1 Wednesday, 3 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Morning.
6 Mr. Djurdjic.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Our
8 next witness is General Djordje Curcin.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, sir.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Would you please read aloud the affirmation.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
17 I believe Mr. Djurdjic has some questions for you.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 WITNESS: DJORDJE CURCIN
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Djurdjic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. Would you please kindly
23 introduce yourself for the record and give us your basic personal
25 A. Good morning, everyone. I was born on the 19th of July, 1945, in
1 Vojvodina, Serbia.
2 Q. Thank you. I didn't hear your full name, though.
3 A. Djordje Curcin.
4 Q. General, you provided a statement to the Defence team of
5 General Ojdanic on the 24th of August, 2007, and you signed it. Do you
6 stand by that statement given on the 24th of August, 2007?
7 A. Yes, fully.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I ask for the document
9 D006-0405 to be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit Number D00533. Thank you, Your
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, on the 5th and on the 6th of October, 2007, you
15 testified in the Milutinovic case before this Court. In proofing for
16 today's testimony you reviewed that transcript. Now I have to ask you:
17 If you were asked the same questions today, would you provide the same
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I ask for the
21 document D010-0885 under seal to be admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE PARKER: The transcript of the evidence of the witness in
23 the Milutinovic trial will be received under seal.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be received as Exhibit
25 Number D00556 -- and correction to the previous document, that is
1 document D006-0405 shall be received as Exhibit Number D00553, not 533.
2 JUDGE PARKER: 33.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, thank you, Your Honours.
4 Let me just say that again on record. The previous document
5 shall be received as Exhibit Number D00553, whilst the later document
6 which is D010-0885 shall be received as D00554 under seal. Thank you,
7 Your Honours.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we also have a
9 redacted version of the transcript, Exhibit D011-2017. I tender this
10 document as well.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It too will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be received as Exhibit Number D00555.
13 Thank you, Your Honours.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will now present a
15 summary of the statement of General Djordje Curcin.
16 The witness is a colonel-general in the Army of Yugoslavia, now
17 retired. Pursuant to a decree of the president of the FRY on the 28th of
18 December, 1998, he was transferred to the General Staff of the Army of
19 Yugoslavia, and in the period from 8th to 13th January he assumed the
20 duties of the chief of the first administration in the section for
21 operations and staff affairs of the General Staff. He will give evidence
22 of his experiences and daily operative reports. He supervised and
23 monitored the situation along the state border, and he will share with us
24 his knowledge on the violations of the border regime as well as
25 information that he gleaned from combat reports drawn up by strategic
1 groupings, especially reports of 3rd Army that he studied on a daily
3 The witness will testify that the first administration, as part
4 of their section for operative and staff affairs, represents the staff
5 and is a co-ordination body of the General Staff. He will describe the
6 method of functioning of the General Staff, the section for operations
7 and staff affairs, and the first administration. He will give evidence
8 about his attendance at and the knowledge he had from attending meetings
9 of the General Staff and the Supreme Command during the war. He was
10 involved in drawing up plans, issuing orders and other important
11 documents of the Supreme Command Staff. He will also speak about the
12 level of combat-readiness of the Army of Yugoslavia in the course of
13 1999. He will speak in greater detail about the method of producing
14 combat reports of the Supreme Command Staff and the reports of the combat
15 groups received by the Supreme Command Staff with an emphasis on the 3rd
17 He will give evidence in particular about the meeting of the
18 General Staff that discussed the plan of preventing the forced arrival
19 into the territory of Kosovo and Serbia of NATO forces. As member of the
20 Supreme Command Staff, he personally was involved in the drawing up of
21 instructions, plans, telegrams, documents, orders, et cetera. The
22 witness will also give evidence about the method of safekeeping of and
23 handling of sensitive documentation, as well as the operation of the
24 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, including co-operation with
25 international organisations and monitoring missions. The witness will
1 also tell us that the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia and the
2 Army of Yugoslavia never had a plan, an order, or any such document that
3 would involve plans to instigate or order or aid and abet crimes and
4 terror against the population of ethnic Albanians in the territory of the
5 autonomous province of Kosovo. Such plans could never have existed
6 without the knowledge of this witness. The witness will explain to us
7 the command system of the Army of Yugoslavia, the system of reporting
8 along the chain of command, and he will familiarise us with the
9 mobilisation that took place in March 1999.
10 The witness will share with us his knowledge about the training
11 given to the troops of the Army of Yugoslavia on international
12 humanitarian law in 1999 and during the entire aggression. He will
13 explain that the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia and the Supreme
14 Command Staff applied all the norms governing the knowledge, observation,
15 and application of international governance and international
16 humanitarian law, through workshops and orders of the General Staff and
17 the Supreme Command Staff. The witness will also tell us that the
18 General Staff of the VJ and the Supreme Command Staff always supported
19 the peaceful option in resolving the problem of the autonomous province
20 of Kosovo and Metohija.
21 Q. General, could you please tell us briefly about all the positions
22 you occupied in your military career?
23 A. Upon completing the military academy in Belgrade and Sarajevo, I
24 was first commander of the recruits platoon in Bileca and the instructor
25 in training practice -- in target practice. Then I was company
1 commander, deputy battalion commander, commander of the recruits platoon
2 at the military academy, and tactics instructor to cadets at the military
3 academy. After that I was battalion commander, an operations officer in
4 a brigade, operations officer in a corps, operations officer on army
5 level, and General Staff level. In the meantime, I discharged other
6 duties such as commander of the Guards Motorised Regiment, Motorised
7 Brigade, group of brigades, and some other duties. My last and highest
8 two positions were operations officer in the 1st Army for five and a half
9 years, and just before my retirement, starting with early 1999, I was
10 chief of the first operations administration at the General Staff and the
11 Supreme Command Staff. I was retired on the 30th of September, 2001, in
12 the rank of lieutenant-general or, in Western terms, three-star general.
13 Q. Thank you. We heard that in the beginning of 1999 you joined the
14 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. Could you tell us briefly about
15 the organisation of the General Staff at the time when you arrived and
16 about the role played by the General Staff.
17 A. The General Staff is the highest professional organ of the Army
18 of Yugoslavia. It's the highest staff and professional organ preparing
19 the army for war. At that time the General Staff had the following
20 organisational units: A section for operations and staff affairs; a
21 section of the ground forces; a section of the navy; air force section;
22 section for recruitment, mobilisation, and replenishment; logistics
23 sector; and independent administration; intelligence administration;
24 administration for morale. Those are the most important units, but there
25 was also the office of the Chief of the General Staff and a section,
1 later administration, for relations with international military
2 representatives and organisations. Those are the main organisational
3 units of the General Staff at the time.
4 Q. Thank you. You were in the operations and staff sector --
5 section. Could you tell us briefly about the role of that section, and
6 in particular the assignments of the first administration which you
8 A. The operations and staff affairs section had two administrations:
9 The first, operations department; and the second, finance. There was
10 also a section for operations and staff affairs that serviced the chief.
11 I was head of the first administration, but also deputy chief of the
12 operations and staff affairs department. It actually serviced the entire
13 General Staff and the Chief of the General Staff, providing all the
14 necessary documents, evaluations, proposals, et cetera. The first
15 administration ...
16 Q. Did you want to say something more about the first
18 A. I'm just waiting for the transcript, for the typing to finish.
19 I'll go on. The first administration was also inter-branch and
20 inter-departmental. It had -- it included representatives of all
21 branches and arms of service to be able to service the whole army. It
22 had several organisational units within it. One of them dealt
23 exclusively with planning the employment of the army and other systems.
24 Without that unit, no plan could be made, and that unit kept in a special
25 place all the plans. Then there was another organisational units in
1 charge of combat-readiness of the Army of Yugoslavia. And when I say
2 "Army of Yugoslavia," I mean the command, the entire system, and all
4 There was a section, a unit, for border service because at that
5 time it was the Army of Yugoslavia that secured the state border along
6 its entire length, over 2.000 kilometres, outside of border crossings,
7 and populated areas. In populated areas and at border crossings, the
8 security for the state border was provided by a special organisational
9 unit of the Ministry of the Interior.
10 The administration included several more organisational units,
11 such as the unit for operations and staff affairs, for a survey, land
12 survey, because the land survey institute was subordinated to that unit
13 and they made all the maps. There was also a bookkeeping department,
14 keeping record of all the incoming and outgoing documents of the
15 General Staff. As you can conclude from what I've said so far, this was
16 a very complex organisation with many components, over 60 of them --
17 Q. Thank you. I'm just interested -- we covered the organisation
18 before the war. During the war, just very briefly, were there any
19 changes in the organisational structure in the General Staff?
20 A. Yes, there were. What I just described was the peacetime
21 structure. In the event of war, there was a wartime structure which had
22 been laid down much earlier. Each officer who in that situation, in
23 wartime, received a wartime assignment in the Supreme Command Staff had a
24 special order for that. This is probably a unique example that the
25 General Staff is larger in peacetime than the Supreme Command Staff
1 during wartime. This is for specific reasons, primarily because of the
2 capacity of the command post and the long time required to stay there
3 without going in or out because there was a special procedure for that.
4 So that the size of all the organisational units and the Supreme Command
5 Staff was actually reduced in order for it to be more efficient during
6 its 24-hour work, during the 78 days of the war.
7 Q. Thank you. During the war, the Supreme Command Staff also
8 changed its name. Did the organisational units also change their names
9 during the war?
10 A. Yes. This is something that is regulated with the wartime
11 assignment, even though this was not done according to some legal
12 framework. Previously there had been a Supreme Command Staff and a
13 Supreme Command; however, after some changes and the break-up of
14 Yugoslavia, all the laws were not adopted in time. So we worked as if
15 they were because we needed to function in a time when the country was
16 attacked. The organisational units also changed their structure because
17 they were smaller. So, for example, the sector for administration -- the
18 sector became an administration and so on. For example, the sector
19 became the administration for staff and operations affair, while the
20 operations administration became a section. And this is what happened
21 throughout the army in all the other sectors.
22 I also would like to remark that there was some changes made and
23 that independent administrations became parts of former sections. For
24 example, the second intelligence administration became a special sector,
25 became a staff operations administration, and was tightly connected with
1 the operations administration or the operations section. So on the basis
2 of their monitoring the situation, we drafted our orders in order to
3 stream-line our work more. So this was one way. The Chief of the
4 General Staff resolved this by making the appropriate wartime
6 Q. Thank you. I would now like to look at Exhibit D179.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, would you permit us
8 to provide the witness with a binder containing the hard copies of all
9 the documents in order that we could go through them more efficiently?
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And you can just open up the binder so that you can use the
13 documents. We're looking at tab 1. This is document D179.
14 Sir, we are now looking at the directive for the engagement of
15 the Army of Yugoslavia in order to prevent the forced introduction of a
16 multi-national NATO brigade in KiM. It's dated the 16th of January,
17 1999. Can you please tell us whether you took part in the drafting of
18 this directive?
19 A. Yes, I did. I personally participated, and I drafted a part of
20 the -- actually, and some members of the operations administration
21 because this document was being kept there as well.
22 Q. Who else participated in the drafting of this directive?
23 A. This directive was drafted by the operations administration and
24 the intelligence administration, the security administration, the
25 counter-intelligence sector, the logistics sector, the electronic and
1 surveillance and counter-surveillance section. It's interesting about
2 how this idea for this directive came about.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. That would be my next question. Can you
4 please tell us why this directive was drafted in early January 1999.
5 A. The chief of the intelligence administration, General Krga, when
6 he took up his duties concluded that there was a possible eventuality
7 that we were not prepared for, and he informed the Chief of the General
8 Staff, General Ojdanic, about this. And General Ojdanic immediately
9 ordered that a team get together and begin to draft a document in order
10 to prevent such a situation. The gist of it was that there were
11 significant NATO forces in Bosnia and that NATO forces had already began
12 to gather in Greece and then in Macedonia and Albania. We had a large
13 number of terrorist and sabotage actions in Kosovo, and there was a real
14 danger that at one point if the rebellion in Kosovo and Metohija really
15 got going, the forces from Bosnia, Macedonia, and Albania would begin to
16 move simultaneously, and with the rebellion in Kosovo and Metohija
17 growing strong they could cut off that area and create a completely
18 different situation on the ground. In that way they would achieve
19 several objectives, the main of which would be to install NATO forces in
20 Kosovo and Metohija for a prolonged period of time. As can be seen in
21 recent years, they actually did achieve that goal, after ten years or so,
22 with the separation of Montenegro and the secession of Kosovo and the
23 location of their forces for their own purposes. So our estimates and
24 assessments on this matter have proven correct, unfortunately.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 8 in the
2 English version and page 5 in the Serbian version. This is 3.1.3. This
3 is the paragraph that we should be looking at.
4 Q. So this is page 4 in your binder. Could you please comment on
5 this first phase.
6 A. Tasks and then we have 3.1, the 3rd Army. Yes.
7 Q. Yes, of course.
8 A. By undertaking counter air attack measures, because we did expect
9 some heavy bombing once NATO decided to embark on that, it was essential
10 to provide adequate forces for the protection of the units. And in
11 co-ordination with the air force and anti-aircraft defence, to prevent
12 the arrival of a multi-national brigade from Albania into Kosovo and
13 Metohija. In military terms and the only correct way of proceedings, it
14 was essential to also seal off the axis from where terrorist forces could
15 come from Macedonia and Albania, and also to ensure that all the roads
16 were passable. Besides that, it was also important to achieve or
17 maintain combat control of the territory. The concept was militarily
18 justified and the idea was not to permit the multi-national forces to
19 link up with the hotbeds of rebellion of the Siptar terrorist forces.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us what the nature of this
21 directive was?
22 A. It's clear to any military man - and I hope that it's clear to
23 any person as well - that this is an entirely defensive -- that it is of
24 an entirely defensive nature.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we go back one page, General. Now in your hard
1 copy we would go back to page 3, and in the English it would be page 7.
2 Could you please comment on the combat-readiness in terms of this
4 A. First we specified what a directive was. A directive is issued
5 from the federal level, from the level of the General Staff, for a longer
6 time-period. It's not a daily assignment or one that would take two to
7 seven days. This is a longer-term assignment, in the event of such a
8 situation occurring. The situation may never occur, and the directive
9 may never be applied. This is why we're not talking about readiness
10 here. If we pay attention to the last line, there is no explicit remark
11 on the combat-readiness with a dead-line, but this is something that
12 would be dependent on the decision of the commander of the 3rd Army and
13 the commander of the air force and the anti-aircraft defence forces.
14 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at the last page of the document. I
15 think this is page 12 in the English version. In your copy, General,
16 it's page 6. What I'm interested in here is it says "attachment." Could
17 you please explain this a little bit.
18 A. Yes, the attachment is the forced engagement of a multi-national
19 NATO brigade in Kosovo and Metohija, map ratio 1:200.000. If we were to
20 have a map here now, everyone would be informed about the nature of the
21 information being -- operation being planned here. Without the map, the
22 text is really insufficient. Perhaps if we could find the map and show
23 it, then we would see the two phases that we are discussing here. So
24 then you could see exactly who would be doing what when, and that no
25 soldier would be actually crossing the borders of Serbia in order to
1 implement the assignments stated in this directive.
2 Q. Thank you. I can see here that you drafted this document. It
3 says here "drafted by Lieutenant-General Djordje Curcin." We have also
4 the distribution list, and it's being distributed to all the strategic
5 groups and some others. What I'm interested in is this: Did the armies
6 have the task of continuing and drafting their own documents pursuant to
7 this directive?
8 A. Well, the answer to your first question is correct. We have the
9 distribution list here, how many copies, which copies were sent to which
10 command also. This document, this directive, is a special type of
11 document. This is a document on the planned use, and it's marked as a
12 state secret. And there is also a code-name, Grom 3, Thunderbolt 3, so
13 it's not a normal kind of order. It's drafted pursuant to a special
14 procedure, and it's kept in a special manner. So other than those who
15 actually drafted it, no one has access to this plan. Each time a plan is
16 used, this is recorded. So on the basis of this directive, all the
17 strategic group commands that received a copy of it were obliged to draft
18 their own orders and certain documents in order -- should the need arise
19 to be able to implement the directive in its entirety. This is something
20 that is done in advance.
21 Another important thing, at all the lower levels they have to
22 maintain the same level of secrecy. It's classified as a state secret.
23 So the classification also has to be kept, Thunderbolt 3. The document
24 was drafted at the army level. I know that it was drafted in the
25 3rd Army. I did have the opportunity to look at it when it was submitted
1 for evaluation in late January, and on the basis of that plan of the
2 3rd Army, the plan of the Pristina Corps was developed and then the plans
3 of all the brigade commands after that -- we were informed about that.
4 Yes, yes, just one more sentence. We were informed about that at a Chief
5 of the General Staff collegium in mid-February, and I informed the Chief
6 of the General Staff that this plan was implemented.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at document D343 --
10 Q. This would be in tab 2, General, in your binder. This is an
11 order for the use of the 3rd Army, which the command of the 3rd Army
12 issued on the 27th of January, 1999. If you can, can we please look at
13 page 3 of the English version and the Serbian version.
14 General, I would like to ask you to comment on item 2 on that
15 page, the task of the 3rd Army.
16 A. This is now putting into operation what I talked about before
17 based on the decree what I talked about before -- directive that I talked
18 about before. The army command copies, literally, the assignment which
19 they were issued by the General Staff. And you can easily see that
20 because the task was to provide security measures to the adequate forces,
21 and in joint co-operation with the anti-aircraft defence and the air
22 force to prevent the arrival of NATO from Kosovo [as interpreted] and
23 Macedonia to Kosovo and Metohija and to occupy specific facilities in
24 sectors that were relevant. Then we -- equally important we see that
25 their task was to seal off the axes that could be used for the entry of
1 multi-national forces and their equipment. And also, to prevent the
2 linking up of the NATO brigade with the Siptar terrorist forces in Kosovo
3 by taking up actions against the Siptar terrorist forces. This was the
4 primary task.
5 Q. Thank you. General, sir, you told us a little bit before that on
6 the basis of the instructions of the 3rd Army, the Pristina Corps, and
7 units within the Pristina Corps developed the Thunderbolt 3 directive.
8 If you can just briefly tell me, who had access and the right to be
9 informed about a directive in peacetime and wartime, and how could one
10 have access to this plan that was drafted? I'm talking about
11 lower-ranking units, brigades. I'm not thinking of the General Staff
13 A. I think that I understood your question. At all levels, the
14 access to -- this document is very restricted. People who have access to
15 this kind of plan or orders that are classified as a state secret are
16 very few. Perhaps in passing someone can see remotely something that
17 could be considered a plan, but this plan is drafted in a special way and
18 it is being kept according to a special regime. It's constantly guarded
19 and technical security measures are also in effect. It's being kept in a
20 special vault that cannot be damaged by fire or any other kind of harm.
21 Q. Thank you. The desk officer for the security of the barracks,
22 does he have access to such a plan, or does he have access to the war
23 combat plan?
24 A. Absolutely not.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document
2 D006-0440, please.
3 Q. This would be tab 3 in your binder, General. This is a document
4 by the General Staff of the 21st of January, 1999, signed by
5 Lieutenant-General Svetozar Marjanovic, asking the 3rd Army to be
6 deployed in the village of Racak sector. Can you please tell us why this
7 document was sent.
8 A. Well, I know everything about this document. I signed it. At
9 the bottom you can see my initials. In that period, in the media,
10 especially foreign media, there was an attempt to launch the idea by
11 means of propaganda about a crime in Racak in which -- which was
12 perpetrated by the military and the police. This was something that we
13 discussed at the Chief of the General Staff collegium at that time. We
14 reviewed the reports of the 3rd Army command and the Pristina Corps of
15 the 15th, the 16th, and the 17th, and concluded that there was no
16 military engagement there in the Racak sector. However, in order to be
17 absolutely sure, the Chief of the General Staff ordered at the collegium
18 that a special document be sent to the command of the 3rd Army requesting
19 a special extraordinary report and that he should seek a special written
20 report from the commander of the Pristina Corps in order to respond to
21 specific questions.
22 Q. Thank you. We can see what is being asked for here. Now, could
23 you please explain, this document, what is it by its form? What sort of
24 a document is it? Is there a code?
25 A. This is a telegram.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. Let us take it slowly. I'm going to put
2 questions to you. Maybe we can cover this more quickly. So this is a
3 telegram. Can you please tell us what the usual required form of a
4 telegram would be, like a template at that time in the Yugoslav army?
5 A. Just as you see here, you would have a stamp at the top with a
6 date, and then on the right-hand side would be the code, and then it
7 would state to whom the document should be delivered, either to the
8 commander or to the command. You can see that it's only being sent to
9 the 3rd Army command. There is a brief heading, which here is the
10 interim report. And then below the signature you have the signature of
11 Lieutenant-General Svetozar Marjanovic, and then you have the initials of
12 the person who typed it.
13 Q. [No interpretation]
14 A. And the command that is issuing the document would be stated in
15 the upper left-hand corner, and they are the ones who put the stamp, the
16 date and the number of the -- the document was issued.
17 Q. Just one more thing. The document that we see is a photocopy.
18 It's not the original. It's a signed document, though. Is that a copy
19 that is kept in the archive of the person or the body sending out the
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And can you tell me on the basis of this copy, technically,
23 actually, how is it handled? It's a telegram. General Marjanovic signed
24 it and then what happens next? What is the procedure?
25 A. I also received it for signature. Once he signed it I dispatched
1 it to the log office. You can see the document was registered by hand,
2 this was not typed. And then the chief of the office took it to the
3 encryption section, he signed for it there -- it was signed for there as
4 well. After the telegram was coded and dispatched and received at the
5 address, the document would then be returned by the person to our
7 Q. So, General, the first original copy would have the signature of
8 the author of the telegram?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And now, can you tell me the copy that is being dispatched, does
11 that contain any kind of marking as to the time of dispatch or anything?
12 A. The copy that is left for dispatch has to have a rectangular
13 stamp at the bottom, and the stamp would contain its boxes where one
14 would indicate the time of -- it was received in order to be dispatched,
15 the time it was actually dispatched, and the time it was actually
16 received at the destination, and also the date when it was received.
17 Q. Thank you, General. We'll see that in the next document.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] May I tender this document now?
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document shall be received as
21 Exhibit Number D00556. Thank you, Your Honours.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now ask for D006-0442.
23 It's 41 ter for the Defence.
24 Q. This is the command of the 3rd Army, 21st January, 1999, sent
25 personally to the Chief of the General Staff. Could you tell us about
1 this document and its format.
2 A. This is a telegram from the command of the 3rd Army, a reply to
3 our dispatch of the 21st as well, sent personally to the attention of the
4 Chief of the General Staff who signed the previous telegram. They answer
5 our questions, and once again they assert positively that the army was
6 not involved and they provide details.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, turn to page 2, please. Would you explain the
8 two stamps we see below the text.
9 A. On the left-hand side at the bottom we see a stamp that confirms
10 that the telegram was processed at 0430 hours on the 21st. We see a
11 round stamp of the communications centre. This is a telegram outside
12 normal hours, and it arrived therefore at the operations centre, which is
13 open 24/7. And the chief of communications, Colonel Stupic [phoen],
14 noted down that it was received on the 21st of January, and he registered
15 it. You see the reference number here. He did another thing, and that
16 is to make four copies and send them to four addresses: The deputy chief
17 through the head of office, the Chief of Staff, the chief of the section
18 for operations and staff affairs, and the chief of the first
19 administration so that they were all informed before they arrived in
20 Kosovo. This is in fact an inquiry whether the army was involved in
21 Racak or not.
22 Q. Thank you. Was it normal to send this? Was it normal procedure
23 to send a document like this to four different administrations, at least
24 when documents involving subject matter relevant to several
1 A. Yes. When several administrations need to be informed or need to
2 act upon something, they -- the document is copied to all of them. That
3 avoids complication. Otherwise, one of the recipients would have to do
4 the copying and forwarding and also this provides for unified
6 Q. If I understood you correctly, the first administration receives
7 all the telegrams for the General Staff; is that correct?
8 A. I don't think I said that.
9 Q. Well, then explain.
10 A. A telegram is received by the addressee, whoever that may be.
11 But this obviously was a document registered in the first administration,
12 and it relates to the first administration. But it was written for the
13 attention of the Chief of the General Staff, and that's why it was also
14 sent to the Chief of the General Staff.
15 Q. And if something is sent to the Chief of the General Staff, does
16 he have his own reception office, or where do his telegrams arrive?
17 A. All telegrams go to the operations centre and are forwarded from
18 there. There is a special provision that stipulates that in working
19 hours a telegram goes directly to the addressee; however, during the
20 night there is no one there to receive it. So it goes to the operations
21 centre and then the operations centre can contact the addressee to ask
22 them whether they want it forwarded immediately or should it wait for the
24 Q. And this one, to whom was it addressed?
25 A. The first operations administration.
1 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tender this
2 document now.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00557.
5 Thank you, Your Honours.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D523.
7 Q. Tab 5 for you, Witness. It's number 6 on the Defence list. It's
8 an evaluation of the security situation and the threats to the FRY made
9 by the first administration in February 1999. Tab 5, General.
10 Could you tell us why this evaluation was made by your
11 administration. What was the purpose?
12 A. I think I've already mentioned that certain new terrorist
13 activities were -- had been carried out by the KLA in Kosovo at that
14 time. The Chief of the General Staff ordered a detailed evaluation be
15 made from the intelligence and security point of view of the current
16 threats to Yugoslavia. I have already said that monthly evaluations were
17 made, but sometimes a more detailed and long-term evaluations were
18 needed. This is one of them, ordered commission by the Chief of the
19 General Staff at one of the collegium meetings. It was produced by a
21 Q. I'll ask you about that later, General.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at page 23 in
23 English and 21 in B/C/S.
24 Q. In your copy it's page 17, General. It's a proposal of measures.
25 5.1 and 5.2 are the paragraphs I'm interested in. Comment briefly,
2 A. The purpose of this complex inter-disciplinary evaluation was to
3 provide a realistic evaluation of the situation and possible security
4 threats and, finally, to propose measures. What kind of measures?
5 Contingency measures in the event of success and/or failure of the
6 Rambouillet negotiations. Of course for us the situation was graver in
7 the event of failure of these negotiations. We were all anxious for a
8 peaceful solution in Kosovo and Metohija.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see page 24 in
10 English and your next page in English, 5.2.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the first variant, failure,
12 was the hardest for us. And under 5.2 we proposed measures at the level
13 of the VJ, Army of Yugoslavia, in the event of a peaceful solution, and
14 we listed our tasks in the order of urgency and importance. And I hope
15 that once we've read this we will all see that all these were defensive
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see the last page of
18 the document, please.
19 Q. We see this was produced by a working team, your page 20,
20 General. Page 24 in e-court -- no, it's 24 in English. In Serbian
21 it's -- anyway, we see the team. Who was on that team?
22 A. I've already mentioned that this was a complex inter-disciplinary
23 exercise and that's why this working team was established. It was headed
24 by assistant Chief of the General Staff for operations and staff affairs,
25 General Obradovic; following by me, as chief of the first administration;
1 there were also chief of the security administration, General
2 Dimitrijevic; assistant Chief of the General Staff for land forces,
3 General Panic; assistant Chief of the General Staff for logistics,
4 General Pantelic; chief of the intelligence administration, Branko Krga;
5 and chief of the administration for information and morale, General
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can I now have P1333.
9 This is a session of the collegium of the Chief of the General
10 Staff of the Yugoslav Army of 2nd February 1999. We need page 20 --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat the page number.
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] In English it's page 19, paragraph
13 5, in e-court; and in Serbian it's page 18.
14 Q. For you, General, it's tab -- it's page 16 in the hard copy.
15 We see your contribution to the discussion, General. Could you
16 just comment on this passage where it says: "We propose that you order
17 to corps commanders and commanders of special units ..." have you found
19 A. Yes. I think I've already said that I regularly participated in
20 collegium deliberations dealing with the subject matter that was within
21 the jurisdiction of the first administration. Here I presented a couple
22 of proposals, among other things. I suggested to the Chief of the
23 General Staff that we should issue an order that would be binding for
24 corps commanders and commanders of special units and other independent
25 units to perform a drill to check their readiness in the case -- in case
1 of air-strikes. We were expected that a NATO aggression would begin with
2 air-strikes using rockets fired by fighter planes. To prevent being
3 taken by surprise, I suggested drills that would train the units in rapid
4 evacuation of barracks to avoid losses. And we -- I also suggested that
5 in this drill we do not relocate to our real back-up locations because
6 the enemy would certainly note these locations down, but to use other
7 exercise locations.
8 Q. Now please look at the end, the final passage, in your
9 contribution. In English it's page 20. Just a moment until they zoom
10 in. It's the last paragraph in your contribution.
11 A. I took the liberty to think and to propose what I thought was
12 best for the Army of Yugoslavia at the moment. That's what General
13 Ojdanic expected of all the members of the collegium, not to simply say
14 "yes" to whatever he said, but to share their own opinions. This was my
15 personal proposals, namely, to convene a meeting of the Supreme Defence
16 Council and that at least in one part of the meeting army commanders be
17 present so that members of the state leadership could hear them out and
18 at least wonder why commanders of strategic groups were present at the
19 meetings. We thought the situation was very serious and the leadership
20 should know the truth, and this is my proposal to do that.
21 Q. Was such a meeting indeed held?
22 A. Yes, it was ten days later, on the 12th of February, and the
23 supreme commander, President Milosevic, was there.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see D006-0466.
1 Q. This is an aide-memoire for briefing the president of the FRY,
2 and we see the date at the top, 12th February, 1999. To whom was this
3 aide-memoire made and by whom and for what purpose?
4 A. This is an aide-memoire for reporting to the president of the
5 FRY, reporting by the Chief of the General Staff. The office of the
6 chief and the first administration were involved in producing this
7 aide-memoire, but also the fifth administration because it involved funds
8 and materiel which was the responsibility of the fifth administration.
9 Q. Page 1 of the English should remain, and in Serbian can we turn
10 to page 2. It says this plan became obsolete within just a few months.
11 It's about plans Grom 1 and 2.
12 A. Let me remind you, Grom 1 and 2 plans were made in July 1998.
13 Since then, a lot had changed. NATO had begun accumulating forces and
14 they had already 9- to 10.000 troops in Macedonia. Second, verifiers had
15 arrived in our territory after October, after the agreement, and the
16 situation in the wider region had also become more complicated. There
17 were aircraft carriers in the Adriatic Sea, over 2- or 3.000 marines and
18 around ten different ships were facing Yugoslavia. The situation was
19 drastically different, and a multi-national brigade had been deployed in
20 Macedonia, ready to move at short notice by helicopter towards
21 Yugoslavia. That was the situation at this time.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit Number D00558. Thank you, Your
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have P1338, page 12 in
3 English and 12 in Serbian.
4 Q. For you, Witness, it's tab 8, page 10. Again, your contribution.
5 In English it would be paragraphs 7 and 8. It begins with: "I propose
6 inspection and a tour ..."
7 A. The first administration was in charge of checks and inspections.
8 It planned, organised, wrote orders, and assembled teams from various
9 sections, depending on what the inspection was about. We had an annual
10 and a monthly plan of inspection, but interim inspections were also
11 needed. This was such an extraordinary occasion, where I suggested
12 inspecting units on the borders of Kosovo and Metohija. In fact, under
13 the agreement new forces were banned from entering Kosovo and Metohija,
14 but there was no restriction on deploying units in the border belt of
15 Kosovo and Metohija. Certain forces could be deployed there for the
16 contingency of aggression, and we propose that we organise an inspection
17 of these units. And apart from the units subordinated to us, to our
18 administration, there were also air force and air defence units in
19 reserve there.
20 I suggested postponing the inspection of units in Kosovo and
21 Metohija. Why? Because within a few days we were expecting a contingent
22 of troops mobilised for the 3rd Army, but the chief ordered that they
23 should not be trained in Kosovo, to be an easy target like lay pigeons
24 for the enemy. He ordered that they should be trained within the 2nd
25 Army and those who were specialised for the navy and air force should get
1 training there, within the 3rd Army, and once trained they would be sent
2 to Kosovo with proper notification to the mission.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see P1335. It's a
5 session of the collegium of the 4th of March, 1999, page 14 in English
6 and in Serbian that would be page 13 in e-court.
7 Q. In your binder it's page 12. Again, this is your discussion and
8 a proposal of measures, 1, 2, and 3. Tell us briefly, please, about
9 these measures you are proposing.
10 A. Yes. We've noted analysing previous sessions of the collegium
11 that the main purpose of meeting was to propose specific steps, and
12 that's what I do here. The first suggestion was to implement verbatim
13 the order of the training of soldiers from December the previous year.
14 As I said a moment ago, they were trained for the purposes of the
15 3rd Army, but in the areas of other groups. They were supposed to be
16 shipped, or rather, transferred by train on the 3rd or 4th of March, but
17 sometimes the orders were not carried out in full, and for some reason, a
18 number of soldiers would be kept by the unit where they were trained so
19 that units in Kosovo were not really replenished to capacity. If just a
20 few specialised soldiers failed to arrive, such as a tank driver or a
21 person in charge of aiming, that was a huge problem. There was another
22 problem. There were forces of the UNPROFOR and international forces in
23 Macedonia monitoring the region, and they had withdrawn. As soon as they
24 withdrew, their positions were taken over by NATO. To us it was a sure
25 sign that the aggression was going to start shortly and it was a problem,
1 because we had to expect now terrorist forces in areas which they had not
2 occupied before. And in case of land invasion, we expected the
3 terrorists to be the advance units in the invasion.
4 And thirdly, we were saving our assets, and I asked that reserve
5 troops not be kept on rotation longer than they were supposed to.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to the next page in
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every strategic grouping had a
9 prescribed level of troops from the reserve. Why did we use reserve men?
10 Because we didn't have enough. In those circumstances, it was allowed
11 for a certain number of reservists to be kept within units. If that
12 number was exceeded, we had to react through our section for recruitment
13 and mobilisation, and we had to release them because otherwise there
14 would be a shortage of materiel.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I suppose it's time
18 for the break now.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Indeed, Mr. Djurdjic. We will have the normal
20 break and resume at 11.00.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General, sir, can you briefly tell us what measures of
2 combat-readiness means?
3 A. Combat-readiness measures indicate the status of the army as a
4 whole or some of its parts in terms of their readiness for response or
5 reaction to implement tasks.
6 Q. Thank you. Is there some sort of grade there, and what does that
7 depend on?
8 A. Yes, there are grades. There are differences between full
9 combat-readiness where the unit is ready immediately to set out its
10 assignments. Then there is a three-hour, six-hour, 24-hour, and even
11 longer level of readiness and that depends on the degree of possible
12 surprise and the need to take measures to prevent this surprise from
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P965, please. This
16 is a meeting of the General Staff collegium of the 11th of March, 1999.
17 Can we look at page 12 in the English and page 11 -- sorry, page 11 in
18 the English and page 11 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. And in your binder, General, that would be binder -- that would
20 be page 10. At the top of the page I'm interested in the first and third
21 paragraphs. In the English it would be paragraph 3 on page 11, the end
22 of page 11 and top of page 12. Can you please comment on this.
23 A. Yes, of course. I remember very well this situation and this
24 address of mine to the collegium because this situation at the border
25 between Macedonia and Serbia had become more complex and Albania and
1 Serbia as well, in Kosovo, that border. And there was the risk of a
2 surprise action after the control of the state border between Macedonia
3 and Serbia was taken over by NATO. The command of the 3rd Army was
4 permitted by the Chief of the General Staff to use the peacetime
5 composition of the 37th Motorised Brigade from the 2nd Army, from the
6 Raska Garrison to be relocated to Kosovska Mitrovica. That was a force
7 of 325 men, officers, non-commissioned officers, and regular soldiers.
8 It was also planned for the 21st Combat Group, which was located in Nis,
9 a force of some 70 to 80 men, to be brought to Kosovo and Metohija and to
10 have them resubordinated in Urosevac to the 234th Motorised Brigade of
11 the Pristina Corps because those sectors were extremely sensitive and
13 I've already said that there was the chance of surprise action, a
14 surprise attack, and in order to forestall this and fully aware of all
15 the facts, the Chief of the General Staff ordered this to be done.
16 Q. Thank you. Was this done secretly?
17 A. No, it was announced to the mission.
18 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask for the next paragraph. If
19 you could explain that to me regarding this subordination of the second
20 and third groups to the Nis Corps. Did that have to do anything with the
21 sending of recruits?
22 A. Yes. In the last session I explained that the Chief of the
23 General Staff ordered for young soldiers, recruits, not to be trained in
24 the endangered area in Kosovo and Metohija until their training was
25 completed. That is why part of the 1st and the 2nd Army, the navy, the
1 recruits who were mobilised were trained; and then pursuant to the order
2 and the plan of the General Staff and with the announcement to the
3 adequate OSCE mission, were only then sent by train to the Kosovo and
4 Metohija area. We did have certain difficulties there, as you can see,
5 not the full number of reservists left, only 476 soldiers, less than
6 ordered, were actually dispatched. This had to be corrected later. Some
7 soldiers in the meantime were unfit to serve, some got sick, sustained
8 various types of injuries, they were in the hospital, and so on and so
10 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph regarding this broadening of
11 the border area, could you clarify that? Could you tell us a little bit
12 more about that?
13 A. I've already said that the department for border services, which
14 was part of the first administration made an estimate, and based on the
15 request by the 3rd Army the situation in the General Staff was analysed.
16 And the Chief of the General Staff received a recommendation and was
17 asked to make an order via the Federal Ministry of Defence and the
18 federal government to move the border area and make this border sector a
19 bit broader, on our side of the border in the event of certain incidents,
20 because those guarding the border were allowed to act only within our
21 territory, on our side of the border. And this is why we suggested - and
22 I'm reporting here that the federal government permitted - this
23 broadening of the border area. This is a colloquial term, the expansion
24 of the border area. This is a set border area established by the federal
25 government, and this was published in the Official Gazette. After that,
1 it was passed down to the lower levels and the population was then
2 informed about this and boards were posted that the border sector was
3 expanded, its specific areas.
4 Q. Thank you, General. We will go into more detail about this with
5 our following witness.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to look at page 21 of
7 the English version now, please, and in your document it is page 18,
8 General. And in the Serbian it is page 19 in the e-court.
9 Q. We can see at the end of the page here the address by the Chief
10 of the General Staff, Mr. Ojdanic, and I would like to ask you to comment
11 what he says here regarding his conversation with Clark.
12 A. The Chief of the General Staff at one point at this collegium
13 informed us about this conversation which was conducted by telephone in
14 his office. What this is about, General Clark called General Ojdanic,
15 and he was angry with him and wanted to speak with him. Actually I
16 think - and this was also the assessment by General Ojdanic - that the
17 most important thing for him was to threaten us and to exert pressure on
18 General Ojdanic, for him to persuade the state leadership to act the way
19 NATO wanted them to act, and this is what happened at that time. Nothing
20 was said by General Clark in that conversation about refugees or
21 humanitarian catastrophe or anything like that. He was allegedly
22 concerned because there was a brigade numbering 25.000 people at the edge
23 of Kosovo and Metohija. I responded that we never had a brigade of
24 25.000 people anywhere, perhaps 205 -- 2.500-strong. Yes. There was no
25 agreement, however, limiting us or restricting us from having forces
1 outside of Kosovo and Metohija territory, at the outskirts or the edge of
2 Kosovo and Metohija. That time General Clark had received a report that
3 we had brought a part of the 37th Motorised Brigade from the Raska
4 Garrison, and the 21st Combat Group to the Kosovo and Metohija area. I
5 recall that in that conversation General Ojdanic very seriously stated
6 that we cannot sit with our hands in our laps in Belgrade and wait for
7 somebody to attack us or not attack us at the same time as they were
8 bringing in a considerable force. At that time they had 9.500 men in
9 Macedonia prepared to move to implement assignments in Kosovo and
11 Q. Thank you. Just this, sir, according to our rules and
12 regulations, how much can a military brigade -- how many men it can have
13 at the maximum?
14 A. Well, depending on its nature, whether it's an infantry brigade,
15 anti-aircraft, a full-strength brigade can number from 2.000 to 4.000
16 men. Infantry and motorised brigade would be the biggest, while the
17 armoured brigades would be the smallest because they have small crews and
18 teams depending on the number of tanks and so on, they number much less.
19 But it can go up to 2.500 men.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D006-0392, please.
22 Q. This is an order by the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
23 and it's in tab 11 in your -- in your binder and the date is the 16th of
24 March, 1999. Can you briefly explain this order and the main assignment
25 in this order being issued to the 3rd Army.
1 A. After a visit to the 3rd Army and inspecting the units of the
2 3rd Army, primarily of the Pristina Corps on the 3rd and 4th of March,
3 1999, and in order to resolve some problems that had cropped up, we are
4 writing an order because we were part of that team. The basic purpose of
5 this order was to undertake measures to prevent any surprise actions, as
6 you can see in the first key paragraphs, 1 and 2, of this order, the
7 primary task is to secure the state borders. And it says:
8 "The main mission of the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps is to
9 continue to secure the state borders of the FRY towards Albania and
10 Macedonia," and that is where you see very clearly what the long-term
11 assignment is for the 3rd Army command.
12 In terms of the forces that had been brought -- that NATO had
13 brought forward from the rear, it was essential again to evaluate whether
14 the forces allocated to secure the state border was sufficient. Besides
15 that, it was essential to make more detailed assessments about the
16 required quantities of ammunition, food, fuels, medical supplies, and
17 other supplies in order to enable the border forces to act independently
18 and self-sufficiently. They are acting in remote areas, inaccessible for
19 immediate aid and assistance, so they are required to be self-sufficient.
20 So this is then a special assignment that is being issued to them for the
21 longer term because they need to take specific measures in the event of
22 being exposed to an attack. There are many items in this order --
23 Q. General, thank you. We can read for ourselves what the other
24 items of this order contain.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
1 document, Your Honours, please.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00559.
4 Thank you, Your Honours.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have D006-0447, please.
6 Q. This is tab 12 in your binder, General, and it's number 42 ter
7 among the Defence documents. And this is a caution or a warning of the
8 first administration of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia of
9 the 20th of March, 1999. There is a warning here. We can see that. Can
10 you please tell us who drafted the document, to whom was it addressed.
11 A. Yes. Pursuant to the order by the Chief of the General Staff, I
12 personally drafted this document on behalf of the administration. This
13 was a warning to the 3rd Army; however, it was sent for purposes of
14 information to others. This is a telegram. Please take note of the
15 date, it is the 20th of March, only four days before the NATO aggression
16 on our country began; and the General Staff - knowing that a provocation
17 could take place from any side, either from the Siptar terrorist forces
18 or the NATO forces in the territory of Macedonia or a provocation by our
19 soldiers against the NATO forces, so in order to avoid such a possible
20 situation and with the intention of not allowing some individual incident
21 to serve as a pretext or a cause and to provoke NATO action against our
22 country, I am writing a detailed order here, warning how to behave and
23 how to avoid anything like that. You can see that it's a telegram and
24 the encryption officer wrote on the original what time the telegram was
25 dispatched. And then you can see that it was sent at 1510 hours to the
1 2nd Army, 1520 hours to the 3rd Army, 1545 to the air force and so on.
2 And then there are the initials of the dispatcher, the signature and
3 stamp of the Chief of the General Staff, and what is below is when the
4 telegram was received, when it was processed, and when it was sent on.
5 Received it means received at the encryption office, then when it was
6 processed, then when it was delivered, and this is at 1620 hours to the
7 last unit. We also have a stamp and a date in order to avoid any
8 eventuality of forgeries or changes being made to this information.
9 That's it in brief.
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
11 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
12 document, please, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as D00560. Thank you, Your
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document
17 D006-0385, please. This is a warning by the Supreme Command Staff of the
18 25th of March, 1999 -- I apologise. I did make an error. No, it's all
20 Q. Sir. General, sir, will you please tell us what this warning is,
21 who drafted it. This is tab 14 in your binder, sir. This is the 65 ter
22 Defence document 35.
23 A. Of the 25th of March?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Evidently this is a telegram encrypted and sent to all the
1 commands of the strategic groups and others who were in communication
2 with the General Staff and obliged to send regular reports. In peacetime
3 this was the daily operations report of the 24th of March. From the 24th
4 of March these became combat reports because they were drafted during
5 combat. This was dispatched by the first administration in order to
6 submit correct and confirmed reports, please undertake the following
7 measures, namely, we had not been in a war for over 50 years and we did
8 not have fresh combat experience, such as other countries might have. So
9 for us it was the first day of the war from the 24th to the 25th of March
10 it was an important day for us, and it was a surprise. So perhaps at
11 some lower levels individuals did not quite find their way, and that's
12 why it was necessary to warn them that they needed to provide correct and
13 verified data about what was going on in the units, and in particular in
14 relation to the NATO bombing and the effects of that bombing because we
15 should not be in a position to operate on the basis of unverified and
16 incorrect information because NATO knew precisely which targets it was
17 striking. And this is why the warning was issued for the commanders to
18 do their utmost to provide absolutely accurate and precise data.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would like to
21 tender this document.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00561.
24 Thank you, Your Honours.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at D006-2663,
2 Q. This is 491 in the Defence 65 ter, and this is tab 15, General,
3 in your binder. This document has now been tendered. Can we now have
4 D008-2663. I'm sorry if I made this error. This is a combat report of
5 the 3rd of April, 1999.
6 A. The combat report of the 3rd of April --
7 Q. Yes, just one moment. Let's wait until it appears on the screen.
8 Yes, this is it. This is a combat report. General, so I would just like
9 us to explain a few things here. First of all, can you please tell us
10 what is a combat report?
11 A. A combat report is a summary of all the information that arrived
12 via regular channels in writing from subordinate units to the Supreme
13 Command Staff, and all this information would contain all that is
14 important or of interest for the collegium, for the Supreme Command
15 Staff, and for the headquarters and the Supreme Command. It's written
16 once every day. So we have report number 10 here, so it means that up
17 until that day nine previous reports were drafted and sent.
18 Q. Thank you. If I understood you correctly, who sends this
19 information on the basis of which the summary report is written?
20 A. A combat report to the Supreme Command Staff is written on the
21 basis of same such combat reports received from commands of the strategic
22 groups and independent units that are directly reporting to the
23 General Staff, meaning that each army would send a combat report by a
24 certain dead-line and they in turn would receive such reports from the
25 corps or brigade.
1 Q. Thank you. And how did you draft the report of the staff of the
2 Supreme Command?
3 A. The combat report would be drafted by the duty operations team
4 headed by a general. The team had a certain number of persons, colonels
5 from all the organisational units. Most of them came from the first
6 administration because it was their job to process this information, but
7 there were also representatives of the navy, the air force, logistics,
8 security, morale, from all the organisational units because they had to
9 provide their contribution to the combat report after having studied all
10 the reports from the strategic groups that had been received so far.
11 Q. Thank you. Would you be able to tell us how reports received
12 from the 3rd Army were processed?
13 A. Reports from the 3rd Army were processed in the same way as
14 reports from other strategic formations, but there was some additional
15 care in their case because the bulk of the activities took place there,
16 most of the problems were there, and the most complex situation for the
17 country was in that location. So the 3rd Army report was studied more
18 carefully. They were studied by the desk officers for the 3rd Army and
19 by all the other members of the team. And all the most important data
20 that would come, just like that contained in other combat reports, had to
21 be put into this report that was sent to the General Staff.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 3 in
25 Q. It's page 3 for you too, point 2.4, Overview of the activities of
1 the 3rd Army according to attachment number 1.
2 A. This was a case when all the commands of strategic groups
3 submitted their reports in good time, but for some technical reason
4 because of a breakdown in communications or for some other reason there
5 was a serious delay in receiving the reports of the 3rd Army. The person
6 who signed the reports therefore decided that several hours later when
7 the report finally arrived it would be produced in an attachment and
8 processed properly by 6.00.
9 Q. Tell me about these reports coming in from strategic groups.
10 What were the most important parts of these reports?
11 A. Situation in the territory, situation in the units, losses
12 suffered from NATO bombing, and changes in the area, where the new units
13 of the aggressor came in, whether a new aircraft carrier arrived or a new
14 helicopter carrier. At some point we received a report that another 200
15 cruise missiles were delivered, things that were relevant to the command.
16 Q. Let me ask you, these reports from strategic groups, specifically
17 the 3rd Army, did they have to also reflect problems that occurred in the
18 command and reports of crimes committed on that day in the area of
19 responsibility of the army that they were aware of?
20 A. Certainly. Several paragraphs of such a report had to contain
21 this, passages related to security because it is the security organs that
22 would write this paragraph, problems in command, state of morale, and
23 conclusions. All important information, developments, and problems had
24 to be reflected in the report. If such things did not fit into any
25 particular paragraph, they could be described at the end, in a separate
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Page 6, please, in both versions.
4 Q. General, I see that you signed the report that day. Was it the
5 case every day, that you as chief of section would -- chief of department
6 would sign?
7 A. No. Every day the operations duty team monitoring the situation
8 would rotate and make a report in the evening. On this day I was the
9 chief of the duty operations team, and I described everything received in
10 the reports by strategic groups. I see my desk officer wrote this,
11 Milivoj Gutovic, we see the name of the typist, and the names of the
13 Q. That's what I want to know. This was done in seven copies and
14 submitted to whom?
15 A. We were well-trained professionals. We strictly observed the
16 procedure, and every original indicated to whom each copy was delivered.
17 Of course copy number 1 went to files. The second copy to the supreme
18 commander. Every morning by 6.00 a.m. the head of the duty operations
19 team make sure that the military office of the supreme commander should
20 receive this report by courier in an envelope. You see that copy number
21 3 was delivered to the chief of the Supreme Command Staff; copy number 4
22 to the federal defence minister; copy number 5 to the president of the
23 Republic of Serbia, as member of the Supreme Defence Council; the sixth
24 copy to the deputy Chief of the General Staff, because he was not always
25 in the same location for security reasons; and copy number 7 stayed and
1 was kept by the shift leader, so he could use it if necessary.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I ask that this document be
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00562.
7 Thank you, Your Honours.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I wanted to ask you about the purpose of these combat reports
10 received by the Supreme Command Staff and those outgoing. It's obviously
11 a case of reporting up and down the chain, but I want to know this: If
12 there were certain problems emphasized in the reports from subordinate
13 units within a strategic group, what would be the reaction of the Supreme
14 Command Staff?
15 A. Well, that depends on the problem, the scale of the problem, the
16 urgency. The Supreme Command Staff would react in various ways.
17 Sometimes they didn't even have to wait for the regular combat report.
18 If problems were familiar to the head of the team, he would immediately
19 inform the supreme commander if necessary. If the problem was of a
20 different nature, then it would be notified to the body concerned. If it
21 was a logistical matter, then it would be addressed to the chief of
22 logistics; if it was a question of morale, then to the chief of the
23 section for morale; if it was a security issue, then it would be notified
24 to the chief of security. Other matters would be referred to the section
25 for operation and staff affairs for their consideration and further
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document, an
3 individual combat report from the Supreme Command Staff, is not something
4 I want to tender. With the assistance of Mr. Stamp, we made a list of
5 all reports of the Supreme Command Staff and some reports from the
6 command of the 3rd Army; and with the consent of Mr. Stamp, we would like
7 to submit this list to the Trial Chamber for later admission.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Does that mean you contemplate that you will
9 tender these reports at a later date by consent? Very well. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
11 believe it's much more efficient than tendering them one by one.
12 Could we now see D006-0451.
13 Q. General, this is 30th May 1999, Supreme Command Staff
14 instructions for writing combat reports. What were the reasons why this
15 instruction was drafted?
16 A. Well, war is war. All kinds of things happen in war: Breakdown
17 in communications, overburdened communications, relocation of command
18 posts for security reasons. There came a time when we found ourselves in
19 a situation when the chief of the Supreme Command Staff was not quite
20 satisfied with the breadth and the precision of certain requests. In
21 addition, certain commands, especially at lower levels, did not fully
22 observe the earlier instructions for drafting reports. And at that
23 point, he ordered a new instruction to be made and to add new content so
24 that the Supreme Command Staff would have a complete picture of the
25 situation, and thus be able to provide appropriate reports to the supreme
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Page 5, please, in both versions.
4 Q. Paragraph 2.8 is what I want to ask you about, situation in the
5 territory, attachment number 1.
6 A. As you can see just by glancing through the contents, this lists
7 various points of the combat report, who - which command produced
8 them - the time when it was drafted and bullet points. In 2.8 you see
9 that the operative administration on duty, in the duty team, has to
10 produce this paragraph by 1.00, and it has to contain a summarised
11 overview of NATO activities, protest gatherings, epidemics, floods,
12 important events relevant to the VJ, and conclusions.
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see point 3.3.
14 That's on the next page in Serbian and the English is still okay.
15 Q. Next page for you.
16 A. Point 3 was within the jurisdiction of the recruitment,
17 mobilisation, and system issues department because the Chief of the
18 General Staff had ordered that every day within combat reports he wanted
19 to receive information about the work of the judiciary. The judiciary
20 was not under the Chief of the General Staff because the judges were
21 independent, but what he required was to know the number of criminal
22 reports filed, the number of indictees, and the number of sanctions
23 pronounced every day.
24 Q. And number 4?
25 A. This was within the jurisdiction of the department for morale,
1 and we again see bullet points of topics that needed to be covered in the
2 report, confidence in the Supreme Command --
3 Q. We can read that. What about point 5?
4 A. Point 5 was at our level written by the security administration
5 and at lower levels by security organs. Again, you see bullet points
6 covering content that must be reflected in every report.
7 Q. Under which point would we find that -- the security situation in
8 your report to the Supreme Command Staff?
9 A. I would have to take a look at the report. It was not always the
10 same --
11 Q. No, I'm asking you about the previous period. This was supposed
12 to take effect on the 30th of May, but before the 30th of May, under what
13 point was the security situation?
14 A. Well, it's not so important under which number it was, but there
15 was always a separate paragraph listing all relevant information. We can
16 go back to one of the combat reports --
17 Q. Tab 15.
18 A. -- and look at an example. Point 5. So it's the same number in
19 the new format, but the new instruction gives more detailed instructions
20 as to what is to be reflected.
21 Q. Problems in command, where would that be, under what number?
22 A. There's a special paragraph, point 8, command and state of
23 communications. It could be there --
24 Q. No, please don't look at that. Look at the new instruction of
25 the 30th of May, tab 15.
1 A. There is a special item, command and communications. In this
2 case it's number 7. In every report there's a special paragraph,
3 command, and finally conclusions. It could be partly described under
4 command, but it would certainly be under conclusions as well.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00563.
9 Thank you, Your Honours.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see D182.
11 Q. Tab 17, General. It's the Supreme Command Staff, 9 April 1999,
12 preparatory order. Who produced this order, and what is its purpose?
13 A. This is a document from the operations administration produced by
14 the operative administration. I personally wrote it based on
15 instructions I received from the chief of the Supreme Command Staff.
16 This is a kind of preparatory order. It is sent to a certain person, in
17 this case commander or Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army, or both, to carry
18 out certain necessary preparations pending new assignment to save time
19 because dead-lines were very short.
20 Q. What is the purpose of such an order?
21 A. The purpose of such an order was to prepare and give an
22 introduction to the commander of a strategic group for an upcoming task
23 because it would take place under changed circumstances that he may not
24 be expecting.
25 Q. Could you explain these Variants A and B.
1 A. This preparatory order instructs and tasks the commander of the
2 3rd Army which of these variants to study carefully and to prepare.
3 Variant number 2 envisages an aggression by Siptar terrorist forces
4 currently located in neighbouring countries, Macedonia and Albania, using
5 the refugees in those countries, and with the support of NATO forces in
6 collaboration with the terrorist forces already within Kosovo and
7 Metohija. This was a very real option, and that's why we issue this as
8 task number 1. So as soon as the commander receives a specific written
9 assignment, he will have been prepared. Variant number B -- Variant B is
10 the contingency of a NATO aggression with the activation of an armed
11 insurgency by remaining an infiltrated Siptar terrorist forces, also
12 taking advantage of refugees. And in this case commander is also to
14 Q. When it says "aggression by Siptar terrorist forces in
15 neighbouring countries taking advantage of refugees," what kind of
16 advantage did you mean?
17 A. We anticipated that by land from Macedonia, but primarily
18 Albania, those terrorist forces that had received training and equipment
19 would move using Albanian refugees that were already in those refugee
20 camps there and using them as a human shield. There was a very real
21 threat that a certain number of terrorists would put on civilian clothes,
22 although some would be in uniform, and come into our territory, form a
23 bridge head, and set the stage for NATO invasion.
24 Q. Did you at the General Staff have any information about the
25 misuse of civilians in Kosovo and Metohija during the war by the KLA?
1 A. Yes, we did. There were all sorts of manipulations, as we knew,
2 with the civilian population. Civilians were ordered and forced by the
3 KLA to leave certain villages. They would be taken away in columns of
4 refugees and when it suited them, they would bring them back. Or they
5 would move them around, trying to portray a humanitarian catastrophe, but
6 in all these cases the organisation of the KLA was very good.
7 Q. When this preparatory order was being drafted, did it take into
8 account the possibility of using refugees inside Kosovo and Metohija,
9 those internally replaced and those moving along roads?
10 A. Yes, but to a lesser extent. I think that in this paragraph, in
11 this model that we anticipated, we meant primarily these advanced forces
12 that were to come in together with terrorists from Macedonia and Albania.
13 Of course there was always the possibility that they would use internally
14 displaced persons in Kosovo and Metohija.
15 Q. General, a large number of persons on the roads, would that make
16 the operative actions of the military in war circumstances more
18 A. Yes, they would make them much more complicated. They would
19 reduce their security and restrict the movement and manoeuvring of our
20 forces which very frequently changed their firing positions in order to
21 avoid the fire from NATO rockets and fire. Our units very frequently
22 changed positions in order to prevent being caught unawares because the
23 KLA also constantly observed and provided data using the telephones that
24 they received from the OSCE mission when they withdrew, about where our
25 positions were. We checked this because a few minutes after that the
1 airplanes that were ready and circling above our country would very soon
2 fire at those targets. So that is why we placed many false targets or
3 decoys, because then we could see NATO successfully hitting those targets
4 which were reported to them by the KLA -- by the KLA.
5 Q. We can see that the report on the proposal for a decision would
6 be submitted on the 11th of April, 1999, at the Supreme Command Staff in
7 the presence of the supreme commander. Was this order implemented, were
8 proposals submitted, and was there a report pursuant to this preparatory
10 A. Yes, the order was that a proposal should be submitted by 2000
11 hours. Why? In order that we, the operatives, and all the other organs
12 would be able to review the proposal in detail because the following
13 morning we need to report our decision to the supreme commander. We
14 needed to review this in detail and see what the insufficiencies of the
15 proposals were, to alleviate or deal with those weaknesses by morning,
16 and then the following morning to report back to the commander. The
17 report was submitted, I wasn't present. We were drafting our command, we
18 will see later, according to the date and the previous situation. So I
19 know for a fact that the 3rd Army command did report back, and this
20 proposal was accepted.
21 Q. Who was present at this briefing?
22 A. Other than the supreme commander, I think as far as I know,
23 because I wasn't there, the meeting was attended by the Chief of the
24 General Staff, his deputy, my chief, the assistant for staff affairs,
25 some other heads of sections, and from the command staff because they
1 familiarised themselves with the proposal in the evening at the staff
2 command because this proposal was submitted to us that evening.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at D183.
4 Q. This would be tab 18 in your binder, General. We're looking at a
5 directive for the engagement of the Army of Yugoslavia in defence from
6 the NATO aggression dated the 9th of April, 1999. General, I would like
7 to ask you why this directive was adopted and what was the purpose of
8 doing that.
9 A. A careful observer will know that this was the 16th day of the
10 war, and that from the beginning of the war up until the time this
11 directive was issued, the Supreme Command Staff did not issue any other
12 directives. The previous directive was the Thunderbolt 3 directive of
13 the 16th of January. We had reliable information that one of those
14 options, probably the first one with the assistance of the refugees, the
15 Siptar terrorists, primarily from Albania and then from Macedonia as
16 well, were going to move into our territory, and we needed to prepare for
17 this option. Unfortunately already on the 9th or the 10th we had heard
18 that an offensive had started by the land forces of a considerable size
19 from the territory of the Republic of Albania, and with the infiltration
20 of combat groups, terrorists, and the support of the regular army of
21 Albania, primarily the 2nd Infantry Division. But I emphasize, with the
22 support of the NATO air force directly on that axis there was an attempt
23 to break through through the border post.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the reference.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Could you please comment this document. This is paragraph Roman
3 English version and page 5 in the B/C/S, the Serbian version.
4 Could you please comment the second phase of stage 1.
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the following page
6 in the English version, page 5. Yes, that's it.
7 Q. Second stage, phase 1. Could you please comment that particular
9 A. Of course. This is the outcome of our evaluation or assessment
10 for option A, whereby it could happen that the Siptar terrorist forces
11 prepared, organised, and armed, move in from Albania with the assistance
12 and by using refugees in different ways. So with this option we issued
13 an assignment that our officers along the border with Albania organise to
14 receive the refugees, bring them through the minefields, and offer
15 assistance to the authorities in caring for these refugees. It was
16 obvious that in such a situation a certain number of the KLA wearing
17 civilian clothing would be infiltrated, and this is why we gave an
18 assignment to the 3rd Army, the Pristina Corps, to prevent this from
20 Q. Thank you. Can we please --
21 A. Yes, if you permit me just one more sentence. Since I am one of
22 the authors of that document, perhaps it's not customary, but I would
23 just like to ask you to pay attention to paragraph 2 and to comment.
24 This is at the top of the page. It's probably at the same place in the
25 English version as well. I would like to emphasize that this is a
1 singular example for somebody to write such an item in the command, where
2 it says:
3 "The Yugoslav Army shall be engaged and used in defence against
4 the NATO forces in two stages ..." and now the next thing I'm going to
5 read out: "... applying in whole the provisions of the Geneva
6 Conventions regarding international war and humanitarian law."
7 So it is very strictly and clearly stated here by the Chief of
8 the General Staff that the Geneva Conventions needed to be respected and
9 adhered to in what were these very difficult conditions.
10 Q. Thank you very much. Well, now that we've opened up this
11 question, let us round that off. As the Supreme Command Staff in
12 wartime, what measures in respect of the Geneva Conventions did you apply
13 and adhere to during the war?
14 A. Many measures were taken, a whole series of measures, before the
15 aggression began and during the aggression. Before the aggression began,
16 the senior officers at all levels were given training, and this went from
17 the corps up to the Ministry of Defence via the General Staff. The last
18 seminar was held in late November 1998 for the most senior-ranking
19 officers. Instructions were also drafted for senior officers in order to
20 apply international humanitarian laws and laws of war, and there was a
21 pocket guide printed that each soldier had to carry in their right-hand
22 pocket so that they would always have it available in order to be able to
23 take measures that would not be in violation of international
24 humanitarian law. So none of the soldiers could say today that they did
25 not know what it was that they were not allowed to do.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to look at P44.
3 Q. And this would be tab 19 in your binder, General. Well, we can
4 start from the beginning. We don't need to turn any pages, so let's
5 start at the beginning, General. Let us first look at this, and can you
6 please tell me us something about this Article 2 of this Law on defence
7 here that we have in front of us. What exactly is regulated by this
8 article, what does it stand for?
9 A. This Article 2 clearly lists the bearers of the defence system.
10 These are the citizens [as interpreted]: Federal organs and
11 organisations, organs and organisations of member republics, local
12 self-governing units, and organisations performs public services,
13 companies, and other legal entities.
14 Q. Does that mean that these are all subjects of defence?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 2 in the
17 English version.
18 Q. And let us now look at Article 8, General.
19 A. Yes, it says here clearly who has the right in the case of an
20 imminent threat of war or a state of war or a state of emergency to take
21 command, that is, the president of the republic, the president of the
22 federal republic, and in accordance with decisions of the Supreme Defence
23 Council can issue the taking of measures and actions to be taken by the
24 armed forces in order to deal with the situation. So the president of
25 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and he would make those decisions
1 pursuant to decisions of the Supreme Defence Council.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move to Article 17, so
3 can we look at the next page in the English version.
4 Q. General, what does this particular article of the law deal with?
5 A. Article 17 of the law states that:
6 "In the case of imminent danger of war, a state of war, or a
7 state of emergency, units and organs of internal affairs can be used to
8 carry out combat assignments, i.e., engage in combat or offer armed
9 resistance. In carrying out their combat assignments, these units and
10 organs are subordinated to the officer of the armed forces of Yugoslavia
11 who is in command of the combat operations."
12 Q. Thank you. First of all, can you tell me it says here "may be
13 used," units and organs of internal affairs. Who decides if they can be
14 used in the implementation of combat actions?
15 A. The person who is in command of the Army of Yugoslavia, so the
16 supreme commander, the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
17 is authorised; and it says they "can be," so he can do that. That is why
18 we did not understand that with the declaration of the state of war this
19 article automatically went into effect until a particular special order
20 was drafted placing it into effect.
21 Q. It says that these units and organs shall subordinate to the
22 officer of the armed forces of Yugoslavia who is commanding combat
23 operations. Who would be that senior officer commanding the combat
25 A. This would be at the level of the brigade commander.
1 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to -- well, I'm not going to ask you
2 what carrying out combat operations means, everybody knows that. But
3 outside of that, what happens with the units and the organs of internal
5 A. When combat is finished in a particular sector and a -- this
6 particular task is completed for a particular time, these units and
7 organs are no longer part of that unit. They continue with their regular
9 Q. Thank you. And the organs of MUP, since this law does refer to
10 organs and we are using that text, outside of combat actions and the
11 usual tasks and assignments as laid down by law, if a -- what happens
12 when an order on resubordination is issued?
13 A. This article does not cover the other organs that are not
14 carrying out combat actions. For example, we're talking about traffic
15 police, fire-fighting units, and others. What this article covers are
16 just those combat units who are capable of carrying out combat actions
17 are then for a specific time and for a specific assignment resubordinated
18 to the Army of Yugoslavia; the others continue to perform their regular
19 tasks and assignments.
20 Q. All right. One more explanation. We have this term legal
21 technical sense. In the military terms, what does this resubordination
22 mean specifically in such a situation, what does that mean, to be
23 resubordinated during combat actions?
24 A. Let me try to simplify things. This means that if a section of
25 defence of a brigade of the Army of Yugoslavia, we have a specific unit,
1 for example, a detachment or a company of the police, the senior officer
2 would report to the brigade commander and be issued an assignment. He
3 would submit a report to him, and he would receive all that he needed
4 from him. They would maintain communication. When the task was
5 completed, he would submit the report and is no longer part of that unit.
6 He could even remain in the same territory, but would report back to his
7 commander from the MUP and then proceed pursuant to other instructions or
8 orders issued by the MUP.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P43.
11 Q. This is tab 20 in your binder, sir. Article 4. I'm interested
12 in Article 4, item 2.
13 A. These are the duties of those who are commanding the army, and
14 that is the president of the republic pursuant to decisions of the
15 Supreme Defence Council. In item 2 it says that besides other duties the
16 supreme commander or the president of the republic in his defence
17 function would determine the system of command in the army and oversee
18 the implementation of that system.
19 Q. Can you look at item 6 now, please.
20 A. Item 6 states that the president of the Republic of Yugoslavia
21 adopts rules regulating the internal order and relations in the
22 performance of military service.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at D203 now, please.
25 Q. This is tab 21 in your binder, sir. General, sir, we have an
1 order here by President Slobodan Milosevic of the 18th of April, 1997 [as
2 interpreted], ordering that units and organs of the internal affairs in
3 the territory of Yugoslavia pursuant to Article 17 of the Law on Defence
4 be subordinated to officers of the Army of Yugoslavia, those officers
5 organising and commanding combat actions. Did you receive this order at
6 the Supreme Command Staff?
7 A. Yes, we did receive that order and on its basis we wrote our
8 orders in turn, on the basis of what is stated in item 2.
9 Q. Well, in this order we don't see that it was -- at least not on
10 this copy, that it was dispatched or submitted to you. Do you have that
12 A. I don't have all the addressees on my copy.
13 Q. Well, now we're going to go into more detail now. We've covered
14 paragraph 2.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at paragraph 3 of the
17 Q. How did you implement paragraph 3 at the Supreme Command Staff?
18 A. Yes, I remember, we were a little bit surprised. Probably the
19 author of the order was probably the head of the president's war cabinet,
20 and perhaps something that at this time does not seem to belong to the
21 idea stated by the president is contained in this paragraph 3. The chief
22 of the Supreme Command Staff was issued an assignment to send his
23 requests to civilian government organs and other defence bodies in
24 order -- pursuant to the existing laws and decrees to contribute to the
25 overall strengthening of the country's defence system and a more
1 successful fighting against the aggressor's forces. A little bit earlier
2 we had the opportunity to look at all these subjects of defence, bearers
3 of the defence actions, and from what I can say, I can say that after
4 this I know we had a number of requests to different federal ministries,
5 primarily to the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Finance, the
6 Ministry of Energy, and so on and so forth about what we needed in order
7 to be able to continue to carry out combat actions successfully.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at 006-0530,
9 this is a D document, and this is 49 ter on the Defence list.
10 Q. And this is an order by the Supreme Command Staff of the 18th of
11 April, 1999, about resubordination. Can we look at paragraph 1, please.
12 In your binder it's tab 22, sir. Can we look at paragraph 1. Can you
13 comment on that, please.
14 A. Based on the previous order by the president of the Republic of
15 Yugoslavia, it was copied that units and organs of internal affairs in
16 your area of responsibility are hereby subordinated to you. I must admit
17 that the formulation is not the best possible one. It was clear to some
18 and unclear to others. Those who did not really understand it called on
19 the phone, asking for clarification.
20 Q. And regarding this lack of understanding, are you aware that some
21 commanders who did receive this order at lower levels considered that
22 they were now commanding -- they were in command of the lives and the
23 duties in the area of responsibility where these units were?
24 A. I know that some commanders, particularly those in the 3rd Army
25 in the Pristina Corps, believed that no longer -- other laws no longer
1 applied, other than those under their command. So this went on for a few
2 days until we learned about it and there was forceful intervention,
3 clarifying that that was not the letter and intent of this particular
4 order by the president.
5 Q. Sir, we see that this is from the Supreme Command Staff. Did you
6 draft this order?
7 A. I don't remember who did. I don't see the initials in the bottom
8 left-hand corner, so I can even think that this was done by somebody
9 else. For example, the Chief of Staff for operations and staff affairs
10 maybe was given this assignment, so he did it with one desk officer.
11 Because had I drafted this document, there -- it would have contained
12 everything that is required, including the initials of the person who
13 drafted it and typed it.
14 Q. What about paragraph 1?
15 A. Well, it's a hypothetical question, if I may be permitted to say,
16 and I can give you a hypothetical answer. Perhaps the same thing would
17 be said or perhaps I would try better with my associates to understand
18 the intention of the supreme commander and to clarify it better in
19 paragraph 1. I'm sorry, but it did cause certain misunderstanding at
20 some levels and then also some consequences as part of that.
21 Q. This is what I wanted to ask you: While conducting combat
22 actions during the aggression, were they successfully carried out by the
23 Army of Yugoslavia?
24 A. I didn't quite understand. What was successfully carried out?
25 Q. Combat actions during the aggression, that the Army of Yugoslavia
1 carried them out successfully?
2 A. Evaluations vary. We, professional soldiers, believe that we
3 performed our task successfully. I don't know the view of the foreigners
4 and those who attacked us.
5 Q. I wanted to show you now your tab 24.
6 A. Excuse me, I'd like to comment who this was addressed to, it
7 wouldn't hurt.
8 Q. Go ahead.
9 A. This document was clearly submitted to the office of the chief of
10 the Supreme Command Staff and the commanders of the 1st, 2nd, and
11 3rd Army and navy. We in the administration did not receive a copy. One
12 copy was saved in the operations and staff section that we -- that was
13 available to us.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Yes -- isn't it already an exhibit? I have
17 confused it with --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I have confused it, have I, with Exhibit D203?
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Maybe you did not make a mistake,
21 Your Honours. I can't believe this document hasn't been exhibited yet,
22 but from all I know it hasn't. If you want, we can run a check during
23 the break, and there's time for you to decide.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I am usually wrong, you're usually right,
25 Mr. Djurdjic, in such matters. We will receive it.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document shall be received as
2 Exhibit Number D00564. Thank you, Your Honours.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it's time
5 for the break.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Your posture gave the appearance you were
7 preparing a special final question, so I waited.
8 We will adjourn now and resume a couple of minutes after 1.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: While the witness is coming, the Chamber noticed
13 that in the transcript the date of the last exhibit appeared at least in
14 one place as the 18th of April, 1997. It clearly should be 1999.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] That's quite right, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
18 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, just for
19 the record, Exhibit D -- Exhibit 564, the date on that document is 18
20 April 1999. I just want to correct my own mistake.
21 Q. General, your tab 24 is an order from the Pristina Corps command
22 of the 20th of April, 1999 implementing an order from the Supreme Command
23 Staff and the command of the 3rd Army concerning resubordination. Could
24 you explain to us item 1.
25 A. This is a correct interpretation and a correct task issued by the
1 commander of the Pristina Corps, that is, units and organs of the MUP of
2 the Republic of Serbia in the areas of responsibilities of brigades shall
3 be resubordinated to the respective brigades for the purpose of carrying
4 out assignments.
5 Q. Thank you. Item 2.
6 A. This is, generally speaking, a very good order, I remember it.
7 In item 4, the commander of the Pristina Corps issues the assignment to
8 make plans and orders to specify the responsibilities and duties of the
9 MUP organs broken down by areas and axes. At the time of execution of
10 combat activities, MUP units are engaged to perform certain tasks under
11 the orders of the staff -- of the MUP staff for Kosovo and Metohija,
12 which means that at the time when there are no combat activities, MUP
13 forces carry on with their normal police work.
14 Q. Thank you. And item 6 --
15 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues]... this
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I said -- oh, I'm sorry, I didn't
18 say. P1238. I'm sorry, Your Honour, I just gave a reference to the
19 witness for his own binder.
20 I'm surprised Mr. Stamp did not react immediately when I failed
21 to give a reference.
22 JUDGE PARKER: He's trying to live in peace, Mr. Djurdjic.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Okay, we see it on the screen now.
24 Q. My questions were about items 1 and 4. And now, General, please
25 comment on item 6.
1 A. I've said already this was a very good order, and in item 6 the
2 corps commander issues the task that this order be notified to all MUP
3 units and organs in the brigades' zones of responsibility. I've said
4 earlier that they were responsible for the execution of combat actions.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, P1239, that's your tab 25. Here we see an order
6 from the 3rd Army dated 8 May 1999 to engage VJ and MUP forces in combat
7 control of the territory. I'm interested in para 4, if you have found
9 A. I have found it, but I have only the first page. Page 1 does
10 contain item 4, although I always prefer to have the whole document. But
11 I can say on the basis of what I see here --
12 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we see page 2 in e-court
13 because I failed to print it in B/C/S. That's the bottom of page 2.
14 Q. I, General, am interested in para 4 on page 1. Give us your
16 A. This is an order from the 3rd Army commander from his forward
17 command post in the form of telegram sent to his subordinates, and he
18 orders that manoeuvring units of the Ministry of the Interior - and he
19 enumerates them in brackets, 22nd, 23rd, 35th, 36th, 37th PJP
20 detachments - be engaged as required in whole or in part to destroy
21 Siptar terrorist forces in the area of responsibility of the Pristina
22 Corps. It is also their obligation to occupy positions with parts of
23 military territorial units, MUP mobile units or parts of VJ.
24 Q. Now, General, your tab 36 -- no, no. Your tab 30. D006-0509,
25 and it's 65 ter list of the Defence 45 -- sorry, it's 65 ter number 48,
1 not 45.
2 This is from the Supreme Command Staff, 6 June 1999, an analysis
3 of the execution of tasks given to the 3rd Army sent to the Supreme
4 Command Staff. Were you involved in drafting this document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you do this analysis?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was the outcome of this analysis, and how did you do it?
9 A. Let me first say that at one of the evening meetings at the
10 command post, General Ojdanic ordered us to do an analysis of the
11 execution of demands from the commander of the 3rd Army as soon as
12 possible because that commander had complained by telephone that we were
13 not meeting his requests. Such a request is a completely legal
14 institution, it can be made through a regular combat report or an interim
15 combat report. So we received an assignment, a working team was set up,
16 most of the members of the team were from the first administrations, that
17 is, operations and staff affairs. And we analysed all the requests that
18 had been received by the Supreme Command Staff from the beginning of the
19 war until the 5th or 6th of June when this document was produced. What
20 did we find? We found that 90 per cent of requests had been met in full.
21 3 per cent of requests were partially met for certain reasons, and we
22 provided an explanation. 5 per cent of requests were being handled
23 because they required a longer time. And only seven requests, that is, 2
24 per cent, had not been met. From this we can see that we were rather
25 efficient and the commander of the 3rd Army was in the wrong, probably
1 because he did not have a proper overview.
2 Q. Let's look at the conclusions where you say all this, that's page
3 6 in English and page 5 in Serbian. Let's see the first three
5 A. I've already begun explaining, so let me pick up on item 3. Some
6 requests could not be implemented for justified reasons because the VJ
7 did not have the resources required, but the Supreme Command Staff took
8 steps to replenish the requested resources and deliver them as soon as it
9 received them. The chief of the Supreme Command Staff addressed in those
10 cases the state authorities and other appropriate agencies in order to
11 receive these assets, to meet the requests from the 3rd Army and the
12 Pristina Corps.
13 Q. Could you now turn to your tab 32, which is P888.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] And before that can we tender the
15 previous document.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Did you say 32?
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit Number D00565.
21 Thank you, Your Honours.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, now we see a report from the army command from May 1999.
24 Could you look at para 4 on page 2. The date is 25 May 1999. I want to
25 know whether at any time during the war you were informed of item 4 in
1 this request from the 3rd Army.
2 A. I can say with full responsibility that during the war I had not
3 seen this report, so I couldn't see item 4 either.
4 Q. I also wanted to ask you about these measures proposed at the
5 bottom, what about them?
6 A. Well, the same. Since I haven't seen the document - the telegram
7 as it says - I could not study the measures proposed.
8 Q. Well, I want to ask you: Is this a dispatch or a telegram,
9 because it says "to the Supreme Command Staff, attention" --
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we see -- could we go back
11 to page 1 in English and in Serbian.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I see before me on these two
13 sheets is not a telegram, it doesn't have the format and other markings
14 of a telegram.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, sir, it says here -- it's addressed to the Supreme
17 Command Staff, to the Chief of Staff in person. I want to know how it
18 was sent physically.
19 A. Well, since it was not a telegram, it couldn't be encrypted. The
20 only reasonable assumption is that it was sent by courier, but I don't
21 see the necessary elements on page 2 that it had arrived and had been
22 received at the office of the chief of Supreme Command Staff.
23 Q. Well, then I want to know when such reports are sent by courier
24 to the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, what is the procedure of
1 A. If a document like this is sent to the chief of the Supreme
2 Command Staff in person, then the office of the chief receives it when it
3 is still sealed, the chef de cabinet receives it and puts a stamp at the
4 bottom as to who received it, where it was sent later on, et cetera.
5 This document does not bear the stamp showing that it was received by the
6 office of the chief of the Supreme Command Staff.
7 Q. When a report of this kind is sent to the Chief of the General
8 Staff, what is the procedure that follows? What does the Chief of the
9 General Staff do with it?
10 A. When a report like this arrives and is even handed to the Chief
11 of the General Staff, there is a certain procedure. When he reviews it,
12 he invites his closest associates to review it as well, and according to
13 a very good regular practice at the evening briefing on combat-readiness,
14 we always study a document like this and voice our opinions and
15 proposals. Each important telegram had to be reviewed by the
16 representative of each section, and I'm absolutely certain that we did
17 not see this one.
18 Q. Would a document like this be also made available to the unit
19 that is required to act upon it?
20 A. Yes, to everyone who can be of assistance, first of all, the
21 operations administration, the security administration, intelligence
22 administration, the administration for morale. There are several
23 requests here, so it required the involvement of various bodies.
24 Q. I'm interested in two points here. Who would have to be informed
25 that a document on resubordination had been received, and who would have
1 to be informed that crimes had been committed? To what sections would a
2 document like that be sent, apart from the oral briefing?
3 A. Well, certainly to the operations and staff affairs, that is, the
4 first administration, because we were the ones who wrote the orders on
5 resubordination; and second, to the security administration, for them to
6 check it out. That's in addition to the oral briefing.
7 Q. In view of the importance of the document, would you as chief of
8 the first administration be made aware of this document?
9 A. Without fail.
10 Q. Now let me ask you, we don't know that this document ever arrived
11 at the General Staff. When you were doing that analysis on the 6th of
12 June, 1999, would a document of this nature have to be included in the
14 A. Any request from the 3rd Army, and especially a request like
15 this, would have to be included in the analysis. And it -- we would have
16 had to keep on our records whether it was met or not. We never reviewed
17 it, and therefore never analysed it because it was never there at the
18 General Staff.
19 Q. Yes, you answered this one. Okay.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask to see
21 Exhibit P11 --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1505.
23 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, you can go back to tab 31 in your binder. This is a
25 request by the 3rd Army command, and it's dated the 4th of June, 1999.
1 General, I would like to ask you this first: What is the form of this
3 A. Compared to the other document, this is an attempt to make a
4 telegram form, but it's not quite correct. I know how it should look,
5 but I don't need to explain exactly why it's not the correct form.
6 Q. All right. Thank you.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at page 2
9 Q. You said it was a telegram. Is the telegram signed at the end?
10 A. No, there is no signature, of either of the two names that are
11 here. There are no initials by the person who drafted them, and we have
12 no proof that the telegram was dispatched or that it was received by the
13 Supreme Command Staff.
14 Q. Just take it slowly, General, sir. If this is a copy of the
15 telegram from the 3rd Army and it reached the Prosecution and had it been
16 actually dispatched, would it need to have some kind of marking on the
17 second page?
18 A. Yes, other than the signatures and the stamp, next to the
19 signature it would also need to have the rectangular stamp which I
20 explained on a few examples that we had before, when was it dispatched,
21 when was it processed, who sent it, who received it.
22 Q. All right. If this was the copy received by the General Staff,
23 if it had arrived at the General Staff, what would it need to have on
24 that second page?
25 A. Well, if we disregard other errors in the form of the telegram,
1 at least it would need to have a stamp of the operations administration,
2 the number that it was logged in under at the Supreme Command Staff, and
3 the date.
4 Q. Thank you. Now I would like us to go back to the first page,
5 both in your binder and also in the e-court. General, sir, would you
6 please now look at this reference. What does the reference indicate?
7 What does the telegram refer to?
8 A. Yes. This is in reference to a document of the air force
9 department because I know that their number is 03. The land forces
10 sector bears the number 02. There's something illogical here. In the
11 heading it says, To the Supreme Command Staff ground forces sector. Had
12 there been an attempt to send it to the ground forces sector, it would
13 need to have a different number, 02 or 01, but not 03.
14 Q. Thank you. Now I want to ask you this: The ground forces sector
15 of the Supreme Command Staff at this time, how did it receive telegrams
16 pursuant to this procedure?
17 A. All the sectors and the administrations in the Supreme Command
18 Staff at the command post would receive post and telegrams through the
19 relevant office which was in the first administration and processed
20 everyone's mail. So it would need to bear the markings or log number of
21 that office.
22 Q. Sir, in view of the importance of this request, if it had arrived
23 in this form, to whom would the telegram then be delivered?
24 A. Well, let's say that it did arrive at the ground forces section,
25 then it had to be copied and then sent to the Chief of Staff of the
1 general command, then to the first administration, the security
2 administration, the communications and IT section, and the logistics
3 centre because of the lack of ammunition. So quite a number of people
4 should have received a copy of this telegram so that they could prepare
5 and report on it to the Supreme Command Staff commander during the
6 evening briefing.
7 Q. Thank you. That was to be my next question. Another question:
8 Since the date here is the 4th of June, 1999, would this request be part
9 of the analysis -- actually, let me ask you this: Was it part of the
10 analysis that you carried on the 6th of June, 1999?
11 A. No. This document was not included or the one earlier.
12 Q. Had it arrived, would it have been analysed?
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. Thank you. General, sir, let us now look at tab 33 in your
15 binder. This is D167. Rules of service of the Army of Yugoslavia. I'm
16 interested in page 2 of this document in English and then in page 3. I
17 would like to deal with a part that has to do with the use of army units
18 and institutions in peacetime. Who decides on the use of the army when
19 we're talking about terrorist sabotage actions?
20 A. We have to be very careful and subtle in answering here in order
21 to understand. If a unit were to be attacked, regardless of its level,
22 the commander or komandant of the unit would decide to engage these
23 opposing forces, terrorists, or whoever in an action. In other
24 circumstances, the Chief of the General Staff would make the decision on
25 the engagement of the units in a particular task. In case of need for a
1 broader engagement, the decision on that is made by the Supreme Defence
2 Council or the supreme commander.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at P883, please. Sir, this is tab 34
4 in your binder. We have a diagram here, which is actually the
5 organisation of the FRY military forces associated with Kosovo. This is
6 what it says. This is done by some expert. Does this chart correspond
7 to the organisation of the FRY forces in 1999?
8 A. No, it does not correspond to what we had at that time in the
9 Army of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Could you please tell me then what is not accurate in this chart.
11 A. The first and second levels, conditionally speaking, are
12 inaccurately represented here so that this table would need to be changed
13 in order to reflect the actual state of affairs.
14 Q. What exactly is incorrect about it, and how is it supposed to
15 look if it were to be correct?
16 A. I'm going to try to explain. The first box from the top should
17 contain the text "Supreme Defence Council - Supreme Command." Below that
18 it should be the "Supreme Commander - The President of the Federal
19 Republic of Yugoslavia." That should be different, and that is the
20 essence of this first box.
21 Q. Let me ask you. If you took a piece of paper, could you roughly
22 illustrate what you have just said?
23 A. Well, if I had a piece of paper, I would do it precisely, not
24 roughly or approximately.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we ask to have
1 the witness draw this diagram. I don't think that it would take too much
2 time actually.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Very well.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I have a pen, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me, Witness, excuse me, can you please
6 hold on for a little while. We're trying to get the ELMO on.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, sir, the Court Officer will tell you when it's all right
9 for you to begin with your drawing.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE PARKER: There is apparently a technical problem,
12 Mr. Djurdjic. What the witness might do is to complete his drawing, his
13 amendment. If the problem has not been corrected, we can look at it
14 physically and it can be included, if necessary, as an exhibit tomorrow.
15 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, you can draw on a piece of paper and you can put it in front
17 of you, show us how the structure, the organisation of the Army of
18 Yugoslavia was, and then we can put it on the ELMO.
19 A. [Marks]
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, should I deal with
21 the abbreviations right now, or shall I leave it for tomorrow morning
22 because then the witness can tell us what he drew ?
23 JUDGE PARKER: I believe tomorrow morning, as we've now run out
24 of time. If the document could stay in the hands of the Court Officer
25 overnight. At the break it may be helpful if Mr. Stamp could look at it
1 for a moment, and then tomorrow morning you can carry on with the
3 Could I mention that tomorrow morning we will now be sitting in
4 Courtroom I, not in this courtroom.
5 We must adjourn now --
6 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE PARKER: -- because another court is to commence here. We
8 will resume at tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the morning.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of
11 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.