1 Friday, 28 April 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. May I remind you of the affirmation
7 you made at the beginning of your evidence, which still applies. And
8 Mr. Borovic had some more questions.
9 WITNESS: WITNESS P-014 [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Borovic: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] You told us that at a certain point at the hangar
13 there were some senior officers there. You also stated they wore
14 olive-drab uniforms, and the third thing you said was that you were under
15 the impression that they were sent there to assist from a superior or by a
16 superior command?
17 A. Yes, that was the impression I had.
18 Q. Thank you. Since you say these people were officers, did they
19 have any rank, and whether any of them was at the rank of colonel?
20 A. I can't remember their ranks, but some of them did have some.
21 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of Colonel Bogdan Vojinovic [as
22 interpreted]? A correction for the transcript, Bogdan Vujovic [as
23 interpreted]. Again, Bogdan Vujic. Thank you.
24 A. At the time I didn't know of a Bogdan Vujic.
25 Q. Therefore, it is logical that I ask you: When did you find out
1 who that person is?
2 A. I heard of him subsequently when the testimonies began --
3 beginning from 2001 onwards.
4 Q. Can you share with us what is it that you heard, who that officer
5 was, and how come you heard of him then?
6 A. I was told that he came with a group of officers to assist, to
7 lend a hand to the Operations Group South on behalf of the SSNO during the
8 critical period. But personally he had nothing to do with what was taking
9 place at Ovcara between the 18th and the 20th November, 1991.
10 Q. Thank you. What about his officers, did they have anything to do
11 with the events at Ovcara, beginning with the 18th?
12 A. As I've already stated, I presume that one of the officers who
13 were middle-aged and who were at the hangar on the 20th of November, 1991,
14 that there were some who may have been from his group.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know who their superior was at the SSNO, being
16 the federal secretariat for national defence, to make it clear for the
18 A. I don't know whether it is of any relevance for my testimony, but
19 I was told they were from the security administration headed at the time
20 by General Vasiljevic.
21 Q. Thank you. I don't know whether such a question was put to you
22 during your testimony, but did you hear whether Aleksandar Vasiljevic was
23 at Ovcara or in the area of Vukovar during the relevant time?
24 A. At the time I didn't see him in Vukovar, and I haven't heard of
25 his present there. But subsequently I read somewhere that at a certain
1 point he was there, but I don't believe it is of relevance to my
3 Q. Thank you. These officers who were somewhat older, so to say,
4 were they also compiling a list in the hangar? I believe you mentioned
5 that yesterday.
6 A. As the detainees were approaching the table to be identified, they
7 went after the detainees asking them questions, and making notes in their
8 notebooks. That's what I could see. They wanted to know who those people
9 were and from where did they come. Therefore, I distinguished them as a
10 separate group because they seemed to put similar questions and I thought
11 they were security officers.
12 Q. On that day did Dragi Vukosavljevic come to the hangar on two
14 A. I don't remember having met him there, but I also cannot deny him
15 being there.
16 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of Colonel Ljubisa Petkovic?
17 A. Yes. Subsequently. And again, irrelevant to my testimony.
18 Q. Thank you. When you went to the front line, when you were sent to
19 go to the front line, you said you went to Sid. Were you received by
20 anyone there?
21 A. When we came the entire group of officers from the centre of
22 military educational institutions, we came to Sid and we were received by
23 the commander or the Chief of Staff, I can't recall precisely, of the 1st
24 Guards Motorised Division. He told us that we are to be sent to a unit
25 which refused to carry out its task and that they were simply disbanded,
1 the unit fell apart literally.
2 Q. You've described your presence in the hangar in detail on both
3 occasions, and you explained what you did there. You also explained what
4 (redacted) soldiers were doing, what the 80th Kragujevac Brigade was doing,
5 what the military policemen were doing. My question will be quite specific.
6 During the time before the last (redacted) soldiers withdrew from the hangar,
7 were they -- were any groups taken away to be executed? Then whether
8 anyone was executed either inside or just in front of the hangar?
9 A. I have no such information. Those soldiers that were lent to
10 Vojnovic (redacted)
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we move into
4 private session, please?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 7874-7878 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. I'm attorney Novak Lukic
7 on behalf of Veselin Sljivancanin's defence. I will be putting questions
8 to you which will mostly pertain to facts. That's what I'm mostly
9 interested in. We will not delve into many theoretical questions. Thus
10 we will need to be in private session for quite a large portion of time.
11 However, initially, we can start off with some general questions to which
12 I hope to receive relevant answers from you.
13 In your view, or perhaps you know the accurate figure in view of
14 the information you might have had, how far is Ovcara from Negoslavci, the
15 Ovcara compound?
16 A. I believe about six kilometres.
17 Q. Were you perhaps ever in the Vukovar barracks during that period
18 of time? I am interested in knowing how far specifically the barracks is
19 from Ovcara.
20 A. I couldn't say. I visited the Vukovar barracks only after the
21 18th or rather the 20th -- no, I'm sorry, the 22nd of November, 1991.
22 Q. We're in open session, so you needn't go into such details. Is
23 there any populated settlement between Negoslavci and Ovcara, or are these
24 mostly uninhabited, rural areas?
25 A. These are mostly uninhabited areas, as far as I am aware.
1 Q. Did you know that at that time the decision of the Ministry of
2 Defence of the Republic of Serbia, which was in existence at the time
3 prescribed that reservists could stay at the front for up to 45 days.
4 Were you aware of such a decision?
5 A. Yes, I was aware.
6 Q. In examination-in-chief you said that it was relatively hard to
7 implement mobilisation during that period what can you tell us about what
8 you knew to make you conclude that mobilisations at that time were rather
9 unsuccessful? Shall we go into private session? Yes, let's go into
10 private session. I was hoping to get a general answer, but if you wish we
11 can go into private session.
12 A. I don't think I know much about such general issues but there are
13 some things that I was aware of. (redacted)
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will go to private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 7881-7920 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, we are now back in open session. I
23 understand you want to put some submissions to me in the absence of the
25 MR. MOORE: I would seek the Court's guidance in relation to one
1 matter --
2 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
3 MR. MOORE: -- in the absence of the witness.
4 JUDGE PARKER: We will arrange now for the witness to leave the
5 courtroom for a temporary time. It will be necessary for the shutters to
6 close and then open again.
7 MR. MOORE: And then I would ask to go into private session, if I
8 may, please.
9 JUDGE PARKER: If you wouldn't mind leaving the court with the
10 court officer now, it should not be long, I understand. Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Moore, the submissions you want to put,
14 are they able to be heard in public session?
15 MR. MOORE: Regrettably not.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. Private session.
17 THE REGISTRAR: One second, sir.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 7923-7924 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
16 MR. MOORE: I do, my lord, yes
17 WITNESS: Witness P-014 [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Re-examination by Mr. Moore:
20 Q. Witness, may I just clarify one or two matters, please. On one
21 occasion you were asked by Mr. Vasic on behalf of Mr. Mrksic about various
22 reports, intelligence reports and security information that you should or
23 should not receive when you are at (redacted). If we deal with the
24 period when (redacted), to whom did you receive the
25 intelligence reports and security information from? (redacted)
5 Q. Might I make application that we go into private session, please?
6 For the remaining questions.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Pages 7927-7941 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
18 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know how long the submission
21 of Ms. Tuma will take, but I just wanted to indicate that we have a brief
22 housekeeping matter to raise concerning the proceedings. So I just wanted
23 to have -- to tell you this.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Tuma, we have 12 minutes remaining, of which
25 sometime is needed for housekeeping. Does this mean that your last
1 starring performance is going to be cut short?
2 MS. TUMA: I don't mind that, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Do you think you can leave it in the hands of
5 MS. TUMA: Absolutely. It depends actually on the Defence,
6 because the Defence has concerning this -- it's one document that the next
7 witness is -- had been recalled by the Defence. So it's more or less up
8 to the Defence, because I don't know how long time they would need in
9 order to further cross-examine that witness. For my part, there is not so
10 many questions, actually.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Mr. Lukic, casting your eye around your
12 colleagues, can you say whether there will be any questions? Because if
13 there will, I think it's inevitable that we will have to go over to next
15 Mr. Vasic is being volunteered.
16 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will take
17 up this task to reply to this question. As for my cross-examination of
18 the next witness, I think it will take up to five minutes. I have just
19 very few questions.
20 JUDGE PARKER: If we allow five minutes there, five minutes to
21 bring the witness in, and then Ms. Tuma, we're already out of time for the
22 other matters that need to be raised because we're now down to 10 minutes.
23 So, I'm sorry, Ms. Tuma, my concern is though for the witness. It
24 will appear that she will need to remain here over a long weekend.
25 MS. TUMA: Yes, that is correct, Your Honour. She can remain
2 JUDGE PARKER: She can, can she?
3 MS. TUMA: Yeah. I've asked her and she is available and she can
4 stand -- take the stand on Tuesday morning.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If you would convey to her our apologises for the
6 delay, but it's just not possible to fit in her evidence today.
7 MS. TUMA: I will Your Honour.
8 JUDGE PARKER: The second issue is a matter of the 92 bis and it
9 also seems to me to be something that is likely, even if there was no
10 opposition, to take longer than the nine and a half minutes remaining.
11 MS. TUMA: Perhaps ten minutes. I would say it is better to take
12 that on Tuesday as well.
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure Mr. Moore, in time, will come to agree
14 with you.
15 MS. TUMA: I do hope so.
16 JUDGE PARKER: May we, before you are asked to sit, indicate to
17 you our good wishes for your new step in your legal career, and we hope
18 that you find it rewarding.
19 MS. TUMA: Thank you so much, Your Honour. I really appreciate
20 that you mention this, and I will hopefully do it with honour, as it is my
21 intent to do that. So I will start at the war crimes chamber in Sarajevo
22 on the 1st of June.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MS. TUMA: So -- but I was whispering -- whispering here that I
25 will back here on Tuesday. A final.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, and than you for that.
2 And we will now turn to housekeeping.
3 Is it Mr. Lukic?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will now speak on
5 behalf of the Defence of Veselin Sljivancanin, but let me say once again
6 that I do not have instructions from my client in relation to this, to the
7 contrary, his instructions are opposite of what I want to say, but I think
8 that I'm speaking in the interest of his defence. This has to do with the
9 decision to hold all-day trials, which is supposed to take place in May,
10 both in the morning and in the afternoon. Let me state to you clearly
11 that Mr. Sljivancanin is in -- supports this all-day schedule. I have,
12 however, to inform you of something else, and I hope that Mr. Moore will
13 confirm that I am right in saying this. All of the witnesses scheduled to
14 come next are military witnesses, including military experts. These
15 witnesses, as you were able to see with this witness, have a large number
16 of various statements, records, evidence given in other trials. So all of
17 this needs to be studied carefully and thoroughly. We have done a lot of
18 it. What is important for us right now, more important than ever so far,
19 are instructions from our clients precisely because of the profile of
20 these witnesses.
21 So far the witnesses that came here did not require us to
22 constantly be in contact with our clients and receive instructions from
23 them. But now, in view of the upcoming witnesses, we need to be in close
24 contact with our clients, and it is because of that that I have concerns
25 that this new schedule will be a hindrance in that sense. It will not
1 facilitate us to have effective cross-examination. If we are only to
2 contact our clients during the one-hour break, lunch break, and all of us
3 need a break anyway, means that after we conclude trial at 4.30 in the
4 afternoon, it will be impossible for us to go to the Detention Unit to see
5 our clients and consult with them.
6 We can be, under special circumstances, allowed to go to the
7 detention unit after 4.30 in the afternoon, but you realise yourself just
8 what a burden it would be for us to go there that late in order to consult
9 them. So I wanted to inform you of this, as a Defence counsel, I feel it
10 is my duty to inform you that such a new schedule, in view of the upcoming
11 witnesses who are very technical, is going to be a significant burden for
12 us. My instructions from my client were contrary to what I just told you,
13 but I had to express the concern that I have that the nature of evidence
14 that is scheduled for May is such that in view of the new schedule, it
15 will be very difficult for us to consult our clients.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would like
18 to take this opportunity to add something to what my learned friend said.
19 I think that his concern is identical to that of the team of Mr. Mrksic's
20 defence. Especially when taking into account that the schedule is
21 supposed to take place throughout May. This will be an extra effort for
22 our clients, for everybody in the courtroom, including the Trial Chamber.
23 However, in addition to what Mr. Lukic said, I think that there is another
24 reason for concern with this new schedule. Namely the accused, after
25 trial concludes at 4.30, will not arrive in the Detention Unit until 5.30
1 or perhaps even 6.00, given how busy it is at the Detention Unit, and how
2 busy their schedule is. I was informed that the schedule for walk at the
3 Detention Unit is such that the accused will be unable to have their walk
4 for the next month because they will arrive at the Detention Unit too
5 late. In addition to that, they will not have opportunity to exercise
6 because once they arrive back at the Detention Unit they will have less
7 than two hours, or perhaps just a bit more than two hours before they lock
8 them up for the night in their cells. That probably would not have been a
9 major concern if this new schedule were to be in place for just a week or
10 so. But a whole month of this schedule will mean that our clients will
11 have their rhythm disrupted, and that can affect their health. Because
12 one month is quite a long period of time. Therefore, I fully support the
13 submission given by Mr. Lukic and I am informing you about this. Thank
14 you very much.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This is
17 the first time that I fail to support my colleagues, whom I normally
18 support in their submissions. I believe that my client has spent too long
19 a time in Detention Unit, and therefore I would urge you to press on, to
20 have the trial concluded as quickly as possible, so that all of these
21 difficulties come to an end as soon as possible, the difficulties
22 mentioned by my colleagues. Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, gentlemen.
24 It needs to be appreciated that the Tribunal is normally forced to
25 sit abnormal hours. That is, a morning session or an afternoon session.
1 Starting earlier than a normal court in the morning, and finishing much
2 later than a normal court in the afternoon because we have only three
3 courtrooms and we need to have six trials running. And every week that
4 goes by when we don't utilise that capacity means that not only does an
5 existing trial run longer, but that other accused, most of whom are in
6 custody, wait longer in custody before their trials can be heard.
7 Therefore, whenever there is an opportunity to adjust to normal sitting
8 hours, which happens occasionally in between other cases, we do so, so
9 that we can, in fact, sit what would be a fairly normal court sitting day,
10 which is an hour of hearing longer than we can fit in, if we're having two
11 hearings a day. That way, effectively, getting six days into five days,
12 and so shortening the length of the trial. And this has been the practice
13 that has been followed by this Chamber in previous trials whenever the
14 opportunity has arisen.
15 We are always conscious of the need to obtain instructions from
16 clients, but it would be somewhat surprising if it were not possible if
17 some unexpected matter had arisen in the course of a day's evidence, that
18 even a few minutes at the lunch break or a few minutes at the end of the
19 day, or a few minutes the next morning here rather than at the detention
20 centre, would not be sufficient to enable this new matter to be focused on
21 and instructions obtained.
22 You will see that next week, Wednesday afternoon has had to be
23 freed because the Appeals Chamber needs to sit that day, so they need the
24 courtroom in the afternoon. What we might do is to make some small
25 adjustment to hours and to the timetable, and see whether the matter can
1 proceed in practice with reasonably efficiency. And we're also conscious,
2 of course, that not only are there concerns of the Defence, but the
3 Prosecution must proof witnesses and so forth, and we are well aware of
4 those matters.
5 On Friday of next week what we might do, and here we're also
6 conscious that there are those people not only in the courtroom but
7 supporting the courtroom whose hours are governed by the time we sit who
8 can be disadvantaged by an inability to travel. So we might, on the
9 Friday, sit a normal morning, 9.00 in the morning to 1.45. That would
10 next week leave you with Wednesday afternoon and Friday afternoon free, as
11 on the ordinary programme. And if, unless something dramatic happens, we
12 might achieve something like that in the weeks following by, say, starting
13 later on the Monday, so that there is a morning freed up, finishing
14 earlier on the Friday at the 1.45 time, so that there is an afternoon
15 freed up, and see whether, by adjustments such as that, it proves more
16 practical. It means we will not gain the full time advantage for which we
17 had hoped, but it will nevertheless be a significant assistance in trying
18 to ensure that this case finishes as soon as it properly can, which is in
19 the interests of all people.
20 So, with you reminded that on Wednesday of next week it will be a
21 normal morning session, 0900 to 1.45, and with an adjustment to allow you
22 to sit a normal morning session on the Friday, and with a Monday holiday,
23 I would hope we will survive the ordeal of this major adjustment to life
24 for the first week at least. And we will then see whether there can be
25 life under this new ordeal. There are three judges who are affected by
1 all of this as well, but somehow or other we have to manage.
2 If that proves satisfactory, then we, the following week, would
3 try the later start on the Monday and the 1.45 finish on the Friday, which
4 will meet the concerns of another number of other people as well. And to
5 see whether, by those means, it proves satisfactory. You will realise
6 that this is a limited opportunity, shortly other cases will come on
7 stream, and we will lose the opportunity to have the morning and afternoon
8 use of the courtroom, and have to go back to having one or other, which
9 will slow us down to a normal pace.
10 So I hope those adjustments may prove sufficient, and I hope it
11 will enable all the difficulties that have been raised to somehow or other
12 be coped with.
13 So we will adjourn now until 9.30 on Monday morning. I will get
14 softer again. Tuesday morning.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.54 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of May,
17 2006, at 9.30 a.m.