1 Wednesday, 6 December 2006
2 [Open Session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 WITNESS: Petar Vuga [Resumed]
7 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Good morning to you, sir. The
8 affirmation you made at the beginning of your evidence still applies, of
9 course. Mr. Borovic I think, may have some questions for you.
10 Mr. Borovic.
11 MR. BOROVIC [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
12 questions for this witness.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, you are suddenly thrust into center
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Weiner
16 MR. WEINER: That's fine. Good morning. Good morning, sir.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
18 MR. WEINER: My name is Philip Weiner. I am with the Office of
19 the Prosecutor. I will be asking you some questions today. Okay?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
21 MR. WEINER:
22 Q. Now, in your report, sir, you described the tasks of the security
23 organ, based on the Rules and the doctrine that's on pages 11 through 13
24 of the new version. Just asking you if you could describe those rules.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And, sir, you knew that Major Sljivancanin was performing duties
2 outside of those tasks and responsibilities of a security organ.
3 A. On the basis of what I have been able to study, I had made a
4 limited conclusion that there had been such activities, but I did not
5 really study this in particular, because these activities fall outside of
6 the scope of the security organ's activities.
7 Q. But you, sir, were aware, even though you didn't mention it in
8 your report, that Major Sljivancanin was performing of other officers.
9 A. I did not study those duties, but as I was studying the materials,
10 I did come across such situations.
11 Q. So, sir, were you aware that there's been testimony in this trial
12 that Major Sljivancanin performed the duties of the assistant commander of
13 logistics? Were you aware of that testimony? And that's at page 14433 to
15 A. No, sir, I was not aware of that. And I did not have such data at
16 my disposal when I was drafting my report, so this is the first time I
17 hear something like that.
18 Q. Were you aware, sir, that there was testimony also on that page
19 that Major Sljivancanin was performing tasks or duties of the assistant
20 commander for morale?
21 A. Well, again, we have the same situation as the one that I outlined
23 Q. Okay. And so I assume you also were not aware that Major
24 Sljivancanin -- or that there's been testimony that Major Sljivancanin was
25 performing duties of the commander of the 1st Assault Detachment. And
1 that's at page 14434 in the transcript.
2 A. No, right at the beginning, I said that I had taken cognisance of
3 some of these activities. But these were not interesting to me at all,
4 because they were not relevant for the work and the function of security
5 organs. They did not interfere with the function of the security organ.
6 Q. Well, sir, were you aware that there was testimony here that by
7 getting involved or being involved in the logistical needs of the Vukovar
8 TO that Major Sljivancanin was interfering with the responsibilities of
9 the commander of the 1st Assault Detachment? Were you aware of that
10 testimony, sir?
11 A. No. I did not have any such data at my disposal. But even if I
12 had them at my disposal, that would not affect my conclusions about his
13 performance of his duties and tasks that belong within the purview of the
14 security organ.
15 Q. Sir, were you also aware that Major Sljivancanin or Security Organ
16 Sljivancanin was performing the duties of the chief of artillery? That's
17 at page 14435. Were you aware of that, sir?
18 A. No. I did not know that he had the duty of the chief of
19 artillery, but I did find some information that he did participate in the
20 correction of artillery fire. And this is something that bears taking
21 into account.
22 Q. Were you aware, sir, that Major Sljivancanin wanted to be the
23 centre of attention, to be on television and in the newspaper frequently?
24 Were you aware of that, sir?
25 A. I know about his media presence. And I did know about it, but it
1 was not anything of interest to me because this was just part of his
2 personality, of his public appearance. Most of my attention was devoted
3 to the function and to researching and studying whether this in any way
4 affected or led him to perhaps not comply or violate the rules of service
5 and of performing his function.
6 Q. Sir, would you agree that press relations is not one of the
7 regular duties of a security organ?
8 A. Those contacts are not within the purview in the strict sense, and
9 this is why I did not pay any attention to them at all.
10 Q. Sir, were you aware that Major Sljivancanin was firing a
11 60-millimetre mortar for television, for the television networks? And
12 that's on page 14434. Were you aware of that, sir?
13 A. I did not know about that as you now put it to me, but I did hear
14 that he had appeared in such situations where these activities had been
15 taking place.
16 Q. And you agree, sir, that the firing of mortars is not a regular
17 duty of a security organ.
18 A. I am aware of that. I listed the regular duties in my report and
19 I still maintain that this is the fact and this is what must be the key
20 issue for an expert studying the work of security organs.
21 Q. Thank you. You said you were aware that Major Sljivancanin was
22 correcting artillery fire in October of -- or I'll add in October of 1991
23 is when that occurred. Would you agree that it's unusual for a security
24 organ to be correcting artillery fire?
25 A. As a rule, it is unusual, but there are situations where there may
1 be reasons to do something like that.
2 Q. Were you aware -- sir, do you know if Major Sljivancanin has any
3 training in either the firing of mortars or the correcting of artillery
4 fire? Colonel Panic testified that he didn't believe he had any.
5 A. I don't know what training Colonel Sljivancanin underwent. I'm an
6 air force man, and I don't know what kind of training infantry or
7 artillery and other units of the ground forces receive. So I didn't even
8 try to find out what kind of training they undergo and who has the
9 obligation to actually undergo such training in the ground forces.
10 Q. Are you aware that Major Sljivancanin demanded that General Zivota
11 Panic be informed that he was correcting artillery fire and then it was
12 mentioned in the war diary that he did so?
13 A. Yes. I analysed the combat documents, and I did come across this
14 entry. And as an expert, I can say a couple of things about this issue if
15 you're interested in them.
16 Q. Well, first, sir, do you agree that the routine correction of
17 artillery fire does not deserve mention in Operation Group South, in the
18 Operation Group South war diary?
19 A. It depends on the actual case. As a rule, it is as you say, but
20 there are exceptions where it is of extreme importance to record something
21 like that.
22 Q. Would you agree, sir, that security organ training does not
23 include the correction of artillery fire?
24 A. It is not the training of the security organs. It is an activity
25 that, in that specific case, may have been the result of a certain
1 situation arising in the area where there was an artillery fire.
2 Q. Are you aware, sir, that there's been testimony in this case that
3 Major Sljivancanin was firing a mortar with the chief of artillery to
4 investigate the quality of the gunpowder, to determine how humid or damp
5 the gunpowder was? Were you aware of that? And that testimony is at page
7 A. If Major Sljivancanin did it to test the humidity of the
8 gunpowder, then the question is whether he did it to determine whether the
9 gunpowder was humid because of improper storage or for any other reason
10 that may be of interest for a security organ.
11 Q. Sir, does security organ training including -- I'm sorry. Does
12 the training of a security organ include the testing of gunpowder for
14 A. The training of the security organs does include the investigation
15 of any phenomena that may threaten the security in the units, the
16 equipment, weapons, and all the other assets used by the Yugoslav People's
17 Army; hence, this necessity. If there is any defect in the weapons, the
18 mortars, equipment, other types of materiel that may have been caused the
19 deliberately, the security organs may determine whether there was this
20 intention to damage the equipment and who is behind this.
21 Q. Sir, wouldn't you agree that the individuals who fire a mortar and
22 the chief of artillery are in a much better position than Major
23 Sljivancanin to analyse the quality of the gunpowder, the people who do it
24 on a daily basis?
25 A. In this case, it could be said that Major Sljivancanin was not
1 analysing the gunpowder, he was trying to determine the causes that may
2 have led to the fact that the gunpowder was not in -- of appropriate
4 Q. Sir, you're just speculating. Again, the question is: Wouldn't
5 you agree that the individuals who fire a mortar and the chief of
6 artillery are in a much better position than Major Sljivancanin to analyse
7 the quality of the gunpowder? These are the people who fire the mortars
8 on a daily basis.
9 A. I will reply to your question because you apparently misunderstood
10 the second part of my previous answer. As for the analysis of the
11 quality, definitely, the people who are professionals are the most
12 appropriate people to analyse it. But as to the causes that led to this
13 situation, this is something that is outside of the purview of the
14 artillery people.
15 Q. Sir, I'm asking about the firing of the mortar and the reviewing
16 of the gunpowder -- evaluating the gunpowder. You agree that the people
17 in artillery or the members of the infantry who fire the mortars, they are
18 the people who are in the best position to review and analyse the firing
19 and the gunpowder.
20 A. Is that a question?
21 Q. Yes. It is, sir.
22 A. Okay. Fine. Yes. This is the crux of the matter. The first
23 element is the cause, and cause has nothing to do with determining the
25 Q. Sir, I'd appreciate if you just answer the question. You're
1 trying to answer other questions. Just please answer the question that's
3 Now, sir, you drafted your report during the late summer --
4 A. May I make a comment, Your Honour?
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, indeed.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I taught in the security training
7 centre for eight years, and I was supposed to convey to my students in the
8 training centre all the threats that the Yugoslav People's Army faced.
9 Among the activities were diversions, sabotage activities, and other forms
10 of internal threats that may affect the normal functioning of the armed
11 forces. I did not go into the technical matters that may have resulted
12 from those threats, and that is why I gave you this kind of answer.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Weiner did not give
15 an opportunity to the witness to reply, and his question was to defect --
16 in fact, he wanted to ask about why Mr. Sljivancanin participated in the
17 correction of fire, but apparently he didn't want to hear the answer. But
18 now the witness has, I think, given an explanation. So my objection is
19 groundless now, but I still would like to point out that Mr. Weiner might
20 let the witness answer the question.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I asked a specific question --
23 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, I was inviting you to carry on. I think
24 enough has been said.
25 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: You know well that you moved to another question
2 without allowing the answer.
3 MR. WEINER:
4 Q. Now, sir, you drafted this report in the late summer, I believe
5 fall of this year.
6 A. The fall of this year.
7 Q. And in drafting your report, you utilised and relied upon Colonel
8 Panic's statement that he gave to the Office of the Prosecutor?
9 A. At start, I did it in the only way that was possible, and then
10 there were some corrections that could be done within the limits of what
11 was available.
12 Q. In drafting your report, you utilised or relied upon the statement
13 that Colonel Panic gave to the Office of the Prosecutor; isn't that
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. And when you filed your report, you had a number of references to
17 the statement of Colonel Panic.
18 A. Yes, that is correct, Mr. Weiner.
19 Q. And in fact, on page 2 in the introduction, you refer to the
20 sources, including documents and statements made by some persons in de
21 jure form and during the stand as witnesses.
22 A. Let me have a look.
23 Q. The second paragraph in the introduction.
24 A. I can't find it. Can you give me a more specific reference,
1 Q. It's the second paragraph of the introduction: "During the work
2 on this report, I have made reference to certain sources, i.e., documents
3 and statements made by some persons in de jure form or during their stand
4 as a witness."
5 A. Mr. Weiner, yes, I did find the relevant portion. Yes, that is
7 Q. And in the statements that you're referring to, you're referring
8 to the statement of Colonel Panic.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, just as a quick question: Did you ever speak with Colonel
11 Panic concerning his statement or his testimony or in relation to the
12 issues in this case?
13 A. I met Colonel Panic at the special court in Belgrade during the
14 Ovcara trial which I attended, and we actually met there for the first
15 time. I had not met him before, and I also met him at some point later on
16 when the question was whether he would testify or not at this trial
17 because of his family situation. And we had a very perfunctory
18 conversation about all those issues. This was not a situation to study or
19 to discuss this in any detail.
20 But when I saw his statement, I thought it would be good to check
21 some issues from the security point of view. But because he had just been
22 the Chief of Staff on the not performed any command functions, I thought
23 this could be done without that. My contact with him on those two
24 occasions was of a very perfunctory occasion.
25 Q. Now, last Friday, counsel had indicated that you had spoken with
1 Mr. Sljivancanin. Have you spoken with any other witnesses of this case?
2 A. The question about discussing a case has two aspects. The first
3 aspect is using the normal, usual terminology; and the other aspect is me
4 acting as an expert witness. There were contacts, but not with me in my
5 capacity as an expert. There were many conversations. I had spent quite
6 a chunk of my life working in the army. I know a lot of people. I'm in
7 touch with a lot of people, but some of these contacts were simply not
8 official or anything to do with the business in hand.
9 Q. Which witnesses have you spoken with?
10 A. The first type of encounter or conversation was sometimes a matter
11 of coincidence, meeting people I didn't personally know but who I knew to
12 be in a certain place. For example, Ljubisa Vukasinovic whom I had not
13 known before. I would go on business to the security administration and
14 sometimes find him there and just chat with him. This one was
15 specifically a rather accidental meeting, and I knew nothing about that
16 person really.
17 Q. So any other witnesses other than the accused, Sljivancanin,
18 Ljubisa Vukasinovic, or Colonel Panic?
19 A. I'm trying to remember all the faces filing past me in these
20 conversations. Even some of the people I didn't know well, I didn't know
21 would be appearing as witnesses one day when I met them. I might go
22 wrong. It's difficult to remember them all, but I think there was this
23 once by pure coincidence. By pure accident I met Susic, but I would
24 hardly have known him from Adam, that I would know that he would be called
25 as a witness. It was then that I knew who the person was, but I certainly
1 never discussed this sort of business with him at the time.
2 Q. Now, sir, on Monday, certain sources of your report were changed.
3 You didn't change your facts or conclusions, but you changed the sources
4 to reflect not their statements but the -- basically, not the statements
5 of Panic, but the trial testimony of Panic; isn't that correct?
6 A. I tried to check which of the facts might affect my conclusions in
7 an essential way or change anything about my conclusions. Maybe there
8 were bits of phrasing there that would now look differently, but the gist
9 of the conclusions would not change. Therefore, it was possible to
10 cross-reference these to evidence given before this Trial Chamber, as well
11 as to material that I had used previously. I don't think it would have
12 changed the gist of my conclusions, and that's why they remain as they
14 Q. Now, sir, have you read the transcripts in this case or have you
15 followed this case, all the witnesses in this case over the Internet?
16 A. No. I haven't read the transcripts off the Internet. I just
17 familiarised myself with the original evidence given in this case. The
18 situation being what it was, it was necessary to identify only those
19 portions of evidence that might affect my expert report. I didn't go into
20 command. I didn't go into logistics, that sort of thing. I didn't know
21 that much about any other activities. I did know about security to the
22 extent that an expert would be expected to know.
23 Q. Sir, would you agree that when you drafted your report and you
24 relied on Colonel Panic's statement, and later his testimony, you were
25 selective in the information that you included. In your own words, you
1 looked just to the parts relating to the security organ.
2 A. Of course, I was selective. It's my job to be selective. As a
3 security officer, I am required to identify facts that have to do with
4 security. I must be able to focus on those. I must be able to study and
5 analyse them. And this requires a selective approach.
6 Q. And would you agree, sir, that if the facts conflicted with your
7 conclusions or were not helpful to Mr. Sljivancanin, you ignored certain
8 facts and information?
9 A. Mr. Weiner, could you please quote these facts? That would
10 probably help me to see why I understood them or omitted them. It could
11 be either of these, it's just that I would be hard put to say now. I have
12 nothing based on which to conclude that I did anything like that. I have
13 no reason to admit anything to do with security that might shed any light
14 on particular functions.
15 Q. Well, sir, you agreed than relied on Colonel Panic's report when
16 you drafted your statement. And if we look at Colonel Panic's report, you
17 should have a notebook in front of you. And we have a copy of his OTP
18 statement in Serbian, or I have a copy right here for you if you like.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I might be jumping the gun in
21 expectation of the remaining part of the question, but I think this line
22 of questioning is contrary to your own decision, Your Honours, the one
23 that was made when Mr. Forca was in this courtroom and when Mr. Weiner
24 wanted to confront him with the evidence of Mr. Miroljub Vujovic at the
25 Belgrade trial. That was in relation to Captain Radic's command. The
1 page reference is 13358 and 13359.
2 You, Your Honour, said at the time that this was not an
3 appropriate approach. I was wondering if Mr. Weiner was now heading much
4 the same way as before perhaps. So that's what my reaction is about.
5 JUDGE PARKER: May I say briefly, Mr. Lukic, that if Mr. Weiner is
6 heading that way, this situation is different, because we are dealing with
7 an expert witness as expressly said that for forming his opinion, he has
8 relied on what other people have said. And Mr. Weiner is now asking him
9 to identify what passages he has relied on and is pointing out other
10 passages that he has not, as I understand what Mr. Weiner is trying to do.
11 If it is the case that there has been selectivity which has an
12 effect of favouring or not favouring your client, then that will affect
13 the weight we can give to the opinion formed. So it's because it's an
14 expert witness who has expressly relied on certain material that Mr.
15 Weiner is entitled to explore that material with him.
16 Mr. Weiner.
17 MR. WEINER: Thank you. We have copies for the Court and for all
18 counsel and translators. Tab 26, please.
19 Q. You can use tab 26 or you have a copy there, separate copy of the
20 statement, sir.
21 A. I have a copy in front of me.
22 Q. Sir, I invite your attention to paragraph 48 which is on page 12
23 in the English and B/C/S. For the ERN or the e-court, it's 0461-8179 to
24 0461-8208 and it's page 8190.
25 Now, sir, you previously indicated, earlier in your testimony,
1 that you didn't have certain information available to you about Mr.
2 Sljivancanin acting outside of his duties.
3 Could we look at paragraph 48 where it says:
4 "Even though all responsibilities within the staff of the Guards
5 Motorised Brigade (or OG South) were clearly defined, Sljivancanin went
6 well beyond what was required of him by his job description. Major
7 Veselin Sljivancanin talked a lot at the daily briefings of the OG South
8 command in Negoslavci. He did not limit his activities to what was
9 usually expected of a head of security service.
10 "Instead, he also discussed the situation on the battlefield,
11 mentioning what he saw and making suggestions as to what should be done.
12 Sljivancanin also spoke about the logistical needs (food, ammunition,
13 other) of local Serbian TO units at the briefings, even though we had an
14 officer who was responsible for that, the assistant commander for
15 logistics. All these things exceeded Sljivancanin's professional duties
16 as head of the security service."
17 The next paragraph he continues:
18 "Sljivancanin also did things that he was not supposed to do.
19 This would sometimes elicit criticism from the commander of the Guards
20 Motorised Brigade, Colonel Mile Mrksic. Once Sljivancanin went on his own
21 initiative to an infantry unit in order to fire a 60 millimetre mortar.
22 This was even shown on TV. I have been shown the war diary of the Guards
23 Motorised Brigade ERN B/C/S 0293-5434-0293-5482. ERN English
24 L010-0496-L010-0537; entry of 13th October 1991 which says Sljivancanin
25 demanded that General Zivota Panic be informed of the fact that he had
1 personally corrected artillery fire in the Mitnica section.
2 "It is unusual for a security officer to correct artillery fire;
3 there are other officers responsible for that. Otherwise, correction of
4 artillery fire is a routine task in military operations, and does not
5 deserve mention in the war diary."
6 Did you mention either of those paragraphs in your report
7 indicating that Security Organ Sljivancanin was performing acts outside of
8 his duties and responsibilities?
9 A. First of all, I never said I had no information like that. What I
10 did say is that I knew about some of the activities carried out by
11 Sljivancanin, and I viewed them in the light of his function as a security
12 officer. I wanted to know about any possible interferences of these
13 activities with his remit as a security officer. That's what I meant when
14 I said before that I was trying to do a selective reading.
15 Secondly, when we discuss artillery fire, Panic is not a security
16 officer, and he does not have a professional outlook on this. And this is
17 the last time I'm going to say that.
18 Secondly, Panic described the activities taken by Sljivancanin
19 outside his security role. The commander knew, Panic knew, the other
20 officers knew, but this is not a security function and it's not the
21 subject of my investigation. I'm not looking at Veselin Sljivancanin as
22 an officer in the Guards Brigade, I'm assessing his role as a security
23 officer. That's the question I'm dealing with. I can say the same thing
24 that Panic did but that has absolutely no bearing on my expert report.
25 Q. Sir, when you mentioned what duties Major Sljivancanin performed
1 according to the rules, regulations, and doctrine, would you agree that
2 you omitted describing his acts that were outside of the duties of the
3 security organ?
4 A. Of course I omitted that. That is not part of his remit as a
5 security officer. That remains to be proven what else he did. I was
6 trying to analyse what he was supposed to do. Now, what he actually did,
7 I don't know. It's for those who were actually there to find. My task
8 was to shed light on his actual function and to ago tan whether that was
9 in keeping with all the regulations that applied.
10 Q. Sir, your answer was: "I was trying to analyse what he was
11 supposed to do. Now what he actually did, I don't know. It's for others
12 who were actually there to find."
13 Your report concerns doctrine and what a person should do
14 according to doctrine. You were not present to witness any of his actions
15 that he took in Vukovar; isn't that correct?
16 A. Well, I wasn't present. I'm an expert who wasn't present. The
17 information was available to me regardless of who was where.
18 Your Honours, may I be allowed a comment at this point?
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Reading this now, I did say that I
21 was clearly familiar with this these facts. I'm a security expert. I
22 consider that anything that the command had to do about Sljivancanin is
23 certainly nothing for a security expert to worry about. A security expert
24 answers the following question: What was Sljivancanin supposed to do?
25 And not the question about what Sljivancanin was not supposed to do.
1 And that was my principal guideline in writing my report. My
2 report would have ended up being a very different report had my original
3 role been a very different one to begin with, but it didn't happen to be.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. Let's move to another area.
7 In your report on page 48, the section begins with footnote 80,
8 the evacuation of the hospital in Vukovar.
9 A. Give me a minute to find that, please.
10 Q. Sure.
11 A. All right. Yes, sir. Please, go ahead.
12 Q. Now, initially in that page you attempt to describe the roles and
13 assignment of Major Sljivancanin during the evacuation of the hospital,
14 and then you write on pages -- it's now 50 and 51, the last -- it's the
15 last sentence in the English on page 50, it's paragraph 1.5. Do you see
16 that, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "Had Colonel Mrksic still decided contrary to the provisions of
19 said regulations to assign the duties and to delegate a portion of his
20 powers to Major Sljivancanin thus empowering him to command the evacuation
21 operation, he ought to have given him an order in writing."
22 Then below that in paragraph 1.11, you conclude that without any
23 writing, it's your conclusion that he did not command the evacuation; or
24 that without any writing, you were not able to conclude that he commanded
25 the evacuation. Correct?
1 A. There is a little bit of confusion there, but we'll try to shed
2 some light on this. There are certain positions here that are important
3 for our general understanding or, rather, for you to know why I wrote it
4 like this.
5 Firstly, we discussed, yesterday, who had the power to give orders
6 to any security officer in their own units, or, rather, what the rules
7 specifically envisage in their item -- or Article 48. The rules for the
8 work of security organs, which tasks they can be given. Their purview
9 rules out the possibility of their involvement outside of their strictest
10 remit, even at the urging of the Federal Secretary for National Defence
11 himself. So that's as concerns the first portion of this question.
12 The next thing is the possibility of deviations and what form that
13 might take. If, indeed, there are reasons, which in this specific case I
14 fail to recognise for any deviations from the rules that applied, the
15 reasons have to be provided, as well as specific tasks for whoever is
16 supposed to act outside the regulations, since consequences can
17 potentially be serious and the responsibility rests with whoever makes
18 such a request.
19 Another thing is any person involved in anything outside their
20 remit must speak up and say whether they feel capable of carrying out that
21 sort of task at all. And there must be a stand-in while this person is
22 away, because the situation faced by security organs is a very peculiar
23 one indeed. Their powers are personal powers. They have IDs. Once they
24 are temporarily or permanently removed from their establishment duties,
25 they no longer have the same powers, and they cannot exercise those
1 powers. They can only exercise those powers for as long as they remain in
2 the function to which they are appointed within a unit.
3 In one word, there are serious impediments to this remaining the
4 way that it was. What it takes is for the whole thing to be regulated
5 through a set of rules and regulations in order to avoid further serious
6 potential serious infractions and violations. That's why my statement was
7 put in a relatively mild form. I said it takes further investigation to
8 see what the reasons might have been for what eventually happened. I'm
9 not saying this should by no means have been done. All I'm saying is
10 there should be a certain explanation to show why this course of action
11 was taken.
12 I thank you for your patience.
13 Q. So you're saying that Colonel Mrksic could have appointed Major
14 Sljivancanin to command the evacuation as long as it was done in writing?
15 A. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying if there is to be a
16 deviation from the rules, or something done in contravention of the rules,
17 there is a procedure that is applied. At least as long as he was in
18 keeping with this particular set of rules, there was no way he could have
19 allowed himself to deviate. So that's what I was saying.
20 Q. Sir, that's according to the rules and doctrine. But you know
21 that while drafting your report, you had information in your possession
22 that Colonel Mrksic had assigned Major Sljivancanin to command the
23 evacuation operation; isn't that correct?
24 A. That is not correct, and I'm going to tell you why. I have no
25 document unambiguously indicating that. You're asking me a question.
1 Please allow me to answer the question, and then you're perfectly free to
2 ask m additional questions if you deem that necessary.
3 I am painfully aware of the fact that time is short, but that
4 doesn't mean that I can't answer my questions. The first thing is that in
5 the situation that --
6 Q. Sir, sir.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner, allow the witness to continue.
8 MR. WEINER: That's continue.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
10 You see, the situation that we are discussing now, any situation
11 is a doctrine. I, as an expert, can't stretch the doctrine too far or
12 consider any situations that are actually use the doctrine. My task was
13 to place this inside the context of an doctrine and then exam it. It was
14 in this sense that I was looking for a fact that would unambiguously
15 ambiguously confirm that Sljivancanin had received an order like that with
16 those very conditions, because that's what the doctrine requires. I
17 didn't find that, so I couldn't actually establish that in my actual
18 opinion. That's actually a natural consequence, isn't it.
19 MR. WEINER:
20 Q. Sir, let's get away from doctrine and look at facts. You
21 indicated that you looked at the testimony of Colonel Panic, and you're
22 aware or are you aware that Colonel Panic affirmed in his testimony that
23 on November 19th, that he was present when Colonel Mrksic announced that
24 Major Sljivancanin would be in command of the evacuation at Vukovar
25 Hospital? That's at pages 14382 to 14383. Are you aware of that
1 testimony, sir?
2 A. If what you just asked me was perfectly clear, then this position
3 here would merely be unnecessary. Since this entire thing exceeds the
4 framework of doctrine, I had to look at facts to see what had caused it. I
5 found nothing. I don't have an answer to that question. I did see that
6 position. I saw Colonel Panic's statement. I could say that Colonel
7 Panic is right, but the doctrine says that he is not right, that Mrksic
8 wasn't right.
9 If they were right, I have to find what the cause is, what their
10 original position is. I'm an expert witness. I'm not a witness who was
11 briefed. Thank you for asking me all these questions, but regrettably, I
12 do believe that this is the only answer I can provide. It just happens to
13 be that way.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I may be butting in again. But it
16 seems to me that this page that I'm reading, he was confronted with a part
17 of the statement and that this is not contained in the witness testimony,
18 but perhaps we should leave that for redirect. Mr. Weiner said testimony
19 and not statement, and what was quoted was a part of the statement.
20 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I would be happy to read it and confront
21 him with that if that would make Mr. Lukic happy.
22 JUDGE PARKER: That may be very interesting to you and to Mr.
23 Lukic. But if you listen to the witness, it's not very interesting to
24 him. He's told you what he saw as the relevance of this and the way he
25 perceived it. So while you two may want to argue about that in final
1 address to us, it's not going to help us learn more about the witness's
2 opinions and the basis for them.
3 MR. WEINER:
4 Q. Sir, you never stated in your report that Colonel Mrksic tasked
5 Major Sljivancanin to be in command of the evacuation operation. You
6 never stated that, did you?
7 A. I didn't state that, and the reasons we already have before us.
8 Q. And you never stated that Colonel Panic was present or witnessed
9 Mrksic when he announced Sljivancanin was in command of the evacuation
11 A. If we all had been listening carefully to this discussion, we
12 would have come to the conclusion that I had already answered this
14 Mr. Weiner, I do have to apologise, but I want to save some time
15 for both of us. If you have any further questions, perhaps we can move
16 on, because I have already given answers to these questions repeatedly.
17 And in the end, the impression might be that I have not given proper
18 answers at all.
19 Q. Sir, yesterday, you were told in regard to Panic's testimony in
20 relation to attending a meeting that the Mrksic Defence had challenged the
21 credibility of that testimony. And you said at page 55: "If a witness
22 who was actually there says that a decision was accepted, I have no other
23 interpretation to offer apart from what that can be taken to mean at face
24 value; namely, that is decision was accepted."
25 Sir, that's what you said in relation to a question yesterday when
1 you were asked about some testimony. There was a decision that Panic has
2 mentioned in his statement and in his testimony. Unlike yesterday's
3 testimony, you're not accepting it or mentioning it in your report.
4 A. This state of fact that we're talking about falls outside the
5 scope of the doctrine, but we are now discussing doctrine, in fact. What
6 we are talking about now is if a decision was made, whether this decision
7 was proper or improper in accordance with the doctrine. I don't want to
8 go into whether this decision had actually been made. I did not find
9 enough evidence of the proper kind that would make me claim that. But if
10 this decision was indeed made, it is up to the Trial Chamber to find
11 whether the decision was made or not and whether it was valid or not.
12 As far as I, as an expert, am concerned, my actions were quite
13 proper. I studied all the events, imprecise as they were, and I put them
14 in the context of an expert report which has strictly defined limits.
15 Everything else is the issue of finding the truth, and it is not up to me
16 to decide what is truth and what is not, which statements were true and
17 which were not.
18 Q. Sir, in your report, you describe doctrine and you indicated that
19 you didn't believe the appointment could be made according to doctrine.
20 But you did not place in a footnote or note in that report: However,
21 there is testimony, there is a statement, there is a witness that
22 Sljivancanin was named the commander or ordered to be the commander of the
23 hospital evacuation. You didn't state that, did you?
24 A. I did not put it in my report because doctrine does not give us
25 answers to that, and I was not there as an eye witness to say whether
1 Sljivancanin was appointed or not. And this was not put quite in those
2 terms. There is still some uncertainty there. I didn't understand it
3 that way, but this does not deny or confirm what I claimed. So I am not
4 claiming that he was not. I'm just saying this is how things are, if he
5 was and these -- this is how things are if he wasn't.
6 Q. Sir, could you look back at Colonel Panic's statement, paragraph
7 72, please, which you relied upon when you drafted your report back in the
8 late summer or early fall. It's on page 18 in the English and B/C/S.
9 A. Could you please give me the paragraph reference, please?
10 Q. 72, please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before the question, I would just like
13 Mr. Vuga to speak slowly, because we have problems with the transcript
14 because the interpretation is rather complex.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sure the witness heard that, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. WEINER: I will read the paragraph.
17 Q. "It is unusual for a security officer to be given responsibility
18 for an evacuation operation. However, I assume Mrksic appointed
19 Sljivancanin to the position because of the important role the security
20 organ had to play in the operation. Sljivancanin was not only responsible
21 for the selection of prisoners, he commanded the entire evacuation of
22 people to Sremska Mitrovica. This implied that Sljivancanin was able to
23 issue orders to the military police or any other unit in the operation."
24 Did I read that correctly, sir?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Weiner, you read it correctly.
1 Q. Now, sir, 12 hours prior to the evacuation, Colonel Mrksic places
2 Sljivancanin in charge or he -- according to this, "he commanded the
3 entire evacuation of people to Sremska Mitrovica." You didn't mention
4 this anywhere in your report, isn't that correct, not even in a footnote?
5 A. Yes. I explained that, but let me go back to what I said
6 initially. I asked you to check whether we have indeed resolved this. So
7 now I have to, again, ask the question. If -- it is not usual, but I
8 assume in a situation like this I face a dilemma. What must be assumed
9 here in relation to the authority and other issues that are outside of the
10 doctrine. And I shouldn't speculate in this manner and rely on that.
11 As far as the footnote is concerned, that would not change
12 anything, in my view. So this wasn't important for me. This is why I
13 formed this kind of expert opinion. There was no other reason for me to
14 leave this out, apart from the fact that from the point of view of my
15 expert report, it did not either support the view that this would be in
16 accordance with the doctrine or support the belief that this was outside
17 of the doctrine that the procedure that was not in accordance with the
18 doctrine was complied with.
19 Q. Sir, you've indicated in your report that there was very few
20 documents concerning the evacuation; and also yesterday, you said that
21 there were no documents indicating who Mrksic placed in charge of the
22 evacuation. Wouldn't you agree that when you were drafting your report,
23 the best evidence you had available as to who was in charge of the
24 evacuation was that Panic statement where he says Mrksic assigned Major
25 Sljivancanin to command the evacuation?
1 A. Mr. Weiner, a word has been left out which is very important from
2 this text, and this word is I could not unequivocally determine that Major
3 Sljivancanin -- so there is still this dilemma that Major Sljivancanin was
4 assigned to command the evacuation.
5 So it is very important to read every word here, because the word
6 "unequivocally" put me in a position where I could still consider whether
7 this was so or not, in the belief that this would be resolved at trial.
8 Everything else was clear or clarified.
9 So this is simply the nature of this issue. We are -- we do not
10 differ here, but we do differ in the sense of the interpretation of the
11 texts. When you leave out a word when you interpret the text, then this
12 poses some problems.
13 Q. Sir, you had no problem following Colonel Panic's testimony in
14 relation to the government meeting at Velepromet and accepting that, even
15 though it's contested. But here, you will not follow -- on that same
16 basis, you will not follow and abide by Colonel Panic's testimony; isn't
17 that correct?
18 A. The situation is quite different from this issue that we now are
19 trying to resolve.
20 First of all, Panic was at the government session in a different
21 role in relation to the role he played at the briefing he attended at the
22 government session, Panic. I assume this was not usual. And he did not
23 state his views on any facts that were presented there that were of
24 interest for me in my assessment. This was something that I used to
25 orient myself and to -- I drew my conclusions based on that.
1 So what we have here are two completely different positions and
2 two completely different situations. It's not a matter of applying
3 different principles, it's just that these two situations are completely
4 different from the point of view of an expert, in particular, a security
6 Q. But sir, even as a security expert, and writing a report or
7 drafting a report, you had an obligation to state what the doctrine was
8 but indicate, be it in the text or in a footnote, indicate that there is
9 evidence, however, or there is testimony, however, or there is a
10 statement, however, indicating that Colonel Mrksic did, in fact, order
11 Major Sljivancanin to be in charge of the evacuation, out of fairness.
12 A. I gave you the reasons that led me to conclude that this was not
13 done, and here we have this footnote; and even with that footnote, nothing
14 would change in terms of the expert.
15 Q. Well let's continue, sir. You mention that there was a group of
16 officers from the security administration including Colonel Vujic that
17 were sent to OG South; do you recall that or are you aware of that, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And are you aware that Colonel Vujic met with Major Sljivancanin
20 in the early morning hours of November 20th around 1.00 or 2.00 a.m.; are
21 you aware of that?
22 A. I'm trying to remember.
23 Q. So around 1.00 or 2.00 a.m., we're dealing with, approximately,
24 five hours before the evacuation. Are you aware that Sljivancanin told
25 Vujic, and I'm reading on page 4530 at lines 18 to 20:
1 "Major Sljivancanin said that the hospital was to be vacated
2 according to an evacuation plan, that he would personally be in charge of
3 this mission."
4 Were you aware of that testimony, sir?
5 A. I have to say that I missed that statement completely; and if I
6 had had that statement, I would have been able to tell you what my view of
7 it was.
8 Q. So, sir, in your conclusion, and you can tell your view about it,
9 but I just want to ask you this first. You didn't -- or in your opinion
10 or report, you haven't indicated that 12 hours before the evacuation,
11 there's testimony that Sljivancanin was placed in charge of the
12 evacuation, and that five hours before the evacuation, Colonel -- I'm
13 sorry, Major Sljivancanin tells Colonel Vujic that he was in charge. You
14 now have two statements: One from the accused and one witnessing Colonel
15 Mrksic performing the act of ordering Sljivancanin to be in charge.
16 Did you take either of those statements into account as part of
17 your conclusion?
18 A. I presented my view of the first one, because I had it in front of
19 me. And I cannot anything about the second one, because I didn't see it.
20 I cannot give you any views or any explanations on an item that I have
21 never seen.
22 MR. WEINER: Excuse me.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Weiner perhaps did
25 express himself properly in English. But the interpretation into B/C/S,
1 I'm referring to page 29, line 15, it says here that you had two
2 statements, one of the accused and the other one who testified what Mrksic
3 had said. And in fact, Mr. Mrksic -- Mr. Weiner was now talking about Mr.
4 Vujic's statement. So the question was to the facts that Mr. Vujic
5 testified to in his evidence or statement not Mr. Sljivancanin.
6 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
7 Q. All right. I'll try and clarify that. Approximately, five hours
8 before the evacuation, there is testimony that Major Sljivancanin told
9 Colonel Vujic that he was in charge of the evacuation plan.
10 First, are you aware of that testimony?
11 A. The same reply as before: No, I'm not aware of it.
12 Q. I'd ask you to assume the truth of that statement, sir, that
13 Sljivancanin says that he is in charge of the evacuation. Does that
14 assist you in determining who was in charge -- who was in charge of the
15 evacuation on November 20th, 1991?
16 A. We now have to go back to the very beginning in order to get a
17 full picture of the situation. I was not able to talk about the position
18 that was taken with regard to the facts that I had in the first version.
19 That relates to Lieutenant-Colonel Panic.
20 Now we have a situation that should give birth to a new
21 hypothesis, and I really have to get some additional data and to analyse
22 it to see what all this entails. I cannot give you any conclusions on the
23 basis of those assumptions as to who was actually in charge of the. I
24 cannot do that, and we should really perhaps leave it to the Trial Chamber
25 to do so.
1 Q. Well, just one more question, sir. Would you agree that
2 Sljivancanin's statement, at 1.00 to 2.00 in the morning, that he was in
3 charge of the evacuation is corroborative or consistent with Colonel
4 Panic's testimony that he was present when Mrksic placed Sljivancanin in
5 charge of the evacuation?
6 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, whether I, as an expert, can
8 agree with your suggestion, I can't tell whether something is important or
9 not. I simply can say that anyone who was not an expert, if he heard such
10 a statement, he would agree. But as an expert, I can only answer as an
11 expert. I cannot fit it into my doctrine or the information that had I
12 put under the question mark; and, therefore, I cannot make this conclusion
13 that would, in fact, be a hypothesis because I'm an expert. If you ask me
14 to do that as a non-expert, then yes, I can.
15 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, is it time for a break now, or would you
16 like me to continue with a new subject?
17 JUDGE PARKER: That's a gentle hint, Mr. Weiner. It's four
18 minutes early but we will break now. We resume at ten minutes to.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
23 Q. Good morning, sir. Let us continue.
24 Yesterday, you testified that the barracks were the most -- or
25 could be the safest and most secure place in Vukovar.
1 A. That is right, sir.
2 Q. Now, just for a matter of record, you didn't perform any security
3 evaluation of the Vukovar barracks in November 1991. You personally
4 didn't do so.
5 A. No. No.
6 Q. Were you in the Vukovar barracks or in Vukovar itself in November
7 of 1991?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Basically, you have no firsthand knowledge as to the security of
10 the Vukovar barracks. You're basing your testimony on doctrine, rules,
11 regulations; isn't that correct?
12 A. That is correct, Mr. Weiner.
13 Q. Are you aware that a Defence witness has, in fact, testified as to
14 the level of security at the barracks in November 1991?
15 A. I'm trying to think back to see what the information was that was
16 available to me, and I realise there is something I failed to draw my
17 about the security back in the barracks. But you would need to be more
18 specific about the time period, the time period that you have in mind.
19 Q. Are you aware that a witness who was the chief of staff of the
20 80th Motorised Brigade, Mr. Danilovic, testified that he was part of a
21 theme that analysed the condition of the barracks, so that the 80th
22 Motorised Brigade could transfer its headquarters to that location. Are
23 you aware of that testimony?
24 A. I'm not aware of that.
25 Q. Well let me read this to you and see if this refreshes your
1 recollection. This is at page 12390 beginning on line 2.
2 "When the town of Vukovar fell, there wasn't even the most basic
3 conditions, security conditions or others prevailed at the barracks of
4 Vukovar. You in this Court are familiar that we were the fact on the 22nd
5 or 23rd requested for the barracks to be repaired, to be put into use
6 because not even minimum conditions prevailed there. Ovcara was suitable
7 for passing at least one night there so that the following day in
8 daylight, the captured members of the ZNG and MUP of Croatian can or could
9 be transferred. So the barracks, from our point of view, was completely
10 unsatisfactory to accept POWs."
11 Are you familiar with that testimony?
12 A. I'm not, but I must ask you one thing. Shall we discuss this. Is
13 Ovcara and Vukovar the same thing in this particular reference, or are we
14 only talking about Vukovar as a town?
15 Q. No. What the witness did is he discussed both. As he was
16 discussing the safety of both and during his answer, which I read to you,
17 he also threw in a section that Vukovar wasn't safe either. But are you
18 familiar with his testimony that the barracks were not a safe place?
19 A. I'll answer this question once we've explained whether Ovcara was
20 part of Vukovar or whether the barracks was part of Vukovar unlike Ovcara
21 which is actually outside Vukovar. If we can please get that clarified
22 before we start doing anything else. Thank you.
23 Q. Again, sir, they are two separate locations. The witness
24 indicated that both places were unsafe. So are you familiar with that
1 A. Mr. Weiner, nothing was safe in Vukovar at the time. That's what
2 the combat documents suggest, not the barracks, not any other sector of
3 Vukovar. Safety was the challenge in a different way once the operations
4 had ceased but in a different way. I agree, no place in Vukovar was safe,
5 but the question is which of all the unsafe places would be the safest
6 place inside Vukovar itself. That is the subject of my report.
7 I did not consider Ovcara as a facility or an installation from
8 the security point of view, not the same way that I considered the
9 barracks. I did not even compare the two. The only installation that I
10 considered was the Vukovar barracks, regardless of how it was actually
11 built, regardless of the fence around it. What I had in mind was the
12 barracks as a military installation and everything that that normally
13 implies. That's what I analysed under the circumstances that prevailed in
14 Vukovar at the time and not disregarding those circumstances.
15 So my conclusion was that in the whole of Vukovar from the point
16 of view of security, despite all the threats, the barracks were still the
17 safest place in Vukovar, if you take into account the standards normally
18 applied in normal conditions. But even if these conditions are not met
19 100 percent, the barracks would still meet the requirements envisaged in
20 all the rules and regulations as applying to any barracks. You might say
21 that is the conclusion that I reached.
22 Q. So, basically, your determination as to the barracks is based on
23 the rules and regulations, but you were not there to confirm whether or
24 not those rules and regulations were even followed?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, in your report, you mention Colonel Pavkovic.
2 Would you agree, sir, that there is no evidence in this case linking
3 Colonel Pavkovic to the selection or triage process at the Vukovar
4 Hospital on November 20th?
5 A. We must disregard the briefing that preceded the hospital
6 evacuation in which Colonel Pavkovic said what the criteria would be and
7 who would be evacuated. There are certain points of contact, so to speak,
8 when taking about Colonel Pavkovic. The EU monitors were present, too.
9 Q. Sir, we're talking about the selection process at 7.00 in the
10 morning at the hospital when the EU monitors and the Red Cross were
11 prevented from entering the area. So would you agree, sir, that there is
12 no testimony indicating that Colonel Pavkovic was involved at that
13 selection process, triage process at Vukovar Hospital on November 20th at
14 7.00 in the morning?
15 A. Now that's a more accurate question, and I do agree with this one.
16 Q. And would you also agree that he was not involved in escorting
17 those prisoners from the hospital to the barracks in that first group
18 that -- the prisoners that left sometime around 9.00 or 10.00, who went
19 from the hospital to the barracks?
20 A. I agree.
21 Q. And would you also agree, sir, that Colonel Pavkovic was not
22 involved in the decision to send the prisoners to the barracks on November
24 A. I found nothing to indicate that he was involved. Therefore, you
25 could say that what you are putting to me is correct.
1 Q. Would you also agree that Colonel Pavkovic did not meet with the
2 offices of the security administration and give them tasks to perform as
3 part of the evacuation?
4 A. Colonel Pavkovic didn't have any power over that group in any way.
5 Q. Sir, you would agree that he did not meet with them, those
6 officers, and task them?
7 A. I don't know whether he met them or not. As for tasking them, I
8 told you what I believe about that.
9 Q. Would you agree that Colonel Pavkovic was not involved in the
10 prisoner evacuation that occurred in the early morning of November 20th,
11 that first group of prisoners that went from the hospital to the barracks?
12 A. I think we confirmed that in relation to the first part of your
14 Q. And, sir, there has been testimony that Colonel Mrksic assigned
15 Major Sljivancanin to command the evacuation. Would you agree that there
16 has been no testimony in this case that anyone witnessed Colonel Mrksic
17 assigning Colonel Pavkovic to command the evacuation?
18 A. I do not consider that in terms of a task being given to Colonel
19 Pavkovic, nor is there anything like that in my report.
20 Q. But you would agree that there is no testimony that Colonel Mrksic
21 assigned or that anyone witnessed Colonel Mrksic assigning Colonel
22 Pavkovic to command the evacuation. You would agree with that, wouldn't
24 A. I found nothing to indicate otherwise. I did not look at that
25 relationship at all. It was outside of the scope of what I was to do.
1 Q. Finally, sir, there has been testimony that Major Sljivancanin
2 stated that he was in charge of the mission to evacuate the hospital.
3 Would you agree that there was no testimony in this trial where Colonel
4 Pavkovic claimed to be in charge of the evacuation?
5 A. At the outset and in my report, I clearly stated that I had
6 reached no unambiguous conclusion that it had been Sljivancanin, but I
7 found no alternative either. So I didn't state any alternatives. So it
8 must be the way you put it.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, we've been talking about Colonel Pavkovic. Let's
10 move to Major Sljivancanin for a short while. Now, you mentioned -- let's
11 take it differently.
12 There has been testimony of several actions taken by Major
13 Sljivancanin that were not mentioned in your report. Were you aware that
14 Major Sljivancanin tasks the commander of the 2nd Battalion of military
15 police to bring Marin Vidic to the command at Negoslavci, and that the
16 commander of the military police followed that command and did it?
17 A. The question of orders should be considered in a number of ways,
18 or the question of command. I can't consider this, because I had no
19 information to indicate that this was a command. So that's the problem I
20 have answering this. I never found anything to suggest that this would
21 have been a command. I'm saying this because a military police task in
22 the security function is different from commanding.
23 Q. He tasked him to bring Marin Vidic, and Marin Vidic followed that
24 task and did it. Are you aware of that?
25 A. I know that Marin Vidic was brought in for an interview. I don't
1 know how that was done, nor did I analyse that in order to reach a
2 conclusion as to who had ordered it. I didn't understand it to have been
3 that way. But if indeed that's how it was, there must be evidence to that
4 effect. I can hardly be expected to deny it. How could I possibly deny
6 My analysis was not about how I came there but, rather, why he
7 came there. So that's it, but I have no reason to deny anything either
9 Q. Okay. Are you aware that it was Major Sljivancanin who discussed
10 the evacuation and hospital issues with the hospital director Mrs.
12 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
13 Q. Are you aware that it was Major Sljivancanin and Colonel Vujic who
14 agreed or decided that the prisoners should be taken to the barracks?
15 That's at page 13620.
16 A. It wasn't their place to agree. The thing was one had to decide
17 how the question of the patients and the wounded would be dealt with.
18 They had to decide on a place, and then they agreed on the place having
19 made an assessment on what the safest place would be. So that's a matter
20 of assessment or agreement, if you like. But if they agreed, then their
21 assessment must have been consistent.
22 Vujic was a colonel and he was certainly more qualified to make
23 assessments than Major Sljivancanin. He could have provided useful
24 guidance for Sljivancanin on what to do and what the best course of action
25 would be.
1 Q. But were you aware of that, sir, that Major Vujic and -- Colonel
2 Vujic and Major Sljivancanin agreed upon the barracks?
3 A. No, Mr. Weiner, I was not aware of that. I am speaking as an
4 expert who can interpret the modus operandi applied in such situations
5 like these.
6 Q. Were you aware, sir, that there is testimony that it was Major
7 Sljivancanin who held a meeting with the doctors at the Vukovar Hospital
8 in the early morning of November 20th, 1991?
9 A. I was aware of that and that was consistent with what he was
10 supposed to do in terms of security at the hospital.
11 Q. Were you aware that it was Major Sljivancanin and the security
12 organs who were responsible for the selection/triage process?
13 A. Major Sljivancanin was simply required be involved in the triage
14 based on his powers and based on the tasks received from the superior
16 Q. So you were aware that Major Sljivancanin and the security organs
17 were responsible for the selection/triage process?
18 A. That's what the report claims.
19 Q. Were you aware that it was Major Sljivancanin who contacted
20 General Vasiljevic concerning what to do with certain doctors who were
21 believed to have committed war crimes?
22 A. I had nothing about that, no information.
23 Q. Were you aware that it was Major Sljivancanin who ordered that
24 certain persons be taken back from the barracks and returned to the
1 A. I was.
2 Q. And were you aware that Colonel Pavkovic told Sljivancanin to
3 remove the journalists from the Vukovar visit. Major Sljivancanin
4 declined and told the press to "feel free to record everything." That's
5 at page 13642. Were you aware of that, sir?
6 A. I was aware of that, basically, but I didn't study that particular
7 piece of information as anything that might be relevant for the security
9 Q. So these actions taken by Major Sljivancanin, if you didn't
10 believe them to be relevant to the security situation, you didn't mention
11 them at all in your report.
12 A. Well, I can't be expected to cover that much ground and mention
13 everything that happened anywhere around Sljivancanin and include all of
14 that in my report, because that would obscure the function itself. I had
15 to pare back, as it were. I did that in each case where I decided that a
16 limit had to be drawn, a distinction between the work done by a security
17 officer and all the other functions that are sometimes contiguous.
18 There is a complex reality of many competing functions all over a
19 very short period of time and over a very small area. I had to isolate
20 security facts, security-related issues that were material for my
21 conclusions. The detail that you addressed did not contribute too much to
22 me succeeding in painting the overall picture within the framework of my
23 report. Thank you.
24 Q. And you were discussing the security functions or you were
25 focussing on the security functions according to doctrine; isn't that
1 correct? Doctrine, rules, regulations?
2 A. Certainly. That's certainly the case. My principal criterion, as
3 I said at the outset, and in the course of my testimony yesterday, is to
4 consistently and properly study the purview of the security organ, and
5 also to use this as a criterion for assessing the subject of my report.
6 And that brings us here. I dealt with security-related facts. I dealt
7 with their potential meaning in the light of the doctrine. No doctrine,
8 no potential meaning.
9 Q. Let's move on to another issue which you discussed in your report
10 on page 66, paragraph 18. There's the first -- there's two paragraph 18s.
11 The first one deals with why you believe the government would abide by the
12 request, its request to try people from the hospital. It's between
13 footnotes 140 and 141 in the text as found in the text between footnotes
14 140 and 141.
15 You state four reasons, sir, do you see those? Why you believe
16 that the government would, in fact, try those persons, those prisoners who
17 were later murdered?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. There are no footnotes or sources listed for any of those reasons,
20 four reasons; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. And those are your personal opinions as to why you think the
23 government would act properly; isn't that correct?
24 A. That is my opinion as an expert in security matters who was the
25 assistant commander for security -- assistant chief of security in the
1 cabinet of the Federal Secretary of National Defence covering the entire
2 territory of the SFRY; and as such, I was cognizant of some of the things
3 that were happening in the political sphere. And I was also politically
4 active as a member of the League of Communists, and I had personal
5 knowledge about possible solutions for certain areas.
6 My activities that followed testify to that. So on the basis of
7 what I learned in this capacity, I believe that these elements could be
8 the way they are presented in my report and that they could develop in
9 those directions. That is why I put them in there.
10 Q. Well, let's talk about this so-called SAO government. You are
11 aware that the testimony in this case is that that the government, the
12 so-called SAO government, came from outside Vukovar? Are you aware of
14 A. I didn't understand your question, Mr. Weiner. I didn't
15 understand it.
16 Q. No problem. Are you aware that the SAO government came from
17 outside of Vukovar? This wasn't a government that was in Vukovar. They
18 came from elsewhere, from the city of Dalj, D-a-l-j?
19 A. I was not aware of the location itself or familiar with it, but it
20 was outside of Vukovar, that much is true.
21 Q. And are you aware that there was no civilian police unit in
22 Vukovar in November of 1991?
23 A. I stated that in my report, and I confirm that now that I was
24 aware of that.
25 Q. And are you also aware that there were no judicial bodies in
1 Vukovar in November of 1991?
2 A. Well, since the normal governance was disrupted, definitely this
3 was something that had to be done at a later stage. But at the time that
4 we are talking about, it did not exist.
5 Q. And are you aware that this SAO SBWS government was nowhere to be
6 found prior to their appearance on November 20th in Vukovar?
7 A. I am not aware of that because I did not analyse the events that
8 preceded this period that much. I found that this government, such as it
9 was, functioned as it did in the prevailing circumstances. And that is
10 why it is mentioned here like that and in no other way. And the course of
11 the session and the information regarding that course indicated that there
12 were the intentions -- there was the intention to follow this route as
13 indicated here. So these two elements dove-tailed the trial and the other
14 element that I mentioned here, and this is why I actually put it in here.
15 Q. And you're also aware that there were no orders to OG South to
16 recognise that government?
17 A. The recognition of the government does not depend on OG South. It
18 is not a political factor; it's an army. It's a military unit. The
19 command of the 1st Military District could do something to recognise the
20 government, because it was in the position to discuss and consider this
21 issue as indicated by the document dated the 20th of November sent by the
22 command of the 1st Military District regarding the establishment of the
23 government to all the units active in this area.
24 In this document, it actually defines the government in a manner
25 that could serve as some kind of a guidance to its subordinates.
1 Q. But, sir, you don't know whether that document was sent to OG
2 South, and you also know that OG South was under no duty to abide by any
3 of that government's decisions.
4 A. No. I did not find a statement to that effect, but there was a
5 possibility that there may have been communication between the organ for
6 morale and political information and its superior command that I had --
7 did not take into consideration. And I believe that the very fact that
8 the superior command has such information at its disposal is tantamount to
9 a signal that this information may also be available to the subordinates
10 in perhaps some other form, not just as a document printed on paper.
11 Q. But that's all speculation, sir.
12 A. It could be so. I considered this system to be functioning. This
13 is said from the position of an expert, but you could actually call that
14 speculation although I have no intention to speculate at all.
15 Q. Well let's get back to facts. Were you aware that Goran Hadzic of
16 the so-called government arrived on November 20th accompanied by Arkan?
17 A. Yes. Not accompanied by Arkan. So this may be a contentious
18 issue whether he was accompanied by Arkan. I know what it means in
19 military terms to be accompanied or escorted by somebody, but they did
20 happen to be there.
21 Q. Were you aware that there is uncontested testimony in this case
22 that Arkan was part of the government delegation that visited Vukovar on
23 November 20th?
24 A. I am not aware that he was part of the delegation and that it was
25 a delegation at all. But he made public appearances where he was close to
1 the government, so this piece of information does not seem to be very
2 specific because there were such contacts between him and the government
3 in that area. But this did not make me focus my attention on that at all.
4 Q. Sir, are you aware that there's uncontested testimony in this case
5 that Arkan would have been arrested in Vukovar had he not been part of
6 that government delegation? Are you aware of that testimony on page
8 A. I am not aware of it in this manner that you just put it to me. I
9 was not aware that he was part of the delegation. But he was there with
10 those people, that's clear. But I don't have a clear picture of the
11 arrest situation. I don't know specifically that that was the case. But
12 if this information exists -- this is not something that I can comment, in
13 other words, that he was part of the government. I didn't know that he
14 was part of the government.
15 Q. And, sir, as a person who's been involved in security for many
16 years, you know exactly who Arkan is, and you're familiar with his crimes
17 of murder, and torture, and looting, and all of his other crimes.
18 A. I have to be a bit more specific here. I am aware that there were
19 two versions, two views of Arkan. I wrote an account of one of those
20 versions that I encountered when I was in the field when I retired. Other
21 versions were merely in the public domain, or they were in the domain of
22 rumours. But the version that I was able to put together, I wrote down in
23 an official record, as a retired officer, and I sent it to the security
24 administration for their action.
25 So I do have an idea of how Arkan was seen in various contexts by
1 various people who saw him in different ways.
2 Q. Are you aware that one of the Sljivancanin Defence witnesses
3 testified to his conversation with Arkan prior to the Velepromet meeting -
4 and that's at page 14738 - where he told Arkan that: "You can't start
5 killing or expelling people here, because Tudjman will respond five-fold."
6 Are you familiar with that testimony, sir?
7 A. Mr. Weiner, I am not aware of that testimony. I really am not.
8 MR. WEINER: May the witness please be shown Exhibit 718, which is
9 0340-4864 to 4865. For the Court, it's tab 22 in your notebooks.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not all that legible, but
11 please, ask your question and then I will be able to see if I can actually
12 find it in here.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Could you tell me: Who is Mile Babic, Major General Mile Babic,
15 who signed this letter?
16 A. Yes. Major General Mile Babic was the chief of the security organ
17 in the 1st Military District.
18 Q. And in this letter, if you look at the first page, the date is
19 hard to read, but if you are looking at the content?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. "In a conversation with a OB source, we were given information
22 indicating that Raznjatovic, aka Arkan, and the special police in Dalj
23 commanded by Stricevic Milorad are committing unauthorised killings of
24 arrested ZNG members, arresting Croatian individuals and committing
25 certain acts against the same."
1 The date of this is October 18, 1991. And would you agree that
2 this document talks about allegations of very serious offences against
3 prisoners, the murder of prisoners, and it involves Arkan?
4 A. I would have to read it through; and then after that, I can answer
5 your question if I can find it in the text the way I understand it. But--
6 it is a little bit of a problem, but I will try.
7 I've read the first part. I don't know whether we could perhaps
8 scroll down a little bit so I could read the rest of it. Thank you.
9 Q. It might be easier if you read it --
10 A. I've read it. It's fine. I think I can actually handle it this
11 way, and it's really going fine.
12 So can I now have your question.
13 Q. First, are you familiar with the letter? Have you ever seen this
14 letter before or document previously?
15 A. No. I have not seen this document before.
16 Q. And you would agree that it concerns the killing or murder of
17 prisoners by Arkan and his special police?
18 A. Yes. This is what it concerns.
19 Q. And can you look at the last paragraph of the letter, if you read
20 that. I'll read it: "According to the source, after the organs of the
21 new government had been established in Dalj, various cases, a large number
22 of arrested people were killed and their dead bodies were thrown into the
23 Danube. Some of these --"
24 "... A large number of arrested people were killed and their dead
25 bodies were thrown into the Danube. Some of these bodies turn up," and
1 the next word is illegible, "near the park in Dalj on a daily basis."
2 A. Yes. I heard you.
3 Q. That document from the 1st Military District indicates that there
4 is a serious problem in the protection of prisoners in the new government
5 and in the special police or the so-called special police of Arkan.
6 A. According to this document, there is a problem.
7 Q. And would you agree, sir, that any government delegation that
8 includes the murderer and criminal Arkan is one that you would be
9 concerned with and probably would not trust?
10 A. If one had this information when one made one's assessment of this
11 government, one could probably ask one's self whether it is possible to
12 trust this government. But I did not have this document and this is the
13 first time that I see it.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would like
16 to correct the transcript which I think might affect the line of
17 questioning of my colleague.
18 On page 48, line 3, when my learned colleague quoted from the
19 text, page 2 of this document, it is -- he read out that the organs of the
20 new government had been established and the actual text is not the new
21 government but the new authorities, and the word "government" is not
22 really used here in this text.
23 On page 1, special police is mentioned under the command of
24 Stricevic Milorad and not by Arkan. So just to make things clear and to
25 have everything correct.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. If the witness could read on the second page the last paragraph,
4 four lines from the end on the first -- where it says -- the beginning of
5 the last paragraph, [B/C/S spoken]. Could you read it in your language
6 and we'll have the interpreters give the interpretation for confirmation,
8 A. "According to the source, after the establishment of the organs of
9 the new authority, " this is completely illegible now all the way down to
10 the word "process," "a large number of arrested people were killed." So I
11 can't read this part, because it's completely illegible.
12 Q. Your eyesight is better than mine. Thank you.
13 A. Well ...
14 Q. Now, sir, would you also agree that based on the reputation of
15 Arkan, that you would be very concerned about handing over any prisoners
16 to any government that includes the murderer Arkan?
17 A. If I had information that the government does include this
18 murderer, if I knew that for a fact and if I had the information presented
19 here, I would probably be very, very doubtful of that government.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, when they held this meeting, sir, there's been
21 testimony that the JNA was verbally attacked and insulted. Are you aware
22 of that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And there were statements that the locals would not abide by the
25 JNA orders to remove the prisoners to Sremska Mitrovica. Were you aware
1 of that?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And at the meeting, there were also statements that the locals
4 would prevent the JNA from transporting prisoners to Sremska Mitrovica, if
5 necessary, lying down on the road.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And would you agree that any government who speaks in this manner
8 insulting and refusing to abide by the JNA orders, which has Arkan in its
9 delegation, is not a government that you'd have a lot of confidence in.
10 A. If you allow me, I have to give you any opinion now and what my
11 opinion may have been when I was doing all of this.
12 Now that you add these information to the picture, if I had this
13 information, my conclusions would probably have been different. But I
14 have to say things on the basis of what I had at my disposal at the time
15 when I was writing my expert report as an expert. Because in the events
16 that followed, I actually gave my view of that -- please don't now charge
17 me with forgetfulness, I think it was sometime in September of 1993, off
18 the cuff. I'm trying hard to remember things. But it is quite possible
19 that in the whole huge mass of dates, I may be wrong.
20 But it is very easily possible -- it is very easy to make
21 conclusions on all information that there is. But if you have a civil
22 war, then the conclusions are made on the basis of what can see and what
23 one can achieve at a given time. So I was guided by the fact that I have
24 always been guided by is that one should do everything in an area where I
25 have a mixed population to achieve some kind of justice. It is, of
1 course, hard to apply all of this to everything that happened there. But
2 let me just say that I was born in Croatia and I grew up there. And I am
3 very, very familiar with the relations as they obtained in Croatia.
4 They were part of my assessment that this must be stopped. And
5 the possibility how that might be done is presented in the conclusion. I
6 would probably look at those facts in a much more selective manner had I
7 had this information at my disposal, but it is easy now to say that.
8 Q. Okay. I understand, sir. Let's continue on with the government.
9 You would agree that since there were no civilian police, Arkan's special
10 police weren't in Vukovar, that the government needed the local TOs, the
11 local TO to assist in guarding the prisoners.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. But you also know with regard to the local TO you put in your
14 report, and you've mentioned that General Zivota Panic warned of TO
15 retaliation or revenge -- acts of revenge being taken by local TO units.
16 A. Yes. He did warn of that.
17 Q. So even though the TO seemed to be the only group available at the
18 time, you knew that there was still a danger involving the TO?
19 A. In a situation that prevailed in that area and in the wider
20 context, there always was a risk. No solution was risk-free. The
21 question is what was the level of the risk and how one could assess the
23 Q. As part of your work in compiling your report, did you see the
24 document or the letter or the report of Petar Stojic in relation to Cyrus
25 Vance's visit to Vukovar?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Weiner, I did have a look at that.
2 Q. And you know within Cyrus Vance's report on -- it's page 3 in the
3 B/C/S and page 2 in the English. It's tab 24, page 3 in the B/C/S, page 2
4 in the English. This concerns Cyrus Vance's November 19th visit to
5 Vukovar. And if you look down page 3, the third paragraph, and in the
6 English on page 2, the four notes up from the bottom, there are four notes
7 of the different notices that Cyrus Vance gave to Mr. Stojic.
8 The second one, "That the members of volunteer and territorial
9 units are behaving in a manner somewhat unfit for a soldier, and they
10 should be put under control as soon as possible."
11 A. Yes, I see this.
12 Q. So this was Cyrus Vance's view or report or statement to Mr.
13 Stojic one day prior to the evacuation.
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. And not only do we have the November 18th letter from Zivota Panic
16 where it warns of retaliation by the TOs, Cyrus Vance is complaining about
17 unprofessional conduct by the Vukovar TOs and that they should -- and
18 volunteers and that they should be put under control as soon as possible;
20 A. Can I provide a brief comment on this?
21 Q. Certainly, sir.
22 A. You may have noticed that I incorporated this situation in my
23 report. I pointed out the drop in morale and discipline after Vukovar.
24 Some people had started celebrating because they thought that the task had
25 been accomplished. This brought a lot of trouble in terms of military
1 discipline and order, not only trouble for the Territorial Defence, a
2 looser kind of formation than the JNA, but also in the JNA itself. They
3 thought the mission had been completed and they were now allowed more
4 freedom. That's what they thought. And that is why the image that Mr.
5 Vance found when he came there reflected that very moment.
6 However, there is the distinction between unsoldierly appearance
7 and unsoldierly actions that may have been taken, and it seems to be a
8 proven fact. There is a huge distinction, and this is not only about
9 someone's outward unsoldierly appearance. That was the problem for me.
10 So when I talk about that, the question that must be asked is the
11 risky unknowns that occur in every civil war. And in Vukovar, not
12 everything was apparent at first sight, but once the whole thing quietened
13 down, it could have perhaps again made to be tolerable. I'm sorry for
14 taking so long, but this is the essence of my view on this. And the rest
15 may largely be a matter for debate.
16 Q. All right, sir. So we have Zivota Panic letter of the 18th. We
17 have Cyrus Vance's letter of unsoldierly like behaviour. Let's look at
18 Exhibit 341, please, which is 0009-9998 through 9999, tab 5. And on tab
19 5, B/C/S page 2, and the English page 1. On page 1 it's at the bottom
20 under comments, then it says 11.20 comments. In the B/C/S, page 2 it says
21 comments, then it's 11.19 and then 11.20, and then the section on JNA.
22 And this is the second evacuation, not the earlier one where the
23 prisoners were evacuated. This is the evacuation of the sick and wounded.
24 If we look, there's seven points: "No security; many Chetniks; too many
25 officers; only few soldiers; no control; no organising; only a few
1 soldiers to help carry wounded; some Chetniks beat the wounded, shooting
2 in the air, fun; mortar firing from the city."
3 From this, sir -- first, are you familiar with this document?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. And you knew, also based on that document, on the 20th that there
6 were problems with volunteers and TO members?
7 A. In September 1993, I already knew that there had been problems,
8 at least as far as I remember. So it's part of what I was saying. But if
9 you have a situation like that where there is a very sudden transition
10 from a very difficult situation, to a new and unexpected situation,
11 aspects like these are part and parcel of what normally happens.
12 I do apologise, but I do need to go back again. Maybe my own life
13 has contributed to me understanding things the way I understand them, and
14 I only have my own mind to use for thinking.
15 When you have individuals in groups, it's very difficult to
16 exercise any full control over them in situations like these. I did know
17 that things like these had happened, but I also knew that what needed
18 doing was within reach. It was right there for them, and that's why I
19 said that I understood these things to be part of the general euphoria
20 that prevailed. And some people who did what they did got out of hand
21 quite literally.
22 Any civil war is a difficult war. A lot has been written about
23 that, especially in conditions of urban war fare. This incident shows
24 that something got out of hand, got out of control. I observed that, but
25 it certainly was not the rule, rather the exception. That, at least, was
1 my reading of the situation.
2 My view certainly seems to be different.
3 Q. So, sir, would you agree with Zivota Panic's letter of November
4 18th that you were to keep -- that the TO and volunteer units must be kept
5 under JNA control to ensure discipline?
6 A. Yes, I would.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, on the 20th at the barracks, you are aware that
8 they had problems there, that TO members tried to get to the bus -- get to
9 the people on the buses; and that when some 20 to 24 were removed from
10 those buses, that some of them were attacked and beaten. Were you aware
11 of that, sir?
12 A. I wasn't aware of the 20 to 24 persons. I didn't have that or,
13 perhaps, it just escaped my attention, but I was aware of the
14 security-related problems. It's something I read about in the documents;
15 that they were aggressive, that they made for the buses. I did address
16 that in my report, and I qualified that in appropriate terms, I think.
17 That's precisely what I tried to address when speaking about the
18 standards that applied in the barracks. There were the standards and
19 there was behaviour deviating from those standards. That was my position
20 and I think I expressed it with sufficient clarity in my report.
21 Q. And, sir, were you also aware that there were problems at
22 Velepromet, Velepromet holding facility where prisoners were guarded by
23 the local TO and military police? Were you aware of that, sir?
24 A. I didn't know exactly about the problems and the extent of any
25 problems, but that there were problems and disagreements about things that
1 some people did. Yes, that's true. There were problems.
2 Q. Were you aware that a JNA officer testified that he learned of
3 murders having occurred there? On November 19th, he learned of this?
4 A. I'm trying to rummage through my recollection to see what remains
5 of all the things that I read and find out at the time. I'm trying to
6 track down this particular bit of information. . But I must tell you the
7 way you put it, I'm not sure I have ever come across anything like that.
8 But I read about problems being encountered and trying to take charge or
9 take control of certain persons over whom no control was meant to be
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter is not
12 entirely sure that he understood the last portion of the witness's answer.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Sir, the interpreters couldn't fully understand your answer.
15 Could you repeat it, please.
16 A. Fine. That's all right. I will. I knew that there were problems
17 about that. I knew that some people, with no regard to their actual
18 powers or remit, were trying to take charge of certain people, exercise
19 control over certain people and, therefore, clashed with the JNA. As for
20 the latter part of your suggestion, I didn't have anything to indicate
21 that there were more serious things happening than the clashes within
23 I hope that now it's more comprehensible.
24 Q. Thank you. Sir, so you weren't then aware of the testimony that
25 they had a room at Velepromet known as "the room of death."
1 A. This sobriquet, this the room of death is not something that I
2 could explain to myself in this sense of people being killed there. My
3 interpretation was that there were people there who were off limits, so to
4 speak, who couldn't be kept outside in the open, so to speak, and within
5 reach of other people. So that, to me, spelled isolation. That's how I
6 understood this sobriquet.
7 But there are several different ways to interpret that. That was
8 my interpretation, but I didn't exactly manage to read the meaning of this
9 room of death.
10 Q. Well, were you aware that there's been testimony here from
11 civilian witnesses that people were taken out from that room and beaten or
12 disappeared and never -- were never seen again after they left the room of
13 death? Were you aware of that, sir?
14 A. I didn't take that into account. Velepromet was outside the area
15 covered in my expert report in terms of the security function. This was a
16 civilian facility in a neighbourhood in Vukovar where there had been
17 fighting going on. So it might have been somewhat safer, but I wasn't
18 familiar with that evidence; and if I had been familiar with that
19 particular piece of evidence, I probably would have been better able to
20 draw more conclusions and to know more about this.
21 Q. One more mention of that. Were you aware that there was testimony
22 from Colonel Vujic that he notified Colonel Mrksic and Major Sljivancanin
23 of murders at Velepromet on November 20th -- or, actually, Mrksic in the
24 late evening of November 19th, and Sljivancanin on the early morning hours
25 of November 20th, of the murders at Velepromet.
1 A. Colonel Vujic? Colonel Vujic saying that, you mean?
2 Q. Yes. Were you aware of that testimony?
3 A. I must say that I was not aware of that testimony. Not like that.
4 Not that very portion.
5 Q. Will you agree, sir, based on the exhibits and based on the
6 testimony that -- some of them you hadn't seen until just recently or
7 heard until recently, would you agree that based on that, on what happened
8 on the 18th, 19th and 20th of November, that it was dangerous to place the
9 prisoners under the guard of the Vukovar TO after having seen what they
10 did downtown, what they did at the barracks, and the allegations of
11 murders and beatings at Velepromet?
12 A. Now we are talking about this, and we have all the facts assembled
13 in one place. We have all the knowledge resulting from those facts,
14 stemming from those facts. So now certainly, yes, I would tend to agree.
15 Q. And, sir, you also are aware, having read a portion of Chief of
16 Staff Danilovic's report, that the hangars at Ovcara were not a safe place
17 for the prisoners either. That portion I read a while ago in the earlier
18 session when we talked about the barracks not being safe?
19 A. Yes. Yes. In the first part of my answer to that question, I
20 said this, roughly speaking: Virtually throughout the Vukovar area, there
21 was no really safe place at all. The question was which is safer and
22 which is less safe? But you have to make an on-the-spot assessment, and I
23 can hardly put myself in those shoes and answer that question.
24 I do agree that there was hardly a truly safe place anywhere in
25 the Vukovar area or any places that were safer than others in relative
2 Q. Now, sir, there is uncontested testimony from both JNA and
3 civilian witnesses that in the early afternoon of November 20th when the
4 buses arrived at Ovcara, local TO members and others formed a gauntlet.
5 And that the prisoners had to run through that gauntlet and were beaten
6 with fists, feet, and objects, sticks and metal bars. Were you aware of
7 that testimony?
8 A. I was, about the gauntlet. And regarding the overall situation in
9 the barracks, that is consistent and dramatic.
10 Q. And based on this testimony, would you agree with Colonel Panic
11 that there was a serious danger to the prisoners at Ovcara at that time?
12 A. I would agree with Colonel Panic regarding the danger to the
13 prisoners, but I would not agree with the way he reacted to that danger.
14 Q. Well, would you agree that action should have been taken to
15 protect the prisoners?
16 A. Most certainly so, especially considering the fact that all those
17 who were meant to be taking measures were all there.
18 Q. And would you also agree with Colonel Panic's statement, it's
19 paragraph 93 in his report -- in his statement to the Office of the
20 Prosecutor, that Colonel Mrksic -- page 25 in the B/C/S -- actually, it
21 begins on 24, tab 26, paragraph 93.
22 A. Just a minute, please.
23 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
25 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The expert is
1 being shown witness statements that are not part of evidence here. There
2 is a witness who gave a testimony, and I think in this way, material is
3 being inserted into the expert report that is not part of evidence in this
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. -- Excuse me -- Mr. Weiner, you seem to be
6 putting a statement of somebody to the witness to read. It's not
7 testimony of that witness. Now what is your basis for doing this?
8 MR. WEINER: It was easier to do it where you could read it in
9 front of him, rather than me reading the testimony from trial. The
10 testimony appears on pages 14473 to 14474. This way he can read it in his
12 JUDGE PARKER: The difficulty, Mr. Weiner, is the possibility that
13 the evidence of the witness is not in accordance with the statement. I
14 haven't sought to compare them.
15 MR. WEINER: I can just as easily read it from the transcript.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I think that would be more reliable.
17 MR. WEINER: That's fine, Your Honour.
18 Q. I'm going to read from the transcript.
19 "On November 20th, 1991," this is page 14473, line 23 down.
20 "On the 20th of November, 1991, Colonel Mrksic had all the
21 information necessary to make appropriate decisions to ensure the safety
22 of prisoners from the Vukovar Hospital. There were no interruptions of
23 the system of command,"
24 The next page 14474, "... in the system of control command and
25 control or the reporting system that could have prevented him from
1 receiving the most recent information that day. Considering my feelings
2 about the local Serbian TO, and the fact that Colonel Mrksic knew about
3 the threat to the safety of the prisoners posed by the local TO, he could
4 have used units of the Guards Motorised Brigade to neutralise or eliminate
5 this threat. The local Serbian TO was no match for the Guards Motorised
7 The witness said, "yes."
8 "Is that what you said?"
10 "Q. So according to your statement, you advised Colonel Mrksic
11 of the threat to the safety of those prisoners, and nothing was done to
12 neutralise or eliminate the in threat; isn't that correct?"
13 "A. I told him and I think he reacted. I think he did send some
14 people to Ovcara, but I cannot be certain about it and I don't know any
16 Sir, would you agree with that testimony that there was a serious
17 threat, that Mrksic could have sent the Guards Motorised Brigade to
18 neutralise or eliminate that threat?
19 A. The threat addressed by Lieutenant-Colonel Panic in his evidence
20 means that he was aware of that same threat when he was Chief of Staff of
21 the operations group at Ovcara himself, which means that he should have
22 been better able to see all of it, and to see more, perhaps, than those
23 who came after him to assess the situation.
24 So it's not a communication problem. It's an intervention
25 problem. That is the answer that an expert can give you. Everything else
1 outside that decision is outside my field as an expert.
2 The fact really is what Panic says as a witness, but he is
3 personally involved. He is one of the players in that situation, and I
4 can hardly be expected to say more than I'm saying at the time because
5 then we would have to have a whole new analysis.
6 I'm sorry if I'm not quite hitting the nail on the head or not
7 answering some part of your question. Because if you explain what more
8 you expect me to answer, I will be more than happy to provide any further
9 answers that I can, perhaps, provide.
10 Q. Okay?
11 MR. WEINER: Okay, sir. Your Honour, two more areas to cover.
12 Would you like to take the break now, or should I start the next to last
14 JUDGE PARKER: We will take the break now. We will resume at a
15 quarter to.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Weiner.
19 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
20 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. Let's try and finish up today in the next half-hour, 45 minutes.
23 On page 63 in the English, paragraph 13.2, which is below footnote
24 128, you indicate that the Vukovar TO was subordinated to OG South during
25 part of the day of November 20th. Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, on the next page at 64 in the English at 13.4, you indicate
3 that the TO was removed from OG South and then became under the command of
4 the SAO SWBS government; isn't that correct?
5 A. Just a moment.
6 Q. Certainly.
7 A. Yes. Yes, it says this here.
8 Q. And you must agree, sir, that there are no writings or documents
9 stating that the Vukovar TO was removed from OG South and was now under
10 the command of the SAO SWBS government; isn't that correct?
11 A. This can be concluded from what is written here in this text. The
12 text is written in such a way that -- indicating that there were no
13 written documents, but that the approval meant that this task could be
14 carried out only if the TO were to no longer be subordinate to OG South
15 for the period of time that the government needed it.
16 The report states that, although in slightly different terms, so
17 that it's an issue of language and style, that there were no documents.
18 Q. Now, you do indicate on page 67 of the English, section D, that
19 there was, in fact, an order which is provided in the Guards Motorised
20 Brigade OG South war diary at 2.00 in the morning on November 21st. And
21 that is the order to resubordinate the TO.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, sir, you didn't mention it in your report. But were you
24 aware that four hours later at 6.00 in the morning of November 21st, there
25 is an order from OG South to resubordinate the Vuka TO and Leva Supoderica
1 units? It's tab 13 in your book. It's Exhibit 422. Were you aware of
2 that, sir?
3 A. I was aware of that and this did not contradict the first part of
4 the statements that we read about it no longer being part of the OG South,
5 and I can give you an explanation if you want.
6 Q. Well, if you look at it, first, before you give the explanation,
7 it says:
8 "Vukovar TO units to be resubordinated to the 80th Motorised
9 Brigade and will continue with carrying out the assigned tasks: The
10 provision of security, the patrol of captured areas in Vukovar with an
11 emphasis on the most sensitive facilities: Municipality, post office,
12 SUP, educational and cultural facilities."
13 This document makes clear that the Vukovar TO unit was
14 resubordinated from OG South to the 80th Motorised Brigade?
15 A. Okay. In fact, now you're asking me to give the explanation that
16 could have followed the first one, but this is all about the time line of
17 events and the participants in those events. So now we have to follow
18 this very closely and carefully to see how I was able to reach my
20 "First of all, the conclusion was that the government has no other
21 units, apart from the Territorial Defence. Next, if this unit carries out
22 its task, even if it's for just one hour under the jurisdiction of the
23 government because it is a territory-based unit in Vukovar that is under
24 the jurisdiction of the authorities."
25 I am now not going into what this government or authorities were
1 like but just what the regulations were.
2 "In the period while it is performing the tasks outside of OG
3 South for the purposes of the government, regardless of whether there is a
4 written order to that effect, de facto, this time period is the time
5 period during which the unit is not under the control of OG South but
6 under the control of the authorities."
7 "Once this task is completed, the command may issue a document or,
8 rather, pursuant to the same document, the command can still dispose of
9 this unit as it sees fit, because there was no document issued contrary to
11 So this is the time line of the events. Written like this, it
12 doesn't look like that because you have one part of the events that are
13 recorded in documents and another part that actually took place in real
14 life and, hence, this discrepancy that appears here in my expert report.
15 Q. Sir, your conclusion here is little more than speculation because
16 there are no documents supporting what you say. There's no writings and,
17 in fact, the writings all indicate that the Territorial Defence unit was
18 subordinated to OG South, and then they resubordinated the unit on the
19 20th, the 21st and the 22nd, which is what all the documents state. I'm
20 sorry, the 21st and the 22nd.
21 A. Then our interpretations are different. I spoke about the time
22 lines comparing it to the documents. So the interpretation was about how
23 things came about. I was not trying to speculate. I was merely trying to
24 follow the time line of the events, which indicates that the documents --
25 that the events followed each other in this way. Anybody can understand
1 it the way one wants.
2 But in order to see how the Territorial Defence actually
3 functioned in light of its position, this time line of the events
4 corresponds to the circumstances as they prevailed. I cannot now go into
5 judging those circumstances, whether they were good or bad, because this
6 is not up to me, of course. The picture that you may have may differ from
7 this one. But the way this functioned, I think it was in line about the
8 actual capabilities that existed there.
9 So this is my interpretation and it does not go beyond this.
10 Q. Sir, but you must admit: Earlier today you've testified that you
11 were going to testify about doctrine, rules and regulations. Now you're
12 testifying not upon doctrine but upon facts as you see them.
13 A. It is based on the doctrine because the doctrine made it possible
14 for these things to happen. The doctrine provided for two different
15 elements that functioned separately on different levels, but together as
16 part of the -- as part of the armed forces, the JNA, and the Territorial
17 Defence. And the TO would be brought closer to the JNA when necessary.
18 So you can see the doctrine at work right here. The only thing is this
19 was not expressed in the written form.
20 Q. And you know, sir, knowing rules and regulations, to resubordinate
21 a unit, you have to have a writing.
22 A. As a rule, this has to be done in writing, and the resubordination
23 was done in writing. The only thing that was not done in writing was the
24 performance of the -- of an ad hoc task that was not done in writing, but
25 the state of facts could be seen from the actual state of affairs, what
1 happened there.
2 Q. But you must admit all that the writings indicate that the
3 Territorial Defence unit were subordinated to the JNA on the 20th, the
4 21st, and the 22nd.
5 A. Mr. Weiner, the easiest thing for an expert to do is to read a
6 document, but he needs to know the doctrine and to know what was actually
7 going on. I really tried to understand the doctrine here. I had studied
8 it before. It doesn't follow that the events really conform to the
9 doctrine very closely, but that is one way of looking at things.
10 Q. Because you know that -- you understand that from the 21st on,
11 every document relating to resubordination, which you don't seem to
12 mention any of them in your report, all indicate the Territorial Defence
13 unit was part of OG South and then the 80th Motorised Brigade.
14 A. I did not deal with the command and control, until the point when
15 I realised that an interpretation needed to be given that could be
16 understood from the point of view of the doctrine in light of the fact
17 that there was no full explanation. That is why I focused my attention to
18 a certain degree to that. But the answer needed to be given to the
19 question why was there this second document on the resubordination.
20 Because if there had been, if it had been part of the OG South,
21 then there would have been no need for this document. It was obvious that
22 the TO had been removed from OG South and then had to be brought back. On
23 the basis of this, I concluded that the Territorial Defence is now being
24 brought back as part of some kind of resubordination.
25 So there is a gap there.
1 Q. Sir, can you identify what second document are you referring to?
2 Because I didn't see any second document referred to in your report. You
3 said the second document, "why there was there is this second document on
4 the resubordination, if it had been part of OG South." Maybe it's just a
5 translation issue.
6 A. It is possible. I wanted to say that the previous documents, the
7 combat orders, state that the local TO was active as part of OG South.
8 This meant that it was subordinate or resubordinated to the command of the
9 OG South. As such, until this task, it was under the command of OG South,
10 the task that I described here and that I determined to be the point when,
11 in the actual fact, the TO left OG South.
12 Then there was this second order that restored the state of facts
13 to the status quo ante. I think that we misunderstand each other, because
14 the doctrine has to be interpreted very carefully and that is probably one
15 of the problems that we have. That is the only explanation that I have;
16 perhaps, I'm not really very good at conveying it.
17 Q. Sir, you said on page 68, line 13: "Then there was this second
18 order that restored the state of facts to the status quo ante."
19 Sir, we haven't seen any second order restoring the state of
20 facts, as you would say, in this case. Do you have some document that
21 hasn't been used as an exhibit in this case that you are referring to?
22 Because we've never seen any such document here.
23 A. I cannot really find my way because there seemed to be some
24 differences in the way you quote the page references than I do so. Can we
25 now maybe first determine where the quote is, and then we can go on to the
2 Q. I'm reading from your testimony, page 68, line 13: "Then there
3 was this second order that restored the state of facts to the status quo
4 ante." Where is this second order and what is this second order, because
5 we've never seen it here in this courtroom.
6 In fact, sir, if I could -- once you start what's known is if you
7 want to call it the resubordination section, the only order you refer to
8 is on page 67. And it's not an order, it's the order which is referred to
9 in the war diary. There's no other references to any document or any war
10 diary or anything in relation to resubordination of the TO. There aren't
11 any references in your report. So I'm just wondering what is this second
12 order that you've used as a source, because it's not an exhibit in this
14 A. Now there seems to be a slightly bigger misunderstanding. In the
15 first part, I said that when it comes to the TO, this is it: The initial
16 state was that the Territorial Defence was part of Operations Group South.
17 This can be seen not from the order, but from the combat documents
18 engaging it. As such, these documents are sufficient to make one
19 understand that they -- that it was part of OG South. This was the
20 factual state and that can be seen from the documents.
21 Then, I said that while it was performing tasks for the government
22 that, in practical terms, it no longer was part of OG South for the
23 duration of the performance of the task; and then there was the second
24 order that we just went through together resubordinating the Territorial
25 Defence as stated in the document. This is the time line that I tried to
2 Now, whether there were any other shifts here in the events or
3 terminology, I cannot really clarify that because I don't have everything
4 at my disposal. But this is the gist of what I said. This is what I
5 said. This is what I meant, but probably the context was not complete.
6 Q. But, sir, you must agree as you stated: You can't resubordinate a
7 unit without paper, and there was no writings that indicated that that
8 unit was removed from the command of OG South and placed under the command
9 of the government. Isn't that correct?
10 A. It would be so if these were the organic parts, elements of the
11 JNA units, but the TO, in establishment terms, was not an organic element
12 of the JNA. So when you have a doctrine that divided the JNA from the TO
13 and made both of them independent formations - General Kadijevic spoke
14 about that in his book, his view of the breakdown - there are some
15 differences of opinion here, but we can, in fact, have a debate whether a
16 written document should follow when the TO is subordinated or
17 resubordinated. But I am now talking from the position of an expert in
18 these matters regarding the JNA and the TO and their relationship.
19 Q. But sir, your expertise, as you've stated earlier, as is to
20 security organs, it's not to command and control and resubordination;
21 isn't that correct?
22 A. This part actually butted into the sphere of security in an
23 indirect way; and as a consequence, I had to deal with it in my report.
24 If necessary, we can actually remove it from the expert report. But I do
25 believe that it provided some further clarifications for the security
1 issues discussed in the report.
2 Q. Thank you. Sir, yesterday, you were asked a question by Mr.
3 Domazet about the exchange of prisoners in the 1st Military District's
4 authorisation of exchanges. Do you recall that yesterday?
5 A. I remember it was signed by General Stojanovic, as far as I can
7 Q. And, sir, were you aware that there was an agreement signed
8 between the nation of Croatia or the government of the Republic of Croatia
9 and the JNA on November 6th in relation to the exchange of prisoners?
10 A. I was not aware of this agreement or its contents, so I cannot
11 really give you my opinion from where I am now.
12 MR. WEINER: May the witness please be shown 3D05-0161 in the
13 B/C/S. And in the English, 3D05-0163. 3D05-0161, B/C/S. 3D05-0163.
14 Could you move it down a bit. There's an intro paragraph and then
15 it has the agreement. Yes.
16 Q. Do you see where it says "agreement" in the middle?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And you see one, paragraph one, if you can move it down a little.
19 Thank you.
20 "Both sides concur that they will exchange all prisoners or
21 persons deprived of their liberty on the principle of all for all."
22 A. Yes. Yes, I read it.
23 Q. And in the second paragraph, .
24 "The term prisoner shall be held to include all persons deprived
25 of their liberty who are in prisons, detention facilities, or prison
1 camps, regardless of whether criminal or any other proceedings have been
2 initiated against them, indictments issued, or a final judgement or first
3 instant delivered, regardless of the territory in which they are located
4 or the place they were taken prisoner, deprived of freedom, suffered
5 restrictions of movements, or held hostage."
6 If you -- it continues with 13 paragraphs and if you could bring
7 it down to the bottom, it's signed in November. Do you have page 2?
8 Signed on the 6th of November at Zagreb; Lieutenant General Andrija Raseta
9 and Deputy Minister for Defence Ivan Milas. And this document was issued
10 by the Federal Secretary of National Defence information service.
11 Would you agree, sir, that it wasn't the 1st Military District
12 that determined exchanges. Based on this agreement, it was the Federal
13 Secretary of National Defence pursuant to an agreement.
14 A. Yes. It is correct that he was the Federal Secretary of National
15 Defence and the signatories of this agreement have been empowered to do
16 so, because Raseta could not have done that without the approval of his
17 superiors. This is the principle of chain of command and the
18 responsibility for what one does. So I agree with you, yes.
19 The 1st Military District did not have all the powers to deal with
20 the prisoners as it saw fit.
21 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
22 I'd like to offer that, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 869, Your Honours.
25 MR. WEINER:
1 Q. I'd like to cover one last issue, area, or topic with you. And it
2 concerns page 67 of your report in the English, just after footnote 145.
3 It starts -- that's the section known as events after the evacuation of
4 the hospital. That's the section of your -- and if you could turn to
5 paragraph 6 of that section which is on page 68. In the English, it's
6 right at the bottom, the last two lines. It goes into page 69 just above
7 your conclusion. Basically to save -- why don't you take a look at it
9 To summarise it, to save some time, it basically says that you
10 couldn't find any documents indicating that the security organ was aware
11 of the massacre at Ovcara, and that it was your conclusion that the
12 massacre was covered up from the security organ. Isn't that correct?
13 A. I think -- oh, yes, that's a totally different thing. Now I see
14 your point. The documents indicate that the sources and what should have
15 been the basis for the operation of the security organs were not open
16 enough for the activities to actually start. I have an example for that,
17 but I will not go into that, maybe later on if the need arises.
18 It is stated here that the sources of the security organs were the
19 JNA. If they did not share the information in such a way that it was
20 impossible for the activities to start right away, then there was this
21 problem that the security organs had to deal with short-term or long-term.
22 This was the principle of social self-protection which was a widespread
23 principle that prevailed at that time, and that was the basis that the
24 security organs used to actually be able to operate as security organs.
25 The problems occurred when, at the first stage of social
1 self-protection, there was some resistance or some obstacles put to the
2 inflow of information. And that is why this is put in here both on the
3 basis of the experience, and this is by way of an example, when there
4 couldn't have been a response of any kind. And that's all there is here.
5 Q. Just very briefly, if the security organ received information that
6 a massacre had occurred, that murders had occurred, what were they
7 supposed to do? What was it their duty to do, as briefly as possible?
8 A. Well, if you look at my previous answer, that suggests what the
9 next step would be if they had information telling them whether to start
10 operative work or not. If the Chamber allows, I might be able to give an
11 explanation to show what sort of difficulty may arise. It's of a purely
12 procedural nature, and it does have a bearing on my report.
13 Q. It's fine. Please.
14 A. May I? You showed me the report sent by General Babic to the
15 security administration. This is a typical example of how certain events
16 are not recorded the way they should be. Information was conveyed that
17 was reliable, if indeed it was reliable, which would have had to elicit a
18 reaction from whoever had obtained this particular piece of information.
19 General Babic had Arkan in his own territory that he was
20 responsible for. He writes this document. He sends it off to the
21 security administration without specifying whether he in fact informed his
22 own commander. Now what does that mean? I'm taking us back to square
23 one, where we left off.
24 If the security organ had retrieved reliable information, such
25 information as General Babic had retrieved, they would have had to send
1 their own commander and send a report to their superior command, but
2 there's nothing reliable that I can cross based on which I would have been
3 entitled to say that the security organs had sufficient information
4 available to them to do what they did.
5 So there is your explanation for why the situation was the way it
7 Q. Now, sir, you're familiar with the names or some of the personnel
8 who were in the security organ in the Guards Motorised Brigade Operations
9 Group South. You're familiar with some of the people or at least their
11 A. I must say I became familiar with those names later, but I wasn't
12 earlier on. One of them may have attended the -- one of my lectures. As
13 for any previous meetings, I told you about the previous meetings;
14 Bojinovic there, Sljivancanin here. I'm trying to remember if I can
15 remember anyone else, but I don't think that really matters. But not
16 prior to that, no, I hadn't seen anyone.
17 Q. Now, Major Vukasinovic served as the assistant head of staff for
18 security, are you aware of that? And that's probably not the number one,
19 but the number two deputy under Major Sljivancanin.
20 A. Yes. Yes, I do know that.
21 Q. Are you aware that he testified in this court that on the morning
22 of November 21st, he was advised that the people at Ovcara had disappeared
23 and were taken away or murdered. Were you aware of that testimony?
24 A. I was not aware of that testimony. But now that you've told me
25 about it, perhaps I could comment. May I? Excellent.
1 If indeed Major Vukasinovic stated that, for me, as a
2 counter-intelligence and security officer, the question would be: How did
3 he use that information? What did he do next? Did he write it down? Did
4 he pass it on to his superior? Did he pass this along followed by advice
5 on what to do next? Because that would be the correct procedure followed
6 by any security officer.
7 Q. Now, were you aware, sir, that Major Vukasinovic's deputy in the
8 security organ of OG South was Mile Bozic? Were you aware of that?
9 A. Vukasinovic. I think Vukasinovic could not have had a deputy. He
10 was a desk officer. I don't think there were any deputies there. That's
11 a different thing, assistants, yes, perhaps. I don't know. I didn't
12 study Mile Bozic's position. He didn't seem that important. He was
13 inside a security organ that was run by Veselin Sljivancanin, and I didn't
14 go into those relationships.
15 Q. Sir, were you aware that there is testimony that Captain Bozic
16 heard about the murders or disappearance on November 21st and advised
17 Major Vukasinovic of that -- of the disappearance of the prisoners? And
18 that's at page 15048 is that testimony.
19 A. I wasn't aware of what Bozic had told Vukasinovic, but again, we
20 are back with Vukasinovic, his work and his responsibilities. That's
21 where the matter lies. And we have the same thing now as we did when you
22 previously told me that Vukasinovic had known that he had been informed.
23 Yes, but the question is: What next? Okay. We are with Vukasinovic. I
24 want to see if we can push it further from there, if we can sort of detach
25 ourselves from Vukasinovic and move further.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't mean to interrupt this thread,
3 one correction though. When Mr. Vukasinovic testified, Mile Bozic was not
4 described as his deputy in the security organ, but as his deputy in his
5 capacity as the Negoslavci town commander. The question might have been
6 different. He testified about himself being from the military police, so
7 this is a role totally outside the security organ.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
9 MR. WEINER: I'm just reading from the transcript.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. WEINER: I'm just reading from the transcript: "Your deputy's
12 name?" "Captain Bozic Mile."
13 Q. Let's continue, sir. Sir, you must agree, based on this
14 testimony, that at least one member or more of the security organ of the
15 Guards Motorised Brigade, OG South, did become aware on the morning of
16 November 21st of the disappearance of prisoners and possible murder. That
17 it wasn't withheld with them, because one has testified here that he knew
18 about it.
19 A. One or more is a great deal of difference when speaking about a
20 security organ. The way I see it, Bozic was not a security officer, not a
21 member of the security organ. He was the deputy town commander, deputy to
22 Ljubisa Vukasinovic at Negoslavci, which was a position well outside the
23 security organ. I can't help asking myself, why was Vukasinovic a town
24 commander. But let's leave it for the time being.
25 What's the difference between one person knowing and many people
1 knowing? What's the difference about that? Well, let's discuss that.
2 What if one person knew, what did they do about it? I don't know. What
3 can I say? What I heard, I heard from you. I commented on that. I can
4 hardly be expected to provide an answer to that question, which means he
5 took note of this and that's the way it was.
6 Q. Sir, you placed in your statement that the matter was covered up
7 from the security organ. Major Vukasinovic's testimony indicates that he
8 wasn't [as interpreted]. That he was told on the morning of November
9 21st, 1991.
10 That he was told. It says that he wasn't told.
11 A. When I say about knowledge, what the security organs knew, I look
12 at Sljivancanin's position because he's in charge of the security organ.
13 What doesn't get as far as the chief of the security organ in terms of
14 verified information confirmed, if you like, or corroborated, is not
15 something that that part of the organisational part of the security organ
16 deals with, but rather which ever individual receives it.
17 The problem is if this is now done, this is no longer useful for
18 the security organ. I'm talking about useful information, information
19 that can be used, information that can be used to start an activity. This
20 is a passive attitude and allows for no action. Now, for me, as an
21 expert, this is a problem. Are there any aspects, I don't know, I can't
22 answer that. As an expert, I do know that as long as information is not
23 used to start an activity, it must remain closed somewhere. Reserved, if
24 you like.
25 Q. Sir, you were shown a number of documents. Did anyone ever show
1 you Major Vukasinovic's statement before the military prosecutor in
2 Belgrade? Did anyone ever show you that statement?
3 A. I wasn't shown that statement, Mr. Weiner. I wasn't shown that
4 statement and I didn't read it. Therefore, I can say with full
5 responsibility that I have no idea what he said in that statement.
6 Q. Because he says: "We found out that all the persons on Ovcara had
7 disappeared during the night and that their destiny was unknown."
8 So no one showed you that statement in relation to Major
10 A. Nobody has ever shown me this statement. But it would be
11 interesting if they said for example, we discovered; and then that "we,"
12 we can see what the "we" is, who the "we" is, because this is a nameless
13 way of speaking. Naming no names. What does that mean? "We did."
14 "We are." We have to know who discovered or who disclosed what and who
15 took part in that or who was involved. I don't think this would allow me
16 to do what I would truly like to do, to see whether that was started. And
17 this "we." This "we" is what constitutes the problem in this case.
18 Q. We've had other testimony in this case. We've had testimony from
19 a Defence witness who was one of the higher members of the Guards
20 Motorised Brigade, who learned of the murders on November 21st and the
21 22nd as the soldiers and the officers at the command were discussing it.
22 Were you aware of that, sir? That's on page 12442. Were you aware of
23 that testimony, sir?
24 A. No. But I'm talking about what was found in the security organs.
25 What circulated without ever reaching the security organs is not something
1 that I, as an expert, can include as one of the things that have to do
2 with the security organ. I think my position, the position that I'm
3 trying to speak about is very clear. I'm talking about information that
4 eventually reached the security organ and that may have been circulated
5 among people but concealed to prevent anybody from knowing about this
7 If anybody knew about this, I would have had to find it somewhere
8 in the security organ. That's why my position is what it is, and this
9 position is based on elements that were available to me.
10 Q. But you must accept, sir, that it couldn't have been hidden from
11 the security organ if the number two deputy to Major Sljivancanin knew
12 about it on the morning of November 21st. Isn't that correct?
13 A. Allow me, sir. Again, I'm supposed to be an expert and not
14 somebody who is on the spot and tries to tell what each individual is
15 doing. I don't have those elements.
16 As an expert, we can sit side-by-side, and you, for example, are
17 never able to find out something that I simply don't want to tell you. It
18 is not to be ruled out that Major Vukasinovic did know about that. But I
19 can't say that he did anything for that to become general knowledge in the
20 security organ forks someone to start something, for someone to do
21 something about it. So that's the real problem for me. I just can't ...
22 Knowledge, you say, of at least one of them knew, well, I accept
23 one of them knew, that may as well be right.
24 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic.
1 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours. I
2 hope that my learned friend has concluded. I believe there is an error on
3 page 79, lines 22 through 23, when my learned friend quoted from what was
4 stated at page 12442 of the transcript. He says that this was stated by
5 one of the higher ranking officers of the Guards Motorised Brigade. When
6 in fact, this is Danilovic, chief of the staff of the 80th Motorised
7 Brigade. So that's the only discrepancy. Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may. If I may
9 comment on this, because that directly concerns my answer.
10 MR. WEINER: It should read 80th Motorised Brigade. It should be.
11 Q. Let me ask you a question related to that. The command of the
12 80th Motorised Brigade and the command of the Guards Motorised Brigade
13 were both located in Negoslavci; isn't that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. And we know when we're talking about Negoslavci, we're not dealing
16 with a metropolis. We're not talking about London, Tokyo, New York City.
17 We're dealing with a small village; correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. And if the officers and soldiers of the 80th are discussing it,
20 there's nothing preventing the officers and soldiers of the Guards
21 Motorised Brigade to be knowing what's going on; wouldn't you agree?
22 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
23 A. Well, you know, all right, I must look at that relationship in
24 light of what it actually was. There was a very serious duality, and I
25 did state there was this really serious move that indicated that this
1 event was not really something that was much rumoured at the time by
2 persons who were there. No matter of these persons were persons that just
3 happened to get wind of something or actually knew something more about
5 From the point of view of security work and responsible and
6 serious behaviour, we don't have a single element indicating that the
7 link-ups and the behaviour was such, in terms of the establishment, in
8 terms of the practicalities and everything else, to indicate that there
9 was that degree of closeness or a close-knit relationship. I've never
10 come across anything like that. You say such knowledge was possible.
11 Maybe it was possible, but this is the sort of event that people would not
12 too easily start talking about unconfirmed, unverified stories. I know
13 that based on my experience, and I know that based on very specific data
15 Was that possible? Well that's a problem for us to tackle. In
16 some other way, a third way, a fourth way, or a fifth way for this to
17 spread, I really can't say. The environment is gone. It's gone forever.
18 We can't recreate the original environment. Since I can't recreate the
19 original environment, there is no way I can possibly see if any omissions
20 or mistakes were made or not.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Please, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think the question was speculative
23 and the answer is now speculative. It's no use to us now. The witness
24 was asked to speculate and that's just as good as the answer was.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Carry on, Mr. Weiner. You've heard the force of
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Sir, isn't it the job of security organ to go out and find
4 information? Not just to sit and wait for a telephone call from a source.
5 It's their job to go out and seek information. Isn't that correct, sir?
6 A. That's correct. That's quite correct. I'm not talking about
7 that. I'm not saying that they did a good job or didn't do a good job or
8 whether, indeed, such information was available at all. That's a
9 different kettle of fish. We might talk about that if you like. It's
10 about evaluating the professional abilities of whoever is involved, but
11 the situation I found is the situation I found.
12 So between what could have been done and between what was
13 eventually done is this: I did not come across anything to indicate that
14 any information that was available was available in such a way as to give
15 rise as to give sufficient reason for anyone to start an action. Was this
16 sort of information available or not? Well, that's a question which
17 remains for me without an answer.
18 Why? Because I never ventured upon a hypothesis like that not
19 knowing the environment or the brigade that left. And now this gives a
20 totally different set of references on my work. So that's a different
21 question and it requires a different answer, and I'm afraid this is an
22 answer which I'm not well able to provide.
23 MR. WEINER: Can we go into private session, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
25 [Private session]
11 Page 15880 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Lukic, you had an objection.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This question, again, calls for
18 speculation. Mr. Weiner fails to identify, although we were in private
19 session, where these persons might have heard what he thinks they heard.
20 That's in relation to what he was saying about Mr. Vukasinovic. If that's
21 the question, then I think we're well outside the scope of what this
22 witness, as an expert witness, might be able to tell us.
23 JUDGE PARKER: The proposition being questioned is an assertion in
24 the report of the experts that information of these matters were being
25 kept from the security organ. So questioning which identified those who
1 had a connection with the security organ who, in their evidence here, have
2 said they know of it or knew of it at the time on the morning of the 21st
3 of November is appropriate.
4 Now, Mr. Weiner, it's got a little trouble, but I'm sure Mr. Lukic
5 has some re-examination. That being so, we must adjourn for the day to
6 continue tomorrow at 9.00. And in view of that confusion, if you find in
7 the morning that you haven't quite finished, we would allow you to
8 continue just a little more. Otherwise, we treat you as having finished
9 your cross-examination.
10 MR. WEINER: He didn't answer the last question, so I'm not
11 finished until the answer, Your Honour okay. Thank you.
12 JUDGE PARKER: We adjourn until tomorrow resuming at 9.00 in the
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
16 December, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.