Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10777

1 Tuesday, 20 June 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. If I could remained you,

7 Mr. Theunens, of the affirmation you made at the beginning of your

8 evidence, which still applies.

9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.


12 Cross-examination by Mr. Vasic: [Continued]

13 Q. Thank you. Good morning Your Honours, good morning everyone.

14 Good morning, Mr. Theunens. I would like to ask you something.

15 In view of the time limit, would you please, whenever possible, give me a

16 yes or no answers, and if you think there is a need to explain something,

17 then please do.

18 Yesterday we spoke about documents that are kept in war units, and

19 if I were to tell you that the operations diary or operations log that we

20 mentioned yesterday is a document where a daily recording is made of all

21 activities, reporting and everything that's going on in the unit, would

22 you agree with me?

23 A. Your Honours, the question mentions war units. Now, what I get

24 from the JNA regulations, and I refer to Exhibit 397, which is the JNA

25 battalion manual from 1988, it's actually the war diary that contains such

Page 10778

1 information. And an operations diary will contain information that is

2 related -- if it is important that is related to non-war, or

3 non-combat activities.

4 Q. Yesterday we -- or, rather, here we heard some other testimony,

5 but that's fine, we will accept this as your opinion.

6 When drafting your report, you asked that operations log and other

7 documents of the units that you were analysing be provided to you,

8 especially the log of the guards brigade; is that correct?

9 A. Your Honours, I want to come back to the first part of the

10 question because it says we will accept it as your opinion. I can read

11 out from the quotation of the battalion manual where it says that: "The

12 war log-book or war diary is kept every day throughout the war. All

13 events or other important information are entered into it

14 chronologically."

15 I will not read out from the rest of that paragraph, but it is,

16 for your information, paragraph 114 of Exhibit 397.

17 Now, we did request the operations log of the guards brigade from

18 Serbia and Montenegro, but we haven't received it yet, and if you wish so,

19 I can give you the references and the dates of that request.

20 Q. Mr. Theunens, we're really using up a lot of time in our answers.

21 Did I understand you well that you said that in the battalion manual it is

22 prescribed how a war log-book is kept? Did I understand you well?

23 A. In the battalion manual it is mentioned that -- it is mentioned

24 what a war log-book or what a war diary is, but there is no -- I haven't

25 seen a template for how the war diary should be arranged. I think I have

Page 10779

1 seen such a template in the brigade manual, the 1984 brigade manual, which

2 is Exhibit 395.

3 Q. Mr. Theunens, if I were to tell you that a war diary or war

4 log-book was never kept at the level of a battalion, but rather at the

5 level of larger units, such as corps and brigade -- or, rather, regiment

6 and brigade, what would you say to that?

7 A. Actually, I have the similar entry in my report that war

8 log-books are diaries. All diaries are kept at all units/command levels

9 above the battalion level, and this is on page 60 of the English version

10 of my report, part 1. But the quotation I made comes from the JNA

11 battalion manual from 1984, paragraph 114, and this is known in this trial

12 as Exhibit 394.

13 Q. Now let us go back to the documents that you sought in order to

14 write your expert report. These documents were not provided to you -- or,

15 rather, you did not receive a number of documents that you believed to be

16 relevant for your expert report, those pertaining to the Operations Group

17 South.

18 A. Your Honours, we received a first batch of documents, I think at

19 the end of 2002 or early 2003, which consist of 47 documents. Most of

20 them were orders and reports by Operations Group South, as well as the

21 1st Military District. Those were very helpful documents. Among them

22 was, for example, the resubordination order from OG South. If I'm not

23 wrong, it's the order 446-1 from the 21st of November, 6.00 in the

24 morning, which is the Exhibit 420 in this case.

25 Now, it was obvious that some documents were lacking, and again

Page 10780

1 I've prepared an overview of RFAs, request for assistance, where the

2 replies are incomplete or non-existent, and only for the RFAs I drafted

3 between December 2002 and May 2006 we come to a number of 40, where no

4 replies were given, or the reply was given that the documents do not

5 exist, even though in some cases they have been used by the Defence with

6 military witnesses, or were mentioned by military witnesses during

7 interviews. And in some cases we received only partial replies.

8 Obviously there are, in addition to these 40 requests, there are other

9 requests where we did receive a satisfactory reply to -- yeah, to our

10 requests.

11 Q. Mr. Theunens, you explained that to us yesterday and you are

12 repeating that again today, and I think that we, on account of that, will

13 run into a problem with time.

14 My next question: Do you believe that your expert report is

15 actually incomplete, given that you did not receive these documents from

16 the Ministry of Defence, especially the portion pertaining to the

17 activities of the Operations Group South?

18 A. Your Honours, I believe that the documents I did have access to,

19 documents from OG South and the 1st Military District, allow me or have

20 allowed me to provide an accurate picture of the activities and in

21 particular the command and control situation within OG South during the

22 time period that is relevant for this case.

23 Q. On page 6 of your expert report, page 6 both in the B/C/S and

24 English version, paragraph 10, you say that operations and tactical groups

25 may be established during operations in order to facilitate command and

Page 10781

1 control. My question is: Are these groups established in circumstances

2 when establishment units are not fit to carry out certain tasks and

3 assignments?

4 A. Your Honours, in part 2 of the report, section 2, on the pages 53

5 and until 55 for the English version, I give an overview for operational

6 groups and tactical groups that were established in other parts of Croatia

7 during the operations there. And my understanding, or my -- from these

8 orders is that operational groups and tactical groups, and in the case of

9 OG South, assault detachments and assault groups, were established to

10 maintain single command and control, or single authority, I should say, as

11 well as unified command and control. Because we see that these

12 operational groups consist of JNA units, units of the Territorial Defence

13 of Serbia, in a number of cases units which could be called local Serb TO

14 units as well as volunteers and even paramilitaries, and because of the

15 wide diversity in the origin of these units, some of them have never

16 worked together prior to these combat operations, a requirement was felt

17 by the commanders, and in most cases they're corps commanders or military

18 district commanders, to establish operational groups and lower-level

19 ad hoc units like tactical groups, assault detachments and assault groups.

20 And I just want to add when I use the expression "paramilitaries,"

21 I mean it in the sense of forces which are -- when reviewing the legal

22 framework could be considered illegal. So armed formations which are not

23 under the strict control from their origin by the authorities which are

24 allowed to operate and to carry weapons and to participate in military

25 operations.

Page 10782

1 Q. Mr. Theunens, you have explained that in your expert report.

2 Yesterday you gave a very brief, condensed answers to the questions put by

3 my learned friend. I ask that you do the same in relation to my

4 questions. We have very little time remaining.

5 Tell me, please, if I were to tell you that an operations group is

6 established by the military district command, and according to the rules

7 it should have under it at least a unit at the level of the land forces

8 corps, which means that it could be reinforced by one or more brigades.

9 Would you agree with me?

10 A. That could be -- that could be one of the possibilities, Your

11 Honour. The examples I have quoted from indeed show that operational

12 groups are established by military districts. And on page 54 I speak of

13 Operational Group 3, which was established by the 5th Military District.

14 Now, where the subordinate units are concerned that varies of the

15 operational group. I cannot give a categorical answer to that question.

16 Q. If an operations group is established, would there be a special

17 command for that operations group, would that be established as well, or

18 would the corps command be reinforced by a number of staff officers who

19 would then exercise command over that unit?

20 A. Your Honours, the examples I studied, and in particular OG South,

21 show that in relation to Operations Group South there was already an

22 Operations Group South prior to the arrival of the Guards Motorised

23 Brigade, but quite soon and according to the war diary, which is -- the

24 war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade, it's the command, i.e., the

25 staff and the other officers in the command of the Guards Motorised

Page 10783

1 Brigade who take over the command of OG South, and the commander of the

2 Guards Motorised Brigade becomes the commander of OG South, replacing the

3 previous commander, Bajo Bojat.

4 Q. The previous Operations Group South, before the arrival of the

5 guards brigade, and after it arrived in the first eight days, did it have

6 a special command, a special command established by the military district

7 command, headed by Bajo Bojat?

8 A. Your Honours, indeed, like any other unit, Operational Group South

9 had a command. I -- based on the information I had access to, I'm not

10 able to establish who created that command of OG South and where these

11 officers who operated or were part of the command of OG South prior to the

12 arrival of the Guards Motorised Brigade in the Vukovar area originated

13 from.

14 Q. If I were to tell you that based on the military rules it wasn't

15 possible to establish an operational group at the level of the brigade,

16 and especially that it wasn't possible for a brigade command to grow into

17 the command of the Operations Group South command because it simply didn't

18 have enough personnel and wasn't qualified enough to exercise command,

19 what would you say to that?

20 A. I think I can -- I can provide three elements of reply to that

21 question, Your Honours.

22 First of all, I think General Zivota Panic, who unfortunately died

23 I think two years ago, was the commander of the 1st Military District and

24 who, according to open-source material I reviewed, established Operational

25 Group South, while it was his judgement as a commander to -- and his

Page 10784

1 decision to establish Operations Group South and to have the Guards

2 Motorised Brigade take over the command of Operational Group South.

3 A second element is that based on my review of JNA documentation,

4 the Guards Motorised Brigade was not just a motorised brigade. It was a

5 very strong brigade. For example, it had two military police battalions,

6 it had the best manpower, it had the most modern equipment. I quote from

7 Narodna Armija article in my report, where mention is made of M-84 tanks

8 in the armoured battalion of the Guards Motorised Brigade.

9 Now, the third element or final element I would like to mention,

10 from the documents I reviewed, which are also included in my report, we

11 see that the command of the guards brigade and its staff was --

12 Q. Mr. Theunens, what do tanks have to do with the command? Please

13 focus on the question or else we will be wasting a lot of time. I asked

14 you about the command of the operational group and the rules regulating

15 how an operational group is established.

16 A. Your Honours, I think Mr. Vasic would understand that the

17 composition of a unit will be reflected in the command and vice versa. If

18 you have a large high-quality unit, I mean high-quality by its personnel

19 and by its equipment, then that will obviously also be reflected in the

20 nature of the command of that unit on whatever level we're talking about,

21 whether it's a brigade or a corps or another unit. So that's why I

22 thought it was useful to mention that.

23 The third element I wanted to provide was that additional officers

24 were sent to the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade already prior to

25 the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade taking over the role as

Page 10785

1 commander of OG South, and I think of Colonel Pavkovic, and there was also

2 I think Colonel Tesic, but I'm not hundred per cent sure of the last name.

3 It's mentioned in my report.

4 Q. Please tell me, would you agree with me that what you write in

5 your expert report and what you call an OG South in your report is

6 actually a temporary formations which has all the features of a tactical

7 unit, not an operational one.

8 A. Your Honours, I wish to emphasise it's not me who came up with the

9 name Operational Group South. I think from the documents that have

10 already been exhibited in this case prior to my testimony it is, for

11 example, visible that Colonel Mrksic signs the orders he issues as the

12 commander of OG South. He still does that on the 23rd of November in the

13 Exhibit 426, which is a report 500-1 to the 1st Military District.

14 Now, it could be discussed whether it's an operational level unit

15 or a tactical level unit or a tactical/operational, but based on my

16 understanding of JNA doctrine or SFRY armed forces doctrine that applies

17 to command and control, its functions and principles, that distinction it

18 not relevant. So distinction whether it's tactical, operational or

19 strategic is not relevant in this context.

20 Q. Would you agree with me that when an Operations Group South, its

21 commander only has temporary command of it, which was transferred to him

22 by the commander establishing an operations group [as interpreted]?

23 A. Indeed, Your Honours. But as I said, that doesn't change anything

24 to his -- his -- his duties or his role as a commander. Nor his command

25 and control functions.

Page 10786

1 Q. So the order of the superior command establishing an operations

2 group should give a certain scope of command competences and authorities

3 to the commander; is that correct?

4 A. That may be a possibility, Your Honours.

5 Now, I wish to mention that on the 5th of August, 2005 we

6 requested from Serbia and Montenegro all orders by the SSNO or the

7 1st Military District to appoint Colonel Mrksic as commander of the guards

8 brigade, to appoint him to the position of command of Operational Group

9 South, and obviously such an order would have included information on the

10 powers of Colonel Mrksic. Now, we have received a reply on the 15th of

11 November, 2005 whereby the competent authorities of Serbia and Montenegro

12 informed us that they still need to reply to the RFA. On the 3rd of

13 November, 2005, we received a similar reply, and on today we have not

14 received such an order.

15 Coming back now to the documentation that was available to me, and

16 I mean by this orders signed or issued by Colonel Mrksic between 8th of

17 October and the 23rd of November, as well as reports he sent to his

18 superiors, I don't have the impression that there were any --

19 Q. Mr. Theunens --

20 A. -- to his command powers during the time period he was commander

21 of OG South.

22 Q. Mr. Theunens, I kindly ask that you focus on my questions. My

23 question was what is contained in the order establishing an operations

24 group. I didn't ask you anything further than that.

25 A. Your Honours, I don't think it would be helpful to give a

Page 10787

1 hypothetical answer on what should be or could be included in such an

2 order. I tried to provide an answer that actually is related to the

3 issues we are discussing here.

4 Q. Can you tell us what were the objectives and tasks of the

5 Operations Group South as a temporary combat formation, and could that

6 only be learned from the order establishing it?

7 A. Your Honours, because we don't have the order for the

8 establishment of Operations Group South, I cannot testify as to what is

9 included in that order.

10 Now, in my report in the second part on page 61, on the top of the

11 page there is a description, the importance of Vukovar, which is based on

12 an interview with General Zivota Panic.

13 Q. The importance of Vukovar is just that; the importance of Vukovar.

14 I asked you about objectives and tasks. But, all right. Tell me, please,

15 based on the rules, is an operations group supposed to be disbanded after

16 a task is accomplished?

17 A. Your Honours, I forgot to add one element, and I will be short.

18 But obviously each order for operations of the operational group or

19 subunits of the operational group will include taskings, and from that it

20 will be obvious what the subordinate units have to do.

21 To answer this question, yes, indeed, an operational group should

22 be disbanded, but that's the prerogative of the commander who established

23 the Operational Group South. And from the documentation I reviewed, I

24 mentioned the exhibit from -- the document from the 23rd of November. The

25 Operational Group South still existed on the 23rd of November, 1991. And

Page 10788

1 it was Exhibit 426, I apologise.

2 Q. Did you see the order on disbanding of the OG South, and does it

3 exist?

4 A. I haven't seen it, Your Honours. But if the commander of

5 Operational Group South on the 23rd of November still sign as report

6 with -- under his name, his official assignment, i.e., the commander of

7 Operational Group South, it is obvious that the Operational Group South

8 still existed on the 23rd of November, 1991. Otherwise he would have

9 signed as commander, Guards Motorised Brigade, in this case, or with

10 another title.

11 Q. In your expert report you said that large combat operations are

12 very complex and require detailed planning and taking into account factors

13 at every level of command, and that this becomes ever more complex at

14 every level. Could it then be said that the decision of the commander of

15 the 1st Military District to include the guards brigade into the

16 Operations Group South without reinforcing it jeopardised the mission of

17 that brigade and brought it into situation where it was not fit to

18 effectively carry out the assignment?

19 A. Based on public statements General Panic made, for example, his

20 interview for the BBC series "Death of Yugoslavia" after the events, it

21 appears -- or the message he is sending is actually that the guards

22 brigade was sent because it was such a high-quality unit, whereas the

23 other units that had been sent to the area were incapable of accomplishing

24 the mission, which, according to Zivota Panic, consisted of, I

25 quote, "Liberating Vukovar."

Page 10789

1 Now, from the personal records of General Mrksic we discussed

2 briefly yesterday, there was an entry on the -- on the way how he

3 accomplished his duties as commander of OG South, and I think it was a

4 very positive assessment he received there.

5 I haven't come across any document where General Mrksic or

6 somebody else in OG South or in the 1st Military District indicates that

7 the Guards Motorised Brigade or -- I mean its units or the command or

8 General Mrksic is incapable of accomplishing the mission. Or has

9 difficulties to accomplish that mission.

10 Q. In your report you spoke about the TO. Will you agree with me

11 that TO staffs are never resubordinated, only TO units are. Upon

12 completing their mission, they're back under the command of TO staffs, as

13 rule, aren't they? I'm just asking your opinion on that. Resubordinating

14 TO staffs.

15 A. Your Honours, I mean the doctrine is discussed in part 1. In the

16 second part I talk about resubordination of TO units. But I think it's

17 very important to highlight, and I've tried to do that in the report, that

18 the units which are described as TO and which were operating under the

19 command of OG South, and I mean by this in particular Petrova Gora and

20 Leva Supoderica, are not the unit -- are not TO units as they were

21 initially conceived in the doctrine of All People's Defence.

22 Q. Mr. Theunens, I asked you about the resubordination of TO staffs.

23 Is it possible to have a TO staff resubordinated at all? Yes or no,

24 please.

25 A. I cannot give a yes or no answer to that question.

Page 10790

1 Q. What sort of an answer could you possibly provide then?

2 A. I mean I would -- I would direct your attention to the first part

3 of the report, starting on page 92 where there is -- it's in the part

4 number 5, where I discuss the organisation of the TO as it actually was

5 prior to 1991, its structure. The command and control issues in relation

6 to TO are discussed on --

7 Q. My apologies, my sincere apologies, Mr. Theunens. I simply asked

8 you about TO staffs. I didn't ask you about command and control at the

9 republican level or at the local level or at any level at all. My only

10 question to you is: Can TO staffs be resubordinated? Do you know that,

11 do you not know that? Yes, no, can you answer? Can you not answer?

12 Let's try not to waste any more time, please.

13 A. No, but I mean I -- I would like to help you or to assist you, but

14 it would helpful for me if you would clarify whether we are talking about

15 the TO or the units known as TO that were operating in Vukovar in October,

16 November 1991, and even prior to that; or are we talking to the

17 Territorial Defence as it existed in each of the republics and the

18 autonomous provinces prior to the outbreak of the conflict in Croatia.

19 Q. That's fine, Mr. Theunens. I think we should move on, because our

20 time is slowly running out.

21 On page 119 of the B/C/S of your report, and I believe the English

22 page is 110, you quote an order by the commander of OG South ordering the

23 establishment of command posts pursuant to an order of the 1st Military

24 District. The exhibit number is 374. Were local commanders then ordered

25 to follow the relevant rules for garrisons and barracks in carrying out

Page 10791

1 this order?

2 A. Indeed. I just wish to make a correction to the -- to the

3 transcript. It says on the line 10:04:43, "ordering the establishment of

4 command posts." "Komanda mesta" in B/C/S in this context means -- I think

5 should be translated as "town commands" into English, which is a

6 significantly different thing from a command post. And the answer is yes

7 to the question of Mr. Vasic.

8 Q. Mr. Theunens, this is not about town commands. I'm talking about

9 local commands, local-level commands. In the B/C/S that is perfectly

10 clear. That is what I'm asking you about.

11 Sir, is not one of the duties of a local commander to ensure order

12 and discipline at that particular command and in those particular units,

13 as well as to inform the leaders or commanders of any units passing

14 through the area under his command?

15 A. Your Honours, ensuring order and discipline at a command is a task

16 for any commander. Ensuring order and discipline in units is actually one

17 of the duties of an operational commander. I mean by operational

18 commander a unit commander from the highest level to the lowest level.

19 And inform the leaders or commanders of any units passing through the area

20 under his command, I don't understand what you mean by this. Because how

21 can the town commander inform them? I would see it in a different way, in

22 the opposite way. Excuse me.

23 Q. Mr. Theunens, you are a military expert. I'm asking you about the

24 duties concerning the rules relating to the garrisons and barracks. This

25 is Article 83 of the rules. We're talking about an entire area of

Page 10792

1 activity of a command whereby the command tries to maintain discipline,

2 lay down the rules for -- for its area, and also tries to inform any units

3 that happen to be passing through its area of these rules that obtain.

4 How about that?

5 A. I mean, I have answered the question. Now, if we talk about this

6 Exhibit 374, it also mentions -- it talks about actually town commanders.

7 Because in the fourth paragraph, Mrksic says, "I appoint as commanders for

8 Vukovar town the commanders of the assault detachments for the part of the

9 town within their operation zone."

10 And I wish to add at the end it says: "Prevent any ill treatment

11 of the population and local inhabitants and unauthorised entry and

12 searches of apartments and houses."

13 That goes much further than the duties of a garrison commander.

14 Q. Thank you. Under the rules for garrison and barracks, does a

15 commander not also have the duty to ensure discipline and order also in

16 all detention units in his area? Isn't this something that Article 3 of

17 the rules on the armed -- 83 on the rules of the armed forces also

18 envisages?

19 A. Your Honours, it's difficult for me to answer the question because

20 I don't have the rules of the armed forces or the document described here

21 as the rules of the armed forces in front of me.

22 Do you mean by this that the 1984 law on the service in the armed

23 forces or another document? 1985, sorry, 1985 law on the service in the

24 armed forces or another document?

25 Q. I mean the rules governing the work of the armed forces,

Page 10793

1 regulating what goes on in the garrisons and barracks and the service in

2 garrisons and barracks. That's what I had in mind. But we could as well

3 move on.

4 Would you agree with me that the commander of OG South, in his

5 regular combat report, highly confidential 431, the date is the 19th of

6 November, 1991, and the number is 419. In another confidential order, the

7 number is 349-1, appointed commanders of Grabovo, and then on the 17th of

8 November appointed another commander?

9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: On account of the extreme

10 speed at which the names were read out, the interpreters did not catch the

11 names. Thank you.

12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

13 Q. I said that pursuant to this order Slobodan Misovic was appointed

14 local or town commander. When he left the area of responsibility on the

15 17th of November, 1991, the person appointed was Lieutenant-Colonel

16 Milorad Vojnovic?

17 A. Yes, Your Honours, I remember that order.

18 Q. Will you agree with me that Lieutenant-Colonel Milorad Vojnovic,

19 as the commander of Jakubovac, Ovcara and Grabovo had the same

20 responsibilities as all the other local commanders there?

21 A. Your Honours, he would have the same -- Vojnovic would have the

22 same responsibilities as all the other town commanders or locality

23 commanders, based on the order that Mrksic -- or that the person

24 appointing him had issued.

25 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic, in his order, highly

Page 10794

1 confidential 32-1 of the 19th of November, introduced his authority as --

2 or, rather, transferred his authority as the local commander of Ovcara to

3 a captain whose name we are now unable to mention, but you know who this

4 person is because there is a reference to this person in your own report.

5 A. Your Honours, I am familiar with this order by Colonel Vojnovic,

6 and I am also familiar with the fact that the unit of that captain was --

7 had been subordinated to the Guards Motorised Brigade at a much earlier

8 stage and it is actually referred in the war diary of the Guards Motorised

9 Brigade. But I am unable to -- I mean, without seeing the war diary to

10 mention -- to give you the exact date. I think it's on the 5th of

11 October -- or the 5th of November, I'm not sure.

12 Q. We may come back to this later on, if there is time. I will show

13 you a report dated the 16th of November, based on which you can see that

14 this unit is a member of the 80th Brigade at the time, but we will be back

15 to that in due time.

16 Can you agree with me that the commander of OG South in his order

17 439-1 dated the 20th of November, 1991, which is Exhibit number 419, again

18 warned the local commanders in the zone of operations of OG South to take

19 all measures necessary to ensure the proper functioning of military

20 authorities in keeping with his previous order dated the 9th of November,

21 1991, underlining the need to prevent any harassment or mistreatment of

22 civilians or anyone who happens to be in the area of that particular local

23 command?

24 A. That is correct, Your Honours. Even without having the order in

25 front of me, it's -- it is discussed on the English page 112.

Page 10795

1 Now, as we mentioned yesterday, when discussing the functions of

2 command and control, issuing an order or giving an assignment which is the

3 same -- is one thing, verifying its implementation, i.e., control, is

4 another thing.

5 Q. What about this order, the order that we've referred to, 419-1,

6 dated the 20th of November? Did the commander of OG South not order an

7 evacuation of the sick and wounded from the Vukovar Hospital with no

8 reference to prisoners of war as a special category? The number is 439-1.

9 A. Yes, and it's Exhibit 419. And it says in the orders, so to the

10 subordinate units: "Simultaneously evacuate and transport civilians, the

11 wounded and the sick from the hospital in Vukovar."

12 And this is discussed on page 97 and 98 of the second part of the

13 report in English.

14 Q. Mr. Theunens, this is Exhibit 419, and Exhibit 419 says -- can one

15 conclude based on this that the commander of OG South ordered nothing in

16 relation to the prisoners of war who were in the Vukovar Hospital?

17 A. Is the question limited to this order or is it a general question?

18 Q. It's in relation to the order that we are talking about.

19 A. I just read out that Colonel Mrksic ordered to simultaneously

20 evacuate and transport civilians, wounded and sick from the hospital in

21 Vukovar.

22 Q. Thank you. In your report you mention the order, strictly

23 confidential 464-1, signed on the 21st of November, 1991 by the Chief of

24 Staff, Miodrag Panic - this is Exhibit 422 - invoking the order of the

25 1st Military District, 115-51, dated the 20th of November. Have you seen

Page 10796

1 the substance -- or the substance of this order of the 1st Military

2 District mentioned here is about?

3 A. You mean the order 115-151 of the 1st Military District dated 20th

4 of November?

5 Q. Yes.

6 A. I think it's among the orders we have requested earlier from

7 Serbia and Montenegro but didn't obtain. But it was in one of the

8 packages I think you prepared to cross-examine Prosecution witnesses,

9 military witnesses, who appeared here before me. I have read it, but I

10 don't recall what exactly is in it.

11 Q. Thank you. If I tell you that this is an information report and

12 not an order, would that jog your memory?

13 A. My understanding is that 115-151 is an order, and it's described

14 as such in Exhibit 422, i.e., the order 464-1 issued by Operational Group

15 South on the 20th -- on the 21st, excuse me, at 6.00 in the morning and

16 signed by Panic.

17 Q. Thank you. Will you agree with me that the Chief of Staff,

18 pursuant to instructions governing the work of commands and staffs signs

19 the order himself in the absence of the commander and that he then assumes

20 the role and position of the commander?

21 A. Your Honours, it is correct that the Chief of Staff is also the

22 Deputy Commander and can, for example, sign orders or order documents

23 during the absence of the commander. But I haven't been able to determine

24 whether the fact that a commander is absent removes his command

25 responsibility. Based on the -- on the JNA doctrinal documents that were

Page 10797

1 discussed yesterday --

2 Q. Mr. Theunens, I'm not talking about commander responsibility; I'm

3 talking about the function. When the commander is not there, does the

4 Chief of Staff not sign the orders, and does he, in fact, not in the

5 commander's absence stand in for that commander?

6 A. That is correct, Your Honours. But I just wanted to clarify

7 the -- whether the Deputy Commander or the Chief of Staff takes over all

8 the duties of the commander.

9 Q. Mr. Theunens, can we please have Exhibit 375 on our screens. This

10 is the war log of the 80th Brigade. Can we please show the entry dated

11 the 19th of November at 1800 hours.

12 Mr. Theunens, in this part of the war log of the 80th Brigade --

13 could we please zoom in a little on the lower part of the page. This is

14 the entry in relation to the 19th of November at 1800 hours.

15 Can we please show the English, since the witness is expected to

16 read what it says or agree with what I am about to read out to him.

17 Mr. Theunens, it says here that in the morning hours the Ustashas

18 who had been captured were taken to the Sremska Mitrovica prison. Combat

19 is underway in the hospital sector, where the remaining ZNG and MUP

20 members, about 200 of them, are expected to surrender.

21 The war log, the 19th of November, 1800 hours. An order has been

22 issued to be at the ready to organise the guarding of prisoners. Do you

23 believe that -- 19th of November, 1800 hours.

24 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, Your Honours. I don't know if there is a

25 technical problem. We're not receiving the document that they are

Page 10798

1 referring to. I don't know if the rest of the court is.

2 JUDGE PARKER: Nobody is yet receiving it. We are looking at the

3 wrong date. We've now moved to the 19th of November.

4 THE WITNESS: The screen shows the 10th of November.

5 JUDGE PARKER: We've now got the right date coming up.

6 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] We need the 19th, 1800 hours. That's

7 the entry we're after. That should be the one. Thank you.

8 Q. Do you perhaps believe that an order like this could have come

9 from the OG South command?

10 A. Your Honours, from this entry it's -- one can assume, one can make

11 an assumption that orders have been -- that an order has been issued, but

12 it is not necessarily the case. Because what I read here in English is

13 that -- I will not read the first one, but then: "And so it was arranged

14 to be prepared about the organising..." and then between slashes,

15 "security of the prisoners."

16 Now --

17 Q. Mr. Theunens, just a second. We've discussed this before this

18 Chamber already, and this is about an order. It's not about organising.

19 I think that much is clear, for the simple reason that the B/C/S version

20 happens to be the authoritative version of this particular text.

21 A. I mean, Mr. Vasic, yesterday yourself you raised the issue about

22 me being influenced by witness statements or other testimony, I try to

23 look at now this document based only on the document I have in front of me

24 and the other documents I have seen, I tried to be not influenced by what

25 other witness may have said or testified or not. I cannot draw from this

Page 10799

1 English translation which is in front of me --

2 Q. Mr. Theunens, I fully understand you, but you are looking at the

3 English. The English is a translation of the original B/C/S, and what it

4 reads is: "An order has been issued."

5 So this is not about evidence given by witnesses. The logic

6 inherent to the staff system of command, would it not point to the

7 conclusion that an order like this about future treatment of prisoners

8 issued by the command would indicate that the command has taken a

9 responsible attitude in terms of treating prisoners of war, a command that

10 issues an order like this, if indeed that was the command of OG South?

11 A. I mean, it would have been helpful to have a correct English

12 translation then. But in any event, if an order has been issued then such

13 an order had to be -- because of the principle of single authority had --

14 should have been issued by the commander of OG South to its subordinate

15 units.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, you have now overrun just on 10 minutes.

17 So we have to say that's the end.

18 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] We have four questions left, Your

19 Honours, that's all.

20 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... so many hours

21 in the day, Mr. Vasic, and if you take extra time, it means that in the

22 end Mr. Lukic misses out again. I just have to be even between people,

23 you see. If there's one question you see as very important, have that

24 one.

25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours.

Page 10800

1 It's something to do with the previous question, and I think that is very

2 important indeed.

3 Q. Do you believe that in keeping with this order dated the 19th of

4 November, 1800 hours, the one that we have now mentioned from the

5 log-book, Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic acted in the spirit of this, order.

6 This you mention on page 100 of the English and 108 of the B/C/S when

7 ordering that the shifts of guards be determined in order to guard the ZNG

8 and MUP members who had been captured and also enlisted the assistance of

9 the military police brigade and company of the 80th Brigade?

10 A. Your Honours, based on the entries that were read out now, it is

11 not possible for me to determine on which basis the brigade commander,

12 i.e., Vojnovic, requested rotation of officers.

13 Q. This is not rotation; these are guard shifts. But never mind.

14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have lots of questions

15 left for this witness, but unfortunately, in view of the constraints, I

16 will have to finish now. I hope that I can use the assistance of other

17 witnesses to clarify some issues which I have not been successful in

18 clarifying right now with this witness.

19 Thank you very much, Your Honours.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.

21 Mr. Borovic.

22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

23 Cross-examination by Mr. Borovic:

24 Q. Good morning, Witness. I am Borivoje Borovic, attorney-at-law,

25 Defence counsel for Miroslav Radic.

Page 10801

1 Yesterday in your evidence you said, or rather you quoted, among

2 other things, the book of General Kadijevic. You mentioned that he had

3 written that the goals of the JNA in Croatia were defined in a certain

4 way, namely, to protect and defend Serbs from Croats and to lift the siege

5 of barracks, for example, the one in Vukovar, right?

6 A. Your Honours, these -- the two objectives that Mr. Borovic just

7 read out are two of -- are only two of the objectives Kadijevic listed in

8 his book, and -- I mean, this is discussed on the pages 6 through 11 of my

9 report. Unless you want me to go in detail, I would just limit myself to

10 listing these pages, because Kadijevic also mentions other goals,

11 including the liberation of the Serbian territories.

12 Q. Thank you. My question is: Based on what did you conclude in

13 your report that the role of the army was reduced to reinforcing Serb or

14 Serbian control in the portions of areas in Croatia? Would you be so kind

15 and explain what you meant by that?

16 A. I based myself on what Kadijevic writes in his book, together with

17 contemporaneous, I mean by that statements from 1991, and documents from

18 1991 that were issued by Kadijevic and Adzic, which are discussed in that

19 particular section of the report. If you wish, I can quote from what

20 Kadijevic writes. He, for example, speaks about two phases in the

21 conflict, and maybe we can just limit ourselves to the second --

22 Q. Can I ask you something, Mr. Theunens. I accept this, but I'm

23 afraid that I will run out of time too.

24 My question is: Where did you find, in which interviews and

25 books, this claim, namely that the role of the army was reduced to

Page 10802

1 reinforcing Serbian control in Croatian territory? Do you differentiate

2 between "Serb" and "Serbian," these two terms in your report. First of

3 all, would you tell us that?

4 A. I mean, do you ask me a grammatical question to explain what is

5 the difference between "Serb" and "Serbian," or do you want me to mention

6 to you the quotation -- a quotation from Kadijevic's book that actually

7 supports this analysis?

8 Q. In your report you use both terms. So, no, I'm not referring to a

9 grammatical error. You say "Serb," and then in parentheses, you say

10 "Serbian control." In order to clarify to the Trial Chamber, would you

11 please explain what's the difference between "Serb control" and "Serbian

12 control." I'm taking this out of your report. Paragraph 18, page 9 of

13 the first part of your report.

14 A. The reference is actually different, but I understand your

15 question now, and I apologise for failing to do so initially.

16 "Serb" means or refers to Serb outside of Serbia; and "Serbian"

17 would refer to Serb within Serbia. And if I remember well, this is

18 something I found in a book by David Owen, where he makes an

19 introduction , it's called "Balkan Odyssey," when he complains about how

20 ignorant certain people were when they discussed the events in the former

21 Yugoslavia.

22 Q. Thank you. Now tell us what kind of Serbian control was supposed

23 to be established in the Croatian territory, as you included in your

24 report? Or was that an error?

25 A. If it's an error, it has to be a translation error, Your Honours,

Page 10803

1 because in the first section of part 2, it starts -- which is dedicated to

2 the evolution of the mission and the objectives of the SFRY armed forces

3 during the conflict in Croatia. In the subparagraph d, I write -- and I

4 will only quote part of the paragraph: "The JNA's role has been

5 transformed from one of interposing among the conflicting parties to one

6 of creation and control of Serb-held areas in those parts of Croatia,"

7 those parts, I'm sorry, "that the Serb" -- and then between in brackets:

8 "(ian) leadership considers Serb."

9 And I based that on an entry in Kadijevic's book on the English

10 page 0036-2713 when Kadijevic discusses the second stage of the second

11 phase of the operations in Croatian where he says, among other

12 things: "In close coordination with the Serb insurgence, all Serb regions

13 in Croatia, except for a part in Western Slavonia, were liberated. This

14 comprises approximately one-third of the former republic of the Croatia's

15 territory."

16 And he gives more information. But, I mean, for the purposes now,

17 I think this should be sufficient.

18 Q. Thank you. I think that that is not sufficient at all. Neither

19 do I think that you explained what I asked you; namely, what was meant by

20 Serbian control in the context of liberating territories in Croatia. But

21 let us move on.

22 My second question: At the time of the conflict in Vukovar, you

23 said that the armed forces of the JNA were duty-bound to apply regulations

24 on the implementation of the international laws of war pursuant to the

25 rules of the service and armed forces of Yugoslavia from 1988. Is that

Page 10804

1 correct?

2 A. Your Honours, I would like to address firstly the comment by

3 Mr. Borovic that it was not sufficient. In my book -- in my -- excuse me,

4 in my report I also quote from the book by Borisav Jovic, "Last Days of

5 SFRY," where he also explains the evolution of the Supreme Command and the

6 impact that had on the missions of the JNA.

7 Now, to answer the second part of the question, yesterday I spoke

8 about what is mentioned in section 7 of part 1 of the report, where first

9 quoting from the 1982 All People's Defence law, Article 93, and this is

10 Exhibit 392, the Article says: "During combat activities, members of the

11 armed forces" -- so not just the JNA but also the TO and any other armed

12 people that are admitted into the armed forces -- "are obliged at all

13 times and in all circumstances to abide by the rules of the international

14 law of war on the humane treatment" -- I apologise for the transcript --

15 "of wounded and captured enemies on the protection of the civilian

16 population and other regulations in this law in compliance with the

17 constitution and the law."

18 We also discussed Article 53 yesterday of the 1985 law on the

19 Serbs in the armed forces. And we discussed the 1988 regulations on the

20 application of international laws of war in the armed forces of the SFRY,

21 which is Exhibit 396, and based on my review of the documents, it's my

22 understanding that all these laws and regulations applied to the situation

23 in Vukovar during October and November 1991.

24 Q. Thank you. Since you went back and quoted Jovic in reply to my

25 previous question, I didn't take it to mean that the transformation of the

Page 10805

1 JNA was such that it grew into a Serbian army. Would you please give us

2 that quotation, if you happen to have it here. If not, then would you

3 please answer my second question. That particular quotation, namely that

4 the JNA, in view of its role, transformed itself into a Serbian army,

5 where does it say that? Or do you not happen to have that quotation?

6 A. No, no, I mean the quotation actually is that at -- and I think I

7 will have to read out from the beginning of the paragraph. It's in --

8 Q. I apologise, I haven't got all day. Does it say anywhere in that

9 quotation that the JNA transformed itself into a Serb or Serbian army? Do

10 you have it or not? We're dealing with this one single question already

11 10 minutes now.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Because, Mr. Borovic, you're misunderstanding the

13 answers given by the witness. He hasn't said what you are now putting.

14 And that's why there is delay. You need to listen a little more carefully

15 to what he is saying.

16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I am very attentive, Your Honours,

17 but I did not receive an answer. We shall move on, thank you.

18 Q. So the JNA was duty-bound to apply regulations that you quoted as

19 well as decrees and ratified humanitarian conventions such as The Hague

20 Convention and so on; correct?

21 A. That's correct, Your Honours. And I would just wish to add

22 briefly that on the pages of the -- 119 to 121 in the second part of the

23 English version, I also discuss a memorandum of understanding that was

24 signed between the parties involved in the conflict and the ICRC, and it's

25 27th of November, 1991. It was signed. And this is 65 ter number 607,

Page 10806

1 which again reminds --

2 Q. I apologise, you are deliberately wasting my time.

3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am sorry that I am

4 interrupting the witness.

5 Q. But the purpose of my question is not to have you quote all

6 regulations. I accept that portion of your report as an accurate one. I

7 wanted to move on, and my question was quite specific. Yes, all of these

8 conventions, regulations that you quoted applied in the JNA, and I fully

9 agree with you. My question is: Croatian armed and paramilitary

10 formations in the relevant period of time, what were the regulations

11 regulating their activities at the time? Weren't they the regulations

12 from 1988? That was my question.

13 A. Your Honours, yesterday it was explained that the aim of my report

14 is to analyse the role and the operations conducted by Operational Group

15 South in October and November 1991. And I also mentioned that my report

16 is not an analysis of the Croatian forces or the -- or the forces

17 operating on the Croatian side. So I'm not able to answer this question.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, something was not

20 recorded, that those were the regulations of the SFRY from 1988.

21 Q. Mr. Theunens, in your report you wrote that the -- that non-Serbs

22 left the TO of Croatia and that it was transformed into Serbian TO. So my

23 question to you is: If the non-Serbs left those institutions and if they

24 did not recognise the SFRY and did not want to be members of the JNA, what

25 would you call it? Would you call it an armed rebellion of non-Serbs at

Page 10807

1 that point in time? And was that a crime, pursuant to the laws in force

2 at the time?

3 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. The question goes beyond the

4 scope of his expertise in military matters.

5 JUDGE PARKER: I think it's fair enough to allow it, Mr. Weiner.

6 Carry on, Mr. Borovic.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am aware of the time

8 constraints, but I think Mr. Borovic didn't quote my report what I wrote

9 in accurate way, because it's discussed on page 27, 28, second part in the

10 English version. I will not quote everything just to save time, but I am

11 right when I talk about local Serb TO. "The local Serb TO in Croatia

12 consists of units created by the local Serbs from the existing TO of the

13 Republic of Croatia in areas where they have a majority or significant

14 minority. In some areas, the existing units of the TO of the Republic of

15 Croatia, due to the conflict, have become de facto Serb," de facto, in

16 italics, "because the non-Serbs have left," and that was what Mr. Borovic

17 read out, "or the non-Serbs do not recognise the SFRY armed forces anymore

18 and cease their cooperation with the JNA."

19 And whether -- what these non-Serbs did is an armed rebellion or

20 not, I mean, that would warrant a separate study because again my report

21 focuses on OG South and the forces operating under the command and control

22 of OG South, and I did not discuss the creation --

23 Q. Serb armed forces. No, it's not written anywhere. They did not

24 exist at the time. The JNA existed, correct? Namely, that they did not

25 recognise the Yugoslav People's Army.

Page 10808

1 But at any rate, Mr. Theunens, I asked you what these non-Serbs

2 did, did it amount to an armed rebellion?

3 A. Your Honours, I mean, I can give you two elements of information.

4 As an analyst, I would want to see documents and -- that allow me to study

5 this creation of these forces which, according to Mr. Borovic, carried out

6 an armed rebellion, and based on my knowledge an armed rebellion is a

7 legal concept, so I'm -- I don't think I'm fully qualified to draw a

8 conclusion on that. I think I could analyse the creation of these forces

9 and their structure, organisation, but whether it amounted to an armed

10 rebellion, I think that would be up to somebody else.

11 Q. All right, thank you. Do you know, based on which regulations the

12 Croatian paramilitary formations known as ZNG, HOS and Home Guards were

13 established? There are documents confirming that they were established,

14 and also evidence in this trial. Are you aware of this or not?

15 A. Your Honours, to save time, I will be brief. This report does not

16 study the forces operating on the Croatian side, so therefore I cannot

17 answer that question.

18 Q. All right, thank you. Since in the Vukovar TO it was only Serbs

19 who remained, according to you, my question is: Who then violated the

20 then existing Croatian regulations? Was it contrary to the law, the fact

21 that the Serbs and only Serbs remained in the TO of Vukovar? Was that a

22 violation of the then existing laws in Croatia?

23 MR. WEINER: I would object to that again, Your Honour. They are

24 now asking him about violations of Croatian laws.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Technically Mr. Weiner is correct, Mr. Borovic. I

Page 10809

1 have tried to allow you as much scope as possible, but I think you've gone

2 over the edge now.

3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

4 Q. My next question. In your report, Mr. Theunens, you give various

5 claims as to the reasons for establishing operations groups, tactical

6 groups, and assault detachments. In your view what are the basic reasons

7 for establishing these temporary formations, briefly, please? And let me

8 be even more specific. Could the reasons be that, for example,

9 establishment units are not fit to carry out an assignment, could that be

10 a reason rather than what you say, in order to implement subordination and

11 singleness of command? Which would you think takes priority?

12 A. Your Honours, Mr. Borovic speaks about claims or -- that I give

13 claims in my report. In the first part of the report, English pages 96

14 to 100, I speak -- I quote from several regulations, SFRY armed forces

15 regulations that define operational groups, tactical groups, assault

16 detachments and assault groups. And they -- these regulations also

17 explain why such ad hoc formations can be established.

18 And I'm just quoting now from a document, 1990 draft doctrine of

19 the Territorial Defence, which is 65 ter 400. It talks about unification

20 of actions of all forces at the battle-field or part of the theatre of war

21 is performed by command of strategic groupings. Strategic groupings are

22 at a higher level than operational groups, but it actually brings me to

23 the answer of the question. Based on my analysis, the operational groups,

24 tactical groups and so on were established to implement or to make sure,

25 excuse me, that the principles of command and control, single authority,

Page 10810

1 unified command and the obligation to implement decisions, are actually

2 applied, and that the function of command and control can be carried out

3 in a smooth manner.

4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Theunens, that's precisely what I asked you. Was

5 that the reason subordination and singleness of command, or was it, in

6 fact, that the establishment units were not fit, were not competent to

7 carry out these assignments. Do you think that it's the former or the

8 latter, or perhaps both of them? Since it is the position of Defence that

9 this other reason, subordination and singleness of command, is not the

10 proper reason, based on the army regulations. This is the position of the

11 Defence. So given that, would you abide by your previous position, or

12 would you accept what we claim; namely, that the establishment units were

13 not fit to carry out the assignment?

14 A. I answered the question already, Your Honours. Based on my review

15 of the documents available to me, both an extensive collection of SFRY

16 armed forces doctrinal regulations and instructions, as well as specific

17 orders and reports from the 1st Military District and Operational Group

18 South that applied to the October, November 1991 time period, the

19 Operational Group South, in this case, was established to apply the

20 principles of command and control; in particular, because there was such a

21 wide range of different forces participating on the side of the JNA in the

22 operations at the time. I mentioned them already, but we have JNA units,

23 units of the Territorial Defence of Serbia, volunteers, and then units I

24 describe as local Serb TO, which, in fact, were partly affiliated

25 volunteer units. And the Croatian operational group, together with

Page 10811

1 assault detachments and assault groups on the lower echelon, was the most

2 appropriate way to make sure that the principles of command and control

3 could be applied in such a situation.

4 Q. Thank you. That is your answer then. My next question: Do you

5 differentiate between the terms "in cooperation" and "in joint action"

6 when it comes to coordination? Would you please tell me whether you see a

7 difference between these two terms?

8 A. Coordination, Your Honours, is a function of command and control.

9 It is defined on page 42 in the English version of my report, the first

10 part. Cooperation has no command and control implications. And I quoted

11 from the Exhibit 394 on the pages -- at paragraph 111 to be complete.

12 Q. Thank you. My question was: Do you know what the term "in joint

13 action" meant within the JNA, and also the term "cooperation," and

14 does "in joint action" mean the organisation within the armed forces,

15 whereas "cooperation" means cooperation between commands and armed forces.

16 Do you see the difference there?

17 A. My understanding was that in the system of All People's Defence,

18 cooperation referred in first instance to the relations between the JNA

19 and other components or other elements that were involved in All People's

20 Defence, like civil defence or the local civil authorities; whereas, as I

21 explained, coordination is a function of command and control which applies

22 not only within a certain command, for example, within a brigade if two

23 battalions have to carry out an attack, the brigade commander can order

24 these battalions to coordinate in order to make sure that when they

25 advance that there is no gap.

Page 10812

1 Coordination applies certainly in the case when there is fire

2 close air support, from aircraft when there is artillery support and again

3 the coordination is imposed by the commander both within units under his

4 command and as with neighbouring units, for example, which are not under

5 his -- or what I want to say -- because it's unclear. If neighbouring

6 units --

7 Q. I apologise. It's -- it has taken too long. When you say

8 "coordination," do you actually mean "in joint action"? If so, then the

9 matter is closed. I didn't ask you about coordination and cooperation; I

10 asked you about joint action and cooperation. You explained the

11 cooperation properly, and what you are now referring to as coordination,

12 do you actually mean the same thing as joint action? If so, then it's

13 correct.

14 A. Based on my review of the doctrinal documentation, coordination

15 does not always imply joint action, but it's -- I would have to check for

16 it. I mean, I have seen joint action, but I haven't seen it always in the

17 context of coordination. I have also seen it in other contexts in JNA

18 regulations.

19 Q. All right. Thank you. Let us move on.

20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Or actually, it's time for our

21 break. Let us not move on, but rather move to the break. Thank you.

22 JUDGE PARKER: We will have a 20-minute break.

23 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.

24 --- On resuming at 11.22 a.m.

25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.

Page 10813

1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

2 Q. Is a battalion a basic joint unit at the infantry level?

3 A. I -- Your Honours, it's a tactical -- it's yeah, indeed, it's a

4 basic joint unit at the -- no, sorry, I don't understand the question.

5 Because a battalion, a basic joint unit at the infantry level. I mean,

6 there can also be armoured battalions, logistical battalions. Maybe it's

7 a translation thing.

8 Q. My question was: Is a battalion a basic joint tactical unit of

9 the infantry.

10 A. I understand it. You mean an infantry battalion?

11 Q. For the third time, yes, indeed, I do mean an infantry battalion.

12 For the third time, I mean the same question that I asked the first time

13 around.

14 A. Okay.

15 JUDGE PARKER: The question comes across quite differently in

16 English, Mr. Borovic. But we've got it clear now.

17 MR. BOROVIC: Okay. [Interpretation] Frankly, Your Honours, I can

18 hardly be expected to monitor everything, and we're in a bit of a hurry.

19 Q. To cut a long story short, is your answer yes?

20 A. Yes, Your Honours.

21 Q. Thank you. What does the battalion command comprise, or who does

22 it comprise? Do you know that?

23 A. It will comprise a commander, like any military unit, and it will

24 also comprise a staff whereby the battalion in the JNA is the first level,

25 when we start from the bottom, that there is a command [realtime

Page 10814

1 transcript read in error "commander"], i.e., a staff included -- I said

2 command, not commander. Where there is a command or a staff that assists

3 the commander.

4 Q. Thank you. Do you know what a staff comprises? Since you say

5 that a battalion has a staff, who does this staff comprise?

6 A. Your Honours, just to bring us back to my report, command

7 structure is discussed on page -- from page 48 of the English version

8 onwards.

9 Q. Mr. Theunens, excuse me. If you go on answering my questions like

10 these, I won't have time to ask you a single question.

11 You said a battalion has a staff. My question is: At the time,

12 at the relevant time, who did the battalion staff comprise? Please don't

13 go back to your report for that. Do you know or do you not know? If you

14 don't know, we can move on.

15 A. Your Honours, my testimony here is based on my report, so I think

16 it's -- it's helpful for all of us that I refer to my report.

17 On page 49 of the English version I quote from Exhibit 394, which

18 is the JNA text-book on command and control from 1983, and I will read it

19 out. I say that -- I apologise: "All commands from battalions upwards,

20 are similarly structured. At the head of all commands staffs are

21 commanders who whom all units are directly responsible."

22 And then it continues: "Every command from a regiment upward has

23 its own staff led by a Chief of Staff with at the same time a Deputy

24 Commander."

25 And then in -- I mean, there is more, but I can also refer to --

Page 10815

1 Q. Thank you, thank you. Excuse me, just a moment. Did you not just

2 read this, that the regiment is the first unit to have a staff and not the

3 battalion? I think part of your report is erroneous in its interpretation

4 of what exactly goes on. Thus I must try to clarify this. A battalion

5 does not have a staff. This starts at a higher level; at least that's our

6 interpretation of the same regulations that you have just referred to. If

7 this was an error that you made, it's not problem at all. We can try to

8 set it right now. Does a battalion have a staff at all, first of all?

9 A. From -- I mean, I didn't invent what I just said. I quote from

10 Exhibit 394. And it's on the English pages in --

11 Q. Fine. So it is your submission that a battalion has a staff. Is

12 that your answer?

13 A. Your Honours, I hadn't finished my answer.

14 Q. This might take seven months, seven years. I'm still asking you

15 the same question. Does a battalion have a staff or not? I think I'm in

16 charge of this cross-examination, not you, Mr. Theunens.

17 JUDGE PARKER: I'm in charge of this courtroom, Mr. Borovic.

18 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the question has been answered. I

19 referred to this quotation from Exhibit 394.

20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

21 Yes, Mr. Borovic.

22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Who does the battalion staff comprise then, if that's your answer?

24 Who is it made up of?

25 A. Your Honours, the battalion is -- the infantry battalion is -- I'm

Page 10816

1 trying to identify the exhibit in which we -- yeah, it's Exhibit 397, the

2 1988 JNA battalion manual for the infantry and motorised and so on,

3 battalion.

4 I haven't discussed the battalion staff in detail in my report

5 because I believe that for the purposes of my report studying the brigade

6 staff was more relevant. But if required, I can identify within that

7 regulation how a battalion staff is organised.

8 Q. Thank you. My next question. Are assault detachments established

9 for particular operations at a particular time?

10 A. That's correct, Your Honours.

11 Q. Thank you. Do we agree that the fall of Vukovar occurred on the

12 18th of November, 1991?

13 A. That is correct, Your Honours.

14 Q. Thank you. What about after the fall of Vukovar? Was there not a

15 need to set up assault detachments?

16 A. I'm not sure whether the question is -- I mean, the transcript is

17 a correct reflection of the question. Assault detachments based on the

18 documents I reviewed existed prior to the fall of Vukovar. We have

19 requested from Serbia and Montenegro documentation as to -- in relation to

20 orders that were issued to disband assault detachments --

21 Q. That's -- that's fine, Mr. Theunens. You're right. Assault

22 detachments existed until the fall of Vukovar. That was my question. It

23 was very simple. Was there or was there not any need to set up assault

24 detachments after the fall of Vukovar on the 18th of November in a purely

25 military sense? Yes or no?

Page 10817

1 A. I read in the transcript assault detachments existed until the

2 fall of Vukovar. That is an assumption you make, Mr. Borovic, because the

3 documentation I reviewed does not allow to draw such a conclusion. I --

4 from the documentation I saw, and we have discussed --

5 Q. What is your answer to my question? What is your answer to my

6 question? Was there any need after the fall of Vukovar for the existence

7 of assault detachments? What is your answer as a military expert? Was

8 there any need? Did the need exist?

9 A. The answer is yes.

10 Q. Can you please be so kind as to explain that. Why?

11 A. There are several -- Your Honours, there are several elements in

12 my reply.

13 First of all, the fact that the operational group continued to

14 exist, Operational Group South continued to exist until at least the

15 21st -- the 23rd of November, 1991, indicates that the command level right

16 above the assault detachments still needed to exist i.e., that the

17 commander of the command level above the operational group considered it

18 essential to maintain the Operational Group South in its existence.

19 Now, when we look -- second element of reply is the situation. We

20 have discussed a few documents already this morning. Combat operations

21 did not end because of the fall of Vukovar --

22 Q. Sir, excuse me. Just a minute. If that is your continuation,

23 then it's fine. But I didn't ask you about operations groups or tactical

24 groups. All I asked about was assault detachments.

25 A. In --

Page 10818

1 Q. Perhaps I have interrupted you. Please accept my apologies. Go

2 on.

3 A. It's fine. But, I mean, I started with the operational group,

4 why, because the Operational Group South was the command level above the

5 assault detachments. So it wouldn't make sense to have like assault

6 detachments without an operational group above of it.

7 Now, what I was explaining is that based on the documents also

8 that were raised by Mr. Vasic in his cross-examination, there are still

9 resistance pockets or other enemy -- enemies present in Vukovar. I think

10 the document -- the order we discussed on the evacuation of the hospital

11 says that the war is not over. There are also documents; for example,

12 the -- the order by the 1st Military District, Exhibit 415, by General

13 Zivota Panic, where he orders OG South and OG North to seize the hospital.

14 He also, Panic, expresses, his worries about the situation of the

15 Territorial Defence.

16 What I'm trying to say is - and I apologise for the length of the

17 answer - that because of this unstable situation, because of the fact that

18 there are undisciplined elements present, mainly within the TO, it is

19 essential to maintain command and control over these elements at the

20 lowest level possible. That means not only the operational group, but

21 also the levels, command levels below the operational group, and in the

22 context of Operational Group South, that means assault detachments and

23 assault groups.

24 Q. Thank you.

25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, how long am I allowed

Page 10819

1 to go on for exactly? I'm sorry to be asking the question now, but I need

2 a reference point.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, the answer is in two parts. The first

4 is strictly 12.30. The more generous one is that you could have 10

5 further minutes after lunch if you needed them.

6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honours.

7 This, I believe, is some sort of a compensation for that one day when I

8 could not. Thank you.

9 Q. Mr. Theunens, an assault detachment, is that a joint tactical unit

10 in attack? Just to complete this, so that you can provide one answer to

11 all my questions, during an attack on a populated area or certain

12 buildings, this is a provisional unit, its composition is provisional, it

13 has armoured vehicles, pioneers, artillery, and a signals component.

14 First of all, is that a correct assessment?

15 A. Yes, indeed, Your Honours, this comes from Exhibit --

16 Q. Thank you. If that's correct, why would there be a need for

17 assault detachments then? What is the populated area that was to be

18 attacked? Which is the joint tactical unit, and after the 18th of

19 November, apart from these pockets that you have referred to, what exactly

20 was going on to call for assault detachments to continue to exist? I would

21 not like to comment on what you said about operations groups or tactical

22 groups, I might perhaps even agree, but assault detachments, provisional

23 ones, used only for special missions, used in order to attack populated

24 areas or fortified facilities. Vukovar fell on the 18th of November; we

25 all know all about that. Why would there continue to be a need for

Page 10820

1 assault detachments, or were these simply disbanded?

2 A. Your Honours, my understanding of reviewing on one hand the

3 doctrinal documents, as has been discussed now, and on the other hand the

4 orders and reports by Operational Group South, indicate that actually

5 assault detachments and assault groups were established to maintain single

6 authority and unified command over all the forces involved, and I mean by

7 this JNA, TO, from the Republic of Serbia, local Serb TO, including

8 volunteers, paramilitaries. As I answered earlier, after the fall of

9 Vukovar this requirement to maintain single authority and unified command

10 of control, still existed. Now, as I mentioned before, I don't have an

11 order that indicates when or whether the assault detachments were

12 disbanded. It was requested from Serbia. If you want I can give the

13 reference.

14 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the only need for resubordination

15 and singleness of command was the existence of assault detachment? Was

16 this the sole reason, in your opinion, after the 18th of November?

17 A. Yes, but, I mean, I want to clarify. Based on what I've seen in

18 other documents, this single authority and unity of command, could also be

19 established by just a subordination order, to say, well, X or Y

20 Territorial Defence is subordinated under that or this battalion. Now,

21 the structure with assault detachments and assault group existed in

22 Vukovar or within Operational Group South prior to the fall of Vukovar.

23 Based on documents I saw, there was no reason to change this structure.

24 If one wanted -- one, i.e. the commander of Operations Group South, wanted

25 to maintain the single authority and the subordination of all forces

Page 10821

1 involved under the JNA. And it should -- I apologise --

2 Q. Sir, Mr. Theunens, wouldn't it be simpler for you to simply say

3 yes? I answered [as interpreted] you about the basic reasons for

4 subordination and singleness of command, the basic reason. Why didn't you

5 just answer yes? You're just taking up time. Is your answer yes?

6 A. The answer was given, Your Honours.

7 Q. Thank you. Based on which documents, witness statements, have you

8 established the existence of assault groups in Vukovar, 1991?

9 A. I'm just trying to locate the order where -- I think it's from the

10 14th or the -- of November where the commander of OG South, if I remember

11 well, states that a military police battalion has to be -- has to

12 establish assault groups. Yes, this is the -- if I'm not wrong, it's 65

13 ter number 585. It's the order 403-1 dated the 16th of November, 1991.

14 And it says that the 2nd military police battalion -- battalion, excuse

15 me -- is to make use of assault groups.

16 Now, I think that was not your question. The only additional

17 information I have for assault groups is that I combined the public

18 statement Captain Radic made in an interview. If I remember well, that's

19 Exhibit 3 -- I think it's Exhibit 353, where he said that all -- that he

20 had 500 people in his group, and I linked that up with the doctrine. I

21 tried to find a doctrinal definition for the group of Radic, and assault

22 group would have been then the most logical choice.

23 And I apologise again for taking time, but we requested from

24 Serbia and Montenegro all orders issued by Radic or orders received by

25 Radic as well as orders issued by Tesic, so Borivoje Tesic, commander of

Page 10822

1 the 1st Assault Detachment, as well as orders received by Tesic during the

2 30 September to 23 of November time period that --

3 Q. Excuse me. Do you really have to quote all these documents ad

4 nauseam, if I may put it that way. You simply don't have these documents;

5 that is the simple truth of this matter. My question was based on what

6 did you establish these assault groups, and you say in Miroslav Radic's

7 interview. The long way around, as it were, when he was talking about

8 this group of volunteers, but you did not find a single direct reference

9 to the establishment of any assault groups purely in terms of their

10 establishment. Not in connection with the 1st Assault Detachment or in

11 connection with Miroslav Radic.

12 Yes or no? Do you have a document or a statement to indicate the

13 existence of an assault group?

14 A. Well, Your Honours, the statement is the one by Radic, and all I

15 can do from here is to ask Serbia and Montenegro, who is in, my view with

16 the best qualified to provide us with these documents, to provide these

17 documents. If they don't provide the documents or even if they don't do

18 the effort to say, "We don't have them," then it's difficult for me to

19 answer the question. But I think we did sufficient efforts on our side

20 but I think we made sufficient efforts on our side to obtain documents,

21 for example, on how the force in the 1st assault detachment was

22 organised.

23 Q. Mr. Theunens, thank you. Thank you. You didn't have the

24 documents; these are problems of cooperation. I think you are entirely

25 right to point these out, cooperation with the national council; but

Page 10823

1 that is not our topic right now.

2 My next question: Territorial Defence, the detachments, were

3 subordinated to OG South. This is something you said. My question is, do

4 you know how many men a Territorial Defence detachment would have been

5 made up of?

6 A. Based on the definition of detachment in the JNA regulations I

7 have seen, a detachment is a unit of variable composition. And that's

8 also something I wish to point out, that because these TO -- I mean Leva

9 Supoderica and Petrova Gora, these TO detachments, had no fixed

10 composition; the name "detachment" was used. Now, they were called TO

11 because according to the law everybody who joins the armed forces in

12 defence of the country, but who is not a member of the JNA, will be

13 consisted [sic] a member of the Territorial Defence. Now, whether there

14 is a legal background to this, that's another issue. And if you --

15 Q. Thank you. Thank you. The composition varies. In view of that,

16 from the point of view of military doctrine, what would be the numerical

17 strength for a TO detachment? Give us a range, please.

18 A. The only information I have on that comes from the testimony of

19 Witness Trifunovic, and I don't think it's helpful for me repeat it.

20 Again I wish to reiterate, that the TO, i.e. Leva Supoderica and Petrova

21 Gora, are only TO by name. Therefore it wouldn't be of assistance to

22 apply theoretical definitions of territorial -- TO -- of TO detachments on

23 formations of the nature of Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora.

24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Theunens, you are now drawing conclusions, but my

25 question was very specific. Let us leave Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora

Page 10824

1 for later. What about my previous answer [as interpreted], the numerical

2 strength. You are quoting Mr. Trifunovic. Let us trying to jog our

3 member. What number are we talking about, 400 men, 500 men?

4 A. Yes, indeed, I seem to recall that Trifunovic testified this,

5 could even be more, but what I'm trying to explain, and I will do it now,

6 I will repeat myself, is that the theoretical definition does not

7 necessarily apply to the situation as it was in Vukovar with Petrova Gora

8 and Leva Supoderica.

9 Q. Thank you. You said yesterday that you did not use any witness

10 statements. You are trying to draw an unbiased conclusion as a military

11 expert. Yet in your previous answer you are trying to draw yet another

12 conclusion. Perhaps we can leave that for the end of our

13 cross-examination. But please answer this question: What about a

14 company, how many men would a company be expected to normally comprise?

15 A. I don't understand the first part of your question.

16 Q. How many men can a company have in its composition.

17 A. I would -- I mean, an infantry company I would assume could be

18 like 150, depends, could be less. It depends of the nature of the

19 infantry company.

20 Q. Thank you. What about a detachment? Can a detachment be part of

21 a company in the purely military sense?

22 A. It can. Because a detachment, as I indicated earlier, is a unit

23 of variable composition. So you can have a detachment of 10 people, you

24 can have a detachment of 5.000 people, but it won't be wise to have --

25 obviously it wouldn't make sense to have a detachment of 5.000 people

Page 10825

1 included in a company, whereas a detachment of 10 or 100 people could be

2 included, if the commander of the battalion or the superior command of the

3 company decides to do so.

4 Q. That's what you suppose. What about specifically? A detachment

5 numbering 500 to 700 people, can it be part of a company numbering 150

6 people? That's a question for a military expert.

7 A. Yes, indeed, Your Honours. But, I mean, such a purely theoretical

8 question, whereby we come with numbers, I don't know what they're based

9 on. I don't think it's helpful for me to answer such a question, because

10 I think the reply may be misleading and highly incorrect. It's easy to

11 challenge a reply to such a question.

12 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hold in your hands the manual of the JNA

13 on infantry battalions from 1988?

14 A. I did, Your Honours. And if I remember well, it's Exhibit 397.

15 Q. Thank you. Did you find there that an assault group may have the

16 strength equivalent to a reinforced platoon and that it is not written

17 anywhere that an assault group may be a reinforced company? Would you

18 agree with me? This is a theoretical question.

19 A. Yes, indeed. And this is explained in paragraph 26 of Exhibit 397

20 on page 99 of my report.

21 Q. Thank you. Based on the rules in force in the JNA, does a company

22 have a staff or not? I think that you explained this in relation to a

23 battalion and regiment, but now I'd like to hear your explicit answer as

24 to whether a company has a staff or not. Or is it only at the levels

25 above that a staff is created?

Page 10826

1 A. According to the JNA regulations I reviewed, a company does not

2 have a staff, but the company commander will be assisted by certain people

3 who will do certain aspects of work that could be considered as staff

4 work. But it's not a staff.

5 Q. Thank you. On page 57 of the third section, you say that the

6 1st Assault Detachment had three assault groups: Leva Supoderica,

7 Petrova Gora, and another one, and Vukovar. According to the rules, what

8 is the strength of assault groups within a battalion? We heard just a

9 little bit ago that it was a reinforced platoon. Can you then explain to

10 us this claim of yours that the 1st Assault Detachment had three assault

11 groups: Petrova Gora, Leva Supoderica, and Vukovar. First of all, is

12 this written in your report or not?

13 A. Your Honours, there must be a translation error, because on

14 page 57 in the second part of the report in the paragraph g -- I will not

15 read out the whole paragraph but just the two relevant sentences which is

16 actually the summary of what follows in this section 3. It says: "The

17 1st Assault Detachment consists of three assaults groups, full stop. The

18 Petrova Gora, Leva Supoderica (commanded by Milan Lancuzanin, also known

19 as Kameni), and Vukovar (commanded by Miroljub Vujovic), (local Serb) TO

20 detachments are subordinated to OG South through the 1st Assault

21 Detachment."

22 So these are two different sentences, and there is no link

23 whatsoever in this text between the three assault groups and the names of

24 the local Serb TO units that follow. So maybe something went wrong with

25 the translation.

Page 10827

1 Q. All right. All right, Mr. Theunens. I think that you understood

2 properly my question. According to the rules of battalion of company and

3 of platoon, what is the main means of communication when attacking a

4 settlement? Is it, for example, radio communication?

5 A. Radio communication would be one of the means of communication

6 that can be used. However, there are also other means that can be used

7 like signs, a courier. Yes, and this is purely theoretical answer I give

8 because I don't have that regulation or that particular paragraph of the

9 regulation in front of me.

10 Q. What about when attacking a settlement? Is then a radio link the

11 main means of communication, and does it reduce the need to use couriers?

12 There are streets, we're talking of a settlement. The attack proceeds

13 street by street. Do you know this? It's not terribly important.

14 A. Your Honours, I don't have the regulation in front of me, but from

15 my own experience I know, and maybe it had to do with our radios, that in

16 built-up areas, because, for example, there are higher buildings and there

17 is metal that can be integrated in the concrete structures, that it's

18 sometimes difficult to use radios actually, and therefore, because of poor

19 communications, and therefore other means, like if you are at short

20 distance you use signs or a courier can be more effective. But I'm

21 willing to look at the regulation if you show it to me.

22 Q. In order not to waste time there are smaller houses, larger

23 houses, but it seems that we are now in the domain of imposation [as

24 interpreted], both you and me.

25 Let us move on. You quoted the interview given by Radic where he

Page 10828

1 said, "I am sickened by the war." It's page 83 in the third chapter of

2 your report. This is the text where he claims to have had about 500

3 people, 500 men. Is that the interview you had in mind?

4 A. That's correct, Your Honours, it's Exhibit 353.

5 Now, I mean, Radic -- you say Radic claims. I would assume that

6 an officer before he speaks to the media has received an authorisation to

7 do so and is also aware of the implication of the things he says to media.

8 That's the system and the situation in my military, and I assume it was

9 the same in the JNA.

10 Q. Thank you. At the moment when the combat operations were in the

11 final stage, were being concluded, I don't think that there was a need --

12 or I'm not sure that there was a need for anyone to ask for a special

13 authorisation, especially not in Vukovar. But that's not important. What

14 is important is just a minute ago you confirmed that Trifunovic testified

15 in the case and that when it comes to the composition of TO detachment, it

16 is in his evidence that you found support for your position.

17 My question is: If the 80th Kragujevac Motorised Brigade in that

18 axis had a battalion numbering 400 people, which is what Vukosavljevic,

19 Chief of Staff of security of the Kragujevac Brigade testified about, and

20 it pertains to the same period of time referred to by Radic when speaking

21 of assault groups, can we then agree that this is a case where a

22 journalist interprets what constituted this group, even if he conveyed

23 Radic's words, because in the military sense Radic could not have been the

24 commander of a battalion of the 80th Kragujevac Motorised Brigade, and it

25 was positioned in the same axis, in same location in Petrova Gora where

Page 10829

1 Radic was. So do you believe that a statement given to the papers and the

2 interpretation that was given could not be used by you as a military

3 expert in order to draw a conclusion that he had 500 people under his

4 command?

5 A. Your Honours, there are several components in this question. As I

6 said earlier, this report is limited to -- I mean, the sources of the

7 report are limited to document -- to official documentation, SFRY

8 legislation, 1st Military District, OG South, and SSNO orders and reports,

9 as well as some open sources.

10 Now, I wish to comment on what Mr. Borovic said in relation to

11 Trifunovic. My understanding of the testimony of Trifunovic is that he

12 provided a theoretical answer to a theoretical question in relation to TO

13 detachments.

14 I'm a bit confused by the reference that is made to

15 Vukosavljevic. I just wish to say that it's not me who concluded that

16 there was 500 people in Radic's unit. It is a quotation from the

17 interview. Now if the journalist misunderstood him, then I would have

18 expected Radic to complain with the newspaper and to ask for a

19 clarification. It happens every day. Now, I'm not aware of such a

20 clarification or a rectification. And when I say it happens every day,

21 everyday in the newspapers you see that there are rectifications to

22 certain articles.

23 And, again, I wish to emphasise that based on my understanding of

24 the JNA, interviews can only be given with the authorisation of superiors,

25 and I would assume that these superiors would also screen the nature of

Page 10830

1 the replies because there could be, for example, implications on security

2 aspect --

3 Q. I think you've already said that. Once again, you are taking too

4 much time.

5 My question is: A reinforced platoon of a company comprising an

6 assault group, can it number 500 people?

7 A. As I mentioned earlier when discussing the assault detachment,

8 Your Honours, based on my review of the documents, it is my -- my

9 conclusion that the terms "assault detachment" and "assault groups" were

10 used for formations which were, in fact, i.e., in practice, bigger than

11 the formations as they were envisaged in the doctrine. But the concept

12 behind it is the same, it's only the size that is different. And this is

13 reinforced by what Radic said in this media interview.

14 Q. I didn't understand in the end. How many people can a reinforced

15 platoon within an assault group have? And if that is the case, then how

16 many people can an assault detachment have, both from the point of view of

17 the military doctrine and practical matters? Can an assault group be

18 500-men strong? And if so, then how many men can an assault detachment

19 have?

20 A. Your Honours, I think I answered the question. Based on the

21 documents I saw in relation --

22 Q. All right, thank you. Thank you. On page 86 of the English

23 version of your report, third part of it, here under paragraph 19 and 20

24 you mention orders dated 14th and 16th November, 1991; correct? First

25 let's clarify that.

Page 10831

1 A. That is correct, Your Honours.

2 Q. Thank you. My question is --

3 Could we put Exhibit 405 on our screens, please?

4 This is an order for blockade and attack dated the 1st of October,

5 1991. You're familiar with this, right? In paragraph 2 it says -- it

6 says: "Motorised guards brigade shall put under blockade and attack

7 Vukovar within the operative group by using assault detachment."

8 And then: "In joint action with Vukovar TO units (Petrova Gora

9 detachment) armoured battalion of the 544th Motorised Brigade, defeat

10 enemy forces in the area of operations, take control of that part of town

11 and establish control, law and order."

12 Is that what it says there?

13 A. Yes, Your Honours. But, I mean, if you want to see it on the

14 screen, you have to go to the paragraph 2.

15 Q. All right. Would you be so kind and look at paragraph 5 of this

16 same order? Does it say there: "Tasks of units." Paragraph 5

17 under 1. "The 1st Assault Detachment comprising 1st Motorised Brigade

18 with 3-1 armoured battalion, 2-2 LSARD," and then "1-3/2 military police

19 battalion, and pioneer squad, detachment commander of 1st Motorised

20 Brigade commander," and so on. They also use guides from Petrova Gora TO

21 detachment.

22 Is that what it says here, Mr. Theunens, and is it clear to you?

23 A. This -- this is indeed what this order of 1st of October says.

24 Q. Thank you. The 1st Assault Detachment at that time, was it under

25 command of Major Borivoje Tesic? Have you come across such information?

Page 10832

1 Commander of the 1st Battalion and commander of the Assault Detachment 1.

2 A. In this order, Your Honours, the 1st of October order, it says in

3 this paragraph 5 that the detachment commander will be the commander of

4 the 1st Motorised Battalion. And I know from -- I think these were

5 articles that were published in Narodna Armija on the guards brigade that

6 Tesic was indeed the commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion. So I can

7 only assume that there was no change in -- in -- in that.

8 Q. Thank you. You're fully correct.

9 Now, could we please see Exhibit 408? This is the decision of the

10 commander of the OG South dated 15th of October, 1991. Do you see

11 paragraph 2, Mr. Theunens? I will read this out so as to spare

12 you. "Tasks for units." So this is the 15th of October, 1991: "(a)

13 Assault Detachment 1 comprising 1st Motorised Battalion. 3-1

14 company/armoured battalion. 1-2 company platoon of the military police

15 battalion, and one company of volunteers from the current deployment

16 continue the attack and in joint action with Assault Detachment 2 and

17 3/211 of the armoured brigade and Petrova Gora units, crush the Ustasha

18 units on the directions ..."

19 And then it lists the directions, right, or axis, right?

20 A. That's correct, Your Honours.

21 Q. Thank you. Could we now see Exhibit 410? Once again here,

22 Mr. Theunens, this is a decision of the commander of the OG South. 29th

23 October 1991 is the date. All right. We have tasks given to units, and

24 it says under 1: "1st Assault Detachment comprising 1st Motorised

25 Battalion, 1, 2, 3 battalion of the military police, detachment

Page 10833

1 Leva Supoderica, Petrova Gora detachment, company of volunteers from

2 Novi Sad, one tank M-84."

3 Is that what it says there?

4 A. Yes, Your Honour. So that means that Leva Supoderica and

5 Petrova Gora are subordinate units of the 1st Assault Detachment.

6 Q. At that time was Borivoje Tesic commander of the 1st Assault

7 Detachment?

8 A. Based on the documents I have seen, I cannot draw such a

9 conclusion, but I know from witness statements that Borivoje Tesic, and

10 also from testimony I know that Borivoje Tesic was then the commander of

11 the 1st Assault Detachment. Sorry?

12 Q. Thank you. Based on all the information available to you, all the

13 documents that you have read, who then was responsible to the OG South for

14 the use of TO detachments and Leva Supoderica detachment? Based on

15 everything we have read so far.

16 A. It is obvious -- I mean, these are orders from the brigade

17 level -- from the operational group level, I'm sorry. Operational group

18 issues orders to the assault detachments.

19 Now, it would not be coherent with the principles of command and

20 control that the operational group would order the assault detachment

21 commander how to organise his forces, i.e., whether he would set up

22 assault groups or not. Maybe it's real possible that the operational

23 group commander ordered the assault detachment commander to organise his

24 forces in assault groups, but it would be unusual for the operational

25 group level, or call it the brigade level, to tell the assault detachment,

Page 10834

1 or call it battalion level, how to organise its companies, if I could

2 compare the assault groups to companies. I'm just trying to explain how

3 the chain of command would work. So these documents do not allow to draw

4 a conclusion on that level.

5 We would the orders the commander of the assault detachment has

6 issued during October and November in order to be able to answer your

7 question, Mr. Borivoje -- Borovic.

8 Q. All right. Thank you. But we can agree, can't we, that talking

9 of these tasks it was within the 1st Assault Detachment that the TO

10 detachments were used as well as Leva Supoderica detachments, so does this

11 mean that the commander of the 1st Assault Detachment is responsible to

12 the OG South command for their use? That is my question.

13 A. That's correct, yeah, as long as they're subordinated to him, as

14 it is explained in this order. He is responsible for their use. To the

15 commander of OG South.

16 Q. Thank you. I apologise for overlapping, I thought that you

17 concluded your answer.

18 Could we see Exhibit 431 on our screens, please.

19 This is the decision of the commander of the OG South dated

20 16th November 1991. Let us now look at paragraph 2, item 1 within it.

21 Once again, these are tasks given to units. Does it say under

22 item 1: "1st Motorised Battalion in line with the task given on the 14th

23 of November 1991," Mr. Theunens, what we read previously, "with the

24 support of part of the forces of the armoured battalion of the Guards

25 Motorised Brigade ought to continue the attack on the axis Sundarciceva

Page 10835

1 Street-Rade Koncara settlement - bridges over the Vuka River ..." and so

2 on and so on.

3 Does it say here that the 1st Motorised Brigade has tasks which

4 are in line with the task given on the 14th of November, 1991? Is that

5 what it says there?

6 A. That is correct, Your Honours.

7 Q. Thank you. Now let us go back to Exhibit 430, which is the

8 decision on the 14th of November, 1991 that we didn't quote previously.

9 So it's Exhibit 430.

10 In that order, Exhibit 430, 14th of November, 1991, under item 2

11 we see "tasks for units," and then subitem 4, does it say there the

12 1st Assault Detachment (minus the 1 Motorised Battalion) from the current

13 sector of the combat disposition is to be moved to axis of Dalmatinska

14 Street-Alije Alijagica-another street, water-tower. So it's paragraph 2,

15 item 4, does it say that there?

16 Have you found that, Mr. Theunens? We have tasks for the units,

17 paragraph 2, and then underneath it we see item 4. That is to say, 1, 2,

18 3, 4.

19 A. Yes. In paragraph 4, it speaks about the 1st Assault Detachment

20 minus the 1st Motorised Battalion. And then later on in paragraph 5 the

21 mission or the task of the 1st Motorised Battalion is explained.

22 Q. Yes, thank you. Can we agree, then, that this order dated 14th of

23 November, 1991 states that the 1st Assault Detachment now functions

24 without the 1st Motorised Battalion but together with other units

25 comprising it, right? At least that was explained by General Trifunovic;

Page 10836

1 you were present then. Is that your position as well? Or rather, is that

2 what is stated here?

3 A. I don't think that Trifunovic made it to general, but that's

4 another thing, even though I appreciate him a lot. I think what this

5 order says, that it's up to the commander, i.e., the operational group

6 commander to decide how he organises his forces. In this order the

7 commander of Operational Group South decided, based on his planning for

8 the operations for the following day, which he in his term, based on

9 the -- the taskings or the assignment he had received from the commander

10 of the 1st Military District, he decided to rearrange his forces and to

11 take out -- take the 1st Motorised Battalion out of the 1st Assault

12 Detachment for at least that day, for this specific operation.

13 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Theunens. Would it then be a fair

14 conclusion on the part of the Defence that Major Tesic continues to be

15 commander of the 1st Motorised Battalion and the 1st Assault Detachment?

16 A. Unless there was another order that would specify or that would

17 give additional instructions on that level, it would be a correct

18 assumption.

19 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to Exhibit 431, please. We had it on

20 our screens a while ago. This is the decision of the commander of

21 OG South dated the 16th of November, 1991. I showed you in all fairness

22 what the situation was on the 14th of November. Could we then agree that

23 what this exhibit demonstrates -- 431. The 1st Motorised Battalion --

24 just a minute, please. 431. This is what I read out to you a while ago.

25 It says: "Tasks. The 1st Motorised Battalion, in line with the task

Page 10837

1 given on the 14th of November, 1991," and then it describes the axis and

2 the tasks given or assigned. Isn't that what it says, the order dated the

3 14th of November? And there is another one dated the 16th of November.

4 The one dated the 16th of November is the one you've looked at and it's in

5 keeping with the one dated the 14th of November. Isn't that what it says?

6 A. Yes, Your Honours, that's referred -- that's the reference in the

7 first sentence of paragraph 2, "tasks by the units."

8 Q. So would you be so kind as to tell us right now at this precise

9 time when talking about the order dated the 16th of November, under whose

10 command were the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora TO detachments?

11 A. This order does not allow to draw a conclusion on that. However,

12 there is a report, 407-1, which, if I'm correct, is the Exhibit 414,

13 lists, among the losses, members of the Petrova Gora and Vukovar TO. I

14 should have said report 407-1 of OG South, so --

15 Q. Sorry, Mr. Theunens, but that's not what I had in mind. My

16 question is about this: Three companies of the 1st Motorised Battalion

17 were taken to a different axis, whereas the 1st Assault Detachment

18 remained along a -- an altogether different axis, that it no longer has

19 the battalion within its compositions, then my question is very simple.

20 Members of the Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora detachments who stayed

21 with the 1st Assault Detachment at this point in time, under whose command

22 would they be? Would they be under the command of the commander of the

23 1st Assault Detachment? That's my question.

24 A. Your Honours, the two orders we have seen, the one for the 14th of

25 November and one for the 16th of November, do not mention Leva Supoderica

Page 10838

1 or Petrova Gora. So maybe it's an omission, maybe there is an operational

2 plan behind it.

3 From these two orders, I cannot draw any conclusion as to whether

4 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora stayed within the 1st Assault Detachment

5 or were maybe fully incorporated in the 1st Motorised Battalion. So,

6 yeah, there would be a requirement for additional information reports or

7 orders from that time period in order to answer the question.

8 Q. Mr. Theunens, that is precisely why I was taking one step at a

9 time. All these orders from October were the first thing I showed you,

10 and then we talked about the composition of the 1st Assault Detachment,

11 and then I reached the 16th and the 14th. The assault detachment keeps

12 its previous composition with the exception of the 16 of November, the

13 date that I mentioned. This is when the 1st Motorised Battalion was taken

14 away from it, separated from it. That is why there is no reference to

15 them. Why, because they're part of the 1st Assault Detachment. Still

16 there is no change in the composition except on the 16th of November, the

17 1st Motorised Battalion being taken outside the 1st Assault Detachment,

18 the only change that occurs over this time, the composition remains the

19 same. There is this one staying behind, nothing changes.

20 More specifically, in addition to all these documents that I've

21 quoted to you now, have you ever found another document dealing with

22 orders given by Operations Group South after the 16th of November,

23 something that could have changed this situation, or have you found

24 nothing?

25 Once again, because this is my last question for this session and

Page 10839

1 then just briefly after the break, I quoted October, the composition of

2 the 1st Assault Detachment. I specified who Leva Supoderica and

3 Petrova Gora belonged to, the TO detachments, what their assignments

4 were. I quoted the order dated the 14th, their composition. And then

5 finally the 16th with the 1st Motorised Battalion being taken outside its

6 unit and the two detachments remained within the 1st Assault Detachment.

7 There is not a single order or document to show that they left their

8 original composition, which would have been logical, after all, but they

9 stayed within the 1st Assault Detachment. Would I be right in saying

10 this?

11 A. Your Honours, as I answer -- as I already mentioned to the

12 previous question, these orders show the situation as it is on the 14th

13 and the 16th of November, and they -- of November, 1991. And they

14 indeed -- they -- in the one for the 14th of November, they give different

15 assignments to the 1st Assault Detachment than to the 1st Motorised

16 Battalion. However, it would be helpful to have orders for the 17th and

17 the 18th of November in order to establish the composition not only of --

18 of the 1st Assault Detachment or the 1st Motorised Battalion, but also to

19 see what the mission or the task of the subordinate forces, including the

20 local Serb TO was.

21 You see, in my report that all I can conclude on that level is

22 that on the 21st of November at 6.00 in the morning, 21st of November,

23 1991, Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica are still subordinated to OG South.

24 Now, I will not repeat that we have requested these documents, but

25 indeed we have requested for missing documents, and it's easy to establish

Page 10840

1 the documents which are missing because they all have a number. And so

2 far Serbia and Montenegro has not provided these documents. So that is

3 one of the -- that's the main reason why I cannot answer the question.

4 Q. Mr. Theunens, the 21st, resubordination and everything else, my

5 learned friends will be asking you about that, I have no time.

6 But that's why I'm asking you if you have found any document

7 relating to after the 16th of November, something that you found that

8 would indicate a change in the situation in terms of respective

9 responsibilities, with the exception of the 21st of November in relation

10 to Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica TO detachments, or were they still

11 within the composition of the 1st Assault Detachment with the

12 1st Motorised Battalion with all its companies missing now? Have you

13 found any document to depict this situation differently? That is my

14 question, and not in a more general sense what became of the TO, as far as

15 the -- as far as OG South was concerned.

16 A. Whether I found or didn't find such a document is -- is of limited

17 relevance. I didn't find such a document, but it can partly be explained

18 by the fact that there are documents we have requested, we didn't obtain,

19 but didn't obtain. So maybe the documents that are still missing would

20 assist in answering your question.

21 Q. Thank you. Since there is no such document, needless to say,

22 since of course you haven't found it, could we then agree that on the 16th

23 of November, 1991 members of the Territorial Defence detachments,

24 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora, were under the command of the

25 1st Assault Detachment whose commander at the time was Borivoje Tesic?

Page 10841

1 A. Your Honours, the two orders we have been discussing now, the 14th

2 of November one and the 16th of November one, do not allow to draw such a

3 conclusion.

4 Q. What conclusion then can you draw for us? Under whose control

5 could they possibly have been, if you look at these orders after the 16th

6 of November, 1991?

7 A. Well, we know -- what we know from these orders is as follows: We

8 know that the commander of the -- excuse me, the commander of Operational

9 Group South changes the composition of its subordinate units probably

10 based on the operational requirements which are as a result of the

11 assignment he has received from his commander, i.e., the commander of the

12 1st Military District.

13 As I said, we don't have any orders by the 1st Assault Detachment,

14 so it is difficult -- I mean, that's why I didn't draw any conclusions on

15 how the 1st Assault Detachment was organised. I can only say which forces

16 are included in the 1st Assault Detachment, but I don't know from the

17 documents how these forces are organised. Radic interview, Exhibit 353 is

18 the only documentary evidence of that.

19 Q. I don't think that has anything to do with my question. Nothing

20 to do with it the question. Thank you. Mr. Theunens, that's your answer.

21 That's fine. Your answer is fine.

22 Exhibit 374, it's an order dated the 9th of November, 1991.

23 Mr. Vasic told you about this one. This is about the appointment of local

24 commanders. You've looked at that one, I assume.

25 My question is about Exhibit 418. Can we please have that on our

Page 10842

1 screens?

2 Mr. Theunens, this is a regular combat report. In this regular

3 combat report it says that pursuant to order 349-1, and that's the order

4 from Exhibit 374, General Mrksic appointed the following men as local

5 commanders, and you confirmed this yesterday. In Negoslavci, Ljubisa

6 Vukasinovic. In Berak village, Glusevic. In Ovcara village, Jakubovac

7 and Grabovo, Lieutenant-Colonel Slobodan Misovic. When he left the

8 OG South area of responsibility, Lieutenant-Colonel Milorad Vojnovic was

9 appointed.

10 Item 4, after Vukovar was liberated, the following men were

11 appointed commanders in Vukovar: For Vucedol and Mitnica, Major Stupar.

12 And what I wish to ask you about now, for Petrova Gora and the western

13 section between the graveyard and the Vuka River, Major Borivoje Tesic.

14 Isn't that what the report says? This report refers to the order that I

15 have just quoted. Isn't that what it says?

16 A. That's correct, Your Honours.

17 Q. Thank you. Does that not mean that the Petrova Gora local

18 commander on the 20th of November, at least as far as these documents seem

19 to suggest, Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica, these detachments, were in

20 his area of responsibility. Was this not, in fact, Major Borivoje Tesic?

21 Was he not, in fact, the local Petrova Gora commander at the time? Isn't

22 that what it means?

23 A. Your Honours, I have explained yesterday that town commanders, or

24 local commanders is one aspect. Operational commanders is another aspect.

25 A town commander has, as I explained, duties which relate to the

Page 10843

1 exercising of not civilian but military authority and administration;

2 whereas an operational commander has operational duties. Now, of course

3 from the point of view of the command of Operational Group South, to whom

4 all these town commanders are subordinated, it makes sense to appoint as

5 town commanders in the various zones of responsibility within his zone of

6 responsibility a commander who is also an operational commander in that

7 area. So because it would be confusing to appoint somebody else to be

8 responsible for certain aspects of -- of life, or in the zone of

9 responsibility where there is already an operational commander, it would

10 make more sense to install these two authorities in one person.

11 Q. Thank you. Would it be right, what I asked you a while ago, about

12 the 20th of November, Borivoje Tesic was the Petrova Gora local commander,

13 and as such the commander of the area where the Vukovar TO and

14 Leva Supoderica TO detachments were stationed? Is that right?

15 A. I don't want to be difficult, but it says that Tesic is appointed

16 town commander for Petrova Gora. Now, I have no document in front of me

17 which shows where Leva Supoderica or Petrova Gora are on the 20th of

18 November, 1991.

19 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you know how these two detachments got their

20 names, Petrova Gora and Leva Supoderica? What if I told you that these

21 were the names of their respective places, Leva Supoderica and Petrova

22 Gora? And the entire area is usually described as Petrova Gora. Would

23 that perhaps assist you in giving an affirmative answer to my question?

24 That's where their headquarters was too. That's what my information is

25 based on, and that's what my question is based on. My second but last

Page 10844

1 question. I have 20 seconds left. Please tell us yes or no, so that I

2 can ask you another final question.

3 A. Your Honours, I know how these detachments got their names, but

4 this document does not say what they were doing or where they were on

5 the 20th. It cannot be ruled out that they were ordered to operate

6 somewhere else in another part of Vukovar. Maybe it wouldn't make such

7 sense, I agree with you, but --

8 Q. Thank you, thank you. Fine, thank you. We'll leave it up to the

9 Chamber to draw all the conclusions.

10 Mr. Theunens, have you ever spoken to Witness Radoje Paunovic?

11 A. Yes, Your Honours. I was involved in --

12 Q. Have you ever spoken to a witness called Borivoje Tesic? Have you

13 ever spoken to Major Vukasinovic, Witness Major Vukasinovic? Are you

14 familiar with his evidence?

15 A. I have spoken to Major -- or at the time Borivoje Tesic. I was

16 not involved in the interview of Major Vukasinovic, but I read his -- the

17 statement -- the statement he provided to the OTP as well as his testimony

18 in the various trials in Belgrade.

19 Q. Mr. Theunens, you stated yesterday that you are interested in

20 justice being done, regardless of the fact that you are an employee of

21 the OTP. You say it was based on your suggestion that the OTP decided to

22 amend the indictment in the best interests of justice. Therefore, my last

23 question to you: Did you perhaps make any suggestions for these witnesses

24 or their evidence never to appear in court?

25 I would also like to thank the Trial Chamber for granting me so

Page 10845

1 much time.

2 This is my final question. Please answer, sir.

3 A. Yes, Your Honours. But, I mean, I want to -- I need to point out

4 that you are misquoting me. I didn't make any suggestions to amend

5 indictments. When Mr. Vasic asked his question yesterday to me, he was

6 asking whether I was involved in amending indictments, and indeed I was

7 involved because, why, the legal team asked me to review the military

8 terminology that was used. So I think if you want to quote my testimony,

9 you have to do it in accurate way, because otherwise we lose time, as we

10 do now.

11 Now, to answer the question, there have been discussions in the

12 trial team as to whether who should appear as a witness and who not. A

13 trial team consists of several people. It's an -- it's not a military

14 unit, I mean, even though there is one boss, or one leader, opinions are

15 being exchanged, and various constraints, including time constraints, are

16 also highlighted, and then a decision is taken as to whether person X or Y

17 will be called as a witness or not.

18 Q. I have concluded. This was my last question. All I would like to

19 say to you, sir, is I'm not even allowed to hint at what these witnesses

20 actually said, but if those witnesses had been allowed to appear, a lot of

21 the charges against my client would have to be dropped. It's as simple as

22 that.

23 MR. WEINER: [Previous translation continues] ...

24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, how can you put that as a question to

25 this witness? You know that's beyond his capacity. That was a purely

Page 10846

1 hypothetical suggestion on your part at this point. Whether you will have

2 evidence to support that proposition at the end of the trial remains a

3 different matter. Thank you, Mr. Borovic.

4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] You're quite right, Your Honours.

5 Thank you.

6 JUDGE PARKER: We will now adjourn for the break. In view of the

7 fact that Mr. Borovic was allowed to run over to finish the theme of his

8 questioning, we will resume a little late, at five minutes to 2.00.

9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.43 p.m.

10 --- On resuming at 1.57 p.m.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Judge Thelin is not sitting at the moment. It may

12 be that he will be able to join us again later in the afternoon. We hope

13 so. We will continue to sit in accordance with the Rule in the meantime.

14 Mr. Lukic. Oh, Mr. Bulatovic.

15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good

16 afternoon to all.

17 Cross-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:

18 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Theunens. I am Momcilo Bulatovic, one of

19 Mr. Sljivancanin's Defence counsel. I will be asking questions on behalf

20 of our team. You've been asked this before - we don't have much time, the

21 time constraints are quite great - whenever you can, please provide brief

22 answers. If there is any need for further clarifications, we will be

23 happy to accommodate you.

24 Today and yesterday you spoke about the operations group, and you

25 told us what an operations group is, or should be. What I want to know

Page 10847

1 is: An operations group as a provisional, temporary unit, does it have a

2 designated area?

3 A. Your Honours, based on my review of JNA doctrinal documentation,

4 an operational group, like any other unit, will have a zone of operations.

5 Q. We heard about the composition of an operations group. What I

6 want to know about is what about the unit which comprise an operations

7 groups, do these units have their own respective areas or zones?

8 A. Indeed. Each -- I mean, the operations group consists of other

9 units. These units have been discussed earlier, and each of these units

10 which have a zone of responsibility, and altogether these zones of

11 responsibility make up or make the -- or constitute the zone of

12 responsibility of the operational group.

13 Q. Would you agree with me that on the 20th of November, 1991, within

14 the composition of Operations Group South, one of the units was the

15 80th Motorised Brigade?

16 A. Based on the -- on documentation of Operations Group South, both

17 orders and reports, I would agree with that assumption.

18 Q. Can you tell me whether, while writing your report, you obtained

19 information perhaps -- or can you perhaps simply tell us which is exactly

20 the area that was covered by the 80th Motorised Brigade? Which specific

21 area was that at the time on the 20th of November, 1991?

22 A. Your Honours, we would have to look at the specific orders for

23 that day, and in these orders the zone of responsibility of the 80th

24 Motorised Brigade for that day would be -- will be specified.

25 Q. Does that mean that right now you -- you are unable to answer that

Page 10848

1 question, sir?

2 A. Your Honours, the report is based on documents, so I think it

3 would be logical if you ask a question about a specific zone of operations

4 on a specific day, that we look at the order and then see together what

5 the zone of responsibility was as it was specified in that order.

6 Q. We won't be going into that. That's a bit too comprehensive for

7 our purposes and we may end up losing a lot of time, of which we only have

8 a very little.

9 Who makes the decision to appoint someone commander of an

10 operations group? Whose call is that?

11 A. This is up to a superior commander. Now, as we discussed this

12 morning, there are examples where the commanders of operational -- of

13 operations groups elsewhere in Croatia were appointed by the commanders of

14 the military districts in that area, or military district in that area. I

15 do not have an order appointing Colonel Mrksic to the position of

16 commander of Operations Group South, so I do not know from the military

17 documentation who appointed Mrksic to that position.

18 Q. Let me ask you this, sir: This decision of the relevant command -

19 relevant for appointing an operations group commander, I mean - does this

20 decision have to be in writing?

21 A. In the first part of my report I discuss command documents, and

22 command documents can be divided in two categories, i.e., orders and

23 reports. And for the orders there are different levels. You have

24 directives, instructions, orders and commands, and according to the

25 definitions of these various categories of call it orders, important

Page 10849

1 matters have to be ordered via a written order. So I would assume, based

2 on those definitions, that it should be done through a written order.

3 Q. I'm led by your answer to assume that this was of paramount

4 importance, it would have called for a written order, wouldn't it?

5 A. Yes, Your Honours. And just to complete my previous answer, this

6 is explained in pages 57, 58 and 59 of my report in the English version,

7 first part.

8 Q. What about the decision to set up an operations group? What about

9 that sort of decision, does this have to be in writing?

10 A. As I mentioned earlier, I mean, important matters should be

11 ordered through a written order, so actually in this case, I mean for the

12 establishment of operations group, there should also be a written order.

13 And I can add, I mean, I have -- I'm repeating myself. We have

14 requested these orders as well as others from Serbia and Montenegro over

15 the past years, but we have not obtained a reply. So we don't even know

16 whether there is an order.

17 Q. Within the framework of the same set of questions we heard that an

18 operations group has a commander. What about the decision to appoint this

19 commander, which seems to be an important issue too, would that not have

20 to be in a written form as well?

21 A. I think you have asked this question before. This is the question

22 prior to your last question, so -- and I provide an answer.

23 Q. I think maybe it was a question of poor interpretation. I was

24 asking about the command of an operations group. And now I'm talking

25 about the commander as the top level of the command itself, in a manner of

Page 10850

1 speaking.

2 A. Well, I would say it can be summarised when an operations group is

3 established a commander will be appointed as well as a command. And there

4 may be additional orders in case other officers have to be transferred to

5 that command, i.e., to become a member of the staff, if I can express it

6 that way. But the order to establish the operational group will also

7 include, at least based on what I have seen for other areas, the name of

8 the commander, as well as the unit on which the operation group is based,

9 as well as the other units that are included in the operational group.

10 Q. In your report, you mentioned a number of operations groups.

11 These operations groups that you mentioned in your report, did you ever

12 see any order to set up any of these?

13 A. Indeed, Your Honours. On page 54, English version, part 2, I talk

14 about the strictly confidential order number 09/75-1034, which is issued

15 by the 5th Military District command of the JNA to establish the 3rd

16 Operational Group, and we're talking now about the area south of Zagreb.

17 Q. What does this order to set up this operations group contain?

18 What are the elements? Is this something you're familiar with?

19 A. I haven't included this specific order in -- in full in my report,

20 but I have included the following information, page 54. So according to

21 this order of the 5th Military District command, OG 3 will be commanded by

22 Lieutenant-Colonel General Vladimir Banjanin and will operate under the

23 direct command of the 5th Military District.

24 Now, I mean, we could show the document, if you want. It should

25 be 65 ter 433, and I'm not sure whether it's in this document, but related

Page 10851

1 orders for the operations in western Croatia, orders for operational

2 groups and tactical groups also included an overview of the units that

3 were included in those operational groups or tactical groups. And I

4 refer, for example, to Tactical Group 2 in my report on the same page,

5 which was tasked with the attacks on the Saborsko area.

6 Q. You are a military analyst. You deal with these sorts of issues.

7 You mention this order, so let me ask you this: In your view, an order

8 establishing an operations group, what kind of elements must it contain?

9 A. I thought I mentioned it, but I -- if -- I mean, maybe I wasn't

10 clear. The order should -- based again on the other orders I have seen,

11 the orders I've seen for other operational groups should include the name

12 of the commander, the name of the superior, a description of the zone of

13 responsibility or at least the initial tasking of the operational group,

14 as well as the units that are included in the operational group.

15 In addition, I have seen also orders for the establishment of

16 operational groups where the -- I would call the most important unit of

17 the operational group is -- is defined in order to determine which command

18 will form the command of the operational group.

19 Now, I'm familiar also -- I mean, to be entirely complete, there

20 was an Operational Group 2 active in the Dubrovnik area in the latter half

21 of 1991 and early half of 1992. And there I think that, if I remember

22 well, for example, the commander was appointed from a different area or

23 from a different unit than the units that should have been or that were

24 initially involved originally in Dubrovnik. That's just a detail to

25 complete the answer.

Page 10852

1 Q. All right. Mr. Theunens, let me ask you this: This order on the

2 establishment of an operations group, I'm not talking about a specific

3 order, just an order, since we have beyond dispute that this was an ad hoc

4 formation, established in order to carry out an assignment, the order

5 establishing this operations group, should it also contain the description

6 of the assignment for the implementation of which an operations group is

7 established?

8 A. Indeed, I mentioned that. Now, ad hoc doesn't mean it has to be

9 disbanded the day after. It could be, or it's well possible based on the

10 documents I've seen that an assignment is so large that it will take

11 several weeks or even several months to carry out that assignment. And as

12 long as the superior commander considers that it is necessary to maintain

13 the existence of the operational group, it will exist.

14 Q. I think that we can agree, you and I, that an operations group as

15 an ad hoc formation, is established for the purposes of a specific

16 assignment, right?

17 A. That would be correct in theory, but again from the documents I've

18 seen it is well possible that the authority or the commander that

19 established that order to establish the operational group changes the

20 assignment over time, or -- yeah, or amends it or maybe gives additional

21 assignments.

22 What is important, I think, in this context, is that operational

23 structures, even if they're ad hoc, they should only be changed if they

24 are operational requirements to do so, because each time you change the

25 organisation, each time it's actually -- it becomes complicated during a

Page 10853

1 certain time period to implement command and control, or at least to have

2 that command, the operational group function.

3 Q. If we have a situation where a commander or the command of the

4 operations group amends the assignment that was initially given by those

5 establishing an operations group, do they have to inform the command, the

6 superior command, which established this operations group in writing about

7 these changes, and the reasons for them?

8 A. Maybe I wasn't a hundred per cent clear in my previous answer, but

9 if there is -- if there are any changes to the assignment it cannot be

10 done by the operational group commander on his own initiative. He

11 basically does what his superior tells him, so it's his superior that will

12 change if there is requirement to do so, that will change the assignment.

13 And in the cases I've seen it's actually the same authority, I mean if

14 there was a change in the assignment it was done by the same authority as

15 the one that had established, or that ordered to establish the operational

16 group. So somebody who is superior to the commander of the operational

17 group.

18 Q. You analysed the documents that were available to you, that were

19 disclosed to you, documents relating to OG South. So please tell me: Did

20 you find anywhere anything indicating that the initial assignment of the

21 OG South was amended, and if so, who and when issued a decision on this?

22 A. Your Honours, as I've explained before, we don't have the order

23 that established Operational Group South, so it's difficult then to -- to

24 assume whether there were any changes to the initial assignment as it was

25 described or put in this initial order to establish Operational Group

Page 10854

1 South or not.

2 Q. You spoke of areas of responsibility of establishment unit, which

3 are within the operations group. Let me ask you this: Changes in the

4 area of responsibility of establishment units, or changes in the area of

5 responsibility of the operations group, do they mean an amendment of the

6 initial assignment?

7 A. I mean, it's difficult to answer this question, because it's -- it

8 all depends of the assignment. If the assignment is to capture or to

9 defend a certain zone of responsibility, then it's obvious that the change

10 in the zone of responsibility will probably be the result of the fact that

11 there has been a change in the assignment.

12 Now, I can imagine that there are other changes in assignment

13 which may not affect the zone of responsibility, and vice versa, but it's

14 a very theoretical question. But, I mean, the zone of responsibility is a

15 result of the assignment. It's not the opposite.

16 Q. Establishment units as a whole, do they fall within the operations

17 group comprising them?

18 A. I'm not sure whether I understand the question, Your Honours. But

19 the documentation I reviewed in relation to operational groups, both on

20 the doctrinal level as well as the orders for operational groups in the

21 various parts of Croatia, indicate that all units that are present in the

22 zone of responsibility of an operations group are subordinated to that

23 operations group.

24 Q. Mr. Theunens, I just asked you whether they are taken as a whole.

25 For example, if we have a battalion, does the battalion as a whole become

Page 10855

1 a part of the operations group, or only its component parts do? Or let me

2 give you a specific example. The 80th Motorised Brigade, did it in its

3 entirety become a component of the OG South or not?

4 A. Indeed, based on the documents I reviewed, the 80th Brigade in its

5 entirety became a component of OG South. But it could be imagined that --

6 and for whatever reason the commander thinks he needs to order such a

7 change, that when subordinating the 80th Brigade to OG South, the

8 commander who issued that order, he could also have taken elements of the

9 80th Brigade out of the composition of the 80th Brigade and subordinated

10 it to another command level; for example, Operational Group North. But

11 that would be done for specific operational requirements. And as I said,

12 all elements of the 80th Brigade that were present, that were deployed

13 within the zone of responsibility of OG South, were under the command of

14 the commander of OG South. Like any other unit within the zone of

15 responsibility of OG South.

16 Q. Mr. Theunens, when writing your report did you see any order,

17 written order, or did you find any evidence supporting that -- the claim

18 that Veselin Sljivancanin was appointing security commander of the

19 OG South?

20 A. Maybe it's a translation issue, but "security commander," I assume

21 you mean chief of the security organs or assistant commander for security.

22 Q. I meant he was appointed chief of the security organ of the

23 OG South.

24 A. Indeed. Now, it is correct that I don't have a document signed by

25 Sljivancanin as chief of the security organs of OG South. The one

Page 10856

1 document we obtained on the 18th of May, 2006 says Guards Motorised

2 Brigade, or chief of security organs, Guards Motorised Brigade.

3 Now, from all the documentation I reviewed for Operational Group

4 South, as well as the war diary of the Guards Motorised Brigade, it is

5 clear that the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade takes over the

6 command of OG South, which includes that Major Sljivancanin, as chief of

7 the security organs, or assistant commander for security of the Guards

8 Motorised Brigade, becomes chief of the security organs or assistant

9 commander for security for Operational Group South.

10 Q. All right. You suppose this. But you have no written document to

11 support this. Let me ask you this: Have you ever seen any document sent

12 by my client, Mr. Sljivancanin, to the relevant authorities, those he was

13 duty-bound to inform, where he signed his name as chief of security of the

14 OG South? Or have you ever seen a document or any kind of an order sent

15 to him in his capacity as chief of the security organ within the OG South?

16 A. Your Honours, I may have mentioned that before, but over the past

17 four -- no, over the past three and a half years at least four requests

18 were sent to Serbia and Montenegro to request documents that are related

19 to Major Sljivancanin, both in his position as command -- as chief of the

20 security organs of the Guards Motorised Brigade, as well as chief of

21 security organs of OG South. And the only document we obtained so far was

22 the one I just mentioned, i.e., the document obtained on 18th of May,

23 2006, which is even unsigned whereby Sljivancanin under his name has the

24 indication that he is chief of the security organs of the Guards Motorised

25 Brigade.

Page 10857

1 The reason why I mentioned this is that from the neighbouring unit

2 of Operations Group South, i.e., the units that were present in other

3 parts of Eastern Slavonia and Baranja, we have for the month of October at

4 least four reports that were drafted by security organs on the situation

5 with an individual under the nickname Arkan, and these reports are

6 included -- these documents are referred to in my report in the second

7 part.

8 Q. Mr. Theunens, it doesn't matter to me at all. I saw those four

9 reports of yours about Arkan. I was just interested in this, you said you

10 never saw anything of the sort, so let us move on.

11 A unit which became a component of an operations group has a

12 security organ, and does this security organ continue to function as a

13 security organ of that establishment unit?

14 A. Indeed, Your Honours, unless there are orders to the contrary.

15 Q. Have you ever come across an order where the security organs of

16 units, within the OG South, were ordered otherwise?

17 A. No, I haven't, Your Honours.

18 Q. Mr. Theunens, can you tell me what are the counter-intelligence

19 tasks carried out by a security organ within an establishment unit, say

20 motorised guards brigade?

21 A. Your Honours, I will quote this from the regulation, which is

22 explained on page 78, first part of the English version of my report, and

23 this regulation corresponds with Exhibit 107. It's the rules of service

24 of the security organs in the armed forces of SFRY. And in paragraph 1:

25 "The counter-intelligence task is described as detecting and preventing

Page 10858

1 activities aimed at subverting or disrupting the social order established

2 by the constitution of the SFRY and threatening the country's security if

3 such an activity is carried out in the armed forces or against the armed

4 forces from within the country or from abroad."

5 So it has to do with discovering and counting the

6 internal/external enemy in SFRY, whereby this enemy is directed against

7 the armed forces.

8 Q. All right. Can we agree, Mr. Theunens, you and I, that the only

9 organs which are supposed to carry out these tasks, are the security

10 organs, and that no other organs can be substituted?

11 A. If we're talking about the military, yes, it's -- this is the task

12 of the military security organs.

13 Q. You spoke about the command and control and command functions.

14 Can you explain to us what does the term "command" in professional terms

15 mean?

16 A. There may be a translation issue, but are you talking about staff

17 relationship?

18 Q. No, no.

19 [Defence counsel confer]

20 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Let me try to put this question slowly for the sake of

22 interpretation.

23 Can you explain to us what the term -- what the term "control" in

24 the technical, professional sense, means?

25 A. Are you talking about relationship that exists between security

Page 10859

1 organs within the JNA, between, for example, security organs of a higher

2 command and a lower command?

3 Q. All right. Why don't you explain that. Control in the technical,

4 professional sense precisely within the context you mentioned.

5 A. I don't think it's control, but it's probably has to do with the

6 translation, because control in the military means something else.

7 Control means the authority to verify the implementation of -- of

8 assignments, of orders. Control there is a function of command and

9 control.

10 What I understand under the relations between security organs of a

11 higher command and those of a lower command is based on Exhibit 107,

12 paragraphs 18, as well as 57 and 58, where the relationship between, on

13 the one hand, the security administration, so UB, and security organs is

14 explained. And it states that the security administration provides

15 specialised management for security organs. And in addition to that,

16 security organs of a higher command will, in the same manner, provide

17 specialised management to security organs in a lower command. But, as

18 explained in paragraphs 16 and 17 of Exhibit 107, the security organs, or

19 the security organ is directly subordinated to the commanding officer of

20 the command unit, institution or staff of the armed forces in whose

21 strength it is placed in the establishment. And it is also responsible to

22 that officer for its work.

23 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you this: When drafting your report, did

24 you come across -- or did you research the book on formations of the

25 guards brigade? Are you aware of such a document? The establishment book

Page 10860

1 of the Guards Motorised Brigade?

2 A. In -- indeed, Your Honours, I'm familiar with this document, and

3 I'm just trying to locate now in which request of which we have requested

4 this from Serbia and Montenegro.

5 In -- on the 16th of June, 2005 we requested from Serbia and

6 Montenegro all documents relating to the organisation and subordination of

7 the Guards Motorised Brigade. We received reply on the 15th of November,

8 2005 that Serbia and Montenegro was aware they still need to provide an

9 answer to that RFA.

10 There is also the request, 868, from the 17th of June, 2005 where

11 we asked for the SFRY armed forces or JNA rules, regulations or military

12 manuals that were valid in 1991 in relation to the organisation, mission

13 operational concepts for offensive and defensive combat operations,

14 command and control, including responsibility of the commander and other

15 relevant aspects of the Guards Motorised Brigade. We sent in 2005 two

16 reminders. So far we haven't received a reply.

17 And then there is a more recent RFA --

18 Q. Mr. Theunens, I apologise for interrupting you, but I am not

19 interested at all in learning what you, as the Prosecution, did and how

20 you corresponded with the Council on Cooperation of Serbia and

21 Montenegro. I'm absolutely not interested in that. All I would like to

22 know is whether you saw this document or not. If yes, then say so; if

23 not, once again say so. You know that it exists, but you haven't seen it,

24 right?

25 Q. That is correct. Now I'm not one hundred per cent familiar with

Page 10861

1 the specific document you indicate, but I know that for -- like for any

2 other unit in the military, there has to be a regulation that explains how

3 the unit is organised and how it operates. We have requested this

4 document, and we haven't received it. So I haven't seen it.

5 Q. Very well. Let me ask you this: Do you know that the motorised

6 guards brigade is quite peculiar in terms of its composition as compared

7 to other brigades that you analysed, infantry, mountain, and all other

8 kinds of brigades that exist. Is it different, and if so, do you know

9 how?

10 A. Indeed, Your Honours, it is different by its composition.

11 Because -- for example, in the -- the personnel. Only the personnel that

12 matched the highest standards in relation to selection was admitted into

13 the Guards Motorised Brigade. It was also peculiar in its composition

14 because the Guards Motorised Brigade had two military police battalions,

15 including, in the first military police battalion, an anti-terrorist

16 company, which was actually a special military police company, as well as

17 overall the Guards Motorised Brigade was peculiar because of the level of

18 its equipment. And of course, last but not least, it was peculiar because

19 of its subordination. It was subordinated directly to the SSNO, so the

20 federal secretary for people's defence, through the chief of cabinet of

21 the secretariat for people's defence, whereas other motorised

22 battalions -- brigades, most of them were subordinated to corps or to

23 divisions and then to military districts.

24 And this information is included, for example, on page 74, 75

25 and 76 of the first part of my report, where I base myself on open-source

Page 10862

1 publications from the JNA, namely the Narodna Armija magazine, the article

2 which it can be found in 65 ter 391.

3 Q. All right. What about its purpose, the purpose of the motorised

4 guards brigade, did it have some distinctive features too?

5 A. Indeed, Your Honours. If you allow me, I can read from actually

6 information I found on the internet --

7 Q. Mr. Theunens, let us please not waste time. The time is very

8 tight, and there are many things I need to ask you. If I ask you to

9 describe its peculiar nature, then please do that.

10 A. Well, I mean, this comes from the VJ website, because in the

11 absence of documentation from Serbia and Montenegro I looked at the VJ

12 website. And there it says that the Serbian and Montenegrin armed forces

13 guards brigade has in its composition specially selected, trained and

14 equipped units and personal security force to safe-guard the top state and

15 military institutions and personalities. Although it has in its

16 composition combat units of all arms, as well as special units, it is best

17 known for one of its battalions, Honour Guard Battalion.

18 And other information can be found on page 75 in my report.

19 Q. Will you please tell me, in the command system, what is the

20 position of two military police battalions which are within the motorised

21 guards brigade?

22 A. Based on the information I reviewed, these battalions are on equal

23 level as the two motorised battalions that are included in the guards

24 brigade, as well as the armoured battalion and other units, support units,

25 that make up the guards brigade. So they are all subordinated to the

Page 10863

1 commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade.

2 Q. If there is such a situation where they are directly subordinated

3 to the commander, who then planned and devised the tasks of the military

4 police battalion?

5 A. The military police battalion, like any other battalion in the

6 Guards Motorised Brigade, receives its assignments or its taskings from

7 the commander. The commander, as I have explained in section 6 on

8 planning, has its staff to advise him on how to prepare operations.

9 Now, for the -- for the military police, we know from the security

10 organs regulations that the chief of the security organs is an -- is the

11 advisor to the commander, and in this case the commander of the Guards

12 Motorised Brigade, for the use of the military police.

13 Q. Mr. Theunens, are you familiar with the fact that the staff of the

14 Guards Motorised Brigade included two officers for the military police,

15 two military officers who had the qualifications to deal with the military

16 police forces, and in terms of their competence they were equal to

17 battalion commanders?

18 A. I don't understand the question because, I mean, there is an

19 advisor, the security -- chief security organs advises the commanders,

20 i.e., the commander of the guards brigade on how to use the military

21 police. Maybe if you give me names, so it would be easier to refresh my

22 memory.

23 [Defence counsel confer]

24 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation].

25 Q. We have some interpretation problems. I'll try to rephrase my

Page 10864

1 question. We have some other, perhaps, route to go.

2 What about the brigade staff? Does it not consider a plan for

3 military police activities much the same as when dealing with other

4 battalions within the composition of that brigade?

5 A. Indeed, Your Honours. It's like any other unit that is included

6 in the -- in the brigade. There will be plans on how to use these units,

7 as well as to regulate other aspects that are related to the activities of

8 these units.

9 Q. Mr. Theunens, would you agree with me that based on these

10 peculiarities of the guards brigade, such as we have just mentioned,

11 resulted in the use of military police in combat operations during the

12 happenings in Vukovar in 1991?

13 A. Based on my review of documents of Operational Group South, it's

14 actually the commander of Operations Group South who determined the use of

15 the military police, including, as you mentioned, the use of the military

16 police in combat operations.

17 Q. Is military police otherwise used for combat operations?

18 A. We would have to look at the manual or the regulation that

19 determined the use of the military police.

20 Now, without looking at the regulations, I can already mention

21 that military police will, for example, be used to assist in traffic

22 control, to escort people, to protect the command post or headquarters,

23 and these kind of tasks can be a component of combat operations.

24 And military -- to continue, military police is explained in

25 part 1 on the pages 84 to 90 of my report, and I mainly refer there to the

Page 10865

1 Exhibit 435.

2 [Defence counsel confer]

3 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. What I want to know is: Can military police under what conditions

5 join assault detachments?

6 A. Based on the orders issued by the commander of OG South, the

7 answer is yes.

8 Q. Do you know what it stands in the regulations concerning the use

9 of the military police?

10 A. I know -- I'm familiar with these regulations, Your Honour, and

11 it's described in the pages 84 to 90 of the first part of the English

12 version of my report, where the duties of the military police, as well as

13 their subordination and their relation with security organs are explained.

14 There's also an entry for the use of military police in providing security

15 for prisoners of war, in camps for prisoners, as well as their

16 participation in the arrest and escorting of prisoners, also the movements

17 of refugees. And this comes from paragraph 25 of Exhibit 435, the 1985

18 service regulations of the SFRY military police.

19 Q. Now, more about the Guards Motorised Brigade. Do you agree with

20 me when I bear in mind the purpose and the nature of the motorised guards

21 brigade, in terms of their character and their purpose, they were a

22 military police unit, because all its tasks were vintage military police

23 business?

24 A. I -- Your Honours, I don't think that's a correct representation

25 of the capabilities of the guards brigade, but because it is correct that

Page 10866

1 the guards brigade had two military police battalions, and it was most

2 known for its duty to protect senior military authorities, but I wish to

3 underline that in addition to the two military police battalions the

4 Guards Motorised Brigade also has two motorised battalions, which are two

5 infantry units with wheeled armoured personnel carriers, as well as an

6 armoured battalion, and that was equipped with M-84 tanks. Military

7 police usually doesn't have tanks to carry out its mission.

8 Q. Yes. Mr. Theunens, do you know that from the security organ in

9 the Guards Motorised Brigade there was a military police unit with a

10 special purpose, including 12 officers?

11 A. Your Honours, I don't understand the question, because it says on

12 the transcript: "... from the security organ in the Guards Motorised

13 Brigade there was a military police unit with a special purpose ..."

14 Excuse me, do you mean by this that this military police unit --

15 Q. There, Mr. Theunens. My apologies for overlapping. The poor

16 interpretation is costing a lot of time. I'm trying to speak slowly and

17 to phrase my questions.

18 My question to you was: Are you familiar with the fact that in

19 the Guards Motorised Brigade there was a military police unit used for

20 special purposes made up of 12 officers? If indeed you know about this,

21 say yes. If not, please say no.

22 A. If you refer to the anti-terrorist unit in --

23 Q. No, no, no, no.

24 A. No, then I'm not familiar with the unit. But I mean from the

25 military point of view, why would you have a unit for special purposes

Page 10867

1 made up of 12 officers?

2 Q. Mr. Theunens, Mr. Theunens, Mr. Theunens. Have you had this book,

3 the establishment book of the guards brigade? If you had been given this

4 or if you had otherwise found it, you probably would have understood. I'm

5 not asking this question just because I have nothing better to do.

6 Can you please tell me this, sir: If we have several

7 establishment units within an operations group and each of these has a

8 security organ, what would their mutual relations be? I mean between

9 these security organs belonging to various establishment units, all part

10 of an operations group?

11 A. The relations between the security organs belonging to various

12 establishment units, do you mean the relation between the security organs

13 at the level of the command of the operations group on the one hand, and

14 on the other hand, security organs of the subordinate units? Or do you

15 mean the relations between the security organs of the subordinate units?

16 To answer the first question, based on what is written in the

17 regulations that determine the activities of the security organs, there

18 would be a management relationship, what is called special management

19 relation, between the security organs of the command and the security

20 organs of the subordinate units.

21 Q. Let me ask you this, specifically: The relations between the

22 security organ of the 80th Motorised Brigade, and the security organs of

23 the Guards Motorised Brigade?

24 A. I cannot answer the question specific for the situation in

25 Vukovar, because I don't have documents on that. I can only refer to what

Page 10868

1 I read out earlier in relation to the regulations whereby according to

2 Exhibit 107 there is a special management relationship between the

3 security organs at the higher level, and the security organ at the lower

4 level.

5 Q. Fine. Would you agree with me that the relations between the

6 various security organs within the composition of the establishment units,

7 temporarily part of such an establishment as an operations group, is only

8 in reference to counter-intelligence activity?

9 A. Indeed. However, I wish also to draw your attention on the

10 relations that exist between the staffs and the commands of units. In

11 Exhibit 393, which is the 1983 manual for the work of commands and staffs,

12 there is a discussion of the concept of staff relationship whereby, and I

13 will read it out, "Staff relationship" --

14 Q. Mr. Theunens, that's a different issue. It's beside the point. I

15 asked you this, I believe we have agreed, under the rules there is no

16 dispute, this is counter-intelligence activity?

17 A. Indeed, Your Honours. But I wish to add, if you allow, this

18 definition of staff relationships between staffs at a higher level and

19 staffs at a lower level, because it also has an impact on the relationship

20 between security organs of a higher unit and security organs of a lower

21 unit.

22 And if you allow me, I will read out from paragraph 7 from

23 Exhibit 393: "Staff relationships between command organs and staffs at a

24 higher and lower organisational level, are, in fact, functional

25 relationships governed by the principle of obligatory action in accordance

Page 10869

1 with the requests of the staff organ of the superior command for the

2 purpose of implementing the decision made by the superior commander."

3 Q. You mentioned several times this rule of the security organs in

4 the armed forces of the SFRY. Let me ask you this: Would you agree that

5 a superior officer belonging to a security organ has the power to allow

6 the security organ to only carry out tasks from the purview of the

7 security organ, regardless of the fact whether these tasks are part of any

8 regular activities at the establishment post where he or it happened to

9 be? So tasks from within the purview of a security organ and nothing

10 else.

11 Let me give you a hand. This is Article 48. Or item 48 of the

12 security organ rules.

13 A. Indeed, Your Honours. If this officer acts as a security organ,

14 and in the -- as part of the framework of his duty of a security organ, he

15 can issue orders or give instructions as has been described by

16 Mr. Bulatovic.

17 Q. Do you know who passed this regulation that we're talking about,

18 the security organ rules in the armed forces of the SFRY? The rules of

19 service governing the work of security organs in the armed forces of

20 the SFRY?

21 A. Your Honours, I don't know who passed it, but if we look at -- at

22 the second page of the document, or the first page of the document, it

23 will be explained who signed these rules of service.

24 [Defence counsel confer]

25 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is an

Page 10870

1 intervention following consultations with my colleagues. I think on

2 page 90, line 10, 7 to 10, my question number 7 to 10, I asked about the

3 authorised officer, meaning the officer superior to the security organ.

4 The officer superior to the security organ, or to translate, the

5 commander. And I said this was item 48 of the rule. However, I believe

6 the interpretation was poor, so that the answer was in reference to

7 something altogether different.

8 THE WITNESS: Maybe the problem could be --

9 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Mr. Theunens, I'm trying to make a much shorter question in a bid

11 to keep it clear and save us from wasting time.

12 The officer superior to the security organ, can this officer to

13 this, his subordinate security organ, give assignments only from the

14 purview of the security organ pursuant to Article 48 of the rules of

15 service of the security organ in the armed forces of the SFRY?

16 A. Your Honours, I think it would be helpful if -- if the article of

17 the regulation would be shown, and then we could see it all together.

18 Because this is one -- this is an article I have not included in my report

19 when I discussed the security organs. It's Exhibit 107.

20 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Exhibit 107.

21 So I would like to -- the B/C/S, page 31. The English, page 19 and 20. I

22 believe 19 is for item 48. For the B/C/S the ERN number is 0090-9832.

23 And the English reference is 0092-0117.

24 Q. The English, please. Mr. Theunens, this is page 19. That

25 means 48. Page 19, Article 48, that's where it begins. Can you see that,

Page 10871

1 Mr. Theunens? Do you have that in your screen?

2 A. I can see it, yes. Thank you. And it will continue on page 20.

3 But I'm not sure whether this really mentions what you just asked me.

4 [Defence counsel confer]

5 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Have you got that, Mr. Theunens?

7 A. I see it, Your Honours, but I'm not sure whether this is --

8 Q. Let's not waste time. In the sense of this legal regulation,

9 Article 48, the rules of service in the armed forces, can you tell me who

10 is the superior officer to the security organ?

11 A. Could we go back to the bottom of page 19, please?

12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the counsel's remark.

13 We're sorry.

14 THE WITNESS: I mean, it talks about an authorised officer of a

15 security organ. In my view, it's not the same as the officer who is

16 superior to the security organ.

17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Theunens, I think this must be a question of poor

19 interpretation. We agree on who is directly superior to the security

20 organ. We agree who has the power to issue assignments to the security

21 organ. My question was just one thing. Can this be the superior officer

22 to the security organ? Can he only issue assignments from the purview of

23 the security organ?

24 A. Your Honours, actually, the Article 16 and 17 in Exhibit 107, so

25 the same regulation, state that: "The security organ is directly

Page 10872

1 subordinate to the commanding officer of the command unit, institution or

2 staff of the armed forces in whose strength it is placed in the

3 establishment and it is responsible to that officer for its work."

4 So --

5 Q. Very well. I think we -- so that's the superior officer, right?

6 JUDGE PARKER: I'm not sure where this superior officer comes

7 from, Mr. Bulatovic. Article 48 in the English version speaks of an

8 authorised officer of a security organ. That indicates, as a matter of

9 language, somebody within the security organ, rather than the commanding

10 officer of the unit who is necessarily outside the security organ.

11 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, could we put the B/C/S version on the

12 ELMO, and maybe the translators could read it? It appears that there is a

13 mistake in translation, from what they're doing. From what they're

14 saying.

15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honours, we can try to

16 do something to clarify this situation regarding the translation. The

17 exhibit number is 107, the B/C/S reference is number 31.

18 JUDGE PARKER: It's on the screen now.

19 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I will read it out. "In keeping

20 the with duties and obligations under the law and pursuant to regulations

21 based on the law, the authorised officer of the security organ is

22 duty-bound to carry out assignments from the purview of the security organ

23 assigned to him by the relevant officer, regardless of the fact whether

24 these tasks ..."

25 JUDGE PARKER: I think perhaps Mr. Bulatovic, if it helps you, you

Page 10873

1 might give some further thought to Article 48 during the break, which is

2 coming soon, and in the meantime you might like to move on to something

3 else so that you don't lose time.

4 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is not the

5 problem. The problem is the interpretation, or it seems to be. However,

6 I can press on.

7 JUDGE PARKER: I think not. Even your interpretation didn't

8 really seem to get you where you wanted to go. So you might have to think

9 about it over the break.

10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll see about that.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Can I be clear. Is it your proposition that the

12 commanding officer of a unit, within which there is a security organ,

13 can't give to a security organ any tasks other than those that are within

14 the purview of a security organ?

15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely.

16 JUDGE PARKER: That, I fear, might be a bit of news to some

17 commanding officers. But nevertheless, it doesn't seem to be borne out by

18 either the English translation or your own translation of Article 48. So

19 if you want to, press on now, but you may find it more useful to go on to

20 something else and think about this over the break.

21 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] We'll leave this for after the

22 break, but Your Honour, it's just the way it is.

23 Q. Mr. Theunens, I asked you about the --

24 THE INTERPRETER: Can counsel please speak closer to the

25 microphone or louder. The interpreters are having a lot of trouble

Page 10874

1 hearing him. Thank you.

2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. This same organ adopted the rules of service governing the work of

4 military police. The question for Mr. Theunens now: Will you agree with

5 me -- Mr. Theunens, will you agree with me that the use of military police

6 outside the prescribed activities in the armed forces can or must be

7 approved by the federal secretary for All People's Defence alone?

8 A. Your Honours, I don't remember seeing such a regulation. But if

9 Mr. Bulatovic can show me the article within the regulations that

10 determine the work of the military police, I would be very willing to look

11 at it. It's possible, but I don't remember seeing it.

12 Q. I leave that for the break. And then we'll continue after the

13 break.

14 Now let us turn, Mr. Theunens, to a section that has to do with

15 the Zagreb agreement. Do you know at which level the Zagreb agreement was

16 signed -- or, rather, who were the participants in the act of signing the

17 Zagreb agreement?

18 A. Your Honours, the people involved in signing the Zagreb agreement

19 for the evacuation of the wounded and the sick of Vukovar Hospital include

20 at least the following people: General Andrija Raseta, who I think was

21 before commander of the 5th Military District or at least a senior

22 military official of the 5th Military District and subsequently was

23 appointed chief negotiator for the JNA. Then there was the Croatian

24 minister of health, Andrija Hebrang. There were also representatives from

25 the ICRC, so the Red Cross. I believe Medecins sans Frontieres and also

Page 10875

1 the Maltezer Kreuz, so NGOs.

2 Q. Can we agree that that was a very high level at which it was

3 signed?

4 A. Yes, Your Honours.

5 Q. Given the importance of that agreement, and also the subject of

6 the agreement, what had to be done in order to prepare the evacuation of

7 the wounded and the sick, as envisaged by the agreement, given the level

8 at which the agreement was signed?

9 A. Giving a very general reply to this question, orders should have

10 been issued in order to task those people who were to carry out the

11 evacuation with the assignment of carrying out the evacuation in

12 accordance with what had been agreed in Zagreb.

13 Q. Does this mean that since the JNA was involved that there should

14 have been some kind of an order on the evacuation of the wounded and the

15 sick?

16 A. Indeed, Your Honours. The only -- actually, I came across two

17 documents that refer to the evacuation of the hospital. The first of all

18 we have Exhibit 415, which is a 1st Military District order, which

19 mentions the task of evacuating the hospital. It is dated the 18th of

20 November. And then there is also an order by OG South, it's 431-9, dated

21 20th of November, which is Exhibit 419.

22 Now, it is obvious that the 1st Military District, i.e., General

23 Zivota Panic, should have received an order from his superior, that is the

24 Ministry of Defence, the SSNO, in order to implement the agreement that

25 had been signed in Zagreb.

Page 10876

1 Q. When drafting your report and your analysis, did you come across a

2 written order on the evacuation of the wounded and the sick from the

3 Vukovar Hospital pursuant to the agreement which had been signed, which

4 has all the elements prescribed by the agreement?

5 A. Your Honours, the two exhibits I just mentioned, 415 and 419, only

6 mention the evacuation of the hospital in as such, so they only say

7 evacuate the hospital. The -- they do not include additional information

8 which would be required to carry out that evacuation in accordance with

9 the agreement signed in Zagreb.

10 Now, for your information, in November 2005 we asked Serbia and

11 Montenegro for all orders by General -- by Colonel Mrksic to ensure the

12 protection and safety of the people who were evacuated from Vukovar

13 Hospital, and the documents we received in January 2006 did not include

14 such an order.

15 Q. In your view, given the complexity of evacuation of the wounded

16 and the sick in accordance with the agreement, and bearing in mind the

17 level at which the agreement was signed, what should such an order on

18 evacuation contain?

19 A. The order issued by whom? The order issued by the command of the

20 1st Military District or Operational Group South or the commanding officer

21 who was put in charge of the evacuation?

22 Q. You said that you had two documents on evacuation. We also agreed

23 that none of them contained all of the elements prescribed by the

24 agreement of the 18th of November. I'm asking you: An order ordering an

25 evacuation should contain what elements? I'm asking you this as an

Page 10877

1 analyst, given the complexity of the issue.

2 A. An order to -- to carry out an evacuation, i.e., an order to

3 implement the Zagreb agreement would at least include the name of the

4 person who is in charge, i.e., who is in command, the units that would be

5 involved, the mission or task of each of these units, the start of the

6 operation, not only the time, but also the location, the route that would

7 have to be followed by the people -- by the evacuees and the people

8 escorting them, additional coordinating measures in order to ensure that

9 there would be a smooth transition, or at least transport of these people

10 through the zone of operations.

11 It would also have to include the names or the organisation to

12 whom these prisoners should be handed over. There would be an important

13 logistical chapter in order to determine who would provide the vehicles,

14 who would provide food, medical assistance, and so on. There would be a

15 security assessment in order to ascertain the threat of escape of these

16 people who had to be evacuated, as well as an assessment of the risks,

17 possible risks against these prisoners that could be -- that could

18 originate from the local population or any other party that would like to

19 interfere with the evacuation or threaten the physical security of the

20 evacuees.

21 Relating now to the Zagreb agreement, there should be information

22 on the attitude to adopt towards the ICRC and ECMM, if possible the names

23 of the officials of ICRC and ECMM who would be involved in monitoring the

24 evacuation and so on.

25 Q. All right. Now, tell me: Prior to the evacuation of the wounded

Page 10878

1 and the sick, given the combat and the armed conflict, was the security

2 organ duty-bound to check the security status at the hospital? You

3 mentioned this in passing just a bit ago.

4 A. Yes, and I would say it would not just be limited to the security

5 status at the hospital itself, but also along the route that would be

6 followed by the evacuees, as well as at the -- the end location of the

7 evacuation.

8 Q. Would you agree with me that when analysing the documents

9 available to you, among the people at the hospital there were also members

10 of the so-called Croatian army, who had used weapons and had not

11 surrendered like the group of people did on the 18th of November. These

12 people sought shelter in the hospital.

13 We also have information to the effect that they put on white

14 coats trying to disguise themselves as medical staff, that they put on

15 bandages on themselves in order to confuse the perception of their status,

16 and there was this agreement regulating the evacuation of the wounded and

17 the sick from the hospital. These people did this in order to mask the

18 fact that they were members of armed formations who had taken part in

19 combat against the armed forces of the SFRY?

20 A. Your Honours, I can only provide an answer to what I understand as

21 being the first part of the question. That is, that indeed according to

22 OG South reports and 1st Military District reports, there were members of

23 the Croatian forces among the people at the hospital.

24 Now, all the other aspects that are mentioned in Mr. Bulatovic's

25 question, I cannot substantiate by documents I came across.

Page 10879

1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic, is that a convenient time?

2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, yes. I also need

3 instructions on how much time I have left so that I can go over my

4 questions during the break.

5 JUDGE PARKER: We resume at a quarter to 4.00, and you have 25

6 minutes.

7 --- Recess taken at 3.24 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 3.46 p.m.

9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

11 Q. Mr. Theunens, let us go back to the matter that wasn't clear, that

12 suffered from poor interpretation and God knows what else. So I'll put

13 the question to you and we'll clarify it. In the Guards Motorised

14 Brigade, who was the immediate superior, or, rather, to whom was Veselin

15 Sljivancanin immediately subordinated?

16 A. Major Veselin Sljivancanin was immediately subordinated to the

17 commander of the guards brigade, i.e., Colonel Mile Mrksic in 1991.

18 Q. Does this mean that Mr. Mrksic was the commanding officer with

19 competencies over Veselin Sljivancanin?

20 A. That is correct. But I think "commander" would be a more

21 appropriate translation, but it's maybe a nuance in the English.

22 Q. All right. Now, let's clarify this. Does this mean that

23 Mr. Mrksic, as a superior commanding officer or commander to

24 Mr. Sljivancanin, was entitled to issue certain tasks to his subordinate,

25 Sljivancanin, but only from the domain of security organ's work in

Page 10880

1 accordance with Article 48 that we saw before the break?

2 A. I would have to see the Article, because I haven't referred to it

3 in my report, and I -- therefore, I'm -- I was not aware of the limitation

4 in the command authority Mrksic has, as commander of the Guards Motorised

5 Brigade has over the one of his assistant commanders.

6 Q. This rule of -- or, rather, Article 48 of the rules of service was

7 admitted into evidence. I see that all of us are giving a different

8 interpretation to it, so let us leave it aside. It will be analysed when

9 the time comes.

10 Now, let me ask you this: There is an evacuation of the wounded

11 and the sick from the Vukovar Hospital, and we have the description of the

12 conditions at the hospital. Evidence was introduced to support that. So

13 under those circumstances, what is the role and participation of the

14 military police in the evacuation of the wounded and the sick? What is

15 the military police supposed to do in that situation?

16 A. The military police of Operational Group South is supposed to do

17 what the commander of Operations Group South has ordered them to do. And

18 the same applies to military police units of other units that may be

19 involved. It is their commander who will assign a specific task to them,

20 also in relation to the evacuation.

21 Q. Let me ask you this: The evacuation of the wounded and the sick

22 from the Vukovar Hospital, in accordance with the Zagreb agreement, in

23 terms of its character and the nature of work that was supposed to be

24 done, does it come within the scope of work of the security organs, and is

25 it a task that falls within the scope of work of security organs?

Page 10881

1 A. The evacuation of the wounded and sick from the Vukovar Hospital,

2 in accordance with the Zagreb agreement, would be an operation which will

3 require the same kind of planning and preparation as any other military

4 operation. This means that the various staff organs, as well as other

5 departments within the command, and I mean by this, for example, logistics

6 organs and the security organs will assist the commander in preparing

7 orders to implement this evacuation.

8 Now, specifically for the security organs, in addition to what I

9 mentioned before where I spoke about the requirement for the security

10 organs to prepare security assessment which would deal both with the risk

11 of escape or the threat of escape of evacuees or attempts to liberate

12 them, as well as risks to the physical security of the people being

13 evacuated, security organs could also participate in selecting the

14 evacuees, because as you pointed out earlier, they could be civilians,

15 former combatants and other people, and there could be a requirement to

16 make such a selection, and therefore the security organs could assist in

17 this matter too.

18 Q. All right. Let me ask you this: Taking people out of the group

19 and frisking them, would that fall under the regular procedure conducted

20 by those escorting detained persons? Are these typical activities,

21 selecting people from a group, frisking them, would that all be part of a

22 regular procedure, conducted by military police when they take a person

23 into custody?

24 A. I apologise, I'm not a native English speaker, so the

25 word "frisking" poses some difficulties for me. Maybe there is an easier

Page 10882

1 word.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Searching people.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Visual and physical searching of people.

4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.

5 Yes, indeed. I mean, it should be -- it's part of the order for

6 the evacuation that before evacuating the people they should be searched

7 to prevent, for example, that weapons or other dangerous equipment are

8 taken with the people. Yes. But, again, this is a theoretical which is

9 based on my review of JNA regulations and my own experience or military

10 education. I haven't seen specific orders in relation to how this was

11 carried out during the evacuation of Vukovar Hospital on the 20th of

12 November.

13 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Mr. Theunens, when asked by my learned friend, Mr. Vasic, about

15 the structure of an operations group command, you said that before the

16 command of the guards brigade took over the command of the OG South,

17 Colonel Pavkovic and Colonel Terzic came, that they were sent to the

18 command. I'd like to know whether I noted this down correctly and, if so,

19 would you please explain in what capacity these two senior officers came.

20 They held the rank of colonel. They were sent from the office of the

21 Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence, and they were sent to the

22 operations group.

23 A. Your Honours, what I mentioned to Mr. Vasic, and what is also

24 included in my report on page 65 in the English version, the second part,

25 I made reference to Exhibit 404, which talks about the assignment of

Page 10883

1 Colonel Nebojsa Pavkovic -- a temporary assignment, and Colonel Zlatoje

2 Terzic to the Guards Motorised Brigade. So not to OG South from the

3 [indiscernible], but to the Guards Motorised Brigade, and this order dates

4 from the 29th of September, 1991. My understanding is that these two

5 officers were sent to carry out liaison tasks which is not an unusual

6 occurrence in such a situation, based on my experience.

7 Now, maybe we should look at Exhibit 404 to know the -- to see the

8 exact phrasing of Colonel Vuk Obradovic's order to temporarily reassign

9 Pavkovic and Terzic to the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade.

10 Q. Mr. Theunens, when writing your report, did you take into

11 account -- rather, were documents made available to you, documents of the

12 ECMM monitors who followed the evacuation of the wounded and the sick, who

13 monitored it. I didn't find such reference in your report, so I'd like to

14 know this from you.

15 A. I did take these reports into my account -- into account, excuse

16 me, to prepare this report. But I thought it was -- as an analyst, I

17 thought it was more useful to confine myself to the reporting of

18 Operational Group South and the 1st Military District on how they

19 implemented the evacuation, not only the evacuation of the hospital, but

20 also other evacuation operations that were taking place during that time

21 period in Vukovar. And I confined myself because it were actually

22 1st Military District and OG South who carried out the operation who

23 should actually be best placed to know how the evacuations went.

24 Q. Did you find in those reports that Nebojsa Pavkovic played a

25 certain role in the evacuation of the wounded and the sick and the

Page 10884

1 implementation of the Zagreb agreement?

2 A. I know that he played a role based on video imagery I have seen,

3 including the famous Borsinger video, but I haven't used that for my

4 report. Otherwise, I would not be able to answer the -- otherwise, I

5 would not be able to answer the question, unless you would show me these

6 documents.

7 Q. Mr. Theunens, I didn't ask you about video footage. I asked you

8 about the reports of the EC monitors. Did you have them in your hands

9 when drafting your report or not?

10 A. I think I mentioned earlier that I did take these reports into

11 account. I read them. I also understood, but I'm not clear which

12 specific report it was, but that in one of the reports there was a

13 confusion or a mixing up of names between Pavkovic and Sljivancanin. But

14 again, if you wish me to comment on ECMM reports, I think it would be

15 useful for all of us if you would show that report to me.

16 Q. All right. I will.

17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we put

18 Exhibit 316 on the screen, please.

19 Q. Do you have it, Mr. Theunens?

20 A. Indeed, Your Honours, I have it in front of me.

21 Q. Can you see what is written under the heading "Subject."

22 Negotiations of the evacuation of wounded people from the Vukovar

23 Hospital; correct?

24 A. Yes, that's correct, Your Honours.

25 Q. Would you like to look at the names of participants,, the last

Page 10885

1 four persons on -- are on behalf of the JNA. I will read out the names

2 and you can follow. I'm not going to mention the monitors of the EC. It

3 says here: Participants, Colonel Pavkovic, JNA commander for the

4 Operations Group South, Vukovar; Colonel Loncar, liaison officer of the

5 JNA within the 1st Military District; Colonel Memisevic, liaison officer

6 of the JNA within the 1st Military District; and Major Zaric -- it says

7 here Saric but it should be Zaric, liaison officer of the JNA within the

8 1st Military District. Correct?

9 A. I mean, you have read out the information as it is mentioned in

10 the document, but the definition of Colonel Pavkovic as JNA commander,

11 Operations Group South is in contradiction with the Operations Group South

12 documents we have for the time period. So there must be a

13 misunderstanding somewhere.

14 Q. Sir, Mr. Theunens, all I'm doing is reading what this gentleman,

15 Mr. Cunningham, a member of the ECMM, wrote. I don't want to waste any

16 more time on this.

17 Now, let's turn to page 2 of this report, I'd like to read

18 paragraph d to you, second page of this report. It says here in

19 paragraph d: "Paragraph 5 of the fax signed by Croats and the JNA evoked

20 much discussion. Colonel Pavkovic stated that prisoners of war would not

21 be allowed to depart as the POWs are under the JNA control. If he did,

22 Serb irregulars/local citizens would attack the convoy."

23 And (3): "At some future time the POWs would be exchanged for the

24 JNA POWs."

25 Is that what it says there?

Page 10886

1 A. That is correct, Your Honours. Now --

2 Q. Your Honours, can we pull up Exhibit 333?

3 A. Your Honours, if you allow me, I would still like to finish my

4 reply, actually, in relation to the questions on Pavkovic.

5 Colonel Pavkovic is obviously sent as the negotiator for

6 Operational Group South, i.e., he has been mandated, authorised by the

7 commander of OG South or somebody who is superior to the commander of

8 OG South, and the views Pavkovic expressed cannot be his personal views

9 but they are the views as they have been defined by the JNA, and also

10 reflected in the instructions the commander of OG South must have given to

11 Pavkovic before he started to negotiate with ECMM.

12 Q. Exhibit 333. See here, please look at item 1 of this report. I

13 will read this out, and you can follow to make sure I'm reading correctly.

14 You have the English version. It says there: "On arrival at the

15 headquarters Colonel Pavkovic, in Negoslavci, we discussed once again

16 contentious issues that we had discussed on the previous day. Colonel

17 Pavkovic remained firm that not all the wounded would be evacuated. As a

18 result of an order of General Raseta, Croatian paramilitaries who were

19 wounded would remain as POWs."

20 Have I read this out correctly?

21 A. Yes, indeed.

22 Q. A bit earlier when I asked you about the Zagreb agreement you

23 mentioned Mr. Raseta. You said who he was and what he was. Let me ask

24 you this: Mr. Mrksic, as the commander of the Operations Group South, was

25 he able to issue an order to General Raseta?

Page 10887

1 A. It all depends of the situation they're in. I mean, it would be

2 unusual that a colonel issues an order to a general, but it can be that

3 there is, for example -- I mean, I'm giving a theoretical scenario now,

4 that a general is visiting an -- the headquarters of the colonel, and the

5 colonel is in charge of the operation, and then the colonel could issue an

6 order to the general to -- to leave the area, for example. I mean, it's

7 not a good example. But if they're not the same chain of command -- if

8 they are in the same chain of command, excuse me, then a colonel cannot

9 issue an order to a general. But I'm not really sure what you're asking

10 in this context.

11 Q. Nothing more than I asked. If we know that Mr. Raseta is the

12 commander of the 5th District, can the commander of OG South issue an

13 order to him. But that's all right, we've discussed that already.

14 Something else in relation to this report. We have seen reports

15 produced by ECMM containing information highly relevant to the evacuation

16 of the sick and wounded. Did you believe them to be entirely irrelevant

17 to your report, since there is not a single word in your report about

18 these ECMM reports?

19 A. Your Honours, it's not a question of relevant or irrelevant, but

20 having access to what I would call the primary sources, i.e., the

21 documents prepared by the people that were directly involved in carrying

22 out the evacuation. And I mean by this the 1st Military District and

23 Operational Group South. I didn't really see a need to include reports

24 that were actually drafted by people who were only observers to the whole

25 process but not directly involved in its execution. Because I'm pretty

Page 10888

1 sure that if I had included only the ECMM documents, or also the ECMM

2 documents, you would have said, well, why do you include the ECMM

3 documents if you have already the JNA documents.

4 Q. These are relevant documents, Mr. Pringle [sic]. There are at

5 least the quality level of some articles from a newspaper called Greater

6 Serbia, which you found fit to mention in your analysis. Let me ask you

7 something else.

8 A. Is it a question or is it a comment? Because --

9 Q. My apologies, my apologies. I have overstepped the mark.

10 I would like to ask you something else. Speaking of the

11 interview, you mentioned in your report an interview with Zivota Panic, in

12 which you say that Zivota Panic, in this interview, said that Veselin

13 Sljivancanin was in charge of the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital.

14 A. That's correct, Your Honours. But it's not me who says that.

15 It's actually according to the transcript at least of the interview, and

16 it's also available on videotape, it is Zivota Panic who makes that

17 statement. And it's on the page 92 in my report, and in the document it

18 should be on the page 04 -- 0460-7856 in the English transcript of the

19 interview that Zivota Panic provided to the BBC series "Death of

20 Yugoslavia."

21 And if you allow me, the reason why I include this interview,

22 because we didn't obtain any documents on whether -- the role of

23 Sljivancanin in the evacuation, but I'm familiar with the statement

24 Veselin Sljivancanin gave to the Belgrade military prosecutor in 1998 in

25 which he mentioned that he was in charge of the evacuation of Vukovar

Page 10889

1 Hospital.

2 [Defence counsel confer]

3 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to object to

4 this part of the expert's answer. Because he can't use a statement that

5 was given to the OTP that we don't have here and about which we still

6 haven't resolved the question of how that statement would be used. The

7 fact is Veselin Sljivancanin has not appeared in any role here except as

8 an accused, but these comments in this sort of preparation clearly point

9 to something else, and we would move that this part of the witness's

10 answer not be taken into account. The page is 0460-7856 and if that could

11 please be read out, and this is a relevant passage, just to see if the

12 interpretation here in this report is accurate.

13 JUDGE PARKER: Are you referring to an interview with the BBC, or

14 to what is said to be evidence or a statement given to the Belgrade

15 military prosecutor?

16 MS. DOKMANOVIC: Your Honours, this is a --

17 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] This is an interview with Zivota

18 Panic.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel switch the microphone on or

20 start speaking into the microphone. The interpreters can hear nothing at

21 all.

22 JUDGE PARKER: Microphone.

23 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, there were two

24 microphones on at the same time.

25 Apparently in his interview for the "Death of Yugoslavia," the BBC

Page 10890

1 series, Zivota Panic stated that Major Veselin Sljivancanin had been in

2 charge of the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital. It is the Defence

3 team's position that Zivota Panic made no such reference to the evacuation

4 in that interview. Can the relevant portion therefore please be read out

5 to see what lies at heart of the matter.

6 MS. DOKMANOVIC: "But we did not bomb the hospital, and the moment

7 our troops entered that compound Sljivancanin was in charge of that

8 operation. But after that, International Red Cross interfered and you

9 know what happened later. A part of the wounded was tran -- pull out by

10 then. Some were transported to our hospitals."

11 JUDGE PARKER: It's your contention, is it, Mr. Bulatovic, that

12 that interview does not support the proposition that your client was in

13 charge of the evacuation operation?

14 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, I can't accept that

15 my client was in charge of the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital.

16 Secondly, I submit that there is no reference to an evacuation here in

17 this transcript. Not the way we have seen it here. Now -- or in

18 Mr. Theunens's report, for that matter.

19 I'll try to wrap this up quickly now.

20 JUDGE PARKER: That concern will be considered in due course,

21 Mr. Bulatovic.

22 Now, you are already overrun by five minutes, so your wrap-up will

23 need to be immediate.

24 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one question. I have plenty

25 left, unfortunately.

Page 10891

1 Q. You quote a piece from some newspaper or other, Daily Telegraph,

2 Branislav Vakic, a Chetnik Vojvoda. He said that Veselin Sljivancanin

3 gave them weapons and that they worked with him and so on and so forth.

4 Did you have the original piece? Did you ever see the original piece

5 published in the Telegraph newspaper? And did you consider Mr. Vakic's

6 diary or log-book when you included this in your report?

7 A. Your Honours, the article is indeed -- or extracts of the article

8 are included in my report. Why, because I considered them useful in the

9 context of this report.

10 Now, Vakic gives a long overview not only of his involvement in

11 Vukovar, but also in other areas, and I was able to corroborate large

12 sections of the interview Vakic provided with other military documents I

13 had come across in other cases. And I'm aware of the time constraints

14 but, for example, Vakic talks about his involvement in the Skelani area in

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina, in early 1993 and --

16 Q. Your Honours, all I asked was whether he had the original piece in

17 his possession, the one that he invokes, and why do we not have it, the

18 one from the Telegraph newspaper. We have transcripts of conversations

19 that cannot be attributed to anyone in particular, or timed at any

20 particular time.

21 A. This interview is 65 ter number 628, and it's my understanding

22 that it's -- I'm sorry, it's not -- it's -- I apologise, it's a

23 correction. The interview is 65 ter number 612, and we only have the

24 English version here at the ICTY. But I'm very willing to look at the

25 B/C/S version and to see whether there are any discrepancies.

Page 10892

1 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, ideally I would have

2 lots of questions left. However, clearly you are in charge of this

3 courtroom, which means this concludes my cross-examination. Thank you.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Bulatovic.

5 Mr. Weiner.

6 MR. WEINER: I'll move fast.

7 Re-examination by Mr. Weiner:

8 Q. May the witness please be shown Exhibit 107 -- I'm sorry,

9 Exhibit 107, Article 48.

10 I'm going to read in part from a copy of that. "An authorised

11 officer of a security organ -- of a security organ is obliged to carry out

12 tasks within the competence of the security organ that a competent officer

13 assigns to him, regardless of whether or not these tasks are covered by

14 the work that is regularly conducted in their establishment position."

15 Is there anything in that quotation that would prevent a commander

16 of an operational group from ordering or assigning the head of a security

17 organ to command a military operation?

18 A. No, Your Honours. Based on -- on this article, there is not.

19 Because I would refer then actually to what we saw earlier about

20 delegation, that a commander can appoint or can delegate some of his

21 powers to any officer he deems competent to carry out these powers, and

22 security officers are also part of the -- or this also applies to security

23 officers.

24 Q. And if a commander of a operational group wanted to place a -- the

25 command -- the chief of a security organ in charge of an evacuation

Page 10893

1 operation, is that possible?

2 A. That is possible, and by this appointment the chief of the

3 security organ would become a commanding officer, i.e., an officer in

4 command of that evacuation operation, as any other officer who would have

5 been put in such a position, by the commander.

6 Q. Let's move on to a couple other issues. You were shown a few

7 minutes ago Exhibit 316, and it mentioned that the POWs are under the

8 control of the JNA and it also indicated that Serb irregulars/local

9 citizens would attack the convoy if these POWs are removed or placed on

10 the convoy.

11 Now, you previously discussed planning and the duty to predict and

12 forecasting yesterday. If the person in charge of an evacuation or the

13 commanding officer receives notice that some of the people to be evacuated

14 are in danger of Serb irregulars or the local citizens, what is his or her

15 duty?

16 A. Your Honours, his duty would be to prevent, in this case, the Serb

17 irregulars from endangering the evacuees. So in the preparation of the

18 operation he would make sure that he makes forces available and includes

19 taskings for these forces to be ready to counter any threat that is posed

20 to the physical security of the evacuees.

21 Q. And how much police units do the Guards Motorised Brigade have?

22 A. I mean -- I think you mean military police.

23 Q. Military police units.

24 A. The Guards Motorised Brigade had two military police battalions,

25 and in -- I think it was in October the Guards Motorised Brigade received

Page 10894

1 a company with an additional 100 men of military police. It is mentioned

2 in the report, but maybe because of time constraints I will not be able to

3 identify the correct page within reasonable limits.

4 Q. That's sufficient, as long as you've indicated it's mentioned in

5 the report, sir.

6 Now, let's just move on to another issue. There was some

7 discussion of Vukovar being taken on or about the 18th, or on the 18th.

8 And there was an issue of whether or not there was still a need for

9 assault detachments. When Vukovar was taken on the 18th, did that mean

10 that all resistance had ended in the area?

11 A. No, Your Honours, it didn't mean that. And this is, for example,

12 obvious from orders issued by the 1st -- by the commander of the

13 1st Military District on and after the 18th of November, where in one of

14 these orders he -- Panic mentions that the war is not over. Yes.

15 Q. So there was no need to immediately remove the assault detachments

16 or resubordinate the assault detachments?

17 A. No. I mean, from a purely theoretical point of view, maintaining

18 the assault detachments as well as the assault groups, made it easier to

19 maintain command and control over all the forces that were included in the

20 operational group. And we have discussed already earlier the orders of --

21 the particular order from the 18th of November of Zivota Panic,

22 Exhibit 415, where he warns for the risk of revenge and retribution by

23 elements of the local Serb Territorial Defence.

24 Q. Now, there was some discussion, or I think three or four times you

25 mentioned during the testimony that the TOs in Vukovar were not the TOs

Page 10895

1 envisioned in the rules. And you mentioned that in relation to their

2 numbers and their content. What do you mean by that? You never explained

3 that.

4 A. In the first section of my report, Your Honours, I discussed

5 Territorial Defence in -- I mean, the first part of the report in the

6 sections [sic] 5, for example, page 92 and following pages, where also the

7 structure is defined, as well as the types of TO units.

8 Now, what we see in Vukovar, and I will limit myself to

9 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora, which are discussed from page 79

10 onwards, second part, English version. We see from various documentation

11 both from OG South and the most obvious example is the resubordination

12 order from the 21st in the morning, where an order for the resubordination

13 of Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora is sent to, among others, the

14 commander of the Seseljevci.

15 I've also included, indeed as pointed out by Mr. Bulatovic,,

16 references to the newspaper of the Serbian Radical Party, Velika Srbija,

17 whereby -- in which the links between Leva Supoderica and the Serbian

18 Radical Party are highlighted, where -- calling Leva Supoderica a -- I

19 quote, "Chetnik detachment." So this all shows that actually these

20 Leva Supoderica and Petrova Gora detachments could only be considered TO

21 by their name but not by their nature, nor by their structure, nor by is

22 even more important, their motivation to participate in the operations.

23 Q. And the final area, you indicated that a operational group

24 commander would not usually tell an assault detachment commander how to

25 organise its companies. Does this mean that an assault detachment

Page 10896

1 commander would have some independence in the establishment of his

2 companies, the numbers, the units involved? Can you please explain that.

3 A. Within the military each unit commander is responsible for the use

4 of his unit towards his superior who has issued an assignment to him for

5 the use of that unit. So if the assault -- if the operational group

6 commander issues an order for a particular task to the assault detachment

7 commander, based on the documents I reviewed, it will be the assault

8 detachment commander who will determine how he will use his own forces,

9 i.e., his companies in this case, or his assault groups on how to

10 implement the tasking he has received from the operational group

11 commander.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Weiner.

14 We have concluded the evidence of this witness.

15 May we thank you, Mr. Theunens, for the assistance you've given,

16 and for your report. And we now adjourn to resume tomorrow at 9.30.

17 The witness tomorrow, if we could catch up the theme of last week,

18 ought to be a witness that can be completed in less than a full day. And

19 if that is achieved, there will be more time for the evidence of the

20 remaining expert witness, who could commence evidence tomorrow afternoon.

21 So it's in the hands of -- Mr. Weiner.

22 MR. WEINER: Sorry to notify you, but apparently there is a bit of

23 a problem. General Pringle has to fly back tonight to Great Britain, but

24 will return tomorrow evening. He will not be available tomorrow

25 afternoon.

Page 10897

1 JUDGE PARKER: It's paid to that plan.

2 MR. WEINER: The best-laid plans of mice and men.

3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, all right. Two days, we can see how tight two

4 days is, and we will just have to be very disciplined in time. If there

5 are any other procedural matters that need to be dealt with, they can be

6 raised tomorrow afternoon when we finish the evidence of the one witness.

7 We will adjourn now until 9.30 tomorrow.

8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.33 p.m.,

9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of

10 June, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.