1 Monday, 17 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 The late start is also due to some technical problems. So if our
13 technicians are moving around the courtroom, you know why it is.
14 Good morning to you, Mr. Novakovic. I would like to remind you
15 that you are still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the
16 beginning of your testimony, and Mr. Misetic will now continue his
18 Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: KOSTA NOVAKOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Novakovic.
24 A. Good morning, Mr. Misetic.
25 Q. I'd like to follow up on a point where we left off last week. I
1 had asked about a unit known as the Mindjusari, which translated is "the
2 ear-ring wearers" or "the ear-ring unit." You advised me that the
3 Mindjusari were a band. Do you recall that testimony?
4 A. Yes. I said that they were a music band.
5 Q. Was there a military unit in the RSK known as the Mindjusari?
6 A. I don't know about that.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, I would like to now call up
8 1D61-0373, please. It is a video.
9 Q. First, before we start that clip, do you recognise that
10 individual, sir?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. What is his name?
13 A. That's Mr. Radic.
14 Q. Now, on the morning of the 4th of August, Mr. Radic was up on the
15 Dinara defending RSK positions. Correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And he was a commander of a unit. Is that correct?
18 A. Well, no. He was a coordinator. He was the Chief of Staff of
19 the Corps at the time. In other words, he wasn't a commander of a unit;
20 rather, he coordinated the activities of several units the along that
22 Q. Can you tell us which units he was coordinating?
23 A. Well, I don't know exactly.
24 There was the 1st Light Poljice Brigade there, and some others
25 from reinforcements from the staff, several other brigades, but I don't
1 know which elements were involved.
2 Q. MUP forces as well, police forces?
3 A. Yes. It is possible that there was one unit of the special
4 forces of the MUP. They had a small units, some 100 men strong, roughly.
5 I do believe that they were there.
6 MR. MISETIC: If we could play the clip, please.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
9 "Lieutenant-Colonel, do you possibly have a message for the
11 "Well, they should be as happy as I am. There is no need for
12 panic or worry. Those that are over there doing their tasks should be
13 doing them properly. Women should be happy and not crying. There are no
14 problems. We shall return successfully. Cheers.
15 "No problem. There is no problem. We will return successfully.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic. On the French channel, I hear B/C/S,
18 and the French interpreters informed us on the French channel that they
19 did not receive a transcript of this.
20 There must be then perhaps a mistake, so could we verify, because
21 you know that translating videos comes down often to one of the
22 interpreters following what is said, whether that appears on paper, and
23 the other one then translating from paper, because it almost impossible
24 to follow the speed of speech.
25 So it is a kind of a very sensitive exercise, and, therefore, I
1 would like to verify whether the transcripts are now available or not.
2 MR. MISETIC: I'm told, Your Honour, they were e-mailed at 8.33
3 this morning.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I can imagine that one misses that.
5 THE INTERPRETER: We don't have them at this time in the English
6 booth, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The English booth doesn't have them. I heard the
8 same on channel 5 from the French booth. So I suggest that hard copies
9 are prepared and that perhaps we play it at a later stage, 10, 15, 30
10 minutes from now.
11 MR. MISETIC: Can we ply it without the sound right now, just so
12 that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: If you can play it without the sound, of course I
14 have no idea of what the evidentiary value of the sound is, but then we
15 should play it without any sound at all.
16 MR. MISETIC: Actually, I'm move on, Your Honour. I will come
17 back to that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could then shift to a different
20 document, 1D61-0361. We'll show this via Sanction in English, and
21 provide a hard copy to the witness in the original.
22 Q. Mr. Novakovic, there is a report from the 2nd of August from the
23 Ministry of Interior of the so-called RSK, special units administration.
24 It says: "Report on the employment of the police forces at the Dinara."
25 It talks about what forces are in the Dinara under Colonel Radic.
1 That is the individual we just saw on the video. Is that correct,
2 Mr. Novakovic?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And the third point, the third unit is special unit Dalmatia with
5 the platoon Mindjusari. Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, that's what it says.
7 Q. Does that refresh your recollection as to what the -- what unit
8 the Mindjusari were and to whom they belonged?
9 A. Well, yes. You've just asked me whether there was a unit called
10 Mindjusari in the Serbia
11 here, it transpires that it was a platoon. So it could have been some 10
12 to 15 men who made the unit who were members of the MUP, because in the
13 letterhead, it says that -- or, rather, it was addressed to the Ministry
14 of Interior; and in the letterhead, it says Ministry of Interior.
15 Q. Where were the Mindjusari quartered in Knin?
16 A. I'm not aware of them being quartered there. I don't have much
17 information relating to the police.
18 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that the exhibit be marked,
19 and I tender it into evidence.
20 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D941, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D941 is admitted into evidence.
24 Mr. Misetic, I think the registrar printed out the transcript
25 that was sent this morning, and they have been provided to the booth. So
1 all the booths now have at least a transcript.
2 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Thank you, Mr. Registrar. If we could play the video then,
4 please, from the beginning.
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
7 "Journalist: Lieutenant-Colonel, do you possibly have a message
8 for the citizens?
9 "Radic: Well, they should be as happy as I am. There is no need
10 for panic or worry. Those that are over there doing their tasks should
11 be doing them probably. Women should be happy and not crying. There are
12 no problems. We shall return successfully. Cheers.
13 "Unidentified Male: There are no problems we should return
14 successfully. Cheers.
15 "Unidentified Male: Many regards to our dear citizens from the
16 Mindjusari who have come here to assist -- we have come here to assist
17 our comrades who are in combat here above us.
18 "They need not worry.
19 "Mile: Do not worry. This shall not fall. In the name of the
20 all the Mindjusari, I send regards to all the girls in the Republic of
21 Serbian Krajina.
22 "What about the Ustashas?
23 "Well, as for Ustashas, we say hi to them as well. The outcome
24 is well known.
25 "My regard is via target sight.
1 "Ljute, how do you comment this situation?
2 "Ljute: On behalf of the platoon of the Mindjusari, the Knin
3 volunteers, and combatants, my message is that our co-citizens should not
4 panic, that everything shall be okay, and that they should have faith in
5 our army, especially in the police, the milicija."
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that exhibit be marked, and I
7 tender it into evidence.
8 MR. HEDARALY: Is there is question coming for the witness first,
9 or is it just from the bar table. The first portion was tendered.
10 MR. MISETIC: My questions were -- I was out of sequence because
11 of the technical problem.
12 MR. HEDARALY: I have no objection. I was just seeking
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D942.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D942 is admitted into evidence.
17 MR. MISETIC:
18 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, these types of videos, would you agree with
19 me that they were made in order to have a certain psychological effect in
20 the RSK?
21 A. It is it possible. It does seem more like an advertisement to me
22 than a combat unit. Evidently these men were not in their units all the
23 time. Judging but the way they look, I'd is that they were only
24 temporarily and they were, for the most part, the music band. As I said,
25 it does look like more a video-clip or a music promotion clip.
1 Q. What is it about the way they look that leads you to believe that
2 they were not a unit?
3 A. I'm not denying that they were not a unit, but I'm saying they
4 were not a permanent unit.
5 Q. Okay. Well, what is it about the way how they look that leads
6 you to believe that they were not a permanent unit?
7 A. Well, one could deduce from their conduct as a whole - that was
8 precisely your question - that they were more concerned about the whole
9 psychological effect than combat; whereas, they should have been there
10 solely for the purposes of defence.
11 Q. Now, would you have been involved - you were an officer in charge
12 of information - would you have been involved in preparing these types of
13 spots for broadcast in the RSK?
14 A. No. We had no need for such footage. I should have said that
15 initially, perhaps. Our men were not manning combat positions for the
16 purposes of producing footage. What we were mentioning before, the order
17 on the strict judgement, so this was something that they would do of
18 their own accord. We had no use for that. Our men knew why they were
19 manning combat positions. From 1991 onwards, we did have any such
20 problems. My team or my sector did not involve in such activities in
21 that sort of incentive.
22 Let me not try and engage in propaganda here. We knew why we had
23 to defend our positions. There was no need for such activity.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could please have on the screen
25 1D61-0344, please.
1 Q. Mr. Novakovic, I'm going to show you the 1988 regulations of the
2 Yugoslav national army on the application of the international laws of
3 war in the armed forces of the SFRY. This is an excerpt.
4 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to the next page in the English,
6 Q. It talks about the concept of a military facility in number 71.
7 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page, please, in the B/C/S.
8 Oh, yes. Okay.
9 Q. It gives a definition of a military facility. Then if we go to
10 the footnotes there of what was defined as a military facility, number 1
11 says: "Regular armed forces or other armed formations established for
12 the purpose of participating in hostilities, including also their
13 auxiliary and supplementary parts, as well as persons who, although not
14 members of these forces or formations, actively participate in war
15 operations ..."
16 Point 3: "Equipment, facilities, or other installations of a
17 military nature (barracks, fortifications, ministries of national defence
18 or armed forces, or other military commands and establishments)."
19 4 includes quart master stores, stores of arms, ammunitions, and
21 6, traffic routes and facilities of military significance,
22 railway tracks, roads, canals, et cetera.
23 7, equipment and installations of radio and television stations
24 and telephone and telegraph centres of military importance.
25 Now, you, as a trained officer of the Yugoslav People's Army, you
1 agree with me that that is what you learned to be the definition of a
2 military facility, correct, amongst these other definitions included
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
5 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I mean, the definition was in
6 paragraph 71. The footnote Mr. Misetic just read says the following may
7 be considered, not just facilities. I think the question should be
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic, you --
10 MR. MISETIC: Let me --
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- misrepresented what was in the footnote. I had
12 that on my mind as well, because you said that the footnotes there of
13 what was it fined as a military facility; whereas, the footnote says that
14 certain objects or even persons described there may be considered
15 military facilities. So it depends apparently on other circumstances.
16 MR. MISETIC: I think we may have an issue there, but --
17 JUDGE ORIE: I beg your pardon.
18 MR. MISETIC: I think we may have an issue there on --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At least in presenting it to the witness, you
20 left out "may be."
21 And if that is clear, Mr. Novakovic, Mr. Misetic read to you from
22 a footnote which -- of which the original language says "The following
23 may be considered military facilities," and then Mr. Misetic read a
24 couple of --
25 MR. MISETIC: I think --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Or is there a translation issue?
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's what I think may be the issue.
3 JUDGE ORIE: If there is an translation issue, then --
4 MR. MISETIC: There's a different sense that I get from that in
5 the original, which --
6 JUDGE ORIE: If that's the case, of course it should be verified.
7 MR. MISETIC: We'll verify it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Now, if you read perhaps the original then, if you
9 have it available.
10 MR. MISETIC: Sure.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you read the original, then there can be no
12 confusion with the witness; then we might still be confused, but we'll
13 resolve that.
14 Perhaps you read the first line of the footnote of which you
15 quoted certain portions.
16 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
17 Q. Mr. Novakovic, to be precise, what's listed in the footnote
18 there, it says in the original: [Interpretation] "The following may be
19 considered -- [Previous translation continues] ... [in English] as a JNA
20 officer. Correct?
21 A. Yes. You know that I am -- have a degree in political sciences
22 and methodology.
23 The regulations you have shown to me from international law are
24 practically the Geneva Conventions that were implemented in the
1 Now, the definition itself, as provided in 71, is quite correct.
2 The text in small print is a footnote, and, precisely, as His Honour put
3 it, the following may be considered military facilities. Perhaps
4 somebody was imprecise in using this "may" because a definition has to be
5 very precise. It should use the following formulation. The following
6 shall be considered military facilitates. For instance, a barracks will
7 be considered a military facility if a certain combat unit is billeted
8 there. If there are no combat units billeted at the particular barracks,
9 it will definitely not be a military facility. That's the way I could
10 interpret as much.
11 Q. Mr. Novakovic, let's turn to number -- page 33 -- numbered
12 page 33 in the English. This is numbered paragraph 81 in the original
14 MR. MISETIC: Page 5 of the B/C/S, Mr. Registrar, and if we could
15 scroll over to the left, please. Okay.
16 Q. This provides a definition of an open city: "A place may be
17 proclaimed an open city even before the inception of hostilities. In
18 order for such place to enjoy full protection as an open city, it is
19 necessary that the other party to the conflict also accords it this
21 "Usually, the following conditions are agreed upon ..."
22 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll to the right, please.
23 Q. "... that the place is not defended and that there are no armed
24 forces in it."
25 Let start there, Mr. Novakovic. Knin was defended, wasn't it?
1 A. Well, one might say that; however, the closest units were towards
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you also had positions on
4 Bulina Strana as well, behind Knin, didn't you?
5 A. A little bit further from Bulina Strana --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear what the witness
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... no armed forces?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, the interpreters did not hear what the
11 witness said.
12 You said a little bit further from Bulina Strana, and then did
13 you add something to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a little bit further on,
15 towards hinterland and the village of Ducic
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Now, the second part says there are no armed forces in it.
18 Now, there, in fact, were armed forces of the RSK in Knin on the
19 4th of August. Correct?
20 A. I was very clear that, apart from the command, there were no
21 other forces. If you deem the command forces, then you are right. That
22 was the Main Staff of the Serbian army of Krajina.
23 Q. What about logistics: Mr. Bjelanovic, the Senjak bearings. They
24 were also there on the 4th. Correct.
25 A. I deemed them to be part of the Main Staff. That's logistics.
1 Just like my information department was part of the Main Staff, so was
2 the logistics. There is no dispute over that.
3 Q. Well, how would you drive the logistics out of the Senjak
4 barracks, let's say? How would you get the logistics out?
5 A. Knin had only two or three streets, and they only could get out
6 of the town that way. There was only one main street practically and a
7 couple of back streets, and everything could only happen along the main
9 Q. But, Mr. Novakovic, what I'm asking you is, if the order gets
10 passed, let's say, to Mr. Bjelanovic for more logistics to go someplace,
11 were you going to get in the truck and drive it? Was Mr. Bjelanovic
12 going to personally get behind the wheel of the truck and drive it
14 A. No. There are rules applied to logistics, just like in every
15 other area. Depending on the depot, the whole system is in place and
16 plans according to which this is being done. As you have probably read
17 in my C.V., for a number of years, I was at head of the logistics, and
18 everyone knows that are plans in place. It is not done by the head of
19 the service or the department. You have a whole array of tasks, and a
20 lot of people are involved in carrying out these tasks.
21 Q. When you say "a lot of people," you mean a lot of soldiers,
23 A. Yes. Not only soldiers, I was referring to all the people
24 working in this chain, but they need not have to be in Knin. It goes
25 from the lowest level unit to -- up to the Main Staff. They were all
1 involved in the process. The depot did not necessarily have to be in
2 Knin, where Mr. Bjelanovic was in charge of quarter masters.
3 Q. Okay. Let me read 2, 3, and 4 to you: "The conditions are that
4 military units do not pass through and material is not transported over
5 its territory."
6 Now, the logistics, as you just told us, there were one or two
7 streets in Knin over which the logistics could travel. So if
8 Mr. Bjelanovic wanted to move logistics past the Senjak barracks, he
9 would be passing through the streets of Knin. Correct?
10 A. Yes. But I explained that there were only quarter masters
11 assets, and there was no transport on that day. There was no ammunition
12 ever in Knin. But, indeed, there were transport from Senjak, carrying
13 food and clothes, and, of course, they had to pass through that street.
14 Q. And if you wanted to move weapons from some of the tunnels, where
15 some of the weapons had been stored behind Knin towards Stara Straza, and
16 you wanted to move them up to the Dinara, you would have to drive them
17 through Knin, right?
18 A. No. First of all, the weapons were not at the place where you
19 mentioned. The weapons were with the units, and there was no need for it
20 to be transported. It was always in the possession of units, and there
21 was no need for the transportation.
22 Q. "The economic and industrial plants in that place stop all
23 activities of military significance or activities for military purposes."
24 4 is that: "The place discontinue all communication with the
25 national and allied armed forces."
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, before we continue, I read this "open
2 city" paragraph, which apparently says that you need an agreement on that
3 and these are the usual conditions. Was there agreement?
4 MR. MISETIC: No, that is my point.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Why go through all what could have been the
6 conditions that could have been, and these are the usual conditions. But
7 if there is no agreement, why spend so much time on conditions that were
8 never negotiated and reached the level of a conclusion, which means that
9 Knin apparently, according to this rule, never obtained the status of an
10 open city. Is it claimed --
11 MR. MISETIC: I agree. I think it may be the position of the
12 Prosecution that Knin -- they've used several witnesses to claim it was
13 an undefended town.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course, we have heard a lot about what
15 there was, as far as military facilities and military units are
16 concerned. But this appears, this rule 81, seems to focus on an
17 agreement and obtaining a formal status of, which until now, I think it
18 is the first time I hear that to be denied, where I never heard it to be
20 Is that right, Mr. Hedaraly? His body language seems to confirm
22 MR. MISETIC: I agree that it wasn't claimed, but I think
23 de facto the Prosecution position is that Knin was an undefended city,
24 and that there were --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Did not obtain the formal status under rule 81. I
1 mean, apart from what --
2 MR. MISETIC: Because they never sought it, and that is my
3 ultimate point. They never even in the first place even sought that it
4 be declared an open city, or met those conditions, because they
5 weren't --
6 JUDGE ORIE: The matter is clear now, and --
7 MR. HEDARALY: [Overlapping speakers] ... asked the witness what
8 he knows about such an agreement, if he knew anything about it. I mean,
9 that seems to make more sense.
10 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... no, no, no --
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers]... to go in to quite a lot of
12 details, because, you see, we come to point 4 soon, which says "The
13 parties to the conflict may agree on other conditions for each individual
14 case." So we have there an endless area to explore, where --
15 The issue is clear to us.
16 MR. MISETIC: Judge, if I may, the witnesses come to court to
17 tell a story and to tell, you know, that nothing was happening in Knin,
18 there were no soldiers in Knin, there was --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Fine. That's all facts --
20 MR. MISETIC: This is a JNA document. If that were the case and
21 they want to now claim that Knin shouldn't have been attacked, he knows
22 the regulations or what should have been done to have it declared an open
23 city, or to at least proceed on that path. None of --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. There is no claim that it was ever declared
25 an open city, so whether then to go through all of the details, what are
1 the usual conditions, if seems to me -- again, focus on facts, no problem
2 with that.
3 MR. MISETIC: I know it wasn't declared an open city, and that is
4 my point, where, on the one hand, it is to eat your cake and to have it,
5 too. It was undefended, we met all the conditions. On the other hand --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then you made your point very clear.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 MR. HEDARALY: There is a difference between saying the town is
9 undefended and it's an open city according to regulation. If he doesn't
10 ask him the question --
11 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... we now know that a town
12 can obtain under certain conditions that status. It is not claimed that
13 it ever claimed that status. Therefore, to go into details, we have seen
14 here that some of the elements, factual elements, which may be invoked in
15 the Prosecution's case, could have led perhaps to negotiations and
16 perhaps to endeavoured to have that status claimed.
17 That is clear.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Novakovic, if I can take you to --
21 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry. If I may tender the document into
22 evidence, Mr. President.
23 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D943.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D943 is admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 65 ter 128, please.
3 Q. Mr. Novakovic, this is the directive for the use of the Serbian
4 army of Krajina.
5 MR. MISETIC: And if we scroll to the bottom, the date is
6 February 1995.
7 Q. Can you first tell the Court what is the directive? What is its
9 A. That's a basic document, and it is at a higher level than an
10 ordinary order. It governs how to use the army and how the defence
11 should be pursued.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 5 of the B/C/S and page 5 in
14 the English please.
15 Q. It is a quite extensive document, Mr. Novakovic, and I will not
16 go through all of it with you. However, page 5 discusses the first phase
17 of -- under section 3, which is likely method of aggression and axes of
19 And if we look at phase one, it says: "This type of aggression
20 is in progress and is being carried out by way of psychological
22 Then it says towards the bottom: "Croatia's likely aim is to
23 exert a strong influence on the population, disorient it, create doubt in
24 the possibility of a defence of the Krajina, and dissatisfaction with its
25 government; to disorganise and divide the state of leadership; to disable
1 an orderly and timely mobilisation of units and the operation development
2 of the army of the SVK; thus creating the conditions for a peaceful
3 reintegration of the RSK.
4 "By achieving or not achieving its aim, through this operation,
6 of the RSK into its borders through peaceful or violent means."
7 Mr. Novakovic, as early as February 1995, the army of the SVK was
8 aware that Croatia
9 into Croatia
10 A. I don't think that this is what it says here. There's a
11 difference when you say by peaceful means, or when you put it in inverted
12 commas. It just implies the totally opposite effect. I didn't draft
13 this because I wasn't in charge of that particular job at the time, but,
14 basically, this is what it says.
15 MR. MISETIC: If we could go do page 8 in the English, please.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I just note.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
18 MR. HEDARALY: I just note the record that the inverted commas in
19 the B/C/S does not appear on the English translation as peaceful, as just
20 pointed out by the witness.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me check.
22 MR. MISETIC: It's a 65 ter, so if the Prosecution wants to
23 update the translation and give it us --
24 MR. HEDARALY: I think I clarified the record, and that was my
25 only objective.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If inverted commas do not appear in the translation,
2 then, of course, it is appropriate to have then in, and not just say that
3 it is just for the record. I mean, I do see that it does not appear in
4 the translation, where it does appear in the originals.
5 So, therefore, it should be uploaded in a corrected version.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll to the top of this page, please.
8 Q. Now, it says: (B) is in an aggression with a radical objective.
9 Point 1 is: "Through a maximum use of all state resources,
10 persistent defence and active combat operations, the Serbian army of
11 Krajina in joint actions with parts of the VRS and the VJ shall prevent
12 the capture of territory and defend the integrity of the RSK."
13 Now, that was one of the fundamental principles of the defence of
14 the RSK was that you would be working jointly with parts of the VRS and
15 the VJ. Correct?
16 A. I would rather say that that was the desire.
17 Q. Well, didn't you, subsequent to this order, Mr. Novakovic,
18 participate jointly - when I say "you," I mean the SVK with the VRS - in
19 military operations on the Bihac pocket, July 1995?
20 A. No. The SVK provided certain support. And as far as its
21 participation is concerned, General Mile Novakovic explained in a number
22 of interviews the role of the Serbian army in the Bihac pocket. The
23 Serbian army of Krajina did not participate directly; rather, it was part
24 of the defence system of Western Bosnia, and there were a couple of
25 officers who were there acting as coordinators. The -- the army of
1 Serbian Krajina did not take part.
2 Q. We'll get into that a little bit later, Mr. Novakovic.
3 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 16 in the English, please;
4 subsection 6.1.
5 Q. It says: "Focus moral and psychological support on creating the
6 conviction among all members of the SVK that the defence of the Serbian
7 cause and the Serbian people in this area is a historic task, and that
8 the unification of the entire Serbian people, which can only be achieved
9 through the struggle of each individual, depends on its realisation."
10 Now, one of your objectives in the ARSK was unification with the
11 Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Correct?
12 A. That may have been a desired and long-term process, but I don't
13 think that was the priority or the primary objective.
14 There was an idea of some sort of unity, and I think that the
15 objective is very chore. We don't need to go into the politics, but
16 their primary goal for the Serbs in Croatia was to have autonomy, and you
17 know what the outcome was.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender this exhibit and ask that
19 it be moved into evidence.
20 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D944, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D944 is admitted into evidence.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, let's go to - it is a video -
2 Q. This is again an excerpt from that Banja Luka, 7 August programme
3 that you were on.
4 [Videotape played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
6 "First of all, the USA
7 we were -- NATO plans interfered with our aircraft, and they also
8 shelled, as you know, our rockets surrounding Knin.
9 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm told we should play it one more
10 time for the -- the translators may not have had the transcript in front
11 of them when we began the video.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It is a very short portion, so if it --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters have the transcript.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I heard most of it translated, but I'm not
15 certain that everything was translated. So perhaps we play it again
16 because it was very short.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
19 "First of all, the USA
20 at one point we were defending ourselves from the HV aviation, NATO plans
21 interfere with our flights or our flight plans, and they also shelled, as
22 you know, our rocket systems surrounding Knin."
23 MR. MISETIC:
24 Q. Mr. Novakovic, first, where were the rocket systems?
25 A. I already explained from Bulina Strana towards the inland and the
1 village of Padjene. So the surrounding of Knin is a broad area.
2 Actually, that is where the command and the radios were.
3 Q. And did NATO, in fact, attack your rocket systems?
4 A. Well, frankly speaking, we heard this information. I myself am
5 not sure. I suppose that was the case because NATO never refuted, but I
6 cannot claim that with any degree of certainty.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
8 and I tender it into evidence.
9 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D945, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D945 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. MISETIC:
14 Q. I'm going to ask you about some facilitates in Knin now. Do you
15 recall -- do you recall telling us, when you were being questioned by
16 Mr. Hedaraly about the nuns convent in Benkovac, you said that the RSK
17 did not make use of religious facilities for military purposes.
18 Do you recall that?
19 A. Yes, and that was true in principle. Neither the Catholic ones
20 or the Greek orthodox ones.
21 Q. Well, you say "in principle." Do you know of specific facilities
22 that violated that principle and that, in fact, were used for military
24 A. I would just like to add, in principle and in practice, as far as
25 I know.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know of any exceptions? That was the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to -- Mr. Registrar, if we go to
6 1D61-0273, please.
7 Q. This is a document dated 25 July 1994. "The conclusion of the
8 ministry of culture and religion is the government has decided that the
9 building of the Catholic monastery should entirely be used for the
10 purposes of the ministry of culture and religion.
11 "Prior to this, it is necessary to relocate the special police
12 unit of the MUP, and to move out the refugees from this building."
13 Now, in fact, special police forces were bordered in the Catholic
14 monastery. Do you recall that?
15 A. This is apparent from this document. I don't think anything
16 about this, but it also mentioned refugees in addition to special police.
17 One should really examine where these refugees had came from, and it is
18 obvious that the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina dealt with
19 this problem and had in mind an intention to resolve it.
20 Q. Well, let's address that, but, first, before I move on to next
21 piece of evidence. The special police unit there, are you familiar with
22 the fact that the special police unit is the Mindjusari, which is the
23 video we saw at the beginning of this morning sessions, that they were
24 the ones that were headquartered in St. Anthony's Monastery in Knin?
25 A. For what we have seen, it seems that it could only have been one
1 part of this unit.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I asked that this exhibit be marked,
3 and I tender it into evidence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
5 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D946, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: D946 is admitted into evidence.
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. Now, after this decision was taken, there was then a discussion
11 in the so-called RSK parliament because this decision wasn't implemented,
12 and I would like to show you a clip.
13 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this is 1D61-0239.
14 May we proceed, Mr. President?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may proceed. Yes, now I see it on my
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
19 "The government has made the decision to place the archive in the
20 monastery, but what do we find there? A special unit.
21 "Mr. Atlagic, I would like to ask you to come with me to chase
22 out this special unit. There is the decision of the government.
23 Mr. Mikelic can show it to you.
24 "All right. Thank you.
25 "Thank you, Mr. Prijic.
1 "Chairmen, representatives of the people. First of all, allow me
2 to say something without trying to be funny, but also not entirely
3 serious. Some of us want to chase out the special unit from the
4 monastery, but more than that, they want to do this to me. But that is
5 the part of the political structures, and that is not entirely
6 impossible, as far as I am concerned. But as far as the special unit is
7 concerned, this wouldn't be such a good option, particularly because, and
8 some keep this as a secret, it was this unit that stopped the Muslim
9 offensive and breach towards Petrovac, and prevented the consolidation of
10 their forces and pushed the Muslims back to where they are right now.
11 "So much ... let's not play public secret. There were some
12 matters that had been referred to in the reports on the government that
13 were being kept secret, but now are publicly dealt with."
14 MR. MISETIC:
15 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic --
16 JUDGE ORIE: One moment.
17 MR. MISETIC: Sorry.
18 Q. Mr. Novakovic, two questions on the video. First, at the end
19 there, he references the fact that this --
20 MR. MISETIC: I haven't asked the question. I don't know what --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Hedaraly has not said anything. He is on
22 his feet, so I'm on alert, and you may continue. That's how I appreciate
23 the situation.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. Mr. Novakovic, first, he mentions there that this special unit
1 that is quartered in the monastery fended off the Muslims in the Petrovac
2 area. That's in Bosnia
3 A. I'm not aware of that activity. I don't know why the minister
4 said this, what his purpose in saying that was. These were parliament
5 debates, and it doesn't necessarily follow that this is true. But I'm
6 not familiar with that issue.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, I see what I see. I don't know hear
8 anything. Unless I hear anything, Mr. Misetic will continue.
9 MR. HEDARALY: I don't want to interrupt, but If I may raise an
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You may raise an issue. Of course, whether it
12 is appropriate to do it in the presence of the witness, I leave that,
13 because I don't know what you want to raise.
14 MR. HEDARALY: I want to seek clarification on the date for the
15 witness, so that he has the actual knowledge of the full video before
16 being asked questions specifically about that meeting.
17 If the question is general like the last one, then there was no
18 objection, but --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly would be assisted by having a
20 time-frame for the video.
21 MR. MISETIC: 10 November 1994
22 JUDGE ORIE: 10 November 1994
23 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
24 MR. MISETIC: And that is what it titled in e-court.
25 JUDGE ORIE: I have not seen any titles.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Now, the second question, Mr. Novakovic, regards these
4 discussions in parliament. The discussion in the parliament is that
5 despite the decision of the government from the summer of 1994, the
6 special forces still hadn't move out. Were you familiar with that
7 problem, that the special forces decided not to follow the decision of
8 the government?
9 A. I have to draw your attention to one piece of information. The
10 period we're discussing now is the second half of 1994. I was in the
11 11th Corps in Vukovar, I wasn't in Knin, so I'm not really familiar with
12 some information dating from that period.
13 I did follow the events but not closely. I was in the detached
14 command of the 11th Corps at the time.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked,
16 and I tender it into evidence.
17 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D947, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: D947 is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have Exhibit D57, please.
22 Q. Mr. Novakovic, I'm going to show you the Croatian Ministry of
23 Interior police log-book after the Croatian police took over in Knin,
24 then I'm going show you the entry for the 12th of August.
25 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, this is page 10 in the English
1 and page ten in the B/C/S. If we could scroll to the bottom, please.
2 Q. It's the entry the Zeljko Car. There it is, on the bottom, yes.
3 Now the entry says n 12 August 1995 there was a call into the
4 police. It says: "Discovery of ammunition. He reported around 20 cases
5 of ammunition were found in St. Anthony's monastery."
6 Now, you were in Knin on the 12th of August, Mr. Novakovic. Were
7 you aware of 20 cases of weapons being in St. Anthony's monastery on the
8 4th of August?
9 A. [No interpretation].
10 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you were aware of the
11 discovery of ammunition in St. Anthony's monastery, which was reported on
12 the 12th of August, 1995.
13 A. I'm not aware of that. But between the 5th and the 12th of
14 August, all manner of things could happen. Whose weapons they were and
15 how they came to be there, I don't know.
16 MR. MISETIC:
17 Q. Mr. Novakovic, on the 4th of August, 1995, St. Anthony's
18 monastery was being used by the special police forces of the so-called
19 RSK. Isn't that correct?
20 A. I can't confirm that. I would pass by that area, and I never saw
21 them there.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, I could have D930, please. This is
23 again Mr. Vrcalj's book. He is the head of artillery of the RSK.
24 And if we could go to page 6 in the English, please, and page 6
25 of the B/C/S.
1 Q. Now here is what the artillery officer --
2 MR. MISETIC: Sorry. Page 6, yes, in the B/C/S, mid-page.
3 Q. He talks about the morning of the 4th, and he says -- I'm -- it's
4 numbered page 6 of 25, so if we could scroll to the bottom. Next page in
5 the English, please.
6 He talks about, towards the middle of the page, the 4th of
7 August. And now the head of artillery says: "The most important targets
8 in Knin were the building of the General Staff, the residence of the
9 president, the casern, Severna Kasarna," which is the northern barracks,
10 "the Kasarna Senjak and the main cross-road in Knin?"
11 Do you agree with Mr. Vrcalj that those were the most important
12 targets in Knin?
13 A. Well, I don't know in the context in which he used the term "the
14 most important targets." Maybe they were very important in terms -- in
15 political or economic terms. He didn't specify what sort of targets they
16 were. Were they military targets? One could debate about it, but we
17 don't know what the author meant. This was an observation on his part
18 which I need not agree with.
19 Q. If we turn the page in the English, and it is page 7 at the top
20 in the B/C/S, Mr. Vrcalj, the head of artillery, says in the morning he
21 managed to --
22 MR. MISETIC: If we can go to the top in the English please.
23 Q. Talks about the northern barracks and then says: "I jumped over
24 the fence in the casern and entered the building where I worked up until
25 four months ago."
1 Were you aware that the chief of artillery of the ARSK in the
2 morning of the 4th of August was himself located in the northern
4 A. No, I was not aware of that. The only thing that I know is that
5 he lived in a small bed-sitter ^ in the same building where I lived. I
6 didn't see him on that day or in the following several days.
7 We did not have any professional dealings because our military
8 tasks did not overlap. That's why we wouldn't be in contact that
10 Q. Well, he then says that he went from the northern barracks to the
11 Main Staff building. And he says when he got to the Main Staff -- that
12 the second paragraph, full paragraph in English: "I entered the building
13 and, boy, was there a lot for me to see there. Two shells landed in the
14 parking area between the buildings, exploded, and destroyed the entire
15 car park of the Main Staff. It must have been that one good artillery
16 operator has struck them precisely at that location."
17 Now, do you recall the fact that the car park behind the
18 Main Staff had in fact been hit?
19 A. The car park was in fact the yard of the command. There used be
20 to be a volleyball playground. It was an area between the Main Staff and
21 another building. A shell did land there, one shell landed there,
22 inflicting damage onto the vehicles parked there. Of course it -- what
23 one writes depends on one's imagination and on one's intentions.
24 Q. If we go down a couple of paragraphs towards the bottom in the
25 English. And it's page 7, last paragraph in the B/C/S. He says: "I
1 asked around about the other commanding officers from the Main Staff
2 since they were not present. There were just a few of us. Some didn't
3 report throughout the day, although their sleeping quarters have been
4 situated in the retirement home which was located some 400 metres away."
5 That is correct, isn't it, that these officers were quartered at
6 the retirement home, who never showed up on the morning of the 4th?
7 A. That's not quite true. The fact of the matter is that some of
8 the officers were in the old people's home. There was some 40 rooms,
9 whereas 10 to 15 rooms were used by our officers as sleeping quarters.
10 They would go there on their own or in groups and run up to the command.
11 I am not aware of them staying there throughout the day. They were
12 perhaps afraid, but I -- officers, as they were, I don't think that they
13 spent the entire day in the old people's home.
14 This is Vrcalj's personal observation, and I do doubt that this
15 is the way it happened. Some of my associates who had sleeping quarters
16 there did not show up in the morning, not at 5.00 but they showed up at
17 5.00 at -- at 8.00, and then they stayed there until noon, 12.00, at the
18 very least.
19 Q. Okay. If we could move to page 13 in the English, which is
20 numbered page 12 and page 11 in the B/C/S. That's it.
21 Now -- in the B/C/S, it's the sixth line from the top of the
22 page. It's the second sentence here. This is now talking about what
23 happened after the evacuation order had been issued. Mr. Vrcalj says:
24 "General Bjelanovic made a remark that I had to find the train captain
25 who would pull out the train loaded with ammunition from Stara Straza."
1 Now, were you aware that the railway system in the RSK was being
2 moved to move weapons for the army?
3 MR. HEDARALY: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
5 MR. HEDARALY: The passage talks about ammunition, and his
6 question talks about weapons. The second time that happens.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you were referring to ammunition.
8 MR. MISETIC: Ammunition, that's fine.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. MISETIC:
11 Q. Mr. Novakovic, were you aware that the train system was being
12 used to move ammunition?
13 A. I observed the fact that Mr. Misetic did not distinguish between
14 that -- weapons and ammunition.
15 I didn't know that at some point - I don't know how many days
16 before the general aggression of the 4th of August, most probably after
17 the 27th of July when Grahovo fell - some of the ammunition from the
18 Golubic depot was transferred by railway in some 13 carriages, I believe,
19 and stored in some of the tunnels. I didn't know exactly which of the
20 tunnel it is was. It could have been the railway leading to Licka
21 Kaldrma, or on the rail track leading to Zadar.
22 But according to what Mr. Vrcalj says, it must have been there at
23 Stara Straza. I only knew that it had been stored away before the 1st of
24 August. But since that was not my business strictly speaking, I did not
25 inquire about it or take part in it. In other words, some of the
1 ammunition was most probably stored in one of the tunnels, and there was
2 some ten to 13 carriages loaded with ammunition. Well, quite probably,
3 there were 13, in fact.
4 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I go back, please, to D923.
5 Q. This is again General Mrksic's report from the 26th of August,
7 MR. MISETIC: If I could go to numbered page 25 in the original,
8 which is page 16 in the B/C/S.
9 Q. Now, starting at paragraph number 5 at the bottom, General Mrksic
10 reports about the 5th of August in the morning. He says: "Then it was
11 ordered to evacuate 14 railway wagons loaded with ammunition from the
12 tunnel on the axis Stara Straza-Padjene, and to relocate them to
13 Otric-Malovan region, in order to take them to the Republika Srpska
15 He says: "The train personnel and the security left the wagons
16 during the night, but it would not have been possible to do any
17 constructive since Malovan had already been under the enemy fire."
18 Then he says: "In order to initiate destruction of ammunition in
19 the tunnels near Stara Straza, the armoured train was pushed, in order to
20 insight an explosion due to the inertia and crash with the wagons loaded
21 with ammunition. This operation failed because the train turned over
22 before the entry in the tunnel. It was ordered to blow up the mined
23 ammunition store Golubic, and for that, all preparation had been carried
24 out previously. But due to disruption of communications, it was not
25 possible to forward the order to the store commander."
1 The next pages says: "According to our current knowledge, he
2 tried to activate the ignition system, but an enemy reconnaissance and
3 sabotage group prevented him."
4 Now, were you aware, as someone who was an officer working with
5 General Mrksic, that on the 5th, plan had been activated to try to blow
6 up ammunition depots in both the tunnels at Stara Straza and at Golubic?
7 A. I was not aware of that, and I needn't have been. In principle,
8 I don't know that there were any such sabotage activities carried out,
9 nor were there any plans for this. This wasn't the practice applied in
10 our army; although, one could arrive at this conclusion by reading this.
11 Q. Okay. You say in your statement, regarding the PTT, that they
12 weren't in use, but that you were using mobile communication facilities.
13 Can you describe what those mobile communication facilities were
14 and where they were located.
15 A. I didn't say that we used them. I said that we had some of the
16 assets, outdated equipment, that could be used as mobile communications.
17 We had our own stationary communication system based on the switchboard
18 and radio relay equipment. There was a unit there that was a battalion,
19 but it only had the strength of a company. There were some 70 men and
20 some 70 vehicles, which up until Bosansko Grahovo fell, and on the eve of
21 the aggression, were in the northern barracks.
22 Later on, they were relocated into the direction of Padjene,
23 since the plan was that in the event of an aggression, the Main Staff was
24 supposed to be relocated to Srb. That was a fallback population. Of
25 course, the Main Staff being in Knin was in the close proximity of the
1 front line. We had that unit -- mobile unit with some ten men and some
2 ten vehicles which had communications equipment mounted on them.
3 Q. I'd now like to show you 65 ter 428, please.
4 Mr. Novakovic, let me ask you, are you familiar with any
5 individuals with the name either Medo or Zezelj?
6 A. No. I didn't hear such names. Zezelj is a probably a family
7 name, and Medo must be a nickname.
8 Q. This is a telephone intercept of a conversation that General
9 Mrksic had while he was in Knin. It's the 4 the of August, 1995, 2158
10 hours. He talks about what transpired during the day.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we can go toward the bottom in the English.
12 Q. He says: "Well, it's finished here. Knin is being emptied,
13 relocation is organised.
14 "Then, well, can you go to the city?
15 "Well, we will defend Knin tomorrow and the day after tomorrow in
16 any way we can."
17 Now, is that your understanding --
18 MR. MISETIC: Sorry. Then if we turn the page.
19 Q. It says: "Knin is empty, but we will defend."
20 Now, that on the evening of the 4th was, in fact, the intent
21 wasn't it, Mr. Novakovic? You had evacuated the civilians, but the
22 military was still going to stay and defend the city of Knin. Correct?
23 A. Yes, absolutely. I mentioned a meeting held in the commander's
24 office, and the commander issued tasks at 2030 to the commander of the
25 Northern Dalmatia Corps and the commander of our brigade, not only to
1 defend Knin but the general area.
2 Q. Towards the bottom of page 2, he says: "Well, they didn't, it's
3 just that they put the panic in Knin.
4 "Well, panic schmanic. Prevent it, execute by rifles.
5 "You can't do that. It's a stampede. No control there. Better
6 that than for me to lose people. It's better that they get pulled out in
7 an organised manner than that I lose them."
8 The other person says: "Don't let the troops go."
9 Now, what transpired on --
10 MR. MISETIC: And if we turn the page on this.
11 Q. It says: "Well, women and children can't drive cars, can they?
12 Army has much more to do. There are people in Benkovac, and they didn't
13 even start moving out yet."
14 Now, you had a problem on the evening of the 4th because soldiers
15 were starting to desert their positions as well. Correct?
16 A. I've already explained this. Individual soldiers would leave. I
17 don't know if you can call it desertion. They would leave to see how
18 their families fared. They were compelled to. There was shelling, and
19 more of the shells landed across the front lines than on the front lines
20 themselves. So the answer to your question might be a yes.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... to that issue, because a
22 little bit towards the middle of that page, he says: "Well, F it. The
23 communication assets in Knin are not working. They shot everything in
24 this morning. I was left without electricity, TV, radio, everything,
1 What they shot out on the morning of the 4th, Mr. Novakovic, was
2 your communication abilities. Correct?
3 A. Initially, they fired upon the radio and television building. I
4 think that the first shell that landed in Knin was the one that landed on
5 the radio and television centre.
6 As for the communications devices, in the course of the night,
7 the communication system in the command was operational. The commanders
8 who were out in the field were in touch with the command because the
9 communication centre in the command was not completely destroyed. Parts
10 of it were damaged, admittedly.
11 The answer could be that they were, yes, targeted, but not solely
12 the communications facility. The town itself was shelled in addition to
13 or along with.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I asked that this exhibit be marked,
15 and I tender it into evidence.
16 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D948, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D948 is admitted into evidence.
20 Mr. Misetic, the last thing I asked you Friday was how much time
21 you would need. You said "I expect to finish in the first session."
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. I think I will be closer to the
23 ten hours I indicated before. If I could have another 45 minutes, just
24 to go through the rest of the targets.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: I will consider it with my colleagues, and I let you
2 know after the break.
3 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a break and resume at five minutes
5 to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.10 a.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber apologises again for the late start.
9 There were good reasons for it, but I do understand that is not pleasant
10 for the parties and for the witness who is waiting.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Novakovic, at your most recent witness statement, which I
14 believe is P1094, at paragraph 31, you say that: "The Tvik factory, to
15 my knowledge, there was no military use made of this factory."
16 I'd like to show you a report from TV Knin from September 1994.
17 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, this 1D61-0236.
18 Can I proceed, Mr. President. May we proceed?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may proceed.
20 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover].
23 "Speaker: Despite the four years of war and the imposed embargo,
24 the state owned company Tvik from Knin has been successfully resisting
25 any hardship. The commander of the Serb army of the Krajina,
1 Major-General Milan Celeketic, visited this company today along with his
3 "Reporter: As part of his regular activities of visiting
4 commercial companies, the SVK commander, Major-General Milan Celeketic,
5 accompanied by his logistics assistant, Major-General Mirko Bjelanovic,
6 and Colonel Dusan Smiljanic, visited the this morning the state owned
7 company, the screw tractor Tvik in Knin. While talking to the manager of
8 this company, Mr. Jugoslav Pavlovic, the commander was informed about the
9 difficulties Tvik has been faced with under conditions of war and the
10 blockade of the international market.
11 "At the time the war broke out, the Tvik factory had 3.300
12 employees. The number was reduced to 2.300 employees today, of which
13 more than 1.000 are conscripts. Still, Tvik managed to fulfil any
14 obligations towards the employees, the workers waiting to reassume their
15 work place and the conscripts. 50 per cent of this company's production
16 was designated for export, but today it offers the cheapest products on
17 the Yugoslav market.
18 "Mr. Pavlovic, the manager of Tvik, has assured the visitors that
19 once the borders are reopened and export it possible again, this company
20 could reassume regular business operations. General Celeketic and
21 Mr. Pavlovic also discussed the military production programme in Tvik.
22 After that, the commander and his associates visited the production
23 facilities of this extremely important company."
24 MR. MISETIC: In order to speed it up, Your Honour, I tender this
25 video into evidence. I have will one more document, and then I will put
1 some questions to the witness about the Tvik factory.
2 So I tender the video into evidence right now.
3 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D949, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: D949 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 1D61-0272, please.
8 Q. This is a document, Mr. Novakovic, dated 10 July 1995. It's from
9 the Ministry of Defence, and it says: "Due to the urgent need of
10 constructing lethal devices to be launched from an earth bound rocket
11 launcher and given the capacity the Tvik tractor, Knin, (tool factory),
12 we have allocated part of the production of certain products in
13 cooperation with the Banja metal factory, Dvorna Uni, to the
14 aforementioned factory."
15 Third paragraph: "I propose that the Tvik factory, Knin, (tool
16 factory) be put into the work system of the sector for military and
17 special purpose production at least for a certain period of time, and
18 that the requirements of the sector for military and special purpose
19 production be considered a work priority.
20 "Deputy Minister, Colonel Milan Suput."
21 Mr. Novakovic, this is from the 10th of July, 1995. Were you
22 aware -- first, you saw, in the video, the military production programme.
23 Can you help us understand what that programme was?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
25 MR. HEDARALY: Today Mr. Misetic is showing the date of the 10
1 July. The video we saw was September 1994, so that should be made clear
2 to the witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, no. We have noted that. The evidence is for
4 the Chamber to consider.
5 Mr. Hedaraly, this is an inappropriate intervention.
6 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You are asked about your awareness of this,
8 Mr. Novakovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't aware of that. We didn't
10 see the programme actually in the video. It was only mentioned. And by
11 the way, I already said that during that period, I was not in Knin.
12 MR. MISETIC:
13 Q. Well --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now it apparently becomes an issue of time,
15 because what is put to you in this document is July 1995, where a clear
16 role is --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was there during this
18 particular period.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And in this period of time, apart from what we saw
20 in the video, where, only in general terms, mention is made of a military
21 programme, which at least suggests that there was a military programme.
22 Here now we find a very specific assignment of a certain task in military
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I visited this
25 factory on several occasions, and I never noticed any military
1 production. I know that all our factories before the war had certain
2 programmes, but the question is whether they were able to implement them.
3 If I may comment on the last passage in this information dated
4 10th of July, the deputy minister, Mr. Suput, only proposes that this
5 factory be included in the system of special production programme, but he
6 doesn't specifically say what it is all about. Also, we cannot see
7 whether anything was done regarding this.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The question was about whether you were aware of --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said I visited the factory
10 several times. I didn't see any production of that kind there. I know
11 that there was maintenance detail in the -- in the factory, numbering
12 some 300 people.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And, nevertheless, I asked you whether you
14 were aware of it. You said, "I went there. I didn't it, "which doesn't
15 mean that you could not be aware by other sources, such as documents,
16 discussions, or other information you received.
17 Were you aware that Tvik was, among other matters perhaps, but
18 was also active productive in military production? That's the question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't aware, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
22 MR. MISETIC:
23 Q. Since you weren't aware any military production at Tvik,
24 Mr. Novakovic, where did the ammunition for the army of the RSK come
1 A. For the most part, the ammunition came from the reserves of the
2 JNA that had existed there. In Golubic, there were between 8 and 10.000
3 tons of ammunition, and these were the reserves of the military command
4 and the military district. We also had access to the depot in Sveti Rok
5 and in Cerkezovac. It is it possible that a smaller quantity of
6 ammunition had come from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but I don't
7 know the exact amounts, and whether that happened often or not.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could go back to D923,
9 please -- I'm sorry. If I could tender 1D62-0272 into evidence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No objections from Mr. Hedaraly, I see.
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D950.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D950 is admitted into evidence.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. Registrar, again D923, please.
16 If we could go to page 24 in the English.
17 [French on English channel]
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 [French on English channel]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I again here on channel 4 a French translation of my
22 words. So, apparently there was a small problem, but I think we can now
24 MR. MISETIC: All the way to the bottom, please, so I can see the
25 numbered page. 24, I'm sorry. I didn't speak clearly enough, and that's
1 page 16 in the B/C/S. Yes. It's numbered paragraph 3. Yes.
2 Q. Now General Mrksic reports on 26th August, and he says: "Due to
3 the incessant activity of the enemy artillery and rocket system, from the
4 Senjak barracks in Knin, where at the very beginning of the attack, three
5 trucks had been destroyed and a driver was killed, it was not possible to
6 carry out any relocation of quarter master or any other material
8 Were you aware, Mr. Novakovic, that at the beginning of the
9 operation, that three trucks had been destroyed and a driver killed in
10 the Senjak barracks?
11 A. Two drivers were killed. There were the employees of the
12 transport company Lika Trans. I'm not sure whether they were conscripts
13 or civilians, but, any way, two of them were killed.
14 Q. What about the trucks, were you aware that trucks were destroyed?
15 A. Yes, yes. These two men were driving those trucks.
16 Q. Okay. I'd like to turn your attention briefly to the 6th of
18 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go, Mr. Registrar, to 1D61-0171,
20 Q. Mr. Novakovic, I'm going to show you an intercepted telephone
21 conversation between General Ratko Mladic and an unknown individual on
22 the 6th of August at 0938.
23 MR. MISETIC: Now, if we go towards the bottom and it is towards
24 the bottom in the B/C/S, please.
25 Q. It says --
1 MR. MISETIC: Actually, if we could go to the next page, please,
2 I'm sorry. And if we could go to the next page in English, please.
3 Q. Mladic says, and it's bold: "Well, in the north, things are
4 good, but down south, it looks like they did something stupid. They
5 wrote an evacuation order for women and children, and that caused a mass
7 "They were holding positions all over successfully, at all the
8 lines. The area around Crvena Zemlja towards Knin, it was a bit more
9 under a threat; however, it was the police that abandoned those
11 MR. MISETIC: If we go down further in the English.
12 Q. It says -- the unknown voice says: "Let me tell you, this guy is
13 celebrating up in Zagreb
14 that this is minimised."
15 The unknown voice tells Mladic: "Now the rear depends on you.
16 Yes, yes, put pressure on from that side. I will most likely be in
17 contact with father tomorrow."
18 Now, what is being discussed there, Mr. Novakovic, from a
19 military perspective, is that someone is telling General Mladic to put
20 pressure on General Gotovina's forces in Bosnia that are holding the line
21 against the -- General Mladic's forces in Bosnia. Isn't that correct?
22 A. I wouldn't be able to comment on this. I was never involved in
23 this kind of communications and exchanges. I was in charge of
24 information which was public domain; therefore, I wouldn't be able to
25 comment on this intercept.
1 Q. And let me ask you this: Based on the fact that you were someone
2 who was a relatively high level individual in these circles at the time,
3 when someone says, "Put pressure on from that side. I will most likely
4 be in contact with father tomorrow," do you have any idea who "father"
5 might be?
6 A. I didn't know even know -- or I don't know even know who these
7 people involved in the conversation are, and, therefore, I cannot answer
8 your question.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender 1D61-0171 into evidence.
10 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D951, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D951 is admitted into evidence.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm going to show just a very brief
15 portion of a videotape, which I am bar table, but it is in response to
16 the map produced by the witness on the front lines. I have tendered the
17 underlying documents to the Prosecution. It is a video produced by the
19 It is, Mr. Registrar, 1D61-0246.
20 Your Honour, I am going to show you the legend of this map on
21 Sanction because it may be a little bit difficult to read on the video.
22 But what we've done is we've put in red the front line of the
23 ARSK and ARS. The blue line is the front line of the HV and HVO. The
24 green line is the front line of ABiH forces, as of the 3rd of August, and
25 then three is a solid blue line. Then the border between Split Military
1 District and Gospic is in black, which, our position, would be after
2 Operation Storm. The brown line is the international border.
3 Just so the Court is aware of what this is, these are the lines
4 and it is a movie made of satellite imagery, so that you can see the
5 precise points of the line, all the way up and down, of the terrain and
7 So I will just show the first few seconds of it, so just you're
8 aware of what it is.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. MISETIC: It goes all the way into the HV positions into
12 put any questions to the witness about it. We have disclosed to the
13 Prosecution the underlying maps which form the basis of this.
14 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So we take it as a still, not as this moving thing,
16 which disorients me completely, to be quite honest. I'm turning around,
17 Mr. Misetic; whereas, I usually am able to read a map more or less, if it
18 doesn't move.
19 MR. MISETIC: We will then tender the maps as well, but just so
20 you actually see what is actually there in terms of the topography, which
21 will be important later on as well.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. Let me see whether this roller coaster
23 exercise is any better than just looking at a map, because it is the map
24 that is moving. There is nothing moving on the map, is there?
25 MR. MISETIC: Yes. But it is actually --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's fine.
2 Well, Mr. Hedaraly has no problems. If we can survive this
3 roller coaster exercise, Mr. Registrar, the number would be?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D952, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D952 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Mr. Novakovic, now turning your attention again back to D923.
8 This is again General Mrksic's report. This morning we spoke a little
9 bit about the military operations that were under way in Bihac in
10 July 1995.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2 of this document, please.
12 Q. Now, second full paragraph, General Mrksic writes: "The
13 operation Mac 95..." --
14 MR. MISETIC: It's B/C/S page 1, I'm told, fourth paragraph.
15 Q. "The operation Mac 95, on the territory of western Bosnia
16 started on 19 July 1995
17 if our units had been prepared to carry out at the same time an attack
18 operation of the operative level in the area of western Bosnia and a
19 defence operation of a strategic character on the borders with the
20 Republic of Croatia
21 Then he says: "After ten days, the Operation Sword was stopped
22 because of the attack on Grahovo and the endangerment of Knin from the
23 direction of the Dinara mountains. The moves carried out were those the
24 SVK was forced to make in order to stabilize the front line towards Knin
25 after the fall of Grahovo. Because of that, a new operation for the
1 liberation of Grahovo was undertaken. The guards brigade from the KSJ
2 special unit corps was transferred to the area of Crvena Zemlja."
3 Mr. Novakovic, first, tell us, what is the special unit corps?
4 A. I don't know which unit he was referring to. Perhaps he referred
5 to the special unit corps which consisted of four brigades equalling 2 to
6 400 men. Maybe he had this unit in mind.
7 Q. Four brigades equalling 2 to 400 men? Is that what you said?
8 A. Not 400 men. That would be 5 to 6.000 men. They had very few
9 men because these units were in the process of forming. That was the
10 special unit corps of the Serbian army of Krajina, the promotion of which
11 was carried out on the 28th of June, 1995 at the Slunj ground. For
12 example, the 2nd Guards Brigade did not have more than 2 to 300 mean, and
13 the ones I mentioned earlier had even fewer, perhaps.
14 Q. And was this special unit corps still on Crvena Zemlja up on the
15 Dinara on the 4th of August, 1995?
16 A. No. Maybe one of the units was there, but the corps itself was
17 on the Slunj ground.
18 Q. Well, which unit was up there?
19 A. You saw this from the list provided by the MUP. These were, for
20 the most part, MUP forces and part of the 1st Brigade, and possibly a
21 unit from the special police corps, i.e., the 2nd Guards Brigade.
22 Q. You say "possibly." Are you sure?
23 A. I'm almost sure.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Mrksic continues on: "The two day combat operations did
25 not better the situation considerably, apart from halting the advancement
1 of the Croatian army towards Knin via Strmica and towards Licka Kaldrma,
2 via the village Resanovici."
3 MR. MISETIC: If we go to the next paragraph, the part in
5 Q. "2nd Krajina Corps were defending the Livanje-Grahovo route and
6 the Livanje-Glamoc ..."
7 MR. MISETIC: It is the next page in the B/C/S, please.
8 Q. "... and were closing the routes leading from the Bihac pocket
9 via Ripca and Krupe towards Petrovac and Drvar."
10 Now, you mentioned the 2nd Krajina corps in your last answer.
11 The 2nd Krajina corps was, in fact, conducting all these operations,
12 Livanje-Grahovo, Livanje-Glamoc, closing the routes leading from the
13 Bihac pocket via Ripca and Krupe, towards Petrovac and Drvar.
14 They're conducting operations in Bosnia. Correct?
15 A. The 2nd Krajina Corps was part of the army of Republika Srpska,
16 and they were within their territory. There is nothing disputable there.
17 Q. Mr. Novakovic, let me take to you -- well, let me ask you first:
18 Operation Sword was an operation of the SVK against the Bihac pocket
19 beginning on the 19th of July, 1995. Correct?
20 A. One may conclude that from this report; however, I would rather
21 have to check. Although I have high regard for General Mrksic, I would
22 rather like to investigate and examine when this document and why it was
24 Q. Well, let me help you, if I can.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D61-0225, please.
1 Oh, wrong number, Mr. Registrar. 1D61-0221, please.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, you said, "You mentioned the
3 2nd Krajina Corps in your last answer," just a while ago, which I --
4 MR. MISETIC: It was my mistake, Your Honour.
5 The 2nd Guards Brigade, not 2nd Krajina Brigade.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC:
9 Q. This is a document prepared by you, Mr. Novakovic, on the 26th of
10 July, 1995.
11 MR. MISETIC: And if we could turn the page, please, and if we
12 could go to the bottom of the B/C/S.
13 Q. Mr. Novakovic, you see the third paragraph from the bottom, where
14 you write: "In the republic of western Bosnia," and then it continues
16 Then in the next paragraph, you write: "Our side, the operations
17 in that area, is presented in the media as inter-Muslim conflicts and is
18 denying the participation of the SVK in these operations, a position we
19 are still holding."
20 Now, what you are writing here, and if we look to the bottom of
21 page, it says "Assistant Commander Colonel Kosta Novakovic," what you're
22 really saying here, Mr. Novakovic, is that for public consumption, you're
23 denying the participation of the SVK in the operations taking place in
24 the Bihac pocket. Correct?
25 A. I have already explained that only some of your men, officers,
1 were there, and we only -- we didn't deny it later on. We denied it at
2 the time.
3 Q. Now, the next paragraph says: "The success of the VRS in
4 Srebrenica and Zepa caused great joy among the members of the SVK and the
5 entire population of the RSK, and has also substantially reinforced our
6 soldiers' morale."
7 Can you tell us, what about the operations of the VRS in
8 Srebrenica and Zepa caused great joy among the members of the SVK?
9 A. Yes. As far as the Srebrenica and Zepa is concerned, we only
10 knew that Srebrenica and Zepa had been liberated. We didn't have
11 information about the subsequent events. We didn't know what happened
13 Q. Okay. Mr. Novakovic --
14 MR. MISETIC: I am sorry. Mr. President, if I could tender
15 1D61-0221, please.
16 MR. HEDARALY: No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D953, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D953 is admitted into evidence.
20 MR. MISETIC:
21 Q. And, Mr. Novakovic, when we spoke on Friday, you will recall I
22 showed you a document that had been prepared by you -- I am sorry. I
23 showed you a document which had your name at the bottom of it, concerning
24 the status of Yugoslav officers in the SVK. Do you recall that document?
25 A. Well, I can't recall specifically what it was about. Was it
1 something that had to do with information about me, or was it a request
2 or anything of the sort that I filed?
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could put D940 on the screen
4 for the witness, please.
5 Q. Do you recall this document, Mr. Novakovic?
6 A. Yes. I do remember you skipping item 5, which, in my view, was
7 essential to what you were raising, and I intervened and ask that you
8 read it.
9 Q. Yes.
10 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to the next page, please.
11 Q. That is your signature on that document, Mr. Novakovic?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. And did you prepare the document?
14 A. It follows from the initials that I did not. It was one of my
15 associates. It says "SD." I don't know who that is, but I definitely
16 approved and sign it.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
18 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I have no further questions for the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Misetic.
21 There was an issue about the map prepared by the witness and the
22 description, which you said you would come back to that at a later stage.
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. If you wish, I can just point
24 out to him right now.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's fine. I was actually going to discuss
2 it with the Prosecution because I don't think it is going to be disputed,
3 but --
4 JUDGE ORIE: If you expect that there would be no dispute, I will
5 just leave you time to discuss it with the Prosecution; and if at any
6 later stage there would be a need, but please do so before the witness
8 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 MR. KAY: No questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
11 Mr. Mikulicic.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Let me find my microphone first, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Novakovic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. My name is Goran Mikulicic, and I represent Mladen Markac in this
18 Let me put a couple of questions to you that I hope you will
19 answer to the best of your recollection. At the same time, please wait
20 for a moment after I have put my question before answering it, so that
21 the interpreters have enough time to interpret everything.
22 I'm referring to your statement from 2001, which is P1092.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Can all the extra mics be
24 switch off please.
25 MR. MIKULICIC:
1 Q. This is were you laid out the details of your professional
2 career. You said that in 1968, you joined the Yugoslav People's Army,
3 you graduated in 1972 and in 1982, and in 1982, you completed a two-year
4 specialisation course in political sciences. You then received your
5 masters from the high political sciences school, and in 1991, you held
6 the rank of colonel and served in the Knin garrison-- the JNA garrison in
8 The information contained here correct, is it not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You go on to say, in paragraph 2 of your statement, at page 2,
11 that as the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew from Croatia, and you had
12 been assigned and posted in Croatia
13 of the Republic of Serbian
14 Can you explain to us how it came about that you, as a person
15 holding a masters degree in political sciences, should be joining the
16 special police forces of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
17 A. They were not special units. I already said that. In the course
18 of the implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan, according to Resolution 743
19 of the Security Council of the UN, we were entitled to a police force in
20 the Krajina. The police force included the regional police force and the
21 regular police force. Precisely on the basis of the provisions
22 envisaging regional police forces, we set up the special police forces of
23 the Republic of Serbian
24 We had an administration, which was part of the Ministry of
25 Interior. The head of the administration was a chief who was the
1 commander of these units. Within that particular administration, I was
2 assistant commander for information, because that was my profession.
3 Q. In that same statement, in the last paragraph at page 2, you say
4 that you assisted the authorities of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina
5 in setting up the special police units. You also say that you were
6 appointed assistant commander for special police forces.
7 Likewise, in answer to the questions put to you by the
8 Prosecution, you confirmed that your statements -- your earlier
9 statements were true. Now you are saying that these were not special
10 police forces.
11 Which of the two is the true answer?
12 A. I have never said that I was a member of the special police
13 forces. You are misrepresenting my statements. According to the Vance
14 Plan, the Krajina was entitled to a special regional component; namely,
15 special police units, because they were not recognise units. They were
16 special units because they only carried personal side armies, i.e.,
17 rifles and short-barrelled weapons. This follows from a great amount of
18 correspondence and documentations prepared at the time by UN
19 representatives and the Secretary-General himself.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is a lot of
21 background noise. It is impossible to hear the witness.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Can we find out where the background noise comes
24 MR. MIKULICIC: It could be from my microphone, Your Honour. I
25 forgot to shut it down.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether it is any better now.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Novakovic, if I have understood your answer
5 correctly, this part of your statement where you say that these were
6 special police forces, and you say that in two paragraphs, that's not
7 true, in fact, is it?
8 A. What is now true is that they were special. I said the
9 "specijalna" in the B/C/S; whereas, I say that they are "posebna,"
10 special units of the milicija, and that was the regional component that
11 we were entitled to.
12 Q. In your statement, you say that you were one of the JNA officers
13 who joined the ranks of the army of the so-called Republic of Serbian
14 Krajina. Do you have any knowledge about how many JNA officers had
15 transferred or joined the SVK units?
16 A. Just as some of my colleagues, Muslim ethnicity and Croat
17 ethnicity, they used to be in the JNA, and you joined other units. I'm
18 speaking about individuals. The individuals who were born in the
19 territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina joined the ranks of the SVK,
20 just as I said. The other colleagues of mine who were of Croat
21 ethnicity, who were born there, they joined the Croatian army from
22 the JNA.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can I have document 3D01-0592,
24 page 31, and the ERN number is 917.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, does this mean that you do not
1 further ask for an answer to your last question?
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I will ask. But in the
3 meanwhile, while we are waiting for this document, I will ask this
5 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, are you familiar with the literary text of
6 the Rade Cubrilo, the Chetnik duke, called "The Confession of Rade
7 Cubrilo"? Did you have occasion to look at this article?
8 A. I may have glanced at that time, but I didn't attach any
9 signature or importance to it.
10 Q. The part that I wish to show you is the information that Rade
11 Cubrilo stated at page 31, paragraph 22, which says: [Previous
12 translation continues] ... [In English] "... JNA officers in Krajina,
13 together with the politicians led by Milan Babic, fled and left the
14 ordinary people on their own."
15 [Interpretation] He mentioned the figure of 1.200 JNA officers in
16 the area of the Krajina. Do you agree with that figure as relating to
17 the officers who were formerly officers of the JNA?
18 A. I had information to that effect, but I don't have it right here.
19 I have to say that Rade Cubrilo had a very negative attitude toward the
20 JNA officers, and this is common knowledge. It is not true that
21 professional officers left earlier. They stayed there until all the
22 civilian population left. They were there the last, and that's something
23 I can state upon full responsibility.
24 Q. He goes on to say that the aircraft rockets ... [Previous
25 translation continues] ... [In English] "... everything was in the hands
1 of JNA officers."
2 [Interpretation] Mr. Novakovic, do you have any knowledge about
3 the use of heavy weapons including the aviation by the SVK?
4 A. Sorry. I don't quite understand your question. Your question
5 doesn't state the time-period you're asking about.
6 Q. I'm asking about the time before the commencement of Operation
7 Storm and in the course of it. In other words, we're referring to the
8 second half of 1995. This is the period the author refers to in the
9 beginning of the paragraph.
10 A. I said that the author's attitude toward the army was negative,
11 and I'm not sure about the authenticity and veracity of what he says.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic [sic], this is the document which is
13 only in English, uploaded in e-court.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, usually --
16 MR. MIKULICIC: We will provide a translation. We already asked
17 for it, Your Honour, and in B/C/S.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Mr. Misetic was on his feet as well. I
19 don't know why.
20 Since you pay attention to other people being on their feet, Mr.
21 Misetic --
22 MR. MISETIC: No, no, no. You said at line 15, "Mr. Misetic,"
23 and I rose thinking you were addressing me.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If I said so, it is a clear mistake.
25 Mr. Mikulicic, a B/C/S version will be uploaded?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: As soon as we get it from the translation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: On the first page of the English, it says full
4 translations. Does that mean there is no original and that there will be
5 a translation of the translation that will be uploaded, or with the
6 underlying original?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Is up loaded in e-court as the original, which may
8 come a bit as a surprise, but --
9 MR. MIKULICIC: We get this version from the OTP, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. If the parties could sit together and
11 see whether there is already another version, which, of course, then
12 should be used, rather than to have it translated again.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Mikulicic.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to tender this
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It should then be, since there is no
17 translation whatsoever.
18 MR. HEDARALY: I can discuss with Mr. Mikulicic. He only refers
19 to one -- one portion, one page. A lot of the document, just at a quick
20 glance, seems to be dealing with -- I don't if [indiscernible] page --
21 especially if we need a translation --
22 JUDGE ORIE: A context issue has been raised. What we have now
23 uploaded will be marked for identification.
24 Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit number D954,
1 marked for identification.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And it keeps that status for the time being.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MIKULICIC:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Looking at your statement, P1092, I'm referring
6 to page 12, second paragraph, you said that in early August, there were
7 rumours about the imminent Croatian attack, but that you believed that
8 the issue of Krajina could still be resolved through negotiations, and
9 you made reference to the Geneva
10 Mr. Novakovic, tell me, to what extent were you familiar with the
11 plan for peaceful reintegration of the Krajina drafted by representatives
12 of the European Community and the USA
13 A. I would say I was quite familiar with it.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ... into the
15 evidence under the P451, and I will ask a couple of questions. There's
16 no need to produce the plan on the screen, just for the reference.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Novakovic, is it true that the Z-4 plan
18 envisaged a peaceful reintegration of the so-called Republic of Serbian
19 Krajina into the territory or the state of Croatia, along with the
20 recognition of certain specific features pertinent to this area?
21 A. Yes. Krajina was afforded quite a lot of elements of a
22 statehood, but not the whole of Krajina.
23 Q. Speaking of these elements of statehood, as you said, is it true
24 that it included monetary independence, fiscal policy, separate currency,
25 an emblem, a flag, an anthem, police force. Is that all true?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Is it also true that according to this plan, the constitution and
3 the laws of the Republic of Croatia
4 Krajina, only provided they are approved by the local authorities and
5 that the Krajina would be entitled to hold presidential elections?
6 A. Yes, that's correct and true.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, we've looked at the content of the
8 Z-4 plan several times. We knew who held it in its hand, who refused to
9 accept it, et cetera. Could you please move to what you would like to
10 elicit from this witness in relation to the Z-4 plan, rather than to go
11 through it again.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour, for your guidance.
13 Q. [Interpretation] At one point, you said that at the negotiations
14 in Geneva
15 view of President Martic vis-a-vis this plan?
16 A. You're probably talking about different time-periods. As far as
17 I know, since I am a scholar and I studied this area to some extent, I
18 don't know if Martic personally approved this plan. There was some
19 stories circulating around about the rejection of this plan, but nobody
20 said officially we give this plan to this person and he rejected it.
21 Q. Mr. Novakovic, we heard here evidence given by the former US
22 ambassador to Croatia
23 surrounding the Z-4 plan, and he said that it was Martic who explicitly
24 rejected the Z-4 plan.
25 I'm going to ask you this. Did you have an opportunity to meet
1 the Russian ambassador to Croatia
2 A. No. Maybe I saw them together on one or two occasions, I mean
3 Mr. Galbraith and Mr. Kerestedzijanc. In 1994 and early 1995, I didn't
4 hold this position that I held before, but I was following their
5 activities and their engagement to some detail.
6 Q. Did you hear then that during Mr. Kerestedzijanc's visit to
7 President Martic, President Martic rejected physically to take into his
8 own hands the documents containing the Z-4 plan, by saying that he didn't
9 want to take it into his hands at all?
10 A. I heard several versions of that, and I read some of
11 Mr. Kerestedzijanc's interview, in which he didn't describe the situation
12 precisely in those terms.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can the registry show us document
14 3D0-0127, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... whether we
16 still are at the point whether or not to accept the Z-4 plan physically.
17 Mr. Hedaraly, is there any issue or dispute about what happened
18 with the document which was apparently offered to Mr. Martic?
19 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I note that there is no dispute about
20 Mr. Martic's position, which was the Z-4 plan, as apposed to other
21 members of the RS, such as Babic. But I don't think there was a dispute
22 about the general topic.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, could we focus on matters which are
24 in dispute.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. I was trying to produce to the
2 witness an interview of Mr. Kerestedzijanc, you will surely remember that
3 that was already meant, before this Trial Chamber, and according to his
4 statement, he was reading some interviews of Mr. Kerestedzijanc, and
5 there was no such --
6 JUDGE ORIE: But if the parties do not disagree --
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... then we can move on.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- on what happened, why would we ask a witness who
9 has not been present to further deal with what he read in interviews.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... agree on that, Your
12 Honour. I will move on.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Novakovic, you gave a statement in 2007 -
14 that's P1094 - in which you spoke about the deployment of military units
15 in the territory of the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina
16 mentioned that Sector South that is in paragraph 7 was under the
17 protection of the 7th Northern Dalmatia Corps, part of which was
18 4th Light Infantry Brigade; while Sector North was covered by the
19 15th Lika Corps, part of which was the 9th Motorised Brigade from the
20 15th Lika Corps deployed in the area of Metak.
21 You went on to say that their task was to protect towns and
22 villages in the area, including Gracac. Can you confirm that this is
23 consistent with what you are testifying to.
24 A. Yes, that is true.
25 Q. Today, we saw document P948 [as interpreted] reflecting
1 intercepts between General Mrksic and other persons. It is explicitly
2 said there at the time when Operation Storm was launched, Gracac needs to
3 be defended at all coasts as well as the Udbina gorge above Lovac.
4 From the military point of view, why it was so important to
5 defend Gracac at any cost?
6 A. I said last time that across Mountain Velebit and Male Alan, from
7 the direction of Gospic and via Gracac, and towards Malovan and north of
8 Otric, there was danger of the entire population and all the forces in
9 northern Dalmatia
10 military route that could ensure such an encirclement.
11 Q. You are talking here about the axis for the pullout of the
12 population and later on military units, which is the route towards Otric
13 and further north towards Donji Lapac, Martin Brod, et cetera.
14 Are you talking about that axis?
15 A. Yes. I am talking about the only link between northern Dalmatia
16 and the rest of Krajina. Yes, that's the one.
17 Q. Do you know what was the strength of the 9th Motorised Brigade
18 Gracac where command post was in Metak at the time?
19 A. At the beginning, our brigades had initially between 2 or 3.000
20 men. But at that time, I don't think that it had more than 1.000 or
21 1.200 men. Some of them were at home and some of them were deployed in
22 the unit.
23 Q. Members of this brigade were mainly residents of Gracac and the
24 surrounding villages.
25 A. Yes, that's correct, including the villages that had been
1 occupied and burned, villages Devo Selo, Cikluk, Osmic, and this is where
2 the brigade was deployed. Yes, you're right.
3 Q. You mentioned Mali Alan. The Chamber already heard that that's a
4 featured on Mount Velebit
5 was the strategic importance of Mali Alan, and, of course, the Prezid
6 tunnel or pass connecting Obrovac and Gracac?
7 A. From the military point of view, it is very significant for both
8 Gracac and Obrovac and the link between Lika and northern Dalmatia.
9 Q. Is it true that, in that area, a strong defence was set up by the
10 army of the Serbian Krajina?
11 A. Yes. There was defence set up, but we didn't have enough
12 manpower for such a powerful defence.
13 Q. Is it not true that the 9th Gracac Brigade received assistance
14 from the 4th Light Obrovac Brigade?
15 A. Yes. But the 4th Light Obrovac Brigade was one of the smaller
16 brigades and very poorly armed.
17 Q. Feature Celavac is also in that area. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Celavac is actually a radio relay serving for communications
20 purpose. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. You would agree with me, I presume, that due to that and the
23 significance of this relay, this whole area was very important in
24 military terms.
25 A. Not only because of the relay, it was important because of its
1 geographical position.
2 Q. Earlier on, when we were discussing Rade Cubrilo's article, also
3 aviation was mentioned. Do you know that on the 4th of August --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could kindly ask the counsel
5 to slow down when mentioning all these name, please.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, you're invited to slow down if you
7 mention a lot of names in one sentence.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: Mia culpa, Your Honour.
10 MR. MIKULICIC:
11 Q. [Interpretation] So if we were to descend from Mount Velebit
12 the valley, we would reach to the road reading from Gospic via Medak,
13 Gracac, and further on towards Otric, i.e., from Gracac towards Ruvno,
14 Masin, and Donji Lapac.
15 Can you tell us, is it true that this road was largely important
16 for the Republic of Serbian Krajina, given the fact that it divided
17 Krajina into its northern and southern parts?
18 A. Yes, I mentioned that on several occasions. It was very
20 Q. Was the importance of defence of Gracac and this road
21 attributable to the fact that the main army staff, along with the
22 political leadership from Knin, pulled out towards Otric along this road
23 and established practically a new government there, a government in
24 refuge from Knin?
25 A. The Main Staff was always among the last to leave, and it could
1 have been relocated much sooner, but it didn't want to do that. The
2 priority was to take care of the civilian population, not the Main Staff.
3 Q. Mr. Novakovic, do you know that during the withdrawal of the
4 units of army of Serbian Krajina, there were clashes with the Croatian
5 forces coming from the direction of west and north-west?
6 A. Yes, there were, but only a few.
7 Q. Do you know anything more about these clashes during the
9 A. No, I cannot say I do.
10 Q. Mr. Misetic covered a large area which is why I need not go into
11 it with questions, but there is one issue that has been in my mind for
12 quite sometime now.
13 You are an educated military man, holding a Ph.D., and I guess
14 that your professional expertise is extensive.
15 When mentioning the term of aggression, would you agree with me
16 that in terms of international law, this is a term used to define an
17 attack by one internationally-recognised state on another
18 internationally-recognised state and it's sovereignty and integrity in a
19 way which is not consistent with the UN charter? Would you agree with
20 this definition of mine?
21 A. I would. But would you allow me to explain my position on that
23 Q. I will be putting several more questions to you and then you will
24 have the opportunity --
25 JUDGE ORIE: The use of the word "aggression" not only in this
1 case but in many cases in this Tribunal certainly would not reflect what
2 is to be understood as aggression under international law, and this
3 Chamber will listen to that always with this relativism in it.
4 If there is any specific issue you'd like to address
5 Mr. Mikulicic, please, go ahead.
6 I don't have to remind the lawyers among us to what the
7 definition of aggression has -- what development or non-development it
8 under went over the last, say, about 50 years, and then I take a short
9 period of time.
10 MR. MISETIC: I am completely satisfied with, Your Honour, and
11 with the impression of the Trial Chamber. So I will not go further on
12 and explore this term with the witness.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: And, in fact, I have no further questions for the
15 witness, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.
17 Mr. Hedaraly, how much time would you approximately need? I'm
18 looking at the clock. It is about time to have a break.
19 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, Your Honour, I think 40 to 45 minutes is what
20 I will need to redirect. If we can break now, I will see if I can pair
21 that down a little bit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you would try at the do that.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt.
24 Just for the sake of precision, I was warned by my colleague at
25 page 61, line 20, I was referring to the Exhibit number D948, and the
1 transcript stated it was a P948.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That's then now on the record as well.
3 If I may add something to that, when I said Mr. Hedaraly that his
4 intervention was not appropriate, it appears, lucky you, Mr. Hedaraly, as
5 an appropriate intervention. That will be corrected as well.
6 It reminds all of us that we should speak with a speed and well
7 pronounced so that those transcribing are able creat the transcript at a
8 quality we have it only with a very few exceptions.
9 We have a break and we resume at a quarter to 1.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
11 --- Upon resuming at 12.52 p.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber was informed that an agreement has been
13 reached on the two documents.
14 Mr. Misetic, Mr. Hedaraly?
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President, if I may. With respect to the
16 map, the parties are in agreement that what is demonstrated on the map as
17 the participation of the 159th Brigade, the 15th brigade, the 116th
18 Brigade, and the 219th Brigade is inaccurate, and that those units did
19 not participant in Operation Storm in Sector South. Then the parties are
20 also in agreement that with respect to -- the witness has labelled the
21 following as brigades when, in fact, they are battalions, and that is the
22 84th, the 134th, the 113th, and the 142nd. All of those should be
23 referred to as battalions and not brigades.
24 Thank you, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, how are we going to practically deal with that?
1 Will a new version be prepared which is then partly what the witness did
2 put on paper and corrected as the parties agreed?
3 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, my take on it, and I think what we
4 discussed briefly, is to admit them, subject to these corrections made on
5 the record right now and agreed to by both parties.
6 MR. MISETIC: That is also my position, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then we leave it to that. Of course, I am always
8 thinking about, if it ever comes to appeal, that someone looking at the
9 map then has to read a part of the transcript which might not be easily
10 linked to this.
11 MR. HEDARALY: For the record, that is P1096, the map, and P1097,
12 the accompanying text. We would move to move those into evidence,
13 subject to corrections made on the record and agreed to by the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would it be a practical suggestion if,
16 although this map is prepared by the witness, that we add one line, For
17 inaccuracies, consult transcript pages and so and so and so, to avoid --
18 MR. HEDARALY: That seems practical to us. We will do that, Your
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So then whether that will be an attachment to
21 this document or whether we put it on the document is still to be seen
22 for technical reasons. I want to avoid that if anyone ever reads this
23 without knowing that the inaccuracies are dealt with.
24 Then, Mr. Registrar, P numbers were assigned already, and I take
25 it that it would have its effect on the accompanying text as well?
1 MR. HEDARALY: It's P1096 for the map and P1097 for the text.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then still with -- we still leave them marked
3 for identification for the time being, until the parties have prepared
4 the text which should be attached or linked to it in such a way that
5 confusion is avoided in the future.
6 Mr. Registrar, therefore, we keep these numbers for the time
7 being, and once the new versions or the new attachments have been
8 uploaded, they'll be admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
10 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
12 Q. Mr. Novakovic, you testified on Friday, in response to a question
13 from Mr. Misetic - that's at page 11864, lines 11 through 16 - that the
14 people from Drnis that came to Knin in the morning of 4 August 1995 did
15 so pursuant to an evacuation order from civil protection in Drnis.
16 My question for you is: What is the basis for your knowledge
17 that such an order was given? Did you ever see it?
18 A. I have to say that I don't recall me stating precisely that. I
19 said that people from Drnis started arriving in the morning hours, but
20 without an order.
21 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to what caused these people to go
22 from Drnis and come to Knin on the morning of the 4th?
23 A. All the inhabitants of the outlying areas, including those in
24 Drnis, started heading toward hinterland, out of fear of shelling.
25 First, they started in the -- set off in the direction of Knin, and then
1 we saw how things unfolded further.
2 Q. Let me know show you D930 which is the book by Mr. Vrcalj. You
3 have been shown some portions on Friday, and you have been shown more
4 portions today.
5 I want to draw your attention to a portion that was not shown to
7 MR. HEDARALY: That is page 8 in the B/C/S. It will be the last
8 full paragraph in the middle of the page. In the English, it's page 9,
9 the very last paragraph that spills over.
10 I will wait for it appear on the screen and then I will read from
12 If we could scroll down the in the English to the bottom of the
13 page. Thank you.
14 Q. It says: "In the afternoon, the president issued an order to
15 pull out the citizens from the endangered areas who have been suffering
16 under incessant artillery towards the areas located in the depth of the
18 Then it goes on to say: "The civilian protection was supposed
19 to complete that task, but due to their lack of organisation, some
20 soldiers have left their units and have gone home to save their families.
21 The president did not count on that happening."
22 My question to you is: Do you know what Mr. Vrcalj is referring
23 to when he's talking about the lack of organisation of civilian
25 A. In my evidence so far, I said that the bodies of the civilian
1 protection were not quite prepared for this. When I referred to the
2 meeting with UNPROFOR representatives, I said that they had unrealistic
3 expectations. Had they been better organised, then these soldier would
4 say have no reason to doubt them, to dis trust them, and to leave their
5 units. The drills that had been organised here, the two, the civilian
6 protection did not rise to the occasion. It was not up to the task.
7 They had quite a few problems.
8 Q. And you testified last week that the civilian protection plans
9 were organised generally by municipalities. Is that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Was civilian protection prepared for such a massive movement of
12 people across five municipalities to Srb and Lapac?
13 A. No, I'm convinced that it wasn't.
14 Q. Now, on Thursday - and that's at transcript page 11.789 and
15 following - Mr. Misetic showed you a video where we could see you,
16 Mr. Kovacevic, and Mr. Sekulic discussing the evacuation, and in which
17 Mr. Kovacevic said that General Mrksic told him that people only have to
18 go beyond Srb to Bosnia
19 Do you remember this video?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. And in Mr. Misetic's -- in your response his question after he
22 showed you the video, you stated that you were in the office before
23 Mr. Kovacevic came.
24 Now let me show you 1D61-0007, and that's page 3, paragraph 8.
25 At paragraph 8, Mr. Kovacevic recounted what happened when he arrived,
1 and how you were present there with others.
2 In the middle of the paragraph, Martic tells him: "I have
3 decided to move out the town. Here, I have the order before me, and I am
4 supposed to sign it. In addition to Knin, we will move out to Obrovac,
5 Benkovac, Gracac, and Drnis. I asked him where the towns were moving.
6 He showed me the order, and said, 'To Srb.'"
7 Let's move to the last two lines: "After Martic signed it, I
8 then saw Martic put the document in a folder and hand it over to
9 Novakovic, who then left with it."
10 Before I move on, I want to ask you: Is this consistent with
11 your recollection that you were present when Mr. Kovacevic arrived and
12 that you left before him?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
14 MR. MISETIC: I object, Your Honour. I don't think he put the
15 second part of the issue to the witness, so he has now showed the witness
16 a statement without having asked him whether Mr. Kovacevic was or was not
18 MR. HEDARALY: That's my question.
19 MR. MISETIC: Well, that is why it should have been put to the
20 witness first, which, pursuant to an agreement between the parties,
21 before he puts a matter to the witness of another witness's statement, it
22 should have been put to him first.
23 MR. HEDARALY: He already testify on direct in answer to your
24 question that Mr. Kovacevic came in the middle of that meeting, and the
25 transcript reference is --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if could you give that.
2 MR. HEDARALY: It's 1179091. It is in that decision --
3 MR. MISETIC: That's not the issue, Judge. That's not even in
4 dispute. The issue is that he is putting to him for the second part of
5 that statement, which he just read, that Mr. Novakovic left with the
6 document after speaking to Mr. Martic, which hadn't been put to the
7 witness before showing him the statement of Mr. Kovacevic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Rather than discussing this issue, Mr. Hedaraly,
9 would there be any problem for you to put it in its entirety to the
10 witness. No, not the whole of it, of course not. But the portions
11 Mr. Misetic would like you to verify first.
12 I would have to re-read those portions of the transcript exactly
13 to know whether --
14 Let's try to find a very practical solution.
15 MR. HEDARALY:
16 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Novakovic -- forgetting the statement, do
17 you remember if Mr. Kovacevic -- when Mr. Kovacevic came to the office,
18 when you and Mr. Mrksic and Mr. Martic were discussing it? Was it in the
19 beginning of the meeting or in the middle?
20 A. In the middle of the meeting.
21 Q. And when you left the meeting, was Mr. Kovacevic still there?
22 A. I think that he stayed behind, and, quite soon, he appeared at
23 the army hall where I read out the documents. So he could not have
24 stayed behind for longer than two minutes. He was at my heels,
1 Q. Now, when you were asked by Mr. Misetic whether there was any
2 discussion of going to Bosnia
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Now, if you look at paragraph 9 of Mr. Kovacevic' statement,
6 right after he says that you left the meeting, the last three lines or
7 so, he says: "I then asked how we would all fit in Srb. Srb had a
8 population of 1.000, and they wanted to send approximately 100.000 people
9 there. Mrksic responded that they should go to Bosnia, to Drvar,
10 Petrovac, and Banja Luka."
11 Now, you testified that prior to the order being signed, there
12 was no discussion about the population going to Bosnia. Is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. And you also testified that you drafted the decision. Is that
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And Mr. Martic is the person who signed that decision.
18 A. Yes, he signed it.
19 Q. Now, in the video from Mr. Martic that was shown to you,
20 Mr. Misetic asked you a question about Mr. Martic passing the order
21 because what happened in Western Slavonia. I want to focus on the
22 passage right before that, and we will play it for you.
23 It is from D99, from 3.00 to 3.30. Your Honour, I don't know,
24 but since it is already on the record, if we can just play for the
25 witness with the subtitles, without necessarily putting it back on the
2 JUDGE ORIE: If it was a portion that was played already, may I
3 take that the transcripts have not been redistributed among the booths?
4 MR. HEDARALY: They have not. I think that you are aware that in
5 order to play it ... [Overlapping speakers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... so it is part of what
7 already has been played.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, the only issue I would have with that
9 is just if we can make sure that we will know in the future in the record
10 what portion of it was played to him.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that is important.
12 I think you, Mr. Hedaraly, you said it is "from 3.00 to" and then
13 what then follows is --
14 MR. HEDARALY: Three minutes and 30 seconds.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So half a minute from -- because I see that we're
16 now at 3.30, so I may then take it that you first go back to 3.00.
17 MR. HEDARALY: Yes, I will, and can we play it from 3.00.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The text also appears on the bottom.
19 Any problem, Mr. Kehoe?
20 No, it's fine.
21 Let's play it from 3.00 up to 3.30.
22 [Videotape played]
23 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid we're moving in the wrong way.
24 [Videotape played]
25 JUDGE ORIE: I hear no understandable text.
1 MR. HEDARALY: Your Honour, I will just read it from the
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you would please read it from the
5 MR. HEDARALY: It's the second page of the transcript provided by
6 the Defence with D929. It starts at the third line of Milan Martic's
8 Q. Mr. Novakovic, this is from the video that was played. This is
9 Mr. Martic speaking.
10 He said: "But prior to that, I had passed a decision -
11 unfortunately, I had no one to consult on it with - at 1700 hours, to
12 withdraw the civilian population from the cities which were under
13 constant shelling, such as Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac. The order clearly
14 stated that the non-combat population was to withdraw to the villages
15 which were not being shelled, ending with Srb and Lapac, which were in
16 the Krajina and not in the Sumadija."
17 Now, Mr. Novakovic, in this video, Mr. Martic is saying that the
18 order was only to go to Srb and Lapac. Is that consistent with your
19 recollection of the meeting which led him to sign the evacuation
21 A. Yes, absolutely. I don't know how it came across in the
22 translation, but Lapac and Srb are in Krajina. I heard it differently in
23 the interpretation, and he consulted with the army commander over the
24 telephone. He commanded with Mr. Babac and Mr. Suput and Mr. Bajic, and
25 that is what I meant when I said that the decision was taken by the
1 Supreme Defence Council. I believe that the footage speaks for itself.
2 I don't know need it give my comment on it.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic. Let me now show you D923 which is the
4 report from General Mrksic. Once again, you were shown a number of
5 portions, and I want to show you a portion that was not shown to you.
6 MR. HEDARALY: I will refer to page 7 in the English, and I
7 believe that's page 4 in the B/C/S, towards the bottom of the B/C/S page,
8 and the first full paragraph in the English.
9 Q. It says that: "The president of the Republic signed the memo
10 regulating only the evacuation from four municipalities in the area of
12 into the areas of RS, and SRJ did not even enter the consideration."
13 Mr. Novakovic, was this also your understanding from the meeting
14 with Mr. Martic and Mr. Mrksic, that the evacuation was temporary and
15 only limited to the territory of the RSK?
16 A. Absolutely. That is my understanding of it, and that's how I
17 formulated it.
18 Q. So we have evidence from you who drafted the decision, Mr. Mrksic
19 who ordered you to draft the decision, and Mr. Martic who signed the
20 order. All of this is saying that evacuation was limited to the
21 territory of RSK. Is that right?
22 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, this is argumentative.
23 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And it's also very leading.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, will you please rephrase your
1 MR. HEDARALY: I'll just move on, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Novakovic, let's deal with this document -- actually, first,
3 let me ask you: You testified in answer to one of Mr. Misetic's
4 questions that most of the civilian population did, in fact, end up going
5 to Bosnia
6 MR. MISETIC: I object. It mischaracterizes what my question
7 was. I specifically made reference to the exact route that the witness
8 was reported by several --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, if there any dispute about a reference
10 to question put by other counsel, it should literally be quoted.
11 MR. HEDARALY:
12 Q. Mr. Novakovic, civilian population did, in fact, end up going to
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Can you tell the Court why that happened?
16 A. I have explained earlier that having reached the area of Lapac
17 and Srb where most of the people were concentrated, nothing was
18 operational there. The inflow of population in Lapac and Srb only served
19 to cause more panic since there was not a plan in place for that area to
20 be evacuated. Such a development caused people to further advance in
21 their withdrawal, rather than stop there.
22 Quite a few of them gathered in Bosanski Petrovac, where there
23 was quite a lot of accommodating space. However, the conditions there,
24 in terms of water and food, were unsatisfactory, and the population
25 decided to proceed toward Banja Luka, where they would be able to be
1 provided with water, food, and medical care. In that short span of time,
2 some dozen people had already died en route.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic. Let me now go back to this document on
4 the screen from Mr. Mrksic.
5 MR. HEDARALY: If we could just go back to the bottom of this
7 Q. It says: "The course of the events in the RSK during the
8 following days, (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th August), showed that the decision
9 on the evacuation of population from the Dalmatia municipalities did not
10 influence the ultimate result of the Croatian aggression. It is more
11 than obvious that the elevation would have taken place even if there had
12 been no decision for it to be carried out. Whatever the actions by the
13 authorities and the command organs, the evacuation could not have been
14 stopped. That is, unfortunately, the reality which cannot be ignored."
15 Then there is a discussion of what happened in other areas of the
16 RSK, where people left without an order.
17 Then the last sentence: "It is important to acknowledge the real
18 situation: That the evacuation would have taken place even without any
20 Now, Mr. Novakovic, do you agree with this assessment of
21 Mr. Mrksic, that the civilian population would have left even if no order
22 had been given?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. We showed that initially the population
24 started to move out even without the decision. What is clear is that the
25 decision only served to introduce some order into the evacuation, which
1 would have taken place even had there been no decision issued.
2 Q. Thank you. Let me now briefly touch upon one other point. In
3 the video from Mr. Martic -- and this time it is from 5 minutes 15
4 seconds to 5 minutes 30 seconds, and I will just read it from the
5 transcript for you.
6 MR. HEDARALY: This time I found it, Mr. President. It is
7 reflected in pages 11.819, line 24 to 11.820, line 2.
8 Q. And Mr. Martic says: "My return to headquarters where I had gone
9 previously in order to set up Radio Knin for it to start functioning as a
10 false Radio Knin had been broadcast, and it was deceiving our people."
11 Now, Mr. Novakovic, do you know what Mr. Martic is referring to
12 when he is talking about a "false Radio Knin being broadcast to deceive
13 the people"?
14 A. I'm not sure, but I assume that he is referring to a number of
15 Croatian radio stations operating on the frequencies of Radio Knin. They
16 called upon people to leave the Krajina, specifying the routes they were
17 to take. I believe that he is referring to Croatian radio stations
18 operating on Radio Knin frequencies. They were probably military radio
20 Q. And what is the source of your knowledge on this issue?
21 A. I was able to hear that myself.
22 Q. And why -- why do you think that these messages on the radio were
23 coming from Croatian radio stations operating on Radio Knin frequencies?
24 MR. MISETIC: Objection. Calls for speculation.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's see whether the witness can tell us anything
1 about it. If it comes down to speculation, then ...
2 Do you have any knowledge of this? So we're not asking to you
3 question. Do you know of any reason which was reported to you or which
4 you learned about at a later stage?
5 Please proceed with your answer.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had representatives
7 from Radio Knin close to me throughout the day. President Martic said
8 that he went to Radio Knin. The problems was that the cable running from
9 his residence had been cut off, and electricity -- the electricity line
10 leading to Radio Knin which was just beyond his residence was supposed to
11 be reconnected. The bosses of Radio Knin, editors, and journalists were
12 constantly by my side because they were waiting for someone to sort the
13 matter out for Radio Knin to get power supply.
14 All that while, we were listening to radio -- purported radio
15 broadcasts from Radio Knin, while Radio Knin had no electricity.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So you further clarified that it was a false Radio
17 Knin, rather than to explain to us, and you have no knowledge about the
18 why people did this?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot explain that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you have any knowledge, someone telling you
21 or reading it, but it is just the reasons you could imagine why they did
22 it, that would come down to speculation, which the Chamber is not
23 interested in. But if you have any specific source of knowledge, if
24 anyone explained to you, then please tell us.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I know, Your Honours, is that I
1 listened to it personally. People commented on this being Croatian
2 stations. I had no technical possibilities or the time to check this or
3 to deal with this matter.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Hedaraly.
6 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Novakovic, earlier today, at line 33 -- at page 33 of the
8 draft transcript, line 20, you were asked about a mobile communications
9 unit. Your answer stated that there was a unit that was battalion, but
10 it only had the strength of a company. But there were about 70 men and
11 vehicles which, up until Bosansko Grahovo fell and on the eve of the
12 aggression, were in the northern barracks. Later on, they were relocated
13 in the direction of Padjene.
14 Can you please clarify, whether, to your knowledge, there were
15 approximately 70 men in the northern barracks on the 4th of August?
16 A. I think far fewer than that. I think that on the 4th of August,
17 there were no more than 20 or 30 men, not even that many.
18 Q. Thank you. The last document I want to show you, once again, was
19 shown to you by the Defence, some portions. I want to show you some
20 other portions. That's D943, the JNA regulations.
21 And if you remember, you were asked questions on paragraph 71,
22 and I want to talk about item on the next page, on page 3 of this
23 document, which is number 72. It says --
24 MR. HEDARALY: Next page in B/C/S, please. Thank you.
25 Q. It says: "Direct attacks on and bombardment of military
1 facilities alone is allowed. Before launching an attack, it is necessary
2 to determine whether the facility to be attacked has been identified as a
3 military facility."
4 Next paragraph: "In attacks against a military facility with
5 civilians in its immediate vicinity, the commander shall choose means of
6 attack that correspond with the importance of the military facility. An
7 attack carried out with disproportionately strong means against a
8 military facility of lesser importance in an urban settlement, which
9 could cause heavy losses among the civilian population, is contrary to
10 the international laws of war."
11 You were asked a question about item 71. Let me ask you about
12 item 72. Is this consistent with the regulations and the laws of war?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, you were too quick.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is absolutely correct.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 If we can move a few pages in, four pages to be exact, to item 82
18 in the English. If I can ask Mr. Registrar to try and locate item 82 in
19 the B/C/S version.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, could you read a bit more slowly.
21 MR. HEDARALY: Yes. My apologies to the transcriber and
23 Q. Now, Mr. Novakovic, item 82 talks about prohibition of attacks on
24 medical units and institutions: "The following may not be direct targets
25 of attacks:
1 "1, armed forces, medical units, and institutions; 2,
2 transporters of the wounded and sick, armed forces, medical personnel and
3 medical supplies on land and at sea; 3, civilian health service
4 institutions and units; 4, armed forces and civilian ambulances, hospital
5 ships and medical aircraft," and there's some conditions specified.
6 The next paragraph: "The provisions of paragraph 1 of this item
7 apply both to armed forces medical units, staff, and institutions, and
8 civilian health institutions and organisations."
9 Mr. Novakovic, is this also consistent with your understanding of
10 the laws of war?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 MR. HEDARALY: Mr. President, I have no further questions. Just
13 to note for the record that when D925 and D926 were admitted, which was
14 clips that were shown from a larger programme, we received this morning
15 from Mr. Misetic the full programme.
16 So we reserve the right to move from the bar table any other
17 portions that may be of interest to us.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's on the record.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: I have one question for you.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us a bit more about the evacuation
24 drills you are apparently aware of, that they were held?
25 A. Your Honours, within the evacuation programme drills, it did not
1 contain more than some initial procedures. People would board vehicles,
2 move off for a couple of hundred of metres due to the lack of few, and
3 then they would come back. Basically, these drills were carried out in
4 order to teach people these initial procedures, such as what they should
5 pack and how to survive.
6 We have seen a drill footage that had been organised at Slunj, in
7 which the 13th Brigade took place, part of the 22nd Corps of the VRS. We
8 saw the brigade commander in that film, and due to such an extensive
9 drill, the population from that area was not evacuated. In other words,
10 they did not leave the Republic of Serbian Krajina until the whole corps
11 became surrounded.
12 So, in short, the drills were low intensity and carried out with
13 low-level manpower and resources. That would it be in a nutshell.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you said people were trained in what to
15 take. Would that include, for example, cattle they would take?
16 A. Well, no, for the most part.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how often such evacuation drills
18 were held?
19 A. Not often. I don't have accurate information, but it wasn't an
20 often occurrence. Civilian protection representative and commissioners
21 were obliged to carry out checks based on the existing document, to carry
22 checks whether there was available fuel and other things at the disposal,
23 rather than resorting to carrying out drills themselves.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what would be the size of such a drill?
25 Would that be a village, would that be 100 people, 500 people, 2.000
1 people? Could you just give us an impression on what scale these drills
2 were held?
3 A. In most cases, it would just involve not the whole village, but
4 only one hamlet of a specific village.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And hamlets, you're thinking in terms of how many
7 A. Well, let's say each village has between three and five hamlets,
8 so it amounted to -- or, rather, up to 30 per cent of a village.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But what you call a hamlet, would that be a
10 hamlet of five or 30 or 100 households? What would be the average size
11 of what you call a hamlet, approximately?
12 A. It would be ten to 15 household, 20 at the most.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
14 Mr. Misetic, you have further questions?
15 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Further cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
17 Q. Mr. Novakovic, just a few points. Drnis, in the evacuation from
18 Drnis, is it your position that people fled from Drnis because of
19 shelling and went to Knin, where you also say there was excessive
20 shelling? They went from one shelled place to another shelled place on
21 their own. Is that what happened?
22 A. I said that they were heading towards Knin. They spent some time
23 there, and then they went out of Knin.
24 Q. And to you, it's just a coincidence that the evacuation plans for
25 Drnis, which you told us on Friday were to evacuate people from Drnis to
1 Knin, it's a coincidence that the evacuation plan happened to lead to the
2 same place that these civilians spontaneously went to?
3 A. No, that is not true. I never made such a claim, and it is not
5 Q. So the people from Drnis left because their evacuation plans, in
6 fact, called them to go to Knin. Correct?
7 A. I think we said that they set off before the plans were worked
8 out, and that happens spontaneously. That is what way said.
9 Q. Mr. Novakovic, you say the civilian protection wasn't prepared.
10 How many people do you know that made the decision to leave, set out, but
11 wound up stuck between their place they were departing and the
12 international border? How many people were wandering around and just
13 never made it out, that wanted to leave?
14 A. I have no accurate data, but I would suppose a couple of
16 Q. And a couple of thousand people, you say, never made it out of
18 A. The question was not precise. I was talking about how many
19 people were left in Sector South, and the same applied to other areas as
21 Q. I'm not talking about people who decided not to leave. I'm
22 saying, of the people that decided to leave, how many ran out of gas
23 before they made it to Bosnia
24 A. Those who were left out of petrol, they bordered other vehicles.
25 There was no such problems. If a tractor was halted, people would unload
1 it and put their belongings on another tractor and continue.
2 So nobody was left wandering around. There was always people
3 willing to give lift to other people.
4 Q. So would you agree with me that anyone civilian protection was
5 organised enough that anyone who wanted to leave and had set out to leave
6 actually was able to get out of Croatia
7 A. That was not the question solved by the civilian protection.
8 People solved it among themselves whether they knew each other or not.
9 People dealt with that on their own. I'm not saying that civilian
10 protection as a whole did not function properly, but there were some
11 short comings.
12 Q. Now, you were asked about General Mrksic's report and about the
13 fact people from Lika and Kordun left without the evacuation order having
14 been issued with respect to them, and that the evacuation would take
15 place even without an order.
16 Now, the evacuation of Western Slavonia also took place without
17 an order. Correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the evacuation of Western
21 A. I wouldn't agree with that.
22 Q. Well, the fact of the matter is, Mr. Novakovic, what towns in
23 Lika and Kordun were excessively shelled in Operation Storm?
24 A. Each town and each village. Plaski, Vrhorine, it was shelled or
25 bombarded by aircraft. Slunj --
1 Q. How come the people on the first day didn't. As you yourself
2 pointed out, they didn't leave. Why didn't they leave if they were being
3 bombed and shelled on the first day? Why didn't they leave on the first
5 A. Because in Kordun, they were best organised.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... militarily, right?
7 A. Both militarily and the civilian protection, in every respect.
8 Q. Now, you know they didn't leave because your military positions
9 were holding up there. Isn't that right?
10 A. That's correct as well.
11 Q. And the reason that the civilians left in Sector South is because
12 your military positions were not holding in Sector South. Isn't that
13 right, Mr. Novakovic?
14 A. That's not correct.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Novakovic. With respect
16 to Radio Knin, I note in your statement, P1092, you first told the Office
17 of the Prosecutor that the decision on evacuation was not forwarded
18 through the official mail and was not publicised through the media.
19 Now you claim that on the 4th that actually you heard Radio Knin,
20 a false Radio Knin, giving orders and instructions. You never mentioned
21 that in your statements and you never mention that in any of your three
22 statements, do you, Mr. Novakovic?
23 A. Nobody asked me about it, but I didn't say anything about giving
24 order. I was very precise. I said that certain routes were indicated;
25 therefore, I was very precise.
1 Q. But when you were asked about whether the evacuation order had
2 been publicised, you said that that order had not been publicised, but
3 you decided not tell the Prosecution that Radio Knin -- false Radio Knin
4 was, in fact, otherwise giving instructions on certain routes for people,
5 right? You never told them that?
6 A. Excuse me. I didn't understand your question.
7 Q. Let me ask it a different way. You were the liaison officer with
8 UNCRO. You never told UNCRO or anyone else on the 4th that you were
9 hearing false Radio Knin, right?
10 A. We didn't discuss that.
11 Q. So, apparently, this false Radio Knin with false instructions for
12 civilians on routes to escape wasn't even important for you to bring up
13 to General Forand during your meetings, or Mr. Roberts during your
14 meetings, or anyone else, right?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And in your proofing with the Office of the Prosecutor or any of
17 your tree meetings did they ever show you any, any document which would
18 indicate that, in fact, there was any such thing as a false Radio Knin
19 broadcasting in Knin?
20 A. I didn't have a chance to discuss this issue with them.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
22 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hedaraly, let me first check whether
24 Mr. Mikulicic has any further questions.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: No further questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, that remains the same?
2 Mr. Hedaraly.
3 MR. HEDARALY: Thank you.
4 Further re-examination by Mr. Hedaraly:
5 Q. Mr. Novakovic, the Presiding Judge ask you about these
6 evacuations drills, and you referred to the video you saw from the one in
7 Slunj. And in your testimony, you referred to hearing about different
8 drills. Do you know whether any such drills were carried out in any of
9 the villages in former Sector South.
10 A. I had some information about that. For example, the village of
11 Kistanje, Djevrska, Pribir [phoen], that area and some other villages,
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: This then concludes your testimony, Mr. Novakovic.
15 I would like to thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague
16 and for having answered the questions put to you by the parties and by
17 the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day.
20 I see that some members of the Prosecution team have joined us
21 just to hear me adjourning or was there any other specific reason.
22 MS. MAHINDARATNE: Just in case, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Just in case. Thank you for that, Ms. Mahindaratne.
24 We'll adjourn and we will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the 18th of
25 November, quarter past 2.00 in Courtroom I.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
3 November, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.