1 Thursday, 22 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, the time necessary for the transcript?
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I spoke with Mr. Reid in our office. He
8 wasn't able to give me a precise figure this morning. He said he was
9 going to try to get seven people to work on it, but even with seven people
10 he said it may take some weeks. He would have a more precise estimate for
11 me either later today or tomorrow.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, that, I would not understand. This is a
13 transcription exercise, not a translation exercise. So I look forward to
14 receiving more information, but that would be unacceptable length of time
15 for the provision of just over 200 pages of actual transcription.
16 MR. HANNIS: I will advise him, Your Honour. I understand that
17 part of our unit that we have available to work on this have been working
18 on a 600-page, I think, transcription regarding General Perisic. But I
19 will report back to you either later today or --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I am conscious of the resource difficulties, but
21 once priorities are decided upon, it's difficult to see why that should be
22 the length of time. However, I hope you can give us more information
23 later today.
24 MR. HANNIS: I will, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Turning now to the question that arose at the end
1 of yesterday's proceedings relating to Mr. Visnjic's application for
2 further cross-examination. This has been a very difficult matter to
4 At -- at the end of the day, it does seem that Mr. Visnjic may
5 have failed to appreciate the implications of the documents on which he
6 seeks to cross-examine further. And in light of the welter of material in
7 this case, that's understandable.
8 The difficulty is compounded by the fact that one of these
9 documents originally appeared on the list intimating the documents likely
10 to be the subject of cross-examination and was then removed before the
11 cross-examination by -- before the decision by Mr. Visnjic not to
13 So in the circumstances, Mr. Visnjic, we will allow further
14 cross-examination, but we are going to monitor closely where this goes,
15 because as I say, when you read these documents carefully, the point that
16 you think you did not fully appreciate can be divined without having to
17 look at questions asked by Mr. Ackerman. So your right to
18 re-cross-examination will be restricted to matters which it is absolutely
19 necessary for you to explore to ensure that General Ojdanic's case is
20 presented to us.
21 So, Mr. Lazarevic, there will be a brief further cross-examination
22 now by Mr. Visnjic.
23 Mr. Visnjic.
24 WITNESS: VLADIMIR LAZAREVIC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Further cross-examination by Mr. Visnjic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. General, I'm going to have a few questions for you. In order not
6 to place this on e-court, you probably know the document dated the 25th of
7 May that constitutes a letter of General Pavkovic to the chief of the
8 Supreme Command Staff in relation to re-subordination, P1459 is the
10 A. Yes, I know.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you see this document on the 25th of May, 1999 or
12 sometime around that point in time?
13 A. As far as I can remember, no, not in that realtime.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, General, under which circumstances
15 did you see the document the first time, if you remember?
16 A. As accurate as I can be, I saw this document -- well, there's a
17 constraint. I know that I showed my document in 2005 to the investigator
18 when speaking to the OTP. I had the feeling -- I seem to remember that I
19 saw that document then too and discussed the subject, but really I'm not
20 quite sure.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, that was around the time when you
22 were preparing for trial.
23 A. Yes, when I first came to the Detention Unit and when I spoke to
24 the OTP.
25 Q. Thank you, General. Now I'd like to ask you something about
1 another document. You probably recall that report of the control
2 inspection of the Supreme Command Staff, 3D692 is its number. That is the
3 report that the control inspection of the Supreme Command Staff prepared
4 after the tour and after gaining insight in the realization of the
5 implementation of the tasks of the Pristina Corps. It is dated the 29th
6 of May, 1999.
7 A. I saw that document here in court a few times and also while
8 preparing for my defence I had occasion to see it.
9 Q. Thank you, General.
10 General, am I right if I say that in the proposed measures that
11 are mentioned in this document, there are two types of measures
12 contained: One group that pertain to the command of the 3rd Army and what
13 they're supposed to do; and the second set of measures that are supposed
14 to be taken at the level of the Supreme Command Staff? So this is a
15 report of the control inspection to the Supreme Command Staff that is
16 proposing at the same time to the 3rd Army to do some things and also to
17 the Supreme Command Staff, for them to do something as well.
18 A. In principle, that is the way in which control inspection reports
19 are written. I recall that that was the way it was.
20 We see right now on the screen the proposed measures what the army
21 command is supposed to do, under number 1 and 2, and then what should be
22 done at Supreme Command Staff level.
23 Q. Thank you, General.
24 3D694 is what I'd like to have called up on e-court now, please.
25 General, this is an order of the Supreme Command Staff chief
1 issued on the same day when the control inspection report was written. In
2 it the report is accepted, and as we can see in the last two paragraphs,
3 the proposed measures are being turned into an order to the 3rd Army
4 Command; and, on the other hand, in the last paragraph, the Supreme
5 Command Staff shall implement the proposed measures on its side as
7 My question is: In realtime, were you aware of this document
9 A. I cannot confirm that at that time I did see this document;
10 however, from the army command, as far as I can remember, I believe that
11 this order did come from the army command. I cannot confirm that I saw
12 this document at that time, at the command post of the corps.
13 Q. Thank you, General.
14 Now, General, could you please look at 3D700.
15 In the previous document, there was an order of the chief of the
16 Supreme Command Staff whereby he turned the measures proposed by the
17 control inspection into his own order.
18 Now, General, what we have here is the answer of the command of
19 the 3rd Army signed by the Chief of Staff, Major-General Stojimirovic.
20 Now I wish to ask you whether you, General, in the command of the
21 Pristina Corps received the plan -- or rather, the order on the
22 elimination of weaknesses in accordance with this plan. That is attached
23 to this document.
24 A. Well, in the documents I saw not this document but the order that
25 relates to the corps command. What is referred to is the plan that was
1 addressed to the Supreme Command Staff somewhere towards the end of the
2 war. I think that the date is later than the date on this document.
3 Q. I would like to ask you to look at page 2 of this document.
4 General, I don't know how well you can see here, but I do have a
5 hard copy that I can provide for you.
6 A. Yes. Yes, I can see it.
7 Q. My question is whether you saw this document, the plan of
8 eliminating weaknesses and omissions, whether you received it from the 3rd
9 Army Command.
10 A. I saw the document -- I saw the document in the process involved.
11 There is no reason for it not to have arrived. I cannot confirm when it
12 arrived in the corps command, but this plan of eliminating weaknesses
13 after the control inspection - that is to say, what was to be done by the
14 army command, including the order, and then there is the attached
15 document --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. A moment ago you said that you saw not this
17 document but the order that relates to the corps command. Mr. Visnjic has
18 pressed on, shown you the second page, and asked, Did you actually see
19 this document? Can you answer that yes or no, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, I am
21 saying that that's not that document. It is addressed to the Supreme
22 Command Staff, not the corps.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's what I thought you said, and -- but the
24 answer you were now giving seemed to be a bit different, suggesting you
25 had seen this.
1 Now, if you haven't seen this particular document, as you've now
2 confirmed, Mr. Visnjic can go on and ask you something else if he wishes.
3 But it gets confusing when you go beyond answering the particular
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you, General.
7 Now, General, when you look at document P1725, General, do we
8 agree that these problems that are referred to in this letter dated the
9 4th of June - that is to say, a day later - after the 3rd Army had already
10 responded to the order of the Supreme Command Staff dated the 29th of May,
11 these problems that are being referred to here, are they identical or do
12 they correspond to the problems that are mentioned in the control
13 inspection report of the Supreme Command Staff and for which an order had
14 already been issued in order to have them resolved, that is?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't answer that question.
16 These two documents are available for comparison by the
17 Trial Chamber, and you can make submissions about them. Move on to
18 something else.
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
20 Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 Mr. Aleksic, does anything arise for you to deal with?
23 MR. ALEKSIC: [Interpretation] No. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Hannis, anything for you?
1 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, I have a number of questions I would
5 like to ask. I wonder if you could assist us further in understanding the
6 concept of a military territorial detachment. Can I take it, first of
7 all, that members of such a detachment would wear a military uniform?
8 A. They wear military uniform only.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: What exactly were they?
10 A. Military territorial detachments are organisational units within
11 military departments, and there are two independent military territorial
12 detachments that are directly linked to the command of the military
13 district of Pristina. There is a total of 24 military territorial
14 detachments. 22 are --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I've got the numbers from earlier evidence. I want
16 to know what they are. What -- what is their particular responsibility?
17 A. The military department, as a military territorial command, covers
18 the territory of two or more municipalities: In the territory of Kosovo
19 and Metohija or somewhere else, but I'm talking about Kosovo and Metohija.
20 Every military department has a few military territorial detachments that
21 are intended for securing military facilities.
22 Further on, for taking over barracks when units of the army leave
23 the areas of peacetime locations for securing some facilities of special
24 importance for the defence of the country. That is the essence, in three
25 sentences, of the basic tasks of these military territorial detachments.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Who generally were the people who were assigned to
2 these -- these detachments?
3 A. These are people who are from that area in terms of their place of
4 residence, in terms of the place where they live. They are not
5 extraterritorial replenishment from some area outside the municipality.
6 They are within the municipalities.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: What would lead to a person being assigned to one
8 of these detachments rather than to a unit of the VJ or rather than to a
9 regular unit of the VJ?
10 A. There are priorities according to the mobilisation rules in terms
11 of assigning military conscripts.
12 Priority number one is the replenishment or manning of wartime
13 units of the Army of Yugoslavia. Those are brigades or tactical groups.
14 Then certain -- the certain meeting of needs of the police or the State
15 Security Service; then military territorial units; and so on and so forth.
16 There are some other priorities. Civil protection, and so on.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Does -- does that mean that the fittest and
18 youngest are assigned to the VJ and then the slightly less fit and young
19 go to the police, and so on, or is there some other criterion by which
20 personnel are assigned in order to different units?
21 A. That is one of the criteria. Another one is the military
22 evidentiary specialty, what it is they had trained for while doing their
23 military service. If a man served on a tank unit while doing his military
24 service, he cannot be deployed to the military territorial detachment,
25 because these detachments do not have tank units.
1 For the most part, these are reconnaissance units, infantry units.
2 For the most part, infantry and logistics.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: And what is the principal distinction between their
4 functions and the functions of the civil defence and civil protection?
5 A. Civil protection is a special category that existed even before
6 military territorial units, during the times of the so-called Territorial
7 Defence. Civil protection primarily deals with taking care of the
8 civilian population in peacetime, in extraordinary situations, and also
9 during the war.
10 Then another component came into being within this total civil
11 protection. These are civil protection units. That is of a more recent
12 date, a more recent date, in the territory of the Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia, that is.
14 The civil protection had a task -- the civil defence, rather, had
15 the task of protecting important civilian facilities like hospitals,
16 waterworks, certain factories, bakeries, and what is required in order to
17 have the vital functions of a town function, the power supply and so on.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: There is, I think, a translation difficulty there.
19 Which of these two, civil defence or civil protection, existed first of
21 A. Civil protection came into being when the army came into being.
22 Civil defence came into the play later.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: So the civil defence units are the ones that are
24 more recent.
25 A. That's right.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The distinction you've made is between the civil
2 defence protecting installations -- civilian installations and the civil
3 protection protecting the civilian population in peacetime, now -- and in
4 extraordinary situations during the war. What does that actually mean in
6 A. In practice, that means extinguishing fires, evacuating population
7 that is at risk or material resources as well in that area. That means
8 warning of dangers; that is to say, alerting to the population to
9 something like that happening. Decontamination of an area and facilities
10 if there was some contamination due to an accident or intentionally during
11 the war when prohibited weapons are used. That means providing shelter to
12 the civilian population, providing sanitary conditions, accommodation, and
13 so on.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And during peacetime, what was their duty?
15 A. Well, practically there is no difference, but in a war the
16 disasters are larger scale and the civilian population is more threatened.
17 When there are earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, civil
18 protection units are engaged in peacetime as well.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: And one final question for the moment on a military
20 territorial detachment. Did they -- or were they mobilised only in
22 A. Yes. Yes. These are purely wartime units that are activated once
23 mobilisation is declared.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: We have heard some evidence in the case that they
25 were used to combat KLA activity. Can you confirm that?
1 A. Yes. Some were at the state border itself. For example, the
2 Strpce territorial detachment belonged to this small town of Strpce that
3 is on the border itself. They kept this particular facility in order to
4 prevent any incursions from Albania.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell us roughly the date when they were
7 A. This was carried out successively. The corps command took over
8 the military district. The military district was re-subordinated to the
9 corps command between the 7th and 8th of April. I think that sometime
10 after that period of time, most of the military territorial detachments
11 were mobilised. At this point in time, I do not have any more accurate
12 information than that. But in principle, in succession, successively,
13 like all other units of the 3rd Army and the Pristina Corps.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: The next thing I'd like to ask you about is the--
15 something about the military court system. There appear to have been
16 military courts attached to military territorial districts; is that
18 A. Yes. Military courts and military prosecutor's offices are set up
19 in a war, attached to the corps command and attached to commands of
20 military districts.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And there were military -- yes, there were military
22 courts attached to your corps, for example, and also to the Pristina
23 military district; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. What are their -- what's the difference
1 between these courts?
2 A. Well, my knowledge of that distinction is as follows: I'm trying
3 to explain first the military court and the military prosecutor's office
4 attached to the command of the military district of Pristina. That
5 jurisdiction is to deal with criminal offences within the military
6 district and criminal acts perpetrated by civilian persons outside of the
7 army but against army members in the whole area of Kosovo and Metohija.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And --
9 A. May I continue?
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
11 A. The military prosecutor's office and the military court attached
12 to the command of the Pristina Corps deals with prosecuting and trying
13 criminal acts for units of the Pristina Corps' organisational composition,
14 that is, criminal acts perpetrated by its own members against the army or
15 against civilians, against property, against any other party, but it has
16 to involve members of the Pristina Corps.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Going back to the -- the district, military
18 district court. You say that's to deal with criminal acts perpetrated by
19 civilians against army members. I follow that. But you also said the
20 jurisdiction was to deal with criminal offences within the military
21 district. Is that confined to offences against members of the military?
22 A. And if members of the military district committed any criminal act
23 against any other person, but it has to be within the military district.
24 It relates only to the establishment composition of the military district.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: So if there were two Roma, say, husband and wife,
1 and the husband murdered the wife and neither had a connection with the
2 military and this happened during the NATO aggression, which court would
3 deal with that?
4 A. Neither. It would be dealt with by a civilian court that has
5 territorial jurisdiction over that area.
6 If one of these Romas committed a criminal court -- committed a
7 criminal act against the army or members of the army, then the military
8 court attached to the command of the military district would deal with
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And did the ordinary civil court system function,
11 continue to function during the war?
12 A. Absolutely. Your Honour, all I know is that there were five
13 municipal courts and -- sorry, five district courts and nineteen
14 municipality -- municipal courts that functioned throughout the war.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. And I think we've seen documents that relate
16 to some of the activity in them.
17 The next matter I want to raise with you is the arrangement
18 whereby there was duplicate reporting. You reported from the Pristina
19 Corps both to the 3rd Army command and to the either General Staff or to
20 the Supreme Command Staff. When was that arrangement first put in place?
21 A. In the documents we looked at, in the heading of the combat
22 reports of the corps, I saw, I believe, the 12th April. But when was it
23 ordered, by whom? It could have been ordered by the 3rd Army commander to
24 the corps. But who ordered it to him, I don't know.
25 I believe the 12th April is the first date of a combat report that
1 was addressed to both the 3rd Army Command and the Supreme Command Staff.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Forgive me for saying, this but you seem very vague
3 about this. And -- and you're -- you're the very man, I would have
4 thought, would know about an exceptional arrangement -- an exceptional
5 reporting arrangement being introduced.
6 A. When I say this, I am not saying it's 100 per cent sure. A day or
7 two ago we looked at such reports, and on the 11th of April there was no
8 such thing. There were no two addresses. 12th of April was the first
9 date with two addresses. But it doesn't mean that even before that date a
10 combat report from the corps went up to the Supreme Command Staff without
11 the address indicating the Supreme Command Staff.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: I understand that. But the question I really want
13 to ask you is: Why was this exceptional arrangement introduced?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: It doesn't mean that
15 even before that date a combat report didn't go up to the Supreme Command
17 A. I cannot remember a specific order or a specific explanation being
18 given for that, but to me it was understandable. It was not unusual -- it
19 was not usual and I knew that even a border battalion, according to
20 procedure, would inform the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
21 skipping two command instances -- or rather, not skipping them. They
22 would report both to the army and the General Staff.
23 Now, concerning this, I really don't know for sure. I believe
24 that it was important for relevant data from the ground to reach the
25 highest level. I really don't see any precedent in this kind of
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Lazarevic, we've heard general after general go
3 through the witness box here and a case presented to try to suggest to us
4 that there are strict administrative rules within the army and these are
5 being followed and these are the documents that have resulted from
6 following these rules. And here we have a situation which is not
7 exclusive, as you've just pointed out, to the Pristina Corps but is
8 nevertheless exceptional. It's not part of the ordinary scheme of things.
9 It's the sort of thing I would certainly, speaking for myself, have
10 expected you to know about, to have known the reason for.
11 Now, how would it -- how could it be done without you knowing why
12 it was being required of your reporters?
13 A. Your Honours, for the command of the corps, it was a technical
14 problem, a technical issue. It was going to send the same report to two
15 addresses. Otherwise, nothing is different. But it is my understanding
16 that the Supreme Command Staff wanted to know directly from the spot a
17 complete report on seven or eight pages with as many details as possible
18 and to be able to monitor the defence situation of the country. That is
19 my deep conviction, that that's what they wanted to know.
20 As for who formally ordered it, when, I really can't remember a
21 written order issued to that effect. I haven't seen it.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you the impression even that -- that it was
23 associated with a particular subject on -- on which it may have been felt
24 insufficient information was being conveyed to the Supreme Command Staff
25 by the ordinary channel of communication?
1 A. I had occasion to see here also some reports of the Pristina Corps
2 bearing the stamp of the Supreme Command Staff even before the 12th of
3 April, so that -- if you ask me, that really cannot be the reason. If the
4 12th of April is the cutoff date, then I would be more inclined to believe
5 that it had to do with what happened between the 10th of -- 9th and the
6 10th of April, the danger of a ground invasion, and that was a concern for
7 all who were involved in the defence of the country and it was necessary
8 to follow closely what was going on on that front line. I really have no
9 doubt that that could be the reason you are looking for.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Was this --
11 Mr. Zecevic.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I believe the witness said
13 that the ground aggression has started, not the danger of ground
14 aggression. It started between the 9th and 10th of April.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, I'll come back to that in a
17 The -- the reports you're referring to prior to the war, did they
18 not relate to the investigation of criminal conduct?
19 A. I didn't mean reports from before the war. I meant only reports
20 from the beginning of the war, combat reports during wartime -- before the
21 12th of April, I had occasion to see some here in the courtroom. I saw
22 one. I don't know if there are more. But I want to draw your attention
23 to this, because at that time those reports were cc'd to the Supreme
24 Command Staff, forwarded, for their information, of course.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Those ones, then, were they concerned with the
1 reporting of investigation into criminal conduct?
2 A. Well, that is a question that I cannot answer with sufficient
3 certainty. I really don't know whether they were or they weren't. I only
4 wish to say that other systems too had the obligation to report on
5 investigation and prosecution, the prosecution offices and judicial
6 organs. I really can't answer this, because the judicial organs and
7 prosecutor's offices very diligently reported. They provided us with much
8 more information on what they had done.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic has corrected the transcript so that
10 part of your previous answer was to refer to the ground aggression
11 starting between the 9th and 10th of April. What do you mean by "the
12 ground aggression" at that time?
13 A. Your Honours, I mean ground attacks by large strong forces from
14 the area of Albania across the state border against the territory of
15 Kosovo and Metohija, that is, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia --
16 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with fire support from the Armed Forces of
17 Albania and the air support of NATO.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: So the -- the personnel who were trying to actually
19 penetrate your territory were the insurgents that fall under the name of
20 the KLA?
21 A. To be quite precise, the bulk of the forces involved in the ground
22 aggression were also insurgents and insurgent forces of the KLA, but those
23 on foreign territory cannot be called "insurgents."
24 But I want to draw your attention to something different. There
25 were also armed units, even tank units of the Armed Forces of Albania that
1 attacked the border, let alone the foreigners, the Atlantic Brigade from
2 the US, et cetera. So combined ground forces and special units of NATO,
3 et cetera.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: The next subject I would like to ask you about is
5 Crisis Staffs. Now, it -- that's a fairly common expression in the
6 Balkans, but it perhaps means something different depending on where you
7 are. What was a Crisis Staff in Kosovo?
8 A. Well, I personally have very little knowledge about the operation
9 of Crisis Staffs in municipalities and local areas in Kosovo and Metohija,
10 unless I learned something from the reports of my subordinates. If you
11 allow me, I can try to explain what it was based on the experience I had
12 from the former Yugoslavia. I never have seen a Crisis Staff or a
13 self-styled president of a local government. They set up those Crisis
14 Staffs themselves in crisis situations, but I heard only of the Crisis
15 Staff of Vucitrn and Podujevo. I don't know much about them. I don't
16 know their structure. I can only speak about the general features of
17 Crisis Staffs as a phenomenon that existed in our former territory. In
18 Kosovo and Metohija this was not a very prominent organ.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: The two you've mentioned, when roughly were they
21 A. Well, I learned of the Crisis Staff in Vucitrn from -- primarily
22 from Prosecution documents shown here, where it was written that the
23 president of the executive council is somebody named Doknic [phoen] at the
24 beginning of the war and he dealt with those issues, but nothing further.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't mean to suggest you should have a -- an
1 encyclopaedic knowledge of the documents. It's your own personal
2 knowledge, and clearly that's very limited, and I won't pursue the matter
4 I'll probably demonstrate my ignorance of the e-court system now,
5 at least the actual practical operation of it. I'd like you to have a
6 look at P1468, which is the record of meetings of the Joint Command, and
7 it's getting to the right page that may be a problem. The 23rd of August.
8 In the English version, that's K0228412T.
9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE BONOMY: You will -- we need the bottom of the page in
12 There isn't a B/C/S hard copy of this, Mr. Hannis, is there?
13 MR. HANNIS: There is in my office, Your Honour. I could run up
14 and get it, if -- if you're going to cover more than one page or so.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: I do intend to cover more than one page.
16 MR. HANNIS: I will do that, with your leave.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Thank you.
18 Do you have before you the beginning of the record of the meeting
19 on the 23rd of August?
20 A. I cannot see the date. The first thing I see at the top is Mr. --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't look right at the top. It could be anywhere.
22 In the English, it's at the very bottom of the page, but ...
23 A. I don't see it on my side of the screen. I don't see the 23rd of
25 I see it now.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: You will see that it says that a -- the three
2 civilians we've heard so much about, Minic, Matkovic, and Andjelkovic,
3 were not at the meeting but there were three apparently additional people.
4 Can you read the names of the three others who were present.
5 A. "Present: General Stevanovic, Obrad and Colonel Lazarevic V.,"
7 JUDGE BONOMY: There's not a third one there that is difficult to
8 read; there are only two names?
9 A. Two. Two names.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, this appears to be the first occasion that --
11 that you attended this group of -- of people, and you've described already
12 going to certain meetings. Do you remember Obrad Stevanovic being at the
13 first meeting you were present at?
14 A. I must confess that I did not know my colleagues from the police
15 very well. I didn't even know their ranks. I knew they were from the
16 MUP. But I really cannot confirm whether he was present on that occasion
17 when I attended for the first time. It is recorded here that he was.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Have you ever met him?
19 A. Yes, I have at a later stage. I met him some before that even.
20 But not that much. I wasn't even able to -- I wasn't even able to
21 identify them all if they were in civilian clothing. I cannot really
22 confirm that he was present then. But if somebody recorded this meeting,
23 they probably recorded it right.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you remember being present at a meeting where
25 the kidnapping of journalists was mentioned?
1 A. I am familiar with the incident, if that's the one involving the
2 kidnapping of two journalists around Orahovac. But I don't know to what
3 degree and whether it was discussed at the meeting. I know that the OSCE
4 mission got involved in the matter later. I know of the incident, but I
5 really cannot remember any information exchanged at one of those meetings.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you remember General Djordjevic being
7 present at any of these meetings?
8 A. I would say that on those few occasions he was there -- I cannot
9 be 100 per cent certain. But if we look at documents, we can check. I
10 would say that on some of those occasions I saw him. But if -- I can only
11 confirm for sure that I was with the corps commander. But as for the
12 others, who attended when, I cannot say.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: I wonder if you would now go to the 17th of
14 September. In English, that's page 119.
15 MR. HANNIS: The last four digits for the B/C/S, Your Honour, on
16 that are 8514.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Is that at the top right or at the bottom left,
18 Mr. Hannis?
19 MR. HANNIS: Well, the ERNs are stamped in various places on
20 various pages. But they are sequential, and that may help the general
21 find it.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: It's more than three-quarters of the way through.
23 Do you have it?
24 Yes. Thank you.
25 A. I -- I found it in the printed version.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you remember on these occasions -- on at least
2 some of these occasions meeting Mr. Sainovic?
3 A. I think I did. I think I did see him.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Andjelkovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Minic?
7 A. I think so.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And on any of these occasions did you see
9 Mr. Matkovic?
10 A. I believe I did on some of these occasions.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, the one on the 17th that you're looking at
12 records you as speaking and talking about attacks on your border
13 observation posts. Do you remember telling the group about that?
14 A. Well, in principle, for the most part, I discussed that at those
15 meetings. I provided information from the state border, firsthand
16 information, if I can put it that way.
17 I see in the first sentence here, if that is what you're asking
18 me, that that - and well, the second sentence too - primarily pertained to
19 what was going on at the border. Now, whether it was all in that order
20 and that way, I really cannot recall, but for the most part I spoke about
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Generally at -- at these meetings, was Mr. Lukic
23 present? I mean General Lukic.
24 A. Yes. Well, on some occasions I think that he was present during
25 this brief period. While I was in attendance, I think I saw him on some
1 occasion. I may make a mistake, but I think that I did see him on some
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you go over the page now to the start of the
4 record for the 18th of September. You've already read a little at the
5 beginning of this to us in your evidence.
6 This one suggests that you were reporting about the return of
7 refugees, passing on reports you had got and various things you were
8 having to do in areas where people were returning. Do you recollect if --
9 if that's something you would -- you reported to them on or explained to
11 A. Well, I cannot -- well, there are six or seven bullet points here.
12 I cannot remember all of that. But as for this first bullet point, via
13 the Streoci mountains where the terrorists took civilians to Albania as a
14 human shield and now they were returning them, this was a problem that was
15 pretty big. I am aware of that fact, and I assume that I could have told
16 those people present there about that too. Because you see, it says in
17 parentheses here, "terrorists." I remember that problem, via Montenegro
18 to Albania, they went there. We knew the terrorists went there. They
19 were returning and that was the situation in mid-September.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And if you could go forward now a couple more pages
21 to the 21st of September. It -- the date has been written as "1
22 September," I think, but it should be 21 September, if this is in
23 sequential order.
24 Now, you're -- you're recorded as being present at that meeting.
25 Do you know who Mr. Radovic is?
1 A. Mr. Radovic is an official from the State Security Service, a
2 person from the State Security Service of the MUP of Serbia.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, in this particular minute, there's no
4 reference to any army report being made but there is reference to
5 discussion of the involvement of international figures or countries in
6 the -- the problem. At any meeting you were at, was that sort of thing
7 discussed? For example, there's reference to Yeltsin's efforts, which
8 we've heard about, and also about positions taken officially by - or
9 perhaps not officially - positions taken by Russia and the United States.
10 A. Well, I really cannot be that accurate. I know that as for these
11 people who attended meetings from among the state officials, we received
12 information from them that was of a political and diplomatic nature too.
13 As for what you are asking me about, Mr. President, Your Honour, about the
14 Russian position, Yeltsin's position, I cannot say --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you very much.
16 Do these questions and answers raise any issues for any Defence
17 counsel other than Mr. Bakrac, any that you wish to raise?
18 Anything for you, Mr. Hannis?
19 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, there was one, regarding the
20 discussion about civil defence and civil protection, if I may.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: What is it?
22 MR. HANNIS: I wanted to ask if -- you asked about the
23 distinctions between their functions and their roles.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
25 MR. HANNIS: I wanted to ask if there were any distinctions in
1 terms of uniforms, insignia, and weapons.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you that question, Mr. Lazarevic.
3 Between civil defence and civil protection, was there any difference in
4 the uniform worn, the insignia, and the weapons carried?
5 A. I saw uniforms of members of the civilian protection; however, I
6 personally did not see the uniform of members of the civil defence. I did
7 not see that. I did not see weapons of the civil protection and civil
8 defence. I know what is envisaged by the law, and I saw a document from
9 their administration stating that they should store their weapons at army
10 depots. But during the war, I really did not see any of these persons
11 from the civil defence.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, what were the civil protection uniforms?
13 A. Civil defence uniforms -- civil protection uniforms.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Civil protection, yeah.
15 A. Yes. I would say they were light blue in colour, with insignia on
16 the sleeves that were yellow triangles. And around the triangle is a
17 circle. It is that type of uniform. Then a cap of this blue colour.
18 They also had some vests, fluorescent yellow. And that is what I saw.
19 Because, you know, the firemen of the civil protection wear one type of
20 weapons; those for reporting wear others; and so on.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: And what weapon did they actually have?
22 A. Well, I didn't see them carrying weapons. I know what the law
23 says, but I really did not see -- because I saw them extinguishing fires
24 and getting the wounded out. I saw that on one or two occasions near
25 Luzani Bridge on the 1st of May, 1999. But I did not see them with
1 long-barreled weapons. I'm talking about the civil protection. The law
2 says that they should only be armed with side-arms. It is the Ministry of
3 Defence that regulates that particular subject matter.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, there was one other regarding military
5 territorial detachments I -- I wasn't clear on. I understood that they
6 come from the municipalities, but I wasn't clear if there were
7 circumstances under which those detachments could be assigned to a task
8 outside their municipality.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we've -- I think that question may be asked,
10 but we certainly have had evidence that they were re-subordinated, and
11 I -- I think the answer to the question is "yes."
12 A. Yes. Well, these are not local guards and Territorial Defence.
13 It's not that.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. That's all I had, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just go back to the civil protection and
16 civil defence question.
17 Just a moment, Mr. Fila.
18 We've seen a number of documents in which subordinates are
19 enjoined, at least, to utilise the armed non-Siptar population, and you
20 have told us that that is largely a -- a reference to largely civil
21 protection and civil defence. Are you saying you've never actually seen
22 the civil protection or civil defence used in anger?
23 A. Not only that, Your Honour, Mr. President. I did not see a single
24 member of the civil defence, but I did see members of the civilian
25 protection and units of the army getting people who were hurt out after
1 the bombing of Pristina. I saw that. Not to speak of any attacks. I did
2 not even see these people, let alone see them engaged in attacks.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: But -- but you know what I'm referring to, a number
4 of documents which suggest that they should be used along with military or
5 police units to actually engage the terrorist forces. Now, you've never
6 seen that happen?
7 A. Allow me. Your Honour, Mr. President, with all due respect, as
8 far as I remember, the documents say that these forces are engaged for
9 securing roads and vital facilities, not for active action against
10 terrorists. So this is a position that is based on what their general
11 purpose is and what the combat rules are. And that's only at the level of
12 the general matters; namely, what I got from the army commander.
13 As you could see, I did not expand on that, because I didn't know
14 what detachment, what local guard. I didn't receive anything on that
15 score. Had it been necessary, there would have been re-subordination and
16 then some gorge or some bridge or some tunnel is something that they could
17 have secured. But that would have to be resolved through a procedure.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I stand corrected by you on -- on what was
19 envisaged in these documents. But I -- I gather - please say if this is
20 wrong - I gather you're saying that you never actually saw any of them
21 used for any of the tasks that were mentioned in the documents we've seen.
22 A. Yes, indeed, except for the civil protection once or twice.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: But that was -- according to you, that was to deal
24 with the aftermath of fire or something similar.
25 A. Yes, after a fire and after a bus accident on a bridge. Their
1 intervention was late. And our military intervention was late too. There
2 was no help.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm more concerned with their use in a positive way
4 to secure installations or -- or roads, as you mentioned. You -- have you
5 ever seen them used in that way?
6 A. I haven't. It is possible that the administration for defence
7 engaged them. I'm not challenging that. But as far as army units within
8 the Pristina Corps are concerned, I really, absolutely -- not a single
9 unit could not have used these civil protection units, and they didn't use
10 them. And I believe -- well, if you want me to put it that way, I believe
11 that they did carry out part of their functions within the defence system.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Anything else, Mr. Hannis?
13 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, I think.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Mr. --
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Well, I -- General, I would have a question. I
16 seek some clarification with respect to the military territorial
18 Now, as you were informing us about their functions on questions
19 which were raised from the Bench, I gathered as if these were units who
20 performed watch-and-ward duties, like taking care of the barracks, taking
21 care of the equipment, and looking after these in the absence of the
22 soldiers having gone outside. Now, that's what I gathered. And we know
23 that there is always a unit like this which has been picked up from the
24 local territorial limits to perform the watch-and-ward duties.
25 But then later on the road as you went further, I learned that
1 there were -- there could be -- they could be used beyond the local limits
2 from where they are recruited; and, secondly, that they could also be
3 posted on the borders and be with the VJ or the combat units.
4 So a question arose in my mind as to how these people were
5 recruited. And the second question was that if initially their duty was
6 for watch and ward, wasn't it an aberration to send them on the borders?
7 Why was this happening?
8 So I have two questions. One is how they are recruited. And
9 secondly, is it an -- was it an aberration from the main task for which
10 they were meant to have been sent on the borders.
11 I mean, if you could clarify this, because it looks a bit chaotic.
12 Thank you.
13 A. Your Honour, in order to be as accurate as possible, I gave the
14 example of the military territorial detachment of Strpce. Strpce is a
15 small town very close to the border with Albania and Macedonia. There
16 aren't any military facilities there. There are no barracks there. This
17 detachment of 200 or 300 people has nothing to guard or watch there. They
18 are supposed to close a pass through which terrorists were coming from
19 Albania and thus threatening this small town of Strpce that had a mixed
20 population. It is within the territory of the 243rd Mechanised Brigade
21 and it was their task to defend that area and to prevent incursions by
22 terrorists from Albania. That is on the first point.
23 As for the second point, these are not guard units. Within a
24 military district, there are reconnaissance sabotage detachments. This is
25 a special unit that is trained for anti-sabotage activities: Also there
1 is a military police company at the level of the military district, that
2 is to say, to carry out military police work. Within their weaponry, they
3 have 60-millimetre mortars. That is to say, that they also have a
4 anti-aircraft battalion, and that is to say that they can defend
5 themselves from air attacks. So these are combat units that can secure
6 and defend military facilities but also in terms of some military
7 topographical positions they can guard them -- guarding the flanks of some
8 of the other army units.
9 JUDGE CHOWHAN: And what about their recruitment?
10 A. Within the military district, they have their own command. It's
11 the military district that mobilises them. There is a plan from earlier
12 on, a special plan of mobilisation or a war plan whereby they are engaged,
13 unless there is re-subordination. If there is re-subordination, then the
14 new command engages them in accordance with their needs.
15 JUDGE CHOWHAN: I apologise interrupting. I meant their initial
16 entry into the armed forces. I mean, is the recruitment distinct and
17 separate from those of the VJ? That's the question I'm asking.
18 A. No. No. No. There is a single mobilisation plan. This is a
19 single plan.
20 JUDGE CHOWHAN: Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, you wanted to raise something.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No, no. Don't be afraid. I didn't
23 want to ask anything. I just wanted to help you. It doesn't say "the 1st
24 of September." It says "the 21st of September." In the Serbian language,
25 it says "21st of September." However the document's is gone. It's
1 missing, it's no longer there. I just wanted to tell you that it was a
2 question of the translated document. In the original this is what it
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much. Excuse me.
5 Mr. Bakrac, over to you.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Re-examination by Mr. Bakrac:
8 Q. [Interpretation] General, it's my turn again, but we are not going
9 to be engaged in the whole cycle yet again, so you shouldn't be afraid.
10 Since we are going to take the break in five minutes, I thought
11 that I should deal with this in the same order in which the
12 cross-examination went, so in order not to interrupt, I'll start with the
13 basic points, how you and I started the direct examination.
14 There were some misunderstandings in relation to who appoints
15 generals and at whose proposal.
16 In this connection, His Honour Judge Bonomy put a few questions to
17 you. I would like us to clarify that matter. And may I ask you: Who is
18 it that proposes appointments of generals? And in the General Staff, is
19 there a special list of generals or potential generals? And if so, who
20 keeps these records?
21 A. In the personnel department of the General Staff of the Army of
22 Yugoslavia, it is prescribed that there should be a list of the general
23 personnel, of future generals, so to speak, on the basis of assessments,
24 estimates, proposals of subordinate commands. Every calendar year this
25 list is adopted at General Staff level. It becomes longer or shorter. So
1 it is then -- it -- that is the institution at army level that takes care
2 of this matter, these future generals.
3 I, as a member of the collegium of the Chief of Staff of the
4 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia can say --
5 MR. HANNIS: I'm not sure how this arises from anything I asked in
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It's apparently something I asked, Mr. Hannis.
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that I did say
9 that you were the one who asked about that. I really don't see why my
10 colleague Mr. Hannis recognised himself in this.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I proceed, Your Honour,
12 Mr. President?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah, I -- I don't remember really wanting all this
14 detail, but please continue if you think it's important.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, just one more sentence. It is
16 the General Staff, that is the institution that keeps these documents and
17 that proposes to the President of the State -- or rather, in most cases
18 this was done not only to the President but to the Supreme Defence
19 Council, and that is absolutely the procedure that I was aware of
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. That will do. Let us just keep things as short as possible and
23 we'll move on faster.
24 So, General, can we conclude that the President of the Republic
25 only formally adopts his presidential decree but the proposal comes
1 from --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the rest of the
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Just as well. The -- let's get the ground rules
5 clear at this stage. Leading questions of that nature, conclusions that
6 you seek to draw from the overall evidence are not appropriate in
7 re-examination. It's open to you to make whatever submission you wish in
8 due course about the role of the President, but that sort of question is
9 out of place now at re-examination. It's perfectly in order for you to
10 ask questions about the system and how it operated in practice, but not a
11 question of that nature, Mr. Bakrac.
12 And we will break now and we will resume again at ten minutes to
14 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. General, my colleague or my learned friend Mr. Hannis asked you
19 about your commendation from your personnel file, when and from whom you
20 received it, and you were not sure about the date.
21 Could we look at 5D1326, please. It's a personnel file.
22 Could you look at the last page, please, page 9, column 15, and
23 could you tell us whether that's what you were referring to and whether it
24 refreshes your memory as to when you were commended. It's the last page,
25 page 9, column 15. Line 5.
1 The last page, under the heading "15."
2 A. Yes. That's the commendation or prize I was referring to, the
3 prize of an official pistol received from the chief of the General Staff
4 of the Yugoslav Army. I believe at that time it was General Ojdanic,
5 although I may be wrong. And the date is the 21st of April, 2000. That's
6 what I was referring to, even though I didn't have the document before me.
7 Q. Let's move on. My learned friend asked you --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you move on, the indictment claims that
9 General Ojdanic was named Federal Minister of Defence on the 15th of
10 February, 2000, so he would not be chief of the General Staff at that time
11 if that is true.
12 Does that help you remember?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was not sure whether
14 it was in early 2000. Now that I see the date, it probably was not by
15 General Ojdanic.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Bakrac.
18 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. General, my learned friend asked you whether members of the
20 Pristina Corps were frustrated if a soldier was killed by the KLA. I'd
21 like to know: When you became the corps commander in 1999, were there
22 any events that might have caused frustration in the army and it did not
24 A. I tried to point out through my reply to Their Honours that in a
25 professional army, there are, of course, frustrations but they cannot be
1 what the members of the army are guided by. I want to give you a specific
3 On the 8th of January, 1999, when terrorist forces kidnapped eight
4 soldiers in broad daylight in peacetime, there can be no greater
5 frustration for the entire state and for the army. This, however, does
6 not mean there will be retaliation or that the army should disobey the
7 rules. I know very well that we showed extreme restraint and acted very
8 correctly, and I think the international representatives confirmed that at
9 the time. I'm giving this by way of a specific example.
10 Q. I wanted to show you a specific exhibit, but I'll do it this way:
11 Do you know which international representatives, if you remember, and how
12 did they assess this event?
13 A. We have seen documents here from Mr. Vollebaek, the chairperson of
14 the OSCE, where he commended the restraint shown by the army and the state
15 in their response to this major problem where the OSCE was involved.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that's 2D181. I don't
17 think there's any need to delve into it any further and waste time.
18 Q. General, my learned colleague Mr. Ivetic put a large number of
19 questions to you which seemed to suggest that there was actually
20 re-subordination of the MUP and that the Army of Yugoslavia, or more
21 precisely, the Pristina Corps participated in the planning of actions for
22 the MUP also.
23 Could we please look at 5D476.
24 This is your document of the 9th of April, 1999. Can you please
25 comment on paragraph 2.
1 A. In the second paragraph, it says that the staff of the MUP of
2 Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija issued an order to all the secretariats of
3 the interior to start planning actions to break up the remaining terrorist
4 forces. And with a view to coordination I commanded that the commanders
5 get in touch with the heads -- the chiefs of the secretariats to see to
6 what extent cooperation could be established with the MUP in carrying out
7 that task in view of the information we had, the Pristina SUP, the Pec
8 SUP, and so on.
9 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on to document 4D229, dated the
10 20th of April. It's an order issued by the 3rd Army Command from the
11 forward command post. Please comment on item 1. How did you understand
12 this order? Who was supposed to contact whom?
13 A. Is this the document on the screen?
14 Q. 4D229.
15 THE INTERPRETER: 299. Interpreter's correction.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation].
17 Q. 299.
18 A. This is a well-known order on re-subordinating the organs of MUP
19 units to the army. In item 1, the army commander orders that those units
20 and the organs should be re-subordinated to the Pristina Corps and
21 Nis Corps and that the commanders of those corps through their orders, in
22 conformity with the organisations of the organs and units of the internal
23 affairs in areas of responsibility should regulate the duties in the
24 planning and conduct of combat operations at each level of command.
25 That means to establish the possibility of re-subordination at
1 each tactical level.
2 Q. Well, you've just explained that this referred to the lower
3 tactical level. My learned friend Mr. Hannis asked whether you were
4 looking for counterparts in the MUP, someone who would be your
6 My question is: Did the 3rd Army at the forward command post
7 establish contacts with the MUP staff in Kosovo and Metohija?
8 A. Well, on a few occasions, yes, as far as I know. There were some
9 documents to that effect. But very, very little, because quite simply the
10 situation did not allow for the army commander or the corps command to
11 communicate or establish firm contacts with the MUP.
12 Q. My colleague Mr. Ivetic further showed you their Defence document
13 6D704. This is an order Bajgora 2 of the 4th of May, and here it seems
14 you ordered the coordinated action with the MUP forces.
15 Let's look at P9189 [as interpreted]. These are minutes from a
16 meeting with the leading employees of the MUP in Kosovo and Metohija dated
17 the 4th --
18 [Defence counsel confer].
19 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] P1989, please.
20 Q. That's the document, General. Would you please look at the last
21 page, the fourth page, which is the last, and comment where there are
22 asterisks, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven -- so the seventh one
23 and the last one.
24 A. Yes, the seventh asterisk says: "Obrad Stevanovic, Assistant
25 Minister." As far as I can understand the document, that's what he is
1 saying, command and control of the units of the territory of the
2 secretariat shall be carried out by the chiefs, the chiefs of the SUPs.
3 And then the last: "Conduct cooperation with the VJ through the
4 commander of the -- or commanders on the ground and inform the staff of
5 any problems."
6 So the Secretariat of the Interior is in command and they are
7 cooperating with the army in the carrying out of these tasks, not just one
9 Q. At what level was this?
10 A. At the level of the brigade commanders, combat group commanders.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Can we now move on to P1996, dated
12 the 7th of May, 1999. As I mentioned, 6D704, Bajgora 2, where coordinated
13 action with the MUP is mentioned, that's dated the 4th of May. And these
14 are minutes from a meeting of the 7th of May in the MUP staff three days
16 Could we look at page 9. That's the page before last. Can we
17 look at that first, please. The page before the last, page 9.
18 Q. It says here that the head of the staff promised the minister,
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Stevanovic -- he gave him the floor, that is.
20 And could you please read item 2.
21 A. "Anti-terrorist actions in certain parts were slow and with many
22 problems. After the completion of larger actions, such as
23 Budakovo-Jezerce, there will be independent planned work of each
24 Secretariat of the Interior on organising anti-terrorist actions in their
25 areas. The plan must be approved by the staff and it shall be carried out
1 with manoeuvre detachments."
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] In English, Your Honours, it's page
3 11. I see that in the meantime ...
4 Q. And please, item 4. Can you just comment briefly on item 4.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Is this something that Mr. Lazarevic has personal
6 knowledge of or are you putting to him a document that comes from a -- a
7 source that he was not involved in?
8 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I only wish to ask him
9 whether this is consistent with what he knows and his experience on the
10 ground, whether there was re-subordination, cooperation, and coordination.
11 That is something that might be consistent with his knowledge of events on
12 the ground.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: But are you saying he hasn't answered these
14 questions in a -- adequately already in cross-examination, somehow or
15 other you need to rehabilitate him, he has been undermined by Mr. Hannis?
16 Because that's what re-examination is about. Re-examination isn't another
17 opportunity to expand upon your case.
18 Now, are you saying here that there is something that needs to be
19 clarified about his position on this?
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my understanding was
21 that Mr. Ivetic in his cross-examination attempted to undermine the case
22 from the examination-in-chief, which is that there was no
23 re-subordination, that there was only coordinated action, that the army
24 planned its own actions and the MUP planned its own part in the
25 activities. And I am trying to strengthen Mr. Lazarevic's standpoint,
1 which he expressed in -- during the examination-in-chief.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: But I can't see how putting this document -- what
3 is this document exactly?
4 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is the record from
5 the meeting held in the MUP staff for K and M in Pristina on the 7th.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: But Mr. Lazarevic has resisted any suggestion by
7 Mr. Ivetic that somehow or other there was -- well, in -- he's resisted
8 everything, I think, that was put to him. I may be wrong in some minor
9 detail. But for you now to be putting MUP documents to him for his
10 comment, it seems to me pretty pointless. These are things that you can
11 argue about in due course. You can ask us to draw conclusions from them
12 in light of the evidence Mr. Lazarevic has already given. But complete
13 what you're doing on this, but please -- please try to confine your
14 re-examination to things that need to be clarified.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] I will try, Your Honour.
16 But in that case, please may I draw your attention to 1193 --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer to your question is "no." That's not
19 what re-examination is about, drawing our attention to documents.
20 Submissions in due course will be about that or presenting your evidence
21 in chief and cross-examination may be about that. More particularly,
22 examination-in-chief, but not re-examination. This is not a chance for
23 you just to have another opportunity to supplement your case by reference
24 to documents that haven't been explored at an earlier stage in the
25 proceedings. That would give rise to the need for us to revert to
1 Mr. Hannis and anyone else affected by that. It's issues that arose in
2 cross-examination that need to be clarified that you should be dealing
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, precisely according to
6 your instructions, just let me have a look at this and we will move on.
7 Q. General, I will have only one further question about
8 re-subordination, something that Mr. Hannis raised and you mentioned too
9 but you could not recall it precisely. It's the 37th Motorised Brigade.
10 You said you seem to remember you sent some operatives there.
11 Could we look at Exhibit 5D1084. Let us look at point -- 2.1,
12 paragraph 6.
13 Is that what you meant when you said that on the 17th of May --
14 Mr. Hannis said he was not able to find some documents yesterday. On the
15 17th of May you sent a number of operatives. Could you comment, which
16 operatives were these?
17 A. This is one of the combat reports from the 37th Motorised Brigade
18 from which we see that on the 17th of May as well I am making efforts by
19 sending the assistants for operations, Colonel Stevanovic and another
20 colonel, Novak Paprica, so that they can try to deal with the issue of
21 re-subordination on the spot, re-subordination by those MUP units who were
22 in the area of that brigade. And until the end of the war, these efforts
23 remained fruitless. This is just one of those reports.
24 And let me avail myself of this opportunity to point out that this
25 is the Novak Paprica whose name I could not recall earlier. He was part
1 of those efforts.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, if -- if I may. I -- perhaps there's
3 been a translation misunderstanding, but the questions I had asked
4 General Lazarevic about sending anyone to the 37th Brigade was whether
5 that was to follow up on the allegations that MUP was involved in
6 committing crimes. It wasn't about subordination or lack of
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
9 Mr. Bakrac.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Well, I understood that
11 General Lazarevic answered precisely to that question that that's why he
12 sent operatives to the 37th Brigade.
13 Q. We'll move on soon to another subject, but I want to know: You
14 were shown by Mr. Ivetic a map depicting an operation where some army
15 units were drawn and some PJP units. Could you explain to us, what is
16 normally indicated on a map for the Pristina Corps?
17 A. The instructions on drawing maps of the Army of Yugoslavia
18 stipulates that units up to two levels below should be indicated, as well
19 as neighbours, as well as other units that are not within the system of
20 subordination in that area but are known to be there, enemy forces are
21 indicated as well as hostile territory. That is why we put on the map the
22 MUP units that are known to be there. That is in keeping with the rules.
23 Q. Thank you, General. Let's move on.
24 There have been quite a few questions about Operation Slup and
25 Voksa and the order, that is Exhibit P1428. I think it remained unclear,
1 and I think it's a good idea to look at 5D1174. That's a combat report
2 from the forward command post of the 3rd Army dated 14 August. I would
3 like your clarification and comment.
4 Could we please look at item 4, which starts with the words "I
5 hereby decide," on page 4.
6 Just a second.
7 General, this combat report relates to what day? We see that it's
8 dated 14th of August, 1998.
9 A. Well, it means that it was written on that day, covering the
10 previous day and ending at 1400 or 1500 hours on the day when the report
11 is written.
12 Q. If I understood you correctly, it covers activities of the 13th of
14 A. Correct. Correct.
15 Q. Is it possible that this decision of the 3rd Army commander was
16 then made the previous day, on the 13th?
17 A. Well, the gist is this: The army commander made a decision to
18 carry out this operation and ordered the Pristina Corps to support the
19 MUP. That decision came into force when this report was sent to the chief
20 of General Staff, General Perisic.
21 Q. Thank you, General. There have been quite a few questions and a
22 lot of discussion here on the issue of the log number 455. Mr. Hannis
23 asked you at one point whether that number related only to anti-terrorist
25 Could we please look at 5D315. Let us look at the log number, and
1 you will tell us what this document relates to.
2 A. That's one of my orders of the 10th May 1999. The number is
3 455-226, wherein I am warning units that there will be a medical
4 examination of individuals experiencing psychological and other problems,
5 behavioural problems. That number, 455, is given by the registry.
6 Q. Have there been other subjects covered in documents under the same
7 number, 455?
8 A. As far as I remember, in cross-examination as well we have seen at
9 least several other documents under this number. I cannot recall exactly
10 what they dealt with, but this is one example.
11 Q. In order to move on more speedily, let me cite documents 5D359 and
12 5D365 that belong in the same category.
13 Have there been any orders, General, to conduct anti-terrorist
14 operations under other numbers, not 455?
15 A. Yes. The operatives who worked at that moment on the drafting of
16 such documents sometimes put other numbers. It creates some technical
17 difficulties, but it's not against any specific rule. It's not a
18 particular breach.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Does -- does that mean that they should all have
20 455 as the reference number?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm trying to explain
22 that what really matters is which organ created the document. The content
23 can also decide the number, but as we have seen in our documents, the same
24 subject was sometimes under 455, sometimes under other numbers. It was
25 desirable to register it as 455, but it was not compulsory.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Bakrac.
3 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. General, my learned friend Mr. Hannis asked you how much more
5 evidence he needs to introduce, referring to the Joint Command, so that
6 you admit to its existence. My question is: How much evidence is there
7 about the activities of the Pristina Corps which contain no reference at
8 all to the Joint Command?
9 A. I know that during proofing we have prepared at least 4500
10 documents to tender, and then we abandoned that idea, and I know that this
11 term is not mentioned anywhere in those documents. I know that for a
13 But I was trying to explain something else. Even in those places
14 where there is a reference to the Joint Command, it is not proof of its
15 existence, in my opinion.
16 Q. We have seen -- you are saying that it's not proof that it really
17 existed. We have seen minutes from those meetings where General Pavkovic
18 reports that a special helicopter unit had not been established and two
19 combat groups had not been established. If that had been the Joint
20 Command, as suggested here, would it have had the strength, the power to
21 create a helicopter unit and two special combat groups?
22 A. Well, that is the point. And I am trying to make it to the best
23 of my ability. "Command" implies power. The command decides. And if
24 it's a Joint Command, it doesn't have to ask anybody. It decides. The --
25 the army commander in that case would have just decided, not approved. He
1 has nothing to seek approval for. He just decides.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... I don't
3 understand the point you're trying to make, Mr. Bakrac. That's exactly
4 the situation that -- that Mr. Hannis is suggesting, that it's out of the
5 individual control of the army commander, that the orders come from
6 higher, and that's why you can't get your helicopter, because somebody
7 else has to decide on it. I don't see how this point assists you. But
8 perhaps you want to explore it more to see if you can clarify it.
9 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. General, you have explained your understanding of the meetings of
11 that group. Were they able to issue any orders?
12 A. Speaking of the Pristina Corps, as long as I was Chief of Staff in
13 1998, and in 1999 I don't even know where these people were -- it's not
14 possible at all. But to the specific question of the Presiding Judge, I
15 want to say this: This is not just about the helicopter. It's about two
16 combat groups. There was a proposal to form two combat groups for the
17 border. It's in the jurisdiction of the army commander and he doesn't
18 accept these proposals. Whoever met wherever and suggested whatever, he
19 doesn't accept it. It was only 45 days later that we managed to persuade
20 him, telling him, "Look, the border is empty. There's no one." And
21 that's when he changed his mind. And he was perfectly right. At that
22 time, he resolutely rejected that proposal, and that was discussed in
23 Belgrade. Even President Milosevic mentioned it. I -- I saw it in one of
24 the documents. But I know that at that time he just did not allow it.
25 Q. This Joint Command, could it have issued any orders to
1 General Samardzic, as commander of the 3rd Army, or to the commander of
2 the Pristina Corps?
3 A. They couldn't have ordered themselves or anybody else. I've
4 already answered that. This document that we are referring to - and there
5 are dozens of those - has no --
6 MR. HANNIS: [Previous translation continues] ... calls for
7 speculation on his part, whether or not the Joint Command could have
8 issued orders to General Samardzic. For one thing, he says it doesn't
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, well, Mr. Hannis
12 examined and stated in the indictment and is charging Mr. Lazarevic with
13 being a member of that command.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
15 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Right now we are proving that that is
16 absolutely not correct and that that command as such did not exist, but it
17 is in the indictment that Mr. Hannis wrote.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, if your allegation is that
19 Mr. Lazarevic is a member of the Joint Command, is the question not one
20 that he would be able to answer?
21 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I think it needs to be phrased
22 differently, because his -- his position is it did not exist. Then the
23 question should be: General, if such a command did exist, could they
24 order General Samardzic to do such-and-such? And if that's the question,
25 it calls for speculation.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: It really -- Mr. -- Mr. Bakrac, it's a -- it's not
2 assisting us at all to -- to go through this. Mr. Lazarevic's position on
3 this is absolutely clear, crystal clear.
4 What is it you think isn't clear? Because I -- to me there's a
5 couple of questions in there already that aren't clarifying but confusing
6 the issue.
7 Move on to something different from this. Or at least a
8 different -- even if it's the Joint Command, a different area from this
9 particular question.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I wanted to move on
11 to another topic -- or rather ...
12 Q. Mr. Hannis asked you about weapons and whether the Army of
13 Yugoslavia issued weapons and military equipment to the MUP.
14 Could we please have a look at 3D744 first of all.
15 And then could you give us your comments with regard to this
17 A. I saw this document when General Pantelic testified, assistant
18 chief of General Staff for logistics before the war; in the war, to the
19 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command. My position was, as far as weapons
20 and military equipment are concerned, it is only the Federal Ministry of
21 Defence that is in charge of arming and equipping someone, because the
22 federal ministry is the owner of military property. And this shows that
23 the Supreme Command Staff is addressing the Federal Ministry of Defence in
24 order to meet the needs of the police by ensuring some equipment and
25 weaponry, because the Minister of the Interior asked the Supreme Command
1 Staff for that. Even the chief of General Staff cannot pass a decision.
2 He received this request from the MUP and he is forwarding it to the
3 Federal Minister of Defence, and that can be resolved only at that level.
4 I also answered that this was far away from me. I really don't
5 know what was given, who gave it, and whether it was returned.
6 Q. Thank you, General. Tell us -- there was a question as to whether
7 the war diary of the Pristina Corps would state --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: If you're leaving this document, let's be clear.
9 The -- the terms of this are that the Supreme Command Staff give approval
10 to make these weapons available; is that right?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President, my
12 understanding is that this document was sent to the Federal Ministry for
13 Defence and that the Supreme Command Staff was in agreement with this, but
14 the decision has to be passed by the Ministry of Defence, not the Chief of
15 Staff of the Supreme Command. He does agree with this.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, can you read then the -- the paragraph that
17 begins "Pursuant to the request," at the beginning.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "On the basis of a request of the
19 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia, strictly confidential
20 number," et cetera, "dated the 7th of May, 1999, at the meeting of the
21 collegium of the chief of the Supreme Command Staff, held on the 11th of
22 May, and the meeting of the collegium of the Chief of Staff of the
23 Supreme" -- or rather, it says here, "the logistics assistant to the chief
24 of Supreme Command Staff held on the 12th of May, 1999, approval was given
25 to make the following available to the MUP of Serbia ..."
1 So the Ministry of Defence is informed about this and they are
2 going to make a decision to indeed have these resources made available to
3 the MUP in the two ways described here.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Mr. Bakrac.
5 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for it to be as clear as
6 possible, could we please look at the first paragraph.
7 Q. Underneath the table, could you just give us your comment with
8 regard to the first paragraph underneath the table.
9 A. It says that "The administration for supplies of the ministry must
10 make sure that the decision of the Federal Minister for Defence is to make
11 a decision and a contract is made with the Ministry of the Interior of the
12 Republic of Serbia on making available these mentioned resources."
13 It's a complicated procedure.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I see the English equivalent of that, please.
15 Yes. Thank you.
16 Mr. Bakrac.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, the question was whether the war diary of the Pristina
19 Corps would say where it was that you were during the course of the war,
20 whether the combat reports of the Pristina Corps had entries pertaining to
21 your movement.
22 A. As far as I can remember, very seldom. Perhaps never. For a
23 simple reason: Because I am to report to the commander of the army where
24 I am and I'm with him every day, actually, so it would really be
25 inappropriate for that to be written in the report of the corps command.
1 I don't recall. Perhaps in one or two, but I really doubt that
2 it's in a single report.
3 For that reason, because the IKM, the forward command post, was at
4 the corps command post, so I am going to inform him about other things,
5 not that I was carrying out a control inspection with him on a given day.
6 MR. HANNIS: Can we have clarification, because the question seems
7 to be asking both about the war diary and the combat reports, and I don't
8 know if the answer is referring to both or one. I understand those to be
9 two distinct things.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, could you have that clarified.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps it was my
12 mistake. I was referring to the war diary of the Pristina Corps.
13 Q. The question is just: Were you also -- is that what you meant as
14 well, the war diary of the Pristina Corps?
15 A. Allow me to explain. I meant the war diary. The war diary is a
16 miniature of combat reports. The war diary for one day has perhaps one
17 page; whereas, the combat report has six pages for one day. So the war
18 diary is something where only brief entries are made.
19 Q. Let's be clear on this too: The war diary of the Pristina Corps
20 has as many combat reports as there are units; right?
21 A. No. No. The war diary does not have combat reports.
22 Q. It is supposed to sublimate?
23 A. Yes, exactly.
24 Q. Sublimate on this one page the combat reports of all the
25 subordinate units.
1 A. That's right. That is right.
2 Q. General, you were asked in relation to P1967, the supplement to
3 the decision on Malo Kosovo. Could you please explain whether a
4 supplement to one's own decision is a legitimate way of working.
5 A. Well, there were a few more questions on that. I tried to explain
6 that a supplement is written when there are no radical changes and when
7 there is no need to create a new document. Certainly this is the way in
8 which decisions are made, through supplements to decisions too. In this
9 way, supplementing the previous decision.
10 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] If we can look at P1483, please.
11 Q. And could we hear your brief comments on that.
12 A. Well, I saw this document here during the course of the trial.
13 The Supreme Command Staff on the 12th of April is supplementing its
14 directive of the 8th of April with regard to certain tasks, certain pages,
15 so they are adding or subtracting things. The Supreme Command Staff, due
16 to certain needs, is adopting a supplement to the directive on the defence
17 of the country.
18 Q. Thank you, General.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, yesterday Mr. Hannis -- or rather, I think it was the day
22 before yesterday. In this way you see that we are coming close to the
24 Mr. Hannis asked you about your tour on the 29th of April of the
25 37th Motorised Brigade -- or rather, the 125th Motorised Brigade, and you
1 explained that en route you came across a unit, part of a unit, part of
2 the 37th Motorised Brigade, and you were shown document 5D384.
3 Could you please have a look at this document of the 29th of
4 April. Tell me -- or rather, would you read this. Since this is your
5 document, please read the first paragraph. You can start from the
6 point -- actually, could you read the first paragraph for us and give us
7 your comment who it was that got stuck with a passenger vehicle.
8 A. "On the 29th of April, 1999, around 900 hours, I personally came
9 across part of the 37th Motorised Brigade which was crossing a brook near
10 the Lozice village in disarray (next to the destroyed bridge), while the
11 commanding officer was stuck in the brook in a passenger vehicle, bringing
12 himself and other units in danger of being targeted by the air force."
13 Q. Could you please be so kind as to say what this word "officer"
15 A. I saw there an officer. Since he did not have any rank insignia
16 in front, metal insignia, I thought that this was a reserve officer, a
17 captain, who was in charge of that unit that was moving towards Klina. In
18 my opinion, he thus exposed the unit to danger. I wrote to the brigade
19 commander what he was supposed to do and to report back to me by the next
20 day, 1600 hours on the next day, as to what kind of measures he took.
21 Q. General, you said that on the same day you wrote an order to that
22 effect. And my colleague Mr. Hannis suggested to you that in that way you
23 wanted to return or punish the commander of the 37th Brigade.
24 We are going to get to that. Could we call up in e-court 5D385.
25 While we are waiting for the document to appear, in relation to
1 the previous document you wrote "while the officer was stuck." If it was
2 the brigade commander, what would you have called him?
3 A. I would have called him by his establishment position, even the
4 name and surname, because I know Dikovic. I don't know this man. I don't
5 even know what position he had. I would have sent a different content had
6 I found the commander of the brigade there in person, and I directly would
7 have called him to account. I would not ask him to write a report to me
8 as to measures taken vis-a-vis a third person.
9 Q. General, please look at this document now, 3888-1 -- rather 888.
10 It's strictly confidential number, rather, the document is 5D385. And
11 comment briefly to expedite matters only on the first paragraph. And tell
12 us, where did you notice irregularities and what units did you warn of
14 A. During the cross-examination, although I didn't see the document,
15 I said that on the same day I wrote another order, a warning, for the 37th
16 Motorised Brigade and the 354th, 7th, and --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the number.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the aspect of their behaviour
19 in combat, their conduct, and I sent this to all units as a warning.
20 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you, General. Let's now look at 5D1020, dated --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac, did this mention the incident with the
23 37th Brigade?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a general part, Your Honour,
25 where it says "uncontrolled movement." But that's gone from the screen
1 now. I know that in the preamble, that's the part where it's mentioned.
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have the document
3 before me. I can read out that part, if you wish. By your leave.
4 By Their Honours' leave, could we have the document brought back
5 on the screen, if necessary.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: It is on the screen, is it not?
7 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Not on our screens, Your Honour.
8 That's the next document.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm reading this one thinking it's the -- another
10 page of the same document. Sorry.
11 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] 5D385.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: No, the previous one was 5D384 -- oh, no, sorry.
13 Sorry. You're correct. 5D385.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In line 3, after the comma: "There
15 are daily occurrences of uncontrolled movement of the men in the area of
16 defence and outside it." That's what I was referring to when I saw that
17 unit in disarray crossing the brook and the aeroplanes flying overhead.
18 This refers to the 37th. But I was trying also to draw attention to
19 similar omissions on the part of other units.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And is it this, Mr. Hannis, that you're suggesting
21 was done to humiliate the commander of the 37th Brigade?
22 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, because you'll recall on the 20th
23 of November, when I asked about this, page 18659, at line 18, I asked
24 specifically: "Is that Dikovic you're talking about when referring to the
25 commanding officer in the passenger vehicle?"
1 And the answer was: "Yes."
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, I understand that. And that's being -- I
3 think was to be followed up. But the discussion then was about whether
4 something had been issued to all the commands which humiliated the
5 commander of the 37th Brigade. And presumably this is the only document
6 that could fit that category. And it doesn't seem to -- to mention the
7 incident specifically at all.
8 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I thought -- it was my understanding
9 from my questioning about that document, 5D384, that that had been
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It -- that it had been. But its terms don't look
12 like it would be circulated; however, no doubt we can hear what you all
13 have to say about that eventually.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as Your Honour said,
17 this needs further clarification, could we look at another document. I've
18 got an echo in my headset.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not saying it needs further clarification, I
20 don't think.
21 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I want to show one more
22 document and then we can round off this topic concerning the 37th.
23 Q. General, please look at 5D1020, dated the 1st of May, 1999, and
24 comment briefly on this document and tell us whether from the tone and the
25 way it's written one can conclude that Dikovic was the one who was in the
1 vehicle that was stuck.
2 A. In the middle of this text, the commander of the 37th Brigade is
3 writing to his subordinates that the corps commander personally - that
4 refers to me - and the military police organ found a large number of the
5 members of the brigade outside the area, outside where they had permission
6 to go, and a group was found in the village of Lozica near the destroyed
7 bridge. So he is telling his subordinates that I, as the commander,
8 personally found not him but part of his unit. And he refers to my order,
9 as you see, and then he issued a specific order as to what the unit should
10 do, and that's on the second page in the continuation of the document.
11 Q. General, please just read where it says in the vicinity of Srbica
12 there was an ambush and an attack on a motor vehicle -- on some motor
13 vehicle in which was the assistant commander for the rear of the
14 37th Motorised Brigade, who was traveling without a security escort and
15 special vehicle. Two men of the brigade were killed, and so on.
16 Thank you, General. I have only a few more questions.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Just before you proceed, I identified one other
18 thing that I'd like to ask about. Could we have P2809.
19 This is one of the documents I was thinking about when I was
20 asking you about the role of the armed non-Siptar population.
21 Look, please, at paragraph number 3 of the order and just read it
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Into the system of defence and
24 control of the territory in the area of responsibility, in addition to the
25 establishment units, attached units and MUP forces, through the military
1 departments, include the new military territorial detachments and the
2 armed population in the zone."
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, that appears on the face of it to be
4 suggesting the involvement of the armed population in the general defence
5 and control of the territory.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a somewhat altered sense, but
7 essentially, yes, that's what it says also in the order for defence,
8 because this refers to the system for the defence of the country. I'm
9 trying to say the following: If there was occasion to use a structure
10 outside the army for specific tasks, the procedure of re-subordination,
11 subordination, command, and so on, would ensue. But this comes from the
12 order for defence. It refers to the defence of the country. That's what
13 was given at the level at which it was given, and quite simply that's how
14 it was transmitted.
15 But whether it would happen, well, if -- if it was to happen,
16 there would have to be further specific orders and re-subordination
17 mentioning time, place, role, and so on.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Attached to that document there was a plan of
19 engagement of the joint units with their activities and tasks. Can you
20 remind me what that set out?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my recollection,
22 Your Honour, there was a map of the deployment of the corps units and
23 particular police forces with locations which were known, and there was a
24 text on two pages accompanying the map which said what brigade was
25 responsible for combat control of its own area and where there is a
1 possible coordinated action with the MUP forces. I am convinced that
2 nowhere did any other structure appear either in the map or in the text
3 attached to it.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
5 Mr. Bakrac.
6 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. General, yesterday my learned friend Mr. Hannis showed you
8 PD372 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: 5D372. Interpreter's correction.
10 MR. BAKRAC:
11 Q. And asked you about it. That is, about removing civilians from
12 the area of activities, military activities. And then there followed a
13 question as to what the zone of responsibility of the brigade was. Could
14 you explain the difference between the area of responsibility and the area
15 of combat activities.
16 A. The area of responsibility is a large piece of territory on which
17 a certain army unit can be used for a certain task; whereas, an area of
18 combat activities is an narrower category on a certain axis in a certain
19 part of the former area where a military activity is going on; it's
21 MR. HANNIS: [Previous translation continues] ... a specific
22 reference to where I asked the question? Because I believe I was asking
23 the question from the document, and here the document talks about "zones
24 of defence," which may or may not be something different from "zone of
25 responsibility" and "area of combat activities."
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you have a page reference, Mr. Bakrac?
2 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at the moment I don't
3 have a page reference, because I agreed to changing our method of work
4 yesterday afternoon, and this morning we are in -- well, I know it's P --
5 or rather, 5D372, which was opened by my learned friend and questions to
6 this effect were put.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Where is the reference to "zone of defence,"
8 Mr. Hannis?
9 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm just looking at the document, which
10 in item number 3 says: "Speed up returns of civilians. Do not allow
11 civilian refugee groups to remain in the zones of defence of Brigades."
12 JUDGE BONOMY: You'll see that in the immediately preceding
13 paragraph it's "zone of responsibility." So that seems to be a basis for
14 the question.
15 So please continue, Mr. Bakrac.
16 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We have a
18 Q. General, when my learned friend yesterday commented on document--
19 the document containing the order to abandon schools and other buildings,
20 he asked you whether these were the civilian targets targeted by NATO, and
21 your answer was "yes." My question is: Were these the only civilian
22 facilities targeted by NATO or were there others of a different kind?
23 A. It's difficult to enumerate them all, all the civilian targets
24 targeted in the air-strikes. It's not just schools. Mostly it was
25 industrial compounds, parts of settlements, the road infrastructure,
1 trains, buses, the transportation infrastructure.
2 Q. General, just one final question.
3 Could we please look at Exhibit 5D475.
4 Yesterday my learned friend Mr. Hannis questioned you in detail
5 about a number of documents dating from 2001, and I would only like you to
6 tell us from your document the requests addressed to the General Staff of
7 the Army of Yugoslavia, what were you referring to when at the end of the
8 second paragraph and -- where you say that "a precedent has been set in
9 the functioning of" -- what did you mean by "precedent"?
10 A. Well, what I meant was as an officer this is the first time in my
11 experience that somebody at that level is degrading, derogating, and
12 undermining the Law on Defence, Article 3, which says that the commanding
13 officer is in command of the units. It cannot be a coordinating body. So
14 for the first time, as a lieutenant-general or even colonel-general, I saw
15 something like this, and I did not want to participate in this kind of
16 violation of the Law on the Army.
17 MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
18 Your Honours, I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Bakrac.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. That completes your
23 What we'll do is have the break now and resume at quarter to 1.00.
24 By that time you'll be back in your place and the seat will be vacated for
25 the next witness.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, your next witness.
6 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Our next
7 witness is General Krsman Jelic. But before he is brought into the
8 courtroom, may I ask for your leave to raise two questions? The second
9 issue is technical.
10 My colleague Mr. Bakrac did raise the issue of Racak on the 15th
11 of January during his cross-examination of -- during the cross-examination
12 of General Lazarevic, and that was on page 18547. And Judge Bonomy gave a
13 clarification. It was during cross-examination by Mr. Hannis.
14 The witness who is coming can give us the most relevant
15 information about this incident, because the units of his brigade were
16 deployed in that location. However, in the belief that Racak would not be
17 discussed, we did not include in our 65 ter notification this issue.
18 However, seeing the developments, we introduced into e-court two documents
19 related to that location and that period, of which we notified our
20 colleagues from the Prosecution and provided them with copies of these
22 I now ask your leave to question the coming witness on this
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, have you anything to say on that?
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, Ms. Kravetz is going to deal with this
1 issue, I think she's prepared to deal with this.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Kravetz.
3 MS. KRAVETZ: Thank you, Your Honour. As Mr. Cepic just said, we
4 have not been given notice that this issue would be dealt with during the
5 testimony of this witness. And I have just been provided this morning
6 with two exhibits that he wants to introduce through this witness.
7 We haven't really -- prepared to deal with this matter.
8 But if Your Honour is going to grant the Defence leave to deal
9 with the issue of Racak, then I will be dealing with it as well in
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You're saying but for the fact that it's raised by
12 Mr. Cepic, you would not have been raising it with the witness?
13 MS. KRAVETZ: No, I would have not.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I will allow you do that, Mr. Cepic, but obviously
17 within the bounds we've already set in relation to that subject and we'll
18 allow you to use the two documents you've referred to.
19 And what's your second point?
20 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I discussed
21 that issue, that technical issue with Mr. Haider during the break.
22 If you'll allow me just one more thing. Listening carefully to
23 what my learned friend Ms. Kravetz said, I understood that the issue of
24 Racak is not so relevant for the Prosecution, because they did not prepare
25 for it and did not plan to discuss it. But if they maintain this
1 position, if this issue is not relevant in the view of the Prosecution,
2 then maybe we need not waste time on it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: That's for you to decide as things stand, I'm
4 afraid, Mr. Cepic, because there has been some evidence relating to Racak.
5 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Our next witness is General Krsman Jelic.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good afternoon, Mr. Jelic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you please -- can you please make the solemn
11 declaration to tell the truth by reading aloud that document.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please be seated.
17 Mr. Cepic.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Cepic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] General, good afternoon.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. Please state your name for the record.
23 A. General -- Major-General -- retired Major-General Krsman Jelic.
24 Q. When were you born?
25 A. 7th of April, 1947 in Podujevo. That's Kosovo and Metohija, the
1 Republic of Serbia.
2 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us about your schooling.
3 A. I finished primary and secondary school in Podujevo, military
4 academy in Belgrade. I completed all possible training in the Army of
5 Yugoslavia, finishing with the School for National Defence.
6 Q. Thank you. What were the most important positions you held in
7 your career?
8 A. I was mainly in command positions: Company commander, battalion
9 commander, detachment commander, light brigade commander, mechanised
10 brigade commander, armoured brigade commander, chief of Pristina Corps,
11 chief of the operative group for dealing with the crisis in Kosovo and
12 Metohija, in -- in the south of Serbia.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could we please slow down a little. The
14 interpreters cannot keep up.
15 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Where did you serve?
17 A. Nis, Leskovac, Vranje, Urosevac and Belgrade.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Cepic, speed of questions may be a problem, so
19 could you try to concentrate on slowing down a little.
20 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll do that. I will follow
21 your instruction.
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, could you please slow down in your
23 answers so that all the questions and answers could be recorded properly.
24 Now, would you please tell me, when did you occupy the position of
25 commander of 243rd Mechanised Brigade of the Army of Yugoslavia?
1 A. I was the commander of that brigade from May 1994 until 31st
2 December 1999.
3 Q. Thank you. General, could you please tell me, what were the focal
4 points of activity of that brigade that you led until the end of the war?
5 A. The focus of our activity was on combat training, securing the
6 state border, securing military installations, securing the main roads,
7 and several actions of support to MUP forces in anti-terrorist actions.
8 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that main roads were in danger and you
9 secured them. Could you tell me, which main roads were the most
11 A. The greatest risk was to the road Pristina-Stimlje through
12 Crnoljevo, Dulje pass towards Prizren, and roads towards Macedonia,
13 through Kacanik to Djeneral Jankovic border crossing and from Globocica.
14 MR. CEPIC: Could we have Exhibit 5D685, please. 568, please.
15 Q. [Interpretation] General -- while we're waiting for the document,
16 what was the engagement of your brigade in in-depth securing of the border
17 in early 1999?
18 A. Since there was a continuous onslaught of terrorist forces and
19 smuggling of weapons and equipment from Albania and from Macedonia, the
20 federal government took the decision that some of the units should be
21 engaged in in-depth security of the border. Their main task was to
22 support the 57th Border Battalion, that was line security and in-depth
23 security to stop terrorist forces from spilling over from Macedonia and
24 Albania and from crossing back into those countries.
25 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at the document on the screen?
1 MR. CEPIC: Excuse me. Could we scroll down the document.
2 Unfortunately, it is not the correct document. I requested 5D685, please.
3 That is -- that is the correct document. We also have
5 Could you -- could you scroll down. I need count 2.
6 Q. [Interpretation] General, could you please look at the bottom of
7 the screen. Let me first ask you.
8 MR. CEPIC: Could you scroll up, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Look at the heading. Is it your document?
10 A. Yes, this is a document from my brigade, strictly confidential
11 number 108-2, 11th January, 1999, securing the state border, order.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the document a little bit scrolled down.
14 [Interpretation] General, look at item 2.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in English, please, also count 2.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see it.
18 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Was that the priority, to secure the state border, as we see in
20 this order? Was that the priority of your activities?
21 A. Yes, it was the priority task of the brigade the secure the state
22 border, as written here. Continue to carry this out as the priority task
23 of the brigade as in peacetime. Deadline: Continuous task.
24 Q. General, this order, you issued it on what basis?
25 A. It was issued based on the order of the commander of the Pristina
1 Corps. I think that is indicated in the preamble.
2 [Defence counsel confer]
3 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, where and how did you conduct combat training of troops
5 before the war until the beginning of the war?
6 A. We conducted combat training according to the training plan,
7 mainly in barracks, on training grounds, shooting ranges, the usual
8 locations we used over the previous 15 years.
9 Q. In this courtroom, we heard some witnesses of the Prosecution who
10 stated that the units of the Pristina Corps carried out large-scale
11 exercises and manoeuvres in the areas of Albanian villages of Lasic and
13 A. From 1994, since I became commander of that brigade, until the end
14 of that war, not a single large-scale drill was held on the level of the
15 Pristina Corps. Never on a larger scale than company level or platoon
17 Q. Was there any exercise that could intimidate the Albanian
19 A. No such exercises existed in the plan, and we certainly did not
20 conduct them.
21 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system document number 5D686,
23 Q. [Interpretation] General, is this your document?
24 A. Yes. This is a document from my brigade. Strictly confidential
25 number 186-2, dated 15 January 1999, maintaining and upgrading combat
1 readiness, order.
2 Q. On what basis did you issue this order?
3 A. As we see in the heading, it was issued pursuant to the order from
4 the Pristina Corps Command, 105-1 of 15 January 1999, with a view to
5 ensuring the required level of combat readiness in the forthcoming period.
6 Q. General, could you please answer more slowly to the questions I
8 A. I'll try.
9 Q. Thank you in advance.
10 Would you please look at item 5 of this document.
11 MR. CEPIC: Could we have the document a little bit scrolled down.
12 This is the first page in B/C/S. Thank you. And in English, probably on
13 the second -- actually, the first one, bottom of the page.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, we don't need to read this paragraph of
15 your order, but tell me, to what maximum level was training performed?
16 A. As I stated a moment ago - and we can read in this order - we
17 conducted training up to company level. That was the highest level of
18 training in this period.
19 Q. Thank you. I will ask you a few questions on a different subject;
20 namely, the terrorist attacks. When did they intensify in the territory
21 of Kosovo and Metohija; namely, municipalities of Urosevac and Kacanik.
22 A. Terrorist attacks intensified in the spring of 1998; particularly,
23 in April, May, and June. Those terrorist attacks were extremely strong
24 and powerful on main roads where civilians were intercepted, robbed.
25 There were lootings of equipment. That was the main point of terrorist
2 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system Exhibit number 5D057,
4 Q. [Interpretation] General, tell us just very briefly, what is this
5 document and what is it about?
6 A. This is an official note dealing with an attack by terrorist
7 forces that attacked a logistical column providing supplies to Dulje.
8 They were attacked, wounding six soldiers, one of whom succumbed to his
9 wounds in the Crnoljevo Gorge.
10 Q. Could you read when this happened?
11 A. On the 14th of June, 1999 [as interpreted], in the area of
12 Crnoljevo village, that is, in the Crnoljevo Gorge.
13 Q. What was that year?
14 A. 1998.
15 Q. Apart from this, were there more dramatic attacks on civilians?
16 A. The terrorist forces, as I said, were building up. There were an
17 increasing number of ambushes and attacks. Perhaps the most dramatic
18 occurrence in Kosovo and Metohija happened between Mount Crnoljevo and
19 Drenica in the area of Klecka, where we detected a dozen victims
20 approximately who had been cremated in the same year, approximately in the
21 same period.
22 Q. Which terrorist brigades were there in the area of Kacanik and
24 A. In that broader area, there -- that was the so-called operative
25 zone of Nerodimlje. There were units from the 161, 162, and 163 Brigades.
1 The first two brigades were completely mobilised and activated and
2 conducted combat operations; whereas, the third brigade was set up later,
3 in 1999. Their strength was approximately between 1500 and 1200 soldiers.
4 Q. In addition to the brigades, within the terrorist forces was there
5 a special territorial component as well?
6 A. Yes. One can say that this brigade has a manoeuvre component and
7 the territorial component was present in smaller villages and hamlets. We
8 believed that there were about 40 such villages and hamlets. And in every
9 one of them, there were between 100 and 150 members of these units,
10 respectively, which is a total of 4 to 6.000 members altogether, and
11 perhaps there is a margin of error of 15 to 20 per cent.
12 Q. Just a bit of clarification. This territorial component, is it
13 included in the brigades?
14 A. No, it is outside the brigades. These are practically local
15 guards in certain settlements that at a given signal mobilise people who
16 serve as the alleged defence of the core of that village or kernel. And
17 the brigades are of a manoeuvring nature and they moved in different
18 places in Kosovo and perhaps even all the way down to Metohija as well.
19 These are manoeuvring forces, therefore.
20 Q. General, was there a spillover of forces across the state border?
21 A. Yes, there was a spillover of forces, especially towards the
22 Republic of Macedonia and from the Republic of Macedonia and to the
23 Republic of Macedonia. Along with this spillover, there was large-scale
24 smuggling of military equipment and weapons.
25 Q. In the Republic of Macedonia, were there any terrorist forces?
1 A. According to the intelligence that we had, our intelligence, there
2 was an equivalent of four brigades. At the time, we called them the 3rd,
3 4th, 6th, and 8th. And they were along the border with the Republic of
4 Serbia, and their equivalent was roughly the brigades that were on the
5 territory of Kosovo and Metohija; that is to say, between 1500 and 2.000
7 Q. Could you explain -- could you explain whether this figure that
8 you gave, 1500 to 2.000 fighters, is that the total number in relation to
9 all brigades, or is it a question of individual brigades? Is it the
10 strength of individual brigades?
11 A. When I said that the figure was between 1500 and 2.000 brigades
12 [as interpreted], it meant one brigade only, so then time it is number of
13 brigades. That could be taken as the equivalent of the other side that
14 was under weapons, that is.
15 Q. Thank you, General.
16 We mentioned the term of "spillover" of forces. Could you explain
17 briefly what that means.
18 A. That means that forces went to Macedonia and came in from
19 Macedonia. The term itself, "spillover," means moving from one place to
21 Q. Thank you. I shall deal very briefly with the stay of the OSCE
22 mission in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Could you tell me what
23 kind of cooperation you had with the mission of the OSCE.
24 A. The corps commander issued -- the corps commander issued an order,
25 and therefore in brigades, including my own, we set up a team that was
1 duty-bound to liaise with the OSCE. There was an officer who was the head
2 of this team, and through the mission that was in Pristina - that is to
3 say, with the team that was from the Pristina Corps as defined by the
4 order of the commander of the Pristina Corps - this cooperation took
5 place; that is to say, from me to the liaison officer to the mission that
6 was in Pristina and with the OSCE mission at that.
7 Q. General, how was the question of touring units in the border area
8 resolved by the representatives of the OSCE, members of the OSCE mission?
9 A. Mission -- members of the OSCE mission were duty-bound to announce
10 their tours in the border area, because already in that period there was
11 reinforced in-depth security of these units and part of the area was mined
12 as well. So for the sake of their personal safety, it was requested that
13 they always announce their visits and provision was made for them when
14 they announced their visits.
15 Q. They had to announce their visits how far in advance?
16 A. Roughly 24 hours, unless there would be a very exceptional
17 incident when they had to react straight away.
18 Q. General, General Maisonneuve testified before this Honourable
19 Trial Chamber and he was head of the OSCE mission at this time, and he
20 referred to a situation on the 8th of January, 1999 when there was an
21 incident on the road between Urosevac and Stimlje. On that occasion,
22 three members of the MUP were killed, and a few minutes later from a
23 position at Dulje a tank appeared and fired a shell in the direction of
24 the village of Slapuzane. That was also recorded in the proceedings
25 against Slobodan Milosevic, and the transcript page is 5784. Maisonneuve
1 claims -- General Maisonneuve claims that the army used a tank against the
2 terrorists, which would constitute excessive use of military force.
3 Please, do you remember a specific incident when three members of
4 the MUP were killed? And the second part of the question is: Was a tank
5 used on that occasion?
6 A. As for this information, regarding the killing of three members of
7 the MUP, I know about that. I cannot recall the exact date right now.
8 As for the opening of fire, I remember that allegedly fire was
9 opened by our forces at Dulje.
10 I state here that there was no need, no reason to open fire at the
11 village of Slapuzane.
12 Further on, this village is about 6 or 7 kilometres away. There
13 was a ban on the use of ammunition, especially ammunition for large
14 calibres. We sent daily reports on ammunition spent. Not one of those
15 indicators confirmed this statement of Mr. Maisonneuve and it is certain
16 that there was no shooting. On the assumption that it was necessary to
17 fire, there were some three or four villages or hamlets that were much
18 closer from which these hamlets can be seen and Slapuzane cannot even be
19 seen from up there.
20 Q. Will you just tell me: You're a tank man yourself, according to
21 VES. Is it technically possible from this position at Dulje to fire at
22 Slapuzane, to target Slapuzane?
23 A. As for the positions at the Dulje pass, in the camp, it is
24 technically impossible to fire from there for the following reason:
25 Below is the village of -- sorry. There is a plateau, Boja, from which
1 you cannot see the village of Slapuzane, so you cannot target it. A tank
2 fires in a straight line, not a curved line; therefore, it is impossible
3 to target in this way. This entire area in front is Birac and including
4 the summit, Boja.
5 Q. General, do you know that this situation was checked by the higher
6 command as well within the Army of Yugoslavia, as to whether this had
7 actually happened?
8 A. Whenever there was an excess, they always checked things for us,
9 the brigade and the higher command, and this was the corps command and
10 sometimes even the army command. I know that a team came and checked
11 everything, and all of this was denied.
12 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system 5D646, please.
13 Q. [Interpretation] General, could you tell us whose document this
15 A. This is a document from the command of the 3rd Army, the team for
16 liaison with missions. Strictly confidential number 8098-11/77, dated the
17 14th of January, 1999. It's a telegram, very urgent, regular weekly
18 report, the one that was submitted.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... page number 4; in
21 English, it's page -- also fourth page, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] General, would you please take a look at the
23 second paragraph, the third bullet point. It says: "From 1330 hours to
24 1340 hours" --
25 A. "At the time from 1330 to 1340 hours the liaison officer from the
1 Urosevac Garrison met with the representative of the regional centre of
2 Prizren, Mihajlo Krasnoverski, who reported that on the 8th of January,
3 around 1300 hours, after the attack of the Siptar sabotage terrorist
4 forces, a tank from Birac fired at the MUP from the village of Slapuzane.
5 When we checked with our forces at Birac and Dulje, this report was
7 Q. Thank you. Does this document confirm your words, General?
8 A. Precisely this is the document that was sent from the army
9 command, confirms what I stated.
10 Q. General, was there an escalation of terrorism in February and
11 March 1999 in the territory of the municipalities of Kacanik and Urosevac?
12 A. Terrorism grew during February and March 1999, especially in the
13 areas of Kacanik, Urosevac, and primarily on the roads that I referred to,
14 from Kacanik, Djeneral Jankovic, from Doganovici to Globocica, and across
15 the Crnoljevo gorge.
16 Q. Thank you. Were there cases of urban terrorism?
17 A. As these forces grew, these brigades -- I told you that there had
18 been two, but by now already a third brigade had been established -- the
19 territorial component was reinforced and terrorism slowly started moving
20 from rural areas to urban areas. There were a few attempts, terrorist
21 attacks in several localities in Kosovo and Metohija, primarily in
22 Pristina, Podujevo, and in Urosevac there were three or four such
23 explosions in the centre of town.
24 Q. Thank you. With the withdrawal of the OSCE mission, how did the
25 situation develop?
1 A. As the OSCE mission withdrew from Kosovo, the terrorist forces --
2 well, for them it was practically a signal to attack all positions of the
3 units that were in the area and in the border belt. Particularly fierce
4 attacks came from Macedonia and from the interior -- or rather, from
5 Kosovo and Metohija towards units that were engaged in in-depth security
6 and line security. There were a few casualties among the soldiers then,
7 and especially there was fighting for two repeaters, at 881, feature 881,
8 that is, to the west of Djeneral Jankovic, and at the transmitter of
9 Bojevo going to Globocica on the slopes of Sar Planina.
10 Q. What happened with the repeaters previously?
11 A. These repeaters -- an attempt was made to take over these
12 repeaters and destroy them, so there was fierce fighting there.
13 If I'm not mistaken, the corps commander sent a helicopter then to
14 get the lieutenant and the two soldiers out, those who were casualties at
15 feature 881; that is to say, to the west of Djeneral Jankovic.
16 Q. General, at that moment and during the preceding weeks, was the
17 NATO intervention becoming more and more of a possible reality?
18 A. According to the information and the reconnaissance that we had,
19 the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was practically
20 certain. First, one brigade came to the Republic of Macedonia, and then
21 there was a buildup of forces and they had already reached the level of
22 four or five brigades of the multinational forces.
23 Q. Thank you. General, when did your forces leave the barracks?
24 A. All the brigade units left the barracks by the 24th of March,
25 1999, just before the air-strikes began, and they took up positions in
1 certain areas, and these were defence positions.
2 Q. General, these defence positions, were they in built-up areas?
3 A. Defence positions are chosen tactically, not in built-up areas.
4 And for my brigade and probably all the other units as well, they were
5 outside built-up areas. They were chosen according to tactical position,
6 not according to built-up area. Those areas were chosen which would
7 provide for the most successful and best defence from aggression.
8 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... 5D1337, please.
9 And could I ask the usher to pass this map in hard copy to the witness,
11 Q. [Interpretation] General, what does this map represent?
12 A. This is the defence operation of the Pristina Corps. This is an
13 excerpt for the 243rd Mechanised Brigade. It's an excerpt from the
15 Q. Thank you. Will you please indicate and explain the area of zone
16 of defence taken up by your brigade.
17 A. Before -- in front, there was the state border in a length of
18 808 -- 880 kilometre -- 88 kilometres.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the border was 88 kilometres long
21 in that area from the Danube to the peak of Sar Planina, the mountain,
22 Sar Planina. Near the Danube was the village of Mirosavlje [phoen], that
23 was to the right. And to the left, over the mountain of Sar Planina,
24 Nerodimska Planina, up to the Dulje Lake. The total front line was about
25 150 kilometres long.
1 MR. CEPIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. It might be more useful if you were to indicate this on the ELMO.
3 That's the apparatus on your left. Or maybe on the electronic map.
4 Whatever you find easier.
5 A. I'll try. This is the border towards the Republic of Macedonia.
6 Then to the west, over Sar Planina, the Jezersko Mountains towards Dulje.
7 And to the East, from the Danube, which you can't see very well here,
8 towards Mirosavlje. So that's the border, more or less.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. CEPIC: Could we -- excuse me, Your Honour. Could we have an
11 IC number for this document, please.
12 Excuse me. Could I continue?
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Not until we get the number. Then we can continue.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be IC141, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
17 Please continue, Mr. Cepic.
18 MR. CEPIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] General, you have described to us the length of
20 the border and the boundaries of the zone of defence. Can you tell us, in
21 accordance with the principles, what should be the size of a zone or an
22 area for a mechanised brigade like yours.
23 A. For this size of brigade, under these conditions, the zone of
24 defence, according to the front, should be 10 to 12 kilometres and about
25 15 kilometres in depth.
1 MR. CEPIC: Could we have in e-court system Exhibit number 5D1284,
2 please. Could we also have this exhibit in English. Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] General, can you see this document before you?
4 A. Yes, I can.
5 Q. Will you tell me what this document represents.
6 A. This is an order for defence received from the commander of the
7 Pristina Corps in the unit.
8 MR. CEPIC: Could we look at paragraph number 4, please, count
9 number 4. Also in English, please.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, to avoid reading, we can see item 4
11 clearly before us. This is your order. Will you please tell us what the
12 main task was.
13 A. The main task was in the basic plan -- or rather, in the decision
14 to organise defence, decisive defence in the assigned zone and to prevent
15 a NATO aggression along this axis, as well as an incursion by Siptar
16 terrorist forces in the zone of defence of the brigade, because the
17 brigade was in the first belt of defence, so this territory had to be
18 defended decisively.
19 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Count 9, please.
20 In B/C/S, it's the last page. Thank you.
21 Q. [Interpretation] General, item 9, paragraph 2. That's what I'm
22 interested in. It says here that you will implement in a planned and
23 organised manner a coordinated action with the appropriate units of the
24 MUP of Serbia.
25 A. Yes, it says: "The Brigade Command shall implement in a planned
1 and organised manner in its area of responsibility" --
2 Q. Yes. Thank you. We see this on our screens. My question refers
3 to the cooperation you had with the MUP organs, what sort of -- what was
4 it like?
5 A. Well, it was quite correct and it was quite proper.
6 Q. General, did the MUP forces ever re-subordinate you in the course
7 of the war, or were they re-subordinated to your brigade?
8 A. No, never were they re-subordinated to me or to my superior
9 officer or to my unit. There were some attempts made in that -- to that
10 effect. There were some orders coming from the commander of the Pristina
11 Corps to re-subordinate parts of the MUP, but this was never actually
13 Q. With whom did you cooperate mostly in the MUP? What person?
14 A. The only person I contacted with was the chief of the Urosevac
15 SUP, Colonel Bogoljub Janicijevic. I only contacted him.
16 Q. Will you please look at the next sentence. The next sentence,
17 same paragraph, continues: "Appropriate cooperation and coordinated
18 action shall be implemented through the appropriate organs and
19 authorities, government organs and local municipal organs."
20 My question is: What was your cooperation with the civilian
21 sector like?
22 A. Our cooperation was correct, just as it had been before the war.
23 Q. General, did the units of civil defence and civilian protection --
24 or rather, were they re-subordinated to you at any point in the course of
25 the war?
1 A. At no point were these units re-subordinated to my unit or to me.
2 They belonged to the Ministry of Defence.
3 Q. Did you have any kind of combat activity together with these
5 A. No, we had no joint combat activities with these units.
6 Q. General, did the army perhaps participate in the forming of Crisis
8 A. No, there was no need, nor did we ever use that term, nor did we
9 deal with that, because all the municipal assemblies were in power and
10 they functioned throughout the war, albeit with difficulty.
11 Q. Can you tell us what the life of citizens was like and the
12 economy, and so on. Was the judiciary functioning? Were the authorities
14 A. All the judicial organs and the organs of government continued
15 operating just as before, until the beginning of the aggression. True,
16 they operated under difficult conditions.
17 Q. Was the civilian judicial system functioning?
18 A. Yes, the judicial system, the MUP, everything was operating
20 MR. CEPIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Because I would
21 like to change the topic, so ...
22 JUDGE BONOMY: You wish to adjourn now? Okay.
23 MR. CEPIC: Exactly.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, any more information on transcription?
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Your Honour, I spoke with Mr. Reid. He
1 indicates to me that to do a transcript of the entire Exhibit 950
2 completely in B/C/S would take five working days with the people we have
3 available. And that's with tomorrow being the first working day.
4 Now, he tells me to do it where we would insert B/C/S between the
5 English that we currently have in Exhibit 950 would take twice as long.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You've got me there, Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: I -- it got me too, Your Honour, but he explained to
8 me that probably it is more difficult to do that because the -- during the
9 translation, there are interruptions and speaking over each other;
10 whereas, if the whole -- every word that is said on the tape is
11 transcribed into Serbian, including the English that was spoken, that --
12 that only takes five days. But he told me it would take 10 or 11 days to
13 do it as the ones we have for General Pavkovic and General Lukic, for
14 example. So we would have two separate documents: One that's all in
15 English; one that's all in B/C/S.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: At this point in time, that does not make sense to
17 me. I'll need to have that further investigated to see if I can
18 understand what the difficulties are. I can't understand why the parts
19 which are in B/C/S can't simply be typed out in a transcript in B/C/S,
20 which is what's required.
21 MR. HANNIS: Well, that -- that was my initial reaction too, but
22 it must be some ...
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Well, we'll think about that and make
24 an appropriate decision and order.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes. Your Honour, I would request, if you let me --
1 he tells me that some of this work is going to be done by the people in
2 the field office in Zagreb and he's putting materials on the plane
3 tomorrow morning.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you'll know today.
5 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll adjourn now.
7 Mr. Jelic, we have to interrupt your evidence. That's the end of
8 today's proceedings. You'll have to return to continue your evidence
9 tomorrow. That will be at 9.00 tomorrow morning.
10 Meanwhile, overnight, until tomorrow, it's vital that you should
11 have no discussion with anyone at all about any aspect of the evidence in
12 this case. You can talk to people about whatever else you like, but you
13 must not, with anyone, discuss the evidence.
14 Now, would you please leave the courtroom with the usher, and
15 we'll see you tomorrow at 9.00.
16 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Friday the 23rd day of
20 November, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.