1 Tuesday, 25 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 The Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Could we have appearances
12 for today, starting with the Prosecution.
13 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel.
14 My name is Mark Harmon. Appearing today for the Prosecution is Ann
15 Sutherland, and Carmela Javier is assisting.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And for the Defence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
18 morning to everybody in the process. Defence of General Perisic will be
19 represented today by our assistants Mr. Androvic, case manager Tasic, and
20 Novak Lukic as Defence counsel.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. Good morning, Mr.
22 Tesic. Mr. Tesic, just again to repeat the usual warning that you are
23 still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your
24 testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Madam Sutherland.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 WITNESS: BORIVOJE TESIC [Resumed]
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examination by Ms. Sutherland: [Continued]
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, towards the end of yesterday's session we were looking
9 at a document relating to the pullout of the troops from
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If we could have Rule 65 ter number -- sorry,
11 Exhibit P368 on the screen, please. At LiveNote transcript page 66, you
12 were shown a copy of a document contained within that exhibit, and that's
14 document was from, and you said that it could be from the commander of
15 the Special Units Corps but that you couldn't see that on the document.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, we took the original from the
17 vault last night and had it rescanned into the computer.
18 I have a hard copy here. If it could be given to the witness and
19 Mr. Lukic -- shown to Mr. Lukic before it's given to the witness.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sutherland, I'm advised that this be exhibit
21 was under seal.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: We should be in closed session, maybe, when you
24 use it.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into closed session.
2 [Closed session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in closed session.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just see that on e-court there is
6 another document other than the one shown to Mr. Tesic, so it could have
7 been mistakenly retrieved or could be mistakenly marked.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that a correct one now, Mr. Lukic? Thank you
9 very much. How do you see that when it is so illegible? You don't have
10 to answer that.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honours, the English translation that's on
12 the screen is the unrevised translation. We are in the process of having
13 it revised, but the witness has the document in front of him, and he can
14 read the specific paragraph that I want to take him to, so that's --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that -- going to the witness, ma'am,
16 if it is an unrevised version, I guess we agreed that in such a situation
17 then we mark for identification.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. It was our understanding that
19 if the Defence objected to an unrevised translation, then --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were they aware that it was unrevised?
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: They were?
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were you aware, Mr. Lukic?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, it has the --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me ask Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We would have to be aware of that,
3 but if you allow me, during the break we are going to check whether
4 anything contingent is contained in this translation, and then later on
5 we will let you know whether we stipulate that it be admitted into
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is already admitted, Mr. Lukic. You didn't
8 object. I want to know whether at the time when it was admitted, were
9 you aware that it is a draft version?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I cannot state so clearly. What I
11 see in front of me does not bear the marking "unrevised" or "draft
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Anyway, it's admitted.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I presume that there's nothing
15 contentious there.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, can I just add that earlier in --
17 during an earlier witness's evidence, I told the Court and the Defence
18 that if the ERN starts with the number starts with the letters "ET," then
19 that is a DVU translation, can we say, and --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is a DVU, ma'am?
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's the document video unit or whatever within
22 the OTP, and actually, in the footer of this document it does have
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which means?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Which means that it's not the CLSS translation.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, DVU we are hearing for the first time today,
2 so we will learn as we go ahead.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. Mr. Tesic, looking at that document now, can you tell who the
7 document is from?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Perhaps if we could go down to the bottom of the document.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I guess there's nothing for us to see on the
11 screen? The document that is being seen is the one which is in the hands
12 of the witness.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Because the document
14 has been admitted, our case manager is unable to upload exhibits, and so
15 I have to refer to it by doc ID 0633-1148.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there anything specific we are waiting for?
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: The document to come up on e-court.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: So this is the rescanned -- this is the one
20 that's been taken --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: This is the copy. The B/C/S copy is the one
23 that's been copied from the original from the vault last evening.
24 Q. Mr. Tesic, are you able to see now who the document from?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And who is that?
2 A. Document of the command of Special Units Corps of the Army of
4 Q. You also said yesterday that the person who approved the pullout
5 of the troops was contained in paragraph 1 of that document. As we don't
6 have an English -- revised English translation, are you able to read
7 paragraph 1 into the record?
8 A. Yes. "Because of the apparent need and following approval of the
9 General staff of the Yugoslavia
10 the area of Vogosca."
11 Q. Mr. Tesic, can you see before the words -- before the acronym
12 GYVJ, do you see a letter "N"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what does that stand for?
15 A. Chief.
16 Q. And so if that sentence is read again, could you read the
17 beginning of that sentence again up until the end of the words "VJ"?
18 A. "The chief of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
19 Q. Thank you. I want to turn now – I’ve finished with that document.
20 I want to turn now to discuss the issue of logbooks. Was it protocol for
21 all units to keep correspondence logbooks?
22 A. War diary had to be kept by units at the rank of battalion and
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I guess, Madam Sutherland, that there is no
25 further need for us to be in closed session.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: I was just about to request that we go back into
2 open session.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Madam Sutherland.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Tesic, my question was in relation to logbooks,
9 correspondence logbooks in particular. Was it protocol for all units to
10 keep a correspondence logbook?
11 A. Record books are maintained at the level of brigades and higher
12 commands and institutions.
13 Q. Within the correspondence logbooks, do they include oral orders?
14 A. No.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could we have Rule 65 ter number 08780 on the
16 screen, please.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is it? 087?
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: 80. 08780. Your Honours, we have the --
19 Q. First of all, Mr. Tesic, can you see what this document is?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What is it?
22 A. This is a register of the Special Units Corps of the army of
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, we only have certain extracts of
25 the logbook translated, and I will take the witness to two in particular.
1 This is an extract of a document that we received, which only has
2 extracts from the 21st of December, 1993, until the 31st of December,
3 1993. If we could now go to --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are these documents the same document? I mean, it
5 doesn't look like the left looks like the right side.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour. That's because the front page
7 hasn't been translated. If we could go to entry number 4566, which is in
8 the B/C/S, page 4, and the English, page 2, and it may actually be easier
9 for the witness to read, I have a hard copy of the B/C/S. If this could
10 be handed to the witness and shown to the Defence beforehand.
11 Q. Mr. Tesic, the copy that I've given you runs chronologically.
12 Unfortunately, the copy that's in e-court has been scanned in not
13 chronologically. So the page for you would be 7, page 7 of that document
14 you have in front of you.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So for us to be able to follow the
17 B/C/S version, could my learned friend please tell us which item number,
18 and could you enlarge the B/C/S, that part where the witness is going to
19 testify about for the benefit of Mr. Perisic because he can't see
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: 4566, Mr. Lukic.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: And it's on page 4 of the B/C/S.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And we would also appreciate an enlargement of the
24 English version.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: May I proceed, Your Honour?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of course.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. Mr. Tesic, if we can go from left to right --
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, madam.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND:
7 Q. Mr. Tesic, if we can take the document, and looking at the
8 columns from left to right, can you explain to the Court what column 3
10 A. Yes. Column number 3 refers to the level of confidentiality of a
11 document. It is indicated here "DT," which stands for "state secret,"
12 "drzavna tajna," "state secret."
13 Q. Now, the date of the document?
14 A. The date of the document is the 30th of December, 1993, since
15 this logbook is from 1993.
16 Q. What does -- and then the next column is -- what does that relate
17 to, column number 5?
18 A. Column number 5 indicates the command or institution or the first
19 and last name of the person. It is Military Post 1410 Nis.
20 Q. I'm sorry. If we can go to column number 5 --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, the name of the last person, it is
22 something, something, Nis
23 understand the interpretation.
24 THE WITNESS: This was Military Postbox 1410 Nis.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right, but I guess we've got to know whether the
1 name of this person is the sender or the recipient. I think top of the
2 heading there says "sender." Is this the name of the person who is
3 sending the document, or is it the name of the person who is going to
4 receive the document?
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, Your Honour. If I may, the witness
6 is actually looking at the first entry on that page, which is entry
7 number 4564.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, aren't we looking at entry number 4566?
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: That's what I was just about to take the witness
11 Q. Witness, can you go back across -- looking at entry number 4566.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It has in column 3 the words "DT," which you've explained means
14 state secret. It then has in column 4 --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The date, which is explained.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND:
17 Q. The date, which is in -- which is following the date up on -- of
18 the first entry. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And then in the third column for entry number 4566, does it have
21 the same quotation marks that it's following the entry of the entry
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And so if we look at entry 4565, the one directly above the one
25 that I'm interested in, we see the words "SP." What does that relate to
1 in relation to column 5?
2 A. I presume that's an acronym for "own needs."
3 Q. So if we go back to column 4, that's the date of registration,
4 not the date of the document; is that correct? The date that it's put
5 into the register?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So then if we go to column number 6, in fact, that's the date of
8 the document, is it not? But in this case, there is no date there; is
9 that correct?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. However, we can see from entry at the top of the page, which is
12 entry number 4564, that the date is the -- is it correct, the 29th of
13 December, 29.12?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: We are coming back to the questions from yesterday.
16 It would be fair for the witness to be asked question, on the basis of
17 what he can see, when does he think the document was drafted?
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: I take my learned colleague's point.
19 Q. Mr. Tesic, looking at this document, looking at this page, can
20 you tell me the date that you -- the date of the document 4566 came into
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was he the author of that document?
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: How he is going to know when the date is not
25 mentioned in the document? Are you inviting speculation?
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, point taken. Point taken, Your Honour.
2 Q. So looking at entry number 4566, if we go to column number 7,
3 what does it say there?
4 A. It explains a brief content of the document and in this case,
5 assistance to army of RS, Republika Srpska, in execution of their
6 operations. It addressed to the Guards Motorised Brigade, so being the
7 organisational unit indicated.
8 Q. And then finally, the columns number 9 and 10, what does -- what
9 do they relate to?
10 A. Under 9, date refers most probably to the date of delivery or
11 receipt; and column 10, that it is to be registered in the plan of use on
12 a specified date, in this case 30th of 10, 1998, I presume. This is
13 neither my signature nor my initials, so I don't know.
14 Q. Now, I think yesterday you testified that you received an oral
15 order two days before you went on the march; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you said that you wouldn't have gone on the march without a
18 written order; is that correct?
19 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If -- could you please give us a
22 reference of the witness's words? I'm not sure whether he has been
23 quoted correctly. Let us take a look at what he really said.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: One moment. Page 6 of yesterday's LiveNote
25 transcript. The witness answered: "I suppose --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: At what line, ma'am?
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Sorry, line 6 to 9. On page 5, line 18, I asked
3 at line 17: "How did you receive that order? Was it written or oral?"
4 And the witness answered on 18: "Oral."
5 And then over the page on page 6, when asking about the units
6 engaged, I said: "Can you be more specific in relation to the units?"
7 And the witness answered: "I suppose there is a written document
8 governing the move of the units towards Vogosca. I don't have that
9 document here with me, and I haven't seen it, but it's certain that
10 regardless of the oral order, we would not have gone there without a
11 written order."
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that's what was said or
14 read here is different from the mode in which the question was asked on
15 line 12, row 3.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Page 12, line 3. Interpreter's correction.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: My interpretation of yesterday's transcript as you
18 read it, Madam Sutherland, is that the witness never saw a written order
19 on the day he marched, but he marched on the basis of an oral order
20 assuming that a written order exists somewhere. Now, the fact of the
21 matter is, he didn't see it before he marched, or he marched on the basis
22 of an oral order.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Tesic, in relation to entry number 4566, is this -- this is a
25 document that's going to the Guards Brigade in relation to the assistance
1 to the Army of Republika Srpska?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you turn to entry number 4582, which is on page 9
4 for you, and in e-court it is on page 1, and the B/C/S, page 2.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sutherland, the Registry has a technical
6 difficulty with the B/C/S side of it. Are you prepared and is the
7 Defence agreeable to proceed with the English version only?
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: I have another copy here I can provide to the
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you could, please.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Mr. Usher.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: There it comes now.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND:
14 Q. Mr. Tesic, in relation to entry number 4582, again, what is this
16 A. It's a strictly confidential document addressed to the Guards
17 Brigade. The date and number are clear. It's the 31st of December, and
18 this is a document regulating the sortee of units into the field
19 addressed to the chief of staff and operation centre. Also, the document
20 is kept -- the next words are illegible. This is not my signature, but
21 there is a reference to Vrana in the plan of use and number such and
22 such, state secret.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you very much. Your Honour, I would --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just get clarity. Am I right to be reading
25 the distribution date to be the 11th of February, 1996? Yes, Mr. Tesic,
1 would you like to comment?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have no comment, and the date
3 is correct as you put it.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: 11th of February, 1996?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what it says. I have
6 no comment.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, in relation to these logbooks, you are familiar with
9 the registers, are you not?
10 A. To the extent that my previous job enabled me to learn about it,
11 I am partially familiar with it. This is a document of the kind kept by
12 the general affairs unit in the staff of the command, and an NCO is
13 constantly working on this document.
14 Q. So --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is an NCO?
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Non --
17 Q. Witness, Mr. Tesic, can you tell the Chamber what an NCO is?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It's non-commissioned
19 officer. In Serbian, "podificir."
20 The witness does not understand the English acronym, so he is
21 confused. He says:
22 A. I can't find this abbreviation or acronym here. I don't know
23 what you are referring to.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honour, President
1 Moloto, you asked about the English acronym. He said that an NCO is
2 working on this document, which is the English translation for the
3 Serbian word, literally meaning "under officer." In Serbian, he said
4 that an under officer is working normally on such a document.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Could we have the English
6 version enlarged, please. I would like to be able to read what's written
7 on column 10. Are we able to -- can we be told what is written on column
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. I thought the witness had
10 read out into the record, maybe on page 14 in the transcript by now.
11 Q. But, Mr. Tesic, can you read column 10 again for the Trial
13 A. It's not very legible, but I'll do my best. It says: "... kept
14 within the study 'Vrana' in the plan of use under number DT" -- meaning
15 state secret -- "150-1 as of 30th October, 199" -- I think the last digit
16 is 8.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND:
19 Q. Now, the Presiding Judge had a question about the date of the
20 document being 11th of February, 1996. Is that --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The date of the distribution of the document.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Sorry, Your Honour.
23 Q. The date of the distribution in column 9. Is that -- what does
24 that date relate to?
25 A. This is the date of distribution of the document, meaning that if
1 somebody was issued with this document, this document was discharged, and
2 we see who actually took it in column 10.
3 Q. And so if that were right, that would mean that these documents,
4 as we can see on this page, are being distributed two or three years
5 after the event; is that correct or possible?
6 A. Yes. I suppose it's possible as long as it's written here with
7 these dates.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I seek to tender that document.
9 The log itself --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: -- is 9 pages in total, and we would seek to
12 have the entire excerpts in even though I have only taken the witness at
13 this point to two of the entries.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what would be the purpose of the remaining
15 seven pages?
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Because we would be intending to show it to
17 witnesses in the future, Your Honour, or we can simply mark for
18 identification -- admit the two entries that we looked at this morning
19 and then leave the others for when the further witnesses come. It's a
20 9-page document, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you were rising onto your feet.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think we should proceed as we
23 did before. If two pages were shown to the witness, then two pages
24 should be admitted now, and then if through some other witness more pages
25 are introduced, then more pages should be introduced through another
1 witness like we did with the transcripts from assembly sessions. I don't
2 see why the whole document should be admitted if only two pages were
3 shown to the witness. I think that is actually in keeping with your own
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, we agree.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then the two pages -- it's
7 page 1 and 2 in the English; I don't know what they are in the B/C/S, but
8 the equivalent are admitted into evidence. May it please be given an
9 exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Those pages will be Exhibit P369, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. Mr. Tesic, what do you -- I now wish to turn to another topic.
14 What do you understand the term "active defence" to mean?
15 A. In keeping with the orders received, active defence means keeping
16 the position you are on ahead of the forward line and, as required,
17 destroying targets that may emerge and responding to fire.
18 Q. Mr. Tesic, when you were in Bosnia
19 and January 1994, did you have snipers in your unit?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did your unit provide training to VRS snipers?
22 A. Probably. I'm trying to remember. I think we assisted in the
23 training and operation of the sniper rifles.
24 Q. How many units were involved? How many VRS units were involved?
25 A. We are talking about individuals from a brigade. We didn't train
1 units, but individuals.
2 Q. How many people?
3 A. I couldn't say because that was not my job. It was not my
4 responsibility, that training.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, may we go into closed session.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into closed session.
7 [Closed session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in closed session.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Madam Sutherland.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have Exhibit number P353 on the
11 screen, please, and if we could go to B/C/S, page 11, and the English,
12 page 12.
13 Q. Mr. Tesic, is this an entry that was written by you? It's --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If we can in fact just go to the previous page of the English,
16 which will have date, and also the previous page of the B/C/S. I'm
17 sorry. So we can see this is an entry for the 15th of January, 1994
18 then going over to the following page, at the bottom of that entry for
19 that date, we can see "Tasks."
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: May we go to the following page, please, of both
22 Q. Mr. Tesic, what is the acronym -- under "Tasks," you see the
23 acronym "VV-PPN" right at the bottom.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What does that acronym stand for?
1 A. Military police platoon for special purposes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you direct us to the English part of it,
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's on the bottom of the screen, Your Honour,
5 to that entry. There.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Under "Tasks," and there's the acronym VV-PPN.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND:
10 Q. Mr. Tesic, it says in the English translation: "Three officers
11 of the military police special purposes" - what you've just said - "shall
12 enter formation of Rajlovac brigade between 5 and 17 January, and two
13 officers shall enter the formation of the Ilidza brigade between the 15th
14 of January and the 17th of January to train the snipers of that brigade."
15 Are you aware of how many -- how many people the two officers
17 A. I don't have that information.
18 Q. Did you receive any reports back about the training?
19 A. No. That was something that the commander of the brigades
20 involved, the Rajlovac and the other brigade would receive.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you aware of the size of those brigades?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND:
24 Q. And both the -- who did the Rajlovac and the Ilidza brigades
25 belong to?
1 A. The Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the VRS, the Army of Republika
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could go to entry number 20, which is in
4 the B/C/S on page 9 and the English, page 10.
5 Q. Mr. Tesic, this is an entry from the 11th of January, 1994. And
6 I think this is an entry -- you didn't make this entry, did you?
7 A. No.
8 Q. And it speaks there about: "... offensive operations shall be
9 continued along all directions." Which direction -- can you describe for
10 the Court the directions that are referred to that you're aware of where
11 offensive operations were being conducted?
12 A. It says here, the main axis of attack shall be Rajlovac, Sokolje,
13 Svabino hill.
14 Q. And then we see another reference to engaging staff sergeant
15 Dukic in the training of snipers for the needs of the Ilidza Brigade?
16 A. Yes, that's written there.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. Just one moment, Your Honour.
18 I have no further questions for the witness. Thank you, Mr.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Bear with me for a moment, Your
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: And Your Honour, we're still in closed session.
24 I don't know whether Mr. Lukic wishes to be.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, I don't think so. May we please move into
1 open session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: And before we begin, may I ask if I could have
6 that document, the logbook document back, please.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tesic. My name is Novak
9 Lukic. On behalf of the Defence team for Mr. Perisic, I will be asking
10 you a few questions.
11 Before we start, I'd like to ask you, since we are speaking the
12 same language, to wait a second or two before you start answering so that
13 the interpreters could keep up and the transcript would reflect
14 everything correctly.
15 My first question has to do with your prior statements. Is it
16 true that to date you have given only one statement to the Prosecution;
17 your only interview with the Prosecution was in 2003?
18 A. Yes. Yes, and representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor
20 Q. From 2003 onwards and before you came to The Hague, did you
21 receive calls from the OTP, and did you give them any new statements?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you asked in the past five years to give any new statements
24 by the Office of the Prosecutor?
25 A. No.
1 Q. As you told us at the beginning of your evidence, until a few
2 months ago, you occupied a very high position in the Ministry of the
3 Interior, you were commander of the Gendarmes, and you were retired this
4 last summer?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In fact, you were man number 3 in the Serbian police all these
8 A. There is no such rating, but that would be approximately true.
9 Q. Now, I'd like to ask you a few questions about the Guards
10 Brigade. On the first day of your testimony - that was last Thursday -
11 the page of the transcript is 1888, line 22, in response to a question
12 from the Prosecution, you said that before the enactment of the law on
13 the VJ, the Guards Brigade was subordinated to the Ministry of Defence.
14 That's what you said, and I would like us to be a bit more precise. Did
15 you mean the Federal Secretariat for National Defence?
16 A. Yes. In 1991, 1992, it was called the Federal Secretariat for
17 National Defence, the Office of the Federal Secretary, General Kadijevic.
18 Q. That's right. And the Guards Brigade until the enactment of the
19 Law on the Army and the Establishment of the Ministry of Defence and the
20 General Staff was subordinated to the Federal Secretariat of National
21 Defence and only then after the enactment of that law became subordinate
22 to the General Staff?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. In your statement to the Prosecution, paragraph 7 --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, yes, Madam Sutherland.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry for interrupting, but can there be
2 more of a pause between the questions and answers because it's very
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I do have that problem.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just so that we are clear, and I see some years
6 here, 1991 and 1992, can we be told when this Law on the Army and
7 Establishment of the Ministry of Defence was enacted so that we know
8 exactly what time we're talking about.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you remember the year, Mr. Tesic, when the Law on the Army was
11 enacted, when it came into force?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Let us put on the screen your statement.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's 1D00-1776, B/C/S, page 3, and
15 English, page 3.
16 Q. In that statement to the OTP, you said sometime in 1997 the
17 Guards Brigade became directly subordinated -- that's paragraph 7. We
18 need to zoom in on the B/C/S a bit. It says: "In 1997, when Milosevic
19 became the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Guards
20 Brigade became directly subordinated to the president of the FRY." Do
21 you remember stating that to the Prosecution?
22 A. Let me read it please. Where is it?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in on paragraph 7 in
24 B/C/S for the witness.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Right.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. My information is that it was in the beginning of 1998, but that
3 is not so important to me. My question is, do you remember that just
4 after the Guards Brigade became directly subordinated to the president of
5 the FRY, General Perisic was soon replaced from his position as Chief of
6 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
8 A. I'm not quite sure, but I think I remember.
9 Q. To be quite precise, in my previous question when I said that
10 after the enactment of the Law on the Army, the Guards Brigade became
11 subordinated to the General Staff; it was in fact part of the newly
12 established Special Units Corps and through the Special Units Corps was
13 subordinated to the General Staff; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would I be right in saying that the main function of the Guards
16 Brigade was in fact to provide security to the highest political and
17 military leaders in peacetime and in wartime provide security to the
18 highest command, to the Supreme Command?
19 A. I stated earlier that -- its three main tasks in peacetime: One,
20 training; two, securing combat readiness; and three, protocol duties,
21 that means security for installations, residencies, et cetera. And in
22 wartime, the Guards Brigade was to secure the Supreme Command.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt, Mr. Lukic. At line 12 of page 24
24 up to line 16, you refer in a question to the fact that the Guards
25 Brigade was part of the newly established Special Units Corps, and you've
1 been talking here so far, at the previous question, you were referring to
2 the year 1998. Can we establish what we mean by newly established? When
3 was it established because I think the Special Units Corps we heard about
4 being mentioned.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. To dispel any doubts, Mr. Tesic, do you know when approximately
9 the Special Units Corps was established?
10 A. I think sometime in 1993, mid-1993.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I presume that this is clear now?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. When we talk about the basic function of the Guards Brigade,
15 would you agree with me that primarily its function was not to engage in
16 combat activities. It's primary function is providing security; isn't
17 that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And in fact, first contact with what Guards Brigade was not meant
20 to do was the engagement in the Vukovar operation in 1991 when it took
21 active part in combat operations?
22 A. I fully agree with your statement.
23 Q. Contrary to what we have been hearing in your testimony in the
24 past couple of days, there is a huge difference in the participation of
25 the Guards Brigade in the Vukovar events in 1991 and the participation of
1 parts of the guards unit in 1993 and 1994 in the Sarajevo theatre of war
2 because back then in 1991 in Vukovar, the whole Guards Brigade went to
3 the frontline except for some staff units, smaller staff units. Isn't
4 that correct?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Do you know how many, approximately, men did the Guards Brigade
7 have in 1991 and then in 199 -- and was there any difference in the
8 number of troops and officers in 1993 in December from that previous
10 A. I don't have specific data, but I believe there were more than
11 3.000 members in Vukovar in 1991, and in 1993 there were -- approximately
12 together with command and all the units, there were 1.600, not more than
14 Q. When you were part of the Special Units Corps?
15 A. That's correct, yes.
16 Q. Would you agree with me, and that is the thesis of the -- this
17 Tribunal in another case, that the Guards Brigade were the creme de la
18 creme, the most elite unit of the JNA?
19 A. I agree with you given the criteria for the selection of both
20 officers, non-commissioned officers, and troops.
21 Q. Specificity of the Guards Brigade was also that it was the only
22 brigade to have two battalions of military police within its ranks. In
23 its infantry -- in a typical infantry brigade, military police would be a
24 company strength unit; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. The Guards Brigade had two military police battalion but
1 only for a period of time.
2 Q. In 1993 in December, do you remember the composition of military
3 police within the brigade?
4 A. In 1993, there was a battalion of military police within the
5 ranks of the Guards Brigade, and it had one company in APCs, armoured
6 personnel vehicles, and two police companies.
7 Q. And that was another thing that they were specific about, and
8 that is anti-sabotage or anti-terrorist unit. First, it was a platoon
9 for special purposes, but it was a specialised unit within the ranks of
10 the whole of JNA, wasn't it?
11 A. There was a military police for special purposes platoon. It is
12 30 strong. For awhile, it was autonomous, and for awhile it was part of
13 the military police battalion of the Guards Brigade.
14 Q. Could you tell us, please, as per establishment, what is the
15 number of men in an infantry brigade, or generally? Is there any
16 difference between the infantry and motorised brigade, so the number and
17 the composition of a brigade? Could you expand on that, please.
18 A. Motorised brigades out of all the brigades in the VJ was the most
19 numerous. In peacetime, it would number some 2 to 3.000 troops, and in
20 wartime between 3 and a half and 4.000.
21 Q. And what about infantry brigades?
22 A. Slightly less but approximately the same.
23 Q. You must know that the VRS adapted its structure or copied its
24 structure from JNA regulations governing the composition of -- and
25 structure of its military units, those regulations dating before 1991?
1 A. I presume, but I never analysed this matter.
2 Q. Let's start discussing the events from 1993 and the structure of
3 the Guards Brigade in 1993 and 1994.
4 Yesterday in your testimony, you mentioned something which I'd
5 like you to explain to the Bench. At that time, there were two
6 categories of soldiers at that time, regular soldier and contract
7 soldiers. First of all, please provide an explanation about the contract
9 A. Contract soldiers are persons who had done their military service
10 and who signed a certain contract for a certain period of time on
11 employment with a certain military postbox.
12 Q. So in a way, professional soldiers because they received salaries
13 -- well, regular soldiers used to receive some remuneration, but the
14 salary of those contract soldiers was closer to regular monthly salary
15 outside the military, wasn't it?
16 A. Contract soldiers are permanently employed in -- for the period
17 stated in the contract, and they receive salaries and all the benefits as
18 if they were fully employed.
19 Q. As fully employed as elsewhere?
20 A. This is exactly what I said.
21 Q. In that period towards the end of 1993, you were Chief of --
22 could you tell us the exact function that you occupied, the post?
23 A. In 1993, I was -- in 1993, I was operations officer in the
24 operations organ of the staff of the Guards Brigade.
25 Q. I have information that in the group that departed on the 30th of
1 December or towards the end of December - but I believe it was the 30th -
2 for the Sarajevo
3 non-commissioned officers and contract soldiers numbered in that group,
4 so could you confirm that being the operations officer in the operations
5 organ of that brigade? Could you concur with me?
6 A. Yes, your information is correct.
7 Q. So on that occasion, no regular soldiers were part of that group,
8 regular soldiers being those who finished their national service and
9 training but had not entered into a contract with the military, so they
10 had not entered the military.
11 A. I do not have such information.
12 Q. I'm going to ask you a couple of questions concerning the first
13 group, and when I say the first group, I mean those who departed in
14 mid-December; most of them came from the 72nd Special Brigade. Do you
15 know, on the basis of what I have access to, Colonel Stupar was heading
16 that group, and at that time he was a commander of the 72nd Special
17 Brigade? Do you remember? Do you know that?
18 A. Yes. I heard that in mid-December they departed and the
19 commander was with them, the commander of the 72nd Brigade, then
20 Lieutenant-Colonel, then later Colonel Stupar.
21 Q. You also testified that in the first group there were some
22 officers and I presume soldiers who had contracts from the Guards
23 Motorised Brigade. Do you know anything about how this first group was
24 structured? What was the basis for the selection of the personnel? Do
25 you know anything about how it was organised, the first group?
1 A. I do not have such information. It is up to commander of the
2 battalion, 2nd Motorised Battalion, Major Borovcanin who was engaged in
3 that task.
4 Q. You found him there in Vogosca when you came to that place?
5 A. Yes. He came to Park Hotel in Vogosca.
6 Q. And last question before the break. Do you know that Mr.
7 Borovcanin was born in the area of Romanija, which is very close to
8 Vogosca in Bosnia
9 A. Yes. Lieutenant-Colonel Borovcanin was born in the surrounds of
10 Sokolac in the area of Romanija, Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now we can take a break
12 if you so please.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take a break and come
14 back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] I asked you before the break about Mr.
20 Borovcanin, and you provided an answer. I think you said earlier, not
21 during your testimony but during your proofing that also saw Major
22 Kosoric [Realtime transcript read in error, "Kosevic"] from the tank
23 unit. My question is, is it known to you where he hales from?
24 A. Major Kosoric, I think he was born in Han Pijesak or the
25 surrounds of Han Pijesak, Republika Srpska.
1 Q. This did not enter the record. I asked you about Major Kosoric,
2 didn't I?
3 A. Yes, Major Kosoric. It says Major Kosevic here.
4 Q. Those mistakes will be rectified later on. He was also a member
5 of the Special Units Corps. I presume he was in the armoured brigade.
6 He wasn't part of the Guards Brigade, or was he?
7 A. Major Kosoric worked in the armoured brigade, and later on he was
8 in the command of the Special Units Corps.
9 Q. Let's briefly address another topic. May I ask the testimony --
10 statement given to the OTP, 1D00-1776, Serbian, page 16, English, page
11 18, paragraph 77. The Prosecutor during the interview in 2003 asked you
12 about officers and at paragraph -- explains that. He asked you about
13 officers who went to the VRS from within the VJ unit. Pertaining to the
14 personnel centre, I'm going to read out parts of your statement and ask
15 you whether you still stand by it today.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you could zoom in on paragraph 77
17 in the B/C/S, please. Your Honours, this is not a topic which follows
18 from examination-in-chief, but as per your guidelines I do believe it is
19 relevant for this case.
20 Q. "In November 1992, the service of VJ members in the VRS was not
21 regulated, for instance, compensation. Later, I do not remember exactly
22 when, the 30th Personnel Centre was established, the personnel centre,
23 acronym KC. I heard from other officers that talks were conducted with
24 them in the 30th KC about their readiness to serve in the VRS. I was
25 also told that the 30th KC also took part in sending people over the
1 border and that they were told that it would all be legal. They were
2 mainly officers born in BiH or whose families lived in those parts. I
3 can speak only about those I know. These officers also told me that
4 there were no pressures exerted on them to go and serve in the VRS."
5 My brief question, Mr. Tesic, concerning this is as follows: In
6 what you said in this paragraph to the OTP, you said that based on what
7 you heard from the officers who through the services of the 30th KC
8 became officers of the VRS; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And those you spoke to told you that there was no pressure
11 exerted on them to go to serve in the VRS; isn't that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Thank you. So you stand by what you said in your statement
14 without any additions or alterations; isn't that correct?
15 A. I stand by it.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may, just for clarity. I see the statement
17 says that these officers were mainly born in the BiH. Were there any who
18 were not born in the BiH? I'm asking you, Mr. Tesic. Were there any
19 members of the personnel centre who were not born in the BiH who served
20 in the VRS?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have such information. I
22 have no information of anybody working in the VRS haling from the
23 territory of Republic of Serbia
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only reason I'm asking the question is because
25 the statement says they were mainly officers born in the BiH, suggesting
1 that the majority were born in the BiH but that some may have been born
2 elsewhere. That's the only reason I'm asking you. Are you able to
3 explain why you use the word "mainly"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is because I'm not certain. I
5 did not have the information. I could not access their personnel files
6 or any lists so that I could be 100 percent sure that this is so.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: But those you knew to belong to the 30th Personnel
8 Centre according to your knowledge were born in the BiH?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] I'll now move on to the topic that interests us
14 the most, namely, your departure and your stay in the Vogosca area. What
15 was not quite clear to me from the transcript is what information you had
16 about this. The eight members of the 72nd Special Brigade who were
17 killed, their bodies remained in the territory controlled by the BH Army,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. They got killed in combat on the 27th of December, 1993, and
21 their bodies could not be recovered at the time?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Yesterday, in the examination-in-chief, page 1929, line 2, you
24 said when the last body of a killed member of the 72nd Brigade was turned
25 over to your forces by the BH Army, which was either on the 25th or the
1 28th of January, you returned immediately thereafter?
2 A. Our return started ...
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: May I just interrupt. Mr. Lukic, I'm sorry. Do
4 you have a LiveNote page for that? I know you've given the transcript
5 page, but unfortunately, the transcript wasn't available to us this
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
8 Lines 9 to 11 on page 51, I believe.
9 Q. Do you agree with me, Mr. Tesic -- you spoke yesterday about the
10 mission of your group when you went to that area. Do you agree with me
11 that your primary task of the unit was to go there and secure the
12 location so you could recover the bodies of the dead members of the 72nd
14 A. I agree that our task was to recover the bodies of the members of
15 the 72nd Brigade.
16 Q. You had to occupy certain positions held previously by the 72nd
17 Brigade group that had withdrawn before your arrival, that is, to keep
18 the frontline?
19 A. Yes, and this handover/takeover was completed on the 5th of
20 January, 1994. The replacement, the rotation of units was the
21 responsibility of Lieutenant-Colonel Vukasinovic.
22 Q. You answered a question from the Prosecution today as to the
23 definition of active defence. Based on your recollection and all the
24 documents you had the occasion to see over the past few days, would you
25 agree that when your unit was there in that area, you did not participate
1 much in active activities or action; you were mainly holding the line?
2 A. I said during proofing to the Prosecution that we did not move an
3 inch forward during our entire stay there, and I stand by that.
4 Q. You told that to the Prosecution during your two-day proofing,
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 65 ter 9069, page
9 1 in B/C/S --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, Mr. Lukic, what would you like
11 to do with ID 001776, the witness's statement?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm not tendering it. I think this
13 is a public document, isn't it? Could the Prosecution confirm? The
14 document I called up a moment ago.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's protected. Sorry, I was looking at your
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we then remove it from the screen
18 until we find out.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: No.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] According to my information, it's not
21 protected, so can we call up this document again.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm terribly sorry. My records show that it is
23 protected for the time being.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please remove it from the screen quickly.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we then move into private
1 session, please.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
3 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This document you will see now on the screen, I suppose it's one
8 of those shown to you by the Prosecution during proofing. And before we
9 get it, I'd like to ask you, do you remember that at that time in your
10 unit there was a problem getting salaries, and getting salaries was very
11 important at the time because of the runaway hyper-inflation, and you
12 needed your families to get the money?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll get the document on the screen
16 Q. This is a letter from the commander of the Special Units Corps,
17 Mr. Panic, from Vogosca sent to his chief of the financial services of
18 the 7th of January, 1994. We have already heard evidence that on the
19 24th of January the dinar currency changed, and there was a galloping
20 hyper-inflation. It was important to you, wasn't it, that you and your
21 families in Belgrade
22 A. It was certainly very important because our families could not
23 survive the next 24 hours if they had nothing to live on. If you didn't
24 get your salary today, the next day for the same money you could only buy
25 a piece of bread for your entire salary.
1 Q. My learned friend asked you yesterday several questions about the
2 rotation of personnel and you explained, if I understood correctly, that
3 a smaller group would go to Belgrade
4 then come back shortly. Do you remember if this was one of the reasons
5 why people had to go to Belgrade
6 problems and get the money to their families?
7 A. I couldn't answer this question. I don't know why they went to
9 Q. You told the Prosecutor earlier today that you got the orders to
10 go on this assignment two days prior to your departure, which mean that
11 if you went on the 30th, you learned about it two days before?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. Can I conclude from these problems with your per diem and your
14 salaries that you did not reckon you would be staying in that area for a
15 long time?
16 A. That's correct.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document,
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D17, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The answer of the witness is not recorded -- yes, it has been
25 recorded. The question I asked on page 37, line 12, the witness answered
1 yes. I believe this document should be under seal.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will it please be kept under seal.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now move to private session
4 -- back to open session, sorry, for awhile.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Tesic, I'd like now to move to a different subject; that is
11 the relationship of subordination. The principle of every army is the
12 principle of single command, that there is a subordinate superior
13 relationship and a chain of command, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When I asked you about the involvement of the Guards Brigade in
16 the Vukovar operation, do you agree with me that the Guards Brigade,
17 which at the time was subordinated directly to the Federal Secretary for
18 National Defence, was resubordinated to the first army when they went to
19 Vukovar, and they received orders from the commander of the first army,
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Madam Sutherland.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I would object to this line of
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why, ma'am?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: The relevance to this indictment. This is
1 events in Vukovar in 1991.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm asking this question, Your
4 Honour, because I want to show how the chain of command functions in
5 combat operations. It's the chain of command, and that's why I am
6 comparing the Vukovar situation when the Guards Brigade followed one
7 chain of command and the Romanija situation when they followed a
8 different chain of command. I'm showing how a unit operates in different
9 combat operations.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question is allowed.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether the Guards Brigade was
13 fully resubordinated to the first army, I don't know, but for the rest I
14 agree with you completely.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I mean the part of the Guards Brigade that was actively involved
17 in the operations group south, when they joined the operations group
18 south, they became subordinated to the first military district and
19 received orders from Commander Panic?
20 A. I remember that a large number of documents came from the first
21 military district.
22 Q. You did not see, did you, any documents concerning the
23 resubordination of your unit to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sutherland?
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Is that correct?
4 A. I don't recall seeing any such document.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call up document P359.
6 I believe it's a public document. If we could zoom in, please.
7 Q. You discussed this document with the Prosecutor yesterday. I
8 don't know if this is good enough for you to see. Maybe we could again
9 zoom out so that you can see who sent this document to whom. Look at the
10 bottom first and then the top part.
11 A. This is an interim report that Major-General Stanislav Galic is
12 sending to the Main Staff of the VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska.
13 Q. To be precise, because you talked about this yesterday, when you
14 say "Commander Stanislav Galic," he is commander of what?
15 A. The commander, Major-General Stanislav Galic, was commander of
16 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps of the VRS.
17 Q. As we can see, this is an interim report. The first sentence
18 reads: "On 27 December 1993
19 attack has been planned by the Combat Group 1 under the command of
20 Colonel Stupar, Commander of the 72nd Special Brigade..." and so on.
21 When I read this document, can we see that the Combat Group 1
22 commanded by Colonel Stupar was part of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in
23 these combat operations?
24 A. We can't see that.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move into private session,
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can the Chamber please move into private session.
3 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to call up document
7 P353, which is the war diary of the Guards Brigade, page, in English, 5,
8 and page, in English, 7 [as interpreted].
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it 5 or 7 in English?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's the entry for the 5th of January
11 at 1800 hours. If you could scroll the B/C/S version down a bit, please.
12 Q. In this entry that you entered, this is your signature, isn't it,
13 Mr. Tesic? It states: "Pursuant to the order of the Commander of the
14 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, part of the Command -- exits and takes
15 possession of the forward command post at Donja Josanica village from the
16 6th of January to the 8th of January, 1994." Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, this is my handwriting, and what you read out is exactly as
18 it reads, and the commander of the unit issued those orders; I just wrote
19 them down.
20 Q. Yes, but you agree with me that the commander of the unit
21 received those orders from the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps;
22 isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask something that needs clarification for
1 me here. I note that entry number 13, the one that we are reading, is
2 entered on the 5th of January, 1994, at 1800 hours, and a subsequent one
3 is entered an hour earlier. Entry number 14. Can that -- are you able
4 to explain that, Mr. Tesic?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If the next page in B/C/S could be
6 shown to the witness, please.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is entered at 1700 hours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, 1700 hours. That is an hour earlier than
9 1800 hours.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. 1700 hours is an hour earlier than 1800
12 hours, but the one that is entered earlier came after the one that is
13 entered later. Are you able to explain that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since this goes for a corps
15 commander's order, most probably when the document was received, the
16 operations officer, Mr. Paunovic entered the elements from that order
17 into this logbook; it must have been received around 5.00, and then later
18 on elements were registered that I didn't enter. Most probably, the
19 order from the commander came in the written form, and Paunovic referred
20 to it and specified that it reached the commander at 1700 hours when he
21 was entering it into this book.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do not want to pretend to understand that
23 explanation. I just don't understand what you are saying.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you'll allow me to expound on
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible that this document
3 went through other books, maybe must have been in the general affairs
4 office that it was entered into the logbook.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which document?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says corps commander's order,
7 pursuant to the needs and the approval of the Chief of the General Staff
8 of the Yugoslavia
9 concurrently. The warrant officer who maintains the logbook did his part
10 of the job, entered this there. I registered and recorded activities
11 which took part at 6.00 p.m.
12 reached Paunovic, and he recorded it as at the 1700 hours when was the
13 moment when this order came through the general affairs office and came
14 to the logbook, into the logbook. This is a separate document apart from
15 the war diary. We can look it up in the logbook. I don't remember how
16 it is recorded there. But also, it could be a clerical error in
17 recording the exact time. It's also a possibility. I shouldn't state
18 something I don't know.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, that last explanation is better. The first
20 one I still don't understand. What is the time that is mentioned in this
21 column? Location, date, and time. Time for what? Isn't it time for
22 entering something in the logbook?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. When that order arrived, it
24 should state the time and date of the entry of the content. I agree with
25 you. But I wouldn't wish to speculate or provide any further comment on
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, sir. You just don't provide any
3 further comment. Because I mean, if this is not the time of entry of
4 this point, this entry here, then this date and time means nothing. It
5 can only explain what is taking place on this document. We can't explain
6 this through another document that is not here, can we?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we could keep this B/C/S page,
10 entry 15, and if you could scroll down the English, B/C/S version. We
11 are still sticking to this issue on who the orders on combat activities
12 is received from.
13 Q. This is entry dated 6th of January, 1994, and it says: Pursuant
14 to the order of General Galic, Lieutenant-Colonel Stojimirovic will take
15 over the command of the OG north, or operations group north, et cetera,
16 et cetera.
17 Do you agree with me that undoubtedly this entry reflects that the order
18 concerning the structure of combat activities on the ground came from the
19 commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps? Isn't that correct?
20 A. Yes, I do agree with you.
21 Q. This order referred to here did not come from General Panic;
22 rather, it came from the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Isn't
23 that correct?
24 A. Probably.
25 Q. Well, let's not speculate. Maybe he was cognizant of that as
1 well. I agree.
2 So on the basis of what I just showed you, do you agree with my
3 thesis that in terms of your combat activities, your superior officers
4 received their orders from the VRS command structure, in other words,
5 from the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
6 A. On the basis of this, such a statement could be deducted.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us remain in private session
9 dealing with this document.
10 Q. The next page I would like to discuss is the blank entry under
11 the number 16. But still, while we're still on this page, Mr. Paunovic
12 prepared those or entered those entries; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we go to the next page in the
15 B/C/S, please, and stick with the English page as it is. Let me be more
16 precise. B/C/S, page 7, and English, page 8. I'm sorry.
17 Q. Here we can see a blank entry under the number 16, and under 17
18 we see that Paunovic entered this entry in column 4; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: We don't have it in the English, that entry 17.
21 You said they must keep this page. Okay.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I would like the following --
23 next page in the English version to be shown, please.
24 Q. So entry 17, under column 4, you recognise the signature as being
25 that of Mr. Paunovic; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to the next page in both
3 B/C/S and English version.
4 Q. Here in entry 18, you recognise Mr. Paunovic's signature, don't
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Next page in the B/C/S, and keep the
8 present English page, please.
9 Q. In entries 19 and 20, column 4, you can recognise Mr. Paunovic's
10 signature, don't you?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next page in the B/C/S, please.
13 Q. I believe entry 22, 21, 22, and 23, column 4 contains Paunovic's
14 signature again?
15 A. That's correct.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Then if we could scroll the B/C/S
17 version down, we come again to your signature.
18 Q. So we can see here, dated 15th of January, 1994, after awhile we
19 see your signature again; isn't that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. That would be entry, but -- we see the date but don't see the
22 number. So from what I saw before entry number 16, the last time you had
23 entered entries into the war diary was the 5th of January, and then the
24 next time you did so was on the 15th of January; isn't that correct?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. In the meantime, your colleague Radoje Paunovic did the job. My
2 question to you is, did anybody tell you that something ought not to be
3 entered into the war diary? Can you remember that?
4 A. Nobody told me that something ought not be entered into the war
6 Q. Did your colleague Paunovic tell you that somebody else had told
7 him that something ought not be entered into the war diary?
8 A. He didn't tell me that somebody had told him not to enter
9 something into the war diary.
10 Q. When you -- after the 7- or 10-day break, next time around when
11 you did enter something into the war diary on the 15th January, 1994
12 had no reason to check the preceding pages and the preceding entries; is
13 that correct?
14 A. That's correct. I did not.
15 Q. So you do not know -- you don't know that the entry 16, which is
16 blank, was not blank at that time as well?
17 A. I can't answer you this question.
18 Q. Thank you. While we are still in private session, now I'm going
19 to ask you, since I presume you had occasion to go through this war diary
20 in a detailed manner, what I see from the war diary and other documents
21 is as follows: It's very often that they make mention of planning of
22 combat operations, but I never see any entry explaining that a combat
23 action had been executed. Isn't it true that you, as you said, did not
24 move a single metre forward while you were there at Vogosca out in the
1 A. Yes, I do agree with you. Actions were planned, but nothing was
2 being carried out on the ground.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We may go back to open session, Your
4 Honours, briefly, please.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In your examination-in-chief, you testified and you confirmed
11 that today -- that two days before departure on the 30th December, 1993
12 1993, you are correct - that you had received from your superior officer
13 the tasks to go to that mission; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. When you did your proofing with the Prosecution, we received
16 proofing notes which reflects that you stated to them that you do not
17 know anybody refusing to go on this mission among your officers, fellow
18 officers and troops; at least, this is what we are led to believe from
19 the proofing notes.
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. In respect of the first group, which departed in mid-December,
22 where part of your unit also departed, do you know -- do you have any
23 information whether they volunteered to go on that mission or not?
24 A. I do not have such information.
25 Q. Another question and then we will have to go back into private
2 You stated to the Prosecution during your proofing before your
3 testimony that during that mission you wore VJ uniforms, you remember
4 saying so.
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. You did not remove the insignia of the Army of Yugoslavia at that
8 A. I did not mention insignia. No question was asked. I don't
10 Q. You do not recall taking them off?
11 A. That's correct. I do not recall taking them off.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, we have to go back
14 into private session again.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can the Chamber please move into private session.
16 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Earlier today in response to a question from the Prosecution when
21 you were shown entries in the war diary, you confirmed that certain
22 officers from your unit did train VRS soldiers to use sniper rifles, and
23 we can see that from the entries.
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now call up, please,
1 another entry in the war diary, P353, page 15 in B/C/S and page 16 in
2 English, an entry for 2000 hours on the 18th of January, 1994. Just a
3 moment. I find the hard copy easier.
4 Q. I am reading the second sentence here: "A sabotage group 30 men
5 strong attacked our positions above Srednje early in the morning. The
6 attack was repelled where the men were awake. However, at the points
7 where the men were still asleep, the Turks slaughtered eight of our men,
8 wounded others, and captured a PAM, an anti-aircraft machine gun, as well
9 as a mortar."
10 Paunovic made this entry, but do you remember these events?
11 A. Yes, I've heard of it.
12 Q. That's when these men of the Army of Republika Srpska, I suppose,
13 not your men, got killed?
14 A. Members of the Army of Republika Srpska got killed. I don't know
15 to which brigade they belonged, but it was an area near Orlovo.
16 Q. Do you remember during your stay there, was it a standing warning
17 to you that sabotage groups of the enemy could make incursions and also
18 use their own snipers against you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you agree with me that the main point of training snipers is
21 to counter the sabotage terrorist groups of the enemy?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Between your positions near Vogosca - and we'll show the map
24 later - between Vogosca and the city of Sarajevo, there were BH Army
25 positions, correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In view of that frontline, you had no opportunity of ever seeing
3 the city of Sarajevo
4 A. From our positions, Sarajevo
5 Q. Did you hear at that time that VRS snipers were shooting at
6 civilians in Sarajevo
7 A. I know nothing about that.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move back into open
9 session, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Hopefully, we'll now have a very clear picture of where exactly
16 you were, and I'll ask you to mark certain positions on the map.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd like a copy of the 65 ter map
18 9244 to be placed in front of the witness.
19 Q. And now, we'll see, Mr. Tesic, if this map will be of assistance
20 to all of us in the courtroom.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now zoom in some more. Zoom
22 out now, please, once. Now we need to zoom in some more and raise the
23 name of "Vogosca" a bit higher up, and now move it a bit to the left.
25 Q. Mr. Tesic, does this map look good to you? I'll ask you to mark
1 certain positions.
2 A. Yes, it's fine.
3 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I'd like you to take the
4 electronic pen and mark certain things on the screen. The first
5 question: At which location did you arrive exactly on the 31st of
6 December when you came to the area of Vogosca? Where were you, if you
7 can find it? And put a number 1 there. Larger.
8 A. Your Honours, I showed the facility approximately, but my pen
9 moved to the right.
10 Q. You wanted to show Hotel Park
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we erase it and then --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: We can do it again.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. So it's the location of Hotel Park
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Thank you. Now, in the documents we reviewed certain locations I
18 mentioned. First of all, you said that one of the places you were close
19 to at one point was the Golf VW factory.
20 A. We're talking about the factory -- the automobile factory
22 Q. If you're able to. Put number 2 there.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. On this map, are you able to mark approximately the positions
25 that your units held without moving an inch, as you said? On which
1 positions were they?
2 A. I can mark it roughly because they were together with the Vogosca
3 Brigade, but I'll mark the positions. Part of the 2nd Motorised
4 Battalion, I'll mark it with 3, and part of our police, number 4.
5 Q. You mean military police?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Mr. Lukic, that statement, part of the 2nd
8 Motorised -- well, that was not your question. Okay. It's changed now.
9 Thank you. You may proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Anything else you remember?
12 A. In these gaps we had three tanks, but they were static. I'm not
13 quite sure that I can mark the approximate position of one tank, which is
14 here. One was close to the 2nd Motorised Battalion. I'm not sure about
15 the third. I don't remember.
16 Q. Put a T near these two dots.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Can you see on this map the name of Zuc hill or elevation and put
19 a circle around it?
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Lower down there is the same name, Zuc. I don't understand if
22 this is a village.
23 A. No, this is a trig point.
24 Q. Put number 5 there.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. This place marked 5, Zuc, this was a position held by the BH
2 Army, correct?
3 A. That's what I heard. It was not one of our controlled areas.
4 Q. Positions 3 and 4, was that the forward combat line, or were some
5 units ahead of you?
6 A. 200 metres ahead of us, there were trenches of the other side.
7 Q. You mean the BH Army?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you draw an imaginary line, perhaps change the colour and use
10 blue. Can we use the blue pen?
11 A. Some of their positions were here in the area of Ugorsko, and we
12 could not observe any further ahead because of the lay of the land.
13 Q. Can we erase the 5 near Zuc and redraw it in blue?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you erase it, you are going to erase
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All right. I suppose it's clear that
17 number 5, Zuc, was also an area controlled by the BH Army. It's not in
19 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
20 THE COURT: The only point, Mr. Lukic, is that you referred the
21 witness to another Zuc below the one Zuc. Now, I don't know which one is
22 the correct Zuc that was the -- that was held by the BH Army. There's a
23 bigger Zuc down below there.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Right. You see, Mr. Tesic, there are two markings Zuc, one in
1 smaller letters, one in larger letters. Is this a distinction between a
2 place and a hill?
3 A. They were holding Zuc hill and Orlic.
4 Q. All right.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is Orlic also a hill?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Trig point 876. A very
7 dominant elevation.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This Orlic, can you also mark that hill and put number 6 there?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Now, to be very precise, can you put a blue circle on top of the
12 red on position 5? Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this map, Your
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The map is admitted into evidence. May it please
16 be given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D18, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And to have a complete picture, I'd
20 like to call up another map. 3D 1D00-1821. Sorry, I'll repeat this.
21 1D00-1821. 3D. I think we could zoom in a bit. A bit more. Perfect.
22 Q. Mr. Tesic, if you can find your way around this map, I'll only
23 ask you where Vogosca and Zuc and your positions were. Can you mark
25 A. No.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in a bit more. Scroll
2 up, please.
3 Q. Now, perhaps, can you recognise Vogosca?
4 A. No, I can't venture a guess.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps during the break I can
6 prepare a hard copy. Your Honours, could we take the break now, because
7 I would like to ask one more question on this map after the break and
8 then proceed with my final questions.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Very well then. We'll take a break and come back
10 at half past 12.00. Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If one copy, one hard copy could be
15 given to the Prosecution and to the witness. We were quite ambitious,
16 but nevertheless, I'm a bit skeptical about the success of our venture.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are we able to see it on the monitor?
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
19 Q. Mr. Tesic, if this means anything to you, what I'm interested in
20 is for you to find the Vogosca and the Zuc on this map, the Zuc hill, to
21 explain those two matters here. If you can't locate them, then I'll try
22 a third tack.
23 A. I can't.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So could we please recall 65 ter 2942
25 map, please.
1 Q. Mr. Tesic, please take a look. What I'd like you to do is to try
2 to locate Vogosca and the Zuc elevation on this map. Would you like it
3 to be zoomed up?
4 A. No, no need for that. Thank you. This is an aerial photography,
5 and as an officer, I know how to read those maps or photos. I can see
6 here the Sarajevo
7 but here where you see the sides of the world, this in the upper left
8 corner should be the area of Vogosca.
9 Q. If you could encircle it.
10 A. Well, I can't be certain.
11 Q. Then, I will give it up, because I don't want to lead you into
12 any speculations.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like us to go
14 back into private session, unfortunately.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
16 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we call up Exhibit P356 on the
20 screen, please. Could we please focus on the title or the heading of
21 this document, please, on the top of the page. In the B/C/S, please.
22 Move it to the left, please.
23 Q. In answering questions concerning this document yesterday, on
24 page 1921/4 of the transcript, you stated that this was an order. Could
25 you please take a look at this copy and tell us whether something
1 different is written here. I don't want to lead you or suggest an answer
2 to you.
3 A. I cannot interpret this.
4 Q. Should I then put it to you that the word here is "briefing"?
5 A. It appears to be so.
6 Q. This is the same in the English translation, so I wanted to avoid
7 any confusion, so we have confirmed that this is a briefing report.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom out the B/C/S
10 Q. This document does not show to whom it was addressed; at least, I
11 could not find any reference.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. What you testified about this was as follows: In the first
14 paragraph, there is a list of the units that entered, and I'll read it
15 out: Parts of the Guards Brigade was used to re-enforce the 72nd Special
16 Brigade and enter the formation of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps on the
17 17th December, 1993
18 the 31st December, 1993
19 formation of the 72nd Special Brigade and entered the formation of the
20 Guards Motorised Brigade. The current numerical strength of the Guards
21 Motorised Brigade is 210 men, officers --
22 A. Civilians.
23 Q. Civilians and contract soldiers, I presume?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Can't find your bearings with all those acronyms. So what I'm
1 interested in, since I'm starting with my closing questions, all the
2 troops, all the men that were engaged from the Guards Brigade over there,
3 from this document it is visible that on the 13th of January, 1994
4 your unit there are a total of 210 men from the first group and the group
5 that subsequently arrived. Is this the maximum number of men from your
6 unit that were there, give or take a few? So is this the total of Guards
7 Motorised Brigade members who were there at that time?
8 A. Yes, this is the overall number of men there, give or take five
9 or ten men.
10 Q. In relation to the overall number of the peacetime composition of
11 the Guards Brigade - we know that in wartime the number goes up - this
12 number, this figure is tantamount to approximately 10 percent of the men
13 of the Guards Brigade who were actually there?
14 A. Given that overall number, the overall strength was around 1500
15 men, then you could easily calculate what this number was in percentage
17 Q. In the next paragraph, there is mention of the units. You
18 testified about that, but what I'd like to hear more about is the tank
19 platoon M-84. How many tanks are usually there in a platoon?
20 A. Three.
21 Q. So this is what you showed us. So you had a total of three tanks
22 with you there at that time?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. I will read out paragraph 4. It says: "Problems. Strong
25 anti-armoured --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. Can we just scroll to paragraph 4, please.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. "Strong anti-armoured resistance of the enemy and insufficient
5 number of our forces for tracking attacks launched by tanks and the
6 armoured personnel carriers can inflict serious losses to our forces.
7 Tanks have only .5 combat munition sets without any serious prospects to
8 improve the resupply of the munition in the next day." This is what the
9 report says.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. So could we conclude from paragraph 4 that the enemy held very
12 strong positions and could inflict substantial losses on you if you were
13 to go on an attack; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that was the thinking of the Commander of the Guards
15 Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Ljubisa Stojimirovic, the man who signed this
17 Q. It was mentioned yesterday in one of the documents that there was a
18 possibility that, after your departure, members of the 67th - correction,
19 63rd Parachute Brigade from Nis would take your positions. Do you have any
20 information that somebody went to replace you after you departed in
21 January 1994?
22 A. I do not have such information, but I don't think that anybody
23 else went over there.
24 Q. My position, Mr. Tesic, is that in the Pancir operation, which
25 was an attack operation of the VRS, that in it the Vogosca Brigade, the
1 Rajlovac Brigade and one brigade of the Krajina Corps, one brigade of the
3 took part in it. Do you agree with me that those units represented a
4 substantial force of an army in an operation in such an area?
5 A. What you listed are respectable forces for a commander. I would
6 also want to note that that area, we had Kosevo Brigade as well.
7 Q. And from the VJ, from the Army of Yugoslavia, who was present
8 there in accordance with my thesis and my information in the first group
9 that was led by Colonel Stupar, there were 120 men, and then there was
10 the other group which came with your unit, so to bring the total slightly
11 above 200 men who were engaged in that action; isn't that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. In your statement to the Prosecution, you said -- and we can
14 bring it up on the screen if necessary, you said that at paragraph 81,
15 you stated there, to be as precise as possible: "Due to loss of eight
16 officers, 72nd Brigade was in a poor state." Do you recall saying --
17 describing the situation as such when you came to that place?
18 A. Yes. These were the words of the superior officers.
19 Q. And you confirmed to me during the first part of my
20 cross-examination that the Guards Brigade really had a status of an elite
21 military unit; isn't that correct?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. I presume that the 72nd Special Brigade also did bear such an
24 epithet of an elite unit?
25 A. I'm not a commander so that I could assess this, but I presume
2 Q. Do you agree with me that from the 15th of December until your
3 pullout towards the end of January, you and your units and the units
4 preceding you there did not help in any substantial way to that offensive
5 action since you were holding positions without advancing throughout that
7 A. The units of the Guards Brigade did not participate in offensive
8 actions during their stay from the 31st December, 1993, through 30th of
9 January, 1994, when we were already back in Belgrade
10 Q. While you were there, the units of the Army of Republika Srpska
11 did not capture Zuc hill?
12 A. I heard of no such thing, and I would have heard.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Tesic. I have no
14 further questions.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you sit down, Mr. Lukic, could we bring
17 that exhibit, please, on the screen, P356.
18 Mr. Tesic, can you explain something for me here which is not
19 quite clear. It says: "The elements of the Guards Motorised Brigade
20 units reinforced the 72nd Special Brigade, thus entering the formation of
21 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps on the 17th December, 1993. Upon the arrival
22 of the Guards Motorised Brigade in Vogosca on the 31st December, 1993
23 the reinforcement units left the formation of the 72nd Special Brigade
24 and entered the formation of the Guards Motorised Brigade."
25 And that's where my question is. Now, these are the Guards
1 Motorised Brigade units who are leaving the 72nd Special Brigade and
2 entering the formation of the Guards Motorised Brigade. Were there two
3 Guards Motorised Brigades?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there was only one
5 Motorised Guards Brigade. In this passage, reference is made to a part
6 of a unit of the 2nd Motorised Battalion equivalent to 60 to 80 members
7 who reinforced the 72nd Special Brigade. With the arrival of the Guards
8 Brigade in the 31st of December, 1993, they leave the 72nd Special
9 Brigade and join the Guards Brigade that had arrived in Vogosca in the
10 Republika Srpska.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: And these Guards Brigades that had arrived are
12 also from Serbia
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Like the ones who are joining them? Okay.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And when we talk of the current numerical strength
17 being 210 men, is that the current numerical strength of the two parts of
18 the Guards Motorised Brigade put together, or is it just the one part?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's just one part of the unit, and
20 I said the same to the Defence counsel.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. Now, if you put the two parts together,
22 what would have been the strength of the Guards Motorised Brigade?
23 Numerical strength?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are talking about two parts. If
25 we take one part only, the number, the total number is 210.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And if we take two parts, what is the number, sir?
2 That's the question. I don't know whether the two parts were equal
3 halves or 80 percent and 20 percent. So when we put the two parts
4 together, what was the numerical strength?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the first part is 60
6 to 80 men. The second part is 210 to 220 men that arrive from Belgrade
7 The total --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Around 300, give or take?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- is around 210.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter must have made a mistake. Can
11 the witness repeat.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please repeat yourself. The interpreter didn't
13 hear you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The total number of the Guards
15 Brigade on the 31st December, 1993, was around 210 men.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The second part was
17 110 to 120.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: So it's something like 320 to 330, the total sum?
19 I must be missing something.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can I try to assist.
22 The Prosecution and I both looked at documents and have a clear picture,
23 so we can just ask the witness to confirm what we understand. In
24 mid-December, one part of the Guards Brigade left, as the witness says,
25 60 to 80 men. Then on the 31st December, another part of their brigade
1 arrived, around ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 120 to 130 men.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, the first group left the 72nd
4 Special Brigade who left for Belgrade
5 together they totalled 210. I think that's what the witness meant to
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That clears me. Thank you
9 very much. You said you are done with your cross-examination. Madam
10 Sutherland, any re-examination?
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just say that we were in
13 private session until the end of my cross-examination. I don't know if
14 the Prosecutor wishes to stay.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. I stayed in
16 private session because I wanted clarification of this document. May the
17 document please be removed from the screen. Thank you very much. May we
18 please move into open session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Madam Sutherland.
22 Re-examination by Ms. Sutherland:
23 Q. Mr. Tesic, in cross-examination this morning, you were taken to
24 your statement and asked about officers who were part of the 30th
25 Personnel Centre who became officers of the VRS, and you said that that
1 was based on what you had heard from the officers who through the
2 services of the 30th Personnel Centre became officers of the VRS. Who
3 did you speak to, which officers, the names of the officers that you
4 spoke to?
5 A. The first officer that comes to mind is my deputy commander of
6 the battalion from Vukovar, Slavko Stijekovic [phoen]. He left the
7 Guards Brigade to go to Republika Srpska, and he was assigned to some
8 duties in the area of Banja Luka. There were other commanding officers
9 who went to Republika Srpska from other units of the Guards Brigade. I
10 know some left from the military police battalion, some lieutenants who
11 names I don't remember. One lieutenant went to Bijeljina from the 2nd
12 Motorised Battalion under Commander Borovcanin. I later saw that man and
13 talked to him. I can't remember if he was battalion commander or company
14 commander. I spoke to more than four people, and they all said they went
15 there voluntarily and their orders came from their superiors.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, Your Honour and Defence. I should
17 have given you the page number, 32, of the transcript.
18 Q. And that was in relation to sending people who were born in BiH?
19 A. Yes. Those who were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina were sent there
20 after an interview in the personnel administration of the General Staff
21 and after a decision was written on their assignment to the VRS. I
22 cannot tell you what exactly that procedure involved.
23 Q. You said that their orders came from their superior. What orders
24 are you talking about?
25 A. We are talking about orders from their superior officers. The
1 battalion commander would convey orders from brigade commander. We are
2 talking down to brigade level, and I believe the same apply to the
3 Special Units Corps.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: One moment, Your Honour.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MS. SUTHERLAND:
7 Q. Mr. Tesic, you said that orders came from their superior
8 officers. What was the nature of the orders?
9 A. Officers who were born in Republika Srpska were invited to a
10 meeting, and what happened then, I wouldn't know, but all I know, that
11 some of them told me later that they were going to Republika Srpska to
12 assume new duties. I didn't attend that meeting, and I can't tell you
13 anything further about it.
14 Q. I want to turn to another topic now. Pages 34 and 35 of today's
15 transcript, you were asked a question by the Defence. A proposition was
16 put to you that when your unit went to Vogosca, you didn't participate in
17 active much -- you didn't participate much in active action, you were
18 mainly holding the line, to which you replied that did you not move an
19 inch during your entire stay there.
20 A. Yes. That's what I told you, too, during proofing, save for an
21 intervention carried out with a couple of vehicles and a group of 20
22 members or so of the military police in the area of Srednje, and that was
23 reflected in one of the documents shown today.
24 Q. The VJ was working in tandem with the VRS, wasn't it? Or were
25 you working in tandem with the VRS, I should better say.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think this is leading, the way the
3 question is formulated. I'm not sure the Prosecution should be allowed.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Sutherland.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: I reformulated it to say, were you working in
6 tandem? The answer is yes or no.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That term "tandem" is inadmissible
8 in military terminology. The relationship, superior/subordinate, is
9 always dominant. That's the only thing that's in issue.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. I will rephrase my question. Were you coordinating operations
12 with the VRS units?
13 A. I couldn't answer that question because that was exclusively
14 within the jurisdiction of the unit commander. Operations officers are
15 not involved in those activities. As for the drafting of maps and
16 documents, the operations officer receives all instructions from the
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, may we go into closed session,
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into closed session.
21 [Closed session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber I]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in closed session.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could we have Exhibit P353, the war diary on the
24 screen, please. If we could go to page 10 of the English. It's entry
25 number 18 of the 10th of January, 1994.
1 Q. Mr. Tesic, you can see there a reference to the evening of the
2 11th of January: An officer from the platoon shall go to the Rajlovac
3 Brigade Commander Major Radic to agree about next activities." Is this
4 coordinating with the VRS?
5 A. No. This is about the military police platoon for special
6 purposes, a very small unit, and very few members of it were present in
7 that area, so we cannot really talk about an operation.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could we go to the next entry, number 19, entry
9 number 19 on the 11th of January, 1994.
10 Q. We can see there that the commander of the Military Police
11 Special Purposes Platoon shall send senior sergeant - and it's a last
12 name illegible in the English translation - to the Rajlovac Brigade
13 Commander Major Radic for the reconnaissance of the direction of the
14 engagement of the snipers. Is this coordinating with the VRS?
15 A. This is probably about an agreement, an understanding that had
16 been reached, but I couldn't tell you what exactly because I never went
17 to the area of Rajlovac in the period covered by the war diary.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could go to page 13 I think of the English
19 translation. It's around entry 26. It's just below that. It's the 17th
20 of January, 1994, at 630 hours. If we could go a couple of pages on to
21 page 13, and it's the bottom entry.
22 Q. Mr. Tesic, we see here under tasks: "Sergeant 1st Class Veljko
23 Sironja from the tank platoon shall carry out reconnaissance of certain
24 directions for the next activities with the Rajlovac Brigade commander."
25 Is that coordination with the VRS?
1 A. The assignments issued here were planned before for this period,
2 but they were not actually implemented in the field.
3 Q. We can also see below there, point 3: "Two groups of snipers
4 shall remain with brigades until the 19th of January, 1994." Which
5 brigades were they, VRS brigades?
6 A. Probably. I did write this, although I can't remember it.
7 That's probably right. I think there was a document saying they were
8 supposed to stay there from the 17th through the 19th, the one where
9 there was a reference to snipers and training. You can look up that
10 document again, perhaps.
11 Q. Would you say this is coordination with the VRS?
12 A. I noted this, and as for expressing an opinion, it was up to the
13 commander Lieutenant-Colonel Stojimirovic.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can we go to the next page, please, page 14 of
15 the English translation.
16 Q. We can see halfway down the page, now, this is for an entry of
17 the 17th of January, 1994, at 2000 hours, and it's around -- it's just
18 after -- so it's on page 14 of the English translation. And we see
19 towards the bottom half of the page -- I'll wait for the B/C/S. Do you
20 see where it says "orders for the 18th of January, 1994
21 combat group from the Military Police Special Purpose Platoon and a
22 military police battalion detachment, in cooperation with the forces of
23 the Vogoscanska Brigade launch an attack along the axis K870-K850; in
24 cooperation with combat group 2 along the axis Perivoj-Vis and facilitate
25 the attack of the BG2."
1 Do you see that entry? Do you see this is as cooperation with
2 the VRS? Coordination, I'm sorry.
3 A. What you've read is correct, but I see you are mentioning a
4 detachment, but it's not actually a detachment. It's a group from the
5 military police platoon for special purposes. It's the equivalent of
6 eight men and a squad from the military police platoon. A squad is up to
7 eight men. So it was a maximum of 16 men that engaged in coordinated
8 action with, I don't see any more on my page, what kind of coordinated
9 action it was, I don't know, but it was a small number of members of the
10 Guards Brigade the way it's written here.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to entry number 34, which is on
12 page 20 of the English translation.
13 Q. And then we see the reference halfway down the page to: "All are
14 required maximum vigilance and to be ready to be engaged in active
16 A. Yes, this is what is written here.
17 Q. And then down further below under "Orders," number 2: "Send a
18 Praga" - it says in the English translation - "from Lieutenant-Colonel
19 Josipovic within the formation of the BG-2 in accordance with the
20 previously received tasks on the 23rd of January, 1994..." You said that
21 Colonel Josipovic was in the VRS? Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And who is BG-2?
24 A. I couldn't answer that question. So much time has elapsed, I
25 wouldn't know.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: We have seen on previous entries BG group being
2 interpreted as combat group 2.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. I was wanting the witness to
4 clarify, was BG-2 part of the VRS or part of the VJ troops?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then put the question that way.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND:
7 Q. Mr. Tesic, was BG -- do you know whether BG-2, i.e., the combat
8 group, was part of the VRS or the VJ troops?
9 A. I can here only express my opinion on the basis of what is
10 written here. Combat group 2 is within the composition of the VRS.
11 Q. And it says at -- under order number 1: "At 2000 hours, Major
12 Cvjetinovic was ordered to strengthen the Ilijas Brigade in the sector of
13 Srednje to resubordinate one BOV."
14 Is that an armoured personal carrier?
15 A. It is a combat armoured vehicle with a 20-millimetre weapon, a
16 wheeled vehicle.
17 Q. "To resubordinate that vehicle to Semizovac garrison for the
18 commander of the Ilijas Brigade Captain Savic by 1000 hours on the 23rd
19 of January, 1994."
20 Now --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who does the Ilijas Brigade belong to?
23 A. Ilijas Brigade is one of the units of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
24 of the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Do you see this entry as coordinating operations with the VRS?
1 A. It is a matter for the commanders to decide, maybe help in
2 personnel and materiel.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: To which army did Major Cvjetinovic belong?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Major Cvjetinovic was a member of
5 the Guards Brigade of the Army of Yugoslavia
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour. If we could go to --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But he was born in the wider area
8 of Srebrenica, Republika Srpska.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we move away from this page, I just have a
10 question to ask. That entry number 2 under "Orders" which says: "Send a
11 Praga from Lieutenant-Colonel Josipovic within the formation of the BG-2
12 in accordance with the previously received tasks on the 23rd of January,
13 1994, at 630 hours." So the tasks were received on the 23rd of January.
14 1994; is that how it reads?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see the whole document, but
16 the page shown to me does not show that. I can read out item 2 --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 22nd of January, 1994.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we show that, please, because -- yes. I think
20 it's at the bottom of the page in the B/C/S. Could we please scroll up
21 or turn the next page. Is that right, that the tasks were received on
22 the 23rd of January, 1994?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, but what's written there? Can you tell us
25 what's written there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm reading the second part:
2 Composition of the combat group 2 to Guards Brigade element commander is
3 to enter the battle group composition who will command the mortar platoon
4 for the next two or three days. This document requires for a commanding
5 officer to be sent to command a small unit of two or three mortars for
6 the next two or three days within the VRS.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, if we could go back to the previous
8 page --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Tesic, I'm going to ask that we go back to the
10 previous page, please, in the B/C/S. Right. Now, let us confirm one
11 thing. This entry number 34, sir, can you tell us whose signature is
12 that? Who entered this entry? Is that --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my handwriting, and this is
14 my signature.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right. Now, you tell us -- can we scroll down,
16 please, to the bottom of that page. Right. Can you read that entry
17 number 2, which starts with: "Send a Praga from Lieutenant-Colonel
18 Josipovic..." and read it up to where it says "... 23rd January, 1994
19 ..." I would like you to tell me -- you to read your own handwriting and
20 tell us what it is you wrote there.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness read slower, please.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please read slow.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm reading.
24 On the day 23rd of January, 1994, at 0630, to the composition of
25 combat group 2, one Praga is to be sent in accordance with a previously
1 received task by Lieutenant-Colonel Josipovic. And from 630 to the
2 composition of combat group 2, one officer is to enter coming from the
3 2nd Motorised Battalion who is to command a platoon of 60-millimetre
4 mortar to command over them for the next two or three days.
5 Your Honours, in the first part of this item, we are discussing
6 sending one Praga to the combat -- composition of combat group 2 of
7 probably VRS. At the same time, on the next day, on the 23rd January,
8 one commanding officer from the 2nd Motorised Battalion of the Guards
9 Brigade of Army of Yugoslavia from Belgrade is sent to command a platoon
10 of 60-millimetre mortars for the subsequent two or three days.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So -- and this was issued on the
13 22nd of January in the evening hours during the briefing.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Tesic, because --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for
16 understanding me.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, can I finish, Judge.
18 JUDGE DAVID: Yes, please.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have cleared an issue which was causing me
20 serious problems, because what you are telling us is something that is to
21 happen in the future. What is written here is something that has
22 happened in the past, and my question was, how did it happen on the 23rd
23 if the entry was on the 21st? You see, I must complain, therefore, about
24 the translation.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You know, this translation here says that "in
2 accordance with previously received tasks" on the --
3 MS. SUTHERLAND: I think the word "on" should be "for."
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Beg your pardon? It says: "In accordance with
5 previously received tasks on the 23rd of January..."
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes. Your Honour, I think the word "for" -- the
7 word "on" 23rd January, it should be "for." In accordance with the
8 previously received tasks for the 23rd of January, which is just the
9 witness has just explained.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's true. That's true, ma'am.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, I agree, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: But I'm saying check your translations.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your translations are very bad, or otherwise, I
15 don't understand the language.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: And also, at the beginning of paragraph 2, Your
17 Honour, "Send a Praga from..." As the witness has just explained, it's
18 to send a Praga to Lieutenant-Colonel Josipovic. That's the way I
19 understood the witness, so we will have this document revised.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is this a CLSS translation?
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then I think this document must be MFI'd,
23 notwithstanding the fact that the Defence has not objected because it is
24 not telling us the story that is being told by the witness.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Now, this is supposed to be P353. If it is
2 not already MFI
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit P353
5 marked for identification.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, I'm done, Judge. Thank
7 you so much.
8 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Tesic, in the document we are exhibited now,
9 there is a concept that has been repeated many times and is the one
10 related to active defence. Here in the document it says: All are
11 required maximum vigilance and to be ready to engage in active defence.
12 In this concept, I would like to put it in relation to what you
13 have said on the transcripts on the 24th November in page 5, lines 23 to
14 25. You said in relation to the question why your unit went to Vogosca,
15 you said: "The reason why we were supposed to go there was to help pull
16 out the 72nd Special Brigade from that area, to take over the bodies of
17 aided members of that brigade, and to the extent possible to stabilize
18 the part of the defence line held by the troops by the Vogosca Brigade of
19 the VRS."
20 The concept of stabilize into -- in connection with active
21 defence, what are the hypotheses of action that the tactics require at
22 that moment are indicated according to the situation? What is the
23 meaning of stabilize within the concept of active defence? Could you
24 give me an example of the hypotheses that could encounter a unit to make
25 operational the concept of active defence with the tactical purpose of
1 stabilize a line of defence?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One important thing is diminished:
3 Combat moral of a unit. So a unit is ready to leave and withdraw the
4 whole position, and the frontline saying, I don't want to be killed, I
5 don't want to be here anymore, I'm going somewhere. Our coming there
6 changed the awareness of those people and made them think, If those guys
7 are coming here, why shouldn't I stick around? Am I being clear? When
8 combat morale is diminished, it is very difficult to bring things into a
9 prior state, and combat morale must have been diminished by the losses of
10 the Vogosca Brigade of the VRS and the 72nd Special Brigade where seven
11 officers and contract soldiers from within the VJ were killed in action.
12 JUDGE DAVID: Are you saying, Mr. Tesic, that the concept of
13 active defence involves only psychological support and strengthening
14 morale or involves military action in relation to objectives that may
15 bring the enemy toward you in order to advance their line of separation?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this does not go for
17 of achieving dominant position in combat activities at a certain point
18 and to prepare conditions for further assault. It was, rather, a
19 situation held on to what you already have.
20 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Tesic, again, among the hypotheses for action,
21 if you are given instructions to stabilize a line, and you find
22 resistance, military active resistance, what do you do? You said you
23 didn't move an inch. Didn't you move an inch because there were no need
24 to defend the line because of the situation were already stabilized or
25 you will have moved a kilometre if possible in order to establish a line,
1 and were that were senior orders? I ask many questions to you, so please
2 answer those that you consider more proper.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm glad that you are thinking
4 along those lines. I'm trying to give you a proper valid answer.
5 At no moment were we told that we should be ready to attack a
6 facility so that to switch from defence into attack. We did not see such
7 documents, neither could we discuss them. The basic task was to hold on
8 to the area already controlled. If you noticed in the war diary, the
9 first time when the commander of the Guards Brigade issues tasks and
10 orders to his subordinated units, he says to perform active defence and,
11 in the area from which active defence is being carried out, certain
12 targets may be destroyed - military targets, I'm discussing here - that
13 may appear in front of the area being defended within the area of
14 responsibility of a particular unit.
15 JUDGE DAVID: And the destruction of military objectives when
16 necessary because of the challenges put to your line are also authorised
17 within the mandate of a stabilisation of a line. Is that correct? Would
18 you be inactive receiving this orders to stabilize a line facing a
19 military action on the other part? You said destroy. Is that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, depending on what targets
21 there are. Destroy a vehicle, a tank; or incapacitate, you can
22 incapacitate a person; maybe neutralise, if we talk about a piece of
23 weaponry. I just give you one example. A target must be either
24 neutralised or destroyed or incapacitated so that the person defending
25 the line should avoid a situation where it would be threatened or
1 jeopardized or to avoid a unit being jeopardized if we are discussing a
2 military unit or a military formation.
3 JUDGE DAVID: The concept of active defence involves also
4 engagement. Engage, you said in one of your replies, engage the enemy,
5 so active Defence is really one of the postures facing both potential
6 combat, one of the tactics facing potential combat, military opposition,
7 military attacks?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One could think and talk in that
9 manner, roughly, yes.
10 JUDGE DAVID: So that the strategic objectives given in one order
11 are not strategic objectives in abstract, but they are subjected to the
12 tactical practical situations of the day, of the hour, and of the minute;
13 is that correct? Because a strategic objectives are in general, the
14 outline of many tactics facing the reality of your actions, in military
15 terms; is that correct?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, first, a strategic goal is
17 not issued to a brigade or battalion-level unit. Whether there was a
18 strategic goal given to the units of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, I
19 couldn't provide you with this information. I presume it existed, but I
20 mustn't state it as certain because I don't know.
21 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you very much. I was just interested in how
22 you understood the orders of active defence, engagement and stabilization
23 among the potential situations that you may encounter facing in Vogosca
24 the reality of a possible or potential army confrontation, and also to
25 understand what you said, "I did not move an inch." Thank you very much,
1 Mr. Tesic.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Madam Sutherland, you may proceed.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could turn to entry number 38 on page 23
5 of the English translation.
6 Q. Mr. Tesic, this is an entry for the 26th of January, 1994, and it
7 says: "The Guards Motorised Brigade commander carried out reconnaissance
8 with the TG-1 Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Josipovic in the area of the
9 Rajlovac and Ilidza Brigade for the purpose of further coordinated
11 Again, does this passage in the war diary show coordination
12 between the VJ and the VRS, coordinating operations?
13 A. This is my handwriting and my signature, and I stated that the
14 commander of the Guards Brigade at a certain -- was somewhere at a
15 certain date. What they discussed, I don't know. I put down coordinated
16 action. I was told to do so, and that's that.
17 Q. And who told you to do that?
18 A. I receive orders from my commander only, and most probably he
19 said I was reconnaissing [as interpreted] in connection with further
20 coordinated actions. And given that two days after this date indicated
21 here we started our return to our Belgrade
22 probably nothing ensued from all those joint reconnaissance trips,
23 planned coordinated actions.
24 Q. And your superior officer, the Guards Motorised Brigade commander
25 is Lieutenant-Colonel Stojimirovic?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Tesic, on page 34 of the transcript this morning, you were
3 asked about your primary task of the unit -- sorry. A proposition was
4 put to you whether you agreed that your primary task of the unit was to
5 go to Vogosca and secure the location so that you could recover the
6 bodies of the dead members of the 72nd Brigade, and you in your answer
7 said: "I agree that our task was to recover the bodies of the members
8 ever the 72nd Brigade."
9 What did you do personally to recover the eight bodies?
10 A. I personally did not take part in retrieving those bodies. The
11 Guards Brigade assigned certain officers from the intelligence security
12 organs who, together with an officer from the 72nd Brigade, Major Radic,
13 collected information and tried to get in contact with the other side,
14 the BiH army, to affect the delivery of those bodies or an exchange of
15 bodies so that we could recover the bodies of the members of the 72nd
17 Q. Sir, what were you doing in Vogosca for the month of January
19 A. Could you explain? Do you mean me personally or my unit?
20 Q. Yes. You said that the task was to recover the bodies of the
21 members of the 72nd Brigade, and you have just explained that you didn't
22 personally recover them. So what were you and your unit doing in January
24 A. Part of the officers of the Guards Brigade together with an
25 officer from the 72nd Brigade who had stayed behind after the 72nd
1 Brigade had left the composition of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps were
2 active and involved on that case. The other members of the Guards
3 Brigade together with the Vogosca Brigade carried out the defence of the
4 area that they had control over.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Tesic, I think that question was a very simple
6 question. The question was, what were you and your unit doing in January
7 1994? Can you tell us what you did for the month of January 1994, you
8 and your unit, in Vogosca?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The unit carried out defence tasks
10 together with the unit of the VRS.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does that answer your question, ma'am?
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: I may follow that up tomorrow morning, Your
13 Honour. I note the time.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fair enough. We'll then take the break and --
15 adjourn for the day, rather, and come back tomorrow at 9.00 in the
16 morning, same courtroom.
17 And, Mr. Tesic, once again, you are warned not to discuss this
18 case with anybody until you are excused from testifying.
19 Court adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
22 November, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.