1 Tuesday, 20 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I wanted to raise one matter
7 regarding translations.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah.
9 MR. HANNIS: Perhaps request some guidance or assistance.
10 According to our last check, Your Honour, we had 39 -- we had --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment until we get some peace.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Please.
15 MR. HANNIS: We showed that there was still 39 exhibits on the
16 notification lists of exhibits for Mr. Lazarevic which have not yet been
17 translated. Right now I only know of one in particular that I may have
18 some interest in using but I may not know until I have it translated.
19 Regarding the next three witnesses Jelic, Filipovic, and Delic, we have 38
20 out of 45 for Jelic have not been translated; 15 of 16 for Filipovic have
21 not been translated; and for Delic 92 out of 108. So for this witness and
22 the next three we have some 184 outstanding documents to be translated.
23 And I don't know if you can assist or intervene with CLSS for us once
24 again, but that does seem to help when you do.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, can you assist on that?
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my colleague,
2 Mr. Cepic, is dealing with that problem, but I can say that I'm sure that
3 these documents have been sent to the CLSS for translation. I will check
4 during the break what the situation is with the clerk or officer dealing
5 with the translations and I will let you know.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: I saw intimation I think today or late yesterday to
7 the effect that everything that had been submitted for translation by the
8 Lazarevic Defence has been translated, although CLSS did expect to receive
9 other material, which they haven't received and which may be the result of
10 a change in plans for the presentation of the Defence. But my
11 understanding at this minute is that everything you have submitted has
12 been done.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that was the priority
14 list of evidence we wanted to use with Mr. Lazarevic, whereas Mr. Cepic
15 has been looking at other evidence that I would like to use with the
16 following witnesses. I really have to check with our case manager.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it dismays me to think that it may be that
18 there is some interruption in the production line of material for
19 translation in relation to your Defence, Mr. Bakrac, in view of all the
20 efforts we've made to ensure that every assistance is being given to you.
21 So I hope that you will be able to clarify the position, if not later
22 today then first thing tomorrow. This can't be allowed to derail the
23 progress of the case, in view of the amount of time and energy we have
24 invested in trying to avoid any disruption caused by difficulties in
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not want to be too
2 rash in saying anything like I did last Friday. I don't think, though,
3 that there is an interruption on our side in sending documents, but I will
4 check all that and I will let you know.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Lazarevic, the cross-examination by Mr. Hannis will now
8 Mr. Hannis.
9 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 The last thing in connection with the translations, if the Defence
11 had decided not to use some of those that were originally noticed, if they
12 will advise us of that, that will speed our preparations. Thank you.
13 WITNESS: VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
16 Q. General, yesterday near the end of the day we were talking about
17 that portion of your interview where you discussed that the MUP had
18 certain VJ vehicles and equipment which they had not repainted blue, and
19 you talked a little bit about the problem or the potential problem caused
20 by that. I want to ask you, do you know with regard to that equipment you
21 were talking about in your interview, did the MUP ever return all that
22 equipment to the VJ?
23 A. That's something I don't know because the highest level dealing
24 with that kind of thing is the General Staff of the army, but even they
25 were not able to make that kind of decision. It was the Ministry of
1 Defence. So I really don't know.
2 Q. Well, that leads to the next document I want to show you which is
3 Exhibit 3D557, which is a VJ collegium meeting on the 3rd of December,
4 1998, and I've got a hard copy I can hand you that may assist. And for
5 e-court I'm going to start at page 19 in the English, which I believe is
6 also in e-court page 19.
7 For you, General, on the hard copy I think it's page number 18 in
8 your B/C/S. And I want to start with the portion where General Obradovic
9 is talking. Have you found that? Yeah, I might have actually marked that
10 in pink on your copy. And the fourth line town he talks about -- the
11 fifth line it says: "Part of equipment to be Republic of Serbia MUP; a
12 month ago we requested in writing the return of the equipment so that we
13 could use it in the briefing." He's talking about a briefing regarding
14 the Vienna Agreement.
15 "MUP informed us today that they would not return that equipment.
16 Actually it includes 20 personnel carriers and 23 mortars that are subject
17 to the OSCE agreement."
18 And he talks about the possible alternatives of whether it should
19 be listed as being with the MUP or listed as being with the VJ and then
20 the next paragraph he says:
21 "Also, we have problems with two helicopters that the Serbian MUP
22 has acquired. We are planning to present them as part of the army, but
23 there is an opinion that it should be presented as being with the MUP."
24 So from this it appears that at least in December 1998 there was
25 still a problem about that equipment not being returned, and that's not
1 inconsistent with what you answered before, that you don't know what
2 happened to it, right?
3 A. I have to repeat my previous answer, that I don't know what the
4 General Staff is discussing here, I don't know whether the equipment was
5 returned or not, but it doesn't look to me as contradictory to what I
6 said, my knowledge at the time, and my knowledge to date does not allow me
7 to answer differently. I don't know what was going on.
8 Q. In the next paragraph General Grahovac is talking and he mentioned
9 that: "An answer needs to be given now as to how the VJ has acquired MiG
10 24 helicopters. This is a big issue, the VJ will have to answer as to why
11 they had to use the air force."
12 General, were you aware that in December 1998 or before the VJ had
13 MiG 24 helicopters?
14 A. From what I know, this looks like a typo. There are no
15 helicopters MiG 24. This is a helicopter Mi 24. I answered this question
16 yesterday I think. I was aware that a state security sector had one or
17 two helicopters of that kind. I don't know whether they belonged to the
18 arsenal of the army or they were perhaps the equipment of the unit for
19 special operations, JSO.
20 Q. To your knowledge, did the army use helicopters in supporting MUP
21 in any of those anti-terrorist operations in 1998 or 1999, before the war?
22 A. No, except for medical evacuation. There were medical helicopters
23 Mi8. From what I know, not a single Mi8 helicopter was used in combat or
24 in anti-terrorist operations.
25 Q. If we could go to the next page in English and, General, if you
1 could go to I think the next page on your hard copy, you'll see that
2 General Ojdanic says to put this problem on paper, and he'll try to bring
3 it up first with the minister and then the FRY president. But I want to
4 go down to General Dimitrijevic and on the B/C/S I think we'll have to
5 scroll up to the bottom of the B/C/S page. General, do you know -- well,
6 let me read this and ask you if you're -- have any information about it.
7 He says:
8 "Another detail from the statement with Clark and Solana where it
9 says literally that after MUP forces withdraw from Kosovo, the heavy
10 equipment and weapons are to be returned to the army, so MUP undertook to
11 do it. The statement was signed by the FRY president, so what does this
12 mean now that the minister of interior is allowed to say that we won't
13 return it?"
14 Were you aware that the -- part of the October agreements called
15 for MUP to return to VJ any heavy equipment that it had borrowed or been
16 loaned during 1998? Did you know about that?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Everything is fine with the question,
19 but the wrong page is on the screen. You have the page in English, the
20 right page, but we don't have the right page in Serbian. I think that
21 should be taken care of. It is clear that there are no names such as
22 Clark and Solana on the left-hand side.
23 MR. HANNIS: Yeah, that -- it appears we have the right page on
24 the screen now.
25 Q. General, do you recall my question?
1 A. I remember that and my answer is this: At that time all those
2 statements regarding Clark and Solana were very remote for me, as were any
3 discussions in the General Staff of the Ministry of Defence such as this.
4 Q. But I understood that you did have some dealings with the OSCE
5 verifiers. Were you not aware of this particular provision of the
6 agreements regarding VJ equipment on loan to MUP? Is that something that
7 you just didn't know about?
8 A. I understand that this whole discussion does not relate to the KVM
9 mission in Kosovo, but to the Vienna Agreement between the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia and the OSCE concerning control of conventional
11 weapons under a special protocol, that's one thing. And second, I had one
12 direct contact on the 4th of December with representative of the OSCE
13 mission did not get me any information about that. I had occasion to see
14 all the documentation available to the liaison team of the 3rd Army for
15 OSCE, and this issue was never raised in all those documents. I simply
16 never dealt with it as Chief of Staff of the corps and later commander.
17 Q. Do you recall the name of the OSCE person with whom you had direct
19 A. I attended a meeting which was also attended by
20 Mr. Drewienkiewicz, as far as I remember, although I did not contribute
21 anything to the discussion, I just attended as Chief of Staff of the
22 corps; there was also a team from the army command and the corps command
23 following that meeting.
24 Q. Thank you, General. I think that's all I had for that particular
25 collegium meeting. While I have those minutes in front of me, though, I'd
1 like to ask you about one other -- and while I'm getting that document,
2 that meeting you mentioned with that individual, is that in Pristina?
3 A. You mean by attendance at the meeting with the OSCE mission, with
4 the KVM in Pristina on the 4th December, Mr. Drewienkiewicz testified here
5 about it.
6 Q. Yes, was that meeting in December?
7 A. As far as I remember, it was 4 December 1998. Maybe I am a bit
8 off, but it must be in the transcript of Mr. Drewienkiewicz's testimony,
9 he must have mentioned the meeting.
10 Q. Well, the reason I ask was I was trying to follow-up on our
11 previous discussions about how many times you left Djakovica and the
12 forward command post in 1998, and I recall you had mentioned meeting with
13 OSCE but I thought you said something about October and that you had gone
14 to a Joint Command meeting around that time. Can you help us with that?
15 Was your meeting with OSCE one time and one time only, and that was in
17 A. Only once, and there was no meeting of the Joint Command in
18 October that I attended. And as far as the OSCE is concerned, that
19 meeting was on the 4th, with the proviso that the mission arrived in
20 October, I had no contacts with them. Maybe the team from the corps was
21 preparing to meet with them, I don't know about that. But we can find
22 documents among the Defence exhibits and my Defence can show them. I
23 cannot help any further now.
24 Q. One of the topics I had asked you about in connection with a
25 couple of documents I showed you was whether or not you were aware of any
1 problems or tension between General Pavkovic, as commander of the Pristina
2 Corps at that time; and General Samardzic, commander of the 3rd Army. I
3 want to direct your attention now to Exhibit 3D484, which is another
4 meeting of the VJ collegium, this one on the 10th of December, 1998. And,
5 General, I think this is page 14 in e-court in the B/C/S and it's page 14
6 of the English. And at the top of the page I will tell you that from the
7 previous page that speaker is General Dimitrijevic. And four lines down
8 in the English he says:
9 "Number three, about the discrepancy between the Pristina Corps,
10 the army, all the way to us here, that's obvious. I think that so many
11 unusual incidents and a lot of what's going on in the Pristina Corps are
12 precisely the consequence of, I am liberty to say, the alienation of the
13 corps commander, and with him the command, from the VJ, both from the 3rd
14 Army and the General Staff. True to the obvious inertia of the Kosovo
15 heroes, they can now take it easy. If my information is correct, the
16 corps commander has already been in Belgrade for two weeks, and of course
17 things are going the way they are."
18 First of all, let me ask you, as of the 10th of December do you
19 know whether General Pavkovic had been in Belgrade for some time?
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Again, I have nothing against the
22 question, but with the reading. It's a problem with translation. As I
23 said last time, it is better for Mr. Lazarevic to read the Serbian and
24 then we could check whether the English is okay. I think generally it is
25 not bad but in Serbian it says: "I am -- I'll take the liberty to say" --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the -- could counsel please refer us to
2 the section he's reading.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, the interpreters are asking for you to
4 refer them to the section that you're reading from.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] "Third thing," line four, it begins
6 with: "I'm saying in a way such a number of extraordinary events and a
7 lot of things happening in the Pristina Corps are precisely a consequence
8 I would be free to say in a certain way not of the alienation of the corps
9 commander and the command around him from the VJ," so that there is a not
10 before alienation.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll have to get Mr. Lazarevic to read this,
12 Mr. Hannis, because it appears to say exactly the opposite of what you put
13 to him.
14 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, and I have a hard copy that I can
15 hand him that may make it easier.
16 Q. General, I think if you'll go to the blue tab you'll get to the
17 correct page, and I think the point that Mr. Fila was talking about, can
18 you find the reference that he made?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And would you read that for us, please.
21 A. "Third, about this disagreement between the Pristina Corps and the
22 army and us here, that's obvious. I think that even such a great number
23 of extraordinary incidents and a lot of the things happening in the
24 Pristina Corps are precisely a consequence, I would be free to say, of, in
25 a way, not alienation of the corps commander and the corps command around
1 him from the VJ."
2 Should I read on?
3 Q. No, that's all we wanted to cover. Could you go to the next
4 page -- well, first of all, my question was - I don't think you answered -
5 do you know whether or not General Pavkovic was in Belgrade those --
6 sometime during -- for about ten days or two weeks around and before the
7 10th of December, 1998?
8 A. With the best goodwill, I still cannot answer that question. I
9 can only say that I don't recall at all that the corps commander was
10 absent from the corps and from the unit for more than two, three, or
11 perhaps four days. I'm quite certain of that, and I'm seeing for the
12 first time what is written here. I cannot say anything for a fact
13 concerning this date of the 10th. The reference here to him being in
14 Belgrade for two weeks now, I really can't recall that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That's one matter dealt with, Mr. Hannis.
16 As far as the actual content of the document is concerned, there
17 does seem to be a problem with translation. I am certainly not clear on
18 what the correct translation is, now having listened to three different
19 versions. And we shall require you to submit this again for revision of
20 the translation and to make a filing clarifying the position.
21 MR. HANNIS: We will, Your Honour. I'll make a note. Thank you.
22 Q. Okay, General, I'll move on to or move back to your interview.
23 Now, during your interview one of the documents that Mr. Coo showed you is
24 Exhibit P1423 which is a report from Colonel Curkovic about tasks carried
25 out by the 15th Armoured Brigade. And you did comment --
1 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. Could I
2 ask my colleague Mr. Hannis to give us the page reference because the
3 general was given pages that he was supposed to take a look at and the
4 pages in the transcript so we would like a reference.
5 MR. HANNIS: My apologies. It's page 88 of the interview in
6 Exhibit P950.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 88 is not on our
8 list of what the questions would be about. We have page 67, that's the
9 first page before that. We don't have page 88.
10 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, the pages I indicated to them, I think
11 the instruction also advised that starting at a particular page the
12 General should watch for about five minutes from that point on to be sure
13 that he captured everything we were including. I think if we'll look at
14 the page references and look for about five minutes, this will be within
15 the range.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: If this is a passage --
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] But before that, Your Honours, the
18 page that precedes 89 is 67, so I assume that from 67 to 88, because we
19 looked at two pages and it took 12 minutes. I don't believe that it takes
20 five minutes to cover 12 pages.
21 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. The document is listed at page 88.
22 The questions and his answers about it appear at page 89, starting on line
23 19, which is on the list.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, if there's a particular issue over what
25 was said in contrast to the evidence given here, then no doubt we will be
1 able to identify the location and play it again, to avoid any suggestion
2 that the witness has not had a fair opportunity to comment.
3 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, I agree.
4 Q. Now, General, if we could look at that exhibit, I have a question
5 for you concerning a reference to the Joint Command.
6 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, I don't want to look at the transcript
7 right now; I would like to look at Exhibit P1423.
8 Q. And, General, I can give you a hard copy. Now, you see the first
9 reference to the Joint Command is under item number 1.
10 "Between 25 July and 6 August 1998 MUP units were engaged by
11 decision of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija."
12 When you were asked about this during the interview, page 89, line
13 19 - we'll play it if you need to, but let me ask you the question and you
14 tell us if we need to - you said at line 22:
15 "And the first part of the report where the brigade commander
16 refers to the decision of the Joint Command, again I would like to point
17 out to the fact that there is one sentence before this which both legally
18 and de facto annuls this sentence. If you have a look at what is at the
19 beginning of the document which reads: 'Pursuant to the document of the
20 Pristina Corps command.'"
21 Can you explain to me why you conclude that that legally annuls
22 this sentence about the Joint Command.
23 A. My explanation of this document pertains to the fact that the
24 brigade commander is reporting to the corps commander. He's not reporting
25 to the Joint Command. So he's referring to an order of the corps
1 commander dated the 7th of August, and in accordance with that order, as
2 specified there, he's supposed to provide answers. And in four items he
3 provides answers to those questions in this report. Within the chain of
4 command within the army system, this is the proper, regular reporting
5 system that is in place. And I wanted to note at the time - and that's
6 what I want to again note now - is that the brigade commander is reporting
7 to the corps commander, referring to the corps commander's document.
8 Q. Yes, and it appears the brigade commander is reporting to the
9 Pristina Corps command pursuant to a particular document 880-175. But how
10 does that annul line 1 which says: "Between 25 July and 6 August ...
11 That MUP units were engaged by a decision of the Joint Command" in certain
12 activities? How do you conclude that? The request for a report from the
13 Pristina Corps command could ask a subordinate to report about all kinds
14 of things.
15 A. When I was giving that answer and now when I'm answering your
16 question, what I had in mind was that the brigade commander was referring
17 to a document that was unsigned and unstamped, that he had received from
18 the corps command about actions in the time-period between the 25th of
19 July and the 6th of August providing support to the MUP forces. And he
20 explains those actions in which his unit provided support to the MUP
21 forces, and those actions were carried out in accordance with the document
22 that is entitled: The order of the Joint Command for the support to the
23 MUP forces in such and such a time-period on such and such an axis. And
24 he now explains this document that he had when he was carrying out these
25 actions, and he is referring to it, that's the essence.
1 Q. Well, General, you told us that there was no Joint Command, and
2 I'd like to know if you know what document in July or August 1998 is there
3 or was there ordering these kind of operations. Because we don't have in
4 our collection any Joint Command document ordering this operation,
5 unsigned or otherwise, but you've just said now that he's responding to an
6 unsigned, unstamped Joint Command document. So did you see that document
7 in 1998?
8 A. Two years ago, in the interview with the OTP investigator, I spoke
9 about that. I said that I had seen some of those documents with the
10 letterhead of the Joint Command that were not signed, and those documents
11 pertained to the support for the MUP forces on the part of some Pristina
12 Corps units.
13 Q. So you're talking not only of the 16 or 17 from 1999, but you're
14 also talking about some from 1998; is that what you're telling us?
15 A. Well, on at least three occasions I said that we had, so to speak,
16 inherited that principle of providing support to the MUP forces from 1998.
17 Whenever it was necessary to provide support to the MUP forces, documents
18 were made in this format in order to indicate that those were combined
19 operations where each element retained its own chain of command. So this
20 was the gist of my answers in my testimony now and in my answers to the
21 OTP investigator.
22 Q. So I think you said just now that this brigade commander must be
23 referring to some unsigned documents from the Joint Command in 1998 that
24 came from the Pristina Corps command. How do you know that's where they
25 came from? Did those also have Pristina Corps number on them?
1 A. Yes. The log number of the Pristina Corps command is the first
2 thing, and the second thing, maps were attached to those documents and
3 other documents that were necessary for the task to be completed. And by
4 your leave, Your Honours, I can tell you that I had an opportunity to see
5 some of the documents from other brigade commanders who, in response to
6 this document from the corps command, make no mention of the Joint Command
7 at all, but simply refer to the decision of the Pristina Corps. This man
8 made this kind of a reference and other commanders simply forgot, skipped
9 this -- the name of this body, the Joint Command, because no such body
10 existed as far as they were concerned with, only the corps existed.
11 Q. And can you tell us what the reference number was for Joint
12 Command orders from the Pristina Corps in 1998, was it also the 455 or was
13 it something different in 1998?
14 A. No, it was not 455, and let me be quite precise. 455 is the --
15 there are at least 300 ordinal numbers in the log-book that have nothing
16 to do with the Joint Command, but as far as I know there are only 15 or 16
17 of them. But this is not a number from 1998, 455.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't think I understand what we see here as your
19 answer. You say: "There are at least 300 ordinal numbers in the log-book
20 that have nothing to do with the Joint Command, but as far as I know there
21 are only 15 or 16 of them."
22 15 or 16 what?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The numbers under log number 455
24 where the Joint Command is used as a term.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're saying 300 is the total of documents with
1 the number 455 and only a small proportion are Joint Command documents; is
2 that what you're saying?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour,
4 in -- under this log-book. And there were dozens of other log numbers
5 that do not mention what we're referring here as the Joint Command.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS:
8 Q. Just to clarify, I think I understand now that in 1999, in the
9 log-book for matters pertaining to 455 there were some 300 documents in
10 total, correct so far, for Pristina Corps?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. And you're saying only 15 or 16 of those say "Joint Command" at
13 the top with no reference to Pristina Corps, it just has: "Joint
14 Command," then 455 dash something between 1 and 300?
15 A. That's correct. Those are the orders.
16 Q. The other documents related to 455 in 1999 in the Pristina Corps,
17 what did they all have in common? How, if I'm the clerk keeping track of
18 documents there, how would I know what to put in with a 455 number in
19 front? Do you understand my question?
20 A. I understand, and I actually tried to explain that a couple of
21 days ago. Let me try to do it again. This is the log number of the
22 cooperation organ -- of the operations organ, and that pertains to the
23 operations organ in the corps command primarily and the contents may vary.
24 Mostly this pertains to the use of the units in war and even before the
25 war and some other activities, orders, taking protective measures, and so
1 on. But the essence is that this is the log number of the operations
2 organ in the Pristina Corps command.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, immediately before the use of 455 as
4 the number for the operations organ, what was the earlier number used by
5 the operations organ?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I can
7 remember as I sit here, the operations organ of the corps command had at
8 least three or four other log numbers in addition to this one, at least,
9 so different numbers, not 455. For instance, 692, that was for combat
10 reports; 888 -- 880 for some other topics, so I can't really be accurate
11 now, but there were at least three or four, probably even more of those
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Am I not right in saying, though, that we have
14 before us number 455-1?
15 MR. HANNIS: You mean before us in general, Your Honour --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: No, I'm asking the witness if we have before us in
17 evidence in this case 455-1?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's from this list of
19 documents, from this log-book, under this log number, that would be the
20 first document from February 1999. And then until the end of the war
21 they -- there were 300 other documents under that same log number.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: So what was the trigger for activating this
23 particular log number?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the beginning of each
25 calendar year, at the beginning of the calendar year, from the whole
1 log-book of the corps command the command organs are given certain list of
2 numbers, log numbers, for documents, and one of those was 455 for the
3 operations organ. There was also 888, 692, and some other log numbers of
4 this kind that were assigned.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. So I take it, General, then between the 1st of the year 1999 and
9 the 16th of February, that there was nothing that came up to trigger the
10 use of 455 for the operations organ, correct?
11 A. That's correct. From the 16th of February onwards, that log
12 number was used.
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. While we're on this topic, let me pursue that a little bit. Can
17 we look at Exhibit 5D276. And, General, I can give you a hard copy with
18 the assistance of the usher. And this is a document dated the 22nd of
19 March, 1999. It has the Pristina Corps number 455-55. I think you'll
20 recall that also on the 22nd of March, 1999, we have two -- well, yeah, we
21 have two Joint Command documents, P1966, which bears Pristina Corps number
22 455-56, the very next number in sequence after this one; and P1967, which
23 has number 455-56/1, and that was the one that was your amendment and that
24 was signed by you. Both of those, as I said, are also dated the 26th of
25 March. Now, if you would look at this one, 5D276, we see it's a plan for
1 execution of operation - and perhaps the word should be action - to rout
2 Siptar terrorist forces in the sector of Donja Drenica and Gornji Lab to
3 the 3rd Army commander personally, do you see that, signed by you,
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And this seems to be one of those actions against terrorists, and
7 it appears that it's going to involve VJ forces and at least one element
8 of the MUP with regard to the Gornji Lab sector. You'll see that in item
9 2.2. And this is to General Pavkovic you say this is "pursuant to your
10 generalised proposal and specific plans." Do you recall now what
11 General Pavkovic's generalised proposal and specific plans were regarding
12 this document, this action?
13 A. I remember, certainly. This document is related to a document
14 dated the 16th of February, 1999, confidential number 455, that's the
15 order to rout the terrorist forces in three flash-points. Once a signal
16 is given without a date, this is the order that we've been discussing very
17 frequently, and I think that this follows an order of the army commander
18 dated the 1st of February, where he gives a certain time-period for the
19 preparations and the planning. This is the sequence of events, the 1st of
20 February, the 16th of February, and the 22nd of March, and this is the
21 general concept that is -- that can be seen through all that. And the
22 order of the army commander to prepare the plans, this is the 16-page
23 plan, the order with the attachments. And now we start with the actual
24 implementation, my proposal as to how to carry out this task, and there
25 will be two or three other documents stemming from this one and they
1 constantly have been causing confusion because they're entitled "the
2 orders of the Joint Command." And we can see from this who is actually
3 ordering -- issuing this order and what all this pertains to.
4 Mr. Prosecutor, you're right, because 56 is the next number,
5 that's the order of the Joint Command, that's the title of this next
6 document. Because it pertains to the support to the MUP and it was called
7 in such and such a way and this is causing all this confusion and making
8 it impossible for us to understand what was actually going on.
9 Q. Well, can you explain for us the difference -- why there's a
10 difference between the format of this document, which is proposing an
11 action in the Donja Drenica and Gornji Lab sectors, and those very
12 specific and detailed orders we have for the actions in the Malo Kosovo
13 area in Exhibits P1966 and 1967. Did General Pavkovic, after seeing this
14 one, 5D276, tell you, No, no, no, I want something more specific and be
15 sure and put "Joint Command" on the top? Why is there a difference
16 between this document and those other two issued on the same day?
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let us be quite
19 precise. This is not an order. We are not talking about an order. So
20 Mr. Hannis is misquoting. He says this is an order, but we can read or
21 the General can read this is not an order.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, General, you should still answer the question
23 asked to you by Mr. Hannis, to explain the difference between the format
24 of this document and the other two.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question. The
1 difference is primarily in the type of document involved. There are
2 combat documents for command and for reporting, and I don't want to list
3 them any further, but this kind of document is a document whereby one
4 proposes to the superior officer in accordance with the protocol that is
5 quite strictly stipulated in the army in which an explanation is given for
6 the concept as to how an action could be carried out. This is not an
7 order. This is just a concept for the action. The army commander reads
8 this document, but he does not only read it. He is given more detailed
9 explanations, and then he decides whether to accept or not accept this.
10 And only then are specific orders drafted. These are the orders for the
11 use of the units. This is a completely different document, so this is
12 where the difference is.
13 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, this has been
16 clarified. I didn't want to make that suggestion. You see here in the
17 translation on your screen that it says "plan," whereas in the Serbian we
18 have the term concept, "zamisao," in Serbian, and I think that we have the
19 correct translation now in the transcript, but we would just like to note
20 that this is what it says in the document. Perhaps it would be of some
21 use for us to hear the General read out the title of this document.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You can deal with that in re-examination. The
23 term "concept" has already clearly appeared in the transcript.
24 Are you departing from that document now?
25 MR. HANNIS: Not exactly.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
2 MR. HANNIS: I'm going to go back and forth with it a little bit,
3 Your Honour.
4 Q. So, General, this is the concept for this action. Was there a
5 similar document or documents for the Malo Kosovo actions that are
6 detailed in Exhibits P1966 and your amendment, P1967? Was there some
7 similar precursor document like this for that one?
8 A. Well, this is a document related to Malo Kosovo, although the
9 title is Gornji Lab, because it's not all of Malo Kosovo that it concerns.
10 It describes a concept of an action in the area of Donja Drenica and
11 Gornji Lab. And in point 2.2, the explanation relates specifically to the
12 area of Gornji Lab.
13 Q. Okay. But this document, 455-55, does not refer to the specific
14 areas described in P1966 or 1967, does it?
15 A. I would have to have before me those documents as well in order to
16 be accurate. I know specifically what this paper in front of me is. I
17 have an idea about the other two documents, but I would like to see them.
18 MR. HANNIS: Could we then show the General --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Before then you move this document.
20 MR. HANNIS: Yeah.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, there's a stamp on this in the top
22 right-hand corner and there's handwriting immediately below the stamp. Do
23 you recognise the handwriting?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Whose is it?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's my handwriting.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: What does it say?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Precedes the orders of the Joint
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Why did you write that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In preparing my documents I wrote
7 that in order to find the documents that accompany my order.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] And then those documents were scanned
10 and that's how it was scanned and how it came into e-court. And the
11 preparation the General meant was proofing.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, I've mentioned to you before that it's
13 not appropriate for you to try to explain things which a witness should be
14 perfectly capable of explaining himself, and if you feel the need to
15 clarify matters, then that's what re-examination is for. What we now have
16 is your evidence, not the witness's evidence, about how this came to be;
17 and that is quite inappropriate.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I really waited for the
19 witness to answer himself, that it's signature and that he wrote it on the
20 document we obtained in proofing. And then I added that because it was
21 the only copy we got from the archives we were forced to scan it as such.
22 So the witness did go first to explain how this note came to be.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, that is not so. You have the
24 opportunity to resolve any outstanding issue like this in re-examination.
25 Please do not do this again because it undermines the reliability of the
1 explanation we're getting. It is not the way to go about clarifying
2 things. My questions, I hope, are the simplest possible questions, and I
3 do not think that this was a matter that would have caused you any
4 difficulty to resolve in re-examination. I hope I'm not guilty of the
5 five- or six-line questions that are such are a feature of this case other
6 than occasionally.
7 Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. HANNIS: I knew you were going to look at me after you said
9 that, Your Honour.
10 Q. General, is there anything else on this document that you wrote on
11 after 1999, other than that comment about "precedes order of ZK," Joint
12 Command? Is that the only thing you wrote on this?
13 A. I don't know -- I wrote a moment ago on my copy what you asked me
14 about the "opsto," which is the municipal staff, and maybe this little
15 cross, that meant to me that in proofing I should establish a link with
16 the documents. The rest is not written by me. 1/2, I don't know what it
17 means. The other numbers are from the archives.
18 Q. You didn't write the number 57 that's in the circle or the
19 handwritten 455-55 at the top?
20 A. No, no, no. On most documents in the archives you will find 455
21 or some other number; the archivists wrote that. 57 must be a log number
22 from the archives, and in my copy I also see some lines, some
23 underlinings, the word "general" is underlined, for instance. I tried to
24 explain that.
25 Q. General, did --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, do we have a subsequent Joint Command
2 order relating to this?
3 MR. HANNIS: Actually, Your Honour, I'm going to get to that, if I
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well.
6 MR. HANNIS:
7 Q. As I understood the process, this document, 5D276, was something
8 that you would first send to General Pavkovic, and then after he approved
9 it and advised you of approval, then one of those Joint Command orders
10 with the 455 number would issue, like P1966 and P1967? Is that the
12 A. It is the process, but a document like this appears when between
13 the prior document, plan, order, or whatever something changes between the
14 concept and the realization. If we look at the document from February,
15 there are three locations planned, Malisevo, Lab, and Drenica. Looking at
16 the situation in the end of March, we in the corps command decided that we
17 cannot perform this task in its entirety, that we were able to do only
18 part of the task in Donja Drenica and Gornji Lab. So this is miniature
19 version of that order 455-1. If it were not for that change, if that
20 change didn't happen, then we would have proceeded to carry out the
21 previous order.
22 Q. Okay. Let's --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Do we have the order of the 1st of February,
24 Mr. Hannis?
25 MR. HANNIS: We do, Your Honour. The 16th of February 45 --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: No, no, no, the first. Mr. Lazarevic said that
2 this all -- the document we have on the screen related to a plan of the
3 16th of February, which was prepared following an order of the 1st of
4 February. And I wondered if we had the 1st of February.
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm not sure what you're referring to. I know that
6 455-1 is the 16th of February document.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What's likely to be the reference number on the one
8 of the 1st of February? Is that a 3rd Army order rather than a Pristina
9 Corps document?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 3rd Army, Your Honour, in that
11 document the commander of the army ordered that planning should be
12 completed by 15th February, and we are now linking to 16 February, and
13 on. My defence has shown the document.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. Thank you.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] If I may be of assistance, I can tell
17 you the number of that order.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, please.
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 5D245.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
21 Mr. Hannis.
22 MR. HANNIS:
23 Q. Okay, General, but I wanted to be clear. I understood that this
24 document 5D276, I understand the correct translation should be concept.
25 The concept first comes from you; and then it goes to General Pavkovic,
1 the commander, for whatever action he deems appropriate to take; and once
2 it's approved, then that was when some of these Joint Command orders were
3 written up to detail task for the units that were going to participate in
4 supporting the MUP in these anti-terrorist actions, correct? That's the
5 time sequence, that's the steps you went through --
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Okay. Well, next then I want to look at P21 -- I'm sorry, 2031.
8 And, General, I have a hard copy of this one for you as well. This is
9 dated also the 22nd of March, 1999, and this one is entitled "Joint
10 Command for Kosovo and Metohija" and it has that Pristina Corps number
11 455-54, the number immediately preceding the concept document we were just
12 looking at. And this is a decision to crush and destroy the Siptar
13 terrorist forces in the sector of Donja Drenica. So is this not a
14 document that relates to the concept in 455-55?
15 A. The documents have been withdrawn from me. I would like them back
16 to be able to compare. I need that to be able to give an accurate answer.
17 Q. General, we'll give you back the hard copy of 455-55.
18 A. Yes, I understand what you're asking. This concept for executing
19 the action is not sent by post, there is no time for that. And finally
20 the forward command post of the army is at the command of the corps. That
21 concept is taken there, I or the corps commander or I or my deputy goes,
22 taking the map, and the document already prepared to execute that task.
23 The army commander looks at all those three things, listens to the verbal
24 rationale, we call it rationale. He gives his suggestions, if you have
25 time enough, do this, do that, modify the decision, but this document
1 relates to Donja Drenica in terms of time and in terms of the axes, as
2 stated in the document 5D276. So the decision was prepared, the concept
3 was prepared. The commander of the army was briefed, he approved it, and
4 on the 24th the execution of the task began.
5 Q. Well, General, you understand my puzzlement that it appears the
6 decision at least is entered into the log with a lower number than the
7 concept, which in terms of the process I understood would have preceded
8 the decision. So why does the decision have the number 54, and I see it's
9 typed in, and the concept has the number 455-55? Can you explain that?
10 A. I can. On that same day both documents were created. It is quite
11 possible and it's very likely the same person from the registry took both
12 documents to be registered, and instead of registering 276 first, 2031 was
13 logged before. This concept is an outline, but it is more elaborately
14 shown in the decision. I believe that the concept was also reflected on
15 the map. And at least three documents, those three documents were on the
16 desk of the army commander when I was explaining to him, together with the
17 operations officer, the concept, the idea, for performing that task.
18 Q. Did you write anything on this document? I see there's the time
19 and date for the operation has been written in by hand. Did you write
20 that at the time?
21 A. No, no. You will find that on a large number of documents of
22 similar content. I don't know exactly who wrote that. This is an
23 indication of readiness, when that has to be prepared. It's a document
24 taken from the archives with that written in.
25 Q. And in 1999, who would have filled in that information on this
1 decision or a decision or order like this? Is that done by the commander
2 or by somebody in the operations organ or whom would be the person
4 A. Well, according to the rules it is the person who deals with these
5 documents, but who precisely I don't know. In any case, it's the
6 operations organ of the corps command. You see, this decision was not
7 dated. Only when the commander of the army verified it, when he said, All
8 right, I accept, this was probably written in by the operations officer,
9 and that's when the implementation begins.
10 Q. On the 22nd of March, 1999, where were you physically located?
11 A. On the 22nd of March, I was at the command of the Pristina Corps
12 in Pristina on our peacetime location.
13 Q. And where was General Pavkovic located on the 22nd of March, 1999?
14 Was he also in Pristina?
15 A. The forward command post in Pristina is in the barracks Kosovo
16 Heroes, it's at the exit from Pristina to 3 kilometres away from the corps
17 command. It was situated there beginning with the 2nd February 1999.
18 Q. So on the 22nd of March, did you meet with him face-to-face to
19 discuss any of these Joint Command orders or the actions contemplated by
20 those orders?
21 A. I really cannot be sure at this moment, but it is highly likely
22 that I personally explained the concept to the commander, accompanied by
23 my operations officer; that would be the usual way to do it.
24 Q. I notice that this decision begins with item number 4, the
25 decision. We've seen many of these other documents where it has
1 General -- usually the first three items, I think, number 1 is the enemy
2 and number 2 is neighbours and 3 is the tasks for the Pristina Corps, for
3 example. Am I right about that?
4 A. Well, there are documents of both kinds. When a document starts
5 with point 4, it would be a decision, whereas a complete order has points
6 from 1 to the last. This decision follows from the 16th February
7 document, describing in detail the forces of armed rebellion in the entire
8 area of Drenica and Donja Drenica so that these points are missing from
9 this document. In some documents they are complete, in others they are
11 Q. Well, as far as I can tell, General, from the documents we've had
12 on this subject matter for the 22nd of March, 1999, the only one I've seen
13 so far that had items 1, 2, and 3 is P1966, the Joint Command order
14 455-56. Does that somehow mean that that was the master document for
15 these others?
16 A. No, no. As far as I can recall at this moment, other documents
17 with the same heading include the first paragraph, whereas this document
18 relates only to a small part called Malo Kosovo, especially point 1, the
19 terrorist forces are not the same in Drenica as in Metohija. It cannot be
20 an original document -- it cannot be the initial document.
21 Q. Why do you say it cannot be? You mean the one on the screen in
22 front of you now, 455-56?
23 A. Yes. This document focuses primarily on Malo Kosovo in point 1.
24 It gives a broader description of Siptar forces, but it concentrates on
25 Malo Kosovo. It shows other hotbeds of crisis as well, but describes
1 primarily Malo Kosovo and the units would concentrate on executing the
2 task in that territory.
3 Q. Well, then how is it different from 455-54, the decision about
4 the, I think, Donja Drenica area?
5 A. Well, this is a shortened order. It includes elements that the
6 unit or units should execute beginning with paragraph 4 onwards.
7 Q. And can you tell me why 455-56 is termed an order and 455-54 is a
8 decision? What's the distinction, what's the difference, between those
9 two terms in this context?
10 A. There are no major differences. Both documents are command
11 documents, according to type. Both documents govern the use of units.
12 The only difference in that document 154, the first paragraphs are
13 omitted, own forces, neighbours, et cetera, and it begins with the enemy.
14 Either there was not enough time or the engagement of units was minor so
15 that it did not require that entire page to be written. That's simply the
16 decision taken then to go with the abbreviated version.
17 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, can we take a break now?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, we can, and we shall resume at five minutes
19 past 4.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. General, I've got the impression from our interaction in the last
25 few days that you are a bit of a stickler for precision and you've just
1 answered that there were no major differences between using the
2 term "order" and the term "decision." Isn't there some kind of -- within
3 the army some distinction between those two terms?
4 A. I don't recall having used the term "naredba" but "zapovest."
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Both are interpreted as
6 "order" into English.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I used "decision." An order is
8 a document that has a stipulated structure and a decision is part of the
9 order from item 4 onwards; it is also a combat document.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. Well, General, I see on the transcript an interpreter's note
12 saying both "naredba" and "zapovest" are translated as order, but I'm not
13 sure what word is used in Serbian to mean "decision" in English.
14 MR. HANNIS: Can the interpreters help me with that?
15 THE INTERPRETER: We used "odluka."
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: "Odluka" is the Serbian
17 word for decision.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
19 Q. Well, General, I asked the question because for me in my brief
20 experience in the army, if my commander said, I have decided, Private
21 Hannis, that you're going to clean the latrine, it may not mean the same
22 thing as if he said, I order you to clean the latrine. Is there no
23 distinction between "odluka" and the terms "naredba" or "zapovest"?
24 A. "Zapovest," an order, as a combat document contains in item 4 the
25 words "I have decided." It has the same wording, the same language is
1 used in that item.
2 Q. All right, General. I want to ask you about another document, and
3 this will be Exhibit P -- 5D343. It's a one-page document that you should
4 be able to see on the screen in a moment. It is from the command of the
5 Pristina Corps signed by you, and I guess it's to the subordinate
6 commanders requesting special combat reports. Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Okay. And these reports appear related to tasks that have gone on
9 previously, and I see handwritten here I guess it's under the
10 word "urgent" has been translated in English as "communications with ZK,"
11 Joint Command. Did you write that?
12 A. I wrote that.
13 Q. And we see the number for this is not in the 455 series, but this
14 is 706-1. On the face of it, it looks to me like this is one that could
15 easily go in the 455 series based on other documents we've seen. Can you
16 tell us what this designated -- this 706 referred to?
17 A. Well, now we've come to the actual confirmation of what I have
18 been saying. This is a demand in this order for reports on how the action
19 on the 24th in Drenica had been carried out in accordance with the order
20 of the Joint Command with the log number 455, but the operations officer
21 did not enter it under that log number but under log number 706 because he
22 has several log-book numbers at his disposal and he entered it under 706.
23 So he did that. Just in technical terms, it may not have been the
24 operations officer, the chief operations officer, because he would have
25 entered it under 455, then it would bear the number 50-something, but this
1 man entered it under log number 706 or perhaps the log-book operator just
2 gave it this number because he was not paying attention.
3 Q. So do you know who that individual would have been? Can you give
4 us a name?
5 A. Unfortunately I cannot, but my knowledge of that is as follows:
6 I personally drafted this document, as you can see, and I requested that
7 the commanders report to me, the operations officer took that to the
8 log-book section. He left it there to be logged, and then it was supposed
9 to be taken to be encrypted. This was a telegram, as you can see, because
10 the signature is at the left-hand side, and probably it was somebody from
11 the log-book section.
12 Q. Okay. So if your signature's on the left-hand side of the page,
13 this was a telegram; is that what you're saying?
14 A. Yes, that's correct, in accordance with the Rules For Official
15 Correspondence in the Army of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. And because you've signed it, there was no need for that procedure
17 we've seen on other documents regarding telegrams where a subordinate has
18 the words "the telegram may be sent"; is that right? Is that why we don't
19 see some other name below yours on this document?
20 A. Yes, in the absence of the commander the person who is authorised
21 to send a telegram enters a clause. The telegram may be sent and this
22 person signs in lieu of the commander.
23 Q. General, did you get any of these requested reports by the 3rd of
25 A. Well, yes, I did, certainly, most of them. I don't know whether I
1 did by the 3rd of April, given the state of the communications system, but
2 as a rule the units comply with the orders and if some units fail to
3 submit those reports then couriers are sent or there is an additional
4 request put in. But I cannot now claim whether they all had submitted
5 their reports, but they were supposed to. I did saw some of the documents
6 pertaining to those actions later on, and I think that we will actually
7 all be able to see them in the course of our case.
8 Q. And would those special reports, special combat reports from your
9 subordinate units in relation to this document make reference to this
10 number, 706-1, they should, shouldn't they?
11 A. They should make reference to this number in order to be able to
12 follow the sequence. Sometimes the subordinates forget to do so. They
13 put in everything that needs to be put in but they fail to make the
14 correct reference, but as a rule that's what they should do, they should
15 refer to this document.
16 Q. Okay. General, in case I forget, I'd like to ask you if in any
17 future documents I show you if you've handwritten anything or made any
18 notes on them, would you bring that to my attention if I fail to ask? Can
19 you try and do that for me?
20 A. Definitely.
21 Q. Thank you. I want to look next --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on then --
23 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, what exactly did you write under the
25 word "urgent"?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In connection with ZK," that's an
2 abbreviation for the Joint Command, that's in relation to the previous
3 document that we have just seen about Donja Drenica, so I indicated there
4 was a link.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: When did you do that?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did that a couple of months ago
7 when we received the documents, when I personally went through some of the
8 documents that the Defence had obtained in order to see to what extent
9 those documents are linked with some previous ones and in order to
10 establish the time-line during the war.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. General, I guess I'm not clear what it is about this document that
15 made you write "communications with the Joint Command." Is it because you
16 knew that the routing of the Siptar forces in the general area of Drenica
17 was somehow related to the Joint Command? Because the words "Joint
18 Command" don't appear in this typewritten document anywhere?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, I don't know how it came on the
21 translation, I'm not listening to English the translation, but in the
22 transcript, it very clearly states "in connection with ZK," which is what
23 the Serbian on the original, on the exhibit itself says. I don't know --
24 I'm trying to help Mr. Hannis, I don't know whether he's been led astray
25 or what, but I don't know if that answers his question or addresses it,
1 but I just wanted to make sure that he was aware of that, that that is the
2 translation that is in the record based upon the reading by
3 General Lazarevic.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: It's at line 12, Mr. Hannis. It comes to the same
5 thing I think in the circumstances.
6 MR. HANNIS:
7 Q. Well, General, when you use the abbreviation "ZK" you were
8 referring to Joint Command, right?
9 A. Yes. If you allow me, if I may answer your question before I
10 forget it.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. This was a -- my preparation based on the analysis of the
13 documents, and I wanted to note for my Defence counsel that they should
14 find documents that should establish this sequence of events in a
15 consistent manner because, by your leave, Your Honours, to be quite clear
16 and to clarify this confusion, there is a document from the 3rd Army
17 commander in which he orders the corps commander and then the corps
18 commander orders something. And all of a sudden we have a document that
19 is unsigned from the Joint Command and then we have another document from
20 the corps commander and my idea, my view, what I know -- actually, what I
21 was trying to do is I tried to help the Trial Chamber to see what is what.
22 And this is what I had in mind when I made this notation, when I made
23 notations of this kind on the edges of those documents.
24 Q. Thank you, General. Continuing with some of my questions about
25 the numbering system, could we look at Exhibit P213. General, this is an
1 order from Colonel Zivanovic apparently to his subordinate. It's
2 entitled: "Ban on operations." Let me hand you a hard copy while we're
3 looking for it. Did I give the wrong number? I meant to be 2113. My
4 apologies. 2113, General.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
6 Q. You've seen this document before I believe.
7 A. Yes, I've seen this document in 2005 during my interview with the
8 investigators, the OTP, I was shown this document.
9 Q. And you see Colonel Zivanovic under the heading it says: "Pursuant
10 to the order of the Joint Command for Kosovo and Metohija, strictly
11 confidential number 1104-6 of 6 July 1998 ..."
12 Can you tell us anything about what that says to you, and I mean
13 the four-digit number, 1104. In other documents we've seen four-digit
14 numbers coming from the General Staff or the Supreme Command Staff. Do
15 you know what body 1104 might pertain to or what level if it's somebody
16 within the army?
17 A. This does not pertain to the level of command, it pertains to the
18 log number and my knowledge from that period is that this is the log
19 number of the Pristina Corps command from 1998. And in this document, the
20 support two MUP forces by certain corps combat groups was defined. This
21 has nothing to do with the strategic level of command or the level of
22 command in general.
23 Q. Okay. Well, that's maybe my misunderstanding. Earlier you gave
24 us some examples of some numbers used in the Pristina Corps, and I thought
25 they were all three-digit numbers. Do you know who in the Pristina Corps
1 command would have been dealing with 1104? Would that have been in the
2 operations organs?
3 A. Yes, yes, the operations organ in 1998, in Pristina Corps.
4 Q. And in your interview when you spoke about this document at page
5 93 you had a comment about this brigade commander at line 9, based on
6 reviewing what is written in this document you said: "This brigade would
7 have to take the exam twice, but this is my response because I remember
8 there was this map which went around and I believe everybody took it for
9 granted and referred to it."
10 First of all, Colonel Zivanovic in 1999 was one of your
11 subordinates, right? He was the commander of the -- was it the 125th
13 A. Yes, that's correct, in 1999 and also in 1998. He was also the
14 Chief of Staff in that same brigade in 1998.
15 Q. And when you became his superior, you didn't send him back for any
16 remedial school, did you?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay. And he's prohibiting the execution of any operations
19 without the approval of the Joint Command and his own approval. That's
20 July 1998. So, General, now we've seen references to the Joint Command as
21 early as July 1998 from a brigade commander or -- was he lower at this
22 time? Was he at a lower level?
23 A. Here he's signing as the brigade commander. Now, whether he took
24 over the duty of the brigade commander at that time, I don't know, but he
25 was the Chief of Staff, that's for sure. But he is signed here as the
1 brigade commander. Now, if I may answer the first question, why this
2 reference, if I understand your question correctly, to the Joint Command
3 in June [as interpreted].
4 Q. July, yes.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: July.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We saw a document from
7 General Samardzic, the 3rd Army commander, here in court a few days ago,
8 where he prohibits that the support be given to the MUP forces by the
9 Pristina Corps units if those requests are not all brought together at the
10 MUP staff in Pristina level and then if the Pristina Corps or the 3rd Army
11 has not approved this support. And now if this refers to this order of
12 the 3rd Army commander and this term "the Joint Command" was forged to
13 refer to the cooperation and coordination and support between the army and
14 the MUP forces as early as in early July. I don't know when this term was
15 forged or who actually came up with it, but this is my explanation for why
16 on the 7th of July this commander is referring to such an order.
17 So the army cannot support the MUP without the MUP staff putting
18 in their request and without the 3rd Army or the Pristina Corps approving
19 it, and somebody termed that the Joint Command, this kind of cooperation
20 at that level.
21 MR. HANNIS:
22 Q. General -- and you didn't do any of the handwriting on this
23 document, right?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. I would have told you that.
2 Q. Thank you. Could we look next at Exhibit 5D211. And, General, I
3 believe this is a -- I don't have a hard copy for you so we'll have to
4 look at the screen for this one. This is a combat report from the 11th of
5 April, 1999.
6 MR. HANNIS: And if we could scroll down to item 2 I believe.
7 Q. And, General, I'm looking for a reference that talks about what
8 the -- this is a combat report, on the first page it's directed to the
9 command of the 3rd Army.
10 MR. HANNIS: And, I'm sorry, I guess we have to go to page 3 of
11 the English. Well, I'm having trouble finding the reference. There was
12 a -- I believe it is the next page in English.
13 Q. General --
14 MR. HANNIS: I'm trying to find a reference to the plan for
15 continued task -- well -- focal activities for the next day. Perhaps it's
16 under item 8. I'm sorry, I can't read my note, Your Honour. Yes. And if
17 we could go to that item in the B/C/S, I believe it's the next-to-the-last
19 Q. There's a reference in the English to: "Engineer works in the
20 zones of defence and the break-up of the remaining Siptar terrorist forces
21 in the villages of Donje Obrinje and Mount Kosmac."
22 Do you see that, I think it's at the very bottom?
23 A. Yes, I see that.
24 Q. This is a combat report signed by you and the actions in
25 connection with Donje Obrinje and Mount Kosmac are referred to in the
1 Joint Command order in exhibit P1970, which is 455-132. If you'll accept
2 my word for that we can look at it in a minute, but I wanted to ask you
3 this combat report is directed only to the 3rd Army command; and we had
4 seen other combat reports before that time and some after that time which
5 are sent to both the 3rd Army and the Supreme Command Staff. Isn't that
6 correct, that for at least some period of time you were double reporting
7 to the Supreme Command Staff and the 3rd Army? Is that right?
8 A. I received the interpretation "double reporting." It's the same
9 report sent to two addresses, to the command of the 3rd Army and to the
10 Supreme Command Staff. Maybe I should have written "for their
11 information," but sometimes it wasn't written. At one point the report
12 was CC'd, but it's the same report, it's not two reports, one and the same
13 report sent to two addresses.
14 Q. I understand. When were you first asked to do that or is that
15 something you did voluntarily?
16 A. There exist volunteers in the army, but for activities like
17 this -- it's not about voluntary or not voluntary. I cannot remember who
18 ordered it. It was only the Supreme Command Staff that could have ordered
19 it to the 3rd Army commander, and then he would have ordered it to me, but
20 it was not a particular problem. It was maybe a problem for those who did
21 the encrypting and the encoding, but I am not the one who suggested the
22 addressees' list, whether they should go to the Supreme Command Staff or
24 Q. Did that requirement ever end before the war ended or were you
25 required to do that throughout?
1 A. As far as I remember, those reports were sent throughout the war.
2 Maybe I am wrong, maybe at some point it was ordered it was not needed
3 anymore, but I believe it was sent this way until the end of the war,
4 around the 12th of April it started I believe, but I didn't really check
5 the dates.
6 MR. HANNIS: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. HANNIS: Sorry.
9 Could we look at the first page of the B/C/S.
10 Q. At the time, General, it appears that this one went only to the
11 3rd Army command; is that correct?
12 A. Well, this is the 11th of April. Only the 3rd Army command is
13 indicated. I hope the Trial Chamber will allow me another ten seconds to
14 explain. You see the log number is 692, again from the operations organ,
15 the operations organ had five or six log numbers. I wanted to point out
16 this additional log number, but on the 11th of April this report went only
17 to the 3rd Army command.
18 Q. All right. Now, with regard to the Joint Command operations
19 actions that we have seen in evidence in this case, I want to refer you to
20 Exhibit 5D373. This is a Pristina Corps document. It appears to have
21 your signature and it's dated the 23rd of April, 1999. Now, General, this
22 is entitled "effects of breaking Siptar terrorist forces, request for
23 analysis," and this one we see is in the 455 series. My question is, I
24 guess: This one, whoever was taking the information down for the log-book
25 got it right this time and gave it a number in the 455 series instead of
1 the 706 series; is that right?
2 A. Yes. I see Colonel Ratko Tesevic was the one who deals with this
3 document. He knows this topic, this subject matter, very well.
4 Q. And who do the other initials pertain to above your name?
5 A. It indicates the name of the typist at the corps command.
6 Q. All right. Now, this refers to operations or actions in certain
7 areas, and I would indicate to you, General --
8 MR. HANNIS: And to save time, Your Honours, I would indicate that
9 Zastric is referred to in exhibit P1977; Drenica Lipovaca is in P1974 and
10 1972; Zegovac in P1971; Zlas in P1973; Rugovo in P1878; Bajgora in P1975;
11 Jezerce in P1976; and Kosmac in P1970.
12 Q. General, so with the exception I think of Cicavica, all these
13 actions described here were the subject of Joint Command orders. Isn't
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, that's precisely the point I have been trying to make. I as
16 corps commander am asking the subordinate units to report to me about
17 these operations that had one document titled "Joint Command," and it's
18 clear that there is no Joint Command commanding, it's the corps command.
19 You just enumerated all these operations that have the same heading "Joint
20 Command." However, the system of command is such that the corps commander
21 and brigade commanders exercised command. This is another piece of
22 evidence that shows how the command really functioned.
23 Q. General, would you look next at Exhibit 5D194. This is another
24 Pristina Corps command document, it appears to have your signature dated
25 the 15th of April, 1999, to the 3rd Army command, personally to the Chief
1 of Staff. And I would like to ask you to read one of the paragraphs for
2 me because I'm having some difficulty understanding the English, and I
3 want to be sure it's not a matter of translation.
4 Can you see the paragraph that talks about: "At 0800 hours on 18
5 April," I think it's the second one. Would you read that for us.
6 A. "On 18 April 1999 at 0800 hours, the command of the Pristina Corps
7 in coordinated action with the forces of the MUP of Serbian started an
8 operation to crush and destroy Siptar terrorist forces in the said
10 It would be more accurate if it read: Shall launch, because the
11 document is dated 15 April and it is written that the action or operation
12 would start on the 18th of April at 0800 hours.
13 Q. Well, General, that's precisely my question. The document is
14 dated the 15th of April, and it seemed to be using the past tense for
15 something that is dated three days in the future. Do you know how that
17 A. With the leave of the Trial Chamber, the word "starts" is in the
18 present tense, otherwise it would have read "started" or "launched." In
19 Serbian "starts" indicates an intention to start. It's actually
20 describing a future action.
21 Q. Could you read the next sentence for me. It starts with:
22 "Pristina Corps forces ..."
23 A. "The forces of the Pristina Corps set up a blockade on the line
24 hydro-power station Radovac-Bresotvik village-Markova Pecina."
25 I read this to mean that I am explaining to the army commander the
1 concept of this operation that would be again accompanied by that
2 unfortunate memorandum of the Joint Command and that coordinated action
3 will be needed, but it is only in that sense that these sentences are
4 correct, because the following passages tell us that I am requesting them
5 to ensure coordinated action with the Podgorica Corps of the 2nd Army for
6 the purposes of this operation, something that had been ordered before by
7 the Chief of the General Staff. Look at the last sentence. Nothing had
8 happened yet, it is about to happen. I am suggesting to the army
9 commander to ensure coordinated action for the purposes of this operation.
10 Q. Okay. General, in your answer you said at line 11: I am
11 explaining to the commander the operation that would be accompanied by
12 that unfortunate memorandum of the Joint Command."
13 There's no mention of Joint Command in here. Is that because --
14 did you give that answer because you know this action relates to the one
15 that is described in Exhibit P1878, which is Pristina Corps number
16 455-148, the number immediately preceding this one?
17 A. Yes, I know that. I know that because many documents are tied to
18 this Rugova gorge and many of them have the same letterhead and only ten
19 do not have it.
20 Q. And that 455-148, P1878, is the one that is linked to in
21 General Ojdanic's suggestions in Exhibit P1487, correct?
22 A. Well, it follows that sequence. I could answer yes, but I believe
23 you would -- at least I hope you would allow me to see it more
24 specifically. Those are the Rugova gorge events.
25 Q. Thank you, General.
1 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if light of what was read, I would
2 request that the Defence submit this one for amended translation.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Which part are you referring to in particular?
4 MR. HANNIS: Well, the 0800 hours says launched and I think he
5 indicated that should read "will launch" or "shall launch." And the next
6 one is translated as "now as Pristina Corps forces are blocking," and it
7 wasn't clear to me whether he was saying that was in the present tense or
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, in the end Mr. Lazarevic in relation to the
10 second paragraph said it was in the present tense, launches an operation.
11 MR. HANNIS: All right.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: However, since you request it, Mr. Hannis, we shall
13 instruct Mr. Bakrac to submit these two paragraphs for revision and to
14 file the resultant clarification.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, paragraph 2 -- but let
17 me check, what is the other paragraph?
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The next one, paragraph 3, the words
19 are "blocking." Thank you.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. General, I want to move on to a different topic for a moment now.
22 In your interview there was some discussion about volunteers and
23 conscripts. You mentioned that 120 were dismissed because you and the
24 Pristina Corps weren't satisfied with their appearance and their conduct
25 in the unit. Do you recall when that was, when that happened
2 A. Should I be allowed to clarify the question? Are you asking about
3 my interview with the Prosecution or the answer I gave here in my
4 testimony about the number of volunteers who were turned back?
5 Q. I'm -- either one if it happened at the same time. Was there more
6 than one incident that you recall wherein volunteers were turned back?
7 A. I have explained that volunteers were turned back and dismissed
8 from the units of the Pristina Corps for at least three reasons. The
9 first possibility that by their own admission they were not physically
10 able to withstand the strain and the physical demands, and I showed an
11 example wherein over a hundred were dismissed at their own request --
12 Q. Let me -- okay.
13 A. And I remember that at the beginning of the war, sometime in early
14 April, the first group of volunteers were arrested for various misdeeds,
15 including one part of them who did not personally participate in those
16 offences, but that group, 32 of them, did not comply in terms of conduct
17 and appearance and they were also turned back. And some were directed to
18 appear before a medical panel to decide to what extent and how many of
19 them could remain, but I remember that at the beginning of the war 32 of
20 them were dismissed for that reason.
21 Q. And do you recall seeing one of the exhibits from the evening
22 briefings of the Supreme Command Staff where that event involving
23 dismissal of some 32 volunteers was discussed at the level of the Supreme
24 Command Staff?
25 A. Well, all right, I accept that, but -- because that report went
1 through the army command to the level of the General Staff, and I remember
2 we had testimony about that and we had evidence shown. But I also
3 remember the corps commands report about that, it was the 3rd or the 4th
4 of April perhaps.
5 Q. I want to show you next Exhibit 5D315. General, this is a
6 document signed by you. It's dated the 10th of May, 1999, and it's
7 talking about problems with some conscripts -- it says:
8 "Conscripts in the reserve who were unfit for military service for
9 mental reasons, but who covered up their state of health and enrolled as
10 volunteers. Among conscripts as well as among soldiers of the March and
11 September 1998 contingent."
12 Now, first of all, I'm a little bit confused about that. I'm
13 still a bit confused between conscripts and volunteers. But in either
14 event, before those individuals would go on the line to be in active duty,
15 I understood that there were procedures in place for psychological testing
16 before they were received into the army and put to work; correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct. A volunteer becomes a military conscript
18 once he is admitted into the Army of Yugoslavia.
19 Q. So it sounds here as though as even as late as the 10th of May,
20 1999, you were having some problems with some of these guys with mental
21 problems getting through the system and getting into the army and then
22 having problems with abuse of weapons; correct?
23 A. This document that I wrote, if you read it all, indicates, I
24 believe, a general problem rather than something that was getting through
25 the control system. It says, rather, that the whole wartime situation is
1 affecting the mental status of those people who arrived as volunteers,
2 apparently ready for difficult missions, but even those from the March
3 contingent who had already been through difficult trials. I am describing
4 these problems that are affecting the soldiers who have been through these
5 difficulties and very hard experiences. I'm saying they should be sent
6 before the medical board and given some assistance in overcoming these
8 Q. General, I want to switch to another topic now. In your evidence
9 you were shown Exhibit 5D383 by Mr. Bakrac I believe, and that is a 27
10 April 1999 document from the 3rd Army to command -- to the Pristina Corps
11 command, notifying you that they were sending a forensic pathologist. But
12 what I want to show you is the document that's referred to in 5D383, which
13 we can see at 5D379, which is your original request that generated this
14 sending of a pathologist.
15 MR. HANNIS: And if we could have it on the screen.
16 Q. You'll see some handwriting in the top. Did you write any of that
17 handwritten stuff on this document?
18 A. This is not my handwriting.
19 Q. Okay. And it's a request for pathologist, and in the body of the
20 text it says:
21 "Due to the demonstrated need for exhumation and professional
22 processing of bodies buried in graves on the Pristina Corps territory,
23 where the persons who carried out the clearing of the bodies are unknown
24 and there are indications that members of the army were responsible, we
25 request that you urgently assign an appropriate expert-military forensic
2 What were the indications that you had that members of the army
3 were responsible for some of those bodies?
4 A. The corps command did not have precise, concrete indications.
5 This is a reference to the fact that in that area, in the broader
6 surroundings, there were positions of the army. In my request, and this
7 is my second personal initiative of this kind, I asked the first and the
8 second superior command to send us forensic experts so that even then
9 during the war we could make an on-site investigation, do the exhumation,
10 and prevent a cover-up of the crime, if any. That was done on several
11 occasions. Let me draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to the fact
12 that in 2005 one of these locations was dealt with by UNMIK in Kosovo and
13 Metohija and it had nothing to do with the army, but we did exhumations
14 even during the war.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, the question was a very specific
16 question, and it relates to something you have written. And you have
17 written that there are indications that members of the army were
18 responsible. And the question was: What were these indications? Rightly
19 or wrongly, there may be absolutely no foundation in them, but what were
20 the indications that led you to make that specific statement in your
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The information obtained concerning
23 several locations came indirectly from several sources, from local
24 residents, from unidentified persons, through the MUP specifically I
25 remember it was the case in Lipljan and reached the corps command. And
1 when these first reports came, the local residents were unable to
2 distinguish between different armies. Anybody who carries weapons to him
3 is a soldier. So this had to do with the first reports, and I want to say
4 that we worked together with the MUP to investigate based on those initial
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
8 Q. General, do you -- allowing that you don't know whether any of
9 that VJ equipment was returned by the MUP, is it possible that some of
10 these reports suggesting that the army was responsible really related to
11 MUP using VJ vehicles and equipment?
12 A. I'm not saying that. I'm merely allowing myself a certain degree
13 of latitude. A hundred Prosecution witnesses who testified here were not
14 able to recognise things. They were talking about tanks with three
15 barrels, army troops with the words "police" written on their backs --
16 Q. General, we didn't have a hundred witnesses testifying about that
17 kind of thing; you're exaggerating and you know it. So I think you
18 answered my question that you're allowing for that possibility. Let me go
19 back to your earlier answer. You said: "The information obtained
20 covering -- concerning several locations came indirectly from several
22 Do you have any idea of the number of bodies that you're talking
23 about in this document? Was it ten or a hundred or 500?
24 A. I remember that in late April, on the 26th, there were two
25 locations in the Lipljan municipality where the pathologist and the
1 forensic medicine specialist from the military medical academy exhumed 36
3 Q. Do you recall any of the other bodies that related to this request
4 for a pathologist?
5 A. There were two requests for the involvement of the forensic
6 medicine specialists, and as far as I know that was for six locations in
7 Kosovo and Metohija. That's where the excerpts -- experts from the Army
8 of Yugoslavia were involved.
9 Q. When you wrote this on the 26th of April, did you have information
10 or indication that there were bodies buried in the area of Izbica, and for
11 which members of the army might have been involved?
12 A. No, as I've already said, and let me repeat, this refers to the
13 area of the municipality of Lipljan, and Izbica is either in Srbica or
14 Glogovac, one of the two municipalities. And the army did not carry out
15 any exhumations in Izbica.
16 Q. You didn't hear the testimony of Dr. Tomasevic? Didn't she talk
17 about exhumations in the area of Izbica?
18 A. She did speak about that, but the district court in Kosovska
19 Mitrovica issued an order, and it was in charge of that process. She was
20 in Mitrovica as an expert to analyse the mortal remains on the request of
21 the civilian bodies, not of the army. And no army personnel had been
22 ordered by the relevant command to participate in the exhumation and the
23 examination of the mortal remains.
24 Q. Thank you. General, I want to talk some more about the numbering
25 of Pristina Corps documents in the 455 series. This relates to -- I'll
1 start with your 24 May 1999 report on noncompliance with the order on
2 resubordination of the MUP. This is -- well, this exhibit is in evidence
3 with two or three different numbers. I think it is in P1458.
4 [Prosecution counsel confer]
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I believe this same document has been
6 referred to variously as Exhibit P1723 and it's also in I believe 1504.
7 But I believe most recently it was referred to as Exhibit P1723.
8 Q. So if we could bring that up, General, you'll recall this one,
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You see the Pristina Corps number is 455-172/2. Does that mean --
12 is this the second or is this the third document relating to the subject
13 matter that would have been in the original, 455-172? Does that question
14 make sense?
15 A. Well, it makes sense if the procedure was complied with, then it
16 does make sense.
17 Q. Now, I have not seen a document 455-172/1, but on the 20th of
18 April we have your exhibit 455-172 -- actually, we have two documents, one
19 is P1504, if we could take a look at that. And this appears to be that
20 order. You're passing on basically the Supreme Command order and the 3rd
21 Army order about subordinating MUP units, correct? Do you recall that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And can you tell us, is that your signature in the bottom, bottom
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. And at the top of the document on the right there's something
3 handwritten. Can you tell us what that says?
4 A. "To the MUP staff in Pristina."
5 Q. Do you know who wrote that?
6 A. I don't know, probably somebody either in the logging section or
7 in the operations organ, whoever was supposed to hand this document to the
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. HANNIS: Could we next look at Exhibit P -- or --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell from the document which archive it has
12 come from?
13 Can you scroll it to the bottom, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The stamp in the right-hand side --
15 well, there are two stamps, one is above and one is below the address and
16 it should assist me to tell you whether this had come from the central
17 archives of the Army of Yugoslavia or from the previous archive where it
18 was kept of the corps command archive. I can't do that because the stamps
19 are illegible. Perhaps we might want to zoom-in and then we can try.
20 No, I'm not able to identify the stamps. There are two stamps. I
21 know that the documents from the central archive have stamps either in the
22 upper right-hand corner or the lower right-hand corner, but here it is
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you even say that it's an army archive?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm talking about the central
1 archive of the Army of Yugoslavia.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But the stamp or stamps that are on this, can you
3 say for sure that these are army archive stamps or could this possibly
4 have come from a MUP archive?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really can't see what it
6 says here. To be quite frank, I haven't seen the MUP stamp so I really
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Thank you.
9 Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. While we're still there, General, can you tell us what's
12 handwritten at the bottom? Can you read that?
13 A. I can't read the first word. The second word just behind the --
14 after the dash, it says it was not sent to some of the units. The
15 document was not sent to some of the units, probably of -- because of a
16 breakdown in communications, but I really can't read what the rest of it
18 Q. Okay. And handwritten to the left it looks like it's a number
19 like 1611 or 1615 with a line drawn toward 192. Is that a time
21 A. Well, this figure here, 16 hours 15 minutes indicates that this is
22 when the telegrams were received in the engineering regiment and another
23 unit. It is listed here all the units that the telegram was sent to, and
24 it is visible from here that the telegram was not sent to some of the
25 units because the communication lines were down, that's 16 hours 15
2 Q. Okay. Could we next look at Exhibit 5D370. General, this will be
3 another document dated the 20th of April, 1999, from the Pristina Corps
4 command. It appears to have your signature and a stamp in the lower left,
5 and it too, it also, bears the number 455-172 but this is dealing with the
6 request from the command of the 549th Motorised Brigade regarding a local
7 commune forming a company and perhaps providing weapons. Why is it there
8 are two documents from the Pristina Corps with the identical number,
9 455-172, on the 20th of April, if you know?
10 A. It is obvious that a mistake was made here, and now as to why this
11 mistake occurred, my theory is as following: As a rule, when a document
12 is being processed, the corps command and log-book number are not entered,
13 but a clear space is left for the stamp. And once it is taken to the
14 log-book section of the registry, then this information is entered.
15 Whoever processed this document looked at the list of the documents or
16 didn't and made a mistake, entering two documents that are quite clearly
17 completely different under the same number. This was probably corrected
18 in the registry or log-book section once it was taken there and it was
19 entered under the correct number.
20 Q. So the registry or the log-book would help us see which one of
21 these is the correct 455-72 [sic]?
22 A. Well, both documents are correct, but it is impossible for both of
23 them to be entered under the same number, 170, in the corps log-book. One
24 of them should have been given a different number or another number should
25 have been added to it, like let's say -1 or -2 in order to be able to
1 distinguish between the two. But the documents as documents as such, are
3 Q. Well, we've seen now two documents -- two separate documents
4 numbered 455-172 from the 20th of April and we have seen your 24 May 1999
5 report about the lack of resubordinating or the failure to resubordinate
6 the MUP, which is number 455-172/2. Can you tell us what number 17 --
7 455-172/1 is? Have you ever seen it?
8 A. Well, I didn't see, I didn't do any research into that, but of the
9 two documents on the screen -- well, one of them was given a prefix 1 in
10 the registry, and the next one, that's my assumption, that is related to
11 the resubordination of MUP was then given the prefix, the additional
12 number 2. And this is how we came to get the document 172/2.
13 Q. Okay. But as I understood your answer before, there should be a
14 172/1, right? Wasn't that your explanation to me?
15 A. I want to say that out of those two documents, one of them had to
16 be given the additional number 1 in the registry. So the one to the right
17 is 172 and the other one is 172/1 and the next one that deals with the
18 same topic is 170/2 [as interpreted] because they couldn't be entered in
19 the log-book under the same number.
20 Q. That's right, but you told me those two documents from the 20th of
21 April are totally unrelated. So if I understand you correctly, one of
22 them should not have a 455-172 number. They have nothing to do with each
23 other, do they, this one that talks about --
24 A. That's right, yes. That's right. That's a mistake.
25 Q. So it would help us understand if we had the log-book, wouldn't
1 it? If we saw the log-book, we would see how these two documents on the
2 20th were entered into it, right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Where is that log-book?
5 A. The log-book is in the central archives of the Army of Yugoslavia.
6 Q. And were you not able to get access to it when you were preparing
7 your Defence case?
8 A. Well, to be quite frank, it's never really occurred to me to look
9 at the log-book, but we asked for the document to be given to us by the
10 central archives based on their contents because who would have done that?
11 The trial had already started and we had yet to receive the documents.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I try to understand why these documents with
13 identical numbers are a month apart.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I believe they're both the 20th of
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, but we then have 455-172/2 is dated the 24th
17 of May.
18 MR. HANNIS: Correct, Your Honour. It's --
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, why is that -- why do they bear the same
20 starting number?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because they deal with the things
22 that happened on the 20th of April.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But the one that's dated the 24th of May and is
24 numbered 455-172/2, how does that fit into the registry sequence when it's
25 a month and four days later?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That document -- the basic document
2 has at least three or four empty spaces for supplementary documents,
3 subdocuments, and then the first next document has the next following
4 prefix that deals with -- if it deals with the same topic.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not really a pattern we've seen so far, is
6 it, in these documents?
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would direct your attention to
8 generally the evidence of a couple of witnesses for the Ojdanic Defence,
9 who talked about the numbering of documents in connection with that
10 General Pavkovic report dated the 25th of May and how that document that
11 related to -- well, I don't want to testify. Maybe we need to find you
12 that testimony, but I think it would help enlighten.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: All right, if you're content with the explanation,
14 Mr. Hannis, then we need not spend time on it just now.
15 It's time to break again, so we'll resume at 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I will try to have a better
20 reference for you in the morning regarding the testimony I thought I
21 remembered about the numbering system from one or more of the Ojdanic
22 Defence witnesses.
23 Q. But, General, perhaps you can help us. It was my understanding
24 from some of the prior evidence that the situations in which a number was
25 issued with what I call a slash, I think Judge Bonomy refers to as a
1 stroke, is a situation where the document is so closely related that there
2 should be such a reference made. Sometimes it's a direct response to, for
3 example, a request for information. Do you understand my question? Can
4 you explain to us the circumstances under which a number such as 455-172
5 would have a slash and some related document?
6 A. If the subject matter or the activities covered or the contents of
7 the document in general relates to the period that follows, if the
8 contents is similar, related, then the next document gets a number after a
9 slash or a stroke. It has to do with the similarity in content, the
10 relevance between the one document and the next one.
11 Q. Thank you. General, on the 24th and 25th of May, where were you
12 physically located? Were you in Pristina?
13 A. 24 and 25th May 1999?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Certainly not in Pristina. Maybe in the broader area of Pristina,
17 Q. Okay. And what's your definition of the broader area of Pristina?
18 You're talking about within a radius of 10 kilometres or?
19 A. I mean outside the urban centre, I mean the locations where the
20 corps command had set up it elements of follow-up command posts, next
21 command posts. In Pristina there was only one such element I believe on
22 the 28th of April we reached that location. We spent one day, or two days
23 there, and moved on to do reconnaissance around Kosovo Polje and we have
24 shown those documents here. That's why I am saying I was not in Pristina.
25 Q. And where was General Pavkovic at that time, was he with you?
1 Were you two together on those dates?
2 A. Well, the forward command post of the army was -- it's called the
3 command post of the Pristina Corps. It doesn't mean being physically
4 there. It means being in one of those installations, there were several
5 buildings, or maybe in the immediate vicinity. As far as General Pavkovic
6 is concerned, I don't always know where I was, let alone him. We were
7 together or close to each other very often but I don't know about those
9 Q. I thought you had said earlier in your testimony that you were
10 together much of the time. You don't recall whether you were with him on
11 either the 24th or 25th of May, 1999?
12 A. I just confirmed it, but I really cannot, no matter how hard I try
13 to tell you exactly where I was on the 24th or the 25th of May or where
14 General Pavkovic was.
15 Q. Well, you did a pretty good job of telling us where you were on
16 the 26th, 27th, and 28th of April, but you can't tell us where you were on
17 the 24th and 25th of May and whether or not General Pavkovic was with you
18 on either of those dates; is that right?
19 A. I'm saying that because in some documents it is written where I
20 was because some of those situations, some of those days are memorable,
21 others are not. And when I mentioned some other dates, I did not speak
22 off the top of my head, I referred to documents. If there is a document
23 that I hadn't taken into account before and is shown to me later, it can
24 refresh my memory.
25 Q. Well, one of the reasons that I've been asking you about Exhibit
1 1723, and that's your number 455-172/2 relates to General Pavkovic's
2 report on the same matter the following day. And you know that exhibit,
3 we've talked about it a lot in here, that's P1459, where he reported to
4 the Supreme Command Staff about MUP's failure to be resubordinated to the
5 army, right? You remember that one?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. And you'll recall when some of the witnesses for General Ojdanic
8 were testifying there was a lot of discussion about their log-book and the
9 archives and the documents indicating that General Ojdanic claims to not
10 have received that document or seen it in 1999. You remember that, don't
12 A. I do.
13 Q. And you may recall, I ask -- I think I asked another witness
14 earlier about the timing of that document. Exhibit P968 in this case
15 refers to the fact that on the 22nd of May it was made public the
16 indictment regarding the Kosovo case, not the one in which you're named
17 but those events, and that's only two days before you write your report
18 about the MUP not being subordinated. Is that just a coincidence?
19 A. I did not have the opportunity to follow those documents, if they
20 had reached the army commander at that time, I mean the letter of
21 Mrs. Louise Arbour, during the war I never heard of it or never seen it.
22 So whether it's a coincidence or not, I cannot answer. You can look at it
23 that way or another way. All I can say that at the time I didn't even
24 know there was such a letter by Louise Arbour; I first heard it here in
25 the courtroom. If I understood what you're asking, I'm not quite sure.
1 Q. Well, General, did you -- I guess my question is: The original
2 order to subordinate the MUP came down about, I don't know, five weeks
3 earlier, four, four and a half weeks earlier. Why did it take so long
4 before you felt it necessary to write a report about its failure? Did
5 anyone tell you to write it on that date or was that your own idea?
6 A. Well, I answered that question in the examination-in-chief, but
7 I'll repeat it now. At that time, a day or two before that document of
8 mine, I received a written document and request of the 37th Motorised
9 Brigade commander regarding failure to resubordinate and the resulting
10 problems. Before that, we all knew that there was a failure to
11 resubordinate, and we know that it was not the first report about it. We
12 saw many other in the courtroom, but I decided to make a written report as
13 well and to send people to check out that the problems indicated in that
15 Q. Now that you say that, General, I do recall you mentioned it was
16 that report from the 37th Motorised Brigade commander that you found
17 alarming. Did your lawyer show you that document here in the courtroom?
18 Have we seen that report here from the 37th commander?
19 A. I think we have not yet admitted into evidence a document of
20 similar contents through my testimony, but I expect that the brigade
21 commander will come to testify; and when he does, part of those documents
22 will be admitted through him and the brigade commander himself will be
23 able to answer specific questions himself.
24 Q. Do you recall now the date of that document, that report?
25 A. As far as I recall, between the 20th and the 23rd or maybe 22nd
1 May. He wrote quite a lot, once in two, once in three days to report some
2 problems, maybe I wasn't accurate enough, but at any rate on the 20th or
3 after the 20th of May.
4 Q. And the commander of the 37th Brigade at that time -- was this
5 Colonel Dikovic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. You mentioned when we were talking about your
8 whereabouts in late April, you gave us some specifics. I want to ask you
9 about document -- this is Exhibit Number 5D384. This is dated the 29th of
10 April, and this also is in the 455 series, it's 455-196. Do you have that
11 on the screen, General?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Okay. This is very urgent and the first paragraph says: "At
14 around 0900 hours on 29 April I personally came across a part of the 37th
15 Motorised Brigade which was crossing a brook near Lozica village (next to
16 the destroyed bridge) in disarray, while the commanding officer, in a
17 passenger vehicle, had got stuck in the brook ..."
18 Is that Dikovic you're talking about?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you've sent this document out. Did this go -- who did this go
21 to? I don't see delivery information on it. Was this to all your
22 subordinate commands?
23 A. Two documents were written on the same day. They were sent with
24 my signature, and I believe both were introduced into evidence during
25 examination-in-chief, one was addressed to the commander of the 37th
1 Brigade personally and another was sent to all units. The content was the
2 same with minor modifications.
3 Q. And although you didn't name him by name, any of those receiving
4 this document would have known who the commanding officer of the 37th was,
6 A. Yes, the commanders knew.
7 Q. This would have been, don't you think, rather humiliating to him?
8 A. In war terrible things happen and everything is humiliating if it
9 involves the death of soldiers. I would say that his soldiers were in
10 danger of getting killed needlessly because they were taking the risk of
11 inviting air-strikes, but it is not necessarily his fault. There was
12 another of his men leading that column of soldiers. The brigade commander
13 informed me later of all that. I would not use the word you used,
14 humiliating, but I believe it was a problem and I drew the attention of
15 the brigade commander himself and everyone else in the corps.
16 Q. The reason I ask, General, is that in Exhibit P2591, which we've
17 seen before and I guess I'd like to bring it occupy now if we could. This
18 is a document from Colonel Dikovic a few days earlier, I think the 25th of
19 April. And this was a document that he sent to the Pristina Corps
20 command, analysing the results of crushing the Siptar terrorist forces.
21 MR. HANNIS: And if we could go to page 2.
22 Q. I think you've seen this document before, it was shown to someone
23 earlier in this case. I'm waiting just a moment, General, to see the
24 second page in English and direct you to the point I wanted to make
25 that --
1 MR. HANNIS: If we could scroll to the top.
2 Q. He talked about the -- I think it's the third bullet point up from
3 item number A. And I don't know if that's on your B/C/S version.
4 A. It's not.
5 MR. HANNIS: Then we may need to go back a page, please.
6 Q. Yes. He talked about: "Engagement of relatively large forces to
7 fight small terrorist groups ('using an elephant to kill a fly')."
8 Do you recall receiving that report?
9 A. I don't remember the reports from that time but I remember this
10 document because it has been shown at least twice here. I don't read all
11 the reports. There is a team following reports and reporting, briefing
12 about them.
13 Q. Okay. So you don't recall that you weren't annoyed at him for
14 using that terminology to refer to the operations?
15 A. My engagement in that functional duty was not based on God knows
16 which emotions. I taught that unit perhaps more often than I did others
17 because it was outside the organic composition of the corps, it did not
18 have any prior experience in anti-terrorist activities in 1998, it was
19 located in the most hazardous part of the territory in the heart of
20 Drenica, and I made personal efforts to boost the morale and build up
21 their strength, that part of the brigade. I agreed that some of these
22 statements are not militarily correct or fair, but still not enough for me
23 to take it -- to hold it against him, that he's using his own initiative
24 and thinking and suggesting ways and methods to facilitate command over
1 Q. Okay.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, this looks on the face of it like a
3 very wide-ranging criticism of the conduct of a campaign and includes a
4 large number of specific criticisms about what was missing, like
5 intelligence, communications equipment, training. Are you saying that
6 this would be so filtered out by the system that you would not be aware of
7 this complaint when you got the report from those in the corps responsible
8 for monitoring reports and reporting to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I simplified things a
10 bit to save time. I toured and checked that brigade, together with the
11 army commander and another group of officers. What I'm trying to say is
12 this was a young brigade commander who just came before the war to the
13 area of Kosovo and Metohija and found himself at the deep end. I'm just
14 trying to -- not to go into discussing all the bigger problems that this
15 brigade had before their first baptism by fire when it started to carry
16 out very serious tasks. It's true, some of those things that he says, the
17 failure of communications and other problems, they persisted until the end
18 of the war. We sent reinforcements, we sent even men from the army
19 command who spent time with the brigade to help resolve the problem, so
20 I'm aware of the problems. I'm not saying that the report is -- that that
21 is not true; I'm speaking only about this specific report.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not asking you about whether it was true or
23 not. You've said that you don't recollect this report, and I wonder if
24 that means that you were getting pretty much watered-down information
25 about what was in the reports, since this one seems very specific, very
1 wide-ranging, and very critical. I find it a little strange at the moment
2 that you wouldn't be aware of it, whether it was true or not.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was saying in my answer that this
4 report with this date, I cannot confirm having analysed myself. But as
5 for the problems experienced by the brigade, beginning with the width of
6 their zone and ending with the others stated here, I was aware of all that
7 and I discussed it with the brigade commander personally. But I really
8 cannot confirm that I had this report in my hands, this one with this
9 specific date.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS:
12 Q. General, I want to follow-up on that. I share some of what was
13 just said by the Judge. It seems like -- I mean, these -- isn't this the
14 kind of information that you were requesting from your subordinate units,
15 an analysis of these actions so that you could use that information and
16 make changes to do it better the next time? Isn't that one of the
17 purposes of getting these kinds of reports?
18 A. Yes, it is a purpose, but by your leave, Your Honours, if we go to
19 the action that ensued a couple of days later, it is explained that many
20 of the things have been eliminated in relation to the experiences as they
21 are set out in this document, but we will be able to see that through the
22 testimony of General Nikovic. I know about other reports that are
23 different to this one.
24 Q. Well, it seems to me that you would have seen this document, and
25 the fact that you say now that you don't recall having seen it, there are
1 a couple of possibilities. One is, as Judge Bonomy was suggesting, it was
2 being filtered out. Were you subordinates trying to keep bad news from
3 you? Do you have any reason to believe that or did you have any
4 experience of that during the war?
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness has already
8 given a clear answer to this question, to your question. I think that
9 Mr. Lazarevic said that he knew about the complaints. I think that he did
10 give quite a specific answer to you already.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The question that's been asked is a much wider
12 question, and that is whether Mr. Lazarevic has experience of subordinate
13 officers trying to conceal bad news from him, so he may answer that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no such experience from any
16 of the commanders. There were no bad news about any deaths and if this
17 same commander could report to me that 12 of his people had been killed at
18 one point and demand from me that the corps commander personally should
19 come to the unit to assist. So we're talking about this commander quite
20 specifically. So there's no reason for this commander not to send me
21 other news that is far less negative. So this is specifically what we're
22 talking about.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Well, one other possibility for you not remembering it, if you did
25 see it in 1999, is that you were routinely getting these kind of reports
1 with these kind of complaints and this one just is forgotten because it
2 was routine. That's not the situation, is it?
3 A. Let me repeat what I've already said with an addition. There are
4 no routine tasks in the defence of the country; and secondly, if I had
5 wanted to read the reports, I would have been a military analyst, I would
6 have been hiding in a shelter somewhere reading reports. I had to
7 control, I had to direct, I had to command, I had to assist, and I had to
8 try and be wherever I needed to be from the security point of view. This
9 was my job as an officer, as a soldier. There was a duty operations team,
10 duty officer's team, that analyses all the documents, writing reports,
11 sending these reports on. Whenever it was necessary, short briefings were
12 held to inform people. This was not as a situation that we have at the
13 highest level of the command. This is something that may happen once
14 under this tree, once under that tree, a command is trying to keep
15 everything in its hands, tries to communicate with all the commanders,
16 keep in touch with them, learn what is going on, and in this chaotic
17 situation in the war, this is the method of work and this is the only
18 method that is possible.
19 Q. If you weren't reading these, who was? Surely somebody within
20 your command was reading these things on a regular basis when they came in
22 A. Yes, yes. Let me tell you, the duty operations team was receiving
23 the reports, analysing the reports, and was then putting together the
24 reports of the corps for the superior command and also preparing reports
25 to brief the commander.
1 Q. Can you give us the names of those people? How many -- first of
2 all, how many are we talking about? Is this a group of six? Eight? 20?
3 A. We're talking about several teams that were rotated every day.
4 Every day there would be one team on duty. I mentioned some of those
5 leaders in examination-in-chief, Colonel Simonovski, Tesic, Tomislav
6 Jovic, so I gave you the names of three of those team leaders and they
7 would have under them four or five persons, officers, who would then be
8 doing that job.
9 Q. Would you expect that one of those guys doing that job having read
10 a report like this that is wide-ranging and detailed and critical of the
11 operations to at least summarize that and bring it to your attention?
12 A. I've explained a few seconds ago this is how it was done. At
13 those short briefings whenever it was possible to put together at the
14 command, when the security conditions allowed that. As a rule, the
15 reports should have come in by 1600 hours every day. They would be
16 processed, and then between 19 and 2000 hours, if it was possible, a short
17 meeting was held, it was chaired by me, at the corps command. And the
18 next day, to analyse the events during the night, such a meeting would be
19 held between 7.00 and 9.00 a.m.
20 Q. I don't think you've answered my question, though. Would you
21 expect to be advised of this kind of thing by one of your subordinates
22 responsible or reading those reports and briefing you at the end of the
23 day? Wouldn't you expect this kind of thing to have been brought to your
25 A. I did not claim that somebody had informed me or not. I just
1 claimed that I had not held this report in my hands, and I would have
2 expected the duty officer to tell me, to the extent that he was able to
3 see the problems.
4 Q. And do you recall now having been advised of the substance of that
5 report, even though you may not have ever held it in your hand?
6 A. No, not in this sense, but in the sense that plans for a new
7 action, counter-terrorist action, should be made for that area and that
8 this brigade should be reinforced in order to be able to control the
9 territory, that's definitely the case. And in that area there were two
10 more subsequent actions in order to establish a fuller combat control of
11 the territory and to reinforce that brigade. So in that sense, yes.
12 Q. General, the reason I'm asking about this is because from the
13 outside looking at the sequence and the events, it seems possible that
14 when you came across then-Colonel Dikovic stuck in the creek, took a
15 little pleasure in that and didn't mind mentioning the commanding officer
16 of the 37th Brigade specifically in this warning to other units. Isn't
17 that correct?
18 A. Well, I was looking at the Prosecutor very carefully, I was
19 following what he said, but I really couldn't understand. Maybe the
20 interpretation was not good, but could I please ask you to repeat the
22 Q. Okay. I'm suggesting that on the 29th of April when you saw
23 Colonel Dikovic stuck in the creek, this is the guy that I think your
24 earlier description could be reduced to saying he was a bit brash, a bit
25 of an upstart. He has filed this analysis or reported this analysis which
1 is critical, very critical, of the operation. I'm thinking that this is
2 in your mind at the time you see him stuck in the creek, and that's a very
3 good example to bring to your troops and it didn't hurt -- you didn't mind
4 mentioning him maybe a little humiliation would be good for him. Isn't
5 that what happened?
6 A. Well, I'm ready to accept responsibility for my failure to be
7 specific enough, but I did not find Colonel Dikovic in such a situation
8 that was causing a risk to his troops. I saw a reserve officer, not
9 Dikovic, and that's what it says in the document. I didn't mention
10 Dikovic at all, but I sent a warning to him as the commander, telling him
11 that I had found a part of his unit in such a situation and that is the
12 gist of this written document.
13 Q. Well, General, there must have been a misunderstanding I thought I
14 tried to ask a specific question about that earlier and I understood your
15 answer then to be that yes, he was the one. Are you telling me now that
16 was wrong?
17 A. With all due respect, I understand the Prosecutor to be asking me
18 whether the commander of that brigade was Dikovic and I said yes, he was.
19 But not that Dikovic was stuck in this creek with a car and with the
20 aeroplanes about to attack his troops. We have a contemporaneous document
21 which indicates all that quite clearly, and we have his report that
22 followed after all this.
23 Q. Well, it wasn't clear to me because I asked you whether or not,
24 wasn't it true that any of the -- any of the recipients of this warning or
25 whatever we should call it would be aware of who that individual was, that
1 commanding officer in a passenger vehicle, and you told me: "Yes, and if
2 that's not Dikovic, who is it?"
3 A. Well, I can't follow the transcript. I didn't get an
4 interpretation that would indicate that the question was whether Dikovic
5 was in that car or not. I didn't understand it that way, and for the
6 third time let me say quite in no uncertain terms that was not Dikovic. I
7 didn't know that officer. I asked them what unit they were from and
8 that's how I know they were from the 37th Motorised Brigade, and that is
9 why I fired off this rather harsh warning demanding a report. We tendered
10 this into evidence, and as you can see the brigade commander refers to
11 what I had personally seen and warns his units accordingly. He doesn't
12 say anywhere that I had found him in the creek.
13 Q. All right, General--
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Since it's absolutely clear in the English
15 translation that you did say that it was Dikovic you were talking about,
16 we shall order that the B/C/S tape for today be listened to and that the
17 passage at 67, 2, to 67, 11, should be re-interpreted.
18 Please continue, Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. General, can you tell us where the 125th Motorised Brigade was
21 located on the 28th and 29th of April, 1999, do you recall?
22 A. 125th Motorised Brigade was in the area of the defence of the
23 state border, to the right was the border with Montenegro, and to the left
24 was Junik and some areas a little bit closer to Djakovica, and then in the
25 depth -- the depth was about 15 kilometres.
1 Q. And the commander was Colonel Zivanovic, correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The incident in the creek that we were just talking about, you
4 mentioned in that document that that was near Vozica [as interpreted]
5 village. Can you tell us what that's near. I looked on my map to find
6 one, but I'm not sure if I found the right one. Do you recall what other
7 towns that was near?
8 A. Are you asking me that?
9 Q. Yes. Do you recall --
10 A. It's not Vozica, it's not Loznica, it's Lozica as far as I can
11 recall from the document it's Lozica, and as far as I can recall it is to
12 the north of the Pristina-Klina axis in the direction of Drenica.
13 Q. Okay. Could we show you, General, Exhibit P615, this is our
14 Kosovo atlas, and I believe it will be on page 18 in e-court. If we could
15 scroll down to the lower left corner of that map and enlarge that. I'm
16 actually looking for the area in block N17, so I think we need to move to
17 the left and down, a little farther to the left. Do you see in the lower
18 left corner there is something that appears to be Lozica on that map?
19 A. Yes, I can see it.
20 Q. Is that the village you were talking about?
21 A. Well, it's possible, it might very well be the village. If this
22 is the main road from Pristina to Klina, which I can't see now, but it's
23 quite possible. At any rate, it is on that particular axis because I can
24 see that Glogovac is to the north-east. This was a part of the area held
25 by the 37th Brigade.
1 Q. Would it help if we zoomed out then to see the wider area here? I
2 think it's between -- well, roughly between Glogovac and Malisevo. You
3 see the railroad line from Glogovac. Does that help orient you, General?
4 A. Yes, I can see that. It's not Malisevo. Malisevo is on the other
5 side. This thick line in the lower area, that's the road and railway line
7 Q. How far is -- would Lozica be from Djakovica, approximately?
8 A. Maybe 60 kilometres or more, maybe even less. If I could look at
9 the map then I could be more specific.
10 Q. The 125th Motorised Brigade was taking part in an action called
11 the Reka action, which was completed on the 28th of April, correct? You
12 were aware of that, weren't you?
13 A. I know that from the documents that were exhibited at this trial.
14 But when we're talking about 125th Brigade, we're talking about the
15 element that was resubordinated to it from the military police battalion.
16 Q. And you visited the 125th Brigade on the 29th of April, 1999,
17 didn't you, with -- along with your --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- Chief of Staff?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Where precisely did you tour or visit the 125th Brigade?
22 A. As far as I can remember, those were the positions between Decani
23 and Pec.
24 Q. Can you narrow it down any more for us? Are you saying you
25 visited several part of that brigade in several locations between Decani
1 and Pec or did you just go to the headquarters? What did you do?
2 A. The brigade commander was there waiting for me at the positions of
3 the armoured battalion that was closer to Pec, and then in this first zone
4 visit we visited some units because the tour lasted several hours and we
5 ended the tour in the brigade command. And there with him was the Chief
6 of Staff who had come from the forward command post of the corps for us to
7 visit those positions together, the ones facing the state border with
9 Q. So you ended the tour in the brigade command, where was the
10 brigade command located on the 29th of April?
11 A. Well, as far as I can remember, in the outskirts of Decani.
12 Q. And where did you go after your visit to the 125th Motorised
13 Brigade on the 29th of April?
14 A. I went back to the main command post, that was in the afternoon.
15 I took the Decani-Klina-Pristina road to get to the command post.
16 Q. So your best recollection is that you were in Pristina on the
17 night of the 29th?
18 A. Well, on the 28th, in the morning, we moved and we didn't stay
19 there more than two or three days -- two days in fact. It seems to me
20 that on the very next day, the 30th, the 31st, the 1st perhaps, that
21 reconnaissance was carried out for the next command post.
22 Q. Maybe there's a translation problem. I'm confused on that. You
23 say "on the 28th, in the morning, we moved ..." Where were you on the 28th
24 of April?
25 A. On the 28th April, the command, and I together with it, we were --
1 from the 27th and -- to the 28th we were in the Tisnica [as interpreted]
2 mine area; the 27th to the 28th, that was when we moved to Pristina; on
3 the 28th in Pristina, we established a command post, we set up the
4 communication lines with our subordinates. I visited some of the elements
5 in Pristina, those that were supposed to carry out surveillance of the
6 air-space, and I think there was a delegation of some women Kolo Srpskih
7 Sestara, who had brought in some aid for the troops. I really don't
8 remember everything that happened on the 28th but those were the
9 activities. They were actually quite peculiar.
10 Q. Could you tell us again, because it's not clear in the transcript,
11 from the 27th to the 28th where were you located?
12 A. The moving of the command post from the Tisnica sector to a part
13 of Pristina, near the law school or the school of economics to one or two
14 buildings there. In the morning of the 28th, I visited two or three
15 elements, those that were deployed in Pristina as a garrison element,
16 including an element for automatic surveillance of the air-space. It's a
17 group that -- it was a group that carried out radar surveillance of the
18 air-space. And then the leader of that group in Pristina asked me to
19 visit that element, and it seems to me it was on that day, that I did
20 briefly talk to a group of people who had brought in some aid for the
21 troops and that is called Kolo Srpskih Sestara.
22 Q. Can you tell me where the Tisnica sector is, that's your answer in
23 line 24 of page --
24 A. Kisnica.
25 Q. Could you spell that for us.
1 A. Kisnica, K, not T but K, Kisnica. It's to the west of Pristina in
2 the direction of Gracanica, the Gracanica lake, and further on to Kosovska
3 Kamenica, Kosovsko Pomoravlje.
4 Q. You mentioned the law school. General, I'd like to show you
5 Exhibit P1492. This is an order from the Supreme Command Staff. I
6 believe it's the 12th of May, 1999, and it's an order about moving VJ
7 command post or units out of school buildings. Were you aware of that
8 order? You may not have seen the Supreme Command Staff order. Did you
9 get word of that?
10 A. No, I did not see this order. I saw an order from the 3rd Army
11 command and I issued my own order.
12 Q. To the same effect, right?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I see it's 7.00. May we break for the
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may take up two
17 minutes of your time. First of all, I owe you a report on the status of
18 translation. My case manager tells me that yesterday he received an
19 e-mail from the CLSS, informing him that the translation -- translations
20 from the updated General Lazarevic list, that all of this has been
21 completed. He sent the remainder of the documents to the CLSS, and 15 of
22 those documents have already been translated. And I think that my
23 colleague Mr. Cepic will be contacting Mr. Hannis about reducing the
24 number of documents and updating the list, but at any rate 15 of the
25 documents have already been translated. This is one thing.
1 So -- but unless you have anything to say in this regard, I just
2 wanted to ask one more question. It is impossible for me to calculate the
3 time accurately, but it seems to me that Mr. Hannis is nearing the end of
4 the time that was allotted to us for the examination-in-chief in his
5 cross-examination. So perhaps he may want to share his position on this.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: If you're able to assist us, Mr. Hannis, it no
7 doubt helps Mr. Bakrac to programme the arrival of other witnesses.
8 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, I'm tired. I'm sure the General's
9 tired of me as well. I'm going to try to finish in two hours tomorrow
10 because I think that will put me about equal with the time that was spent
11 on direct.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, there you have as clear an indication as you
13 can get, Mr. Bakrac, and we are pleased to note what you say about the
14 translations; but it's important that you keep CLSS fully occupied every
15 minute of the day.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that there is a possibility of sitting
18 on Thursday morning rather than afternoon. I think another trial has been
19 adjourned for the rest of this week. Is it inconvenient to change to the
20 morning on Thursday for anyone? Well, in that event, if we can arrange
21 it, we will sit on 9.00 on Thursday; but for tomorrow, it will remain at
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
25 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.