1 Thursday, 18 October 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: While the witness is on his way, Mr. Sepenuk, are
6 you able to tell me any more about the translation of the documents?
7 MR. SEPENUK: Yes, I think Mr. Visnjic can perhaps enlighten you a
8 bit more on that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
10 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] We've had consultations with the
13 translation section, and the answer that they have given is quite
14 definite. They said it will take several months. I can explain further.
15 It's a collection of documents, combat reports from the Supreme Command
16 Staff. There are some 70 reports, each of which has between 10 and 12
17 pages. We filed those reports for the first time in June, but then we
18 withdrew them due to other priorities because we had witnesses coming in
19 the meantime with other documents. And in one of our most recent
20 requests, we submitted those documents for translation. In the meantime,
21 we did withdraw some documents because we felt it would be too difficult
22 or too complicated for the translation section. One of them is the war
23 diary that Mr. Hannis has examined the previous witness about for the
24 simple reason that the document is in handwriting and is very lengthy, but
25 from previous statements by the witness we learned that this war diary is
1 a kind of summary of the combat reports which we have already handed in
2 for translation, so that all I can say is that our intention was to hand
3 in all the combat reports of the 3rd Army which we consider to be
4 important to get a complete picture, but we thought that Mr. Ackerman
5 would do so as part of his documents, so we also withdrew those from the
6 translation section.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying they are not part of the 70 reports
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No. So I'm referring exclusively to
10 documents that we received from the National Council under the heading of
11 combat reports of the Supreme Command Staff.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, do you have anything to say on this?
14 MR. STAMP: I cannot see how we could file any response accepting
15 or consenting to the admission of these documents without being able to
16 read the translated versions. I agree with Mr. Ackerman in what he said
17 yesterday. It's next to impossible to have anything useful to say about
18 documents which are in Cyrillic many times.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but the question I think's a rather different
20 one. Does it mean that the Ojdanic case has to proceed without them or --
21 would that be your position or do we go home for six months while the
22 translators work on the translations or what --
23 MR. STAMP: Certainly not.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: There's a practical solution we're looking for.
25 MR. STAMP: I do not believe that the documents ought to or can be
1 received into evidence, perhaps marked for identity, but I cannot see how
2 documents not in a language of the Tribunal could be received into
3 evidence. I understand from what Mr. Visnjic said is that it is probable
4 and possible that they have some relevance in the case of Mr. Ackerman,
5 and perhaps that might provide a solution in respect to some of the
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What it would appear Mr. Ackerman has done, and
8 obviously he can speak for himself if he disagrees, but he has very
9 carefully selected what he sees as really relevant to his case and has
10 prepared, it would appear, a very focused case. We have yet to hear that
11 of course, I'm maybe giving him too much credit. It may not be his
12 intention to amplify along these lines.
13 MR. STAMP: I think, though, that perhaps -- and we will file
14 within a time-frame earlier than the 14-days response time, we'll file a
15 formal response to the application of the Defence --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't need to do that because the Chamber will
17 not consider these documents as they are and will not consider the
18 application in relation to the ones that are not translated in its current
19 form. Before we could even begin to look at this issue properly it would
20 be necessary for Mr. Visnjic to I think formulate a quite different motion
21 with extracts from these documents explaining their relevance and asking
22 us for indulgence in allowing him time to get this done and present them,
23 and let us see if, in fact, he can even begin to make a case for resources
24 being expended in this way and perhaps indulgence being granted to him.
25 Now, Mr. Visnjic, I think that's the very least that we can expect
1 of you at this stage.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm talking now about
3 this collection of reports of the Supreme Command Staff that we have
4 considered as a possibility to provide only the extracts referring to the
5 3rd Army or to certain joint factors relating to NATO activities in the
6 territory and so on. In those reports there are certainly parts which
7 perhaps need not be part of this case, but you know when we work with a
8 part of a document, an extract, the Prosecution objects and asks for the
9 whole document. So in my view, if we look at the relevance of those
10 documents, they have two-fold, a part of them as specific relating to the
11 3rd Army and what was going on there and others relate to the overall
12 activities that General Ojdanic engaged in while he was working in the
13 command of the supreme staff. So there's always two ways of looking at
14 it. There -- I could focus on parts which might be more relevant than the
15 rest, which I also consider them to be relevant.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, how many documents are in this -- in
17 this motion are already translated?
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] From that collection, two have been
19 used as an example, and I think they have already been admitted into
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Does the motion, though, relate to any other
22 documents apart from the supreme-- apart from the minutes -- apart from
23 the combat reports?
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think there's only
25 one other document - I'm afraid I don't have all the documents on me - and
1 that is the rules on the responsibilities of the Supreme Command Staff,
2 which is quite a lengthy document. It has been rejected by the
3 translation section because special instructions are required from the
4 Chamber because the document is about 30 pages long. And this document is
5 relevant because it clearly shows the function of each of the witnesses
6 that have appeared in this case, including General Ojdanic himself while
7 he was deputy Chief of Staff and later also during the operations.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Well, you can take it, Mr. Stamp,
9 you've made sufficient submissions for the present to enable us to deal
10 with this particular motion, and we will make a decision about the motion
11 as it stands. That may be an interim decision, though, in this process,
12 but it will enable us to consider exactly of what we should require of
13 Mr. Visnjic before proceeding further.
14 Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Maybe it's not wise to continue this discussion any
16 further, Your Honour, but I do have a thought or two that I would like to
17 put on the record. I think what we're seeing today is pretty much the tip
18 of a rather large iceberg. I think the translation problems for numbers 5
19 and 6 in this group are huge compared to what some of the rest of us are
20 looking at. And when you start looking at what this means in terms of
21 this trial, you must begin to focus on concepts of justice, I believe. If
22 you consider this case was being tried in Serbia before a group of Serbian
23 judges, this problem wouldn't arise because every document that Defence
24 counsel thought was relevant to their case would be, if seen by the judges
25 as relevant, brought to their attention --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It would arise, though, in relation to the
2 Prosecution case.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Not necessarily, the Prosecution could also be
4 Serbian, Your Honour, so there would be no need to translate any
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The witnesses haven't tended to be Serbian,
7 Prosecution witnesses.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: There could have been some of that, but nothing
9 compared to what we have here. Because we have decided to proceed with
10 these cases in this somewhat artificial forum where the languages are
11 English and French, the official languages, then we must proceed with
12 documents that are translated into those languages. For no other reason,
13 if there's no other reason, it is because it is extremely important for
14 Your Honours to be able to see what those say, and I think it's not -- you
15 know, I know that Judge Kamenova can read Serbo-Croatian pretty well, but
16 I don't think that's sufficient for your entire Chamber. And it may very
17 well be that there is one part of this Tribunal that simply can't measure
18 up to the speed at which we are trying to move these cases through here,
19 and that's the translation section. I've spoken to people about it, very
20 high level in this Tribunal, and they believe they have working for them
21 about everybody that's available, that's capable to do this kind of work
22 in the whole world that's available to be here. And there's not much more
23 to be done about it and if it requires we have to slow down a bit, we have
24 to slow down a bit as much as I hate to say that. I'm tired of being in
25 this case. I'm ready to go home, but the bottom line when somebody looks
1 back at us 20 or 30 years from now we want to have them say we did our
2 best to do justice here, and I don't think we can do that if we're dealing
3 with a bunch of documents that none of us can read.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I agree with all you said, Mr. Ackerman, but we
5 also don't want history to look back and say what a mess they made of that
6 by allowing all that unnecessary drivel to hold up the proceedings. So we
7 have to look carefully at what it is that needs to be translated. Maybe I
8 did you too much credit, I don't know, but I got the impression that's
9 exactly what you've done in preparing your case.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's exactly what I've done and I
11 would hope my colleague have done the same. This case is a dynamic thing
12 that goes on here and one day that seems really important that you get
13 documents and send the translation all of a sudden a month later is not
14 important anymore. So what we've done is withdrawn documents from
15 translation when we've realised those documents were no longer relevant
16 for one reason or another. And we've sent a great deal more documents for
17 translation than we have asked to be translated finally in the end.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: For me, maybe it's different for my colleagues, I'm
19 speaking for myself, but for me it's not good enough to say we want to
20 give you the whole story, we want to give you the whole history of the
21 combat reports, that's not how adversarial proceedings work. Therefore,
22 we have to look more closely at what Mr. Visnjic's real requirements are.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: We're using the combat reports that we think are
24 relevant. We haven't translated the others. That's how we're proceeding.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: There may be a misunderstanding here about what the
1 process is meant to do and from the Defence point of view there is an
2 obligation, just as there is on the Prosecution, to focus on issues that
3 are relevant to the case, not to say: Have a bunch of documents and go
4 make what you will of them.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: What I was suggesting is focus does not stay the
6 same all the time. For instance, many of us translated documents that we
7 were going to use in the cross-examination of General Clark, and all of a
8 sudden General Clark wasn't there. We couldn't wait until the last minute
9 and say we can't bring him, Your Honour, because we haven't translated the
10 documents we need to cross-examine him with. So there's some unnecessary
11 translation that has happened there. That's happened in more than one
12 case. We're down to a point now where I think all of us can pretty much
13 do a pretty good job of winnowing and getting where we need to go, and I
14 think everybody will commit to do that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me make it also clear that we have encouraged
16 the use of paper or written product because of the limitations there are
17 on live court time, so we in a sense may have contributed to the
18 situation. Although I'm not in a position to compare this case with any
19 others. I don't know whether we are in any different position of whether
20 other cases just have the same situation volume of material. However,
21 these are things on which we will ponder and a decision will be issued and
22 that will hopefully give guidance on how to proceed with this issue.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may have misinformed
1 you, I didn't quite understand. Your question was how many documents from
2 our motion of the 16th of October have been translated. I can tell you
3 that about half of those documents have been translated, but most of the
4 untranslated documents are the collection of combat reports that I have
5 referred to. The other documents have been translated.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That was my understanding, Mr. Visnjic, and I just
7 wanted the figure for that.
8 Now, Mr. Stamp, how long will it take you to deal with the ones
9 which have been translated? Was that the issue on which you said you
10 would require until Friday or was that?
11 MR. STAMP: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That was a separate motion?
13 MR. STAMP: Separate motion.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. STAMP: I believe in respect to the translated documents that
16 we received we could respond by Monday at the latest.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we will order you to respond by Monday so
18 that we can deal with this.
19 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Radinovic, sorry to have held up your
21 evidence, but this is a fairly important issue and had to be addressed
22 this morning. Your cross-examination by Mr. Stamp for the Prosecution
23 will commence in a moment. Please bear in mind that the solemn
24 declaration to speak the truth continues to apply to your evidence, and
25 before we proceed with that cross-examination can you tell me whether your
1 researches bore any fruit yesterday in respect of the matter left
2 outstanding with Mr. Ivetic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is a
4 document, a notification for the public by Radio Television Serbia about
5 the meeting held on the 4th of May, 1999, with the president of the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, attended by the commander of the 3rd Army
7 and the head of the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija and other officials,
8 that is what stated in the announcement without an indication of their
9 names. At that meeting, as stated in the announcement Milan Lukic and
10 General Pavkovic briefed about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and
11 made an assessment of the success of the defence against the NATO
12 aggression against the Siptar forces. If I may consult paper --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me say, it was Mr. Ackerman's question that was
14 outstanding and not Mr. Ivetic. And I think you may have answered it,
15 unless Mr. Ackerman wishes -- no, he's indicating he doesn't require any
16 further information, so thank you for that.
17 Now, Mr. Stamp.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the number of the document in
19 the e-court, K01239962.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you manage to get that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was in my notes. I noted it
22 down. I simply hadn't brought the document with me, as I failed to bring
23 some others with me as well.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP: Thank you. The document was properly disclosed by the
2 WITNESS: RADOVAN RADINOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
5 Q. Good morning, General Radinovic. Before I proceed --
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. -- In respect of what you just said about Radio Television Serbia
8 notification to the public about this meeting on the 4th of May, did that
9 notification indicate whether or not General Ojdanic was at that meeting?
10 A. Yes, I just mentioned that. I don't know whether it is -- has
11 entered the record, but I did say that.
12 Q. Very well, it was not on the transcript, and I didn't hear it.
13 Let's move on. You have testified at this Tribunal before in the case
14 certainly against Stanislav Galic and the case against General Krstic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So you will agree with me that it is appropriate for an expert in
17 dealing with his conclusions to cite the sources that he draws upon in
18 which to arrive at those conclusions?
19 A. Yes, you're quite right.
20 Q. And more so if the matter is a controversial matter or an
21 important matter?
22 A. I don't quite understand what you mean. I don't understand the
23 question, if it's a question.
24 Q. I'd like to start by asking you some of the sources you used.
25 Let's focus firstly on what you had to say about General Ojdanic's
1 biography. You said that he at some point abandoned his Ph.D. Because his
2 dissertation wasn't approved, but you didn't provide the source. Did
3 someone tell you that or did you find that in some document?
4 A. This can be found in the documents of the teaching council of the
5 military academy because it is the obligation of the council, when
6 considering applications for a dissertation, to collect views of the
7 General Staff as to the significance of the topic of the dissertation for
8 the development of the army in a particular area.
9 Q. Very well. You said that this was an important matter for us to
10 understand the role of General Ojdanic, but you did not cite that source
11 in your report. Is there a reason why you did not?
12 A. There's absolutely no reason. It is information that can easily
13 be obtained, and I felt that in this report there are so many more
14 significant sources mentioned. So I noted this down simply as one of the
15 elements contributing to the personal and professional biography of
16 General Ojdanic. If necessary, I can provide that document from a meeting
17 of the teaching council of the military academy without any difficulty.
18 Q. We don't have time for that. I'm just concerned now about the
19 reasons, if any, why you didn't cite them. At paragraph 13, page 61, of
20 your report you made the claim that General Ojdanic and General Perisic
21 didn't get along, relations was very cold. And you base that on a
22 statement that General Perisic didn't attend General Ojdanic's appointment
23 when he was appointed to be head of the 3rd Army -- sorry, the Uzice
24 Corps. Is that all the sources you have for that assertion that there was
25 some sort of coldness or a lack of an amicable relationship between
1 General Ojdanic and General Perisic or were there other sources that you
2 did not cite in your report?
3 A. I was referring to certain facts, not just sources. This refers
4 to the commander of the 1st Army, not the Uzice Corps, not that it's very
5 important, just for the sake of precision. General Perisic was not there,
6 although he was duty-bound to be present at the handover of duties, and he
7 did not provide any justification for his absence. Secondly,
8 General Perisic was head of the General Staff --
9 Q. What I'm asking is this, you said General Perisic was not there
10 and was duty-bound to be there, and you draw the conclusion that that
11 indicates that there was some sort of lack of an amicable relationship.
12 What's the source of that information and why didn't you put it?
13 A. It wasn't on the basis of that fact that he was not present at the
14 handover of duties that I drew the conclusion that their relations were
15 not very good. There were other reasons and I'll tell you what they are.
16 Just bear with me --
17 Q. Just a minute, but that is not exactly what I am asking you about.
18 You cited that as a reason why you made that statement. Now you're
19 telling us that that was not the only reason and there are other reasons.
20 The direction of my question is: Why is it that the other reasons on
21 which you based your opinion are not put in our report?
22 A. They are in my report. It says that the General Staff, which was
23 headed by General Perisic, did not give approval for General Ojdanic's
24 research and chosen topic on advancing the monitoring of combat-readiness.
25 There's no General Staff in the world that would not support such a topic,
1 but General Perisic did not. There can be no other reason but some sort
2 of personal reason or other nonprofessional reason, non-scholarly reason.
3 This topic was a very important one, it was very necessary to research
4 that topic, and it has not been researched to date; unfortunately, the
5 system has remained the same.
6 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, General, kindly forgive me for
7 interrupting. Did you see that dissertation yourself?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was one of the members of the
9 commission for evaluating the appropriateness and significance of the
10 topic. The dissertation was not complete, it was in the initial stages of
11 submission for approval. There was General Cubura, unfortunately he is
12 deceased, and somebody else, I can't remember who. And we were members of
13 the commission. We wrote a positive report since it was a very
14 significant topic, very well developed, containing everything that such a
15 topic implies, and we were extremely surprised that it was not accepted.
16 Based on this and based on other facts and also based on the facts I
17 established in analysing the relationship of General Ojdanic and
18 General Perisic at the collegium meetings and their behaviour in their
19 professional relations, General Perisic, when dealing with General Ojdanic
20 as a deputy Chief of the General Staff, according to the rules and so on,
21 I drew the conclusion from all this that their relations were not good and
22 that this could affect the functioning of the command and control system.
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Which year was the dissertation or uncompleted dissertation
1 A. It was just an application with an overview of the contents, the
2 aim, the procedure, so it's just an application for the commission to
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
5 A. I can't be absolutely certain, but I think it was in 1994, 1995,
6 maybe 1996, I'm not sure, but this can be established. I just can't
7 recall it at present.
8 Q. At the time, where was General Ojdanic posted?
9 A. I can't be sure whether he was already the commander of the 1st
10 Army or the Chief of Staff of the 1st Army, I'm not sure.
11 Q. You further go on to say that General Ojdanic had no influence on
12 the situation in Kosovo when he was deputy Chief of the General Staff and
13 he never received information from units about the situation in Kosovo
14 when he was deputy Chief of Staff. That's at paragraph 18, page 196 --
15 sorry, paragraph 18, page 65 to 66 of your report. And you cite
16 footnotes -- in footnote 130 a document that we have not been given. I
17 just say that for the record. But in footnote 131 you cite another
18 document in support of this assertion, and that's Exhibit 923 -- P923.
19 Could we bring --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying, Mr. Stamp, that the collegium
21 session minutes of the 10th of August, 1998, are not available?
22 MR. STAMP: Exhibit -- footnote 130, may I just get the date
23 correct, it's the -- it was corrected to the 7th of August, 1997, in the
24 addendum 5, but they were not available, they were not supplied to us.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought all the collegium minutes were available.
1 That's wrong.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I only wish to confirm
3 this. I received the collegium meetings as a collection from the OTP.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: That's my understanding.
5 MR. STAMP: Our checks indicate that we did not have that one for
6 the 7th of August.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And you still don't have it?
8 MR. STAMP: And we still don't have it, but I will reconfirm and
9 get back to footnote 130 after the break.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. The one we have, General, is footnote 131, P923, and I would like
13 us just to have a look at that one.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, but
15 it's K0520537 for the collegium of the 7th of August, 1998. Thank you.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
17 MR. STAMP: P923, please.
18 Q. You cited that one to support the claim that General Ojdanic is
19 saying that he's not receiving daily operation reports from the units in
20 the field. Can we first look at page 15 of that document, it is page 16
21 in the B/C/S version. In the -- at the top of the B/C/S page you see
22 General Ojdanic speaking. Can you just read what he says there? I just
23 want to check the translation.
24 A. The beginning of the page, is that it?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. "I demand that as your deputy I receive the combat report of the
2 commander of the 3rd Army, and I propose that that same report be received
3 by the assistant for the ground forces and the chief of the first
4 administration. Now I would like to make a suggestion and a proposal,
5 General, sir."
6 Q. And you see General Perisic responding to that as the next
7 speaker, and he sees -- and he says to General Martinovic to deal with it
8 but make sure that the deputy receives it in addition to the others. Now,
9 isn't General Galic -- sorry, General Perisic and General Ojdanic speaking
10 about one particular report? Do you recall that from reading this
11 collegium minute?
12 A. I would have to see the whole record. I can't make that
13 conclusion just based on this.
14 Q. I would like to take you through it because I think this is
15 important. If we look at page 7 of the document - and this is the B/C/S
16 page 6 - do we have it there -- sorry, the B/C/S page 8. I'm going to the
17 bottom of the English version, which is the top of the -- of page 8 of the
18 English version. General Panic, Miodrag Panic, makes a report. Who is
19 Miodrag Panic, by the way, or who was he at that time?
20 A. General Panic, I think that at that time he was the assistant for
21 the ground force, I think so.
22 Q. So he was making a report in respect to the ground forces, and he
23 says: "There are no major changes regarding the KoV. This group has been
24 moved a little from the 549, but that is all there is in that area and
25 within the jurisdiction of the corps commander. In accordance with your
1 order and review of your order, the 3rd Army commander has sent a draft
2 decision by telegram for approval." And he goes on to deal what the
3 proposal is of the draft decision that was sent by the 3rd Army commander.
4 If we look at that proposal and turn to page 8 of the English version but
5 remain on that page -- B/C/S page 8, you see that General Panic in respect
6 to this document proposes that after this collegium General Martinovic,
7 General Bojovic, and General Dimitrijevic, and I propose to you whether or
8 not to accept this proposal of the 3rd Army or not.
9 Move to page 9 of the English version -- sorry, page 10 of the
10 English version, and that's at the top of page 10 of the English version.
11 And this is the bottom of page 10 of the B/C/S version. In discussing
12 this document General Martinovic says: "I propose that you accept the
13 decision or the draft decision of the 3rd Army commander regarding the
14 provision of security for the road from Pristina across the Dulje pass..."
15 And further on on page 10 of the English document, which is page
16 11 of the B/C/S, if you just look at page 11 of the B/C/S, we see that
17 General Perisic and General Bojovic are discussing this draft telegram
18 that the 3rd Army commander sent with his proposals on the road, and they
19 are dealing with it as it -- as if it's a matter of some importance
20 because it must be resolved in agreement with the MUP. And the last part
21 of it I want to show you, and that is a discussion in respect to this
22 document, is page 14 of the English version, the middle of that page,
23 which is page 15 of the B/C/S, you see that General Perisic says or
24 orders: "With Ojdanic and Bojovic and also others who must analyse the
25 draft decision of the 3rd Army commander and propose what is to be done in
1 terms of improving security on the road Pristina-Stimlje-Suva Reka-
2 Prizren-Djakovica and Urosevac, and again this way."
3 I would just like you to have a look at that. General Perisic is
4 appointing Ojdanic and Bojovic to deal with it. And we come back to page
5 15, which is the first bit I read to you, in which General Ojdanic
6 says: "As your deputy, I request" -- well, you say -- I think the
7 translation was that: "I demand that I receive the 3rd Army commander's
8 report ..."
9 And General Perisic says: "First of all, the report you deal with
10 it and make sure the deputy receives it ..."
11 Why I took you through this is, firstly, you cite this as to say
12 or in support of a statement that Ojdanic, General Ojdanic is saying he's
13 not receiving the daily operation reports. What General Ojdanic is
14 saying, clearly from the context of this collegium, is that he did not
15 receive one telegram, a report or a proposal sent by the 3rd Army
16 commander, the day before. Isn't that plain from a reading of this
18 A. Evidently not. It's not evident, that is, if you look at the
19 nuances in General Ojdanic's request he says: "As your deputy, I request
20 that I receive," and the verb form in the original is "dobijam" it's
21 continuous form, not one-time form. There is a distinction in the Serbian
22 language between "dobijam" and "dobijem" so he is saying that he is not
23 receiving the reports, and he is requesting from the Chief of the General
24 Staff that he also receive these reports on an ongoing basis. That was
25 the reason for my conclusion, that he was not receiving the reports.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you, there must be a noun there
2 for "report" or "reports." Is it singular or plural? It's been
3 translated into the English as "reports," but what is the actual word?
4 Could you just tell me the word for -- that's in that minute?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can the page be brought back,
7 MR. STAMP: This is page 15 in the English, the top of page 16 in
8 the B/C/S version.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army sends a combat report, one
10 combat report every day. In this sentence in which General Ojdanic is
11 requesting that the reports be sent to him, the -- the verb he uses is
12 "dobijam" which means on a regular or ongoing basis, but the noun is in
13 the singular. The noun is in the singular, but the verb is in the
14 continuous form. That can be a contradiction.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But that -- now, do you have in your bag with
16 you -- well, in fact, we can see it on the -- well, it would be easier if
17 you referred to the hard copy of your own report in B/C/S. Do you have
18 that available? And just look at that footnote in the B/C/S version of
19 your own report and tell me if you've quoted it word for word for if
20 you've altered any of the words from the collegium report.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you be so kind as to tell me
22 what footnote it is, the footnote number?
23 MR. STAMP:
24 Q. Footnote 131.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The question's simple: Have you used the singular
1 or the plural in your own report?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my report I used the singular.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 MR. STAMP:
5 Q. And first may I just ask you to read it, just translate it to me,
6 that you said the singular report, and that's at page 17, line 2. The
7 translation I have here is not only that it is singular, is that you said
8 that: "I request to receive this report." You are speaking about a
9 particular report -- sorry, General Ojdanic here is speaking about a
10 particular report. So have a look at it again.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you have a problem here, Mr. Stamp, because
12 CLSS have translated it in the way that the witness has invited us to
13 understand it, that the verb is an ongoing -- is an indication of an
14 ongoing practice, and it's perfectly consistent with that for CLSS to have
15 translated reports in the plural into English. Now, that -- you've got
16 his evidence, you're now asking the same question again. I think you
17 should move on to something else.
18 MR. STAMP:
19 Q. The next aspect of this document I'd like to ask you about,
20 General, is this. I have it, and I represent to you that this is what
21 happened, the deputy chief for the ground forces says that there was a
22 post that was sent by telegram by the command of the 3rd Army. He
23 recommends that a group, including General Dimitrijevic himself and
24 himself consider it and propose it to accept it. General Perisic in the
25 discussion indicates that it is a very important proposal and rejects his
1 recommendation and instead appoints his deputy, General Ojdanic, to review
2 it. General Ojdanic asks to receive it and General Perisic says, Yes,
3 he's to get it. Does that indicate to you that General Ojdanic is out of
4 the loop or does not -- is treated as somebody without any responsibility
5 in the collegium?
6 A. I can't say whether he was respected in the collegium. I can only
7 answer the question as to whether he received the combat reports he should
8 have received. According to my understanding of what he said here, I
9 understood that he was not receiving them and was requesting that they be
10 sent to him. He should have received them because it was his duty to
11 prepare briefings for the Chief of the General Staff. So it was his
12 operational task, and how could he carry it out unless he received reports
13 from the subordinate commands? That's how I understood the gist of
14 General Ojdanic's request.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Radinovic, there are two different concepts
16 here, they may be the same thing but -- and it may be my misunderstanding,
17 but the footnote is dealing with combat reports or a combat report. The
18 proposal that's being discussed at the collegium, would that be contained
19 in the combat report?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the proposal of the commander of
21 the 3rd Army on the engagement of forces -- yes, that would have been in
22 the report. So what the commander proposes he includes in his report.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On some occasions, it's a separate
25 document, a proposal, but it would certainly have been included in the
1 combat report.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. But we see here that in this case what they are discussing is a
4 draft decision that was sent by telegram the day before, I've showed you
5 that. But let me ask you about combat reports, the operational reports --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So you are saying they are two separate documents?
7 MR. STAMP: It is clear from -- it is my submission when reading
8 the minutes that they are speaking about -- and if we look at page 7 of
9 the English, paragraph -- page 8 of the B/C/S, a draft decision by
10 telegram for approval.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, how does any of that -- if they are two
12 separate documents, how does the fact that the -- that that is a separate
13 document -- how does that assist in interpreting the reference to report?
14 MR. STAMP: The witness uses that to support an assertion --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I understand what he uses it -- but I don't
16 understand why you went through the whole of the minute which is about
17 another document to tell us how to interpret a reference to the combat
19 MR. STAMP: There are two issues. One is that the paragraph in
20 which they -- the witness cites this document, the paragraph which
21 purports to show that General Ojdanic was not within the loop of
22 management of the General Staff, he was not given significant
23 responsibility, and he was not aware of what was going on. When - and I
24 will invite the Court later on - when one goes through the relevant part
25 of this collegium report, those parts that I cited, one will see how the
1 discussion developed to the point where General Ojdanic says, Give me a
2 copy of the report. And it does not indicate that he was somebody who was
3 not given responsibility, quite the contrary.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, these are submissions later. I'm just trying
5 to understand why -- how the reference to the telegram containing the
6 draft --
7 MR. STAMP: Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Was relevant to working out the meaning of this
9 particular quotation.
10 MR. STAMP: Well, I --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: If they had been in the same document, I would have
12 understood the point. I'm now slightly baffled by the approach you've
14 MR. STAMP: The members of the collegium are discussing one
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
17 MR. STAMP: The document is referred -- the document is a
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, and Ojdanic --
20 MR. STAMP: And Ojdanic refers to it as a report --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: He doesn't have the report, the combat report, and
22 he maybe never got any combat reports. How can we conclude from reading
23 this whether he got combat reports on a regular basis or not? He didn't
24 have this one, obviously.
25 MR. STAMP: I do not represent to the witness or to the Court that
1 this says that he was receiving combat reports on a regular basis.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I understand that, Mr. Stamp, but anyway you
3 continue the way you want to.
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, Mr. Stamp, I would just like that we have
5 to discern between two, first is this telegraphic draft from the 3rd Army.
6 MR. STAMP: Yes.
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And the regular reports from the --
8 MR. STAMP: Yes.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: -- The regular combat reports. Now, as we go
10 through it we have to see that these two issues do not mix up because
11 there is one separate thing, that is, the third telegraphic draft from the
12 3rd Army, and then this -- where Ojdanic was asked to review and all, and
13 then there are the regular reports when he is complaining. So I think if
14 you keep this in mind, that will clarify things instead of baffling.
15 MR. STAMP: Very well.
16 JUDGE CHOWHAN: At least myself.
17 MR. STAMP: Very well. I'll move on from that. The exhibit is
18 P923 and I'd just invite the Court to have a look at it.
19 Q. Combat reports, regular combat reports by the armies are normally
20 sent to the operations section of the General Staff; is that correct?
21 A. They were sent to the General Staff, and they were received by the
22 operations sector. That was the part of the General Staff in charge of
24 Q. And the operations sector would compile from all those combat
25 reports that it received from the various armies a report which it
1 circulates among the members of the General Staff?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In which case General Ojdanic would be receiving the reports of
4 the operations centre which refers to reports from the various armies; is
5 that correct?
6 A. The General Staff does not function like that in the peacetime. A
7 report from the supreme commander doesn't go to the Presidency in
8 peacetime, it goes like that in wartime. So there was no written report
9 of the General Staff, it's just that operations report from army commands
10 were received and at collegium meetings there would be briefings if there
11 was something important to consider. From what I understood from this
12 collegium meeting, General Ojdanic wasn't receiving those reports and
13 that's why he requested them, so that he could have an informed opinion
14 and take part in the discussion. He wanted first-hand information.
15 Q. Wouldn't the combat reports or the daily operations reports that
16 were sent by the armies be registered in the archives of the operations
17 sector of the General Staff?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Are you saying --
20 A. -- They would --
21 Q. -- They would but he would not have access to those archives?
22 A. He could have had access to the archives, but why would he go
23 every day to the operations sector and ask them for them? He should have
24 received them ex officio, that's why he asked the Chief of the General
25 Staff that he receive the combat reports of the army. He was just
1 wondering and he was even protesting in a way over the fact that he wasn't
2 receiving them. That's my understanding.
3 Q. The other thing you say is that as the person who had to brief the
4 Chief of General Staff, they were necessary for his work to be done. Are
5 you saying that General Ojdanic remained as deputy Chief of General Staff
6 until the 22nd of June, 1998, and was so derelict in his duties that he
7 remained there without receiving combat reports from the armies and the
8 strategic groups?
9 A. I don't know really what you're asking me. I analysed the
10 documents that were available to me, not relationships within the General
11 Staff or the conduct of its individual members. In my report, in this
12 section, I speak of --
13 Q. No, no, General, General, you do make many statements about the
14 relationships in the General Staff and the conduct of individual members,
15 you do in your report. All I'm asking you is this: In your opinion as an
16 expert, wouldn't General Ojdanic be extremely derelict in his duty to
17 remain as deputy Chief of General Staff for a period of time without
18 getting operation reports from the armies and other strategic groups?
19 That's within your expertise to comment upon.
20 A. Well, from this document I concluded that he was a deputy Chief of
21 the General Staff who did not receive these reports.
22 Q. No --
23 A. That's how I read it.
24 Q. That's a factual conclusion that you're making that he did not
25 receive it. I represent to you that this document does not indicate that
1 he was not receiving them. What I'm asking you for now is your opinion as
2 an expert a deputy Chief of General Staff who does not receive the regular
3 operation reports from the strategic groups would be extremely derelict in
4 his duties; isn't that your view?
5 A. I don't know what you're asking me.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We've -- Mr. Radinovic, we've had repeated evidence
7 in this case of how meticulous a man General Ojdanic was, and Mr. Stamp is
8 saying to you a man like that surely wouldn't let this happen and not do
9 anything about it. It would show a dereliction of duty. What do you say
10 to that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Presiding Judge, this
12 paragraph that I've read from the collegium meeting where he says: "I
13 demand to receive combat reports ..." Speaks precisely to that. No deputy
14 Chief of General Staff likes to hear a demand worded in this way. He put
15 it very strongly, so he wanted these reports in order to be able to do his
17 JUDGE BONOMY: How frequently were these reports submitted?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The reports are sent every day,
19 interim reports were sent as necessary, as required.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And by this time, General Ojdanic had been in the
21 post for about seven weeks?
22 MR. STAMP:
23 Q. Or may I just remind you, you said, and it is evident before the
24 Court, that General Ojdanic was appointed deputy Chief of the General
25 Staff in 1996, in July 1996 --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, it's my mistake, there's a reference --
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. -- Two years.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the reference to June 1998?
5 MR. STAMP: June 1998 is the date when he's requesting -- when the
6 witness purports that he's requesting to receive daily operation reports,
7 22nd of June, 1998.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes, sorry, it is my mistake, it's a period of
9 two years. So is it not rather odd that he would let that period of time
10 elapse without receiving these or doing something about it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not saying that he
12 hadn't received a single report, but I do assert that he requested them.
13 So it's probably the case that he didn't receive them regularly. It is a
14 fact that struck me as a person who dealt with this problem, and that
15 seems to indicate that as the deputy General Ojdanic was not regularly
16 informed of what he should have been regularly informed. So he's saying
17 that: I demand that I be informed regularly, too, as deputy chief.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
19 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Did you check of any -- did you check about any
20 orders coming from his boss with whom he had fallen out, stating that he
21 should not be shown those reports? Did you come across any such order or
22 any such indication that these reports should find their way up, leaving
23 him behind, I mean taking a digression?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not.
25 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And then why didn't he put his house in order so
1 that this chain of command or the channel to which these reports go up is
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not a question for me; it's
4 probably a question for General Perisic.
5 MR. STAMP:
6 Q. Witness, that is a question for you. You are an expert.
7 A. I can say that that's not the natural course of things. It would
8 be normal that everyone in the chain of command would be authorised to
9 receive reports and to receive them. That's why I pointed this fact out.
10 This fact indicates that something was wrong. If the deputy wasn't
11 receiving reports regularly, that was something I could not miss, I could
12 not fail to mention.
13 Q. Witness, I suggest to you that in the extract I just showed you
14 from the collegium minutes of the 22nd of June, when General Ojdanic
15 requested to receive the report, singular, he was speaking of the special
16 telegram that had been sent to him, that had been sent to the chief of the
17 ground forces, not the daily operation reports, as you represent. Do
18 you --
19 A. According to the meaning it has in Serbian, I'm telling you he was
20 requesting to receive reports.
21 Q. Very well. Have you ever met General Ojdanic before 1999? Did
22 you know him?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Would you say you have known him very well?
25 A. Not too well.
1 Q. Have you spoken to him in preparation of this report or while you
2 were preparing this report?
3 A. No. We talked about many things, but not this report because I
4 thought that the report was my work, my obligation, and he had no
5 obligation with regard to it.
6 Q. So I take it that while you were preparing the report you had
7 conversations with him but you refrained from speaking about the report?
8 A. Yes, we never discussed my report.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Where did you meet him?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We met at the office of Mr. Visnjic.
11 I wanted to see him when he was released.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: When was that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the office of the Defence team in
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the point of you meeting Mr. Ojdanic other
16 than to discuss matters relating to the case?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to see him.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Why?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He is a prominent general -- rather,
20 he was a prominent general, he had been in detention, and I wanted to see
21 him just to say hello.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: This is a man that you don't know very well? I
23 find that very difficult to understand, bearing in mind the role that you
24 were asked to play in this case. Do you wish to comment further?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I believed, in view of the
1 role I'm playing in his defence, that it is only a matter of courtesy to
2 see him, to say hello, so ask after his health, to initiate that sort of
3 contact as a human being, to express concern and care because I simply had
4 that role. But I thought it made no sense to talk about my work because
5 it was my obligation and I had to rely on the documentation available to
6 me to produce a proper piece of work and I didn't need his assistance for
7 that. If I had needed his assistance, I would have requested an
8 interview, but I thought it was not necessary. I thought it was a matter
9 of good manners to come and see him.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Are we to conclude, therefore, that you have a
11 measure of personal sympathy for Mr. Ojdanic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I fail to understand your reason then for
14 wanting to see him.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like you to appreciate and
16 understand that, if you are able to. I did have a role in his defence and
17 I had a duty to make a report on his command competence, but I thought it
18 was a matter of elementary good manners to come and see him, say hello,
19 ask after his health, and extend some kind of moral support by doing so,
20 but no more than that.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me also make it clear that I could have
22 understood circumstances in which it would be appropriate for you to meet
23 him to discuss the case, but you say that did not happen.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That didn't happen for the simple
25 reason that I wanted to produce a report that would reflect my opinion
1 without any outside influence, because outside influence would only
2 disrupt my line of thinking and I did not want any of that.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP:
6 Q. Just to follow-up on that, how many times did you meet him at
7 Mr. Visnjic's office, once or more than once?
8 A. Once.
9 Q. Who invited you there? I mean, how was the meeting arranged?
10 A. I asked counsel Visnjic to enable me to see General Ojdanic. It
11 was my initiative because I thought -- I thought I should.
12 Q. Very well. I got into this because I thought from reading your
13 report that you had spoken to him about it. But, you know, what I think
14 doesn't really matter. Can I ask you about one or two things that you
15 have said. You said at paragraph 159, page 119 of your report, that the
16 Chief of the General Staff decided to wait ten days -- now, I don't want
17 to have to go through the whole thing because time is limited, but in the
18 context of the whole thing, about what you have discussed here, how is it
19 you became aware that the Chief of the General Staff decided to wait for
20 at least ten days? Because when I read it, it seemed to me that it is
21 only he who could have told you that. What is the source of this
22 information, that he decided to wait at least ten days?
23 A. Because he actually did wait until the 3rd of May. It was on the
24 3rd of May that he raised the issue of resubordination and the need to
25 review it.
1 Q. Well, let's read this sentence, General. You say that the Chief
2 of the General Staff decided to wait for at least ten days, especially as
3 the president had read that also in the combat report of SVK that the
4 Supreme Command received daily. In other words, you said he decided to
5 wait ten days because of, especially because of something. How did you
6 know that he decided to wait ten days for that reason unless he told you
8 A. Because I know he had decided to speak to him only the 3rd of May,
9 and that's 12 or 13 days from the order on resubordination. The order on
10 subordination was issued on the 17th, and this happened on the 3rd. If he
11 addressed the president on the 3rd, that means he had decided not to do it
12 earlier. It is completely clear to me that it was his decision to wait
13 for a while, expecting that the order would ultimately start working, that
14 with the passage of time resubordination would take place as planned.
15 Q. I'm focusing on the reason that you gave for the decision. You
16 know the reason he made the decision? You haven't explained that, it
17 seems to me, how you know the reason. Let's look at paragraph 214 --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, before you do that, you say in your
19 answer: "I know he had decided to speak to him only on the 3rd of
20 May ..."
21 How did you know that? We know that he did. You may be able to
22 say that he did speak to him on the 3rd of May and not before that, but
23 how do you know he had decided to speak to him on the 3rd of May?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is a style and the
25 style reflects the man, that's how I formulated it. Maybe it can be
1 expressed in another way. That's the way I expressed it. If the person
2 did not do that before the 3rd, that means to me that it was his decision
3 to wait for things to settle down and maybe start working, but since they
4 hadn't he decided to raise the issue on the 3rd. That's the way I worded
5 it. It doesn't mean that it's the best possible way of putting it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: This is from the top of my head, but is it not
7 possible that he had been trying to see Milosevic and there was no
8 suitable occasion?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is possible, too, but I'm more
10 inclined to think that he had decided to let a certain time pass because
11 with that kind of order against the background of two different systems,
12 it doesn't necessarily start working immediately. And after receiving
13 information from various sides, he ultimately decided to bring that issue
14 up again. That's the way I worded it, but it's not necessarily the best
15 way. It can be put in a different way as well I suppose.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it convenient to break now or do you want to
17 continue with the other question you have?
18 MR. STAMP: It's convenient to break now.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm sorry?
20 MR. STAMP: It's convenient to break now, I'm sorry.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we have to have a break now at this stage,
22 Mr. Radinovic, as yesterday, so will you please leave the courtroom with
23 the usher and we will resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: One matter before the witness comes back in,
3 Mr. Stamp, I heard you mention the constraints of time when you were
4 asking questions of the witness. This is not a situation as we see it
5 where because Mr. Visnjic uses 15 minutes and then a report which is the
6 equivalent of a 92 ter statement, that you have an obligation to confine
7 yourself if possible to a particular amount of time. I can make it clear
8 now that I will have a number of questions for the witness on various
9 areas. Now, with that guidance, can you give us some indication of timing
10 so that appropriate arrangements can be made for the witness in case he
11 has to stay a bit longer than anticipated.
12 MR. STAMP: I think in that case it's probable that he will have
13 to return tomorrow because I would take up most, I think, of the day, if
14 not all.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, I understand that was concerning you,
16 Mr. Visnjic. It's a matter for you to make appropriate arrangements, but
17 I think it highly likely that he will be here tomorrow.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't believe that
19 will be a problem. I just needed to know and to hear from Mr. Stamp where
20 he might finish today so that we might organize something. Otherwise,
21 there's no problem at all but of course as expeditiously as we can manage
22 it would be the best.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 We can have the witness now.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. You said at paragraph 19, page 66 of the report, and I'll just
4 read the sentence. You made an assertion and then you said that: "That
5 can be concluded on the basis of the fact that Ojdanic did not attend a
6 single meeting with S. Milosevic at which a decision the future engagement
7 of the army was taken." On what basis do you make this statement of fact
8 that he never attended a meeting with Slobodan Milosevic where such
9 matters were discussed? How do you know that?
10 A. On the basis from the minutes of the meetings of the Supreme
11 Defence Council, in which it is indicated who were present.
12 Q. But the statement here does not indicate that you are speaking
13 about meetings of the Supreme Defence Council. It speaks -- it says "a
14 single meeting," meeting in general. Are you saying now that you're
15 referring to meetings of the Supreme Defence Council?
16 A. That is only at those meetings that decisions about the use of the
17 army can be taken.
18 Q. So I take it your answer is yes?
19 A. I have said that General Ojdanic did not attend meetings at which
20 decisions are taken on the engagement of the army. Now, whether he had
21 private meetings, I don't know, nor could I know, nor was I able to follow
23 Q. You also said at paragraph 214, page 149, in respect to an
24 aide-memoire that he ordered to be drafted -- to be drawn up:
25 "Its production instilled fresh confidence both in those
1 implementing it and the Chief of General Staff, chief of the Supreme
2 Command Staff, who was permanently worried that violations of
3 international law and humanitarian law might occur."
4 A. Can you tell me where you're quoting from. I haven't managed to
5 find it.
6 Q. It's paragraph 214 at page 149, that's the second section.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] 132 in the B/C/S.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. Now, these are statements about --
10 A. Which paragraph?
11 Q. 214.
12 A. It's not page 132. It is page 129.
13 Q. Those are statements about his state of mind: Production
14 instilled fresh confidence in him and that he was permanently worried, who
15 told you about that? How did you know what he was thinking?
16 A. Nobody told me. It was my conclusion drawn on the basis of
17 demands made repeatedly for respect of ethic warfare.
18 Q. Let's turn to another area of your report. You speak, and to save
19 time I won't go into each and every one. You speak I think from
20 paragraphs -- paragraph 115 at page 41 in the English version forward
21 about the motives and objectives of the NATO involvement and you make
22 certain conclusions.
23 A. What page are you referring to, please?
24 Q. I'm afraid I have the English page, paragraph 115 in the first
1 A. I see, yes.
2 Q. The conclusions and the facts that you assert in respect to the
3 NATO involvement, I think you indicate on the basis of footnote 61 were
4 arrived at from a magazine of the VJ, Novi Glasnik, and I think if you
5 look at footnote 61 that's the --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. These have been controversial matters here to some degree. Did
8 you consider what General Naumann and Ambassador Petritsch said in respect
9 to the involvement of NATO and the negotiations leading up to the
10 involvement of NATO in March, did you?
11 A. Yes, I did take into consideration what they said. But I abided
12 by the operative reports and to the General Staff, that was for me of
13 greater relevance than Petritsch and Naumann.
14 Q. Well, what you cited here in respect to that section were not the
15 operative reports --
16 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry. [Interpretation] Page 39, the witness
17 said operative reports and assessments of the General Staff, page 39, line
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
21 Q. You don't, in your report, refer to any aspect of what
22 General Naumann or Ambassador Petritsch had to say about the NATO
23 intervention, do you? Well, I represent that you do not. The question is
24 this: As an expert, where there are matters of controversy, would it not
25 have been appropriate if you would decide to reject one side of the
1 controversy, to analyse it in your report and explain why you decided to
2 reject it?
3 A. A serious handicap for my report which cannot be made up for is
4 the fact that I didn't have the operative documents of NATO and the KLA.
5 That is the most relevant part of the documents that was missing.
6 Unfortunately, I couldn't make up for this because I didn't have these
7 documents. Everything else is of lesser significance. If I had analysed
8 the views of all those who had made comments about that conflict, I would
9 never have completed the report. I simply chose this line of approach.
10 My primary source are the operative documents and secondary documents only
11 to the extent necessary when the primary documents were lacking.
12 Q. Well, Witness, you know in this case that General Naumann and
13 Ambassador Petritsch testified about these events that you submit in many
14 pages of your report stating facts and conclusions upon. You're saying
15 you think it is appropriate - and I'd like to read what you said - merely
16 to adopt a line of approach of using the documents from the VJ, from one
17 side of the controversy, to draw your conclusions. You think that is
18 appropriate for an expert to do?
19 A. Well, then you haven't heard a part of my answer. It is my
20 conviction that this was necessary because I didn't have the documents of
21 the other side, because only then if I had those documents would my report
22 be fully credible. And only then could we discuss the issue.
23 Unfortunately, I didn't receive those documents; why, I don't know, it
24 isn't clear to me. I did ask the other side for those documents.
25 Q. You said you looked at what Naumann said. What -- what document
1 in respect to General Naumann did you analyse or study?
2 A. I can't remember now whether it was a report or a minute or
3 transcript. I really can't remember. I don't even know exactly what he
4 said, I can't remember now. If you have a specific source in mind, then
5 you can ask me for my opinion about it.
6 Q. I'm asking about methodology now. If we were to go into what --
7 A. I have explained the methodology. You may agree with me or not.
8 You may say this is not a good methodology, but it was my methodology. I
9 felt that for a serious analysis I needed to have the sources of both
10 sides, which I didn't. I only had the sources of one side.
11 Q. General, I make no judgement about your methodology, rest assured
12 on that. I'm just asking questions right now.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the transcript, on
15 page 41, line 3, the witness said I asked for these documents from the
16 office, not from the other side, he probably meant the attorney's office
17 and not from the other side.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. Do you recall what documents in respect to these negotiations that
21 you spoke about in this part of your report emanating from
22 Ambassador Petritsch that you analysed?
23 A. You could have seen in my report that I did not engage in
24 negotiations, except to the extent they provided a general context for the
25 command role of General Ojdanic. I didn't deal with Rambouillet either, I
1 just noted it as an event that preceded the war in 1999 because I didn't
2 feel that that was the subject of my expertise. Because this would have
3 led me to analyse arguments that are outside this topic.
4 Q. Yes, but you are not focused on the question I asked. You make
5 many statements about the background leading up to the international
6 intervention in Kosovo. You met with the Defence and you know - this is
7 what you have said - that Ambassador Petritsch had much to say about that.
8 All I'm asking is this: What documents emanating from Ambassador
9 Petritsch or representing what Ambassador Petritsch has said about these
10 matters did you analyse?
11 A. I did not analyse the documents of Ambassador Petritsch.
12 Q. You told me earlier that you did I think. Anyway, be that as it
13 may --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. -- Mr. Radinovic, were you asked to read any of
15 the evidence in this case?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand, I'm sorry?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Were you asked to read any of the transcripts of
18 evidence in this case?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't asked to. I did read
20 some of the transcripts, I followed the proceedings on the internet, and I
21 am relatively well-informed about what went on in these proceedings. But
22 I had to make a selection of documents. I do refer to transcripts of some
23 testimonies in the report.
24 MR. STAMP: May I.
25 Q. You made various unsubstantiated statements in the report,
1 paragraphs 135, page 46; paragraph 116; paragraph 117; paragraph 134, we
2 don't have time to go through all of them, but these are about NATO's
3 motives in the bombardment, NATO's targeting in the bombardment, and I
4 don't see where you have considered the press releases from NATO in
5 respect to these bombardments. Did you consider these documents giving a
6 different perspective that were available -- available to the public at
7 the time? Or I should ask you: Weren't you aware that NATO gave press
8 releases on a daily basis on the bombing of targets in Serbia? Were you
9 aware of that?
10 A. I was aware of the fact that the porte-parole made daily
11 statements and I heard some of them, but that is not documentation that I
12 was interested in.
13 Q. What's a porte-parole, I beg your pardon --
14 A. Jamie Shea, porte-parole of NATO, spokesman, if I remember well.
15 Q. I take your answer that notwithstanding these many paragraphs in
16 making statements in your report, your expert report about NATO and its
17 motives and objectives, you were not interested in what they had to say,
18 that is your answer, you were not interested in their contemporaneous
19 representations of their motives. Can I ask you if I can move on, have
20 you --
21 A. I wish to answer this question with the Court's permission.
22 Q. Very well.
23 A. Until the very last moment, that is, until I finished the first
24 version of my report, I had expected to receive NATO reports. There's no
25 reasonable reason for me not to receive them. I didn't study newspaper
1 reports. I wanted the documents, the relevant documents, so I didn't
2 ignore things. I was expecting to receive the real, the relevant
3 documents. But to tell you the truth, I avoid using newspaper articles,
4 only if I have absolutely no other source, then as an indication I may use
5 them. But newspapers are, in principle, an unreliable source.
6 Q. You're expecting to receive these relevant documents from whom?
7 A. From the Defence offices, the Defence counsel office. It was
8 their duty to provide me with documents.
9 Q. Well, let's not blame the Defence. Do you know that NATO has an
10 official web site, do you know that?
11 A. Even lesser-important institutions have a web site. I'm quite
12 sure NATO does.
13 Q. Did you know that?
14 A. Yes, I did. But I'm a conservative sort of person, I'm quite
15 advanced in age. I use a pencil. I don't use a PC. I'm simply that sort
16 of person. You can crucify me, but that's who I am.
17 Q. Okay. So that is why I take it that you never consulted the
18 official NATO web site, to get their version of events so that you could
19 analyse them?
20 A. I did look and request their official documents on the basis of
21 which they intervened so that we could see what went on, and if I -- as I
22 didn't receive that, why would I look for newspapers and internet
23 presentations which --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I don't want to --
25 A. Which in my view cannot be treated as a primary source.
1 Q. That is why I'm directing you now to focus on the official NATO
2 web site that you said you're aware of. I just want you for the record to
3 tell us whether or not you did not look at it to see what they were saying
4 about their motivations. So it's either: Yes, you do; no, you did not.
5 And I just want that for the record.
6 A. No, I didn't, but --
7 Q. Very well --
8 A. -- I felt, indeed, the results of what they did.
9 Q. And that emotion which you just expressed has impacted on the
10 manner in which you prepare your report, in the sense that you do not
11 refer to what the NATO or what the international bodies have to say about
12 those events that you described; is that correct, that you were
13 affected -- sorry?
14 A. No. No, no. I don't agree with you --
15 Q. You said --
16 A. -- In your general assessment.
17 Q. You said if I have the results of what NATO did, what do you mean
18 by that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What do you mean by that?
21 A. I mean the bombardment of the country. I personally, emotionally,
22 in material terms, in every other respect.
23 Q. Very well.
24 A. In material terms, personally, and emotionally, surely that
25 doesn't need any further elaboration. This is common knowledge.
1 Q. I understand that, but what I thought you're saying because you
2 said it in response to a question I asked you about NATO sources of
3 information is that you were saying based on the emotional, personal
4 effects of the result of the NATO bombing you did not reflect upon NATO's
5 version of the events. Is that what you're saying?
6 A. No, no, that's not what I'm saying.
7 Q. Do you -- you spoke about the use of depleted uranium in your
8 report. Now, I may or may not agree with you what you have to say, I'm
9 not asking you about the truth of what you're saying in respect to the
10 depleted uranium. What are your sources for your assertions in respect to
11 that? You didn't give us that in your report.
12 A. It's in the Novi Glasnik, there's a chapter in there dealing with
13 depleted uranium --
14 Q. So you took your -- you took your facts from that magazine, which
15 advocates a position of the Yugoslav Army, without citing it?
16 A. I don't understand what you mean by advocating or quoting. Let me
17 explain what I have to say by your leave.
18 Q. I'll rephrase the question. What I'm saying -- what I'd like to
19 ask you is this: Do you have any personal expertise in -- or study in
20 depleted uranium?
21 A. Personally, no, I'm not an expert on depleted uranium. I simply
22 referred to --
23 Q. But --
24 A. -- In Novi Glasnik there's something about it. I think I also saw
25 a document sent by NATO concerning places targeted by depleted uranium in
1 Serbia with -- and these were the facts that I based my conclusion on. As
2 you can see, I did not go into this in detail. I simply listed it as one
3 of the consequences. I didn't delve into it any further than that.
4 Q. General, with respect, you did not simply list it as one of your
5 conclusions; you spent at least two paragraphs discussing it. Do you feel
6 at liberty to insert into your report matters that fall outside of what
7 you have just told us now, your field of expertise, do you feel at liberty
8 to do so?
9 A. The consequences of the NATO aggression of course belong in this
10 military expert report, but they are not the central topic. They simply
11 provide the context for General Ojdanic's activity, and that's the extent
12 to which I dealt with them. I simply listed the consequences indicating
13 the sort of consequences they were, what their significance was, what they
14 meant, referring of course to the experts who described them.
15 Q. Very well. Let's move on. You -- did you have any experience in
16 the -- in a command position in the General Staff at any time in your
18 A. Well, there are no command positions in the General Staff, you
20 Q. Very well. Very well.
21 A. But leading positions, yes. In 1984, or rather, 1983 to 1986 I
22 was chief of a section in the operative administration of the General
23 Staff, and the name of the section was the section for development and
24 military doctrine. And that was a time when the then-Yugoslav Army was
25 about to embark on a large-scale organization. I was in charge of that
1 project in the General Staff.
2 Q. Very well. Have you command experience of operational or
3 strategic groups?
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. You spoke about Grom 98 or -- before I move on to that topic I
6 think perhaps we should talk a little bit more about the responsibilities
7 of General Ojdanic. You sought, it seemed to me, at paragraphs 176 to
8 177 - and that's in the second part, you sought to assert that
9 General Ojdanic had no ability to exert his influence, his personal
10 influence, on units in the field. If you look at the last couple
11 sentences in paragraph 176 you will see that that is exactly what you
12 said. However, is it not true that he could nonetheless as Chief of
13 General Staff exert his influence on the activities in the field,
14 particularly in Kosovo, notwithstanding that he was 3 or 400 miles away,
15 through various instruments like inspections and a proper reporting chain,
16 could he not?
17 A. Well, that's precisely what I said. I said that was the only he
18 could exert an influence.
19 Q. As -- he could call on the commanders in the field to report to
20 him, could he not, if he so desired?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. He could send appropriate senior personnel to the field to make
23 investigations and inspections, could he not?
24 A. Yes, and he did.
25 Q. And he could talk to the commanders in the field by radio, by a
1 wire, and by other means, could he not?
2 A. Yes, he could, but I don't know whether he did or not. He could,
3 of course.
4 Q. He could suspend commanders in the field, could he not?
5 A. If he had reason to do so, he could. I never found any reason for
6 him to do so.
7 Q. So maybe I just had the wrong impression. You will agree with me,
8 therefore, that although he, because of some circumstances you describe,
9 found it impractical to himself going to the field, based on the
10 established rules he still had effective control of his commanders in the
12 A. Well, whether he had effective control or not, I don't know.
13 That's for someone else to establish.
14 Q. No, no, no --
15 A. But --
16 Q. Witness --
17 A. -- What I tried to show here is what kind of control he could have
19 Q. But you -- you are the expert, you reviewed the documents, you --
20 A. Yes --
21 Q. You should be --
22 A. -- I reviewed all the documents.
23 Q. -- You should be able to answer that question whether it is your
24 view that he had effective control of his commanders in the field or
25 whether he was a general who did not have effective command of his
1 commanders in the field?
2 A. My conclusion, which I stated in the report is that within the
3 scope of his competence he carried out his job very well and he carried
4 out all his duties very efficiently, all within the sphere of his
6 Q. I take it then --
7 A. Using the methods and means he had at his disposal, that is,
8 reports, controls, or inspections, and preventive action.
9 Q. He was the Chief of General Staff who was in charge of and
10 responsible for the preparation of plans Grom 2 and 3 -- well, plans Grom
11 or code-named Grom in January and February 1999, was he not?
12 A. Grom 3 in January, I'm sure that Grom 1998 had two stages: Grom 1
13 and Grom 2. Grom 3 was only from January 1999, and it refers to the
14 prevention of forcible entry of a multi-national brigade into Kosovo.
15 Grom 1 was protecting the state border and Grom 2 was breaking up the
16 terrorist Siptar forces should there be a mass armed rebellion. One can
17 say then that General Ojdanic -- well, that Grom 3 was developed under his
18 mandate, whereas Grom 1 and Grom 2 were developed previously under
20 Q. Very well. Are you aware that before the NATO intervention on the
21 24th of March he deployed units into Kosovo for activities against the
22 KLA, and that's in February and early March 1999?
23 A. I am aware of this, but I would have to see what document this is
24 about and then we can discuss it. I know that this did happen, yes.
25 Q. And you know that he deployed troops from outside of Kosovo into
1 Kosovo for engagements against the KLA in February and March 1999 prior to
2 the NATO intervention?
3 A. Yes, I do know that, and as far as I was able to follow this
4 process -- these proceedings, General Krga testified about this in greater
5 detail and I have nothing to add to what he said. I anticipated what he
6 said in my report.
7 Q. We'll return to that. I wish to take you to paragraph 58 and the
8 succeeding paragraphs. That's paragraph 58 at page 87, so I think it
9 would be the second part of part -- this is under the chapter: "The chain
10 of command in the 1999 war." And I think your thesis is that the General
11 Staff was not a level of command in the VJ. I think that's what you said
12 in paragraph 57.
13 A. You said another paragraph --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
15 A. Yes, all right.
16 Q. And further at paragraph 64 you say that the Chief of General
17 Staff had no effective command competence over strategic formations.
18 A. Can you tell me what part this refers to so I can see exactly what
19 it says.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that in paragraph 64?
21 MR. STAMP: It's 64 to 66 I see here, I'm sorry, I probably should
22 just read the passage.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please do.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. In paragraph 64 you said: "Pursuant to this article," and that's
1 article 6 which we will come to, "the unequivocal conclusion follows that
2 the chief of General Staff does not have direct competence of command that
3 it automatically flow from his position in the chain of command as is the
4 case with commands and commanders at all levels but the Chief of General
5 Staff has his control competencies which are below the command level.
6 Everything pertaining to the Chief of General Staff powers in respect of
7 command and this primarily refers to the issues of certain command
8 documents is linked to the powers of the president of the republic."
9 Then at paragraph 66 you go on to say: "Thus a chain that is a
10 vertical chain of command in the VJ went from the VSO as the Supreme
11 Command and the president of the FRY the supreme commander, the commands
12 of the armies, the air force and the air defence, and navy commands as the
13 commands of the strategic groups and from them to the corps commanders."
14 So you are saying that the Chief of General Staff had no command
15 competencies over these strategic formations, is that correct, in the
16 chain of command?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So he --
19 A. No, that's not correct. You're reading one thing and concluding
20 something else.
21 Q. Very well. Tell us then, what are his command competencies
22 from -- that you're referring to that he has?
23 A. The General Staff under the Law on the Army in Article 5 is a
24 professional staff organ for the preparation and the use of the army.
25 That's the definition of the General Staff, and based on this I drew
1 conclusions on the command authorities in this case of General Ojdanic,
2 and I said that this article defining the General Staff cannot be
3 interpreted in such a way as to establish that the General Staff is a
4 separate level of command. Rather, it is an expert or professional and
5 staff element of command. In the professional or expert sense, it deals
6 with preparation, deployment, equipping, and building up the army. In the
7 staff part of its activities, it deals with planning, operative planning,
8 plans of use, proposing decisions, and so on. That's the sphere of
9 activity of the General Staff. It is not a command, it is not a command.
10 Had the legislator envisaged it as a command, the legislator would have
11 defined it as such. So I can only say what it says in the legislation and
12 also in doctrinal terms. This is how it is in all armies everywhere.
13 Q. Maybe --
14 A. Let me digress a little. There's a wonderful book called: "The
15 brain of the army" --
16 Q. You were --
17 MR. STAMP: Mr. Visnjic is on his feet.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know whether
20 this will cause problems later on because of the interpretation, but on
21 page 53, line 5, the General said "rukovodna ovlastenja." I think it's
22 different -- this refers to control, not command. So these are two
23 different terms and two different concepts. To avoid confusion --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the position is noted. The witness has heard
25 what you've said, but it is a matter you can also raise in re-examination
1 if it's controversial as it may be.
2 MR. VISNJIC: Yes, I'm just worried about translation and maybe --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed, it's one I think to be clarified later if
4 you feel it's still necessary.
5 Mr. Stamp.
6 MR. STAMP: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. You are speaking about the staff, General Staff. The question I
8 asked you was about the command competencies of General Ojdanic, the Chief
9 of General Staff. So -- and the question was: What are his command
10 competencies in respect to the strategic groups, the armies, for example,
11 the 3rd Army?
12 A. The Chief of General Staff, that is, the chief of Supreme Command
13 Staff in wartime, has towards the 3rd Army command exactly the role
14 prescribed for him as the Chief of the General Staff; that is, he receives
15 information from the 3rd Army command as to what they're doing he receives
16 information from combat reports, inspection reports, et cetera, and on
17 that basis he studies the enemy and prepares proposals for the supreme
18 commander as to how to engage the 3rd Army. Once the supreme commander
19 accepts these proposals, the Chief of General Staff or the chief of
20 Supreme Command Staff is then duty-bound to implement this in the form of
21 appropriate directives, orders, commands, et cetera, addressed to the 3rd
22 Army and the 3rd Army is duty-bound to execute them. In that sense, the
23 Chief of General Staff has great control powers, but here I dealt with the
24 distinction between control and command, and I refuted the assertion that
25 the General Staff was a separate level of command, it is not. It is
1 instead a professional and staff organ within the Supreme Command with
2 great control powers.
3 Q. I'm not sure if I understand --
4 A. Well, that's a professional issue, it's not easy to understand.
5 Q. Very well --
6 A. It is a professional matter.
7 Q. So you're saying that the Chief of the General Staff does not have
8 direct command competencies then in respect to the armies?
9 A. No. He has them only as the chief of Supreme Command Staff, and
10 only in the measure in which he is authorised to have them as [as
11 interpreted] the supreme commander, that is, the president of the state.
12 Q. Very well. Maybe we could clarify this with a look at the
13 documents. Well, firstly, Article 6 of the Law of Defence which you quote
14 in paragraph 62 --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, just for the clarification,
17 55, 16, I believe instead of to have them as the supreme commander --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: By --
19 MR. ZECEVIC: It should say by the supreme commander.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Article 6 which you quote in paragraph 62 --
23 A. Can we see that Article 6?
24 Q. You quote it in paragraph 62 of your report.
25 A. That's the Law on the Army, not the Law on Defence.
1 Q. It says: "For the execution of documents brought in by the
2 president of the republic and of duties of commanding the army as well as
3 duties laid down under this law, the Chief of General Staff shall bring in
4 rules, orders, commands, instructions, and similar documents."
5 I ask you is this saying that the Chief of General Staff shall
6 bring rules, orders, and commands for the execution of his duties in
7 commanding the army? Doesn't Article 6 say he has command and commands
8 the army?
9 A. No --
10 Q. It does not --
11 A. No. Article 6 does not say that say that he has command over the
12 army. It's rather that the three key documents: The constitution, the
13 Law on the Army, and the Law on Defence say instead, stipulate instead,
14 that it is the head of state that commands the army in keeping with
15 decisions of the Supreme Defence Council. The General Staff is not
16 mentioned at all. Speaking of original competence for command, the
17 General Staff is not in the picture. The General Staff is in the picture
18 as the professional and staff organ of the army without which the army
19 cannot function, nor can it play its role. And indeed, the General Staff
20 has great powers and responsibility. Like all General Staffs of the
21 world, it has that great professional and staff role.
22 Q. Now, I agree with you, General, that the commander, the supreme
23 commander, is the president of the republic. What I take issue, just to
24 be clear, is that I think you make the assertion in the report that the
25 Chief of the General Staff has no direct command competencies as Chief of
1 the General Staff in respect to the armies and other strategic groups.
2 I'd like to -- you to have a look at a particular document and comment on
3 it, it's P1041. Perhaps we could start with the -- just have a look at
4 the first page there in B/C/S and read it for us. May I just say the
5 first page in B/C/S does not appear on e-court in English.
6 Could you just read --
7 A. Yes, I can see it. You mean the curriculum and syllabus?
8 Q. Could you read what is on the first page, please.
9 A. "Curriculum and syllabus for post-graduate studies leading to the
10 academic degree of bachelor of science at the military academy of the Army
11 of Yugoslavia."
12 MR. STAMP: And could we go to page 2, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Tactics" was the last word on the
14 front page. Can you zoom in a bit so I can see better?
15 MR. STAMP:
16 Q. I'm sorry --
17 A. I have no idea what this is.
18 MR. STAMP: Can we go to page 7 in the B/C/S. This is in the
19 English version for some reason.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is some kind of certificate.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. A candidate, a reader, at post-graduate studies --
24 Q. May I just indicate that the document is a manual of command and
25 control in the VJ, but the -- there are some parts of it in e-court which
1 are not accurate. That needs to be rectified. I only discovered this
2 last night, but -- and some parts of it are not in the English version.
3 But there we have page 7.
4 Can you tell us what that -- who the authors are of this document?
5 A. These names don't mean anything to me. I don't know when this was
6 done. It must have been at a time when I was no longer in the army. I
7 know some of these people. I happen to know the expert editor,
8 Professor Milan Karajovic. I know Mrs. Radonjic, who was the linguistic
9 editor. I don't know the others, though.
10 Q. Who is the expert editor Professor Major-General Karajovic?
11 A. For a while he was chief of personnel, later chief of the military
12 academy; unfortunately, he died about a year ago.
13 MR. STAMP: Can we have a look at page 97 in the English e-court
14 which corresponds to page 138 in the B/C/S e-court.
15 Q. And if you look at paragraph 2.3.
16 A. They retell Article 5 of the Law on the Army. The first sentence
17 is practically copied from that article.
18 Q. Just have a look at it. There's one part of it. The last two
19 sentences of this section read -- reads -- read that -- and we have take
20 all of this in context, but I just want to focus on the last two
22 "The commanders of armies, the air force, and anti-aircraft
23 defence, and the navy are responsible to the Chief of General Staff of the
24 army, as are the commandants of units and temporary compositions
25 immediately subordinate to him," I stress the words "immediately
1 subordinate to him in the execution of the affairs of command and
2 control," and I stress the word "command and control of the army put into
3 a sphere of competence by law and other regulations and in the
4 accomplishment of instruments of command of the president of FRY, the
5 Chief of the General Staff of the army commands the army via commandants
6 of the strategic units and temporary strategic compositions and other
7 officers who are immediately subordinate to him."
8 Do you agree with that statement as to the competencies of the
9 Chief of General Staff?
10 A. On certain points I don't agree with this because it interprets
11 the place of General Staff in the system of commanding the army beyond
12 what I analysed and evaluated, and I believe beyond the Article 5 of the
13 Law on the Army. Another thing, this is a manual and a manual is a
14 temporary document for decision-making and for training and education, and
15 what is relevant to me is interpretation of the laws and principles of
16 doctrine. This as a manual is a lower-ranking document and I see the role
17 of the General Staff a bit differently to what is described here and I
18 have already tried to explain that in answering the previous question of
20 Q. Have you reviewed the manual of command and control of the VJ
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you review this part of it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you're saying that your opinion is higher-ranking to the
1 manual of the VJ, manual of command and control of the VJ; that is your
3 A. No, that is not what I said --
4 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
5 A. I only said that the sources I invoked and referred to -- well,
6 don't put words in my mouth that I didn't say. I have to respond when you
7 are trying to misrepresent my evidence --
8 Q. No, no, I am not. I just want to know if you thought that the --
9 your opinion was at a higher ranking level. That's the expression you
10 used. You said it was a lower-ranking document. That's why I asked, and
11 I am only asking questions, if you thought your opinion --
12 A. It is of lower relevance than the law and the rules of procedure.
13 The original authentic document's ruling military organization and its
15 Q. Is the manual circulated to members of the command of the various
16 commands of the various strategic and operational formation of the VJ?
17 A. To tell you the truth, I don't know because I was not in the army
18 at the time when this was written, but I don't think it is compulsory. I
19 think it is kept in libraries that exist attached to every command. It is
20 available material. I don't think this was distributed, but I'm just
22 Q. Very well.
23 A. Anyway, there is no need to distribute it on a compulsory basis to
24 commanding officers when it is available in the library. It is not a
25 document that they should be guided by.
1 Q. But do they study that command staff training programmes? Is it a
2 part of the curriculum of study for command staff?
3 A. When I trained them, and I used to head the department of strategy
4 in the school of national defence, I taught them about the General Staff
5 as an expert in staff organ, not the way they are teaching here. You have
6 heard from other very competent witnesses opinions that differ from mine,
7 but this is my opinion.
8 Q. Very well. I represent to you that this manual is dated 1997 and
9 was the -- was operative at the relevant time. When did you teach?
10 A. I taught before 1993, unfortunately or luckily I was retired in
12 Q. You taught in the days of the old JNA?
13 A. Yes, yes, and in the Army of Yugoslavia as well.
14 Q. You will agree with me that the period of the 1990s in the JNA and
15 Army of Yugoslavia was a period of ferment, if you can call it that,
16 things were boiling up and changing at a very rapid pace after you
17 retired; you will agree with that?
18 A. Well, all the changes that happened before I retired remained in
19 place afterwards all the way until 1999. Nothing changed in that period.
20 I left the Army of Yugoslavia. I was retired from the Army of Yugoslavia
21 where the General Staff was headed by General Ojdanic. Nothing changed
22 there in the organization and the establishment, although the people
23 changed. During my service, the Law on Defence, the Law on the Army, the
24 constitution were already adopted, all that happened while I was still in
25 the army and I was in the position of head of department for strategy in
1 the department -- in the Ministry of Defence, so I followed these things.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Strategy and policy, Interpreter's correction.
3 MR. STAMP:
4 Q. We have had evidence from a variety of people in this case --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 62, line 3, I
7 think the General said that he was retired from the same army in which
8 General Ojdanic served, not the army commanded by General Ojdanic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the same army I said in which
10 General Ojdanic was Chief of General Staff in 1999. Nothing had changed
11 from my retirement until 1999.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Stamp.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. General Ojdanic has signed a significant amount of orders that we
16 have. He does not sign them as a delegate of the supreme commander, of
17 the president, he signs them in his own capacity as chief of the Supreme
18 Command, Chief of the General Staff. Does that indicate to you that he
19 had independent command and was not like a Chief of Staff of a strategic
20 or operational group?
21 A. Let me try to simplify things. If the Supreme Defence Council and
22 the president of the state had supreme command, then what kind of supreme
23 command would be in the hands of Chief of General Staff if he were
24 commanding military formations? That would be a classical case of
25 parallel tracks. That's why the General Staff had the role of an expert
1 and staff body with great responsibility and great competences. But their
2 command competences were only delegated to them by the president of the
3 republic. Any enactments of command were issued by the General Staff only
4 on the authority of the president of the supreme commander. That's what I
5 know. I know of course that General Ojdanic issued and signed all kinds
6 of ...
7 Q. We know that the president of the FRY was the supreme commander
8 and General Ojdanic would have to act within the ambit of the authority of
9 the supreme commander.
10 A. And the law.
11 Q. And the law. But do you know of any law or regulation that
12 describes General Ojdanic's role as a delegate of the supreme commander?
13 A. No, that doesn't exist.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
15 A. What exists is the Law on the Army from which you can see that.
16 Q. Well, when you say you can see that, that is your interpretation
17 or the interpretation that you represent to us now?
18 A. I can only give you my interpretation; I can't give you anybody
19 else's. That's my reading of the law and legislative enactments governing
20 command, and you invited me here as an expert. I cannot speak in any
21 other role.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We had some discussion yesterday about the
23 execution of tasks given to officers at lower level, and it was plain from
24 your evidence and indeed other evidence in this case that the officer who
25 has a task to undertake has a discretion in how to do, and he has
1 authority over the various units which are further down the scale than he
2 is. Is it conceivable that the supreme commander or the Supreme Defence
3 Council might decide, issue a decision, to the effect that the KLA have to
4 be attacked with all forces available to the Yugoslav Army and give that
5 instruction to the Chief of the General Staff to execute and leave it to
6 him to decide what instructions to give to the various armies to carry out
7 that task? Or is that just an inconceivable hypothesis?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Supreme Command issues and makes
9 strategic decisions, whereas the Supreme Command Staff proposes decisions.
10 Thus, the Supreme Command does not have an apparatus that would actually
11 draft decisions or documents; that's what the Supreme Command Staff does.
12 And that is where the chief comes in. He prepares the decision on
13 deployment and engagement of the army. He submits that draft for approval
14 to the president, that is, the supreme commander. And once the president
15 agrees and approves, then the Chief of the General Staff and the chief of
16 the Supreme Command Staff start elaborating it together with their staff
17 and conveying it to the subordinates. That's the mechanism of command.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It's one thing just to look at the 3rd Army in
19 isolation, but the example I'm giving you envisages the use of all forces,
20 so you've got the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd Army, you have the navy and the
21 air force. Once this decision is made and issued, who actually
22 coordinates the activities of these various groups? There must be some
23 overall commander who is then executing the supreme commander's order.
24 Now, how does that -- how would that work?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the job of the Supreme
1 Command Staff, the operative coordination is performed by the Supreme
2 Command Staff, and that's where the chief of the Supreme Command Staff has
3 a key role. But all my interventions, all my writing regarding the Chief
4 of General Staff or the chief of Supreme Command Staff were geared to
5 indicate that it was not a parallel command. They cannot have direct
6 command over the armies if it is the supreme commander who has direct
7 command of the armies. That cannot be true. That was why I said that
8 what is written in the manual cannot be quite true. You defined it very
9 well. It is precisely that role that the Supreme Command Staff has.
10 After a decision a made, the Supreme Command Staff has the job of
11 coordinating everything at the level of strategic groups and prepares
12 decisions for follow-up actions.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Now we may be going to part company. That sounds
14 to me like giving the Chief of the General Staff command competencies.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He does have competencies. He's not
16 without any kind of responsibility in that sense, but that responsibility
17 has been delegated to him. It is not original to his post. It has been
18 delegated to him by the Supreme Command. Of course he has
19 responsibilities in that sense. As for -- he is responsible for the
20 behaviour of the commanders of strategic groups, certainly, there's no
21 dispute about that. I'm just saying that the General Staff is not a
22 separate command level, because if it was a separate level then it would
23 have to be above the whole army, then above whom would the Supreme Command
24 be and the supreme commander? So his professional staff is the
25 professional body. When we're talking about the use of the army, the
1 General Staff takes over all the operative functions, planning,
2 organizational, control, and everything else that relates to collective
3 [as interpreted] decision-making.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand entirely your point about parallel
5 lines of command, but is what you're describing now not simply or does it
6 not simply put the Chief of the General Staff into the chain of command
7 but under the supreme commander?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He's certainly in the Supreme
9 Command. He cannot dissociate himself from what is happening in the
10 system of strategic command. I never claimed anything like that. It is
11 quite clear to me. I'm endeavouring to convey this position of mine. The
12 General Staff in peacetime practically has control over everything
13 happening in the army because the supreme commander deals with
14 statesmanship, he doesn't deal with the army. But when we're talking
15 about command we have in mind primarily wartime or other extraordinary
16 situations, emergencies.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You didn't really, I don't think, address my
18 question. I'm asking you whether it's not appropriate to simply regard
19 the Chief of the General Staff, and indeed the General Staff, as part of
20 the chain of command that comes in somewhere between the supreme commander
21 and the various army groupings, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, air force, and navy?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that is not my understanding,
23 and I'm trying to explain why I differ. It is a component part of the
24 Supreme Command. It is its working body, its operational staff. Like any
25 other command at any level, at the brigade level, the army, it has its
1 staff, and this staff works for the needs of the command at that level.
2 So it is a component part of the Supreme Command, and if we were to show
3 it in diagram form, it would be in the same box, both the Supreme Defence
4 Council, the president, and the Supreme Command, it is all one level.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Stamp.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Before Mr. Stamp continues, a small
8 correction, page 66, line 12, I don't wish to interrupt, it
9 says "collective," and it should be "corrective."
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] And my colleague tells me now 67,
12 line 15 --
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Line 15 of page 67, the Supreme
14 Defence Council, the president, the Supreme Command, and the Supreme
15 Command Staff.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 It would be convenient to break, Mr. Stamp, but if you have
18 something following on from that you can deal with.
19 MR. STAMP: It would probably take five minutes so I think it
20 would be --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So we'll just break then?
22 MR. STAMP: Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: We need to break again, Mr. Radinovic, and this
24 will be for half an hour and we'll see you again at ten minutes to 1.00.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
5 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
6 Q. Sir, I'm going to try to move very quickly, so I'm going to ask
7 you to try to limit your answers to just as precise a response as
8 necessary. We have had evidence before the Court that in the course of
9 the conflict with NATO, General Ojdanic had daily briefings with the staff
10 and they considered reports that had been sent up from the strategic
11 formations, armies, et cetera, and he immediately issued orders for the
12 staff to draw up and send down to these strategic units. Now, if he had
13 the power to issue these orders and did so, yet you're saying that the
14 supreme commander was a person to whom these strategic units, the
15 strategic formations, were directly responsible to or directly below,
16 would that not indicate a parallel chain of command contrary to the
17 principle which you referred to, the principle of singleness of command?
18 A. I think not. Then you haven't understood me well. I have done my
19 best to explain here that the General Staff is a working body or the staff
20 of the Supreme Command, and that on that basis it does what it does.
21 There's no parallelism. If the General Staff was what you say it was,
22 then there would be a parallel command, parallel chain of command.
23 Q. Now, I suggest to you that the General Staff, the Chief of the
24 General Staff was in the chain of command acting pursuant to the orders of
25 the supreme commander but was responsible to command the armies and the
1 strategic groups, as is indicated in the manual of command and control for
2 the VJ. I do not say that there was a parallel command; I am saying that
3 there was a chain of command. And what I'm saying is consistent with the
4 manual of command and control. What I ask you is that if he as Chief of
5 General Staff could issue orders independently to these strategic
6 formations, and according to you the supreme commander, the president,
7 could also do the same, then it is your proposition which would lead to a
8 parallel command?
9 A. That is your opinion but I don't share it. There is no way I can
10 dissuade you, I'm trying to but obviously I'm not successful, and I'm
11 helpless. But I wish to say the following: You, yourself said on a daily
12 basis, every morning, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command with
13 prepared combat reports for the whole army and with proposals of decisions
14 went to the supreme commander. And in direct contact with him, he would
15 be given authorisation to act. Of course he was in the chain of command.
16 There's no dispute about it, but not as a separate level, rather, as a
17 component part of the strategic level of command.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think that's how Mr. Stamp worded his
19 question. You may have misunderstood the question, and he was referring
20 to the evidence in the case of daily briefings among the generals or
21 others with responsibility at the Supreme Command Staff where they
22 considered reports sent up from strategic formations. And immediately
23 there on the spot orders were issued by General Ojdanic. Now --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: If that's the evidence in the case, how do you
1 explain it consistently with your opinion?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether you heard
3 evidence and heard testimony that every morning the Chief of Staff of the
4 Supreme Command went to see the supreme commander, presenting the
5 conclusions --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: We have not had that evidence, it is conspicuous by
7 its absence. It is your understanding that every day General Ojdanic met
8 Mr. Milosevic in the morning?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every day in the morning
10 General Ojdanic reported on combat reports of the Supreme Command Staff
11 regarding the situation in the whole army to the supreme commander every
12 morning; that was the practice. And those minutes exist, I've seen them.
13 I don't know why you don't have that in evidence.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Where did you get minutes of daily meetings with General Ojdanic
16 and President Milosevic? Where did you get those minutes from?
17 A. Not daily meetings with President Milosevic, but daily briefings
18 of the chief of the supreme staff, on the basis of which a report was
19 compiled for the Supreme Command and that report was reported to the
20 supreme commander. That was the method of work of the Supreme Command
21 during the war.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic, are you aware of the documents to
23 which the witness is referring so that we can clear this up? It may be
24 I'm missing something.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] According to my understanding, the
1 witness - let me clear up what I know, that minutes from the briefings
2 between Milosevic and Ojdanic do not exist, I know that for certain. But
3 my understanding is he's talking about the evening meetings on the basis
4 of which the morning briefings took place, and those minutes have been
6 JUDGE BONOMY: The evening meetings with Mr. Milosevic?
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Evening briefings.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The witness is talking about briefings given to the
11 supreme commander, that is, to Milosevic. Now, do you know what documents
12 he is referring to?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I don't know which documents he's
14 referring to and I don't know that those documents -- I do know those
15 documents don't exist.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about combat reports of
17 the army which the general -- which the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
18 Command reported to the supreme commander.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. What --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, at the moment I do not know what you're
22 talking about. I do not think we have seen such document -- well,
23 Mr. O'Sullivan is going to prove me wrong.
24 MR. O'SULLIVAN: There's just one comment I would like to make in
25 response to something you said at line 18 on page 70 and your comment
1 was: "We have not had that evidence in response to morning briefings
2 between the chief of the staff and the supreme commander." My
3 recollection is we do have evidence of morning meetings between
4 General Ojdanic and President Milosevic.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. O'Sullivan, that's something that's
6 not clear in my mind at the moment, but I will refresh myself by reference
7 to the evidence.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. I think, sir, what caused the problem was not morning meetings
10 with President Milosevic, but what you said every day in the morning
11 General Ojdanic reported on combat reports to the supreme commander
12 regarding the situation of the whole army to the supreme commander every
13 morning, you repeated that, so the clarification exists. "That was the
14 practice. And those minutes exist, I've seen them. I don't know why you
15 don't have that in evidence." That --
16 A. I was thinking of combat reports of the Supreme Command Staff
17 which summarize the situation in the army and which are submitted to the
18 supreme commander, and the supreme commander puts questions about it and
19 the other one answers those questions. That is the normal process of
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
22 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the way Mr. Stamp put
23 his question I'm also confused. He said that President Milosevic -- that,
24 rather, General Ojdanic informs President Milosevic every day about combat
25 reports, and he said that was the practice and such minutes exist and that
1 he saw those minutes. Now, I don't know whether Mr. Stamp has seen those
2 minutes on meetings between President Milosevic and General Ojdanic or is
3 he talking about the combat reports of the Supreme Command Staff?
4 JUDGE BONOMY: All Mr. Stamp was doing was quoting the witness's
5 answer as translated into English, and the witness said these words which
6 are there in the question.
7 MR. VISNJIC: I'm sorry, then it's my mistake.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And I think the witness understands that.
9 But before we go on any further, can I ask you, Mr. O'Sullivan,
10 just to remind me where this evidence is of these meetings.
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: My recollection is it's one of the Ojdanic
12 witness's testified to that effect. Right now I can't give you the name,
13 it may have been --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
15 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I'm trying to find the name, Your
16 Honour, General Curcin, he was the last one, but there were several before
17 him, all of them from the operative administration have testified to that
18 effect in a sense but I will give you a more precise name.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Was that testimony that there were daily meetings
20 between General Ojdanic and Mr. Milosevic?
21 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, in that sense.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I apologise for my failure to take note of that as
23 I ought to have done. Thank you for clarifying that.
24 Mr. Stamp.
25 MR. STAMP:
1 Q. I want to move pretty quickly. So what the record says is not
2 correct. You have not seen minutes of daily meetings between
3 General Ojdanic and Mr. Milosevic?
4 A. No, no, that was not what I meant.
5 Q. Very well. Very well.
6 A. If that was what I said, I apologise, it was wrong.
7 Q. Very well. Back to what I was asking you. The evidence is that
8 there were briefings in the staff, the Supreme Command Staff, in which
9 they received reports from the strategic units, discussed these reports,
10 and General Ojdanic immediately gave what one witness described as very
11 precise orders that were formulated or prepared by the staff and sent down
12 back to these strategic formations. If, as you say, it was the president
13 of the republic of the Federation, Mr. Milosevic, as supreme commander who
14 had direct command powers over these strategic formations, wouldn't it
15 mean that when General Ojdanic issued those orders independently and
16 immediately, he would be acting parallel to the supreme commander?
17 A. No, he's acting in accordance with the competencies he has and in
18 accordance with his position in the chain of strategic command.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MR. STAMP: I think -- I've just been informed that I made a point
21 to refer that Mr. Visnjic is indeed correct that Mr. Curcin said there
22 were daily meetings and that is at 16979 of the transcript.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. You said in support of your argument at paragraph 71, page 93,
1 that the supreme commander received daily combat reports from the
2 strategic groups?
3 A. Let me find it, please.
4 Q. First two sentences of that paragraph. Where or what is your
5 source of this information, that the supreme commander received daily
6 combat reports from the strategic groups?
7 A. A combat report was compiled every day of the Supreme Command
8 Staff summarizing the situation in all strategic groupings and in
9 attachment the combat report of the 3rd Army, and there were other
10 attachments as well, of course. With some reports of the Supreme Command
11 Staff, there was also in attachment the report of the Pristina Corps so
12 that the supreme commander could have the best possible insight into the
14 Q. So where did he get -- what's the source of the information that
15 he received the command -- he received the combat reports, what's the
16 source of that information?
17 A. On the last page of the combat report of the Supreme Command
18 Staff, you see a list of the addressees. When the Supreme Command Staff
19 prepares a combat report, then it is sent to the office of the Supreme
20 Command Staff which then sends it on to the military committee of the
21 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. So on the last page it
22 is clearly indicated to whom those reports go, and you can see for
23 yourself that he did receive those reports on a daily basis.
24 Q. I wasn't asking you if he received combat reports from the General
25 Staff. I was asking you if he received those that were sent up to the
1 staff by the strategic groups. Because the evidence we have had from
2 General Ivkovic in 3D117, I say this for the record. And I think even in
3 your report at 112, paragraph 12, is that the supreme commander,
4 Mr. Milosevic, only got the summary report or the consolidated report
5 prepared by the operations staff or the operations sector of the General
6 Staff. Do you take issue with that?
7 A. No, I don't because in the combat report of the Supreme Command
8 Staff, the most important things had to be contained, not everything,
9 otherwise the report would consist of 25, 30 pages and that would be
10 unnecessary. Of course it contains only the most important points, but
11 attached to that report there are attachments by the command of the 3rd
12 Army and sometimes also of the command of the Pristina Corps about the
13 rear, the logistics, the replenishments, the NATO operations,
14 everything -- all those things were attached.
15 Q. Could we move on quickly if I could take you to paragraph 34 of
16 your report, that's in page 72, so that's in part 2. The VSO, I take, it
17 here refers to the Supreme Defence Council; is that correct?
18 A. I don't have page 72 here, as you say --
19 Q. Paragraph 34 in part 2.
20 A. Excuse me, I apologise then. 34, page 66?
21 Q. 66 in your copy. Referring to the second section -- second
23 "Although the Supreme Defence Council sessions were almost
24 regularly and since the beginning of the aggression were mandatorily
25 attended by the federal minister of defence, the Chief of Staff of the VJ
1 and very often the federal prime minister and others, none of them had
2 either the status competence of a VSO member nor could in that sense
3 participate in the VSO decision-making."
4 The first thing I'd like to ask you about that is you said: "Since
5 the beginning of the aggression they were mandatorily attended by the
6 federal minister of defence ..."
7 Were there meetings since the beginning of the aggression, of what
8 you call the aggression? What do you mean when you say that?
9 A. What I mean is that according to the rules of procedure it was the
10 duty of the VSO to have the minister and the Chief of General Staff
11 attend. I never found any records during the aggression that a meeting of
12 the VSO was held, if that was your question.
13 Q. Look at paragraph 66, part 2, and this is page 90 of the English
14 version. You're saying here as an expert in paragraph 66:
15 "Thus the chain of command, that is, the vertical of command in
16 the VJ went from the VSO as the Supreme Command and the president of the
17 FRY as the supreme commander to the commands of the armies ..."
18 What do you mean when you say "went from the VSO as the Supreme
19 Command ..."?
20 A. Precisely what I said. In my view, the VSO was the Supreme
22 Q. And that's -- in other words, the composition of the Supreme
23 Command was the same as the composition of the VSO?
24 A. Yes. There was no other Supreme Command.
25 Q. Do you know --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Did I rightly understand you to say that they never
2 met during the war?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether they met or
4 not, but I never found any documents that would convince me that they did
5 meet. I assume such documents would be available were there any in
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And how do you see the decisions necessary for the
8 conduct of the war having been taken in the absence of meetings of the
9 Supreme Defence Council?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Supreme Defence Council met in
11 October, it met later as well, but the conclusions reached at the October
12 session refer to the situation in the country in case of attack. It would
13 defend itself by all means. Based on that decision, once a state of war
14 was declared plans for the use of the army, or rather, the war plans could
15 be activated. These plans had been drawn up in time. That conclusion was
16 a mandate for starting to implement the plans of use in case the country's
17 attacked. In view of that fact, there was no operative need, although I
18 do admit it seems quite unnatural that the VSO did not meet on that
19 occasion. I think it would have been natural for it to meet, but it did
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Did the Supreme Defence Council have no say in
22 determining the existence of a state of war?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A state of war is declared by the
24 Assembly or by the federal cabinet if the Assembly is unable to meet. The
25 VSO has the right of initiative but not the right to decide on that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but is it the right to initiate it or the
2 responsibility to initiate the determination?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this point in time, I really
4 don't know whether the VSO initiated this or not, so I cannot answer your
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Does any other body have the right to initiate the
7 determination of a state of war?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, under the
9 constitution the federal cabinet initiates that decision and it's adopted
10 by the Assembly. If the Assembly's unable to meet, then the federal
11 cabinet declares a state of war on its own and the first time the Assembly
12 is able to meet it verifies the decision. That's as far as I know.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The war eventually came to an end. Did the Supreme
14 Defence Council have no say in whether it should be brought to end or not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether it met for that reason, I
16 don't know, but the president of the state and of the VSO when
17 President Milutinovic as a member of the VSO were very active in all the
18 peace initiatives and in bringing the war to an end through the Kumanovo
19 negotiations and agreement.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. And at paragraph 136, part 2, page 112 in English, do you see that
23 the combat reports prepared by the Supreme Command Staff were distributed
24 to persons including the president of the Republic of Serbia?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. You spoke -- well, you wrote in your report - and I'm moving on to
2 a different topic, if I may quickly - about steps taken by General Ojdanic
3 to prevent and punish possible infractions of humanitarian law. And if I
4 may refer you to paragraph 185 of your report you gave the reasons why
5 General Ojdanic did so. This is 134 of the English version:
6 "The reasons being they wanted to be absolutely sure that men and
7 officers were familiar with the subject of international law of war; 2,
8 the quantity and levels of crimes of the forces of the Albanian separatist
9 movement of NATO strikes from a safe distance were such that the latest
10 danger existed of crimes of vengeance ... 3, there were extensive
11 negative experience from past wars on the soil of the former Yugoslavia
12 and numerous war crimes on all warring sides ..."
13 Surely you would think that there would be one other reason, that
14 there was notice that the international community were saying and had said
15 that armed forces of Serbia used excessive force in 1998 and the period
16 leading up to the war that caused significant casualties to civilians and
17 damage to civilian property. You know of those claims?
18 A. Well, I don't know what I should be aware of here. Of course I
19 know that there was a conflict, that in the course of the conflict there
20 was destruction; those are unfortunately the consequences of every war.
21 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic.
23 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid we have an incomplete
24 interpretation of my learned friend's question into B/C/S. It was not
25 interpreted that there was use of excessive force, so could the question
1 be either repeated or clarified. It was interpreted differently into
2 B/C/S. Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
4 MR. STAMP: Thank you.
5 Q. I see, the question is that surely any conscientious general would
6 want to take steps to prevent and punish crimes against civilians because
7 there had been reports and allegations by international organizations that
8 the Serbian armed forces in 1998 and in a period going up to the war used
9 excessive force against civilians?
10 A. Is that the question?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. As far as I know, and I think I know this very well, nowhere in
13 military doctrine or in the normative regulations is it prescribed to what
14 extent force is not excessive; and when it's excessive, that's arbitrary.
15 It depends --
16 Q. Very well --
17 A. -- On a case-by-case assessment.
18 Q. Very well.
19 A. There are only certain kinds of weapons, certain numbers of shells
20 that can be fired to achieve a certain goal of neutralising the other
21 side. But there is nothing to say what is excessive and what is not
22 excessive use of force. It's a matter of analysis in each individual case
23 for that to be established.
24 Q. What I'm asking you, General Ojdanic would have been aware of, for
25 example, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199, which stated
1 that there were 230-odd thousand IDPs in Kosovo as a result of
2 indiscriminate and excessive use of force by Serbian forces, he would have
3 been aware of this resolution, wouldn't he?
4 A. Yes, he did, he knew that of course. But the question is there
5 would have been the same number of displaced persons even had there been
6 far less use of force.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
8 A. Because people flee from combat areas.
9 Q. General, you are an expert, so I know -- or I don't think you want
10 to appear to be advocating some cause. Just, please, focus on what I'm
11 asking you. The point is that the reasons, at least three of the reasons
12 why it was important for a conscientious general to put in place
13 provisions to prevent and punish crimes against the civilians existed
14 before the NATO assault began on the 24th of March. And to move quickly,
15 that is a statement and I'll ask a question on the basis of that
16 statement --
17 A. I anticipated that in paragraph 3 or item 3. There were negative
18 experiences from previous wars on the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
19 and of course that includes 1998.
20 Q. Indeed. When we look at your charts from page 144 to 148 in the
21 English version, and that is at paragraph 210, part 2, of your version, on
22 steps that General Ojdanic took, we see that in all of these charts these
23 steps occurred during the war and almost all of them occurred after the
24 incidents charged in this indictment occurred. You look at all of these
25 charts. Having regard to the fact that you have in your report told us
1 about General Ojdanic's conscientious building up of the forces in defence
2 of the country, do you know of any reason why General Ojdanic failed or
3 was unable to take these steps at the same time, that is, a period prior
4 to the -- when the hostilities began when he would have been aware of the
5 reasons why these steps were necessary? Why didn't he do them then?
6 That's the question.
7 A. I think he took a number of measures which were supposed to
8 prevent possible crimes in Kosovo and Metohija. The whole system --
9 Q. Well, they are not in your charts.
10 A. Of course --
11 Q. Why didn't you put the measures that he took before the war began
12 in your charts?
13 A. There's a part that refers to training in humanitarian law, then
14 there's the part on the normative activity. There's -- the chart was
15 meant to illustrate the care General Ojdanic took and his concern for the
16 behaviour of the army in Kosovo and Metohija. A number of orders were
17 issued to prevent crimes, to warn commands and units. And as you know,
18 before that a number of brochures and instructions were issued as to how
19 they should behave on the territory in case of conflict with terrorist
20 forces, how fighters should behave on the battle-field, how commanders
21 should behave. And this is a whole series of documents.
22 Q. Yes, this is a whole series of documents. The question is: Where
23 are the specific orders made which predate the crimes charged in the
24 indictment or which predate the commencement of hostilities? Your charts
25 don't include them.
1 A. Before that there's a whole chapter dealing with education and
2 training in international humanitarian law and the laws of war.
3 Q. I'm trying to move quickly.
4 A. I don't know what sort of orders you are referring to. I really
5 don't understand what you mean and what you expect me to reply to.
6 Q. Take a look at any one of those orders. These are the orders I'm
7 referring to, those in your chart. Is there -- and this is the question:
8 Is there any reason why any one of these specific orders could not have
9 been made at a time when it was known, according to your report, that
10 there would have been an assault by NATO? Is there any reason why they
11 could not have been made? That is the question.
12 A. They could have been issued then, but the Supreme Command Staff
13 assessed that that was the right time to address the lower commands
14 directly and to pre-empt any possible crimes.
15 Q. Let's --
16 A. That was the part I paid attention to because I felt it was the
17 most important part. It doesn't mean that there was nothing before and
18 that no action was taken in that respect beforehand, but this is the
19 material I felt I ought to include.
20 Q. Let's discuss briefly what is described as an armed non-Siptar
21 population, which you refer to at various parts of your report. Do you
22 know approximately how many persons of Serb ethnicity were armed by the VJ
23 in 1998 and the months prior to the beginning of the hostilities?
24 A. I can't say exactly at what collegium meeting I saw information
25 about 47.000 armed civilians.
1 Q. Well, I represent to you that that is what General Samardzic
2 reported to General Ojdanic, so we won't need to take out that document.
3 So when you speak in your report at paragraphs 73 to 74 and 76 as well of
4 part 1 of your report, and this is at page 25 to 26 of the English, about
5 the strength of the civilian protection and the civilian defence, I think
6 in paragraph 73 you said for civilian protection 3.365; for civilian
7 defence, 1.165 plus 423 plus 1.179, somewhere in the region of 3.000
8 again. What you are describing as civilian defence and civilian
9 protection are distinction and different groupings from armed Serb
10 civilians. You will agree with that?
11 A. I agree, but it was as part of those 47.000. I agree they were
12 different, but they were all part of that 47.000.
13 Q. So when you at some point other in that section of the report
14 indicate that civilian protection and civilian defence could not be used
15 for combat tasks, there is another 40.000 armed Serbs that are not
16 included in that group?
17 A. No. I would like to explain something, by your leave.
18 Q. Go ahead.
19 A. This group of 47.000 armed civilians that General Samardzic
20 mentioned at the collegium should be seen as including all the members of
21 the reserve -- army reservists, the military territorial units, the
22 reserve MUP forces, to whom weapons were issued. And that 47.000 also
23 includes units of civilian protection and civil defence and what is
24 colloquially referred to as the armed non-Siptar population.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. There are documents referring to that which I cited here. So all
2 of that is included in that number. According to the demographic
3 potential of Kosovo, it would be absolutely impossible to have 47.000
4 civilians who are completely outside the units of the army, police,
5 civilian protection, civil defence. There weren't that many men.
6 Q. Yes, but --
7 A. So that was my calculation through which one can arrive at the
8 information that you can't have 47.000 armed civilians who are not
9 reservists of the army, the police, the civilian defence, civil
10 protection, cryptographic protection, intelligence services, and so on and
11 so forth.
12 Q. You are repeating yourself. The component that you referred to as
13 the -- or you say they were colloquially referred to as an armed
14 non-Siptar population, how many of those were there?
15 A. There's no data. Nobody ever did that calculation, but according
16 to my own calculation which I have not presented in my report because I
17 have no references on which I can base it with certainty, I have no
18 corroboration for my calculation, but according to my own calculation,
19 outside these four systems, army, police, civilian -- civil defence, and
20 civilian protection, there could be between 5 and 6.000, not more.
21 Because there wouldn't be enough men for a larger number.
22 Q. Very well.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, we're already past the deadline. Is
24 this a suitable time to interrupt you?
25 MR. STAMP: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It will be necessary, Mr. Radinovic, for you to
2 return tomorrow. We will be sitting again at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
3 Overnight please remember what I've said to you about non-communication on
4 matters relating to the evidence. Now could you please leave the
5 courtroom with the usher.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of
9 October, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.