1 Friday, 16 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Lazarevic. Judge Kamenova will
7 not be with us today. She is absent on another official business. We
8 have decided that the appropriate course in the interests of justice to is
9 continue in her absence, so we shall continue with the cross-examination
10 by Mr. Hannis.
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 WITNESS: VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, General. Yesterday --
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Thank you. Yesterday we talked about the Joint Command order in
19 Exhibit P1966 and your amendment in P1967. And related to that, I'd like
20 you to have a look at Exhibit P2014.
21 And while we're waiting for that to come up, I'll tell you this is
22 a 25th of May, 1999 document and it has that Pristina Corps numbering
23 system. This is 455-262. It's an order to crush the Siptar terrorist
24 forces in the Mount Drenica sector.
25 Are you familiar with this document, General? Have you seen this
2 A. I have. As part of the proofing with the Defence.
3 Q. And I think we'll get -- we'll show you the last page in a minute.
4 But while we've got this first page up, I've got a few questions for you.
5 I see at the top above the "Order," it says: "To command of the
6 MUP." Do you know who wrote that on there?
7 A. I don't have firsthand knowledge. I can only suppose it is one of
8 the operations officers in charge of distributing official documents.
9 Q. Okay. And I had a question for you about that -- that strictly
10 confidential number 455-262. I know we've related that number 455 to the
11 Pristina Corps, but we've seen other documents coming out of the Pristina
12 Corps that -- that have a different number. Does "455" refer to some
13 specific theme or topic regarding the Pristina Corps? Can you explain
14 that to us?
15 A. In the command of the Pristina Corps, as is the rule according to
16 the rules of official correspondence in the Army of Yugoslavia, there are
17 several reference numbers by organ within the command of the corps, by
18 topic. There could have been several sub-numbers. The mobilisation organ
19 would have their reference number. The security organ would have its own
20 number. And that facilitated later archiving and handling.
21 This correspondence beginning with "455" concerns the person
22 processing the documents within the organ of the Pristina Corps.
23 Q. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "455 concerns the
24 person processing the documents." My question is: The "455," we've
25 seen -- we've seen the document that was the first in this series in 1999.
1 It -- that was 455-1, which is Exhibit P280 -- I see Mr. --
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seems that this was
3 not interpreted correctly. This number does not refer to the person
4 processing the document but the organ processing the document. That's not
5 one person but part of the command that processes the document. But you
6 can ask this again of General Lazarevic.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. Yes. General, I had understood that that number referred to
9 some -- some theme or some subject matter, rather than to a person or a --
10 an organ. I understand it relates to the Pristina Corps, that -- if you
11 saw a document beginning with that number "455" in 1999, you would know it
12 related or came from the Pristina Corps; is that correct?
13 A. From the Pristina Corps. But more specifically, from the
14 operations organ of the Pristina Corps Command. That was a group of
15 people, an organisational unit within the corps command.
16 Q. Okay. So then do all documents that come from -- in 1999, do all
17 documents that came from the Pristina Corps operations organ have that
18 number 455 on them, no matter what subject they're talking about?
19 A. No.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That, I think, must be fairly obvious, since you
21 know where 455-1 is.
22 -- If -- if we've got 455-1 in this case, then everything from
23 the Pristina Corps operations organ can't be 455.
24 I -- I wonder -- we don't really need to know how the whole system
25 works, Mr. Lazarevic. We just need you to tell us what's the significance
1 of "455."
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no formal significance in
3 it. There is a so-called -- there are so-called lists of documents by
4 specific subject. One list of documents concerning the security of the
5 border, bearing the number 150; a list of documents concerning the
6 training of the reserve force, with a number 130; and so on.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not what we need to know. What we need to
8 know what this relates to, with the number of 455. Don't go around the
9 circle of telling us all the other numbers documents and what they mean.
10 Tell us what this one means.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot answer you
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... So --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Various activities --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... Is it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not to me, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What does it mean to you, then?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means to me that certain
19 documents issued in the operations organ are logged in this list of
20 documents bearing the initial number 455. The content dealt with under
21 this number is different, varies.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Back to you, Mr. Hannis. I'm none the wiser.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Well, I am -- I'm none the wiser either
24 yet, Your Honour.
25 Q. If we could look at P2808 for a moment.
1 And, General, this will be the -- the first document, -- as I
2 understand it, this will be the first document in 1999 issued under the
3 number 455; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And 455, looking to that number, that indicates to you that
6 this was written or came out of the operations organ of the Pristina Corps
7 Command; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And many of the documents in this series 455 do seem to relate to
10 actions regarding breaking up and destroying Siptar terrorist forces.
11 But -- but not all of them seem directly on that point. Can -- can you
12 explain to me, is 455 related to a subject matter and the operations
13 organ? It's those two things together that -- that make up 455?
14 A. That number primarily relates to the operations organ, but within
15 the number 455 there may be different topics dealt with.
16 Q. Okay. Do you know what topics were dealt with under 455 in 1999,
17 other than operations against the Siptar terrorists or actions against the
18 Siptar terrorists?
19 A. As far as I remember, my Defence has tendered a part of these
20 documents. And if I try to focus now and to be precise, there are
21 documents that also relate to how one should act in executing tasks,
22 although not direct execution of combat tasks; dislocation of troop and
23 materiel reserves. There were a number of topics under this number 455.
24 Q. Was there any other number related to the operations organ other
25 than 455? Do you --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- know what numbers those were?
3 A. At this moment, I cannot give you an answer, but the next time I
4 have a chance I will have researched this and I would be able to give you
5 and the Trial Chamber some other numbers. I know for a fact that there
6 are other numbers, but I cannot tell you which at this moment.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, if we could go back to P2014.
8 At this time, in May, the 25th of May, to your knowledge and
9 understanding, to whom would this document have been directed if it
10 says "the command of the MUP"? What individual would that refer to in
11 this context at this time?
12 A. I would appreciate it if we could see the last page of this
13 document, because on that page it is clearly indicated to whom it was
14 sent, and it is probably typed as well, not just handwritten.
15 Q. General, I can have the usher hand you a hard copy as well. I see
16 the last page is up on the screen now too.
17 And from my English, it looks like we just have your -- your name
18 and your signature but we don't have any transmittal information.
19 A. Well, regrettably -- or rather, simply it's not written here.
20 Usually on the left-hand side you can see the addressees. But let me get
21 back to the first part of the question, because we are not assisted by
22 this last page.
23 This reference to "the command," that is in keeping with our
24 combat rules, this -- this word. Not only the command of the MUP. It is
25 addressed to the command of such-and-such a military unit. But here "MUP"
1 is the acronym for the Ministry of the Interior but it is certainly not to
2 the MUP in Belgrade. I believe it's very likely that it was sent either
3 to one of the detachments involved in this action or perhaps the staff of
4 the MUP in Pristina. Those are the two possibilities. I can now try to
5 analyse this document, and I see that in -- under the heading "Tasks of
6 units," this task should have involved a detachment of the MUP that is not
7 yet defined at the moment of writing of this document. Other units of the
8 MUP were not supposed to take part in this action.
9 So I cannot really be very precise about this. I cannot know to
10 whom precisely it was sent.
11 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you this: In item 5.1, it says: "The
12 252nd Armoured Brigade with the PJP Detachment and the JSO ..."
13 Now, my understanding is that the PJP was a part of the -- the
14 public security sector or public security side of the MUP; correct? Is
15 that your understanding as well?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And my understanding also -- further is that the JSO was under the
18 state security side of the MUP; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So if both sides of the house are going to be involved, does that
21 help you in reaching any conclusion about who in the MUP this would have
22 gone to if it's going to involve both sides, both public security and
23 state security in an action in Kosovo in May of 1999?
24 A. Well, really based on this acronym, which is not adequate - it
25 doesn't say "staff of the MUP"; it says just "MUP" - I can only be certain
1 that it was not sent to the Ministry of the Interior in Belgrade. I would
2 say that it was sent -- but I don't see it's indicated clearly to which
3 detachment. It's probably to the staff of the MUP in Pristina. Or
4 another possibility, if in the meantime the sender found out which
5 detachment of the MUP, it could have been sent to the state security
6 sector or the public security sector accordingly. This does not really
8 Q. Okay. Who would be the sender of this document? Who would be
9 responsible for sending it to the command of the MUP?
10 A. One of the operations officers from the command of the Pristina
11 Corps, the so-called liaison officer, whose job it was to get in touch
12 with and find this unit, to establish communication and to deliver this
14 MR. LUKIC: I apologise. Just one second, sorry.
15 Your Honour, I think we need to correct the transcript, because
16 General Lazarevic said, page 8, line 13, "Those are all my assumptions."
17 And we don't have it in the transcript.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
21 Q. General, you -- you were the author of this order. Do you recall
22 anybody from your -- from your subordinates who would have been
23 responsible for this, getting back to you and saying, "General, I don't
24 know who I'm supposed to send this to," because it doesn't appear to be
25 crystal clear as written. Do you recall any discussion about that?
1 A. I don't recall, but I hope that there will be a specific answer to
2 this question as well soon, because I believe -- I hope a Defence witness,
3 one of the future Defence witnesses will be the person who was directly
4 charged with distributing documents towards units of the corps and
5 specific detachments and compositions of the MUP who were involved in the
6 action. At this moment, I don't even know who it would be, but I hope the
7 person would come to testify.
8 Q. You don't know the name of who that person would be?
9 A. Well, I know. I know. It's General Stefanovic.
10 Q. And he's --
11 A. Radojko Stefanovic.
12 Q. And we've seen his name on your witness list. That's the same
13 one; right?
14 A. Correct. Correct.
15 Q. I asked you if there's any significance to the fact that this
16 order is dated the 25th of May, because recall that on the 24th of May you
17 wrote your report about the non-subordination or the failure of MUP to be
18 subordinated to the VJ; correct?
19 A. Yes, it makes sense. I did report that, but I did not get from my
20 superior command -- commander an annulled order, an order that was
21 cancelled. Instead, the order remained in force that MUP forces were
22 re-subordinated to the army, and I simply couldn't do otherwise. As we
23 see from one of these documents we saw a day or two ago when the Defence
24 of General Lukic showed a number of these documents, and one of them was
25 of this nature.
1 Q. And the 25th of May was the date that's on General Pavkovic's
2 report to the Supreme Command Staff about the non-subordination of MUP;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I -- I don't recall. Was this -- was this an unusual occasion, or
6 do you recall a number of other orders where at the top you wrote or
7 someone typed this "to" -- "to the MUP," or to anybody in the MUP?
8 Because most of the time we see those addresses referred to at the end of
9 such documents; correct?
10 A. Yes, but this is not counter to the rules. I would say that it is
11 in keeping with the rules when orders are concerned.
12 Above the word "command" or "order," there should be a reference
13 to the command. This must have been an officer who was particularly
14 diligent in applying these rules. It is the customary way to write above
15 the word "Order," "to the command," and then below you don't find the list
16 of addressees. Instead, on every copy you find the words "to the command"
17 this, "to the command" that, et cetera.
18 Q. Okay. I understand. Item number 2 --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean that this is the -- is a particular
20 copy that was destined for the MUP and there will be others which have a
21 different command at the top? For example, the command of the 252nd
22 Armoured Brigade?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour. Precisely.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, did -- is it your Defence that -- oh, no, it's
25 the Prosecution that have produced this document. Yes.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
3 Q. General, under item number 2, which I think is on the page in
4 e-court, but you've also got the hard copy, "The task of the Pristina
5 Corps." This is to block and crush the remaining Siptar terrorist forces.
6 And in the last paragraph under "task," it says: "The command
7 post shall be in the sector of the Pristina Corps Command premises in
9 Do you see that?
10 A. I see that.
11 Q. And right above that, the sentence before, it says: "Engage armed
12 non-Siptar civilians to secure vital facilities and communications and
13 protect and defend the local population."
14 Now, in this context, who are those armed non-Siptar civilians? I
15 know we've talked about it before, but I -- I guess I'm still not clear on
16 it. Is this -- is this civil defence?
17 A. That is civil defence. And this task of the Pristina Corps dates
18 back to the month of February, based on the order defined by the army
19 command, and that task of the corps cannot be changed.
20 Q. Now, I don't see any language here indicating or -- or directing
21 anyone to coordinate with the Ministry of Defence for this engagement of
22 the non-Siptar civilians. So did the VJ -- did the VJ have the authority
23 to direct civil defence in these kinds of tasks?
24 A. No. And I would like to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber
25 to paragraph 4 - that's my decision - which does not mention that task at
2 Paragraph 5, when I am issuing task, not a single unit gets that
3 task. This is simply at the level of a general possible task that the
4 corps received as part of prior orders and plans for use, even before the
5 war, and that section is not changed. It is copied.
6 If a specific order comes from the superior command or the
7 Ministry of Defence for coordination and cooperation, then that would be
9 Q. Okay. I guess that's a fair point. At this time I think we have
10 some other orders where there are specific task for the non-Siptar
11 population in the -- in the task for specific VJ units, but we'll look at
12 those later. But I want to continue on about the use of this term "armed
13 non-Siptar civilians" here.
14 Are you saying this only refers to civil defence? Or does it also
15 include civil protection?
16 A. Well, that segment, this structure in the Ministry of Defence,
17 primarily when one sees a task of this kind, it refers to the civil
18 defence. But also the civilian protection is engaged in protection of the
19 population. And as you can see in the last sentence here, primarily this
20 refers to guards, patrols, units of the civil defence within the framework
21 of the Ministry of Defence, but the civilian protection as part of this
22 system may also be engaged to protect the civilian population and
23 facilities or buildings.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: What sentence is that? Can you help, Mr. Hannis?
25 MR. HANNIS: The sentence about armed non-Siptar civilians?
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, the -- it says: "In the last sentence,
2 this refers to guards, patrols, units of the civil defence within the
3 framework of the Ministry of Defence."
4 MR. HANNIS: That's not in this document, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, again, it may be translation, but
6 you've just said: "As you can see in the last sentence here, this refers
7 to guards, patrols, units of the civil defence."
8 In which sentence are you referring to?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Prosecutor asked me
10 whether the armed non-Siptar population refers to the civil defence, and I
11 said "yes," and then I explained what the civil defence encompasses:
12 Guards, patrols, and units of the civil defence.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may assist so that
14 we might expedite matters, I know what the witness is referring to. It
15 was in another context.
16 The last sentence before item 3, before the words "the command
17 post shall be in the sector of the Pristina Corps Command premises in
18 Pristina," above that it says: "Engage armed non-Siptar civilians to
19 secure vital facilities and communications, and protect and defend the
20 local population."
21 That's what he was referring to. That was the context in which he
22 said, "Look at the last sentence."
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, I appreciate your desire to help, but
24 you've done the very opposite. It's not for you to give evidence here.
25 It's for the witness to explain what his answers mean. He should be
1 indeed more capable than you of explaining clearly what the document says
2 and what his -- he was referring to. And I -- we can move on to something
3 else now.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. It was
5 not my intention. You can listen to the tape and you will hear that that
6 was the context in which it was said.
7 I ask that the tape be reviewed. It was not my intention to put
8 words in the witness's mouth that he did not say.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. We shall obtain a further check of --
10 of the interpretation of that passage. Thank you.
11 Mr. Hannis.
12 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
13 Q. And, General, what I -- what I'm trying to find out is that in --
14 in these orders where there's a reference to "the armed non-Siptar
15 civilians," are you referring only to civil defence? Can you say "yes" or
16 "no" to that one?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay. So does it -- does it also include civil protection
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Just one moment Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS: Sorry, Your Honour.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, Mr. Hannis. It was just a matter I thought
25 that the other Judges should be aware of.
1 Please continue.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. So besides civil defence and civil protection, did it also include
4 elements or units of something that we've heard some reference to during
5 this case of -- of another group that was called local defence? Do you
6 know what I'm referring to?
7 A. I really don't know what you're referring to.
8 Q. Well, I seem to recall -- perhaps I'm looking ahead to a witness
9 that is on your Defence team's list, of an individual who is from a
10 village near Djakovica who is forecast as going to testify about the local
11 defence in the village. And this is not civil protection and this is not
12 civil defence. This is -- this is almost like a local police force, if
13 you will, non-official MUP. You've never heard of any group like that in
14 Kosovo in 1999?
15 A. Well, now you've put your question in more precise terms. What I
16 know is that as early as 1998 the organs of local self-management
17 organised local security, not local defence, not local police. At least,
18 that's how I understood it. And that was what I knew at the time. It was
19 local security. The local, mainly Albanian, population was involved in
20 several villages and municipalities.
21 Q. Okay. But they would not be part of the armed non-Siptar
22 civilians; correct? Because they're Siptars.
23 A. No, they were not all Siptars, to the best of my knowledge. This
24 structure, so to speak, does not belong to the Ministry of Defence but to
25 the local self-management, self-government authorities. They are not part
1 of the civilian protection or civil defence and they do not belong to the
2 category we are discussing, that is, the armed non-Siptar population.
3 Q. What about local security in Serb villages made up of non-Siptars?
4 Wouldn't they be part of the non-Siptar civilians, the armed non-Siptar
6 A. I repeat that this is a very specific, conditionally speaking,
7 institution. In some places where villages were purely Albanian, these
8 were Albanians. Where they were mixed, the composition would be mixed.
9 The weapons they had, as far as I can recall, were pistols, that is,
10 side-arms. They carried side-arms. And their task was to restore
11 confidence in Kosovo, inter-ethnic confidence at the level of the local
12 communes and local self-government units. It was not connected to what
13 you are asking me about. That was not it.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. General, if I may say so, I -- I think I've
15 actually heard witnesses here in court say it, if -- if not just in
16 proofing with General Vasiljevic, that there have been comments about the
17 orders written by you and they're complimentary comments. They hold
18 this -- hold up your -- your orders as examples of -- of really
19 well-written military document. And so if I may say, I -- it seems to me
20 that you are a bit of a stickler for precision. Would you agree with
22 A. Every officer does his best, given the conditions, because some
23 orders have to be written on one -- on one's knees because there's no
24 desk. But every officer does his best to comply with the procedure and
25 the rules. Whether I succeeded in this or not in the course of the war, I
1 don't know, but everybody in the corps, including myself, did their best
2 to do things properly and in the spirit of the rules.
3 Q. Well, I think you're -- you're being too modest, General. We have
4 had other witnesses testify about orders and documents drafted by other
5 generals, and those documents were criticised. But I haven't heard that
6 about yours.
7 The point I want to make is that if "armed non-Siptar civilians"
8 means only civil defence and civil protection, then why wouldn't you just
9 say that, "engage the civil protection and civil defence units to secure
10 vital facilities and communications and protect and defend the local
11 population"? Wouldn't that have been more precise and clear for everyone
12 to know what was meant?
13 A. By Their Honours' leave, I wish to assist myself and Their Honours
14 and to be very precise. I confess that your question is quite correct. I
15 want to say that this term came into existence before the war when the
16 civil protection and civil defence had not yet been mobilised. So that is
17 the term, I repeat once more, which then seeped into the official
18 documents of the corps as part of the task. And once it was defined in
19 these terms and there were no specific tasks assigned, the operative
20 officer in the corps command simply copied the clause from one document to
22 If Their Honours can follow, the decisions and tasks are what
23 mattered and nowhere in a decision of mine, either in this one or others,
24 or in the tasks, can you see a structure bearing this name mentioned.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Were there absolutely no Albanians in the civil
1 defence or civil protection?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't -- I know hardly a single
3 Serb who was among those 10.000 or so. I don't know. I really don't know
4 what the ethnic composition of the civil protection and civil defence was.
5 If you ask me now to say who was a Serb or something else, I wouldn't be
6 able to tell you. I believe there were. There were even Albanians in the
7 army units and members of other ethnic groups. I know that.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS:
10 Q. General, I don't recall if it was yesterday or not, but we were
11 talking about some of these documents entitled "Joint Command" orders
12 relating to actions against the Siptar terrorist forces. And you'll
13 recall that phrase at the end on most of those that says something along
14 the order of "all forces will be under the command and control of the
15 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
16 And you pointed out in one of your answers to Judge Bonomy, I
17 think it was that, that meant -- that only referred to VJ forces, because
18 this was a -- this was a 455-series document, which you have indicated to
19 us means it's from the Pristina Corps.
20 Do you recall that? Is that correct? That's your position that
21 in those documents it was only referring to command and control of VJ
22 units, not MUP?
23 A. I recall those documents with tasks relating exclusively to units
24 of the army, that is, the Pristina Corps, with this reference in the last
25 sentence, related only to actions in which there was coordinated action
1 and support for the MUP units by the corps unit.
2 Q. And if in any of those orders there's a reference to "engaging the
3 armed non-Siptar population," who's going to control them? Is it the
4 army? Is it the Joint Command? Is it the MUP?
5 A. Nobody, unless it was stated in the task.
6 Q. All right. Speaking of -- of task, in this particular order,
7 P2014, you'll see we have, I think, five -- five separate tasks to
8 different elements of the VJ. And for each one of those units -- 5.1 is
9 the 252nd Armoured Brigade. At the very end you'll see it says: "The
10 forward command post shall be in Tupan Mahala village." And for each of
11 the other four units you'll see at the end of the task there is listed a
12 forward command post or -- or a command post for each of those subordinate
13 units; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And you recall yesterday we had the discussion about the
16 command post for the 354th in Lausa village. That was in Exhibit P1428, I
17 believe. And you told us that really that -- elements of the Pristina
18 Corps Command were co-located in that command post and they -- that's
19 where the operation was going to be led from and not commanded by you;
21 A. Yes. But it's an action, not an operation.
22 Q. Okay. Yes, I -- I stand corrected on that. I probably will make
23 that mistake again.
24 But here in this order issued by you, at the very end, in item 14,
25 we have a provision that "Coordination between the elements of combat
1 dispositions during the planning, organisation, and conduct of combat
2 operations in the Drenica sector shall be carried out by the command of
3 the 252nd Armoured Brigade, which will be in charge of the planning,
4 organising, and conducting combat operations."
5 So, General, the point I want to put to you is that you are very
6 precise and know how to put that kind of thing in an order if that's
7 what's contemplated and that's what's intended.
8 I see Mr. Bakrac on his feet.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in this mountain of
11 documents I cannot find this text very quickly in order to check it. It's
12 not on the screen, and the interpreter has noted that he's looking only at
13 the English text and cannot see the B/C/S original. So none of us can
14 actually follow this.
15 I don't doubt that my learned friend read correctly, but the
16 translation might be wrong. So it would assist us to have the original
17 version in B/C/S so that we can check whether the document says what it's
18 translated as saying.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That -- that should be on the screen.
20 Are you able there when you need to to print off a hard copy of a
21 document? No. You don't have that facility.
22 All right. Thanks.
23 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Could we then have the last page of this
24 exhibit, P2014.
25 And the general does have a hard copy.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. Were you following along as I read, General? Did I read it
5 A. You probably read it correctly, but the interpretation I heard was
6 not what it says here.
7 Q. Okay. Do you want to read out the B/C/S version for and then --
8 for us and then we can hear if there's a difference?
9 A. "Coordinated action between elements of the combat disposition in
10 the course of the planning, organising, preparation, and carrying out of
11 combat operations in the areas of Drenica shall be carried out by the
12 command of the 252nd Armoured Brigade, which will be in charge of the
13 planning, organising, and conducting of combat operations."
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: Combat activities,
15 not operations.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. With -- with that last change, General, you can see why perhaps I
18 have some confusion about referring to certain things as "operations"
19 and -- instead of "actions."
20 But my -- my question is: Why wasn't there such a precise
21 indication of who was going to be commanding those operations in the
22 document we were talking about yesterday with the 354th's command post in
23 Lausha village?
24 A. My answer is the following: Throughout the war, to the best of my
25 recollection, in several actions which were of a smaller scale, the corps
1 command decided to order that one of the brigades which was closest to the
2 area of activities be in charge of getting all the forces together in the
3 conduct and carrying out of the task. And there are at least two or three
4 examples of this happening.
5 That's why the corps command here defines with greater precision
6 that the entity in charge of these preparations will be the command of the
7 252nd Armoured Brigade. This is not any kind of exception or violation of
8 the rules; it's simply a decision appropriate to the situation.
9 Q. Were any elements of the Pristina Corps Command or from the
10 forward command post intended to be at the 252nd command to help with that
12 A. Both the corps command and the forward command post were quite far
13 away from the mountain of Drenica. And to the best of my recollection, no
14 one was present when this task was being carried out. I mean no one from
15 the corps command.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But that, I think, is dealt with partly in
17 paragraph 13.
18 But, Mr. Hannis, the -- the question you asked, the previous
19 question, what the -- the general has said is that the document before us,
20 2014, is no exception. And I thought your point was that you agreed and
21 that it was 1966 and 1967 that were the possible exception. Has he really
22 answered your question?
23 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, my position was that his answers
24 yesterday about that --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Let me ask a question.
1 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, the question you were asked a moment
3 ago was: Why was this standard format of precision setting out who would
4 be responsible for the coordination not used in the order P1966 and the
5 amendment, P1967, which referred to Lausa, which we looked at yesterday?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because in that specific action--
7 there were two actions. One was carried out, and a group from the corps
8 command participated and was in charge of these activities.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So we're back round the circle that if -- if you
10 can work out that the corps command are involved, then you don't need to
11 say specifically that they will coordinate. That would be assumed in army
12 terms. And somehow or other, as we discussed yesterday, that order, 1967,
13 tells you that the corps command are involved. Is that the situation?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, your summary is very
15 good. Where there is no direct participation in control by the corps
16 command, a subordinate unit is designated to be in charge.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS:
19 Q. And when there is direct participation in control by the corps,
20 then there's no indication of that in the document? Isn't that what
21 you're saying? Because there is no indication in your amendment at
22 1967 --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. In this exhibit, P2014, the 252nd has specific task for it.
25 And at the end of that task, there is a reference to its command post;
1 correct? Or its forward command post.
2 A. Forward command post.
3 Q. And then at the end, in the last item, we had the specific
4 language about how they're going to be in charge of the planning,
5 organising, and conducting combat operations; right?
6 JUDGE BONOMY: There's also a reference in paragraph 13 to the --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: -- Pristina command being in Pristina.
9 MR. HANNIS: Correct. Under the General Command and
10 Communications paragraph.
11 Q. Right, General?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So I still don't understand, General, then how, with regard to
14 your amendment in P1967, which needs to be read in conjunction with the
15 original order or decision, P1966, 455-56, how there has been a change
16 from the original provision about "The Joint Command shall command and
17 direct all forces during combat operations." There is no annulment of
18 that in your amendment. And you know how to do that kind of thing, don't
20 A. This sentence in documents of this kind has no meaning for the
21 specific engagement of the unit, be it annulled or not annulled. It does
22 not affect them in any way. And this is what I've said at least five
23 times so far, but let me repeat once again, by Your Honours' leave: This
24 is something that I spoke about yesterday. Parts of the command organs
25 were deployed at the observation post to monitor the course of the action.
1 I never said that any Joint Command, regardless of what it says here,
2 directed, commanded the units of the army, and of the MUP.
3 Q. Okay. Let me go on to another document. Can we next look at
5 And, General, if you will hand the usher back that hard copy that
6 you have, I'll give you a hard copy of the one we're looking at now.
7 Thank you.
8 General, these are minutes of a briefing of the commanders of the
9 Pristina Corps and the Pristina military district and organs of command of
10 the 3rd Army at the forward command post on 7 August 1998.
11 Have -- have you seen this document before? I think it may have
12 been shown to you.
13 A. I don't know whether this was the other day, whether this was just
14 shown in the courtroom at one point, but this was the only time that I saw
15 it. At that time and up until this time, I had not seen this document. I
16 don't know whether you showed this document to me yesterday. I --
17 Q. No.
18 A. -- can't really be more specific than that.
19 Q. No, I didn't. If -- if you need more time to look at it at any
20 point, let me know. But we -- we see that the participants include
21 General Samardzic, General Pavkovic, Colonel -- Colonel Djakovic. And
22 then there's a reference to "Chief of Staff." I'm not sure who that means
23 in the context.
24 You know all those people; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the first item under "Colonel Djakovic," it says: "We have
2 finalised the decision on crushing the sabotage and terrorist forces in
3 the Glodjane village area."
4 Were you -- you were aware of that situation and that decision
5 around the 7th of August, 1998, weren't you?
6 A. I was not at this meeting. I was not at any of the meetings at --
7 of the 3rd Army forward command post. I can give you my interpretation of
8 what it says here and what people said at this meeting, if I am allowed to
9 do so, but at that time I was not aware of all those discussions and of
10 who said what, because I was not present there.
11 Q. Well, are -- are you familiar with Glodjane village?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it -- do you know, were -- were there not joint actions
14 between the MUP and VJ in Glodjane village area sometime shortly after the
15 7th of August, 1998?
16 A. I know that there was a counter-terrorist action in the Glodjane
17 village sector in the direction of the Radonjic Lake.
18 Q. If you'll go down to a couple of -- one, two, three references to
19 "commander" speaking. And one says: "Terrain clearing adopted."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Now, I know from your evidence and some of the documents we've
23 seen is that terrain-clearing is something that you were very diligent
24 about. And we see the bullet point says:
25 "The Joint Command is reviewing this issue with the municipal
2 Did you not know about that, that municipal organs and the Joint
3 Command were reviewing the issue of terrain clearing in August 1998?
4 A. I was not aware of what is written here, but I do know that the
5 municipal organs are duty-bound, with their sanitation organs, to take
6 measures to remove any noxious substances that might harm humans and the
7 environment, and I assume that the army commander - that's he - that he
8 speaks about the 19th Preventive Health Care Institute that should take
9 measures to prevent infectious diseases. That's a sentence below the one
10 that you just quoted to me.
11 Q. Can we go -- if you can go to the next page. And we need to go to
12 page 2 of the English.
13 General, if you can find a reference to "Colonel Djakovic" again.
14 And, actually, the part I'm interested in is the first comment below
15 "Colonel Djakovic," where it refers to the acronym "NS" with a full
16 banana over it, which I understand is an abbreviation for "Chief of
17 Staff." Do you find that?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And who would the Chief of Staff -- who would that have been
20 referring to in this context of a meeting at the forward command post of
21 the 3rd Army in August of 1998?
22 A. Of the Chief of Staff who was supposed to sign here on page 3 on
23 the right-hand side. That's Lieutenant-General Miodrag Simic, who
24 testified here.
25 Q. And you'll see that first sentence after the initials for him, it
2 "Given the position of the state and military leadership, the
3 terminology we shall use is 'supporting MUP forces'."
4 Do you see that?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Was that information conveyed to you that that was the terminology
7 that should be used? And I am assuming a bit here, but I'm assuming in
8 the context of writing orders for engagement and actions against the
9 terrorist forces.
10 A. You asked me two questions here. The first answer is that I did
11 not get this information. And the second, in terms of terminology, that's
12 the language that was used in numerous orders from the army commander.
13 And there it was defined in quite certain terms how this support is to be
14 carried out.
15 This evidence has already been exhibited here.
16 Q. Well, when did you first get orders from the army commander
17 implementing that language about supporting MUP forces?
18 A. If you are referring to me as the Chief of Staff, I cannot give
19 you a precise answer, because I did not receive from the army commander
20 any orders. You know that. I don't want to repeat that for the umpteenth
21 time that I was carrying out a task at the border over a period of several
22 months, so I don't know when the Pristina Corps Command, the command of my
23 corps, received its specific tasks. I know that in every combat report
24 from the 3rd Army Command sent to the General Staff - and we've seen a
25 dozen or so of those - that this phrase was used.
1 I did not see any documents that would explain what General Simic
2 is talking about here.
3 Q. Well, we -- we see that language in a lot of orders about those
4 actions, but going back to 2014, P2014 that we just looked at and that I
5 just took your hard copy away.
6 If I could hand it back to you. I'm sorry. But in light of your
7 answer, I have to ask you to read item 5.1, which is on page 5 of the
9 A. Should I read the whole sentence, then?
10 Q. Can you just read the first part up to the colon in English. I
11 want to see if it -- my English translation is accurate.
12 A. Should I read it?
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Yes.
14 A. "252nd Armoured Brigade with the detachment of the PJP and JSO
15 from the line of deployment Gajraki-Belanice, trig point 648, Veseljevic
16 village, Crni Lug village, Dubrava and Spagi and Rasave, unnamed hill to
17 1.5 kilometres south of trig point 722 shall attack along the axes of
18 Malisevo village, Klecka village, and Lapusnik village.
19 Q. Thank you. I stop you there because you did cover the points I
20 was curious about. It does say: "The 252nd Armoured Brigade with the PJP
21 Detachment and the JSO shall attack."
22 Now, in other orders I know we've seen the task of the unit is to
23 support the MUP, which will be attacking along such-and-such a line. Here
24 it seems to say that the VJ and those MUP units will be both attacking;
25 isn't that correct? Isn't that how that reads?
1 A. Yes. There is a difference between those two documents in the
2 manner of the engagement, both of the police and the army. There are
3 differences. The difference is as follows: In the first document, the
4 army is simply providing support; and in the second document, when the
5 police unit was supposed to be re-subordinated to the army, then an order
6 is issued for the army to carry out this task together with this police
8 Q. And one of the reasons for that difference is in 1999 the war is
9 on. And in 1998, when this position was taken that the word "supporting
10 MUP forces" should be used, there was a concern about the international
11 community's view of how the army was being used against a civilian
12 population in Kosovo; correct?
13 A. No, that is not correct, because in the initial period of the war
14 up until the 20th or 25th of April, in the documents that are headed by
15 "Joint Command," the term used is "support to the MUP forces" in the
16 performance of certain tasks although this was a state of war.
17 Only once the re-subordination order was issued, the
18 term "support" is no longer used and the term, the invented term, "Joint
19 Command" is no longer used.
20 Q. Okay. Let's go back to 4D097, if we could, please, to the point
21 where we were. It's on page 2 of the English near the bottom.
22 And, General, if you could find the point where we were before
23 where General Simic was talking about "supporting MUP forces."
24 Do you have that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And below that, we see an entry for "Commander." "We have to make
2 a separate plan for each segment of engagement of forces. Let's hope to
3 God that this is how it pans out."
4 And next it says: "In future, we will have to send the MUP
5 precise tasks."
6 What kinds of precise tasks would the army be sending to the MUP?
7 In August of 1998?
8 A. Could you please clarify whether I am now required to comment on
9 what the army commander meant to say or actually said or to share my
10 personal experience or my view what I know and how to interpret what is
11 said here, because I really don't know whether the army commander actually
12 said that. And at least of all, can I now tell you what he meant?
13 So could you please guide me; what am I supposed to tell you?
14 Q. Well, first of all, I guess you should tell me was there any
15 translation problem? Is what I said, was it interpreted to you consistent
16 with what you're reading in the document? Or was there some problem?
17 A. The interpretation I received was correct.
18 Q. So it -- I guess I would like you to comment on, if you know
19 anything about what kind of precise task were sent or would have been sent
20 to the MUP by the army in August of 1998. Anything you can tell us about
22 A. In this regard and in light of the topic that we're discussing
23 now, the support to the MUP forces, I can tell you, by the Honourable
24 Trial Chamber's leave, and I can remind you that we had a very, very
25 specific document from the 3rd Army commander in which he defines how this
1 support is to be carried out; that some police units cannot send their
2 support request to the units of the army, but that this should all be done
3 at the level of the MUP leadership; and then the army commander, the corps
4 commander, or the Chief of Staff of the army should approve that support.
5 This is the way I read this. And I know that it was ordered at that time,
6 so that all the requests from the police for support should be submitted
7 in this manner and a decision was to be made in accordance with the order
8 of the 3rd Army commander by the 3rd Army commander, by the Chief of Staff
9 of the army, the corps commander, but not by the brigade commanders.
10 Q. Well, General, as best I understand your answer, you're talking
11 about a situation where the police are sending requests to the army for
12 support. But I read this as the army sending precise task to the MUP. Do
13 you know anything about that, about the army giving precise task to the
15 A. I don't know of a single example when we're talking about the
16 Pristina Corps. I take the liberty of saying that the army commander
17 could not have ordered the police to do anything. We saw a document where
18 he proposed to the chief of the General Staff how -- where the police
19 should set up its check-points. And this was something that was to be
20 solved at the level of the chief of the General Staff and the Minister of
21 the Interior, Stojilkovic at that time. So I really don't know what this
22 sentence as it reads, what it refers to.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, would you go back to the
24 word "Commander," and would you read the first sentence after the
25 word "Commander," please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "We will have to make a separate
2 plan for each segment of the engagement of forces. Let's hope to God that
3 this is how it pans out."
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
7 Q. General --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: The reason I asked for that is I don't understand
9 what in English "each segment of engagement of forces" means. But we've
10 got the same translation again, so that doesn't advance the matter.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. Well, General, you've just heard the comment by Judge Bonomy, and
14 I share that. To you, what does that mean, "each segment of engagement of
15 forces"? Do you know what that refers to?
16 A. I'm afraid that now I'm being asked -- well, I will try as much as
17 I can with the best of intentions, but --
18 Q. I don't want you to try and speculate. If you had some --
19 A. Really, I really can't tell you. I don't know. I didn't see the
20 document before and I wasn't there.
21 Q. Fair enough. Thank you.
22 Let's go next, then, to Exhibit P1427. General, this is a --
23 And I'll trade you hard copies, with the help of the usher.
24 This is a decision by General Pavkovic on the 10th of August, 1998
25 on the joint engagement of MUP and VJ forces.
1 Have you seen this one before?
2 A. I remember this document from the proofing sessions here. I think
3 actually that this was shown in court on at least two occasions through
4 several witnesses, actually.
5 Q. Did you see it in 1998?
6 A. I don't recall having seen this document in 1998. And, well, here
7 on the last page you can see that this was not sent to the forward command
8 post. I know the situation. I know what this refers to. But we're
9 talking about the document. The question is whether I saw this document
10 at that time.
11 Q. Yes. And in item 1, where it says: "I have decided with MUP and
12 VJ forces to smash the sabotage terrorist forces stronghold and establish
13 control," it lists several villages in the area to be dealt with. And
14 this includes Glodjane village that we were talking about before; right?
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there has been
16 a misunderstanding, because General Lazarevic seems to be waiting for a
17 question and Mr. Hannis seems to be waiting for an answer.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really didn't understand ...
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. General, I wanted to ask you if this action contemplates action in
21 the area of Glodjane village.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. And if you'll look at item number 6 --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: If we're going to be going into this in some
25 detail, perhaps we should stop now, break, and resume at ten minutes to
2 MR. HANNIS: That's fine. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. General, we were talking about Exhibit P1427.
8 Shortly before the break I -- I brought this to your attention.
9 And we see this is the 10th of August, 1998 and it appears to be from the
10 Pristina Corps Command forward command post. That's where you were
11 located in August of 1998; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And this decision was General Pavkovic's decision, signed by him.
14 And item number 6 says: "The combat operations will be commanded by the
15 Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija from the forward command post of the
16 Pristina Corps in Djakovica."
17 Do you see that?
18 A. I can see that.
19 Q. Were you not aware of this document at the time in 1998? You were
20 there with General Pavkovic; right?
21 A. The first day when the action began, I was on the left flank of
22 the border at Dragas, so I was not with General Pavkovic and the part of
23 the corps command that had come to the IKM on the first day, but the
24 action lasted for two or three days, so I came later and I know what
25 happened later.
1 As for the document, I'm telling you I didn't see it at that time.
2 The corps command came to the forward command post on a number of
3 occasions. This was not the first time.
4 Q. And how did you come to be out on the left flank? Were you sent
5 there by General Pavkovic?
6 A. No. As far as I remember, one captain got killed. He was in the
7 border guard service. And I went up there -- when I say "up there," I
8 mean the extreme left, 100 kilometres away from Djakovica, to see what the
9 situation was like and to stabilise the security of the border in that
11 Q. When had you left the forward command post to go to that location?
12 A. In early morning hours, as soon as we learned about the incident.
13 It had happened the previous night, that ambush attack on the army. And I
14 went early in the morning to inspect the location of that incident.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the 9th of August?
16 A. No, I'm talking about the day when the action was supposed to
17 begin, the 10th or the 11th. I believe that's when the action started.
18 Q. Well, can you help me out? The order is dated the 10th for an
19 action for the 11th, I believe. So which day was it you left the command
20 post in Djakovica and which day did you return?
21 A. I left on the day when the action began and I returned that
22 evening. But if I'm to pinpoint the date, I know it was the date when the
23 action began. I returned the evening on -- of that day. We could see in
24 the report. It doesn't mean that necessarily the action began that day,
25 but whether it was really carried out then, we can't see from this
2 Q. Well, if you left the day the action occurred, then were you not
3 present in the command post on the day this order was written? Because it
4 was written on the 10th, contemplating action on the 11th. So if the
5 action took place, it either took place on the 11th or later; correct?
6 A. Well, I dare say that it would be very comfortable for the
7 commander and the Chief of Staff to spend the entire day in Djakovica in
8 one place. Even when the commander comes, we see each other briefly and
9 then we move on to perform the tasks. I was practically in flying mode
10 during the action. When I say "flying," I mean on the border on a daily
11 basis, and there was a standing team that planned and performed that
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... were you in the command post
14 on the 10th of August, when this order is dated -- or this decision is
16 A. I don't know that. I don't know whether I was at the forward
17 command post or I was touring a unit. All I know for a fact is that when
18 the action began, I wasn't there. I came that evening. But the action
19 lasted for at least one more day.
20 Q. All right. And we'll see at the end of this document where it
21 lists the persons or the units to whom it was sent, it included the
22 Republic of Serbia MUP PJP command." Correct?
23 A. That's what is written in the addressees list.
24 Q. And in the task for units, under item 2.1, we have Battle Group 52
25 supporting the attack that's launched by certain MUP elements.
1 Item 2.2 is BG-549-3 supporting some MUP elements.
2 Item 2.4 is worded slightly differently, and it says: "Battle
3 Group 125-3, in coordinated action with the MUP, attacks" along a certain
4 axis. What's the difference in the significance of that wording between
5 "in coordinated action with," as opposed to "supports"? Can you explain
6 that for us?
7 A. I'll try. There is certainly a distinction in tactical and
8 technical terms and in practical terms.
9 When we talk about "support," then a certain army unit follows the
10 combat disposition of the police unit. It is authorised to support MUP
11 forces by its manoeuvre, disposition, movement and fire; whereas,
12 "coordinated action" is a general relationship in which everyone performs
13 their own task, taking care to avoid friendly fire, and the MUP unit has
14 its own unit -- has its own tasks. The army units on the left and on the
15 right have their own tasks. But the purpose of coordinated action is
16 primarily to avoid friendly fire.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 2.5 is even further slightly
18 differently worded. It says: "BG-15.3 with the 7th MUP Od attacks."
19 Now, I assume -- is that -- is that just sloppy writing? Because it
20 doesn't say "in coordinated action with"; it simply says"with." I assume
21 it's not supposed to be in uncoordinated action with.
22 A. I understand what is written here as a technical error, maybe a
23 typographical error. I understand that in paragraph 2.4 it should have
24 been written -- there is also some handwriting there, but I don't know
25 whether it refers to that paragraph. I see that in my hard copy, but I
1 see something on the screen as well.
2 Q. Well, in regard to these -- these joint actions and -- and the
3 role between the army and the MUP, I want to ask you about another
4 document from May 1999, after the war is on.
5 First of all, you know who Colonel Milan Kotur was; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What was -- what was his position in the Pristina Corps in May of
9 A. Chief of the infantry organ of the Pristina Corps Command.
10 Q. And who was your Chief of Staff in May of 1999?
11 A. Colonel Veroljub Zivkovic.
12 Q. Can you clarify for me what kinds of authority could be delegated
13 by you to your Chief of Staff. For example, if there was an operation or
14 an action being planned against the terrorist forces, could -- could your
15 Chief of Staff write that order and sign it?
16 A. Yes, the Chief of Staff can write an order for an anti-terrorist
17 activity and engagement, previously informing and obtaining consent from
18 me, and on the basis of my prior order; or alternatively, if there was a
19 sudden attack, then he could take measures independently. And let me
20 remind the Honourable Trial Chamber that in the examination-in-chief there
21 was a Defence exhibit introduced whereby one of my orders formed special
22 forces and I made the Chief of Staff responsible for using them in -- on
23 the route of Kosare and preventing the breakthrough of forces from
24 Albania. That is an answer to your question how all this is regulated and
1 Q. And could your Chief of Staff further delegate that authority?
2 A. The Chief of Staff, being in charge of the forward command post,
3 has a deputy when he is absent, and that deputy takes care of the
4 functioning of the forward command post and the discharging of its
5 functions. This delegation, as you call it, can be understood that way
6 too, but the gist is that there is a deputy of the person who is in charge
7 of the forward command post who performs the duties of the Chief of Staff
8 whenever the Chief of Staff is unable to perform this duty.
9 Q. Within the competence of Colonel Kotur, as chief of the infantry
10 organ of the Pristina Corps Command, was he permitted to write these kind
11 of orders to crush the Siptar terrorist forces? Could that be delegated
12 to him by either you or the Chief of Staff?
13 A. I did not particularly deal with the -- the powers Colonel Kotur
14 had or anybody else at the forward command post. I knew more about the
15 Chief of Staff. It was within the powers of the Chief of Staff to order
16 that somebody from the corps command stand in for him in his absence, and
17 that including Colonel Kotur.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: You're saying that at that stage and with your
19 subsequent army experience you can't tell us whether the chief of the
20 infantry of the Pristina Corps could, in appropriate circumstances, write
21 this kind of order?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was able to on the authorisation
23 from the Chief of Staff. That's what I said.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. Yes. I didn't pick up the last sentence.
25 It's my mistake.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. General, I'd next like to look at Exhibit P2011. And I can hand
4 you a hard copy and make a trade with you again. Thank you.
5 General, this is from the command of the Pristina Corps forward
6 command post dated the 20th of May, 1999. And it's an order to crush the
7 Siptar terrorist forces in the Radonjicko Jezero sector. And it -- in
8 English, it's translated as "Operation Sekac." Could you read the Serbian
9 for me. Should it be translated as "Action Sekac"?
10 A. Akcija Sekac is written, action.
11 Q. Have you -- have you seen this document before?
12 A. I have seen the document during proofing.
13 Q. And you'll see on the -- on the last page that it's signed by
14 Colonel Kotur.
15 A. I can see that it's written: "On the authority of the Chief of
16 Staff, Colonel Milan Kotur," and his signature.
17 Q. Now, in this operation, it -- which apparently is -- "readiness
18 for attack" is described as the last thing under item number 4 on page 4
19 of the English. "Readiness for attack at 0500 hours on 22" -- which
20 apparently has been scratched out, and then -- "23 May, 1999."
21 And you'll see "Tasks of units." The first one is for the
22 122nd MUP Detachment of a strength of three PJP companies shall in the
23 first phase launch an attack along a certain axis.
24 And item 5.2 on the next page in English is for the 3rd MUP
25 Detachment to search and mop up terrain.
1 And item number 5.3 is the 4th Company of the 124th MUP Brigade to
2 mop up terrain, et cetera.
3 There are a couple more of these, I think, where this order from
4 the VJ is directing MUP units to attack and carry out parts of this Action
6 Did you know that? Did you know that was going on?, that the VJ
7 was ordering the MUP units?
8 A. That was in keeping with the orders of the President of the State,
9 the Supreme Command Staff, the army command, and my order on the
10 re-subordination of MUP to the army. And in that context, it is certain
11 that it was in keeping with all that at the time we are talking about.
12 Q. So do you know if this operation proceed as -- as planned on the
13 23rd of May, 1999? I'm sorry, this action.
14 A. I know that this action lasted practically until the end of the
15 war, involving great problems and losses, and that after this action,
16 which was unsuccessful, there was another action by the corps command --
17 or rather, signed by the corps command from the forward command post,
18 signed by the Chief of Staff of the corps, to lift the siege of police
19 forces. It was a specific situation where the police found themselves
20 encircled by strong forces of armed insurgency in the sector of
21 Radonjicko Jezero, Jablanica, and the Chief of Staff took measures to lift
22 that siege from the MUP unit.
23 Q. Did you, prior to writing your 24th of May, 1999 report about the
24 failure of the MUP to be subordinated, did you have any information or
25 complaint from Colonel Kotur or the Chief of Staff at the forward command
1 post that MUP was not following the order for subordination?
2 A. Well, it was common knowledge that nowhere, not a single area of
3 Kosovo and Metohija, were MUP units able to accept decision-making or
4 orders from army units, because they were not authorised to do so.
5 Q. Well, my question is: As -- as a matter of fact, was there any
6 indication that there was a problem in this particular operation on the
7 part of MUP in following the order from Colonel Kotur? Did the
8 4th Company of the 124th MUP Brigade refuse to follow the order that
9 applied to them, or the 73rd MUP Detachment, et cetera? Did you have any
10 indication that there was a problem in this specific action?
11 A. Concerning this particular action, I cannot provide any details,
12 but I know for a fact and I assert that Colonel Stefanovic at that time
13 went on a number of occasions to Djakovica and together with the Chief of
14 the Secretariat of the Interior, together with the forward command post of
15 the corps, he tried to solve the problem of resubordination and to
16 maintain coordination and cooperation. But I am talking about the entire
17 period of the war. You are asking me about this specific thing, but I
18 am -- I think this applies to this case as well. I know that he went to
19 Djakovica to solve that problem.
20 Q. Well, when -- when did he go to Djakovica to solve the problem?
21 A. Well, I think that by the time this action began -- and I remember
22 it had stages 1 and 2, although we don't see it from this document. We
23 can see it from some other reports, involving great losses on both sides.
24 I mean the army and the police. Precisely because of the problem of
25 insufficient coordination and failure to re-subordinate. I cannot say
1 whether it was the 20th May or the 23rd or the 25th, but I'm certain that
2 when General Radojko Stefanovic comes to testify, he will come to assist
3 us all and he will be able to answer this specific question.
4 Q. Okay. Let me move to another topic. I'd like to show you Exhibit
5 P1439. I'll hand you a hard copy and trade you.
6 General, this is a Pristina Corps Command document dated the 5th
7 of October, 1998 to the 3rd Army Command. It's from General Pavkovic.
8 Have you seen this one before?
9 A. No, I have not seen it before -- I had not seen it before
10 proofing. I believe it has been shown in the courtroom previously once or
12 Q. And you'll see in item number 1 Pavkovic is advising his superior,
13 General Samardzic, that "Contrary to your orders, Pristina Corps Command
14 has not formed any new BG," combat groups.
15 And in item number 2, he mentions that "The plan to smash the
16 sabotage forces on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, authorised by the
17 President of the FRY, stipulated that when sabotage forces had been
18 smashed by the MUP and the VJ, rapid-intervention forces shall be formed
19 to be at full readiness, with the engagement of helicopters," et cetera.
20 Did you know about this plan to form rapid-intervention forces?
21 Did you know about that in October 1998?
22 A. Later on I learned about this initiative. I didn't know about it
23 at the time. As the forces had been withdrawn, both army and police
24 forces, at the state level it was decided from the battalion of the corps
25 and from parts of the MUP to have, if there is an attack by terrorist
1 forces on the terrorist -- by the terrorist forces on the MUP and army. I
2 learned about this later on, and these were very small-scale forces, up to
3 company level, but actually they were never formed.
4 Q. And you don't recall this matter being discussed in your presence
5 at any time in 1998?
6 A. From this document, you can see where this happened. It happened
7 in Pristina. I wish to remind everybody that I was away from Pristina and
8 I didn't hear these conversations or follow this correspondence. Later on
9 I learnt that there was even a decision issued by the President of the
10 State but that it was not carried through.
11 Q. Is this not a subject that General Pavkovic would have discussed
12 with you, as his Chief of Staff?
13 A. Well, he couldn't discuss it with me on the telephone and he
14 wouldn't come to Djakovica personally for that reason. As I can see, he
15 talked about this at a meeting in Belgrade attended by the army commander,
16 the corps commander, and the President of the State. I was not included
17 in this not because I wasn't trusted but because this concerned a very
18 small force, at platoon or company level, with one helicopter. So I don't
19 think the corps commander needed to include me in that at the time, given
20 that it was such a small unit they were discussing.
21 Q. You just said in that answer something about a meeting in
22 Belgrade. "As I can see, he talked about this at a meeting in Belgrade."
23 Where do you draw that inference from? I don't see a reference to a
24 meeting in Belgrade. I see that -- go ahead.
25 A. By your leave, in item 2, the last sentence, after that comma:
1 "As ordered by the President," it says. I think that the President
2 issued this order to them at one of the meetings, because I never had
3 occasion to see a written order in the corps command saying that it had
4 arrived from the President of the Republic concerning the forming of an
5 intervention unit. I know that the army commander and the corps commander
6 used to go to see the chief of the General Staff and that on several
7 occasions they visited the President of the Republic. So that's what I
8 base my conclusion on, and on what it says here.
9 Q. Okay. Well, in item 2 it does say that rapid-intervention
10 force -- forces were to be formed, as ordered by the President. It's not
11 clear to me from reading this when that order was given and how it was
12 given, whether it was in person or by phone or in writing. But the -- the
13 next paragraph under "2" says:
14 "On my return from the reporting session with the ZK" -- and here
15 it's translated with a question mark as "Joint Commission." I suggest in
16 the context that "ZK" probably stands for Joint Command -- "for Kosovo and
17 Metohija on the 19th and 20th of September, 1998, I informed you
18 personally by phone or decision to form those intervention forces."
19 So you don't know when the order came from the President. And I
20 take it that's President Milosevic. You don't know exactly when that
21 order was issued, do you?
22 A. A lot of what you are asking me, sir, I don't know. I understood
23 that it was my task to assist the Chamber by saying what I know. But with
24 Their Honours' leave, the beginning of item 2 says quite unambiguously
25 that the decision is contained in the plan approved by the President. I
1 don't know precisely when the plan was drawn up, who drew it up, whether
2 it was in the President's office or the General Staff, but I beg that we
3 not only read the last sentence but, if you insist on this, that we also
4 read the beginning of item 2, which tells me that there was in existence a
5 plan approved by the President of the State which contained that decision
6 of his. That's my reading of item 2 in the Serbian language. But I
7 really didn't see that.
8 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Bakrac on his feet.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to add something to
10 the transcript. Page 48, line 10: "A lot of what you're asking me about,
11 I don't know." The witness said: "A lot of what you're asking me about
12 in 1998, I don't know." So the year 1998 has been left out.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
14 Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
16 Q. General, if you would go on and read the last paragraph under item
17 number 2, it says:
18 "As part of the conclusions from the ZK" - I say Joint Command -
19 "for Kosovo and Metohija meeting, I sent you the decision to form
20 rapid-intervention forces, which you forbade in your order, number"
22 Now, let me go to another exhibit, jumping ahead of where I wanted
23 to, but I think it pertains to this. General Pavkovic says on his return
24 from the reporting session with the Joint Command of the 19th and 20th of
25 September --
1 MR. HANNIS: I would like look at Exhibit P1468. And in English
2 it's page 121, and in the B/C/S the ERN, last four digits, are 8518, which
3 I believe would be page 47, but I'm not fully confident of that.
4 Q. Actually, General, I can give you hard copies of the next couple
5 of pages.
6 MR. HANNIS: Yeah, that's it.
7 Q. This page reflects a meeting of the 19th of September, 1998, the
8 Joint Command. And the first person to speak on that occasion appears to
9 be you, General Lazarevic. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The first thing under your name is an acronym with the letters
12 translated in English as "NVOR prepared in 5 villages," and it names
13 Lipovac, Grcin, and Kales. Can you tell us what "NVOR" stands for?
14 A. This abbreviation contains an error. It's a typing letter in the
15 last letter. It means "weapons and military equipment." But this last
16 letter "R," I don't know what it might refer to.
17 Q. Can you read -- read out the Serbian. Maybe we can hear what it
18 should be in English. Just read out those four letters.
19 A. NVOR.
20 Q. Okay. Well, that --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you say they should be, Mr. Lazarevic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they were referring to what I
23 gather from the context, the last letter should be "P," rather than "R".
24 "Weapons and military equipment." But I really don't know what it says
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, simply to draw attention
2 to the following: In the English version, although it's gone off the
3 screen now, the sentence begins with an abbreviation; however, in the
4 Serbian version there seems to be a word before the abbreviation which
5 does not appear in the English. So in the Serbian version, in front of
6 this abbreviation there is a word; whereas, in English it begins with the
8 And there is a mistranslation after this abbreviation. So it
9 might be best if we were to have the entire sentence interpreted.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
11 Q. General, could you read out that entire sentence for us, please.
12 A. "Gathering" -- it's abbreviated, but it probably refers to
13 gathering or collecting -- "weapons and military equipment in five
14 villages, Lipovac, Grcin, Kabas [as interpreted]" and so on, "50 barrels."
15 Q. And that makes sense, I guess, because the next sentence has been
16 translated as: "More weapons have been surrendered in Rajkovici";
18 A. I would read this with some difficulty. "In the village of
19 Papracani." I don't know about the village of Rajkovici. I do know about
20 a village called Papracani. It's a "P," the first letter, not an "R." 13
21 barrels, hand-held launchers and so on.
22 Q. But the rest of what I read was correct. It said "more weapons
23 have been surrendered"; correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Now, if you can just turn to the next page, I want to -- I want to
1 show that the document reflects that apparently General Pavkovic was also
2 present at that meeting on the 19th of September. You see a reference to
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And it's --
6 A. I see it.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you speak a second time
9 What I have translated here are parts of what General Pavkovic say
10 are illegible. But there's one sentence translated as: "We have to see
11 what we are going to do with the civilians." Do you see that? Is that
12 what it says?
13 A. General Pavkovic?
14 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we -- we might zoom in.
15 It might be better if we zoomed in on this.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This other second word is not --
17 MR. HANNIS:
18 Q. I'm sorry, General --
19 A. -- "Morimor" [as interpreted]. It says "place."
20 Q. I think it's the last entry under "General Pavkovic" that has the
21 time reference of 1200 ...
22 A. I see what you mean, yes. "Let's see what we will do with the
23 civilians," probably.
24 Q. Thank you. And then you are listed a second time at this meeting.
25 But then I'd like to go to the next page, which is 8520 for you; page 123
1 in the English. We'll have to rotate that. Yes.
2 And it appears the first speaker at that meeting is
3 General Pavkovic; correct? Talking about preparation for the action --
4 Action Cicavica.
5 A. Yes, Cicavica.
6 Q. And do you recall, did you attend this meeting? Your name does
7 not appear, but I will tell you you are listed as appearing on the
8 following day, the 21st, and you were at the meeting on the 19th. I'm --
9 I'm just wondering if you recall whether or not you also attended on the
11 A. I really don't remember and I don't believe that whoever wrote
12 this would not mention my presence. At the beginning, he says who is
13 present, as you can see, and I really don't recall.
14 Q. Okay. Could we go to the --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Is the tendency not to list who's absent, rather
16 than who's present?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would say that nobody
18 knows who was supposed to be present, because it was an ad hoc gathering.
19 Whoever turned up, turned up.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just answer my question, Mr. Lazarevic. Is it not
21 your experience from these that generally speaking they note who is absent
22 at the beginning?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't have any
24 contemporaneous experience. But I've seen documents showing that it's not
25 as you say.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where it says who is present and who
3 is absent. That's my experience from reviewing these documents.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, which one are you referring to when you say
5 that at the beginning it says who is present?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if the Prosecutor has those
7 documents on those several occasions I attended, I remember it says
8 "present," and then it lists some names and "Colonel Lazarevic." I
9 remember that. So it lists certain names, including "Colonel Lazarevic."
10 As to the date, I don't know. It's probably the date mentioned by the
11 Prosecutor. But I am trying to assist.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Do we have one in that form, Mr. Hannis?
13 MR. HANNIS: [Microphone not activated] Your Honour, the first
14 appearance --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry. The first one I have is at page 68 of the
17 English. It's a meeting of the 23rd of August. And it's page 8470 for
18 the B/C/S.
19 I can -- I can read it out, Your Honour. It says -- it lists --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: No. No, no, the reference is good enough for me.
21 It's just the one on the screen gives us the people absent, and I wonder
22 what the position is in relation to the 21st and the 19th that you've been
23 asking about.
24 MR. HANNIS: Yeah, Your Honour, there -- I would say there's not
25 one entirely consistent procedure throughout. On the 23rd, it lists three
1 people as not being present: Minic -- not being present: Mr. Minic,
2 Matkovic, and Andjelkovic.
3 A. And Matkovic. And then it does list as present Obrad Stevanovic
4 and Colonel B. Lazarevic. But Pavkovic, Djordjevic, Djordjevic, Gajic,
5 Sainovic are also present at that meeting but not listed as being present.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: But you know that from the record of what they are
7 alleged to have said.
8 MR. HANNIS: Correct.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And the reference that you've just given sounds
10 like a reference to others attending who are not regular members, which
11 would -- would fit the evidence that Mr. Lazarevic has given.
12 MR. HANNIS: Correct, Your Honour. Correct.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
14 MR. HANNIS: That appears to be his first appearance.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
16 Well, please continue.
17 MR. HANNIS: Okay.
18 Q. I would ask you to look at the next page, General. I think it's
19 8521. It's still continuing on in that meeting of the 20th. And although
20 I know you were not listed as being particularly present at that meeting
21 and you don't recall if you were, I want to ask you if what I have in my
22 English translation under Mr. Sainovic's first bullet point is correct.
23 It's translated as: "To prepare units for faster interventions."
24 Can you read that? Or would it help if we enlarge it on the
25 monitor for you?
1 A. Could we please zoom in a little bit so that I am able to read
2 what it says exactly.
3 "Prepare and train units" -- "a unit." "A unit for rapid
5 Q. Thank you. And then if we could go to the next page. And I
6 believe these are the notes for the meeting of the 21st of September. The
7 English translation says "01/09." But I would suggest to Your Honours
8 that looking at the B/C/S that looks like "21" to me, and it's also
9 consistent in terms of where it appears in the document, that is, between
10 the 20th and the 22nd.
11 And, General, you're listed -- specifically listed as attending
12 this one. It says: "Absent." It says: "All attended, General Lazarevic
13 as well." Do you recall this meeting on the 21st of September?
14 A. I remember that I attended. I don't know whether the date is
15 correct. If it's -- if that's what it says here, then probably it is.
16 But if you want me to confirm the time and the date, I can't do that. But
17 I would like to draw Your Honours' attention to the fact that it says here
18 "not present," and it is also listed "and General Lazarevic." And this
19 is what I meant -- or rather, "everybody is present, including
20 General Lazarevic."
21 Q. Correct. And, General, in addition to these two meetings that we
22 talked about, that you're listed as being present, for the 19th and 21st
23 of September, you are also listed ...
24 Well, let's -- I'm sorry. Let's go to page 8516. This is page
25 119 of the English and over, actually, onto 120. It's a meeting for the
1 18th of September.
2 Do you have that page, General? I may not have given you that
4 A. Yes, I can see that. I'm actually trying to find my way around
5 these papers. And if you can give me a minute or two -- no, I don't have
6 anything --
7 Q. I'm sorry.
8 A. -- for the 18th.
9 Q. You don't. Because I started out by talking about the 19th and
10 20th. So let me give you two more pages, with the help of the usher.
11 And let's start with the first one, which has 8514. It's a
12 meeting of the 17th of September. And in the English this is page 117.
13 Do you find that one, General? September 17th.
14 A. You gave me the one for the 18th of September, not the 17th.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. I do have it. I do apologise.
17 Q. And on the 17th, it lists as absent Mr. Matkovic.
18 And then in English we need to go to page 119, which is a
19 continuation of this meeting on the 17th. And it's on the second page for
20 you, General, I think.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It lists you as speaking, but you're not listed particularly as
23 attending that meeting; correct? You are listed as speaking and you're
24 talking about "Last month our border posts had been attacked six times.
25 Part of the Military Police Battalion was engaged. The plan for Saturday
1 and Sunday is to disarm the village of Damjane." So it appears you were
2 at that meeting on the 17th but there's no specific listing of you in
3 those attending; right?
4 A. That is what this paper indicates.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Bakrac.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since my colleague
9 Mr. Hannis referred the witness to another page, but I think that he
10 should refer him back to page 1 so that he can look at that too.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. General, you can look at any page you want concerning this meeting
13 on -- on the 17th. I don't see anywhere where, regarding the list of
14 people attending or being absent, that you're mentioned, but I do see you
15 speaking on -- on the last page. Does that -- is that not correct?
16 A. I don't see any comments as to who was present in the introductory
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 If you could go, then, to the next document, for the 18th of
20 September, 1998. And in English it's best to look at page 120, which has
21 the starting time and lists those absent. It's -- it's translated as
22 Mr. Mijac, Mr. Sainovic, and General "illegible."
23 In the Serbian, in the original, General, are you able to help us
24 with the names of those absent? Because to me it looks like the first one
25 is Gospodin Minic.
1 A. That's the way I read it, as far as I'm able on this piece of
2 paper. Mr. Sainovic, yes. And I think it says "General Lukic," if I'm
3 reading this correctly.
4 Q. That -- that seems to make sense and that looks consistent to me
5 as well, General, but there's no one -- you are not listed as -- as being
6 particularly present at this meeting, but you appear to be the first one
7 to speak; correct?
8 A. That's what it says here on this paper, as I've already told you.
9 Q. Okay. So from this document, it appears that you attended four
10 meetings in September. Does that refresh your recollection now about how
11 many meetings you attended of the Joint Command in September 1998?
12 Because when you testified, it was unclear to me, but I -- I thought you
13 only recalled attending a couple of meetings in September and one in
15 A. I think that I said something else. And let me just say, on some
16 occasions, not at some meetings. I did not specify the number of
17 meetings. I said that I think I was there once in August and once in
18 September, when I stayed there a couple of days.
19 Now, as to the number of times - because I stayed in Pristina for
20 a few days in September - I don't recall having specified the number of
21 meetings that I attended with the corps commander, meetings with the
22 people from the police.
23 MR. HANNIS: Well, for the record, Your Honour, I would
24 indicate --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: No, the question hasn't been answered. The
1 question was: Does this refresh your memory and help you to confirm that
2 you attended at least four meetings in September?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what it says here, that
4 would appear to be so. But I really cannot confirm whether on those days
5 I was there. There's no reason for us if anybody wrote -- if somebody
6 wrote that down.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there might be two ways of doing that. Did
8 you keep some -- did you keep some sort of --
9 I'm sorry. Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise, but it
11 seems to me that Mr. Hannis first showed the minutes from August. And --
12 and I'm afraid that now this is referred to as a September meeting.
13 I would kindly like to ask my learned colleague Mr. Hannis to
14 check that, but I believe that the first minutes that were referred to
15 were -- were from August and now we have the 17th, the 18th, and the 21st.
16 I'm not sure about all that. But if perhaps my colleague Mr. Hannis might
17 assist us.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm only concerned with September at the moment and
19 the record shows the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 21st so far. And these are the
20 four that I'm referring to, not August.
21 And I want to ask you now, Mr. Lazarevic: Did you keep some sort
22 of personal record or diary during this period of your movements?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, I did not. Definitely not.
24 No records.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Would there be within the corps a record of your
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm almost sure that there were no
3 such records. But if -- now, whether anyone kept any records about my
4 movements, this is something that is really hard to believe.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, presumably during the war, the war diary
6 would tell us where you were on each individual day. And this is -- I
7 appreciate this is before the war, but during the war would -- would the
8 record not show where you were?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, no, not necessarily so,
10 because those details are not entered, not even in the combat report,
11 which is a document which is much more detailed. I never saw anyone note
12 that down at the corps command. I saw that the subordinate units would
13 note down my arrival, but not at the corps command.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's look at it a different way. You've now
15 been able to see these entries in the document which is P1468, and you're
16 a man who has a good recollection of the events of the time. Are these
17 entries consistent with things that you would be likely to have reported
18 at these meetings?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really cannot remember
20 saying things that are quoted here in the bullet points, in the number of
21 bullet points that exist here. And in particular, that -- the way that
22 this is recorded, in one of those papers it is stated that I spoke about
23 the Cicavica plan. This is not in the border belt at all, so I really
24 didn't deal with that at all.
25 Secondly, I read something about Budakovo here, that some things
1 had to be blocked there. And I recall quite clearly this was a special
2 situation. That it -- the way it is presented here is the exact opposite
3 of the actual facts.
4 And if we -- if you allow me now to find this in -- among the
5 papers, I can be even more specific. This is just what I was able to
6 ascertain in -- by a cursory look.
7 So I really couldn't confirm that the person who kept the record,
8 the recording secretary, really wrote down everything as it should have
9 been written down. At least, as far as my words are concerned.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Subject to the questions that are asked of you in
11 cross-examination and re-examination, I am likely to return to this issue
12 and -- and ask you more later, but do you go as far as to say someone has
13 fabricated entries about things and attributed them to you, when you never
14 said them? That this is a false document?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not prepared to make an
16 assessment of this document in one way or another, so I'm not saying that
17 this is a forgery or that this was actually produced at the time. I am
18 not qualified to do so. But I noticed two things in this very brief
19 period of time that I absolutely did not say. Somebody else may have said
20 that and then it was attributed to me.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Well, General, with regard to -- I think you mentioned Budakovo.
25 Allowing for the possibility that whoever wrote the notes down may have
1 misinterpreted what you said, did -- did you speak about Budakovo in any
2 of those meetings in September? Do you remember talking about that
4 A. I was not talking about the village. I was talking about the
5 Jezerska mountains, and there are some 20 villages there, including
6 Budakovo. But I said that some radio deceptive operations should be
7 carried out against those terrorist forces deployed there. It is tactical
8 or operational, camouflage or ruse-type of operations. So it has nothing
9 to do with any kind of combat actions. This is what I meant when I
10 indicated that a couple of moments ago.
11 Q. Are you saying you didn't mention the name of that village? You
12 can recall now years later specifically that you did not use the name of
13 that village in that meeting?
14 A. I'm afraid that you're really asking too much of me. I remember
15 the Jezerska mountains. I don't recall this village as such. But I
16 remember this kind of -- this radio training, the radio camouflage
17 training that was supposed to be carried out there. That's what I
19 Q. Well, did you in preparation for your testimony, or otherwise --
20 just out of curiosity, did you look at Exhibit P1468, the meetings of the
21 Joint Command in 1998? Did you review that before you testified here?
22 A. Yes., I did review all that, but not in such great detail, to be
23 quite honest.
24 Q. You must have anticipated that you were going to be asked
25 questions about the Joint Command and whether or not you had attended any
1 meetings. You did expect that, didn't you?
2 A. Well, I have replied and I am replying, whether I attended or not.
3 So I really was prepared to do -- to do all that, but I was not expecting
4 that I would be asked to review every single word or to even try and
5 decode it.
6 Q. Well, did you, in reviewing it, look through to see what meetings
7 you were at, to help refresh your memory?
8 A. I did have a look, but I did not make any notes or records. This
9 is what I was able to recall even before I read those documents, that I
10 attended those meetings twice. And this is what I had to say in answer to
11 your questions.
12 Q. Well, let me go back to the first time that I'm aware of you
13 talking about "Joint Command" in -- and whether you attended any meetings
14 or not. Do you recall being interviewed by -- by mostly Mr. Coo,
15 Phil Coo, investigator Annette Murtagh, and I was present for some of your
16 interviews, as well as Ms. Moeller for a portion. You recall those
17 interviews in, I think it was, March 2005, shortly after you arrived here;
19 A. I recall that.
20 Q. And this is Exhibit P950. And I'm sorry, General, it's only in
21 English. The videotape is on DVDs and CDs. But let me ask you the
22 question and we'll -- we'll go from there.
23 Mr. Coo was asking you about the Joint Command. And at page 72,
24 line 8, you say: "I do not know how to explain precisely what a Joint
25 Command is."
1 In line 11, you say: "Throughout the most of 1998, I was in
3 And at line 13: "I was far away from the command of the Pristina
5 Do you agree with all that so far?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you go any further, Mr. Hannis, are we on to
8 this composite document you gave us?
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes, in terms of the page number. It should be page
10 72, I think --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
12 MR. HANNIS: -- in the lower right-hand corner.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: The -- oh, yes. Thank you very much.
14 MR. HANNIS:
15 Q. And at line 16, you say: "This group of men and myself in
16 Djakovica were isolated."
17 And at line 19: "It was only twice during 1998 that I travelled,
18 and that by helicopter, because the roads couldn't be used. I travelled
19 to Pristina for a short time, once to be appointed general, which was in
20 September; and the second time, for a very short while in October after
21 the OSCE Mission's arrival and Walker, because I had to report to the
23 And then you go on and say, even though you said only twice, you
24 go on at line 24 and say: "And the third time I was lucky enough to be
25 flown in a helicopter to Nis to visit my family."
1 So when you were interviewed in March 2005, you said you only went
2 to Pristina twice in 1998, once to be appointed general, in September; and
3 the second time, for a report to the commander in connection with the
5 And then when you testified earlier this week -- or last week, I'm
6 sorry, at page 17820, Judge Bonomy was asked you some questions because
7 there -- there was some uncertainty about how many meetings you went to.
8 And at line 7, you say: "Your Honour, when I say 'occasions,' I'm
9 referring to one occasion in August and another -- or the other in
10 September. But in September I spent two or three days in Pristina and in
11 August I spent only one day. In August I attended one meeting, and
12 September, on those two or three days, I attended two meetings. Out of
13 those two meetings, I cannot confirm whether I took the floor every time."
14 So what was it that refreshed your memory between the interview in
15 March, when you make no mention of going to Pristina for these meetings,
16 and your testimony last week, when you recalled one in August and two in
17 September? Was it from having looked at the exhibit?
18 MR. HANNIS: I see Mr. Bakrac on his feet.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the interpretation that
21 we and the accused got was, "When you never said that you attended the
22 meetings." And that is not correct. This is not what the accused had
23 said. And I would like us all to bear that in mind.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this is what the interpretation is, and it's
25 for the witness to deal with issues like this, not you, by intervening.
1 There is an accurate translation of that. And the question is a perfectly
2 proper question.
3 Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. General, do I -- I need to repeat that? What was it that --
6 A. If you would be so kind.
7 Q. In the interview in March 2005 you didn't -- you said you only
8 went to Pristina twice during 1998: One, to be appointed a general; and
9 the second time, regarding reporting to the commander about OSCE.
10 In your testimony last week, you mentioned going once in August,
11 and another occasion in September for two or three days during which you
12 attended two meetings. So one meeting in August and two in September.
13 What was it that refreshed your memory between March 2005 and
14 testifying last week about attending those meetings; one in August, two in
16 A. As far as I remember, in that interview I did say that I attended
17 on two occasions the meetings in Pristina with the corps commander, with
18 the people from the police force, and with some state officials. I wasn't
19 correct enough about the time. I spoke about September and October as two
20 occasions. But if you ask me now what refreshed my memory, I would say
21 that I have looked at this list and I saw that it was not September and
22 October. October is something that does not have to do with this meeting;
23 it has to do with the OSCE mission.
24 There was one occasion in August instead and another occasion in
25 September. We can't see it from this segment of the transcript, but this
1 whole story that took 10 or 15 minutes contains what I'm talking about.
2 Q. Well, you haven't answered my question. Are you saying my
3 question is mistaken because in the interviews you talked about attending
4 those meetings?
5 A. Precisely.
6 Q. Well, maybe you can help me find it.
7 Let me go on. On page 73 of your interview - maybe this is what
8 you're thinking of - at the very bottom of page 72, you say: "I knew that
9 a special group." And on top of page 73: "Team of men, both from the
10 Federal and Republic's government were engaged in this political dialogue.
11 I knew the names of these men and sometimes saw them. That was Sainovic,
12 Minic, Andjelkovic, Matkovic, Lilic, Defence Minister Bulatovic. And this
13 group of men, either individually or in group, were those who came most
14 often to Metohija, where I spent most of 1998."
15 You mean in Djakovica; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. "I occasionally saw them, but not all of them together,
18 just one or two of them when they came to Metohija, and this was with --
19 together with the corps commander, army commander, or the chief of General
20 Staff. They toured the most jeopardized parts of the state border."
21 And then you mention a couple of visits to the state border and
22 Mr. Lilic.
23 At line 18, you say: "I also had information that this group of
24 politicians frequently visited Kosovo, more precisely Pristina, and that
25 they had meetings with the army commander, with the Pristina Corps
1 Command, and the MUP HQ in Pristina in order to receive information..."
2 So in the interview you told us you knew about there were some of
3 the kinds of meetings like that of this body that I call "the Joint
4 Command," but you don't say anything there about you attending any of
5 those meetings, do you?
6 A. Not in this part. Not in this passage.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... is that not
8 what he went on to say immediately after that.
9 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. And he says: "I cannot remember
10 the exact day, but it was definitely in October."
11 Q. This is line 23. "At the request of Corps Command General
12 Pavkovic, I came to the barracks in Pristina by helicopter. My task was
13 to brief him about the situation at the state border after disengagement
14 of the main part of the army forces upon the arrival of the OSCE. And on
15 that day, that evening, a meeting was held where information was
16 exchanged. That was the first time I ever saw a larger group of these
17 men, three or four men from the police, several of them from the political
19 And this is in October, and we've been talking about meetings
20 between July and September. And he talked about meetings in August and
22 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, my
23 colleague Mr. Hannis is suggesting that the accused has never said that.
24 Now he's saying he didn't say it about July. Whereas, the accused began
25 his answer by saying, "Yes, I was mistaken. I see it was August and
1 September, not September and October, as I had said previously."
2 My learned friend Mr. Hannis just suggested that he had never said
3 it in -- in the interview and then proceeded to read the passage in -- in
4 the interview where he did say it. And this is simply confusing the
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I -- I disagree with you, Mr. Bakrac, I'm
7 afraid. And it's a matter you can take up in re-examination, subject to
8 the reference to July, which is strictly accurate but could be said to be
9 misleading, because it's a reference to "between July and September."
10 There's nothing in there that's, in my opinion, inappropriate, so I repel
11 your objection.
12 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 Q. So, General, at -- taken at best, during your interview it seems
15 like you talked about attending one meeting in October when you came in
16 connection with the OSCE matter where there were some three or four men
17 from the police and also state security and several from the political
19 Do you recall at that October meeting who was present? Because I
20 will -- I will tell you - and we can -- we can check this, if you want -
21 but if you look at the Joint Command meeting notes, I see no reference to
22 you at any October meetings recorded in Exhibit P1468.
23 So who was at the meeting you are talking about in October? Do
24 you recall any specific persons? And can you tell us who they were?
25 A. I don't know that precisely or imprecisely. I know only what I
1 said, a group of people. I really cannot tell you the names. My best
2 recollection of that interview leads me to ask the Trial Chamber to look
3 at the transcript more carefully. The interview on this topic took a long
4 time. I must have said more. I cannot follow this on the screen now.
5 I firmly believe that it was not quite accurately presented here,
6 in terms of my answers to the questions when, how many times I was in
7 Pristina. I recognise what I see here, but I remember having said more on
8 this specific issue.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I -- I appreciate what you're saying,
10 Mr. Lazarevic, but it appears - and this is hopefully a clarification for
11 Mr. Bakrac also - it appears you acknowledge you were at one meeting in
12 August, at least two meetings in September, and that in October you were
13 also in Pristina in connection with the OSCE and that there was a meeting
14 then also. Is that a fair summary of what is not in dispute now?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is so. I'm just saying that I
16 remember this part of the interview differently.
17 I'm sorry, Your Honour. This meeting in October did not relate to
18 coordination with the police and that whole story from the previous time.
19 It had to do with the OSCE. That was a new topic.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. And I appreciate there are also
21 many matters in dispute. I was trying to identify what wasn't in dispute
22 to make sure that Mr. Hannis is not misleading you in any way, and I think
23 that confirms that the questions have not been misleading, although a
24 different gloss may be put on the matter by re-examination.
25 You -- you, I take it, have access to the original of this
1 interview. You must have the recording of it available to you.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The accused has
3 neither the translation or the -- nor the recording, because he does not
4 have a laptop. He is not able to operate a laptop. So he has neither the
5 translation nor the DVD.
6 I was waiting for Mr. Hannis to use this exhibit to tell you that.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a -- a written B/C/S version of this
8 interview? No. It's simply on the DVD.
9 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour. And that was furnished
10 to the Defence sometime ago.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Oh, yes. There's no complaint about that. Just
12 give me a moment, though.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE BONOMY: As you know, Mr. Lazarevic, it's very important
16 there should be no contact between you and any party involved in this
17 case, any of your representatives or anyone else's while you're giving
18 evidence. On the other hand, there's no reason why you cannot, overnight,
19 be looking at material which refreshes your memory or clarifies things for
20 you. And we shall do all we can - and I think it will be possible to
21 arrange for you to have a DVD player at the weekend for delivery of the
22 DVDs to you - and then you -- I appreciate it's lengthy, but I imagine
23 you've enough recollection of the interview to be able to identify the
24 batch you ought to focus on in refreshing your memory so when you come
25 back on Monday you're in a position to tell us anything you want to add,
1 to ensure that your position is not misunderstood.
2 Now, Mr. Bakrac, is that an acceptable arrangement to you?
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, it's 21 or
4 22 hours of footage.
5 And second, I don't know how and whether it will be organised,
6 because Mr. Lazarevic does not have a laptop. He doesn't use one. I
7 don't know how that can be organised.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I -- I presume these are in DVD format and
9 can be used in a player. I -- the Chamber would also have no objection to
10 you compiling a list of the points on the DVDs that you think he ought to
11 concentrate on and passing that to him, since you think, you know -- and I
12 agree with you, going over the whole thing is unrealistic.
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, my -- my case manager just informed me
14 it's his opinion that it does need to be a laptop.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
16 MR. HANNIS: It won't work on a simple DVD player.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
18 MR. HANNIS: But we would try the identify, at least as regarding
19 page 72 and 73, where they are time-wise on the DVD. However, I'm not
20 sure --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: If others can do the same. And I'm sure we can
22 find a way of providing the necessary assistance. Because the alternative
23 would be to go through it in court, which would be Mr. Lazarevic's right.
24 And that's in no one's interest if there's another way of doing it.
25 So we'll adjourn now and resume at five to 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
4 Oh, sorry, Mr. Bakrac.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
6 Your Honours, I wish to make an objection to the use of this
7 document, the interview of Mr. Lazarevic, and I wish to draw your
8 attention to page 3 of the transcript, last paragraph, where the Office of
9 the Prosecutor when this interview was being discussed and agreed upon,
10 the OTP promised to furnish a transcript. That transcript and the
11 interview itself are of equal importance as the indictment and the
12 judgement. All of them have to be supplied in a language the accused
14 This interview, he does not have.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: One second. Where is the provision that the
16 transcript has to be provided in a language that he understands? If you
17 direct me to the Rule that provides for that, please.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not written. It
19 is my understanding.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Bakrac.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] But the transcript is evidence. This
22 transcript is evidence, and it exists only in a language the accused does
23 not understand.
24 And finally --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a second. The evidence is the interview
1 recording. The recording is available in a language he understand,
2 because he spoke it in his own language. And it was translated on the
3 tape -- the questions were translated into his language on the tape.
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And finally, Your Honour, the
5 accused, who should be in the most favourable position, is in the most
6 unfavourable position in this courtroom because we have all received one
7 copy of the transcript and we are able to follow what Mr. Hannis is
8 indicating and what he's saying; the accused being the only person not
9 being able to locate in the transcript the passage they are asking him
10 about and that he needs to explain.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ...
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer].
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, do you intend to continue at the moment
15 with this line of examination?
16 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I was in a bit of a quandary about
17 that, but I tell you what I have. We have -- we have the video loaded at
18 the point where this discussion took place. We could play that entire two
19 or three pages.
20 I have to tell you it's about 10 minutes or 12 minutes long. We
21 could do that now.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But do you want to -- is that what you want to do
23 just now?
24 MR. HANNIS: Well, I would like to do that, Your Honour, and I
25 think we can see if there's any confusion or misunderstanding about what's
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the interview record is already admitted as an
3 exhibit in this trial, so this objection is far too late; is that right?
4 MR. HANNIS: That's my position, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. And the transcript, is it -- does it
6 accompany the -- the interview record as part of the process so far?
7 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I think originally when this
8 exhibit was admitted, it was the English transcript that was admitted.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's what's been admitted.
10 MR. HANNIS: Yes. And when we recently -- the other day when we
11 asked to put in the numbered-page version of the English transcript, we
12 also sought your permission --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I --
14 MR. HANNIS: -- at that point to include the CD or the DVD.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. And there was no objection at that stage.
16 MR. HANNIS: Not that I recall.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: No. Now, Mr. Bakrac, why has this not been raised
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friend
20 Mr. Hannis just explained that he only subsequently announced that he
21 would not tender but use this. And as soon as he began to use it, I
23 The English version was admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... that's --
25 that's quite inaccurate. The transcript is part of the Prosecution case.
1 The transcript is relied upon by the Prosecution. It is admitted. No
2 objection was taken.
3 The matter arose again the other day, yesterday, when the
4 Prosecutor tendered this composite document with all the parts of the
5 interview in it, asked for that to be substituted for the other
6 transcripts, and added the CDs or DVDs recording it, and you took no
8 Now, it's in. There's no objection taken by you. It's in without
9 objection. It's as simple as that.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we objected that the
11 interview really took place and the original of the CDs are really
12 authentic -- sorry, we didn't object to that. But we object to using it
13 because the accused cannot follow it in that language, because he doesn't
14 have the transcript in the language he understands before him.
15 And I invoke the practice --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis is going to follow a different practice
17 and he's going to show him it, in his own language, on the screen.
18 Now, do you object to that?
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I do not know which passage he
20 will --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: The passage we've been exploring already. It takes
22 10 minutes to view it, unfortunately but we will have to do it that way,
23 in fairness to Mr. Lazarevic. If you're unhappy about the transcript on
24 its own being used, then that's the course we will follow.
25 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I don't object to the accused viewing
1 the DVD, but I would like the transcript to be before him in a language he
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that's just not going to happen, and you know
4 it's impractical and you know that if you wanted that to happen, you
5 should have asked for it long ago.
6 So let's proceed, Mr. Hannis.
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I just very briefly want to kind of
9 round out the record, because you may not know this.
10 The -- I'm quite certain all the rest of the accused who gave
11 statements to the OTP received transcripts in B/C/S. I think
12 Mr. Lazarevic is the only one who didn't get his transcript in B/C/S. And
13 I don't know if that makes a difference to -- about anything, but I think
14 it at least ought to be in the record.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: The difference it makes is that it surprises me
16 nothing has been done about it until today.
17 Proceed, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: All right. It's my understanding from my case
19 manager, that this is -- this is in sections -- Sanction. I'm sorry.
20 This is in Sanction. And we're going to start -- I think this is at 1
21 hour, 50 minutes, 30 seconds, and it is the beginning of page 72 in the
23 [Videotape played]
24 "VL: I think that Mr. Coo is trying to ask me something very
25 specific. I don't know whether I can explain it well, but I'll try. I
1 want to be completely sincere, because in my assessment, I believe that
2 you are trying to ask me whether there was a Joint Command, because I did
3 hear of this term being used in the course of 1998 and I did -- but I did
4 also hear -- I have also heard of a coordination body, but this was in
5 2000 and 2001, and it involved the south of Serbia.
6 "My initial answer to you and a very sincere one is I cannot -- I
7 do not know how to explain precisely what a Joint Command is. I have
8 also read in the indictment that I was a member of this Joint Command in
9 1998. But if you'll allow me, if I may recall, throughout most of 1998 I
10 was in Djakovica with a small group of men from the Pristina Corps near
11 the state border with Albania. So I was far away from the command of the
12 Pristina Corps, which was in Pristina, and even farther away from some
13 other possible potential commands.
14 "This may not be a good -- a good thing for me to say as a
15 soldier, but this group of men and myself in Djakovica were isolated not
16 only by the tasks of defending the border day and night but also de facto,
17 because we were encircled by terrorist forces. As far as I can remember,
18 it was only twice during 1998 that I travelled, and that by helicopter,
19 because the roads couldn't be used. I travelled to Pristina for a short
20 time. Once to be appointed general, which was in September, and the
21 second time for a very short while in October after -- after the OSCE
22 mission's arrival and Walker, because I had to report to the commander.
23 And the third time I was also lucky enough to be flown in a helicopter to
24 Nis to visit my family.
25 "To this day I do not know, haven't heard of, and have not seen an
1 order which appoints me as a member of this body which some call the Joint
2 Command, and until a year and a half ago I never even thought of this.
3 Luckily I didn't put much thought into this, even at the time in 1998, or
4 not -- whether such a body existed or not. And now specifically what I
5 did know then and what I do know today, I knew that in mid-1998 Serbia
6 tried by political means to prevent terrorism and war. I knew that a
7 political dialogue was -- was established with Albanian representatives.
8 I knew that a special group, team of men, both from the Federal and
9 Republic's government were engaged in this political dialogue. I knew the
10 names of these mens and -- men and sometimes saw them. These were
11 Sainovic, Minic, Andjelkovic, Matkovic, Lilic, Defence Minister Bulatovic,
12 and this group of men either individually or in group were those who came
13 most often to Metohija, where I spent most of 1998.
14 "I occasionally saw them, but not all of them together. Just one
15 or two of them, when they came to Metohija. And this was with -- together
16 with the corps commander, army commander, or the chief of General Staff.
17 They toured the most jeopardized parts of the state border. At the time,
18 I thought this was a good thing and that it was better for politicians to
19 do their job than for soldiers to -- to do -- to work.
20 "In two visits to the state border I saw that they were -- they
21 were very concerned about the situation but that they were also listening
22 to our suggestions about the -- about expanding the -- the border belt. I
23 refer specifically to Mr. Lilic, Zoran, who was at the time, as far as
24 I -- I think, Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Government Deputy Prime
1 "I also had information that this group of politicians frequently
2 visited Kosovo, more precisely Pristina, and that they had meetings with
3 the army commander, with the Pristina Command -- Pristina Corps Command
4 and the MUP HQ in Pristina in order to receive information about the
5 situation in the field and the situation in the army and the police. I
6 cannot remember the precise date, but it was definitely in October. At
7 the request of corps commander General Pavkovic I came to the barracks in
8 Pristina by helicopter. My task was to brief him about the situation at
9 the state border after the disengagement of the main part of the army
10 forces upon the arrival of the OSCE mission. And on that day, that
11 evening, a meeting was held where information was exchanged. As far as I
12 remember, at the building of the provincial executive council. That was
13 the first -- that was the first time that I saw a larger group of these
14 men, three or four men from the police, several of them from the political
15 ranks. When I say "police," I also mean state security. And all I can
16 say is that after this briefing, the situation and the information was
17 very bleak. Because around 2.000 OSCE verifiers and observers had
18 arrived, but terrorist operations did not end but escalated in Kosovo --"
19 MR. HANNIS: That's the point at which I intended to stop,
20 Your Honour, unless --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
22 MR. HANNIS: -- there's a request to hear any more of it.
23 Q. General, you had a chance to watch and listen to that. Did you --
24 did you hear anything in the -- in the translation that you have a problem
25 with now?
1 A. No, no, I have no problem with what I heard. What I have a
2 problem with is either my recollection or something that cannot be seen
3 today in the general context. And that's what I'm saying. What I'm
4 saying is that on that topic, over those five or so days with the
5 investigator, we talked at least on two occasions. We discussed it at
6 least twice. And I remember that I spoke in greater detail about my
7 travel to Pristina and my attendance at some of those meetings and
8 briefings, not only the October one. That is the essence of what I was
9 trying to say before the break.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Is there a record of that, Mr. Hannis?
11 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I honestly don't know. What I have are
12 some summaries prepared by one of my investigators regarding where certain
13 topics were talked about, including Joint Command. And I have noted those
14 on -- on a list that my case manager has been working on. And I -- I
15 don't know how best to do this, Your Honour.
16 In terms of the transcript, we have a copy of the transcript where
17 we've noted at the top of each page the hour and minute at which that page
18 begins, but that's not a lot of help to Mr. Lazarevic, because it's on the
19 English transcript.
20 So I -- I guess I'm just advising the Court and Mr. Bakrac of that
21 in case there's a way --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it must assist if it -- if it gives the hour
23 and minute at which the extract starts, because the extract is what he
24 wants to see.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yeah, well, we do have that.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well.
2 MR. HANNIS: But in terms of if he wants to look at anything else
3 in the interview, then --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, indeed. Indeed. But it allows him to
5 identify the parts. And Mr. Bakrac has been given the same facility to
6 identify parts that he wants him to look at.
7 MR. HANNIS: All right, then. But I will -- I will leave the
8 interview for today and go on to something else.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fair.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. General, I want to show you next Exhibit P1440. And I can give
12 you a hard copy of this one as well. Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
15 Q. General, this is Exhibit P1440. It is a annex to the report
16 regarding incidents resulting in death and use of critical ammunition from
17 the Pristina Corps Command, General Pavkovic, to the 3rd Army forward
18 command post.
19 Did you see this document before today in preparing for your
20 evidence or otherwise?
21 A. As far as I recall, it was shown once in e-court by one of the
22 Defence teams, but I never held it in my hands. I viewed it for a few
23 seconds. Then I recognised the events discussed.
24 Q. Okay. That -- that answered my next question.
25 In item 2, it says: "Based on combat reports, regular
1 intelligence reports, and written reports by the -- all unit commanders of
2 5 October 1998, the Pristina Corps Command does not have information about
3 the alleged massacre against the civilian population in Gornje Obrinje."
4 You were aware of that event at that time, weren't you, that that
5 was -- that was something that was being discussed rather broadly, this
6 allegation of a massacre of civilians in Gornje Obrinje? You heard about
7 it at that time?
8 A. I am aware of the order of the commander of the Pristina Corps,
9 General Pavkovic, addressed to all units to make additional checks in all
10 units and all -- and all reports on the engagement of units and to report
11 back to the commander whether units have any more information regarding
12 these reports, but I don't know whether these reports were first made by
13 the media or where they came from. I didn't see them at the time. I know
14 only about the order of the Pristina Corps commander.
15 Q. And in connection with that, General Pavkovic says that also: "In
16 the period while the plan for fighting terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija
17 from 25 July until 29 September 1998 was being implemented."
18 My question is: General Lazarevic, at that time were -- were you
19 aware of the plan for fighting terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija? Had you
20 held a copy of that plan in your hand in 1998?
21 A. No, I had not held a copy of the plan in my hand, but I knew it
22 had been drawn up at the highest state military and political level in
23 Belgrade and adopted. I didn't see the plan, nor did I hold it in my
25 Q. Was that not a document that -- it seems to me that's the document
1 that you, as the Chief of Staff for the Pristina Corps Command and -- and
2 the guy on the scene as the forward command post, should have had a copy
3 of. Is that not right? Or is this -- is that something at too high a
4 level for you to see?
5 A. You put two questions to me. I will try to concentrate and focus,
6 but I beg Their Honours not to hold it against me if I repeat.
7 As Chief of Staff, I had a special mission in the defence of the
8 state border and I did not participate in planning of -- in the planning
9 of many activities at the level of the corps command. So my answer is
10 "no," because I was carrying out a special task in a separate direction.
11 And, I'm sorry, I've forgotten what your other question was. I do
12 apologise. If you could repeat, please.
13 Q. [Microphone not activated] I guess --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. I'm sorry, General, that I ask a double question this late in the
17 day in the week. Is -- is the nature of this plan for fighting terrorism
18 such that that's a document that would only be held and seen at the
19 highest levels, such as at the Supreme Command Staff or maybe the 3rd Army
20 level but would not come down to you in the forward command of the command
22 A. No, it wasn't like that. But the excerpt dealing with the border
23 belt and the state border, yes. Not, however, the entire plan that the
24 forward command post could have no influence on. I was near the border
25 with a group of men in Djakovica and I couldn't influence planning or
1 activities in the north of the province. Whatever related to the state
2 border, yes, from the overall plan.
3 Q. [Microphone not activated] From what we --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
5 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
6 Q. From what we've heard in other evidence about this plan, it's been
7 described as having five phases. Were you in 1998 aware of the fact that
8 that plan had five phases?
9 A. Yes, four, as far as I can remember. And later on a fifth phase
10 was added on, to the best of my recollection. The initial plan had five
11 phases and the -- had four phases and the fifth was added on later.
12 Q. And do you --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: One of your earlier answers gives the impression
14 that you were not aware of this plan at the time, and now you've said that
15 you were aware of the fact that there were four phases. Now, what is the
16 position, Mr. Lazarevic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is that I did not see the
18 plan. I did not participate in its realization at the corps level. I
19 don't know who drafted it. I only know it was done at the level of the
20 top, state leadership, and I know that it was implemented in phases and
21 that I participated in that part of the plan which related to the state
22 border as Chief of Staff. That was the initial part of the plan, to
23 protect the state border.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. In fact, your answer was clear. There was
25 part of it I couldn't see at the side of my screen. Thank you.
1 Mr. Hannis.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. And, General, do you recall now what was the fifth phase that was
4 added later to the original four?
5 A. I really can't recall at present. Probably, I assume now, it
6 might have to do with the flashpoint of the armed rebellion that remained
7 in late September, but I really can't recall. I don't want to speculate.
8 That what I recall, that there was some sort of fifth phase added on. I
9 may be wrong. There may have been five from the outset, but ...
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. You mentioned --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that exist in written form as part of the
13 MR. HANNIS: Pardon me, the ...?
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The five-phase plan.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I have -- I -- the evidence that I'm
16 recalling are discussions about the plan at various places, including the
17 Joint Command meetings, where there's a reference to "phases."
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. But we know --
19 MR. HANNIS: I don't recall a document that says --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: We know there was something called Grom-1 and
21 Grom-2 which relates to a similar -- mostly the same period.
22 MR. HANNIS: That's --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And we are interested in the relationship between
24 that and -- and the five-phase plan.
25 MR. HANNIS: That -- that's where I'm going, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Okay.
2 MR. HANNIS:
3 Q. General --
4 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Sorry, Mr. Hannis. I just wanted to clarify one
5 thing. Was -- if this plan was not available in its true shape, can that
6 be constructed from the various documents? Have you been able to do it?
7 Just -- just to ask that.
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, for me it's a -- it's a continual work
9 in progress.
10 Q. General, I know you talked before in your direct testimony about,
11 I think, Grom-1 and -2 and -3 and maybe even a -4. I'm not sure. Can you
12 tell us what is the relationship between Grom-1 and/or Grom-2 and what
13 I've been referring to now as "the five-phase plan for combatting
14 terrorism in Kosovo"? Are they distinct plans? Are they parts of the
15 same plan? Can you tell us what you know about that?
16 A. To the best of my knowledge concerning this is based, I have to
17 admit, on what I heard in this courtroom. From Defence witnesses, the
18 witnesses of the previous Defences, and, if I may continue, I understood
19 that in 1998 there was a plan which was called Grom-98 and which contained
20 two phases, Grom-98-1 and Grom-98-2, and that it was drawn up in the
21 General Staff. The chief of the General Staff at that time was
22 General Perisic. And this plan, Grom-98-1 and -2, mostly corresponds with
23 the anti-terrorist actions of the police and army in 1998 over the longest
24 period of time, but to the best of my recollection there was a small
25 period in July where it does not correspond, and that's marked with a
1 Roman numeral I, where -- where General Perisic in one or several
2 sentences - I'm mentioning him because he was the chief of the General
3 Staff - said that the previous activities had been implemented according
4 to plan. I don't know what plan, but that's what I was able to understand
5 in this courtroom. I did not go into an analysis of this.
6 Q. Thank you, General. Actually, I think that helps a little bit. I
7 think we have a couple of 3D exhibits that pertain to this, Your Honour,
8 but this late in the week in the day, I'd prefer to wait until Monday to
9 tackle that.
10 I have a couple more questions on this document, General, and then
11 I think we'll conclude for the day.
12 In this Exhibit P1440, item number 3 talks about the -- the kinds
13 of ammunition -- the kinds of critical ammunition used. In your direct
14 testimony, you explained something about a -- quantities of ammunition
15 were measured in combat sets. Can -- can you elaborate on that for me a
16 little bit.
17 For example, 120-millimetre -- or 122-calibre ammunition, what --
18 how much constitute a combat set of that kind of ammunition?
19 A. I hope Their Honours will not hold it against me if -- when I say
20 that it depends on what sort of weapon we are talking about, because
21 122-millimetre ammunition is used in at least two kinds of weapons,
22 sometimes it's 42 projectile, sometimes 48. I don't want to go into
23 details, but it ranges from 42 to 48. Per artillery piece.
24 Q. Okay. So it -- 42 to 48 122-calibre, I would call them, "shells,"
25 it's translated as "bullet" here, but I would call that a shell.
1 A. Well, that's what you might call it. That's what it's called in
2 military terminology. I think it's written correctly here. I used the
3 term "projectile" as a third possibility.
4 Q. Okay. So 42 to 48 would equal one combat set?
5 A. Yes, with the artillery piece.
6 Q. Okay. How about for 100-millimetre?
7 A. A bullet of 100 millimetres is used also by an anti-tank gun or a
8 gun mounted on a tank, of 100 millimetres. Yes.
9 Well, now, I know for certain, as far as tanks go, that 48
10 projectiles apply, but I don't know about the gun, what combat set it has.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... okay, thank you.
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, it's not necessarily a high point,
13 could -- but could we end here for the week.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: We can end the evidence for the week, Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: There are two matters that we would like to deal
17 with administratively. The first is -- of these is how the balance of
18 time available for presentation of the Defence is to be utilised. And
19 that's prompted by seeing that there are about 70 witnesses on
20 Mr. Lazarevic's 65 ter list. There are 33 listed for November and
21 December. It may be 33 is now the number intended to be called, since the
22 indication was already firmly given that that case would be completed in
24 However, the first three who are listed with the anticipated hours
25 indicate no use is likely to be made of -- of 65 -- of 92 ter statements
1 in their evidence, and indeed one of them -- in one case, the estimate for
2 the length of examination-in-chief has increased.
3 Now, Mr. Bakrac, we've a number of times commented that everyone
4 has to try to tailor their case to fit. How is it you propose doing that?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you observed quite
6 correctly that from the time when we decided to call General Lazarevic as
7 our first witness that we reduced our number of witnesses, because we
8 believed that some things need not be repeated several times in court. So
9 this is the list as it stands now. Depending on our -- the progress of
10 our case, it may be further reduced but not substantially, we believe.
11 That's number one.
12 Number two, it appears to us that in the areas of some of the
13 brigades where the Prosecution called a lot of evidence, that we have to
14 focus on those areas and to devote more time to examination on those
15 issues. We wanted to do so right at the beginning of our case.
16 Number three, Your Honours, I understand that 140 hours was
17 allotted to us to be divided between us and General Lukic's Defence, 70
18 hours each. We will endeavour to present our case within these limits,
19 but I wanted to ask you one thing: At one point it was mentioned in this
20 courtroom that no limits apply to the testimony of an accused. So my
21 question is whether the time that we spend examining the accused is also a
22 part of this allotment. With all our future witnesses, we will strive to
23 use 92 ter statements or a combination of viva voce and 92 ter statements.
24 As for this witness -- or rather, as for how we stand now,
25 General Lazarevic's testimony is now in its second week. Mr. Cepic is now
1 dealing with our next three witnesses. He might be able to tell us more
2 about it, but these are witnesses that will deal with most of the evidence
3 that has been called in this case. They were in the areas of -- of the
4 brigades to which most of the evidence pertains.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The overall total of 240 hours was based on the
6 knowledge at that time that all -- not quite all but most of the accused
7 were listed to give evidence. So it's assumed in that figure that the
8 accused are giving evidence.
9 What I was saying about the manner of the examination was that
10 where we might make very pointed suggestions about how evidence could be
11 better tailored in relation to some witnesses, we would not do so in
12 relation to an accused unless it was obvious that -- that the Court was
13 being abused in some way, and there's no question of that here.
14 So that is part of your time. And indeed, on one view you've
15 ended up with more time than you might have anticipated, because none of
16 the accused preceding you has given evidence.
17 Now, are you saying that you and the Lukic Defence have a -- an
18 arrangement that the balance of the time would be split between you?
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we received an e-mail
20 about two or three weeks ago. The calculation of the time from the Trial
21 Chamber. I think it was Mr. Dawson, where -- where it said there are 140
22 hours left, do you have anything against dividing this time with the Lukic
23 Defence, 70 hours each. We agreed to that, and we believed that this
24 was -- this then settled the matter.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you agree to it?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Now I have to ask my colleague
2 whether a reply was sent to that e-mail. I will have to check whether we
3 replied to that mail, to that e-mail. I can't now claim that, but we did
4 reach an agreement on that.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well --
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] That's the way we understood it.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: An agreement with whom?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I understood that the Lukic Defence
9 agreed to that too, but I may be mistaken. That's the way I understood
10 it, that they agreed to it as well.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It's sounding rather hazy. Let's hear from
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Our understanding of how to divide the time is always based on the
15 days and months. Our understanding is that Mr. Bakrac will end his -- or
16 actually, that we -- General Lazarevic will end his defence by the end of
17 this year; actually, by the Christmas break. And then we are going to
18 start at the mid of January and we'll start [sic] in three months. That's
19 our position from the beginning. And I think it's acceptable, knowing
20 that we are the only police Defence in the case.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's a very general statement of the terms of
22 discussions we have had. But as you know, the actual estimates are done
23 in hours and you know what you've estimated and you know it's far, far in
24 excess of even three months. But we've had an understanding that yours
25 may well be the longest of the cases. On the other hand, Mr. Bakrac is
1 taking on crime base to a certain extent on behalf of the VJ, which --
2 which makes his position not dissimilar in some respects to yours.
3 It -- this is something you may not be willing to tell the Bench -
4 and that's understandable - but if we were clear on whether or not
5 Mr. Lukic was going to give evidence, it would assist us in -- in our own
6 consideration of the matter.
7 MR. LUKIC: I have to admit, Your Honour, that we are not clear on
8 that yet either.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, dividing the -- the balance of time, which
10 was in fact 145 hours, even dividing it would take the Bakrac case to the
11 end of January. So in spite of what Mr. Bakrac said to us before, we
12 don't think it's a realistic submission that he has made to us and we
13 were --
14 MR. LUKIC: I agree with Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: We were expecting to get this result today so that
16 we can leave no doubt in his mind where he stands early enough, as -- as
17 happened when we were in some doubt about where the Ojdanic Defence was
18 going, to enable adequate arrangements to be made to ensure that the case
19 was -- was fully presented.
20 So if there's no agreement between you, then we will have to make
21 an order. And therefore, if you want to make further submissions, we'll
22 hear them now.
23 MR. LUKIC: I don't know, Your Honours, if you change the plan to
24 finish this trial by the end of March or mid of April. If it's not
25 changed, I'm sure that we'll easily fit into that schedule.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No. The -- using the -- bearing in mind the time
2 that you're being -- that -- that the Chamber is not sitting, which on a
3 number of occasions is for the convenience of the Defence. Taking account
4 of that --
5 MR. LUKIC: I don't remember too much of this time, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You don't remember the Orthodox New Year or
7 Christmas arrangement? You don't remember the three months last year
8 of -- after the end of the Prosecution case? Have you forgotten these?
9 MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honour. I stand corrected. You are right.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Bearing in mind the situation between now and the
11 spring, using every available minute, this evidence could not be completed
12 on -- on the basis of 240 hours before approaching the end of April. And
13 that's being realistic about the time for cross-examination and other
14 issues. Not all time is taken up by examination and cross-examination, as
15 you know, and indeed there's the issue of cross-examination by one accused
16 of -- of the witnesses of the other.
17 So that is how matters stand. And with -- in that knowledge,
18 now's the time, in our opinion, for this to be finally resolved.
19 We had hoped not to have to make an order about it. We had hoped
20 that the parties would be able to reach agreement to avoid that. But if
21 that can't be done - and it -- obviously no attempt has been made, serious
22 attempt has been made to do that - then we will have to make an order.
23 MR. LUKIC: We did have conversation. We did try to finalise this
24 issue between us. But our Defence really feels that we have to have
25 enough time to present our case, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Bakrac's submission is that the 40 -- the
2 145 -- or he thought it was 140. So he -- he can do it in 70. He's
3 suggesting you should be able to split it between you 50/50 or even 70/75.
4 MR. LUKIC: He is the third military Defence. We are the only
5 police Defence, Your Honour. We are not in the same position. Definitely
6 not, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You do see the -- the difficulty where we don't
8 know whether Mr. Lukic will give evidence or not.
9 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I can see that, Your Honour. And we'll try to
10 give you the final answer as soon as possible, but --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we can obviously also make an order that
12 divides the time in a way that is different, depending on whether he gives
13 evidence or not.
14 MR. LUKIC: But, I'm sorry, I cannot give you the final answer
15 right now.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That may not be -- well, all right.
17 So on the basis of 145 hours, which is the figure, and knowing
18 that Mr. Lazarevic himself, his evidence was just over the estimated 18
19 hours, how do you say that that period should be divided?
20 MR. LUKIC: Are you asking me or Mr. Bakrac?
21 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I'm asking you first.
22 MR. LUKIC: You said that Mr. Bakrac's case would take until the
23 end of January if he uses all 70 hours he plans to use. And that --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps even -- it will certainly take him to the
25 end of January if he had the full 70 hours, yes.
1 MR. LUKIC: But my understanding is that Mr. Bakrac will finalise
2 his case till the Christmas break.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, I don't think he has really thought
4 that through, frankly, Mr. Lukic. It's an -- quite a difficult exercise
5 to be realistic about these figures, because you have to bear in mind that
6 the estimate that you're giving is only at best 40 per cent of the time
7 that each witness will actually take up. And it's clear -- it's clear
8 that he hasn't added everything on to that.
9 I -- I just would like an answer from you on -- on the question:
10 How do you think that -- forget the time of year or anything else. How do
11 you think the number of hours should be divided?
12 MR. LUKIC: I would rather think about having more hours than not
13 having proper defence.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. I appreciate that. And we all know that
15 everyone here could use a lot more hours than realistically they have had
16 to accept. What I'm trying to do is enlist your assistance in -- in
17 helping us to identify what is fair to everyone involved but will ensure
18 that the trial is completed in a reasonable time. And we've already made
19 the decision about what we think was a reasonable time for the
20 presentation of the conglomeration of the Defence cases.
21 MR. LUKIC: I'm afraid that I'm very reluctant to promise anything
22 to you, because I know that I will have to stick with it.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not asking for a promise. I'm asking you for
24 your submission on what you think would be a reasonable way to divide the
25 remaining time.
1 MR. LUKIC: I would rather leave it to Your Honours then, because
2 I really don't want to damage Mr. Lazarevic's Defence by trying to take
3 more time, but I really feel that we -- for our defence, we should have
4 three months in total.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: But "three months" is a meaningless expression in
6 this -- in this context, Mr. Lukic. I mean, you realize -- what -- what
7 month of the year are you choosing? You know, it -- we need a greater
8 degree of precision in this?
9 MR. LUKIC: I know that February will be in my schedule, and it's
10 a very short month. I count that --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, this year funnily enough, it's longer than it
12 normally is, this year coming. Or had you counted the extra day?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I did.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That's why you wanted months, is it? That gets you
15 an extra day.
16 And you don't mind if one of the three months includes significant
17 holiday periods? Indeed, two of the three months might include
18 significant holiday periods.
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, April might have --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, well, January and March will. And perhaps
21 April too.
22 MR. LUKIC: I think that still three months are better than 70
24 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
25 Mr. Bakrac, can you assist us further and finally?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me be quite frank.
2 I would be quite happy if I could rest my case tomorrow, but of course the
3 obligation to cover every issue --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Even we draw the line at sitting on a Saturday.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, of course I was speaking
6 figuratively. Not on Saturday, but on Monday. If I could rest my case on
7 Monday, then ...
8 But I don't have to explain to you that it is incumbent upon the
9 Defence counsel to defend the client as diligently as possible, and in
10 agreement with General Lazarevic, we decided not to call a lot of evidence
11 and we were able to halve the witness list, to cull the witnesses down to
12 30. These were not promises. These were bona fide assessments. We
13 thought that we would be able to call all of them, but now Mr. Lazarevic's
14 testimony is about to run into its third week. We have witnesses from
15 those brigades that I believe we have to examine really carefully, and I
16 really don't know whether the 145 hours count from now or from the
17 beginning. If it is from the beginning, I understand that this time that
18 was taken up by General Lazarevic's testimony will be subtracted from the
19 total time allotted to us.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: That is why I say you've -- you've been unrealistic
21 about it, because you've always estimated Mr. Lazarevic's evidence at 18
22 hours. And that means it takes something like two and a half weeks at
23 least. He's not exceeded expectations at the moment. He's well with --
24 we're still well within your estimate of his time. So that's why I don't
25 understand how you come to these proposals that you've given us before
1 about finishing by the end of December. In a sense, we feel we're
2 protecting you from yourself.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, to be quite honest, I have that
4 impression -- or rather, I know that you are protecting me from myself.
5 But I did not have any bad intentions. It is -- it was just a wrong
6 assessment, wrong estimate, when we were trying to calculate the amount of
7 time that we would need. But on my part I will do everything to cut short
8 as much as possible the testimony that is ahead of us, and from this list
9 that we already cut down by half we will try to reduce the number even
10 further, if we can, if we judge that calling some witnesses would result
11 in repetitive testimony.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, just one final point before departing from
13 this subject. I've checked on the position. The Chamber staff have no
14 recollection of the e-mail that you referred to at the beginning
15 suggesting the division that you mentioned.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am tired. I will
18 check. I think I did have this e-mail in my hands, a hard copy, but I
19 don't want to make any claims. I can't say that with 100 per cent
20 certainty. I think I saw it. I will check.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: I -- I ask you to clarify that, Mr. Bakrac. That
22 can't be left unanswered. If it's the case, then it's important that it
23 should be clarified.
24 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will look into it. I
25 will check, and I will notify you on Monday. Whether I'm really so
1 exhausted that I had overlooked that, I don't think that is the case, but
2 if it is so, I will, of course, apologise. I have no intention of making
3 any games -- playing any games, but from where I stand now, I think I had
4 it in my hands.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: The other matter that we wanted to deal with was
6 the time that the Chamber would not sit in the reasonably foreseeable
7 future, and these are weeks which reflect normal holiday periods for --
8 for staff who don't necessarily have the same commitments as we all have
9 to the progress of this case.
10 Now, Easter - that's the Western Easter - this year is on the 24th
11 of March. There will be public holidays on the Friday before that and the
12 Monday itself. It seems to the Chamber sensible to take that period,
13 since it gains a Friday for everyone.
14 The 31st of March is a Monday, but if you were to advance the
15 normal non-sitting day from the first Monday in April to the 31st, then
16 that period non-sitting could be a week, plus a day before and a day
18 I don't know how important to you the Orthodox Easter is, but last
19 year the two dates coincided. This year they are about -- in fact,
20 they're more than a month apart. I'm interested to find out why, but I
21 haven't had the time to do that yet.
22 The question is: Do we add a -- there is a -- a second week that
23 the Chamber would be prepared not to sit, if that is going to assist. Do
24 we add that to the other one or do we separately have a week off that
25 includes the Orthodox Easter, or do we take four days, say, on the -- in
1 fact, complete the two weeks and also have the Monday off at the -- I
2 think it's the -- it's towards the end of April.
3 Now, who wants to make a suggestion that he thinks will be
4 acceptable to his colleagues?
5 Mr. Aleksic.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while my colleagues are
7 trying to come to an agreement, if I could only ask you - I was listening
8 to the interpretation. I wasn't looking at the transcript - concerning
9 Monday, should I check whether we got the e-mail concerning the proposal
10 to divide time or do you want me to check whether we sent a reply?
11 Because I said I was pretty --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I -- I am advised you did not get an e-mail from --
13 from the Chamber, so you have to check that principally.
14 You don't necessarily need to answer this one at this minute. It
15 can remain till Monday, but we could hopefully --
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] We already agreed, but I thought you
17 had learned something by now, Your Honour: If we don't reply immediately,
18 by Monday we'll have 11 different versions. That's how it works with us.
19 If I say "yes" now, the next time it will be twice one week.
20 The agreement is one week New Year, one week Christmas separately.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: One week Western, one week Orthodox.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Easter.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] But generally, by Monday we'll have ten
25 different opinions. It's better to settle it now.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll issue an order that determines these
2 non-sitting days.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, on the first matter, I assume
5 there's nothing you have to say.
6 MR. HANNIS: Correct, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: On the non-sitting days, do you have anything to
9 MR. HANNIS: I have no particular preference.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
11 Mr. O'Sullivan.
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN: There's -- there's one matter we discussed -- a
13 couple of us discussed yesterday. And you may not want to deal with it
14 now, but it's the -- looking ahead in -- in the schedule, it's -- after
15 the 5th or the 6th -- excuse me. After the Lukic Defence has closed, what
16 the Chamber envisages, both in regards to rebuttal/rejoinder, which is
17 discretionary, I know, but more importantly the timing of final written
18 submissions and oral submissions, what the gap would be after all the
19 evidence is closed and the time allotted to us to prepare our written
20 briefs and to deal with reading six written briefs, which will follow that
21 prior to the oral arguments.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: We have in mind that that's a matter to be dealt
23 with fairly early in 2008, but not at this stage.
24 However, we do envisage those whose defence is already completed
25 are able to compile large parts of their final briefs, albeit areas may
1 yet be explored in subsequent evidence, some areas have been more or less
2 exhausted. And we will probably find it quite difficult to deal with
3 that. We've given it little thought so far, so we'll hear submissions
4 probably around the end of January, beginning of February.
5 Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Just to express a little bit of fear.
7 I am -- I'm hoping that the two weeks that are classified right
8 now as holiday will be actually seen by the Chamber as holiday, rather
9 than intensive preparation periods, as some of our prior holidays have
11 JUDGE BONOMY: They're holiday for staff. They're not holiday for
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what I thought. That's what I thought.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Not for you, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: So the two weeks we're going to get, you'll see as
16 time we should be working on our final briefs, and that time would
17 probably be deducted from what we might otherwise get at the end of the
19 JUDGE BONOMY: That's -- that is plainly going to depend on
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: What you know is that we are not going to sit
23 during these periods. Inevitably an element of holiday will be reflected,
24 but it would be wrong of me to suggest that you're going to have two and a
25 half identifiable weeks there when you can forget this case. Your
1 conscience won't allow you, depending on -- depending on the other time
2 scale we give you. That's just the perils of being in a profession of
3 this nature. But -- but once the judgement is produced, Mr. Ackerman,
4 you'll be able to live the life of Riley.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that's not true, Your Honour, but I wish it
7 I would just -- I'd give almost anything for a week where I
8 wouldn't have to look at an e-mail or worry about an e-mail or anything
9 like that, where I could be on top of a mountain where there's no phones
10 or anything. And I don't know if I'll ever get that again. I haven't had
11 it so far in this case.
12 On the other hand, I'd -- I'd happily forego these Easter things
13 to finish this case earlier, but that would get me in trouble with all my
14 colleagues, so ...
15 That -- that's where I am. And I -- I'd love to have a holiday.
16 I really would.
17 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Mr. Ackerman, do you propose going to the Everest
18 or the K-2? I can suggest you these two names.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I know a mountain in Texas that is much easier to
20 get to the top of.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we're grateful for parties' assistance in
22 resolving these -- in endeavouring to resolve these matters, and we'll
23 issue orders dealing with both of them.
24 We adjourn now until Monday at 9.00.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.20 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 19th day of
2 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.