1 Thursday, 18 January 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good morning, everyone.
6 Mr. Hannis, outstanding matters from yesterday.
7 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, if I may. There was an issue
8 regarding some transcript pages that Mr. Cepic had wanted to tender. I've
9 reviewed those. I have no objections to those.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you intend to ask us to take account of
11 additional pages?
12 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, I don't think it's necessary.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We'll admit from 5D80 from pages 5452,
14 54 -- and from 83, 84, 89 to 91, 96, 97, and then 5499 to 5510.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Two other matters with
16 regard to Mr. Merovci. Your Honour, there were some documents on our
17 exhibit list that I would like to tender from the bar table in connection
18 with him. One is Exhibit P1851, which is a Politika newspaper article
19 from the 28th of February, 1989, reporting on the special measures just to
20 corroborate and set a date in connection with those; then I have P859
21 which is an Official Gazette of Serbia on the programme for establishment
22 of peace, liberty, equality, democracy, and prosperity in Kosovo from the
23 30th of March, 1990.
24 Exhibit P1854, also from the Official Gazette of Serbia, the law
25 on action of republican agencies under special circumstances from 16th
1 June, 1996 [sic]. 1855, the decision on determining that special
2 circumstances have been introduced on the territory of Kosovo, also from
3 26th June, 1990. 1861, the law on labour relations under special
4 circumstances from the 26th of July, 1990. And, finally, P809, the
5 declaration on adhere erns on provisions to the decision of taking interim
6 measures from the 20th of October, 1991.
7 I advised Defence counsel by e-mail last night of my intention to
8 make this submission, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Do these all relate to the evidence of the last
11 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. He talked about special
12 circumstances and special measures. They all relate to that.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Zecevic.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: We have objection, Your Honour, and I will -- I
16 mean, it's a short submission, but I would speak in Serbian with your
18 [Interpretation] The objection consists of two objections. One is
19 very concrete and the other one is an objection in principle. The Defence
20 believes that the Prosecution was obligated to inform us that they would
21 ask admission for these documents before the witness came.
22 If the Prosecution had intended to have these documents admitted
23 through the previous witness, they should have examined the witness on the
24 documents that they wished to admit and they want to do so after the
25 witness has left. If they had examined the witness, the -- that would
1 have enabled the Defence to cross-examine the witness.
2 Based on the witness's testimony, I dare say that the witness was
3 not explicit enough to show us that his testimony referred to precisely
4 these documents and these issues. That is why it would be necessary for
5 the Defence to check these allegations with the witness.
6 As for the matter of principle, on several occasions the Defence
7 has submitted on several occasions that it deems unacceptable, given the
8 time in the indictment, which is the years 1998 and 1999, that the
9 Prosecution proposes documents on laws and regulations that have been
10 altered, changed, or abolished in the meantime. All of these regulations
11 in question were passed by a state that ceased to exist, by which these
12 regulations stopped existing at least three or four years before the
13 period contained in the indictment.
14 For that reason, it is the position of the Defence that the
15 regulations in question are not relevant for these proceedings and that
16 they represent an unnecessary burden for these proceedings. On the other
17 hand, they put the Defence in a position in which the Defence will be
18 duty-bound to provide its answers and to present evidence in that sense,
19 which again will extend and expand the number of Defence exhibits proposed
20 by the Defence, and this in turn will prolong the proceedings
22 If you look at the dates on the regulations that have been
23 mentioned by Mr. Hannis, you will see that all the regulations, save for
24 the last one that dates from the 1991, were passed before the constitution
25 of Serbia was passed in 1990. Not even mentioned that in the meantime the
1 SFRY stopped existing and became SRY on the 24th of April, 1992, which
2 makes all of these regulations really irrelevant.
3 I would especially like to emphasise that, pursuant to the
4 decision of this Trial Chamber dated 10 October, only Exhibit P859 is
5 contained within that decision. It is the only piece of evidence on bar
6 table; and from that point of view, none of the others should be admitted
7 based on that foundation, on those grounds. Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Do I understand you to be saying that's already
9 submit admitted?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: No, no, no -- well, yes. That's one of the -- I'm
11 not sure, Your Honour. I don't have the decision --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the order of the 10th of October? Excuse
13 me for not remembering its precise terms, Mr. Zecevi.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: That is the order on the admission of agreed facts.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the order that has not been presented to the
16 Trial Chamber; is that the position? Or was there an order made on the
17 10th of October about agreed facts?
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: And only one of the documents on this list offered
21 by Mr. Hannis this morning has been mentioned in that -- in that order --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: And did that order admit the document?
23 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I would presume that -- yes. Yes, that order
24 admits that document.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So that one is out.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Yeah.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But in relation to --
3 MR. ZECEVIC: 859, yes.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: But the other ones, 1854, 55, 61, and 809, these
5 are official publications. Is that right?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, that's right, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, can you give me an example of how you might
8 have cross-examined the witness if you had been alerted to this prior to
9 his evidence. Give me something that you would have had to ask him so
10 that I can put in context the difficulty that you are referring to.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Very easily, Your Honour. I would present the
12 witness with the document, with the law, which is the amendment of this
13 law or which is the law which states that these particular -- or some of
14 these particular laws are not any more in effect. That would be the basis
15 of my cross-examination, and that would be the basis of cross-examination
16 of my colleagues yesterday.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: But this all looks like material that should be
18 capable of agreement, including the fact that it is no longer in
19 existence. And because the witness has given evidence, in some instance
20 of a very vague nature about the measures and the effect of these measures
21 on the Albanian population, it's important to us that we don't get led up
22 the garden path by that vague evidence and that we have the actual clear
23 terms of the changes that were made before us so that we can assess his
24 evidence in the light of these and perhaps even decide that there's
25 virtually no weight to be given to this stuff at all.
1 After all, there was no objection taken to him giving evidence in
2 that way in the course of his testimony yesterday and the day before.
3 And, therefore, this would appear to be an attempt to put a measure of
4 solidity into something that was nothing -- that was at times vague. And
5 that can hardly prejudice you because you have the opportunity of making
6 it clear, hopefully through agreement, that these laws came to an end at a
7 particular stage. And it's open to you to propose to the Prosecution ways
8 of modifying the impact of this in the interests of your client.
9 That's not to say that we don't recognise that it would have been
10 far more appropriate for you to be told before the witness gave evidence
11 that the Prosecution were going to seek to have these documents tendered
12 at the bar table. It's something they should have been alert to because
13 they can see how vague the witness's evidence is in some areas on that
14 sort of material.
15 Now, that really covers both points, and your point about
16 prolonging the proceedings hopefully could be dealt with by discussion. I
17 think you know from informal communication from Mr. Dawson that we want to
18 bring to a head the question of discussions between parties about agreed
19 facts. And we want to know what can't be agreed, what can be agreed, and
20 what is the middle area that might benefit from some arbitration by the
21 Bench, and this is an example I think of what might fall into that
23 So I think we would be inclined to encourage you to be looking at
24 ways of allowing this material to be admitted, along with enough material
25 from your part to give the full picture that you want to present. So I
1 don't think we'll take an instant decision on this, but I don't think we
2 would want to refuse it out of hand. We'll consider it in a moment, but I
3 get the general feeling from my colleagues that that's the position.
4 As far as number 1 is concerned, I need to hear from Mr. Hannis --
5 perhaps you have something to say about that. That's 1851. Politika is a
6 newspaper or a -- it's part of -- it's a press publication.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: In principle, we are not happy about that sort of
9 evidence; on the other hand, there's a measure of -- it's a more official
10 publication than perhaps some of the other media --
11 MR. ZECEVIC: I agree.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: -- materials and would, generally speaking, not be
13 prejudicial to the Defence, I suspect.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: No.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So you don't isolate -- you don't take this
16 particular Politika piece as one that should just be rejected out of hand
17 as a piece of journalism.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: No, we have the objection on the whole side of these
19 documents, and it's the very same objection which I already stated. We
20 and the Office of the Prosecution are really working on this material, and
21 I can assure you that the -- probably as early as next week we will have
22 the -- our agreement with more than 350 laws which have been agreed
23 between the parties as -- and that is, in principle, exactly the point
24 because we -- we would be -- we would be inclined to stipulate to these
25 laws in a package where we have this law, the amendment, and the annulment
1 of that law because it is -- it is from the Official Gazette so there is
2 no problem with the real -- authenticity. I'm sorry. That
3 was --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: No, you're not the only one who has trouble with
5 the English language, Mr. Zecevic.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We will consider the position.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two general things to be said about this
11 situation. One is to express disappointment that so far into the trial
12 we're still unclear about the areas of law and the provisions of law that
13 can be agreed between the parties as having applied at various stages of
14 the events that may be relevant to the indictment.
15 The second general comment to make is to appreciate the way in
16 which the parties have addressed the issue and to thank Mr. Zecevic for
17 his very helpful submission on the matter because he makes very valid
18 points in opposition; on the other hand, I think everyone must appreciate
19 the anxiety of the Trial Chamber to have before it the official
20 documentation in relation to matters of this nature.
21 So what we shall do is continue consideration of the motion to
22 admit these documents pending the stage at which we intervene, if
23 necessary, to arbitrate on the attempt by parties to reach agreement on
24 very -- on the admission of various documents. We hope our intervention
25 will not be necessary.
1 It may encourage your debate to know that we are generally
2 inclined to admit this material, but we would want to do so, if we do so,
3 in the context of the Defence presenting the additional material they feel
4 is necessary to give it a proper understanding. And we will not make a
5 final decision along these lines without giving you a further opportunity,
6 if necessary, to address the matter.
7 So hopefully within a fairly short period we will have got to the
8 stage of addressing not only these documents but any others on which there
9 is hope for agreement.
10 Now, are there any other preliminary issues, Mr. Hannis?
11 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, I just wanted to alert the Court
12 that -- and Defence counsel that in light of some of the cross-examination
13 of Mr. Merovci regarding Dr. Rugova's positions about certain things and
14 in light of the rule change to Rule 92 ter, we propose that we will
15 probably file a new submission asking the Court again to consider
16 admitting Dr. Rugova's statement and/or testimony from Milosevic.
17 We had done that earlier in the case under Rule 92 bis (C) and
18 that motion was denied at the time in part because much of his testimony
19 went to the acts and conduct of the accused. And I take from the language
20 of the new rule, in light of how some of the evidence was presented
21 yesterday, we will make a new argument to you. I just wanted to alert you
22 to that.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I can tell you that the Chamber actually considered
24 this question informally because if we had felt it was something we would
25 have wanted to hear more about, then we would have raised it with you. So
1 that may indicate that we didn't decide that this was necessarily evidence
2 we would wish to hear; on the other hand, we are not surprised that you
3 should consider making such a motion in light of the changed rule, but you
4 should do so quickly because the Defence will have to respond to that and
5 this is far from a foregone conclusion. I think this is a matter we would
6 need to consider very carefully in view of the decision we took earlier
7 and bearing in mind the reasons for that earlier decision.
8 We were influenced, to some extent, in our short discussion of the
9 matter by the fact that perhaps the motion you made earlier would have
10 been better made after Merovci had given evidence in any event. Now, when
11 that submission is made or when that -- if that motion is made by the
12 Prosecution, it's the type of thing that we would invite the Defence to
13 address immediately so that we can reduce the time for response.
14 There's -- it's already been addressed at an earlier stage in the
15 trial. I doubt if the issues have changed all that much, although the
16 rules have changed; and therefore, we should be able to deal with it
17 fairly speedily.
18 MR. HANNIS: That's it, Your Honour, I just wanted to advise you.
19 Now I'm ready to call our next witness, who is General Aleksandar
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic has a matter before we bring the
23 witness in.
24 Mr. Petrovic.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to raise an issue
1 before we have the witness in the courtroom, and the issue is relative to
2 his testimony. It seems to us that it would be better for us to discuss
3 the matter before the witness is in the courtroom.
4 In the notification dated 11 January, the Prosecution proposed
5 that through this witness we have a number of documents admitted for which
6 they deem that through this witness enough ground should be laid for these
7 documents to become evidence in this case. The Defence know that witness
8 Vasiljevic in the period that most of the documents are relative to was
9 out of active service. As it says by the statement of the witness, he
10 returned to active duty on the 27th of April, 1999.
11 Up to that day, he was required, and he did not participate in any
12 of the events that are mentioned in his statement. He was not in service.
13 He was not in Kosovo. He does not have any immediate knowledge about the
14 events that are described in these documents and that were issued before
15 the 27th of April, 1999.
16 It seems inappropriate to us to establish a link to lay enough
17 grounds for these documents to be admitted. Your Honour, we are talking
18 about documents which are mentioned in notification by number: P928,
19 P929, P931, P932, P935, P938, P939, and P941. These are documents, i.e.,
20 minutes from the meetings of the Chief of Staff of Yugoslavia, and all
21 these documents precede the time that I'm talking about. They were all
22 issued in 1998 and the first three months of 1999, i.e., during the time
23 when Vasiljevic was retired. He was not in active service. He did not
24 have any ties with the army or the events that we are talking about.
25 In addition to that documents P1418, P147 [as interpreted], P1460,
1 P1487, P1960, P103 --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] P1 --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Too quick, Mr. Petrovic, please slow down.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll apologise. I'll try and do it
6 again. P1960 --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: There's an earlier one as well. You gave us 1418
8 and then 147, but that's unlikely to be an accurate number. What was the
9 second one?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. 1427.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] 1427, P1960, P1487, P1967, P1503,
13 P2031, P2113, and, finally, P2591. The second group of documents are
14 documents of various nature which refer to the military and the police.
15 Likewise, all of these documents go beyond the scope of time that I've
16 been talking about, and for that reason I don't think they should be
17 admitted. There is another -- and also P2166. I apologise. My colleague
18 has just suggested that this document is of the same nature.
19 There are two more documents that are disputable for the Defence,
20 and of which this witness can't say anything. Those are documents P1468
21 and P1898. Those are two documents which are handwritten documents. The
22 first one is the notes from the meeting of Joint Command, and the second
23 document is described as a notebook by a higher officer of the Serbian
24 MUP. With regard to these two documents, we would like to point out that
25 these are obviously handwritten documents written by some persons, that it
1 is not known how they were created, that the witness did not participate
2 in any of the events that are described therein, and that for that reason
3 he cannot authenticate these documents. And based on these documents, he
4 cannot propose any statements or testimony.
5 Therefore, I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to consider our
6 objection and does not allow for these documents to be admitted through
7 this witness. There may be some other witnesses that the Prosecution may
8 be calling that will be able to establish a link that will constitute the
9 grounds for the admission of these documents. Witness Vasiljevic is
10 certainly not such a witness.
11 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, there was one document that was missed
12 which is P1049 which is also dated from the time-period before Mr.
13 Vasiljevic was returned to service when he was, in fact, still retired and
14 not participating in any of the events.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What is that document, Mr. Ivetic?
16 MR. IVETIC: That is listed as being a Djakovica SUP document
17 listing PJP members dated the 8th April, 1999. I'm told there's --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic, if you look at page 12 of the
19 transcript, line 16, there's a reference to 2166. Was that, in fact,
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is 2166, and the
24 argument that can be applied is the same. It is on page 5 of the
25 notification dated 11 January, the same notification that I've already
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It was a simply a clarification of the number I
4 Yes, Mr. Ivetic.
5 MR. IVETIC: One other matter, Your Honour, in addition to the
6 documents that are listed in the notification, yesterday morning we
7 received additional documents for the first time being linked to this
8 witness. One is P1996 meeting notes or minutes of a meeting held on
9 the -- of the MUP staff, which the witness obviously did not participate
10 in and did not have any -- I don't see how he can testify as to it. And I
11 would also object to the disclosure of this document at the late time,
12 since the witness was anticipated to give testimony yesterday that we just
13 received this document yesterday morning at 8.00, I believe, as being
14 linked to this witness.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Petrovic, in relation to the first group
16 which were minutes of the Chief of Staff of Yugoslavia, are you
17 challenging their authenticity?
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at this point in time
19 we, quite simply, do not know. We cannot state our views on that. We
20 simply know and claim that this witness cannot say anything about it
21 because he did not take part in any of it. He was retired. This is
22 beyond his knowledge. He cannot say anything about that. At this point
23 in time, on the basis of what we know, we cannot state any position on
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we please have P928 on e-court.
1 There's an English version on the screen. Can we have the
2 original, and can we have the last page of that original, please.
3 Mr. Hannis, is that an original document or is that a copy that's
4 been made from an original document?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, these are documents that the Prosecution
6 received from the Government of Serbia and Montenegro in response to
7 request for assistance for these very items, for the minutes of the VJ
8 collegium. I note on the cover, Your Honour, you may want to look in the
9 English, it describes them as being the - let me get the wording
10 correctly --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's go back to the first page, please.
12 MR. HANNIS: Yes. They're described as unauthorised and unrevised
13 audio transcript of the decision on the particular day, but we received no
14 other information in response to these RFAs. We received no audiotapes,
15 we received no signed copies, we received nothing indicating that it was
16 revised. This is the sum total of the response to that RFA for these
17 particular items. We would continue our argument -- we would argue to the
18 Court that that should go to weight and not admissibility. These are from
19 the party opponent, basically.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: The objection may have two bases. The one that's
21 been stated, which is that this shouldn't be admitted at this stage
22 because the authenticity is not established, we can look at that question;
23 and the other basis may be this witness, any questions put to this witness
24 about the document should not be allowed because he's not in a position to
25 deal with them.
1 Now, what's your answer to the second point?
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the evidence will be that General
3 Vasiljevic was a career soldier. He was prematurely retired in 1992,
4 reactivated again in late April 1999. In his earlier term of service, he
5 had actually been a sitting participant in VJ collegium proceedings in
6 1992. It's my understanding that the VJ collegium is something that was a
7 regular part of the General Staff. The head of the General Staff had
8 these meetings on a weekly basis, sometimes more often. So he's familiar
9 with the process, and indeed he's familiar with the participants because
10 these are other generals that he went to the service with.
11 He can provide comments about the participants and he can provide,
12 we say, Your Honour, he can provide comments about some of the substance
13 of the discussions that were going on, not because he was present but
14 because he knows the participants and because he has knowledge of the
15 events at the time they were occurring even though he was retired. His
16 brain was not turned off, his eyes were not closed, he was aware of events
17 that were happening, he maintained contacts with his fellow soldiers, and
18 he was advised of some things after the events by colleagues which puts
19 him in a position to comment.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Staying with this example, how would it come into
21 the evidence?
22 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, our position is that because these
23 are received from the government as --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, give me the context of your examination of the
25 witness that would bring this document in.
1 MR. HANNIS: Well -- okay, Your Honour. One of the issues in this
2 case is whether or not a Joint Command existed; another is whether or not
3 there was a Supreme Command. There will be references in the documents
4 that refer to those two bodies and that will support his position that
5 there indeed was a Joint Command, and it will corroborate his evidence
6 about a Supreme Command that he dealt with after he was re-activated. And
7 it establishes, we say, the existence of those bodies at a time prior to
8 his re-activation.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
10 Now, can we now have on the screen P1418.
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, if --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN: If you want to move to that next exhibit, that's
14 fine, but I would want to make some submissions in response to what
15 Mr. Hannis just said about being able to bring the witness in and ask for
16 his comments on participants and that sort of thing.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but that doesn't go to the admissibility of
18 the document, Mr. O'Sullivan; it goes to whether the questions ought to be
19 allowed, I think.
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: That's correct.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And that, I think, is a matter that's going to have
22 to arise -- be dealt with at and when the questions arise.
23 You, Mr. Petrovic, is this a good example of the second category
24 of documents?
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you challenging the authenticity of this
2 document and the others in this category?
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my answer is the same,
4 as in respect to the first category of documents.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask Mr. Aleksic, do you challenge the
7 authenticity of this document?
8 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not challenging the
9 authenticity of this document, but I can subscribe to what my colleague
10 Mr. Petrovic said with regard to the first group of documents that this
11 witness was not in active military service and, as Mr. Hannis said, his
12 mind was working and so on and so forth. He can only have indirect
13 knowledge about this if any. And I think in his statement --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that point. At the moment I'm
15 concerned to establish the extent to which the documents themselves may be
16 challenged. I entirely accept that there may be valid objections taken to
17 questions that are asked of the witness, which is the second separate
18 point which hasn't really been focussed by Mr. Petrovic but which may be
19 the essence of the objection.
20 The concern of the Trial Chamber at the moment is to identify the
21 extent to which there's a dispute about authenticity. So thank you for
23 Mr. Ivetic, I'm told that a number of these documents are police
24 documents. Those that are police documents, are you challenging their
1 MR. IVETIC: I believe some of them I am. One of the
2 documents, the one I mentioned as 1049, it's actually 1249. There was an
3 error of the OTP's notification. That document has already, I believe,
4 come in through another witness. I just think that it's improper to
5 utilise that with this particular witness.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's a question we can address when the
7 questions are asked, but I'm concerned at the moment about the second
8 category of document. And Mr. Petrovic said that they consisted of
9 military and police documents outwith the period of service of the
10 witness. Now, those that are police documents. Do you dispute their
12 MR. IVETIC: I don't believe there are any police documents in
13 that batch, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And you added to the list for concern P1996. Is
15 that document -- is that the authenticity of that document in dispute?
16 MR. IVETIC: I do not believe so, Your Honour, no, not by us at
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So is your objection fairly technical? I take the
19 point about notice.
20 MR. IVETIC: It's the utilisation of that document with this
21 witness. I think that may have come in actually with another witness as
22 well, from my recollection.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
24 Mr. Hannis, two final questions. Is P1418 a good example of all
25 of these that fall under the second category do you know? Are they all of
1 this nature with a signature and a stamp?
2 MR. HANNIS: Almost all, Your Honour. There are some Joint
3 Command orders that are not signed or stamped.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Are they -- so they may fall into the second
5 category as well. The Joint Command documents are not all in the first
7 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. Some of those were not signed or
8 stamped, but they were received pursuant to an RFA.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: And my second question relates to the two final
12 documents referred to by Mr. Petrovic, both handwritten. One was a note
13 from the meeting of the Joint Command and another was a notebook of a
14 higher officer of the MUP, neither of them being linked to the witness.
15 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the basis for --
17 MR. HANNIS: I'll take --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: -- introducing them through the witness.
19 MR. HANNIS: I'll take the last one first, Your Honour, and again
20 we say there is evidence regarding their authenticity based on the
21 source. And we're asking -- we're going to ask this witness to comment on
22 certain aspects of the contents of those. The last one, the notebook of a
23 high official in the MUP, was an exhibit in the Milosevic case. And
24 General Obrad Stevanovic came here and testified, and in the course of his
25 testimony he indicated that that was his diary.
1 So it has been established through the testimony of a witness in
2 the Milosevic case that General Stevanovic was the author of that. We
3 intend to ask General Vasiljevic some questions about a few entries in
4 that diary a meeting about the 17th of May, 1999.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's a meeting he attended?
6 MR. HANNIS: No. It's a meeting we believe happened the same day
7 and had discussions related to the matters that were he discussed in the
8 meeting that he talks about in his evidence.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And the first one.
10 MR. HANNIS: The first one, it appears to be a handwritten summary
11 or minutes of meetings of Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija in 1998.
12 We do not know who the author was, but it names the participants,
13 including a couple of our accused. And we have some evidence from General
14 Vasiljevic about the existence of that Joint Command and how it met and
15 who the participants were. We believe that some of his evidence, in
16 commenting on the contents, may add to the authenticity of the document.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the date of the meeting it refers to?
18 MR. HANNIS: It's several meetings throughout the year beginning
19 in July 1998 throughout the end of October 1998.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And you have nothing to establish its authenticity?
21 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, this was received pursuant to an
22 RFA to the Government of Serbia and Montenegro for Joint Command
23 documents. It does not have a seal or a stamp, but it was in response to
24 that specific RFA. And we believe it is in some way self-authenticating
25 because the contents refer to events that we know about from other
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
3 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Finally, we challenge the authenticity of P2166.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we see that, please, on the screen.
5 This is a skillful forgery.
6 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We don't concede the authenticity, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that modification on we challenge? Sorry.
8 You're not modifying your position? You're simply challenging the
9 authenticity of the document. Okay.
10 Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this was a Defence exhibit in the
12 Milosevic case with the witness Obrad Stevanovic. It was offered by
13 Mr. Milosevic. It is sealed and stamped and we believe it is authentic.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, if the Prosecution is accepting the truth
15 and authenticity of Defence, Mr. Milosevic's defence and all his Defence
16 witnesses, we find that very interesting.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Authenticity and truth are two separate concepts,
18 Mr. O'Sullivan.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Absolutely, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: And there was no finding by the Milosevic Trial
22 Chamber of the authenticity or the reliability of this document or the
23 testimony of Mr. Stevanovic. And we challenge it.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What is your plan for dealing with the evidence of
25 Stevanovic in the Milosevic trial?
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, my plan is only to have this witness
2 come in on a particular entry in his diary.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
4 MR. HANNIS: I'm not -- at this point, he's not a witness we
5 intend to call.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: As you know, the Trial Chamber much earlier in this
7 case decided that the fact that a document had been presented in another
8 case did not satisfy the terms of -- is it Rule 94?
9 MR. HANNIS: Rule 94, Your Honour. And by saying I accept the
10 authenticity of this particular document, Your Honour, I don't mean to say
11 I accept the authenticity of every document that was offered by Mr.
12 Milosevic or his witnesses.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll consider the position.
14 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, one point to add on the diary 1898, that
15 was introduced in cross-examination. It's my recollection - and I don't
16 have the Stevanovic testimony here - but it's my recollection that he also
17 testified that the diary was out of his possession and that certain
18 portions of it appeared to be altered. So I don't believe that his
19 testimony can be said to vouch for the authenticity of the exhibit as a
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I have it noted as 1899. Is that wrong?
22 MR. IVETIC: Again, Your Honour, I'm relying on the OTP witness
23 notification, but I can try and find it right now. I believe it's 1898,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 MR. HANNIS: I believe that's correct.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not possible for us to take a decision on this
4 at this point in time. The documents we've looked at briefly either come
5 from a source that is indicative of their authenticity or appear on the
6 face of them to be authentic. We think the real meat of this objection is
7 to the qualification or competence of the witness to address the issues
8 that may be raised in examination about these documents, and that's
9 something that's going to have to be addressed as and when it arises.
10 It may be that a pattern emerges and we can make a more general
11 decision; but until we see how they're being presented, see the context in
12 which they are presented, we can't make a decision about whether this
13 witness can speak about them or indeed a decision about any challenge to
14 their authenticity.
15 Simply because a witness was not actually in a particular post at
16 the time a document was compiled doesn't determine necessarily whether he
17 can comment on the contents of the document. It may be he has experience
18 of the body which is the source of the document at a time which we
19 consider is relevant enough to enable him to comment on documents of that
20 body relating to a prior period in time. That remains to be seen in the
21 context of the evidence as it's led.
22 Now, unless there is any other preliminary matter we will proceed
23 with the evidence.
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: I have two matters from the statement which is being
1 tendered by the -- proffered by the Prosecution into evidence. First of
2 all, the material that was first given with respect to this witness with
3 respect to the transcript of his interview and the transcript of the
4 testimony was given to us at the beginning of the case. This statement
5 dated the 26th and 27th of October, 2006, was not tendered to us until
6 January the 9th, 2007. And for the first time now -- not only was the
7 original statement not given to us until the 9th, but then the amendment
8 that came on the 14th changed the original.
9 Now for the first time, at paragraphs 62 and 81, there are things
10 listed against Mr. Lukic individually, which appear -- did not appear in
11 any of the prior information and, in fact, contrary indications of other
12 persons saying the things that are alleged to have been said are contained
13 in the other materials. So I would make a technical objection to that,
14 based upon the past course of action that we've taken that not disclosing
15 material and then disclosing it shortly before a witness of this magnitude
16 is highly improper. And I would ask the OTP to be sanctioned for that.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Give me details in relation to these two
18 paragraphs, please.
19 MR. IVETIC: Yes. In paragraph 62, there's now an allegation
20 relating to a proposed commission for investigation of crimes that it is
21 alleged Mr. Lukic turned down participation in. And in paragraph 81, a
22 statement is made at this meeting that had previously been identified as
23 coming from General Djordjevic are now being attributed to General Lukic,
24 a report on activities of some detail, which in the prior addition had
25 been linked to Djordjevic and now is being linked to my client, again in
1 the latest revision that came out 14th of January, which was just this
2 past, I believe, Sunday.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The trouble about this sort of thing is that it
4 might well simply have emerged in oral examination of the witness, and
5 both are matters which are in themselves covered by the statement -- the
6 material as expanded in 62 and changed in 81.
7 What's the sanction you're suggesting?
8 MR. IVETIC: Well, I guess that they be -- obviously, that they be
9 barred from presenting evidence on these two topics insofar as the
10 disclosures that were done prior to the recess did not have this
11 information in them and were quite extensive. We're talking about I think
12 985 pages of transcripts and strews and the testimony I believe it was
13 seven days of the Milosevic case.
14 It's a difficulty that we have been having in this case that the
15 material that's disclosed does not comport to what we at the end of the
16 day have to deal with when we're preparing the cross-examination. So I --
17 again, for the record, I think I have to make this objection, although I
18 understand where Your Honour's -- I understand Your Honour's comments that
19 have been made already.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The sanction for problems of this particular nature
22 is adjournment to enable the Defence to make inquiry, if necessary. If
23 this causes any difficulty, then we will consider favourably an
24 application for adjournment for that purpose.
25 Any further preliminary matters?
1 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, just a comment on that last. I have
2 to go back and double-check my notes, but 95 percent of this statement was
3 based on material that was in his prior testimony or interviews. As I
4 recall, the new materials related to some Joint Command documents that we
5 did not have in hand when we interviewed him and when he testified and one
6 matter regarding Stevanovic's diary. But I'll double-check. I trust that
7 Mr. Ivetic was thorough; and if he says it wasn't in any of the other
8 materials, he is right. But I suspect we won't get to cross-examination
9 of Mr. Vasiljevic until Monday or Tuesday.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if any question of sanction arises, obviously
11 you'll have had time to check whether the position as presented by
12 Mr. Ivetic is entirely accurate.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 MR. IVETIC: I do not anticipate asking for an adjournment, just
15 so that that's clear.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Let's now have the witness, please.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vasiljevic.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: When we came into court, we did not realise that
22 there would be a number of matters to be dealt with before your evidence
23 began. You've become controversial before you got into the courtroom;
24 however, we have now dealt with the various issues that counsel wanted us
25 to address prior to hearing your evidence and we are ready to begin
1 hearing your evidence. So would you please make the solemn declaration to
2 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be placed
3 before you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
7 You will appreciate that the Trial Chamber already has before it a
8 large amount of material that you have contributed to the work of the
9 Tribunal. We have the relevant parts of the transcript of your evidence
10 in the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. We have a recent statement that you
11 gave, which is largely, I assume, similar to previous statements you've
12 given but has been supplemented and brought up-to-date.
13 We have read that material. The purpose of you coming here is to
14 enable counsel to ask questions, possibly to add to the information we've
15 got already, to clarify things, and in many instances to challenge your
16 evidence, as you will appreciate, because we have six accused here, all
17 represented, who undoubtedly will want to wish to challenge parts of what
18 you've said.
19 We're hoping that the oral part of your testimony will concentrate
20 on the really important issues and on any additional information that
21 needs to be presented to the Chamber. So when you're answering, please
22 try to concentrate your answer on the particular issue that's raised in
23 the question, bearing in mind how much we already have in front of us.
24 There's no point in repeating what we have here. We want to concentrate
25 on the issues that the parties see as issues that are controversial in the
2 So please at the present us in that way and we'll make most rapid
3 progress if you're able to do that. The first counsel to question you
4 will be for the Prosecutor, and that is Mr. Hannis.
5 Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examination by Mr. Hannis:
10 Q. Good morning, General. My apologies to the delay in our start and
11 my part in that. I want to begin by asking your full name for the record,
13 A. Aleksandar Vasiljevic.
14 Q. And, General, I have to begin with some preliminary paperwork.
15 Prior to coming to testify this morning, did you this past weekend have a
16 chance to meet with us and complete a written statement? And I'll ask the
17 usher to hand you two documents. Did you have a chance to meet with me
18 and other individuals from the OTP to complete and sign a statement
19 regarding your evidence in this case?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And did you have a chance to review that and make corrections
22 before that was done?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The two documents you have in front of you, sir, are Exhibit
25 P2594, which is the complete statement, and the one that is numbered P2600
1 is a redacted version of the same one, which has portions blacked out.
2 And those are portions you indicated that you would like to only give
3 evidence about in private session. Are you satisfied that those are true
4 and accurate?
5 A. I have not had a chance to look at all the things that are for
6 private session, but I believe that there shouldn't be any problems.
7 Q. And can you attest to the Court that that is your evidence and
8 those are the answers you would give if you were asked those same
9 questions under oath today?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 MR. HANNIS: We would tender the statement, Your Honour, 2594 is
13 the unredacted version we would like to file under seal; and 2600 is the
14 one we tender for public filing.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. 2594 will be held under
17 MR. HANNIS:
18 Q. Now, General Vasiljevic, you were at the Tribunal before in
19 February 2003 and testified in the Milosevic case. Do you recall your
20 testimony in that case?
21 A. Most of it.
22 Q. Did you ever have an opportunity to review any of the videotapes
23 of your actual testimony?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And based on having done that, are you satisfied that that was a
1 true and accurate account of your evidence in that case?
2 A. The part that I saw was accurate.
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we would offer in Exhibits P2589, which
4 are the open testimony excerpts, and P2590, which are the private session
5 or closed session excerpts from Milosevic.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment, Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know if your last question actually
9 satisfies the rule in relation to the transcript. The real question is
10 whether his evidence would be the same in this case.
11 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, I can address that question.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. With regard to your testimony in the Milosevic case concerning the
15 Kosovo matters and the general background matters in your personal
16 history, would your answer to those questions that you gave in Milosevic
17 be the same if you were asked those questions today?
18 A. This was four years ago, so I can't be sure of every single word,
19 but the essence would still be the same.
20 Q. Did you testify truthfully in that case?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, now I would tender.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, have you any reason to doubt the
24 accuracy of any part of the evidence you gave in the Milosevic trial?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because I told the truth at the
1 time to the extent I remember and given the questions that were put to me.
2 As far as I can remember, most of my testimony was about Croatia. And,
3 finally, the last questions were about Kosovo and I testified about
4 that. I don't know if there is anything in dispute. You can ask me
5 specifically and I can tell you what is accurate, what is not.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. We'll admit the transcript.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, General, I want to go through your statement and ask you to
10 expand on some matters and perhaps clarify a few others.
11 MR. HANNIS: And I should indicate, Your Honour, with regard to
12 the transcript that we ask for the 2590 to be under seal. Those are the
13 closed session excerpts they had a separate exhibit number.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Give me the numbers again, Mr. Hannis..
15 MR. HANNIS: 2590.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And what's the number of the transcript in general,
17 the rest of it?
18 MR. HANNIS: Well, 2589 are all the open session.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. 2590 will be held under seal.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 Q. General, you were a career military officer and you're now
22 retired. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. When you completed the military academy in 1961, what rank did you
25 have when you began your active military service in the JNA?
1 A. I was a second lieutenant.
2 Q. And what branch or what part of the VJ were you a member of or
3 specialise in?
4 A. I was -- I completed my basic education in NBC; and after the
5 staff academy, I became part of the infantry.
6 Q. And how long were you in the infantry?
7 A. From 1973 until the moment I was pensioned off. This was the
8 first time in 1992 when I was pensioned off, then the second time this was
9 in 2001.
10 Q. And specifically within the infantry, was there a particular
11 department that you worked in?
12 A. From 1964 I worked in the security bodies. I started with basic
13 positions and functions; and up to 1982 when I served in the Sarajevo
14 army, there I became the chief of the army security. In 1986 I was moved
15 to the security administration, to the counter-intelligence department,
16 and then in 1988 I went back to Sarajevo and I became division commander.
17 This is where I stayed for two years and then I went back to the security
18 administration in 1990, and there I was deputy chief of that department.
19 Q. Can you tell us briefly what is the role and function of the
20 security administration in the JNA and the VJ.
21 A. The security administration was in charge, and it directed the
22 work of security bodies in lower commands. You have to make a distinction
23 between command and control of the work of these organs. Security organs
24 were subordinated to the commanders of the respective units; and in
25 professional terms within their purview, they were subordinated to a
1 higher body of security in the superior command; that was the hierarchy
2 along the professional lines.
3 Q. You mentioned a distinction between command and control. Can you
4 explain that for us.
5 A. The activity of the security bodies is regulated by special
6 regulations. This is counter-intelligence service and
7 counter-intelligence service has the lowest level, that was the command of
8 the army, i.e., the commander of the army. When it came to
9 counter-intelligence and the issues pertaining to that area, the lowest
10 level of command was the army command that was in charge of the work of
11 the security bodies.
12 The army commander approved specific measures pertaining to the
13 purview of that service. When it came to the command chain, security
14 officers from the battalion to the higher bodies, they functioned in the
15 work as any other officers. They participated in the work of that
16 command. They organised provision measures to provide security to the
17 officer in command. You have to make a distinction between the security
18 work per se and counter-intelligence work on the other hand.
19 Q. Could you explain for me the difference between security work and
20 counter-intelligence work as it relates to the army.
21 A. I have not received interpretation.
22 Q. The question was: Could you explain the difference between
23 security work and counter-intelligence work as it relates to the army.
24 A. Counter-intelligence activities consisted of monitoring foreign
25 agents or foreign intelligence services, discovering and preventing secret
1 organised enemy activities, and also discovering and preventing terrorist
3 Q. And security work?
4 A. Security work implied the organisation of measures to provide
5 security for the command and units, participation in the drafting of plans
6 and combat orders, which included a security item. These would be the
7 measures of security and general safety.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: In case you're in any doubt, Mr. Hannis, I'm
9 totally bamboozled by all of this. It's absolutely meaningless to me.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I hope it will become clearer before
11 we're finished. I'm going to move to another topic and come back to this
12 in relation to something else, and I think it will be easier to see that.
13 Q. General, from the time that you graduated and were a second
14 lieutenant until your eventual retirement and your rank, upon your
15 retirement was what sort of general, what level of general?
16 A. When I was pensioned off in May 1992, I was major-general. When I
17 was reinstated in 1999 and then mentioned off again towards the end of
18 2000, I was colonel-general --
19 Q. And during the --
20 A. -- lieutenant-general.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
22 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
23 Q. And during the course of your military career, did you receive any
24 awards or were you decorated for your service?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How many times, do you recall?
2 A. Quite a number of times. You know how it is with decorations and
3 awards. You receive them periodically if you are successful in your job.
4 I also had an order of courage that I received in 1991. That is an award
5 or decoration that doesn't belong to the general group of decorations that
6 I received?
7 Q. And to become a general in the VJ, were there any kind of special
8 schools that you had to go to as you were being promoted up from your
9 beginning rank of second lieutenant?
10 A. I had to complete education after the military academy. First of
11 all, I had to go to the command staff academy; and sometime when I became
12 lieutenant-colonel, I had to go to the so-called war school in the JNA or
13 the School of National Defence; however, this did not mean automatically
14 that you would be awarded a rank. They were just a pre-condition if you
15 were considered for a rank that you might be eligible for it.
16 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement you indicated that you were
17 prematurely pensioned off in 1992. Can you explain for the Court how that
19 A. The interpretation I received was "temporarily pensioned off,"
20 whereas, I suppose you said "prematurely." I was prematurely pensioned
21 off on the 8th of May, 1992, with a number of other generals, some 70 of
22 JNA generals were pensioned off at the time. Why was this premature?
23 Because the criterion was for the generals to meet certain criteria;
24 either to be 57 years of age or to have had 40 years of service. I didn't
25 meet any these criteria; and out of the 70 generals that were pensioned
1 off, only two generals pentioned off without meeting the requirements, I
2 and my deputy, Major Simeon Tumanov.
3 Q. Did you receive any explanation about why you were chosen for
4 early retirement?
5 A. At that time there were no explanations given. It was just
6 explained by the needs of the service, and that's why we were retired. In
7 the Milosevic case, I explained the circumstances under which I was
8 mentioned off. I can go over that again, but I don't think that is
10 Q. Let me move on to paragraph 4 of your statement. You mentioned
11 that then shortly of your retirement, in July 1992 you were arrested and
12 charged and eventually acquitted. Can you tell us briefly what that was
14 A. Well, a total of eight security officers were arrested; I was
15 among them. General Tumanov was also supposed to be arrested; however, at
16 that time, he had already left for Macedonia to stay with his family.
17 There was a scandal staged, and I was charged with abuse of my official
18 position. It was alleged that there was an operation called Kanal, where
19 I abused my position, and the operation was done in order to discover some
21 We were all acquitted. I was acquitted in the first instance,
22 which was then confirmed by the Supreme Military Court. I spent four
23 months in jail. Some of my colleagues spent some eight or nine months in
24 jail, and we had been removed from our positions because new politics came
25 to the scene and they had to deal with the former security services.
1 Since I've started talking about that, I would like to remind you
2 that on the 5th of March, 1992, Mr. Milosevic invited me to come to talk
3 to him and the -- the essence of that conversation or an important part
4 of that conversation was his request for me to provide him with
5 conversation on the work of the security administration.
6 I refused to do that. I didn't comply with that request, and this
7 was the main portion of the reason why I was retired. When I was
8 reinstated in 1999, again, I went to talk to Milosevic on 25 April 1999,
9 and he wanted to leave an impression that he hadn't been informed about
10 everything that was surrounding the -- my arrest.
11 Q. Let me ask you one more question before we take our first break.
12 Between your premature pensioning off in 1992 and April 1999 when you
13 re-joined the army, you lived as a retired general, did you maintain
14 contact with any of your army colleagues during that time?
15 A. Well, yes. I communicated after my acquittal. I would go to the
16 administration for security where there was still officers who had
17 previously been subordinated to me and they were correct in their
18 behaviour towards me, and I mostly socialised with either active or
19 retired officers, generals.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, is this a good time for the break?
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
23 For technical reasons, Mr. Vasiljevic, we have to break at this
24 stage. We'll break for about 20 minutes. The usher will show you where
25 to wait meanwhile, so could you please leave the courtroom with him.
1 Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. General, when we broke you mentioned that you had stayed in touch
10 with some of your army colleagues during your retirement. During that
11 period between 1992 and 1999 when you were reinstated, did you keep
12 abreast of public affairs as well as what was happening with the army
13 during those years?
14 A. Well, yes.
15 Q. In paragraph 5 of your statement, you tell us that after the NATO
16 air-strikes began you offered your services to the army. How did you do
17 that? Who did you contact to say, Is there something I can do? I'm
18 willing to help.
19 A. I was addressed by a large number of security officers who had
20 been pensioned off in the years before that. Some had war assignments in
21 the army and others did not. We were all willing, for patriotic reasons,
22 to help in a way, if we could. I did not specifically seek to have any
23 meeting in this respect in terms of my re-activation, but probably people
24 found out.
25 Sometime in the beginning of April, General Geza Farkas invited
1 me, and at that time he became chief of the security administration. So I
2 wasn't looking for him. He's the one who looked me up and he asked me
3 then whether I would accept re-activation and appointment in the
4 republican service of the state security, with a view to attaining some
5 coordination between military and civilian security, and I accepted that
6 in principle. This was in the beginning of April.
7 However, it was only on the 25th of April that General Ojdanic
8 informed me that I was supposed to come to the command post, that
9 President Milosevic wanted to talk to me about my re-activation.
10 Q. And I think you mentioned in an earlier answer that you met with
11 Mr. Milosevic on the 25th of April. Can you tell us briefly where you met
12 him and what you two discussed on that day.
13 A. We met at the command post of the Supreme Command. The
14 conversation took place only between him and me; there were no other
15 persons present. I already mentioned that that first meeting of his with
16 me after so many years was along the following lines: Where I had been in
17 the meantime, what was this that had happened to me, and so on and so
18 forth. If I need to expand on this conversation, I can say that the chief
19 of the military security service could have even have been Bismarck and
20 even Bismarck would have been replaced if he held that post. And if
21 Bismarck wanted to go public, then they probably would have arrested him
22 if he spoke to the newspapers, too.
23 I gave an interview after that in a weekly magazine, Nin, in
24 Belgrade, and that probably led to the fact that court proceedings were
25 brought against me. He just left. He left the impression that he sort of
1 did not even know about what had been happening. I gave my assessments
2 regarding the situation in the army and also with regard to certain
3 security personnel who had already been replaced from their positions.
4 Before all, it was General Branko Gajic who, or rather, Colonel
5 Branko Gajic who at that time was the deputy head of the security
6 administration, so this was one of the key people of the service who had
7 been replaced and envisaged for retirement; then Nikola Glumac, a colonel,
8 was there, too. And he was chief of security in the 2nd Army in
9 Podgorica, and there were other personnel like that.
10 The next thing I said to him was that I went through 1991 and 1992
11 and that I knew what different military groups did. And I posed that
12 specifically meaning the village of Lovas. And if I was to be reactivated
13 even now, I wouldn't reconcile myself with that kind of situation that
14 this mafia, if I can call it that, taint the uniform that we wear. And
15 Milosevic said, "That's the kind of man I need." He said that I would be
16 the deputy of the chief of security administration.
17 Since Colonel Gajic had already been removed from that office, I
18 did not want to take this office under such circumstances after his
19 removal. He said, "No, you're going to be that." Because General
20 Ojdanic, when he invited me for that conversation, he said that I was
21 supposed to be his advisor for security because the people from state
22 security around Milosevic did not agree that I should join their
23 structure. So I agreed -- I disagreed that I would be this deputy, but
24 Milosevic said, "No, you will the deputy and Gajic will be this other
25 thing." And this other thing is assistant for counter-intelligence work.
1 That position is called the deputy chief of the security administration,
2 at the same time the assistant for counter-intelligence work.
3 So Milosevic separated this one position into two. So Colonel
4 Gajic was reinstated; and on the Army Day, on the 16th of June, he
5 received the rank of general and I was appointed deputy.
6 Q. And your specific title then was deputy of what?
7 A. Deputy of the chief of the security administration; whereas, the
8 chief of the security administration was General Geza Farkas, who was
9 appointed after General Aleksandar Dimitrijevic had been removed.
10 Q. If I understand correctly then General Farkas at that time was the
11 number one -- had the highest position in the security administration or
12 the -- is it the security administration or the security service?
13 A. The security administration is at the top of the security service.
14 It is the top institution within the security services.
15 Q. Within the army?
16 A. Within the army.
17 Q. And so the top-ranking security officer was General Farkas?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you, as deputy head, does that mean that you were number two?
20 A. Yes. I was number two, and Colonel Gajic was two and a half, so
21 to speak, because we shared this second-ranking office.
22 Q. Now, you mentioned that General Farkas had recently been appointed
23 to that position to replace General Dimitrijevic, and do you know when
24 General Dimitrijevic had been removed from the position approximately?
25 A. I think that he had been removed sometimes in the beginning of
1 1999. I think it could have been the month of February. I'm not too sure
2 about that.
3 Q. Do you know why he had been replaced?
4 A. Well, he was replaced practically a few months after the biggest
5 change in the military, and that was the removal of General Perisic as
6 Chief of Staff, and then he was removed soon after that. General
7 Dimitrijevic held that position for quite a long time because people in
8 that position are changed after two or three years, but he was there from
9 1993 to 1999, that is to say all of six years.
10 I think that he had a special kind of authority in this position
11 as an individual, and he freely, openly expressed his views, which
12 Milosevic did not like. As far as I know, specifically, his last clash
13 was with regard to the way the problem of Kosovo was being resolved, and
14 basically, that is why Perisic was removed, too, and later on Dimitrijevic
15 as well.
16 Q. And do you know the nature of the clash with Milosevic about
17 Kosovo that led to Perisic being removed?
18 A. You know what? I probably used language that was too strong when
19 I said clash with Milosevic, hardly anyone could clash with him. But he
20 had views that were different from his, and the reason for this was
21 General Perisic and General Dimitrijevic also advocated the same position
22 that a state of emergency should be used to mobilise the army because it
23 was the MUP that was the mainstay of activity against terrorists in
25 Milosevic thought that the international situation was such that
1 such a move would not be interpreted favourably and would only further
2 complicate the position of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and that his
3 decision to use the army without proclaiming a state of emergency was
4 sufficient, and that is where their views differed.
5 Q. And you mentioned that General Perisic wanted a state of emergency
6 to be proclaimed because he thought using the army without that
7 declaration was illegal?
8 A. Basically, it is an illegal act; that is to say, a state of
9 emergency would have to be proclaimed. And in the period when I was in
10 active service, in Kosovo we did have a state of emergency in 1981. And
11 we had to declare a state of emergency in 1989 in Kosovo, and that's when
12 the army was used, together with other structures, with the MUP
13 structures, at that time, the federal MUP; that is to say, that
14 detachments came from Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and other republics.
15 And they were active in Kosovo, together with the army.
16 Q. It is in the absence of a state of emergency, what was the army's
17 legitimate role in Kosovo?
18 A. I did not understand you. It is well-known what the legitimate
19 role of the army is. The army is always in the function of defending the
20 territorial integrity of the country. So, specifically as far as Kosovo
21 is concerned, the army had a priority task, to secure the state border
22 towards Albania and neighbouring Macedonia.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other microphones
24 be switched off when the witness is speaking. We have trouble hearing
1 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I will try to follow that direction from
2 the interpreters.
3 Q. Around the same time that General Perisic and General Dimitrijevic
4 had been replaced, we've heard evidence that Jovica Stanisic was replaced
5 as well. Were you aware of that at the time?
6 A. I am aware of that, but I don't know to what extent that is
7 directly linked. As far as I know, first Jovica Stanisic was removed; if
8 I'm not mistaken, that was sometime in the beginning of October 1998. And
9 what later, Perisic was removed as well. Perisic was practically removed
10 after his interview that he gave to some of the local media in Gornji
11 Milanovac, the town of Gornji Milanovac, that he is from originally, where
12 he openly said that he did not agree with the way that the army is being
13 used in Kosovo, that a state of emergency should be declared. So he was
14 practically removed after he went public.
15 It was similar to the situation when I spoke publicly to the
16 media, too; however, he was not pensioned off at the time. He was told
17 that he should become assistant minister for national defence in the
18 Ministry of Defence. Mr. Pavle Bulatovic was minister at the time. He
19 refused that, and that is how he retired. General Dimitrijevic, when he
20 was removed from the office he held, President Milosevic called him and
21 told him that that was a very difficult office to hold and that he had
22 held it for quite a while, and that he needed, well, a bit of a rest; and
23 then he offered him another option, even to go somewhere as an
24 ambassador. However, he refused that and he retired. He did not accept
25 this rest.
1 Q. I want to move on now and talk about --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
4 Q. I want to talk about the JNA and the VJ organisations and
5 structures. You say in paragraph 7 of your statement, General, that
6 during peacetime the body that was responsible for overall command of the
7 JNA was the Supreme Defence Council. Do you know what the source of its
8 authority was? Was that provided for in the law or on the constitution?
9 A. I don't know again whether there was a mistake in the
10 interpretation. What was it you said in the JNA period and then the
11 expression the Supreme Defence Council was used. In the period when the
12 JNA was still in existence when there was this collective Presidency of
13 the SFRY that consisted of eight members --
14 Q. Let me interrupt you there, General. I'm concerned about 1998 and
15 1999. What body was in charge?
16 A. The Supreme Defence Council and that is the Army of Yugoslavia
17 then, not the JNA.
18 Q. Thank you. My mistake. Do you know who the members were by law
19 of the Supreme Defence Council?
20 A. Yes. I know that the Supreme Defence Council was headed by the
21 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; at that time it was
22 Slobodan Milosevic; then, the permanent members were the presidents of the
23 Republic of Serbia and Montenegro respectively. And from time to time,
24 the Chief of General Staff and the minister of defence took part from time
25 to time when they would be invited in the work of the Supreme Defence
1 Council, but it was these three individuals that made up the Supreme
2 Defence Council.
3 MR. HANNIS: I would like to show the witness now Exhibit P1000.
4 Q. While we're waiting for that to come up. The Supreme Defence
5 Council was the primary body during peacetime?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. General, I hope you'll have on your screen in a minute a document
8 dated the 25th of December, 1998. It purports to be the minutes of the
9 Supreme Defence Council on that date. Do you have that?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. And can you look in the first paragraph under the heading --
12 minutes where it list the people attending. We see Mr. Milosevic as the
13 chair, and the other persons attending are Mr. Milutinovic, the president
14 of the Republic of Serbia; Mr. Djukanovic, the president of the Republic
15 of Montenegro; Mr. Sainovic, the federal deputy prime minister; the
16 defence minister Pavle Bulatovic, that you told us about; General Ojdanic,
17 Chief of the General Staff; and General Susic, who appears to be the
18 secretary of the Supreme Defence Council. Do you know what role Mr.
19 Sainovic had in connection with the Supreme Defence Council?
20 A. I think that Sainovic was the deputy prime minister of the federal
21 government, if I'm not mistaken.
22 Q. Was there any provision in the law for him to be a member of the
23 Supreme Defence Council that you're aware of -- that position, to be a
24 member of the Supreme Defence Council?
25 A. I don't know. I cannot interpret that part.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, again we're entering
2 dangerous territory. General Vasiljevic said loud and clear two minutes
3 ago that it is three individuals that make up the Supreme Defence Council,
4 and then Mr. Hannis asks how Nikola Sainovic was a member of the Supreme
5 Defence Council. Just look at the question he put. I'm trying to speak
6 in principle, and I do not really want to interrupt anyone when speaking.
7 I highly appreciate Mr. Vasiljevic.
8 I have high regard for him, especially with regard to the period
9 he spent in Croatia, but really, this is a meeting that he did not attend
10 and a person who was not present there, now he is supposed to explain to
11 you how Nikola Sainovic was a member of the Supreme Defence Council, which
12 is something he never was and never will be. That is why we objected to
13 the use of documents like these because they are being manipulated with.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something?
15 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. The witness asked a question, Your
16 Honour, but I wanted to say my question did not say that he was a member
17 of the council. I asked what his role was.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, if a question is asked to which you
19 do not know the answer, then you should tell us that you do not know.
20 Now, do you consider that you are in a position to give us reliable
21 evidence about the role of Mr. Sainovic at a meeting which took place when
22 you were not in service?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that's why I said what I said.
24 I don't know whether you heard it, that I don't know, that I cannot
25 interpret this other part I don't know. I know that these three key
1 persons are members of the Supreme Defence Council; that is one thing.
2 And the other thing I wanted to say in response to what the distinguished
3 lawyer said. Nobody will make me say something I don't know. I will only
4 speak about what I do know.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I want to apologise to you, and I --
6 that is why I said that I hold you in such high regard and I appreciate
7 the work that you did, as I mentioned, and it is wrong for this to be done
8 by the Prosecutor. That is my point. It really has nothing to do
9 with you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm not in a position to say that what Mr.
11 Hannis did was wrong. The witness was able to deal with the question and
12 answered it clearly. The matter's over now and we can move on to
13 something else.
14 Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
16 I would like to move to page 7 of the English of this document and
17 page 10 of the B/C/S.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that, Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I would like to ask the witness one question about
21 paragraph 10 of the statement.
22 Do you have the statement in front of you?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have it. I just need to find the
24 relevant page.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If you go to the end of paragraph 10 where you
1 refer to other key VJ personnel, it's a question which will display my
2 ignorance of army command structures, or at least a measure of confusion
3 about them. You refer to two separate persons as respectively the chief
4 of the 3rd Army -- sorry, my mistake. Two separate persons as
5 respectively the commander of the Pristina Corps and the Chief of Staff of
6 the Pristina Corps.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Are these positions, that's the commander of a
9 corps or a body of the army, such as the Pristina Corps, are these two
10 positions, commander and Chief of Staff, normally occupied by two separate
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, absolutely. These are
13 two completely separate positions.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Just in case there's any confusion in your mind, it's to resolve
16 an issue that was raised in an entirely different context earlier in the
18 Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, while we're there, I see what is a
20 typographical error. General Stojimirovic is listed as chief of the 3rd
21 Army, and I think it should be Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army.
22 Q. General Vasiljevic, is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And while we're on that can you explain the function of the Chief
25 of Staff and his relationship to the commander of the Pristina Corps or
1 the 3rd Army.
2 A. Well, every Chief of Staff is subordinated to his commander at all
3 levels. As the word itself says, it is the Chief of Staff; that means
4 that under him are other professional organs along the lines of different
5 military activities; the infantry, the chief of infantry, the chief of
6 artillery, the chief of signals, the traffic service, and so on and so
8 So this is an entire team that makes up the staff. The staff
9 works on assessing the situation, preparing documents, decisions; whereas,
10 the Chief of Staff is the main organiser of these activities. The Chief
11 of Staff can also be considered, in a way, to be the deputy commander;
12 this is to facilitate understanding.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: When you get to the very top, though, the Chief of
14 the General Staff is the most senior army officer, but the commander at
15 that point is a political person. Is that correct? Or indeed a group of
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. The Supreme Council of Defence
18 is as a collective body that issues decisions on engaging the armed
19 forces, and this they do through the staff, through the General Staff. In
20 peacetime, it's General Staff that in keeping with state guidance relative
21 to the army, in practical terms commands the army. And this pertain to
22 the previous period.
23 Now that the organisation has taken place, the re-organisation,
24 the minister of defence is a member of a government, and his position is
25 completely different with regard to the General Staff. Previously, the
1 Chief of General Staff was directly linked to the president of the state,
2 and now the Chief of General Staff is directly connected with the minister
3 of defence.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That would suggest, though, that there's a
5 distinction at the very top, that the commander and the Chief of Staff are
6 the same at the top; whereas, in all the inferior army organisations, they
7 are two different people. Is that the evidence you're giving?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: Let me follow-up on that, if I may, Your Honour.
11 Q. During wartime, what body was the supreme body as far as
12 commanding the army? Was it still the Supreme Defence Council?
13 A. The Supreme Defence Council passes decisions, and the president of
14 Yugoslavia, in the previous jargon that we used where there was the JNA in
15 place, was the supreme commander. And in keeping with the decisions
16 passed by the Supreme Defence Council, he passes those decisions to the
17 Chief of General Staff, which in his turn passes down decisions on to the
18 armed forces. This is my interpretation.
19 However, in the Milosevic case, I also provided certain
20 explanations and interpretations, but I believe that this should be done
21 by somebody who is better versed in legal matters, who is familiar with
22 the constitution, regulations, and laws. I know this only in principle,
23 and what I can tell you is that the Supreme Defence Council passed
24 decisions and the president of Yugoslavia, on behalf of the Supreme
25 Defence Council, commands the army. And below him, there is a command
1 structure headed by the Chief of Staff. In other words, the supreme
2 commander, in that particular case President Milosevic, was not directly
3 commanding over the corps, but he did that through the Chief of the
4 General Staff.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, just one point arising from that.
6 Please look at paragraph 7 of your statement. In that paragraph, you say
7 that during a state of war overall command lay with the Supreme Command;
8 whereas, in peacetime it lay with a body with a different name, the
9 Supreme Defence Council. Now, you seem to have contradicted that in what
10 you've just said.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, I don't see any
12 contradiction here. The Supreme Defence Council commands the armed forces
13 in peacetime. In a state of war, however -- in a certain way, this is
14 also the Supreme Command, and the supreme commander is the president of
15 Yugoslavia. However, I believe that that part, at least I am not familiar
16 with that part. I was not familiar with the constitution. And when I was
17 reinstated, I didn't read the constitution. But I know that there were
18 objections about Milosevic called the supreme commander, since there was
19 no such position or function on paper. It only existed in the former
21 I believe that legal experts will be better suited to explain
22 that. I'm talking about the principle of the matter. The Supreme Defence
23 Council was in command of the army in peacetime, and in a state of war it
24 passed decisions; and in keeping with those decisions, the president of
25 the republic had the overall command of the army, which means that the
1 function of the Supreme Defence Council did not cease to exist if there
2 was a state of war.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, it sounds as though we don't have the
4 right witness to deal with this, and I'm for the second time in this
5 evidence now confused by the questions that are being asked to supplement
6 the written evidence.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, may I follow-up on that.
8 Q. General Vasiljevic, during a time of war, did the General Staff of
9 the army assume a different name? Was it still called the General Staff?
10 A. It was the staff of the Supreme Command.
11 Q. So I infer from that that there was some Supreme Command under
12 which that staff was working. Do you know who the individuals were that
13 made up the Supreme Command? I'm not talking about on paper; I'm talking
14 about in real life.
15 A. I'm only aware of the supreme commander, that was Milosevic. I
16 don't know about the make-up of the Supreme Command. I don't know who the
17 people were.
18 Q. But you continued to use - in April of 1999 when you were
19 reinstated - the term supreme commander was still used to refer to the
20 individual who was giving direction to the army Supreme Command Staff?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the Chief of Staff or the head of the Supreme Command Staff
23 was General Ojdanic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, let me return to this document that we were
1 looking at minutes of the 8th Session of the Supreme Defence Council. On
2 page 10 in the B/C/S, there is a reference to assignment to new duties in
3 the Yugoslav army. Do you see that on page 10?
4 A. I can't see the designation of the page, but I believe that I have
5 the right page in front of me. It starts with the name, Ignjatovic,
6 Dr. Aleksandar.
7 Q. Yes, and down below that do you see the heading: "Regulating the
8 service status of generals, assignment to new duties in the Yugoslav
10 A. Yes, I have that before we.
11 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the next page in both the English
12 and B/C/S.
13 Q. When you were reinstated in April of 1999, do you know who the
14 commander of the 3rd Army Corps was or the 3rd Army, I'm sorry?
15 A. General Nebojsa Pavkovic.
16 Q. And commander of the Pristina Corps?
17 A. General Lazarevic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this document says that General Lazarevic was
19 the Chief of Staff of the Pristina Corps.
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes, and he's being moved to the position of the
21 commander of the 3rd Army of Pristina Corps, if you'll read on.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Now, in this meeting --
25 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to page 9 of the English and page 13
1 of the B/C/S.
2 Q. General, I want to point you to a paragraph where the president of
3 Montenegro, Mr. Djukanovic, is commenting on these proposed promotions and
4 appointments. And do you see in the B/C/S the heading where his name is
5 in bold?
6 A. Yes, I can see that.
7 Q. And in the third paragraph under there, could you read that to us
8 so that I can be sure that the English translation is correct? Can you
9 read that third paragraph?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you read it out loud for us, please.
12 A. "As far as the specific proposals are concerned, President
13 Djukanovic did not wish to make any special comments. The more so that he
14 only knew a few people personally. However, he did draw attention to the
15 conflicting information coming from Kosovo in recent months regarding the
16 engagement of the Pristina Corps. Information coming from Montenegro was
17 often such that it indicated that the actions of the Pristina Corps were
18 not always in accordance with the constitutional decision of the army and
19 the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council.
20 "If that is true, then the justification of the promotion of
21 General Pavkovic, until now commander of the Pristina Corps, should be
22 reconsidered, regardless of the fact that he does not doubt the evaluation
23 that General Pavkovic has so far," and I don't see the rest of the
24 sentence. That's the end of the sentence, and I believe that it goes on
25 to say that he provided about Pavkovic's personality.
1 "President Djukanovic pointed out that he would do everything in
2 his power to have the Yugoslav Army follow the constitution of Yugoslavia
4 Q. Thank you. Now, the next paragraph, and I think we --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: What's your question, Mr. Hannis?
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I mean --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I could have read that for you.
8 MR. HANNIS: For one thing, Your Honour, I wanted to make sure my
9 English translation was correct.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that but I thought it was a
11 preliminary to a question.
12 MR. HANNIS: Well, it is. I think I have to address Mr.
13 Milosevic's comment next to ask the question, because President Djukanovic
14 suggested that there is some information he received in Monte Negro that
15 the Pristina Corps had not been used properly.
16 Q. President Milosevic in the next paragraph responds and says there
17 had been no complaints about any illegal actions by the Pristina Corps,
18 either from abroad or from inside. I think in your earlier answer you
19 mentioned that General Perisic had complained about the use of the army in
20 Kosovo; correct?
21 A. I don't know what Mr. Djukanovic referred to, whether he had
22 objections to the way the Pristina Corps was used and engaged. General
23 Perisic did not have any objections about the engagement of the Pristina
24 Corps, but the conditions under which it -- the army could be engaged, and
25 the precondition was to proclaim a state of emergency.
1 I see this document for the first time, but I can say that there
2 were a lot of obstructions coming from Montenegro, from Mr. President
3 Djukanovic towards President Milosevic and everything that was going on in
4 Yugoslavia. I knew that at the time. And it is my feeling, if I may be
5 allowed to share that with you, that this is just a direct opposition to
6 Milosevic, rather than any principle matters dealing with the use of the
7 army in Kosovo. This was their personal thing, the personal conflict that
8 they had, that ended the way they did.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Now we have a real problem. That evidence is
10 helpful to the Defence, as I see it. The Defence object to this sort of
11 document being led through this witness. The witness wasn't involved in
12 this at all. What he says may actually be mere speculation for all we
14 We're really in territory, Mr. Hannis, that's not advancing the
15 trial. This document may well be very relevant introduced in the right
16 way or through the right person, but having a puppet in the witness box
17 read it out to us is not going to advance the trial.
18 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I regret that you're not seeing the
19 purpose that I'm trying to accomplish here. The witness testified earlier
20 that General Perisic was dismissed, and as I understood his testimony,
21 part of that had to do with his disagreements about Mr. Milosevic failing
22 to declare a state of emergency so the army can be used constitutionally.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 MR. HANNIS: Mr. Djukanovic says he has some reservations about
25 General Pavkovic being promoted; because as head of the Pristina Corps
1 during his reign in Montenegro, he has heard complaints about the Pristina
2 Corps actions not in accordance with the constitutional role of the army;
3 then Mr. Milosevic says there have been no complaints. This is in
4 December 25th, 1998.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not a fair reflection of what the document
6 says, Mr. Hannis. It says the army had been used -- let's go back -- we
7 need to go back to the previous page. These are not -- the word in
8 accordance with its constitutional role is not what I recollect Djukanovic
9 as having said.
10 MR. HANNIS: That's what it says in the English, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me see.
12 MR. HANNIS: Maybe it wasn't translated that way when he read it;
13 I thought it was.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes.
15 Now, what I find difficulty with, Mr. Hannis, is understanding how
16 reading this out assists us. We've heard what the witness has said about
17 the view of Perisic. What use is it to have this witness read this out to
18 us? Why should this not be presented as a document in some other way that
19 we can read in due course in accordance with -- and compare with the
20 evidence he can actually give?
21 He's actually given evidence that suggests that Djukanovic was not
22 being sincere here. He just had a personal grudge with Milosevic. So
23 he's not advanced your position. The document might, but he hasn't.
24 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, to comment on this, I think I need to do
25 it outside the presence of the witness.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay.
2 I'm sorry about this, Mr. Vasiljevic, but I must ask you to leave
3 the court briefly while we discuss a legal issue before resuming your
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Your Honour, I think you may have seen
8 already that this witness is protective of the army I think. I'm not
9 saying that he's not testifying truthfully, but I think it's hard for him
10 to take any position that he feels may reflect badly on the army. He
11 testified earlier that General Perisic had disagreements with
12 Mr. Milosevic and those were based in part on Perisic's --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on.
14 Mr. O'Sullivan.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, the -- Mr. Hannis requested that the
16 witness leave to discuss a legal issue. He's making comment here on what
17 he believes the testimony is -- has been. I fail to see why we're even
18 having this debate. There's no legal issue he's addressing.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he's explaining to me why he's approaching
20 this, and I think it will be adequate if you respond once he's completed
21 his submission, Mr. O'Sullivan.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 As I was saying, he had testified that General Perisic had
25 disagreements with Mr. Milosevic, based in part on Perisic's concern that
1 the army was being used in Kosovo in a way that was not consistent with
2 the constitution and that he wanted Milosevic to declare a state of
3 emergency so those troops could be used in something other than protecting
4 the border, as they were being used. That non-constitutional role is what
5 Mr. Djukanovic is complaining about, the same thing that General Perisic
6 complained about. But when it comes from Djukanovic, this witness says he
7 thinks he's prejudiced or biased.
8 I then wanted to make the point that General Milosevic on the 25th
9 of -- I mean Mr. Milosevic on the 25th of December, 1998, claims that
10 there had been no complaints about illegal actions by the Pristina Corps
11 when as early as July 1998 General Perisic, as we heard from Mr. Tanic and
12 from the document that was introduced when he testified, General Perisic
13 had written a letter to Mr. Milosevic complaining about that
14 non-constitutional use of the army and how a state of emergency needed to
15 be declared. Milosevic tells the Supreme Defence Council, "No, no, nobody
16 every complained."
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I've got all that, Mr. Hannis. What I don't
18 get is what is the take -- the relevance of the take of Mr. Vasiljevic on
19 this. He's here as a puppet at the moment to read this out for you, and
20 any comment he makes you'll say, "Well, that's because he's prejudiced in
21 favour of the army. I just want him to read it out and want you, the
22 Bench, to take a certain view of what he's read out." Now, that's not the
23 way to deal with this type of evidence.
24 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I guess I want to be sure the
25 Court was aware of these and I thought this was a good context to put it
1 in, because we have a document pointing out who these Supreme Defence
2 Council are and the matters they are dealing with.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Was this one of the documents that you at some
4 stage have asked us to accept as a free-standing document?
5 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And why was it rejected?
7 MR. HANNIS: I don't have the order in front of me. I don't --
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, tell me what it is that Vasiljevic can add to
10 the simple reading of the document by us alone.
11 MR. HANNIS: He can corroborate Mr. Tanic and General Perisic's
12 letter that was challenged when it was introduced as a document that
13 Perisic had complained about it before.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't need the -- you don't need the minutes
15 for that. You just need to ask the witness a question.
16 MR. HANNIS: I want the minutes also to show, Your Honour, that
17 Milosevic was lying about that to his own fellow members of the Supreme
18 Defence Council.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the extent of the use to which you
20 intend to put this document?
21 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. We want to put this document in
22 for -- to show who the members of the Supreme Defence Council were, the
23 matters that they dealt with. The last paragraph talks about how it is to
24 be apprised of all matters regarding the army. It has to do with the
25 chain of command and the authority over the army. And one other comment
1 in this document, the very next one after general -- after Mr. Milosevic,
2 is Mr. Milutinovic adding that some reports of lack of discipline and
3 unconstitutional actions by the Pristina Corps were usually inflated, not
4 false, but inflated.
5 This is part of our argument, Your Honour, that the members of the
6 joint criminal enterprise that we allege in this case were aware that the
7 kinds of actions that they had been taking as far back as the summer of
8 1998 were in violation of the constitution.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And what does Vasiljevic know about this?
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The inflation of complaints?
12 MR. HANNIS: Well, all -- as far as all I know is he knows General
13 Perisic has complained about it, so there were complaints. I'm satisfied
14 if the document is in evidence, Your Honours can read it. I can make my
15 argument about what it means at the close of the case. But there -- as I
16 understand it, there is a challenge to the authenticity of the document
17 and --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there's been no specific that -- well, there
19 may have been some specification of this one because it may not have a
20 signature. Is this one of the unsigned documents?
21 MR. HANNIS: It has a signature and a seal, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It does.
23 MR. HANNIS: It's the seal of the secretary of the council, not
24 Mr. Milosevic.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
1 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, you must see that this witness adds to
4 value to this particular document. What he does is give you evidence that
5 can be related to the document and its contents. So we do not consider
6 that he is the vehicle for the introduction of this or other similar
7 documents. The -- this and other documents in the case may well be
8 suitable for admission as free-standing documents in the circumstances
9 we've now reached or through another witness.
10 And they do appear to contain probative material, even as a simple
11 example the sederunt of the meeting itself. But the witness is not going
12 to add to that. So we ask you to re-consider your approach to this and
13 deal with it differently and concentrate with the witness on things he can
14 add value to from his own knowledge.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I will move on to another document. I
16 do intend to continue asking him some questions about documents, and I
17 hope that you will find that he does have helpful information as to those.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll deal with that document as you ask
19 questions of it, and in light of anything that's said by counsel.
20 MR. HANNIS: Fair enough, Your Honour, you used one term that I
21 wasn't familiar with and I don't think the court reporter was either. It
22 was a word to refer to the people in the meeting. Is it sederunt?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, that would be those sitting in the meeting. I
24 meant to refer to the participants in the meeting.
25 MR. HANNIS: Can you spell that for us, I'm not familiar with it.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a Latin term, s-e-d-e-r-u-n-t.
2 MR. HANNIS: Sorry. Shall we have the witness back in?
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Please.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, what we've been considering is
6 whether it's appropriate for you to be asked questions about a document
7 about which you appear to have no connection. It was because of that lack
8 of connection I referred to you in this context as a puppet, but purely in
9 that context.
10 And what we've decided is that your lack of connection with this
11 document means that it's not appropriate for the Prosecution to present
12 this evidence through you. So we'll move on now to something else. A
13 similar issue may arise, I warn you, but we'll deal with each issue as it
14 arises in the context of your evidence.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. And, General, I want to assure you the use of that term was no
18 reflection on you, rather a reflection on me. I want to talk about your
19 statement then at paragraph 7. We were still talking about the issue of
20 the Supreme Command. In your statement you say, "During a state of war
21 was the Supreme Command headed by Mr. Milosevic." And I know you're not
22 an expert on this, but was it your understanding that the Supreme Command
23 was made up of the same individuals who participated in the Supreme
24 Defence Council?
25 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, he's answered the question.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
2 MR. O'SULLIVAN: The witness has answered that question.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: By saying?
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: He said that he knew that there was only a
5 supreme -- he's not an expert. He doesn't know.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: His knowledge was there was a supreme commander,
8 Mr. Milosevic.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I think the witness has already disqualified
10 himself from being able to answer that question in any different way than
11 the answer he gave, Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I need to move on.
13 Q. And I ask you, sir, in paragraph 8 you said: "During a state of
14 war, members of the Supreme Command were dispersed to various locations in
15 or near Belgrade." That seems to suggest there were more than one members
16 of the Supreme Command. Who were you talking about there?
17 A. First of all, I mean the staff of the Supreme Command. They were
18 dispersed in different locations, and I spoke about that. The security
19 administration was outside its command post, too. May I be of assistance
20 now. In terms of my re-activation, it was President Milosevic who talked
21 to me about it. I didn't see that there was anyone else that I knew.
22 I knew Mr. Milutinovic. I knew Mr. Djukanovic. But absolutely
23 after this controversial meeting that was shown to me here, I think that
24 he no longer took part in meetings of the Supreme Defence Council. He
25 obstructed them. Mr. Milutinovic, I did not see him. Whether he was at
1 the locality where the Supreme Command Staff was, I don't know. And I'm
2 talking about the staff of the Supreme Command that was dispersed in
3 several different locations in Belgrade.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, the Supreme Command composition must be
5 a constitutional matter. Do you not have a simple --
6 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: -- extract from the constitution that answers that?
8 MR. HANNIS: Yes --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Because if you do, when we write the judgement,
10 we'll not be referring to the evidence of Mr. Vasiljevic, we'll not be
11 referring to the evidence of anyone else speculating about the composition
12 of the Supreme Command or the Supreme Defence Council, we'll be looking at
13 the law.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: And if the law has been deviated from, we'll be
16 looking at the facts that demonstrate that it wasn't operated the way it
17 was supposed to be operated. But to ask this witness what the theory was
18 is not advancing the case. That's what I read paragraph 7 to be.
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I didn't believe I was asking him a
20 question about the theory. I was asking him what members of the Supreme
21 Command Staff referred to or members of the Supreme Command. I take your
22 point, but it is our argument, Your Honour, that with regard to some
23 things what appeared in the law and on paper was not the reality on the
24 ground. And, in some cases, I'm trying to give you both versions; what is
25 in the law and what people on the ground saw and experienced.
1 Q. General Vasiljevic, which representative of the security services
2 attended daily Supreme Command Staff meetings? Who was that?
3 A. At the time when I came, and after that, I know what the situation
4 was. Most often these meetings that were held in the evening were
5 attended by Colonel Gajic, and in addition to him Colonel Radicanin and
6 another colonel. So usually it was three colonels from the security
7 administration who came to these meetings. Very seldom General Geza
8 Farkas would come, only every now and then.
9 Q. Did you ever attend any of those briefings?
10 A. I didn't.
11 Q. Now, you also say that there was one security duty officer at the
12 Supreme Command Staff command post. Who did that -- well, first of all,
13 let me ask you: Did you ever do that duty?
14 A. It wasn't a security duty officer. As for the security of the
15 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, there was a department of
16 security for the General Staff, and that department was partly deployed at
17 the command post where the staff of the Supreme Command was.
18 Q. Now, although you didn't personally attend any of the daily
19 Supreme Command Staff meetings, were you informed about the content of
20 these briefings?
21 A. Well, usually at morning meetings at the security administration,
22 we would briefly be given information from that evening briefing that
23 could pertain to security problems. So it was not regular practice that
24 what was discussed in the evening at the staff of the Supreme Command,
25 that on the next day we at the security administration would be informed
1 about that. It was dealt with on a case-by-case basis and
2 problem-by-problem basis.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. HANNIS: Could we show the witness Exhibit Number 2601.
5 Q. General, in your statement in paragraph 14, you make reference to
6 this chart as depicting the organisational structure of the major VJ units
7 associated with Kosovo in 1999. Can you see that on your screen now?
8 A. I can see it for the most part.
9 Q. Do we need to enlarge it?
10 A. If possible, please.
11 Q. And is that an accurate reflection of the structure and the chain
12 of command within the army down to the units in Kosovo in 1999?
13 A. Only part of the units are depicted here, of course, so this
14 diagram as it stands is correct for the most part.
15 Q. When you say "only part of the units," are you referring to the
16 subordinate units under the command of the Pristina Corps that are not
17 fully reflected?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. But as for the chain at the Pristina Corps level and above, is it
20 complete and accurate?
21 A. Yes. Yes, it goes towards the command of the 3rd Army.
22 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 15, you discuss the chain of command and
23 how orders would be created and sent down the line. And in paragraphs 16
24 to 18 related to that, you talk about the flow of information and
25 reporting. What kinds of reports would subordinate units in the field,
1 like the brigades under the Pristina Corps, what kind of reports would
2 they make in April of 1999 during the combat in Kosovo?
3 A. What I'm saying now is based on the practice that I'm aware of in
4 the army in general, not only in the Pristina Corps but also throughout
5 the chain of command. And I assume that, therefore, this mechanism
6 existed in the Pristina Corps, too. So brigades, specifically in response
7 to this question, brigades submit daily combat reports to the corps
8 command. These are regular reports.
9 Q. And based on your long experience in the JNA and the VJ, did those
10 reports have a specific format that was to be followed in creating a daily
11 combat report?
12 A. Well, there were questions that had to be included in that combat
13 report. The content was prescribed in terms of what would be entered into
14 the report.
15 Q. Can you recall some of those specific topics?
16 A. On the whole, it pertained to knowledge about enemy activities,
17 then the results of engaging our own forces, then problems within units,
18 problems in the territory, and then there are proposals, conclusions about
19 activities concerning the following day. So generally speaking, that is
20 regular combat reports, but also there would be additional reports about
21 extraordinary events that would take place. They could be submitted a bit
22 later, too.
23 Q. Can you give us an example of an extraordinary event that would
24 result in a separate report being created and sent up the line.
25 A. Well, extraordinary events are events that are not regular in
1 terms of the way activities evolve. For example, an extraordinary event
2 could be, say, that a crime had been committed that was learned of
3 subsequently or if an event would happen in the territory that would
4 affect combat activities and the morale of the said unit.
5 So something from the previous period could also be written about
6 if it would merit attention, that particular event. And, also, a special
7 report could have been sought. The superior command could have been asked
8 for a special report on a special problem. So it would not be dealt with
9 in the regular report but in a separate report.
10 Q. But the fact that it was reported in a separate report would not
11 exclude it from being also included in a regular combat report. Is that
12 right? For example, if there had been an incident between members of the
13 army and civilians in which civilians were injured or killed, that would
14 be the subject of an extraordinary report, but it would -- would it also
15 go in a regular daily combat report?
16 A. Well, it should and usually it would be under a particular item
17 that was called "other events," and then that would include descriptions
18 of things that were not regular events, if I can call them that. So under
19 these other events, such events could be described.
20 Q. Who was responsible for writing--
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Who was responsible for writing and sending these reports up the
24 chain of command?
25 A. These reports are sent by the commander and they bear his
1 signature, and the report is prepared by his staff. When the commander is
2 absent, then the person who stands in for him, who he decides will stand
3 in for him. In most cases, it is the Chief of Staff.
4 Q. Now, did all of these individual reports go all the way up the
5 chain of command or did they only go to the next level? How did that
6 work? For example, on the chart we have a subordinate brigade to the
7 Pristina Corps. A report from that brigade goes to Pristina Corps. What
8 happens next?
9 A. That means that the system of reporting goes all the way up to the
10 staff of the Supreme Command, and then the staff of the Supreme Command
11 also writes its daily operations report, as it is called. So it goes all
12 the way up the vertical chain. Events that are included in reports at
13 higher levels are appropriately selected, of course.
14 So a report that was submitted by a brigade would not go all the
15 way up to the staff of the supreme defence -- the Supreme Command. They
16 would not copy out the entire report of that brigade. So the relevant
17 data have to be selected all the way up.
18 Q. So someone at the Pristina Corps then would take all of those
19 daily reports from the subordinate brigades and condense that information
20 into a single report, which was sent up to the 3rd Army?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then the 3rd Army, I take it, would take reports from its
23 subordinates, likewise condense it into a single report, and send it up to
24 the -- during the time of war, up to the Supreme Command Staff?
25 A. Yes, the staff.
1 Q. Now, you mentioned I think in your testimony earlier that each
2 unit, for example, each battalion would have assigned to it a security
3 officer. Did security officers also generate their own reports, separate
4 and apart from the one prepared by the commander of the brigade, the daily
5 combat report? Did they have a separate reporting system?
6 A. They have their own reporting system; however, when lower levels
7 of command are concerned, for example, in a battalion or a brigade, then
8 the security officer takes some of his knowledge that is of interest to
9 the combat-readiness of the unit that he is in. That would be attached to
10 the daily combat report. That is one thing.
11 As for the vertical chain, at lower levels of command, they were
12 not duty-bound to write regular, daily operations reports; that is to say
13 that down the vertical of the security organs, they sent their reports,
14 depending on the volume of information they would obtain. However, the
15 command of the armies and their security people were duty-bound to submit
16 reports on a daily basis.
17 And they would receive information from all subordinated security
18 organs within the army, depending on who had what kind of information;
19 and then at the level of the army of the security department of the army,
20 they would select, filter these -- this information that was gathered, and
21 then it would go to the security administration as such.
22 At its own level, the security administration worked on its daily
23 reports, including the reports of military police units that were down the
24 professional line subordinated to the security administration. So that
25 report to the security administration would be provided to the staff of
1 the Supreme Command.
2 However, what the Presiding Judge said a few moments ago, that
3 then it was even more unclear to him as to what it was that the security
4 organ reported on. These daily reports of the security organs that went
5 to the operations centre of the supreme commander or the staff of the
6 Supreme Command, they included general events relevant to security. It's
7 quite hard for me to explain what kind of events these are.
8 But as far as counter-intelligence is concerned, only the Chief of
9 Staff of the Supreme Command would receive that kind of information, or
10 rather the Chief of General Staff, who according to the law is in charge
11 of the counter-intelligence part of the work of the organs. So the
12 security administration worked on these reports and sometimes on specific
13 daily reports, for example, with regard to foreign agents or the like.
14 Q. Okay. Let me follow-up on that, but first I have to go back for a
15 moment to the, for example, the daily combat reports from the units
16 that went up the line. And you said once it got to the 3rd Army, it would
17 prepare a report, summarising and condensing the reports it had from its
18 subordinates that went to the staff of the Supreme Command.
19 From there, were there any reports prepared by the Supreme Command
20 Staff that went further up the line to the supreme commander?
21 A. The staff of the Supreme Command wrote daily operative reports
22 that were submitted to some organs within the General Staff. So, this
23 daily operations report from the Supreme Command Staff also came to the
24 security administration, and then we would see in the briefest possible
25 terms what had happened, say, in the 3rd Army, the 2nd Army, the 1st
1 Army. And in all other directly subordinated units, the units
2 subordinated to the staff of the Supreme Command, as far as I know, such a
3 report would also go to President Milosevic as the supreme commander.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, is this an appropriate time for the
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, thank you, Mr. Hannis.
7 We have to break again, Mr. Vasiljevic, this time for half an
8 hour. We'll be resuming at 10 minutes to 1.00. If you could meanwhile
9 please go with the usher.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. General, before I move on to another topic, I wanted to ask you a
17 couple more questions about the security organs attached to the units in
18 the field and up the chain of command. You've explained to us about the
19 counter-intelligence aspect of security work, and I understand that to
20 involve trying to deal with foreign intelligence services and their
21 activities and the enemies of the VJ. But the security side of the house,
22 the non-counter-intelligence part, what kinds of things was it involved in
23 investigating? Can you give us some examples.
24 A. Again, are we talking about the counter-intelligence sector or the
25 prevention sector? Do you want a specific example of what was
2 Q. That would help me.
3 A. I can talk about espionage.
4 Q. No, I don't want to know about espionage. What kinds of threats
5 to the army did the security service investigate other than from foreign
6 agents, from outside the army? Did it also investigate internal threats?
7 A. The security service has its methodology that it uses. One part
8 of it were sources, people who exist in units, on the territory, in
9 various points where the enemy activity might be expected. Every
10 information that the security officer obtains working with his sources -
11 and that is not directly linked with the espionage activities, a terrorist
12 organisation, but still might have an impact on the overall
13 combat-readiness and the morale of the troops - is what they will report
14 to their commanders about.
15 For example, if you know what the obligations were with regard to
16 the crimes and other negative things that took place in Kosovo, if the
17 security officer obtained such information, he would report on those to
18 his commander. If serious -- more serious things were involved, then they
19 would be duty-bound to report to the superior security organ; in other
20 words, he had to report both to the commander of his unit and his superior
21 commander along the lines of security.
22 Q. Let me take an example of a brigade in Kosovo. What was the
23 typical rank held by a commander of a brigade?
24 A. Either a colonel or a lieutenant-colonel waiting to be promoted
25 into the rank of colonel.
1 Q. And the security officer assigned to a brigade, what -- typically
2 what rank would he hold?
3 A. Most commonly major or captain first class.
4 Q. And, for example, in a case where the major or the captain, the
5 security officer, in a brigade had information that the commander, the
6 colonel or the lieutenant-colonel, may have been involved in something
7 that involved a crime, killing of civilians, or his men or looting and he
8 wasn't doing anything about it, would the major, the security officer --
9 how would he handle that? It wouldn't make any sense for him to report it
10 to the commander if he thought the commander were involved. So what would
11 he do?
12 A. He would send the information to the security organ in the corps
13 and that would be his superior along the professional line; and then the
14 security organ in the corps would inform the corps commander about that,
15 and then measures would be passed down along the command line to effect
16 the perpetrator.
17 Q. Would the commander of the corps who received that information,
18 what was his responsibility in terms of dealing with the suspected brigade
19 commander? Was he to inform him of the allegations or was he to report it
20 up the line to the army or both?
21 A. It all depends on the case. As a matter of principle, the corps
22 commander could require from the security organ to collect additional
23 information about the whole case, the operations information. However, if
24 there is enough of such information, then the corps commander can call the
25 commander of the brigade and ask him to report to him or he can set up a
1 commission that will deal with that breach of discipline.
2 If the alleged breach has -- is of the criminal nature, then he
3 would have to inform the judiciary bodies that would in their turn
4 instigate a full investigation.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, I want to move on to paragraph 18 of your
6 statement. You indicate in addition to these reports that worked their
7 way up to the Supreme Command Staff and General Ojdanic, that General
8 Ojdanic sometimes -- or he or his superiors -- subordinates would
9 sometimes send professional teams to the field. What kind of teams were
10 sent out to the field and for what purposes?
11 A. It was to control or extend assistance to the subordinated
12 commands. Control groups were sent along various lines. For example, a
13 control could be sent to check the morale of the troops. We also sent
14 controls to check the security situation and to extend assistance to the
15 security organs in the lower-ranking units.
16 I went on such a control inspection with General Gajic. Such
17 groups were sent across the sectors, and there were such controls that
18 were sent by General Ojdanic on several occasions every time to deal with
19 different issues. In -- it was mostly to do with the activities of the
20 army, like command structure signals or looking at the overall structure
21 of the army and how it functioned.
22 Q. Thank you, General.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, may we go into private session for one
24 minute. I want to go into paragraph 20 of his statement where there is a
25 portion that he's asked to address in private session.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That's to ensure that anyone identified is not
2 publicly identified. Is that --
3 MR. HANNIS: Correct, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall do that.
5 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
20 Q. General, we're back in open session now. In paragraph 19 of your
21 statement, you mention that "the chain of command was often circumvented
22 by General Pavkovic going directly to Milosevic without the knowledge or
23 authorisation of General Ojdanic."
24 Can you give us some examples of that.
25 A. An example of that took place in mid-June when I arrived at the
1 White Palace to see Milosevic with General Ojdanic. We were there early,
2 a few minutes before the beginning of the meeting; and while we were
3 waiting in the car, we saw General Pavkovic leaving the White Palace. He
4 had obviously met up with President Milosevic, and then General Ojdanic
5 told me, "See him, see him. He is seeing Milosevic again and he never
6 reported to me before that." I know that he is here very often and that
7 he tells a lot more to Sainovic than he tells me. This is the concrete
8 conversation and the concrete event that transpired that day.
9 I knew from 1998 that General Pavkovic spent some time in
10 Belgrade. On several occasions, and according to him, he had been in
11 touch with President Milosevic and Mr. Sainovic. When we arrived at
12 Milosevic's office to discuss the existing problem, General Ojdanic said
13 to Milosevic -- actually, he asked him not to call his subordinates
14 without his knowledge. Milosevic said, "Well, you know, he was here not
15 in an official capacity. He just dropped by." In other words, Ojdanic
16 did draw Milosevic's attention to that, and when we returned he told me
17 that Pavkovic had had several contacts with Milosevic and that neither
18 Milosevic nor Pavkovic ever bothered to tell him about this.
19 Q. Was this the first time that General Ojdanic had mentioned this
20 problem to you?
21 A. That was the first time. Before that I had never had an
22 opportunity to discuss unofficial matters with General Ojdanic.
23 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 21 --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving on, Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the part at the beginning of that paragraph, 20,
2 of no significance in fact? It's just there, or is there some
3 significance in that meeting that led to the witness being invited to the
4 White Palace?
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we've heard testimony from another
6 witness relating to the named individual and --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So there is some significance in this? It's not
8 just there as an explanation for him being at the White Palace?
9 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, in paragraph 21 of your statement, General, you mention that
13 when Pavkovic was commander of the Pristina Corps in 1998, he dealt
14 directly with Milosevic, bypassing two levels in the chain of command.
15 How did you know about this? This was before your activation in April
16 1999. What's your source of information about that?
17 A. The source of my information are two retired highly ranking
18 officers of the JNA with whom I had frequent contacts. We socialised, and
19 they in their turn were in contact with Colonel Pavkovic. And when I
20 spoke to these two friends of mine, they would tell me that Pavkovic was
21 there, that he had spoken with Milosevic and Sainovic about the use of
22 army in Kosovo. So this is my indirect knowledge based on what they told
23 me, and not only them but also some other colleagues of mine.
24 And on one occasion - and I believe it was in autumn 1998 - I met
25 up with Mr. Pavkovic who was together with those two retired officers.
1 Q. Did you have any conversation with him at that time?
2 A. Yes, but the topic of this conversation was not his visits to
3 Milosevic. He was interested in what I knew about some officers who were
4 supposed to be appointed to high positions in the security administration.
5 A colleague of mine and I who were there provided him with the information
6 about these two officers and gave him our evaluation. I don't want to
7 mention their names.
8 But he would often say that he was with Sainovic and Milosevic,
9 and on that occasion he did mention, just in passing, that he had been in
10 contact with them. However, whether he reported to his superior officers
11 that he had been in contact with those two in 1998, I don't know. But I
12 know that he did come there frequently and that he was in touch with them.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: One thing in that answer. You said, Mr.
15 Vasiljevic, that a colleague of yours and you provided him the information
16 about two officers; and then you said: "But he would often say that he
17 was with Sainovic and Milosevic." Now, you only met him -- you only had
18 this discussion on one occasion with Pavkovic. Is that correct? Is that
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I was with Pavkovic only once,
21 but I had several contacts with the two retired officers who --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, are you --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- had told me that they had been
24 with Pavkovic, that Pavkovic had visited Milosevic, Sainovic, and so on
25 and so forth.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That clarifies that. Are you going to tell us who
2 these two officers were or is there some reason why we're not going into
3 that, Mr. Hannis?
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. General, are those names that you are willing to mention in
6 private session?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. HANNIS: Could we go into private session, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
10 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And indeed why that basic fact wasn't brought out
24 because it makes a difference to the status of the evidence.
25 MR. HANNIS: I didn't know the status of those two gentlemen, Your
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
3 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. We're back in open session.
4 Q. General --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's clarify this. Is there a good reason why
6 that evidence should have been given in private session, bearing in mind
7 what you've just said about what's happened to these two persons?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I am on very good terms with
9 their families, and it is not a good thing to mention them in public. I'm
10 still in contact with their respective families.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that wouldn't be an adequate reason for it
12 being done in private that it's just not a good thing. What are you
13 saying would be the implications for them of having it mentioned in
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether they would
16 agree with me mentioning their names in public.
17 MR. HANNIS: May I ask a question of the general in that regard,
18 Your Honour?
19 Q. General, do you have some concerns that there would be some sort
20 of repercussions against the family members if those names had been
22 A. No, no.
23 MR. HANNIS: I have no other questions, Your Honour, on that
25 Q. General, paragraph 20 --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. My silence was because I was in thought,
2 Mr. Hannis.
3 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Would anyone from the Defence care to assist us on
5 this one? Is there anyone particularly concerned that this evidence
6 should be in public -- in the public domain? Mr. Fila.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I support the general's positions
8 because you have to know the situation in our country, and I don't think
9 that it would be pleasant for the deceased persons to be mentioned in open
10 and the families would not take it lightly, and that is our problem and
11 that's why I would like to support Mr. Vasiljevic's position not to
12 mention the names of these people in public. You have to be aware of the
13 customs in our country.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in the exceptional circumstances and on
16 compassionate grounds and bearing in mind what's been said by Mr. Fila
17 without any contradiction from any other source, we will in this one
18 instance retain the private session status of that passage of the
20 Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. General, still in paragraph 21 of your statement, you also say
23 that General Pavkovic may have earned Milosevic's favour in 1998 when he,
24 Pavkovic, was willing to use the VJ in Kosovo, in contrast to General
25 Perisic who was reluctant and who wanted a state of emergency declared
1 first. How did you know -- what was your source of information that
2 Pavkovic was willing to use the VJ in Kosovo in a way that Perisic was
4 A. Well, these are generally known things over there in our part of
5 the world. The pensioning of General Perisic is something that he
6 publicly spoke about in the press, the interview that I referred to
7 earlier on. The fact that Pavkovic enjoyed President Milosevic's support
8 remains. According to the knowledge that I know, even his promotion to a
9 higher rank did not go through usual procedure. He just told those who
10 were present that he had been promoted to a higher rank and that they can
11 congratulate him.
12 Am I supposed to mention names now in open session? I can, but I
13 must say that I came to into this entire situation as an individual who
14 was speaking about all of this, and I was threatened earlier on about --
15 because of things I said. And I can say exactly who it was who told me
16 about this.
17 Secondly, in an indirect way, he was related to the Milosevic
18 family through his wife, who had family ties to Mira Markovic. So in
19 terms of that relationship, the general belief was - and those were the
20 stories that were bandied about - that it is on that account, on account
21 of that relationship, that he enjoyed the great confidence of the
23 Q. Thank you. That was the next question I was going to ask you. I
24 don't intend to ask you the names that --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's a matter for you, Mr. Hannis, in this
1 instance. What concerns me more is that this is all very well in
2 isolation as an example perhaps of an allegation of favouritism.
3 But on the ground in Kosovo, can you give us an example of what
4 the army did that Perisic, for example, would not have tolerated?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perisic did not accept using the
6 army without declaring a state of emergency. He was not opposed to using
7 the army in Kosovo, but --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. Give me an example of what the
9 army actually did that they shouldn't have done and that he wouldn't have
10 allowed them to do.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know of an example where Mr.
12 Pavkovic ordered something that he had not been allowed to order. So I
13 cannot go into that and I cannot go into assumptions as to what Perisic
14 would have done. I just know that the line of discord was between
15 Milosevic and Perisic, and in that situation Pavkovic came to the surface
16 and that was refusal to use the army in Kosovo without declaring a state
17 of emergency. I cannot go into assumptions now as to what he would have
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vasiljevic, the army were entitled to be in
20 Kosovo, as the army are entitled to be on the land of any part of the
21 world to which they belong. What I'm interested in is what was it that
22 they did. Leaving aside for the moment who ordered it, what was it the
23 army did in Kosovo that they ought not to have done without a state of
24 emergency being declared, which we can then assume Perisic would not have
25 allowed to happen? Give me an example of something they actually did that
1 they could only do if a state of emergency had been declared.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, we haven't understood each
3 other. What he is not allowed to do if a state of emergency is not
4 declared, do I understand you properly? He cannot take the troops out of
5 barracks. He cannot use armoured brigades that would support MUP forces
6 in fighting the terrorist groups in Kosovo if a state of emergency had not
7 been declared, according to which the army can be used for carrying out
8 such tasks.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you know of examples where these things
10 happened, where the armoured brigades were used in support of MUP forces
11 and troops were taken out of barracks when they should not have been?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned about that later. I
13 cannot say specifically now what the time was when this happened; but at
14 any rate when I was re-activated, then I did have knowledge that these
15 units were operating down there and being used down there.
16 I also had knowledge from -- from when I went to the security
17 administration in 1998 and the reaction of General Dimitrijevic to the
18 fact that the army was being taken out of the barracks and the MUP was
19 being supported, although the state of emergency had not been declared.
20 Now I've used his name, that I heard about that from him, and there were
21 these reactions with regard to this problem.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Presumably, the reference you made to the period
23 when you had been re-activated was during a state of war, and therefore
24 the circumstances had changed by then?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said just now I'll have to
1 speak slowly. I think that in the second half of 1998, and there was no
2 war on then --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood that --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- in the security administration --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: But you said that: "When I was re-activated, then
6 I did have knowledge that these units were operating down there and being
7 used down there."
8 Were you, in saying that, referring back to 1998?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. When I was re-activated in
10 1999 and when I went to Kosovo, and when I was briefed by the security
11 organs, then I learned even more details than I had from when I went to
12 see people in the security administration in 1998. So when I came there
13 to Kosovo, I was only told about this in greater detail.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, to follow up on that point, could we
17 show the witness Exhibit P1427, please.
18 Q. General, do you have that on the screen in front of you now?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: Actually, if I may, Your Honour, to save time, if I
21 could have the usher hand him a hard copy of this document. It may save
22 some time in turning pages.
23 Q. This is from the Pristina Corps command. It appears to be signed
24 by General Pavkovic and sealed from the 10th of August, 1998, entitled, A
25 Decision on Joint Engagement of the MUP and VJ Forces. Could you look at
1 item number 2.5 under the task for units and tell us if that's an example
2 of what you were telling the Judges about before, about armoured units in
3 support of MUP.
4 A. I could not say that this is an example of engaging armoured units
5 in this particular paragraph, because BG15-3, that is not an armoured
6 group. To the best of my knowledge 2/1 is an armoured, that is BG-52 is
7 that one -- no, sorry, 252 is an armoured brigade; however, this one is
8 not an armoured brigade and 15/3 is the 15th Brigade from Pristina as far
9 as we know.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The same thing. The general is looking
12 at a document that he's never seen, and now he's being asked to --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand the point you're going to make
14 but there is a difference here.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: What's happening is that the witness has described
17 the circumstances which are necessary for -- or the effect of a
18 declaration of a state of emergency, and what Mr. Hannis is trying to do
19 is identify in this document through him something that might require the
20 declaration of a state of emergency. Now, he's entitled to ask the
21 witness something that happened even when he wasn't in the army satisfies
22 what he describes as necessary. And that's all that's happening, and
23 therefore I don't think you can object to this particular question.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's not what I objected to. I'm
25 objecting to the detailed analysis as to the units that had been used. At
1 the beginning of his answer, he said that this was not a good example.
2 He's already said that, and now he is being asked to go into all this
3 detail. This is part of the objection. As for the first bit, I agree
4 with you on that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]... Mr. Fila.
7 Now, Mr. Hannis, can you ask another question to focus this issue,
8 because the one you did ask has been answered.
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, I need to follow up on that.
10 Q. General, will you look at the end of the document under General
11 Pavkovic's signature to the distribution list, and my English translation
12 refers to the 15th OKBR, which is translated here as armoured brigade.
13 Does that refresh your recollection about the nature of the 15th?
14 A. This does not refresh my recollection. That is the 15th Armoured
15 Brigade. BG15-3, I can only assume that it referred to a combat group
16 from the 15th Armoured Brigade. Now, whether tanks had actually been used
17 or not is something I don't know. An armoured brigade does not only have
18 tanks, but it also has mechanised APCs and other equipment. You asked
19 whether tanks had been used and I cannot say either yes or no.
20 Q. General, would you look at item 5.1 under technical support, and
21 it lists the following quantity of ammunition and the third item is:
22 "Ammunition for tanks." Would not that suggest that indeed tanks had
23 been intended to be used in this operation?
24 A. Yes, then this paragraph confirms that and proves that tanks were
25 used. But the other paragraph that you referred me to, 2.5, is something
1 that did not make it obvious.
2 Q. I understand. And at paragraph 2.5 indicates that the battle
3 group from the 15th Armoured Brigade is to attack along with the 7th MUP
4 detachment; correct?
5 A. No, it doesn't say 15th Brigade. It says combat group of the 15th
6 Brigade-3. So that is only part of the 15th Brigade. How big a part of
7 the brigade, I don't know.
8 Q. You're right, I misspoke. I should have said "battle group."
9 Okay. Now, let me go back and pick up where we were. We just
10 finished talking about General Pavkovic. I want to move now to paragraph
11 25 through 27 of your statement where you're talking about volunteers and
12 the VJ. Did you ever hear of a group called the Phantoms in connection
13 with the VJ?
14 A. I did not hear of any Phantoms. I do not recollect any such
16 Q. In paragraph 26, you mention that there were specific orders on
17 who can be a volunteer and how. It's correct, isn't it, that there were
18 restrictions on volunteer units, that volunteers could only come into the
19 army as individuals, rather than a whole unit coming in as a volunteer
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That had not been the situation in 1991 and 1992, had it?
23 A. In 1992 and 1991, the situation was quite different; it wasn't
24 like that.
25 Q. And is it because - at least in part - because of some of the
1 problems with crimes committed by volunteer units in the conflicts in
2 Croatia and Bosnia that the rules changed for volunteers coming into the
4 A. The only thing I know from the period when I was re-activated and
5 when I was expressing particular interest in possible problems with
6 volunteers is that I saw that organisationally and in terms of regulations
7 that question had been resolved well. Two collection centres were set up
8 as far as the Army of Yugoslavia was concerned for taking in volunteers.
9 One centre was in Grocka near Belgrade and the other one was in
10 Medja near Nis. And the volunteers went through check-ups, security
11 clearance; and according to the information I had, about 50 percent of the
12 volunteers who had applied did not meet these criteria and were not
13 admitted into the Army of Yugoslavia.
14 After this selection process in the centre for taking in
15 volunteers, their training was organised and then they were sent on to
16 units. In units, there were already orders by the staff of the Supreme
17 Command in terms of how they should be taken in, and it was strictly
18 forbidden for them to be taken in as groups, rather, they could only be
19 admitted individually based on the specialty each one of them had.
20 Q. But you were aware that there indeed had been problems with
21 volunteers and paramilitaries in Croatia and Bosnia in 1991 through 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Next I want to go to paragraph 28 where you talk about
24 the MUP and its -- and its organisation.
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there is a brief section that the
1 witness had wished to address in private session. I wonder if we could do
2 that now.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Again to do with identity, is it?
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, and I think he does have a legitimate concern
5 about the name in question this time.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
7 [Private session]
11 Page 8685 redacted. Private session
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Your Honour, I'm actually about to move on to a new area. I
13 wonder if this might be an appropriate occasion to break for the day. I
14 know it's a couple minutes early.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right, Mr. Hannis.
16 Mr. Vasiljevic, that brings our session for today to an end. We
17 will resume tomorrow at 9.00, when you should be here to continue your
18 evidence. It's important that overnight, that's tonight and any other
19 overnight or over the weekend that you're still with us, that you don't
20 discuss any part of your evidence with any person at all; and by that I
21 mean by either the evidence you've already given or the evidence you're
22 about to give in the case.
23 You can talk about anything else with anybody you like, but you
24 mustn't talk with anyone at all, official or unofficial or anyone, about
25 the evidence itself. So please leave the courtroom now with the usher and
1 we will see you again tomorrow at 9.00.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: 9.00 tomorrow.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of
7 January, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.