1 Friday, 9 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 11.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, please continue with your examination
6 of Mr. Lazarevic.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
8 morning to everyone.
9 WITNESS: VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examination by Mr. Bakrac: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Lazarevic.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. We will continue where we left off yesterday, and I have a
15 question and then we can move on to another topic regarding the civil
16 defence. First of all, were members of the civil defence armed?
17 A. In accordance with the Law on Defence, they had side-arms for the
18 purpose of their self-defense and self protection.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit 5D300 up
20 in e-court.
21 Q. Let me ask you and then we will comment. Who was in charge of
22 arming the members of the civil defence, and you may comment on paragraph
23 1 in this document.
24 A. Yesterday I said that in accordance with the Law on Defence, the
25 organ in charge of organizing, equipping, arming, engaging, and commanding
1 the forces of the civil defence and the civilian protection was the
2 Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. We
3 have in front of us a document, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the
4 federal defence ministry, the district organ in the Republic of Serbia,
5 the Pristina defence administration, as far as I can see that would be the
6 21st of May, 1998, a task was issued, an order was issued, to the
7 departments and sections for defence. It was addressed personally to
8 chiefs of departments of those regional organs on the implementation of
9 measures for the security and protection of the population, and now I
10 would like to ask the Trial Chamber whether I should just read what it
11 says here or explain.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Lazarevic, you should listen carefully
13 to the questions and just deal with the point raised. You could have
14 answered that much more briefly, and we can follow the point that's being
15 made by reading the document for ourselves.
16 Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, I just wanted to note that we don't have to read
19 everything. Could you just explain here, in the middle it says that care
20 should be taken that the military conscripts in -- with wartime
21 assignments in units of the VJ, VTO, MUP, units of the SMO should not be
22 on the lists of the population that is to be issued with weapons?
23 A. Yes, naturally. This is because the organ in charge of arming and
24 equipping military conscripts and members of the units of the Army of
25 Yugoslavia and MUP were -- that was another organ, and here we're talking
1 about the Federal Ministry of Defence.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Let us move on. What were the
3 relations of the Pristina Corps, or rather, at the beginning of 1999 in
4 Kosovo and Metohija and during the state of war, did the state organs
5 function; and if yes, which ones?
6 A. From what I personally know, even in this terrible chaos of war,
7 all the state organs and all the local self government organs in Kosovo
8 and Metohija functioned in accordance, as far as it was possible, and
9 these local self government organs existed in the 29 municipalities, the
10 organs of the Republic of Serbia operated in five districts, the Temporary
11 Executive Council of the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija. I
12 know that in the whole territory the public services functioned, health
13 service, education, financial organs, judicial organs, everything that the
14 civilian government comprises.
15 Q. What were relations between the Pristina Corps and other agencies
16 involved in defence, or rather, with the organs that you just enumerated?
17 A. This was cooperation whenever it was objectively possible to have
18 this kind of cooperation, and primarily the purpose was to maintain the
19 overall security system in the province, and in particular to provide
20 assistance to those organs in taking care of all of the civilians in the
21 chaos of war.
22 Q. General, what was the situation with the manning levels in the
23 Pristina Corps at the beginning of the war in late March and early April
24 when NATO air-strikes continued for two weeks already? So what were the
25 manning levels in Pristina Corps at that time?
1 A. When the state of war was declared on the 24th of March, 1999, the
2 Pristina Corps, in accordance with the plans, the mobilisation plan, was
3 supposed to reach the wartime organization and strength of about 35.000
4 people within 72 hours. On the 24th of March, the corps had about 14.000
5 personnel, including the March intake of soldiers who had been retained in
6 the ranks from the 15th of March onwards.
7 Q. General, let us now look at a Prosecution exhibit, that's P1929,
8 it's a report on the manning levels to the 3rd Army command. The date is
9 the 31st of March. You told us what the situation was like on the 24th of
10 March when the aggression started, but let us look at page 2 of this
11 document. Could you please look -- well, we can't really tell the
12 paragraphs apart. It's in the upper half of the page, it begins with the
13 words "the Pristina Corps." Do you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please read it and just comment on it in a couple of
16 sentences because we have some figures here just so we know what this is
17 all about.
18 A. "At day plus seven," that's the eighth day of the war, "the
19 Pristina Corps had 933 officers, that was 37 per cent; non-commissioned
20 officers, 919, that was 48 per cent; soldiers 16.120, which was 54 per
21 cent; a total number of 17.971, which was 52 per cent of the wartime
22 establishment of the Pristina Corps."
23 Q. General. Thank you very much. Please tell us, by the 8th of
24 April, 1999, that was the 14th day of the war, did all the units in the
25 3rd Army in Kosovo and Metohija, were they all resubordinated?
1 A. On the 7th of April, 1999, in Kosovo and Metohija there were the
2 following units of the 3rd Army: The Pristina Corps, the Pristina
3 Military District, and 202nd Logistics Base. On that day, the 3rd Army
4 commander decided that the military district, the Pristina Military
5 District and the 202nd would be resubordinated to the Pristina Corps until
6 the end of the war.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at Exhibit
9 Q. You said the order of the 3rd Army commander. It appears that you
10 implemented this order, and it appears that it says so in this document.
11 Could you please confirm that.
12 A. This is my order, order from the Pristina Corps command, on the
13 resubordination of these two units and the 3rd Army pursuant to the order
14 of the 3rd Army commander dated the -- the date is the 8th of April, 1999,
15 so that's the next day. This also regulates the procedure for the
16 reporting, getting acquainted with the documents and tasks.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, you gave us a figure of just under
18 18.000 as the number of troops in the Pristina Corps eight days into the
19 war. Did that number increase?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me briefly reply to
21 your question by giving you some information. Yes, it increased at a pace
22 as much as it was possible through a selective and partial mobilisation in
23 such a way that on D plus 15, that was the 15th day of the war, the
24 strength was up to 21.000 troops, and on the 52nd day of the war, that was
25 around the 15th of May, the corps reached its wartime manning level
1 envisaged by the wartime organization and establishment, that figure was
2 about 35.000 people.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: What went wrong to prevent you doing it in the 72
4 hours you were supposed to do it in?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what had been achieved
6 by that time was, in fact, mission impossible, I say that as a soldier,
7 because there were intensive air-strikes and intensive rebel activity
8 throughout Kosovo and Metohija. So it was impossible to bring in troops
9 in larger groups or unit per unit. We had to do it in smaller groups,
10 selectively, and assessments had to be made to avoid casualties that could
11 be inflicted both by the rebel forces and by NATO air-strikes.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Bakrac.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. General, you replied to His Honour Judge Bonomy's question, and
16 thereby you pre-empted some of my questions. I would just like to ask you
17 something more. The defence plans, the previous defence plans, did they
18 envisage, apart from the manning levels bringing them up to strength, that
19 there should be some additional vehicles brought in to bring them up to
21 A. The mobilisation plans regulated the recruitment and replenishment
22 with materiel and equipment. You're now asking me about vehicles. When
23 we're talking about the replenishment for the corps from the territory of
24 Kosovo and Metohija the plans envisaged that around 530 motor vehicles
25 should be mobilised in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija for the needs
1 of the Pristina Corps. The replenishment was carried out up to the level
2 of maybe 50 to 52 per cent, about 260 vehicles, and the overall
3 replenishment of the vehicles from outside of the territory of Kosovo and
4 Metohija was around 5.000 vehicles.
5 Q. General, we will have a witness who will describe this in greater
6 detail --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that an accurate figure in line 4 of page 7,
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No. I wasn't following the
10 transcript, but this figure is not correct.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Should it be 500?
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Ah, yes, from outside of Kosovo, Your
13 Honours. For the replenishment from Kosovo, that's the lower figure, 530;
14 and the overall replenishment from the overall territory of the FRY was
15 5.000 vehicles.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, did I paraphrase you correctly?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, you told us that it was not until the 15th of May that
23 the strength envisaged in the wartime formation was achieved. Were there
24 any attempts to lessen the strength of PRK, to reduce the numbers?
25 A. On the 9th of April, 1999, the Pristina Corps command received an
1 order from the 3rd Army command that in the following days selective
2 disengagement of elements of the Pristina Corps should begin as part of
3 the overall efforts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to reduce the
4 intensity of combat operations in Kosovo and Metohija and to contribute to
5 the end of the war. And if the Trial Chamber allows me, just one more
6 sentence. As far as I can remember, on the 13th of May I personally, as
7 the corps commander in the sector of the village of Livadice in Podujevo,
8 I saw off the first contingent, several buses full of military conscripts,
9 who left the area of Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Q. General, the transcript states that on the 9th of April, 1999, you
11 received a 3rd Army order.
12 A. It's the 9th of May, but I might have misspoken. I apologise.
13 Q. General, what happened immediately after your having brought the
14 decision on the disengagement of part of the forces?
15 A. Well, this decision was taken by the state leadership, and the
16 corps command was executing the tasks of the 3rd Army command and the
17 General Staff. I remember that there were quite a few journalists present
18 who were following the corps' units, and that this also elicited
19 diplomatic attention. Regrettably, I don't know about the further course
20 of events in the diplomatic and political plain, but on the ground
21 air-strikes and long-range NATO forces strikes escalated, as did the
22 activities of the rebels, the strongest up to that point, and that
23 happened as of the 12th and 13th of May, and on.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we look at Exhibit 5D410, please.
25 Q. General, this appears to be a document that is yours that you
1 signed on the 12th of May, 1999. It states that it's very urgent and it
2 is addressed to the commander personally. Can we have a brief comment
3 from you.
4 A. I personally drafted this order and I signed it, and that can be
5 seen from the initials on it. And I sent an urgent order to the
6 subordinated commanders personally because we had received information
7 that NATO was preparing a second ground attack along a different axis,
8 apart from the one that had been in course which was along the Kosare and
9 Morina axis. And I ordered that every measure be taken to defend the
10 routes and the -- persistently defend the state border and the integrity
11 of the country throughout the defence area.
12 Q. General, in the second paragraph, please tell me whether I rightly
13 take it that in addition to the part between the Kosare and Morina border
14 posts where there was an attempt lasting several weeks to penetrate deep
15 into the corps' zone, does that mean that there had been a successful
16 attempt to penetrate before that or was this just -- am I concluding this
18 A. Your interpretation is correct because the aggressor's forces from
19 the area of Albania were in the territory of the Federal Republic of
20 Yugoslavia at a depth between 500 and 1500 metres, holding salient
21 features and endangering the complete axis towards Djakovica and Junik and
22 threatening to compromise the entire defence of the country.
23 Q. General, can we now take a look at Exhibit 5D411. This appears to
24 be a corps command report on the very next day, the 13th of May, 1999, to
25 the Supreme Command Staff. So please comment on the first and third
2 A. This is what I would call a special and alarming report. It is
3 not a regular report. It was addressed to the Supreme Command Staff. The
4 heading reads: "Pristina Corps command." This document was signed by the
5 commander of the 3rd Army, who was at the corps command post because of
6 the address and used its log informing the Chief of the General Staff of
7 massive air-strikes on the 12th and 13th in the corps' area, over 230
8 missiles. And all the other paragraphs also inform on the fact that we do
9 not have adequate forces to respond to counter such massive air-strikes
10 and that the VJ -- the Pristina Corps units were threatened with massive
11 casualties. And he requests and asks the General Staff for reinforcements
12 in the system of anti-aircraft defence which I remember very well was soon
14 Q. And at page 2 you said amid this case of war, they used the
15 Pristina Corps May log, and this was signed by the army commander who then
16 sent his report to the Supreme Command Staff?
17 A. Yes, the commander, General -- Colonel-General Pavkovic, it is the
18 seal and the memorandum of the corps because we were at one place.
19 Someone could see this is a technical error amid the case of war, but the
20 essence is as I have described.
21 Q. General, take a look at Exhibit P1495. This is a document of the
22 Supreme Command Staff to the command of the 3rd Army. Can we have your
23 comment on just item 1 and then we can move on.
24 A. Following these reports from the corps command and from the
25 command of the 3rd Army, the General Staff dispatched a document in
1 which -- in the first item of which it is stated that a statement had been
2 prepared on the temporary postponement of the further implementation of
3 the supreme commander's decision on the disengagement of the Yugoslav Army
4 and MUP from Kosovo and Metohija because air-strikes as well as ground
5 attacks had escalated.
6 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move on to the admission of
7 volunteers. How was the admission of volunteers to Pristina Corps units
8 organized and regulated and how were they assigned to the units?
9 A. In order to man the Pristina Corps units with volunteers, two
10 reception centres had been organized, had been set up, one within the 1st
11 Army which was in Bubanj Potok, i.e., in Grocka, and the other one at the
12 major military proving ground of the 2nd Army. The volunteers would pass
13 through these two reception centres, and following the prescribed
14 procedure, psychological, mental -- medical check-ups, et cetera, as well
15 as additional combat training; and having completed all that, they would
16 be assigned to the Pristina Corps units.
17 Q. General, there is a mistake in the transcript. The 1st, 2nd, and
18 3rd Army, but we shall address that in a minute. Let us look at document
19 5D284, and please just explain a sentence -- one sentence in that document
20 for me. You mentioned the centre in Medja where is this for the benefit
21 of the Trial Chamber?
22 A. The proving grounds, the automated proving grounds of major is
23 military proving ground, which is some 30 kilometres away from Nis.
24 Q. It is not in the area of Kosovo and Metohija?
25 A. It is much farther from Kosovo and Metohija. It is farther than
1 these 30 kilometres.
2 Q. We have the document before us now, General. We can read the rest
3 of it for ourselves, but just tell me about item 1 which states:
4 "Organize the admission, reception, and assignment of volunteers
5 which are to be done in the reception or admissions centre of the 3rd
6 Army ..."
7 What does "organize the admission, reception, and assignment of
8 volunteers ..." Actually stand for? What does it mean?
9 A. The corps command submitted to the command of the 3rd Army
10 proposals, requirements, requests for the manning of certain specific
11 units with volunteers. Following completed training and procedure in the
12 3rd Army admission centre, volunteers would be taken to the different war
13 units along the corresponding routes.
14 Q. Can we take a look, General, at Exhibit 5D338 at this point. This
15 also is, it seems, one of your orders, and I should like to ask you to
16 comment for us item 3.4 and explain for us the acronym, the abbreviation
17 which features in it.
18 A. This is my order of the 27th of March, regarding the admission,
19 reception, and assignment of volunteers to war units. And in item 3 it is
20 stated that volunteers should be assigned to lower-level units,
21 lower-level units means lower-level units within brigades to battalions,
22 that is according to their military occupational specialities, skill
23 digits that they have been trained for.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Will counsel please not overlap with the answer.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In item 4 when -- you explained lower-level units are units which
2 are lower than battalion or brigade or did I understand you correctly?
3 A. The designation, the name, for brigades in these conditions when
4 we talk about manning war units and lower units are battalions.
5 Q. Fine. And who does the assigning --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, you will need to leave a pause between
7 answer and question, please.
8 Please continue, Mr. Lazarevic.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.
10 Q. Mr. Lazarevic, you have explained. Who does the assigning of the
11 volunteers to the brigades?
12 A. The volunteers for the brigade come from the admission or
13 reception centre, and within the brigades, the brigade then assigns them
14 within -- across its lower units.
15 Q. In item 4.
16 A. Item 4 states that at the level of the basic units which are
17 companies, there are set up commissions that shall admit these people and
18 provide additional equipment for them if this equipment is inadequate,
19 acquaint them with the composition and their role of assignment within
20 this basic unit.
21 Q. General, did you issue an additional order to the effect that
22 volunteers could not be admitted to Kosovo and Metohija without
23 verification, without checking at the admission centres? What measures
24 did you take along those lines?
25 A. I could not order to the admission centres at the level of the
1 army what they were to do, but irrespective of that procedure, which we of
2 course were familiar with and which was observed, at the level of the
3 corps additional measures were taken so that volunteers having been
4 admitted, we would take additional security, psychological, medical
5 processing, so to speak, as well as check their training level and their
6 ability to use the resources, the weaponry, that we were armed with and
7 equipped with.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at 5D197.
9 Q. General, do you recognise this document, which again appears to be
10 your own? This is an order of the 16th of April, 1999. Could you please
11 comment on item 1.
12 A. Yes, I do see it. There had been several orders in connection
13 with this particular subject matter issued by the army command and the
14 General Staff, the objective being to eliminate any observed shortcomings.
15 And item 1 shows that it was ordered that at the level of the Pristina
16 Military District there should be set up an admission subcentre as yet
17 another institution that would help vet and assign volunteers to the corps
18 war units on the one hand, and on the other hand if there should appear
19 volunteers from the area of Kosovo and Metohija, they could not be
20 received into the corps war units, but the subcentre of the Pristina
21 Military District would send them every three days to the 3rd Army
22 admission centre in the Medja area for them to go through the complete
23 prescribed procedure.
24 Q. We'd like to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to what you
25 have been saying now, it is paragraph 6 but on the second page, the
1 one-but-last sentence before paragraph 7 starts. Could you please just
2 read that sentence out for us, and is that what you were telling us about?
3 A. Taking volunteers --
4 Q. No, General, page 2. We can read that. Could you just read about
5 checking volunteers. Is that what you told us?
6 A. Every volunteer should be checked by a way of a question as to
7 whether he wants to be trained at the Nis reception centre; if not, this
8 person should not be taken in as a volunteer.
9 Q. Thank you, General. Tell us, do you know how many volunteers were
10 taken in within the Pristina Corps; and if there were volunteers that were
11 dismissed, how many of them were there and why?
12 A. As for the wartime units of the Pristina Corps, throughout the war
13 a little over 1.400 volunteers were taken in. Through vetting and through
14 decisions of wartime units in the corps command, almost one-third of these
15 volunteers were dismissed on the following grounds. First of all, there
16 were volunteers who could not take the war effort. They asked to be
17 dismissed from wartime units, and it is on that basis, on those grounds,
18 that some of them were dismissed. Secondly, there were volunteers who
19 fell ill. They were sent to a military medical commission and were
20 dismissed from wartime units. Thirdly, there were volunteers who did not
21 observe the regimen of military discipline and the Rules of Conduct in
22 Wartime, who were then dismissed from wartime units in handcuffs,
23 arrested, and they were handed over to investigative military organs.
24 Q. General, let us try to illustrate this quickly what you've been
25 telling us about. P -- 5D1938 -- P, P is what I'm asking for. P1938.
1 I'd like to see page 2, please. Page 2, please. I have a version that's
2 a bit better than this one.
3 Could you please have a look at this where it says "pozitivno" --
4 no, rather, "negativno," which is at the very top of the page, it says:
5 "On the 1st of April. Could you just give us your comment on that first
6 statement, "on the 1st of April ..."
7 A. My command is as follows: The command of the 3rd Army informed
8 the General Staff that on the 1st of April only a few days later, 25
9 volunteers were returned from the corps and seven were detained because of
10 renegade behaviour, killings, robbery, rapes, et cetera, insubordination,
11 and desertion also, among them there were two deaths.
12 Q. General, can we please have a look at Exhibit 5D215. Please take
13 a look at 2.1, the last sentence just before 2.2. Could you read it out
14 for us, it's short, and could you give us your comments.
15 A. During the course of the morning, a group of volunteers, about 150
16 of them, were sent partly by -- on buses and partly by rail in an
17 organized manner to Nis after their engagement in Metohija. This is my
18 comment. The date is the 18th of April. This group of volunteers had
19 taken part in heavy fighting in defending the state border at the
20 Kosare-Morina section. They were under great stress. They requested to
21 be disengaged, and we did that. I do apologise to the Trial Chamber not
22 to be able to tell them more about this because our time is short. It's
23 quite a story. It's a story that's quite long, because poisons were also
24 used that destabilized many of the men.
25 Q. Among that group of volunteers I see in one day there were 150 of
1 them. Did this involve those who did not behave in accordance with
2 military discipline?
3 A. No, no, no. These were people who were at the border itself.
4 Those who did not observe discipline had to be held accountable and could
5 be disengaged only after that.
6 Q. General, the transcript does not correctly reflect what you said.
7 The word used there is "poison," but I understood that you
8 said "bojni otroui" chemical agents?
9 A. Yes, yes, but I don't think we have time to discuss that. I know
10 what this is about, specifically. Well, the number of 150 pertains to
12 Q. General, let us bring this story about the volunteers to an end.
13 Could you please look at 5D392 and give us your comments briefly as to
14 what this is about. It seems that there were attempts here to take a
15 volunteer in without having been vetted first, and I think that you
16 opposed that. I'm just trying to be of assistance so that we deal with
17 the document quicker. Could you just read this sentence to us so that we
18 could move on faster. So without reading it, could you just give us your
19 comments and tell us what this is about, just one sentence.
20 A. I know what this is about. From the command of the 3rd Army, or
21 rather, from the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army, a document came that had
22 to do with something that was sent by the parents of a volunteer who came
23 from the area around Belgrade. This was a complaint lodged by the
24 parents. The mother complained to the command of the 3rd Army as to why
25 we did not allow her son to go on being a volunteer. This is a volunteer
1 who is the son of a military man, a lieutenant-colonel in the command of
2 the Pristina Military District. I checked this through the commander of
3 the Pristina Military District, whether he acted properly. He dismissed
4 him because he did not go through the prescribed procedure, through army
5 reception centres. And in this document I provide my reply, that the
6 command of the military district noted this omission and that they acted
8 Q. Was the Pristina Corps manned with non-Serbs from Kosovo and
9 Metohija as well?
10 A. Yes. I shall try to be as accurate as possible now. There were
11 over 1.000 military conscripts, non-Albanian in terms of their ethnic
12 background, within the corps, Turks, Gorani, Romani.
13 Q. Were there attempts made to engage Albanians as well, to involve
14 Albanians, ethnic Albanians, as they are called?
15 A. We had occasion to familiarise ourselves with the order of the
16 Chief of General Staff on the establishment of the 9th Detachment in
17 Pristina that would consist of Albanians, including officers, officers and
18 soldiers. Work was done in that direction. The military district
19 commander testified to that. I issued a command but we did not succeed
20 because they did not dare respond to the call-up.
21 Q. Let us look at this order; 5D183 is the number. 3.1 and 3.2 are
22 the paragraphs I would like you to have a look at. Is that what you
23 testified about? Is this your order? So far we've had a problem without
24 having the English translation, and now we have for the first time the
25 problem of not having the Serbian translation. It's a good thing that we
1 have that problem for once as well.
2 A. Well, yes, this is my order that is in line with the order issued
3 by the army commander and the Chief of General Staff on the establishment
4 of the 9th Military Territorial Detachment in Pristina.
5 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on faster. We can all read it.
6 We can all read and realise that what you said is there. Were there any
7 requests by citizens who were ethnic Muslims who were not military
8 conscripts to get involved in the Army of Yugoslavia, to join the ranks of
9 the Army of Yugoslavia? I would like to see 5D370. In the meantime you
10 can give me an answer.
11 A. As far as I can remember, about ten days after this unsuccessful
12 attempt in Pristina, I got a request and a proposal from the commander of
13 the 549th Motorised Brigade to have a large number of citizens of Muslim
14 and Gorani ethnicity who were asking to be involved in the defence of the
15 integrity of the country. We can see the document here right in front of
16 us, of the command of the Pristina Corps. I am making a proposal to the
17 command of the 3rd Army on the basis of the request made by the brigade to
18 establish a detachment consisting of 200 men in Sredacka Zupa, according
19 to a particular establishment, and in order to have specific tasks carried
21 Q. Thank you, General. We are going to move on. I would just like
22 to direct the Trial Chamber to the following. Yesterday we talked about
23 uniforms that military conscripts had kept and that were used. Let us not
24 go back to that now. The references are 5D -- Exhibit 5D188 and 184.
25 From the documents we can see what it was that you testified about, so let
1 us move on.
2 General, did you insist --
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have a mistake in
4 the -- mistake. 5D187 and 5D184 are the numbers.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, did you take any measures in terms of the personal
8 appearance of the members of the corps?
9 A. Well, I wouldn't take -- I wouldn't say any measures or some
10 measures. With the permission of the Trial Chamber, in this war chaos the
11 corps command and the subordinate units really and truly took many
12 measures in terms of disciplined conduct on the part of unit members,
13 including personal appearance, behaviour, wearing uniforms, using weapons.
14 Q. General, we are going to get to that specifically. Could you
15 please look at 5D898, it's a Defence exhibit. This is an order of the
16 commander of the 549th Motorised Brigade dated the 30th of April, 1999,
17 that is based on your order of the 29th of April, 1999. In paragraph 3 --
18 well, actually, can you read it out to us and can you give us your
20 A. "Insist relentlessly on the proper personal appearance of all
21 members of the brigade and on the protection of the reputation of the Army
22 of Yugoslavia at any cost."
23 This has been copied from the order issued by my corps command.
24 Q. General, let us look at your order of the 7th of May, that's
25 5D398. It seems that here, too, the measure about the conduct of the
1 members of the corps outside of the zone -- could you comment on item 1.
2 A. In this order I demand at all levels of command that information
3 should be obtained about the movements of the members of the units in
4 uniform and with weapons outside of the combat zone, and once again, I
5 prohibit any movement of military personnel with weapons outside of the
6 sector of their own unit, except if they are there to carry out some kind
7 of an official task. And I make responsible for the consistent
8 implementation of this order the commanders, and they are to provide me
9 with regular reports about that. They are to report on that in combat
11 Q. Thank you, General. Let us go back to -- we've seen what the
12 basic tasks of the Pristina Corps were in combat operations and in the
13 tasks in the organization of the defence, that's 5D366, that's the exhibit
14 number. I would like to ask for it. This is about issuing tasks in the
15 organization of the defence, and I am -- would be interested to hear your
16 comments on item 7. Could you please read it and comment on it.
17 A. "Ensure full compliance with the security regime in the territory,
18 with focus on protecting the units, the public order, preventing crime,
19 and protecting civilians. Complete the full clear-up of the terrain."
20 This order followed on the same day, the 5th of April, when the
21 commanders subordinate to the 3rd Army commander submitted their reports
22 on the preparations for the drafting of a new defence plan in the area of
23 the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps in accordance with the Grom 4 plan. I
24 didn't wait for the order from the army commander to come, but as soon as
25 this meeting was completed I issued an order, I issued relevant orders,
1 and among them was this task.
2 Q. General, we spoke about -- we saw evidence from May indicating
3 that the -- the penetration of the ground forces between Morina-Kosare,
4 those border posts continued. When did this incursion actually begin, on
5 what date?
6 A. I would like to say that the federal government declared a
7 unilateral cessation of hostilities on the 6th of April, and on one of the
8 greatest religious feasts in the Orthodox religion, the 9th of April,
9 that's Easter, the Orthodox Easter, there was a ground aggression launched
10 by a very strong force from Albania along the Kosare and Morina axis and
11 on to Pristina -- on to Djakovica.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. To confirm what you just said, could you please look at item 2 in
15 this document, and did you, in fact, order the cease-fire pursuant to the
16 decision of the federal government?
17 A. Yes, I can see that. "On the 6th of April, at 2000 hours, stop
18 all active operations of the corps apart from a direct attack on our
19 units," but this was the decision of the federal government.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D185.
21 Q. General, it appears to be a report from the 3rd Army commander to
22 the chief of Supreme Command Staff and the date is the 11th of April.
23 Could you please briefly comment on this. Is this what you were telling
24 us about, and we can see that there is an estimate of the enemy strength.
25 A. This is a document from the 3rd Army command dated on the 11th,
1 but on the 10th he sent another telegram with a similar content. And as
2 you can see, I initialled this telegram, approving that it may be sent
3 because the army commander had already left in accordance with his own
4 plans. And we informed the chief of the Supreme Command Staff that ground
5 attacks from Albania continue, and a proposal is made to the Ministry of
6 Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to take diplomatic
7 measures to inform the United Nations and the world public through
8 diplomatic channels about this ground aggression that is launched against
9 the territory of Yugoslavia from Albania.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me just a minute. Your Honour, there's a
11 very serious problem with this translation. It doesn't tell us what this
12 document really is. It says it's to the 3rd Army command and actually
13 it's from the 3rd Army command, that language doesn't appear in the B/C/S.
14 It goes to the Supreme Command Staff and the translation says it's going
15 to the Pristina Military District command. That language doesn't appear
16 in the B/C/S. So it's a completely wrong translation at least of the
17 heading part of that document and very misleading in that regard. It
18 needs to be replaced with a proper translation.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The direction of the document is clarified in the
20 transcript I think. Is that correct, it's from the 3rd Army command and
21 it's to the Supreme Command Staff. And therefore, to that extent, the
22 position is accurately reflected in the transcript and what you're
23 suggesting is the document itself should be submitted for retranslation.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: It has to be, Your Honour, because I have visions
25 of a Prosecutor standing up and arguing on appeal that the English
1 translation is correct, that's happened to me before.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You must have difficulties sleeping, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: So I really think it has to be -- I think that the
4 transcript doesn't solve the problem. I think the document has to be
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Remind me of the number of this document, sorry.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: 5D185.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Bakrac, it's for you to resubmit this to
9 be -- for the translation to be revised and then to make a filing to
10 substitute the revised version.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. General, let us look at 5D195. I hope we'll have more luck with
13 the translation. Could you please look at this document carefully. Later
14 on we will -- and there has been quite some evidence from the Prosecution
15 witnesses regarding an action that took place a few days after this order
16 of yours, but of course this order does not refer to that. But in order
17 to be able to understand that later on, could you please comment on this
18 document. It's dated the 15th of April, 1999, the Pristina Corps command.
19 A. I personally drafted this document. Having assessed the dramatic
20 situation that was the result of the penetration of the state border and
21 the violation of the sovereignty of the country, I made the decision that
22 in a non-military parlance the most special elements within the corps for
23 the struggle against the terrorist foreign mercenaries and specials should
24 take part in protecting the integrity of the state by forming a special
25 detachment from the Pristina Corps command containing elements from the
1 72nd Special Brigade that had been resubordinated to us from the military
2 police battalion, the corps military police; and to dispatch them as soon
3 as possible to Djakovica sector, where they would be received by the Chief
4 of Staff of the corps. They would place themselves under his control and
5 they would be engaged in defending the integrity of the country.
6 Q. On the Karaula --
7 A. Kosare-Morina axis.
8 Q. Which is adjacent to which river valley?
9 A. This axis leads directly to the Caragoj valley, to Junik and
11 Q. Thank you. And could you please tell us, and we will be able to
12 proceed more quickly, how long did this ground operation last, the
13 invasion along this axis?
14 A. This operation which quite well-known to military analysts, both
15 domestic, Serbian, and Yugoslav, and foreign military analysts, is known
16 as Strela 1. It lasted until the end of the war, but they were not able
17 to penetrate any deeper than they had right at the beginning of the
19 Q. General, if I'm not mistaken, you issued a special order for the
20 routing and destruction in the border belt in the broader area of -- in
21 the broader sector of Kosare; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And could you please tell me, this order has four pages, we'll be
24 analysing it later on, there's no need to open it or analyse it now.
25 Could you tell us how you designate the command structures, who was to be
1 in command of this operation?
2 A. Since this was a special task of operational significance,
3 although the forces engaged were quite small, I ordered that the Chief of
4 Staff of the corps should be in direct command of this task force.
5 Q. From where?
6 A. From the Djakovica sector, and further on towards the border
8 Q. From the Djakovica forward command post?
9 A. Yes, from the forward command post in the wider Djakovica sector.
10 Q. General, we have to make pauses. I am more to blame than you are
11 here, but we both have to try and make the interpreters' job easier.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is a mistake in
13 the transcript. The date was not recorded, that's the order of the 8th of
14 May, 1999, and that's 5D401.
15 Q. General, was there a ground operation or a ground incursion in any
16 other part of the state border?
17 A. By Your Honours' leave I would like to say just one sentence.
18 Throughout this time NATO applied its doctrine of air-ground battle. This
19 is one specific operation, it's a ground operation, along a single axis,
20 and then after 45 days there was another ground operation in the Vrbnik
21 axis, that's the Gorozub border post, the Pastrik mountains, in the
22 direction of Prizren.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 5D231.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Again this may be a translation issue. I have to
25 say I don't understand what's just been said by the witness. He said: "I
1 would like to say just one sentence. Throughout this time NATO applied
2 its doctrine of air-ground battle. This is one specific operation, it's a
3 ground operation, along a single axis ..."
4 Now, what does that refer to?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, could you please clarify. You heard what His Honour
7 said. Could you just briefly clarify this misunderstanding.
8 A. Your Honour, I wanted to say that throughout the war there was
9 this operation underway, aggression against the Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia, from air and on the ground. In NATO doctrine, this is called
11 air-ground battle, and we are talking specifically about two ground
12 operations. The first started on the 9th of April and extended until the
13 end of the war on an axis leading towards Djakovica; and the other one
14 happened on the 26th of May and lasted until the 13th of June, when the
15 agreement had already been signed, that was in the direction of Prizren.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Your answer earlier gave the impression that the
17 ground operation started at the beginning of the war.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 9th of April was the
19 penetration; that is what I call the ground aggression, not counting the
20 lesser-scale attacks at the very outset of the war and the incursions in
21 that period into the Kosovo and Metohija territory.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment until I go back a little.
23 Please continue, Mr. Bakrac. Thank you.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Q. General, the combat report describes this.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now call 5D231.
2 Q. This is a combat report of the corps command to the 3rd Army.
3 This is perhaps not in constance with our current topic, but look at this.
4 On the 26th and the 27th, NATO aviation continued to shell the region of
5 Djakovica with over 10 missiles. Are you aware of this bombing of
7 A. Yesterday when I was explaining the isolation of the battle-field
8 by NATO aerial bombing, it can be seen in this report. When there are
9 land operations across the border, there is aerial bombing by NATO forces
10 in depth of the territory in order to prevent the bringing in of forces to
11 actually stabilize the defence on the axis of the attack.
12 Q. Can you look at item 2 and then we will continue. Is that the
13 second land operation that you were referring to, item 1.2? Immediately on
14 the next page it is item 1.2 and it begins with the words "with
15 strong ..."
16 A. This was already the second day of the land operation called
17 Strela 2 on this axis in which participated also the artillery units of
18 the armed forces of Albania, not only the terrorist forces gathered from
19 the wide areas of Europe and all over the place, and with exceptionally
20 intensive bombing by NATO air force with over 211 impact -- high-impact
21 missiles. This will remain remembered in the analysis of warfare. B-52s
22 actually shelled targets of company rank on this axis.
23 Q. Let us look at another combat report.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the date.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit 5D234 -- actually, it
1 is dated the 1st of June, the 1st of June, 1999, 5D234.
2 Q. This is also a combat report to the command of the 3rd Army by the
3 corps command, and under item 1.1, last paragraph; and under item 1.2,
4 first paragraph, that is what I would like you to comment on.
5 A. Item 1.1, activities of the NATO armed forces. The NATO air
6 forces continued conducting intensive reconnaissance over flights and
7 attacks in the corps zone, and specifically in item 1.2, "in the course of
8 31st of May, enemy aviation shelled, bombed incessantly for 12 hours,
9 including B-52 bomber aircraft, the positions of the 1st Battalion of the
10 549th Motorised Brigade, firing over 200 missiles, with a simultaneous
11 land assault, land attack, from the Republic of Albania along the Gorozup
12 axis with several hundred enemy soldiers."
13 Let me add, I was personally on that particular axis with the army
14 commander on that day.
15 Q. Thank you, General. We shall now move on. Before we proceed, how
16 many defensive battles were there and what were the casualties the
17 Pristina Corps sustained during that period and how was this reflected on
18 the security status on the zone of the border?
19 A. As part of the defensive operation of the corps, on 250-kilometre
20 front and 100- to 120-kilometres in-depth, there were several hundred
21 battles and clashes, but the focus of the defensive operation was in the
22 front area facing Albania and in the first defensive echelon. There were
23 casualties, 280 soldiers were killed, 760 were wounded -- actually,
24 counting for 52 per cent of all the war losses, war casualties at the
25 Pristina Corps level.
1 Q. General, how many battles and combat engagements were there,
2 approximately, for us -- in order for us to paint a picture, because you
3 did say that but it is not recorded in the transcript.
4 A. I said several hundred. In the combat reports of the corps, 552
5 battles and combat engagements are registered, but I'm quite sure that not
6 all of them were registered because there were daily attacks by the armed
7 rebels in various locations.
8 Q. We saw that the Ministry of the Interior was supported in
9 executing the counter-terrorist activities on the basis of previous plans
10 and special orders of the kind of Grom 3. What was the objective of
11 taking such counter-terrorist activities, i.e., supporting them?
12 A. All these combat activities were component part of the defensive
13 operation of the corps. As regards specific counter-insurgency actions of
14 the army forces and of the MUP forces, their general objective was to lift
15 the blockade on the main roads and important facilities, important
16 features, to lift the blockade on them by the armed rebels, also to
17 prevent own units -- to protect own units, to protect the general
18 population, and to establish as secure a regime of life and work as
19 possible a war security regime in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
20 That was the overall objective.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now see Prosecution Exhibit
23 Q. This is a Prosecution exhibit and deployment chart of the KLA in
24 the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Could you comment on these zones in
25 conjunction with this previous question, please.
1 A. This is a layout, the overview map that we had seen when the
2 witness Zyrapi was testifying, and it originates in the leadership or the
3 headquarters, the Main Staff, of the KLA, as was explained to us at that
4 time. And then these shaded areas, I recognise the most important
5 concentrations of the armed rebel's forces throughout Kosovo and Metohija
6 and in the border area facing Albania and Macedonia as well as in central
7 Kosovo and Metohija and in the north of the province.
8 Q. When did the command of the 3rd Army issue its executive order for
9 taking possession of the defensive sector and anti-terrorist struggle?
10 A. As far as I can remember at this point, on the day when the
11 imminent threat of war was declared on the 23rd of March, 1999, the
12 command of the army issued an executive order for taking possession of
13 positions to defend the country and begin the defence of the country's
14 integrity and sovereignty.
15 Q. This is Defence Exhibit 5D1294. There is no need for us to call
16 it up to appear on the screen.
17 General, in keeping with these orders and plans, when did the
18 counter-terrorist activities of a part of the corps units begin? You
19 talked about this yesterday. Just tell us when and did the command of the
20 corps request a report from the units after the execution of such actions?
21 A. In this order which we did not have occasion to see, I remember
22 that in one item the army commander ordered that with the start of the
23 NATO aggression there should be -- the defensive positions should be
24 manned, should be possessed, and counter-insurgency activities initiated
25 with the objective of protecting the units and enabling the operational
1 deployment of the corps' units. So the answer is the first
2 counter-insurgency activities were on the 24th of March and continued from
3 then on.
4 And to respond to your second question, unless I have omitted
5 something, is that the corps command regularly, periodically, required of
6 the subordinated commands interim, special, reports besides the daily,
7 regular, ones, in which the brigades were to provide a brief analysis of
8 the implementation of their previous tasks in defending the country.
9 Q. General, can we take a look at Exhibit 5D343 and can we have your
10 comment on it. This appears to be your document.
11 A. Yes, this is a document of the corps command which I, myself,
12 drafted on the 29th of March, following the successfully executed action
13 of routing terrorist forces in the area of Drenica. It required the corps
14 command be submitted data on the realisation of that task, in particular
15 requiring an analysis of the training levels of the units for such tasks
16 of their combat skills of the units, that is in item 4. In item 5, the
17 implementation of coordinated action with units of army and MUP. And in
18 item 6, I require their information about treatment of civilians during
19 combat activities and observance of the international law of war, and
20 naturally, to inform me of any observed terrorist activities by the
21 terrorist forces. And I'm asking them to send me written reports by the
22 3rd of April.
23 Q. Thank you, General. Take a look at 5D339 of the 28th of March
24 now. Tell me what this document is and do you recognise it?
25 A. I would like to ask the Trial Chamber for its indulgence. I would
1 like to remind you of my previous answer when we were discussing some
2 orders that bore that strange title, the Joint Command, where I testified
3 that the units were directed in a number of documents to those tasks. And
4 this is now a preparatory order that I issued to the units after the
5 counter-insurgency action in Drenica and the preparation for a new action
6 to take place in the Malisevo area, where each unit is given a specific
7 task within this order for preparations.
8 Q. Did the 3rd Army command report to the Supreme Command Staff about
9 those actions?
10 A. Yes, certainly. The 3rd Army command monitored the implementation
11 of these tasks, it approved, and definitely it reported to its superior
12 command, which would be the Supreme Command Staff.
13 Q. Could you now look at P1446 --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you do that, why do you relate this to the
15 Joint Command issue, Mr. Lazarevic?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, two actions are
17 mentioned here, one is Drenica, the other one is Malisevo. For both these
18 actions orders that bear no signature were issued, ones that are
19 headed "Joint Command for KiM." And yesterday, I tried to explain what it
20 meant, the fact that this was sent to the units, but there were other
21 documents that made it clear to them who was actually
22 ordering this and what was actually being ordered.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, I remember that. And what's this got to do
24 with the format of these documents?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, because after the
1 28th of March, the commanders would again receive the order for Malisevo
2 where there would be the heading of "the Joint Command for KiM," which
3 means what I actually tried to explain yesterday. But before that, they
4 had already been given a specific task from the corps commander with the
5 signature, and they know what they are to do. They will face no dilemma
6 once they receive the order that we are talking about.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying that there would be a preparatory
8 order which says nothing about Joint Command and then an executive order
9 which mentions the Joint Command?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a good example of a
11 preparatory order where there's no mention at all of the Joint Command.
12 This is the Pristina Corps, and there will be a group of documents that
13 would follow this one, including the order that is unsigned with the
14 heading of the Joint Command in order to indicate that this task was to be
15 carried out with the police.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you have no further
17 questions on this topic, I have a couple of questions on this topic, but
18 we are now approaching --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: No, continue with other couple of questions, yeah.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, on, or rather, my previous question was: Did the 3rd
22 Army command report to the Supreme Command Staff on these actions? And
23 could you please look at Prosecution Exhibit P1446. Could you please
24 comment on it. This is a very brief document.
25 A. The commander of the 3rd Army from the forward command post, which
1 is at the corps command post, on the 30th of March informs the Supreme
2 Command Staff that on the 30th of March an operation will commence to
3 destroy the remaining terrorist forces in the Malisevo area. And in
4 accordance with his estimate, the action would be completed within the
5 next two or three days. This is the action that is mentioned in the
6 previous preparatory order, and this is the action to which one of those
7 documents with the heading of the Joint Command would pertain to.
8 Q. Could you please look at Exhibit P2029 and could you please
9 comment on this document, in particular regarding items 2 and 4.
10 A. This is an order of the corps command from the beginning of the
11 war. It is a preparatory order for the next action, as was the previous
12 order, where I order that the Malisevo operation - although it was not
13 really an operation - should be completed by the 1st of April, in
14 accordance with the previous plan. And then that the forces should be
15 regrouped for further tasks; in other words, what I'm trying to say is
16 that the corps command is monitoring the situation, controlling the
17 situation, commanding the units, taking appropriate measures. It is in
18 command of its own units.
19 Q. Could you please comment on item 4, it's on the next page,
20 together with this order to control and block the Jablanica area, could
21 you please look at paragraph -- item 4 and tell us what you meant by it?
22 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. Could I inquire
23 when we're breaking today.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: As soon as we finish this document, Mr. -- I don't
25 believe in interrupting at an unnatural moment if it's possible to avoid
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just wasn't clear because of the
3 unusual sitting hours today starting at 11.00 and we typically don't go
4 more than an hour and 45 minutes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. We're almost finished this, I think.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise, I didn't
7 want to interrupt --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Just deal with this and complete the document
9 rather than go back to it later, which is a real waste of time.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Paragraph 4, item 4.
12 A. Although this is a classical example of a combat order, in this
13 order too, in item 4, I insist that in all the garrisons, in all the
14 deployment areas in coordinated action with forces of the MUP, the
15 military territorial organs, the military prosecutor's offices, and
16 military investigating and judicial organs, I know what this is all about,
17 despite the fact that now the text is no longer on the screen. Do I have
18 to talk about it?
19 Q. No, please, just tell us about it. Don't read it.
20 A. I demand that a stable security regime be established, that the
21 civilian population be protected in direct coordination with all these
22 structures, that crimes of all sorts are to be prevented. And I also
23 demand that special forces and people should be set aside for this task,
24 primarily from the military police units.
25 Q. Thank you, General. I have two more questions and two brief
1 documents --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: No, not any more documents at this stage,
3 Mr. Bakrac. Let's be reasonable about it, and indeed this is just a
4 demonstration of something that is quite unnecessary, because all the
5 witness has done is tell us what we can read for ourselves on the screen.
6 I thought I was assisting in allowing you to complete this, but it really
7 hasn't assisted very much. We'll break now and resume at ten minutes to
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.51 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.52 p.m.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
12 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. General, prior to the break we were looking at this document. To
14 clarify matters can we have Exhibit P2003 of the Prosecution shown on the
15 screen, please.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is one of the
17 orders tendered by the Prosecution. The date is the 2nd of April, 1999,
18 and it is an order to smash and destroy the STS in the Jablanica sector.
19 The heading states "Joint Command."
20 Can we now have Exhibit 5D84 shown on the screen, please.
21 Q. This is a combat report of the Pristina Corps dated the 3rd of
22 April. The previous command was of the 2nd of April, this is of the 3rd
23 of April. General, please comment on item 2.1, activities, results,
24 consequences, and other, and focus on the first sentence, please.
25 A. This combat report, it's item 2.1, the first sentence thereof
1 states -- in it I actually inform the commander of the army that on the
2 basis of my own decision, the decision of the Pristina Corps commander,
3 the re-grouping of forces has been completed and that actions are in
4 course to rout terrorist forces according to the Jablanica plan in the
5 Jablanica sector.
6 Q. Just a minute and then we shall wrap it up. Let us -- we shall
7 revert to this report later, but let us just take a look at Exhibit 5D85
8 one minute, which I believe is a combat report in the form of a telegram
9 dated the next day, the 4th of April, 1999. Please read first sentence of
10 item 2.1, activities, effects, consequences, and other data the next day,
11 i.e., April 4th, 1999.
12 A. The operation, the action, aimed at crushing the terrorist forces
13 in the wider Jablanica region is underway, and following the decision of
14 the commander of the Pristina Corps shall be completed by nightfall of the
15 4th of April, 1999.
16 Q. Tell us now, General, did you on the 3rd of April, 1999, and on
17 the 4th of April, 1999, when this indictment was not yet in existence, did
18 you write in your report to the superior command what you explained to us
19 today and yesterday?
20 A. Well, that is the substance and that reflects the factual state of
21 affairs, the goings on in the zone of responsibility of the corps in the
22 relevant period; namely, the corps command was planning to use -- was
23 planning the use of units in the -- to defend the country and informed the
24 superior command on that particular -- on the implementation of that
25 particular task.
1 Q. General, let us go back to 5D84 for a minute. I apologise, I
2 omitted something, item 8. In order to establish a link with this
3 document, I proceeded too quickly.
4 So please tell us what is the focus of activities for the coming
5 day, according to item 8. Yes, we have it on the screen now, item 8, that
7 A. I informed the army commander that the focus for the next day
8 would be to continue the initiated action to rout terrorist forces in the
9 Jablanica area. If I need to amplify --
10 Q. No, thank you, that will suffice.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have seen this
12 document many times in regard to the explanation of when the 37th
13 Motorised Brigade was resubordinated, and the number of criminal charges
14 filed for criminal offences; all this has been dealt with and addressed in
15 dealing with other witnesses. We shall now --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, what is the particular point you're
17 making by reference to 5D84 and 85 and P2003?
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is evident here that
19 then, on the 3rd April 1999, the corps commander at the time when there
20 was no indictment, it does not refer to the -- to an order of the Joint
21 Command but refers to an order of the Pristina Corps, as he told us
22 yesterday. In the combat report, you first saw the Jablanica order which
23 has in its heading "Joint Command." And the next day in the combat
24 report, the corps commander says: "On the basis of the decision of the
25 commander of the Pristina Corps ..." And does not say on the basis of the
1 decision of the Joint Command. So on the 3rd and 4th of April, he refers
2 to it as the decision of the commander of the Pristina Corps.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I thought that was the case, it's just the
4 reference to the indictment has defeated me, but let's continue.
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I just wanted to indicate for the record
6 that 5D85 does not appear to have been on the notification list.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
8 Please continue, Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that I've
10 seen it with some of the colleagues but perhaps colleague Visnjic --
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is probably with me
12 and I do not object to its being used.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]...
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, we shall now move on. Did the staff of the Supreme
16 Command issue orders and warnings for the protection of its own forces
17 against KLA attacks?
18 A. As far as I can recall there were such orders which were invoked
19 by the army command, and certainly when it was so assessed by the Supreme
20 Command Staff it did issue such orders as well.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at 5D -- Exhibit
22 5D174. 5D174.
23 Q. Please give us a brief comment on items 2 and 3 so that we can
25 A. I remember that an order of the 3rd Army had a similar content, on
1 the basis of which I issued my own order, and the essence is purely of a
2 military doctrinal nature, namely, that prior to bringing to specific
3 areas and facilities of units, such has to be carried out, combat control,
4 and the insight must be gained into the area, whether it is secure to
5 deploy the units there and protect them from any possible actions by
6 terrorist forces.
7 And in the third item, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command
8 orders the same to the army commander, namely, to act in compliance with
9 the order. And I also received such an order and instructions to act upon
11 Q. General, did the forces of the Ministry of the Interior in
12 conditions when the KLA insurgency and the NATO aggression began, were
13 they able to execute such complete combat control and protect the men and
14 the facilities?
15 A. Even had there been many times their number, they would not have
16 been able to complete that task on their own against the sitting of the
17 armed rebellion.
18 Q. General, we shall now take a look at another document, which I
19 should like you to comment on in more detail. I believe that that is your
20 document dated the 9th of April, 1999, which is exhibit -- Defence Exhibit
21 5D476. You see the document, General, can you explain to us your
22 sentence "to the commanders," what is this about?
23 A. I recall this document because it was created at the time when the
24 land aggression began from Albania on the Kosare-Djakovica axis. The
25 operations organ of the Pristina Corps informed me that they had received
1 information from organs of the MUP staff which were engaged in planning to
2 the effect that secretariats of the interior in the territory of Kosovo
3 and Metohija were planning or had planned specific counter-terrorist
4 actions. And in that sense, I ordered the commanders to establish contact
5 with the secretariats of the interior, to identify their place and role in
6 terms of their potential to engage in coordinated action with the MUP
7 forces, to implement the tasks of combat control of the territory. And in
8 the heading I also warned the commanders that one of the priority tasks of
9 the corps was incessant and complete control and securing of the
10 territory. I stated that they should identify the concrete activities by
11 secretariat, that they should identify their own potentials for
12 coordinated activity, and then that they were to draft proposals.
13 Q. General, yes, let us not go into detail. You did indicate what
14 factors were to be established, contact with for consultation and
15 coordination. Let us look at page 2, item 4, the last two sentences, I
16 should like to hear your comment on those, then we shall move on.
17 A. I ordered that once contacts, coordination, have been established in
18 accordance with the possibilities of the units, specific actions should be
19 planned and that such plans should be submitted to the Pristina Corps
20 command for its approval. Thus, what was planned by the MUP forces, the
21 army units, the Pristina Corps as their actions, they were to act in
22 coordination in carrying out their tasks wherever they
23 could, and the plans would be approved by the corps commander.
24 Q. And did you ask that analyses be submitted to you of those
25 actions? Please look at 5D373.
1 A. This is a document issued by the corps command, although in the
2 letterhead the title of the corps command is missing and the date is the
3 23rd of April. And in this document I ask of the subordinate commanders
4 that they send information on the action against the rebel forces in
5 places where those participated in the action, and the names of the
6 actions are listed if the forces participated in them.
7 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on. We have seen a number of
8 documents of yours mentioning combat control of the territory. Can you
9 explain to us the essence or the gist of the significance of this and the
10 manner in which combat control of the territory was exercised.
11 A. With Their Honours' leave, I ask you to bear with me and allow me
12 to respond in a few sentences, because this activity differed from the
13 usual combat activities which we call combat actions, attack, or defence.
14 Combat control of the territory is a set of different tactical combat
15 activities with the aim of primarily through passive, defensive,
16 intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other measures protecting the
17 units and major facilities. The set of measures and activities varies.
18 It ranges from taking up positions or taking facilities to setting up
19 observation posts, setting up check-points, and by all these means combat
20 control of the territories achieved.
21 Q. Let's look at Exhibit 5D374. General, we will come to your
22 special orders relating to taking care of the civilian population, but we
23 have seen that in your combat orders you also demanded that your units
24 adhere by the law of war, international laws of war and humanitarian law.
25 In these orders for the control of the territory, we also see that there
1 is a special item dealing with that. Could you explain, first of all, in
2 item 1 why did you require that all military territorial units be removed
3 from inhabited places, and then please go on and comment on items 2 and 3.
4 The date here is the 23rd of April.
5 A. From the military and doctrinal standpoint, this order of mine -
6 and there was also a previous order issued by the army commander - is not
7 fully justified because military doctrine implies organizing defence by
8 relying on inhabited places and fortified facilities and buildings.
9 However, I ordered that military territorial units which by virtue of
10 their purpose carry out their tasks in inhabited places, protecting
11 crucial facilities be removed from inhabited places, and I did this for
12 two reasons. Firstly, with Their Honours' leave I will simplify things by
13 saying that we wanted to create a safe place where the civilian population
14 would have room to live without hindrance, as far as is possible in
15 wartime conditions. And on the other hand, we wanted them to take certain
16 facilities outside inhabited places, that is, the units, we wanted the
17 units to take up facilities outside inhabited places in order to achieve
18 combat control.
19 Q. Well, let's look at item 3 first, and then we'll go back to item
20 2, and especially the third sentence. Could you please explain the whole
21 of item 3, in fact.
22 A. Item 3 explains in greater detail the idea that guided me when I
23 issued this task. To accommodate and protect the civilian population in
24 inhabited places in line with my previous orders. That's why particular
25 units were evacuated or moved out. I am requiring from the subordinate
1 commanders that the civilian population not be out in the open, but that
2 it be accommodated in buildings, inside inhabited places, and that any
3 criminal activity against the civilian population be prevented.
4 Q. We see that you said something in brackets, to prevent what?
5 A. Well, if someone should perhaps prohibit the civilian population
6 from returning to their homes --
7 Q. Thank you, General. Could you comment on item 2 and then on item
8 5 after that.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Before moving on to that, if you would go back,
10 please, to paragraph -- section number 1 which talks of removing all
11 military territorial units from inhabited places. It goes on to say: "And
12 occupy facilities for the purpose of the blockade."
13 What does that mean?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the military
15 territorial units had to take dominant facilities to block them from
16 attacks by terrorist forces; that's combat control of the territory. So
17 from those facilities they should protect their own forces and all the
18 other forces in the general area.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the blockade you're talking about there?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is a blockade of approach of
21 possibilities for terrorist forces to approach and to suddenly attack
22 these significant features and facilities. As I said, by setting up
23 sentinels and employing the entire system of combat control of the
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you give me an example of such facilities?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with all due respect,
2 allow me to say that the most serious form, the most difficult form, of
3 anti-terrorist combat anywhere in the world is combat control of the
4 territory, protection of the general area of various features and
5 facilities. There are experiences all over the world where suicide
6 bombers penetrate to such facilities or features. So approach should be
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I just want you to tell me the nature of the
9 facilities you had in mind. Can you give me an example of such a
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a very specific example, Your
12 Honour, would be the following: The military territorial Podujevo
13 Detachment, which according to its purpose would be deployed in an
14 inhabited place, in a town, securing important buildings, I ordered that
15 it be removed several kilometres further away where there is a major
16 waterworks important for water-supply to the entire area and to block and
17 protect that waterworks from terrorist attacks. They succeeded in this,
18 but the waterworks were hit by NATO's air-strikes and the population was
19 left without water.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, you have explained item 3. Please look at items 2 and 5.
23 A. This is a document of the 23rd of April, and here I order the
24 commanders on -- after having carried out the resubordination of the MUP
25 units, the main forces of the police should be engaged primarily as a
1 priority task on the combat control of the territory and an assessment for
2 such engagement should be carried out at the brigade level.
3 Q. Well, let's pause here. We'll come to some documents, but to
4 clarify things here you stress the date here. This was after the order by
5 the supreme commander, the Chief of the General Staff, and then the
6 commander of the 3rd Army were issued. And you set a deadline by the
7 25th, just so that Their Honours can have a clear reference and then we'll
8 come to those documents. Is this correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. General, please look at item 5 on page 2, so it's also on page 2
11 in the English version, item 5. Can you explain what it means?
12 A. In item 5, I prohibited my subordinate commanders from issuing any
13 kind of order having to do with the functioning of civilian organs of
14 authority or the so-called Crisis Staffs, and the unification or
15 coordination and combination of means of defence should be regulated by
16 special orders.
17 Q. Please look at item 9.
18 A. Item 9, first of all, points to the continuation of previous
19 orders, numerous previous orders, and says: "Continue using all measures
20 to prevent any attempted crime in the areas of responsibility, and should
21 there be any perpetrators of crimes, employ the most serious measures of
22 responsibility." Also, "strengthen measures to ensure order in the units,
23 overall order, in order to preserve the reputation of the members of the
24 Army of Yugoslavia."
25 Q. The last page, item 13, it seems that you stressed here that this
1 order of an ongoing, permanent, character and that the entire corps must
2 be familiarised with it. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, what you said is correct. It's a permanent order, not just
4 because I myself composed it in the midst of wartime chaos, but also
5 because I was convinced at the time that this order provided for important
6 measures. And that's why I required that I be informed regularly through
7 daily combat reports, and this happened throughout the war and this order
8 was always referred to.
9 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour. The English
10 translation says item 12 is one sentence illegible. I don't know if since
11 the General's here he might be able to tell us what it says.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you read item 12, if you can, Mr. Lazarevic.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the usher could zoom in because I
14 see what you all see. I will try. I might be able to recognise
15 something. Oh, yes, yes.
16 "By all means, to the maximum extent, intensify measures of
17 engineer protection, engineer support." So it says: "To the maximum
18 extent, with all available means, take measures of engineering support."
19 I can explain what this means. It means securing manoeuvres,
20 removing land-mines from roads, and especially creating obstacles at the
21 state border to prevent attacks from Albania and Macedonia. So that is to
22 protect the manpower.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Bakrac --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- From attacks, from attacks from
1 the air-space.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, you read an order here concerning your prohibition, or
4 rather, where you prohibited your commanders from interfering in the work
5 of civilian authorities. Can you explain what this means and what this
6 refers to?
7 A. This was a preventive measure. I must confess that at the time I
8 didn't know that anyone on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija issued any
9 erroneous orders to this effect, but I clearly ordered the commanders,
10 saying them -- telling them that they had absolutely no authority over the
11 civilian government and the civilian authorities in the areas where the
12 army units were deployed.
13 Q. General, let us look at 3D592, Exhibit 3D592, and the briefing of
14 the chief of the Supreme Command of the 22nd of April, 1999. That's page
15 4 in B/C/S and page 4 in the English version. And in item 4, to speed
16 things up, I'll read it while we wait for it. It says, item 4: "The
17 state of war" and "military administration," it's not one and the same
18 thing, military rule, it's not one and the same thing. Could you please
19 explain to us, what does that mean?
20 A. I assume, because I don't see it in front of me, that this is what
21 the chief of Supreme Command Staff said.
22 Q. Colonel-General Ojdanic, item 4.
23 A. Yes, I can see it now. And -- despite the fact that this is just
24 a few words, they unequivocally and clearly show the military doctrine of
25 the Army of Yugoslavia, which does not recognise the occupation -- the
1 system of occupation and military rule, which is something that exists
2 under the military doctrine of some other states, including some NATO
3 member states. In the doctrine of the Army of Yugoslavia there is no
4 military rule where the military would suspend the civilian government,
5 would impose some kind of military rule, and would be held responsible for
6 everything that happens in that area. The military engages in armed
7 struggle and it makes sure that other entities involved in the defence, of
8 course, carry out their tasks, but it receives the main brunt.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the witness please not
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, we will come back to that and you will provide some other
13 details. You spoke about the control of the territory, General, and the
14 establishment of check-points, does that serve that purpose, too? Can you
15 tell us something about that? Did the military establish those
16 check-points and for what reason, if so?
17 A. The corps units did set up check-points at access routes to the
18 sectors where their units were deployed, in order to ensure fuller combat
19 control to prevent any entry of unauthorised persons into the deployment
20 sectors and also to control its own personnel, to prevent them from
21 leaving those sectors.
22 Q. And what kind of units manned those check-points from the
23 composition of the Pristina Corps?
24 A. Primarily those were the units of the military police, because
25 that is their purpose and they have the capability to carry out such
1 tasks. Because they could find themselves in public transport, and one of
2 the roles of the military police is to control the road traffic, military
3 road traffic.
4 Q. General, did to that end the security department of the Pristina
5 Corps issue a detailed instruction for the operation of military
7 A. Yes. There is a very detailed report, very detailed document on
8 how this task is to be carried out, forms that are to be used for the
9 movement of vehicles, and the security organ actually was in charge of all
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to move
12 forward a bit more quickly, the evidence of General Lazarevic on this
13 issue is contained in Exhibit 5D375. There is no reason for us to open
14 this document now.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, were there any mixed check-points that were manned both
18 by the military and by the MUP?
19 A. As part of the coordinated action in carrying out tasks to
20 establish combat control, we did encounter certain problems, and we agreed
21 in the spirit of cooperation that those check-points should be closer to
22 each other. And each check-point, the police check-point would have its
23 own duties and obligations, and the military check-point would have its
24 own obligations. The military check-point checked military personnel, and
25 the MUP check-points checked their own units and the civilian traffic and
1 all the other civilian structures.
2 Q. As far as I was able to understand, those check-points were set up
3 on the basis of an agreement between the leaders of the MUP staff and the
4 Pristina Corps command. Perhaps if we could look at 5D376, and if you
5 could explain to us -- it says here: "Pursuant to an agreement between
6 the leaders of the MUP staff and the Pristina Corps command, the 13th of
7 May," that was the deadline for the resubordination. Is this proof of the
8 fact that the resubordination had not happened by the 13th of May, because
9 we can see from this document that the mixed check-points were set up on
10 the basis of an agreement, that's from the MUP staff leaders?
11 A. Well, the document speaks for itself and indicates that this is,
12 indeed, the case. And I just wanted to add that on several occasions, I
13 think it was General Obrad Stevanovic who phoned and tried to get in touch
14 with me in order to have a closer coordinated action with regard to the
15 functioning of those check-points. Perhaps it was also General Lukic, but
16 I remember that I contacted -- I was in contact with General Stevanovic on
17 the phone. So it was done on the basis of an agreement to improve our
18 coordinated action.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at exhibit -- a
20 Prosecution exhibit, P1269.
21 Q. And if you could comment very briefly on items 1 and 5 so that we
22 can proceed more quickly. General, could you please look at this
23 document, the 8th of May, and very briefly items 1 and 5.
24 A. This is an order from the 3rd Army commander from the forward
25 command post about the engagement of the military and MUP forces to
1 establish combat control of the territory. We have been discussing this.
2 In item 1, he orders that all forces should be engaged in the area of
3 responsibility of the corps to establish full control of the territory and
4 the possibility of roads. And in item 5, the Pristina Corps commander, as
5 far as I can see, it was 20 days after the previous order, orders again
6 that the Pristina Corps should resubordinate all military territorial
7 units and the MUP units to the joint units -- tactical units, i.e.,
9 Q. Just let me see if I understand it correctly. The Pristina Corps
10 commander orders, that's what you said. As far as I can understand from
11 this document, just so that it is clear in the transcript, it was the 3rd
12 Army commander who ordered the Pristina Corps commander on the 8th of May
13 to again issue an order for the resubordination, which had not happened
15 A. Yes, definitely. I do apologise. I may have misspoken, but it is
16 quite clear from this document that this is an order of the 3rd Army
17 commanders to the Pristina Corps commander.
18 Q. Thank you, General. Let us move on. We've seen that there were
19 some joint actions to rout and destroy Siptar terrorists according to the
20 orders, or rather, the coordinated action between the Army of Yugoslavia,
21 the Pristina Corps, and MUP. Did the units of the Pristina Corps, were
22 they engaged in any independent operations or actions that they carried
23 out on their own?
24 A. By your leave, Your Honours, I want to say that the last orders to
25 provide support to the MUP forces with this unfortunate heading of the
1 Joint Command that is now causing this confusion were issued on [as
2 interpreted] the 15th and the 16th of April to carry out
3 counter-insurgency actions. All the other orders, all the other
4 instructions, and all the other combat documents never ever contained this
5 title again. They all pertained to a number of independent actions,
6 battles, and combat engagements of the Pristina Corps within a combat
7 operation, although in some orders the -- there are suggestions or orders
8 for the coordinated action with MUP forces, but in some cases there is no
9 coordinated action. The only units that are engaged are the Pristina
10 Corps units.
11 Q. You said up until the 16th, but not after the 16th. Can you
12 explain to us, General, why not after the 16th?
13 A. As early as on the 18th, the Supreme Command Staff issued an order
14 for the resubordination of the MUP organs and units to the military,
15 whereby there was no longer any need for any attempts to find some kind of
16 a modality for the coordination and support between the military and MUP;
17 and that is why such headings are no longer seen in any of the corps
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, the English translation says: "On the
20 15th and 16th of April ..." Was that accurate?
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No. The General said after the 16th.
22 The General said that the last order with that heading was after the 16th,
23 and my question was: Why after the 16th of April there were no longer any
24 orders bearing this heading.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues]...
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, we will come back to this topic with some documents, but
3 is it true that through -- that this resubordination was attempted until
4 the end of May and did it finally succeed?
5 A. I'd say attempts were made up until the end of the war, and my
6 answer would be that there was no resubordination of the forces, or
7 rather, organs and units of the MUP to the Army of Yugoslavia, quite
8 specifically to the Pristina Corps, as it had been ordered.
9 Q. General, we stopped at the independent actions launched by the
10 Pristina Corps. There is no need to go into the document. I will just
11 make a reference to it, it's 5D335 for the benefit of the Trial Chamber.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you -- let me ask Mr. Lazarevic: What you're
13 portraying is a picture of persistent attempts to order the
14 resubordination of the MUP forces to the Pristina Corps; is that a correct
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm saying that there
17 were several attempts in addition to the initial order dated the 20th when
18 we're talking about the 3rd Army command, the 20th of April, you saw that
19 on the 8th of May the army commander orders me to resubordinate the MUP
20 units. And on the other hand there were attempts, direct contacts, to do
21 so, but there were problems of another kind. But I have not been asked
22 that question yet so I have refrained from saying that.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I was only proceeding on what you said. You said
24 you would say attempts were made up until the end of the war. What were
25 the consequences of the failure of the MUP to accept resubordination?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The consequences, Your Honour, were
2 dire in terms of combat because this resulted in heavy casualties, both in
3 the military ranks and in the MUP ranks because it was impossible to
4 establish heavy combat control in such circumstances, the circumstances of
5 armed rebellion. We suffered heavy casualties, and the defence system in
6 Kosovo and Metohija in certain elements thereof saw its efficiency and
7 effectiveness diminished.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm understanding that as saying that these were
9 casualties which might have been avoided had there been resubordination;
10 is that what you're saying?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is exactly what I'm saying, and
12 if you will bear with me I can tell you in 20 seconds this. Specifically
13 speaking in the Drenica area, the commander of the brigade informed me
14 that some 200 metres from the point of coordinated action a MUP unit was
15 securing that area. There the terrorist units attacked command of the
16 battalion and the commander of the battalion as they were moving and
17 massacred them, him and another five persons.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You're painting a picture also of not just the VJ
19 but the MUP suffering additional casualties because of this. Have you any
20 idea why there was a refusal to accept general resubordination?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my information is
22 indirect, not extremely indirect, but it is indirect. I obtained it
23 through the reports of subordinated commanders, through contact with my
24 subordinated army commander, namely, that MUP units in the area of Kosovo
25 and Metohija had not been issued an order from the minister of the
1 interior of the Republic of Serbia to resubordinate themselves to the army
2 units in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. And they simply could not
3 act upon our orders because the minister of the interior, according to the
4 Law on Internal Affairs is the only authorised person to regulate the use
5 of the operation forces of that ministry.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I
10 Q. I just wanted to direct you in regard of these independent
11 actions. The reference is 5D335, 5D361, 3D314, 5D393, and in order not to
12 open them all, we shall just open 5D416, and, General, would you comment
13 on it and then we will move on.
14 General, this appears to be your order, so would you kindly
15 comment on it.
16 A. This is an order seven days prior to the commencement of the
17 second large-scale land operation from Albania of the 19th of May, and I
18 warned the commanders of that fact and I order - let me not say some sort
19 of a partisan tactic - but specifically that all brigades and independent
20 battalions should undertake preparations for the execution of combats,
21 clashes, and all other tactical activities because I assess that there
22 would be a complete severance of the communications and command systems
23 and that the situation in that part of the battle-field would become
24 dramatic. Then I go on to explain how that should be done, and I suggest
25 an order to the commanders, telling them that there would be no assistance
1 from without, but that in keeping with the general order on the defence of
2 the country each one should take their own decisions, in keeping with that
3 general order of mine for the defence of the country.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is Exhibits 5D393,
6 which are --
7 JUDGE CHOWHAN: General, I'm sorry to intervene, but this is the
8 right time before we go forward. Could you tell us what were the reasons
9 for the minister of interior not passing orders for resubordination of
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is a big question
12 mark for me. I don't know whether anyone knows the answer to that in this
13 courtroom. I really don't know why, and I would not like to speculate on
14 that. It was really difficult for me, as was to the other staff of the
15 MUP in Kosovo and Metohija, to comprehend why such orders had not come
16 through, because I had sustained heavy casualties and they had sustained
17 even heavier casualties in the Jablanica region because of the failure to
18 coordinated action. Why that was so, or why that had not been done I
19 really didn't know, I didn't know who Vlajko Stojiljkovic was.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
22 JUDGE CHOWHAN: But, sorry, the next question is, General, I'm
23 sorry to ask you this question. Because of the ground realities and the
24 difficult situation you were confronted with, and you also felt the need
25 for cooperation or whatever or working together with the MUP and you
1 wanted that this be formalised, did you agitate this somewhere that why
2 this was not put in a formal way or why formal orders were not being sent
3 or something was not being done? Was there any agitation from your side
4 as the corps commander?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I certainly did raise
6 in all modesty, let me say, certain activities, and I tried to conduct
7 some sort of a minor mission impossible on my part, and I ordered
8 something which I superiors did not order. You had occasion to see this
9 order of mine, which observed on the strictly military standpoint, I did
10 not have the right to order and interpret things in a way that had not
11 been ordered to me. What I'm trying to tell you is that the kind of order
12 that I received was simply unfeasible in practice; namely, to
13 resubordinate organs and units of the MUP to the corps. What organs?
14 What units? What centres of security? I as the commander did not know
15 what these structures were.
16 Secondly, if you will allow me, let me tell you what I did then.
17 The army commander [as interpreted] who knew all this, but I sent my, so
18 to speak, third man, my assistant, my operations man who I hope will be
19 taking the stand here and we will have occasion to hear him. And he went
20 from secretariat of the interior to secretariat of interior from
21 detachment commander to detachment commander and tried to maintain the
22 necessary level of cooperation. All right. There was no subordination,
23 but we did not want to detract from our mutual relations in order to
24 actually be able to weather this tide of the chaos, war, that we were in
25 the midst of.
1 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I certainly don't find that an answer to the
3 question that was asked. Did you agitate with anyone higher up the
4 hierarchy about this? I don't think you've answered that.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If, Your Honour, you mean someone
6 from the MUP, from the police --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, from your -- anybody who -- I mean, we've
8 seen what General Pavkovic did to try to have this matter raised, but what
9 did you do about it is what Judge Chowhan was asking.
10 No, no, let the witness answer. He's been asked a question and
11 he's been asked whose cage he rattled to try to get something done about
12 this, and he told us he had somebody in the MUP, but Judge Chowhan is more
13 concerned about what he had done through his own chain of command about
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise if I was not
16 sufficiently clear, but I primarily meant my own attitude, my obligation
17 towards the 3rd Army commander, by whom I sat day and night and reported
18 to him, informed him, and I saw and monitored. And you will allow me to
19 say, Your Honour, that that was the utmost I could have done amid that
20 chaos of war. Had I had any other occasion, I would have taken advantage
21 of it, but I was with the commander at all times and I reported on this to
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Bakrac.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can I just ask for a
1 minute of your attention. The batch of documents that we have prepared is
2 voluminous and we are trying to follow a system which Your Honours are
3 perhaps unaware of. So that when a subsequent question is raised, and
4 that will be the case, you will actually be able to see what the corps
5 commander and the commander of the army did on that score in their
6 documents, in regards to this question of the resubordination of units.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Aleksic.
8 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour, I think
9 that page 61, lines 6 and 7, the witness also responded what the 3rd Army
10 commander had taken in connection with that, and it is not reflected in
11 the transcript.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand what you're saying about this.
13 The transcript at present says that he was with the commanders at all
14 times and reported on this to him. What do you say is missing?
15 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, you are asking
16 what measures were taken, and the witness said: I did this and I know
17 that the army commander also took other measures from his competence, and
18 that is not reflected in the transcript.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was interrupted
22 twice. I should just like to invoke some exhibits in conjunction with the
23 previous subject matter, that's 5D443 and 5D395.
24 Q. General, did the units of the Pristina Corps suffer frequent
25 attacks by the KLA and did they have significant losses?
1 A. Not a single day passed in the war without there being losses due
2 to rebel attacks. The losses of the Pristina Corps were twice as high due
3 to terrorist attacks than they were due to NATO attacks.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we refer to 5D221.
5 Q. You gave us an example, saying that you ordered the brigades to
6 collect information and plan actions at their own level. Did the command
7 of the Pristina Corps - I'm speaking now of independent actions - did it
8 plan actions at its own level?
9 A. For certain situations in the assessment of the corps command, if
10 these situations were serious, the corps command issued special decisions
11 and orders to the brigades, telling them to independently or in
12 cooperation with other brigades carry out these complex tasks in the
13 course of the war.
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] May we now look at Exhibit 5D396.
15 Q. And could you comment on this, could you tell us whether this is
16 an example of what you were just saying, and especially could you comment
17 on items 4, 5, and 6 on page 2, these are brief. Do you recognise this
19 A. Yes, I do, certainly.
20 Q. Please comment on items 4, 5, and 6, this is an order issued by
21 you to break-up and destroy STS in the Kacikol general area.
22 A. By Their Honours' leave, let me explain that. In the immediate
23 vicinity of Pristina to the east, some 10 kilometres away, there was a
24 strong build-up of terrorist forces on the main road from Pristina to
25 Medvedja leading to that part of Serbia. I then issued a decision and
1 ordered the 354th Infantry Brigade to become engaged in breaking up this
2 strong build-up which was threatening Pristina itself, and in item 3 I
3 order that they use their own forces for fire support; and as in every
4 other order, I tell them to prevent torching and destroying buildings and
5 to open fire only on buildings where there is resistance and where they
6 pose a danger to their own forces.
7 In item 5, as always, I say prevent maltreatment and persecution
8 of civilians and treat refugees in the spirit of the previously issued
9 orders; in practically every combat order I say this.
10 Q. When you say, or rather, you said here open fire only on buildings
11 where there is resistance and where they pose a danger to your own forces.
12 Did the corps carry out an assessment as to how many so-called UBS, that
13 is, lethal weapons, were used in the war and what effects these had?
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] In the meantime let's call up 5D1275.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I beg for Their Honours' indulgence
16 because this appears to be a military question but it is of significance
17 for everything going on in this courtroom. So if Their Honours will bear
18 with me, I will talk about the amount of ordnance used in the war and the
19 amount of ammunition because these facts demonstrate with mathematical
20 accuracy what was done and how. This table was created in the war by
21 counting every bullet and every projectile that was used. This table,
22 however, needs to be seen in the light of what is important here, and that
23 is that the corps did not carry out any kind of systematic campaign of
24 destruction and killing, on the contrary. In my entire military career, I
25 never found another example of this sort of extremely restrictive use of
1 ordnance. If I may, Your Honours, I would like to add a few sentences
2 because it will mean a great deal to me if I can explain with greater
3 precision what this means.
4 According to military doctrine, to carry out a combat task with
5 the minimum of military efficiency, to neutralise 25 per cent of the enemy
6 forces, when this is translated to the situation of the Pristina Corps it
7 would mean that in view of the numbers of rebel forces, the brigades and
8 the zones, as they call them, it would have been necessary to use 0.74
9 combat kits of the Pristina Corps. The effect of this would have been
10 taking 5 to 6.000 members of the KLA out of action. That would have been
11 the minimum requirement.
12 The second parameter, Your Honours, is that in view of the
13 duration of the war the corps would have had to use 20 combat kits in
14 three months of work.
15 The third parameter contained in the combat documents would be the
16 following: The corps had approval from the 3rd Army to use in the first
17 15 days of the war four combat kits to carry out its tasks.
18 And finally, in three months of war, the corps used 0.41 per cent
19 of its combat kits. Using this, it could neutralise 10 to 14 per cent of
20 the rebel forces, which is twice less than the minimum. It's half the
21 minimum. According to the combat documentation of the corps, in war with
22 the -- in fighting, 1.095 terrorists were killed, and this amounts to 3
23 per cent of their numbers, which demonstrates the extreme restrictiveness
24 and use of the principle of humaneness, which was set above the principle
25 of military efficiency.
1 And to conclude, we did this not because we were not well-trained
2 as officers and soldiers, but because had we used bigger and more lethal
3 technology and ordnance, there would have been a lot of destruction and a
4 lot of casualties because the terrorist forces used mainly inhabited
5 places and they used civilians as live shields, human shields. And that
6 was the highest standard of the application of international laws of war
7 and humanitarian laws of war, and there is a whole study that was
8 conducted during and after the war about the use of ordnance and this
9 doctrine of military inefficiency but military humaneness which was set
10 above efficiency.
11 Thank you for bearing with me.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I hope you understood it, Mr. Bakrac. I find
13 it very difficult to follow any of that, and it's compounded by the fact
14 that the document's not translated. And indeed, I have no idea of the
15 relationship between the document and what's just been said by
16 Mr. Lazarevic. It sounds like an area for expertise if there had been
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me just check the
19 translation. The document has been translated, but I can explain. This
20 is an assessment of the amount of ordnance used, and this was done at the
21 level of the Pristina Corps for the period from the 24th of March to the
22 10th of May, 1999. General Lazarevic commented on the relationship
23 between the amount of ordnance used and the parameters he explained, which
24 is his view of the situation.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: When was this document compiled?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 10th of May, 1999, at the
2 command post of the Pristina Corps. This is not an assessment, Your
3 Honours, it's a report of the rear organ on the use of ammunition up to
4 the 10th of May, 1999, and there are other reports for the period up to
5 the end of the war. This document refers to the numbers of projectiles
6 and the numbers of bullets used by the units of the Pristina Corps.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we may return to it later once I've seen the
8 translation, but I can make nothing of it as it stands.
9 Please continue.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. We have
11 information that there is a translation, and during the break we will try
12 to discover why it is not on the screen.
13 Q. General, we said that the civil authorities continued functioning
14 in Kosovo and Metohija. What tasks were they performing inter alia?
15 A. Well, to the best of my knowledge, which is indirect and which I
16 obtained through the officers subordinate to me because I have to say I
17 did not have any direct contacts except perhaps an exchange of letters
18 within individuals, but I really do know from the reports coming from my
19 subordinate units that they exerted enormous efforts to take care of the
20 civilian population, to make sure that public services continued to
21 function, that the population was supplied with necessities, and that
22 after strikes, everything would continue to function, the market
23 inspection, the judiciary, everything that's needed.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to avoid looking at
25 each and every document and to expedite matters, I'll just give you the
1 references, 2D375, 5D29, 5D1199.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, we touched on this issue a little while ago, so let's
5 round it off now. The question relates to the relationship between the
6 civilian authorities and particular units which were part of the army and
7 of the 3rd Corps. In the case of the Army of Yugoslavia, were there any
8 misunderstandings of the role of the Army of Yugoslavia in wartime and its
9 relationship with the structures of the civilian authorities and the
10 civilian government, because we saw that a state of war implies military
11 administration. So could you comment on this and then we'll look at a
12 Prosecution document.
13 A. I learned about several such occurrences here in this courtroom.
14 In that period during the time of the war, I did not have information that
15 any units of the army acted incorrectly or undertook things that were not
16 within their competence, but I learned about this here.
17 Q. Please look at P1208. This refers to the command of the Pec
18 Military District. The commander of the Pec Military District issued an
19 order on the 30th of May, 19 --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. -- 30th of March, 1999. Could you please comment on item 1 and
23 then we'll move on and round off this topic before the break.
24 A. The commander of the Pec Military District, which was part of the
25 Pristina Military District and subordinated to the 3rd Army at the time,
1 on the 30th of March, 1999, referring to a non-existent order by the
2 supreme commander ordered that all republican and other local authorities
3 be placed under the command of the Pec military district. My comment on
4 this is that it just doesn't make sense, that it's absolute nonsense.
5 There's nothing one can say about such a document.
6 Q. Now look at 5D37, please, dated the 25th of April, 1999, and
7 please comment on it. It's a brief document.
8 A. The very same commander that issued the nonsensical order that we
9 have just seen cancelled, revoked, his previous order on the 25th of April
10 that was based on the military -- Pristina Military District command, and
11 I know for a fact that the commander of the Pristina Military District
12 under my command used my previous order in which I prohibited the issuing
13 of any orders related to the civilian government and used it as a basis to
14 revoke his own document.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P -- Exhibit P1982,
16 again a Prosecution exhibit.
17 Q. If you could comment on that, if you know what that is.
18 A. This is yet another similar document, this time it is the 7th
19 Infantry Brigade that had just a few days before that arrived. It was
20 transferred to the Pristina Corps area. Again he refers to this
21 non-existent order, but in milder terms establishes some kind of staffs,
22 Municipal Assemblies, coordinates orders. This is couched in different
23 terms, determining who would take care of the civilians, protect law and
24 order, but it is without a shadow of a doubt an order that cannot be
25 carried out by anyone, including the addressees, and nobody has the right
1 to issue such an order. And when the order -- when he received the order
2 on the 23rd of March [as interpreted], he for all intents and purposes
3 revoked this one.
4 Q. The order that we're referring to now, we've already called it up,
5 that's 5D374, this is an order of the Pristina Corps commander of the 23rd
6 of April prohibiting in item 5 any such actions.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but there
8 is an error in the transcript, it's not March -- yes, yes, it's my
9 mistake. It's the 23rd of March. In fact, when I gave the reference --
10 no, I'm sorry. Let's clear this up.
11 Q. This order of yours, what date does it bear?
12 A. The 23rd of April, as far as I can remember, measures to stabilize
13 the defence. That's what it is called.
14 Q. Yes, well there was an error in the transcript, so now we've
15 clarified it. Did the military district command, following this order of
16 yours, the Pristina Military District command issue its own order?
17 Because we saw that the units within its composition had tried to do
18 something like that. That would be 5D35, Exhibit 5D35, we can look at it
19 on the screen, in particular item 4, 5D35. Page 2, item 4. That is when
20 the Pristina Military District command was resubordinated to you.
21 A. Well, resubordinated, he is quoting my order, I prohibit any
22 issuing on any orders on this part of the commanders regarding the
23 functioning of the Crisis Staffs or authorities, and all the other
24 commands complied with my order.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Perhaps this would be a convenient
1 time for a break. I think, according to our schedule, we should have our
2 break now for --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: We shall resume at 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Microphone not activated]
8 [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. General, we talked about the relationship between the Army of
10 Yugoslavia and the civilian authorities. You touched upon the
11 relationship with the MUP. Maybe we with wrap up this topic. Let me ask
12 you the following: What was the relationship between the Army of
13 Yugoslavia, the corps units, and the MUP units during the war and in what
14 way was the coordination done and at what level?
15 A. I would say that the relations were correct in accordance with the
16 purpose and function of those two structures within the defence system.
17 As for the coordination, it was carried out in accordance with the
18 instruction and the Rules of Combat of Army of Yugoslavia. As for the
19 level, during the war the coordination at the higher level, the MUP staff
20 and the corps command, was practically impossible because of constant
21 relocations and constant engagements. And it boiled down to individual
22 contacts between the people from the corps command and people either in
23 the staff or outside of the staff, Brakovic, General Stefanovic, who was a
24 colonel in the -- and Stefanovic, who was the colonel in the corps
25 command, and it was going on to a much higher extent at the level of the
1 brigade commanders and the secretariats of the interior and the commanders
2 of those.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
4 microphone. The interpreters couldn't hear the question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We heard -- there are no documents
6 from the staff command or the corps command that does not regulate the
7 coordination. It is something that must be done in combat conditions.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Was there a Stevanovic both in the VJ and in the
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I want to cut a long
11 story short and then I'm inconsistent. One of the assistants in the MUP,
12 the assistant to the minister of the interior was
13 General Obrad Stevanovic. And in the Pristina Corps command there was the
14 colonel, Radojko Stefanovic, he was the chief of the operations and
15 training organ. So there's just one sound that distinguishes the two
16 surnames, but they dealt with the coordination, so did Colonel Brakovic
17 from the police. This is as far as I know.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, lest we should be
20 opening all those documents, 5D997, 5D333, and 5D369 all speak about this
22 Q. General, now I would like to ask you - and this is something that
23 we started talking about before the break - the issue of resubordination.
24 This is something that has been discussed at length in this courtroom.
25 You said that there had been no resubordination.
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please now look at --
2 Q. We've seen often here in courtroom an order from the supreme
3 commander and the Chief of the General Staff and the army commander,
4 that's 4D299. Now I would like us to see 51267 [as interpreted]. It's
5 your document, it's dated the 20th of April, if we could elicit your
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you give us that number again, please.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] That's P1267, it's a Prosecution
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. It appears to be your order, and His Honour Judge Chowhan, if I
13 understood it correctly, he asked you if you had issued any orders. So
14 this is the order for the resubordination dated the 20th of April. Could
15 you please comment on it. You said something that it contains more items
16 than the previous ones.
17 A. By the Trial Chamber's leave I would like to say that
18 resubordination as a process, as an action, is something that is extremely
19 complex. And if I may be allowed to say that we've heard in this
20 courtroom some comments ranging from a statement that it was impossible to
21 resubordinate to such institutions. We heard that from a general that had
22 been doing that for 30 years in the military and all the way up to a
23 statement that this is something that can be done ad hoc, in two, three
24 hours. And I assure you, based on my personal experience, it is mission
25 impossible, I use that term for the second or third time today. Acting on
1 the orders of the 3rd Army commander, referring to the order of the
2 Supreme Command Staff, on the 20th of April I issued an order. In item 1
3 I copy the two referenced orders and, Your Honour, let me read what it
4 says here so that we all get an idea of how difficult it is.
5 "Units and organs of the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, in
6 the brigades' zones of responsibility shall be resubordinated to the
7 brigade commands for carrying out combat tasks."
8 There are two departments here. No units, no organs, I assure
9 you, for me this was simply impossible to carry out, to implement; and
10 that is why I was late in drafting this order. And to be quite frank, I
11 have to tell you that I also wrote an order that contained only two or
12 three sentences, and then I tore them up and then I tried to draft
13 something really smart. I tried to say that the MUP units, without
14 enumerating which units, should continue carrying out their regular tasks
15 in terms of protecting the personal and -- security of person and property
16 and the law and order, and that in terms of combat they should be
17 resubordinated to the brigades. And I even came up with this deadline, I
18 invented this deadline, because I was -- I could see that this was not
19 easy to do.
20 So this is the gist of this order that I sent to my subordinate
21 units, and I think that you can see that this was also sent to the MUP
22 staff in Pristina, it's down there at the edge of this sheet. You can't
23 see it now.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, who was your opposite number in the
25 MUP in Kosovo?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to know
2 that after all these years. I stand here in front of you as an accused
3 and yet I don't know that. In the military you know --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you try to identify who that was?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To this date I don't know that. It
6 hasn't been defined. In the military you know that the lower-ranked units
7 are resubordinated to the higher-ranked units. It is impossible for an
8 assistant minister of the interior to be resubordinated to me or an organ
9 that was established by the minister to be resubordinated to me.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: We've had some evidence, though, that what you
11 needed to do at a lower level in trying to arrange resubordination was to
12 persuade the appropriate MUP official or officer to make an order that his
13 unit was to be resubordinated to you. Now, it sounds as though you didn't
14 make any effort to liaise with someone at your level in the MUP to try to
15 achieve that.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With all due respect of all the
17 "experts," including one that we heard here, whoever discusses
18 resubordination in those terms, in the military sense, does not know what
19 resubordination is. Let me be quite specific. I ordered at the beginning
20 of the war that the units of the Pristina Corps should comply with the
21 Rules of Service of the Army of Yugoslavia in wartime, the rules on
22 military discipline. How can a member of the police comply with the Rules
23 of Service of the Army of Yugoslavia when he does not belong to the Army
24 of Yugoslavia, he's not a member? So who was I to search for in Kosovo
25 and Metohija and to tell him, Well, you are my opposite number. In the
1 army you issue an order, an order is obeyed.
2 I was not given an order as to who was being resubordinated to me.
3 The Defence counsel quoted from both orders, he referred to both those
4 orders in a couple of sentences, and on the basis of that it was
5 impossible to carry out that task. It is impossible to do it on the basis
6 of this order here. This was just an effort to blend together oil and
7 water, as we say. It is impossible to do so. We heard this man from the
8 General Staff who testified in this case that it was, indeed, impossible.
9 An order was written. I did it, I acted accordingly, but that mission
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Who is the person from the General Staff to whom
12 you're referring?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Kosovac, the man who had
14 been dealing with organization at the level of General Staff in the
15 military for 30 years, and I think that he is one of the biggest experts
16 on this particular issue.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You began your answer by saying "with all due
18 respect to all the experts, including one in particular, who was the
19 expert in particular that you were referring to at that stage?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Actually, I meant to correct myself,
21 Your Honour, when I referred to experts, I meant those who perhaps had
22 aspirations after expertise, and I said there was just one expert who we
23 saw here but that did not refer to him. In a way I wanted to say that
24 what we heard in this courtroom with my knowledge of the facts, not to
25 mention military doctrine, that is simply not possible the way it has been
1 described by some.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Just deal with my question. The English
3 translation of the start of your answer suggests to me that you were being
4 critical of Mr. Radinovic. Would that be a mistake on my part, to
5 understand your evidence that way?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With due respect, I didn't misspeak.
7 What I did say was that one expert was here. I did not comment on his
8 positions on resubordination.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. General, did you get reports from subordinated units on abortive
12 attempts at resubordination?
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] In the meantime we can call up on the
14 screen Exhibit 5D792.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: One separate question, Mr. Lazarevic. Assume for
16 the moment that the order made by the Supreme Command Staff for
17 resubordination had, in fact, been communicated to the appropriate person
18 in the MUP, assume that for the moment, are you saying that even then, in
19 these circumstances, resubordination just cannot be made to work properly?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am convinced of that and I
21 answer-- my answer to your hypothesis is affirmative because these are two
22 systems of responsibility of control and command of organization of
23 functioning. And from what I know from the military aspect of what
24 resubordination is, it cannot refer to these two systems. Your Honour,
25 you cannot ad hoc resubordinate and end the story there. Resubordination
1 implies commanding the formation in question. Prior to the execution of a
2 task, a task has to be received. There should be preparations. The task
3 should run its course, and action can be for three days, but combat
4 control and the defence of the state lasted for three months.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. General, I'm going to repeat my question and we already have PD792
9 [as interpreted] on the screen in front of us. Did you receive from
10 subordinated units reports about failed resubordination exercises? You
11 can take a look at this supplementary combat report of the 23rd of April,
12 1999, and at the very bottom of the page it is written: "Units -- MUP
13 units from Istok."
14 A. Specifically starting on the 20 of April, the first day of
15 readiness, to put it that way, up to the 10th of June, units reported on
16 failure to execute that task, some in harsher form, others in less harsh
17 form. Here specifically we have the report of the 7th Motorised Brigade
18 of the 25th of April, where they report that units of the MUP from Istok
19 and Klina, despite our request, have not do this date submitted to us any
20 figures, any data, on their available sources and resources, but are
21 awaiting a decision of the superiors on resubordination to our brigade.
22 Q. And that is the 7th Infantry Brigade.
23 General, when I stop I'm actually waiting for the translation to
24 end, for the interpretation to end. So this is the interim combat report
25 of the 23rd. Let us now look at 5D795 of the 25th of -- your deadline for
1 resubordination. So the exhibit number is 5D795.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we see page 3 on the screen.
3 Q. Take a look at the penultimate or the two penultimate paragraphs,
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] It is the last page in the English
6 version as well.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of the brigade is
8 informing me that pursuant to my order of the 20th of April,
9 resubordination of MUP units in Klina and Istok was to be carried out to
10 the brigade. By the order of the brigade of the 21st of April, the same
11 were under the obligation to submit reports by the 23rd on their available
12 forces and resources. The same have not done so, avoid cooperation with
13 our unit, stating that they are waiting for a decision from their superior
14 organs. Please take measures at your level for the implementation of this
16 Q. Did you send to the brigades operations organs from the corps to
17 see what the problem was? And later in May, on the 17th of May --
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we see 5D1084.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a combat report of the
20 commander of the 37th Motorised Brigade from the 17th of May, 1999,
21 informing me that Colonel Stefanovic, the one whom I mentioned, at Paprica
22 from the corps command were visiting the unit in connection with the
23 resubordination of territorial police units in the brigade's area of
24 responsibility. So I personally sent teams from the corps command to the
25 brigades. I dispatched to look for command -- police commanding officers
1 on the ground to coordinate with them. And if they couldn't do so, my
2 order, my request, was that they should maintain cooperation on the level
3 of - shall I put it this way - combat feasibility.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Exhibit 5D817 is along the same lines in order for us to proceed
6 expeditiously. General, did you report -- did you inform the superior
7 command on the failure to resubordinate; and if so, when?
8 A. Sometime between the 20th and the 23rd of April I had several
9 repeated reminders from the commander of the 37th Motorised Brigade to the
10 effect that he had -- he was encountering problems regarding
11 resubordination, that he had increased casualties. He referred to the
12 Travnik [as interpreted] incident with five people being massacred from
13 the battalion command, to which I reacted by saying to the -- by saying in
14 written form to the army commander, although we were together at the same
15 command post every day, that there was no resubordination conducted in
16 keeping with his order. This is not that document on the screen.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, 79, 24, it's not Travnik, it's tragic
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we have Prosecution Exhibit
24 P179 -- 23.
25 Q. Can you take a look at it and tell us whether it is your document
1 on the -- on failure to resubordinate --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we have the number again, please.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] P1723.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is a document of the corps
6 commander sent personally to the commander of the 3rd Army, in which
7 attention is drawn to the fact that according to the order of the army
8 commander there was no resubordination of the MUP forces, notwithstanding
9 a number of -- of -- despite a number of meetings having been held to
10 discuss that particular issue.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, I can see here that you indicated that there were
13 problems and unresolved questions, in view of the fact that the MUP was
14 tolerating criminal activities on the part of its members. Can you
15 explain? On what basis did you say that?
16 A. We spoke today about the work of mixed check-points, and this
17 sentence, this statement, refers to reports by primarily the 37th
18 Motorised Brigade, to the effect that the work of the mixed check-points
19 was fraught with numerous problems and unresolved questions. And as the
20 commander of brigade suggests -- or actually, he is informing me that
21 allegedly the MUP was tolerating criminal activities by its members.
22 Appraising the possible gravity of that piece of information, I informed
23 the army commander of it in written form.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you will bear with
25 me for just one minute.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have Exhibit
3 5D376 brought up on the screen.
4 Q. This is dated the 13th of May. It is a letter by the staff
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we see the second page.
7 Q. You told us that this is associated with the check-points. Did
8 you have this piece of information, that the leader of the MUP staff
9 requested that all measures be taken at the check-points in order to
10 improve the conduct and the appearance of the police there? Is this what
11 you had in mind when you said what you did? Please take a look at the
12 final, last, paragraph.
13 A. This is a document by the staff leader -- staff head of the MUP,
14 General Lukic. I believe that pursuant to the information that he had
15 available -- made available to him by my people, and also from a mutual
16 exchange of information with people from the military - and I mean
17 primarily the security organs - that he took measures and that this
18 possibly also refers to such occurrences. Concretely I haven't seen this
19 particular document during the war, but I'm quite confident because I know
20 that whatever information we received from the MUP we took it into very
21 serious consideration and checked it, either on our own or with them.
22 But -- and we took joint measures with MUP organs in order to ascertain
23 the truth.
24 And with the permission of the Trial Chamber I should just like to
25 add one sentence, namely, that in that war there were numerous or quite a
1 few, shall I say, instances of reporting that did not correspond to the
2 reality, to the truth, coming from various quarters. The commander of the
3 army was very zealous, and he demanded that everything be addressed and
4 resolved in a very short procedure as urgently as possible. I have to say
5 so even though he is present here. He had commissions set up, and that
6 indeed yielded results.
7 I personally insisted that whenever any information was obtained,
8 that every effort should be exerted for the truth to be ascertained. Let
9 me not give you any further examples. I just want to tell you how
10 seriously we took all this information, how in earnest we checked it and
11 verified it, whether it came from subordinated or any other entities.
12 Sometimes I didn't know from whom they came.
13 The commander of the army would be by me, and, for instance, we
14 heard that the army went inside a depot near Pristina and took some
15 technical goods from there. And I would say, General, that is impossible,
16 allow me, give me three hours to check that out. He didn't allow me. He
17 set up a commission himself, and it was ascertained that it had not been
18 the military, but it had been some civilians who did that. I apologise
19 for having spoken at such length. I just wanted to give you a concrete
20 example of such practices.
21 Q. General, we saw here - and we also have Exhibit 5D434 to show it,
22 and it is a report on a tour by the staff of the Supreme Command, the tour
23 was carried out from the 23rd to the 26th of May, 1999. And on the 24th,
24 you wrote this information that there had not been resubordination.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we have this document on the
1 screen, page 4, item 11.
2 Q. And could you please comment on it. It's a report of the team of
3 the Supreme Command Staff. Page 4, item 11.
4 In this report in item 11, does it say that resubordination had
5 failed to take place?
6 A. Yes. This team from the General Staff wrote in this report that
7 there was no single command for forces, no unified command, but that
8 cooperation with MUP units is achieved through agreements which are not
9 respected at lower levels. Although cooperation is functioning for the
10 present, should there be an escalation of the aggression this could have
11 serious consequences for the members of the MUP and the army. And there
12 is no doubt that this team also observed and noted this fact.
13 Q. Thank you, General. And to round off this topic --
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And I would like now to have 5D1289
15 called up on the screen.
16 Q. This is a document issued by the Ministry of the Interior, and the
17 last paragraph - it's dated the 6th of May, this whole document, 1999 -
18 and this last paragraph, is it also evidence that resubordination had
19 failed to take place and who was responsible for the MUP units?
20 A. Well, the document speaks for itself --
21 Q. Just a minute, General. I do apologise for interrupting you. I
22 thought that we would not have a problem with translation. Most documents
23 have been translated, but this translation has not arrived yet. So could
24 you please read the document very slowly. We'll have it marked for
25 identification. The last paragraph is very brief. Could you read it out
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour, the translation -- we have
3 the translation in e-court, but it would take me a second to find the
4 number, but we do have it. If you want me to spend a little bit of time,
5 I can find it.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It would be helpful if you do so but I think
7 Mr. Bakrac just wishes the last paragraph read, and we can proceed with
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would indicate that 5D434 is -- this
10 exhibit appears to be the duplicate of one that's already in evidence,
11 that's --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That's what Mr. Ackerman said.
13 MR. HANNIS: Yes, I believe it's 3D692, and it was in evidence on
14 the 12th of September.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. Errors
17 do occur. Our documents seem to have got mixed up. There's a large
18 number of documents. If 3D will make it easier for us to follow, then I
19 would like to ask for 3D692 to be called up on the screen.
20 No, Your Honour, that's not it.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's go back to your exhibit and ask the witness
22 to do what you asked him already, read the last paragraph.
23 Mr. Visnjic.
24 Hold on, Mr. --
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just let me say the
1 following. Mr. Hannis referred to the 3D number which is the same as
2 5D454, the previous document used by Mr. Bakrac, not the last one that was
3 in e-court.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we have 5D1289.
5 Q. And then please read that sentence, it's very brief, so we can
6 move on.
7 A. "For the situation on the ground, the behaviour and work of
8 members of the MUP and the carrying out of the instructions given, the
9 following shall be responsible:
10 "The heads of the secretariats and the commanders of PJP
11 detachments and SAJ detachments, those are the special anti-terrorist
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I have an objection about the
15 last one. We don't have a translation. There appears to be a signature
16 but I don't see a stamp on it so I have a concern about the authenticity,
17 and it's particularly a problem when I can't read the English.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, what is this document?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document is from
20 the ministry headquarters in Pristina. It's not a military document.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Just a moment.
23 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you look at this
24 document you will see that it has the stamp, or rather, the ERN number of
25 the Prosecution Y0048073. It's from the EDS, so the Prosecutor should
1 take care of the authenticity of his own documents.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: He's perhaps decided that he's so doubtful of its
3 authenticity that he hasn't used it for all we know, Mr. Bakrac.
4 Mr. Hannis, are you still concerned about its authenticity?
5 MR. HANNIS: I am, Your Honour. I'm checking -- I understand most
6 of these with the ERN that start with the Y are documents that we received
7 from Mr. Milosevic.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, let me return to what I was asking.
9 Have you seen this document before this trial?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, what's the point you're trying to make
12 with this document?
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my client is charged in
14 the indictment of having effective control and command over forces which
15 are listed, and they include forces of the MUP and PJP; however, here we
16 have a document showing who was issuing orders and who was in control and
17 it's a document dated the 6th of May. Therefore, I feel it's a very
18 significant document for our defence.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, you'll need to do some work on
21 establishing the authenticity of this document. We will not allow it to
22 be exhibited in -- without some substantiation, such as confirmation of
23 who was responsible for it. That need not be by method of a stamp, but
24 you will need to find some way of authenticating it.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General, in view of the fact, as we have heard that there was no
2 resubordination, how did the cooperation between the Army of Yugoslavia
3 and the Ministry of the Interior proceed?
4 A. I would say that this cooperation continued at the same level as
5 before, with mutual respect and attempts to survive the horrors of war.
6 And by Their Honours' leave, the end of the war was dramatic. A whole
7 basic MUP unit found itself in a very difficult situation in the Jablanica
8 area. They were completely surrounded, and I ordered a combat operation
9 to rescue that unit. There were losses in the army in that action. So
10 what I want to say is that the obligation to defend the country and to
11 carry out our tasks was always respected, and what we could not do was
12 impossible. I'm not trying to justify either myself or General Lukic, but
13 truly I'm telling you that as direct participants we did our very best to
14 carry out these tasks under the prevailing conditions.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the reference for the
16 continuation of cooperation is 5D444 and 5D448.
17 Q. And my last question on this topic: You mentioned carrying out a
18 deblockade of the MUP forces surrounded by terrorists. When was this in
20 A. This was in late May, as far as I can recall, and there were heavy
21 losses. There was danger that the entire unit would be decimated. I
22 issued an order that the whole action - and that's what it was called, the
23 action for deblocking the MUP units, it's a rather odd title, but that was
24 the name of the combat action.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, just a moment. Your Honour, just for
1 the record, that document 5D376 is actually in e-court with Prosecution
2 Exhibit Number P2159, and so the translation is available there. So it is
3 a Prosecution exhibit but not admitted.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's where it shall remain for the moment.
5 Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
6 Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I ask for your
8 guidance. It's not exhibited, but it was used by the Prosecutor so is it
9 up to me to establish its authenticity?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not being suggested it was used by the
11 Prosecutor. It simply is in his system as one of his potential exhibits.
12 Now that you wish to use it, you require to establish its authenticity.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
14 misunderstood the interpretation. I thought that they had used it.
15 Q. General, did the command of the Pristina Corps take any measures
16 to assist the civilian population and the civilian authorities in looking
17 after the civilian population? And while you are responding, I will ask
18 for Exhibit P1306, a Prosecution exhibit, to be called up on the screen.
19 It was not used by the Prosecution, but my colleague Mr. Hannis promised
20 me that he would not object to its being used. This was in April 2007, if
21 my learned friend recalls. So it's P1306, the command of the Pristina
22 Corps, it's dated the 16th of April, 1999, securing the civilian
23 population to the commander personally.
24 It seems to be your document. It seems that you not only signed
25 it but also drafted it, General. Can you comment on it for us? I think
1 this order is important, so please go slowly item by item.
2 A. There's no doubt about the authenticity of this document. I
3 composed it under difficult circumstances, and I confess that I tried to
4 do something that was not strictly in line with military rules and
5 military doctrine. And now as an accused, I have tried to find an example
6 of something like this in military science, but I haven't found anything.
7 This was just an attempt that I made to establish within the corps units
8 special elements of combat which would secure the civilian population from
9 accommodation, looking after them in all respects, supplies, helping to
10 shelter them, assisting, providing supplies, organizing economic
11 activities, medical support, and so on and so forth. This is a permanent
12 order. All units had to establish special forces which would deal with
13 assisting the civilian population. I required that all members of the
14 corps be familiarised with this order and that they consistently carry it
15 out, that all commanders carry it out consistently and brief me on its
16 implementation. That is the essence of one such order in conditions where
17 I myself couldn't know how many of my soldiers were killed or wounded
18 every day.
19 Q. Thank you, General. Let us now move on to Exhibit 5D389. I would
20 like you to look at it and to comment on it briefly.
21 A. This is an order which serves to operationalise further the
22 previous order, in the sense that the brigade commanders are required with
23 the assistance of the civil authorities to find safe sectors, facilities,
24 and premises to house the civilian population and to tell me where there
25 were such facilities, such buildings, that were not under threat of combat
1 operations and were not constantly targeted by NATO air-strikes.
2 Q. We see at the end of this document that again you say that
3 information about possible sectors for the reception of new temporarily
4 displaced persons should be found.
5 A. Some of the displaced people had gone back to their homes,
6 particularly to Pristina, Podujevo, to the east [as interpreted], and in
7 the preparatory part, I asked the brigade commanders to get in touch with
8 the representatives of the civilian authorities and to provide them with
9 all the assistance in providing accommodation of those displaced
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry, Your Honours, page 90, line 19, it says "to
12 the east," actually it's the place in Kosovo called the Istok which is --
13 in Serbian it's the same word, Istok is east, but in this case it was the
14 name of the place.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, did you from your subordinate commands, we have seen
18 these two documents, receive any feedback about those orders that you had
20 A. In implementing these orders, all the brigades sent in reports on
21 efforts to receive the refugees, the displaced persons, about the efforts
22 to take them back to their homes, to take care of them, and about
23 everything that the corps units had done in this respect.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And can we look at 5D1101 --
25 Q. To see whether the commands subordinate to the brigades sent such
1 orders out, 5D1101. This is the command of the 52nd Mechanised Artillery
2 Brigade --
3 A. No, mixed.
4 Q. It's dated the 22nd of April, 1999. It says here: "Pursuant to
5 an order of the Pristina Corps command dated the 19th of April," so we
6 will be opening those orders. They will be dated every other day, but you
7 can see here there's a reference to the 19th of April. And it says here:
8 "Relating to providing shelter for the refugees in -- and because
9 of the continuing NATO air-strikes against the Yugoslav Army units and the
10 expected ground invasion result in an increased movement of the civilian
11 population in the units' area of responsibility which considerably
12 aggravates the overall security situation," and it goes on like that.
13 A. The order is in line with the order from the Pristina Corps
14 command that in contact with the Gnjilane MUP organs and the adjacent
15 brigade, that the civilian population should be taken care of as much as
16 possible, as was ordered by the corps command.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at Exhibit 5D11 --
18 I'm sorry, 390.
19 Q. This is the command of the 2nd Artillery Rocket Brigade from
20 Djakovica, that's the anti-aircraft artillery and rocket unit, and they
21 provide you with the information as to where the accommodation for the
22 civilian population had been found and they provide additional locations
23 for such accommodation in the future.
24 A. Yes. They indicate the settlements where the civilian population
25 is put up. They stated that on the 4th of May there were 35 to 40.000
1 people in Djakovica and that it was possible to accept a new group of
2 displaced persons, that there were facilities to accept them.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I selected documents
4 that are relevant for various areas in Kosovo, so we have another exhibit
5 which is related to Podujevo.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters didn't
7 catch the exhibit number.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The exhibit number, Mr. --
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 5D486.
10 Q. General, let us proceed quickly. It appears on the basis of this
11 report dated the 4th of May you again receive information about locations
12 where it is possible to receive civilian population, but it is interesting
13 to note that we have the same problem of communication, the road
14 communication for Podujevo.
15 A. The commander of the 354th Infantry Brigade had really a lot of
16 work with the civilian authorities, finding shelter for the civilian
17 population. There was also the medical battalion in the corps, and they
18 joined in. 50.000 displaced persons who had come back from Macedonia were
19 taken care of, but here he warns that on the Podujevo-Luzane axis there is
20 a strong terrorist presence and they pose a threat to the civilian
21 population. In light of the fact that I demanded that the military should
22 physically secure the deployment sectors, he is trying to tell me that he
23 doesn't have enough forces, enough troops, to carry all that out.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 5D793 is another
25 exhibit that speaks to this, it is a report from the 7th PBR.
1 And could we please have 5D1033 up on the screen. This is the
2 command of the 37th Motorised Brigade, the date is the 20th of April.
3 Q. Can you comment on it, because this follows immediately after your
4 order of the 19th, the command of the 37th Motorised Brigade issues this
6 A. Acting pursuant to the order of the corps command, the commander
7 of the 37th Motorised Brigade ordered his units to take the measures that
8 I defined in the towns of Srbica and Glogovac, he demands from his
9 subordinates to get in touch with the representatives of the authorities,
10 the civilian protection, and the MUP, and to do that together. And they
11 really, really evinced a great deal of concern and care for the civilian
12 population in Drenica.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Could we please have 5D1004 up in
15 Q. General, did you also issue orders to the military district
16 commands once they were resubordinated to you, to the effect that the
17 civilian population should be protected and taken care of?
18 A. Well, this is just one military district command, not commands,
19 because the other military district was the one in Nis that was
20 subordinate to the army commander. But yes, here we see a very clear
21 order from the military district commander to take care of the civilian
22 population, to report on it, and to take all other measures.
23 Q. General, could we now please look at Exhibit 5D1037, dated the 3rd
24 of May, 1999. If you could explain to us what this is all about, and if
25 we could see what you did when you get -- when you got the feedback about
1 this problem from the commander of the 37th Motorised Brigade.
2 A. The commander of the 37th Motorised Brigade sent a number of such
3 reports from the 3rd of May onwards to the corps command and personally to
4 me, reporting to me that the civilian authorities in the town of Glogovac
5 were not functioning, that the civilian population was at the brink of
6 barely surviving, that there was not enough food, that there was great
7 danger, that there would be outbreaks of disease, that there wasn't enough
8 water. So he was asking for help basically to take care of the civilian
9 population because he did not have the assets to do so.
10 Q. And what did you do after that, General?
11 A. Apart from sending logistics organs from the corps there to verify
12 whether the corps command organs could do something, I also wrote to the
13 president of the Temporary Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija,
14 Mr. Andjelkovic, and I asked him in his capacity of the executive organ in
15 the province to take measures to help the population in that area.
16 Q. General, let us look at this exhibit, and I would like to ask you
17 to read the last paragraph to see what you wanted the president of the
18 Temporary Executive Council to do, that's Exhibit 5D412.
19 It appears -- well, there is no medical care, water, and power in
20 the town and food-supplies are running low. This is what you reported to
21 the president of the Temporary Executive Council, did you not?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and witness please not
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. I informed
25 the president of the Temporary Executive Council of the province of Kosovo
1 and Metohija about the problems that the civilian population was facing,
2 the problems about taking care of them in the centre of Drenica on the
3 basis of the report that I had received from the brigade commander,
4 notifying him that the brigade command and the MUP organs in the field
5 actually tried to do something using their own assets and resources and
6 that we were not in a position to assist them, that we were not able to do
7 so. And I propose that at the level of the province government and the
8 civilian protection structure, that this report be considered as a matter
9 of urgency and that urgent measures be taken to feed the population and to
10 provide medical care.
11 As we have already heard from Mr. Andjelkovic, who has testified
12 recently - and I know that for a fact - he did act upon this proposal or
13 demand, if I should put it that way, and he sent Mr. Andric and some other
14 people that he trusted and they provided assistance to this population,
15 food and medicine.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, I have to apologise to you, I'm a little bit tired. I
18 asked you the wrong question when I said you sent the report. I actually
19 meant to say you notified. But this is an example of the cooperation
20 between the civilian authorities and the military where you were able to
21 do so, when you were able to assist, you signalled this to the civilian
23 A. Yes, and the most important thing is that the fact that I talked
24 to the president of the Temporary Executive Council, this actually helped.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have 5D506 of the
1 27th of April, 1999, which also describes measures to provide to the
2 civilian population.
3 Q. General, can we take a look at another two other documents, the
4 first is 5D816, dated the 23rd of April. This is an order on the
5 relocation on military territorial detachments from inhabited places.
6 Please comment on item 3, it is not very long. Or read it out for us. I
7 think that it is really important from the aspect of the things that you
8 have been charged with.
9 A. I have accentuated repeatedly -- I accentuated repeatedly and
10 ordered that inhabited places should -- that military units should leave
11 inhabited places in order to create, as I said today, living space for the
12 return and normal life of the civilian population on the one hand; and on
13 the other, if there were any units -- if -- if units were found possibly
14 in that area, they would be the target of all terrorist and NATO forces,
15 so that commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade in the area of the Istok and
16 Klina towns in item 3 ordered his units to accelerate the return of
17 civilians going back to their towns and villages which they had left. He
18 also said that civilian shelters in the sectors of defensive units should
19 not be allowed and that civilians should be ensured to return --
20 allowed -- enabled to return to the settlements which they had earlier
22 Q. Thank you, General. Another question on this topic: Did you act
23 in concert and coordination with the MUP forces in order to provide for
24 the civilian population? And while we wait for your answer can we have
25 Exhibit 5D365 brought up on the screen.
1 A. I should say that all these activities were undertaken in
2 coordination and cooperation with the civilian authorities and with the
3 MUP forces in the field. This order is one from the initial period of the
4 war, one that I drafted personally. And in items 1 as well as 2 and the
5 other ones, I insisted that in concert with the MUP forces of the Republic
6 of Serbia the regime of security should be fully implemented, focusing not
7 only on the protection of units and law and order, but also the protection
8 of the civilian population. In the areas of combat activities, the work
9 and engagement of military and judiciary investigative and judicial organs
10 should be ensured, and all members of units should be called to account.
11 And the next item states that a system should be rendered to MUP forces on
12 protecting and ensuring the return of displaced persons.
13 So all these measures were done in consultations and coordination
14 in order for all of us together to assist the civilian population.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by your leave I should
17 like to move on to a new topic. I do not need private session and I'm
18 not -- I'm feeling rather poorly. So if I can ask you that we finish,
19 that we adjourn, some ten minutes earlier.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if that's the position, we shall, but you
21 seem to me to be needing every minute that's available to you the way this
22 is progressing. But if you feel that you can't make use of these ten
23 minutes, we have to accept that from you.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I feel feverish, Your Honours. All
25 of a sudden I have started to make mistakes in asking my questions, and I
1 do not really feel capable of continuing. Were there more time, I would
2 really do my utmost, but ...
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall adjourn until Monday.
4 Mr. Lazarevic, this is a particularly important stage of your
5 evidence. It's vital, as I've said before, that in the breaks between
6 your periods on the witness-stand that you have no discussion whatsoever
7 with any person about the evidence in this case, that's without exception.
8 There's no person with whom you should have any discussion about the
10 We'll adjourn now and we will resume on Monday here at 9.00.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.22 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
13 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.