1 Tuesday, 23 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
12 May we have the appearances for today, starting with the
14 MR. SAXON: Good morning, Your Honours. Dan Saxon, Mark Harmon,
15 and Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you very much.
17 And for the Defence.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
19 morning to all the parties to the proceedings. The Defence of Mr.
20 Perisic are represented by Novak Lukic, Mr. Gregor Guy-Smith, and
21 Boris Zorko.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. For the record, we're still
23 sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis, in Judge Picard's absence.
24 Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The Defence wishes to call its first
1 witness, Mr. Miodrag Simic.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] May the witness please
4 make the declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated sir.
8 Good morning to you, sir, and ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
10 morning to everybody else present.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, sir.
12 Mr. Lukic.
13 WITNESS: MIODRAG SIMIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me first ask you to
17 state your name for the transcript, please.
18 A. My name is Miodrag Simic, colonel general of the Army of
20 that of the commander of the 1st Army of the -- for army of the army of
22 Q. Thank you. You have already given an answer that I wanted to
23 elicit among the first things. It has to do with your career.
24 I have already mentioned to you something -- with which you
25 already have experience because you have already testified before this
2 In which case did you testify, sir?
3 A. I testified before this Tribunal in the Ojdanic case as a Defence
4 witness. As far as I remember, it was in September 2007.
5 Q. Thank. While we were preparing for this examination you told me
6 that even then that you knew once you are asked a question in a language
7 you understand, you're supposed to wait for a short while, and the same
8 applies to me, to enable the interpreters to interpret everything for the
9 transcript. You started off at a very good pace. Just please bear in
10 mind to pause a -- for a short while before you answer my question, and
11 you also have the transcript on the screen in front of you.
12 I will try to go through the most important elements of your
13 career briefly. I hope the Prosecution won't object to my leading the
14 witness in these matters to save time.
15 You graduated from the Military Academy
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In 1975, you were sent to the Command Staff Academy
18 army --
19 A. I'm sorry, I didn't receive a translation.
20 Q. In 1975, you were sent for training to the Command Staff Academy
21 A. I completed my training there in the period from 1976 through
23 Q. Before that, during that time you were serving with army units
24 in -- in the 2nd Army, at several places in the area of the Pristina
25 garrison; is that correct?
1 A. I arrived there with a rank of lieutenant in 1970. And I left as
2 lieutenant-colonel in 1984.
3 Q. Then you were transferred to Belgrade and you were appointed to
4 the position of inspector of combat readiness in the chief inspectorate
5 of national defence?
6 A. Yes, of the armed forces of the SFRY.
7 Q. All right. I wasn't as precise as you expected me to be but I
8 will improve.
9 From 1986 you started working in the General Staff of the JNA
10 first, which later became the army of Yugoslavia; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At first, you were an administrative officer in the 1st
13 department for planning and the use of the armed forces; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In 1988, you were promoted to the rank of colonel; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In 1990, you became head of the department for combat readiness
19 and for the planning of combat readiness in the same organisational unit
20 as the General Staff -- of the General Staff in the JNA; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Then you became chief of the department for planning and combat
23 readiness in the 1st Administration of the -- sorry, first department of
24 the 1st Administration; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Later you became chief of department for doctrine and
2 development; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then in 1993, you became chief of department for planning and
5 combat readiness, and, at the same time, deputy of the administration for
6 operations of the General Staff of the army of Yugoslavia; is that
8 A. Yes. But I must add, that that -- that year I also became head
9 of the 1st Administration in November.
10 Q. The information that I had was that this was in 1994. So that in
11 December you became chief of the 1st Administration with the rank of
13 A. In December 2003 [as interpreted], I was appointed to that
14 position based on the order of the Chief of General Staff. I had --
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... witness say
16 December 2003.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1993.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So when were you promoted, Major-General?
22 A. You cannot be promoted to the rank of general without a decree.
23 In March, roughly, the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
24 issued a decree appointing me chief of the administration.
25 Q. You remained in that position until June 1996, when you were
1 appointed Chief of Staff of the 3rd Army of the army of Yugoslavia;
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... does the
4 decree facilitate your promotion to a general or does it appoint you as
5 chief of administration? We got two separate, different answers.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
7 Q. I suppose you understood the Judge Moloto's question.
8 A. Your Honours, for a colonel to be promote to the rank of general,
9 there must be an establishment position, a vacant establishment position
10 and there must be a decree to that effect because generals are appointed
11 by the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, by his decree.
12 The Chief of General Staff issued an order to appoint me to my
13 new position in November 1993. If I had remained in that status, I
14 wouldn't have been able to get the rank of general. I don't know --
15 general. I don't know whether I was clear enough.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. In 1999, you were appointed to the position of councillor of the
19 Ministry of Defence as lieutenant-general; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the same year, you became the assistant Chief of Staff of the
22 army of Yugoslavia
23 lieutenant -- sorry, colonel general.
24 A. The same year, I became assistant Chief of Staff of the
25 Supreme Command for the land forces with the rank of lieutenant-general.
1 But the establishment position is such that this is a position for a
2 colonel general.
3 Q. Now, we will later analyse the notion of the staff of the
4 Supreme Command. But was that during the period of the military
5 intervention in Kosovo? Is that how we should understand the -- the
6 phrase "staff of the Supreme Command"?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But this is really still the General Staff but due to the changed
9 circumstances, the term changed.
10 A. It is defined by our rules and regulations that the
11 General Staff, at times of imminent threat of war, or, in a state of war,
12 is transformed from General Staff to the staff of the supreme commander.
13 Q. And we are now moving closer to the end. In 2000, you became
14 assistant Chief of General Staff for the army of Yugoslavia for
15 operational and staff matters -- sorry, in the section for operational
16 staff matters; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And finally, what you said at the very beginning, in 2001, you
19 became commander of the 1st Army of the army of Yugoslavia. And you were
20 discharged from service on the 31st of December, 2001, when you retired.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Simic, let us first speak about the General Staff
23 in general terms. But let us first try to explain what the General Staff
24 was like in the SFRY and later.
25 Can you tell me in a few words, since at that time, too, you were
1 in the General Staff of the JNA, how the structure was and what the
2 hierarchy was there.
3 A. While the JNA was in existence, the General Staff of the JNA was
4 one of the establishment units of the Federal Secretariat of People's
6 Q. All right. What was the SSNO at the time?
7 A. The Federal Secretariat of People's Defence, SSNO, with regard to
8 the chain of command was directly linked with the Presidency of the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That means that the General Staff was
10 not in the chain of command immediately after the Presidency of the
11 state, but it was immediately below the minister of -- of defence.
12 Q. But then the minister of defence was called federal secretary of
13 People's Defence?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. And the institution was called Federal
15 Secretariat of People's Defence.
16 Q. Who was the federal secretary and who was the Chief of General
17 Staff then?
18 A. Veljko Kadijevic, colonel general, was the federal secretary; and
19 Blagoje Adzic, also colonel general, was Chief of General Staff.
20 Q. What changed in the structure when the Federal Republic
22 passed and regulated military structures?
23 A. When the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established and when
24 it passed its constitution in terms of the command of the army, the chain
25 of command was substantially changed. The Chief of the General Staff was
1 no longer subordinated to the federal minister of defence but, rather, it
2 was subordinated to the Supreme Defence Council as a collective body in
3 command of the army of Yugoslavia
4 Q. Just a moment.
5 [Defence counsel confer]
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Was there a body which was a new body with regard to the Federal
8 Secretariat of National Defence?
9 A. I wanted to be brief. However, when the constitution was passed,
10 that had an impact on the chain of command. And between the secretariat
11 and the minister of defence, there was no longer the relationship of
12 subordination but, rather, mutual cooperation.
13 Q. Who was the minister of defence subordinated to? In what
14 structure was that body?
15 A. The Ministry of Defence was one of the ministry's of the
16 government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
17 Q. Do you remember who the minister of defence was when the ministry
18 was established at --
19 A. At that time, it was the late Pavle Bulatovic.
20 Q. We'll come back to the relationship between the ministry and the
21 General Staff. But now I would like us to look at the Law on Army of
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But now I'd like to call up P197,
25 page 1 in B/C/S and page 2 in the English version.
1 Q. General, could you please look at the articles. If you can't see
2 the picture on the screen, we have a hard copy of everything.
3 A. I would prefer a hard copy. The screen is too far. However if I
4 invest some effort, I will --
5 Q. This seems to be the only document that we don't have a hard copy
6 of but we'll try and enlarge the letters. Please look at Article 3. I'm
7 sure that you know it by heart. General, you know everything that we're
8 going to discuss, almost by heart.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... assist the
10 witness, try to get the screen closer to him.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't have the adequate page.
12 It -- it is probably adequate but can we scroll down the B/C/S page, and
13 blow up the bottom right-hand side corner, yes, Article 3, this is what I
14 wanted. And Article 4 as well.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
16 MR. SAXON: If I can assist, Your Honour. I believe I have a
17 copy in B/C/S, if that would assist the witness, Mr. Lukic.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you very much.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] With pleasure, and I thank you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Simic, I would welcome your comment on Article 3 of the
23 Law on the Army of Yugoslavia
24 screen. But can you please tell us briefly what the article is about.
25 A. This Article of the Law on the Army of Yugoslavia deals with the
1 command in the army and it says that it shall be based on the basic and
2 elementary principle which is the principle of unity of command when it
3 comes to the use of the forces and materiel.
4 Q. It is emphasised that this refers to the use of the forces and
5 materiel; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. We'll come back to that as well.
8 Let's move on to Article 4 which is again very precise and speaks
9 about the position and role of the President of the Republic; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Given the previous article that we just mentioned, Article 3,
13 what was the position of the supreme commander, in terms of the use of
14 the forces and materiel?
15 A. The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as the
16 President of the Supreme Council of Defence had an exclusive and
17 inalienable right to command and use the Army of Yugoslavia in peacetime
18 and in wartime.
19 Q. And then, further on, it -- it is stipulated what the President
20 of the Republic does when it comes to the command of the army. I'm not
21 going to dwell upon that, but we can see that the term "command" is
22 clearly emphasised when it comes to the use of the forces and materiel.
23 And now let's move on to Article 5. I apologise. Please read
24 it, or, actually, I would kindly ask you to comment upon each and every
25 paragraph in this article, because it is very important.
1 A. Article 5 reads:
2 "The General Staff of the army shall be the highest professional
3 and staff organ for the preparation and use of the army in times of peace
4 and war.
5 "The Chief of the General Staff, in accordance with the basic
6 principles of organisation, development and establishment of the army and
7 the documents issued by the President of the Republic, shall do the
9 "Firstly, determine the organisation, plan of development, and
10 establishment of the commands, units, and institutions of the army."
11 Q. Let's stop here for a moment. Let's pause.
12 Could you please comment on what you have just read, the
13 definition of the General Staff, and the main form of the functioning of
14 the Chief of the General Staff.
15 A. You asked me about my position as the assistant Chief of Staff of
16 the Supreme Command for land army. This means that the General Staff was
17 the highest staff organ for the preparation and use of the army in times
18 of peace and war. The Chief of the General Staff was the top person in
19 the army and the army organisation, and as such, it did not have the
20 right to use the -- the army without prior consent or, rather, decision
21 of the supreme commander.
22 Q. In simpler terms, did the general -- the Chief of the
23 General Staff have the right to issue an order or command the use of the
25 A. I have to provide a clarification at this point. If, when we say
1 the use of a unit, if we imply manoeuvre training, alerts, combat,
2 mobilisation, and verification, then the answer would be yes, because
3 these are the elements that constitute preparations for combat. When it
4 comes to the use of the force for which it -- it was prepared, it doesn't
5 have the right because this is within the exclusive purview of the
6 supreme commander.
7 Q. Bear with me, I have to check the transcript.
8 Could you please clarify the following. In the sentence,
9 page 12, when you said alert for combat, could you please clarify that --
10 could you please clarify this for the transcript.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... doesn't say
12 alert for combat. It says manoeuvre, training, alerts, combat, mobilise,
13 and verification.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes, that's correct. Then
15 everything is clear.
16 Q. Your explanation was good, General. We have no problem there.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is not clear to me. I thought you were going
18 to get clarity.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The answer by the General is that all those things
21 that are mentioned there are things that are ordered by the Chief of the
22 General Staff. Further down, he then says:
23 "Because these are the elements that constitute preparations for
24 combat. When it comes to the use of the force for which it was prepared,
25 it doesn't have the right because this is within the exclusive purview of
1 the supreme commander."
2 Now, he has said, amongst others, combat can be ordered by the
3 Chief of the Staff. Now he is saying combat can be ordered by the
4 supreme commander only. Because all the other things are in preparation
5 for combat.
6 So I -- so I'm not clear.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, there has been a misunderstanding due to interpretation.
9 Can you provide an additional explanation?
10 A. Your Honours, since the Chief of the General Staff was tasked --
11 or, rather, responsible for the preparation of the forces of Yugoslavia
12 for its use in the course of those preparations, when it come to the
13 contents of the preparations, this means training, education, the
14 verification of combat readiness, the verification of mobilisation
15 readiness, and other such activities. However, this excludes the
16 engagement in war in -- or in combat. Such a war use could be ordered
17 only by the President of the Republic.
18 Let me provide an additional clarification. The Chief of the
19 General Staff brought the forces up to the level or standard for use.
20 The act of use, however, is something that is within the purview of the
21 President of the Republic, and the President of the Republic had the
22 exclusive right to issue an order for engagement.
23 I don't know if I made myself clear.
24 Q. Let's move on to Article 6 immediately and things will become
25 even clearer.
1 Can you please analyse the first two articles -- first two
2 paragraphs of Article 6. Paragraph (1) and paragraph (2).
3 A. Article 6 elaborates what I've already stated, and that is that
4 the Chief of General Staff, in keeping with his authorities in the
5 discharge of his duties, shall carry out his duties by issuing rules,
6 orders, commands, instructions, and other documents.
7 When it comes to the commanding officers of units and
8 institutions of the General Staff and lower ranking officers, commanders
9 of the forces corps, divisions and brigades, shall command their units in
10 accordance with the law and the command documents issued by their
11 superior officers.
12 And for the Chief of General Staff, the superior officer is the
13 supreme commander.
14 Q. Let me just make a correction in the transcript. I can see that
15 you were reading --
16 A. No, I wasn't.
17 Q. There's no reference to General Staff in paragraph 2 only units
18 and institutions. The command of units and institutions.
19 A. Mr. Lukic, you asked me to comment upon the article, not to read
20 it, and I respected quite consistently what you asked me to do.
21 Q. Very well. And when it comes to the General Staff, who is its
23 A. The commander of the General Staff is the President of the
24 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in accordance with the decisions of the
25 Supreme Defence Council, in accordance with the constitution, the Law on
1 the Army of Yugoslavia
2 Q. Thank you. In the military doctrine of the Army of Yugoslavia,
3 would you say that the Law on the Army or any other regulation provides
4 for the term "daily operative command"?
5 A. Our military [indiscernible] does not recognise in its work the
6 term "operative daily command." We have command at strategic, operative,
7 and tactical levels.
8 As for the so-called daily operative command, in our vocabulary,
9 that would be the method of work of the Chief of General Staff or unit
11 Q. And let me try and conclude. General Perisic, as the Chief of
12 General Staff, was he authorised to command and use the units of the Army
13 of Yugoslavia
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could he transfer any of the duties that he himself did not have
16 onto somebody else?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Let me be very precise, because of the English interpretation.
19 My question, on page 16, line 3, I'll repeat the question.
20 I know that this is a problem for the interpreters, all the
21 terms, and I will try and be very precise but I repeat my question for
22 the clarity of understanding.
23 General Perisic, as the Chief of General Staff of the Army of
25 of Yugoslavia
1 A. The legislator was clear when he said, in the law, the commander
2 of the Army of Yugoslavia was the President of the Federal Republic
5 Q. Thank you. I will no longer need this document at the moment,
6 but I believe that we will be able to come back to it and illustrate.
7 I will now move on to the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
8 and its structure and authorities, but I would like to do it by showing
9 the witness a number of documents.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, is that answer, at line 17, an answer
11 to your question?
12 MR. LUKIC: Just a second.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Who was the supreme commander, not everything
14 may have been recorded in the transcript. The supreme commander of the
16 A. The legislator didn't explicitly stipulate in any provision of
17 the constitution or the law that it is the -- or, rather, who is the
18 supreme commander. But it says that the President of the Republic, in
19 accordance with the decisions taken by the Supreme Defence Council,
20 commands the army, and since there is no part of the chain of command
21 above him, it follows clearly that the one at the top is the
22 supreme commander. That's how we interpreted it in 1999.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm finding it difficult to follow this. I am --
24 I asked you if ... at page 16, line 17 -- or let me go to line 14. You
25 asked: "General Perisic, as the Chief of the General Staff of the Army
1 of Yugoslavia
2 Army of Yugoslavia
3 The answer is: "The legislator was clear when he said, in law,
4 commander in accordance with the decisions of the Supreme Council" -- I
5 don't know what --
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I see that this is wrong. It's
7 wrong in English. Let me try to be as precise as possible.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: It would be very helpful.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I will have to return to the question, General. I'll try to
11 phrase it as simply as possible and I expect your answer to be such.
12 My question was: Did General Perisic, as Chief of Staff of the
13 VJ, have the authority to order the use of the units of the Army of
15 A. Not under the law.
16 Q. Who has the legal power to order the use of units?
17 A. The legislator vested the exclusive -- that exclusive right in
18 the President of the Republic in his capacity of president of the Supreme
19 Defence Council. That is his inalienable right.
20 Q. Is that in keeping with the principle of the unity of command
21 that we mentioned with regard to Article 3?
22 A. Yes. That is the very thing. It may seem confusing that now the
23 Supreme Defence Council comes into play as a collective organ, but, on
24 the other hand, only one person is the commander.
25 The Supreme Defence Council, as a collective organ, takes
1 decisions jointly through discussion, and in keeping with the decision
2 taking -- taken, and respecting the principle of unity of command, which
3 says that only one person can be in command, that person is the President
4 of the Republic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Is it clear now, Your Honours?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] I just wanted that
7 question to be answered, that's all.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Q. I will now move on to another topic, and that is the functioning
10 of the General Staff of the VJ.
11 My first question to you, General is: How were the structure and
12 the purview of the General Staff of the armed forces of the Army of
14 A. The structure and purview of the organisational bodies of the
15 General Staff of the VJ was laid out by the Chief of General Staff, by
16 his order about the tasks of the organisational units of the
17 General Staff.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see pages 1 and 2 of
19 document -- of 65 ter document 01114D.
20 Your Honours, while we're waiting for the document, let me say
21 that this is a rather lengthy document of some 30-odd pages. I didn't
22 wish to tender the entire document initially, but now I understand that
23 it is very important also with regard to the witnesses to come yet. And
24 we don't have a complete English translation at the time being, but it
25 will be completed soon.
1 What we will deal with now is a part which has been assigned
2 another 65 ter number.
3 Q. Let us now take look at the screen. I see that the pages don't
4 match. And the page that we have in B/C/S, is this the order about the
5 purview that you mentioned?
6 A. Yes, the first page. But if you allow me, Mr. Lukic, let me ask
7 to you move this closer to me, because I cannot get up all the time to
8 read from the screen.
9 Q. Yes, I prepared hard copies for you of all documents except for
10 that one that we discussed earlier.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Except, Mr. Lukic, that what we see on B/C/S side
12 of the screen looks like the cover page.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: And on the English side, we don't see the cover
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that. I also wanted
17 to see the cover page of the English version. I would like to see
18 document 65 ter D00376D, both the B/C/S and English versions, which is
19 what the witness has in front of him, only under a different number.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: What -- if you're now calling for --
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I give up the previously called
22 document for the time being. I apologise to everybody.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] ... not going to tender
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, not yet. Page 2.
1 Q. General, what we can see now --
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but could we go back to the
3 previous page, please.
4 Q. We see on the screen the order on the purview of organisational
5 units of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. Isn't that so?
6 And who signed this document?
7 A. It was signed by the Chief of Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
8 Colonel General Momcilo Perisic.
9 Q. Can we -- it says below that this order shall take effect on the
10 day it is issued. Or, rather: "On the day of this order taking effect,
11 the rule book, et cetera, shall cease to be in force."
12 When was this order issued?
13 A. It was issued on --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the date.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters would like the date to be
16 repeated, please.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Could you please repeat the date.
19 A. The order was registered in the log-book of the
20 3rd Administration of the sector for replenishment, mobilisation and
21 systemic affairs on 25th of August, 1994.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: And where is that date on this document? Thank
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can you see now, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. After the scrolling.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Let us now move to page 2, general provisions.
3 Can you say a few general comments about this document and then
4 we will analyse it. What is this thing we're discussing?
5 A. Based on his legal authorities, the Chief of General Staff issued
6 an order, by which he lays out in detail the rights, duties, and
7 authority of the leading persons in the General Staff and the -- their
8 organisational units.
9 Q. The first chapter, general provisions, contains Article 2 and
10 this is basically the -- a -- a copy of the legal provision that we saw
11 in the law, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please comment Article 5 of the general provisions. To
14 who does this article refer and what does it mean?
15 A. Article 5 literally reads:
16 "Command, in terms of this order, represents the function of
17 integrated control of subordinate commands, units and institutions."
18 That means that the Chief of General Staff can command his
19 subordinates, give them duties and tasks, request reports and information
20 about the carrying out of the duties assigned to them.
21 Q. And we will see later for each section who has command authority
22 over who; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Please comment on Article 6.
25 A. Article 6 of the general provisions?
1 Q. Yes, yes, the general provisions.
2 A. Article 6 of the general provisions reads:
3 "Organisational units may not transfer affairs from their
4 competence to VJ commands, units and institutions, unless authorised to
5 do so."
6 If you -- if the Chamber will allow me, I am going to clarify.
7 Any obligation of mine that stems from this order cannot be
8 transferred or delegated by me to anybody else. That is the
9 untransferable right.
10 Q. Thank you. The following chapter reads: The competences of the
11 officers of organisational units of the General Staff of the VJ.
12 Several positions or functions are mentioned here. Why isn't the
13 Chief of Staff one of these? Instead it starts with the Deputy Chief of
15 A. This order is issued by the Chief of General Staff, and whatever
16 he orders refers to his subordinates but not to himself. His duties are
17 defined by a higher-ranking legal act.
18 Q. All right. We will return to this document. But to facilitate
19 the understanding of the remainder of the document, I would like to us
20 take a look at some schematics. I believe that will be easier.
21 What types of organisational units are there in the
22 General Staff?
23 A. The General Staff of the VJ, organisationally and in
24 establishment terms, is structured on -- based on sections and
25 administrations. So it has sections, departments, and other units. So
1 you have -- when you asked me about my duties in the General Staff, I
2 started with that of administrative officer.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will later tender this document,
4 but I would like to see now 65 ter document 00804.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: At what stage do you plan to tender this one?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] A bit later today, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: All right.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I asked for a Defence document, a
9 Defence document, 65 ter 0804D. To avoid any confusion, we marked all of
10 our documents, all of our 65 ter documents with a D at the end.
11 Q. While this is being done, did the General Staff, in the
12 organisational terms, undergo changes in the structure from the moment
13 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was created and its army?
14 A. Yes. From 1992, when the ministry was separated from the
15 General Staff, in the course of the next several years, there was an
16 ongoing process to build up the organisation and establishment structure.
17 In the process of separation, many things in the system of command and
18 control of the organisation were seen as being controversial. So
19 gradually, as the situation allowed, we improved and built up on the
20 organisation. That's why you will come across a lot of schematics
21 starting with the sector --
22 Q. We'll come to that, but let's look at the illustration first.
23 You have a Serbian version in front of you. This is a schematic dated 15
24 June 1993. Do you have that in front of you on the screen?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Just a moment --
2 A. And could this please be --
3 Q. Hold on just for a moment. We'll give you a hard copy.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have four schematics for the
5 witness, and we would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to follow on the
7 Could you please put the English version on the screen for the
8 Trial Chamber and everybody else in the courtroom, and the witness will
9 be provided with hard copies in B/C/S.
10 Let's just wait a moment for the English version to be brought
11 back onto the screen for everybody in the courtroom. I believe that this
12 version is too small for the Trial Chamber to be able to follow. You
13 have to blow it up a little.
14 Although General Perisic does not have the schematic in front of
15 him, I'm sure he know what is we're talking about.
16 Q. General, this schematic dates back from -- back to June 1993.
17 Could you please tell us in a few words, in general terms, what the
18 composition of the General Staff was. You don't have to describe
19 everything in detail. Just describe the structure.
20 A. The Chief of General Staff, at that time, was linked to the
21 sector for operations and staff; sector for organisation, recruitment and
22 information; the logistics sector; personnel administration; information
23 and moral guidance department; security administration; intelligence
24 administration; and VJ inspection. All these were directly linked to
25 him, as well as the department for liaising with international military
1 representatives and his own office. So this is the most immediate link
2 in the chain of command for the General Staff.
3 Q. And for the Trial Chamber to be able to follow the first next
4 major change that happened, what was the problem within the schematic and
5 what was changed subsequently? What elements or -- maybe I should put on
6 the screen the next schematic?
7 A. No, I have them in hard copy. With the permission of the
8 Trial Chamber, I would say that here you can see that in the sector for
9 operations and staff affairs there are branch administrations which are
10 responsible for branches in depth. For example, the administration for
11 land army accounts for 80 per cent of the Army of Yugoslavia; the air
12 force administration accounts for 15 per cent; and navy accounts for
13 8 per cent. And thus the leading personnel --
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness is now
15 dealing with the first column on the left-hand side. In the sector for
16 operations, reference is made to land forces administration, air force
17 administration, and navy operation -- administrations. [In English] In
18 that period.
19 Q. [Interpretation] When you're talking about the different branches
20 or services, you mean three services in the military, or different
22 A. I am referring to them, meaning that the Army of Yugoslavia was
23 composed three different branches: Land forces, air force, and navy.
24 Q. And at that time --
25 A. And now -- and when we took over the organisation, which meant
1 that we were separated from the General Staff, such administrations which
2 were actually sectors in the ministry, we transformed them into
3 administrations which aggravated --
4 Q. Let me interrupt you in order to avoid confusion and also we have
5 the interpretation.
6 You mean in the period when there was the Secretariat for
7 National Defence, those were sectors within the National Secretariat, and
8 then in this schematic you transformed them into administrations within
9 the framework of the first sector? Just for the interpretation.
10 A. If you allow me, bearing in mind the aggravating circumstance you
11 will see in the following schematic that, from the sector for operations
12 and staff affairs, we brought those administrations up to a higher level
13 and linked them up directly to the Chief of the General Staff.
14 Q. Just a moment. Could we please --
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would firstly like to tender this
16 document into evidence before I do anything else.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I would object to the admission of this
20 document at this time. We know nothing about the source of this
21 document. We know nothing about who made it.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Maybe the witness can help us and tell us whether he knows who
25 drafted the schematics that we are currently discussing?
1 A. These schematics were prepared by the General Staff within the
2 framework of the project to transform the General Staff of the Army of
4 leadership of the chief of the sector for operations and staff affairs.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And let me add to that, Your Honours,
6 in the document of the order, there is a schematic that accompanies the
7 1994 order. I intentionally provided a bigger expert [as interpreted]
8 for us to peruse but let me repeat that one part of the entire order is
9 also the schematic.
10 MR. SAXON: I'm not sure which document Mr. Lukic is referring to
11 now. We're dealing with 803D; isn't that correct? Or 804?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: 804D [Microphone not activated].
13 MR. SAXON: Yeah.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. In any event, I believe
15 that the witness corroborated the authenticity of the document and that
16 the document can therefore be tendered into evidence.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The only problem is the witness says it was drawn
18 by the General Staff. You know, he doesn't tell us who in the Staff drew
19 this document. He says -- you know, if you read at page 27, line 10:
20 "The schematics were prepared by the General Staff within the
21 framework of the project to transform the General Staff of the Army of
23 leadership of the chief of the sector for operations and staff affairs."
24 I'm not quite sure whether he tells us who drafted this document.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I assume, Your Honours, that we
1 should not maintain the standard of knowing exactly who the author of
2 each and every document is.
3 As for the authenticity of this document, we have a competent
4 witness who confirms that this was drafted by a whole body, and I believe
5 that when it comes to the authenticity that this is relevant and enough
6 for a document to be admitted. We have had a lot of Prosecution
7 documents admitted without any of the witnesses being able to ascertain
8 which person exactly drafted the document but were able to confirm its
10 You are here to be the judge of the witness's capability to
11 confirm the authenticity of the document. He told us that the document
12 was drafted by the entire General Staff. Maybe Mr. Simic has something
13 to add.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave ...
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Simic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The way it was translated to me was
17 that the entire General Staff became the sector for operations and staff
18 affairs. I didn't say that. I state at this point that within the
19 process of transformation, the coordinating role, the main role was
20 assumed by the sector for operations and staff affairs. However, that
21 sector was not omnipotent. In coordination with other sectors it came by
22 and arrived at optimum solutions for particular schematics that we see
23 here at the moment in front of us. And these schematics were
24 subsequently changed and they assumed their final shape in the year 1994,
25 pursuant to an order of the Chief of the General Staff about the
1 authorities and competencies of the organisational units of the
2 General Staff. The schematics show a certain evolution in the
3 organisational buildup and improvement of the General Staff structure.
4 I don't know whether I have managed to make myself clear.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any comments from the Prosecution?
6 MR. SAXON: Nothing further, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, are you able to tell us, in brief, what
8 the witness was saying here? I'm not quite sure I understand.
9 We're dealing here with --
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I believe that the witness
11 has tried to explain a factual position and he has tried to explain why
12 the structure of the General Staff had to be changed. But I adhere to my
13 original comment. The witness said that the schematic was drafted by the
14 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia which confirms the authenticity
15 of the document. We can't go on and try to ascertain who the individual
16 author of each and every document is. I believe that the authenticity of
17 the document has been corroborated sufficiently for the document to be
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
20 please be given an exhibit number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. The document shall be
22 assigned Exhibit D195. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Before the break, I would like to go
25 over the second schematic, just briefly, to maintain the line of
1 questioning. Or maybe -- or perhaps we should have the break first, Your
2 Honours, and then come back to the second schematic.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... to come back
4 to this one, because I don't know what it is telling me.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... quarter to
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you wanted to clarify
13 something about the schematic additionally, or maybe I can pass on to the
14 next one and then I believe what the witness said will become fully
15 clear, because the witness was already explaining things that can be
16 found in the following schematic, so either way.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Carry on, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, we were looking at the schematic from
20 June 1993, and you said that the branches of the military were -- were in
21 the first sector.
22 Now, let's, please, see the 65 ter Defence document, 00805D.
23 And please comment briefly on the changes as compared to the
24 previous state which -- which refers to June 1993. Let me just check
25 whether we have the English version of the document for the Trial Chamber
1 to be able to follow.
2 You have in front of you this document from December 1993. And
3 what kind of changes were made to the organisational structure of the
4 General Staff?
5 A. In the improvement of the organisational structure, which we call
6 transformation, the greatest change occurred in the sector for
7 operational and staff affairs. Earlier, this sector contained the land
8 forces administration. But now, as we can see from the schematic,
9 this -- this is an sector for the land forces, which has its service
10 administrations. Likewise, in the earlier schematic, we had the air
11 force and anti-aircraft defence administration within this sector, but
12 now, after the changes, we can see there is a sector for the air force
13 and anti-aircraft defence, which sector has its administrations --
15 Furthermore, we can observe the same in the navy administration.
16 In the more recent version, it has grown into a sector for the navy.
17 These are the most significant changes that affected the organisation of
18 the General Staff.
19 Q. Let me ask you something that matters to me for the Defence.
20 We don't need to call up the previous schematic but we can see
21 the intelligence administration as an independent administration directly
22 subordinate to the chief. What happened to the intelligence
23 administration in this transformation as we see in this schematic from
24 December 1993?
25 A. The intelligence administration, in the previous schematic, which
1 reported to the Federal Secretariat of People's Defence, was autonomous
2 or independent. We saw that the intelligence administration must be
3 integrated with the operations officer, and it became -- it has become
4 part of the sector for operational and staff affairs. It become an
5 organisational unit of that sector.
6 Q. How -- what is it called here in this schematic?
7 A. It's called the 2nd Administration.
8 Q. The intelligence administration was also called -- often called
9 the 2nd Administration, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We also see here some slight changes. Among others, we can see
12 the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff. How come?
13 A. Due to the complexity of affairs and due to the large workload on
14 the General Staff at the time, the solution was introduced to establish
15 the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff as a person to coordinate
16 some organisational units and, thus, he will be able to present to the
17 Chief of General Staff semi-finalised products, to call them that,
18 without -- so that the Chief of General Staff doesn't have to deal with
19 everything from the very beginning.
20 Q. There's another organisational unit important to us here. The
21 previous department for liaison with international military
22 representatives here becomes the administration for liaison with
23 international military representatives.
24 I apologise for putting leading questions.
25 A. Yes, can you see that clearly from the schematic. I didn't
1 consider it necessary to mention it. This department became an
2 administration because the Chief of General Staff assigned more a complex
3 task to that organisational unit. Otherwise, the tasks remained the
5 Q. Now I will ask you something that I didn't ask you in the
6 proofing, so if you don't remember, don't reply.
7 Do you know who headed the individual sectors or administration
8 in 1993 and the two years to follow? Do you remember who was the head of
9 this administration for liaison with international military
11 A. I believe it was Colonel Dragan Vuksic, as far as I remember.
12 Q. Yes, that's what I think too. Who was the head of the your
13 sector for operational staff affairs?
14 A. If you're asking me only about the period when General Perisic
15 was there, there were General Polic, General Blagoje Kovacevic,
16 General Martinovic, and I subsequently left the General Staff.
17 Q. And who was the head of the security administration?
18 A. Throughout that period, Colonel Aleksandar Dimitrijevic was the
19 head of that unit.
20 Q. Who you happen to know who the head of the logistics sector was?
21 A. It was General Djukic in the earliest period. After Djukic there
22 was Milovanovic, then Sljivic.
23 Q. But Djukic was before the transformation?
24 A. Yes, in the earliest period. That's why I called it that.
25 Before the transformation, yes.
1 Q. Do you happen to know who was the head of the office of the Chief
2 of General Staff?
3 A. The office of the Chief of General Staff was headed by several
4 persons in sequence. There were Colonel Bojovic, Colonel Zivanovic, who
5 later became General. And there was another, but I can't remember his
6 name now.
7 Q. Sinisa --
8 A. For a while, General Milovanovic and Sinisa Borovic for the most
9 time and there was one more, but I can't remember his name.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this schematic into
12 evidence, Your Honours.
13 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, I will simply make the same objection
14 that I made to the last document, as we have no evidence as to who
15 actually produced this. Just for the record, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I can only repeat my previous reply.
18 The witness knows that this document originates from the General
19 Staff and I believe that sufficiently establishes the authenticity.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't testify, Mr. Lukic. You haven't asked that
21 question to this witness [Overlapping speakers] ...
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I didn't ask.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... you can't just say I
24 will repeat what I said earlier. You have got to get this witness to
25 authenticate this document.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, do you know the origin of the schematic?
5 A. Your Honours, I feel the need to additionally clarify the
6 methodology of the production of this document, with your leave.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead, sir.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It cannot be said that the -- one
9 person is the author of the entire document. Based on the order issued
10 by the 1st Administration of the sector for operational staff affairs to
11 make a new organisational structure of the General Staff, all
12 organisational units submit their respective proposals to the sector for
13 organisation, manning, and ... and mobilisation systemic issues.
14 Then what ensued is a discussion at the level of organisational
15 units and the amended proposals are submitted to the Chief of
16 General Staff, to who they were presented. What was -- he is informed of
17 what was harmonised and what was not, and then it is up to him to decide.
18 Based on that decision, the administration for organisation and
19 manning produces the document in accordance with the order of the Chief
20 of General Staff.
21 I hope that I was being clear enough now.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
23 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour, what the witness has just
24 explained then really raises some additional issues. How do we know then
25 that what we're seeing here, what is being offered by the Defence was the
1 final version that was approved by the Chief of the General Staff?
2 We've heard no evidence of that, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I merely asked the
5 witness whether this document was produced in the General Staff of the
6 Army of Yugoslavia
7 Q. Just answer that question.
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 MR. SAXON: Well, then the issue, Your Honour, goes to probative
10 value. If we don't know whether this was the final version that was
11 approved by the Chief of the General Staff, then what probative value
12 would this document have in this case?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the Prosecution
14 challenges the authenticity, that is one thing. The witness explained
15 the structure, and that it was in full correspondence, it fully matched
16 the schematic, and that this schematic was made by the General Staff.
17 The witness stated that this is a reflection of the
18 organisational structure of the General Staff at the time. And this
19 schematic was produced in the General Staff, and I believe that it is
20 admissible as evidence.
21 MR. SAXON: Then, Your Honour, this may very well be one of the
22 proposals that the witness described a few moments ago. We don't know
23 whether this version was accepted as the proper version by the Chief of
24 the General Staff.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can't you solve that but just asking the witness?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I needn't say at all
2 that this is the version as signed by the Chief of General Staff. This
3 witness was saying that this version, this document, was made in the
4 General Staff as the document that reflected the functioning of the
5 General Staff at that time.
6 If I had a document signed by the Chief of General Staff, that
7 would be one thing. But this is a schematic which shows that this
8 document was produced in the General Staff.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question is not whether it was signed by the
10 General Staff [sic]. It is whether he approved it.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Simic, do you know whether General Perisic approved such a
14 A. Absolutely. This schematic is one of the appendices that we used
15 at the time while we were working on these documents.
16 MR. SAXON: Well, Your Honour, if this document -- if this
17 schematic was used as an appendix while documents were being worked on,
18 that does not necessarily indicate that this is a final version that was
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute, wait a minute.
21 Mr. -- Mr. Simic, did you indicate at the beginning, when you
22 started with these schematics, were they attached to an order by the
23 Chief of General Staff or are they just separate documents? They're not
24 attached to anything. Because I thought, when you started, there was an
25 order, and then there was the schematics which were attachments.
1 Can you just correct me there?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said both. The methodology of
3 work was such that the operations administration issues a systemic order
4 as to what must be done by organisational units. It is clear it is
5 defined that each has to submit a proposal on behalf of its
6 organisational unit as to the structure of the future General Staff.
7 Based on that order of the Chief of General Staff, the organisational
8 units submit their own proposals to the sector for organisation and
9 manning, and based on all these proposals, a discussion takes place about
10 what is good, what isn't, what should be changed, et cetera, and we come
11 up with a single position.
12 Based on that, the organisational sector takes a decision which
13 will be signed by the Chief of General Staff with these appendices but
14 not all of them, because it didn't all happen at the same moment. It --
15 it went on over a period of time. So one schematic applies to one
16 period, another to another period, et cetera.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will you please listen to my question and --
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I maybe be able to help
21 before you ask your question.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I asked a question and I'd like it to be answered.
23 Listen to my question very carefully. My question to you is: As
24 you started testifying about the schematics, I got the impression that
25 these schematics are attachments to the order issued by the General --
1 the Chief of the General Staff. Am I right in saying so, or am I wrong?
2 Are they part of a document that forms the order that was issued by the
3 Chief of the General Staff?
4 Your answer is going to be yes, or no, or I don't know.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. Yes.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to put another question
8 before your final decision about the authenticity of this document.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead. Go ahead.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the B/C/S version of
11 this document on the screen, please.
12 Could the stamp please be blown up? It's in the right-hand side
13 corner. This is for the witness to read and tell us whose stamp this is.
14 Q. Could you possibly read --
15 A. The Republic of Serbia
16 Q. Where would a document of this kind and with this stamp originate
18 A. The Ministry of Defence.
19 Q. The Republic of Serbia
20 A. The Republic of Serbia
21 Q. Because it is the successor of --
22 A. Yes, it is the successor of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you say it originates from the minister of
25 defence? It doesn't originate from the office of the Chief of Staff.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The office of the Chief of General
2 Staff is a miniature unit in the organisation and it could not be
3 responsible for such a complex task. There are tactical subjects
4 responsible for that. It originates from the minister of defence because
5 at that time we inherited that from the minister of defence, General
6 Zivota Panic was still the Chief of General Staff and the other Panic was
7 minister of defence. The two had not been separated at the time.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to clarify
9 and answer your question, but I -- for that, I would need to send the
10 witness out of the courtroom. I would like to avoid any further
11 confusion but I don't want the discussion to take place in front of the
13 So can the witness please be removed for a couple of minutes,
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It will not be necessary. The document is
16 admitted into evidence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, I wish -- I would like to clarify
18 one more thing.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... trouble is,
20 are you going to take the witness-stand.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No. There's no need for the witness
22 to leave, I agree. But I would like to clarify that all documents that
23 bear this stamp, and the Prosecutor knows it, originate from the archives
24 of the Ministry of Serbia. That's where the archives are housed. All
25 the documents that the OTP received from the National Council for
1 Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal originate from the archives of the
2 Ministry of Serbia.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have already given a ruling. Thanks for the
4 explanation. May it please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
6 Exhibit D196.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, let's look at another table very briefly. It's 65 ter,
10 for the next sequence of transformations, 65 ter 00803D. 12 May 1994 is
11 the date that this table bears.
12 And -- just briefly --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: And can we -- we do see the B/C/S [Overlapping
14 speakers] ... it has a stamp.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation][Overlapping speakers] ... yes, of
16 course. Yes, of course. Of course, can we have the English, please,
17 yes. Could we have the English version on the screen, please.
18 Q. Just a few words with regard to the changes on the previous
19 structure of the General Staff.
20 A. Which schematic do you have in mind?
21 Q. 12 May 1994.
22 A. I don't have that schematic, as far as I can tell. The month of
23 May. I have the month of June 1993; December 1993; 12 May 1994. I
25 Q. Yes, that's the one.
1 A. I apologise.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where is that date on this English version?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could move to the right? Could you
4 move the document to the right? No, sorry, to the left, in order to
5 display the date in the right upper corner.
6 Now I've just been told that there's no date, although in the
7 B/C/S there is a date, Your Honours. Maybe we can display the official
8 translation -- or, rather, the B/C/S original.
9 Can you see the date in the upper right-hand side corner?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, I can see.
11 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
12 MR. SAXON: If I can assist, on the bottom of page 3 of my
13 English translation, there is an date, or at least there seems to be a
14 footer, which describes the document and gives the date.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Saxon. We don't see that part.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Tell me, please -- all right.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness, where do you see a difference, if you do?
21 A. Can you -- can I have it on the screen?
22 Q. The English version only a few sentences.
23 A. In this schematic, in our further work, a need arose for the
24 organisational unit to be called by its proper name. For example, sector
25 for operations and staff affairs. And the chief who covered that
1 establishment post was then called the assistant Chief of General Staff
2 for operations and staff affairs. Accordingly, a need also arose for a
3 chief himself, because of the technical requirements he had, and the
4 coordination with his subordinates, to exist a miniature organ that we
5 called a sector for operations and staff affairs.
6 Q. Thank you very much. This is not of a -- any consequence for our
7 case -- for our case.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document
9 into evidence, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Even though it is of no consequence to your case.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, no, what the witness has just
12 told us is enough. I don't want to pursue the matter any further. He
13 told us that there were changes indeed within the sector, within the
14 framework of the sector, and that suffices. I don't want to pursue the
15 matter any further.
16 I would like to speed things along.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
18 please be given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
20 Exhibit D197. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And the last schematic, could we have
23 it on the screen? 65 ter 00806D, dated 29 December 1995.
24 Q. You have a hard copy, General, I believe.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I will have just one question with regard this schematic,
2 something that I want to hear from you.
3 We saw that, during the previous period, the intelligence
4 administration, that you also called the 2nd Administration, was part of
5 the sector for operations and staff affairs. Could you tell us what
6 happened to it as a result of this transformation that took place in
7 December 1995?
8 A. The intelligence administration or the 2nd Administration for
9 intelligence, or just the 2nd Administration as it was referred to in the
10 previous schematic, a need arose for the Chief of General Staff to have
11 that administration directly linked to him so as to be able to
12 communicate with it without any mediators and to receive information
13 first-hand. And that's why this was removed from the sector for
14 operations and staff affairs, and became directly attached to the Chief
15 of General Staff.
16 Q. It became an independent administration?
17 A. Yes. It became an independent administration within the
18 General Staff, which means that one step was skipped within the chain of
19 command and the Chief of General Staff received direct information.
20 Q. Who was the head of the intelligence administration during that
21 period of time that we're talking about?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down, slow down. [Microphone not activated].
23 You may answer, sir.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You may answer.
1 A. Branko Krga, General Branko Krga. And later on, he became the
2 Chief of General Staff.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I please tender this document
4 into evidence as well.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
8 Exhibit D198. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And now we shall go back to the order on the authorities of
11 organisational units but we will be dealing exclusively with your sector
12 and your administration.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] But before that, Your Honours, I
14 would like to refer to the document that we looked at as a general
15 introduction. The number is D176D [as interpreted] to be tendered into
16 evidence, that was the first part of that order, and now we will be
17 dealing with the second part of that order and we will call it up on the
19 I would like that tender 00376D into evidence.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: 00376D, the document is admitted into evidence.
21 May it please be given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
23 Exhibit D199. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Simic, let's talk about the sector where you spent most of
2 your career in the General Staff, and especially about its
3 1st Administration.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
5 65 ter 0114D. B/C/S page 7; English page 1.
6 Let me repeat, 1114.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: How many 1s?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated] 1114D.
9 [Interpretation] Page 7 in B/C/S, please; page 1 in English,
11 Could you please move the B/C/S version to the left? I am
12 interested in bullet point 16. Thank you very much.
13 Q. Let's analyse the sector for operations and staff affairs.
14 General, you can see here what the basic functions of the sector
15 are. Could you please explain in your own words what the significance of
16 the sector was?
17 A. The sector for operations and staff affairs unified and
18 coordinated the activities of its organisational units when it came to
19 the performance and discharge of tasks and duties. Actually, it was a
20 staff organ of the General Staff. And in this particular schematic, you
21 can see that it was dealing with the tasks pertaining to planning, the
22 engagement and combat readiness, planning the development of the VJ,
23 combat training and education, as well as intelligence support to the VJ.
24 This is -- this is where a different administration was -- or,
25 rather, the 2nd Administration was still part of that sector.
1 Q. Very well. What was the place of the 1st Administration within
2 the framework of this sector?
3 A. Mr. Lukic, I was the chief of that administration, so it is very
4 difficult for me to say; however, before the Trial Chamber, I have to say
5 it. This administration was on a par -- or, rather, what the General
6 Staff was for the Supreme Command, that's what this administration was
7 for the General Staff. Or let me define this in different words.
8 The 1st Administration was a staff administrative coordinating
9 interbranch professional organ, which used to perform functional tasks.
10 I've used --
11 Q. That administration as well as all the other organs had its
12 own -- its basic function. It had other functions and tasks. And it
13 says here very clearly. But could you please use your own words and tell
14 us what the basic function of the 1st Administration was?
15 A. The basic functions of the 1st Administration were multi-fold.
16 There were maybe eight or nine of them, but the most important was the
17 planning, the engagement and combat readiness of the Army of Yugoslavia;
18 planning the elements or devising the strategical elements of the
19 development of VJ; the preparation of terrain; scientific and research
20 work within the area of military skills.
21 Q. I would like to ask you something else. What is the connection
22 between the administration and the border?
23 A. State border security was one of its tasks and functions.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move to the following
25 page in B/C/S and can we also display page 2 in the English version.
1 Q. When we were talking about the principles or basic principles
2 laid out at the beginning of this order, you told us what the sense of
3 this order was. This is very clearly spelled out. But could you please
4 tell us, when it come to the 1st Administration, who did the
5 1st Administration command?
6 A. The 1st Administration, and this applies to all of the
7 organisational units, commands its own subordinated organisations and
8 units. Let me be more specific. The 1st Administration had the first
9 department, a second department, a department for operations and general
10 planning. They are a section for state border and operational centre.
11 Those were its organisational units that the 1st Administration was
12 composed of and it was also immediately or directly linked to the
13 military and geographic institute, but that was not an organisational
14 unit of the General Staff but it -- it was outside of the General Staff.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down. I can see that you speak slowly
16 fairly, but funnily enough the interpreter is having difficulty keeping
17 pace with you. So if you could try to slow down as you speak, sir, I
18 would appreciate it very much.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I get
20 carried away in testifying. I will try to avoid being cautioned in the
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let me now ask you the following. The tasks are listed here. I
25 will only ask you about some.
1 The first task mentioned here monitors and assesses the military
2 and security situation in the surrounding countries, and issues orders as
3 to the taking of measures for the defence of the country.
4 Is this basically the most important or maybe the upper-most task
5 of the 1st Administration?
6 A. I agree with you that this is one of the important tasks of the
7 1st Administration, because any surprise is meant to be prevented by
9 Let me repeat: The monitoring and assessment of the military and
10 political situation in the territory, the territorial waters and the
11 air-space, a professional assessment of the situation, the drawing of
12 conclusions as to how that situation affects the security of the
13 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
14 that certain measures be taken, measures of combat readiness.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't see on the document what are you talking
16 about. What you said in your question and the answer, I don't see on the
18 You asked the question:
19 "The first task mentioned here monitors and assesses the military
20 and security situation in the surrounding countries, and issues orders as
21 to the taking of measures for the defence of the country."
22 I didn't see it -- where on that page that was being shown, and
23 the answer that came thereafter. I tried to look, I couldn't see it.
24 I see the page has now changed. I don't know ...
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] -- it is [In English] monitoring.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: We moved that --
4 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, sorry.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: It was there on the page that I was looking at at
6 the time.
7 MR. LUKIC: Sorry. [Interpretation] We apologise, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's not your fault. It's ... it's the screen.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honour, I will
10 just check something in the transcript.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The next thing I'm interested in is the following item:
14 "Draws up, updates and inspects the plans of engagement of VJ?"
15 Let me ask you General, what exactly is a plan of engagement of
16 the army?
17 A. The plan of engagement of the VJ is a complex document which must
18 be made early on and defines how the army is to be used in war. It is
19 the 1st Administration that is tasked with drafting these plans and it
20 does so in organisation with -- in -- sorry, in coordination with all
21 organisational units of the General Staff. It is the only unit
22 authorised to keep those plans and controls them in the subordinate
23 units. It also monitors the updating of those plans, in accordance with
24 organisational changes performed in individual commands or units.
25 Q. Thank you. Right below that, there's something that we will
1 discuss later, and it refers to the border service. But let me ask you
2 first: How do you explain the following tasks? It is charged with the
3 drafting of the plan of strategic camouflage.
4 A. We all know that all armies in the world, which certainly
5 includes the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, try to keep its
6 plans of engagement secret, so as to prevent intelligence services to
7 come by that information. That is why the plan of operative and
8 strategic camouflage is made.
9 It means, very briefly, that this plan is meant to deceive the
10 possible adversary with regard to our real intents.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like this document to be
13 marked for identification because we don't yet have a full English
14 translation. But once we get it, we'll tender it into evidence.
15 I don't intend to ask the witness anything else about this
16 document. As I said, this is 001114D.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and marked
18 for identification. May it please be given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
20 Exhibit D200, marked for identification. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see document 01129D
23 on the screen, please.
24 Q. This is an extract about the internal organisation of the
25 1st Administration, which is your administration, sir.
1 Can you see the document on the screen in front of you,
2 Mr. Simic? If not, I can provide a hard copy.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Who signed the document?
5 A. This is my signature.
6 Q. What is this about?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please turn the page,
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What this is about, I have
10 described to you how a certain organisational structure is developed. We
11 can see from this document that the chief of sector requested all
12 administrations to submit their view on the future organisational
13 structure and the functional tasks of their respective administrations.
14 I drafted this with my co-workers and submitted it to the head of
15 sector which will integrate all such proposals at the level of the entire
16 sector and the -- the following procedure is as described before.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to see page 7 of the
18 B/C/S version, and page 6 of the English version.
19 Q. I'm only interested in two organisational units on which I would
20 like your comments, sir.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please enlarge the B/C/S text,
22 the second paragraph, for the General to see better.
23 Q. I'm interested to hear from you about the tasks and authority of
24 the state border sector.
25 A. This sector -- or, actually, section is an organisational unit of
1 the 1st Administration. It has the basic task of regulating, monitoring
2 the situation and proposing that certain measures be taken to the end of
3 securing the state border.
4 At the level of -- of an army, we had organs for the border
5 service. All the reports from the border organs were forwarded along the
6 chain of command. They were subordinate to the commander of the army,
7 and the officer in charge of state border-related issues would forward it
8 to me.
9 Q. Let us be more precise. Which chain of command exactly are we
10 now referring to, with regard to this organisational unit of the
11 General Staff?
12 A. When it comes to professional expertise, border units are linked
13 with the border section of the 1st Administration. In the chain of
14 command, they are linked with the corps commanders or army commanders
15 respectively, in their respective zones of responsibility.
16 Q. One more organisational unit about which we will speak more
17 extensively during your testimony is one more thing I'm interested in.
18 Tell us, please, what is the operative centre of the
19 General Staff of the VJ? Can you explain to the Trial Chamber in simple
21 A. The operative centre of the General Staff of the VJ is also an
22 organisational unit of the 1st Administration, which exclusively deals
23 with the collection of information from the territory, territorial waters
24 and air-space of other federal organs in the country and, together with
25 them, drafts reports about the information so collected for certain
1 persons in the General Staff.
2 It has a staff of 13 experienced officers with a rank of colonel,
3 with abundant experience in the units or the staffs of armies and corps.
4 They needed at least 20 years of experience.
5 Q. We'll speak about this document -- these documents some more.
6 But what was their -- what were their working hours?
7 A. The operative centre works round the clock, seven days a week.
8 It has such equipment and materiel that enable it to be in -- to have
9 communication with all subordinate army commands and also with the
10 federal institutions in charge, such as the office of the minister of
11 defence and the operative centre of the MUP of the Republic of Serbia
12 the centre for information and --
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have an exhibit number for
15 this document? There's no need for me to ask questions about the
16 remainder of the document at the time being.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
18 please be given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
20 Exhibit D201. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I would now pass onto another document and another task of yours.
24 Was one of the tasks of the 1st Administration drafting the plans
25 of activities of the General Staff of the VJ for a certain period?
1 A. I have mentioned, among others, that there was a department for
2 operative and general planning. It was via this department that the
3 1st Administration drafted monthly and annual plans of activities of the
4 General Staff.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see document 65 ter 00966D,
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: 0096D.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It is 966D.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We can give you a hard copy, General, if you want, or maybe we
12 can enlarge it on the screen. I think it will be better to give you a
13 hard copy.
14 Who is the author of this document? Can you see it?
15 A. Yes, I can see it, but I'm waiting for you to fulfil your
17 Q. I just wanted to make use of the time while we're waiting.
18 What is this document, Mr. Simic?
19 A. This document is an accompanying document which I, as a chief of
20 the 1st Administration of the General Staff, signed.
21 There's a distribution list, and you can see to who it was
22 distributed, to all organisational units of the General Staff, and those
23 immediately subordinated in the chain of command; directly subordinated
24 to the chief of General Staff, that is. You can see that 22 copies were
25 made and to who it was distributed.
1 Q. Let us be precise. Under 22 of the -- in the distribution list,
2 who is that?
3 A. It is the inspection of the VJ.
4 Q. But above that, 22?
5 A. The federal Ministry of Defence. No, it is not subordinated.
6 But I mentioned that there was cooperation and, therefore, it was
7 required for certain organisational units of the ministries to be
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to the following page in
10 both language versions.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You asked the question who is number 22 on the
12 distribution list. I don't see a number 22.
13 MR. LUKIC: Uh-huh.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Please tell us, although it says here, to who was this plan
17 forwarded and who approves it?
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see page 3 in the English,
19 please. Yes, thank you.
20 Q. Now, tell us, whose responsibility was it to approve this plan?
21 On page 2, you can see it in the left corner.
22 A. This work-plan is approved by the Chief of the General Staff. It
23 was made by the 1st Administration in cooperation with other
24 organisational units, and I forwarded it to all relevant units who were
25 meant to implement it.
1 Q. We can see on page 3 of the B/C/S and on page 4 of the English -
2 if we could have that on our screens - that there are general goals and
3 specific goals, but I don't want to dwell on that because it can be read
5 But, now, let's go to B/C/S page 4 and page 5 of the English.
6 Could you please comment -- let's just wait for it to appear on
7 the screen.
8 So here's what I'm interested in. Could you please comment on
9 these priority tasks. How do you explain them in relation to what is
10 written here on this page, under 1, please.
11 A. Here you can see that we define in global terms what a general
12 goal was, what special goals were, and then those served to define tasks.
13 And within the scope of the tasks not all the tasks carry the same
14 specific weight, and that's why we expressed, under C, what our priority
15 tasks were.
16 I can say that two-thirds of the forces and resources of the Army
17 of Yugoslavia
18 Q. Could you please comment upon the first priority task, only the
19 first one.
20 A. The first priority task is similar to what I said about the
21 operations centre.
22 It says here: Monitor and assess the military and political
23 situation in the country and in the surrounding area. And then proposes
24 the taking of relevant measures with a view to raising combat readiness.
25 Q. Why does it say here that the situation has to be monitored and
1 assessed primarily in the crisis areas of the country and the areas of
2 the seceded republics? Why was that important?
3 A. You are leading me to talk about details, and I said in the
4 country, in the immediate surroundings, which also implies what you've
5 just stated. In the seceded republics there was a civil war going on,
6 and such a situation could have an adverse impact on the security of the
7 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That is why the tasks -- the task takes
8 priority. And there is another task which mentions crisis areas within
9 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Could you please just say a few sentences as to what was
11 happening in the 1994 and 1995, and what was considered crisis areas?
12 A. A reference was being made in the media about a possible armed
13 rebellion in Kosovo and Metohija, and we used that term "crisis areas"
14 when referring to that territory.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 7 in B/C/S, as well
16 as in English.
17 Q. We see some tables here and let's provide the Trial Chamber with
18 some information which will help them analyse the document at a later
20 Could you please tell us a few words about what we see on the
21 pages before us.
22 A. This is a tabular part of the annual plan.
23 In the left-hand side column, we can what the basis for the task
24 was. The first task, it says the order of the Chief of General Staff and
25 a reference is made to its number. The second column is the name of the
1 task or, rather, what needs to be done.
2 Column 4 provides the task code which ties it to the rest of the
4 Number 5 is who is responsible for the task. This is very
5 important for us. The person or body responsible is the administration
6 or the organisational unit which is fully responsible for the performance
7 of the task, irrespective of the fact that there are others -- other
8 organisational units cooperating as associated organisation. It may be
9 just one organisational unit or more than one.
10 Then in column 7, you can see how the task will be verified and
11 it is usually done by the collegium of the chiefs of General Staff or the
12 Deputy Chief of General Staff.
13 And, finally, all tasks obviously have their deadlines within
14 which they have to be carried out.
15 Since this is an annual plan, deadlines are expressed in months.
16 And in monthly plans, the task is broken down and the plan provides the
17 exact number of things that will be done in one month.
18 Q. Could you please consult your hard copy and tell us who signed
19 the document? Look at the last page of your B/C/S document.
20 A. It was the Deputy Chief of General Staff. That was, at the
21 moment, when the function of a deputy was introduced. Before that, such
22 a document would have been signed by the assistant Chief of General Staff
23 for operations and staff affairs.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document
25 into evidence and I will no longer need it after that.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be
4 assigned Exhibit D202. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that the time is good for
7 our next break.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated] Thank you so much. We
9 will take a break until half past 12.00.
10 Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I thank you.
15 Q. We will move on to a different topic, and we will leave the
16 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia aside.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce
18 65 ter 00611D.
19 Q. Did you ever hear of the term "the staff of the supreme commander
20 of the Army of Yugoslavia," and can you explain the term to us? What is
22 A. Not only did I hear of it, but I also know that, according to our
23 theory and our doctrine, the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
24 during the times of war and under an immediate threat of war, it is
25 transformed from the peacetime establishment into the staff of the
1 supreme commander and deployed in several command posts at the same time.
2 Q. When an immediate threat of war -- when was the immediate threat
3 of war and war declared in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? Don't
4 have to give us the exact date.
5 A. Are you referring to the NATO aggression?
6 Q. Did anything to that effect happen before?
7 A. Before that, the state of war was never declared. Not during the
8 period while General Perisic was in position.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down. Slow down. Again, you're speaking
10 both at the same time and the interpreter is having serious problems,
12 You may proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Yes. This is it exactly what I asked you. When you said the
15 aggression, when did that happen, in Kosovo?
16 A. In 1999.
17 Q. So you're saying while General Perisic was the Chief of General
18 Staff and before that, do you know whether the state of war or an
19 immediate threat of war was ever declared?
20 A. While General Perisic was the Chief of General Staff, neither of
21 the two was ever declared.
22 Q. And when Zivota Panic was the Chief of the General Staff of the
23 Army of Yugoslavia
24 A. Not even then.
25 Q. Thank you. And now let's look at a document which is on the
1 screen before you. Would you like to receive it in a hard copy?
2 A. Yes, please. It will be easier. The screen is too far.
3 Q. We will have a hard copy for each of the documents that we will
4 call up.
5 I already showed you this document during your preparations for
6 testimony. It was signed by the then-Chief of General Staff,
7 Zivota Panic, in 1993, and in the preamble you can see that it says:
8 "Based on the tasks for the transformation of the Yugoslav Army,
9 the changes effected in the command system and demonstrated need, the
10 Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army hereby issues," and so on
11 and so forth.
12 An order on the establishment and makeup of the staff of the
13 supreme commander of the Yugoslav Army.
14 Could you provide any comment to this document. Do you know
15 whether that staff of the Supreme Command existed? Why did it exist if
16 there was no immediate threat of war, if there was no state of war
17 declared at the time?
18 A. I feel a bit embarrassed to comment upon the preceding period.
19 However, the preamble itself does not have its legal foundation for such
20 a wording of this document.
21 As I already told you, the staff of the supreme commander, during
22 a war or under an immediate threat of war, exists and the composition
23 that can you see in this document is a collegium. Actually, it is a body
24 composed of chiefs of General Staff which is just called with a different
25 name. In order for a command or staff to function as a staff of the
1 Supreme Command, it has to be split into several unities. Let me not go
2 that way. And in this particular case, this wasn't the case.
3 Q. In essence?
4 A. In essence, nothing was changed with the change of name. Nothing
5 is changed from the aspect of the methods of work of the Chief of General
7 Q. You mean -- you mean the collegium?
8 A. Yes, I mean the collegium.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
11 admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
13 please be given an exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
15 Exhibit D203. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now could the witness please be
18 shown P727. We have prepared a hard copy for the witness, to be provided
19 to the witness while the document is being called up.
20 Q. You don't have to tell us the date, but tell us when Mr. Perisic
21 became the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
23 A. General Perisic became the Chief of General Staff sometime in
24 August 1993, towards the end of August of that year.
25 Q. And when we were talking about your CV earlier today, after that,
1 you became the chief of the 1st Administration in the autumn of that
3 A. Yes. That same year, in November, pursuant to his order I was
4 appointed the chief of the 1st Administration.
5 Q. Very well. Look at this document. I would like to you comment
6 upon it just briefly. This document was signed by General Perisic. And
7 on page 1 -- could you please comment upon the contents of the first
9 A. This document, issued by the Chief of General Staff, was aimed at
10 regulating the implementation of certain tasks. And to explain this a
11 bit better, this is actually a method of work to be adopted by the Chief
12 of General Staff.
13 Q. You mean the collegium?
14 A. Yes, the collegium of the Chief of General Staff and the
15 organisational units.
16 This document defines when, on what days things will be done.
17 For example, on Monday will be one thing; on Fridays something else; on
18 Wednesday a certain activity in the administration and so on and so
19 forth. And it also schedules the meetings of the collegium.
20 Q. Do you know, at least approximately, I'm not looking for the
21 exact date, when the collegiums of the chief of General Staffs started
22 being operational and replaced the staff of the supreme commander?
23 A. As far as I can remember, General Perisic continued functioning,
24 pursuant to that order issued by General Panic, all the way up to perhaps
25 February or March 1994. And then the collegium was established. He
1 renamed that body into a collegium, and that's how things were done
3 Q. Here we can see daily meetings, weekly meetings and monthly
4 meetings. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Daily meetings, as we can see, let us not quote, comprised a
7 certain number of persons whom you can see here. There are also weekly
8 meetings and topics, as well as monthly meetings. In a period
9 thereafter, when the collegium started being operational, did it maintain
10 the similar form of daily, weekly and monthly meetings?
11 A. By and large. But he also defined some other contents which were
12 not appropriate for the staff of the Supreme Command. For example, on
13 Wednesday, there was briefing across the board of all administrations and
14 so on and so forth.
15 And that's why I used the term "similarities" between the former
16 document and this document. This document, however, is more appropriate
17 for the daily operational command. That's the term that you used. And
18 we, when we defined things, we called it a method of work of the Chief of
19 General Staff.
20 Q. On page 3 of the same document, could you please look at it just
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English, just bear with me,
24 please. I believe it's the last English page. I believe it's the same
25 page, page 3.
1 I don't know whether the Trial Chamber -- could the previous page
2 be displayed for the Trial Chamber.
3 Could you perhaps scroll up the English version a little. I
4 don't know whether this is the end of that page or not. Can we see the
5 top of the page, please? That's what I would like to see. Uh-huh. Yes,
7 Your Honours, I'm going ask the witness about the part beginning
8 with the word: "The plan." Perhaps the Trial Chamber could first look
9 at the English version of this page and maybe we can then turn to the
10 following page in the English version.
11 Q. What is this?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the following page in
14 Q. Mr. Simic, what is the page that you have before you, this page
15 in this document?
16 A. This is the plan work of one of the meetings of that staff of the
17 supreme commander or, rather, the collegium, as we called it
18 subsequently. And this plan defines the issues to be discussed by the
19 collegium. People who will be presenting certain topics and the duration
20 of the discussion. This was drafted by the office of the Chief of
21 General Staff and it was approved by General Perisic.
22 Q. And here reference is made to a certain number of topics
23 following a certain sequence. Do you remember it that way, when
24 collegiums of the Chief of General Staff -- this is how things were done.
25 There was sequence of topics.
1 A. That was more or less the sequence that was followed. At the
2 beginning, the focus was on the situation and activities of a foreign
3 countries and -- important for the Yugoslav Army and the security of
4 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That was the sector of the chief of
5 intelligence administration. Then activity of foreign intelligence
6 services towards Yugoslav Army and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
7 This was presented by the chief of security, because that was his
8 purview. And then, number 3, was combat readiness in the Army of
10 suspect, I apologise for the pun.
11 Q. We will no longer need this document. We will move on to a
12 different topic. This is already in evidence.
13 And now I would like us to talk about the border duties.
14 In one of the previous documents, we saw that the functioning of
15 the border patrols was something that your administration was concerned
17 First of all, let me ask you this: What were the changes that
18 were affected with regard to the state border after the breakup of the
19 SFRY and the establishment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
20 A. The initial changes had to do with the lack of definition of the
21 state border facing particular former republics of the Federative
22 Republic of Yugoslavia
23 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The state border, as such,
24 pursuant to international law, we all know what it is. I don't need to
25 go there. And my department for state border was tasked with the
1 security of the state border. I apologise for saying "my department."
2 It was a department in the 1st Administration that I was the head of.
3 Q. What were the names of the borders facing the Republic of Croatia
4 and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down. Please slow down. The interpreters
8 have serious problems. Yeah, if you take a breath every time.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a generally known fact that
10 the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia had its republics and that those
11 republics were separated by administrative borders. There came a time
12 when Yugoslavia
13 state borders. From the aspect of international law and from the aspect
14 of our forces, materiel and equipment, this fact created a lot of
15 problems when it came to providing security for such newly established
16 state borders.
17 Q. Why did that pose problems? What kind of problems?
18 A. The main problems arose from the fact that there was a lack of
19 definition of that border. The state border-line was often determined,
20 pursuant to the cadastre borders of the municipalities which was not a
21 good enough proof that that was indeed the state border and that it
22 mandated to be protected by the state. That was one problem.
23 The second problem was the fact that from the year 1945, we did
24 not have enough infrastructure on the borders facing other states. There
25 were no agreements to that effect with the neighbouring states. There
1 were no sentry posts. There was no technical equipment. The state
2 borders did not function as such on the borders between the former
3 republics. The population in those areas was not used to the fact that
4 they are now living close to the state borders and they treated the
5 orders of state borders in ways that could not have always been construed
6 as correct and fair.
7 Q. Who was it who provided security for what parts of the state
9 A. The state border facing the Republic of Croatia
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina, was within the purview and I'm talking from the
11 aspect of the highest levels, it was within the purview of the command of
12 the 1st Army and the command of the 2nd Army. The command of the
13 1st Army was in Belgrade
15 Q. Who had authority over border crossings and who was charged with
16 securing them?
17 A. Perhaps I should have said at the outset that there were rules in
18 force about the border service, and that these rules clearly defined what
19 is to be considered a border and what exactly a border crossing is, which
20 organs had what kind of rights on the border-line or at the border
22 To your specific question, I can provide the following answer.
23 The Army of Yugoslavia
24 outside border crossings and outside inhabited areas.
25 Q. And when it comes to border crossings and inhabited or populated
1 areas, under whose authority were they?
2 A. It was the MUP of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that had
3 authority over the border crossings, as well as the organs of the customs
4 service. In populated areas -- or, rather, populated areas were under
5 the authority of the Ministry of the Interior.
6 Q. When you said MUP, that is what exactly?
7 A. It's the Ministry of the Interior. I apologise. I will try to
8 avoid abbreviations.
9 Q. No, that's all right, but we must be precise.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please show
11 document 01050D to the witness, from the 65 ter list of Defence
12 documents. That is 65 ter 01050D.
13 Q. I have no hard copy of this document so I will ask General Simic
14 to look closely at the screen.
15 You have seen it already, sir, so you should be familiar with it.
16 But it will be enlarged any moment now.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please enlarge somewhat the
18 B/C/S version?
19 Q. It seems we won't be able to do so.
20 A. No, it's okay. I'm familiar with this document.
21 Q. If we could first -- or maybe let me read it out. Let us take a
22 look at this second page to see who signed the document and then I will
23 read a few sentences and ask you for a comment. And that seems to be the
24 simplest way of proceeding.
25 You have been able to see by the letterhead that it was sent from
1 the office of the Chief of General Staff, and now please tell us who
2 signed it.
3 A. Colonel Ivan Todorovic, the chief of the office.
4 Q. I will now go back to the first page from which I will read to
5 the witness. I will only read out extracts.
6 This document is called, The engagement of the Army of Yugoslavia
7 in securing the border to ensure the peace and safety of citizens in the
8 Pljevlja municipality. It is sent to the office of the defence minister.
9 We can see why this document was drafted. And now, in
10 paragraph 2, we read:
11 "It is strictly regulated in Article 48, paragraph 1, of the
12 Law of Crossing the State Border and Movement in the Border Area," and
13 then we see references to the Official Gazette, "that border army units
14 shall secure the state border and control the movement and stay of
15 persons in the border area outside populated places and border crossings,
16 to prevent unauthorised crossing of the state border and violations of
17 the border-line."
18 Does this correspond to what you have said a minute ago?
19 A. Yes, absolutely.
20 Q. Under Article 2 of the same law:
21 "The border zone shall include the 100-metre-wide area of the FRY
22 territory, land, rivers and lakes along the border-line."
23 Before I continue with the document, do tell us what the
24 border-line is?
25 A. The border-line is the that separates the territories of two
1 neighbouring countries.
2 Q. And now the securing of the border-line in depth, as it is
3 phrased here. What does that mean?
4 A. I would have to say what you have also read out, the border belt,
5 or the border area. That is, from the border-line, 100 metres deep into
6 our territory, that area is called the border belt. In that border belt,
7 the army has the right to deprive any person of their liberty, if that
8 person has no permit for staying in the border belt. After the official
9 procedure, such a person is handed over to the MUP organs.
10 Securing the border-line in depth means the following. Since we
11 don't have a line of soldiers along the border-line, so you can't see
12 soldiers standing there at a certain distance from each other to secure
13 the border-line, but, instead, we do so through organs. If the
14 assessment is that along certain directions some groups may try to cross
15 the border from a neighbouring country or that the border may be violated
16 in another way, we deploy additional organs in the border belt and, thus,
17 set up a -- an in-depth security structure.
18 Q. I will read out this last sentence of this letter:
19 "The" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please start anew, a bit slower.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Counsel, the interpreter requests that you start
22 again but go slowly.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now we have it on the screen. I
24 apologise to the interpreters. I will read out that part again.
25 Q. "The area outside the border belt is within the jurisdiction of
1 the organs of the internal affairs which are responsible for preventing
2 any unlawful action and securing of personal and material property and
3 peace of all citizens of the FRY, including those of Pljevlja
5 This corresponds to what you have said a short while ago, namely,
6 that everything outside the border belt is under the authority of the
7 Ministry of the Interior?
8 A. Outside the border belt, the VJ has no authority. Even if they
9 were to observe certain persons committing violations, they have no legal
10 authority to intervene. But they can inform the nearest police station
11 using communications equipment.
12 Q. I suppose it's their duty too.
13 A. Yes, that's their duty.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now -- Your Honours, I seek to
15 tender this document.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
17 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, the Prosecution objects to the admission
18 of this document for two reasons. First of all, my colleague Mr. Simic
19 [sic] has read substantial portions of the document into the record
20 already, and so I believe, according to the practice of this Chamber,
21 there is no need for this document to be admitted.
22 Second of all, I note from the top of the document it is titled a
23 draft reply, so once again, Your Honour, I don't see what the probative
24 value of this document will be, what weight could be given to it. It was
25 someone's draft, we don't whether it was adopted, we don't know what
1 happened to it, we don't know whether it was agreed upon.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I guess when your colleague on the
3 opposite side, he said his colleague Mr. Simic, he meant his colleague
4 Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was reading the document, although
6 I know that is not in accordance with your guide-lines, Your Honours, but
7 for purely practical reasons because we were unable to show it to the
8 witness on the screen, and also to enable to you follow. But this
9 document says things that have a certain value. If we read the first
10 paragraph, why this document was written, I didn't ask the witness about
11 the reasons. I just wanted his testimony about the material parts of
12 this document and he confirm the authenticity and the significance of
13 this document.
14 I take it to be very relevant and clearly shows the -- the --
15 under whose purview the border belt was, so I don't see why we shouldn't
16 admit it for the purpose of this trial.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not answering to the issues raised by your
18 colleague. Your colleague raises two objections why we shouldn't admit
19 it. One, you have read into the record, so there's no need in terms of
20 the guide-lines. Two, it's a draft and not a final document. That's
21 what he says.
22 Now when you pull your face as if are you hearing it for the
23 first time, you surprise me.
24 So you have got to address those two objections.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As for the first objection, I replied
1 that I read out the document to the witness because that was the way to
2 familiarize him with it and also to enable the Trial Chamber to follow it
3 on the transcript.
4 And as for the second objection, whether this is a draft document
5 or not, this can possibly pertain to the probative value of the document.
6 But drafts of some decisions can also be evidence, for which there is --
7 for which there are previous examples.
8 So whether or not this is a draft is irrelevant for the probative
9 value of the document.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are explaining why you read it. You are not
11 answering why it should be admitted, if it has been read. The
12 guide-lines says when the document has been read, there's no need to
13 admit it.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Then I didn't correctly
15 understand Mr. Saxon's objection, or yours.
16 I didn't read out the entire document, only two paragraphs, so
17 that's why I would like to tender the document, because I believe that
18 other paragraphs are also relevant and I didn't read them out, because
19 those parts of the document are self-explanatory.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: If we mark it for identification, can you get the
21 approved document, not the draft?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. This -- whether
23 subsequently a -- an official letter of the Ministry of the Defence was
24 produced based on this draft is a different matter. But the very fact
25 that this draft was signed by somebody has a certain weight. But whether
1 or not this was indeed sent to the municipal -- to the municipality in
2 Pljevlja really is of no interest to anybody here.
3 I don't believe it is relevant for the procedure, whether this --
4 the minister of defence actually sent a letter to the president of
5 Pljevlja municipality. But what we are interested in is the contents of
6 the document, as it speaks about the border belt and related issues.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: True, Mr. Lukic. And there is nothing in the
8 objection that refers to this document being sent to the municipality
9 of -- whatever this town is called.
10 The objection is that this is a draft. It is not known whether
11 this is an official document of the department that claims to have
12 produced it because it is still in -- in a draft form. Whether or not it
13 was sent is immaterial. And that was the objection that you've got to
14 address and tell us why, notwithstanding the fact that it is in draft
15 form, it has got to be exhibited. That it is signed is neither here nor
16 there, if it is a draft.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I put a question to the witness
18 in order to clarify?
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you can, yeah, go ahead [Microphone not
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the first page of the
22 document? In B/C/S, please.
23 Q. Mr. Simic, I'm going to read to you what it says. It says:
24 "The engagement of the VJ in providing security for the border
25 belt in order to secure peace and order for the municipality of
1 Pljevlja." Submitted to the office of the minister of defence.
2 Could you please comment? Is this just a draft of the proposal
3 or is it a draft that was signed by the chief of the office of the
4 Ministry of Defence for their further action, to be taken by them?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you are going to ask -- well, Mr. Saxon.
6 MR. SAXON: I object to the leading nature of that question,
7 Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't think I was leading.
10 Q. Is this an official document stamped and duly recorded?
11 A. With the Trial Chamber's permission, I would provide a somewhat
12 lengthier answer. The --
13 Q. Could you please just answer the specific question before that.
14 A. Will you allow me, Your Honours?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. Your lawyer says please answer the specific
16 question before you do that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document was sent on the part
18 of the General Staff to the Ministry of Defence. The implementation or
19 the solution to those problems was not within the authority of the Chief
20 of General Staff and that's why it was referred for further proceedings
21 to the Ministry of Defence.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Is this an official document?
24 A. Absolutely.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it practice, sir, in this department to send
1 official documents in draft form? It says -- your lawyer read something
2 to you but didn't read this part, which is written in capital letters,
3 which says: "Draft reply."
4 It's not a reply; it's a draft. Is that how you send out
5 documents, as drafts?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Really?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your permission I can explain.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: But we've been seeing documents here that you've
10 been testifying to, they're not written "draft." This is the first one
11 that is written "draft."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your Honours,
13 I can explain.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I interfere, please? I can see
15 that we are facing a problem and the problem arises from the English
16 interpretation or translation, rather. I would like to go over --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The problem arises from the fact that, instead of
18 responding to an objection, you asked to ask a question. Now we're
19 getting involved in talking to a witness instead of you responding to an
20 objection. That's the problem.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I read what is stated
22 in the heading to the witness and then I look at the English version, you
23 are basing your questions and Mr. Saxon is basing his objections to
24 the -- on the English version, and I believe that the whole problem
25 arises from that.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... we can't read
2 the B/C/S. [Overlapping speakers] ... that's why you've got it here for
3 us to read.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I appreciate that.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I read for the transcript and I
7 believe that the interpreters have interpreted what I have read. I will
8 read it once again.
9 I would kindly ask the interpreters and I'm sure that they
10 appreciate what the problem is. The title reads:
11 "The engagement of the Army of Yugoslavia in providing security
12 for the border in order to provide peace and security of the citizens of
13 Pljevlja municipality. Draft proposal to be sent to."
14 THE INTERPRETER: Rather, draft reply, the interpreter's
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well? Isn't that what the English says?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I think that we have a
18 bit of a confusion here. I'm not blaming the interpreters but --
19 Q. Can you please explain, Mr. Simic.
20 A. Your Honours, since the Ministry of Defence was not authorised to
21 provide security for the state border, the municipal assembly of Pljevlja
22 faced certain problems and turned to the minister of defence. Before
23 that, the minister of defence turned to the Chief of General Staff for
24 his opinion about the problem. And if you look at the document, you can
25 see that we defined what the responsibility of the army was and how far
1 did that responsibility reach. And as for the other problems put forth
2 by the Municipal Assembly of Pljevlja, we told them that the body
3 responsible was the Ministry of the Interior and its organs, in that
4 municipality. And that is why there is an annex to that letter,
5 entitled: A proposal for a possible reply which contained our
6 responsibility. There was no organ or body within the ministry that
7 would have been in charge of the state borders. And here, the problems
8 that the municipality of Pljevlja
9 Municipal Assembly, and they believed that the army could help them.
10 That's why we submitted our proposal. It was not requested from us to
11 provide a final response.
12 Q. One more subquestion. This document of yours, is this a draft or
13 is this a final document which somebody else had to copy and formulate?
14 A. For us, as the General Staff, this was a final version of that
15 document. And for the person who had to draft their document for the
16 Municipal Assembly, that was just a proposal.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence, marked for
18 identification, until you give us a correct translation of the document.
19 If is a draft proposal and not a draft reply, you will have to give us a
20 correct interpretation of the document.
21 May it please be given an exhibit number and marked for
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm grateful.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
25 Exhibit D204, marked for identification. Thank you.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 The next document that I would like to look at with the witness
4 is 0 -- 65 ter 00891D, from the same batch and dealing with the same
6 But before I look at this document, I would like to talk about
7 another period.
8 Q. Do you know that at one point the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
9 introduced sanctions in respect of Republika Srpska? Do you know when
10 that was and what were the sanctions about? If you know.
11 A. As far as I can remember, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
12 introduced sanction in respect of Republika Srpska and that was sometime
13 in August 1994. And the sanctions applied to the interruption of all
14 flows of goods with the exception of humanitarian aid.
15 Q. Do you know if the Army of Yugoslavia honoured the decision of
16 the government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia concerning the
18 A. Yes, fully.
19 Q. Let's look at a document.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And could the witness please be
21 provided with a hard copy of the document and the others can follow the
22 English version on the screen.
23 Q. Tell me, General, who is Gojko Knezevic? Do you know? Does the
24 name ring a bell?
25 A. Of course. He was my most immediate associate. Gojko Knezevic
1 was a colonel, and he was the chief of the 3rd department or the
2 department in charge of operative and general planning in the
3 1st Administration.
4 Q. We already discussed the document, to two of us, during your
5 preparations. Could you please tell us a few words about the contents of
6 the document. The document was issue in the November 1994 and was
7 prompted by something that happened in that month. What was that and
8 what was the connection between your administration and the activities
9 described herein?
10 A. This is a document -- or, rather, an order ordering the control
11 and securing the state border facing Republika Srpska in the area of
12 responsibility of the 1st and 2nd Armies. The intention behind the
13 document was to implement the sanctions, and since this was a newly
14 established state border, we wanted to take stock of all problems, and
15 the priority was given to the work of state border security organs and
16 how they implemented the measures introduced by the federal government
17 with regard to the sanctions. And this here is a report from one of the
18 controls, pointing to some of the problems that I myself had pointed out
19 when I was speaking in general terms as to what problems we were facing
20 with regard to the newly established state borders.
21 And you can also see from this document how the army and troops
22 carried out their tasks. You can see that there were some shortcomings
23 and omissions that would be removed in the future period.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be given
25 an exhibit number.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
4 Exhibit D205. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now, could the Court please
7 produce -- just a moment, please. Bear with me. 65 ter 00881D. We have
8 a hard copy for the witness, for Mr. Simic.
9 Could he please be provided with the hard copy?
10 Q. First tell us, please, who the signatory of the document was.
11 A. The document was signed by the Deputy Chief of General Staff,
12 General Blagoje Kovacevic. And the document deals with the development
13 of the system of security of the state border and attempts to remove our
14 subjective problems. In a nutshell, it was about dealing with problems
15 with the structures of society on the ground, and in this letter he
16 defined the tasks, he -- and he also defined the deadlines.
17 Q. What I would like to draw your attention to in this document is
18 the title and the preamble. What territory and what state border does
19 this document refer to and highlights?
20 A. This document refers to the border facing Republika Srpska.
21 Q. And the meaning of the order can be found in the preamble.
22 For the purpose of eliminating weaknesses and securing the border
23 more efficiently, especially with Republika Srpska, the order is issued
24 and measures requested.
25 Isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document also be admitted,
3 Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
5 MR. SAXON: Your Honour, my learned colleague Mr. Lukic has not
6 established any relationship between the witness and this document.
7 Mr. Lukic just read the first -- what is stated on the first line. He
8 has had the witness confirm what is in the document. But there has been
9 no relationship established between this witness and this document.
10 According to the guide-lines, then it should not be admitted.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just respond.
13 I believe that I did establish sufficient link between the
14 witness and the document, because the witness has already spoken about
15 the significance of state borders. I don't intend to testify. I don't
16 want to mention other things that are visible in the document which are
17 so closely linked to the witness. I don't see the need to continue
18 exploring the document further, but if you wish me to do so, I can do
20 However, from what -- from all that we heard about the
21 authorities of the witness, about his administration, I believe that this
22 document is so self-evident that there is it absolutely no need to put
23 any additional questions, in order to establish a -- a -- a link between
24 the witness and the document.
25 And my answer, in a nutshell, is simple. I believe that I did
1 establish a good enough link between the document and the witness.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you show us on the transcript where you
3 established the link, Mr. Lukic, please?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I asked him who the signatory of the
5 document was, and he replied --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Show us on the transcript where you asked that
8 Page -- page -- page 82, line 12.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: He is telling us about the signatory, yes, but
11 does that tell us about the link between himself and the document, if I
12 must go to the objection by your learned friend?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that we saw from his
14 earlier evidence that there is a sufficient link between the witness and
15 the document, because the witness recognised the signature of his
16 superior, and according to the standards of -- of evidence, I believe I
17 have established a sufficient link.
18 I don't think that we need to establish whether the witness is
19 familiar with the document but merely set up a relationship between the
20 witness and the document, which I believe we have explicitly done.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say the witness told us it was signed by his
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I previously asked him in the
24 previous session about whether or not Mr. Kovacevic was his superior. In
25 the previous session, when I asked about the chief of that sector, and
1 the witness replied that it was Mr. Kovacevic. I had hoped that
2 everybody in the courtroom would have remembered.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes [Overlapping speakers] ...
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I may add, what the witness said
5 about problems also can be seen in the documents, so that the witness is
6 familiar with the subject matter of the document and that is the problems
7 related to border control.
8 MR. SAXON: But I think what Mr. Lukic just said is really
9 testimony, Your Honour, because it didn't come out of the mouth of this
10 witness with respect to this document. And quite frankly, if confirming
11 that a particular person has signed a document which everyone can see is
12 the test for a relationship, then I submit that's a pretty low test
13 indeed, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, Mr. Lukic is also saying that Mr. Kovacevic
15 was the witness's superior, and he recognises the signature of his
16 superior, it comes from the same department, and he is familiar also with
17 the contents. This witness is -- is that what you said he was testifying
19 MR. SAXON: Yes.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I beg out on that one, then.
21 Mr. Lukic, apparently are you testifying about the knowledge that
22 this witness has about the contents of the document. Apparently the
23 witness has not said so himself.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I did not, Your Honours. We can go
25 back to that.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You can go back to page 82, line 12.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 82, yes. And what follows is
3 the witness's reply where he described everything, and I merely repeated
4 the witness's words. Between lines 13 and 18, the witness gave evidence
5 about these issues.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you have anything to say on that one?
7 MR. SAXON: Nothing further, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you still stand on your objection,
9 notwithstanding that?
10 MR. SAXON: I will withdraw that objection, Your Honour. I've
11 been corrected by Mr. Lukic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. The document is admitted into evidence.
13 May it please be given an exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
15 Exhibit D206. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Simic, take a look at yet another document that deals with
20 the same topic as the 65 ter document 00882D. I will also provide a hard
21 copy for you.
22 General, can you tell us whose document this is? Do you
23 recognise the signatory?
24 A. This is a document of the General Staff of the VJ, signed by the
25 Chief of the General Staff, General Momcilo Perisic.
1 Q. We can see a stamp that it was recorded. Where was -- what was
2 the route of this document before it reached the Chief of General Staff?
3 A. Since securing the state border is within the purview of the
4 1st Administration, this document was drafted in the 1st Administration.
5 Q. I will merely read out item 1 of this letter, and I'll ask you to
6 comment on it.
7 It was sent to the commands of the 1st and 2nd Army, and to the
8 navy command. Item 1 says:
9 "Fully implement all orders of the Chief of Staff of the VJ on
10 securing the state border towards the Republic of Croatia
11 Republika Srpska, and prevent any individuals from crossing the state
12 border outside border crossings. This applies, in particular, to the
13 border in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Army and of the navy."
14 Could you please comment on this paragraph.
15 A. The Chief of General Staff, here again, stresses the importance
16 of securing the state border in the complex circumstances that prevailed
17 then, especially in areas where the configuration of terrain was
18 demanding. There was a part of our border with Croatia in -- around
19 Herceg-Novi and --
20 Q. That -- that's the navy?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what is the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Army?
23 A. The border with Republika Srpska up to north of Pljevlja. At
24 Pljevlja there was the 1st Border Battalion, or, rather, there was the
25 7th Border Battalion, but it was the first unit -- the unit closest to
1 the zone of responsibility of the 1st Army, if we look southward.
2 Q. "If there are border crossings in the zone of responsibility
3 that are not manned by MUP employees, warn the MUP of their obligation
4 and insist that they fulfill it immediately."
5 Is that in line with what you said earlier, that the MUP was --
6 had responsibility for border crossings?
7 A. Yes, absolutely. But in these complex circumstances, when there
8 were no border posts or defined crossings and when these crossings were
9 not adequately manned, there were some problems.
10 The Chief of General Staff, bearing in mind the decisions taken
11 by the highest state authorities about imposing sanctions, wanted to warn
12 his subordinates once more of the seriousness of their tasks.
13 Q. General, we will speak about the operative centre later and the
14 Trial Chamber will be acquainted with border-related reports.
15 But let me ask you a general question now. Have you heard of
16 members of the VJ misusing the regime prevalent in the -- along the
17 border? It had to do with the responsibility of the border services.
18 A. I have no knowledge of any organs of the border service of the --
19 of VJ as not carrying out their duties in full compliance with orders and
20 instructions received from the highest authorities. I cannot rule out,
21 however, that there may have been individual violations of the
22 border-line from either side, because, as I have explained, they were
23 controlled by organs that were a kilometre, or two, or five away from
24 each other. So they were in a position to watch, have visual control,
25 patrol the border, et cetera, but it may have happened that somebody
1 crossed the border, nonetheless.
2 However, generally speaking, we fully implemented the decisions
3 of the highest authorities systemically.
4 Q. When you say "systemically," what was the position of
5 General Perisic with regard to the border service?
6 A. General Perisic, at that time, gave special attention to the
7 securing of the border with the former republics of Yugoslavia.
8 There were two aspects to that: That we were not to act in
9 contravention of the orders of the supreme commander; and, secondly, we
10 should -- we should not allow for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to
11 be threatened by any activities that may be taking place on the other
12 side of the border.
13 Q. What kind of activities were they?
14 A. If, in the immediate vicinity, combat activities were going on,
15 armed groups, or paramilitary formations, or army or military units could
16 cross the border and commit some acts. That is why the Chief of
17 General Staff wanted to prevent any major excesses that could
18 detrimentally affect our safety and security. And, in that context, the
19 border service were the first ones to monitor not only our territory but
20 also what was going on across the border, and they would report on
21 everything they observed which was relevant for the security of
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document into
24 evidence, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours, this document shall be
3 assigned Exhibit D207. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I now wish to board a completely
7 different topic so this may be a convenient time for us to adjourn.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take an adjournment. And, sir, before we
9 adjourn, I must warn you that as you have now taken the witness-stand,
10 you may not discuss the case with anybody, in particular, not with your
11 lawyers, okay, until you have finished testifying.
12 You must come back tomorrow, in the afternoon, at quarter past
13 2.00, in the same courtroom, Courtroom II.
14 Court adjourned until tomorrow, quarter past 2.00, Courtroom II.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
17 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.