1 Tuesday, 13 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, please continue with your
7 WITNESS: VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Fila: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. I hope you're fine.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Let me ask you something else now. When my learned colleague,
13 your counsel, Mr. Bakrac asked you some questions, you explained that you
14 moved, that the command post moved several times during the war. Now, I
15 first want to find out where the Pristina Corps command post was in
17 A. The peacetime location of the corps command post was in the town
18 of Pristina, in the headquarters building. This was a military building.
19 It is in downtown Pristina.
20 Q. Were you there during the war or did you abandon that position,
21 and why?
22 A. Let me be quite precise. When the state of war was declared, some
23 of the forces had already gone and manned the wartime command post outside
24 of Pristina. Some of the command organs remained for a couple of days in
25 that old building, until the MUP building was hit, until some parts of the
1 corps headquarters building were also damaged. And after that time,
2 nobody came back to that building until the end of the war.
3 Q. Thank you. My next question -- and I have to apologise if my
4 questions seem naive to you. I got as far as private first class in the
5 army. So I want to know: What was the command post look like? Does the
6 commander have to be there, and so on?
7 A. The command post is a set of people. It's not the most fortunate
8 word, but it's a set of people, equipment, and the area, the surface area
9 that has to be at least 4 to 6 square kilometres. It's a set of
10 buildings, shelters, tents, the communications centre, the courier
11 station. It's a -- it's a compound, a conglomerate of people,
12 telecommunications equipment, equipment, buildings.
13 Q. During the war, as you said, you moved several times. There is
14 evidence about that. You showed us Laus, and so on.
15 At one point you told us that the Third Army commander was with
16 you at all times. Was he there at that command post too and what did it
17 look like? Where was the 3rd Army command post?
18 A. Physically, in physical terms, the army forward command post was
19 part or, as we say, at the Pristina Corps command post. This means that
20 the army commander was also there, because he was the leader of the
21 forward command post of the 3rd Army.
22 Q. When I see in your order that the Pristina Corps command post
23 would be in the village of Laus, does that mean that at that time you and
24 General Pavkovic were both there?
25 A. It may mean that, but not necessarily. It depends on the type of
1 action. Such-and-such an action could be run by just a part of the corps
2 command. It is -- it may not be necessary for the corps commander to run
3 it, and least of all the army commander.
4 Q. No, I'm talking about the command post. Is it necessary for you
5 to be there?
6 A. Yes, that is so.
7 Q. I believe that now we clarified the issue of what a command post
8 is and now we can move on to something else.
9 Yes. How does the command process go? What does it look like?
10 You get something from the 3rd Army. I don't know. Whatever the chain of
11 command is. And now the Pristina Corps should use part of its forces,
12 half of its forces, the entire corps. What does it look like?
13 A. The command process is a process in organisational, temporal, and
14 technical terms. There are certain procedural functions, planning,
15 organisation, ordering the execution of tasks, control, coordination,
17 Q. I'm sorry I'm interrupting, but I need you to explain how it
18 functioned in wartime.
19 A. Yes, definitely. The command system always has those procedural
20 functions. I'm talking now about the wartime period. When a decision is
21 received from the 3rd Army command, the corps command sets up a team --
22 sets up a team, because the corps command was not all in the same
23 location -- a team that would study this task, prepare my basic concept,
24 present the concept to the army commander, if he accepts it. Then the
25 planning process starts.
1 Planning takes several hours. After the planning is completed,
2 the army commander verifies it on one of the documents. That's the
3 decision map. And after that, the organisation process starts. Those
4 documents are sent out to the subordinate commands or the subordinate
5 commands, commanders, are summoned to a certain location to carry out
6 preparations. They are handed the documents. The preparation is carried
7 out. And two-thirds of the time allotted is then left to them for their
8 own organisation.
9 Q. Now I would like to put something to you and to get your opinion.
10 In Prosecution exhibits we have 16 orders that are all entitled "Joint
11 Command for KiM" and they are all unsigned. And it says "the Joint
12 Command." Yes, yes the Joint Command.
13 When the Defence and the Judges asked you, you explained why it
14 was. And you said that was in the first 22 or 23 days of the war, until
15 the 16th of April. And you explained who drafted all that, that this was
16 drafted tat Pristina Corps, that it has all been logged in the logbook. I
17 want to put it to you -- well, I will not be calling any of that up on the
18 ELMO or in e-court, because everything is the same in all of those orders
19 and we can all verify that.
20 In all 16 -- or rather, not all of them were executed, but all of
21 them contained in item 11, it says "Command and Communications." That is
22 the heading. And there is a single sentence there, the first sentence
23 that is repeated in all 16 orders, and it reads as follows:
24 "The command post of the Pristina Corps in the peacetime location
1 General, you said that that building was abandoned at the
2 beginning of the war, that there was nobody there. You explained to us
3 what the command post looked -- looked like. Could you please comment
4 now. Is this, what I just read out, possible at all?
5 A. Yes, it is true that it says this. And my explanation is the
6 following: None of the counter-insurgency actions carried out during the
7 war were carried out as a large-scale action or operation, as is the term
8 that we've been using even in this courtroom, that would require the corps
9 commander in its entirety to command and that would involve the entire
10 corps. These were all mini anti-insurgency actions with the participation
11 of -- between 0.2 up to several per cents of the Pristina Corps forces.
12 That was the support for MUP and the Pristina Corps provided support with
13 its combat groups that were part of the brigades. Not even brigades but
14 combat groups that were part of the brigades.
15 Q. That is clear, but we are now at a stage where we are trying to
16 prove whether this piece of paper was repeated 16 times. We can see that
17 this was drafted by computer. Is that possible or is this absurd?
18 Yesterday when I asked you how many of these people were at those
19 meetings in 1998, you said that there were some 10 people. According to
20 this paper, it would appear that these 10 people, these 10 joint
21 commanders, were sitting there in an empty building of the Pristina Corps
22 commanding an action.
23 This is what I'm asking you: Is it possible to do that without
24 the troops, without the couriers, without the communications or anything?
25 Is it conceivable at all?
1 A. Definitely not. The corps command post, the main command post -
2 and there are at least three command posts - but the main command post has
3 the strength, if you count all the elements, of between five and six
4 hundred personnel. So --
5 Q. Could you please give me a yes-or-no answer. Was it possible in
6 these 16 orders to have the people sit there at the peacetime location of
7 the Pristina Corps command post, those people that I mentioned, four
8 civilians, the MUP, and whoever, the dozen people that we talked about, to
9 sit there at the Pristina Corps command? Could you please say "yes"
10 or "no."
11 A. It is absolutely not possible, and it has nothing to do with what
12 is written there, that the command post was in Pristina. And, of course,
13 there were no civilians there, and now you're talking about four civilians
14 or whatever.
15 Q. In every order in item 11 there is this heading "Command and
16 communication." That means that in those actions that are mentioned here,
17 some had been carried out, some had not. I can conclude that the command
18 and communications were not at the Pristina Corps command post in the
19 peace-time location building. Is that so?
20 A. Yes, absolutely.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, Mr. Fila, if you are moving on
22 to something else, could you identify one of these orders, please, so that
23 we could have it on the screen briefly.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, I have all the -- all of the 16
25 orders here with me. I can hand them over to him too. But let me just
1 read it out. Let's, for instance, P1967. If you look at item 11 -- no,
2 no, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Well, it's the one that you had up on the
3 screen all the while the Defence counsel was examining the witness.
4 That's 1966.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Let's have it on e-court, please.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Item 11, first sentence, PrK. It's on
7 page 2. Item 11. And that's repeated 16 times, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, can you explain that sentence?
9 No, it's -- that's the wrong page. Go back to the page we were
10 on. In English, certainly. That's fine.
11 Can you explain that first sentence of paragraph -- it may be II,
12 I think. It's the Roman numeral 2, is it?
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That's item 11. You can see that --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... In --
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Could you please read it out.
17 A. Your Honour, this kind of document with -- under this heading,
18 this kind of orders that I explained a couple of days ago, they are part
19 of the coordination plan and they show the subordinate units --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... Yeah. I just
21 want you to explain that sentence.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's what I'm trying
23 to explain. This sentence in itself says what it says, but it doesn't
24 actually mean what is written here.
25 For the subordinate commanders, this means that the corps command
1 would be located in its wartime location, although it says "peacetime
2 location" here. The commanders know where the communications had -- have
3 been rerouted and they know or they ask around to learn where the command
4 post is located, and the corps command does not control this action. This
5 is why this sentence means nothing for the subordinate commanders. It
6 does not affect them in any way in this given situation.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Why is it there?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is written here because this is
9 a -- a model. This is a protocol format which requires that in item 11
10 the corps command post should be identified, which means that the
11 subordinate units are responsible to the corps. They report to the corps.
12 When you indicate that the command post -- when you identify a certain --
13 the command post of a certain structure in item 11, that means that the
14 units are subordinate to that structure.
15 And a practical reason, an additional reason of a practical nature
16 is this: Although communications were encrypted to a certain degree, it
17 was very easy to intercept those telegrams and we were able to hear the
18 military district commander here. He testified that he was not aware at
19 all times where the command post was but the corps command knew where its
20 command post was.
21 So in order to protect the confidentiality of this information,
22 this is what was put here. And it was also put here for purely formal
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that we shall be able to see other
25 orders which don't mention the Joint Command but are routine, proper
1 orders, where there is a misleading statement of the location of the
2 command post to avoid interception?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In every other combat document,
4 including the key document for the defence of the country, the order for
5 the defence of the corps commander indicates quite accurately all the
6 command posts: The main command post, the forward command post, the
7 logistics command post, and all the other command posts.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. -- Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this may be almost hyper-technical,
10 but we're talking about a sentence that talks about peacetime location in
11 a document that is a peacetime document. It's the 22nd of March, before
12 the war has started.
13 Now, it may be that that sentence appears in -- after the war
14 starts in other documents, but -- and this may not be the best example for
15 the exercise we've been going through.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Mr. Fila, could we have one of these
17 documents, please, which was produced during the war just to confirm
18 whether or not it has that sentence in it.
19 There is one, I recollect, actually signed by Mr. Lazarevic.
20 Perhaps if -- if you know the number of it, then it might be the best one.
21 MR. FILA: [Microphone not activated]
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm waiting for my turn to come.
23 P01917 is the document you have here. P0 -- or, rather, P1969. Yes.
24 Yes, 1969. The 28th of March. Yes.
25 And you've got the 14th of April, P1972. Do you need more? There
1 is more, if necessary, but I don't think we need more.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Is it again paragraph 11?
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, it's always 11. It's always 11.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you find paragraph 11, please.
5 Mr. Hannis, do you want to say something?
6 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, he did talk about using the one
7 that the witness has signed, which is P1967.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And what date is it?
9 MR. HANNIS: I think that's also the 22nd of March.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that doesn't help.
11 MR. HANNIS: No, but it has something different about the location
12 of the command post.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: You can deal with that in cross-examination.
14 Now, paragraph 11 doesn't appear in English to have this sentence.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Why don't you read this in Serbian -- or let's have a look at
17 another one. Never mind. It's not a problem.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: There's an illegible line. There is one -- the
19 first line is illegible. And so --
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] It can be read out in the Serbian. But
21 let's have a look at another one. No problem whatsoever.
22 Have a look at P1972. I think that this is legible. It's legible
23 here. P1972.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Thank you very much. You can proceed now,
25 Mr. Fila.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, you said that these documents from peacetime that are
3 headed "Joint Command" were automatically transferred to wartime and that
4 they automatically became documents of the Pristina Corps. Was this order
5 perhaps transferred automatically as well?
6 A. I noted that this is a question of formalism, or formality. In
7 these documents, just like this document itself has been compiled.
8 Q. Now I'd like to show you yet another example that this is being
9 repeated automatically from peacetime onwards. Item 13. Any one of
10 these. Let's have a look at the one we've got right in front of us, for
12 General, there are two sentences. And 16 times this same sentence
13 is repeated unchanged. Does same go for that? Could you read 13.
14 A. "Coordinated action with MUP forces in relation to preparing and
15 carrying out combat activities should be organised prior to and during the
16 implementation of combat activities with all forces during the course of
17 implementing combat activities, all forces are commanded and led by the
18 Joint Command for the KiM from the region of Pristina."
19 Q. And we established that this was an absurdity, that this takes
20 place in the peacetime building. Do you not infer that if that was so
21 then these ten people would be sitting in that building there and they
22 would be commanding the MUP from Pristina? The MUP, the army, the Air
23 Force, maybe even the Navy in some way, or is this just an automatic
24 thing, as you've just explained?
25 A. This is done automatically, in terms of corresponding with
1 subordinate units. However, you see paragraph 13? I have to remind you
2 that according to combat documents, it has to do with a coordination
3 cooperation. This additional part as -- that refers to "command and
4 control," this is a technical, terminological thing that meant that there
5 was concerted action, concerted command in an anti-terrorist action where
6 there is no subordination among the forces involved.
7 Q. All right. I think that will do as far as I'm concerned. And now
8 perhaps I can move on.
9 These 16 decisions, 16 documents called "Joint Command for KiM,"
10 did this in any way disrupt the chain of command to the Pristina Corps,
12 A. Well, over the past few days, along parallel lines, along with
13 these documents we showed here that in the case of subordinate units or in
14 the corps command that is not the case. There is the corps command for
15 the subordinate units, and they report to the corps command and they act
16 in accordance with decisions made by the corps command.
17 Q. Right. So that means that once an action is over, those carried
18 out, that is, those referred to in the documents entitled "Joint
19 Command" -- when these actions are over, does anyone - anyone - report to
20 some Joint Command about this? And finally, did this Joint Command exist?
21 A. No one ever sent a report to a Joint Command, because a Joint
22 Command quite simply did not exist.
23 Q. General, I'm going to ask you to -- two minor points. You said to
24 the Honourable Trial Chamber in response to Mr. Bakrac's questions that
25 you sustained losses in the Army of Yugoslavia, unnecessary ones, the
1 police and -- or rather, the MUP and the army. Do you remember that?
2 A. [No verbal response]
3 Q. You cannot just nod. You have to say whether you remember.
4 A. Yes. Yes, I do remember.
5 Q. Was there -- had there been, rather, a Joint Command of this
6 nature? If there had been people who coordinated all of this, would there
7 have been these - what do you call them? Losses. Or would they have been
8 reduced, at least?
9 A. From a military point of view, including the subject matter that
10 you are talking about now, I am sure that the use of both forces would
11 have been more efficient had there been a coherent Joint Command that
12 could have made decisions on all matters. However, allow me to be
13 consistent in terms of my own understanding of things. These two
14 components of the structure of defence, it is very, very hard, even if
15 someone gave orders five times, because these are different systems. It
16 is hard to run both systems from one place.
17 Q. You explained that with the same argumentation in terms of why
18 re-subordination was an impossible task.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Last but not least, General, this is the last thing that I'm going
21 to ask you about. You said that during the war you had 552 battles. And
22 we have this Joint Command referred to only ten times during the first 22
23 days of the war. How could you have waged war at all without having
24 Sainovic issue orders to you, as the Prosecutor says? How would you --
25 how were you capable of doing that without that?
1 A. Once again, I want to say with full precision the documents with
2 this kind of heading pertain only to the initial period of the war when
3 support and coordination were regulated between the military and the
4 police. There are no other documents from the entire war period, and
5 there were several thousand documents. There are no other documents
6 entitled this way.
7 Q. You managed to wage war nevertheless.
8 A. Well, for three months we carried out our assigned tasks.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] That would be all, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Fila.
11 Mr. Visnjic.
12 MR. VISNJIC: No questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. Ackerman.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman:
16 Q. Good morning, General.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. I could have said "dobro jutro" too. I know those two words.
19 A. [In English] Good morning. [Interpretation] I know that as well.
20 Q. I want to ask you about the combat reports of the Pristina Corps.
21 It appears that those combat reports after April of 1999 or beginning in
22 April of 1999 were sent both to 3rd Army and the Supreme Command Staff.
23 That seems unusual to me. Do you know why that was done?
24 A. I cannot give a precise answer as to who ordered and when to have
25 reports of the Pristina Corps sent simultaneously to the 3rd Army, as the
1 superior command, and to the Supreme Command Staff. Probably the army
2 command ordered the corps command to do that. This is a matter of my own
3 assessment, that the army was ordered to do that by the corps.
4 You asked me why, though. It is my assessment that the point of
5 this reporting was for the Supreme Command Staff to obtain as soon as
6 possible reports from the field.
7 Let me add one more thing. This is also the principle of
8 reporting from the border. For instance, border battalions report to the
9 corps command and at the same time to the 3rd Army. They have three
10 army -- three lines, three chains in peacetime as well. The 3rd goes to
11 the General Staff.
12 So that is my assessment and that is my response. Why these
13 reports went to the immediate superior command and to the 2nd superior
15 Q. So would it be fair to say that what your answer is, that
16 sometimes this leap-frog reporting is required because it's important to
17 get information as quickly as possible?
18 A. The essence of my answer is that to shorten the time for
19 information flows. But nothing is being skipped. I reported to the
20 command of the 3rd Army and this second report is being cc'd in a way, as
21 we say in the army, to the other command. We -- I sent my reports to the
22 3rd Army command. The other one perhaps did not say "copies to," but that
23 is what it means, that it is -- that a copy is being sent to the Supreme
24 Command Staff along with the previous document and along with the answer
25 that I already gave, that it is important for them to know.
1 Q. In this period of time, from the beginning of the war until the
2 end of the war, did you ever receive any objection from the Supreme
3 Command Staff regarding the Pristina Corps reports that they were not
4 providing sufficient information, not detailed enough? Did you ever
5 receive any kind of an objection or instruction in that regard?
6 A. Never. I, as a corps commander, the corps command never received
7 objections from anyone that reports were not substantive, that they were
8 not in keeping with procedure. I can just remind the Honourable Trial
9 Chamber that they had the opportunity of seeing reports of five or six
10 pages or even more than that. I myself was often dissatisfied because I
11 did not have reports as to what the casualties were in the corps, how many
12 people got killed. However, this is not a technical matter. It's not
13 that no one wanted to report about this, but people were unaware of the
14 situation on the ground. So practically every other day we got
15 extraordinary reports and then we sent these extraordinary reports,
16 special reports for the previous day.
17 Q. The Pristina Corps combat report, as I understand it, was compiled
18 from reports that the corps command received from your subordinate units.
19 Was there any filtering going on in that process? Were -- were you not
20 reporting up to the 3rd Army and the Supreme Command important matters
21 like, for instance, crimes that were being committed that you were -- the
22 information you were receiving from the lower units? Was that not being
23 reported up?
24 A. I categorically rule out any possibility of, at the level of the
25 corps command or the operations centre or anywhere else, having any kind
1 of filtering taking place, in terms of concealing crimes. I absolutely
2 rule out that possibility.
3 Q. All right. I want to move on to a slightly different subject,
4 although related. You know that at the very beginning of the war, as the
5 NATO bombing started, beginning as early as the 24th and maybe even in --
6 in anticipation a day or two before, that many civilians were leaving
7 Kosovo. Do you know if any tried to leave Kosovo through territory where
8 VJ was defending the border, or were they leaving through the normal
9 border crossings or trying to leave through those normal border crossings?
10 A. For the entire duration of the war, that is, as much as I can be
11 precise at this moment there, was only one occasion when on the left
12 flank, facing Macedonia, a small group tried to illegally cross the state
13 border - that is, not in an official border crossing - but unfortunately,
14 they ran into a minefield. Two were lightly injured and the CO took them
15 in his own car to Gnjilane to provide them with medical assistance. That
16 was in one of the reports, and I'm aware of that one incident. Otherwise,
17 there were no illegal crossings or attempted illegal crossings outside the
18 official border crossings. As far as I know, there were two towards
19 Macedonia and two towards Albania. Of course, I am not counting the
20 crossings into Montenegro or Serbia.
21 Q. All right. There is a document that I want you to look at, and I
22 have a couple of questions to ask you about it. It's 4D510. And in the
23 English, we're at the bottom of page 1. It's paragraph 3.1, the second
24 paragraph beginning with "On 23 March." And that's all contained, I
25 believe, on page 1 of the B/C/S. And as soon as it gets blown up a little
1 bit, you'll probably be able to read it.
2 Do you see that second paragraph beginning with .
3 "On 23 March in the afternoon, a large column of refugees from
4 Kosovo and Metohija was observed moving from the direction of Presevo
5 towards Miratovac village with the intention of illegally crossing the
6 DG" -- I think that's the state border. "DG security organs in the sector
7 of the Cakanovac border post closed the passage, and the column of
8 vehicles returned to Miratovac village. At about 1900 hours, most of the
9 column left Miratovac village and headed for Kresevo."
10 Now, first of all, this appears to be a situation where they were
11 not permitted to cross the border into -- well, actually, let's look --
12 now that you've seen that -- and you've had a chance to read it; correct?
13 A. I've read it.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Now to look at a map. So
15 let's see if we can get 4D471 up on the screen.
16 Now, we're going to need to do some -- some zeroing in on this
17 map. Try to enlarge that area where there -- just to the right of where
18 it says "EM" down in the bottom right-hand corner.
19 Let's see. Do we have it there? Yes, I think so. Yes.
20 Right up close to the top right-hand corner, you'll see Presevo.
21 And just under that you'll see Miratovac. Do you see it?
22 A. Yes, I see that.
23 Q. What the report says is they were coming from Presevo and trying
24 to cross the border in the area there of Miratovac.
25 Now, Presevo is in Serbia, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Kosovo.
3 A. No, it's not.
4 Q. And that border crossing there near Miratovac is a border crossing
5 into Montenegro, is it not? In Macedonia. I'm sorry.
6 A. Macedonia.
7 Q. Yes. So apparently what happened at this situation was this group
8 of refugees that had apparently come out of Kosovo into Serbia was not
9 permitted by the FRY forces, the FRY authorities, to cross over into
10 Macedonia. Correct?
11 A. That's what's written in the document. And I know every square
12 foot of this territory and I have a complete picture in my mind, having
13 read the description of the incident. That group of people had been
14 returned to the official border crossing called Cukarka, because the place
15 where they wanted to cross would have made the crossing illegal. That's
16 why they had been stopped.
17 Q. One thing I'm interested in about this is this occurred on the
18 23rd, the day before NATO started bombing. If you -- you may not know.
19 You may not have any information at all. But if you do know, could you
20 tell us why -- why these refugees had -- had left Kosovo before the
21 bombing started and were trying to cross then from Serbia over into
22 Macedonia before there was even any bombing.
23 A. I cannot give a precise answer why this group left on the 23rd,
24 but I can say quite reliably what happened on the -- or what's happening
25 on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, in terms of movements of people.
1 And perhaps it's best for me to say that at that time it was clear to all
2 of us that it was a question of hour, not day, when the war would begin,
3 and a large number of the families of the members of the Pristina Corps
4 were even then leaving Kosovo, mainly to Serbia and Montenegro, fleeing
5 the possibility, the very real possibility of war.
6 Q. Was it -- was it widely known throughout Kosovo prior to the
7 bombing beginning on the 24th that the OSCE mission had left the country?
8 Was that widely known throughout the country? Did everyone pretty much
9 know that?
10 A. Well, everybody knew and the media reported it widely. MUP
11 secured them. The army was on stand-by to help if there should be any
12 problems. The whole world knew and the public at large in Kosovo was
13 aware of it as well.
14 Q. Do you know if that was generally seen by the people in Kosovo?
15 And if you don't know, just say you don't know. But do you know if it was
16 generally seen by the people in Kosovo as a -- as basically a war warning,
17 a precursor to war, that war was coming?
18 A. Around 1.000, perhaps 1200 members of the OSCE were leaving Kosovo
19 and Metohija at one point with about 100 vehicles. That mission had been
20 stationed on the Albanian side and on the Serbian side in privately-owned
21 facilities, so it was a widely known fact that they were leaving and that
22 it was only a question of time when the airstrikes would begin.
23 Q. All right. I now want to go to another matter. On Friday in your
24 testimony you were shown several documents primarily from the Pristina
25 Corps regarding the protection of civilians. I would just like you to
1 look at one more of those. It's P1766.
2 Now, this is a document from 19 April 1999, and it comes from the
3 3rd Army command, General Pavkovic, to -- I take it, to your Pristina
4 Corps and other units, and it deals with the same subject matter. The --
5 the preamble says that it's issued with a view to protecting the civilian
6 population and directing them to safer areas.
7 And then paragraphs 5, 6, and 7 are quite specific about what's to
8 be done in that regard. And I presume that -- that this order from
9 General Pavkovic provided a basis for some of the orders that you issued
10 at about that same time. Is that true?
11 A. Yes. And even if we look at that order I wrote, it contains a
12 reference to the order of the army command, and following that order I
13 envisaged certain activities within the corps.
14 Q. And now to a -- another subject matter. I -- I started with you
15 this morning talking a little bit about your combat reports and the -- the
16 issue of reporting. You -- you talked yesterday about the -- the
17 different organs and the responsibilities of those organs, and you told us
18 that with regard to the issue of crimes, that the organs primarily
19 responsible for dealing with that was the -- the military security, the
20 military police, and the military prosecutor and courts.
21 There has been some contention by various witnesses in this case
22 that the -- the crimes that occurred in Kosovo during the early days of
23 the war were not being properly reported up to chain of command. And I'm
24 sure you've heard that evidence.
25 And at least one point in the trial a suggestion or a question was
1 asked regarding whether or not the military security organs did not have
2 their own reporting chain through which they would be reporting these
3 kinds of activities had they noticed.
4 You will also recall both General Farkas and General Vasiljevic
5 telling us that their inspections at the Pristina Corps indicated to them
6 that all the crimes were being detected and prosecuted properly and that
7 the only issue was an issue of failing to report properly up the chain of
9 I think a lingering question about this whole area has to do with
10 whether the security department, in fact, did have its own reporting
11 chain. And in that connection, I'd like to show you two or three
12 documents, just as exemplary documents.
13 Look at first 5D1310, please.
14 Now, this appears to be a document in the nature of a report
15 that's from the security department -- the security department of the 3rd
16 Army to the Supreme Command Staff in Belgrade; correct?
17 A. Yes, it was sent to the security administration of the Supreme
18 Command Staff.
19 Q. And I'd like you to just sort of glance through the document, and
20 I'll have the -- the pages paged through kind of one at a time, but I -- I
21 don't want to spend a lot of time but I just want you to look at the
22 nature of this document, see what kinds of things were contained in it.
23 So let's go to the second page now. And tell me when you've kind
24 of made your way through that page and then we'll go to the next one.
25 A. We can move on.
1 Q. Let's go to the next page, then, please. And finally the last
3 A. We can move on. I'm ready.
4 Q. Now, do you agree with me that this appears to be not some unique
5 report dealing with some unique situation but more in the nature of a
6 regular -- a regular report? Reporting a number of different matters. Do
7 you agree with that?
8 A. I agree that at least six, seven, or eight security topics were
9 covered: The situation around, the situation on the territory, treatment
10 of the arrested members of the military department Prizren who were sent
11 to the military court in Pristina after kidnapping by terrorists,
12 application of various measures. Practically the activities of the 3rd
13 Army over a couple of days. Mr. Walker is also mentioned and his
14 activities in Macedonia with refugees.
15 Q. Well, I want to look at paragraph 13, on the last page, because I
16 think that's significant. And we were there and then we went back to the
17 first page for some reason. But we'll go to the last page of the document
18 again, please. One page back in English.
19 Look at paragraph 13. Paragraph 13 reports about criminal
20 activities of members of the VJ, doesn't it?
21 A. Captain First Class Dejan Radovanovic -- I dare say that I know,
22 perhaps not so precisely at this moment, but I recognise the person by
23 name, unless there are two of them with the same first and last names. So
24 this man I know was from the Nis Corps of the 3rd Army, that is, outside
25 Kosovo and Metohija. He was arrested. And from subsequent information, I
1 know that he was working in the encryption service. He had been charged
2 and indicted. And I believe this is a reference to that criminal act,
3 from all I know. And the security administration is being informed of it.
5 Q. The point is it's the -- it's the reporting up the chain of
6 command of criminal activity that's being dealt with in the VJ, isn't it?
7 You can just say "yes" or "no" to that.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let's look now at 5D1311. And we can deal with this very quickly.
10 This is another security department report to the Supreme Command Staff.
11 And this one sends along a couple of witness statements taken from a
12 couple of members of the KLA.
13 Again, this is detailed information, not some, you know, specific
14 non-regular kind of reporting process. Correct?
15 A. I would say that this is a special report, judging by the first
16 item of the previous report. I know of this incident when two members of
17 terrorist forces were arrested in the area of Gnjilane, where they
18 admitted that they had killed --
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... knowledge of that situation.
20 I am only trying to establish that this kind of reporting was going on on
21 a regular basis. And you -- you know that it was, don't you?
22 A. Well, the report is self-explanatory. It indicates clearly from
23 who -- from whom it comes, whom it was sent to, when.
24 Q. Now, very quickly we'll look at one more. It's 3D1038. This one
25 is slightly different. This one is from the Pristina Corps command
1 security section. And not only does it go to the 3rd Army command, which
2 one would expect, but it also goes straight up to the security
3 administration of the General Staff and also to the 14th
4 Counter-Intelligence Group. So this is another example of a security
5 report from Pristina Corps or an example that is not going just to the 3rd
6 Army but straight on up to the General Staff; correct?
7 A. Yes. And we have seen a number of similar documents even here.
8 Q. And this is in the nature, just looking at the headings in it, of
9 a situation report, the reporting on the situation on the border and the
10 situation in the territory. And, again, this looks like part of a regular
11 reporting process. Correct?
12 A. I would say this is a regular security report containing the
13 standard items, the standard paragraphs that are permanent to this format.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, to avoid going through a number of
15 more -- of similar documents, simply for the record I'll tell you that
16 5D1306, 5D1307, 3D1001, and 3D1035 are of the -- of similar nature.
17 Q. During the testimony of General Farkas, General, he was asked by
18 me if he was aware that virtually every 3rd Army combat report during the
19 wartime obtained a section reporting on crimes. And this is at transcript
20 16322 and 323. General Farkas told me that was impossible because if
21 there had been such reporting, General Gajic would have informed him, and
22 he never got that information from General Gajic.
23 I want to know if you have seen any of the 3rd Army combat reports
24 from that period of time containing that paragraph regarding the
25 activities of the prosecutors and military courts. Have you seen those
2 A. The reports of the Pristina Corps and the 3rd Army from the
3 forward command post were practically drafted in the same room, in the
4 same building. I've seen a large number of them, without going into the
5 substance, but they derived their contents from the reports of the
6 Pristina Corps. And in this entire process, I have seen a large number of
7 these reports. And I'm talking about the wartime in this first segment.
8 Q. Well, rather than look at a number of these, I'm just going to
9 again tell you that, just as an example, 4D307 from the 30th of March,
10 4D273 from the 31st of March, 4D274 from the 1st of April, 4D275 from the
11 2nd of April, 4D276 from the 3rd of April, 4D409 from the 5th of April,
12 and it goes on and on almost daily through the entire war period that
13 these reports have a paragraph reporting on crime activities in Kosovo.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: And Your Honours will recall yesterday - so I don't
15 have to repeat it with the general today - his testimony that the regular
16 reporting from his subordinate units didn't really get underway until
17 around the 31st of March, when he started getting kind of regular reports
18 that were necessary.
19 Q. All right. I'd like you to look now at another document. This is
20 4D420. This is a document from General Pavkovic to the Supreme Command
21 Staff, personally to the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, dated the
22 20th of April, 1999. And this relates to the action that had taken place
23 at Rogovska Klisura, and I take it you were quite familiar with that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I'd like you to look at the explanation of General Pavkovic
2 there in paragraph 1 and just tell the Judges whether or not based upon
3 your knowledge of that action his report is an accurate report.
4 A. Preparations for this action cited as early as in the first half
5 of March, in organisational terms, the orders were issued to establish
6 coordination between the 3rd and the 2nd Army -- or rather, the 2nd Army
7 and the Pristina Corps. Some documents were exchanged between the 3rd
8 Army and the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, as it was at the
9 time. An order was also issued. That was headlined "The Joint Command."
10 That's the famous order. But as far as I can recall, there were some
11 problems regarding the implementation of this task within the given time,
12 and I would go as far as to say that this action lasted until May and that
13 we repeated orders, repeated activities, coordination, the organisation.
14 As -- and as far as this segment that is described here, there are several
15 reports from the Pristina Corps and probably from the 3rd Army command too
16 that some of the elements from the 125th Motorised Brigade, a light
17 infantry battalion, had set up the blockade and that from Montenegro the
18 MUP forces were searching the terrain. But it lasted for a very, very
19 long time. This action could not be completed within the time it was
20 planned. It was a very complicated situation around Rogovska Klisura.
21 Q. If I could ask --
22 A. Perhaps this was just the beginning of this action.
23 Q. I have to ask you the question again, though. My question -- let
24 me -- let me ask it a little different. Are you -- have you seen this
25 document before seeing it just now?
1 A. I saw it -- I've seen it recently at the trial here. Maybe some
2 10 or 15 days, whatever it was that it was admitted into evidence.
3 Q. Did you see it at the time of the action, around the 20th of
5 A. Well, I didn't see this document, but I know what the agreements
6 were. I know what the orders were, what the army command, what the army
7 commander did, what I did together with my units in coordination with the
8 Podgorica Corps and some MUP elements. I have this whole picture in front
9 of me.
10 Q. If I could go back to my original question. Is the information
11 contained there in paragraph 1 accurate?
12 A. I really can't confirm, but there is no reason for me to doubt
13 what it says here, that the President of the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia issued this task. If the army commander says this, then it is
15 probably true. But I was never in a position to meet with the President
16 of Yugoslavia or even to see him in 1998 or in 1999.
17 Q. I'm sorry, I'm going to have to be more specific, because we're
18 not getting ...
19 I'm interested in the part of this paragraph that reads as
21 "In this operation, the following VJ units were engaged in the
22 blockade of the general area of Rogovska Klisura and were not envisaged as
23 taking active part. The 2nd Battalion of the 58th Light Infantry Brigade
24 and the 1st and 2nd Corps Artillery Group of the Pristina Corps and some
25 of the units of the 2nd Army."
1 And I emphasise "not envisaged as taking active part."
2 "This is why we could not halt the said operation, because it was
3 planned and organised by the competent MUP command."
4 Now, this is on the 20th of April, which is, I think, the day
5 after that operation actually started. And you've explained that it went
6 on for a very long time after that. Based upon what you know, is this an
7 accurate explanation of that action up to that point?
8 A. Yes, it is true that the units of the 2nd Light Infantry Battalion
9 of the 58th Brigade were manning the blockade line in the hilly part of
10 Rogovska Klisura and some of the MUP elements from Kosovo and Metohija
11 were engaged in combat -- or rather, from Montenegro. I don't know who
12 was engaged in combat from that area in the effort to route the terrorist
14 And then things would stop and then would continue up until the
15 beginning of May. But in the initial period, this is the picture of the
17 Q. All right. We're going to another matter now. I want you to look
18 at 5D436.
19 Now, what you see on the screen is a 27 May 1999 report to
20 Colonel General Ljubisa Velickovic. And this report is authored by
21 General Terzic regarding his inspection of the 354th pbr and other units.
22 First of all, I'm sure you're familiar that General Velickovic
23 came to Pristina with a group of people to conduct this tour of inspection
24 in May of 1999; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If we go over to the paragraph right before paragraph 4 of the
2 report, which is page 5 in English, and I don't know where in B/C/S but
3 we'll find it. It's right before paragraph 4, which says "Conclusion."
4 Next page. It's page 4, I think, in B/C/S. It would be the next page --
5 no, wait a minute. I think you may have it there. Yes.
6 In English, we're on page 5. There we are. We got it. And it's
7 paragraph 9 there that we're interested in.
8 General Terzic -- the part that I'm mostly interested in: "There
9 is no single command in the zone of responsibility of the brigade."
10 And then there's some additional things about dissatisfaction with
11 MUP and things of that nature contained in that, but the part I'm
12 interested in is "no single command."
13 And then if you go over to paragraph 5. It would be the next
14 page. Number 1. He points out that:
15 "All the problems observed fall within the competence of the
16 command, the army, the corps, and the brigade. The Supreme Command Staff
17 should provide assistance in securing communications equipment,
18 establishing clearly outlined relations with the MUP organs and units, and
19 taking measures to provide care for families of soldiers through the
20 governments of FRY and Serbia."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now I want you to look at 5D434. Now, this document is dated the
24 2nd of June, 1999, a few days later. And this is a compilation by
25 General Velickovic of all of the reports that he received during this
1 inspection of the Pristina Corps. Would you agree with that?
2 A. Yes, I do know about this document.
3 Q. And if we look over -- it's on page 4 in the English, paragraph
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Mr. Visnjic is on his feet.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Visnjic.
7 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just for the record,
8 this is the same document as 3D692 that had been used before during the
9 trial. It will -- it will make it easier to follow things.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll note the connection. But just continue
11 using this one for the moment, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Paragraph 11. General Velickovic basically repeats in many
14 respect what is General Terzic had told him, and apparently it was a
15 broader issue:
16 "In the zone of responsibility, there is no unity of command all
17 over forces. Relations with the MUP have been maintained through
18 agreements which have frequently not been respected, particularly at lower
20 "Even though this cooperation is functioning for the time being,
21 in serious crisis situations and when there is no time, it can have
22 serious consequences both for Yugoslav Army soldiers and members of MUP."
23 That's what he reports; right?
24 A. That's what it says here. But if you need my comments, you can
25 ask me.
1 Q. Well, it's totally consistent, General, isn't it, with what you
2 have told the Trial Chamber about, the problem of non-subordination of
3 MUP, and that is that it caused unnecessary deaths of both police and
4 soldiers because of a lack of -- of complete coordination. Correct?
5 A. By the Trial Chamber's leave and by your leave, let me say that
6 coordination and command are two different things. So there was no
7 re-subordination. There is not a single subordination in chain of
8 command. Relations are based on cooperation, coordinated action and
9 coordination. That is not the same as command. You said that there was
10 no coordination. Coordination was there at the level of cooperation, but
11 there was no command relationship. This is something completely
13 This team noted the problems and informed the chief of the Supreme
14 Command Staff, as they did about the other problems, communications,
15 soldiers who died due to blood loss because there had been no
16 communications equipment in place, and so on.
17 Q. All right. Now, I want to remind you -- I want to go to the next
18 page under "Proposed measures." And you see that. It says that "The 3rd
19 Army command -- the 3rd Army command should urgently analyse the outlined
20 and other weaknesses and start removing them in a planned manner. And
21 forward one copy of the plan to the Supreme Command Staff. Resolve all
22 problems that the 3rd Army command cannot resolve within its competence
23 via the Supreme Command Staff through regular requests."
24 Now, that's what General Velickovic basically, if not ordered,
25 suggested to General Pavkovic regarding this report.
1 And I'd like you now to look at a document from General Pavkovic
2 two days later, P1725. This is a 4 June 1999 document.
3 If you look at the line that says "re" or "beza." Mr. Visnjic is
4 going to tell us his number or something --
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have an objection to
6 this comment by my learned colleague Mr. Ackerman, who said regarding the
7 previous document that this was a document in which General Velickovic
8 suggests to the 3rd Army commander what should be done. But the document
9 that was shown to the witness, this is not a document that is addressed to
10 the 3rd Army but to the chief of the Supreme Command Staff. This document
11 by General Velickovic is not sent to the 3rd Army commander but to the
12 chief of the Supreme Command Staff. So if any suggestions are made,
13 there's -- they are made to the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, not to
14 the 3rd Army commander, as was put to this witness by Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: You know, that's -- that's really an interesting
16 objection, because if you look at the 4 June document, the "re" line,
17 General Pavkovic indicates that he is specifically addressing the 29 May
18 1999 document, number 03/5520-1, which is 4D434. So he definitely had it
19 in his hands, it definitely was sent to him. And it definitely says in
20 that document what it is he should do, so --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, your respective comments are noted and will
22 be evaluated in due course. Please proceed with the question you want to
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. If you look at paragraphs 1 and 2 of this document. In English
1 it's on the second page.
2 First of all, General Pavkovic says: "In order to ensure the
3 necessary level of combat readiness in the Pristina Corps, we request that
4 the following problems affecting the combat readiness of the Pristina
5 Corps, which a Supreme Command Staff team noticed while visiting some of
6 the units from 23 through 26 May 1999, be solved on the Supreme Command
7 Staff level and through responsible organs of the Federal Ministry of
8 Defence, the Federal Republican government," and so on. And then he sets
9 out three things here.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think I'm looking at the right document.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: You are, Your Honour. I was just -- I was reading
12 from page 1.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: And showing page 2 here.
15 Do you want to go back to page 1 and look at it?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: No. No, no. Please ask your question. It's --
17 it's sounding rather like a submission, all of this, rather than a -- an
18 examination of the witness.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. If you look at paragraph 1, you'll see that General Pavkovic is
21 basically speaking of the same issues, the MUP forces not being
22 re-subordinated, something about privileged position of MUP members, and
23 some other matters. This is basically a reflection, is it not, of what
24 was contained in the Velickovic report?
25 A. That is correct. And if you allow me, there is no dilemma here.
1 I know that we discussed this often with the army commander, how to
2 resolve this problem, but there were no orders from the Ministry of the
3 Interior and throughout the war it was always coordination and no -- not
5 And in this item 1, the army commander stresses this problem once
7 Q. And I know you're familiar with documents 4D192 and P1459. These
8 are your report of the 24th of May and Pavkovic's nearly identical report
9 of the 25th of May regarding the failure of subordination of -- of MUP.
10 You're familiar with those documents, are you not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it's the case, isn't it, that you and General Pavkovic were
13 reporting on the 24th and 25th of May basically the same problems that
14 Generals Terzic and Velickovic were reporting on the 27th of May and the
15 2nd of June; correct?
16 A. The essence is that the order for the re-subordination of the MUP
17 forces had not been implemented.
18 Q. Okay. I'm going to a different subject now.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Could we possibly break then, Mr. Ackerman?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we shall break and resume at five minutes to
23 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. General, I want you to look now at P1467. What you see is a 31
3 May warning issued by General Pavkovic, and it says "To the commander
4 himself." I assume that means you.
5 A. You are right.
6 Q. This seems to be a document of frustration on General Pavkovic's
7 part that issues regarding the security of roads are simply not being
8 dealt with properly. And you're obviously familiar with this order.
9 If you look at -- it's page 2 in English. He says:
10 "In order to control losses in manpower and TMS, I order the
11 subordinate commands" -- then he uses the words "one last time" -- "to
12 secure the passage of m/v" -- whatever that is -- "in their zones of
13 responsibility and prevent ambushes," and so forth.
14 I'm interested in your explanation of this, if you understand what
15 he's talking about, and particularly that language "one last time." Can
16 you explain this at all?
17 A. I'll try to explain. I know what this is all about. In the
18 central part of Kosovo and Metohija and along the main roads leading to
19 Drenica, in late May mines were laid quite extensively. That was stepped
20 up by the terrorist forces. And at the same time, acting in concert,
21 there were attacks launched from Albania and huge losses were sustained
22 throughout Kosovo and Metohija and full control of the territory had not
23 been established, as had been ordered to us. We were supposed to do that
24 together with the MUP forces through the system of re-subordination. And
25 the army commander had ordered -- issued an order a week ago, I think to
1 the MUP forces too, but on this occasion he simply issues an order to me
2 to prevent at all costs and in concert with the MUP forces any losses.
3 So this is the essence of the last order. But I think that there
4 was another order that followed after this one, because this was a war.
5 But the gist of it is that the army commander is demanding in quite
6 energetic terms that the passabilty of roads and the prevention of losses
7 should be ensured in coordination with the MUP forces.
8 Q. All right. Let's look now at another -- actually, we're going to
9 look at a map.
10 I take it you're familiar with the Ratis action in September 1998?
11 And we'll look at the map 4D495.
12 Now, I had asked you if you were familiar with this action. I
13 don't know that you answered that.
14 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this action.
15 Q. And we need to look at the entire map, rather than zooming in.
16 You've seen this map before.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you see it at the time of the action in September 1998?
19 A. I think I did. I'm not entirely sure, but I think so. I know
20 that I was there in the field, and the purpose was -- of the action was to
21 find the victims of the terrorist forces in this area, quite a number of
22 them, in Radonjic Lake.
23 Q. Now, the last time this map came up, as you will recall in this
24 Chamber, there was a question about why General Pavkovic's signature
25 doesn't appear at the lower right-hand corner, like it ordinarily would.
1 Do you have any explanation as to why it's not there?
2 A. When I see a map of this sort in front of me, I cannot claim with
3 complete certainty that this is not a decision of the army commander and
4 there -- there shouldn't be the signature of the Chief of Staff of the
5 army. I don't know whether this is a decision from the Pristina Corps or
6 from the 3rd Army commander. I know that he made the decision for this
7 action, and that is why I cannot give you an answer why there is no
8 signature from General Pavkovic, the corps commander. Perhaps the Chief
9 of Staff of the 3rd Army, General Simic, was supposed to sign this or
10 somebody else from the 3rd Army.
11 Q. Well, you see a signature in the upper left-hand corner under the
12 name "Dusan Samardzic"; correct?
13 A. Yes. This is approved by the 3rd Army commander. And if this is
14 his decision and not the decision of the corps commander, then in the
15 right-hand corner there should be a signature from someone from the army.
16 And if this is a decision of the corps commander, then in the right-hand
17 corner there should be the signature of the corps commander. But I cannot
18 confirm whose map this is. In accordance with the rules on the working
19 map, there should be a signature in the right-hand corner of the person
20 who made this map and whose decision this is.
21 Q. I want to ask you generally about the activities of the VJ in
22 1998. As I understand it, there were basically two -- two kinds of
23 activities. There were planned actions and then there were activities
24 that would result in a kind of self-defence situation where a VJ unit
25 would be fired on and respond.
1 And I want to restrict my question to those actions that were
2 planned, that were not self-defence actions but were planned actions. Do
3 you know if in every case those planned actions were approved by
4 General Samardzic?
5 A. By the Trial Chamber's leave, I would like to say that the initial
6 decision for every action, including the smaller scale ones in which just
7 one combat group from the Pristina Corps participated, was made by
8 General Samardzic, the 3rd Army commander, or General Simic, the Chief of
9 Staff of the 3rd Army, and only then did the Pristina Corps command make
10 plans on the basis of this decision, but the plan had to be first verified
11 by the 3rd Army commander.
12 As far as I know, in 1998, while I was at the forward command post
13 in Djakovica, throughout this period all activities were planned and
14 approved by General Samardzic and the 3rd Army command, when we're talking
15 about the use of the Pristina Corps forces.
16 Q. [Microphone not activated] Do you know if any action during --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Do you know if any action during 1998 carried out by forces of the
20 Pristina Corps under orders from General Pavkovic that had not been
21 approved by General Samardzic or General Simic, as Chief of Staff?
22 A. I don't know of any such action. And if I may be allowed to say
23 something from a military standpoint, it is simply not possible to make
24 such a decision without the approval of the superior. When we're talking
25 about the use of the units in which lives of the soldiers may be lost.
1 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, we're going to go to one final
2 matter, and I'm going to use a document we saw earlier today. That's
3 P1966. And I want to go back to paragraph 13 on the last page.
4 The first sentence of paragraph 13 says this: "Organise
5 coordinated action with MUP forces concerning preparations for combat
6 operations before the start and during the combat operations."
7 The question I have for you about that is: If what was going on
8 here was a true joint operation under one single command, there wouldn't
9 have been any necessity for this paragraph, would there? This paragraph
10 is basically ordering some planning and cooperation. That wouldn't be
11 necessary in a true joint operation; right?
12 A. You're absolutely right. But if you allow me, this is a
13 counter-terrorist action, not operation.
14 Q. Yes, that's right.
15 Now, the other question I want to ask you is about that last
16 paragraph that we see over and over in these documents. It says: "The
17 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija shall command and direct all forces
18 during combat operations ...."
19 We've had trouble getting a -- I think a decent explanation for
20 what that means, so I'm going to try again. When -- when an action like
21 this was being carried out, when it was actually going on on the ground,
22 there had to be some kind of a command post that was directing that
23 action; correct?
24 A. When we're talking about the use of the army units, then
25 definitely. And this order, as you can see, pertains to units of the
1 army, the use of the elements of the Pristina Corps. And there must be
2 either at the level of the brigade or combat groups or two or three
3 brigades acting on separate axes the command element that would be in
4 command of all those forces for their part of the action.
5 Q. That would have been a specific location with specific personnel
6 there directing actions during the -- the -- that action, while it was
7 going on; correct?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And we just looked at the map of Ratis, for instance, and we saw
10 that it was both VJ units and MUP that were involved in that action. So
11 would I be correct that in that command post as that action was going on,
12 there were commanders for both VJ and MUP directing their respective
13 forces? Am I right in that?
14 A. You are right, but you're not always right. It does not --
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. May I explain?
17 Q. My wife would appreciate that last comment?
18 A. When I previously spoke, I tried to explain that this sentence was
19 extracted from some other terms, that combined command allowed for the
20 possibility that at a given point in time the commander of the unit is in
21 his position, the commander of the police unit is in his position. But at
22 one point, in order to directly find a solution to some problems, they can
23 both find themselves in a single place, either the commanders themselves
24 or their liaison officers, and they can follow how some combat actions
25 develop together. That is this combined activity. Every one of them
1 commands their own forces. After a few hours, they all go to look at
2 their own units. They part ways. So that is this combined command that
3 somebody christened "Joint Command."
4 Q. You've spoken during your testimony about 1999 and the forward
5 command post and how there was a very close cooperation between you and
6 General Pavkovic, that you would see each other almost daily. I'm
7 wondering if that -- that kind of an arrangement, a similar kind of an
8 arrangement existed during 1998 when General Samardzic was 3rd Army
9 commander and Pavkovic was Pristina Corps commander.
10 A. With the leave of the Honourable Trial Chamber, may I intervene at
11 this point? I did not cooperate with the army commander. I was
12 subordinated to him. His forward command post was at the command post of
13 the corps. I carried out his orders. It can be accepted from a
14 nonmilitary point of view that we had cooperation in terms of
15 understanding war-related problems, but our relationship in the war was
16 that General Pavkovic was at the command post of the Pristina Corps and in
17 1998 General Samardzic was practically at the command post of the Pristina
18 Corps, where he had to, to the best of my understanding and knowledge,--
19 or rather, where the commander of the Pristina Corps had to report at
20 least twice a day. The difference was that throughout the war we were
21 carrying out our tasks. But I know that at least twice a day the corps
22 commander had to report to the forward command post, to General Samardzic
23 and his organs.
24 Q. I mistakingly used the word "cooperation" when I intended to use
25 the word "coordination." I even wrote "coordination" here in my question.
1 I think you understood it that way, and that's all the questions I have.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry. 44, line 9. "We were
5 carrying out the task at the -- at the command post together," I believe
6 the -- the witness says.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
12 Q. General Lazarevic, I will -- I will deviate from my usual manner
13 of identifying myself since you know who I am at this point in the
14 proceedings. But I will caution you. I know it's been a long week and a
15 half for you, but I would ask that you please try as much as possible to
16 pay close attention to what I have to ask. And if one -- any one of my
17 questions is not clear to you, please make it known to me so that I can
18 re-ask the question. Otherwise, I will try to move through the topics
19 that I have as efficiently as possible so as to minimise the amount of
20 time that you have to stay on the stand. But we do have a lot of things
21 we need to go through.
22 Now, first of all, as a preliminary matter, while it is still
23 fresh in everyone's mind and before I forget about it, the Trial
24 Chamber -- when you testified during the cross-examination conducted by
25 Mr. Fila, the Trial Chamber asked -- well, you indicated that
1 the "zapovesti" that say the "Joint Command for KiM," when you said that
2 those had the peacetime location of the Pristina Corps as their command
3 centre for reasons to avoid intercepts revealing the true location, Judge
4 Bonomy inquired and asked of you if that could be proven by showing a
5 "zapovest" from -- that did not refer to the Joint Command but it also
6 referred to this location where the Pristina Corps command was in fact
8 If that makes sense for you, I'd like to first start off with
9 Exhibit 6D704, which I believe is in fact exactly what Judge Bonomy was
10 asking about and which I think shows and proves your position that in fact
11 the use of the term - I don't know if I can find it - [B/C/S spoken]
12 [Interpretation] In the -- [In English] Regularly for documents that are
13 labeled as being Pristina Corps command, Zapovesti.
14 " JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic; just have a look at the transcript in
15 front of you and see how much space and time you have occupied on going
16 nowhere so far and let's try to be efficient by just getting to the
18 MR. IVETIC: I will. I will. Your Honour, I think --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I just have a comment, maybe a request. I'm
20 impressed with Mr. Ivetic's use of Serbian, but the problem is it creates
21 a transcript that is largely unable to be followed, and I think it would
22 be much more useful if he would use the English words so that we get a
23 transcript that we can read.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we agree with that. The -- the points that
25 you seek to make by being specific in this way, Mr. Ivetic, can be made in
1 submissions, because we have access obviously to what's said in Serbian in
2 the documents where you may seek to -- to draw a distinction because of a
3 particular --
4 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: -- The use of particular language. But it
6 probably is better to make the transcript consistent. And if you do feel
7 the need to use the Serbian word specifically, then I think you should
8 also use what is the English equivalent according to the current
9 translation of it. That's the available translation.
10 MR. IVETIC: And I believe this one does not have a translation,
11 which is why I had to use the Serbian word.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thanks.
13 MR. IVETIC: Because I did not -- this is actually an item that I
14 did not plan to go into, but since it came up in Your Honour's question, I
15 thought I would bring it to the Court's attention that there is a
16 Zapovest -- there is a order that originates from the command of the
17 Pristina Corps that does not anywhere in it mention the Joint Command or
18 the Joint Command for KiM but which does, in fact, as the general has
19 already indicated, have the information that the command will be conducted
20 from the command building of the Pristina Corps in its peacetime location,
21 which I believe is the translation.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Just -- just ask him to -- since we don't have a
23 translation, just ask him to read the sentence in the document which is
24 now before us.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. General Lazarevic, if I can beg your indulgence. If I could have
2 you look at the last page of this exhibit in e-court. And once it comes
3 up, I will ask you to read item 11, which is the command and
4 communications portion of this order from the Pristina Corps command, the
5 first line which is similar to the lines which you've gone through with
6 Mr. Fila. If you could just read that for us, sir.
7 A. "The command post of the Pristina Corps in the building of the
8 peacetime location."
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the date of that document, Mr. --
10 MR. IVETIC: If we go back to --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Lazarevic?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 4th of May, 1999, as far as I've
13 mentioned to see.
14 MR. IVETIC:
15 Q. Thank you, General. And hopefully that will address the points
16 raised in Mr. Fila's cross and the concerns of the Trial Chamber in that
18 I apologise for the confusion caused, General. Now, I'd like to
19 talk about another factor, going back to now my originally planned cross.
20 During the course of your direct examination the other day, you indicated
21 that on the ground there were many -- I believe -- I don't have the
22 transcript in front of me, but you said rumours and misinformation
23 circulating during the chaotic wartime circumstances.
24 For that reason, I would like to start by having you clarify for
25 us things that we heard other people talk about. Specifically, what we
1 had witnesses from military security, or the VB, talk about from their
2 sources outside Kosovo and Metohija, and I want to find out what, if
3 anything, about this information was available to you at the command of
4 the Pristina Corps in 1999 in the middle of the war. And specifically, I
5 want to ask you whether you had any credible or verified information about
6 the existence of a so-called para-police formation named the Vukovi sa
7 Drine, the Wolves of the Drina, led by Nedeljko Legenda, or Legend,
8 Karisik or anyone else for that matter operating under the auspices of the
9 Serbian MUP based in Kosovo Polje. Did you have any such information of a
10 credible or verifiable nature at the Pristina Corps command?
11 A. I did not have any information, let alone verifiable, reliable.
12 No information whatsoever. I didn't even have any initial information.
13 Q. Now, I'd like to focus for the first part of my cross-examination
14 relating to the time period of 1998 to try and understand how the various
15 terminology in various military documents applies to the situation in the
17 Now, first of all, I would like to look at Exhibit 4D129. And
18 once that gets up on the screen, we will proceed with that.
19 In order to try and speed things up a bit, I will try and -- I
20 will not have you read the entire document into the record, but I will
21 highlight what portions of it are necessary.
22 This appears to be a regular combat report of the 3rd Army command
23 dated the 20th of June, 1998. It bears in the upper left strictly
24 confidential number 3988-58, and it appears to be sent to the General
25 Staff. And we will see later when we get to the last page that indeed it
1 has -- it was issued by General Dusan Samardzic.
2 I would like to first focus on page 2 of the B/C/S, which is also
3 page 2 of the English. Specifically the section number 5, or paragraph 5,
4 that starts with "I have decided." And the part -- the part that starts,
5 5.1, "Proposal of decision." Wherein General Samardzic says, as you can
6 see on the screen there, that -- where it says:
7 "I propose the following decision: Engage part of the army
8 forces in cooperation with forces of the MUP, Ministry of the Interior, of
9 the Republic of Serbia to ensure the flee flow of traffic on the
10 Pristina-Stimlje-Suva Reka-Prizren road."
11 And further: "Ensure the free flow of traffic along the road by
12 taking and holding passes and road junctions, controlling the approaches
13 leading to the road, and patrolling the road itself."
14 Now, would you agree with me that this proposal by
15 General Samardzic includes a proposal for engagement of both VJ and
16 Serbian MUP forces for this coordinated action?
17 A. In order to provide a full answer, I will require the next page as
18 well, but I'm going to try to answer this part of the question now.
19 In paragraph 5, the commander of the 3rd Army decided to use the
20 units subordinated to him to be engaged in the border belt. Full stop.
21 Then he proposes to the chief of General Staff on the basis of some order
22 that he invokes here that, had been issued by General Perisic, how to use
23 MUP forces in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija from the point of view
24 of carrying out the task of controlling the territory. And if I remember
25 this document correctly, at the end he is going to propose to
1 General Perisic that at the level of the General Staff and the ministry up
2 there in Belgrade, this subject matter be defined. However, I am saying
3 this on the basis of memory.
4 Q. That, I think, is generally speaking the -- the document we're
5 talking about.
6 If we could move to the next page in the B/C/S and English, I
7 think we'll see, General, there where the forces that are to be engaged
8 are identified based upon forces of the 3rd Army and forces of the MUP of
9 the Republic of Serbia. Does this, in fact, bear out the point we are
10 trying to make on the last page that General Samardzic proposes forces
11 from both structures to be utilised for this coordinated joint action in
13 A. That is borne out by that. The protection of the main roads.
14 With your permission, the last sentence here reads as follows:
15 "Please coordinate the use of MUP forces at the level of the
16 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia and the Ministry of the Interior
17 of the Republic of Serbia." Because he cannot decide on that. So
18 coordination at top state level, military and police, that has to be
19 regulated in Belgrade.
20 Q. I don't know whether we had page 2 up on the screen. I'd asked
21 for page 2, but it looks like we're on page 3. But in any event, page 2
22 as the document speaks for itself identifies the specific units from both
23 structures that are to be used in this action being proposed by
24 General Samardzic.
25 Now, if we can move on while remaining in 1998 -- well, first of
1 all, this particular proposed action, am I correct that the initial
2 proposal for it came from within the Pristina Corps and was communicated
3 upwards to General Samardzic at the 3rd Army?
4 A. With the leave of the Honourable Trial Chamber, I have to say that
5 this is not a proposal for an action. This is a proposal for a
6 longer-term engagement, carrying out a longer-lasting task of ensuring the
7 territory and protecting the main roads in Kosovo and Metohija. That is
8 the core of the matter. It is not one single action. In my view -- well,
9 I don't know where this proposal came from. It will be quite
10 understandable if the proposal came from the command of the Pristina Corps
11 vis-a-vis the command of the 3rd Army and that this was coordinated with
12 the MUP staff in Pristina. However, all of that is a question of my own
13 assessment as to what it was that was happening.
14 Q. The issue brought up was whether it was a long-term action or an
15 action. It's my fault, due to my lack of knowing enough Serbian to be
16 doing all of this in Serbian. The English is rather bulky in that regard.
17 So I appreciate the correction -- or clarification of that matter.
18 Now, if we could remain in 1998 and focus some more on the
19 communication between the MUP and the VJ during this period. I would ask
20 for 6D692 to be called up in e-court so that we can discuss it briefly.
21 And once it comes up on the screen, I think you'll see that this
22 is a preparatory order that at the top indicates that it originated from
23 the Pristina Corps command. Strictly confidential number 880-176, dated 7
24 August 1998, and reflecting that it was sent to the personal attention of
25 the commander of the -- the komandant, NS. I don't think we have an
1 English one in the system, so I will try to highlight through you the
2 section I would to refer to.
3 First of all, if we look at the bottom of the document, it has
4 underneath the signature, what in the Serbian says "dostaviti or send to.
5 And under B, it has "sifrom" or encoded, the 125th and 549th Motorised
6 Brigades and says Ikmprk.
7 Is this in fact the same forward command post of the Pristina
8 Corps in Djakovica that we have previously heard you testify about where
9 you were in 1998?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I apologise. Just waiting for the transcript to catch up with us.
12 And does that mean that you have personal knowledge of this document
13 having received it in -- at around the time that it was issued?
14 A. This document follows the previous map, entitled "Ratis." It's
15 the same time, the same action, the same event, around Radonjic Gorezero,
16 Lake Radonjic. This is just a preparatory document for using the army
17 units and the MUP in carrying out this task, as the heading says.
18 Q. Thank you. Again, just waiting for the transcript to catch up
19 with us in the English. I appreciate that. I'm just trying to use the
20 documents to establish what the manner of creation of these documents was
21 in 1998 so we can better understand the interrelation between the various
23 Now, the -- you say this is a preparatory document for using army
24 and MUP to carry out tasks in this engagement. Am I correct that in this
25 document your superior, General Pavkovic, is tasking you with immediately
1 beginning preparations for carrying out the action to support MUP units in
2 the area of Glodjane?
3 A. What you are suggesting and asking about cannot be seen from this
4 document. The only thing that is being done here is ordering officers to
5 gather at the forward command post, those whose units are being engaged.
6 And who is going to use the units, this is not ordered by the corps
7 commander, whether he is going to authorise me or whether he personally is
8 going to carry out this preparation.
9 If you wish to go into detail, in paragraph 7 he only orders me,
10 as the Chief of Staff, to set the structure of Combat Group 52 according
11 to this task.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... as opposed to 3rd Army. But
13 let me -- let me ask this question: Am I correct that simultaneous with
14 the issuing of this proposed preparatory order, that in fact the organs of
15 the Pristina Corps prepared on Odluka, or decision map, for this action
16 and that both were presented for approval by General Samardzic before any
17 engagement of the VJ or MUP forces was actually effectuated, or
19 A. Well, that is the procedure, the inviolable procedure, if I can
20 put it that way. But let's get this clear. And I hope that the Trial
21 Chamber will understand me if I say a sentence or two more in terms of
22 when this was, when the MUP and army units were being engaged.
23 The commander of the army does not make a decision on the
24 engagement of MUP units. He makes a decision to engage army units, and
25 within this task in which the MUP units participate as well.
1 I would like us to be precise on this so that this would be of use
2 to the Trial Chamber.
3 Q. Okay. And in fact the Odluka, or decision map, contains, as we've
4 seen, both the information necessary for the VJ forces or units and the
5 information necessary for the MUP forces or units for that particular
6 engagement or coordinated action; isn't that correct?
7 A. According to the instructions for work maps of the Army of
8 Yugoslavia, on the decision map one enters one's own forces and other
9 forces from the defence system. The enemy forces, the capacity of the
10 territory. So yes, that is the case that what is entered on the map are
11 the MUP forces too, to the extent to which one has the right information
12 available as to how and where they are being engaged.
13 Q. Do you have personal knowledge of the fact that General Samardzic
14 approved this action before it was undertaken?
15 A. Only ten minutes ago we saw the decision map that he had approved.
16 And I know that in combat reports of the command of the 3rd Army that the
17 previous decision was made for Glodjane, and I know that he informed the
18 General Staff after this action was over.
19 May I be allowed to say that I know that the commander of the 3rd
20 Army came personally to the area when the corpses were found and when the
21 action was over.
22 Q. According to the instructions and the procedure -- and the
23 procedure, the inviolable procedure, as you stated it, am I correct, then,
24 that this would be the method by which all actions were planned in 1998;
25 that is to say, that all actions had a Odluka map that was proposed by the
1 VJ -- VJ officer preparing it and then approved by the VJ superior officer
2 authorising it? And that's my first question. Would that be the standard
3 operating procedure in 1998 for the actions that were undertaken -- the
4 joint coordinated actions that were undertaken during that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And do I understand that procedure correctly that once -- once a
7 VJ commander has signed his approval upon a Odluka, or decision map, only
8 he can change the same; so that is to say, the VJ officer who signed and
9 authorised and approved the decision map.
10 A. That would be according to regulations.
11 Q. Now, if we move on. I'd like to move ahead to 1999. And to begin
12 with, I'd like to clarify a point that came up in your examination the
13 other day. But first of all -- yeah.
14 If we could look at 6D1416 very briefly. And I think you dealt
15 with a similar document in your direct examination dealing with an action
16 for the other part of Drenica in March of 1999. This deals with, I
17 believe, Gornje Drenica. But if we can look at this.
18 First of all, this is a document from the command of the Pristina
19 Corps. Strictly confidential document number 455-43, dated the 18th of
20 March, 1999 and directed to the commander of the 3rd Army to his
21 personal -- or to -- to him personally.
22 Now, if I could --
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I just -- I just want to say for the
24 record that it's very difficult, as I've pointed out before, to deal with
25 untranslated documents. There may be matters in these documents that
1 would be appropriate for further examination by me, and there's no way I
2 can tell. And we seem to just go from one untranslated document to
3 another today since we've done this. And I'm -- I'm sympathetic with the
4 position of Mr. Ivetic in regard to this, because it's not his fault that
5 he doesn't have untranslated -- translated document, I'm sure, but it does
6 cause a problem.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. IVETIC: I appreciate the difficulties. In fact, I have, I
9 think, spoken on the difficulties of untranslated documents in the past as
10 well. Thankfully in each of the teams we have some B/C/S speakers, so
11 that alleviate the problem somewhat.
12 This particular document was one that came up because of an issue
13 that arose in court, I believe, on the 9th of November where a similar
14 document was utilised and there was -- there actually was an English
15 translation of that document, and then there was a lot of confusion
16 because the translation of the document was suspect. And I'm actually --
17 this procedure will, I think, be useful to actually not only get
18 information necessary for the Trial Chamber to have the full picture in
19 front -- in front of it, but also I hope it will clear up the translation
20 issue from the other day rather soundly, so that there will be no doubt in
21 anyone's mind what the document from the other day actually said. So
22 that's -- that's the -- what I plan to do with this document, and then, of
23 course, referring back to the document that was referred to in court and
24 introduced -- and actually commented on -- commented on by Mr. Ackerman,
25 since I think he's the one that noted the -- the translation issue in
1 the -- in the prior document, which is going to be 5D276, which was used,
2 I believe, on the 9th of November in the direction of Mr. Lazarevic.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: May I just say, Your Honour, that raises another
4 issue that has been rattling around in my mind for some weeks now. The
5 translators in the booths in this courtroom do an outstanding job under
6 very, very difficult conditions, and I don't by my remarks tend to take
7 anything away from them at all, but their job is to do the best they can
8 under the circumstances. CLSS, on the other hand, can take time and
9 expend great effort at properly translating a document to try to get it as
10 accurate as possible. And I -- I think it is -- is contrary to a rather
11 well-oiled system for us to try to use in-court translators for precise
12 translations of documents in lieu of CLSS translations that are more
13 carefully thought out and -- and worked on.
14 And I -- I notice we've been doing that, on occasion having the
15 booth translate sentences from documents to check if CLSS has done them
16 right. I think it maybe is backwards. And I just wanted to make that
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I imagine everyone is well aware of all the efforts
19 that have been made by everyone involved and particularly by the legal
20 staff of this Trial Chamber to try to organise the translation of
21 documents in a way which will facilitate the fair and expeditious conduct
22 of this trial. With the best will in the world and recognising that we do
23 not live in a perfect world, there will from time to time be problems.
24 When they arise, if a facility is readily available, then it will be used.
25 And by that I'm referring to the interpretation in court.
1 If there's a difficulty still, then it's open to any party to
2 re-submit the document or submit it to CLSS and make a filing that draws
3 our attention to some inconsistency.
4 The important thing is that every counsel has made every effort to
5 prioritise the request for translation. Mr. Ivetic has explained that
6 this particular document comes into play because of something that
7 occurred fairly recently in the evidence. I hope, however, that the ones
8 which you intend to use and knew you would be likely to use with this
9 witness have, so far as possible, been translated as a matter of priority.
10 It has been known for some time that General Lazarevic was likely to be a
12 So please proceed with this one as quickly as you can on the basis
13 of the use of interpretation because of the circumstances you have
15 MR. IVETIC: And just to clarify, I do not intend the in-court
16 interpretation to try and correct a mistranslation in the English. It's,
17 rather, to alleviate confusion arising from a rather complicated
18 formulation in the Serbian. And the translation in English of the
19 document 5D297 is indeed correct, but the -- the meaning behind the same
20 is a little bit unclear and will be clear as we go through this -- through
21 this series of questions.
22 Q. Now, first of all, so we can set everyone on the same page with --
23 with respect to what this document is, I've already, I believe, read the
24 source of the document, the date, et cetera.
25 If I can ask you, sir, to read for us the subject line that
1 begins: "y komandu korpusa" And in doing so, tell us whether you recall
2 authoring such a document and planning such an engagement in the Drenica
3 and the Podujevo regions or the Podujevo Road regions. And I see my --
4 counsel is on his feet.
5 General, could you do that for us, sir, could you read the
6 introductory paragraph for this order or act of the command of the
7 Pristina Corps. And that begins: "y komandu korpusa," in the command of
8 the corps.
9 A. "Within the corps command, the planning and preparation of the
10 commands of units and forces of the MUP has been carried out for
11 performing actions to crush Siptar terrorist forces in the area of
12 Northern Drenica and Podujevo in keeping with your general concept and
13 specific plans."
14 You asked me further on whether I was aware of what document this
15 is, and my answer is this: This document follows from a number of prior
16 documents dated in the month of February when the army command ordered the
17 corps command to perform general planning without indicating the dates
18 when these actions would be carried out. And in response to the question
19 of my Defence counsel whether I knew whether MUP planned its own -- did
20 its own planning for these actions, I said "yes." And this is specific
21 coordination between two structures just before the specific
22 implementation of this task.
23 And I would like the Trial Chamber to allow me to show that this
24 is reflective of the general concept of how army units are used. The
25 commander has the right and duty to propose decisions in keeping with the
1 decision of his superior commander, and the decision is ultimately
2 verified by his subordinate officer.
3 This document reflects strict subordination within the units of
4 the Pristina Corps and the 3rd Army.
5 Q. Thank you, General. And, again, I apologise. I heard you, but
6 the transcript was catching up in English. So that was the reason for the
8 If we can just focus on -- briefly on section 2.1 and 2.2 for the
9 non-B/C/S speakers in here, General, I will just paraphrase the units that
10 are involved. And if I err in any way, I would ask that you intervene and
11 correct me. But this document deals with the engagement of Battle Group
12 125-1, the 257th -- 252nd Motorised Brigade of the armoured brigade,
13 Battle Group 15-2. And then in the section 1, "Vut Gornakin" [phoen], it
14 says: "4 Ceta" or detachments of the PJP. In 2.2 we have Battle group
15 15-4, 15-1, 125-4 and then 6 Ceta or detachments of the MUP.
16 This will become important as we turn to the next page of the
17 document. And, General, I would focus your attention to item 6,
18 labeled [Interpretation] "Problems and omissions in the action." [In
19 English] And I would ask you, it seems that in planning for this
20 engagement you noted a shortage -- or someone -- the operatives in the
21 Pristina Corps noted a shortage of four Ceta, or detachments, of MUP PJP.
22 Is that accurate?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: Ceta is "company,"
24 not "detachment."
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is a very
1 self-explanatory document, which indicates that the corps command knows
2 exactly which of its forces would be engaged, but it's very complicated
3 for me to comment on everything that you have just read.
4 At any rate, the person from the MUP who came to effect the
5 coordination probably did not know and didn't bring accurate information
6 on the available forces of the MUP, did not know their names and their
7 designation. And it was the task of the group from the corps command in
8 charge of coordination that the MUP forces available were not sufficient
9 to perform this assigned task in the area of Podujevo and Northern
10 Drenica. That is why I inform the army commander that not all the
11 problems had been resolved that needed to be resolved in order to start
12 the coordinating planning of this action.
13 Q. Again, General, I apologise. We had to wait for the transcript to
14 catch up with us.
15 Now --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic, every time you say that, you add to the
17 work of the interpreter. I think the witness knows very well by now what
18 you're doing.
19 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. Some habits are hard to -- to drop at
20 the drop of a hat.
21 Q. Now, General, if we can look at the last two lines of this
22 document. It would appear that the Pristina Corps request an engagement
23 of additional units of the MUP to make up for this shortfall, or shortage.
24 Is that accurate?
25 A. The principle of coordination and organisation of coordinated
1 action is a principle of agreement of two or more parties in the
2 performance of a specific joint task. So it must have been the general
3 belief and assessment, although this document was signed by me and the
4 Pristina Corps stands behind it -- it must have been the assessment that
5 MUP forces were insufficient, a request was made for additional forces.
6 And I would like to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to this last
7 sentence, which is very important. In that sentence, I propose that
8 additional coordinated action in the field be effected through
9 reconnaissance by commanders and combat groups and parts of units of the
10 MUP whereby the process of coordinated action would be finalised at this
11 lowest level.
12 I also proposed the time and the method for doing that, to
13 organise additional reconnaissance on the 19th of March. I cannot order
14 the MUP to do that. I can just suggest it.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... You cannot actually make
16 any -- any -- anything beyond that; is that correct?
17 A. Precisely.
18 Q. Now I'd like to go into this area I wanted to clear up. If we
19 look at this -- these last two line, would you therefore agree with me
20 that the formulation in Serbian that begins [Interpretation] The request
21 of the MUP has been submitted to engage additional forces." [In English]
22 Now, will you agree with me that this formation is actually clumsily
23 written, and it should be [Interpretation] A request has been submitted
24 to -- [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... from the MUP. Do
25 you see the confusion that I'm -- that I'm talking about now, General?
1 A. Well, the Serbian language is not perfect. I understand you. I
2 understand what you're saying. I'm addressing my superior commander and
3 informing him that this group for coordination evaluated that MUP forces
4 were not sufficient and that MUP should be required to give additional
5 forces. Not that MUP should ask for additional forces from somebody else.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... which is the document that
7 was used the other day that had some confusion as to what it meant. And I
8 believe from reviewing the transcript, that we -- it was concluded at that
9 point in time that the request came from the MUP to the VJ, rather than
10 the other way around.
11 And if we could look at the last page of this document.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: What's the number of the document, Mr. Ivetic?
13 MR. IVETIC: 5D276, Your Honour. Which --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: For some reason, I've noted earlier 5D297. Is
15 that ...?
16 MR. IVETIC: If I -- if I did say that, I misspoke. It should be
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 MR. IVETIC: Mr. Ackerman already apprised me that the transcript
20 had that wrong number in there, and I think it's my fault.
21 So 5D276, which is the document we used the other day. If we
22 could just focus on the last two lines of it.
23 Q. General, do we have here in this document written, I believe, the
24 exact same day as the document we have just looked at, do we see the same
25 formulation here: [Interpretation] A MUP request was submitted." [In
1 English] And having looked at this other document, 6D146 that we just
2 looked through, would you agree with me now that in this case we cannot
3 exclude the possibility that the request was sent to the MUP rather than
4 coming from the MUP in this particular document for which we do have an
5 English translation.
6 A. You are right. It's an error, basically a typo. Essentially we
7 understand each other. This is a similar proposal for another action in
8 that broader area. It's also a proposed idea how to do it.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you saying there is a typo error in the Serb
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. If you allow me
12 to say, translated into Serbian it would mean "a request of the MUP has
13 been submitted to engage their forces." Whereas, in fact it should
14 read "a request has been submitted to the MUP." This little "A"
15 after "MUP" should be the letter "U" in Serbian, to indicate a different
16 name case, "to the MUP."
17 MR. IVETIC: And so now, as you see, Your Honours, my beef is not
18 with the translation. It's the fact that the translation incorporates the
19 typo in it. And I hope that it was now clearer than it was the other day
20 to everyone that the request flows from the VJ.
21 Q. Now, I'd like to move on, General, with respect to -- still 1999.
22 First of all, the other day you mentioned that sort of as a -- symbolic of
23 the -- of the frustrations or the problems arising from the
24 re-subordination issue that a certain army commander - I believe it was
25 Mitrovic Dragan and some other VJ staff - were -- were casualties as a
1 result of a lapse in a coordinated action. Do you recall, sir, that in
2 fact those casualties occurred on the 20th of April before the issue of
3 re-subordination was on the table by way of a re-subordination order
4 issued by yourself?
5 A. It was my understanding that the esteemed Defence counsel said
6 Dragan Mitrovic -- I believe the Trial Chamber would allow me to say this.
7 I mean, it was probably Dragan Mikovic [phoen] of the 37th Brigade was
8 meant. Because I don't remember any Dragan Mitrovic from that time.
9 I cannot tell you the precise date which I invoked when I spoke
10 about the entire command of a brigade that was wiped out. The commander
11 informed that the agreed coordinated action did not work very well. It's
12 true that the planned re-subordination should have begun by then, if you
13 are talking about the 20th April. But you see that the brigade commanders
14 warn in the month of May that people are getting killed despite their
15 coordinated action and the re-subordination. One brigade commander said
16 that 100 metres away there was a MUP unit with which they had a previous
17 agreement who would be where and they were not alert enough and careful
18 enough and the entire command of that brigade was wiped out. That was a
19 singular case in that war. It's true that if the date was the 20th of
20 April, it hadn't been finalised yet.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Lazarevic, I'm finding difficulty
22 following some of your evidence just now, because the answer to the
23 question that you were asked at the moment is contained in the final
24 sentence of what you've just said. And really we have to allow Mr. Ivetic
25 to ask the questions the way he wants to ask them, and you have the same
1 obligation as other witnesses have had here, to answer the particular
2 question. And that question only sought to determine whether -- or to
3 clarify whether your order was after the 20th of April, as you confirmed
4 at the end.
5 Mr. Ivetic.
6 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, General, you indicated in your direct examination after --
8 that after the 16th of April, 1999, the orders no longer needed to have
9 the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija title on them and in fact were
10 designated as being Pristina Corps documents, as the prior ones you said
11 were, in fact, apart from that title. That's -- well, here I have to --
12 here I have to go into the Serbian. We're talking about "zapovesti," not
13 "naredjenje." That's a point where the English word "order" has two
14 Serbian counterparts. And so I apologise, I have to use the Serbian
15 "zapovest" in the transcript.
16 If I can ask you, do you recall that sometime around that same
17 time- I think it was approximately the 20th or the 22nd of April, 1999 -
18 do you recall that General Pavkovic of the 3rd Army and General and
19 Assistant Minister Obrad Stevanovic of the MUP had a debate and a
20 discussion trying to iron out the differing interpretations and meanings
21 of "re-subordination" particularly with respect to Article 17 of the Law
22 of Defence?
23 A. My knowledge about that activity, as far as I'm able to recall at
24 this moment, relates to a meeting before the 20th of April, because what I
25 remember is that I was involved, that the army commander had invited me --
1 or rather, called me up during one night to move towards Pristina. I
2 don't know which installation it was. I cannot locate it precisely. It
3 was late at night. Anyway, we were supposed to meet with someone from the
4 MUP to see how we were going to realise an order that had come from the
5 command of the Supreme Staff on the 18th. So my recollection is that it
6 was that it was on -- before the 20th of April, not on the 20th or the
7 22nd. It was a meeting late at night in this building in Pristina.
8 Q. And do you recall that General Stevanovic of the MUP debated the
9 interpretations of Article 17 of the Law on Defence with General Pavkovic,
10 that they were the main participants in this debate or discussion about
11 the implementation of the re-subordination order of the chief of the --
12 staff of the High Command?
13 A. I know that there was a debate on this topic. I cannot confirm
14 now whether it was the Article 17 or whatever, but I know the outcome of
15 that brief meeting in the middle of the night. General Stevanovic said
16 that he did not have an order from his Minister of the Interior. He was
17 one of the assistants to the minister, as far as I can remember, and that
18 he could not carry out an order from the chief of the Supreme Command
19 Staff. And the meeting ended at that.
20 Q. The --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, were you present at the meeting?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
24 Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC:
1 Q. With respect to the discussions, am I correct that there was also
2 a discussion as to martial law or military law and the fact that this was
3 not reaching out to the point where the military would take over all
4 civilian activities and functions in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
5 A. I didn't understand you. I didn't understand whether you were
6 asking me or whether you're quoting something from that meeting. I just
7 don't understand what you're driving at.
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... whether the topic -- whether
9 the topics for discussion and debate was discussion over "vojna uprava,"
10 military rule in taking over civilian functions from civilian authorities,
11 such as the MUP? Than -- and -- and improper or incorrect interpretations
12 of what the -- what the circumstances and the declaration of war meant.
13 A. Perhaps this is a matter of interpretation, but this is the first
14 time that I hear anyone in my presence use the term "military rule" during
15 the war or that this was discussed in my presence. And an order of this
16 kind with such provisions created headache to MUP and to -- to me as the
17 Pristina Corps commander. This is quite clear. I spoke about that the
18 other day.
19 Q. Now, subsequent to these discussions, whether they were on the
20 18th, 19th, or the 22nd, you issued P2809, which I would ask to be put up
21 on the screen, strictly confidential number 455-183 dated the 28th of
23 If we can look at -- we'll wait for the document to come up.
24 Am I correct that this -- whoops. Is this P2809? I'm getting
25 something ...
1 2809. P2809. This one is apparently 2089.
2 Okay. Now, if we could focus on paragraph 1 in both the B/C/S and
3 the English translation, which is on the screen for this one, where it
5 "Engage forces of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia (PJP)
6 manoeuvre detachments and MUP territorial units to carry out combat tasks
7 in the PrK zone. Other forces and institutions continue to remain under
8 the jurisdiction of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia."
9 Would you agree with me that this is a narrower view of
10 re-subordination than had been proposed by the initial order that came
11 down from the Supreme Command Staff and that this narrower interpretation
12 was a result of the discussions that the VJ had with the-- with the MUP
13 personnel? That is, the --
14 A. With all due respect for what the Defence counsel has just said, I
15 would like to say that what is written in this document is the result of a
16 document that I drafted in my capacity as the Pristina Corps commander on
17 the 20th of April where I tried to give an interpretation of how this
18 mission impossible, as I called it the other day, could be implemented.
19 Because what is written here is not based on the original document from
20 the 3rd Army command or the Supreme Command Staff. And after that
21 meeting, I never even saw anyone from the MUP. I didn't consult anyone.
22 I did consult with the army commander. And this is an attempt to deal
23 with this thing that is not fully defined under the law and in the order,
24 to make it possible for us at the corps command to carry out this task as
25 much as it was possible.
1 So I couldn't confirm whether this followed after any discussions
2 with the MUP members. And you can see here that I'm referring to the
3 order of the command of the army where he tried to adjust his order to
4 what was actually possible given the situation. And that is the gist of
6 Q. And just to follow up on that, this is the first time that Article
7 17 of the Law on Defence had been actually implemented in practice by the
8 Army of Yugoslavia; isn't that correct?
9 A. I don't think that I am expert enough to provide an interpretation
10 of Article 17, but if the Trial Chamber allows me as a layperson with no
11 legal knowledge -- if I were to say anything about Article 17, I would say
12 that this is not -- it is not correct, because it says that the army would
13 be in command of the combat. It is impossible to command the combat. One
14 can only command forces, troops. So I cannot confirm whether this means
15 an attempt to implement Article 17, but it's an attempt on the part of the
16 3rd Army to implement a task that was given to it by the Supreme Command
18 MR. IVETIC: Just one or two or questions and then I think we --
19 Are we at the break point now, Your Honour? Or I think we have
20 five more minutes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I think now is the appropriate time to break,
22 if that's convenient for you.
23 MR. IVETIC: That is, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Then we'll resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. General, we still have on the screen, I believe, the exhibit that
5 we had, P2809, your order. I would ask for the second and final page of
6 this exhibit to be placed up on e-court so that I can ask you a few
7 questions relative to the same.
8 Specifically, if I can direct your attention to paragraph 8 of
9 this document. And there it indicates that "PJP detachments will be
10 occasionally engaged in anti-terrorist operations outside their zones in
11 line with the plan of the Pristina Corps Command and the brigade
12 commanders will be duly informed".
13 Do you recall who created this plan of the Pristina Corps command
14 for the PJP redeployment? Or did such a plan exist?
15 A. Here the subordinate commanders are given a suggestion that if the
16 MUP forces are engaged, those PJP detachments, that a plan would be made,
17 an order. A plan is a set of documents. So we're not talking about a
18 plan that was done at that time.
19 Q. And if we look at the enclosed. You are enclosed, and along with
20 this order you had a map showing locations of MUP detachments and a plan
21 of engagement of the joint units with their activities and tasks. Would
22 that be an Odluka map or not? Would it be similar to an Odluka map where
23 both VJ and MUP forces and their deployments are -- are indicated?
24 A. No, it is not similar. This is an overview map, as far as I can
25 remember. The scale is 1 to 200.000. It includes the whole of Kosovo and
1 Metohija. It is based on the information that the Pristina Corps command
2 knew, about the location of the police units at that time. And the corps
3 command did not get -- and let me tell you now that the regulations
4 stipulated this is an obligation -- the information as to what units, in
5 what area are subordinated to the Pristina Corps and to the brigades, in
6 order to be able to implement the re-subordination order fully.
7 I know that the army commander did not have that, but now I'm
8 talking about the corps command. A map was made where in item 10 I demand
9 that the commanders give me feedback once they ascertained where the MUP
10 units were in order to have at least their current areas of deployment.
11 And let me remind you that the MUP units were rotated in accordance with
12 their plan. And it was impossible to follow that on this map.
13 In item 2, if that's what you wanted me to talk about, the
14 engagement plan in the combat control of the territory, this is a plan in
15 the form of a text of the joint forces. We mean the joint tactical units
16 in the brigade. Every brigade is assigned its zone where it is supposed
17 to control certain roads.
18 And let me conclude that this is an attempt, a blind attempt, so
19 to speak, without any of the substantial elements that have to be given in
20 the order about the units of the MUP that should be under somebody's
21 command. So without this knowledge, the corps command tried to do
22 something, to make certain things possible in a combat situation.
23 So this is the gist of this order.
24 Q. Thank you, General. Now, I recall from our early -- from earlier
25 testimony in this case that the initials at the end of military documents
1 are supposed to show the author and the typist or operative who -- who
2 drafted -- who published the -- the particular document. In this case, we
3 have "NP/BV." Which of these initials indicates the author of the
4 document? Because I don't see your initials anywhere on here. Is this a
5 error or can you identify for us who either NP or BV is.
6 A. The initials on the left-hand side designate the author of this
7 text, the person who drafted the document. And the ones on the right-hand
8 side indicate the person who actually typed this document out on a
9 typewriter or a computer. It is not a mistake, and the corps commander
10 very rarely drafts these documents. I did do so on several occasions, as
11 you were able to see. Particularly, when this dealt with the compliance
12 with the international humanitarian law or topics of that nature where I
13 demand full compliance with some things. I really cannot recognise those
14 initials. I don't know who in the corps command with these initials
15 drafted this document.
16 Q. Okay. Now --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Are they not the initials of General Pavkovic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Your Honour, Mr. President,
19 absolutely not. It is impossible for him to draft a document for me --
20 for my signature. Yes, he does have the same initials, but it is
21 absolutely out of the question.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What rank of officer, then, would normally draft
23 such a document?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the operations organ of the corps
25 command, there were people with the ranks of major and colonel.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: And you can't help us even after thinking carefully
2 about it to identify who NP was?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this point in time, I cannot. If
4 during the course of the day I manage to focus and remember, I will very
5 gladly try to tell you who these initials belong to. I know it's not
6 Radojko Stefanovic, the man operations man who is often the author of
7 these documents. It's not Ratko Tesovic, who was his assistant either.
8 Now, I can just guess, but I cannot remember anything else at this point.
9 I will try to focus.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Whose initials are BV?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a lady typist, Biljana Veljovic
12 or Veljkovic, who worked at the corps command as a civilian employed in
13 the army. A professional employed at the corps command.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 Mr. Ivetic.
16 MR. IVETIC: Now, I think that's all I need for this document.
17 I'd like to now return to some of the -- some of the "zapovests" or -- or
18 orders that we have seen after this date to see how they treated the
20 I think -- well, I guess for the sake of efficiency, why don't we
21 deal with 6D704, which was the one that we had discussed at the beginning
22 of my cross-examination with respect to the item about the building of the
23 joint -- building of the Pristina command in its peacetime location as
24 being a -- the command centre for this action of Bajgora dva or Bajgora 2.
25 This is a "zapovest" for Bajgora 2, as I've indicated.
1 A. At the top it says it's from the command of the Pristina Corps ,
2 strictly confidential number 455-182. And it's dated, as you indicated,
3 the 4th of May, 1999.
4 If we can look at 5.1 and 5.2, which should be on the second page
5 at the bottom of the -- of the document, the second -- the second page,
6 bottom of the page, leading onto the third page, the assignments for the
7 units that are to be involved.
8 And I think we can actually skip ahead to the third page in the
9 B/C/S. I'll short circuit the analysis of this since we don't have an
10 English that we can really follow.
11 And here we have on this page assignments given for VTOs at 5.3
12 and 5.4 to engage in coordinated action with the MUP forces. And then at
13 5.5, we have the -- we have an order -- or, excuse me pardon me. We have
14 an assignment or task for the 35th Detachment of the PJP of the MUP.
15 Would you agree with me that as far as section 5.5 is concerned,
16 that there are no army units listed in this tasking paragraph and that the
17 MUP unit is the only one that is to undertake the action together with the
18 other forces enumerated?
19 A. You are right. As for such documents, orders, after the date
20 envisaged for re-subordination, there are a few of them. However, I claim
21 with full responsibility that although it comes from the war and directly
22 issued to the MUP, re-subordination not carried out in accordance with
23 combat rules and there are reports of units to confirm that after all
24 brigade commanders will come and testify about that, so I don't want to
25 take up the Court's time.
1 Q. And indeed re-subordination would have been played out at the
2 brigade level anyway. The Pristina Corps command did not -- strike that.
3 Would you agree with me and the appraisal of General Radinovic, I
4 believe it was, that the coordination would have been carried out at the
5 brigade level?
6 A. Again, I have to say for the sake of clarity and precision,
7 coordination is one activity and command and re-subordination another
8 activity. I agree with you that at brigade level, which is what otherwise
9 happened, coordination and coordinated activity -- however,
10 re-subordination did not happen. That means a chain of command within
11 which this unit of the police would be.
12 You are asking me whether I agree with a comment made by
13 General Radinovic regarding re-subordination. In some parts I disagree
14 with him. He's not right.
15 Q. But as -- but as far as the "zapovest" order itself is concerned,
16 this both -- this one and the other ones that exist for 1999 plan for
17 specific and detailed tasks of the MUP in their text; isn't that correct?
18 A. With all due respect, the head of state issued an order and it was
19 not carried out. I am not denying what is written here, but I am saying
20 what the actual state of affairs was. The factual situation did not
21 correspond to this, as had been ordered, and I could not change the
22 decision of the army commander. He did not say, "There are no more orders
23 from the army commander on the re-subordination of the MUP."
24 Finally, at some point we are going to get to these documents.
25 And as we say in Serbian, even -- you can even give up on that. But that
1 time had not come at this point in time.
2 Q. Now, General, you say you want to talk about the factual
3 circumstances as they were on the terrain. With respect to this
4 particular engagement or action Bajgora -- I think -- Bajgora 2, was the
5 coordinated and cooperative joint action of the VJ and the MUP actually
6 carried out in the field in a manner where the tasks undertaken were
7 consistent with those tasks that were laid out in the "zapovest" order?
8 A. Cooperation and coordination did happen, but the chain of command
9 was an independent one, as far as the police unit is concerned.
10 Q. As -- as far as the implementation of this "zapovest," did the
11 action take place in -- involving the engagement of both MUP and VJ
13 A. If you mean this action specifically, without analysing the
14 content of the combat reports, I cannot confirm anything, because indeed
15 there was some planning of some actions that had not been carried through.
16 I know that there were some actions that had indeed been carried through
17 and that all these relations remained at the level of coordination,
18 cooperation, and coordinated activity.
19 Q. And with respect to those actions that you say were realised on
20 the level of coordination and cooperation, were the -- were the tasks of
21 those operations successfully achieved? When you say "realised," I
22 presume you mean implemented. Were the goals of the operation
23 successfully achieved? For those that you say you do have knowledge of
24 that were realised?
25 A. A few actions -- I would say a couple of these actions, not
1 operations, were carried out properly from the point of view of
2 cooperation and coordination. Some, such as Jablanica, in the final stage
3 of the war, were not due to different problems, losses, and some other
4 problems. People couldn't really find their way. So my answer is some to
5 a larger degree, some to a lesser degree, but here I am not testifying to
6 any problems there in respect of cooperation. Yes, people worked to the
7 best of their knowledge and ability. I'm just pointing out that the
8 system of command remained separate throughout.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, did the 35th Detachment of the PJP
10 carry out the task which is referred to in paragraph 5.5?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I have
12 just answered to counsel that at this point in time I really do not know
13 whether this task had fully been carried out. I am just asking you to
14 accept this information that I am providing; namely, that according to our
15 plan, the brigade commander from this area is going to come and testify as
16 a witness here, and with your permission, my Defence will take upon itself
17 this obligation that we clarify this at that point in time.
18 I really do not know now.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: It would be much more helpful to the Trial Chamber
20 to have clarification now, when the issue has arisen for the first time.
21 You will -- I'm sure you'll understand why that's the case. And you've
22 been able to give us a great deal of detail about how particular
23 operations were actually executed. But you're saying you just can't help
24 us on this one at all?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot, Your Honour,
1 Mr. President, at this point in time, because this document is one that I
2 haven't seen now. As for the information I've had so far, they can best
3 be seen from the combat reports of the units, reporting as to whether
4 things had been done in a certain way or not.
5 Now, I can try within the briefest period of time possible to see
6 whether we have some documents available in order to assist the Trial
7 Chamber, but just off the cuff I cannot.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 Mr. Ivetic.
10 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
11 Q. And if a particular -- if a particular unit of the MUP engaging in
12 what you call "a coordinated" or "cooperative action with VJ forces," if
13 that MUP unit had not undertaken the tasks as outlined in a "zapovest,"
14 would you expect that to be in -- contained in the post-combat report of
15 that particular action?
16 A. I remember some reports, as I've said, not specifically in
17 relation to this situation, when commanders quite simply reported that the
18 MUP unit had not come or that the representative of the police had said
19 that they did not have sufficient forces for carrying out that task.
20 Recently I had such documents in my hands.
21 As for this specific action, though, I cannot say either "yes"
22 or "no."
23 Q. Okay. Now, if we can focus a little bit more on -- let's see.
24 Let's go to 6D712. This is a document that was previously used with
25 another witness, so it's already marked for identification, for the last
1 month, it would appear. This is the "zapovest," order for Drenica-1.
2 Since we've already gone through it with the other witness, I would just
3 highlight a few things.
4 If we can focus on --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you not done something about getting this
7 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, the priority with CLSS is for
8 documents that are not into evidence that will be in -- used in evidence
9 with upcoming witnesses. The MFI documents --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Surely -- surely top priority is documents which
11 have already been used but have not been translated. Common sense would
12 tell us that.
13 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, common sense would say that
14 prioritization is prioritization not removal of documents and a lot of
15 times with CLSS --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, now Mr. Ivetic; just deal with the point that
17 arises here. Surely first priority must be documents already submitted
18 marked for identification.
19 MR. IVETIC: I will submit not, Your Honours. I --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I'm telling you here and now it is.
21 MR. IVETIC: I will change that then with CLSS. That will require
22 another submission on my behalf with them and more meetings with them,
23 which I will gladly undertake, Your Honours. But that was not what was
24 discussed at the meetings previously.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think it's something that goes without
1 saying, frankly.
2 MR. IVETIC: Now -- I thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, if we could move to page -- let me just find my place. One
4 moment, please.
5 For purposes of allowing us to make sense of the next exhibit I
6 would use, I would like to turn to page 4 of this document, item 5.6 --
7 5.6, dealing with the tasking of the 124th Intervention Brigade of the MUP
8 and the 122nd Intervention Brigade of the MUP for this action. And then I
9 would like to ask you to turn to the final page, page 7 in e-court, and I
10 would ask you to read section 14 for us, General, and then in -- and
11 that's the last page.
12 And with respect to item 14, after you read it for us, could you
13 explain for us the acronym "chief of the OOPiO," who that is, whether that
14 is a police or army post. If you would, please, sir, after reading for us
15 section 14 in its entirety, the four lines, beginning with [B/C/S spoken]?
16 A. "Coordination among elements of the combat disposition during the
17 planning, organisation, preparation, and execution of combat activities in
18 the area of Drenica shall be carried out by the team of the command of the
19 Pristina Corps headed by the chief of the organ for operations affairs and
20 training, that is, the mainstay of planning, organisation, and execution
21 of combat activities." That is an officer from the command of the
22 Pristina Corps, the head of the operations and training affairs organ. It
23 has nothing to do with the police. As you can see, I cannot issue orders
24 to anyone from the police either.
25 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to this chief of the OOPiO, am I correct
1 that this is in fact the Colonel Radojko Stefanovic that you mentioned
2 several moment ago and with respect to another question, as the person who
3 planned this action?
4 A. It is Colonel Radojko Stefanovic. As for those initials, RT,
5 Ratko Tesovic, is his assistant, who authored this document.
6 Q. And would Colonel Stefanovic be the one who created the Odluka
7 map, the decision map for this particular action?
8 A. He is one of the mainstays of planning the use of units in the
9 corps command. He is at the head of this organ that prepares these combat
11 Q. And was this action undertaken and realised on the ground?
12 A. As far as I can remember, towards the end of May, yes, this action
13 was taken and carried out.
14 Q. Did the 124th Intervention Brigade of the MUP participate in the
15 action in the manner foreseen by the tasking set forth in the zapovest
16 zadaci udince [phoen], assignments for units?
17 A. As for all documents, all situations throughout the war,
18 regardless of what was written somewhere, I assert that it was only at the
19 level of coordination and cooperation with fully-separated chains of
20 command, as we call this in this courtroom; that is to say, command of
21 units of the army and units of the police.
22 Q. But in regards to that coordinated and cooperation act -
23 "sadvesta" - I don't know if its been translated that way in the
24 Serbian. But with respect to the "sadejstvo," on the part of the MUP and
25 the VJ for purposes of this action did the 125th Intervention Brigade of
1 the MUP in this coordinated action -- not comply but operate and undertake
2 tasks that are the tasks that were laid out in the "zapovest" decision,
3 the "zapovest" order?
4 A. At this moment I do not have any other knowledge, any specific
5 knowledge, to be able to say no. They often took part in carrying out a
6 task in coordination with the MUP, but really and before my eyes I do not
7 have a document that I had recently seen so that I could say precisely and
8 categorically that this was the case. There is no reason for me to say
9 that there was no coordinated action or cooperation, but I cannot be more
10 specific than that.
11 Q. All right. Do you know -- strike that.
12 I saw a map flash up onto the screen. Do we have another page to
13 this exhibit or not?
14 If we can go to the next page of the -- the exhibit, then. I
15 could see -- hopefully ...
16 It's a little bit difficult to read. In any event, let me --
17 well, let me -- let me call up --
18 Is that -- can you see, sir, is that Radojko Stefanovic on the
19 bottom right -- the bottom right of the document? If we can zoom in on
20 the bottom right of the document. Is that the chief of the OOPiO Pukovnik
21 Colonel Radojko Stefanovic of the Pristina Corps, who is the --
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 Q. And if we can zoom up to the upper left portion of this, we see
24 there that you, General, have -- are the -- are the officer tasked with
25 authorising the -- the Odluka itself that this -- the decision itself. Is
1 that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And I apologise, this one's not that clear. If -- for sake of
4 short circuiting this if we can have 6D1413 up on the screen. I believe
5 it's a cleaner copy of the same -- of the same document. 6D1413?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: For the sake of the transcript, it's 6D1413. Yes.
7 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 And if we could zoom in on the top third of the document. There
9 we go. This would be fine. Perfect.
10 Q. Sir, do you see there the 37th Brigade in big letters and then
11 next to it in smaller script the "124th Intervention Brigade of the MUP
12 and the 122nd Intervention Brigade of the MUP being depicted upon this
13 Odluka, map, of the Pristina Corps?
14 A. Of course I see it.
15 Q. And -- and am I correct that the movements of this formation are
16 depicted on the map?
17 We could probably scroll down a little bit to get the full --
18 there. That should be fine for this purpose.
19 Are the movements of this particular formation also recorded on
20 this Odluka map? I know it would be a lot easier if we had the colour
21 maps. I have a request outstanding but have only received partial
23 A. It's not in dispute, because "zapovest," the command regulates the
24 way of engagement of this police unit. Whether this schematic precisely
25 reflects it, I don't know, because I can't see whether it's the 37th
1 Motorised or whether it's part of one or another police brigade. But this
2 is in keeping with the prior "zapovest" command that accompanies this.
3 The map accompanies and reflects the -- the order.
4 Q. When you say "this is in keeping with the prior zapovest," are you
5 saying that the assignments specified herein are in keeping with the prior
6 "zapovest" for both VJ and MUP units?
7 A. This is a map of the decision, an attachment to the previous one.
8 Q. Okay. Now, we see here what we -- what was difficult to see on
9 the prior copy. We see here a bunch of circles with numbers in them
10 throughout the map. And if we zoom out, we'll see that they indeed cover
11 the entire region.
12 Am I correct that in fact this Odluka map is one of those coded or
13 encoded maps that one of the prior witnesses made reference to which
14 allows for communications between units to both give and receive locations
15 that the enemy forces cannot have access to, by referring to -- to numbers
16 on -- on this map?
17 A. This map is not exactly consistent with that testimony you are
18 referring to. It's a so-called encoded map. It's an auxiliary document.
19 Whereas, this one is a compilation both of the decision map and the
20 encoded map with code names for certain points, et cetera.
21 Q. And -- and such a map would be given to all units and forces
22 taking part in a -- in an action for -- that is to say, the -- the portion
23 of the map dealing with a particular unit would be given to it prior to
24 undertaking the realisation of a particular action, a joint coordinated
25 cooperative action,"sadejstvo"; is that correct?
1 A. This map was not in this form submitted to anyone. It's done in
2 two copies. One is in the corps command and the second is possibly for
3 the army command. Whereas, for subordinated units, only excerpts of the
4 map are made. The section of the map that is relevant to the unit.
5 Q. And these excerpts or sections of the map would be given to all
6 units taking part, whether they're VJ or MUP; is that correct?
7 A. In circumstances and in situations when it was ordered to a
8 re-subordinated force that if re-subordination had not been effected, that
9 there is instead coordinated action, then the police unit cannot and
10 should not receive a map like this. The planning authority in that police
11 unit makes its own map, and that map is to be approved by his own
13 Q. What is the bases of your statement that the planning authority in
14 that police unit makes its own map and the map is to be approved by its
15 own superior? Have you ever seen in 1999 any map prepared by the MUP of
16 the Republic of Serbia for undertaking a joint action, as you call
17 it, "sadejstvo," coordinated cooperative action with the VJ?
18 A. I'm talking about the principle of the combat use of the army that
19 cannot be effected without an order from the superior command. Following
20 that principle, it is my opinion as an officer that no unit can be used
21 unless its own superior ordered it. Whether this order will be in the
22 form of the map or whether the superior will say, "Go ahead and do what
23 you want," I really cannot speculate.
24 This is the principle of command that applies in the army. It is
25 done through a decision map. My map or a map of some other commander
1 cannot be a basis for using a police unit unless there has been
3 Q. Can we conclude from that answer, sir, that you in fact have not
4 seen a card -- or pardon me. Excuse me -- a map for an action prepared by
5 any police organ for the engagement of MUP forces in a joint action with
6 the VJ?
7 A. I haven't seen the map. I haven't seen the "zapovest" command. I
8 haven't seen the other documents. But it does not mean that they were not
9 made. I do not doubt that the MUP has its own principles, regulations,
10 and I'm only talking from the viewpoint of which military document can
11 apply to what.
12 MR. IVETIC: Let's see. I'm trying to economize my time. I think
13 I will revert back to 1998 for a second to try and make use of the
14 remaining minutes that we have and make some headway here.
15 Q. You were asked about the action undertaken in April -- pardon me.
16 Pardon me. I'm -- we're still dealing with 1999. But dealing with the
17 action at Rugovska Klisura that was in April of 1999, Mr. Ackerman asked
18 you about that and he asked you about the document authored by
19 General Pavkovic to General Ojdanic saying that he could -- that Pavkovic
20 could not implement suggestions because this was an action planned by the
22 I take it you have no knowledge of any Odluka map for that action,
23 or do you?
24 A. I heard from other witnesses in this courtroom that there was some
25 sort of map related to the Rugova gorge, Rugovska Klisura, that it was
1 even in the office of the head of state, but I really cannot visualise
2 that map now. I cannot recall it.
3 Q. From my recollection, the witnesses - at least, I believe General
4 Vasiljevic - mentioned that he and General Ojdanic saw General Pavkovic
5 going -- no? Well, strike that then.
6 The testimony I recall is that General Pavkovic brought a map to
7 President Milosevic for this action. Is that your recollection as well,
8 General Lazarevic?
9 A. What we heard in this courtroom, I believe, from General Curcin,
10 that was the same topic. He said the army commander had been to see
11 President Milosevic with some sort of map and that map then hanged in the
12 office of the chief of the Supreme Command Staff. But I really cannot
13 remember it. If you find it and if you show it to me, maybe I will be
14 able to be of assistance, but I cannot tell you now which specific map it
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 MR. IVETIC:
18 Q. I'll try to make it easy for you. You've talked several times
19 about how things are done in the army according to the military principles
20 and doctrines of commanding, et cetera. Based upon the fact that when
21 viewing this map we heard testimony that General Ojdanic sent suggestions
22 to General Pavkovic and, indeed, we have General Pavkovic acknowledging
23 receipt of that in his documentation, can we conclude that the map that
24 these two army officers were looking at was a map drafted by -- drafted
25 and/or approved by an army officer, since they did not direct any
1 suggestions to any organ within the MUP?
2 A. If I can recall anything at this moment, it's this document
3 called "Suggestions." In one passage, it says that the chief of the
4 Supreme Command Staff requires the army commander to modify his decision.
5 Is this an answer to your question? It is up to you. But I really am not
6 able to offer any further comment.
7 Q. General, I think that suffices for -- for purposes of that.
8 Do you have knowledge, as commander of the Pristina Corps in April
9 of 1999, whether in fact VJ units participated in the operation for
10 Rugovska Klisura that started in April, and I believe you indicated, went
11 all the way through May?
12 A. Yes, it -- a part of the 125th Motorised Brigade did take part in
13 that action that lasted a bit longer. That's the Rugovska Klisura action.
14 Q. And the document Mr. Ackerman presented said that the operation
15 had been planned by the police. Did the police also plan the engagement
16 and use of the 125th Motorised Brigade of the Pristina Corps? Is it
17 possible for a police unit to plan and direct the engagement of a VJ unit?
18 A. Well, that's impossible. It's absolutely impossible. But with
19 the leave of the Honourable Trial Chamber, if I can be of assistance, I
20 can say that to the best of my recollection, even before that order of the
21 chief of Supreme Command Staff concerning coordinated action, the police
22 planned to perform its own action in that area. Later on there was
23 coordination with the 2nd Army between the army and the police, and that
24 took a while.
25 I want to draw your attention to the fact that the police planned
1 its own action, the army planned its own actions, and in areas where they
2 found themselves close by, that -- they worked together.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this a convenient point to interrupt you,
4 Mr. Ivetic?
5 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
7 We shall adjourn now and resume at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th day of
10 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.