1 Wednesday, 3 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, while we're waiting for the witness, I
6 wanted to introduce a new face on our team. To my far right is
7 Ms. Silvia D'Ascoli, a new lawyer on our team helping to make-up the
8 recent losses of Ms. Moeller, Mr. Marcussen, and Ms. Dragulev.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. Good morning, Mr. Gojovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: We will now continue with the cross-examination by
13 Mr. Hannis.
14 Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: RADOMIR GOJOVIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
19 Q. Good morning, General.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I wanted to ask you about the VJ commission for cooperation with
22 The Hague Tribunal. It's my understanding that was created in the year
23 2001 and that you, sir, were a member of that commission; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. We spoke a little bit about that with General Terzic when he was
1 here. As I understand it were you the deputy chairman of that commission?
2 A. Deputy chairman, right.
3 Q. And how many members were on the commission, do you recall?
4 A. I think seven or eight.
5 Q. Were you retired from the VJ at the time you served on this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What about the other members, were any of them retired at the
10 A. There was only one other member who was retired. All the others
11 were still in active service.
12 Q. And let me ask you if the following persons were members of the
13 commission. Was General Farkas a member?
14 A. Yes, and he was the only retired person next to me.
15 Q. How about Sreten Obrencevic?
16 A. He joined later, after 2003 or maybe 2002. He was not a permanent
17 member, he was occasionally on that commission.
18 Q. And Milos Gojkovic?
19 A. He joined later as well, in end 2002, and he participated in the
20 work of the commission only occasionally when we were dealing with certain
22 Q. Can you recall any of the other members by name?
23 A. There was Prsic, chief of the archives, Colonel Prsic; then there
24 was Lieutenant-Colonel Labus, he was in the legal department; and one or
25 two persons from other sectors. It was the sectors that could provide
1 some documents that provided people for that panel, I believe Aco Tomic,
2 Colonel Mojsilovic, he was the secretary of the commission.
3 Q. And you and General Farkas were retired. Did you receive payment
4 for your work on the commission?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. Do you recall how much you were paid, what rate you were paid at?
7 A. Those were symbolic amounts. The hourly rate was approximately
8 the same as for a part-time lecturer without contributions and without
10 Q. Yesterday we were talking about the maximum sentences for various
11 crimes, and I think I forgot to ask you, what's the maximum sentence for
12 terrorism? What was it at that time, in 1999, if you know?
13 A. Depending on the consequences involved, but the maximum sentence
14 was 20 years imprisonment, depending on the consequences of the terrorist
15 action involved.
16 Q. Now, next, General, I wanted to ask you about Exhibit P953. This
17 is the report dated the 21st of June, 1999, on the work of the military
18 judicial organs during a state of war. I realise this is one of the
19 earlier reports, but I just want to check a couple things in connection
20 with that. Do you recognise that, the cover page of that document?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to the next page, please.
23 Q. In paragraph 5, you talk about the types of crimes that were being
24 prosecuted, and if I understand it correctly it appears that about 88 per
25 cent of that total number were for violations of Article 214, failure to
1 respond to a call-up or evading military service and for abandonment or
2 desertion under Article 217. Is that correct, 88 per cent of the
3 prosecutions were for those kinds of crimes?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And for the remaining 12 per cent, isn't it true that a large
6 portion of that 12 per cent were prosecutions for property crimes, theft,
7 looting, and robbery?
8 A. That too is correct.
9 MR. HANNIS: Now, if we could go to page 4 in the B/C/S and I
10 think it's page 5 in the English.
11 Q. We've got the chart which shows the convictions by categories of
12 the person and type of criminal offence. And I just wanted to clear for
13 the record that there is -- there appears to be a mistake in English
14 version. General, under: "Crimes against life and limb," do you see
15 that, we see a total of 28 --
16 A. Yes, but if we could only zoom in a bit because it's too small.
17 MR. HANNIS: Yes, if we could zoom in on the column, it's about
18 number 6.
19 Q. Can you see the column that pertains to crimes against life and
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. We see that there were a total of 28 persons that received a
23 sentence of one year -- or one to two years and a total of four persons
24 who received a sentence of two to five years, correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. No officers were sentenced for any such crime, except for one
2 non-commissioned officer, correct?
3 A. Yes, at that time that was the situation.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honours, I want to indicate on the English
6 version you will see that there's the number 133 listed as a total under
7 sentences over five years, and I would indicate based on a conversation
8 with Mr. Sepenuk and with the General here that that's a mistake, that
9 there should be a 0 there or no number there. And that column under
10 property crimes, the number 113 should be there instead of 5 in the
11 English for terms of one to two years imprisonment for property crimes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right, 113.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. And five persons received a sentence of two to five years for
15 property crimes, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. We can leave that exhibit now, General, and I want to
18 go to Exhibit P955, which is the same as tab 18 that Mr. Sepenuk looked at
19 with you yesterday. And if I understood correctly, this is a summary that
20 you prepared based in part on the records from the military prosecutor's
21 office in Nis. Is that correct?
22 A. The military court and the military prosecutor's officer from Nis,
23 that was the overview that the supreme military court received, tab 17.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 3 of the B/C/S and page 2
1 of the English.
2 Q. I have some questions for you about that summary review.
3 MR. HANNIS: And if we could enlarge that for the general, I just
4 need the top -- the top half, but I need to have it all the way across if
5 that's possible.
6 Q. Are you able to read that, General? I could give you a hard copy
7 if that would be helpful.
8 A. That would be nicer.
9 Q. Okay. Let me hand you that.
10 MR. HANNIS: If the usher could help me and --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's better now.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. Just in case, General, I'll hand you that. I want to talk about
14 just the top five rows which are for war crimes under Article 142 and then
15 various degrees of murder or attempted murder under Article 47. And this
16 is -- this shows the totals as of the 10th of June, 1999, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And as I read it, there are no judgements for any of those crimes,
19 war crimes against civilians or attempted murder, correct?
20 A. That was correct at the time, there were no adjudicated cases at
21 that time. There appeared some a few days later, after the war period was
22 over, there were four cases that were judged; but at the time when this
23 overview was done there had been none.
24 Q. Okay. And it appears -- I totalled up the numbers for those five
25 type of crime in the column on the far right I come up with 25, all of
1 which have been deferred to the jurisdiction of another court, either
2 during the investigation or after indictment; that's correct, isn't it?
3 A. Right. You only omitted here the column where we have aggravated
4 robbery involving homicide. There are seven cases there, and when you add
5 that up you get a different total. There were six persons who lost their
6 lives in such cases, and then you have the number 7 in column 2. They
7 were included in murders. I don't know if you found this in your copy.
8 Q. Okay. I think I see that now, that's grave incidents of robbery
9 and violence to retain stolen goods with murder, so that's an additional
10 seven cases for a total of 32; is that right?
11 A. Yes, 32 and four later, that makes 36, plus the two that I added,
12 that's 38.
13 Q. All right. Now, I want to ask you -- we'll come back to this
14 exhibit in a minute, but I want to ask you about a document which is our
15 Exhibit Number P1011. This is entitled the application of rules of the
16 international law of armed conflicts, edited by Ivan Markovic, Belgrade,
17 in 2001. I think you testified in the Milosevic case that you were
18 familiar with this document; is that correct?
19 A. I know only that the book was published, and the editor who
20 prepared this for print, Markovic, had asked for some information from the
21 overview that we had just looked at. He wanted figures regarding rape and
22 some other crimes that we had in the overview, and I remember checking
23 whether he had included this information accurately.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to page 3 of the document.
1 Q. The -- well, I'm not sure the B/C/S page is the same as the
2 English page I'm looking at, but let me ask you this, General. The
3 English indicates that this apparently comes from the present information
4 centre of Vojska, and it was printed by the military printing office.
5 That's -- I guess that's page 2 of the B/C/S. We'll get that on the
6 screen for you. So is this a publication then by the army or out of the
7 army's printing office?
8 A. It was printed in the military print works, the military print
9 works print for anyone who commissions, but the person who prepared this
10 for publishing is a journalist in the journal Vojska, army. I do know
11 that he's a writer as well.
12 Q. And I will tell you that part 6 of this book is entitled: "The
13 work of military judicial authorities."
14 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 110 of the B/C/S and page
15 164 of the English.
16 Q. You'll see, General, that this appears to be a report about
17 information on criminal proceedings for crimes committed in Kosovo and
18 Metohija, this is to the 3rd Army command, and dated the 6th of April,
19 2001. Have you seen that document before?
20 A. I just leafed through this book comparing with the information
21 that was available to me, and for the most part as far as proceedings
22 initiated are concerned, it's mostly correct with minor discrepancies,
23 because he got his data from the military court in Nis and perhaps the
24 military prosecutor who was reviewing criminal reports. So the data is
25 approximately the same. My cut-off date was the 10th of June and his was
1 a bit later, so that could explain minor discrepancies.
2 Q. And one other difference I note in the first paragraph here is it
3 says: "This covers the period between the 1st of March, 1998, and the
4 26th of June, 1999."
5 So it would include some crimes that occurred prior to the period
6 for which you were reporting, correct? That is between the 1st of March,
7 1998, and the 24th of March, 1999?
8 A. Yes. Yes, he also included 1998, but I compared only the
9 information that belonged to the period of war, from the 23rd of March to
10 the 10th of June, because that was the period that interested me and for
11 which I had information. So I didn't particularly look at the other
13 Q. Okay. And I understand that, but you would agree with me then
14 that his numbers might be slightly higher than yours because they cover a
15 longer time-period, correct?
16 A. Certainly.
17 Q. And here it indicates that there were 245 persons for which cases
18 were charged for criminal acts involving property crimes or crimes against
19 life and limb. And as I read it, of those 245, 183 have been charged, and
20 as of the date of this report apparently investigations were still in
21 progress against 47 persons and there were another 15 for which previous
22 information is being collected, but those appear to be for property
23 crimes. Is that what it says in paragraph 2?
24 A. Yes, that's written in that paragraph, but it's obviously a little
25 different from the passage that I had prepared and shown. Some of his
1 figures are even smaller -- well, depends on how he collected his
2 information and the reporter sometimes doesn't know how to properly use
3 information obtained from the court.
4 Q. We will compare some of his cases with cases in war report P955 in
5 a moment. The first thing he indicates was that regarding the 47
6 investigations, six of those were crimes involving loss of life or
7 endangering life and limb, and the remaining 41 were for property crimes.
8 And then he lists the specifics about those six crimes involving life and
9 limb. Number one is against a Lieutenant-Colonel S. S., and I'll tell you
10 tell you based on other information I believe that to be Colonel Stosic.
11 You're aware of his case, aren't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And at the time of this report in April 2001 indicated that the
14 investigation had been suspended. What do you know about Colonel Stosic's
16 A. He was shown in that report from the military court in Nis, tab
17 17, it says there that proceedings against him were suspended and
18 finished, and I didn't show him in my summary overview because it made no
19 sense to show him his case as a perpetrator of a crime. The soldiers,
20 though, who were involved were shown in the overview, because later during
21 the proceedings it turned out there is no evidence that he had committed a
22 crime, so the proceedings were stopped. In some places, though, his case
23 was included, his case was included in some overviews, which doesn't make
24 any sense because the -- his case was -- did not even get through the
25 stage of investigation.
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry for interruption. Did you, General,
2 happen to check the record of this case, of Colonel Stosic, to form this
3 opinion which you have expressed just now?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The president of the court informed
5 me of that.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, so that we understand this entirely,
7 the document you're referring to, P1011 --
8 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Records this as an ongoing investigation; is
10 that right?
11 MR. HANNIS: Well, it says there are six cases in which their
12 investigations were or still are in progress; yet under item number 1 it
13 says the investigation was suspended due to a lack of evidence regarding
14 the specifics.
15 Q. But, General, there were two other individuals -- I'm sorry, I see
16 Mr. -- No, Mr. Cepic was up and he's down. And now he's half up.
17 MR. CEPIC: Again, I have to. Your Honour, with your leave just
18 one correction in transcript I think that is an error page 11, lines 2 and
19 3, I think that witness did not say his case did not even get through the
20 stage of investigation, but Mr. Hannis later on read something from this
21 exhibit, 1011, and corrected this sentence.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I --
23 MR. CEPIC: I think the witness answered the same as Mr.
24 Witness -- as Mr. Hannis read it.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: You mean investigation suspended due to lack of
1 evidence; is that what you're saying?
2 MR. CEPIC: Exactly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, very well. Thank you.
4 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
6 Q. General, there were two other individuals who were initially part
7 of that investigation with Colonel Stosic, right, and they ended up being
8 indicted and charged for either a war crime or murder, correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recall their names?
11 A. I don't know offhand, I didn't memorise it, but it's in my
12 overview, I can look it up in tab 18.
13 Q. Okay. And I'll let you do that in a minute. Did you -- do you
14 recall what sentences they received?
15 A. Well, if I said yesterday they were convicted, they are probably
16 convicted. I can't say from memory what the sentences were, but they
17 certainly were sentenced. I can look it up. There was some figures that
18 I added later that were not available at the time when I was writing this;
19 if they were convicted and sentenced, I could have pencilled it in later.
20 Q. I'll ask the usher to hand you the rest of a hard copy of Exhibit
21 P955. I think this continues on from the page you have, General, and I
22 don't know if you want to take a moment to look through and see if you can
23 find --
24 A. May I look at my notes? Just let me compare this?
25 Q. Certainly.
1 A. That was the first-instance judgement, it was quashed, and a new
2 trial is under way. I don't know what the outcome of the new trial was or
3 will be, but where Palinkas Oto, Mijatovic is mentioned and Stosic should
4 have been here.
5 Q. I'm sorry, General, we didn't -- I don't think we caught in the
6 transcript the name that I think you were saying before Stosic. Do you
7 know the names of --
8 A. Palinkas Oto, Igor Mijatovic, and Dragan Milosavljevic?
9 Q. And are they listed in your tab 18 or Exhibit P955?
10 A. Yes, this is a piece of information that you have given me from my
11 tab 18.
12 Q. And can you tell me what page number that's on or what article
13 that's under?
14 A. Well, it's 142 in your version, that's what it says here.
15 Q. All right. I see where you're talking about and we'll come to
16 that in a minute because there's related information in Exhibit P1011 that
17 I want to go to first. Now, the six persons under investigation or having
18 been investigated at some point, among them there are two individuals.
19 You'll see - if we scroll down in the B/C/S to the persons under number 4
20 and 5 - number 4 is a private whose initials are N. I. And that
21 investigation was suspended for reasons of mental incompetence of the
22 accused; and number 5, an investigation against a captain first class with
23 the initials S. V., or S. V., which was also suspended for reasons of
24 mental incompetence. Would those two cases have appeared in your summary,
25 or if the investigation is suspended it just doesn't show up in your
2 A. With respect to the ones you mentioned, Stejkovic. The trial is
3 under way, an indictment has been brought; and in the course of the trial
4 it was established that he was mentally incompetent at the time the crime
5 was committed. That's why he is included in my report, in my survey.
6 Q. Do you recall when that trial was held?
7 A. The trial was held later on, I think in 2002.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And in the survey it says that the proceedings were suspended
10 after the indictment was brought.
11 Q. And at the bottom of this page you'll see it talks about the
12 investigation against Colonel Stosic, and the suspicion was that in April
13 1999 he had issued an order to kill in which three or four of his soldiers
14 were involved in killing individuals. And is it -- do you recall why
15 there was a lack of evidence? What was the information about his having
16 issued an order to kill? Did that not come from the soldiers actually
17 charged with the killings?
18 A. Yes, the soldiers, that was their defence tactic, they always
19 tried to defend themselves by saying that their commanding officer had
20 ordered them to do something because they felt it would mitigate their
21 position; however, according to our legislation, a subordinate is
22 duty-bound to carry out a superior's order unless the order is to commit a
23 criminal offence. So he is not duty-bound to carry out an order whereby
24 he would commit a crime. The subordinate is even duty-bound to report a
25 higher-ranking commander if a lower-ranking commander issues an order to
1 him to commit a crime. However --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered the question so far as it's
3 relevant at the moment.
4 Mr. Hannis, please continue.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. I understand that, General, and I understand that principle that
7 you're describing, but do you know, did the court make a determination
8 that they found the soldiers' claims about having received such an order
9 to be incredible?
10 A. Certainly. Certainly. The court issued its decision on the basis
11 of established facts.
12 Q. All right.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that -- I'm confused about that. This man
14 never faced trial, am I correct about that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: And the decision to suspend the investigation took
17 place or was made before the trial of the other men?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Please continue --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But in the course of the
22 investigation --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
24 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
1 Q. General, if we could move on to page 111 in the B/C/S, this is --
2 this is two pages on in the English from where we are, page 166 of the
3 English. Now, this concerns 182 persons against whom charges had actually
4 been filed, 169 of those were for property crimes, but there were 13
5 charges against persons for crimes endangering life and limb. And at the
6 very bottom your page we talk about P. D., a major, was charged with a
7 crime of incitement to murder. I think this is somebody you mentioned to
8 us yesterday, are you familiar with this case based on the limited
9 description so far? Isn't this Major Petrovic?
10 A. Dragisa Petrovic, yes.
11 Q. And the two reserve privates who were charged with him were
12 Nenad Stamenkovic and Tomica Jovic, correct? I think you'll find them in
13 your report under Article 47, paragraph 2, they are the first three
14 individuals named. You find them, General?
15 A. Yes, yes. Nenad Stamenkovic and Tomica Jovic.
16 Q. And I think you told us yesterday that their sentences were
17 originally five years for the major and four and a half years each for the
18 privates; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, and then it was increased later on.
20 Q. Yes, I think you told us it went up to nine years -- it went up to
21 nine years for the major and seven years each for the privates, right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And the description of this crime, it's on page 112 of the B/C/S.
24 MR. HANNIS: So could we go one page further on and scroll down to
25 the bottom of the English that's on the screen now.
1 Q. I think this has a little more detail about the crime than you
2 were able to tell us yesterday, and it indicated that Major Petrovic had
3 incited those privates to kill Feriz Krasniqi and a woman named
4 Rukija Krasniqi by telling the soldiers to execute those civilians because
5 they didn't want to leave the village. And the man was taken out to the
6 yard and shot in the back, and the bed-ridden woman was shot in her bed;
7 and for this they got sentences of seven years and 1999 years, correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let me ask you about Exhibit 3D986, and as I understand this is
10 your report from the 6th of September, 1999, and I can give you -- I can
11 give you a hard copy of this, too, General, because I want to look at the
12 chart and it may be easier. I think you told us yesterday that you had
13 spoken to General Ojdanic about this, but my first question was: How and
14 why did you write this report? Was it requested by someone? How did that
15 come about being created?
16 A. Yesterday I explained this. The order was subsequently issued to
17 all the sectors and organizational units of the General Staff to compile a
18 report on the proceedings and method of working of each unit in wartime,
19 of each organizational unit in wartime. Later on it was sent to the
20 statistical institute to see what happens in theory and what happens in
21 practice, and for certain conclusions to be drawn. The purpose was to
22 conduct an analysis --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: We got all this yesterday, Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we move on to the question you really want to
2 MR. HANNIS: Yeah.
3 Q. You mentioned that you went to see and speak with General Ojdanic
4 about that. Do you recall why you did that? Did he request you to come
5 see him?
6 A. No, you misunderstood me. With respect to this report and
7 analysis, I didn't speak to General Ojdanic at all. He sent an order to
8 all sectors. I spoke to him about tab 18.
9 Q. Okay. Then I did misunderstand. With regard to this --
10 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. Again, the part of the transcript does
11 not record what the witness has said. It's page 18, 11, he sent an order
12 to all sectors to prepare the analysis. I mean, my friend can verify that
13 with the witness.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: It's consistent with what he said a number of times
15 now, Mr. Zecevic.
16 Please continue now, Mr. Hannis.
17 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
18 Q. General, on the first page it says in the first paragraph under
19 the date: "On the basis of the received remarks we're hereby sending an
20 amended summary."
21 What received remarks are you referring to there? Whom had you
22 gotten remarks from?
23 A. You see where it says: "Re: Your document," that's the first
24 administration, so the order was sent to make an analysis. We did the
25 analysis and they found the form and methodology used to deal with various
1 segments. They did not accept it, so they sent further instructions and
2 then corrections were made in the methodological approach.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. And the amended or the amendments, were those
4 just bringing the information up-to-date or were there some other
5 substantive amendments to your summary?
6 A. Only as regards the methodology used and the assessment of the
7 various segments.
8 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the chart that's called: "Final
9 overview," it's attachment number 3, and I believe it's page 16 of the
11 Q. General, I've given you my hard copy, so I'm not sure which page
12 it is in the B/C/S. It looks like it's page 14 of the B/C/S. This is a
13 final overview of persons convicted by category, person, type of criminal
14 act, and length of sentence. Do you have that?
15 A. Is this about the report from September?
16 Q. Yes. And I see under the column entitled: "Criminal act against
17 life and limb," again this is as of the 25th of June, 1999. We have a
18 total of 28 persons who received a prison sentence of one to two years;
19 four persons who received a sentence of two to five years; and no one
20 received a sentence of over five years. That's correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. This piece of information is the same as the one of the 20th
22 of June.
23 Q. And for -- if you go over to the left, the first column for types
24 of crimes is failure to respond to a call-up --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I take it, Mr. Hannis, there's going to be a
1 telling question at the end of this and we're not simply repeating the
2 figures by going through them with the witness?
3 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I want to compare two figures and then
4 I'm done.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
6 MR. HANNIS:
7 Q. And I see that for that crime we have 350 individuals who received
8 prison sentences of over five years, correct?
9 A. Which column are you referring to?
10 Q. For violations of Article 214, failure to respond to call-up, we
11 have 350 conscripts who received a sentence of over five years; that's
12 right, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, yes. That's correct.
14 Q. And the last one for violation of Article 217, wilful abandonment
15 and desertion, we have 76 individuals who received prison sentences over
16 five years, including four commissioned officers, right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We had questions yesterday about when the investigating judge
19 decides to close a case. What happens if the investigating judge decides
20 that further action is appropriate? Is the case re-opened or what does he
21 do with it? I wasn't clear on how a case got closed and whether it could
22 be re-opened.
23 A. An investigating judge closes a case at the proposal of the
24 military prosecutor. He cannot do this on his own. It's the prosecutor
25 who decides not to prosecute, and based on that document the investigating
1 judge closes a case. So it's the prosecutor who decides whether or not to
2 indict someone, not the investigating judge. If where a case has been
3 closed a prosecutor later obtains new information, new evidence, he can
4 always re-open the case in the case of any kind of crime, including cases
5 he dropped, but he needs new evidence and new facts; unless those come to
6 light, the case is closed.
7 Q. And when a case is re-opened, does that get a new number? In your
8 statistics would that be an additional case or does it retain the old
9 number in some way?
10 A. If it concerns the same crime, then it gets a new number when it's
11 re-opened, but the old case is included in the file. The old file is
12 included in the new one, but it gets a new number and it's a new case.
13 Q. Thank you, General. The last topic I have one or two questions
14 for you on relates to an answer you gave yesterday where you said a
15 military commander is duty-bound if a crime is committed to take all steps
16 to preserve the traces and discover the perpetrator. And when he informs
17 the prosecutor or a criminal report is submitted or the military police
18 and military security are alerted, he has fulfilled his duty. So any
19 legal responsibility in the legal obligation of the commander then stops.
20 General, I want to give you a scenario and ask you a question.
21 We've had some evidence in this case that in late May 1999 in the area of
22 responsibility of units of the Pristina Corps, there was information that
23 individual soldiers from the MUP and maybe even some small groups from the
24 MUP were committing crimes against civilians, including murder, rape,
25 robbery. And this is reported by a military commander up to his next
1 commander, but is that adequate? Isn't the VJ commander responsible for
2 protecting the safety of civilians in his area? What is he legally bound
3 to do in that context?
4 A. The legal provision prescribing the duties of a military commander
5 refers only to soldiers subordinate to him, not others; however, this does
6 not exclude his responsibility as a citizen. A military commander has
7 authority over his subordinates, but every citizen is duty-bound to report
8 to the appropriate organ, the organ of the interior, if he learns that a
9 crime has been committed, and this obtains everywhere. So if the
10 commander does not report this to a prosecutor, it's more moral than a
11 legal responsibility. He has authority over those subordinate to him. If
12 it's a member of the milicija, that unit has it own commander who has the
13 same duty, but also the organs of detection are specialised and have the
14 sole task of discovering crimes and their perpetrators. So the duties and
15 responsibilities are shared, they're distributed. A commander can be
16 reprimanded but not held responsible if the perpetrators are not
17 subordinate to him. One should not confuse occupation zones, but there is
18 no occupation here as for the provisions of international law to apply.
19 Q. So is it your position that the army commander doesn't have any
20 responsibility to those civilians being killed or abused by policemen not
21 under the commander's official authority, his only responsibility is a
22 moral one, there's no legal responsibility, no provision in the VJ rules
23 of service or the Law on Defence or anything like that that would require
24 him to stop that from happening or report it to the superiors of the
25 suspected perpetrators in the MUP?
1 A. Like every other citizen, he has to inform the appropriate organ.
2 The organs of the interior have the basic duty of providing for the
3 security of all citizens. It's not the army that is tasked with internal
4 security and internal law and order in a state. The army is there to
5 secure the state borders. Internal security is taken care of by the
6 organs of the interior, and these are two quite separate legal entities.
7 He cannot be held responsible for not preventing members of the milicija
8 doing something. He is duty-bound to inform their commander and I'm sure
9 that's what was done, but he's not authorised to take any measures, nor
10 can he be held responsible if it's not in his job description and it's not
11 part of the tasks that are prescribed for him.
12 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I'm sorry to interrupt. Now, this is a state of
13 war and you think he will be trying to just think what he has to do and he
14 has to weigh his responsibilities, or in times of war a national army has
15 to do something to prevent such things; don't you think so, sir?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not agree with this approach
17 in legal terms because the organs of the interior are under the control of
18 the civilian authorities. Were the army to take over responsibility for
19 that, then there would be a military junta in power. This is war, but
20 there are no zones of occupation. In a zone of occupation, the military
21 commander is responsible for everyone, for the entire population, but this
22 is not the case here. There are legal organs of the interior who are
23 responsible for security. There were policemen on the ground who had not
24 been mobilised, and it was their duty to protect the civilian population
25 and all the civilian authorities, they covered the entire territory and it
1 is their duty to do so.
2 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me just a moment. Page 23, line 13, Your
4 Honour, the transcript says: "He is duty-bound to inform their commander
5 and I'm sure that was what was done."
6 I'm told what the witness said: "He is duty-bound to inform their
7 commander if he's aware of such crimes," or something like that. I think
8 I just left out the part about him needing to be aware of them or have
9 knowledge about them.
10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: There's also a question I wish to --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Ackerman, that goes without saying.
12 But thank you for drawing it to our attention.
13 Judge Nosworthy.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I would like to find out the duty which the
15 citizen has to report a crime. Is it a moral duty or a legal duty? I'm
16 not quite clear on this.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the law envisages this. It is
18 stipulated which organs are duty-bound to file criminal reports, but every
19 citizen has the right, it is a right that every citizen has. It is not an
20 obligation, it is a right, and many citizens avail themselves of this
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: So there is no duty, then, on the part of a
23 citizen to report a crime based on this last answer that you've given to
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A citizen cannot be held responsible
1 if he fails to report such a thing. The only thing is if he takes part in
2 covering up a crime, then he may be held responsible. The citizens must
3 not cover up, but it is the -- the state authorities have the duty to
4 report crimes.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.
6 MR. HANNIS:
7 Q. General, one last question. You said in that scenario we talked
8 about the army commander is duty-bound to inform their commander, meaning
9 a commander of the MUP. What's the consequences for an army commander who
10 would fail to inform the MUP commander in the circumstances where the army
11 commander was aware of MUP police officers committing crimes? What's the
12 consequences of that failure in your system?
13 A. Well, he cannot be held responsible, even if you take the statute
14 of the International Tribunal, we always talk one's subordinates, not
15 persons who are not subordinate. If he knows but fails to report what his
16 subordinates did, but there is this other obligation that I just spoke
17 about, the moral obligation to report it. If it's a serious crime, then
18 it should be done; but if he fails to do that, again if he takes part in
19 covering up a crime then he is responsible for that. But failure to
20 report, that's -- that does not entail criminal responsibility.
21 Q. Well, General, I would say that's a question that's for the Judges
22 here in our Tribunal to decide, and I have no more questions for you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
24 Mr. Sepenuk.
25 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, no questions, Your Honour.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Gojovic, that completes your evidence. Thank
3 you for coming here to assist us. You may now leave the courtroom with
4 the usher.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Sepenuk -- Mr. Visnjic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I waited for the witness to leave the
10 courtroom, Your Honour, because I intend to express a concern of mine. In
11 the exhibits tendered by the Prosecutor, for instance, P1020, that's the
12 criminal code, that was admitted into evidence, some articles are
13 different from what the witness is saying, but I'm not trying to impeach
14 the witness. But in my system witnesses are not asked about the contents
15 of laws because all men are fallible. Now, if -- I don't want to go into
16 whether that has any impact on his testimony, but I simply don't want the
17 Trial Chamber to be misled because the answer that the witness provided to
18 the question asked by Her Honour Judge Nosworthy is different from what
19 you can find in Articles 202 and 203 of the Serbian Criminal Code. It's
20 clear that it's different. I don't want to impeach the witness, I don't
21 want you to mislead -- I don't want you to be misled, but what kind of a
22 state would allow a crime to go unreported? This is all I want to say. I
23 apologise for taking up your time, but I don't think it's smart to be
24 asking witnesses about the contents of legal provisions without
25 confronting those legal provisions -- confronting them with those
2 JUDGE BONOMY: It's, as I understand it, Mr. Hannis's privilege to
3 cross-examine in the way he considers it appropriate; and if in due course
4 he has in mind to challenge the reliability of the witness based on the
5 discrepancies between his evidence and what the criminal code says, then
6 that's something we would deal with at that stage. But it's not a matter
7 to be resolved now. If you had questions you would have asked them;
8 obviously you had no questions. And we will hear parties' submissions in
9 due course on the matter.
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't want to interfere
11 with anyone's work. I simply want to protect the interests of my state
12 and also my own interests because I drafted that law -- both laws, in
13 fact. No such thing can be contained in a law, that's what I wanted to
14 say, so that you as a Trial Chamber don't get an idea that we lived in a
15 wild east, that's what I wanted to say.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I know of many criminal laws where it's bound in
18 duty for a citizen to report a crime, and I quite expect that to be
19 incorporated in laws drafted by gentlemen and learned people like
20 Mr. Fila. But I think Mr. Fila tried to give a piece of advice to his
21 counterparts saying that being circumspect on such questions. Am I
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just have to state for the record that
24 I'm confused by the intervention because there's a reference to P1020 and
25 I don't recall making any reference to P1020.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I think P1020 is the criminal code, and --
2 MR. HANNIS: It may be but I --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: -- The point that's being made is that it's
4 inconsistent with some of the answers given by the witness which may or
5 may not come as news to you, Mr. Hannis, but it's a matter, no doubt, you
6 will be exploring further in due course.
7 Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
9 Branko Krga.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] This is a witness who will testify
12 both viva voce and under 92 ter, and his statement is in e-court as
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Krga.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Would you please make the solemn declaration to
18 speak the truth by reading aloud the document which will now be shown to
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: You will now be examined by Mr. Visnjic on behalf
25 of Mr. Ojdanic.
1 Mr. Visnjic.
2 WITNESS: BRANKO KRGA
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Visnjic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. Before I start asking you
6 questions, I just want to ask you: Is it true that on the 13th of August,
7 2007, you provided a statement to General Ojdanic's Defence team and that
8 you signed that statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Would you, if you were to testify before this Court, provide the
11 same answers to those questions and repeat everything that is stated in
12 the statement?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. General, could you please tell me, what is your occupation now?
15 A. I'm retired.
16 Q. What duties did you hold at the time of your retirement?
17 A. At the time when I retired, I was the Chief of the General Staff
18 of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro.
19 Q. Thank you. What rank did you hold at the time when you were --
20 when you retired?
21 A. At the time when I retired, I was a colonel-general.
22 Q. Thank you. What duties did you have in 1998 and 1999?
23 A. In 1998 I was an advisor to the minister of defence for defence
24 policy on international military cooperation. And from mid-January 1999,
25 I was the chief of the intelligence administration of the VJ General
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Before we continue, Your Honours, I
4 would now like to tender the witness's statement as 3D1120.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, before you became an advisor in the Ministry of Defence,
8 you were the chief of the intelligence administration in the General
9 Staff. Could you tell us in what period?
10 A. Yes, that was from mid-1994 until April 1997.
11 Q. Thank you. When did you go back to your old post, if you can
12 perhaps be more specific, I mean when did you become the chief of the
13 intelligence administration again, was there a specific date?
14 A. Yes, as far as I can remember that was on the 14th of January,
16 Q. General, let me ask you something. While you were an advisor in
17 the Ministry of Defence, could you please tell us something about the
18 importance of your function at the time.
19 A. Well, as I said, it was a function that covered two aspects of the
20 defence minister's work, that's defence policy and international military
21 cooperation. At that time, Yugoslavia was undergoing change in a way and
22 there was no defence strategy, there was no military doctrine, new defence
23 strategy, new military doctrine, and I tried to do what I could to assist
24 in drafting those two important aspects. We also had great ambitions. We
25 wanted to develop international military cooperation with as many
1 countries as possible, and we tried to do as much as we could to further
3 Q. Thank you. So this was not a formal kind of a post. You actually
4 had work to do?
5 A. Yes, this was a serious function. I was a member of the collegium
6 of the defence minister, and after the democratic changes in our country,
7 on the basis of what I did as the advisor to the minister on those issues,
8 a whole new sector was established, it had the same name, defence policy
9 and international military cooperation.
10 Q. Thank you. General, let us go back to when you resumed your post
11 of the chief of the intelligence administration. Could you please tell
12 us, what was your assessment of the situation in Kosovo and in the VJ at
13 the time when you took up that post that was in the first half of 1999?
14 A. When I took up that post, the post of the chief of the
15 intelligence administration, naturally we made assessments of the security
16 situation in the region and those assessments that we made at that time in
17 the first half of 1999, there were quite a few positive elements --
18 contained quite a few positive elements, but there were also some that
19 were cause for concern. Positive elements were based on the fact that in
20 October 1998, an agreement had been reached between Holbrooke and
21 Milosevic, and we sincerely believed that that marked the beginning of a
22 peaceful, political settlement for the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija.
23 However, the situation on the ground was quite complex. Again, there were
24 incidents and that gave us cause for concern.
25 Q. Thank you, General.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we have Exhibit P936 brought
2 on the screen.
3 Q. At the collegium meetings, the meetings of the collegium of the
4 Chief of General Staff, or rather, at almost every collegium meeting, you
5 would present your remarks, you were among the first to do so, reporting
6 to the collegium about the situation in the sphere covered by your
7 administration and you presented some conclusions.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could Exhibit P936 be shown on the
9 screen, and I am interested in page 6 in B/C/S and page 6 in the English
11 Q. Could you tell us what materials did you use to prepare for your
12 presentation at the collegium meetings?
13 A. Well, probably like all other intelligence services in other
14 armies, we used various sources for the presentations at the collegium
15 meetings, those were primarily official communiques released by major
16 international factors and some state officials from the major countries.
17 We also used partially media reports, particularly reports from those
18 media that we believed to be -- to have close ties with the governments of
19 their respective countries. We also used sources from diplomacy, military
20 and civilian diplomacy, and various operational sources that we had on the
21 ground. Then we also had electronic surveillance, where equipment was
22 used to gather information, technology was used, and also reconnaissance
23 in units, what we referred to as troop reconnaissance. On the basis of
24 this large quantity of information - and let me add here that there were
25 also various official contacts that we had with intelligence services of
1 foreign countries where we engaged in an exchange of information, we were
2 able to evaluate some of the major processes in and around our country.
3 We primarily paid attention to the military factor and we were able to
4 draw conclusions on the possible impact on everything that was going on on
5 the defence and security in our country.
6 Q. General, could we now look at page 7 in B/C/S, that's also next
7 page in the English version, page 7.
8 If we look at your presentation at the collegium meeting of the
9 14th of January, we can see that it relates to certain topics, it deals
10 with some information coming from various organs. The Security Council,
11 the Contact Group, OSCE, NATO, then we have Albania, meetings in Athens.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the next page.
13 Q. So as part of the methodology that you used, you presented the
14 information topic by topic to the General Staff. Did I understand it
16 A. Yes. We used a deductive method. We started with the most
17 general or the most salient factors that gave us some assessment of the
18 situation in our region. As you can see, we first dealt with the major
19 international factors, the United Nations, NATO, OSCE, the European Union,
20 and so on. So we presented their official views and their communiques.
21 Then we went on to the leaders of those countries who made statements from
22 time to time, and then we moved on, we narrowed it down to our
23 neighbouring countries and dealing with some other issues that were
24 relevant for the day that we could obtain in the day and the week when we
25 made the assessment.
1 Q. General, in page -- on page 8 in B/C/S there is -- mention is made
2 of a Joint Guarant Operation. Could you tell us something about it?
3 A. After the Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement, an operation was agreed
4 between the then-authorities in Yugoslavia and NATO. It was called Eagle
5 Eye. As part of this operation NATO air force was allowed to carry out
6 surveillance from the air-space and to monitor the implementation of the
7 agreement on the ground. The Operation Joint Guarantor involved the
8 deployment of NATO forces to Macedonia, the official interpretation was
9 that the forces were there to provide support to the verification mission
10 in Kosovo and Metohija, and if necessary they could be deployed to protect
11 them and to cover their withdrawal from the area. That mission, that
12 operation launched by NATO forces was launched on the basis of a decision
13 of the NATO Council of the 11th of November, 1998.
14 Q. According to this information, there were 1.850 soldiers who were
15 to be deployed as part of that operation?
16 A. Yes. According to our information, that was the strength. You
17 can see here it specified the assets that were also to be deployed. There
18 were also the UNPREDEP forces deployed in Macedonia, some other forces,
19 too. And we had a great deal of understanding for the forces deployed
20 there, but naturally we were a bit cautious about that, too, because those
21 forces gradually increased in size as the Operation Joint Guarantor
23 Q. Was the Army of Yugoslavia informed about this operation?
24 A. As I said, that operation was launched on the -- established on
25 the 11th of November, 1998. At that time I was not in the General Staff
1 and I cannot now remember whether it was officially announced, but as far
2 as I know -- or at least I never saw any such document indicating that
3 NATO had officially informed the Yugoslav authorities that such an
4 operation was being carried out. I think that had that happened, that
5 would have built trust and would have decreased the tensions that were the
6 consequence of it as a later stage.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, is there a difference between the
8 Eagle Eye and Joint Guarantor or are these names for the same operation?
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, there is a difference.
10 Operation Joint Guarantor --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps it should be clear. It's not clear to me
12 at the moment what the difference is.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, first of all, I see that you have your notebook here, but
15 please put it away because Judges prefer witnesses to answer without
16 taking recourse to their notes, but could you please tell the Trial
17 Chamber very briefly what was the difference between those two operations,
18 Eagle Eye and Joint Guarantor?
19 A. Well as I said, Eagle Eye was an operation that had been agreed
20 between the Yugoslav authorities and NATO immediately after the
21 Holbrooke-Milosevic Agreement was signed on the 13th of October, 1998. In
22 this operation -- as part of this operation a group of NATO officers were
23 to be deployed to the air force command of the VJ and a group of VJ
24 officers was also to be at the NATO air force command at Vicenza. The
25 purpose of this exchange of officers was to build trust and to monitor the
1 situation on the ground, that was the purpose of the operation.
2 Q. And could you now please tell us about the Operation Joint
3 Guarantor because General Smiljanic had given us enough information about
4 Operation Eagle Eye?
5 A. Operation Joint Guarantor was a ground force operation in
6 Macedonia using ground forces, Eagle Eye involved the air force and Joint
7 Guarantor involved the ground forces.
8 Q. General, you told me you that didn't know whether the VJ had been
9 informed about Joint Guarantor. But can I now ask you while you were the
10 chief of intelligence operations at the VJ did the VJ get any information
11 from NATO regarding Operation Joint Guarantor, for instance, any increases
12 in the number of troops or any new assets that were brought in?
13 A. As far as I can remember, we didn't get such information directly
14 from the competent persons in NATO. There was just some communiques, some
15 press releases meant for the public, and then we of course received it --
16 those releases, and we checked whether they corresponded to the actual
17 situation on the ground.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, does it follow that Joint Guarantor is
20 not an operation involving the VJ or Yugoslavia, whereas Eagle Eye was
21 such an operation? Is that the position?
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, that's the way I
23 understood it.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: And did -- who was the witness who mentioned this
25 before, Smiljanic, was it?
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] General Smiljanic spoke in detail
2 about Eagle Eye.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Did he give the name Eagle Eye to it because I must
4 have been asleep at that point? It's the sort of name that would stick in
5 the mind.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't think he did, but I believe
7 these two witnesses are talking about the same operation from the
8 description given by General Krga.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I was just surprised I didn't remember the name,
10 that's all.
11 Mr. Krga, we have to break at this stage for 20 minutes for
12 various reasons. While we have the break could you leave the courtroom
13 with the usher and we'll see you at ten minutes to 11.00.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
17 [The witness takes the stand].
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 We are still with Exhibit P936, page 8.
21 Q. General, at the end of every briefing you made, you formulated
22 something you called conclusions. In this specific case as well at the
23 end of the collegium meeting, if I can summarize it, you gave three
24 conclusions; first, that finding a political solution for the crisis was
25 complex because there was no readiness to exert pressure on the KLA;
1 second, that there is no alternative position to the one propounded by the
2 United States; and third, that Albanian official authorities are providing
3 ever more important support to the KLA.
4 Now, what were these conclusions to the General Staff?
5 A. After presenting the information and data that I was able to
6 collect and analyse together with my colleagues and that I considered
7 important for the collegium, I informed them, therefore, and then offered
8 some conclusions regarding changes in trends in the security situation
9 around our country. And when I thought it necessary, I also offered
10 proposals as to what should be done to relieve tensions or to improve the
11 situation or resolve specific problems.
12 Q. I see in this text that you propose the existing measures of
13 combat-readiness to stay in place and not to change?
14 A. Yes, that was a proposal or a suggestion to the Chief of the
15 General Staff, one I determined that security indicators in the region had
16 not changed significantly, that there was no threat to the security of our
17 country, so that the measures taken on a regular basis in our army were
18 sufficient and there was no need for anything to change.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have Exhibit 3D559.
20 Q. General, we are now going to move to the collegium meeting that
21 took place two weeks later on the 28th of January.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And can we have page 5 in B/C/S and
23 5 in English.
24 Q. At this meeting you informed the members of the collegium about
25 the accelerated build-up of air and naval forces of NATO in the region,
1 mentioning specifically aircraft carriers?
2 A. Yes. We monitored activities in the region, and whenever a change
3 occurred, we would register it and analyse possible reasons for it.
4 Fortunately, in the greatest number of cases the changes that took place
5 were regular and planned by NATO and did not reflect directly on the
6 security and defence of our country. However, in certain crisis
7 situations when the situation was not good and when it kept deteriorating,
8 we had to evaluate whether those changes in the level of forces in the
9 region, air forces, naval forces, and ground forces resulted as a reaction
10 to the developments in Kosovo and Metohija primarily. We tried to exert
11 maximum -- to act responsibly and to objectively evaluate whether those
12 were regular activities or a reaction to --
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we lower page 6 till the --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is the reference on this page to the
15 accelerated build-up of air and naval forces of NATO?
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] In the second half of the page,
17 that's why I wanted it scrolled down.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what --
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] The B/C/S is okay. The English
20 needs to be scrolled down.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I see. Thank you.
22 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry, I didn't remark that.
23 Q. [Interpretation] General, among other things, you noted here that
24 the number of aircraft was raised by 128 from 264 to 392, the number of
25 warships by 16, et cetera, but I want to ask you about the conclusion.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to the next page for the
2 Trial Chamber, page 7, paragraph 1.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 MR. VISNJIC: Oh, I'm sorry. [Interpretation] I'm sorry, page 6,
5 paragraph 1.
6 Q. What you concluded, General, is this --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Can counsel indicate what he's reading, please.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, can you identify the part that you're
9 reading in English.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] That's first sentence towards the
11 top of page 7. The beginning is on page 6 and I'm reading it all, it
12 continues on page 7.
13 Q. So the whole sentence is:
14 "Exercising the activities of mixed assault forces on targets on
15 the ground and applying the AWACS engagement zone, indicate a possibility
16 of testing plans and operational exercises and procedures in the case of
17 possible intervention against the FRY."
18 General, could you comment in keeping with what you just said?
19 A. Right. In addition to monitoring quantitative changes, that is
20 changes in the numbers of certain assets of armed forces, such as planes,
21 ships, tanks, et cetera, we also monitored qualitative changes in terms of
22 behaviour and activities. This conclusion results from our analysis of
23 their regular training and activities they performed, but we must also
24 recall that plans for possible intervention against the Federal Republic
25 of Yugoslavia had been made back in the summer of 1998. And proceeding
1 from that, therefore, we analysed whether those activities were in any way
2 related to possible preparations for an intervention of those forces
3 against us.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 6, the third
6 paragraph in English, thank you, and page 6 in B/C/S. Thank you.
7 Q. General, this information that you had in relation to the forces
8 in Italy reads:
9 "It is typical that Italy keeps making announcements about the
10 possibility of deploying NATO forces, reinforcing NATO forces in Albania,
11 which is primarily intended to prevent a possible exodus of Albanian
12 refugees to the west."
13 My question is: At that time, General, there were no refugees in
14 the territory of Kosovo that was end January 1999, so what is this
15 information related to?
16 A. As you well know, Italy had even previously had problems coming
17 from the territory of Albania by sea and in other ways, and you remember
18 the crisis in 1996 and early 1997. So probably by that time there were
19 already several dozen refugees from Kosovo and Metohija who turned up in
20 Italy wanting possibly to move on to third countries in Europe, western
21 Europe. Italy wanted to prevent this by creating certain conditions in
22 northern Albania or Albania in general to admit those refugees, and once
23 the necessary prerequisites are in place to return them to Kosovo and
25 I cannot claim with any certainty that the representatives of
1 Italy already then believed that what later happened in Kosovo would
2 happen and that it would cause a large number of refugees.
3 Q. And in the conclusion on this page you mention a
4 term "operationalisation of the strategy." Can you -- of military
5 threat,"the operationalisation of the strategy of military threat." Can
6 you explain this?
7 A. Well, it was evaluated that several moves had been made by foreign
8 factors, diplomatic, media, and other contacts with our representatives
9 indicated without any doubt that the use of military force served to
10 support diplomatic and all the other activities that were under way, and
11 this pressure needed to be convincing. To make it convincing, the army
12 was often used to make displays of force and other activities to show that
13 the diplomatic initiatives were serious and needed to be taken seriously.
14 Q. Thank you. And the Army of Yugoslavia in its turn monitored these
15 activities and prepared it own evaluations.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Let us have 3D685. It's an
17 evaluation of the security situation and security threats to the Federal
18 Republic of Yugoslavia, that's the title of the document. We will have it
19 on the screen soon, 3D685.
20 Q. General, what is the difference between the evaluation you
21 presented regularly at collegium meetings and this type of evaluation
22 provided in 1999?
23 A. As I said, we monitored the situation daily and evaluated it
24 daily, and if there were any significant changes in news, we would
25 immediately inform the General Staff and others. We did it regularly at
1 collegium meetings that were held, as a rule, once a week. However, when
2 a number of serious events that required a more comprehensive and deeper
3 evaluation and that affected our defence and security had accumulated, we
4 prepared such evaluations once in several months or once a month once we
5 had more comprehensive idea of what was going on around our borders and in
6 our region. And we tried to derive conclusions about what needed to be
7 done in our army to be able to respond adequately.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we show page 3 in both versions.
10 Q. General, your administration prepared which parts of this
12 A. Well, from the very nature of our work, you can see which segments
13 we prepared, primarily the influence of the internal factor and further
14 developments envisaged.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Influence of the
16 foreign factor and further developments envisaged, again in the light of
17 the influence of the foreign factor.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 6, please. The
19 second half, please.
20 Q. Now, General, you explain at greater length the influence of the
21 United States on NATO and you use again that term "using a military
22 political organization as an instrument to control the crisis." This
23 document was done sometime in February 1999. Do you know the intent
24 behind it?
25 A. The intent behind this document was the same as for the previous
1 ones, that is, to provide as realistic an evaluation as possible of the
2 development of the situation and the tendencies and to see at the level of
3 the General Staff what needed to be done to provide the most adequate
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page -- sorry,
7 page 9 in B/C/S, it's paragraph 2, and page 9 in English, paragraph 3.
8 Q. I just asked you about the information concerning the preparations
9 of the Italian government for the establishment of humanitarian refugee
10 camps in northern Albania, and you gave us your response. However, in
11 this text some precise numbers are mentioned, 200 to 500.000 refugees are
12 mentioned as possibly arriving. Who provided this information?
13 A. We received this information from our sources in Italy. The
14 source said that they thought that this number of refugees was possible
15 and that preventive action had to be taken by Italy, NATO, and other
16 western countries in order to respond to this situation. To the best of
17 my recollection, we did not get any precise confirmation as to the basis
18 on which the Italian government assessed this -- that this number of
19 refugees could possibly arrive. I'm not saying that they foresaw the
20 conflict or the air-strikes or anything else that might lead to such
22 Q. Thank you. Now, please look at page 10 in English, paragraph 3,
23 that's page 9 in B/C/S, the last paragraph. There is a conclusion here
24 which says:
25 "These activities can be connected to the plans for possible KLA
1 spring offensive which would probably start with incidents along the
2 border with Albania. It is planned that they should be provoked by
3 terrorists from Kosovo and Metohija, and by the Albanian Army personnel
4 with the aim of dragging the Yugoslav Army into direct conflict which they
5 expect would be cause for a NATO intervention."
6 A. Yes, we had several pieces of information indicating that among
7 the Albanian extremists there was a tendency to cause conflicts which
8 might lead to a NATO military intervention, probably because they thought
9 that a NATO military intervention or a conflict between Yugoslavia and
10 NATO would enable them to achieve the goals they were fighting for. And
11 we have just seen this in recent days and their aim was an independent
12 state of Kosovo.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
15 page 19 in B/C/S and 20 in English.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Krga, does that mean that your view at that
17 time was that if the KLA got involved in an offensive in the spring, that
18 would be enough to draw NATO into the matter? Was that seriously the
19 Yugoslav position at that stage?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We could not know at the time
21 exactly whether that would be sufficient for NATO to get involved, but we
22 did have information indicating that were a widespread conflict to break
23 out, NATO might get involved. We were certainly the last ones who wanted
24 such a conflict because we knew what it could lead to. We had a realistic
25 assessment of the forces of our country and of NATO, and of course we
1 wished to avoid such a conflict.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I understand all of that. It's the concept
3 that NATO would enter a conflict to support an apparently terrorist
4 organization and that that alone might be sufficient to bring them in, and
5 that was seriously your view at that time? You may be right. I just want
6 to be clear that it was as simple as that.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. We didn't think NATO could
8 be so naive or that the NATO countries would simply respond to certain
9 initiatives coming from an organization such as the KLA, that's quite
10 clear. But we did think that the KLA activities we had information were
11 being prepared could realistically lead to an escalation of the conflict.
12 Because if KLA units and KLA elements attacked the army or the police, the
13 army and the police could not, of course, remain passive, they would have
14 to defend themselves, they would have to respond. And this then would
15 lead to an escalation of the violence, and we know what the
16 characteristics of that violence were.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, it says quite simply that you envisaged a
18 KLA spring offensive which would probably start with disputes along the
19 border with the aim of drawing the army into the conflict, which they
20 suspect -- which they suspect would be cause for a NATO intervention.
21 And "they," I assume, is the KLA, but what I was trying to find out was
22 whether you seriously thought that that would be enough to bring NATO in.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We didn't think it would be enough
24 to draw NATO into the conflict, but we did have information from sources
25 close to the Albanian factors and we conveyed their expectations. They
1 were the ones who felt that by causing conflicts they could provoke a NATO
3 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
4 Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Your Honours, the witness has already spoken about this, but I
7 wish to draw your attention to the fact that on page 10 of the English,
8 paragraph 4, and on page 11, last paragraph, and page 12, paragraph 1,
9 there are more details about the NATO plans which include an operation --
10 the guarantor operation, Joint Guarantor Operation.
11 Could we now go to page 20 in the English text.
12 Q. General, you prepared a scenario envisaging the course of events,
13 it says here that "unless an agreement is reached," what agreement is
14 being referred to here?
15 A. As we know, there were negotiations under way in Rambouillet at
16 the time and a little later in Paris. We followed the course of these
17 negotiations closely because we knew that if they were successful further
18 escalation of the conflict would be avoided; if they failed, however, then
19 very unfavourable developments would ensue, and unfortunately this proved
20 to be correct. One of the methods of work in our General Staff, just as
21 in any other General Staff in the world, is to predict possible
22 developments and various possibilities. We planned for two eventualities:
23 If an agreement was reached and if an agreement was not reached. Based on
24 the information we had, we analysed the possible consequences. At the
25 time this was one view of the possible further development of the
2 Q. This scenario includes 12 points?
3 A. Yes, there are 12 points here, and were we now to analyse them we
4 could easily see what points were actually shown to be correct and which
5 ones did not happen. Unfortunately, most of what we foresaw actually did
6 happen, and I say "unfortunately," because an unfavourable course of
7 events ensued, leading to war and all the other things we know happened
9 Q. General, not to go into details now. Can you answer the
10 following: In relation to point 3, "further destabilisation of the FRY,"
11 do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was this confirmed by later developments?
14 A. Yes, partly. One of the goals was to change the then-leadership.
15 Q. That's enough, General. I only wanted you to tell me whether it
16 actually happened.
17 A. In part.
18 Q. Point 6, again --
19 A. Yes, in part.
20 Q. And point 12, the Contact Group and the ultimatum to the FRY.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Point 11: Interpreter's correction.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no new resolution until
23 the end of the armed conflict, that was Resolution 1244.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, you have now before you the whole list of 12 points. Are
1 there any other points which were not fully confirmed?
2 A. Well, most of the others, yes, for the most part all the others
3 were confirmed by later events.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see page 23 and 24 in
5 B/C/S and page 25 in English.
6 Q. We have conclusions before us, again, General, and I'm primarily
7 interested in conclusion number 5. The entire team of the General Staff
8 worked on these conclusions; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that was one of the methods of work. When such serious
10 documents were being compiled, not only did every administration or sector
11 do the work falling within its field of work, but there were also meetings
12 where opinions and conclusions were exchanged and these follow from one
13 such activity.
14 Q. Point 5 of this document, the primary aim of our country would be
15 to avoid an armed conflict with NATO. Is that the principle that the Army
16 of Yugoslavia adhered to throughout that time?
17 A. Yes, absolutely. As I already said, we analysed the situation and
18 we knew very well what military resources NATO had at its disposal, and of
19 course we were not so naive as to wish to enter into that conflict, on the
20 contrary, we wished to avoid it. We demonstrated that in our numerous
21 contacts with foreign military and other representatives, but
22 unfortunately our activity and our efforts were unsuccessful and the
23 conflict did break out.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Exhibit P941, please, that's a
1 collegium meeting of the 25th of February, 1999, page 4 in B/C/S and page
2 4 in English.
3 Q. General, this collegium meeting took place after the negotiations
4 in Rambouillet, I believe. Could you please comment on what you see
5 before you. It's in the middle of the page. You provided four points as
6 to what the FRY should do after these negotiations. The first one is
7 to -- it concerns the already -- the positions already gained; and
8 secondly, to show a high level of readiness to defend itself without being
9 provoked and blamed for armed conflicts; third, a high degree of
10 cooperation; and fourth, to prepare documents against the bringing of
11 foreign troops to Kosovo and Metohija.
12 Well, my question concerns the bringing in of foreign troops in
13 Kosovo and Metohija, and that was one of the demands being put by the
14 international community very strongly at the time. What was the context
15 of this?
16 A. As we know, this was mentioned at the negotiations in Rambouillet
17 and our representatives who were there would probably be able to speak
18 about this better, but evidently there was an interest in bringing NATO
19 forces into Kosovo and Metohija. We analysed the reasons for this
20 interest, and there were two main points being put. One, that probably in
21 some circles among the international institutions, they thought that
22 without these international forces in Kosovo and Metohija the conflict
23 could not be resolved peacefully or it would be very difficult to resolve
24 it peacefully; and secondly, we thought at the time that it was possible
25 that some other strategic interests were involved which they wanted to
1 implement by bringing these forces into Kosovo and Metohija.
2 Q. Thank you. And it says here:
3 "Various pieces of information indicate that despite their claims
4 these foreign troops would not completely disarm the so-called KLA, the
5 Albanians are even bragging that Mrs. Albright has promised them that NATO
6 troops will make sure they will hold a referendum even if there was no
7 such provision in the agreement."
8 A. Yes, that's the information we had. The Albanians bragged about
9 this. They said they had been given a promise that it was crucial for
10 international forces to enter Kosovo and Metohija, and they would then
11 make possible what they aspired to, which is either a referendum or some
12 other method of gaining independence. Because of this, of course, we were
13 concerned. We were concerned that bringing in those forces would infringe
14 on our territorial integrity.
15 Q. Thank you, General. On the following page, page 5 in both
16 versions, you had a specific proposal to make to the Chief of General
17 Staff, that is, that representatives of the General Staff should become
18 involved in further negotiations.
19 A. Yes. As we analysed the characteristics of the Rambouillet talks
20 and the talks in Paris, and bearing in mind the experience from Dayton and
21 looking at how some other countries were dealing with that, primarily the
22 United States of America, where politicians and diplomats are regularly
23 accompanied by members of the military, generals, or rather, officers, we
24 felt that it would be good for our delegation to include army personnel
25 for two basic reasons. The first reason was that they were in a position
1 to give suggestions to our diplomats on a number of issues that pertained
2 to the military, the use of the military, cooperation with the other
3 armies, and so on; and the second reason was that it was quite apparent
4 that among the elements that were being negotiated were issues that
5 related directly to the army, the withdrawal of the troops, bringing in of
6 other forces into this area, cooperation with those forces, and other
7 issues that in our view could be dealt with by the army personnel in a
8 much more professional manner than by those people who did not have the
9 necessary expertise, civilian diplomats and so on.
10 Q. General, I guess you had an opportunity to talk about all that
11 with General Ojdanic. What was his position on all that?
12 A. He supported this idea, and as far as I can remember he presented
13 it to the state authorities. Now, as to what happened later, I don't
14 know, but in essence the result is quite clear. None of the
15 representatives of the army attended those talks.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Our next exhibit is P935, please,
18 page 6, paragraph 3 in B/C/S; page 7, paragraph 1 in the English version.
19 Again, this is the collegium meeting of the 11th of March, 1999, so a
20 couple of weeks later.
21 Q. And in this paragraph you mentioned some new elements that
22 pertained to the forces in the region. Let me just say, first of all,
23 that a new Joint Command was established in Skopje under the command of
24 General Michael Jackson, and the rapid reaction force has a total of 9.500
25 troops. Here you give an assessment as to what those forces were capable
1 of, and could you please comment on it very briefly.
2 A. As I've already indicated, we monitored very closely all the
3 developments in our region, and in those weeks the events in Macedonia
4 were at the forefront. We noticed that there was an increase in those
5 forces, not only in terms of their personnel strength, but also the
6 structure changed. Elements that were brought in were the elements that
7 could lead one to the conclusion that those forces could be assigned
8 different tasks, not just to help pull out the members of the verification
9 mission. This primarily could be seen from the presence of tanks,
10 armoured personnel carriers, artillery weapons that were also deployed in
11 those units. Analysing the developments at that time, the situation was
12 quite tense, there were some indications, some announcements that the
13 verification mission would withdraw, we felt that those forces were there
14 to support the withdrawal of the verifiers, but that it was also possible
15 that they could be used for some other purpose. We felt that there were
16 two options. The first one was that once an agreement was reached to find
17 a political solution for the crisis, that they could be deployed in Kosovo
18 and Metohija as a peace force of some kind; and the second option was the
19 assumption on our part that it was possible that they were getting ready
20 to enter into Kosovo and Metohija by force.
21 Q. General, thank you. Let us move on to the next exhibit, that's
22 P938, page 5, paragraph 1 in Serbian; and page 5, it's the second -- the
23 bottom half of the page in B/C/S. So this is the collegium of the 18th of
25 General, you can see right there at the top you say, as regards
1 the military measures, the pressure, that will continue. And in the key
2 moments of the talks, one step further could be taken with threats of
3 force in such a way that all the indicators of aggression against the FRY
4 could be found. And you forecast that the verifiers could withdraw to
5 Macedonia, the power to authorise air-strikes would be transferred from
6 Solana to Clark and so on and so on.
7 A. Yes. At that time, we're now on 18th of March, there was this
8 danger that the Paris talks could fall through. As we saw, the forces in
9 our region grew in size. Incidents on the ground in Kosovo and Metohija
10 also grew more frequent, and we made an assessment as to how the situation
11 could develop further. As you noted, we anticipated that the verifiers
12 could withdraw. It was not difficult to make such a forecast, because
13 their plans envisaged such a measure in case of a crisis. But for us, it
14 was a very important indicator because we knew that the verifiers on the
15 ground and those who supported them thought that the situation was so bad
16 that their further presence there was in question.
17 At that time some diplomats already started leaving Belgrade.
18 Forces in the region exhibited signs of upgraded readiness, but there were
19 also indicators that spoke to the opposite, that told us that there was a
20 possibility that NATO forces would not be used against Yugoslavia. By
21 that I mean primarily that at that time in the Adriatic or in the
22 Mediterranean, there were no plane carriers. The Enterprise had been
23 there before, but it left the area. So there were no aircraft carriers in
24 that area. That was quite strange in light of what happened a couple of
25 days later.
1 Q. General, in this passage, that's the fourth paragraph in B/C/S,
2 you say this could happen if the Serbian delegation would be blamed as the
3 sole culprit for the failed negotiations and if new conflicts could be
4 provoked in Kosovo involving a larger number of victims, greater
5 destruction, and refugees possibly with the attacks against verifiers,
6 border incidents, and so on?
7 A. Yes. That was one of the forecasts that we made that in our view
8 could lead to a NATO intervention, could be used as a pretext for it.
9 Q. General, could we please -- I'm sorry, I have to apologise.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] But can we scroll the English text
11 down as far as it goes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had experience from the reactions
13 to the Racak incident and the fact that our forces were blamed for that,
14 and of course we feared that something like that could occur again, that
15 there could be another incident that could be used to -- as a pretext for
16 the use of NATO forces.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you. And then on the next page there's another conclusion,
19 that's the next page in English, too, in B/C/S too.
20 You again present a number of conclusions, the Judges will be able
21 to read that in detail, but one of the conclusions that I'm particularly
22 interested in, that I find intriguing, you proposed that letters be sent
23 to some chiefs of General Staffs and that the federal minister be told to
24 do that, too, that the suggestion be made to him, presenting the situation
25 the activities of the Army of Yugoslavia and some proposals would be made
1 in those letters.
2 My question related to this is: Can you tell us something more
3 about the correspondence and indeed the communication between
4 General Ojdanic and General Clark, who was the supreme commander of the
5 NATO forces in that period, or rather, throughout March?
6 A. As far as I know, in March General Clark and General Ojdanic
7 talked on the phone four times, on the 2nd of February [as interpreted],
8 on the 12th of February [as interpreted], on the 22nd of March, and on the
9 24th of March.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we verify these dates before you go further.
11 Could you give us the dates again, Mr. Krga.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 2nd of March, 15th of March,
13 22nd of March, and 24th of March.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was present when General Ojdanic
16 spoke to General Clark on some of those occasions. General Ojdanic was
17 quite amenable to General Clark's suggestions, and in the first
18 conversation they tried to exchange their views on the situation in a very
19 calm manner. On that occasion, as far as I can remember, General Clark
20 suggested to General Ojdanic to come to Brussels, where they would then
21 discuss the situation. In the next conversation, General Clark at first
22 offered cooperation, noted that there was a need to avoid conflict, and
23 later on he started issuing threats. He said that if there were a
24 conflict, that the Yugoslav Army would be destroyed, that command
25 structures would be changed, and so on. And I remember the last
1 conversation immediately before the air-strikes began, where General Clark
2 for all intents and purposes issued an ultimatum to General Ojdanic,
3 warning him not to attack NATO forces in the region, in the territory of
4 neighbouring countries. And as far as I can recall, he warned him that
5 our navy ships should not go into open sea.
6 It was a clear indicator as far as we were concerned that the
7 air-strikes were imminent and they, indeed, happened that very evening.
8 Apart from those contacts with General Clark, all of us, depending on our
9 actual job, had a number of diplomatic contacts with a number of
10 representatives from mainly NATO member states, where we wanted to clear
11 the situation up, to get some objective information as to what is
12 happening in Kosovo and Metohija and who was responsible for it. And I
13 remember my meeting with the US military attache, Colonel Pemberton, that
14 was on the 12th of March. We analysed all that, and I proposed to him
15 that there should be an exchange of officers, that NATO representatives
16 should come to Belgrade and that representatives from our country should
17 go to the NATO headquarters, and that some misunderstandings should be
18 resolved quickly in an operational manner. He showed great understanding
19 for this initiative. He went to report to his superiors, and a little
20 while later he told me that the initiative was deemed to be good but that
21 it came too late. So this idea of mine was never implemented.
22 Of course we had contacts with various other representatives, with
23 General Mandelson who -- General Anderson, who was accompanying
24 Mr. Holbrooke and a number of other representatives from various armed
25 forces where we wanted to present our views in quite frank terms --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]... Some control
2 over this by you. Do you want all this information; if so, it would be
3 much better if it was coming in response to pointed questions than a
4 several-page account of events in general. I thought you were asking
5 about specific matters, and I want to ask a question myself, if I may, at
6 this stage. But perhaps you want to get this episode dealt with first of
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this episode is of
9 interest to me. I merely wanted to ask General Krga the following:
10 Q. General, do you know when this meeting with General Anderson took
11 place, so between General Anderson and General Ojdanic and yourself?
12 A. I think it was on the 23rd of March.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can I ask the question I want to ask.
16 MR. VISNJIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: We seem to get confusing evidence about when the
18 bombing actually began.
19 When did it begin?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. President, this is a
21 widely known fact. The air-strikes began at around 2000 hours on the 24th
22 of March, 1999.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And the meeting -- sorry, the last discussion on
24 the telephone or radio or whatever between Mr. Ojdanic and --
25 General Ojdanic and General Clark was earlier that day?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: At what time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember at what time, but
4 it was sometime in the morning or around noon.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And there were no air-strikes on the night of the
6 23rd into the morning of the 24th?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there were none.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Visnjic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to cut a long story
11 short, I suggest that these exhibits, 3D754, 706, 707, and 3D985 be
12 admitted. They are communications and telephone conversations that
13 General Clark had with General Ojdanic. Some of them have been exhibited
14 already. I believe the witness testified enough about all of them. I
15 suggest they be introduced in this way.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Any problem with that, Mr. Hannis?
17 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Can we please show the witness 3D894.
21 Q. General, you said the air-strikes began on the 24th March. We now
22 see a document dated 26th March called "briefing." Can you tell us what
23 is this?
24 A. What is called "briefing" here is not really an official document.
25 It's more of a draft made for myself, as a reminder for reporting at the
1 Chief of the General Staff. It was an evening activity called briefing.
2 We had daily briefings during the war, first around 8.30 p.m. And later at
3 6.00 p.m. In addition that, every morning we submitted a short brief on
4 the events of the previous night.
5 Q. Thank you, General. Can I now draw your attention to the
6 penultimate paragraph on the first page in both versions. My question is
7 this: At that time, the Army of Yugoslavia was predicting at that time
8 that there would be a ground intervention in Kosovo as well.
9 A. Our information at the time indicated that the NATO intervention
10 was planned in three stages. The first: Attacks on air defence and air
11 force systems and the accompanying infrastructure; second -- mainly in
12 Kosovo and Metohija; the second one were attacks on army forces and assets
13 throughout the territory of Yugoslavia; and the third stage would be a
14 ground invasion. That's the information we had then. However, as we all
15 know now, this forecast was not confirmed, there was no classical ground
16 intervention by NATO.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have now 3D898, that's the
19 briefing from 28th March, 1999, and can we please look at paragraph 4 on
20 page 1 in both versions.
21 Q. General, an evaluation is mentioned here related to NATO experts.
22 It says that: "Recommendations would be made for a forceful entry into
23 Kosovo and Metohija in the event it is evaluated that our forces were
24 built up to 50.000, and if the number of refugees reaches 500.000."
25 Can you comment, please.
1 A. That is the information we received from diplomats, that NATO is
2 making evaluations and analysing, so if our forces grow to 50.000 and the
3 number of refugees grows to 500.000, that would be a reason for a ground
4 invasion of Kosovo and Metohija.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, two paragraphs below you mention: "Key factors in
6 boosting our position and diplomatic initiative remains in the first
8 A. Throughout the war and even before the war, and after, almost
9 every day of the aggression we kept thinking how to put an end to the
10 attacks and to resume attempts to reach a political situation. We did not
11 only sit and think, we initiated as many actions as we could.
12 Q. In the first paragraph there is a reference to aircraft EC-130,
13 what kind of aircraft are these?
14 A. They are equipped with a variety of media components and they are
15 used for propaganda, political purposes, that is, from these aircraft you
16 can broadcast, throw leaflets, and try to influence in that way the
17 population on the territory you are flying over.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see Exhibit 3D902, it's
19 again a briefing of the 30th of March, 1999, last paragraph in B/C/S,
20 please, thank you, and page 2 in English.
21 Q. You presented another piece of information at this evening
22 briefing, saying that: "In parallel with air-strikes and preparations for
23 the ground intervention, an increasing number of countries is offering
25 I wanted to ask you, during the war itself can you tell us who
1 made diplomatic initiatives and how and what did the army try to do in
2 this respect?
3 A. Most of our attention was preoccupied with defence measures and
4 our capacities for diplomatic activity were considerably reduced; however,
5 to the extent possible, we maintained contact through our military
6 attaches and through the military attaches of the countries that still had
7 them in Belgrade so that already after two days of air-strikes, the
8 military attache of Italy asked for a meeting with me to convey the
9 opinion of his leadership, his authorities, as to what should be done to
10 stop the air-strikes.
11 I could see that he was himself rather upset and hard-hit by what
12 was going on on the territory of Yugoslavia and in Belgrade, and I believe
13 he was trying to be helpful by presenting these initiatives. We also had
14 a contact with London, and we wanted to make an initiative towards western
15 countries that we believed could help stop the war and resume political
16 dialogue and negotiations.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D906, please.
19 Q. In this briefing you notified that the list of targets was
20 expanded, that's dated 1st April 1999. In what context was this list
22 A. As I said, initially we had information that the intervention
23 could be in three stages, as I explained, ending with a ground invasion.
24 However, it seems that the initial plans were given up early on and the
25 list of targets was revised and expanded every day to include facilities
1 of infrastructure and other targets that were not directly related to the
2 proclaimed objectives of this NATO action.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have 3D911, please, that's
5 the briefing of 3rd April 1999, last paragraph in page 1, B/C/S, and last
6 paragraph in English, also page 1.
7 Q. Now, General, you are already presenting possible models for
8 resolving the crisis in Kosovo-Metohija, and again you mentioned the
9 context of refugees and their protection. We have two numbers, 630.000
10 refugees and 500.000, again the same number that could trigger a NATO
11 intervention. The Army of Yugoslavia never treated, or rather, how did
12 the Army of Yugoslavia treat the problem of refugees, the return of
13 refugees, that is?
14 A. I must say I was not directly engaged in those affairs, but in the
15 course of briefings and monitoring the responses of important
16 international factors concerning this problem, I tried to help prepare
17 some points for refugees who were either trying to cross the border
18 towards Albania or Macedonia or to return to Kosovo. I thought that this
19 whole thing could lead the western media and western political factors to
20 understand that it was not our objective at all to expel Albanians from
21 Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the second part
24 of the paragraph.
25 Q. That is a current meeting of intelligence services chiefs and
1 various forms of support and assistance to the KLA including weapons in
2 order for the KLA to be used as some sort of advanced force by NATO. What
3 do you know about this?
4 A. We had a body of information at the time about the cooperation of
5 KLA with various NATO elements, and we had information, among others, that
6 this meeting mentioned here reviewed this issue as well. Highly placed
7 officials of a number of countries made announcements that air-strikes
8 would continue until a balance is struck between the strength of the Army
9 of Yugoslavia and the KLA. Under those circumstances, then political
10 negotiations would continue.
11 Q. You also present certain conclusions and proposals at the end of
12 this briefing. Again you mention diplomatic initiative, you have already
13 discussed this. What about the second proposal related to posts or points
14 for refugees?
15 A. Yes, the idea was to really help those people, and also to show
16 the world that the Army of Yugoslavia and our police forces were not
17 trying in any way to expel the refugees from Kosovo, it was not in their
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Can we have 3D913. It's a briefing
21 of the 4th of April, first page, please.
22 Q. General, there's a conclusion here: "The choice of targets does
23 not seem to follow a political or military logic," that's paragraph 3.
24 A. On the eve of the war and during the war, we had the opportunity
25 to observe the doctrine of NATO in action, and what we knew about it did
1 not correspond to what we could see on the ground. In Vojvodina, in -- on
2 the Hungarian border there were also attacks, there were attacks on
3 bridges and similar facilities, and all of this did not seem to correspond
4 to the principles and the doctrine of NATO.
5 Q. Can you please now look at paragraph 2. It says: "There are
6 speculations about the deployment of a large NATO force to Albania which
7 would be engaged in a peacekeeping mission," et cetera. And the passage
8 that says: "This should be seen as linked to the existence of plans for a
9 step-by-step operation."
10 What kind of plan was that?
11 A. We had information that the KLA was planning to engage its own
12 armed forces, but also refugees, to capture the territory, the border belt
13 with Albania and Macedonia step by step, putting back our forces and
14 disabling them from further action or police action, creating a corridor
15 for themselves.
16 Q. Now, this last piece of information from the sources that informed
17 you, it says: "Some sources indicate that the Siptars have been set in
18 motion as part of this plan in order to separate them from the VJ units
19 which have thus become open targets for the aggressor."
20 Can you explain that?
21 A. Yes. During those NATO actions, Albanian civilians were sometimes
22 casualties, probably because of the lack of precision or the fact that
23 those people could not be separated from the military targets that were
24 close to them, and the information that we got was that the purpose behind
25 all this was to separate the Albanians from our forces, thus isolating our
1 forces and leaving them with no possibility of taking any precautions and
2 they could then be targeted more successfully.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 3D918.
5 Q. This is the briefing of the 7th of April. Could you please look
6 at paragraph 4 in -- under item 2, which begins with the words: "A total
7 of 335 air sorties took place during the past 24 hours ..." There's
8 something handwritten here. Could you please read this sentence that
9 says: "As we announced, this was the most massive deployment of the air
10 force by the aggressor."
11 A. Yes, I wrote that by hand in response to our press release on the
12 cessation of operations, because our government unilaterally on the 6th of
13 April, I think, that was on Easter, issued a communique calling for the
14 cessation of further combat operations, at least during the Easter
15 holidays. This did not happen. This might be a coincidence. I cannot
16 now claim that this was in direct response to this communique on the part
17 of the federal government, but that was our opinion at the time.
18 Q. Thank you. Attached to this document you provide your view of the
19 ground operation, or rather, preparations for such an operation, that's
20 page 3 in the B/C/S version and I think it's also page 3 in English.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, it's page 4 in English.
22 Q. This is a document that contains a lot of detail. What I'm
23 interested in is the follow, General, these are the forces that NATO had
24 at its disposal, they're listed under A and B. So this -- these are the
25 forces that NATO had deployed in Albania and Macedonia at the time or is
1 this the projected increase in their strength?
2 A. No, no. This -- these are the forces that we established were
3 present in Macedonia and Albania at the time.
4 Q. Thank you. So I don't want to read all that. It speaks for
5 itself. We have A and B in the English version, that's what I'm looking
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Visnjic, could we break at this point?
8 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Krga, we have to have another break for half an
10 hour at this stage. Would you please again leave with the courtroom with
11 the usher. We'll see you at ten minutes to 1.00.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Judge Kamenova has been struggling through either a
16 heavy cold or influenza over the past few days and we have decided it's in
17 her best interest to go home and rest up and try to keep with us. So in
18 the interests of justice, we continue in her absence.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Could we have Exhibit P929 brought up on e-court, please, page 3
23 in Serbian and page 4 in English.
24 Q. General, this is a collegium of the 9th of April, 1999. You
25 compiled a separate special assessment for that collegium meeting. Can
1 you tell us something about it?
2 A. This was one of those situations where after almost two weeks of
3 war we wanted to have a more detailed overview of the development of the
4 situation and the possible further developments.
5 Q. Excuse me. So that was one of those assessments you said
6 contained information covering a longer period of time?
7 A. Yes, one of those compiled from time to time.
8 Q. Please look at paragraph 1, and then it says the proclaimed aims
9 of the aggression in the middle of the paragraph:
10 "Were first to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, second to
11 neutralise the military power of the FRY and third, preserve the
12 credibility of the US and NATO, while the actual aim of the aggression was
13 to punish the FRY and force it to accept the peace agreement which would
14 provide for the arrival of NATO forces in Kosovo and Metohija, that is to
15 say the seizure of territory from the FRY."
16 This initial standpoint of yours, could you comment on it?
17 A. Yes, we did have such information. In the beginning when the
18 possibility of air-strikes was mentioned, the credibility of NATO was
19 emphasised as a reason. It's possible that the credibility of NATO was
20 linked to events on the ground and most of all with what they referred to
21 as the humanitarian catastrophe. These goals changed in the course of
22 combat activities and were later expressed in the form of those five
23 demands of NATO which are widely known.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now look at page 8
1 of this same document.
2 Q. General, I'll go back to these conclusions of yours. It's the
3 paragraph before the last of your intervention where you say that:
4 "The commitment to the peace option of the FRY could best attach
5 value to the efforts hitherto and there would be a danger of devaluing
6 what had been achieved so far."
7 Could you please comment on this.
8 A. Yes. This was one of our strongest standpoints, to try to resolve
9 the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija through the peace option because, as I
10 said, a further continuation of war would bring with it many risks;
11 unfortunately, this proved to be true.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I didn't want to go
14 through the entire document with the witness. It was my intention,
15 rather, to draw attention to what the witness said in full. In English
16 it's on pages 4 to 8 and in B/C/S from page 3 to page 8, and now I'd like
17 to move on to the next exhibit, 3D934, page 2 in B/C/S and page 2 in
19 Q. General, this is a briefing of the 21st of April, 1999. I won't
20 go into detail because the Chamber can find all the details it needs in
21 the document. What I'm interested in is the part you
22 entitled "proposals." In the second half of April, in your view, some
23 peace initiatives you thought could be brought to life. What did you
24 think, could you comment on that?
25 A. Well, this was a time when the summit in Washington was being
1 prepared on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of NATO. We monitored
2 the reactions of the members of NATO and we saw among them there were
3 those who would be interested in having the war come to an end as soon as
4 possible. I wanted to draw attention to this issue and to say that these
5 factors should be supported through possible contacts.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please turn the page in
7 English, page 3. Yes, that's better now.
8 Q. And at the end of these proposals which contain three points, you
9 provide some information linked to the information that the intelligence
10 administration obtained and it has to do with conversations among NATO
12 A. Yes. On television the pilots' conversations were broadcast after
13 they had bombed a column of Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija. After that
14 we obtained information that in NATO they had concluded that we were
15 monitoring some of their conversations, and then according to our
16 information they started using a completely closed communication system.
17 Q. And from that point on you could no longer monitor NATO pilots'
19 A. No, we could not.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see Exhibit 3D938, a
21 briefing of the 25th of April, 1999.
22 Q. I'm interested in paragraph 6 of this document. It mentions the
23 so-called plan 4. Can you please tell us what sort of plan this was?
24 A. We knew that a number of plans were being drawn up in NATO
25 concerning the intervention in Yugoslavia, some of them had already been
1 implemented and some of course were fortunately never implemented. Clark
2 said in an interview that there were 12 to 15 such plans. We had
3 information that plan 4 was, in fact, a plan for a ground force operation.
4 Q. Thank you. And paragraph 7 of this document, the Kuks Garrison
5 in Albania is fully controlled by US officers. Can you tell us where the
6 Kuks Garrison is?
7 A. It's very close to the border with Kosovo and Metohija, with
8 Serbia on the River Drin, and it's practically only a few kilometres away
9 from the border.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have 3D940, it's the
12 briefing of the 27th of April, page 1, last paragraph in English.
13 Q. General, on page 1, paragraph 3, it says that everything indicates
14 that NATO force activity was not to be expected, but rather NATO --
15 Albanian activity and that they were being trained and equipped mostly in
16 Albania for the purpose of their infiltration in Kosovo and Metohija.
17 This is in April, the 27th of April, 1999. In your statement you
18 described in detail the offensive waged by the KLA against the forces of
19 the FRY. Can you please comment on this in the context of this
21 A. As I said, there was quite a lot of information indicating that a
22 possible ground force operation could be launched, but also another
23 version of a ground force operation which would involve sending KLA forces
24 over the border from Albania. This was carried out between the 9th and
25 the 10th of April until the 26th of May in the area of Kosare which is to
1 the south towards Prizren, and this operation did not yield the expected
2 results as planned by the KLA, so that later on it was transferred to the
3 north. The name of the operation was Arrow, Strela, on the Vrbnik axis
4 where significant forces were deployed in order to break through on to the
5 territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, 72, 10, after the word "could be
7 launched," the witness I believe said "by NATO," "a ground force attack
8 could be launched by NATO," that was one of the versions.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In this information you mention certain misunderstandings about
12 the large-scale engagement of the KLA?
13 A. Yes. There was information about how these forces should be
14 commanded and we also knew that some of the Albanian refugees and those
15 who had been mobilised into those units did not wish to get involved in
16 such actions and that there were some misunderstandings which we monitored
17 as far as we were able to.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D600, this is the briefing of the
19 30th of April, 1999, and this is -- well, these are the minutes, actually,
20 of the briefing.
21 Q. On page 1 there's a summary of what you said, and you
22 said: "Increased activity for three reasons: First, the weather is
23 better; secondly, fuel tanks have been secured; and three --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat point 3, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Analysing the tempo of the
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Point 3 was: "Chernomyrdin's visit."
4 A. Analysing the bombing in the various stages of the war, we
5 registered a phenomenon which was quite telling. There was always more
6 intensive activity just before the launching of a peace initiative. I
7 cannot say that this was calculated to increase the pressure, but there
8 was an evident correspondence between those events.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D955, please.
10 Q. General, again, this is a briefing. This time the date is the
11 12th of May, 1999.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And could we please have page 3 in
13 English and page 2 in B/C/S.
14 Q. Again we have the proposals that would prove our readiness to find
15 a political solution for the conflict, the return of the refugees,
16 withdrawal of units, and again we have the second proposal, that the
17 commission for assessing war damage should send a request to the United
18 Nations to see the degree of destruction and magnitude of the suffering of
19 the civilian population.
20 General, I know that we have been revisiting this several times
21 already, but could you please tell us what was the context in which those
22 proposals were made?
23 A. We used every option at our disposal, every initiative on the part
24 of the international players that was aimed at finding a peaceful solution
25 for the conflict and ending the war. Our proposals were to support those
1 initiatives, to do something concrete. Here I propose that the issue of
2 the return of the refugees should be addressed and possible withdrawal of
3 our units to garrisons away from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
4 All of this was aimed to create conditions for the cessation of the
5 air-strikes and to launch political dialogue.
6 Q. General, the return of the refugees was a fact that the military
7 counted on. Were there any contrary views in the Army of Yugoslavia?
8 A. Well, based on all my contacts with all my colleagues in the
9 Supreme Command Staff and further away, I never heard any reaction on
10 anyone's part to the fact that the aim was to expel the refugees. As you
11 can see, we proposed various measures, we even took some measures to
12 create conditions for their return.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Defence Exhibit
15 3D968, page 2 in B/C/S and page 2 in English. This is the briefing of the
16 25th of May, 1999.
17 Q. General, what I want to know here --
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have page 2, both in
19 B/C/S and in English, I'm interested in the comment, paragraph 6.
20 Q. What I'm interested in is this information that you presented to
21 the Supreme Command Staff that the refugees were returning and that 4.000
22 refugees came back through Djeneral Jankovic through Macedonia in a single
24 A. Yes, that's the information we had, and as far as you can see and
25 as far as I know, those refugees came back. And the Army of Yugoslavia
1 did not do anything to prevent that.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at 3D969, please.
4 This is the briefing of the 26th of May, 1999. What I'm interested in is
5 page 1 of this document, midway down this page, paragraph 2, the third
6 passage, beginning with the words: "By 1200 hours about 400 sorties have
7 been recorded."
8 I'm now waiting for the English text to appear.
9 Q. So this is yet another day, the 26th of May, 1999, where we have
10 the increased air-strike activities including the actions by strategic
11 bombers, B-52 and B-1B.
12 First of all, General, could you tell me the strategic bombers,
13 B-52 and B-1B, what kind of aircraft are these? Where did they come from?
14 A. Well, as you can judge from their name, these are strategic
15 bombers. They carried a lot of payload, heavy payload. They came from
16 airports located both in the European member NATO states and from the US.
17 They carried cruise missiles in most cases and they didn't enter our
18 air-space. They were able to fire those missiles from as far as Balaton
19 and Banja Luka.
20 Q. Thank you. And you say here that the list of targets would be
21 expanded again in order to exert pressure in the face of the negotiations?
22 A. Yes, that was yet another such occasion.
23 Q. Thank you. In the passage immediately below this one you're
24 talking about the NATO air force providing support to the KLA for
25 executing a breakthrough on the front line?
1 A. Yes, this is what we were talking about. There was this transfer
2 of action from Kosare to Vrbnik and it was quite indicative that we saw
3 that in this period we recorded intense NATO air force activity, and we
4 established a connection between that increase and those efforts by those
5 forces to penetrate into our territory.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Exhibit 3D978, which is a briefing
8 of the 4th of June, 1999, an intelligence briefing.
9 Q. On page 2 in Serbian and page 2 in English there is mention
10 of: "Responses to our acceptance of the principle -- principles, or
11 rather, the positions of the Italian General Staff," if I'm right. Could
12 you please comment briefly because the text speaks for itself. What is
13 this about and how did you get this information.
14 A. Well, this was one of the responses we registered and we attached
15 great importance to it because it came from a significant institution, the
16 General Staff of a prominent and large NATO country. As you can see,
17 there are quite a few standpoints here which later proved to be correct
18 and we received this information through our sources in Rome.
19 Q. Thank you, General.
20 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now see P1748.
21 Q. You were a part of the delegation of the Army of Yugoslavia which
22 conducted negotiations with authorised representatives of NATO and the
23 Russian Federation on issues of the implementation of the plan of the
24 European Union and the Russian Federation and the signing of the documents
25 comprising the plan of withdrawal of the units. This was in Kumanovo.
1 Can you tell us very briefly how these negotiations were conducted, with
2 what authority, and what was their result?
3 A. As we can see, negotiations were conducted with the authority
4 given to the delegation by General Ojdanic, and the aim was quite clear,
5 to arrive at a Military Technical Agreement with NATO representatives
6 based on the Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin document which had been accepted, and
7 thereby to create the conditions for the Security Council resolution. We
8 have to say that at the airport near Kumanovo where the NATO HQ was,
9 General Jackson and his associates received us very correctly. And in
10 three days of negotiation, we managed to arrive at a document which is
11 entitled Military Technical Agreement, and I think it's widely known.
12 I can say that we as a delegation of the Army of Yugoslavia had
13 the ability to comment on everything that was in the text we received.
14 Part of our comments were accepted and part not, and the text that is
15 known to the public was then agreed on.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Krga, was General Clark still the NATO
17 commander at that stage?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Visnjic.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. General, now I would like to go through some documents with you.
23 You've spoken about the events that are discussed in those documents in
24 various ways, either in your statement or in your evidence here. So first
25 I would like to see 3D753.
1 In your statement in paragraph 4 you mention a proclamation made
2 by the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia to Albanians, telling them
3 not to leave their homes.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And now could we please have the
5 first and the second pages of that document. Could we have the second
6 page. Thank you.
7 Q. General, is this the document that was issued by the Army of
8 Yugoslavia, a proclamation?
9 A. Well, I can't tell you now with any precision whether this is the
10 document, whether it contains all the elements, but I do know that such a
11 proclamation was made, the purpose was quite sincere. In difficult times,
12 an effort was made to influence the situation, to calm it down, and to
13 have those Albanians and all the others who had left their homes come
14 back, and to seek a political solution.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to see 3D783,
17 please. This is report number 17.
18 Q. General, could you please tell me, we've just seen what you said
19 in the collegium meetings and we saw this voluminous intelligence
20 assessment that was -- that covered the period of several months. We saw
21 the briefings that you presented -- the reports that you presented at the
22 evening briefings at the Supreme Command Staff during the war. Could you
23 now tell us, what is this document?
24 A. This is a report that we sent to the subordinate commands. There
25 were two kinds of such reports. One presented the overall situation for a
1 given day, and the second kind of report dealt with a specific issue.
2 They were distributed only to those commands and units that in our view
3 would be interested in the intelligence presented therein.
4 Q. Thank you. In this document dated the 29th of March you have
5 information that in the villages and towns in Kosovo and Metohija in the
6 ranks of the KLA there are infiltrated members of the intelligence and
7 security services of the USA and some western countries, whose task is to
8 coordinate with the KLA, in brief.
9 A. Yes, that's the intelligence that we received, and we relayed this
10 to the 3rd Army command so that they could pay attention and to see
11 whether this really happened or not.
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 3D782. This
13 is yet another such report sent to the 3rd Army command.
14 Q. This one is dated the 3rd of April, 1999.
15 A. Yes, this was yet another such report that was based on the
16 intelligence gathered on the ground. We give the elements that we
17 learned. The purpose is again to warn our colleagues in the 3rd Army to
18 focus their attention and to prevent any such things.
19 Q. General, I'm interested in particular in the last passage here
20 which reads: "With regard to this western intelligence sources are using
21 confidential intelligence sources to plant information among the Siptars
22 in the diaspora that within the next 24 to 48 hours NATO be begin
23 indiscriminate bombing of Kosovo and Metohija; in other words, it is
24 preparing to raze Kosovo to the ground."
25 A. In addition to the information and intelligence that we received
1 and that we judged to be probable and accurate, it is quite natural that
2 given the context of the war there was information that was planted, as we
3 say it, in order to gain some profit for those who planted this
5 Q. We have another such report dated the 5th of April, 1999, and
6 that's 3D781. It's very brief.
7 "In connection with the attempt by NATO to infiltrate large
8 groups of Siptars and special forces supported by air-strikes," and that's
9 the 5th of April, 1999. In your statement you testified that the KLA
10 attacks from the territory of Albania began on the 10th. Does this report
11 have anything to do with the attack which started on the 10th of April,
13 A. Well, this was one of the pieces of information obtained from the
14 ground, and most probably it proved to be correct because, as we know,
15 several days after that the kind of attack described in this text actually
16 took place.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D779, please.
19 Q. This is a report of the 13th of April, 1999, and the list of
20 addressees is a bit broader than in the case of the last report, General.
21 Previously we had the -- mostly the 3rd Army as the addressee; however,
22 here we see it was sent to all units at strategic locations?
23 A. Well, we thought that based on the content of each report we
24 should decide who it should be sent to, so sometimes it was sent to just
25 one command, sometimes to two or three, and sometimes to all of them. And
1 this depended on the information actually contained in the report.
2 Q. Well, in the report, you already mentioned 9.000 soldiers in
3 northern Albania, 2.500 Americans with 24 Apache helicopters and 18
4 multiple rocket-launchers, what is the significance of this piece of
5 information, 24 Apache helicopters?
6 A. We got this information from official information coming from the
7 NATO structures that 24 of these helicopters were being transferred from
8 Germany, first to Albania, and then with the idea of using them in Kosovo
9 and Metohija for combat. Apache are very up-to-date helicopters equipped
10 with armour-piercing rockets, and we were afraid that they might be used
11 in Kosovo and Metohija or some other area because we knew in Iraq, for
12 example, using these helicopters a large number of tanks had been placed
13 out of combat or destroyed. We were faced with the threat that these
14 would be used, but they were not actually used.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D772, and this is a report of the
17 4th of May, 1999, page 2, paragraph 1 in English; page 1 in B/C/S.
18 Q. General, the possibilities considered here of a NATO ground force
19 operation being launched, and please look at the second paragraph in
20 heading 2.
21 "According to intelligence information, NATO is planning a total
22 blockade of the routes."
23 The use of Apaches that you just described is mentioned here.
24 Would you comment on the following: "Apaches would be used once all the
25 routes were cut off, and the refugees removed from the border area."
1 A. Yes. Probably in the tactics of the use of Apaches these contain
2 the -- that the goals, that is, the APCs and tanks, should be out in the
3 open and this would make it easier for them to carry out their tasks.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D769.
5 Q. General, could you please comment on the first paragraph of this
6 report dated the 12th of May, 1999, and it has to do with the territory of
7 Albania and NATO activities in northern Albania.
8 A. Yes. This was information that arrived from the ground at a time
9 when the operation was already under way. This multiple attempt for the
10 KLA to breakthrough on to the territory of Kosovo. This simply confirms
11 what was happening there.
12 Q. Well, as far as I can see, it says here that the KLA is carrying
13 out 15-day training under the command of NATO officers.
14 A. Yes, we had this information because the KLA did not have all its
15 forces at the front line attempting to breakthrough. It also had forces
16 in the rear, in depth, preparing for new actions.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 3D758, report from the intelligence
19 administration dated the 19th of May, 1999.
20 Q. General, this refers to maps delivered by the KLA to the American
21 representatives of NATO.
22 A. Yes, this is another piece of information from the ground, and we
23 managed to get copies of these sketches which indicate that there was
24 cooperation on the ground between the KLA structures and elements of NATO.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the maps are enclosed
1 with this document on pages 2, 3, 4, and 5, and 6. I don't know whether
2 you can see them in the English version, but let's take a look at some of
4 Page 6, please. Thank you.
5 3D762, please.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can I inquire, is there an English
8 version of those maps?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
10 MR. HANNIS: Because I don't have one.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I know, CLSS
12 refuses to translate maps and handwriting. We can ask them to do this,
13 but it seems to be their practice. The maps are in the B/C/S version and
14 there is no doubt of their existence.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you say to that, Mr. Hannis?
16 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I know we have translations of
17 handwritten diaries and meeting minutes, et cetera. I don't know that
18 they refuse to translate handwriting. And as handwriting goes, this seems
19 to be better than some of the things that have been translated.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, these should be translated.
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This part
22 of the transcript will be sufficient for me to give to the CLSS.
23 Q. General, 3D762, this is a report dated the 29th of May, 1999, and
24 it concerns the procurement of weapons. My question is: First, could you
25 comment on this document?
1 A. It's quite clear that members of the KLA procured weapons wherever
2 they could lay hands on it. We tried to monitor all those channels. We
3 were partially successful. This is a piece of information arriving from
4 abroad, indicating that they attempted to purchase weapons in France.
5 Q. General, this quantity of weapons and the sums of money used to
6 pay for them, is information that cannot be concealed from the appropriate
7 services in the countries?
8 A. Well, I can't say that now, I don't know, but after the war we
9 even saw certain films where some of them were bragging that they even
10 managed to get weapons to Kosovo and Metohija from America. We can only
11 assume or speculate whether it was with or without the knowledge of
12 services in those countries or whether they were able to do this
13 completely in secret.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] My last document is 3D760.
15 Q. This is another report sent by the intelligence administration
16 dated the 31st of May, 1999. Could you comment on it briefly, please.
17 A. Yes. We had several such pieces of information that the extreme
18 wing of the KLA was trying to treat cruelly even Albanians, their
19 compatriots, and consequences such as people leaving their homes, being
20 moved out, possibly murders or burnings of houses were to be blamed on our
21 forces, and this is one such attempt.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know if this is
23 a convenient moment, but I have about ten minutes left, perhaps for
24 tomorrow morning.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid there is another case this afternoon.
1 We can't find any space to overrun even a little to help you, Mr. Visnjic,
2 so we do have to adjourn. I note, however, that you still have two
3 witnesses planned for this week. You're going to have to do something to
4 tailor that evidence to fit. The hours you estimate do not fit into the
5 course of this week. I appreciate the efforts you're making with this
6 witness, but a lot of it is material that you could have presented in
7 writing and you've chosen to do it this way. So you'll have to tailor the
8 rest of your case on the basis we arranged it.
9 Mr. Hannis, you indicated that you would have some -- possibly
10 have something to say about the response to the expert report by yesterday
11 or today.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have seen the draft earlier this
13 morning and I know that the comments were made, so I anticipate it will be
14 ready to be filed later today.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So this is a written response?
16 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: The problem that raises, of course, is the position
18 of the Defence to respond to that.
19 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I know, but I think they are such
20 that we did need to put them in writing.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
22 MR. HANNIS: We're pointing some specific passages or shortcomings
23 that we find in the report that illustrate the point we're trying to make.
24 I don't think I can do it justice orally at this point.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
1 Well, Mr. Krga, we have to terminate our proceedings for today at
2 this stage because there's another case in this court this afternoon; that
3 means you have to come back tomorrow to finish your evidence, that will be
4 at 9.00 tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, it's extremely important that you
5 have no communication or discussion with anybody at all about the evidence
6 in this case, and that means any part of the evidence. You can talk with
7 whoever you like about whatever you like other than the evidence in the
9 Could you now please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll
10 see you again at 9.00 tomorrow.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 4th day of
14 October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.