1 Tuesday, 27 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice. How long do you anticipate being?
7 MR. NICE: I hope half an hour.
8 WITNESS: REYNAUD THEUNENS [Resumed]
9 Examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
10 Q. With an eye to the index, we now having read from the executive
11 summary in respect of your Bosnian report, does the Bosnian report start
12 with a section on the JNA support to the Bosnian Serb defence structure
13 and then go on to deal with the JNA's transition to the VJ and the VRS?
14 A. Your Honours, that's correct. It starts -- the Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 part starts at paragraph 15 of the executive summary.
16 Q. We've already looked at -- we've already gone through the
17 executive summary yesterday. So in the report itself, I'm going to take
18 you straight to part 3 because the first two parts speak adequately for
19 themselves. Part 3 is the VJ support to the VRS, and in this part of your
20 report you'd like us, I think, to focus, first of all, at page 18; is that
21 correct? Or, no, not 18, more 21, but if we look at page 18 and then go
22 to 21, one matter you want to draw to our attention.
23 A. That's correct, Your Honours. From page 18 on, the report deals
24 with operational support. That means the involvement of VJ units, combat
25 units, in operations on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina after the
1 formal withdrawal of the JNA in May 1992.
2 Q. And at page 21, in paragraph 44, is there a particular reference
3 to war booty that merits some attention?
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours. Now we also have an exhibit, if you prefer
5 to show that, or I can also comment on --
6 Q. The exhibit being number --
7 A. I apologise. It's not among the list. I can comment from the
8 report. It's document which was already introduced in court by another
9 witness. It emanates from the MUP, so the Ministry of Interior, local
10 department, police department in the area of Bajina Basta, so on the
11 border area with Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it allows for the passage of war
12 booty. The war booty as such is not so important but it refers also to an
13 agreement with Colonel -- exactly General, excuse me, General Mile Mrksic,
14 commander of Tactical Group 1, VJ Tactical Group 1. Now the use the term
15 "war booty" indicates that the unit, the Tactical Group 1 has been
16 involved in military operations and these military operations must have
17 taken place on the other side of the border, i.e., in Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 because usually you don't seize war booty from your own territory you
20 Q. Moving on to the section that deals with operations outside of
21 Sarajevo. It's in the general section of Sarajevo but it's in the
22 subsection areas outside of Sarajevo on page 26, please, and at paragraph
24 MR. NICE: It's the bottom of the page, if the usher would be so
1 Q. Under Pancir -- it may be that you want page 20 --
2 A. 26, Your Honours.
3 Q. 26. I mistook and said 27. It's 26. We have here a passage on
4 Pancir. Explanation and comment please, Mr. Theunens.
5 A. In the report, there is a particular attention for -- or in the
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina section of the report, there is particular attention
7 for the operations around Sarajevo taken into account its importance on
8 the -- or its impacts on the overall situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 during the conflict, and this particular section deals with an operation
10 during which, according to a document, an order we have from the
11 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, so from the VRS unit in the area, a document
12 indicating the involvement of 120 specials from the VJ.
13 Now, "specials" would normally be a term that is used for special
14 forces, and based on analysis of other military documents, including
15 orders of battle of the VJ, these people are most likely members of the VJ
16 special forces corps, and therefore they would belong to one of the three
17 main units of that special forces corps, namely they could belong to the
18 Guards Brigade or the 63rd Parachute Brigade, or the 72nd Assault and
19 Strike Brigade.
20 There's also a Armoured Brigade in the VJ special forces corps,
21 but taking into account the nature of the operations in the area of
22 Sarajevo and also the mentioning of helicopters, it's unlikely that these
23 people belonged to the Guards Brigade -- to the -- excuse me, to the
24 Armoured unit.
25 Q. Two pages further on, you've turned your attention to operations
1 in Western Bosnia-Herzegovina at paragraph 63, and we may have to look at
2 the foot of page 28 and the top of page 29. Paragraph 63, your comment
4 A. We have an exhibit for that. It's Exhibit B15, number 15 on the
5 list. I don't know whether time is available to look at the exhibit or I
6 can limit myself to commenting on the report.
7 Q. Comments first and then we'll turn to the exhibit.
8 A. The operations in Western Bosnia-Herzegovina are related to the
9 existence of the autonomous province of Western Bosnia directed by Mr.
10 Fikret Abdic. This province was created in September 1993 when it seceded
11 from the post Sarajevo forces in the Bihac pocket. Interesting aspect is
12 it's located on the border with Croatia, in this case on the border with
13 that part of the RSK, and that during the -- when it started to exist, it
14 didn't have its own armed forces and these armed forces were then
15 developed in relation or with support of the SVK and the VRS. And this
16 particular exhibit, B5050 also refers to the involvement of elements of
17 the VJ, i.e., it refers to agreements that have been concluded with the VJ
18 to prepare operations against the 5th Corps of the Sarajevo pro-government
19 forces in the Bihac area.
20 Q. Let's lay Exhibit 15 on the overhead projector briefly. Take it
21 very shortly, Mr. Theunens, the comment.
22 A. The comment is as follow: The document was issued by the General
23 or the Main Staff of the VRS. It's dated 2nd of July, 1994. At the
24 bottom, in paragraph 2, it refers to an agreement between the army of
25 Yugoslavia, so the VJ, the army of Republika Srpska, so the VRS, and the
1 Serbian army of Krajina, also known as the SVK. And it continues on the
2 second page: "And the forces of the autonomous province of Western Bosnia
3 also known as the APWB." Later in the document it also refers to a
4 meeting. Actually, it's two lines lower. To meetings that have taken
5 place between representatives of the aforementioned armed forces in
6 Vojnica. Vojnica is located in former UN Sector North so in territory
7 held by the RSK just north of the Bihac enclave in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. So it's --
9 JUDGE KWON: So is this tab 15 -- it's B5050 that you referred to
10 just now.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. And the document not only refers to an agreement but it really
15 identifies meetings and places where those meetings could have occurred
16 for an agreement to be forged?
17 A. Indeed, Your Honour. It also shows the organised nature of the
18 support. It is not like a spontaneous initiative; it has been prepared
19 with staff meetings and further plans.
20 Q. If you can go back, please, to page 29 of the report which was on
21 the overhead projector. I'm not sure whether you want to add anything to
22 what's contained at paragraph 65 about Pauk. We're becoming increasingly
23 familiar with it and what it was about. Anything you want to add?
24 A. The documents that I refer to in this paragraph consist of an
25 operational -- operations logbook as well as other documents. These
1 documents, official documents, indicate the involvement of officials and
2 personnel of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, and as mentioned earlier,
3 there's also indication of VJ involvement at least in the planning.
4 The parade on the 28th of June, 1995, very briefly, I think it has
5 already been discussed here in court. It was more or less the
6 inauguration parade for General Mile Mrksic who had been assigned on the
7 18th of May from the VJ to the SVK to replace Milan Celeketic as chief of
8 General Staff and at that parade, that individual and a number of
9 personalities from the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia
10 as well as VJ officials are visible.
11 Q. Your report on Bosnia turns at page 34, paragraph 80, to personnel
12 support. And at page 36 in the middle of this section there's a comment I
13 think you wish to make.
14 A. Initially -- and when I mean initially I talk about the time
15 period between the formal withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina in
16 May 1992 and November 1993. I mean by November 1993 the creation of the
17 30th personnel centre in the personnel department of the General Staff of
18 the VJ. During this initial time period there seemed to be sometimes
19 problems with the status of formal JNA or of JNA or VJ members who went to
20 serve, in this particular case, in the VRS or also in the SVK. These
21 problems were mostly related to the -- so the status problems were mostly
22 related to their financial status as well as to citizenship issues, and
23 this, for example, one of the documents that raises those problems.
24 Q. Over now to page 45 in the section on logistical support, and
25 paragraph 99 is headed "Continued Supply from the FRY to the VRS," on page
1 45. Reference in the third line to Izvor. Your comment, please.
2 A. In the report, Your Honours, we discuss a number of documents
3 related to the Izvor plan. Izvor plan is a resupply plan for the VRS
4 which was agreed between the relevant sections of the Main or General
5 Staff of the VRS and its counterparts in the VJ. It is correct that the
6 VRS as well as other warring factions in Bosnia-Herzegovina in -- received
7 actually, or took large stocks of ammunition and also fuel when the JNA
8 withdrew, but taking into account the intensity of the military operations
9 especially in the beginning of the conflict, there was a clear need for
10 resupply and that resupply in the case of the VRS could only come from
11 FRY. And Izvor plan is the first plan we are aware of for an organised
12 and a massive resupply in this particular case of ammunition.
13 Further in the paragraph the sum -- amounts are mentioned, 225
14 tonnes of ammunition and an announcement that 220 further tonnes would
15 followed. So that equals more or less 445 tonnes.
16 Q. And the last page, reference is at page 54 in the section or the
17 subsection Technical and Military Industrial Support, paragraph 121. Your
18 comment on paragraph 121, please.
19 A. This paragraph briefly deals with -- talks about relations between
20 Unis Pretis, which is a factory in Sarajevo which was controlled by VRS,
21 and FRY military industry. Now, in this paragraph we talk about the
22 testing of ammunition on proofing grounds so on training grounds in FRY.
23 Later on in this section, actually, when we go over to the other
24 paragraphs, also the contacts between Unis Pretis in Bosnian Serb control
25 and Zinvoj - Zinvoj being the association for arms and military equipment
1 production in Yugoslavia - between these two organisations. And it is
2 interesting to mention that in the SFRY, military production or arms
3 production, military equipment production was under -- was one of the
4 competencies of the SSNO, the Federal Secretary for People's Defence. One
5 can assume that the same existed in FRY, so when the Ministry of Defence
6 was in control of this production and more particularly in control of
7 transfers and trade in arms and ammunition.
8 Q. That's all I want to ask you about the detailed contents of the
9 report. If you have to hand the extract or index identifying the 18
10 exhibits that are before the Judges, in the remaining five minutes or
11 thereabouts that I want to allow myself at most, I think we should, now
12 that we've considered both the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres, just lay
13 on the overhead projector tab 8. Produce that.
14 You've spoken of this document. Now we see it, or we see it in
15 translation. The 15th of November, 1993. Said to be pursuant to the FRY
16 president's order with a number of the 10th of November in relation to the
17 formation of the personnel centres in the VJ, orders for the creation of
18 the 30th Personnel Centre, and so on.
19 Your comment on this and your understanding of what these
20 personnel centres were in a couple of sentences.
21 A. So this order creates the 30th Personnel Centre, which deals with
22 VJ personnel serving the VRS, as well as to paragraph 1, the 40th
23 Personnel Centre, dealing with VJ personnel serving in the SVK. The aim
24 of this was actually to regularise a situation that already existed, that
25 people -- members of the JNA, and afterwards the VJ, were serving in the
1 VS and the SVK and there was an urgent need to I won't call it legalise,
2 that's a too strong term, but at least to regularise it, so that towards
3 the outside world it was not visible that people were actually serving in
4 an armed force abroad because when -- like we saw yesterday, in the
5 documents for Milan Celeketic, who was then commander of the 18th Okucani
6 Corps in Western Slavonia, so in SVK, his posting, his official posting at
7 that time was the 40th Personnel Centre. So the 30th and 40th Personnel
8 Centre took care of the administration. They kept records of where the
9 people were serving in order to prepare documents related to their
10 compensation, not only financial compensation for the time served in
11 hardship but also for extra pensionable time. People serving in
12 operations received benefits for that and that was taken into account for
13 their pensionable time.
14 Q. In fact, do you know one way or another what the 30th and 40th
15 Personnel Centres were? Were they centres or were they rooms or were they
16 a desk? Or don't we know?
17 A. I would -- I would consider them as another section of the
18 Personnel Department. There will be a section for -- there can be a
19 section for keeping records of careers, there can be a section that keeps
20 a record of -- of reassignments of people, and this section, was it one
21 desk or several desks at least it was well-organised because we also saw
22 computer prints, kept track of people serving abroad. Each military has
23 that. My own military has such a centre too with the only exception that
24 it doesn't deal in war operations then.
25 Q. Looking at the index, excluding what we can in order to save time,
1 Exhibit 9, anything that you want to draw to the Judges' attention beyond
2 what's contained in the report about that?
3 A. Your Honour, I think we discussed that yesterday. It actually
4 deals with the withdrawal of the JNA from Croatia, from the RSK done in
5 the framework of the Vance Plan, and it just means that procedures are
6 being prepared for the hand-over of equipment and infrastructure to the
7 RSK TO, which later became the SVK.
8 Q. We laid that on the overhead projector. If that's all we need say
9 about it we'll move on then. Exhibit 10 -- or tab 10, I beg your pardon,
10 Vladimir Stojanovic's document. Required to add anything on that?
11 A. I think the summary's clear as well as the quotation in the
12 report. It's a proposal from Vladimir Stojanovic, who was a lieutenant
13 colonel general at the time serving in the 1st Military District. He
14 proposes to hand over military equipment that is being phased out, in this
15 case tanks, tanks that are not being used any more in the VJ, to hand them
16 over to the Territorial Defence of Serbia and the Territorial Defence in
17 Eastern Slavonia, so that the Territorial Defence of the RSK in the --
18 in the -- in Croatia. We -- from the document it's not visible whether
19 this -- this order was implemented. Now, if I can refer to my previous
20 job experience, we know from -- so from service in UNPROFOR, that such
21 tanks were available in Eastern Slavonia.
22 Q. Thank you. Exhibit 11 we should look at probably in light of the
23 summary of it. Very briefly just tell us the obvious significance of this
24 from the index.
25 A. Your Honour, I think we discussed this yesterday too. The
1 relevant part here is the addressee list. We discussed that after
2 November 1993 that's at least -- those are at least the documents that we
3 have available. Daily or regular combat reports, regular operations
4 reports of the SVK were sent to the president of the Republic of Serbia
5 and to the Chief of General Staff of the VJ, and quite often these
6 documents include not only a description of the enemy situation, which is
7 normal in the military situation report, but they also include information
8 that is relevant for FRY or Serbia as it deals with the involvement of
9 personnel of the VJ or support that has -- material support that has been
10 provided or not provided.
11 Q. Exhibit -- tab 12, were we to produce it, anything beyond what's
12 contained in your report?
13 A. No, Your Honours. We mentioned in the report, and I think we
14 discussed it yesterday too, that mechanisms for coordination of tasks
15 between the SVK and the VJ and also the VRS were established after. Based
16 on documents we have, it's after November 1993. Several documents are
17 being quoted in the report dealing with the time period of 1994. The
18 documents we have all come from the SVK but it can be assumed that the
19 same coordination also existed with the VRS --
20 JUDGE KWON: We don't think the Chamber has the English
22 JUDGE MAY: No. We haven't got the English. We've got a long
23 copy but not in English.
24 MR. NICE: I'll withdraw that tab for the time being to save time.
25 The witness has given his account of it.
1 Q. Tab 13, the war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Human Rights
2 Watch from Helsinki. Any comment?
3 A. Only this, Your Honour: This report was prepared in 1995, and it
4 provides an overview based on the information that Human Rights Watch
5 Helsinki had at its disposal about the prosecution of war crimes in the
6 republics, the different republics of the former Yugoslavia. For the
7 interest of my report, I focused on war crime trials in the Federal
8 Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. And we've already heard from authors of such reports that their
10 addressee lists and practices.
11 Tab 14, the order from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command for
12 carrying out operations around Sarajevo with reference to reinforcements
13 including MUP forces and VJ special forces. I think you've already dealt
14 with this.
15 A. Yes. Just to -- to confirm what I mentioned, the reference to the
16 VJ special forces in the middle of the first paragraph. And from the
17 sender, so it's a document issued by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command,
18 the VRS unit that was responsible for the operations around Sarajevo.
19 Q. Tab 16, please. We've already looked at 15 this morning. Is it
20 an excerpt from instruction for engagement of the VRS? Its significance,
21 please, Mr. Theunens?
22 A. The significance of this document, Your Honour -- Your Honours, is
23 that it deals with a particular scenario of possible developments in the
24 -- in the former Yugoslavia. The scenario is discussed in the report.
25 Basically, it deals with the scenario where Croatia would attack the RSK,
1 there would be NATO involvement, and then as a directive has been prepared
2 by the Main Staff, the General Staff of the VRS, it talks about how the
3 VRS would react. Most interestingly there is extensive references in the
4 different parts of the report, not only the main body but also the annexes
5 -- annexes, for example, for engineer support or air defence support,
6 there's extensive reference to VJ involvement.
7 Now, from a military point of view, the production of such a
8 document would require significant planning by all departments of the Main
9 Staff of the VRS, and the fact that other armed forces like the VJ are
10 being mentioned implies that there has been coordination or at least an
11 exchange of information with these other armed forces, in this case the
13 This scenario, this plan was not implemented, but it shows at
14 least that there is -- that major planning took place involving the
15 various participants or potential or possible participants in the
17 JUDGE KWON: If you can give me some examples of VJ involvement in
18 this document.
19 THE WITNESS: We would have to go to the document in detail. It
20 would be helpful if I could have the part of the report on the ELMO to
21 refer to it.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. I'm sorry, the report, yes.
24 A. Because actually, Your Honours, the document -- this is just an
25 extract. The various annexes are part -- in different sections. So we
1 would actually have to also -- need to have these different sections
3 JUDGE KWON: You can ask it in re-exam.
4 MR. NICE: It may be, Your Honour, that this is a matter that the
5 witness, if he can do without the break, can research over the break and
6 we can make the additional documents available.
7 Q. We'll come back to that at a later stage, Mr. Theunens. And if
8 you can detach yourself from that exercise and just look, finally and
9 briefly, at -- for these exhibits at tab 17, I think. It's a letter
10 describing problems with ammunition production dated April 1994. Its
11 significance, please.
12 A. Your Honours, as we discussed earlier, this document is one
13 example of cooperation between arms -- of ammunition production in -- in
14 facilities controlled by the VRS or in the territory -- on the territory
15 of the RS -- VRS and similar facilities, production facilities in Serbia.
16 In the first paragraph dealing with 120 millimetre -- it should be
17 grenades, not mines in translation, there is reference to, for example, a
18 Krusik factory in Valjevo, Valjevo being located on the territory of
19 Republic of Serbia.
20 Q. Thank you. Responsive to His Honour Judge Robinson's questions
21 yesterday and mindful of His Honour Judge May's request for economic use
22 of time and material, have you identified three additional exhibits that
23 may assist in your answer to His Honour Judge Robinson?
24 A. Yes, Your Honours, I did.
25 Q. Can we lay those, make sure that those are before the Court.
1 They're at tabs 19, 20, and 21. 19 can go on the overhead projector.
2 It's a document which is in the original Cyrillic and is said to be a
3 report on paramilitary units, but it's otherwise somewhat unspecific or
4 totally unspecific - thank you very much - as to its source, authorship,
5 and so on. So tell us what you can about it and make the comment you want
6 to make.
7 A. Before coming to this specific document, I would like to emphasise
8 that analysis of this issue is a complex matter, as we discussed
9 yesterday, because various names, volunteers, paramilitaries, party
10 armies, and so on are used through each other without clear references.
11 That's one aspect. The second aspect, it is dangerous to draw conclusions
12 or to draw -- for an analyst to make an assessment just based on one
13 report. For example, indeed there is no source reference to this report.
14 This report was obtained from a witness. Now, when reading the contents
15 and how the report is written, it becomes clear that it is a report which
16 was prepared by JNA security organs or the JNA security administration.
17 In the first paragraph here, there is reference to connections
18 between certain paramilitary groups, or here they are called paramilitary
19 groups, and structures in the Republic of Serbia. And when you go through
20 the report, it discusses a number of groups or formations who call
21 themselves sometimes volunteers or paramilitaries, paramilitaries being an
22 illegal name, and these groups and people involved are being discussed.
23 Q. Thank you very much. We can read that at our leisure. Tab 20,
24 please. A document of the 19th October 1991, signed by Major General Mile
25 Babic. Your comment on it, please.
1 A. Indeed. Your Honour, this is a document prepared by or based on
2 information from the security organ of the 1st Military District. In the
3 report, the situation in Eastern Slavonia, more particularly the situation
4 with the Serbian Volunteer Guard, or the so-called Volunteer Guard, is
5 being discussed, and their training centre in Erdut. It's actually an
6 information report based on information collected by a source who has
7 been, according to this report, in contact with Arkan and has collected
8 information from these contacts.
9 The bottom paragraph on the screen, for example, shows that
10 according to the information collected by the security organ, Arkan has
11 collected or has been supplied with ammunition, explosives -- explosives
12 and grenades from the minister of republic -- Ministry of the Interior of
13 the Republic of Serbia and that he's also involved -- Arkan is involved in
14 distributing this ammunition, weapons and so on to local Serb TO staffs in
15 the area.
16 Q. Finally, tab 21 a document headed as Military Secret and described
17 as a war journal of Major Gojkovic and Trifunovic.
18 A. Your Honour, this is actually the war journal of the Guards
19 Brigade, also known as the 1st Guards Motorised Brigade, which deals with
20 the time period that the Guards Brigade was involved in the operations in
21 Vukovar. The two individuals, Gojkovic and Trifunovic, are duty officers
22 in the sense that the war diary is actually an official log, an official
23 journal which in principle contains all the relevant information related
24 to the operations of the unit, in this case the Guards Brigade, and in
25 this case in the area of Vukovar.
1 So the information one will find in such a journal deals with the
2 operations the Guards Brigade carries out, the orders it receives, and the
3 order the command issues and all other issue -- issues or incidents that
4 are considered relevant.
5 The relevant entry is actually on another page.
6 Q. How many pages in, please?
7 A. I have to check because I don't know the page number by heart. It
8 should be at English ERN L0100531.
9 Q. Page 36 on the bottom.
10 A. And in reference to the question of Judge Robinson, Your Honour,
11 an interesting passage is the entry at the bottom of the page. It's an
12 entry which is related to events at 10.30 on the 6th of November where the
13 commander of the JOd 1 -- JOd is the acronym for assault detachment. We
14 discussed yesterday, I explained operational groups, tactical groups, the
15 Guards Brigade and the other forces involved in the operations in the area
16 of Vukovar were organised as follows: There were two operational groups,
17 north -- Operational Group North, Operational Group South, and then the
18 Operational Group South was consisted of assault detachments, and these
19 assault detachments consist of assault groups. An assault detachment has
20 more or less the size -- was based on a battalion of the Guards Brigade,
21 so there are different battalions, there were different assault
22 detachments, reinforced with other JNA units as well as local Serb TO and
23 these volunteers, as we explained yesterday.
24 Now, the entry is interesting because the commander of the 1st
25 Assault Detachment, and that should actually be the commander of the 1st
1 Battalion of the Guards Brigade, reported he had a problem with the
2 engagement of some forces in combat, and it's further specified in the
3 sense that it concerns a misunderstanding between members of volunteer
4 units, and these members of these volunteer units are Seselj's men and
5 members of the TO. So in this column we see the problem that is being
6 highlighted and in the last column to the right we see actually the
7 remark. So the command of OG Jug that means the commander of Operational
8 Group South, Colonel Mile Mrksic, he issues an order to the commander of
9 the 1st Assault Detachment to call the officers involved and to resolve
10 the problem. So this entry shows that members of volunteer -- that
11 volunteer units are operating under command of the JNA doing operations in
12 Vukovar, and these volunteer units in this case are Seselj's -- identified
13 here as Seselj's men. We discussed yesterday, for example, Leva
14 Supoderica being one of these units, and members of the TO. So in Vukovar
15 there was a close relationship between the Vukovar local Serb TO and then
16 organisations who identify themselves as Seselj's men, but the most
17 relevant here is that they operate under single JNA command during the
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Members of the TO would be considered volunteers?
20 THE WITNESS: In theory not, Your Honour. I mean, in theory, the
21 TO was one component of the armed forces of the JNA. Now --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: That was my understanding. So that the
23 misunderstanding is between Seselj's men, whom you call volunteers, and
24 members of the TO, who are part of the formal structure.
25 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I will try to -- to explain it. The TO
1 was officially a component -- one of the two components of the SFRY armed
2 forces. That is how it was explained, for example, in the 1974
3 constitution and the 1992 -- 1982 Law on All People's Defence. Now, when
4 the conflict in Croatia started -- or I should mention earlier that TOs
5 were republican organisations. There was a TO for the Republic of
6 Croatia, there was a TO for Republic of Serbia, and for all the other
7 republics of the SFRY, whereas the JNA was a federal institution.
8 Now, when the conflict in Croatia starts, of course the conflict
9 between Croats and Serbs, the Croatian -- the TO of the Republic of
10 Croatia splits in a sense that in some areas with the Serb majority Serbs
11 create their own structures. In other areas, the Croats leave. They flee
12 or they leave for other reasons. And so the Croatian TO splits and we --
13 it's kind of a de facto situation develops where the TO in the Serb-held
14 territories is actually -- has become the local Serb TO, which was not
15 foreseen in the legal framework. This local Serb TO remained loyal to the
16 SFRY and cooperated with the JNA, or the JNA cooperated with the local
17 Serb TO to achieve certain goals.
18 In addition, volunteer units made an appearance. These volunteer
19 units were made up of -- originated from certain political parties in
20 Serbia. In addition, there were also other non-official armed formations
21 that made their appearance, like Arkan and Dragan. As we discussed
22 yesterday, Arkan and Dragan, there are indications based on information
23 collected by JNA security organs that these two individuals and their
24 forces were close -- were connected to or related to the Ministry of
25 Interior in Serbia, MUP.
1 Because of the legal situation in SFRY which the -- 1982 All
2 People's Defence Law, it was stated that every -- every individual who
3 takes up weapons in defence -- the defence of the SFRY territorial
4 integrity and who is not a member of the JNA will be considered a member
5 of the TO. That means that SRS volunteers or the volunteers from --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Theunens, you make a reference on more than
7 one occasion to the legal situation.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you cite paragraphs and passages from the
10 constitution without showing us these passages.
11 THE WITNESS: That's no problem, Your Honour. If we go to the
12 first part of the report, the first section, section 1 of the report deals
13 with the SFRY armed forces and provides a summary of the relevant legal or
14 doctrinal framework.
15 When you look at page 3, Your Honour, in the centre of the page
16 there is a quotation from Article 240 of the 1974 SFRY constitution. It
17 was not up to me to give some kind of analysis or assessment of these
18 articles, I just list these articles in order to achieve better
19 understanding for the situation -- for the issues I try to describe in --
20 JUDGE MAY: You are not yourself a lawyer.
21 THE WITNESS: No, and I don't pretend to be, Your Honour. But I
22 think Article 240 is quite clear. First, it explains the mission; in the
23 second paragraph it emphasises the unified nature of the SFRY armed
24 forces; and in the third part, it says any citizen who takes part in
25 resisting aggression towards the country is a member of the armed forces.
1 In later articles, which are discussed later in this section,
2 these SFRY armed forces are being further explained. And, Your Honour,
3 when you go to page 6 of the report, in the centre of the page there is
4 the quotation of Article 102 of the 1982 ONO or All People's Defence Law.
5 The article in its -- in the sixth line, it explains "Territorial Defence
6 shall comprise all armed formations that are not incorporated in the
7 Yugoslav People's Army and the police." And in order -- it seems that
8 there was an attempt to -- to apply this legal framework or to -- even if
9 the situation had arisen because of the conflict was rather different.
10 There was no talk of a local Serb TO in the SFRY constitution nor the All
11 People's Defence Law. There was no talk about volunteer units. There is
12 talk about individual volunteers who can join JNA or TO units under
13 well-determined circumstances, and later -- and I mean by that from August
14 1991 on, attempts are made to call it legalise or regularise the situation
15 that has arisen on the terrain, and therefore we have these various
16 decrees and orders that were discussed yesterday.
17 Now, to come back to this entry in the war diary, we have the
18 particular situation of the local Serb TO in the Vukovar area. Now, from
19 other documents that are quoted in the report in section 2 of the report,
20 actually, and the relevant part there would start at page 57 of the second
21 part of the report where command and control during the conflict over
22 local Serb forces was explained.
23 The following pages discuss the situation with operational --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you just stop a minute? I just want to
1 THE WITNESS: Yes.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Theunens, can we just go back to paragraph --
4 to page 3, and Article 240 which says: "Any citizen who takes part in
5 resisting aggression towards the country is a member of the armed forces
6 of the SFRY," and you attach particular significance to that.
7 On the face of it, I suppose it would mean what it says unless it
8 is qualified in some other part of the constitution by -- by something
10 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, as you rightfully commented, I'm not a
11 lawyer, but as a military analyst, I see in this that this passage is --
12 is a reflection of the doctrine of all People's Defence, which is
13 explained a few -- in -- a page earlier. In 1968, President Tito
14 introduced this concept and it means actually the whole people is involved
15 in the defence of the country in case of an outside aggression. There
16 is --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: In that case then we don't need to make any
18 distinction between volunteers as individuals and groups. Is it as simple
19 as that?
20 THE WITNESS: No, unfortunately, it's not as simple, Your Honour.
21 We need to make a distinction between the legal references that existed in
22 the SFRY prior to the conflict in Croatia and dealing with volunteers,
23 they talk about individual volunteers, because when we look at other
24 articles, and I quoted yesterday also, for example, the legal framework on
25 the Law on Defence, for example, of the Republic of Serbia, there is
1 emphasis that only legal authorities can organise armed groups. Nobody
2 was allowed -- and I don't think that's allowed in any country -- is
3 allowed to organise its own armed volunteer group. Volunteers, as it was
4 seen in the legal framework that existed prior to the conflict, consisted
5 individuals who had no military obligations but who felt, well, that they
6 had to do something for the defence of the country. And they were not
7 member of any other structures. They were obviously not members of the
8 JNA --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think, Mr. Nice, you should continue.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Mr. Theunens, I think you're probably at the end of the evidence
12 on the exhibit that you wish to give, unless there's any further comment
13 you want to make on that. But then picking up the points you've just been
14 dealing with, the incorporation of all people involved in the as it were
15 alleged or asserted defence against aggression, did that prima facie cover
16 illegally formed groups or not, as far as you could judge, given that
17 you're not a lawyer?
18 A. No, because I mean, illegal groups would never be involved in
19 defence because not only from the legal point but such groups from the
20 military point of view, and that's actually one of the basic things one
21 learns in the military, is that because of the concern for single command
22 and control, all forces need to be under control, under command of a
24 Q. Those illegally formed groups, if there were any, do they qualify,
25 amongst others, for the title "paramilitary"? I mean, they may be called
1 volunteers, but they may also be called paramilitaries.
2 A. Your Honour, if you consider the expression "paramilitary" as
3 illegal forces, yes, but in some countries paramilitary forces are -- can
4 also -- there can be legal paramilitary forces in some countries. You can
5 have a police force which can have military duties under certain
7 Q. Very well. And finally -- I want to be able to pass over to the
8 accused for cross-examination. Finally, on your analysis, was the
9 application of the People's Defence Law covering volunteers entirely
10 appropriate for these paramilitary groups or was it a method to try and
11 incorporate them within some form of structure, so far as you could judge?
12 A. Based on my reading and my analysis, it was actually a method to
13 try to incorporate them and this method was obviously not sufficient
14 because therefore additional decrees, orders, and orders were adopted and
15 voted between August and December 1991.
16 MR. NICE: Thank you. The English translation for tab 12 is on
17 its way if required. And I remind Mr. Theunens if he can give further
18 thought to the detailed question arising from tab 16, and if over the
19 break that leads to his requesting further documents from the archives,
20 we'll dig them up for him. And that concludes my questions of the
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have three hours for this witness.
23 I'm not sure whether you'll be able to finish today, I doubt there's going
24 to be time, but we'll see about the time. We have to finish another
25 witness tomorrow which we have to deal with, another one, but let us begin
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Theunens, your examination-in-chief started
4 with your professional career. In that connection, I wish to ask you, for
5 how many years have you been in the army now?
6 A. I have been in the army since I was 18, so that means I've been in
7 the army for 21 years now.
8 Q. Speaking strictly of military positions, you were only platoon
9 commander. Is that correct?
10 A. That is incorrect, Your Honours, because when I was in -- in a
11 tank battalion in Germany, I was indeed -- I started as a platoon
12 commander but quite soon I had to replace the company commander who was
13 following courses or was involved in other matters. When I carried out
14 duties in the military academy it was not really a combat duty, I
15 understand, but I had to -- I was in charge of 55 officer cadets, firstly
16 officer cadets. I would also like to draw your attention on the staff
17 course I followed in Belgium, which is a one-year course which deals with
18 operations at brigade level.
19 Q. All right. But you did not discharge any other military
20 functions, as far as I understand. You were involved in intelligence work
21 for the rest of your career.
22 A. That is correct, Your Honour. Now, I would like to add to the
23 previous answer that --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow down a little, please.
25 THE WITNESS: Apologies. I would like to add to the previous
1 answer where Mr. Milosevic referred to platoon commander. It is obvious
2 that command and control is -- is a concept that applies to all levels of
3 military organisation, be it a squad leader who may be responsible for
4 five people or a corps commander. The same principles apply, yes of
5 course on a different scale, but the same principles of single and unified
6 command will apply.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well. As for the application of principles, let's leave that
9 aside. As for experience in terms of making judgements on military
10 issues, I suppose there is a considerable difference between a person who
11 has command over the smallest possible units as all of his experience and
12 somebody who has commanded a regiment, a corps, a brigade or something
14 So speaking of your military experience, I believe it is of the
15 lowest possible level in terms of the army.
16 A. I -- Your Honours, I don't agree because it's a misrepresentation
17 of my CV. I think for the task I was given here to prepare a military
18 analysis report of certain aspects of the conflict in the former
19 Yugoslavia, I do agree that there is a need for military experience, but
20 again I think I have sufficient purely military experience, having been a
21 commander of a combat unit, combat platoon, and at times of a company.
22 Now, much more relevant, I believe, that the times, almost two years I
23 served in peace support operations in the former Yugoslavia since end of
24 1994 until the course of 1999, and the experience I acquired also as a
25 Balkan analyst in the Belgian Ministry of Defence are more than relevant.
1 I think if the points that Mr. Milosevic is raising were correct,
2 it would be rather unlikely that Belgian military authorities would
3 designate me to brief or to write for the Belgian Chief General Staff or
4 brief the minister when he wanted to have a briefing, or to send me to
5 peace support operations in significant intelligence positions.
6 And I would like to -- no, it's okay. Transcript.
7 Q. Well, Mr. Theunens. Is there a smaller military unit than a
8 platoon in any army?
9 A. A platoon is made up of squads. Now, depending of the kind of
10 unit, it could well be that squads can operate, for example, on their own,
11 for example, in special forces. In my speciality, arm -- an armoured
12 platoon would rarely operate on itself, it would always operate in the
13 framework of a company, or a squadron as we call it in cavalry. But
14 again, that is not the issue. Command and control, the principles - and
15 if you refer another word, the rules or the regulations - should always be
16 the same.
17 Q. All right. So you spent the rest of your career as an
18 intelligence officer; is that correct?
19 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
20 Q. And now as an intelligence officer of the NATO, you are working
21 for this party which brought you here as a witness; is that correct?
22 A. Your Honours, I don't think that this is a correct representation.
23 There is nothing between what I'm doing here -- there's no relation
24 whatsoever between what I'm doing in the OTP or what I did as an
25 intelligence officer in the Belgian Ministry of Defence. Belgium is a
1 member of NATO and so is Greece, so is France or the United States, and I
2 think that in our system, and if you follow international politics it
3 would be quite obvious that even in NATO different countries can have
4 their own opinions and we're not forced, as an analyst, to adopt one kind
5 of party line.
6 Q. We're not talking about a party line here. You are working for
7 Mr. Nice. That is not in dispute. You are employed here, aren't you?
8 A. Your Honour, I'm employed by the OTP. Now, if I can comment, the
9 OTP gave me the instructions for this report, in a sense they defined the
10 topics I had to discuss, and of course through the -- the period that I --
11 throughout the period that I wrote the report, I was in touch with the
12 relevant people in the OTP, but whether I wrote this report for the OTP or
13 whether I would have written this report for another organisation, given
14 the tasking I received, and that was looking or analysing the command and
15 control situation during the conflict in Croatia and then also looking at
16 the relationships between the local Serb forces and their counterparts in
17 FRY or Serbia, there would be no difference in the result. I think the
18 benefit of working for the OTP, or one of the benefits is I had access to
19 numerous documents which most likely I would not have had if I was outside
20 the OTP.
21 Q. Mr. Theunens, I'm not dealing with assumptions. I only want to
22 establish facts. Are you still an active-duty officer or not? Are you an
23 officer or are you retired from military service?
24 A. Your Honour, I'm still an active-duty officer. I started to work
25 at the OTP end of June 2001. My status then was -- I was on leave without
1 payment. Now, that status is limited to one year. After ten months, I
2 had to announce my intentions to my superiors in the Belgian military, and
3 theoretically there would be three options: One option would be to return
4 to Belgian military but I found it too early because my work here hadn't
5 finished. A second option would be to resign. That was not an option
6 either that I liked.
7 And the third option would be to be put outside of the budget. I
8 don't know the correct term for it in English, but it means that I'm still
9 on paper a member of the Belgian armed forces, but I'm not paid by the
10 Belgian military and I don't receive any pension rights. There are other
11 people who enjoy that status, for example, the Belgian astronaut whose
12 name I don't seem to recall now, but he's in the same situation. So when
13 he was member of the European Space Agency or involved with these
14 activities, he was outside of the budget and I think he has returned now
15 to the Belgian military.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Perhaps the concept of secondment.
17 THE WITNESS: That could apply, Your Honour, except that I'm not
18 paid by any Belgian authorities at this moment.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. But let's finish, because we're wasting time. You are
21 an active-duty officer. You've said yourself an active-duty intelligence
22 officer. And let me add a NATO active-duty intelligence officer employed
23 here with the service who brought you here as a witness. Is that correct,
24 Mr. Theunens?
25 A. Well, I wasn't brought here. Oh, no. I misunderstood the
1 transcript. Well, if -- that's correct, Your Honour, but again if you
2 look at my professional background, my curriculum vitae, I can say that
3 the most relevant experience for my task in the OTP I actually acquired
4 when working in the UNPROFOR, UNTAS, or the SFOR mission in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. UNPROFOR Croatia, UNTAS Croatia. Now, from these
6 three missions, UNPROFOR and UNTAS were the most relevant ones, and these
7 were UN operations, not NATO.
8 Q. I am only saying that the service that brought you here to testify
9 is the service with which you are employed. It is implied that Mr. Nice,
10 in a way, examining you as a witness, is giving evidence himself and
11 making assertions.
12 JUDGE MAY: That is not a proper question. He's giving his own
13 evidence and doing so under order, as you recollect, which he does the
14 normal order.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. As for solemn
16 declarations, we know all about them and how they are respected.
17 JUDGE MAY: The witness can answer.
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I think that Mr. Milosevic referred to
19 a solemn declaration. I don't know whether that's a question to me or a
20 comment to me or to anybody else.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we heard that. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will move briefly through some of my notes that I made during
24 your examination-in-chief yesterday. Mr. Nice directed you to section 3,
25 first of all, Armed Forces of the Republic of Serbia and so on, and you
1 discussed that. Is that correct, Mr. Theunens?
2 A. Your Honour, we didn't discuss that particular section yesterday.
3 I brought up myself an article of the Law of Defence of the Republic of
4 Serbia but I don't recall that we discussed that particular section.
5 Q. Do you know that Serbia does not have armed forces? Because you
6 reviewed also the constitution of Serbia and explained the role of the
7 president of Serbia under that constitution.
8 A. Yes, Your Honour. I'm aware that the Republic of Serbia does not
9 have armed force, but when you look at page 35 of the report, there is a
10 quotation from Article -- or Article 5 in its whole -- in entirety is
11 quoted. Article 5 of the 1991 Law of Defence of the Republic of Serbia,
12 and there it is mentioned under the tasks or the competencies of the
13 president of the republic, that the president of the republic commands the
14 armed forces in peacetime and war. So the use of the term "armed forces"
15 does not come from me, it comes from a document I used as an analyst to
16 prefer -- to prepare my report, and this document is actually the Serbian
17 Law of Defence of 1991.
18 Q. Well, that's exactly the point, Mr. Theunens, because for that
19 kind of analytical work, one has to know the constitution and the
20 legislation very well. And I am now asking you: Have you read perhaps
21 Article 135 of the constitution of Serbia of 1990, which covers, I would
22 say, all the issues that you have touched upon here regarding the armed
23 forces of Serbia? I'm just asking have you read it?
24 A. Your Honours, I read it, but again I would like to refer to the
25 report. Part 1 of the report is a brief overview of the essential legal
1 and doctrinal framework that is only intended to -- to achieve or to allow
2 a better understanding of what was written in part 2 and part 3. I'm not
3 a legal specialist, I'm a military analyst. Now, based on my experience
4 and also what I studied in military academy about politics and related
5 issues, laws should be in coherence with constitutions, and it means to me
6 basic understanding that the 1991 Law of Defence of the Republic of Serbia
7 should be in coherence with or should be coherent with the constitution of
8 the Republic of Serbia of 1990.
9 Q. Of course it is in conformity with the constitution, because the
10 1990 constitution stipulates that the president of the republic has
11 command over the armed forces in peacetime and in war and all of that is
12 understood. But there is also Article 135 of the constitution of Serbia,
13 which reads: "The rights and obligations which the Republic of Serbia as
14 part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has under this
15 constitution and which are exercised within the framework of the
16 federation under this federal constitution shall be exercised in keeping
17 with the federal constitution."
18 Since defence and everything related to defence is exercised on
19 the federal level, whether we speak of the SFRY or the FRY, then those
20 rights and obligations are exercised in keeping with the federal
21 constitution. Maybe as an analyst you are not aware of this, but I am
22 glad to explain it for you.
23 JUDGE MAY: It may well be that it's not open to the witness to
24 deal with it. It's some story which he's putting forward and which he can
25 produce his evidence in due course. If the witness feels like adding
1 anything, he may, but otherwise, if he doesn't, I think there's no point.
2 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I have nothing to add unless referring
3 to the Articles of 1991 Law on Defence of Serbia I just quoted in the
4 report without any analysis -- further analysis or comments.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. But when you spoke of the factual basis, you also noted that I
7 have no armed forces under me. It is clear from the constitution of the
8 Republic of Serbia that practice is in keeping with constitutional norms.
9 Let us just go back to a couple of things that you referred to in
10 the very beginning. So at the very outset, you referred to the book of
11 Veljko Kadijevic. I didn't expect that you would include it in your
12 material, but I looked it up yesterday, and since you referred to
13 paramilitary formations and other things, I will quote from page 111 of
14 this book of Veljko Kadijevic. He says as follows: "The greatest threat
15 to a peaceful denouement of the Yugoslav crisis, including the secession
16 of those republics that wished it was the organisation of para-armies.
17 Croatia was the leader in this respect although Slovenia had some
18 instances of that as well. It was different in Kosovo and in Macedonia.
19 Croatia formed these units under the guise of militia and Slovenia under
20 the guise of Territorial Defence."
21 And then he says that on the 11th -- since you are using the book
22 and documents, you should refer to dates. And then on the 11th December,
23 1990, the Federal Secretariat --
24 JUDGE MAY: Let me -- the witness must have a chance to answer, if
25 he can, to any of this.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honours --
2 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course.
4 THE WITNESS: The report is entitled "SFRY Armed Forces in the
5 Conflict in Croatia" and then subsequently "JNA Activity in BiH and JNA
6 Support to Bosnian Serb Forces." The study of the events in Slovenia or a
7 detailed analysis of the creation of armed forces in Croatia was not part
8 of my tasking and that's why it has not been discussed in this report.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Well, that's precisely the problem. That only shows to what
11 extent you have a lopsided approach to this prosecution attempt led by
12 Mrs. Del Ponte. This is titled as "Conflict in Croatia." You are quoting
13 General Kadijevic.
14 JUDGE MAY: Stop using this -- abuse of this sort. Now, what is
15 your question for the witness?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness just said that the
17 report is titled Armed Forces of the SFRY and the Conflict in Croatia.
18 Yesterday, he referred to the book of the then defence minister, army
19 General Veljko Kadijevic, and I just quoted to him that the greatest
20 threat to a peaceful solution was the organisation of para-armies, and
21 that Croatia was the leader, followed by Slovenia. That fits perfectly
22 with this title, Armed Forces and the Conflict in Croatia.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will allow the witness to answer.
24 THE WITNESS: My understanding, Your Honour, of the SFRY armed
25 forces was that SFRY armed forces consists of the JNA and the TO. The
1 report is not a conflict analysis, it is an analysis of an aspect of the
2 conflict. It is obvious that an analysis that focused on the activities
3 of Croatian armed forces would have a different contents than my analysis.
4 I would also like to emphasise that this report is not only based
5 on Kadijevic's book. Kadijevic's book is one of many sources, and when
6 you look at the context in which Kadijevic's book has been used, you will
7 -- you will discover that actually it just assists to better put other
8 sources and other official documents in a framework and to better
9 understand them.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Very well. Since you are talking about the armed forces and the
12 conflict in Croatia, do you know that on the 11th December, 1990, which
13 Kadijevic states in his book - I suppose you have read it because you
14 refer to it - "The Ministry of Defence submitted to the Presidency a brief
15 about the unauthorised formation of paramilitary formations in the SFRY."
16 Do you know that?
17 A. I am familiar with this information, Your Honours.
18 Q. All right. Do you know that the staff of the Supreme Command
19 informed the JNA on the 23rd of January that unless all such units are
20 demobilised in Croatia, they will raise combat readiness. That will
21 guarantee the exercise of proper procedures, et cetera. Do you know that?
22 A. Again, Your Honour, I'm familiar with these events, but that was
23 outside the scope of the report as it was defined to -- to me by the
24 members of the OTP. It's obvious that the report dealing with the
25 activities of Croatian forces or other forces in SFRY or Croatia
1 specifically would probably focus on those aspects, but for the particular
2 tasking of this report, these issues were not considered relevant.
3 Q. Well, you refer to paramilitary formations, about the JNA and the
4 conflicts in Croatia. I'm quoting here a piece of information related to
5 massive establishment of paramilitary formations, illegal formations in
6 Croatia that marked the beginning of the conflict when such formations
7 attacked the citizens of that very republic of a different ethnicity. The
8 JNA then intervened, and you are now saying that it is not within the
9 purview of your study, Armed Forces and the Conflict in Croatia. How can
10 it not be within your purview? And you are dealing with some group of
11 Leva Supoderica involving 150 people, whereas it is not within your
12 purview to cover tens of thousands involved in such units.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness speak.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the -- the first part of the report, or
15 actually the introduction consists of an overview, and in the overview is
16 explained what the report deals about. In this overview, it is also
17 indicated that this report is not an analysis of the original -- original
18 analysis of the conflict itself. It is an analysis of one aspect of the
19 conflict, being the issue of how command and control was organised over
20 JNA, local Serb forces, and related forces. JNA and/VJ support to local
21 Serb defence forces both in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the
22 Croatia part we also deal with the aspects of the implementation of the
23 laws of armed conflict, and Bosnia-Herzegovina part of the report focuses
24 on -- on the support from the VJ provided to the local Serb defence
25 structures, the VRS.
1 There is nothing -- and there is nowhere any reference to an
2 analysis of the conflict or an analysis of the establishment of Croatian
3 or Slovene armed forces. That was not within the scope -- that is not
4 within the scope of this report.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Theunens, are you aware that the JNA attempted to prevent this
7 conflict, to separate the conflicting parties that were very unequal
8 because very large units had been established illegally in Croatia and
9 attempts were made to separate them from the jeopardised population in
10 Croatia of Serb ethnicity? You are not dealing with what the army did to
11 protect the people and prevent the outbreak of civil war.
12 A. Your Honours, the report in its -- in the Croatian part or the
13 second part -- actually, the first section discusses the evolution in the
14 mission of the JNA, and there is even reference and not only from
15 Kadijevic's book but also from other sources to the mission of
16 interposition of the JNA between the various armed formations. However,
17 and that is the result of my analysis, it appears that at the latest at
18 the end of summer 1991, that mission of interposition had developed into a
19 mission of, for most JNA units that were involved in the fighting, into a
20 mission of providing support to the local Serb forces and operating under
21 single command to them.
22 Q. All right, Mr. Theunens. It is obvious that you are not mindful
23 of the fact that it is very, very risky for an analyst to pull out of
24 context one single segment and view it in isolation regardless of all the
25 elements that condition it, its origins, and all the elements that affect
2 You quoted here one piece of information, and I counted that in
3 these three reports --
4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer.
5 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I don't think the previous comment of
6 Mr. Milosevic is a correct representation of how this report was
7 established. For example, Kadijevic's book, the section here uses
8 Kadijevic's book as a source as well as other sources. It's not the only
9 source. And again, the report or that section is not an analysis of
10 Kadijevic's book in its entirety, no. The idea behind it was to read the
11 book, look at relevant aspects, and then look at how the JNA operated
12 during the conflict in Croatia, and I think that Mr. Kadijevic as the
13 former minister of defence was well placed.
14 In addition, there were public statements both by Mr. Kadijevic,
15 or by General Kadijevic and as well as General Adzic. One of them was
16 published in the Bulletin, so the official information magazine of the
17 Federal Secretary of People's Defence where there's talk about how the --
18 the goals have changed and now the goals have become to protect the Serbs
19 or liberate the Serbs. There's no -- there's no -- no other comment
20 possible on that aspect.
21 JUDGE MAY: In fact, that's the time to break for the usual time.
22 Fifteen minutes -- 20 minutes. We'll adjourn now.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. May.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, when you focus in your analysis, because there are
4 others, of course, on the relationship between the armed forces of the
5 SFRY and, as you say, other armed groups, you mentioned the volunteer
6 formations; is that right?
7 A. Indeed, Your Honours. The report talks about the command
8 relationship that developed between the JNA, the local Serb TO, and
9 volunteer units who by some sources were also called paramilitary units.
10 Q. Mr. Theunens, do you distinguish between volunteers and
12 A. Your Honour, the distinction that needs to be made is a
13 distinction between individual volunteers who joined the JNA or the TO -
14 and I mean by that republican TOs, TO of the Republic of Croatia and TO of
15 the Republic of Serbia or other republics of the former Yugoslavia - and
16 on the other hand volunteers who acted in groups, who went in groups
17 together to the conflict zone or were recruited otherwise and were
18 integrated as groups in the existing command structures of operational
19 groups, tactical groups, or as it was in the case of Eastern Slavonia,
20 assault detachments and assault groups. These latter formations, so the
21 volunteer groups, they are by a number of sources, and I quote from a JNA
22 security organ and JNA security administration reports, considered
23 paramilitary groups as they were outside the legal framework that existed
24 in SFRY prior to the eruption of the conflict.
25 Q. Therefore, the differentia specifica is that they were outside the
1 command of the armed forces; is that right?
2 A. Well, from a theoretical point of view, and I mean by that without
3 taking the situation in Croatia during the conflict into account, so from
4 purely a theoretical point of view, they were illegal groups as is
5 specified also in the Law of Defence of the Republic of Serbia of 1991 and
6 so they couldn't be part of the command structure. However, and that is
7 actually the whole aim -- the main aim of section 2 --
8 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish.
9 THE WITNESS: However, and that is actually an important or one of
10 the main aspects of part 2 of the report. From the evidence I could
11 review - and I mean by that JNA orders, reports of security organs,
12 sometimes even public announcements by the SSNO - it becomes obvious that
13 these paramilitary -- these volunteer groups operated under single command
14 and control with the JNA again through operational groups and tactical
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Are you referring to all of them or to some of them, some of the
19 A. As an analyst, Your Honours, I can only refer to the documentary
20 evidence I saw. I cannot and I will not pretend that it was always the
21 case and that all of the groups or all of whatever formation operated
22 under JNA command and control. However, from the evidence I reviewed, and
23 if Mr. Milosevic wants, we can go through the various orders that are
24 quoted in the report, and these orders from JNA deal with the various
25 parts of Croatia where the conflict took place, we will notice that when
1 orders are given for operational groups to establish them or to give
2 missions to them, that they list these volunteer formations.
3 Now, to finalise the answer to your question, it is well possible
4 that in the situation of a conflict independent or armed groups pop up.
5 That can happen in any conflict. However, within the military structures,
6 and especially within the JNA, there should be sufficient means available
7 to act against these groups; to remove them, to disarm them, or to act
8 otherwise in order that they are prevented from interfering with the
9 operations of the legal armed forces or the official armed forces.
10 Q. Of course. Now, I don't assume you challenge the fact,
11 Mr. Theunens, that the volunteers - and I'm speaking about volunteers, not
12 paramilitaries now, and in conformity with the provisions that you quoted,
13 therefore, volunteers - from the moment that they come forward as
14 volunteers and are accepted by the commands of the units to which they
15 have been attached represent a component part of the armed forces
16 themselves and as such they are subordinated to the single command in the
18 A. Your Honours, I would like to ask for clarification to the
19 question. Is Mr. Milosevic talking about individual volunteers who join
20 an existing JNA or TO unit or is he talking about volunteer groups that we
21 have been referring to over the -- yesterday and today in the various JNA
22 orders and documents we looked at?
23 Q. I mean both if we're talking about volunteers who placed at the
24 command and disposal of the Territorial Defence, for example, in Eastern
25 Slavonia, because you took Eastern Slavonia as your example, or the JNA
1 which was active there. Therefore, in conformity with what it states in
2 the law that you yourself quoted, I assume that you're not challenging the
3 fact that volunteers, once they have been accepted by a given command and
4 taken in represent part and parcel of the armed forces themselves. Is
5 that right or not?
6 A. The answer to the question, Your Honours, is -- was actually given
7 earlier in a sense of if the volunteers groups - and I can mention some
8 names we discussed earlier, like Leva Supoderica or White Eagles or
9 Seselj's men - if they are indeed accepted by the command structure as
10 being members of the armed forces, well, then that -- that's the final
11 situation. But my understanding of the 1982 All People's Defence Law and
12 the other documents I looked at was that volunteers, as they were
13 described in -- in 1982 All People's Defence Law consisted of individuals
14 and not of groups, because groups of volunteers we're talking about
15 private organisations who walk around in uniforms, who wear certain
16 insignia, who have weapons, carry weapons, weapons which are not allowed
17 by the law as to be individual weapons, and they commit certain -- they --
18 they commit certain activities during their activities in groups.
19 Q. Very well, Mr. Theunens. You said yesterday, and I made a note of
20 it here, according to the documents there are no orders issued by the JNA
21 mentioning a paramilitary, a para-army of any kind. That's what you said,
22 I believe.
23 A. I will be more specific Your Honours. The term "paramilitaries,"
24 if it was used in JNA orders, it's used in a paragraph where the enemy
25 situation is described in the sense that the opposing armed forces, in the
1 case for the conflict in Croatia, the ZNG, the Croatian National Guard or
2 police, were qualified as paramilitaries. Now, when these JNA orders were
3 dealing with friendly forces, the term "paramilitaries" is not used.
4 Instead, the term "TO detachment" or "volunteer detachment" is used.
5 However, as we also noticed, there are also reports prepared by JNA
6 security organs and the security administration who talk about people
7 like, for example, Captain Dragan, Arkan. The report this morning
8 mentions other groups where the term "paramilitary" is used for actually
9 those formations that are qualified as volunteer formations in JNA orders
10 that consider them friendly forces to qualify these groups and also to
11 highlight what -- from the analysis, I believe, the illegal character of
12 these groups.
13 Q. Very well. Now, since you work here, I assume that you had
14 occasion to see that there were orders issued by the JNA in which mention
15 is made of a para-army. However, in those orders, it is also mentioned
16 that such groups should be disarmed and even, if necessary, with the use
17 of weapons. Now, I presented an order here from the General Staff by the
18 commander of the 1st Army in which he warns everyone that there were
19 groups of paramilitaries engaged in unlawful acts and that it was the duty
20 of the units themselves, the JNA units, to disarm them and to act in
21 conformity with the law.
22 Have you had a chance of seeing documents like that, those
23 particular documents, or do you simply stand by what you say, that the
24 expression "paramilitary" is only used to refer to hostile forces, the
25 enemies? If not, just say no and we can move on.
1 A. Your Honour, I think the question is too complicated to give a yes
2 or no answer. Again I'd like to correct what Mr. Milosevic said about my
3 previous answer. I don't claim and I didn't say that the term
4 "paramilitary" was only used for hostile forces. As I mentioned, and I
5 will repeat it, JNA security organs and security administration used the
6 term "paramilitary" when they wrote information reports or call it
7 counter-intelligence reports or intelligence reports about the activities
8 of certain formations like people affiliated to Dragan, Arkan, White
9 Eagles and the others. There's also a document, a report written by
10 Colonel or General Tolimir, who was responsible for intelligence in the
11 VRS, a report he prepared in July 1992 which deals with paramilitaries and
12 which has been quoted in the report.
13 To come back to the first part of the question, indeed I have seen
14 orders from the SSNO or from the General Staff including also there is the
15 presidential decree I mentioned yesterday from the 10th of December where
16 indeed it is ordered that --
17 Q. That's not what I asked you about, the presidential decree. I
18 asked you about a specific order by the command of the 1st Army which I
19 presented here, and I think it was exhibited, and it speaks about the fact
20 that the units are duty-bound to disarm those paramilitary formations and
21 that they can resort to weapons, if necessary, to do that.
22 A. You -- Your Honour, if I'm requested to comment on this document,
23 on this particular order, I would like to see it, because one has to take
24 into account when it was issued and what is exactly written --
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. You're perfectly entitled to see it. Yes,
1 Mr. Milosevic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't got it with me. I gave
3 you the order a long time ago during the testimony of a witness, and it
4 was an order issued by the commander of the 1st Army to proceed according
5 to the law when it comes to paramilitaries.
6 JUDGE MAY: If you don't have it -- if you don't have it, the
7 witness can't possibly answer it. Let's move on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assumed that a witness who engages
9 in analysis must take into account all the documents which bear on the
10 subject of his study, but as that is obviously not the case, I shall move
11 on to something else.
12 THE WITNESS: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness answer.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, my comment referred to this particular
15 order. However, if you look into the report, in part 2 on page 17, I
16 quote a confidential letter General Adzic sent on 12th of October, so
17 General Adzic who is Chief of General Staff of the JNA. It's on page 17,
18 part 2.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: It is a quite extensive quote, but Adzic talks about
21 the role of the JNA. He mentions to defend the paths of certain people
22 from genocide and biological extermination, but to answer the question of
23 Mr. Milosevic, Adzic also orders that all armed units, be it JNA, TO, or
24 volunteer units, must act under the single command of the JNA. And that
25 is included in -- in this order. So there is no discussion that efforts
1 were made to restore single command and control, and that's actually also
2 included in the report. So if groups operated outside of the command
3 structure, well, that would actually be a situation that couldn't last,
4 because the commander would be obliged, would be forced to take action
5 against that and to either have them under his command or remove these
7 We've seen from the documents we've discussed related to Vukovar,
8 but there are also other references included in the second part of the
9 report, that measures were indeed taken to subordinate these groups, party
10 affiliated groups, to the JNA during operations via operational and
11 tactical groups.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Yes, there is an example like that in one of the orders, and it
14 refers to a group which placed itself under the command of the JNA, and
15 they were volunteers.
16 So is it clear that it is unacceptable to make a distinction
17 between members of the JNA and volunteers as their component and integral
18 part if, in keeping with the law as volunteers, they are participants in
19 the activities engaged in by the armed forces pursuant to the 1982 law
20 that you yourself mentioned?
21 A. Your Honour, if I understand the question well, then no difference
22 should be made between the JNA and volunteer units. Now, I have a
23 different interpretation because based on my analysis, volunteer units
24 were not part of the legal framework. If volunteer units had been part of
25 the legal framework and were indeed defined in the 1982 defence law, well,
1 such orders as the one quoted now by Adzic, that volunteer units had to
2 submit themselves to the JNA, would have been redundant. There would be
3 no need for such orders because they would have been subordinated. There
4 would have been no discussion if they had been legal. That's the issue.
5 Q. Well, that's the point. And I'm glad you've come to that matter,
6 because we're talking about the difference and distinction between
7 volunteers and paramilitary groups, and my question to you, Mr. Theunens,
8 was this: Do you know that the paramilitary groups always, when we're
9 talking about paramilitary groups, for example, which were established in
10 Serbia, they always represented groups of individual political parties.
11 And when we are talking about Serbia, they were opposition parties. Do
12 you know that? Are you aware of that?
13 A. Your Honours, I'm aware of the existence of such groups, but based
14 on my analysis which is contained in the report, I would not agree that
15 this was the only kind of paramilitary groups, because there were also
16 groups related to people like Dragan or Arkan which had no clear party
17 affiliation, and as I explained yesterday, according to information
18 collected by JNA security organs and security administration, these
19 individuals, Dragan and Arkan, were actually related to the Serbian
20 Ministry of Interior.
21 Q. Very well. Let's take a look at tab 5 then, and you refer to
22 Captain Dragan in tab 5. Captain Dragan otherwise was a witness here. He
23 testified and explained that he was not under any Ministry of the
24 Interior. I apologise. It wasn't tab 5, it's in tab 4. I made a
25 mistake there. Tab 4 refers to Captain Dragan.
1 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got it?
2 THE WITNESS: I don't have one, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let him have it.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. It says here: "By mid-June, some knowledge, information about
7 Daniel Snedden, Australian citizen alias Captain Dragan," and you attach
8 this in tab 4. The heading is: "Some information on Daniel Snedden."
9 And it says: "By mid-June, security organs gathered initial information
10 on Captain Dragan engaged in the training of the special unit of the
11 Ministry of the Interior of SAO Krajina in the village of Golubic near
13 JUDGE MAY: Has the witness got the passage he's looking at?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And he testified about that himself here, so he testified himself
18 to that. And then it goes on to say: "In spite of the fact that a lot of
19 information was passed regarding his identity ..." So in spite of the
20 fact that a lot of misinformation was passed regarding his identity, the
21 fact that he was always around and closely connected with several organs
22 of the MUP of Serbia who were engaged on the same mission. And then
23 mention is made of Franko Simatovic, indicated that we were talking about
24 an organ or person engaged on behalf of the MUP of Serbia. Franko
25 Simatovic was a man, I assume you know about that, who was engaged in
1 intelligence activity in the MUP of Serbia.
2 So we're not talking about organs here, we're talking about an
3 individual, in fact, an individual who met Captain Dragan.
4 So this particular circumstance, and as it says in the footnote
5 that this refers to his contacts with Simatovic. So this circumstance,
6 him having met somebody, speaks of the fact that he was engaged on behalf
7 of the MUP of Serbia. Don't you feel that to be exaggerated, that if you
8 happen to meet somebody or see somebody, that you are immediately linked
9 with an institution that you work for and then that the person you met, by
10 the same token, works for that same institution? Don't you feel that to
11 be too great a speculation with that fact?
12 A. I think, Your Honours, that it would be helpful for me if I could
13 explain how intelligence or counter-intelligence services would work
14 without going into too many details. As you notice from the last page of
15 the document, it is --
16 JUDGE MAY: Let him -- let him finish. Let him finish. No. Let
17 the witness to finish, let the reply.
18 THE WITNESS: The report is delivered to general of the army,
19 Veljko Kadijevic. Now, it is highly unusual that a security service would
20 send a report based on casual observations or only single observations to
21 its -- to its most senior military authority. The report is titled some
22 information. It's most likely the result of information that has been
23 collected from various sources at various times and in different
24 circumstances, so I would disagree with the comment of Mr. Milosevic that
25 it's only based on one observation maybe or one private encounter between
1 Simatovic and Dragan. Such a report would not be sent to Kadijevic,
2 because then the commander would be bothered with thousands of reports on
3 one day. No, he gets evaluated information, and evaluation means that not
4 only the information is verified but also the source of the information is
5 verified, and this is actually the product of such a process. It's not
6 just a first initial report by an operator or a security organ.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. But take a look at the third paragraph of that same document now,
9 please, assessment of the work of the security organs, as you yourself
11 "At the beginning of 1990, he came to Yugoslavia --" and they're
12 referring to Dragan Vasiljkovic -- "and actively took part in the election
13 campaign as a member of the extreme nationalist and pro-Chetnik parties."
14 Therefore, you're claiming that he didn't have any links with the
15 parties. I don't think he did either, that he came as a volunteer and
16 worked there not by any directives from the MUP because the MUP didn't
17 know about him when he arrived, and you can see this on the second page.
18 The MUP, since Snedden's arrival, followed him to see what his behaviour
19 was. He monitored -- they monitored his behaviour. So if the MUP
20 monitored him and followed him and assessed him, then I assume it is quite
21 clear that he couldn't have come at the invitation of MUP or MUP having
22 engaged his services. Wouldn't that be correct?
23 A. It could well be, Your Honours, that maybe initially Snedden came
24 out on his own initiative but that subsequently he was recruited by the
25 MUP. I don't think that the report is clear enough on that particular
1 aspect to be able to draw a conclusion on that.
2 Q. Well, I would like to draw the conclusion precisely that you're
3 claiming incorrectly that he was on assignment in Serbia, because from
4 this piece of information we can see that the MUP monitored his movements,
5 followed him as soon as he reached the country, gathered information about
7 And in paragraph 2 on page 2, it goes on to say: "From Slavonia
8 he moved to Belgrade and he often stays with Klara Mandic, the president
9 of the Serbian Jewish community. That's paragraph 2, and then there's a
10 footnote, two stars, it says: "It was incontestably proved that a MOSAD
11 agent is in question, who has a lot of social connections in Belgrade,
12 through which the initial contacts were made for establishing close
13 cooperation between Belgrade and Tel Aviv." That's complete nonsense.
14 So, yes, Mrs. Mandic was the president of the Serbian Jewish
15 community, he did take part in developing relations, friendly relations
16 between the two sides, but I read for the first time here that she was a
17 MOSAD agent. So the fact that you're claiming that that is good grounds
18 for information, as soon as she was sent to Veljko Kadijevic, as soon as
19 it was sent to Veljko Kadijevic, it seems to me that there are
20 contradictions here in the information itself and that that just does not
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness answer.
23 THE WITNESS: When I include in the report a passage on possible
24 links -- or not possible but on linkage between Mr. Snedden and the
25 Serbian Ministry of Interior, I didn't base that comment solely on this
1 one document. I'm very well aware of the many media interviews Mr. Dragan
2 gave throughout his presence in the former Yugoslavia, one the latest ones
3 being for Vreme, if I recall, in 2000 or 2001, in a series dealing with
4 the history of the conflict where he emphasises once again his close
5 relationship with the MUP of Serbia.
6 But coming back to this document here, it could well be and I'm
7 not in a position to talk about what is written about Mandic and so on,
8 but it's an information report. It is based on the information the JNA
9 security organs have collected. Now, there is information and
10 disinformation. It could well be that the passage on Mandic is the result
11 of disinformation that has been produced or generated by certain
12 organisations. It could well be that this aspect is incorrect.
13 What is more relevant, I would believe, are the comments talking
14 about Dragan, the people he encounters like Simatovic. There is also a
15 comment in -- on page 3, the top paragraph there, where meetings and joint
16 visits between Dragan and Minister Sainovic are commented. This document
17 then, together with other documents I saw, well, I think I sufficiently
18 ground to confirm what is actually alleged in the first paragraph of this
19 document, that is that there were contacts or, as it is put here, closely
20 connected -- that Snedden was closely connected with several organs of the
21 MUP Serbia.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you just clarify for me, the footnotes are
23 your comments?
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, in this document?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: No, no, Your Honour. This is in the original
2 document. The footnotes have been put on the document by the author.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I suppose I can move on.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, move on.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You go on to say Sainovic, the minister, met with Dragan in the
9 town of Bor. Sainovic, by the way, is originally from the town of Bor and
10 used to go there on private visits. And allegedly they discussed the
11 possibility of establishing a training centre in Bor, but since there was
12 no approval from the commander of the TO staff of the Republic of Serbia,
13 this request was denied.
14 A. You --
15 Q. Therefore, don't you think this is rather confusing? Some
16 minister from the government of Serbia suggests to a private person who
17 came from Australia something and then it's denied by the commander of the
18 TO staff because there is no approval from the republican TO staff? Don't
19 you think this is rather like hearsay, not very serious, and it is not
20 even likely because all this fell through and nothing came out of it? In
21 our language we say all rubbish and nonsense.
22 A. Your Honour, the transcript says, or Mr. Milosevic actually said
23 that, "You go on to say Sainovic." This is not my claim. It's in the
24 report, in the UB report, so it would be better to correct that.
25 Q. All right. All right.
1 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness to say anything if he wants.
2 Do you want to add anything?
3 THE WITNESS: I haven't looked. It was not part of my task in the
4 preparation of this report to look at the particular activities of
5 Mr. Sainovic or other individuals mentioned in this paragraph, so I
6 wouldn't be in a position to comment on that.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So you just extracted from this report one possibility, one
10 possible assumption because this person contacted this man from the
11 security service and you concluded that he was engaged by the ministry of
12 Serbia and the security services. That's how you draw your conclusion,
13 Mr. Theunens?
14 A. Your Honours, first of all, I don't draw conclusions. I write --
15 I wrote an analysis. And secondly, as I explained earlier, not only
16 yesterday but also this morning, this report is not the result of the work
17 of one person, it is most likely a compilation of reports of different
18 security organs. Now, it is an information report, and I mention again
19 there is information in it, there could -- there are parts in it which are
20 probably more true than others, but the first paragraph, the one I took
21 into consideration, actually coincides or contains similar information as
22 information that I could find back in other sources. Some of these
23 sources were indeed media sources.
24 Now, that was not discussed in detail in the report, but
25 individuals like Dragan and even Arkan enjoyed lots of attentions of not
1 only private but also state-owned media at the time in Serbia. That may
2 also be an indicator of the kind of activities and the kind of -- kind
3 of activities they were engaged in and also -- or more importantly the
4 confidence they had or didn't have. And I also recall statements made by
5 Mr. Dragan himself both at press conferences, his encounters with
6 Mr. Tomislav Simovic when Simovic was minister of defence of the Republic
7 of Serbia, the earlier interview I mentioned with -- with Dragan. So the
8 analysis is not based on only one source or only one report but it's based
9 on several sources, and that is the result of the analysis.
10 Q. Very well, Mr. Theunens. There's no point in dwelling on this so
11 long in dealing with speculations derived from this.
12 Now, in tab 5, you are trying to link Arkan with the Ministry of
13 the Interior. Do you know, and this is a generally known fact, that
14 Zeljko Raznjatovic Arkan, who later became commander of the Serb
15 Volunteers Guard was associated with the Ministry of the Interior but it
16 was the federal ministry at the time when the ministry was headed by a
17 leading politician from Slovenia, Stane Dolanc? Are you aware of that?
18 A. As Arkan or Zeljko Raznjatovic was a quite relevant person for --
19 to understand the situation in Eastern Slavonia between let's say 1991 and
20 1995 and as Belgium had troops in Baranja, the sort of northern part of
21 the area between 1992 and 1997, in the framework of my previous
22 professional activities I am familiar with the person and the
23 relationships he had with both Federal Ministry of Interior as well as
24 Serbian Ministry of Interior between early 1990s or end of the 1980s until
25 he died, or he was assassinated.
1 Q. Then you know about these links starting with the beginning of the
2 1980s with the Federal Ministry of the Interior that continued in the
3 future, and then in tab 5 we see this document titled Information, which
4 says foodstuffs arrived as assistance from the government of Serbia, and
5 they are distributed with the assistance of Arkan. However, the aforesaid
6 person also pointed out to instances of abuse during these transactions,
7 and then pointing out these instances of abuse, Arkan says that staffs of
8 Sarvas and Erdut got 40 tonnes of meat which was sold by presidents of
9 those staffs at the price of 40 to 50 marks or dinars.
10 Since you studied this, all this assistance in foodstuffs and
11 medication, et cetera, was sent by Serbia -- wasn't sent through the Red
12 Cross and other organisations, it was sent through Arkan. Does that seem
13 plausible to you, Mr. Theunens? Does that mean that the Red Cross of
14 Serbia and all the humanitarian aid provided by Serbia should be
15 associated with Arkan? And then there are instances of abuse and people
16 who get this aid sell it instead.
17 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... a witness. What
18 is the point? Unless the witness is prepared to answer, he can do so.
19 THE WITNESS: Your answer -- the report does not analyse the
20 status of the Serbian Red Cross. The report analyses the -- again command
21 and control situation in Croatia with regard to SFRY armed forces. So JNA
22 local Serb forces, including TO, volunteers also known as paramilitaries.
23 This document, the document Mr. Milosevic is referring to, is one of
24 several ones quoted in the report and have been used to analyse the
25 relationship or not only the relationship but the status of Arkan and his
1 relationship with official instances in Serbia.
2 If I'm allowed, I would like to draw your attention to page 38 of
3 the second part of the report where you can find other references to
4 security organs and security administration information reports on Arkan
5 and his relationships with MUP and UB Serbia.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, since you also mentioned the Belgium presence in
8 Eastern Slavonia, is it -- is my information correct that Arkan, that is
9 the Serb Volunteers Guard, for as long as it was in Slavonia, together
10 with Arkan, was within the framework of the TO of Eastern Slavonia and
11 later of the Serbian army of Krajina? Is that true?
12 A. Your Honours, it depends when -- when you want this period to --
13 start, I express myself better. Mr. Milosevic mentions for as long as it
14 was in Slavonia, I would need more precise information because the status
15 of Arkan changed over time. He left the area, he returned. And the
16 training centre, as far as I recall, at a certain time period - I'm
17 talking about 1993, 1994 - was handed over from Arkan himself to the local
18 TO which officially didn't exist, then it was also handed over to the
19 local milicija, so the police, and then it became back -- it returned to
20 be a training centre for Arkan. So I would need a more precise time
22 Q. All right. But in any case, he was always subordinated either to
23 the TO or the police of Krajina, that is to the forces that controlled
24 that territory and which were part of the SAO Krajina; is that correct?
25 A. Your Honours, I'm also familiar with evidence that during the
1 operations in 1991, we're talking about the operations in the area of
2 Vukovar during fall 19 -- fall and winter 1991, there are instances where
3 Arkan operated under command and control of the JNA.
4 Q. Very well. Look under tab 7. You provided a document signed by
5 the commander, Operative Group South, 21st November, 1991, Negoslavci
6 village, Commander Mile Mrksic. It says: "Further to the newly arisen
7 situation --" and so on and so forth -- "I hereby order that this
8 volunteers detachment Leva Supoderica be resubordinated to the 12th
9 Motorised Brigade, that the Kragujevac 'Sumadinac' Detachment be
10 resubordinated and sent to the 1st PGMD --" I don't know what that
11 abbreviation means but it's also a JNA unit -- and that some armoured
12 company return to its home unit.
13 And then it says, "Vukovar TO units shall be resubordinated to the
14 80th Motorised Brigade and continue with the implementation of the
15 assigned tasks - that is providing security and control of the captured
16 areas in Vukovar with an emphasis on the most sensitive facilities. All
17 issues regarding the signing out, the issuing of certificates and payments
18 shall be regulated by the assistant commander for logistics."
19 And then we see that this was copied to commanders of volunteers
20 units, Seseljevci and others, but this is a volunteer unit which came to
21 that area and placed itself under the command of the JNA. Isn't this what
22 follows from this document?
23 A. The question, Your Honours, would need to be clarified, but --
24 because which volunteer unit are we talking about and what is meant with a
25 volunteer unit putting itself or placing itself under the command? The
1 subordination isn't a measure that is taken by the superior. It's not a
2 subordinate who decides well now I'm subordinated to X or Y, it's an
3 action that emanates from the superior, so I would like to have the
4 question clarified.
5 Q. Does this imply that this volunteer unit, because it says in the
6 document Leva Supoderica volunteers detachment, is it implied that it is
7 placed under the command of the JNA?
8 A. Your Honour, you will see from the report, and the situation in
9 Eastern Slavonia is discussed from page 65 on of the second part of the
10 report, that quite early, and I have an order here which is quoted on the
11 bottom of page 65, an order from the 29th of October, 1991, that indeed
12 Leva Supoderica volunteer unit with affiliated or related to the SRS, the
13 Serbian Radical Party, was subordinated or was included, so that means
14 subordination, in the assault detachment number 1. So from 29 of October
16 The situation that is referred to in this particular order has to
17 do with the operations after the fall of Vukovar and after the evacuation
18 of the hospital. It is that the Guards Brigade, which was the main unit
19 of Operational Group South, is preparing itself to withdraw and is
20 therefore handing over its responsibilities in a gradual way to another
21 JNA unit and the 80th Motorised Brigade. So indeed the order confirms
22 that Leva Supoderica remains subordinated to the JNA as it was already
23 since 29 of October, only its superior unit changes.
24 Q. Very well. Therefore, that confirms what the Serbian Radical
25 Party claims, that they sent volunteers exclusively to the JNA as long as
1 it was there and then under the command of the Serbian army of Krajina
2 when the JNA was no longer there but always sent these units to work under
3 the command of the army that controlled this territory. Is that in
4 keeping what it says here and what that party claims? They sent their
5 people as volunteers to operate always under the command of legal military
6 formations. Is that so or not?
7 A. Your Honours, I'm familiar with -- with these claims of the SRS,
8 but I didn't really analyse them in a sense. I didn't look at all the SRS
9 or Serbian Radical Party documentation. All I can say is based on
10 analysis I did, which is contained in the report, that for this specific
11 case, so the JNA operations in the area of Vukovar, that at the latest on
12 the 29th of October 1991, volunteers related to the Serbian Radical Party,
13 not only Leva Supoderica but there are also other groups, were indeed
14 subordinated to the JNA during the operations, and according to this
15 document, this subordination actually continued after the 21st of November
17 Q. Very well. Therefore, according to the information available to
18 you as an analyst and which you are presenting here, their claim that they
19 sent their volunteers exclusively to the JNA or in other situations to the
20 Territorial Defence of Krajina or the Republika Srpska is true. Since we
21 are dealing with documents under tabs, it would be practical for me to --
22 A. Um -- Your Honour, I would like to react to what Mr. Milosevic
23 said. I am not in a position to confirm claims of political parties.
24 What my task was to look at orders and other official documents and to
25 analyse those documents. Whether these -- the analysis corresponds with
1 what certain political parties may claim or not claim, that's not my
2 issue. That's not my problem.
3 Q. All right. All right. I only wanted to compare your assertions
4 with their claims, and I note that they were indeed subordinated to the
5 JNA and they did not try to avoid that subordination and act in an
6 anarchic manner.
7 The next thing I want to do with these tabs, to make my life
8 easier --
9 A. Your Honour, the word "assertion," I'm not a native speaker but to
10 me it doesn't mean the same as analysis. An assertion can be based on one
11 or two observations. As you will see from the report, there were more --
12 many more -- and official documents used, JNA orders used, so I'm not
13 talking about assertions, we're talking about analysis based on JNA
14 orders. That's not an assertion.
15 Q. Certainly, certainly. That analysis confirms the position that
16 they acted in a legal manner. They were subordinated to the JNA in
17 conformity with the laws that you are quoting. That's not in dispute.
18 A. No, it's not in dispute for the orders I looked at.
19 Q. Precisely. That's what I wanted to establish.
20 Now, please look at tab 8. That's an order of the Chief of the
21 General Staff to establish the 30th and the 40th Personnel Centres. And
22 these notorious personnel centres are going to be elucidated, perhaps not
23 with you but with somebody else.
24 I would like to draw your attention to pages 89 and 90 of this
25 report of yours, part 2, Armed Forces of the JNA and the Conflict in
1 Croatia. I have the B/C/S version.
2 So it says under J: "On the 15th of November, 1993, the Chief of
3 the General Staff of the VJ, Colonel General Momcilo Perisic, ordered the
4 establishment of the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres. Colonel Perisic's
5 order followed an order of the FRY president's order," number
6 such-and-such, dated the 10th of November, 1993.
7 And then on the next page you say, under para 1: "According to
8 Perisic's order, the personnel centres 'are to be subordinated to the head
9 of the personnel administration who will regulate assignments,
10 deployments, and all the other issues related to the existence and
11 functioning of personnel centres ...'" and so on.
12 Thus, these notorious personnel centres, the 30th and the 40th
13 one, through which salaries were received, social and health security for
14 families, et cetera, were subordinated to the personnel administration.
15 Now, answer me, Mr. Theunens, as a soldier. If there were
16 subordination related to the army of Yugoslavia and the army of Republika
17 Srpska and the army of Serbian Krajina, would it be possible for these
18 personnel centres, which take care of material aid, to be subordinated to
19 the personnel administration, and how can an army be subordinated to a
20 personnel administration? How can troops be subordinated to a personnel
22 A. Your Honour, I don't understand the question. Who is subordinated
23 to the 30th Personnel Centre?
24 Q. Well, you say -- I'm not saying who is subordinated to the
25 personnel centre. You say in paragraph 1, page 89 in English: "According
1 to Perisic's order, the personnel centres are to be subordinated to the
2 head of the personnel administration." And in paragraph 2: "This organ
3 takes administrative care of them."
4 Is it clear that there is no subordination between the General
5 Staff of the army of Yugoslavia or the army of Republika Srpska and the
6 army of Serbian Krajina, rather, the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres are
7 subordinated to the personnel administration which takes care of its -- of
8 administrative issues, social and health and pension, security, salaries,
9 et cetera. There is nothing here that would corroborate the idea of a
10 single chain of command linking them.
11 A. Your Honour, the passage Mr. Milosevic quoted from the report
12 deals with personnel support, so it doesn't deal at all with subordination
13 relations between SVK, VRS, or VJ. The use of the term "subordination" in
14 this particular passage where I explain the 30th Personnel Centre is
15 nothing more than a copy of paragraph 3 of the order signed by Perisic
16 where it clearly states personnel centres are to be subordinated to the
17 head of the personnel administration.
18 The question -- the complicated question of the relationship --
19 subordination relationship between VJ, SVK and VRS is not at all dealt
20 with in this particular section of the report so I don't understand very
21 well what reference is required for.
22 Q. Well, it doesn't matter in which section of the report. What
23 matters is that this is the best proof that these 30th and 40th Personnel
24 Centres are exclusively in charge of material assistance to former
25 officers of the JNA serving in the VRS or the SVK dealing with their
1 salaries, social and health security for their families, and have nothing
2 to do with military operations or anything of that kind. Otherwise, they
3 wouldn't be subordinated to the personnel administration. A personnel
4 administration only deals with personnel issues; status, pensions,
5 security, salaries, et cetera. Is that clear or not?
6 A. Your Honours, I don't need -- I don't see the need for
7 clarification in this paragraph about personnel support.
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. The matter's finished. He's made his
9 point. You can make your own in due course if you want.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I don't see any
11 difference. Everything is written here.
12 JUDGE KWON: I didn't follow the question, but if you can help me,
13 Mr. Theunens. Personnel administration, is it not related to the army?
14 THE WITNESS: The personnel administration is one of the sections
15 in a staff. Like, there will be an operations section, a logistics
16 section, a section for morale and related matters. This paragraph in the
17 report only deals with the establishment of the 30th and 40th Personnel
18 Centres. Now, as Mr. Milosevic explains, these centres -- or to continue
19 with this explanation, these centres were established to administer
20 officers of the JNA or the VJ, so active-duty officers, serving in the
21 armed forces of another country or on the territory of another country,
22 and I will able be more specific, entities on the territory of another
23 country, being the VRS and the SVK. We know from the documents that have
24 been referred to in the -- in the report that these financial issues
25 involved the payment of salaries, the payment of compensation for service
1 under hardship, as well as also to keep a kind of -- or to exercise
2 bookkeeping in order to calculate times for pensionable age and related
4 Whether there is a relation between the payment of salaries and
5 command and control, from the military -- strictly military pint of view,
6 obviously not. A Personnel Department is not involved with command and
7 control. However, one can ask the question whether the payment of
8 salaries to people has an impact on their behaviour, and whether this
9 relation should be considered as command and control or influence is
10 another matter but that matter is certainly not discussed in this section
11 of the report.
12 JUDGE KWON: So my question was whether the personnel
13 administration is an organ inside the army.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. It's a department within the
15 General Staff, this one.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Mr. Milosevic.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. But let me correct you, Mr. Theunens. What is dealt with here is
19 not that they are officers of the JNA, paid by the JNA. At -- during the
20 time while they are paid by the JNA, they are serving as officers of the
21 army of Republika Srpska or the SDK which has no tangible link with the
22 army of Yugoslavia. Is that true according to all the analytical data you
24 A. Your Honours, with regard to the first part of the question that
25 we're talking about JNA or VJ officers paid by the VJ, I agree to that
2 Now, the second part about the tangible links between VJ and VRS
3 and SVK I would not agree with that conclusion and I would refer to the
4 parts of the report we discussed already yesterday in regard -- with
5 regard to, for example, the exchange of daily combat reports as well as
6 the organisation of coordination meetings.
7 Q. Well, you found one or two of those friendly armies in any case
8 meet and cooperate. You even claim that I received daily reports. Were
9 you able to establish then, as a military expert, that in my office I
10 didn't have a single employee working on military issues or anybody else
11 who would be able to deal with such reports or receive them? You are
12 making that assertion only because somebody wrote somewhere that those
13 reports were submitted to me as well. They were submitted to Perisic, of
14 course, among other people, so that he be informed, not that he be able to
15 issue orders. Is that true, Mr. Theunens, or not?
16 A. I'm looking at the relevant part of the report, but in the report
17 it is not claimed that you received them. It is only concluded, if I can
18 use that expression, that reports were sent -- that --
19 Q. Thank you. That's sufficient. That's enough for me. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: If he wishes to add, he can do so. Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, that the reports were sent to
22 Mr. Milosevic and General Perisic, and when looking at the contents of
23 these reports that regularly they include information that deals with
24 personnel support from the VJ to the SVK, requests from the SVK for
25 additional material support as well as assessments of support, material
1 support, fuel, ammunition and related matters that was received earlier
2 from the VJ.
3 In addition, the coordination meetings I was talking about in the
4 report, and that starts on page 116 of the second part, there are a number
5 of references made to these coordination meetings between SVK, VJ, and
6 VRS, and, for example, in the English translation, page 118, at the bottom
7 of the page, there are -- we include references to similar meetings in
8 January, February, and May 1994. More references can be followed in the
9 pages afterwards, and it -- that allows or that indicates that there were
10 organised contacts, not only contacts but coordination meetings.
11 Now, coordination in -- in -- according to the JNA regulations I
12 looked at can involve a subordination relationship.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Now, Mr. Theunens, come on. Do you have a single document, as you
15 are an analyst yourself, and as that machinery over there collects all
16 types of documents, can you quote me a single document in which the
17 General Staff of the army of Yugoslavia issues any kind of order
18 whatsoever to the Main Staff of the Serbian army of Krajina or the Main
19 Staff of the army of Republika Srpska?
20 A. Your Honours, on page 120 of the report, English version,
21 paragraph H, there is a copy of an order dated the 7th of December, 1994,
22 and I can actually give the exhibit number. It was already tendered, and
23 it's Exhibit 469 -- 469, tab 18. An order of 7 December 1994 released by
24 General Momcilo Perisic, Chief of General Staff of the VJ, to Milan
25 Celeketic, who is Chief of General Staff of the SVK, so the Serbian armed
1 force in Krajina, and to Milan Martic, president of the Serbian Republic
2 of Krajina, and it deals with the -- of the facilitating of free passage
3 of an UNPROFOR humanitarian convoy in Western Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it
4 concludes as follows: "On the authority of the president of the Republic
5 of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, Chief of the General Staff of the VJ,
6 Lieutenant General Momcilo Perisic." So it's Exhibit 469, tab 18.
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, thank you very much for finding that finally. And
8 you claim that that is in fact an order. And we're talking about 1994.
9 The date is the 7th of December.
10 At that time, Mr. Akashi, the Special Representative of the UN
11 Secretary-General, had very frequent meetings and relations with me. I
12 did my best to help him. I assume you're well aware of that because the
13 opposite side, the one you're testifying for, has a series of reports
14 which will bear that out. And what you have just quoted I'm going to read
15 in Serbian. I did not compare the translation, but it has nothing to do
16 with any kind of order. However, it emanates from that, and you will
17 confirm that as a military analyst yourself, that I quite obviously had no
18 possibility of having contacts or communication and, therefore, I asked of
19 General Perisic to do his best to convey a message to Martic for him to
20 intervene with respect to what Mr. Akashi had asked me to do. And so this
21 is what it says. He sent the message. How he sent it, I can't say, I
22 don't know whether it went by courier or whether it was conveyed through
23 the telephone, what kind of connections and links he had at that time I
24 don't know but somebody will probably be able to tell us. And he's
25 sending out this to the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
1 Mr. Milan Martic, and the commander of the Main Staff, Major General Milan
3 Following instructions, not on order, but following instructions,
4 it says here -- I see the translation here of that text in English. It
5 says: "On the order of the president of the republic of Serbia."
6 "Instruction" and "order" is not the same thing in the Serbian language
7 nor am I able to issue orders. I instruct. That's what I do in the
8 Serbian language. So in the Serbian text it says quite simply "pursuant
9 to instructions" by the president, et cetera, et cetera, urgently to
10 facilitate the passage of UNPROFOR humanitarian aid to Western Bosnia.
11 What this was about was that Mr. Akashi asked that we intervene
12 for humanitarian reasons and that for two reasons. So I did say to
13 Perisic, "find a way of informing them that they must do that for Akashi,
14 first, because you, Mr. Martic, promised to do this to Mr. Yasushi Akashi,
15 and second because the decision of UNPROFOR's withdrawal from Western
16 Bosnia is at stake. Inform UNPROFOR, Mr. Akashi, in writing that you will
17 take this task upon yourself and that you will assume this task this
18 evening, immediately, and carry it out."
19 Therefore, pursuant to this authorisation, he is conveying a
20 message in which I ask that the promise that was made to Akashi be put
21 into practice, be carried out, that UNPROFOR's convoy be let through. And
22 you consider this to be a relationship of subordination, do you? So we
23 have the same pattern here; my endeavours for peace are being taken as
24 proof and evidence that I am in charge of the situation and managing it.
25 So I'm asking that the humanitarian envoys be let through, and it says "on
1 order." Not even the translation is correct.
2 Do you have any other orders of this nature? I'll be very
3 grateful to you if you tell me.
4 A. Your Honours, I didn't conclude from this one single document that
5 the SVK was subordinated to Mr. Milosevic. I only attempted to answer his
6 question. The question, if I recall well, was whether we have any orders
7 from -- emanating from Mr. Milosevic to the SVK or the VRS. Well, this is
8 one example.
9 I'm -- I'm not a native B/C/S speaker, but as far as I understand
10 military language, "instruction" can also have the implications of an
11 order in the sense that when -- and this is quoted in the report on page
12 62 of the first part, there are actually, according to a JNA instruction
13 from 1983, four different kinds of orders. There are directives, which
14 are issued by the highest level, then there are instructions, then there
15 are orders, then there are commands at the lowest level. I understand
16 very well that this is -- it's not the most significant military matter
17 that is being dealt with, notwithstanding that at the time there were
18 serious problems with the freedom of movement of UNPROFOR not only in the
19 Serb held territories in Croatia but also in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, the
20 fact that we don't have orders don't mean that they don't exist. We sent
21 many requests to, at the time, the FRY and subsequently Serbia and
22 Montenegro for documents. Some have been replied to; others not. Again,
23 the fact that we don't have them doesn't mean they don't exist, so I
24 cannot draw any conclusion on that level.
25 Q. Well, it says here he should do this for two reasons; one, because
1 you, Mr. Martic, promised to do so for Mr. Yasushi Akashi, and second,
2 because the decision on the withdrawal of UNPROFOR is at stake, to
3 endeavour not to have the situation deteriorate, and he is conveying my
4 message. Had I been able to contact him, I would have told him that
5 myself, and insisted upon letting UNPROFOR pass. And you're taking this
6 to be evidence of an order. Do you have any other example of that kind?
7 I should be very grateful if you could quote me another order like that.
8 A. I think I answered that question, Your Honours.
9 Q. That you have answered it, yes, you have, but you haven't got one
10 because you didn't receive one, otherwise, you would have had it. There
11 are none, that's why you haven't got one. But let's return to the
12 paramilitary formations.
13 JUDGE MAY: If the witness wants to answer, he can, or otherwise,
14 take no notice.
15 Yes. Let's go on to something else.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, is the witness going to answer
17 or not?
18 JUDGE MAY: No. He's given you an answer. Let's move on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Fine.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell me, please, since you say that the armed forces of the SFRY
22 and the conflict in Croatia -- that's the title in fact -- now the ZNG,
23 the Croatian National Guards Corps, for the period of time you're
24 referring to, that is to say when the SFRY was still in existence with its
25 constitution that you have been quoting, its laws and military legal
1 provisions and the provisions of the TO that you have been quoting as
2 well, and you have also quoted passages saying that they were the sole
3 legitimate elements of the armed forces of the SFRY, so I'm asking you, at
4 the time, the ZNG, the Croatian National Guard Corps, was it a
5 paramilitary formation or was it some sort of party army belonging to the
6 then HDZ, the leading party in -- on the Croatian political arena? As an
7 analyst, give me an answer to that, please.
8 A. Well, Your Honours, as an analyst, I was tasked to analyse the
9 SFRY armed forces, JNA and TO, their situation or their status during the
10 conflict in Croatia with regard to the issue of command and control. ZNG
11 was not part of this -- of this work, of this analysis, so I can't answer
12 that question.
13 Q. Well, you've answered it in actual fact. And you have answered
14 it, as our friends in Croatia would say, very well. With all -- do you
15 know that the Presidency of the SFRY as the Supreme Commander of the armed
16 forces, on the 9th of January, 1931 [as interpreted] gave an order to
17 disarm all the paramilitaries within the space of ten days, within a
18 ten-day time limit, and that the Croatian representatives, Mesic first of
19 all, asked for an additional two days to be added to that deadline for
20 disarmament, and then after consulting his allies from the West, they
21 rejected the order to disarm the paramilitaries.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you answer, the transcript says 9th of
23 January 1931. Rather historical.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1991. 1991, yes. It's probably a
25 typing error. 1991 was what I said.
1 THE WITNESS: The same answer to the similar question before. I
2 am familiar with that order and the events, but they are not part of the
3 scope of this report. So -- and I would like to add the fact that I say
4 that they are not part of the scope of this report does not necessarily
5 mean that I agree with what you say, Mr. Milosevic. You give your version
6 of these events. As an analyst, I would like to look at all the documents
7 related to these events before I would make any assessment or give any
8 opinions on the opinions of others.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Fine, Mr. Theunens. As you're here just to speak about what the
11 Serbs did, do you know that that same order was respected only by the
12 Serbs in Croatia and did lay down their entire weaponry, all the weapons
13 they had, believing that the JNA, as the Presidency had taken that
14 decision, that the JNA would protect all the citizens? Are you aware of
16 A. This may well have happened at that time, and I was trying to find
17 the document in the -- my report. On the other hand, there are documents,
18 and actually you mentioned one this morning, the JNA security report on
19 Arkan and the ammunition and weapons he was distributing in Eastern
20 Slavonia, ammunition coming from the Serbian Ministry of Interior. It
21 doesn't mean -- it doesn't mean if they disarmed in January that they
22 didn't rearm themselves afterwards.
23 Q. Just a moment, please. You now say that I mentioned that, whereas
24 I was talking about food and other things like that. And now I have to go
25 back to the tab about Arkan where that is stated. I can't remember what
1 tab number it was.
2 A. Tab number 5. There should be another one. It's later.
3 Q. Yes, you're right. Tab 5. Thank you very much. It says, "While
4 performing functional tasks within the units, within the Savski Venac
5 Municipal Territorial Defence engaged in securing the Bratstvo-Jedinstvo
6 bridge, the security organ --" which means an officer, right? One
7 officer, when it says "security organ," it means an officer -- "of the
8 aforementioned staff has contracted in the -- in the Second Lieutenant
9 Blagojevic Goran, the aforementioned staff has contracted Zeljko
10 Raznjatovic Arkan, commander of the so-called Serbian Volunteers Guard
11 several times." That's what it says in this report, in this piece of
13 And then goes on to state, speaking about Arkan: "The above-named
14 has said that weaponry, ammunition and MES --" I suppose that means
15 materiel -- "has been supplied by the MUP, the Ministry of Interior and
16 the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia and that he had been
17 distributing them to the TO staff of Erdut, Sarvas, and Borovo Selo."
18 Do you mean to say that it says here what that man said that Arkan
19 had told me -- told him? Does it say anything else other than that,
20 Mr. Theunens, here? Is that all it says?
21 A. Your Honour, before answering the question, MES actually means
22 mines and explosives in B/C/S. I was only referring to this -- to this
23 document. I mean, this is a report. Now if you want to address Arkan
24 again, the kind of equipment and weaponry --
25 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. One at a time. Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: The kind of equipment and weaponry Arkan had in his
2 training centre was quite sophisticated. I mean by that these were not
3 like personal weapons or a weapon a private person may have at home,
4 people who have an arms permit or something. These were military weapons,
5 and when you look at the geography of the area, well, the only way how he,
6 how Arkan could enter the area was via the Erdut bridge or via the
7 territory of Serbia, and I would assume that he had to pass border
8 controls or other police or maybe military personnel there and they may
9 verify what he was transporting. So the fact that these people had these
10 kind of weapons is a known observation.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're going to stop now. It's time for the --
12 no, just a moment. You can -- you must stop now. Twenty minutes for the
14 Meanwhile, tomorrow, the proposal which we'll follow is that there
15 is a witness from -- the general who is coming today particularly for that
16 or, rather, giving it in a particular way. So we'll hear his evidence.
17 The evidence shall then, when it's possible, we will finish this witness's
18 evidence thereafter. The accused has an additional 15 minutes after
19 today. The amicus can have 20 minutes, and the normal quarter of an hour
20 which we allow for the final witnesses. Very well. We'll call in --
21 we'll finish in time to finish this afternoon. Yes. We will adjourn
22 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. May. I've been
1 told to approach the microphone. I assume they can't hear me well enough.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Theunens, you said a moment ago that he crossed the border and
4 that he had to have come from Serbia. Well, I assume it's clear to you
5 from the sea of information that you've been inundated with that in 1991
6 there was no border there. It was all Yugoslavia.
7 A. Your Honours, I'm familiar with the situation in the SFRY as it
8 was prior to 1992. Now, on the other hand, once the conflict in Croatia
9 broke out, I would assume that controls on strategic objectives like the
10 bridges of the Danube or the protection of the strategic objectives would
11 be identified.
12 My earlier comments on the activities of Arkan related mainly to
13 the activities after the arrival of the UN forces in the area, which is
14 the period -- time period after April 1992 until 1996, 1997.
15 Q. Very well. The information you gave us referred to 1991.
16 Now, do you know, Mr. Theunens, that even if we are talking about
17 the deployment of the armies in the former or, rather, the army in the
18 former JNA, that there were three army districts? The 1st Army District
19 incorporated part of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and -- well, almost the
20 whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But anyway, there were three army districts,
21 and they did not coincide with the borders of the republics. I assume
22 you're well aware of that?
23 A. I am familiar with that, Your Honours.
24 Q. So you are aware, then, that within the competence of the 1st Army
25 District was the area stretching to the left and right bank of the Danube
1 River. Do you know that?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours. There is actually a map of the geographic
3 organisation of the JNA included in the report. I'm just trying to locate
4 on which page it is. Anyway, we can do that later.
5 Q. Very well. But it's not disputed that both the left and right
6 bank of the Danube came under the 1st Army District and its competencies
7 and the JNA, as you yourself observed, had under its control all the armed
8 forces in that area, on that territory, which included the Territorial
9 Defence, the volunteer units, et cetera. I don't assume you're
10 challenging that.
11 A. No, Your Honours. This is actually one of the assessments that
12 can be made, or conclusion that can be drawn from the orders of the 1st
13 Military District and Operational Group South that we discussed earlier,
14 that during operations in Eastern Slavonia, all units in the area, JNA,
15 local Serb TO, units of the TO of the Republic of Serbia, as well as
16 volunteers, called by some paramilitaries or volunteer groups, were
17 subordinated to these operational groups.
18 Q. Yes, subordinated to these operational groups, you say, except
19 certain paramilitary formations. Are you aware of that?
20 A. Put like that, I don't really understand your question. Could you
21 be more specific, please.
22 Q. Well, are you aware of the fact that there were some paramilitary
23 formations which were completely outside and beyond any control and they
24 delved in theft, looting, et cetera? And units within that -- it wasn't
25 done by the army and units within it.
1 A. I am aware that some -- that certain units like that may have
2 operated. However, as I explained earlier, one of the tasks of a
3 commander is to maintain or restore discipline. If such groups appear,
4 whether they appear locally or whether they cross the border or came from
5 Serbia is not relevant at this moment in the sense that if such a group is
6 active in the area, well, the commander has to act against them because
7 such a breakdown of discipline will also have an impact on the discipline
8 in his own units. If even such behaviour of looting or otherwise is
9 approved or is not acted upon or no sanctions are taken against people who
10 do that, well, the way is open for JNA or TO soldiers or volunteers
11 subordinate to the JNA to indulge in the same activities.
12 Q. All right. I quoted the order by the commander of the 1st Army
13 speaking about the need to arrest and disarm such groups, but you haven't
14 had the order in your hands, as I understand it.
15 A. No, Your Honours, but if I'm allowed, I would like to refer to a
16 document, a report written by Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Eremija, who
17 was the morale officer of the Guards Division, and this report is quoted
18 in section 4 of the second part of the report, and I'm trying to -- the
19 page number is 126 at the bottom. So this letter was sent by Eremija,
20 deputy commander for instructions in matters of morale and political
21 propaganda in the 1st Guards Mechanised Division, on the 23rd of October,
22 1991. This document has already been introduced as exhibit and it's
23 Exhibit 342, tab 11.
24 Eremija talks about groups identified or who could be identified
25 as groups mentioned by Mr. Milosevic awhile ago, and interestingly, at the
1 bottom of his report, Eremija advises, he gives recommendations, which is
2 usual in these kind of reports. He advises to undertake the disarming of
3 these groups; in particular he identifies one formation, Dusan Silni,
4 Chetniks, and Arkan soldiers, and he also advises that the authorities of
5 the Republika Srpska should participate in that campaign. So we have a
6 senior officer in the JNA who is responsible to maintain morale in the
7 unit. He works at a division level, which is a senior command level, and
8 he gives this kind of advice.
9 This letter was later published in the international press. For
10 example, it's -- in January 1993, and was also referred to in the UN
11 commission of experts' report. So these are all instances or examples
12 that show actually that the competent authorities could have been or
13 should have been aware of what was happening.
14 Q. Well, as you can see, you mention a high-ranking officer here
15 whose reactions were quite proper and in order. Isn't that right?
16 A. That's correct, Your Honours. The only question one could raise
17 is whether his recommendations were taken seriously, i.e., whether any
18 action was taken upon his recommendations. Now, referring again to Arkan,
19 there is information or we have seen information that Arkan and his people
20 were involved in -- in similar events as they were involved in Croatia,
21 later on in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as far as I know from the situation in
22 UNPROFOR at that time and more specifically Sector East between 1992 and
23 1995, Arkan remained active and continued to have his own group and move
24 freely from Erdut to Serbia and vice versa, and his soldiers were not
1 Q. Yes, he was within the composition of the Serbian army of Krajina.
2 That's what I know.
3 A. That may well be but that's not in the recommendations made by
4 Lieutenant Colonel Eremija, Your Honours.
5 Q. Very well. Let's move on. I should like to get rid of these tabs
6 which are quite heavy. You provided a very voluminous document. It is a
7 directive for the use of the army of Republika Srpska. That's under tab
8 16. And you were asked by Judge Kwon about references to Yugoslavia and
9 the army of Yugoslavia, because this is a directive for use of the
10 Republika Srpska army drawn up by its commander, with indications as to
11 the authors, the typist --
12 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- if he has a copy. Do you have a
14 THE WITNESS: I have a copy of the first part of the report, the
15 extract, which allows to provide a partial answer, not a complete answer
16 to the question, because the issue of the involvement or the support of
17 the VJ is also dealt with in the annexes, and I haven't received them yet,
18 but I can already provide a partial answer to the question.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if we have a copy already which the witness
20 has referred to.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we have the annexes that I think
22 Mr. Theunens may want to see. They weren't originally attached to the
23 exhibit but they are now available and can be distributed.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I have this directive in its entirety, from the cover page to the
2 last page with the signature of the commander of the Main Staff.
3 Seventeen pages, as far as I can see, in this copy of the original.
4 A. Indeed, Your Honours, but that's one part of the report. That's
5 the extract. And then as it is usual in -- in voluminous military orders
6 or here in directive, which is an order issued at a high level, there will
7 also be annexes to deal with specific matters like, for example, air
8 defence and air defence matters, engineer support, logistics, and related
9 specific military aspects.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. All right. At any rate, it is enactment -- an enactment of the
13 army of Republika Srpska. At least that, I hope, is not in issue.
14 A. That's correct, Your Honour. It's a document signed by General
15 Mladic, and it emanates from the General Staff of the VRS.
16 Q. Then we have tab 17. It's a letter addressed to the Main Staff of
17 the army of Republika Srpska by the authorised manager of the Pretis
18 Vogosca enterprise, and Vogosca is in the territory of Republika Srpska;
19 right? This enterprise is in Republika Srpska?
20 A. This is correct, Your Honours, but the interesting aspect of the
21 document was actually paragraph 1 where it is mentioned that a component
22 of the specific ammunition that is being discussed, namely grenades 120
23 millimetre, 120 millimetre grenades, so one component of them, the powder
24 charge, the underlying powder charge, is produced by Krusik in Valjevo,
25 and Valjevo is located on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.
1 Q. All right. One component. What it says here is the only thing
2 that's missing is gunpowder charge produced by Krusik from Valjevo. It's
3 a clarification given to the Main Staff with the reference to the Krusik
4 Valjevo enterprise which is indeed located in Serbia and which cooperates
5 with the enterprise named Pretis in Serbia -- in Vogosca, sorry, and what
6 is meant here is the cooperation between two enterprises.
7 A. That's correct, Your Honours, but one would assume, and it's
8 actually not an assumption, in the times of the SFRY, the organisation of
9 arms production and weapons production and ammunition production in SFRY
10 was one of the competencies of the Federal Secretary for People's Defence.
11 I haven't dealt with the legal framework as it existed during the
12 existence of FRY in my report as the report of Philip Coo dealt with that
13 aspect, but I'm pretty sure that arms and weapons trade as well as
14 ammunition trade and ammunition production and the trade in components
15 that are used to produce arms or ammunition is subject to the same legal
16 constraints, i.e., that there is an involvement of the competent
17 authorities, namely the Serbian -- the FRY Ministry of Defence, which
18 would then have to give its approval or allow for such trade, for example,
19 trade between a factory in Serbia and a factory in Bosnia-Herzegovina to
20 take place.
21 It may also be useful to mention that since the end of 1991 an
22 arms embargo had been decided against the former Yugoslav republics by the
23 United Nations via Security Council Resolution.
24 Q. Well, I suppose you know that in keeping with that arms embargo,
25 Iran, with the knowledge of US authorities, delivered a huge quantity of
1 weapons to the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You have had those
2 documents in your hands, haven't you?
3 A. I am familiar with this information, but it's -- again, it's
4 outside of the scope of this report. This report does not analyse arms
5 trade between former Yugoslav republics and third parties as it is focused
6 on relationships between VRS or SVK and VJ as well as the earlier
7 mentioned command and control relationships.
8 Q. Where do you see any command and control exerted by the VJ over
9 the VRS or the SVK? I asked you, and you showed me a document where
10 Perisic just conveyed my request to let the UNPROFOR through. If that's
11 what you call command and control of the army, then be it.
12 You are an analyst who seems to have gathered all available
13 documents. Where did you see a document whereby the General Staff of the
14 army of Yugoslavia gives an order to the army of Republika Srpska or the
15 Serbian army of Krajina?
16 A. Well, first of all, I think it's important to emphasise that I
17 looked at documents that are available. The fact that documents are not
18 available don't mean they don't exist, and that's an important constraint
19 or limitation to this report.
20 Now, the document we discussed on the instruction President
21 Milosevic gave via the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ to Mr. Martic
22 and General Celeketic was for me not an indication of command and control
23 of the VJ over -- over the SVK, but as an analyst it showed to me the
24 relationship, or it clarified or it gave some insight on the relationship
25 that existed between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Martic.
1 Q. Isn't that clarification enough of the relationship between the
2 leadership of Serbia and me personally on the one hand and Mr. Akashi, who
3 was Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and whom I tried
4 to assist as best I could so that his request be fulfilled, exerting all
5 the influence I had over the competent authorities in Krajina and the
6 Republika Srpska?
7 A. I think that you are -- Your Honours, I think that Mr. Milosevic
8 is talking about a different topic now. The relationship between UNPROFOR
9 and Serbia or FRY is a completely different topic than the one that is
10 addressed within my report.
11 Q. All right. Let us round off this topic of paramilitaries. You
12 mentioned that the law on the national defence of the Republic of Serbia
13 emphasises that only legal authorities are entitled to set up any kind of
14 armed formations. What is unusual about that? Isn't it implied, doesn't
15 it go without saying that only legal authorities can do that? And at the
16 same time, this makes it impossible to set up paramilitary formations at
17 random and at will.
18 A. Your Honours, I think it's very important to raise this article,
19 and indeed it sounds fully normal and actually appropriate in a
20 functioning state. However, as Mr. Milosevic himself mentioned earlier
21 today, what he called opposition parties were actually behind most of
22 these groups. And a question one could ask then is to what extent are
23 opposition parties not subjected to the law? The law is one thing, the
24 implementation is another thing.
25 Q. Well, all right, that's true, but at that time -- I suppose what
1 you're trying to say is that the authorities were not harsh enough dealing
2 with opposition parties that were working against the government. Is that
3 an issue, that opposition parties were working against the government, the
5 A. Your Honours, this is outside the framework of my report. My
6 analysis did not look at the internal political situation in Serbia and
7 did not analyse the relationship between what Mr. Milosevic calls
8 opposition parties and the authorities. My report for this specific
9 aspect was intended to -- is intended to analyse the existence of these
10 groups, the organisation of these groups, and their relationship, more
11 specifically command relationship, with the JNA and the TO.
12 Q. Out there in the field; right? Because that's the kind of
13 documents you found.
14 A. This is partially correct, Your Honour. As Mr. Milosevic has
15 mentioned earlier, these groups were organised by opposition parties --
16 some of these groups were organised by opposition parties, what he calls
17 opposition parties in Serbia. Now, to me, that implies that these groups
18 originated from Serbia and actually, yeah, were allowed to exist. Now,
19 that was again not the main focus of my analysis, but looking at documents
20 and specifically documents dealing with the relationship between SRS
21 volunteers and the TO in Western Slavonia, and that should be on page 63
22 of the second part of the report, it shows that these volunteer groups
23 were actually established in Serbia.
24 Q. Well, that's precisely what I've been trying to tell you all this
25 time; they were formed by all kinds of opposition parties in Serbia, and
1 do you have evidence of that?
2 A. Exactly, but I mean, Mr. Milosevic, if you want to ask questions
3 about the law, I'm not a legal specialist, but I know that every citizen
4 is expected to abide, to respect the law, and that is independent of the
5 fact whether you're a member of a political party or not. And if you're a
6 member of a political party, whether you're a member of an opposition
7 party or the government party. One would even dare to assume that members
8 of the opposition parties would be more likely to be controlled for -- or
9 likely to be checked by the appropriate organisations, being state
10 security or internal security, in order to verify to what extent they
11 abide to the law.
12 Q. All right. Did the ruling party in Serbia set up any paramilitary
13 organisation or unit? Do you have any information about that?
14 A. Your Honours, I haven't come across information indicating what
15 Mr. Milosevic just said. It is indeed correct that a number of these
16 groups were affiliated to parties Mr. Milosevic calls opposition parties.
17 However, we have also discussed documents here that dealt with groups like
18 Arkan and Arkan Tigers and the group affiliated to or controlled by
19 Mr. Dragan, and these documents have indicated that there was a
20 relationship between those two groups, Arkan's Tigers and Dragan's Red
21 Berets, as they were called, and the Serbian Ministry of Interior and/or
22 the Serbian Ministry of Defence.
23 Q. All right. That's what you claim based on that reference that
24 Captain Dragan was seen in contact with one official of the Ministry of
25 the Interior of Serbia.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The rest of the question was not audible.
2 THE WITNESS: I wouldn't agree with that conclusion, Your Honours.
3 As I mentioned earlier today, that document is one aspect or one source
4 that I considered to come to a conclusion -- or not to come to a
5 conclusion, to analyse the relationships Captain Dragan or Mr. Daniel
6 Snedden and his group had with official instances in Serbia.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. Just one more question that doesn't fall within this
9 context but I'll refer to it because you mentioned it yesterday. You
10 quoted page 81, I think, if my notes are correct. You said that you have
11 an order from the time of the Kosovo crisis to the effect that no groups
12 may be involved in the armed forces. No groups may be included in the
13 armed forces, only individuals. Is that what you said?
14 A. What I said, Your Honours, is that an order was issued to allow
15 for the integration of volunteers into the VJ or forces it controlled and
16 that it -- the order included a reference that volunteers were not allowed
17 to be integrated as groups but only on an individuals basis. There is a
18 footnote to that order in the report and it's even an exhibit, but I'm
19 trying to locate it now.
20 Q. Very well. Tell me, Mr. Theunens, from the viewpoint of your
21 qualifications, is this order appropriate?
22 A. Your Honours, could the question be qualified -- could be
23 clarified? What is meant by "appropriate"?
24 Q. Is it appropriate? Is it in order, from the viewpoint of your
25 professional qualifications, this attempt to avoid involving any groups to
1 limit inclusion in the armed forces only to individuals, volunteers?
2 A. Your Honour, I think it's very appropriate, because in all
3 military textbooks and be it at the lowest level of military courses as
4 well as senior staff courses, one of the important aspects for successful
5 military operations is discipline. Discipline without wanting to -- and I
6 would not elaborate in too many details about it, but discipline is also
7 related to cohesion. Cohesion in the armed forces means that there is a
8 feeling of relationship between the soldiers, and they are aware of the
9 common goal. The common goal is the one that is -- has been explained in
10 the orders the soldiers receive.
11 The problem with the volunteer groups, especially those in 1991 or
12 those I looked at during the conflict in 1991, was that some of these
13 people had other goals than those that were commonly -- common among the
14 JNA. The fact that these people did not, as some of the documents
15 suggested, not for example respect JNA commanders, that they behaved in a
16 way which was not appropriate according to these JNA commanders which was
17 not in accordance with the regulations, the existing regulations, created
18 a lot of problems, and this was mainly or this was partly related to the
19 fact that these people operated in groups and were not dispersed over
20 existing JNA units. So it's very appropriate that in 1999 when a similar
21 -- when a new conflict situation arises, it is very logical that then
22 emphasis is laid on the fact that volunteers are not allowed to operate in
23 groups, not only because of let's say the theoretical background or the
24 theoretical problems that could arise but more specifically the practical
25 problems and serious problems that arose in 1991.
1 Q. Yes. So you know that in 1999, we prohibited all paramilitary
2 formations precisely to prevent all illegal action, breaches of
3 discipline, and other kinds of damage.
4 A. Your Honour, the only aspect of the -- of the events in 1999 I
5 looked at for this -- for my analysis was this particular order. I didn't
6 look into further details or further other aspects of the situation that
7 arose in 1999, and therefore I'm not qualified to talk in detail about
9 Q. Very well. Since you also talk about Croatia and
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you said that it was not your mission to consider the
11 illegality of paramilitary formations in Croatia unless it concerned the
12 Serbs. Did you know that in Bosnia and Herzegovina that this so-called
13 League of Patriots already in February 1992 had over 120.000 people under
15 A. Your Honours, the report is not a legal analysis. The report is a
16 military analysis focused on command and control. Of course, the first
17 part of the report consists of an overview of the most relevant legal
18 legislation, but as I mentioned earlier, that overview is only intended to
19 be able to understand the second part of the report, but again it's not a
20 legal analysis.
21 To answer the question, I am familiar with the existence of the
22 Patriotic League but I would not be in a position to confirm any details
23 like number of people or manpower Mr. Milosevic has put here.
24 Q. So you did not deal with the Patriotic League either, as an
25 expert, a military analyst who is working here?
1 A. Mr. Milosevic, if -- excuse me. Your Honours, if my tasking had
2 been to write an analysis about the Patriotic League or write -- would be
3 obvious, then I would have dealt with -- I can't hear the microphone.
4 Okay, it functions again.
5 It's obvious that if that would have been my tasking, I would have
6 focused my analysis on those organisations, but these organisations were
7 not part of my tasking. Therefore, I didn't analyse their role or their
8 organisation, nor other aspects related to them.
9 Q. All right. But as a military analyst employed here, did you ever
10 lay hands on any information regarding the activities of Mujahedin in
12 A. Your Honour, I didn't lay my hands on such information during my
13 activities in the OTP.
14 Q. Well, there are other colleagues working with you. Maybe some
15 other colleague of yours laid hands on such information concerning the
16 presence of Mujahedin in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war there and
17 their activities.
18 A. That -- Your Honours, that may well be the case, but then I think
19 the best would be to ask them and not me.
20 Q. So you have no knowledge of anyone dealing with the activities of
21 Mujahedin, anyone else working on it?
22 A. Your Honours, that was not my answer. I said that may well be the
23 case that people in the OTP are working on that topic but I'm not in a
24 position to talk about it nor to say -- to identify these people nor to
25 say, well, they're doing it and what they're actually doing.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I don't see how the activities of
2 the Mujahedin impact on his report. What's the relevance?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because he speaks first of conflicts
4 in Croatia, then conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there were
5 several thousand of such killers who beheaded people and who were
6 doubtlessly worse than paramilitary formations who were involved there,
7 and nobody's dealing with them. People here are dealing with one unit in
8 Leva Supoderica or the Serbian Volunteers Guard, which was never larger
9 than one company, and they don't deal with activities of whole brigades
10 and the presence of foreign armies.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]...
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In your summary, you state that the JNA was a federal body and the
15 Territorial Defence was organised on the republican level. Is that
16 correct, Mr. Theunens?
17 A. That is correct, Your Honours.
18 Q. Thus that should mean that the JNA was a federal army and the
19 Territorial Defence were republican armies. Is that your position?
20 A. That is not my position, Your Honours, because if you analyse --
21 if you -- when looking at the legal framework I've laid out in the first
22 part of the report and in particular certain measures that were taken from
23 1998 on, it is obvious that TOs were not intended as republican armies.
24 Q. All right. Is it indisputable therefore that the JNA and the TO
25 were integral parts and components of the armed forces of the then SFRY?
1 A. That is correct, Your Honours. That's established in the
2 constitution and All People's Defence Law.
3 Q. All right. Do you know, speaking of the use of armed forces of
4 the then SFRY, that means not only the JNA but also the TO, that only the
5 Supreme Commander, that is the Presidency of the SFRY, could decide on the
6 use of the armed forces? Not a single republican leadership was entitled
7 to do that.
8 A. Well, Your Honours, if Mr. Milosevic is referring to the decision
9 on declaration of one of the three states, state of war, state of imminent
10 threat of war, state of emergency, then based on my analysis I would agree
11 with -- to what Mr. Milosevic has said.
12 Q. All right. Do you know that even the commanders of republican
13 staffs of TO were appointed by the Presidency of the SFRY as the Supreme
14 Commander of the armed forces of the then SFRY, according to all the
15 regulations and in conformity with the prevailing practice?
16 A. That's correct, Your Honour. Now, I didn't discuss that aspect in
17 detail in the -- in the report in the sense that if I recall well, the
18 procedure may have changed over time in the sense that in the first
19 instance, the republics were to propose the candidates to the SFRY
20 Presidency and then the SFRY Presidency would decide -- would confirm
21 actually the proposal, and I seem to recall that somewhere at the end of
22 the 1980s that procedure changed but again that's more of a legal matter
23 outside of my military analysis expertise.
24 Q. If it's not in the focus of military analysis and it is a legal
25 matter, then why do you, on page 4 of the report of yours where you quote
1 the legalities in part 1, why do you say, having quoted from this, that a
2 member of the armed forces is "each and every citizen who, with arms or in
3 any other way takes part in resistance, setting up resistance to the
4 enemy"? And then in the footnote you state that the document has already
5 been tendered as an exhibit and you quote the law dating back to 1982 and
6 the 1974 constitution as well; is that right?
7 A. Your Honour, it's not me who states that all citizens who with
8 weapons or any other fashion participate in resistance are to be
9 considered members of the armed forces. That's just a quotation of
10 Article 91 of the 1982 All People's Defence Law.
11 Q. That's what I'm saying. That's precisely what I'm saying. It is
12 a quote from the Law on National Defence, and it does say so, Article 91,
13 yes, dating to 1982. Isn't that right?
14 A. That is correct, Your Honours. Now, as a military analyst reading
15 that Article, I mention under the Article that indeed this has -- that
16 this has command responsibility in relation to the use of armed citizens,
17 just based on that Article of the law. That's the furthest I can go in
18 drawing conclusions or analysing that article.
19 Q. That's precisely what I was going to ask you. So you've quoted
20 that, a member of the -- "any citizen who, with weapons or in any other
21 fashion participates in resistance against the enemy is also considered a
22 member of the armed forces," and then your conclusion, although you say
23 you are not a legal man yourself, that from this we are able to deduce
24 that there is command responsibility because the 1974 constitution and the
25 law as well in Article 91 states that anyone who participates in setting
1 up resistance to the enemy is considered a member of the armed forces, and
2 then from that you deduce this very hazy command responsibility notion for
3 each and every armed citizen. Is that a professional military question or
4 a legal question? Because it seems to me that sometimes you delve in
5 military matters and other times in legal matters depending on what suits
6 the opposite side that you're working for?
7 MR. NICE: That's an entirely unworthy observation, but I'll leave
8 the witness to deal with it.
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I think that this sentence in Article
10 91 of the All People's Defence Law, it obviously has legal implications
11 but that's not what I was looking at. I was looking at the military
12 implications. And I think one of the first things you learn as an officer
13 when you enter the military and you receive training, or you're educated
14 at the military academy is that the military is one of the organisations
15 that is in a very privileged position as it is allowed to use violence in
16 certain circumstances, and it's not only allowed it has the duty to use
17 violence. I can imagine only the police as being another organisation in
18 that privileged position. Now, this privileged position obviously or
19 includes obviously obligations that the use of violence is -- is -- is
20 limited by a number of legal and -- and other constraints. And my
21 understanding based on my training and based on the analysis I did of
22 other documents of this particular Article related then also at the events
23 I was looking into in the conflict in Croatia in 1991 with the appearance
24 of these private volunteer groups, actually indicated to me that this is a
25 very important article and it means that if a citizen feels that he has to
1 participate in the defence of the country, well, he can only do that in a
2 legal way or an authorised way if he's a member of the armed forces.
3 JUDGE KWON: Could you elaborate the meaning of "command
4 responsibility implications regarding the use of armed citizens." What do
5 you -- what did you have in mind when you said this?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I had in mind that when people who are
7 normally outside the military, and I mean by that people who are not
8 serving in the JNA or who are not mobilised or were not served in the TO
9 -- serving in the TO or mobilised to serve in the TO, when these people
10 want to participate in the conflict, well, they can only do so if they are
11 integrated into the armed forces and then if they're integrated into the
12 armed forces they become subordinated to the command of the armed forces
13 on that level. So the use of armed -- of armed citizens - and I mean by
14 citizens people without military obligations - has obviously implications
15 for the commander because he becomes -- he can give them orders but he
16 becomes not only responsible for the implementation of these orders but
17 also for other activities these people may indulge to -- indulge in.
18 JUDGE KWON: So you're speaking of command responsibilities of a
19 president of a republic?
20 THE WITNESS: I -- I looked more at it from the purely military
21 point of view in the sense that if, for example, armed citizens and
22 actually the volunteers we have been discussing about earlier could be
23 considered armed citizens, even if, and that is referred to also in the
24 report, many of these people actually are people who had been mobilised in
25 the JNA but they refused to serve in JNA units, well, if such people are
1 being used to participate in the conflict, well, they can only do so, or
2 they -- so they have to be subordinated to a command and then the command
3 is responsible for their behaviour.
4 There is, of course, always the dimension of personal behaviour,
5 of personal responsibility, but I wouldn't want to delve into that, that's
6 a legal matter, but when you are carrying out certain tasks or certain
7 assignments, it's the commander's responsibility for what they do during
8 the carrying out of these assignments. Whether the presidential level is
9 included I don't feel like being competent to draw a conclusion at that
10 level; I would refer to a constitutional expert to handle that matter.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You make a distinction between the de jure
13 responsibility of a commander. If, for example, as you say, the law
14 stipulates that any person who takes up arms in defence of the country is
15 a member of the armed forces, that's the de jure legal position, but what
16 if in actuality the person or persons acting are not in fact subject to
17 that responsibility, do not in fact take orders?
18 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, to answer to the first part of your
19 question, it's actually people who are allowed to take up weapons and
20 participate in the defence of the country. I think the article should be
21 read that if someone who has no military obligations wants to participate
22 in the defence of the country or other military task, well, he has to be a
23 member of the armed forces, otherwise it's not possible.
24 Now, to answer your question, and it was actually also raised by
25 Mr. Milosevic earlier, it could well have been that there were groups
1 acting with their own agendas, economic agendas, like referring to looting
2 and so on, but then the military commander in the particular area where
3 these people were acting or were operating should have acted against these
4 people not only to have the law respected but also for his own interests.
5 If, for example, a battalion commander who is involved with his forces --
6 let's take the example of Vukovar. He's involved in the operations
7 against Vukovar. Now, if he finds out that uncontrolled groups are
8 wandering around in his area and are creating problems, they are maybe
9 looting or killing people, he has to act immediately because this is --
10 the activities of such uncontrolled groups will undermine morale in his
11 own unit and will affect the efficiency of his own unit because it is
12 already very difficult to maintain discipline in war conditions. If now
13 soldiers discover that some uncontrolled or so-called uncontrolled
14 elements can wander around and loot and kill people, they will be confused
15 because --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: But does command responsibility exist in relation
17 to that commander and, in your own language, the uncontrolled --
18 THE WITNESS: Well, there is --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- groups?
20 THE WITNESS: Well, in my view, and I only look at it from the
21 military point of view, the responsibility of the commander is then to act
22 against these groups. It's an uncontrolled group, it's inconceivable that
23 they stay in an area for days or for weeks. If you're talking like an
24 area, for example, like Eastern Slavonia or even other parts of Croatia
25 where the conflict took place, you have JNA units that are involved in the
1 fighting there, TO units, within the JNA there is military police, for
2 example. Military police is responsible to enforce discipline. In a
3 sense, they will investigate violations of military discipline, they can
4 arrest people. I mean, they have the same competencies as the civilian
5 police force. Now, if the commander --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are the groups that you described as uncontrolled
7 subject to military discipline?
8 THE WITNESS: They have to be subject to military discipline in
9 the sense that -- I will try to express myself better. A commander cannot
10 allow that such groups exist in his area because if -- if -- even if they
11 exist for a few days, it will create problems for him independent of all
12 the legal aspects, but it will create problems for himself because it
13 undermines not only the morale within his own troops, it can also increase
14 the resistance of the enemy or the opposing faction, especially in a
15 conflict like the one in Croatia where -- well, there was an involvement
16 of the local population in the conflict. So a commander has to act
17 against these groups and he has the tools to act against these groups.
18 Military police has to -- can arrest these people and remove them. I've
19 heard of -- it's not included in the report, but during my activities here
20 and my activities working with witnesses, former JNA officers, some of
21 them have spoken, yeah, we had to arrest a certain group, a small group of
22 looters, it was a difficult operation and the looters were killed.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Milosevic, continue, please.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So can we agree on this, that there are organs which will have the
1 right to use force in order to apply the law? Isn't that right,
2 Mr. Theunens?
3 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
4 Q. Therefore, and precisely regarding the explanation you gave
5 emanating from the Article of the constitutional law that any citizen who
6 sets up resistance is considered a member of the armed forces, and then
7 you say that this triggers off command responsibility straight away. I'd
8 like to take you back or, rather, not take you back but to go forward to
9 page 143 of the Serbian version, towards the end where you talk about
10 questions like this, the ones you mentioned a moment ago. You speak of
11 the military police, for example.
12 I'm not going to read everything it says here, but here is an
13 example of what you say. You say: One of the tasks of the military
14 police is to prevent crime, and then I quote what you yourself say, or,
15 rather, your quotes. I'm not quoting you, I'm quoting the quotes you use
16 and the provisions and regulations that you quote yourself, and it says
17 that if there are any grounds for doubt that a crime has been committed
18 which comes under the competence of a military court and should be
19 prosecuted, the officials of the military police are duty-bound to take
20 the necessary measures to uncover the perpetrators of the crime and to
21 prevent him from fleeing and to ensure that the traces of the crime are
22 preserved, and so on and so forth. That measures should be taken
23 expediently, et cetera, et cetera.
24 And then it goes on to say that pursuant to the law and the
25 Criminal Code, officials of the military police should do so by virtue of
1 their professional duties at the request of the Prosecution and the
2 military court. So this can be done without the military prosecutor and
3 the military court but there is a whole hierarchy of organs. The military
4 police, which is duty-bound to apply the law and to prevent a crime from
5 taking place, that is the first point. They can apprehend the perpetrator
6 and then there are organs of the legislature that are duty-bound to take
7 these perpetrators to court.
8 So as we see, there's an entire structure that is put into place
9 that has its own logics and its own hierarchy; isn't that right?
10 JUDGE MAY: There is a limit for which there ought to be enough,
11 yes, more than two minutes per question.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed, Your Honours, those are the
13 regulations, and here the 1985 service regulations for the SFRY armed
14 forces military police are being quoted. And the relevant legislation for
15 the military court and the military prosecution is quoted further on in
16 this part of the report in the section 7 where the aspects of the
17 activities of these organisations and military courts and military
18 prosecutors are detailed as well as also the activities of the role of the
19 security organs in these matters. Page 116 to 122, section 7, first part
20 of the report.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Very well. Fine. You also say on page 4 of your summary,
23 paragraph 2, that the JNA was composed of the General Staff and three
24 forms of the army; the ground forces, the air defence, and the navy.
25 That's what you state.
1 A. That's correct, Your Honours.
2 Q. Very well. You yourself in point 4 on page 5 of the first part,
3 you refer to the Law on National Defence, and then you say in Article 101,
4 you speak of the structure of the JNA. The JNA consist of branches. It
5 says army, air force, and anti-aircraft defence, and the navy, and arms.
6 So the arms and services. Under arms you have army, armour, infantry,
7 artillery, and the services, logistics, engineers, and so on. So you are
8 quoting in that section. And then it goes on to say, "The Yugoslav
9 People's Army shall consist of branches, arms and services." And then you
10 say what the branches are, what the arms are, and what the services are.
11 So you're quoting from the law and say what the Yugoslav People's Army
12 consists of. And then you deduce and draw the conclusion that it is made
13 up of the General Staff of the three branches, arms and services.
14 Isn't it clear to you that the article you quote yourself you have
15 not interpreted properly, and in Serbia we say that we have a stool, a
16 three-pointed stool, and this description of yours reminds me of that
17 stool with three legs to stand on, not four legs, that it is made up of
18 the General Staff and the branches, arms and services.
19 A. Your Honours, I'm not familiar with particularities of expressions
20 in Serbia but when I quote Article 101 of the 1982 defence law that was in
21 the very first part of the report when I explain the -- the structure of
22 the JNA, the reference to the General Staff comes at a much later stage,
23 and, I if recall well, I quoted military regulations for that, military
24 regulations which would, of course, be in line with the Law on All
25 People's Defence.
1 Q. All I'm doing is pointing out, Mr. Theunens, and quoting from
2 point 2, the JNA's -- the JNA was made up of the General Staff and three
3 branches. So not even what you quote from the law pertaining to Yugoslav
4 army structure have you transferred into your summary but you have
5 distorted the whole picture and then say that it is composed of the
6 General Staff and the three branches.
7 A. Your Honour, I --
8 Q. Like a three-legged stool.
9 A. Your Honour, the reference to General Staff is on page 80 when I
10 discuss the operational structure of the JNA, and I give the definition
11 for the General Staff as it is given by the JNA military lexicon.
12 It is correct that the 1974 constitution or the 1982 All People's
13 Defence Law don't -- do not explicitly mention the existence of the
14 General Staff. However, there are sufficient documents available,
15 officials orders from the JNA as well as JNA regulations and -- and other
16 doctrinal documents which mention the General Staff and the Chief of
17 General Staff. And there is even a mention -- I do think that there is a
18 mention in the All People's Defence Law that says that the Chief of
19 General Staff is the acting SSNO, the acting Federal Secretary for the
20 People's Defence, i.e., the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down a little, please.
22 THE WITNESS: I will slow down.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Theunens, I have to interrupt.
25 JUDGE MAY: Wait until he's finished and you can ask one more and
1 then we'll stop for the day.
2 THE WITNESS: So that the Chief of General Staff will replace the
3 Federal Secretary for People's Defence in case the Federal Secretary for
4 People's Defence is not available for a longer time period, and I mean I
5 can find back the article if that is needed.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Theunens, you needn't find that now. Everybody knows about
8 that and nobody is challenging the fact that the General Staff exists, for
9 heaven's sake. What I'm saying is your distorted interpretation that the
10 JNA was composed of a General Staff and three branches, as you say. And
11 you yourself quoted the law on structure where it says that it was made up
12 of the branches, arms and services; army, air force, anti-aircraft
13 defence, navy and arms, the army, armour, infantry, artillery and
14 services, logistics, engineers, et cetera. So like any other army it was
15 made up of the commands, the units, the institutions. That is the bare
16 minimum of military knowledge that you had to have had if you were to
17 enter into analysis of the military aspects of the JNA. So you can't
18 define things like that, say composed of the General Staff and three
19 branches. Nobody challenges the fact that the General Staff exists, but
20 in the structure, you quote the law and then go on to interpret it in a
21 way which is really a caricature of what it actually says in the law
22 itself. Is that clear to you?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes?
24 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the executive summary is what it is;
25 it's an executive summary. It's not intended as the things Mr. Milosevic
1 may consider it for. It is a summary of what is discussed in the report.
2 Of course if one limits himself or herself to reading the executive
3 summary and then drawing conclusions, that's another issue. I believe
4 that the General Staff as well as the structure of the JNA are
5 sufficiently explained and described in the first part of the reports and
6 I also believe that the relevant articles of the legal and doctrinal
7 framework are described in the first part. That's all I have to add about
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We're now going to adjourn this. We
10 continue first tomorrow with the other witness first and then we'll
11 conclude with the remainder of this witness. We will adjourn now. Nine
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day of
15 January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.