helmet as a memento.
13 Q. In your view, what you did within the hospital, how long did it go
14 on for?
15 A. Well, it went on for about two hours, perhaps a bit more.
16 Q. When you finished that, did you stay on at the hospital or did you
17 leave? Do you remember what happened then?
18 A. Then, when we finished that, the observers had already arrived,
19 the European monitors, that is, and Mr. Sljivancanin was talking to them.
20 I passed by them, and I came across Bogdan Vujic by the gate. We stood
21 there for a bit, and then a military vehicle came by, it was going to
22 Negoslavci. We got a ride with them to Velepromet and that's how we
23 returned to Velepromet.
24 Q. Just two more questions, brief ones, in relation to the hospital.
25 As you were carrying out this triage, as we've been calling it
1 here, this work at the hospital, did you see whether anybody was carried
2 out of the hospital on a stretcher in that period of time?
3 A. I did not come across anyone on a stretcher in the hospital, and I
4 didn't see anything like that outside either. In all fairness, I did not
5 walk all around the hospital to see. But on this side where we were
6 taking people out, it is certain that there were no stretchers there, no
7 beds, no such thing.
8 Q. In that group that you took out, and those who were standing out
9 there, did you see anybody with crutches?
10 A. No, I didn't.
11 Q. And another question: After the moment you saw Sljivancanin in
12 front of the hospital, and in relation to the other places that we are
13 going to talk about now where you were on that day, did you see
14 Sljivancanin at any of these places later during the course of that day?
15 A. I saw Sljivancanin then in front of the hospital as he was talking
16 to the monitors, and after that, I did not see him again, throughout my
17 stay in Vukovar.
18 Q. Very well. Let us proceed with your stay in Vukovar. So you went
19 to Velepromet and what happened then?
20 A. Bogdan Vujic and I went to an office. I don't know whether that's
21 Borisavljevic's office or Ljubinko Stojanovic's office. I think it's
22 Ljubinko's office. Vujic sat at the desk taking some notes, and I sat on
23 the side because Borisavljevic brought me this briefcase and said that his
24 soldier, a policeman, found that somewhere behind the hangar. He handed
25 that briefcase over to me and said: You're going to be the first person
1 going to Belgrade, so hand this in at the security administration.
2 I opened the briefcase, and I saw that there were a few wallets
3 inside and perhaps two envelopes and some paper. First I thought that
4 some of the TO members wanted to plant this on me in order to compromise
5 us. I took one of these wallets, got an ID card out of it, and I wrote
6 down all the information contained in the ID. I also made a list of all
7 the documents that were in the wallet, who this belonged to.
8 When there was money, I wrote that down, too, the actual currency
9 and the number of each bank note. So that's exactly what I did. I wrote
10 all of that down and then returned it into the briefcase that was supposed
11 to be taken to the security administration.
12 Q. Was Vujic there and, if so, what was he doing?
13 A. Vujic was there, just a metre away from me at this biggish desk or
14 table, and I was sitting at this small table sitting in a chair and I was
15 doing all of this, whereas he was sitting at this desk and writing
16 something, but I don't know what it was that he was writing.
17 Q. What happened next?
18 A. As we did that, at one moment, a military policeman came in and
19 said: Comrade-colonel, Arkan has entered his compound with his people.
20 He forced his way in. Vujic sent a soldier to bring Arkan into the
21 office. After some time, he came back and said: Comrade-colonel, Arkan
22 refuses to come in. He wants you to go and see him. Vujic was upset and
23 he raised his voice, saying to the military policeman: Go get military
24 police and bring him in.
25 The soldier left and even before he returned, Arkan came into the
1 office. He went straight to the desk of colonel, he sat across from him.
2 He put his automatic rifle on the desk and then he leaned over his rifle,
3 and he said: What do you want, colonel? And without waiting for an
4 answer, he continued: You are crazy, colonel. You are just an ordinary
6 Knowing Vujic, I thought that an incident would break out;
7 however, that didn't happen. Vujic simply said to him: What are you
8 doing here? Do you want to kill here as well? Since they argued quite
9 passionately, I wanted to reduce the tension and disrupt their dialogue.
10 I addressed Arkan by his last name, and I said: Raznjatovic, I know you
11 and you don't know me. I tricked him there. I told him that I worked for
12 the Ministry of the Interior and I told him even which building. And then
13 I asked him: Do you know where that building is? And he said yes. Then
14 I told him: If you expel a single Croat here, Tudjman will expel five of
15 my people from Croatia. If you expel one village here, or kill people in
16 one village, Tudjman will kill people in five villages of my people,
17 because all of my people are in Croatia. So who am I to fight against,
18 against you or Tudjman?
19 He removed himself from the table and said: I'm not the one doing
20 the killing. And then Vujic continued arguing with him and said: It is
21 your people who are killing.
22 Then Arkan stopped him and once again said to him: Colonel,
23 you're crazy. Come to the other office in an hour, a cabinet session will
24 be held here, cabinet session of the SAO Krajina and then you will see
25 what decisions will be taken.
1 Vujic replied: I will certainly come.
2 Q. Just a minute. Let us conclude with this portion and then we'll
3 proceed. Had you seen Arkan ever prior to that?
4 A. I had never seen Arkan.
5 Q. His presence and the dialogue which took place, were you afraid
6 upon hearing it?
7 A. No, there was no reason for that.
8 Q. How did Vujic appear to you? You knew him well. Did he appear to
9 be frightened?
10 A. Well, I don't know. Vujic does have these outbursts, especially
11 when he gets upset. Arkan didn't show any aggressiveness. I spoke
12 completely normally to him. I had occasion to speak to him once again,
13 but not on that day. He went there and I don't know whether there was any
14 danger. I simply turned my head to the other side and continued working
15 as though Arkan wasn't there at all. Had there been any more serious
16 problems, I probably would have done something to protect both Vujic and
18 Q. Please tell us what happened next.
19 A. After some time, after less than an hour, another person came in,
20 a colonel this time, a tall man wearing a military uniform with epaulets
21 and rank insignia hanging down his shoulder, down his sleeve. And
22 straight from the door, he asked: Who is Colonel Branko? Vujic answered:
23 I am. He said: Arkan is inviting you to come and attend the cabinet
25 Arkan, when sending this colonel, must have said that he was
1 looking for a colonel, and Vujic introduced himself as Branko so he mixed
2 up that, and from that time on, Vujic has been known as Colonel Branko.
3 Q. Just a minute. You worked actively with him in your previous army
4 service. Did he ever previously introduce himself to anyone as Colonel
6 A. Definitely not. I know him very well. I'm positive that he never
7 did that.
8 Q. All right. Did Vujic object to going? What happened next?
9 A. No. Vujic got up immediately and went with the colonel to that
10 other office where the cabinet session was held. Since the door was
11 closed, I couldn't see the persons who went in to attend the session. So
12 Vujic went to the cabinet session and the other colonel remained standing
13 outside, guarding the door until the session was over.
14 Q. Do you remember, did Vujic ask you to come with him to the cabinet
15 session for any reason at all?
16 A. God forbid, not at all.
17 Q. Please tell me what happened next.
18 A. I continued doing my work. Vujic returned from the cabinet
19 session; that didn't take long. He returned from the session and told me
20 about the main things that were decided at the session. I know that he
21 told me that Arkan was the only one who was armed in that room, and that
22 he didn't take part in the work of the cabinet session.
23 Second, he told me that he argued with the cabinet members, even
24 with Goran Hadzic, about incidents that he heard had occurred, even some
25 killings. I didn't see it myself. And also some incidents involving
1 prisoners, because Goran Hadzic asked from Vujic that the prisoners from
2 the hospital be surrendered to him. Vujic said that he informed him that
3 he wasn't competent to hand over prisoners to anyone, including him.
4 Hadzic replied to him: Anyway, we don't need the army. We don't
5 need Serbia. We organised this rebellion. We won our victory, and the
6 prisoners are all ours. If you fail to give us the prisoners, we will
7 attack the JNA tanks, and if that doesn't help, we will throw ourselves
8 under the tanks.
9 Q. Earlier, when you described the meeting with Arkan, you retold us
10 the dialogue as to who said what. Can I inquire how come you remember in
11 such a great detail who said what?
12 A. To tell you the truth, I thought it was funny. It was funny to
13 observe Vujic in that situation, and I must have told this to my
14 colleagues in Belgrade at least 100 times, and I repeated it I don't know
15 how many times, so my recollection of this is very vivid. This is how
16 come I could tell you about this.
17 Q. All right. Tell me, did Vujic tell you how the meeting, how the
18 cabinet session ended?
19 A. He told me that the session ended and that there was something
20 that he didn't like about it either. Halfway through the session, as they
21 were debating, some lieutenant-colonel entered the room. He didn't know
22 what his name was or the unit that he had come from. He didn't know
23 whether he was from Belgrade or Negoslavci. He handed in a dispatch, a
24 telegram, or he told Goran Hadzic that he had received an approval to
25 establish a camp for war prisoners should the cabinet decide so.
1 Q. And what happened then. Was that the end of the meeting or did it
3 A. No, that was the end of the cabinet session. They came out into
4 the Velepromet compound, at one point even I came out, and I recognised
5 only Arkan and Goran Hadzic among them. I didn't know other people. He
6 talked to the TO members who approached him to greet him. Ljubinko
7 Stojanovic was there because they used to work together at Velepromet, so
8 there were many people that he used to know there as a businessman. I
9 went back into the office.
10 Q. What happened to Vujic; do you remember?
11 A. I don't know where the entire cabinet went, or some individual
12 cabinet members. I don't even know where Arkan went. Vujic and I
13 remained together at Velepromet. But at some point in the afternoon, he
14 said that he was going to the barracks to have lunch. He went to the
15 barracks and we didn't see each other until we met in Sremska Mitrovica.
16 Q. That morning when you left from Negoslavci to the hospital, what
17 happened to the other people in your group? Did you see that or did you
18 hear about that? I'm referring to Muncan and other people in your group.
19 A. I later heard that Muncan and my group, and I think even Kijanovic
20 and Tomic, that they went to Velepromet and worked there as long as there
21 was work to do because they needed to send off some transports to Croatia.
22 There were complications. These transports returned because the Croats
23 refused to take them in and so on. And then all of them went to the
24 barracks, so they were in the barracks until the evening, whereas I
25 remained at Velepromet.
1 Q. Did you meet up with the rest of the men from your group?
2 A. We met up towards the evening when Muncan and the rest of my group
3 came in a car to fetch me in Velepromet. We got into the car and then we
4 went straight to Sid. However, en route, Muncan said that the prisoners
5 from the barracks had been transferred to Ovcara. And he said that we
6 were to go to Ovcara to observe the situation there, to see whether there
7 was any chance of interviewing any of those prisoners.
8 Q. All right. Before we turn to that portion of your evidence, tell
9 us this, please: Muncan and the others from your group who were separated
10 from you during the day, did they tell you about what had happened in the
11 barracks? Did they give you any details?
12 A. Yes, they told me -- I heard that there were incidents in the
13 barracks. Muncan told me. Apparently there were attacks on the buses and
14 that the people who were outside were pointing to the people on the buses
15 saying: He killed this member of my family. He killed that member of my
17 So there was a lot of intimidation and they had to increase
18 security detail, and then the situation calmed down and then they left.
19 Q. Before you met with Muncan, in the course of two previous days,
20 did you ever hear Ovcara being mentioned? Did anybody mention Ovcara
21 prior to that?
22 A. Until Muncan said in the car that we were going to Ovcara, I
23 didn't even know what Ovcara was.
24 Q. All right. So did you get to Ovcara, to the hangar?
25 A. We came to the hangar from the lower side, if I may call it that.
1 Q. All right. You will describe to us -- what time of the day it
2 was? Was it day or night?
3 A. It was neither, neither day or night. It was just before dusk,
4 but it was still -- there was still more daylight than darkness.
5 Q. And what happened next?
6 A. We came close to the entrance to the hangar. We drove up in our
7 car and we halted and then Muncan and Pero Musesku left the car, and they
8 said to me and Radakovic to wait in the car. They went to the hangar,
9 Muncan and Musesku, and I think that they came back within five minutes.
10 Muncan said: Start the car. Let us leave. There are no conditions here
11 for us to do anything. They don't have a separate room for us to work and
12 it's getting dark. We are running out of time. We'll do this another
14 We went straight to Sid without stopping at the command of the
15 Guards Brigade.
16 Q. Just a moment, please. Did Muncan tell you of any other details,
17 what he saw in the hangar, or was it only what you said just now?
18 A. He didn't say anything else to me except for the fact that there
19 were no conditions for us to do any work.
20 Q. Do you remember, can you tell us what the atmosphere in front of
21 the hangar was like, what did you see?
22 A. In front of the door of the hangar, I saw a policeman, by who they
23 went and went into the hangar.
24 Q. When you say "policeman."
25 A. I mean military policeman. Then about 5 or 6 metres away from
1 him, there were two military policemen who were sort of talking. I don't
2 know whether they were on duty. And about 20 metres away, behind a little
3 shed or a little pre-fabricated building, there was a group of officers
4 standing there and soldiers, too, who were talking normally. I didn't see
5 anything else.
6 Q. Did you see any territorials, as we call them here, anybody else?
7 Were there any other people there in uniform walking around?
8 A. I can tell you that as for the road that we took as we got there
9 in this car there was no one there, and in that group, I don't know who
10 the territorials were and who the soldiers were and who the active-duty
11 officers were, and whether there were any territorials behind them on the
12 other side, the upper side. I didn't get out of the car, so that's what I
13 managed to see from the car.
14 Q. Does this jog your memory: Were there any buses there perhaps?
15 A. No. No. I could not see any buses in terms of everything that I
16 managed to see from the vehicle.
17 Q. All right. You said that you were there only about five minutes
18 altogether, so that was a short period of time?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. Where did you go then?
21 A. From there, we went by car directly to Sid. We were billeted in a
22 private apartment, our group, that is, and we were near the post office.
23 So Muncan brought us to our building, parked the car, and that's where we
24 all got out, whereas Muncan went to the post office on foot to report to
25 Colonel Ljubisa Petkovic, an oral report, that is. As for the written
1 report, he wrote that up later.
2 Q. Did you write any reports, do you remember, in relation to those
3 two days of work there?
4 A. I didn't write anything, but I participated and told Muncan about
5 everything I did. I reported to him and also what was of interest there.
6 Bogdan Vujic was with me all the time, and we were exchanging information.
7 We were telling each other things all the time. So it wasn't necessary to
8 submit a report.
9 Q. How long did you stay on there in Sid, Mr. Korica, can you tell us
10 approximately, after this 20th of November?
11 A. We stayed at least for another ten days or so, perhaps even more
12 than that, and then we moved to Vukovar.
13 Q. How long were you in Vukovar and what did you do there?
14 A. We were in Vukovar -- well, I was there until the 15th of March,
16 Q. What did you do, what was your work there, if you can tell us very
18 A. We worked on many things, particularly collecting documentation
19 about crimes that had been committed in Vukovar, in villages. We
20 conducted interviews with persons who were of interest to us, both of Serb
21 and Croat ethnicity.
22 Q. All right. During that period of your activity in Vukovar, did
23 you go to the Vukovar Hospital, and did you conduct the same kind of
24 interviews there?
25 A. I went to the Vukovar Hospital quite a few times. I conducted
1 quite a few interviews with the hospital staff, both Serbs and Croats.
2 There were quite a few nurses who had stayed on in the hospital, who
3 remained working in the hospital. So there were things of interest there,
4 but there were more things of interest around Vukovar and different
5 documents, Mercep and other leading people.
6 Q. All right. Tell us, do you remember whether near the Vukovar
7 hospital, you found something that was interesting for you in terms of
8 your operative work, some things, some premises?
9 A. We received some information to the effect that opposite the
10 hospital, across the street near the hospital, there is a watchmaker's
11 shop, and next to the shop a new little house was being built. And
12 underneath the window of that house, we were told to dig and that we would
13 find weapons and a notebook that contains the minefields in Vukovar.
14 We did that and we found that and we immediately handed over that
15 notebook to Colonel Basic, and he was an engineering officer and he was
16 working on the mop-up of the area, sanitization of the terrain. But we
17 also found a radio there; that was the communications centre. Our experts
18 dismantled that. As far as I heard as they were working there, they had
19 never discovered that radio.
20 Q. How far away is that from the yard of the hospital?
21 A. I think, say, 30 to 40 metres.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Korica, in that period while you were in Vukovar,
23 it's almost three months, as far as I can see, did you receive any
24 information? Did you hear anything about what was going on in Ovcara,
25 about the crime in Ovcara, if I can put it that way?
1 A. Afterwards, I did, but I stayed in Vukovar for a long time and I
2 went to the hospital many times, and even in the hospital, no one,
3 absolutely no one was talking about that, about those persons being
4 killed. I heard in Belgrade, say a year after that, from the media, that
5 that had happened.
6 Q. Just give me a brief answer, not to go into all the details.
7 During this period while you were there, in the hospital, were
8 there ethnic Serbs and Croats who worked there?
9 A. Quite a few Serbs and Croats, quite a few. I don't know who was
10 the head nurse at the hospital before, but after this evacuation, the head
11 nurse of the hospital was a Croat lady from a neighbouring village of
12 mine, near my village in Croatia.
13 Q. Thank you. Just one more question. We heard testimony here that
14 some lieutenant wanted to assassinate Mr. Vujic with a sniper on that day,
15 the 20th in the hospital. Do you know about any kind of assassination
16 attempt against Colonel Branko's life?
17 A. Now I understand. Two months after that, I had this situation, as
18 it were, that was reminiscent of that as I was in the cellar of the
19 hospital as I was conducting interviews, and then Pero Musesku came to
20 interview these persons, and then the person who came in said: Where's
21 Branko? And he said: Well, he's on another assignment. A person we know
22 well. An officer, an NCO. And he kept saying: Where's Branko, where's
23 Branko? He insisted. And he: Well, he's doing something different now.
24 And then he said: Well, where? And since they were on pretty good terms,
25 he managed to learn from him that some people had sent him to liquidate
1 me, to kill me.
2 Q. Branko Korica?
3 A. Yes, Branko Korica, who he knew well. And I told Bogdan Vujic
4 about this, say a year after that, and it's only if he ascribed that to
5 himself. I mean, I haven't got anything else.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have concluded the
7 examination-in-chief of this witness and I have no further questions, and
8 I think that this would be an ideal moment to adjourn for the day.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
10 Mr. Vasic, do you plan to ask any questions of the witness?
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I do
12 have some questions. I don't think I can do much in two or three
13 remaining minutes, so I support what Mr. Lukic said, and as in the past, I
14 will try to consolidate my questions and to reduce them to a minimum.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. We adjourn now until 2.15 tomorrow.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.55 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of
18 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.