1 Thursday, 4 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Seems to have been a little
6 confusion this morning at the change of courtrooms, which I did mention
7 last night before we broke. This morning Judge Baird is not feeling
8 well. It is hoped that he will be able to join us during the morning but
9 whether that can happen or not, we will continue to sit under Rule 15
11 If we could have the witness.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE PARKER: I remind you that the affirmation you made to tell
16 the truth still applies, and Mr. Djurdjic is continuing his questions.
17 WITNESS: DJORDJE CURCIN [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examination in chief by Mr. Djurdjic: [Continued]
20 Q. Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning, General, sir.
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. If we may, I would like to continue where we left off yesterday
23 and that is the organisational chart drawn by the General.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can I tender this
25 hard copy now of the diagram into evidence, or should we use the machine?
1 JUDGE PARKER: We will be getting some explanation of this
2 diagram, I take it?
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. General, could you please explain the diagram that you have drawn
5 for us.
6 A. First of all, I would like to apologise because it doesn't look
7 so great, but it was not the best way to draw it on the desk with the
8 binder underneath, but in any case, this command diagram is considerably
9 different from the one that I saw yesterday drawn by somebody from the
10 Prosecutor's Office. What exactly is the difference? The main thing is
11 that the Supreme Defence Council in peacetime is the Supreme Command in
12 war time headed by the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
13 who pursuant to the constitution and the law and we heard the appropriate
14 articles commands in peacetime and war time the Army of Yugoslavia in
15 accordance to the Supreme Defence Council.
16 In that sense, at the strategic level, you have the Supreme
17 Command staff as the professional staff organ of the Supreme Command,
18 that's why it's called the Supreme Command staff. It this is headed by
19 the Chief of the Supreme Command staff, so that is one level of
21 As we can see, the president of the Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia, that box has two lines leading down because the president
23 commands the strategic groups as the supreme commander, so the president
24 of the FRY, the supreme commander, commands the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd
25 Army, the navy, and the air force and anti-aircraft Defence. Then you
1 have a dotted line underneath the Chief of the Supreme Command staff
2 because he can pursuant to decision by the Supreme Command also issues
3 orders, tasks to the strategic groups pursuant to the decisions of the
4 supreme commander and the Supreme Command. The difference between this
5 diagram and the one we saw yesterday lies in the fact that there we have
6 a separate level of command, the Supreme Defence Council, the Supreme
7 Command are separate and then underneath that you have the Supreme
8 Command staff and Chief of Staff. That would mean that these are two
9 separate levels of command and would imply that the Supreme Command would
10 have to have considerably more people in order to be able to put into
11 practice the decisions of the supreme commander pursuant to conclusions
12 of the Supreme Defence Council. So there is a considerable difference
14 Q. Thank you. I just want to ask you this: We see the strategic
15 groups here. Within the 3rd Army would you be able to tell us what were
16 the subordinate organisational units there?
17 A. Both in peace time and war time, there were a number of them.
18 At this point I'm just going to focus on the war time situation and if
19 necessary, I can also provide explanations for circumstances in
20 peacetime. The 3rd Army commander had under his command the following
21 units: The Nis Corps, the Pristina Corps, the Nis Military District and
22 the Pristina military district; some independence and staff units such as
23 the armour unit, communications regiment, reconnaissance units, military
24 police units and so on, and we also had two logistics bases: One was in
25 Nis for the territory covered by the Nis Corps that provided materiel and
1 equipment to all the Nis Corps units and other units in that area, and
2 one base in Kosovo and Metohija or in Pristina which served the logistics
3 needs of all the units that were located in Kosovo and Metohija.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me how the chain of command
5 functioned in the Army of Yugoslavia in the course of 1999?
6 A. During 1999, we have two periods which would be of interest for
7 this Court. The first one was from the 1st of January until the 24th of
8 March, and the second one from the 24th of March until the 20th of June.
9 The chain of command was the one defined by the laws and the constitution
10 so the Supreme Command council in peace time; in war time the supreme
11 commander commanded the strategic groups directly or through the Chief of
12 the Supreme Command staff or the Chief of the General Staff.
13 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in the Supreme Defence Council.
14 Yesterday we looked at the composition so we know that. Who had the
15 right of decision-making in the Supreme Defence Council?
16 A. I'm not sure that I spoke in more detail about the Supreme
17 Defence Council, but I am going to just say one sentence. The Supreme
18 Defence Council, according to the constitution, comprised the president
19 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the president of the Republic of
21 full composition and the only composition of the Supreme Defence Council.
22 Let me add also, all of these members, these three presidents,
23 made the decisions and agreed on matters, and whatever they agreed on
24 then the president of the FRY then formulated that into orders, commands
25 and so on and so forth. In war time, that was the Supreme Command. That
1 body. Since I did say we had two periods which is up until the 24th of
2 March and after the 24th of March, so exclusively through the president
3 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Chief of the Supreme
4 Command staff orders went down to commanders of the strategic formations.
5 Q. Thank you. Are you aware if any other persons attended meetings
6 of the Supreme Defence Council and if yes, what was their role?
7 A. Yes, I am aware that from time to time depending on the topic
8 that was being discussed at the Supreme Defence Council, the president of
9 the Supreme Defence Council would invite certain people to attend. Most
10 frequently it was the minister of defence that was invited, the prime
11 minister, the Chief of the General Staff and some other ministers
12 depending on the sphere or the topic that was being discussed. These
13 persons could not participate in the decision-making or the voting.
14 These persons were only there to reply to questions and to propose. I
15 know this amongst other things because I occasionally participated in the
16 preparation of the material for the Chief of General Staff. That would
17 be used for the meeting of the Supreme Defence Council.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in two things, but we can take it one
19 by one. First of all, during the aggression, how did the communication
20 proceed between the Supreme Command staff and the Chief of Staff with the
21 Supreme Defence Council? Are you informed about that?
22 A. I have already said that the Supreme Command and the Supreme
23 Command staff is one body. They were at the same location, the same
24 command post. So where we were in the Supreme Command staff that is also
25 where the Supreme Command was. I know that they were in contact on a
1 daily basis and that the Chief of the Supreme Command staff had the unit
2 at least once a day to meet and to see members of the Supreme Defence
3 Council who were at the command post. They communicated probably by
4 telephone, even though it was only that they were two floors apart, or
5 they also communicated through the military cabinets.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please inform us a little bit more about
7 the reporting to the members of the Supreme Defence Council during the
8 aggression and even before 1999, how were they informed?
9 A. During the aggression every morning by 6.00 a.m. the combat
10 report that we had the opportunity to see yesterday was provided to the
11 military cabinet of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
12 and it was for the president of Yugoslavia and also for the president of
13 the Republic of Serbia
14 mean the same report was sent to other persons that usually received such
15 reports primarily it was sent to the minister of defence who was not at
16 the command post. The president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
17 would read the report by 8.00 and the attachments, and at that time
18 around 8.00 a.m. he would call or would go himself to the Chief of Staff
19 of the Supreme Command to discuss the situation. I know this because
20 this is something that the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command General
21 Ojdanic told me several times that he would be surprised that the
22 president had studied the report and the attachments especially reports
23 of the 3rd Army command that were sent as attachments. He would put some
24 questions only that needed to be clarified because he was more or less
25 familiar with the situation on the basis of the written report.
1 Q. Thank you. General, you are now retired. Let me ask you this:
2 When a military person and a general is retired, does he have access to
3 documents of military nature that are now topical that are part of the
4 current work?
5 A. No. Although I'm a lieutenant-general and used to work in that
6 first administration, I do not have access to any document short of
7 passing through a special procedure. Nobody has the right to share
8 documents with third parties even if these third parties are retired
10 Q. General, are there any rules in the Army of Yugoslavia, were
11 there any rules when you were active, about the safekeeping and archiving
12 of documents?
13 A. Yes, there are rules of office management concerning the drafting
14 of documents and safekeeping and archiving of documents. Every document
15 that is produced is recorded in the register and so is every document
16 received from another command. At the end of the year, all of these are
17 archived, only originals though.
18 And another thing, the Chief of the Supreme Command staff ordered
19 on the 23rd of April, 1999 when a state of immediate threat of war was
20 proclaimed that a special register should be opened to register all the
21 incoming and ongoing documents, and that stayed in place until the 20th
22 of June, 1999. At the same time, the Chief of the Supreme Command staff
23 ordered that all these documents, all these originals be kept and
24 collected into archives at the end of the war. Under that written order
25 from the Chief of the Supreme Command staff, I was tasked with organising
1 the archiving of all documents from the Supreme Command staff and all the
2 documents that the Supreme Command staff received from subordinate units.
3 Let me emphasise that at the command post 1 register was kept at the
4 office administration, and that is where all the documents were logged.
5 Ingoing and -- incoming and outgoing. There was another register in the
6 office of the Chief of the Supreme Command staff because various parties
7 such as ministers, politicians, businessmen often met with him and
8 addressed him, and that's why this register was kept.
9 Another service, namely the security administration, had its own
11 Q. General, would the fact that a stamp of the archives is found on
12 a certain document mean that the document is authentic?
13 A. Not necessarily. Depends on some other elements, although I
14 would like to explain this using a specific example. If there are no
15 other stamps or signatures, and I would be able to establish that as a
16 professional, then the document would still not be authentic.
17 Q. Since you asked for an example I would like to take you back to
18 two documents we saw today. One of them is dated 25 of May 1999 sent by
19 the 3rd Army to the Supreme Command staff.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It's P888.
21 Q. And in your binder it's 32.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Before we move on, are you going to deal with this
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] We dealt only with -- oh, you
25 mean the diagram? Thank you, Your Honours. I tender the diagram drawn
1 by the witness.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Could the display again show the diagram, please.
3 Thank you. Before we receive it, I need to get a couple of things more
4 clear. VSO-VK, what does that stand for? What is that the abbreviation
5 for? Could you help us?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] VSO is Supreme Defence Council.
7 It's the Supreme Command in war time. Supreme Defence Council equals
8 Supreme Command in war time. And then we see an acronym for the Supreme
9 Command staff and VK means Supreme Command.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Below that you have, I believe, the
11 president of the federal republic on your diagram. He was the president
12 of the Supreme Defence Council?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The president of the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia was also chairman or president of the Supreme
15 Defence Council and from that we drew the conclusion that he was also the
16 supreme commander in war time.
17 JUDGE PARKER: The other members of the Defence Council that you
18 mentioned are the presidents of Serbia and Montenegro; is that correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE PARKER: In peacetime, did that Supreme Defence Council
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and it was convened from time
23 to time at the request of the president, and it also had a standing
24 secretary General Susic who kept minutes, records, produced documents,
25 et cetera.
1 JUDGE PARKER: In peacetime, could the Supreme Defence Council
2 issue orders to the military?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that both in
4 peacetime and in war time, the armies under the command of the president
5 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in keeping with the decisions of
6 the Supreme Defence Council, therefore the Supreme Defence Council as a
7 collective body did not issue assignments and tasks. That was done by
8 the president in peacetime and in war time.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I would understand that at some time earlier than
10 March of 1999, the Supreme Defence Council comprised the presidents of
11 the different republics of Serbia as well as the president of the federal
12 republic; is that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I did not quite
14 understand because at that time there were only two republics, Serbia and
16 JUDGE PARKER: There must have been at some time presidents of
17 Croatia, for example, Slovenia. Were they parts of the Supreme Defence
18 Council? Were they members of it at a time earlier than March of 1999?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps ten years before that.
20 Until 1991 there was a body called the Supreme Command. And presidents
21 of all republics, Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, et cetera were
22 represented on it. The president of Yugoslavia was at the head.
23 However, after the break-up, after 1991, they did not participate any
24 longer in the work of this body, the Supreme Defence Council.
25 JUDGE PARKER: I ask the questions in that way because it seems
1 to me that the Supreme Defence Council was a body that brought together
2 the political heads of the different components of the federal republic;
3 is that correct?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: And as you say in 1999, there were the republics
6 of Serbia and of Montenegro as well as the president of the federal
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Now, also on your diagram below the president of
10 the federal republic you have SVK. Could you tell us what that is?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This acronym which is actually SVK
12 is there because the General Staff was actually the staff body for
13 preparing, organising, and executing combat activity. The acronym means
14 Supreme Command staff. It was the staff of the Supreme Command.
15 JUDGE PARKER: If the president of the -- or the chairman of the
16 Supreme Defence Council, that is the president of the federal republic,
17 by decision of the Supreme Defence Council wished to issue an order to
18 all or some of the strategic elements of the army, would the staff that
19 you have designated there prepare that order for the president?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE PARKER: And that staff was headed by the Chief of the
22 Supreme Command staff?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At the head of this Supreme
24 Command staff was a chief, specifically Colonel Dragomir Ojdanic, who
25 before that was Chief of the General Staff. And in war time, he became
1 Chief of the Supreme Command staff.
2 JUDGE PARKER: You've already answered my next question. The
3 Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Supreme Command staff
4 were in fact the same person, they just changed names when war was
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're right.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Now, below the SVK you have another box. What is
8 that? Nacelnik SVK it appears to be or some such, you'll have to pardon
9 my Serbian pronunciation.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Following the same procedure, the
11 same logic, when I said that the person number one in the Supreme Command
12 was the president of Yugoslavia, I also tried to explain that the Chief
13 of the General Staff was at the head of the Supreme Command staff under
14 those circumstances.
15 JUDGE PARKER: So that lower box is the Chief of the Supreme
16 Command staff?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE PARKER: In peacetime, is it really the effect of what you
19 are saying that the Supreme Command -- sorry, the Supreme Defence Council
20 rarely met, so for the most part it was for the General Staff to command
21 the army?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Supreme Defence Council met in
23 peacetime, and as far as I know, there are stenographic minutes from all
24 the meetings of the Supreme Defence Council. I had occasion to see them.
25 In peacetime, the General Staff did its job based on those decisions and
1 the decisions of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia who
2 was supreme commander.
3 Now, considering that the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command
4 executed many tasks in the army on behalf of the president, he headed
5 this body and that's why he is represented on the diagram with an
6 interrupted line because the exclusive right to command the army in
7 peacetime and in war time belonged to the president of Yugoslavia.
8 JUDGE PARKER: It seems to me that the effect of what you are
9 saying really is that there were changes of name in war time, and maybe
10 the Supreme Defence Council became much more active, but really there was
11 no fundamental change to the command structure?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, or rather, no, there was no
13 change in the structure, but there was a change of name, and the Supreme
14 Command staff was much smaller than the General Staff was in peace.
15 JUDGE PARKER: That's a very interesting observation on
16 efficiency. I noted that in your evidence earlier.
17 The president of the federal republic held his authority as
18 president of the Supreme Defence Council; is that correct? His authority
19 to command the army was because he was president of the Supreme Defence
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and because the Law on Defence
22 in certain articles that we read yesterday, I believe, it is stipulated
23 that he is the only one who is entitled to command the army in peacetime
24 and in war time.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can help me as well. Were the prime
1 minister of the federal republic and the republics of Serbia and
2 Montenegro and the minister of defence of the federal republic not
3 involved in this structure?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid you misunderstood me.
5 Only the minister of defence does not belong in this body. This body
6 includes the president of Yugoslavia, the president of Serbia, the
7 president of Montenegro
8 Defence Council. The minister of the Defence, the Chief of the General
9 Staff, and the federal minister are invited occasionally to discuss
10 specific matters at the Supreme Defence Council, and they do not have the
11 right of vote.
12 JUDGE PARKER: The question of Judge Fluegge arises from a
13 comment you made earlier. You would understand the prime minister and
14 the president to be the same person, or a separate person? Two different
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The president is one thing, and the
17 federal prime minister is another thing. Sometimes, and that may cause
18 confusion, we call prime minister president of the government. He was
19 invited occasionally to the sessions.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, but they were not -- the presidents of the
21 governments of the Federal Republic Serbia and Montenegro were not by the
22 law members of the Supreme Defence Council? They could be invited to
23 attend; is that correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know of a single case when
25 prime ministers, that is presidents of the governments of the constituent
1 republics, were invited to a session of the Supreme Defence Council. We
2 have somewhat a different attitude towards prime ministers. The
3 president of a republic represents the republic, and the prime minister
4 probably plays a more modest role than in western countries.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that explanation. What about the
6 minister for defence? Was he not part of this structure, the chain of
7 command? Didn't he take part in any decisions or meetings?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. He is not in this chain of
9 command. He is subordinated to the federal prime minister. He has
10 civilian authority and the civilian supervisor of the army. He may
11 attend certain sessions depending on the subject matter, in which case he
12 would be invited and provided with background material in good time, and
13 he may participate in discussion, but he does not have the right of vote.
14 That's how it was according to the constitution and the law.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: This diagram drawn by the witness will be
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit Number D00566. Thank you, Your
20 JUDGE PARKER: Now, I interrupted you, you were moving on,
21 Mr. Djurdjic.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] After questions like this, it's
23 almost a shame for me to continue. I had asked for a document though.
24 Q. Tab 32, General.
25 A. I think I found it, but maybe you could sort of clear the screen
1 so I could follow.
2 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness see the document
3 on the -- sorry, could the witness look at the transcript instead of the
4 document. You don't have to look at me.
5 Q. This document is a report from the 3rd command -- 3rd Army
6 command, 25 May 1999, strictly confidential, 872-94/1-2. There's no
7 stamp that it was archived. If this document found its way into the
8 archives, could we establish when it was created?
9 A. In my humble opinion, this document could never find its way into
10 the archives because it's not complete. It's true that there is a number
11 and the time on the first page which tells us something about its
12 provenance, but on the second page, certain elements that would make the
13 document acceptable and valid are missing.
14 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask for the second page in
15 English, please.
16 Q. You may go on.
17 A. Can I also see the -- yeah, thank you. It's the same as my hard
18 copy. There is a signature, there is a stamp, but I cannot say whether
19 it's real or not, but there is evidence in the form of stamp and date
20 that this document arrived at the command of the -- at the Supreme
21 Command staff, and it was registered.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] P1505 is the next document I
23 would like to request.
24 Q. General, sir, we can see the document. It's a telegram of the
25 4th of June, 1999, from the 3rd Army command sent to the Supreme Command
1 staff, ground forces sector. Could you please look at the document and
2 then tell us?
3 JUDGE PARKER: While that's happening, Mr. Djurdjic, we don't
4 know the number of the previous document. Is it an exhibit?
5 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] P88, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] For the transcript, it's P888.
8 That's the previous document.
9 Q. Sir, looking at this telegram again, what can you tell us as to
10 its authenticity?
11 A. Thank you. The document has something that the other one does
12 not have that does not have enough elements to for me to be able to
13 assert that it is a valid one; namely, there is no signature of the
14 commander, there is no signature by the Chief of Staff, there is no
15 stamp that would certify each of the signatures, that of the commander
16 and that of the Chief of Staff. There is no rectangular stamp at the
17 bottom indicating the time of dispatch, the time of receipt, and the time
18 it was received at the Supreme Command staff. So that stamp that is
19 there, I can tell that it's the archives stamp, that's possible, but a
20 document like this should not have and must not have been accepted into
21 the archive. I note that it was my administration that was responsible
22 for the collection of all the documents, our documents from the Supreme
23 Command staff and subordinate archives before they were handed over to
24 the archives, so all the war time documentation was handed into the
25 archive so my chief would not accept or pass on to the archives a
1 document of this type.
2 There is something else that I've noticed. The heading of this
3 document says, 3rd Army command, ground forces sector. You can see that
4 ground forces sector, reading it quickly in this telegram, that would not
5 be the sector authorised to deal with these questions. Underneath that
6 when it says, Reference, SVK and then strictly confidential 03/ and so on
7 and so forth, I know because the recording of documents was in my
8 jurisdiction, so the ground forces sector is -- has the marking 02. 03
9 is the air force and anti-aircraft defence sector, so it's not clear why
10 they would be sending it to the ground forces sector, but the reference
11 would be to the air force, and the operations staff and the operations
12 administration would be writing to subordinate organs.
13 When you analyse this you can very quickly see that this is a
14 telegram which even has some seven or eight addressees to whom it would
15 be dispatched. Not everyone is authorised for ammunition, for artillery,
16 for some unrest among the population, the role of certain officials in
17 disbanding units and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you, General, sir, just one thing, regardless of this
19 discrepancy as to whom it was sent and so on, had it be been received by
20 the Supreme Command staff, would this be noted or marked on this document
21 regardless of the organisational unit?
22 A. Yes, in any case there would be a stamp, a date, a number
23 indicating that it was received and when it was received in the Supreme
24 Command staff. A telegram like this, if it is authentic, I conclude that
25 it was not received, and I do not remember it.
1 Q. Thank you. Had such a telegram been expedited from the 3rd Army,
2 would it have to have an indication that it was dispatched?
3 A. Yes, it would have to have a stamp, the time, the date,
4 indicating when it was dispatched, when it was processed, when it arrived
5 at the Supreme Command staff and so on and so forth. We had the
6 opportunity to see yesterday during previous documents my previous
7 testimony what such a document was supposed to look like so we did have
8 proper examples of such documents.
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now look at
10 document 65 ter Defence list 871 or --
11 JUDGE PARKER: Before you move on, Mr. Djurdjic, I wonder whether
12 the Chamber can be assisted more. Two documents now, Exhibit P888 and
13 P1505. The witness has said things which indicate that he can't confirm
14 that it is authentic. Is the witness saying that what we are looking at
15 may be a document that was not properly dealt with at the time, or is he
16 saying this is not a real document? There's something that suggests that
17 it is not authentic. Is the witness saying something about either of
18 those things, or what is he saying?
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was afraid to put
20 a question like that to the witness.
21 Q. Please, sir, could you respond to the question put by His Honour
22 Judge Parker.
23 A. I'm going to be very cautious regarding the previous one, I don't
24 remember the number of the 25th of May, that telegram I assert did not
25 reach the General Staff while I was at the General Staff because
1 definitely I would have seen it, familiarised myself with it, and would
2 have had to react pursuant to it. As for this telegram, all I'm saying
3 is that I did not see, we did not discuss it, and it was not included in
4 our analysis and that the evening collegium during war time and sometime
5 later, neither of the telegrams were discussed.
6 What can be drawn as a conclusion on the basis of that is
7 something that I am leaving up to the Court, and perhaps the Prosecutor
8 will also have the opportunity to deal with this in more detail.
9 JUDGE PARKER: That's the difficulty, you see. These both appear
10 to be routine documents of the Yugoslav Army, I think in each case
11 documents that emanate from the 3rd Army. And you are either saying,
12 well, this is a document which didn't comply in all respects with what
13 was normal and proper, and I don't remember seeing it at the Supreme
14 Command staff, or is it that it could be the case that this was not a
15 document at the time at all and for some reason, by some means within the
16 army it has been created since May and June of 1999? It's a document
17 from within your army, and we need some guidance whether this is a
18 document that existed at the time, although it may have been imperfectly
19 dealt with under administrative arrangements, or alternatively, whether
20 this is a document that appears not to be genuine? Are you able to help
21 us about that, you may not be able to?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try, but there are a lot of
23 questions that I have. First of all, these are not usual documents by
24 format, the typing, the signature, the items, and so on and so forth, but
25 since some very important things are missing proving that the document
1 was received, then I can openly say that this did not arrive at the
2 General Staff at that time in 1999. I recall the first one definitely,
3 and this one too was never discussed. How can you believe that it is
4 usual that neither the commander nor the Chief of Staff did not sign the
5 second page of this document? We don't see it here, but perhaps we could
6 look at the second page of this document, sir.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show us
8 page 2 of this document.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, excellent. This document
10 without any signatures, without the initials of the person who typed it,
11 without a stamp, how can this be -- the document then be considered as an
12 authentic document? I say that it cannot be considered authentic.
13 Beneath this stamp you would need to have another stamp about the
14 encryption where it would indicate when the document was dispatched, when
15 it was received, then you would also need to have a rectangular stamp
16 with the register number from the administration, operations
17 administration indicating the number it was recorded under. I can show
18 you or look at a number of properly processed documents and then on the
19 basis of that you could clearly see what is missing in this document. On
20 the basis of that, I conclude that it is an improper document and not an
21 authentic one.
22 The archive stamp at the top right-hand corner that is there does
23 not really say anything and cannot compensate for the lack of these other
24 verification stamps. Perhaps I hope that we will look at another
25 document that contains all the proper elements and then I can point out
1 to them -- point them out and say yes, they exist on that document but on
2 this one, however, they are not there.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Are you saying that telegrams were signed before
4 they were sent?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you could not send a telegram
6 unless it was signed by the person who wrote it because I could send a
7 telegram on behalf of the commander, the Chief of Staff. The encryption
8 department has to have the signature proving that that was the signature
9 of the person sending or ordering the telegram.
10 We have the situation here that the 3rd Army command resorted to
11 a signature by some other person. For example, what it says here is the
12 telegram can be sent, and it's then -- below that it says, Chief of
13 Staff, Major-General Ljubisa Stojmirovic. He was the second ranking
14 person in the staff so then you had this option, but in that case General
15 Stojmirovic would have had to sign it so that the telegram could have
16 been dispatched. Again I say some other elements are missing here, and
17 I'm saying that if we encounter those in other elements during my
18 testimony I can point them out to you so then you can see exactly what
19 indicated that a telegram was sent from the 3rd Army command and received
20 by the General Staff.
21 JUDGE PARKER: The technology that you are used to may be
22 different from what I was familiar with. I can understand that at the
23 3rd Army the commander or the author or his second in command would sign
24 a document intended to be send by telegram to the Supreme Command, but
25 the signed document, in my understanding, would remain at the 3rd Army
1 and what would be sent would be a telegram that did not include the
2 original signatures. Do I have a wrong idea about the technology?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, you didn't misunderstand the
4 technology, but I would like to clarify. If we take that variant, then
5 in that case the original signed telegram had to be in the encryption
6 department until the encryptions officer completed his work and
7 dispatched the telegram. Once it arrived at the end user, the original
8 of the telegram with the stamp and the signature would be returned to the
9 archive. So in that case, we would have the opportunity to look at the
10 original document from the army command which is original. Here it's not
11 the original document, it wasn't archived, this is some sort of copy. I
12 don't know how it came about, how it came to where it came, and I still
13 stand by my assertion that it is not a valid copy.
14 Perhaps I could help by --
15 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that. Sorry to be -- Mr. Djurdjic,
16 carry on.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] No, excellent intervention. Let
18 us clarify, General.
19 Q. The next document will have the stamps and all of that, but His
20 Honour Judge Parker asked you very nicely, the first copy I don't call
21 that a telegram, I call that a text that has to be dispatched with the
22 teleprinter or some other machine. I call it the first copy or the
23 original. Does that have to be signed by the author when it arrives at
24 the encryption station?
25 A. Yes. If I may --
1 Q. Yes, yes, let me continue. You can add some things later. Do we
2 see any signature on the document that we are looking at now?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And can this copy be that first original copy on the basis of
5 which a document is dispatched from the communications centre?
6 A. Absolutely not.
7 Q. Thank you. And now, this copy that we see, had it been sent from
8 the communication centre of the 3rd Army, what would it need to have at
9 the bottom?
10 A. I was at liberty to leaf through the document. Forgive me for
11 not answering directly, but in tab 23, we have a similar example from the
12 3rd Army --
13 Q. Just one moment.
14 A. Yes, it's tab 23 in my binder, and if you can call document on
15 the -- on the e-court.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I have that, Your Honours, as
17 D204, and can we look at that on the screen.
18 Q. We can see the document, go ahead and you can explain.
19 A. I apologise again, but I knew that we did have documents like
20 that. This is an original authentic valid document. We have the
21 signature of the commander. We have the stamp of the 3rd Army next to
22 the commander's signature. We have the addressee, and at the bottom we
23 have the rectangular telegram where it states when it was dispatched,
24 received, processed, and another stamp proving all of that and then at
25 the end in the upper right-hand corner we have the stamp of the archive.
1 We did not have any of those other elements except for the
2 archive stamp in the document that we were looking at just now, and the
3 document of the 25th of May. I'm going to be happy and satisfied if I've
4 helped to understand the difference, and I think the difference is very
5 evident between the first, second, and the third document.
6 Q. Thank you. What you have just said at the end, is that something
7 that you read from the stamp? Did you read the time of dispatch and the
8 date? I think you said something else that was under the signature.
9 A. The date is indicated on the stamp. It's stamped. The time of
10 the telegram was received at 1055 hours.
11 Q. Yes, that's all I wanted to hear you made a lapse so it's been
13 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Now can we look at P1505.
14 Q. Let us now look at this option: Expediting a telegram from the
15 3rd Army, then it arrives at the Supreme Command staff. What would that
16 copy of the telegram, the one that was received, have to contain?
17 A. Other than the things that we have seen and this is evidence
18 that this is the first copy from the 3rd Army, once that arrives at the
19 Supreme Command staff or some other address, it would need to have the
20 stamp, the date of its registration in the log-book, that it was received
21 at the address or the Supreme Command staff. We have such stamps so I'm
22 going to perhaps point them out if we encountered such one.
23 Q. Sir, can we look at your tab 27 and 871 on the 65 ter list, and
24 that is exhibit or document 405265 of the Prosecution.
25 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] It's P1449 I have just been told.
1 Q. General, sir, have you found the document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We see here that a document was sent from the 3rd Army command on
4 the 20th of April, 1999. It's a telegram. With respect to the
5 suggestions, can we now look at page 2 of the document in order to
6 comment on it in respect of the previous question. Can you please read
7 this text, I do have a question about it.
8 General, sir, is the term "joint command" mentioned anywhere in
9 this telegram?
10 A. Just reading through the document quickly, I did not come up with
11 the term "joint command."
12 Q. All right. Thank you. Since in the previous transcript we have
13 something like this, let's look at page 2 of this document, and can you
14 please comment regarding the previous question about how the document was
15 received and what was then noted later or subsequently?
16 A. Perhaps I'm going to disappoint you a little bit with my answer.
17 We don't have everything that we would need to have because this is a
18 again an example from the 3rd Army and not one that was received by the
19 General Staff; namely, we do have a stamp here when this was sent at 1155
20 hours when it was processed, when it was received at 1205 hours, however,
21 this is evidence for the encryption -- of encryption in the 3rd Army.
22 What do we have underneath that? The addressees. This is
23 something that was added by the person received -- who received the
24 telegram. The telegram was sent to the chief -- the deputy -- the
25 assistant Chief of the Supreme Command staff, and it was supposed to be
1 sent to the chief of the operations administration and the chief of the
2 ground forces administration, and they were supposed to be informed of
3 the contents of this telegram in order to be able to react. The stamp at
4 the bottom without the without the date, however, is proof by Colonel
5 Vujic that the copy reflects the original when the telegram was sent, and
6 I see the familiar number in the upper right-hand corner.
7 Q. Thank you, General, sir.
8 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document
9 D006-0389, please.
10 Q. This is tab 28 in your binder, General, sir. I apologise. Can
11 you just briefly tell us whether this is again a document pertaining to
12 the Rogovo sector, and what does this order refer to?
13 A. Yes, I recall discussing the matter of Rogovo at least on two
14 occasions, sometime on the 18th of May. No, I apologise, on the 17th and
15 the 18th of April and here on the 20th of May. We needed here to repeat
16 our order to the commander of the 3rd and the 2nd Army to organise joint
17 action in the area where the 2nd and 3rd Army overlapped because
18 evidently the Rogovo action from the telegram of the 17th was not
19 implemented correctly, and it had to be repeated again. We are pointing
20 out to them what we wrote previously and what the chief of the staff
21 ordered earlier to organise close co-operation in order to prevent the
22 terrorists from spilling over into the territory of Kosovo
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could I tender this
25 document, please.
1 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As document Exhibit Number D00567. Thank you,
3 Your Honours.
4 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at document
5 D006-0779, please.
6 Q. This is tab 29.
7 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please turn to page 54
8 in Serbian and page 40 in English.
9 Q. This is an overview of the archives of the Army of Yugoslavia for
10 the years 1998, 1999, sir.
11 General, under number 112, I would like to ask you to tell us
12 what type of document that is, who drafted it. We can see that the date
13 is there.
14 A. Yes. Next to number 112, this is page 50 in my document. It
15 states that the type of document, this is in column 2, it says that it's
16 a suggestion. Then column 3 indicates that this was sent by the Supreme
17 Command staff. The classification is strictly confidential. The number
18 is 01/ --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is unable to see the number.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 014801, then we have a brief
21 content, and it says, The suggestion to the commander of the 3rd Army to
22 take measures to consolidate the 7th Infantry Brigade, so in brackets
23 there are six specific proposals.
24 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Very briefly during the war there were several documents phrased
1 as proposals.
2 A. To the best of my knowledge this is certainly not the only one.
3 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much.
4 I have no further questions, Your Honours, and I tender this document.
5 The English version is page 40. The number should be 112.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit Number D00568. Thank you, Your
9 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's time for the
10 break, I think.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we must have the first break now. It will
12 take 30 minutes for the tapes. We will resume at 5 minutes past 11.00.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic, I didn't thank you for your
18 assistance during that evidence. Thank you. We now turn to
19 Ms. Petersen.
20 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I apologise to both
23 the Trial Chamber and Ms. Petersen, I would just like the combat report
24 that we agreed on with the Prosecution to be admitted into evidence, and
25 it has also been made available to the Registry and the Trial Chamber.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic. A number will be
3 provided later for that.
5 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Cross-examination by Ms. Petersen:
7 Q. Good morning, General Curcin. Without giving a -- you don't need
8 to give a specific address, but generally, where were you physically
9 during the NATO intervention?
10 A. Well, good day. At least that's what we say in our parts instead
11 of good morning because we rise earlier probably. During the NATO
12 intervention for the first few days I was in the building of the General
13 Staff. However, after the first air-strikes, I personally went to the
14 command post of the Supreme Command staff where my friends, associates,
15 and superiors were already. So throughout the war I was at the command
16 post of the Supreme Command staff.
17 Q. Okay. And just so you know, there may be a moment after you
18 answer a question where I don't speak yet, it's just because I'm waiting
19 for the translation to catch up, so just in case there's a pause, that's
20 what it is.
21 Now during the NATO intervention, did you visit Kosovo at all?
22 A. No, I did not have a single opportunity in my tenure as head of
23 the first administration to go to Kosovo, especially not during the NATO
24 aggression because my job required me to be at the command post all the
25 time. There were many of my colleagues which, according to plans and
1 various assignments, had to go to Kosovo at the time.
2 Q. General, do you know the accused in this case, Vlastimir
4 A. What do you mean, do I know him? Do I know him personally?
5 Q. Well, let's break it down, sir. Did you know him in your
6 official capacities?
7 A. Well, I didn't know Mr. Djordjevic personally. I think we met
8 once at some official reception and greeted each other like all people
9 did at the large reception sometime in 1995.
10 Q. So it would be fair to say that you knew who he was and his
11 position, but you didn't know him personally?
12 A. Yes, I knew from the media who he was, and I knew his position.
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 MS. PETERSEN: If we could now turn to Defence 65 ter 509. If
15 the Defence could possibly help with one of the ID numbers that could
16 help bring this up. Line has it. Okay, it is D008-2943. Thank you.
17 Q. General, this is one of those combat reports that you spoke about
18 yesterday, is it not?
19 A. I suppose so because I see only the first page. It would be
20 important for me to see the second page as well, if you intend to ask
22 Q. Okay. All right.
23 MS. PETERSEN: If we could please go to the second page.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last page.
25 MS. PETERSEN: All right. If we could go to the last page,
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are obviously at cross purposes.
3 Not the second, third, or fourth, but the last page of the text where the
4 necessary elements for me to establish what it is would be. Is this the
5 last page?
6 MS. PETERSEN:
7 Q. General, I actually have a hard copy of this. Perhaps that would
8 help if the usher could hand this to the general.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
10 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my learned friend.
11 You said that he looked at that document yesterday. Do you mean the form
12 of the document or this precise document? Because this document, I can
13 tell by date, was not shown yesterday.
14 MS. PETERSEN: I just meant combat reports in general. Not that
15 this is a specific one that you saw, but that this is one of the combat
16 reports, the type of which you spoke of yesterday.
17 And if this could be handed to the witness, perhaps that would
19 Q. Is this the combat report, sir?
20 A. Yes. This is the combat report number 28 from the Supreme
21 Command staff dated 21st April, 1999
22 the last page, and I can be of assistance.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. If you look at the third page of this, and it's
24 paragraph 2.4 where it discusses the 3rd Army.
25 MS. PETERSEN: If we could just go to page 3 in both B/C/S and in
2 Q. Under section 2.4, the second paragraph, and I'll just read this
3 out so we have it on the record. It says:
4 "Between 19 and 20 April 1999, about 3.000 people crossed from
5 Kosovo and Metohija to the Republic of Macedonia
6 Corps 78th motorised Brigade 3rd Battalion combat disposition along the
7 Presevo-Miratovac-Lojane axis, organised and escorted by the Presevo
9 My question to you, sir, is basically what this is reporting is
10 that this column of refugees had MUP officers or MUP police officers
11 travelling alongside it, is that what we can gather from this report?
12 A. Based on this report, several conclusions that can be made, not
13 just the one. First of all --
14 Q. I'm just asking about the one thing, we don't need to go into
15 more detail. I just want to know from this, can we conclude that the MUP
16 were walking alongside or were alongside this column?
17 A. Well, I must insist on a comprehensive answer.
18 Q. Sir, I'm only interested in that one thing about this. I know
19 there's a lot more information in this report, I'm just asking you if it
20 appears that the MUP were alongside this column?
21 A. If you say so and you insist an answer like this, then make your
22 conclusion. I wanted to be of assistance. This does not apply to
23 Kosovo. This is outside the territory of Kosovo
24 defending itself in the part of Serbia
25 Miratovac, and other of these places are along that axis, along the Nis
2 are right, and it is written there, we did not hide it, that this column
3 passed through there and went on towards Macedonia, and it says clearly
4 escorted by the MUP.
5 Q. Thank you, sir, and it does say that these 3.000 people crossed
6 from Kosovo to Macedonia
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, sir. If we could -- I believe this
9 probably was tendered with all of the combat reports of the Defence. If
10 not, I would seek to tender it. It was included? Okay. Thank you.
11 Next if we could go to P965.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Can you remind us of the number given to the
13 bundle of combat reports, Ms. Petersen.
14 MS. PETERSEN: I'm not sure that I know that, actually.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It will be turned up by the Court Officer who will
16 tell us.
17 MS. PETERSEN: Okay. Sorry, Your Honour.
18 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
19 JUDGE PARKER: A number is yet to be assigned.
20 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
22 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I can be of assistance, I
23 believe. On this list that was submitted, it's 509. That's the Defence
24 65 ter number. 65 ter number 509. My learned friend also said that when
25 she announced the document.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
2 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you. And if we could now look at P965.
3 Q. And this is the minutes of the collegium meeting held on the 11th
4 of March, 1999.
5 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at in the English page 11, and in
6 the B/C/S page 10.
7 Q. General, it appears that you are speaking here; correct?
8 A. May I just ask for the text to be enlarged if I'm supposed to
9 read it.
10 Q. Is that you speaking, sir?
11 JUDGE PARKER: Would you answer the question, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I answer? Is that what you are
13 asking? Yes, yes, that's my report to the Chief of the General Staff,
14 and these are the stenographic notes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Djurdjic.
16 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to be of assistance.
17 It's tab 10 for the general.
18 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Mr. Djurdjic.
19 Q. If we look at the second paragraph after you start speaking, and
20 I'll just read this out. It says:
21 "The 37th Motorised Brigade" -- and in the English it says, "the
22 ready forces of the 2nd Army, has been relocated from the Raska garrison
23 to Kosovska Mitrovica and resubordinated to the Pristina Corps. The
24 combat group of the 25th Nis Corps has been relocated to the Urosevac
25 sector and resubordinated to the 243rd motorised brigade of the Pristina
2 And if we look in English onto the next page, I believe in B/C/S
3 it stays on page 10, two paragraphs down, you go on to say:
4 "First in the preceding period, the commands of the strategic
5 groups in the 2nd and 3rd Armies were given orders and permission to
6 relocate the 37th motorised brigade of the 2nd Army and the combat group
7 of the 21st Nis Corps and to resubordinate them to the Pristina Corps."
8 And then skipping one paragraph and going down one more:
9 "The order to transfer soldiers from the 1st Army, the 2nd Army,
10 and RM navy units to the Pristina Corps and the 3rd Army has been carried
11 out under the order, 2.173 soldiers were to be transferred, and according
12 to reports, 1,697 or 476 fewer than the number specified in the order
13 have been transferred so far."
14 So my question to you, sir, is: On the 11th of March, you're
15 reporting that these transfers into the Pristina Corps have happened?
16 A. There are several questions there, and I'll try to take them in
17 order. It's correct that I'm reporting about a relocation of the ready
18 forces of the 37th motorised brigade from the Raska garrison to the
19 Kosovska Mitrovica garrison where they were resubordinated to the
20 Pristina Corps. The strength was 325 men, officers, and soldiers, and
21 it's correct that this relocation took place of the combat group 21 from
22 the Nis Corps some 75 to 80 men were moved to Urosevac. That's correct.
23 Second, there was a question about the transfer of soldiers from
24 the 1st and 2nd Army and the navy to the Pristina Corps and the 3rd Army.
25 I think I dealt with it in greater detail yesterday. The Chief of the
1 General Staff had forbidden young conscripts, recruits, to be sent to
2 Kosovo until they finished their training, and that's why the December
3 contingent of soldiers was sent to the similar units of the 1st and 2nd
4 Armies and the navy, to completed their training in the duration of 2
5 months and 23 days.
6 Since that was completed and those soldiers were to be brought to
7 their planned units, they were transferred by train to their units with
8 prior notification to the OSCE Mission. First of all, the relocation of
9 the 325 soldiers on the 37th motorised brigade and the other soldiers.
10 Not all 2.000 and something soldiers were actually transferred, and that
11 was because those soldiers did not arrive in Kosovo in December. Instead
12 they were sent for training first and then on to Kosovo in March.
13 Q. So, sir, it's your testimony that there was proper notification
14 through proper channels to the OSCE Mission?
15 A. Yes. That was the job of other authorities. I did not deal with
16 that personally. There was a special commission to deal with that.
17 Q. So you don't have firsthand knowledge of that actually happening?
18 A. I did not do that because it had been reported at one of the
19 meetings because -- it had been reported at one of the meetings that it
20 had been done, so I cannot speak from firsthand knowledge about that, I
21 can only speak about my contributions at these meetings. But I claim
22 that it was done.
23 Q. Do you recall which meeting this was reported in?
24 A. No, we had a lot of meetings. Sometimes only a few members of
25 the collegium met to solve a particular problem. I don't remember that
1 particular day.
2 MS. PETERSEN: Okay. If we could now go to 65 ter 06032. It
3 this is a Prosecution 65 ter number.
4 Q. Sir, if you can just look at this, you'll see that the date on it
5 is 6 March 1999
6 A. I see the date, but I don't see the text.
7 Q. I do have a hard copy of this if it would be helpful for the
8 witness. I apologise, the print is still small on the copy, but...
9 A. That's enough.
10 Q. And do you see that it's the 6th of March, sir, 1999?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And does this appear to be one of the things that you were
13 reporting on at that 11th of March collegium meeting?
14 A. Yes, that's our order from the first administration sent to the
15 commands of the 1st and the 2nd Armies -- sorry, the 2nd and 3rd Armies
16 because the 2nd Army was superior to the 37th Brigade and the 3rd Army
17 because it was supposed to receive this units, they were notified that on
18 day such and such the resubordination will take place. So there are all
19 the elements there, and it speaks clearly about the peacetime complement,
20 and it says reports on task implementation are to be delivered in one of
21 the next documents, and from those reports you can see exactly how many
22 men had left.
23 And I report this because the Chief of the General Staff was
24 aware of this as was the deputy Chief of Staff who signed in his stead.
25 This is the usual format of an order, and I have nothing to add except if
1 you have something specific to ask on any of the points. The document
2 was created by us in the first administration. Colonel Gutovic created
4 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, sir. I will seek it to tender this
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P1522. Thank you, Your Honours.
8 MS. PETERSEN:
9 Q. Now, sir, you recall and you spoke yesterday about your testimony
10 in the Milutinovic trial; correct?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. And during your testimony in the Milutinovic trial, you stated
13 that you had heard mention of something called the Joint Command at a
14 collegium meeting in January; do you recall that testimony?
15 A. Yes, I recall.
16 Q. And, sir, I believe in your testimony you described the Joint
17 Command as a co-ordinating body; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, I answered roughly that according to what I learned later,
19 it was a body for co-ordination between the army and the forces of the
20 Ministry of the Interior.
21 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at your exact testimony. This is
22 Exhibit 555 beginning at page 111, line 22. It's also, if one has the
23 transcript, it's transcript page 17045, if that's easier. And I can just
24 read it.
25 Q. I believe your testimony was:
1 "This was a body that was used for co-ordinating joint activities
2 that were being carried out in the same area at the same time by army
3 units and MUP units, and that's the only thing it is."
4 Does that sound like a fair description of your testimony?
5 A. Well, I cannot recall the exact phrasing because I answered more
6 than one question about it, I was interrupted, and even the Trial Chamber
7 questioned me about this so I don't know in which context I stated that.
8 So it's obviously not in the context of the collegium meeting at the
9 Chief of the General Staff collegium from January.
10 MS. PETERSEN: I think we need to go down to page 17045 to look
11 at the testimony. Yeah, I guess the next page of the exhibit -- of the
13 Q. Now, sir, you reviewed this testimony before you came here today;
15 A. I don't speak English, so I did have an opportunity to see the
16 transcript generally, yes, during my preparation.
17 Q. Well, sir, yesterday, I believe that you stated you had reviewed
18 it and the testimony was true and accurate?
19 A. Yes, and that I stand by everything that I stated then, and that
20 I would give the same answers now to the same questions as I did then.
21 Q. Okay. Just to make the record clear, I think we found it.
22 MS. PETERSEN: It's there on page 17046 beginning at line 22 was
23 the testimony that I referenced.
24 Q. Sir, if we could --
25 MS. PETERSEN: If we could now look at P1236.
1 JUDGE PARKER: I think you mean 17045 then, not 6?
2 MS. PETERSEN: Yes, yes, 17045.
3 JUDGE PARKER: And in our transcript at page 39, line 8, the last
4 exhibit should be recorded as P1522. Thank you.
5 MS. PETERSEN: If we could now go to P1326.
6 Q. General, do you recognise what this document is?
7 A. Yes, I do recognise the document.
8 Q. Are they suggestions made by General Ojdanic?
9 A. Yes, yes, this is a document that is called "Suggestion" here
10 sent to the 3rd Army commander personally on the 17th of April, 1999
11 a set of circumstances, I participated in its drafting and then I took it
12 for the signature of the commander at the Supreme Command staff, and
13 after he signed, I took it to the encryption section.
14 Q. And, General, in Milutinovic you testified about a map that was
15 associated with these suggestions. Can you explain to the Court how
16 General Ojdanic came to be in possession of the map that was associated
17 with this?
18 A. Yes, gladly. One evening, I can see that this was the 17th of
19 April, I was called by the Chief of the Staff of the Supreme Command to
20 come and see him immediately because my superior was not there at that
21 time. The chief of the sector, General Blagoje Kovacovic. I came to his
22 office and he showed me an excerpt from a map of ratio 1:50.000. When I
23 say "excerpt," what I mean is that I didn't see the entire map but only a
24 map where the top and bottom parts were cut out by scissors. I do
25 remember that map, I remember that the Chief of the Supreme Command staff
1 said, I just met Nesa [phoen] in the corridor a little while ago, Nesa is
2 Lieutenant-General Nebojsa Pavkovic commander of the 3rd Army, and he was
3 just carrying this map, he was returning from the president, I asked him
4 what was he doing because he thought that at that time he was in Kosovo,
5 and he replied what he replied and then General Ojdanic asked him if he
6 could look at the map to see what this was about. He gave him the map
7 and left. And the Chief of the Supreme Command staff studied the map and
8 immediately called me. That is a part of the story from that testimony.
9 If you would like me to go into more detail and to continue I can
10 immediately answer or perhaps you can put a question, if you wish.
11 Q. So General Ojdanic got this map from General Pavkovic who had --
12 from Pavkovic who had just come from meeting Milosevic with the map?
13 A. Yes, he got the map from General Pavkovic directly.
14 Q. Sir, you testified in Milutinovic that the map had some writing
15 on the top of it. And just to be clear on that, if we look at in the
16 transcript, it's transcript page number 16977. And in the exhibit it is
17 page 50, I believe, and you can just read it. You stated:
18 "I cannot recall exactly the word order, but it was 'decision for
19 operation.' And below that: 'Order of the Joint Command.' And as it
20 says here: 'Strictly confidential,' number such-and-such."
21 Do you recall that testimony, sir?
22 A. Yes, but I don't know this strictly confidential number part.
23 Yes, I do remember -- well, when I looked at the map as a professional, I
24 could see that it was not the whole map, that it was an excerpt.
25 Secondly, that in the left upper -- upper left-hand corner there was no
1 name of the person who approved it. There was no name, rank, signature,
2 or stamp, and in the lower right-hand corner there was no information
3 about who drafted the map. There was no signature, no stamp, or anything
4 like that.
5 Then I paid attention to what was represented on the
6 topographical map by the usual tactical markings and then I looked at the
7 top exactly what that was, and that's where I read that this was a
8 decision on action in the sector of Rogovo pursuant to a command by the
9 commander, or rather the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija, and there
10 was some number, I think 148/ some other number, and that's what that --
11 and that's more or less what you are saying now.
12 Q. And referring back to P1236, are these suggestions that General
13 Ojdanic came up with after reviewing this map with you?
14 A. Yes, these suggestions were made after that short meeting in the
15 corridor at the Supreme Command between the Chief of the General Staff
16 and the 3rd Army commander. So that is an analysis of the situation on
17 the map and what was stated on the map. I remember very well that there
18 was no order. I state that the Chief of the Supreme Command staff did
19 not have an order there that would be mentioned. When he wrote these
20 suggestions, he had to refer back to some document that he had looked at
21 in order to more easily direct the 3rd Army command as to what he was
22 thinking when he was writing this, that's why.
23 Q. So when you say there was no order, you mean the map did not have
24 a corresponding order attached to it?
25 A. No, no, all I want to say is that us, we in the staff, the
1 Supreme Command staff chief did not have that order. That is why he
2 wrote these suggestions purely on the basis of the situation on the map.
3 Q. Okay. But at the top of the map it did say, Order of the Joint
4 Command, even though no other order, no typed up order was attached;
6 A. Yes, you are correct.
7 Q. Now, if we look on this exhibit at P1236 where it says, "Link:
8 Kosovo and Metohija Joint [Realtime translation read in error "Supreme"]
9 Command Order, Strictly Confidential Number 455-148 of 15 April 1999,"
10 does this mean that these suggestions are referring to that order?
11 A. You mentioned the Supreme Command and some others, I don't know
12 that, but I would like to look at the first page at least of this order
13 in my language.
14 Q. I think this is the first page. I'm just referring to the part
15 that said "link."
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
17 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, I have
18 a technical intervention. When I read the text in Serbian, and when I
19 look at the translation that is in English, I don't know whether it's a
20 translation problem, but it doesn't state anywhere "super command" as it
21 is in the transcript and I think the colleague is reading the English
22 text, and I think the witness also pointed that out.
23 MS. PETERSEN: Actually, you are correct, the transcript is
24 wrong. What the order says, what the exhibit says is link: Kosovo and
25 Metohija Joint Command order. Not supreme command. Joint Command order,
1 Strictly Confidential Number 455-148 of 15 April 1999."
2 Q. General, does this mean that these suggestions are referring back
3 to that Joint Command order with that strictly confidential number?
4 A. No, once again absolutely not. I tried to explain that last time
5 when I testified but evidently that was not a properly entered into the
6 transcript, if this is what is happening.
7 Q. Let me see if I can just clarify. I'm not asking you right now
8 if General Ojdanic reviewed that other order. I'm just asking if this
9 link means that this is making suggestions to this other order that it's
10 referring to? Whether he looked at it or not, I'm not asking that
11 question at this time. Does this mean link, this is related to that
12 order, that other order?
13 A. Once again, no. Why? He is writing his suggestions only on the
14 basis of what he saw on the map and this title on the map, so he cannot
15 write on the basis of some command without having seen it at all, and it
16 cannot be understood in that way. We know what a command or an order
17 looks like, and it would be even better if we could see this order
18 somewhere and comment on it.
19 So only on the basis of the situation on the map because I
20 remember that Judge Bonomy had asked me whether I would be able to make
21 suggestions like this or some other document only on the basis of the
22 situation that you could see on the map. And I answered convincingly
23 that I would, that I'm a trained officer with completed military
24 education and that I'm capable only on the basis of what is entered on to
25 the map to write even more suggestions than are what written here. This
1 is what I said.
2 Q. Okay, General, so your testimony is these suggestions have
3 nothing do with Kosovo and Metohija Joint Command Order Strictly
4 Confidential Number 455-148 dated 15 April 1999; is that what you are
5 saying, or ...
6 A. Yes, other than the title, they have nothing to do with each
8 Q. Okay.
9 MS. PETERSEN: If we could now look at Exhibit P1328.
10 Q. And if we look at the top of this document, we see that it says
11 "Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija, Strictly Confidential Number
12 455-148, 15 April 1999
13 title, strictly confidential number, and date that are referred to in the
14 suggestions document P1236?
15 A. Yes, I do agree, but I would only kindly ask to look at the
16 complete order in hard copy in order to be able to look at it if I'm
17 expected to give any more answers regarding this document.
18 Q. Sir, I think it's sufficient. You are agreeing that it's the
19 same number, date, and title, your testimony is you do not believe that
20 General Ojdanic saw this or referred to this; do I have that right?
21 A. It's sufficient in order to note that it's the same number, but I
22 would like for the purposes of my testimony, for the purposes of the
23 truth, to look at the complete order including the last page because only
24 then can I provide valid testimony about this. The fact that it has the
25 same number as over there at this point in time means nothing to me. I
2 example, here underneath the title it says "map ratio 1:50.000, page 1,
3 2, 3, 4, that is an integral part of the order, and I would provide much
4 better comments if I could look at the complete order if I'm to provide
5 authentic testimony.
6 And finally, I assert that this document was not in the General
7 Staff at that time and was not provided to the Chief of the Supreme
8 Command staff or to me. I have managed to look. I recall perhaps seeing
9 it before two and a half years ago.
10 Q. All right. Thank you, sir.
11 MS. PETERSEN: And finally if we could just look quickly at
12 Defence 65 ter 46 and those doc ID numbers are D006-0499.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Does that mean that we are not
14 going to look at this document anymore?
15 MS. PETERSEN:
16 Q. Yes, sir, I think we understand your testimony. Your testimony
17 is General Ojdanic did not look at the order, he only looked at the map
18 that he had received from Pavkovic; is that a correct statement of your
20 A. That is correct, but I would like to add one more sentence and
21 that is just like earlier when we were looking at some documents without
22 a stamp or signature, as far as I'm concerned, this is not a valid
23 document because it does not state who drafted it, who typed it, it does
24 not contained the stamp or actually the name and the last name of the
25 signature, so some elements are missing, and if I were the commander
1 would receive such an order, I would simply put it aside and would not
2 react. I would ask to receive a proper order from the person who was my
4 Q. General, you would agree this is not a VJ document, it's a Joint
5 Command document; correct?
6 A. Regardless, I would not agree with that because I can see here
7 only military units that are listed. Thus, the assignment was issued to
8 the 125th Motorised Brigade. That is a unit of the army. I don't see
9 that some other unit was given an assignment because it does not state
10 that here, so that no one can issue assignments to a military unit other
11 than a military commander regardless of what is said at the beginning or
12 in the body of the text.
13 Q. General, I believe if you look at point 2 in this order, it does
14 say the Pristina Corps with the reinforced and armed non-Siptar
15 population of KiM is to support MUP forces in breaking up and destroying
16 the SDS
17 A. Yes, this is the assignment received by the Pristina Corps from
18 the 3rd Army and then it is talking about its assignment further on, so
19 this is something else. The only task to the establishment units in
20 article or paragraph 5.1 is given to the 125th Motorised Brigade for us
21 professional soldiers. This indicates without any doubt that is an
22 assignment issued to a military unit to keep MUP units in the
23 implementation of an assignment. There are -- or to support military
24 units in the implementation of an assignment. There are no other
1 And I believe that this is a classic document of the Pristina
2 Corps entered in the log-book of the Pristina Corps which does have the
3 markings of the Joint Command but does not contain the signature or stamp
4 of any command, neither the Joint Command nor the Pristina Corps.
5 Q. All right, sir. If it we look quickly at 65 ter 46.
6 MS. PETERSEN: If we could have that up on the screen, D006-0499.
7 And if we could just go in the English to page 4, paragraph 6 and in the
8 B/C/S to page 3, paragraph 6.
9 Q. Sir, I just want to --
10 A. I apologise, I apologise, I don't see much, and I insist on a
11 hard copy because I'm really unable to read here what you would like me
12 to read. I don't see the date, I don't see what this is about. All I
13 see is just blurry text.
14 Q. Sir, I just need you to look at paragraph 6 if we could.
15 A. Very gladly, but you need to tell me what this document is, what
16 is the date, and everything else for me to be able to say something.
17 Q. All right.
18 MS. PETERSEN: Could we look at the first page, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please zoom in at the top
20 of the page so that I could see what the date is. Yes, I see now what
21 this is about.
22 MS. PETERSEN: Can I please see it in English also.
23 Q. So, sir, I just want to confirm with you at paragraph 6 that this
24 is just seeking confirmation that that telegram with the suggestions was
25 sent. Is that what that is?
1 A. No, I know that it wasn't, but still, I would like to look at
2 this text and have it in front of me. Every evening -- just the last
3 point that you are referring to. I don't need to have a hard copy, just
4 if you can zoom in the relevant part on the screen for me, please.
5 Q. Okay. Sir. So we can see that this is a briefing of the Chief
6 of Staff of the Supreme Command on April 18th, 1999, and in paragraph 6
7 of it, if we could go back to that.
8 MS. PETERSEN: Page 4, paragraph 6 in English; page 3, paragraph
9 6 in B/C/S.
10 Q. It says:
11 "Lieutenant-General Curcin find out when the telegram was sent to
12 the 3rd Army command and when the telegram was delivered." I'm not
13 asking if it was delivered, I'm just asking if these minutes reflect that
14 you were asked to find out that information?
15 A. Yes. First of all, this is the evening briefing at the command
16 about the situation at the front, primarily in the Pristina Corps area,
17 and we can see that they are discussing all the members are, and at the
18 end it says closing address by the Chief of the Supreme Command. So he
19 is precisely issuing instructions to everybody and he is issuing this
20 assignment to me that you have just referred to.
21 Q. Okay. And he is referring back to that telegram that we looked
22 at, Exhibit 1236, correct, his suggestions dated April 17th; is that
24 A. Yes, that is correct, because there was a problem about delivery,
25 non-delivery, what he wrote was not respected, and he asked that it be
1 exactly established when it was sent, when it was received, when it was
2 delivered and a few days later we do have a report from the 3rd Army
3 commander about this. And I also reported once I had established what
4 had happened here to the Supreme Command staff chief about all of that
5 because the problem is broader here than what is said in this document.
6 Q. Okay. And we don't need to get into that today.
7 MS. PETERSEN: If we could just tender 65 ter 46, please.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: It shall be received as Exhibit P01523. Thank
10 you, Your Honours.
11 MS. PETERSEN:
12 Q. Now, General, when you were looking at this map with General
13 Ojdanic and at the top of it that said Joint Command order, did he say at
14 any point, who is this Joint Command?
15 A. No, I didn't ask about it nor was there any mention of it at the
16 previous meeting. We were interested in the tactical situations, the
17 indications we had, and the assignments of the forces represented on the
18 map, and since it was not map, there was no approved at the top, nor
19 indication who produced it at the bottom, I had in reason to ask about
21 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you if you asked about, I'm asking if during
22 the time you were looking at this map with General Ojdanic if he said,
23 Who is this Joint Command at the top of this map?
24 A. No, I've already said in my previous answer that it was not
25 mentioned once in that evening discussion.
1 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. Yesterday you were asked questions
2 about the resubordination of the MUP to the VJ. Do you recall those
4 A. Yes, I remember the topic and most of the questions.
5 Q. General, the resubordination order from President Milosevic -
6 D203, I believe - General Ojdanic never sent this to the Ministry of the
7 Interior; correct?
8 A. I'm sorry, I don't know the numbers by heart. You mean the order
9 of President Milosevic or his order?
10 Q. The order of President Milosevic.
11 A. Yes, I can see it now. General Ojdanic did not have the
12 authority to send a telegram like this on behalf of President Milosevic
13 and his military office, that's why there was the military office headed
14 by Colonel Susic. This telegram under the name of the president could
15 not be sent by General Ojdanic to anyone.
16 Q. So just to be clear, he did not -- he did not forward this to the
17 Ministry of the Interior?
18 A. I insist on the expression I used. He did not have -- he was not
19 in charge of sending, forwarding such things. He did not have the
20 authority. Somebody else from the office of the president had that
21 authority. So the answer is no, he didn't.
22 Q. Thank you, sir. And your testimony in Milutinovic was that the
23 MUP was never actually resubordinated to the VJ in the end, correct?
24 A. Yes, I remember that from that previous testimony.
25 Q. Thank you, General. I'd like to talk to you a little bit now
1 about the incident at Racak. I don't know if we need to call these
2 exhibits up, we'll see how it goes. But yesterday there was reference to
3 two exhibits. There was one, which I believe is D556, which was a
4 request for a report on where the -- on whether the Pristina Corps had
5 been involved in the Racak incident. Do you recall discussing that,
7 A. Yes, I remember that.
8 Q. And there is D557, which was a report back up saying that no,
9 that the VJ had not been involved; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. This telegram was one I drafted on the
11 orders of the Chief of the General Staff and the reply came that same
12 night from the 3rd Army which had received its answer from the Pristina
13 Corps saying that the army was not involved in that incident, as you call
14 it, in Racak.
15 Q. Now, General, you yourself were not on the ground in Racak;
17 A. No, no, I was not.
18 Q. Okay. So what you know about it, you know from this report; is
19 that correct?
20 A. We trusted our commanders as they trusted us, and when they are
21 explicitly ordered to provide a reply bearing full criminal, moral, and
22 other liability, putting their signatures on it, then they reply. This
23 was not broadcast because of possible media manipulations and because of
24 claims by certain verifiers that 40 artillery shells had been fired at
25 Racak and to deny it had to be written like --
1 Q. I need to stop you there because my question for you was simply
2 this is the extent of your knowledge about Racak, correct, this report is
3 the basis of your knowledge; correct? Yes or no?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, sir, were you aware that international observers monitored
6 the incident at Racak on 15th of January, 1999?
7 A. I heard about it from the media. I also heard about it at the
8 Milutinovic et al. trial, but I also know that it was a tangentious
9 report that was not truthful. I mean, their claims were not truthful.
10 And plus, I'm wondering why Racak is not in this indictment, in the
11 indictment against Milutinovic and others, if it's accurate. President
12 Milosevic proved that it was a staged incident --
13 Q. I'm going to stop you there, and I'll be asking you the
14 questions, sir.
15 MS. PETERSEN: If we could just look at P1250.
16 Q. Now, looking just below the date, this report was -- oh, yes,
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first, this is from
20 a website we don't know when it was created and when it was updated.
21 Second, their translation is not correct --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Sorry, Mr. Djurdjic, you have to wait, the
23 questions will be put and answered, and then if you have a comment, you
24 can make it. You remember this is the concern that I've expressed
25 several times when you are suggesting possible answers before the witness
1 has an opportunity to deal with the matter. We will hear you later. At
2 the moment now, the witness should carry on answering the questions.
3 MS. PETERSEN:
4 Q. General, if you look at this report, it's from the -- it's an
5 update from the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, and it states just
6 starting right after the date:
7 "US KDOM observed the FRY police/military attack on the
8 Racak-Petrovo-Malopoljce area throughout the day on January 15th. VJ
9 armoured units and mortars fired into the villages, with at least three
10 tank rounds visibly hitting civilian houses. Fires started by the
11 shelling burned in the villages for several hours after the attack."
12 Sir, were you aware that international observers saw VJ armoured
13 units and mortars fire into the village of Racak
14 A. I don't understand any of this because I don't have a
15 translation. All of this is in English. On the left side and on the
16 right side as well. Second, I understand your question. KDOM was a
17 separate American mission that was never subordinated to the OSCE
19 Second, I knew mainly from the media that they claimed what we
20 see here, but reading carefully the reply of the 3rd Army, it says that
21 one tank platoon, that means three tanks, had been in the area, they had
22 been carrying out certain activities, and they were attacked. Fire
23 ensued from the surrounding hills and elevations. They stopped,
24 organised themselves for defence, and fired a number of projectiles. The
25 exact number is in the report of the 3rd Army, broken down by calibres.
1 They assert they had not targeted Racak village but instead opened fire
2 at the forces which from two elevations were firing at them in
4 Q. Sir, I don't believe that report says that the fire was coming
5 from inside the village of Racak
6 A. The military unit couldn't have known that for sure because they
7 were not around Racak or in Racak. They were fired at from the
8 surrounding hills, not from Racak village. So they returned enemy fire
9 outside Racak village. If you are kind enough, you will read during the
10 break the report of the 3rd Army in detail and you will see that the
11 report says something different.
12 So nobody can accuse the army of firing upon Racak village.
13 Q. Sir, in the KDOM update, the observers state that they witnessed
14 firsthand at least three tank rounds visibly hit civilian homes in Racak.
15 Now, assuming that these troops were fired upon from the hills, is it an
16 appropriate response to shoot tank rounds into the village of Racak
17 A. Are you suggesting that these three shells were fired at Racak
18 village? I never said that. And I maintain and the 3rd Army commander
19 maintains that artillery and tanks never fired at Racak village. If you
20 understand me correctly, then that answers your question.
21 Plus I don't see that this is a very fresh date. What January is
22 it? 15, 16, no, it's 26.
23 Q. You are correct, sir, it's an update with dates of multiple
24 things included. But, sir, my question to you was not whether you had
25 stated that tanks fired into Racak. I'm putting to you that this KDOM
1 update states:
2 "VJ armoured units and mortars fired into the villages with at
3 least three tank rounds visibly hitting civilian houses." My question to
4 you is, if these -- if this unit was fired upon from the hills, is it an
5 appropriate response to fire with tanks into a village hitting civilian
6 homes, towards civilian homes?
7 A. First of all, I have to say once again there was no fire opened
8 at Racak. Did I understand you correctly as saying that these shells
9 seen by KDOM were fired at Racak? I have to understand that first in
10 order to be able to reply. I did not understand from what is written
11 here that they were claiming that. They did hear, maybe they even saw
12 shells, but not a single shell fell on Racak village.
13 Another thing, not here, not anywhere do we see a definition of
14 proportionate response, but if somebody is firing at the army from nearby
15 elevations, are these soldiers supposed to fan out and go chasing their
16 attackers through the woods? This is how it happened that they responded
17 to fire and the moment that they fired back, the fire from the elevation
18 stopped as well.
19 Q. Sir, is it proper to respond to small arms fire with tank fire?
20 A. If necessary, but I maintain that there was not just infantry
21 fire. In the report of the 3rd Army command, they say exactly which
22 weapons had been used to fire at them. It was not just infantry weapons,
23 as you say.
24 Q. And, sir, just one more question on this. Your assertion that no
25 shells fell on Racak, again that's not based on your own observation,
1 that's solely based on this report; correct?
2 A. Yes, on the report of the 3rd Army, and I believe the commander
3 of the 3rd Army and the Chief of Staff that they provided a perfectly
4 honest answer. That would not have dared to play with the truth because
5 the international public was already outraged and there were quarrels
6 with Mr. Walker. The Chief of the General Staff wanted the truth,
7 whatever it was. On the 21st of January, at the meeting, you can see
8 that, and at later meetings as well. It was not in our interest to lie.
9 Q. Sir, it certainly wasn't in the interest of the VJ to be seen as
10 being involved in the Racak incident, was it?
11 A. No. If it had been necessary, maybe we would have gotten
12 involved, but then the reports would have reflected that and would have
13 specified how the army was involved, but I maintain once again, it was
15 MS. PETERSEN: Your Honours, I have a new area to go into, so if
16 it's probably a good time to take the break right now.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Let me first ask Mr. Djurdjic, is there a matter
18 he now wishes to raise?
19 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the course of
20 this trial, I've learned some things and I never make objections during a
21 cross-examination by the other party except procedural. But we would
22 have wasted a lot less time with this document if we had received it in
23 good time. The Prosecution sent us this document three minutes before
24 8.00 p.m.
25 ago. These documents should really not be used in this way and notified
1 belatedly when the Defence had no longer any time to prepare. I believe
2 we should be given documents to be used in cross-examination 24 hours
4 JUDGE PARKER: As you are aware, Mr. Djurdjic, that is the order
5 and the procedure to be followed. And if there is a variation from that,
6 leave needs to be sought, as you yourself sought on a number of
7 occasions. Anything by way of observation, Ms. Petersen?
8 MS. PETERSEN: Yes, Your Honour. First, this is a document that
9 is in evidence, and it's been in evidence for quite a while, so the
10 document itself is not new. I'm not sure of the exact date, but I
11 believe it was in August of this year that the document was tendered. So
12 this is not a new document.
13 And also, we have -- maybe we should improve our practices but
14 both the Defence and the Prosecution have been somewhat flexible with
15 each other if a document that one of us wants to use the Defence have
16 availed themselves of this with their direct examination, and yes, I did
17 make a decision to use this document yesterday and noticed it as soon as
18 I made that decision, although our notice was sent within the 24-hour
19 period. This was something that was later added, but both sides have
20 been flexible with each other in doing this. If the Defence no longer
21 wants to have that practice we can have a discussion, but we have been
22 flexible with one another in that.
23 JUDGE PARKER: There's no reason for any further particular
24 comment from the Chamber in respect of this exhibit. The point raised is
25 simply that there was not notice that an exhibit would be used in
1 cross-examination. As both parties are aware of documents that are
2 exhibited, that is not a serious breach of courtesy. If Mr. Djurdjic is
3 in some difficulty in respect of re-examination about the document, he
4 can raise that specifically with us, and we'll consider it.
5 We will now have the second break and resume at 3 minutes past
6 1.00. [The witness stands down]
7 --- Recess taken at 12.33 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Petersen.
11 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. I'd like to move to a new topic now. Yesterday you were asked
13 about training that you received in international humanitarian law. Do
14 you recall those questions?
15 A. I remember very well.
16 Q. And you went to a training at Topcider Barracks; is that right?
17 A. If you mean that last one round in September 1998 or December
18 1998, yes, but we had many training courses before. When we had the
19 first workshop based on the agreement between the minister of defence and
20 his counter-parts at the ICRC we organised these workshops, and I had
21 occasion to organise the first such workshop in the 1st Army. We all
22 received certificates of instructors, and all these instructors had the
23 obligation at corps level and at the brigade level to conduct similar
24 workshops and all the officers down to brigade level had the obligation
25 to go through such a course and become instructors.
1 And on the 25th of November 1998 was the last workshop attending
2 by representatives of the ICRC who came to greet us and to work with us
3 for three days. I can tell you more about it if you were interested.
4 Q. When was the first training, sir?
5 A. I think the first one -- the first workshop was in 1996 at the
6 command of the 1st Army, and then across other strategic groups, training
7 was held on orders of the Chief of the General Staff. And each of these
8 workshops was attended by appropriate representatives of the ICRC
9 including the head of mission in Belgrade.
10 Q. When you say "ICRC" you are referring to the Red Cross; correct?
11 A. Yes, yes, that's the acronym.
12 Q. Now, sir, did you take this training seriously?
13 A. Absolutely. I personally took it very seriously and participated
14 and made every effort to learn as much as possible and to teach my
15 subordinates, and I received great praise from the representatives of the
16 International Red Cross, and I have to say that all our offices from all
17 levels took this training very seriously, the training in international
18 humanitarian law and devoted great attention to implementation.
19 Q. And do you think forces, both police or military, if people in
20 the police or military violate international humanitarian law or commit a
21 war crime, do you think they should be punished?
22 A. I believe that everywhere in the world, including in our country,
23 anyone who violates international humanitarian law should be punished, be
24 it a serviceman or a civilian or a member of the Ministry of the
25 Interior. But that should apply everywhere in the world, that is my deep
2 Q. Thank you, sir. Do you know Ratko Mladic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And how long have you known him?
5 A. You have to give me a moment to remember because I didn't know I
6 would be faced with questions like this. I know him from the time when
7 we served at the command staff academy and then went to our units. It
8 could have been in the 1970s. And in the same brigade we served in
10 friends and our families were friends.
11 Q. General, are you aware that Mladic has been indicted by this
12 Tribunal for war crimes?
13 A. I heard about it, and I know, if I can believe the media, and Mr.
14 Harmon made a point of making me aware of it. He is the prosecuting
15 attorney I met in Belgrade
16 testified before this court. I haven't seen the indictment though and I
17 don't know any details.
18 Q. Well, are you aware that the charges in the indictment against
19 Mladic include that he slaughtered over 7.000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys
20 in Srebrenica?
21 A. I had the opportunity to hear and read about it in electronic and
22 printed media over the past years.
23 Q. Now, sir, based on your training in international humanitarian
24 law, you would agree that that charge -- not asking you your belief about
25 whether it's true or not, but you believe that that charge alleges a
1 violation of the rules that you learned about in your training, would you
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And, sir, are you aware that there is an international arrest
5 warrant for Mladic and that there has been for quite sometime?
6 A. Well, conditionally speaking, I could say yes, although I haven't
7 seen the indictment, and the media have reported all sorts of things, and
8 there was a time when it was the talk of the town.
9 Q. Now, sir, are you familiar with two Yugoslav Army facilities
10 called Rajac and Stragari?
11 A. I know these two military installations, Stragari and Rajac.
12 Q. And these are both VJ facilities; correct?
13 A. I received interpretation that seems to refer to some sort of
14 buildings, I need clarification because at Rajac there's only a hotel
15 open to the public, and free weekend cottages. The other one is more
16 built up but again there are no major buildings. Not in the sense that
17 we use the word building, edifice.
18 Q. Are these facilities of the VJ?
19 A. While I was in the army, they belonged to the VJ, but they served
20 as special purpose.
21 Q. Now, sir, at Rajac, not just a soldier would be allowed to stay
22 there, correct, you'd have to be an officer if you wanted to say at
23 Rajac; is that right?
24 A. No, that's not correct. It's a hotel open to the public, there
25 is a price list in the Official Gazette listing tariffs for overnight
1 stay, lunches, dinners, full board, et cetera. Anyone can book, not only
2 military personnel.
3 Q. But it was owned by the VJ, correct, sir? It's a VJ facility?
4 A. Yes, just like some spas across Serbia such as Vrnjacka Banja and
5 other places across Yugoslavia
6 and hotels on the seashore, on mountains. Those were recreation and rest
7 facilities for military personnel and for civilians.
8 Q. Sir, did you visit with Mladic at both of these facilities
9 beginning in 1997?
10 A. I cannot recall, but there is a statement I've given to the OTP
11 and my testimony, you probably know that, and if you jog my memory, I'll
12 confirm or deny. We did meet a couple of times in public places, at
13 these facilities, but I can also tell you we went once one night to the
14 football match between Yugoslavia
15 at the stadium of the Red Star Football Team in Belgrade. I don't know
16 if I was asked about that last time, but if I wasn't, I'm volunteering
17 the information now.
18 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at 65 ter 06031. This is the
19 testimony of this witness in the Perisic trial.
20 Q. And if we turn to page 18 of the exhibit, sir, on page 18 you
21 were asked: "General Curcin, did you see General Mladic at the Rajac
22 facility?" "Yes," you answered. Question: "When did you see
23 General Mladic at the facility?" Answer: "In early July of 1997." And
24 then on line 7 you said you couldn't remember exactly but you were sure
25 you saw him at least once -- approximately one month later. Does that
1 refresh your memory about the number of times you saw him at Rajac?
2 A. Yes, yes, there's nothing contentious there, as far as I am
4 Q. And on page 26 of this transcript you visited him again at Rajac
5 much later. Does that refresh your memory that you visited him again at
6 the Rajac facility?
7 A. No, I know that I did visit him, but I don't know when, what
8 month, what year. I know that we did see each other at least one more
9 time at Rajac, and I know probably what your next question will be and
10 that is at one occasion when we were there General Perisic simply also
11 dropped by. If that is your following question, he just stopped by in
12 his private capacity just like myself, and we briefly met there. This is
13 also in the transcript although I didn't have the opportunity to look at
14 the transcript either in Serbian or in preparation for my testimony
15 today, but I do remember, and I'm sure you will help me.
16 Q. Sir, actually my next question for you is still about the Rajac
17 facility. One of your tasks around the time that Mladic stayed there was
18 to make it more liveable there; is that correct?
19 A. No, that is not correct. This is a very clumsily put by the
20 director of the training centre Corporal 1st Class Gujn [phoen], and it
21 seemed to him that the assistance became more intensive after or when I
22 visited Rajac on one occasion. I'm going to explain. The army command
23 had decided to rent out that facility so investments had to be made,
24 civilian sheets and blankets had to be procured, at least one woman had
25 to be hired for housekeeping. We needed to buy washing machine and
1 dishwasher and also some equipment for cutting the grass because the
2 facility was a little bit neglected. All of this began a little bit
3 earlier because this was discussed at the collegium of the 1st Army
4 command under whose jurisdiction this facility was, and that really has
5 nothing do with Mladic.
6 Q. Sir, let me ask you if on page 13 of the transcript we are
7 looking at, did you not say when referring to your task with regard to
9 "What I meant was the internal division between me and the
10 logistics assistant who it was to be between the two of us who would take
11 care of facilities to make them liveable for the people who go to rest
13 So did you not have a role in making the Rajac facility liveable
14 for the people went to rest there?
15 A. Perhaps that is what I said, but that is not what I meant. What
16 I meant was that it was necessary for the two of us in some way to divide
17 our duties, and I'm going to tell you why now. I'm not going to ask for
18 a closed session because the facility was --
19 Q. I just want to know if you performed that task or not, if you
20 played any role in that task?
21 A. No, I cannot answer you in that way.
22 Q. You will not tell us if you played that role or not?
23 A. Well, I do -- well, I don't have the right not -- well, I don't
24 have the right to not reply because I was create problems for me, for my
25 family, bring shame upon myself or criminal prosecution, but since I see
1 that you are very persistent, I'm going to tell you that this began much
2 earlier. We received the assignments much earlier from the 1st Army
3 command to renovate these facilities because this was the place where our
4 commands went in case of an alarm, some sort of alert or emergency or
5 danger of war.
6 In such a situation we would directly go to these facilities, the
7 logistics of the 1st Army went to Stragari, and the command went to
8 Rajac. Since I was in charge of that operation section, then I took it
9 upon myself to bring it up to such state that you could immediately go
10 and use those facilities and not for somebody to come from the outside or
11 for a foreign country or something to be able to rest there. So this is
12 actually a much broader explanation than I think the one that you
13 requested of me.
14 Q. And after your renovation Mladic stayed there; correct?
15 A. I assure you that the renovation began much before that and that
16 the renovation was carried out according to the funds we had at our
17 disposal. I don't know when he went there and how long he stayed.
18 Others went there too, and I also spent at least seven days each year
19 there, of course, and I paid for it, and I'm still keeping all the bills
20 or invoices that I paid for each of my stays there.
21 Q. General, did you continue seeing Mladic up until 2002?
22 A. We did see each other a few times up until January -- early
23 January 2002, and from that time on we definitely never met one another
24 again. I testified about that in detail and it is in the transcript.
25 Q. Okay. So during this time that you would see Mladic, from 1997
1 to 2002, at that time were you aware that there was an indictment from
2 this Tribunal and a warrant for his arrest for war crimes?
3 A. I did hear somewhat later about that from the media, as well as
4 the reward that was published for anyone who would assist in his capture.
5 Q. And, sir, did you not tell others at the Rajac facility that they
6 were not to tell anyone else about Mladic's visits to the facility?
7 A. Yes, I did. That is what it says in the transcripts from my
8 previous testimony in March last year.
9 Q. And, General, this was to assist Mladic in evading arrest on the
10 charges of this Tribunal, wasn't it?
11 A. No, not as far as I'm concerned. Simply there was the danger
12 that choppers or helicopters from Bosnia
13 had its forces there could suddenly come, violate our air-space, and
14 capture and hand over General Mladic. Secondly, there were some renegade
15 groups in our country, members of some other forces there, who could also
16 do something like that.
17 We did have a case of one of our citizens being kidnapped
18 somewhere on a mountain and then he was transported across the river
20 prevent any harm from happening to him.
21 Q. Sir, I believe your testimony was just that the reason you told
22 people not to say where Mladic was is that there was a danger that
23 choppers or helicopters from Bosnia
24 its forces there could suddenly come, violate our air-space and capture
25 and hand over General Mladic, meaning arrest and hand over General Mladic
1 to the custody of this Tribunal to face the charges against him; correct?
2 A. Well, yes, you could understand it that way too. I'm not denying
4 Q. All right, sir. Now, after the Law on Co-Operation with the
5 Tribunal was passed in 2002, since that time and at that time you did not
6 inform anyone of any of the information you have about the whereabouts of
7 General Mladic; correct?
8 A. No, namely the last time I saw him was sometime between the 7th
9 and the 14th of January 2002. Already I was retired by that time. The
10 law was passed in April. After this date when the law went into effect,
11 I did not see or hear or communicate with General Mladic again. So I
12 couldn't really then report having any kind of contact with him either.
13 Q. But in 2002, you didn't turn over to authorities any information
14 that you had up until that time about places he went or where he might
16 A. No.
17 Q. Now, sir, in the Perisic case, if we could turn to page 83, line
18 16. Judge David asked you:
19 "You said also that you had not received orders to inform the
20 presence of General Mladic in your statement today. Had you received
21 orders to do so, to reveal his presence, would you have done so because
22 of your friendship and relations to the general?"
23 And your answer was: "I do not know who would issue such an
24 order, but I would never reveal my information about this, not on any
1 General, as you sit here today, that's still true, isn't it?
2 A. I know what somebody would perhaps like to say in answer to this
3 question. I'm a serious man, a general, and I gave my solemn statement
4 at the beginning of the testimony. Perhaps it would be fit for me to say
5 at this moment that I would very gladly report him and seriously very
6 sincerely, I did think a lot from last March until now what would happen
7 were I to know, and I must say in response to your quite definite
8 question that I am today also saying that I would not report, hand over,
9 or extradite General Mladic were I to know where he was at any price. So
10 since this is a hypothetical question, my answer is also a hypothetical
12 Q. And your answer is no, correct, you would not? You would not
13 turn him over?
14 A. I would not.
15 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you were asked questions about the combat
16 reports yesterday. Do you recall those questions?
17 MS. PETERSEN: Oh, Your Honours, I would like to tender the
18 transcript from the Perisic trial.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Just those pages, is that it?
20 MS. PETERSEN: Well, it would really be up to the Court. I'm not
21 sure if you would prefer to have the context of the rest.
22 JUDGE PARKER: I don't want to receive the whole of the
23 transcript of the Perisic trial.
24 MS. PETERSEN: Those pages are fine then, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MS. PETERSEN: Well, oh, yes, just this testimony.
2 THE REGISTRAR: It's received as Exhibit Number P01524. Thank
3 you, Your Honours.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I am not mistaken, these are
5 just answers to specific questions. This is not my entire testimony.
6 These are questions taken out of context of the entire testimony, but I
7 don't have a problem to have this admitted.
8 MS. PETERSEN:
9 Q. All right. Sir, I'd like to talk to you about the combat reports
10 that you spoke about yesterday. Looking at your statement, your witness
11 statement, which I believe is D553.
12 MS. PETERSEN: If we could look at paragraph 9. And if we could
13 just go to paragraph 9.
14 Q. All right, sir, in paragraph 9 you discuss that you have studied
15 all of these combat reports. I assume these are the ones that are now in
16 evidence in this case; correct?
17 A. I haven't managed to read paragraph 9, so if you can just kindly
18 zoom in on that paragraph, if that's all you are interested in this
19 report, because I would just like to remind myself a little bit. I don't
20 need to read everything in detail. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Yes, and it is your statement in this document that
22 in these reports there are no reports of any VJ officer taking away
23 identity documents; is that correct? I'm sorry, I should be more
24 precise, any members of the Pristina Corps taking away any identity
25 documents; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there are no reports of attacks on the civilian population;
4 A. Correct, yes.
5 Q. No reports on mass killings?
6 A. Correct. There were no reports.
7 Q. No reports on the deportation of the Albanian population?
8 A. Not as a topic and not deportation. First of all, let's see if
9 we are thinking of the same thing. Deportation is one thing, internal
10 refugees are something else, and the population leaving on its own is
11 something else. If I remember well, nowhere was any kind of deportation
12 of civilians organised from Kosovo. This was not in any report either.
13 Q. Okay. And there is no report of deliberate destruction of
14 religious buildings, is that also what you are telling us in paragraph 9?
15 A. Yes, yes, there were no reports.
16 Q. And if we look at paragraph 22, you speak again about this, here
17 you say that there are no reports of ethnic cleansing, correct, in these
18 reports, in these combat reports?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. No reports of looting or torching and destroying property
22 A. It says mass looting, nothing about mass or large-scale looting,
23 that's correct.
24 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. Now, so if we were to go through all
25 of these combat reports that are in evidence now, we wouldn't find any
1 reports of any of those things; is that your testimony?
2 A. Yes, that is what I state. That is how it is. Individual cases,
3 individual killings in some place two or three, for example in Kosovo
4 Polje were mentioned, but all of these things were processed. What was
5 under the jurisdiction of the corps command and the army command, that
6 was discovered and reported was also something that was dealt with,
8 Q. All right, sir. Now, just to clarify, do these reports contain
9 reporting about MUP activities?
10 A. I don't know which reports you mean. The Supreme Command staff
11 ones or the ones by the 3rd Army command?
12 Q. I mean the combat reports that came into evidence that you were
13 shown yesterday and you spoke of, those combat reports that went up to
14 the Supreme Command, were those reporting --
15 A. Of the Supreme Command staff?
16 Q. The ones that went to the Supreme Command staff, I believe.
17 A. Excuse me, these are distinctions but very important ones. There
18 are two reports, reports that reached the Supreme Command staff, and an
19 integral combat report which the Supreme Command staff submitted to the
20 supreme commander each morning. I don't know which ones you mean.
21 According to the list that was discussed this morning, I assume that you
22 mean the combat reports of the Supreme Command staff, so please, could
23 you repeat your question.
24 Q. Sir, I'm referring to what you're referring to in your statement.
25 You said you reviewed combat reports and they don't contain reports of
1 any of these things in them. I'm asking you if those reports you're
2 referred to, if they report on the MUP or just the VJ?
3 A. No, they could not contain detailed information about the MUP
4 because this is a different structure, it had a different chain of
5 command. The reports referred to events in their own ranks and maybe
6 sometimes incidentally there would be a sentence about some unit of the
7 3rd Army of the Pristina Corps supported MUP units in the implementation
8 of some assignment, that could have been in the reports, yes. Otherwise,
9 there were no detailed reports about what the MUP did. It was not part
10 of their duty to have to do that, no.
11 Q. All right. Sir, now I'd like to speak to you about the plans and
12 orders that came down from the General Staff or the Supreme Command
13 staff. I want to make sure I have your testimony clear. Your testimony
14 is that you were in the unit in charge of drafting all of these orders;
15 is that correct?
16 A. For the most part, yes, I was at the head of the administration,
17 that mainly was entrusted in peacetime and war time with writing
18 commands, orders, reports and so on and so forth.
19 Q. And your testimony is knowing of all the plans that were drafted,
20 there was no plan to expel the civilian population; is that correct? And
21 I'm also referring here to your statement at paragraph 20, that there has
22 never been a plan to expel -- to assist or support terror and violence
23 against the Albanian civilian population; is that correct? Is that your
25 A. Yes, that is correct. That is my testimony.
1 Q. Now, all these things that we just discussed, mass killings,
2 deportation, destroying religious sites, based on your training in
3 international humanitarian law, you understand that those would be war
4 crimes; correct?
5 A. I have to say that I don't understand the question, I didn't
6 speak about that, I didn't say that that there were any deportations,
7 mass killings, crimes and so on and so forth. This is what I think you
8 mentioned and asked for my view, but I claim that this was not contained
9 in the reports.
10 Q. Sir, I understand it's your testimony that it's not in the
11 reports. Those activities would be considered a war crime if they took
12 place; do you agree with that?
13 A. This is a hypothetical question, and I'm going to give a
14 hypothetical answer, no.
15 Q. Sir, I'm asking you based on all of the training that you
16 received in international humanitarian law, your opinion about whether
17 these would constitute war crimes, your understanding about whether these
18 are war crimes.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Djurdjic.
20 MR. DJURDJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would just like
21 the statements to be presented correctly, especially if they are being
22 read out, and I think a document is being read out. My learned friend
23 said just now that religious facilities and other things, other crimes,
24 were not referred to in the reports. It says in the statement:
25 "I state with full responsibility that in the Army of Yugoslavia
1 or the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia there was never any kind
2 of plan, order, or anything which in any way supported or instigated any
3 type of crimes against the Albanian population."
4 I don't want to read the entire thing. All I wanted to say is
5 that what is being presented by the Prosecutor at this case is incorrect,
6 and if it is being presented, I would then kindly ask that it be done
7 correctly because what is stated in paragraph 20 has nothing to do with
8 the combat reports that were the topic of questions a little bit before.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I believe we've moved on from combat reports,
10 Mr. Djurdjic.
11 Carry on, please, Ms. Petersen.
12 MS. PETERSEN: Thank you. Your Honours, I do note the time. I'm
13 on my last topic, I would guess depending on the speed here it could be
14 done in the next 10 or 15 minutes if we want to push through so the
15 witness can leave.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE PARKER: I'm afraid we must adjourn now. There is another
19 trial sitting in the courtroom at 2:15. So we must give them half an
20 hour to change over. That means we must now adjourn to resume tomorrow
21 morning at 9.00.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day of
24 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.