1 Monday, 13 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon.
7 Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now that you have given me the floor,
9 just two brief matters. Once Mr. Moore is in the courtroom, and I think
10 he's scheduled to examine the next witness, then perhaps once we conclude
11 the examination of Mr. Panic, we could discuss an issue that I wanted to
13 Another matter is timekeeping. I pay great attention to the time
14 we spent with each witness. Mr. Weiner said that he would need another
15 hour for this witness, and I know that I took almost a day less ten
16 minutes, and also bearing in mind the examination of Mr. Vasic, I would
17 simply like to -- everybody to be careful with time because we have the
18 next witness here, and I will have quite a bit to cover in my redirect.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, you have opened up a subject that is
21 dear to our heart. We're watching closely as well the time taken with
22 each witness and people are stretching out their time. We are going to
23 fall behind if that happens. We will have to watch and act if people just
24 take too long.
25 There is always another issue that can be looked at on the facts,
1 because almost every fact has at least three different versions of it.
2 Most of them are not going to determine the outcome of this case. So
3 attention needs to be paid to the points that matter and deal with those
4 within time and then we will have a hope of finishing this case.
5 Sir, may I remind you of the affirmation you made which still
7 WITNESS: MIODRAG PANIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, I hope you're stimulated to finish more
11 MR. WEINER: I am set to go, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Good.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner: [Continued]
14 Q. Sir, I'd like to go over -- good afternoon first.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. I would like to go over an area which we discussed last week
17 concerning Ovcara, and just based on your answers that you gave, I just
18 want to cover a few matters within that.
19 You said you arrived at Ovcara and you stayed for approximately,
20 is it 15 minutes to one half hour?
21 A. About 15 minutes.
22 Q. And then you said that -- you did indicate -- approximately what
23 time did you arrive?
24 A. I think it was at around 1500 hours.
25 Q. And you said that you met with Colonel Mrksic at
1 approximately 3.30?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So you think you had been in Ovcara from approximately 2.45 to
4 approximately 3.00 p.m.?
5 A. No. I spent some 15 minutes at Ovcara and the rest was spent
6 travelling or in the barracks.
7 Q. Well, were you at Ovcara approximately from 3.00 to 3.15 p.m.,
8 1500 hours to 1515 p.m.?
9 A. Well, you know, it's been a long time. I really couldn't say. I
10 know that I spent about 15 minutes, but I couldn't be more specific than
12 Q. Sir, there's been testimony in this case that the buses arrived
13 around 2.00 p.m., at pages 7703 was the testimony, and that the beatings
14 took one hour to one and a half hours, at page 5018. Based on your
15 testimony, you had to have been present when the beatings occurred.
16 A. No, I wasn't. I came at the end when the buses were already
17 turning back to go to the barracks.
18 Q. You testified that Colonel Vojnovic told you about the gauntlet.
19 Do you agree that there was no other person who told you about that
21 A. Colonel Vojnovic told me something about it very briefly, but he
22 told me much more at the military court, and later on, when testifying
23 before the special court at the trial in Belgrade.
24 Q. But Colonel Vojnovic was the only person that you learned about
25 the gauntlet from; isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, on Friday, you testified first at page 14464 that the
3 gauntlet was used to settle accounts. And then you said you wanted to
4 give a full description is what you heard from Colonel Vojnovic. And you
5 indicated that at page 14466: "The gauntlet was used as a tool for
7 Which was it?
8 A. People wanted to see who was on the opposite side, they wanted to
9 recognise them, and there were attempts to take revenge in a way.
10 Q. Would you agree with me that you've never heard in your lifetime
11 of an identification gauntlet from anyone, prior to your testimony on
13 A. No, it wasn't a typical case of identification. What Vojnovic
14 told me was that there were people who tried to recognise whether any of
15 those on the opposite side had killed some of their family members in the
16 most brutal way. At any rate, they were trying to find ways to identify
17 those who had done that to them.
18 Q. Would you agree, sir, that prior to this testimony, you've never
19 in your lifetime heard of something called an identification gauntlet?
20 A. I would neither agree with it nor would I accept it as a method of
21 identification. Perhaps the meaning of the uttered words is different but
22 the essence is the same.
23 Q. Well, sir, are you aware that Colonel Vojnovic has denied ever
24 seeing you at Ovcara? And that's at 8842, 8946 of the testimony.
25 A. Well, if he stated that, then that's based on his observation. I
1 don't think that he could have forgotten me. We met, and I have witnesses
2 who can testify about us meeting at Ovcara.
3 Q. Sir, Colonel Vojnovic has testified that he met you at the
4 Belgrade trial and was surprised when you told him that you were there.
5 That was the first time he'd ever heard of such a thing.
6 A. Perhaps it's due to the passage of time. Perhaps he has indeed
7 forgotten or perhaps he has some other problems. If necessary, I can
8 direct you to people who can testify about this.
9 Q. Sir, if you didn't learn about the gauntlet from Colonel Vojnovic,
10 there's only one way you could have learned, that you were present for
11 that. You were present when those beatings occurred; isn't that correct?
12 A. It is your right to draw that type of conclusion, but it is not
13 correct. I wasn't there at the time of the beatings, that's the first
14 fact. The second one is that I met with Colonel Vojnovic there, we
15 talked, and I told you here what we had talked about. I repeat I can give
16 you the names of other persons who were present there.
17 Q. Okay. Let's move on. You gave a statement over a two-day period
18 to the Office of the Prosecutor; do you recall that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you recall that it was given not at the ICTY offices but on
21 both days, or actually all three days, it was given at the VG Dom; do you
22 recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the VJ Dom is part of the Yugoslav People's Army?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, you originally met for two days in July to give that
2 statement, and when it was completed you would not sign the English copy
3 because you wanted to review it in the Serbian language; isn't that
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And the -- your request was honoured and your remarks were
7 translated into Serbian, and five weeks later they returned and showed you
8 the statement in Serbian; isn't that correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. And you met on September 1st, 2005, with two people from the
11 Office of the Prosecutor and a translator; do you recall that?
12 A. If that was at the time when I signed it.
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Then yes.
15 Q. And you recall that when you were first shown the document to
16 review you didn't read it in haste but you spent hours reviewing that
17 statement; isn't that correct?
18 A. Well, not exactly hours, but until I've read it through. Because
19 there were hundreds of answers and three times as many questions.
20 Q. Do you recall that you reviewed that statement for two to three
21 hours; isn't that correct, sir?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And do you recall that you made corrections on almost every page
24 of that document?
25 A. Yes. Because there were both mistakes in terms of content, style,
1 language, typographical errors, and so on, and we corrected that together,
2 and I'm sure that there are some that are still there. However, I accept
3 the document as a whole.
4 Q. Well, can I just show you the English version with the
5 corrections, may I show the Court, and just show you how extensive those
6 corrections were.
7 Sir, I just want to show you this. When you made the statements
8 in Serbian, the corrections had to be made in English, and I just want to
9 show the extent of the corrections. You indicated that you accept the
10 document as a whole, but I just want to show you -- show the Court and
11 yourself the extent of the corrections you made.
12 If you look at page 2, there's a few corrections because they had
13 to change the English when you changed the Serbian. Page 3, there's lots
14 of corrections; do you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you also note on page 3 right by paragraph 14 there's a
17 time, 9.40? To the left of paragraph 14.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you remember all these corrections being made, large numbers
20 of corrections, don't you, being made?
21 A. Yes. Yes.
22 Q. So if we move to page 4, again, we see large numbers of
23 corrections, don't we?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And there's also a time by paragraph 17 to the left in the
1 column, 9.51?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you made all these corrections because you wanted it to be
4 right, you wanted it to be correct and true; isn't that certain?
5 A. Yes, because I did not speak English, so we had to do it together.
6 I think it was done with the best of intentions.
7 Q. And if we go to the next page, page 5, we see a number of
8 corrections made again. And by page -- do you see a number of corrections
9 are made again? And by paragraph 23, we see the time 10.02.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And again, I say to you these corrections were made because you
12 wanted an accurate statement to be produced; isn't that true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, if we go to page 6, just a few corrections. Page 7, just a
15 few corrections again, but there's a time listed by paragraph 35, 10.26.
16 Continuing to page 8, no corrections on that page. There's a time at
17 10.30 listed.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Page 9 has only two corrections. And if we look at pages 11 --
20 I'm sorry, 10, 11, just a few corrections per page. Is that correct, sir?
21 Just a few corrections per page?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you notice at the top of page 11, right by -- right above
24 paragraph 56 it says 10.40.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you start at 9.00, that session, if you recall?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So you've now been there for an hour and 40 minutes.
4 Now, if we go to page 12, a few more corrections?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you crossed out a line. On paragraph 64, you crossed out the
7 final line; isn't that correct? Or it's crossed out in the English.
8 A. That's what it says.
9 Q. Okay. Page 13 has a few corrections. Page 14 has no corrections.
10 Page 15. Page 15 has several corrections. In fact, you
11 changed -- in paragraph 79, you made a change. Initially, the statement
12 read: "There were no civilian police in Vukovar prior to 20 November
13 1991, nor any other functioning civilian public service."
14 And you changed that to, the new paragraph would read, the last
15 sentence: "I am not aware of the existence of a functioning civil police
16 or any other civil service in Vukovar before the departure of the Guards
17 Motorised Brigade from Vukovar on 24 November 1991."
18 Do you recall that change?
19 A. Yes. And both versions could remain. It doesn't change the true
21 Q. And you can see from this page -- there were several corrections
22 made on that page, almost -- the last three paragraphs have lots of
23 corrections. That's on page 15.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And if we go to page 16, paragraph 80, you crossed out that whole
1 top -- that whole portion that's on the top of page 16. You deleted that
2 whole section. It went from -- if you even look in the Serbian version,
3 from a long paragraph to a very short paragraph in just a few sentences;
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Now, you'll also notice on page - excuse me, sorry - on page 16,
7 there are two times listed, 10.23 -- I'm sorry, 11.23, and 11.31.
8 A. 10.23.
9 Q. Thank you. And below that is 11.31.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, the next page, there are a few changes, page 17.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And page 18, there's a number of changes. And in paragraph 92,
14 you changed that final sentence of that paragraph which originally was, in
15 that paragraph: "If Vojnovic withdrew his," something "MPs without the
16 approval" -- it originally said TO; then it was changed to MP. But it
17 said: "If Vojnovic withdrew his MPs without the approval of Mrksic, this
18 would be a violation of the regulations."
19 And you changed that paragraph to: "It is possible that somebody
20 carried out the withdrawal of the military police of the 80th Motorised
21 Brigade without Mrksic's authorisation, but this would represent a
22 violation of regulations."
23 Do you remember making that change?
24 A. Yes. Because this was not the TO police, it was the police of the
25 80th Brigade, so that was the factual mistake, but otherwise it's the
1 same. Nobody can pull out the police units without the consent of the
2 brigade commander or their superior officer.
3 Q. Okay. And finally on pages 19 and 20, no changes.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And you said after you completed this, you said on page 7, you
6 accepted this document as a whole.
7 A. Yes, and I signed it.
8 Q. In fact, after all the changes came in, a new printed copy was
9 given to you to sign with all of those changes.
10 A. That's true.
11 Q. And that was in Serbian.
12 A. Indeed.
13 Q. And after reviewing that, you even made a change on page 4 to
14 that. That's in your -- that's in the final signed statement. Do you
15 have that in front of you, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you made another change on your final -- on the final version?
18 A. Yes. Although this is immaterial, it's just a name.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, thereafter you signed every page?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you signed the first page as well as the last page of this
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you signed on page 2 the first paragraph that you're giving
25 this statement voluntarily "and will describe everything I know to the
1 best of my knowledge and recollection."
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, sir, I want you to turn to paragraph 72 on page 18. Do you
4 have that in front of you, sir?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. I'll read it: "It was unusual for a security officer to be given
7 the responsibility for an evacuation operation. However, I assume Mrksic
8 appointed Sljivancanin to the position because of the important role the
9 security organ had to play in the operation. Sljivancanin was not only
10 responsible for the selection of prisoners, he also commanded the entire
11 evacuation of the people to Sremska Mitrovica. This implied that
12 Sljivancanin was able to issue orders to the military police or any other
13 unit participating in the operation."
14 Now, sir, you said that. You said that to the investigators.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And when you said it, not only did you say it, you signed below
17 that at the bottom of that page.
18 A. I did.
19 Q. And not only did you say Sljivancanin was responsible for the
20 entire evacuation, you continue in paragraph 73, right below that. Do you
21 have that paragraph in front of you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. "I believe Sljivancanin went to the hospital on 19th November to
24 prepare for his task, based on an entry in the war diary, ERN B/C/S
25 0293-5434 - 0293-5482, ERN English L010-0496 - L010-0537, GM TBR or Guards
1 Motorised Brigade, 19th, 2000 hours, arrival of security officers to
2 select and separate members of Ustasha units from civilians. The
3 selection of prisoners began in the morning of 20th November. I do not
4 know whether Sljivancanin issued any specific orders, verbal or written,
5 regarding the organisation and implementation of evacuation. He must have
6 been issuing orders to the military police."
7 You also said that, sir, didn't you, and signed right below that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And twice, sir, you've indicated - last week - that paragraph 69
10 was correct. Twice in your testimony last week you've indicated that that
11 was correct. And that is -- I'll just read the first few lines which is
12 what we discussed: "Mrksic also informed us at the command briefing in
13 Negoslavci on 19th November 1991," and you said that that happened -- it
14 says 18th, but you say that happened on the 19th. "That Major
15 Sljivancanin was going to be in charge, that is command, of the evacuation
16 of the Vukovar Hospital on the 19th and 20th November. Mrksic said
17 Sljivancanin was allowed to use as many policemen as necessary to escort
18 the prisoners and ensure their safe passage."
19 Twice last week you said that was correct other than the date; it
20 shouldn't read 18th but should read the 19th. Do you still agree to that,
22 A. Yes, the date is not the 18th. We got the order to free the
23 hospital on the 19th. So it can't possibly be the 18th.
24 Q. Thank you. And at the -- you've said that you accept this
25 document as a whole, and as stated, there's an acknowledgment on page 28
1 in the English, a witness acknowledgment on 28, and it should be 28 in
2 your version. And it says: "I have read this statement ..."
3 A. What about the paragraph?
4 Q. It's after the paragraphs; it's the witness acknowledgment
5 section. It should be the last page where you sign at the end. It
6 says "witness acknowledgment" at the top.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. And you stated that you have read this statement in
9 the Serbo-Croatian language, and "it contains everything I said to the
10 best of my knowledge and recollection."
11 Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you further state: "I have given this statement voluntarily
14 and am aware that it may be used in legal proceedings before the
15 International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of persons responsible
16 for serious violations of international law committed in the territory of
17 the former Yugoslavia since 1991 and that I may be called to give evidence
18 in public before the Tribunal."
19 That's your signature.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. That's all correct. But if I may, while preparing for my evidence
23 and while talking to a number of persons, I became familiar of some new
24 facts and new documents which would shed a somewhat different light on all
25 of these. So if there is time, I would be willing to clarify that.
1 Q. But you agree that everything you stated here you believe to be
2 true in that statement?
3 A. At the time, on those days, and given the situation in which I
4 provided that statement, and my mental and physical state at the time,
5 this is indeed what I stated. But, again, while preparing for this
6 testimony, I became familiar with new documents and my memory was jogged
7 in relation to a number of situations. And especially as I was following
8 this trial, I realised that at some points, I was misled or confused or
9 simply wrong or that I had given some persons assignments that they simply
10 didn't have at the time, whereas I believed them to have those assignments
11 and specific powers. The person I have in mind specifically is Major
12 Sljivancanin. I realise that based on the documents, the evacuation --
13 Q. Finish.
14 A. If I may. Based on the documents available, it was Colonel
15 Pavkovic who was in charge of the evacuation, while Major Sljivancanin was
16 in charge of his security tasks. Security assessment, selection of those
17 who were active fighters and those who had not been involved in the actual
19 Yes, please go ahead, sir.
20 Q. Sir you've testified in this case and given numerous statements
21 from here to Novi Sad to Belgrade, and never, since 1998, have you ever,
22 ever indicated that Major -- that Colonel Pavkovic was in charge of the
23 evacuation; isn't that correct? Yes or no.
24 A. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely correct. But please allow me. It
25 was only --
1 Q. Let me finish. You've also stated that you were present when
2 Colonel Mrksic appointed or tasked Major Sljivancanin to be in charge of
3 the evacuation; isn't that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct. That's what I remembered. But the documents
5 suggest otherwise, so these are new facts.
6 Q. And those are documents shown to you by Defence counsel?
7 A. These are documents shown to me over these days as I was preparing
8 for my evidence.
9 Q. And when you say these days when you were preparing for your
10 evidence, are we talking about last week with Defence counsel?
11 A. Also as I was preparing for my arrival and after I had arrived, a
12 document turned up which indicates that he had been involved in the
13 negotiations -- Colonel Pavkovic, that he received those people and that
14 he led them away.
15 Q. Sir, do you have any document from a JNA commander appointing
16 Colonel Pavkovic to command the evacuation? Are you in possession of any
17 such document from the JNA?
18 A. There is a document produced by the command of the 1st Military
19 District and the cabinet of the Federal Secretary for All People's
21 Q. And you're saying this document appoints Colonel Pavkovic to
22 command the evacuation? I'm aware of the document where he is sent to the
23 Guards Motorised Brigade, but again, do you possess any document from the
24 JNA command tasking or ordering Colonel Pavkovic to be in charge or in
25 command of that evacuation? No one in this Court has ever seen such a
1 document. Do you have one in your possession?
2 A. I don't have one in my possession, but I did see the document
3 talking about the involvement of Pavkovic, who would negotiating,
4 receiving, and taking those people away. After all, he's right there in
5 those recordings, but that's a bit of a special topic, isn't it?
6 The answer is I don't have the document on me right now.
7 Q. The issue of his command, sir. You've already indicated that the
8 paragraph in your statement is correct, that you were present when Colonel
9 Mrksic appointed Major Sljivancanin to be in charge of that evacuation.
10 You don't have any document in your possession from Colonel Mrksic
11 indicating that Colonel Pavkovic was in charge of the evacuation; isn't
12 that correct?
13 A. No, no such document.
14 Q. And you've never seen any such document?
15 A. Well, I don't think Colonel Mrksic wrote the document -- or,
16 rather, he didn't order for that document to be written. I don't think
17 there was actually a document that was written in relation to that
18 evacuation by Mrksic.
19 Q. And you also know nowhere in the war diary does it say that
20 Colonel Pavkovic was in charge of the evacuation; isn't that correct?
21 A. There is a reference in the war diary somewhere to the effect that
22 Colonel Pavkovic received them, and I think there is also another
23 reference to that in a report, the delegation of the International
24 Red Cross, that he talked to them and that he came with them to implement
25 that task. There is a reference to that.
1 Q. Sir, you know he was involved in the Mitnica evacuation. And you
2 know that the Red Cross was not present for the evacuation of that first
3 group that left the hospital. So there was no negotiation about that
4 first group with Colonel Pavkovic and the Red Cross. There is nothing,
5 isn't that correct, in the war diary, indicating that Colonel Pavkovic was
6 in charge of that evacuation from the hospital that eventually went to the
7 barracks and then Ovcara. Would you like to review the war diary?
8 A. I think we don't quite have time for that now. But the
9 International Red Cross were not at Mitnica but they were at the hospital,
10 and Pavkovic was with them. That's true, you can see that in the
11 recordings and you can see that in all the coverage.
12 Q. Sir, it's clear in this case that that group that went to the
13 barracks had left prior to the internationals arriving at the hospital,
14 that the internationals weren't at the barracks while they were there, and
15 that the internationals weren't at Ovcara. So again, do you have any
16 documents indicating -- or aware of any documents from the JNA indicating
17 that Colonel Pavkovic was in charge of that particular evacuation?
18 A. I don't have any such document. But let me say this: On the 19th
19 when I was briefly at the hospital, there were people there from the
20 International Red Cross outside the hospital. I saw at least one of them
21 bearing the Red Cross insignia, as well as an unknown person in white.
22 Q. Sir, that's not the question. We're dealing with the 20th, or
23 we're dealing with documents. You know that the Red Cross was not present
24 when those people were taken out of the hospital. They weren't present on
25 those buses. They weren't present at the barracks, and they weren't
1 present when they were beaten at Ovcara or when they were murdered at
2 Ovcara. You know that; isn't that correct?
3 A. Well, I wasn't in the area on the 20th myself, not near the
4 hospital, not inside the hospital; therefore, I can hardly be expected to
5 talk about any details.
6 Q. And while you were at Ovcara and at the barracks, you know that
7 there was no one there from the Red Cross.
8 A. Not that I saw, anyway.
9 Q. So you have no documents, there is nothing in the war diary
10 relating to Colonel Pavkovic. I put to you, sir, that the only reason you
11 have mentioned Colonel Pavkovic today was to remove responsibility for
12 those crimes or was to attempt to remove responsibility for those crimes
13 from the -- from Operations Group South, the Guards Motorised Brigade, and
14 yourself, sir. Isn't that correct?
15 A. Well, no, it's not. When I came here to testify, it was only
16 because I wanted to be here myself, as well as others. I think we all
17 care equally about discovering the truth and I think each of us should be
18 individually responsible for whatever we did or failed to do. I am ready
19 to take my share of the responsibility. I am not here to defend anyone or
20 indeed blame anyone. That's not my objective. My objective is to have
21 the truth out finally, after such a long time.
22 As you see yourself, it is proving to be an arduous task.
23 Q. Well, let me cover one more issue since you've agreed with
24 everything in this document. You mention Colonel Mrksic in this document.
25 Paragraph 92, please.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "In my opinion, the two central issues concerning Ovcara are:
3 One, how long the JNA can secure the hangar. Two, why did the JNA leave
4 the area. The order for the withdrawal of the military police could have
5 been issued only by the commander of the military police of either the
6 Guards Motorised Brigade or the 80th Motorised Brigade. As the commander
7 of OG South, Colonel Mile Mrksic was the highest ranking commander in the
8 area. This means the order of the JNA withdrawal must have been issued or
9 at least authorised by him. I know Mrksic very well and cannot imagine he
10 would have issued such an order. However, the order for withdrawal of
11 military police could have only come from him. The military police of the
12 80th Motorised Brigade withdrew on JNA orders. They were not forced out
13 by the local Serbian TO. Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic could have issued
14 the order for the withdrawal of the military police but not without
15 consulting Mrksic. It is possible that someone carried out the withdrawal
16 of the military police of the 80th Motorised Brigade without Mrksic's
17 authorisation but that would represent a violation of the regulations."
18 Is that what you said, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you know, sir, that no charges were ever brought for
21 withdrawing the military police without Mrksic's authorisation. No
22 charges were ever brought by the Guards Motorised Brigade or the JNA;
23 isn't that correct?
24 A. Not that I know of.
25 Q. So there being no alleged violation of regulations, Mrksic had to
1 issue -- had to have issued the orders or authorised that order, is what
2 you've said.
3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Let the question be answered first, Mr. Vasic.
5 MR. WEINER:
6 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question, sir?
7 A. Yes, please.
8 Q. Since there was no allegations of violation of regulations in
9 relation that someone acted without Mrksic's authorisation, the only
10 answer is that Mrksic issued the order or authorised it, which is what you
11 say in your statement here.
12 A. What I stated -- or, rather, I'm trying to answer this for my own
13 benefit. How did all of this come to happen, all these here are
14 assumptions. On my part, however, I do believe that the Trial Chamber
15 will sooner or later get to the facts.
16 Q. And sir, you've stated: "The order for the withdrawal of the
17 military police could have only come from him," referring to
18 Colonel Mrksic. "The military police of the 80th Motorised Brigade
19 withdrew on JNA orders. They were not forced out by the local Serbian TO.
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic could have issued the order for withdrawal but
21 with not consulting Mrksic."
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] A while ago, I wanted to raise an
25 objection because the witness was being asked to speculate and the
1 witness's answer clearly reflects that circumstance; whereas, now my
2 learned friend Mr. Weiner quotes this order about the withdrawal of the
3 military police, page 21, lines 15 and 16, Mr. Weiner actually said that
4 the witness had stated in his original statement that the military police
5 of the 80th Motorised Brigade could only have been withdrawn pursuant to
6 orders of Colonel Mrksic.
7 If we look at item 92, we see the witness stating that the
8 military police could have been pulled out by the commander of the
9 military police, the Guards Brigade, or the 80th Brigade.
10 I think that is essentially different from what Mr. Weiner has
11 been putting to the witness.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.
13 Carry on, Mr. Weiner.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. You stated that "either Mrksic issued the order or Vojnovic issued
16 the order but not without consulting Mrksic."
17 Those are your words, aren't they?
18 A. Yes. Naturally, that could have been done by the commander of the
19 military police company without informing Vojnovic. Vojnovic could have
20 done it without informing Mrksic. All of these are possibilities and I
21 am -- most likely we will establish the facts. Our rules of subordination
22 and singleness of command mandate that if somebody issued an order, he had
23 to inform his superior officer regarding that; or, if he received an order
24 from another person, he also had to inform his superior officer about
1 Q. And that's -- you've just indicated that Vojnovic could have done
2 it without informing Mrksic.
3 Sir, you've stated here that: "Vojnovic could have issued the
4 order for the withdrawal of the military police but not without consulting
6 And you further stated that it would be a violation of regulations
7 if he had done so without consulting Mrksic.
8 Do you agree with that, sir? You're nodding your head, could you
9 please ...
10 A. Yes. Yes, I agree.
11 Q. Thank you. I'd like to cover the area of resubordination which
12 you mentioned very briefly in response to Mr. Borovic's questioning. You
13 know, sir, that the resubordination of units is an important decision of a
14 commander and it has to be in writing in some manner in a written order or
15 it must be reflected in the war diary if it's given orally before the
16 written order is issued.
17 A. Yes, I agree.
18 Q. And you know that the war diary for the Guards Motorised Brigade
19 and Operations Group South does not mention any resubordination of the TO
20 or volunteer units prior to November 21st. And you said that at
21 paragraph 97.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And sir, are you aware that the summary of the war diary of the
24 1st Motorised battalion, which was provided to this Court, it's
25 Exhibit 807, does not mention the resubordination of the volunteers or
1 the TO.
2 A. I didn't study it in detail, but I accept that, yes.
3 MR. WEINER: May the witness be shown Exhibit 415, please.
4 Q. This is the order of General Panic of November 18th. You've seen
5 this document before, and you're familiar with this document, sir?
6 A. Let me just look at it. Could you move it, please?
7 Yes, I'm familiar with this document.
8 Q. And I just want to refer to two notes in this document. One is
9 the second paragraph where it says: "The Croatian armed forces are
10 defeated in the area." It should be the first paragraph in B/C/S -- I'm
11 sorry, in Serbian. Do you see it on the top, "oruzane snage Hrvatske na
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The Croatian forces are defeated in the area of combat operations
15 carried out by the 1st VO units. However, the war did not end with the
16 fall of Vukovar. An even more fierce and brutal war against Ustasha
17 forces is ahead of us."
18 You were aware, sir, at that time that there were still pockets of
19 resistance and there was still fighting in Croatia occurring. There was
20 still pockets of resistance in the Vukovar area, and there was still some
21 fighting going on outside of Vukovar.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And just briefly on the last page, paragraph 19 -- I'm sorry,
24 paragraph 9.
25 MR. WEINER: The page is 0345, 0023, Mr. Registrar.
1 Q. "And General Panic orders that all units and formations,
2 volunteers, local communes and so on, participated in combat operations in
3 the territory of the 1st VO must be under the command of the JNA or else
4 they will be disarmed and taken away while extremists will be arrested and
5 appropriate legal measures will be undertaken."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The JNA had a plan that all the local units were to remain under
8 the JNA; isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes. But very soon thereafter, a new order followed pursuant to
10 which they were to leave the composition. The orders followed one another
11 very quickly. The situation changed at quite a quick pace, and this is
12 correct here.
13 Q. I'll show you the orders. And paragraph 9, doesn't that really
14 relate to paragraph 8 where they warn commanders about revenge by TOs and
15 that TO units have already taken revenge? Isn't that an additional reason
16 why they want to keep authority over those units? Isn't that correct,
18 A. Well, the commander most likely knew why he wrote this and there
19 must have been such instances in some areas.
20 Q. And because of these instances, that's another reason why you want
21 to keep control over those local units who aren't professionally trained
22 like the JNA members; isn't that correct?
23 A. We did not want to have them under our command following the
24 liberation of Vukovar because objectively speaking, there was no need for
25 them. Vukovar was free, and they went back to their peacetime location.
1 Q. Sir, the question is: The fact that there were problems of
2 revenge by local units and volunteers, wasn't that a factor in
3 paragraph 9, to keep all local units under the control of the JNA? Isn't
4 that correct, sir?
5 A. This paragraph warns the commander not to -- commanders not to
6 allow anyone to carry out any activities on their own in their areas of
8 Q. And isn't that another reason for paragraph 19, to keep all local
9 units under the control of the JNA? If you know.
10 A. It says here: "All units and formations," and then in parentheses
11 it says: "(volunteers, local units and others) participating in combat
12 operations in the territory of the 1st Military District have to be under
13 the command of the JNA."
14 What they're warning about here is that they didn't want anybody
15 to take the law into their hands. They wanted them to be placed under the
16 command. That's how I'm interpreting this.
17 Q. Okay. Now, after you received that document, the next notation
18 relating to resubordination is in the war diary of the Guards Motorised
19 Brigade, OG South, Exhibit 401 at 2.00 in the morning or 0200 hours on
20 November 21st.
21 Are you familiar with that or do you want to see that? Would it
22 help you to review that?
23 A. I'm familiar with the document, yes. Based on the order of the
24 commander of the 1st Military District, we produced our order, and I think
25 that I signed our order.
1 Q. That's correct. That's Exhibit 422. "Four hours later an order
2 was issued resubordinating the local TO and volunteers to the command of
3 other JNA units."
4 Isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if you look at that document -- may the witness be shown
7 Exhibit 422, please. That's 03405685 to 56 ...
8 If you see that order, that's your signature on the bottom, on
9 behalf of Colonel Mrksic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what you state there is: "One, in the course of 21 November
12 1991, withdraw the Leva Supoderica volunteer detachment and dispatch
13 them/resubordinate them to the 12 PMBR/12 K."
14 That's what it says there. It's to be done during the course of
15 21 November 1991.
16 And also at the top -- I'm sorry, right above that, it
17 says: "Further to the newly situation and the order of the 1st Military
18 District," you hereby order ...
19 There is nothing in that paragraph or anywhere in this document
20 referring to oral orders having been previously given; isn't that correct?
21 A. There is nothing.
22 Q. And you then signed it, signed that order on November 21st, 1991.
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honours, should we break now or just continue
1 JUDGE PARKER: You have another quarter of an hour.
2 MR. WEINER: Okay, I'm sorry, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, the next document which came out is document 368, Exhibit 368
4 which is at 6.00 on the 21st of November, 1991, which is 03271248.
5 Now, sir, this is a combat report. Did you prepare this or is
6 that your signature there on behalf of the colonel?
7 A. My signature is there. I personally am not the author but I
8 signed it. This was produced by operations officers. My signature is at
9 the bottom.
10 Q. Now, in the -- this is at 6.00 on the 21st of November, and I just
11 want to go through two paragraphs, the first one in relation to Ustasha
12 forces. It says: "Ustasha forces did not open fire. There is a constant
13 threat of fire from the remaining Ustasha forces."
14 In that paragraph, are you referring to the remaining remnants or
15 the pockets of resistance that still exist?
16 A. There was an objective threat posed by the forces that had hidden
17 somewhere, and also from the forces that were infiltrated from outside,
18 firstly in the form of a -- sabotage and terrorist groups.
19 Q. And at the end of paragraph 2, you state: "In the course of
20 21 November 1991, and further to your order, strictly confidential number
21 115-151 dated 20 November 1991: We have regulated all resubordination
22 issues regarding volunteer units and returning the subordinated units back
23 to their original structure."
24 From that paragraph, you're indicating to your superiors that you
25 are in the process of resubordinating all those units as they requested at
1 2.00 a.m. on the 21st of November; isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you then signed it on behalf of Colonel Mrksic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the 22nd, there is another combat report where the
6 resubordination of units are described.
7 Could the witness please be shown Exhibit 425.
8 Now, this is another combat report from Operations Group South to
9 the 1st Military District; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In paragraph 1, again you state: "Ustasha forces in Vukovar
12 didn't display any activities. There is a constant danger from the fire
13 operations by the remnant Ustasha forces. Ustasha forces had massive
14 defensive engineering works and they planted booby-traps in the facilities
15 and buildings as well as the parts of weapons -- as well as on parts of
16 the weapons and equipment."
17 Is that correct, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So there was still a danger from remnants of the Croat forces?
20 A. Smaller groups, yes.
21 Q. And it still is a problem for you, as the deputy commander, it's
22 still a problem or a danger to your soldiers; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes. Booby-traps and other types of mines and remnant forces were
24 a constant threat.
25 Q. Now, in paragraph 2, you discuss Operations Group South, and you
1 state -- do you see where it says: "In the course of the 22nd of" --
2 "22 November 1991"?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. "In the course of 22 November 1991, according to your strictly
5 confidential order number 115-151 from 20 November 1991, all issues
6 regarding the release and subordination of the volunteer units have been
8 That paragraph, sir, indicates in relation to the volunteer units,
9 the resubordination was finalised on November 22nd, 1991, doesn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that's signed at the bottom of that document, isn't it?
12 A. Yes. I can't see it right now, but I could see earlier that it
13 was signed. If you were to scroll down a bit. Yes.
14 Q. And that was signed by Colonel Mrksic?
15 A. Yes, this is the signature of Colonel Mrksic.
16 Q. And that's when he notified the 1st Military District, his
18 A. Well, this report was sent to the 1st Military District.
19 Q. Thank you. Moving away from that, sir, I've got just a few
20 questions for you on another topic.
21 Can an officer, sir, be resubordinated to a command without having
22 command responsibility?
23 A. An officer can be sent to work in another unit or in another
24 command and can be given an assignment in that other unit or command.
25 Yes, he can be sent there.
1 Q. Now, you mentioned Colonel Pavkovic. When he was sent to the
2 Guards Motorised Brigade, which becomes OG South, you previously testified
3 in Belgrade, which is the first time you ever mentioned him, that he
4 received tasks. Would you agree that it was Colonel Mrksic who gave him
5 tasks or orders?
6 A. Colonel Pavkovic and Colonel Zlatoje Terzic, by means of an order
7 of the Federal Secretary of National Defence produced and signed by the
8 chief of cabinet of the Federal Secretary -- at the time that was Vuk
9 Obradovic. So by means of that order, they were sent to the Guards
10 Motorised Brigade. Colonel Pavkovic was sent to the command of the Guards
11 Brigade until the completion of the mission, and Colonel Terzic was sent
12 to the artillery organ of the Guards Brigade. Such an order exists.
13 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] When quoting the words of the witness
16 from the Belgrade trial, Mr. Weiner said that Pavkovic -- that he stated
17 there that Pavkovic had received tasks there, and the page in B/C/S --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters missed the number of the page.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] -- doesn't mention that. So perhaps
20 it would be fair if this was put to the witness in its original form.
21 There are some five to six relevant lines.
22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, that was just a general statement before
23 I got into it.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Maybe then it's a convenient time for a general
1 MR. WEINER: Sounds good.
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at five past.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
6 MR. WEINER: I'm going to wrap it up, Your Honour, within 15
8 May the witness be shown Exhibit 404, please.
9 Q. Do you have it in front of you, sir, the document?
10 A. Yes, I see that.
11 Q. This is the document you were discussing previously, the
12 assignment of Colonel Pavkovic to the Guards Motorised Brigade command.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, sir, you've testified that you can be resubordinated to a
15 command without having command responsibility. Isn't it true, though,
16 that Colonel Pavkovic could receive tasks or orders from Colonel Mrksic?
17 A. Colonel Pavkovic had a peculiar role. He worked with Operations
18 Group South and had to be in touch with his own superior who had sent him
19 there to begin with, which was the cabinet of the federal minister for
20 All People's Defence. He could have taken his orders from the federal
21 secretary through the cabinet, specifically from Colonel Vuk Obradovic,
22 the chef du cabinet. He could have carried out assignments within
23 Operations Group South pursuant to orders from Colonel Mrksic in as far as
24 the cabinet was in agreement.
25 In addition to that, the -- please allow for the possibility that
1 then or now, I would not be able to say with any great precision what
2 exactly the subordination system was that was in place between Colonel
3 Pavkovic and Colonel Mrksic. It was a peculiar situation, and they, I
4 believe, would be best placed to comment on that.
5 Q. Thank you, sir.
6 Now, may the witness please be shown MFI 763, please.
7 While that's coming up - it takes a minute, sir - you've testified
8 about a team being sent to Vukovar around the 20th, the 22nd, to look at
9 the health situation, the dead bodies, those dead bodies that were out
10 there. You said Colonel Basic was involved in this special team that went
11 out there. Remember that, sir?
12 A. I remember that a team was sent from the military medical academy
13 led by Major Stankovic who, as we speak, is the present defence minister.
14 At the time, he worked as a pathologist at the VMA, the military medical
15 academy. He took a team to Vukovar for clearing the battleground.
16 I also know at one time whether on the 22nd or the 23rd, Colonel
17 Basic arrived in the area on orders from the command of the 1st Military
18 District. His assignment, having something to do with the sanitization of
19 the battleground, and I don't think it's a good idea to waste any more
20 time now explaining what that's all about.
21 Q. Now, could you look at the document in front of you, sir?
22 A. The report on the sanitization of the battleground and the Vukovar
23 area as well as other areas at risk. This is the command of the 1st
24 Military District sending a report to the Federal Secretary for All
25 People's Defence.
1 Q. Is that document signed? If you can move it down, please.
2 A. Yes. This was signed by the commander of the 1st Military
3 District, Colonel General Zivota Panic.
4 Q. It's also stamped.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it discusses that sanitization project which you were familiar
7 with in relation to Colonel Basic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And have you ever seen the report that was issued? Did you ever
10 see the report?
11 A. I've never seen it. This was afterwards. They remained and kept
12 working after we had left the area, and I never heard at any later time
13 that they had made any kind of report whatsoever. Needless to say, they
14 would have been expected to produce a report; the order says so.
15 Q. Okay. And this is stamped, there's no question that this is a JNA
16 military document; isn't that correct, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you look at the next page in the B/C/S, which would be
19 page 3 in the English.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This page is only -- this document is only one
21 page in B/C/S.
22 MR. WEINER: This is an MFI, Your Honour, this document was
23 introduced by Witness Basic who was called by Attorney -- the attorney for
24 Mr. Mrksic, and I believe it had to be translated but it should be in the
1 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
2 MR. WEINER: It's MFI 00763, and ours says 24 pages in B/C/S.
3 JUDGE PARKER: We have it in English but not B/C/S.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document in B/C/S is only one
5 page long, while the document in English is 39 pages.
6 MR. WEINER: We have it on our screen in the e-court system, in
7 B/C/S it's 24 pages.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think we need to proceed without that,
10 Mr. Weiner. Sorry.
11 MR. WEINER: Yes.
12 Q. Sir, the actual report discusses mines, booby-traps. Is that the
13 type of issues that would be discussed in a sanitization report of an
15 A. Yes. In addition to a number of other things, this is also a
16 report on booby-traps. You would find such subjects there as the losses
17 or casualties or booby-traps. It very much depends on what the army
18 commander had said exactly when he told him to go there with his team.
19 Probably to carry out some engineering work, too, in addition to clearing
20 the mines. I do assume that a rather complex report was eventually
22 Q. And within the report there's also discussion of the number of
23 dead animals that were removed, the number of dead human beings that were
24 found and removed, and plans for identification. Is that the type of
1 information that you will find --
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think by asking these questions,
5 Mr. Weiner is asking the witness to speculate. He can't show him the
6 document in the B/C/S and yet he's asking him to analyse the document that
7 the witness has apparently never seen. I think Mr. Weiner is trying to
8 achieve something with this document but the witness has already addressed
9 the issue.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, the witness doesn't seem to be having
11 any trouble answering. He indicated that booby-traps and mines were one
12 type of subject that would be found within the report, and he indicated
13 that there would be others. We have an extra copy of the report if the
14 witness would like to see it. And I would like to continue to ask him
15 some questions.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Weiner. Pass the copy to the
18 MR. WEINER:
19 Q. Would you agree that this type of sanitization report would also
20 involve issues of dead animals, dead bodies found in the area? Aren't
21 those the types of subjects and matters that are provided within a report,
22 a sanitization report?
23 A. Well, if you allow, I think I would really need to take some time
24 and read this carefully. But whenever you have a sanitization report, it
25 should, as a rule, be a complex report addressing all the different
1 subjects or any problems that one comes across. I would be hard-pressed
2 to offer a valid comment unless given a chance to carefully go through the
4 Q. And finally would a sanitization report also concern clearing of
5 rubble, residential building damage, and what is necessary to get the city
6 going again or the town going again? Are those the types of subjects that
7 are normally found within a sanitization report?
8 A. All that depends on the specific orders of the superior officer.
9 And then the report encompasses everything that is set out in the original
10 assignment. I think he was simply carrying out his assignments, and
11 almost by default, this report was produced.
12 If the commander of the 1st Military District had ordered for him
13 to clear the rubble and clear the roads, bearing in mind the fact this was
14 an engineering unit, among other things, then certainly this is something
15 that should be reflected in the report.
16 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, this report which was provided by
17 Defence counsel, we would like to offer it. The letter which -- it is
18 attached to is from General Zivota Panic to the Federal Secretary for
19 Defence introducing this report, and it was provided by the attorney for
20 Mr. Mrksic and we would like to offer it.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first something that I
23 think concerns both myself and Mr. Borovic since our situation appears to
24 be similar.
25 The very method employed here to tender documents reminds me of me
1 trying to get that Goran Hadzic video in through the back door sometime
2 ago. Everybody recognised Goran Hadzic, but nobody knows what that's
3 doing now so that's what Mr. Weiner is doing with the witness now.
4 There is something else that is even more important, which is the
5 reason I'm asking this be kept as marked for identification. The exhibit
6 that Basic brought to the courtroom, it wasn't Mr. Mrksic's defence. What
7 he had in frond of him, if you remember, and then Mr. Moore asked to have
8 a look and then the document was marked for identification.
9 What I'm concerned with and something I believe to be of great
10 importance is this: The Sljivancanin Defence or the Radic Defence never
11 set eyes on that document before it was seized from the witness, if I may
12 put it that way. The document was not served on us in a timely fashion
13 when we were still in a position to cross-examine. I believe we should be
14 able to cross-examine him as the author of that document. Only then would
15 we be in a position to say whether it should be admitted or not. He was a
16 Mrksic witness here and the document was seized from him but we've never
17 seen the document beforehand and the witness left.
18 That's why I believe it should still remain as just marked for
19 identification so that we could see whether we would be asking for that
20 witness to be called again before the document is possibly admitted into
22 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, did you challenge the authenticity of
24 that document when you came to deal with the witness after it had been put
25 forward by Mr. Vasic?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No. It wasn't about the document at
2 all. Nobody wanted to discuss that document in the courtroom. Mr. Moore
3 asked for it to be Xeroxed and translated into English. I was in no
4 position to challenge a document which was not discussed at all while the
5 witness was still in the courtroom. The witness was never asked to
6 analyse the document.
7 We can go back to the relevant portion of the transcript and see
8 what it's about. But as far as I remember, he had that document,
9 Mr. Moore asked what's that document, and the document left the witness's
10 hands and we, at the time, didn't even know what it was. We were unable
11 to challenge the document or do anything else with it.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The answer is no.
13 Mr. Vasic.
14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I may be the one best
15 placed to explain what happened with this, since the Mrksic Defence didn't
16 originally use that document in our chief or on redirect, nor was the
17 document on any of our lists of documents that we were going to use. Not
18 a single question asked to the witness was based on that document, which
19 is precisely what my learned friend, Mr. Lukic, has been talking about.
20 Mr. Moore, towards the end of his cross, asked to see that
21 document in front of the witness that was simply lying on the table, and
22 that's when it was marked for identification. Even the Prosecution failed
23 to ask the witness a single question about that document. My learned
24 friends from the other Defence teams have never had occasion to see this
25 document or indeed comment on it.
1 The Mrksic Defence did not use this document while examining the
2 witness as my learned friend Mr. Weiner has suggested. Photocopies were
3 made of this document and, it was seized from the witness and yet we never
4 asked the witness to say anything about that document. Therefore, I back
5 this motion by Mr. Lukic. The document should remain an MFI document
6 until its authenticity is confirmed.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
9 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour.
10 This is a military document. It is stamped. It has an attachment
11 in that it was -- it has an accompanying letter from the general of the
12 1st Military District. It concerns Vukovar. It concerns a witness that
13 was here. It concerns an issue or issues that have been discussed here.
14 There is no issue as to its authenticity. It is relevant to the issues.
15 We gave Defence counsel notice as to which documents we would use in
16 cross-examination of this witness, and that was included, the Basic
18 So based on its authenticity, its relevance, and reliability, we'd
19 ask that it be admitted.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE PARKER: For the first time, a witness has identified this
22 document and confirmed its apparent authenticity for what it is on its
23 face. There is no present reason to see it other than as relevant. In
24 those circumstances, the Chamber will receive the document as an exhibit.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document will become Exhibit 763.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
3 Q. Sir, you testified that you went to the barracks in Ovcara -- I'm
4 sorry, not the barracks, the farm at Ovcara, because it was necessary to
5 go there. You were very interested on November 20th. Do you recall that?
6 A. Yes, it was necessary, and I felt responsible for the -- having
7 all the information available in relation to my assignment or, rather, for
8 being able to provide complete information to my own commander. I was
9 told to go to that government session. I was there throughout. I went to
10 Ovcara. I assessed the situation. I went back to the command post and I
11 informed the commander.
12 I thought that I was responsible for that.
13 Q. You never returned to Ovcara after November 20th; isn't that
15 A. No, never.
16 Q. You never went back there to see if there were any trials or to
17 see what was happening with the prisoners; isn't that correct?
18 A. No, except for that day when I passed, only to realise that the
19 trial had not even begun.
20 Q. As necessary as it was to go there on the 20th, that you went out
21 of your way to go there, you never returned, and I put it to you the
22 reason you didn't return is because you knew the people were dead. You
23 knew that those prisoners were dead.
24 A. The reason I never returned was there were no more assignments
25 there for me. The next day, I had an altogether different and very
1 specific assignment, to organise a press conference, to receive about 120
2 domestic and foreign journalists who had arrived that morning. I'm
3 talking about the 21st. They arrived in both Negoslavci and Vukovar
5 After that, we went about our own business, our own problems, the
6 problems faced by the people there, how to make it possible for people to
7 go where they chose to go. How to resolve all of these problems that they
8 were now suddenly facing in a situation where the opposite side just
9 refused to have them, more often than not.
10 We also received orders to send our units back, and we were
11 preparing our units for their return to the Belgrade garrison. We had a
12 lot on our plate. We had a lot of problems, and I never received any
13 assignments about Ovcara. Quite the contrary, in fact, my assignment was
14 in relation to the barracks.
15 Q. Sir, you had a need to go there. You went out of your way to go
16 there on the 20th. And you never went there again. Is it a coincidence
17 that need or necessity to go there ended at the same time the lives of all
18 of those prisoners ended?
19 A. You see, I had no information to indicate what was going on with
20 those people, nor did I have any assignment that involved them, nor did I
21 feel that it was necessary, once my report to the commander had been
22 submitted, for me to go back to Ovcara.
23 MR. WEINER: No further questions of this witness.
24 Your Honour, based on his statement where he is accepting the
25 whole statement, it's our view that he has adopted his prior statement and
1 we would like to admit that, would like to move the admission of that
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
4 I see Mr. Borovic would like to go first, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Just one
6 question -- I'm sorry.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I thought Mr. Borovic wanted to say
8 something about this motion by the OTP but he actually had a question.
9 I'm against the statement being admitted into its entirety. This
10 is contrary to prior established practice. The fact that a witness stands
11 by his statement does not necessarily mean that the statement should be
13 Mr. Weiner talked about the amendments and changes that were made
14 to the statement. I see no reason for us to now amend our established
15 practice and for this witness [as interpreted] to be admitted into
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE PARKER: The statement will not be received in evidence,
19 Mr. Weiner. It will be marked for identification.
20 THE REGISTRAR: With the reference number 855, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, you had a point somewhere.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask a single question
23 because my learned friend, Mr. Weiner, referred to this in his cross, so I
24 believe that entitles me. The subject was resubordination.
25 JUDGE PARKER: You're not entitled to any further questioning,
1 Mr. Borovic. May I suggest you might have a quiet word immediately with
2 Mr. Lukic while I finish making some notes. He may be able to help you in
3 his re-examination.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since this is the
5 first time that we are discussing this, all of the Defence teams believe
6 that I was entitled to do that. But all right, so we understand each
7 other. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am the one who may have misled
9 Mr. Borovic and that was certainly not my intention. But, Your Honours, I
10 remember when we had a Defence pre-trial conference I asked you about the
11 position of all the Defence teams, and you said that if a Defence team did
12 not say anything to the contrary, then it had the status of
13 examination-in-chief and that was the situation with Mr. Borovic, unlike
14 Mr. Vasic who actually conducted cross-examination. So I believe that
15 Mr. Borovic had the same status as I did.
16 I raised an issue that had to do with Mr. Borovic's
17 examination-in-chief, so I was the one who may have misled him and I will
18 be the guilty one in that case.
19 JUDGE PARKER: The position is that normally co-accused stand as
20 an examining party when they question another -- a witness of another
21 accused. They don't stand as a cross-examining party.
22 The position is different if there is an issue which has become
23 the subject of direct conflict between the party calling the witness and
24 the other accused or one of the other accused. In that situation, in
25 respect of that subject which is the matter of conflict, the counsel for
1 the other accused may cross-examine, and Mr. Vasic has taken advantage of
2 that and has been allowed, of course, to do it. But that happens when the
3 witness is being dealt with by that counsel. It's not a situation that
4 arises after the Prosecutor has cross-examined in their position.
5 Just to complete the picture, in case it might be relevant,
6 always, there is the possibility that some matter has arisen by complete
7 surprise at some later stage after counsel has questioned the witness and
8 may seek leave to continue to reopen, in effect, their examination or
9 cross-examination, because of an issue that is a matter of complete
10 surprise that has arisen when some other counsel has questioned the
12 I don't think we are dealing with that situation now, but I hope
13 those few words may have helped counsel to understand their various
15 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Panic, good afternoon. I'm sure that you are
18 tired of all of us here, and I will endeavour to ensure that you can
19 return home as soon as possible. Let us try to cover these topics as
20 briefly as possible.
21 During the first day of cross-examination, if I may call it that,
22 my colleague Mr. Vasic asked you about the operations log book, war
23 diary. He also mentioned the war room where the documents are kept. My
24 question is: Can any soldier or officer enter the war room and remove a
25 document from there without observing a strict procedure, without anybody
1 else knowing about this?
2 A. No, they cannot do that.
3 Q. Are all documents in the war room kept under seal?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What happened with the war room during the NATO intervention?
6 A. If I may add this, the war room has several doors, it has bars,
7 keys, locks. In front of it, there is a guard on duty 24 hours a day.
8 The war room has, according to regulations, be on an elevated floor [as
10 At the time, the war room was located in the then Bulevar Mira 22
11 where they used to be the cabinet of Marsal Tito, and this building was
12 one of the targets during NATO bombing and is razed to the ground -- or
13 was razed to the ground.
14 According to some information we received, that area is to be
15 cleared and a new U.S. Embassy is to be built there.
16 Q. Mr. Vasic put to you paragraph 66 of your statement to the OTP as
17 to whether, at the regular briefing of the 18th, the evacuation of the
18 hospital was discussed, and I think that you clarified that in clear terms
19 as to where the mistake occurred.
20 Could we now please see Exhibit 402, B/C/S page 56, English
21 page 1. This is the ledger.
22 We also know that there was an order by General Panic for the
23 hospital to be taken by 1000 hours on the 19th. It is marked 1614-8281.
24 Now, let us look at an entry in the ledger. Is the ledger used to
25 record the date and time when a document is received at the command?
1 A. Yes, that's correct, as well as when the documents are sent from
2 the command.
3 Q. All right. Page 56. Could we please enlarge the upper left
4 portion. Yes, this is precisely the section that we need.
5 Entry 433. What date is it and to which document does it pertain?
6 A. 19th of November, 1991 to the command of the 1st Military
7 District, report on liberated areas.
8 Q. I don't want to be leading, but was this the report of the
9 1st Military District sent to you?
10 A. This is the name of the command -- this is the sender, so we are
11 receiving this from the command of the 1st Military District.
12 Q. What about entry 436?
13 A. 436 is something sent by the command of the 1st Military District.
14 Q. Number of the document?
15 A. This is dated 20th of November. It says here 1614-82/83, 19th of
16 November. An order. Do I need to repeat?
17 Q. No, that's fine. Tell us, please: Was this ledger available to
18 you when you gave your statement to the OTP?
19 A. I didn't have the ledger.
20 Q. Thank you. Now let us move to a different topic.
21 Mr. Vasic showed you document 442, Exhibit 442, which is the order
22 of General Stojanovic from the 1st Military District banning any exchange
23 of persons without his prior consent. You said that you were familiar
24 with this document as well as the chief of security?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I have to slow down.
2 If you remember, what was the position of Mr. Sljivancanin at the
3 time concerning the exchanges of imprisoned JNA soldiers and officers in
4 Croatia? Very briefly, please.
5 A. We had information that there were imprisoned or rather blocked
6 soldiers and officers in the barracks. It was in our interests and also
7 this was required by our orders, to capture as many members of
8 paramilitary formations so that we do exchange them for our men. This was
9 very important for us to exchange them for our men, and we would give
10 hundreds of enemy soldiers for one of ours. I can give you an example.
11 For example, Relja Tomic was in the barracks in Gospic. He was
12 badly beaten, and we barely managed to get him out alive, and we gave
13 hundreds of captured soldiers in return for him.
14 To conclude, all of us wanted to have as many captured soldiers
15 for exchange as possible, and I can tell you that this was the main
16 motivation for Major Sljivancanin.
17 Q. Thank you. On Friday, Mr. Vasic put to you a position whereby he
18 claimed that it wasn't -- that it was impossible for you to hear from
19 those present in the barracks that there would be a cabinet session held
20 in Vukovar, and he was wondering how you could have known about this
21 before the government actually arrived in Vukovar. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did Mr. Mrksic tell you then or later that Mr. Jaksic came to see
24 him before the cabinet session and what was the reason for that?
25 A. Mrksic didn't tell me that Jaksic had come to see him; however, I
1 received that information from the people who were milling around the
2 buses. They said that they had their own man who wanted to go and ensure
3 that this would happen and that at the cabinet session this topic would be
4 discussed. They wanted to make sure that they would be the ones trying
5 these people, putting them on trial.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Vasic also told you that some members of the
7 cabinet gave statements saying that the topics discussed at the session
8 were not consistent with what you said and he wanted to hear your comment.
9 You gave us your comment, and now I'm going to ask you this: He gave you
10 no names. Do you know whether these people testified for the Defence in
11 the Dokmanovic case and, if so, what would you conclude on the basis of
13 A. In the Defence case in the Dokmanovic trial, they attempted to
14 shift the blame, all of the blame, to the army. The people who attended
15 the cabinet session naturally testified in such a way as to protect
16 themselves or people from their inner circle. However, I affirm what I
17 said about what I had heard at the cabinet session, and I take full
18 responsibility for that.
19 Q. Mr. Vasic also put a quotation to you of a statement by Goran
20 Hadzic from that trial, where Hadzic said that his statement given on TV
21 was for propaganda purposes. We heard that statement of his as well.
22 My question is this: Did you know, did you hear later on that
23 Goran Hadzic went to Sremska Mitrovica seeking to reclaim the prisoners
24 that had already been taken there? Did you hear anything about that?
25 A. No. I only heard his comment at the cabinet session when he said
1 that in addition to not allowing that the prisoners be transported to
2 Sremska Mitrovica, he would also request from the military authorities
3 that those who had already been transported to Sremska Mitrovica be given
4 back to them for trial, and they wanted to hold a trial and
5 second-instance proceedings, if necessary.
6 Q. You already said about that.
7 A. I don't know whether he actually went to Sremska Mitrovica and
8 whether he actually talked to somebody. All I know is that he said that
9 he would go.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that the people were taken to
11 Sremska Mitrovica from Mitnica.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Exhibit 422 - no need to put it on the screen - that's an order
14 that you signed on the 21st in the morning, at 6.00, about
15 resubordination. And Mr. Vasic showed this to you at the time when you
16 were working on this document with him.
17 Do you remember whether it so happened that you yourself signed
18 some documents even if Mr. Mrksic was present at the command. Were there
19 such occasions?
20 A. Yes, there were such occasions and documents. I think that there
21 are such documents in the file. While preparing for my testimony, I saw a
22 lot of documents with my signature, even if Mrksic was present, and
23 naturally also when he wasn't present. It all depended on how urgent the
24 document was. And it also depended on its content. There was nothing
25 questionable about me signing a document since there would normally be an
1 oral order before a written one ensued, an oral order from the
2 1st Military District, and there was sufficient basis for me to sign a
3 document or an order. And as to why I signed it, well, most likely it was
4 done in order to speed things up.
5 Q. We have a correction for the transcript, page 50, line 14. You
6 said that there was an oral order and that following that, a written order
7 came in.
8 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see Exhibit 412, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it now.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This is the order dated 15th of November, 1991. Can you tell us
13 who signed it?
14 A. This is my signature. One of the copies of the order which I
15 signed, you can see what it is about.
16 Q. Based on the content, it should be similar to the other order?
17 A. Yes. It has to do with resubordination, regulating the issue of
18 resubordination by means of an order.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we scroll up to see the date, to
20 see the date of the document.
21 Q. This is the 15th of November, 1991?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you remember whether Mr. Mrksic was absent?
24 A. I don't remember him being absent.
25 Q. Can we now see Exhibit 414, please. This is a combat report dated
1 the 16th of November at 1800 hours, could we scroll down to see the
2 signature, please. Second page, please.
3 A. This is my signature.
4 Q. That's the next day, isn't it? What does your memory tell you,
5 was Mrksic away at the time?
6 A. I don't remember. Maybe there's something to show whether he was
7 or wasn't in the war log, but I can't remember.
8 Q. I have to return to Mr. Vasic's questions at the end because there
9 was a unified set of questions that he shared with the OTP.
10 Now I'd like to address a specific question by Mr. Weiner. Last
11 Friday on page 34 of the provisional transcript - I don't have the
12 official reference, I apologise - he asked you whether Operations Group
13 South or the Guards Motorised Brigade, on the 20th of November, had
14 sufficient forces to neutralise any threats to the prisoners and your
15 answer was yes.
16 My question: On the 20th of November, 1991, did the
17 80th Motorised Brigade have sufficient forces to neutralise any possible
18 threats to the prisoners at Ovcara?
19 A. The 80th Motorised Brigade had sufficient forces. My answer was
20 yes. Of course we did have those forces, but at this point in time, on
21 that day, the 80th has that one task alone, to secure the hangar at
22 Ovcara. And it has sufficient forces at its disposal. I can list them
23 for you: Three motorised battalions, an anti-aircraft defence, artillery
24 battery, and an anti-armour battalion, not to mention all the minor units,
25 but these were the major elements. Then they had a local, a town
1 commander who was appointed pursuant to orders of the commander of
2 Operations Group South.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Did Lieutenant-Colonel Vojnovic or anyone
4 else from the 80th Motorised Brigade ask you on that day to provide any
5 form of assistance in terms of equipment or manpower for the purpose of
6 securing those people there?
7 A. No, no assistance whatsoever was requested; at least none that I
8 knew of.
9 Q. I'm asking you. You don't know about the others, do you?
10 A. I never heard of any other requests.
11 Q. Mr. Weiner also asked you about the existence of civilian
12 authorities in Vukovar or any of its bodies; you remember those questions,
13 don't you? My question: In your opinion, when did the armed clashes in
14 Vukovar stop?
15 A. The thickest of the fighting ceased on the 18th of November, but
16 there was still sporadic skirmishes. There was still sporadic skirmishes
17 by minor groups that were soon neutralised.
18 Q. Mr. Panic, under the rules applied in the armed forces of the SFRY
19 at the time, the Territorial Defence were not involved in combat just
20 under whose jurisdiction is it?
21 A. When not involved in any combat mission, the Territorial Defence
22 is sent back to its peacetime location and its peacetime duties. It is
23 then under the authority of the civilian authorities.
24 Q. You mentioned while testifying in chief, and I believe you said to
25 Mr. Weiner, too, you knew at the time that the government of the SAO of
1 Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem were in Dalj. Isn't that what
2 you said?
3 A. Yes, that's what I heard at the time.
4 Q. At the time, was it not expected that civilian authorities would
5 be established in the now liberated Vukovar?
6 A. Yes, that was the expectation. After all, that's why on the 20th,
7 they had arrived in our area and passed themselves off as serious
9 Q. Mr. Panic, how convincing were the speeches that the cabinet
10 members made at the meeting in terms of these newly existing authorities
11 in the area or their functioning.
12 A. They sounded convincing. They said they had their own judiciary,
13 their own courts, their own ministries, their own bodies. They said
14 Vukovar was now free. They wished to thank us, but they would have those
15 people and try them. They were so convincing, in fact, that I was 100
16 per cent certain about their intentions, and I was anxious to see how they
17 would get the trials off the ground, how they would bring charges against
18 people. I took at face value whatever they said. They left the
19 impression of being a serious set of new authorities.
20 Q. Do you remember on those days in the media, TV news and such, were
21 any facts mentioned in relation to that cabinet, to that meeting, to any
22 action that they took?
23 MR. WEINER: I object to that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
25 MR. WEINER: Number one, there is no indication in any notice
1 that's been given to the Prosecution of anything that's come out in the
2 media, so I don't know what they're going to be discussing. And we never
3 raised the issue during cross-examination of what was in the media in
4 relation to that cabinet. We never raised the issue what was in Belgrade
5 or anywhere else on the media in relation to that cabinet.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it was raised in detail
8 on cross-examination. Did this witness have any reason to believe that
9 this -- these new authorities indeed existed. That was the subject and
10 that's why I'm asking the witness whether he knows about any statements,
11 public statements made by the cabinet members at the time for the benefit
12 of the media. That is exactly what he was asked by Mr. Weiner on Friday.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, you may ask what basis the witness had
14 for believing these governmental and legal resources existed but you
15 shouldn't go on then to be suggesting yourself possible sources.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no objections to raise in
17 relation to what you have just said, Your Honours, but that's entirely
18 different from what was suggested by Mr. Weiner.
19 Q. Mr. Panic, did word reach you at the time of the factual existence
20 of those authorities -- of that cabinet?
21 A. Yes, there were media reports to that effect, which I took note
22 of. As I said, this government did not function in our area before
23 the 18th, and we hadn't seen them until the 20th, at least I hadn't, but
24 they did exist. They made statements to the media, and they worked in
25 Dalj. They affected a lot of different developments but not in our area
1 before the 20th. At least no influence that I was aware of.
2 Q. I'm invoking some facts -- or, rather, Mr. Weiner was invoking
3 some facts that you spoke about in your statement to the OTP about
4 Sljivancanin. Mr. Weiner seems to believe that Sljivancanin did a lot of
5 things that were outside his remit, outside what he was supposed to be
6 doing. The fire adjustment is one thing that was raised. The war log
7 appears to reflect that he personally informed General Panic about that.
8 MR. WEINER: This is a speech, Your Honour, and also it's not
9 Mr. Weiner seems to believe, I was reading his statement. But this is --
10 there's no question here, this is just a speech.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps, then, your objection is premature and you
12 might be moving me to stop the speeches because of their effect on time,
13 Mr. Weiner. But at the moment, I will be silent.
14 Hurry up, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to hurry things along to not
16 quote the transcript but rather summarise the main point.
17 Q. The question is: What about those activities as to where the --
18 as to checking whether there was any sabotage or anything like that within
19 the unit? Was that within the remit of the security organ?
20 A. What they said about the shortfall of the missiles, this is a
21 security issue in as far as it relates to human lives. It also affects
22 the morale. Thirdly, the progress of any assignment is in doubt whenever
23 you are not sure about your own artillery.
24 To round this off, I am entirely convinced that Major Sljivancanin
25 did the right thing and that he wanted to make sure there were no acts of
1 sabotage being carried out which was a matter of interest to him as a
2 security officer.
3 Q. Do you remember whether him informing General Zivota Panic came
4 with or without the approval of Commander Mrksic? Do you know anything
5 about that?
6 A. I can't say either way, but I think it's very difficult for a
7 major to just get in touch with a general like that, using a shortcut, as
8 it were. He would need to obtain approval from his own commander, as a
9 rule. So I would assume that Colonel Mrksic was aware of this and that he
10 gave the nod.
11 Q. You say that, at least as far as you could tell, he was too much
12 in the public eye. If you're not particularly well-informed, might that
13 not lead you to believe that he was a more high-ranking officer than he
14 actually was? To be more specific, did you hear stories to that effect
15 told by people who were not exactly familiar with the set-up of the
17 A. If you just look at him, he's so tall, he's so brave, so good
18 looking, you look at him, you see him in a certain situation and to an
19 untrained eye, he might seem to be the commander. But all he did was his
20 job, as well as some other people in terms of morale, in terms of
21 logistics, as well as other things too.
22 We did our best and we did more than we were required to do by our
23 job descriptions.
24 Q. You attended almost regularly meetings of the commander of
25 Operations Group South. Did you at any point or from anyone hear about
1 Sljivancanin giving orders to any units? Did you ever hear about that?
2 A. No, never. No such comments, no such inferences.
3 Q. Let me try to be even more specific, since we know that military
4 police battalion commanders attended these meetings. Did you ever hear
5 from Paunovic, Kavalic, or Susic about Sljivancanin interfering with their
6 work or giving any orders to them?
7 A. No, I never heard anything about Sljivancanin interfering with the
8 command in the 1st or 2nd Military Police Battalions. This is confirmed
9 by the fact that the commanders came regularly to the command post to take
10 their assignments, and the commanders of all the assault detachments and
11 battalions were directly in touch with the commander on the phone so that
12 at any given time, they would be able to receive their assignments or
13 submit their reports.
14 Q. My learned friend Mr. Weiner also asked you this: He asked you if
15 you remembered the death of Sljivancanin's driver really shaking
16 Sljivancanin leaving him very moved -- concern for other soldiers' lives.
17 Is this something personal, is this something that is likely to get to you
18 as a human being, or is that just another figure?
19 A. War is a serious social phenomenon and I would say an instance of
20 enormous human stupidity. People get killed in a war. What Sljivancanin
21 was shattered by, what he was moved by, something that any of us would be
22 moved by, the death of any soldier, any officer, all the more since Major
23 Sljivancanin himself was at risk. His life was in danger.
24 You must allow for the possibility that it wasn't easy to be Major
25 Sljivancanin at the time, and objectively speaking he had to be every
1 reason to be not moved but shattered.
2 Q. Thank you. You talked about the atmosphere outside the hospital
3 on the 19th, the commotion of those people assembled there was sort of
4 subsiding and you were asked with why you'd never told anyone about that
5 before. I raised an objection and the Presiding Judge told me I could ask
6 you the question on redirect, so I'm asking you: Did anyone ever ask
7 about that before you actually brought it up here in this courtroom?
8 A. No, the point was never brought up, as simple as that.
9 Q. Thank you. You were also asked about Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan.
10 The Prosecutor quite literally asked you whether you knew who Arkan was,
11 and you said yes, you were familiar with the name from the media. You
12 said that on page 50.
13 Did the media say at the time that Arkan was killing for pleasure?
14 MR. WEINER: I object to that, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE PARKER: That objection is correctly made.
16 Move on to the next matter, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My question had to do -- or basically
18 arose on the basis of Mr. Weiner's question. [In English] Yes, Your
20 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us, please, what units mostly accompanied
21 Arkan, what were his troops?
22 A. When I mentioned this unfortunate Arkan, as I said to you, I saw
23 him for the first time at the cabinet session. Papers wrote about him at
24 the time, and perhaps they were biased describing him as a great man,
25 great patriot.
1 I didn't read that particular comment that he killed for pleasure
2 but I knew that --
3 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. This is a question which has
4 been sustained. That's not the -- the issue is who --
5 JUDGE PARKER: Move on, please, Mr. Lukic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So he went with the units.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not putting the same
8 question. I'm asking him something quite different. I think that I can
9 remain on the topic of Arkan --
10 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... something
11 that's quite different and not the previous question.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I fully agree.
13 Q. Mr. Panic, would you please answer my current question? The
14 previous question was disallowed.
15 A. Yes. As to which units accompanied him when he went fighting, he
16 stood no chance, he had no desire, nor did he even try to be in our area
17 of responsibility. He went to locations where some commanders accepted
18 him or to places where the military discipline was loose. And he was
19 close to General Biorcevic; they were good friends and brothers in arms.
20 Q. I think that the Chamber is informed of this.
21 A. Yes, that's the Operations Group North on the other side of the
22 Vuka River.
23 Q. You said yourself that you would have arrested Arkan had he
24 appeared in your area?
25 A. He would have definitely been arrested by Major Sljivancanin and
1 his organs of security because we did not allow such persons to stay in
2 our area of responsibility.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 60, line 15, the witness said
4 that General Biorcevic was the commander of the Operations Group North.
5 And in my previous question, there is a mistake, page 60 line 13
6 and 14, my question is that I assumed that the Chamber was aware of what
7 position was held by General Biorcevic and you explained that, so let us
8 move on.
9 Could we now have the break, Your Honours, so that I can review my
11 JUDGE PARKER: We will resume at a quarter to 6.00, Mr. Lukic.
12 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Panic, we don't want to put to you the
17 decision on resubordination dated the 21st of November, I'm sure you know
18 it by heart by now.
19 Mr. Weiner asked you towards the end whether in that decision it
20 is mentioned anywhere that there was an oral order; you said no. My
21 question to you is what -- do you stand by what you stated earlier, that
22 there had been an oral order and from which time?
23 A. Yes. A day earlier, there was an oral order, and following that
24 order, it said that written order would follow.
25 Q. Thank you. Now let us move on to other topics. You spoke about
1 the meeting. Mr. Weiner asked you why you didn't go to convey to
2 Mr. Mrksic in the course of the meeting what direction the meeting was
3 taking. Was Arkan active in the meeting? Did he discuss --
4 A. No, I didn't see him say anything. Maybe he said something before
5 I came.
6 Q. No, no, I'm only interested in what you remember.
7 A. I didn't hear him speak.
8 Q. Did you hear, do you remember whether anybody mentioned any
9 revenge? Did they say they wanted revenge or did they want to put these
10 people on trial?
11 A. They solely spoke about putting them on trial, which is something
12 that Hadzic himself confirmed later on.
13 Q. You have before you your statements. Mr. Weiner put paragraph 71
14 to you. This is your statement to the OTP where you stated that: "Looking
15 back, I now believe that such a surrender is not normal."
16 So without looking back, would you please try to place yourself in
17 the relevant period of time. The discussion you heard at that session,
18 did it leave an impression that their requests were not normal, that what
19 they requested was not normal? Is that the impression that you left with?
20 A. Given that Vukovar was free, it was liberated, that the cabinet
21 was in session, it was meeting, that it wanted to put on trial these
22 people, I fully believed them, but I also have to reiterate that I wasn't
23 competent for conducting any negotiations with them. I wasn't authorised
24 to promise them any concessions either.
25 Q. Mr. Panic, you testified, page 63, Friday's transcript, you said
1 that you wanted to go to Ovcara because you wanted to have full
2 information about what followed after the cabinet session?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you convey to Colonel Mrksic full information that you had on
5 that day, in your view?
6 A. I think I conveyed to him in true and accurate terms what the
7 situation was like.
8 Q. You sketched a map, the road leading to Negoslavci and the turn to
9 Ovcara. Do you remember, from the intersection of the road from Vukovar
10 to Negoslavci, from that intersection to the hangar at Ovcara, what's the
12 A. I think a kilometre and a half at the most.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't wish to
15 interrupt Mr. Weiner on Friday, and thus I wish to state that on
16 page 1446/17 there is a numeric error. The witness said that there was
17 7 to 8 metres, that that was how long the driveway or path leading to
18 hangar was, and the transcript reflected 80 metres, or 800 metres, which
19 was obviously unreasonable.
20 Q. Mr. Weiner also asked you on page 72 of the draft transcript dated
21 the 10th of November -- or, rather, he stated that you saw people
22 attacking the buses in the barracks. Upon your return from the cabinet
23 session, were there still any attacks on the buses, buses in plural,
24 because you said that there were three to four of them?
25 A. When I returned from the cabinet session to the barracks, there
1 were two or three buses parked. Next to them was the security detail
2 policemen, and then several officers. The situation was completely calm.
3 Q. When you set out to Ovcara, when you decided to stop by Ovcara,
4 did you worry at the time about what was going to happen to those people
5 or were you guided by your need to acquire full information? This
6 question arises from what Mr. Weiner asked you at the end; namely, as to
7 whether you could suppose that those people would be killed.
8 A. It did not even occur to me, and nothing indicated that there
9 could be some revenge-taking. The main motive, the main goal for me going
10 to Ovcara was to see whether the government cabinet had started
11 functioning, and I wanted to acquire full information from my commander,
12 so that I could convey to him upon my return to the command post.
13 Q. You said that you knew what forces the 80th Motorised Brigade had
14 at its disposal on that day. Given the situation at the time, was
15 Vojnovic able, as brigade commander, to freely use his units to implement
16 the task?
17 A. Not only Vojnovic, but in my view even the military police company
18 commander was able on his own to reinforce the security personnel.
19 Especially Vojnovic was able to use any other unit if there was a need to
20 protect somebody or to intervene in a particular situation.
21 On that day, he did not have any other task.
22 Q. Did he require any consent from Colonel Mrksic in order to do
24 A. No, he didn't need Colonel Mrksic's consent.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we go into private session,
1 briefly, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
3 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Did you know whether the 80th Motorised Brigade had its own
24 security organ and, if so, do you know who it was?
25 A. The 80th Motorised Brigade did have its security organ. However,
1 I don't know the man.
2 Q. Very well. I won't pursue this further then.
3 You were asked by Mr. Weiner about Colonel Pavkovic. He said that
4 you mentioned him for the first time at the Belgrade trial. He put to you
5 whether you knew that he had certain tasks at the time. Would you please
6 turn to page 74 of the Belgrade transcript of your testimony.
7 For Your Honours and for my learned friends from the OTP, it's
8 page 77.
9 A. I don't have that document before me.
10 Q. They will bring it to you now. Page 74 for the witness.
11 I will read it out slowly; it's a brief passage. It has to do
12 with the questions put to you by Mr. Weiner at the time you were examined
13 by the accused, Stanko Vujanovic. The question was: "Did you see
14 Pavkovic on that day?"
15 And then you answer: "Pavkovic?"
16 And then Vujanovic says: "Yes."
17 Your answer is yes.
18 Then Stanko Vujanovic: "What did he have, what task did he have?"
19 Your answer: "He had a specific task. He was a kind of an
20 advisor there."
21 "Q. To whom?"
22 "A. To Mrksic. How could I explain his role now that you've
23 mentioned him? The fact that he was there and that he performed many jobs
24 both militarily and professionally from the surrender of that unit to the
25 transport of the people and the surrender of the people who wanted to
1 leave. They shot at him at some crossings and so on. He was there on
2 behalf of the cabinet, because at the time he was in the cabinet of the
3 federal secretary."
4 So at the time, it was your judgement that Pavkovic was some sort
5 of an advisor of Mr. Mrksic. But given what you testified, did you also
6 have some memories of him doing something for the ordinary citizens of
8 A. Well, I mentioned there, I said that he was of assistance there,
9 and he mostly dealt with negotiations, meeting with delegations, sending
10 the columns of people into various directions. He simply performed a
11 useful job. It is difficult for me to explain the specific nature of the
12 role he had and the relations he had with other people.
13 Q. When you gave your OTP statement in July of 2005, did the OTP show
14 to you any document of the European Monitoring Mission that I showed to
15 you while proofing you?
16 A. No, I didn't see any such document. I saw the documents which
17 were mentioned in my statement, my OTP statement.
18 Q. Just those that are mentioned in this statement?
19 A. Yes, that's the only thing that was put to me and that was
20 appropriately recorded.
21 Q. Can you say roughly how many documents you were shown over those
22 two days of being interviewed?
23 A. Roughly a total of ten.
24 Q. We can now discuss your statement to the OTP, and also what I
25 really want to know about, what is stated there and what you have
1 confirmed about you saying that Sljivancanin, in terms of command, was in
2 charge of the evacuation. So we'll have a look at that.
3 My question is: Your statement to the OTP, is it a result of you
4 speaking informally, or is it actually a sequence of questions and answers
5 from a purely technical point of view? How exactly was the statement
7 A. It wasn't the text book question and answer thing. If you look at
8 the statement, at the final document, it shows that there are no questions
9 as such, but there are thousands of answers. There were at least three
10 times as many questions as far as I remember. There were questions or
11 groups of questions that I used as a basis for my answers.
12 I don't speak English myself; an interpreter was present. I
13 signed the statement. The statement is valid in its present form, and
14 that's all I can say.
15 Q. Generally speaking, take any paragraph containing about ten
16 sentences, can you remember how many questions you were asked in relation
17 to the substance of a single paragraph?
18 A. I think I can say that some of the questions were pretty clear-cut
19 and aimed at a certain type of answer.
20 Q. Okay. Let's look at paragraph 69 now that you have looked at
21 already with the assistance of Mr. Weiner. I will read the first sentence
22 slowly: "Mrksic also informed us at the briefing of the command in
23 Negoslavci ..."
24 I will wait for you to find that paragraph, paragraph 69.
25 A. I've got it.
1 Q. "Mrksic also informed us at the command briefing in Negoslavci on
2 the 18th of November --"
3 A. That's an error.
4 Q. You've said as much. Thank you. "... that Major Sljivancanin was
5 going to be in charge of (command) the evacuation of the Vukovar Hospital
6 on the 19th and 20th of November, 1991."
7 Based on your recollection, did you say at the time that you took
8 the expression "in charge of" to mean "to command" as your remark
9 indicates in the parenthesis right there? Did you use the word "command"
11 A. When I looked at the original and the English, I made no changes
12 in relation to this when I was entering all the changes and when I was
13 meant to sign the statement. I accepted this, but I don't think this is
14 my wording. I think this was added. This is more by the way of an
15 inference on the part of whoever processed the text itself.
16 Q. At any rate, when you signed the statement, you agreed with this,
17 you raised no objections, did you?
18 A. No, I made a lot of changes. And I think you've noticed yourself
19 as you go towards the end of the statement, there are less and less
21 Q. Paragraph 72. Again, just one sentence: "This implied that
22 Sljivancanin was able to issue orders to the military police or any other
23 unit participating in the operation."
24 Paragraph 73, the next question. This is also something that
25 Weiner showed you. "I do not know whether Sljivancanin issued any
1 specific orders, verbal or written, regarding the organisation and
2 implementation of the evacuation. He must have been issuing orders to the
3 military police."
4 Did you hear Sljivancanin issue orders to the military police on
5 that day or did anybody tell you that?
6 A. No, I didn't. I don't think I would state it this way again. I
7 think there must have been something leading, a question or something.
8 MR. WEINER: That's speculation, Your Honour. I object to that.
9 JUDGE PARKER: The question is perfectly proper. The answer may
10 have involved speculation that will affect its weight, Mr. Weiner.
11 Carry on, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll be going back to that
13 statement later on.
14 Q. Mr. Panic, the theory of the OTP, as reflected in the indictment
15 and their questions, is that Colonel Mrksic conferred upon Sljivancanin
16 the command authority for the evacuation of the hospital. I'll now be
17 asking you questions about facts and the actual situation that prevailed
18 on that day.
19 When you saw the bus from the hospital in the barracks which was,
20 so to speak, at risk, did you inform Mrksic or Sljivancanin about that?
21 A. I informed Commander Mrksic about that. And I ordered Lukic and
22 Predojevic to send away any persons whose presence wasn't warranted and to
23 make sure the bus was secured.
24 Q. At the hospital [as interpreted], did you inform Mrksic or
25 Sljivancanin about the cabinet decision to take over responsibility for
1 that bus and its passengers?
2 A. I informed Colonel Mrksic.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 70, line 18, I didn't say at the
5 hospital, I said, "After the government meeting," and you provided your
7 Q. When Colonel Mrksic told you to go to that cabinet meeting and
8 tell them what you were talking about, did you inform Sljivancanin about
10 A. No. I was not in touch with Sljivancanin until that evening.
11 Q. What about that evening when you saw him, did you tell him about
13 A. No, I didn't.
14 Q. When you returned from Ovcara, did you tell Mrksic or Sljivancanin
15 about what you had witnessed there?
16 A. Needless to say, the commander, Mrksic, he was the one I informed.
17 Q. "Needless to say," you are saying now. And why didn't you inform
18 Sljivancanin if he was the commander of the evacuation?
19 A. Well, obviously Sljivancanin was not the commander, was he? It
20 was Mrksic.
21 Q. Thank you. Did you know perhaps later that day, did you hear that
22 on that day, a number of colonels from the security administration had
23 been to see Mrksic about the -- their concerns over the people at the
25 A. I didn't know about that.
1 Q. Did you hear that on that day, Susic, Captain First Class at the
2 time, had called Mrksic to consult him on security issues in the barracks
3 and previously had been at the command post when the evacuation was
4 agreed? Did you hear anything about that?
5 A. Yes, I do know that Susic, who was at the barracks, talked about
7 Q. Did you know, since you were later that day you were at the
8 command post in Negoslavci that anyone on that day at all addressed
9 Sljivancanin about the civilian authorities or any threats posed to those
10 people there, those persons there on that day?
11 A. I know nothing about that.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have Exhibit 419, please. Can
13 that be brought up.
14 Q. You were shown this, I believe by Mr. Vasic, if we could just pull
15 that up a little. Vasic was showing you this. This is regulating issues
16 to do with daily activities. The date is the 20th November. And this is
17 the only written document with any reference to the evacuation.
18 My question -- can we just pull it up a little, please, so that
19 Mr. Panic can familiarise himself with the document.
20 If you look at this document, is there a reference anywhere to any
21 task for any organ of the command outside the functional competence or
22 remit of anyone in the command of the Operations Group?
23 A. I believe this order to be perfectly proper. There is nothing in
24 it that goes outside the regulations.
25 Q. Is there any mention here of authority being transferred from
1 anyone to anyone else, or conferred upon someone else?
2 A. Not if I look at the face of this order.
3 Q. In your opinion, Mr. Panic, on the 20th of November, what about
4 the reports of subordinate units, and I mean the military police, first
5 and foremost, who were they submitted to?
6 A. All reports from battalions and assault detachments were submitted
7 to the command post of the brigade or of the Operations Group.
8 Q. Very well. Mr. Panic, I have tried to count them, and so have you
9 probably, you provided five different statements to different bodies and
10 authorities about Ovcara. You provided an interview to the OTP; this took
11 two days. You provided a statement as early as 1998 to the military
12 court, and then that short statement to the security administration. You
13 spent an entire day testifying at the Belgrade Ovcara trial, as we call
15 A. Yes. One of these five statements is also the one that I gave the
16 Prosecutor in Novi Sad.
17 Q. Over these days, you've had an opportunity to thoroughly go
18 through all your statements, haven't you?
19 A. Indeed.
20 Q. You've said a lot of things about Ovcara. Did you ever tell
21 anyone at all that Sljivancanin was in command of the hospital evacuation?
22 Is this something you've remembered over the last couple of days?
23 A. No, never. I would be twisting the truth if I were to say that he
24 was in command. That's not true.
25 Q. I'm about to complete my redirect, but I'll ask you another
1 question through three questions.
2 At the end of his cross-examination, Mr. Vasic told you that you
3 were here to not tell the truth in order to conceal your own
4 responsibility, to whitewash your own reputation. You gave an answer
5 which still rings in my ears. You were told the same thing by Mr. Weiner
6 at the end of his cross-examination. He suggested that you were here to
7 conceal the truth and not to share it with us.
8 Mr. Panic, were you not a potential witness for Mr. Mrksic's
9 Defence at an earlier stage?
10 A. Indeed, I was.
11 Q. Did The Hague Prosecutor not inform you that they wanted you to
12 appear as an OTP witness at this trial?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did they eventually bring you here to testify or not?
15 A. No, I came here after meeting you, and I came here because I
16 wanted to give evidence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I thank you very much, Mr. Panic.
18 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Panic, you will be pleased to know that that
22 concludes your evidence and the questions you will be asked so that you
23 are now free to go back to your other affairs. The Chamber would thank
24 you for your attendance here and for the assistance that you have given to
1 The court officer will assist you to leave. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
3 Thank you very much for making it possible for me to take the stand before
4 this Trial Chamber.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE PARKER: Ready to move on, Mr. Lukic?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have the next witness lined up and
8 ready to take the stand, but I would like to take the opportunity now to
9 raise that question which I announced at the beginning of the day. It
10 will take about five minutes.
11 This is what it's about, Your Honours. When you made the ruling
12 regarding the possibility for the OTP to take interviews from Defence
13 witnesses, after that we understood that decision to mean what it said.
14 Over the previous period, at least that's what I know, Mr. Moore spoke to
15 two Sljivancanin Defence witnesses in Belgrade. Two of the witnesses who
16 were summoned or who were subpoenaed were returned. I was told this about
17 a month or month and a half ago when I was in Belgrade myself. I really
18 expected at the time, bearing in mind the fact that they have offices in
19 Belgrade, the OTP would then and there get in touch with witnesses and
20 interview them, Defence witnesses. I even asked Mr. Moore to give me
21 notice of that so that I might organise for someone from my team to be
22 there for the interviews.
23 During the Radic Defence case, I noticed that when witnesses
24 eventually arrived in The Hague, the OTP wanted to speak to them.
25 Mr. Moore wrote to me on Thursday and talked to me on Friday morning
1 expressing his desire to interview Mr. Korica, who has the meantime
2 arrived, and Mr. Simic as well who has also arrived. We agreed for the
3 interview to take place at 11.00 a.m. today and at 12.00 with Simic. He
4 said that it would take no more than 45 minutes or up to 60 minutes for
5 each of these two witnesses. I told him straight away that I wished to be
6 present for both Korica and Simic's interviews.
7 He did not agree to this, nor did he explicitly disagree, but the
8 meaning I got from that, I gleaned from that was that he had nothing
9 against me being present in my capacity as Defence counsel. When I
10 brought Mr. Korica today, we sat down for the meeting, there was an
11 interpreter, all the usual OTP procedures, Mr. Moore asked Witness Korica
12 whether he would be prepared to give this statement in my absence. I was
13 adamant that I should know the reasons for my presence being so in the way
14 of Mr. Moore and his interview.
15 Mr. Moore explained this by saying that he, himself, had not been
16 present when I had conducted my interview with this witness and that this
17 amounted to equality of arms and nothing else. Mr. Korica didn't oppose
18 this idea of giving a statement in my absence, so I simply left the room.
19 I do believe that taking a statement from a witness a day or two
20 before the witness is due to appear, and especially in the case of
21 witnesses who come to testify here, affects these witnesses in some way.
22 I'm not talking about pressure. But really, just a single day before a
23 witness is due to appear in the courtroom, to have an interview conducted
24 without the Defence counsel present I believe is a fact that must be also
25 considered in the light of the reason for these people coming here to
2 But the reason I asked to be present at this interview is this: I
3 think Mr. Korica's interview took about two hours and Simic was not even
4 interviewed today. There is one purely technical matter. We must now
5 receive the record of that interview from the OTP. We have to read it and
6 we have to analyse it with the witness before he takes the stand. I can
7 hardly allow for a Defence witness to appear in court without previously
8 going with him through the statement that he made to the OTP.
9 If this goes on, and I do believe that I had to be there, and I do
10 believe that Mr. Moore never needed to raise that subject for these very
11 reasons, I will have no choice but to ask the Chamber for a postponement
12 of that witness until I've had sufficient time to calmly go with the
13 witness through his statement.
14 I wish to comply with all our obligations before this court. I
15 wish to comply with Mr. Sljivancanin's desire for us to finish our case by
16 the 8th of December. If we go on like this, if I don't get the transcript
17 tonight and tomorrow morning I will have to be doing that of all things, I
18 just received a list with 85 documents that they wanted to show Korica
19 today, well, then, I'm facing a situation in which I can no longer do what
20 I had set out to do.
21 This is no laughing matter, Mr. Moore. I think it's a very
22 serious subject, and I for one am certainly quite affected. The OTP had
23 two months, they had their own team in Belgrade, and now one day before
24 the witness appears they wish to interview the witness. I had no choice
25 but to inform the Chamber should a situation arise where I can't go with
1 the witness through everything that he shared with the OTP, I will have to
2 ask for a deferral, which is the last thing that I want to be doing now.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
4 Mr. Moore.
5 MR. MOORE: We went to Belgrade in September to speak to four
6 witnesses; one of them was Mr. Korica. We had asked to speak to him. We
7 were unable to speak to him in September.
8 Mr. Korica has been here since Wednesday. The first time that we
9 have been -- or he has been made available to us was today.
10 My learned friend knew perfectly well that we wished to speak to
11 him and, this is the only window that we were allowed to have. My learned
12 friend has spoken, I believe, from what Mr. Korica tells me, has spoken to
13 him on three previous days, starting last week.
14 I have abided by the Court ruling. I have not made any fuss in
15 court about having access to the witness earlier than today. My learned
16 friend is correct that I asked Mr. Korica if he was willing to speak to us
17 in the absence of Mr. Lukic. It was Mr. Korica's decision. The matter
18 was fully tape recorded. My learned friend was there when that was done.
19 He was present for the first 15 or 20 minutes of that. There is a tape
20 recording which is being created into a format that will allow my learned
21 friend to hear what was said. I hope that we can get it to him this
22 evening, but this time table has not been of our making. The time table
23 has been of the making of the Defence.
24 In relation to the other matters of which I'm afraid I do not
25 understand, where apparently there were two witnesses who were returned by
1 us, I can assure the Court, as far as I'm aware, there were no witnesses
2 returned by me; quite the reverse. I was in Belgrade to speak to the
3 witnesses, not only in relation to Mr. Korica but also some others, and
4 with regard to the case of Radic. I was unable to do that as the Court
6 So while my learned friend may object vigorously, there was
7 absolutely no reason at all why we could have had access -- could not have
8 had access from Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday prior to the weekend. My
9 learned friend has been proofing Mr. Korica for three days. I have only
10 waited until that has been concluded, nothing more.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore.
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This man arrived on Wednesday. He is
14 70 years old. Mr. Moore came to speak to me -- or, rather, approached me
15 on Thursday in writing and on Friday in person to talk to him, and it was
16 then that we agreed to have the interview on Monday for an hour in my
18 The whole problem lies in the fact that I see no reason why
19 Defence counsel should not be present when the interview is taking place
20 one day before the witness is about to enter the courtroom. That is the
21 contentious issue, Your Honour. Had I been present, I would have been
22 able to take notes, I would not have needed the audio recording and I
23 would have been able to speak to the witness immediately following that.
24 The mail I received from the Prosecution was that they wanted to
25 see Korica on Monday morning. That's the mail I received from them. And
1 I don't see why my presence should be objectionable. Why can't I be
2 allowed to sit there and take notes while the Defence witness is talking
3 to the Prosecution? This is what surprised me.
4 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, could I just correct one matter, and it
5 may be an oversight on behalf of my learned friend.
6 We asked, in relation to this matter, the first time was on the
7 3rd of November in writing, having asked in September.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have it written down as the 10th of
9 November, but I think that this is not a material issue. What is
10 important, however, is that such a technical issue should have been
11 resolved much easier.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE PARKER: It is for a witness whether or not they wish to be
15 spoken to by one party or another in the trial or are prepared to be
16 spoken to in the absence of the other party, if I can confine it to
17 Prosecution and Defence. And that is so with each witness and it will be
18 so for any remaining witnesses to be called by Mr. Lukic which the
19 Prosecution may seek to interview.
20 If it is the case that the Prosecution seeks to speak to a witness
21 some days before the evidence is to be led and the witness is here and not
22 made available, then I'm afraid, in the situation of a trial such as this,
23 the effect of that delay must tell against Mr. Lukic's position. The same
24 would be applied in reverse were it a Prosecution witness and access to
25 that witness was denied to Mr. Lukic.
1 Therefore, it is clear that counsel need to be more attentive to
2 the future need to speak to witnesses and to ensure that a witness is made
3 available in reasonable time before the witness gives evidence if we are
4 to avoid either disadvantaging Mr. Lukic or simply losing time in the
6 In the present case, we are prepared to accept that there was no
7 conscious difficulty in the way of providing the witness and that some
8 matter may have not been to Mr. Lukic's attention. If necessary,
9 therefore, we would not continue sitting tonight and would continue
10 tomorrow at the normal hour, which is 2.15, but that will not be the
11 position we will take with future witnesses if there is any similar
12 situation arising to the present.
13 So the ball is in your court, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we -- the next scheduled
15 witness is Simic, so we can bring in Mr. Simic and I hope that I will
16 receive the transcript for Mr. Korica in due time. Mr. Korica is the next
17 witness after Mr. Simic, so this is not a reason to delay the proceedings.
18 We can bring in Mr. Simic right away because, after all, we have spent
19 quite a lot of time with Mr. Panic.
20 If I do receive the transcript in the morning, as Mr. Moore
21 promised, and if we catch pace, then I do not envisage any problems in the
22 future, and that's precisely what I wish.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
24 Mr. Moore promised a tape, not a transcript, just so there's no
25 lack of consistency and understanding.
1 The witness, Mr. Simic, should be brought in now.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE PARKER: Good evening. Would you read allowed the
4 affirmation on the card given to you now, Mr. Simic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: MILIVOJE SIMIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
10 Mr. Bulatovic.
11 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Examination by Mr. Bulatovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening to everyone. Good evening,
14 Mr. Simic.
15 A. Good evening.
16 Q. You had to wait quite a while today. You had some problems
17 because you came to have an interview with Mr. Moore which in the end
18 didn't take place. However, the Prosecutor, Mr. Moore, apologised and I
19 hope you will accept his apology.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Simic, please give us your full name and date of birth?
22 A. Milivoje Simic, 15th of November, 1959.
23 Q. Mr. Simic, can you tell the Chamber and us what rank you hold and
24 whether you are still an active serviceman and, if so, what is your post?
25 A. I am still in the active service of the army of Serbia. My rank
1 is that of a colonel, and I'm currently commander of the 46th Logistics
3 Q. Mr. Simic, would you please slow down for the sake of interpreters
4 because everything is being translated into English, thus would you please
5 wait for several seconds after hearing my question before you proceed with
6 your answer.
7 A. All right.
8 Q. Is it true that you commenced your military career, Mr. Simic, in
9 1982 when you completed military academy of the land forces?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. For a while, you worked in Skoplje, which is the capital of the
12 one of the republics of the then federation of the SFRY, and now it is the
13 capital of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you remember from 1987 to 1990 where you worked -- did you
16 serve in the military academy of the land forces?
17 A. From 1987 to 1990, I served as commander of the cadet platoon
18 within the military academy of land forces.
19 Q. And in 1990, pursuant to the dates that you provided to me, in
20 August of that year you were transferred to the Guards Motorised Brigade?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. To the post of assistant for morale guidance in the 2nd battalion
23 of the military police?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In 1991, according to the same data, you took over as deputy
1 commander of the battalion and you served in that position during the
2 Vukovar events for a while in 1991?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Further, according to the data, from 1993 to 1995, what were the
5 posts you held?
6 A. From 1993 to 1995, I served as battalion -- commander of military
7 police battalion, first within the 46th Security Regiment, and later when
8 it was disbanded and when the 46th Protection Motorised Brigade was
9 established, I spent one year serving in that brigade.
10 Q. Mr. Simic, you also completed the staff academy?
11 A. Yes. From the post of battalion commander in 1996, I went to the
12 command and staff academy which I completed.
13 Q. In 2001, you completed the school of national defence; correct?
14 A. Yes, I completed that school in 2001.
15 Q. And in 2002, you took over the post that you just described just
16 now as the post where you currently serve?
17 A. Yes, initially it was the 46th Motorised Brigade. In 2002, it was
18 renamed into 46th Logistics Brigade and this is where I currently serve.
19 Q. Once again, I have to ask you to slow down, Mr. Simic.
20 Based on the information you provided, in 1991, you served as
21 deputy commander of the 2nd Military Police battalion and, according to
22 the information available to us, you were not in that post throughout the
23 entire time. So could you please explain to the Chamber how you went to
24 Vukovar and what happened during the time period relevant to us, the 19th,
25 20th and 21st of November, 1991? What position did you hold at that time
1 and how did you assume that position?
2 A. The 2nd battalion of military police came to the Vukovar sector
3 together with all other formations of the Guards Motorised Brigade; that
4 is to say, on the 30th of September, 1991. Initially I performed that
5 position, which was the establishment position, deputy commander of the
6 military police battalion, but after some ten days, I became -- or,
7 rather, commander of the 4th Company of military police became ill, that
8 was Lieutenant Palmud Mesad [phoen]. Pursuant to the order of the
9 battalion commander, Captain First Class Radoje Paunovic, I assumed the
10 position of the commander of the 4th Company.
11 From that time on until the 24th of November, that is to say,
12 until our return to Belgrade, I served as commander of the 4th Company.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic. Please tell me, were you and your company
14 involved in combat and, if so, were you within another unit or did you
15 fight independently?
16 A. When I took over as commander of the 4th Military Police Company,
17 that company was resubordinated to the armoured battalion of the Guards
18 Brigade and it was located at the Ovcara farm. In that sector, I spent
19 some five to six days, roughly speaking, and then following that, the
20 company was transferred to the Vukovar sector where, for a while, it was
21 within the brigade reserve forces.
22 Following that - I think we spent some three days there - the
23 company was resubordinated to the commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment,
24 Lieutenant-Colonel Lukic. And up until the 17th or 18th of November, I
25 can't recall the exact date when the order on disbanding assault
1 detachments was issued, the company once again became part of the
2 2nd battalion of military police, and from that time on, it was
3 subordinated to the commander of the 2nd Military Police battalion.
4 Q. When you were part of the 2nd Assault Detachment, who was your
5 superior officer?
6 A. When I was in the 2nd Assault Detachment, my superior officer was
7 Lieutenant-Colonel Lukic, the commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment.
8 Q. This situation that continued on the -- until the 17th and
9 the 18th when you went back to your original unit, the 2nd Military Police
10 battalion, on the 17th of November, or the 18th, from that date on, who
11 was your commander, your superior officer?
12 A. From the time the assault detachments were disbanded, it was the
13 commander of the 2nd Military Police battalion, Captain First Class
14 Radoje Paunovic.
15 Q. Who do you take your orders from and your assignments?
16 A. You mean when I came back to the original unit?
17 Q. Yes, from the 17th and the 18th.
18 A. From the 17th onwards, the battalion commander, Captain Paunovic.
19 Q. Between the time you returned to your original unit, the
20 2nd Military Police battalion, and any later time, did you receive orders
21 from anyone else but the battalion commander Paunovic?
22 A. No, I received orders from the battalion commander alone and no
23 one else.
24 Q. Mr. Simic, I think that is beyond dispute. We all have a date
25 here that we refer to as the date of the liberation of Vukovar, depending
1 on your perspective. Obviously some say it was the date it was occupied.
2 I'm talking about the 18th of November. Do you remember that date as the
3 date you found out what occurred in Vukovar on the 18th of November?
4 A. We learned on that day that the Croatian paramilitaries had
6 Q. Do you remember -- they surrendered at Mitnica, right? So I'll
7 ask you something else.
8 Do you remember whether on the 19th of November you had any sort
9 of assignment at all in the water-tower area or the Mitnica sector? If
10 so, what sort of an assignment was it? What was the assignment? Who gave
11 you the assignment? Did you carry it out?
12 A. I don't remember exactly whether it was on the evening of the 18th
13 or the morning of the 19th. The battalion commander told me to take the
14 4th Company of the military police and to search a section of the Mitnica
15 neighbourhood. I can't remember the axis exactly, but I know that we left
16 from Dalmatinska Street. The objective of this search was to, above all,
17 establish whether there were any individuals or groups remaining there who
18 belonged to the Croat paramilitary units.
19 Another primary objective was to assist the civilians and to send
20 them to the holding centre which I believe was located at Velepromet.
21 That was the primary mission I received from the battalion commander.
22 Q. Mr. Simic, during that mission, did you receive another
23 assignment? If so, from whom and what assignment?
24 A. As we were conducting this search, I was called by radio link by
25 the battalion commander who told me to stop the search and to take the
1 company back to the hospital area in Vukovar where I was to receive
2 further assignments.
3 Q. Did you do as you were told?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. Did you take your company to the Vukovar Hospital on the 19th of
6 November, 1991? If so, do you remember what time it was when you got
8 A. Of course I complied with the order that I got from my superior
9 officer. As far as I remember, it was about 1400 hours that I reached the
10 hospital sector.
11 Q. Mr. Simic, at about 1400 hours on the 19th of November when you
12 reached the hospital sector, do you remember the numerical strength of
13 your company, how many men were there?
14 A. The initial numerical strength was over 100, and this was now down
15 to 48 men, including me. That's why I remember.
16 Q. What were the reasons behind your numerical strength being so
17 severely reduced, you had over 100 at the outset when you arrived in
18 Vukovar, and now all you were left with was 48 men. Why?
19 A. There are several reasons for that: People were killed, injured,
20 ill, the reservists were sent back. At the time, the JNA was a
21 multi-ethnic force and my company comprised persons of various
22 ethnicities. At one point in time, telegrams started arriving for
23 soldiers increasingly telling them about the deaths of their close
24 relatives, their fathers, their mothers. Because of these reports, we
25 would allow the reservists to go back to their homes, after which they
1 would normally not return to the unit.
2 Q. You spoke of the multi-ethnic make-up. Were there any Croats in
3 the 4th Company of the 2nd Military Police battalion of which you were
5 A. There were Croats in my company, yes. My best soldier was a
6 Croat. I'm not saying his name, just to keep him safe.
7 Q. Was he the only one or were there others too?
8 A. There were several Croats. The first one to be killed was a Croat
9 soldier, a lance-corporal. There were several Croats, Muslims,
10 Macedonians, and of course Serbs and Montenegrins.
11 Q. Mr. Simic, what about these persons of other ethnicities, were
12 they actively involved in combat? I mean the Croats, the Muslims, the
14 A. Yes, just like everybody else, all the other company men.
15 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm about to move on
16 to the days that really matter. I hope my introduction was a brief one.
17 I do believe, however, that we are running out of time. It might be a
18 good idea to call it a day.
19 JUDGE PARKER: We have indeed run out of time, Mr. Bulatovic, and
20 we will now adjourn until tomorrow.
21 We resume at 2.15.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of
24 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.