1 Thursday, 21 February 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today is Thursday,
11 the 21st of February, 2008. Good morning to the Prosecution, to
12 Mr. Seselj, to the witness, and to all those assisting us in and around
13 this courtroom.
14 Today, we'll proceed with the examination-in-chief of the witness.
15 Let's hope that we can complete it today for us to then be able to start
17 Mr. Marcussen, you have the floor.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
20 Examination by Mr. Marcussen: [Continued]
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I would like to do one more War
22 Staff document picking up on where we were yesterday and then move on to
23 another topic. The issue we were at yesterday was the issue of assistance
24 to the TOs for assistance by various organisations for assistance from the
25 War Staff.
1 And if Your Honours would look in binder 1, I'd like to take you
2 to Exhibit number 1555, which will be the seventh tab in binder 1 if you
3 count them down.
4 Actually, did I say binder 1, because that is incorrect. It's
5 binder 2. The document is on the screen. I guess old habits die hard.
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, we have -- we have seen and talked about requests
7 from various TOs for assistance from the War Staff.
8 Now, this document, could you tell us what this is?
9 A. Your Honours, this is a request from the commander of the 2nd
10 Motorised Battalion of the 327th Brigade for manpower -- to provide
11 manpower by the SRS War Staff. Looking at the contents of the document,
12 one can conclude that the 327th Brigade is a unit of the VRS, and that
13 means also the 2nd Motorised Battalion is a unit of the VRS.
14 Q. And we haven't come to this yet, but the VRS, as I understand your
15 report, was the successor, so to speak, of the JNA in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 We will cover this later.
17 A. Yes, Your Honours. The VRS was established in the course of the
18 decision to establish the VRS was taken in May 1992. The VRS relied
19 largely on the manpower and equipment of the JNA 2nd Military District, as
20 well as on manpower of the local Serb TO which had been established in the
21 meanwhile in Serb-controlled or Serb-held parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
22 this will be addressed later.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honours. The only reason I bring
24 this up here, and this is the last document on the structure of the VRS,
25 was to illustrate that there were also requests for assistance to the War
1 Staff from other --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a technical military-type
3 question to ask you. This document has been issued by Captain 1st Class
4 Slavko Crnic, the commander, who apparently is a member of a 327th
5 Brigade, which is, in it's turn, part of the 2nd Motorised Battalion. The
6 VRS is either de facto or de jure an army, because at the time the
7 Republika Srpska proclaimed itself as such.
8 This request for additional manpower, shouldn't it have gone
9 through its own chain of command, the chain of command of the VRS?
10 THE WITNESS: That is a correct observation. From this one
11 document, we cannot establish whether or not this battalion commander
12 first directed such a request through the chain of command. It's still
13 quite early, so we're August 1992. The VRS is in full development.
14 I have included in the report, in the section Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, an assessment by General Mladic where he says that in certain
16 parts of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the integration of local
17 Serb TO units, as well as of other armed units, into the VRS is moving on
18 slowing, which could also then indicate that this has also an effect on
19 the functions of the chain of command in those areas.
20 I remember from other documents on logistical support, so requests
21 from Bosnian Serb units to Serbia or SFRY for logistical support which are
22 not included in my report here, that there, too, there were direct
23 requests from battalion or brigade commanders to units of the VJ or
24 commands in the VJ; and in response, orders were issued both within the VJ
25 as well within the VRS and also in Croatia in the SVK where similar
1 problems arose.
2 So orders were issued to prevent lower-level commanders from
3 making direct requests and actually circumventing the chain of command.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you. Your Honours, I'd like to tender
5 Exhibit 1555 at this stage, and that does not have to be under seal.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Microphone, please,
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number 242.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'm now going to move to the bigger
12 picture and discuss with the witness the -- his conclusions with respect
13 to the situation in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 I have reviewed the questions Your Honours have been having over
15 the last days to the witness about some of the very specific issues we
16 have been discussing, and I appreciate there's the difficulty in that we
17 have not had some of the insider witnesses who can also speak to these
18 points that were foreseen to come before this witness.
19 So I fully appreciate the difficulties in grasping at this stage
20 some of the issues; and, hopefully, the reverse order of the witnesses
21 mean that we can clarify some of these issues later on.
22 Q. But I'd like to some up, Mr. Theunens, just some of your
23 conclusions with respect to the SRS and its interactions with the JNA and
24 the local TOs. The issues we have discussed, and I know you have already
25 tried to cover this, but in very simple terms, first of all, in your view,
1 did the SRS have a military-type structure?
2 A. Your Honours, the SRS, as such, as a political party had no
3 military-type structure as far as I'm aware. However, they established a
4 body known as the SRS War Staff which, based on the documents I reviewed,
5 carried out duties that included the recruitment, facilitating of the
6 training, the equipment or the facilitating of the equipment, as well as
7 the dispatching and the payment or the facilitating of the payment of
8 volunteers to various conflict areas in Croatia.
9 When these volunteers who were then operating in their distinct
10 detachments or formations were in the conflict area, they maintained
11 relations with the SRS War Staff. There was, for example, there were
12 exchanges of operational information. Members of the SRS War Staff were
13 sent to the area where the SRS volunteer detachment was active to inspect
14 the -- the situation with the volunteers and, if necessary, issue orders
15 to improve the situation.
16 There were also promotions carried out by the SRS of SRS
17 volunteers who were considered meritorious, which brings me to the last
18 point that the SRS volunteer detachment operating in the field had a
19 military structure and functioned along military lines.
20 And to be entirely correct, and I apologise for being so
21 extensive, the documents that I reviewed in relation to the role of these
22 volunteers in the conflict show that most of the times, and in particular
23 most of the times after September 1991, these volunteers in the conflict
24 in Croatia, so these SRS volunteers, operate under the command and control
25 of the JNA. Prior to September 1991, the documents indicate that VRS
1 volunteers operate in -- in their own structure in certain areas, and
2 there are no indication that this is happening under the command of the
4 The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is more complicated, and I
5 think it's better to address that once we are going into the details of
6 the various locations discussed in the report.
7 Q. And, Mr. Theunens, just to make one point clear, have you seen any
8 operational or combat orders issued by the War Staff?
9 A. No, Your Honours. I've only seen -- I mean, the closest reference
10 I have seen are comments made by SRS volunteers. For example, in articles
11 that were published in the SRS party magazine, Velika Srbija, whereby
12 these volunteers state they have been sent or they have been deployed with
13 their detachment upon the order of the SRS War Staff or Mr. Seselj.
14 Q. In your view, could SRS volunteers have been deployed on the
15 ground in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina without the support of
16 other -- without the support of state structures, either federal or
18 A. No, Your Honours, and it's not only a matter of support, i.e.,
19 logistical aspects that these people have to be equipped. They need to
20 have a weapon. They need ammunition. They need uniforms. But it's also
21 a matter of authorisation.
22 As I mentioned before, in an area where military or combat
23 operations are conducted, there is a commander who is responsible for that
24 situation in the area, which means that he also determines and decides
25 which forces will operate in that area. So, if SRS volunteers are
1 operating in an area where there is a JNA unit and the JNA unit is
2 conducting operations, there needs to have been given an authorisation by
3 the most senior JNA officer in the area.
4 From the documents I have reviewed, I can conclude -- conclude
5 that it -- that this authorisation was not just issued on the local level
6 but that was part of a policy which had been decided upon at the highest
7 level. See, for example, the various decrees and orders we discussed from
8 the political leadership to legalise and regularise the participation of
9 volunteers, including volunteer formations in the conflict in Croatia
10 during fall and winter 1991.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I hope this sort of recap of the
13 evidence is helpful, and I now move to the specific -- more specific
14 situation on the ground in the conflict.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, you and
16 your colleagues must see clearly that this is a change to the expert
17 report, because this observation is not contained in the expert report,
18 and it goes along the lines of my objections. I am happy to hear it, but
19 we can't say that it's recapitulation when it is in fact an amendment to
20 the expert report, especially the part up to September 1991 and after
21 September 1991.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm happy to re-qualify my qualification of what
23 it is the witness have just done and say I hope this testimony by the
24 witness is helpful to the court. The witness is obviously at liberty to
25 give his conclusions to before Chamber. That's why he's here. So I don't
1 think there's any basis for the objection.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The witness is giving us
3 his findings. And, Mr. Seselj, during the cross-examination, you will be
4 able to fight him with your questions and then we will make a decision.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN:
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, for background, could you please describe the
7 military situation in February, March 1991, in Croatia for us.
8 A. Your Honours, I have not discussed that topic in detail in my
9 report, so I will -- may mention now certain things which are not included
10 in the report.
11 What one can say is that overall the situation in Croatia and also
12 Slovenia is tense, because from the political level, there are movements
13 for independence, sometimes qualified as secession by others, by Slovenia
14 and Croatia. At the same, time we know, for example, that in areas with a
15 significant Serb presence in Croatia, mainly the area known as Krajina, as
16 well, and that is at later stage Eastern Slavonia, local Serbs feel -- are
17 worried about the situation.
18 At the same moment, we can see that on both -- on both sides,
19 Croatia as well as Serbia, there is increased use of the media in order
20 to, and that is my conclusion, increase actually ethnic tensions and even
21 ethnic fears among the main ethnic groups that are involved in the
22 situation; namely, the Serbs, and I mean by that Serbs in Croatia, as well
23 as the Croats.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I heard you well; and
25 while I was listening to what you were saying, I was looking at Annex 1 of
1 the indictment, which is outlining the additional events, you know, as to
2 what happened in Croatia; and in March 1991, it is said that there are
3 conflicts in Pakrac and so on. On April 1st, the Executive Council of the
4 Krajina SAO passed a resolution so that it could be attached to the
5 Republic of Serbia.
6 So it looks like in March and April there is actually great
7 agitation, and some are calling for an attachment to Serbia; but legally
8 Croatia, it doesn't exist yet. We're still in the Socialist Federal
9 Republic of Yugoslavia.
10 So, in this kind of situation, the JNA, which is the legal army,
11 armed force, what exactly is its position, please?
12 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the JNA is in a difficult position,
13 because when you look at the constitutional mission of the JNA, the JNA
14 has the mission to safeguard the territorial integrity, the independence,
15 the sovereignty, and the social order within the SFRY.
16 We see from the events in -- for this happening in January and
17 March that the SSNO, so the Federal Secretary for People's Detection,
18 Kadijevic, in January and March 1991, tries to convince the SFRY
19 Presidency, which is the Supreme Command, to decide on the establishment
20 of the state of emergency, in order to allow the armed forces to restore
21 order. Because of the incidents you mentioned, Pakrac, there's also
22 Plitvice, there's later Glina, they are related to similar -- to a similar
23 situation, even though the development of each individual incident is
24 slightly different.
25 Basically, Croatia tries to establish Croatian police stations in
1 a number of areas; I mean by that police stations which are manned
2 predominantly by Croats.
3 From the information I have reviewed - it is not included in the
4 report but in the framework of my previous work - the conclusion can be
5 drawn that the police in Croatia, there is a significant presence of Serbs
6 in that -- in the national police of the Republic of Croatia, in
7 particular in areas with a significant Serb presence, which, from a common
8 sense point of view, makes sense.
9 Now, in a situation where Croatia is striving for independence,
10 one of the first things they try to do is to establish their authority.
11 In August 1990, so more than half a year before, we have the Log
12 or the Balvan Revolution in Knin where local Serbs, according to some
13 sources assisted by Serbs from outside of Croatia, establish barricades
14 and prevent, for example, the -- the use of Croatian symbols or use of
15 Croatian shields, I mean, on police stations in Pakrac and Plitvice.
16 In Pakrac, from the information I consulted, the situation is that
17 Serbs have occupied local municipal offices as well as the police office,
18 and Croatia then sends -- or the Croatian authorities send special
19 policemen from Zagreb in order to establish or restore Croatian authority
20 over the police station in Pakrac.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for this answer, but
22 this is my problem: When I read, you know, the submissions of the
23 accusation of Prosecution, you know, this of course is in support of the
24 Prosecution's case, which is normal; but as a Judge, you know, I must try
25 to be on another level.
1 In what the -- in the report of the Prosecution that we have in
2 Appendix 1, it seems that everything comes from nationalists, from the
3 nationalist political parties; whereas, one could wonder on the Croatian
4 side, you know, who -- who is pushing for independence and recognition,
5 and this is missing in the indictment. It's really not mentioned in
6 Annex, 1; and because of this, a question comes to my mind, and you're
7 giving me a good opportunity to put this question.
8 You're telling me that Croats wanted to take control of the police
9 stations and so on. If Croats are doing something, it's probably that
10 they have intentions, and then Serbs from Croatia probably know that the
11 JNA is not doing anything because of the constitutional order's, the order
12 of the SFRY. But, obviously, they see that the JNA is not intervening;
13 and given the threat that's looming ahead of -- on their head, you know,
14 they maybe decide to go to self-defence, prepare their own self-defence,
15 and maybe call on help in Serbia to help get people to help them, which is
16 how we could end up with volunteers.
17 So, according to you, is this possible? Is this a possible
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I have not -- I want to emphasise that
20 I have not studied or analysed the -- the particularities of the
21 developments in March -- between March and, say, June 1991 in Croatia.
22 What I'm explaining now is based on my understanding of the conflict
23 following the work I have done and the studies I have -- I have conducted
24 outside the framework of this report.
25 It is obvious that even before Croatia tries to establish
1 authority over police stations located on its territory, i.e., within
2 its -- which should be within it's control, there is already tension and
3 the spirits have been heated up as a consequence of not only media reports
4 but also statements on all sides, statements by senior politicians on all
6 Coming myself from a country which could not be considered
7 multi-ethnic but at least there are several communities with different
8 languages who sometimes have difficulties to understand each other, I
9 realise the seriousness or the importance of the effects the media can
10 have on the attitude of the average population, in particular taking into
11 account the history of the area.
12 The memories of the Second World War and what the NDH did to Serbs
13 and so on is very fresh with people, especially in areas like the Krajina.
14 Now, all these fears and all these tensions are actually not only
15 reawakened but are intensified by the media, state-controlled media on
16 both sides, in the course of 1990 and 1991, even earlier.
17 After the death of Tito in 1980, we slowly see a development in
18 SFRY whereby people or some people address nationalistic issues.
19 Sometimes they're put in prison, but they go much further than they would
20 ever have dared to do when Tito was still alive, when all these issues
21 were basically forbidden to be -- it was not allowed to address these
22 issues in public and where, for example, the JNA and other federal
23 institutions were all promoting the slogan of "Brotherhood and Unity,"
24 brotherhood and unity between all nationalities and the people of SFRY.
25 What we see is -- okay. We have both sides ethnic tensions
1 increasing. We also see that both sides are organising and arming
2 themselves. And I'm not in a position here to provide details on who
3 started first and who did what at which location. But, again, based on my
4 recollection, I can say that it's happening on -- on the two sides. I
5 think the Balvan Revolution in August 1990, so the -- excuse me, Your
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. We already understand all
8 this. This is very interesting, but you're talking about two sides. I'd
9 like to know if you agree with the fact -- with the following fact: If
10 I'm not wrong, up until January 1992, when Slovenia and Croatia were
11 recognised by the European Community, up until then Yugoslavia still
12 existed with its international borders as they were; Yugoslavia as member
13 of the EC, with its borders as it were.
14 So, up until January 1992, in terms of international law, they
15 were not -- there were not two sides. You can't talk about two sides. Do
16 you agree with me or not?
17 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm not a constitutional expert, so I
18 would prefer not to express myself on -- on such a legal issue. I can
19 only mention some factual issues; that is, that --
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] But am I right or wrong? Isn't
21 it in January 1992 that the international community recognised these
22 countries and that there was the first disintegration, if I could say so,
23 of Yugoslavia?
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I do remember that, and it happened
25 in -- it didn't happen all at the same time. But already end of December
1 or early January 1992, I think Germany recognised Croatia, and then the
2 other EC member countries followed. But if you allow me, I would -- and
3 not to show or to create an impression that I disagree with you, not at
4 all, but just from the factual point of view, in July -- on the 8th and
5 the 9th of July, 1991, there is the -- a peace conference in Brioni
6 sponsored by the -- or supervised by the EC, where one of the four points
7 of the declaration is that Slovenia and Croatia postpone their declaration
8 of independence with three months. So instead of the 26th -- or 25th and
9 26th of June, it is postponed to October 1991, and that is all I can say
10 about this.
11 What the legal implications are of the Brioni Declaration in
12 relation to the recognition by the EC as you pointed out in January 1992,
13 I don't think that's something which is up to me to address.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, to follow up on
16 my fellow Judge's question. It's important to note at this juncture that
17 until January 1992, the former Yugoslavia still exists with its
18 international borders as recognised by the international community.
19 Of course, your report is a military report. It's a military
20 analysis; and, therefore, the question that springs to our mind and
21 springs to everyone's mind is the following: Given all the events that
22 are occurring on the field in 1991, what exactly is the position of the
23 JNA? The JNA is supposed to be the striking force of the SFRY, of the
24 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
25 So could you confirm that at the time the general heading the JNA
1 was General Kadijevic? Was he the general heading the JNA?
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours. General Kadijevic is the chief
3 of the staff of the Supreme Command; and, as such, he's the most senior
4 military person.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then using all the
6 documents you have you've seen on the JNA, have you tried to find out what
7 was the position of these generals, including Kadijevic? Remember that he
8 is mentioned in the indictment as being part of JCE, and maybe the Trial
9 Chamber would want to hear him as a court witness if he's not called by
10 Prosecution or by the accused.
11 So, in the framework your report, did you try and understand what
12 was the exact position of the JNA and, of course, its number one.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: If I may just assist the -- Your Honours with a
14 reference on this, because this was exactly thing I was going to move
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: I believe this is being discussed in part 2, part
18 2 of the expert report beginning at page 7, and that's page 107 in the
19 B/C/S version, where there is a discussion about the change of the mission
20 during the conflict in Croatia. I believe Judge Harhoff, at page 3719
21 Thursday last week, also approached this topic a bit, or the expert
22 approached this document in answer to a question by Judge Harhoff.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, you have explained us what the constitutional
24 mission of the JNA was. Was there, based on your analysis, a change in
25 the constitutional mission during the conflict in Croatia?
1 A. Yes, Your Honours. Indeed, there was a change in the mission of
2 the JNA during the conflict in Croatia.
3 Q. When was that change?
4 A. I will refer to what General Kadijevic wrote in this his book, "My
5 View of the Break-up." He gives a rather -- a very analytical view in the
6 is sense that he distinguishes two phases in the conflict in Croatia, a
7 first phase which is called by him -- or determined by him as starting
8 mid-March with what he calls the first attacks on Serbs in the Krajina
9 until the end of summer. That's the first phase according to Kadijevic.
10 Then Kadijevic sees a second phase from the end of summer until
11 the acceptance of the Vance Plan, which is end of 1991.
12 Q. And before -- before we go into the details of this, could you
13 just summarise what was the change in the mission?
14 A. Well, the change in the mission, according to Kadijevic and orders
15 from Adzic and Kadijevic, is that instead of maintaining the -- or
16 pursuing the constitutional mission including maintaining the territorial
17 integrity, the mission then for what Croatia is concerned is changed into
18 interposition between the armed factions.
19 Then the third development is that the mission is changed into
20 what is called protecting the Serbs, and what is called by Kadijevic as
21 liberating the Serb areas in Croatia, assisting the Krajina Serbs in
22 organising their own armed forces, and withdrawing the JNA garrisons and
23 barracks from Croatia, i.e., those garrisons and barracks located outside
24 the areas under Serb control.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You were extremely fast.
1 But if I understood you well, there was a change in position. First, the
2 JNA interfered, interposed itself between the two factions, if I could say
3 so, the two sides. That's the first thing. Then the second change in the
4 mission is that they decided to protect the Serbs. Then the third one
5 possibly was the withdrawal. Is that it?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours. The examples you mentioned, like Pakrac and
7 Plitvice, there the JNA intervenes to officially to interpose itself
8 between the armed -- between the two sides. The Serbs say, well, this is
9 to protect ourselves. The Croats are unhappy because they say actually
10 the JNA -- the JNA is now consolidating Serb control over Croatian
11 territory. Something similar happens in Borovo Selo in May, early May
13 Then, over summer, the goal changes into what is officially called
14 protecting the Serbs, but that is the way how the JNA represents it. The
15 Croats say, well, actually, the JNA is consolidating Serb control over
16 parts of Croatia and actually expanding that control to all areas that are
17 considered Serb.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So were these changes made by
19 the Presidency of the Federal Republic or behind the backs of the
20 Presidency? Were these carried out by the military who decided this of
21 their own accord, that they decided to operate these changes which we
22 could perhaps qualify or term constitutional changes? According to you,
23 this was done with the approval of the Presidency or against the approval
24 of the Presidency because this does have consequences.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, it is clear that initially, and I'm
1 speaking now about spring 1991, the JNA or Kadijevic is seeking
2 instructions from the Presidency; and, for example, the minutes of the
3 Presidency session of -- I think it's 12th of March, 1991, are quite
4 interesting in that context. They are not addressed in my report. But
5 later on we see that actually a third option applies. That is from the
6 book by Jovic, Borisav Jovic, who is, in June 1991, the outgoing chairman
7 of the SFRY Presidency. We see that Kadijevic and Adzic are getting their
8 instructions not from the SFRY Presidency but from certain members of the
9 Presidency, as well as from people who are not members of the Presidency.
10 And if I remember well, this was addressed last week where --
11 where we, for example, discussed this chart, showing that there were 27
12 meetings between Jovic and Kadijevic during, say, August to December 1991
13 time period, and whereby actually Mesic was the official chairman of the
14 Presidency. Jovic was the outgoing chairman. He was not even the acting
15 chairman because that was Kostic. And, also, Slobodan Milosevic, the
16 President of Serbia, who is not part of the Supreme Command, became
17 involved in giving instructions to Kadijevic.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, if I may interject here, this
19 was discussed at pages 3694 and 3695 of the transcript where there was a
20 discussion of the July meeting.
21 Q. And, Mr. Theunens, now that we're on the topic of the meeting, you
22 testified and you have mentioned at page 6 in your report, that's pages
23 106 and 107 of the B/C/S version, that Milosevic and Jovic instructed
24 Kadijevic to concentrate forces along certain axes or certain areas, and
25 that Kadijevic accepted this.
1 Now, I wonder if I could ask you to draw - I know these are very
2 general areas - but if you could maybe draw on this map for us...
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: If I could gets the assistance of the usher.
4 Q. ... the areas that are mentioned.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You could place this on the
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, Jovic in his book says Milosevic and
8 Kadijevic asked him to concentrate the main forces of the JNA along a line
9 which goes in the west from Karlovac to Plitvice, whereby Karlovac is
10 located here. Plitvice falls are located more or less there. That's the
11 western limit. The eastern limit would be Baranja, Vinkovci. Then in the
12 south, he talks about the Neretva River or he mentioned the Neretva River
13 which runs more or less there.
14 Now, this is a bit abstract. But when we look at -- we consider a
15 map with the ethnic distribution, as it was established in 1991 based on
16 the results of the census in 1991, we see that the areas in Croatia with
17 the main -- where the Serbs are more or less concentrated are indeed
18 located more or less this way, especially in -- I mean, in particular in
19 the municipality of Knin as well as Glina, the Serbs have a majority
20 according to the census.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN:
22 Q. Mr. Theunens, I am just going to stop you because later on, when
23 the transcript is looked at, it's going to be difficult to relate this to
24 the actual exhibit.
25 Now, you drew a number of, just now, a number of dotted lines, and
1 I believe within those lines there is the Serb -- the concentration of
2 Serb population; is that correct?
3 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
4 Q. And then the first line you described, the Karlovac-Plitvice line,
5 could you put an "A" where that line is.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And could you put a "B" at the eastern line.
8 A. [Marks] These are the western limits. "A" is the western limit.
9 "B" is the eastern limit.
10 Q. And down south along the river, if you'd put a "C"?
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Theunens.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I propose to tender this exhibit
14 into evidence.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall give it an exhibit
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P243.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Now, Your Honours, at --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand, Mr. President.
20 Is this map an exhibit, what the witness has been drawing?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then I ask that a copy be given to
23 me also.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You will get a copy of
25 this. Would you kindly make a copy for Mr. Seselj.
1 Mr. Seselj interrupted me just at the time I wanted to put you a
2 question, Witness.
3 You have positioned the JNA in three areas, sector A, sector B.
4 You say, if I've understood you correctly, that the troops were positioned
5 there because there is a high concentration of Serbs, is that right, and
6 they are predominantly Serb in that area, and that is why the JNA was
7 concentrated there? Is that in military terms what you are saying?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honours. That is what Jovic says in his
9 book. He says that by deploying or concentrating the main forces of the
10 JNA between western limit, the line Karlovac-Plitvice; eastern limit,
11 Baranja, Osijek, Vinkovci; and towards the Sava, which I didn't mark on
12 the map but it's the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina; and
13 the south in Neretva, the JNA is concentrated in the areas -- excuse me,
14 the JNA would cover all Serb populated territory, I'm quoting from Jovic,
15 "until the situation is fully resolved, i.e., until a final expression of
16 popular will in a referendum."
17 That is what Jovic writes in his published diary for the 5th of
18 July, 1991.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Mr. Seselj will be given a
20 copy of this straight away.
21 The registrar has just told me that he will give you a copy of
22 this map during the break.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. MARCUSSEN:
25 Q. Mr. Theunens, just to try to tie the different pieces together
1 before we continue with these different phases, during this period that we
2 just discussed, were there also -- were there deployment of SRS volunteers
3 in some of these same areas?
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours. As is discussed in the section on Slavonia,
5 Baranja, and Western Srem, as early as April 1991, SRS volunteers are
6 being sent to certain parts of Eastern Slavonia.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. And --
9 Q. We've already covered this and we're going to come back to it.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: Just as a point, Your Honours, at page 10, and
11 that's page 111 of the B/C/S, there is a map which illustrates I believe
12 what the plan was for the first phase -- no, sorry. The second stage of
13 the first -- the first stage of the second phase of the developments in
15 Now, the reproduction of this map has not come out very well, but
16 I have here a colour print that I'd like to hand out. I think we should
17 give - I'm sure the witness knows this by heart - but give him a copy.
18 Maybe we can put that on the ELMO so that it can be followed.
19 Now, Your Honours this -- this document or this map has been
20 uploaded into e-court as 65 ter number 7175.
21 Q. Mr. Theunens, first of all, who prepared this map?
22 A. Your Honours, I prepared that map or this map based on the
23 information included in the book "My View of the Break-up," by Veljko
25 Q. And what do the sort of orange arrows illustrate?
1 A. Well, the arrows -- I mean, these ones --
2 Q. The ones that sort of have a split at the end at the orange?
3 A. The arrows with the split at the end show the access along which
4 according to Kadijevic the JNA was to slice or cut the Croatian territory
5 in order to implement the goals Kadijevic identifies for the first stage
6 of the second phase of the conflict in Croatia.
7 Q. And what are the -- the red arrows that end with sort of the two
8 lines at the end?
9 A. The arrows you mention now represent the main forces of the JNA
10 which were, according to Kadijevic, planned to carry out offensive
11 operations in Croatia.
12 Q. Now, was this --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's important to know. The
14 Bench would like to know when did this happen. What are the dates,
15 please, by and large?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. These periods are also given in
17 Kadijevic's book. The first stage of the second phase ranges from end of
18 July 1991 to approximately end of September 1991, according to Kadijevic.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN:
20 Q. Mr. Theunens, was this plan actually executed in this form?
21 A. No, Your Honours. That would bring us to the second stage.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: And before we move to that, I'd like to ask for an
23 exhibit number for this map.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P244.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: And for the discussion of the next phase, I have
1 another map. This is a colour print of the map that Your Honours will
2 find at page 11, or that would be in the B/C/S version page 113 of part 2
3 of the expert report. That can be placed on the ELMO. This document is
4 65 ter number 7176.
5 Q. Mr. Theunens, who -- who prepared this map?
6 A. Your Honours, I prepared this map based on the information I found
7 in the book by Veljko Kadijevic, "My View of the Break-up."
8 Q. And could you explain us now what the second phase -- the second
9 stage of the second phase was?
10 A. Yes, Your Honours. According to Kadijevic, the second stage of
11 the second phase of the conflict covered the time period from September
12 1991 until the acceptance of the Vance-Owen Plan which corresponds with
13 early 1992. And Kadijevic writes in his book that the initial plan or the
14 initial strategic plan could only be implemented in what he calls
15 considerably modified form; and according to Kadijevic, the only reason
16 for this modification was the lack of response to mobilisation and also
17 what he calls the organised desertion of the JNA reserve corps.
18 So Kadijevic then lists the main tasks for the JNA during what he
19 calls the modified plan, and I will read it out from my report which is a
20 quotation from the book: "In close coordination with the Serb
21 insurgents..." --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly give us a reference, please.
23 THE WITNESS: -- "... all Serb regions in Croatia, except for the
24 part Western Slavonia, were liberated." And this more or less corresponds
25 with one-third of the Croatian territory.
1 Kadijevic adds: "The future army of the Serbian Krajina was built
2 up in the course of the fighting and equipped by the JNA with
3 corresponding arms and material."
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: And there was a request from the translation
5 booth. This is at page 11 or page 112 of the B/C/S version that this quote
6 came from.
7 Q. Please continue, Mr. Theunens.
8 A. Your Honours, so I took the information from Kadijevic's book, and
9 I compared it then with the map that was agreed upon between the two
10 parties when they accepted the Vance Plan, and then I put that information
11 into a map to illustrate what Kadijevic writes in his book.
12 Q. In your report, you have also -- you have also reviewed a number
13 of statements by the accused about where Serb forces should be deployed.
14 In your assessment, do these statements correspond to where forces were
15 actually deployed?
16 A. Your Honours, the statement made -- the statements made by
17 Mr. Seselj actually emphasise the Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica
18 line, which, if I can express myself that way, was much more ambitious
19 than the end result we see at the map here; and, at that stage, Mr. Seselj
20 also expresses his disapproval of the end stage, criticising Kadijevic
21 personally for the failure to achieve the
22 Karlobag-Ogulin-Karlovac-Virovitica line.
23 Q. Did the accused on your -- did you agree with the aim of
24 protecting Serbs, as it was put, in Croatia?
25 A. Yes, Your Honours. But I would ask that actually the line we have
1 discussed goes beyond the protection of the Serbs because it covers areas
2 where, at least in 1991, there were no significant -- there was no
3 significant presence of Serbs.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'm going to move in now to the
5 specifics of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, but -- sorry.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do we have a number for the
7 second map?
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. No.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit number P245.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: As Your Honour mentioned, both Kadijevic and
11 Adzic, his deputy, are alleged to have been members of the JCE in this
12 case. There are two exhibits which are discussed in detail in the expert
13 report. They're also in the binder. They are 65 ter number 553 and 569.
14 I think it would be useful if we just take a brief look at that.
15 Maybe we could call up 553 in e-court.
16 Q. Mr. Theunens, this is a Federal Secretariat for National Defence
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: It's on page 2, that is in e-court page 3, of the
19 document. In the B/C/S version, it's the first page. Sorry. Yes, it's
20 the first page.
21 Q. Mr. Theunens, could you tell us what this document is and why you
22 have cited it in your report?
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. The bulletin was created by the information
24 service at the Federal Secretariat for People's Defence, or for national
25 defence. It was both -- it was mainly published in English but also in
1 B/C/S, and the publication in English was intended in order to make the
2 information accessible to the international media.
3 This issue of the bulletin includes a statement by General
4 Kadijevic, dated the 3rd of October. So it's a different page than the
5 one that is visible on e-court, at least for the English.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: So, in the English version, we should move one
7 page further. There we are.
8 Q. Down at the second half of the page, the statement begins.
9 A. So statement is dated the 3rd of October, 1991. So it's two days
10 after the establishment of the state of imminent threat of war by the SFRY
11 Presidency, and Kadijevic gives his views of the situation. He starts --
12 or in the beginning of his statement, he issues -- he provides his opinion
13 on his Supreme Command, which is Stipe Mesic. And, later on, he provides
14 his assessment of what is happening of the -- of the developments in
16 I used this document because the choice of terms to characterise
17 the situation is quite remarkable for someone at the level of Kadijevic,
18 and also because this is -- I also include it because it's a
19 contemporaneous document; whereas, the book we have been discussing was
20 only published in 1993.
21 Q. What was remarkable -- why do you say quite remarkable for
22 somebody at his level. What do you mean by that?
23 A. Well, he publicly states that he -- I mean, he publicly criticises
24 his Supreme Commander. I think it's on the next page.
25 Q. Yes.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: If we could move in e-court in the English version
2 one page on, and I in the B/C/S version as well.
3 THE WITNESS: Actually, I'm wrong. It's on the previous page, for
4 the opinion on the Supreme Commander.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: All right. So could we move, I'm sorry, one page
6 back again. If you could turn to the last paragraph.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, exactly.
8 In the last paragraph, he asks what kind of Supreme Commander do
9 we have. He also says at the end of the paragraph: "Such an attitude the
10 Supreme Commander and the prime minister towards their own army is not
11 known anywhere else in the world."
12 Now, that is not the most important in the context of my report.
13 Then we go to the next page of the public statement of the federal
14 secretary for People's Defence.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yeah. So if we move on. Thank you.
16 Q. I believe we are at the middle paragraphs. Would that be right?
17 A. There is paragraph, I think the fourth, where it starts with:
18 "What is in force in the Republic of Croatia," and then he uses the term
19 "neo-Nazism." He explains the impact of what he considers neo-Nazism on
20 the Serbian population. Then, further on, he says, in the next paragraph,
21 he actually confirms that in his view the JNA, so the army, is -- the goal
22 is to protect the Serbian population from persecution and annihilation and
23 also the goal is to liberate the army personnel and members of their
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if Your Honours will -- if you have this
1 exhibit now in your binder, if you would move to the next exhibit which is
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Just to be sure, Mr. Theunens, Kadijevic's
4 criticism against the Supreme Command was made because Kadijevic saw the
5 Supreme Command as selling out Serbian interests in which context? Was it
6 the Vance Plan or what?--
7 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honours. Kadijevic at that moment is
8 criticising Mr. Mesic himself, the Supreme Commander. This is addressed
9 in my report. But, initially, when the term of Mr. Jovic, Borisav Jovic,
10 as the chairman of the SFRY Presidency, has ended, it was up to Mr. Mesic
11 to take over his position.
12 My understanding of the procedures is that the election of
13 Mr. Mesic should have been a routine act; however, Mesic does not obtain
14 the required number of votes. Then the EC intervenes and Mesic is allowed
15 to become and -- or yes, is allowed to become chairman of the Presidency.
16 However, Kadijevic doesn't accept Mesic and doesn't respect Mesic because,
17 in Kadijevic's view, Mesic is actually only pursuing Croatian goals.
18 For example, from the minutes of the SFRY Presidency session in
19 May -- in March 1991, these minutes are not included in the report, but
20 one can see that there is -- that there are confrontations between Mesic
21 and Kadijevic where Kadijevic says the Croats are attacking the JNA;
22 whereas, Mesic says the JNA is supporting the secessionist Serbs.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document is quite
25 significant. We all agree on this point. This document or this statement
1 was made on the 3rd of October, 1991. I have a question in a respect.
2 Is this a document in favour of maintaining Yugoslavia as a
3 federation, or is it a document in favour of the Serbs? Because if you
4 look at the title of the document, the beginning of the document, you
5 read "Citizens of Yugoslavia," not "Citizens of the Republic of Serbia,"
6 and then "Members of the armed forces of Yugoslavia."
7 We could, therefore, think that his logic or his idea is to
8 promote Yugoslavia, to maintain Yugoslavia as it is, and we find that he
9 blames the Croats. He directs very sharp criticism at the Croats. He
10 talks about the Republic of Croatia by accusing it of being neo-Nazi, a
11 neo-Nazi republic. That's quite strong coming from someone who is the
12 federal secretary for the army of Yugoslavia.
13 So he criticises the Presidency as well as Croatia, but we also
14 see that he calls on the international community. That's very clear in
15 this document. We can read it in the document.
16 Based on your research, were sanctions taken against him after
17 this statement, because in no army in the world would the political power
18 tolerate that kind of criticism or statement. Were their sanctions taken
19 against him; and if so, what kind? If not, for what reason? What can you
20 tell us about this?
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm not aware of any sanctions against
22 Kadijevic. He resigned end of 1991 or early 1992, but the reason for his
23 resignation I'm aware of was his poor health condition.
24 Now, in the report, I also included a statement by Colonel-General
25 Adzic, who was the Chief of the General Staff of the SFRY armed forces,
1 dated the 12th of October, 1991, so it is like nine days after Kadijevic's
2 statement. And his statement, the statement of Adzic, includes the same
3 comments or references towards Croatia.
4 Just to finish my reply, even if it's a request to the citizens
5 of --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please, let the Prosecutor
7 proceed. He'll probably deal with it in the next document, but one more
8 thing. We have a very strongly worded document, a very harsh document.
9 Did you try and find out in the press at the time, in the media at the
10 time, whether this had any impact in the media, any fallout in the media?
11 Did you try to find out whether articles were written about it, whether
12 criticism as levelled at him, whether politicians expressed their support
13 or their criticism following this statement?
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I have not analysed the particular
15 media coverage of this statement, but I would say that it -- it's in the
16 overall spirit of what was published in the newspapers, especially the
17 state-controlled press; and not only newspapers, but also it was said on
18 TV and radio.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN:
20 Q. Is these -- the kind of language seen here, does that resemble the
21 kind of language in the statements by the accused that you have reviewed?
22 A. Yes, Your Honours.
23 Q. Now, you mentioned the 12th October statement by Adzic, the Chief
24 of Staff of the Supreme Command.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: That is the document that is found at 65 ter
1 number 569 that I was going to take Your Honours to, if we could call it
2 up in e-court. Maybe I can just say, to the court staff, we are out of
3 situations that we need to put under seal. All this can be broadcast.
4 Yeah. I was going to tender these two documents in a bit
6 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, you -- you refer to this, and we just talked
7 about the use of similar language. If we look at the first page, at the
8 last paragraph in the English version. Mr. Theunens, is this what you
9 were referring to?
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
11 Q. Where it says it's rather about defending parts of the Serbian
12 people from genocide, from biological extermination with which they are
13 threatened, by resurrected Fascism in Croatia, and so on and so forth?
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I believe the witness has already
15 explained the relevance of these two documents, and at this point I would
16 like to tender, therefore, 65 ter numbers 553 and 569.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 553 will be Exhibit number --
18 [Overlapping speakers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes --
20 THE REGISTRAR: -- will be Exhibit number P247.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'll now move to the --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I don't seem to
23 have this document P554. 553 and 569, I suppose. The interpretation that
24 I got was 554; whereas, I have 553 and 569. So I'm wondering which it is.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Sorry. You have the correct documents.
1 Q. Mr. Theunens, moving now, zooming in, so to speak --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. You
3 requested the admission of these two documents, 553 and 569, and I see
4 that the registrar has given just one number, P247, but we should have two
5 numbers. One for 553 and one for 569.
6 Because when I look at the transcript, I only see one exhibit
7 number, P247. I don't see P246.
8 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 553 will be Exhibit number P246, and
9 65 ter number 569 will be Exhibit number P247.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. That's very clear now.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: I apologise. It was probably me jumping in,
12 speaking over the registrar.
13 Q. Mr. Theunens, moving now to the area of Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem, first what was the strategic significance of this region?
15 A. Your Honours, when -- when we look at the map, we see that region
16 borders Serbia. The border is from, in most of the areas, the Danube
17 River. Also, based on the statements of General Panic, who was the
18 commander of the 1st military distinct, Vukovar, the city of Vukovar,
19 which is situated in Eastern Slavonia on the Danube, was of strategic
20 importance both for the Croats and for the Serbs.
21 Q. And in this area --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness is
23 mentioning the statement by General Panic here. Now, I have not been
24 provided with that statement, and it was not used in the report. I know
25 for certain that the statement exists because four years ago I came across
1 a short excerpt from the statement. So I should have been supplied with
2 the statement, because my name is mentioned and mention is made of the
3 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is this statement by Panic?
5 THE WITNESS: The statement by Panic is the statement Panic made.
6 It's footnote 240 in part 2 of the report, English page 101. It's the
7 statement he made for BBC, "Death of Yugoslavia", i.e., the transcript of
8 his interview. I quoted, yeah, the statement Panic made when asked about
9 why Vukovar was so important.
10 MR. MARCUSSEN: And the part is quoted in full -- or the relevant
11 part is quoted in the report at page 101, which is page 219 of the B/C/S
12 version. I believe that the Exhibit number is -- 65 ter 1970. And, as
13 all other exhibits in this case, it has been disclosed to the accused. So
14 there is to basis for this objection.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. I want to
16 answer Mr. Seselj.
17 I was looking at the footnote, this footnote 240, because the
18 witness is telling us that this is an interview Panic gave to the BBC. We
19 have the number of the video, V004026; 004026, again. This video should
20 have been disclosed to you, Mr. Seselj. You should have it in your
21 possession because it bears an ERN number. This Panic statement should be
22 amongst all the videos you've been given. Is that correct, Mr. Marcussen?
23 Am I mistaken this has probable been handed over to Mr. Seselj as part
24 of ERN Exhibit 0467824.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Yes, indeed, Your Honour. It who is now occurred
1 to me that the accused has systematically refused to accept anything in
2 electronic form, including videos or DVDs. So whether the accused has
3 decided to return this to us or refused to receive it, it might actually
4 have happened; but we have certainly made efforts to provide this to the
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, the
7 problem is probably that this video was a DVD; and if you had refused that
8 at the time, you never saw it. Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problems lies elsewhere,
10 Mr. President. General Zivota Panic, the commander of the 1st Military
11 District whose military group engaged in the liberation of Vukovar, gave a
12 statement to the Hague Tribunal. Now I once had in my possession, four
13 years ago, a small excerpt from that statement, and I wrote to the Trial
14 Chamber and requested in writing that I be given the whole of General
15 Panic's statement which I have not received yet.
16 It is highly relevant for this expert report, and I know what I'm
17 talking about. That programme, "Death of Yugoslavia," whether I received
18 them from them or not, I have it down on paper. I did the transcript
19 myself. But General Panic's statement to the Prosecution is what I need.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Marcussen. General
21 Panic, I understood who he was. Looking at the exhibit that had been
22 admitted by the Trial Chamber in the framework of questions asked by
23 Mr. Nice and Mr. Milosevic to Mr. Seselj during the Milosevic case, where
24 I quote out of memory, Mr. Seselj was accusing this general of having
25 escaped with millions that he had taken from the Vukovar bank. So you see
1 I know the case well.
2 So, if General Panic was heard by the OTP, you are -- you must
3 absolutely give the statement to Mr. Seselj, because General Panic is
4 involved in Vukovar, and Vukovar is part of the indictment.
5 So first question: Was General Panic heard by the OTP; and, if
6 so, why wasn't this disclosed to the accused?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Now, first of all, the transcript of the testimony
8 in the Milosevic case would have been disclosed to the accused. I am not
9 able to, on the fly here in court, tell you whether or not we have a
10 statement and what the status of disclosure of that is. Well, maybe I
11 actually am, if Your Honours would bear with me for a second.
12 It appears that we don't have a statement, but -- actually, it
13 looks like maybe the witness is aware of this.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I remember that Mr. Panic was
15 interviewed, but I'm not sure whether he was interviewed as a witness or
16 as a suspect. And if he was interviewed as a suspect, the videotapes are
17 not necessarily transcribed.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'll look into this and try to get
19 back to you answer on this. I don't think we can fix it right here.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Check into this, please,
21 because your collaborators seems to tell you that he was heard as a
22 suspect, and it would be good to speak with a single voice within the OTP.
23 But Mr. Seselj seems to know that something occurred, so there is
24 something. So just check during the break, and you'll tell us after the
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: As usual, our expert is right, and we do have a
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to my information and
5 knowledge, even this witness took part in the interviewing of General
6 Panic, but I'm not quite sure about that.
7 Now, Mr. President, just a slight correction. You just had a very
8 slight correction. It's not General Panic that took millions from the
9 Vukovar bank, but General Vasiljevic, the head of the security service.
10 General Panic died in the meantime, so it wouldn't be a good thing to
11 leave that uncorrected. It's the other one that took the millions, stole
12 the millions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, you're right. You're
14 absolutely right. It's the other general who ran off with the money, and
15 General Panic is deceased, passed away.
16 Please, go ahead.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN:
18 Q. Within which military district did Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
19 Srem fall?
20 A. Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem fell within the zone of
21 operations of the 1st Military District.
22 Q. And you have already testified about the organisation of two
23 Operational Groups, but maybe you could just very quickly remind us how
24 the forces were organised in the area.
25 A. At the latest, at the end of September 1991, there are two
1 Operational Groups, Operational Group North and Operational Group South,
2 as well as the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised Division.
3 Q. And Operational Group South is the one that's covering Vukovar; is
4 that correct?
5 A. Your Honours, the limit or the separation between OG North and OG
6 South was constituted by the Vuka River, which actually runs through
7 Vukovar, which means that, I mean, the largest part of Vukovar is was
8 south of the river. So the area south of Vuka was in zone of
9 responsibilities of OG South, and the area north of the Vuka River,
10 including Borovo Selo and Borovo Naselje, was in the zone of
11 responsibility of OG North.
12 Q. Now, you have mentioned, a couple of times, the Guards Motorised
13 Brigade as a special -- sort of a special unit in the status. What was
14 the Guards Motorised Brigade?
15 A. Your Honours, the Guards Motorised Brigade was -- was described in
16 JNA literature as an elite unit. It was directly subordinated to the
17 federal secretary for People's Defence, through his Chief of Cabinet at
18 the time, Colonel Vuk Obradovic.
19 The Guards Motorised Brigade had the task to protect the military
20 members of the Supreme Command, and also had ceremonial duties. It was a
21 particularly strong brigade from the point of view of the equipment
22 because it had three motorised battalions. It had one armoured battalion
23 equipped with the most modern tanks at the time within the JNA, the M-84.
24 It had also two military police battalions which was more than any other
25 JNA brigade, and one of these military police battalions had
1 anti-terrorist units.
2 It was also particularly strong from the point of view of
3 manpower, because only the best trained and the best qualified and the
4 manpower of the highest quality was admitted into the Guards Motorised
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I think the time for the break has
8 come up, so I think before I continue we should break.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. We will now
10 have a break. Twenty minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. Let me
14 tell the Prosecution that you have about an hour and five minutes left.
15 This is what Mr. Registrar told me.
16 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I continue with
17 the witness, I thought I should just address first the issue of the
18 interview with General Panic.
19 We have -- we have recordings of interviews. They have not been
20 transcribed. And if the accused would like, we can provide him with a DVD
21 of these interviews. I'm asking the accused to indicate whether he's
22 willing to accept it before I set in motion the recording of these things
23 beyond a DVD, because the usual thing is we get them back.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you will recall, at
25 the time you were the Pre-Trial Judge, the problem I had with the
1 Prosecutor providing me with exculpatory material under Rule 68(1).
2 Now, the Prosecution said that it had 270.000 pages in different
3 format, on paper, on disks, on tapes, or whatever. Now, a negligible
4 amount of that material has been disclosed to me or was disclosed to me in
5 the meantime, but you know I can even enter the ranks of the OTP and learn
6 of things that they thought I would never learn.
7 Now, the Prosecutor is here to tell you -- has he only got the
8 tape of the interview or he's got a signed statement by General Panic,
9 because if a person is a suspect, they take both. They record the
10 interview and provide the suspect with a tape. Then a statement is
11 compiled, and the statement is offered to that person to be signed.
12 Now, the Prosecutor is keeping quiet about this. As far as I
13 know, there is a tape of the interview and a statement by the person. And
14 according to your ruling, they have to provide me everything in written
15 form on paper.
16 Now, I don't have time to go into what they have or have not, or
17 what they discussed or not.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Marcussen, you weren't
19 there and neither was Mr. Mundis; but during the pre-trial phase, we found
20 out that the accused had been notified by the OTP that there was 270.000
21 pages of document. I can't remember the figure. That came under Rule 68.
22 When we found this out, the Chamber made a decision, asking
23 Prosecution to take all necessary steps to disclose all these documents,
24 but we also asked Mr. Seselj to provide key words for searches to the
25 Prosecution or to make the work simpler. And, obviously, it seems that
1 the efforts that were undertaken were halted at one point in time.
2 Now, whatever the case, technically if General Panic was heard,
3 I'm sure he must have been heard as a suspect. If he was heard as a
4 suspect, he must have had an interpreter, probably a lawyer, and then
5 there's always a written trace. You don't just have the recording, no
6 just the video ordering, because the document is then sent over and
8 Maybe it wasn't done this in case. It was just an interview,
9 conversation, a videotape, and no written statement. I don't know.
10 Mr. Seselj is telling us something that he's already said in the
11 Milosevic case, that he's got connections at the OTP. He knows what's
12 happening at the OTP. That's what he's saying. He says that he's got
13 hints and clues that led him to believe there is a written statement.
14 Then you're nodding your head saying no. So I don't know.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: From the information I have received during the
16 break, there are -- there exist only the recording. There is no written
17 statement. There are instances where the Prosecution do a suspect --
18 record a suspect interview and a statement. There are also situations
19 where we don't do that. I don't know whether the accused, because he have
20 seen these sort of situations, is thinking that we do this every single
21 time, but we don't.
22 As I said, as far as I've been informed we only have the
23 recordings of the interview; and as I said, if the accused would like to
24 receive this on a DVD, this would be provided to him as soon as we can
25 produce it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Obviously, there is
2 only a DVD recording. That's it.
3 Mr. Seselj.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there must always
5 exist a document which is signed by the suspect. Don't allow the
6 Prosecutor to mislead you on that score. An interview is conducted, then
7 the OTP makes a summary of that interview. The summary of that interview
8 takes the form of a statement, either by an accused or a potential suspect
9 or witness; and then this is offered up to be signed and each page has to
10 be signed.
11 The witnesses sign every page, so how come a suspect wouldn't need
12 to sign every page? That's impossible. So there must be some reason why
13 they refuse to provide me with that document, and I guarantee that the
14 document exists in writing, on paper.
15 I have seen a part of that document. I saw a paragraph where
16 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party are mentioned and where my name is
17 mentioned. That document is of such an exculpatory nature that on pain of
18 death the Prosecutor wouldn't provide me with that document, because
19 there's this whole version about Vukovar, although we were in a conflict,
20 and I made the regime to replace him from the chief of the -- the person
21 of chief of the General Staff in 1993. The documents exists about that,
22 and this witness must know about that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I'm a bit
24 surprised that the OTP would hear witnesses without any written trace,
25 with only a DVD as a trace. But if we have a DVD, what does it mean? It
1 means that after the interview, the witness or suspect will not get a
2 document in his own language telling him what he said. Maybe that's the
3 way the OTP operates. I'm heard so much that I can't be surprised any
5 But you must be absolutely sure of the fact. Mr. Marcussen, you
6 must be 100 per cent sure of that fact. You're saying that there was no
7 written statement. That's what your colleagues told you. But just
8 imagine that there was one. Then you could be considered as having lied,
9 and that would be extremely serious. So this is really very important,
10 and we need to be a hundred per cent. You need to check with your
11 colleagues whether that is exactly the truth.
12 Just imagine that out of the blue, you know, we suddenly find this
13 written statement. This would be extremely serious. You're telling us,
14 and I fully understand you, that sometimes there are interviews that did
15 not lead to a written statement, which means that it can be used, and it
16 seems to be the case for General Panic.
17 But then why was he a suspect? Normally, when the person is a
18 suspect, he's got a lawyer, he's got an interpreter. Maybe it was an
19 off-record interview, no lawyer, no nothing. What can you tell me about
20 this please? I think you should really double-check to be a hundred per
21 cent sure.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: I will indeed double-check, and I'm grateful for
23 the Trial Chamber allowing me time to do that.
24 I think I should clarify one thing. When suspects are interviewed
25 and the interviews are recorded, a number of tapes are done
1 simultaneously. So there exist immediately when the interview is done
2 several copies of the interview. These interviews are put in sealed bags.
3 They are signed by those present during the interview, and the suspect is
4 given a copy. So that's the procedure. It's not that there is no trace,
5 and it's not that the Office of the Prosecutor walk away with a copy in
6 some unorganised fashion.
7 It's a different matter of whether or not these interviews then,--
8 and of course these recordings, are the record of the interview as
9 provided for in the Rule.
10 In some instances, there are suspects -- they're statements
11 reduced from these interviews as well; but as I say, this is not always
12 the practice. But I will look into, again, whether or not we have any
13 written statements generated from these suspect interviews, and I will
14 return to Your Honours on this.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Marcussen --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please check, double-check.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Is it the normal practice that the interviews are
18 audiotaped or are they videotaped?
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: That -- that depends on the circumstances. I
20 believe the Rules require audiotape, but sometimes we do the video as
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the sake of the transcript,
23 Rule 43 states that suspects interviews are recorded. So I would like to
24 refer everybody to Rule 43, sixth paragraph down of this article, which
25 reads as follows: "The contents of the recording is transcribed if the
1 suspect becomes an accused," which means there can be audio recordings
2 without any transcription.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the second matter, now that we are
4 in sort of the homework section, yesterday we discussed 65 ter number 1913
5 and what the source of that document was, and I'm informed that the
6 accused is correct about the source of the document.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I didn't hear what
8 you just said. There was some interruption. So what document are we
9 talking about, and then I have two remarks to make in that regard as well.
10 Could you tell me what document did you refer to me being correct about?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1913. That is the document
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the title of the document,
14 could you give me the title of the document, because I really can't
15 remember all the numbers.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document was -- you have
17 it. It's in your binder. Have a look at it.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: The document in its English translation is "Report
19 on recent intelligence on paramilitary organisations within certain
20 Serbian and Montenegrin opposition parties."
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Just a minute. We said
22 that if we mentioned the source, this should be mentioned in private
23 session. This was addressed in private session yesterday.
24 Mr. Seselj.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: I didn't mention the name --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not going to mention the name of
2 the source. However, handwritten there, it says the 18th of October, and
3 that source at the time was already retired, Mr. President. It was
4 somebody else who occupied the number one post in the service, not to
5 mention the service or the name. It says the 18th of October, 1993 over
7 There was somebody else heading the service at the time; whereas,
8 the previous one was in prison; and after being released, he retired. And
9 as a pensioner, at some point he wrote for the Prosecution and then the
10 Prosecution said that the handwritten date should be the 18th of October.
11 And I guarantee that was written for the purposes of the Prosecution three
12 or four years ago.
13 Let's return to General Panic. Issue an instruction to the
14 Prosecutor, while the Prosecutor is in the courtroom, that his service
15 send him this brief -- these brief minutes signed by all the persons
16 taking part in the interview, to see whether a statement was compiled or
18 And one more thing that I'd like to draw your attention to, the --
19 it was the Prosecution's intention to call General Zivota Panic as a
20 witness in certain trials and he refused that. And in preparation for
21 that, they must have had a statement compiled. So that should be checked
22 out in the OTP as well.
23 Not to have the Prosecutor look for this during the break. His
24 service can provide him with the information within the space of three
25 minutes, not to give them enough time to make a new version and correct
1 the previous one, because that's something they resort to as well. I know
2 that full well.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, the additional detail
4 provided by Mr. Seselj, seemingly the Prosecution wanted to call Mr. Panic
5 to testify in a number of cases and that this gentleman declined; but if
6 this person were to testify, then automatically there would be a written
7 statement, normally speaking.
8 Mr. Mundis is saying that normally speaking, no, not necessarily.
9 So you have told us that there is no written state. I would like
10 you to check this, and I would like you to tell us after the break that
11 you guarantee that there has been no written state. I can't go and check
12 this out in your office.
13 I can't go and check the archives of the OTP, Mr. Seselj.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd just like to remind you of what
15 I requested first, that straight away they give us this piece of paper
16 that was signed by all those present at the interview, at the questioning.
17 And, secondly, if they don't have a written statement, then by Monday
18 morning they could transcribe the interview with General Panic on paper.
19 Now, can you imagine how many statements they have of the same
20 kind of questioning and interviews that my service has not uncovered? My
21 service has been able to uncover some them but not all of them. So
22 imagine how many such examples exist; and if you take them all together,
23 it might be even more than 270.000 pages.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So please check what
25 you can check. If there is nothing whatsoever, then have the tapes
1 translated, so that the accused is informed about this. According to
2 Rule 68, if Mr. Panic says anything which might exonerate the accused,
3 according to Rule 68, he should be informed about this. Even if this does
4 not exonerate to him, according to Rule 66, this should be disclosed.
5 General Panic is mentioned in the expert report. He's there.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, I believe the Trial Chamber's earlier
7 recordings were that Rule 66(B) material does not have to be provided in
8 hard copy to the accused. It does pose a major strain on the Office of
9 the Prosecutor to transcribe these sort of things. What I would propose
10 to do is we'll review these tapes; and if we identify any exculpatory
11 material, then we will comply with the Trial Chamber's direction on how we
12 handle the disclosure of that kind of material. And if the material is
13 relevant but not exculpatory, then we provide it in electronic form to the
14 accused. I believe that's what the Trial Chamber has directed; and, of
15 course, we will undertake that exercise with these recordings.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Now, as far as
17 the Rule 66 is concerned, we face the following situation: The accused is
18 representing himself. This grant -- this right was granted to him by the
19 Appeals Chamber. So this is final.
20 Rule 66 in electronic format works fine when there is a lawyer who
21 is conversant in English and French, the working languages of this
22 Tribunal. The accused only wishes to work in his language. So he is
23 entitled to have this document in his own language. Therefore, that is my
24 position on the matter. In light of the rights of the Defence, he is
25 entitled to have a hard copy version of the document, all the more so that
1 he does not wish to use a computer. You can't force an accused to use a
2 computer. So he is perfectly entitled to have a hard copy of this
3 document. That has always been my position.
4 This refers to Rule 66, Rule 66. But for the time being, we are
5 actually discussing Rule 68. This is a document which is pursuant to
6 Rule 68, so he should have this document. He should have a hard copy of
7 this document, and a document in his own language. Otherwise, what
8 situation would we face?
9 Well, we would be in the situation where accused is representing
10 himself. He has no knowledge or is not computer literate, does not wish
11 to use a computer, and therefore cannot defend himself, which would be a
12 serious breach of the rights of the accused. So, before addressing 66(B),
13 let's see whether, according to Rule 68, there are any exculpatory
14 elements in this.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour. We will review these
16 recordings to determine whether there's anything exculpatory in this
17 material. I do believe that it's the Prosecution's obligation to
18 determine whether or not Rule 68 is applicable, of course under the
19 ultimate supervision of the Trial Chamber. But it is not because the
20 accused alleges that a document is exculpatory that it necessarily is.
21 In light of -- I have taken note of what the accused has said, and
22 we will review the tape and treat it in accordance with the directions
23 that the Trial Chamber has already given on this issue. And I would note
24 that there have been earlier discussions, I think, about the option of
25 providing the accused with a language assistant who can help him with
1 these sort of things, and it might be another option for the Trial Chamber
2 to consider. But anyway, we will, for starts, review the document for
3 Rule 68 or exculpatory material.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President. The whole statement
5 is relevant, because General Zivota Panic was the commander of the 1st
6 Military District, and he was in command of the operations. It's not the
7 Supreme Command, but he had the command over the operations in Vukovar and
8 the entire area of Eastern Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. So it was
9 Sector South and Sector North that were under his command, and everything
10 he said that is exceptionally relevant.
11 I state, I claim that it is, indeed, exculpatory material for me;
12 and with my very own eyes, I have seen one paragraph of that statement,
13 where he confirms that the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party were
14 exclusively JNA and so on. Although, we were in a major conflict, the two
15 of us, we even had lawsuits in the court in Belgrade. I was the main
16 person responsible for removing him from the post he occupied. So
17 everything that the Prosecutor says now doesn't stand. They must provide
18 it on paper for me so that I can use it in my cross-examination of this
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor will look into
21 this and then things will seem much clearer.
22 Well, this is not an urgent matter to see what General Panic said,
23 but I agree here with what Mr. Seselj said. As he was the commander of
24 the 1st District in charge of the operational zone of Vukovar, this is a
25 person who played a part at the time. Therefore, what he said at the time
1 is particularly relevant.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour. The accused has, of course,
3 the transcript of the testimony of the general in the Milosevic case. The
4 accused has still not answered whether he will accept, for starts, in
5 light of the urgency he says this has, a DVD of these recordings. We will
6 provide them; and then, as already undertaken, we will review this
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I shall give him the floor, but
9 I know what he is about to say.
10 You have the floor.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am astounded by what is happening
12 now. The Prosecutor just tells you that the general testified in the
13 Milosevic trial. That is just not true. General Zivota Panic never
14 testified in evidence a single trial at The Hague Tribunal because he
15 didn't want to do so. He's an honourable man, too honourable and decent
16 to appear as the Prosecution witness against his comrade in arms, but he
17 presented the truth as he saw it. So let's not have this situation happen
19 I'm very sorry that you think that I am obstructing the
20 proceedings, but the Prosecution has just told you that General Panic
21 testified in the Milosevic trial.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, did General Panic
23 testify in the Milosevic case, yes or no?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Sorry. I might have been mixing up two generals.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This can happen; and a while
1 ago, I did mix up two people. So he didn't testify. Right.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN:
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, could you briefly describe: Were local Serb
5 Territorial Defence units established in -- in Slavonia, Baranja, and
6 Western Srem?
7 A. Indeed, Your Honours, such units were established.
8 Q. When?
9 A. Well, according to Articles that were published in the SRS party
10 magazine, Velika Srbija, already, not later than April 1991, units of SRS
11 volunteers joined -- moved to Eastern Slavonia to join local Serb defences
12 in several villages and towns located in the area.
13 Q. Were the local TOs in the area subordinated to the JNA; and, if
14 so, from what time?
15 A. Your Honours, in -- in April 1991, there is no generalised
16 conflict yet, so the JNA is not participating in the fighting. What
17 Eastern Slavonia is concerned, it's only after the incidents in Borovo
18 Selo on the 2nd of May, 1992, that JNA units of the 17th Corps are sent to
19 separate the two parties in Borovo Selo, even though there are barricades
20 erected by local Serbs and local Croats throughout Eastern Slavonia.
21 And, more specifically, where Vukovar is concerned, there the
22 conflict only starts at the end of August, early September, when the JNA
23 units of the 1st Military District start operations to what they call
24 liberate the barracks in Vukovar which have been blocked or surrounded by
25 Croats in the course of the month of August 1991.
1 Q. And during the operation in Vukovar, were the local Territorial
2 Defence and volunteer units operating under the command of the JNA?
3 A. Yes, Your Honours. For what Operational Group South is concerned,
4 local Serb TO, including SRS volunteers, were operating under the command
5 of Operational Group South until at least the 21st of November at 6.00 in
6 the morning.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, in binder number 2, there is a
8 document that I would like to discuss with the witness. It is 65 ter
9 number 688. The document is also up in e-court now.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, is this and document you refer to in your report?
11 A. Yes, Your Honours. I refer to this document in my report.
12 Q. And this is an order, a document dated on the 18th of November,
13 and who have issued the document or the order?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours. The order is issued by the commander of the
15 1st Military District, Lieutenant-General Zivota Panic.
16 Q. What was the situation in -- in Vukovar at this time?
17 A. Your Honours, at that time, the Croatian forces in Vukovar have
18 surrendered; and in the order, Panic gives instructions on, first, the
19 taking of control of the hospital of Vukovar, as well as the attitude the
20 armed forces -- I mean, his forces, the JNA, the volunteers, and the TO,
21 have to take now that Vukovar has been, as he calls it, liberated.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, at the second page of the
23 English version, and it's on page 1 of the B/C/S version, you will see the
24 reference to the hospital.
25 Q. Mr. Theunens, are you aware whether there were any agreement about
1 evacuation of civilians from Vukovar?
2 A. Indeed, Your Honours. There had been evacuations at an earlier
3 stage. Now, there was also an agreement signed in Zagreb on the
4 evacuation of Vukovar Hospital.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, this particular agreement is, I
6 believe, and I'm going to ask the witness if it is, Exhibit number -- 65
7 ter number, sorry, 687. That is the first document that is found in the
8 blue thin folder that was distributed to Your Honours. Maybe we can call
9 it up in e-court, so we can all see it. I realise we have a lot of
10 different folders and binders with this witness.
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, now that we have it on the screen is this the
12 agreement or order that you had in mind?
13 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
14 Q. And would you describe the general contents of the agreement for
16 A. So the agreement establishes the conditions for the evacuation of
17 Vukovar Hospital. It establishes also the attitude the JNA has to take;
18 as well, the agreement also defines the role the ICRC, so the
19 International Red Cross, as well as the ECMM, the EC observers, have
20 during the evacuation.
21 If we go to the bottom of the document, we can see who signed it.
22 The signature for the Republic of Croatia is the signature of Mr. Hebrang
23 who was the Minister of Health. There is also the signature of General
24 Andrija Raseta who was the senior negotiator for the JNA, and I'm not sure
25 if any members of ICRC or another NGO signed the agreement too.
1 Q. And how do you know that the signatures are from the people you
2 just mentioned?
3 A. Because I'm familiar with this document from my work on other
4 cases in -- at the ICTY.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'd like now to move briefly to two
7 other documents that are related to the situation in Vukovar.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry for interrupting you.
9 Something has escaped me, but what is the date of this last document?
10 THE WITNESS: If you go to the top of the document, there should
11 be a date, because I don't remember the date by heart, whether it's the
12 16th, the 17th, or the 18th of November, when the agreement was signed.
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think if Your Honour look just above --
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN: -- above the top signature, you will say it says
16 "18/11/1991." One of the persons who signed it also put the date of
17 signature on the document.
18 Your Honours, we've been talking about volunteers that were
19 present around this time in Vukovar; and for that reason, I thought we
20 should just have a look at 65 ter number 590. It's a brief document.
21 It's back again in binder number 2, and it's a document after the one of
22 we just looked at in this -- in this binder.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, could you tell us briefly what -- what this document
24 is? I believe you mentioned it yesterday in court as well.
25 A. Indeed, Your Honours. It's a handwritten letter signed by a
1 person named Filipovic, on what is called the legalisation of the
2 detachment Leva Supoderica.
3 Now that we're at the Vukovar TO staff, I would like to make a
4 correction to what I mentioned yesterday. I mentioned that Slobodan Katic
5 had been removed at one moment as the person in charge of the TO for
6 Vukovar, local Serb TO of Vukovar. I actually confused the name or the
7 name of Katic with the name of Dusan Jaksic. It was Dusan Jaksic who was
8 initially head of the local Serb TO Vukovar and at one time is replaced by
9 a decision of the command of OG South by Miroljub Vujovic. So it was not
10 Katic, but Jaksic I meant yesterday.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, if you follow two --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I made an objection
13 earlier on, but I don't think it was met with a claim. Now I see that the
14 witness is putting himself right on that score. So I couldn't resist
15 drawing your attention to that, because Katic is the Serbian Radical
16 Party; whereas, Dusan Jaksic never had anything to do with the Serbian
17 Radical Party. This is perhaps a little improper on my part, but I just
18 could not resist pointing that out to you.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] In order for things to be
20 extremely clear with respect to future objections, please note that the
21 issue is that we are not dismissing your objections. The problem is that
22 these are not objections. You're just taking the floor to talk about the
23 substance of the testimony, and you're quite entitled to do so but not now
24 during cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But in this particular
1 case, your objection stands, because if there's a confusion in the names
2 of certain individuals, if you find that there is a mistake by the
3 witness, the Judges, or the Prosecutor, and that can happen, please notify
4 us immediately. But as my fellow Judge has just said, if your objection
5 relates to the substance of the document, then you have to wait until
7 Please proceed, Mr. Marcussen.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. If Your Honours would
9 follow with me in the binder two tabs in, two tabs further, sorry, to 65
10 ter number 707, which is also MFI P41. We, again, have a document
11 reference has been made to a number of times.
12 Q. Mr. Theunens, this is, I believe, a document that you refer to in
13 your report; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours. I refer to this document in my report.
15 Q. And what conclusion do you draw from this as to the presence of
16 volunteers in Vukovar?
17 A. Your Honours, this order signed, it is not signed by Mrksic, it is
18 signed by his Chief of Staff Miodrag Panic. It shows that the Leva
19 Supoderica Detachment, a volunteer detachment, is subordinated to OG South
20 until at least the 21st of November, 1991, at 6.00 in the morning, which
21 shows that Leva Supoderica is also subordinated to the guards, but to OG
22 South, during the events in Ovcara, during the night of the 20th and the
23 21st of November.
24 The document also shows that, in paragraph 4, other Vukovar TO
25 units are to be resubordinated from OG South to the 80th Motorised
1 Brigade. Again, this is to be executed in the course of the 21st of
2 November. And this is logical from the military point of view because
3 after the fall of Vukovar, the Guards Motorised Brigade is preparing to
4 return to Belgrade; whereas, the 80th Motorised Brigade will stay and take
5 over the command in the area.
6 A last point of interest in the document is the addressee list on
7 the top of the second page in English, where the addressees are
8 identified. And the first addressee is the commander of the Seseljevci
9 Volunteers Detachment, which supports what we discussed yesterday, i.e.,
10 that SRS volunteer units or detachments have their own hierarchical
11 structure when they are participating in the fighting and their own
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I think, before we forget, I'd like
15 to ask for the admission of the documents we've just been looking at. So
16 I request the admission of 65 ter numbers 688; 687; 590; 957; 707, which
17 is also MFI 41.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. 65 ter 688 will be Exhibit
20 number P248. 65 ter number 687 will be Exhibit number P24. 65 ter number
21 590 will be Exhibit number 250. 65 ter number 957 will be Exhibit number
22 P251. 65 ter number 707 will be Exhibit number P41.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. Mr. Theunens, based on the material you have reviewed, were there
25 concerns in the JNA hierarchy about crimes being committed by volunteers
1 in the Vukovar area?
2 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Such concerns existed at the time of the
3 events, as well as afterwards; and, actually, the Panic order we discussed
4 earlier for the 18th of November, 1991, in which reference was made to
5 taking over the hospital, explicitly refers to unsoldierly behaviour and
6 acts of retribution, including by members of the local Serb TO prior to
7 the issuing of that order.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: And Mr. Theunens, and Your Honours, if you would
9 turn with me to the tab which has 65 ter number 604.
10 Q. We have an urgent telegram to the commander of the 1st Military
11 Distinct dated the 23rd of October, 1991. So I believe that would be
12 before the events we just talked about.
13 A. Indeed, Your Honour. This document has been signed by
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Milan Eremija, who is the assistant commander for
15 morale and political guidance in the 1st Proletarian Guards Mechanised
16 Division, and he sends a report on the morale situation among the forces
17 of the PGMD.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if we could go to the second -- if we go to the
19 second page, item number 4, and maybe in particular the last bullet point.
20 Q. Mr. Theunens, is this something you have referred to in your
22 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I have referred to it. This is in the
23 report because it's relevant for the matters that are discussed in the
25 Q. And this states that: "In the combat activities zone of the 1st
1 PGM, the main motive behind the presence of several groups of different
2 paramilitary formations from Serbia, Chetniks, the Dusan Silni Detachment,
3 and various self-styled volunteers is not to combat but to loot people's
4 property and engage in sadistic abuse of innocent civilians of Croatian
6 Mr. Theunens, have you been -- do you have an opinion on what is
7 meant by the reference to "Chetniks"?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, the
9 question of relevance imposes itself here. There's no mention of the
10 volunteers of the Serb Radical Movement, so it is misplaced to discuss
11 this document. If we do that, then we would have to discuss all the
12 crimes that took place in this war on that same basis.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. It did not
14 escape me. I noticed that the SRS volunteers were not mentioned. That's
15 why it was so interesting to put that question.
16 Please proceed.
17 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, Eremija makes reference or uses the
18 term "Chetniks. " Now, from the documents we have discussed over the
19 previous days, we have noticed that it's actually the volunteers of the
20 Serbian Radical Party who used the name Chetnik not only to identify
21 themselves but also to identify their detachment or units; and the term
22 "Chetnik" is also being used by the Serbian Radical Party War Staff in
23 that context.
24 I am well aware that members of the other parties involved in the
25 conflict, like the Croats or the Muslims/Bosniaks, sometimes use the term
1 "Chetnik" in a -- in a general way, the same way as the Serbs use the
2 term "Ustasha" or even other derogatory terms for the other side.
3 However, if a senior officer who is responsible for morale and
4 political guidance sends a report of this nature to the superior command,
5 I think one can have confidence in the fact that he makes sure that the
6 information he includes in his report is correct, that he has checked the
7 facts, and that he is also accurate in the names of individuals,
8 locations, factions, groups he includes in his report.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: And if Your Honours would follow me to the next
10 document, it will shed some more light on this issue I presume, I hope.
11 The next document is 65 ter number 649, and it is the next
12 document in --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we move on to this
14 document, the legal officer has just reminded me that you asked for the
15 admission of 65 ter 957. It was admitted under P251, but you actually
16 never showed this document to the witness before requesting its admission.
17 Document 957 was never put to the witness.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: Did I request -- sorry. That is an error and I am
19 grateful to the court officers for this. I skipped the document, and did
20 not cross it out. I do not intend to tender it at this stage.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. So we'll withdraw this
22 document from the exhibit list.
23 Mr. Registrar, please remove Exhibit P251 from the list of
24 exhibits mentioned.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. It will be done.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN:
3 Q. So, 65 ter number 649, Mr. Theunens, this is a document that's
4 referred to in your report. Could you briefly explain from who to who
5 this document has -- what this document is? Let's put it that way.
6 A. Your Honours, this is, as the title says, a periodical operations
7 report of the -- "OB" stands for security organs of the Guards Motorised
8 Brigade. It is submitted to the security administration at the Federal
9 Secretariat for People's Defence, and it's signed by the assistant Chief
10 of Cabinet at the SSNO, the assistant chief for security,
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Dragoljub Djukic.
12 Q. And if we go to the second page of the document, there is a
13 specific reference to the Vukovar operation.
14 You will see it says: "With regards to the Vukovar operation, the
15 Serbian nationalistic and the Chetnik propaganda are taking a serious
16 dimension which in its breadth outstrips by far the results in the combat
17 of the volunteers and the paramilitary units. The nationalistic and
18 ideological symbols, nationalistic sons, the speeches of Vojislav Seselj,
19 the liquidation of POWs by Chetniks, et cetera, are unjustifiably
21 "We point to the legitimacy of the silence -- sorry,
22 acknowledgement of the legitimacy of the Chetnik commanding officers, the
23 existence of Serbian volunteer groups as established units, and requests
24 to designate such compositions to a special axis and tasks."
25 Mr. Theunens, have you quoted this in your report at well?
1 A. Yes, Your Honours. This document is, if I'm not wrong, included
2 in the addendum to my report because it became available after March 2006.
3 Q. Now, in the translation, there is included the title of officers,
4 I believe it is. It's "staresina." Are you familiar with that term?
5 A. Your Honours, my understanding the term "staresina" means actually
6 that it's superior. It means superior. It doesn't have to be an officer.
7 It's just a person in a superior position in the military concept.
8 Q. And, Mr. Theunens, is this one of the documents that you have
9 considered also in -- in finding out what is meant by "Chetniks"?
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours. It's the same reply I gave earlier that one
11 can expect that the security organ at the level of the Federal Secretariat
12 for People's Defence knows very well what it is talking about, and that
13 it's not -- that it has checked the information, verified the information
14 before forwarding it to the superior because the superior is -- is using
15 this information to base his decisions on. So the information has to be
17 Q. And if we go back to the first page, just to see the date of the
18 document. The document is dated on the 7th of November, 1991. So that
19 would have been before the takeover of Vukovar; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I request the admission of 65 ter
22 numbers 604 and 649.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 604 will be Exhibit
24 P251, and 65 ter number 649 will be Exhibit number P252.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One question on this document,
1 please. It is sent to the cabinet of the Federal Secretariat for the
2 National Defence. So this document is going to be extremely high in the
3 military hierarchy, up to the top; and General Kadijevic is probably going
4 to know about it. The Vukovar operation is mentioned here, and it is
5 stated here that the Chetniks have liquidated the POWs; and here there is
6 a question as to nationalism, the anthem, the speeches, and so on. So
7 this seems to be a very negative document.
8 Is it the only one the of the kind that you've seen, or have you
9 seen others?
10 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honours. I have also seen other documents,
11 and the most relevant ones are included in the report. In this context, I
12 can mention 65 ter number 985, which is included in the addendum to the
13 report. 65 ter 985 is a report compiled by a commission which was
14 established for the clearing of the battlefield after the end of military
15 operations. It means that dead bodies have to be removed, unexploded
16 ammunition has to be removed, the terrain has to be cleaned, and so on.
17 There --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Could you help
19 me and tell me the following: Who exactly wrote this report? I mean, it
20 is signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Djukic, but what unit does this person
21 belong to, please? Who does this Djukic report to?
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, Djukic is a member of the cabinet of
23 the Federal Secretariat of People's Defence where he works as the
24 assistant chief for security. The information he uses --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So he is in
2 THE WITNESS: Indeed, Your Honours. But if you allow --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But he's referring to the
4 Vukovar operation. It is probably because he has received a number of
6 THE WITNESS: Correct, Your Honours. That can also be derived
7 from the first page, the title of the document, where it says that it's,
8 under the date reference, it's a periodical operations report of the OB,
9 so security organs of the Guards Motorised Brigade. I can explain this by
10 making a reference to what I said earlier that these are the Guards
11 Motorised Brigade who were normally subordinated to the SSNO through the
12 Chief of Cabinet of the SSNO.
13 And this document shows that even though the Guards Motorised
14 Brigade on the 30th of September was resubordinated to the 1st Military
15 District, when the Guards Motorised Brigade was sent to Vukovar, the
16 security organs of the Guards Motorised Brigade still continued to send
17 reports to the security organs of their higher echelon in peacetime, i.e.,
18 the security organs at the SSNO.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But isn't there a contradiction
20 in -- in military terms? I mean, this is a report that is highly critical
21 of the militaries and the paramilitary and the volunteers --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Volunteers and
23 paramilitary units.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Even though we know they took
25 part in military operations. So it seems that they have found out that
1 crimes were committed against POWs, and can't this be seen as an attempt
2 to try and blame someone else for this?
3 It could be envisaged, you know, in terms of military matters. It
4 seems that they have found out that unjustifiable acts were committed,
5 which is what is written here, and isn't this an attempt to try and blame
6 this on others --
7 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, from --
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- find a scapegoat?
9 THE WITNESS: My conclusion from reading this report and analysing
10 it - it's in contents of the other documents I reviewed, and most of them
11 are included in the report - actually shows that within the JNA, there are
12 people at the senior level who don't do -- who don't disagree with the
13 acceptance of volunteers; and I mean by that political volunteers, so
14 volunteers who operate in separate units and who essentially a political
15 motivation or even an ethnical motivation to participate in the conflict.
16 So there are senior officers who do not agree with the fact that
17 this is all being permitted and that these volunteers are then allowed to
18 do the things they are doing.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, one last question. In this
20 document, Arkan is also challenged, you know, when he attends the funeral
21 of General Bratic. I have no idea who this General Bratic is, but it says
22 he should not have -- in the presence of General -- his presence at the
23 funeral of General Bratic was unjustifiably emphasised on. There is a
24 critical of Arkan and his competence also, obviously. So what happened to
25 this General Bratic?
1 THE WITNESS: General Bratic was the first commander of
2 Operational Group South. And during the first week of October 1991, I
3 believe that he was, if I remember well, he was hit by a grenade, but I'm
4 not sure exactly when it happened. So I'm not sure whether it happened in
5 October. Anyway, he was hit by a grenade and he was killed, which means
6 that he was replaced; and if I remember well, he was replaced by Biorcevic
7 as the commander of OG North.
8 Now, the criticism on Arkan is also in first instance directed to
9 that fact that in the public, i.e., the state-controlled media, there is a
10 lot of attention for the volunteers and even positive attention, including
11 positive attention for Arkan where, according to this report, Arkan is
12 allowed to give his assessment on the way how the Vukovar operation is
13 being conducted, and also that Arkan is giving -- is given a stage to --
14 yeah, to express his views in relation to the military operations.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A brief objection, Your Honour,
16 Mr. President. I heard that the witness said that General Bratic was the
17 first commander of OG South. That's how it was interpreted to me. Then he
18 says that he was replaced by General Biorcevic who was the commander of OG
19 South. In this galimatias, I cannot find my way around in this word
20 salad. So can we clarify this, please?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It seems, apparently, that there
22 is a little mistake regarding the person who replaced General Bratic, that
23 he would have been replaced by the commander of Operational Group North.
24 Can you please tell us exactly what happened?
25 THE WITNESS: I made an error when I started to reply the
1 question. Bratic was the commander of OG North, so it's not South. Then
2 he was replaced by Biorcevic.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This was a
5 well-grounded objection.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed. Your Honours, the next topic I'll move on
7 to is Western Slavonia.
8 Q. Mr. Theunens, under which JNA forces, did Western Slavonia fall?
9 A. Your Honours, Western Slavonia was located in the zone of
10 responsibility of the 5th JNA Corps.
11 Q. And the 5th JNA Corps came under which military district?
12 A. It's still the 1st Military District.
13 Q. And from the documents you have seen, were Territorial Defence set
14 up -- were Territorial Defence units set up in Western Slavonia in the
15 same way that --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: My microphone is on but I have no light. Maybe I
18 can use the other one.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I apologise. I pressed the
20 button that cuts everything off by mistake. Always by mistake. I will
21 never cut anybody's microphone off.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: I'm sure, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
23 Q. So, Mr. Theunens, were Territorial Defence units established in
24 Western Slavonia? And here I mean Serb Territorial Defence units.
25 A. Yes, indeed, Your Honours. I discuss a document that provides an
1 overview of the structure of the local Serb Territorial Defence on page
2 126 in the report, and that's actually P181.
3 Q. When were these units established, approximately?
4 A. Yeah. Your Honours, that's a gradual progress but it intensifies
5 in fall 1991.
6 Q. And were these Territorial Defence units, were they subordinated
7 to the JNA; and, if so, from when?
8 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Orders are issued. For example, I have an
9 order on the 31st of October, 1991, by Colonel Talic, commander of the 5th
10 JNA Corps, stating that all local Serb TO units and staffs are
11 subordinated to the JNA.
12 Q. And we have been through this maybe a number of times, but were
13 there also SRS/SCP volunteers operating in this area around this time?
14 A. Indeed, Your Honours. We see that various local Serb
15 municipalities in Western Slavonia during fall 1991 contact the SRS War
16 Staff in order to request manpower and also the assistance of -- in some
17 cases -- excuse me, in some cases assistance of the War Staff of the SRS
18 to provide weapons or equipment.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, just as a cross-reference, for
20 future review of the transcripts, we have in particular discussing earlier
21 on 65 ter numbers 570, 582, 594, and 609, which are relevant to this
22 particular topic. I'm not going to go into that much further. I would
23 like to go back to an issue that came up with another witness on the
24 12th of February, transcript pages 300 -- no, sorry, 3422 to 3447.
25 There was a discussion, a discussion of Exhibit P187, and, Your
1 Honours, that document is also 65 ter number 1026, and it is the last
2 document that's included in the blue folder that we had up just before.
3 If we can call up the exhibit in e-court.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, I believe you discussed this document in your
5 report, and the issue of the gentleman of the name of Kulic Jovanovic --
7 Now, there is, in this document, mention of some military post
8 numbers. Could you explain to us first what they are?
9 A. Military post numbers are numbers that identify units. So each
10 unit has a military post number, and this is the military post number for
11 a JNA unit.
12 Q. And based on your review of documentary material, have you formed
13 a view about who Jovan Kulic is?
14 A. Indeed, Your Honours. This document identifies, the one we're
15 seeing, Jovan Kulic as a self-appointed captain 1st class.
16 Now, an article that was published in issue number 12 of Velika
17 Srbija, so the SRS party magazine, states that Jovan Kulic was a member of
18 the Kragujevac Chetnik Detachment, and also the commander of the defence
19 of the village of Petrova Slatina, which is located in Western Slavonia.
20 The 65 ter number there would be 958.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, if you have it, maybe we can
22 call it up in e-court. And in the binder --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Judge, sir. I feel it's
24 completely impermissible for this kind of forgery to be presented here.
25 The OTP has submitted Velika Srbija number 12. We see on page 56, it says
1 Jovan Kulic, reserve JNA captain, volunteer from Novi Sad, commander of
2 the defence of the village of Petrova Slatina; and yet we saw yesterday
3 and the day before yesterday that Srecko Radosavljevic said that this
4 person was not a member of a SRS volunteer unit but someone with whom
5 there was cooperation.
6 That was presented here yesterday. You can look at it on page 56.
7 It says he's from Novi Sad. If there's an error stating that he's from
8 Kragujevac, he can't be both from Novi Sad and Kragujevac. But in the
9 criminal report, it says he's from Novi Sad. It says the volunteer unit
10 from Novi Sad, and the witness himself told you that in addition to the
11 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, there are were two companies of
12 unidentified volunteers from Novi Sad, to the TO Novi Sad. That's what it
14 I think I had to point out this attempt to pass off a forgery
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, Witness, as you're an
17 expert, the document is a report sent to the military prosecutor, and this
18 document relates to breaches of Article 151 of the criminal procedure
19 applied at the time. This concerns Kulic who seemingly comes from Novi
20 Sad. This would be location he came from. Who commanded the volunteers
21 unit of Novi Sad?
22 Seemingly, he's a conscript; and, as you mentioned, he reports to
23 the 8316th structure of the JNA. In other words, he's a military man, and
24 that is why he needs to report to the military prosecutor. Otherwise,
25 this would be a civilian prosecutor. So this person is a military person.
1 Does he report to Novi Sad? Which volunteers are we talking about,
2 volunteers the SRS or other political parties?
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the reference I have made, at an
4 earlier stage, to a volunteer unit from Novi Sad was in context of
5 Vukovar, where we discussed an order from the command of OG South where
6 the Novi Sad volunteer company was mentioned as one of the units in the
7 1st Assault Detachment. So it's a different area.
8 In relation to this particular document, the fact that he is a
9 conflict does not exclude that he's a volunteer. What I mean by that is
10 that among the volunteers were actually many people who should have been
11 conscripts; but for political reasons or other reasons, they refused to
12 serve in the JNA and preferred to be a volunteer in a separate volunteer
13 unit with their own symbols and their own ideology.
14 All I did, when looking at this criminal report, was to try to
15 find out who are these people. Who is Jovan Kulic? Who is Ane
16 Milosevic, and so on and so on, the other people mentioned in the
17 document. Then I tried to identify these people. And in relation to
18 Jovan Kulic, there's not only the SRS Velika Srbija article, but also 65
19 ter number 933, which states or repeats that Kulic is a self-proclaimed
20 captain who robbed and looted in Western Slavonia.
21 There is also a statement included in the report, in my report, a
22 statement made by Kulic to the Secretary of the Interior in Novi Sad, and
23 that's 65 ter number 1693, in which Kulic explains where he was and when
24 he was there. And it's correct that, in this statement, he doesn't make a
25 reference to the Serbian Radical Party.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what conclusions must we
2 draw? Is he a member of the SRS or not?
3 THE WITNESS: My conclusion, Your Honour, is that unless the Jovan
4 Kulic who is referred to in the Velika Srbija is a totally different
5 person, then we're talking about one individual who is a member of the
6 Kragujevac Chetnik Detachment, unless the article in Velika Srbija is
8 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, this might be an issue that you will
9 have to determine, decide on later on in making your findings. I was
10 going to tender the two document -- two of the documents that the witness
11 have just mentioned; namely, 933 and 958, which are included here. The
12 witness have already described what they are. So we propose they be given
13 a number, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 958 will be Exhibit
16 number P253 and 65 ter number 933 will be Exhibit number P254.
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I now move to -- sorry, Your
18 Honours. Am I correct we have ten minutes to the next break or are we
19 running overtime?
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Ten minutes, yes.
21 MR. MARCUSSEN: Merci. Your Honours, I am moving to the situation
22 on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Mr. Theunens, in part 2 of your report at page 146, and that is
24 page 276 in the B/C/S version, you discuss the deployment of the JNA after
25 the Vance Plan. Could you please tell us where the JNA deployed when they
1 left Croatia?
2 A. Your Honours, one of the aspects of the Vance-Owen Plan is the
3 demilitarisation of the area covered by the UN peace forces, including the
4 withdrawal of the JNA. So JNA units from Croatia withdraw to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina even though personnel and equipment is -- is left
6 behind. And at the same time, because of the withdrawal or the official
7 withdrawal from Croatia, the 1st Military District is -- the zone of
8 responsibility is redefined. And the 2nd Military District is established
9 whereby the 2nd Military District, which starts to function on the 10th of
10 January, 1992, covers the largest part of the territory of
12 Q. Now that you mention that personnel and equipment was left behind,
13 who was this -- who was this left with?
14 A. Officially, personnel of the JNA who were born in -- in the
15 Krajina or other areas in Croatia were allowed to stay. Now, I know, from
16 reviewing other documents, that also people were forced to stay or to
17 serve in the RSK TO which was transformed into the police and then
18 transformed into the SVK. The same happened with military equipment. I'm
19 not claiming that all the military equipment was left behind, but
20 significant numbers of -- or amount military equipment was left behind for
21 the Serbs.
22 Q. The JNA units that went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they deployed
23 in -- in areas with a certain ethnic composition?
24 A. Indeed, Your Honours. In the report, I make mention of a
25 document; and if I'm not wrong, it's an order by Adzic whereby units and
1 also equipment of the JNA, which is located in areas with a non-Serb
2 majority, is moved or is redeployed to areas with a Serb majority. It's a
3 order by Adzic or a report by Kukanjac, General Kukanjac, who was
4 commander of the 2nd Military District.
5 Q. At the time in the winter of 1991, were there already concerns
6 about the possible military consequences of recognition -- of
7 international recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
8 A. Indeed, Your Honours. These concerns existed among other people
9 with Borisav Jovic, the outgoing chairman of the SFRY president
10 circumstances, as well as General Kadijevic.
11 Q. And what was the concern more specifically?
12 A. Well, there was a realisation that, now that Croatia was gone,
13 that Bosnia-Herzegovina would go the same way. The JNA had learned from
14 its experiences in Croatia, and efforts were made to make sure that the
15 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina could be assisted in pursuing their goals.
16 Q. And what steps were taken, what things were being considered in
17 the winter of 1991? You described that, I believe, just for reference, at
18 page 148 of your report, and that's B/C/S pages 277, 278.
19 A. Yes, Your Honours. I make reference to notes Jovic makes in his
20 diary, published diary, referring to a conversation on the 5th of
21 December, 1991, where, according to Jovic, Milosevic, Slobodan Milosevic,
22 suggests to withdraw all JNA members who were born in Serbia and
23 Montenegro from BiH, and to return all JNA members who have been born in
24 BiH to BiH, so to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. You mentioned that there was a concern about enabling the Serb
1 population in Bosnia-Herzegovina to -- to defend themselves.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you quote on paragraph 148 from Mr. Jovic's notes, and there's
4 a passage which say that in that situation, that is in case the JNA would
5 have to withdraw, the Serb populace in Bosnia-Herzegovina which has not
6 created its own paramilitary units will be left defenceless and under
8 Were steps taken to organise the Serb populace in
10 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Such steps were taken with a major role
11 played by the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, as well as elements of the
12 JNA 2nd Military District, and whereby the SDS relied on support from
13 Serbia, more specifically the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
15 Q. Who were the leaders of the SDS?
16 A. The most -- the most or the best known senior members of the SDS
17 were Radovan Karadzic [Realtime transcript read in error "Kadijevic"],
18 Momcilo Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, Nikola Koljevic. But I'm not sure who
19 was the party president.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On line 2 of page 75, there's a
21 mistake. Its he not Radovan "Kadijevic," but Radovan "Karadzic."
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm looking at the watch
23 and realise that we might have hit another break.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, we shall have a break now.
25 I believe you have 20 to 30 minutes left, no more than that. The
1 registrar will let us know. So we shall conclude the examination-in-chief
2 today. This is most important, because we need to start on the
3 cross-examination next week. We shall now have a 20-minute break.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
7 MR. MARCUSSEN:
8 Q. Mr. Theunens, you mentioned that in the setting up of Serb TOs in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
10 Serbia rendered support. What kind of support did they give?
11 A. That support consisted -- consisted mainly of -- of weapons.
12 Q. And did the JNA assist in the setting up of the TOs as well?
13 A. Indeed, Your Honours, and that can be derived from several
14 sources. There are documents from the 2nd Military District, in
15 particular reports compiled -- a report compiled by the commander,
16 Kukanjac, as well as from reports of the VRS, for example, the 1992
17 analysis of combat readiness report which is mentioned and which is
18 discussed in the report, my report.
19 Q. You've earlier mentioned that volunteers were sent by the SRS/SCP
20 to Bosnia-Herzegovina. When -- when did that begin? Do you know that?
21 A. Your Honours, I have included a reference to an authorisation
22 given by the chief of the SRS War Staff to Nikodin Cavic, and this dates
23 from the 13th of December, 1991. But that concerns volunteers from
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina who wish to participate in the conflict in Croatia.
25 Otherwise, I have no specific date, except the dates that are mentioned
1 when discussing the various locations that I discussed in the report.
2 Q. And so that is that there are -- we will get to this, but there
3 were volunteers involved around the time of the takeovers of the different
4 areas that you discussed; is that correct?
5 A. Exactly, Your Honours.
6 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, in light of the time, I'm going to
7 jump a number of documents, but there's one document I think that Your
8 Honours may wish to have a look at later. It is Exhibit 65 ter number
9 1023, and it is again in binder number 2, sort of one-third in or there
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please ask the witness if he
12 knew this document, if he included the document in his report without
13 going into any detailed analysis of the document.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour. I was just allowing everyone
15 to find it.
16 Q. Is this a document you have referred to? It is conclusions of the
17 evaluation of the BiH territory in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd
18 Military District.
19 A. Yes, Your Honours, I did.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, at page 6 of this document, you will
21 see something that's also mentioned in the expert report. I believe there
22 you have an overview of volunteers, the number of volunteers, and
23 distribution of weapons by the JNA and the SDS.
24 Q. Is that correct?
25 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: So I thought Your Honours would want to have this
2 simply to get a feel for the numbers and sizes of volunteers in this area.
3 Your Honours, I'll --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One very brief question. We see
5 here, in this 2nd Military District, that allegedly there were 69.198
6 volunteers. But I was just checking the date of the proclamation of the
7 independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the date of the withdrawal of
8 the JNA. It's on the 6th of April, 1992 that the United States and the
9 European Community recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 As of the 6th of April, the JNA -- JNA had no reason to remain
11 there on the ground, and that's why I'm asking the following: They had no
12 legal reason to be there, but still they set up the 2nd Military District.
13 Do you have any explanation for this?
14 A. The command of the 2nd military district becomes operational on
15 the 10th of January, 1992. So there is still a significant amount of time
16 between, on one hand, the date when the 2nd Military District becomes
17 operational and, on the other hand, the recognition by, as you mentioned,
18 the United States and the European Community on -- of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But as of the month of
20 April, as of the 6th of April, was the 2nd Military District removed?
21 Did it cease to exist?
22 THE WITNESS: The 2nd Military District started its withdrawal, if
23 I remember well, in the course of the month of April; and for example, in
24 some areas, the withdrawal results in incidents. The incidents in early
25 May 1992 when JNA units in Sarajevo tried to leave the barracks there and
1 they are intercepted or ambushed by forces under the control of the BiH
2 government are very well known. So, at any rate anyway, the withdrawal is
3 a gradual process.
4 So it's not dissolved on the 6th of April. It continues to exist,
5 but it starts to withdraw, which also includes the handing over of
6 equipment -- the redeployment of equipment and then the handing over of
7 equipment to local Serb TO and subsequently the VRS, as well as the
8 transfer of personnel.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: And, Your Honours, just to make a reference back
10 to what we talked about earlier, at page 148 of the report, we talked
11 about Jovic's notes. And you will see that, in the last part of what the
12 witness has quoted there from the notes, it says that -- it talks about
13 this -- preparing for this situation, and notes that steps will be taken
14 which will allow for the local Serbs to take over part of the command of
15 the JNA or the remains thereof. Just to tie this in again as the context
16 for the creation of the VRS.
17 Q. Mr. Theunens --
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have one question about that.
19 Did the volunteers gradually withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina together
20 with the JNA?
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, just to clarify, the number given by
22 Kukanjac does not indicate where these volunteers are from. They may also
23 be locals.
24 To answer your question, no, I haven't seen any -- any information
25 that would suggest that these volunteers, I mean the volunteers coming
1 from outside Bosnia-Herzegovina, withdrew. On the contrary, from the
2 areas I discussed in the report, we see that, even after April 1992,
3 volunteers continued to participate in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN:
5 Q. Mr. Theunens, when volunteer units came in from outside
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina to the area, did they operate within certain structures
7 that were already existing on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I think I cannot give a -- a short answer to that question because
9 it all depends of the area we're looking at.
10 Q. Were they -- were they sometimes involved, particularly during the
11 takeovers, were they operating together with the TO?
12 A. Indeed, Your Honours. When we look at the different areas,
13 particularly the takeovers in Northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bijeljina,
14 Zvornik, Brcko, Bosanski Samac, and other areas, we see that volunteers
15 are not operating as an isolated entity, but they are operating together
16 with sometimes forces of the local Serb TO, forces of the local Serb
17 police, sometimes even forces of the TO Serbia, units of the JNA, in some
18 cases even members of the special unit of the Ministry of Interior of the
19 Republic of Serbia.
20 This kind of -- the composition of the forces really depends of --
21 of the area we're looking at.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, you -- you discuss in your report the so-called
23 six strategic goals. That is at page 155 and in the B/C/S version 286.
24 Was the organisation and arming of the TO in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina, in your view, a result of these goals?
1 A. Your Honours, even though these six strategic goals are only
2 publicly announced on the 12th of May, 1992, we see that a number of
3 takeovers of municipalities that actually serve the accomplishment of
4 these goals have taken place long before the goals are announced.
5 However, when we look at the goals and we see how they are
6 translated into military documents, there is -- there is coherence. Not
7 only for the operational instructions or operational directives the VRS is
8 to issue between May 1992 and May 1995, but also the takeovers, they
9 follow a certain logic. It is not by coincidence that a particular
10 municipality is taken over.
11 One would only commit forces to achieve a particular goal and a
12 political goal; and, obviously, the political goal corresponds with the
13 goals that are specified or included in the section strategic goals.
14 Q. Are you familiar with the Variant A and B decision?
15 A. I have not included those in my report, but I've known -- I know
16 of it but I wouldn't be able to present them in detail.
17 Q. But, in general, do you have a view on whether or not this Variant
18 A and B is also tied in with these takeovers and the six strategic goals
19 that you mentioned?
20 A. Of course, Your Honours, because there needs to be coherence on
21 the -- on the political and military level. The six strategic goals are
22 the highest instructions that are given by the political leadership to the
23 military. It is up to the military then to implement these strategic
25 Again as I said, I think that the date that they became public is
1 not -- is not the essential element here. The fact that we can link the
2 takeovers to the goals allows us to better understand what the goals mean
3 and why it was important to implement them. And the same applies to
4 Variant A and Variant B.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, in light of the time, I propose to
6 move on to a brief discussion of the individual sites or locations in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina that are treated in the expert report, and the first of
8 these is Bijeljina, which is discussed -- discussion begins at page 171 of
9 the English version, which is page 306 of the B/C/S version.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, what was the strategic importance of Bijeljina?
11 A. Through its location, Bijeljina or the takeover of Bijeljina
12 serves the following goals: First of all, it is located at what is called
13 or it's located at the entrance of what became known as the Posavina
14 corridor, which is literally translated corridor in the valley of the
15 Sava, which connected the RSK and the western part of the Serbian Republic
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and later the RS, with Serbia.
17 The takeover also served the strategic goal which consisted of the
18 elimination of the Drina as a border. And, thirdly, also served the goal,
19 the first strategic goal, which consisted of separation of the ethnic
20 groups or the people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Which JNA units were in the area of Bijeljina around the time of
22 the takeover?
23 A. The 17th Corps, Your Honours.
24 Q. And were there also -- were there volunteer formations in the
1 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Based on the documents I reviewed,
2 Bijeljina was taken over by members of the group known as Arkan Tigers, as
3 well as a group of SRS volunteers led by Mirko Blagojevic. There were
4 also groups of the SDS and other armed formations that participated.
5 Q. Have you been able to determine whether any JNA forces
6 participated in the takeover?
7 A. Your Honours, according to a report, Colonel Savo Jankovic, the
8 commander of the 17th Corps, since on the 3rd of April to the commander of
9 the 2nd Military District, Arkan prevented armoured units of the
10 17th Corps to enter Bijeljina.
11 So to answer the question, I've seen reports where the 17th Corps
12 provides information on the situation in Bijeljina, but I haven't seen
13 reports where from which it can be determined that units of the JNA
14 participated in the actual takeover.
15 Q. Based on the documents of reviewed, did the volunteer units remain
16 in Bijeljina after the takeover?
17 A. Yes, Your Honours. I refer, therefore, for that aspect, to
18 reports that are compiled by the Bosnian Serb Bijeljina security service
19 centre, also known as SJB. This, for example, is report of the 29th of
21 Q. And in the documentation you have reviewed, are there indications
22 that -- that the JNA and other structures were concerned about crimes
23 being committed by, in particular, if we can talk about SRS/SCP volunteers
24 in Bijeljina.
25 A. The SJB report of the 29th of July, 1992, which is 65 ter
1 number 1525, talks about paramilitary groups, in the first place, the
2 Serbian volunteer guard, i.e., Arkan Tigers, but does not provide
3 information on any involvement of the Serbian Radical Party volunteers.
4 Then, of course, I have statements made by Mirko Blagojevic. One is from
5 a press conference, 65 ter number 1032, where he states that there was no
6 massacre whatsoever against the Muslim population, especially not by
7 members of the Serbian Radical Party.
8 Q. Sorry.
9 A. I've also then have VRS report which talks about -- it's 65 ter
10 number 1523, which talks about a conflict between a unit known as the
11 so-called guards and the members of the Radical Party led by Mirko
13 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'm speeding off Bijeljina to go to
15 Q. Again, Mr. Theunens, the same sort of series of questions --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, but how much more time
17 does the Prosecutor have, Mr. President?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He should have about 20 minutes
19 left. Mr. Registrar, can you please check that, please?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, ten minutes to go.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ah, ten minutes. Yes. I was
22 too generous.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. So, Mr. Theunens, the strategic importance of Zvornik, what was
25 the strategic importance? Was that similar to that of Bijeljina or are
1 there any differences?
2 A. No, Your Honours. The takeover of Zvornik serves the same
3 strategic goals as in Bijeljina.
4 Q. In this case were JNA forces involved in the takeover based on the
5 documents you've seen?
6 A. The documents I've seen show that the JNA is aware of the
7 situation and also reports on the developments in the city, but I have not
8 been able to establish whether the JNA also actively participated in the
9 takeover. The documents I have reviewed identify other forces that
10 carried out the takeover.
11 Q. And who were -- what are those forces?
12 A. They consist of units of the local Serb TO, which includes also a
13 volunteer formation which became known under the name Yellow Wasps or
14 "Zuta Osa," Arkan Tigers. Then also members of the TO of Loznica. By
15 Loznica is a municipality of Serbia, so on the other side of the border.
16 As well as, according to what Mr. Seselj stated in public, the members of
17 the Special Purpose Unit of the Republic of Serbia.
18 Q. Sorry, the SRS --
19 A. Sorry. I have also been able to establish that an individual
20 known as Zoran Subotic, who in 1993 was reported as a parliamentary
21 representative of the SRS in the Republic of Serbia, participated in the
22 takeover, and, yeah, that's it.
23 Q. Now, do you have any indication of how the SRS/SCP volunteers that
24 were in the area were brought into the Zvornik area?
25 A. Members of these formations, particularly the Yellow Wasps, made
1 statements to local police officials mentioning that they were brought to
2 the area by Zoran Rankic, who we know as the deputy chief of the SRS War
3 Staff in 1991.
4 Q. And did -- to your knowledge, were there reports or crimes
5 committed by SRS/SCP volunteers in the Zvornik area during or after the
7 A. There is extensive reporting on -- on the participation of members
8 of the Yellow Wasps and related formations in the commission of crimes
9 during and after the takeover.
10 Q. In Brcko -- in Bosanski Samac - sorry, moving on - what are the
11 strategic objective or what is the strategic significance of that area?
12 A. Bosanski Samac is of strategic importance because of its location.
13 It's located on the area that became known as the Posavina corridor; and a
14 takeover of Bosanski Samac also serves the first strategic goal, the
15 separation of the Serbian people from the other people in
17 Q. And based on the review of the -- or review ever documents that
18 you have carried out, what forces participated in the takeover?
19 A. These forces consisted of people were known as SRS volunteers,
20 including Srecko Radovanovic, also known as Debeli; Dusan Tozic [phoen],
21 also known as Luis [phoen]. There was also a Sasa Culabrk [phoen],
22 including of course the volunteers who were operating under their command.
23 There was a Chetnik detachment from Kragujevac, and there's also
24 information on the participation of an official of the MUP Serbia, Dragan
25 Djordjevic, also known as Crni.
1 Q. And, again, from this area, are there reports of crimes being
2 committed in the context of the takeover by SCP volunteers?
3 A. Indeed, Your Honours. There is a report of the 2nd Posavina
4 Brigade of VRS, which talks about the role of Dragan Djordjevic and Srecko
5 Radovanovic and the forces operating under their command in the -- in the
6 commission of crimes.
7 Q. And if we move on - I know this is high speed and I apologise, but
8 I think we have to - to Brcko, what strategic objectives were Brcko
9 relevant to -- Brcko relevant to?
10 A. Well, Brcko is located in the vicinity of Bosanski Samac and by
11 its location controls the Posavina corridor. So the takeover of the Brcko
12 supported the strategic goal consisting of the establishment of a corridor
13 between Semberija and Krajina, and also the goal of the separation of
15 Q. And what forces participated in the takeover?
16 A. The documents I have reviewed indicate that forces consisting of a
17 unit known as Serbian guard under the command of Ljubisa Cavic, also known
18 as Mauzer; SRS volunteers under the command of Mirko Blagojevic; Arkan
19 Tigers; and also local volunteers trained by Dragan Vasiljevic --
20 Vasiljkovic, excuse me, Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan
21 participated in Brcko.
22 Q. And, again, in the context of this particular locations, had there
23 reports of crimes being committed during and after the takeover?
24 A. Indeed, Your Honour. There was a report which was compiled by the
25 VRS in September 1992 which refers to volunteers operating under the
1 command of Blagojevic; Gavrilovic, so Branislav Gavrilovic, whom I haven't
2 mentioned yet, in the commission of crimes.
3 And I would just like to add that also the proclamation order for
4 Vojvoda dated the 13th of May, 1993, doesn't only mention Blagojevic and
5 Radovanovic but also Mitar Maksimovic, also known as Manda, and Branislav
6 Vakic in relation to their participation in the takeover Brcko.
7 Q. Now, we now move from the eastern part of BiH to the Sarajevo
8 area. What was the strategic significance of Sarajevo?
9 A. When Radovan Karadzic publicly announced the six strategic goals,
10 he listed the division of Sarajevo as the fifth strategic goal, explaining
11 that in his view, as long as Sarajevo is split, Izetbegovic, so the head
12 or the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, would not have a state as long as
13 its capital was divided.
14 Q. And what -- what armed forces have you identified in the Sarajevo
16 A. In the context of the report, the following units are of
17 relevance: We have the VRS corps in the area, which is the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, also known as SRK. As far as the SRS volunteers
19 are concerned, there were four groups. There was group under the command
20 of Mirko Blagojevic, also known as Brne. There was a group under the
21 command of Slavko Aleksic, and this group was also known as the Novo
22 Sarajevo Chetnik Detachment. There was a group under the command of
23 Jovan -- Jovo Ostojic, as well as a group under the command for the -- for
24 Vasiljkovic, also known as Vaske.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Prosecutor, I think
1 your five hours are up, so please, one last question.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN:
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, in general, in relation to the conflict in Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina, are there reports -- are there reports that the SRS
5 volunteers were involved in crimes in the area, and do you have an
6 assessment of the scope of these crimes geographically?
7 A. Based on the documents I have reviewed, I have, for all the errors
8 included in the report, I have found documents compiled by JNA or VRS or
9 local police officials indicating that members of volunteer formations,
10 including SRS volunteers, were involved in the commission of crimes in the
11 area -- in the areas they were participating in the fighting. These
12 documents are included in the report.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I will move for the admission now of
15 the report of the expert and the addendum and the corrigendum to the
16 report. That would be 65 ter number 2854, 2854A, 2854B, 2854C, and then
17 we have redacted versions of the report as well which are 2854D and E --
18 Sorry, I'm told this is incorrect. Sorry. 2854E is the conversion table
19 that I provided which allow you to find your way between English and B/C/S
20 pages. So these to be the 65 ter numbers for the report.
21 As I mentioned, when the testimony of the witness started, the
22 Prosecution also requests the admission of the underlying exhibits that
23 are used in the report. I think the testimony of the witness have
24 illustrated the importance of the documents that have been used in the
1 I have for Your Honours a table - or I will have in a little bit -
2 a table which indicates where each of the exhibits that I referred to in
3 the report are mentioned in the footnotes. So each exhibit number you can
4 see for the relevancy where they are in the report. The hard copy will be
5 brought down to court shortly, but it has been uploaded into e-court as
6 65 ter number 7111. I say this just so there's a reference for the future
7 to the document. It might also be handy document to have in any event,
8 but I would request the admission of all the exhibits that are included on
9 that list which have not yet been admitted.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have duly noted
12 your requests. We will not rule on this right now. We will wait for
13 Mr. Seselj's position on this, and we will make a decision later on.
14 We have half an hour to go for cross-examination, and I now give
15 the floor to Mr. Seselj.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, you are an intelligence analyst in
18 The Hague Tribunal for seven years; is that right? You've been one for
19 seven years; right?
20 A. Almost seven years, Your Honours. In June 2008, it will be seven
22 Q. And what is your monthly salary?
23 A. Your Honours, I -- my salary does not depend, first of all, of
24 this report or whether I testify or not. And, secondly, I don't believe
25 that my salary is relevant in the context of my testimony. My salary has
1 no influence on my credibility.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, let's not talk about
3 monetary amounts, but I'm sure that you are at a certain level. Are you
4 P2, P3, P4? Could you tell us what category you fall under?
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I'm a P3, step 6.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] P3, 6. Very good. This is
7 public, then it's very simple. You just have to take a look at the budget
8 of the Tribunal.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I insist on having the
10 witness answer my question and tell me how big his salary is. I can't
11 look at the budget of the Tribunal and deduce it that way, but it goes to
12 the credibility of the witness. So could he please answer.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor.
14 MR. MARCUSSEN: With respect, I submit it's irrelevant what his
15 salary is. What his count is and maybe the seniority level in the
16 organisation and that's just been located. His monthly salary is of
17 absolutely no relevance to the issue here.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber, after having
20 deliberated, believes we should move on to something else. If Mr. Seselj
21 wants to find out how much this person is making, he just -- there are
22 public documents that he may consult for this.
23 So let's move along.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like the
25 witness to answer the question himself and tell me what his salary is, but
1 I'll have to abide by your ruling. I cannot do otherwise, and I'll move
2 on to my next question. However, I am very disappointed that I'm not
3 allowed to insist that the witness answer my first question.
4 Q. Now, your main task in the -- in The Hague Tribunal is to provide
5 military support in investigations; right?
6 A. Indeed, Your Honours, military support to investigations and
8 Q. And prosecutions. Right. You've supplement me there. Now, since
9 you're included in the investigations conducted by The Hague Tribunal,
10 you've also took part in interviewing witnesses for the different trials;
12 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
13 Q. And you also took part in questioning suspects in the different
14 proceedings; right?
15 A. Yes, Your Honours. But on a -- for the suspect interviews, I was
16 present during a number of suspect interviews, but maybe in one or two of
17 the interviews I asked a question. But the suspect interviews were never
18 led or -- by me, or I never played the major role in a suspect interview.
19 Q. I'm not saying you played a major role. All I'm interested in
20 hearing is your confirmation, that you took part in the interviews of
21 witnesses and suspects. Now, what your role was is another matter
22 altogether. I don't want to go into that now.
23 Now, since you say you took part in the interviews and
24 questioning, you took part in preparing and proofing the witnesses as it's
25 called for the trials. Is that how you call it, briefing, proofing?
1 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I participated in what is called proofing
2 of a number of witnesses who testified in trials at ICTY.
3 Q. And, in certain cases, you sat in the courtrooms during the
4 testimony of some other military experts. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. That is correct, Your Honours, and I did that on the explicit
6 request of the senior trial attorney who was in charge of the Prosecution
7 in -- in that particular trial or in those trials.
8 Q. And since you were a member of the Prosecution team in certain
9 trials, you took part in decision-making, deciding which witness was to be
10 called or not. It's an evaluation, an estimation of what each witness
11 could contribute. So you stated your views, and then the Prosecutor took
12 the final decision; is that right?
13 A. Yes, Your Honours. Like any other team member, I could
14 participate in meetings where, for example, the issue of -- of witnesses
15 to be called was discussed, and my contribution then mainly consisted in
16 providing a factual background or as to the position or the knowledge of
17 the witness.
18 Q. When you came to work for the ICTY, you signed a statement saying
19 that you would maintain confidentiality, the confidentiality of the
20 Prosecution and so on. I don't know what the actual name of that document
21 was, the statement was, but you know what I'm talking about.
22 A. To be really honest with you, this may be I think a convenient
23 express, I probably signed such a thing but I don't remember it exactly.
24 And the reason why I say this, in my previous job experience, I was to
25 sign such a statement every six months, yeah, every six months because of
1 security clearance. Here, I do remember I signed a document when I
2 arrived, which also covered that I would not discuss work-related issues
3 with people who had no need to know, but I only signed that once at the
5 Q. Yes. I just meant once. I didn't mean that you signed such a
6 thing every day but I'm satisfied with your answer. Now, you took part in
7 the compiling of certain indictments in the sense that you were consulted
8 with respect to the military aspects of the indictments; right?
9 A. Indeed, Your Honour. But I would like to emphasise that the
10 military aspects, the factual issues or the factual aspects of the -- of
11 these military aspects, I'm not lawyer and I was never consulted on legal
13 Q. Well, that's what I say. You took part in compiling the military
14 sections of the indictments, so you dealt with the military issues. Since
15 the Prosecutors are lawyers, they don't know about military issues. You
16 know the military aspects and issues. So you combined your knowledge to
17 come up with an indictment.
18 Now, you also took part in certain amendments and -- may I finish
19 my question? You took part in preparing some amendments to indictments in
20 certain -- for certain trials; right?
21 After a certain amount of time, the Prosecution concluded that an
22 indictment needed to be changed and then they would include you to work on
23 the amendments to the indictment or consults you, what aspects to include,
24 what others to throw out, and things like that. Am I right in saying
1 A. I have no particular recollection of -- of participating in
2 amending an indictment during or -- yeah, during a trial. What I wanted
3 to clarify is that I was asked to provide views on -- on military aspects
4 and on factual background, but the fact that I was asked to provide those
5 views does not necessarily means that my views were also included.
6 It's up to the legal staff, and senior trial attorney in
7 particular, and then of course the Prosecutor, to determine what is
8 included in the indictment, yes or no, and how it is compiled. That is
9 not something I am in control of.
10 Q. I didn't say you were in control of it. You took part in the
11 extent to which you can contribute to the work through your knowledge.
12 That was just my question. There's no need for you to answer what I'm not
13 asking you.
14 Now, for quite a long time, you had successful cooperation with
15 one of the Prosecutor, Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff; is that right?
16 A. Indeed, Your Honours. I hope that at one moment I've worked for
17 three or four senior trial attorneys at the same time, and the impression
18 I have is the cooperation with those senior trial attorneys was also
19 successful or positive.
20 Q. I agree, Mr. Theunens, that your cooperation was always positive
21 and successful and every commendation to you, and I can add some in my own
22 name. There's no need for you to try and back that up.
23 Now, you took part in the compilation of the indictment raised
24 against me in 2001, and Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff consulted you in
25 compiling that indictment, right, against me?
1 A. Yes. She consulted me like any other member of the -- of the
2 trial team.
3 Q. Well, not all the others. She consulted you as a military expert.
4 She didn't have any other military expert on the team. So for all
5 military aspects in the indictment against me, she consulted you. Am I
6 right there? Were this any other intelligence analysts or military
7 experts who were consulted?
8 A. I cannot say who Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff consulted or not. She didn't
9 share that with me. I can only reply to the question that, indeed, she
10 consulted me for certain issues, military issues. But whether or not she
11 spoke to her people in order to find out about military aspects, I cannot
12 answer that question. It's only herself who can answer that question.
13 Q. Very well. I'm not going to be in a situation to question her
14 about that, but your role is important as far as I'm concerned,
15 Mr. Theunens.
16 Now, Ms. Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff consulted you when the
17 indictment against me were expanded when preparations for that were being
18 undertaken, and that was towards the end of 2004; right?
19 A. If I remember the -- the correct sequence of events, I may have
20 been consulted or asked to provide information on, for example, particular
21 locations or particular groups or events. But it is not that she asked
22 me, "Well, Theunens, what shall we include in the indictment?" That's not
23 the situation, and I just wanted to clarify that.
24 Q. You cooperated with her in the matter. She, of course, was always
25 the boss, and you in a way were her subordinate, a member of the team.
1 Now, the details of your conversations is something that nobody can know,
2 and I don't suppose you remember all the details either. You can't
3 remember anything precisely.
4 But as an active member for many years of The Hague Tribunal, I
5 assume you should have known and knew that this international court for
6 the former Yugoslavia is very akin to the international court of Rwanda.
7 Do you know that? Are you aware of that?
8 A. Well, I know that at one moment in time Ms. Carla Del Ponte was
9 the Prosecutor for the two Tribunals, I mean for the ICTY and the ICTR;
10 and that in Rwanda similar crimes as those dealt with here are being,
11 yeah, put for trial. But I don't have more knowledge or experience with
12 the ICTR.
13 Q. But you must be aware that the same people sat in Appeals Chambers
14 in the International Tribunal of the ICTY and the Rwanda Tribunal. If I
15 know that, you have to know it, too.
16 A. Your Honours, with all due respect for these people, but that's
17 not really a matter what -- that I consider of relevance for me. So I --
18 I didn't know that. It's possible.
19 Q. Very well. But you must be aware that this International Tribunal
20 for the former Yugoslavia, in it's decisions and judgements, refers very
21 frequently to legal precedents of the ICTR and vice versa.
22 The International Tribunal for Rwanda in its decision and
23 judgements very often refers to the precedent set by this Tribunal, or the
24 jurisprudence ever either tribunal, to be more precise. You must be aware
25 of that.
1 A. Yes, Your Honours. I mean, it's like for anybody else who reads a
2 judgement. He may see references in the footnotes to decisions by other
3 tribunals or even other courts in history.
4 Q. Mr. Theunens, you must be aware that there was a case, Prosecutor
5 versus Akayseu in the ICTR, isn't that right, because the judgement in
6 that case is frequently quoted in the ICTY?
7 A. Your Honours, I have heard of the so-called propaganda trial at
8 the ICTR, but I have not been able actually to read the indictment or the
9 judgement or to further study that matter. I regret that, but it was a
10 matter of time management. I've been fairly busy during the seven --
11 almost seven years I've been working at the ICTY.
12 Q. But as your -- have been testifying here as an expert in more than
13 one case, in the Milosevic case, in the Martic case, in the Vukovar 3
14 case, Mrksic, and others to be more precise, you must be aware of the
15 decision of the ICTR in the Akayseu case of the 9th of March, 1998, in
16 which there is a sentence which I find particularly important:
17 "In order to be authorised to testify as an expert, a witness must
18 not only be acknowledged in his own domain but must also be impartial in
19 the given case." Are you heard of that?
20 A. Yes, Your Honours, and I would like to answer that question. The
21 fact that I work for the Prosecution, in my view, does not influence the
22 contents of my report with the exception, of course, that it was somebody
23 from the Prosecution who asked me to write a report about a certain topic.
24 Now, it's up to the Trial Chamber and the Honourable Judges to
25 decide to what extent I have been able to fulfil that task and to what
1 extent I have been impartial in doing that task. I have explained the
2 methodology I applied, and the avoidance of bias is one of the key matters
3 for an intelligence analyst in order to be able to do his or her job. And
4 that has not only been the case while working at the ICTY but also during
5 my previous experience as an intelligence analyst.
6 Q. I ask you kindly, Mr. Theunens, to make your replies as brief as
7 possible. I'm not attacking you. I'm just stating certain small facts
8 for you to confirm that you're aware of them or not. You are a very
9 valuable expert here in my view, as if I had called you to testify.
10 Are you aware that the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR confirmed this
11 interpretation of the first instance Trial Chamber in the Akayseu case and
12 in its judgement of the 28th of November, 2007. In the Nahimana,
13 Barayagwiza appeal, it adopted the same standpoint on the fact that an
14 expert has to be impartial in a given case?
15 Just confirm whether you know this, yes or no.
16 A. I don't know these particular references, but I know the
17 importance of being impartial obviously.
18 Q. Thank you for your reply, Mr. Theunens.
19 You are a commander of the Belgian army, which is a rank
20 corresponding to captain 1st class in the Serbian or Yugoslavia army; is
21 that correct?
22 A. It's maybe a translation issue but I'm not a commander. I'm a
23 commandant because a commander is a higher rank.
24 Now, I am familiar with the rank of captain 1st class in the JNA.
25 But while conducting, for example, these interviews with Defence -- with
1 the military witnesses, I've come to the conclusion that the job an
2 average senior captain or captain 1st class would have in the JNA not
3 necessarily -- or does not necessarily correspond with the tasks
4 commandant or somebody with my rank would have to accomplish or
5 accomplished in -- in the Belgian armed forces.
6 Q. I don't know how it was interpreted to you. I said commandant.
7 So whoever was listening to me heard me say commandant. I didn't want to
8 disparage your rank.
9 It's between captain and major. It's a captain 1st class in the
10 Serb army, but there is no need to go into this question any further.
11 Your chief in this team is Philip Coo, is he not?
12 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
13 Q. What is Philip Coo's rank?
14 A. As I said, and as I replied to a question by the residing Judge, I
15 believe he's a captain or major, but I'm not a hundred per cent sure; and,
16 obviously, I've not checked with him after I gave the answer during my
18 Q. Well, he might have a rank similar to yours, one star, more or
19 less. Isn't that so?
20 A. Yes, Your Honours, and it has never been an issue, as far as I
21 know, within the office.
22 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Theunens, that the OTP engaged Philip Coo as a
23 Prosecution expert witness in the case of Milan Milutinovic and others?
24 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I'm aware of that.
25 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Theunens, that the Trial Chamber in that case,
1 presided over by Judge Bonomy, rejected Philip Coo's expert report on the
2 grounds that the author of the expert report was too close to the
3 Prosecution? Are you aware of that?
4 A. I am aware of that, Your Honours, and also of the circumstances.
5 Q. Mr. Theunens, in your opinion, are you too close to the
6 Prosecution, especially bearing in mind that you are doing your very best
7 to avoid telling me and everybody else and the public what your monthly
8 salary is in the OTP?
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: Which part is it that the accused would like the
10 witness to respond to? There is a comment in there about the salary. I
11 think we have to be clear about what the witness is being asked.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. There's no point on
13 belabouring the point on the salary. If you go on the site of the ICC,
14 you will discover that against the employment box you will find salary
15 figures. Everyone has understood that this man is not working for free,
16 and he has to be adequately paid.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know why the
18 salary should and secret. I remember the first salary I received as a
19 young assistant lecturer in my time. But my question, again, is not what
20 his salary is, but whether he's too close to the OTP to be an expert in
21 this case, bearing in mind the case of Philip Coo in another case.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I think that it's first and foremost a
23 legal question. I wish to draw the Trial Chamber's attention to the fact
24 that, even after the decision of the Milutinovic Trial Chamber, I was
25 allowed to testify in the Martic trial -- or I will rephrase that.
1 I testified in the Martic trial prior to the decision. But even
2 when the Martic Defence brought up the Milutinovic Trial Chamber decision
3 in order to have my testimony removed, the answer of the Trial Chamber,
4 the Martic Trial Chamber, was that they were not bound by the decision of
5 another Trial Chamber. The same applies to the Vukovar Trial Chamber.
6 Now, as I mentioned in the beginning of the testimony, this report
7 has only been compiled by me. There was nobody else involved in compiling
8 this document with the exception of people reading the report in order to
9 identify typographical errors. This means it is me, and nobody else, who
10 decided about the contents of this report.
11 Now, again, I think it is a question -- a question of bias or the
12 absence of bias, and that's only something, in my view, the Trial Chamber
13 can decide.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, next week you will
15 be able to address this issue again, but now we need to adjourn the
16 hearing because we must finish at a quarter to 2.00.
17 Mr. Seselj, I'd like to draw your attention to the document which
18 the Prosecutor has given us relating to the admission of documents. There
19 are several hundreds of documents which are documents which are quoted in
20 the footnotes of the expert report. Some documents have been admitted,
21 some documents are part of the expert report, but some documents have not
22 been discussed during the hearing. So it would be a good thing if you had
23 a look at these documents. You have ample time to do so between today and
24 next week.
25 You will realise that these documents are numbered. These
1 documents have titles. These documents have dates, and there is a
2 reference to the report, to the section of the report it concerns, and
3 footnote numbers are also indicated. So it would be a good idea, once you
4 have finished your cross-examination, to tell us, either orally or perhaps
5 even in writing because orally this might take quite some time, according
6 to you which documents are not a problem and which documents are documents
7 you object to. But you will have to tell us this in detail, because the
8 Trial Chamber at the end of the day will have to rule on the admission or
9 non-admission of these documents. So you will see.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I've just been handed
11 a document in the English language. I cannot state anything based on this
12 document. I have to have all the titles in Serbian, and then I can tell
13 you what my standpoint is. But I oppose, categorically, the admission of
14 any document not presented in the courtroom and not presented to the
15 witness during examination. I will challenge the admission of the
16 so-called expert report. That's my position, but this list has to be
17 submitted to me in the Serbian language.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. The Trial Chamber
19 has understood that you categorically oppose the admission or the
20 tendering of any document that has not been shown to a witness.
21 But, Mr. Seselj, let me remind you that according to the case law
22 of the Chambers of this Tribunal, which has been corroborated by the
23 Appeals Chamber, authorises the admission of documents, even when these
24 documents have not been shown to the witness, because we have a whole
25 series of documents coming in; and if we have to look at each document one
1 after the other, we would still be here for centuries.
2 So some documents can be admitted without the witness have to
3 confirm that the appointment of such-and-such a person was seen.
4 So we have perfectly understood your objection, but alternatively,
5 let me nonetheless invite you to look at each document in turn to see
6 whether they are of interest to you.
7 Now I'm turning to the Prosecutor. Mr. Seselj would like to have
8 the titles of all these documents in his own language, which I made a
9 mental note of, because I realised that, of course, some of the titles are
10 in his own language but some of the titles are in English.
11 So if Mr. Seselj is not conversant in English, nonetheless he
12 might be able to understand some of the titles. Nevertheless, he is
13 entitled to have all these titles in his own language. So, over the
14 weekend, maybe you could have these titles translated into B/C/S and fax
15 them to him over the weekend.
16 Mr. Seselj.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Prosecutor
18 submitted a motion that all the documents quoted in the report be admitted
19 into evidence in the expectation that the report itself would be admitted
20 into evidence, but please don't pre-judge the issue because I'm convinced
21 you will not admit the report. I have already presented many arguments
22 why the report should not be admitted, and I tend to present many more.
23 So we don't know yet whether the report will be admitted or not.
24 Why should I deal with documents that have not been mentioned when I
25 expect the report to be rejected? I think it's impossible for this report
1 to be admitted into evidence as an expert report, so why should I deal
2 with documents not mentioned at all? If I find I need a document in my
3 cross-examination, I might bring it up.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You will do what you seem fit,
5 but it was my duty to tell you that the Prosecutor has filed an oral
6 motion, together with a written document, asking for the admission of
7 documents which are mentioned in the expert report, and I understood that
8 you are against the admission of this expert report. You have developed
9 your arguments, and you will continue to do so next week; but at the end
10 of the day, the Trial Chamber will have to determine the matter.
11 Now, for the Trial Chamber to be able to do so and have a good
12 understanding and knowledge of the facts, perhaps you could shed some
13 light on this, and this would be a very good idea.
14 It is now 10 to 2.00. I apologise for having overstepped our time
15 by five minutes. As you know, we shall meet again next week where we'll
16 be sitting in the morning; and on Tuesday, we will be sitting at 8.30 in
17 the morning unless I'm mistaken.
18 The registrar confirms that we will be sitting at 8.30 on Tuesday.
19 We shall meet again then.
20 In the meantime, Witness, I ask you to have no contacts whatsoever
21 with the OTP. Thank you, and see you on Tuesday.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day
24 of February, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.