1 Tuesday, 18 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Kosovac.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Your examination by Mr. Visnjic will continue in a
9 moment; when it does, please bear in mind that the solemn declaration you
10 made at the beginning of your evidence to speak the truth will continue to
11 apply to that evidence today.
12 Mr. Visnjic.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: SLOBODAN KOSOVAC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Visnjic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] General, we'll continue looking at documents, and
18 I want to elicit some comments from you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show the witness
21 Your Honours, I don't -- Ah, I do.
22 Q. General, the date is the 28th of April, 1999, isn't it, the
23 Supreme Command Staff. This is about the involvement of students from
24 military schools in war units, it's an explanation. Do you see the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you briefly comment on this. It's related to the evidence you
3 gave yesterday.
4 A. Certainly. The VJ in April or in late April was at the apex of
5 its activity facing a very complex situation. It was looking for people
6 to draft in order to be able to carry out its task of defending the
7 country successfully. Among many proposals that cropped up, there was the
8 proposal to draft students of military schools and use them in VJ units.
9 It was the training administration that was in charge of implementing
10 this, and we ourselves, the recruitment, mobilisation, and mobilisation
11 administration or the third administration as we were called presented our
12 own position. We said there was enough military conscripts as it was and
13 it wasn't necessary to draft these students. We said they should continue
14 to be trained and educated and drafted at a later stage when necessary.
15 As you can see, the Chief of the General Staff accepted these positions
16 that we presented and adopted this position.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown the
19 following document, 3D481.
20 Q. General, you see that document, right, this is the Supreme Command
21 Staff command for the 14th of April, 1999. This is about volunteers,
22 about taking in volunteers, admitting volunteers, if you like. We've
23 spoken about this already. Just a brief comment, please, if you like.
24 A. As I said yesterday, this is one in a series of documents aimed at
25 regulating the intake and admission of volunteers into the ranks of the
1 army. I think this is one of the last documents in the series. This is a
2 continuation of an order, I think, an order dated the 7th of April. So if
3 we could please turn to the next page.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown what
5 is in actual fact the last page of this document, which I believe is page
6 4 in B/C/S.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. This document shows you
8 the whole system. The admission of volunteers was raised to a new, higher
9 level, new assignments were given, and new men were drafted. The system
10 was enhanced. There's an explanation that goes with this. We later got
11 volunteers involved in the different branches up to 40 years of age. What
12 does it mean when I say the different arms of service or branches, I mean
13 those arms of service that were under the greatest strength and bore the
14 greatest brunt.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, you said something about subordination and
17 resubordination yesterday. What I want to do is show you three documents
18 in relation to this topic and perhaps you can shed some light on those.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show the witness
20 3D760. 3D760 -- 670, 670.
21 Q. General, you see this document, this is an order of the president,
22 Slobodan Milosevic, dated the 18th of April, 1992 -- 1999.
23 A. Yes, I see that.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And now on to P1460.
25 Q. The date is the 18th of April, 1999, by the Supreme Command Staff.
1 Do you see this document, sir?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And finally, P1457 --
4 MR. STAMP: Before we move on it may save some time if I indicate
5 that the date on the translation is the 19th of April. I think that
6 should be corrected to the 18th.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And finally, P1457.
9 Q. This is an order by the 3rd Army command dated the 20th of April,
10 1999. General, could you please comment on these three documents you have
11 just been shown, especially in relation to your evidence yesterday about
12 resubordination of the MUP units to the VJ.
13 A. The third one has now vanished from the screen, but I think that
14 is the order by the 3rd Army commander.
15 Q. Yes, that's P1457. We'll just wait for the B/C/S to come up.
16 You see this, sir?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Comment, please, all three, if you can.
19 A. It's quite simple, really, I made two or three references to this
20 yesterday indirect ones but now I'll try to be more specific. When there
21 is armed struggle in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
22 and it is specified who is in charge of the arms struggle and what the
23 other participants do, and this specifically is about the MUP. This means
24 that amid combat operations the organisation in charge is the army. This
25 was clearly defined on the Law on Defence, this 16 and 17. We see that
1 the president emphasised that one should stay; in keeping with this, he
2 forwarded this to the Chief of the General Staff, and in keeping with the
3 prevailing hierarchy to the 3rd Army commander, and these decisions were
4 regulated. In order for the whole system to be harmonized, well
5 harmonized I should say, it was a good thing that they had these three
6 documents that would follow a different chain, chain of communication, it
7 was about cooperation and coordination in keeping with Article 16 and 17,
8 and that was supposed to go through the MUP but it wasn't shown here. One
9 can see here specifically that the VJ units had the responsibility of
10 coordinating and acting in concert with the MUP as soon as combat
11 operations were afoot.
12 Q. General, based on what you know, what about the implementation of
13 these orders at lower levels, the levels where this coordination was
14 supposed to occur in combat operations? Were there any problems with
16 A. My knowledge about combat operations themselves is indirect. I
17 only know what the assistant Chief of the General Staff told us at
18 briefings. I knew about other things that had nothing to do with combat
20 Q. When you attended collegium meetings or any other meetings, did
21 you ever hear of a plan, an operation perhaps, anything at all about the
22 expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, something that was organized by
23 the VJ or another state institution?
24 A. I'm stunned into disbelief -- I was stunned into disbelief to hear
25 this at a later date, actually. Quite the contrary, in fact. Every time
1 I went to these collegium meetings, I was always invited, I was called
2 upon to brief on a number of matters. And every time I was in touch with
3 my superiors as well as my subordinates -- any time I was in touch with
4 anyone in the army, all they ever spoke of was protecting the population
5 and what they had in mind was the population in its entirety. As a person
6 involved with the military obligation issues, I can say that no
7 discrimination ever took place in this respect, and that is precisely why
8 we followed a very cautious system of regulating this military obligation
9 in order not to cause any unnecessary unpleasantness to military
10 conscripts that might have been caused by the Kosovo Liberation Army in
11 the territory of Kosovo for as long as those people were observing their
12 military duty, military responsibilities or responsibilities towards the
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
21 A. Good morning.
22 Q. I'm Djuro Cepic. On this morning I represent the Defence of
23 General Lazarevic. I have several questions for you. Yesterday during
24 your evidence you explained about manpower level, how units were
25 replenished with goods and material supplies. What I want to know is
1 where were these goods kept that were supposed to be used as supplies for
2 VJ units?
3 A. The material goods that were to be used as supplies for military
4 units were kept in several different locations and I'll try to explain
5 briefly the essence of this problem. The army's goods are kept in units,
6 they are kept in storage units, warehouses, which may be in barracks or
7 wherever a particular unit is deployed. There are special storage
8 facilities sometimes located in whichever area a unit happens to be in.
9 Material goods, listed material goods, stayed with the owner. As part of
10 its plans, the army on an annual basis reviews these goods to avoid a
11 situation where, for example, there had to be some active involvement on
12 the part of the army and the goods turned out to be not in good working
13 order. So there's an annual review of these, and this is something
15 Q. Thank you very much. Would I be right, General, in saying that
16 pursuant to the rule on mobilisation a military conscript can sign for a
17 uniform, a weapon, and other types of equipment as well and just keep
18 these at home?
19 A. Yes. You're absolutely right, but there's one thing that we must
20 bear in mind. There are huge levels. You have levels that kept
21 everything at home.
22 Q. General, let me speak briefly about the civil defence and civil
23 protection. Can you tell me how civil defence units are set up?
24 A. Civil defence units are set up based on decisions by the defence
25 minister and the assistant minister for civil defence. These are set up
1 based on special orders, they're organized in a particular way, and they
2 have a particular establishment.
3 Q. Thank you. The same question in relation to civil protection
4 units, please, so how are these units established?
5 A. These units are established according to the same principle, like
6 the civil defence units, except that their purpose is different.
7 Q. General, could you please tell me who commands patrols, guards,
8 and other units of the civil defence?
9 A. The system of commanding civil defence and civil protection units
10 is under the Ministry of Defence, and this system of command goes from the
11 minister via the assistant ministers, the centres for defence, to
12 departments for defence.
13 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to look at records of conscripts.
14 General, am I right if I say that in addition to the basic records of
15 conscripts attached to the military territorial organ, there are also
16 records that are kept by civil defence units -- organs and MUP organs?
17 A. Yes, you are right. The basic records are kept in the military
18 territorial command, and everyone that military conscripts are assigned to
19 keep their own records and they have to keep them in line with the basic
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system Exhibit Number 5D1183.
23 Your Honour, unfortunately, this document also hasn't got
24 translation, but I will try to ask the witness very, very short question.
25 Q. [Interpretation] General --
1 MR. CEPIC: -- Please, [indiscernible] 5.
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, could you please read 5.2, "Changes in
3 Units," just slowly so we have it all in the transcript.
4 A. "In order to be brought into the military records of -- in the
5 military department of Kosovska Mitrovica, 136 Albanians were called up,
6 six responded; and in the military district of Pec, five were called up
7 and six responded," in Pec they probably also mean Albanians as well.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I take it that's an accurate translation, five were
9 called up and six responded.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: That is exactly what is
11 written in the document.
12 MR. CEPIC: Yes, it's accurate translation, Your Honour.
13 Could we scroll up, please.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, do you recognise the heading of this
15 document? Did you confirm what this is all about?
16 A. Yes. This is a document of the 3rd Army dated the 13th of
17 February, 199 -- we cannot see the number of the year.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, during the course of your testimony yesterday you
19 explained in detail that ethnic Albanians from the territory of Kosovo and
20 Metohija were brought into military records in 1999 as well. Does this
21 document confirm that what you said?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. Perhaps this would be the right moment for me to make a comment
25 with regard to what the honourable Judge noticed; namely, that five were
1 called up and six responded. By your leave.
2 Q. Yes --
3 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, with your leave.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I assume one brought a friend along.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Viewed this way, it
6 looks illogical; however, practice is different. When you call-up one
7 military conscript and when he says where he's going to, as is the case of
8 records, then it often happens that another military conscript comes along
9 to be recorded in the records. So this information is correct and a
10 frequent occurrence.
11 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. General, was the functioning of the Army of Yugoslavia
13 analysed from the point of view of humanitarian law in 1998?
14 A. Within each annual analysis of combat-readiness and the
15 functioning of the army, this is carried out regularly. As for 1998, it
16 is characteristic from yet another aspect. The International Red Cross,
17 according to its own plan, visited all the arms and services of the Army
18 of Yugoslavia and viewed combat documents that are prepared for an issue
19 to the army, the combat rules that define training, and it viewed how
20 training actually takes place in the Army of Yugoslavia. During the final
21 analysis in November of 1998 where I was in attendance, too, as a
22 representative of the General Staff of the army, the representatives of
23 the International Red Cross that were highly represented, I don't remember
24 the exact name of their representative, Thompson I think it was, then
25 there was retired Australian general, then there was another retired
1 general from Switzerland and yet another member was frigate captain from
2 the US navy. It was established that all international and humanitarian
3 laws were incorporated into the rules of the Army of Yugoslavia and were
4 abided by in the Army of Yugoslavia. In a way, they expressed their
5 conviction that they will be further promoted and be an example to the
6 surrounding area. I think that this was a major success on the part of
7 the military.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, there must be a report of this visit.
10 MR. CEPIC: I will try to do my best to find that report.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It's the sort of thing you would expect if you're
12 going to rely on this that you would produce the material from the horse's
14 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Could I continue, please?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
17 Q. [Interpretation] General, for many years you dealt with the
18 organization of the army. In this courtroom the name of a Joint Command
19 has often been referred to. Could you please explain for us
20 what "command" means as a concept.
21 A. Organization is my basic line of work. That is what I worked on.
22 As for the word itself, "command," if you're referring to an
23 organizational unit, it constitutes the name of an organizational unit
24 that is used by different organs and different organizations and
25 represents the managerial part of an organization.
1 Q. What is necessary, what elements are required for a command to be
2 able to function? What does it consist of?
3 A. In order for a command to make sense and to be able to exist and
4 function aless its sense is its very self which would make it nonsensical,
5 it has to have a clearly defined managerial component, it has to have
6 clearly defined rights, it has to have clearly defined obligations, it has
7 to have clearly defined proponents, and it has to have clearly defined who
8 is at the top of this command; and then the next part: Clearly defined
9 units and organs which it commands.
10 Q. What kind of reporting structure must exist in that?
11 A. In every command, every command and all actions that start has to
12 work the other way around. This feedback is regulated in a particular
13 way, but at any rate there are different types of reporting depending on
14 the numbers involved in military institutions above battalion level it is
15 compulsory to have reporting in writing. And that is subdivided into
16 regular reports and extraordinary reports or special reports.
17 Q. So incoming and outgoing reports have to be in writing, right?
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. Now that we're talking about organization, do you know that for
20 the functioning of a command at operational level, in this specific case a
21 corps, what is the number of optimal links between the command and the
22 subordinate units?
23 A. This rule of organization that you were asking me about is not
24 representative only for a corps. It is a general rule in organization.
25 In order to have successful command a superior who commands should have at
1 an optimum six to eight links with those below him.
2 Q. General, do you know that the Pristina Corps in the war had 26
3 links, according to the chain of command, organizational and
4 resubordinated units?
5 A. Yes, I know that. I'm not sure it's 26, maybe it's even more, and
6 it has to do with a particular practice that was quite represented in
7 organization until I came; namely, that the number of links went up
8 without distribution of these links according to internal organs. Later
9 on we worked on the reduction of these links, or rather, the optimisation
10 of command. However, up until the period that we're talking about now, we
11 did not achieve any major results.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, you should know that I don't understand
13 this, what the six to 8 links are about and what the 26 are about. So it
14 would be helpful if you were to explore this a little further.
15 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] General, am I right that these links constitute
17 links between the command, in this particular case the Pristina Corps, and
18 the subordinated units, brigades and others?
19 A. You are right, and that can be explained easily in relation to the
20 observation of His Honour, that this is the number of units that is
21 directly subordinated of the commander of the operative entity. In this
22 case, the number of units directly subordinated to the commander of the
23 Pristina Corps, that is to say 26 units were directly subordinated to the
24 commander of the Pristina Corps and at every point in time he had to have
25 contact with each and every one of those commanders.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, I think I understand that, but the
2 original answer from the witness was: "This rule of organization that you
3 were asking me about is not representative only for a corps. It is a
4 general rule in organization. In order to have successful command, a
5 superior who commands should have at an optimum six to eight links with
6 those below him."
7 Now, that suggests to me if you've got 26 there's something wrong,
8 if the optimum is six to eight.
9 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, was it allowed to have such a big number
11 of links?
12 A. Theoretical recommendations are one thing, or rather, the optimum
13 required, and what is actually assigned is a different matter. The
14 question and answer precisely relies on that, that at this point in time
15 there was an organization with a larger number of links than allowed for
16 by theory. That was practice until then and that practice was supposed to
17 be changed, but it was being changed slowly.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just ask one question to complete my
19 understanding of this.
20 Does that mean at the lowest level, in a platoon, the commander
21 would have -- in an ideal platoon the commander would have six to eight
22 men under him?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There aren't any men in a platoon,
24 there are squads. It says six to eight links, so a platoon commander has
25 three, a commander of a company has, or rather, three to six companies,
1 and then if you were to go up to a higher level this unit number were to
2 go up. You would see in the Pristina Corps there was a total of 26.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, thank you.
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I would just interrupt to request the honourable
5 counsel if he could provide us with a little chart showing how this
6 pyramid is formed between links and highest echelons, that will make it
7 very, very easy. Thank you.
8 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, if you allow me to say it, it is quite
9 difficult right now, but in short time of period, I will prepare --
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: At your convenience, sir.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The picture is much clearer now, Mr. Cepic. Thank
13 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Just one more question in relation to this,
15 General. Does that mean that functioning was seriously impeded because of
16 this large number of links?
17 A. Yes, yes. This functioning was impeded.
18 Q. Thank you. Now that we've mentioned the Pristina Corps, do you
19 know who was at its head during the aggression on the Federal Republic of
20 Yugoslavia in 1999?
21 A. Of course I do, it was another one of my classmates from school,
22 General Lazarevic.
23 Q. General, can you tell us a bit more about General Lazarevic, what
24 kind of a person he is and what kind of a soldier he is?
25 A. As for General Lazarevic, his assessments speak in itself and his
1 results. I would just like to say a few basic things, in view of the
2 brevity of time. He is a high professional, responsible, hard-working,
3 industrious, and above all a humane person. I would like to give you an
4 example. He is the last person who left the territory of Kosovo only
5 after all his soldiers had left, when he saw that all of his soldiers had
6 left, it is only then that he himself left the territory of Kosovo.
7 Q. Thank you very much, General.
8 MR. CEPIC: Your Honour, no further questions. Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Cepic.
10 JUDGE CHOWHAN: General, I have little explanation for myself, I
11 beg of that. When you say with so many links within the organization
12 there were impediments and there were difficulties and this impeded the
13 progress, do you mean to say there was inherent organizational defects in
14 the system?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you said inherent.
16 There were inherent, in-built problems, if you like that a commander had
17 to deal with. There were certain ways of dealing with these problems. He
18 resubordinate some of the units to his logistics assistant, some to the
19 Chief of Staff, and some to perhaps another officer, and the goal that he
20 keep in mind while doing this was to keep intact the singleness of
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, do you have any questions?
23 MR. IVETIC: Yes, I do, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
1 Q. Good day, General, my name is Dan Ivetic and I am the attorney for
2 Sreten Lukic. I will have some questions for you today regarding the
3 testimony you gave over the last two days. Now, first of all, you
4 testified that they MUP and VJ were two different systems and "not a
5 single unit of the MUP was part of the establishment of the VJ for that
6 matter to find in theory," transcript 81, lines 6 through 7. I would like
7 you to follow of up on that and I would like to ask you if any single
8 organ or unit of the VJ was ever part of the establishment of the MUP or
9 subordinate to any MUP organ even in theory?
10 A. Good morning to begin with. It's difficult for me to speak about
11 how the MUP was organized. I never saw their charts or diagrams, but I
12 don't think that would be a possibility because of the discrepancies
13 between the two systems.
14 Q. Okay. But my question was relating to organs of the VJ.
15 Apparently you are quite familiar with all the organs of the VJ. Wouldn't
16 you agree with me that it would be impossible for any organ of the VJ ever
17 to become subordinate to any organ of the MUP?
18 A. No, not in that sense.
19 Q. Just to clarify, no not in any sense that the army unit could
20 never be subordinated to the MUP?
21 A. I would like a more specific question, if possible. I think I
22 know what you are alluding to, but in order for me to be able to provide a
23 more specific answer perhaps I could use a more specific question.
24 Q. Based upon your knowledge of the functioning and operations of the
25 VJ and the applicable laws in effect, could you ever foresee a situation
1 when an organ of the VJ were to be part of the establishment of the MUP or
2 subordinated to a MUP organ?
3 A. The latter, yes, and this was known to happen in practice. A
4 subordinate officer carried out tasks within, there was coordination, but
5 he was never part of the MUP because MUP had no bodies that were able to
6 run a system like that.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Visnjic has shown you Exhibit 3D670, the order of the
8 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia dated 18 April 1999 in
9 which it specifically states that pursuant to Article 17 of the Law on
10 Defence units and organs of the interior on the territory of Yugoslavia
11 are to be resubordinated to the Yugoslav Army officer planning,
12 organizing, and commanding combat operations according to the tasks
13 received in the assigned zones of responsibility. Have you ever seen any
14 other order from the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
15 specifically resubordinating the MUP of Serbia exclusively to the Pristina
16 Corps, as at least one other witness has indicated here today -- excuse
17 me, has indicated here in this trial?
18 A. No, but in order to explain this order and in order to understand
19 its essence, one must read carefully Article 16 and a 17 of the Law on
20 Defence because this order is a continuation of just that and what is
21 specified there. It's what the exact moment is, when this is done, and
22 how this resubordination is done. Therefore, this order without Article
23 17, which is what the president document specifies, has an entirely
24 different meaning. If you read carefully Article 17 of the Law on Defence
25 and the meaning suddenly becomes very specific.
1 Q. Sorry, I'm pausing to wait for the translation and the transcript
2 to catch up with us. And am I correct that Article 17 specifically states
3 that organs of the MUP may be resubordinated to the army commander only in
4 the course of combat operations that are underway, combat actions?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And would you agree with me, sir, that pursuant to resubordination
7 under Article 17 of the Law on Defence, the peacetime role of the MUP is
8 not to be affected by the implementation of a resubordination order; that
9 is to say, the VJ does not control the peacetime or regular activities of
10 the MUP?
11 A. No, you can't speak of their control in peacetime or wartime
12 activities because the purpose and the tasks of the MUP are different from
13 those of the VJ.
14 Q. Now, if we could return to 3D670, and that is the order --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That last answer, Mr. Ivetic, doesn't tell me
17 MR. IVETIC: All right. Let me ask a follow-up question.
18 Q. General, Article 17 of the Law on Defence on resubordination does
19 not affect the regular functioning and duties of MUP Secretariats of the
20 Interior, police stations, or OUPs, does it?
21 A. Absolutely.
22 Q. The Article 17 of the Law on Defence only applies to actual
23 individual combat operations once they are ordered or undertaken; isn't
24 that correct, sir?
25 A. Yes. When undertaken, then there is cooperation or concerted
1 action, if you like.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. Now, if we can return to 3D670 for a moment, that's the order
5 dated April 18th, 1999, from the federal president of Yugoslavia,
6 Slobodan Milosevic, at the time. I presume, sir, that you don't have any
7 personal knowledge as to whether this particular order issued by the
8 president of the FRY was ever forwarded to the minister of the interior,
9 Mr. Vlajko Stojiljkovic of the Serbian MUP, do you?
10 A. I don't know.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, if we could focus -- I believe we have the order
12 on the screen. It would appear, focusing on the second and third
13 paragraphs of the order, that the chief of the Supreme Command Staff is
14 tasked with forwarding an appropriate order to civilian organs and taking
15 necessary steps to effectuate that order. Now, we've had one witness,
16 General Simic, that testified that no such steps were taken by the Supreme
17 Command Staff to send anything to Minister Stojiljkovic of the MUP and
18 indeed P1460, which Mr. Visnjic showed you likewise as not having it being
19 addressed to the MUP. Do you, sir, know if any such written communication
20 or order or written document was ever sent by the Supreme Command Staff or
21 the command of the 3rd Army to Minister Stojiljkovic or anyone in the MUP
22 hierarchy in Belgrade?
23 A. If you look at item 3 of the order that I have in front of me it
24 reads: "Chief of the Supreme Command Staff will send his requests to the
25 civilian government organs and other defence bodies," his requests, not
1 his orders. Requests. Now, how are these passed along? This goes down
2 the chain of command to the next link, as it were, and requests are made
3 at this borderline where cooperation takes place with the MUP. So he
4 forwards this order to the army commander, he in turn to the corps
5 commander, and then it was at the level of brigades and battalions that
6 requests were eventually submitted and that concerted action was agreed
7 upon with the other units, and that was the only thing that was possible
8 at the time. As for cooperation with any other civilian bodies, the
9 request only implies what is strictly necessary for the coordination to
11 Q. Any requests to the MUP would have occurred at the lower level
12 where any combat operations were undertaken; is that correct, sir?
13 A. Now we're touching on something that is best viewed in its
14 entirety and not just bit by bit. The powers of the MUP and the powers of
15 the VJ are very different. The army is the a federal institution.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Functioning of the MUP which
17 you already said you don't have knowledge of, then we'll be spinning our
18 wheels needlessly. One moment.
19 A. No, I wasn't headed that way, truth to tell.
20 Q. Let me take a step back and try and frame it in terms of testimony
21 you've already given. In your direct examination you stated that the same
22 three commands, going from the highest level down to the lowest level,
23 ought to be within the parallel system of the MUP. How is that to be
24 effectuated if the top of the MUP was not to be advised of the
25 resubordination order?
1 A. Your Honours, when I was shown those three documents, or rather,
2 orders by the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Chief
3 of the General Staff, and the 3rd Army commander, I commented at the time
4 by saying that this system had to be harmonized and this had to be
5 implemented and one should look at orders that were sent along the chain
6 of command to the MUP. I said then that I had never seen those orders,
7 but what I did see is a clear definition for these requests to be agreed
8 upon at appropriate levels.
9 Q. All right. If you don't know, I'll move on. Sir, do you have
10 personal knowledge of any written decision --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on --
12 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That last sentence, what did you mean by what you
14 did see is a clear definition for these requests to be agreed upon at
15 appropriate levels? Where did you see that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The order that was submitted by the
17 president to the Chief of the General Staff, the Chief of the General
18 Staff to the 3rd Army commander, and he implements this and this ensures
19 that there is cooperation and coordination at the level at which combat
20 operations take place and combat operations takes place -- combat
21 operations take place at levels between the brigade and the battalion.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What Mr. Ivetic is suggesting is rather strange, is
23 that this would not be communicated to the top level in the MUP so that
24 they could make sure there were no misunderstandings further down the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. Well, sir, do you have personal knowledge of any written decision
5 or communication sent by Minister of the Interior Stojiljkovic or any
6 other senior MUP official to the VJ, that is, to the Supreme Command Staff
7 or even any of the army commands, refusing to implement any valid
8 resubordination request?
9 A. I know nothing to indicate that. I think those might have been
10 requests for concerted action or coordination.
11 Q. Now, am I correct that -- strike that.
12 Have you ever read of any reported problems arising from specific
13 MUP units refusing to obey combat orders or instructions from any army
14 commander at the brigade level relative to combat actions through the
15 reading of any combat reports, "borbeni izvestaj," read or received by
17 A. I have knowledge about other areas, but not about combat actions.
18 Q. You would agree with me that you have previously testified that
19 resubordination only applies to combat actions; isn't that correct?
20 A. I was quite precise, resubordination and coordination.
21 Q. I'll take that as a yes. Now -- thank you. When you say that you
22 had knowledge about other areas, was that knowledge ever reported in any
23 form to Minister Stojiljkovic of the MUP to apprise him of the same?
24 A. That's about other areas, right?
25 Q. Yeah.
1 A. Yes, that was happening for years.
2 Q. Okay. When, in fact, was the first time that you personally heard
3 of any major problems from resubordination and was this in 2001?
4 A. 2001, I was working in an entirely different area in 2001 and it
5 has nothing to do with this. This was about KZB.
6 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday at transcript page 81, lines 17 through 18,
7 you seemed to indicate that there was some degree of confusion regarding
8 interpretation of what was actually implied under Article 17 and
9 resubordination. Would you agree with me that expecting the minister of
10 the interior to be directly resubordinated to the General Staff or to the
11 staff of the Supreme Command and sitting in the command centre of the VJ
12 is not a proper understanding of resubordination according to Article 17
13 of the Law on Defence?
14 A. I've been part of the system for a very long time. There was no
15 such request by the army ever. I don't believe the army would ever have
16 made such a request for the minister of the interior to go to the General
17 Staff, sit there and do something for them.
18 Q. I agree with you, sir; however, we did have several VJ officers
19 come here and testify that precisely this was their understanding of
20 resubordination, including Colonel Pesic who testified for the
21 Prosecution. Now, likewise, if someone were to proclaim that the VJ were
22 in charge of customs and that the assistant ministers of the RJB and RDB
23 of the MUP as well as the chiefs of the secretariats were to sit at the
24 command of either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Armies and be directly
25 resubordinated to the commander of those armies, that, too, would not be a
1 proper implementation or interpretation of Article 17 of the Law on
2 Defence, would it?
3 A. I just know that Colonel Pesic is not competent to comment on
4 that. For a while he was my subordinate, for a while I was professionally
5 above him. I don't think that he knows that area. As for his subjective
6 comments, that is his own affair.
7 Q. I thank you for that. Now, could you actually answer the other
8 part of the question, that is to say: If someone were to proclaim that
9 the VJ were in charge of customs and that the assistant ministers of the
10 RJB and RDB of the MUP as well as the chiefs of the secretariats of the
11 MUP were to sit at the commands of either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Armies and
12 be directly resubordinated to the commander of those armies, that, too,
13 would not be a proper implementation or interpretation of Article 17 of
14 the Law on Defence; isn't that correct?
15 A. That is impossible. The army can never be in charge of customs or
16 does it have such organs, so the example is quite impossible.
17 Q. And how about the part of the assistant chiefs of the RJB and the
18 RDB sitting at the command -- at the army level and being subordinated to
19 the commander along with the "nacelniks" or the chiefs of the SUPs?
20 A. Your Honours, I don't know what direction this is moving in. I
21 was very clear when I talked about subordination and coordination of
22 combat activities in accordance with Articles 16 and 17. Everything
23 beyond that is something quite different or even constitutes theory.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: The question's quite specific, though, from your
25 knowledge of the way in which things were done in the army you're being
1 asked to say whether it's conceivable that the assistant chiefs of the RJB
2 and RDB could be sitting in a command post along with senior army
4 MR. IVETIC: And I'm actually asking whether it's conceivable
5 under Article 17 specifically, whether that article foresees such an
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So that question presupposes that there is combat.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible for them to be
9 sitting there and exchanging views, but this is not sitting and exchanging
10 views, but it is not coordination.
11 MR. IVETIC: I believe the transcript says: "But it is not
12 coordination," the witness I believe said it was not resubordination. I
13 don't know how that came through on the English translation.
14 Q. General, am I correct that insofar as a state of war had not
15 previously been declared in the FRY and that Article 17 had not previously
16 been invoked, that there was a fair degree of confusion and uncertainty
17 among many within the VJ, I'll limit it to that because you stated your
18 knowledge was limited to the VJ, there was uncertainty by many of what
19 exactly was meant by Article 17 and resubordination, et cetera.
20 A. Well, there were quite a few problems and quite a bit of
21 confusion. Yesterday I said very precisely that Article 17 constitutes a
22 good solution; however, I did not say that it is a well-regulated system
23 because for Article 17 to be a good system there would have to be a
24 well-regulated system of armed forces, defence, security sector, and then
25 there would be no problems.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to ask you to comment upon two
2 situations in the field during the course of the war in Kosovo-Metohija.
3 First of all, I'd like to ask you if you're familiar - and I'll I'm asking
4 you we can put up 6D117, which is the document which forms the basis for
5 my question - are you familiar or aware, sir, with an order written by the
6 command of the 69th military territorial detachment at Istok to form a
7 staff under the command of Captain Princip Milosavljevic, who was the
8 commander of that detachment to place all governmental and municipal
9 organs on the territory of Istok municipality under his command for the
10 functioning of life and work in the zone of responsibility of Istok. Are
11 you familiar with this order that's on the screen, although for some
12 reason we don't have the translation which I do have.
13 MR. IVETIC: It's the other document that we had, actually. I
14 don't know what this one is.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not sure that this
17 is the document that General Lukic's Defence was looking for. I'm trying
18 to see whether it's on their list, on their announced list.
19 MR. IVETIC: [Interpretation] As of this morning it is.
20 [In English] I was just trying to be fair to the witness. I could
21 ask the witness the question without the use of the document since I was
22 just asking him if he was aware of any situation.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP: We weren't aware of the document on the list when the
25 witness testified --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Just take it away, Mr. Ivetic, ask your question
2 without it let's get on.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
4 Q. Are you familiar with any order of the 69th military detachment
5 stating that all republican and municipal government organs on the
6 territory of Istok municipality are hereby placed under the command of the
7 69th VTOD Istok? I believe I said republican and municipal organs.
8 A. As for such an order, I heard about it after the war when the work
9 of territorial commands was being analysed, and my comment was, Does this
10 person still work for the military or has he been kicked out.
11 Q. I apologise, I had to wait again for the transcript. I take it
12 again, sir, that you do not agree that his actions were appropriate under
13 the law?
14 A. Certainly. Inter alia I think I said yesterday that the Army of
15 Yugoslavia is one of the rare military organizations that does not have
16 organs for establishing civilian authority.
17 Q. Thank you. And just to complete the circle, are you aware of any
18 similar undertaking or order by the command of the Pec Vojni Odsek whereby
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Dusko Antic attempts to order all federal and
20 republican authorities on the territories of the municipality of Pec,
21 Istok, Klina and Decani to be under the command of the Pec Vojni Odsek or
22 military territorial organ?
23 A. I heard something about this; however, what I heard is
24 insufficient, I believe, for me to be able to provide competent testimony
25 at this point in time.
1 Q. General, I sincerely thank you for your time and your answers. I
2 have no further questions for you.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: May I beg of you a minute, please.
7 Now, General, kindly refer to your previous answer that you gave
8 that you may have heard something about this formation under
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Dusko and Pec Vojni Odsek you may have heard about it,
10 but you don't have sufficient knowledge about it or information, but tell
11 me can such a thing happen at that level without the higher echelons
12 knowing about it or without their permission, can that happen within that
13 organization unless there were provisions like Article 17?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in the situation as it
15 was at that point in time in Kosovo and Metohija, in view of the problems
16 that were there sometimes people even with the best of intentions go
17 beyond their rights and powers. I did not hear of this because I was not
18 the superior of that military department, but I was the professional organ
19 and I'm convinced that the command reacted quickly as soon as they heard
20 about that because this impedes the further functioning of the military
21 and if you wish it even imposes certain obligations on the military that
22 it can never carry out.
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, you'll now be cross-examined by the
25 Prosecutor, Mr. Stamp.
1 Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. You told us yesterday that a battalion commander may take goods
7 for replenishment of his unit and issue a certificate for the goods that
8 he has taken. Are you speaking about the commandeering of articles from
9 the civilian population or from individuals who are not members of the
11 A. Commandeering is probably some kind of a legal term. I am talking
12 about how it was defined according to the law; that is to say, supplying
13 the army with military resources, taking goods from replenishment, that is
14 to say from private individuals, state organs, socially owned
15 organizations and enterprises, and so on there is a clearly defined legal
16 procedure that is applied. However, at the point in time when centres for
17 defence for the Ministry of Defence do not function and when the Ministry
18 of Defence cannot according to plan replenish a unit with certain goods
19 only in special extraordinary situations, the commander of the battalion
20 can replenish his unit with available resources and issue a certificate
21 stating that this resource had been taken. What -- how you put this in
22 legal terms, I really don't know.
23 Q. Well, I withdraw the word "commandeer." He can take goods or
24 articles from members of the civilian population without their consent if
25 it is needed for the army and give them a certificate?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The goods, among other things, would include -- could include
3 motor vehicles that might be needed for military operations?
4 A. Yes, and he has to have grounds for that. Now, what are grounds
5 for something like that? Grounds for something like that is that he is
6 entitled to a motor vehicle, that he does not have a motor vehicle, that
7 the system is not functioning, and thereby conditions are created for him
8 to take that motor vehicle.
9 Q. Now, he issues to the citizen or the person from who it is taken a
10 certificate. Does he retain a copy of that certificate or a document
11 showing the circumstances under which this article, this motor vehicle,
12 had been taken?
13 A. The exact format of this certificate is in all mobilisation plans
14 of all units and institutions. You can get a copy and you can have a look
15 at it. I cannot remember every one of the entries now, but I know that it
16 is exactly prescribed what it's supposed to look like. This is contained
17 in mobilisation plans, and then commanders, when necessary, use these
19 Q. Yes. And he should retain a certificate, a copy of the
20 certificate, or some record of what has been taken and from whom?
21 A. Yes, among other things it is that for sure.
22 Q. Therefore, in respect to all articles seized by the military in
23 Kosovo during the conflict in 1999, particularly the motor vehicles, there
24 should be a record of who these motor vehicles belong to and the
25 circumstances under which they were taken?
1 A. You used a term in relation to all articles. That is not precise.
2 I said that it was planned, exactly envisaged, there are certain records
3 of these articles, exactly when this was looked at or was taken from, and
4 so on. So it takes place according to that plan. This just has to do
5 with part of the articles that are commander of battalion, division, and
6 further up can take in a situation when the Ministry of Defence does not
7 function in that particular territory. If that system functions, then the
8 order is quite different. It is as I explained it initially.
9 Q. However, there should be a record, an inventory, of all the
10 articles, including motor vehicles, that were seized by members of the
11 army from civilians in Kosovo in 1999?
12 A. Yes, there should be a record.
13 Q. Where would this record be kept -- well, I assume that the
14 battalion commander at the lowest level would have the authority to do
15 these seizures. He would at least start the process of record-keeping.
16 Would the -- would he have an obligation to submit those records to higher
17 command offices?
18 A. The Law on Defence and the decrees regulating this subject matter
19 refer to taking not seizing, so these are two different concepts. You
20 keep referring to seizures, and that is quite different, basically
21 different inter alia --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, please. You know perfectly well what
23 is being talked about here.
24 Now, Mr. Stamp, the beginning of that question was fine. Why did
25 you get into the complicated bit? All you would need to say is: Where
1 would this record be kept, and we can make progress from there.
2 So you've already told us, Mr. Kosovac, there would be a record
3 particularly including if motor vehicles are taken, where would that
4 record be kept?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The records of motor vehicles do
6 exist and they're in the territorial organ and in the civil defence organ.
7 The records on motor vehicles taken under extraordinary circumstances are
8 established later once the battalion commander informs his superior
9 command of a situation that occurred, but that is a special situation.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. Would records of vehicles in the possession of the military - and
12 I'm speaking specifically of the Pristina Corps - be kept at the Pristina
13 Corps headquarters or at the 3rd Army headquarters?
14 A. The Pristina Corps headquarters that is guarded with -- that is
15 kept with the mobilisation plans; at the level of the army, there are
16 surveys, summary surveys, not records.
17 Q. Can we move on and discuss a little bit the issue of mobilisation.
18 You said there were some 6.000 volunteers mobilised during the conflict.
19 Is -- am I understanding you correctly?
20 A. There were about 6.000 volunteers that had volunteered, that had
21 volunteered in the army during the course of the war.
22 Q. I see. Well, let me get straight to the point. Do you know how
23 many volunteers were sent to units that were subordinated to the Pristina
24 Corps in Kosovo?
25 A. I don't know exactly, but I did have those surveys in my own
2 Q. Well, can you tell us approximately how many?
3 A. I don't want to speculate in any way now, but I can provide a copy
4 of these surveys because I know where they are.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, we would like you to help us. You
6 know that there was 6.000 who volunteered. Roughly how many of them were
7 subordinate -- were in units subordinated to the Pristina Corps in Kosovo?
8 We won't hold it against you if it's not entirely accurate.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for that. But
10 you know what the problem is? The problem is that the volunteers went to
11 units that were later resubordinated to the Pristina Corps. So if I were
12 to come up with something now -- well, it must have been over 70 per cent
13 for the 3rd Army or the Pristina Corps, rather. But then we are counting
14 to -- counting on many other units that were resubordinated to them, like
15 the 252nd, 37th, and so on.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Stamp.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. You said that you were aware that volunteers being conscripted or
20 being accepted into the army might be problematic. This was an awareness
21 that you in the General Staff had even before the conflict.
22 A. I was part of the General Staff, so if I was aware of that, the
23 General Staff was aware of that. Before the conflict broke out, we did
24 not have any volunteers, we did not register any. Perhaps you heard that
25 according to law people could ask to do their military service earlier,
1 but these were not volunteers. This is simply a request to do your
2 military service earlier. The term "volunteer" only has to do with war
3 and mobilisation.
4 Q. Yes. I just wanted to understand it was known that volunteers
5 presented certain problems. And in the context of Kosovo and Metohija
6 where there had been over a long period of time conflict, ethnic conflict,
7 and animosity arising therefrom, it was known by the persons in the
8 command of the VJ that volunteers in Kosovo would present even greater
9 possibilities for problems for indiscipline and abuse.
10 A. You saw that the first order about volunteer was issued on the
11 24th of March. Yugoslavia was attacked on the 23rd of March; that is to
12 say that we in the General Staff immediately assumed that once people
13 started volunteering there would be a problem. Our assumption was
14 correct. We were not afraid of volunteers in terms of the interethnic
15 conflict because the units were stable, composed, homogenous. We were
16 afraid of volunteers who were criminals, and our overall activity was
17 geared towards preventing at a maximum level for having someone like that
18 enter the army.
19 Q. However, in the context of Kosovo, which is what I'm asking about,
20 and the history of ethnic conflict there was a danger not only from
21 persons who were criminals but from persons who volunteered to go to
22 Kosovo because they may have had scores to settle on an ethnic basis?
23 A. Settling scores on an individual basis with anyone along ethnic
24 lines is crime, but you couldn't have such a person taking along an entire
25 unit for a settling of scores along ethnic lines. This didn't happen.
1 Why did someone loot someone else? Why did someone kill someone else?
2 Was it hatred? Was it ethnic hatred? I think that's a different kettle
3 of fish altogether.
4 MR. STAMP: Your Honour, I wonder if that is a convenient time.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It is, Mr. Stamp.
6 Mr. Kosovac, we have to break at this stage for 20 minutes. Could
7 you please leave the court with the usher and we'll see you again at ten
8 minutes to 11.00.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
13 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. You said that there were approximately 150 foreign volunteers who
15 were persons from the Republika Srpska or from Croatia considered to be
16 foreign volunteers.
17 A. I think what I said about 150 foreign volunteers, I didn't mention
18 where they were from. I did say later that about 10.000 volunteers had
19 put in a request from other countries, but the answer is no. These were
20 volunteers from all over the world.
21 Q. If someone, a Serb, from Croatia or from Republika Srpska applied
22 to be a volunteer, would he be considered foreign volunteer?
23 A. Whoever is not a citizen of Yugoslavia is a foreigner, regardless
24 of the fact that this person may, in fact, be an ethnic Serb.
25 Q. Now, did you have any criteria for the reception of volunteers?
1 Did they have to conform to any particular standards to be considered to
2 be volunteers?
3 A. Based on the orders that were shown yesterday - and I think one
4 was even shown today - it is clear that there were a set of firm criteria
5 that were set which we now to have forgotten about. Number one, a
6 volunteer is a military conscript, which means that this volunteer has a
7 military record, so to speak, that he is trained, and that he is fit to
8 fight as a volunteer. Another criterion was that this person was never
9 assigned to a different unit. Accepting this person as a volunteer would
10 mean depriving that other unit of one of its members. The third thing was
11 being medically fit and this was subject to certain medical checks. The
12 fourth criterion was among other things that a candidate has been vetted
13 by appropriate security bodies. There were other criteria, too. So, for
14 example, a volunteer could be up to 40 years of age. That was in the
15 various arms of service. As for all the technical sectors,
16 quartermasters, and such-like, those persons qualified as long as they
17 were under 60 years of age. So these criteria were really quite
19 Q. So in terms of accepting a volunteer, the volunteer would have had
20 to provide proof that he or she was militarily trained?
21 A. Yes. As soon as you establish that a person is in possession of a
22 military record, this proves that this person at some point underwent
23 military training and you also know exactly what kind of training the
24 person did.
25 Q. You were aware, were you, that paramilitaries posed another set of
1 problems, that paramilitaries were involved in and responsible for many
2 crimes that were committed in Kosovo. Were you aware of that at the
3 beginning of the conflict or during the conflict?
4 A. It was a generally known fact to whoever knew something about this
5 that there were paramilitary formations emerging in the territory of the
6 SFRY, but there were other bodies that were in charge of these
7 paramilitary units. Bearing that in mind, when we organized for these
8 volunteers to be admitted, we did this on an individual basis, in a bid on
9 our part to prevent the formation of any paramilitary organizations. In
10 military and territorial commands, volunteers were admitted on an
11 individual basis.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You --
13 MR. STAMP: Well -- excuse me, please.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: You refer there to the SFRY. We're talking here
15 in -- about 1999 and the problem of paramilitaries at that time. Now,
16 what was the position then? What was your knowledge of the activities of
17 paramilitaries in Kosovo?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mentioned the SFRY as an area not
19 as a country. I'm talking about the area throughout which there existed
20 paramilitary formations. They were all over the place and they were
21 moving about hither and tither, but that was not what I meant to observe.
22 The gist is we admitted volunteers on an individual basis in a bid to
23 prevent the formation of any paramilitary entities to the extent that we
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. What I was asking you is: What did you know, if anything, about
2 the involvement of paramilitaries in crimes in Kosovo in 1999? Did you
3 have reports of their involvement in crimes in Kosovo?
4 A. I heard of those reports because those reports were reaching the
5 legal administration, and this was in the same sector that I worked in. I
6 heard about crimes that occurred, I heard about people who were brought to
7 justice, and I heard about those that no charges were pressed against,
8 that sort of thing.
9 Q. Before I proceed can I just ask you about an answer you gave
10 earlier. You said that there were paramilitary formations emerging in the
11 territory of the SFRY. Well, there were other bodies that were in charge
12 of these paramilitary units. What were the bodies that were in charge of
13 these paramilitary units?
14 A. If a paramilitary unit was moving about a certain area that was
15 probably under the jurisdiction of the MUP in terms of a paramilitary unit
16 joining the army, in terms of preventing this, I mean, that would be the
17 army. But, for example, if a paramilitary unit tried to move from one
18 area to the other I think the border patrols would have the responsibility
19 of stopping them.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
21 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Just one correction in
22 transcript, page 39, line 12, I think that the witness also said
23 [Interpretation] "There were arrests." [In English] Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. So when you say that there were persons or bodies that were in
2 charge of the paramilitaries, you are speaking about the MUP and border
4 A. I'm talking about everyone, everyone had their own
5 responsibilities. All I did was name an example.
6 Q. Well, could you name -- well, first tell me what do you mean when
7 you say that there were bodies in charge of the paramilitaries? What do
8 you mean by that?
9 A. My opinion is a result of the FRY constitution. Under the
10 constitution, all paramilitary organizations were banned; therefore,
11 jurisdiction over paramilitary organizations, what this means is the power
12 and responsibility to prevent their existence and prevent any support for
13 such paramilitary entities. When I say jurisdiction or in charge or
14 responsibility, that's what I mean, prevention.
15 Q. You also said that you are aware that many persons, members of
16 these paramilitaries involved in crimes were not charged --
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, that misstates the evidence. If he's
18 going to cite to the witness's testimony, I would respect that counsel
19 actually cite the testimony. We've been at this time and again where he
20 mis-cites portions of exhibits and mis-cites testimony of witnesses. Use
21 exact words if we're going to ask the witness to verify his words.
22 MR. STAMP: The question to the witness about what he said and I
23 have recorded the gist of the testimony of the witness, but the witness is
24 in a position to say whether or not this is his evidence or not.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The evidence was that he had heard about crimes
1 committed by paramilitaries, there had been some arrests, and others where
2 there were no proceedings. So on that basis, please proceed.
3 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
4 Q. You recall the question. You are aware that many of the
5 paramilitaries -- or there were no proceedings against many of the
6 paramilitaries alleged to be involved in crimes?
7 A. I never put it like that, nor can I claim to know that. I heard,
8 that doesn't mean I know --
9 Q. Very well --
10 A. -- And there is an enormous difference between the two. I know
11 that the legal administration, and they were in charge of the judiciary,
12 took measures in coordination with other bodies for everyone to be brought
13 to justice under the law.
14 Q. Were paramilitaries or former members of paramilitary units
15 accepted into the VJ as volunteers?
16 A. Military conscripts were admitted as volunteers in cases where
17 nothing stood in the way of this person's admission into the ranks.
18 Q. Yes, but didn't you make provisions and didn't you admit into the
19 VJ persons that you knew to be paramilitaries or to have been
20 paramilitaries in Kosovo?
21 A. I was quite precise in my answer. In order for someone to be
22 admitted, this person had to meet certain conditions. I told you about
23 the criteria or conditions. No criminal form, plus a number of other
24 conditions that any military conscript must meet.
25 Q. Yes --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You're still not answering the -- Mr. Zecevic.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, the witness said that he didn't commit to
3 that -- this person didn't commit any crime, and that is not in the
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 The question was quite precise, Mr. Kosovac, and you have not
7 answered it in a straightforward way. The question is: Did you ever
8 accept people who had been -- to have been paramilitaries as volunteers?
9 Now, we assume that if you accept them they satisfy the criteria, but were
10 there people who you know had been paramilitaries who satisfied these
11 criteria and were accepted?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Military conscripts were admitted as
13 volunteers by military districts, and this is several steps -- several
14 runs in the ladder down from me and I know what the criteria were. Did
15 any of them, for example, know in relation to a specific individual that
16 they had been members of a paramilitary unit? Did they know that this
17 person had no criminal record so they just admitted them? But that was
18 not the criterion for their admission or non-admission.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. I take it then from your answer that it was within the framework
22 for accepting volunteers into the VJ that a person who had been a
23 paramilitary in Kosovo could be accepted if he completed the procedures
24 that were in place?
25 A. That was also possible.
1 MR. STAMP: Can we look quickly at 3D481. This is one of the
2 Supreme Command orders regulating mobilisation on the 14th of April, 1999.
3 If we look at page 2 of the English copy and it's also page 2 of the B/C/S
4 copy, the top of page 2 of the B/C/S copy. You see the second paragraph
5 of section 2.1.
6 Q. Would you agree with me that provisions were made, specifically
7 made, for the induction of volunteers who had been paramilitaries as long
8 as they completed their procedures that were put in place?
9 A. I'm not quite sure I understand your question.
10 Q. Well, would you agree with me that the Chief of Staff made
11 provisions for the induction of persons who had been volunteers, who had
12 been paramilitaries into the VJ as volunteers so long as they had complied
13 with the procedures that he put in place?
14 A. Item 2.2 envisages a very clear procedure. I don't see what the
15 problem is.
16 Q. No, it's not a problem. I just want to know if you agree with me
17 that the second paragraph of item 2.1 indicates that specific provisions
18 were made for the induction of persons who had been paramilitaries?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
22 MR. CEPIC: Yes, Your Honour, if you -- with your leave I think it
23 would be fair to show to witness the whole paragraph 1. -- 2.1, because as
24 we see on the screens we just see the last paragraph of that article. So
25 if we can move on on the first page, later on to second, in B/C/S, I've
1 been speaking about B/C/S.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I understand what you're saying, but that's,
3 in my opinion, unnecessary.
4 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. CEPIC: Thank you.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Paramilitaries were persons, you said, who had had military
8 training before. When persons were inducted as paramilitaries, what
9 additional training was involved before they were sent off to units?
10 A. First of all, I never said anything about the conditions that
11 related to paramilitaries. There must be some criteria and I don't
12 believe that --
13 Q. I accept that. Volunteers. I'm speaking of volunteers, what
14 additional training did they receive before they were sent off to the
15 units of the VJ?
16 A. I think another witness will answer this question for you just
17 fine, it's a witness who is due to appear and he was in charge of
18 training. In the first paragraph on page 2 it says, I forbid that any
19 members of paramilitary units should be admitted as volunteers, and that
20 is perfectly clear, that's one thing. And then you asked me about the
21 possibility of a former paramilitary applying to become a volunteer. Now,
22 these are two entirely different matters.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now we get exactly to
25 what Mr. Cepic has requested that the witness be shown. Page 44, line 24,
1 in the first paragraph, in the first paragraph --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, you'll be able to deal with this in
3 re-examination. You'll get your chance.
4 Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Stamp, please.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. I was asking you about training. You said that you are not
9 qualified to speak about training or that there are persons better
10 qualified to speak about training of volunteers?
11 A. Yes, there were other people who were in charge of training
13 Q. Very well. I'll move on from there. You have said on many
14 occasions, even when not asked, that persons were received as volunteers,
15 as individuals and not in units. There is a line of questioning I would
16 like to ask about that, but you have also said on two occasions that you
17 know about operations, combat operations, indirectly. So let me ask this
18 first: Would you be able to comment from your knowledge on the use of
19 volunteer units in combat operations in Kosovo by the VJ? Do you know
20 anything about that?
21 A. Your Honours, if I may, I would not agree with the first statement
22 being made here, that on many occasions I talked about persons being
23 admitted as volunteers even when not asked. If I may remind you yesterday
24 while I was giving evidence the word "units" came up --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Please just deal with the question that's been
1 asked of you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm focusing here on a misstatement.
3 As a result, could you please repeat the entire question.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. Are you in a position --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not a misstatement to say that you have on a
7 number of occasions said that volunteers were accepted as individuals and
8 not in units; we're all agreed on that. Let's move on to the question
10 Mr. Stamp.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is inaccurate when counsel stated
12 that I wasn't asked about that.
13 MR. STAMP:
14 Q. Witness, the question is this: Are you in a position to comment
15 on whether or not volunteer units were used for combat activities in
16 Kosovo in 1999?
17 A. I can't say.
18 Q. Have you ever heard of the Phantom unit?
19 A. Phantom, no.
20 Q. Let's move on. Military territorial units in Kosovo came under
21 the command of the -- of the VJ; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 MR. STAMP: Can we have a look at P2930, please, a combat report
24 dated the 31st of March. And if we could move on to the second page in
25 English which is the first page in B/C/S, which is on the screen now, so
1 if we could move to the second page in English.
2 Q. Under item 4 it speaks of MUP and military territorial units that
3 are controlling the territory and channelling Siptar refugees to Albania
4 and it's incident free.
5 When two units of this nature are engaged in that type of
6 activity, under whose command are they? Under which -- under the command
7 of which organization are they?
8 A. These two units do not carry out the same control of the
9 territory. Each one of them is within its own organization. When they
10 meet, then they coordinate their activities. The military territorial
11 unit provides security for important facilities in the territory where it
12 is that are of relevance to defence and the military. Entry/exit,
13 barracks, roads leading to warehouses, the areas where the units are
14 deployed, the MUP carries out its own work.
15 Q. So in channelling refugees to Albania, they are operating within
16 their own chains of command but in a coordinated manner, as an example of
17 coordination that you spoke of?
18 A. That's not what I said. As for channelling, I couldn't say
19 anything. As for channelling, I couldn't say anything specific. I was
20 talking about their authority in terms of controlling the territory.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, how do you understand then this statement,
22 that MUP and military territorial units are controlling the territory and
23 channelling the Albanian refugees to the Republic of Albania?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would be immodest if I were not
25 to say that this was not written in an illiterate manner. If I were the
1 superior officer, I would ask for clarification of this.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. It -- very well. The statement, sir, seems -- well, it's very
4 clear on the face of it --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, it's really for us to decide whether
6 that statement is consistent with other evidence we've heard in the case
7 and might support the case that there was a joint operation to do this.
8 This witness is saying he's got no knowledge of the particular
9 circumstances, and it sounded to me as though you were proceeding to
10 present argument rather than take evidence.
11 MR. STAMP: Very well, I think I could move on.
12 Q. In the course of the conflict in 1999 and in the months
13 immediately preceding the conflict, did you become aware of an organ known
14 as the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija?
15 A. During the course of the war against the Federal Republic of
16 Yugoslavia, in some talks I did hear mention of some Joint Command;
17 however, since I knew that it was not organized at all in accordance with
18 the rules of organization and that it was not within the organization of
19 the army, I did not particularly ask and I was not consulted either.
20 Q. When you say "in some talks," what do you mean by that?
21 A. When you work in the General Staff during the course of a war, you
22 hear different information and different talks. You hear stories, you
23 hear many things that people say.
24 Q. Well, you had regular briefings with other members of the General
25 Staff. Did you hear of the Joint Command in any of these briefings?
1 A. During the course of the war, I had regular meetings at the
2 collegium of the assistant Chief of General Staff for replenishment,
3 mobilisation, and system-related affairs. These meetings took place at
4 least twice a day. Not a single time did we discuss a Joint Command.
5 Therefore, I could not have heard about it.
6 Q. I'm just trying to find out what you meant when you said that you
7 heard about it in some talks. What was the nature of these talks? If it
8 wasn't at the collegium meeting, at which meeting did you hear talk about
9 the Joint Command?
10 A. Not at meetings. I heard about it in contacts, but I didn't
11 attach any importance to it.
12 Q. Did you ever in that same period hear - and when I say that
13 period, not just the conflict, the period, the months, preceding the
14 conflict - hear for the Inter-Departmental Staff For Combatting Terrorism
15 in Kosovo and Metohija?
16 A. During the course of 1998 when we were resolving problems as to
17 how best solutions could be found for the mobilisation of some units,
18 because at that time we were carrying out reforms, I heard that a
19 coordination body had been set up which was supposed to resolve problems
20 related to both coordination between the army and other subjects in the
21 implementation of defence tasks. I heard "coordinating body."
22 Q. Do you know who were members -- who were the members of this
23 coordinating body?
24 A. No. It was sufficient for me to know what the purpose of this
25 coordinating body was.
1 MR. STAMP: Can I just have a comment to confer with my
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. When did you become chief of organization?
6 A. Chief of department for organization, I think it was the 1st of
7 September, 1994, when I became that, and at the same time, that means that
8 that is the deputy head of the third administration, too. And on the 1st
9 of April, 1999, I became the representative of that administration. So
10 basically from 1994 onwards I dealt with organization at the highest
12 Q. Well, shouldn't the organization and membership of the
13 coordinating body for fighting terrorism in Kosovo in 1998 come within
14 your purview?
15 A. No. I was very specific at the very outset. I was in charge of
16 organizing the army; that is to say, everything that has to do with
17 military command of units and institutions was created and defined in my
18 administration signed by the Chief of General Staff, and every such
19 document is there to this day. The organization of these virtual organs
20 and organs of the state were not within my purview.
21 Q. You're saying that the coordinating organ fighting terrorism in
22 Kosovo is something you describe as a virtual organ? Just tell me briefly
23 what do you mean when you say a "virtual organ"?
24 A. All institutions of the system are clearly defined in the
25 constitution and laws. In certain situations when institutions of the
1 system cannot resolve in the best way a particular problem, then so-called
2 temporary or virtual organs are set up to resolve a certain problem.
3 People work on that in addition to their basic line of work. It is not
4 their basic line of work. When that problem is resolved, then that
5 particular organ is dissolved too.
6 Q. But a virtual organ coordinating body which involved or included
7 among its membership senior members of the VJ, including corps commanders,
8 would not come within your purview in the department of organization of
9 the VJ? You would not know about how they were organized and their
11 A. That certainly cannot be within that domain, because all the
12 members who were there had their regular activity and regular duties in
13 their own organizational units where they worked.
14 Q. Very well.
15 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have nothing
16 further for this witness.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 Mr. Visnjic -- oh, sorry --
19 MR. CEPIC: I'm sorry, problems with the cables under the table.
20 Mr. Stamp just opened new topic, so if you allow me just with two or three
21 questions to clarify some things, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Which topic are you referring to?
23 MR. CEPIC: About command and about VJ system, just one question.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well, proceed.
25 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Further cross-examination by Mr. Cepic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] General, it's me again. Just one more question.
3 We've already heard about 1998 that you had confirmation from
4 representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Am I
5 right that in 1998 and 1999 the chains of command in the Army of
6 Yugoslavia were fully preserved?
7 A. You are absolutely right, and it is particularly my duty to say
8 that institutions of command had been preserved and organized in a proper
9 way and they functioned appropriately.
10 Q. Thank you, General.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one question then arising from that,
12 Mr. Kosovac. If you don't know about the coordinating bodies and what
13 they are doing, how can you answer this question?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand this question.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You've made a sweeping statement about the chains
16 of command in the Army of Yugoslavia being fully preserved throughout 1998
17 and 1999. Now, how can you know that beyond the things that you
18 personally are doing when you do not know what the activities of the
19 inter-departmental staff were or the Joint Command were?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was very precise and
21 I tried to be very precise. I said that the institutions of the system,
22 the units of command that I was in charge of were organized in a proper
23 way and that they functioned. A coordinating body, if it did exist, did
24 not exist in the chain and institutions of the military, and I said that I
25 either did or did not hear about that in 1999. After 1999 there has been
1 a lot of talk about that but in different ways.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything else, Mr. Cepic?
3 MR. CEPIC: No. Thank you, Your Honour. Just, if you need
4 clarification, General Kosovac mentioned KZB, which means operation in
5 2001 in relation to joint forces, Serbian forces, in border belt
6 administration, border belt of Kosovo -- between Kosovo and Serbia, and
7 that was a similar issue about the Joint Command, as I read in the
8 newspapers and some other articles. So if you need clarification in that
9 way, I could ask this witness about that issue some questions.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not in this answer, though, that he's just
11 given. You're not saying it's been misinterpreted, are you?
12 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, I think that the witness clarified
13 some things, very clear.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. And when he was asked about the Joint
15 Command he said it was never discussed in any of the collegium meeting of
16 the assistant Chief of Staff that he attended, but he had heard mention of
17 it in passing but attached no importance to it. And that evidence
18 referred to 1999. Is that correct? Or perhaps we should clarify that.
19 MR. CEPIC: No, Your Honour, I heard the same thing.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kosovac, when you told us you had heard mention
21 of "Joint Command," your answer was that you had heard mention of it
22 during the war; is that correct?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Visnjic.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I do have a
2 few questions for the witness.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
4 Q. First question, General, pertains to what Mr. Ivetic was asking
5 you about. He suggested to you that certain levels, or rather, higher
6 levels of the MUP were not informed about the order on resubordination.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
8 P1457. The lower part of the exhibit, please, if possible. Thank you.
9 Q. General, can you just read who copies of this order were sent to.
10 A. It says here that the order should be sent to the Pristina Corps,
11 the commander of the PJPs, the special units of the police in Kosovo and
12 Metohija, and the Nis Corps.
13 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to another subject now. In response to
14 Mr. Ivetic's question on page 26 and 27 of today's transcript, this had to
15 do with Article 17, or rather, your explanation of Article 17. You said
16 that Article 17 precisely regulated a good solution; however, later on you
17 said that the system of armed forces and the security forces was not
18 properly organized and the security system, and that that is actually why
19 there were certain problems. Can you tell us what it was that you meant
20 when you said that?
21 A. In that answer I tried to be precise very briefly; namely, the
22 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that came into being as
23 a consequence of the transformation and orientation towards a completely
24 different course. And on the basis of laws, systems were not clearly
25 defined, like the security sector, like the armed forces, and the system
1 of defence. When these sectors, or rather, when these concepts are
2 clearly defined, then it is much clearer how to regulate mutual
3 coordination, cooperation, relations, and everything else. That was
4 poorly regulated and that is what was worked upon several times and
5 proposals were submitted to state organs to have this regulated. As for
6 Articles 16 and 17 that pertain to the actual implementation in the area
7 of responsibility, it gives a great deal of clarity to the actual organs
8 carrying this out, what they should do, and it says here, Familiarise them
9 within their own areas of responsibility, where this is actually taking
11 Q. Thank you. Now you said that several times -- I'm actually trying
12 to find the reference. You said that several times the Army of Yugoslavia
13 drew the attention of certain state organs to the fact that there was a
14 certain discrepancy in the functioning of these systems and the army drew
15 attention to that and gave certain proposals to state organs to that
16 effect. Can you be more specific on that, what it was that the Army of
17 Yugoslavia did in terms of these attempts to have these discrepancies in
18 the system redressed -- or actually, why these discrepancies in the system
19 actually did come into being. Let's start with the second part of my
20 question. Why was there such a degree of discrepancy in the system?
21 A. I can give a very brief and effective answer. First of all, the
22 discrepancy came into being because the systems were not defined. For 40
23 years there had been a socialist system, and then there was a
24 transformation of the country --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say I don't understand this question and
1 therefore it's -- the answer is not helping me. Are you saying this arose
2 in cross-examination?
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is based on the
4 witness's answer on page 27, the first four lines, when he said in
5 response to Mr. Ivetic's questions on Article 17, he said that it's a
6 system well regulated in accordance with Article 17; however, in order to
7 have this function, or rather, the problem was that the system of armed
8 forces and the security system was not properly regulated and that is why
9 there were problems that came up. Now I'm trying to examine that with the
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You're quite right. Please continue.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Now, let's see where we broke off. Well, you know, General, don't
14 you. I'm sure you do.
15 A. In 1996 what was felt was a discrepancy in the system and a lack
16 of definition in the sector of defence, the security system, and
17 General Kovacevic headed a Working Group and I was a member of this group.
18 This Working Group was supposed to make proposals as to how to resolve the
19 problem of command in the best possible way, in the sector of security and
20 the system of defence and so on. This Working Group worked seven days in
21 Fruska Gora and it prepared some material where it clearly defined what
22 the supreme commander is what the Supreme Command is, what the staff of
23 the Supreme Command is, what the rights and responsibilities were, and
24 this proposal was submitted to proposal state authorities.
25 The proposal was not carried through by way of changing the
1 constitution and laws, but it was accepted as a good definition of the
2 problems involved. The Chief of General Staff ordered in 1998 to set up a
3 Working Group that was supposed to resolve the problem of coordinating and
4 commanding between the army and the Ministry of the Interior. This
5 Working Group worked in December and January, although we were expecting
6 an aggression against the country to take place at any moment. This
7 Working Group, this Working Group achieved good results, but they did not
8 go into force because the war started. Many of these results were
9 materialised later on.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. This is about Mr. Stamp's examination, page 43.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
15 Defence Exhibit 3D481, page 2.
16 Q. General, Mr. Stamp asked you this question on page 43, lines 10
17 and 11, Do you see paragraph 2 of item 2.1? I'm asking you the same
18 question now. Do you see paragraph 2 of item 2.1?
19 A. Indeed I do.
20 Q. So what's paragraph 2?
21 A. I prohibit admission of members of paramilitary units, groups, and
22 individuals already present in the area of responsibility to VJ commands
23 and installations as volunteers without prior completion of procedures
24 regulated by this order.
25 Q. Are you looking at both the English and the Serbian?
1 A. No, just the Serbian.
2 Q. And where is paragraph 1?
3 A. On the previous page.
4 Q. Thank you. My next question in relation to that -- what about
5 paragraph 2 of 2.1, was it written in order for persons to be admitted
6 into the ranks of volunteers who were already paramilitaries?
7 A. It was written to prevent admission of paramilitaries.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honours, I think
13 there is something that is still not clear. May I get on with my question
14 and you can see if I'm right or not, but check this page, page 49, line
15 22 -- 53, line 6--
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought it was 49 --
17 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] 49, line 22, that's the first thing.
18 If you could please have a look, the Chamber. There is the
19 word "coordinating body," and then 53, line 6, and then the answer to your
20 question there is a term that is used in both of these and the latter
21 term -- I think it might be good to clarify what exactly the term implies
22 in these cases, but the Chamber must grant permission for that or perhaps
23 the Chamber could simply look into the use of this term. It's about
24 terminology and it's about two different years.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If it's the Joint Command you're concerned about,
1 is it the Joint Command you're concerned about?
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness made it clear on two occasions that he
4 heard about it during the war.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, I know that, but in 1998 he talks
6 about a coordinating body; in 1999 again on page 53, line 6, he talks
7 about a coordinating body that he heard of or did not hear of back in
8 1999. And you ask him about the Joint Command. So I don't know if the
9 coordinating body and the Joint Command mean the same thing for him or is
10 he using these two as two entirely different concepts to mean two
11 different things. Is that the essence. Is it either or, or rather, is
12 both the same thing? If you think that's worth looking into raising the
13 issue, by all means do so, if you think I'm totally off the mark --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: If you wish to ask a question of the witness to
15 clarify this, you may do so.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Fila:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, General, you said that in 1998 you had heard
19 of some coordinating body and then you said in 1999 maybe you heard and
20 maybe you didn't hear of a coordinating body, if indeed, such a body if it
21 existed at all. And then the Presiding Judge, His Honour, asked you, and
22 you said that during the war in 1999 you heard about the Joint Command.
23 What I want to know is: Are these two the same thing or are these two
24 different things? Who did you hear this from, when, and what did it mean?
25 A. I was supposed to speak about 1999, and I meant to be very
1 precise. In 1999 I heard those terms, coordinating body, Joint Command,
2 both. I didn't go into the meaning or the respective meanings of these
3 two. And, by the way, I think I pointed out that I had understood the
4 meaning only in the year 2000 and later.
5 Q. So what was the meaning?
6 A. It is obvious to anyone who deals with organisational matters
7 that it seems that somebody called this coordinating body the Joint
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Should I press on, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a matter for you, Mr. Fila. I do not require
11 to know --
12 MR. FILA: [No interpretation] --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't require to know any more about this. The
14 position's fairly clear to me.
15 MR. STAMP: And I think based -- since counsel has addressed or
16 has commented in respect to the evidence, the witness spoke of a
17 coordinating body when he was asked about the joint staff the --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm clear on that, Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: Very well.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't know what Mr. Fila's problem is, but he
21 should have a chance to clarify it if he feels there is an issue.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. This coordinating body that you've just mentioned, there was some
24 coordinating body that was termed the Joint Command, that's in 1999,
25 right? Can you explain now what you mean when you say that. What would
1 be the job of this body?
2 A. There was a war being waged against the Federal Republic of
3 Yugoslavia, and this required everybody's involvement, all those within
4 the country. There was no unified system enabling all participants to
5 organize themselves under a unified control or management and to all work
6 toward the same goal. In order to prevent this a coordinating body was
7 created in order to coordinate all the participants so that they all do
8 their jobs with no interference or overlap. This is coordination.
9 Q. So is this subordination as well?
10 A. No, this is coordination. When you have subordination, you get
11 precise orders, you have responsibilities, you have reports, and I said
12 that command units in the army were functioning and they were organized in
13 a clear manner.
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I hope this
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in case you're in any doubt, Mr. Fila, the
17 answer -- one of the answers you were concerned about on page 49, line 22,
18 was given specifically in relation to 1998. The witness said "1998" in
19 spite of what he's now said about the purpose of him giving evidence here.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So was this coordinating body also in relation to 1998? Did you
22 say anything about 1998?
23 A. I said that in 1998 there was coordination as well. I'm not sure
24 whether it was the same body doing it or not but I don't think it really
25 makes any difference. There was coordination between all the
1 participants, right.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Does anything arise from that for you, Mr. Stamp?
5 MR. STAMP: Nothing.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: For you, Mr. Visnjic?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Microphone not activated]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Kosovac, that completes your evidence; thank you for coming
10 here to give it. You're now free to leave us.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, the next witness.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
15 General Zlatoje Terzic, number 8.
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Terzic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
21 speak the truth by reading aloud the document now being shown to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
25 You'll now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf of Mr. Ojdanic.
1 Mr. Visnjic.
2 WITNESS: ZLATOJE TERZIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. General, before we start your examination, can you just state your
8 name for the record, please.
9 A. I am Zlatoje Terzic.
10 Q. Thank you. General, did you talk to the Ojdanic Defence team and
11 did you make a statement to us on the 18th of August, 2007?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Which you signed, right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you go through this statement in preparation for this
16 testimony? If asked the same questions before this Court, would you
17 provide answers that are identical to what you said in the statement?
18 A. I think there is a single exception in paragraph 5, there's a
19 technical error; everything else I can corroborate.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, paragraph 5 of the
21 B/C/S statement --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear counsel.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The interpreter did not hear you, Mr. Visnjic.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, General Terzic draws
25 my attention to a technical error in paragraph 5 where it says 3D, he
1 would like for those two letters, or rather, the number and the letter to
2 be erased, because this is in reference to an exhibit that has not been
3 admitted. So that's ...
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry, what has that got to do with him?
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The General said that there was a
6 small exception in paragraph 5, a technical error. I'm trying to specify
7 what the error is in order to prevent us wasting anymore time, that's
8 paragraph 5 of his statement.
9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: My problem here, Mr. Visnjic, is I haven't seen
11 this statement. It may be my oversight in not looking at it, but this
12 witness is, I think, still billed to be a live witness.
13 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The statement was uploaded in B/C/S on the 12th of
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That's true.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: There does not appear to be a translation of it.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] It must be a glitch then, since we
19 do have a translation and it's available in the re-list. 3D1093.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, the practice that we have which does
22 not appear to be being followed by your case manager is to send both B/C/S
23 and English versions of a statement as attachments to an e-mail. That
24 does not appear to have happened in this case. We're about to have a
25 break and we will take it early to try to resolve the problem and also to
1 resolve the issue with the witness because it doesn't seem to me to be his
2 responsibility to tell us what has and has not been admitted and what
3 numbers should be assigned to exhibits. That's a matter for you to deal
5 Mr. Terzic, we have a problem with your statement at the moment
6 and that has to be resolved. We would have to have a break for 30 minutes
7 in any event, so we'll take that break now. We'll resume at quarter to
8 1.00. Could you now please leave the courtroom with the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I now see the problem, a meaningless 3D in
16 paragraph 5, all right, but it wasn't easy for us to follow that without
17 the statement. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I hope
19 that we have now resolved this.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the exhibit number?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we'd like to tender this
22 statement as Defence Exhibit 3D1093.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit 3D712,
25 it's an e-court exhibit.
1 Q. General, early in 1998 the VJ started educating its staff in the
2 international humanitarian law at the higher -- at the highest possible
3 level of command and General Staff. Appearing in front of you in a minute
4 should be a document dated the 3rd of February, 1998, this is an order for
5 the execution of a seminar. Can you tell us more about this project,
7 A. In February 1998 the then-deputy Chief of General Staff,
8 Dragoljub Ojdanic, signed an order to organize a seminar in international
9 humanitarian law of war for the leaders in the defence sector, the defence
10 ministry, and the General Staff of the VJ.
11 Q. General, this project involved a number of experts, did it not,
12 international speakers. As far as I gathered by looking at the documents
13 that paved the way for that seminar, the talks continued throughout 1998
14 or the preparations continued. If we turn back to page 2, you said that
15 General Ojdanic signed this order. What exactly was his involvement in
16 preparing this seminar after signing this order and then all the way until
17 the seminar actually started?
18 A. I headed an administration at that time, and this administration
19 was responsible for training and education of the entire Yugoslav Army.
20 While preparing for this seminar, Ojdanic asked me on a number of
21 occasions how the preparations were going. Several days before the
22 seminar took place he wanted detailed information on the preparations. A
23 mere day before the seminar started I went to see him and he went with me
24 through all the documents about the preparation of this seminar. He
25 called all the participants, phoned all the participants in my presence,
1 told them about how important this seminar was and told them that
2 attendance was compulsory. He also said that at the collegium meeting of
3 the General Staff he underlined the importance of this seminar.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D713.
6 Q. General, we have here a list of participants for this seminar,
7 those from the General Staff of the VJ. Can you tell us briefly who was
8 there on behalf of the Yugoslav side, who took part?
9 A. You see the list, there are 26 names on it, 10 or 12 of these
10 generals. These are chiefs or deputy chiefs in all the bodies that made
11 up the General Staff of the VJ.
12 Q. Thank you. The beginning of the seminar was scheduled for the
13 25th of November, 1998, was it not. That morning, General - and we know
14 this from other evidence - there was a replacement at the head of the
15 General Staff and this was General Ojdanic's first day in this new post,
16 despite which General Ojdanic turned up for the seminar, didn't he?
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have Defence Exhibit
20 Q. General, can you tell us about the substance of this document?
21 A. This is General Ojdanic's contribution. He introduces the
22 seminar, he welcomes all of those present. Let me point out
23 General Ojdanic was going to be there throughout for the whole seminar,
24 but that morning he took up his duties as Chief of the General Staff. So
25 he couldn't be there all the time, but in addition to welcoming those
1 present he invited all the participants to have an open and well-argued
2 discussion, including issues in relation to Kosovo.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would like to
5 tender General Ojdanic's speech or contribution, it speaks for itself.
6 I'm not going through it in any great detail with this witness; rather,
7 I'll ask the witness this.
8 Q. General, how long did the seminar go on for?
9 A. Two days.
10 Q. You say that General Ojdanic invited the participants to
11 contribute to an open and reasoned discussion including Kosovo. Can you
12 tell us what sort of discussion was there at the seminar?
13 A. The seminar consisted of two parts, the first was contributions by
14 the --
15 Q. General, just a minute, please. As you go about answering this,
16 can we please have 3D715 on our screens.
17 A. -- And representatives of the VJ. The discussion was open. There
18 were differences of opinion, disagreements. For example, the high envoy
19 of the International Committee of the Red Cross, an Australian, in his
20 contribution pointed out that the national state at this point in history
21 must renounce on some of its sovereignty in favour of the international
22 community. Those who refused to do this would be excluded from the
23 economic developments or would be forced renounce on some of their
24 sovereignty by the use of arms. I was the person chairing this seminar at
25 the moment when Mr. Sanderson spoke about this. I asked him to clarify
1 what exactly he meant when he said the international community and in what
2 way he was authorised to speak on behalf of the international community.
3 He didn't answer the first of my questions and in answer to my second
4 question he mentioned the Security Council.
5 Q. Thank you, General. This document in front of us is actually the
6 report that you compiled at the end of the seminar. Who was this report
7 submitted to?
8 A. This is the report - just a moment, please - that I submitted to
9 the Chief of General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, General Ojdanic,
10 which is not customary because he was not my immediate superior because
11 during the break after his remarks he ordered me to submit to him
12 personally an extensive report on the seminar.
13 Q. Thank you. And that is a document that contains several pages,
14 and if I can put it that way it gives a concise version of all the
15 statements at the seminar.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the Trial Chamber please see
17 the English text on page 5, paragraph 3; B/C/S page 5, paragraph 2. Thank
19 Q. General, so the methodology of this report is to give a brief
20 version of all the statements made?
21 A. It's a standard report. It contains what is important in a
22 certain activity, like all reports that are compiled by the military.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we would like to
25 tender the report in its entirety.
1 Could the witness please be shown 3D714. The previous exhibit was
2 3D715, but now I would like 3D714.
3 Q. General, we have yet another report in front of us on the same
4 subject also sent to the Chief of General Staff. This time it was signed
5 by Major-General Professor Dr. Sinisa Borovic. What was the position of
6 General Borovic at that point in time?
7 A. He was assistant Chief of General Staff and at the same time he
8 was head of the sector and my immediate superior.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please be
10 asked to speak slower and into the microphone.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So he submitted this report to General Ojdanic down the regular
14 A. General Ojdanic, had he not ordered me to give my report to him in
15 person, I would have sent it to General Borovic and he would have
16 submitted it to General Ojdanic. In this situation, of course, I
17 submitted a copy to him, as well, but he found it necessary to inform
18 General Ojdanic briefly about this activity that was carried out.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please be
20 asked to speak into the microphone and slower. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you slow down a little bit, please,
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 Mr. Terzic, this document suggests that it was the position of all
24 the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross that
25 the modern world requires that some sovereignty has to be conceded to
1 international bodies. You confined the reference earlier to
2 Mr. Sanderson. Does this refresh your recollection?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it was only
4 Mr. Sanderson that had such a position, no one else. Here for the sake of
5 summarizing it is possible to understand things that way; however, in my
6 report it is stated unequivocally.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 Mr. Visnjic.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D715 that is actually the report of
10 General Terzic has a total of nine pages. Due to its volume, I did not
11 want to go through it in detail, but you will find references to each and
12 every participant in terms of what he said, of course again in a
13 summarized form.
14 Q. General, let us go back now to this exhibit, 3D714, and the last
15 paragraph of this exhibit at that. There is an interesting statement here
16 that the representatives of the ICRC asked for the lecture of
17 Dr. Djordje Radojevic on the training of the law of war in the Army of
18 Yugoslavia to be authorised and published in the ICRC bulletin in Geneva
19 in 1999.
20 General, can you tell us a bit more about this, what it was that
21 Colonel Radojevic spoke about?
22 A. Well, Colonel Dr. Djordje Radojevic was involved in the seminar.
23 At the seminar he spoke about the content of international humanitarian
24 law in the curriculum and training of all structures of the Army of
25 Yugoslavia. It was very well received, his statement was, and the
1 representatives of the ICRC asked him to submit a copy of his remarks so
2 they could publish it in the ICRC bulletin at the same time as an example
3 to others as to how this subject matter should be approached in training
4 and educating the military.
5 Q. General, do you have any more precise information about this? Let
6 us just represent this for the Trial Chamber.
7 A. Well, I don't want to tire anyone, so very briefly where NCOs are
8 trained there are four periods devoted to regulations in this field and at
9 the military academy there is eight classes per week. At the command
10 staff academy there is 16 classes in terms of command, that subject, and
11 at the highest school of national defence there are six classes devoted to
12 the subject of --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In terms of practical training, this
15 subject matter was given particular attention. For example, what was
16 particularly appreciated were protected facilities, facilities that could
17 cause a catastrophe if they were to be destroyed it could cause a
18 catastrophe, like chemical facilities, dams, and so on, then also how to
19 treat civilians, prisoners of war, and so on. Also what was being taught
20 was that every command is duty-bound in its report to report about all
21 violations of norms of international humanitarian law and laws of war,
22 both those committed by their own members and by the other side.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. General, just one thing in terms of the
25 interpretation. Your answer was that at the highest level, that is to say
1 the national defence school, there are six classes devoted to
2 international humanitarian law that are part of the subject, what subject?
3 A. Warfare is the subject.
4 Q. Warfare. Thank you. General, the seminar was over, as we said,
5 towards the end of November. Is that where education stopped, this
7 A. No, it didn't even start with this seminar. Up until this
8 seminar, several were held, seven I think, and this was the eighth one
9 that was carried out by the ICRC for the highest levels of command in the
10 Army of Yugoslavia and one seminar was held for instructors; that is to
11 say, officers, members of the army, who after that held seminars in
12 various units. What was envisaged was to continue these seminars in
13 cooperation with the ICRC. All of this on the basis of an agreement
14 between the minister of defence and the ICRC. If I am not mistaken, it
15 was signed in 1996.
16 Q. Thank you. General, the Office of the Prosecutor of this Tribunal
17 asserts there was a plan for expelling Albanians and that this plan was
18 made by the -- by October 1998 at the latest. You've already responded to
19 that in paragraph 22 of your statement. Now I would like to ask you, in
20 view of this assertion made by the OTP, to comment on it in view of the
21 activities taken by General Ojdanic and the General Staff towards the end
22 of 1998 in 1999 as well, both in the field of training and in the field of
23 seminars devoted to international humanitarian law and ultimately in terms
24 of training volunteers, which is what you testified to in your statement.
25 A. Well, quite simply, these activities and such an assertion are
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no further
4 questions of this witness.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 You'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Hannis for the Prosecution.
7 Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I had seen some exhibits noted by the
9 Lukic Defence.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, they have shaken their head --
11 MR. IVETIC: No cross-examination.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Already, Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis:
16 Q. Good afternoon, General. I want to ask you, when did you --
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. When did you retire or when did you leave the VJ, what year?
19 A. I was retired in 2003 on the 1st of June officially.
20 Q. And how did that come about, could you tell the Court?
21 A. By way of a decision of the president, or rather, the minister of
22 defence at the time, Mr. Tadic.
23 Q. And did that have anything to do in connection with your work with
24 the VJ Commission on Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal?
25 A. I could not answer that for you. With Mr. Tadic who was then
1 minister of defence, I talked to him for two hours and he did not object
2 to anything in relation to the work of that commission and my work there.
3 Q. Well, as a matter of fact, didn't Mr. Tadic dissolve that
4 commission on the 11th of April, 2003?
5 A. Well, the minister of defence and the Chief of General Staff
6 established the commission; it was their right to decide whether they
7 would dissolve it or not.
8 Q. Well, the minister of defence and the chairman or the Chief of the
9 General Staff who created the commission were, in fact, different
10 individuals, right? That was Slobodan Krapovic as the minister of defence
11 in 2001 and General Pavkovic as the Chief of General Staff in 2001 when
12 that commission was created, correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what was the ostensible purpose of that commission when it was
16 A. I think that I can speak about this subject matter although I have
17 not received a waiver with regard to these topics, because the document on
18 the establishment of the commission was a public one. The commission was
19 established by the minister of defence and the Chief of General Staff,
20 with the agreement of the federal government. As an advisory body, I
21 underline, an advisory body of the minister of defence and the Chief of
22 General Staff in relation to cooperation with the International Criminal
23 Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
24 Q. And there was some controversy in Serbia between 2001 and 2003
25 about the activities and the role of this commission; isn't that true?
1 A. If you are referring to what the tabloids wrote, then yes;
2 otherwise, I do not know about any other controversy.
3 Q. And which -- which newspapers or which media are you referring to
4 when you use the term "tabloids," could you name them for us, please?
5 A. Well, for the most part several of them. Now, for me to give you
6 the names -- well, to tell you the truth I wasn't even following all of
7 that. I know it was published by Blic, Kurir. I wouldn't know what else
8 to say.
9 Q. B92 radio?
10 A. I don't listen to that. I didn't listen to them at the time, I
11 didn't hear them say that.
12 Q. What about Beta, are you familiar with Beta?
13 A. Beta, yes, I'm familiar with that.
14 Q. And would you --
15 A. But I don't know about Beta reporting about that.
16 Q. Would you refer to Beta as a tabloid?
17 A. No.
18 Q. In Exhibit P2935 we have a couple of articles, one of them is from
19 Beta dated the 15th of April, 2003, which is reporting that you,
20 General Terzic, were dismissed by the defence minister and that you had
21 been the head of the Commission For Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.
22 Is that correct, you were head of commission?
23 A. I was head of the commission. I was president of the commission.
24 Q. And could you tell us who the other members of the commission
25 were, were they all members or retired members of the VJ?
1 A. At that time, only one was a retired member of the Army of
2 Yugoslavia, that was General Gojovic, all the others were from different
3 structures of the General Staff and the ministry, these were people who
4 were still employed.
5 Q. Geza Farkas was one of the members of the commission?
6 A. Geza Farkas I think was retired after that, but I'm not quite
8 Q. But he was one of the members?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How about Sreten Obrencevic?
11 A. Sreten Obrencevic later became a member of the commission, he
12 wasn't a member from the very beginning.
13 Q. What about Milos Gojkovic?
14 A. He also became a member later, only in the following year, 2002,
15 whereas the commission was established in 2001.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Terzic, you said that you were retired on the
17 1st of June, and this report is suggesting that you had been dismissed
18 from the VJ commission by the 15th of April. When was the decision made
19 that you should be retired?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My service stopped on the 1st of
21 June. There is a procedure involved, and that is what I meant when I said
22 the 1st of June.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. General, was Radomir Gojovic also a member of the commission?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And General Milan Gvero?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You're saying he was never a member of the commission?
5 A. He was never a member of that commission.
6 Q. How about two more, Dusan Bilic?
7 A. Never, never, he was never a member of that commission.
8 Q. How about a non-paid member?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And the last one is General Bosko Todorovic?
11 A. He was never a member of the commission either.
12 Q. Are there other members that I haven't named?
13 A. Colonel Mojsilovic was secretary of the commission. There were a
14 few other members as well, but I'm not sure that I'm going to recall all
15 of the names. After all, all of that is contained in the documentation
16 and the orders and it's not a problem to have a look.
17 Q. Okay. That's fine. And the controversy I referred to and which
18 you said apparently is only as a result of what the tabloids were
19 publishing, that controversy suggested that the commission was known as
20 the anti-Hague lobby. Did you ever hear that term used in connection with
21 your commission?
22 A. I heard all sorts of expressions, but I would kindly ask you to
23 have a look at my reports to the minister of defence and the Chief of
24 General Staff, and from them you will be able to conclude for yourself
25 that this commission was in no way an anti-Hague lobby.
1 Q. Was one of your reports to the commission in connection with the
2 existence of VJ files for General Mladic?
3 A. Possibly. I do not remember.
4 Q. And you're not familiar with an OTP request for certain of those
5 files and you being involved and denying that such files existed?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, since I received several hundred requests at the
7 time, the commission did, that is, in that period of time, it is very hard
8 for me now to give yes or no answers in relation to individual requests.
9 Q. Well, we're not talking about some private or sergeant, we're
10 talking about General Mladic who's one of the two most-wanted fugitives of
11 this Tribunal. You know who he is, don't you?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. And you don't recall that there was an OTP request and that you
14 personally were indicating that there were no such files in existence, VJ
15 files for General Mladic?
16 A. The commission did not formulate answers on its own. Once a
17 request was received from the OTP -- well, since the commission did not
18 have any original documents, when OTP requests were received, first
19 through the Ministry of Defence and later on through the Ministry of
20 Foreign Affairs, the commission would write letters to individual
21 addresses with questions related to the documents sought. The answers we
22 got from them later became answers of the commission. The commission did
23 not formulate any answer on its own.
24 Q. Well, with regard to whether or not there were any VJ files in
25 existence for General Mladic, wouldn't you in the VJ be in a better
1 position to know about that than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the
2 Ministry of Defence?
3 A. We are not understanding each other. I didn't ask the Ministry of
4 Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit this information to
5 me. It is through them that I received OTP requests. As for these
6 requests in terms of whether there are any dossiers on General Mladic, I
7 sent that to the personnel administration of the Ministry of Defence or
8 General Staff and the security administration; so what I got from them was
9 my answer.
10 Q. And the security administration, you mean the security
11 administration of the VJ?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the General Staff of the VJ?
14 A. Personnel administration of the General Staff that is in charge of
15 personal files.
16 Q. Okay. So if you passed on information back in response to the OTP
17 request that there were no files in existence for General Mladic, that's
18 because that was the information you had received from the personnel and
19 security administrations of the army; is that right?
20 A. Absolutely, because I could not know whether something like that
21 did or did not exist or did I have any files or dossiers.
22 Q. I have a question about that. Exhibit 2935, the second story in
23 that exhibit is a report from Radio B92 and it claims that the commission
24 possessed somewhere around 14.000 documents. Your commission did have a
25 lot of documents, did you?
1 A. The commission did not have a single document whatsoever. This
2 assertion is based on the following. The commission in this period of its
3 work submitted to the OTP 14.000 pages of requested documents, 14.000
4 pages of requested documents, pages requested by you. How and why
5 somebody provided this kind of information that we had 14.000 pages of
6 documents, I really don't know. I repeat, the commission never had
7 original documents or could it take them or do anything with them.
8 Q. Well, what exactly did you and all these other generals do then on
9 this Commission For Cooperation?
10 A. I have to clarify, if I may.
11 Q. Please.
12 A. Whenever we received a request from the OTP or from one of the
13 Defence teams for that matter, because the commission did not have any
14 documents we would -- we would write to all the tactical leaders in the
15 Army of Yugoslavia for them to inform us whether such documents existed to
16 begin with, and secondly to inform us about their position as to whether
17 these documents could be forwarded or not. Once we received feedback from
18 them, if the feedback was positive, affirmative to both questions, then
19 there was no further procedure to follow. If the reply was that the
20 document existed but they believed that because of state security it
21 should not be forwarded to the OTP, then the members of the mission would
22 get together with whoever was in possession of this document to review the
23 issue. And normally we would try to convince them because it was the
24 position of our commission that each and every document should be
25 forwarded to the OTP. We underlined this fact in all of our reports, and
1 every time I briefed my superiors I spoke about that. I tried to get them
2 to -- we tried to get them to change their position in a bid to get the
3 document forwarded to the OTP. Just to back this up, the National Council
4 for Cooperation with the Tribunal accepted all of the commission's
5 decisions. There was a single decision at a later stage that was amended,
6 but a reasoned explanation was provided. I'm sorry if I said "decisions,"
7 I meant proposals. We made no decisions, we made proposals.
8 Q. You mentioned requests from Defence teams, and you're aware,
9 aren't you, sir, from the Milosevic trial that there was some controversy
10 regarding the commission because there was a suspicion on the part of the
11 OTP and a suggestion that your commission was providing documents to
12 Mr. Milosevic which were not forthcoming to the OTP.
13 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, I must say this again, the commission never
14 had a single original document. The originals were kept by the -- those
15 who were in charge of this in the archives. As chairman of the
16 commission, I did not have the right to order that any document be
17 photocopied. The only person who had this power was Chief of the General
18 Staff. Therefore, I was in no position to provide anyone with documents,
19 aside from the procedure that I have now familiarised you with.
20 Q. My understanding of the commission then is although you may not
21 have had in your possession original documents, you'd had the ability to
22 control whether or not those documents would be released to the OTP or
23 Mr. Milosevic, correct?
24 A. No. The commission did not forward documents to the OTP or the
25 Defence. It only forwarded documents to the defence ministry, and they
1 then decided what to do with it. And then later the Ministry of Foreign
2 Affairs or the National Council, in both cases we would submit our report
3 containing all of our positions, and this was forwarded to the defence
4 minister. The commission never forwarded documents directly to the OTP or
5 to any of the defence teams. This was the only procedure that was used.
6 Q. But your commission was the first stop in deciding whether or not
7 documents might eventually be forwarded to the OTP or General Milosevic --
8 Mr. Milosevic, Slobodan Milosevic, correct?
9 A. Again, not correct. What we did was make proposals to the defence
10 minister and then to the chairman of the National Council for Cooperation
11 with the Tribunal. We made proposals on what to do and the decision was
12 made first by the defence minister and then by the chairman of the
13 National Council. They could either accept or overrule our proposals.
14 Q. From what you said earlier, I take it that there was only one time
15 where the proposal of the commission was disagreed with; isn't that
17 A. Yes, correct. First it was adopted, and then it was amended a
18 month later; however, an explanation was provided and I can provide more
19 detail about this, if you like.
20 Q. Well, I guess my question about that is: What was your initial
21 proposal in connection with that document? Was your initial proposal that
22 it be released or that it not be released?
23 A. It wasn't about a document this time, because the commission,
24 apart from working with the Tribunal on the issue of documents, it also
25 dealt with missing persons, not in terms of actually finding missing
1 persons but to keep things running as they were supposed to be running.
2 There was a request that was made for a waiver in terms of keeping a state
3 secret in relation to someone who had already violated these norms
4 governing state secrets. I personally and other members of the commission
5 believed that it wasn't all right to grant somebody a waiver after the
6 fact, and thus to release them from their responsibility. So that was the
7 only difference. The Supreme National Council accepted our position. A
8 month later; however, and they had their own reasons I won't go into that,
9 they amended their position and they approved this waiver; however, they
10 did provide a reasoned explanation in writing.
11 MR. HANNIS: If we could go into private session for a minute,
12 Your Honour, I would like to ask the name of this individual.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you do, I'd like to ask one thing.
14 Mr. Terzic, I don't understand at the moment the purpose of this
15 body the way you've explained it. You already had a Commission For
16 Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, and no doubt they sent requests to
17 the Ministry of Defence when they received them; is that correct? Is that
18 how it worked?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, at first, yes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Why couldn't a clerk in the Ministry of Defence
21 process these to the responsible departments? Why was it necessary to
22 have a high-powered commission of senior personnel from the Ministry of
23 Defence, the VJ, and retired generals?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Law on the
25 Establishment of the National Council envisages two commissions. One of
1 these is defence and internal affairs, so that's the law. What you said,
2 for a simple clerk to be forwarding documents such as these, you must
3 understand that a simple clerk would not be able to assess the importance
4 of certain documents and then go back to the tactical mainstay and say
5 regardless of your position that this document should not be sent, I think
6 it should still be sent. It just wouldn't work that way, would it?
7 As to the reasons why the commission was set up, I don't think I'm
8 best-placed necessarily to answer this question. I think Krapovic and
9 other people should talk about that.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm left wondering whether it didn't work the other
11 way, that you were a filter to prevent documents getting to The Hague
12 Tribunal, because you had the expertise to assess the documents.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 88 per cent of the
14 requests made by the Tribunal were carried out. Only those that were
15 impossible to carry out were not carried out. For example, it was
16 requested that documents be sent from battalion to General Staff level,
17 all of their documents within a seven-month deadline [as interpreted] and
18 20 days' deadline, and these are truck-loads of documents. I'm not going
19 into their relevance, but it was a technical impossibility to comply with
20 that deadline and with the request. Documents were requested from all
21 military courts over a ten-year period, all the documents, every single
22 document over a ten-year period. I addressed Carla del Ponte three times
23 on this issue when she came to Belgrade. I told her that these requests
24 should be stream-lined so that we were able to deal with them again.
25 Every time I briefed anyone, anyone written report that I sent to anyone,
1 and I suppose the OTP are in possession of those, I don't know, I hadn't
2 prepared for this subject matter to be raised. This had not been
3 announced, but I always advocated the need to submit all the documents to
4 the OTP, firstly so that we may wash ourselves clean of the accusation of
5 not being cooperative; and secondly, I personally knew that there was
6 absolutely nothing in those documents that should keep us from handing
7 these over to the Tribunal. I said this, I wrote this on a number of
8 occasions, and I signed these positions.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Now we'll go into private session briefly for the purpose
11 indicated by Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, just one translation issue in the
13 transcript page 86, line 6, seven-month time-period was what was said, not
14 deadline. I just want to clear that up.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS:
7 Q. General, in your answer just before we went into private session
8 when speaking to Judge Bonomy you said: "I personally knew there was
9 absolutely nothing in those documents ..."
10 You're talking about all the documents that were being requested
11 by the OTP? You didn't personally review all those documents yourself,
12 did you?
13 A. Based on all my information, my contact with tactical mainstays --
14 just let me make sure we understand each other. There was nothing that
15 accused the state, nothing material. At the same time, there was nothing
16 material that was of any consequence or that might prove prejudicial to
17 state security. So those are the two elements I'm talking about. I'm not
18 saying -- not necessarily saying there was not something contentious in a
19 given document, from your point of view, when I say contentious, I mean
21 Q. General, you're not a lawyer, correct?
22 A. No.
23 Q. And I guess I'm curious as to how you would know who would be
24 material in terms of evidential value for the Prosecution in a case like
25 this or the other cases that are being prosecuted in The Hague Tribunal,
1 not only against Serbs, but also against Muslims, Croatians, Albanians, et
3 A. That's what I said. I wasn't talking about your point of view.
4 I'm talking about the national security point of view.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I have a bit more to go. I wonder if
6 we can break for the day.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think we have any option.
8 It's an unfortunate feature of this place, Mr. Terzic, that we
9 have to stick rigidly to our time allocation because another case comes
10 into this room in the afternoon. So we have to break at this stage and
11 continue tomorrow, that will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning. You should be
12 here, ready to resume your evidence at that stage. Meanwhile, it is vital
13 that you should have no discussion with anyone at all about the evidence
14 in the case; that doesn't stop you meeting with and talking to people, but
15 there must be absolutely no discussion of the evidence. And the best way
16 to do that, of course, is to stay away from the people involved in the
18 Now could you please leave the courtroom with the usher.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
22 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.