Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14903

1 Monday, 20 November 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.

7 May I remind you of the affirmation which you took at the

8 beginning of your evidence that still applies.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.

12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning, Your

13 Honours. Good morning to all in the courtroom.

14 Examination by Mr. Vasic:

15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Susic. Since we speak the same language, could

16 you please pause before answering my questions, so that the interpreters

17 would interpret everything you say; like you gave your answers to Mr.

18 Bulatovic, so that we'd have everything in the transcript.

19 Mr. Susic, until now, before courts, the special court in

20 Belgrade, before investigation agencies, you did not give any evidence

21 with regard to what you are testifying about here?

22 A. You're right. I have made no such statements.

23 Q. So you were not even asked to testify before the military court in

24 1998 in the proceedings against any perpetrators of the war crime at the

25 Ovcara crime?

Page 14904

1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: They cannot hear the

2 witness.

3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. The security organisation of the Guards Brigade and the military

5 investigation agencies, in the period from until 2001, did they know where

6 you were, or rather, up until the 20th of November, 1991, and what duties

7 you were involved in at that time in Vukovar?

8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Vasic please turn

9 off his microphone when the witness is speaking.

10 A. Yes. And they knew when we were.

11 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Thank you. Do you know that in the proceedings before the

13 military court and in other proceedings, the generals Milorad Panic,

14 General Lukic, Colonel Vukasinovic were asked to testify, and they made

15 statements in such proceedings?

16 A. I'm aware of that.

17 Q. Thank you. Now we're going to move on to a different subject.

18 Yesterday, you described how you came to the area of Vukovar and what the

19 tasks of your unit were. You mentioned that the anti-terrorist company

20 and the 2nd Company of military police of the 1st Battalion, almost

21 immediately upon their arrival, were attached to the 2nd Assault

22 Detachment that was commanded by then Lieutenant-Colonel Lukic; is that

23 right? Did I understand that right.

24 A. Yes. But at that time, he was Major Lukic, and the 2nd

25 anti-terrorist detachment was attached on the 2nd of October; whereas, the

Page 14905

1 2nd Company of the APCs was attached on the 4th.

2 Q. Just a correction in the transcript in line 25 on page 2, the

3 witness said that the anti-terrorist company was on the 2nd of October

4 attached; whereas, the 2nd company of the APCs was attached on the 4th.

5 Yes. Thank you.

6 Tell me, these two attached companies remained within the 2nd

7 Assault Detachment until what date?

8 A. The anti-terrorist company up until the 20th of October; whereas,

9 the 2nd Company until the end of the activities.

10 Q. What is the "end" mean, does that mean the 24th of November?

11 A. Yes, the 24th of November.

12 Q. Thank you. The 1st Battalion of the military police, towards the

13 end of October, 1991, excluding these two units that were attached to

14 other units, was it within another assault detachment?

15 A. Not until then. But on the 1st, a unit was established that took

16 part in combat activities.

17 Q. When you say the 1st, do you mean --

18 A. The 1st of November.

19 Q. Tell me, was that the 5th Assault Detachment and, if so, who

20 commanded that unit?

21 A. Yes. It was the 5th Assault Detachment and then the

22 anti-terrorist company was within it, and also parts of the military

23 police company that I commanded.

24 Q. Am I right if I conclude that you commanded that unit in the

25 actions that took place on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th of November in

Page 14906

1 Vukovar?

2 A. Correct.

3 Q. As for this time that you are -- or rather, that I am referring to

4 from the 14th of November onwards, who commanded the units that were

5 attached from your unit to the 2nd Assault Detachment?

6 A. At that time, there was only the 2nd Company within the assault

7 detachment, and it was commanded by Major Lukic.

8 Q. Thank you. Do you remember about the period between the 14th and

9 the 17th of November, did you receive any tasks from the brigade command;

10 and if you remember, briefly, what kind of tasks were they, that is to

11 say, you as the 1st Battalion of the military police?

12 A. These tasks were aimed at securing convoys and combat activities

13 that took place on the axis of activity of the 1st and 2nd Assault

14 Detachments.

15 Q. In this period, did you have some contacts with the 4th Assault

16 Detachment? Do you remember that?

17 A. I did not have any such contact.

18 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, when you received these orders that

19 we are talking about now, how did you receive them, in which way? These

20 orders to attack on the 14th, 16th, 17th?

21 A. The orders were issued in writing; and later on, things were added

22 in case there were some corrections at the briefings themselves.

23 Q. Thank you. As commander of the 1st Battalion of the military

24 police, did you have radio communication with the brigade command, or

25 rather, of the Operations Group South in Negoslavci?

Page 14907

1 A. I always had communication with my command.

2 Q. Just explain what kind of communication that was, and who was it

3 specifically that you communicated with at the command in Negoslavci?

4 A. I had communications equipment that, according to establishment,

5 belonged to my unit; that was wire communication, jaguar, then I had

6 communications with the operation centre and directly with the commander,

7 when necessary.

8 Q. Did you communicate with the commander through the operation

9 centre or directly?

10 A. Well, when I wanted to speak to the commander himself, then he was

11 the one who would speak to me.

12 Q. Thank you. During combat activities in Vukovar, did you get any

13 orders from Miodrag Panic, Chief of Staff?

14 A. I did not.

15 Q. And the chief of the security organ or Vukasinovic, his deputy?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Can you tell us who had the task of securing the command post in

18 Negoslavci, which unit?

19 A. In Negoslavci, the command post was secured by the 1st Company of

20 APCs, parts of the military police company, and the traffic company, minus

21 one platoon, which provided traffic security to the logistics command post

22 in Berak.

23 Q. Are all of these units that belong to the 1st Battalion of the

24 military police, whose commander you became at one point in time?

25 A. Yes. Those are the units involved.

Page 14908

1 Q. Who was responsible for providing security of the command post in

2 Negoslavci? I'm now referring to the actual officers involved. Who was

3 responsible for securing this command post in accordance with regulations?

4 A. Up until the 1st of November, it was Major Kavalic. After the 1st

5 of November, it was I. Captain Bozic was on the line, and he was

6 exercising control as to how this was taking place.

7 Q. Do you know that at one point in time, a command of Negoslavci was

8 established; and, if so, who was the commander?

9 A. I'm aware of this command, that it was established, and it was

10 Major Vukasinovic who was its commander.

11 Q. After the town command was established, did Major Vukasinovic

12 issue any commands to organs of the military police who were securing the

13 command in Negoslavci and also the exit/entry checkpoints in Negoslavci?

14 A. He was not in charge of commanding personnel; he was issuing these

15 passes and saying what was to be done.

16 Q. Are you saying that as town commander, he did not command the

17 units that were securing that particular locality?

18 A. He was not commanding them.

19 Q. Can you explain what the function of the town commander is? What

20 are his powers, if you know, of course?

21 A. I was not town commander of that town, so I don't know. But he

22 was supposed to regulate everything; and if he needed personnel, then he

23 had to ask for such personnel to be approved. If a desk was supposed to

24 be set up somewhere, he would issue the order and we would actually carry

25 this through.

Page 14909

1 Q. Since you do not have information about what the actual powers

2 are, I'm not going to ask you anything else about the powers of the town

3 commander. But tell me, can a commander of a unit transfer some of his

4 powers to another officer from that unit in terms of carrying out a

5 particular task?

6 A. He can, but he still remains responsible for that.

7 Q. Can this authority be transferred to the security organ of that

8 unit?

9 A. I do not know about that because I was never in such a situation.

10 Q. What about Major Vukasinovic, was he in that sort of situation in

11 as far as you know, since he is a security officer was, after all,

12 appointed a town commander in Negoslavci; am I right?

13 A. Yes. He was appointed commander; that's a fact. And he was

14 responsible for the entire security of the command post. But when he

15 needed men to carry out an assignment, he would address us and we provided

16 those.

17 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, in answer to my learned friend Bulatovic's

18 question, you talked about the daily briefings that took place in

19 Negoslavci at 1800 hours. If you look at all the regular combat reports

20 sent by the command of OG South, it appears that they are in relation to

21 the time period between 1800 hours on one day and 1800 hours on the next

22 day, which means they cover a 24-hour period, which means that these

23 meetings were supposed to be held before 1800 hours every day, so that by

24 1800 hours, a report could be submitted. Would I be right, based on your

25 recollection, or not?

Page 14910

1 A. I do not know whether you're right or not, but briefings were held

2 at about 1800 hours.

3 Q. Thank you. You implied to Mr. Bulatovic yesterday that you

4 remember the briefing that was held on the 19th of November, 1991. No

5 mention was made of the hospital evacuation, of that briefing. Is that a

6 fair assessment of your testimony on Friday?

7 A. Yes. That's a fair assessment. At any briefing, I would just

8 write down my own assignments or anything that was said that concerned me.

9 Most tasks received in a situation of combat are difficult ones.

10 Q. Is it possible, then, that the hospital evacuation was discussed

11 on that day, but the simple fact was you didn't write it down because you

12 had no role to play in this evacuation or no specific role to play?

13 A. That's a fair statement. I never received an assignment like

14 that, and I do not know that this was discussed at all.

15 Q. Do you remember if, on the 18th of November, anything was said at

16 that briefing about the surrender of the Croatian forces?

17 A. On the 18th of November, they had surrendered already by the time

18 we got to the briefing at 1800 hours. The surrender had already been

19 completed.

20 Q. Was that on the agenda of that particular briefing?

21 A. It was on the agenda. The Mitnica Battalion had surrendered and

22 had been disarmed. There were a lot of civilians who took refuge in the

23 Velepromet holding centre.

24 Q. Was any reference made to Ovcara at that briefing?

25 A. Yes. The reason being, the Mitnica Battalion were put up there.

Page 14911

1 Q. Do you remember if any other important subjects were raised at

2 that particular meeting? Would you please share that with us?

3 A. I don't think I could comment on anything in particular.

4 Q. But what if I told you that an international delegation was to

5 arrive on the 19th, does that jog your memory? Was there anything you had

6 to do concerning that delegation? Do you remember anything like that

7 being planned for the 19th of November at all?

8 A. No, I don't remember.

9 Q. Are you aware at all of the fact a Cyrus Vance arrived in Vukovar

10 on the 19th of November?

11 A. Indeed, I am.

12 Q. Did you receive any sort of assignment concerning his visit?

13 A. Yes. I was there to set up security, and this was indeed carried

14 out by the 1st Company.

15 Q. You received this assignment on the evening of the 18th at the

16 briefing; is that right?

17 A. I don't remember specifically when I received it, but I know that

18 I did and I know that I carried it out.

19 Q. Do you remember preparing your unit for securing Cyrus Vance; what

20 day, what time?

21 A. I don't remember that, in particular. There were lots of

22 preparations being carried out so ...

23 Q. Who secured Cyrus Vance during his visit to the Vukovar barracks

24 on the 19th of November? Is this something you remember?

25 A. From the time he entered this area until the time he left, he was

Page 14912

1 being secured by the 1st Company.

2 Q. Thank you. Do you remember any briefing at all where the hospital

3 evacuation was discussed and assignments were handed out?

4 A. I don't.

5 Q. What if I told you that we heard evidence here by witnesses who

6 claimed that on the 19th of November, the hospital evacuation was, in

7 fact, discussed and that Major Sljivancanin was put in charge of that

8 task; would that jog your memory?

9 A. No, it wouldn't.

10 Q. You've answered. But all the same, let me re-ask this question:

11 Did any of the units of your 1st Battalion take part in anything to do

12 with the hospital evacuation?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Was any unit from the 1st Battalion of the military police

15 involved in escorting the convoy of civilians from Velepromet on the 19th

16 of November?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can you specify which unit?

19 A. 1st Company and the Traffic Company. On the 19th, they both

20 escorted the POWs from Ovcara to Sremska Mitrovica.

21 Q. On the 19th, they escorted the prisoners from Mitnica as far as

22 Sremska Mitrovica?

23 A. Yes. Those who were originally from Mitnica were escorted as far

24 as Sremska Mitrovica.

25 Q. But they escorted a convoy from Velepromet, too; the one that left

Page 14913

1 for Sremska Mitrovica, am I right?

2 A. There was a convoy headed for the border. I'm not sure if that

3 was the one, but I am sure that they escorted the civilians from

4 Velepromet, too.

5 Q. Thank you. Do you know if members of the 2nd Military Police

6 Battalion were involved in the hospital evacuation in any way at all?

7 A. I know they secured the hospital itself. And I know that every

8 time a bus arrived there, there would be two military policemen on each of

9 those. I think those officers belonged to that unit but I'm not certain.

10 Q. Just a follow-up. In addition to these two military policemen,

11 were there officers on each of those buses as well?

12 A. I did not see any officers.

13 Q. Bearing in mind your previous answer about the soldiers on the

14 buses, I assume your soldiers were not on those buses?

15 A. No, they weren't.

16 Q. Does that mean that if your soldiers weren't on those buses, the

17 buses could only have been escorted by the 2nd Battalion of the military

18 police, or was there another unit that would have been fit to carry out

19 such tasks, apart from the two military police battalions that were part

20 of Operations Group South?

21 A. These were two military police battalions specifically, and they

22 were trained to perform that sort of task.

23 Q. Therefore, the conclusion might be either a convoy was escorted by

24 the 1st Military Police Battalion or the 2nd. There was no other option,

25 was there?

Page 14914

1 A. Not the 1st Battalion. Those soldiers were not under my command,

2 then it must have been the 2nd.

3 Q. Do you know if Major Vukasinovic had a role to play in the

4 evacuation?

5 A. They told me that Major Vukasinovic was in barracks. He led away

6 a group and returned them to the hospital. I did not see him myself

7 there.

8 Q. Did you hear at any of the briefings that he had anything to do

9 with the hospital?

10 A. No, I didn't.

11 Q. When Major Vukasinovic came to barracks, did he not have to

12 address the barracks security first?

13 A. Not necessarily. But it was the done thing for him, as soon as he

14 arrived, to tell him that he was there and to ask what needed doing. I'm

15 not sure if he did or not though.

16 Q. Could he possibly have got on to one of those buses there without

17 previously requesting approval from Captain Predojevic who was guarding

18 those buses?

19 A. He could have. He was an authorised officer from a superior

20 command, but no one else could possibly have got on to those buses.

21 Q. Would Captain Predojevic not have had to inform the barracks

22 commander, Major Lukic, about Major Vukasinovic getting on to those buses?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Was Captain Predojevic not under the command of Major Lukic, as

25 barracks commander, the commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment to which

Page 14915

1 his own unit had been attached?

2 A. Yes. But the buses had arrived in the security zone of the 2nd

3 Company. These buses were just passing through. It was some sort of a

4 meeting point. Therefore, he had nothing to do with the persons who were

5 on the buses, apart from securing them, of course.

6 Q. Did you know that Major Lukic was there when the buses arrived,

7 and he, of all people, was the one who ordered Captain Predojevic to

8 secure those buses?

9 A. I don't know about that specifically. Captain Predojevic called

10 me when he had that problem. I went there to see what it was about. As

11 soon as I realised what was going on, I informed the brigade commander and

12 I received a specific order. I saw Lukic there at a later stage.

13 Q. Mr. Susic, was not Lukic the only person with the power to give an

14 order to Captain Predojevic about securing the barracks or any persons

15 inside the barracks, since he was both the barracks commander and the

16 commander of the unit to which Captain Predojevic had been temporarily

17 resubordinated, as well as the entire 2nd APC Company? Would that not

18 seem to be a factor, sir?

19 A. That's true. But since that company had previously been part of

20 the 1st Battalion, and the company commander addressed me, and when I

21 realised what this was about, I looked for a solution. So I spoke to the

22 commander to receive an order and to see what I was supposed to do.

23 Q. Let me just ask you something, now that we've got this far.

24 Before you addressed the commander, had you seen at the barracks the then

25 Lieutenant-Colonel Miodrag Panic, Chief of Staff?

Page 14916

1 A. No, not then, but I did see him later.

2 Q. We'll get to that. Thank you. Your office, sir, at the command

3 inside the barracks, where was it located in relation to the barracks

4 commander Major Lukic's office?

5 A. Major Lukic was on one of the upper floors, and my office was

6 located on the ground floor.

7 Q. Where was it that you called the Negoslavci command from?

8 A. From an all-terrain vehicle containing communications equipment.

9 This was parked outside the barracks.

10 Q. Does this mean that you used radio to communicate at that time?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You used radio link, and who did you reach in Negoslavci? Who did

13 you reach via the radio?

14 A. I spoke to the person serving the link, and I asked to speak to

15 the commander personally.

16 Q. Do you remember who was the person serving the radio communication

17 system at that time, and what time of the day it was?

18 A. I don't remember who the operator -- radio operator was, but it

19 was between 10.00 and 11.00.

20 Q. Tell me, please, on that day before 10.00 or 11.00, what did you

21 do in the barracks? Do you remember that?

22 A. The usual morning activities; reports from commanders, receiving

23 those reports, giving out instructions, and preparations for further

24 activities.

25 Q. Did you tour units within the 1st Battalion of military police?

Page 14917

1 A. Yes, but not prior to that.

2 Q. When did you tour the units? Was it after 11.00, did I understand

3 you well?

4 A. No, after 2.00.

5 Q. Do you remember whether that morning, on the 20th of November,

6 there was a group of officers in the barracks from the security

7 administration of the 1st Military District?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Do you remember whether that morning, in the barracks, there was a

10 member of the command of the 1st Military District, General Gvero or

11 General Crmaric or Colonel Ivan Todorovic?

12 A. The only person I know is Gvero, but I don't remember on which day

13 I saw him.

14 Q. Mr. Susic, please tell me, who was in charge of the security at

15 the barracks? Who was in command of the security on that day, the 20th of

16 November, 1991?

17 A. Captain Predojevic was responsible for the security, and the

18 security was subordinated to Major Lukic.

19 Q. Do you know who made it possible for this group of civilians and

20 TO members to enter the barracks compound? Who allowed them in?

21 A. Nobody allowed them in, that's for sure. But since there was no

22 fence, it had been broken down, they managed to get in.

23 Q. You said that they managed to get in. Wasn't there a checkpoint

24 or a reception desk in the barracks where they were checking people going

25 in and out?

Page 14918

1 A. Yes. There was a reception desk. But as I told you, there was no

2 fence around the barracks, so there was several locations where they could

3 get in. And it was difficult to prevent them from coming in, given the

4 regular forces that were in the barracks.

5 Q. Do you know at all whether the barracks had security in the form

6 of guard posts and patrols? That's how it should have been done in

7 accordance with the regulations; it was wartime, after all.

8 A. I'm quite familiar with the security of the barracks because

9 Predojevic and I organised that security. We had observation posts, we

10 had guards, we had patrols; but it was difficult to ensure security in

11 that large of a compound, given the regular forces that we had in the

12 barracks.

13 Q. Were you present in the barracks compound when the buses arrived

14 from the hospital?

15 A. No. I was not in the compound, and I wasn't present on the spot;

16 nor did I know what was going on until I received a call from Captain

17 Predojevic.

18 Q. Do you know that Major Vukasinovic brought buses to the barracks;

19 and that upon their arrival, he ordered Captain Predojevic to provide

20 security for the buses and not allow anybody in or out? Are you aware of

21 that?

22 A. I've already told you that I was told that Major Vukasinovic was

23 there, but I didn't see him. And I don't know what he ordered to Captain

24 Predojevic.

25 Q. Do you know that Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Miodrag Panic,

Page 14919

1 also ordered Predojevic to protect the buses. And he did so when only one

2 bus was present in the compound? Are you aware of that?

3 A. No, I'm not aware of that.

4 Q. Given everything that I have put to you so far, I believe that

5 there was no need for Captain Predojevic to address you on that occasion,

6 because he had received his orders and instructions from Major Lukic, as

7 the commander of the barracks, and his own superior, and from Major

8 Vukasinovic and from Chief of Staff Panic. So there was absolutely no

9 need for him to approach you because, at that point in time, you were not

10 superior officer to the 2nd Company of the 1st Military Police Battalion;

11 am I right?

12 A. If it is the case, indeed, as you presented it, then you are quite

13 right. However, when I arrived, it was necessary to undertake certain

14 measures.

15 Q. Yes, Mr. Susic. But in the barracks, it is the barracks

16 commander, Major Lukic, who issued instructions and that was outside of

17 your scope of authority. And Mr. Lukic had already done that; he was

18 already present in the barracks at that time, wasn't he?

19 A. I'm not aware whether he was present in the barracks at that point

20 in time because Predojevic approached me, addressed me. And in addition

21 to that, I knew that it was necessary to provide security, but I was

22 wondering whether anything else, in addition to security, needed to be

23 done.

24 Q. As for this, whether anything else needed to be done in addition

25 to providing security, did you discuss it on that day in the barracks with

Page 14920

1 the Chief of Staff, Miodrag Panic?

2 A. No. Because I saw him only afterwards, after the encounter with

3 the commander.

4 Q. Did you tell him then that you had approached the commander saying

5 that it was necessary to provide security to the people and that there

6 would be a cabinet session held and that it would be held? And did you

7 inform Miodrag Panic of all of these matters?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Is it your evidence, Mr. Susic, that Captain Predojevic did not

10 tell you that he had received orders from Major Lukic, Lieutenant-Colonel

11 Panic, Major Vukasinovic, and that he only informed you that he had

12 problems in relation with the security?

13 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know that.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

16 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if Mr. Vasic intends

17 to put such claims before the witness, then I think we need to know what

18 was the statement given by Mr. Predojevic, who, as we know, is deceased

19 now. And it was just put to the witness that Predojevic received orders

20 from Lukic, from Vukasinovic, and so on. And as far as I know, there was

21 no way that Mr. Predojevic could have informed Mr. Vasicic of all of these

22 issues.

23 JUDGE PARKER: What is being put, Mr. Bulatovic, was to confirm

24 what the evidence of the witness was, and it's put: Do you confirm that

25 it is your evidence, in essence, that these things happened? It's not

Page 14921

1 suggesting that it is the evidence of Mr. Vasic's client or witnesses or

2 anybody else. He's merely confirming what is the position of this

3 witness.

4 So please continue, Mr. Vasic.

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

6 Q. Did you, at any point in time, inform Major Lukic, commander of

7 the barracks, about the problem that arose in the compound?

8 A. No, I didn't.

9 Q. Was it your duty to inform him of that, and was it Mr. Lukic who

10 should have called the command in Negoslavci, if necessary?

11 A. I don't know whether Lukic should have called, but this issue had

12 to be resolved for the sake of security of people on the buses.

13 Q. Mr. Susic, I have to put to you the position of my client, that on

14 that day, on the 20th of November, 1991, between 10.00 and 11.00, Colonel

15 Mrksic did not speak to you, nor did he say anything to you either about

16 the security or about the cabinet session. What would you say?

17 A. I disagree with such a suggestion. It is certain that I called

18 them at that period of time, and it is certain that I received that

19 information. I wrote that in my work notebook, which I returned to the

20 command of the Guards Brigade after it was all filled up.

21 Q. Mr. Susic, if I were to tell you that there was no need for the

22 commander to tell you anything of the sort, because at that point in time,

23 Chief of Staff, Miodrag Panic, was present in the barracks, would you

24 agree with me on this?

25 A. I would not agree with you on this, because Commander Mrksic

Page 14922

1 always issued very clear and specific orders.

2 Q. Mr. Susic, tell me, please, how long did you have in your

3 possession this work notebook that you just mentioned, until what year?

4 A. I returned it in late 1991.

5 Q. Do you remember that in 2001, you gave a statement to the security

6 organ of the Guards Motorised Brigade in relation to the events in Vukovar

7 on the 20th of November, 1991?

8 A. Yes. I remember giving such a statement.

9 Q. Would you agree with me that in that statement, you never

10 mentioned your conversation with Mrksic, nor did you mention him saying

11 anything to you or mentioning the cabinet session or any decisions taken

12 there? What would you say to this suggestion of mine?

13 A. I don't know which statement of mine you have; however, if they

14 put such a question to me then, yes, that's what I said.

15 Q. It seemed to me that you are familiar with this statement. But as

16 it doesn't seem to be the case, I will ask the usher to give you the

17 statement.

18 Would you agree with me that you did not mention it?

19 A. This is not an authentic statement.

20 Q. What do you mean it's not authentic? Very well. Would you please

21 answer my question: Is it your position that it's not authentic?

22 A. Yes. Because it seems to me that this sentence was pulled out of

23 context.

24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Susic. I will now suggest to you that at that

25 time, Colonel Mrksic could not have told you that a cabinet session was in

Page 14923

1 progress at that time, whether it was supposed to be decided where the

2 people from the buses would go because, first of all, you didn't speak to

3 him at that time.

4 Furthermore, between 10.00 and 11.00, at which time you, according

5 to you, spoke to him. There was no cabinet session in progress, nor was

6 anything known about it, nor were the government or cabinet members

7 present in Vukovar at that time. Would you accept this suggestion?

8 For Your Honours, and my learned friends, exhibits 387, 388, and

9 389 are documents supporting our position.

10 A. I don't know when the cabinet session was held, I don't know where

11 it was held, I don't know who attended it. All I know is that I had such

12 a conversation with Colonel Mrksic.

13 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to another topic. You said that from

14 Captain Maric you heard that Commander Mrksic told him on the 18th of

15 November to go to Ovcara. Do you know how it was that Captain Maric spoke

16 to Mrksic, and how did he receive this order? Do you know?

17 A. He only could have spoken through communication channels.

18 Q. That's an assumption. You don't actually know. He didn't tell

19 you?

20 A. He told me that he called -- or rather, that Commander Mrksic

21 called and that he ordered him to go with a squad of officers to Ovcara.

22 Q. How could Mrksic find Maric through radio communications? Can you

23 explain that to us a bit? How?

24 A. He could have through radio communications. He knew what the

25 channel was, and he could have reached that company at any point in time.

Page 14924

1 Q. I am putting it to you that the commander of the brigade and

2 Colonel Mrksic did not have direct communications. He could only have

3 communicated through the superior command; and, as for the anti-terrorist

4 company, they could only reach them either through you, while you were the

5 commander of that company while it was still within the 1st Battalion or

6 through the command of the 2nd Assault Detachment, when that company was

7 within that composition; am I right?

8 A. You're right. That is the way things were done all the time, but

9 this was also a possibility to reach the company that way, directly.

10 Q. Can you tell us where Captain Maric was when he received this

11 assignment?

12 A. When he received that assignment, he was in his own area. That

13 was the area of the fair grounds, Sajmiste.

14 Q. Did he tell you what forces he took along to carry out this

15 assignment, and what he was planning to do if he did, indeed, call you the

16 way you said he did?

17 A. He took one squad of officers with three Puch vehicles.

18 Q. I assume that he took the commander of that squad, would that be

19 logical?

20 A. Well, most probably.

21 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Susic, why did Captain Maric call you when he

22 was no longer under your command at that point in time? Do you have an

23 explanation for that?

24 A. Maric was within the 1st Battalion then, because that was on the

25 18th when the company was within the 1st Battalion.

Page 14925

1 Q. It seemed to me that at the beginning of my questioning, you said

2 that he was within the 2nd Assault Detachment?

3 A. No.

4 Q. From the 4th until the 20th of November?

5 A. The 20th of October [as interpreted] up until the 20th of October.

6 The anti-terrorist company was within the 2nd Assault Detachment from

7 the 2nd of October until the 20th of October.

8 Q. Do you know -- or rather, where were you when he called you and

9 said that?

10 A. I must have been on my way to the briefing, because it was around

11 1800 hours.

12 Q. Do you remember what task Captain Maric's unit was carrying out

13 then, and at what particular facility, if you remember?

14 A. At that time, it was engaged in combat activities. Part of the

15 unit was in the high school, Gimnazija, and the others were at the command

16 post, Sajmiste, the stadium, something like that.

17 Q. I have to say that Colonel Mrksic never issued any orders to

18 Captain Maric via radio communications; he never used that. He used

19 regular channels for issuing orders through unit commanders, which is the

20 only logical way to do it; right?

21 A. This is logical as well. A commander can issue an order that way,

22 especially as it is the anti-terrorist company that is involved.

23 Q. All right. Let us go back to barracks for a moment. You

24 mentioned that you saw there an unknown colonel and a captain from the

25 Territorial Defence, am I right?

Page 14926

1 A. You're right, yes.

2 MR. MOORE: May I just interrupt one moment with the utmost

3 respect. I'm afraid, perhaps it's my fault, but I don't understand the

4 sequence of questions starting at 23:15 through to 23:25, because it seems

5 to be contradictory. Is my learned friend saying that Maric did or did

6 not receive an order from Mrksic in any event, or is the issue that he did

7 receive an order but it was by a particular method through which this

8 officer would have had control or would have had knowledge?

9 Because as the way the matters stand now, in my submission, it is

10 not clear the way the case is being put, and it seems to be almost

11 contradictory.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic, can you clarify the position?

13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Of course I can. Mr. Mrksic did not

14 issue an order to Captain Maric in any way.

15 JUDGE PARKER: And while you're interrupted on the matter, you did

16 put to the witness, transcript page 20, lines 19 to 20, a statement of his

17 from 1992. You mentioned documents 387, 388 and 389, but which one of

18 those was it that you put to the witness? The transcript isn't clear.

19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I shall clarify both matters, Your

20 Honour. Thank you. I did not put any one of these exhibits to the

21 witness. I just said that these were the relevant exhibits. These were

22 the ones that we introduced according to 92 bis, at the request of the

23 Prosecutor.

24 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... show the

25 witness then.

Page 14927

1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I showed the witness his statement

2 that he gave to the security organs.

3 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ...

4 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] It's not an exhibit, Your Honour. He

5 said that it's not authentic, so I thought that I wouldn't use it further

6 on.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. As long as it's clear.

8 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

9 Q. We came to the commander of the Territorial Defence. Let's put it

10 this way: Do you remember what they wore?

11 A. SMB uniforms, olive-green/grey. The uniform of ours that was

12 there before the camouflage uniform. They were pretty far away from me

13 and I was almost in front of the barracks, in front of the building

14 itself. Predojevic was going with them. They toured the buses and set

15 out with one vehicle in front of the buses and another vehicle behind the

16 buses.

17 Q. Mr. Susic, did you ask them to show you their IDs?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you ask them what they were doing there, what their intention

20 was?

21 A. I said that I did not even meet with them.

22 Q. Was the barracks commander there, Major Lukic?

23 A. He was in the building.

24 Q. He was not with those persons there within the compound?

25 A. No.

Page 14928

1 Q. You didn't ask Captain Predojevic why he was talking to these

2 persons, and what they wanted?

3 A. Well, I didn't ask him. They passed by, they left on the buses,

4 and they left the barracks.

5 Q. I have to put it to you that you did not do all of that, because

6 you were not in charge of all of that. Major Lukic, as commander of the

7 barracks, was in charge of that?

8 A. Well, of course he was, but I saw the buses leave.

9 Q. You were there when the buses left. Tell me, who escorted these

10 buses?

11 A. On the buses, there were the same policemen who had been there at

12 the front door and at the back door, and the same drivers, except that

13 there were two all-terrain vehicles; one in front, and one in the back.

14 And they set out in the direction of Negoslavci.

15 Q. Did you find out what unit escorted these buses, at least later at

16 briefings?

17 A. No.

18 Q. On the 20th, as for the arrival of -- in barracks and then going

19 to Ovcara and then the government meeting and the events in Ovcara, were

20 they a topic at the briefing, and were you present at the briefing at all

21 on the 20th of November?

22 A. I was present, but I do not recall the details.

23 Q. What about the 21st of November? Do you remember whether you

24 attended the briefing then, and whether the events from Ovcara from the

25 previous night were on the agenda of that briefing?

Page 14929

1 A. No. There weren't any specificities.

2 Q. Do you remember whether you were in barracks on the 21st of

3 November?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you see Panic, Lukic, and Sljivancanin then in the barracks,

6 and do you remember anything particular can concerning the 21st?

7 A. Well, yes, some journalists were there. I remember that, but I

8 wasn't really dealing with that matter at all.

9 Q. When was it that you first heard that at Ovcara, a temporary camp

10 for prisoners of war was established?

11 A. I did not even hear of it having been established and I don't even

12 know where it was, and I never was there.

13 Q. My last question pertains - I mean from this part - pertains to

14 this colonel you referred to in barracks. Did you ever ask anyone who

15 this colonel was who was in barracks? Did you ever ask Major Lukic,

16 Miodrag Panic anything about that? Did you ever learn about who that

17 colonel was?

18 A. I did not learn anything about that colonel. I just know that he

19 was not from the Guards Brigade. Because had he been from the Guards

20 Brigade, I would have known him.

21 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Susic, for your

22 answers.

23 Your Honours, I have no further questions of this witness.

24 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic.

25 Could I just correct one thing I said when speaking to you about

Page 14930

1 that statement. It was a statement given in 2001, not in 1992, just so

2 the record is clear.

3 Mr. Borovic.

4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

5 Examination by Mr. Borovic:

6 Q. Good afternoon. We heard here that Milovo Brdo fell on the 10th

7 of November, do you know that, too?

8 A. I know, but I won't know the exact date.

9 Q. All right. Do you know from the fall of Milovo Brdo until the

10 liberation of Vukovar, on what axis of activity was the 2nd Assault

11 Detachment?

12 A. The 2nd Assault Detachment, I don't know. I think that it still

13 had the same axis throughout this period.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Could we briefly move into private

16 session, Your Honours, please, very briefly.

17 JUDGE PARKER: Private.

18 [Private session]

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 14931

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 [Open session]

7 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.

8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Do you know whether the chief of general staff, General Adzic,

10 ever visited Vukovar?

11 A. I didn't see him there.

12 Q. Fair enough, thank you. Do you know Captain Miroslav Radic?

13 A. I do.

14 Q. On the 20th of November, 1991, we're talking about what went on in

15 the barracks. On that particular day, did you see him within the barracks

16 at any point in time?

17 A. I did not see him in the barracks on that day.

18 Q. And you didn't hear of him being there?

19 A. No. I didn't even hear of him being there.

20 Q. Thank you. You say that Major Vukasinovic led a group of people

21 off the bus and sent them to the hospital, you say that. My question is:

22 This group consisting of between 15 and 20 people, they arrived on the bus

23 in the barracks, and were from there returned from the hospital; is that

24 the group you have in mind?

25 A. That's right.

Page 14932

1 MR. MOORE: [Previous translation continues] ... the second part.

2 And it's leading, in any event.

3 JUDGE PARKER: The whole conversation is about what the witness

4 was told by somebody, if I remember, he doesn't say that he knew any of

5 these things personally. I can see your point, Mr. Moore, but I'm reading

6 the whole thing in the context of this witness is only speaking about what

7 he's being told.

8 MR. MOORE: It's the phrase that "you say," as if he has personal

9 knowledge of fact.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Perhaps confusing.

11 Mr. Borovic, I believe I'm correct in my recollection that the

12 witness doesn't suggest he saw or that he knows, merely he's been told.

13 If your questions -- if you're content with that and your questions

14 proceed on that basis, go ahead; otherwise, correct it somehow.

15 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] That's my interpretation, too. I

16 said the witness says that he heard. I think that was fair.

17 Just for Mr. Moore's benefit, I think Vukasinovic will be coming

18 along, and he'll be telling us what it was exactly that he did.

19 Q. You said that at the head of that column of buses leaving the

20 barracks was a Puch military vehicle; and in that vehicle, were the

21 colonel and the Territorial Defence captain?

22 A. Yes. That's an all-terrain vehicle.

23 Q. The captain and the colonel were inside that vehicle; right?

24 A. Yes, I think so.

25 Q. Did you see Captain Miroslav Radic in that Puch, which was at the

Page 14933

1 head of the column?

2 A. No, I didn't.

3 Q. What if I tell you that we had an OTP witness here who stated that

4 Captain Miroslav Radic was this that vehicle at the head of the bus

5 column.

6 MR. MOORE: Sorry. I object to that question, again, because the

7 witness said that he didn't see Captain Radic. He's being asked to give

8 opinion evidence in relation to what a witness said earlier on. The

9 answer has been given, and my learned friend is merely repeating it.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.

11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I would like Mr. Moore to respect

12 the established procedure in the courtroom. Wait for the answer first,

13 before an objection is raised. If that rule applies to the Defence, I

14 suppose it should likewise apply to the OTP.

15 At any rate, we heard the witness's answer. And this being my

16 last answer, I would now like to put the Miroslav Radic Defence position.

17 Q. There was an OTP witness who said there was a Puch at the head of

18 that bus convoy, and Miroslav Radic was in it. But there was no mention

19 of the TO captain, so my question is: Is that witness's testimony true or

20 is what you're saying true, that in that Puch, there were the TO captain

21 and the colonel?

22 So in other words, would you say that the witness, who said that,

23 was lying, that Captain Radic --

24 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continued...] Mr. Borovic.

25 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 14934

1 THE WITNESS: Radic was not this that Puch.

2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

3 Your Honours, this concludes my cross-examination.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic, and what I said at line --

5 page 31, line 24 was "or mistaken." The transcript couldn't pick it up

6 because we were both talking.

7 Can I make clear, Mr. Borovic, for the future, that I established

8 a rule of practice affecting interjections in questioning by other Defence

9 counsel; because A, there was a very growing frequency of those

10 interjections, B, many of them came at critical points of

11 cross-examination, and C, many of them immediately suggested answers that

12 the witness was able to pick up on.

13 So it is a rule that applied when there was multiple Defence

14 counsel, and it applied to Defence counsel. Thank you.

15 Mr. Moore, we've got three or four minutes. Would you think it

16 better to start after the break?

17 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, I can deal with a short topic in closed

18 session; and after that, we can have our break, if that's acceptable.

19 JUDGE PARKER: Very well, closed session.

20 [Private session]

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 14935











11 Page 14935 redacted. Private session.















Page 14936

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 [Open session]

20 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.

21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much.

22 Mr. Moore, I believe we now need to adjourn for the first break

23 and we will resume at five minutes to the hour.

24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.

Page 14937

1 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Moore.

2 MR. MOORE: Thank you very much.

3 Q. Mr. Susic, would it be right to say that you attended briefings at

4 OG South on a daily basis?

5 A. From the 1st of November on.

6 Q. And would it be correct to say, just using common sense, that some

7 of the people you would recognise because they came from the Guards

8 Brigade, but there would be other people who were not from the Guards

9 Brigade who were at those briefings; is that correct?

10 A. Well, yes, but for the most part, at briefings, there would be the

11 commander, the assistant commanders and the battalion commanders.

12 Q. But you also had liaison officers who were attached to OG South.

13 A. Indeed, there was Colonel Pavkovic.

14 Q. Now, can I just deal with one or two other matters. I want to

15 focus, if I may, on the briefing of the 19th, the 6.00 p.m. briefing, or

16 the 1800 hours as the military like to call it. So can we just focus on

17 that topic, please. At that time, Vukovar had fallen and evacuation

18 procedures had commenced; that is correct, isn't it?

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. It is also correct to say that one of the main tasks of the

21 military police was the assistance of evacuations of persons; that is also

22 correct, isn't it?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. In relation to those evacuations, at that time, we have seen from

25 the orders of OG South and elsewhere that there was an expected evacuation

Page 14938

1 of the Vukovar Hospital. You were aware of that as well, in general

2 terms; is that correct?

3 A. No. I wasn't aware of how the hospital would be evacuated, would

4 the ICRC be in charge, or whoever.

5 Q. You may not have been aware of the actual nuts and bolts, but you

6 were aware that in principle, the hospital had to be evacuated by someone;

7 that is correct, isn't it?

8 A. Well, the hospital was not within the area held by the battalion;

9 therefore, I wasn't specifically aware of that.

10 Q. I am not specifically -- or I'm not referring to the specifics;

11 I'm referring to the generalities. Because while the hospital had

12 originally been in the zone of responsibility of OG North, OG South had

13 responsibility for it from approximately the 18th of November. You were

14 aware of that fact, weren't you, in general terms?

15 A. Yes. I was aware of that, and I was also aware of the fact that

16 the 2nd Battalion was securing the hospital.

17 Q. I don't want to talk about securing hospital. I just want to deal

18 with the generality of the evacuation of the hospital; do you follow?

19 A. I do, but I don't know how it was evacuated.

20 Q. So as of the 18th, and probably I'd suggest before, you were

21 aware, in general terms, that the hospital had to be evacuated by someone;

22 that is correct, isn't it?

23 A. I was aware of the need for evacuation, but I didn't know whether

24 the ICRC would be in charge of that or perhaps someone else.

25 Q. However, the time came when you went to a briefing on the 19th of

Page 14939

1 November, and you were aware, in general terms, that the hospital had not

2 been evacuated by the time of that briefing; that is correct, isn't it?

3 A. I was not aware of that. I was not aware of anything about the

4 hospital.

5 Q. So you had made no inquiry, and there had been no general

6 discussion about the possibility of evacuation of the hospital with you;

7 is that what you're saying?

8 A. That's right. I made no inquiry, nor did anyone put me in charge

9 of anything at all to do with the hospital.

10 Q. But as I said, I want to deal with the generality. We'll deal

11 with your tasks in a moment. Would it be right to say that there was a

12 possibility of you and your unit being involved in the evacuation? I'm

13 not saying you were; I am merely asking whether there was a possibility

14 that that would have occurred?

15 A. Well, we could have been involved, as a possibility, but our

16 battalion was quite stretched out. So that's one thing that you had to

17 keep in mind.

18 Q. I am merely dealing with the possibility, the possibility that

19 existed when you went to the briefing at 1800 hours on the 19th of

20 November; that is correct, isn't it?

21 A. Well, anything was possible. The simple truth is, I didn't

22 receive such assignment.

23 Q. The point I'm that I am attempting to make is quite simply this:

24 You were in charge of a military police battalion with the possibility of

25 being involved in the evacuation of the possibility; and, therefore, I

Page 14940

1 would suggest, if there had been mention of the evacuation on the 19th

2 briefing, that would have been something that you would have been

3 listening either for or to; do you agree?

4 A. I do agree, but I heard nothing about that; therefore, I had no

5 knowledge about that particular task.

6 Q. So are you saying - because your reply seemed to be equivocal when

7 you were being cross-examined by Mr. Mrksic's counsel - are you saying

8 there was no mention of an evacuation by Mrksic on the 19th; is that what

9 you are saying? Because if there had, you would have remembered.

10 A. I don't know whether he mentioned that or not. What I do know is

11 that I don't remember.

12 Q. Well, you would have remembered on the 20th when five buses with

13 individuals arrived on your doorstep, wouldn't you, if they were

14 unannounced?

15 A. If it had been mentioned, I probably would have remembered. But,

16 no, I didn't know this. This came as quite a surprise.

17 Q. So the mental state that you had, as far as you can recollect, is

18 the 19th, you do not recollect if there was mention of an evacuation by

19 Mrksic. On the 20th when the buses arrived, it came - and I use the

20 English phrase - "as a bolt from the blue." It came completely

21 unexpected; is that correct?

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Dealing with reality, on the 20th of November, knowing what had

24 occurred, what did you think these people were, or who they were when they

25 arrived?

Page 14941

1 A. First of all, I wasn't there when the buses arrived. I arrived

2 when Captain Predojevic called me. When I reached the buses on which

3 there were civilians, there were about 50 locals around the buses wearing

4 civilian clothes and uniforms, and some were armed.

5 Q. Never mind whether Captain Predojevic mentioned anything to you.

6 I want to know what your thought processes were when you were informed

7 that five buses had come through loaded with people. So, what did you

8 think? What did you know? Tell us.

9 A. What did I think? First of all, I went there to see what was

10 going on; that was the first thing that sprang to mind, so I went.

11 Q. Well, did you ask: Who on earth are these people? Because I have

12 never been told about such a group of people coming into my area?

13 A. I asked the driver, who was in the front of one of the buses, and

14 he said: "From the hospital." And Predojevic had previously told me the

15 same thing.

16 Q. Can I suggest that the first question you would have asked is:

17 Who is in charge of this? Who do I speak to?

18 Do you agree?

19 A. I do. But I do not see a single officer there, so I decided to

20 speak to the driver to see where these people were from.

21 Q. So you asked the driver: Who is in charge of this? That is

22 correct, isn't it?

23 A. No. I asked him where these people were from; and he said they

24 came from the hospital, were to be collected there, and sent on to Sremska

25 Mitrovica.

Page 14942

1 Q. So that was the bus driver's understanding at that time. They

2 were to be held there and then they were going to Sremska Mitrovica; is

3 that correct?

4 A. That's correct.

5 Q. But I return to the point that I -- or the question I pose, and it

6 is this: You're an officer. You've got five buses with individuals --

7 and we'll come to that in a moment. It is a logical, indeed proper

8 question to ask: Who is in charge? Who, as an officer, do I speak to?

9 Now, I suggest to you that you must have asked that question.

10 A. There were no officers there at the time with the buses. There

11 were drivers and military policemen; one each at the front and back doors.

12 The buses were closed, and there was no one for me to ask in the area with

13 the exception of Captain Predojevic who told me the same thing that the

14 driver had told me previously, that those people had arrived from the

15 hospital.

16 Q. We talk about a group of people; it's a group of men; that's

17 correct, isn't it?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. So this is not a random group; this is a selected group, just on

20 probability theory. That is also correct, isn't it?

21 A. Correct. There were men on though buses, and I have no idea who

22 put them there.

23 Q. And it's the much more than just men, a selected group on the

24 buses; there were two soldiers armed at either end of the bus. That is

25 right, isn't it?

Page 14943

1 A. Two per bus; one at the front or one at the rear door. The doors

2 were shut and no one was leaving, and they were sitting on the buses.

3 Q. But the question is, and the question I'd suggest that you must

4 have asked: Who or what are they? Because it is essential to know who or

5 what are they to assess the possibility of attack and ensuring proper

6 security; isn't that right?

7 A. That's right. Those were people from the hospital, that's what I

8 was told. Now I knew that those were people from the hospital. The

9 locals around them were calling out their names, individually, accusing

10 them of having wronged them in some way, burned down their house, killed

11 one of their relatives or expelled some of their relatives. And there was

12 a degree of commotion around the scene.

13 I realised that the situation was gaining in complexity.

14 Q. Is the phrase "gaining in complexity" the same as "getting out of

15 control"?

16 A. Not getting out of control, but with the distinct possibility of

17 getting out of control.

18 Q. What do you mean "the distinct possibility of getting out of

19 control?"

20 A. Well, if you have an unhappy crowd and if some people are actually

21 armed, somebody can always start shooting.

22 Q. And so, therefore, shooting was a possibility; that is correct,

23 isn't it?

24 A. Well, whenever there are weapons around, it can always come to a

25 shoot-out.

Page 14944

1 Q. Well, it's hardly going to come to a shoot-out with about 250

2 people in a bus, who are unarmed, and a group of TOs, who might be armed

3 outside. I would suggest that you had an extremely vulnerable group of

4 people in those buses; that is correct, isn't it?

5 A. Well, perhaps, but that's why I was there, to take measures to

6 prevent anything like that from happening.

7 Q. We have heard evidence. I'm not going to go through tranches of

8 it. But did you ever see, for example - it's at page 5285 - reference to

9 people showing knives and making gestures indicating that "he would slit

10 my throat and cut off my head?" You didn't see any people with knives

11 making those sort of gestures, by any chance?

12 A. There was a degree of verbal harassment. But there were soldiers

13 standing between the crowd and the buses, so I didn't really delve into

14 those details that much.

15 Q. It's not a question of delving into details. It's a question of

16 having a pair of ears and hearing what was going on and a pair of eyes and

17 seeing what was going on, isn't it, in reality?

18 A. In reality, precisely. I realised the situation was complex, and

19 I said what to do. I knew that we needed to secure that, but how long

20 would they be staying there for? Was there anything else I should do

21 about the buses or the men there, in addition to securing them. And

22 that's why I requested additional orders.

23 Q. And again, just one other little tranche, 3643, P012.

24 "Q. These local Serbs, were they armed or in any sort of

25 uniform?

Page 14945

1 "A. They were armed. They had knives that they threatened us

2 with. They went from bus to bus, threatening to slaughter us, kill us,

3 and so on. They were dressed in different clothes, some had fur hats,

4 some had beards, some had the top part of a uniform or the bottom part,

5 not a full JNA uniform, perhaps, just a portion of it. Those were

6 paramilitaries, among them were some JNA soldiers, too."

7 Now what I want to ask you this: You mentioned that people were

8 armed. I anticipate that you may accept that. Well, people had knives.

9 Did you see individuals with fur hats, sometimes known as Chetniks?

10 A. Well, exactly, there were some who wore civilian clothes. There

11 were some who had mixed attire, bottom civilian, top uniform, different

12 variations thereof. They wore different clothes. They had different head

13 gear, hats, whatever. I could not really perceive each and every detail

14 then, because I was supposed to do something different, how to make sure

15 that no incident occurred.

16 Q. Can I take it that the description that I have just read out, you

17 would consider that to be a fair assessment or reflection of what you saw?

18 A. Well, sort of. Almost.

19 Q. And as a direct consequence of what you saw, you then say you went

20 and spoke to Mrksic. I want to deal with an area of evidence before we

21 get there.

22 Mr. Vasic was asking questions of you: Why on earth you were

23 involved because in actual fact, on the normal chain of command, it should

24 have been Lukic. So I repeat that question: Why is it you were involved?

25 A. Predojevic was, before entering the 2nd Assault Detachment, within

Page 14946

1 the 1st Battalion. Until I became the commander on the 1st of November, I

2 was within the 2nd Assault Detachment, and I was responsible there.

3 Predojevic addressed me. Now, I don't know whether at that

4 moment, Major Lukic was there. And I went to the spot and set out to

5 resolve that, so I could resolve that, or rather, through the company

6 commander who was commanding. I did not interfere in his command; I just

7 helped him resolve that task.

8 Q. Would it be right to say that you were surprised to receive a

9 telephone call from Predojevic because, in reality, you would have

10 expected him to contact Lukic first?

11 A. Well, I don't know whether Lukic was there, Major Lukic, whether

12 he was there on the spot, and that was supposed to be resolved as soon as

13 possible. It's better to resolve it in the beginning, rather than later

14 when it's too late.

15 Q. I would suggest to you, you have not answered the question. It is

16 right, isn't it, that on the proper chain of command, or line of command,

17 Lukic should have been contacted, not you. Whether he was there or not is

18 another issue, but that is the person who should have been contacted;

19 isn't that right?

20 A. It is certainly right. Now, did he look for him and not find him,

21 and perhaps he could not have waited any longer. He didn't have enough

22 time and then he addressed me. At any rate, I went to resolve that.

23 Q. I do not criticise in any way, please understand. But can I

24 suggest to you the reason that Predojevic contacted you was because the

25 situation was getting out of control, and he was extremely concerned about

Page 14947

1 approximate? That is right, isn't it?

2 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.

3 THE WITNESS: The situation was not getting out of control, but it

4 could have gotten out of control if it were to continue that way. Perhaps

5 it could, perhaps it couldn't. But perhaps his assessment was that it

6 could get out of control, and it's better that he dealt with it that way.

7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bulatovic.

8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the sake of

9 fairness, I would ask the Prosecutor not to speculate, not to ask the

10 witness to say what another witness thought when he addressed him. How

11 can this witness know what another person was thinking at the moment when

12 he asked him something? Or things along those lines. I'm saying that for

13 the sake of the future.

14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

15 Yes, Mr. Moore.


17 Q. What did Predojevic say to you that caused you to go to see what

18 was happening?

19 A. He said to me that in barracks, there are buses on which there are

20 civilians, and that around the buses are locals who are threatening the

21 civilians who are on the buses, and that there could be a problem.

22 Q. And did he then ask you to come down, or did you go voluntarily

23 or, should I say, of your own volition?

24 A. He asked me to come because he was seeking a solution. In order

25 to find a solution, I went to see what there was all about so I would see

Page 14948

1 for myself what was going on at the actual spot.

2 Q. Did he say whether he had seen the buses arrive?

3 A. I didn't ask him how the buses arrived. He confirmed to me that

4 these were buses that had come from the hospital and that they were

5 supposed to stay there temporarily.

6 Q. So how long did you remain with the buses before returning to make

7 a telephone call or communication with Mrksic?

8 A. Well, not more than ten minutes.

9 Q. Through that period, did you see any other officer there?

10 A. That period, no.

11 Q. If we follow the sequence, it's right you then returned to the

12 barracks; is that right? To your office, presumably, to make contact with

13 Mrksic; would I be right in that?

14 A. Right. Not to the office. I had a vehicle in front of the

15 building where there were communications devices, so I went to that

16 vehicle.

17 Q. Are you saying, then, that you made contact from a vehicle as

18 opposed to a building? So you returned to the vehicle as opposed to your

19 office?

20 A. Yes. Yes. From there, I could have complete communications.

21 Q. Are you aware, in your evidence, at 52:8, you said: "When I saw

22 what the situation was, I returned to the building and I called the

23 brigade commander Mrksic."

24 Now you're saying you went to a vehicle.

25 A. Well. Well, that's it, too. That's where I maintained

Page 14949

1 communications; it was in the building itself, right next to the building,

2 rather. That's where I had my communications. From there, I

3 communicated.

4 Q. I won't go into that. But the reality was you spoke to Mrksic

5 eventually?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can I suggest, here is the following situation: One, you cannot

8 remember hearing anything about a hospital evacuation at a briefing on the

9 19th at 1800 hours. Two, on the morning of the 20th, five buses arrive,

10 individuals, clearly pre-selected, with armed guards coming from the

11 hospital on their way to Sremska Mitrovica. Three, you have individuals

12 who are armed threatening retribution, my word, which requires you to do

13 something about it.

14 So, did you ask Mrksic, who was responsible for the evacuation;

15 namely, these people, because they're not doing their job terribly well.

16 We've got TOs all around them threatening to basically cut their throat.

17 Did you feel, perhaps, that might be something that your commander should

18 be made aware of?

19 A. That's why I called him, to see what to do and for how long in

20 order to secure these buses. How come the buses are there and ...

21 Q. No. It's not just a case about what to do. Command can be good

22 command, can be indifferent. It can be bad, and there can be

23 misunderstandings. People mixing up their tasks. So it didn't

24 necessarily follow that this was only bad command; it could have been a

25 misunderstanding of the responsibilities.

Page 14950

1 So I would suggest to you, the first thing you would want to tell

2 him is: There are no officers around here, Commander Mrksic. Did you

3 tell him that?

4 A. This is what I said to the commander; that buses with people were

5 brought to the barracks and that civilians are threatening them and that

6 the safety and security of these people are in danger. The commander

7 ordered me clearly to ensure the full safety and security of these people

8 at all costs. That now there was a government meeting underway of

9 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem [as interpreted], and that was clear to

10 me that I was supposed to do nothing but just to provide security.

11 I returned to the actual spot, Predojevic stepped up the security,

12 at that moment Maric came to the barracks with one squad, because he was

13 supposed to return some equipment to the barracks; and together, with this

14 warning with increased security, we got these people out of the barracks

15 and first we repelled them from the buses and then we threw them out of

16 barracks.

17 So the buses were no longer in any kind of danger.

18 Q. Mr. Simic, that's all well and good. But you have five buses of

19 pre-selected men coming from the hospital, and a bus driver in charge.

20 Now, can we deal with reality, with the utmost respect to you. One of the

21 questions you're either going to be asking or seeking guidance on is: Who

22 is the officer in charge of these buses? Who do I deal with? How do I

23 coordinate with him? That will probably be the first question out of

24 your lips.

25 So who was in charge? I suggest you did ask Mrksic, and I would

Page 14951

1 like an answer.

2 A. Had an officer been there, I would have asked the officer there,

3 but there was no officer there. I didn't see any. There was only the

4 buses, the people around them, and Predojevic.

5 Now, that's the issue, and that is what we are resolving and

6 indeed we did resolve it.

7 Q. You don't need to have an officer immediately in situ for that

8 officer to be in charge of the buses; that is correct, isn't it? The

9 officer can be nearby or on his way or waiting. That is correct, isn't

10 it?

11 A. Well, yes. But if we are waiting for him, then it can be too late

12 to take any kind of security measures later.

13 Q. No. You can take your security measures and still wait. They do

14 not necessarily go hand in glove, do they?

15 A. That's right. And we did take these measures and secure the

16 buses.

17 Q. Do you have a difficulty telling this Court who you know was in

18 charge of that convoy?

19 A. I have no difficulty, no difficulties. If I knew, I'd say so.

20 But Vukasinovic did come; he was with the convoy. He came; he drove the

21 people there. Now whether he was the one in charge of that, I don't know.

22 Q. Tell me, where do you hail from? Where do you come from? What

23 country?

24 A. I was born under Mount Durmitor in Montenegro.

25 Q. Did you know Mr. Sljivancanin, or how long did you know Mr.

Page 14952

1 Sljivancanin in 1991?

2 A. I knew him. I met him when I came to the Guards Brigade in 1982.

3 Q. Vukasinovic, if he was in charge of the transport, was the

4 security organ at that time and subordinated to Mr. Sljivancanin. That is

5 correct, isn't it?

6 A. He was the security organ. He was in the security department.

7 Now, whether he was subordinated to him then, well, he must have been.

8 Q. So, is the -- the answer is that Mr. Vukasinovic, you knew, was

9 subordinated to Sljivancanin on the 20th of November, and indeed sometime

10 before; that is correct, you knew that?

11 A. No. No, I didn't. I knew that he was in that department but ...

12 Q. That department, presumably, is the security organ, is it?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And the commander of the security organ for OG South was Mr.

15 Sljivancanin, you knew that.

16 A. He's not commander; he is the chief of security.

17 Q. And, therefore, Vukasinovic would have been under him; that is

18 correct, isn't it?

19 A. Yes. But I don't know whether -- well, when the commander was in

20 Negoslavci, whether something was lost there; but, otherwise, he would

21 have to be subordinated to him.

22 Q. You say that you contacted Mrksic; and basically although he

23 denies that, Sljivancanin, were you not aware, that he was responsible -

24 let's even take his account - that he was responsible for the triage down

25 at the hospital on the morning of the 20th?

Page 14953

1 A. I didn't know.

2 Q. What, you never knew that Sljivancanin was responsible for the

3 triage, the selection procedure at the hospital?

4 A. Later on, they told me that he was at the hospital. Now, whether

5 he carried it out or not, I don't know. I am not aware of what they were

6 doing at the hospital.

7 Q. Well, you had radio contact, that, we know.

8 A. Yes, I did.

9 Q. Did it occur to you to try and contact anyone, for example, at the

10 hospital? For example, Paunovic?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Just a moment. Paunovic was the commander responsible for

13 securing the hospital. You knew that, didn't you?

14 A. Yes, I knew that; that his unit was securing the hospital.

15 Q. Therefore, if there is going to be a person who will know who's

16 responsible, it will be Paunovic, and he's at the hospital. That is

17 correct, isn't it?

18 A. Probably.

19 Q. It's not probably; I suggest it's a certainty; isn't that right,

20 Mr. Susic?

21 A. But I don't know. I don't know. I wasn't there. I don't know.

22 Q. Well, then, why didn't you contact Paunovic, the man who could

23 answer your questions for you?

24 A. I did not establish contact with him, because I didn't know that

25 he was responsible for that. So why would I contact him?

Page 14954

1 Q. Forgive me, I thought you had said in evidence earlier on that you

2 were aware that Paunovic's battalion was responsible for the security at

3 the hospital. Did you not say that in your evidence?

4 A. Yes, I did. And I'm saying it now. I'm saying that that's the

5 way it was.

6 Q. Well, if that's the way it was, he is the man who can answer your

7 question, isn't he?

8 A. Well, at that moment, I didn't call him. Now, whether I should

9 have called him or not, I don't know. But I didn't call him.

10 Q. What way does the presence of five buses arriving - and I will use

11 the layman's term - arriving within your zone of responsibility, how would

12 that affect and how does that affect the way you deal with matters?

13 A. It does affect it, because they are entering the zone of

14 responsibility where security is provided by another company. That's

15 where the problem occurs that has to be resolved, and we resolve it. But

16 the only question is, for how long it is going to go on; whether we need

17 reinforcements, whether we should ask for reinforcements or whether

18 something else should be done there. That is why it is necessary to speak

19 to the commander.

20 Q. Never mind about the conversation with the commander. There is a

21 much bigger problem for you here, isn't there? You have been lumbered, to

22 use the English word, with 250 individuals who have been preselected, men,

23 with a hostile group baying for their blood; and they eventually will be

24 moving on. That is right, isn't it, as far as you are aware?

25 A. Yes, that was the situation. Within the compound of the barracks

Page 14955

1 are the buses, people are sitting on the buses, around them are civilians

2 who are verbally abusing them and insulting them. And in order to prevent

3 anything more serious from happening, urgent measures have to be taken to

4 ensure the full safety and security of those people.

5 Q. It is right to say that there was always the possibility of a

6 criminal act occurring against any one of them. That is also right, isn't

7 it?

8 A. That is right. That could have happened.

9 Q. Consequently, if those people are to leave your zone of

10 responsibility, you have a duty, do you not, to ensure that they are moved

11 on safely and not irresponsibly; that is correct, isn't it?

12 A. Yes, that is correct, too.

13 Q. As it is the case that these five buses were within your zone of

14 responsibility, did you ensure that when they were moved on, that they

15 were going to a safe place or they would be safe, to avoid such possible

16 criminal acts?

17 A. Why would I be doing that? The basic thing for me was that they

18 should be safe within the zone of responsibility. As for their transport,

19 somebody else would take care of that further on. If I had received that

20 by way of an assignment I would have resolved that assignment, too.

21 Q. No. No, because your evidence has been in general term terms as

22 follows: I was contacted by a young officer, or a junior officer,

23 Predojevic. I witnessed what was happening. I realised the

24 responsibility of criminal acts. As a consequence, I phoned Mrksic.

25 Mrksic said give them all security, and their future will be determined by

Page 14956

1 the government. He does not and did not say anything to you about where

2 they would go or who would control them when they left, did he?

3 A. That's right.

4 Q. Therefore, I would like to know what steps you took to ensure that

5 these people, when they were moved on, were going to be safe.

6 A. What I did was that as for all civilians and this group of locals,

7 I simply removed them all from the barracks compound. It wasn't me, in

8 actual effect; it was Predojevic with the members of his company.

9 Q. It is right you did not speak to Panic; that is correct, is it

10 not?

11 A. Panic, Lieutenant-Colonel Panic and Major Lukic, I saw them later

12 near the buses, not right by the buses but near the buses. Everything was

13 peaceful then, and we were talking a bit about the fact that there had

14 been some problems before that and that that had been redressed.

15 Q. Is the answer then you did speak to Panic?

16 A. But -- well, I did talk to him, but Panic knew that, too.

17 Whatever I knew, he knew too.

18 Q. Well, I would like to know what you said to Panic.

19 A. I don't remember.

20 Q. Let's see if you can remember what Panic said to you.

21 A. Can't remember that either.

22 Q. Vukasinovic? Third time lucky, perhaps.

23 A. I didn't see Vukasinovic at all, but he was there, or at least

24 they told me that he was there.

25 Q. Well, when you spoke to Panic, that you can remember speaking, but

Page 14957

1 not what you spoke about, was there any conversation about who was in

2 charge of the convoy on its onward route?

3 A. Perhaps, but I don't remember.

4 Q. Well, just a moment. You have at least 250 people there and we

5 know now, even though there will be arguments about the numbers, we know

6 there was the most appalling slaughter some hours after they left your

7 charge. So surely that is something that you must have thought about, but

8 who on earth took control of these people and led them to their death in

9 the most dreadful way? Haven't you thought about that?

10 A. Not at the time. Nothing was further from my mind than to even

11 think that anything like that might happen.

12 Q. One of the things that definitely must have been on your mind is:

13 Who on earth is that colonel going out the door with 250 people who have

14 been preselected? How did you know, for example, who he was and where

15 they were going and whether they were going to be safe?

16 A. When they came, if they had arrived in vehicles and were being

17 loaded on to other vehicles, well, I would have thought differently. If

18 they had been ordered to walk, I would have thought differently. But it

19 was the same buses; the same security taking them there. It struck me as

20 perfectly normal. When they came, I didn't even ask myself if it was the

21 same person organising all the that. It didn't mean anything to me. It's

22 not like they changed buses or anything or the security arrangements.

23 Everything was the same, and they just proceeded like that which struck me

24 as perfectly normal.

25 Q. Well, you say that they didn't exchange or change buses. Can I

Page 14958

1 suggest that we have heard evidence, and I'm going to read it for you, to

2 see if it refreshes your memory -- forgive me one moment.

3 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while my learned friend

4 is looking for the relevant portion, may I address you please? I didn't

5 want to interrupt, but page 48, line 9, there is a correction that needs

6 making. The witness was talking about what Mr. Mrksic and the transcript

7 reads that this was a meeting of the government of Slavonia, Baranja, and

8 western Srem; whereas, the witness only said the SAO Krajina. There was

9 no reference to the other constituent parts.

10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.


12 Q. I found one part; funnily enough, not the part I wanted, but it

13 doesn't matter.

14 This was in relation to changing buses, because what I'm

15 suggesting occurred was that individuals were taken from bus A to bus B,

16 all right? And the following evidence was given at line 3649:10.

17 "The situation had already quieted down, but this high-ranking

18 officer, who called out our names, told us to go to the other bus that was

19 parked about 30 metres away from the remaining buses. The paramilitaries

20 then formed a gauntlet; and as we passed through it, they kicked us with

21 their boots, with clubs, with iron rods, whichever way they could. We ran

22 over to the other bus because we knew that if any of us fell to the

23 ground, they would probably beat us to death."

24 Well, now, you didn't see anything like that, did you, by any

25 chance?

Page 14959

1 A. No, I didn't. But this is about Major Vukasinovic, when he sent

2 some of the people back to the hospital, at least that's what Predojevic

3 claims.

4 Q. Well, are you saying that this account, this description agrees or

5 accords with what you have been told by others or what you've seen

6 yourself?

7 A. I didn't see that. I wasn't there when Vukasinovic was in the

8 barracks, but Predojevic told me that Vukasinovic had indeed been there

9 and that he had sent a group from those buses back. So I do know that

10 Vukasinovic was there, at least based on other people's statements.

11 Q. But working on other people's statements, I have read out to you -

12 I can do another one if you really want - read out to the facts that

13 people were beaten, kicked, hit with rifle butts, punched, when the person

14 you say, Vukasinovic, you say it might be another, and in actual fact

15 there was a transfer from bus A to B.

16 Now I'm asking you absolutely straight: Are you saying that you

17 didn't hear about beatings when the individuals were being transferred?

18 I'm saying you saw it, but you were told; isn't that right?

19 A. I wasn't told that. All I was told was Vukasinovic had been

20 there, and he had sent a group of about 20 people back. Once we had set

21 up a security system and we'd send those people away and chase them out,

22 no one turned up and the situation around the buses was quite calm.

23 Q. But clearly beatings were occurring before you set up your cordon;

24 that is correct, isn't it? Otherwise, this doesn't make sense.

25 A. I wasn't there; therefore, I don't know about that. But that's

Page 14960

1 why I was taking measures; I wasn't waiting for Lukic who was elsewhere

2 outside. I ran to the scene for this to be dealt with, and that's why

3 Predojevic had called me to begin with saying that the situation was

4 difficult and needed sorting out.

5 Q. So Lukic was outside; so Lukic wasn't there; is that what you're

6 saying?

7 A. Well, I don't know if he was or not. But nothing was done or

8 perhaps something was done. Be that as it may, Predojevic calls me, tells

9 me the situation is complex. I come there; I realise that this is true

10 and that it might come to some beating or something, which is certainly

11 nothing that we would ever allow.

12 Q. Tell me, did you ever receive a contact from Mrksic to inquire if

13 the situation had improved? What I will call demonstrating concern of a

14 commander? I take it that's no in the translation.

15 A. No. He didn't call me and I didn't report because the situation

16 wasn't entire quiet by this time. And I realised that Lieutenant-Colonel

17 Panic was there, Chief of Staff, and Major Lukic, and I did no more

18 reporting.

19 Q. Did you ever receive a call from Mrksic to say that he had

20 authorised the removal of the individuals from the JNA barracks?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you ever receive any phone call from Mrksic saying, really to

23 assist his subordinate commanders, exactly what had happened, that there

24 had been a political decision and these 250 people were being taken

25 elsewhere? Did you ever receive any call about that?

Page 14961

1 A. No. But when we talked, he said there was a government meeting in

2 progress and the issue was being dealt with.

3 Q. So the situation, if we just look at Mrksic's situation, is he was

4 informed by you about behaviour of TOs, armed individuals at the JNA

5 barracks, he says: Put security on it. And he does absolutely nothing

6 else to ensure that any -- if everything is fine; that is correct, isn't

7 it?

8 A. If any problems whatsoever had occurred later on, if we hadn't

9 been able to send those people away from the buses and get them out of the

10 barracks, if we'd had to use other methods such as physical force, then we

11 would have told the commander. But everything went smoothly; we secured

12 the spot. The situation was now back to normal, therefore, no need to

13 inform anyone.

14 Q. So according to you, so everything went smoothly and over 250

15 people went to their death; is that what we're talking about? Is that

16 your idea of smoothly?

17 A. No. That's not at all what I'm saying. That's not what I'm

18 saying. But the situation was now calm. The same buses, the same

19 security, the vehicle driving ahead of them, and a military APC following

20 in their stead, and they were moving on. I had no idea what would happen

21 next.

22 Q. And the answer --

23 A. There was no way for me to even assume.

24 Q. And the answer to the original question is: Mrksic made no

25 follow-up phone calls to let you know what was happening or expressing any

Page 14962

1 concerns. That is correct, isn't it?

2 A. We didn't call him. No one from the barracks called him about any

3 further problems. Therefore, there was no need for that. The reason

4 being simply the situation was now entirely peaceful.

5 Q. Did you know that this bus or these buses were going to Ovcara?

6 A. I didn't.

7 Q. Did you ever inquire: Where are these buses going to, because I

8 will have to file a report or report to my commander and/or others?

9 A. I didn't. Why? Because this is not some sort of a bus stop so

10 that I would have no know where those people were off to. It was just a

11 brief respite, a rest that they were getting there, and they simply moved

12 on the same buses that had brought them there. They were now leaving my

13 area of responsibility and entering someone else's, and they would now be

14 taking charge.

15 Q. But on the 20th at 1800 hours, you were going to have to go to a

16 command meeting, weren't you, where your commander, Mr. Mrksic, was going

17 to be hearing various reports about what was happening that day, apart

18 from other things, obviously. That is correct, isn't it?

19 A. Certainly. I believe that Lukic reported about that, too, simply

20 because this occurred inside the barracks.

21 Q. No, no. First question: Were you attending -- intending to

22 attend the command briefing at 1800 hours that evening on the 20th of

23 November?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Thank you. And is it right that one of the functions of a command

Page 14963

1 briefing is to gain information from your commander and also inform him

2 with regard to your zone of responsibility, what is occurring in it, such

3 problems, basically have an information available for him and inform him

4 of any problems you had. That is right, isn't it?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. And so when it came to the command briefing, and Colonel Mrksic

7 not having contacted you, you had a situation where you were going to go

8 to a briefing, as you say on your evidence, that you would be saying to

9 Colonel Mrksic and the assembled masses, other officers there, that five

10 buses arrived; they came from the hospital, but you didn't know who was in

11 charge of them; that you contacted -- that there were troubles with the

12 buses; that there were irregulars threatening the buses, and you secured

13 the situation. You would be saying that, wouldn't you?

14 A. That's what the commander submitted a report on, I mean Lukic. To

15 what extent exactly, I don't know or how extensively, simply because this

16 occurred inside the barracks.

17 Q. No, no. You had become involved, because Lukic wasn't there. You

18 had been in direct contact with your commander. So I would suggest if the

19 commander asked you about what was happening, it would be: I was there.

20 I was contacted that five buses had arrived. There was no officer there.

21 They were misbehaving very badly; so much so, I contacted the commander.

22 He told me to protect them, and everything calmed down.

23 That's what you would be saying, isn't it?

24 A. Correct. Correct, I would be saying just that.

25 Q. But you have a fairly major problem, don't you? Because the

Page 14964

1 corollary, the next part of your account would be as follows: Actually,

2 commander, 250 of them were taken from my zone of responsibility, and I

3 don't know who took them. I didn't even recognise him. That's right,

4 isn't it?

5 A. It wasn't my responsibility to recognise those people. My

6 responsibility was for the 2nd Company to secure those people for as long

7 as they were inside the barracks. As for anything else that happened, I

8 mean Colonel Panic Chief of Staff filed the report as is did Major Lukic,

9 and I'm sure Vukasinovic once they were done with that.

10 Q. Never mind Panic, never mind Vukasinovic, never mind anybody else.

11 I'm saying to you if Mrksic was asking you: Who took those people away?

12 You would not be able to say who it was. You would not be able to say

13 which unit he belonged to. You would not be able to say where they were

14 going. That is right, isn't it? And correct on all three points?

15 A. That's correct.

16 Q. I would suggest to you, you know perfectly well and a large number

17 of people within the Guards Brigade know perfectly well who took those

18 people to Ovcara, and you are all covering it up?

19 A. I, for one, am not covering anything up. I don't know who it was,

20 nor am I interested in knowing as far as my responsibility was concerned.

21 They were there and they moved on. My responsibility for them was as far

22 as long as they were inside the barracks, to keep them from coming to any

23 harm.

24 Q. And you saw the colonel who was leaving, so you say, is that

25 correct, but you did not recognise him?

Page 14965

1 A. I didn't. But he was a colonel; he had authority. He couldn't

2 have just taken those buses away, and the security had he not had

3 appropriate orders to do so.

4 Q. You saw his face, isn't that correct? You saw him walking around

5 the buses, and you saw him going out. That is correct, isn't it? That is

6 why you say you could not recognise him.

7 A. Well, no, the distance was considerable. I didn't recognise him.

8 But I don't think I would have recognised him anyway, since he wasn't from

9 the Guards unit.

10 Q. And the one person it was not; it was not Pavkovic, was it?

11 A. No. No. Certainly not. I do know Pavkovic.

12 Q. Can I ask you about a piece of evidence -- or actually, before I

13 do, can I just deal with that last piece of evidence. You said he had

14 authority. He couldn't have just taken those buses away, and the security

15 had he not had appropriate orders to do so.

16 Would you accept from me that the removal of those persons had to

17 be under the direction of Mrksic or a person subordinated to him or to

18 whom he delegated powers? It's a long question; I'll break it up, if you

19 want.

20 A. Well, he must have taken those orders from someone. I don't know

21 from whom. It certainly wasn't from me. I was in charge of nothing

22 there, apart from securing them for as long as they were inside the

23 barracks. Who gave him that assignment? He came in two alter rain

24 vehicles: He did everything properly.

25 There was one vehicle driving ahead of the buses and there was one

Page 14966

1 following the buses, and they moved on. I see no error in that. It's the

2 same vehicles, the same drivers, the same security arrangement, and they

3 simply moved on.

4 Q. And, therefore, as we were within the zone of responsibility of OG

5 South, it had to be under the direction of Mrksic, one of his

6 subordinates, or perhaps more accurately, one to whom he delegated powers.

7 That is correct, isn't it? Could I have an answer, please?

8 A. No. No, I don't know. I don't know on whose orders.

9 MR. MOORE: It seems Mr. Vasic has an objection.

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

11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Vasic.

12 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] My objection was about the fact that

13 the witness had already said he didn't know. He has just repeated that

14 yet again for our benefit, but my objection is now of no consequence, I

15 suppose.

16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.

17 MR. MOORE: I would like to break that up and ask the question

18 again. I would submit it's a perfectly valid question. There is a

19 logical basis for it, and I would suggest and submit that this witness is

20 obviously avoiding the question.

21 JUDGE PARKER: I have not sought to interfere at all, Mr. Moore.

22 MR. MOORE: My apologies, Mr. Moore.

23 JUDGE PARKER: In this trial, I at least try to keep words to the

24 minimum.

25 MR. MOORE: As indeed we all do, Your Honour.

Page 14967

1 Q. Mr. Susic, we were within the zone of responsibility of OG South;

2 that is correct, isn't it? What is the answer, please?

3 A. That's correct.

4 Q. That these buses were coming and controlled by OG South; it's

5 within OG South's zone of responsibility. That is correct; isn't it?

6 A. Correct.

7 Q. But if actual fact you had spoken to Mrksic about it, and clearly

8 he accepted that they were his responsibility. That is also correct,

9 isn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And I would suggest logically and sensibly for those people to be

12 removed, they had to be removed under the direction of the commander of OG

13 South, Mrksic, or to a person to whom he had delegated the powers; that is

14 correct also, isn't it?

15 A. Was that how it should have been or not, I don't know. But this

16 colonel came and that's what they did. On whose orders, the first man's

17 orders, the second man's orders, the third man's orders, or whoever. I

18 don't know. But he must have taken those orders from someone, just like I

19 had my own orders to secure them for as long as they were in the barracks.

20 Q. And that answer and the honesty of that answer, is that the same

21 honesty that we are to apply in the rest of your evidence?

22 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand.

23 Q. Let me ask you the following question: The question was put to

24 you, it was -- I think it was Mr. Vasic this morning:

25 "Could he," that's Vukasinovic, "Could Vukasinovic possibly have

Page 14968

1 got on to one of those buses there, without previously requesting approval

2 from Captain Predojevic who was guarding those buses?"

3 Do you remember that question being asked? So could Vukasinovic

4 possibly have got on to one of those buses there, without previously

5 requesting approval from Captain Predojevic who was guarding them? Do you

6 remember that question?

7 A. I don't know about that, because all that happened when I wasn't

8 there. I don't know. But they told me that Vukasinovic had set to one

9 side about 20 people and had them sent back to the hospital.

10 Q. No, there's a misunderstanding. That was a question that you were

11 asked this morning. Let me read out your answer. There seems to be a

12 problem.

13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.

14 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm sorry for interrupting

15 but I think my question was: Did Major Vukasinovic have to report to

16 Captain Predojevic before he got on to the bus. I think that was the

17 phrasing of my question.

18 MR. MOORE: Well I've got the transcript; I'm just reading it.

19 It's at 12:18:

20 Q. So this is the question you were asked. I'm reading back what you

21 were said:

22 "Could he," that's Vukasinovic, "possibly got on to one of those

23 buses, without previously requesting approval from Captain Predojevic who

24 was guarding those buses?"

25 "A. He could have, but he was an authorised officer from a

Page 14969

1 superior command. But no one else could possibly have got on to those

2 buses. So the answer that you gave is: "He could have; he was an

3 authorised officer from a superior command."

4 Now that's the answer that you gave. The question that I have is

5 this: What do you mean by Vukasinovic, he was an authorised officer from

6 a superior command and therefore could?

7 A. Because Vukasinovic was from the brigade command, and that's why

8 he could if, on top of that, he was going with that convoy.

9 Q. So when you make that reply, is that what I would call standard

10 military procedure; that where a superior command comes on to the zone of

11 responsibility of a lesser command, the superior command has priority?

12 A. It depends -- it's not superior in every respect, but with regard

13 to certain issues; say, if it's security, then it should -- well, it

14 cannot be an issue of command.

15 Q. Well, I'll ask the question. He was an authorised officer from a

16 superior command, therefore he could. What I'm trying to devine is does

17 that mean, therefore, is if a person comes from an authorised, from a

18 superior command, he has superiority? Relatively simple question.

19 A. I don't know what this is about. What priority? We are not

20 doubting him. If he got in, if he's supposed to do something, there is no

21 reason for me to have any doubts as far as Vukasinovic or Predojevic are

22 concerned.

23 Q. I'm not trying to catch you out. I'm -- you smile, but I'm not.

24 I'm merely trying to find out what you mean by this phrase. I will read

25 the question again. It was whether Vukasinsevic could go on to the bus.

Page 14970

1 Question by Mr. Vasic: "Could he," that's Vukasinovic, "possibly

2 have got on to one of those buses there, without previously requesting

3 approval from Captain Predojevic who was guarding those buses?"

4 "A. He could have. He was an authorised officer from a superior

5 command, but no one else could possibly have got on to those buses."

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Now that's the question; that's the answer. I'm merely trying to

8 clarify that when a person is from a superior command, he can have

9 priority by way of action and --

10 A. Although, if the officer is from the superior command and if he

11 came with a convoy, because I was not there when the convoy arrived. If

12 he came with a convoy, that means that he was in charge of the convoy, so

13 then he had the right to enter the buses, to single people out, and get

14 out. And if he did not, then he did not. Vukasinovic, if he had come

15 from somewhere else, he could not just board the buses, nor would he ever

16 have doing anything like that.

17 Q. Now here is a situation. Let's say it's Vukasinovic with the

18 buses, I'm not saying he did. Let's say it's Vukasinovic with the buses,

19 and he arrives at the barracks and there is Predojevic. Who has the

20 priority, the superior command or Predojevic?

21 A. Not the superior command. Vukasinovic is senior because he came

22 with the convoy, and he is in charge of that convoy. He can move them

23 from one bus to the other. Predojevic cannot; Predojevic can just secure

24 them.

25 Q. Having issued him, then why do you refer to the phrase, "from a

Page 14971

1 superior command" as having the priority?

2 A. Well, Vukasinovic was from the superior command. I cannot say

3 that he was from a subordinate command when he was from the superior

4 command. He is from the command of the Guards Brigade.

5 Q. Or OG South?

6 A. It can be put that way, too. OG South, command of the Guards

7 Brigade; it's the same thing.

8 MR. MOORE: I have no further questions. Thank you very much.

9 JUDGE PARKER: This would be a convenient time, if you were

10 thinking it would be useful to have a break, Mr. Bulatovic.

11 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour.

12 JUDGE PARKER: We will take the second break now.

13 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.

14 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.

15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Bulatovic.

16 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

17 Re-examination by Mr. Bulatovic:

18 Q. Good afternoon to all in the courtroom. Good afternoon, Mr.

19 Susic.

20 I'm going to put a few questions to you in relation to some things

21 that were unclear in my mind. Could you tell me, Mr. Susic, who was the

22 person in charge of the barracks in Vukovar?

23 A. The person in charge of the barracks in Vukovar was Major Lukic,

24 commander of the 2nd Assault Detachment.

25 Q. This responsibility of his, can you explain all the things that it

Page 14972

1 entails, what are all the things that he was responsible for?

2 A. In the briefest possible terms, he is responsible for the overall

3 situation in the barracks.

4 Q. Does that include -- I mean this responsibility of his, does it

5 include security in the barracks, how people who live and work in the --

6 or rather of the people who live and work in the barracks, if I can put it

7 that way, as opposed to those people who happen to find them selves there

8 for any reason?

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. You were saying that there was the security of the barracks and

11 that this was a large area where there was devastation and that is how the

12 civilians managed to come in and you spoke about the number of civilians

13 who were there. At these checkpoints or, rather, at these entrance desks,

14 are records kept of people who go in and out of the barracks?

15 A. Yes, records of kept.

16 Q. And who was responsible for the records?

17 A. It is the desk that is responsible for the records or, rather, the

18 commander of the security within the barracks there.

19 Q. Does the commander of the barracks have a responsibility for that

20 too?

21 A. The commander of the barracks has responsibility for everything

22 that is done within barracks, that included. However, it is the reception

23 desk organs that do this, members of the military police who are on duty

24 at the reception desk.

25 Q. Mr. Susic, can an officer, regardless of where he comes from, and

Page 14973

1 if he is from the superior command too, can he issue any orders to the

2 commander of the barracks?

3 A. He cannot.

4 Q. You said that you saw four or five buses and that you saw

5 civilians, some of them were armed, you describe the way in which they

6 were clothed. The learned Prosecutor put to you some parts of statements

7 made by certain witnesses. I'm interested in the following: While you

8 were by this bus, and as you were taking these security measures, did you

9 see any one of these civilians having physical contact with any one of the

10 persons who were on the bus?

11 A. I claim with full responsibility that no one had physical contact

12 with the persons on the bus from the moment when they were -- when

13 security was ensured.

14 Q. A statement was put to you to the effect that members of the

15 Yugoslav People's Army also took part in this physical showdown with the

16 persons from the buses; did you see any such thing?

17 A. I did not see that, and it is certainly untrue that members of the

18 JNA in any way jeopardised these people who were on the buses.

19 Q. You did not see when Major Vukasinovic came, you did not see him

20 taking these people out of this bus and returning them, that was what was

21 said. I'm interested in the following: Captain Predojevic and Major

22 Vukasinovic, did they know each other?

23 A. They did know each other, because they are both from the same

24 unit, from the Guards Brigade.

25 Q. All right. You said something about the anti-terrorist company.

Page 14974

1 When you spoke to the Prosecutor, you referred to that as well. I asked

2 you about that, Mr. Vasic asked you about that. I'm interested in the

3 following: This task on the 18th of November was issued -- well, you

4 described how it was issued. As for the commander of the anti-terrorist

5 company, did you issue any task to him for the 19th or the 20th of

6 November?

7 A. I remember that I did not issue any task on the 19th or the 20th

8 to that commander with regard to any kind of security.

9 Q. Do you remember whether their company commander Maric informed you

10 about somebody else having issued him any task for the 19th or the 20th?

11 A. I remember that, too. No one issued a task to him apart from --

12 Q. You and the brigade commander, the Guards Motorised Brigade

13 commander, can anyone else issue any kind of order to the anti-terrorist

14 company?

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Bulatovic please turn off his

16 microphone while the witness is speaking. Interpreter's note.

17 A. No one can.

18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 Your Honour, we have a bit of a problem in the transcript. So in

20 order to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, I'm going to put a question

21 to you, Mr. Susic, once again. Listen to me.

22 Q. Maric, as commander of the anti-terrorist company, did he inform

23 you of anyone having issued any task to him for the 19th or 20th of

24 November, 1991?

25 A. I remember that he did not inform me about that, and no one, apart

Page 14975

1 from myself, issued any tasks to him.

2 Q. Lest there be any misunderstanding, what does that mean "apart

3 from you?" Did you give him any task for the 19th or 20th? You have

4 already answered that, but let's clarify.

5 A. In relation to any kind of security, no.

6 Q. You were mentioning several times here that in your area of

7 responsibility, you wish to secure these buses. I'm interested in what

8 was your area of responsibility on that day, on the 20th?

9 A. The area of responsibility is where the unit disposition is. This

10 was the company barracks. This what we are talking about, and that is

11 secured by another company.

12 Q. Does that mean that every unit that has its formation in a certain

13 disposition has its own area of responsibility?

14 A. Yes. Every unit has a certain area of responsibility, and it is

15 responsible there for the security of everything that happens within that

16 zone.

17 Q. Does that mean that the commander -- does that mean that the

18 person who is commander of that unit, in whose area of responsibility this

19 is, is responsible for the state of affairs in that area of

20 responsibility?

21 A. That's right.

22 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have a problem

23 with the transcript, page 73, line 11. I think that the answer is not

24 recorded properly, the witness's answer, so I'm going to put the question

25 yet again.

Page 14976

1 Q. Who secured the barracks on the 20th of November, 1991?

2 A. On the 20th of November, 1991, the 2nd APC Company secured the

3 barracks of the 1st Battalion of the Military Police, which became part of

4 the 2nd Assault Detachment, and the commander of that company is Captain

5 Mladen Predojevic.

6 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honours.

7 Q. You attended the briefing on the 20th of November, and you said

8 that you do not recall any mention of the evacuation of the hospital. You

9 were given some assignments. At the briefing, did you pay attention only

10 to the tasks that you were being given? Do you note them down, or do you

11 note down also the tasks that are given to other commanders?

12 A. At briefings, I only write down tasks that pertain to my unit, or

13 rather, the tasks that I'm supposed to carry out with my unit. I could

14 not note down the others, and it is not my duty to write down all the

15 others so I did not write them down.

16 Q. Mr. Susic, could you, on the basis of the behaviour of the locals

17 at the barracks and these verbal attacks by them against the men in the

18 buses, could you conclude whether the people on the buses had participated

19 in combat operations in any way, and on whose side?

20 A. Well, one could conclude that some of them were members of

21 paramilitary units, because people said that they were, that they had

22 killed some of their relatives, that they had torched some of their

23 houses, that they had been involved in certain attacks. So on that basis,

24 one could draw such a conclusion.

25 Q. If we have a zone of responsibility and we have a commanding

Page 14977

1 officer of a unit in whose zone of responsibility -- in that zone of

2 responsibility, can it happen that a lesser commanding officer or any

3 officer issue an order to a higher-ranking officer? Is that at all

4 possible?

5 A. No, it is not possible. And it has never happened and never

6 happened that a lesser-ranking officer issue any orders to a

7 higher-ranking officer. Irrespective from which command they are, the

8 commander is in charge of everything in his zone of responsibility and

9 that was the case with me.

10 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

11 Your Honours, I have no further questions for this witness.

12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic.

13 Mr. Susic, you will be pleased to know that that concludes the

14 questions that are to be asked of you which means now that you are free to

15 go and return to your other affairs.

16 The Chamber would like to thank you for your attendance here and

17 the assistance you've been able to give us.

18 The court officer will show you out. Thank you.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

20 [The witness withdrew]

21 [The witness entered court]

22 JUDGE PARKER: Good afternoon, sir. Would you please read aloud

23 the affirmation on the card that's given to you now.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

25 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Page 14978


2 [Witness answered through interpreter]

3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.

4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.

5 Examination by Mr. Lukic:

6 Q. Good afternoon, Your Honours, and everyone. Would you, sir, give

7 us your name?

8 A. I'm Ljubisa Vukasinovic.

9 Q. I'm not sure whether you have adjusted your headphones properly.

10 Please feel free to do so, so that you have good audibility and not have

11 any problems on that score.

12 Mr. Vukasinovic, I said during our preparations that you should

13 pause after my questions in order to avoid any overlaps and, hence,

14 creating problems for the interpreters. I sure hope you will bear this in

15 mind through your testimony.

16 I shall now go through your CV. Would you please be so kind as to

17 just confirm the truthfulness on which the date you have given me? And I

18 apologise to the interpreters for not having provided a copy to them, and

19 I shall try to be slow in going through your CV.

20 You were born in 1954 in Kosovo, the municipality of Lipljani?

21 A. That is correct, and Metohija.

22 Q. You completed high school as a civilian; and then in 1977, you

23 completed the military academy?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. In -- from 1994 to 1996 in pursuing your further education, you

Page 14979

1 also completed the command staff school, advanced school; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And from 2000 to 2001, you completed the highest military school

4 in the army of Yugoslavia, which is the School of National Defence; is

5 that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. In 1977, you were a lieutenant?

8 A. That is correct.

9 Q. 2nd lieutenant; and the next year, you were conferred the further

10 rank of lieutenant?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Then until 1990, you were captain first class?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In 1990, you were conferred the rank of major, and it was with

15 that rank that you were there when the Vukovar events unfolded?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In 1993, you were given the rank of lieutenant-colonel?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And in 1997, the rank of colonel, which you still hold today, and

20 you are still active in the military; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Just a few more particulars about you. You were in service from

23 1977, when you completed the military academy, up to 1991. You

24 practically held all duties in military police units from platoon

25 commander to company commander through deputy and commander of military

Page 14980

1 police battalion; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Then in the summer of 1991, you were transferred to security

4 organs. As far as I can recall, it was sometime in August that you were

5 transferred to the Guards Brigade security organ; is that correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Until the end of 1992, you were assistant head of security for

8 staff security affairs in the Guards Brigade?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. And as of 1992 until 1994, September, you were the chief of

11 security in the Guards Brigade?

12 A. That is right.

13 Q. From 1996 to 2002, you were a teacher at the security intelligence

14 training centre at Pancevo?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. And from 2002 up to this very day, you have been working in the

17 administration of the military security agency of the Ministry of Defence

18 of Serbia now; right?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. I just failed to ask you when was it that you arrived at the

21 Guards Brigade, can you remember the year?

22 A. It was in February 1981.

23 Q. And let us just quickly go through another thing, which are your

24 accounts, your statements so far, related to events at Ovcara and in

25 Vukovar, the topic of this case. You have given six statements to

Page 14981

1 different organs on that score. The first statement you gave on the 16th

2 of November, 1998, to the security administration; is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Then, that same year in December, you gave a statement in the

5 capacity of witness before the military court in Belgrade?

6 A. That is correct.

7 Q. And to the OTP of this Tribunal, you gave statements on the 16th

8 of November and the 26th of November?

9 A. Yes. The statement of the 26th was just a correction of the

10 previous one, so it was just one statement in all.

11 Q. Yes. The year was 2002; and then in proceedings before the

12 Belgrade Ovcara case as we referred to it here, first the -- the first

13 statement you gave was before the examining magistrate in Novi Sad in the

14 capacity of witness; is that correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. That was in November 2003.

17 A. That is correct.

18 Q. You gave an exhaustive account in taking the stand in December

19 2004, the 16th of December, at the main hearing in the proceedings against

20 Miroljub Vujevic et al.

21 And, finally, you were summoned before that same court and the

22 same Chamber but in a different case versus Sasa Radak, I believe?

23 A. That is correct.

24 Q. And you were heard at the main hearing there in November 2005 in

25 relation to that case?

Page 14982

1 A. Yes.

2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation].

3 Q. I believe that these statements will also be discussed by the

4 other participants in the case. When talking to you, I'm going to deal

5 with the topics which are of relevance and of interest to the Defence team

6 of Mr. Sljivancanin, of course, seeking to elicit from you your

7 recollections of the events which are under review.

8 Just another question regarding your biography. You went to work

9 for the security organ immediately prior to the brigade's departure for

10 Vukovar, and we know it was the end of September?

11 A. Yes, that is correct. It was the 28th of August.

12 Q. You were of the commander of the 2nd Battalion of the military

13 police then?

14 A. Yes.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the

16 microphone.

17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Did you have any experience with work in security organs? Had you

19 finished any training courses or schools to work in security organs prior

20 to assuming that duty?

21 THE INTERPRETER: The Interpreter's note: Is that the interpreter

22 cannot hear the witness.

23 A. I had completed the training course for work in the military

24 police and not for work in security.

25 Q. In this department, security organ that was in Vukovar that we are

Page 14983

1 going to discuss at some length presently -- could you please approach the

2 microphone, please pull up your chair and -- who had any training or

3 professional or schooling experience in that security organ?

4 A. Basic training courses in that security organ that one needs to

5 work in the organ had been completed by Major Karan, who arrived later;

6 Captain Karanfilov; Captain First Class Petar Kovacevic; and NCOs, warrant

7 officers Grocic.

8 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter could not catch the other

9 name.

10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. You said Momcilovic?

12 A. Momcilovic. Yes. That is what I said, warrant officer Grocic and

13 Momcilovic.

14 Q. Tell me, Captain Kovacevic, did he leave and go with the unit to

15 Vukovar?

16 A. No. He remained at the barracks in Belgrade.

17 Q. And do you remember approximately when was it that Karan joined

18 your department? How much time had passed before that?

19 A. Well, he came -- he arrived in Vukovar perhaps four or five days

20 after we had, the 4th or 5th of October, 1991.

21 Q. You will have to slow down, witness, please, and you will have to

22 wait after my question, please.

23 Do you remember Mr. Vukasinovic - and now we are immediately

24 moving on to Negoslavci - when you got there as part of the organ of

25 security, who did what? Who worked on what duties? We know that Mr.

Page 14984

1 Sljivancanin was the head of that organ, that is not disputable. Do you

2 know what the other colleagues did?

3 A. The first assistant, the assistant of the chief of security for

4 counter-intelligence affairs was Captain First Class and later Major

5 Karan, Mladen Karan. The assistant for staff security affairs, this is

6 the second assistant was I, myself. The desk officers were Captain First

7 Class Petar Kovacevic.

8 Q. But he was not in Vukovar?

9 A. Yes. Then Captain Borce Karanfilov, Captain First Class Srecko

10 Borisavljevic, Warrant Officer Second Class Grocic Radivoje, who was not

11 at Vukovar, and Zoran Momcilovic, staff sergeant, who was also desk

12 officer and who was at Vukovar.

13 Q. Can you tell us in a few words, what was your basic task? What

14 were your activities whilst you were there? We shall move on to another

15 topic a bit late, but while you were, solely, there in the security office

16 in Negoslavci?

17 MR. MOORE: Could I just ask my learned friend to slow down a

18 little, but it's extremely hard to try and take notes. It's the first

19 time I've asked him to do it, I think.

20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, it's difficult for me sometimes

21 to take notes when the Prosecutor speaks in English. I'll comply with Mr.

22 Moore's desire, however. Our priority is to keep the record accurate.

23 Just slow down, sir. Everytime I ask you a question, please wait

24 and answer, and try and speak up a little, too.

25 Q. What did you do?

Page 14985

1 A. I was assistant commander for staff security. What exactly does

2 that mean? A professional helping the chief of security in organising and

3 planning training that of the ground soldiers, as well as the military

4 police. Control of combat readiness in military police units, jointly

5 with the brigade command, whenever organised. Compiling lists and running

6 checks on special equipment used by military police units and supplying

7 their equipment.

8 And submitting a monthly report on order and discipline in terms

9 of the involvement of military police units: How many patrols went out,

10 how many violations occurred, how many criminal reports were filed.

11 Everything that had to do with order and discipline, the order and

12 discipline regime, and everything that the military police took note of.

13 In purely operative terms, I covered the area of the 2nd Military

14 Police Battalion.

15 Q. What does that mean "in operative terms?" Can you please explain

16 that as briefly as possible: "I operatively observed or the 2nd military

17 police battalion?"

18 A. When translated, it means counter-intelligence protection for the

19 unit. This unit was set apart, and it was outside its original garrison

20 in Belgrade. There had to be a security officer providing

21 counter-intelligence protection for this unit back at base.

22 Q. What about your other colleagues from the -- your department, did

23 they not have the same responsibility. This sort of operative work in

24 terms of monitoring units, I'm just talking about Vukovar now. If know

25 about that, please tell us, who was in charge of which unit?

Page 14986

1 A. All of my colleagues, pursuant to a plan produced by the chief of

2 security, had a certain unit, in their charge in terms of

3 counter-intelligence protection, while the units were on their way to

4 Vukovar and also during combat operation.

5 Specifically, I provided operative protection for the 2nd Military

6 Police Battalion. Captain First Class Srecko Borisavljevic was in charge

7 of the 2nd Assault Detachment or the Vukovar barracks. Captain First

8 Class Borce Karanfilov was in charge of the 1st Assault Detachment for a

9 while and later was in charge of the rear command post in Berak; and to

10 some extent, was also in charge of the counter-intelligence protection of

11 the principal command post in Negoslavci.

12 Q. What about Karan?

13 A. He was assistant commander for counter-intelligence, and he did

14 not have a particular unit that he was in charge of. He drafted daily

15 reports, which he then submitted to the chief of security.

16 Q. Thank you. Within your department -- or rather, let me ask you:

17 Physically, the area covered by your department, where was that? I just

18 want to know in relation to the command building where the command of OG

19 South was located?

20 A. We were in the immediate vicinity of the OG South command in a

21 separate building but very nearby.

22 Q. In your department, did you hold any meetings? When? How often?

23 And what did the meetings look like?

24 A. Just as briefings took place every evening, so did the chief of

25 security organise meetings with us after that official meeting, in his

Page 14987

1 offices. Every evening, all the desk officers would be assembled. He

2 would then listen to their reports; after which, he would inform us about

3 any tasks and conclusions from the meeting, then he told everyone what

4 their job was.

5 Q. Let's try to be specific? The briefing at the OG South command,

6 what time of day did your meetings normally take place?

7 A. Our meetings normally took place at about 2000 hours, 8.00 p.m.;

8 sometimes half past 7.00, between half past 7.00 and 8.00 in the evening.

9 Q. Mr. Vukasinovic, did you at one point receive another assignment?

10 What was it exactly, and who gave you this other assignment?

11 A. At that time, I did indeed receive another assignment. I was

12 appointed town commander by the OG South commander. This was early

13 November that year.

14 Q. The command post at Negoslavci; right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. After receiving this assignment and with respect to your principal

17 role as security officer, did you continue to entertain close ties with

18 your original department, and did you continue to work there?

19 A. Yes. In terms of establishment, I was part of the security

20 department and that was my principle role, in terms of my powers. But

21 this was a temporary task, pursuant to an order that I had received from

22 the OG commander. Other than that, I continued in terms of within my

23 powers and authorities to work with my own chief of security.

24 Q. Did you continue to go to these daily briefings at the security

25 department? Were you physically still based in that still building, or

Page 14988

1 were you based elsewhere?

2 A. No. I took up the post that I was had been ordered to take in a

3 different building this time. This distance being about 200 metres from

4 the OG South command. I was appointed town commander, so I just moved

5 there. As for me going to those briefings, it was no longer mandatory for

6 me to go, and I hardly ever went. Sometimes they would call and I would.

7 Q. Can we now please have Exhibit 374 pulled up on our screens?

8 Mr. Vukasinovic, you're about to see a document right there in

9 front of you, and if you could please shed some light on that.

10 This is an order of the OG South commander dated the 9th of

11 November, 1991. If we could please pull it up a little.

12 Mr. Vukasinovic, is this the document containing your new

13 appointment?

14 A. Yes. That's the very document appointing me as Negoslavci town

15 commander; and these other persons being appointed here, Captain First

16 Class Bozic Mile, my deputy; and Captain Sretko Jankovic, a member of the

17 command. He was a legal officer and that was his remit and his role

18 within that team. There was need for legal interpretation of certain

19 problems, especially when new charges are brought against individuals.

20 Q. What about your deputy, which unit did he come from, Mr. Mile

21 Bozic?

22 A. He was a member of the 1st Military Police Battalion. And he was

23 appointed my deputy, simply because there was nobody else to take that

24 place. In terms of establishment, he was the assistant commander of the

25 military police for moral guidance. However, once the commander, Major

Page 14989

1 Kavalic, had left these changes occurred. I became commander of that

2 command post, and he became my deputy.

3 Q. And the introductory part of this decision - and you can see that

4 on your screen - as of the 7th of November, 1991, and with a view to

5 providing counter-intelligence and security protection for commands and

6 units within the area of operations of OG South, how do you interpret your

7 own remit, your own task as the Negoslavci town commander?

8 A. If you look at the preamble, you can see that these measures were

9 essential at the time. Probably the commander, himself, believed that I

10 was the right man for that job, since I had been a military police

11 battalion commander for a long time. And purely in terms of

12 counter-intelligence work, I had already begun to hit my stride.

13 We knew each other as officers, and he probably deemed me to be

14 the most suitable person for that job, which really is the fundamental

15 thing for a commander to do at Negoslavci; simply to secure that

16 conditions were in place for the normal functioning of the OG South

17 command in terms of assessment, in terms of making decisions, in terms of

18 passing their decisions down the chain of command.

19 In one word, to secure the command from any influence, whatsoever;

20 terrorist or sabotage groups or perhaps Croatian armed units. The

21 commander's remit was to make sure the command had perfect conditions for

22 their work and were unhindered.

23 Q. In purely practical terms, what did that entail? What did your

24 task entail? What was it that you had to monitor? What was that you had

25 to focus on? Just slow down slightly, please. We are running into a lot

Page 14990

1 of trouble with the transcript already.

2 A. In order to be able to secure all these things, I had no choice

3 but to take certain measures and apply certain procedures. There were

4 military police units that were at the command post. I had to use those

5 to set-up control or surveillance of the territory where the command post

6 was located, meaning to protect the village of Negoslavci from unchecked

7 visitors coming in or leaving.

8 I had to set-up physical security, meaning checkpoints, reception

9 desks, patrols, guards, observers. And I also had to use the equipment

10 that we had at the time in order to carry out intelligence protection

11 along all the axes where I had no people deployed. The special equipment

12 includes infrared fences and other such devices and equipment normally

13 employed by military police units.

14 Q. In terms of your function as town commander, and based on what you

15 just shared with us, were you not supposed to know about anyone entering

16 or leaving the village of Negoslavci? I say anyone and everyone, those

17 working there and outsiders as well. Did I get that right?

18 A. Yes, that's right. This was the fundamental role; and based on

19 this, you could establish some sort of control. Since this was a war

20 zone, we needed to issue special passes or badges in order to establish

21 some sort of order in terms of who was entering or leaving the command

22 post. Not a single visit could occur to the command post without me or my

23 deputy knowing about it or approving it. If a visit was announced to the

24 commander in person, then first there would be a check and then, jointly

25 with the commander, such a visit would be approved.

Page 14991

1 Q. What exactly did you do? Did you have a situation where someone

2 from a is a superior command - and we know that to be the command of the

3 1st Military District - came unannounced to your command post in your zone

4 of responsibility?

5 A. In situations like these as I pointed out already, with visits

6 like these, first you would check with the command, you would announce it

7 at the command, and then if the commander is there, he approves it, if

8 not, there must be a duty officer at the command post and this duty

9 officer then approves this unannounced visit.

10 Q. As long as it's a visit from someone from a superior command?

11 A. Yes. But any other visits within my area would be under my

12 authority or required my approval?

13 Q. A technical question, your rank at the time was that of imagine?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Mrksic was a colonel, we know that. Who was the most senior

16 officer at that particular command post? Who was senior to whom, in cases

17 when Mrksic was present at the command post?

18 A. The commander is all the senior officer. There's no one as senior

19 as he.

20 Q. For example, someone comes from a superior command, the commander

21 of the 1st Military District, the Federal Secretary for All People's

22 Defence, or the general staff, there's a lieutenant-colonel showing up,

23 who is the superior officer in terms of rank?

24 A. I'm jumping the gun a little, aren't I? It's always the

25 commander, the commander of the relevant command post, in this case, the

Page 14992

1 commander of OG South is always the senior officer.

2 Q. Does every command post not cover a certain area of

3 responsibility?

4 A. Yes, certainly. That is fundamental. It needs to have clear

5 boundaries, left, right, and down the depth. This person then has

6 responsibility over a delineated, clearly delineated area. If an area is

7 undefined, there is no responsibility. We use four reference points in

8 the army to clearly define these responsibilities in no uncertain terms.

9 Q. We'll leave that to experts to define that more closely. First of

10 all, tell us a question, at Negoslavci, you were town commander at

11 Negoslavci, right, and the headquarters of OG South was also there, that's

12 not in dispute, is it?

13 A. Indeed.

14 Q. Do you remember which unit was providing security for the command

15 post and the command of OG South, if you remember, sir?

16 A. As far as I can remember, although it's been quite a while, I will

17 tentatively tell you what forces were involved. It was the 1st Company of

18 the military police, the 1st Armoured Company armoured vehicles, meaning

19 military police vehicles that had about 70 or so men. Then, there were

20 parts of the 2nd Company of the military police because a combat group was

21 later formed from that company that operated under Susic but there were

22 about 30 or 40 men there and there was the transport company of the

23 military police, minus a platoon that was at the PKM in the village of

24 Berak and there was the logistics platoon of the 1st Battalion of the

25 military police.

Page 14993

1 Those were the units that focused in Negoslavci and that I had

2 available in terms of securing the command in Negoslavci.

3 Q. Soldiers and officers from these units that you enumerated just

4 now, did they take part in other assignments? I'm referring to the

5 armoured battalion and the traffic and transportation people or were they

6 only working at the command post?

7 A. No. The only unit was a manoeuvreing unit for certain work that

8 came up during combat operations; namely, to provide security for convoys

9 in any direction, convoys of civilians or escorting a delegation. That's

10 how the transport company was used in terms of securing the area and the

11 axis of movement through its traffic patrols and also parts of the

12 armoured company using the armoured vehicles, the BOVs, the combat

13 armoured vehicles.

14 Let me put it this way, it's a good thing they were armoured

15 vehicles, that they had strong fire support and that they could meet the

16 needs of securing a convoy in any direction. And also to receive

17 delegations that came to the area of the command post to see the commander

18 and other delegations that would come in.

19 Q. We'll deal with that tomorrow. Now just another brief question

20 and then let us try to adjourn for the day. As town commander, as you

21 were there in Negoslavci, did you have any knowledge and did you have to

22 have been informed that representatives of international organisations

23 came there to Negoslavci, the European monitors, the International Red

24 Cross, were you informed about that? Did you receive information about

25 that?

Page 14994

1 A. Yes, of course. I said that in my introductory remarks. Nothing

2 could enter the zone of the command post without being announced, let

3 alone such visits. That is to say they were registered and approved for

4 entry. That is what I did; I received them at the reception desk. Well,

5 not I, personally, but my forces would receive them and bring them to the

6 command post, further on, according to the commander's plans.

7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to adjourn although I

8 haven't concluded on this topic yet, but let us now take up any of the

9 time of the other trial. I think that this would be just about the right

10 time to adjourn.

11 JUDGE PARKER: Precisely on time, Mr. Lukic, thank you.

12 We must now adjourn and resume tomorrow. We resume at 9.30.

13 Counsel should be alerted that we are actually moving court for the whole

14 day to Courtroom 2 for tomorrow.

15 We now adjourn.

16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of

18 November, 2006, at 9.30 a.m.