1 Thursday, 20 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Following yesterday afternoon's discussion about
6 the timing of the trial, the Trial Chamber has decided to take no action
7 on the matter. We were reassured by what was said and we would like to
8 express our gratitude for counsels' continued cooperation with the Trial
9 Chamber in efforts to manage this case efficiently and fairly. We are
10 content to rely on counsels' judgement that the Defence case is on course
11 to be completed in the time allocated.
12 Now, Mr. Ackerman, I understand you have something you wish to
13 raise before the next witness comes into court.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the next witness has given two 92 ter
15 statements. I have objection to the second of those, it's 3D01114.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: In that statement the witness basically represents
18 himself as an expert on handwriting, and he makes conclusions regarding
19 handwriting comparisons that he's made. And nowhere has it been shown
20 that he has any expertise in that regard, the rules regarding designation
21 of an expert have not been followed in this regard, and therefore I object
22 to that second -- that second statement. And I can point you to the
23 various paragraphs or parts of paragraphs where he does express these
24 opinions as if he were a qualified handwriting expert, if you'd like me to
25 do that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I've read this and have made certain comments
2 on the page, but some might say that handwriting is one of these things
3 that anyone can make some sort of judgement about and is not exclusively a
4 matter for expertise; however, certain aspects of it may be exclusively
5 matters for expertise. Now, my inclination in these circumstances would
6 be to note your objection and reserve the question of the admissibility of
7 this evidence until we've heard it and then let you address us at the end
8 of the witness's evidence again on the same lines.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: The problem with that, Your Honour, of course is
10 that you would have then heard it and it may be quite difficult to then
11 put it completely out of your minds. I know you're professional Judges
12 and you're supposed to be quite good at that, but it's hard to unring a
13 bell. In any event, I've heard your response and I accept it.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: There may be parts of this in any event, even if
15 you were right about the -- this being exclusively a matter of expertise,
16 that the witness could say something about. Part of this relates to
17 alteration, I think, and we would then need to apply a pretty artificial
18 approach to hearing the evidence and some of it might be okay. So I'll
19 hear Mr. Stamp or Mr. Hannis, not clear who, on this, and then the Chamber
20 will have a brief discussion.
21 Mr. Stamp. You're not concerned --
22 MR. STAMP: I have no comment to make except --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
24 Mr. Visnjic -- sorry.
25 MR. STAMP: Except that the area of handwriting falls in the -- in
1 a category that is not exclusively for experts. A witness can make his
2 own observations as to what handwriting is.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Visnjic, anything you wish to add?
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can just say in
6 relation to this witness, or rather, the material that he looked at that
7 it has to do with the material we got a few days ago, quite literally a
8 few days ago. Our intention is to subject this material to expertise,
9 this is a special request that we have, because we don't think it's only a
10 question of handwriting but also some other elements - I'm just say this
11 by way of an example, different pens, the way this was done, and so on and
12 so forth. I believe this also merits special expertise.
13 As I've said, the material indeed arrived only a few days ago.
14 Part of this material we have been trying to obtain for the past two years
15 from the government, or rather, the National Council.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, anything you wish to say in response
17 to these things? Just before you do, may I say that I am quite surprised
18 sometimes by the difference in various signatures I apply myself and I
19 would hate to have the accuracy of my writing exclusively determined by a
20 layman, so we're well aware of the problem. It sounds as though
21 Mr. Visnjic is conscious of his problem if he wants to go anywhere
22 significant on this without expert evidence.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'll just say that in the course of my
24 years in the courtroom I've been on both sides of this issue. I've put on
25 such witnesses and cross-examined such witnesses, and I'd prefer to
1 cross-examine them because I think a lot of what they do is witchcraft
2 almost. So to suggest that a layman might do a better job though than an
3 expert probably is a little much. I think an expert might do a better job
4 than a layman and I'm not sure what a layman says would have any value at
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you sound as though you'll have a
7 more-interesting-than-average day in court today.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: It's going to be a great deal more interesting
9 because I left all my papers in my office, so I've got to figure out a way
10 to deal with that also.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: We will proceed as I have indicated, Mr. Ackerman.
13 We'll hear the evidence, we'll let you address us on it if you feel it
14 appropriate, and meanwhile we'll reserve the question of its
15 admissibility, the relevant part of this witness's evidence, until the end
16 of it and your opportunity to address us further.
17 So who is this witness, Mr. Visnjic?
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, our next witness is
19 Colonel Milovan Vlajkovic.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Vlajkovic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
24 morning to all of you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
1 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
4 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf
8 of Mr. Ojdanic.
9 Mr. Visnjic.
10 WITNESS: MILOVAN VLAJKOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. For the record, could you please give your name.
16 A. I am Milovan Vlajkovic, a retired army colonel.
17 Q. Thank you. Before you start your testimony I wish to ask you
18 whether it is correct that you gave a statement to the Defence team of
19 General Ojdanic, that you signed on the 17th of August, 2008 [as
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it correct that during the proofing session you looked at this
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. When you looked at this statement you told me that you have a
1 change that you would like to make in relation to paragraph 14. I would
2 like to ask you now to tell the Trial Chamber what it is that you would
3 like to deal with.
4 A. It's not a change. I am convinced that this paragraph should be
5 spelled out in more precise terms. Its essence is no different. This is
6 how I would like it to read, if you accept it. The first two lines would
7 not be changed. Line 3, after the word "deputy" there would be a comma
8 and the sentence continues as follows.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have the text.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Like all other documents that he
12 Further on, next paragraph: "Certain documents with the signature
13 of the Chief of General Staff could have been recorded and registered in
14 the organizational unit of the General Staff where they had been drafted,
15 or rather, at the tactical leaders," that is how I would like it to read.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. In addition to this change you didn't have any other
18 objections to the text?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you also confirm for me that you gave yet another
21 statement, an addendum, on the 17th of September, 2007?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you look at the text of the additional statement that you
25 A. I reviewed the text and I have no objections in relation to the
2 Q. Thank you. Colonel, if you were to testify before this court,
3 would you give the same answers as you did in your statement of the 17th
4 of August, 2007, and your additional statement signed on the 17th of
5 September, 2007?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is Defence
9 Exhibits 3D1112, that is the statement dated the 17th of August, 2007, and
10 3D1114, that is an addendum to the witness's statement and that was signed
11 on the 17th of September, 2007.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation].
14 Q. Colonel, could you tell me what duties you had in 1998 and 1999.
15 A. In 1998 and in 1999 I was chef de cabinet of the Chief of General
16 Staff or from the beginning of the war of the chief of the staff of the
17 Supreme Command.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the posts held by the
19 witness and also the organs that he headed are described in paragraphs 3
20 through 5 in 3D1112, so I don't want to go into any further detail now.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Colonel, tell me, one of the duties that you had, or rather, one
24 of the powers that your organ had was the technical preparation of
25 meetings of the collegium of the Chief of General Staff?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I would like to ask you to look at 3D666.
3 In your statement you described in detail how the minutes from the
4 collegium were recorded and later typed up, so I don't want to go into any
5 detail now. I would just like to show the Trial Chamber some details that
6 appear in the minutes from the collegium and for the sake of
7 clarification. It is the collegium held on the 8th of June, 1998.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In B/C/S page 19, please, and in
9 English page 2. [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Page 18 in the B/C/S. Thank you.
12 Q. Colonel, could you please tell me us in what kind of a room
13 meetings of the collegium of the Chief of General Staff were held, or
14 rather, what kind of facilities were there for recording and later on for
15 creating the transcript?
16 A. As for the period up to the beginning of the war sessions of the
17 collegium were held in the operations room of the General Staff, where
18 there were full technical facilities for recording collegium meetings and
19 later to have the audio recording transcripted. Later on during the
20 course of the war we did not have such possibilities, so minutes were kept
21 at collegium meetings or at briefings, rather.
22 Q. Now, what did the room look like? I would like to know where the
23 meeting -- where the members of the collegium sat, how the recording took
25 A. The members of the collegium sat in accordance with precedence at
1 a table that was P shaped, the shape of a Cyrillic P. Also there was a
2 screen where slides were projected from the middle of the room. The sound
3 technician who was involved in this work would, once the Chief of General
4 Staff would call out the names, he would establish visually who got the
5 floor and then he would turn on the microphone. It could sometimes happen
6 that he could not locate the speaker straight away, then the microphone
7 would be turned on which caused a lack of clarity in the sound recording.
8 And then the typist could not decipher this, and that is why we see these
9 dots in the transcripts.
10 Q. So when we look at this page that is in front of us --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- When the typist could not hear what was being said, then there
13 would be dots?
14 A. That's right. Also sometimes during the course of his speech the
15 speaker would turn his head the other way, the microphone would not pick
16 up what he was saying. Sometimes he would get up to point something out
17 on the screen or someone would disturb the sound recording by speaking at
18 the same time when one speaker was speaking and then the transcript could
19 not be right.
20 Q. What other kinds of mistakes came up? You looked at this specific
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you noted a mistake in relation to a particular person?
24 A. The sound technician had the seating arrangement at the collegium
25 in front of him and that is how he recorded the beginning of the remarks
1 of a particular speaker. However, we at the General Staff have two
2 Ristics, so it is possible that the typist when he saw the last name
3 Ristic as a matter of inertia he wrote Radomir but it was also
4 Svetislav Ristic head of the legal department who attended and briefed the
5 meeting on this particular subject matter.
6 Q. Do you know perhaps what was discussed?
7 A. The draft rules of service which is other part of the legal
8 department, they are the tactical mainstay of that activity.
9 Q. Thank you. Tell me, during the session there was no special
10 warning that there was an audio recording taking place?
11 A. No, everybody knew that and the sound technician sat in front of
12 everyone practically.
13 Q. Did you have the impression that the participants in the collegium
14 meetings were hesitant in terms of saying something?
15 A. No, I think that they quite openly spoke about the matters that
16 they were conducting the briefings on.
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
20 Your Honours, now I would like to move on to another topic.
21 It is a note from the 15th of March, it is a note on a telephone
22 conversation of Dragoljub Ojdanic, Chief of General Staff of the Army of
23 Yugoslavia, with the NATO Supreme Commander for Europe,
24 General Wesley Clark.
25 Q. Colonel, you looked at this document - and I don't want to go into
1 its content - can you just tell us whether you know how this document was
3 A. After the conversation took place, since this was a telephone
4 conversation and there was simultaneous or consecutive interpretation
5 during the conversation, it is practically the interpreter who compiled
6 the note. In this particular case it was the interpreter, and then the
7 interpreter submitted this to the office, the cabinet, and then it was
8 archived in the register of the office and then the document was further
9 treated in accordance with the orders of the Chief of General Staff.
10 Q. If we look at the last page of this document.
11 A. Yes, here we can see that this document was submitted to the
12 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic;
13 President of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Milan Milutinovic; President of
14 the federal government, or rather -- this is a mistake -- oh, yes,
15 Mr. Momir Bulatovic, Prime Minister; Minister for Foreign Affairs; and
16 Minister of Defence.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have document 3D707.
19 General, what we have before us is the first page of this document, it is
20 a letter with your signature on it. Can you tell us what this is about?
21 A. This is a cover letter concerning the note on the telephone
22 conversation with General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander, and it is with
23 this cover letter that it was sent to the President of the Federal
24 Republic of Yugoslavia and of the Supreme Defence Council,
25 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. With the president we primarily communicated
1 through the chef de cabinet of the military cabinet, that is to say
2 General Slavoljub Susic. We particularly paid attention to the following,
3 we wanted to send documents to the president as soon as possible.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In this specific case could I please
5 see page 2 of this document.
6 Q. So this is an official note yet again concerning a telephone
7 conversation between General Dragoljub Ojdanic and the NATO Commander for
8 Europe, General Wesley Clark, on the 22nd of March, 1999.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the next page
10 in B/C/S and I think that it's the same in English, the last page.
11 Q. Now, Colonel, we see here from the text that General Clark - and
12 we see that in the first paragraph - asked to General Ojdanic to meet with
13 General Anderson, who was in Belgrade at the time on Richard Holbrooke's
14 delegation, and he had a message from General Clark for General Ojdanic.
15 In the same text in the one-but-last paragraph it says that
16 General Ojdanic --
17 A. -- That that meeting depended on President Milosevic.
18 Q. On the basis of what you testified to here, this document was sent
19 straight away to President Milosevic. Do you know whether General Ojdanic
20 and General Anderson actually did meet on the 22nd of March?
21 A. I cannot say decidedly whether it's a yes or no, I don't know
22 whether they did meet.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, is 3D707 this document and a covering
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And for 3D706 we simply had the note and no
3 covering letter?
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we don't have the letter, we
5 don't have the cover letter. I assume -- that's the way I got it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It's simply that the witness's evidence at the
7 outset -- it's clear now, but the witness's evidence suggested that 3D707
8 was the covering letter for 3D706; that's now been cleared up.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Different dates.
10 Thank you. 3D1090, please.
11 Q. Colonel, the document is coming up. What is this document?
12 A. The document we're looking at is a covering letter from the
13 Ministry of Justice. It concerns a letter by The Hague Prosecutor,
14 Ms. Louise Arbour and this letter is here forwarded to the Chief of the
15 General Staff but there are absolutely no annotations or instructions as
16 to what to do with it next. As soon as the letter was received by the
17 cabinet on the 2nd of May, 1999, it was filed, archived pursuant to orders
18 of the Chief of the General Staff was further processed.
19 Q. Colonel, just a single question. This letter by
20 Ms. Louise Arbour, the date it bears is the 26th of March, 1999, however,
21 the justice ministry forwarded it to the General Staff only as late as the
22 29th of April, 1999, or at least that is borne out by the date on this
23 document. When in actual fact did the General Staff receive this letter?
24 A. There is one thing that you can base an assumption like that on
25 and that is the filing stamp or the incoming stamp, and the stamp shows
1 the date the 2nd of May, 1999.
2 Q. You mean the one in the lower right corner?
3 A. Yes, that's precisely what I mean, that is the stamp of the chef
4 de cabinet of the Chief of the General Staff.
5 Q. My next question --
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we pull up the B/C/S, please.
7 Up, please, not zoom in. [In English] A little bit more.
8 [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. You see this document, there are two handwritten notes on it
10 jotted down on the face of the document. Can you tell us what those are
12 A. The tactical leader and mainstay, in this case the legal
13 administration, the chief of that particular administration, as soon as he
14 receives a document, normally he writes down by hand what the document is
15 supposed to be subjected to next. You see that Nikolic here who was the
16 chief of that sector as soon as the 3rd of May forwarded this to the legal
17 administration and said that the orders of the Chief of the General Staff
18 should be followed, and then there is a further note on the right-hand
19 side which says "urgent." The deadline for the order, if I'm not
20 mistaken, was the 4th of May.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have the document
22 back, the lower portion of the document.
23 Q. In the lower half of this page we see a typewritten note. Can you
24 tell us what it says.
25 A. During the technical processing of documents, it was the
1 established practice for the notes and the order itself of the Chief of
2 the General Staff to be conveyed in this form, usually it was in the lower
3 half of the page and the document was here submitted to the legal section,
4 sector, and they were told to draft an order to take appropriate measures,
5 the deadline being the 4th of May, 1999. This shows how urgent it was for
6 the Chief of the General Staff to react to this letter.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please show page 2 of this
10 Q. Colonel, this is the letter by Louise Arbour that was attached,
12 A. Yes,.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now have 3D1091.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we depart from that document, your
15 concentration just now is on the 3rd of May, which may not be what really
17 Mr. Vlajkovic, who was Nikolic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nikolic at the time was the chief of
19 the legal administration. I'm not sure if my time-line is all right,
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that -- by that do you mean the Ministry of
22 Justice or do you mean the office of the Chief of the General Staff?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no -- yes, I mean the
24 administration of the Chief of the General Staff, because he implemented
25 his orders through his own organizational units.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, surely what matters here is the date
2 that the Ministry of Justice got the document.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as my client's
4 interest is concerned, what matters is when he received the document; and
5 if you look at this document you see that it wasn't forwarded to him
6 before the 2nd, him or his service. What I'm trying to represent here is
7 what he did when he received document, what his reaction was, and it is my
8 intention to show another four or five documents relating to that. I
9 don't know why this document wasn't sent by the Ministry of Justice before
10 the 29th of April, and I don't know how Louise Arbour ever sent this
11 letter to the justice ministry, and most of all I don't know why the
12 letter took an entire month to reach my client.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vlajkovic, on the document there is a stamp and
14 there is a handwritten number and a date, the 29th of April. What is that
15 referring to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you mean the stamp in
17 the upper right corner?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The justice ministry.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. Are you qualified to tell us what that refers
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, considering how we deal with
23 documents, this is the stamp of the Ministry of Justice, and it says that
24 on the 29th of April the letter was filed and further processed. I base
25 my assumption on rules that we apply when we deal with documents of this
2 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you use a similar stamp?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can see our stamp in the lower
4 left-hand corner of the document, where you see the stamp of the chief of
5 the cabinet of the Chief of the General Staff, and you have our number,
6 our final file number there too as well as the date when the document was
7 filed, when it was entered into the register and when it received the
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Visnjic, please proceed to the next number -- the next
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D1091, please.
13 Q. Colonel, this is another letter, I see the date, the 5th of May,
14 1999. What sort of a letter is this? This is a document that you signed,
16 A. Yes. This was the usual mode of communication between me as chef
17 de cabinet and the assistant chiefs of the General Staff. Specifically
18 this is what the letter is about. When the legal sector submitted a draft
19 order to the chief for inspection, he would then forward this to his
20 deputy and the assistant for operations and staff affairs,
21 General Blagoje Kovacevic. He submitted the draft to them in order to get
22 their opinions, and this was about taking measures to prevent war crimes
23 in this specific case.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The next document is 3D1092.
1 Q. Colonel, another document, the date appears to be the 6th of May,
2 1999, does it not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Briefly, what is its relation to the previous document?
5 A. This is about objections raised in relation to the draft order by
6 the deputy Chief of the General Staff and the assistant for operations and
7 staff affairs. I sent this to the legal sector of the administration for
8 recruitment, mobilisation, and system-related issues. I said that they
9 should enter this into their draft and then bring the whole document back
10 to the chief for his signature.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The next document, please, 3D483.
12 Q. This is an order by the Chief of Staff of the general -- of the
13 Supreme Command, Dragoljub Ojdanic, the 10th of May, 1999. Colonel, you
14 inspected this document, didn't you? Is this document a result of
15 objections and work done on the draft, the draft from the previous
17 A. After all the stages as the document was being drafted, this was
18 eventually the final document that the chief signed off. The document was
19 then duly forwarded to subordinate units.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Unless I'm mistaken there is an
22 attachment containing another letter by Ms. Louise Arbour, this is
23 3D708 -- excuse me, 3D788. My apologies. Before we start with this, can
24 we please have the previous document back, 3D483.
25 If we could please have page 2 in the B/C/S and then page 3.
1 Q. Colonel, there was an attachment to this document selected
2 sections of the Geneva Conventions; that's what it contained, isn't it?
3 A. Yes. The title would indicate that this is the document, but I
4 don't remember the attachment. It was the legal sector and the sector for
5 recruitment and mobilisation that were in charge of distributing the order
6 and I wasn't familiar of the entire substance of the parcel, as it were.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back to the
9 previous page.
10 Q. What about the lower left corner of this list, what is it exactly?
11 What's the list in the lower left corner?
12 A. At the end of every document there is a list of units that the
13 document is submitted to; in this case, the army command, the 1st, the
14 2nd, and the 3rd PVO, the navy, organization of units of the staff of the
15 Supreme Command, and so on and so forth.
16 Q. What about the stamp in the lower left corner?
17 A. This is the 3rd Army stamp. This means they received the
18 document, they gave it a file number on the date stated, which right now
19 is illegible to me.
20 Q. I think this is the 11th of May.
21 A. Yes, but I can't see the whole page, can I?
22 Q. Fair enough.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let us look at another document,
25 Q. Tell us, Colonel, this is another document from the Federal
1 Ministry of Justice; it was sent to the Supreme Command of the VJ?
2 A. Yes. This is the same letter, Ms. Louise Arbour. That same day
3 and under the same file number, it was sent by the Ministry of Justice and
4 it was accompanied by a letter that was sent to the Chief of the General
5 Staff and that's how it eventually reached the cabinet. This is the same
6 letter that was sent to two different addresses: General Pavkovic, the
7 3rd Army commander; and Chief of the General Staff.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Next document, please --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you go off that, I can't say I'm
10 following this particular part. This is sent by whom to whom,
11 Mr. Vlajkovic? Who sent this letter and who did it go to?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Ministry of Justice sent two
13 copies of the letter, one addressed to the Chief of the General Staff and
14 the second addressed to the 3rd Army commander under the same number in
15 the same envelope.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: The one we're looking at says: "Yugoslav Army
17 Supreme Command."
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know why it says that it's
19 the Supreme Command, for what reason. General Pavkovic at the time was
20 commander of the 3rd Army, so probably in the Ministry of Justice they
21 didn't know the essence of the relationships and the command relations
22 within the army. This is quite possible.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Did General Pavkovic perhaps have a role in the
24 Supreme Command?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I know, no. As the
1 commander of the 3rd Army, he was subordinated to the Chief of the General
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be officially the position, but I'm asking
4 you whether he had a particular role at this stage in the conflict in the
5 Supreme Command.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for me his official
7 function is what applies; as for the other roles and functions he may have
8 played, well, I don't know. It's not up to me to comment on that.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's up to you to comment if you know, if you
10 have knowledge of any role that he played at the Supreme Command, then we
11 should hear about it. We're trying to get the whole picture, and it's not
12 good enough to say this is how it should work in theory; we want to know
13 what happened in practice.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the process of
15 decision-making in the army, the supreme commander, or at the time the
16 president of the Supreme Defence Council, issued orders and directives to
17 the Chief of the General Staff. The Chief of the General Staff with his
18 assistants would implement those decisions, and General Pavkovic at the
19 time was commander of the army. And by the nature of that post, he was
20 not a member of the Supreme Command. I really don't know how he could
21 have been involved in the composition of the Supreme Command.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Which raises the question why on earth was this
23 letter sent to the Supreme Command and in particular General Pavkovic.
24 You can't answer that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't want to speculate. If it
1 was a question of what the Ministry of Justice knew or didn't know, that
2 could be one of the reasons.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps we can clarify
5 this. I would like to look at 3D1092. Let's look at that again. Can we
6 have it on the screen, please.
7 Q. Colonel, let's clarify whether this was something that somebody
8 from the Ministry of Justice knew or didn't know.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D1092 -- 90.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 3D1090.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And can we please look at the B/C/S
13 Q. Colonel, what post here is given for General Ojdanic?
14 A. He is addressed here as the chief of the Supreme Command of the
15 Army of Yugoslavia, which also sounds to me now here very odd.
16 Q. Thank you. I think that we --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Why does it sound odd?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, because there is no
19 chief of the Supreme Command in our - let me say - jargon. There is the
20 supreme commander and there is the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command.
21 There is no chief of the Supreme Command. If I may be allowed to comment.
22 Obviously in the justice ministry they were not familiar with the scheme
23 or the relationships as they were.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
1 3D789, please.
2 Q. Colonel, we see in front of us a document from the Chief of Staff
3 cabinet of the 14th of May, 1999, which you signed. Can you please tell
4 us briefly what this document is about.
5 A. According to the order of the Chief of the General Staff that all
6 documents or acts be sent to him that deal with the broader issue of
7 prevention of war crimes, we sent this letter to the organizational unit,
8 where we specified the request of the Chief of the General Staff in that
9 sense. You can see who this document is addressed to on the second page,
10 most probably, the second page of this document.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, to the left there is the list
13 of the organizational units to which the cabinet document was sent or to
14 whom the order was conveyed of the Chief of the General Staff on how to
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 3D790, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a document of the 3rd Army
18 command. It's a reply to unfounded charges by the Prosecutor of the
19 International Tribunal and it's been sent to the Chief of Staff of the
20 Supreme Command.
21 Q. Colonel, when was this document received at the Supreme Command
22 Staff, in your opinion?
23 A. There is a filing stamp in the lower left-hand corner. I can't
24 see quite clearly, but it seems to be May 1999. You cannot see the left
25 part of the document clearly. Yes, in the English version it's the 27th
1 of May.
2 Q. Thank you. This number in the lower left-hand corner, 190-3, what
3 does that signify?
4 A. It's the filing number in the cabinet's filing system under which
5 this document has been stored, so it's related to document 190-1, -2,
6 and -3 because it dealt with the same topic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at 3D again --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that can we go back to the first page
9 of that, please.
10 This relates to other material from the Tribunal; is that right,
11 Mr. Visnjic?
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, this refers to the
13 letter of Madam Louise Arbour.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the letter of the 26th of March. Thank you.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. If we can look at this page now, Colonel, we see that in the
17 reference there is a document that is cited.
18 A. The reference document is 190-2, which refers to the order and the
19 letter which was passed to the command of the 3rd Army.
20 Q. When you say "order," you are thinking of the order for the
21 prevention of humanitarian rights violations?
22 A. Yes, yes, precisely, because --
23 Q. Just one moment, please. I asked you about the order on the
24 prevention of humanitarian law [as interpreted] 3D483.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Again and for the last time I would
1 like to look at 3D1090.
2 Q. Colonel, I'm interested in the filing number under which this
3 document was stored in this staff.
4 A. 190-1. When it arrived at the cabinet it was filed in the
5 register as 190-1, meaning that that was the first document, entry
6 document, with that number.
7 Q. If I understood you correctly, we have document 190-2, that is the
8 letter sent to the 3rd Army?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And finally we have the response from the 3rd Army filed as
11 document 190-3; am I correct?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. What is the connection between these two documents in terms of
15 A. The three documents are all about the same topic, the same source
16 document. According to the rules of office procedure and that filing
17 system, the system is permitted and makes it easier to find documents that
18 are immediately related.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I would like to look at 3D639. Now
21 we're moving to another topic.
22 Q. This is a briefing of the 7th of April, 1999.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at page 3 in
25 Your Honours, can we please look at page 3 in B/C/S. The
1 translation in English is something that we already had problems with
2 already. I was informed by my assistant that the CLSS corrected the
3 earlier translation. It was corrected as the 7th of April and we will
4 enter it into the system tomorrow, but we just need some -- one reference
5 from this document and Colonel Vlajkovic's explanation in relation to the
7 Page 3, please.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: It seems to be already there, the date of the 7th
9 of April is on the English copy.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, CLSS sent us a
11 translation of this document of the 7th of April, but when we were
12 checking, we established that there was a certain confusion or wrong
13 markings, and they sent a corrected translation tomorrow which has not
14 been entered into the system. But we just want to refer to one part of
15 this document now.
16 Can we please look at page 3 in the B/C/S version.
17 Q. Sir, you went to these evening briefings during the war; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you present at all of them, at most of them?
21 A. I could say that I was present at a large part of them.
22 Q. Thank you. I found one reference on page 3 where there is a note
23 about what you said which says: "Review of sentences to read inside and
24 to keep a diary of the assignments."
25 Can you please tell us what this is about?
1 A. There was a discussion over the previous days or in previous
2 speeches about the members of the army who had been processed for war
3 crimes and committed crimes and to inform the units and the public in more
4 detail about this. So what I said was not really recorded quite
5 correctly, but my proposal had to do with having the information about the
6 perpetrators of crimes announced to the units, the members of the units,
7 where these crimes were committed. I think that this was defined in that
8 way as an assignment by the Chief of the General Staff later.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to move
11 to a different topic that has to do with the additional statement by the
12 witness. If possible - and I was told that it was - I would like to have
13 in the e-court at the same time the B/C/S versions of two exhibits, P1549
14 and 3D1106.
15 Your Honours, P1549 is a document that the Prosecution used in the
16 proceedings against my client. It's -- and the document 3D1106 is a
17 document which we received, as I already said, from -- [In English] I'm
18 sorry, P1459. It's my mistake. [Interpretation] P1459.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think you should roll it up. Roll it back
20 down. The numbers at the top are of some significance.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Colonel, you looked at both documents?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you please tell us what the documents in question are.
25 A. Well, this is a document of the 3rd Army command drafted at the
1 forward command post, and it refers to the resubordination of units and
2 organs of the Serbian MUP. So it's a report of the 3rd Army command on
3 the implementation of that assignment sent to the Chief of Staff of the
4 Supreme Command.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, in the upper right-hand corner
6 of this exhibit, 3D1106, we see a stamp -- or actually we see two stamps.
7 Can you please tell us what this is about?
8 A. Yes. The stamp is not on the left copy of the document which is
9 actually the same, and strictly confidential documents should -- I don't
10 see the stamp, but if it's marked with "permanently keep," then that would
11 be the office stamp and confirmation that that document should be placed
12 in the archives and that it must not be destroyed.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let's move to page 2 of this
15 document in both versions.
16 MR. STAMP: While we're moving, may I just make an inquiry? I
17 noticed that at line 27 -- at page 27, line 17, counsel was indicating
18 where he got 3D1106 from and then there are some dots indicating that
19 maybe the interpreter didn't pick it up. I'm wondering if he said it and
20 it wasn't picked up on the record.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Where did you say you had received 3D1106 from,
22 Mr. Visnjic?
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, 3D1106 is a document
24 that I received from the government through a conclusion of the National
25 Council, which is also an exhibit in the evidence.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] My colleague tells me that the
3 number of the document with which the government submitted this to me is
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Now you have both versions of page 2.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: [Microphone not activated]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- The pages were the same.
9 MR. VISNJIC: We don't have it, Your Honour. It should be ...
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We have to see the whole of the page.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we scroll them both down
12 because I would like to see the stamp that is in the lower right-hand
13 corner, or rather, left-hand corner, both versions. Thank you.
14 Q. Colonel, tell me, on document 3D1106 we see a stamp where we see a
15 number and the date. Can you tell me what kind of a stamp this is, what
16 the number is, and what the date is?
17 A. It is the filing stamp of the cabinet of the Supreme Command
18 Staff, and the number, the filing number, is 248-2, which means that in
19 the files of the cabinet it was filed under that number on the 26th of
20 May. On the left copy, we do not see that stamp.
21 Q. Thank you. When a document is prepared in a military cabinet, any
22 one, what is the procedure, in how many copies is it made? Where are the
23 originals kept?
24 A. In principle and according to regulations, it is customary
25 practice that the Chief of General Staff signs one copy which then
1 represents the original and which is kept in the archives. After the
2 document is signed by the Chief of General Staff or by a certain officer
3 in charge, a filing stamp is put in the files and a number is registered.
4 The document is copied in the required number of copies, depending on who
5 it is going to be submitted to, and then a stamp is placed on every one of
6 these copies. As a rule, as for the original that is kept in the
7 archives, the stamp would be put and did not have to be put on the
8 original, it depends on where the document would be distributed further
9 and in how many copies. So the practice was that the document would be
10 signed by a certain officer, but only the original. So it's just one
12 Q. Thank you. Let us now move on to document --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, it must be a translation problem. The
14 document is -- this is line 4. "The document is copied in the required
15 number of copies and then a stamp is placed on every one of these copies."
16 And then he goes on to say: "As a rule, as for the original, that
17 is kept in the archives, the stamp would be put and did not have to be put
18 on the original, it depends on where the document would be distributed
19 further ..."
20 So the evidence is the stamp goes on copies and it doesn't go on
21 the original; is that the position?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] He did not say that decidedly. He
23 said: As a rule that was the way it was, but he did not rule out the
24 possibility of having it placed.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: And where is the signature on this -- is there a
1 signature of a member of staff on one of these?
2 Mr. Vlajkovic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood your question
4 correctly, the signature is that of the commander, but what is visible
5 here -- I beg your pardon, that both copies were signed by the commander,
6 General Nebojsa Pavkovic. It is obvious that on the right-hand copy there
7 is --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought we were talking about what happened when
9 the document was received in the office of the Chief of the General Staff
10 when you told us that it would be signed either by the Chief of the
11 General Staff or one of his staff. Well, that's what the English version
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps I can go
14 through all of this with the witness again through shorter questions.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the relevance of what the Chief of the
16 General Staff does unless it's to a document which he is receiving in this
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it isn't relevant. The
19 witness was supposed to speak in principle, at one point in time he
20 mentioned the Chief of the General Staff and that is what created the
21 confusion. So if I may go through all of this again with the witness with
22 just a few questions and then we will clarify.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Colonel, please, where the document is produced, what is the
1 procedure? How many copies are made? Who signs the copies? And what
2 happens then with the signed copy? Let us start with the text that is
3 typed up and it comes before an authorised official or the commander for
5 A. Mr. President, if you allow me briefly, the question was --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think this witness is qualified to testify
8 as to procedures that go on in 3rd Army headquarters, which he seems to be
9 trying to do. I think he has no competence in that regard. He was never
10 there, he has no idea what they do.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I asked the witness to
13 explain to us how this is being done in principle.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, he must relate his evidence to what happened
15 in this case. What happened in the office of the Chief of General Staff
16 is at first sight irrelevant to what might have happened in the office of
17 the commander of the 3rd Army. So you would have to set a foundation for
18 this witness giving evidence about what happened in the offices of the 3rd
19 Army. And he might well be able to do that, I can think of ways, but
20 perhaps you could establish that foundation.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am making a
22 foundation on the basis of office practice and rules in terms of document
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on just now.
25 Mr. Vlajkovic, could you please leave the courtroom with the usher
1 while we deal with this matter.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Tell me why you think what happens in the office of
4 the Chief of the General Staff is relevant to what happens in the office
5 of the 3rd Army commander.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Because, Your Honour, the
7 administration works in the same way and in a similar way in all offices
8 in the military. I can -- and there are also regulations regarding this.
9 You will see in this specific case that there are many small details that
10 can lead to the conclusion that we will probably resolve ultimately
11 through expertise, but in this way I'm trying to indicate that there are
12 many unusual details in relation to these documents that ultimately will
13 result, most probably, in expertise. But it is simply impossible to
14 encounter that many coincidences in one single place. One of them is --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You're departing from the question that we're
16 trying to deal with. I understand what you're trying to do overall, but I
17 need to know the relevance of what happens in one office to events in
18 another, especially since we've already had answers which indicate that
19 not a uniform practice is followed in the office of the Chief of the
20 General Staff. Now, how will this witness know what goes on in the office
21 of the commander of the 3rd Army?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No. On that, I fully agree with
23 Mr. Ackerman, he doesn't know that. He doesn't know that, but he knows
24 which way they're supposed to work.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: How can we know that?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Because the regulations are the same
2 for the functioning of all offices in the military. There are rules of
3 office work regulating that in the army. One knows exactly how a document
4 is filed, why it is filed, how a document is produced, where a stamp is
5 placed --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Where are the rules then?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Actually, I think -- well, I'm not
8 sure. Perhaps the Prosecutor exhibited this -- these rules, but if they
9 haven't then we will. Now I'm told that they have been exhibited and that
10 there is a P number.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know the P number?
12 MR. VISNJIC: Well, if you ... [Interpretation] If you give me a
13 bit of time, I will be able to find it.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps we should break now and give you time to
16 organize this, but we can read these rules for ourselves without
17 necessarily hearing from somebody about what goes on in his office when
18 we're dealing with what goes on in another office. So you could perhaps
19 concentrate on how much of this needs to be led from the witness. You may
20 also consider establishing with him a basis for saying that something
21 ought to have been done in another office of which he has no direct
22 experience. And if these rules are found in the next few minutes, it
23 would be helpful if we could have a copy of them during the break.
24 We'll resume at ten to.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we've looked at our
4 documents and the rules on official correspondence is P1548, it's an OTP
5 exhibit, and it has been admitted. Secondly, I went through the documents
6 and I followed your instructions, indeed. I will not be asking the
7 witness to tell me about the procedure applied by the 3rd Army. We shall
8 focus in his evidence on how documents were processed in the General
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: If it's relevant, I have no objection --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
13 MR. ACKERMAN: -- As to how they're processed in the General
14 Staff, it probably is.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: For a different reason, yes.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: For a different reason, yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Let's proceed.
18 Bring the witness back, please.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vlajkovic, we have dealt with the legal issue
21 and we can now proceed with the evidence.
22 Mr. Visnjic.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Vlajkovic, before we proceed I showed you a while ago 3D790,
25 if you remember that was General Pavkovic's response that he sent to the
1 Supreme Command Staff and it was about the Louise Arbour letter. This
2 document was received on the 27th of May, at least based on the incoming
3 stamp, 27th of May, 1999, and the date that the document bears, which is
4 apparently when the document was produced, is the 17th of May, 1999.
5 Based on your experience, based on what sort of parcels or letters you
6 were receiving from the 3rd Army at the time, can you please compare 3D790
7 and 3D1106. The date the document was produced it appears based on this
8 document is the 25th of May, 1999, and the day it was filed appears to be
9 the 26th of May, 1999. Can you comment on that, please.
10 A. Obviously these are two different points in time, some distance
11 apart. The time the document took to get from the 3rd command to the
12 Supreme Command Staff. In the first case the time is ten days and in the
13 other case it's a single day, and I can't speculate as to what might have
14 caused this delay.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now please be shown
16 3D1109, page 1 of that document, please.
17 Your Honours, this is the register, the cabinet register, of the
18 chief of the Supreme Command Staff in relation to 1999.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Before we go to that, you're moving rather quickly
20 through this. 790 is the response to Arbour and it was produced on the
21 25th, is that right, and gets there on the 26th; is that right?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D790 was produced on the 17th of
23 May, 1999, and it got there on the 27th of May, whereas 3D1106 was
24 produced on the 25th of May, 1999, and apparently reached its destination
25 on the 26th of May.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Now I understand. Thank you.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D1109, please. Can the witness
3 please be shown the document. We only have a single copy of this
4 document. Thank you.
5 Q. Colonel, what does page 1 of this document tell you?
6 A. This is a title page of the register of the Chief of Staff of the
7 Supreme Command and the date is 1999.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have pages 2 and 3
10 shown at the same time, split screens in e-court. Page 2 on the left and
11 page 3 on the right. Thank you.
12 Q. Colonel, can you briefly explain what these columns are about.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise for the
14 translation. I will need a special request for CLSS, they normally refuse
15 to translate handwritten documents; therefore, there will need to be a
16 special ruling for this to be translated.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You want me to explain what the
18 columns are about, right? The first is the register number, the number
19 under which a document is entered into the register. The next one is
20 relevant referential numbers. Documents that have to do with this can be
21 filed under certain numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4, the date of receipt, the
22 addressee, the substance of the document, who received it, and until which
23 time it must be kept. So these are the columns that one normally uses
24 when receiving a document like this.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] So 248, column 248, for example, can
1 we please zoom in on column 248 on both pages. The other document, too,
3 Q. Column 248, this is the register number, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We looked a while ago at 3D1106 and its file or register number
6 was 248-2. Colonel, is that consistent with the entry in the register?
7 A. The entry under number 2, the 26th of May, says: "Document by the
8 3rd Army command sent from the forward command post," their own file
9 number, 872-94, and then brief description of substance, what its about,
10 resubordination of MUP units on that day, a report.
11 Q. What about column 8, please, it says: "Name of organ" and the
12 entry we see there is a surname, right, whose surname?
13 A. Mine, meaning this document was dispatched from that office and
14 forwarded to me.
15 Q. Colonel, have you ever seen the document by the 3rd Army command
17 A. If we're talking about this particular time-period, I can't be
18 specific, I can't say yes and I can't say no. I looked at the substance
19 of specific documents only to the extent that it was necessary for me to
20 present the chief with what a certain document was about and in order to
21 make calls as to how documents would be further processed.
22 Q. Colonel, can you tell me which document is recorded above this
23 document, the date being the 15th of May, 1999, to the extent that you
24 find this legible or decipherable.
25 A. One can sort of see what it's about it, Federal Ministry of
1 Defence, administration for preparing republican organs for defence. As
2 for its substance, it's a note, it's a note from a meeting of the Chief of
3 the General Staff, a meeting held in that administration.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Does it have a number in column 6?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the far right there are some
7 figures that can barely be seen, but I can't decipher them based on this
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Do documents in a sequence, as you have described
10 them in your statement, have numbers such as 94/1-2?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a number that was created at
12 the spot of the creation of the document. It was at the forward command
13 post of the 3rd Army, and the number given was 872-94/1-2.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And is that the number that we've seen already on
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's the number.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. We'll be coming back to this document later on.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I'm about to show
21 the witness now is a document that we believe is document 248-1, a defence
22 ministry official note, the Exhibit Number is 3D1105.
23 Can the witness be shown that document, please.
24 Q. Colonel, you've had a look, haven't you. This is an official note
25 by the federal defence ministry. Can you tell us something about the date
1 and the number that the document bears, the number under which it was
2 dispatched by the defence ministry.
3 A. This is an official note produced during the visit made by the
4 chief of the Supreme Command Staff to the administration for preparations
5 of republican organs for defence. It is obvious here that the number in
6 their register was 01-53/99, and the date is the 7th of May, 1999.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the last page of this
8 document, please.
9 Q. Colonel, can you comment on the stamp, date, and number in the
10 lower left corner of 3D1105.
11 A. When the note reached the cabinet, it was filed in the cabinet's
12 register on the 15th of May, and the number was 248, this was the first or
13 initial document in that particular file.
14 Q. Thank you. Colonel, you've had a chance to go through the
15 document and look at it closely, 3D1105 and 3D1106, both these documents.
16 What about their substance, is there a link between the two documents? Is
17 there anything that might constitute a reason for these two different
18 documents to be filed under the same register number?
19 A. Having inspected both documents, I failed to notice any reason at
20 all for these to be filed in this way in the cabinet's register by using
21 the same number in reference to both. As a matter of principle, this can
22 only be done with documents that talk about the same subject matter, such
23 as the Louise Arbour letter, 190/1, /2, and /3.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And now can you please go back to
25 Exhibit Number 3D1109, pages 2 and 3. [Microphone not activated]
1 Q. Can you please look at column 10 which is the last column in this
2 row or sequence, I'm talking about 248, those documents, can you explain
3 what this stamp means in column 10 and what the handwritten portion says.
4 A. This is the column where one records how long a document is meant
5 to be kept for, above the stamp you see "keep permanently," and then it
6 says: "Military archive of the VJ" and the number begins with 21, and
7 then it's followed probably by 606 but I'm not certain. What this means
8 is that the document was submitted to the military archive, I mean the
9 original document.
10 Q. So what's this number over here 21606?
11 A. This number marks the list, the archive list of documents
12 submitted to the military archive.
13 Q. Is this the so-called archive list, as you referred to it, that's
14 what the document is called, right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Colonel, both these documents were registered and bearing in mind
17 column 10, would this not mean that both these documents were submitted to
18 the military archive and they are to be found in 21606, which is a file
19 which is in the archive?
20 A. As a rule, as a matter of principle, yes.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 3D1108 is our next
22 exhibit. My apologies. While we still have this before us, these two
23 pages, page 3 on the right -- could we scroll further to the right,
24 please. To the right, just a little. Move the image as far as the
25 right-hand edge or end of the page. Thank you.
1 Q. Colonel, if I look at column 10 I see a number of signatures there
2 next to the archive file numbers. Whose signatures are these?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D1108, please.
6 Q. Fortunately in this case we have a translation. Can you just
7 explain briefly about the stamp in the upper left corner of this document.
8 A. As per normal, there is a stamp in the upper left corner of
9 whoever produced the document in a manner of speaking, and in this case as
10 it happens, it's the Chief of Staff of the cabinet of the Supreme Command
11 Staff and this is the number.
12 Q. The 10th of August, 1999, is the date we see there, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ immediately after the
15 end of command operations issue an order from all of the war-related
16 documents to be submitted and kept in the VJ archive?
17 A. Well, I knew at the time that I would be leaving the cabinet and I
18 agreed with the chief and the assistant that the assistant should take
19 care of this and take it from there. So the assistant analysed the way in
20 which the documents were to be submitted to the military archive.
21 Q. And who was your deputy at the time?
22 A. Colonel Milan Radojcic.
23 Q. Thank you. In the top right-hand corner, what do these numbers
24 represent, Colonel?
25 A. This is the information from the military archive on the date of
1 receipt, the quantity of received material, and the registered number --
2 register number in their books, most probably.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2 of this
5 document, please. I'm interested in number 82.
6 Q. Colonel, can you please explain what is stated here in this column
7 marked with 82, what is the significance of the text in column 3?
8 A. The text in column 3 is the full name of the document registered
9 as 248-1, it's an official note from a meeting between the chief of
10 Supreme Command Staff and the chief of administration for the preparation
11 of the Republican organs for the defence. It's a document --
12 Q. Just one moment, please. That is the document that we showed a
13 little bit earlier, Exhibit 3D1105.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Colonel, what is marked in column 4 of this archive
17 A. That's the number under which the document is filed in the cabinet
18 register where it was created.
19 Q. Thank you. And what do you see in column 4 in this case?
20 A. You can see that document 248-2 was added without citing the
21 contents of the document in the third column.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you please now comment on columns 5 and 6 also in
23 this entry marked 82 some things were crossed out here, some numbers.
24 A. A change was made so that instead of one document, number 2 is
25 written; and instead of a total of three pages, there are a total of five
1 pages. This is the only case that I've seen here that the correction was
2 made both in the number of the document and the number of pages.
3 Q. Can you please tell me when you in the cabinet prepared the
4 documents, packed them for archiving.
5 MR. IVETIC: Just one correction, page 44, line 4, the B/C/S said:
6 Both the number of documents, not the number of document. It might make
7 a difference as to how it's understood.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Colonel, in the cabinet when you packed the documents in order to
11 hand them over to the military archive, what does it look like physically?
12 What -- what is that? How do you do that?
13 A. The head of the office with the archive list and the attached
14 documents that are prepared goes to the military archive, and with the
15 person from the military archive checks over each document and checks it
16 against the archive list that the number of the document is correctly
17 written and the number of the pages.
18 Q. And now please tell me in case --
19 A. In case that there is something that does not agree, then a
20 correction is made in the presence of the person from the cabinet, and
21 this correction means that the document is received with those particular
23 Q. When we look at these pages of the archive list in front of us, we
24 see that corrections were made sometimes in column 5, sometimes in column
25 6 also.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Am I correct if I say that the only column where corrections were
3 made or the only instance where corrections were made in both columns, so
4 regarding the number of documents and the number of pages, is column
5 marked 82 where document numbered 248-2 was added; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the last page of
9 this document, that would be 3D1108.
10 Q. Colonel --
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Well, let's keep the whole page in
12 view and we can't see the whole Serbian version, the entire page. We
13 would like to be able to look at the full page, please. Thank you.
14 Q. Colonel, at the bottom there are two signatures. Can you tell us
15 whose signatures these are.
16 A. The person who drafted the list, warrant officer,
17 Jovanovic Miodrag was the chief of the office of the General Staff; and
18 then on the right it was Colonel Milan Radojcic, or rather, Vlajkovic
19 Milovan, but according to my information that work was actually done by my
20 deputy Colonel Radojcic, and he signed the archive list.
21 Q. So this signature here at the bottom is not your signature?
22 A. No.
23 Q. We have here written PO, "po ovlascenju"?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this can be seen in
1 the B/C/S. It is covered over the stamp but it is clear, probably in the
2 English version, probably the translators did not pay attention to that
3 particular detail.
4 Q. Colonel, what I would like to know now --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The English version does deal with it, I think, it
6 says it's signed for the chief, Colonel Vlajkovic, and then says a
7 signature and a stamp, and the signature could not be read by an
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, yes, I see it now. Thank
10 you. I apologise to the translators. It's very good that they noted
12 Q. What I'm interested now is at the bottom on the right-hand corner
13 there is a text there. Can you please tell us what it says there and who
14 is the person who wrote that entry.
15 A. In the right-hand corner there is a note by the person from the
16 military archive who received the material in question, specifically it
17 was warrant first -- warrant first -- officer first class Dusan
18 Stanojevski, if I remember.
19 Q. According to your knowledge, according to practice, who actually
20 reviews and makes corrections of these documents, is that the person who
21 receives the documents or is it someone else?
22 A. Corrections are made only by the person who receives the document
23 in the presence of a person from our side, and they certify that the
24 archive list was definitely received with the made corrections.
25 Q. Thank you. You made a comment saying that the way the numbers are
1 written, 248-2, does not correspond to, let's say, the handwriting that
2 the other corrections are made in, in this document. Can you please tell
3 us a little bit more, how you reached that conclusion. Can you add
4 something to what you said.
5 A. Entry number 82 has a correction where number 2 is written. This
6 is on page 2 of the document and the numbers written are 248-2. The way
7 this is written is different from the way the other changes are entered on
8 that page.
9 Q. Thank you. I would now like you to look at Exhibit 4D135.
10 I would like to ask you to look at this whole document.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I have a hard copy. Perhaps we can
12 just give it to the witness to save time.
13 Q. Colonel, are you familiar with this document?
14 A. I know that we worked on this analysis, that the analysis was made
15 in the Supreme Command Staff, and that is that document.
16 Q. Thank you. Colonel, everything that you know about the way the
17 Supreme Command Staff worked, the document that we discussed today
18 throughout the day, 3D1106, and in view of its content, were you included
19 or participated in this analysis that includes all the requests sent to
20 the Supreme Command Staff by the 3rd Army command?
21 A. The methodology of work of the Supreme Command Staff would
22 definitely include such a document because all the requests of the 3rd
23 command were there, were covered.
24 Q. Colonel, let me ask you this: You attended many meetings of the
25 collegium, the evening briefings, and some other documents and so on. Did
1 you ever hear any conversation or any plan to expel Kosovo Albanians from
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you ever hear General Ojdanic at any point speaking about the
5 expulsion of Kosovo Albanians?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Are you aware that General Ojdanic did anything or said anything
8 at any point that would indicate that he was prejudiced towards Kosovo
10 A. No also to that question.
11 Q. You were chef de cabinet at the time of General Perisic also and
12 during the term of office of General Ojdanic. Can you please tell us your
13 opinion - you had the opportunity to work with General Ojdanic - to tell
14 us your opinion about his characteristics as a commander and as a person,
15 as a man.
16 A. Like I said in my statement, this is a person of exceptional
17 professional abilities, and through training and work he came to this
18 position which implies professional, moral, and human characteristics of a
19 specific type, so I would have nothing to add to that.
20 Q. Can you please tell us anything in terms of the following.
21 General Ojdanic as a person, is he an open, direct, informal person?
22 A. This is how I thought about him, yes.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
24 Honours. I apologise for exceeding my time, but I had to go through the
25 documents in detail.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour. I first would like the
4 usher to take this packet of documents to the witness.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
6 Q. Colonel Vlajkovic, we're going to be talking about some documents,
7 and to make it easier for you I've prepared that group of documents that
8 I'll be referring to because moving through them on the screen tends to be
9 tedious at times and slow things down, so maybe we can speed up just a
10 little bit with you looking at them that way.
11 I'm John Ackerman; I represent General Pavkovic in this case. In
12 your original statement to Mr. Visnjic when you set out what you've done
13 in your career, you told us that during the second half of 1998 and the
14 first half of 1999 you were the chef de cabinet or chief of office to
15 General Ojdanic, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what was your rank at that time?
18 A. Colonel.
19 Q. And that was the same rank you retired with?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When you were the chief of office for General Ojdanic, you -- you
22 spoke in your statement about a number of the duties that you had, and I'd
23 like to run through them very quickly so you can correct me if I've got
24 them wrong. Excuse me just a second.
25 You said that among those duties were the provision of financial,
1 technical, and physical conditions for work, servicing the chief and the
2 deputy Chief of the General Staff. So you -- you basically worked for
3 both General Ojdanic and his deputy?
4 A. Yes, or to be more precise was responsible for tasks relating to
5 the deputy Chief of the General Staff, which was performed at the time by
6 Stankovic, who was then in charge of jobs of the deputy Chief of the
7 General Staff.
8 Q. All right. You also said that you -- that this involved carrying
9 out a number of operational, planning, protocol, legal, personal,
10 financial, security, and similar tasks. Could you tell us what the
11 operational tasks that you performed were.
12 A. What's been just mentioned, this is an informal title. For
13 example, operations jobs had to do with the preparation of mail for
14 signature, its distribution, so by plan they had to do with the
15 development of the plan of work of the Chief of the General Staff; then in
16 protocol terms that had to do with visits, whether they went on visits or
17 received them, and this was generally done by desk officers for protocol
18 personnel and financial tasks were also conducted in the cabinet, by the
20 Q. What about legal, personal, security?
21 A. The legal affairs officer at the cabinet mostly dealt with the
22 documents and matters that had to do with legal affairs, the protection of
23 civilian affairs or responding to requests that were sent to the cabinet.
24 Personnel, of course we had personnel records, this was also done by an
25 officer at the cabinet for members of the cabinet. He took care of
1 promotions, elements of the salaries, and so on and so forth.
2 Q. The personal part, should that be translated as personnel instead
3 of personal; is that what you're saying?
4 A. When I speak about personnel, we are thinking persons,
5 individuals, when they have the right to certain rights and privileges,
6 when they cease, these have to do with certain salary categories or ranks,
7 so it has to do with personal matters.
8 Q. You didn't perform actually personal tasks for the general like
9 picking up his laundry and doing personal things for him, you were dealing
10 with personnel matters. I think there's a translation issue there, isn't
11 there, because the English says "personal" rather than "personnel."
12 A. The Chief of the General Staff, it would be ridiculous if I did
13 his laundry. I don't know where that question comes from. What I meant
14 under personnel and cadre matters, what I meant was orders and things that
15 had to do with the aspects of that particular job, and those are the
16 frameworks that I moved in within the parameters of that job.
17 Q. What was the security part of it?
18 A. Trips of Chief of the General Staff implied certain security
19 aspects, the security department that functioned in the General Staff in a
20 way covered that, and I was the one who coordinated that with them, when
21 and where he would be travelling, and so on.
22 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement you say that the office drafted a
23 monthly work-plan. Was the drafting of that plan also part of your job?
24 A. Ultimately, yes, because I would take the plan of work to the
25 chief and I would be responsible for its accuracy, the accuracy and the
1 tasks that were being implemented. It could be drafted in the cabinet.
2 There was the deputy who could work on it or one of the desk officers.
3 Q. In paragraph 10 you say that it was your job to collect and
4 prepare the mail, and this may be another translation issue, but what it
5 says in the English that you collected and prepared the mail to be signed
6 by the members of the General Staff, NGS. Is that true, you handled the
7 mail for all of the members of the General Staff?
8 A. No, only for the Chief of the General Staff.
9 Q. And this mail was --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, NGS is the Chief of the General
11 Staff, is it not?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Maybe I misunderstood that, Your Honour. It's
13 entirely possible since my Serbian isn't all that great.
14 Q. You say the Chief of the General Staff looked over and signed the
15 mail twice a day, so you would collect and prepare the mail for him two
16 times each day and bring it to his attention for signature, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You also tell us that you regularly attended sessions of the
19 collegium and afterwards it was your job to frame in detail and stylised
20 language the tasks emerging from those meetings and see that they were
21 typed and properly distributed, correct? That's paragraph 11.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you also monitored the implementation of tasks and reported
24 your findings to the Chief of the General Staff, and I take it that you
25 prepared him for the briefing that he did in that regard at the beginning
1 of each session of the collegium.
2 A. If I understood the question correctly, I didn't prepare him for
3 the briefing at the beginning of the collegium, but in the course of the
4 collegium, during the entire collegium, I would be informing him about the
5 degree to which the tasks were implemented and I would establish that
6 before the collegium meeting would begin in contacts either with the
7 deputies or those who were in charge of implementing particular
9 Q. Yeah, I think we understand. Your job was to follow-up on those
10 tasks and then let the -- let General Ojdanic know how they were being
12 A. To inform him if the assignments were implemented or at what stage
13 of implementation they were, other than about assignments that I was in
14 charge of monitoring.
15 Q. And finally in paragraph 5 you point out that the nature,
16 complexity, scope, and content of the work demanded all-day engagement of
17 the chief, his associates, assistants, and office, and I take it that that
18 included you, that you were extraordinarily busy and the work demanded
19 your all-day engagement?
20 A. As for me, I was graded by my superior, in this case it was the
21 Chief of the General Staff, General Ojdanic.
22 Q. There's been some kind of a misunderstanding. My question had to
23 do with the nature of the work. It required your attention on an all-day
24 basis, did it not, very complex, very busy?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. All right. I was informed that the all-day part of my question
2 really wasn't appropriately translated to you, but I think we have it now.
3 I want you to look at a couple of documents. First take a look at 3D1108,
4 and I just have a preliminary question or two to ask you about that
5 document. If I wanted to go -- this is kept in an archive somewhere,
6 isn't it?
7 A. You mean military archives or the files of the cabinet?
8 Q. Well, I don't know what I mean. I'm asking you. Where is this
9 kept? What kind of an archive is it kept in? Where is it?
10 A. On the basis of what we've been saying so far, this is a document
11 that is in the archive list under number 82 and 248 is the filing number
12 in the cabinet.
13 Q. I don't think you understand my question at all. Look at the
14 first page of this document. In the upper right-hand corner there's a
15 stamp, that stamp says something about the archive, doesn't it?
16 A. I do apologise. I really have to ask what document you're asking
17 me about. The command of the 3rd Army? 872-84, there is no stamp.
18 Q. Look at your screen, the document is 3D1108.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if you look at the tabs you'll see 3D1108, it's about one,
21 two -- it's about the fifth document in your list, in your book there.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What I'm trying to find out --
24 A. I see.
25 Q. -- Is where this document is kept. There's an archive stamp on
1 it, and I want to know where that archive is.
2 A. Those archives are in Zelenik, a Belgrade municipality, as far as
3 I can remember.
4 Q. If I wanted to go to that archive and see this document, I
5 couldn't just walk in and start going through the archives and looking for
6 it, can I?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Could you go to the archive and go through the archives and look
9 at this document?
10 A. I don't think I could go just like that, without approval from the
11 officer in charge.
12 Q. So you'd have to ask for approval to get in and look at this
13 document, and I take it if you got approval and went in to look at it then
14 that would be recorded somewhere and we'd know that you went and looked at
15 it and what you looked at and how long you were there and so forth,
17 A. As for these technical details related to going to the archives,
18 recording the persons who entered, the time they spent there, I'm not
19 aware of any of that and I cannot give an unequivocal answer as to how all
20 of that would go; however, if it is based on a request, then the request
21 is certainly recorded.
22 Q. So I take it that in preparation for your testimony here, you did
23 not go to the archive and look at the original documents in the archive,
24 but what you saw was what lawyer Visnjic wanted you to see, what he handed
25 you, not the actual document in the archive?
1 A. Yes, yes. I saw the documents that were provided to me by
2 Mr. Visnjic.
3 Q. Now, if you will look at this document, this 3D1108 that we're
4 looking at, I see on the first page that we have documents 1 through 6,
5 and then if you go to the second page it skips to document 79. What
6 happened to the records for documents 7 through 78?
7 A. The real address for this question is Mr. Visnjic. Don't make me
8 speculate as to whether he needed that or not, whether it was of interest
9 to him or not.
10 Q. So you never saw entries number 7 through 78 I take it?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now, I'd like you to look, if you will, at 3D1109 --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one point that should be noted, I think, is
14 that the translation has 6 at the top of that page, but in the original
15 items 1 to 6 are on the first page. And therefore, there's no link
16 necessarily, just in case we're misled later, no link necessarily between
17 6 and then 79.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think what you mean by "link."
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you're looking at the gap, but the suggestion
20 of the witness is that Mr. Visnjic may only have asked for certain pages
21 of this document, and the English version is misleading because it puts
22 number 6 on the second page.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, I see.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And it's something not to lose sight of.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: The original ends with 6 on the first page and
1 starts with 77 on the second.
2 Q. If you look at 3D1109 now, and this is the one we don't have an
3 English translation of, which is unfortunate because it makes it difficult
4 for all of us to deal with it. But if you'll look at this document, it
5 begins with the number 247, correct?
6 A. The copy starts with 247, but the original register that is in the
7 cabinet, of course, starts with number 1 and it ends at the end of the
8 year with a certain number, end.
9 Q. And in preparation for your testimony here today, did you review
10 all of those pages, 1 through the end, whatever the end number is, or did
11 you just look at this one page?
12 A. While preparing for my testimony, I looked only at the pages that
13 were provided to me in copy.
14 Q. Take a look at the top there at document 247, you see that?
15 A. Yes, I see that.
16 Q. And if I'm reading Serbian at all accurately, that's a document
17 that comes from the 3rd Army, isn't it, from the commander of the 3rd
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Correct?
21 A. From the command of the 3rd Army --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Yes. And if you look down at
23 248, entry 2, that's a document from the command of the 3rd Army?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And they both start with a file number 872, don't they?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So one explanation for this mystery we're dealing with here today
3 is that whoever made this entry simply put that second document in the
4 wrong place and it should have been up as a 247, number 2, since they
5 related in both documents from the 3rd Army, correct?
6 A. That type of mistake is possible; however, here, if you allow me,
7 we have something else that is to be observed. Number 872 indicates,
8 since it is the same number, that it comes from the 3rd Army and the
9 command of the 3rd Army is a forward command post. So that is a way of
10 filing it that we call a list of documents. So -94 could not have been
11 created before the document under 137 because they are kept in
12 chronological order in the list of documents, if we see that things are
13 done in accordance with the rules on office work.
14 Q. That would be true if these came from exactly the same source, but
15 they don't. The one under 248 comes from the forward command post, the
16 one from 247 comes from the command. The document sequence at the command
17 is different from the document sequence at the command post; isn't that
18 true, or do you not know that?
19 A. I based my knowledge or conclusions on the rules on office work.
20 872 is at the command of the army and the forward command post. In
21 principle, that is not possible because these are two lists of documents
22 in two different places and the subnumber is the same. If it is one list
23 of documents, then chronologically one sees that first it is document 137
24 that was created, and after that on the 26th of May document 94 was
25 created, which physically cannot be matched that way in the list of
2 Q. Unless you're incorrect regarding the difference between forward
3 command post documents and documents that come from the command in Pec,
4 and I suggest to you that you are. Now, let me ask you then to go back to
5 3D1108, and if you look at the fourth column, log number and date, and try
6 to find document 247, I think you'll fail to find it, correct?
7 A. On page 1, no.
8 Q. Well, in any of the pages. Look at all the pages. Do you see 247
10 A. No.
11 Q. Would you maybe conclude that that document must be between number
12 7 and number 78 somewhere?
13 A. Lots of things can be assumed, but I cannot be certain. In
14 principle, that is where it should be in it was supposed to be destroyed
15 or, I beg your pardon, archived. In view of the fact that it says "keep
16 permanently," I assume that it should be between these two numbers, 7 and
18 Q. Now, you've conceded to me so far that mistakes in making these
19 entries are possible, and you've talked about several mistakes today. You
20 talked about a mistake made by a typist who put in the name Radomir Ristic
21 instead of Svetislav Ristic in paragraph 9 of your statement we see that
22 and in your testimony today. You talked about mistakes made by the
23 Ministry of Justice with regard to documents 3D1090 and 3D788, and you
24 talked about a mistake made in document 3D00639 where you said what you
25 had said was not recorded correctly. So mistakes seem to be fairly
1 common, don't they, just in the small portion -- go ahead.
2 A. Ever since this involves a longer period of time, conditions that
3 were not pleasant at all, work conditions, that is to say there was an
4 imminent threat of bombing, then there was the bombing itself, it is
5 possible that mistakes happen. However, in this case it has to do with a
6 few mistakes that are simply too many for one particular place and one
7 particular document.
8 Q. In paragraph 14 of your statement, you talk about a -- this
9 registry of documents. Can you tell us -- these would be documents coming
10 into your office on a daily basis. Can you tell me how many documents on
11 the average would come into that office every day that would have to be
12 dealt with by this registry?
13 A. I don't have the exact numbers, but on average it was at least
14 around ten documents.
15 Q. Only ten from the 1st Army, 2nd Army, 3rd Army, army, navy, you
16 would only get ten documents a day?
17 A. I said at least ten, which is to say that in some periods it could
18 have been 20 and in others less than ten. The dynamics were very, very
20 JUDGE BONOMY: "At least" in English doesn't convey the meaning
21 that the witness has now given us. You would expect that to be on average
22 ten documents, if it could be more than ten or less than ten.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Would ten be an average; is that what you're telling us?
25 A. I'm trying to reconstruct, or rather, divide the number of
1 documents by the number of days. Well, perhaps it could be put that way,
2 on average about ten documents; but one should bear in mind that certain
3 documents, especially those of an urgent nature that was supposed to be
4 signed by the Chief of General Staff, were brought in to him by the
5 assistant chiefs. I am talking about the mail that we prepared regularly
6 in the morning and in the afternoon, there were two particular times, when
7 we submitted those to the Chief of General Staff for his signature. A
8 number of documents did not have the nature of an order and did not have
9 to be presented to the Chief of General Staff. That was resolved by
10 certain tactical leaders or desk officers in the cabinet or office. The
11 Chief of General Staff during the regular signing was just informed about
13 Q. Once again we're failing to communicate and it's probably my
14 fault. The documents I'm trying to get you to tell me about are those
15 that you speak about in paragraph 14 of your statement, and in that
16 paragraph you talk about documents that are received by your office and
17 you talk about reports and correspondence and all kinds of things coming
18 in there. And I'm wondering not how many documents go out of your office
19 each day but how many come in at that time.
20 A. It's the way I put it, the way I said. Can I say at least or on
21 average around ten.
22 Q. All right. I want you to look at P1459, that's the first document
23 in your folder there. At paragraph 16 of your statement you speak about
24 being shown this document, and with regard to that you say this:
25 "On inspection of the document I can say that I do not remember
1 the content of the document nor can I confirm that it was received in the
2 office because there's not one technical indication of it. There is no
3 received stamp, entry number, or any annotation by the Chief of the
4 General Staff on the document."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, the first thing I want to ask you about is in the top centre
8 of the document you see the numbers 81/3 with a circle around them. Do
9 you know what that means?
10 A. In this case, I don't know.
11 Q. And in the right-hand -- upper right-hand corner you see the
12 number 72, which I think we've learned today is a registry number, a
13 document registry number for some registry; is that correct?
14 A. The filing number of the document is inscribed in that way only if
15 the filing stamp is on the last page, so that even without opening the
16 document one could see under which number it was registered. If the
17 filing number is on the first page then this annotation is not placed,
18 what document that is, but here there is no stamp either. That is the way
19 in which a person who works with documents, by leafing through documents,
20 can find a document easy.
21 Q. Well, that prompts maybe a series of questions. Well, it
22 certainly was not uncommon in your office for General Ojdanic to issue
23 orders that would go to 1st Army, 2nd Army, 3rd Army, air force, and navy,
24 five different places, correct?
25 A. An order is submitted and was submitted in accordance with the
1 signature at the end of the document. It is possible that it was done by
2 the commander of the strategic group.
3 Q. I don't know what's happening. I don't know whether you're not --
4 my questions aren't be translated properly or you're not listening or
5 what. My question is this: General Ojdanic would on occasion draft an
6 order that was to go to the 1st Army, the 2nd Army, the 3rd Army, the air
7 force, and the navy, five different places, correct?
8 A. I'm listening to you carefully, and that is how I understood the
9 question, and yes, the order is sent to five addresses.
10 Q. And each of those addresses then has some kind of a system by
11 which they stamp it that it was received or make some notation on it that
12 it was received or give it a number or something, don't they?
13 A. According to the rules on office work, that is compulsory.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. A document has to be recorded as an incoming document by way of a
17 Q. So when you tell us that you don't recall seeing P1459 and you
18 think you didn't because it has no received stamp on it, that probably
19 means it didn't come to your office but went to some other office. And if
20 you now look at 3D1106, which is the document that did come to your
21 office, it does have the received stamp from your office on it, doesn't
23 A. There is a received stamp, and the document was received on the
24 26th and as for the way in which it reached the cabinet it was supposed to
25 be logged under a new number because it has nothing to do with the
1 document of the Ministry of Defence. However, it was logged under 248,
2 subnumber 2, on the 26th of May.
3 Q. Now, you were also shown a document 4D135 by Mr. Visnjic just a
4 few moments ago, and you had occasion to go through that document. I have
5 not provided you a copy of it, but this is a document listing requests
6 made by the 3rd Army and the disposition of those requests, isn't it?
7 A. Yes, that is an analysis of the realisation of the requests of the
8 commander of the 3rd Army, or rather, requests, what was done with these
10 MR. ACKERMAN: And could we go to, like, I think maybe the second
11 page in the English and the Serbian -- no, the next page, third page.
12 There we go. I think we need to go back one page, maybe. Rather than
13 take a bunch of time trying to find exactly what I'm looking for -- here
14 we go.
15 Q. This talks about here on this page it talks about some unapproved,
16 unimplemented or partially unimplemented requests. And just as an example
17 there's one request resubordination of a special brigade, there's one
18 request replenishment with some tanks, one that requests replenishment
19 with a mechanised company, a request for replenishment, another request
20 for replenishment, another request to add two command posts, proposal to
21 appoint judge jurists to the military court. This is all things that the
22 3rd Army was making requests for, things that the 3rd Army wanted to be
23 supplied with or appointments to be made or things of that nature. Now,
24 this document that we're looking at 3D1105 isn't -- sorry, 3D1106, this
25 isn't any request, this isn't: Give me more troops, give me more tanks,
1 this is a report. This is a report on the failure of an order to be
2 carried out and a report about things that are going on. He's not making
3 a request there, so it wouldn't be in this list of requests of having been
4 dealt with, would it?
5 A. What I see is the Serbian version of page 1. I don't know see
6 that particular paragraph. If this wasn't a request, perhaps you should
7 ask whoever produced this piece of analysis.
8 Q. Well, this -- this particular document, 3D1106, is not mentioned
9 in that list of requests, is it, it wasn't a request?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's very difficult for
11 me to use all these legal indications, so to speak, so I have to take some
12 time and track this down, the right reference.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The question you're being asked is whether you
14 would expect the document that you're looking at, the analysis of
15 requests, whether you would expect that to contain the report that is the
16 subject of this evidence, and Mr. Ackerman is suggesting you wouldn't
17 expect it in there. So what's your answer to that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my assessment, it shouldn't be
19 part of the analysis of requests.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let's go back to 3D1106 again, and I
22 want to direct your attention now to paragraph 3 and paragraph 4.
23 A. I apologise, but I can't see the left-hand half of the page. If
24 we could please scroll to the right.
25 Q. And I just want to draw your attention to what it is that
1 General Pavkovic is reporting there. Do you see that?
2 A. I can't see the left side of the text.
3 Q. Well, I think you have it in your book there, if you look at
4 3D1106 in your book you'll be able to see it better probably.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman, we're going to have to interrupt you
6 at some stage, so let's do it now if that's not too much inconvenient.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: That's fine. I didn't realise we were at that
9 JUDGE BONOMY: We are. And just before leaving the courtroom can
10 I ask Mr. Visnjic one question.
11 In paragraph 16 of the statement it says that document 1459 is
12 more or less the same as 1724. That is, in fact, a third version of this
13 document, is it? Is that the position?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, these are both
15 documents that the OTP subsumed under the same number, but it's one and
16 the same document. They gave two numbers to one document; that's actually
17 what I was trying to say.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So it's not more or less the same, it's identical,
19 it's identical.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll resume -- sorry. Mr. Vlajkovic, we need to
22 have a break for half an hour. Could you please leave with the usher
23 again and we'll resume at ten to 1.00.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: For urgent personal reasons, Judge Nosworthy will
3 not be with us for this last session, but we shall continue on the basis
4 that we consider it to be in the interests of justice to do so.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour. May I, with your leave, just
7 indicate that in respect to the matter you raised just before the court
8 rose last, 1724 and 1459 are identical documents, both bearing P numbers,
9 both received from differently sources on different dates. 1459 was
10 received in a batch of documents handed over to the OTP by
11 Prime Minister Djindjic and Mr. -- And General Pavkovic, and 14 -- and
12 1724 was received by us pursuant to a response to an RFA, an RFA being a
13 request for assistance, from the Government of Serbia.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Colonel, I've had you look at 3D1106, 3D1106, yes, and the
19 contents of that document. I want you to look now at another document,
20 this one is 4D192.
21 MR. STAMP: And while we are getting to it may I just add for the
22 record 4D192 is the same document as P1458, which was admitted on the 20th
23 of March this year.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. If you look at this document, it's a 24 May 1999 document from the
1 Pristina Corps command to the 3rd Army command, and it's called a report
2 on the failure to execute the order to resubordinate MUP forces.
3 Paragraph 2 you see that General Lazarevic reports that MUP forces have
4 not been subordinated as the order requires. In paragraph 6 he talks
5 about the problems at the check-points and the MUP crimes against the
6 civilian population. I think you'll agree with me that basically what
7 he's reporting here is the same information that General Pavkovic then
8 included in his report of the very next day, 25 May, which he then sent up
9 to your office, correct?
10 A. As far as I've been able to see, that may be correct.
11 Q. Now, as the chief of the chef de cabinet for General Ojdanic, I'm
12 sure you were aware, were you not, of some meetings that were held in
13 Belgrade on the 16th and the 17th of May, 1999, between General Ojdanic
14 and General Pavkovic and General Lukic and others on the 16th, and then
15 finally ...
16 [Defence councel confer]
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. I'm sorry it wasn't Lukic, it was Vasiljevic. General Lukic
19 wasn't there. It was held on the 16th of May and then a meeting with
20 Slobodan Milosevic and General Ojdanic and General Pavkovic and others on
21 the 17th of May where the subject was: Reports of crimes being committed
22 in Kosovo. You're aware of those two meetings, weren't you, as chief of
24 A. Yes, but I did not go into what was actually discussed at those
1 Q. What do you mean you didn't go into it?
2 A. I don't think what specific issues were raised at the meetings.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
4 A. I don't know if it was about these issues.
5 Q. General Ojdanic didn't tell you what those meetings were about?
6 A. On this particular occasion, no, I don't think he did. I can't
7 remember the issues that were raised at those meetings.
8 Q. All right. I have another document now I'd like you to look at,
9 it's P1696. This is a document dated 4 May 1999 and it's a report of
10 something that was published apparently by RTS in Belgrade, and it speaks
11 of meeting, if you look down -- look at the top, a meeting attended by
12 General Pavkovic, Major-General Lukic, Slobodan Milosevic, where matters
13 going on in Kosovo were discussed. And if you look further down in the
14 story it reports that among the things that were discussed was this:
15 "The security forces dealt with numerous cases of violence,
16 killings, pillage, and other crimes arresting several hundred perpetrators
17 whose crimes were a great danger to the civilian population. The state
18 authorities legally and in an unbiased manner carried out their duties
19 notably the protection of the citizens' personal security and the security
20 of their property. It was concluded that these measures had made such
21 actions impossible. Military courts acting in accordance with the
22 proceedings envisaged in war conditions have already passed a large number
23 of sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years' imprisonment for the crimes
25 And I can tell you that a nearly identical report also appeared in
1 Politika on the same day, on the 5th of May. Now, my question is: Were
2 you aware of these press reports and aware of this meeting that was
3 attended by General Ojdanic where this was discussed and reported
5 A. There are several issues involved here. So first and foremost I
6 must --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Listen to my question. My
8 question is: Were you aware of these press reports of this meeting and
9 General Ojdanic's attendance at this meeting? That's what I want an
10 answer to. I don't want you to tell me a bunch of issues involved.
11 A. I think General Ojdanic, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command,
12 attended this meeting, but I did not follow media reports at the time and
13 I don't know what the printed media specifically were claiming. I simply
14 had no time to analyse the media --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered the question.
16 Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Now, at paragraph 24 of your statement to this Tribunal you say
19 this: "At collegium meetings and briefings there were no reports of war
20 crimes of any kind until early June 1999."
21 Now, can you explain to us why it was General Ojdanic failed to
22 tell the collegium about the meeting on the 5th of May, about the meetings
23 on the 16th and 17th of May, why did he withhold that information from the
24 collegium and why did he not take steps to remedy those situations? Do
25 you know?
1 A. The regular briefings that were held during the war were mostly
2 about briefings by the assistant chiefs of the General Staff, and this was
3 normally about issues with regard to the previous period of time or that
4 particular day on which the meeting took place. I can't really say why
5 General Ojdanic had never done any briefings about that, but the fact is
6 at the collegium meetings at the time the war crimes issue was not raised
7 until the beginning of June, as I said in my statement.
8 Q. And you knew, didn't you, that that was an important issue that
9 was being discussed in the western press and an issue was being made about
10 it, and my question to you that you didn't answer is: Do you know why
11 General Ojdanic failed to take steps to deal with that and failed to
12 report it to the collegium? Do you know why? You can say no. If you
13 don't know why, just say you don't know why.
14 A. No, I don't.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I have, Your Honour, thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And I think the meeting was actually the 4th of
17 May; is that correct?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it was, Your Honour, the Politika report was
19 the 5th, the RTS report was the 4th.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Stamp.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry, Mr. Ackerman, I have just a question or
24 a query to make. One way of getting into this type of information which
25 you are seeking is to -- and the witness said that he knows nothing about
1 why this was withheld from the collegium, is to make a suggestion to the
2 witness: Was this the reason, if you knew of those reasons; if you
3 didn't, that's another thing. If you know of the reason, would you like
4 to make that suggestion. Thank you.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Judge. I wish I did know the reason, I
6 don't, and I don't want to just guess.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir. I just have a few matters I would like to
12 clarify with you.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. Starting with a couple matters in your statement. At paragraph 16
15 of your statement in the last sentence, the last and the second-to-last
16 sentence you speak about 4D135 and you say that: "On the basis of the
17 document's content I can confirm that all three of the 3rd Army requests
18 were recorded, irrespective of whether they came through the office or
19 through the people responsible for taking practical [indiscernible]."
20 What is it you mean when you say "all three of the 3rd Army
22 A. It's not about all three requests. All requests of the 3rd Army,
23 that's what it says, regardless of whether they got there through the
24 cabinet or through the tactical focal points. It's not about all three
25 requests, it's about the requests of the 3rd Army. So this may be a
1 translation problem.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I see. So if you -- you were
3 shown some documents, the contents of which are the same, P1459 and
4 3D1106, in the last page or last sentence in that document you see there
5 is a request or a recommendation made by General Pavkovic.
6 MR. STAMP: Perhaps we could look at the document. Let's look at
7 Exhibit 3D1106, last paragraph of the document, if we could go there,
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. STAMP:
11 Q. Recommended measures and it says: "It is necessary for the
12 Supreme Command to take urgent steps within its powers to resubordinate
13 the units and organs of the MUP of Serbia, abiding by the spirit of the
14 constitution and existing laws and in accordance with the proclaimed state
15 of war or to rescind the order on their resubordination and as it has done
16 so far leave control and command of the forces of the MUP of the Republic
17 of Serbia to the Ministry of the Interior - the staff of the MUP of the
18 Republic of Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija through the Joint Command."
19 Do you see that? The question is --
20 A. I apologise, Mr. Stamp, but I seem unable to pin-point that
21 paragraph. I'm afraid we're talking about different documents. 3D --
22 Q. If you look at the document on your screen, can you read the last
23 paragraph of the document on your screen?
24 A. Oh, all right, I can.
25 Q. You have read those recommendations, sir. The question is this:
1 Were the recommendations you see set out in that paragraph, would you
2 expect those to be included in the list of requests from the 3rd Army that
3 were not implemented that you saw in document 4D135?
4 A. It wouldn't be unfounded if that, too, was included in the
5 analysis, but the issues that do get analysed is something that the team
6 leader decides. He analysed the written requests of the 3rd Army command.
7 Why was this specifically not included in the analysis is definitely not
8 something that I can comment on.
9 Q. Very well. Another thing I'd like to clarify about your statement
10 is that at paragraph 18, and this is P -- sorry, this is Exhibit 3D1112.
11 Do you have paragraph 18 there, sir, of your statement?
12 A. My statement? I can't see it on the screen, but, yes, I do have
14 Q. In the second paragraph of paragraph 18 you speak of recording the
15 minutes of the briefings, but immediately after that you go on to say:
16 "After the collegium these tasks were updated and specified."
17 What I'd really like to know is whether or not you are speaking in
18 this paragraph about briefings, daily briefings, collegium meetings, or
19 both, firstly.
20 A. Both, in the briefest possible terms, because this aspect,
21 however, control over members of the General Staff was referred in
22 peacetime -- was referred to in peacetime as collegium meetings and in
23 wartime these were referred to as briefings, but essentially it's the same
25 Q. Well, you spoke specifically about collegium sessions and the
1 recording of those sessions at paragraph 6 of your statement and paragraph
2 7. I'll just read the relevant parts. You say: "Sessions of the
3 collegium were recorded and later typed up in a restricted area."
4 And in paragraph 7 you said: "The recording on disk is sent to
5 the chief of office and is archived in the registry."
6 Paragraph 8: "A specific number of tapes are used for recording
7 the sessions of the collegium," and there you reference specifically to
8 collegium sessions. What I want to know if we turn to paragraph 18 is
9 whether or not this method of making the records you say: "Minutes were
10 kept at all the briefings and analyses. The minutes were handwritten in a
11 thick A4 notebook."
12 Does that apply to collegium sessions or can you clarify from what
13 appears to be a discrepancy?
14 A. The meetings of the collegium of the Chief of the General Staff
15 that were held before the beginning of the war were tape recorded in the
16 way described in the statement. As for briefings during wartime, which
17 were in actual fact meetings of the collegium of the General Staff, those
18 were not tape recorded. Minutes were taken. The technical conditions
19 were not in place for tape-recordings to be made. In these cases, the
20 minutes were used as a basis for any assignments that were determined and
21 for the distribution of those assignments.
22 Q. Who took the minutes of those briefings?
23 A. The focal point for the drafting of the minutes in the written
24 form was the operative sector of the administration of the staff of the
25 Supreme Command. Those taking the minutes were Paskas Dragan and
1 Mucibabic --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't get the name.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. Can you repeat the name, the last name you mentioned.
5 A. Colonel Dragan Paskas and Colonel Spasoje Mucibabic. They
6 normally took the minutes during wartime.
7 Q. So as chief of the office, did you check the minutes against your
9 A. No. I checked only whenever I needed to check something or if the
10 conclusions weren't clearly phrased. I wasn't one to go through the
11 entire set of minutes just in order to check.
12 Q. Were the minutes confirmed at the next succeeding briefing?
13 A. No. At the next briefing I would inform concerning the
14 implementation of tasks.
15 MR. STAMP: Can we look at 3D728 -- sorry, I withdraw that. I'm
16 asking for 3D580.
17 Q. You can see there that those -- this document indicates that it is
18 the briefing -- or the minutes of the briefing for the 26th of March,
19 1999. Is that the format of the minutes of the briefing that you are
20 familiar with?
21 A. By its format and by the content, it differs from previous
22 briefings, first because it was held at 8.00 in the morning; and secondly,
23 because it was chaired by or conducted by Lieutenant-General Obradovic --
24 or Colonel-General Obradovic, and first it was a briefing at the
25 operations administration.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The English copy says the meeting was at 8.30 in
2 the evening.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The beginning at 08 -- or 0 --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The English also says that it ended at 2200 hours.
5 Are we looking at the same document?
6 MR. STAMP: 3D580.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. STAMP: I think I need to clarify that and perhaps we could
9 move on while an effort is made to clarify.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that if we
12 look at page 2 then it would correspond to the English translation. I'm
13 confused as to why this happened. I don't know. But I think the second
14 page of the document in the B/C/S, if he has it, would correspond.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, probably the first page of the
17 document was not translated, so now it would correspond to what ...
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Vlajkovic, you'll see the time.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now -- so the -- if we could go back to the
21 question that you were asked: Is this the format of the minutes of the
22 briefing that you're familiar with?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. This format is something
24 that I saw during preparations for my testimony, and it's an excerpt from
25 the minutes from the original book where the actual minutes were taken by
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. When you say "excerpt," what do you mean?
4 A. Not excerpt, but typed as is written in the actual minutes.
5 Q. Well, can you have a look at the last page of this document, and
6 that is page 4 in the English, the last page, last line. We see
7 General Ojdanic speaking and he says -- he's reported to say: "Make a map
8 for me to the Supreme Defence Council."
9 Is that as you said earlier in your previous answer typed as it is
10 written in the actual minutes?
11 A. This cannot be determined unless one looks at the minutes, the
12 original document.
13 Q. Very well.
14 MR. STAMP: If we could look at 3D5 --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move off that. That -- the instruction
16 at the end that's just been read to you, does it make sense?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It makes sense if we're talking
18 about a map indicating the forces, or rather, most probably, the Chief of
19 the General Staff specifically mentioned which map but the minute-taker
20 did not note that down.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the original version of these handwritten an
23 MR. STAMP: No, Your Honour -- well, Mr. Visnjic can probably --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 3D1094.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Stamp.
3 MR. STAMP: Can we have a look at 3D581.
4 Q. That is a -- the minutes of a briefing on the 28th of March, two
5 days later.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the question?
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. If we look at page 3 of the English, which is top of page 4 in the
9 B/C/S you see - and I can indicate that this appears to be General Gajic
10 speaking - and he is saying: "I support General Grahovac's proposal to
11 make an assessment in the presence of the Supreme Defence Council
13 A. Your Honours, I don't have that part of the text here. I'm
14 looking at the Serbian version -- oh, yes, it's here. Yes, I've seen it.
15 Q. Well, you are not -- well, I'll ask you this: Did you know of the
16 Supreme Defence Council meeting at that time, the 26th and the 28th of
17 March, 1999?
18 A. The Supreme Defence Council. I cannot be definite about whether
19 it was held or not because it was held at a location where the supreme
20 defence staff was not.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that there's
23 been some confusion, perhaps the witness can reply to this question again,
24 but I can see from the transcript that evidently ...
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you talking about the reference to supreme
1 defence staff or are you talking -- or are you thinking -- well, I have
2 assumed that was Supreme Command Staff.
3 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. You were aware of the Supreme Command, I take it, that existed or
6 a body called the Supreme Command that existed during the war?
7 A. The term "Supreme Command" was used in communication amongst
8 ourselves, yes, I am aware of that.
9 Q. I think it's accepted from your statement that General Ojdanic was
10 the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command Staff. When he attended
11 meetings of the Supreme Command, did you ever go with him? Did you ever
12 attend any meeting of the Supreme Command?
13 A. No.
14 Q. In terms of your experience and your knowledge of the operations
15 of the office and the agenda of General Ojdanic, are you able to say who
16 were the members of the Supreme Command?
17 A. According to my understanding, let's say, of the Supreme Command,
18 by the nature of things for me that was the Supreme Defence Council, which
19 during the war let's say acquired the name "Supreme Command." The
20 president of the republic, so of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with
21 the two republican presidents, Supreme Defence Council.
22 Q. You said according to your understanding. How did you arrive at
23 this understanding?
24 A. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia defines the
25 control of the Army of Yugoslavia in peacetime, that is the Supreme
1 Defence Council. At the beginning of the war when the term "Supreme
2 Command" was mentioned, I -- what was meant I thought was the Supreme
3 Defence Council in the composition of the three presidents or in its
4 expanded composition, then also it would be attended by the minister of
5 internal affairs, the Chief of the General Staff, and then some other
6 governmental organs.
7 Q. Well, in your capacity as chief of the office -- or is your
8 understanding consistent with documents you would have seen and
9 discussions that you would have been present at in your capacity as chief
10 of the office of General Ojdanic?
11 A. Documents that we worked on would be passed on to the military
12 cabinet of the president of the republic, which we addressed as
13 Mr. President and president of the Supreme Defence Council at the
14 beginning of the war. In the beginning of April, the chief of the
15 military cabinet, General Susic, the chief of the military cabinet of the
16 president of the republic suggested to me that the documents should be
17 addressed to the supreme commander, or rather, we would be sending it
18 through the military cabinet for information or so that the supreme
19 commander could be informed.
20 Q. Well, what I'm asking you, though, is you said based on your
21 understanding of the membership of the Supreme Command is based to some
22 extent on your understanding of the constitution. What I'm asking you is:
23 Practically speaking, was there any knowledge or experience that you
24 gained from your position of as chief of General Ojdanic's office that
25 confirmed your knowledge as to the composition of the Supreme Command?
1 A. Later, yes, because we meant by that the Supreme Defence Council.
2 Q. What was it later that confirmed your understanding? And I take
3 it that your understanding is that the membership of the Supreme Defence
4 Council became the Supreme Command.
5 A. The fact that the question was not completely resolved in legal
6 terms and what I said at the beginning, our understanding of that organ
7 was that that was the Supreme Command. No other specific act or move.
8 MR. STAMP: Can we look quickly at P -- sorry, 5D -- 3D, 3D728.
9 Q. Do you have it there? You will see under --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That purports to be the record of a briefing of the Chief of Staff
12 of the Supreme Command of the 11th of April. Let's go to the last page,
13 last paragraph of the document.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the question?
15 MR. STAMP: I think maybe it's my mistake. Is this 3D728? I'm
16 asking for 3D728.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: That is 3D728, Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP: I'm in a moment of consternation. That is -- and is
20 this the last page of 3D728?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, it is the last page.
22 MR. STAMP: I think I'll have to clarify this and move on
23 because -- I'll get back to that, Your Honours. I apologise for ...
24 Q. Can I ask you, though, sir, in the meetings of the Supreme Command
25 Staff, do you know whether or not Mr. Milutinovic ever attended?
1 A. Not meetings of the Supreme Command Staff, no.
2 Q. What meetings are you aware that he attended?
3 A. I can just judge by the nature of the function that he attended
4 meetings of the Supreme Defence Council, but not the Supreme Command
5 Staff, no.
6 Q. Do you know of him attending any meetings of the Supreme Command
7 during the war?
8 A. I'm not aware of that, no.
9 Q. Do you know of Mr. Sainovic attending any meeting of the Supreme
10 Command before the war [as said]?
11 A. I did not attend those meetings and I don't know who attended
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. STAMP: If we could return to Exhibit P728 and I should
15 explain that the -- Exhibit 3D728, and we are going to page 3, not the
16 last page. Apparently somehow it's the last page on the copy I have, but
17 I have been advised that it's actually page 3 in English and which also
18 corresponds to page 3 in B/C/S.
19 Q. You see at the bottom of that page General Ojdanic speaks --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I just have a remark on the transcript.
22 My knowledge of English being such, line -- actually, page 83, line 10,
23 Mr. Stamped asked - I don't know why - if Mr. Sainovic attended meetings
24 of the Supreme Command before the war and during the war, and what was
25 recorded was just before the war, but he answered as well for -- during
1 the war and the witness said that he did not know who attended that -- the
2 meetings. That would be it, thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you accept that, Mr. Stamp?
4 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I think that --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Now, please proceed with your question.
7 MR. STAMP:
8 Q. Can you read there what we have General Ojdanic saying in the
9 minutes of this briefing.
10 A. "During the evening amend the directive in line with ours." And
11 then the second item would be:
12 "Submit the draft plan for study, the briefing will be at 0900
13 hours with the supreme commander, present deputy operations and staff
14 affairs, chief of the operations administration, chief of the Supreme
15 Command Staff, Lieutenant-General Smiljanic, Major-General Krga, President
16 Milosevic, President Milutinovic, and adjutant of the MUP unit for Kosovo
17 Sreten -- Sreten, Vice-President Sainovic and Colonel-General Pavkovic."
18 Q. When you read that record of the briefing, does that refresh your
19 recollection as to who the membership of the supreme -- or what the
20 membership of the Supreme Command was as of the 11th of April, 1999?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can it not wait, Mr. Petrovic? Can we wait -- is
22 it something to do with the question?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's important about
24 what the witness heard, which translation he heard and the translation
25 Mr. Stamp received of the witness's previous answer. So it's page 84,
1 line 14. Your Honours, it's very important, in view of the
2 characterisation of the organ that the witness is talking about and that
3 is mentioned here. The witness interpreted the abbreviation in one way
4 and it's being translated in a different way. This is the gist of it. I
5 do not want to be explicit, but it's clear what the organ is talked about.
6 Here there is mention of the organ, but the witness actually spoke about
7 an individual. So I don't want to be too explicit, but the abbreviation
8 VK the witness read as the supreme commander and not as the Supreme
9 Command, as it is stated in the transcript.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but are you saying the English translation is
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: In the document the translation is wrong?
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It would have been much easier if you would have
16 just said that to me --
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you permit, the
18 witness said "supreme commander," the witness said "supreme commander,"
19 and not "Supreme Command." So I'm not talking about the document; I'm
20 talking about what the witness said, and this can be easily established.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness read the document. Now, are you saying
22 he's read it wrongly?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm saying that he
24 was reading the document and that in reading the document the abbreviation
25 VK he read out at "vrhovni komandant," supreme commander, this is what the
1 witness said and that can be established by listening back to the tape.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I take it from your answer that you are saying
3 that that abbreviation can be translated either way, it can be referred to
4 by a witness speaking Serbian as either "Supreme Command" or "supreme
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not dare
7 interpret military abbreviations. This is something that we need to ask
8 the witness. My intervention only refers to what the witness said and
9 what it says in the transcript, but the witness knows what the
10 abbreviation is and what that means. I'm not going any further than that.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Vlajkovic, you've read a passage there
12 which has the letters PK. What do you say these represent?
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, it's VK.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: My mistake.
15 The letters VK, what do you say these represent?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] VK stands for supreme commander; if
17 we're talking about the Supreme Command, then it would be indicated with
18 VK-DA, "vrhovna komanda." This is how we differentiate in military
19 terminology between commander and command.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Stamp, what's your question?
21 MR. STAMP: Well, with the leave of the Court perhaps I could ask
22 it tomorrow, but before I --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I thought you were nearly finished and we
24 were letting it run in the hope that you were. But have you got long to
25 go? There's no case here this afternoon.
1 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour, I could finish this afternoon but
2 I've about ten minutes to go.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Ten minutes. Unless I hear howls of anguish from
4 the interpreters, in view of the fact there's no case this afternoon, I
5 think it would be helpful to all if we could continue.
6 Okay. We seem to have the thumbs up.
7 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. Before I get back to my last question, your last answer was that
10 VK stands for supreme commander; and if you're talking about Supreme
11 Command, then it would be VK-DA.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You see in the document I showed you a list of names that is said
14 to be present. Do you know what that list is referring to?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, I mean, for once one should read
17 properly. This is a reading problem not a legal problem. Mr. Stamp says
18 this is a list of persons who --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't understand
20 Mr. Fila. We're sorry.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, the interpreters didn't understand what
22 you were saying; could you repeat it, please.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I said Mr. Stamp's question got the
24 wrong tense. He's asking the witness to say that these persons were
25 present, which is the past tense, and this is a question in reference to
1 the future tense. And the witness cannot know whether someone in the
2 future was present or will be present, will be present, that's what I'm
3 saying, tomorrow. You see tomorrow.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, your question, in my opinion, is
5 perfectly valid and you should proceed to ask it.
6 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. These -- this list of names, do you, as someone who was the chief
8 of office who regularly attends these briefings, know what this list of
9 names is referring to?
10 A. These are amendments to the directive or a draft plan that the
11 chief will be briefing the supreme commander on the next day at 9.00, who
12 should attend or will attend from the army, the chief of operations and
13 staff affairs, the chief of the Operative Command, the chief of the
14 Supreme Command Staff, General Ojdanic; Lieutenant-General Smiljanic, as
15 commander of the air force and air defence, and Major-General Krga; as
16 well as President Milosevic, Milutinovic, and the adjutant of the MUP
17 units for Kosovo, did they attend, well I -- but the chief said that they
18 might attend the briefing.
19 Q. According to your knowledge and experience as chief of office, did
20 these people - and I'm referring to the civilians listed here - regularly
21 attend briefings by the Chief of Staff?
22 A. I don't know whether it was they, some others, or ...
23 Q. I have it here that you just said: "I don't know whether it was
24 they, some others, or ..."
25 Can you just say or what you said.
1 A. Or -- or who could possibly attend. I really don't know.
2 Q. Very well. In the -- if I may move on to something else very
3 quickly. In the course of your experience as chief of the office, did you
4 see documents sent to or received from a body called the Joint Command?
5 A. Not a single document reached the cabinet from the Supreme
6 Command. In our communication with the supreme commander we spoke through
7 the chief of the military cabinet --
8 Q. I think there might be a misunderstanding here.
9 MR. STAMP: Can we look at P1487.
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 MR. STAMP: If we look at the stamps at the bottom of the -- or
12 the signatures at the bottom of the document that appears on page 2 of the
14 Q. Can you see the bottom of that document and tell us whether or not
15 you can say if that is a document that was sent out by General Ojdanic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And if we could return to the first page in English. It's dated
18 the 17th of April, 1999, addressed to the command of the 3rd Army
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we make some progress, Mr. Stamp, please.
21 MR. STAMP: I was just waiting for the translation to -- very
23 Q. You see it says: "Link: Kosovo and Metohija Joint Command order
24 strictly confidential number 455-148 of 15 April 1999."
25 Can you recall ever seeing this document before?
1 A. This document I have not seen.
2 Q. Very well.
3 A. If I'm expected to comment --
4 Q. I just want to know if you have ever seen it before. It -- this
5 document which you said was sent by General Ojdanic refers to an order of
6 the Joint Command. Now, the question is: Had you ever seen within your
7 capacity as chief of General Ojdanic's office documents made by or sent to
8 an organ called the Joint Command, Joint Command?
9 A. In 1998 and 1999 I did not see any such documents. No such
10 documents went through the register of the cabinet. This document was
11 produced in the sector for operations and staff affairs. It was meant to
12 be sent in any encrypted form and it was an urgent document, and I said
13 this was one of the ways where the focal point in such cases took this
14 directly to the chief for his signature, and it was distributed as such.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So I take it, it follows from that, that there were
16 documents issued by your office which you did not see?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Mr. President, this
18 document was not issued by my office, it was issued by the sector for
19 operations and staff affairs, the operative administration; and as such,
20 it was entered into their register, it's in their files.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The question was badly phrased. This is the sort
22 of document that might be issued from the Supreme Command Staff without
23 you seeing it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Documents produced by focal points
2 of an urgent nature, or rather, documents that did not wait for the
3 regular procedure in order to be signed --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not get the last portion of
5 the witness's answer.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour. I have nothing
8 further for the witness.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I see that the interpreters
10 didn't get the last portion of the witness's answer, and the witness said,
11 morning and afternoon, actually.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do have questions
15 for this witness.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: How long do you anticipate?
17 MR. VISNJIC: [No interpretation]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: In English, since it hasn't come up.
19 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry, 20 minutes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I think that will need to be tomorrow then.
21 Mr. Vlajkovic, we have to finish for the day at this stage. You
22 will have to come back tomorrow to complete your evidence, that will be at
23 9.00 tomorrow morning. Between then and now, please have no discussion or
24 communication with anyone at all about the evidence in this case. Please
25 keep off the subject completely no matter who you speak to. Now please
1 leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll see you at 9.00 tomorrow.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.06 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 21st day of
5 September, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.