1 Tuesday, 13 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, sir. Good morning, Your Honours. This is
9 the case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
11 Mr. Brdjanin, are you following the proceedings in a language that
12 you can understand?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
16 Appearances for the Prosecution.
17 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. It's Joanna Korner, Ann
18 Sutherland, assisted this morning by Skye Winner, the case manager.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And good morning to you. Appearances
20 for Mr. Brdjanin.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: David Cunningham and Aleksandar Vujic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you.
23 So let's proceed, Ms. Korner.
24 Good morning to you, Mr. Jokic.
25 Ms. Korner is going to proceed with her cross-examination. I just
1 take the opportunity to remind you that you are testifying for all intents
2 and purposes under oath, on the basis of the solemn declaration that you
3 entered yesterday.
4 Ms. Korner.
5 WITNESS: ZORAN JOKIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Cross-examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
8 Q. On that note, His Honour yesterday said you had a right to seek
9 the Judges's approval not to answer any question. There are some matters
10 this morning that I'm going to be touching on that if you feel you do not
11 wish to answer the questions on the grounds it may incriminate you, you
12 can seek the Judges' leave. You understand that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. Now, you told the Court yesterday that you retired from the VRS in
17 1999; is that correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So even though you were in charge of the civilian control at the
20 Banja Luka airport, nonetheless, you still remained part of the military?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. I just want to go back, then, to one question. Are you telling
23 this Court that before you retired from the military, you destroyed your
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Even though it was possible that you could have been called upon
2 to produce an account of your movements at any period up until 1995?
3 A. I didn't think that anyone would request that of me.
4 Q. All right. Now --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner.
6 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear us now?
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Please proceed, Ms. Korner, and sorry. My
11 apologies for the interruption.
12 MS. KORNER: No, no. I quite understand. It's obviously
13 important that all three of you can hear what's being said.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. Please proceed, Ms. Korner. Thank you.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. And can I just confirm: You were transferred from Mostar to
17 Banja Luka in about end of October/beginning of November 1991?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. I wasn't actually transferred; I just
19 received a different assignment.
20 Q. Up until then, had you just been an ordinary pilot, a lieutenant?
21 A. No. This information is not correct. At that time I was already
22 a major in Mostar. I was promoted into the rank of major in the month of
23 July 1991, and while I was in Mostar, I was deputy commander of a
25 Q. You stayed in the Banja Luka -- the position you were in Banja
1 Luka as a squadron commander until August of 1992, didn't you, when you
2 were transferred -- or when you became the flight controller?
3 A. Yes, more or less until August. There was a transitional period
4 of handover, when you're sent to a new duty, there has to be a handover
5 between the previous commander and the new one. So a certain period of
6 time is necessary for -- to become familiar with the new duties. So this
7 was this transitional period. I did not become flight controller, but the
8 chief of flight control service at the airfield.
9 Q. Well, I apologise, but in fact I put that to you from what you
10 told the investigators in July of 2001, in the interview, which I know
11 you've had a copy of, where you said, and this is the top of page 5, and
12 I'm not going to ask you to look at it: "At some point in August 1992, I
13 became a chief of the airport flight control, and I stayed at that
14 position until the end of war."
15 Do you remember telling us that?
16 A. I do, but a moment ago you asked me whether I had become a flight
17 controller, and I corrected you. I told you that I had become the chief
18 of airport flight control.
19 Q. Yes. It was my error, and I apologise for that.
20 Now, finally, before we move on to some different matters: You
21 told us yesterday that there were your own personal records and the
22 records of the unit. Where were the records of the unit kept? Where were
23 they archived?
24 A. Well, the unit was operational, and while I was the squadron
25 commander, there was a metal safe where documents were kept, documents
1 relating to the unit, active documents, so to speak. All those documents,
2 if a document had been completed or if a book had been completed, were
3 handed over, not immediately, but when documentation was being organised,
4 those documents would be handed over and placed into the safe.
5 Q. All right. Once they were no longer current documents, where did
6 they go? In other words, where are they now? That's what I'm asking you,
7 Mr. Jokic.
8 A. When it comes to the organisation of the squadron and the flight
9 unit, there is an administrator. I don't know exactly what the procedure
10 was once the documents were handed over, but it is my assumption that the
11 documents could be found somewhere at the command of the air force. But
12 again, this is only my assumption.
13 Q. And where is the command of the air force today? In Banja Luka?
14 A. As far as I know, it is at the Zaluzani Heliodrom.
15 Q. Which is just outside Banja Luka; is that right?
16 A. Yes, thereabouts. Six or seven kilometres from Banja Luka.
17 Q. And that's where the headquarters of the Republika Srpska air
18 force is, is it?
19 A. Yes. This is what I said, that this is where the command of the
20 air force is located.
21 Q. All right. Now, the other matter that we touched on yesterday was
22 any reminders you were given about the application of the Geneva
23 Conventions to this conflict. I'd like you to have a look, please, at
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm afraid I don't think this is on my
1 list because it was something that I came across last night, but we can
2 put the English on the ELMO. Well, Your Honour -- it's all right.
3 We can pull that down so we can --
4 Q. This is part of the Official Gazette of the Serbian People. Just
5 read, would you, to yourself, the order on the application of the rules of
6 international law of war, and let me know when you've read it.
7 A. I'm sorry. I received here a decree on the implementation of the
8 material obligation. This is not a copy of the document that we can see
9 on the screen.
10 Q. All right. Okay. Can you -- can I see what you're holding,
11 Usher, please? Could you give me the document the witness has? Yes.
12 That's not right. It's the page before that, please. So you need -- this
13 document consists of a number of pages. No. That's the English. Oh, I
14 see it's copied on the back. Oh, I see. No. Hang on. Okay. Can we
15 have the English on the ELMO, then.
16 Could you read, please, sir, 19 -- the part of the gazette that is
17 198, and 19 -- you'll need -- usher.
18 A. No. I --
19 Q. And then it carries on.
20 A. Do you want me to read from the beginning?
21 Q. No. Yes. I just want you to read the part, to yourself, not
22 aloud, just read it, and then I want to ask you about it. Just read it to
24 A. Okay. I think I've got it now.
25 I've read it.
1 Q. Did you read that at the time that it was published in the gazette
2 on the 13th of May, or thereabouts? The gazette came out in June, I
4 A. I personally never received copies of the gazette of Republika
5 Srpska in my unit, nor did I see this particular gazette later at any
6 point in time.
7 Q. I'm sorry. You at that time, until certainly General Ninkovic
8 arrived, were in charge of a squadron of planes that was flying combat
9 missions. That's right, isn't it?
10 A. Yes, I was the commander of that squadron.
11 Q. Are you telling us that you, as the person in charge of that base,
12 never had drawn to your attention, either by seeing the gazette or by
13 being sent through an order from the Main Staff, this order by
14 Dr. Karadzic?
15 A. I'm sorry. I was not the commander of the whole base. I was only
16 part of that base, located at the Mahovljani airfield. I don't remember
17 having seen this particular Official Gazette at any point in time.
18 Q. Well, who was the person who was in charge of the whole base
19 before the arrival of General Ninkovic?
20 A. I have already mentioned the organisation. The officer who was
21 responsible for the logistical support of my unit and for the organisation
22 of the overall work at the airfield was the commander of the base.
23 Q. Okay. And just remind us again of what his name was.
24 A. I testified yesterday, Lieutenant Colonel, who later became
25 Colonel, Biga.
1 Q. So are you saying that any communications from the Main Staff
2 would go -- or from the presidency, would go to this officer rather than
3 you? Is that what you're saying?
4 A. Communication between me and Mr. Biga, the commander of the base,
5 concerned only technical aspects of the work, providing adequate
6 conditions for the implementation of my tasks. At the beginning, during
7 the initial stage - and I already stayed that during the months that we
8 are currently discussing, this was the stage when the Yugoslav People's
9 Army was in the process of withdrawal from the territory of the BH. At
10 the same time, the air force was being established and the Army of
11 Republika Srpska was being established and organised. So as for the
12 precise lines of communications and the way that documents were
13 disseminated, it is possible that there were interruptions and problems,
14 because we're talking about a transitional period, a period during which
15 the force was being established. Mr. Biga was not my superior commander.
16 We were collaborators. And the superior command, before the air force and
17 air defence command was established, was the 5th Operational Group.
18 Q. All right. Do you agree that you were the commander of a combat
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you therefore agree that paragraph 2 of this order, "commanders
22 of all units, as well as each member of the army or other armed formation
23 who takes part in combat activities are responsible for the application of
24 the rules of the international law of war"? Do you agree that applied to
1 A. I agree that that applied to me as well, but you must also agree
2 with me that it was possible - again, this is my assumption - that someone
3 perhaps assumed that it was not necessary for the air force officers to be
4 apprised of these regulations having to do with prisoners of war. So it
5 was possible that someone deemed it not necessary for me to have such
7 Q. Where does it say in that paragraph 2 anything about prisoners of
8 war? It is talking, is it not, about the general rules applicable to
10 A. Yes. I apologise. I know that yesterday we discussed the issue
11 of prisoners of war, so I just skimmed this article. I didn't pay
12 attention to details.
13 Q. Would you agree with me that it is in violation of the rules of
14 international war to bomb hospitals, schools, or anywhere where it is
15 known that non-combatants are present?
16 A. I fully agree with you.
17 Q. All right. Well, I want to move on. Yes, thank you. That
18 document can go away.
19 Now, you described to us yesterday - and I'm looking now at the
20 LiveNote at page 19 onwards - the command structure that operated within
21 the air force under -- when it was still part of the JNA. And what you
22 told us was that there was a single line of command, that your immediate
23 superior, as a squadron commander, would have been the regiment commander,
24 the air force regiment; then the corps commander; and then the commander
25 of the air force; and finally, the Main Staff. Do you agree that's an
1 accurate summary?
2 A. That is how it is provided for in the organisation of the Yugoslav
3 People's Army.
4 Q. Right. However, you tell us that at the point that we're
5 discussing or talking about, that is, the -- from the formation of the VRS
6 in May of 1992 until you became chief of the air controlling part, that
7 there was in fact no, as it were, intervening level between yourself, as
8 the squadron commander, being directly responsible to the air force
10 A. During the initial period, there was a so-called 5th operational
11 group, which sort of replaced the air force command. It existed for a
12 brief period of time, and later on there was a direct line. So during
13 this period of time, the period of time we are discussing, there was a
14 direct line between the squadron and the air force command.
15 Q. And you added that no civilian could give orders to the military,
16 in your case, the air force.
17 A. I think that that is clear.
18 Q. You're not including in that, are you, the president of the
19 Republic of Bosnia, as it then was, or of Yugoslavia, or, as it turned
20 out, the Republika Srpska?
21 A. I thought you were asking me about a civilian from the region of
22 Banja Luka, whether he could, and not that I should explain again the
23 chain of command from the president down to the lowest level. I was -- I
24 thought that you only meant Banja Luka, for that period, and not the
25 system of command in a state.
1 Q. Right. I didn't ask you the questions. In fact, Mr. Cunningham
2 asked you those questions. But I don't want to spend too long on this.
3 The fact is, you didn't mention -- you just said civilians. But you
4 agree, don't you, that the directions to the military, whether the army,
5 the air force, or, if there is a navy, come from civilians through the
6 president of the republic, to the Main Staff?
7 A. The president of the republic was the supreme commander, and he
8 was a civilian. Everything else, from the supreme commander down to the
9 military staff, is military command. It just happened so that at the
10 time, our president was a civilian, but he could also have been a military
12 Q. All right. Now, can I say: I'm not -- I'll make it absolutely
13 clear, I'm not for one moment suggesting to you that a civilian outside
14 the presidency could give a direct order to anybody in the military, but
15 there was, was there not, through the whole chain of command, close
16 cooperation between civilian, political authorities and the military?
17 A. In that period, that was not at my level, so I really wouldn't be
18 able to say what kind of cooperation existed at that, let's say, higher
19 level. It wasn't my level.
20 Q. All right. So you can't tell us what cooperation or how matters
21 went on between General Ninkovic and the authorities in Banja Luka, or,
22 for example, General Talic and the authorities in Banja Luka?
23 A. No, no, I couldn't do that. I wasn't informed. I didn't know
24 about that cooperation, and I wasn't present either.
25 Q. All right. You see, I want you just to look at, please, a couple
1 of documents in respect of this. Could you have a look, first of all,
2 please, at P2419.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think the best thing is, it's only a
4 part. It's a very large document. It's a part of the report. Usher, if
5 you -- I will -- I've actually marked it for the purposes of the witness,
6 so it's probably easier.
7 And Your Honour, we can put my English copy on the ELMO. That's
8 for the witness.
9 Q. Sir, this is part of a report that was compiled in 1993, on the
10 operation of the various arms of the VRS.
11 MS. KORNER: Could we have, first of all, on the ELMO, the English
12 page 1. And this is the part that deals with the air force.
13 Q. Do you see the paragraph I've highlighted for you? "Full
14 coordination was achieved with the commands of the 1st and 2nd Krajina
15 Corps, to which we had air force liaison officers and where coordinated
16 action came to the fullest expression, whereas the action in the zones of
17 the other corps was extremely uncertain." And it gives the reasons. Now
18 were you aware of a liaison air force between the air force and the
19 commander of the 1st Krajina Corps?
20 A. In the former JNA as well, the Yugoslav People's Army, and
21 probably later in the VRS, the establishment did provide for the post of a
22 coordinator, or a representative of the air force in the command unit.
23 Q. I'm sorry, sir. Were you aware -- the question is a direct one.
24 Were you pay ware that there was a liaison officer, and my follow-up
25 question is: If you were, what was his name?
1 A. I knew -- well, not that I knew. There should have been a liaison
2 officer, but I didn't know who he was.
3 Q. All right. So nobody told you, as the commander of this squadron,
4 who the liaison officer was with the 1st Krajina Corps? Is that what
5 you're telling us?
6 A. Excuse me. As far as I understood, this report is not relevant
7 for the period while I was the squadron commander. This is later, when I
8 was no longer the commander. I said that I didn't see a date anywhere,
9 and you said that this was a report from 2003, as far as I understood.
10 Q. No, no, no. I didn't. This is relevant. It's a report compiled
11 in 1993, on the activities of the VRS since its formation in May 1992.
12 A. Very well. If that is so, then it's relevant. But I really
13 didn't know who the representative of the air force was in the 1st Krajina
14 Corps, and I didn't know his name.
15 Q. All right. Now, I'm sorry, usher. Could you just move the page
16 up for a moment. I just want to see if there's anything else at the end
17 of that. Yes.
18 Now, then, on the next page -- usher, if you can put that up. If
19 I can have the first page back. Thank you.
20 We see some diagrams that show the support. And we look at
21 those -- this is fighter bomber aviation focussed on performing missions
22 in close air-fire support to ground units, as shown in the following
23 charts. And then there's the first chart. There is an explanation given
24 of what the various boxes mean. And this is a survey of the
25 fighter-bomber fire and reconnaissance operations.
1 Do you see that in respect of the 1st Krajina Corps, the
2 fighter-bombers, or the fighter-bombers carried out some 539 operations,
3 which were some kind of combat operation; 24 aerial reconnaissance; and a
4 total -- I see then there's a total all together.
5 In fact, the support by the air force given to the 1st Krajina
6 Corps was the greatest, was it not, of any of the other corps, as you can
7 see from this diagram?
8 A. Yes, I see the diagram. And according to the diagram - and I see
9 it for the first time - but according to that diagram, yes, it does seem
10 that way. I just have to add that the fire support, the operations of all
11 the flights or the aircraft, this is not only combat or fighter-bombers,
12 but helicopters are also included. So I think that this actually -- this
13 number actually includes all types of aircraft, although there is marking
14 there, LBH. I thought that this was perhaps an overall figure, since I'm
15 seeing it for the first time.
16 Q. When we get to the next page, you'll see that this has got nothing
17 to do with helicopters. These were missions flown by your squadron. Your
18 unit was in fact the largest, wasn't it, air force unit in the whole of
19 the VRS?
20 A. It was the only fighter-bomber unit; not the biggest, but the only
21 such unit.
22 Q. And therefore, whilst you were there, before you went to control
23 of the airport, you and your men flew a very large number of missions,
24 didn't you?
25 A. No. At this stage, before I was transferred, there were no
1 flights practically being carried out in the BH, in this stage of May to
2 June, because already in June I was already carrying out the transfer of
3 duty, so I practically didn't fly in that period at all.
4 Q. So you were not transferred until August of 1992. Are you telling
5 this Court that from June onwards you never flew a mission, a combat
7 A. No, I'm not saying that I, as a pilot, did not participate. But
8 what I'm saying is that I did not command those operations. As a pilot,
9 though, I did take part in them.
10 Q. And there were many missions flown, weren't there, by the air
11 force, during the month particularly of July of 1992?
12 A. As far as I remember, there were. I don't know what you mean by
13 the term "a large number of missions," but there were missions.
14 Q. I'm going to show you what I mean shortly. Can we just finish
15 this report? Can we move to the next diagram, if we just push it up
16 slightly. That shows the number and percentage of missions, and as you've
17 already accepted, you were the only fighter squadron in the VRS. It shows
18 a total of -- it's in tonnes of missiles. I'm sorry. I said missions.
19 Missiles, 278 tonnes, 45 per cent of the total expended in support of the
20 cause. And I think the final diagram, if we can have a look at that,
21 please. Yes. Well, it's the number of hours, and I don't think we need
22 bother about that.
23 Now, then can we go, please, to the next part of this report, the
24 next page in English. If I could have that back.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, if Your Honours have that report with
1 you, it's page 136 onwards that I'm looking at. Page 138.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we are following you from the document itself,
3 Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: I'm grateful, Your Honour. Put it on the ELMO for
5 the non-existent public. Right. The report then -- I'm sorry, usher. Can
6 you bring it down slightly. No. I mean I want to see the top of the
7 right. Right.
8 Q. Then we see under the third paragraph: "Coordination and
9 concerted action of bomber-fighter aviation and the command of the 1st KK
10 in preparing and executing all operations were exemplary thanks in part to
11 the existence of air force liaison. I'm going to ask you again so I know
12 you've answered: Are you sure you don't remember there being an air force
13 liaison officer?
14 A. I did say that he existed, but I don't know who he was.
15 Q. And then, sorry, can we just go to the bottom of the page again,
16 usher, just in case. Yes. And altogether fighter-bomber aviation has
17 carried out 1.205 sorties, in the course of the war, dropped 612.5 tonnes
18 of explosive, meaning that on average, every pilot made 83 sorties, 40 --
19 it must be put in 40 hours' flying and dropped about 40 tonnes of
21 That -- and accepting this is taking it up to 1993, does that
22 sound accurate to you, from your own personal experience?
23 A. I'm seeing this data for the first time, so I cannot comment on
24 it. I don't know the exact period. Perhaps you did say it and I didn't
25 hear. I don't know the exact period that this actually refers to, these
1 totals. But if they're here, all this data, then it's probably true.
2 Q. And then you see underneath that, and that's why I said to you
3 this has nothing to do with helicopters, you will see that there is a
4 separate chart for the sorties down done by helicopters.
5 And over the next page, at 139, there is a chart.
6 Now, before I show you the next part of this document, it's right,
7 isn't it, that at this stage, 1992, 1993, indeed I think for most of the
8 war, the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had no air force?
9 A. Not an air force of this kind, but according to my information, it
10 did have some light sports aircraft which they adapted and made into small
11 fighter planes. The types of planes which we had in the Army of Republika
12 Srpska and which we still have, they didn't have at that time and they
13 don't have them now.
14 Q. You inherited the -- you, the VRS, inherited the power, the fly
15 power, of the JNA; that's right, isn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Now, yesterday you told us that you and
18 General Ninkovic did not see eye to eye. This is at page 31 of the
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about the page, because he said that
21 more than once.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I just -- in case Mr. Cunningham wants
23 to check.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
24 [Private session]
12 Page 24031 redacted, private session
12 Page 24032 redacted, private session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 Page 24034 redacted, private session
10 [Open session]
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. Sir, finally, on this report, could you have a look at
13 subparagraph 8.2, which is --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: What page, Ms. Korner?
15 MS. KORNER: Page 141 in the English. It's headed "combat
16 morale." And the English is there. Thank you. It's marked for you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. "The morale of air force and AA defence unit," anti-aircraft I take
21 it, "was influenced by numerous factors, the most important being a large
22 number of our members were of the opinion that the VRS should have
23 remained unified in all Serbian lands and that no division should have
24 been undertaken in view of all the consequences which later resulted in
25 connections with pressures from the international community."
1 And so that reflects, does it, a view that all the Serbian armies,
2 or armies consisting of Serbs, should have remained united as one army?
3 A. Yes, more or less. However, if I may add, the title itself
4 indicated the fact that the VRS was already established. So this was a
5 separate army, the Army of Republika Srpska. The army of Yugoslavia is
6 over there, and then in the Croatian Krajina was the Serbian army of -- I
7 don't know the exact title.
8 Q. Yes. All right. And now finally, there's one other paragraph
9 which perhaps you could look it, which comes at the very end of this
10 particular paragraph. I've marked that as well. You'll see in orange.
11 If we could have the English up. It's page 142. Just the top, please.
12 And there we see: "So far, 47 flats of the 103 assigned have been given by
13 the municipality of Banja Luka, which has positively affected air force
14 corps morale."
15 That -- that's my -- at the end to remind myself. But that's a
16 reference, isn't it, to the result of your discussions with Mr. Radic and
17 presumably later discussions by other people?
18 A. Yes, I assume that this was the case, and one can see that the
19 municipality of Banja Luka met our demands and allocated a number of
20 flats, which are no longer occupied by these members. Because in
21 accordance with the relevant law, the apartments have in the meantime been
22 returned to their original owners.
23 Q. All right. Okay. Thank you very much. You can put that document
24 away. Or can I have it back? I think it was my copy.
25 Now, I want to ask you, on the lines of cooperation and the like,
1 whether you were aware --
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I just left my file ...
3 Q. Were you aware, sir, that in August, on the 18th of August, 1992,
4 there was a meeting at the office of the commander of the 1st Krajina
5 Corps, General Talic, at the forward command post? Did you hear the
7 A. I didn't quite understand it, with whom? Who met with
8 General Talic.
9 Q. All right. Were you aware that on the 18th of August, 1992, there
10 was a meeting involving General Talic, General Ninkovic, Mr. Brdjanin,
11 Colonel Vujinovic, or Lieutenant Colonel Vujinovic, Mr. Radic,
12 Mr. Zupljanin, Mr. Erceg, and other people?
13 A. No. I didn't know about it at all. I was already busy with the
14 handover of the duty, of my new duty, the chief of air traffic control, so
15 I did not know about it at all. This is the first news.
16 Q. If General Ninkovic had to be away from the command, who would be
17 left in charge of operational activities?
18 A. When the commander is absent from the unit, it is usually his
19 deputy, or the chief of staff, who takes over. As far as I can recall,
20 during that period, Colonel Novak had already taken up his duty as the
21 chief of staff, but I'm not sure.
22 Q. From your experiences within the air force, and when you yourself
23 were in charge, would it surprise you that there was such a high-level
24 meeting involving civilians and military air force and army and police?
25 A. I don't think I can give you a comment on that question. I didn't
1 occupy a high-level position. A squadron commander is a low-level
3 Q. I understand that, but for a certain period of time, however
4 limited, you were the man in charge of operations for the only fighter
5 command, as it were, in the whole of the area? So I'm asking you: From
6 that experience, does it surprise you?
7 A. No, not really.
8 Q. Would you agree with this statement: The -- General Ninkovic and
9 the pilots in Banja Luka had been expelled from Croatia. Would you agree
10 with that?
11 A. Yes, to a large extent.
12 Q. Since Banja Luka had an airport, they, that is, the air force,
13 were housed at the airport, and they became an integral part of the Army
14 of Republika Srpska; would you agree with that?
15 A. Yes. This cannot be contested.
16 Q. There became a branch of the armed forces?
17 A. Yes, of course. This is what I already explained, I believe.
18 Q. And finally, that the active senior officers were paid by
19 Yugoslavia? Do you agree with that?
20 A. I do, yes. That is true as well.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that was page 15507 of the transcript.
22 Q. Finally, on this topic, and this is really communication, I'd like
23 you to have a look at P2207.
24 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, again, if the usher can find it, but
25 I've marked the relevant part for the witness on my copy of the B/C/S. I'd
1 still like you to find the English so I can hold mine in English, please.
2 And this was on my list.
3 Your Honour, this was on my list, so --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, it was.
5 MS. KORNER: I'm surprised it's not available.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: We have it.
7 MS. KORNER: If you put the English, please, at the fourth page,
8 on the ELMO.
9 Q. And sir, if you can turn in the document to paragraph 6. It's a
10 report -- or it's an order, I should say, to the 1st Krajina Corps,
11 involving the 1st Krajina Corps. And it deals with the actions that were
12 going to be taken in Kotor Varos on the 16th of July. And do you see,
13 under paragraph 6, air support: "Request fire support and air support
14 through the command of the group of brigades or, in case of a breakdown in
15 communications, call directly the 1st Krajina Corps command or the command
16 of the 5th Operative Group"? And the 5th Operative Group was your -- you
17 were part, weren't you, of that group?
18 A. Are you referring to the 5th Operative Group of the air force?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. -- Which, before the air force was established, was a command?
21 Yes, the 5th Operative Group issued orders to the squadron. They were in
23 Q. Now, I want you now to look -- thank you, sir. That's all I want
24 to ask you about on that -- at a video, please, or part of a video.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is the Exhibit P1598, and it's a
1 short part. I think Your Honours have seen on a number of occasions. And
2 it starts -- if you have the transcript with you --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 MS. KORNER: -- At the second page, where you see reporter
5 Cimerman Ajder, his name is.
6 Q. Sir, I want you to watch this video and then I'm going to ask you
7 some questions.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MS. KORNER: We need the sound. All right. Your Honour, we do
10 actually need the sound, but it appears to have disappeared. Can we -- I
11 think we had better stop. Your Honours, I'm sorry. Could I ask
12 Your Honours to take a short -- the break now while I try and sort this
13 out? May I just say for the record that Sanction is an absolutely
14 appalling tool.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Chuqing is saying that the sound is on.
16 THE REGISTRAR: I was told by the technician. Would you like to
17 try again?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try it again, and if it's the case, we
19 continue now; if it's not, unless you prefer to have the break now.
20 MS. KORNER: I'm quite happy to go on. I can't hear anything.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not seeing anything either.
22 MS. KORNER: No, it's not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it is on the video, but there is no sound.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MS. KORNER: It's not even on my video thing.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break, because --
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, I think, Your Honour, we better.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: There isn't any sound, Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: There isn't.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll have a 25-minute break starting from now.
6 Thank you.
7 Yes, Ms. Korner. I suppose you plan to finish with this witness
9 MS. KORNER: I'll try, yes.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think the technical hitch is sorted.
13 Your Honour, when we play it, I wonder if the interpreters could --
14 normally I say don't interrupt, but on this occasion, I think it would
15 help the part we're going to play. And it's page 2 of Your Honour's
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Of this last night's list of
20 fatalities included Colonel Milan Stevilovic, head of the Department for
21 Intelligence and Security Affairs of the 1st Krajina Corps,
22 Stevan Markovic, head of the police department in the Banja Luka public
23 security station, and Obrad Bubic, a craftsman from Kotor Varos, while
24 Novo Petrusic, a driver, was captured and taken away. In addition,
25 yesterday, in the afternoon hours Djuro Eskic, an employee of Proleter --
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. The witness needs to hear the B/C/S. At the
2 moment, I don't know whether he is hearing B/C/S. Can I just ask?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was interpretation, but there
4 was no image.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, it's getting complicated, Ms. Korner.
6 Usher, please. Let's start again, and make sure that he is
7 receiving whatever is shown in video mode in his own language. I was
8 receiving interpretation.
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Of the 1st Krajina Corps --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you hear?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to go a little bit further, and --
12 [Videotape played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Just last week in this area, mostly
14 in the villages of Vecici, Vranici, Sokoline, and Rujevica, 17 soldiers
15 and members of the special police unit were killed. Last night's list of
16 fatalities included Colonel Milan Stevilovic, head of the Department for
17 Intelligence and Security Affairs of the 1st Krajina Corps,
18 Stevan Markovic, head of the police department in the Banja Luka public
19 security station, and Obrad Bubic, a craftsman from Kotor Varos, while
20 Novo Petrusic, a driver, was captured and taken away. In addition,
21 yesterday, in the afternoon hours, Djuro Eskic an employee of Proleter,
22 was killed in Kotor Varos by a sniper shooting from Kotor on the left bank
23 of the Vrbanja River. Last year during the clearing of the terrain in
24 villages inhabited by Muslims and Croats in Kotor Varos municipality the
25 fiercest battles were waged in the very same village of Vecici. Yesterday
1 and today aviation of Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina took part
2 in the final operations conducted jointly by the troops of the Serbian
3 Republic of BH and special police units firing at select enemy targets.
4 The number of fatalities among the Muslim Croat paramilitary has exceeded
5 300, with a significantly greater number of wounded. In yesterday's and
6 today's combat alone Muslim and Croat extremists had over 100 wounded and
7 killed and about 200 wounded. Their own civilians, Muslim women,
8 children, and the elderly are held hostage by the extremists who tortured
9 and killed them. Yesterday, between 1.600 and 1.000 -- between 1600 and
10 1700 hours in the vicinity of Rujevica village on the road between
11 Maslovare and Kotor Varos extreme cruelty enemy villains ambushed and
12 tormented to death Stevan Markovic and Obrad Bubic, also killing Milan
13 Stevilovic and capturing Nova Petrusic. A commemoration ceremony was held
14 today in honour of Milan Stevilovic at the Banja Luka JNA Hall.
15 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Now, sir, that's all I want to show you.
16 Can I explain to you, as you're probably no doubt aware, this was filmed
17 in July of 1992, around the time that Lieutenant Colonel Stevilovic was
18 killed. Do you remember that period?
19 A. Yes. I remember that he was killed. I think that he was either a
20 colonel or a lieutenant colonel. I don't remember.
21 Q. All right. Those planes we saw dropping bombs --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I saw the witness hinting at something.
23 Was there anything wrong? Is something wrong?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have anything on my screen.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to -- I understood that he needs to
1 go back. All right. I thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Now, sir, those planes we saw carrying out that attack in Kotor
6 Varos were your squadron, weren't they?
7 A. Yes, they were part of the air force.
8 Q. Now, sir, yesterday when you were asked whether you took part in
9 the attack on Kotor Varos, before you said no, there was a hesitation. I'm
10 going to ask you again, and if you don't want to reply to that question,
11 you can seek Their Honours' leave. Were you one of the pilots who took
12 part in that attack?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you send your pilots to take part in that attack?
15 A. At the time, I was not in the unit, when those few days -- so
16 during those days, this attack, or this sortie or sorties, probably took
17 place over those few days.
18 Q. Sir, where were you at the beginning of July 1992?
19 A. It's difficult to say precisely, but I was in the middle of
20 transferring my duties in the work of the command. So I was in the
21 broader area of Banja Luka. I wasn't at the airport all the time. I also
22 used to go to the air force command. I was going to the premises where
23 the air force command was being formed, so I was working on some
24 documents. So I wasn't in any fixed place. I cannot remember exactly
25 where I was on that date.
1 Q. Sorry, sir. Are you saying it took well over a month for you to
2 transfer from your operational duties as squadron leader to taking over
3 the flight control at the airport?
4 A. It didn't take that long, but it was done parallel. All of these
5 things were being done at the same time, the stage when the air force was
6 being formed, the transfer of my duties as commander, and then accepting
7 other duties as chief of the flight control.
8 Q. You --
9 A. I'm hearing something.
10 Q. Yes. Don't worry. For some reason, these machines today have a
11 life of their own.
12 Sir, you were aware, weren't you, that in the course of these
13 attacks, civilians - men, women, and children - were killed?
14 A. I found out later.
15 Q. I want to show you now one other -- I'm sorry. Just before we
16 move on: What kind of missiles were being dropped that we saw in that
17 video? What kind of bombs?
18 A. On this footage, if I can see that precisely, this is the Orao
19 aircraft, so it would be dropping napalm bombs, fire bombs, as far as I
20 know. So I think that it is these bombs that are being used here.
21 Q. Sir, you were asked whether you dropped any bombs that had I think
22 a chemical component yesterday, or words to that effect. I can find it,
23 if necessary. And you said no. What do you call napalm?
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: The question had to be with chemical munitions.
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. All right. Chemical munitions. What do you call napalm, please,
3 A. Chemical munitions is something that I understand to mean - and
4 that's how it was with us - as bombs which contain combat poisons,
5 chemical poisons. A napalm bomb is something that did not contain toxic
6 materials, poisons. A bomb contains fuel, liquid fuel, and a fuse that
7 sets this charge off, and it goes off. So as far as I know, napalm
8 doesn't contain any toxins which take a long time to act. A napalm bomb
9 is an incendiary, short-action means which just burns out and doesn't
10 leave any lasting effects.
11 Q. Yes, but has an effect, doesn't it, on the persons who might be in
12 the path of or affected by the explosion of that bomb?
13 A. The bomb doesn't explode. There is no classic explosion, but
14 there is an incendiary, there is an instantaneous flame, and this is a
15 classic flame, a fire, which then burns out.
16 Q. Did you ever see photographs of what happened in the Vietnam war?
17 A. Yes, I did, more or less.
18 Q. The effects of napalm on people?
19 A. I'm not sure now whether that's the same type of napalm on the
20 same size of the bomb, and so on. I did see people with burns, but I
21 cannot say exactly what type of bomb was used.
22 Q. All right. I want you to look now, please, at a short clip from a
23 second video. The number of that is 2431.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honours should have a transcript. It's a very
25 short passage on the first page of the transcript.
1 And again, if the interpreters could just interpret what is said
2 when we get to it.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] An entire family is in the grave, an
5 entire family, father, child, and wife. They were killed by a shell.
6 MS. KORNER: Pause it there, please.
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] In the first attack by aircraft --
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Now, sir, what's that?
10 A. I think that this is a cluster bomb, although the image is not
11 very sharp.
12 Q. We'll play it, the rest of it, and I think you'll see it is.
13 [Videotape played].
14 One of those cluster bombs, here's is one of these cluster bombs.
15 It contains somewhere around 200 of these explosives. There you have it.
16 This is what they, the Chetniks, sent, humanitarian aid. You will see up
17 there, there is napalm too. That's worse than ...
18 MS. KORNER: All right.
19 Q. Now, sir, that was a cluster bomb. Tell the Court, please, what a
20 cluster bomb is.
21 A. A cluster bomb is a classic bomb which contains -- a bomb which
22 contains classic explosives, and consists of a number of smaller bombs,
23 bomblets. So it's a kind of cluster containing several bomblets. I
24 cannot recall the exact weight of it, but it could be ranging from 100 to
25 150 kilogrammes. And the Orao model aircraft would carry a cluster bomb.
1 That's the one that I saw on film, and I just wanted to inform you that I
2 did not fly that type of aircraft. A cluster bomb, I repeat again, is a
3 classic bomb. It does not contain any other chemical agents, other
4 than -- besides classic explosives. So it's a bomb containing exclusively
5 classic explosives.
6 Q. Designed to cause maximum injury and damage; that's right, isn't
8 A. All bombs are designed to cause as much injury as possible, and
9 destruction, and so one of those types of bombs is a cluster bomb.
10 Q. And to drop such a bomb on a hospital would clearly be a war
11 crime, wouldn't it?
12 A. I absolutely agree that it would be a war crime to drop such a
13 bomb on a hospital. I am a father and a grandfather, and for me, that is
15 Q. I'm not going to show it, but if Your Honours look at page 14 of
16 the video -- of the transcript, you'll see there's a reference to it.
17 All right. Thank you. Now I want to move, please, to a later or
18 different events, the SOS, their arrival in Banja Luka.
19 You told the Court yesterday, as you did in the interview, that
20 your contact with the SOS, or your first awareness of the SOS, was that
21 there was a checkpoint near the airport and you were stopped. And what
22 you said to us at page 36 was this: "They introduced themselves." How
23 did they introduce themselves?
24 A. They simply said: Sir, these are units which are checking the
25 approaches to town. They're manning the checkpoints. And please just
1 tell us where you intend to go. I responded that I was an officer, a
2 major, and that I was going to the airport. And they said: Well, no.
3 There are no problems. Please go ahead. You can pass.
4 Q. You say they said they were units. What, they told you that they
5 were units of the VRS?
6 A. Perhaps it wasn't interpreted correctly. They just said: We are
7 a unit monitoring the exits and entrances to town. They said: Where are
8 you going? I said I was an officer, I was going to the airport. And they
9 said: No. There are no problems. And I thought that the fact that they
10 were just monitoring or manning the checkpoint, I didn't think that there
11 was anything significant about that. I didn't attach too much importance
12 to it. I saw checkpoints later, throughout the war, there was a
13 checkpoint in the area of Zaluzani also, and at another place I cannot
14 recall exactly where.
15 Q. Was that the first checkpoint that you had seen preventing access
16 to the airport?
17 A. Yes. That was the first checkpoint located exactly where the road
18 from Banja Luka towards the airport ends, the four-lane road, and then it
19 turns into a dual-lane road. It becomes a more narrow road, and that's
20 where the checkpoint was located.
21 Q. Are you saying that you believed that these men were regular JNA
23 A. Since they were wearing camouflage uniforms, just like the members
24 of any army or unit throughout the former Yugoslavia and anywhere in the
25 world would wear, I assumed that it was just another land forces unit. I
1 didn't attach any significance to this. I didn't have any problems at
2 that checkpoint on the road, and then ask later why these problems
3 happened. I simply passed through. As far as I can remember, there were
4 a few cars parked on the side with the trunk of the cars open, but I
5 didn't have any problems. I was driving in a Zastava 101 vehicle, and I
6 just passed through. I didn't attach any importance to that. It wasn't
7 anything I thought that was important.
8 Q. Well, but they weren't wearing regular uniform, camouflage
9 uniform, were they? To this extent, you were asked yesterday what sort of
10 headgear they were wearing, and you said that they were wearing caps, or a
11 kind of smaller type of headgear. They were wearing red berets, weren't
13 A. At that checkpoint?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No. I don't remember them wearing red berets. They wore a kind
16 of small hat or cap which you could also -- you could put the flaps down
17 over your ears, something like that. I don't recall it being a red beret.
18 Q. Do you remember being asked about this in your interview of July
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And you can see it, if necessary. It's page 19, Your Honours.
22 You were asked: "Do you recall seeing red berets in front of the
23 municipal building, or generally in Banja Luka at that time?" "Yes, you
24 replied, not in front of the municipal building, but yes, I saw the men
25 with red berets, and in camouflage uniforms, and I thought it was some
1 unit of the 1st Krajina Corps. I took it for granted. Probably I was
2 also in a uniform, in a car with military plates and insignia. They never
3 stopped me or had any contact. I never had any contacts with them."
4 Do you remember telling us that?
5 A. Yes, something like that, yes.
6 Q. So then you were telling us they were wearing red berets. Today
7 and yesterday you tell us they weren't wearing red berets. Which is
9 A. I did not say that they had red berets at that checkpoint. That's
10 what it should have stated here. I did used to see people in camouflage
11 uniforms and with red berets around in the town. So this was not
12 specifically about that checkpoint. I didn't see people with red berets
13 perhaps in front of the municipal building, but I did see them going down
14 the streets throughout the town, and I saw them around, and I believed
15 that they belonged to some unit of the Krajina Corps. I wasn't thinking
16 of anything else. I thought it was a unit -- not a unit, but I thought
17 that they belonged to the ground forces and they had the uniforms. At
18 that point, there were different types of caps and hats, and caps were
19 something that was worn the least.
20 Q. All right. Did you know the politician Milorad Dodik?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You know who he is now, I take it.
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. So at the time, you weren't aware that he was carrying out guard
25 duties at the airport as part of his conscription; is that right? You
1 didn't know that?
2 A. At that time, I didn't know. But then later, after the war, at
3 some assembly, he stated that at the assembly that he was also a member of
4 the army and that he was at the airport. I never met him personally. I
5 don't know him personally to this day. I know of him as a politician.
6 Q. Did you see his testimony at this Court at all?
7 A. Only when I was watching the evening -- the news broadcast I saw
8 some excerpts, but I did not listen to the entire testimony. I just heard
9 a news item stating that he did testify. I apologise, but if I can
10 explain. During the day, I am mostly taking care of my grandchild. I go
11 out for walks and things. So during the day I'm not really at home much.
12 I am at home in the evenings.
13 Q. All right. The SOS didn't just set up a barricade, did they? They
14 turned up at the airport itself.
15 A. I apologise again, but I'm saying that at that first, initial
16 period, I didn't know that this was the SOS, the Serbian defence forces.
17 They probably had contacts with the commander of the airport, and that
18 Mr. Dodik was probably part of that service at the airport, and they
19 probably cooperated with them. The rear unit and the logistics unit was
20 in charge of providing security for my personnel and my equipment. I
21 didn't have any special unit or staff who guarded me and my men. This was
22 done by the logistics unit.
23 Q. Right. Sir, that day, when the SOS arrived and you were stopped
24 at the barricade, you were at the airport, weren't you, on the 3rd of
25 April, 1992?
1 A. Probably I was, yes.
2 Q. You just told us you were because you were stopped by them on the
3 way to the airport.
4 A. Yes. I was going there. Yes, I said I was at the airport.
5 Q. Are you telling us, sir, that you were wholly unaware, whilst you
6 were at the airport, that this group of men had taken over control of the
8 A. A group of people taking control of the airport, in spite of all
9 of the units that were there at the airport. I'm hearing of this for the
10 first time. Besides the police, the military police, the defence forces
11 to guard the airport, and members of the logistics base, this is something
12 that I'm hearing of for the first time.
13 Q. Well, I'm suggesting to you, sir, that that -- this is not the
14 first time that you've heard it but that they were allowed by you, the
15 military police, and everybody else at the airport, to take control.
16 A. I was in no position to permit something like that. I said that
17 before. It's possible that the military police cooperated with them, but
18 I wasn't authorised to permit them to do that, and I had no idea that they
19 had taken over. Nobody came to me and said: We have taken over the
20 airport. Nobody came to me and said anything like that. And I don't know
21 what exactly this term "taking over the airport" refers to.
22 Q. I will put it to you in the clearest possible terms, sir, that
23 they were allowed to control the flights, what took off, who was allowed
24 to take off, and the whole airport was ruled for that period of time 24
25 hours or perhaps a little longer by them. That's what I'm suggesting.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. It's possible that they were controlling the take-offs and
2 landings of civilian aircraft, but not of military aircraft. Perhaps they
3 controlled the civilian flights at that time. Perhaps that was so.
4 Q. When you got to the airport, did you make any inquiries of anybody
5 as to who these men were and why there was a barricade at the airport?
6 A. No, I didn't ask that day.
7 Q. Weren't you interested as to why the airport was being barricaded
9 A. I didn't think that the airport was being barricaded off. The
10 airport is not six kilometres away from Banja Luka. The airport was about
11 20 kilometres away from Banja Luka. The barricades ended some six to ten
12 kilometres away. I did not believe that the airport was being blocked off
13 by this barricade. The barricade was closer to Banja Luka than the
14 airport. After the barricade, there was a bridge to the right, leading to
15 Prnjavor and Derventa. I didn't believe that the barricade -- and since I
16 didn't have any problems, I didn't attach any significance to it.
17 Q. All right. You told us --
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I just wanted to --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I apologise for the interruption. I didn't
21 want it to get too far away. Page 40, line 17, there was an addition to
22 his answer that was not translated. He added at the end of the statement:
23 Perhaps that was so. The following: But I did not have any control over
24 civilian flights. And I would like to see if the witness can confirm
25 that. And again, I apologise for the interruption.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Jokic, did you hear -- did you follow what
2 Mr. Cunningham said?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And have you indeed stated this, in addition to what
5 we have on the -- in the transcript?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed, Ms. Korner. Thank you.
8 Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. You told us yesterday, sir, that a while went by before you found
11 out that these men were not affiliated to or not members of any of the 1st
12 Krajina Corps units. When did you find that out? What do you mean by "a
14 A. A while. I can say that it was approximately six months.
15 Q. I'm sorry. So are you telling us that you were wholly unaware,
16 between April and September 1992, of the SOS presence in Banja Luka?
17 A. Whether I knew about the presence of the SOS, I kept thinking that
18 it was one of the units, since they wore camouflage uniforms and
19 everything. I believe that it was one of the units of the 1st Krajina
20 Corps. Not a unit, but I felt that these were people who belonged to the
21 1st Krajina Corps. I never saw them together in a larger group. I didn't
22 see any of the units in a larger group together, say 50 or 100 men lined
23 up at one time. I didn't have the possibility of seeing something like
25 Q. You were completely unaware of the demands that they submitted to
1 the authorities of Banja Luka on the 3rd of April; is that what you're
2 telling us?
3 A. No. I didn't know. You mean the municipal, civilian authorities
4 of Banja Luka. No. No.
5 Q. You were completely unaware of the fact that one of their demands,
6 the appointment of a crisis staff, was acceded to?
7 A. No, I didn't know. If you said the date as the 3rd or the 4th of
8 April, no, I didn't know it at the time. I didn't know that there was
9 such requests on the 3rd of April. I didn't know that it had been made.
10 Q. Nenad Stevandic, you tell us, was one of the acquaintances that
11 you had made shortly after arriving in Banja Luka in 1991. He was friends
12 of friends, you told us.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. You were unaware that he was appointed to this early crisis staff
15 at the beginning of April?
16 A. No, I didn't know.
17 Q. You -- do I take it from that that you never listened to the
18 radio, never watched Banja Luka news, and never read a newspaper during
19 the -- this particular period, at the beginning of April?
20 A. Well, you can't say that I never did that. I don't know whether I
21 happened to do so then, when it was broadcast on television. I don't know
22 whether I watched television then. I told you yesterday that due to
23 technical problems and the position of the airport in relation to the
24 repeater, watched Croatian television more. We had better reception. But
25 to tell you the truth, we didn't really feel up to watching television and
1 reading newspapers that much. We were dealing with much more responsible
3 Q. When you read a newspaper, I take it it was Glas newspaper you
5 A. No. Actually, I think -- well, I did read Glas, but I think that
6 we read Vecernje Novosti, a Belgrade-based paper. I don't know how. It
7 must have been the logistics unit that managed to obtain this paper.
8 Q. Now, in 1992, you were age, I think, 38. Is that right? Sir?
9 You were born in 1944, I think?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 1946.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. In 1954.
12 MS. KORNER: 1954. Hang on, Your Honour. I'll find the date.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1955. Correction.
14 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry, he was --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: According to the Defence, he was born on 22nd of
16 October, 1946.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. I don't know how you managed that, sir. Weren't you born as you
19 told us on the 5th of December, 1955?
20 A. That is the correct date, the 5th of December, 1955, yes.
21 Q. You told the Defence you were born in October -- what was the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But the summary distributed by Mr. Cunningham shows
24 him as being born on the 22nd of October of 1946.
25 MS. KORNER: Well, it's remarkable, Your Honour, but --
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I don't know where I got that date. I thought I
2 got it off the witness sheet that we had provided to the Court. It was
3 obviously a misstatement on my part.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay, but the witness has confirmed that
5 he was born in 1955 anyways.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. In 1992 you were --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: He was 48.
9 MS. KORNER: 38, Your Honour. I think I'm right.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: 38, sorry.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes. I thought I was right.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 38.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Nenad Stevandic was a much younger man, wasn't he?
15 A. 37. I apologise. I apologise, but I was 37 in 1992.
16 Q. Nenad Stevandic was a much, much younger man, wasn't he, in his
17 very early 20s?
18 A. I don't know how old he is. I don't know when he was born. I
19 didn't know him enough.
20 Q. He's a medical student, wasn't he?
21 A. No. I mean, I can only assume that at the time he was a student,
22 because now he's a physician. He works at the medical centre in Banja
23 Luka as a physician.
24 Q. All right. And you and he became friendly, did you?
25 A. What period do you have in mind when you say we became friendly?
1 Because I was never really friends with Nenad Stevandic. We were
2 acquaintances or colleagues. It's difficult to say that we were really
3 friends. He was a very good friend of a friend of mine. We were never
4 really close, nor do we see each other now, nor did we continue to see
5 each other after the war. We may have seen each other in passing, but we
6 are not in permanent contact.
7 Q. You were aware that he headed, weren't you, something called the
8 Sokol Society?
9 A. Yes. I heard that a sports association called Sokol Society was
10 established in Banja Luka at one point, that it was an old, traditional
11 sports association, Serbian sports association, dedicated to promoting
12 sports spirit, and culture.
13 Q. It was in fact, wasn't it, to your knowledge, sir, I suggest, the
14 youth wing of the SDS party?
15 A. No. I didn't know it was the youth wing of the SDS. The Sokol
16 Society is an ancient society, dedicated to the sports and sports spirit
17 amongst the Serbian people. I was never a member of the Sokol Society. I
18 never had any contact with the Sokol Society and I didn't live in Banja
20 Q. I'm sorry. You told us you did live in Banja Luka, you had a flat
21 in Banja Luka.
22 A. I was referring to the previous 20 years. That's what I had in
23 mind. I was not a member of such a society, and there was no Sokol
24 Society in Mostar. That's what I had in mind.
25 Q. When you saw the SOS in Banja Luka, the men with red berets, did
1 you appreciate that these men were thugs and criminals?
2 A. No. Excuse me. I never thought that any of those individuals who
3 wore red berets was a criminal. I just thought that they were soldiers.
4 Q. All right. I'd like you to have a look, please, at part of a
5 report, Exhibit P400, please. And I'll give you the marked -- if you look
6 at page 5 of that report in B/C/S, and if we could have the English
7 version on the ELMO. It's the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, the 8th page. And if you,
8 sir, can look in your copy at page 5. It's the third paragraph, beginning
9 "the SOS." If you can just read it to yourself, please, and let me know
10 when you've finished.
11 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Usher. Usher, can you move it?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've read it.
13 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. You've got the -- yes, that's the part.
14 Q. Now, this is a report that was done by the chief of intelligence
15 of the VRS. Were you aware that Nenad Stevandic had, let's put it this
16 way, connections with this group of men called the SOS?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So you never discussed with him his activities in respect of
19 either political, or any others?
20 A. During the period that you are discussing, I didn't discuss
21 political activities with anyone. When I had time, I only had informal,
22 private conversations with my friends and acquaintances. I never
23 discussed politics, nor did I believe it to be appropriate to discuss
24 politics with them.
25 Q. Sir, you were completely unaware, as with everything else about
1 the SOS, of any connection between Stevandic; is that what you're telling
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. You can put -- give that document back to the usher.
5 Thank you.
6 Now, Dubocanin, the gentleman who came to ask you, with a friend,
7 to join the Crisis Staff. You told us he was somebody else that you had
8 met when you first came to Banja Luka at the end of 1991; is that right?
9 A. I don't think it was at the end of 1991, but in early 1992. I
10 couldn't tell you the precise date. Because it was a long time ago, I
11 really cannot tell you precisely when it was that I met -- that I first
12 met with someone. It's really difficult for me to recall at this point.
13 A lot of things happened between 1990 and today.
14 Q. You described him as the late Dubocanin, Slobodan Dubocanin. When
15 did he die?
16 A. Again, it is a bit awkward for me, but I simply cannot recall when
17 it was that he died. I only know that he died a natural death, but I
18 really cannot recall the year in which he died, and it would not be
19 appropriate for me to give you the wrong date. I mean --
20 Q. All right. Don't worry about that.
21 A. We have to be respectful about the dead. Lots of my friends,
22 including lots of pilots, died, and I'm getting mixed up.
23 Q. All right. What did Mr. Dubocanin do when you first met him?
24 What was his job?
25 A. I first met him -- I mean, when I first met him, I could tell by
1 his insignia that he had the rank of captain. I thought he was the
2 commander of a unit there. I never asked him precisely what he was. I
3 just thought that he was the commander of a KOV unit.
4 Q. I'm sorry. Can you just explain, before I move on: What's a KOV
6 A. It refers to land forces. KOV means land forces, a land forces
8 Q. You thought he was part of the JNA, did you?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Did you realise that he too was connected with the SOS?
11 A. There was nothing for me to realise. I didn't know at the time of
12 this SOS. I just knew that he was an officer, a captain, belonging to the
13 land forces.
14 Q. Didn't you ask him what he was a captain in?
15 A. I never asked him a specific question, but I think I remember him
16 saying that he was a commander of a unit located in Kotor Varos, to the
17 best of my recollection. A land forces unit, an infantry unit, located in
18 Kotor Varos.
19 Q. He became part, didn't he, of the squad known as the Special
20 Intervention Unit of the CSB?
21 A. I don't know the answer to that question.
22 Q. Are you telling us that at no time in your meetings with him
23 during this whole period did he ever mention to you that he was now part
24 of the Special Intervention Squad or Platoon?
25 A. First of all, the term itself, my meetings with him, I mean, I
1 never had any official meetings with him. There were lots of encounters,
2 informal encounters, with him. There were no meetings, no formal
3 meetings. This was never part of my agenda, to meet with either Dubocanin
4 or any of these people. I didn't have a lot of time to talk to people. I
5 would meet them in passing, when I went to work or when I visited my
6 family. I never had any particular meetings with a special agenda. Those
7 were simply informal encounters with friends, acquaintances, or comrades.
8 Q. You did know about the Special Intervention Squad, though, didn't
9 you; you knew that existed?
10 A. No, not at that time, but I did hear about it at some later point.
11 There was a lot of information coming from all sides. I didn't express
12 any particular interest into police units or land forces units. I was a
13 member of the air force, and we did not often mingle with other
14 structures. We were, after all, based further away from the town.
15 Airfields are normally located at some distance from the town, and I was
16 not interested in what the police was doing at the time.
17 Q. I'm sorry, sir. But you were in charge -- I don't know how many
18 times I have to put this to you, but you were in charge of this
19 operational squad. You told us yesterday that you had to meet and become
20 familiar with the political leaders and the other aspects of cooperation,
21 if you like, in Banja Luka. Now, that's the situation, isn't it. It's
22 not that you were living in isolation in this airfield.
23 A. I don't quite understand your question.
24 Q. All right. Never mind. I think it's probably more of a comment.
25 A. Can you be more precise, please?
1 Q. I'll move on.
2 When did you find out about the Special Intervention Squad, then?
3 Was that the same time that you found out about the SOS?
4 A. You mean the Special Intervention Detachment of the police.
5 Q. I do. Of the CSB in Banja Luka, when was the first time you heard
6 about them?
7 A. I don't remember the exact date. Please don't tie me to precise
8 dates. I told you already that it's difficult for me to remember the
9 dates, but I did hear later of both of them, and I know today that they
10 existed at some point in time.
11 Q. I'm trying to establish what "later" means. Do we mean in 1992 or
13 A. In late 1992, and maybe even later in respect of some other units.
14 Q. All right. Did you hear that these men were involved in some of
15 the most grave crimes that were committed, particularly in Kotor Varos?
16 A. You're referring to individual names that we discussed? What
17 people do you have in mind?
18 Q. I'll come to the people that I have in mind in a moment, but I'm
19 talking about the squad, the intervention squad as a whole.
20 A. That they committed gravest crimes, no, I didn't hear that.
21 Q. You didn't hear that. Did you hear that Mr. Dubocanin was
22 personally involved in carrying out killings and beatings in Kotor Varos?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you hear about a man named Ljuban Ecim?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you hear that he personally was involved in carrying out
2 killings and beatings in Kotor Varos?
3 A. I never heard of any specific individual. I mean, no one talked
4 about it in Banja Luka. You mentioned Dubocanin. No, I've never heard of
5 him having allegedly committed grave crimes. No one talks about that.
18 [Private session]
12 Page 24067 redacted, private session
12 Page 24068 redacted, private session
16 [Open session]
17 MS. KORNER: I think you were given a copy of your interview
18 translated and perhaps you can find the part there, which I think you've
19 had a chance to read. And if we're able to get the B/C/S up as well on
20 the screen -- can't find it. It's --
21 Q. You were asked at the top of the page, you were being asked
22 questions about General Talic, and then you were asked about the ARK
23 Crisis Staff.
24 A. Excuse me. What page?
25 Q. I can tell you in English. It's page 9. But I can't tell you in
1 B/C/S. If Mr. Cunningham's case manager has a copy there, perhaps he can
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: In the B/C/S version, it appears to be page 9,
4 line 14.
5 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. Now, sir, you were asked: When did you first hear of the ARK
9 Crisis Staff? And you said this: "The late Slobodan Dubocanin, who used
10 to be a member of the ARK Crisis Staff, whom I didn't know before, he came
11 to me at the airport," and so on and so forth.
12 Why did you tell the investigators in July 2001 that you didn't
13 know Mr. Dubocanin before he came to see you to invite you to go on the
14 Crisis Staff?
15 A. I didn't think it was necessary for him to be mentioned. I mean,
16 he had already passed away. I didn't want his name to be mentioned. I
17 mean, I didn't want to talk about him. I said I didn't know him. I
18 didn't want his name to be mentioned again, because he was deceased.
19 Q. But you mentioned his name to the investigators. Why was it going
20 to help -- or why did you think it was necessary to say you had never met
21 him before?
22 A. At the time, this is what I thought. I didn't have perhaps any
23 particular reason for that, but that was my line of reasoning at that
25 Q. Yes. You see, because you didn't just say it once; you said it
1 again at page 20. It was put to you by Mr. Koumjian, the lawyer asking
2 you questions, you said you told us you did not know Mr. Dubocanin before
3 he called you to become a member; is that correct? And you said: That's
4 correct. I didn't know him, nor did I know any of the other members of
5 the Crisis Staff.
6 So you repeated the lie. Why?
7 A. I didn't say then because it was such a surprise to me that the
8 investigators were questioning me. It was simply a new situation for me.
9 And at the time, I thought it would be good to say that, because of him,
10 because he had died. That was my opinion at the time. Now I did say it.
11 I did say that I knew him. At the time, I felt it was necessary to say it
12 like that.
13 Q. Let's take this in stages. First of all, do you agree that you
14 lied on two occasions to the investigators?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. Second: Why did you feel, because Mr. Dubocanin was dead, it was
17 necessary for you to lie and say that you hadn't met him before?
18 A. I cannot explain why. Simply, that is what I thought at the time.
19 Q. Or was it, sir, that you knew that Mr. Dubocanin was a war
20 criminal and you were trying to distance yourself from him?
21 A. No. That has nothing to do with it. First of all, we cannot say
22 that Dubocanin was a war criminal. That is not proved. I could not
23 distance myself from him, because he was dead; he couldn't say anything.
24 And I didn't commit any crimes so I have nothing to be ashamed of or
25 afraid of for the past period of my life. I could have said all bad
1 things about him, but that would no longer matter, because the man was no
2 longer alive. That was not the reason. I did not hear ever from anyone
3 that Slobodan Dubocanin had committed a crime.
4 Q. Why did you say to the investigators that you didn't know any of
5 the other members of the Crisis Staff, when you knew Mr. Stevandic?
6 A. They didn't ask me individually about the Crisis Staff members in
7 that period. Simply, when I was asked whether I knew anyone from the
8 Crisis Staff, I said: No, I did not.
9 Q. Just a minute. You were shown the same list that you were shown
10 by Mr. Cunningham yesterday, weren't you?
11 A. You mean by the investigators, when they were with me?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. No, I wasn't shown a list.
14 Q. So you're saying at that stage, were you, that you couldn't
15 remember who was a member of the Crisis Staff?
16 A. At what time? You mean at the time when the investigators were
17 talking to me? I couldn't remember all the members of the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. All right. So you just said you didn't know any of them?
19 A. That's right. I believe that it's the easiest thing to do it like
20 that, that I didn't know them. Actually, in that period when the
21 investigators were there, I knew what each one of them was, but at the
22 time when the Crisis Staff was formed, I didn't know the individual
23 members. I was just getting to know them at the meetings, except for
24 Mr. Radic. And then after the war, in the later period, I found out who
25 those people were. Every day you learn something new.
1 Q. You actually knew Mr. Radic, Mr. Dubocanin, and Mr. Stevandic
2 before you went on to the Crisis Staff, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you knew that at the time that the investigators were asking
5 you questions?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. I want to go back to what you told us today about how
8 you came to join -- told us yesterday, rather. They asked you whether you
9 would be willing to become a member, and in view of the fact that you
10 lived in the area and that you were part of that community, you thought it
11 was your obligation to cooperate with the civilian authorities. Now,
12 before you agreed to join this Crisis Staff, didn't you ask what the
13 Crisis Staff was doing?
14 A. I was just asking about what would happen at the Crisis Staff, and
15 I was told: Well, when you come to the meeting of the Crisis Staff,
16 you'll see. More or less, it's the staff that will be managing the AR
17 Krajina. So that was more or less roughly it, and I believe that once I
18 came to the meeting of the Crisis Staff, then there they would explain how
19 and what.
20 Q. But it was clear to you, wasn't it, from what you've just said,
21 that this was going to be the government of the Autonomous Region of
23 A. In that period, I didn't understand that the term would be "the
24 government." But yes, some body that would manage it. Perhaps the term
25 "government" would be suitable now, but in that period, at that time, it
1 wasn't important. I would use more the term "staff" than "government."
2 Q. All right. You were aware, were you not, of the various decrees
3 issued by the presidency to the effect that there would be Crisis Staffs,
4 then War Presidencies, and war staffs?
5 A. I think I knew about those things just superficially.
6 Q. But whether superficially or not, before you agreed to take a
7 position on this staff, weren't you obliged to consult with your
9 A. I felt that this was not essential.
10 Q. But --
11 A. And I did not consult with them.
12 Q. This was asking you to be a member of a political body. That was
13 clear to you, wasn't it, right at the beginning?
14 A. Yes, to become a member of the Crisis Staff. You know, a crisis
15 staff does not have to mean a political body. At that initial point, I
16 was just thinking of it as a crisis staff.
17 Q. Did you understand then what "crisis staff" meant?
18 A. Not that I understood it, but I assumed that this was not the
19 military component of an organisation but that it was a civilian part of
20 an organisation, that this was a civilian organisation, not a military
22 Q. Yes. I'm sorry. You understood this was a civilian organisation?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And it became absolutely clear to you, didn't it, when you
25 attended your first meeting, that this was, as you've told us, it was page
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 14, and I'm not going to bother to put it up, that all walks of life
2 effectively had to be represented on this body?
3 A. No. I understood later, seeing who was who, that -- I saw that
4 there were people there from all walks of life. So having seen who was
5 what, it turned out to be like that. There were officers, doctors, other
6 professionals, from all walks of life, there.
7 Q. And representative of the military, in the presence of Vojnovic
8 [phoen] the police, in the presence of Zupljanin, or his deputy?
9 A. I'm hearing for the first time about Mr. Vojnovic. I don't know
10 perhaps when I didn't attend the meetings, maybe some deputy attended.
11 Perhaps Vujinovic, not Vojnovic.
12 Q. Vujinovic.
13 A. Vujinovic came as the deputy of General Talic. Whether he in turn
14 had a deputy of his own, I don't know.
15 Q. All right. Now, you reported to General Ninkovic on the meetings;
16 is that correct? I think that's what you told us yesterday.
17 A. Before General Ninkovic, I informed a representative of the 5th
18 Operative Group, Lieutenant Colonel Kusturic. The group was still active
19 at the time. After that, everybody else found out this is easy to find
20 out about. I don't know how, in which way it is disseminated. But there
21 was nothing controversial about that. I didn't conceal it from anyone,
22 nor was I a member of the Crisis Staff in secret. I didn't feel that this
23 was something that had to be done in secret or that it was any kind of
24 secret work.
25 Q. I'm not suggesting for one moment that you kept it secret or that
1 it was secret work. What you told us yesterday about this, page 48 of the
2 LiveNote, was that General -- you were asked when you would speak with
3 General Ninkovic did he express any interest in the Crisis Staff and the
4 proceedings, and you said: "Yes, he did. Obviously, he knew that I was a
5 member of the Crisis Staff, but he never asked too many questions about
6 the Crisis Staff, so it's my opinion that he discussed these issues with
7 someone else, but again, I'm not sure. I cannot confirm that."
8 Do you remember saying that?
9 A. Yes. So this just confirms that perhaps it was Lieutenant Colonel
10 who - Kusturic - who conveyed it.
11 Q. I just want to look, please, at some of the issues that arose --
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we broke slightly early, so I don't know
13 whether Your Honour wants to break at this stage.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to you, Ms. Korner. If it's more convenient
15 for you to have a break now, we'll have a break now.
16 MS. KORNER: We may as well, Your Honour, because I'm going to go
17 over some of the issues at the meetings.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You will try and finish?
19 MS. KORNER: Yes, I will.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Thank you. So we don't need to have
21 more -- less than 25-minutes break.
22 MS. KORNER: If Your Honour can make it 20 minutes so to ensure
23 that I finish.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that okay with the interpreters and -- okay. So
25 20-minutes break starting from now. So that means we resume at 12.35,
1 12.35. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Sir, I wanted to go over some of the aspects of the meetings of
7 the Crisis Staff. You thought that you had attended meetings for
8 approximately a month and a half after the first one; is that right?
9 A. Approximately, yes.
10 Q. And in the absence of your notebook or workbook, you can't give us
11 any exact dates or period of time, can you?
12 A. No, I cannot.
13 Q. You told the investigators in Banja Luka - this is page 12 of the
14 interview - that, when you were asked how often the meetings were held: "I
15 cannot give you precise data, but I would say it was about three meetings
16 per week."
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. So even though you yourself didn't attend all the meetings,
19 because you said you attended four or five, because of the notification
20 you were getting, you were aware that these meetings were being held
21 fairly regularly?
22 A. Yes. I received notifications, but I didn't attend.
23 Q. There were two types of meetings, from what you've said. There
24 was the meeting, if I can put it this way, of the core regional Crisis
25 Staff? That's the 15 people named on the list that you were shown
1 yesterday and then other people from the municipalities, leaders of the
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Now, you also told us that you stopped attending because, as far
5 as you were concerned, very little that was discussed had anything to do
6 with your professional duties, as an air force officer.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. I'd like you to have a look at a couple of decisions, please.
9 Could you be handed P227. I don't know whether you were given that as
10 part of the bundle.
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I believe there's a B/C/S version of that in his
13 MS. KORNER: Good. Right.
14 Q. If you open your notebook, sir, you'll find P227. And could you
15 have on it, please, the second document. Could you open for you, sir, the
16 second decision, as it were, and it's page 3 of the English. That's the
17 list that you already had. The people that you knew before were, you've
18 told us, certainly Mr. Stevandic, Mr. Dubocanin, Predrag Radic. Are there
19 anybody else, and obviously General Talic. Is there anybody else there
20 that you knew before you attended the meetings you had met?
21 A. People I knew by sight, such as Mr. Bulic, for instance, actually,
22 whom I later learnt to be Mr. Bulic.
23 Q. Vukic or Bulic?
24 A. Bulic.
25 Q. Bulic?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Number 16.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes.
3 Q. And you knew -- did you know Dr. Mijanic? Milanovic, sorry.
4 A. Not before these meetings.
5 Q. All right. Now, can we move on, please. Can you go, then, to the
6 next item, number 3, which was the 6th of May meeting conclusions. And
7 you'll find that -- have you found that, sir? It's at the bottom of the
8 second page in the B/C/S. Do we see -- do you see under paragraph -- or
9 conclusion number 5, the Laktasi Territorial Defence is to provide
10 security at the Banja Luka airport by placing a barrier immediately
11 alongside the main road and by prohibiting access to the airport to
12 persons who do not possess a special permit"? Now, first of all, sir,
13 that is a decision, isn't it, that would be something that could have an
14 effect on you or your command?
15 A. No. That decision - I see it for the first time - did not have
16 any effect on me. I don't understand in what way it could have affected
18 Q. Because it affects access to the airport, doesn't it?
19 A. Well, according to the wording here, yes. If there's a swing
20 gate, then the access to the airport is under control.
21 Q. And that is something that would have an effect on you and the men
22 who were going to the airport.
23 A. Yes. Again, if there's a swing gate, one has to stop at the swing
25 Q. Right. Now, did the Kosmos air force complex have anything to do
1 with you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What was the Kosmos air force complex?
4 A. Air force institute Kosmos existed even before, at the time of the
5 former JNA. I believe it still exists, and it is in charge of technical
6 maintenance, maintenance of radars, for instance, and other technical
7 equipment; not aircraft, but all other technical equipment. I couldn't
8 tell you precisely what technical equipment they are in charge of.
9 Q. And you used technical equipment, didn't you, in your squad, your
11 A. Well, we used aircraft. That was our technical equipment.
12 Q. All right. So, for example, can you go now, please, to number 9,
13 the meeting of the 13th of May, and look at paragraph number 10, or
14 conclusion number 10. Do you see there: Lieutenant Colonel Sajic is to
15 produce an analysis of the situation at the Kosmos air force complex?
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Korner. Madam Registrar, I see it's
18 not only mine, it's only Judge Taya's, but not -- we have a blackout in
19 the LiveNote. Not Judge Janu's. Judge Janu's is working. Here
20 everything has disappeared. It's blacked out completely.
21 Sorry, Ms. Korner, to interrupt you.
22 MS. KORNER: Not at all.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But I always -- it's important for me to have both
24 running, because in the LiveNote, I can shift to previous pages, while in
25 this one I cannot, and I can check as the witness goes along by checking
1 from previous sittings as well, which I can't do on the other monitor. So
2 I am sorry about that, about that interruption. Please go ahead.
3 MS. KORNER: Right.
4 Q. All right. Now, and that's explained, if you look at the meeting
5 which is at number 12 in this gazette, the 18th of May. It's page 22 in
6 the English, and it's 14, conclusion 14 of the meeting of the 12th of May.
7 I'm sorry, of the 18th of May. Do you see there item 14: "For the time
8 being, the 5th corps is to take over the Kosmos air force maintenance and
9 production complex until the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina comes to a final decision."
11 So it looks like it was a production complex as well. Would you
12 agree with that?
13 A. It was probably a production complex, because they probably should
14 produce spare parts that are needed for other facilities or equipment. But
15 I'm really not sure. I'm not familiar with the work of the institute.
16 Q. All right. Well, let's go to one that clearly, directly, does
17 affect you, that is, 21st of May. It's number 14 in the gazette, which I
18 hope you -- it's on page 11 of the B/C/S. Item number 8: "Transport of
19 civilians by military airports and helicopters from Banja Luka airport is
20 suspended until further notice. This decision has been made because, due
21 to general circumstances, no one can guarantee the safety of air travel or
22 military aircraft. The civilian air transport between Banja Luka and
23 Belgrade will continue, according to the established timetable."
24 Now, do you agree that decision has a direct effect on you and
25 other members of the air force?
1 A. I agree that it has an effect on other members of the air force.
2 However, the term "military aircraft" and "combat aircraft" are not one
3 and the same thing. I think that when they say "military aircraft," they
4 probably refer to transport aircraft, because you cannot transport
5 anything in a combat aircraft.
6 Q. All right. The situation was this, wasn't it: That the airport
7 was being besieged by people, non-Serbs, trying to leave Banja Luka?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Described -- I don't know that I need to show you the report.
10 It's DB273. It's actually a Defence exhibit, in a 5th Krajina Corps
11 document of the 7th of May, of several thousand people come every day to
12 the Mahovljani airfield, demanding to leave Banja Luka, and you'd agree
13 with that, do you?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And so was this what was happening, that in fact some of them were
16 being allowed to leave on military aircraft, and this was an order
17 preventing it?
18 A. I don't know about this. Again, we, as a combat unit, were
19 located at a different part of the airport. This was a separate unit,
20 containing combat aircraft. As for this other part of the airport where
21 civilians had access, and when people who wanted to leave were gathering
22 at the time, did not have any effect on us, on our work. The airport
23 consists of two parts. I was stationed at the part where combat aircraft
24 were located. As for civilian aircraft, they used the other part of the
25 airport, and that part didn't have any effect on the work of my unit.
1 Q. Yes, but you see, what you said to the Court yesterday was that
2 the reason that you left was because none of the decisions that were being
3 taken at these meetings seemed to have anything to do with the air force.
4 Do you now agree, in hindsight, that that was wrong?
5 A. The term "air force," I used it -- I understood it to mean my
6 unit, my combat aircraft unit.
7 Q. All right. So what you're trying to say is that the decisions
8 themselves didn't actually, as it were, put you into combat?
9 A. No, not at any moment.
10 Q. Absolutely. Can I -- I'm not suggesting for one moment that
11 you're wrong in that. Any order putting you into combat had to come from
12 your direct chain of command?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. You see, one of the things you were asked about was this business
15 of dismissals, and you said that is the one thing you do recall being
16 discussed at these meetings.
17 A. Dismissals from the unit, you mean, from my unit?
18 Q. Well, firstly let's take it generally. Dismissals of non-Serbs
19 from posts in companies.
20 A. I remember that there were discussions to that effect; however, I
21 cannot accept the term "non-Serbs." This concerned persons who were not
22 loyal to Republika Srpska, because there were individuals who were not
23 Serbs but who were loyal. This is the distinction that I wanted to point
25 Q. The reality was, wasn't it, that those not loyal to the Serbian
1 Republic meant Muslims, Croats, and a handful of Serbs who still adhered
2 to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. You mean a handful of non-Serbs?
4 Q. No. I mean --
5 A. Not Serbs.
6 Q. I mean a handful of Serbs, the people who would not take an oath
7 of loyalty to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is what
8 was meant, wasn't it?
9 A. No. I think that a large number of Serbs pledged loyalty to the
10 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large number of Serbs. That
11 is what you asked me.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. If a large number of Serbs -- of course they --
14 Q. It's not what I asked you. There's a misunderstanding. I'm
15 suggesting to you, sir, that the people who were being removed, the
16 persons who were not loyal to the Serbian Republic, were the Muslims, who
17 wouldn't take the oath to the Serbian Republic. Do you agree?
18 A. I do, in most of the cases.
19 Q. The Croats?
20 A. I agree.
21 Q. And there were some Serbs, not many, but some, who also refused to
22 take an oath of loyalty to the Serbian Republic?
23 A. I would assume so.
24 Q. I want to ask you about this: On the 9th of June, you would still
25 have been attending the meetings of the Crisis Staff, wouldn't you?
1 A. I could accept that. Once again, I cannot be tied to precise
3 Q. I want you to look, please, at P1582. All right. You know, we
4 give a list with a reason, so that the documents can be put aside.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't have it. It's not on the list that we had.
6 MS. KORNER: Isn't it? All right. In that case, I'm sorry,
7 Your Honours. It's my fault, then. Perhaps I can put it. Here's for the
8 witness, and we can put that -- I'm sorry for the markings, but we can put
9 that on the ELMO. You're quite right. I take it back. It's my fault. I
10 didn't put it on the list.
11 Q. Now, sir, I fully accept you probably won't have seen this before,
12 but this is a report on the meeting held on the 9th of June, 1992, which
13 is being submitted to the Main Staff, and it says: "One of the issues
14 that was discussed at yesterday's session was the general personnel policy
15 in the army 1st Krajina Corps. It was stated that within the units of the
16 1st Krajina Corps and the logistics base, the units of" -- it says RV i
17 PVO. Do you agree that means air force and anti-aircraft defence in Banja
18 Luka garrison? "There are 67 officers of Muslim or Croatian nationality.
19 An ultimatum was issued requesting removal of these persons from vital and
20 command posts by the 15th of June, 1992, or they will take over the
21 control of the armed forces. We consider their demands to be justified,"
22 and so on and so forth. That's a report. I'm sorry, usher. You'll have
23 to put it up. I need to see who signed it. I think it was Vujinovic, or
24 Talic. No. All right. Sorry. Vukelic, Colonel Vukelic.
25 Now, sir, do you remember being present at the meeting where this
1 ultimatum was given that all Muslim and Croat officers in the air force
2 should be removed before the 15th of June?
3 A. No. I didn't attend that. I don't recall attending that meeting.
4 And I'm seeing this document for the first time.
5 Q. I appreciate you're seeing that document for the first time, but
6 are you sure you weren't there at that meeting on the 9th of June, when
7 this ultimatum was given by the Crisis Staff?
8 A. I can say that I wasn't there, with a great degree of certainty.
9 It's difficult to say anything a hundred per cent definitely, but it's
10 probable that I did not attend that one.
11 Q. Well, anything is probable. Sir, without your notebook, we don't
12 know. But do you agree, as obviously Colonel Vukelic did, that this was a
13 matter of such importance that it would have to be reported to your
15 A. I didn't receive any written information on which I should report
16 to my superiors. Why would I -- this is the first time that I'm seeing
17 the document. Why would I be reporting to my Superior Command if I didn't
18 receive the document? It's more likely that I would be informed by my
19 Superior Command about something like that.
20 Q. No. Look, if you had been present at this meeting, and we don't
21 know one way or the other, and you had been told this, this was something
22 you would have to have reported to your superiors, wouldn't it, to your
24 A. I did not have to report it.
25 Q. Are you saying that, as the representative of the air force on the
1 Crisis Staff, where a decision is made to give an ultimatum to the air
2 force and to the army, that the Muslim or Croat officers should be removed
3 or there was a threat that they would take over control, that was not
4 something that you would have had to have reported to your superiors?
5 A. I did not attend that meeting, and we can just talk about
6 assumptions now.
7 Q. No, it is not an assumption. Even -- I'm sorry. If you had been
8 present at that meeting and something like this had happened, would it
9 have been your obligation to report it to your superiors? That's not a
10 difficult question.
11 A. No, it's not difficult, and I will give an answer easily, and I
12 said yesterday as well that I did not consider it my duty to inform my
13 superiors about anything concerning the work of the Crisis Staff, neither
14 did anybody request me to do that.
15 Q. Well, you told us that General Ninkovic was asking you about what
16 happened, until such time as clearly he was having contacts with other
17 people. Do you agree with that?
18 A. He would ask superficially. He never insisted on anything
19 specific. I told you that he knew that I was a member, but he didn't
20 insist on anything in particular. He didn't ask me to report on anything
21 from the work of the meeting. There's nothing controversial about that.
22 You can check that with him as well.
23 Q. Let's just get this straight. As far as you were concerned,
24 because nobody had ordered you to report what had happened at these
25 meetings, you didn't feel that anything that happened, even something as
1 dramatic as this, if you had been present, had to be reported. Is that
2 really what you're telling this Court?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. That's simply not so, is it?
5 A. I am saying again, I did not attend the meeting. I don't know how
6 I would have behaved had I been present at the meeting and received this
7 piece of paper. I don't know how I would have behaved. This is an
8 assumption now. But other things that were discussed at the meeting did
9 not relate specifically to the air force. I'm speaking mostly about my
10 unit. And I considered that there was no need to report those things. I
11 am repeating: Had I attended such a meeting and received a paper like
12 this, from this point in time, perhaps I would have gone to my commander
13 and asked him what should I do. But this is something that I'm saying
14 now. The proof of this is that in my unit there continued to be non-Serb
16 Q. So you say. The point that I'm trying to make, sir, is this: It
17 is not correct, is it, to say that no decisions taken at this meeting had
18 any impact or any effect upon the air force?
19 A. My opinion is that it -- they did not.
20 Q. And isn't it the fact that the reason that you stopped going was
21 effectively, it was General Ninkovic who was having the contacts with the
22 leadership, the political leadership in Banja Luka, and that's why you
23 stopped going?
24 A. Yes, you could put it that way, because I felt he had become the
25 commander of the air force, and my role, I was a major of lower rank and I
1 was already being transferred to flight control. So I thought that I
2 should not really be dabbling there where it was no longer my place to
3 dabble. That was my opinion.
4 Q. And finally, sir, this: At each of the meetings at which you
5 attended, Mr. Brdjanin presided over those meetings?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Mr. Brdjanin controlled those meetings, the agenda?
8 A. I think that he did. He probably did control that.
9 Q. And as you've told us in interview, he was, by virtue of his
10 position in the Crisis Staff, an extremely important man in the region.
11 A. No. I said that the position of the president of the Crisis
12 Staff, I considered that position to be an important position in the AR
13 Krajina. I did not say that Mr. Brdjanin himself was an important person
14 in the ARK, but that the function, the post itself, was an important one.
15 Q. All right. I think that will -- I think -- but I can't
16 probably -- that will do. Thank you very much, sir.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I thank you, Ms. Korner.
18 Is there re-examination, Mr. Cunningham?
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Very briefly, your permission, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
21 Re-examined by Mr. Cunningham:
22 Q. Ms. Korner asked you a number of questions about
23 Mr. Slobodan Dubocanin. Do you know whether or not, during this time
24 period, and the time period is going to be before May of 1992, whether
25 Mr. Dubocanin was a -- was in the army or military?
1 A. I said that when I saw him on one occasion, he wore the insignia
2 of a captain's rank. So this indicated to me that he was an officer.
3 Q. And prior to 5 May 1992, did you have any discussions with him,
4 Mr. Dubocanin, about his military service in 1991 or 1992?
5 A. No, we didn't really discuss anything in detail. We didn't
6 discuss the service at all.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's all I have.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So there are no further questions --
11 [Technical difficulty]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: What was this? Except one.
13 [Questioned by the Court]
14 I have a great doubt still lingering in my mind about the way you
15 behaved as far as the meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff are concerned. You
16 know, because you had an opportunity to see this for yourself, that as far
17 as the army was concerned, when General Talic decided he couldn't attend,
18 there was a representative of the army, a substitute. When Zupljanin,
19 representing the police security, could not attend, there was a
20 substitute. He sent a substitute. But when you decided you couldn't
21 attend or there was no need for you to attend, it did not occur to your
22 mind to send a substitute or to discuss with your superiors your
23 replacement with a substitute for one or more of these meetings.
24 And I also followed the way you answered certain questions that
25 were put to you by Ms. Korner in particular, which are indicative that you
1 thought you were free to decide for yourself and for the air force
2 differently than what others who had a superior rank than you had decided
3 was really opportune, giving the circumstances. How come? Did you think
4 you were not accountable to anyone, that you could decide for yourself,
5 while others didn't think so?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said before that I believed that I
7 did not have the duty to report back, because I wasn't -- I didn't become
8 a member of the Crisis Staff by any type of military order. I simply
9 became a member voluntarily, if I may put it like that. I believe that at
10 the meetings that I attended, there were no crucial things or anything --
11 very important things. When I attended the meetings, the Crisis Staff
12 mostly dealt with civilian issues, so I did not consider that I had any
13 kind of obligation to report back, and nobody asked me to refer back to
14 them. None of my superiors, or told me that this was a duty of mine. I
15 didn't have a certain deputy either who would go to attend the meetings in
16 my place when I had some other obligations. I simply believed that none
17 of that was essential.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Seeing that General Talic was sending his
19 replacement, seeing that Zupljanin was sending his replacement, didn't it
20 occur to you that you should have acted as responsibly as they did and
21 show more respect to the ARK Crisis Staff, rather than absent yourself and
22 account to nobody?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am saying again: I simply
24 perhaps -- at this point, it seems as if I was demonstrating some kind of
25 disrespect for the Crisis Staff in not sending a substitute. But I'm
1 saying it again: No one asked me to do that. And the next time when I
2 would appear, nobody would remark or object to the fact that I didn't come
3 or that nobody else came in my place. I simply did not believe that any
4 of that was an obligation of mine.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Before Ninkovic became your superior, what was his
6 rank? Was it a rank inferior to yours?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. On arrival in Banja Luka, I
8 already saw on Ninkovic's uniform the rank of Major General, so he had a
9 higher rank than I did. I was a major, and General Ninkovic was a
11 JUDGE AGIUS: When did he become a Major General?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you precisely. He
13 served in Mostar. We worked there together. And when I left Mostar, he
14 was a colonel. When he arrived at Banja Luka, he was a general. So I
15 couldn't really tell you the exact date when he became a general.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Judge Taya has one question for you.
17 JUDGE TAYA: After the Dayton Agreement, did you think that it
18 would become more likely to be questioned about the responsibilities of
19 the ethnic cleansing? I'm speaking responsibility in general, not your
20 responsibilities specifically.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. That year when the Dayton
22 Agreement was signed, I didn't believe that there would be any
23 responsibility or accountability for ethnic cleansing. I really wasn't
24 very much interested in things like that, and I didn't spend much time
25 dealing with that. I really only wanted to forget this war as soon as
2 JUDGE TAYA: The fact that you threw away your notebook just after
3 the Dayton Agreement have any connection with such a kind of concern?
4 A. It has nothing to do with that. I can say that openly and
5 clearly. I simply believed that these were just unnecessary things which
6 were just cluttering up my living space.
7 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One final question. Did you have any relative
9 working in Omarska camp in 1992, also having your name, Jokic?
10 A. I don't know that. I can say, though, that in Krajina, there are
11 many people with the last name Jokic. In Banja Luka itself, there are
12 people, seven people, who are with the last name Jokic and with the first
13 name Zoran. So there are seven Zoran Jokics in Banja Luka who are
14 actually listed in the phone book.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That brings us to the end of your testimony
16 here, Mr. Jokic. Very soon, our usher will escort you out of this
17 courtroom. But before you leave us, I should like to thank you on behalf
18 of Judge Janu and Judge Taya, and on behalf of the Tribunal in general,
19 for having come over to give testimony in this case against
20 Radoslav Brdjanin. You will receive all the attention and assistance you
21 require to enable you to return home at the earliest possible opportunity.
22 Before you leave, on behalf of everyone present here, I wish you a safe
23 journey back home.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now --
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think we're under the impression that
3 we're not sitting tomorrow, therefore.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the impression that I have.
5 MS. KORNER: Right.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless we really need to sit. But I have seen the
7 summaries that I have here, except that I don't think that the next
8 witness we have the summary of. I don't think so.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's because he hasn't been interviewed yet,
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm not sure when that is going to take place.
13 It may be today, the first thing in the morning.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Has he arrived?
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He has arrived and I've talked with your support
16 staff to get the summary to them as soon as possible, as well as some
17 other documents that the Court is awaiting.
18 MS. KORNER: Can I just ask, Your Honour, if it turns out as they
19 don't know what he's going to say that they don't intend to call him,
20 perhaps they can let us know in advance.
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I think we can do that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham, and I thank you,
23 Ms. Korner, for the suggestion.
24 That would leave us with another two witnesses, and I take it
25 we'll be hearing their testimony via videolink on Friday. Is that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's my understanding, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's still on, in other words.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: It is, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, then. Okay.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we think one of them may have protective
7 measures, so if that's the case it will have to be in closed, I think, one
8 of them.
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I think there is an application for protective
11 MS. KORNER: For both.
12 MR. CUNNINGHAM: For both of them.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Which would be granted in any case. So
14 you don't have to worry about that. As long as we are satisfied that they
15 should be covered or protected, we will do that.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the thing that we haven't yet heard,
17 Mr. Ackerman undertook to provide the medical certificates, untranslated,
18 which we haven't had yet.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: We heard from CLSS, and my famed case manager
20 says they will be ready tomorrow.
21 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner. Sorry.
23 MS. KORNER: No. And I'd just like to say, Your Honour, this:
24 That although I'm prepared to be fairly lenient in respect of the expert's
25 report, Mr. Ackerman did say that it was going to be given to us Thursday,
1 and I would really like it to be given, if it's intended that he testify
2 on the 9th of February, I do think that at least two weeks ought to be
3 given to us to consider his report.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough, Ms. Korner.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, in light of the fact that I'm going to the
6 site of the videolink to proof the witnesses, if I could suggest to
7 Ms. Korner that she have direct contact with Mr. Ackerman, because my
8 contact with him between now and Thursday will be pretty limited. So I'll
9 relay the message, but I think she should contact --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I have, and the answer is at the moment
11 is that nobody seems to know. But Your Honour there has to come a point
12 where I will be asking Your Honours to make a ruling. I mean, this is a
13 major historian, and as with Mr. Treanor, we do need time to consider it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And the Rules are the Rules, so if anyone insists on
15 those Rules, they will have to be applied. So what I think could be done,
16 I will ask my Senior Legal Officer to contact Mr. Ackerman and to press on
17 him the importance of -- will you take care of that and ask Mr. Roberts or
18 Mr. von Hebel to do that?
19 Which leaves us with one thing. I take it your client will not be
20 giving evidence, Mr. Cunningham?
21 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I believe so. I think the Court is absolutely
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll meet again on Thursday.
24 Thursday, I think -- let me check. I don't want to make the same mistake
25 as yesterday. Chuqing, Thursday we are meeting at 9.00, in this same
1 courtroom, Courtroom III. And on Friday, the Registrar has arranged --
2 you know we had that problem with the two halls. She has arranged that
3 we'll be meeting throughout the whole day if necessary in this courtroom.
4 So Courtroom III is being made available. Very kindly, the Trial Chamber
5 of Hadzihasanovic accepted to move to another Chamber so we can work here
6 all day without the hassle and the problem of having to move equipment
7 from one room to the other. All right? I thank you all, and I'll see you
8 in two days' time. Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.26 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of
11 January 2004, at 9.00 a.m.