1 Friday, 19 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 Two people on their feet. Mr. Mettraux.
8 MR. METTRAUX: Good morning, Your Honour, and thank you to
9 Mr. Saxon for giving me precedence. Simply to indicate that I would wish
10 to excuse Ms. Residovic, who will be here later this morning.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Mettraux, for that courtesy, but you
12 don't need to repeat it just for occasional absences. We fully
14 And good morning to you, sir.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry you waited yesterday and then had to be
17 disappointed, but we had reached nearly the end of the day.
18 THE WITNESS: It's perfectly all right, sir. Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: May I remind you of the affirmation which I think
20 is still sufficiently in your memory. It still applies.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Saxon.
23 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 WITNESS: VIKTOR BEZRUCHENKO [Resumed]
25 Examination by Mr. Saxon: [Continued]
1 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you could turn, please, to what is the
2 document at tab 26 of your binder. This is 65 ter number 969.2. It was a
3 document which the Prosecution received from the Archive of the Military
4 Intelligence Department of the Ministry of Defence of Macedonia.
5 And, Your Honours, this document is referenced at footnotes 106,
6 116, 122, 285, 286, 288 and 289 in Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert
8 Do you recognise this document, Mr. Bezruchenko?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And just, in general terms, what does this document deal with?
11 A. Generally speaking, this document deals with various aspects
12 related to the National Liberation Army. It deals with the organisation,
13 structure, logistics, strategy, tactics, financial support and other
15 Q. All right. Can we turn, please, to page 3 of this document. It's
16 also page 3 in the Macedonian version.
17 Mr. Bezruchenko, what does this page of the document tell us?
18 A. This page presents an organisational diagram of the NLA. At the
19 top of this page, you see the box indicating the NLA Command Staff, and
20 below this box you see two boxes indicating the western and eastern
21 fronts, and you also see, at the bottom of the page, six boxes indicating
22 six NLA brigades; namely, 111th, 112th, 113th, 115th, 116th.
23 Q. And at the top, there's a box that says: "NLA chief of Staff,
24 General Major Gzim Ostreni." Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. The significance of the fact -- What is the significance, if any,
2 of the fact that the six brigades are mentioned here?
3 A. In my assessment, the significance of this fact is many-fold.
4 First of all, it means that the NLA had the Military Staff, General Staff,
5 which was at the top of the military hierarchy and in charge of planning
6 military operations on the ground, which is the most essential function of
7 any military organisation. And the NLA also had combat units on the
8 ground of the brigade size, which is six units in various parts of the
9 country; namely, in eastern and western front.
10 Q. Okay. Can we turn, please, to page -- excuse me, paragraph 42 of
11 Mr. Bezruchenko's amended report, please. This is Part 2.2.2 of
12 Mr. Bezruchenko's report, dealing -- and this part deals with the NLA.
13 Do you see paragraph 42, Mr. Bezruchenko?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Just very briefly, what are the important facts that you describe
16 in paragraph 42?
17 A. Paragraph 42 is based on various sources which are the
18 international sources, namely, NATO sources, Macedonian military sources,
19 as well as the NLA sources, and there is general agreement relating to all
20 these sources, general concurrence, that the NLA had six brigades on the
21 ground and had its headquarters which was located in Prizren sometime,
22 then in Djakovica, and they also had headquarters in various locations.
23 Q. If you can turn your mind a little further down the page, please,
24 at what is paragraph 45. The salient facts that you describe in this
25 paragraph are what?
1 A. This paragraph describes various sources and assessments related
2 to the NLA personnel strengths. For example, the document which is cited
3 under footnote 40 estimates the initial strengths of the NLA at 2.400 men,
4 or another source, which is the source made by prominent Macedonian
5 military experts in their book which was released after the conflict,
6 estimates the strengths of the NLA up to 8.000 men. It's really difficult
7 to make a precise estimate of what was the actual fighting force on the
8 NLA at the last stage of the conflict, but I think the figure of 8.000 is
9 not too far from reality.
10 Q. All right. If we can return to what is tab 26, please, what we
11 were looking at a moment ago, 65 ter 969.2, and if we can look at what is
12 page 4 in the English version, also page 4 in the Macedonian version.
13 We see here, in paragraph 6 at the top of page 4, we see a list
14 of -- it appears to be weaponry. Can you describe what this document is
15 telling us here?
16 A. I believe this document was released sometime around the date of
17 26 September 2001, which was the date of closing the NATO Operation
18 Essential Harvest dealing with collection of NLA weapons. This document
19 deals with assessments of various arms and weaponry in possession of the
21 While just skimming through the document, you can easily assess
22 the amount of the weaponry in NLA's disposal. For example, automatic
23 rifles of Yugoslav, Chinese and Bulgarian origin, 12.000 pieces;
24 semi-automatic rifles, 2.000 pieces; sniper rifles, 800 pieces; light
25 machine-guns, 300 pieces; pistols, 12.000 pieces, and so on and so on and
1 so on.
2 Well, of particular significance on this list, in fact, are some
3 weapons which could contribute significantly into the NLA war effort.
4 These are, for example: Anti-aircraft missiles, Srela-2 missiles
5 apparently in the inventory of up to 150 pieces; Stinger, American-made
6 missiles of similar type. Well, in fact, pretty close in its design to
7 Strela-2M, around 20 pieces; antitank missiles, around 90 pieces.
8 Multi-barrelled grenade launchers, 1500 pieces; recoilless cannons, 80
9 pieces. So this is a pretty impressive list.
10 At the bottom of this page, you also see the figures which
11 represent the amount of weapons collected by NATO forces in Macedonia
12 throughout the operation dubbed Essential Harvest.
13 Q. That was after the Ohrid Agreement?
14 A. Yes, that was after the Ohrid Agreement.
15 Q. Do we see a discrepancy?
16 A. Yes, we definitely see a discrepancy here. A very superficial
17 analysis of this document would suggest that only a small fraction of the
18 weapons had been collected.
19 MR. SAXON: If we can turn to what is page 13 in this -- in the
20 English version of this document. And it's page 12 in the Macedonian
21 version, Your Honours.
22 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you want to turn to page 13 in the English?
23 A. I'm just watching it on the screen, but let me do it now.
24 Q. It has the words: "Training of members of the so-called NLA" at
25 the top.
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. It's the 13th page in the English version.
3 A. Sorry. Just one sec, please. I'm still watching for the document
4 on the screen.
5 Q. Can you see it on the screen, Mr. Bezruchenko? Could you work
6 that way?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was, if any, the significance of the information on this page
9 underneath the heading: "Training of members of the so-called NLA"; what
10 do we see here?
11 A. Well, this page describes locations of various training centres
12 which apparently were during the military training for the NLA, and we
13 have numerous locations here. Well, in Kosovo for a while, in the
14 Republic of Albania, as well as locations in Macedonia proper, probably
15 about two or three dozen of such locations.
16 Q. And why would the existence of these training centres be
17 significant for the purposes of your work?
18 A. The training of military personnel is one of the factors which
19 contributes to the combat efficiency of any military force. It's probably
20 one of the most important factors, anyway, which would suggest to me that
21 if such training centres did exist, the NLA had an institutional,
22 established capabilities of establishing, running and administering such
23 centres, as well as producing sufficiently-trained fighters.
24 MR. SAXON: Can we turn, please, to what is page 18 in the English
25 version, and it would be page 16 in the Macedonian version. It's a
1 paragraph starting at the top. You might be able to see it on the screen,
2 Mr. Bezruchenko:
3 "The terrorist activities were carried out on a principle of
4 connected vessels, that is, by transferring the focus from one to another
5 crisis region and by constantly maintaining tension in the entire crisis
7 Q. Are you with me?
8 A. Yes, I am.
9 Q. Why, from a military -- from a military perspective, what do you
10 take from that description of the NLA activity?
11 A. Well, this is the classic military strategy, if you wish, which is
12 aimed at extending the adversary's forces over a wider area to make sure
13 that the adversary does not really concentrate his forces at one decisive
14 point to deliver a decisive blow or strike. It also makes it difficult
15 for the adversary to exercise manoeuvre of the forces and shift the
16 reinforcements and supplies from front to front.
17 Essentially, this is a classical strategy to put an adversary into
18 a disadvantageous position.
19 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I believe it was last week when you were
20 testifying. At page 6058 of the transcript, you provided a military
21 definition of the term "armed conflict," and as part of your definition,
22 you said the following. You said:
23 "A conflict is normally of protracted nature. It involves use of
24 arms and weaponry and is normally waged for attainment of certain military
25 or political goals."
1 Do you remember that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 MR. SAXON: If we could turn, Your Honours, please, to what is
4 paragraph 150 of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report. For those
5 following in English, it's on page 41.
6 Q. Do you see paragraph 150?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. I'm wondering whether -- if you could just focus on the first
9 sentence or so of that paragraph and explain to us, in general terms, what
10 the NLA's strategy was and aim during 2001.
11 A. Okay. Your Honours, I would just read this paragraph out loud. I
12 mean, I will read just the first sentence out loud:
13 "Analysis of the NLA's strategy indicates that the aim was to hold
14 and expand the territory under its control, stretching the government's
15 forces to the limit, thus denying the government the opportunity to
16 exercise any authority in the NLA-controlled areas."
17 In fact, my assessment is that the NLA's strategy was indeed aimed
18 at expanding the territorial control of certain areas in Macedonia and
19 dislodge the government forces from those areas, exercising their own
20 authority there. Its strategy was also to deny the entry of the
21 government forces in these areas and any attempt of the government forces
22 to recapture those areas were invariably met with armed resistance, which
23 resulted in casualties for the Macedonian security forces.
24 As the reports in the media were hitting the front pages of
25 Macedonian and international newspapers, well, the pressure on the
1 government to do something about the crisis and this war was mounting.
2 Well, this is what exactly was happening, and the NLA's political goals
3 were partly based on attracting the attention of the International
4 Community to the crisis in Macedonia.
5 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, could you turn your mind, please, to the very
6 next paragraph. It's paragraph 151. Because you just brought us to that,
7 I wanted to ask you: Were the NLA's military objectives, according to
8 your assessment, directed towards a central political goal?
9 A. Well, yes, they were. The paragraph 151 describes the military
10 objectives that the NLA had in mind.
11 Q. Take a look at the very first sentence of paragraph 151, if I may.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Focus your attention. What was the central goal?
14 A. The central goal was to accept the terms of settlement of the
15 conflict on the NLA terms.
16 Q. Who would accept that -- the terms of the conflict?
17 A. Well, those political parties which signed the agreement.
18 Q. You're referring -- well, can you take a look at what the first
19 sentence says, Mr. Bezruchenko?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It says --
22 A. The NLA?
23 Q. "To force the government to accept NLA terms of settlement of the
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. All right. And what were they, were they, what you referred to as
2 the consecutive military objectives of the NLA, what were they?
3 A. In my assessment, there were a number of objectives that the NLA
4 had, and of course they could not really be realised simultaneously in one
5 go. The initial objective was to establish a basis for operations in
6 remote mountain areas on the border with Kosovo, namely, Skopska Crna Gora
7 and Sar mountains. The military geography of the area offered advantages
8 to the NLA. It was difficult for the government forces to access --
9 MR. SAXON: Sorry, Mr. Bezruchenko.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Sorry to intervene, Your Honour, but the witness
11 appears to be reading simply from the report. I'm not sure if it's of any
12 use in that case.
13 JUDGE PARKER: If it's from the report, it would not seem to be
14 directly objectionable, but I leave it to Mr. Saxon to decide whether it
15 is the most practical way he wants to proceed.
16 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, just very briefly, can you describe what the
18 military objectives of the NLA were?
19 A. Okay. Very briefly, the initial objective was to establish a
20 sufficient base for operations on the ground. It was only logical to
21 assume that such base naturally could exist in the remote mountain areas
22 on the border with Kosovo and Albania, which would provide easy access for
23 supplies of weapons, ammunition and personnel across the border.
24 The second objective was to concentrate military activities in two
25 key areas, again, not too far away from the border. Those were Tetovo and
2 The next objective was to expand gradually the territory of
3 control around these two areas, pushing down south from Tetovo, south and
4 southwest, and from Lipkovo, southeast.
5 Another one was to expand these territorial gains to such a degree
6 that it would make it very difficult for the Macedonian government and
7 authorities to exercise control in these areas and to move their forces
8 sufficiently, in an efficient way, to defeat the NLA.
9 And finally, in the course of the conflict, inevitably there would
10 come a point where this territorial control, coupled with the NLA
11 activities and mounting casualties, would force the government to accept
12 the terms of political settlement.
13 Q. Thank you. And just to clarify, you mentioned Lipkovo. Is
14 Lipkovo in the same general area as Kumanovo?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. If we can go back to what is tab 26 in your binder, 65 ter number
17 969.2, but this time to page 18 -- again page 18 in the English version,
18 page 17 in the Macedonian version. It's the same page where we were
19 before, Mr. Bezruchenko.
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. You see, towards the bottom of the page, there is a subtitle
22 called: "The NLA's Strategy." Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And that tells us to take over control -- first of all, "to
25 attract and to maintain international attention and intervention," and,"to
1 take over control of the undefended territory and protection of the same
2 with minimum losses (to avoid close combat), to force the government of
3 the Republic of Macedonia to negotiate."
4 And you see that phrase in parentheses, "Close combat"?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Why was that part of the NLA strategy?
7 A. This was the expression of the classical doctrine of asymmetrical
8 warfare which was employed by the NLA. Well, it is only obvious that in
9 direct combat, the NLA would certainly suffer from the disadvantages which
10 it had, which were represented by the advantages of the Macedonian regular
11 forces which were better armed and better equipped.
12 MR. SAXON: Okay. If we can turn now to the very next page,
13 please, still on page 17 in the Macedonian version.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes.
15 MR. SAXON:
16 Q. In the middle of the page, there is a paragraph that begins
17 with: "For a coordinated presentation ..." Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And that paragraph says:
20 "For a coordinated presentation of the Albanian political subjects
21 in the Republic of Macedonia at the forthcoming negotiations, in the
22 course of July, in Prizren a meeting was held between Ali Ahmeti on one
23 side and leaders of the largest Albanian political parties in the Republic
24 of Macedonia, Arben Xhaferi, Imer Imeri, when they signed a declaration
25 that they support the political demands of the so-called NLA."
1 Do you see that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. This declaration, did it become known by a particular name?
4 A. Yes, it did.
5 Q. What was that?
6 A. Prizren Platform.
7 Q. Can you just speak up a little bit, please?
8 A. Prizren Platform.
9 Q. Okay. And why was the signing of this Prizren Platform
10 significant for you, if it was?
11 A. One should be remind that the DPA and PDP, the two biggest ethnic
12 Albanian political parties, were parliamentary parties in Macedonia with
13 legally-elected representatives in the Macedonian Assembly. The
14 significance of the fact that this declaration was signed by
15 representatives of these political parties and the NLA was that, in fact,
16 the political parties, these political parties, supported the political
17 goals of the NLA.
18 MR. SAXON: Okay. Your Honours, at this time I would seek to
19 tender this document, please.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
21 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we won't object to the actual
22 tendering of the document, but there may be issues that are relevant to
23 weight and also to the line of questioning of the Defence, and those
24 matters would be first: The Prosecution has indicated, I believe, that
25 the document comes from the Archives of the Military Intelligence Service
1 in Macedonia, but we would be grateful if Mr. Saxon could indicate whether
2 he knows it, who prepared this document, on the basis of what information,
3 and also, Your Honour, the date, if any, at which this document was
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution does not know who
6 prepared this document. There is no indication on the document. It does
7 not know on what basis it was prepared, although if you allow me, I might
8 be able to help us by asking Mr. Bezruchenko a few questions.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 MR. SAXON:
11 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, when you read this document, given your military
12 experience, do you have at least an assessment or a sense of who it would
13 have been prepared and from what kind of information?
14 A. I would imagine that this document was prepared by the analytical
15 section or department within the Macedonian Military Intelligence, which
16 is G2 of the Macedonian General Staff, and the document was prepared on
17 the basis of analysis of available information which had been collected by
18 the Macedonian Military Intelligence throughout the conflict. I believe
19 the document was apparently prepared and released sometime in September
21 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, the Prosecution -- obviously, this
22 document does not have a date on it. However, the English translation
23 indicates that most of the time the English translation is written in the
24 past tense, so that would seem to indicate that this document would have
25 been prepared at least sometime after the Ohrid Agreement. And since
1 Operation Essential Harvest was well underway, that would be another
2 indication that perhaps as early as September of 2001, this document could
3 have been created.
4 JUDGE PARKER: The document will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P485, Your Honours.
6 MR. SAXON:
7 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you could turn, please, to paragraph 95 in
8 your amended expert report, please.
9 Your Honours, this is on page 24 of the English version.
10 And this part of the amended expert report is part 2.5. It's
11 entitled: "NLA command and control."
12 Q. Are you with me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
13 A. Yes, I am.
14 Q. There's a summary there. You don't need to read it all, but can
15 you just briefly describe your assessment of the NLA's command-and-control
16 system, please?
17 A. Of course, the NLA can't really be equated with sophisticated,
18 modern armies, but there are numerous examples which essentially would
19 suggest that in this world, there are lots of various armies and groups
20 which are fighting with some degree of efficient control. Well, my
21 assessment is that the NLA had basic elements of the command-and-control
22 system. It had the political leadership, it had the General Staff, and it
23 had the combat units on the ground which were implementing the orders of
24 the political leadership and General Staff. It also had basic command
1 Q. It did have a functioning chain of command?
2 A. Yes, it did. If it had the political leadership and if it had the
3 General Staff and if it had the brigades on the ground, it definitely had
4 the line of command.
5 Q. And could you describe the military hierarchy of the NLA? You
6 discussed this briefly in paragraph 96.
7 A. As I mentioned at the very top of the NLA was the political
8 leadership, Ali Ahmeti and his immediate staff. On the level immediately
9 below him was the NLA General Staff or Military Staff as it is referred in
10 some documents. This Staff was headed by Major General Gzim Ostreni.
11 There was an intermediate link as well of two original commands, the
12 Kumanovo Command and the Tetovo Command, and finally there were six
13 brigades on the ground. In short, it was a vertical hierarchy which was
14 functioning from top to bottom as in any other military organisation.
15 Q. In paragraph 96, you refer to the principle of unity of military
16 and political control. Can you briefly describe what this principle of
17 unity means, in a military sense?
18 A. Well, in a way, this principle can be traced back to certain
19 doctrine or elements of the Yugoslav People's Army, but it would take some
20 time to explain this in detail.
21 Well, in short, this principle applies that one person at the top
22 or, rather, one body at the top would combine both political and military
23 functions, thus defining political objectives and military objectives in
24 support of political objectives.
25 Q. And in a military sense, why -- why is the existence of this
1 unity, why is that important?
2 A. Because this is an efficient way of attaining the political and
3 military goals on the ground.
4 Q. Thank you. If you could turn, please, to what is at tab 27 of
5 your binder, please. And this is Exhibit P321. And if we could turn,
6 please, to what is ERN R037-6682 at the top. It's the page
7 entitled: "NLA Command and Control." It's page 42 in the Macedonian
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, simply for the assistance of the
11 Registry, I think it's 6862, rather than 6682.
12 MR. SAXON: I'm grateful. If I misspoke, I apologise.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
14 MR. SAXON: Yes, it's 6862.
15 Q. Can you see this on the screen, Mr. Bezruchenko?
16 A. Yes, I can.
17 Q. And this is a page entitled "NLA Command and Control," and we see
18 Ali Ahmeti at the top, and then below him Gzim Ostreni, and then two other
19 gentlemen lower down. But then at the bottom, we see another line with a
20 series of numbers preceded by the letter "G." Can you tell us what this
21 bottom line means and why this is significant for you?
22 A. These bottom lines indicate the structure and organisation of the
23 General Staff. "G" essentially means a certain service within the General
24 Staff. And this is the way any general staff in any army in the world is
25 organised, or at least this is the fact in many cases.
1 "G" normally would stand for personnel -- G1 would generally
2 stand for personnel matters; G2 for intelligence; G3 for operations; G4
3 for logistics; G5 for civil military matters; G6 for communications; and
4 then come the resources management, and this is the way this General Staff
5 apparently was organised.
6 Q. Just so that the record is complete, what would G7 refer to?
7 A. Management of -- resources management.
8 Q. And G8?
9 A. This would be, well, essentially the same thing as resources
10 management, I guess.
11 Q. Okay. If we can now turn to what is tab 28 in your binder, and in
12 e-court this should be 778 -- 65 ter 778.11. It says "National Liberation
13 Army" at the top, "General Staff," and then in large bold letters --
14 careful. In large bold letters, it says: "Development of mobilisation,"
15 and it should be "personnel," not "personal, "and materiel formation of
16 the General Staff."
17 Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Can we turn to what is page 1 of this document. It's page 2 in
20 the Macedonian version.
21 A. Okay.
22 Q. And we see a table here. Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And there's a title above the table "Basic Mobilisation Plan"?
25 A. M'mm-hmm.
1 Q. Can you tell us, please, what is this table and what does it
3 A. Well, in any army of the world, any basic organisational unit is
4 structured according to a certain plan, which is sometimes called -- or at
5 least in the West, it is called "The Table of Organisation and Equipment."
6 In some armies of the world, and I think in the former JNA as well, it was
7 "Formation," "Formacija." Well, a basic organisation plan is normally a
8 plan which calls for filling in such formation or tables of organisation
9 and equipment.
10 Just to make it a little bit simple, this is the kind of a plan
11 which determines the number of personnel, equipment and any other
12 resources which would be required for a military unit to function
13 efficiently. This particular document explains how many personnel this
14 unit, in this particular case, the General Staff would have and how it
15 would be organised into departments. As you can see, the departments
16 which are mentioned in this document from G1 to G8 are exactly the same as
17 those mentioned in the previous document.
18 Q. And can you recall who produced this document?
19 A. This is the NLA document, and apparently it was produced by
20 Gzim Ostreni.
21 MR. SAXON: I would seek to tender this document, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
23 MR. METTRAUX: Well, Your Honour, we'll object at this stage.
24 First, we would wish to know who provided the document in question
25 to the Prosecution or, rather, its origin or chain of custody, as it's
2 The second question which we have is also when this document was
3 prepared and whether the Prosecution has any indication at this stage. We
4 believe that if, indeed, this document was or at least is said to have
5 been prepared by Mr. Ostreni, perhaps the best time to seek to tender that
6 document would be when Mr. Ostreni appears as a witness.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Saxon.
8 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, this document was provided to the Office
9 of the Prosecutor on the 29th of July, 2005, and without reviewing
10 Gzim Ostreni's witness statement right now, to the best of my recollection
11 this document was prepared by Mr. Ostreni during 2001.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P486, Your Honours.
15 MR. SAXON:
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, I'd like to ask you, please, to turn to tab 29 in
17 your binder, and this document is Exhibit P00459, Your Honours.
18 If we can just take a look at the first page for a moment,
19 Mr. Bezruchenko. At the top, there's a title "National Liberation Army,
20 General Staff," approved by NLA Commander Ali Ahmeti. And then it
21 says: "Personnel and materiel formation of the brigade."
22 Do you see that?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And if we turn to the next page, please, again I believe we see
25 what you referred to as a table of --
1 A. Organisation and equipment.
2 Q. Table of organisation and equipment. Thank you. But if I
3 understand correctly, this would be relating to at the level of a brigade;
4 is that correct?
5 A. That's right, sir.
6 Q. If we could turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is page 7 in the
7 English version and page 5 in the Macedonian version, please.
8 A. Yes, I see that.
9 Q. We see here, in the middle of this table, we see a reference. It's
10 in bold. It says: "S-1 Personnel Sector," and on the following pages we
11 see: "S-2 Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence Sector," and later on we
12 see, on page 9 of the English version: "S-3 Operations and Training
14 What does this -- what is the meaning of this letter "S" and the
16 A. Well, again "S" is the letter which stands for various sections at
17 brigade headquarters level, and this indicates the sections which are in
18 charge of certain basic functions of the brigade staff.
19 Q. And if I'm understanding you, would the letter "S" in this context
20 have the same function as the letter "G" in the table that we saw for the
21 General Staff?
22 A. That's absolutely right. The only difference is the scope of the
23 actual activities.
24 MR. SAXON: If we could turn now, please, to --
25 Q. Before we turn away from this: Again, have you seen such tables
1 at the brigade level before in your career?
2 A. Of course.
3 Q. Why do you say, "Of course"?
4 A. Yes, I have seen those.
5 Q. All right. Well, would such tables be common or not amongst
6 armies of the world?
7 A. They are absolutely common. This is, in fact, one of the most
8 fundamental documents to build up an efficient fighting force.
9 MR. SAXON: Okay. If we could turn, please, to what is tab 30 in
10 your binder, Mr. Bezruchenko.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Mettraux.
12 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, before we move on, if we could ask for
13 assistance from Mr. Saxon and perhaps the witness, whether the Prosecution
14 has any idea of the date at which this document was prepared. The front
15 page suggests the year of 2001, but if Mr. Saxon has any further
16 information about this matter, perhaps through the witness.
17 MR. SAXON: I can ask the witness, if you'd like. I don't have
18 any additional information beyond what I gave upon my colleague's previous
20 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you have any idea when, specifically, in
21 2001 this document was produced?
22 A. I do not have this idea, but I would imagine that the document was
23 probably produced early in 2001, perhaps January 2001, maybe before that.
24 Q. If we can go to tab 30, please -- but you're not sure about that?
25 A. No, I'm not.
1 Q. Tab 30 is Exhibit P00460. This is a document, again, it
2 says "National Liberation Army, General Staff" at the top, approved by NLA
3 commander Ali Ahmeti. Here we do see a date, 20 April 2001, and it's
4 entitled -- it should be: "Personnel," not "personal," "and Materiel
5 Formation of the Infantry Battalion."
6 And we see a series of tables in this document, Mr. Bezruchenko.
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. This time dealing with battalion command and apparently
10 organisational issues on the battalion level. From a military
11 perspective, why, if at all, is this document significant for you?
12 A. Well, this is a very significant document, because this is, in
13 fact, the basis and the backbone of the organisation of a basic tactical
14 unit in the field, an infantry battalion.
15 Q. Okay. And what, if anything, does this document tell you about
16 the structure of the NLA, the overall structure?
17 A. Well, it tells me that the NLA apparently had professional
18 military planning documents for building an efficient combat force at its
19 disposal, and apparently the NLA was striving to build such a force on the
20 basis of professional military documents.
21 Q. And these documents, what do they tell us, if anything, about the
22 hierarchy of the NLA?
23 A. Well, these documents suggest that the NLA had a military
24 hierarchy, well, from the highest level, which was the political and
25 military leadership, to the lowest level, which was apparently an infantry
2 Again, if I could draw a little bit longer on this specific
3 document. This document describes the organisation of an infantry
4 battalion as made up of three infantry companies, a fire support company,
5 and certain support elements. This is a typical structure for an infantry
6 battalion anywhere in the world.
7 MR. SAXON: If we can turn, please, to what is tab 31,
8 Mr. Bezruchenko, and this is Exhibit P00461.
9 Q. Again, this is a document that was provided to the Office of the
10 Prosecutor by Gzim Ostreni. It's entitled "Regulation on the Competencies
11 and Work of the Brigade Command."
12 What is the function and importance of this document,
13 Mr. Bezruchenko?
14 A. Well, this is, again, an important and one of the fundamentally
15 basic documents in any army in the world which describes the functions,
16 responsibilities and areas of function of activities of brigade officers.
17 As you can see, the document is structured in such a way as to describe
18 the activities, functions and responsibilities of each sector of the
19 brigade staff.
20 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, can we turn, please, to what is page 3 in the
21 English version.
22 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is page 4 in the Macedonian
23 version. It would be the next page in the English version, please, and
24 the next page in the Macedonian version.
25 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, at the top of this page it says "General
1 Provision," but I'd like you, please, to direct your attention to what is
2 the fourth paragraph of this page, which begins with the phrase: "Both
3 written and oral orders ..." Do you see that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. That sentence -- that paragraph says this:
6 "Both written and oral orders are to be carried out without
7 reserve. To carry out the orders they have received, the members of the
8 UCK must contact their direct superiors within a specified period of
10 What significance, if any, do you take from this paragraph?
11 A. Well, this paragraph is, in fact, one of the basic requirements of
12 efficient functioning of any army, and this requirement is an agreement of
13 one of the basic principles of the command and control, which is
15 Q. Thank you. Can we turn to the next page, please, in both
16 versions, and we see here, Mr. Bezruchenko, what appears to be a fairly
17 complex organogram. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. It's entitled "Structure of the Brigade Command" Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. In your assessment, Mr. Bezruchenko, did the structure of NLA
22 brigades develop to this level of complexity during the crisis time in
24 A. No, it didn't.
25 Q. If we can turn, please, to the next page, Mr. Bezruchenko, and
1 this is page 6 in the Macedonian version. This page, it says: "3.
2 Commander of the Brigade." And there are a number of provisions here
3 laying out the responsibilities of the brigade commander.
4 We see, in paragraph 3:
5 "With regard to his activities and general state of the brigade,
6 the brigade commander is to be directly responsible to the UCK commander."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Number 6, it says:
10 "He is to organise work throughout the Brigade Command, while
11 carefully respecting rules, regulations and orders from the UCK Command."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. And number 7 says:
15 "He is to be ensure and insist that all staff members of the
16 Brigade Command and their direct subordinates carry out their duties and
17 obligations with precision and punctuality and in accordance with
18 periodical, monthly and annual work plans."
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Would these responsibilities for a brigade commander, would they
22 be common in armies around the world?
23 A. Yes, indeed, they would be common.
24 Q. If we can turn, please, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is paragraph 71
25 of your amended expert report, please.
1 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is on the bottom of page 17 of the
2 English version of the amended expert report.
3 Q. Are you at paragraph 71, Mr. Bezruchenko?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. And in this section, you had analysed a number of the documents
6 that we've just looked at briefly here, and then you say this in paragraph
8 "Analysis of these documents suggests that NLA leadership was keen
9 to develop NLA brigades as a strong fighting force with emphasis on
10 sabotage and protracted operations."
11 Do you see that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Help us understand something, please. In a military sense, what
14 does the term "sabotage" mean?
15 A. Well, "sabotage" would essentially be described as a covert
16 operation which would include such things as, for instance, crossing the
17 enemy lines and operating behind the enemy lines, with the goal of blowing
18 up bridges, various vital objectives, capturing prisoners, attacking
19 convoys, attacking headquarters, these kind of things.
20 Q. And so acts of sabotage, in a military sense, how common are they
21 in modern warfare?
22 A. They're extremely common. If you look back, for instance, to the
23 Second World War, well, each army of the world which was involved in this
24 conflict, specifically say, German forces, British forces, Russian forces,
25 they all used these kind of tactics.
1 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, earlier in your testimony, at page 6067 of the
2 transcript and actually a short time ago today, you used the term -- you
3 refer to something called "asymmetrical warfare," and I should have asked
4 you to define that technical term.
5 Can you explain, please, to the Judges what the term "asymmetrical
6 warfare" means?
7 A. Well, asymmetrical warfare is a recently-developed term or
8 doctrine, if you wish, which describes the type of warfare which would be
9 regarded as opposed to a conventional warfare. Asymmetrical warfare --
10 Q. Can I stop you there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Maybe this will help us understand. First perhaps if you would --
13 could you please define what you mean by "conventional warfare"?
14 A. There are various definitions of "conventional warfare." Some
15 scholars believe conventional warfare is something opposed to nuclear
16 warfare, for instance, but a more common understanding of this term is
17 that conventional warfare is the type of warfare which is common for two
18 opposed armies clashed in the field.
19 The classical example of such warfare would be the First World War
20 or Second World War.
21 Asymmetrical warfare is the term which is ascribed mostly to
22 various partisan, guerrilla or rebel forces which are disadvantaged in
23 terms of weapons and equipment as compared to more better-equipped and
24 better-armed forces and therefore would have to resort to special tactics
25 to relegate these advantages of an adversary force to a level that would
1 actually make it possible for them to carry on fighting.
2 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, why, in 2001, did the NLA need to use tactics of
3 asymmetrical warfare?
4 A. Because they were not so well equipped. They had weapons which
5 were probably sufficient, but they were not as good as the weapons at the
6 disposal of the government forces. For example, they didn't have combat
7 aircraft. They had no jets, they had no helicopters, and they didn't have
8 enough artillery, long-range artillery.
9 Q. If you can, please, help us, can you give us a few examples of the
10 asymmetrical tactics that the NLA used during 2001?
11 A. A classical example of asymmetrical tactics in this kind of
12 warfare would be a raid or an ambush. Infiltration is also one of the
13 examples of asymmetrical tactics, in a way. And, in fact, if you are
14 talking specifically about the conflict in Macedonia in 2001, there were
15 at least several examples where the NLA was successful in carrying out
16 ambushes with sufficiently-heavy losses for the Macedonian security
18 Q. I'd like to ask you to turn your mind, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is
19 part 3 of your amended expert report. This part is entitled "Government
20 Security Forces." And perhaps if we could start at what is paragraph 218.
21 Your Honours, this is at page 58 of the English version.
22 And I'd like you just to give us -- well, perhaps I can speed this
24 Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, in paragraph 218 you explain that
25 section 1 of part 3 describes the structure, organisation, chain of
1 command, strength and weaponry of the Macedonian Army; is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. And then paragraph 219, you explain that section 2 of part 3
4 addresses the forces of the Ministry of the Interior. It's the Law on
5 Internal Affairs, Internal Regulations, the structure of the Ministry, the
6 Ministry's chain of command, the powers and authority of the Minister of
7 the Interior, as well as special police units. Is that how you organised
8 your work?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Can we please turn to paragraph 266, please. This is at the
11 bottom of page 74 in the English version. And before paragraph 266, we
12 see a subtitle, "188.8.131.52". It's titled "Army of the Republic of
13 Macedonia, Command and Control Concept."
14 Can you just tell us, please, briefly, Mr. Bezruchenko, what is
15 the purpose of this section of your report?
16 A. Well, the purpose of this section of the report was to describe
17 the command-and-control concept. Well, this section outlines the military
18 hierarchy, the chain of command, and the principles of command and
20 Q. Of the Macedonian Army; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. All right. Can we please turn to what is paragraph -- it's the
23 next page in the English version. At the bottom, we see paragraph 271.
24 It's a very short paragraph -- actually, it's not, but there's just a
25 sentence -- the first sentence is on page 75 of the English version. Do
1 you see that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And you refer to seven principles which were listed in a 1983
4 publication of the Army of the former Republic of Yugoslavia,
5 called "Command and Control." Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. Starting on the next page, you describe seven principles of
8 command and control, and can you briefly describe these principles to us,
10 A. Well, these are the principles as they were outlined in the
11 document which you have mentioned, and I believe the same principles were
12 adopted as the basic command-and-control principles in the Army of the
13 Republic of Macedonia.
14 Well, at the top is the principle of single authority. In
15 Macedonian, it is "jednostar jasenstvo", and this is the same word almost
16 in B/C/S as well. And this principle means that there is only one officer
17 who is supposed to give orders to the personnel and units below him and to
18 whom these personnel and units report.
19 Q. How about the principle of subordination?
20 A. This is another important principle of the command and control,
21 which in fact was expressed in Macedonian law on defence, and this
22 principle implies an obligation for all military personnel to carry out
23 the orders issued by their superiors.
24 Q. Okay. You described what is principle number 3, "Unity,"
25 previously, so we don't need to review that, but we see principle 4
1 is "Perpetuity." What does that mean in the military sense?
2 A. Well, this means that the principles of command and control, and
3 in fact the actual control of units, well, must be exercised at all times
4 in an absolutely cohesive and an uninterrupted manner, because any
5 disruptions can lead to grave consequences in combat situation, of course.
6 Q. Principle number 5, "Flexibility," what is that?
7 A. This also means that the command and control should be flexible
8 enough to ensure that it functions without interruptions in any
9 situations. Well, perhaps I'm going to explain it a little bit
10 simplistically, but this means that if a commander is to exercise control
11 of his units at all times in combat situation, he should really have
12 various scenarios which might envisage, well, interruption of control,
13 difficult situations, people killed, wounded, and these kind of things,
14 but in spite of that, he must make sure that this happens at all times.
15 Q. And principle number 6, it's called "Operativeness." What does
16 that mean?
17 A. That means that the commander, when exercising these functions,
18 must in fact be -- I would put it as having a front edge on the adversary.
19 He should plan and exercise his action in such a manner as to respond
20 quickly and adequately to any challenges which may be presented on the
21 battleground by the adversary forces.
22 Q. And, Mr. Bezruchenko, the seventh and last
23 principle, "Confidentiality," can you help us with that, please?
24 A. This is another important principle, which means that the matters
25 of significance in any army of the world must be treated with
1 confidentiality; that is, the documents which are important, well, for
2 various reasons, and there are various rules and regulations which apply
3 to confidentiality and secrecy, must be made inaccessible for anyone
4 besides those personnel which should have the authorised access to them.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bezruchenko.
6 Paragraphs 272 through 274, you talk a little bit more about these
7 principles, and can you just help us, please. In your assessment, did the
8 officers of the Army of Macedonia -- were they aware of these principles
9 and did they try to implement them?
10 A. Well, yes, they certainly must have been aware of these
11 principles, and they definitely, well, had an obligation to apply these
13 Q. The next section, which I'm not going to go over with you, section
14 184.108.40.206, there you describe the role, tasks and structure of the Army of
15 Macedonia, but I'd like to ask you some questions, please, about the
16 second part of part 3, where you talk about the Ministry of the Interior.
17 And if we turn to what is paragraph 369, this is on page 106 in the
18 English version, Your Honours. And before that paragraph, we see -- this
19 is a subsection, 3.3.3, "The Ministry of Interior Command and Control
21 Are you with me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
22 A. Yes, I am.
23 Q. And in paragraph 369, you refer to Article 6 of the Law on
24 Internal Affairs and its relationship to command and control between the
25 Minister of the Interior and the employees of the Ministry. Help us
1 again, please. Why is Article 6 important?
2 A. Article 6 reflects the principle of subordination and the system
3 of command and control.
4 Q. And in 2001, who was the person or position at the top of the
5 Ministry of the Interior, at the top of the chain of command and control?
6 A. It was the minister.
7 Q. If you can turn, please, to page 118 of your amended expert report
8 in the English version. It's paragraph 424. There is a subsection here,
9 220.127.116.11, titled "Disciplinary Powers," and in paragraph 424 you refer to
10 Article 65 of the Law on Internal Affairs. It's a description of types of
11 violations of labour discipline, and the minister's responsibility
12 regarding the dismissal of employees."
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. If we turn to the next page, paragraph 425, and this is at page
16 106 in the Macedonian version, and paragraph 425 you quote from Article 65
17 of the Law on Internal Affairs:
18 "More severe cases of violation of labour discipline, for which a
19 worker may be relieved from the work, the length of the dismissal
20 deadline, as well as cases which do not grant the right to such deadline
21 shall be formulated with a legal act issued by the minister."
22 What, if anything, do you find significant in that article,
24 A. My reading of this article would be as follows: It is the
25 minister who would have the rights to decide to relieve an employee of the
1 Ministry of his duties, as well as to decide when such action would need
2 to be taken. I would also say that this action would need to be reflected
3 in a legal act issued by the minister, most probably an order.
4 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I'm about to go on to another topic.
5 Would this be an appropriate time to take the first break?
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will. Very well, Mr. Saxon, we will have the
7 break and resume at 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
11 MR. SAXON:
12 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, could you please turn to page 122 of the English
13 version of the amended expert report. We're going to be looking at
14 paragraph 441. It's the first paragraph beneath a subtitle -- subsection
15 18.104.22.168 called "Special Police Unit 'Lions '." Are you there, please?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. Just very briefly, according to your review and your research.
18 What events led to the formation of the unit that became known as the
20 A. At some point of the conflict, it has become abundantly clear that
21 there was something wrong with the strategy used by the Macedonian
22 security forces.
23 The conflict began sometime in January 2001, and all the time
24 until August there was no decisive defeat inflicted on the NLA. I think
25 the Macedonian public became especially frustrated after the battle of
1 Aracinovo which was the indication that the NLA was capable of
2 establishing its base in the immediate vicinity of the capital, which was
3 a pretty dangerous development, so apparently at the very top of the
4 Macedonian political establishment it was decided that additional forces
5 were required which would be specifically trained and equipped for
6 asymmetrical warfare and counter-insurgency operations. This
7 consideration probably led to the decision to establish a special police
8 unit which later received the name Lions.
9 Q. The battle at Aracinovo that you mentioned, that took place in the
10 last part of June 2001; is that correct?
11 A. In fact, the NLA entered Aracinovo on or about 9 June 2001, and
12 the battle took place in the next two weeks to follow.
13 Q. If you can turn, please, Mr. Bezruchenko, to the start of part 4
14 of your report, and it's on page 129 of the English version -- excuse me,
15 128 of the English version. Part 4 is entitled "The attack on Ljuboten,"
16 10 to 12 August 2001.
17 And is it right, Mr. Bezruchenko, in this section, this part of
18 the report, you summarise the information available related to the events
19 in Ljuboten on that weekend from the documents that you had available to
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. If you could turn, please, to paragraph 484. It's page 129 of the
23 English version. In that paragraph, you discuss the degree of active
24 resistance from the village of Ljuboten on the 12th of August, and you say
25 in the very first sent sentence, that the degree of resistance is hard to
1 measure. But then you say this in the last sentence:
2 "Assuming that combat casualties normally serve as the main
3 indicator of the degree of an adversary's level of armed resistance, the
4 level of resistance from Ljuboten to Tarculovski's group on 12th August
5 was probably light to nonexistent."
6 Can you explain to the Judges how you came to this opinion?
7 A. Many Macedonian military documents suggest that there was fire
8 coming out of Ljuboten levelled at the Macedonian security forces.
9 However, it is difficult to measure what kind of volume of the fire was.
10 Macedonian military documents suggest that there was at least a number of
11 military targets in Ljuboten, among them a machine-gun, but given the fact
12 that there were no casualties among the Macedonian military forces, well,
13 it would be difficult to measure what kind of exact degree of resistance
14 was offered from the village. So my conclusion was that it was probably
16 Q. Let me ask the question perhaps in a slightly different way. If
17 the members of the security forces of Macedonia had received heavy
18 casualties in Ljuboten on that weekend, what would your conclusion have
19 been? Would it have been different?
20 A. Yes, it would have been different. My conclusion in this case
21 would be that the village was heavily protected and whatever group -- the
22 NLA group could have been there would have been well armed and organised.
23 Q. Okay. Mr. Bezruchenko, can you briefly describe to the Judges
24 what is part 5 of your report, please?
25 A. Part 5 of my report represents the chronology of the conflict, and
1 this chronology was drawn on the basis of various documents which, among
2 others, included media reports, Macedonian military documents, Macedonian
3 police documents and some NLA documents as well.
4 Q. And this chronology relates to -- includes events from January to
5 October 2001?
6 A. That's right. Well, more precise, the bulk of this chronology
7 relates to January and September 2001, and as we know, September 26 was
8 the date when the NLA officially announced that it was disbanded.
9 Q. And what was your purpose in creating this chronology?
10 A. Well, in military analysis chronology is an important instrument
11 which suggests the concept of the operations, how the operations were
12 evolving on the ground, and what were the political or military objectives
13 behind these operations.
14 Q. Would a chronology also relate to the intensity of a conflict?
15 A. Yes, of course it would.
16 Q. Now, it's my turn. Mr. Bezruchenko, if you can go back to the
17 binder with exhibits, please, and if you could turn to what is tab 32 in
18 the binder.
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 159. It was
20 received from Gzim Ostreni in 2005. And, Your Honour, this exhibit, for
21 lack of a better word, actually has two parts, and the first part I'd like
22 to show to the witness is a map, and I believe that you should have a
23 colour copy of this map in your binder. And this is the map that I hope
24 that you have. At least that was the plan, anyway.
25 Q. And perhaps if you could pull out the map, Mr. Bezruchenko. And
1 we see the word "Direktive" in big, bold letters on the upper left-hand
2 side. We see a date on the upper right-hand corner, "13 June 2001". And
3 then towards the bottom of the page, we see a blue stamp and the words
4 above that "Komandant," and then we see the signature of Ali Ahmeti there.
5 And, Mr. Bezruchenko, if you could describe to the Judges -- if
6 you could describe what this map shows, perhaps starting with the yellow
7 colour that we see on the upper left-hand portion.
8 A. This is an operational planning document, and it represents
9 essentially the concept of NLA operations as devised, as we can see from
10 the date, 13th June 2001.
11 Q. At about that time, what was going on sort of globally with
12 respect to the conflict? Where was the NLA?
13 A. The NLA was advancing and regrouping itself, and the fighting was
14 continuing despite the attempts to arrange cease-fire. The yellow colour
15 would indicate the areas which were easily under NLA control or at least
16 to where the NLA could move without significant hindrance. The green
17 colour would indicate the axis of advance that were planned for the NLA to
18 move along.
19 Q. Can you indicate what this map seems to indicate in terms of the
20 intended axis of advance, following this green colour?
21 A. Generally speaking, this means that the NLA was planning to
22 advance further deep into the country from north and from west. As we can
23 see, the main axis of advance were planned to be from Tetovo to the east
24 towards the capital of Skopje, in the area of Kumanovo. You can see two
25 prongs from the north and from the south, which were apparently aimed to
1 encircle Kumanovo. In the west, you can see several prongs from the area
2 adjacent to the border with Albania to the east in the direction of
3 Gostivar and further Kicevo, and in the south we again see a number of
4 prongs aimed for Ohrid.
5 Q. And by looking at this plan from a military perspective, what
6 objective or objectives can you assess from this plan? What was the NLA
7 trying to do?
8 A. The NLA was trying to grab as much territory as possible and put
9 it under its control.
10 MR. SAXON: Okay. If we can turn to the document that accompanies
11 this map, and it's also in your binders, Your Honours. It has a heading
12 at the top "Ideas for Conducting the Operation."
13 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, the first paragraph under this heading says that:
14 "While continuing to increase the number of units in the brigades
15 in line with the establishment, active combat operations will be
16 undertaken with a view to breaking up and eliminating the enemy's troops,
17 so as to block and take over the towns and main roads of Western Macedonia
18 as rapidly as possible."
19 Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. It says that:
22 "The Skopje-Debar, Skopje-Kicevo-Struga roads will be blocked,
23 making enemy communications impossible, and it says then, in phase 1, the
24 blockades would be erected in the area of the village of Grupcin, Mavrova,
25 Gryka e Derventes/Derventska Klisura, et cetera. So what does this
1 paragraph of the plan indicate?
2 A. Well, this is the fundamental idea of the concept of the operation
3 which was based apparently on three major objectives: To break up the
4 Macedonian security forces; to occupy main towns in Western Macedonia; and
5 to deny the capabilities of moving and manoeuvring of the Macedonian
6 security forces along the main roads in the country, at least in its
7 western part.
8 Q. We see down below it says:
9 "The operation will be conducted in two stages."
10 You see stage 1 by 10 July, stage 2 by the end of July.
11 To your knowledge, was the NLA successful in completing these
12 stages by the given dates?
13 A. No.
14 Q. If we can turn, please, to the next page in the English version,
15 which will be page 2 in the Macedonian version. And at the top of the
16 next page, we see a section four with the subtitle "Deployment and Tasks
17 of UCK Forces." Do you see that, Mr. Bezruchenko?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And it begins:
20 "The 113th Brigade will, by 10 July 2001, make preparations to
21 capture or cut off the town of Kumanova and block the Kumanova-Kriva
22 Palanka and Kumanova-Sveti Nikole roads."
23 Below that -- I won't go on yet.
24 Did the NLA succeed in capturing Kumanovo at that time?
25 A. No, it didn't.
1 Q. But what did it succeed in doing with respect to Kumanovo?
2 A. The situation in the area of Kumanovo was pretty serious. The NLA
3 managed to establish control over a number of villages in the area and was
4 gradually expanding its control.
5 I believe that with time passing by, they probably could indeed
6 reach the objective of cutting the road between Kumanovo and
7 Kriva Palanka.
8 Q. The next paragraph says:
9 "At the same time, the 113th Brigade troops holding the village of
10 Aracinovo will form the 1st Battalion of the 114th Brigade, and gradually
11 continue recruiting to full strength at brigade level with personnel and
12 fighters from Skopje and villages in the northern part of Skopje, as well
13 as the villages south of Kumanova."
14 From a military perspective, what do you take from this? What is
15 happening here?
16 A. This indicates a pretty serious development. This indicates that
17 the NLA, (a), was building up another brigade and, (b), and this brigade
18 was supposed to operate in the area of the capital.
19 Q. All right. The next paragraph talks about the 115th Brigade's
20 battalion in the Derventa area, saying:
21 " ... will continue efforts to expand at brigade level, also
22 forming a 2nd Battalion in the Karsijak area and beyond ..."
23 And then it talks about preparations to take over additional
25 What, if anything, do you see significant about these
2 A. Well, the significance of this particular paragraph is that it
3 provides instruction for the 115th Brigade to expand and form another
4 battalion in the area of Zadem [phoen] which is another mountain feature
5 between Tetovo and Skopje. And as we know from the chronology, there was
6 a very successful ambush carried out by NLA in this very area on the 8th
7 of August. So the significance of this paragraph, to briefly emphasise it
8 again, is that this 115th Brigade was actually being raised to cut the
9 communication between Tetovo and Skopje, which is again classical military
10 tactics and operation.
11 Q. Just so that the record is clear, did you mean the 115th Brigade
12 or this battalion of the 115th Brigade?
13 A. It is apparent from this paragraph that the 115th Brigade was in
14 the process of building up its forces, so I'm talking about 115th Brigade
15 here as a whole.
16 Q. Okay. The next paragraph, we see that: "The 112th Brigade in the
17 area to the west of Tetova will send a company to close the Skopje-Tetova
18 road in the area of Grupcin village."
19 To your knowledge, did that occur at some point?
20 A. I'm not certain if this particular event did occur, but I know
21 that the NLA forces were indeed operating in the area of Mountain Zadem as
22 I mentioned previously. Whether it was the 112th Brigade or the 115th is
23 difficult to establish, but I would be inclined to believe it was the
25 Q. Indeed, this paragraph mentions both the 112th and 115th Brigades.
1 A. That's right, which may suggest that these two brigades were
2 cooperating in this area.
3 Q. If you could turn to the next page, please, Mr. Bezruchenko.
4 There's a subtitle here called "Balance of Forces." Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And it says:
7 "The balance of forces on the Western Macedonia front is currently
8 a 1:5 ratio in favour of the government troops, and they are greatly
9 superior in terms of equipment, but by towards the end of July, it will
10 still be 1:2 in favour of the government forces, and in the field of
11 equipment, tank, aircraft units, et cetera, it will remain the same."
12 And then it says:
13 "The morale of the UCK forces plays a significant role in
14 ameliorating the balance of forces between the government forces and the
15 UCK and will alter the ratio to a proportion of 1:10 in favour of the UCK
17 What is your assessment of what is being said here?
18 A. My reading of this paragraph would be to suggest that apparently
19 the government's security forces indeed had the numeric preponderance of
20 the NLA in the Western Macedonia, but due to the process of reinforcement
21 being brought in, as well as building up of the NLA units, the ratio of
22 forces was rapidly changing and declining in favour of the NLA.
23 This paragraph also speaks about high morale of the NLA forces,
24 which allegedly ensures superiority over the NLA -- I mean, over the
25 security forces.
1 Q. And in your research to write your report, what did you learn
2 about the level of morale of the NLA forces as opposed to the level of
3 moral of the Macedonian security forces?
4 A. I have come across a number of military documents in the process
5 of writing my reports which suggest that the level of morale of the NLA
6 was indeed quite high and at times was superior to that of the Macedonian
7 military forces. I have also read some Macedonian military documents
8 which tend to suggest that the mobilisation effort generally was
9 considered as unsuccessful, meaning that the morale of the troops which
10 were supposed to be mobilised and dispatched to the front was not really
11 at the appropriate level.
12 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, just so that the record is clear, when you
13 referred to the mobilisation effort just now, were you referring to the
14 efforts by the Macedonian government to mobilise more men or by the NLA?
15 A. I'm referring to the efforts of the Macedonian government.
16 Q. Okay. Down below we see a paragraph related to anti-aircraft
17 defence potential. If you could turn to the next page, Mr. Bezruchenko,
18 or last page, there is a sentence. It's the last sentence. It's page 4
19 in the Macedonian version. It says:
20 "International Conventions must be strictly respected during all
21 operations by UCK troops, and the treatment of civilians and facilities
22 must be at the required level."
23 Why is this important for an army?
24 A. The respect for international conventions in times of war is an
25 important factor which contributes, (a), to the morale of fighting forces
1 and, (b), makes it a legitimate force. Therefore, in brief, I would say
2 that it was very important for the NLA to maintain the level of discipline
3 and to ensure that the respect for the Geneva Conventions would be at the
4 appropriate level.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, I would seek to tender this map and the
6 written texts that accompany it, please, into evidence.
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P487, Your Honours.
9 MR. SAXON:
10 Q. If you could turn, Mr. Bezruchenko, to what is tab 33 in your
11 binder, please.
12 MR. SAXON: Your Honours, this is 65 ter number 611.1.
13 Before I go on, that last exhibit is referred to in
14 Mr. Bezruchenko's report at footnotes 34, 143, 236, 237, that's the map,
15 and the ideas for conducting the operation in footnotes 79, 130, 131, 136
16 and 143.
17 Mr. Bezruchenko, 65 ter number 611.1 is another map. It was
18 obtained from the archives of the Ministry of Defence of Macedonia,
19 February of 2006.
20 Your Honours, it is referred to at pages 400 -- excuse me,
21 footnote 434 of Mr. Bezruchenko's amended expert report.
22 Q. Briefly, Mr. Bezruchenko, what do we see on this map in front of
23 us? What does it say at the top?
24 A. At the top, it says "The decision of the Commander of the 1st
25 Guards Brigade for Defence."
1 Q. And what do these markings on the map indicate? We see markings
2 in red, with bits of yellow, and then we see markings in blue.
3 A. The markings in blue stand for the position -- positions of the
4 Macedonian security forces. In this particular case, this is the 1st
5 Guards Brigade, and on the extreme left of its zone -- sorry, on the
6 extreme right of its zone of responsibility, you see the zone of the
7 3rd Guards Battalion. The red markings represent the NLA forces.
8 Q. We see some arrows. If we can perhaps focus on the red markings
9 on the upper right-hand side of the document. We see some red arrows
10 going from top towards the bottom. What do these red arrows indicate?
11 A. These arrows indicate the axis of advance of the NLA forces.
12 Q. From what area towards what area?
13 A. From north, in this particular case obviously from the area of
14 Kumanovo, towards southwest, towards the capital, and again from west in
15 the direction of east again towards the capital.
16 Q. And based on your knowledge and the other documents that you have
17 seen, can you give an estimate of when this map would have been created or
18 the time period that it reflects?
19 A. Early June 2001.
20 Q. And we see on the bottom right-hand side that it is stamped with
21 the signature of the commander who apparently produced this map.
22 Your Honours, I would seek to tender this map, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
24 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, we will not object to the tendering of
25 that document at this stage, but we would like to place it on the record
1 that three different witnesses were members of this particular
2 organisation, were called by the Prosecution at the time, and were not put
3 the document or asked to provide any information in particular as regard
4 the time or as regard the other matters that have been commented upon.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P488, Your Honours.
7 MR. SAXON:
8 Q. Finally, Mr. Bezruchenko, could you please turn to what is tab 36
9 in your binder, and this is marked for identification Exhibit P00464,
10 Your Honours. It is referred to in footnotes 4, 27 and 28, 41, 137, 315,
11 327, 463 and 465 of the amended expert report, and at footnotes 1, 4, 5
12 and 8 of the amended addendum to the expert report. And you saw this, part
13 of this exhibit briefly, Your Honours, with witness Nazim Bushi. This is
14 a book entitled "The War in Macedonia in 2001".
15 I take it you're familiar with this book, Mr. Bezruchenko?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. And who are the authors of this book?
18 A. The authors of this book are recognised Macedonian military
19 experts, former Chief of General Staff and doctor, Mitre Arsovski, and his
20 colleagues, Kuzev and Damjanovski and I believe Mr. Kuzev is a colonel and
21 Mr. Damjanovski is a general.
22 Q. I'd like to discuss with you briefly several portions of this book
23 which have been translated into English, and perhaps if I can ask the
24 assistance of the Court Officer. If we can call up the portion that has
25 the ERN range N006-3017 to N006-3033.
1 And this page here is actually page 96, for those who are
2 following along in the Macedonian version, and this part of the book, this
3 chapter, is entitled "Measures of the Competent Organs of the Government
4 in the Field of Defence." Are you with me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
5 A. Yes, I think so.
6 MR. SAXON: Could we turn, please, to what is page 7 in the
7 English version. It is the bottom of page 105 in the Macedonian version.
8 That's it. And if we could focus on the bottom of the page, please, for
10 This is a subsection entitled: "The government of the Republic of
11 Macedonia," and it says that:
12 "The government of the Republic of Macedonia, as bearer of the
13 executive government of the Republic, has a very prominent role in the
14 field of defence."
15 Q. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. "In addition to proposing the most significant documents in this
18 field, it is also responsible for submitting numerous regulations and
19 decisions that regulate specific segments of the defence system and the
20 armed forces."
21 And then there's a reference, we see, to the Law on Defence,
22 and -- we see at the beginning here a list at the bottom of page 7 of the
23 responsibilities of the Government of Macedonia in this regard.
24 If we could turn to the next page in the English version and to
25 the bottom of page 106 in the Macedonian version, and this portion of the
1 book is referred to at paragraph 402(a) in the amended addendum to the
2 amended expert report.
3 Do you see, Mr. Bezruchenko, we see in the middle of the page,
4 above the bold line, it says:
5 "Not all of the government's responsibilities enacted in the Law
6 are listed below, since some of them were explained in other sections. As
7 a result, only part of them are listed here."
8 Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, sir, I see it.
10 Q. And it says in bold:
11 "Orders the use of the police during martial law to support the
13 And it says:
14 "It is immediately noticeable that the police is used to support
15 the army during martial law."
16 But then it tells us:
17 "In 2001, the government fully adhered to this regulation in the
18 Law on Defence and ordered the police to be used in a time of war, though
19 without declaring martial law."
20 And then it says:
21 "All of the misunderstandings between the police and army
22 originated precisely from this."
23 The next paragraph tells us this:
24 "Since martial law was not declared, the police was not under
25 joint command and acted independently. One can only imagine what the
1 situation is like when two ministers from the same government, Ministry of
2 the Interior and Ministry of Defence, have two armed components at their
3 disposal, one of which is 'commanded'," in quotes, "by the Prime Minister
4 through the Ministry of the Interior, while the other is under the command
5 of the President of the Republic through the Defence Minister."
6 You told us a bit before about the importance of unity of command.
7 What does this paragraph suggest to you in terms of how well the security
8 forces were functioning at that time?
9 A. Apparently there were certain discrepancies in the functioning of
10 the chain of command of the Macedonian security forces. Apparently the
11 Macedonian authorities failed to establish a single centre of command
12 which would be in charge of operations of both the army and the police.
13 Q. The next paragraph, it says:
14 "The two ministers, from differing political provenances, rather
15 than enduring on the course of joint defence of national and state
16 interests in such a complicated and dangerous security situation, seemed
17 to be 'fighting' for elevated positions in their parties, the government
18 and the defence."
19 And then it says:
20 "As a result, it could be said that the two armed structures - the
21 police and the army - were each fighting on their own front. This type of
22 deployment of the police, as the Prime Minister's armed force, caused a
23 rift in the management and command of the joint security forces of the
24 Republic of Macedonia."
25 Would it appear, Mr. Bezruchenko, that the authors of this book
1 and you would agree as to the results of these kinds of conflicts?
2 A. I fully concur with the conclusions of the authors of this book.
3 MR. SAXON: If we can turn now, please, to another portion of this
4 book which has the ERN range N006-3064 to N006-3067. And it begins at
5 page 143 in the Macedonian version.
6 Q. Are you with me, Mr. Bezruchenko?
7 A. Yes, I think I am.
8 Q. The top paragraph says this:
9 "Apart from the fact that the then-valid Law on Defence clearly
10 regulated the use of the police in wartime conditions, during our war,
11 there were different and opposing views on who controls and commands the
13 Do you see that?
14 A. Just a moment, sir.
15 Q. It's the top of that paragraph.
16 A. I'm not entirely certain if we are on the same page here.
17 Q. Can you read it on the screen?
18 A. This is the middle of the page, is it?
19 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, can you look at me, please?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is what the page looks like. It says: "Deployment of the
22 armed forces on the front."
23 A. Yes, I see that.
24 Q. Can you look at the paragraph above that, please?
25 A. Yes, I see it.
1 Q. And it says that there were -- it says:
2 " ... During our war," at the top, "there were different and
3 opposing views on who controls and commands the police."
4 Do you see that sentence, the third and fourth line down from the
6 Mr. Bezruchenko, if you look at the third line from the top,
7 you'll see a phrase that says "during our war."
8 A. I don't see it, sir. It's probably the right -- the wrong page.
9 Q. Okay. Well, your page should have at the top of it an ERN number
10 N006-3064. Can you go to the next portion of the report, please,?
11 MR. SAXON: Or if the usher could assist me. If the usher could
12 provide me with Mr. Bezruchenko's binder, I will turn to the page.
13 Thank you so much.
14 Q. If you look -- if you could look at what I've just highlighted,
15 Mr. Bezruchenko.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You see it says:
18 " ... During our war, there were different and opposing views on
19 who controls and commands the police."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then a little bit later, it says this:
24 "In a state of war, the police shall be used to carry out combat
25 tasks as an integral part of the army."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "This article of the Law on Defence was clear to everyone except
3 the politicians of 'relevant' parties in power."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. "However, the fact remained that there was duality in command and
6 control, because the Prime Minister commanded the police through the
7 Minister of the Interior, while the Supreme Commander commanded the Army.
8 This is why there were many uncoordinated combat operations in the war,
9 which contributed to greater casualties, the loss of whole battles and
10 struggles, and even the war as a whole."
11 Do you see that?
12 A. Yes, I do, I see that, sir.
13 Q. Help us understand something, please. This phrase "duality in
14 command and control," what does that mean? What does it usually mean?
15 A. This would describe two or more chains of command in cases where
16 the command-and-control system would be disrupted, and resulting in
17 multiple chains of command, whereas in fact only one should exist.
18 Q. Okay. If we can turn to the next page, please, in the English
19 version. This is page 145 in the Macedonian version. There is a
20 paragraph in the middle of the page, Mr. Bezruchenko. It begins with the
21 phrase: "We have to point out ..." Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, I do, sir.
23 Q. It says:
24 "We have to point out that during the war there was a wise
25 reticence of the President of Parliament, and Parliament did not declare
1 whether Macedonia was in a state of war or not. Only then does it become
2 perfectly clear why there were such a difference of views in the sphere of
3 command and control of the army and the police."
4 And in the next paragraph, we're told:
5 "In the broad coalition government, the Defence Minister was from
6 the SDSM Party, the Minister of the Interior from the VMRO-DPMNE Party,
7 and the Minister of Justice from the DPA."
8 And later on:
9 "The Minister of Defence had carte blanche for command and control
10 of the army, stipulated by law."
11 And then we're told:
12 "On the other hand, the Minister of the Interior did not wish to
13 remain without an 'army', so besides having the legal part of the police,
14 following a government decision, he established an illegal unit called the
15 Lions, promoting the president into its unlawful supreme commander. As
16 such, he did not want to subordinate to the lawful Supreme Commander by
17 fighting with his own army (the police), making his own decisions,
18 tactical variants, and fighting in the territory of his choice and with
19 his own opponent."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do, sir.
22 Q. Would this be another or a particular example of so-called duality
23 of command?
24 A. Yes, a typical one, sir.
25 MR. SAXON: And, Your Honours, there was one portion of this book
1 that was shown to you during the testimony -- redirect examination of
2 witness Nazim Bushi, and those are the conclusions. And I'd just like to
3 briefly look at one page of that. This portion of the book has ERN
4 version -- ERN range N006-3325 to N006-3334.
5 If we can turn to what is the third page in the English version,
6 and it's page 407 in the Macedonian version, please.
7 Q. Do you see paragraph 7 there? This should be the last portion of
8 this book that you have in your binder.
9 A. M'mm-hmm.
10 Q. And it says "Conclusions" at the top.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If you turn to the third page, please, paragraph 7 at the top, and
13 it says this -- do you see paragraph 7?
14 A. Yes, I do, sir.
15 Q. "The belligerent forces which the Republic of Macedonia set its
16 security forces against were varied, but they were united in terms of
17 their ultimate goal."
18 And then later on it says:
19 "Together they represented a joint armed force of an imaginary
20 Greater Albania. Therefore we can conclude that Macedonia was essentially
21 in an informal war with Albania and its fundamental goal of uniting all
22 Albanians in the Balkans in one state."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, sir, I see it.
25 Q. My question for you is simply this: In your assessment, was the
1 principle of unity of command in effect with the NLA forces?
2 A. Yes, it was.
3 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would seek to tender now what has been
4 marked for identification as P464.
5 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Under the same number, Exhibit P464, Your Honours.
7 MR. SAXON: Mr. Bezruchenko, I have no further questions for you.
8 Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
11 MR. METTRAUX: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Mettraux:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Bezruchenko. My name is Guenael Mettraux, and
14 I'm appearing on behalf of Mr. Boskoski.
15 A. Good afternoon, sir.
16 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, you will recall that on the first day of your
17 examination-in-chief, you were asked a number of questions from Mr. Saxon
18 about a concept known as "operational control." Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes, I do, sir.
20 Q. And in your evidence-in-chief, you indicated that in your view,
21 the concept or doctrine of operational control, according to that
22 doctrine, "the minister is", and I quote, "The one who is ultimately
23 responsible for all operations, actions of the Ministry, as well as his
24 subordinate personnel."
25 Do you recall saying that?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And you recall that upon an objection by the Defence, Mr. Saxon
3 indicated that your discussion of this concept, the doctrine of
4 operational control, was discussed in, I believe, paragraph 22.214.171.124 of
5 your report; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. And I would simply like to draw your attention to a particular
8 paragraph of that report which is contained in that section. That is
9 paragraph 371 of the report, at which you say the following:
10 "Several Macedonian Ministry of Interior documents suggest that
11 Minister of Interior Boskoski exercised operational control of police
12 forces, which was manifested in orders to deploy police at crisis areas."
13 Mr. Bezruchenko, do you recall making that statement or would you
14 wish to see the report?
15 A. I would be grateful to Your Honour if you could give me a chance
16 to find this particular section of the report.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, that will be page 107 of your report, and that's
18 paragraph 371.
19 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, this is Exhibit P466 perhaps for your
21 THE WITNESS: I'm at page 107 now, sir.
22 MR. METTRAUX:
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bezruchenko. And if I could ask you to look at
24 what is paragraph 371, please.
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. And simply to refresh your memory about a statement you make in
2 this report, you said the following:
3 "Several Macedonian Ministry of Interior documents suggest that
4 Minister of Interior Boskoski exercised operational control of police
5 forces, which was manifested in orders to deploy police at various crisis
7 Can you see that?
8 A. Yes, I can see that, sir.
9 Q. And do you recall making that statement --
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. -- in your report?
12 Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, and please correct me if I'm
13 wrong, that the supposed relevance of your evidence on that particular
14 issue or the issue of so-called operational control, is to suggest that at
15 the relevant time Minister of Interior Boskoski was somehow able to
16 exercise control of police forces during police operations; is that
18 A. If you believe a certain -- I mean, if you assume that a certain
19 function of operational control is deployment of forces on the ground,
20 that is exactly the case, sir.
21 Q. And as you just indicated, this doctrine or theory would, as one
22 of its elements, require that the transfer of people or members of a
23 particular entity to another location be part of the -- or be evidence, if
24 you wish, of operational control; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's right, Your Honour.
1 Q. And your evidence on that point, Mr. Bezruchenko, is based on your
2 military expertise; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
4 Q. And I think you've indicated, in response to a question of
5 Mr. Saxon, that the definitions which you've used -- or at least I think
6 you made the point in relation to armed conflict, that definitions which
7 you used are military definitions; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
9 Q. And this would apply in particular to the concept of operational
10 control; is it correct?
11 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
12 Q. And I think you indicated, again I believe it's in response to a
13 question by Mr. Saxon asked during your first day of examination, about
14 ARMED conflict in particular, that you had relied on the military
15 definition of that concept, and for that purpose you had relied upon a
16 particular publication of, I believe, the Department of Defence of the
17 United States. Do you recall saying that?
18 A. Yes, I do, sir.
19 Q. And that publication would be the Joint Publication 1-02 of the
20 Department of Defence; is that correct?
21 A. As far as I can recall, yes, sir.
22 Q. And do you agree or are you aware of the fact that this particular
23 document, the so-called Joint Publication, JP1-02, also contains a
24 definition of what constitutes operational control?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. And as you did with the definition of "armed conflict," would you
2 regard this definition as generally reliable about what would constitute
3 operational control?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. And I would like to ask you or, rather, to show you that
6 definition, Mr. Bezruchenko. You are quite familiar with it, but it may
7 assist others.
8 MR. METTRAUX: And if I can ask the Registry to bring up what is
9 Rule 65 ter 1D928. The ERN range is 1D00-7874, 1D00-7885. Your Honours,
10 simply for the record, the document in its entirety is several hundred
11 pages' long. We have uploaded parts of the document which contain a number
12 of definitions or terms which we may wish to present to ask comments about
13 from Mr. Bezruchenko.
14 I would ask the Registry, please, to turn to page 391 of that
15 document. That would be page 1D00-7885. 883; I apologise. And if the
16 Registry could scroll down a bit on the page. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, do you have in front of you the entry, so to say,
18 which defines the concept of operational control?
19 A. Yes, I see that.
20 Q. And I'd like to read it, and if you can follow with me, please,
21 Mr. Bezruchenko, I will ask you a few questions about this. The
22 definition of that concept is as follows:
23 "Operational control. Command authority that may be exercised by
24 commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command."
25 And I will just stop here for a second. Is that correct that in
1 military doctrine, the concept of operational control only applies at a
2 particular level of the military hierarchy; is that correct?
3 A. Well, it really depends on what you mean by "any particular level
4 of military hierarchy."
5 Q. Well, is it correct that at least as far as the US or DOD
6 definition of the concept is concerned, the concept or the doctrine of
7 operational control would apply only at echelons which are at or below the
8 level of combatant command; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, or we can say, in fact, not necessarily combatant command,
10 but any institution involved in the combat.
11 Q. Well, if we stick for a minute with this particular definition,
12 Mr. Bezruchenko, we'll see later about the possibility of applying this to
13 other circumstances. But will you agree that as far as the definition
14 given by the DOD which I understand applies to all branches of the
15 American army, the doctrine of operational control would only apply at or
16 below the level of combat command -- combatant command; is that correct?
17 A. This is what the document says, yes.
18 Q. And is that a fact that you felt you should mention in your
19 report, and did you do so?
20 A. I think I did.
21 Q. Then the definition goes on to say this:
22 "Operational control is the authority to perform those functions
23 of command over subordinate forces involving organising and employing
24 command and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving
25 authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational
1 control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military
2 operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to
3 the command.
4 "Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of
5 subordinate organisations. Normally this authority is exercised through
6 subordinate joint force commanders and service and/or functional component
7 commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to
8 organise commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander
9 in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned
10 missions; it does not, in and of itself, include authoritative directions
11 for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal
12 organisation, or unit training."
13 Before I ask you a number of questions about this particular
14 definition, Mr. Bezruchenko, you've just indicated your belief that you
15 had made -- or you have given an indication in your report that this
16 doctrine would not apply at or below the level of combatant command, and
17 would you recall in what part of that -- of your report this note would
18 be, if you can recall?
19 A. I don't think that I made any direct reference, well, to this
20 particular document in my report, but essentially the whole of my report
21 was based on the concept of operational control as stipulated in this
23 Q. So in answer to the question, you haven't specifically addressed
24 the fact that this doctrine, at least as far as this particular definition
25 is concerned, only applies at a certain level of the hierarchy in the
1 military; is that correct?
2 A. This is a common knowledge among military experts, I would -- if I
3 may say so, and I don't really think that it really warrants to make any
4 references to this particular document. This is essentially a compilation
5 of military terms which everyone is aware of.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask that a pause be
7 maintained between question and answer.
8 MR. METTRAUX:
9 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, we've been warned for the first time, about
10 pausing between question and answer, that is.
11 A. Thank you, sir.
12 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, as you've just indicated, that in
13 fact you do not make any reference to that particular document, and I'm
14 talking about the documents we're looking at right now and which you say
15 you have used, at least as far as the definition of "armed conflict" is
16 concerned, there is no reference to that document in your report; is that
18 A. If you specifically mean, sir, whether I quote this particular
19 document in my report and whether it is mentioned in any of the footnotes,
20 the answer, to the best of my knowledge, is "no."
21 Q. I'm grateful for that, Mr. Bezruchenko. Is it correct that if one
22 looks at this particular definition of what the concept of operational
23 control is, it refers, in various parts, to, I think, the idea of
24 operation, operational, and also mission. Is that correct, that's what it
25 refers to?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And is that correct also --
3 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry. Yes, Mr. Saxon.
4 MR. SAXON: I'm very sorry to interrupt.
5 To assist the interpreters, I've been signaled that it might be
6 helpful if Mr. Bezruchenko could sit a little bit further away from the
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
9 MR. METTRAUX: I'm grateful to Mr. Saxon.
10 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, is that correct that the concept of operation,
11 which you've used in several parts of your report or made reference to, is
12 also a military concept?
13 A. Yes, it is indeed, sir.
14 Q. And the concept which you've used or the way in which you've
15 utilised this concept is again you've used it in military fashion; is that
17 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
18 MR. METTRAUX: And if the Registry could go to the previous page
19 of the document that is now on the screen. That would be formally page
20 390 of the entire document, and it's 1D00-7882.
21 Q. And, Mr. Bezruchenko, if I can ask you to focus on the last entry
22 of that document. There is an entry called "Operation." Can you see
24 A. Yes, I can see that, sir.
25 Q. And I will read to you the definition which the Department of
1 Defence of the United States gives of that concept in military doctrine.
2 It says this:
3 "1. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic,
4 operational, tactical, service, training, or administrative military
7 "2. The process of carrying on combat, including movement,
8 supply, attack, defence, and manoeuvres needed to gain the objectives of
9 any battle or campaign."
10 And I suppose you will agree that this is again a pretty classical
11 definition of the concept of operation in military doctrine. Do you agree
12 with that?
13 A. I do, sir.
14 Q. And what it refers to in paragraph or number 1 and 2 is "Military
15 mission" in 1, and more specifically the process of carrying out combat in
16 number 2; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. And again your conclusions and findings in that regard were
19 military in nature, based on your military expertise; is that correct?
20 A. Absolutely, sir.
21 Q. And can you agree, Mr. Bezruchenko, with the suggestions that
22 orders given, for instance, to provide fire support, in the context of,
23 say, a military mission, or orders to use troops in combat, would be an
24 indication or would be perhaps even evidence of the possibility that
25 operational control is being exercised? Do you agree with that?
1 A. Yes, I agree with that, sir.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask the witness to maintain
3 a pause before responding.
4 MR. METTRAUX: Your Honour, would that be a convenient time or is
5 it 12.30?
6 JUDGE PARKER: We would normally run to 12.30. We --
7 MR. METTRAUX: It's my fault, Your Honour. I believed it was
8 12.15. I will continue.
9 JUDGE PARKER: We use diminishing periods, because counsel and
10 witnesses increasingly tire during the period, so that the later period is
11 longer than the first.
12 MR. METTRAUX: I think it's a wise course, Your Honour. I'll
14 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, in your report you've applied the concept or the
15 doctrine of operational control to the Ministry of the Interior of the
16 Republic of Macedonia; is that correct?
17 A. That's right, sir. If I may comment on that at this point.
18 The reason for that being the simple fact that the forces of the
19 Ministry of Interior were involved in the war on Macedonia in 2001.
20 Q. Well, I'm grateful for that, Mr. Bezruchenko. I will ask you this
21 question, then: Are you aware of a particular law or a particular
22 regulation that is applicable to the Ministry of Interior and which relies
23 upon the concept of operational control?
24 A. My question -- sorry, my answer to this question would be as
25 follows: In fact, the whole concept of functioning and hierarchy, as well
1 as the operational control, of the Ministry of Interior is fundamentally
2 described in the Law on Internal Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, and
3 in a sense these fundamentals do not necessarily differ from the
4 fundamentals of the command and control as described in the Law on Defence
5 of the Republic of Macedonia. There are the same three basic principles
6 there; the single authority, subordination, and the unity of command.
7 Q. Well, if I can ask you simply to answer the previous question,
8 Mr. Bezruchenko. Are you aware, through your research or the review of
9 the material which you have reviewed or consulted for the purpose of
10 preparing your report or otherwise, come across a reference to the
11 doctrine or the theory of operational control as would be applicable to
12 the Ministry of the Interior?
13 A. I don't quite understand what you actually mean, sir.
14 Q. Well, my question is this: You have indicated in your report and
15 in evidence that this particular doctrine, which is, as you indicated, a
16 military sort of doctrine called "operational control," would be
17 applicable in your view to the functioning and structure or mechanism of
18 the Ministry of Interior, and my question, it's only a preliminary
19 question, is whether in your review of the material in particular -- I
20 should qualify that. In your review of the laws and regulations that are
21 applicable to the Ministry of Interior, you have come across this
22 particular doctrine or this particular theory in the form of a statement
23 to the effect that it would be applicable to the Ministry of the interior?
24 A. The definition of "operational control," as provided by this
25 specific document, is in fact a military definition and is also an
1 academic definition, if you wish. But answering your question more
2 specifically, if I came across any documents related to operational
3 control as applied to the Ministry of Interior, I would say, yes, there is
4 at least one book of rules which describes essentially the operations of
5 the Ministry of Interior.
6 Q. Well, I'm grateful for that, and this was the next question I had.
7 MR. METTRAUX: The rule of book [sic] is Exhibit P96, and if the
8 witness could be shown that document, please. This would be
9 R042-4624-ET-01 in the English, and the Macedonian would be R042-4623-01,
10 I believe.
11 Mr. Bezruchenko, is it the particular document which you have just
12 referred to?
13 A. Could you kindly go to the next page?
14 Q. In the English or the Macedonian?
15 A. It doesn't matter.
16 MR. METTRAUX: Could the Registry assist, please.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed, this is this document.
18 MR. METTRAUX: And if I could ask the Registry to turn to Article
19 154 of the rule of books. I believe this would be page R042-4643-ET-02
20 [Realtime transcript read in error "R042-4643-80-02"] in the English. It
21 would be -- I will repeat. It would be R042-4643-ET - England and
22 Tom - -02, and in the Macedonian this would be R042-4623-22.
23 Do you have Article 154 in front of you, Mr. Bezruchenko?
24 A. Yes, I do, sir.
25 Q. And if I can ask you to direct your attention to the, if you wish,
1 the third indented part of that article, it starts with the words:
2 "Direct preventive engagement by the authorised officials ..." Can you
3 see that?
4 A. Yes, I see that.
5 Q. And if you go further in the text of that provision, you will see
6 a reference in the English version to: "... operational control over
7 dangerous areas ..." Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. And I will ask your assistance in the Macedonian now, which I
10 believe you have on the other side of the screen, and look at the same
11 article. Can you see that particular passage, the same passage we just
12 looked at, Mr. Bezruchenko?
13 A. Could you please read this -- kindly read this passage again,
15 Q. Certainly, at least in the English, Mr. Bezruchenko. This starts
16 with the words: "Direct preventative engagement by the authorised
17 officials by undertaking appropriate measures for physically averting an
18 attack ..."
19 And it goes on, and in approximately the middle of that paragraph,
20 there's a reference to something called "operational control over
21 dangerous areas." Can you see that?
22 A. Yes, I can see that.
23 Q. And can I ask you, Mr. Bezruchenko, please, to locate the same
24 passage in the Macedonian version.
25 A. If you could be a little bit -- I mean if it could be a little bit
1 magnified somehow.
2 MR. METTRAUX: Could the Registry --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the witness to pull
4 up the microphone so we can hear, and kindly maintain a pause before
6 MR. METTRAUX: You're being asked to do many things at the same
8 Perhaps I should give the paper copy to Mr. Bezruchenko.
9 Q. If you can look at the -- it's again Article 154. It's the second
10 indented part of that document, and I believe I have highlighted in blue
11 part of that.
12 A. Yes, I can see that.
13 Q. Can you see that, Mr. --
14 A. Yes, I can see that.
15 Q. Is it correct that, in fact, the original Macedonian refers not to
16 operational control but to operative control, "operativna kontrol"; is
17 that correct?
18 A. It can be translated both ways, but semantically I don't really
19 see any big difference here.
20 Q. Perhaps I should ask you this, then: Are you aware of any
21 internal regulations or instructions of the Ministry of Interior which
22 contain a definition of the concept of operational -- let me ask you
23 first, of operational control? Are you aware of any documents similar in
24 kind, if you wish, to the one from the DOD which would contain a
25 definition of operational control? Are you aware of any such documents?
1 A. Are you specifically referring to Macedonian Ministry of Interior,
2 sir, or do you mean documents in general?
3 Q. No, I apologise. About the Ministry of Interior in particular,
4 Mr. Bezruchenko.
5 A. Operational control related to the Ministry of Interior. No, I
6 don't think so.
7 Q. Are you aware of any particular internal instructions or
8 regulations applicable to the Ministry of Interior which refer to the
9 concept of operative control?
10 A. Well, there is a number of such documents, and in fact one of
11 those which is the one that I'm holding in my hands now.
12 Q. And you agree that the definitions used by the Ministry of
13 Interior actually all refer to that concept of operative control as I
14 cited from the original, and you will correct me, it's "operativna
15 kontrol"; is that correct?
16 A. Well, I don't really see, again as I mentioned, really any serious
17 difference between "operativna" which is in Macedonian, and "operational"
18 which is in English. In fact, these two notions, expressed in different
19 languages, of course, essentially apply to the same idea, which is
20 control, well, for execution of a certain mission. It's just to put it
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please move closer to the
23 microphones, because the interpreters cannot hear him, anything.
24 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise to the interpreter for cutting off.
25 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, the view that you just expressed, is that a
1 personal view of yours or is that something you say, you base on
2 particular material and regulation of the Ministry of Interior of which
3 you are aware of?
4 A. Both.
5 Q. And when you gave this definition or made this distinction which
6 in your view applies between the concept of operational and operative,
7 which document in particular would you be referring to?
8 A. Well, for instance, the one which I'm holding now.
9 Q. And you agree that all of those documents refer to "operativni,"
10 "operative"; is that correct?
11 A. Well, not necessarily.
12 Q. Are you aware of a document that would refer to what would be -- I
13 apologise. You will excuse me for the accent -- to something called
14 "operacijonalni kontrol" "operational control." Are you aware of any
15 documents containing those words?
16 A. I'm sorry, sir. This is a purely semantical thing.
17 Q. Perhaps I will simply move on and ask you this question for the
18 last -- simply to clear up the matter. Is that your evidence that you are
19 not aware of any regulations or internal instructions applicable to the
20 Ministry of Interior where that particular concept of operational control
21 is defined; is that correct?
22 A. If you are specifically referring, sir, to what is termed in
23 Macedonian as "operacijonalni kontrol," no, I didn't see anything like
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bezruchenko. Is that correct also that in --
1 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think we've reached a convenient time,
3 Mr. Mettraux.
4 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I think it will be to everyone's benefit if we
6 break now and resume at 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Mettraux.
10 MR. METTRAUX: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, is it correct that in a number of documents which
12 I think you have reviewed and one or two of which have been admitted in
13 evidence already, there's a reference to an organ or an entity which, in
14 those documents, is referred to as the Operations Control Centre, and I
15 believe in one document it even says "Operational Control Centre of the
16 MOI." Are you aware of those documents -- or any of those documents, I'm
18 A. Excuse me, there's some problem with the translation, I'm afraid
20 MR. METTRAUX: Could the witness be assisted?
21 THE WITNESS: It suddenly switched over to Macedonian. Maybe I
22 should put it off.
23 MR. METTRAUX:
24 Q. I believe it would be number 4, Mr. Bezruchenko, in English.
25 A. Thank you.
1 Q. I'll ask you the question again, Mr. Bezruchenko.
2 Is that correct that in a number of documents which I believe you
3 have reviewed and a number of which were admitted, there are references to
4 a location or a body known as the Operations Control Centre? And I
5 believe that one document refers to even an Operational Control Centre.
6 Are you aware of any such document, Mr. Bezruchenko?
7 A. Sir, are you referring to military Macedonian documents or are you
8 referring to police documents?
9 Q. I'm sorry, I should have specified that the second time I asked
10 the question. I mentioned specifically about the MOI.
11 A. Operational Control Centre. There was a headquarters for
12 Operational Action Ramno established in the Ministry of the Interior.
13 Yes, that I know.
14 Q. And that headquarter which you are referred to as the Operational
15 Control Centre in Macedonian is known as "DOC"; is that correct?
16 A. I'm not sure if this specific abbreviation implies to DOC.
17 Q. Well, would you be familiar with the expression "Dezurni
18 Operativni Centar"?
19 A. Yes, I would.
20 Q. And this would be the Operational Control Centre which you have
21 referred to; is that correct?
22 A. Not necessarily, sir. I believe we should really clarify what
23 this abbreviation means, whether it is "Dezurni Operativna Centra" which
24 literally means "duty officer in the Operational Centre," or whether it
25 means "Dezurni Operativni Centar" which means "Duty Operation Centre."
1 There is some difference here.
2 Q. But in terms of substance, Mr. Bezruchenko, is that correct that
3 the duty or responsibility of that body was, in effect, to centralise
4 information which is relevant to the work of the police and, inter alia in
5 criminal cases, to pass that information on to the investigative judge and
6 prosecutor; are you aware of that?
7 A. I would imagine that this body would have a number of functions.
8 One of those functions would be the nerve centre for collecting all
9 information related to the operational situation in Macedonia, meaning the
10 military situation at the fronts, as well as, perhaps, the operation
11 related to criminal activities. What other functions could be, and I
12 could perhaps give a little bit extended explanation, this may include
13 also the control functions for actual carrying out these operations in the
15 Q. Well, let me ask two questions, then. Is it correct that this
16 body in fact existed prior to the crisis in 2001; are you aware of that
18 A. I know that "dezurni," that is duty officer at the operational
19 centre, probably existed prior this fact, but this is an officer. Not
20 really a body, one officer.
21 Q. And when you say in your response that: "This may include also
22 the control functions for actual carrying out these operation in the
23 field," are you stating a belief of yours or are you suggesting that you
24 have material -- or you have reviewed material for the purpose of your
25 report, which indicates that in some instances the Operative Control
1 Centre or Duty Operative Centre, as it should be called, they did so,
2 Mr. Bezruchenko?
3 A. I would be specifically referring to the headquarters of the
4 Operational Action Ramno.
5 Q. And is that your evidence, Mr. Bezruchenko, that the headquarter
6 of what you called the Operational Action Ramno was -- or the function of
7 that centre included the control functions for actual carrying out of
8 operations in the field; is that your evidence, Mr. Bezruchenko, or is
9 that an opinion?
10 A. I believe that this headquarters definitely had a role in planning
11 and actual carrying out of operations in the field, but I don't really
12 think this was actually limited exclusively to Operational Centre Ramno.
13 Q. And when you say you believe that the Operational, as you call it,
14 Centre Ramno had a role in planning and actually in carrying out of
15 operation in the field, could you be more precise and indicate what, in
16 your view, allows you to form that conclusion?
17 A. In the course of preparation of my report, I came across numerous
18 documents marked "Operation Ramno." Most of these documents are reports
19 from various police bodies and units on the ground to the Operational
20 Centre Ramno. It is pretty obvious in this case that as these reports
21 were actually forwarded to Operational Headquarters Ramno, it was this
22 specific headquarters which was responsible for collecting
23 collecting/analysing these reports, as well as suggesting possible
24 operational response measures.
25 Q. And did you see any such documents that would suggest possible
1 operational response measures or did you only see the first type of
2 material which you've indicated, namely, information coming towards the
3 headquarters? In other words, let me ask you perhaps this question: Did
4 you see any order signed by the Operational Centre Ramno, as you call it?
5 A. I'm not indicating that Operational Headquarters Ramno was issuing
6 any orders. I only said that it had a role in planning and carrying out
7 such operations.
8 Q. Did you see perhaps any plan or map of an operation prepared by
9 the Headquarter Ramno?
10 A. I didn't see any maps.
11 Q. And when you say that you saw earlier the possibility that they
12 made possible operation -- or suggestion, it is line 3, suggestion of
13 possible operational response measures, could you tell in what form you
14 suggest those suggestions were being made?
15 A. Well, these could be made in the form of verbal suggestions or
16 proposals at briefings and meetings at the Ministry of Interior.
17 Q. Did you hear or were you present or were you told about any
18 particular instances of such verbal orders being given, and if so, by
20 A. These would be a normal routine procedure in the Ministry of
21 Interior in a situation where a war was going on in the country. I don't
22 really think that the situation warranted any detailed paperwork regarding
23 the situation.
24 Q. So the answer to my question is, in fact, that you have not seen
25 any evidence of any such verbal order, but that instead it is a belief
1 that you draw from your experience; is that correct?
2 A. That's right. I did not see any orders specifically coming from
3 the Operational Ramno headquarters, but I have seen lots of reports coming
4 to this --
5 Q. Is it also correct -- sorry, did I cut your answer, Mr. --
6 A. No, that's fine.
7 Q. Is it also correct that, Mr. Bezruchenko, as you were preparing
8 your amended report and your evidence in this courtroom, you realised that
9 this concept or this doctrine of operational control could come to clash
10 with another aspect of the Prosecution case, or at least what the
11 Prosecution case had evolved to be; is it correct?
12 A. No, not really. I don't quite understand what you mean.
13 Q. Well, let me ask you this, then: Do you recall that during your
14 examination-in-chief, you were being asked a number of questions about
15 disciplinary matters and disciplinary issues by Mr. Saxon? And I refer to
16 the first part of your examination-in-chief on the 4th of October.
17 A. [No verbal response].
18 Q. Sorry, Mr. Bezruchenko, I will ask you again. Do you simply
19 recall being asked a number of questions about disciplinary issues and
20 disciplinary competencies by Mr. Saxon on the 4th of October, 2007?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. And do you recall making or giving that particular answer to
23 Mr. Saxon in relation to one of his questions? You said this, and it's
24 the 4th of October of 2007 at page 6070. You said this:
25 "Normally, operational control does not include such issues as
1 discipline and logistics," you said.
2 Do you recall saying that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And do you agree that this is, in fact, a correct and accurate
5 position under military doctrine, as is evident from the definition of the
6 DOD; do you agree?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And according to that doctrine, and applying again the standard
9 which the DOD, for instance, applied, this would mean that a military
10 officer or a superior who has operational control over a group of men does
11 not have disciplinary or logistical responsibilities in relation to that
12 group; is that correct?
13 A. No, this is wrong, Mr. Mettraux. I'm afraid we have completely
14 different interpretations of that concept of operational control.
15 We should not mix up two things here. The operational control is
16 operational because it implies operations. Disciplinary control is
17 something else. It implies discipline.
18 Q. Well, let me read out to you again the passage from the definition
19 given by the DOD which I read out to you. I'll just read the passage
20 which is relevant here, and it says:
21 "It does not" - that is, operational control - "does not, in and
22 of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of
23 administration, discipline, internal organisation, or unique training."
24 Do you agree that according to this definition, at least, the
25 concept of operational control does not include discipline or matters of
1 discipline, as it says; do you agree with that?
2 A. Yes, as defined in this particular document, it is, but this is
3 only part of the answer to the question. The full answer to the question
4 would be that one person, one commander in the field, would normally
5 combine both operational and disciplinary control, so these two types of
6 control are distinctly different.
7 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that this is, in fact,
8 inconsistent, what you just said, inconsistent with the definition of the
9 DOD which I just read out to you?
10 A. No, it is not. There is no inconsistency here.
11 Q. Is it also correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that this new statement that
12 you've made about the combination of operational and disciplinary control
13 is not specifically made in your report; is that correct?
14 A. This is a very obvious thing, at least to a military expert,
15 Mr. Mettraux, and I don't really think this is something which could be --
16 I mean, I don't really think this is something which a person could have
17 two opinions about.
18 If a military commander in the field has full responsibility for
19 his troops, he has to have both the operational and disciplinary control.
20 In other words, if I'm a commander of a unit and some man in my unit has
21 committed a breach of discipline, I am the first person up the chain of
22 command to be reported about this to and to take proper measures.
23 Q. Are you suggesting that the definition that is given in the
24 lexicon of the DOD is not accurate in terms of military doctrine when it
25 excludes discipline from the realm of operational control?
1 A. No, there is nothing wrong here. I'm saying again, Mr. Mettraux,
2 and perhaps this is some kind of misunderstanding, that you should
3 differentiate between operational control, which is exclusively directed
4 at operations and nothing else, and disciplinary control, which is
5 directed at discipline, and these two types of control are perfectly
6 legitimate to be combined in one commander.
7 Q. Isn't it correct --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Please make breaks between questions and
9 answers. Thank you.
10 MR. METTRAUX: I apologise to the interpreters.
11 Q. Isn't that correct that for the first time, Mr. Bezruchenko, in
12 your evidence-in-chief on the 4th of October of 2007, at page 6070, you
13 said this:
14 "These" - and the words should refer to disciplinary
15 powers - "would be granted to the next superior of the commander who would
16 have the operational control of his troops on the ground."
17 Is it what you said?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And does this particular comment appear, as far as you can recall,
20 anywhere in your report?
21 A. Again, I don't see any discrepancy here, because what I actually
22 said was that if I commit a disciplinary breach, the next person up the
23 chain of command is supposed to take care about this breach of discipline.
24 Q. I understand, Mr. Bezruchenko, this is now your evidence here. My
25 question is: Did you mention this particular view of yours or opinion of
1 yours anywhere in your report?
2 A. This is a very clear thing, Mr. Mettraux, and I don't really think
3 that, well, these smallest details would actually be a specific subject of
4 my report. This is simply hair-splitting.
5 Q. And if I understand your evidence correctly, this particular
6 statement that I've just read to you is not based on the doctrine of
7 operational control; is that correct?
8 A. Which specific statement do you mean, please?
9 Q. I will read it out to you again, Mr. Bezruchenko. It's from the
10 4th of October of 2007. It's page 6070, and it reads like that. It says:
11 "These powers," and you are referring at this stage to these
12 disciplinary powers, "would be granted to the next superior of the
13 commander who would have the operational control of his troops on the
15 A. If I could specify your question, Mr. Mettraux, disciplinary
16 powers in relation to what?
17 Q. Well, Mr. Bezruchenko, I'm asking you about the answer that you
18 gave to Mr. Saxon, to his particular question, and perhaps if I can assist
19 you, I can read the question that was put to you. It's again the same
20 page, Mr. Bezruchenko. It reads this:
21 "How does this paragraph" - that's paragraph 415 of your
22 statement - "relate to -- actually, let me step back a little bit.
23 There's a term that I'd like to ask you, if you can define a term for me,
24 please. The term is 'operational control'."
25 That's your response:
1 "Well, according to the concept of operational control, a
2 commander who is responsible to carry out a certain mission must exercise
3 his authority to organise, deploy and direct his forces in operational
4 sense, that is, to make sure that his mission is accomplished."
5 And then you added:
6 "Normally, operational control does not include such issues as
7 discipline, logistics and -- logistics."
8 And then Mr. Saxon asked you this:
9 "And when you say, 'Normally operational control does not include
10 such issues as discipline, logistics and -- logistics,' for example, the
11 aspect of discipline, who would be expected, if not the commander, to
12 exercise operational control with respect to discipline?"
13 And your answer was this:
14 "That would be -- these powers would be granted to the next
15 superior of the commander, who would have the operational control of his
16 troops on the ground."
17 Do you recall that exchange?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And in answer to my question, did you make that particular point
20 which you made to Mr. Saxon in response to his question anywhere in your
22 A. Yes. In fact, as is clear from this exchange, I provided an
23 accurate description of the operational control. And regarding the second
24 part of this exchange, the control of disciplinary powers or, in fact, the
25 disciplinary control belongs to the same person who is exercising
1 operational control of his particular unit. But if it is found that a
2 commander of this particular unit is committing some breaches of
3 discipline, it is next up the chain of command who is to take care of
4 that. It's as simple as that.
5 Q. Well, I have two questions to follow up on this. You first said
6 that, yes, you have made that point in your report. Would you remember
7 where, generally in your report, that evidence or that opinion would be
9 A. Excuse me, sir. Which specific point you're referring to?
10 Q. I'm referring in particular to the suggestion that disciplinary
11 powers would be granted to the next superior of the commander who would
12 have the operational control of his troops on the ground.
13 A. My report was based on documents, sir, and I would like you to
14 please indicate to me which specific document you mean.
15 Q. I'm sorry, I think we're talking at cross-purpose,
16 Mr. Bezruchenko.
17 I understood that your evidence here is that this particular point
18 which you are now making to the effect that the disciplinary powers would
19 be granted to the next superior of the commander who would have the
20 operational control of his troops on the ground, is to be found somewhere
21 in your report, and my first question was: Could you indicate if, indeed,
22 this is to be found in your report, and if so, in what part of that
23 report, if you can recall?
24 A. First of all, Mr. Mettraux, I don't quite understand what you mean
25 by "operational powers" in relation to discipline. There is, in my
1 understanding, no such thing as operational powers in relation to
2 discipline. There are operational power -- I mean operational control and
3 there are disciplinary powers.
4 Well, regarding the specific point which you're referring to, the
5 point of disciplinary control was reflected in my report -- in the part of
6 my report, I mean, which speaks about the Law of Internal Affairs.
7 Q. So it is your evidence here, sir, that this particular point, and
8 I use the expression "powers" because it is the one you used in your
9 evidence-in-chief yourself, your evidence is that, in fact, that
10 particular point about these disciplinary powers granted to the next
11 superior of the commander, who would have the operational control of his
12 troops on the ground, is in fact, in your -- in the part of your report
13 that discusses the MOI; is that correct?
14 A. What is correct, sir, is that my report contains a portion on the
15 disciplinary powers of the head of the Ministry of Interior, as reflected
16 in the Law on Internal Affairs.
17 Q. And simply, Mr. Bezruchenko, I don't want to muddy the water, but
18 for the sake of clarity, this particular statement that I've read to you a
19 number of times, is it a statement which you recall as having been made
20 somewhere in your report?
21 A. I don't quite understand what you mean, sir. Which statement do
22 you mean?
23 Q. I apologise, Mr. Bezruchenko, for not being clear. Your statement
24 made at page 6070 to the effect that disciplinary powers, your terms,
25 would be granted to the next superior of the commander who would have the
1 operational control of his troops on the ground, is it, as far as you can
2 recollect, a statement or a finding or an opinion which you gave somewhere
3 in your report?
4 A. If we are referring to specific wording of what you call
5 "statement," well, I don't think I have this wording in my report.
6 Q. And simply to clarify the second matter for the record and to be
7 sure that we understand each other, Mr. Bezruchenko, I would like to be
8 clear on the issue of the scope, if you wish, of the concept of
9 operational control. Is your evidence now that the concept of operational
10 control does, in fact, include the concept of -- or does include
11 disciplinary powers?
12 A. No, sir, this is a wrong statement. As I mentioned previously,
13 and I repeat it again, there is operational control and there are
14 disciplinary powers, and there is no way of mixing these two up.
15 Q. And when the DOD says that operational control does not, in and of
16 itself, include disciplinary powers or matters of discipline, are you
17 taking issue with that proposal?
18 A. This proposal, as formulated in the DOD document, is absolutely
20 Q. And I believe that later in your evidence, sorry, you said to
21 Mr. Saxon, and again correct me if it's a poor summary, that in a normal
22 military structure superiors have disciplinary powers over their
23 subordinates. Do you recall saying that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And just as a matter of clarity, did you discuss at all the issue
1 of disciplinary powers in the context of the Ministry of Defence or the
2 army in your report?
3 A. No, I don't think so.
4 Q. Is that correct that you did not deal with any disciplinary powers
5 or any disciplinary competencies as might have the commander-in-chief of
6 the army; is that correct?
7 A. In my report, I was, among other things, describing the
8 legislation pertaining to the organisation of the defence of the country,
9 including the Law on Defence, and I think I provided maybe a, maybe a
10 little bit brief, a succinct description of the law and the basic clauses
11 it addresses, but I don't think that I made a specific point about
12 disciplinary powers in the military, which again are pretty obvious things
13 and I don't really think need any special attention.
14 Q. But you do pay attention in your report to the issue of
15 disciplinary powers in the Ministry of the Interior, as you say it; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes, I do, because the law deals with this issue.
18 Q. And so does the law applicable to the army; is that correct?
19 A. Well, I'm not entirely certain which particular clause deals with
20 this issue, but army is an army, and disciplinary matters in the army are
21 pretty obvious to me.
22 Q. Just going back to your report for a moment, Mr. Bezruchenko, is
23 it correct that in your report, you make the suggestions that
24 Mr. Boskoski, and I think I have read that passage to you already, had
25 operational control over -- of police forces; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. And is that correct that in your report, you also suggest that
3 Minister Boskoski had certain disciplinary responsibilities vis-a-vis
4 those forces; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. I will come back in a moment, Mr. Bezruchenko, to the issue of
7 disciplinary competencies and powers, as you see it.
8 MR. METTRAUX: If Mr. Bezruchenko would please be shown his report
9 once again. I believe this is Exhibit P466. And if the Registry could
10 please turn to page 107.
11 Q. Mr. Bezruchenko, this should be the same page I believe you still
12 have in front of you. This is the subsection of your report 126.96.36.199
13 dealing with operational control.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I would like to turn your attention once again, on the same
16 paragraph, that's paragraph 371. That's the paragraph in your report
17 where you suggest that Minister Boskoski exercise operational control of
18 police forces, and you add that this operational control was manifested in
19 orders to deploy police at various crisis areas. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's right, sir.
21 Q. And is that correct that for the -- for your conclusion, if you so
22 wish, to be correct in this matter, it would have to be accepted first --
23 I will simply list them for you, and you will tell me whether you agree
24 with them -- for your conclusions and approach to be accepted by this
25 Chamber, it would have to be accepted first that this military doctrine of
1 operational control is acceptable or is applicable, I'm sorry, in the
2 context of a military and civilian structure; is that correct?
3 A. I don't quite understand your question, sir.
4 Q. Well, let me put it slightly better. Do you agree that the
5 doctrine of operational control is a military doctrine?
6 A. As expressed in the document which I used, yes, it is basically a
7 military doctrine.
8 Q. And you will agree then, Mr. Bezruchenko, that for it to apply to
9 the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Macedonia in this case, it
10 would have to be accepted by the Trial Chamber that this military doctrine
11 can apply, in fact, to a civilian context; do you agree with that?
12 A. This may be an issue, and maybe not. In fact, if we come back to
13 the document which you have just shown to me, Mr. Mettraux, which is
14 "Pravilnik Za Vrsenje Na Rabotite," it clearly speaks, even in the
15 English translation, of an operational control. Well, so basically we are
16 back to the square 1.
17 Q. Well, if you can simply respond to the question, Mr. Bezruchenko.
18 Do you agree that in order to accept your conclusions and your findings on
19 that point as regard operational control, it would have to be accepted
20 that this particular military doctrine would apply in the context of a
21 civilian structure, such as the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of
22 Macedonia; is that correct?
23 A. My answer to this would be the following, Mr. Mettraux: The
24 forces of the Ministry of Interior were a component of the security forces
25 of the Republic of Macedonia and were deployed in combat operations on the
1 ground. Therefore, the concept of the operational control, as you define
2 it in its military application, would certainly be applicable to the units
3 of the Ministry of the Interior.
4 Q. So if I understand your response correctly, Mr. Bezruchenko, your
5 suggestion is that, yes, this doctrine -- military doctrine of operational
6 control applies or can apply to a civilian structure, and it does apply,
7 in your view, to the situation of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic
8 of Macedonia. Is that a correct summary?
9 A. I am specifically referring to the forces or, rather, units of
10 special police of the Ministry of Interior. I don't know to which extent
11 they could be described as civilian structures.
12 Q. Is your evidence then, Mr. Bezruchenko, somewhat qualified to the
13 effect that only those units, you mentioned the special police, for
14 instance, which took part in what you called "forces," "use of force," I
15 don't know what expression you wanted to use, would come under the
16 application of that doctrine, or would your application of that doctrine
17 be broader in scope?
18 A. If I may refer you to the book which was written by prominent
19 military experts, "The War in Macedonia," which clearly speaks about the
20 security forces of Macedonia being made of two components; the Ministry of
21 Interior, as such, as an institution, and the Armed Forces of the Republic
22 of Macedonia, so according to the opinion of these experts, and I tend to
23 concur with them, the concept of operational control, in its military
24 sense, will be equally applicable to the entirety of the entity which is
25 called the security forces of Macedonia, being - excuse me, sir - being
1 made up of forces of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Interior
2 itself, as well as the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
3 Q. I'm grateful for this, Mr. Bezruchenko. Perhaps I should ask you
4 this: Are you aware of any precedent or are you aware of any authority in
5 your field or in others which would suggest that, in fact, this military
6 doctrine could possibly apply to a civilian organ or a civilian
7 institution; are you aware of any such precedent or authority?
8 A. We may go back to the Law on Defence of the Republic of Macedonia,
9 which clearly speaks of a possibility of involvement of the Ministry of
10 Interior in military operations.
11 Q. But you do agree, Mr. Bezruchenko, that the Law on Defence does
12 not speak of operational control as regard the Ministry of Interior and
13 its forces; do you agree with that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Is it also correct that for the Chamber to accept your conclusion
16 on that point, it would have to accept that Mr. Boskoski in fact had such
17 so-called operational control; do you agree with that?
18 A. I don't quite understand your question, sir.
19 Q. Well, do you agree that your report -- I could put it better to
20 you, Mr. Bezruchenko. Your report suggests and you're inviting the
21 Chamber to accept two things: That not only did the theory of operational
22 control apply to the Ministry of Interior in Macedonia at the relevant
23 time, but in particular to the minister himself, Mr. Boskoski, and that in
24 this particular instance you say he had that control; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I think, just for the record perhaps, I may say again that
1 in the war situation which was taking place in Macedonia in 2001, the
2 concept of operational control de facto applied both -- to both components
3 of the Macedonian security forces, these being the Ministry of the
4 Interior and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.
5 Q. Is that also correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that what you are inviting,
6 in effect, the Chamber to do is to apply this doctrine of operational
7 control to some extent, but not to its full extent, to Mr. Boskoski; is
8 that correct, that's in effect what you're asking the Chamber?
9 A. No, it's not, sir. There are no implications attached to my
10 statement. What I said is purely based on my professional experience.
11 Q. Isn't it correct, Mr. Bezruchenko, that in effect what you're
12 asking the Chamber to do is to apply this theory of operational control,
13 as far as you say is relevant to demonstrating authority on the part of
14 the minister over police forces, but to refrain from applying that
15 doctrine to its end when it relates to disciplinary matters? Would that
16 be a fair summary?
17 A. I'm afraid not, sir. I'm afraid I am repeating this again.
18 We do not really have to mix up two things, operational control
19 and disciplinary powers. These are absolutely different things. But that
20 does not necessarily mean that they can be combined in the authority of
21 one person. This is what I'm saying.
22 MR. METTRAUX: Would that be a convenient time, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
24 We adjourn now for the weekend. We resume at 2.15 on Monday.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 22nd day of
2 October, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.