1 Monday, 8 June, 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. Madam Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Could we have appearances
12 for the day. Starting with the Prosecution into.
13 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon Your Honours. Good afternoon
14 everyone. Mark Harmon, Bronagh McKenna, and Carmela Javier for the
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
17 And for the Defence.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
19 afternoon to everyone taking part in this trial. Mr. Perisic will be
20 represented by Milos Androvic, Tina Drolec, Daniela Tasic, and by your
21 leave, we have two new members Annie Tai and Dana Glassel and of course,
22 Mr. Gregor Guy-Smith as co-counsel, and myself.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
24 Good afternoon, sir, and welcome back. The break has been too
25 long, I ask that you make the declaration once again before you proceed
1 with your testimony. Will the usher please help.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: MIODRAG STARCEVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, you may be seated.
7 Mr. Harmon, please get the witness's name on the record.
8 Examination by Mr. Harmon: [Continued]
9 Q. Good afternoon, sir. One again welcome back to The Hague.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. For the record, could you statement your name?
12 A. Miodrag Starcevic.
13 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, we are going to be going in and out of
14 the private session because of the nature of the documents I'll being to
15 be showing Mr. Starcevic. If we could now go into private session.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session
17 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: If I could, first of all, have on the monitor
21 Prosecution Exhibit 1895.
22 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a document that you've seen before. In
23 fact, we've spent some time with it in your previous evidence. You
24 recall that we went through, and you assisted us with identifying and
25 defining what various elements of this document meant. For example, on
1 page -- the page that's in front of you, you defined the term "appointed"
2 as per peacetime establishment. Then you took us through and defined a
3 number of other elements assigned and appointed per peacetime
4 establishment, transferred, and temporarily assigned.
5 When I was looking back through this document, I found a portion
6 that we had not addressed, and so if we could turn to page 11 of the
7 English and page 10 of the B/C/S, I'm going to ask you, Mr. Starcevic, to
8 assist us one more time with this document.
9 Mr. Starcevic, you will see in about the middle of the page with
10 the letter B, you'll see the phrase:
11 "Transferred and appointed as per peacetime establishment."
12 Could you assist us in interpreting what that phrase means in
13 respect of this order?
14 A. To be transferred implies that the person to whom this order
15 applies will go from one garrison to another. In other words, from one
16 garrison, and this is probably stated in the statement of reason, this
17 person is transferred to another garrison; but at the same time by virtue
18 of this order, this person is being appointed to a new post in the new
19 garrison that he is being transferred to.
20 Q. So could we focus on number 16 who is the first named person
21 under this transfer and appointment item. It's Cedomir Bulat. Could you
22 just walk us through what happened to Mr. Bulat and what he was ordered
23 to do in this respect: What his previous assignment was, where he was
24 transferred, and where his appointment was?
25 A. Mr. Bulat is apparently transferred from the Sarajevo garrison to
1 the Belgrade garrison as the commander of the 40th Personnel Centre --
2 no, as the commander of the 21st corps of the 40th Personnel Centre. He
3 discharged the usual tasks that such a commander would be doing.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 MR. HARMON: We can go back to public session.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm a bit at a loss. I heard transferred from
7 Sarajevo, I don't see Sarajevo written anywhere. I do see 40th Personnel
8 Centre which I would have imagined was in the Krajina.
9 MR. HARMON: I can assist, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please.
11 MR. HARMON: If you go to the bottom of the page, last two words
12 visible in the English.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Previous post, thank you, sorry. Thank
14 you, sir, that helps.
15 May the Chamber please move into open session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
19 Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: Yes, thank you.
21 Q. When you testified last, Mr. Starcevic, we had a very interesting
22 discussion, and you made a distinction between different types of orders.
23 One order, "naredba," which you define as in a quote, I'm referring to
24 page 5462 of the transcript lines 14 to 16, you defined it as a general
25 regulation or a specific regulation that defines the responsibilities of
1 and duties and rights of individuals." And then you defined
2 "naredjenje," at page 5462, lines 23 to 25, as:
3 "... means issuing an operational command. So a 'naredjenje'
4 command is a provision or a document that is part of the chain of
6 Now, what I would like to do, Mr. Starcevic, is look at a series
7 of documents starting with Prosecution Exhibit 1777. If that could be on
8 the monitor, please. I'd like to go to page 81 of the B/C/S and the
9 English is found at 0611-7672.
10 Mr. Starcevic, while these documents are coming up on the screen
11 I know you've seen some but not all of these document, it's been awhile
12 since you were here, so please take your time and review the documents
13 and when you've had an opportunity to do so, I will did you some
14 questions about them.
15 So let me first of all, give you the opportunity to review this
16 document once again, and then I'll ask you some questions about it.
17 Have you had a chance to review it, Mr. Starcevic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. This is a document --
20 A. I'm not sure if I have seen it before, but I've seen it just now.
21 Q. All right. This is a document that is dated the 16th of
22 September, 1995. It emanates from Military Post 9000 in Knin. The
23 author of this document is the Commander Lieutenant-General Mile Mrksic.
24 Now, just for purposes of the record, Knin is located in which country?
25 A. Now, it is in the Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. What I'd like to do on this document, because we have an
2 interesting illustration, in the first line below the order number and
3 the location Banja Luka, the word and the term "naredba" is used and then
4 you see that Mr. Starcevic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then underneath that term is the other term that we discussed
7 earlier, "naredjenje." So can you just comment on this document.
8 There's two terms, two separate terms that are used. The first is in
9 that first line that says, "With the objective of the carrying out the
10 order of the Chief of General Staff of the VJ, I hereby," and then order.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this is not a very
13 precise question by asking the witness to comment on a document which
14 leads the witness to guess. The witness provided his definitions of
15 "naredba" and "naredjenje," whereas now the Prosecution is asking him to
16 comment this very document. I don't know what else he can provide other
17 than guess-work. If his definitions are there, then Mr. Harmon should be
18 more accurate in asking questions. If he is asking the witness to tell
19 them what was underlying and what was the thinking of the persons issuing
20 these orders is inappropriate, and I think that this is the line of
21 question that Mr. Harmon is pursuing at the moment.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: How do you know he's going to guess, sir.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Quite simply he has been asked to
24 give us a comment and to explain why we have these two terms, "naredba"
25 and "naredjenje." The witness is asked to give an expert comment based
1 on his expertise and experience. That means that he should, by that, be
2 asked to analyse the document where we know that the witness hasn't been
3 in the army since 1994.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you use the word expert now in your response to
5 me? Expert opinion?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, can we please in one word say exactly
8 what the basis of your objection is. You can't now say he is going to
9 guess and then you say we are asking for expert opinion. What is the
10 basis of your objection, and I want one word?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The way in which the question is
12 posed requires speculation because the request is for comment regarding
13 the form and not the content.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't know where you get that the comment is
15 going to be on form and not content. I think this objection must be
17 Can you proceed, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
19 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you've discussed the differences between these two
20 types of orders. You have an order in front of you, Prosecution Exhibit
21 177. It uses the two different terms. Can you comment on the use of the
22 two different terms in this document, please.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think, sorry, I think now your question is
24 different. I thought you wanted him to comments on the word that you now
25 mentioned in this document.
1 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not on the use of the two different words.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. Can you comment on the use of the word "naredba" in the first
5 paragraph of this document?
6 A. I don't know what possible comment one can make on this. Judging
7 by the language of the document, it turns out that the "naredba" that
8 this letter refers to is a basis for issuing this "naredjenje."
9 Q. So in this first paragraph, Mr. Starcevic, was there an order
10 issued by the Chief of the VJ General Staff?
11 A. According to this document, yes, there's a reference made to his
13 Q. And based on that order of the Chief of General Staff, what type
14 of an order did Mile Mrksic issue?
15 A. What Mr. Mrksic signed is an operational command "naredjenje,"
16 that is to carry out a task that has been specified in the chief's order
17 or "naredba."
18 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much. I'm done with this document,
19 Your Honour. If I could turn to Prosecution Exhibit 1925, please.
20 Q. Now, let's, first of all, look at this document. Let me be
21 clear, Mr. Starcevic, do you recall having seen this document before
22 coming into court today? And if not, if you need time to review it, just
23 let me know.
24 A. I really don't remember having seen this document.
25 Q. Let's go through this document then, we'll go through it slowly.
1 If we could start at the top, we could see, first of all, this document
2 is dated the 24th of March, 1995. And it emanates from the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia cabinet of the Chief of General Staff of the
4 Yugoslav Army. And if we could turn to the last page in each of these
5 documents, we will see who is the author of this document.
6 Do you see who the author of this document is, Mr. Starcevic?
7 A. Yes, Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army,
8 Lieutenant-General Momcilo Perisic.
9 MR. HARMON: Could we return to the first page of each of these
11 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, we can see in this document that in the
12 caption below the date it says:
13 "Order for the formation of a coordinating staff for assistance
14 to the 40th Personnel Centre."
15 And we can see in the Serbian language version of that, it uses
16 the term "naredjenje." Now, if we go to the bottom of the English there
17 is the word order. If we look at the corresponding word in the Serbian
18 version it says "naredjenje." And is this document, Mr. Starcevic, a
20 A. Yes, I think that this is a "naredjenje," a command.
21 Q. And the command that was issued, we can see in Roman numeral I is
22 to form a coordinating staff comprised of specific individuals. You see
23 that in the text?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. If we take, for example, number 2, there's a -- we'll stay with
1 this page then. If we go to number 2 we can see one of the individuals
2 is a retired major-general from the association of veterans. If we go to
3 number 3, we can see this person is from the VJ General Staff logistics
4 sector. If we could focus on 7 and 8, we can see that both of those
5 individuals are -- number 7 is a member of the VJ General Staff personnel
6 administration 40th Personnel Centre department of personnel affairs; and
7 number 8 is communications colonel of the Main Staff of the 40th
8 Personnel Centre.
9 Now, in respect of this command, is this a proper exercise by
10 General Perisic of command over members who are in the 40th Personnel
11 Centre of the Yugoslav Army?
12 A. Formally looking at it, you could conclude that. However, what
13 is confusing is the fact that there is a person here who is not actually
14 a member of the army. He is retired. So it's hard for anybody to be
15 able to command him. Also the fact that is creating a little more
16 confusion is that this is evidently being formed not as a permanent
17 organisational unit but as some sort of temporary force or composition
18 which can be seen from the fact that none of those that have
19 General Perisic as their superior is changing their own regular
20 establishment duties, but are doing their work in the coordination HQ on
21 top of their regular duties.
22 Q. So insofar as items number 7 and 8, members of the 40th Personnel
23 Centre, would that be a proper exercise of command over those
24 individuals? Putting aside for just the moment item number 2 who is
25 Mr. Bajic -- retired General Bajic.
1 A. Yes, I think that you could make that conclusion.
2 Q. So I take it your reservation only relates to a retired general
3 and whether the Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army could issue a
4 command to a retired person? Is that your reservation, if I understood
5 it correctly?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] A small intervention on the
10 transcript page 10, line 17. The witness said Perisic [In English] Not
11 changing their regular establishment.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I was just about to raise that with you too,
13 Mr. Harmon. That as I understand the witness, that's not the only
14 reservation, the reservation also is that, one, how does this become an
15 order if it is ordered to a person who is retired who cannot be ordered.
16 Number one. Number two, number two, how does it become an order to
17 members of the -- active members of the army when they are not being
18 relieved of their previous responsibilities. They are being required to
19 carry on this while they are also still required to maintain their
20 previous responsibilities. Number three, that this order appears to be
21 of a -- the commission rather, appears to be of a temporary nature and
22 not a permanent order.
23 MR. HARMON: Okay. I can address those, and I'll ask questions
24 of the witness.
25 I think in respect, first of all, Your Honours, in respect of the
1 order, the command given to a retired person, I think Mr. Starcevic has
2 made that clear. He says that's dubious nature of whether it can be
3 given or can't be given is something that he has reservation on.
4 Q. Let me ask some additional questions to you, Mr. Starcevic. When
5 a commanding officer -- strike that.
6 When an officer is in a particular position performing specific
7 tasks, can a superior officer, in addition to those specific tasks the
8 officer is performing, command him to do something else, some additional
10 A. Yes, he can. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my first answer.
11 The fact that their basic duties are not being changed, the duties that
12 that they were appointed to, but that they are being entrusted with tasks
13 in the coordination staff can, in fact, lead to the conclusion that the
14 coordination staff is not a newly formed unit, but a kind of temporary
15 body that is being formed because of some particular needs, to assist, as
16 one can see in the preamble, to help the 40th Personnel Centre. Still,
17 they remain on their own -- on their primary duties and provide help when
18 that is essential, provide help to this coordination staff on top of
19 their regular duties.
20 MR. HARMON: Okay. Does that resolve the Court's concern.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: It was resolved a long time ago. All I was saying
22 the one you mentioned was not the only basis on which the witness was
23 saying -- basing his argument.
24 MR. HARMON: All right. Thank you, sir.
25 Can we go into private session.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
2 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
5 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Could we have 65 ter 9471 on the monitor, please.
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I know you have not had an opportunity to see this
8 document before we came into court, so I will, first of all, orient you
9 through this a bit and then I will give you an opportunity to take a look
10 at this document.
11 On the first page we can see that this document emanates from
12 Slobodan Peric, who is a colonel. He is commander of the 18th SVK Corps.
13 The date of the document is 20 June, 1995, and the document is being
14 submitted to the chief of the VJ General Staff.
15 If we turn to the last page of the document, we can see who
16 signed this. And you see a name at the end of this document,
17 Mr. Starcevic?
18 A. Yes, Colonel Slobodan Peric.
19 MR. HARMON: If we could turn back to the first page then.
20 Q. Again, Mr. Starcevic, I want to go to the first paragraph that is
21 above small letter (a). It says:
22 "Based on your oral order, I am submitting to you the list of
23 officers who participated and those who did not participate in combat
24 operations of the 18th Corps from 1 to 2 May, 1995, in the territory of
25 Western Slavonia."
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If you take a look at the term "order" in this example, it is
3 using the word "naredjenje" you see that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So this, the type of an order that Colonel Peric received was a
6 command; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, judging by what it says in the introduction.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. HARMON: Then, Your Honour, if this item could be given an
10 exhibit number.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted into evidence. May it please be
12 given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2412.
14 MR. HARMON: And if it could be under seal, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Under seal, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Under seal.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you. If we could return to public session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
22 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecution Exhibit 1827 on the
24 monitor, please.
25 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a document -- I'll give you some time to
1 look at it. I believe you may have seen this before you came into
2 testify; is that correct?
3 A. I think so, yes, but I cannot be sure. A lot of time has passed
4 since then, but I think so, yes.
5 Q. I agree, a lot of time has passed, so I want to give you the
6 opportunity to look at this. This is a document, sir, that is dated the
7 11th of April, 1994. It comes from the General Staff of the
8 Army of Yugoslavia, and it is directed to the Main Staff of the Army of
9 Srpska. Can we go to the bottom to see who is the author of this
11 Can you tell us who is the author of this document,
12 Mr. Starcevic?
13 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Momcilo Perisic.
14 Q. Okay, if we can go back --
15 A. Lieutenant-general.
16 Q. Okay. Now, this is a warning, from what we can see in the
17 document. Can you assist us in what is the meaning of a warning?
18 A. It doesn't have the legal significance of a warning. It's a
19 colloquial act or document which doesn't have a legal form or legal
20 binding effect. It can be understood also as advice or a proposal or a
21 recommendation. And there is no formal legal warning in the form of a
23 Q. Can I correct your attention to the second item in the warning.
24 It says:
25 "Maintain decisive defence of all axes and regions, focussing on
1 the Posavina corridor."
2 Do you know where the Posavina corridor is, Mr. Starcevic?
3 A. Yes. Yes, I know where that corridor is in the Posavina.
4 Q. Can you locate that for us, or can you assist us where that is?
5 A. It's the section of the road between -- well, between the towns
6 of Banja Luka and Bijeljina. It would be best to say more closely
7 between Brcko and Bijeljina. It's practically the only link between two
8 parts of Republika Srpska, the only road, the only transport link between
9 two parts of Republika Srpska, the western part and the eastern part, and
10 then on to link with the Republic of Serbia.
11 It is located in the northern area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, right
12 next to the river Sava.
13 Q. Mr. Starcevic, have you heard of the six strategic objectives of
14 the Bosnian Serb people?
15 A. No, not officially.
16 Q. Have you heard of it unofficially?
17 A. About some of them, yes, but that is something that falls under
18 being informed in general and monitoring or following the situation and
19 finally out of my own personal views about what was going on.
20 Q. And based on the information that you collected, Mr. Starcevic,
21 was the creation and maintenance of the corridor linking Banja Luka and
22 Bijeljina one of the objectives, one of the strategic objectives of the
23 Bosnian Serb people?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Harmon now is
1 leading the witness. He could have asked him what does he know what the
2 strategic goals are, but now he has, in this manner, suggested the
3 answer. And then I think he continues to suggest the follow-up questions
4 that relate to this document, so as a whole, this way of questioning is
5 leading the witness.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
7 MR. HARMON: I tried not to, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am afraid you did, sir.
9 MR. HARMON: I failed.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You failed dismally.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Let me ask you -- Mr. Starcevic, you need some water?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is there water for the witness? Just check and
14 see, please. Thank you, sir.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Can you comment then, Mr. Starcevic, on what relationship, if
17 any, the Posavina corridor had to strategic objectives, if you know?
18 A. Of course again I'm placed in the position of voicing my own
19 position on that, but I have no problem in doing that. I believe that it
20 was inevitable to maintain the corridor. It was simply requisite for
21 keeping the connection between two parts of Republika Srpska; otherwise
22 without the corridor, the two parts would have been cut off from one
23 another and have had no link with each other.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. HARMON: I'm finished with this document, Your Honour.
1 Could we go into private session.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we remove it and go into private
3 session. Sir, you said the word "warn" has no legal consequences. What
4 would be the consequences if the warning had not been heeded? Could the
5 issuer of this warning take any measures against those who disobeyed it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't believe that any legal
7 measures could have been taken should someone fail to adhere to the
8 warning, but in view of the fact that a warning is in a way a question of
9 good services or an advice, perhaps there could be some influence on the
10 quality of the relationship between the person who is issuing the warning
11 and -- or the side that is issuing the warning and the side that does not
12 adhere to the warning.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 May the document be removed and may the Chamber move into open
15 session. That's what you asked for, sir?
16 MR. HARMON: I'd like to go into private session.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You want private session. I beg your pardon. May
18 the Chamber please move into private session.
19 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
22 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecution Exhibit 766 on the monitor,
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, the document that is in front of you are minutes
2 from the 45th Session of the Supreme Defence Council that was held on the
3 5th of October, 1995. It identifies in that document the participants in
4 that. And I'd like to direct your attention and the Court's and the
5 Defence attention to item number 3, which is found on the next page.
6 First of all, familiarise yourself with that again, if you would,
7 Mr. Starcevic.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You see from item 3 that the text discusses the termination of
10 professional military service of four generals who were members of the
11 40th Personnel Centre. It identifies them as Mile Mrksic, Novakovic,
12 Celeketic, and Bjelanovic. It says that these people had, in accordance
13 with the Law on the Yugoslav Army, Article 107, paragraph 2, returned to
14 the Yugoslav Army after the fall of the Republika Srpska Krajina.
15 Now, I'm going to ask you some questions about other elements in
16 this particular paragraph, but if we could very briefly, I want to focus
17 your attention on what the meaning of Article 107, paragraph 2, means in
18 this paragraph. First of all, I would like to go back to Article 107,
19 and you can assist us. Can I quickly go to Prosecution Exhibit197, and
20 we can focus on Article 107 in that. I'm particularly interested this
21 page 25 of the English and page 9 of the B/C/S.
22 Now, Mr. Starcevic, maybe you can help us out on this. The
23 minutes of this SDC session says, and I quote, it identifies the four
24 generals and it says:
25 "Who had in accordance with the law on Yugoslav Army, Article
1 107, paragraph 2, returned to the Yugoslav Army after the fall of the
3 Can you direct us to which portion of Article 107 this text
4 refers to? So Article 107 is in front of you, and the text of the SDC,
5 I'll reread it, it says that these four generals had:
6 "In accordance with the Law on the Yugoslav Army, Article 107,
7 paragraph 2, returned to the Yugoslav Army after the fall of the RSK."
8 Which portion of the Article 107 is being referred to in
9 particular SDC minute? The reason I ask you is -- go ahead,
10 Mr. Starcevic.
11 A. I think that the interpretation is wrong. They didn't return
12 pursuant to Article 107. Simply it is being noted that they had returned
13 to the Army of Yugoslavia. Article 107 is used for the grounds of
14 termination of duty, not those who return pursuant to Article 107, but
15 their service will be terminated pursuant to Article 107, paragraph 2.
16 Q. Well, I thank you very much for that clarification, it wasn't
17 clear to me from the text I had in front of me.
18 MR. HARMON: Can we go back then to Prosecution Exhibit 766 in
19 item 3 that we were looking at just a minute ago.
20 Q. Okay. Now, let's take a look at -- let me take a look at then --
21 if Article 107, paragraph 2, is the basis for their termination, Article
22 107, paragraph 2, deals with people who have served 30 years in the
23 service; correct? Let me just get 107 in front of me again.
24 Paragraph -- Article 107, paragraph 2. Paragraph 2 that I have
25 in front of me, Mr. Starcevic, I'd ask you to confirm this:
1 "Military service of a professional officer or a non-commissioned
2 officer shall be terminated when he has acquired at least 30 pensionable
3 years of service if the needs of the service so require." That's the
4 basis then that the SDC terminate these individuals; correct?
5 A. I'm not quite sure whether this is a good translation or maybe
6 you have misspoken. It is either when they have 30 years of service, or
7 if it is necessary, and that is to say he will remain in the service
8 after those 30 years if the service needs/requires so. So this is the
9 basis to which item 3 is referring to.
10 Q. Okay. Now, when a person is terminated on that basis,
11 Mr. Starcevic, administratively, what are the procedural rights of the
12 person being terminated?
13 A. His procedural right is to have an interview with officer in
14 charge. In this particular case this is the Chief of Staff, who informed
15 these officers about the decision already taken by the Supreme Defence
16 Council. He probably also explains the reasons to them for such a
17 decision, although that is not a necessity and binding, and this is
18 followed by preparing the papers for service termination.
19 Q. And would a person who is being terminated on the basis of
20 Article 107, paragraph 2, be entitled to full rights and benefits up to
21 the actual day when that person leaves the service?
22 A. Yes. They retain all the rights and benefits up to the moment of
23 handing over the duty. The handover of duty is an official procedure
24 which means that this person signs that he has handed over his duty as of
25 that date, and that date is then counted as the date of termination of
2 Q. Now, if we take a look at item 3, I just want to point out some
3 additional features to it. We looked at the date of these minutes which
4 is October 15th, 1995, and we can see in the first paragraph that the
5 Supreme Defence Council decided to pass an enactment which retroactively
6 retired these four generals. In other words, they were to be retired as
7 of the 31st of December, 1994. You see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Furthermore, in the second paragraph, that the General Perisic
10 was tasked with conducting an interview of those four generals in order
11 to inform them of the decision of the Supreme Defence Council, and to
12 inform them of their duty to place themselves at the disposal of the 30th
13 Personnel Centre following their termination from military service in the
14 Yugoslav Army. You see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. HARMON: I'd like to take a look now at a series of
17 documents, if we could. We can return to public session, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: Can we have Prosecution Exhibit 1910 on the record,
25 Q. Take a look at that for just a minute, Mr. Starcevic.
1 A. I see this, yes.
2 Q. We can see that this document is an Official Note. The author of
3 this Official Note is General Perisic, and the date at the bottom
4 left-hand side is the 6th of October, 1995, one day following the 45th
5 Session of the SDC, and this is an Official Note relating to an interview
6 with Major-General Milan Celeketic. And it indicates that there was an
7 interview, and it indicates that General Celeketic agreed to the
8 termination of military service on the 31st of December, 1994, pursuant
9 to Article 107, paragraph 2, of the Law on the Yugoslav Army, and he
10 accepted to be sent to the VRS.
11 MR. HARMON: Could we turn to the next exhibit in order, which is
12 Prosecution Exhibit 1908.
13 Q. Okay. Tell me when you've had a chance to review this,
14 Mr. Starcevic.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Let's -- this is -- this is a decree of the president of the FRY,
17 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and it's dated the 22nd of December,
18 1994. It relates to the termination of professional military service for
19 major -- I mean, Milan Celeketic, who was on duty at the 40th Personnel
20 Centre of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslav.
21 MR. HARMON: Could we go to the bottom of the document to see
22 whose name appears on this document.
23 Q. You see a name who is the author of this document?
24 A. Yes. President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
25 Zoran Lilic.
1 MR. HARMON: Can we go back to the first page of this document.
2 Q. And what is the basis for the termination of General Celeketic,
3 according to this document?
4 A. I think that we have to make a distinction between the base and
5 the reason. The base is Article 107, paragraph 2, and the reason was
6 that because the officer in charge made an assessment and decided that
7 his service should be terminated because that is the requirement of the
8 service, and that was the discretionary right of the person -- of the
9 decision-maker, who in this particular instance is the president of the
11 Q. Now, this document bears the date of December 22nd, 1994. The
12 decision of the SDC, as we saw earlier, was in 1995; correct? The
13 minutes of the 45th Session was the 5th of October, 1995. My question to
14 you, Mr. Starcevic, is there a provision in the FRY law that permits the
15 backdating of presidential decrees?
16 A. No, there is no such provision. It would be illusionary if
17 something like that existed.
18 Q. In your many years in the military service, have you ever seen
19 decree, an official decree that has been backdated?
20 A. Well, I can't remember. I'm not sure. It was possible, but I
21 really don't remember.
22 MR. HARMON: I am finished with that document. Can we turn to
23 Prosecution Exhibit 1909, please.
24 Q. For the record, this is a document dated the 30th of December,
25 1994, from Military Post 1790. And it is a decision --
1 MR. HARMON: Could we go to the last page of the English and the
2 Serbian version of this document to see who the author of this document
4 Q. Sir, who is the author of this document?
5 A. The author of this document is Major-General Dusan Zoric. If I
6 remember correctly, he was the chief of the personnel administration.
7 Q. The personnel administration of which army?
8 A. If we go back to the page number 1, we can see exactly without
9 assuming. Yes, the Army of Yugoslavia or the Yugoslav Army.
10 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you, in terms of the legal basis for
11 issuing this document, if you look at the first paragraph of the
12 document, it refers to Article 153 of the Law on the Yugoslav Army. You
13 see that reference?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you recall what 153 of the Law on the Army is, or should we
16 together take a look at Article 153 just to complete the record on this?
17 MR. HARMON: Can I have Prosecution Exhibit 197, please, and if
18 we could refer to Article 153.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see it.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. I'm just waiting for one minute. I'm just waiting for the
22 English version to appear on the screen. So in this case, Mr. Starcevic,
23 153 relates to the discharge being issued by a superior officer; correct?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Okay. This decision, therefore, what was the relationship,
1 therefore, based on this document of the author of this document,
2 Major-General Dusan Zoric to Major-General Celeketic?
3 A. It is difficult for me to say off the top of my head, but if my
4 memory serves me well, the document on discharge of the general is, as a
5 rule, issued by the head of the administration. This document is part of
6 the procedure that we discussed the termination of service. So it is
7 preceded by an order, then the person in charge has to hand over the
8 duty, and the discharge document is issued, which is, by its nature, a
9 declaratory document. It is just noted that his service has been
10 terminated based on a decision of the officer in charge, that all the
11 legal terms and requirements have been fulfilled, and that as of that
12 date, he ceases to be a professional serviceman.
13 I'm not sure, but I think that the order on powers and
14 responsibilities assigned at the time by the Chief of Staff and before
15 that the federal minister stipulates that in case of generals, these
16 documents shall be issued by the chief of the personnel department, or
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be a convenient time?
19 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, I was just going to ask you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. We'll take a break and come
21 back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: Could we please return on the monitor to Prosecution
1 Exhibit 1909, please.
2 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I want to direct your attention --
3 MR. HARMON: If we could scroll down on the English version on
4 the left. That's fine, thank you.
5 Q. We can see, Mr. Starcevic, I want to direct your attention to two
6 elements in this document. The first is the date, that this document was
7 issued by General Zoric, it's the 30th of December, 1994. And in the
8 text of the document under "statement of reasons," it said that this
9 order was delivered to General Celeketic on the 25th of December, 1994;
10 and on the 30th of December, 1994 General Celeketic filed a report that
11 on that particular day he had handed over his duties.
12 You have seen the date of the minutes of the 45th Session of the
13 SDC that gave rise to the retroactive retirement of General Celeketic.
14 Can you comments on the dates on those portions of the document I just
15 directed your attention to?
16 A. I simply don't know how to comment on it. If we take these dates
17 into consideration in the order on the termination of service and the
18 discharge from service as relevant ones, and the time when the
19 Supreme Defence Council met, Celeketic was no longer in the army;
20 therefore, I don't know if it's possible that these documents were really
21 issued on the dates that they bear, and then were subsequently not
22 executed or implemented, and I don't know for what reasons. Or it may be
23 that the case that they simply put in the dates afterwards, but I really
24 have no grounds for making such comments. This would require a very
25 focused investigation.
1 Q. Let me ask you this question, because I asked you earlier,
2 Mr. Starcevic, about the backdating of decrees. Is there anything in the
3 VJ law on the army or any other VJ laws that permit the backdating of
4 decisions issued by the Yugoslav Army?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this was asked and
7 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour, I asked Mr. Starcevic about the --
8 anything in the law that dealt with the backdating of decrees. I'm now
9 focussing on a decision of the VJ. My question is slightly different:
10 Is there anything in the VJ law that relates to the backdating of
11 decisions as opposed to decrees.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, do you understand what Mr. Harmon has
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I understand, and in that case, I
15 withdraw my objection.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Sir, you may answer the question.
19 A. Well, I know -- don't know of any such provision, and it would be
20 completely illogical for a law to contain such a provision because such
21 documents are related to specific individual rights. Now we are in the
22 area of philosophical and legal questions; therefore, it is impossible to
23 provide such stipulations in the law. The only exception is if you have
24 a declaratory document that describe the already-existing factual
25 situation and unnecessary in order to ensure that a certain legal
1 procedure is implemented. I don't know if you understand what I'm
3 For example, if somebody was killed somewhere and then his death
4 is found out only six months later, then in such instances, it is
5 permissible to issue a document saying that his service terminated on the
6 date of his death. But, of course, this does not effect any rights or
7 entitlements of his family up to the time when this fact was found out.
8 So I'm talking now here about a factual situation, not a legal situation.
9 Q. A retroactive retirement, in this circumstance, would affect
10 rights and entitlements of General Celeketic; correct?
11 A. Yes, certainly.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think this is a leading question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: I will rephrase the question then, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Starcevic, looking at P1909, what effect, if any, would a
17 retroactive decision to retire General Celeketic have on his rights and
18 his entitlements?
19 A. In my view, if it happened retroactively, Celeketic was receiving
20 a salary for the whole period as if he had been working, and he also
21 received all the benefits and fringe benefits as if he were working.
22 That means that he would be entitled to retain all these rights. No one
23 would be able to take away that from him because they retired him
24 retroactively. After all, during the whole procedure and in every stage
25 thereof, had a legal possibility to file for the protection of his rights
1 by lodging a complaint to the Supreme Court and instigating a proceedings
2 if he deemed that these documents were an infringement of his rights.
3 MR. HARMON: Could we take a look at Prosecution Exhibit 1918,
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask one or two questions before we do
7 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Based on the exception that you referred to,
9 Mr. Starcevic, of a declaratory order, if, indeed, Mr. Celeketic was
10 actually and factually retired in 1994, but the legal document that
11 relate to his retirement were only issued on the 5th of October, 1995,
12 would it not be possible for that situation to fall within that exception
13 that you mentioned just to declare that he is retired as of 1994?
14 Supposing he didn't work since 1994 December?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, maybe in some extreme
16 situation, but it is simply incredible. The only possibility would be
17 for him to have stopped working in 1994, that he didn't come to work at
18 all, that he was not doing his duty, that he was away from the garrison;
19 but if that was the case, he would be subject to disciplinary
20 responsibility. Each superior officer of his would then be obliged to
21 stop his pay. Therefore, I think, that in this specific case, it is
22 difficult to qualify this act or this document as a declaratory one.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in that case would it be logical or would it
24 be appropriate to say that he received the order on the 25th of December
25 when he received it much later, December 1994, when, in fact, the
1 documentation is being drafted in October 1995? Or would everything be
2 dated as of the time of documentation but would the fact of retroactivity
3 be mentioned?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, if we accept this as a
5 theoretical possibility that you have just described, but nevertheless,
6 it wouldn't be possible, and it musn't be put in the document that the
7 document was handed over to him on the 25th of December, 1994; rather
8 another document should be issued stipulating that there is such a
9 theoretical possibility.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon. You may proceed. You asked for
12 MR. HARMON: Prosecution Exhibit 1918, please.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. Let's just identify this document for the record. This is a
16 document, it is dated the 24th of May, 2003. It is a request for payment
17 of unpaid salaries, and it's addressed to the Military Post 1790 in
18 Belgrade. If we could go to the -- actually, you can see on the
19 right-hand side a name of an individual. Whose name appears at the
20 bottom of this document?
21 A. Celeketic.
22 Q. If we could go in the English to the previous page. In the
23 previous page, the first paragraph I want to direct your attention to,
24 General Celeketic says:
25 "As a retired active officer of the former JNA and the VJ, due to
1 the needs on the service and acting on your orders, I served in units of
2 the former JNA, the Army of Republika Srpska, and the Army of Serbian
3 Krajina in the Republic of Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1
4 April 1991, to 31 October 1995, when my professional military service was
5 ended by decree."
6 And then it talks about the FRY Presidency of 22 December, 1994?
7 Now, this in part, does it not, Mr. Starcevic, clarify the actual
8 term of service in the army that General Celeketic served?
9 A. Yes, I think that this actually creates even more confusion
10 because Celeketic, himself, asserts that he was in service until the 31st
11 of October, 1995, and refers to the decree of the Presidency dated the
12 22nd of December, 1994. Thus, in the introductory part before making his
13 request, he brings into question what we have discussed so far.
14 Q. Okay. Now, a further point, Mr. Starcevic. Taking the first
15 paragraph at its face value that General Celeketic served in active
16 service in the JNA, the VRS, and the SVK, up until 31 October, 1995,
17 would he be entitled to his, his pension benefits and other military
18 benefits, up through and including 31st October, 1995?
19 A. Yes, in principle. Yes, but I wasn't precise enough here maybe
20 because I cannot remember right now when the decision on termination of
21 service was adopted because theoretically there was the possibility that
22 his service be terminated pursuant to that decree. But perhaps he would
23 not step down in time because only once the document on termination is
24 adopted does his status of professional soldier end. A certain amount of
25 time can pass from the adoption of the document on the termination of
1 service until he is fully divested, but until that time, he continues to
2 carry out his duties; but, in any event, up to the 31st of October, 1995,
3 he does enjoy all the rights due to him on the basis of the work he is
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. HARMON: I've finished with this document, Your Honour.
7 Q. I just want to come back and clarify one element, Mr. Starcevic,
8 in your testimony in the last session. I just want to be perfectly clear
9 because I want to take you back to Article 107 just briefly. And I want
10 to just clarify one portion of the transcript that I received of your
11 answer. And I'm referring to page 20 of the previous session. It is at
12 lines 23 to 25.
13 Now, we were discussing, Mr. Starcevic, the meaning of
14 Article 107, paragraph 2, and I had read what is my translation, which
15 Mr. Starcevic, which reads that the military -- are you okay,
16 Mr. Starcevic?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Okay. Which reads:
19 "'The military service of a professional officer or a
20 non-commissioned officer shall be terminated when he has acquired at
21 least 30 pensionable years of service if the needs of the service so
23 Now, the answer that is recorded that you provided was as
25 "A. I'm not quite sure whether this is a good translation or
1 maybe you have misspoken. It is either when they have 30 years of
2 service," or if it is necessary.
3 Now, let me ask you this question to clarify that: Is it when
4 they have 30 years of service and if it is necessary, or is it 30 years
5 of service or if it is necessary?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that before the witness
8 answers, I think that it would be fair to let the witness see that
9 article and read it out before he gives his answer so that way he doesn't
10 have to interpret it. As far as I can remember, he spoke on the basis of
11 his recollection, so I think the adequate article should be placed in
12 front of him so that he can read it in the courtroom. I think that would
13 be the best explanation or the best option for the witness.
14 MR. HARMON: I have no problem with that. It's Prosecution
15 Exhibit 197, it's Article 107. I thought we had done that earlier.
16 Q. And my point --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I guess Mr. Lukic is just being assisting you to
18 make sure that our witness is precise.
19 MR. HARMON: All right.
20 Q. Mr. Starcevic, the word I'm interested in clarifying is whether
21 there is an alternative. If it is either 30 years of service or if it is
22 necessary. So it's the word "or" that I want to focus your attention on.
23 So if we have Article 107 in front of you, if you can look at paragraph
24 2, having looked at that, can you provide us with an answer?
25 A. Yes, I remember what was in dispute. I heard in translation that
1 you said when he has 30 years of service or a decision on that is made by
2 the authorised senior officer. This is what I intervened about, the
3 actual meaning of the article is, once he fulfills 30 years of service,
4 if a decision is made by the authorised senior officer. In any case, it
5 is necessary to meet both conditions, that he has at least 30 years of
6 service and that the authorised superior officer makes the decision that
7 this is something that is required by the service.
8 Q. That clarifies it. Thank you very much, Mr. Starcevic.
9 MR. HARMON: If we could go to Prosecution Exhibit 2203.
10 Q. I see in the Serbian language version, I see what this document
11 is. I don't see that in the English version yet, the corresponding page.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, I'm advised that there is no English
13 translation of the first page; therefore, we don't have it in English.
14 MR. HARMON: In that case, if we could rely on the witness to
15 read just the first page of the Serbian version then I'm going to direct
16 his attention to other elements in this particular section.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: How does it come that this was admitted that form?
18 MR. HARMON: I don't know, Your Honour. I don't have an answer
19 for you on that.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know why it was tendered in that form?
21 MR. HARMON: I'm torn between two.
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to remind you that
1 the status of this document is MFI, as far as I know. All of the
2 documents from this group are MFI marked documents.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: That would explain why it was admitted in that
4 form then, most probably.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. HARMON: Sorry, I've been listening and carrying on multiple
7 conversations, Your Honour. Let me just catch up with the dialogue.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The dialogue was that it is an MFI document and
9 the Registrar advises that it was part of a bundle that was tendered by
10 Mr. Randal. I suppose that's why it was MFI'd; therefore, it's still to
11 be checked, I would imagine.
12 MR. HARMON: Okay. Apparently, we do not have an English
13 translation of this first page.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine.
15 MR. HARMON: But may I just explore with the witness what this
16 says so it's clear on the record.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. Mr. Starcevic, can you identify what this first page says and
20 what the date is of this particular session?
21 A. This is the recording of the collegium of the chiefs of the
22 general -- of the Chief of General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia held
23 on the 6th of November, 1995, which is not authorised or corrected, as
24 far as I can see. Yes, it's not corrected. This is a tape recording of
25 the discussions.
1 Q. Okay. Now, I want to direct everyone's attention, and your
2 attention, Mr. Starcevic, to the English page 4 and 5 of this, starting
3 with page 4. And the B/C/S starting at page 44.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do so, Mr. Harmon, I just want -- now
5 that we don't have a translation of this first page, I just want to
6 understand what this document is all about. It is translated as a
7 collegium of the chiefs of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
8 Yugoslavia. Is this a collegium of the chief? Or it is a collegium of
9 the chiefs?
10 MR. HARMON: Let me ask the witness what his understanding of it
11 is, Your Honour.
12 Q. Can you assist us in that?
13 A. Yes, in the heading, it is a collegium of the chief of staff,
14 Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that in the Serbian also the
18 meaning of this word -- actually in this case, the plural and the
19 singular in the Serbian could be indicated, so in English it was
20 translated as the plural. But, actually, I don't think that is the
21 meaning of it, so perhaps the interpreters could pay attention to that.
22 The way it has been entered into the transcript right now, we are talking
23 about the plural chiefs, maybe you can ask the witness again whether he
24 meant the singular or the plural, I think perhaps it's the erroneous
25 interpretation of the word in Serbian which can, in this form, indicate
1 both the singular and the plural.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Over to you, Mr. Harmon.
3 MR. HARMON: If I refer to page 37. If I go to 37 of the
4 transcript, it's now moving up and down, I just need some assistance.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Click on the red button.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. HARMON: Page 36, I thought the witness had answered this in
8 the singular. He said at line 11, 10 and 11:
9 "This is a recording of the collegium of the chiefs," and then he
10 corrected himself, "of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
11 Yugoslavia." So I thought the record was clear from the answer of the
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought so, but I heard Mr. Lukic say the word
14 in B/C/S could be either plural or singular. And he was asking that the
15 witness be asked to specifically state whether he really intended to use
16 the singular or the plural.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Mr. Starcevic, perhaps you can assist us then. Did you intend to
19 use the plural form or the singular form?
20 A. I did look. I think that the problem is line 24 on page 36, and
21 I think that there is some confusion there in the interpretation of the
22 entire sentence. Perhaps I would like to help a little bit with my
23 modest knowledge of English.
24 Line 24 on page 36, unfortunately I'm not able to see it right
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Line 24, on my page 36, sir, is Mr. Harmon:
2 "Let me ask the witness, Your Honour." Let me see on the other
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to be totally of use,
5 without complicating, I think that the matter is simple. The way it's
6 entered into the transcript is something that bothers me. The witness
7 can just be asked whether he meant the singular or the plural, and I will
8 not have any problems with it.
9 I think page 37, line 1 again refers to chiefs of staff. Look,
10 in his answer, the interpretation into English on line 1, page 37, also
11 says chiefs of staff, and I really think that the witness did not mean to
12 say that. So perhaps it will be quite easy to clarify this.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you just put the question again to the
14 witness. He doesn't have to look at the transcript. Did he intend the
15 singular or the plural?
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, I asked him that earlier.
17 Q. But I will ask you again, Mr. Starcevic, did you intend the
18 singular form or the plural form?
19 A. Of course the singular because there are no chiefs of the General
20 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. There's only one Chief of the General
21 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. And on the title page, this is the
22 collegium of that one Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
25 MR. HARMON: Now, could I, in respect of that document, P2203,
1 could I have the English. And the English version I'm interested in is
2 0618-6912ET, starting with page 44 of the B/C/S. We are having some
3 difficulty getting this document up, Your Honour. It is English version,
4 page 4. If you go down, could you scroll up on the English version,
5 please. The other direction, please. Yes.
6 Q. What I'd like to direct your attention to, Mr. Starcevic, is the
7 bottom paragraph where it says, it's General Perisic speaking, and it
9 "Okay, here we have a dilemma ..." And when you get to the end of
10 that, it will carry over to the next page. And I'd like you to read that
11 portion of the --
12 MR. HARMON: Can we go back, I want to make sure the Judges have
13 an opportunity to see. Can we go back please, I need to let the Judges
14 take a look at this as well, and, Mr. Starcevic, I need you to take a
15 look at this.
16 Q. Mr. Starcevic, when you are finished looking at the B/C/S version
17 of this, it will carry over to the next page, and if you give me a signal
18 that you need to go to the next page, then I can direct the Registrar to
19 assist me.
20 A. Yes, but if we can enlarge it a little bit because I cannot see
21 it well enough to be able to read it.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I've read it a long time, but I just don't
23 understand what it says.
24 MR. HARMON: Okay, well we have to go to the next page then,
25 Your Honour. If we could go to the second page of the English, and when
1 Mr. Starcevic gives me the signal, if we could go to the second page of
2 the B/C/S, we can understand the full paragraph.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. So tell me when you finish, Mr. Starcevic, and I will ask you
6 some questions about this.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, this paragraph, the beginning of this comments by
9 General Perisic, he says that if someone is to blame the most beside
10 those four, I'm saying the ones which we have pensioned off, "he,"
11 referring to someone else, "is the most guilty one." If we carry on in
12 that paragraph in that discussion or in those comments by --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have a procedural problem here. We
15 wanted this document to be MFI'd because the Defence disputes the
16 authenticity of this document. The witness has read this document. Now
17 that Mr. Harmon is reading the document, it becomes a part of the
18 transcript, and we still dispute the authenticity of the document. So
19 now we object to the fact that a part of the document that we dispute is
20 being entered into the transcript. Mr. Harmon knows why we are objecting
21 to the authenticity of this document, and he can put certain facts to the
22 witness, but I'm not sure whether it's okay for certain parts of this
23 document to be read into the transcript.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, the only way I can ask precise
1 questions about this text is to quote the version I have in front of me.
2 If the document turns out not to be authentic, the Court can disregard
3 the questions I put to the witness and the answers he gives.
4 So I think that Mr. Lukic's concern can be taken care of by the
5 procedure that I've suggested.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you done?
7 MR. HARMON: I'm done.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have any response?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. In that event, then we'll expunge whatever
11 needs to be expunged, if the need should arise.
12 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Starcevic, in this text that we have -- that you have seen,
14 General Perisic says:
15 "And I wrote to the Supreme Defence Council that all four of them
16 should be prosecuted. 'Is it in your interest that they would be
17 prosecuted?'" And then there's brackets "he or they said yes," and "'is
18 it in your interest that that would not be made public?'" Another
20 "Yes. And now if we pension them off and then prosecute them,
21 there are different sanctions than if we do not pension them off and
22 prosecute them. And they said as it was necessary to calm things down
23 and not to make public, then they made a solemn decision to pension off
24 all four of them, and they pensioned them off."
25 So my first question, Mr. Starcevic, is: These persons were
1 members of the 40th Personnel Centre, which was a formation within the
2 Yugoslav Army. Did General Perisic have the authority to investigate, to
3 discipline, and to refer these persons for Prosecution?
4 A. This document, just by itself, doesn't allow me to make any
5 conclusions. You cannot quite clearly see here who these people are.
6 They are referred to as "they," so I can conclude who these four persons
7 could be, but I don't see what the connection would be between them and
8 the 40th Personnel Centre. However, General Perisic did not have the
9 authority to prosecute somebody or wave them from being prosecuted. He
10 could initiate disciplinary proceedings against them if he happened to be
11 their superior or spare them from that, but the right to exonerate them,
12 or the right to wave them from criminal prosecution is something that
13 only the president of the republic has as a right, not General Perisic.
14 I don't know whether this text refers to him or not. It doesn't
15 actually provide much room for any kind of precise conclusion.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, that text seems to be his speech in the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. And this text, Mr. Starcevic, refers to the four of them,
21 assuming, Mr. Starcevic, that the four of them refers to the four
22 generals who were retroactively retired and pensioned off, my question is
23 the same: Did General Perisic have the authority to initiate an
24 investigation, to discipline them and to refer them for prosecution?
25 A. If these are the four general, one of whom was Celeketic, and the
1 others were in the same position as he was and were members of this
2 personnel centre, General Perisic could have initiated a disciplinary
3 procedure against them. However, as for criminal prosecution, his only
4 power was to file a criminal report to the Prosecutor's Office in charge,
5 who would then decide whether there were grounds for prosecution or not.
6 But he definitely did not have an authority to file any form of bill of
7 indictment or charges or to take any decision that would -- that would
8 relieve them or release them of any criminal prosecution.
9 Q. I want to slightly change the question, Mr. Starcevic. Had these
10 four generals not been members of the 40th Personnel Centre, they had
11 just been generals serving in the SVK, but without being members of the
12 40th Personnel Centre, would General Perisic have had the ability to
13 discipline them or to sanction them or refer them for prosecution?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that with this question
16 Mr. Harmon has gone beyond the limit of your decision on questioning
17 Mr. Starcevic. What Mr. Starcevic can offer as his expert experience.
18 The framework of his questioning should be limited to what he knows
19 personally while he was in a certain position. The questions asked by
20 Mr. Harmon are formally of the same nature as those answered by him about
21 a month ago when he explained the law to us. We, on that occasion,
22 received quite clear answers what the law says about the authorities of
23 the Chief of Staff.
24 Mr. Harmon is now asking Mr. Starcevic to interpret something
25 which is based on facts and which goes beyond what the expertise that he
1 is capable of talking about. He is putting forward to him an assumption
2 based on a fact, and is seeking to elicit from him an expert opinion
3 which transgressed the limits of the framework set up for this witness.
4 Let us assume that these are the four generals, and then based on
5 that assumption, he wants to arrive at the conclusion to which he already
6 provided an answer when he explained a month ago what the authority of
7 the Chief of Staff or any other officer had in terms of disciplinary
8 measure. This is all he can say, and this pertains to the law, what he
9 explained earlier.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: I'm not sure what the objection is. Whether the
12 objection is the question that has been asked and answered before, or
13 whether the objection is that the question calls for an expert opinion.
14 If the question is that it calls for an expert opinion, the Court, in its
15 decision, permitted this witness, based on his experience, to give
16 opinions. And this question that I've asked this witness relates to,
17 one, the law on the army; and, two, whether or not General Perisic had
18 the competencies to discipline, refer for discipline, sanctions, or refer
19 for prosecution, persons who were not in the VJ. That was the question.
20 I think that this witness can answer this question.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what I thought the question was, but you
22 see the difficulty here is that objections some in pages and pages of
23 speeches, and I never know what the basis is. And I've tried to say can
24 we get the basis of an objection in one sentence. That would make it
25 easier for the Chamber to rule. I've heard several arguments. As you
1 say, is it because the question is asked and answered, is it because
2 we've been asking for expert opinion that goes beyond the scope of the
3 expert's expertise. I really don't know. But as I understand,
4 Mr. Lukic, I don't know whether you said that the witness is here to tell
5 us on the law. I guess, if that is what you are saying, then the
6 question becomes competent. Perhaps, it's based on facts, then it's
7 something else. And the legal question is, does the Chief of Staff of
8 the - how do you call it, you don't call it the Main Staff, you call it
9 the --
10 MR. HARMON: General Staff.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- General Staff of the VJ have the legal
12 authority to punish people who are not members of the VJ; is there a
13 legal provision that provides for that? That's the nub of this question.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that basically this witness
15 discussed this a month ago when he explained the law and the authority of
16 the Chief of Staff of the VJ, and I see this as a repetition. If you
17 want me a precise reference, I would ask for some time to look it up.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, that's the objection. Question asked
19 and answered.
20 MR. HARMON: I don't have a precise reference to that, but if
21 I --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic offers. Mr. Lukic, reference, please.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I withdraw my objection.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection withdrawn. You may proceed.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you may provide us with an answer?
2 A. If I understood correctly, the question was, and the question was
3 then repeated by the presiding judge, whether General Perisic had an
4 authority to discipline someone who was --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who was in the Spanish Army, a member of the
6 Spanish Army, not a member of the VJ.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, his authority pertains
8 solely to members of the VJ, Yugoslav Army.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Starcevic. Now, let me just focus on any
11 procedural differences in the law between somebody being prosecuted for
12 misdeeds or omissions and somebody being retroactively retired for -- for
13 reasons that they had served 30 years in the service and the needs of the
14 service required their termination from service. What procedural
15 differences would be available to persons in those situations?
16 A. It depends on the criminal offence for which a person is
17 prosecuted. Serious crimes require that this person be removed from
18 duty, but the final decision on his status in the service is pending the
19 completion of the criminal proceedings, that is to say, until this person
20 is found guilty or not guilty. If they are acquitted, all their rights
21 are going to be reinstated; but if they are sentenced to a prison of
22 about two years without the possibility of a parole, or for more than two
23 years, then the service will be terminated under the law.
24 If they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment less than two
25 years, they will serve this sentence in a special institution where the
1 convicted servicemen serve their sentences.
2 Q. What I'm interested in, and you touched upon one of the elements.
3 I'm talking about the procedural differences. So if somebody is accused
4 of a crime, they would be entitled to have a trial, correct, to see
5 whether the charges were founded or not founded?
6 A. Of course, of course.
7 Q. Would they be entitled to counsel under those circumstances?
8 A. Of course.
9 Q. Now, when a person is retired because they have served 30 years
10 in the service and the needs of the service require their termination,
11 would they be entitled to a trial?
12 A. I already said in the previous discussion that they have the
13 right to institute administrative proceedings before the competent court.
14 At the time that was the supreme military court. They could file for a
15 lawsuit, that is to say, file a charge to the supreme military court, and
16 to request it to deliberate and decide on the legality of the termination
17 of service.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. HARMON: Now, I want to stay with this document, Prosecution
20 Exhibit 2203, and I would like to turn to another portion of this. If we
21 could turn to English page 7, and B/C/S page 46 and 47.
22 Q. I want to direct your attention to a certain paragraph.
23 MR. HARMON: The Court -- I'm interested in directing
24 Your Honours attention to the paragraph in the middle which is
25 General Perisic, and it says: "We can conclude the following four were
1 done..." and it goes on.
2 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I believe that starts at the last paragraph at the
3 bottom of the page, and if you would let me know when we need to turn the
4 page, we can do so.
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. HARMON: If we can turn in the Serbian version to the next
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. In this text, General Perisic says in the third line down in the
11 English, he says:
12 "For those that are going for disciplinary liability, for them
13 disciplinary and criminal, to finish with the investigation. That means
14 for all those who have any elements criminal and disciplinary liability,
15 to finish that."
16 So can you comment on that particular passage in respect of
17 General Perisic's authority to make such a -- take such a position?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm again objecting to this line of
20 questioning, asking the witness to comment on the text. I would kindly
21 ask Mr. Harmon to put a very specific question to this witness. A while
22 ago, Your Honours, when you criticized me of being too long in my
23 objection, if Mr. Harmon, for example, wants to ask the witness whether
24 Mr. Perisic can issue a disciplinary measure against the member of some
25 other army, why doesn't he ask him straightforwardly without reading
1 first the document which actually doesn't serve as a source for this
2 document. Now, I am afraid that once again if you want a comment from
3 the witness, you are asking him to guess, unless Mr. Harmon can put a
4 very specific question.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me be clear, Mr. Lukic, that I really do
6 understand what you want. I thought earlier than the time when you say I
7 criticized you, your objection was you don't want Mr. Harmon to quote
8 from the document because the document is still MFI'd, and because if he
9 does do that, then he is putting on the record that which is still to be
10 decided upon.
11 Now, I thought this question that he is asking is specific
12 without quoting the document. Now, but it looks as if you are combining
13 two bases for objection because now you are saying he must not ask the
14 witness to comment. Earlier you are saying he must not quote the
15 document. Could you just refine your objection. Let's understand where
16 the problem is.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I didn't want this to be connected
18 with my previous objection. I completely understood that, and I
19 completely understood your decision how these portions of the transcript
20 are going to be treated. However, when Mr. Harmon asked do you have any
21 comment on this specific part of the transcript read out to the witness
22 is simply the question that cannot be understood. Now the witness is
23 asked to pick up certain words and interpret them. I'm simply asking
24 Mr. Harmon to put a specific question, and I made my comment with
25 relation to my previous objection. It wouldn't have happened at all had
1 Mr. Harmon asked this question about Mr. Perisic's capability of
2 punishing any member of any other army without resorting to any document
3 because it has nothing to do with any document.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, are you able to respond.
5 MR. HARMON: I'll try to reframe the question. Perhaps I will
6 have greater success.
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, the passage that you've read, General Perisic
8 refers to continuing and finishing with disciplinary and criminal
9 investigations. Is there anything in that reference that you've read
10 that is inconsistent with General Perisic's authorities as the chief of
11 the VJ General Staff?
12 A. Yes. It is not consistent in terms of the tone that he is using
13 when he is speaking about criminal investigations. I already mentioned
14 that within the scope of criminal responsibility, he can only initiate
15 criminal responsibility by filing a criminal report to the Prosecutor's
16 Office in charge. However, bearing in mind the manner that was applied
17 at the time, and that was the time when I was in the army as well, I
18 understand this language precisely in this way as a sort of launching
19 initiative to proceed in that direction.
20 Q. Now, in this text as well, there is a reference to misdeeds, and
21 it refers to people who have committed misdeeds, soldiers particularly.
22 And the text that is before me in English says:
23 "... if yes, then negative grades should be given, and the
24 procedure to be expelled from the army should be started, and for those
25 under investigation when time would come for criminal responsibility,
1 they should be prosecuted, as disciplinary..." and it goes on.
2 Let me just get your views. If misdeeds of a soldier are of a
3 criminal or disciplinary nature, what is the system in the VJ to expel
4 somebody from the army under those circumstances?
5 A. If we are talking about the assessment procedure, each
6 professional soldier who receives two successive negative grades must
7 leave the army. Therefore, professional soldiers are being assessed at
8 certain specific intervals.
9 If one gets two successive negative grades, end up in the
10 termination of the service. I already explained how the services
11 terminated in the case of criminal responsibility and that it is
12 dependent on the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.
13 Speaking of disciplinary proceedings, there are two punishments
14 that can end with the termination. One of the punishments is to take
15 away the rank from this officer, which automatically entails the
16 termination of service. And the other punishment is the loss of the
17 status of a professional soldier.
18 Q. Based on your experience in the army, was there a preference as
19 to the manner of proceeding? In other words, you've described to us
20 evaluations and negative evaluations, and in some cases if you have two,
21 you can be expelled from the army. There are also, as we know,
22 disciplinary and criminal proceedings.
23 My question to you, Mr. Starcevic: Was there, in your
24 experience, a preferred manner of proceeding?
25 A. At least while I was in the army there were no preferences in
1 terms of the applicable procedures. It was simply dealt with on a
2 case-by-case basis. I have to say though, that there was certainly legal
3 protection provided for all persons who faced the loss of employment. So
4 all these cases took place to a certain extent and in line with the
5 specific circumstances.
6 I cannot say that either of these were favoured because these
7 procedures were actually meant in order to provide the protection for the
8 service, and they were applied only when it was really necessary and
9 required, when there were really such circumstances that warranted their
10 application. I'm talking about the period while I was in the service,
11 and I presume that all the honourable officers applied these procedures
12 in the same way afterwards, because this is, in a way, rather unexpected
13 termination of employment which suddenly deprives a person of the means
14 for supporting himself and his family and all the rest of it.
15 Q. Let me turn to a different, a final passage in this collegium.
16 MR. HARMON: If we could go to page 7 of the English and pages 46
17 and 47 of the B/C/S. I'm sorry, I've given you the wrong reference. In
18 English, page 10, and page 49 of the B/C/S, so excuse me for that. And
19 I'm directing Your Honours' attention to the passage at the top,
20 General Perisic, it starts with:
21 "What else, and only lawyers..."
22 Q. And, Mr. Starcevic, do you see that portion?
23 A. Yes, I can.
24 Q. I would like to just direct you to the first paragraph, the
25 paragraph that ends with the words "... the entire situation." So it's
1 the one paragraph I'm directing Your Honours' attention to, and
2 Mr. Starcevic, your attention to as well.
3 A. I've read it, yes.
4 Q. Let me, first of all, Mr. Starcevic, direct your attention to the
5 passage that relates to: "People who remain in the army for whom there
6 is certain criminal responsibility," you see that portion? It should be
7 about the middle of the text, and it goes on to say, "... grade them
8 with an extraordinary grade, a negative one --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- "naturally, to create conditions to expel them from the army."
11 Again, Mr. Starcevic, when there is certain criminal
12 responsibility of somebody serving in the army not possible but certain
13 criminal responsibility, in your experience, what is the manner in which
14 to proceed under those circumstances?
15 A. To be honest, I have no experience under such circumstances,
16 because there a certain degree of criminal responsibility. It is the
17 duty of the Prosecutor to check that. If there isn't, then it cannot be
18 substituted by a negative grade.
19 Q. Now, in this case, in this text, we also see that General Perisic
20 indicates that he is going to send out an order which he will later sign,
21 and he has given an oral order in the course of his remarks in this
22 paragraph; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. HARMON: We break at 5.15, Your Honour, before I come to my
25 next document.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed we do. We'll take a break and come back at
2 quarter to 6.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if --
8 MR. HARMON: First of all, could we go into private session at
9 this point, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
11 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in private session.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: If I could have 65 ter 9473 on the monitor.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, this is a document I know you have not seen
17 before, so if you would just take your time and read through this
19 MR. HARMON: If could you scroll down on the English version a
20 bit, so we could get the text in. Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Starcevic, if we could, first of all, go to the end of this
22 document, we could see who the author of this document is. You see a
23 name and a signature at the bottom of this document?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Whose name appears at the bottom of this document?
1 A. The Chief of the General Staff, Colonel-General Momcilo Perisic,
2 which does not automatically mean that he is also the author.
3 Q. All right. Let me just ask you then, in terms --
4 MR. HARMON: If we can go back to the first page of the English
5 on this, if we could go to the top of the Serbian version on this.
6 Q. This is a document that is dated the 9th of November, 1995, and
7 in the first paragraph we can see that the purpose of this document is to
8 establish the responsibility and solve the status in service of
9 professional soldiers of the VJ who served in the 40th Personnel Centre.
10 And this document, Mr. Starcevic, you can see is an order. And
11 if you turn to the Serbian language version, this is an order of the type
12 which we discussed earlier, "naredjujem," so this is a command; is that
14 A. Yes, yes, that is correct.
15 Q. Now, if we turn to the second paragraph, the second item in this
16 document, it deals with officers for whom it has been established that
17 reasonable doubt exists that they had committed a violation of a
18 discipline or a crime. Disciplinary investigation will be initiated
19 through authorised officers, and it will be completed by the 20th of
20 November, 1995. In respect of this text, Mr. Starcevic, is this
21 consistent with the competencies and authorities of General Perisic as
22 chief of the VJ General Staff?
23 A. Yes, because he is the formal superior of them all and has the
24 right of supervision of how his subordinate units execute their
25 assignments. So this is a command to them to do something that they are
1 supposed to do anyway. It's a kind of reminder or ultimately the command
2 for this to be done right away within a certain dead-line.
3 Q. Okay. And paragraph 3 deals with the regulation of these
4 persons' status in the army, whether they should remain, or whether they
5 should be terminated. Again, Mr. Starcevic, does that fall within the
6 discretion of General Perisic as chief of the VJ General Staff?
7 A. In some cases, he does have the discretionary right pursuant to
8 the already-mentioned Article 107 of the law, paragraph 2, to make a
9 decision on the termination of service. But this paragraph doesn't talk
10 about that, but actually requests that his assistants as part of their
11 jurisdiction evaluate the results of disciplinary investigations and in
12 accordance with their authority resolve the status in service pursuant to
13 the law.
14 Q. And, in fact, it say that they will make proposals to
15 General Perisic; correct?
16 A. Yes, they would make proposals for some officers. As for others,
17 they don't have to submit proposals, but can resolve the matter
18 themselves because again, it seems to me, I did mention it a few times
19 already, the order to the senior officers to resolve their status in
20 service. And some officers do have the authority to regulate certain
21 relations for specific soldiers of a certain rank and position or duty.
22 In those cases, they could resolve that, but in cases when this
23 exceeds their authority, they would submit the appropriate requests to
24 the personnel administration. This is how I understand that.
25 Q. All right.
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, could this be given an Exhibit number,
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is admitted. May it please be given an exhibit
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2413.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. HARMON: Thank you. And that should be under seal.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Under seal.
9 MR. HARMON: Could I have 65 ter 9474 on the monitor, please.
10 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you have not seen this document before coming into
11 court, so, please, take your time to read it, and let me know if you get
12 to the bottom, and when we get to the bottom, we need to turn the page on
13 this document. Yours is only a one-page document.
14 MR. HARMON: In respect of Your Honours, if you just let me know
15 when we can turn to the next page. If we can go to the next page in the
16 English, please.
17 Q. Mr. Starcevic, while the Judges are looking at the text, let me
18 just identify this document for the record. This is a document from the
19 General Staff of the Yugoslav Army office of the Chief of General Staff,
20 it is dated the 11th of December, 1995. And can you tell us whose name
21 appears it at the bottom of this document?
22 A. The document was signed by the Deputy Chief of the General Staff,
23 Colonel-General Blagoje Kovacevic.
24 Q. Okay. This is a decision --
25 MR. HARMON: First of all, let's go back to the first page in the
1 English, if we could.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Starcevic, this is a decision to initiate a disciplinary
3 investigation against Colonel Laza Babic, who was a commander in the
4 18th Corps during the period of 22 March, 1994, through 2 May, 1995, who
5 was involved in criminal activities in the territory of the Republic of
6 Serbian Krajina. We saw earlier from a previous document that the
7 18th Corps was a unit of the SVK. What I want to do with this particular
8 document is ask you to comment, if you will, first of all, on
9 Article 180, paragraph 1, of the Law on the Army, which appears to be one
10 of the bases for this particular decision.
11 Do you recall that, what that law is?
12 MR. HARMON: If we could take a look then at Article 180 very
13 quickly, Prosecution Exhibit 197.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to look at it because
15 I am not too fond of recalling legal documents.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. I understand, Mr. Starcevic, and we can give you some assistance
18 on that.
19 MR. HARMON: If we could have that article in the English
20 language as well.
21 Q. This is the basis for initiating a disciplinary investigation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. And am I -- can you direct us to that particular portion
24 of this article that gives the Colonel-General Kovacevic the authority to
25 initiate such an investigation against an officer serving in the SVK --
1 who served in the SVK?
2 A. All I can tell you is that the ground for Kovacevic to initiate
3 disciplinary proceedings, I would be able to tell you that, but this is
4 the Army of the Serbian Republic of Krajina, or Article 180, or according
5 to our law, Article 181, paragraph 1, item 2.
6 Q. Okay. Now, let me is ask you, since this makes a reference to
7 somebody who was serving in the 18th Corps, I think you've told us
8 earlier, Mr. Starcevic, that there could be no disciplinary actions
9 directed by the VJ against somebody in a separate army, would it be fair
10 to assume, based on the content of this article, that Mr. Babic, Colonel
11 Babic, was a VJ officer who was serving in the RSK at the time?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness is being led, and at the
14 same time, is being asked for a conclusion that would constitute
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: Well, I was trying to get directly to the point and
18 put this document in the context of a previous answer that the witness
19 had given and that we had debated earlier, that there was no authority to
20 take disciplinary action against somebody from a different army. I'm
21 asking him to draw a conclusion from the text of this -- in this document
22 itself. While it may constitute some degree of speculation, I think
23 that's quite a strong inference that can be drawn from the procedure.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] From this question, Mr. Harmon is
25 leaning towards it being a person from a different army. He is putting a
1 question that does not arise from the document, and this witness can only
2 talk about what is in the document because he is not testifying about
3 this Babic on the basis of his personal knowledge.
4 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'll withdraw the question. I would
5 ask that this document be admitted into evidence and given an exhibit
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am now objecting to the admission
8 of this document because I think that Mr. Harmon did not meet the
9 guide-lines of Article 27. He asked the witness to read something that
10 is stated in the law and what is written in the document, but I think it
11 is not a fact if the witness describes something that is stated in the
12 document. I don't think that that constitutes a sufficient link between
13 the witness and the document.
14 MR. HARMON: May I, Your Honour, then just defer a decision on
15 the admission of this document, and I'd like to go to another document,
16 if I could. And I will make a link between the two documents, and then I
17 will seek the admission of --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON: Let me just go to my next exhibit. If I could have
20 on the monitor, please, 65 ter 94 -- let me just see which one this is.
21 9476, please. I am sorry, 9474.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The one we've just had.
23 MR. HARMON: Let me get the right one. It is 94 -- bear with me
24 for just a minute. It's 97 -- I am sorry. 9474 and it's page 5, so it's
25 the same exhibit but page 5 of the English and page 4 of the B/C/S.
1 Q. Again take a look at this document, Mr. Starcevic, if you could
2 enlarge that for Mr. Starcevic, I'm sure he would appreciate it.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, the Registrar was chatting to me, is there
4 anything that I ought to be doing?
5 MR. HARMON: No, I just asked that the matter be placed on the
6 monitor for us, and I asked Mr. Starcevic to read it.
7 Q. Did you have a chance to read it, Mr. Starcevic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. First of all, let's identify whose name appears at the bottom
10 right-hand side of the Serbian version of the document.
11 A. Deputy chief of the VJ General Staff for land forces,
12 Lieutenant-General Nedeljko Copic.
13 Q. This document, sir, is document dated 22nd of December, 1995 and
14 it relates to the disciplinary investigation of Colonel Babic, the
15 individual whose name we saw on the previous document, on the previous
16 decision, to initiate an investigation. And I want to direct your
17 attention to the first paragraph, it says:
18 "On the basis of the order by the Chief of General Staff of the
19 Yugoslav Army ..." it gives a number, "... a disciplinary investigation
20 has been initiated against Colonel Babic Laza..." again focusing on the
21 word, the type of order in this case, it is a command, is it not? It
22 uses the word "naredjenje," in the first line.
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Now, again is the command issued by General Perisic to implement
25 a disciplinary investigation against Colonel Babic something that he has
1 the authority to do?
2 A. Of course he did have the authority, and judging by the first
3 sentence, that is what he did, the command of the Chief of the General
4 Staff of the Yugoslav Army; but what it means is just the initiation of
5 disciplinary investigations. It's not a command of the launching of
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, then I would ask that both these
9 documents, this document and the previous document, be given an exhibit
10 number and be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I abide by the same objection. We
13 did not get anything from the witness in respect of these two documents
14 except the witness reading from them. Mr. Harmon asked the witness to
15 read something from the document, and the witness did that, and I think,
16 thereby, Mr. Harmon did not meet the requirements of Article 27 of the
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have any answer, Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON: I do, Your Honour. The witness has examined both
20 documents. The question that was put to the witness on the basis of both
21 documents was whether or not General Perisic had the order to issue a
22 command for a disciplinary investigation against Colonel Babic. And he
23 has examined both of these documents, and on the basis of what he has
24 seen in both of these documents, he has said yes, he does.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, okay. Yes, answer.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] What was asked is what was actually
2 read from the document. I don't see anything more than what was read
3 from the document. That is my objection. I think that no sufficient
4 link is established between the witness. And the question whether
5 General Perisic had the authority to issue this was the question which
6 was put in relation to the first document which was admitted. These are
7 document that we did not object to. As far as these two documents are
8 concerned, Mr. Harmon did not put any other questions to the witness
9 other than what actually was written in the document, and what the
10 witness read out.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm being advised by the Registrar that this
12 document is part of 40 other documents. I'm not sure whether these are
13 documents which have been previously tendered through another witness.
14 MR. HARMON: No, they have not.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: They have not.
16 MR. HARMON: I believe they were -- just one minute, if I may.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, these are new documents. They have not
19 been tendered through another witness.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then let me go to my next question. My
21 next point is, I'm not sure whether Mr. Starcevic is here as a fact
22 witness, trying to testify to documents that he has had dealings with
23 before, or has he been talking about documents that he confirms comport
24 with the legal position at the time when he was there, as he understood
1 MR. HARMON: I can answer your question.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. HARMON: A number of these documents, before Mr. Starcevic
5 first gave his evidence in this court, he had an opportunity to review.
6 These two documents, he has not had an opportunity to review. They were
7 recently acquired. And they bear on issues that are directly relevant to
8 these proceedings. That's why I have given Mr. Starcevic the opportunity
9 to examine them, carefully examine them, and then try to -- and then get
10 from him his opinion as to whether or not there's a legal basis for, one,
11 the proceeding against Colonel Babic, the order issued by
12 General Perisic.
13 In this case, the decision, the first document, identifies
14 Colonel Babic as somebody who was serving in the SVK. Also, it
15 identifies crimes, potential crimes that is occurred on the territory of
16 a different state. Now, the authority that the basis for starting that
17 disciplinary investigation was a decision by General Perisic, and the
18 question that I put to him under the light of these documents is: Did
19 General Perisic have the authority and was it within his competence to
20 order such an investigation?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that, Mr. Harmon.
22 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: In trying to understand the objection, that's
24 precisely what I'm trying to establish, because ever since Mr. Starcevic
25 started testifying, even the previous time, I haven't heard any evidence
1 of linking him specifically to a document by virtue of the requirements
2 of guide-line 27. He has been telling us -- commenting on documents
3 based on his knowledge of the law within the VJ. And I'm trying to
4 understand where this objection emanates from now because we have
5 admitted a number of documents through this witness after he had
6 commented on them, even though he had not worked with them while he was
7 in the army. He has only reviewed them when he came here, as you told
8 us, and those that he hasn't had an opportunity to review before he came
9 to court, you have given him an opportunity to review here.
10 MR. HARMON: That's right.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, I can't see how reviewing a document in court
12 disqualifies him from establishing the link, if reviewing it out of court
13 does establish it.
14 MR. HARMON: I agree, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm trying to clearly understand the nub of the
16 objection, Mr. Lukic, because Mr. Starcevic has never tendered a document
17 that he says, Yes, I have a link with this document. I wrote it, or I
18 authored, I gave instructions that it be written, you know. And that is
19 the link that is required in guide-line 27.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We all understand that Mr. Starcevic
21 is a specific witness, and we know how you ordered him to be questioned
22 and what answers he should give. The way I understand your guide-line is
23 that there should be some connection between the witness and a document.
24 I don't understand it as something that the witness has to be familiar
25 with the facts. He just needs to understand it.
1 Many of the documents discussed with the witness are already in
2 evidence, so we had no objection to that. However, in these last two
3 instances, we did not get anything more from Mr. Starcevic than what was
4 written there. I don't think that the very fact that he only read what
5 is written therein is sufficient to establish a connection. He is not a
6 fact witness, and you said very precisely in your ruling that he can
7 provide an opinion about things that he derives from experience. This is
8 how I understood your decision when you determined these specific aspects
9 of his testimonies.
10 Now, in these two documents, I couldn't see anything beyond what
11 he was reading. He was not -- and he is not a summary witness as he has
12 been made into. And I think this is inconsistent with your ruling.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you saying that his comments this afternoon
14 are not in the nature of an opinion on the documents? You have just
16 "He is not a fact witness, and you said very precisely in your
17 ruling that he can provide an opinion about things that he derives from
19 Are you saying his answers on these two documents are not
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] These two documents go beyond his
22 experience. The question posed by Mr. Harmon were simply reduced to his
23 reading the document and getting himself familiar with what was written
24 there. The questions posed by Mr. Harmon were just to confirm what was
25 written there and to read what was written there. That was actually one
1 step forward or beyond.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's go back to the question.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I see a problem on page 62.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your objection started at page 59, line 12.
5 Mr. Harmon said:
6 "Q. Okay, now let me ask you this, since this makes a reference
7 to somebody who was serving in the 18th Corps, I think you've told us
8 earlier, Mr. Starcevic, that there could be no disciplinary actions
9 directed by the VJ against somebody in a separate army?"
10 Now, that's how he understood the law of the VJ at the time.
11 "Would it be fair to assume based on the contents of this article
12 that Mr. Babic, Colonel Babic was a VJ officer who was serving in the RSK
13 at the time?"
14 That's the question that was put, and that is, in my prima facie
15 view, a perfectly legitimate question to ask this person who has come to
16 testify based on his experience to give us guide-lines, guidance on what
17 could or could not happen in the army. But I didn't want to intervene.
18 I've looked at Mr. Harmon to answer you before I ruled on it, but based
19 on the purpose for this witness specifically.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree with you that this question
21 could be put to this witness, but I don't think that the question and the
22 answer have not established a connection between the witness and the
23 document. And this is a legitimate question. We have no connection
24 established between the document and the witness.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then you and I are not even meeting. The
1 connection that gets established is that -- lies therein, that he is able
2 to opine on the document because he is here to give opinion based on his
3 experience within the army. He doesn't have to have any other link with
4 that -- he is coming here to interpret certain things to us according to
5 the laws of the army. And those documents are documents which he may not
6 necessarily have authored or which he may never have had any connection
7 with before.
8 He is something of a hybrid between 27 and something else. He is
9 not here as a witness falling under 27, guide-line 27.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's not what I read in the ruling.
11 I'm viewing him as a fact witness, and I agree that all these questions
12 could be put by construing guide-line 27 in terms of introduction and
13 admission into evidence, that was my question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then you are shifting from what you said a couple
15 of minutes ago. What you said a couple minutes ago was precisely the
16 opposite of that. You said, and I read it to you, you said:
17 "He is not a fact witness and you said very precisely in your
18 ruling that he can provide an opinion about things that he derives were
19 experience," which is different from what you are saying now. Now you
20 are saying he is a fact witness and must establish a link in
21 guide-line 27.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It is either erroneously translated
23 or I misspoke. I know that according to your ruling, he is a fact
24 witness, but he is entitled to speak about the things from his
25 experience. That is how I interpret your decision. Based on his
1 experience, he is entitled to proffer opinions. This is how I read your
2 ruling. Now, since he has a specific status, and I really don't want to
3 complicate this issue any further. I agree and accept that he can be
4 asked these questions --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've complicated it already. Mr. Lukic, any
6 person, any witness who is given permission to give opinion evidence will
7 necessarily not be bound to give an opinion on things that he has a prior
8 connection with. Some of them he may, some of them he may not,
9 necessarily. All that needs to happen is, you give him a set of facts,
10 and you say these are the facts, and what is your opinion on the facts.
11 Whether he knows though facts previously or not, provided those facts are
12 within his area of expertise, whether the expertise derived from
13 experience or academic qualification or otherwise.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I fully understand you, Your Honour.
15 My position and my view is that regardless of his status in the
16 courtroom, there has been no connection established between him and the
17 document, not even on the basis of his opinion. Guide-line 27 didn't
18 envisage --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think, in the interest of time, we are going to
20 admitted it, mark it for identification; and I think you will later have
21 to bring in that decision and argue. Let's see the basis on which the
22 witness was called in for, because today you have given me two different
23 bases for that decision.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I accept that.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was 9474, marked for identification.
1 MR. HARMON: There are two separate documents, Your Honour. If I
2 could just make the record clear, it's 9474 for both, it's 65 ter; but
3 one document has an ET number that will help the Registrar. It is ET --
4 I'm not sure that will help the Registrar. Let me do this, let me defer
5 with my colleague here.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. HARMON: We can identify those through the assistance of
8 Ms. Javier. I just want to admitted the two separate documents, the
9 documents that I used in the course of the examination.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is the one here by this Deputy Chief of General
11 Staff, and the one prior.
12 MR. HARMON: Correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Madam Registrar, are you able to remember
14 which one, the one previous to this one is.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the first document of 65 ter 9474
16 was page 1 of the English and page 1 of the B/C/S version --
17 MR. HARMON: Correct.
18 THE REGISTRAR: -- which will be Exhibit P2414, marked for
19 identification. And the second document, which is page 5 of the English
20 version of 65 ter 9474 and page 4 of the B/C/S version of the same 65 ter
21 number will be Exhibit P2415, marked for identification.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And there is no seal for
24 MR. HARMON: These are both under seal, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Both under seal. Both under seal,
1 Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 You may proceed, Mr. Harmon.
5 MR. HARMON: Yes. If I could have on the monitor please, 65 ter
6 9476, please.
7 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you have not seen this document either before
8 coming into court. Just -- we will identify it, and we will take a look
9 at the person who signs this document, and then, Mr. Starcevic, we will
10 focus on the handwriting that is in the upper right-hand corner of the
11 document in the Serbian language.
12 But let's start just orienting ourselves in this document. First
13 of all, if you would read the document, and if we could have the English.
14 Yes, the first page at least, and then shortly in a few minutes turn to
15 the second page in the English. If we could turn to the next page in the
16 English, please.
17 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a document dated the 26th of September,
18 1995, and it emanates from the 11th Corps command. And you can identify
19 the name of the person at the bottom left, who is that, sir?
20 A. Corps commander, Major-General Dusan Loncar.
21 Q. Can you read the stamp at the lower right-hand side of the
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we see its equivalent in the English.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Received by the General Staff of
1 the Yugoslav Army, office of the Chief of the General Staff, number
2 17-267, 27th September, 1995.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. So this document is directed -- if we go back to the first page
5 in the English. To whom is this document directed, Mr. Starcevic?
6 A. Lieutenant-General Momcilo Perisic, personally. So personally to
7 Lieutenant-General Momcilo Perisic.
8 Q. This is a document, we can see in the second line, it's a report,
9 reporting the unauthorized absence of certain officers from the
10 11th Corps; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If we could go -- all of these officers were serving in the SVK,
13 according to the content of this document; correct?
14 A. I'm trying to locate where it's written in the document.
15 Q. Sir, if you take a look in each of the numbered paragraphs
16 referring to specific individuals, it make references within each of
17 those paragraphs.
18 A. Yes, yes. I can see it.
19 Q. Now, this deals with a -- at the end, we can see the purpose of
20 this document. It's a proposal to end the military service of those
21 individuals, and it relies on Article 107, item 2 of the Law on the Army;
22 is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 MR. HARMON: Now, if we could scroll down in the Serbian version
25 of this document, I want to pay attention and like you to pay attention,
1 Mr. Starcevic, to the handwriting in the upper right-hand corner of the
2 document. If we can go to the English version, page 1, where there is a
3 translation of that handwriting.
4 Q. You see that portion that has some initials at the bottom of that
5 text, that handwritten text?
6 A. Yes, I see there are initials.
7 Q. All right. What are those initials?
8 A. It seems to me like MP.
9 Q. Now, assuming MP is Momcilo Perisic, the note directs something
10 to be done. What is it that MP is directing in this circumstance?
11 A. I think that a this is addressed to Matovic [phoen] instructing
12 him to investigate this and file criminal reports for the military court,
13 provided they do not report to the unit by the 1st of October.
14 Q. Sir, does this request or this note to investigate and file
15 criminal reports against the individuals that are listed in here, is that
16 consistent with the competence and authority of General Perisic?
17 A. Yes, it is consistent to investigate the matter and file criminal
18 reports, but I don't think that this is correct. This is a mistake
19 because such reports are not to be sent to the disciplinary court, but
20 rather to the criminal court.
21 Q. Okay. And other than that one reservation, does this -- is this
22 consistent with General Perisic's competencies as the Chief of
23 General Staff to order an investigation and file criminal charges for the
24 conduct that's described in this document?
25 A. Yes, it is. He is expected to launch an initiative if the
1 criminal charges are in question or to instruct disciplinary action to be
2 taken before the disciplinary court.
3 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would ask that that document be
4 admitted and be given an exhibit number.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The same objection as before.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then we'll mark it for identification.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2416, marked
9 for identification.
10 MR. HARMON: Under seal, please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Under seal.
12 MR. HARMON: Now, Mr. Starcevic, I'd like to turn to three
13 documents in order. Actually, I need to check with the Registrar. If
14 you could, first of all, I'd like to show 9549.01, but to show that
15 doesn't identified the person who is referred to in the document, so I
16 need to go to 9549 first, and then next -- sorry. Reminded it's 65 ter
17 9549, first of all. Is that page -- is that message that is on that
18 screen "no page currently available" is -- there we go. I'm sorry. Can
19 we go back to the first 9549 before we go to 01.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 I apologise for the delay. The first page of this document is
22 Prosecution Exhibit 2376. So this is only for purposes of introducing
23 the next document.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is already an exhibit, this one?
25 MR. HARMON: This is already an exhibit.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: 2376. Just the first page?
2 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Starcevic, do you have any medication?
5 THE WITNESS: I'm okay. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we'll pass on these exhibits -- I am
8 sorry, Your Honour, I'll pass on these for a moment. There appears to be
9 some problem with the numbering of these exhibits. And I'll call up
10 something else and we'll resolve this possibly tomorrow morning.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
12 MR. HARMON: Could I have 65 ter 9439.02 on the monitor, please.
13 Q. This is a document, Mr. Starcevic. I am afraid it's a lengthy
14 document. I know you have seen this before. And I'm going to have to
15 direct you to certain pages in this document in order to possibly refresh
16 your recollection. But this document is one of a set of documents that
17 deal with the disciplining of a soldier, Captain Zoran Antic. I know you
18 won't remember the details of this document, but let me orient you
19 through this document, briefly. In the upper left-hand corner,
20 Mr. Starcevic, this is a document from the military disciplinary court
21 that is attached to the air force and anti-aircraft defence command. It
22 is dated the 23rd of September, 1995.
23 MR. HARMON: And what I'd like to do is go to the last page of
24 the document. If we could have the stamp on the right-hand side enlarged
25 again for Mr. Starcevic.
1 Q. Are you able, Mr. Starcevic, to read the text that encircles this
3 A. [Interpretation] Yes. That is the air force and anti-aircraft
4 defence command.
5 Q. Is it the anti-air force and anti-aircraft command of the VJ or
6 the VRS, or are you able to tell?
7 A. I would need to look at the top of the first page, but I think
8 that this is the command -- just one moment. Could I please look at the
9 first page. It's very difficult to decide because there is no reference
10 to either one.
11 MR. HARMON: Can we go back to the last page.
12 Q. And maybe I can direct your attention to two features of this
13 document that may assist you. Let me just show you, first of all, if we
14 could enlarge again the stamp on this document. Now, this stamp appears
15 to have a two-headed eagle in it --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. GUY-SMITH: To help because I took up sometime later, I think
18 it's enough to show the witness the legal remedy, and then he will give a
19 clear answer.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just see the legal remedy now.
21 MR. HARMON: That's where I'm going next, as a matter of fact.
22 Q. Does that assist you, the legal remedy being the last text in the
23 document, does that assist you, Mr. Starcevic?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we see the English version.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Judging by the fact that an
1 appeal against this judgement may be lodged within -- to the -- submitted
2 to the higher court, this is then the Army of Republika Srpska, I think.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I take it that the legal remedy continues on
4 the next page in the English version?
5 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I take it that the English version does have
7 the translation of the other stamp that I now see on the bottom left-hand
8 corner of the B/C/S?
9 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. HARMON: All right.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
13 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
14 Q. So these are -- this is a military disciplinary court in the VRS;
15 is that correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Now, this document, if we turn to page 2 of the English.
18 MR. HARMON: Can we turn to page 2 of the English. And could we
19 turn to the equivalent page in the Serbian language.
20 Q. These people were found guilty of what, including Mr. Antic
21 there, two accused, what were Mr. Antic and the other individual found
22 guilty of in this case?
23 A. They left their unit without permission.
24 Q. And their unit, according to this document, was in Banja Luka; is
25 that correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And for the sake of clarity, Banja Luka is in the
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. That is correct.
5 MR. HARMON: Okay. We need to go to the next page in English, I
6 believe, to see the sentence that is meted out.
7 Q. Do you see the sentence in B/C/S, in the Serbian language for
8 Mr. Antic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What sentence did he receive in the VRS court proceedings?
11 A. They both were terminated from active duty service; Mr. Antic and
13 MR. HARMON: All right. Now, could this be given an exhibit
14 number, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's admitted into evidence. May it please be
16 given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2417.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: And that is not under seal, Mr. Harmon.
19 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir, it is.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Under seal.
21 MR. HARMON: If we could turn to a related document, which is
22 65 ter 9439.04.
23 Q. Sir, if you just review that document.
24 A. Yes, I see it. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Starcevic, can you identify whose name and what position is
1 recorded at the bottom of this document?
2 A. I don't see the post, but only the rank. This is for the 30th
3 Personnel Centre, Colonel Gojko Mijic, signed.
4 Q. Thank you, sir. This document is a recommendation to end the
5 professional military service of Mr. Antic, who we've seen in the
6 previous document; is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And the basis for the recommendation from Colonel Mijic is
9 because Mr. Antic willfully abandoned his post for five consecutive days;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Could you please bring back the --
12 Q. It's paragraph 3 in the document.
13 A. Yes, yes. This seems to be the ground for termination pursuant
14 to this proposal, but what is stated in paragraph 3 is not -- does not
15 correspond to the statement of reasons.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's my problem too.
17 MR. HARMON: I was now going to go to the statement of reasons,
18 and I've some questions for you in that.
19 Q. The first question I have is -- relates to the first sentence.
20 It says:
21 "The military disciplinary court attached to the command of the
22 30th Personnel Centre VJ issued," and it gives a reference number and a
23 date, and that is the same reference number and date that was recorded on
24 the previous document. My question -- my question to you is, can you
25 assist us in understanding what a --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- VRS military disciplinary court -- how that conforms to the
3 term attached to the 30th Personnel Centre of the VJ? Can you explain
4 that to us?
5 A. It's difficult to explain if I don't have the documents
6 establishing those courts. I can just read what is written there, simply
7 there is something confusing here because if we have seen the sentences
8 before, that was the court of the air force and the PVO. But now in the
9 statement of reasons, there is reference to a different court. I don't
10 know if it's the same court, but Mr. Mijic made a mistake. I really am
11 unable to tell from this document. It is also not clear to me what
12 this -- these grounds are, the dual ones especially, not this
13 Article 107, paragraph 1, item 2, because that would not be the grounds
14 that would correspond to that kind of sentence or judgement. There's
15 something confusing here.
16 Q. Let me see if I can at least clarify something on this. Under
17 the statement of reasons, one of the reasons they give is that there is a
18 decision of a court, and it identifies specifically a judgement number
19 I-Dis 37/95 of 23 September 1995. Now, the previous document was a VRS
20 military disciplinary court decision that bears that same reference
21 number and same date. So my first question is, can you explain to us on
22 what basis a VJ soldier is being recommended for termination in the VJ on
23 the basis of a VRS military disciplinary court decision?
24 A. I cannot explain it in legal terms. This is something that is
25 very difficult to base or to find legal grounds for, because if the -- he
1 was a soldier of the Army of Yugoslavia, he could not have been tried by
2 the disciplinary court, and if that disciplinary tried him, that cannot
3 serve as the grounds for a termination of his service in the Army of
4 Yugoslavia. So legally this is a little difficult to reconcile.
5 Q. So to clarify, just the answer you gave me, Mr. Starcevic, you
7 "If he was a soldier of the Army of Yugoslavia, he could not have
8 been tried by the disciplinary court." Do you mean by the disciplinary
9 court of the VRS?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Right. And then finally, we'll conclude with this document
12 because it's time for us to adjourn in a minute, the basis for his -- the
13 recommendation to end his service state that he willfully abandoned his
14 post and has not returned, and it gives as a basis, Article 107,
15 paragraph 1, item 2, of the Law on the Army. Can you give us some
16 assistance with what that article was? We've seen Article 107 --
17 A. Yes, I would just like to know if that is the same article that
18 we looked at, Article 107. I don't know the exact date though.
19 MR. HARMON: Let me just, if we can finally call that up very
20 quickly just to confirm what this is.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
22 MR. HARMON: It is Prosecution Exhibit 197, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 107, and this is again
24 confusing, because the proposal is drafted in such a way that there
25 should -- that service should be terminated because he was absent from
1 duty for five days. Those are the grounds it refers to. But in the
2 statement of reasons, at the same time, it is stated that pursuant to the
3 decision by the military disciplinary court, he was sentenced to
4 termination from duties in the army. I think it is difficult to conclude
5 what exactly is proper here, and the closest to my way of thinking is
6 that Mr. Mijic did not recognise the judgement or the sentence by the
7 military disciplinary court. And he decided to take Article 107, but
8 instead of item 2, paragraph 2, he decided to refer to paragraph 4. But
9 it's very difficult to tell what is what here. And it adds to the
11 MR. HARMON: Okay.
12 Q. I see -- I am sorry, but you have referred to article -- sorry,
13 you referred in your testimony just a minute ago to paragraph 4, and the
14 text that I have in front of me says Article 107, paragraph 1, item 2, on
15 the Law on the Army. So I'm a bit confused when you say paragraph 4.
16 A. I'm confused because Article 107, paragraph 1, item 2, is
17 arbitrarily leaving service or the post. Paragraph 107, item 4 is the
18 penalty of termination of service. In the statement of reasons, you have
19 that a judgement was given or a sentence whereby his service is
20 terminated, but pursuant to a proposal, this is not taken as the grounds
21 for termination of service, but the grounds for that are item 2, as if
22 there had been no proceedings before the military disciplinary court.
23 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Starcevic, for clarifying that.
24 Can this be admitted into evidence and be given an exhibit
25 number, please.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: MFI 2 MR. LUKIC: MFI.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll give it an exhibit number and mark it for
4 identification, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2418, marked
6 for identification, under seal.
7 MR. HARMON: Under seal, please, thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Under seal. Thank you.
9 MR. HARMON: That concludes for today, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Starcevic, you know the story, you don't
11 discuss with anybody until you are excused from testifying. Are we still
12 in private session? May the Chamber please move into open session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
16 We are going to take an adjournment very shortly, Mr. Starcevic,
17 but again I must warn you, even though you do know, that you are not
18 supposed to discuss it now that you are in the witness box until you are
19 excused. We shall adjourn until tomorrow at quarter past 2.00, this time
20 in Courtroom II. The Registrar says no, okay, we'll take the Registrar's
21 word for it. It will be courtroom -- beg your pardon, it is 9.00,
22 Mr. Starcevic, not 2.00. 9.00, Courtroom I. Court adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.09 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 9th day of
25 June, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.