1 Thursday, 23 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. May I remind you, sir, of the
7 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence which still
9 WITNESS: MLADEN MARIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
12 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I'm sorry for bothering the Court so
13 early in the morning. We have certain matters that need to be sorted out
14 or to be clarified, administrative matters, and we would be extremely
15 grateful if the Court could allow us 25 minutes to try and deal with those
16 points. We need to deal with them now rather than at the break. I'm
17 sorry to have to ask for this, I have not asked for this before, but on
18 this occasion, without going into the details, I would ask the Court's
20 I tried to keep all matters short, I believe I have done that in
21 cross-examination, I believe it will not affect the overall time table but
22 there are difficulties that I would wish to resolve and I believe it will
23 assist in any event the present situation in this case and the
24 cross-examination of the witness.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Moore.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Moore. We were on the verge of
3 asking you to spell out in great detail the necessity, but we've decided
5 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE PARKER: And we will adjourn now until ten past 10.00.
7 I'm sorry, sir, but you may have heard that there is a matter that
8 counsel have to resolve so we need to adjourn for half an hour before
9 continuing with your evidence.
10 --- Break taken at 9.37 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.15 a.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
13 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
14 morning to all in the courtroom.
15 Examination by Mr. Bulatovic: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maric.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. We will continue with your examination-in-chief. You remember
19 what I told you yesterday, to pause a few seconds before answering my
20 questions for the reasons I already mentioned, not to repeat everything
21 today as well.
22 Mr. Maric, yesterday, we talked about your activities on the 18th
23 of November, 1991 onwards. Now, do you remember your activities on the
24 19th of November, 1991?
25 A. Yes. In the morning, around 9.00 or 10.00, the commander called
1 me, Captain Susic, that is, and he told me that a team of journalists
2 would come to see me from SkyNews. That team had previously stayed with
3 our unit a few times, and they were actually recording events for SkyNews.
4 He told me that they would come, and I should take them where they wanted
5 to go.
6 Before they came, I issued an order to the company officer to get
7 our equipment because it had been dislocated and it was in several
8 places. So they were supposed to clean it, get it in order, in order to
9 change the location. When the SkyNews TV crew came, since we knew each
10 other from before, after a while, (redacted), that team -- or
11 rather, crew and I went in the same direction where we had gone
12 previously, and we took them to the water tower.
13 From the water tower, they filmed the panorama of Vukovar. Van
14 Lynden has suggested that I make a statement.
15 Q. Sorry for interrupting, Mr. Maric. There is a reason why I'm
16 doing that. So I'm asking you not to talk about what happened at
17 Vodotoranj now. I'm interested in the actual time frame. How long did it
18 take you to get there, and how much time did you stay there?
19 A. We came to Vodotoranj around mid-day, and we stayed at the water
20 tower for about an hour; that is to say, until about 1300 hours.
21 Q. After that, with that TV crew of SkyNews, did you go to other
22 parts of Vukovar?
23 A. Yes. They asked to have a look at the centre of Vukovar and
24 perhaps to the hospital, to go to the hospital.
25 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, can we
1 move into private session for a moment, please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
3 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
23 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Maric, after the water tower, you went to the centre of town
25 and then?
1 A. Yes. We went to the centre of town. We stopped on the way so
2 that they could film destroyed buildings and the general situation. I did
3 not allow them to leave the car, because I was not sure whether there were
4 any left-over mines or anything like that. Along the way, we came across
5 a French TV crew, who they knew, and they asked to come along with us.
6 As we were moving towards the centre, Van Lynden asked to stop at
7 the hospital. That was outside my zone. I called the command to ask
8 whether I could take him there.
9 Q. Mr. Maric, would you please explain who Van Lynden is? You said
10 something about them being with you before. Could you explain these
12 A. I know Van Lynden is a SkyNews journalist. They came -- well, I
13 was absent. That was the first time they came to the unit, probably
14 someone let them come there. So two or three times they did some filming
15 with the unit.
16 When I returned after my wounding, a few days after that, they
17 stayed with us and spent a night there, too. It was a crew of five or six
18 people. I think that's the way you pronounced name, Van Lynden. I am
19 sorry if I'm mispronouncing it.
20 Q. This time that you spent with him before the 19th, you said that
21 they spent a night with you there. Did they see the combat positions?
22 Were there any restrictions imposed on them?
23 A. There were no restrictions imposed on them. It's as if they were
24 part of our unit. That is the way they were treated.
25 Q. Mr. Maric, let us now go back to their wish to see the Vukovar
1 Hospital, because you say it wasn't in your zone of responsibility. You
2 called the command, and then what happened?
3 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Panic answered, and I told him that they wanted
4 to go to the hospital. The hospital is on the other side of the Vuka
5 River in the northern part of Vukovar. And he said, "No problem. Take
6 them. We've got nothing to hide." And that's the first time I got to the
8 So in this one vehicle, there was (redacted) who was driving, and there
9 were through or four of them from the crew and I was there.
10 Q. Can you tell us what time it was when you came to the hospital?
11 A. Well, it was in the afternoon, say around 2.00, something like
12 that; half an hour earlier, half an hour later, perhaps. I'm not sure.
13 Q. Can you describe what happened near the hospital; but before that,
14 let me ask you whether you saw any members of the Yugoslav People's Army
15 by the hospital?
16 A. Yes. Around the hospital, there were soldiers of the 2nd
17 Battalion of the military police of our brigade. I know that it is the
18 2nd Battalion, because I saw Captain Simic there.
19 Q. And what happened then?
20 A. I reported to Simic and I told him that I had approval from our
21 command that the TV crew could film the situation around the hospital, and
22 then we started touring the area. We came to the main entrance. I cannot
23 recall how this happened, but at any rate -- well, we entered the hallway
24 and then you on the staircase, we saw Vesna Bosanac who appeared,
25 accompanied by a nurse who was interpreting.
1 Vesna Bosanac gave an interview there.
2 Q. Mr. Maric, had you ever seen Vesna Bosanac before that?
3 A. No. No. Never. She introduced herself then; and since I am a
4 Bosanac, Bosnian, I remembered her last name. She said that there were a
5 certain number of people there in the hospital, civilians, and she
6 suggested that the TV crew film the situation within the hospital. Van
7 Lynden asked me whether that was possible, and I said it was possible. He
8 asked me whether I'd come with him. I refused, since I had full gear. I
9 was armed; I didn't want to enter the hospital that way.
10 He went with her and I walked out of the hospital, and then the
11 soldiers called me to see some corpses nearby. There were also some
12 containers near the emergency entrance, and there were some parts of human
13 bodies there and weapons. I was in camouflage uniform and they always
14 think we are something special, but I said let it be and the organs in
15 charge would come and investigate properly.
16 Van Lynden came and he was quite shaken as he walked out, and
17 pretty soon, we left.
18 Q. How long did this visit of Mr. Van Lynden to the hospital last?
19 A. I think it could have been an hour, a bit over an hour, something
20 like that.
21 Q. Did you notice anything going on around the hospital, that
22 something was going on around the hospital?
23 A. I didn't know notice special. There were these soldiers there. --
24 Nothing special.
25 Q. You didn't notice somebody trying to endanger someone in the
1 hospital, that there were some clashes or conflicts?
2 A. No, none of the above.
3 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: Very leading.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It is, Mr. Borovic. Mr. Bulatovic. I've got this
7 growing problem with the two of you in my sight when I look in that line,
8 that direction. You must each be flattered when I call you by the other
9 name, but it is a leading question, Mr. Bulatovic.
10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] No problem whatsoever, Your
11 Honour. The fact that you confuse Mr. Borovic and me, and I fully accept
12 that this objection is overruled.
13 Q. So Mr. Maric, could you explain the atmosphere around the hospital
14 and what he saw there. Mr. Van Lynden was in the hospital and you talked
15 to soldiers outside?
16 A. The hospital had been hit by artillery, and around, there was
17 quite a lot of rubble.
18 In front of the hospital, there was this wall, and there were
19 quite a few corpses lined up by that wall; that is to say, that they were
20 not scattered about as if they had been hit there, but it's as if they had
21 been brought there. So it was an ugly scene. I mean soldiers of the 2nd
22 Battalion were everywhere. They were at all positions, so the hospital
23 was fully protected.
24 Q. Mr. Maric, after this hour, hour and a half, as you said, you
25 left. What about the SkyNews crew that was with you, did they leave with
2 A. Well, yes, they were with me in my vehicle. They didn't have a
3 vehicle of their own. We all returned together. I cannot remember now
4 whether they stayed spending the night there, whether they went back. But
5 I think they went back to Negoslavci straight away.
6 Q. After returning from Vukovar, did you have contact with that TV
7 crew later?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. What kind of contacts?
10 A. We saw each other several times. Just after Vukovar, we had
11 dinner together in Belgrade that was organized by Van Lynden on the
12 occasion of his departure from Belgrade, or rather, after that particular
13 tour of duty of his.
14 Should I explain who attended the dinner? It was Van Lynden; his
15 cameraman; his Belgrade producer, Mr. Kusovac; Jaksa Scekic, who also
16 works for them. That is on our side, so to speak. On our side, it was
17 (redacted), Miksa, and I; Sergeant Bulatovic, that is. We were at the club
18 of the cultural and education society, and we were talking about the times
19 as they were then. We talked about what it was like when they did the
20 filming; and then after that, we went to Jaksic's apartment. The date was
21 when the Red Star football team would play the Kolokolo to see who the
22 world soccer champion would be. That's why I remember the date.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question put by
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Did they have any objections then?
2 A. Perhaps I won't speak at length, but --
3 Q. Mr. Maric, we know what this is about. But would you tell the
4 Trial Chamber why you remember that day, what was the sports event?
5 A. Red Star and Kolokolo played a soccer match on that day. I think
6 that Kolokolo is a team from Brazil or Argentina, and they were playing in
7 Japan, in Tokyo. It was a game that would decide who the world champion
8 would be. So it was --
9 Q. Who is Red Star?
10 A. Red Star is a Belgrade football club; and at that time, they were
11 European champions, and, indeed, they became world champions then.
12 Q. All right. We should know, just briefly, did you talk to talk to
13 Mr. Van Lynden that moment, that evening related to his presence in
15 A. Yes. We talked about it the whole evening, in fact, and Van
16 Lynden had a very positive view about our unit. And he thanked us
17 profusely for the concern that he had expressed for his work and the
18 hospitality that we had accorded him and for having it made possible for
19 him to achieve world fame, because SkyNews dedicated the breaking news to
20 that particular topic that evening for ten minutes.
21 Later, when we went to Jaksic's flat, he wanted to show me what it
22 was that he had sent in as his reports, and what had been broadcast by
23 SkyNews. He said that he apologised if there was any shortenings, and I
24 saw that the editor in chief in a way edited the material that he had sent
25 in and it was so. He submitted realistic reports, and of course the
1 editor edited them to his -- to suit his purposes. It was not very
2 dramatic, but it was obvious.
3 However, when it came to the report from the hospital, I noticed
4 that all those were filmed in the hospital were civilians, which was to
5 say elderly people and women. And I told him that that was not fair,
6 because he had been with us. He saw that we had fought fiercely armed
7 groups. And now according to that footage, it turned out that we had
8 fought some old women.
9 Then he sent the cameraman to get all the footage from the car.
10 And during hour that we were watching the football match, he went through
11 the footage to see whether the abridgements had been made by the -- him or
12 by the editor.
13 Later, he apologised, and he said that the editing was not done by
14 his editor but by him. It was his mistake. Because having been shaken by
15 the situation inside, he actually filmed what he was being invited to film
16 inside. And that is what accounted for that. And he indeed apologised a
17 number of times, and he asked me not to bear a grudge with him because of
18 that for the sake of some future cooperation that we might have.
19 Q. Mr. Maric, when did this working day, the 19th of November, finish
20 for you?
21 A. Well, they had left after dark had already fallen, and we were not
22 want to pursue any intensive activities after that. Nothing significant,
23 in other words, simply happened they had left.
24 Q. Mr. Maric, we shall now move on to the 20th of November. Do you
25 remember where you were on the 20th of November, 1991?
1 A. I have already said that the day before, which is the 19th of
2 November, I had ordered the warrant officer, the company commander to
3 prepare the equipment. We had been issued with some armaments which were
4 not our weapons but the Vukovar unit's, and that was to be returned to the
5 unit that had signed for it. So the company commander had prepared that;
6 and sometime around 11.00 in the morning, I went with him to the barracks
7 where we were supposed to return the weapons.
8 Q. And that barracks is where?
9 A. That barracks is in Vukovar in the -- it was to the south from the
10 spot where I was.
11 Q. And who accompanied you?
12 A. It was this warrant officer, the company commander, and two
13 soldiers to carry it. We were in just one vehicle, because there were
14 three, or rather, four crates, boxes.
15 Q. Mr. Maric, can you describe your arrival at the barracks, your
16 entering the barracks, what did you see there?
17 A. I believe that it was around 11.00 in the morning. I went through
18 the entry and exit checkpoint. And from that gatepost to the actual
19 building, there some 50 metres, I believe. Approaching entering, I saw a
20 group of people, some 50-odd men in different garb. Some were in civilian
21 clothes, others were in uniform. It was a motley group standing right
22 there on the approach to the barracks building itself. So I stopped there
23 and I saw Captain Predojevic, and I asked him what was going on.
24 After I got out of the vehicle, I saw three or four buses in
25 semi-circular formation on this clearing, and I saw some people on the
1 buses, sitting in the buses. Predojevic said to me that these people had
2 come there to protest, to swear at the people, curse at the people who
3 were sitting in the buses.
4 As those people were really saying things and that, as far as I
5 can remember, were in the sense of requesting that those prisoners, those
6 people who were on the buses, they said that they were criminals, that
7 they should be put on trial, that they had committed crimes against them,
8 and that they should actually be the one to put them on trial and that we,
9 on the other hand, would be liberating them or exchanging them, and that
10 we were reds, commies. And this is the kind of language they used and
11 this is the kind of stories they were saying.
12 I know and knew from experience if something started like that,
13 verbally, eventually it can grow into something much more dramatic.
14 Q. Would you please slow down, kindly.
15 A. So actually, I was trained along those lines, and I had
16 experienced that myself in practice. So on that basis, I decided to help
17 my colleague Predojevic in order for us to prevent any events from taking
18 any such turns. So I was engaged in an argument. I actually started to
19 argue with some of those who were the more vociferous.
20 In the meantime, Captain Susic got there. So we had this argument
21 for ten or 15 or 20 minutes at maximum, and eventually we managed to
22 remove them from the barracks.
23 Q. Mr. Maric, how large was this group of men around the buses?
24 A. Well, they were not around the buses. They were outside the
25 buses, in front of the buses. They were not quite in the immediate
1 vicinity of the buses, perhaps some 20 metres away. There were perhaps 30
2 -- between 30 and 50 of them, not more than that.
3 Q. And, Mr. Maric, were any of those people armed in that group?
4 A. Well, probably. When I say probably, I don't really recall that
5 specifically to have been the case, because probably no one threatened
6 anyone with their weapons because I would have remembered that.
7 Q. Do you know from what particular formations, structure those
8 people were? Who were they? Were they soldiers?
9 A. At any rate, they were local inhabitants. I said that some were
10 in uniforms. Now whether they blanked to some units, that unit from the
11 barracks, the reserve force, I don't know. But according to their
12 reactions, I can tell you that they were all locals; namely, those who
13 were manifesting such behaviour were certainly locals, those that were
15 I say that because they said things like: They killed my brother,
16 they tortured my mother, and things of that kind.
17 Q. Did you then draw any conclusion on the basis of such reactions as
18 to who were the people, the people on the buses were?
19 A. Yes. I concluded that they were members of Croatian armed
20 forces. Because I knew from the day before, I knew from before that on
21 the 18th, a group had surrendered and that there were more groups. And as
22 I was not engaged in any further combat operations, I suppose that these
23 were people who had been taken prisoner elsewhere in other operations.
24 Let me just mention that I know that on the 19th, the 2nd
25 Battalion was to search, comb the sector of Mitnica, which hadn't been
1 combed before. So I suppose that perhaps that might have been the result
2 of that operation.
3 Q. Mr. Maric, did you have any information or knowledge related to
4 the Vukovar Hospital apart from that, from your stay there on the 19th?
5 A. No. I had nothing to do with the hospital, nor did I learn
6 anything in particular about it, apart from that.
7 Q. As for the barracks in Vukovar, how frequently did you go there?
8 A. I believe that that was my third time at that barracks. The first
9 time I went there was when I was wounded on the 2nd of October; and they
10 had an infirmary there, that's why I went there. Then I was there on the
11 17th in the evening before this attack on the 18th, and this was the third
13 Q. Did you know who the commander of the barracks in Vukovar was?
14 A. Not at that moment. I found out later, but I was not interested
15 at that time.
16 Q. You say that after some 15 or 20 minutes of these altercations
17 with these people, you sent them away from the barracks compound. And
18 what did you do then?
19 A. Well, after a discussion, arguments of 15 or 20 minutes, they went
20 away; and as the situation had calmed down, Captain Susic and I, myself,
21 went into the building. I wanted to return the equipment that I had been
22 issued with. Where Susic went, I don't know.
23 Q. Very well. Tell me, when you returned the -- the returning of the
24 equipment that you had been issued, how much did that take?
25 A. I was not doing that myself. We found this warrant officer who
1 had signed for it. So my company commander went with him to finish that
2 particular business; and while I waited for him, I talked to some other
3 company commanders whom I had not seen for quite some time.
4 Q. Can you say approximately after suppressing this group of people,
5 or rather, expelling this group of people, and going -- and between that
6 and going to the command building and your stay in the command building,
7 how much did that last?
8 A. I did not quite understand you. Are you talking about the entire
9 stay, or just how long we were in the barracks?
10 Q. In the barracks?
11 A. That was about two hours.
12 Q. When you finished returning the weapons, did you do anything else
13 after that?
14 A. No. After I left the barracks, those buses were not there any
15 longer. There was nothing specific to see, so I went to my unit to see
16 what would be happening with the equipment that we would not be returning,
17 et cetera.
18 Q. Did you ask any of the commanding -- of the officers that you saw
19 who had sent the buses, where from the buses, how come the buses, anything
20 in that vein?
21 A. No. We had no particular discussions about that. Believe me I
22 had other business to attend to, and I wasn't very much interested in
23 that, if you're referring to that particular day.
24 Q. Mr. Maric, let us go back to some events that need further
25 clarification; namely, when you returned to the unit, was there any
1 dissatisfaction in your unit that you observed, or were informed about
2 when you returned? Did your unit participate in combat operations at all
3 times? If it didn't, why not? And generally what was the situation
5 A. Well, basically, when I got there, I found that there had been
6 some problems in the functioning of my unit. One could even say that they
7 had refused to carry out tasks, and that that had happened towards the end
8 of October; and that after a couple of days rest in Negoslavci, they were
9 again fed into combat operations. I received this information from
10 different officers at different points, starting from the Belgrade
11 barracks when I set out on my return journey in Negoslavci up to the point
12 of entry into the combat line itself.
13 The first impression I had when I came and saw the way my people
14 were looking was that they were slightly out of the ordinary. Their
15 beards had grown, they were unshaven, they were slightly unkempt. They
16 behaved in a -- some inappropriate ways.
17 Q. Did you ask them what the reasons for such conduct were?
18 A. Well, knowing the people and knowing how burdened they were, I did
19 not directly confront them in a soldierly manner with these issues to
20 clarify the situation. I rather went about finding out what the problems
21 were, and basically it was their dissatisfaction with the way they had
22 been used after I had left. They were unhappy with the sanitation
23 conditions, the hygienic conditions, the lack of care, as they put it, on
24 the part of the command, about their living conditions, and also that they
25 were under friendly fire for a while; namely, that he that they had gained
1 the impression that somebody there wanted to exhaust them to the maximum.
2 At the same time, I have to remark that the people, who were
3 within the area of the front line; namely, the locals and everybody else,
4 spoke in the most laudable terms about my unit and their behaviour. And
5 they even said that nothing would have been achieved in that area had it
6 not been for my unit. So it was obvious to me that there had been a sort
7 of discrepant view of the situation between my unit and the command.
8 So I dedicated, I actually sought to revolve that problem, to
9 pinpoint the root causes of the problem. And I concluded that the basic
10 cause of the discrepancy was the fact that (redacted) was not capable enough,
11 mature enough to be company commander to be able -- namely, he functioned
12 well as an individual, as a combat and individually, but he could not
13 manage the entire command structure properly.
14 Q. Mr. Maric, in order not to have to move to private session any --
15 every now and then, and because I don't know what you will be saying,
16 please do not refer to his name but just speak about the commander of the
18 A. Well I didn't know that his was a protected name. Therefore, I
19 concluded that that was the gist of it, that there was this discrepancy
20 consisting of the following: Whenever he reacted at the command in strong
21 terms, he would be reacting in strong terms to what realistic assessments
22 were or were not; and then as he went back to his unit, he would be
23 speaking to his men and presenting them the situation in a different
25 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this, if we look at the proofing notes,
3 it says: "He will testify to the situation at the unit he found upon his
4 return and the reasons for discontent, as well as to the situation in the
5 unit prior to his departure to Vukovar and the so-called upheaval, in
6 which several officers from that unit participated, as well as the reasons
7 and events of those days."
8 Now, we've had specific statements relating to specific
9 individuals, conclusions as to the capability of specific -- of a specific
10 individual, and none of that is here. This is nothing more than a
11 conclusion that they're going to be talking about a certain incident or a
12 certain situation. There's nothing in this proofing note that a certain
13 person will be discussed. I will provide my opinions as to the capability
14 of certain individuals. I will discuss who was correct, who was wrong,
15 and the reason for that.
16 This is outside of the proofing note. We've had no notice of
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that the
20 proofing notes would serve only as guidelines for the Prosecution to know
21 the points on which the witness will testify here. Mr. Weiner said that
22 the proofing notes said that the witness would speak of the situation that
23 he found as he returned there and of the reasons for dissatisfaction. And
24 I believe that this is precisely what the witness is talking about. The
25 reasons why the unit was dissatisfied. And I believe he is the only
1 person who is placed to speak about this, because he was the company
3 I wasn't able to write everything that the witness would testify
4 on. Had I been required to do so, I believe that the proofing notes would
5 have been too long. I believe that I adhered to your instructions. If I
6 have not, I should be given guidance to the contrary.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic, on that point, the proofing notes
8 are not merely guidelines for other counsel, other Defence counsel and the
9 Prosecution. They are, by the rules, required to identify the material
10 facts about which the witness will speak. That's the first question that
11 has been raised.
12 But it turns, in my mind, to a more serious question. What is the
13 relevance of this dissatisfaction in a particular unit to the issues
14 concerning the three accused men, more particularly, your client?
15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the unit at hand is a
16 unit which held a special position among the units that were engaged and
17 under the command of Mr. Mrksic. The unit had contacts with other
18 military formations that were present there. It had contacts with the
19 security organ.
20 Therefore, this witness is well placed to speak about these
21 matters, and we have a report admitted into evidence drafted by Mr.
22 Sljivancanin, as the security organ. And he was informing the SSNO
23 security organ about the very fact that he had problems at the front line,
24 precisely because the military police company for anti-terrorist activity
25 withdrew from combat due to low morale. I was trying to establish with
1 this witness what sort of a bearing it had, in view of the entire
2 situation that we are discussing here in the relevant days of the 18th,
3 19th, and 20th.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Bulatovic, the primary reaction I have is
5 that from the slender foothold that there was a report of your client
6 reporting difficulties with a unit at the front line, from that slender
7 foothold you're now seeking to eke out details of what those problems are.
8 Your client may have made a report and somehow or other that
9 report may have some relevance in the case. But the details of what a
10 particular unit was doing and what its problems were, don't seem at all to
11 touch on the issues that are material to the guilt or innocence of your
12 client or any of the other accused. It's just getting too far away from
13 the facts of this case.
14 We're not trying to spell out the full history of the army at
15 Vukovar. We're looking at a particular incident and issues, and we only
16 want to spend time on those things that are really relevant to that.
17 Now, have I missed something in all of that about relevance?
18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is not a
19 problem. I will move on to other questions that I believe are relevant,
20 and we will desist from putting any further questions on this topic.
21 Q. Mr. Maric, who was able to issue orders to you?
22 A. The commander of the battalion, or rather, the acting commander of
23 the battalion at the time issued orders to me. Of course down the -- or
24 up the chain of command, the brigade commander can issue orders to me.
25 Q. Can the security organ issue you with any orders?
1 A. The security organ does not issue any orders.
2 Q. Did the organ -- did security organ, specifically Mr.
3 Sljivancanin, ever issue an order to you?
4 A. Do you mean in Vukovar.
5 Q. Yes, in Vukovar?
6 A. No. I saw Mr. Sljivancanin only once before the fall of Vukovar.
7 Q. Can you tell me, what sort of communications links you had with
8 the command when you were receiving the orders you referred to?
9 A. My unit was on the strength of a company; however, through the UKT
10 communication, we were able to communicate. I was one of the participants
11 in the communication between the brigade and battalion commands.
12 Q. Can you explain to us what UKT link is?
13 A. That's the ultra short-wave communication through various devices;
14 and specifically in this case, we had Motorolas. This is the sort of
15 communication that operates on short distances.
16 Q. What sort of communications did you have with your subordinates?
17 A. Also on the UKT communication, but we used a different frequency.
18 In principle, I always carried two communication devices with me.
19 Q. You said that you were with the unit at Ovcara on the 18th of
21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we move into private session
22 for a moment, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 15252-15255 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Maric, after the return from the barracks on the 20th, did
24 you have any other activities?
25 A. No. I mean nothing relevant. Of course we did something, but not
1 of relevance to this.
2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have yet another
3 topic to deal with; dissatisfaction among the troops. The witness
4 mentioned that, but I'm not going to ask about it. I have no further
5 questions of this witness. Thank you.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Bulatovic.
7 Mr. Domazet.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before I start, I
9 would just like to know what my instructions are, since we had this
10 unexpected break at the very beginning and we usually adjourn at 12.45,
11 so are we going to have a break before that and, if so, when?
12 JUDGE PARKER: We are, Mr. Domazet. It will be at about 20 to or
13 quarter to 12.00. And after that break, we will go through. Would you
14 prefer to have a break now?
15 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I can start.
16 JUDGE PARKER: We can certainly bring a break forward to about
17 half past, if that would suit you.
18 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, Mr. Domazet.
20 Examination by Mr. Domazet:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Maric, good afternoon.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. I am Vladimir Domazet, one of the Defence counsel of Mr. Mrksic,
24 so I'm going to put a few questions to you on behalf of his Defence. Of
25 course the same thing applies. Please answer once the questions are
1 recorded in the transcript, so that we do not have any problems with the
2 interpretation and the transcript.
3 Mr. Maric, as you were answering Mr. Bulatovic's questions, in
4 terms of command, you spoke about who you received your commands from; and
5 I think that you said that in principle, your commands came from your
6 battalion commander. Who was that?
7 A. At that moment, it was Captain Susic, then Captain Susic.
8 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that that is the normal communications
9 channel through which you get orders from the superior command, through
10 your own commander, specifically Susic?
11 A. Yes. That is the normal course of command, as it were.
12 Q. Thank you. But you mentioned that it is also possible for you to
13 receive direct orders from the commander, the brigade commander. And you
14 refer to a particular case like that; namely, what happened on the 18th of
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Tell me, first of all, how did you receive this order? In which
18 way? I think that you haven't spoken about that specifically.
19 A. Via radio communications, through this device. As I explained
20 before, I had communications through this network with the command.
21 Q. And this order went directly from the commander, Commander Mrksic?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Can you remember, of course, that order, or rather, what did that
24 order contain?
25 A. I don't want to say that I'm giving an exact quotation, because I
1 cannot remember it exactly, so I will interpret it. It said more or less:
2 Go to Ovcara, see whether everything is all right there; and, if
3 necessary, take measures for it to be all right, and report back to me as
4 so what the situation is. It was along those lines.
5 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Maric. Of course I did not expect you
6 to give a verbatim quotation, but I wanted to hear what the core of this
7 order was.
8 Let me ask you something now that I should have asked you at the
9 very outset, I think. You did not give any other statements to other
10 organs with regard to all these events, except yesterday to Mr. Weiner.
11 A. To Mr. Weiner, yes. No. I didn't give any other statements.
12 Q. Yesterday, you were asked about that, too, about time. So I would
13 like to ask you to focus in order to remember. That order, first and
14 foremost, the one that you referred to, when did it arrive? Was it at
15 night-time, day-time?
16 A. Night had fallen. I can remember that because until nightfall, I
17 was at the water tower. When I was returning to my observation post, it
18 was already dark.
19 Now, how long did it take? Fifteen or 20 minutes from the water
20 tower to the observation post. And how much time went by until I received
21 the order? Not much, I think. So I assume that the order could have come
22 between 1800 and 1900 hours, something like that, because nightfall is
23 around 1700 hours, 1630 hours, something like that.
24 Q. All right. I think that you spoke about that yesterday. That
25 after all this time, it is very hard for you to give an exact time frame,
1 and that you are safer as far as dates are concerned?
2 A. What I am most certain of is the actual sequence of events, of
3 course dates fit into that. But give or take two hours, I can give a
4 daily schedule as well, especially as things were happening at that time.
5 I didn't think that they would be the subject of this kind of activity so
6 much later. What we did was our regular type of activity.
7 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you, Mr. Maric, about this, because some of
8 witnesses here, members of your unit, spoke about a time, a particular
9 time when they were already at Ovcara around 1800 hours. Do you allow for
10 that possibility?
11 A. I think it had to be later. It would be very hard precisely for
12 us to be at Ovcara around 1800. In terms of the events, it could have
13 been at 1900 hours, that is possible.
14 Q. In your estimate, how much time was needed? You took vehicles,
15 right, to travel from the centre of Vukovar to Ovcara?
16 A. Well, we needed about half an hour, I think. When I say half an
17 hour, I mean the time it takes us all to get together, to get into the
18 vehicle, go there. I mean that's the only time I went. On the map, I see
19 it's five, six, seven kilometres, and then given the conditions of the
20 road, the condition of the road. But it's not that I exactly remember how
21 much time it took.
22 Q. Thank you. As you explained yesterday, you talked to a
23 lieutenant-colonel. I assume on the basis of what you said about the
24 content of that conversation, it didn't last very long; right?
25 A. Well, it depends what you call long, about ten minutes or so.
1 Q. You talked about your own impressions when entering the hangar.
2 I'm not going to ask you specifically about that, because you explained it
3 in detail yesterday. But on the basis of your description of these
4 events, it seems that you didn't spend much time in the hangar either.
5 Can you give an estimate as to how long you and your soldiers stayed there
6 until they told you to leave the hangar together with you?
7 A. Five to ten minutes.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Maric, after that, you said that you went out and
9 that you came across some other soldiers who were around the hangar?
10 A. Yes. These were people who had come with me who did not go
11 inside. We have a regular procedure when we show up somewhere, where for
12 the first time, some go to the left, some go to the right to see what's
13 going on there; then they came back. So we all gathered together there by
14 the vehicle, and -- well, I cannot say that they reported to me, but it
15 was more in the form of a conversation: What's going on there, nothing in
16 particular; what's going on there, is there anyone there, nothing special.
17 Things like that.
18 Q. Yes. I understand. It is not official reporting, but you
19 received information from them?
20 A. Absolutely. In terms of what the security is around the
21 buildings, whether there are other persons there.
22 Q. On the basis of everything that you personally saw and heard from
23 your soldiers, what was your conclusion?
24 A. My conclusion was that the locality was quite safe; that it was
25 not under any kind of threat; that the units that were there took measures
1 that are appropriate in terms of the situation there; that there is no
2 possibility for the captives or prisoners, whatever we call them, can
3 escape; and they are not under any kind of threat. It was obvious that
4 they were not mistreated, that they were not abused. There was nobody
5 else there, and my conclusion was that I should not take any special,
6 additional measures, or that I should suggest or that I should report to
7 the command that something else was needed.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. Could you please tell me again, if you
9 can - because I see it is very hard for you - can you tell us in terms of
10 time when you got out of the hangar and when you gathered together. How
11 long were you there at that gathering until you left?
12 A. Well, all together it could have been about an hour. It's not
13 that I was in a hurry to leave this place. I did not want to make a
14 decision in haste and just to leave. We stayed there; we talked for a
15 while. And quite simply, I wanted to establish for myself that everything
16 was all right. So our entire stay there, could have been, say, an hour,
17 an hour and a half.
18 Q. When you are talking about your entire stay, you are talking
19 about --
20 A. From the moment I arrived, until I left.
21 Q. Could you please just wait for the transcript.
22 A. Sorry, I'm impatient.
23 Q. Another question. In view of the fact that you are a professional
24 and in view of the position that you held then, do you think that Ovcara
25 was a safe place for guarding prisoners of war?
1 A. Absolutely. If necessary, I can even explain why.
2 Q. Thank you. Please go ahead.
3 A. Well, first of all, at the moment when the operation was over on
4 the 18th, that was a moment that was full of adrenaline, so to speak. If
5 I can put it that way, it was smart to get these people out of town.
6 Because in that hangar, in this place called Ovcara, it's a clear area.
7 There are no tall buildings.
8 Since all Croats had not surrendered yet, we could have, perhaps,
9 provided for the possibility of somebody trying to get those prisoners, to
10 free them, because Croatian forces were creating incidents and were
11 engaged in provocations. So they could have accused us of violating the
12 Geneva Conventions and going against the grain of morality.
13 Later on, it proved to be true during the war. They'd do
14 something and then we would be blamed. So this was the right thing to do.
15 Ovcara was a an isolated place, no axis from anywhere. It is a solid
16 building without any openings. I think there was an regiment there, a
17 strong unit at any rate. Even if they wanted to escape, they had nowhere
18 to go. So the general assessment was this was indeed the best place for
19 keeping prisoners of war safely.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. All of you together, or rather, you all
21 went back together. All of you who set out came back together as well; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Since you have already said this, I'm not going to ask you again.
25 You said that you informed the commander about this. When did you do it,
1 and how did you do it? And what was it that you said to him?
2 A. Yes, I did that. Before I left Ovcara, I informed him that
3 everything was all right -- well, it was a long those lines, that nothing
4 else should be done. And he should, "All right. Go and get some rest."
5 I remember that. I remember that sentence.
6 So I didn't want to leave the facility before I informed him about
7 this and so what was to be done after that.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you inform your own commander, and did he know
9 what task you were he be gauged in?
10 A. Yes, Susic knew. And when I returned, I told him what it was
11 like. I did not contact him via radio; I saw him when I came back.
12 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Now I
13 should like to move to another topic. If you think that this is a
14 convenient time for the break.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, I think so. Thank you, Mr. Domazet. There
16 are a number of redactions, so we resume at 12.00 and will go through to
17 12.45, when we will have the lunch break.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.30 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.06 p.m.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
21 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Maric, we're going to continue and I hope we're going to end
24 My next question: Razvigor Virijevic, do you know the name?
25 A. Yes, that is one of my officers.
1 Q. Do you, perhaps, recall, as you were speaking about these days,
2 the 18th, the 19th and the 20th, do you recall where that officer slept?
3 A. He should have been at Pavle's house.
4 Q. Thank you. I think that's what you said yesterday as well, when
5 you were interviewed by the OTP.
6 A. We did not mention Razvigor. I don't remember having mentioning
7 him yesterday, but he was at Pavle's house.
8 Q. Just one more thing, is he one of the officers who were with you
9 at Ovcara that evening?
10 A. Probably.
11 Q. Mr. Maric, we are going to move on to another subject. The 20th,
12 the arrival at barracks. You mentioned that on that day, you were
13 supposed to relieve yourself of that equipment that you had, and you went
14 with a warrant officer and two soldiers?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Tell me, when you came to the barracks, what happened then? Who
17 did you report to? Was there a checkpoint there? What was the procedure
18 in terms of entering the barracks?
19 A. Yes. There is this checkpoint when entering barracks, that's
20 where vehicles get in. There is another entrance for pedestrians. Of
21 course, I reported there; and, of course, I first came there. I really
22 don't understand what the point of the question is.
23 Q. So did you report there? Were you given approval to enter?
24 There was a guard there, was there?
25 A. Yes, of course. The guard from this company of ours that was
1 securing the barracks, yes.
2 Q. Thank you. If I understood these developments properly, when you
3 entered the compound to the barracks, you saw these buses and you saw
4 these people who you talked about; and then you, yourself, walked up to
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. So you did not go to this assignment that you referred to?
8 A. No, no.
9 Q. So you practically walked up to them?
10 A. Yes. I walked up to Captain Predojevic to see what was going on.
11 Q. Thank you. And when he explained things to you and as you said a
12 few moments ago, you saw basically what the situation was. A few moments
13 ago, you talked about your own experience in terms of the effect on
14 masses. What did you want to do? Could you perhaps explain this a bit,
15 this role of yours? Was it -- was it just verbal persuasion or did you
16 issue any kind of warning?
17 A. Specifically, my experience in terms of working with masses and
18 riots, demonstrators, goes back to the period before that in Belgrade,
19 when we partly participated in this; and, of course, we as the members of
20 the military police were trained by psychologist and other experts about
21 such conduct.
22 We did not resorted to any other resources here, except for verbal
23 resources because nothing else was necessary, if that's what you had in
25 Q. Thank you. You said -- I mean, when you say "you," you are
1 referring to yourself and Predojevic; and then Susic came up, too. And
2 all of you together managed to persuade these people to leave; is that
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. Can you tell me where it was that these people went? Did they
6 leave the barracks, the barracks compound? Can you tell us?
7 A. Yes. They went to the KPS. The same way I got in, they went out.
8 That was the checkpoint.
9 Q. Since these people were already within the barracks compound when
10 you came, and you certainly don't know how they got in, but did anybody
11 tell you, perhaps? Is there any way that you could know how it was that
12 they entered the barracks?
13 A. At that moment, I was not really asking anybody about that. I
14 assume that the barracks was -- as it was damaged, generally speaking, I
15 imagine that the actual fence, or whatever, was there had been damaged,
16 too. I didn't really ask.
17 Q. On the basis of what you have said, does it mean that as for this
18 task that you were engaged in, together with the people who were
19 accompanying you, that you actually set out to accomplish that task, only
20 when these persons left the compound and were no longer around the buses?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. After that, you went to the building in order to return your
23 equipment. Did you personally do that, or was it the warrant officer and
24 the soldiers who came with you?
25 A. I was present up until the moment when contact was established
1 with the warrant officer who was supposed to take the equipment; and when
2 the hand-over started, then I left. And I let them go on with their job.
3 It's their job, isn't it? So I thought that what I was doing was the
4 focus of my own activity.
5 Q. Do I understand you correctly? You left at the moment when the
6 return of equipment started?
7 A. I left the area where equipment is returned. Since we came in the
8 same vehicle, I left. The commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment was
9 there. There were quite a few officers there who were my friends, and I
10 hadn't seen them since the start of operations. So I wanted to see them
11 and talk to them until this work was over, until the warrant officer
12 finished doing what he was supposed to do.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maric. Since you were there within the barracks
14 compound, do you remember whether you saw any officers who did not belong
15 to your brigade? Any officers who was not in your brigade, regardless of
16 whether you knew them personally? Did you see anybody like that? Can you
17 remember anything like that?
18 A. No. No. I didn't identify anyone in particular.
19 Q. Did you see Lukic? You, yourself, said that later on you found
20 out that he was the commander --
21 A. I'm not sure. Maybe I saw it him, maybe I didn't. But Lukic is a
22 lot older than I am, and it's not that we were particularly close or
24 Q. Thank you. So I assume that once the equipment was returned, that
25 you were notified of that and that you left the barracks and went away?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And at that moment, in the yard, in front of the gate, there were
3 no buses, there were no people, there was no one else there left; do I
4 understand you correctly?
5 A. Well, that's right. There were no buses. There were probably
6 some people there, but there was no unusual activity there.
7 Q. Mr. Maric, as far as these buses were concerned, you said to the
8 best of your recollection, there were three or four of them?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Some witnesses here said that there were five to six buses, does
11 that change anything? Do you allow for that possibility that there were
12 more buses than what you said?
13 A. Possibly. It's not that I was counting them in particular,
14 although I think that -- well, I don't know whether five or six buses can
15 fit into that area there, but I think there were three or four.
16 Q. Thank you. A few moments ago I asked you whether you had perhaps
17 seen some officers who did not belong to your brigade, and you said that
18 you do not remember any such thing. Do you remember the officers who
19 belonged to your brigade and who you saw and talked to?
20 A. Yes. Predojevic and Srecko Borisavljevic.
21 Q. Of course, we are talking about the period when you were waiting
22 for the equipment to be returned.
23 A. Yes. When that group was there, Predojevic and Srecko was there.
24 Q. You did not see anybody else?
25 A. No. Susic came later, and perhaps there were some of Predojevic's
1 NCOs, but -- well, by the buses, I saw there were some soldiers from the
2 military police. So probably there were some NCOs there, too. I did not
3 really contact them.
4 Q. Thank you. Let's just go back for a moment to when you were with
5 Predojevic and then with Susic, and when you tried to persuade these
6 people to withdraw and when indeed they did. My question is: Were there
7 any other officers who were involved in that as well?
8 A. I don't think so.
9 Q. Thank you. Specifically, I assume that you know Major
10 Vukasinovic. Did you see him at that moment? Then, at all, generally
12 A. I know him very well, Major Vukasinovic. He was not there; he
13 certainly was not.
14 Q. At the very end, let me ask you about command. You said that on
15 the 18th, you received this order. And this way of receiving orders
16 directly from the brigade commander, was that an exception, after all, or
17 is it something that happened frequently? Can you remember in that
18 period, in times of war and in times of peace?
19 A. That was not something that happened often to receive orders
20 directly from the brigade commander, but it did happen. In Vukovar, it
21 happened on the 2nd and on that day, on the 18th. There weren't any other
23 Q. Thank you. You said that the usual way of issuing orders is
24 through the battalion commander. This was specifically Susic. My
25 question is as follows: I'm referring to commander Mrksic. Could he
1 transfer this kind of authority of his to some other officer, so that this
2 other officer could issue orders to you?
3 A. I did not understand your question. Could you please repeat it.
4 Q. Yes, I will. Could you receive an order from some other officer
5 from your brigade to whom your commander would have transferred such
6 authority? For example, specifically Lieutenant-Colonel Panic, Chief of
7 Staff, for instance?
8 A. Well, absolutely. I'm just thinking about the context. When we
9 say an order, that is a very broad concept. When somebody comes from the
10 brigade command, who is bringing some kind of order for something. Well,
11 of course it's possible, and that is how commands are issued.
12 Now, when we say "order", a direct order for a specific task is
13 always issued by a commander, one's superior officer. Now, some
14 corrections in terms of orders, perhaps other organs from the command can
15 already do that. The commander does not have to come in person each and
16 every time. I can say that during my stay there, that did not happen.
17 Q. All right. If I understand you correctly, you mostly received
18 orders through the regular chain of command?
19 A. Yes. Lieutenant-Colonel Panic came with some members of the
20 command, from the staff, that he'd come to see. And of course there was
21 something here or there, why didn't you move this a bit, why didn't you
22 move that a bit. But this is not anything of grave significance. It
23 doesn't really have to do with command itself.
24 Q. Are you trying to say that these are not special orders, but
25 rather tasks, assignments?
1 A. Well, a superior can always tell you that you didn't do something
2 very well, but it's not of vital importance; whether say I put my
3 reception desk here or whether it should be 50 metres away from here.
4 Things like that. But that is regular thing.
5 Q. It is well-known that you were absent for a while when the assault
6 detachments were established. Did the orders then go through the
7 battalion commander and commanders of assault detachments?
8 A. On the 2nd, my unit was attached to the 2nd Assault Detachment
9 under the command of Major Bajic, and it was then that I received part of
10 my order from him. And when I came back, it was within the 5th Assault
11 Detachment under the command of Susic, who is generally my commander. So
12 in that instance, I received orders from the same person who was
13 simultaneously commander of assault detachment and battalion commander.
14 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Maric. Thank you for
15 your answers. I have concluded your cross-examination.
16 Your Honours, I have no further questions of this witness.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet.
18 Mr. Borovic.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Examination by Mr. Borovic:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Maric?
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. I'm Borivoje Borovic, Defence counsel for Miroslav Radic. My
24 first question: Do you know Captain Miroslav Radic?
25 A. Yes, I do know him.
1 Q. Did you know him at the time of the Vukovar events?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you be so kind to tell us what was the axis of
4 activities of the 2nd Assault Detachment and that of the 5th Assault
5 Detachment at the time when you were engaged in combat?
6 A. On the 2nd, when I was within the 2nd Assault Detachment, the axis
7 stretched out from Negoslavci down Radnicka Street towards the barracks
8 all the way down to the water tower, and that is the same as the 5th
9 Assault Detachment which I joined upon my return.
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me, you came back around the 5th of November?
11 A. Between the 5th and the 10th, I'm not quite sure.
12 Q. It has been established here as a fact that Milovo Brdo fell on
13 the 10th of November. My question is: Prior to that, irrespective of the
14 fall of Milovo Brdo, who was your neighbour on the left side?
15 A. On the left side, it was Captain Bojkovski from the 1st Infantry
17 Q. All right. Thank you. On your axis of operations, was Captain
18 Miroslav Radic present there with his company?
19 A. No. When I came back, he wasn't; and I don't think he had been
20 there earlier either.
21 Q. All right. Were you, yourself, or your company ever along the
22 axis of activities of the company of Miroslav Radic? Did you hear or did
23 you see anything like that?
24 A. No, neither saw nor heard.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. You said that you were in the hospital on
1 the 19th of November, 1991. During that period of time when you were
2 there, did you at any point in time see Captain Miroslav Radic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Thank you. On the 20th of November, 1991, in the barracks, did
5 you at any point in time see Captain Miroslav Radic?
6 A. No.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, could we
8 briefly go into private session, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
10 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. A very interesting and important question for me personally. You
24 said that you studied the psychology of masses, that you had opportunity
25 to do so during demonstrations when you had to intervene?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you know that on the 9th of March, 1991, the opposition of
3 Serbia held demonstrations in Belgrade aimed against the coverage, or
4 rather, the coverage of the regime media and their write-ups?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would you please be so kind and tell us which were then the regime
8 MR. WEINER: Objection.
9 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] May I explain.
10 JUDGE PARKER: There has been enough so far to indicate some
11 relevance. The question will be allowed.
12 MR. WEINER: Okay.
13 JUDGE PARKER: But it's on the fringes of relevance, Mr. Borovic,
14 so don't spend too much time.
15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Q. On the 9th of March, 1991, I was also on the fringe. But let me
17 tell you, I fared well after that. So what were the regime-controlled
19 A. Radio television of Serbia; and as for printed press, Politika and
21 Q. What about Ekspres Politika?
22 A. It's part of the Politika media house.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have completed my
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Borovic.
1 Mr. Weiner.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner:
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm with the
4 Office of the Prosecutor. We met yesterday, and I'm going to be asking
5 you some questions today.
6 First, you testified that when you returned, your unit was
7 subordinated to the 5th Assault Detachment; is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And Jovan Susic commanded that assault detachment?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And until when was your unit part of that 5th Assault Detachment?
12 A. Until the end of my stay in Vukovar.
13 Q. So you were part of the 5th Assault Detachment until November
14 24th, when you returned to Belgrade.
15 A. Yes, most likely, as long as the 5th Assault Detachment existed.
16 Q. But you said as long as your stay in Vukovar, and you were in
17 Vukovar until November 24th, weren't you?
18 A. Well, yes. I suppose that the 5th Assault Detachment ceased to
19 exist upon our return from Vukovar. It didn't exist in Belgrade.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you. Sir, I'd like to show you a photograph and ask
21 you if this is you.
22 Madam usher, could you please place this on the ELMO. Could you
23 look at this first and then could you place it on the ELMO. Could the
24 witness look at it first, so he can hold it and look at it.
25 A. No.
1 Q. We can look at it after the break.
2 A. This is not me.
3 Q. Now, sir, you also testified today, at page 8, that you went to
4 the hospital.
5 A. I apologise. Could you turn it back on, please.
6 Would you please repeat your question?
7 Q. You testified today, on page 8, that you went to the hospital; and
8 you said looking at the hospital, it was an ugly scene.
9 A. Yes, certainly. Certainly an ugly scene, yes.
10 Q. Can you explain that, what you mean by an ugly scene?
11 A. The building itself was damaged. In the yard, there was debris,
12 construction debris; and in one section, there were corpses, quite a
13 number of corpses, as I told you. So the whole site was ugly.
14 Q. And you also said that the hospital had been hit with artillery
15 fire or artillery. Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes. I didn't say that it was hit. I said that the building was
17 damaged, most likely by artillery ordinates, yes.
18 Q. And what was your basis for believing it was most likely damaged
19 by artillery ordinates?
20 A. Well, you see a hole in the wall. It's quite a significant
21 damage, and it could not have been inflicted by infantry ammunition. When
22 I say "artillery," I mean something of a larger calibre. It could have
23 been a shoulder-fired rocket or something of that sort, Zolja or Osa.
24 Q. Mortar fire?
25 A. Possible, yes, yes. Yes, possibly mortars, too.
1 Q. Okay. Now, while you were at the hospital, you saw some bodies or
2 you were shown some bodies, and you told them that the crime technicians
3 will take care of this. They'll check it out or something to that extent;
4 didn't you say that?
5 A. Yes. I said that no one should touch it, that competent
6 authorities, who normally conduct on-site investigation, would come and do
7 their regular job; following the regular procedure, prepare documentation,
8 and everything else that is needed when one encounters corpses.
9 Q. Now you were part of the 1st Military Battalion, weren't you? 1st
10 Military Police Battalion?
11 A. Yes. In the establishment terms, that 1st Company for
12 anti-terrorist activities belongs to the 1st Military Police Battalion.
13 Q. And within that battalion, there were several sections, your
14 anti-terrorist section, but also a criminal section or a crime section;
15 isn't that correct?
16 A. There wasn't an anti-terrorist squad. It was anti-sabotage squad,
17 which is something quite different, and then there was a squad for crime
18 prevention, yes.
19 Q. And that crime prevention unit was responsible for criminal
20 investigations, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes. They conduct on-site investigations wherever needed.
22 Q. And there were criminal technicians who could handle crime scene
23 investigations in that unit?
24 A. I have to ask you something. I was not the commander of the
25 battalion, and I don't know how it was at the time. I know that it was
1 part of their composition. Now, as to where they were, it's really beyond
2 the scope of my competence, and I am not competent to give you a proper
3 answer. I know what the proper procedure is; and, that is to say, that
4 nobody should touch anything, that competent authorities would come and do
5 their job.
6 Now, as to whether they were and what they did, I'm not competent
7 to answer that question. I don't know where crime investigators were.
8 This was not something that was under my jurisdiction.
9 Q. But, sir, you know within that military police battalion that you
10 belonged to, there was a crime prevention squad that was responsible for
11 criminal investigations including on-site investigations, as you just
12 testified at page 50.
13 A. Yes. As I said, it existed within the composition of the unit.
14 Now, as to whether they had remained in Belgrade, whether they were in
15 Vukovar or in Negoslavci, I don't know how it was during that period of
16 time, nor was I duty-bound to know that. I just told you what was the
17 regular procedure that was to be applied when one comes across some
19 We knew that there were people who were trained and were competent
20 to implement the regular procedure. Now, at that point in time, I didn't
21 know whether there, not there, whether they could come or not come,
22 whether somebody else would order them to come or not. That was outside
23 of my competence.
24 Q. Well, sir, two Defence witnesses have testified of hearing on
25 November 21st that prisoners had been murdered. Were you aware of any
1 investigation relating to those murders while the Guards Motorised Brigade
2 was stationed in Vukovar?
3 A. I don't know what kind of evidence they gave. I didn't hear that,
4 nor did I know that that had happened. I didn't know about those
5 investigations, nor do I think that I should have known about them.
6 Because even had there been something, that investigation would have been
7 carried out by somebody else. That was not within my competence.
8 My unit was not trained to conduct investigations. Now, as to
9 when they heard this, which were these people who testified and how they
10 heard about this, I don't know. I had some other activities to perform
11 and other things to think about.
12 Q. Sir, the question was: Were you aware of any investigations, not
13 whether you carried out any investigations. Were you aware of any
14 investigations relating to the murders, to those murders while the Guards
15 Motorised Brigade was stationed in Vukovar? Were you or were you not?
16 A. I said that I didn't even know that there had been murders.
17 Therefore, I couldn't know whether there were any investigations either.
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, it's time.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, we need now to break for the lunch
20 adjournment. We resume at 2.00.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 2.05 p.m.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
24 MR. WEINER:
25 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Sir, you indicated that you were not aware
1 of an investigation in Vukovar. Were you aware, in 1991 or 1992 of any
2 investigation in relation to the murders at Ovcara?
3 A. I said that I didn't even know about the killings. Needless to
4 say, I didn't know about the investigations either. In 1992, I had other
5 tasks and I was not involved in this, nor did I know about this.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, sir, you had been a member of the Guards
7 Motorised Brigade for some 13 years; isn't that correct?
8 A. Correct. Correct.
9 Q. And you were very proud of being a member of the Guards Motorised
11 A. Absolutely, yes. I was proud.
12 Q. And during that time, you served with all three accused in the
13 Guards Motorised Brigade?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 I apologise. I can't see the transcript on my screen. Could that
16 be arranged, please. Thank you.
17 Q. And you've known each of these three defendants for over 20 years;
18 isn't that correct?
19 A. No, not 20 years, 13 years. But, yes, I mean looking from today's
20 point of view, then, yes, altogether 20 years, yes.
21 Q. And you have to agree that this isn't a very positive or happy
22 situation, that three leading figures in the Guards Motorised Brigade have
23 been indicted and are here standing trial.
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. It is an embarrassing situation for the Guards Motorised Brigade.
1 A. As for it being unpleasant, yes. But as for it being
2 embarrassing, perhaps not for the Guards Brigade but for those who
3 initiated it. Unpleasant, it is, yes, that is my view, but I don't think
4 that the Guards Brigade did anything to deserve this.
5 Q. Sir, are you aware that there's been testimony in this court that
6 members of the Guards Motorised Brigade participated in the beating of
7 prisoners, as well as the murder of prisoners at Ovcara? Are you aware of
9 A. No. That some members of the Guards Brigade participated in this,
10 that's the first I hear of it from you. That some of them participated
11 directly as perpetrators, no.
12 Q. And that also is not what we'd call a positive moment for the
13 Guards Motorised Brigade, is it?
14 A. I don't quite understand. What can't you call a positive moment?
15 You just said that some members took part in this. I don't know about
16 that. But if that is indeed the case, if they did take part in this, then
17 that certainly is not a positive thing.
18 Q. Well let's move on. We'll try to get back before we finish today.
19 Now, sir, you don't have any records, or you didn't maintain any personal
20 diary while you were in Vukovar, which was only a few weeks since you were
21 injured most of the time.
22 A. No. No, I don't have any records.
23 Q. And you didn't maintain a personal diary or calendar; is that
25 A. That is correct. I have a reputation for not liking to write,
1 even in peacetime, let alone in wartime.
2 Q. Now, some officers will maintain a notebook which they turn in at
3 the end of an assignment or at some point. Did you maintain a notebook
4 while in -- an officer's notebook while in Vukovar?
5 A. No.
6 Q. So you're relying basically on your memory as to the events of 15
7 years ago?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And would you agree that since this is 15 years ago, it's
10 difficult to provide exact times, dates, without having any writings to
11 refresh your recollection?
12 A. I agree, but there's no way I could have anything. Even if I had
13 kept records, I was duty-bound to surrender it at the end, and then it
14 would be destroyed or kept under their control. So even if I did keep any
15 records, I would not have been able to use it as something to refresh my
16 memory. And at any rate, it would probably not contain such details,
17 because, normally, records contain landmarks, landmark information but no
18 other information.
19 Q. Well, if you had records -- if you had maintained records, you
20 would have known the exact times that your unit participated in certain
21 actions, times, places, if you had records; isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. I'm telling you now, even had I kept records, I would have been
23 duty-bound to surrender it in 1991. I had no right to take such records
24 home because they are considered military secret and they would have
25 remained in the barracks and they would have been destroyed with other
1 documents in the regular procedure. So none of those records would have
2 been available.
3 Now, as for the records that I kept as a commander of a unit,
4 normally such records are not kept for a very long time, only for some
5 period of time and then they are destroyed.
6 Q. Well, without any records or without any writings, for example,
7 sir, you can't even tell us the exact date that you returned to service
8 after you were injured. All I can state is it was sometime between the
9 5th and 10th of November; isn't that correct?
10 A. Correct. But my return was of no significance. However, if
11 needed, it can be verified. You can get medical documentation from the
12 military medical academy as to when I was released from treatment, if this
13 is a detail of importance for this trial. Because had it been important,
14 I would have tried myself to get a hold of those documents.
15 Q. And I put it to you, sir, that without records or writings, you
16 can be wrong as to certain dates or activities, because you don't have
17 those records to substantiate them; isn't that correct?
18 A. No. Because even without records, one has memory of events. All
19 of us do. You probably didn't record when you got married, when your
20 children were born, when you had your first girlfriend, but these are
21 things you remember. So memories are just as relevant as record-keeping.
22 Q. But sir, you agree that all of us are infallible. We can't be
23 right all the time. That's why writings will help. Isn't that correct?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Would that include the Chamber, this claim of
25 infallibility? Perhaps fallible.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. And, sir, since you don't have records, would you agree over the
4 last two days, you've been changing your dates and times -- I shouldn't
5 say dates. You've been changing your times as to which things have
6 occurred during your testimony?
7 A. No. Even if I gave some information, I told you and I told
8 earlier that those are approximate dates, approximate periods of times.
9 And they can't be a huge difference. I said that there should be
10 plus/minus two hours of margin of error and ...
11 Q. Well, do you recall yesterday that you stated that you arrived at
12 Ovcara at around 8.00 p.m., and that was at page 118. Do you recall that
14 A. Maybe I said that it was at 8.00. I don't remember that
15 specifically. And now I just said that it was at 1900 hours, so the
16 margin of error is two hours.
17 Q. That's correct. And today you said 1700 hours. And yesterday, in
18 the interview, you said at 7.20.
19 A. No. No. I didn't say 1700. I said that I could have left the
20 water tower at 1700 hours, and then until I get to my place and then I got
21 the order from the colonel to get ready. So I didn't say at 1700 hours, I
22 said at 7.00 p.m., which is 1900 hours. Maybe it was a question of wrong
24 Q. Today you said at 1900 hours or 7.00 p.m. And yesterday, during
25 the interview, you said that you recall that you arrived at the -- at
1 Ovcara at 7.20 p.m. Do you agree, sir, that because you don't have
2 records, you really don't know the exact time you arrived there?
3 A. I don't believe I could have said 7 hours and 20 minutes. I don't
4 think I could have been as precise to give you the minutes. I think I
5 could have only said that it was 7.00 or 8.00, and I told you there should
6 be a margin of error of two hours.
7 Even if I had kept records, I would not have been as detailed as
8 you seem to require. Even if I worked in the space air traffic control, I
9 would not have been as detailed.
10 Q. Well, sir, would you agree that you also don't have any writings
11 to support that you went there on November 18th; isn't that correct?
12 A. Correct. I haven't got anything in writing that would corroborate
13 that except for my word.
14 Q. And you also know, sir, that the war diary of the Guards Motorised
15 Brigade Operations Group South doesn't indicate -- doesn't have any
16 notation or listing indicating that you were ordered to go to the -- to go
17 to Ovcara on the 18th of November. Are you aware of that?
18 A. No. I didn't read the war diary of the OG South; and as far as
19 I'm aware of how war diaries are kept, that document is meant for
20 important events. And I don't see a reason for that event being recorded
21 in the war diary of OG South, meaning what a unit, numbering 20 men, did
22 where there were no victims, nor combat operations.
23 It has nothing of importance that needs to be recorded, at least
24 in my view. Now, other people might have a different view as to what
25 needs to be recorded.
1 Q. Well that is correct, sir, because ordering the elite unit, the
2 anti-terrorist unit of the Guards Motorised Brigade to do an assessment is
3 an important event, but that event is not listed in the Guards Motorised
4 Brigade OG South war diary. And you know that.
5 A. I don't know that, and there's no need for me to know that,
6 because the war diary of the brigade was not available for me to read it.
7 But if we are discussing the war diary, let me tell you that it is kept by
8 operations officers. If Colonel Mrksic ordered this directly to me by
9 radio link, the operations officer may not have known about that. They
10 are aware of written orders, written documents; whereas, this particular
11 instance was a very brief intervention, an event that was of no
13 It seems to be important now. But at the time, we could not
14 anticipate that it would be so important. And I'm sure that there are
15 numerous instances where the commander of the brigade ordered to somebody
16 go there, get there, do this. These are things that are not normally
17 recorded in the war diary. This is why I believe that at that time,
18 nobody could have anticipated that that departure would have been of any
20 Q. Sir, if you receive notice between 6.00 and 7.00 p.m., or shortly
21 after 7.00 p.m., that notice would have occurred during the command staff
22 briefing. As a result, Colonel Mrksic would have had to have left the
23 briefing to issue that order to you. So it was a significant event if the
24 colonel has to leave his briefing to provide or give you that order.
25 A. I fail to understand. You say that there was some kind of a
1 briefing at that time; right?
2 Q. There was a nightly briefing at the headquarters at Negoslavci, at
3 the command of Negoslavci beginning at 6.00 p.m. If you received that
4 order between 6.00 and 7.00 p.m., that means Colonel Mrksic would have had
5 to have left the briefing to have issued that order to you directly. So
6 it was a significant command if the commander had to leave his briefing;
7 isn't that correct, sir?
8 A. No. That doesn't mean that he had to leave, because he gave that
9 order to me via a radio device that he always has on him. And he could
10 have done that before the briefing started. I don't know whether it
11 started exactly at 1800 hours, so he could have given it to me via a
12 Motorola. That didn't take that long. And he could have also done it in
13 the presence of these people. There was no need for him to leave the room
14 in order to issue this order to me, at least that's my thinking. I don't
15 know whether that particular briefing was held at that exact time. I'm
16 not sure.
17 Q. So, sir, if he interrupted the briefing, the command briefing, to
18 give you that order, that's a significant event.
19 A. Sir, I didn't say that he interrupted the briefing. I'm saying
20 that he could have given that to me before the briefing started, and maybe
21 there was no briefing held at that time because the operations had been
22 concluded. I know Van Lynden told me that all the journalists came to
23 Negoslavci in the afternoon, and that they pressured the command to let
24 them in right away. So Colonel Mrksic probably had many other things to
25 deal with, and I don't know if this was a formal procedure. So please do
1 not impute to me something that I didn't say. I didn't say that the
2 briefing was interrupted.
3 Q. That's just speculation.
4 A. In what sense did you mean? I did not say that the briefing was
5 interrupted, so that an order could be issued to me; and then you are
6 saying if he interrupted the briefing, then it must have been important.
7 I didn't say that.
8 Q. Sir, since you don't have records, you are also giving various
9 times as to how long you were there. Yesterday, you said that you were
10 there a half-hour, maybe at hour at most, at page 119. Today, you said it
11 could have been an hour; and then you adjusted an hour, an hour and a
12 half. Since you have no records, you don't even know how long you were at
13 Ovcara; isn't that correct?
14 A. Well, I don't know how long I spent talking to you yesterday, let
15 alone what happened then. Whether it was hour, hour and a half, I don't
16 see what difference it makes. There is no major inconsistency. It's not
17 like I said in one version that it was five minutes and then in the other
18 version that it was two hours. Whether it was 60 minutes, 80 minutes,
19 it's all close.
20 Q. Well, sir, I put to you that since you don't have records and you
21 are just relying on your memory, that you're omitting facts and you're
22 making up facts to help your friends, the three accused. That's what I
23 put to you, sir.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Are you asking the witness to comment on that?
25 MR. WEINER: Yes. I am putting that to him, and I am asking him
1 to comment on that, Your Honour.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that you, as Prosecutor,
3 need to understand that to accuse somebody of inventing or lying in a case
4 where I told you right away that I accepted it, but could not be very
5 specific about details, I think that's improper of you. If you are trying
6 to make allegations that my mental competency is reduced, then you need to
7 prove this. And I would consider that an insult.
8 I was asked to come here as an eye witness of an event to say what
9 happened so that the truth can be established. I naturally could have
10 learned by heart a text and stuck to it and repeat as a parrot, this was
11 17, 21, 32, but that is not realistic. You cannot expect someone it to
12 remember that 15 years later. Therefore, I do not understand based on
13 what you are claiming now that without those records, my recollections are
14 completely worthless.
15 Q. Let's look at a situation yesterday, sir. At page -- you
16 testified yesterday at page 18 -- I'm sorry, page 118. I asked who --
17 A. May I see it? Can I see that note. Since you said earlier that I
18 said something was at 1700 hours and it turned out that that was
19 incorrect, can I see the reference you are quoting now?
20 Q. Can you read English? I would be happy to show it to you. I'm
21 reading from the transcript of yesterday's trial.
22 A. Absolutely. I can read English, certainly.
23 Q. I will read it and then show it to you. I'll have the usher show
24 it to you.
25 "We got out of our vehicles. I asked, "Who is commanding -- the
1 commanding officer here. Some lieutenant-colonel was there. He was
2 shorter than me, wore a moustache. He told me his name, but I do not
3 remember it. I asked him what was going on there, and he briefly told me
4 that the prisoners were there, that nothing particular was going on. We
5 had a short discussion, and then I went into the hangar."
6 That was your testimony yesterday at lines 8 to 13, and the lines
7 I'm stressing is: "I asked him what was going on there, and he briefly
8 told me that the prisoners were there and nothing was going on."
9 May the witness please be shown that.
10 A. No need. This is all correct. I repeated the same thing today.
11 Q. And then at page 120, you said at lines 11 through 19:
12 "Yes. We had another conversation for a while after I emerged
13 from the hangar; and when my people came back to report to me, we
14 discussed that there was nothing else around.
15 "Q. Did that lieutenant-colonel say that there were any
17 "A. No.
18 "Q. Did he tell you that he expected some problems?
19 "A. Yes. He thought that something might happen in terms that
20 it's dark. There were cornfields around, that there may be some combat
21 action, but that was his assessment rather than a reflection of reality."
22 Do you recall that testimony, or would you like to see that, too,
24 A. No, absolutely. This is correct. I repeated the same thing today
25 -- or rather, yesterday, not today. Without this portion about the dark,
1 because Mr. Bulatovic asked me to be as brief as possible. Otherwise,
2 yesterday's evidence and today's evidence are fully consistent, as far as
3 I can see. I said that there was nothing with him. I entered into hangar
4 and talked for five to ten minutes, talked to him and to my men.
5 Q. Sir, would you agree that that testimony is inaccurate?
6 A. Which testimony?
7 Q. Those two portions that I just read is inaccurate, sir. Would you
8 agree to that?
9 A. In what sense would it be inaccurate?
10 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that when you asked that lieutenant-colonel if
11 there were any problems, he told you that there were people around there
12 who could endanger those prisoners. That's what you were told; isn't that
14 A. No, that he believed that there were some people there, and that's
15 why I said that this was not a reflection of reality, but merely his
16 opinion. That was his assessment, because my people checked and
17 determined that there was nobody there.
18 Q. Sir, as a result of his statement, sir, isn't it true that you
19 issued an order to your soldiers to shoot anyone who approaches the
20 hangar; isn't that correct?
21 A. No, not to my soldiers. I told him that if anyone showed up, that
22 he could shoot at them. I didn't tell that to my soldiers. I told him
23 that he could absolutely fire at anyone who showed up there; and I think
24 that's what it says in the transcript, if you read it, because my soldiers
25 were not there, there were just the officers.
1 Q. And you said to his soldiers in a very loud voice that they could
2 shoot anyone who approaches the barracks; isn't that correct?
3 A. Not to his soldiers, but to him in front of his soldiers. So I
4 was talking to him. His soldiers were present there, and I said,"You can
5 shoot freely." And in fact, what I said was, "If anyone approaches this
6 area, shoot." I said it aloud on purpose, just in case -- because at that
7 time, I didn't know if anyone was there, but I wanted that party to hear
8 us. And I also said that if he encountered any problems, he could call me
9 and I would come with my people and intervene.
10 Q. Sir, you -- I'm sorry.
11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to interrupt. I merely
12 wanted to note that there may be an error, and perhaps my learned
13 colleague erred here on page 64 -- 65 line 2. He spoke about soldiers to
14 shoot anyone approaching the barracks. I think that my learned colleague,
15 in fact, had in mind the hangar at Ovcara not the barracks. This may have
16 been just a slip of the tongue, but the transcript reflects the
17 word "barracks."
18 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
19 MR. WEINER: That's correct. No one's infallible.
20 Q. And, sir, you said it in a loud voice so anyone else who was out
21 there could hear, because he had told you that there was a problem there
22 and a threat to those prisoners; isn't that correct?
23 A. Not that there was a problem, but that he believed that there was
24 a problem, that there was a possibility.
25 Q. Sir, you knew that there were locals there who were seeking
1 revenge for the killing of their family members. You knew that; isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. Not in the sense that these people were at Ovcara in the -- yes,
4 in the sense that there were such people there in the Vukovar area; and if
5 this is what the transcript reflects, then this is because I did not
6 really specify. What I meant was that in this general area, one could
7 expect this kind of danger.
8 People, whose relatives had been killed, might do something. But
9 this was not specifically meant to refer to Ovcara, because that was one
10 of the reasons why the command did what they did by removing these people
11 from the inhabited area where this danger would have been much greater.
12 Q. Sir, you gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
13 yesterday morning. We typed a transcript of 23 lines of that statement in
14 relation to what you said. I'd like to show it to you.
15 Mr. Usher, please.
16 A. I would need to have this translated to me, because I can see that
17 you're now going to be referring specifically to every word. And there
18 will be nuances that would be important, and my knowledge of English is
19 not sufficient to deal with that.
20 Q. We have the CD here to play for you, sir, but before --
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
22 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] My name is not Lukic.
23 Your Honour, I think that it would be fair to the witness, since
24 the witness testified in B/C/S, then perhaps his statement could be shown
25 to him in B/C/S, or perhaps we could hear the original tape, the original
1 recording. Because as the witness remarked, his knowledge of English is
2 not sufficient to be able to verify whether the translation is, in fact,
3 accurate, so that he can really know what he's being shown here.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I think Mr. Weiner was at the point of offering
5 that, Mr. Bulatovic.
6 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.
7 Q. Sir, just for some background. Yesterday, you came to the office
8 of the -- you came to this building here and gave a statement; isn't that
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And you didn't come alone; you came with Attorney Bulatovic.
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And you sat down in a room and you gave a statement that was
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And sitting right next to you was Mr. Bulatovic.
17 A. Yes, to my right.
18 Q. And you told the truth and you attempted to provide facts or
19 responses to all questions that were asked.
20 A. Absolutely, I cooperated with you.
21 Q. Now, you were asked in court yesterday whether the
22 lieutenant-colonel told you of any problems, and you indicated "no." We
23 would like to play the CD of your statement yesterday, and you can follow
24 along in English or just listen. And it is 34:17 to 37:45 on the CD.
25 [CD played]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I know that I have no right to address
3 you. But because I am able to follow this in English, I think that the
4 translation does not correspond to the original, and perhaps it would be
5 good for this portion of the recording to be played again and for our
6 interpreters in the booth to interpret, because the interpretation
7 provided here on the recording from lines 13 to 18 does not correspond to
8 the original.
9 I'm sorry, once again, for presuming and for taking the floor.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
11 MR. WEINER: I have no objection to that. If they would like to
12 do it that way, that would be fine for me.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Will you play it again.
14 [CD played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: "I asked them what the situation was, whether
16 there were any problems. He said something to the effect that there were
17 some people there around this area, and he thought that they could pose a
18 threat to them. He seemed a little bit uncertain as to what to do. He
19 didn't seem to be like a decisive fellow who would do -- know what to do.
20 A little bit uncertain, insecure.
21 And my impression was that he didn't have much combat experience,
22 and this went for the same unit, the people who were there. And I said
23 quite loudly that nobody should approach the building, and that his
24 soldiers could open fire freely to -- on anyone who attempted to approach
25 the building. And if he needed it, he could call me and that we would
1 then deal with that, with those -- any attackers. So the reason why I did
2 that was to instill some security in him; and if anyone had been there in
3 the dark, that person could then hear that.
4 "So let me explain to you now, there were quite a few locals
5 there. I didn't see them. But there were quite a few of those locals
6 there who had parents, brothers, sisters killed, and they were pretty
7 tense. And all of them knew what unit we were, and I don't think that
8 anyone would have wanted to get into conflict with us. Then I decided to
9 get into the hangar for the simple reason because I wanted to see whether
10 any of my former subordinates or soldiers were there."
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
13 Q. Sir, would you agree -- would you agree that those were your
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So unlike your testimony of yesterday, he didn't -- the
17 lieutenant-colonel didn't just tell you there was some prisoners in the
18 hangar, he told you when you first spoke to him that there was some
19 problems and that there was some dangers there; isn't that correct?
20 A. No. He said that he thought there were some danger, not -- so if
21 you play it back, you will see that I said that he thought there were some
22 problems, and if -- yesterday, I said that there had been no problems, and
23 the only thing that is evident from what he said was that he thought that
24 there had been some problems.
25 I didn't want to get into that any further. Because yesterday
1 during our conversation, I noticed this tendency, your younger colleague
2 was there, I said that Mrksic had sent me to check there and then he asked
3 me, "So, Mrksic sent you there to protect these people." So there is this
4 tendency to interpret my responses, to exploit this small uncertainty, to
5 establish a position where I would be in an untenable position. So I
6 still maintain what I said yesterday.
7 Q. Sir, you know -- sir, he told you -- if you don't want to say he
8 told you directly, he told you that he believed that there were some
9 problems; isn't that correct?
10 A. Not that he believed, but he thought -- okay. Okay. Believed,
11 that's fine. That term can go used. But if somebody believes that there
12 are problems, it doesn't mean that there are problems.
13 Q. And as a result, you issued an order that the soldiers can shoot
14 anyone who approaches the hangars or the hangar, or the building, or
15 whatever word you want to use. Isn't that is correct? That's the order
16 you issued?
17 A. I did not issue an order. I said that I had said aloud to him and
18 to his soldiers that they could fire. I did not issue an order. Again, I
19 have to repeat: You stated that I said to my soldiers, and here you could
20 hear that I said "to his soldiers." This was not an order but an
21 instruction, because I did not have the authority to issue orders to them.
22 Q. You issued an instruction. This is again what you didn't testify
23 to yesterday. You issued an instruction to shoot anyone who approached
24 the hangars. You didn't testify to that yesterday either, did you?
25 A. I didn't give you an interpretation of the conversation. I merely
1 told you that I spoke with that person, Mr. Bulatovic warned me to be
2 brief and I didn't go into those details. And this was a conversation of
3 five to ten minutes, so we must have talked about something. And this is
4 what I said yesterday.
5 Q. You also didn't testify that you gave that instruction in a loud
6 voice so that if anyone was out there, they would hear the instruction not
7 to come near the hangar; isn't that true too? You didn't say that
8 yesterday either.
9 A. Yes. I didn't talk about that yesterday. If I didn't tell you
10 what I had told him, I couldn't have told you that this was done in a loud
11 voice. But I can tell you now and tell the Court, again, that I -- the
12 reason why I said that was to instill some confidence in him, to make him
13 less insecure. That was the main reason more than anything else.
14 Q. And you also indicate in your statement that there were locals who
15 were tense and who were interested in revenge because their family members
16 had been killed. Isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes. I said that there were some locals; but again, I said that
18 it was not at that specific location, but in the general area. I said
19 that there was a possibility, but that I did not see anyone there, and
20 then I explained as to what kind of people we could be dealing with.
21 There were people who wanted revenge in the Vukovar area, so I -- in fact,
22 I specifically said "not there." Hypothetically speaking, yes, you could
23 assume that some people might show up there, but there were no such people
25 Q. So, sir, unlike your testimony yesterday, there was a five- to
1 ten-minute conversation relating to a threat or danger at Ovcara; isn't
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes. The conversation took about ten minutes, and this is what we
4 were talking about in general. He said that there were prisoners there,
5 that he set-up the security, and so on. So in the ten minutes, we did
6 touch upon that as well.
7 Q. You indicated that you then went into the hangar; and while in the
8 hangar, you saw 60 to 70 prisoners or 60 to 80.
9 A. I think I said 60, 70, 80. That's what I said.
10 Q. Now, sir, is it possible that there were two or three times that
11 number? There were 150, 175 prisoners, say 175 prisoners?
12 A. 175 [as interpreted], no, that's impossible. Perhaps more than
13 the figure that I gave you, but nobody can really give you an exact
14 figure. It's more an assessment, an approximation. I didn't stay there
15 for long enough to count them. They were all hunkered down next to the
16 wall; but 275 people, you would need a larger space for that. Maybe 120,
17 but may assessment was 80, 60, 70, thereabouts.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that this is
20 important. Page 72, line 14, at the beginning of the response, the
21 witness mentioned the figure 275; and then said, "no, that's impossible,"
22 and the transcript reads 175. Line 13, again should read 275 and the
23 witness received the interpretation 275.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I received interpretation 275,
25 yet the transcript reads 175.
1 MR. WEINER: I can clarify that, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 Q. Sir, I put to you that there were 175 prisoners there; one, seven,
4 five, do you agree with that or disagree?
5 A. I would not go down that lane. My memory tells me that there were
6 maybe 60 to 80 people there, as I told you. And I wouldn't now venture
7 whether there might have been 175, because I did not count them. And it
8 was not really possible to do that, to make an accurate estimation as to
9 their number, whether it was 175.
10 Q. Sir, according to testimony of one of the security members that
11 was there, there were 175 prisoners from the Mitnica group on November
13 A. No comment. I don't know whether this is really so or not so. I
14 can't really comment on that.
15 Q. Sorry about that.
16 So you stayed there for a while and then left, sir. Are you
17 familiar with a police officer or a military police officer, military
18 police commander of the 80th Motorised Brigade by the name of Vesmarevic?
19 A. I didn't understand your question. Am I familiar with him, or do
20 I know him?
21 Q. Do you know him?
22 A. No. No, I don't know him.
23 Q. According to testimony, he was in charge of the security there
24 throughout the evening. You never saw him?
25 A. No, I don't remember him. I only talked to lieutenant-colonel.
1 It was dark, and there were other people there, soldiers, some other
2 people. They had the same uniform, olive drab uniform, officers and
3 soldiers. So in the dark, it's hard to tell who is an officer, who is a
4 soldier unless you know the person.
5 Q. Would it surprise you that Vesmarevic, the commander of the 80th
6 military police, was there all evening and never mentions you being there
7 or never mentions the anti-terrorist unit arriving that evening? Does
8 that surprise you?
9 A. Why would that surprise me? If he wasn't there, then he was
10 unable to see me, because I didn't see him. So I said that he wasn't
11 there, or rather, that I didn't see him. Most likely, he wasn't there so
12 then there's no wonder that he didn't see me either.
13 Q. Would it surprise you if Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic of the 80th
14 Motorised Brigade indicates that he never -- has never testified that he
15 met you on the evening of the 18th of November, or that your unit appeared
16 on the evening of the 18th of November? Would that surprise you?
17 A. I don't know in what sense you mean. I told you that there was a
18 lieutenant-colonel there who told me that he was the commander. Now
19 whether that was Vojnovic or some other lieutenant-colonel, I don't know.
20 That would surprise me if, indeed, that was Vojnovic, if he said that I
21 wasn't present, that I didn't come. I could only conclude that he either
22 forgot about me coming or that he doesn't want that to be known.
23 I am prepared to face him and to establish whether that is the man
24 that I remember seeing or not and whether I was there or not.
25 In addition, you can also ask the Croats who were there. They
1 will certainly tell you. Naturally, they won't tell you that it was me
2 with my name, but they will tell you that there were large built people in
3 camouflage uniforms with helmets and so on and that that scared them. You
4 will definitely be able to establish that on that night, we were there.
5 Now, as to whether seeing Vezmarevic or Vojnovic is more important
6 than seeing some 20 of us and the Croats, well, it's up to you to judge
8 Q. Are you familiar with an officer by the name of Danilovic from the
9 80th Motorised Brigade?
10 A. I don't know anyone from the 80th Motorised Brigade, because the
11 only contact with had with them was on that night. Afterwards, I never
12 saw any one of them, and I didn't know any of them. I don't know a single
13 person from the 80th Brigade.
14 Q. Officer Radoje Danilovic was also there throughout the evening,
15 and it was a quiet evening, according to his testimony. He was a Defence
16 witness. And he never places you or your unit there, does that surprise
18 A. I'm telling you, I don't know the man. The same answer as the one
19 I gave you for Vezmarevic. I would be surprised if Filip Karaula were to
20 say that I wasn't there, because I'm sure he remembers well that we were
22 Q. So, sir, the three people overseeing the evacuation at Ovcara,
23 Vojnovic, Vezmarevic and Danilovic, never mention you being there. Is it
24 possible you weren't there, sir?
25 A. No, that's impossible. I was there just as I am sure that I am
1 sitting here now.
2 MR. WEINER: May we go into private session, Your Honour, for a
3 few moments.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
5 [Private session]
11 Pages 15306-15313 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and resume at ten minutes to
11 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 3.55 p.m.
13 MR. WEINER: Mr. Usher, may the witness please be shown this
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic has something, Mr. Weiner, if I can
16 interrupt you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't even have a proposal, just to
18 consult the Chamber. Mr. Weiner said that he would have another 20
19 minutes, and Mr. Bulatovic indicated that he would have another half an
20 hour. Now, the witness has been here since 2.00, and now I don't know
21 what we should do, whether we should release this witness and then -- and
22 bring Mr. Stojic in and then start anew tomorrow when we are all fresh.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, we could even start an hour earlier
24 tomorrow if that would make you happy. No, we will not start the new
25 witness this evening, given that we have only just over an hour remaining.
1 Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I'd like to show you this photograph and put
4 it on the ELMO, and that comes from a video, Exhibit 850. And I just want
5 to ask if it's you.
6 A. No, that's not me. And to avoid any doubts, I can give you a few
7 facts that will prove this.
8 This person is wearing an olive drab JNA uniform, and he has a
9 vest over it. I wore a camouflage uniform. This is an ordinary JNA
10 helmet that this person is wearing, and my unit wore helmets, Swiss made
11 PSH helmets that looked completely different. This person has at least
12 one month growth of beard, and I had arrived in Vukovar on the 10th in
13 October and I couldn't have grown the beard that long. I have longer
14 beard now than I had at the time.
15 And now the question that I am interested in is why would anyone
16 think that this was me?
17 Q. Sir, just a question on your answer: "I had arrived in Vukovar on
18 the 10th, and it says in October. You were not in the -- in Vukovar on
19 the 10th of October; isn't that correct?
20 A. No. No, it wasn't in October. It was -- it was on the 10th of
21 November. I came back in -- sometime between the 5th and the 10th of
22 November, and I would not have gotten back with the beard. And I couldn't
23 have grown a beard in -- until the 20th.
24 And now I just want to ask you the question: Why would you think
25 this is me?
1 Q. Sir, I really don't have to answer the question; however, I would
2 say it looks like you and the voice in the video sounds just like yours.
3 So that's why we wanted to inquire whether or not it was you. Thank you.
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. Now, sir, were you aware -- or actually, you testified that it was
6 quiet on November 18th at Ovcara. Were you aware that they had troubles
7 in the afternoon of November 20th at Ovcara? Were you aware of that?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Were you aware that locals, when the buses arrived with the
10 prisoners, that locals formed a gauntlet. And they beat with their hands
11 and with their fists and with their rifle butts, the prisoners. As they
12 got off the bus, that they beat them? Were you aware of that?
13 A. I didn't even know that they had gone to Ovcara. I know that they
14 had left the barracks when I left the barracks. But I didn't know where
15 they had gone to; and, least of all, did I know what -- that such a thing
16 might have happened.
17 Q. Were you aware that local soldiers, meaning local TOs and
18 volunteers had beaten, at least inside the hangar, one prisoner seriously,
19 one or more prisoners seriously? One was beaten to death.
20 A. No, I don't know about any such cases.
21 Q. Sir, were you aware that Colonel Vojnovic of the 80th Motorised
22 Brigade tried to protect some of the prisoners as they were getting off
23 the bus and was assaulted? Were you aware of that?
24 A. No. I was not aware of that either.
25 Q. But would you agree, sir, that that type of situation, an attack
1 on prisoners and even the murder of one, was the type of situation where
2 your unit or military police units would be activated?
3 A. It's possible.
4 MR. WEINER: Can we go into private session for a moment, Your
6 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 15318 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. You testified on the 19th, you and a few other officers removed
13 50 - you called them a motley group - from the barracks, without force on
14 the 19th; isn't that correct?
15 A. Not on the 19th, it was on the 20th.
16 Q. Sorry, on the 20th.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you did that without any serious difficulty; isn't that
20 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And would you agree that a group of local TO members and
22 volunteers were no match for the Guards Motorised Brigade, military
23 police, or anti-terrorist unit?
24 A. Yes. Yes. They were no match for us.
25 Q. And you would agree that your unit is specially trained for rapid
1 responses, hostage situations, dealing with terrorist or paramilitary
3 A. Yes. That's what the unit was trained for and that was its
5 Q. So that evening, if you received an order to protect those
6 prisoners on a 24-hour basis, beginning in the early evening through the
7 morning of the 21st of November, did you have the manpower to do so?
8 A. This is -- the question is not defined enough in terms of what
9 kind of danger. If you had an attack by 2.000 people, then I could not
10 have done anything. But if it's an attack by maybe 20 to 30 people, then,
11 yes, I could do something. I couldn't have done anything in case of
12 attack by people carrying heavy weapons, and I could do something if these
13 people carried only infantry weapons or knives.
14 So you have to be very specific what kind of danger are you
15 referring to as being present there?
16 Q. Let's take a group of 25 to 50 TO members or volunteers with
17 infantry weapons, small arms. If you and the military police battalion or
18 battalions were ordered to that area to guard those prisoners and protect
19 them on a 24-hour basis until they were removed from the area, did you
20 have the manpower, weaponry, ammunition to do so?
21 A. Yes. We did for such a situation.
22 Q. And that you didn't have any other tasks on the 20st or 21st which
23 would have prevented you from accomplishing that task of protecting those
24 prisoners, if ordered to do so.
25 A. Had we received any other tasks, we would have done this if we had
1 been ordered to do so. But I know that we did not have any specific tasks
2 in the evening hours.
3 Q. And, sir, were you aware of any problem with the communication
4 system or the reporting system at the command on November 20th?
5 A. No. Nor was there any reason for me to be aware of it.
6 Q. Finally, sir, when we were in closed session, we spoke of two
7 matters, which you testified here for the first time today, and I want to
8 put it to you that you made those facts up today to help your friends, who
9 are the accused here. Please respond.
10 A. What facts?
11 Q. Those facts that we discussed just before the break, which I
12 indicated that you testified for the first time and that had never told
13 anyone previously about those facts. I put to you that you made those up
14 today to help your friends, the accused.
15 A. I don't know what's your foundation for making this claim; but now
16 that you tell me that (redacted) had testified and that he said that he had
17 been there, I can say that he invented that. He could not have received
18 his orders from anyone apart from me. And he couldn't have gotten it
19 through any other part of the chain of command, because he was in contact
20 only with me. He could not have involved any other people or engaged any
21 other people, because all the cars and all the people were under my
22 control. And I want to know; I want to see the list: Who were those
23 people that went with him that night?
24 Now that you told me, I understand what you're talking about. I
25 understand why this whole thing is focussing on this, because this is a
1 fabricated event because. And I'm ready to confront both him and all the
2 other people. So I want to see them face to face, and then we can perhaps
3 determine what happened. We can bring all the people who were there and
4 hear their testimony apart from him.
5 And now I know why you asked me questions about him, whether he
6 was honest, but -- and I did confirm that he was a good officer, but the
7 other people are -- were better than he was.
8 Q. He was an honest man. You confirmed, too. As long as you knew
9 him, he was an honest man. And I put to you, sir, that you--
10 A. Yes. Yes, that's right. He was. But if he did, in fact, invent
11 this, then he -- I don't think that he is an honest man any more, and
12 people are perishable goods. And I have to say that he invented this. I
13 did not invent anything. I may be confused about some small details, but
14 the relevant events, relevant for you, this is how they played out from
15 the point of view of myself and my unit. I could talk to you and hours
16 and prove to you that (redacted) could not have gone there. And even had he
17 wanted to, he -- the people would not have gone with him, the personnel.
18 I think that this thing that you just said, I take it as a
19 personal insult, the thing that you just said that I invented things.
20 Q. And I put to you that he went there on the evening of the 20th,
21 because that was the only day that it was a -- there was a need to
22 activate the anti-terrorist unit. That's what I put to you, sir. There
23 wasn't a need on the 18th.
24 A. If he went there, why didn't he intervene? This was not our want
25 to go some place and not to carry out our task. And I asked you whether
1 you had anyone else corroborating this, apart from him. Who gave him this
2 task, and I didn't. I would have known, had I given him this task. And
3 you can always -- you can always see from my past actions that I always
4 went with my unit into the thick of things. I would never have sent them
5 there to go on their own, and I would like to get this information who
6 ordered him to go there.
7 Q. A Mr. Bajic; and further, sir, he was ordered to leave?
8 A. Bajic who?
9 Q. Commander Bajic; and he was ordered to leave.
10 A. But he received orders from Bajic? Bajic was a nobody there then.
11 So how -- how and what chain of command was Bajic his superior, his
13 Q. I put it to you he was sent there, and he was ordered to leave by
14 the command. And you -- and, sir, you weren't there, so you can't even
15 say what happened there because you weren't there; isn't that correct?
16 You weren't in Ovcara on that day. You were not in Ovcara.
17 A. Absolutely, I was not on the 20th. I was not there on the 20th
18 and he was not there. So he claims that Adem Bajic ordered him to go
19 there, and just the two of them know about this thing and nobody else.
20 And probably they have something in writing to corroborate this.
21 Q. Sir, you weren't there; and unless you have clairvoyance, you
22 can't tell who else was there. And I put it to you, he was there on that
23 night. And you're wrong or you're lying when you say he wasn't, and
24 you're doing that to protect the people you've known for many years.
25 A. I may be clairvoyant, but he probably is gifted with bi-location.
1 And he is probably able to multiply people so they can be with him and
2 with me at the same time. And he was probably here executing orders from
3 Bajic, and Bajic had nothing to do with us. Perhaps the postman came by
4 and sent him there. And you tell me that I'm lying, and I tell you that
5 you're manipulating facts. And I believe that you probably blackmailed
6 him with some visa, things to get a visa or not, and then he testified to
7 the way you wanted.
8 Q. Are you just lying some more, or do you have any proof if you're
9 going to make an acquisition that I've committed a crime?
10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, that will do.
11 A. You were the first to accuse me of committing a crime. Do you
12 have evidence for that?
13 Q. Yes, your testimony, sir.
14 A. In what sense is that proof? Do you have (redacted) and
15 now his word should be worth more than mine. It's possible.
16 Q. That's up for the court to determine.
17 No further questions.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
21 Q. I would now comment on the words commented by my colleague, Mr.
23 Mr. Maric, during the discussion with the OTP representatives
24 yesterday, did you answer all the questions asked to you by the
1 A. Yes. And now I see that I actually went into too many details.
2 Q. Did the OTP representatives, in the course of that interview, show
3 you any document, any photograph, or anything else to elicit your
4 comments, your clarification?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Did the OTP representatives yesterday, during that interview, show
7 to you any testimony by any witness.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Maric, about -- how your testimony started
10 yesterday? What was the first question?
11 A. Well, not really. The first question was my personal details, my
12 name, and so on.
13 Q. How did the interview begin? What was the first topic broached in
14 the interview?
15 A. I lost my concentration. I cannot focus anymore. I think that
16 the first question was about the participation of my unit.
17 Q. Was the name of any officers from your unit mentioned there?
18 A. Just (redacted), or rather, Mr. Weiner asked me about (redacted).
19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we go into
20 private session, please.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 15326-15328 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honour.
6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. Mr. Maric, the Prosecutor asked you whether your company was
8 capable of dealing with that kind of a problem that arose at Ovcara. Let
9 me ask you, in principle, did you know what a military police company
11 A. What do you mean? It's a unit numbering about 100 men, people of
12 "A" category. That's how they used to categorise them, which means that
13 the mental and physical capabilities were top at the time. And the
14 programme within military police was the strongest programme in the JNA,
15 except for special forces. So that was quite a strong unit.
16 Q. Do you think that a military police company could have dealt with
17 the same problem, as it was described to you by the Prosecutor?
18 A. Absolutely. That is to say about 50 men, likely armed, should
19 have dealt with that without a problem.
20 Q. If that military police company is composed of people from reserve
21 forces, would that affect the quality of the unit?
22 A. The reserve forces of the military police can be even better than
23 active forces. Because in the reserve forces, there were people who were
24 about 30 years of age. And nobody could have joined reserve forces if
25 they hadn't been in active training. So that this means that these people
1 had been through a lot and they matured, unlike the young soldiers who can
2 have various level of training. It's just a question of the commander,
3 whether the commander is up to it. If he is an active commander in the
4 military police forces, then he should be up to the task.
5 Q. On the 18th when you talked at Ovcara with that officer, who
6 introduced himself as the commanding officer in the unit, did you know
7 what unit it was, whether it was a unit from active forces, reserve
9 A. I didn't have specific information. But given how he was dressed
10 and that he -- his appearance was proper, I concluded that he was a member
11 of active forces. He looked the way an officer or a commanding officer
12 within the JNA ought to look.
13 Q. Did this JNA officer, on that occasion, after telling you that he
14 thought that there might be some problems, did he complain to you that he
15 didn't have sufficient men in order to resolve this problem that he
16 thought might potentially arise?
17 A. I think this term is unfortunate, "complain." I used that term --
18 it was simply that in the conversation, he told me these things. He
19 didn't tell me that he needed me to stay. Had he told me that, I would
20 have stayed. So I think that I may have unfortunately used this
21 term "complain." It was simply a conversation and we said this.
22 Q. Mr. Maric, how many men are there in a military police company?
23 A. A full establishment strength should be 100 men. It should have
24 100 men, 117 men.
25 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I put this question
1 in order to correct the transcript on page 100, line 19, because it says
2 there are 50, so in order to avoid any confusion.
3 Q. Mr. Maric, you said at one point in time that you said loudly that
4 they should fire if somebody approached. "Somebody" meant whom?
5 A. Anybody who was not authorised to be present, so those could have
6 been members of Croatian forces. It wasn't logical to anticipate that a
7 farmer would come by at night, so we could only anticipate that somebody
8 could come with bad intentions.
9 Q. Well, I didn't want to put leading questions?
10 A. Well naturally, you know, I didn't have in mind civilians, because
11 I would have -- I would not have said shoot at them.
12 Q. The question was put to you whether you had a notebook. You said
13 no. Let me ask you this: Did any other of your colleagues, officers keep
14 a notebook?
15 A. I suppose that Susic, as commander, did have a notebook. I know
16 him from before. He was quite pedantic and he used to keep notebooks, but
17 none of my subordinate officers had any notebooks, none of them did.
18 Let me just explain this. They are individuals and there's no
19 need for them to keep any records, any documentation.
20 Q. Mr. Maric, a photograph was shown to you. The Prosecutor believes
21 that the person in the photograph resembles you and the voice is similar.
22 And you mentioned that this person had an ordinary helmet; whereas, you
23 had PSH helmets. Can you please explain what those are, and what was the
24 equipment of your unit?
25 A. This is a helmet made out of armoured steel, and it protects from
1 shrapnel and also infantry weapons. These helmets are of a particular
2 shape. They go all the way up to the forehead, then go down over ears.
3 And they have a microphone on the side, separated. And in the back, there
4 is a jack for wire, so that you can have radio communication while you
5 have it on it.
6 In front, they have a transparent shield; however, we didn't have
7 -- we didn't have that in Vukovar. And normally, one could see --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down.
9 A. -- normally one could see that such a shield was worn by special
10 police forces when dealing with demonstrators.
11 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation].
12 Q. Mr. Maric, you were told that some kind of order was issued by
13 Adem Bajic. That an order was issued to one of your subordinate officers
14 by Adem Bajic. Do you know who Adem Bajic is, and does he have anything
15 to do with the military police company for anti-terrorist activities?
16 A. At that time, Adem Bajic was commander of the 2nd Motorised
17 Battalion -- or rather, that was the position he held on the 2nd of
18 October. I don't know whether that was true on the 20th of October as
19 well. In Vukovar, the 1st Platoon was never resubordinated to him. On
20 the 2nd of October, I, with my soldiers's platoons, was resubordinated to
21 him, but not the first platoon. So he had no links to us, either
22 horizontal or vertical.
23 Q. Mr. Maric, let us go back to this: Who could issue orders to the
24 military police company for anti-terrorist activities?
25 A. It was me, Captain Susic, and Colonel Mrksic.
1 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
2 questions for this witness.
3 I thank you, Mr. Maric.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Maric, you will be pleased to know that that
5 concludes the questions that will be asked of you in this hearing. The
6 Chamber would thank you for your attendance here in The Hague, and for the
7 assistance you've been able to give us. You may now, of course, return to
8 your ordinary activities.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE PARKER: In view of what was said earlier, we now adjourn
11 for the day and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
12 We have 9.00 until 1.45 tomorrow.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.40 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 24th day of
15 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.