1 Monday, 23 March 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, will 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 THE COURT: Thank you so much. Could we have appearances for the
12 day starting with the Prosecution.
13 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
14 Mark Harmon, Lorna Bolton, Carmela Javier appearing for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 And for the Defence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] good morning, Your Honours. Good
18 morning to all the participants in this proceedings. Today we have
20 Lukic for Mr. Perisic.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: We would call General Dorde Curcin.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, sir.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you please make the declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I shall
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated, sir.
7 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
8 WITNESS: DORDE CURCIN
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 Examination by Mr. Harmon:
11 Q. Morning, sir. Could you state your name and spell your last name
12 for the record, please.
13 A. My name is Curcin, Dorde. I'm not sure how to spell it. That's
15 Q. Prior to coming to court today, did you provide a statement under
16 oath on the 1st of August 2006 before an investigative judge of the
17 2nd Municipal Court in Belgrade
18 an accused Blagoje Govedarica?
19 A. Yes, I gave a statement against Blagoje Govedarica.
20 Q. On the 6th of November, 2007, pursuant to a request for
21 assistance by the office of the Prosecutor, were you summoned to the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On that date did you provide a statement before Judge Dragan
1 A. Yes, I gave that statement before the Judge Dragan Plasnic.
2 Q. Before you gave that statement, were you warned of the
3 consequences of giving false testimony?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When you gave your statement to Judge Plasnic, was I present
6 along with a investigator Mr. Bretton Randal and Mr. Novak Lukic who is
7 Defence counsel for General Perisic?
8 A. Yes, and an interpreter.
9 Q. On the 24th of August, 2007, did you voluntarily provide to the
10 Defence in the Odonic case a statement?
11 A. I apologise, could you tell me what year you mean?
12 Q. 2007.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On the 5th of October, 2007, did you testify as a Defence witness
15 in this institution on behalf of General Odonic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you require a subpoena to attend those proceedings, or did
18 you attend voluntarily?
19 A. Which proceedings do you mean, the -- this proceedings or the
20 last one?
21 Q. No, sir, I'm referring to the proceedings that occurred with
22 General Odonic where you were a witness and you testified in those
23 proceedings on the 5th of October, 2007. My question is, did you require
24 a subpoena to appear in those proceedings, or did you appear voluntarily?
25 A. I came voluntarily at the request of the Defence.
1 Q. In respect of these proceedings, General Curcin, were you
2 contacted by an OTP investigator on the 6th of February, 2009
3 to attend these proceedings?
4 A. On that day someone tried to get in touch with me, but I refused
5 to speak with him until the procedure as envisaged by our laws was
6 followed, because at the time I did not have a waiver on official
7 secrets, nor had I received a subpoena or a summons from my court.
8 Q. Did you require a subpoena in order to attend these proceedings
10 A. No, absolutely not. Had the procedure been followed, I would
11 have come gladly voluntarily.
12 Q. Did you receive a subpoena to attend these proceedings?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. When you were contacted yesterday by the representative of the
15 Office of the Prosecutor in order to review your statements and a
16 proofing session, did you refuse to do so?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Prior to these proceedings, General Curcin, have you talked to
19 anybody about your testimony in these proceedings?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Could you tell us, General Curcin, about your military
22 background. Take us through your career, please.
23 A. I completed the military academy land forces in 1967, and I
24 became a lieutenant. I went through many levels from commander of a
25 platoon and company battalion Brigade. I also performed various duties
1 as an instructor in military schools. I had operative duties in the
2 Brigade corps and army. And I finished my career as Lieutenant-General,
3 the chief of the first administration in the General Staff of the
4 Yugoslav army.
5 Q. Amongst the posts that you held, General Curcin, were you the
6 chief of operations and training in the 1st Army?
7 A. Yes, for five years.
8 Q. And what were those years?
9 A. From 1983 -- I apologise, from 1993 up until 1998.
10 Q. When were you appointed to the rank of major-general?
11 A. In 1995 on the 16th of --
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure whether the witness
13 said June or July.
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. Sir, was it in June, or was it in July of 1995? The interpreter
16 didn't understand your answer.
17 A. On the 16th of June, on army day, that was the army day of
19 Q. And were you ever assigned to the Yugoslav Army General Staff,
20 and if so, when?
21 A. Yes, the decision to transfer me to a duty in the General Staff
22 was issued to me prior to new year 1998, and on the 13th of January,
23 1999, I became the chief of the first administration of the
24 General Staff. And I was -- I remained in this duty up until the 30th of
25 September in the year of 2000. I apologise, I think it was 2000. Or
1 rather, 2001. I'm not absolutely certain.
2 Q. And when did you retire from the Yugoslav Army?
3 A. On the 30th of September. I think 2001, but I'm not sure.
4 Q. Do you know Ratko Mladic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How long have you known Ratko Mladic?
7 A. For over 30 years now.
8 Q. When did you first become acquainted with Ratko Mladic?
9 A. I was first acquainted to his -- to Ratko Mladic when we attended
10 the command staff academy together about 32 years ago.
11 Q. Did you ever have any assignments with Ratko Mladic?
12 A. Yes. We were battalion commanders in the same Brigade, in the
13 3rd Army in Macedonia
14 as captains 1st class.
15 Q. How would you characterise your relationship with Ratko Mladic?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this topic is
18 irrelevant, the facts that we are discussing now, so I would ask my
19 colleague, Mr. Harmon, to explain what the relevance of these questions
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, then I would ask the witness to be
22 excused so the explanation isn't made in his presence.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, General, would you please excuse us. You can
24 stand down for a short while, we'll call you back in another couple of
1 [The witness stands down]
2 MR. HARMON: The relevance of this question, Your Honour, is that
3 it is our position that this witness had a very close personal
4 relationship with the the witness. I'm going to be asking him questions
5 about General --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, you said this witness has a very close
7 relationship with the witness.
8 MR. HARMON: I didn't mean to say that, with General Mladic. It
9 is our position, Your Honour, that this witness, that experience may
10 colour the testimony of this witness when I ask him other questions, and
11 I think it's important that the Court understand the relationship and
12 when listening to the answers of this witness because there will be some
13 questions that will probe about events that he had a hand in, in our view
14 -- that he had a hand in, in secreting General Mladic from the public.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: In doing what to General Mladic?
16 MR. HARMON: He was involved in harbouring General Mladic from
17 the public. That is our position. And I think the Court would be
18 informed to know about his relationship with General Mladic.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This witness, as far as I can see
21 from the summary of his testimony, I believe that in context of the facts
22 that are mentioned there, that is what the Prosecutor should focus on,
23 and there is no mention on his close relationship with General Mladic.
24 And that's why I felt it was irrelevant to the case at hand.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Objection overruled.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, if the witness could be called
2 back into the courtroom.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, we can call the witness back.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. General Curcin, how would you characterise your relationship with
8 Ratko Mladic?
9 A. General Mladic and I are good friends. We also attended school
10 together, and we are also personal or family friends.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, General Curcin, what is your relationship with
12 General Perisic?
13 A. General Perisic is also someone I went through training together.
14 We attended the national defence school together. He was the Chief of
15 General Staff when I was there, and I can say that he was a mate, a pal.
16 Just a pal.
17 Q. Okay. Now, can you inform us of -- actually, what was the
18 relationship between General Mladic and General Perisic?
19 A. I am afraid I cannot describe that because I don't actually know
20 what the relationship was, except that I know that all three of us were
21 in the same group in the national defence school together, and we --
22 we've known each other since then as colleagues.
23 As for any more details, I'm not sure I could help with that.
24 Q. Were you asked by Judge Plazinic to describe the relationship
25 between General Perisic and General Mladic?
1 A. As far as I can recall, yes, but I did not really want to discuss
2 that because anything I would say about it would be speculation because I
3 am unable to testify to those facts firsthand.
4 Q. Are you familiar with the term in your language "kum"?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what does -- can you define that term for the Trial Chamber.
7 What does that mean?
8 A. When two people get married, they have to have witnesses, two
9 witnesses, and those people are called kum. So a kum is not quite a
10 relative, but it is a very valuable, dear friend and it goes on through
11 the family for a long time. This kum is also supposed to name the
12 children once they are born, to give them their first names.
13 Q. Was there a relationship of kum between General Perisic and
14 General Mladic?
15 A. No, that's not true. That's just an invented story.
16 Q. Were General Mladic and General Perisic related by marriage in
17 any way, to your knowledge?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, are you familiar, General Curcin, with the facilities, the
20 Yugoslav Army facilities at Rajac and Stragari?
21 A. Yes, in Stragari.
22 Q. Can you describe -- let's start with the facilities at Rajac, can
23 you describe the facilities at Rajac, please.
24 A. I don't understand your question.
25 Q. Was there a hotel at Rajac?
1 A. There is something that we call a hotel at Rajac, but it's not
2 really a hotel by any standards. It is a small area enclosed or fenced
3 in by a stone fence, and there is wire on three sides. These facilities
4 are meant or rest and recreation. There is a football pitch, a
5 volleyball and basketball pitch and also a very nice park where you can
6 take walks and rest. There is also a sort of lobby at the very entrance
7 and then three small homes, weekend homes, as it were. So this is a
8 facility of -- that perhaps I could describe in further detail if you'd
9 like me to.
10 Q. Let me see if I understand your statement. This is a facility
11 where VJ soldiers can go and take recreation and take lodging, take rest;
12 is that correct?
13 A. No, not military, not soldiers, but officers and members of their
14 family, as well as civilians. And this is for a very limited number of
16 Q. When you say it's for a limited number of people, what do you
17 mean by that?
18 A. Well, that would mean that about 30 people at most can lodge
19 there at a time, as far as I can recall. Most of these rooms were two
20 bedrooms and that was on the first floor and then on the higher floors,
21 on the second floor there were two bed- and three bedrooms. And on the
22 ground floor, there's a restaurant and a kitchen.
23 Q. Were there facilities of a similar kind at the facility at
25 A. No. Both these facilities were -- had a different purpose
1 earlier, but then later on when there was no need for that anymore, it
2 was turned Rajac into a recreation and lodging facility. Stragari is a
3 command post used for training. And in certain -- at certain times,
4 officers and commanders would go through training there. There is no
5 hotel there. There is just an administration building, a one-story
6 building; two small houses where the personnel is lodged or accommodated,
7 one room each; and one or two huts where personnel can lodge; several
8 concrete platforms prepared for setting up tents, large tents; parking
9 lots; and a large hall which was built 200 years ago where the command
10 could be stationed so that they can practice certain tactical practices,
11 exercises. So this is a far larger area than the facility at Rajac.
12 Both these facilities are guarded by four to five guards and several
13 guard dogs, and there would be one officer who was in charge of the
15 Q. General Curcin, during the period you were chief of operations
16 and training in the 1st Army, that is from 1993 to 1998, did either or
17 both of those facilities come under your jurisdiction?
18 A. No. I know that I said before the Judge that one of these
19 facility, Rajac, namely, was under my jurisdiction. What I meant then
20 was the division of duties between me and the logistics commander as to
21 who was going to be in charge of this facility so that it could be
22 improved and maintained properly. Generally speaking both these
23 facilities are under the exclusive command of the staff command of the
24 1st Army, and the staff command is subordinated to the Chief of Staff of
25 the 1st Army.
1 Q. When you said before the Judge of the 2nd municipal court that
2 Rajac specifically came under your jurisdiction, what am I to understand
3 by that answer?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps it would be a good idea
6 to follow the same practice that we followed so far, to namely put this
7 sentence before the witness so that he can read it, and then he can
8 understand what context the question was put in and what context his
9 answer should be in.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you suggesting to Mr. Harmon how he should run
11 his case? Or I'm not quite sure what you are saying.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, no, I apologise if that's how it
13 came across. I just think that the witness should be allowed to see the
14 statement and to read the sentence as he had actually worded it, and I
15 think it would be best to hear what the witness had said actually.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... let's see how
17 Mr. Harmon wants to prosecute the case.
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. General Curcin, my question to you was when you said before the
20 judge of the 2nd municipal court that Rajac was specifically under your
21 jurisdiction, what am I to understand from that answer?
22 A. I would prefer to see the text itself and to read the entire
23 paragraph because I have never seen that statement before, and I can't
24 really remember what I said exactly. So I would like to see what it is
25 that I exactly said there and the entire context, and then I could answer
1 your question.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MR. HARMON: Could the statement of General Curcin before the
4 2nd Municipal Court in Belgrade
5 version, please. Could the English as well be placed on the other side
6 of the monitor. If the witness could review his statement, I think we
7 will need to go in the B/C/S version of the statement to the next page,
8 and in the English version we will have to go to page 2.
9 Q. General, you'll see a part of your previous statement on the
10 monitor. When you get to the bottom, you'll need to keep reading down,
11 and if you will tell us when you've reach the bottom of the page, the
12 Registrar will move the page up for you.
13 A. I probably did not quite understand or correctly understand the
14 question of the Judge. And secondly, it was not I who gave this
15 statement and dictated the text, it was rather a conversation with a
16 judge and then he read out or he wrapped it up for the typist. I have to
17 repeat, the Rajac and Stragari facilities were under the command of the
18 headquarters administration of the 1st Army and the headquarters
19 administration in the chain of command was under the command of the Chief
20 of Staff of the 1st Army.
21 When I said something as it appears here, what I meant was the
22 internal division between me and the logistics assistant who it was to be
23 between the two of us who would take care of the facilities to make them
24 liveable for the people who go to rest there. This had nothing to do
25 with the establishment itself because within per establishment, it is
1 very clear who is responsible for what in the army. Therefore, I
2 apologise if there was a misunderstanding of some sort, but I had no
3 jurisdiction over either one of these two facilities, which means that I
4 didn't have jurisdiction over Rajac either.
5 Q. When you say, General Curcin, that, and I'm quoting you: "What I
6 meant was the internal division between me and the logistics assistant
7 who it was to be between the two of us who would take care of the
8 facilities to make them liveable for people who would go to rest there,"
9 what was the internal division between you and the logistics assistants
10 that you are describing?
11 A. At the very outset the interpreter said internal, "inner," but in
12 fact it was between the two of us, the two of us discussed this issue as
13 to who was to take care to make sure that good conditions existed there
14 so that the officers and their family members can go and spend some time
15 there, rest there, and that is the only way it should be understood and
16 in no other sense.
17 Q. So again, when you say "the two of us who took care of good
18 conditions," who were the two people you are talking about, yourself and
19 who else?
20 A. Vukovic Ljubisa. But we did not really dwell on this issue, we
21 rather tried through the collegium of the army commanders to ensure what
22 any of the heads requested, and they would need a lot of time to get it
23 through normal channels.
24 Q. So let's start first of all, who is Ljubisa Vukovic, who is he,
25 and what is his position in the Yugoslav Army?
1 A. Ljubisa Vukovic at the time was a colonel, later he became a
2 general. He was logistics officer. So I was logistic officer for the
3 entire command, and he was the logistic officer, operations officer in
4 the logistics. And for various reasons he took care about this
5 particular facility all this time. One of the reasons that he took care
6 about this facility was that his command used this facility for training
7 from time to time, and my part used Rajac for training of officers and
8 commands for given operations. And this is why we needed optimum
9 conditions when it comes to communications, accommodation, and other
10 prerequisites in order for these two parts of the command to be able to
11 function when they went into the field.
12 Q. So to be clear, you were the logistics officer for the entire
13 command, do I understand that to be the entire command of the 1st Army?
14 A. No.
15 Q. What did you mean when you said that, "I was logistics officer
16 for the entire command." I'm quoting your answer at page 14, lines 24
17 and 25.
18 A. This was an interpretation error. I never mentioned logistics.
19 I was an operations officer. I was in charge of operations, so I was in
20 charge of operations affairs, rather than logistics. I did not mention
21 logistics in this context.
22 Q. Was then Colonel Vukovic a subordinate of yours?
23 A. No. Colonel Vukovic was subordinate to the assistant for
24 logistics at the 1st Army Command, and this was Mr. Pantelic.
25 General Pantelic. And General Pantelic was subordinated to the chief of
1 the army. As the operations officer, I was subordinated to -- but truth
2 be said, a year or two later, when General Pantelic left to work at the
3 General staff, Colonel Vukovic became assistant for logistics, so the
4 first person when it comes to logistics in the 1st Army, and he was
5 subordinated to the army commander, we are talking about the 1st Army.
6 Q. General, I'm trying to understand part of your answer earlier.
7 You said that along these lines that, the two of us took care that good
8 conditions existed there, meaning at the Rajac facility. What were your
9 responsibilities toward the Rajac facility? What did you do in respect
10 of the Rajac facilities while you were between -- while you were the
11 chief of operations and training in the 1st Army?
12 A. Nothing, we simply used this facility from time to time for the
13 purpose of training in order to have as little work as possible in order
14 to find the facility cleaned, prepared, tables positioned as we wanted
15 them, in order to have the communications and heliport prepared and car
16 parking prepared, we insisted to have this through the command of the
17 headquarters administration to have all this prepared before we came
18 there. And this is why I said that we had certain competences, but it
19 would be better to say that we had certain requests as to what needed to
20 be prepared before we came to this facility.
21 We had no other competencies, neither General Vukovic nor myself.
22 Q. It's my understanding, General Curcin, that the Rajac facility
23 was in a state of either disrepair or it wasn't particularly fit for
24 housing guests during the period from 1995 onwards, and that there was an
25 effort made to rehabilitate the facility in order to make it -- the
1 standards elevated and people could stay there. Is that correct?
2 A. To a certain extent, but not entirely. This is the matter before
3 General Vukovic and myself managed to convince the Chief of General Staff
4 and the army commander to make sure that this facility is improved in
5 order to be able to receive guests, until that moment that facility was
6 -- fell out of use because it was not at all used. In order to improve
7 the facility to make sure that certain number of officers and members of
8 their family could go there for vacation, certain things needed to be
9 repaired starting from carpets and curtains and bedding and dishes and
10 all that. So that officers and their families, once they came there,
11 could have their vacation there under proper conditions as prescribed by
12 the command of the Yugoslav Army. So this is what I wanted to say as a
13 way of answering your question.
14 Q. Okay. General Curcin, did you have any decision-making or
15 decision-making in the improvements that were taking place at the Rajac
17 A. No. And there was no need for that. This issue was discussed at
18 the collegium and the army commander turned this into orders issued to
19 the Chief of General Staff who then issued respective orders. So for
20 example, the asphalt was put on the road, the main gate was repaired, and
21 monument was erected to Misic who fought there in the vicinity during the
22 First World War. Also the external lighting was repaired and different
23 things were done so that when officers came there, either officially or
24 privately, they could find more or less appropriate conditions for their
25 work and vacation.
1 Q. General Curcin, did you see General Mladic at the Rajac facility?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When did you see General Mladic at the Rajac facility?
4 A. In early July of 1997.
5 Q. On how many separate occasions did you see General Mladic at the
6 Rajac facility?
7 A. I can't remember exactly, but I'm sure I saw him at least once
8 approximately one month later.
9 Q. How did you become aware that General Mladic was at the Rajac
11 A. Somebody told me that he was there, and then one weekend I simply
12 went down there to have a walk and some rest, and since he was there we
13 also met each other.
14 Q. Who told you that General Mladic was at the Rajac facility?
15 A. I can't remember.
16 Q. Is it your evidence that you went to the Rajac facility on your
17 own and by chance met General Mladic at that facility, or did you go to
18 see General Mladic specifically?
19 A. I can't say that for sure, maybe I heard, and that's why I went
20 there. But I used to go to Rajac often, as often as I could. I would go
21 there and spend an entire week with my wife or with my granddaughter, so
22 I went to Rajac quite a lot, but on that specific occasion it could be
23 that I heard from somebody that he was there and I also had some time,
24 and therefore I went there to see him.
25 Q. How is it possible that General Mladic was at the Rajac facility
1 in July of 1997?
2 A. He was simply there.
3 Q. On what basis?
4 A. I can't say that. I really don't know.
5 Q. Was the Rajac facility a facility for VJ officers?
6 A. Yes, it was a facility for officers, members of their family and
7 civilian employees of the Yugoslav Army.
8 Q. And what was Ratko Mladic's status?
9 A. As far as I know General Ratko Mladic retired on 1st of March,
11 Q. Retired from where in March of 2002?
12 A. I don't understand this question, retired from where.
13 Q. What did he retire from in 2002?
14 A. I couldn't say this for sure because as far as I know his active
15 military duty ceased following a decree of the President of the Federal
16 Republic of Yugoslavia
17 from Republika Srpska whereby he was member of the Army of Republika
18 Srpska, and then this decree was just verified by the decree of the
19 Yugoslav Army. I really don't know these details.
20 Q. Sir, when you gave testimony under oath to Judge Plazinic on the
21 6th of November, 2007, were you asked and did you answer -- were you
22 asked about General Mladic's status and did you answer, and I quote:
23 "Ratko Mladic was an active serviceman in the Yugoslav Army until
24 March 2002." Did you provide that answer to Judge Plazinic?
25 A. Could I see that on the screen?
1 MR. HARMON: Could I then have 65 ter -- the identification
2 number 06145678 on the screen. And I'm interested in page 3 of the
3 English. I believe it's page 2 of the B/C/S.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you possibly enlarge this a
5 bit. Thank you. Yes, I remember this. Could you kindly repeat your
6 question now.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Did you tell Judge Plazinic that Ratko Mladic was an active
9 serviceman in the Yugoslav Army until March 2002?
10 A. Yes, I did say this, though there is a procedure which I did not
11 explain on this occasion. First of all --
12 Q. Let me interrupt you for just a minute. I'm not asking you about
13 a procedure, I'm asking you whether you gave Judge Plazinic the answer
14 that is in the recorded statement.
15 Now, I want to proceed, General Curcin. I want you to describe
16 your visit with General Mladic at the Rajac facility when you visited him
17 the first time. What did you do?
18 A. We didn't really do anything. We talked for awhile. It was
19 raining, although it was summer, so we could not walk through the woods.
20 We sat in a hole. We played some chess. We may have played some cards
21 as well. We had lunch together, and in the afternoon I went back to
24 Q. Okay. Did you travel to Rajac and make that first visit with
25 your wife?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, who was present with General Mladic on the occasion of your
3 first visit?
4 A. There were several members of his security team. Nobody else
5 that I could recognise.
6 Q. And how were the members of his security team dressed?
7 A. I remember that in my statement given before the Judge, I said
8 that they wore the army uniforms, but now I couldn't claim that on the
9 occasion of my very first visit they had uniforms on. At least not all
10 of them. Later on they did, but on that occasion, some of them may have
11 wore uniforms, some of them were in civilian clothes, or maybe all of
12 them were in civilian clothes. Later on all of them, or at least most of
13 them, wore camouflage army uniforms.
14 Q. Camouflage army uniforms of what army?
15 A. All the uniforms were similar, but those that I can remember wore
16 the uniforms of our army of the Yugoslav Army.
17 Q. Now, in addition to the persons who were wearing uniforms around
18 General Mladic, did he have his own personal close protection unit?
19 A. Apart from the cook and the waiter, there were also several other
20 people who served as his personal guards.
21 Q. Approximately how many people were in his entourage when you
22 visited General Mladic in Rajac?
23 A. There was nobody around him. These men were hidden away,
24 concealed. They stayed away so they weren't very visible, so I never
25 knew how many of them were present, nor where were they. But I'm sure
1 there were several. More than two or three, but you couldn't really see
2 them or count them.
3 Q. You said there was a cook. What other types of people were
4 involved or supporting General Mladic at the Rajac facility? You said a
5 cook, what else?
6 A. The waiter, a driver, and that's about it. And in addition to
7 this there were several body-guards.
8 Q. How were his body-guards dressed?
9 A. That's what I wanted to explain awhile ago. Some may have wore
10 uniforms, some wore civilian clothes, that's what I could see. But given
11 that I did not know them personally, they circulated, so I couldn't
12 really tell you how many there were.
13 Q. And who paid for General Mladic's security guards?
14 A. This is what I told you back in Belgrade, I do not know precisely
15 who paid for his security guards. I never came across any payment
16 records, I never saw that any money changed hands. At the time we
17 received salaries on our current accounts as, as we do now, and it was
18 enough for the army IT centre to provide to the Ministry's IT centre
19 certain data, and this is how payment of certain amount was made. In
20 other words, I remember very well what I answered last time, and this is
21 that this security was probably paid by the same source that provided
22 General Mladic's salary.
23 Q. What was that source?
24 A. I don't know. I assume, as I said the last time, that this was
25 the financial service of the Ministry of Defence. They are the ones who
1 are paying salaries, not the financial service of the army.
2 Q. Let me direct you, General Curcin, to the same statement that is
3 in front of you.
4 MR. HARMON: If I could go to page 7 of the English. And in the
5 B/C/S I imagine it is the next page.
6 Q. General Curcin, let me ask you this question: You were asked who
7 organised and paid for General Mladic's security guards by
8 Judge Plazinic, and -- or in the proceedings before Judge Plazinic, and
9 you answered:
10 "I do not know who organised and paid for Mladic's security
11 guards. I know that Mladic was in charge of the team, and the men were
12 probably paid by those who paid General Mladic, meaning, the financial
13 service of the Yugoslav Army..."
14 Was that the answer you gave before Judge Plazinic?
15 A. Please allow me just to find this.
16 Yes, although it seems to me that this was wrongly translated,
17 that he was in charge of the team. I'm not sure. "I do not know who
18 organised and paid for Mladic's security guards, I note that the team was
19 under the chain of command of General Mladic." Yes, this is what I
20 stated, but this is what the Judge dictated to be recorded. The Judge
21 asked a question, he talked to me about this issue, and then he dictated
22 the text to the recorder, so there is nothing I would like to change now.
23 I can just add that the body responsible for payment of salaries is the
24 financial service of the Ministry of Defence. And the financial service
25 of the army simply provides data to the IT sector of the Ministry of
1 Defence who takes care of the payments.
2 Q. General Curcin, the record of interview before Judge Plazinic was
3 prepared, typed, and you had an opportunity to review that interview, did
4 you not? And in fact you had an opportunity to sign the interview after
5 reviewing it; is that correct?
6 A. Up to a point. Now, you can recall you were seated on my right,
7 and I did not read this note. I just signed it without reading it. Both
8 your investigator and the interpreter were there in addition to Judge
9 Plazinic and the typist.
10 Q. And in addition to Mr. Lukic who was counsel for General Perisic,
11 he was also there?
12 A. No, Mr. Lukic was there during the first part, and I'm sure that
13 he left at the point where you started putting questions to me, or maybe
14 a little after that. He was -- he had to leave. He did not remain there
15 throughout. And that's not noted in this record. And of course, this
16 record is -- has to do with -- it's an interview relating to a completely
17 different case.
18 Q. First of all, could you indicate whose signature that is at the
19 bottom right-hand side of the B/C/S version that's in front of you on the
20 monitor. Is that your signature?
21 A. Yes, it is my signature.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. HARMON: Could we go to the end of the document in B/C/S.
24 Q. Do you see your signature on that page?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. HARMON: Can we go to the first page of the B/C/S and the
2 first page of the English.
3 Q. Your evidence, General Curcin, at page 24, line 12 and 13, you
5 "This record -- I'm quoting you "this record is, has to do
6 with -- it's an interview relating to a completely different case."
7 Could you go to the top paragraph of this B/C/S version on the
8 right, and you can see that this interview was compiled in connection
9 with cases before the International Criminal Tribunal, the Prosecutor
10 versus Momcilo Perisic and the Prosecutor versus Radovan Karadzic and
11 Ratko Mladic. You see that?
12 A. I can see that, but you know very well and you can remember very
13 well that the first page was not dictated in my presence. It was
14 probably already something that had already been entered into the
15 computer before the interview was started. There was no mention of
16 either Radovan Karadzic or Ratko Mladic, but only of the case against
17 Momcilo Perisic. And you can also see at the end there is no signatures
18 from the Defence counsel here because he was there the first two-thirds
19 of the interview but then he was not there at the very end. So he was
20 probably not there and able to sign it. So in other words, I did know
21 and I was told by Judge Plazinic that this was a case the Prosecutor
22 versus Momcilo Perisic and not the Prosecutor versus Radovan Karadzic and
23 Ratko Mladic. And I again state that this first page was not something
24 that was typed in my presence. There's just a form, it's a template that
25 was already in the computer before I entered the room.
1 Q. General Curcin, you've described your first visit with
2 General Mladic, and I'd like you to describe -- can you identify when
3 your second visit was with General Mladic at the Rajac facility?
4 A. I think it was in late July 1997.
5 Q. After that visit, was there another visit at Rajac with
6 General Mladic?
7 A. At least another one, but much later.
8 Q. When was that, to the best of your recollection?
9 A. Well, although I really would like to try and recall, I can't,
10 and I can't tell you, but after awhile, he left these facilities, and I
11 can't remember when he returned.
12 Q. How long was his first visit at the Rajac facility, the one in
13 July of 1995?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was it in July 1995? You just said July 1995?
15 MR. HARMON: July 1997, I'm sorry. Thank you.
16 Q. How long was the first visit? How long did General Mladic stay
17 at the Rajac facility?
18 A. Again I'm not sure what I am supposed to answer to, whether how
19 long my first visit there was or whether how long he stayed at Rajac in
21 Q. Perhaps I didn't make it clear. How long did General Mladic stay
22 at the Rajac facility on his first -- the occasion of his first visit?
23 A. A little over a month perhaps.
24 Q. And how long did he stay on the occasion of his second visit?
25 A. That I don't know.
1 Q. And did you visit General Mladic at Rajac between Christmas and
2 Serbian new year in 2002?
3 A. No, that's an error. I did visit General Mladic between --
4 sometime between our Serbian new year and the Serbian Christmas which
5 means between the 7th and 14th of January 2002, but this visit was at
6 Stragari, not at Rajac.
7 Q. Okay. When you visited General Mladic at Rajac, did he have
8 other visitors besides yourself?
9 A. I don't know what you are referring to. If you can assist me.
10 I'm not certain that I understood your question fully.
11 Q. Besides yourself, who else visited General Mladic while he was
12 staying at Rajac?
13 A. On one occasion, General Mladic received a visit from
14 General Perisic who came to be around.
15 Q. Now, this is at the Rajac facility; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When was that?
18 A. This was sometime in the latter part of July, almost in early
19 August 2007.
20 Q. And at the time General Perisic visited General Mladic at Rajac,
21 what position did he hold in the Yugoslav Army?
22 A. He was the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army.
23 Q. Can you describe the visit with General Mladic and
24 General Perisic?
25 A. Yes, I remember it vividly.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to object, Your Honour.
3 We can leave the date as it is in the transcript on page 27, line --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the line.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But because he said, the witness said
6 that General Perisic was the Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army, the
7 witness did state so, but I assume that it's an error. So this is on
8 line 14, page 27, I apologise. I mean, the year is totally wrong, let me
9 be more specific.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
11 Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: I see the error, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The year says 2007.
14 MR. HARMON: Yes, thank you, counsel.
15 Q. You were asked when did General Perisic visit General Mladic at
16 the Rajac facility, and your answer is recorded as "early August 2007."
17 Is that an error?
18 A. Yes, absolutely an error. Both of these things, not in early
19 August, but late July, on the eve of the beginning of August in 1997.
20 Q. Thank you for the correction.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Counsel.
22 Q. Can you describe the visit that General Perisic and
23 General Mladic had.
24 A. Yes, I can.
25 Q. Please do so.
1 A. On a weekend in the morning around 10.30 or 11.00 as they emerged
2 from the facility on the road to take a walk, this was the road between
3 Ljig and Gornje Milanovac, as I was a strolling down the road by the
4 fence where there is a sort of depression, I noticed on the right-hand
5 side next to the fence a vehicle, a dark coloured Audi with dark windows.
6 This is a area where -- this is a no-parking zone, so this is why I
7 noticed this vehicle that was parked there. I went up to the vehicle to
8 see who was there. And then the left, the driver's glass went down, and
9 I noticed that General Perisic was inside. He was dressed in civilian
10 clothes. He was driving the car. There was no security around him. I
11 asked him kindly how he was, and he said, Well, I'm on my way, I went to
12 visit my mother in Kostunici, and I'm on my way to Belgrade
13 asked him, Why don't you drop by and visit with us? He didn't want to,
14 but then I managed to talk him into it. He turned around his car and
15 drove to the facility. He spent some time there, had conversation with
16 General Mladic. They played some chess, maybe also some table tennis,
17 and a little after dinner, after lunch time, or after they had lunch, he
18 left for Belgrade
19 have lunch. That was all, his entire visit, and this meeting that I
21 Q. Did he say why he didn't want to visit with General Mladic?
22 A. No, he didn't.
23 Q. Now, let me turn your attention, General Curcin, to the facility
24 at Stragari. Did General Mladic stay a Stragari?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How many times did he stay at Stragari following the end of the
3 A. What end of the war? What war?
4 Q. The end of the war in Bosnia
5 stay in Stragari?
6 A. I don't really know, and I doubt that he does, because he
7 probably visited there on and off. He would spend there some time and
8 then go back home or some other place, so I can't really tell how long or
9 how often he visited the Stragari facilities.
10 Q. Did you visit General Mladic at the Stragari facility following
11 the end of the war in Bosnia
12 A. Before the war certainly not, but since you are insisting on the
13 period after the war, I suppose I was supposed to understand that to mean
14 after July and August 1997. I did go there and visit a couple of times
15 on my way to inspect some units, or sometimes I would just go to see him.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: General, how many times did you visit
17 General Mladic at Stragari?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know exactly
19 the number of visits, but more than two to three times. Maybe four.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Harmon.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Q. Were those visits that you paid on General Mladic, were they
23 announced visits? Did you go to see him purposefully? Did you know he
24 was there at Stragari when you stopped at Stragari and visited him?
25 A. No. As was the case with Rajac, I wasn't always informed or I
1 didn't always know whether -- that he was there or not. I would just
2 stop by and see, and then if he was there, we would have a cup of coffee,
3 and I would be on my way. I never announced my visit so this wasn't the
4 case in Stragari either. We were never in communication in any way
5 either by courier or e-mail or pigeon mail or any other kind of way, so
6 these were just meetings that we had on the go, as it were.
7 Q. So these were chance visits to General Mladic at Stragari, am I
8 to understand your evidence that way?
9 A. Yes, both in Stragari and at Rajac.
10 Q. I see. Now, in the time you visited General Mladic at Stragari
11 and at Rajac, were you aware that General Mladic had been indicted by the
12 Tribunal and that there were warrants for his arrest?
13 A. I learned of that somewhat later from the media. In other words,
14 I heard of this indictment and also that there was a reward offered and
15 that he was indicted before this Tribunal.
16 Q. My question was, during the time that you met with General Mladic
17 at Rajac and Stragari, were you aware that he had been indicted and that
18 there was a warrant issued for his arrest?
19 A. I can't recall when it was exactly that I heard of this from the
20 media, but I never had opportunity to see the indictment, so I can't
21 really be more precise in my answer.
22 Q. Were you asked this question, the same question, before
23 Judge Plazinic, and did you answer, and I quote:
24 "During the time when I met with Mladic, I heard about the
25 indictment against him."
1 Did you give that answer to Judge Plazinic?
2 A. It's quite possible that I answered in that manner, but I'm
3 taking this opportunity now to clarify to you and to the Trial Chamber
4 that it was only later, and I'm not sure exactly what year it was, that I
5 learned that there was an indictment against him. But let me say this,
6 both on that occasion and today, I could have chosen not to answer that
7 question so that I would not be in jeopardy in any way, so that legal
8 action might not be taken against me. But here it is, I did say what I
9 had to say.
10 MR. HARMON: Could we turn to page 7 of the English, the document
11 on the screen.
12 Q. And, General Curcin, I'm going to give you an opportunity to
13 review your answer in the B/C/S.
14 MR. HARMON: And I imagine this is on the second to last page in
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see that part on this page.
17 MR. HARMON: Perhaps it's on the next page then.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, how much longer are you still going to
19 be going?
20 MR. HARMON: With the witness, I will be going --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are long past the break.
22 MR. HARMON: Sorry, I thought it was 10.30, Your Honour, with the
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's quarter past.
25 MR. HARMON: I apologise, Your Honour, if I finish with this
1 answer, then I'll take the break.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on this
4 particular paragraph.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Second paragraph from the
7 MR. HARMON: Thank you, interpreters.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I probably did say this in
9 this manner, and I stand by it, but I need to explain this. Because I
10 remember and you put this question to me and not Mr. Plazinic. You
11 didn't ask me on what occasion when we met you meant, whether on the
12 first occasion when we met or the second or the third in Stragari. It
13 was a generally put question, and that's why my answer was as it was.
14 And then now I've tried to explain that at some later point in time, I
15 learned this from the media. And what is stated here, what I said to you
16 in Belgrade
17 MR. HARMON: It's an appropriate time for a break, Your Honour.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at five to 11.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. General Curcin, before we broke we were talking about the
25 Stragari facility, and let's stay focused on the Stragari facility. Did
1 General Perisic ever visit Mladic at Stragari?
2 A. As far as I know, yes, once.
3 Q. When was that?
4 A. I can't remember precisely, but I believe it was in the early
5 spring of 1997.
6 Q. Again, during that visit --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Excuse me, in the
8 early autumn of 1997.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. During that visit, what position is General Perisic hold in the
11 Yugoslav Army?
12 A. He was Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army.
13 Q. And were you with General Perisic when he visited General Mladic
14 on that occasion?
15 A. I wasn't with him. I happened to be there, and we met in the
16 same facility at the same time on the same day.
17 Q. Did you spend the day with General Mladic and General Perisic on
18 that occasion?
19 A. One could say so. It started mid-morning, and it lasted until
20 afternoon, so you could say that we spent the majority of that day
22 Q. Could you describe what you did during that day?
23 A. We weren't together all that time. We spent some time together.
24 We talked, we walked through the woods, we played some chess. We also
25 played cards, table tennis. We had lunch. And then we walked some more.
1 Q. Now, at the time the visit took place at Stragari was
2 General Perisic aware that there had been indictments issued by this
3 Tribunal for General Mladic and that there were warrants for his arrest?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this question calls
6 for speculation on behalf of the witness. Maybe the question should be
8 MR. HARMON: I don't believe it calls for speculation. If the
9 witness has a basis to answer, he can answer the question.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Can you answer the question, please, General Curcin?
13 A. I can't, I don't know.
14 Q. But you were aware of it; correct?
15 A. Before the break we tried to clarify that I learned much later
16 about the indictment, so I can't really say that in autumn of 1997 I was
17 already aware of it.
18 Q. Now, did you -- beside the visit that you and General Perisic and
19 General Mladic had together at Stragari, did you hear that
20 General Perisic visited General Mladic at Stragari on other occasions?
21 A. For the sake of the interpreters maybe I should clarify that this
22 is not Strugari, but rather Stragari. I'm not sure if he ever visited
23 him. I wasn't there so I couldn't claim that.
24 Q. Did you hear from others that he visited on occasions other than
25 the time you were with him, General Perisic and General Mladic, at
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, as I -- let's talk about the facilities at both Stragari and
4 Rajac. Is it standard operating procedure that someone who visits and
5 stays at those facilities signs a register book, a guest register book,
6 or records in any fashion his presence at those facilities?
7 A. No. At Stragari, no. At Rajac, if you stayed there within a set
8 package, and if you paid for your accommodation, food and so on, you
9 would be registered in a ledger. Also you would be issued an invoice for
10 the services and your car registration would also be recorded. At
11 Stragari this was not the case because this was not the type of facility.
12 Q. Did General Mladic register either his person or his car or both
13 at the facility at Rajac during his stays at that facility?
14 A. I really don't know that.
15 Q. Did you suggest to persons who were at the Rajac facility not to
16 keep records of General Mladic's visits at that facility?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you suggest to persons who were at the Rajac facility not to
19 disseminate information to others about his visits at that facility?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Why did you do that?
22 A. A large number of people recognised and loved General Mladic, but
23 there were other people who did not respect him and who wanted to give
24 him in, in exchange for some money for certain remuneration. So at the
25 time it was important that it is not known where General Mladic was at a
1 given moment of time. For these security reasons, for the sake of
2 security of myself and other people who stayed there, other personnel,
3 soldiers, officers, and also for the sake of security of Mladic himself,
4 it was sensible to protect this information only to people who really saw
5 him and who really knew about this. It was unnecessary to talk about
6 this with anybody else. And this is why I told to some people not to
7 talk about this in front of other people. This was my advice, fatherly
8 advice, if you wish.
9 Q. So your advice was to avoid the possibility that General Mladic
10 might be arrested on the warrants that were outstanding for him should it
11 be known that he was at the facility at Rajac; is that correct?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this is a leading
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: I'm just looking for an answer given by the witness,
17 Your Honour. Your Honour, I'm merely rephrasing a portion of the answer
18 and seeking clarity on his answer that starts at line 16 and ends at
19 line 18.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any response -- any reply, Mr. Lukic?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this is a wrong
22 conclusion drawn by the Prosecution from something that is actually not
23 included in the answer. And I believe that the Prosecutor cannot answer
24 the question on the basis of such a conclusion.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you rephrase, Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes.
2 Q. General Curcin, the reason that you asked people not to
3 disseminate information about General Mladic's whereabouts was because
4 people might seek to arrest General Mladic and seek to claim the reward
5 that was outstanding for him; is that correct?
6 A. Only up to a certain point. There were different individuals,
7 renegades, from the security services, former members of our special
8 units from Bosnia of NATO or SAS, and they might do this. We did not
9 fear that members of our police, of our security units could do that. He
10 at the time was not scared of these people, and it seems that he was
12 Q. Did you discuss with your superiors and others about the presence
13 of Mladic in the facilities at Rajac and Stragari?
14 A. No, I did not discuss this either with my superiors or with
15 people to whom I was superior. I did not discuss this with anybody,
16 neither his presence nor my encounters with him.
17 Q. Why not?
18 A. For the same reasons I mentioned before. Secondly, I was not
19 ordered to do that. I did not give an order to do that, so there was
20 simply no need for me to discuss this and to involve more people with
21 information as to his whereabouts.
22 Q. General Curcin, you testified earlier that General Mladic had
23 people with him, including a driver and a cook and security detail.
24 During the war, did General Mladic drive himself, or did he have a driver
25 during the war, personal driver?
1 A. Again you're talking about the war in Bosnia, or the war in 1999
2 in our country? I don't know because I was not in Bosnia for a long
3 time. I was on duty there in 1967. I was not there thereafter, and I
4 couldn't tell you whether he had a driver or whether he drove himself, or
5 possibly he had another type of security.
6 Q. On a number of occasions, General Curcin, General Mladic visited
7 your family in Belgrade
9 A. General Mladic visited me and my family on several occasions and
10 I visited him and his family as well.
11 Q. Did he have a driver when he visited you and your family in
13 A. I don't know. When he rang the doorbell, I live upstairs, I
14 really don't know whether he had a driver downstairs in the parking-lot
15 or not.
16 Q. Do you know the name of General Mladic's personal driver?
17 A. No, I do not know, and I also think that he changed them.
18 Q. Does the name Mladen Kenjic mean anything to you, sir?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Does the name Gojko Crnjak mean anything to you? Do you know
21 that person?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know a person by the name of Jovan Djogo?
24 A. Jovan Djogo?
25 Q. Yes, sir.
1 A. Yes, I knew him, this was a colonel who died several years ago.
2 Q. What was his -- what were his responsibilities in respect of
3 General Mladic?
4 A. I don't know, I knew him before in an earlier period of time.
5 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Darko Pecanac?
6 A. I do not know a Darko, I know a Pecanac, but I'm not sure whether
7 his first name was Dragomir or something else. I know him, but I know
8 for sure that his first name was not Darko.
9 Q. All right. Now, when General Mladic was on the VJ properties at
10 Rajac and later at Stragari and back again, how did he maintain himself
11 in respect of provisions?
12 A. I don't know that.
13 MR. HARMON: Could I have Exhibit 615 MFI on the monitor, please.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you do that, you had a document on the
15 screen here earlier.
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The record of the proceedings in Belgrade. What
18 do you intend doing with that?
19 MR. HARMON: Could that be marked as an exhibit, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what was the 65 ter number of it?
21 MR. HARMON: There's none, Your Honour. I have no 65 ter number
22 for it. I brought it here not anticipating that I would need to use it
23 as an exhibit, but given the nature of the answers, I put it on the
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic is on his feet. Let's hear what he has
1 got to say.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I object to this
3 statement being included into evidence. I believe that what Mr. Harmon
4 wanted to ask in relation to this statement is already in the transcript.
5 It was read out, and it was included in the transcript. So I believe
6 there is no need to include this into evidence as an entire statement
7 pursuant to your direction number 5.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm in your hands on this. I'm
10 satisfied to have portions referred to admitted into the record.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't know whether the Registrar does know the
12 pages that you referred to. Certainly page 1 was one of them. Those
13 pages that were referred to and were shown on the monitor will be
14 admitted into evidence. May they please be given an exhibit number. I
15 don't know also without a 65 ter number how Madam Registrar is expected
16 to link the exhibit number she's going to give to this statement,
17 Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we have an identification number, it's
19 0614-56 --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's use that. 061?
21 MR. HARMON: 4-5678.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: 4-5678. Fine. Under that reference, can we give
23 it an exhibit number, please, Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document with identification
25 number 0614-5678 will be Exhibit P2216.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 MR. HARMON: There was, Your Honour, another item that was shown
3 to the witness as well. It was a record of interview before the
4 2nd Municipal Court in Belgrade
5 earlier when I was discussing with him under whose jurisdiction the
6 facility at Rajac fell. And I referred him to a portion of that
7 statement. That has been uploaded into the e-court, and it has a number.
8 I'm told it has a reference of Curcin's statement, and the Registrar can
9 identify that statement on the basis of that description. So I would ask
10 that the portions referred to be given an exhibit number as well.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Registrar, I don't know -- yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The same objection, Your Honours. I
13 believe that in the transcript we already have the reference from these
14 statements, from both these statements. We have it in the transcript, so
15 I don't see the need to introduce not even a portion of the statement
16 into the transcript. This is the way I understood your guide-lines.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, we have been doing this right through
18 the trial. You put up a statement, you ask a few questions, and you
19 tender the document. We have said that if you have -- if the statement
20 is short and you have exhausted the entire content of the document, then
21 there's no need to tender it because it is there, but if you've just
22 referred to one or two parts of it, then we've always admitted. Isn't
23 that the guide-line?
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, my interpretation of
25 your guide-line, paragraph 5, second sentence, I will read it out where
1 you say --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have this
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] "In these situations the quotation
5 needs to be limited to the part of the transcript," I assume statement,
6 "which is directly relevant for the question asked."
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, let's read the entire paragraph. Okay.
8 "The parties are instead encouraged to quote from the statement
9 or transcript. However, the parties are requested to restrict such
10 quoting to situations when it is strictly necessary for the understanding
11 of the question asked. In such cases, the quote shall be restricted to
12 the part of the transcript that is directly relevant to the question.
13 Furthermore, in referring to your prior statement or testimony, the
14 parties are asked to provide exact page and line references to the
15 statement or transcript in question."
16 The entire paragraph says nothing about what part of the document
17 to admit, and what not to admit. What whole heading deals with
18 cautioning parties from para-phrasing witness's statements, and thereby
19 embellishing them. It has nothing to do with admission. But let me tell
20 -- yeah.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you allow me, the way I understand
22 your guide-lines is not to admit too many documents, too many papers, and
23 this is why in the transcript we already quoted a part of the statement,
24 so I see no need to admit even this part of the statement because it is
25 already in the transcript, and as such, it is part of the case file.
1 This is the same thing we did when we read out parts of witness
2 statements from other cases. So if an interested party reads out a
3 sentence from a previous transcript and it is entered into the
4 transcript, then there is no need to include the entire statement into
5 the evidence.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just give me the authority to that. Refer me it
7 to a paragraph in the guide-lines that says so, sir.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you look at paragraph 3.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 Mr. Harmon, do you see paragraph 3?
11 MR. HARMON: I do, Your Honour, and I'm satisfied to have just
12 the portion of the statement that was referred to the witness entered
13 into the record, as well as the first page of the statement which is
14 identifying the record of the taking of the statement of the witness.
15 And on that page as well it is an admonition or a description of an
16 admonition that was given at the witness at the time that he gave this
17 statement indicating that he was bound to testify and tell the truth, and
18 he took an oath.
19 So the portions of the statement for which I am seeking admission
20 are just the first page of the document, which is a description of the
21 record of the taking of a statement from the witness and a portion of the
22 reference that deals with the facility at Rajac under his jurisdiction.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The problem is that that paragraph forbids any
24 admission of the statement at all under those circumstance -- under the
25 circumstances of that paragraph.
1 MR. HARMON: All right. Well, then I will withdraw, then, my
2 request that this be admitted as an exhibit.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
4 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now, General Curcin, I want to turn to another exhibit, or an
6 exhibit. It is 615 MFI
7 General Curcin, if you could review that document on the screen
8 before you. You will have to scroll up at some point. Scroll down.
9 Have you finished reviewing the first part of this document,
10 General Curcin?
11 A. I've seen it, but I have no intention of reading it. This is the
12 first time I can see this. Could you please show me the last page of the
14 Q. Do you recognise the signature on the last page of the document?
15 A. No. I can see that this was not signed by the commander, but
16 somebody on behalf of the commander.
17 Q. Okay. Could you go to the first page of the document.
18 General Curcin, this is a 1st Army headquarters administration
19 document dated the 29th of August, 1997. It is an order. It relates to
20 the issuing of moveables and fuel replenishment of VRS vehicles, and as
21 you can see in the first paragraph, it is based on two decisions, orders.
22 One 13-10-9
23 of movables and fuel replenishment for vehicles in the VRS.
24 Now, if we go down to paragraph 7, sir. Go down to paragraph 7
25 in the B/C/S, it's on the previous page at the bottom. Paragraph 7,
1 General Curcin, discusses who can authorise the procurement and issuing
2 of items in the order. It says:
3 "Authorisation for the procurement and issuing of these items
4 based on the request of the 1st Army headquarters administration organ
5 will be by the 1st Army Chief of Staff, and, in his absence, by the
6 1st Army chief of operations affairs and training organ."
7 Now, on the 29th of August, 1997, you were the 1st Army chief of
8 operations affairs in the training organ, weren't you?
9 A. I apologise, but this translation is not fully correct. And
10 could I once again see the last page before I answer to your question.
11 Yes, indeed, at the time I was chief of operations and training
12 organ at the command of the 1st Army. My superior was the Chief of Staff
13 of the 1st Army. At the same time, I was deputy of the Chief of Staff,
14 and I stood for him in all the occasions when he was not present at his
15 job, so I was at the given position. But this is the first time I'm
16 seeing this order, and I have to say that neither me nor the Chief of
17 Staff received this order.
18 On page 2, you can see whom this was submitted to, so the command
19 of the logistics battalion also duty officer of the headquarter
20 administration duty officer at the barracks and archives. So neither me
21 nor the Chief of Staff of the army received this document, therefore I
22 cannot say anything about it. I never saw him which means I probably
23 didn't need it.
24 Q. Do you know anything about the authorisation of fuel, food, and
25 other items to General Mladic and his entourage while he was staying at
1 the Rajac facility and at the Stragari facility?
2 A. Absolutely not. I never engaged in logistics.
3 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions, Your Honour. Thank
5 Thank you, General Curcin.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General. My name is
9 Novak Lukic, and I'm the Defence counsel. And I will now put some
10 questions to you on behalf of General Perisic.
11 You have already testified before this Tribunal and you know that
12 certain sentences have to be interpreted into English for the transcript,
13 and in that respect, I would appeal to you, since we both speak the same
14 language, to wait, to pause for a few moments before you provide your
15 answer, and I will also pause after your answer before I put my question.
16 And if you observe the transcript, once the transcript is -- once
17 actually there is no transcript running, you can start with giving your
18 answers. Thank you.
19 Mr. Harmon asked you at the outset about your testimony --
20 earlier testimonies and your statements, and he also mentioned the
21 proceedings where you testified before the 2nd District Court, before the
22 investigating judge in the case Govedarica. My question is this, after
23 this statement were you you ever again summoned to testify again before
24 this court in those proceedings?
25 A. Good afternoon. Good morning. That's one.
1 Secondly, I never made any statements up until now, and the ones
2 that I did sign were not really my true and authentic statements. They
3 were actually the summaries provided by the Judge in the district court.
4 They were produced by the Judge, and I was never shown these statements,
5 nor did I get -- have an opportunity to read them.
6 Q. Well, my question was actually somewhat different. In these
7 proceedings against Govedarica and others, and this was a rather well
8 known trial, it was called in the media, the Mladic supporters, were you
9 ever summoned to testify in those proceedings again?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. In both of these statements you mentioned something that I would
12 now like you to expand upon a bit. Were you in any way harassed, or was
13 any pressure exerted on you before any of these statements?
14 A. Yes, I was. I was harassed by people from the special department
15 for organised crime, for war crimes and others, and I was called on
16 several occasions for interviews as a citizen. I was never provided any
17 record of those interviews. My apartment was searched by members of the
18 special MUP units, the department for the fight against terrorism and
19 crime. Some of my personal belongings were then taken and away and never
20 returned. And for my and my family this was a very difficult thing
21 because reporters came to our door; they rang on our door bell; they
22 tried to speak to my wife; they showed -- they even published our photos
23 in the newspapers. And for this reason I was forced to move to another
25 Q. Could you please tell us when this was in relation to the date of
1 this statement. And let me just remind you when you made this statement
2 in the Govedarica case; this was on the 1st of August, 2006. So in
3 relation to that date, when were these things happening, the things that
4 you described a moment ago?
5 A. All of this happened before May 1st of the same year, and on the
6 5th or 6th of May, my apartment was searched, nine individuals came to
7 search the apartment.
8 Q. We won't go into detail on that. Now, let us discuss the period
9 that you've also discussed with Mr. Harmon at the beginning. So let's
10 talk about 1997 and 1998. At this time you were the chief of operations
11 and training, and deputy Chief of Staff of the 1st Army; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Your status, position and function that you performed at the time
14 had nothing to do with General Mladic's stay in these facilities, in the
15 military facilities; correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And you never met him on an official basis at this time?
18 A. Absolutely not.
19 Q. I believe you confirmed this to Mr. Harmon today, but you had no
20 knowledge as to how Mr. Mladic came to those facilities or who organised
21 his stay there?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Would you know perhaps who was in charge of Mladic's security?
24 A. He, himself. In the army, the security detail is always under
25 the command of the individual for whom it is providing security. So in
1 this particular instance, he was the sole commander of this security
3 Q. Per establishment in the Yugoslav Army, which individuals were
4 entitled to security, to personal security details?
5 A. The close protection was something that was entitlement of the
6 army commanders, corps commanders. And all other types of security were
7 not real or standard security, but rather service provided to the
8 individuals. For instance, I was colonel general; I was not entitled to
9 any security detail. I did have a driver and a secretary who came with
10 me if I needed him. For instance, if I went to inspect the area of
11 responsibility or something of that sort.
12 Q. When you met Mr. Mladic, and again I'm talking about 1997 and
13 1998, you met with him as you already mentioned as a personal friend;
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You know that he had an apartment in Belgrade?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At this time in 1997, 1998?
19 A. Yes, at this time. He still owns the apartment.
20 Q. At this time did you also visit him in his apartment in Belgrade
21 more specifically, after you met him at Rajac which was in July 1997, as
22 you said, and let's say, for instance, up until on the eve of the NATO
23 bombing, let's say March 1999, so let me ask you this, in that period,
24 did you see him in his apartment in Belgrade?
25 A. Yes. And tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of the NATO
1 strikes against our country.
2 Q. Could you please tell me approximately how many times in this
3 period did you meet with him in his apartment?
4 A. I met him on a number of occasions, more than two or three, in
5 his apartment in Belgrade
6 Q. It was frequently reported in the media that Mladic was sighted
7 in public places at this time. Do you know whether Ratko Mladic ever
8 attended any public events in this period? There was often -- there were
9 many reports that he was seen at some football matches, could you recall
10 any of this?
11 A. Yes, he attended at least two soccer matches, the
12 Greece-Yugoslavia match and the Yugoslavia-Croatia match which we
13 attended together at the Red Star stadium in Belgrade.
14 Q. Did he conceal or in any way try to change his appearance at this
15 time in order not to be observed?
16 A. No, he didn't.
17 Q. How often did you meet with Mladic?
18 A. I cannot tell you precisely, but sometimes it would be once, or
19 once in two months or once in three months at times. This would happen
20 either at my home or at his home or in a cafe or a football match or in
21 Rajac or Stragari.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please show on the
23 monitors the first statement, that's page 3 of the B/C/S version, the
24 statement of August 1st, 2006
25 page --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is your reference number for that statement,
2 sir? The 65 ter number?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Since it wasn't on the 65 ter list,
4 the number is --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Perhaps I could help, Your Honour. There was no 65
7 ter number. It was referred to as Curcin's statement, and the Registrar
8 can identify the statement through that description.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I would like to ask you about your last time when you saw him in
12 the paragraph -- the penultimate paragraph where you say, When we met for
13 the last time, he told me that we would no longer be able to see each
14 other for my sake, for his sake, and for the sake of his families. He
15 appeared far more cautious at this time, and this is what he looked like.
16 He had been like that since Milosevic's arrest.
17 Does this reflect approximately what you stated before the
18 investigating judge at the time?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know when approximately Slobodan Milosevic was arrested?
21 A. The 31st of March, 2000, and he was delivered to The Hague on the
22 20th of June of the same year.
23 Q. And in your statement you mentioned that there was a change in
24 Mladic's conduct before and after Milosevic's arrest. Could you tell us
25 how you came to this conclusion. Did he mention anything? Did he say
1 that he was apprehensive?
2 A. Yes. He did say something to that effect to me, and I also could
3 draw the conclusion myself. Because on the night when Mr. Milosevic was
4 arrested, he was in his own home, in his own apartment, and that night he
5 left, and I did not see him anymore. But when I saw him later on and
6 spoke with him, he was visibly concerned for his security and the
7 security of his close -- the people close to him. And he was determined
8 not to surrender alive. You know, at this time, the distance between
9 Rajac and Stragari was under half an hour by helicopter. Had NATO known
10 that he was there, nothing would have stopped it to fly over the border
11 and arrest Mladic and take him to Bosnia
13 In addition, we also knew that he, in particular, but also me
14 through some official assessments, we knew that there were various
15 specialist teams of former and current members of various security and
16 intelligence agencies, in addition to NATO pact and other intelligence
17 services who were in pursuit of General Mladic.
18 There were also some men in our surroundings, when I say our
19 surroundings, I mean Serbia
20 were looking for Mladic for money. And in the event they did catch up
21 with him, they would probably surrender him or kill him. And we have
22 information that at least one individual was kidnapped from one of our
23 mountains, two men were arrested in Obrenovac in broad daylight, and so
24 on and so forth.
25 Q. When you say that one individual was arrested on a mountain top,
1 I will ask you about this. Now, if you recall, there were a lot of
2 reports on the media on this, that Todorovic was captured on Zlatibor in
3 1998 and delivered to The Hague
4 A. Well, if you allow me, he was not arrested; he was kidnapped.
5 Q. I would like to put another fact to you with respect to this
6 topic. Your statement number 2, that's 0614-5678.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please display this on the
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do we do with the first statement, Mr. Lukic?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to have
11 this in transcript. And I just wanted to point out the portion of this.
12 Q. Sir, I believe this was a portion of this statement that
13 Mr. Harmon also questioned you about. Just a moment. This is, I
14 believe, on page -- I apologise, my correction. So let's go back to
15 statement number 1, page 3.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just ask something, I just
17 saw a few minutes ago that I made the statement regarding the case The
18 Prosecutor versus Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, this is the first
19 time that I seen this or heard of this. This is a trick. Nothing --
20 none of this was mentioned to me in Belgrade. And I don't know if I
21 would have said anything had I known this. And the same is true of my
22 first statement relating to the Govedarica case. This is a record of
23 some interviews relating to some other cases and having nothing to do
24 with The Hague
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe you've already made that
1 clear to Mr. Harmon during the examination-in-chief, that you were not
2 aware of this when you were questioned by investigating Judge Plazinic.
3 Now, could we please go back to statement number 1 of 1st August,
4 2006, on page 3, the same page in the English version.
5 Q. The third paragraph from the top starts "in answer to the public
6 Prosecutor's question, as to why I broke off contact with him, and this
7 relates to Mladic who is mentioned in the previous paragraph. So you say
8 the following:
9 "In answer to the public Prosecutors's question as to why I broke
10 off contact with him, I can say that it was because he officially retired
11 on the 1st of March, 2002. And on 1st April that year The Law on
12 Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal was passed, and he no longer wished
13 to see me both for his sake and for my own."
14 Does this reflect your words before the Judge?
15 A. Yes, and there is something to the same effect in the other
16 statement as well.
17 Q. Why, according to you, was there a change in Mladic's behaviour
18 once this law on cooperation with The Hague Tribunal was passed?
19 A. After The Law on Cooperation with the Tribunal was passed, we
20 were no longer in contact of any sort because this law made it incumbent
21 upon our country and its organs, and also on us to abide by it. And this
22 is why he became very reserved towards everyone, and very few people
23 actually saw him since that moment on. I, myself, never did.
24 Q. But my question is, before this law on cooperation with The Hague
25 Tribunal was passed, were you aware, and there was a lot of -- there were
1 many reports in the media on this, that our laws did not allow for the
2 surrender of our citizens to The Hague Tribunal, the laws that were in
3 force then?
4 A. Yes, I was aware of this, especially after the case with
5 Mr. Milosevic. And this is true even now because as we can see this
6 young man was not surrendered to the United States, this young man who
7 was involved in some fight, Mr. Kovacevic.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you were interpreted in your question
9 as saying that our laws did not allow for the surrender of our citizens
10 to the Tribunal. Who are your laws and your citizens?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise, I wasn't precise
12 enough. The laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The constitution of the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I did not interfere, but you are correct, that's how I should
17 have posited it. So the constitution of the Federal Republic
19 surrender of our citizens to any other countries, to a third countries.
20 And since there was no law on cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, the
21 position then was that that related to The Hague Tribunal as well, the
22 prohibition of surrender.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Do you know of the decision of 1998 of the Supreme Court, which
25 explicitly prohibited the surrender of Mrksic, Sljivancanin, and Radic to
1 The Hague
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can we agree then that once The Law on Cooperation with The Hague
4 Tribunal was passed in 2002, the position of our authorities as regards
5 the individuals who were indicted by The Hague Tribunal changed, both
6 legally and factually?
7 A. Yes, but also the government changed, and it is true both that
8 the government changed but also the position of the government in
9 relation to that changed as well.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a moment, please.
11 Just one correction, Your Honour. I asked on page 56, line 10
12 the prohibition of surrender of Mrksic, Radic, and Sljivancanin, that was
13 the case against the Vukovar three or the Vukovar Trojka that was rather
14 present in the media, And Sljivancanin was the third individual.
15 Q. Based on my earlier question on the change of the position of the
16 authorities regarding The Hague
17 the Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, does this mean that at the time
18 before this law had been passed and especially in the period before the
19 regime change, in other words while Milosevic was still in power, that
20 Mladic was not afraid of our authorities, or rather of the authorities of
21 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that he didn't fear that they would
22 extradite him or surrender him?
23 A. That's correct.
24 MR. HARMON: I'm going to object, Your Honour, to the question or
25 the form of the question. It calls for a legal conclusion by this
1 witness, and on that basis, I object.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I simply asked the witness what he
4 knew based on the fact that he, himself, put forward that there was a
5 change in Mladic's behaviour after the adoption of The Law on Cooperation
6 with The Hague Tribunal. I suppose this has nothing to do with legal
7 conclusions but rather factual conclusions as relates to Mladic's conduct
8 before and after this law, and that is what the witness understood me to
9 ask -- me to mean with my question. So this is no -- this has nothing to
10 do with legal facts.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any reply, Mr. Harmon?
12 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will reiterate the question.
15 Your Honour, there's no need to reiterate the question. The
16 question was answered by the witness.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right. That's right. Thank
19 Q. In your answer to Mr. Harmon's question earlier today, you saw a
20 part of your statement in which you said that Mladic was an officer of
21 the Yugoslav Army until the year 2002. Now, I will ask several questions
22 concerning this topic.
23 I assume that you know what was the position of Mr. Mladic during
24 the war in Bosnia
25 A. Yes, I know what was his position. I do not know where he was
1 exactly. Moreover, he changed his location very frequently.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You will tell me when it is a convenient time.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I thought it would be
4 one and a half hour, but maybe the time would be convenient now before we
5 start with the new topic.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's take the break and come back at half past
8 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. General, I asked you just before the break whether you knew what
13 was the position of Mr. Ratko Mladic during the war in Bosnia. More
14 specifically, I would like to ask you whether you knew that he was
15 commander of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You answered to Mr. Harmon and you said that he was member of the
18 Yugoslav Army, so now I would kindly ask you to put on the screen P204
19 [as interpreted]. I don't believe you saw this document earlier, so I
20 would like you to take a look at it, and then I will ask two questions.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. It's P2024.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic, P2024. Is that an exhibit?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I'm sorry. My apologies to you, my
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, have you seen this document before?
3 A. No, I haven't.
4 Q. I would like to ask a few questions without reading the entire
5 document, but from this decree of the then President of the Republika
6 Srpska Madam Plavsic, dated 8th of November, 1996, General Mladic was
7 revealed of his prior duty -- was released of his prior duty. Could you
8 please explain these acronyms. It says thus far by RF and MF. Could you
9 tell us what these acronyms mean.
10 A. Yes, this is the usual decree of the President of the republic.
11 MF means peaceful establishment. RF means war-time establishment.
12 Q. So until this 8 of November, 1996, per establishment, he was
13 commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. And in the
14 introduction, if you agree with me, when this decision was made, they
15 quoted The Law on Army of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. And with this decision he was not retired, but he was given
17 to the disposal of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
18 Q. Yes, thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, I would kindly ask you,
20 Your Honours, to turn into private session for the next document.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do so, maybe I'm a bit slow to
22 understand what is happening here. This decree says that the following
23 are being released from the up-to-date duty and put at the disposal of
24 the VRS General Staff. But later it also says "up until now, according
25 to the RF, war-time formation, and the peacetime formation was commander
1 of the VRS Main Staff." What is changing here? The only change I see is
2 that General Staff is called Main Staff. But up until that time if he
3 was the commander of the General Staff of the VRS, he was at the disposal
4 of the VRS. How does he get put to the disposal of the VRS when he is
5 already there? That's my question.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, Judge Moloto would like to know if he already was within
8 the Main
9 the Main
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: How come he is now being put to the disposal of an
11 institution to which he already had been -- at whose disposal he had
12 already been. It seems to be a redundant order. Yes, that's what I want
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try. Up until this moment,
15 his position was certain following a decree, he was placed as a commander
16 of the Main Staff of the VRS. After this moment, after the adoption of
17 this decree, he was not at that position anymore. He was simply put to
18 the disposal of the Main Staff of the VRS who could decide how to use
19 him, as an advisor, as a special advisor, or maybe something else. So
20 the President of the country hereby authorised commander of the
21 Main Staff of the VRS to resolve his status, his position.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was the commander of the Main Staff at this time
23 himself? Was it not himself?
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the interpreter made a
25 correction already, VRS we are talking about.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until that moment, he was commander
2 of the Main Staff of the VRS. After this moment once this decree was
3 submitted to him, he was at the disposal of the Main Staff which could
4 decide how to use him in the future, how to engage him in the future.
5 But he was not retired, so he was still in the service.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was he being removed from the position of the
7 commander of the Main Staff? Does this order remove him from the command
8 of the Main Staff?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why doesn't it say so? He doesn't say so
11 explicitly. It just says he is put at the disposal of the VRS. He was
12 at their disposal already up until this time as their commander, as the
13 commander of the Main Staff. I think we are putting an interpretation
14 here which is not apparent from this document.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly, but this was written in
16 the cabinet of the President of the Republika Srpska. Maybe they did not
17 -- they were not fluent enough with military terminology.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Put it this way: He is the commander of the
19 Main Staff. He is being now told in his capacity as commander that he
20 must now place this person at the disposal of the Main Staff to do what
21 it likes with him. What do we expect him to do? I would put myself at
22 the disposal of the place as commander of the Main Staff once more. What
23 else can I do? Unless it specifically says you are being removed from
24 that position, and which it doesn't say.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apology, but it seems to me that
1 it is stated. Here in capital letters, you can see, The following are
2 being released from their up-to-date duty. In other words, as of this
3 moment, he was no more commander of the Main Staff of the VRS. He could
4 -- he did not have any more authority to command or issue any orders.
5 Once he was put on disposal, then the new commander of the Main Staff
6 could order him what to do, to act as his deputy or anything else. And
7 once again the new commander had to make a proposal of the decree to the
8 President of the Republika Srpska, and it had to be decided by a decree
9 of the President of the Republika Srpska. So as of this moment he had no
10 more authority to command.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. We will interpret it the way we interpret
12 it, you go ahead.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I do not want to act as a witness, but I would like to make my
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ...
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I will ask a question, yes. It says here thus far for peaceful
19 establishment and war-time establishment, does it mean that until the
20 moment when this decree was issued, he was commander of the Main Staff.
21 But in the title of the document we can see that as of that moment he was
22 put at the disposal of the VRS General Staff; is that correct?
23 A. Absolutely.
24 Q. I hope we've clarified this issue.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, I would kindly ask us to see
1 another document, but for that we need a private session.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
3 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, the Army of Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav Army, were
2 these two separate armies?
3 A. Yes. The Yugoslav Army and the Army of Republika Srpska were
4 entirely separate --
5 MR. HARMON: I'm going to object. This goes beyond the scope of
6 the direct examination.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is in line with your guide-lines
9 on the use of cross-examination for the topics which are relevant for the
10 Defence. And I believe that this is the fundamental issue in this
11 particular case. I believe that that particular part of your guide-lines
12 was accorded with the rules of evidence and examination. It says that
13 the cross-examination needs to be limited to the examination-in-chief,
14 but also that it needs to concern the topics which are relevant for the
15 party to present its case.
16 Your Honours, Guide-line 8 which quotes the rules of procedure
17 and evidence where you quoted these rules directly.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you done? Mr. Harmon, any response?
19 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour. This witness came to testify
20 about events that took place post-war in Stragari; his evidence was
21 limited to that. Now this is changing the fundamental nature of the
22 evidence with this witness, and I object on the basis that it exceeds the
23 scope of the direct examination.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled. Mr. Harmon, you did
25 ask this witness if Mr. Mladic retired as a member of the VJ.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, may I just make one observation. I
2 agree, I did raise that point, Your Honour. But the question that was
3 asked was now a slightly different question. The question that is asked
4 is whether the VRS and the VJ were separate armies.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are overruled, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I will repeat my question. Just a second, please.
9 General, were the Yugoslav Army and the Army of Republika Srpska
10 two separate armies?
11 A. Yes. The Army of Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav Army were two
12 totally separate armies or armed forces. True, they were the only
13 friendly armed forces. At the time we had no other armed force that was
14 friendly to us, and they had no other except us.
15 Q. You said that you know or assumed that Mr. Ratko Mladic received
16 a salary and certain benefits from the Yugoslav authorities; correct?
17 A. Yes. Via the IT centre of the finance service of the Ministry of
19 Q. And this was the reason why you said earlier that you considered
20 him to be a member of the Yugoslav Army because some of his status issues
21 were related to the Yugoslav Army.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am not going to allow that question. The
23 witness never said "I considered him to be." He said he was. He was
24 never asked to explain why he said he was a member of the VJ. He just
25 said he was retired as a VJ member. That's it.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. That's
2 correct, I apologise.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will leave this subject.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All right. All right. I apologise
7 to the interpreters.
8 Q. So, Witness, could you please answer my question. Why did you
9 consider that Mr. Mladic was a member of the Yugoslav Army?
10 A. Because he received a salary via the IT centre and --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I believe that question was asked
13 earlier by Mr. Lukic.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. And it was disallowed, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
16 Q. My question is, why did you say in your earlier statement that
17 Mr. Ratko Mladic was a member of the Yugoslav Army?
18 A. Because he had a health insurance card of the same sort like our
19 officers. He could be treated in the health institutions at the military
20 medical academy. He received his salary via the IT centre of the
21 Ministry of Defence. And I think that in this way, through these
22 structures, he was issued this decree on his retirement on the 8th of
23 March, 2002. That is the reason why I said something to that effect.
24 Q. Do you mean a decree by the President of the Federal Republic
1 A. Yes, of Yugoslavia
2 decree by the President of Republika Srpska, Biljana Plavsic, had to be
3 certified in a way, in this manner.
4 Q. Thank you. I will now move to another topic.
5 In answer to Mr. Harmon's question about Mr. Perisic's visit at
6 Rajac, you mentioned -- I think you said that Perisic was on his way or
7 had been in Kostunici. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what Kostunici is
8 and how far from Rajac it is, if you know.
9 A. Kostunici is a village with -- consisting of several small
10 hamlets, some 20, 25, or even 30 kilometres away from Rajac, from the
11 facility at Rajac.
12 Q. Do you know the reason for Mr. Perisic's trip to Kostunici?
13 A. Yes, and he said so himself. He told me that he had been there
14 to visit his mother who was alive at the time and that he was on his way
15 to Belgrade
16 Q. Do you know during Mr. Mladic's stay at Rajac in this period, do
17 you know if he ventured out of the facilities, whether he went to the
18 nearby hamlets or villages?
19 A. Yes, I do know something about that. He did go. After awhile
20 upon his arrival at the facility, this being a very small facility, which
21 did not provide a lot of opportunity for long walks and hiking, Mladic
22 went to Milanovac. Or he started hiking; he walked towards Milanovac on
23 the road. And he wanted to see, he told me, what the reaction of the
24 local people would be when they saw him. He was pleasantly surprised
25 because some of the villagers from the area would stop to say hello to
1 him, those who recognised him. Of course there were others who did not
2 recognise him.
3 Q. From this, I can conclude that he did not try in any manner to
5 A. No, he didn't, and there's an interesting detail here that I can
6 mention. About 100 metres away from there, a retired Muslim officer had
7 a house nearby, and he, too, stopped to say hello to him, to shake hands
8 with him, and to exchange a few words. That was on one occasion.
9 Q. Do you know the close protection unit, the body-guards, do you
10 know if they were members of the Yugoslav Army? Did you have any
11 information regarding that?
12 A. I don't have any certain information as to their being members of
13 the Yugoslav Army, except that they had Yugoslav uniforms on.
14 Q. And one final question, do you know, and I'm talking about the
15 period in 1997, 1998, whether Ratko Mladic had any position or post
16 within the establishment of the Yugoslav Army?
17 A. No, absolutely not. He didn't have any establishment post within
18 the Army of Yugoslavia
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Your Honour.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions. Thank
22 you, sir.
23 And thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
25 Yes, Mr. Harmon
1 Re-examination by Mr. Harmon:
2 Q. General Curcin, you indicated in your evidence that
3 General Mladic, members of his close security detail had uniforms of --
4 VJ uniforms on. Your evidence earlier was the following:
5 "In the army ..." And I'm referring to page 49, starting at line
6 10. "In the army" -- let me go back. Line 9:
7 "Would you perhaps -- know perhaps who was in charge of Mladic's
9 And your answer was: "He, himself. In the army the security
10 detail is always under the command of the individual for whom it is
11 providing security. So in this particular instance, he was the sole
12 commander of this security detail."
13 Does that mean, General Curcin, that General Mladic could give
14 orders to VJ soldiers who were guarding him, who were in his security
16 A. No. And I didn't say anything of that sort, nor did I mean that.
17 If we could look at that entire transcript from that portion, maybe I
18 could give you further details. I never said that Mladic had a uniform
19 on. I didn't say that today or in my earlier statements, and you did
20 mention that in your --
21 Q. I think you misunderstood the question I asked, General Curcin.
22 I didn't say that General Mladic had a uniform on. I said that members
23 of his security detail had VJ uniforms on; isn't that correct?
24 A. No, that's not correct. Could you please read the transcript
25 word for word. Please do it for your own benefit.
1 Q. Let's be perfectly clear on this. Is your testimony now,
2 General Curcin, that the members of General Mladic's security unit were
3 not wearing VJ uniforms?
4 A. No, I'm not saying that they weren't wearing the uniforms. I'm
5 saying that they weren't -- I'm not saying that they were members of the
6 Yugoslav Army. In other words, I'm claiming here in full responsibility
7 that they were not members of the Yugoslav Army. Whether they had those
8 uniforms or not, or whether they had some combined uniforms, because it
9 was winter, it was rather cool then, and maybe they had dis-paired pieces
10 of uniform, but I never said and I never would that they were members,
11 and I claim that they were not members of the Yugoslav Army.
12 Q. So if people -- well, let me ask you this question,
13 General Curcin. Was General Mladic -- did he have the capacity to
14 command members of his security detail? As you indicated in your
15 evidence at page 49 that:
16 "The security detail is always under the command of the
17 individual for whom it is providing security. So in this particular
18 instance, he was the sole commander of the security detail."
19 My question, General Curcin, was the people who were guarding
20 General Mladic, did he have command authority over members of his
21 security detail? Yes or no?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were members of his security detail wearing uniforms of the VJ
24 when you were with him?
25 A. At times, yes.
1 Q. All right. Let me turn to a different part of your evidence,
2 General Curcin. Page 52 starting at line 23, you said:
3 "In addition, we also knew that he, in particular, but also me
4 through some official assessments, we knew that there were various
5 specialist teams of the former and current members of various security
6 and intelligence agencies in addition to NATO pact and other intelligence
7 services who were in pursuit of General Mladic."
8 Now, I want to focus your attention, General Curcin, on the
9 official assessments that you just described. What official assessments
10 were you aware of and did you just testify about?
11 A. Did I use the word "official assessments" in the context that you
12 are now putting to me? I'm not sure. And I would like to see that
13 portion of the transcript where my whole sentence is shown.
14 Q. I just quoted your whole sentence, General Curcin. I'll read it
15 to you again:
16 "In addition, we also knew that he, in particular, but also me
17 through some official assessments, we knew that there were various
18 specialist teams ..." essentially who were after him. My question to
19 you, General Curcin, is what official assessments are you talking about?
20 A. Am I relieved, I don't know if I have waiver to answer this
21 question. I'm not sure that this question was on the list of the
22 questions that you submitted to the national council.
23 Q. Sir, you provided the answer to the question of Mr. Lukic. My
24 question to you, sir, is what official assessments were you referring to?
25 A. Each week at least once there is a collegium at a commander's
1 office at a certain level. The first item on the agenda is always the
2 assessment of the intelligence officer on the situation in the
3 neighbouring countries, the NATO pact, and so on. The next item is the
4 assessment of security organs on events and possible threats to security
5 of certain units or commands within the army. And then there are certain
6 other items that are being discussed where both I and others present
7 propose certain measures. So we did have certain official assessments
8 about what the NATO pact was about to do, what kind of preparations were
9 underway for the aggression, how NATO was bringing in troops to the
10 neighbouring countries, Macedonia
11 information on such possible groups that could be inserted and perhaps
12 threaten the security of our individual units or commands. That's what I
13 meant specifically.
14 Q. So the assessments about units who could arrest General Mladic,
15 you were aware of those assessments, weren't you?
16 A. No, we did not discuss General Mladic. His name was never
17 mentioned at any of these collegiums. But it was sufficient to learn
18 from the security administration that so and so was underway or such and
19 such preparations were being done, that certain groups were going to be
20 inserted in order to capture certain individuals, that they would carry
21 out sabotage and terrorist activities creating instability and insecurity
22 in the area because of Kosovo, and so on and so forth. This is why I
23 drew my own conclusions that among all these groups, it is possible that
24 there would be a group inserted for this particular objective. After
25 all, during the NATO bombing in 1999, three of our officers who are
1 wearing uniforms were arrested and then later returned.
2 Q. General Curcin, you were aware of the assessments that certain
3 units and specialist teams were after General Mladic at the time you
4 visited General Mladic at Rajac and Stragari; isn't that correct?
5 A. No, that is not correct. I was not aware of it, but I assumed
6 knowing how these special groups operate, that this was not impossible.
7 Especially because it was only a 30-minute helicopter flight from the
8 Bosnian border.
9 Q. That was precisely the reason, General Curcin, with you wanted to
10 keep quiet the location of General Mladic on the VJ facilities.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think this is turning into
13 cross-examination. This is a leading question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm seeking to clarify the answer that
16 was given by the witness earlier in terms of putting it in a time-frame.
17 He has testified that there were official assessments, now I'm trying to
18 put it in a time-frame.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if you meant that we produce
21 these assessments only at this period of time, you are wrong. We did
22 this throughout the period, before the NATO aggression, after it. We
23 always made assessments as to the possible threats to our country's
24 security. And that is only one of the issues before certain measures
25 would be taken at certain military and state levels. But there was never
1 any mention made in any sense with respect to Mladic either at our
2 collegium meetings or the General Staff meetings.
3 And to be even more specific, all -- all the records of the
4 collegium meetings up until 1999 were included in the file case of the --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what file case the
6 witness was referring to.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. General Curcin, the interpreter didn't hear what file case you
9 were referring to when you testified that all of the records of the
10 collegium meetings and up until 1999 were included in the file case of
11 the ... and then we have no interpretation. Can you repeat your answer,
13 A. Yes. Milutinovic, Sainovic, Ojdanic, Lazarevic, Perisic, and
14 Lukic case.
15 Q. I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer. The question that you
16 were answering was that the records of the collegium up until 1999 were
17 included in the file case of ... Whose file cases were they kept in?
18 A. I don't know whose file cases, but in the case Prosecutor versus
19 President Milutinovic, vice-President Sainovic, General Ojdanic,
20 General Pavkovic, General Lazarevic, and police General Lukic.
21 Q. I'm still not clear on your answer, General.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: General, all these people were charged in one
23 case, or were they charged in several cases?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were all in one case on one
25 indictment, and recently the judgement was passed.
1 MR. HARMON: I see. Okay. Then I had a different concept than
2 you had.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I realised that too.
4 MR. HARMON: I appreciate Your Honours's intervention. Thank
5 you. I have no additional questions. Thank you.
6 JUDE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE PICARD: [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are getting no translation of the Judge's
10 questions. Is there anybody who is supposed to translate from French to
11 English, or don't we have that?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And is that you, ma'am?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you having problems with your --
16 THE INTERPRETER: No, sir, it's all right now, I apologise.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not a problem. Thank you so much.
18 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Seems that I caught the
19 interpreter by surprise. So I will repeat my question. You said first
20 that General Mladic received his salary from the Yugoslav Army from
22 health insurance from Yugoslavia
23 treated in Yugoslavia
24 facilities that were used by the members of the Yugoslav Army. In
25 addition, we know, and you've also told us that he had body-guards, in
1 other words, security guards who also wore uniforms of the Yugoslav Army.
2 And finally, you were asked, or in answer to a question that was
3 put to you, you said that the Yugoslav Army and the Army of Republika
4 Srpska were two completely separate armies, and I find that rather
5 surprising in view of all the practical details that seem to indicate
6 that General Mladic was, by all accounts, materially dependent or
7 financially dependent on Yugoslavia
8 this state that these two armies were totally separate?
9 A. [Interpretation] With all due respect, there are many statements
10 here, but I don't know if that was necessary. Let me just answer this
11 last portion of the question. There were several minor questions that I
12 detected during your question. Let me put it this way.
13 I've said somewhere at some point, and maybe you can assist me
14 with this, if needed, that General Mladic received his salary via the IT
15 centre of the finance service of the Ministry of Defence of Yugoslavia
16 Now, who it was that actually put the money into that fund for these
17 purposes, I don't know. But the fact is that he received, in his
18 chequing account, every month he received a certain amount from this
20 A few years ago the state made a decision to ban the further
21 payments of the salary to his wife. This is something that is now under
22 review, and it will probably be resolved, probably at the request of the
23 Tribunal. I still claim that the Army of Republika Srpska and the
24 Yugoslav Army are two totally separate armed forces. And it will be
25 proven, I'm sure, without any doubt, both in this case and in other cases
1 because that is a fact.
2 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] So it was common for an army
3 which had nothing to do with another army pays for the salaries of the
4 members of the other army, allows them to use their own premises, and use
5 their health services and so on, so this is something that is common
6 practice among armies?
7 A. [Interpretation] Well, I never said that they provided the
8 security detail, nor is that in my statement anywhere. You can't find
9 that in my statements. If someone is wearing a uniform of a certain
10 army, it doesn't mean that he is a member of that army.
11 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I apologise, but I do have to
12 interrupt. You did not say that the body-guards were members of the
13 Yugoslav Army; you actually did not state that. But you did say that
14 they wore Yugoslav Army uniforms. Is it standard practice that
15 Yugoslav Army facilities are visited by members who are not members of
16 the Yugoslav Army but who wear the uniforms of the Yugoslav Army and that
17 leaving no one perplexed?
18 A. [Interpretation] Well, they would probably be more perplexed if
19 they saw members wearing some other uniforms, that would have been
20 something that they would have noticed. So had they been there in
21 uniforms of the Republika Srpska army wearing their insignia, this would
22 indicate that there was -- that there were members of some paramilitary
23 group on the premises of the Yugoslav Army which could cause some damage
24 or ill. Because this way they would draw attention to themselves. But
25 the it was, there was nothing more natural than that wearing the Yugoslav
1 Army uniforms because that would not draw anyone's attention.
2 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Well, again, I have to ask why
3 was it necessary not to draw anyone's attention? Because as you said
4 yourself, in 1999 -- 1997, you did not even know, or you didn't know
5 whether the Tribunal was after him. So why was it so important not to
6 draw his attention or anyone's attention to his presence, especially in
7 view that he moved around freely and was seen in villages in the
8 surrounding area?
9 A. [Interpretation] Well, I think that many journalists even our
10 journalists would come and be prepared to film him in order to make some
11 money from foreign media outlets, and that would have maybe made it
12 possible for someone else to come and arrest him and take him away.
13 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] Now, I do not understand anything
14 at all anymore. Who could have come to arrest him? You said previously
15 that at the time nobody was looking for him, so who could have arrested
17 A. [Interpretation] Our authorities were not looking for him, our
18 police forces, security forces, or special units were not looking for
19 him. But he was searched for, and he is searched for even today in
21 have been afraid of them and not of our own security services.
22 Before The Law in Cooperation with the Tribunal was adopted, he
23 did not fear our own services. But after Milosevic was arrested and
24 surrendered, he changed his attitude and his security.
25 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I understood that, but what I
1 cannot understand is what you stated previously. You stated that in 1997
2 when you met Mladic at Rajac and possibly in that other facility as well
3 in Stragari, you stated that you didn't know at the time whether there
4 was an arrest warrant issued for him, so at the time you said you knew
5 nothing about this. But now you are saying that he could be arrested,
6 that possibly some other forces could arrest him such as IFOR, NATO
7 forces or somebody else. You are saying that at the time maybe there was
8 no warrant at all.
9 A. I don't know if there was any arrest warrant. In my country in
11 a warrant issued by IFOR, NATO, or the International Tribunal. I don't
12 know, in the media at the time you could read or hear very little about
13 this. Only later you could learn more. But I can't really say which
14 months it was or which year it was when the media started reporting more
15 about this.
16 JUDGE PICARD: [Interpretation] I will stop now, but I am afraid
17 that your answers are rather confusing when it comes to this topic,
18 because if you didn't know that there was a warrant issued by the --
19 possibly by the international Tribunal that could be implemented by NATO
20 or IFOR, I'm not sure at the same time that you can state that the place
21 where he was, his whereabouts, had to be kept secret. This seems to me
22 rather confusing, but I will not insist on it anymore.
23 A. That's very clear.
24 JUDGE DAVID: Witness, in your statement of November 6, 2007, you
25 say that, "the last time I met with Mladic was at Rajac between Christmas
1 and the Serbian new year in 2002, between 7 and 14 January, 2002." Is
2 that correct?
3 A. Possibly. This is what is written down, but I had no chance of
4 seeing my statement. I did not read it. The fact is that we met between
5 7th and 14th of January, but at Stragari, not at Rajac.
6 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you. Were you at the time aware that
7 General Mladic was going to be retired at February -- as 8 March, 2002,
8 which is to say between the last time you saw him and the issue of the
9 decree that was notified to him on 8th March, 2002, was issued, were you
10 aware of the situation of General Mladic at the time, almost on the eve
11 of his replacement? Because there were only a few weeks, if I am
12 understanding well the dates.
13 A. Yes, let me just clarify this. Under our legislation, one can
14 retire when one reaches 60 years of age. On 12 of March of that year,
15 Mladic was turning 60, and he had to retire under Yugoslav or under
16 legislation of Republika Srpska. We spoke about this and he told me that
17 he hoped that by March the 12th, he would receive a decree relieving him
18 of his active military service and that he would thereafter retire. So
19 we could assume that this was going to happen, because after that date,
20 he could no longer be an active member of the military service. Neither
21 Army of the Republika Srpska nor Yugoslav Army.
22 JUDGE DAVID: Were you aware also at the time that The Law of
23 Cooperation was going to be passed between your country and ICTY that
24 took place on the 1st April of 2002, did you discuss these matters with
25 General Mladic or not? Were you aware that there were a process in your
1 country to pass The Law of Cooperation with ICTY?
2 A. Yes, I knew that the procedure was underway, I knew that the
3 government had prepared a draft law which was submitted to the parliament
4 and that it was probably going to be adopted on 1st of April.
5 JUDGE DAVID: You didn't feel at the time the need to disclose
6 the presence of General Mladic during your last interview with him at the
7 time that you knew that The Law of Cooperation was going to be passed and
8 you talked to him, as you said, about the situation? You didn't feel --
9 I repeat, knowing that The Law of Cooperation was being discussed in your
10 country with the ICTY, you didn't feel compelled to inform anyone about
11 the presence of Mr. Mladic because at the time you heard through the
12 press that he was searched for or looked for by the Tribunal?
13 A. No. I did not feel that it was necessary. I did not feel it was
14 up to me to reveal this to anybody. At the time I was a pensioner, a
15 retired person, and he was simply my friend.
16 JUDGE DAVID: You said also that you had not received orders to
17 inform the presence of General Mladic in your statement today. Had you
18 received orders to do so to reveal his presence, would you have done so,
19 because of your friendship and relations to the general?
20 A. I do not know who would issue such an order, but I would never
21 reveal my information about this, not on any cost. But when you say if I
22 received an order, I do not understand who from. So in the first part of
23 your question, I do not understand who could issue such an order.
24 JUDGE DAVID: I'm just repeating what you said. You said, I did
25 not receive any orders to do so, so I infer from that, that if you had
1 received an order, you will have disclosed his whereabouts? But you just
2 answered saying that in no circumstance you would have disclosed his --
3 even if you had received an order. Because he was your friend, I think
4 you just said so. "I would never reveal any information about this, not
5 on any cost." So thank you very much, General, I have no more questions
6 for you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.
8 General, at page 13 today, line -- starting from line 16, you
10 "When I said something as it appears here, what I meant was the
11 internal division between me and the logistics assistant who it was to be
12 the two of us who would take care of the facilities to make them liveable
13 for the people who go to rest there." They are talking here about the
14 facility at Rajac, between you and logistics who should look after it.
15 But before this discussion of who between the two of you should
16 look after this, what entity within the army was responsible for these
18 A. The entity responsible for these two facilities was the
19 headquarters administration. This is an organisational unit within the
20 1st Army. So it was in charge among other things also of Stragari
21 military facility, Rajac hotel, and another hotel, hotel at Topcider.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Why were the headquarters
23 administration not then looking after the facility to make it liveable?
24 Why did you and logistics have to decide whether or not one of you should
25 take over that job?
1 A. I believe maybe there is some misunderstanding stemming back from
2 my conversation with the Prosecution. It's not only that this was
3 obsolete or inadequate for any visits or guest. The issue is that
4 certain money had to be invested in order to buy a lawnmower, for
5 example, because it covered a lot of surface, you had to renew the sport
6 facilities, football pitch, volley pitch, and so on --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry. Please listen to my question and
8 answer my question. I know all that. I know that that is precisely my
10 If headquarters administration was responsible for this entity,
11 this facility, why couldn't money be voted through that headquarter
12 administration to buy the lawnmower? Why did it have to be either you,
13 your department, or the logistics? That's my question.
14 A. It wasn't done through us, and no money came through the
15 logistics department. It all came through headquarters administration,
16 but from the money paid by each guest for his accommodation, 80 percent
17 of the money -- of that money stayed for the maintenance of the facility,
18 so the head of that facility could buy the equipment that was necessary.
19 So only when guests started coming and when money started to be collected
20 from payments for meals and accommodation, only then we could have proper
21 financing of equipment and refurbishing. It's just that we were more
22 interested into this being done.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question to you is, why couldn't this be done
24 by the entity that was responsible for the facility? Please listen to my
25 question and answer my question.
1 A. It was done through that entity. We just assisted. I never said
2 that they didn't do their job.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: But if they were doing it, I don't understand why
4 you and the logistics must then discuss who between the two of you must
5 do the job, if it is being done by the responsible entity?
6 A. We didn't do anything there. But if you need an asphalt road,
7 the headquarters administration could not do that, so we found a company
8 who could do that. A company who build fireplace and a whole range of
9 other things which improved the facility. Also the previously mentioned
10 monument, it would never occur to the headquarters administration to
11 erect that monument there. So this is what I referred to. We did not
12 interfere with command chain or anything similar. It was always under
13 the HQ administration and its subordinates.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much, General.
15 Any questions Mr. Harmon?
16 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions, Your Honour. Thank
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic?
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just one thing, if I may add
20 something to the question asked by His Honour Ms. Picard.
21 Further cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
22 Q. Have you ever heard of a man called Slavko Dokmanovic? If not, I
23 will not insist.
24 A. I have heard of this name through the media, but I do not know in
25 which year and on what occasion.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No further questions, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, General Curcin.
3 This brings us to the conclusion of your testimony. Thank you
4 very much for taking time off to come and testify at the Tribunal. You
5 are now excused. You may stand down and please travel well back home.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, we are at your disposal. We have
10 about five minutes or left at which to proceed. We have another witness
11 available. In our view it would be better if we start tomorrow than if
12 we proceed today. But we are in your hands, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before you decide, Your Honours, I
15 would just kindly ask you to refer to your decision on page 41, line 17,
16 because you included the second statement into evidence, the second
17 statement of this witness, and then later on when I supplied the same
18 arguments, you agreed with me that pursuant to your guide-lines, these
19 statements should not have been included into the evidence, and therefore
20 we did not include the second statement. So I just believe that we
21 should have a uniform position on this. Because Mr. Harmon once again
22 asked for parts of the statements to be included into evidence, the parts
23 that were shown to the witness. And pursuant to this request, you
24 actually agreed. But then later on when Mr. Harmon asked for similar --
25 for parts of the second statement to be included, then you agreed with
1 me, and we concluded that the transcript itself is sufficient.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are right, Mr. Lukic. You are only wrong in
3 saying that you advanced the same argument. You didn't. For the first
4 statement you advanced arguments from paragraph 8. For the second
5 statements you advanced arguments from paragraph 3. And that is the
6 reason that the decision was different. Okay. Thank you very much.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You are absolutely right.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 We'll stand adjourned to tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning.
10 Courtroom II. Court adjourned.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, 24th of March, 2009,
13 at 9.00 a.m.