1 Monday, 12 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Happy New Year, Your Honours.
7 This is the Case Number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you.
10 Can you follow the proceeding in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
12 THE INTERPRETER: We cannot hear the accused.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it because his microphone is not on? Could I ask
14 you to repeat, Mr. Brdjanin.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
16 can follow the proceedings in a language I understand.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And appearances for the Prosecution.
18 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. And Happy New Year as
19 well from the Prosecution. It's Joanna Korner assisted by Denise Gustin,
20 Case Manager. In today the rarefied heights, Courtroom I, I note.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. And appearances for
22 Radoslav Brdjanin. And Madam Registrar, please, could you move all the
23 stuff. I can't see Mr. Ackerman, I can't see anyone from here.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Happy New Year, Your Honour. I'm
25 David Cunningham with John Ackerman and Aleksandar Vujic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. And I wish you a Happy New
2 Year on my own behalf. And on behalf of Judge Janu and Judge Taya, I
3 wish happy new year to each and every one of you. Thank you.
4 I suppose there are a few preliminaries. What is the situation
5 with regard to the witnesses that we are expected to hear this week?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, Witness 21 is here and ready.
7 Witness 69 will be here and testify on Wednesday.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we have a problem on Wednesday.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: We do?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Because I had -- going back I don't know how
11 many weeks, but before the -- let's go into private session for a while.
12 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 MS. KORNER: So Your Honour, I can't for one moment tell you
16 anything about him, until we get a summary knowing exactly what he's going
17 to talk about and what he's going to say, I can't tell you anything about
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Then I understand there are going to be videolinks
20 on Friday.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, with regard to Dmitrasinovic, the
22 summary provided by Mr. Golic and the testimony of Mr. Golic is a pretty
23 effective disclosure of what he's going to take about. It will be almost
24 identical testimony. We are going to file a motion today to have Witness
25 Number 49 testify by videolink. When we last saw him, his health was not
1 good, but he believed he could travel here if he could be driven here by
2 car and back. His health apparently has now deteriorated to the point
3 where that's not practical for him either. We have medical certificates
4 for both Witness 49 and 48. They haven't been translated. I have them
5 here in the original language. One's in German; one's in Serbian. I can
6 give you copies in those languages, or you can wait until I get them back
7 from CLSS. We were able to receive them only yesterday. And that should,
8 Your Honour, if we can put things together on Wednesday, we should finish
9 the Brdjanin witnesses with the exception of the expert who is scheduled
10 for 9 February, this week. We should be completed.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What about Thursday? What's going to happen on
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it may be that if Dmitrasinovic is only a
14 one-day witness, and I think he should be, we could skip Wednesday, put
15 him on Thursday, and then you wouldn't have to worry about Wednesday.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The problem as I explained, for this special event,
17 we will have to travel to Amsterdam. And we are all going to travel
18 together, but I don't know exactly what time we're coming back. We could
19 still start Wednesday afternoon, and I think that will be a safer bet for
20 everyone. I mean, I would prefer having it that way. I mean starting
21 Wednesday afternoon, and that way we'll make sure that the witness --
22 we'll finish with the witness by the end of Thursday, if that is okay with
23 you. I mean, otherwise we would be taking a risk supposedly if we start
24 with the witness on Thursday, not knowing whether we would be in a
25 position to finish him on Friday.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: The only risk we would have to take is he might
2 have to stay until Monday.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's not a problem for me or any of us three.
4 Yeah, we could do that. I mean, the easiest way of going about it is to
5 miss Wednesday altogether. That's the easiest.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's fine with me. I think we can
7 finish him on Thursday. My recollection is we finished Mr. Golic in one
8 day, didn't we?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't remember, Mr. Ackerman. I honestly don't --
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm quite certain we did. We should have no
11 trouble finishing him on Thursday, I think. So if we just skip Wednesday,
12 I think we're still on track to complete everything this week.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: May I ask now, whoever is responsible, because I
14 don't know what the situation will be like and what the problems that
15 could arise would be. If -- we had made arrangements for the testimony of
16 Mr. Dmitrasinovic -- no, sorry, Witness 48 to testify by videolink on
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: That's going through now I suppose.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: 48 and 49 both, Your Honour --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start with 48. Because the preparations we
22 had made were for 48.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: How long do you expect that to last.
25 MS. KORNER:
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Those are both one-hour directs.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One-hour direct. And you haven't seen any
3 statements --
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's all very well for Mr. Ackerman to
5 say he's going to be saying the same as Mr. Golic. But we would like a
6 summary. And more importantly, we have no date of birth for this man and
7 we would like the name of his father, and if we could have that please
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll do my best to get that to Ms. Korner today,
10 the whole thing. Whatever she wants I'll try to get to her today.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, could we ask, we don't mind whether we
12 have the medical certificates in Serbian and German, so if we could have
13 copies of those today. And while I'm on the question of summaries,
14 Your Honour, for some unknown reason, email doesn't seem to work in the
15 OTP over the weekend, and we've not received a summary for this witness at
16 all. I understand Mr. Cunningham hasn't got a copy here, but that your
17 legal officer may have a copy, and I wonder if we could just have a copy
18 given to us.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I haven't seen one.
20 MS. KORNER: I see. We'll nobody seems to have a summary.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No. If my legal assistant had one, she should have
22 given it to us for sure.
23 MS. KORNER: I see. Well, can we take it there is no summary
25 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I have one at my office on my computer, but I
1 just don't have it with me. And I apologise for that. I don't know what
2 the problem is.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The problem is three weeks' holiday, Mr. Cunningham.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Speak for yourself, Your Honour. With all due
5 respect, I had court all in the States last week.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. What I want to make sure, Mr. Ackerman
7 and Ms. Korner, is that we can fit in 48 and 49 Friday because -- I don't
8 know. We will need a courtroom.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And if we go beyond the normal hours, we would still
11 need a courtroom.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, absolutely. Your Honour, I mean, as I
13 understand it from the short summaries we've got for them, again, we
14 haven't got expanded summaries yet, I think it should be potentially
15 possible to finish both in one day. It may well be that we have to
16 perhaps go beyond the normal court hours. I don't know what the situation
17 is like at the other trials in this Court.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: It was my understanding, Your Honour, that we had
19 reserved Courtroom II for the entire day, not just for the morning.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That was my understanding as well. But I see here
21 that we are sitting in Courtroom III, and only the morning session has
22 been reserved. And that in the afternoon, Hadzihasanovic is sitting in
23 the same courtroom. Courtroom II is free in the morning, but there's
24 Strugar in the afternoon. No, sorry, there's Strugar in the morning, but
25 it's free in the afternoon. But I don't know -- I've never done the
1 videolink here, so I don't know whether you can shift from one courtroom
2 to the other. I honestly don't know because there will only be the half
3 an hour break between the first and -- the morning and the afternoon
4 sitting. Or Strugar could move to... Strugar would move to --
5 THE REGISTRAR: Strugar move to Courtroom III.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We are sitting in the morning in Courtroom III.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Strugar, too. Swap.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We swap there. See what you can do. I want to make
9 sure that we will be in a position to finalise -- finish these two
10 witnesses on Friday, even if we have -- if we need to sit more than the
11 usual sitting hours. And I'm sure I will find the cooperation of
13 Can we bring the witness in, or is there anything else?
14 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour. There are a couple more matters
15 which really again relate to timetabling. It looks as though the evidence
16 is most likely, other than the expert, Mr. Shoup, is going to finish this
17 week. And as I recall, the expert is going to start testifying on the 9th
18 of February. Your Honour, for the purposes really of now preparation, as
19 it were, have Your Honours over the break finalised any arrangements in
20 respect of any visits you might wish to make to the sites?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I'm taking that up with Mr. Roberts today. I
22 just sent him an email first thing this morning to come and see me in the
23 first break.
24 MS. KORNER: All right.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Things are moving obviously. And there are two
1 aspects, one is the date, the other one is security.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And for those -- for security in particular, I have
4 been taught early in my life not to interfere and let others decide for
5 me. As regards the date, I think they are thinking about those, and they
6 will --
7 MS. KORNER: Because Your Honour gave some prospective dates on
8 the list.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Also the tentative schedule that was prepared
10 by Ms. Sutherland and that was given to us, and to Mr. Roberts, and I
11 think he has discussed it with the Registrar, and I think more or less
12 that's what we will be -- that will be more or less the basic schedule,
13 plus or minus obviously.
14 MS. KORNER: Well, I can tell Your Honours that the Registrar got
15 in touch with the field office in Banja Luka, and they were going to see,
16 effectively do a test run to see whether it was possible to encompass
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes that was number one. Secondly, because
19 apparently in some areas, I don't know how much weeks' prior notice is
20 needed. So I'm in the hands of others. As soon as we are in a position
21 to suggest dates, then obviously we will come back -- we will come back to
22 you. I will also require to know, Mr. Ackerman, if you finish with the
23 witnesses this week whether you will be available here in The Hague,
24 either of you or both of you, all the time or whether you're going to be
25 in the States on call to come back. I don't know. Please put us in the
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that is more in the hands of the
3 Registry than anyone. If they will permit me to remain here, I will. If
4 they won't, I'll leave. It's pretty much up to them. I think if
5 Your Honour were to suggest on the record or otherwise that you think it's
6 necessary that I remain here, then the Registry would surely permit that.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I will discuss that with my two
8 colleagues, and eventually with the Registrar if necessary.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the last matter, again, and it's a
10 question of really timing, is -- it is likely that we will be calling some
11 rebuttal evidence. We're in the process of investigating. But for our
12 purposes and for the time we'll have, are Your Honours able to say at this
13 stage whether at the end of the Defence evidence and any rebuttal evidence
14 we call Your Honours will be seeking to call witnesses?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we reserve our decision on that. We
16 discussed it already at some point. But that was before certain events
17 happened. And I think we will have to discuss things again.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I can tell you that I personally had in mind
20 summoning someone here, but I don't think that is possible now.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm simply -- obviously I'm asking not
22 that I want to put Your Honours on the spot, but because it, of course,
23 makes a difference in terms of the time left for writing the closing
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But taking you up on what you stated possibly will
1 be calling or recalling some witnesses in rebuttal, I don't think that we
2 need -- I mean, to be practical, that we need to wait until Mr. Ackerman's
3 expert witness has come over. If that is the only witness left, I think
4 we could use the time frame between this Friday or Monday coming and the
5 9th of January when --
6 MS. KORNER: February. Your Honour, that's what I wanted to know
7 because the answer is, Your Honour, we would be -- we would have
8 difficulties. Matters have come to light as it were just before the
9 Christmas break. The Christmas break has meant that it has almost been
10 impossible to conduct, as I'm sure Mr. Ackerman can tell you, any
11 inquiries in Bosnia or the Republika Srpska.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Why?
13 MS. KORNER: Because everybody is off. Their holidays.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Everyone is off for how long?
15 MS. KORNER: They have just come back this week. But therefore,
16 any inquiries we want to make, and there are certain inquiries that we
17 have been trying to make and we are trying to find at least two people,
18 but we haven't been able to get anywhere a request for information
19 delivered to the Bosnian authorities, hasn't yet been responded to, even
20 though it was sent on the 13th of December. So Your Honour, I would ask
21 that the rebuttal remain in the place in which it is, at the end of
22 Mr. Shoup. In any event, we have to give Mr. Ackerman, as he rightly
23 said, notice of any witnesses that we will call.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That is perfectly in order. But if there is any
25 witness or any witnesses that you could bring over before that.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, obviously -- there may be one. But
2 there are two in with respect of whom we are still attempting to find
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That would also put me in a position where I can
5 plead a case with the Registrar to have Mr. Ackerman stay here until...
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there may well be one. I'm going to
8 have a meeting this afternoon in respect of this.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I rely on your cooperation, as usual.
10 Anything else?
11 MS. KORNER: No.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we can bring the witness in and we can
14 MS. KORNER: Perhaps I can just ask Mr. Cunningham whether --
15 through Your Honours whether the witness is going to finish in chief
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He will.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't got any protective measures, no?
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: There's no protective measures, Your Honours.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Jokic, and welcome to this
22 Tribunal. You are about to start giving evidence in this trial that has
23 been going on against Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin. And in terms of our Rules,
24 you are required to enter a declaration before you start giving evidence,
25 a declaration to the effect that in the course of your testimony you will
1 be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
2 text is contained in a piece of paper that the usher is handing to you
3 now. Please read it out aloud, and that will be your solemn undertaking
4 with us.
5 THE WITNESS: [No Interpretation]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not receiving any interpretation.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now, Your Honour?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I can hear you now, yes.
9 We can proceed, I take it that the translation does not change the
10 declaration. The declaration was made by the witness in his own language.
11 So please, take a seat.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, the effect of the declaration that you have --
14 solemn declaration that you have made a minute ago is equivalent to that
15 of an oath. In other words, you will be giving testimony, and the solemn
16 declaration applies with regard to all questions irrespective of who is
17 going to put the question to you. You will first be asked questions by
18 Mr. Cunningham who is one of the lawyers defending Mr. Brdjanin, and I
19 suppose you have met him already. He will then be followed by Ms. Korner,
20 who is the leading counsel for the Prosecution in this case. My
21 suggestion to you, my advice to you, is to answer each question as
22 concisely but as fully as possible. Don't give us information that is not
23 asked from you because you will be here for the entire week otherwise. So
24 answer the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question.
25 Did I make myself clear?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. If there is any problem with
3 interpretation at any moment, please draw my attention. Thank you.
4 Mr. Cunningham.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 WITNESS: ZORAN JOKIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. Cunningham:
9 Q. Your name is Zoran Jokic. Correct, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You're a Serb by ethnicity?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And your religion is the orthodox religion. Correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. In what municipality were you born?
16 A. In the municipality of Laktasi.
17 Q. And in which municipality do you currently reside?
18 A. Banja Luka.
19 Q. Are you married?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. How long have you been married?
22 A. For 14 -- no, 24 years. I apologise.
23 Q. Do you have any children?
24 A. I do. I have two daughters, and I am a proud grandfather, too. I
25 have a grandchild.
1 Q. Congratulations. Are you now or have you ever been a member of
2 the SDS?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party,
5 that is, the League of Communists?
6 A. Earlier, that is, prior to 1990, I was a member of the League of
8 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions about your educational
9 background. Did you attend secondary school?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where did you attend secondary school at?
12 A. I attended secondary school in Belgrade. It was a military high
14 Q. Following the completion of your military high school, did you go
15 to university?
16 A. Yes, I did. I attended air force academy.
17 Q. And where was the air force academy in the former Yugoslavia
18 located at?
19 A. It was located in Zadar, and it had a department in Pula as well.
20 Q. Did you complete your studies at the air force academy?
21 A. Yes, I did. In 1987, I became a pilot.
22 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the rest of the sentence.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because the interpreters had a problem
24 following what you were saying. Could you repeat your answer. The
25 question was: "Did you complete your studies at the air force academy?"
1 And you started saying: "Yes, I did. In 1987, I became a pilot." And
2 then you said something else which the interpreters didn't gather.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just said that I had become a
4 pilot in the rank of second lieutenant.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
6 Q. The transcript says you became a pilot in 1987. Was that a
7 correct translation, or did you become a pilot earlier?
8 A. 1977, not 1997.
9 Q. Where did you take your flight training at in the former
11 A. Partly in Zadar and partly in Pula. While I was attending the
12 academy, apart from the theoretical part of the training, we also had
13 practical training.
14 Q. After you became a pilot in 1977, did you become a flight
15 instructor where you would teach other individuals to fly?
16 A. Correct. After I completed the military academy, I attended
17 specialised courses, various trainings, in order to become a flight
18 instructor. Or as we used to call it, a flight teacher.
19 Q. And how long were you a flight teacher or flight instructor?
20 A. For about ten years.
21 Q. And where did you serve as a flight instructor? Where was the
22 training base or training facility at?
23 A. In Mostar.
24 Q. And what sort of aircraft did you instruct in? Did you instruct
25 in jet aircraft or other aircraft?
1 A. Jet aircraft.
2 Q. Okay. During the time that you were in the -- and by the way, I'm
3 assuming that after graduating from the air force academy, you entered the
4 Yugoslavian air force. Correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. During the time that you were in the Yugoslavian air force, did
7 you ever serve as a squadron commander?
8 A. Upon my arrival in Banja Luka, sometime in 1991, I became a
9 squadron commander.
10 Q. A squadron consists of what? Describe it for Their Honours.
11 A. I'll be happy to do so. There are pilots who are members of a
12 squadron, but there are also technical staff, officers and noncommissioned
13 officers who maintain and service the aircraft and equip them for flying,
14 and also additional auxiliary staff comprising both officers and
15 noncommissioned officers.
16 Q. When we talk about a squadron, roughly speaking how many aircraft
17 are we talking about?
18 A. In a normal formation, that is, in the former JNA, the number of
19 aircraft in an ordinary squadron was between 12 and 15.
20 Q. Are you currently in the air force or in the military now?
21 A. No, I have retired.
22 Q. And when did you retire -- excuse me for interrupting you, but
23 when did you retire?
24 A. I retired in 1999, sometime in May.
25 Q. And what rank did you retire with?
1 A. With the rank of colonel.
2 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions now about the command
3 structure in the air force.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Lieutenant colonel, correction.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
6 Q. Were the air forces in the former Yugoslavia part of the JNA?
7 A. I don't think one could describe them as such. Air forces are
8 always elite forces within the armed forces of a country. So it was a
9 special part of the Yugoslav People's Army, the air force.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner.
11 MS. KORNER: Just before we go on, can I just make it very clear
12 that I'd like this part of the evidence to come without any leading
13 questions, please.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Certainly.
15 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
17 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Absolutely, Your Honour.
19 Q. Was there a command structure for the Yugoslavian air force?
20 A. Of course, yes.
21 Q. And describe that command structure for this Court, telling us
22 specifically whether it was linked or not linked to the command structure
23 for the army.
24 A. Every part of the air force, starting from the lowest ranking unit
25 of the squadron to the larger units, all the way to the command of the air
1 force, had one single line of command. And the air force command had
2 their line of command to the supreme command. The links between the units
3 and the -- there was only one command line between land forces and air
4 forces, and of course the navy. And they were all part of the JNA.
5 Q. If you were a squadron commander, who would your immediate
6 supervisor be?
7 A. My immediate supervisor would have been the regiment commander,
8 the air force regiment, that is.
9 Q. If your immediate commander, the regiment commander, gave you an
10 order, were you obligated to follow it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who would be above the regiment commander in the chain of command?
13 A. In the former JNA, that would have been the corps commander, and
14 then the commander of the air force.
15 Q. Okay. When you say the corps commander, what are you talking
17 A. I'm referring to the then organisation of the air force; that is,
18 the commander of the air force corps, not the land force corps commander.
19 Q. Are you -- okay. And who would then be above the commander of the
20 air force corps in this chain of command you just described?
21 A. The chief of general staff.
22 Q. With respect to the ground forces, as you described it the land
23 forces, how would you describe their chain of command?
24 A. From the lowest-ranking land force unit through the higher-ranking
25 units, they had their own command line all the way to the land force
1 corps. From that point on, they were directly responsible to the general
2 staff of the JNA.
3 Q. Could the commander of a land force corps issue an order to you as
4 a squadron commander?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And why is that?
7 A. Because in the former JNA, and that was probably the case in other
8 countries as well, the line of command was always respected. I had my
9 line of command, and my responsibility went to the commander of the air
10 force regiment and the air force corps, and from there to the commander of
11 the air force and the air force defence.
12 Q. Okay. What would happen if the commander of a land force corps
13 gave an order to a squadron commander in the air force chain of command?
14 Would that have any effect?
15 A. No. The commander of a land force corps could not issue an order
16 to me as a commander in the air force. If he needed something, I would
17 refer him to my superior command.
18 Q. In the former JNA, in the air force component of the JNA, was
19 there any civilian that could issue an order to a military officer?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What impact would there be, if any, if a civilian attempted to
22 order the air force component of the former JNA to take a specific step?
23 A. There was no possibility for a civilian to issue an order to the
24 air force component. There was simply no such possibility. If there were
25 such an attempt, it would obviously be refused. It would not be accepted.
1 Q. You've just told us about the impact, the lack of impact that a
2 civilian order would have on the air force component. Do you know from
3 your 22-odd years in the military the impact if any of a civilian order to
4 other components of the JNA -- do you know what sort of impact, if any,
5 that would have?
6 A. No.
7 Q. We have talked about the JNA. In the time that you were in the
8 JNA, specifically in 1992, was there a reorganisation of the JNA?
9 A. In the course of 1992, sometime in mid-1992, the JNA withdrew from
10 the area -- from certain areas of the former Yugoslavia, from Croatia and
11 BH, that is.
12 Q. And did an entity in the former Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina come to replace the JNA?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you can be direct in this and shorten the
15 list of questions.
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: This is history anyway.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
19 Q. In 1992, was the VRS formed?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did the VRS include a portion of the air force component of
22 the former JNA?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you remain with the VRS in its air force component after
25 the reorganisation in 1992?
1 A. For a brief period of time, they were only providing support for
2 this organisation to be -- I was only providing support for this
3 organisation to be completed.
4 Q. Let's make sure that the record is clear. You told us that you
5 retired from the air force sometime in 1999. In 1992, after the
6 reorganisation, were you in the air force component of the VRS?
7 A. No. Pursuant to my own request in the summer of 1992, I was
8 transferred to the position of the chief of civilian control at the
9 airfield in Mahovljani [Realtime transcript read in error "^"] on which
10 position I remained until 1996.
11 Q. We'll get to that in just a minute, what your duties there
12 entailed. What I'm after, what I want you to discuss is based on your
13 experience after 1992 is to talk about the chain of command within the
14 former VRS -- excuse me, within the VRS, specifically the air force
15 component. You described a chain of command that existed in the JNA. Did
16 that chain of command with respect to the air force component of the VRS,
17 did it change?
18 A. No, it didn't. Well, I cannot claim that it remained the same 100
19 per cent, but the same chain of command was retained from the JNA. In the
20 Army of Republika Srpska, we respected the same chain of command.
21 Q. Under the Army of the Republika Srpska, was there a land force
22 component and an air force component?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Starting with a -- the squadron that you had in 1992, what was the
25 chain of command within the air force component of the VRS? And I'd like
1 for you to tell it to us slowly to make sure that we get the
2 interpretation correct, please.
3 A. The chain of command was as follows: There was a squadron, which
4 was responsible directly to the air force command of the VRS. As to why
5 there were no units in between, it was because the VRS air force was
6 relatively small. So the chain of command went from the squadron to the
7 air force command.
8 Q. Was there a chain of command --
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And excuse me, Your Honours. I'm told there's a
10 correction that needs to be noted at line 22, excuse me, page 22, line 5.
11 The witness testified: "I was transferred to the chief of civilian
12 control at the airfield in Mahovljani in 1996." I am told that -- I'm
13 told that he testified that he remained there up until 1996. So if I
14 could get him to clarify that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Jokic, you were appointed to that position
16 as chief of civilian control at the airfield in Mahovljani when?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sometime in the summer of 1992.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And you remained in that position until when?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Like I said, I don't remember the
20 exact date. But until 1996, and then between 1996 and 1999, I was just an
21 official within the command of the air force before I retired, that is.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Does that satisfy you,
23 Mr. Cunningham?
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm satisfied. Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Q. Before I went into this correction with you, Mr. Jokic, I was
1 about to ask you about the chain of command within the land forces of the
2 VRS. In 1992, were you acquainted or did you know what the chain of
3 command was within the land forces of the VRS?
4 A. Well, I was acquainted with the situation. More or less as far as
5 I knew, the similar line of command, the chain of command was kept from
6 the JNA. Lower-ranking units to the corps, and then the corps was
7 responsible to the general staff of the VRS.
8 Q. Could the commander of the a corps within the VRS issue an order
9 to a squadron commander of the air component of the VRS?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Why was that?
12 A. Because, as I stated earlier, there was a chain of command which
13 we had to respect. That is, I as a squadron commander could only receive
14 orders from my superior air force command. As for the land forces, if
15 they needed air force support, they would have to refer to my superior
16 command, and then my superior command would issue an order to me which I
17 then implemented, or rather the unit of the air force in question would
18 then implement the order.
19 Q. What steps, if any, would you take if you as a squadron commander
20 were contacted by a corps commander who was attempting to order you to
21 take a specific step?
22 A. I would tell him -- I would refer him to my superior command whose
23 order would then I implement. I'm talking about my unit, the air force
25 Q. We've talked about the chain of command. What I would like to do
1 now is go back to 1991. In 1991, I believe you told us that you were a
2 flight instructor in the Mostar area. Sometime in 1991, did you get
3 transferred to the Banja Luka area?
4 A. Yes, I did sometime in late October beginning of November, I don't
5 remember the exact date. In 1991 I arrived in Banja Luka in the airport
6 of Mahovljani.
7 Q. And did you assume a new position or what position if any did you
8 assume upon your arrival in Banja Luka in October/November 1991?
9 A. I became a squadron commander.
10 Q. And the squadron was located where?
11 A. The squadron was located at the Mahovljani airfield 25 kilometres
12 from Banja Luka.
13 Q. Earlier you described what a squadron consisted of. Was that a
14 fair description of the squadron of the forces that you took command of in
15 October/November of 1991?
16 A. No, when I arrived in Banja Luka, this reinforced squadron had a
17 larger number of aircraft and a significant number of technical staff. It
18 had between 20 and 25 aircraft.
19 Q. With the reorganisation of the VR -- the reorganisation of the JNA
20 and the birth of the VRS that you've just described, what effect, if any,
21 did that have on the number of aircraft at the squadron's disposal and the
22 number of technical staff at the squadron's disposal?
23 A. There was no significant decrease in the number of aircraft. But
24 with the withdrawal of the JNA from the area of the BH, part of the
25 technical staff went to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Okay. When you arrived there in the fall of 1991 to assume
2 command, was there a helicopter detachment in the Banja Luka area?
3 A. Yes, there was. There was a small sports airfield in the area
4 called Zaluzani, and it was there that the helicopter units were
6 Q. Was the helicopter unit, if you will, under your command or was it
7 under someone else's command?
8 A. No, the helicopter units were not under my command. But both
9 helicopter units and my unit, we had a common command. The 5th air force
10 corps during the JNA era which was later reorganised as the 5th
11 operational group of the air force, and it all became part of the VRS.
12 Q. Excuse me. Was there a logistical component to the air force in
13 the area as well?
14 A. Yes, of course. There was one at the Mahovljani airfield, and
15 also at the Zaluzani airfield to a smaller extent, and they were in charge
16 of providing support to the helicopter units there.
17 Q. Did you command the logistical component there at the two
19 A. No.
20 Q. Who was the commander of the logistical component, if you can
22 A. In the period from the end of 1991 and in early 1992, I remember
23 it was Colonel -- I think it was Lieutenant Colonel first, and then at the
24 end of 1992 he became a colonel. So it was Colonel Biga.
25 Q. Was Colonel Biga a higher ranking officer than you?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Getting back to your arrival in Banja Luka in October/November of
3 1991, did you move there with your family?
4 A. We didn't arrive together on the same day. I arrived first, and
5 my wife and my children came to Banja Luka a little later.
6 Q. Did you as a family reside on the air force base or did you reside
8 A. No. We had an apartment that we rented. Our family rented an
9 apartment in Banja Luka. And we're still living in a rented apartment
11 Q. And that apartment that you were residing in 1991, 1992, how many
12 kilometres was that from the airfield in Mahovljani?
13 A. The apartment was in the centre of town, not the innermost centre,
14 but it was about 25 to 26 kilometres away from the airport.
15 Q. And the airport is located in what municipality?
16 A. The Mahovljani airport is in the Municipality of Laktasi.
17 Q. When you took over the command of the forces of the airport near
18 Laktasi, as part of your duties as commander, did you have contact with
19 the civilian authorities in Banja Luka?
20 A. Even in the former JNA, and in the VRS, also there was a rule
21 since the members of the army are -- or people from that area, there was a
22 rule that it was necessary to maintain good relations with the civilian
23 authorities and the people living in that area. We lived together with
24 those people. We were part of those people, so it was important to keep
25 good relations and connections with those people, especially in connection
1 with certain holidays, specific holidays for that region or the holidays
2 of Republika Srpska. We were quite close to the people. They would come
3 to look at our equipment, so we did maintain contacts. I believe that
4 this is quite normal and it is something that is a practice in other parts
5 of the world as well.
6 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Predrag Radic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When did you first meet Mr. Radic?
9 A. The first time was when I became to Banja Luka, not immediately,
10 but during the first few months of my service in Banja Luka. That's when
11 I met Mr. Radic. And I asked for his help in the allocation of apartments
12 for the pilots because we didn't have any accommodation that was set aside
13 for our pilots and their families in Banja Luka.
14 Q. When you say the first few months of your service in Banja Luka,
15 are you referring to 1991?
16 A. Well, I couldn't say decidedly. Perhaps it was in December. I
17 really don't remember dates very well, so I can't say specifically.
18 Q. That's fair enough. And again, what was the purpose of your
19 meeting with Mr. Radic?
20 A. First of all, to meet him. He was the president of the Banja Luka
21 Municipality at the time. So it was to meet and get to know the president
22 of the municipality because we were living in that area. And perhaps to
23 tell him about our problems, including the housing situation, maybe even
24 in particular about the housing situation, and also to engage him in an
25 informal talk.
1 Q. Was Mr. Radic able to provide any help with respect to the housing
3 A. He promised and for a good part, I think Mr. Radic -- I don't mean
4 Mr. Radic, but the Banja Luka Municipality did help us and did allocate a
5 number of apartments to the members of the air force. But if I may be
6 allowed to mention also, all of these apartments have been returned over
7 the past period so that all of those air force members now are living as
8 tenants. They don't have their own apartments.
9 Q. Okay. With -- when you assumed command of the squadron at the
10 airport near -- in Laktasi Municipality, did you go home to your apartment
11 in Banja Luka every night?
12 A. No.
13 Q. During the time, let's say December through May, December 1991
14 through May 1992, describe for this Chamber if you will where you spent
15 the bulk of your time.
16 A. When you look at this whole period, I spent most of the time at
17 the Mahovljani airport, most of the time, because I was the commander so I
18 had a lot of things to do.
19 Q. When you say you spent most of the time at the airport, on average
20 per week how many nights would you spend at the base?
21 A. Four to five definitely, and sometimes the entire week.
22 Q. You just told us that during this time period that being the
23 commander you had a lot of things to do. During the time period that I
24 just laid out, December 1991 through May 1992, briefly tell us what sort
25 of things that you had to undertake as the commander.
1 A. I've said a little earlier that the unit comprises pilots,
2 technical staff, and soldiers. All of those components had to be
3 commanded. It was necessary to resolve their problems, also problems
4 arising from the maintenance of equipment, the airplanes, looking for
5 components for the machines. So it was necessary to organise the life and
6 the work of the unit in that area, and you know what the conditions were
7 like at the time. It was quite difficult, and it was very difficult to
8 organise all of those things. So there was a lot to do the whole day. So
9 by the time the workday was over, it was quite late so there was no point
10 in returning, and then coming back very early the next morning to work.
11 Q. You said in your answer that we knew what the conditions were like
12 at the time. Could you tell us just for the record what the conditions
13 were just so that the record is clear.
14 A. During that period, there were clashes in Croatia. The JNA was
15 withdrawing from Croatia and Slovenia. So in the former SFRY, the
16 situation was quite turbulent, so it was normal that this was reflected on
17 the entire life and work, not only of the army but also of the population.
18 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of -- by the rank and name
19 of General Ninkovic?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. Who is that man?
22 A. General Ninkovic was the commander of the air force and the
23 anti-aircraft defence of the VRS.
24 Q. Did General Ninkovic ever come to Banja Luka to assume command of
25 the air force and the anti-aircraft defence of the VRS?
1 A. Yes. He came sometime in the month of May. I don't remember
2 whether that was the exact date, but he did come around that time to take
3 over the command, and that's -- after that he was at the head of the air
4 force forces of the VRS.
5 Q. And upon his arrival in Banja Luka, could you describe for the
6 Chamber, for these Judges, what your relationship with him was like?
7 A. General Ninkovic, when he arrived at Banja Luka, told me and his
8 other associates of his vision and plan to form the air force of the Army
9 of Republika Srpska. I did not entirely agree with such a concept. This
10 did not correspond with my view of things. And in all of his
11 conversations, he was offering me posts that did not suit me personally,
12 so I was looking for a way to no longer remain at this post. And I was
13 requesting to be put in a different post. I wanted to be placed, to leave
14 the post that I had, and I wanted to be assigned the post of commander of
15 a flight control.
16 Q. Okay. Did you get along with General Ninkovic?
17 A. We had professional, military relationship which was normal and it
18 was necessary. We were not close outside of our professional soldiers'
19 life. We respected one another as superior officers and officers.
20 Q. In the answer you just gave us, you described the post you were
21 in. Is that the post as squadron commander?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And what was the post that you sought?
24 A. I've said a little bit before that I was born in the Municipality
25 of Laktasi. To be more specific, the village of Krneta next to Laktasi.
1 And I wanted to stay in that region. I wanted to continue to work in the
2 territory that I was born in. And I thought that the chief of flight
3 control, that that post would be something that would suit me, and I
4 requested to be assigned to that post. And I was permitted, I was
5 assigned to this post eventually. They did take my request into account.
6 Q. And I know you're not perfect with dates. When did you assume the
7 post of the chief of flight control?
8 A. This was sometime in the summer. I think it was in July sometime,
9 but it was definitely sometime during the summer.
10 Q. 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The airport in Laktasi, was it also -- was it solely reserved for
13 military aircraft?
14 A. No. The Mahovljani airport in Laktasi was so-called mixed
15 airport, so it serviced both military and civilian aircraft.
16 Q. What I want to do now is I want to go talk to you about whether or
17 not you were involved in flying any combat missions in the spring and
18 summer of 1992. First of all, did you fly any combat missions?
19 A. In my career generally, is that what you mean? Did I fly any
20 combat missions in the course of my career?
21 Q. I appreciate the fact that you were listening very carefully. I
22 really wanted to know whether in the spring and summer of 1992 you were
23 flying any combat missions?
24 A. Yes, I did fly a number of combat missions, combat flights.
25 Q. Did you fly any combat missions over Croatia?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Did you fly any combat missions to deal with the resistance in
3 Kotor Varos municipality, specifically in the area or the village or the
4 hamlets of Vecici?
5 A. No.
6 Q. During this time period that we're talking about, specifically the
7 spring and summer of 1992, what was the fuel or petrol situation like with
8 respect to the squadron at the airport?
9 A. We did not have sufficient quantities of fuel in the former JNA --
10 I'm talking -- in comparison to the situation in the early 1980s. Then we
11 didn't have a problem with fuel. During the period you mentioned, during
12 that period we did have to take care about the quantities of fuel that we
13 had, and we had to use these quantities of fuel in a rational way.
14 Q. Did the blockade affect your ability to get sufficient supplies of
15 petrol, jet fuel?
16 A. Well, I don't doubt the fact that it did have some effect on it.
17 I have no doubt about that.
18 Q. Were you acquainted with the munitions that were typically carried
19 by aircraft in the spring and summer of 1992?
20 A. In the spring and summer of 1992, certain combat missions which I
21 participated in usually used artillery or gun cannon munitions. They also
22 had bombs, classic bombs, as well as rocket munition. But smaller rocket
24 Q. Did any of these munitions you've just described include chemical
25 weapons or chemical components?
1 A. The munitions that we had, that we carried, no. I have not even
2 heard of us even having chemical munitions or chemical weapons. I've
3 never heard of anything like that.
4 Q. After assuming the command of the squadron in September/November
5 1991, did you meet General Talic?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. The previous commander from whom I took over
7 my duty, of course, introduced me to certain structures within the army
8 and those within -- the authorities within the municipalities of Laktasi
9 and Banja Luka. And of course, I met those people. And if I can remember
10 correctly, I met General Talic at the JNA hall, the army hall. We had a
11 brief introductory conversation.
12 Q. Again, recognising that you can't remember a specific date, would
13 you be kind enough to tell us roughly speaking when that was, that you met
14 General Talic for the first time?
15 A. Sometime before the new year in 1991.
16 Q. And how long did that meeting with General Talic last?
17 A. It was very brief. Perhaps for about half an hour or so.
18 Q. And what was the purpose of the meeting?
19 A. Well, it was mostly for us to get to know one another, for
20 Mr. Talic to meet me as the new commander of the aviation unit and for me
21 to meet General Talic at the time he was in the 1st Krajina Corps. That
22 was still called the 5th Krajina Corps at the time. Later it was called
23 the 1st Krajina Corps.
24 Q. Between this first meeting in late 1991 and the end of 1992, did
25 you have any additional face-to-face, personal meetings with General
2 A. Personal meetings between the two of us did not take place, but I
3 did see Mr. Talic in passing. However, there were no personal meetings or
5 Q. From the time that you assumed command of the aviation component
6 at the airport until the end of 1992, did General Talic in his capacity as
7 corps commander or in any other capacity issue you an order to take
8 specific steps?
9 A. Not to me personally, no.
10 Q. Were you aware of him issuing an order to any other air force
11 officer during this time period?
12 A. Not that I'm aware of, no.
13 Q. We've talked about some of the events in Banja Luka in 1991. I
14 want to take you to April of 1992. In April of 1992, how did you get from
15 Banja Luka, where your family lived, to the airport? Did you have a
16 private vehicle or did you have a military vehicle?
17 A. Most of the time I used a military vehicle.
18 Q. And this probably is a silly question to a former air force
19 officer. When you went to work, did you go in civilian clothes or did you
20 go in a military uniform?
21 A. Yes, a uniform was compulsory. So for -- in 1990 and 1991, but as
22 well as for 90 per cent of my life I have been wearing a military uniform.
23 Q. All right. In early 1992, did you become aware of the Serbian
24 Defence Forces in Banja Luka?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. And how did you become aware of them? Did you -- I'll let you
2 answer it.
3 A. At a checkpoint, at a control point which was organised by those
4 forces towards the airport, I was stopped there on my way to the airport.
5 They introduced themselves. When they saw that I was an officer, there
6 were no problems, and I continued to my work.
7 Q. Describe for the Chamber, if you will, how these individuals were
8 dressed, if they were in uniform or civilian clothes, and whether they
9 were armed or unarmed.
10 A. They had camouflage uniforms just like all the other members of
11 the land force units, and they were armed. I cannot remember exactly now
12 what kind of weapons they had, but they did have weapons.
13 Q. Did they wear any distinctive headgear or have any distinctive
14 insignia on their shoulder?
15 A. I didn't notice the insignia. I think that they were wearing caps
16 or a kind of smaller type of headgear or a hat.
17 Q. What was your initial reaction when you saw these armed,
18 camouflaged -- armed troops wearing camouflage uniforms stopping your
19 military vehicle? Who did you think they were?
20 A. I thought that they were members of one of the units of the 1st
21 Krajina Corps, which was in that area. This was the territory of the 1st
22 Krajina Corps, so I thought in accordance with someone's decision they
23 were instructed to set up these checkpoints. I didn't think anything
24 unusual in them manning the checkpoints or setting up the checkpoints, and
25 I wasn't surprised or thought it was very unusual in any way that I was
1 stopped. I didn't have any problem with that.
2 Q. When did you find out that they were not assigned to or affiliated
3 with the 1st Krajina Corps?
4 A. In a later period. A while had gone by before I found out that
5 they were not affiliated or that they were not members of any of the 1st
6 Krajina Corps units.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honour, I'm at a good breaking point if this
8 is a convenient point for the Chamber.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It certainly is, Your Honour.
10 MS. KORNER: Strictly, Your Honour, I think it's the 5th Krajina
11 Corps at this stage, just to make it clear.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a short break of 25 minutes, and we will
13 resume immediately after that. Thank you.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before we continue, firstly as
17 Your Honours will see, Mr. Nicholls has now joined us in court fresh from
18 his holiday.
19 Second, this: Your Honour, it may be because this is starting
20 back again after the new year, but I'm told that again, what is said here
21 is being broadcast outside the hours. What was being said in court before
22 Your Honours came in and before official broadcasting started was being
23 transmitted to televisions within the building. Your Honour, I think it
24 may be just a glitch because this is the first case back after the new
25 year, but can I just mention it again because it's obviously important
1 that only the proceedings --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
3 MS. KORNER: Go out.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's very important.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We had the same thing happening before the Christmas
7 recess, and that is very unfortunate.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, one of the difficulties of course is
9 that conversations go on between counsel in order to assist with
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MS. KORNER: Which is not something that need and should be in our
13 submission broadcasted.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree, Ms. Korner. And may I draw your attention
15 to this, Madam Registrar, and you will liaise with whoever is responsible
16 for this. I think what's done cannot be undone today.
17 MS. KORNER: No.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But all precautions should be taken to avoid this
19 happening again.
20 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, just very briefly, on the topic of
21 being able to call rebuttal evidence, Your Honour, during the break I
22 received notification again that apparently, which I had forgotten, it's
23 the new year in the Republika Srpska tomorrow, and so it doesn't appear
24 that anybody's working today either. So we're having real difficulty in
25 pursuing our inquiries.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But -- I understand that, Ms. Korner, and I
2 leave this in your hands. I know that you will do your level best to
3 cooperate. So I have no reason to complain.
4 The witness is here. Mr. Cunningham, you may proceed. Thank you.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. Mr. Jokic, I forgot to ask a question, so I'll apologise to you
7 and the Chamber and to opposing counsel because it's a little bit out of
8 order. You told us that you were transferred from the Mostar area to
9 Banja Luka October/November of 1991. Did the remainder of the JNA air
10 forces in that region get transferred as well?
11 A. Are you referring to the part of the forces that were transferred
12 from Mostar to Banja Luka?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. No. It was only me personally who was transferred from Mostar.
15 Q. Okay.
16 During the time period that you assumed the command,
17 October/November 1991, up through the end of the year of 1992 did you read
18 newspapers on a daily basis?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you follow TV?
21 A. When I had the opportunity of doing so, yes. But the most quality
22 broadcast was from the Croatian television at the Mahovljani airfield
23 because that's the area very near to Croatia.
24 Q. And why is it that you -- could you receive any TV transmissions
25 from the Banja Luka area while you were at the airport?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, we could receive Banja Luka TV programmes, but with frequent
2 interruptions and irregular broadcast.
3 Q. And what caused the frequent interruptions and irregular
4 broadcasting schedule?
5 A. I couldn't really answer your question, but I believe it was
6 technical problems and less than perfect functioning of the TV.
7 Q. What effect if any did your job obligations first as squadron
8 commander and then as chief of flight or air control, how did that affect
9 your ability to follow TV news and TV broadcast?
10 A. While I was a squadron commander, I did not have enough time to
11 watch TV. As for the free time that I would have from time to time during
12 the day, I used that opportunity to relax a little bit, to do some sports
13 to the extent it was possible because, of course, it was also our
14 obligation to remain fit.
15 Q. Okay. You told us that as part of your obligations as squadron
16 commander, you would make contact with the civilian structures. You told
17 us about your meeting with Mr. Radic with respect to housing for the
18 pilots. In your liaising, contacting the local civilian structures when
19 you assumed command, did you have any contact with Radoslav Brdjanin?
20 A. No, not during that period of time.
21 Q. When did you have your first contact with Mr. Brdjanin?
22 A. At the first meeting of the AR Krajina that I attended.
23 Q. When you say "the AR Krajina," are you talking about the ARK
24 Crisis Staff?
25 A. Yes, yes, I'm referring to the crisis staff.
1 Q. I asked you to bring a notebook that I provided you with earlier
2 that had several copies of public exhibits as well as your statement.
3 What I'd like for you to do is get that at the ready because I'm going to
4 ask you to look at a document. Were you a member of the ARK Crisis Staff?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How is it that you got that position? Did you volunteer for it?
7 Did you apply for it? How is it that you got it?
8 A. I was informed by a friend of mine who came to my office together
9 with the late Mr. Slobodan Dubocanin, and they explained to me that I had
10 been elected to become a member of the AR Krajina as a representative of
11 the air force. They asked me whether I would be willing to become a
12 member, and in view of the fact that I lived in the area, that I was part
13 of that community, I thought it was my obligation to cooperate with the
14 civilian authorities. And I didn't see at that point in time anything
15 wrong with my becoming a member. So I agreed, and he told me that he
16 would inform me of the next meeting or that someone would inform me of the
17 next meeting which was to take place in Banja Luka. And he told me that I
18 should attend this meeting if, in view of my other obligations, that was
19 possible. So I agreed.
20 Q. In the exhibit -- in that book right there, there should be a tab,
21 and I believe it says "168" on it. If you could go to the tab, I want you
22 to look at that document, please.
23 A. Yes, I can see the document.
24 Q. That is a document dated 5 May 1992. Correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. A decision listing who are the members of the ARK Crisis Staff.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Up until this point, this point being 5 May 1992, had you met
5 Mr. Brdjanin?
6 A. No.
7 Q. In your daily activities within the municipalities of Banja Luka
8 and Laktasi, had you ever heard of Mr. Brdjanin at this point? Again, 5
9 May 1992.
10 A. I don't think that I can tell you specifically whether I've ever
11 heard. I may have, but I'm not a hundred per cent sure.
12 Q. Now, you tell us that you were informed of this by a friend who
13 accompanied by Slobodan Dubocanin came out to the airport and told you
14 about the ARK Crisis Staff and asked if you would be amenable to serve on
15 it. Did they explain to you anything about what purpose the crisis staff
16 would serve?
17 A. No, they did not. I was simply told that this would be discussed
18 at the meeting that I was supposed to attend, that we would see together
19 what it was all about.
20 Q. Okay. If we were to look again at Exhibit P168, we see among the
21 17 or so entries, we'll see the name of Predrag Radic. You've told us
22 that you had met Mr. Radic with respect to liaising with the community and
23 discussing housing with the -- Mr. Radic. Looking at that list, prior to
24 5 May 1992, the date of that document, did you know, personally know, any
25 of the other individuals listed in Exhibit P168?
1 A. Prior to 5th of May, no. I said I had met Slobodan Dubocanin, and
2 I knew only superficially Nenad Stevandic through my friends. I had met
3 him, but we didn't really socialise.
4 Q. Let's follow up on what you just said. When did you first meet
5 Slobodan Dubocanin?
6 A. Again, I don't remember the exact date. It was a long time ago.
7 But I know that it was, once again, through our mutual friends since I
8 arrived in Banja Luka only in October or November 1991. I had some
9 friends there, people whom I had known from before, and it was those
10 friends who introduced me to Dubocanin.
11 Q. Did you know Mr. Dubocanin prior to your arrival in
12 October/November 1991?
13 A. No, no, I did not.
14 Q. You say that you knew only -- that you knew Mr. Nenad Stevandic
15 only superficially through your friends. Did you know Mr. Stevandic or
16 know of Mr. Stevandic prior to your arrival in October/November 1991?
17 A. No.
18 Q. How is it between October/November 1991 and the date of that
19 document in front of you, P168, dated 5 May 1992, how is it that you came
20 to know Mr. Stevandic superficially?
21 A. We had mutual friends. Some of my friends and acquaintances were
22 also his friends, and that is how we met. But it was only very briefly
23 because I rarely ventured downtown. And it was only later that I really
24 met him, and that I realised that I had already seen him a couple of very
25 brief occasions.
1 Q. Can you -- when you talk about these superficial meetings or
2 knowing him, Mr. Stevandic, only superficially through friends, give us
3 some sort of idea what you're talking about.
4 A. What I talked about him? Is that what you have in mind?
5 Q. It's a bad question on my part. Let me rephrase it. You said
6 that you knew him only superficially. How long did you -- were you in the
7 company of Mr. Stevandic when you met him?
8 A. For about 15 or 20 minutes briefly. Those were chance encounters.
9 I would run into him when I was with some friends of mine. But once
10 again, they were very brief encounters.
11 Q. And how many of these very brief encounters do you recollect
12 having with Mr. Stevandic prior to 5 May 1992?
13 A. I couldn't tell you the exact number, but there were very few such
15 Q. In the very few brief encounters you had with Mr. Stevandic, was
16 there anything of substance discussed with respect to politics, the
17 current security situation, anything like that?
18 A. No, those were once again accidental, chance encounters. We had
19 not agreed to meet. So we would just talk informally. He was always
20 interested in pilots, and he seemed to have been glad to know a pilot.
21 Those were very informal meetings.
22 Q. You told us earlier that when your friend and Slobodan Dubocanin
23 came to you and asked if you were interested in serving on the ARK Crisis
24 Staff, you told us that there was going to be a meeting. Did you attend
25 meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff?
1 A. When I was informed by telephone that a meeting would take place,
2 I don't know whether that was the first meeting of the crisis staff to
3 take place, but I was invited to attend it. And they informed me a day
4 before, so they said that the next day a meeting would take place, and I
5 attended it the next day.
6 Q. You see Exhibit P168 again dated 5 May 1992 again as the benchmark
7 or starting point, do you have a recollection of when the first meeting
8 you attended was? Was it on the 5th of May, or do you have any
10 A. I cannot tell you exactly.
11 Q. Okay. How many meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff did you attend?
12 What is your recollection?
13 A. I didn't keep a precise record, but I believe I attended four or
14 five meetings.
15 Q. Were you notified by a telephone call when the crisis staff was
17 A. Yes, that was usually the case. By telephone.
18 Q. And I apologise for the interruption. Were you ever notified of a
19 meeting but failed to attend the meeting?
20 A. Yes, there were such cases as well.
21 Q. And why was it that you as an air force pilot during this time
22 period did not attend meetings?
23 A. I had my formal obligations, my commitments as a soldier which I
24 deemed to be more important. And physically it was impossible for me to
25 be at two locations at the same time.
1 Q. If you could not attend a meeting, would you send a representative
2 from the squadron or from the air force in your place instead?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You told us that you attended four or five meetings of the ARK
5 Crisis Staff. When you did attend, how long would you stay?
6 A. I would usually stay for as long as it lasted.
7 Q. Okay. Did there come a time when you just ceased to go to ARK
8 Crisis Staff meetings?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what prompted your decision to stop attending?
11 A. Personally I believed that I was not indispensable, that my
12 presence was not necessary, simply because all of the decisions and
13 generally speaking the discussions were not related to the air force, and
14 that is why I believe that my presence was not necessary.
15 Q. Okay. You told us that there would be times when you would be
16 notified of a meeting, and because of other obligations you didn't attend.
17 In those situations when you were notified and didn't attend, did anyone
18 ever call you, write you, contact you and protest the fact that you were
20 A. No.
21 Q. In those situations where you were notified but didn't attend
22 because of other obligations, were there ever any sanctions or punishment
23 for your failure to attend?
24 A. No. I was an officer. And in no case could the crisis staff
25 undertake any sanctions with respect to me due to failure to attend. The
1 crisis staff was a civilian structure after all, and I was a military
2 officer who respected his military duty.
3 Q. Okay.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, perhaps I would like to interrupt
5 you -- interrupt here. Perhaps you could ask him two questions related to
6 this one. First, whether -- when he failed to attend or when he decided
7 not to attend any of the meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff, whether he sent
8 a substitute? But I want that clear.
9 And secondly is whether he reported to his immediate superiors his
10 decision not to attend or his not attending in any case.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I'll just adopt your questions because
12 they were phrased expertly and ask him.
13 Q. Mr. Jokic, when you failed to attend or when you decided not to
14 attend, did you ever send a substitute?
15 A. No, nor did I have a substitute.
16 Q. When you attended meetings and upon return to the base, did you
17 report to General Ninkovic or anyone in the air force chain of command
18 what had happened at the ARK Crisis Staff meetings?
19 A. No, I did not. After all, I didn't have an obligation to do so.
20 Q. Why do you say you didn't have an obligation to do so?
21 A. No one had imposed such an obligation on me, so it was my
22 understanding that I was not under any obligation to do that.
23 Q. Did you deal in -- through May and June -- May, June, and July of
24 1992, how often would you see General Ninkovic or speak with him?
25 A. I couldn't say that we saw each other frequently because
1 General Ninkovic spent most of his time in Banja Luka, and I spent most of
2 my time at the Mahovljani airfield. But we did speak and we would see
3 each other from time to time with respect to technical problems,
4 organisational problems regarding the air force. Mainly technical,
5 professional aspects of our job.
6 Q. When you would speak with him and see him on those occasions, did
7 he, General Ninkovic, ever express any interest whatsoever in the crisis
8 staff and the proceedings of the crisis staff?
9 A. Yes, he did. Obviously, he knew I was a member of the crisis
10 staff. But he never asked too many questions about the crisis staff, so
11 it is my opinion that he discussed these issues with someone else. But
12 again, I'm not sure. I cannot confirm that.
13 Q. You told us that there came a time when you decided that you were
14 not indispensable to the crisis staff, the ARK Crisis Staff, and ceased to
15 attend. If the first meeting of the crisis staff was on or about May 5th,
16 1992, what is your recollection of when you quit going?
17 A. Well, I quit attending those meetings after a month or month and a
18 half. At that time, the air force command had already started operating,
19 and General Ninkovic had more contacts with the representatives of the
20 town and representatives of some other organisations that were located in
21 the town. And I would not be present. I was already getting ready to
22 take over my new position, and it was my personal decision that it was no
23 longer necessary for me to attend those meetings because I was already in
24 this transitional period of handing over my duty as a commander. I was no
25 longer so active within the air force, and I believe that there were other
1 individuals that were more capable of doing that.
2 Q. When you stopped attending after the month, month and a half you
3 just described, did anyone associated with the ARK Crisis Staff or the
4 Autonomous Region of Krajina ever call you up, contact you to find out
5 where you went and why you stopped coming?
6 A. None did so officially. No one told me officially or formally.
7 But when I took over my duty, I had more time left, and I started seeing
8 my friends more often, and I started going to town more frequently. But
9 it didn't seem like a big thing. I mean, the fact that I had stopped
10 attending those meetings and that practically speaking I was no longer
11 their member, no one thought it to be a major issue.
12 Q. You told us that none did so officially. Were there any
13 unofficial contacts with people directing you to return to the crisis
15 A. No, no one suggested to me that I should go back to the crisis
17 Q. You testified that when you were notified of a meeting and failed
18 to attend because of other obligations, there were no punishments handed
19 out to you. When you flat out stopped going, were there any sanctions,
20 any punishments given to you for your -- for ceasing to serve as a member
21 of the crisis staff?
22 A. No, there were no sanctions or pressure whatsoever.
23 Q. In the four or five meetings that you attended in the month, month
24 and a half after May 5, 1992, did you ever see anyone from the government
25 in Pale attend meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff?
1 A. No.
2 Q. In the meetings that you attended, did you ever see anyone that
3 attended the meetings that came from Belgrade or was affiliated with the
4 government structures in Belgrade?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Using the exhibit again, I think it's P168, that has the listing
7 of the people that were appointed to the ARK Crisis Staff, when you
8 attended your first meeting how many of those 15 individuals, I believe it
9 is, were in attendance?
10 A. Well, I didn't count them, but I think that there were about ten
11 people present. At the time, I didn't think I was obliged to count them
12 or see exactly who was there. But I think that there were about ten
13 people present.
14 Q. Now, at the four or five meetings you attended, what would be the
15 head count? How many individuals would be at these four or five meetings
16 that you attended?
17 A. Each meeting had about that average, except for one meeting which
18 was extended. There were more people present. Usually, there would be
19 between 10 to 12 people present.
20 Q. And then you talked about a -- one meeting that was extended. How
21 many people roughly speaking were at this extended meeting that you just
22 referred to?
23 A. I cannot give you an exact number again, but in my estimate there
24 were about 40 to 50 people. But do not take this as a precise figure,
1 Q. At the meetings that were attended by 10 to 12 people, generally
2 speaking were those people, individuals reflected in the exhibit in front
3 of you, P168, the document dated 5 May?
4 A. Are you thinking of 168?
5 Q. Yes, sir.
6 A. Yes, more or less those people were present because later I met
7 them, so I knew that it was them.
8 Q. Now, looking at Exhibit P168, I know at the time that you were
9 appointed to the ARK Crisis Staff you didn't know these individuals,
10 except maybe one or two. But in the time you served on the ARK Crisis
11 Staff, did you come to find out what municipality these 15 individuals
12 were from?
13 A. I didn't know where each of those 15 people were from, from which
14 municipalities. But I found out that more or less most of them were from
15 the Banja Luka area. But I didn't know where each one of them was from
16 because I didn't know each person individually.
17 Q. With respect to the four or five meetings that you attended, at
18 those meetings did you ever see General Talic there?
19 A. No.
20 Q. When General Talic was not in attendance or could not attend, was
21 there anyone representing the interests of the army in attendance?
22 A. That's right. The meetings that I attended were also attended by
23 Colonel, and I found out his name later so I can say it now. It was
24 Colonel Vojinovic or Vujinovic.
25 Q. What role if any did Colonel Vujinovic play at these meetings of
1 the ARK Crisis Staff? Was he an active participant in discussions?
2 Describe it for the Court.
3 A. Well, I've said that I didn't know him. I personally thought that
4 he was a representative of the Krajina Corps, a representative of the land
6 Q. And at these meetings, what would Colonel Vujinovic do?
7 A. It's difficult for me to remember now. I know that he sat there,
8 and if somebody asked a question he would respond to that question. But
9 he didn't do anything in particular which would be memorable.
10 Q. Did you know or come to know Stojan Zupljanin?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In the times that you were in attendance, did you see him attend
13 meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff?
14 A. He didn't attend all of them, but I do recall seeing him at crisis
15 staff meeting.
16 Q. If he failed to attend, did you see anyone who appeared to be a
17 representative of the police?
18 A. Yes, I think that there was a police representative in police
19 uniform, but I didn't know that man or those people.
20 Q. You told us about representatives from the army and
21 representatives from the police. In the times that you attended, did you
22 see the ARK Crisis Staff or Mr. Brdjanin ever attempt to issue a direct
23 order to either the military structures or the civilian security
25 A. When I attended the meetings, no one, and Mr. Brdjanin in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 particular, did not ever issue any orders, especially to the military
2 structures. And as far as I recall, neither to the representatives of the
3 police structures. Mr. Brdjanin never issued an order to the military
4 representatives. And as I said a little bit earlier, he wasn't able to do
5 that either because I was an officer who respected the chain of command.
6 And I did not wish to deviate from that for a single moment.
7 Q. What impact, if any, would an order of the ARK Crisis Staff have
8 on a member of the former JNA or the VRS in light of the chain of command
9 that you've just described?
10 MS. KORNER: Can we establish the basis, please.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
12 MS. KORNER: For that question. In other words --
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Sure.
14 MS. KORNER: In other words, on what basis can he venture this
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
18 Q. How long were you in the military --
19 MS. KORNER: No, no. This is the ARK Crisis Staff established in
20 May of 1992. So for these purposes, however long he was in the military
21 is not relevant. I want to know on what basis he's able -- he may well be
22 able to, but I need to know the basis first, that he's able to say that
23 this particular structure could not issue orders.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
25 Q. Was the ARK Crisis Staff a recognised entity in the chain of
1 command of the former JNA or the VRS?
2 A. Not in any case. No.
3 Q. In light of that, what effect, if any, would an order from the ARK
4 Crisis Staff have on the VRS?
5 A. First, simply an order could not be issued. I explained this
6 earlier. And had there been an attempt to issue any order, then such an
7 order would not be carried out. I am talking about the members of the
8 military now, especially the units I was a part of.
9 Q. You've told us about your liaison with Mr. Radic with respect to
10 housing. Do you remember seeing Mr. Radic in attendance at any meetings
11 of the ARK Crisis Staff?
12 A. I think that he did attend one, and not even a whole meeting. He
13 was there just briefly.
14 Q. Did you ever have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Radic while
15 you were on the ARK Crisis Staff about Mr. Radic's perceptions, his
16 thoughts about the ARK Crisis Staff?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Mr. Vukic, did you ever see him in attendance at the four or five
19 meetings that you were there?
20 A. I think that he did attend. I can't tell you how many, but he did
21 attend them. I did see him at meetings.
22 Q. You told us of your superficial relationship with Mr. Stevandic
23 prior to the ARK Crisis Staff. What was his attendance record like with
24 respect to the four or five meetings that you attended?
25 A. He was not present each time I attended them. But I can say that
1 he was present a couple of times when I was there. But for the rest, I
2 don't know.
3 Q. Okay. What about Mr. Brdjanin? At the four or five meetings you
4 attended, was he present?
5 A. As far as I can recall, I think that he did attend all of the
7 Q. Starting with the first meeting, if you can, can you recall what
8 role Mr. Brdjanin played at the first meeting that you attended?
9 A. I don't know whether this was the first meeting of the crisis
10 staff or not, but I think that it wasn't. But when I attended that
11 meeting, Mr. Brdjanin was presiding over the meeting. He was sitting at
12 the head of the table.
13 Q. And do you recall whether or not anyone was taking notes or taking
14 the minutes of these meetings?
15 A. I remember that a person called Boro was sitting next to him, and
16 that he was taking the minutes.
17 Q. Were you ever -- after attending a meeting or prior to attending a
18 meeting, were you given copies of the minutes?
19 A. I personally was not.
20 Q. I'm focussing only on these meetings that averaged ten or so
21 people in it. At these meetings, do you recall the focus of the
22 discussion? Specifically, what municipality or municipalities were the
23 focus of the discussions?
24 A. When I attended them, the topic was mostly the Municipality of
25 Banja Luka.
1 Q. Do you know why that was?
2 A. I assumed that it was so because Banja Luka was the centre
3 generally before of Bosanska Krajina, and then later of Krajina, and now
4 it is the centre of Republika Srpska. And probably it had the most of the
5 problems, and there was a need to discuss these problems.
6 Q. Talking about some of these issues, some of these problems, at
7 these meetings - and I'm talking about the smaller meetings now; I'll get
8 to the larger meeting that you attended in a bit - but in the smaller
9 meetings, was there ever any discussion of personnel policy or employment
10 policy with respect to companies within the Banja Luka Municipality?
11 A. I couldn't really say anything about the employment policy, but
12 there was discussion that key posts in key enterprises should have people
13 there who were loyal to the Republika Srpska at the time. So that it was
14 necessary to make sure that loyal people occupied the management positions
15 in some of these sensitive companies.
16 Q. As a military officer, what do you mean when you talk about "key
17 posts in key enterprises"?
18 A. I think that key positions are the position of director, deputy
19 director. This is my personal opinion. I am not really versed in that as
20 a professional military person. I'm not well versed in the civilian
21 structures, but I think a key post in a civilian enterprise is the post of
22 a director, and key enterprises would be -- or companies would be those
23 who are of major importance for a certain region.
24 Q. Would key enterprises have a security component in a time of war?
25 A. I couldn't really respond specifically or precisely to that
2 Q. Fair enough. You told us that there were discussions about
3 directors, associate directors, and the like. What was being suggested at
4 the ARK Crisis Staff meetings that you attended with respect to these
5 directors in key enterprises?
6 A. No conclusions or any particular decisions were made, at least at
7 the meetings that I attended. I don't recall them being taken. But this
8 discussion took part to the effect that loyal citizens of Republika Srpska
9 and those who were loyal to the leadership should be placed at leadership
10 positions at these significant enterprises or institutions.
11 Q. And to your recollection, what would happen to the individuals who
12 would be by necessity removed when those loyal to the leadership took over
13 the leadership positions in these enterprises?
14 A. No, I cannot really discuss this question. I wasn't a part of
15 those town structures, so I don't know exactly what happened with those
16 people, especially in that period when I didn't really spend that much
17 time in the town itself.
18 Q. During the time that you were on the crisis staff and attended the
19 smaller meetings, was there ever any discussion with respect to the
20 removal of non-Serbs from positions in the military?
21 A. I think that those meetings, the official meetings, nobody ever
22 put questions like that during such meetings. Explicit requests by the AR
23 Krajina Crisis Staff were not made, at least not to me.
24 Q. At least for part of the time that you were on the ARK Crisis
25 Staff, you were the squadron commander at the airport. Did you have any
1 non-Serbs in your command or under your command?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever have any non-Serb pilots, part of which you called
4 the elite forces?
5 A. Yes, my deputy was a Croat, and the commander of the department,
6 which is a lower formation, was a Muslim. And besides the two of them,
7 there were other Muslims and Croats. There was even a Hungarian person.
8 Q. Did these individuals that you've just described in your answer
9 remain in the -- first the JNA, then as it evolved into the VRS, did they
10 remain in those entities through the end of 1992?
11 A. My deputy, with the withdrawal of the JNA, the deputy, the Croat
12 deputy that I mentioned, so with the withdrawal of the JNA from the
13 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he went to the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia. His post was taken by another Croat. And the commander of
15 the squad whom I mentioned, Muslim, was one of the Muslims who was in the
16 unit. And through unfortunate circumstances with another colleague, he
17 was actually killed during a test flight. This was due to a technical
18 fault. There were two of them on the test flight, him and another Serb.
19 So this was not -- they were not killed during a combat flight, but just
20 during a technical check of the airplane.
21 MS. KORNER: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment because the interpretation is still going
23 on. Could I ask you to repeat, Ms. Korner, please.
24 MS. KORNER: It's page 58, line 4, did you ever blank any non-Serb
25 pilots? I think the question was did you ever have.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I was.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I could agree to that straightaway without
3 referring the question to the witness.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
5 Q. Mr. Jokic, I want to get back on line with the topics that were
6 discussed or not discussed at the crisis staff meetings that you attended.
7 At any of the meetings you attended, was there any discussion of camps,
8 specifically the camps at Omarska, Manjaca, and Keraterm?
9 A. No, not at the meetings I attended.
10 Q. When did you first become aware of the actual conditions at
11 Omarska, at Manjaca, and at Keraterm?
12 A. When the war ended, more or less.
13 Q. And when did you become aware of Omarska, Manjaca, and Keraterm?
14 Let me put it this way: As a military officer, would you have known of
16 A. The Manjaca region and the military units that were up there was
17 something that I knew about. But there was a tank unit there. It was a
18 tank operation centre.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Cunningham, because I think we need
20 to clarify this. Your question referred or addressed the witness's
21 possible knowledge or awareness of the existence of Manjaca. Are you
22 restricting or limiting yourself only to Manjaca as a military --
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: No, Judge --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Because if you were referring -- you mean by putting
25 the question to ask the witness whether he was aware at the time or at
1 some later time of the existence of Manjaca as a collection centre --
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Right.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: -- Or as a camp for the detention of several persons
4 there, I think you need to --
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Absolutely. But I wanted to establish the fact,
6 I believe, that he would have known of Manjaca as a training facility.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I took it that you were putting that
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm getting there. I wanted to go step by step.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And if I could just lead on this point.
12 Q. As a military officer, you were aware of the training facility,
13 the tank training facility at Manjaca. Correct?
14 A. Yes, I knew about it back from 1977 when I became an officer.
15 This was a permanent centre.
16 Q. In 1991, 1992 were you aware that this facility at Manjaca was
17 used as a detention facility?
18 A. In 1991, no. In the beginning of 1992, even in the initial phases
19 when I was still the -- a member of the crisis staff, no. I found out
20 about it later.
21 Q. When you say later, how much later are we talking about?
22 A. A few months.
23 Q. And how is it that you found out about it?
24 A. I cannot remember exactly how I found out about it.
25 Q. In 1991 and 1992, were you aware that the facilities at Omarska
1 mines and at the Keraterm plant were used as detention or collection
2 centres for non-Serbs?
3 MS. KORNER: Not in 1991.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I just want to clear it up.
5 Q. When did you become aware that these two facilities were used for
6 detention centres or collection centres for the non-Serb population?
7 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm sorry, the evidence is they
8 weren't used as collection centres in 1991.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If it's a question of semantics --
10 MS. KORNER: It's not semantics, it's important.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Ms. Korner's intervention is in place. If
12 there is nothing to indicate that these two places, centres, were used for
13 that purpose in 1991, there's no point in asking him when he became aware.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's fair. I'll just move to the next
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
18 Q. During the time that you were on the crisis staff and attended
19 these smaller meetings, was there ever any discussion that you recall with
20 respect to the relocation of the non-Serb population within the Krajina?
21 A. No. Not at the meetings that I attended, no.
22 Q. Again, your answer suggests that there was some discussion outside
23 the meetings. Were you aware of any discussions outside these meetings
24 about the relocation of the non-Serb population?
25 A. No, no, I'm not aware of any such conversations.
1 Q. At the meetings you attended, was there any concern ever raised
2 about the presence of paramilitaries within the territory of the Krajina?
3 A. Yes, concern was expressed about the existence of such forces.
4 Q. And when we talk about such forces, which ethnicities --
5 paramilitaries of which ethnicity were the concern of the crisis staff?
6 A. As far as I understood at the time, I think the crisis staff was
7 concerned about the paramilitary formations of any ethnicity. At such
8 meetings, the possibility of one ethnic group having paramilitary forces
9 and another not was not permitted. Generally, the concern was about the
10 existence of any paramilitary forces, if we can say it like that.
11 Q. Specifically were there discussions while you were present
12 about -- where people, individuals of the crisis staff expressed concerns
13 about the presence of Serbian paramilitaries within the Krajina?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
15 MS. KORNER: That is about as leading a question on a topic that
16 Mr. Cunningham well knows --
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I think a leading objection is sufficient. I get
18 the point, and I'll rephrase.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's too late. Your Honour, I really do
20 object to that. Mr. Cunningham knows fully that this is an issue that has
21 been debated over and over again.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, again, if it's too late, there's nothing to do
23 to remedy the situation except --
24 MS. KORNER: Except to warn Mr. Cunningham this is coming close to
25 contempt of Your Honours' rulings.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, with all due respect --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Rephrase the question, Mr. Cunningham.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is the practice we have adopted here is
5 that you all know what the Rules are, and we are all closing a blind eye
6 most of the time because most of the time there are leading questions, and
7 we intervene when there is an objection. So it's always walking a tight--
8 on a tightrope in this area. And I suppose the only thing we can do at
9 this point in time --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes, but it's pretty late in the case.
11 Your Honour, may I finish, there's very few witnesses left to come and
12 none that will deal with this topic. But Your Honour knows and Mr.
13 Cunningham knows, and this is deliberate.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM: You know, Judge, I object to that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: He had put the question and phrased it differently a
16 minute, a minute and a half ago. But anyway, let's not waste more time on
17 this. Mr. Cunningham, please rephrase your question.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I'll just move to a new area.
19 MS. KORNER: Well, no, Your Honour. Leading it may be, but let's
20 hear what the witness has to say about it.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
22 Q. Mr. Jokic, do you even remember what the question is?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you that he does, Mr. Cunningham.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
25 Q. If you remember the question, would you be kind enough to give us
1 an answer.
2 A. I'm sorry, I did not understand the phrasing of the question.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So you rephrase it now, Mr. Cunningham.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I'm just going to move on to another
5 topic. Thank you.
6 Q. I'm going to ask you to direct your attention to the one meeting
7 you attended where you thought that perhaps there were somewhere between
8 40 to 50 people at the meeting. Do you remember when that meeting you
9 attended -- this larger meeting, do you remember when that was in the
10 month or month and a half that you were on the crisis staff?
11 A. I cannot tell you the date because I didn't keep any record
13 Q. Fair enough. Do you remember whether it was towards the beginning
14 of your time on the crisis staff; that is, around the first part of May,
15 or whether it was towards the end of your time on the crisis staff?
16 A. Sometime in the midterm of my -- in the middle of my attendance as
17 a member.
18 Q. Remembering the individuals who are listed on the Exhibit 168 in
19 front of you, were any of those individuals at this meeting, the larger
21 A. As far as I can recall, the majority were present. The majority.
22 Q. And do you remember who else was in attendance other than the
23 individuals you just alluded to?
24 A. Yes, the present were the representatives of the Krajina
1 Q. And do you have any specific recollection of any of these
2 representatives of the municipality? Do you remember any specific people
3 that were at this meeting?
4 A. I remember that the meeting was attended by the representative of
5 the Prijedor Municipality, the late -- a police officer. I cannot
6 remember his name. And the president of the municipality of Prijedor,
7 Mr. Stakic, at the time. Oh yes, I remember it was late Mr. Simo Drljaca
8 who was representing the Prijedor Municipality as well.
9 I didn't know other representatives of the municipalities, nor did
10 I meet them later.
11 Q. Was Mr. Brdjanin at this meeting?
12 A. Yes, he was.
13 Q. And what role, if any, did he play at this meeting?
14 A. Yes, he was sitting at the head of the table, so I assume that he
15 chaired the meeting.
16 Q. Well, I don't want you to assume. What is your recollection of
17 what role, if any, he played at the meeting?
18 A. Yes, he chaired the meeting.
19 Q. And what do you recall happening or being the subject or topic of
20 discussion at this meeting?
21 A. The topic of discussion at the meeting, as far as I can remember,
22 it was a long time ago, revolved mostly around the economic situation in
23 the municipalities and the ways to ensure adequate supply of the
24 municipalities with fuel and various things that were lacking, also about
25 how to ensure proper work of the institutions and so on and so forth. The
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 discussion was mainly about the life and work in general in the Autonomous
2 Region of Krajina.
3 Q. Okay. Tell us what you mean when they're talking about the
4 economic situation. What are -- are the representatives from the
5 municipalities addressing or speaking to the gathered group?
6 A. As far as I can recall, the representatives from the
7 municipalities requested certain amounts of fuel and other staples which
8 were lacking in those faraway municipalities, the municipalities that were
9 at some distance from Banja Luka and where supply was difficult. So it
10 was mainly about these issues and how to organise life in general.
11 Q. And what response if any did Mr. Brdjanin have to these
12 representatives requesting fuel and staples and how to organise? Did he
13 have a response?
14 A. To my recollection, he expressed his concern about the difficult
15 circumstances in those municipalities. I didn't believe that he could
16 provide that. I didn't think that he was omnipotent, but I believed in
17 his efforts to provide those municipalities with what they needed in the
18 most efficient and quality way.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: May I have just a moment, Your Honours.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I have no further questions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
23 Ms. Korner.
24 Cross-examined by Ms. Korner:
25 Q. Sir, as a JNA officer you were obliged to keep, weren't you, a
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In which you would record the meetings which you attended?
4 A. I'm sorry. I don't understand your question.
5 Q. Sorry. What's the difficulty about my question?
6 A. What meetings which I attended? And in respect of which I was
7 obliged to keep notes do you have in mind.
8 Q. You were obliged, you just agreed with me, to keep a workbook as a
9 JNA officer.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In that workbook, you recorded, did you not, your daily movements?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Your tasks which had been allocated to you by your superiors?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The tasks which you allocated to your junior officers?
16 A. Not all of the tasks. I was not duty-bound to record all of the
17 tasks that I issued.
18 Q. And meetings that you had that were concerned or were a part of
19 your duties as a military - and by that I mean air force officer? Is that
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. You didn't have to record any meetings that you had that were part
23 of your professional duties?
24 A. Now I should tell you about the organisation that we had. I had
25 an assistant, and he had a special --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think you answer the question that
2 was put to you --
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. And then you can tell me about the organisation.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. So are you telling us, sir, that you didn't have to record any
8 meetings that were held as part of your professional duties which you
10 A. Sorry, I really don't understand your question.
11 Q. I'll try and put it one more time in the simplest possible terms.
12 If you were called to attend a meeting with General Ninkovic with, let's
13 say, a representative of the 1st Krajina Corps, would you make a note
14 first that you had to attend that meeting?
15 A. All of the meetings that I had with Mr. Ninkovic were recorded by
16 me. I was never invited to any meeting at the Krajina Corps. And outside
17 my professional duties, no, such meetings were never recorded in that
18 notebook. I was only obliged to record the things that were related to me
19 as an officer, as the commander. The things that had something to do with
20 the military. Outside the military structure and apart from the military
21 meetings, no, I was under no obligation whatsoever to keep any official
23 Q. It was, Mr. Jokic, a very simple, straightforward question. We've
24 now gone around the houses for the last three minutes. Is the answer to
25 my question that yes, you were obliged to record in your workbook meetings
1 that you held as part -- or that you attended as part of your professional
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why did it take you so long to answer that very simple question.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to object to the form of the question
6 as being argumentative.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. The Trial Chamber will draw its
9 MS. KORNER: All right.
10 Q. Now, those meetings that you attended of the ARK Crisis Staff were
11 part of your function as a military officer, weren't they?
12 A. No, absolutely not.
13 Q. I just wanted to understand what you're saying. Are you saying
14 that effectively you attended those meetings in your personal capacity as
15 a, by then, Squadron Leader Jokic?
16 A. I attended those meetings on behalf of the air force, as a member
17 of the air force.
18 Q. And you were there in your professional capacity as a member of
19 the air force?
20 A. Yes, at that time I was a member of the air force. So of course I
21 attended the meeting as a member of the air force. I couldn't attend it
22 in any other capacity. Throughout that time, I was a member of the air
24 Q. And these meetings were something that you should have recorded in
25 your workbook, weren't they?
1 A. No, I had not been ordered by anyone or requested by anyone to
2 keep a notebook regarding those meetings.
3 Q. Your workbook was something that could be called for at any time,
4 couldn't it, by your superiors?
5 A. No, that was not a rule in our service. Only the workbook, the
6 notebook, which was kept by my assistant. That was the diary that the
7 superior officers could peruse. As for my personal notebook, that was my
8 own thing, my personal thing.
9 Q. I appreciate that. But it wasn't your personal thing to do with
10 as you wanted, was it? It was an official record of your movements,
11 wasn't it, sir?
12 A. It was my workbook. It contained my tasks, my movements,
13 preparations for other tasks, other things, a notebook where I kept a
14 record of my overall activity. I noted in that notebook whatever I
15 thought was important or necessary, and I used this workbook later on to
16 transfer some information to the official book because I cannot remember
17 everything. And it was a kind of aide memoire as to what I had to do,
18 what I had to accomplish. If anyone requested anything of me, I could use
19 this notebook to refresh my memory. But this was different from the
20 official book which was kept by my assistant. I had my own workbook, and
21 I would use it as an aide memoire in meetings with other commanders,
22 officers, to refresh my memory. It was a simple workbook of an officer
23 which did not constitute an official document of the unit.
24 Q. I want to try and understand this, please. Are you saying that
25 the workbook that you are referring to was your own personal, if you like,
1 diary and was not a document that was required under your rules and
3 A. No, this little red notebook was not an official document of the
5 Q. So your account is, is it, that you as an officer didn't have to
6 keep your own official notebook; there was just an official notebook of
7 the unit? Is that what you're telling us?
8 A. I don't quite understand the interpretation. If I understand your
9 question correctly, that notebook was not the official notebook of the
10 unit. There was another one which was the official notebook. But that
11 one was not an official one. It was my personal notebook.
12 Q. We're back to where we started. Leave aside the official record
13 of the unit's activities, were you as a serving officer in the JNA - and
14 I'll come on to the VRS in a moment - obliged to keep an official notebook
15 which recorded your activities and movements? You personally, your own
17 A. Had the obligation to keep it. I mean, I had the obligation to
18 possess such a notebook and to keep record, but it was my document. It
19 belonged to me. It was my personal notebook from which I could collect
20 information from previous periods for the purposes of future purposes and
21 so on and so forth. It was my personal notebook, and that was the case--
22 that was how we worked. But the official notebook was a different thing.
23 Q. The unit's -- I accept there was an official notebook for the
24 unit. But your notebook could have been called for, couldn't it, by your
25 superiors at any stage if they wanted to check on what you'd been doing?
1 A. That never happened. The officials, if they wanted to know
2 something, they would ask me a question. They wanted me to tell them
3 that. Not a single time in my career as a military officer did anyone ask
4 me to produce this notebook.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That was not the question that was put to you,
6 Mr. Jokic.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. Right, Mr. Jokic. Now listen very carefully. If there had been a
9 matter about which the superiors of an officer wished to make inquiry, for
10 example, involving a disciplinary matter, that notebook kept by that
11 officer could be examined, could it not?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And therefore, it was important for the officer to keep a record
14 of what he was doing and where he was at any given time. That is correct,
15 isn't it?
16 A. I could accept that as being correct, yes.
17 Q. Now, if anybody had made an inquiry as to where you were for some
18 hours on a particular day when you were attending a crisis staff meeting,
19 are you really telling us there would have been no record in your official
21 A. There would have been a record on a meeting that I had, for
22 instance, the time, 12.00, meeting of the crisis staff. There would have
23 been such an entry indicating my obligation.
24 Q. Right. Then why did you tell us and tell Mr. Cunningham some
25 minutes ago that you never kept a record of the meetings that you attended
1 of the ARK Crisis Staff?
2 A. I thought that the question concerned the contents of the
3 meetings, as to what had happened at the meetings. This notebook of mine
4 contained the schedule of my obligations, so I thought that the question
5 referred to the topics of the meetings.
6 Q. You see, you were asked about dates, and you said you kept no
7 records. Now, you could have, couldn't you? You could give us every date
8 on which you attended an ARK Crisis Staff meeting?
9 A. I couldn't state the dates because I destroyed all of them, all of
10 those notebooks and records.
11 Q. Why did you do that?
12 A. Well, because when the war ended, I didn't think it was necessary
13 to keep it. I wanted to forget the war and everything as soon as
14 possible. And it was a kind of also burden to keep it. I'm not a
15 historian. I didn't have any intention whatsoever to write a book. I
16 didn't think it was necessary for me to have it. I no longer needed it.
17 Q. Do you think you'd taken part in activities, either in the course
18 of your military duties or these attendances of the crisis staff meetings,
19 which might be construed as criminal offences?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I think -- yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: At this point I have no option.
23 Mr. Jokic, it is the Rule -- one of the Rules of this Tribunal
24 establishes in the same context an obligation that I, as Presiding Judge,
25 have vis-a-vis a witness who is testifying in these proceedings. And what
1 I am going to tell you now is provided for in our Rules by way of
2 protection of the witness.
3 In terms of our Rules, if you are asked a question which if you
4 answer could expose you to criminal proceedings, could incriminate you, in
5 other words, then you can ask us, me and the other two Judges, to be
6 exempted from answering that question. We can say yes or we can say no.
7 We can exempt you from answering the question. We can ask you to answer
8 the question.
9 If we ask you to answer the question, then I also need to explain
10 to you that whatever you say here cannot be used as evidence against you,
11 either before this Tribunal or elsewhere. Ms. Korner has put to you a
12 question, and I will repeat it. I think I have to go into this first.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's on the screen still.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, it is.
15 The question was: "Do you think you'd taken part in activities,
16 either in the course of your military duties or these attendances of the
17 crisis staff meetings, which might be construed as criminal offences?"
18 I think this is the kind of question which if it causes you this
19 concern that I referred to you before, you can ask us to be exempted from
20 answering. If you feel you can answer that question without exposing
21 yourself to any criminal proceedings or incrimination, then you may
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was not aware of the
24 Rules that you have just apprised me of, and I should ask the permission
25 not to answer this question. I simply didn't know that --
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- That it would affect me.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not going to take it any further.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, the decision of the Trial Chamber is to accede
6 to your request, Mr. Jokic. You are exempted from answering this
8 Ms. Korner.
9 MS. KORNER: That's probably a suitable time to take a break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I want to address the Chamber outside the
12 witness's presence.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We are going to have a short break again
14 of 25 minutes to give you a chance to have a coffee and take a coffee
16 Please escort the witness out. Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I asked that the witness could be withdrawn so
20 there could be no suggestion that I'm trying to telegraph an answer to the
22 With all due respect, I don't think the witness understood your
23 admonition. I think that he understood it that any answer to this
24 question would subject -- could subject him to criminal liability, and I'd
25 ask just one more time that you clarify that he understood completely.
1 MS. KORNER: Well, I don't know how Mr. Cunningham got that
2 impression, with you I'm perfectly happy if Your Honour wants to repeat
3 the warning. And of course I make it absolutely clear that the suggestion
4 that I was making to him was that he destroyed his notebooks deliberately,
5 knowing that he had taken part in committing criminal actions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: In addition to what you've said, Ms. Korner,
7 Mr. Cunningham, I said: I think this is the kind of question which, if it
8 causes you this concern that I referred to you before you can ask us to be
9 exempted from answering it. If you feel you can answer that question
10 without exposing yourself to any criminal proceedings or incrimination,
11 then you may proceed. So I mean, I couldn't be more clear than that. I
12 gave him the two options. If you could answer the question without
13 incriminating yourself, go ahead. You don't need to invoke the privilege
14 that is reserved under the Rules. If you think that by answering the
15 question you have concerns about possibly incriminating yourself, then you
16 can ask us for an exemption which I did. But again, I have absolutely no
17 problems with repeating, trying to explain it to him in perhaps clearer
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Mr. Ackerman's suggestion I think is a very valid
20 one. Perhaps the Court can inquire of the witness as to what was his
21 interpretation of what the Court said to make sure that he understood the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No, no problem with that, Mr. Cunningham.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I appreciate that, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break. Actually, we'll
1 reconvene at 1.00. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.05 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin is here. Everyone is here.
5 Mr. Jokic, I just want to clear this up in my mind. Before we had
6 this break, I was explaining to you following Ms. Korner's question your
7 right to ask to be exempted from answering a question, her question. And
8 you chose to ask to be exempted from answering the question. When I
9 explained to you your right, your privilege, to ask to be exempted and our
10 privilege to say yes or no to you, what did you understand actually?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood that a question which
12 is not -- which is disturbing to me or there are questions to which I do
13 not have to answer.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: But disturbing to you why or questions which you do
15 not have to answer, what kind of questions? Let's take them one by one.
16 A question which is disturbing to you, what did you mean? When I
17 explained to you --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was thinking of the following
19 questions, questions which were disturbing to me or the answer to which I
20 did not know, so I was thinking of future questions that I would not have
21 to answer them.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Why -- let me go direct straightaway. Why did you
23 ask me to exempt you from answering that question, that particular
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to ask you to tell me
1 again what the question was, please.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was -- the question that Ms. Korner put
3 to you was the following: "Do you think you've taken part in activities,
4 either in the course of your military duties or these attendances of the
5 crisis staff meetings, which might be construed as criminal offences?"
6 This was the question that was put to you. And this is the question that
7 you asked me to exempt you from answering. Why did you ask me to exempt
8 you from answering that question?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I don't believe that this
10 could have been any criminal act. Nobody ever warned me that this could
11 constitute a criminal act.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner, I see you. I recognise you.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm just trying to find the Rule because
14 of course the exemption --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The exempt is not absolute.
16 MS. KORNER: It's not that. I'm sorry. At the moment, I can't
17 remember what the Rule is, which Rule which Your Honours -- I think it's
18 the standard one in that if the witness feels that -- that's not it
19 either. Your Honour, I ought to know this one by heart. I think it may
20 be Rule 90.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Rule 90(E). A witness may object to making any
22 statement which may tend to incriminate the witness. The Chamber,
23 however, may compel the witness to answer the question. Testimony
24 compelled in the situation not be used in a subsequent prosecution against
25 the witness for any offence other than false testimony.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. Now, Your Honour, I don't know that that was
2 made entirely clear, that the witness's right not to answer the question
3 depends on his belief that it might incriminate himself. And I don't
4 think that's been made perhaps not entirely clear. So I think the witness
5 has now heard this discussion between Your Honours and myself. So I think
6 maybe the question is does the witness believe that to answer that
7 question might incriminate --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I had explained to him and which I read
9 before to you. My last words to him before he asked not to answer that
10 question were the following: I think this is the kind of question which
11 if it causes you this concern that I referred you to before you can ask us
12 to be exempted from answering. If you feel you can answer that question
13 without exposing yourself to any criminal proceedings or incrimination,
14 then you may proceed.
15 MS. KORNER: Right. Your Honour is quite right.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In other words, but thank you for your intervention,
17 Ms. Korner. I want to clear this up.
18 Did you ask us to exempt you from answering that question because
19 you believe that answering that question could tend to incriminate you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we stop here?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: May I address the Court about this.
23 MS. KORNER: I think in that case -- if we're going to have
24 further discussion, perhaps the witness should leave Court.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I would agree to that. I would agree to that
2 Let's finish this, and let's have a short discussion between us on
3 how to proceed. Please, I want to put your mind at rest that this is a
4 privilege that you have and which we are recognising. So you don't have
5 to worry about that matter.
6 Usher, could you escort him out for a few minutes, and we will
7 reconvene immediately afterwards.
8 As I understand it, I mean, he's made it quite clear now with the
9 caveat he gave us earlier on, a minute ago, that he was never made aware
10 that certain things done could actually be criminal -- amount to criminal
11 offences. So I think that is the position. But, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I want to express to the Chamber a concern
13 that I have at this point. If the Chamber is of a mind to draw any kind
14 of a conclusion regarding his request to be exempted from answering that
15 question, then I think we've not gone far enough. And I say that for this
16 reason: We need to go into private session.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session. I think it's wise.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 23996 redacted, private session
12 Page 23997 redacted, private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So we have had a very short discussion amongst us on
14 how best to deal with you, and mostly, mostly, our main concern is to
15 protect you as -- to ensure, us three Judges, that your witness rights are
16 fully protected. So I have explained to you what the situation is, and I
17 explained to you also what your rights are.
18 You are going to be asked some further questions by Ms. Korner,
19 and I again repeat to you what I told you before. If by answering any of
20 these questions you sincerely, honestly believe that you might be
21 incriminating yourself or you could tend to incriminate yourself, then
22 just call upon us, and we will consider your request. What we will be
23 doing is we will be distinguishing a little bit between your activities in
24 the military field and your activities inside the ARK Crisis Staff because
25 before, Ms. Korner had pooled them together, and we are now going to
1 separate them.
2 Ms. Korner.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. All right, sir, in 1991 when you were in Croatia, you told us you
5 took part in combat operations. Is that right?
6 A. I apologise. There's nothing on the screen in front of me. I
7 just have that remark.
8 I never said I was in Croatia. I was in Mostar, and we carried
9 out our assignments from Mostar.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And let's tend to his complaint about the monitor.
11 Usher, could you please...
12 Do you have it now?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
15 I take it also that you also understand a little bit of English.
16 Am I right?
17 THE WITNESS: A little bit.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I wonder how you used to teach the
19 Libyans, the Indonesians and the others.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Serbo-Croatian. They spoke our
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. All right, sir. You carried out combat operations in Croatia --
25 in the Croatian conflict. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it in respect of that that you feel that answering questions
3 may incriminate you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In 1992 you also carried out combat operations in Bosnia, in the
6 war in Bosnia. Do you feel that answering questions about that may
7 incriminate you?
8 A. To a large degree, yes.
9 Q. You also attended in your military capacity the meetings of the
10 Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina which, as you know,
11 issued decisions. Do you feel that answering questions about that may
12 incriminate you in any way?
13 A. I think not.
14 Q. When did you actually destroy your notebooks? I don't think you
15 gave us a date.
16 A. I say again I don't know the exact date, but it was after the
17 signing of the Dayton Accords. That is when peace was established there
18 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and people, including myself, wanted to forget
19 the war as soon as possible. And I felt that a lot of my personal
20 documentation was something that was not -- that I would not need. I
21 didn't want to be burdened with it. I didn't have any private or
22 professional duty to preserve the documents. At the time, I did not
23 destroy them because I was afraid that somebody would do something to me.
24 Simply, it wasn't necessary. I didn't need it any more. And I believe
25 that in future in my life, I wouldn't need it any more.
1 Q. Did you destroy your notebooks after the first indictments had
2 been issued by this Court?
3 A. I don't remember whether this was before or after. But at no
4 point did I believe that I had anything to do with the indictments or had
5 any responsibility in relation to the war until in mid-2001 I was invited
6 to talk with the investigators. I didn't believe that I had done anything
7 wrong. And that was not the reason why I destroyed the documents.
8 Perhaps the word "documents" is not -- "destroy" is not quite correct. I
9 simply tore them up and threw them away. So I didn't do that because I
10 felt that I had done anything wrong.
11 Q. I see. So your destruction of the notebooks has got nothing to
12 do, you say, with your appreciation that answering questions about your
13 military activities in 1991 and 1992 could incriminate you?
14 A. Yes, at that point, yes.
15 Q. But you told us that you had no professional responsibility to
16 preserve -- duty to preserve the documents. That's not right, is it,
17 Mr. Jokic?
18 A. It is true that I didn't have any responsibility to do that
19 because had I been obliged to do that, those documents would have been
20 requested of me, and they would have been placed in the archive. So
21 nobody requested those notebooks from me. I didn't destroy any of the
22 unit documents. Perhaps you misunderstood me. These were just my
23 private, working documents, while the documents of the unit are still
24 located in some archive. I don't know where this archive is at the
25 moment, but they're still in the archives.
1 Q. I understood you perfectly, sir. By the fact is you keep saying
2 these are private documents. They weren't. They were military,
3 regulatory documents, weren't they? Documents you were obliged to keep.
4 We have been through that.
5 A. Yes, but when the war ended no one requested that I return those
6 documents. And again, the word "documents" is not the right one. It was
7 just my notebook.
8 Q. It was your authorised military workbook, sir, wasn't it? Not a
9 diary and not a personal notebook. That's not go over this all again,
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he tries to answer this question --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we have covered this and we know exactly
14 where we stand.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. No, no, but there's one further thing, sir. The fact is nobody
17 had to request it, did they? It was your obligation to, when those
18 documents were completed, send it to the military archives to be kept?
19 A. No, it was not my obligation.
20 Q. Are you telling us, sir, that no one ever explained to you at the
21 beginning of your military service in 1977 or when you became an officer
22 that those notebooks were official documents which it was your obligation
23 to keep and thereafter, when finished, to send to the archives? Is that
24 what you're telling us?
25 A. Are you referring to those workbooks or to other documents? Or
1 are you referring only to the workbook?
2 Q. I am referring now specifically to your officer's workbook.
3 A. In our system, there were two kinds of notebooks. The workbook
4 that we have been discussing now, I didn't have any obligation to return
5 it, this little red notebook.
6 Q. I'm talking about your official - whatever the colour - official
7 officer's notebook. Not any private diaries you may have kept yourself,
8 but your official officer's workbook.
9 A. I did not have an obligation to that effect.
10 Q. All right. So is your answer to my question no one ever informed
11 you that that book, once it was completed, had to be sent for archiving?
12 You're saying that, are you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. Now you told us also a minute ago, you were being --
15 matters were being explained to you by His Honour, that at the time no one
16 told you that what you were doing was a criminal offence. All I want to
17 ask you is this: Are you now saying that although no one told you, you
18 now appreciate that some of the things you did could be construed as
19 criminal offences?
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not asking him -- I think that's
21 being clear.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's clear. And I just want to remind him of what I
23 told him before.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I believe that certain things can
25 be considered as criminal offences, I don't know. I couldn't tell you.
1 It's only my assumption that they could. But again, I'm just assuming.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. So really, would your position be this: That as far as you were
4 concerned, you followed without question orders and instructions that were
5 given to you?
6 A. I don't understand your question.
7 Q. Did you ever question an order received through your chain of
8 command from a superior officer to carry out activities?
9 A. I carried out orders that were issued to me by superior officers.
10 If I properly understand your question, if an order was issued to me by a
11 superior officer, of course I had to carry it out. If you're referring to
12 orders addressed to the unit, we were an organised army like the JNA. And
13 I was under the obligation to carry out orders, to perform a task, an air
14 force task.
15 Q. Did you ever question an order, for example, because in your view
16 it was in breach of the Geneva Conventions?
17 A. No.
18 Q. And is that because the discipline maintained in the air force was
19 such that if you'd questioned an order, you would have been removed?
20 A. Well, the discipline was such that I would not have been removed,
21 but like in any organised army, orders were not discussed. Once you
22 receive an order as an inferior officer, you were under the obligation to
23 carry it out. If you refused to carry out an order, well, like in any
24 other army, there are disciplinary measures that are undertaken against
25 you. Either against an individual or against a unit.
1 Q. Did you receive, as part of your training, training in the laws
2 and regulations governing warfare?
3 A. During my training as part of my education, yes. During the
4 training, yes. So that would have been between 1974 and 1977 when we
5 underwent such training.
6 Q. Did that include a study of the relevant Geneva Conventions which
7 applied to warfare?
8 A. It was really a long time ago. I cannot answer your question with
9 certainty. But I would assume that that included that study as well.
10 Q. Can I take it from what you say that you received no reminders in
11 1991 and 1992 of the relevant Geneva Conventions?
12 A. Very, very few. Almost none.
13 Q. I'm sorry. What does that mean? Do you mean you were sent a
14 document, or you had a talk that said "remember the relevant conventions"?
15 A. No specific documents were ever sent. We were cautioned from time
16 to time, but such cautions, if you can understand me in view of the
17 organisation of the army, came from the very top, from the general staff.
18 And they were distributed to all units, including land forces, air forces,
19 and others. They concerned mainly the treatment of prisoners of war who
20 had to be treated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the
21 conventions and so on and so forth. But our case was specific because we,
22 as members of the air force, could not have prisoners of war. So such
23 issues were not given any special attention in our department. It
24 concerned mainly land forces. I couldn't take anyone prisoner from the
1 Q. All right. But in the case of the air force, what was relevant,
2 wasn't it, were the regulations that related to attacks upon civilian
3 population? Those were relevant to the air force, weren't they?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Did you receive any kind of reminder, either orally or in writing,
6 about your obligations in respect of attacks upon civilian populations?
7 A. We didn't receive any reminders concerning our obligations with
8 respect to attacks because I had never received an order to that effect,
9 that we should engage civilian targets. No. I've never received an order
10 of that kind in my life.
11 Q. I'm going to come back to that. But now I want to ask you just in
12 the remaining few minutes for today a little bit about the reporting
13 procedures. It was an obligation, was it not, for you as an officer to
14 make a report to your senior officer on a regular basis as to your
16 A. It was not an obligation -- my obligation to write that as an
17 individual. I had to make report on the overall activity of my unit. But
18 there were regular, daily reports which were very brief, mainly that --
19 mostly about the situation. But there were other, more detailed reports,
20 monthly reports that were sent to the superior command. I was the
21 commander of a squadron. I had an assistant. And he was in charge of
22 composing such reports. He obtained information on the technical affairs,
23 on the human resources and so on and so forth, and this report would be
24 sent to the superior command.
25 Q. All right. Can we split that. There were short daily reports to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the superior command, and then longer monthly reports. Is that what
2 you're telling us?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And is this right: That both the daily and the monthly reports
5 would be divided into headings or topics?
6 A. I think they were divided into several topics, several titles. I
7 don't remember exactly how many, but there were several distinct elements
8 of the report, not only two but more than that.
9 Q. Right. And they would be divided, for example, into logistics.
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Morale in the unit?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Any unusual activity?
15 A. Yes. One could say that. Special observations, unusual things,
17 Q. The security situation in the area in which the unit was based?
18 A. No. I was not in charge of reporting on the security situation in
19 the area where the unit was stationed. I only had the obligation of
20 describing the security situation within my unit. As for the overall
21 security situation in the area where the unit was billeted, this was taken
22 care of by the logistical unit which had also military police in its
23 ranks. I only had obligations with respect to my unit.
24 Q. All right. Whoever reported it, whether it was the logistical
25 unit or you in particular, those reports would include, would they not,
1 the political situation, if it might have an impact upon your unit?
2 A. This was perhaps stated in the section dealing with the morale of
3 the unit. It is only logical to assume that the political situation could
4 have an impact on that. Again, it's only my assumption. But we were a
5 very small unit, just a squadron, and this could have been the case with
6 respect to the morale, including the political situation.
7 Q. I'll come back to the size of your unit tomorrow.
8 These reporting requirements were strictly enforced weren't they?
9 In other words, those reports had to be sent to your superiors?
10 A. Yes, my unit had to send the reports.
11 Q. And I think, as you've already touched upon, discipline in the
12 JNA, and even when it became the VRS in Bosnia, was very strictly
14 A. The discipline in the JNA was very strict. That is true.
15 However, my personal opinion was that in the last months of the existence
16 of the JNA, the discipline was no longer that strict. And later, and also
17 in the VRS, it was not at a very high level.
18 Q. Can we put it this way: That you wouldn't take part in an
19 important activity without seeking the approval of your senior officers if
20 it affected clearly the professional nature of your duties? It's not a
21 very good sentence, but you know what I mean, I hope.
22 A. Are you referring to important activities outside the military?
23 Q. No. If you were going to undertake as part of your military
24 duties an activity which was clearly an important one, you did not have,
25 did you, the authority to just agree or not agree without seeking
2 A. As a squadron commander, I never undertook any military activity
3 on my own. I always received orders from my superior command with respect
4 to the use of my unit.
5 Q. Or what you yourself did presumably.
6 A. Well, during that period of time when discipline was no longer at
7 a very high level, when the JNA was falling apart, elements there had
8 remained in these other former republics, so not everything required a
9 specific order from the superior command. And I'm talking about my
10 personal activities here.
11 Q. All right. But involvement, if you wanted to get involved in
12 civilian political activities, that would require the authority, wouldn't
13 it, of your higher command?
14 A. I would inform the superior command. I did inform them about the
15 fact that as a member of the crisis staff I had to attend the meetings.
16 Lieutenant Colonel Kostoric who at the time was my superior officer
17 agreed. He had no problem with it. He simply said: "Well, fine. When
18 you have time, you can go and attend those meetings. But if you don't
19 have time for that, try not to burden your unit additionally. If you have
20 any obligations in your unit, then they will come first."
21 Q. So in other words, it's not just that having received the
22 invitation to join this crisis staff you went off and did it; you first of
23 all informed and sought the approval of your senior officer?
24 A. No. I went for the first time when the officer came to see me. I
25 told him I went to a meeting. I am a member. So before my first
1 attendance, I didn't ask for strict permission. I just went because I
2 didn't believe that I had to ask anyone. And then later when I saw this
3 man, then I simply told him that I'm a member of the crisis staff. And he
4 said: "Very well. I don't have anything against that. But don't let the
5 duties in the unit suffer because of that." Meaning that I would not be
6 present with the unit if the unit had some duties. So the unit had to be
7 number one, and then if I had some space in my duties, had some room or
8 had some free time, then I would be able to go and attend the meetings.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. I think we'll take this up, then,
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Jokic, we are stopping here for today. I
12 think tomorrow is in the afternoon, isn't it?
13 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, we're doing this again, are we?
14 Can I be told then, please. I understood us to be in the morning.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me check because I think --
16 MS. KORNER: But the constant changes in this timetable are just
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I know, I know. Tuesday. No, no, we are in the
19 morning tomorrow. We are in the morning. I apologise, Ms. Korner. We
20 are in the morning in Courtroom III. Correct?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct. I apologise.
23 MS. KORNER: No, no Your Honour. I needn't apologise Your Honour
24 in the slightest. But it wouldn't surprise me to suddenly find we had
25 been changed again.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that's it. We will meet again tomorrow
2 morning at 9.00. You can escort the witness out, please. Thank you.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll reconvene tomorrow morning. Thank you.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 13th day of
7 January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.