1 Wednesday, 22 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 Could we have appearances, starting with the Prosecution, please.
13 MR. HARMON: Yes, good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
14 counsel. Good morning to everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon,
15 Bronagh McKenna and Carmela Javier appearing for the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 For the Defence.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
19 morning to everyone in the courtroom. Representing Mr. Perisic's Defence
20 today is represented by Tina Drolec, Milos Androvic, Daniela Tasic,
21 Gregor Guy-Smith, and Novak Lukic.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Before I call the witness, Your Honour, I have a
25 request of the Court and that is I would request that the witness be
1 permitted to have the text of the Law on the Army and the Law on Defence
2 in front of him. He is going to be referring to it frequently and rather
3 than have him to look at a screen and a monitor and go back and forth
4 between the document it would be easier and more convenient for him if
5 these could be in his presence in front of him. I have shown these to
6 the Defence. The Defence has no objection.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you confirm, Mr. Lukic?
8 MR. LUKIC: [No interpretation]
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would kindly ask for a copy,
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Interpreters are kindly asking for a copy but the
12 interpreters did not interpret what Mr. Lukic told us.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Can you tell us what Mr. Lukic, Ms.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Perhaps Mr. Lukic can repeat what he said.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you repeat yourself, please.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Harmon showed me the
19 documents and we don't have any objection for the witness to have the
20 hard copy of the document in front him.
21 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreters apologise once again.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- they are forgiven. Thank you. Then you
23 can let the witness have the documents there. Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, we will process now of arranging
25 copies for the booth, so if I could have just one minute, Your Honour --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. HARMON: -- then we'll call the witness.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: How is the Chamber going to view those documents?
4 Are they going to be on the screen or are we going to receive hard copies
6 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour. What I intend to do is, he will
7 refer to particular articles in the documents that will be called up on
8 the screen.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if I now can call the next witness,
11 Miodrag Starcevic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, you may.
13 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
14 Would Your Honours prefer to have hard copies of these laws?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. As -- we in your hands, Mr. Harmon --
16 MR. HARMON: All right.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- we don't know what --
18 MR. HARMON: All right. Thank you.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, sir.
21 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: May you please make the declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
1 Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON: If I may have the assistance of the usher to give
3 Mr. Starcevic copies of both the Law on Defence and the Law on the Army.
4 WITNESS: MIODRAG STARCEVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Examination by Mr. Harmon:
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, the usher will be handing copies in your language
8 of the Law on Defence and the Law on the Army and feel free during course
9 of your examination to refer to particular articles when you feel it
10 necessary or when I direct you to do so.
11 Now, Mr. Starcevic, could you, first of all, state your full name
12 and spell your last name for the record.
13 A. My last name is Starcevic, S-t-a-r-c-e-v-i-c or C. My name is
15 Q. What is your date of birth?
16 A. The 29th of April, 1945.
17 Q. And your nationality?
18 A. I'm a Serb.
19 Q. Could you describe for us your educational background.
20 A. I completed high school and the military technical academy.
21 After completion of the military technical academy, I graduated at the
22 faculty of law. I studied in Zagreb and Split. I have a masters from
23 the faculty of law in Belgrade, and I have a Ph.D. also from the faculty
24 of law in Belgrade.
25 Q. Can you just tell us the years when you received those various
1 degrees in law.
2 A. If I remember correctly, I graduated at the faculty of law in
3 1978. 1978. I think that I completed my masters in 1987 or 1988 -- I'm
4 sorry, excuse me. And I completed my Ph.D. in 1990.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Starcevic, I would like to focus on your military
7 First of all, how many years did you serve in the military?
8 A. I joined the Military Academy in 1964. I completed it in 1967.
9 I left the army formally in March 1994.
10 Q. So is it a correct statement to say that you served both in the
11 JNA and in the VJ?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please review your military career, identifying the
14 significant posts and the duties and responsibilities associated with
15 each of those posts.
16 A. At the beginning of my military career, I worked as an officer in
17 the technical service. This means that from 1967 onwards, until the day
18 I graduated at the faculty of law in 1978, or 1977, I worked there on
19 regular duties in that service, meaning that I was a commander of the
20 platoon for technical maintenance. I was a desk officer of the technical
21 service in the relevant units, and I was the chief of the technical
22 service in similar unit.
23 After graduating, I got involved in legal tasks, in military
24 institutions in the Split garrison, which was, in essence, a military
25 construction institution. I was in charge of the general and the
1 personnel service there. I'm not sure, but I think in 1980 or 1981, I
2 transferred from Split to the Belgrade garrison, and I worked in the
3 personnel administration of the then Federal Secretariat for National
4 Defence, and I was assigned to tasks in the second degree appeals
5 process, where I was preparing the proceedings in the appeals of officers
6 to individual personnel decisions or appointments.
7 After a few years, I think two or three years later, I moved to
8 the legal administration of the Federal Secretariat for National Defence,
9 where I worked for a few years as a secretary of the higher military
10 disciplinary court, and I worked on legislative assignments and
11 international law and international relations.
12 I cannot remember the exact date, but some time in the early
13 1990s, I became the deputy of the chief -- I became chief deputy of the
14 personnel administration, and I continued to work on similar assignments,
15 with the exception of the military disciplinary court.
16 I think that as the Deputy Chief I was also the editor-in-chief
17 of the military gazette, but I'm not sure if I was performing that job as
18 the Deputy Chief or later as the chief.
19 In 1992, after the then chief retired, I became the chief of that
20 administration, the legislative administration.
21 Q. That is in the legal department; correct?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. What were your duties in that particular capacity?
24 A. I was the secretary of the military disciplinary court where I
25 conducted, organised, prepared materials and provided advice to members
1 of the court on legal matters.
2 As far as the legislative tasks were concerned, I was working on
3 the then Law on the Service in the Military Armed Forces and also the
4 then Law on National People's Defence which meant that I had to monitor
5 the implementation of that law, assist the senior officers in the units
6 and in institutions and in the Federal Secretariat and others who
7 referred to me for requests for opinion pertaining to certain problems in
8 the application of those laws. And, of course, I monitored possible
9 problems that would crop up in the application of the laws, and simply to
10 maintain records on the frequency of such problems, and possibly to
11 initiate changes and amendments to the laws. Of course, I was also in
12 charge of administrative and professional tasks, when the laws were
13 amended or changed. At the same time during debates on the laws in the
14 then assembly, I was available to answer questions that were being asked
15 in relation to certain solutions.
16 As for the work related to international law and international
17 relations, it was my duty to monitor international contracts, primarily
18 in the field of international humanitarian law, and to propose measures
19 for the implementation of that law in the armed forces of the then
21 Q. Did you assist drafting legislation in respect of international
22 humanitarian law?
23 A. Yes. Actually, it was my task in the administrative sense to
24 manage those assignments, to consult people who were able to help, and in
25 a way to direct all of those activities.
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, did you remain the chief of this particular
2 section until your retirement?
3 A. Yes, in the formal legal sense, yes. I remained at that
4 position, but I think early in 1994, or in late 1993, I submitted my
5 request to retire from service, and practically on the same day, when I
6 submitted this request to the Defence minister, I informed the members of
7 the department about it, and I asked my deputy to take over, even though
8 in the formal legal sense I continued to be the chief of the legal
9 department but I did not actually perform any duties there any longer.
10 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if I can turn now to your post-military career.
11 Can you explain to the Court what your jobs have been or your
12 responsibilities and functions and tasks have been that has occupied your
13 career since you left the military?
14 A. For a few months, I didn't have any work, and I must admit, I
15 didn't really try that hard to look for work.
16 As it happened, I was volunteered [as interpreted] in the
17 Red Cross of Yugoslavia, even from the time when I arrived in Belgrade,
18 even when I was professionally still a military man, I assisted the
19 Red Cross, primarily on some legal matters. I was a member of the
20 Red Cross commission for international humanitarian law. And some time
21 in late May or early June 1994, I was asked to join the Red Cross,
22 because the previous legal advisor of the Yugoslav Red Cross had retired.
23 I didn't hesitate to accept this job, and as of June 1994, practically
24 until 2005, I believe - yes, 2005 - I worked as a professional in the
25 Yugoslav Red Cross.
1 Parallel with that and after I left the army, I continued my
2 teaching duties at the Military Academy. I was a lecturer at the
3 Military Academy in a subject called military law and regulations, which
4 encompassed teaching the Military Academy students about these laws and
5 other regulations that are applied in the army, as well as teaching on
6 international humanitarian.
7 At the same time, when I was working in the Red Cross, I was
8 working as a professor, a guest professor or lecturer, at some
9 universities when they required me to give lectures from international
10 humanitarian law. For example, the faculty of political sciences in
11 Belgrade, a post-graduate studies programme there. I participated also
12 in commissions for the Ph.D. and masters thesis examinations at the
13 Military Academy. I also gave lectures abroad, mostly at seminars and
14 gatherings organised by the International Red Cross. For example, I went
15 to the Warsaw School of Humanitarian Law, and I went also to some other
16 places. I was quite active as a member of the International Institute
17 for Humanitarian Law in San Remo and I took part in many gatherings and
18 meetings at that institute.
19 That's more or less it.
20 Q. Did you occupy your time in any writing of books, treatises?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I wrote books just like all people who are in that
22 field. I published a few books. Also scores of professional and expert
23 papers, and I gave presentations at international meetings.
24 Q. Are you a member of any professional associations?
25 A. Yes. I'm a member of the Association for International Law in
1 Belgrade. Earlier the association was called the Yugoslav Association
2 for International Law. I'm a member of the International Law Association
3 in London, and I'm a member of the International Institute for
4 Humanitarian Law in San Remo.
5 Q. Mr. Starcevic, thank you for that comprehensive discussion about
6 your background.
7 What I'd like to do now is focus your attention on the defence
8 structures in both the SFRY and the FRY, and what I'd like to do is ask
9 you to describe, if you will, the defence structure in the SFRY. In the
10 course of doing so, could you kindly describe the relationship between
11 the federal government, the Presidency, the Federal Secretariat of
12 National Defence, and the General Staff of the army. Just tell us how it
14 A. I must say that the question is not a simple and easy one but I
15 will try to remember -- to respond according to my best recollection.
16 I assume that the question refers to the time-period before the
17 then new constitution went into effect, meaning it was 1992, when the
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was still in existence.
19 So in the former SFRY, formally, the Federal Secretariat for
20 National Defence was a part of the Federal Executive Council, and it was
21 an organ of executive power. So, in those relations, the
22 Federal Secretariat of National Defence was, in a way, subordinate to the
23 then president of the Federal Executive Council, or rather, the prime
24 minister. And from a formal legal aspect, it was part of, conditionally
25 speaking, the civilian authorities, the civilian structure.
1 On the other side, there was some unclarified aspect of this
2 order because at the time the General Staff of the then Yugoslavia was an
3 organisational part of the Federal Secretariat for National Defence. At
4 the same time, the highest command organ in the armed forces of the then
5 SFRY was the Presidency of the SFRY, which, at the time, comprised six or
6 eight members. I think it was eight members. I think the autonomous
7 provinces had their own representatives. There were six republics and
8 two autonomous provinces. In any case, it was the Presidency as a
9 collective organ. Along that line of command, it was authorised to
11 So legally, the situation was not quite clear, as far as these
12 relationships were concerned. Practically, or actually, the chief of the
13 General Staff was, in a way, subordinated to the Federal Secretariat for
14 National Defence. Of course, the chief of the General Staff in the
15 system also had the authority to command over all the units and
16 institutions in the then Army of Yugoslavia.
17 In order for the situation to be even more complicated, there was
18 also the territorial component of the armed forces or, rather, the
19 republics had units of the so-called Territorial Defence. They had their
20 Territorial Defence at whose head were the Republican Staffs for
21 Territorial Defence. Although, if I remember correctly, pursuant to the
22 Law on General People's Defence, the republics did not have any special
23 authority, as far as command over that territorial component was -- over
24 the Territorial Defence, rather, but that line of command formally was a
25 single line of command going from the Presidency down.
1 In practice, there was also a tendency for the republican
2 administrations or the republican authorities to have a quite significant
3 influence over the work of those staffs and units and institutions and
4 particularly through certain rights in the logistics and supply of those
5 units and the influence on personnel affairs, and so on and so forth.
6 This means that there was quite a lot of overlapping and lack of clarity,
7 as far as establishing clear legal relationships, and this was
8 particularly pronounced before the beginning of the armed conflicts in
9 the then SFRY.
10 Q. Was there an effort or a decision taken to clarify this confusing
11 structure and this confusing set of relationships?
12 A. Yes. I know that such efforts were made. However, I was not
13 involved in those activities because these related primarily to the
14 problems in the command and control structure, but as part and a member
15 of the legal administration, and as a person who was in charge of, among
16 other things, the Law on Defence, I could observe from time to time that
17 certain steps were being taken that were aimed at resolving these
18 unresolved issues. Primarily, in the command and control structure, and
19 the relationship between the federal level and the level of the
20 republics, but sometimes also within those particular units. There was a
21 well-known situation where a commander of the staff of Territorial
22 Defence of a republic would be on a collision course with the republic
23 authorities, where he was trying to perform his duties as a professional
24 soldier but then he was unable to do so because of the republican
25 authorities's involvement.
1 Q. Now, did -- Mr. Starcevic, did the structure change at a certain
2 point in time and were new relationships created and defined?
3 A. Yes. The structure changed substantially when the new
4 constitution was adopted. When I say "new," I mean the new constitution
5 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which explicitly set forth that the
6 chain of command ran from the president, down to the military organs, the
7 Chief of Staff, and then to the lower level -- lowest level units.
8 In keeping with that, and before the laws that I have in front of
9 me were adopted, the Presidency took a strategic decision on reorganising
10 the armed forces.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. When did this new constitutions come into
12 place? Can you give us dates for this, when the new constitution came
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I cannot give you
15 the exact date but as far as I can recall, I believe this was in
16 April 1992. I think I'm right.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. You were saying, Mr. Starcevic, that the Presidency took a
19 strategic decision on reorganising the armed forces.
20 A. Yes. It took the decision on reorganisation that was to put in
21 place the provisions of the constitution. The basic purpose of that
22 decision was to clearly define the competencies and separate the
23 competencies between the federal Ministry of Defence under the new
24 constitution and the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army.
25 Generally speaking, this -- this line of separation was to
1 proceed from the fact that the federal ministry was part of the federal
2 government, and that, as part of that federal government, it was in fact
3 part of the mechanism that establishes and implements policies in the
4 area of defence. In other words, the Ministry of Defence in this new
5 organisation was supposed to, together -- as well as the federal
6 government, to adopt decisions and provide guidelines in the sphere of
7 defence, to provide the legal basis for it, provide logistics and
8 everything else that is required, in the same way that the federal
9 government functioned in other areas.
10 On the other hand, the General Staff was supposed to be an
11 operational organ in charge of operational tasks of the army; in other
12 words, the essential military work, the preparation of units and their
13 employment, and so on, and to make sure that there is no overlapping of
14 competencies in this field. Under this new concept, the Ministry of
15 Defence would not have any authority in commanding the army; whereas the
16 General Staff would have had no influence on the political aspects of
18 Q. So the new structures that were created made a clear distinction
19 between the command relationship in the army, and from what I understand
20 your testimony to be, the Ministry of Defence no longer had any command
21 authority over the army. It was more to deal with issues of logistics,
22 personnel, et cetera. Is that a fair and correct understanding?
23 A. Yes, for the most part. However, no new bodies were established.
24 Rather, the already existing bodies were assigned certain competencies or
25 authorities in this manner, and I wouldn't want to omit mentioning here
1 that the Ministry of Defence still maintained as one of its primary
2 functions the legislative aspects of defence. In other words, the
3 preparation of and drafting of proposals to the federal government of
4 regulations and bills that were supposed to be passed.
5 However, this, too, should not be understood to mean that the
6 General Staff was to be completely excluded from these job, from this
7 work. On the contrary, the General Staff was supposed to participate in
8 and was supposed to give their own proposals in the course of preparation
9 of certain new regulations, but the ministry was the final decision-maker
10 on whether these proposals would be adopted or not, and the content of
11 these new regulations.
12 The bills, the regulations that were in the bills, that would of
13 course then be forwarded to the government because the government was the
14 final instance that proposed all these bills to the parliament that is
15 then to adopt them.
16 Q. Now you have in front of you two laws, the Law on the Army, and
17 the Law on Defence. And let me ask you: What was the relationship
18 between the change in the constitution, in the new constitution, and the
19 promulgation of these laws?
20 A. In effect, these laws provided a legal basis for a decision that
21 had already been made by the Presidency, and they were providing a legal
22 framework for the bill of the Presidency on reorganisation. In this --
23 at this point in time, in the form of a new law.
24 Q. Now, I want to take each of these documents separately.
25 First of all, focussing on just the Law on the Army.
1 Mr. Starcevic, are you familiar, first of all, with those laws, and --
2 first of all, are you familiar with the laws and the contents of the law?
3 A. Yes, generally speaking, I am. I have forgotten many parts, but
4 I hope I can refresh my memory.
5 Q. And what role, if any, did you have in the creation, in the
6 drafting of the Law on the Army?
7 A. Well, as I have already mentioned, it was my job, in fact, to do
8 that, and I was a member of the team. In this particular case, I was the
9 leader of the team, the team of the legal department, legal
10 administration that was involved in drafting this law.
11 Of course, the legal administration was not the only body that
12 was involved in drafting this law. Our job, our team's job and our
13 administration's job was to actually provide the final bill, and this
14 proposed law has certain areas where lawyers, in fact, cannot be experts
15 in every particular area. In such instances, we would ask for experts to
16 provide their initial proposals, and then we tried to incorporate those
17 proposals provided by experts and incorporate them in the legal
18 solutions. In other words, we were not to propose anything that was in
19 conflict with the constitution and with some general legal framework, and
20 in some jobs, some tasks, which were of a purely legal nature, we were
21 the main body that formulated certain regulations or certain provisions
22 that dealt with those issues.
23 Q. Turning your attention to the Law on Defence, I have the same
24 question: What role did you play in the drafting and -- of that
25 particular legislation?
1 A. More or less it was the same role as in the case with the Law on
2 the Army, and of course, I would like to stress one more time that we
3 were not experts in, for instance, the organisation of units, the
4 military tasks and operational duties, and in such tasks, we also sought
5 expert opinion and expert proposals, in this instance this would have
6 been mainly from the General Staff, and from our military schools and
7 other military experts. But, again, we made sure that solutions that
8 were in conflict with the constitution were not put forth as a proposal,
9 which were in conflict with the constitution or other general laws.
10 So, in other words, as an administration after reviewing all the
11 proposals and the possible solutions we would draft the final bill,
12 forward it to the federal government to review, accept and perhaps amend,
13 and then they would forward it to the parliament for adoption.
14 Q. When did the Law on the Army become effective, what date?
15 A. There is an problem here that I need to explain. The parliament
16 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time was a two-chamber
17 parliament. It had two chambers. One of those was the Chamber of
18 Nations and the other was the Chamber of Republics. A bill could only be
19 adopted if it was adopted in its identical form at both chambers.
20 During parliamentary debates it so happened that the Chamber of
21 Citizens - I apologise, not the Chamber of Nations but Chamber of
22 Citizens - adopted the bill on the Law on Defence; whereas the Chamber of
23 republics, I believe, which was held on the next day, in any case after
24 the other chamber, amended some provision of this bill. I can't recall
25 at this point in time what the amendment was, but the fact remains that
1 this law was not adopted in its identical form at both chambers.
2 In such events, the constitution envisaged that the text adopted
3 at the citizens' chamber would be in effect, but on condition that within
4 a year those two texts would have to be collated.
5 So, in other words, this law came into effect in the form that it
6 was adopted in at the Chamber of Citizens at the end of May, I believe,
7 19 -- no, I apologise, in October 1993. And the final adjustments -- the
8 final amendments and the final adjustments were made in May 1994, so that
9 in fact there are two dates when this law came into effect, in practice.
10 The first text that was adopted in October 1993; and then the amended and
11 the coordinated text that was adopted in May 1994.
12 Q. So if I understand, Mr. Starcevic, the coordinated text that was
13 adopted in May of 1994 essentially reconciled the one article where there
14 had been different language?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in all other particulars, the Law on the Army became
17 effective in October of 1993; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you've testified a bit about how the law -- how these
20 laws altered the defence structure. What I'd like to do is turn to
21 Prosecution Exhibit P1183.
22 MR. HARMON: If that could be --
23 Q. That's the Law on Defence, Mr. Starcevic.
24 MR. HARMON: And if we could go to page 4 of the B/C/S on that,
25 and on page -- starting on page 5 of the -- of the English version.
1 If we could -- yes. No, I think -- I want to focus on in English
2 text, starting at chapter 5 on the lower right-hand corner, president of
3 the republic. And then focus on that.
4 Q. Does this --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, chapter 5 or chapter 4?
6 MR. HARMON: Chapter 4, I'm sorry. This is very small text.
7 Chapter 4, Your Honour, please, and then after Your Honours have had an
8 opportunity to review that, if we could then turn to the next page,
9 because I want to refer Your Honours to Articles 42 and 43 and 44.
10 Q. Mr. Starcevic, while the Court is looking at that and -- let me
11 just ask you, referring to Articles 40, 41, 42, and 43 on the Law on
12 Defence, does this text define the rights and the duties of the various
13 state organs; in other words, the president of the republic, the Supreme
14 Defence Council, the federal government, and the federal Ministry of
16 A. Yes. These articles provide for precisely that, and that is what
17 they define.
18 Q. And so when you were talking about the separation of the organs,
19 one would find the parameters of the -- of the duties and
20 responsibilities and functions of those organs in these -- in the texts
21 of these particular articles; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. Okay. Now, in conjunction with this text, if we could turn to
24 another exhibit.
25 MR. HARMON: It's Prosecution Exhibit 197, which is the Law on
1 the Army, and I'm specifically interested in page 13 of the B/C/S and
2 page 37 of the English. No, I think that's not correct.
3 What I'm interested in -- I'm interested in article -- this is
4 the Law on the Army. I'm interested in Articles 4, 5, and 6, so I assume
5 it's at the front of the text. I'm sorry, I don't have the exact page.
6 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if you can occupy yourself with the text on
7 Articles 4, 5, and 6.
8 MR. HARMON: If we could turn, first of all, to Article 4.
9 Q. Does this article define who commanded the army in times of war
10 and peace and what the tasks and responsibilities were of the president
11 of the republic?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I refrained from reacting so far, but
14 I hope Mr. Harmon will not get into the practice of asking this type of
15 questions. He could ask the witness what this article was about, but
16 we've seen that on several occasions until now, Mr. Harmon has sort of
17 summed up the question for the witness and then just asked him to
18 confirm. In other words, I am afraid that we are going into situation
19 where Mr. Harmon is analysing these -- these things, and just asking the
20 witness to confirm.
21 MR. HARMON: I have no problem with that, Your Honour. I will
22 rephrase the question.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I want to focus on Article 4. Can you explain
1 Article 4 to the Court.
2 A. Article 4 defines the competencies of the president of the
3 republic in commanding. In other words, it defines that the president of
4 the republic shall command the army and it also mentions all the tasks
5 that the president does, in order to command the army.
6 Q. If we could -- if I could direct your attention to Article 5,
7 could you explain to the Court the Article 5 and what it established in
8 the new order of -- and the new structures?
9 A. In Article 5, the law defines the role and position of the
10 General Staff of the army and describes it as the highest and
11 professional staff organ for the preparation and use of the army in times
12 of peace and war. And, of course, again, in the same manner as we have
13 seen in Article 4, it defines the types of tasks that the chief of the
14 General Staff has to perform in order to -- to carry out the role as
15 defined by the Law of the General Staff.
16 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if I can direct your attention finally to
17 Article 6, can you explain Article 6 and its relationship to the new
18 structures and new order?
19 A. In essence, Article 6 provides the authority of the chief of the
20 General Staff to pass -- to issue certain rules which would actually be
21 the implementation of certain enactments by the president of the
22 republic, providing for the command of the army.
23 In fact, this article also defines the role of other officers and
24 their duties in commanding their own units and institutions, in keeping
25 with this law and the enactments that were passed by their superior
2 Q. Now, under this statutory scheme, what was the relationship then
3 of the VJ General Staff to the other organs?
4 A. I'm not certain -- I'm not sure that I understood your question
5 in this particular case. If you're referring to other General Staff
6 bodies, that relationship is quite clear. However, if you were referring
7 to bodies that were outside the General Staff, then that is not provided
8 for in these articles.
9 If you were referring to relationships with units and
10 institutions of the army, the chief of the General Staff has a general
11 authority to command all units of the army, pursuant to decisions adopted
12 by the president of the republic. However, if you were referring to
13 other bodies then --
14 Q. Mr. Starcevic, let me clarify the question and what I intended to
16 In relation to the president of the republic and the Supreme
17 Defence Council, where did the General Staff, the chief of the
18 General Staff fit in the line of subordination?
19 A. The chief of the General Staff is subordinated to the president
20 of the republic, who is the one who executes the command. In a way, he
21 is also subordinated to the Supreme Defence Council, in view of the fact
22 that the president of the republic commands the army pursuant to
23 decisions of the Defence Council.
24 However, if I may be permitted to state my own opinion, it seems
25 to me that the direct relationship is established only between the
1 president of the republic and the chief of the General Staff in view of
2 the principles of command in the Army of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Now, I'd like to refer -- in the same Law on the Army, I'd like
4 to refer you, Mr. Starcevic, to Article 151.
5 MR. HARMON: Article 151 is found on page 13 of the B/C/S and
6 page 37 of the English.
7 You can see it is, unfortunately, just at the bottom so we're
8 going -- in the English version. The text goes over to the next page,
9 so, Your Honours -- when Your Honours have finished reading that text, if
10 we could go to the next page and enlarge the top portion of that.
11 Q. And, Mr. Starcevic, if I could kindly ask you to explain to the
12 Court what Article 151 is and what it is -- its purpose is?
13 A. Article 151 regulates the authority of the president of the
14 republic in implementing the tasks, which, in our legal system, the
15 legislature in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia are called administrative
16 jobs, jobs that imply making decisions on the rights and duties of
17 professional officers, professional soldiers, rather. Those are the
18 assignments relating to decisions on promotions of personnels,
19 appointments to certain positions and duties, transfers, and it's
20 important to note that these are tasks that are formally established, are
21 carried out according to a legal procedure that is previously
22 established, and that provide for at least two stages of decision-making.
23 So there has to be a two-step decision, and in most cases, there is the
24 right to appeal and the right to legal protections.
25 Q. We will cover -- I'm going to cover that particular subject
1 matter area that you have mentioned, the right to legal protections and
2 the right to appeal, later in my examination, Mr. Starcevic.
3 Now, let me direct your attention now to Article 152. Could you
4 kindly explain to the Trial Chamber the purpose and the intent of
5 Article 152 and how it relates to the new structure and new order?
6 A. Article 52 [as interpreted] also deals with the authorities for
7 the execution of those same tasks. Except in this case, in order to
8 perform those tasks, the person in charge is the chief of the
9 General Staff. However, not only the chief of the General Staff, but
10 also the senior officers at units in institutions that he authorises for
11 that purpose, meaning that the chief of the General Staff probably
12 directly carries out some of these tasks and authorises his subordinate
13 officers of units and institutions to carry out other tasks.
14 It is important to note that dealing with these matters in the
15 Army of Yugoslavia was always something that depended on ranks or the
16 position that those persons occupy. So different officers would be
17 authorised to decide on the promotion of non-commissioned officers, and,
18 in principle, that would be a matter of lower rank; while the promotions
19 of, let's say, colonels or higher officers, would be decided by some more
20 senior-ranking officers, perhaps who were in the General Staff.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, this statutory scheme and these
22 relationships, the new defined relationships where the Ministry of
23 Defence is separated from the command responsibilities that you have
24 testified about, did that structure remain in place or did that
25 eventually change? Or are these laws that you have described identifying
1 and defining the relationships and the functions of the president, the
2 Supreme Defence Council, the chief of the General Staff, did that
3 system -- does that system remain today?
4 A. If you're thinking of this system that was established pursuant
5 to this law, I hope that it has been retained, but I cannot assert that,
6 because I actually left the army in the interim period when one of the
7 laws expired and the other went into effect, so I'm not really that
8 familiar right now with how things function in the army. I am hoping
9 that it is so, though, because this is something that is provided under
10 the law.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. HARMON: If we can now -- I'm going to turn to a different
13 subject, Your Honour, and I'll start my examination but we will -- if we
14 could break at 10.15, then I can cover five minutes of the new subject
15 right now.
16 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I want to turn to the subject of personnel centres
17 right now, and what I'd like to do is, first of all, refer to these laws.
18 MR. HARMON: Again, I'd like to go back to Article 5 of the
19 Law on the Army. And if we could go back ...
20 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Starcevic, that two special personnel centres
21 were created, the 30th Personnel Centre and the 40th Personnel Centre?
22 A. I know that now but at the time that I was still in active
23 service, I didn't know that until almost the end of the service, even if
24 then, perhaps it was only after I completed by service, but I wasn't
25 really aware of it. And it was not my duty or obligation or right to
1 know something like that.
2 Q. Can you comment, or are you able to give us any insight as to why
3 you didn't know about the creation of the 30th and 40th Personnel
5 A. Simply because I was serving in the Ministry of Defence, and the
6 chief of the General Staff, according to Article 5, has the authority to
7 establish the organisation of the army and the units and institutions of
8 the army, so that is under the authority of the General Staff, and by the
9 nature of things, I did not have to be informed. And perhaps I wasn't
10 even supposed to be informed because that is the authority that is in the
11 ambit of the General Staff.
12 Q. I wanted to ask you, Mr. Starcevic, if you could point to the --
13 inform the Court what the legal basis is for the creation of new units
14 within the VJ. Can you point -- direct the Court to the particular
15 statutory authority?
16 A. Yes. Article 5, item 2, paragraph 2.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of which law?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the Law on the Army.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Let me -- Mr. Perisic [sic], you indicate that the authority is
21 in Article 5, item 2, paragraph 2, and I have an English translation that
22 indicates that item 2 is -- states:
23 "Determine the plan of recruitment and maintenance of manpower
24 levels for the army and the numerical distribution of recruits in the
1 So there may have been a translation error or there may have
2 been -- is that what you intended to refer to is that text I read or is
3 there a different text?
4 A. No, no. I actually had the opportunity to see there was a
5 mistake in the interpretation. I said Article 5, paragraph 2, item 2.
6 Q. Well, then I -- let me read you --
7 A. [In English] Again, the same.
8 Q. Can I read a text to you if -- actually, can you read the text,
9 Mr. Starcevic, that establishes the authority of the General Staff of
10 the -- chief of the General Staff to establish new units, can you read
11 the text that you're referring to?
12 A. Yes. I'd just like to note that the mistake in the transcript
13 was repeated.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] To help, there is really the
15 interpreter's mistake here. It is a legal terminology perhaps in that
16 sense we can clarify and we can help.
17 When the witness said item 2 -- or paragraph 2, item 3 [as
18 interpreted], in our interpretation of the regulation, when he says
19 paragraph 2, it means paragraph 2, which does not have a numerical
20 marking; but when he said item, he meant the paragraph that is
21 numerically marked and he said item 1. So in that way, paragraph is a
22 part of the article which is not marked by a number, and the item is the
23 part of the article that does have a numerical marking.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. So, Mr. Starcevic, just so can completely eliminate any
1 possibility of confusion, can you read the text in Article 5 that gives
2 the chief of the General Staff the authority to establish units in the
4 A. I'm going to try to read the paragraph without which you cannot
5 understand the item.
6 So the chief of the General Staff, in accordance with the basic
7 principles of the organisation, development and establishment of the army
8 and the documents issued by the president of the republic shall, (1),
9 determine the organisation, plan of development, and establishment of the
10 commands, units, and institutions of the army.
11 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Starcevic.
12 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, this would be a convenient time to
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is, indeed. We will take a break and come back
15 at quarter to 11.00.
16 Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: If Prosecution Exhibit P733 could be placed on the
22 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a document I want to show you, first of
23 all, give you an opportunity to look at the front page.
24 MR. HARMON: And then if we could go to the second page to the
25 signature line, and then return to the first page.
1 Q. This is a document dated the 15th of November, 1993, on
2 organisational and formational changes in the VJ.
3 MR. HARMON: And if we could turn to the second -- the signature
5 Q. This document, sir, has a signature line under chief of the
6 VJ General Staff, Colonel General Momcilo Perisic.
7 MR. HARMON: Now could we return to the first page of each
9 Q. Mr. Starcevic, can you, first of all, examine this document.
10 Have you examined this document? Have you had a chance to look at the
11 document, sir?
12 This is -- first of all, sir, this -- is this document an order?
13 A. Yes. It's -- well, again, we have the problem of understanding
14 the difference between an order, as a document, and an order, as a
15 document. There is a difference in B/C/S between "naredba" and
16 "naredjenje." This implies that it's a general act, "naredba," which
17 does not decide on the duties and obligations, but it's a document on the
18 establishment of a new unit.
19 Q. So this is a -- is this document consistent with the authorities
20 and competencies of General Perisic under Article 5 that we looked at
21 just before the break?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And as you can see in this document, Mr. Starcevic, there is two
24 new formations established, a 30th Personnel Centre and a 40th Personnel
25 Centre. Can you -- do you see that in the text under item 1 and item 2?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Where was the peacetime location of each of those Personnel
3 Centres, according to this document?
4 A. According to the document, the Belgrade garrison.
5 Q. Was there a designation for the 30th Personnel Centre in times of
6 peace, a numerical designation?
7 A. Yes. From what I can understand, that is the designation cited
8 in the order, military post 3001.
9 MR. HARMON: Could we scroll down in the B/C/S. Actually, we
10 need to go to the next page in the B/C/S.
11 Q. Is there a numerical designation for the 40th Personnel Centre in
12 this particular document?
13 A. Yes, 4001.
14 Q. Now, could you comment on subpart --
15 MR. HARMON: Actually, we need to go to the second page in the
17 Q. And, sir, we had earlier looked at some legal texts. Could you
18 comment on subpart 3 of the text before you?
19 A. Yes. Paragraph 3 indicates that the chief of the General Staff
20 certifies certain tasks, deployment and other issues essential for the
21 work and -- of the Personnel Centres in collaboration with the
22 General Staff organs.
23 Q. Does -- earlier we looked at a text, a legal text that said that
24 the chief of the General Staff could delegate certain functions and
25 duties to other elements under his command.
1 Do you recall that text?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Is item number 3 an example of such a delegation?
4 A. I think that generally you can say yes.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic complained just before the break that
8 you formulate your questions to elicit a response rather than suggest a
9 question --
10 MR. HARMON: Okay.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- and answer.
12 MR. HARMON: I will be more careful, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 I'd like to take a look at another document. It is Prosecution
14 Exhibit 524.
15 That's not the -- no, that's -- I'm sorry. It is Prosecution
16 Exhibit 734.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, have you seen this document before coming
18 into court?
19 A. Yes, yes. It was shown to me, yes.
20 MR. HARMON: And could we go to --
21 Q. Well, let me, first of all, ask you, do you recall this document,
22 Mr. Starcevic?
23 A. Generally yes.
24 Q. Okay. And under the general work principles of special
25 Personnel Centres, I'd like to direct your attention to item number 7.
1 MR. HARMON: Could we turn to item number 7 and show that.
2 Q. First of all, Mr. Starcevic, can you comment on subpart 7 for us?
3 A. Subpart 7, in my opinion, means that these instructions regulate
4 the work of the Personnel Centres in peacetime and do not refer to
5 regulating the work in combat or conditions of war.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear the interpretation referring to peacetime.
7 Do we see peace time anywhere in this paragraph?
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. Mr. Starcevic, can you answer Judge Moloto's question?
10 A. Well, it's not directly mentioned, no, but from the text one can
11 make that conclusion. The text literally states that these instructions
12 shall not regulate the wartime organisation and establishment of the
13 army, command and control, and execution of immediate missions in the
14 combat operations of individual units, meaning that what happens outside
15 of peacetime activities is something that these instructions do not
17 Q. And there is reference in this particular text and throughout
18 this document to Personnel Centre Main Staffs.
19 You see the reference, for example, in subpart 7. Can you
20 interpret the meaning of "Personnel Centre Main Staffs"?
21 A. I'm afraid that I'm not fully competent to do that. My military
22 expertise, which is not large, says that units of the Army of Yugoslavia
23 do have staffs and chiefs of those staffs; but in this particular case, I
24 don't know what this would refer to because I cannot see it from this
25 very document, and that is why it would be necessary to see the whole
1 organisational structure and establishment. Simply, according to what I
2 know, this is just a matter of language. But whether it actually relates
3 to some other matters, I really cannot judge that.
4 Q. Is it common, Mr. Starcevic, in other formations within the VJ,
5 particular units, to have Main Staffs?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Harmon is now trying
8 to lead the witness, because he is not satisfied with the answer that the
9 witness gave, and I think he should re-word his question and be more
10 precise, because this looks very leading to me.
11 I don't wish to comment any further because I don't want to lead.
12 But I think that this is a leading question.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
14 MR. HARMON: I don't think it is a leading question, Your Honour.
15 Mr. Starcevic spent many years in the service. He's familiar with the
16 army. The question wasn't leading. It was an inquiry as to whether or
17 not certain structures existed in units in the army with which he is very
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The objection is overruled.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say that, as far as I can
21 recall, I did not run across this language in practice, the term
22 "General Staff." I did come across the term, perhaps, "staff," if that
23 is the answer to your question.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Let me -- can I be -- can I be concrete --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The witness said
2 Main Staff, not General Staff.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Interpreter.
4 MR. HARMON: Okay. That answers the question then. Thank you
5 very much.
6 Q. Mr. Starcevic, then examining both the last two documents that we
7 have looked at, both the instructions and the -- the order relating to
8 organisational and formational changes in the VJ, are those documents, on
9 their face, lawful?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have to make an objection to this
12 question. I really feel that this type of question is not in accordance
13 with your decision of yesterday, Your Honour. I understood your decision
14 to mean that the witness can be asked for his personal opinions, and
15 Mr. Harmon did ask the question -- did ask this witness questions about
16 his experiences and things that he saw and knew of, which can be a basis
17 for the witness's conclusions. But I think that with this question,
18 Mr. Harmon is actually asking the witness to ask a question that is
19 without -- that is outside the framework of what a fact witness can
20 testify to. The witness himself said that he didn't know anything about
21 the Personnel Centres, nor did he have any factual knowledge of them, so
22 now what he is being asked to do is to draw conclusions based on
23 something that is not -- that does not arise from his own personal
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: May I re-frame the question, Your Honour?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do, Mr. Harmon.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. Mr. --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: In fact, I think this question has been answered
6 already. You asked the witness now after the break if these instructions
7 were according to Article 5 of the law, and he said yes.
8 MR. HARMON: That's fine. I mean, that -- as to one particular
9 aspect of it. I'm satisfied to withdraw the question. I don't think
10 there would be a difficulty. But, nevertheless, I will withdraw the
12 Q. Mr. Starcevic, let me now ask you, were -- according to these
13 documents, persons who were assigned to these Personnel Centres, were
14 they members of the VJ, according to law?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. HARMON: Now, what I'd like to do is go into private session,
18 Your Honour, at this point.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
20 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Mr. Starcevic, prior to coming into court, did you have an
1 opportunity to review the stenographic record of the 14th Session of the
2 Supreme Defence Council?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. HARMON: If I could have Prosecution Exhibit 709 on the
5 monitor. And, specifically, I would like e-court pages 32 in English
6 and 24 in B/C/S.
7 I see there's a portion of the text in the English that goes over
8 to the next page, so --
9 Q. First of all, Mr. Starcevic, could you read to yourself the text
10 that is in front of you.
11 I'm just waiting, Mr. Starcevic, to enable the Trial Chamber the
12 opportunity to read the full text that I will be referring to.
13 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, there is some of the text that carries
14 over to the next page.
15 I think that is a -- I am not confident -- could you scroll up in
16 that, in the English version, please.
17 Is this page 33 in the English text? Yes, okay. That's the
18 correct text.
19 Your Honours, I will be inquiring only on the text through the
20 conclusion of that first paragraph under Momcilo Perisic, just for your
22 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, in the text before you --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just have to observe that, again,
25 these two pages do not correspond, the B/C/S and the English version.
1 They do not correspond to each other.
2 If Mr. Harmon would like to ask questions that refer to the B/C/S
3 page, I believe he should go a page back in English. But I don't know,
4 of course, what his intentions are.
5 MR. HARMON: Well, I am told I have the right pages, so let me
6 just confirm that.
7 If we could go back to page 32 and scroll down. Yes, that is the
8 correct page in English so ... and then we had the correct page in
9 English on the -- Your Honours observed as well.
10 So -- now if this -- since I can't read B/C/S, but since I do see
11 in the first paragraph of the B/C/S the number 3612, I'm assuming I have
12 the corresponding text. Okay.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, I would invite your comments on this text
14 that you have read, that's before you.
15 A. This text obviously deals with resolving the problem of how to
16 treat members of the army in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. However,
17 that is not explicitly mentioned anywhere, but from the context we can
18 infer that this relates to those men who are there. And it would appear
19 that these are efforts to find some sort of solution so that those people
20 can enjoy certain rights that otherwise they wouldn't have, if they did
21 not retain their status in the army of the -- in the Yugoslav Army.
22 Q. Insofar as the text -- I want to read a portion of this text to
23 you, Mr. Starcevic.
24 It says under -- on this page that's before you, under
25 Momcilo Perisic. It says:
1 "We appoint them here. They not actually here but are performing
2 their duties where they are stationed."
3 And then if we scroll down a bit, Slobodan Milosevic says:
4 "That's right, but only a single copy of this should stay with
6 And Mr. Perisic says:
7 "In our orders, for instance, we write to them. The commander of
8 such-and-such unit shall be deployed in a training corps which is
9 supposed to be here but in fact he is going over there."
10 Can you comment on the text that I have just read to you?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] From what the witness already said, I
13 concluded that he was doing some guesswork. The witness can only infer
14 something from what he has read but he doesn't have any direct knowledge.
15 So his answer to the next question will again be speculation and
16 guessing, and I don't think we will get a relevant answer, other than his
17 opinion on what is stated there, which, of course, comes down to
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: Let me rephrase the question, then.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
22 MR. HARMON:
23 Q. Mr. Starcevic, is there a law or set of laws that you're familiar
24 with that would permit a VJ soldier to be assigned to a duty post in the
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia when, in fact, the actual deployment is to
1 a different country?
2 A. There is something similar to that. It's not exactly what you've
3 said, but you could see it in that light. But only in the event that a
4 military person is being sent for training abroad. That is the only
5 situation where he would retain the status within the country and all the
6 rights that come with it because that would be considered a temporary
7 deployment abroad.
8 Q. Okay. Now, let me explore with you for a moment, Mr. Starcevic,
9 transfers abroad.
10 Under VJ law, under what circumstances can a VJ member be
11 assigned to a post abroad?
12 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Before Mr. Starcevic
13 answers that question, we can go back in public session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
18 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Let me repeat the question, Mr. Starcevic.
21 Under VJ law, under what circumstances can a VJ member be
22 assigned to a post abroad?
23 A. This is only indirectly defined in the section on the pay of
24 military persons in the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia, which defines
25 exactly in which instances a professional soldier who is performing
1 duties abroad, in what circumstances that individual can be remunerated.
2 And as far as I can recall, there are three possible instances. The
3 first one being when a professional soldier is assigned to a post abroad,
4 to a diplomatic or consular mission of Yugoslavia abroad.
5 The second case would be when a military person is assigned to a
6 post abroad, in keeping with international treaties that Yugoslavia had
8 And the third case would be where a military person is sent for
9 training abroad. But in this last case, this person would only receive a
10 sort of a stipend and that would be equal to his normal pay and perhaps
11 somewhat larger during the period of his schooling abroad.
12 MR. HARMON: Could we return to Prosecution Exhibit 197, the Law
13 on the Army.
14 Q. And, Mr. Starcevic --
15 MR. HARMON: And what I'm interested in is -- on the screen -- I
16 am interested in Articles -- Article 79 and 80.
17 Q. Mr. Starcevic, could you direct your attention to Article 79 and
18 Article 80, and can you identify for the Court how these articles relate
19 to my previous question?
20 A. These two articles precisely define, as far as I understand them,
21 what I have explained in my earlier answer.
22 Article 79, in paragraph 2, relates to individuals who are
23 assigned to a duty -- no, I apologise. This is paragraph 3. This
24 relates to a person who is assigned to a diplomatic consular office
25 abroad or required to perform tasks and duties resulting from
1 international agreements, international agreements in which Yugoslavia is
2 a party to.
3 And Article 80 refers to an officer being sent abroad for
5 Q. Okay. Are there any other legal provision that apply to
6 transfers of VJ soldiers abroad, beside these two provisions you have
7 cited to us?
8 A. As far as I can recall, no.
9 Q. Okay. Mr. Perisic -- Mr. Perisic. I apologise to Mr. Perisic
10 and to Mr. Starcevic.
11 Mr. Starcevic --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic is on his feet and is going to defend
13 that statement.
14 Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No. Mr. Harmon's on page 40, line 8,
16 I believe, again, that Mr. Harmon actually drew his own conclusions and
17 asked the witness to just confirm them. The witness was talking about
18 pay and not about transfer, and I think that this question is leading the
19 witness to answer in a certain way.
20 I can, of course, clarify this in my cross-examination but I
21 think this entire article actually refers to pay and not to transfer.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, Mr. Lukic, originally Mr. Harmon asked about
23 performing duties abroad. The witness said that performance is only
24 indirectly referred to in the section that deals with pay, so that's why
25 we are in the section that deals with pay.
1 MR. HARMON:
2 Q. Mr. Starcevic, let me now turn to a topic that you've alluded to
3 a number of times and that relates --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you do that, I just want to have a
5 real look at Article 79.
6 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If we could go back to that page, please,
8 Mr. Registrar [sic].
9 Sir, you have said that a soldier can be sent abroad and receive
10 payment either for training - we see that in Article 80 - or when he is
11 in consular duties, or when he is going on duties related to
12 international treaties to which the country was a party.
13 This first paragraph of Article 79 seems to have something
14 additional. Wouldn't you agree with that? That an officer can be
15 assigned on duty outside the army and be paid compensation, just assigned
16 on duty.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I agree with you that
18 there is an possibility for a soldier being assigned to a duty outside
19 the army. However, the first two paragraphs of Article 79 do refer to
20 assignment outside the army but not abroad. As far as assignments abroad
21 are concerned, paragraph 3 is a form of lex specialis.
22 The first two paragraphs refer to assignment of professional
23 soldier to duties in various organs and organisations within the country.
24 For instance, the service in the Ministry of Defence is considered
25 service within the military. The same is true of service in some
1 companies that are involved in the production of weapons and military
2 equipment. That, too, can be such an instance. The same is true of
3 service in some other institutions which are of interest for the defence
4 or the army.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I want to now turn to the topic of orders, because
8 you have alluded on at least two occasions to orders and the results or
9 consequences of orders.
10 First of all, Mr. Starcevic, in the military sense, what is an
12 A. Again, this is a question that does not really differentiate
13 between, "naredba," order, and "naredjenje," command or order again. In
14 my understanding, in our military legal system, a "naredba" is a general
15 regulation or a specific regulation that defines the responsibilities of
16 and duties and rights of individuals. In other words, it should be
17 viewed as a regulation that is adopted within administrative procedure,
18 and this is provided for -- there is a specific procedure that has to be
19 applied here. This has to be in compliance with the Law on the
20 Administrative Procedure in Serbia and Yugoslavia, which also provides
21 for complaints of individual who are dissatisfied with certain aspects
22 and so on.
23 So from that point of view, a "naredjenje," a command, means
24 issuing operational command. So a "naredjenje" command is a provision or
25 a document that is part of the chain of command. And there are special
1 regulations in the rules of the service of the Army of Yugoslavia that
2 provide for this, as well as at other statues involving commanding.
3 This does not mean, of course, that in such instances there is no
4 degree of protection provided for the persons who receive such orders,
5 but, as a matter of principle such orders, "naredjenje," cannot be
6 postponed. They have to be implemented, and the complaint can only be
7 submitted after they have been implemented.
8 Q. Okay. I want to stay very basic and very fundamental on this,
9 Mr. Starcevic.
10 Are orders, whether they are -- I think you use the term
11 navidjenje [phoen] and "naredjenje" is that --
12 A. [In English] Yes.
13 Q. Okay. So there's two types of orders.
14 Is -- nevertheless, are both types of orders issued by superior
16 A. [Interpretation] Yes. But not necessarily.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. In some cases, some civilians serving, for example, in the
19 Ministry of Defence are authorised to issue "naredba," orders, as
20 administrative acts, for example, the minister of defence.
21 Q. Okay. Other than those exceptional circumstances, let me ask you
22 then: Is a subordinate, then, who receives an order, be it "naredjenje"
23 or "naredba," required to follow and obey the order?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Now are there any -- are there any exceptions when a
1 subordinate is not required to follow an order?
2 A. There is an exception when the superior issuing the order expects
3 perhaps the subordinate not to execute the order. Under the law, there
4 are exceptions from the duty to carry out an order.
5 Actually, there is an obligation to refuse to carry out an order.
6 For example, if the execution of an order would lead to the commission of
7 a criminal act, the subordinate is duty-bound to expressly refuse to
8 carry out such an order and to take other measures. In some instances,
9 when the order would represent a violation of the law but not also a
10 criminal act at the same time, then the subordinate has the right to
11 request that the order be issued in written form.
12 When we're talking about orders such as general enactments, in
13 the majority of cases appeal is permitted against the order, and in that
14 case, the order is not carried out until the appeal is resolved, except
15 in the case when it is provided under the law that the appeal proceeding
16 would not postpone the actual execution of the order.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On page 43, line 24, the witness said
19 in response Mr. Harmon's question that in principle, yes, in principle.
20 This is what I heard the witness literally say. Perhaps that should be
21 clarified. Perhaps that question should be put to the witness again.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought I did hear that too.
23 MR. HARMON: We're referring, I take it, Mr. Lukic, to the part
24 that says "Previous translation continues" --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The "yes," at line 24.
1 MR. HARMON: -- and it's not reported what the evidence is?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. The answer at line 24 which says, "Yes," the
3 witness actually said, "In principle, yes."
4 MR. HARMON: I see. Well, I'm willing to accept what -- you
5 know, for the record, what the Court heard and what is not reflected in
6 this. I'm perfectly happy to do that.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: It just so happens that I did hear him say in
9 MR. HARMON: That's fine. I'm happy to accept that and the
10 record can be corrected accordingly.
11 Q. Now, so, Mr. Starcevic, you made a distinction between orders
12 that are general enactments and orders that are command orders; correct?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. And I want to direct -- I want to go back to Exhibit 197, if I
15 can, and -- which is the Law on the Army. And I would like to direct
16 your attention, Mr. Starcevic, to Article 154.
17 MR. HARMON: And if we could have 154 in the English version. It
18 is -- yes. Thank you.
19 Q. Now, can you, Mr. Starcevic, interpret Article 154? First of
20 all, what kind -- what kind of documents does this apply to?
21 A. This applies to orders as individual enactments deciding on the
22 rights and duties of individual officers. Article 154 actually
23 represents the procedure that is defined for the adoption of those
24 enactments or the resolution of those enactments. For example,
25 paragraph 1 states that the documents on promotion, transfer and
1 assignment of professional officers and non-commissioned officers does
2 not have to contain a statement of reasons.
3 In paragraph 2, it is noted in which cases the appeal does not
4 postpone or delay the execution of the enactments.
5 And paragraph 3 refers to enactments, in relation to which legal
6 protection cannot be invoked.
7 Q. So paragraph 2, Mr. Starcevic, relating to assignments and
8 transfers, does it in fact allow for an appeal but only after the order
9 has been executed?
10 A. Well, I'm afraid that it's not quite like that. It is not as
11 precise as that. It does allow an appeal to be lodged and does not
12 define a deadline for doing that, but the appeal itself does not postpone
13 the execution of that particular order.
14 Q. All right.
15 MR. HARMON: Could we turn to Prosecution Exhibit 1896.
16 Q. Mr. Starcevic, let's, first of all, take some time to look at the
17 first page. Apparently in B/C/S it's a two-page document, so if we could
18 give you an opportunity to look at, first of all, the first page, and the
19 Court as well, and then the second page.
20 If you would just let me know when you want to go to the second
21 page, Mr. Starcevic.
22 You need to go to the --
23 MR. HARMON: Can we go to the next page, then? Or go to the
24 bottom of this first page. Okay.
25 THE WITNESS: [In English] It's up to you.
1 MR. HARMON: Can we go back? I wasn't clear whether we had the
2 complete text in sight. Can we go back to the first page so
3 Mr. Starcevic can confirm that he has read the whole text on the first
4 page. Okay.
5 Q. Mr. Starcevic, then, if you want to read the second page of this
6 document then -- okay. Have you --
7 A. [Interpretation] I've looked at it.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. HARMON: And ...
10 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if we go to first page we can see that this
11 document is -- are minutes from an official talk about a transfer to the
12 VRS, which talk occurred in the Drina Corps command.
13 Now, just -- do you know what -- in what army the Drina Corps
14 command is a formation?
15 MR. HARMON: You need to go to the -- that's fine.
16 Q. Let me ask you, are you ... I'm referring to the top paragraph,
17 Mr. Starcevic. Is the Drina Corps a formation in -- in which army, if
18 you know?
19 A. I don't know, but based on this document, it can be concluded
20 that this is a corps in the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 Q. Okay. Now, in this instance, this document, what is Colonel Erak
22 complaining about?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On the basis of questions like this,
25 we can get answers from this witness about what he reads in the document.
1 What I see, Mr. Harmon is asking the witness questions about facts on
2 which he has no direct knowledge, but the witness is supposed to be a
3 fact witness, facts that he saw himself, heard, or has any kind of
4 personal experience, so now the witness has embarked on assumptions
5 because he doesn't have any direct knowledge about them. So basically
6 the witness is being asked expert-type questions that he is not able to
7 answer. The witness can be asked what -- who is doing what here, but he
8 is not authorised to provide the Trial Chamber with assumptions about
9 what happened after he left, and this document clearly is dated
10 September 1994.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, what I intend to do with this
13 document -- first of all, I don't want to lead with my questioning.
14 Second of all, I'm trying to identify the type of order that we have been
15 discussing. I'm trying to get the witness to identify, if he can.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes.
17 MR. HARMON: The type of order --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think that what you are saying now is a more
19 legitimate question. But what had you asked, Mr. Harmon, was -- and
20 unfortunately, the objection is completely irrelevant to what you were
22 You said: "Now in this instance, in this document, what is
23 Colonel Erak complaining about?"
24 Now, that I thought we can read that in the document.
25 MR. HARMON: No problem. I can --
1 Q. Can you characterize, Mr. Starcevic, the type of order that
2 Colonel Erak is complaining about? You have identified two different
3 types of orders for us in your examination. Are you able to determine
4 what type of order he is complaining about? Is it "naredba" or
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is a crucial question to which I
8 put my previous crucial objection, and I assume that this is the way that
9 Mr. Harmon plans to go through the documents he prepared with this
10 witness. But I think this question is put to the witness and will make
11 the witness speculate. The witness is a fact witness, not an expert and
12 he is being asked to comment on something about which he does not have
13 personal information or knowledge.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I think -- of course, the witness
16 doesn't have personal knowledge about Colonel Erak. However, he does --
17 has described two different types of orders. He has identified the
18 provision in the law that relates to a specific element that I -- I don't
19 want to lead the witness, but is related to -- earlier to a provision in
20 the law about certain types of orders and appeals. That's all I'm trying
21 to get out of this set of questions. So I think it's a fair question to
22 ask him, if he is able to identify and characterize the type of order
23 that we're talking about in this instance.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Objection overruled.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, are you able to determine the type of order that
2 Colonel Erak was objecting to?
3 A. I also have to say that this is not immediately evident from this
4 document, but it can be concluded that he did receive an order on a
5 transfer and that he is appealing this order.
6 If we're asking what sort of an order it is, then my answer is if
7 it is an order on the transfer, then it is a "naredba." It is the order
8 that applies to the rights and duties of individuals. So it is an order
9 pertaining to the sphere of administration.
10 Q. All right. Now, two provisions that are cited by -- a law that
11 are either referred to directly or indirectly in this document are found
12 in -- the first is found in subpart A, where Colonel Erak says, and I
14 "No one asked me for an opinion regarding my transfer to the
15 30th Personnel Centre. I have been transferred seven times so far."
16 Mr. Starcevic, is there a basis in law or in the regulations that
17 would support Mr. -- Colonel Erak's assertion relating to being
18 transferred seven times?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Without his consent, do you mean?
20 MR. HARMON: Without his consent. Yes, sir.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not sure about that under this
22 law. This was the text in the previous law that regulated this, but in
23 this particular law, there is no explicit reference to that.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Okay.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which particular law are you talking about which
2 you say there is no reference to, sir?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This law, the Law on the Army,
4 which went into effect in October 1993. Or, rather, May, 1994. The
5 previous law did have an explicit provision on this, this one, that the
6 second one does not. But I do recall that a regulation was being drafted
7 on the application.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Now, Colonel Erak also refers to Article 58 with the Law on the
11 Army. And he says:
12 "I have been transferred to the Army of the RS in accordance with
13 Article 58 of the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia, and on the same ground,
14 I should not have and could not have been transferred to the
15 30th Personnel Centre."
16 Now, can you comment on that?
17 A. I saw that comment, and I must admit that I was convinced that
18 there was such a provision. Evidently I was thinking of the old law.
19 Now I see, a little bit late, that this law, the new law, does not
20 contain such a provision and that is why I don't understand why it is
21 stated that he should not have executed it according to Article 158,
22 unless this was regulated separately.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... Article 58.
24 MR. HARMON: I was going next call up.
25 Can we have Article --
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, the text, first of all, says according to
2 Article 158. My translation in subpart B of the English says Article 58,
3 so ...
4 MR. HARMON: Could we refer to -- could we take a look at
5 Article 1 -- I'm sorry, Article 58 in Exhibit Prosecution 197.
6 Q. Can you explain, Mr. Starcevic, explain Article 58.
7 A. It seems to me that it is absolutely clear, and it says that a
8 professional officer or a non-commissioned officer may be transferred in
9 the course of his duty. The transfer would mean that he would need to
10 change his place of residence. Only if the change of residence is
11 implied in the sense of this law, it means that it is a transfer, and
12 there are no limitations in that sense.
13 Q. How long -- can a transfer under Article 58, does it have a limit
14 the duration, how long it can last?
15 A. A difference should be made between a transfer and a temporary
16 assignment. A transfer is a lasting condition; you're moving from one
17 position to another, from one place of residence to another. And perhaps
18 you would never return to your previous post. But paragraph 3 talks
19 about a temporary assignment. So, formally, are you not changing the
20 place of residence. You are only temporarily being assigned to a
21 position or duty that happens to be in a different location, not the
22 location of your residence. Or perhaps not even your place of residence,
23 but perhaps you're being reassigned to a different unit and that could
24 still be in your place of residence.
25 So when we're talking about this second case, temporary
1 assignment, the place of residence is irrelevant. Temporary assignment
2 can last for up to a year at the longest within a five-year period,
3 meaning that somebody can, in a five-year period, be temporarily assigned
4 to duties a number of times, but not longer than one year each time.
5 Q. Okay. And finally in this document, if we go to subpart F --
6 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry, could we go back to Prosecution Exhibit
7 1896, the minutes of the talk about the transfer to the 30th Personnel
8 Centre. Could we take a look at subpart --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you going to be long on that point?
10 MR. HARMON: I'm happy to break here, Your Honours. I won't be
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Finish up.
13 MR. HARMON: Can we turn to subpart F, then, of this document.
14 Q. Mr. Starcevic, just focus your attention on subpart F. And I
15 just want you to expand, if you will, or explain to the Court what
16 Mr. Erak says. He says he has fulfilled his statutory duty "because I
17 have been at the front for nine months incessantly. In case my appeal is
18 not granted, I will be forced to ask for my right at a court of law."
19 Did Colonel Erak have a right to go a court of law on this kind
20 of a order of transfer?
21 A. I have to say again that we're now drawing conclusions from an
22 official conversation which is actually not the enactment that this
23 pertains to. So this paragraph F as well as the contents of what
24 Mr. Erak is stating are a little bit confusing, so it is not quite clear
25 whether we're talking about a transfer or a temporary assignment here.
1 Because paragraph F suggests that this is a temporary assignment. This
2 expression "to return" is difficult to interpret in any other way, other
3 than that he was temporarily assigned to a place, but he also then refers
4 to transfer.
5 So the whole thing is a little bit confusing.
6 Q. Very briefly, if we can just stay with the temporary assignment,
7 would he have recourse to a court of law on an appeal on an order of
8 temporary assignment?
9 A. In the specific case --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the question could have
12 been put in a more general way but from what the witness said previously,
13 he cannot be asked to make any conclusions on the basis of this document.
14 So he could be asked a general question of whether there is a right to
15 appeal in such a case.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: That's precisely what I thought I did.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure, Mr. Lukic, that what you -- I
19 can't see the difference between what you are suggesting and what the
20 question was.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I was listening to the B/C/S
22 translation but I understood that the question referred to based on this
23 document whether he was entitled to submit a complaint. But I think that
24 kind of question can only be put based on the law, whether a complaint
25 can be submitted.
1 In my view, such a question can be asked because the witness
2 himself said that did he not have any direct knowledge about this
3 particular document. This would be calling for speculation, in my view.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: You understand what he is saying. Not based on
5 the document but based on the law.
6 MR. HARMON: Based on the law, correct.
7 I will rephrase the question, then, Your Honour.
8 Q. Would an individual who has been temporarily assigned to a duty
9 post have, in an appeal, a right to apply for his rights in a court of
11 A. Well, now we are in the area of interpreting laws. I think not,
12 because it does not have to do on deciding on somebody's rights or
13 duties, but, rather, about their status in service, as it is at the
15 However, he is entitled to submitting a complaint if the
16 temporary assignment is longer than provided for in the law, and in this
17 particular case that would also depend on the order on the basis of which
18 he is reassigned.
19 MR. HARMON: I have no further questions on this document.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be a convenient time?
21 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take a break and come back at half past
24 Court adjourned.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
3 MR. HARMON: Will Your Honours go into private session.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
5 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
8 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecution Exhibit 1895 placed on the
10 screen. Initially, if we could have page 1 of both the English and the
11 B/C/S placed on the screen.
12 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a document that is identified in the upper
13 left-hand corner of the English version as an order, number 5-76/1.
14 Have you seen this document before coming into court to testify?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I would -- first of all, can you tell us what kind of an order.
17 You have characterized two different types of orders, what kind of an
18 order is this order?
19 A. Here we see again an order that is a general administrative
20 enactment, appointing a professional officer to duty in a certain unit.
21 Q. Now, I want to go through this document so we can understand this
22 documents and all the parties can.
23 First of all, Mr. Starcevic, I refer you to the part -- subpart A
24 that says: "Appointed as per the peacetime establishment."
25 And what I'm going to do in this document, Mr. Starcevic, is take
1 you through -- there are four categories identified in this document and
2 I'm going to ask to you define what each of these categories means.
3 So if we could start, please, with "appointed as per peacetime
4 establishment." What does that mean?
5 A. That means that pursuant to an order, Mr. Sekulic is appointed
6 to -- to the duty of chief of training in the -- training and operations
7 in the Belgrade garrison. But in fact what it says there is that is he
8 appointed to a post in the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army, the
9 40th Personnel Centre unit, at the command of the Main Staff of that
10 centre, as the chief of the department or section for operations and
11 training in the Belgrade garrison.
12 Q. And -- but what is the terminology "appointed as per the
13 peacetime establishment," what does that mean as opposed to what I will
14 be showing in a few minutes, transfers, et cetera? Are you able to tell
15 the Court precisely what an appointment as to the peacetime establishment
17 A. That means in fact that this appointment, this position, is there
18 according to the establishment, for that unit, in peacetime. Because
19 sometimes establishment posts can differ in peacetime and in wartime,
20 within units. There are also other instances that can be compared to
21 wartime conditions.
22 So in this particular instance, he is appointed to this post per
23 peacetime establishment, the establishment that is in effect during
25 Q. All right. And where was he previously serving his duty, prior
1 to this particular appointment?
2 A. From this document, it would appear that even before this
3 appointment he was on duty, or he was part of the 40th Personnel Centre,
4 but we cannot see from this document on which position or what post he
5 was appointed at that time.
6 Q. Can we see from this document how he arrived at the position in
7 the 40th Personnel Centre prior to this particular appointment? I refer
8 you to the -- I refer you to the last paragraph, Mr. Starcevic.
9 A. Yes. But we cannot see how he actually came to be appointed to
10 this position because that is not stated there. But we can see that he
11 was transferred to the 40th Personnel Centre on order by the Chief of
12 Staff of the Yugoslav Army; in other words, the same person who issued
13 this order as well.
14 Q. All right. Now I want to go to page 76 in the English and
15 page 66 in the B/C/S. We'll see another type of description.
16 Can you see under the letter B it says: "Assigned and appointed
17 as per peacetime establishment."
18 What is the difference between this reference, "assigned and
19 appointed," as opposed to the previous reference, which is just
21 A. The difference is in that the gentleman that we are discussing
22 here, Mr. Mihajlovic, in other words, was not posted at the
23 40th Personnel Centre before this order. He was in the
24 1st Administration, in the development and procurement department of the
25 infantry department of the land forces. In other words, this same
1 document re-assigns him from the previous unit to the 40th Personnel
2 Centre, and at the same time, he is appointed to a certain post in that
3 Personnel Centre.
4 Q. So, in this case, Mr. Simo Mihajlovic is appointed to the
5 40th Personnel Centre, Main Staff, as an administrative officer in the
6 supply section; is that correct?
7 A. I apologise. I have difficulty reading so I need some time.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, that's correct.
10 MR. HARMON:
11 Q. Now if we can look at another type of an order.
12 MR. HARMON: If we could go to -- if we could turn to page 78 in
13 the English and page 68 in the B/C/S.
14 Your Honours may recall this is a rather large document and it
15 pertains to 141 persons, and so --
16 Q. Can we take a look at this, then, section, Mr. Starcevic, and I
17 am looking at the letter -- it should be C. It says: "Transferred."
18 Do you see that?
19 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
20 Q. What does that mean in the context of this order?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute. I'm not seeing C on this page in
22 English. I see G, "Transfer."
23 MR. HARMON: That's a typographical -- I mean, that's an error.
24 I said it should be C. It is G, and so I apologise for the translation.
25 It should be C. But --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters comment: It is G in B/C/S as
3 MR. HARMON: We both stand corrected, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
5 MR. HARMON: Okay. Well, the letter G, then. Thank you to the
6 interpreters for that.
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, now we see a reference to certain people being
8 transferred in this order. And if you could help us with what some of
9 the meaning of that is. Can I just -- before you give me your answer,
10 because it is very helpful for to us look at the illustrations that
11 follow. On the English all we have is the "transferred" but --
12 MR. HARMON: Could we get the text, then, on the next page as
13 well to this person who has been transferred. Okay.
14 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, what does "transferred" mean, and where is
15 Mr. Pero Vucetic transferred to and from?
16 A. A transfer means that Mr. Vucetic, up until this order, served in
17 the garrison in Podgorica, in this particular instance, and then pursuant
18 to this order, he was transferred to the Belgrade garrison to a certain
19 unit, a unit of the 40th Personnel Centre, but his post and duty per
20 establishment was not determined. Rather, it was left to the officer in
21 charge, the officer in charge of that centre.
22 And that is in keeping with the order that we discussed earlier,
23 that the chief of the General Staff or other officers to whom he
24 delegates those duty, they perform certain duties. In this particular
25 instance, because this is a non-commissioned officer, the officer to whom
1 this duty was delegated was of a lower rank than in some other instances.
2 And because he is transferred, there is also a request for the change of
3 his residence.
4 Q. Now the reason that is given in the transfer of Mr. Vucetic is,
5 and I quote:
6 "He is transferred according to service requirements effective
7 6 January 1994, when he reported for duty."
8 Can you assist us in the meaning of being "transferred according
9 to service requirements"?
10 What does that mean?
11 A. Unfortunately, I cannot explain for service requirements can be
12 different. It can be vacated position that he would need to fill, a new
13 position. The reasons could be different. But I would like to just
14 remind you that, pursuant to the Law on the Army, transfer enactments in
15 principle are not explained. Service requirements imply the interests of
16 the army service to allocate persons to different posts or positions.
17 Q. Okay. And I --
18 MR. HARMON: I would like to note, Your Honours, for the record,
19 there appears to an omission in case of Mr. Vucetic on the English.
20 Q. And, Mr. Starcevic, you can assist us. In the B/C/S version it
21 indicates that this gentleman, Mr. Vucetic, was transferred to the
22 Belgrade garrison. Is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 MR. HARMON: That language is missing, Your Honour, I note, in
25 the English translation.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you look at the top of the English version as
2 it stands now, the very first line says to Belgrade garrison.
3 MR. HARMON: I see. Well, then -- okay. Okay. Well, then I'm
4 corrected, then, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
5 Q. Okay. Now if we could turn finally to page 83 of the English and
6 page 72 of the B/C/S.
7 We see under subpart D, the words "temporarily assigned." Can
8 you assist us in the meaning of what "temporary assignment" is?
9 A. That implies that a professional soldier would be sent to certain
10 assignments for a pre-determined period of time, in a unit that was not a
11 part of his own home unit.
12 Q. So in this case, the individual Mr. Krnjeta Milos, was
13 temporarily assigned to the Yugoslav Army General Staff, 40th Personnel
14 Centre, Main Staff; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Now, if we look at the basis, the legal basis for that
17 assignment, can you identify what the legal basis is for that assignment,
18 Mr. Starcevic?
19 A. Article 58 of the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia, paragraph 3.
20 Q. Now, does Article 58, paragraph 3, of the Law on the Army,
21 Yugoslav Army, authorise the transfer of an individual from one unit to
22 the army of a different country or service in a different country?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that, again, we're in a
25 situation where the witness is interpreting an article. That is actually
1 your job. The witness is going asked to interpret Article 58 in his way
2 but actually that is the job of the Trial Chamber, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I believe the witness is -- can speak
5 directly to Article 58. He participated in the drafting of this
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My problem with this kind of question
9 is that we are lawyers in the courtroom and we read and interpret the
10 laws, so we're asking the witness to interpret this. But, actually, this
11 is a matter for the Trial Chamber, the matter of interpreting matters
12 like this, and what weight to attach to that.
13 I understand when we're talking about ballistics experts or other
14 fields when the Trial Chamber might need assistance, but I think in this
15 matter, I think there is no need for that, and that the answer that the
16 witness could give would not really have that much weight or importance
17 when the Chamber is actually weighing this evidence.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection upheld.
20 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
21 Now, if we could go back into -- I'm sorry. If we could go into
22 public session, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
3 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecution Exhibit 1527 on the
5 Q. Sir, is this a -- can you tell the Court what the nature of this
6 document is?
7 A. Again, this is an order which is, in essence, an administrative
8 enactment, temporarily assigning Mr. Sladojevic.
9 Q. To -- assigning him to where?
10 A. To the 30th Personnel Centre.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. HARMON: Now, could we take a look at Prosecution
13 Exhibit 1524, have that on the monitor.
14 Q. Mr. Sladojevic [sic], this is an order with -- signed by
15 General Perisic and it has a terminology, "redeployed and assigned as per
16 peacetime establishment."
17 Can you tell us what that means, that language?
18 A. This, again, as in the previous cases we analysed, it means that
19 Mr. Sladojevic is leaving the garrison or the place where he was on duty
20 up until then, to a different garrison, or to a different location, so he
21 is changing his place of residence, and by this act, at the same time, he
22 is being assigned to a specific duty in the new unit, in this new post
23 and place of residence.
24 Q. Mr. Sladojevic [sic], where had -- I'm sorry, Mr. Starcevic.
25 Where had Mr. Sladojevic been assigned prior to his redeployment?
1 A. Before the transfer, Mr. Sladojevic was working at the
2 40th Personnel Centre, at the Belgrade garrison.
3 Q. And let me refer you to the language below, at the bottom of the
4 English, and I'd like you to assist me in understanding what this means.
5 It says:
6 "As per peacetime establishment to date: Commander 11th Corps of
7 the Yugoslav Army General Staff, 40th Personnel Centre, FC of Colonel,
8 P G5 as of 10 November 1993, Belgrade garrison."
9 So can you assist us with that?
10 A. Yes. Mr. Sladojevic was the commander of the 11th Corps, which
11 is part of the 40th Personnel Centre of the General Staff of the Army of
12 Yugoslavia. By establishment of that corps, the duty to which he was
13 appointed, the rank of colonel was required and the position -- or the
14 post group was established. So all of this refers to the corps or the
15 training centre in the Belgrade garrison. His place of -- or duty post
16 was in Belgrade.
17 Q. Now, I have two questions, Mr. Sladojevic [sic]. To your
18 knowledge, was there an 11th Corps posted -- 11th Corps of the Yugoslav
19 Army posted in Belgrade at any time during your experience as a military
21 A. I couldn't tell, because, as far as I can remember, while I was
22 serving in the army, the organisation of the Yugoslav Army was different.
23 The army was organised in to the -- the structure of the army was
24 organised into armies, various armies, and then subordinated units, but I
25 really cannot speak to this.
1 The reorganisation, I think, followed after I left the army. But
2 as far as can I recall, some corps were in Belgrade, but this one, I
3 believe would, have come after I left my post in the army, but in any
4 case, I wouldn't know the number or the particular corps that was in
6 Q. Okay. Now, is there any legal authority, Mr. Starcevic, that
7 would permit General Perisic the authority to transfer a soldier, a
8 VJ soldier, from an army in the -- in the RSK, in the Republika Srpska
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. HARMON: I'm talking theoretically, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no. Mr. Lukic is on his feet. That's what
13 I'm saying.
14 MR. HARMON: Fine, Your Honour.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understood this question to be
16 theoretical but I would still have the same complaint that I had earlier.
17 We have the law -- you have the law in front of you, the law has been
18 adopted into evidence and you are the ones who are going to assess and
19 give it certain weight. And now, my colleague is asking the witness to
20 actually interpret those laws, and I believe that that is outside of the
21 framework of your instructions yesterday, your decision yesterday.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: I will rephrase the question, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, are there any provisions in the law that you're
2 aware of that would permit General Perisic or any other officer to give
3 an order of redeployment to a person serving in a different army? Are
4 there any provisions of the law that would authorise that?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, it seems to me that this
7 question has not been reformulated, and I believe that Mr. Harmon has
8 repeated the same form of question. He is just calling the witness to
9 interpret the law, and I believe that that is your exclusive right as the
10 Trial Chamber.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm not asking the Court to interpret
13 the law. I'm asking this witness who knows the law and helped draft the
14 law to identify what provisions, if any, apply to the circumstances I
15 have put to him.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, I don't see any request for identification
17 in your question, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Well, my question was, are there any provisions in
19 the law which I'm asking him to identify those provisions in the law; at
20 least that's what I intended by that question. I can rephrase it.
21 Q. Can you identify any provisions in the law, Mr. Starcevic, that
22 would permit an officer serving in the VJ to give a redeployment order to
23 an officer serving in a different army in a different country?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm so sorry. I was saying to Mr. Lukic that I
2 was looking at him but I'm still reading what the question was.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My essential objection, Your Honour,
4 is that you, as the Trial Chamber, are the one who is to assess and give
5 weight to a law and here the witness is being asked to assist you that
6 sense, and to interpret the law.
7 I understand Mr. Harmon's argument that Mr. Starcevic is one of
8 the individuals who actually drafted these laws, but with his answers,
9 where he would interpret the laws, he cannot be, in my view, of any
10 assistance to the Trial Chamber, and according to me, that goes to the
11 very merit of this case.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the question as couched now lately, the
13 very last couching is somewhat different. First of all, the witness is
14 not being asked to interpret the law. He is being asked to identify a
15 provision in the law. So he must refer us to law so-and-so, article
16 so-and-so, paragraph so-and-so. The Chamber will read that law and
17 decide whether he is right in saying that is the law that allows a
19 And, secondly, the question relates to redeployment of an officer
20 serving in a different army in a different country. We haven't been
21 shown that before, and this is -- that last part is -- is different from
22 the questions that Mr. Harmon had asked earlier.
23 As couched like that, the question will stand, and the answer
24 that I expect is -- that we be referred to a specific law.
25 MR. HARMON: Of course.
1 Q. Can you -- you can answer the question, Mr. Starcevic.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. I had asked you, Mr. Starcevic, can you identify any provision in
5 the law that would authorise a VJ officer to give an order to redeploy an
6 officer from a different country serving in a different army.
7 A. In my understanding, there is no such provision.
8 Q. Okay. Now, we have looked at a series of three orders dealing
9 with appointments, transfers, appointment and transfer, et cetera. And
10 those orders, in summary, in large measure dealt with appointments and
11 transfers to the 30th or the 40th Personnel Centre.
12 Were members of the VJ who were assigned or appointed or
13 transferred to the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres members of the VJ,
14 according to the law?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, I want to change the topic a bit, and I
17 wanted to ask you about volunteering while a member of the Yugoslav Army.
18 Under law, are there provisions in the law that permit a
19 VJ soldier to volunteer for service to a particular post?
20 A. In principle, yes. A soldier may volunteer for service to a
21 particular post. I think that it can be interpreted that a soldier may
22 volunteer or ask to be appointed to a certain duty, but we have to draw a
23 difference between an appointment, in which case he would have to be
24 appointed according -- following a certain procedure, which also implies
25 that there would be an enactment or a document from a superior officer.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you refer to us that law, sir?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the Law on the Army, and
3 this issue is somewhat broader than it is defined in this law, which
4 deals with the issue of volunteers, and I will now try to find that
5 particular provision.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, maybe --
8 A. Yes, that would be Article 15 of the Law on the Army, but it
9 relates, indeed, to volunteers within the service and not those who
10 volunteer to carry out a certain task who are already professional
11 soldiers or who are already serving in the army.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. HARMON: Now, can we have Article 15 in this Prosecution
14 Exhibit 197. Can we have Article 15 on the monitor.
15 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you referred to soldiers within the army being
16 able to volunteer. Is that covered by Article 15?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Okay. Now, can you explain to the Court Article 15 and what it
20 A. Article 15 regulates the manner or manners in which the Army of
21 Yugoslavia may be reinforced, or manned. There are three paragraphs in
22 this article which relate to reinforcement by volunteers and those are
23 the second, third, and fourth paragraphs.
24 In the first place, the reinforcements with volunteers is, under
25 the law, possible during a state of war, imminent threat of war, or
1 during a state of emergency.
2 Further on -- furthermore, volunteers may be only those
3 individuals who are not subject to military service, to compulsory
4 military service, or individuals who are subject to compulsory military
5 service but who have not been issued a wartime establishment post in the
6 event of war. In any case, all such volunteers would be part of the
7 army, and from that moment on, they would, in every respect, have the
8 same rights and responsibilities as all other military persons.
9 Q. Okay. Just staying focussed on Article 15, it, in the second
10 paragraph, puts certain conditions before the army can be reinforced with
12 Now, a state of war, imminent threat of war, and a state of
13 emergency. Is that -- are those conditions defined in the law?
14 A. Yes. In the law, and I think even in the constitution it is
15 defined when such states may be proclaimed, and I think in all these
16 event -- in some of these events, the authorised person who can proclaim
17 such a state would be the president of the republic, whereas in some
18 other instances it would be the parliament. I'm not absolutely certain
19 because I don't have the constitution in front of me --
20 Q. Mr. Starcevic --
21 A. -- but the primary responsibility or authority --
22 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off. But just to assist you,
23 if I could direct your attention to Article 4 in the Law on Defence,
24 which is Prosecution Exhibit 1183.
25 MR. HARMON: If that could be displayed on the monitor so we can
1 just clarify the legal parameters of Article 15.
2 Q. Does Article 4, Mr. Starcevic, cover the language -- identify the
3 language that is found in Article 15?
4 A. Yes. That is the article I meant, and it actually defines that
5 the Federal Assembly is the one that will proclaim one of these states as
6 the condition where the army can be reinforced by volunteers.
7 Q. Now, to your knowledge, Mr. Starcevic, between the years 1992 and
8 1995, was a state of war or imminent threat of war or a state of
9 emergency declared in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
10 A. I think it wasn't. But I'm not absolutely certain. You know, I
11 am an elderly man.
12 Q. Mr. Starcevic, now I want to change the issue of volunteers
13 slightly, okay? Because Article 15 from its text appears to deal with
14 volunteers reinforcing the VJ. I want to change the issue slightly.
15 Okay. I'm talking about an active duty officer serving in the
16 VJ. Are there provisions of the law that cover an active duty officer in
17 the VJ volunteering to serve, either inside another unit in the VJ or
18 outside of the country? Are there legal provisions that you can direct
19 us to that cover that set of circumstances?
20 A. It is my view that legal language has to be precise, and in that
21 sense, there is no provision regulating a situation where an individual
22 may be a volunteer in that kind of situation, which does not mean, of
23 course, that professional active-duty officers do not have the right to
24 initiate their promotion to -- or a transfer to another unit. The
25 assignment to a different duty is a whole different story.
1 Now, whether such an initiative will be accepted, that is a
2 different issue. But they are not, strictly speaking, and in the
3 language of the law, volunteers.
4 Q. In that -- if a professional military soldier's initiative is
5 accepted, what kind of an instrument regulates service under those
7 A. One of those orders that we discussed earlier. Depending on
8 where they are going, they're either transferred or transferred and
9 appointed, or assigned or appointed to another duty, so it would depend
10 on -- it would be on a case-to-case basis but it would have to be
11 pursuant to one such administrative enactment.
12 Q. Okay. Is there any provision of the law that permits an
13 active-duty officer serving in the army to go to a different country and
14 serve in a -- in a different army or in a different country that you can
15 point out?
16 A. Well, I will say it again, as I already have. In my view, there
17 is no such provision.
18 Q. Okay. Then let me -- thank you very much, Mr. Starcevic. I have
19 some additional questions in respect of documents.
20 MR. HARMON: First of all, I'd like to get -- have Prosecution
21 Exhibit 847 on the monitor.
22 Q. Mr. Starcevic, just acquaint yourself, if you would, for a
23 moment, with this particular document.
24 Are you familiar with this document; have you seen this document
1 A. I think I have.
2 Q. This is a document dated the 29th of January, 2001, issued by the
3 supreme military court and it is in response or it relates to a complaint
4 filed by Colonel Zarko Ljubojevic in a matter relating to his claim for
5 compensation for unused annual leave. Did you review this yesterday,
6 Mr. Starcevic?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. HARMON: Now, could we turn to page 2 of the English and
9 page 2 of the B/C/S.
10 Q. Let me ask you initially, Mr. Starcevic, what was it that
11 Mr. Ljubojevic was seeking in this legal action?
12 A. Well, it is it obvious that Ljubojevic had been prevented from
13 using his annual leave several years in a row, and he notes that he was
14 prevented from using his annual leave because he took part in some combat
16 Q. Can I direct your attention and may I direct the Court's
17 attention -- let me direct your attention first to the bottom
18 paragraph in B/C/S, and the Court's attention to the language that starts
19 in the second paragraph, starting with: "In this specific case ..."
20 Mr. Starcevic, can I ask you to comment on these -- on this
21 judgement, this part of the judgement that I have referred you to?
22 A. Well, obviously the Court in its statement of reasons states its
23 reasons why it overturned the decision of the lower court where he was
24 denied compensation for unused annual leave. And in the statement of
25 reasons of this judge, he -- he was established that Ljubojevic was
1 assigned to serve outside the Army of Yugoslavia and that this is a case
2 where provisions of the law that are in effect for people serving in the
3 Army of Yugoslavia and that are applicable to such active-duty persons
4 should be applicable to him, too, and that, as such, he would be entitled
5 to such compensation.
6 Q. Okay. Now, insofar as this judgement is concerned,
7 Mr. Starcevic, did the court establish as a matter of this judgement,
8 whether Mr. Ljubojevic, who was serving elsewhere, was a member of the
9 Yugoslav Army?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I think that this question was
12 couched in such a way that the witness actually read the statement of
13 reasons, and now, again, he is asked -- the witness is asked to comment
14 on what is written. So, in this manner, we know that the witness has
15 read that this man was outside the service and now he is asked whether he
16 was considered to be in service, and I think with such questions and such
17 answers, we gain nothing.
18 MR. HARMON: I'll withdraw the question, Your Honour.
19 Could we turn to another judgement. That is Prosecution
20 Exhibit 822.
21 Q. Have you had an opportunity to see this document, Mr. Starcevic,
22 prior to coming in to testify? This is a judgement of the
23 Second Municipal Court in Belgrade.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And what was this lawsuit about?
3 A. In this case, Mr. Milosevic submitted a request to have his right
4 to compensation recognised, due to physical pains and reduced work
5 capability that he suffered, and general living condition, and he is
6 asking for a specific amount of damages.
7 MR. HARMON: Could we turn to page 8 in the English and page 7 in
8 the B/C/S.
9 Q. Can I, Mr. Starcevic, direct you to language --
10 MR. HARMON: I can't see the top of the page, I'm afraid, on the
11 B/C/S, so I -- we're on the wrong page. Page 7 is what I thought I had
12 asked for in B/C/S.
13 Q. While we're getting page 7, Your Honour, can I direct
14 Your Honours' attention to the middle paragraph: "The court considered
15 the objection ..."
16 And, Mr. Starcevic, I think that is the language that is found at
17 the top of page 7. Starts with: "The court considered the objection
18 that the accused ..." et cetera.
19 Could you read that paragraph?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can I invite your comments, Mr. Starcevic?
22 A. It seems clear to me that the court rejected the objection of a
23 lack of passive legitimacy and took the position that the gentleman was
24 not a member of the Army of Republika Srpska but a member of the Army of
25 Yugoslavia, who was sent to the combat zone in the environs of Sarajevo,
1 and, for that reason, he did have the right to submit this complaint.
2 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
3 I'd like to show you another document but I need to go into
4 private session for this document.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
6 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
10 MR. HARMON: Could I have Exhibit 1902 on the monitor, please.
11 Q. Have you seen this document before, Mr. Starcevic?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. And can you -- this is a decree dated the 16th of June, 1994,
14 exceptionally promoting to the rank of colonel general Ratko Mladic, who
15 is -- it says the 30th Personnel Centre Main Staff commander.
16 Can you, first of all, tell us what the effect of this decree
17 would be in the Yugoslav Army?
18 A. Simply from that point on, Ratko Mladic is an officer with the
19 rank of colonel general in the Army of Yugoslavia.
20 Q. Now, the legal basis that is identified for this exceptional
21 promotion is Article 136 of the constitution, and Article 46,
22 paragraph 1, of the Law on the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia.
23 MR. HARMON: If we could return to the Law on the Army,
24 Prosecution Exhibit 197, I believe.
25 Q. I would like to direct your attention, Mr. Starcevic, to
1 Article 46.
2 MR. HARMON: And I see this presents one of those difficult
3 situations where only part of the article appears on the English at the
4 bottom, so I -- when the Court is finished reading that element that
5 appears in the bottom, if we could turn to the next page.
6 Could we turn to the next -- second page then. Yes. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, can you explain to the Court Article 46 of the
8 Law on the Army?
9 A. The concept of exceptional promotion, under the law, is provided
10 as a special institute, due to the exceptional contribution of some
12 Article 46 actually regulates the authorities of different organs
13 for exceptional promotion, depending on the rank. In this case,
14 undoubtedly, the president of the republic would be the authorised body
15 for such a promotion, because a person who has the rank of
16 lieutenant-colonel general is being promoted to the rank of colonel
18 Q. What -- what happens before a person is promoted to the rank of
19 colonel general, in terms of this law? What does it say?
20 A. In order to analyse that we would need a special rule adopted by
21 the federal government pursuant to paragraph 3 of this article which
22 deals with the procedure and the terms. Of course, what else is
23 happening here, if that's what you meant, is that for this kind of
24 promotion there should be a proposal by the chief of the General Staff
25 for this.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. HARMON: I'm finished with this document.
3 The next exhibit, if we could take a look at it, is
4 Prosecution Exhibit 197 -- I'm sorry, 1905.
5 Q. Mr. Starcevic, have you seen this document before?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And this is a document that's dated the 16th of June, 2001, and
8 it is entitled -- has a caption, "Removed from the records of
9 professional soldiers of the Yugoslav Army," and it identifies
10 26 individuals by name.
11 Can you -- first of all, what is the meaning of "removed from the
12 records of the professional soldiers of the Yugoslav Army"? What does
13 that mean?
14 A. It means that from that point on, in a formal legal sense they
15 ceased to be professional soldiers in the Army of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. I see. Okay. And -- okay.
17 Now, it also indicates under that language, "removed from the
18 records of the professional soldiers of the Yugoslav Army," it says that
19 these 26 individuals are filling posts in the Yugoslav Army General Staff
20 30th Personnel Centre.
21 Do you have any comment, Mr. Starcevic, on that language?
22 A. It simply means that they were removed from the records, and they
23 cease to be officers of the Army of Yugoslavia and are serving in the --
24 in posts in the 30th Personnel Centre.
25 Q. And the 30th Personnel Centre was a component part of the
1 Yugoslav Army; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. We've already noted that earlier.
3 Q. And what does that mean in respect of whether or not the
4 26 individuals identified in this document were in fact members of the
5 Yugoslav Army?
6 A. From a formal legal aspect, they were in fact members of the
8 MR. HARMON: I have no further questions at this point,
9 Your Honour. I have questions tomorrow but I'm about to change topics.
10 This would be a convenient time.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then we will take a break. And before we do so
12 let me just say to you, sir, that we are not done with you yet. Please
13 come back --
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm told we are still in private session.
16 May the Chamber please move into open session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 You probably do know this, sir, but it is just my duty to remind
21 that you that you are under oath. You have not finished testifying. You
22 may not talk to anybody about the case until you have finished your
23 testimony. We'll come back tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning in the same
24 court. So we will adjourn for now for the day.
25 Court adjourned.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
3 April, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.