1 Wednesday, 10 June 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 courtroom. I'll start again.
8 Good morning to everybody in and around the courtroom.
9 Madam Registrar, will you please call the case.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
11 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
12 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 Could we have the appearances for today, starting with the
15 Prosecution, Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
17 everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, Bronagh McKenna, and
18 Carmela Javier appearing for the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much Mr. Harmon.
20 And for the Defence, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
22 morning to everyone. Representing Mr. Perisic today is Daniela Tasic,
23 Tina Drolec, Milos Androvic, and we have another intern with us,
24 Jason Keck, and by your leave, I would like to have him in the courtroom
25 here, and the Defence counsel Gregor Guy-Smith and Novak Lukic.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 Good morning, Mr. Starcevic. Again, Mr. Starcevic, you're still
3 bound by the declaration that you made at the beginning of your testimony
4 to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth.
5 Thank you so much.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 WITNESS: MIODRAG STARCEVIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Starcevic.
11 Today let us start and resolve the issue relating to the FRY
12 constitution and some of the articles that were in discrepancy.
13 In the meantime, we managed to upload the Official Gazette of the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and, therefore, if we can look at
15 Exhibit 1D030105. I can remind you that, so far, this document was
16 marked in e-court, P229.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said 1D03 ...
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 030105.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And that's P229.
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] This is the first page. And, Mr. Starcevic, can
22 you tell us what is this that you see in front of you?
23 A. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry to interrupt again I realize that the
25 English side seems to be a book.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. So the English
2 version that can you see is still the document that has official
3 translations because we did not manage to get official translations for
4 ourselves, and together, with Mr. Harmon, I would like to see first how
5 the -- how the front page look like and then we would send it for
6 official translation.
7 In the meantime, I would like to ask Mr. Starcevic just to read
8 that particular article in which we are interested.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you have read correctly, this the constitution of
12 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Can you tell us where the
13 constitution was published? What is this kind of document?
14 A. This is the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of
15 Yugoslavia. It's a publication where official texts of all laws,
16 constitutions, and other regulations are published.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will, after all, have to leave this
19 topic until after the break, because I have just been told that only the
20 first page has been uploaded. So until that happens, I will have to
21 address some other issues.
22 So can we please remove this from our screens, and we shall try
23 to solve this matter during the break.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Registrar, tell us that she sees 23 pages of
1 this document.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what I have been told,
3 that is to say, that we don't have all the pages in the system, because
4 the most important ones for us that speak about the army are somewhere in
5 the latter part of the document, starting from Article 130.
6 So once we manage to solve that, I think the things will run
8 Q. Mr. Starcevic, yesterday, if you remember, we started discussing
9 the Law on the Army of Republika Srpska. We reviewed the articles which
10 defined the service in the Army of Republika Srpska, and the service
12 I would like, now, for us to discuss certain categories in the
13 service just like you did with Mr. Harmon, concerning the Law on VJ, and
14 I would like to do the same with this Law on the Army of RS.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Therefore, can we have on our screens
16 Exhibit P191, B/C/S page 15, English page 22, Article 153 of the Law on
17 the Army of Republika Srpska.
18 Q. We are talking here about the status in the service, how
19 personnel are appointed, and the category that we referred to as the
20 service status; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would you agree with me that this Article 153 of the Law on the
23 Army of RS provides similar definitions regarding the status in the
24 service concerning the appointments and other things, as does the Law on
25 the Army of the -- of Yugoslavia?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Let us now turn to page 36 in B/C/S and page 54 in English,
3 Article 370. This article stipulates the responsibilities relating to a
4 certain service status.
5 So Article 370, and within the responsibility relating to
6 status-related issues and adoption of other enactments it reads as
8 "The minister of defence an officers in certain units and
9 institutions shall decide on:" --
10 And if we look at Item 4, which we are interested in, it reads:
11 "Appointment, transfer, and other status in the service of active
12 commissioned and non-commissioned officers to the rank of colonel ..."
13 Is that correct?
14 A. Yes, with one minor correction. It says the minister of defence
15 and other and certain no not the Ministry of Defence.
16 Q. So that in sense, this law differs from the Law on The VJ, is
17 that correct, in terms of designating the entity who appointed personnel?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That's the difference, as far as I remember. In the VJ army,
20 it's the chief of General Staff and the officers that he appoints.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please scroll up this document
22 so that we can see, for a moment, Article 369.
23 Q. Article 369 - and can you please remember this because we're
24 going to look at other documents - stipulates that the president of the
25 Republic shall decide on, and, then again, I'm interested in this part
1 relating to appointments, that's point 3, and it reads:
2 "Appointments, transfer, and other status in the service of the
3 general ..."
4 Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And this is a solution similar to those vested in the president
7 of the Republic with regard to the VJ Army and generals in that army in
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at document
12 Can we please see the document 65 ter 361, page 8; page 6 in
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. We are getting lost. I'm getting lost.
15 Are you abandoned P1731?
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, no. I'm looking for 65 ter 361,
17 page 8 in B/C/S and page 6 in English, and we can see both pages on our
18 screens now.
19 Q. Can you please review this document, sir.
20 A. Yes, I can see it.
21 Q. If we can just scroll it down so that we can see who the author
22 of the document is.
23 So this an order issued by the minister of defence of Republika
24 Srpska, Mr. Dusan Kovacevic.
25 Can we again see the preamble, please.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour. This is a protected
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
5 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
1 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. One moment, please.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to stay in closed session.
5 May we please move into closed session because the document that I'm
6 going to show comes from the group of documents under seal. It's not on
7 the 65 ter list, but I assume that I am correct in thinking that it's a
8 document under seal.
9 So if we can stay in private session, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please revert to private session.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 6938-6944 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now look at document
23 Q. You had an opportunity to discuss this document with Mr. Harmon
24 as well.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, just one moment.
1 Q. You have seen this document, and you gave your opinion,
2 Mr. Starcevic. This is a decree issued by the president of the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia on the 16th of June, 2001, according to which
4 professional soldiers of the Yugoslav Army are being removed from the
5 records, and under that, we have the list of names.
6 If you look at number 7, we see the name of Krstic, Radislav; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And can we look at the date once again which is the 16th of June,
10 2001, which will serve as a basis for us to look at the next document,
11 which is 1D04-02111. But before that, I think it would be advisable if
12 we moved into private session, and then I will check if we have
13 information about this document.
14 So first can we move into private session?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 6947-6952 redacted. Private session.
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Here we have a cover letter, to call it that, sent by the command
10 of the Slavonia and Baranja Corps, and this is a decree on early
11 promotion for Colonel Bogdan Sladojevic. And can we look at -- but
12 before that, who was this sent to?
13 A. There was sent to the accountants -- accounting centre of the
14 defence ministry of the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we go on and look at the
16 following page, please, which is page number 119 in B/C/S. Document
17 number 65 ter is 7387, page number -- no. Yes, this. Yes. I don't know
18 if we have an English translation.
19 Just a moment please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] Mr. Lukic is 1D03-0097
22 a page in 7387? You've called two numbers now 65 ter 7387.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, all of that is part of the same
24 65 ter document, 7387.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now we are showing the pages
2 which are part of that one and the same document.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, I must understand what is happening.
5 I'm advised that the B/C/S of the document on the screen is
6 P1526. The English version is a translation of that page which had not
7 been part of the exhibit previously, so that, at the end, when you finish
8 with this exhibit, you -- all you need really to do is to ask for the
9 English version to be made part of P1526, in which case then, it seems to
10 me, as if 7387 and 1D03-0097 become redundant numbers which we can
11 scratch off. Can we?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we've all had a
13 problem with the fact that parts of the large documents were already
14 introduced, and now we're trying to coordinate that with all the English
15 translations. But I believe that we will be able to manage that
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. I'm also making sure that I'm able to
18 manage what I write here. And, therefore, I want to know whether the
19 number 7387 has any meaning to me, or 1D03-0097 has any meaning, or
20 whether I should scratch them off. Because the ruling number is P1526.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As the Registrar tells us, this is
22 P1526, and we are looking at the page to which we're going to attach its
23 English translation to be admitted as part of the document, if I'm not
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, that's what she says. Okay. Thank you so
2 You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Starcevic, this is a decree on earlier promotion for
5 Colonel Bogdan Sladojevic, who was promoted to the rank of a
6 major-general. Based on what regulations was this decree issued; could
7 you tell us?
8 A. Article 117 on the Law on Defence of the Republic of Serbian
9 Krajina, as well as article -- I can't see the exact number of the
10 article. However, it seems that something is missing. It says 77,
11 paragraph 1, and a few articles of the Law on Service in the Armed Forces
12 of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Yes, you're right. It's not very legible. The decision was
14 issued by the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, maybe it is
15 not very visible; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that may well be the case, but I can't see the signature.
17 Q. Even if we scroll down, it's still not make it very legible [as
18 interpreted]. You may try.
19 A. No, but I can see it -- or I might be able to see it in English.
20 Q. Would you say that this is Hadzic, perhaps?
21 A. Yes, can I see it in the English version. It says president of
22 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Goran Hadzic, yes.
23 Q. Very well. It arises from this document that Bogdan Sladojevic
24 was exceptionally promoted as a member of the Army of the Republic of the
25 Serbian Krajina by the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in
1 keeping with the president's authorities; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I would like the English translation to be attached to the
4 original under number P1526, as we have already said this will -- would
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May it please be so added, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document with ID number
8 1D03-0097 will be added to Exhibit P1526.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we can stay in open
12 Can the Court please produce P741. P741.
13 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you've already reviewed this document, and you
14 already provided comments on it during the examination-in-chief. This
15 was signed by the chief of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
16 Mr. Momcilo Perisic.
17 Could you please look at the date when the document was issued
18 and then we will move on to some other documents in relation to this one.
19 We've already heard testimonies to this effect.
20 A. It was on the 22nd of March, 1994.
21 Q. Yes, you're right. And can we now look at the following page,
22 please. The following page, please.
23 It says under 5 that this decision makes a null and void decision
24 that was issued on the 18th of February of the same year, under number
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So we have a decision which was issued on the 22nd of March,
4 And can the Court now please produce P1810, which you also
5 reviewed during your examination-in-chief.
6 The previous document was decision on determining tasks and
7 territories where service is performed under aggravated conditions, and
8 now we are on the same ground, so to speak, with regard to the contents
9 of the document. The document refers to the recognition of certain
10 rights arising from serving under aggravated conditions.
11 As you already saw during examination-in-chief, the document was
12 issued by Military Post 3001, Belgrade; am I right?
13 A. Yes, you are.
14 Q. And it says it was issued on the 12th of May, 1994.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And now, as you're reading the document, you will see that the
17 decision applies to Ratko Mladic, lieutenant-general. And under B, it
18 says the basis for issuing this decision by Military Post 3001 is a
19 decision of the commander of Military Post 3001, Belgrade confidential
20 number 21/32-21, am I right, dated 3rd of February, 1994?
21 A. Yes, you're right.
22 Q. And if we scroll up a little to see the statement of reasons. Go
23 on, show the bottom part, please, in English as well.
24 It says in the statement of reasons that the basis for issuing
25 this decision is a decision of Military Post 3001 - please retain the
1 date - the date is 3rd of February, 1994, and the number of the decision
2 is 21/32-21; am I right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And can we now please look at document P2046?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you want to look at that document or do you
6 want to do it after the break?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Please, let's look at it now. It
8 will only take me a minute. There's a logical connection between the two
9 documents. Maybe the break can spill over a little bit, but I believe
10 that it will be beneficial if we look at the document now, that we ...
11 Q. What I just showed you was the basis for the previous decision is
12 the decision that bears the number that you can now see in this decision
13 and the date as can you see in this decision. However, it was not issued
14 by Military Post 3001. It, rather, says here Military Post 7572,
15 Sarajevo; am I right?
16 A. You are.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now scroll down a little to
18 show the stamp and who issued the document. The stamp is of Military
19 Post Sarajevo, which is part of the Army of Republika Srpska; am I right?
20 A. Yes, you are.
21 Q. And secondary -- is General Ratko Mladic; however, it says
22 Milovanovic here, as far as I can see. That's the signature.
23 A. Yes, you're right.
24 Q. This document recognises the rights of Ratko Mladic to serve
25 under aggravated conditions pursuant to a document that was issued by the
1 Army of Republika Srpska.
2 A. Yes. Actually, he, himself, issued it.
3 Q. Yes, you're right. And this is the basis for the decision that
4 we just saw a little while ago. If you look at its date and the number.
5 A. Yes, that decision refers to this one as its basis.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is a good time for our first
8 break. This document has already been admitted.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We'll take a break and come
10 back at a quarter to 11.00.
11 Court adjourned.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us now try and solve the problem
16 of the constitution.
17 Ms. Javier helped all of us, the Defence and the Prosecution, by
18 informing us that there is already the constitution admitted into
19 evidence as Exhibit P1186. So that's an Official Gazette, in which the
20 constitution was published.
21 So if we can see this document on our screens, please.
22 Q. Mr. Starcevic, let us go back to the Official Gazette of the
23 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, dated 27th April, 1992; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Where the constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is
1 published; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this is an official document that contains a law which has to
4 be publicised; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move to page 10 in B/C/S
7 and page 27 in the English version. That's all right now. Thank you.
8 Q. I'm going to read now, Mr. Starcevic, Article 135 of the
9 constitution, which reads: In wartime and peacetime, the Yugoslav Army
10 is under the command of the president of the Republic, in accordance with
11 the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now the English says "pursuant."
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just had a conversation with our
14 interpreters about that, and what Mr. Starcevic explained to us
15 yesterday, and in our view, still constitutes a difference between the
16 two terms.
17 And now our interpreters - and I'm not saying that it was my
18 suggestion - have literally translate what happened I read. Therefore, I
19 would propose, because we have an official document in B/C/S, that only
20 this page or, rather, the provisions that refer to the Yugoslav Army be
21 sent to the CLSS for translation, again, of this page and to say that it
22 is particularly important for them to focus on this term "in accordance
23 with the decisions," because we deem that to be extremely important.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: We should then -- I know that yesterday we changed
25 the status of an exhibit into a MFI exhibit, which would then mean that
1 we would have to do the same with this one?
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right, and I would suggest
3 that this document be MFI'd, and since this is an official document in
4 B/C/S, it should be sent for another translation for additional checking,
5 and that after that, it will be acceptable.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Registrar, will be please change the status
7 to P1186 to a marked for identification document, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that document will be marked for
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have to go into private session
12 again, please.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Page 6962 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I have some general questions.
2 We have seen a number of documents that deal with the status in
3 the service of members of the Army of Republika Srpska; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And these documents were adopted on the basis of the regulations,
6 laws, and by-laws of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Republic of
8 A. That's correct.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're saying that the documents from the Serbian
10 Republic of Krajina were also regulating the status of service in the
11 Republika Srpska?
12 Look at the two questions.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes, that's right. I will
14 be more accurate; I stand corrected.
15 Q. Certain documents indicate that they regulated the status of
16 members of the Army of the Serbian Republic of Krajina in accordance with
17 the laws and regulations of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And these documents also indicate that these individual status
20 was regulated in the Army of Republika Srpska, and the Army of the
21 Serbian Republic of Krajina was regulated by superior officer, from top
22 to bottom; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. These documents also indicate that at the time of their issuance,
25 these particular individuals, members of the VRS and the SVK, were
1 members of these armies?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And that they were serving in those same armies respectively?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Service implies carrying out military duties; is that right?
6 A. Yes, more or less, but also some other duties that are part of a
7 military service under certain regulations.
8 Q. This is stipulated by the law. We needn't go into specific
10 The status in the service as we discussed yesterday and today is
11 the relationship between the subordinate and the superior officers or
13 A. Yes. We were discussing these type of relationships.
14 Q. In your testimony, you also, as well as in the one month ago and
15 today, you have insisted on a difference between an order and a command
16 that the army issues; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Based on your interpretation and your testimony, I understand
19 that in order --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: That a command is a
21 specific instruction given by the commander for a specific task to be
22 carried out.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in general term, that would be
24 the case.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Whereas an order governs the status in the service, and it is not
2 related to the command function.
3 A. That's correct. An order regulates the status in the service,
4 but, at the same time, an order can also constitute a general enactment
5 that governs some general issues and areas, not that affect not only
6 individuals but the army as a whole [as interpreted].
7 Q. If an individual is not allowed to give a command to another
8 individual, or if an individual has -- is not duty-bound to carry out
9 that command, it would mean that he is not within his chain of command;
10 is that right?
11 A. Yes, in principle that would be the case.
12 Q. This is the main principle of the function of any military force,
13 command, issuing commands, and carrying out commands?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And now let's move on to a different topic and let us go back to
16 the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia. P197 is the document that I would
17 like to look at, pages 14 and 39 B/C/S and English, respectively. This
18 is the Law on the Army. 154.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Article 154 speaks about certain documents, including documents
22 that regulate the service status, promotion, transfer, and so on and so
24 I'm interested in the second paragraph where it says:
25 "The appeal of a professional service member against documents on
1 assignment and transfer, putting on stand-by and removal from duty, shall
2 not postpone their implementation."
3 Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is correct.
5 Q. This means that every member of a military, when issued with such
6 a document, is entitled to exercise his free will and to provide his
7 opinion on the decision. There is an legal remedy which can he use,
8 based on his free will, to appeal against any such decision or document.
9 A. Yes. He has the right to appeal.
10 Q. And if that person does not use the right to appeal, that means
11 that of their own free will, that they have accepted the document as
12 valid and that they're prepared to implement it?
13 A. They have to implement the decision even if they appeal; however,
14 if they don't appeal, that shows the acceptance thereof.
15 Q. The appeal does not delay the implementation, of course, you're
16 right, and everybody has the right to appeal.
17 Let's go on then. We no longer need this particular law. We
18 will need some other laws or maybe even this one, later on.
19 I'm going to open another topic and shed some light on some other
21 The Law on the Army of Yugoslavia envisages a possibility for
22 members of the army to be out of the command chain of the army and still
23 enjoy the same rights as if serving in the army. I believe this was your
24 position in the ministry effectively, and I would like to say something
25 about that.
1 Is it true that the Law on the Army envisages such a
2 possibility --
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please produce Article 8,
4 paragraph 2, of this document, pages 2 and 3 in B/C/S and English
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which document?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P197 the same document. I apologise.
8 The same one that we were looking at a minute ago.
9 Q. Mr. Starcevic, you were serving in the federal Ministry of
10 Defence; am I right?
11 Could you please state that for the record.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The federal Ministry of Defence was an institution, a state
14 institution, which was part of the state administration but not part of
15 the armed forces of Yugoslavia; am I right?
16 A. Yes. The Ministry of Defence was part of the so-called executive
17 power in the classical division of powers, and it represented an organ of
18 state administration.
19 Q. Nobody from the armed forces could give you orders or command
20 you. Your superior was the minister of defence or somebody below him,
21 but you were, in any case, a part of another chain of command?
22 A. Yes. As a member of the Ministry of Defence, I was not
23 subordinated to anybody outside of the Ministry of Defence. Yesterday,
24 we already spoke about that. In my chain of command, there was the chief
25 of sector that my administration belonged to, as well as the federal
1 minister of defence.
2 Q. Similar status was enjoyed by members of the armed forces who
3 worked in some other industries or some other state organs, pursuant to
4 Article 8, paragraph 2. In other words, they could be serving outside of
5 the chain of command of the Army of Yugoslavia.
6 A. Yes, one could say so, although that was not the case across the
7 board [Realtime transcript read in error "border"]. There were also
8 people who were army personnel who represented the armed forces and were
9 appointed to some organs an organisations which were not part of the
10 armed forces. However, in principle, I can say yes. People who were
11 appointed to serve in some other bodies and organs also belonged to some
12 other chain of command at the same time.
13 Q. While you were working in the Ministry of Defence, what mattered
14 to you was that once you returned to the Army of Yugoslavia, you were
15 entitled to all the benefits and rights that you enjoyed while you were a
16 member of the Ministry of Defence, social benefits, seniority, deadlines
17 for promotion, and all the other benefits that would have applied if you
18 had served in the Army of Yugoslavia all the time.
19 A. Of course. We all thought that that was important, but this was
20 regulated by the law, so it was construed that in terms of those rights
21 and benefits, serving in the Ministry of Defence equalled serving in the
22 armed forces pursuant to the law.
23 Q. Article 8, paragraph 2?
24 A. Yes, precisely.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 40, line 14, the witness said
1 yes one can say so. However, the witness didn't say, "... that was not
2 the case across the border." No border came into play.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Today I have not mentioned any
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes the phrase used was this
6 was not applied across the board.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I should stop there, line 14, page
8 40, I believe your answer stopped at "yes, one" -- "one could say so,"
9 and then ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. It's very good when we have a witness who actually understands
13 and speaks English.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why do you want to cut off the rest of what he had
15 said? Why do you say his answer should stop at "Yes, one could say so"?
16 He did continue to say, "... although that was not the case across the
18 Didn't you say so, Mr. Starcevic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I please have another look at
20 line 14 on page 40.
21 I said that this was the case in principle. However, there were
22 some soldiers who were sent by the Army of Yugoslavia to other organs,
23 hence they remained in the command chain of the Army of Yugoslavia. What
24 I was talking about was whether I belonged to another parallel chain of
25 command, and the answer was yes, we, in the Ministry of Defence belonged
1 to another chain of command and so did people who were sent to some other
2 organs of state administration or companies. However, there are also
3 professional soldiers from the Army of Yugoslavia who were sent to
4 certain organs and remained in the chain of command of the army.
5 This was the essence of my answer.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let's move on, and we will come back to this relationship
8 referred to in Article 8, paragraph 2.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce P363.
10 Q. I believe you have reviewed this document with Mr. Harmon, that
11 you're familiar with it.
12 You remember that you already reviewed this document and provided
13 comments upon it.
14 A. Yes, I believe so.
15 Q. In the last part of this document it says that:
16 This is a certificate which was issued for the person, and it
17 says here that he was wounded on the 2nd of January, 1994, while caring
18 out combat activities, i.e., securing the state border; is that correct?
19 And the person in question is Milan Popovic.
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private session
22 for a moment.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Page 6972 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
19 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. A few questions arise from your examination-in-chief on the
22 regulations of duplication of the international law on war in the armed
23 forces of the SFRY.
24 Can we please look at P3204. Firstly can we please look at --
25 have I misspoke?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have. We haven't reached the 3.000 of
2 exhibits yet.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P2304, and the pages are 10 and 8 in
4 B/C/S and English, respectively. I apologise, B/C/S, 10; English, 6.
5 I apologise, can we have the previous page in B/C/S? I need the
6 order on the application -- no, the page is okay. I believe that
7 Mr. Starcevic will be familiar with the document.
8 Q. This is actually what precedes to the instruction on the
9 regulation on the application of the international law on war in the
10 armed forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. This is
11 an order, therefor, which was signed by the president of the Presidency
12 of the SFRY, and this is an order on the application of the rules of the
13 international law on war in the armed forces of the Socialist Federative
14 Republic of Yugoslavia, and now what we can see on the screen is the
15 B/C/S version, the continuation of the order. We don't have to. And I'm
16 interested in Article 2.
17 I apologise for skipping parts. It says that the federal
18 secretary for national defence is hereby authorised to prescribe the
19 instructions for application of the international laws of war in the
20 armed forces.
21 This was issued in the armed forces. I apologise. This was
22 issued on 13th of April, 1988?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what ensues is the instruction which was signed, I suppose,
25 let me not speculate. Do you maybe know who sign it?
1 A. I believe that it was the time of either Admiral Mamula and
2 General Ljubicic. I'm not sure.
3 Q. This is the instruction that you asked questions posed by
4 Mr. Harmon and specifically concerning this order; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you see -- you see the capital letters
7 on the screen?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was first asking questions about
9 the order, but now we are going to move to something that we need to look
10 into, and that is Article 1. That's on page 8 in English and page 10 in
11 B/C/S. That's Article 1 of the instruction.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: But all I'm saying is pause between question and
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, we have two pages in
15 B/C/S. Therefore, it should be page 10 but only the second portion of
16 the page. I'm interested in the right-hand side of the screen.
17 Q. It reads in the preamble, or introductory provisions, Item 1:
18 "Content and application of instructions. The provisions of
19 these instructions contain the principles and rules of international laws
20 of war in armed conflicts of an international nature and prescribe the
21 manner of application of those rules in the armed forces ..."
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have next page in B/C/S.
23 Q. "... of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the
24 Yugoslav People's Army and Territorial Defence) in an armed conflict in
25 which the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (herein after: The
1 SFRY) participates."
2 The next paragraph reads:
3 "If the SFRY is not participating in an international armed
4 conflict, the armed forces of the SFRY shall apply the provision of Part
5 One (chapter 12), Part Two (chapters 3 - Items 328 and 336 and chapter
6 6), and Part Three (chapter 8) of these instructions when so ordered by
7 the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the SFRY (hereinafter referred
8 to as the Supreme Command)."
9 As I read this document, the application of this instruction is
10 limited under Item 1 to an armed conflict in which the SFRY is involved;
11 is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. There were certain orders, I think, issued by the JNA General
14 Staff issued in 1991 which had a bearing on the implementation of these
15 provisions to the conflict that was -- that was being carried out in
16 Yugoslavia at the time and in which the SFRY was involved.
17 A. Yes. But one has to bear in mind that the then SFRY undertook an
18 obligation to implement all the four Geneva Conventions, the first
19 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, the customs of war by
20 virtue of a special memorandum on understanding signed by many parties,
21 including the then armed forces of Croatia, the SFRY, the competent
22 organs of Serbia, and, among other things, on the basis of this, the
23 chief of General Staff issued two orders requiring the adherence to the
24 provisions of the international law. I think it took place within the
25 span of one or two months. We had two orders regulating this area, and I
1 think one of those orders was even published in the media.
2 Q. This is what you spoke about in your interview with the
3 Prosecution a few years ago. That is what the situation was at the time,
4 given that the JNA was involved in an armed conflict that was being waged
5 in -- within the SFRY.
6 A. Yes. Because this was not an international conflict.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the witness please
8 repeat his answer.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, sorry. The interpreters ask that the
10 witness repeat the last part of the answer. They didn't hear.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since this was an internal conflict
12 in the territory of the state of the SFRY, there was no obligation to
13 apply all the rules of international humanitarian law. Since the
14 conflict was of such intensity that it made it necessary for nearly all
15 international law regulations to be applied, the solution was found in
16 the form of the memorandum that I mentioned, in which the parties'
17 signatories committed themselves to applying all those rules that are
18 otherwise applicable only in international conflicts. And that was done
19 by making reference to the Geneva Conventions, which allow for a
20 possibility for such covenants and agreements to be concluded, and this
21 had no bearing on the nature of the conflict itself. It didn't change
22 its nature.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. It seems that we are in your favourite realm of expertise.
25 A. It seems so.
1 Q. Let us go back to the instruction that were asked about by
2 Mr. Harmon, and you gave answers to Mr. Harmon about Articles 20, 21, and
4 Article 1 of this instruction is applicable if the SFRY is one of
5 the parties involved in a war conflict.
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. You are not aware that the SFRY has ever declared to be at war
8 until 1999 and the Kosovo war.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let us move on.
11 Another thing which is related, in a way, to the answers you gave
12 to Mr. Harmon relating to the provisions from Article 21 of the
13 instruction on the implementation of international law, and this
14 specifically refer to command responsibility.
15 Mr. Starcevic, do you agree with me that the Criminal Code of the
16 former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Criminal Code of
17 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did not provide in their regulations
18 the existence of command responsibility as a form of criminal
20 A. Yes. This is not my area of expertise any longer, but I cannot
21 fully agree with you. There was no provision that governed the command
22 responsibility that would explicitly contain the notion and the term
23 "command responsibility." However, there were provisions in the
24 Criminal Code that very much resembled, by their essence and substance,
25 the notion of responsibility for the acts committed by one's
1 subordinates. Of course, at this moment, I cannot remember all of these
2 provisions, but let me give you an example.
3 This is an provision which says that an act of omission to
4 undertake certain measures, in order to prevent the commission of a
5 crime, very much resembles the concept that we all know nowadays as
6 command responsibility. Of course, this does not apply to the full
7 extent and it is not as precise -- precisely defined as it is today.
8 Nevertheless, I believe that some form of such or similar responsibility
9 did exist at the time.
10 Q. There was a lot of debate among professionals, not only in Serbia
11 but also in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, when this court decided to
12 defer certain cases to their domestic courts about whether these notions
13 actually exist in the domestic law or not.
14 [No interpretation]
15 A. Yes, there was such a debate.
16 Q. At any rate, the way the command responsibility in Article 21 is
17 formulated is not formulated in the same way in the Criminal Codes; is
18 that right?
19 A. Yes, I can agree with that.
20 Q. We'll leave it at that.
21 Mr. Starcevic, you know that Republika Srpska had a military
22 judiciary, military courts, and military prosecutors' office which were
23 all regulated by the law?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. One of the tasks of every prosecutor's office, including a
1 military prosecutor's office, and, of course, the prosecutor's office of
2 Republika Srpska, is to monitor the changes and developments in society
3 and to include all the deviations and the anti-social behaviour in the
5 A. Yes, I believe that is the role of the prosecutor's office.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see document D106.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. If you look at the first page of this document, Mr. Starcevic,
10 you will see that this is a document produced by the Main Staff of the
11 Army of Republika Srpska, the military prosecutor's office, entitled:
12 Guidelines for determining the criteria for criminal prosecution.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we can scroll it down to see the
14 date of the document.
15 Q. 1992; is that right?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, before Mr. Starcevic is asked questions
18 about this document, I would ask that there be a connection established
19 between Mr. Starcevic and this document. If we're going to ask opinions
20 about this, I don't believe Mr. Starcevic was the author of this
21 document. I'm not sure he has seen this document before. So I would
22 object at this point unless a proper foundation is laid.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think they already
25 established the foundation by asking Mr. Starcevic what, according to his
1 knowledge, was one of the tasks of the military prosecutor's office, and
2 he said that this was monitoring the changes in society, as one of their
4 Since we are talking here about criminal offences that have a
5 reflection on the international humanitarian law, I don't see the grounds
6 for objection. I think that on the basis of the fact, and the
7 professional experience of Mr. Starcevic and what he did in the Ministry
8 of Defence, is familiar with how the military prosecutor's office
9 operated and on which guidelines it operated.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, this is it a document that is not a VJ
12 document. It's a document of the VRS. It's a document from a different
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Mr. Starcevic
15 answered Mr. Harmon's questions about the Army of Republika Srpska.
16 Amongst other things, Mr. Harmon asked Mr. Starcevic about the six
17 strategic goals of Republika Srpska and asked for an answer about
18 decision, political decision, of the political leadership of
19 Republika Srpska, and Mr. Starcevic said what he did.
20 However, it was Mr. Harmon who asked Mr. Starcevic to provide
21 questions [as interpreted] about Republika Srpska, and I believe what is
22 relevant about this document is what concerns crimes about which
23 Mr. Starcevic talked when he answered Mr. Harmon's questions about
24 criminal and disciplinary responsibility of the members of the Army of
25 Republika Srpska.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you remind me, I may have forgotten, did
2 Mr. Harmon tender an exhibit on the strategic objectives of the
3 Republika Srpska through this witness?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... questions.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ... we have a
9 document, which has already been made an exhibit, and I'm in the same
10 situation as Mr. Harmon. I have shown him an exhibit, a Defence exhibit,
11 and I'm asking him questions. And if you remember, Mr. Harmon asked him
12 about the Posavina corridor, and it was then when he asked a question
13 that transpired from the document, and he wanted to hear his knowledge
14 about the facts concerning Republika Srpska. And this is what Mr. Harmon
15 was asking him.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say this is already an exhibit? It does seem
17 as if your objection is unfounded, Mr. Harmon.
18 It is D106, in fact, so you may proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can the Court please produce B/C/S
20 page 6 -- I apologise, page 5, and page 2 in the English version.
21 Q. This is a lengthy document, but we're going to look at just a few
22 paragraphs, and I will ask for your opinion, or, rather, your answer with
23 regard to the factual basis for this document.
24 Before I ask you anything about document, let us establish
25 something as the basis for my future questions. While you were a member
1 of the JNA and a member of the Army of Yugoslavia, you actively
2 participated in the negotiations and talks with the representatives of
3 Croatia, if I remember well, with regard to the elucidation of some
4 crimes, actually facts concerning the events in Vukovar. In other way
5 [as interpreted], you were familiar and you participated in the work of
6 the commission which was set up to establish the origins of war crimes?
7 A. Not exactly. I participated in the work of a joint commission
8 that searched for missing persons. In other words, we were not there to
9 establish the existence of any crimes. We just tried to determine the
10 destiny of the persons who had been reported as missing.
11 Q. Very well. However, as a member of the commission, you received
12 information from the other side when they had suspicions about certain
13 crimes that resulted in certain persons missing.
14 A. Yes, in principle, the factual basis or the -- what preceded the
15 disappearance of some persons were crimes, according to what the other
16 side told us. And the same applied to our side, in our -- in our
17 requests upon the Croatian side.
18 Q. When you say "our side," you mean the JNA?
19 A. Yes, of course, I mean the JNA.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, we can all sing together at the same
21 time. We should not all speak at the same time. Thank you.
22 Give each other a chance.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And now let's go back to the document, page 2. Can we scroll up
25 a little? I say page 2, because, actually, well ...
1 A little bit further up for the B/C/S page. Thank you.
2 I would like to start reading there. Very well, "expressing our
3 opinion," I'm going to read this:
4 "Expressing our opinion on the danger that certain types of
5 criminal offences constitute a society at the time present time. And a
6 fierce battle for the survival of the certain people of the Republika" --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, slow down.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] "When a fierce battle for the
9 survival of the Serbian people of the Republika Srpska and its citizens
10 is being fought, we warn of the increased danger posed to society by
11 perpetrators of the following criminal offences ..."
12 Under 1: "The criminal offence of failure to respond to military
13 call-up and avoidance of military service ..."
14 Could you please turn to the following page in B/C/S.
15 "... pursuant to Article 214 of the Criminal Code."
16 Under 2: "The criminal offence of wilfully absenting oneself
17 from one's post and desertion from the armed forces pursuant to
18 Article 217 of the Criminal Code."
19 Under 3: "The criminal offences against humanity and
20 international law pursuant to Chapter 16 of the Criminal Code."
21 According to this document and according to the military
22 prosecutor's office, they point to this group of crimes that should be
23 paid particular attention to; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And now, since the document is a lengthy one, let's look at the
1 B/C/S, page 29, and page 8 in the English version, paragraph 3.
2 These are guidelines provided by the military prosecutor. It
4 "It follows from the above that officers in all units must accept
5 the obligation to draft reports on all incidents which might be regarded
6 as criminal offences, regardless of whether they have been committed by
7 members of the Army of Republika Srpska or by members of the enemy side,
8 and to report to the command any information learnt about previous
9 incidents. This these cases, the commands have a duty to inform, amongst
10 others, the military prosecutor's office, which will, after making an
11 assessment, take appropriate action in keeping with the law and the
12 prosecution policy."
13 Q. Mr. Starcevic, given the seriousness of the crimes that fall
14 under the chapter of crimes against the international humanitarian law,
15 did the military prosecutor have the right to focus on these crimes, if
16 that military prosecutor's office was within the system of a state that
17 was involved in an armed conflict?
18 A. Yes, I believe that it was only normal for the military
19 prosecutor's office to point to the danger arising from this type of
20 crimes and to step up activities against such crimes, which necessarily
21 increase under the circumstances of war.
22 Q. This document is in the form of guidelines. How or to what
23 extent is it binding on units at all levels?
24 A. I believe that the document is particularly binding upon the
25 prosecutors who were subordinated to the military prosecutor's office and
1 the military prosecutors shall take this as a binding instruction. I
2 believe that you understand this better than me.
3 A prosecutor's office is entitled to issue a binding instructions
4 upon its subordinated prosecutors. It is just an instruction for all the
5 other units who should bear in mind that the prosecutor's office will pay
6 special attention to the activities that lead to the prosecution of
7 persons charged with having committed such crimes or --
8 Q. Officers in such units are duty-bound, should they learn of
9 crimes having been committed by members the their units to inform the
10 prosecutor's office, and the prosecutor's office should then proceed in
11 accordance with the law and prosecute in accordance with the law.
12 A. Yes. In a certain way, this just -- just emphasised the command
13 responsibility of every commander.
14 Q. Thank you. Very well. And all this applies to the Army of
15 Republika Srpska. The document applies to the Army of Republika Srpska
16 and the guidelines that were provided by the prosecutor's office of the
17 Army of Republika Srpska; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Let's move on to a different topic, just briefly before our next
20 break. P197. B/C/S, 60; in English, page 45. Article 181 of the Law on
21 the Army of Yugoslavia. This is what we're looking at.
22 Article 181 deals with bringing the perpetrator of disciplinary
23 offence before a military disciplinary court.
24 A distinction is made between the person who is authorised to
25 bring -- to -- instituting disciplinary proceedings.
1 A. Yes, this is the authority for starting disciplinary proceedings.
2 Q. In the federal Ministry of Defence, given the fact that this
3 state organ is not in the command chain of the Army of Yugoslavia, this
4 authority falls within the purview of the federal minister or the
5 commanding officer subordinated directly to him; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And it says here that the commander of the army or an equal or a
8 higher position -- why is there a distinction being made here as to who
9 is entitled to starting -- disciplinary proceedings? Is it because the
10 members of the Army of Yugoslavia who are in the federal Ministry of
11 Defence were not in the command chain of the army?
12 A. Yes. This is precisely the reason for making such a distinction,
13 because military discipline is just one of the elements of command and
14 control. So any decision with regard to military discipline should be
15 taken and should be in the hands of the one who is also a member of the
16 same chain of command.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that this is a good time
18 for our next break, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a break and
20 come back at half past 12.00.
21 Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, let us say that
1 Ms. Colleen Rohan has joined us in the courtroom. She is our legal
3 And now let's move to a different topic, still talking about the
4 same exhibit, P197; 13 in the B/C/S version and 37 in the English
5 version, Article 1501 [as interpreted] on both pages. 151 is the article
7 Q. You have already provided answers to my learned friend,
8 Mr. Harmon, about that. Let shed some more light on the same part of the
10 The provisions of Article 151, 152, and further on are part of
11 the chapters speaking about the authority to decide on service relations
12 and issue of other documents. Is that the case? This is at least what
13 it says here.
14 A. Yes, of course.
15 Q. I believe that you have already mentioned that the president of
16 the Republic, pursuant to Article 151, is -- shall deal with promotions
17 to the rank of general; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. According to Article 152, the chief of the General Staff and the
20 commanding officers of units or institutions designated by him shall
21 promote professional officers to lower ranks than that; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I have noticed that you have been referring to a document. Could
24 you please provide a further explanations? You have been referring to
25 the order on authorities.
1 Did you mean by that the order on determining authorities and
2 powers of officers to deal with service-related matters in the Army of
4 A. Yes that's exactly what I meant.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm in the hands of Trial Chamber. I
6 have not disclosed a document to Mr. Harmon. It's a document that I have
7 come across which was published in the Official Gazette as an official
8 document. I believe that in the course of this trial it will be an
9 important and useful document. At the moment, I don't have its English
10 translation, maybe --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, carry on.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The document is three pages long.
13 It's not a short document. Maybe I could put some general questions to
14 Mr. Starcevic without putting the document on the ELMO; or,
15 alternatively, with your approval and the approval of Mr. Harmon, we
16 could put the entire hard copy of the document on the ELMO and read some
17 of its parts. But I want to play fair, vis-a-vis the Prosecutor, I don't
18 want Mr. Harmon to object. Can I put questions without showing the
19 document to the witness.
20 Why did occur to me? Because yesterday while Mr. Starcevic was
21 providing his answers, I could hear him referring to this order on
22 responsibilities and authorities, and I made sure that I found the
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: Well, certainly if there are going to be any
1 questions about the document I'd like to get a copy of it. I'd like to
2 see it. I would like to have it translated, so I can, if necessary, ask
3 Mr. Starcevic some questions about.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, do you have -- the document needs
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I don't have a
7 translation and that is the problem. I have a translation only in B/C/S.
8 I currently have two hard copies of the document. The document is three
9 pages long. I can show it to Mr. Harmon to show him that this was
10 published in the official military gazette. I'm sure that Mr. Harmon
11 will want to have the English translation of the entire document, and I
12 believe it would take too much time for us to read the whole document in
13 the original in the courtroom and have it translated by the interpreters.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's the thing. But even before we get to that
15 stage, Mr. Harmon must have read it and understood and decided that he
17 So it does look as if you were not able to use the document.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that at a later stage of this
21 trial it will be much easier for the parties to introduce this document.
22 However, I'm going to ask Mr. Starcevic, since in his
23 examination-in-chief and yesterday he made reference to this order, to
24 tell us what this document is about in order to facilitate its
25 understanding at a later date.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to do my best.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
3 MR. HARMON: I would like a copy in -- in the Serbian language,
4 so perhaps by tomorrow, I can get it translated, and in light of the
5 answers that Mr. Starcevic will be giving, I will be in a better position
6 to either clarify or respond so ...
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you agree so far.
8 Are you done with the document that's on the screen, sir? You
9 want to move to [Overlapping speakers].
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] Yes, yes, I
12 Q. Mr. Starcevic, I presume that you are familiar with this order
13 and it needn't be shown to you. I'm going to ask you a few questions
14 about this document.
15 Can you tell us what is governed by this document, by this order,
16 and I'm going to repeat, once again, that this is an order on determining
17 responsibilities and authorities of officers in solving service-related
18 issues and relations in the Army of Yugoslavia, issued by
19 Momcilo Perisic, lieutenant-general, on the 25th of April, 1994.
20 A. I will do my best, but I think that my response would be better
21 understood if we -- if we still had the documents on the screen that we
22 had been looking at before.
23 Q. We can solve this technical issue.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So, please, can we have Article 152
25 back. This is P197, English, page 38 and B/C/S, page 13.
1 So if we can have this on the screen. And it's Article 152.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The order that we are discussing is
3 a by-law, which serves for the implementation of the authorities
4 enshrined in paragraph 1 of Article 152.
5 As we can see from this Article, the chief of the General Staff
6 is responsible for solving these relations, as well as the officers of
7 units or institutions designated by him.
8 And below that, we have a whole range of status-related issues
9 and relations that are subject to -- to being solved. Some of them are
10 resolved and determined directly by the chief of General Staff. However,
11 for a majority of them, he entrusts these tasks to his subordinate
12 officers, and if I remember correctly, or that was at least how it was
13 while I was there, the basic criterion for the distribution of
14 responsibilities were ranks and positions held by professional soldiers.
15 In order for everyone to understand what I'm talking about, let's
16 say when it comes to promotion of non-commissioned officers, the
17 responsibility and the authority lies with the officers who hold the post
18 of army commander or an equal one. When it comes to promoting officers
19 up to the level or rank of major, I think it is again the army commander
20 or an officer with equal position and rank. When it comes to promotion
21 up to the level of colonel, the chief -- the chief of General Staff is
22 authorised to do that.
23 So this is what the order speaks about, and in each individual
24 case listed here under Item 1 to 7 in Article 152.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Precisely so. In addition to determining the responsibilities
2 and authorities stipulated by this order, I'm going to put to you a
3 general question, because I don't want you to have this order in front
4 you. We shall provide copies for the Chamber later, for everyone here.
5 It was possible to launch the procedures that precede the
6 issuance of certain documents, so, therefore, these kind of procedures
7 could have been entrusted to the officers in subordinate units.
8 A. Yes. This was how it was done in principle. This order also
9 provides a description or the procedure, according to which these
10 authorities are exercised.
11 Q. If this article says the chief of General Staff and the officers
12 mentioned here designated by him are acting in these aspect according to
13 the law.
14 A. Yes, that's right. They are dealing with these relations and
15 providing solutions independently.
16 Q. Very well. Just a moment, please.
17 Let us now look at a similar document. Actually, I would like to
18 look at Article 156 of this law.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's on page 13 and 14 in B/C/S and
20 page 39 in English.
21 Q. "If a law or other regulation issued in accordance with the law
22 does not stipulate the authority of another organ to decide on
23 administrative matters in the first instance, the individual responsible
24 is the commander of the unit or institution holding a position of
25 commander of independent battalion ... or regiment commander - brigade,
1 or the commander of a unit or institution holding an equal or higher
2 position for which the rank of lieutenant-colonel or higher rank is
4 "The commander of the unit or institution immediately superior
5 to the commander who issued the decision in the first instance shall
6 decide on appeal against the decision of the commander from paragraph 1
8 Which means that there's a two-tier system when it comes to
9 appeals and it is provided by the law which is the highest instance that
10 is going to have a final decision on this document?
11 A. Yes, this article has a dual meaning since this is what we, in
12 our legal system, call administrative matters. That is to say, taking
13 decisions that affect obligations and rights of individuals. In order to
14 establish their responsibility in full, it is possible -- it necessary to
15 establish the actual responsibility which means a specific duties to be
16 done, and this is regulated by the order that we mentioned before.
17 However, this is not sufficient because it is necessary also to
18 determine the territorial jurisdiction, because there are a lot of
19 officers who hold the identical position and the law demands to know who
20 precisely is going to act in every single instance. And this is what is
21 regulated by this article by saying that the territorial jurisdiction is
22 granted to one of the commanding officers within the unit where the
23 person about whose rights are being determined is serving. And, in that
24 way, you also have a procedure for the second instance proceedings,
25 because the one who is directly responsible to decide can also be
1 responsible to decide on the appeal.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document P882 [as
3 interpreted], please.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, P822.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You have already had an opportunity to see this document, and you
7 commented on it in examination-in-chief.
8 This is a judgement rendered by the Second Municipal Court, in
9 Belgrade, which is a civilian court, based on the charges filed by --
10 charges brought by the plaintiff, Dragomir Milosevic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 2 in the English, I think.
12 Q. Let us first, for administrative matters, move to the area of
13 civil law.
14 This was a litigation that was conducted by a municipal court; is
15 that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. We saw on page 1 that the judgement and the form of it was
18 consistent to the ones passed in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and
19 the judgement is passed in the name of the people, and it is a public
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Nowhere in this judgement can one see that the public was
23 excluded during the proceedings instituted by Mr. Milosevic against the
24 state of Yugoslavia?
25 A. As far as I had the time to go through the judgement, I don't see
1 anything like that anywhere.
2 Q. Would you agree with me --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have lost me when you say, No one can see that
4 the public was excluded during the proceedings.
5 What do you mean by that, that it doesn't happen in closed
6 session? What do you mean?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. There are certain
8 provisions in the law under litigations that provide for the possibility
9 to exclude the public from the hearing, but then it is stated in the
11 Q. Mr. Starcevic, when a judgement is rendered in litigation
12 process, then this judgement has to list all the evidence on the basis of
13 which the court has established certain facts, and these facts are
14 evaluated. This ordinary and customary way of writing a judgement; is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes. The factual status is the foundation for the judgement.
17 Q. And in the record of the hearing contains all the evidence read
18 out by the panel of judges, if these are written evidence [as
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What you see on page 2 is a list of evidence presented in these
22 proceedings before the Second Municipal Court. You cannot find any
23 document that originated [as interpreted] from the Army of Republika
24 Srpska; is that correct?
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. That means that the final part of the judgement, the conclusions,
2 means that the judgement was rendered, based on the evidence presented by
3 both parties, which generated exclusively from the Yugoslav organs.
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And among this evidence presented before the court, were certain
6 elements that were decisive in the process of reaching judgement and the
7 conclusion, but there is no claim to the effect that
8 Mr. Dragomir Milosevic was, at any time, a member of Army of Republika
10 A. No, one cannot deduce that from this judgement.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with this document.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I would like just to correct one
15 mistake in the transcript, which is due, I suppose, my speed of speech.
16 On page 67, line 24, I said one cannot see from this document
17 that there was a single document that generates from the Army of
18 Republika Srpska.
19 We are going to address now a very short topic, and we're going
20 back to P197, which is the Law on the Army.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, just to -- to for the benefit of
22 Mr. Lukic while Mr. Starcevic is here, I have just been informed that the
23 OTP does possess an English translation of the document that Mr. Lukic
24 passed me a few minutes ago, the order on establishing the
25 responsibilities and powers of officers regarding service-related issues
1 in the VJ.
2 So I have no objection to Mr. Starcevic being given a copy of
3 this and shown this, and I will look at it after court today to be in a
4 better position then.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
6 Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, in that case, it would be fine
8 if we could go back in order to finish the discussion about the order on
9 the responsibilities.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're only able to go back if Mr. Harmon is able
11 to upload for us the English version, because, otherwise, you're going to
12 be speaking alone, and we won't be having the English version.
13 MR. HARMON: It can be done, Your Honour. It will take about 15
14 minutes, so perhaps Mr. Lukic could defer his re-examination on this
15 topic, and I will inform Your Honours when it is uploaded.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we shall continue, and then we
18 will come back to that topic. And in the meantime, let's go back to the
19 document that I called a minute ago, which is P197, pages 4 and 9 in
20 B/C/S and English, respectively, Article 37 of the Law on the Army.
21 Q. I believe that you have already reviewed this, Mr. Starcevic, but
22 now I am going to ask you for your additional comment.
23 In paragraph 1, it says that a professional soldier must carry
24 out the orders issued by superior officers regarding the service except
25 if the carrying out of the order would be a criminal act.
1 I believe this is very clear.
2 I'm interesting in the following -- I apologise. I am interested
3 in paragraph 4.
4 If he receives an order, the carrying out of which would
5 represent a criminal act, a service member must immediately report such
6 order to a superior commanding officer or an officer of a higher rank
7 than the officer who issued the order.
8 Or a service member must require that a senior officer who issued
9 such an order repeat it in written form.
10 There is it distinction between a crime and a violation of a law.
11 Why is that the case, and what the consequences of an order which
12 violates law?
13 A. The consequence -- the distinction is very intentional because a
14 violation of law does not have to be such a serious matter, and it does
15 not have to entail criminal responsibility. However, it may entail some
16 other type of responsibility. For example, it may entail a compensation
17 for damages.
18 For example, in such cases, when a violation of law has been
19 established, when it, indeed, exists, but an execution of an order would
20 not constitute a crime, then a subordinate is not in a position to refuse
21 to carry -- carry out an order. He has to execute the order, but he has
22 the right to request from the person who issued the order in the first
23 place to repeat that order in a written form.
24 Why? To be exculpated from a possible future responsibility that
25 might arise from that violation of that law.
1 Q. However, the order which violates the law does not give him the
2 right not to execute the order.
3 A. You're right. He has to do it. He has to obey the order.
4 Q. We will have to go into private session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
6 Before we do that. I have a question based on what you were just asking.
7 Is it correct to interpret violation of the law here not only to
8 encompass a violation that is not a crime but also a crime?
9 I think the word "violation of the law" is broad enough to
10 include a misdemeanour and a crime.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is not implied. The two
12 paragraphs that we are discussing, we have just discussed paragraph 4,
13 which speaks of a violation of the law. However, in the following
14 paragraph as the so-called lexis specialis, in this respect, you have a
15 provision according to which there are cases in which an order might
16 constitute a crime or a criminal act. In such cases, the person who was
17 issued the order must not carry out the order. It is his duty to refuse
18 to carry out the order and it is also his duty to immediately report such
19 an order to a superior commanding officer.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. [Previous translation
21 continues] ... [Microphone not activated].
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move into private session,
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
3 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now we shall talk about some
5 documents that Mr. Harmon showed you yesterday, and most of them were
6 discussed in private session. We will stick to that.
7 Can the Court please produce P2413, under seal. P2413.
8 Q. You saw this document yesterday for the first time,
9 Mr. Starcevic. I would like to show it to you again in order to show you
10 yet another document, and what I can see in the document is an order
11 where a distinction is made between two categories of persons or
12 individuals: Those who are not under any suspicion that they committed a
13 disciplinary breach, and those for whom there is reasonable doubt to
14 suspect -- or reasonable suspicion that they committed a breach of
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The basis for this order is Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Law on
18 the Army of Yugoslavia, at least that is what it says here.
19 A. Yes, this is a list mentioned as the basis.
20 Q. I would like to us stay in private session, although this is a
21 public document, but I would like us to stay in private session just for
22 a moment to remind the Trial Chamber of the contents of Article 6. I
23 would like to call document number P197, page 2 in B/C/S, please, as well
24 as in English, I believe.
25 We will look at the basis for issuing the previously shown order.
1 It says:
2 "In order to implement documents issued by the president of the
3 Republic and the duties of a commanding in the army" -- yes I'm reading
4 too fast.
5 Article says as follows:
6 "In order to implement documents issued by the president of the
7 Republic and the duties of commanding the army, as well as the duties
8 stipulated by this Law, the chief of General Staff shall issue rules,
9 orders, commands, instructions, and other documents."
10 This would be the basis of the documents that I showed you
12 And now let us look at the document P708, under seal.
13 Kindly read the document slowly, Mr. Starcevic. I don't think
14 you've had an opportunity to see it or read it before. It is a two-page
15 long document. Read it slowly. Alert us at the moment when you have
16 reached the end of the first page. We'll move on to the next then. Yes.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Counsel, when you speak next time, please --
20 you're asked to speak into the microphone.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will do that, Your Honour.
22 Q. Mr. Starcevic, first of all, the date. 30 August 1995 is the
23 date on this document. And these are the minutes of the 43rd Session of
24 the Supreme Defence Council which was held in August 1995. The document
25 was signed by President Zoran Lilic. The first thing that is stated on
1 page 1 of this document is this: Mr. Lilic says the RSK defence ceased
2 to exist, so the Supreme Defence Council concludes that there is no
3 longer grounds to keep on assisting the armed forces of the RSK.
4 Let's put things in temporal context. This is after Operation
5 Storm and after the exodus of the Serbian population at the beginning of
6 August 1995; would that be correct?
7 A. Obviously, yes.
8 Q. The Supreme Defence Council, pursuant, and on the basis of
9 certain facts reaches a conclusion to the effect that the Serbian Army of
10 Krajina had ceased to exist; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. This would be exactly that.
12 Q. The Supreme Defence Council --
13 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: I don't see the first page. And there's testimony
16 about the first page of this document, and the English version on the
17 screen is the second page. I merely ask that the first page be displayed
18 while we're having questions about it.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 Could we have the first page, please.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And I need page 2 in B/C/S, please.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters are asking for something. Can
23 you repeat the request, please, the interpreter?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreting Mr. Lukic's words. Mr. Lukic is
25 asking for page 2.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. What the Supreme Defence Council concludes in paragraphs 1, 2,
4 and 3, is the fact that there is a difference between the two categories
5 of the members of the 40th Personnel Centre, those who committed a
6 disciplinary or a criminal act, and those who didn't, or, rather, there
7 is no suspicion that they did; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in paragraph 4, it says that those for whom there is no
10 suspicion can selectively be assigned to a -- the units of the RSK or to
11 the 30th Personnel Centre.
12 Do you agree that these conclusions of the Supreme Defence
13 Council are the basis based on which Mr. Perisic issued his order in view
14 of the -- these conclusions and in view of the contents of that order.
15 A. I agree. This is just repetition of the conclusions that we see
17 Q. Very well.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now we can go back to open
19 session, and we can try to achieve something in this courtroom with the
20 help of the other party to the proceedings.
21 Can we now please see 65 ter --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I was waiting for the interpretation. I must now
23 move us into open session as you asked.
24 May the Chamber please move into open session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 8815 is the document that I
5 would like to call.
6 MR. HARMON: To this document, Your Honour, Mr. Lukic is calling
7 up is the English translation of the previous document that he had -- for
8 which we had not identified an English translation existing.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh. This is not an English translation?
10 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: So we do have it now. And what is on the
12 right-hand side? That's -- on right-hand side, we don't have the
13 document that we didn't have a translation for. It is some other
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, it's one and the same.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: So you are going back to it [Overlapping
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm going back. Just a small
19 correction before that, correction in the transcript on page 75 line 15,
20 the answer starts but it has been attached to the question. The witness
21 said I agree. This is the beginning of the witness's answer. It is not
22 part of the question.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we scroll down a little to see
25 the date -- no, no, no. This is how we're going do it. This is it an
1 order on establishing the responsibilities and powers of officers
2 regarding service-related issues in the Yugoslav Army. This is the order
3 that you have already testified about. In very general terms, you have
4 referred to the order on responsibilities and this is the document that
5 had in mind every time you did that.
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now go to page 3 in B/C/S to
8 see who issued the order. I suppose that the page will be the same in
9 the English version as well.
10 Q. The order was issued by the chief, Colonel-General Momcilo
11 Perisic, on the 25th April, 1994, and it was published in the official
12 military gazette on the 5th of May, 1994, as you can see in the upper
13 left corner.
14 Mr. Starcevic, I don't know how to proceed. The document has
15 three pages. Do you want to look at everything or maybe I could proceed
16 in the following way: I could ask you this and do things in this way.
17 In this document, this order has eight bullet points or articles
18 in which it specifies certain categories of units and institutions and
19 then in subparagraphs it gives them certain responsibilities and powers.
20 Let's go back. It was very difficult for me to follow the
21 numbers, but let's go back to page number 1. And let me look at the
22 English translation, if I may, at the same time. Yes.
23 Under number 1 -- no, no, no.
24 A. I apologise, what I'm looking at is the book of rules on
1 Q. Yes. Under number 1?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, could the usher please make sure that
3 Mr. Starcevic is looking at the correct document.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct now. We have it on
5 the screen.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let's read about the first category. It says:
8 "The commander of an independent battalion or division and the
9 commanding officer of an independent military unit or military institute
10 with establishment rank of major, lieutenant-colonel, or higher, is
11 authorised to ..."
12 And then he is authorised according to certain bullet points, the
13 last being number 3. These are the responsibilities arising from
14 service. I'm not going to read everything, but what they deal with is
15 appointment, dismissal, and so on and so forth?
16 A. Yes, this is the general approach from a lower unit to a higher
17 unit, from a lower rank to a higher rank.
18 Q. The following category is under number 2. Again, bullet points
19 under number 2, pertaining to that rank, unit, or institution.
20 And then the following page, please.
21 Number 3, I don't want to keep on reading, you can see that the
22 order that is followed is from the lowest ranking to the highest
23 ranking -- or, rather, I would kindly ask for page -- for the following
24 page in B/C/S to be placed on e-court.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in on the lower part of
1 that page, where we see number 7, the right-hand side column.
2 Under number 7, we arrive at the chief of General Staff,
3 personnel administration is hereby authorised to do whatever he is given
4 to do as specified in the following bullet points; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see the following page in
7 both English and B/C/S versions.
8 Can we scroll up the page just a little, please. And after
9 number 17, there's bullet-point 8, which I would like to zoom in on,
10 after number 17, that's the 17th responsibility pertaining to the
11 previous category. And then we come to number 8, the highest category
12 and its responsibilities and powers. And it says here:
13 "This is the assistant chiefs of General Staff, chief (at the
14 same time chief inspector) of the chief army inspectorate, chief of the
15 General Staff Security Administration, and chief of the General Staff
16 information and psychological propaganda administration are authorised to
17 executed duties ..." and then it says from item 5, paragraph 1.
18 Can you please look at that. And what I would like to repeat is
19 what I asked you previously, has to do with the following article,
20 Article 10. The following articles apply to all the collective articles
21 to put it that way, Article 10. Pursuant to Article 10, all the
22 authorisations from items 1 through 8 include procedures which precedes
23 the processing or issuing of the relevant enactments; is that correct.
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. This order clearly and precisely determines the responsibilities
1 of all personnel in the Yugoslav Army.
2 A. Yes.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I said the status in the service. In
5 my last question, let us be more precise. My apologies to the
7 Q. This order clearly and precisely determines responsibilities for
8 resolving the status of all personnel in the Yugoslav Army; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And it provides in a precise terms who makes decisions about
12 certain categories with respect to their position and rank.
13 A. That's correct.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to offer this document
15 to be admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted into evidence. May it please be
17 given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D124.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have to go back again to the
21 prior -- to a private session.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
23 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have document P2424
3 under seal, marked for identification.
4 Q. We've seen this personnel chart of one of the officers. I'm
5 putting this on the screen just to lead us to the next document. It says
6 here that on the 9th of May, 1995, the professional service was
7 terminated, due to five days of leave of absence from work; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see document P2425, MFI,
11 on the screen.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into his microphone.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You saw this document yesterday as well, where it says that this
16 is a document issued by the Drina Corps command. You will remember when
17 we scrolled the document down that this document was issued by the
18 Army of Republika Srpska; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And it was signed by Radislav Krstic. It bears the stamp of the
21 Army of Republika Srpska, and in the -- in the bottom left corner you
22 have an incoming stamp which means this is the stamp of the recipient; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And that is the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Now in the statement of reason, the second sentence reads that it
2 has been established that the above-named will not return to the unit
3 which he wilfully abandoned; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's what it says.
5 Q. Without interpreting the meaning of this, can we please scroll
6 down the document, and I would ask you for another comment.
7 There are some notes made by hand, and I noticed that the English
8 translation does correspond to what is written in the Serbian language,
9 so I'm going to read it out to you and then ask for your opinion.
10 It says, handwritten, wait for the reply from the GS Main Staff
11 of the 30th Personnel Centre; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And then beneath, it says submitted the request for PPVS.
14 I'm asking you what does this PPVS stand for; do you know?
15 A. This is a very unusual acronym. I can only try to -- to decipher
16 it. I believe that it might mean early termination of military service.
17 Q. In any case, it says that an individual has submitted a request
18 for PPVS, and in that term, it seems that it was not translated properly
19 into English, because I don't think that it tallies with what this
20 acronym might mean. Therefore, this what is provided by the translation
21 unit doesn't stand to reason. Anyway I'm going to ask the witness again.
22 In the English translation, it says that PPVS means recognition
23 of the entitlement for double length of service.
24 A. I can hardly understand this to mean that. I don't even
25 understand what it means in English.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON: I think the record should be clear -- I mean, that's
3 not an assertion, there's a question mark before that. The translation
4 that is offered on this exhibit has a question mark. There is no
5 certainty that that's what the interpreter intended or the translator
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: What then do we do with this exhibit? I see it's
8 an exhibit. It is not marked for identification. Shall we mark it for
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] What I suggested earlier about some
12 documents, simply what appears in the documents as acronyms shouldn't be
13 expanded and should -- this expansion should be disregarded because the
14 original documents contain only acronyms. I am in favour of sending this
15 back to the translation unit, but I don't think we should burden them
16 with a request that was provided only as a comment from the translation
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm told it is marked for identification already
20 any way. But I do think in response to what you are saying, sir, if we
21 are now going to put acronyms only in the English version without
22 telling -- expanding them, then we are lost.
23 So we want a full -- a full translation.
24 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: I think the proper way to deal with this particular
1 expansion would be to disregard the translator's question mark,
2 recognition of entitlement for double length of service, and leave it at
3 that. Because neither Mr. Starcevic knows what that expansion means, nor
4 did the language assistants who translated that, so obviously the proper
5 way to do this is just disregard this particular expansion for the
6 purposes of this exhibit.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that is the best solution.
9 At any rate, the acronym PPVS could mean that the individual has
10 submitted a request for --
11 MR. HARMON: I object to that. That's not --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You can take the oath and take over. [Overlapping
13 speakers] ... [Microphone not activated] You are now testifying on that
14 issue that we have not been able to resolve.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mm-hmm. All right.
16 Q. If we suppose, Mr. Starcevic, that a certain individual decides
17 to leave the Army of Republika Srpska and does not join the
18 Yugoslav Army, is this individual eligible for receiving the salary
19 and/or other benefits and fringe benefits due to him or should all the
20 payments be suspended?
21 A. If, on the basis of all the enactments of the Yugoslav Army, he
22 is appointed to a certain position including in the Army of Republika
23 Srpska - I'm not going into the issue of whether that was legal or
24 illegal - then that creates a basis for his receiving all the payments
25 and fringe benefits. If he is not carrying out his duties, then he
1 cannot receive the -- the pay and the fringe benefits. However, a
2 declaratory act or a document has to be issued in which the fact shall be
3 stated that he has abandoned his duty and that he was not discharging the
4 duties for which he had been assigned to a certain post.
5 Q. Thank you. Let's look now at document P2420, MFI. Mr. Harmon
6 asked you some questions about this document too.
7 You saw this document yesterday, and you will remember that we
8 decided that this was a judgement of the Military Disciplinary Court of
9 the Army of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We spoke about the second co-accused. We see his personal
12 details here, Nedeljko Vujic, a major from VP 7272, Banja Luka, then
13 there are some other personal details. And then it says currently
14 residing at an unknown address, a Serb, joined the VRS on the 4th of
15 March, 1993. This judgement was rendered on 20th September, 1995; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear that he joined on the 4th of March, 1993.
19 Okay, now we've got the relevant date. Thank you so much.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So in the judgement rendered on the 20th of September, 1995, the
22 court established that the major's address is unknown?
23 Let us now look at document 2421, under seal, another document
24 that you saw yesterday.
25 If you remember, you saw a document admitted by
1 Ljubisa Velickovic yesterday, and you said that this is a document by the
2 command of the anti-aircraft defence of the Army of Yugoslavia.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the date is 29 January, 1996. Under number 1, you see a
5 reference to Nedeljko Vujic, who now holds the rank of lieutenant-colonel
6 in the Army of Yugoslavia; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What I find interesting - can the document be scrolled up - is
9 what Mr. Velickovic says in this document that he writes to the command
10 of the air force and anti-aircraft defence.
11 Says here that officer under number 1, i.e., Nedeljko Vujic, and
12 under number 4, are serving in the Army of Yugoslavia and have been
13 serving there for other two years and are achieving very good and
14 excellent results. So a possible confirmation of this measure would be a
15 pure loss for the RV and PVO of the VJ.
16 From this document it arises, and I am sure you will agree with
17 me, that this person, Nedeljko Vujic, who according to the previous
18 judgement was residing in an unknown place in May, was serving in the VJ
19 all that time, and he was even promoted. Isn't that so?
20 A. Yes, that's exactly how it looks, according to this.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just let's clear something up. Did I not hear
22 that the previous document judgement was rendered on the 20th of
23 September, 1995. And this one is dated ...
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] January 1996.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: 29 January 1996. And in January 1996, they're
1 saying he has been in the VJ for two years, which goes beyond 20th --
2 yeah, okay.
3 [Microphone not activated] you're right.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And now let's look at another document that Mr. Harmon showed you
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P2422, under seal.
8 Q. And let's bring this Vujic story to an end. On the 12th of
9 October, 2005, his professional military service was discontinued. He
10 held the rank of colonel; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the reason for termination was his 30 years of seniority or
13 active military service?
14 A. Yes, 30 years of active military service and his service was
16 Q. Does this mean or would you agree with me that the Army of
17 Yugoslavia, when this person fled from the Army of Republika Srpska, and
18 pursuant to the previous document, joined the Army of Yugoslavia, and was
19 there all that time, did not want to act on the decision of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska, because he remained in the VJ until he was pensioned
21 off and he was even promoted. He went up through the ranks; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: How do you know that the reason for him leaving
25 was because he did not want to serve in the Army of Republika Srpska?
1 I don't know the reason why he left.
2 How do you know the reason he left?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, and I have never
4 mentioned any reasons. I'm just mentioning facts.
5 Mr. Lukic asked me whether this mean that the Army of Yugoslavia
6 did not want to accept the decision of the Army of Republika Srpska with
7 regard to this person, Vujic. And my answer to that was yes, the Army of
8 Yugoslavia did not accept that particular decision. Why he had left, why
9 the army did not accept the decision, I never spoke about that because I
10 don't know anything about that.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then I misheard -- sorry, I misheard your
12 question. Sorry.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Yes. All I want is to clarify this. Pursuant to the decision of
15 the Military Disciplinary Court, which is document P2420, pursuant to
16 that decision issued by the Army of Republika Srpska, it was established
17 that he was a deserter from the Army of Republika Srpska; and that this
18 happened on the 20th of May, 1993, at least according to the judgement.
19 Could we call it a day, Your Honours, at this moment, but let's,
20 before that, go into open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
22 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. --
24 MR. HARMON: I just want to read the transcript and clarify one
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
2 MR. HARMON: Yes.
3 Mr. Lukic says that it was established that he was a deserter
4 from the army, and this happened on the 20th of May, 1993. First of all,
5 I'm not sure what Mr. Lukic is referring to when he says it was
6 established he was a desert on 20 May 1993. I don't think that
7 accurately states the facts.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, I read this, and we have to go
10 back into private session for me to answer this.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are in private session.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The decision of the Military
13 Disciplinary Court, number P2420, MFI, in the statement of reasons, it
14 says on page 1, on the 20th of May, 1993, Nedeljko Vujic, and before that
15 he said that he wilfully, without the knowledge and approval by the
16 superior organs, left his post and duty. This is what the court
17 established and put on paper on the first page of its judgement.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: We don't have this on the [Overlapping speakers].
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It says in the decision they are
20 guilty. The numbers is 2420. If we can bring the document back on the
21 screen, you will see it.
22 MR. HARMON: I want to correct, Your Honour. What the English
23 translation that I have says that Mr. Vujic absconded from his unit on
24 29th of May, 1993. The record reflects the 20th in the transcript, the
25 20th of May, 1993. I was merely trying to correct what -- an error --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The date.
2 MR. HARMON: Yes, sir.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You agree the 29th, not the 20th because we don't
4 have the document on the screen.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the original, I read 20 May, 1993.
6 Can you see it in the B/C/S version. It may be a mistake in the English
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which paragraph in the B/C/S?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] After the three paragraph under
10 different numbers, where particulars are provided for the individual, it
11 says they are guilty. And then in the middle, if you are following, it
12 says Nedeljko Vujic on 20th of May, 1993. Your Honours, this is in B/C/S
13 line 6 --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you able to just tell us where to look at on
15 the screen, sir? Because --
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the middle of the screen after the
17 words "are guilty."
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: But ... [Microphone not activated]
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And in B/C/S, it is "Krivisu,"
20 underneath that, line 5, you will see it says, Vujic, Nedeljko, and what
21 follows is the date, 20th of May, in the B/C/S version.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in English, it says 29th of May.
23 MR. HARMON: We will get that remedied, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Say that?
25 MR. HARMON: We'll resubmit this and -- we can either do it one
1 of two ways, Your Honour. We can either resubmit this English
2 translation and get it corrected, or we could correct it now orally on
3 the record and just note that this date is wrong and be satisfied.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. And which date shall we go by?
5 MR. HARMON: I would insert -- I think both parties agree we
6 would insert the corrected date from the original, which would be 20 May,
7 1993, instead of 29 May, 1993.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fine it is so corrected.
9 Thank you so much.
10 MR. HARMON: Okay.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
15 We -- Mr. Starcevic, the usual warning. You don't discuss while
16 you are still in the witness stand. The matter stands adjourn to
17 tomorrow, tomorrow the 11th of June, at quarter past 2.00, Courtroom I.
18 Court adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 11th day of June,
21 2009, at 2.15 p.m.