1 Wednesday, 24 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 Could we have the appearances for the day starting with the
12 Prosecution, please.
13 MR. SAXON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For the Prosecution,
14 Mark Harmon, Dan Saxon, and soon to join us Carmela Javier.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
16 And for the Defence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
18 afternoon to all the participants in the proceedings. Mr. Perisic is
19 being represented today by Novak Lukic, Gregor Guy-Smith, and our
20 collaborator Mr. Boris Zorko.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
22 Good afternoon, Mr. Simic, I hope you had a restful night last
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
25 Thank you. Yes, I did have a good night's rest.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Just to remind you,
2 Mr. Simic, that you are still bound by the declaration you made at the
3 beginning of your testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
4 nothing else but the truth.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is very clear to me,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you stand up, Mr. Lukic, thank you so much,
11 Mr. Registrar, just for the record to show that the Chamber is still
12 sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis in the absence of Judge Picard.
13 Mr. Lukic.
14 WITNESS: MIODRAG SIMIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] General, once more let me say good afternoon to
18 you personally.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. We will continue today, and we'll address a new topic upon which
21 I will dwell for some time, and that topic is the operative centre of the
22 General Staff of the VJ. While we were dealing with the general issues,
23 you mentioned the operative centre in connection with the first
24 administration, and we showed what that centre is. Let me now be more
25 specific. How was the operative centre organised? You said that there
1 were duty shifts around-the-clock. How did that function exactly?
2 A. The operative centre of the General Staff of the Army of
4 of the sector for operations and staff affairs. It consisted of 15
5 persons, 13 of which were colonels, and there were two civilians there as
6 well. Duty services organised in shifts. Three persons per shift and
7 each shift is headed by a shift leader, so that is four shifts. Four
8 times three, 12, and the chief of the centre is number 13. The basic
9 function of the operations centre of the General Staff of the Army of
11 resources in the field of communications, thereby gathering information
12 through reports from units that are their immediate subordinates, or
13 rather, units that are subordinated directly to the Chief of General
15 Also, there is a communications system linking it to the other
16 organs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, such as the ministry, the
17 customs office, the Ministry of the Interior. Information is gathered
18 from them as well, and then all of that is assessed, processed, and on
19 that basis a report is compiled for the preceding 24 hours. The period
20 involved was from 0600 hours on the previous day up until 0600 hours on
21 the present day. It involved all events that occurred in the territory,
22 in the water space, and in the air-space and that affect the security of
23 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. I'm going to put a question to you, or rather, two questions on
25 the basis of what you said just now. Let's deal with the first one. Why
1 was it necessary for persons, officers, who work in that centre to hold
2 the rank of colonel?
3 A. Such high-ranking officers - and as I said yesterday these were
4 persons who had spent 15 to 20 years in command positions and operative
5 position in units at the rank of regiment, brigade, corps, respectively -
6 it is indispensable for them to view properly what it is that really
7 matters from these piles of reports that flow into this one single
8 centre. Then on that basis they draw the right proposals for the Chief
9 of General Staff.
10 Q. You mentioned reports. Could you please tell us what is a daily
11 operations report? And then I'm going to put a related question. What
12 is the form of that particular document?
13 A. The very fact that during 24 hours information arrives non-stop
14 at the operations centre meant that they had to be sublimated, as it
15 were, into a single report. We called it the daily operations report.
16 Why daily? Because it reflects what had happened over the previous 24
18 Q. Is this report written up, or is it presented orally?
19 A. The report, or rather, the daily operations report, let me use
20 the right terminology, has to be filed in writing. That is compulsory.
21 As such, it is filed at the operations centre in the log-book of the
22 operations centre, and it has the status of an official document.
23 Q. Later on we're going to see several reports of this kind. At
24 this point may we just say to the Trial Chamber whether there was a
25 strict form regarding this report as to the type of information that it
1 was supposed to contain. Was it a single type of question that was
2 supposed to be answered through these reports, if I can put it that way?
3 A. My answer would be that such operative duty is something that we
4 have starting from regimental level, then it exists at brigade level,
5 corps level, all the way up to the level of General Staff. In order to
6 monitor information more closely, the information received from
7 subordinates, there is an exact list of particular items.
8 Q. Can you give us an example so that we don't have to put a
9 document before you?
10 A. Maybe I won't get the actual order right, but what -- oh, here I
11 go again, I'm speaking too fast.
12 The first item had to do with the situation in the surrounding
13 area, about the enemy, rather. The second item was the situation in our
14 own army, and then from three onwards the items go on and on and then
15 extraordinary events if any.
16 Q. In these daily reports was there usually a separate item that
17 would provide information about the situation at the border belt?
18 A. Yesterday I said that border units, namely, border battalions,
19 are within the army chain of command. Therefore, if any particular event
20 occurred that is important as far as the Chief of General Staff is
21 concerned, then reports would have to include that, the border units'
22 reports, that is. However, it is there as such. However, if there
23 weren't any events that were of particular interest, then usual
24 developments are simply not included in reports.
25 Q. Who is the person who makes the ultimate assessment? Which
1 information is going to be included in the official report, the report
2 that is sent on further? Which official information is going to be
3 contained therein?
4 A. That is the leader of the shift in the operations centre because
5 on the basis of establishment and rank we thought that we had people in
6 these positions who could tell what is more important, what is less
7 important, and what is totally unimportant.
8 Q. So who is this report, this written report, the daily operations
9 report submitted to?
10 A. The daily operations report is submitted to the Chief of General
11 Staff, the deputy Chief of General Staff, the minister of defence, and to
12 the office of the Supreme Defence Council, or rather, the military office
13 of the president of the republic.
14 Q. You already said who all the recipients of the report were -- or
15 actually, let's not repeat ourselves. But it actually contains what came
16 in on a daily basis from the armies and from those who were the immediate
17 subordinates of the Chief of the General Staff. In addition to these
18 regular daily reports, were there any other reports that came in on
19 interim basis?
20 A. Interim reports did arrive from others as well; however, before I
21 respond to this question I believe that it is necessary for me to say by
22 way of clarification that every day at 2100 hours the duty officers that
23 we had in the intelligence administration and in the security
24 administration together with the shift at the operations centre, just as
25 we were there, they analyse the reports and they decide what is going to
1 be placed into the daily operations report for the Chief of General Staff
2 from all of these other reports.
3 Q. I don't want to lead in any way, but what you said just now, does
4 that mean that the intelligence administration and the security
5 administration also had their duty officers 24 hours a day?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Who did you receive those interim reports from?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, are you abandoning the other question? Are
9 you abandoning the question that remains unanswered? You asked a
10 question and the witness said: Before I answer, he explained something,
11 and never got back to your question.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that is what I wanted to deal
13 with --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]...
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what I wanted to ask. Yes,
16 that's what I wanted to ask.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. There were
18 other reports as well that had to do with the environment as such, and
19 from time to time they would come from the Serb army of Krajina and
20 Republika Srpska. They were used for writing up this report. I say
21 "from time to time," because it wasn't a permanent practice, as it were.
22 It really depended on what they wanted to do and on an ad hoc basis.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let's try to be as specific as possible. You said the Serb army
25 of the Krajina and the Republika Srpska. Did you mean the Army of
1 Republika Srpska?
2 A. I'm sorry, I'm sorry if I misspoke. I did misspeak, yes. From
3 the Main
4 Q. Tell me, as for your operations centre or the General Staff of
5 the Army of Yugoslavia, why was it important for them to receive reports
6 from the Army of Republika Srpska and the Serb Army of the Serb Krajina?
7 A. I think that it would be lacking in seriousness if we did not
8 express interest in what was going on in the neighbourhood, as it were.
9 I'm trying to present this in very vivid terms, everyday terms. Any
10 neighbour wants to know what's going on in his neighbourhood, and if
11 there is a fire - and I'm saying a fire conditionally - you don't really
12 want a fire to spread. And we did not want the security of the Federal
13 Republic of Yugoslavia
14 timely measures in order to prevent any security threat to the country.
15 Q. Did you - and when I say you I'm referring to the operations
16 centre of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, did you have a
17 direct link or direct communication with the Main Staffs of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska and the Serb Army of the Krajina? Do you know whether
19 they had their own operations centre? Perhaps this is a compound
20 question, but I'm sure that you can answer it.
21 A. With the leave of the honourable Trial Chamber I would like to
22 elaborate a bit on this particular question.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go ahead.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While the Federal Republic
1 communication channels, everything that comprises infrastructure. As
2 certain republics of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia became
3 independent, these communications were broken off but parts of that
4 system of communications continued to function between the Republika
5 Srpska, the Republic of the Serb Krajina, and from time to time we would
6 use those communications.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpretation says "While the Federal
8 Republic of Yugoslavia
9 Are you talking about the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or are
10 you talking about the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, a slip of the tongue
12 on my part. I meant the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which
13 was a single state at the time. Now, as individual republics were
14 leaving the system was disrupted.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Just tell me, in view of your previous answer, but I think it can
18 be seen from the answer itself, do you know whether the Main Staffs of
19 these two armies, namely, the Army of Republika Srpska and the Serb Army
20 of the Krajina, whether they had their own operations centre that had
21 round-the-clock duty?
22 A. As far as I know, in all armies of the world - and therefore in
23 our army as well and in the Army of Republika Srpska and in the Serb Army
24 of the Krajina - there were duty organs such as operations centres from
25 the General Staff via corps level down to brigade level, as I explained
1 for the Army of Yugoslavia
2 Q. What about your operative centre, did it have communication with
3 them through the systems that were still in place from the former JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Very well. You told us why it was in your interest to get that
6 information and that you received it occasionally. Do you remember
7 whether the VJ requested to receive this information from those armies
8 more often with regard to that occasional character?
9 A. Before General Perisic had taken over the position of Chief of
10 General Staff, that is, at the time of General Panic, as far as I know
11 measures were taken and requests were sent out to them to send us reports
12 more frequent so that we might monitor the situation more closely. When
13 Mr. Perisic became Chief of General Staff, on several occasions he sent
14 out requests to the Main Staffs of both armies to submit reports to us in
15 a timely fashion. But they failed to do so in spite of numerous requests
16 to that effect.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Let us now look at some documents. I selected some documents and
20 will ask you whether you're familiar with that format of document,
21 whether such documents arrived at your operations centre. So I will
22 focus on the format or the shape of the document. Let us see Prosecution
23 Exhibit P1489.
24 I have a hard copy for you, General, if I could ask the usher to
25 pass it on to the witness. This is a document of the Main Staff of the
1 VRS dated 17 May 1994
2 kind of document this is and whether such documents arrived at the
3 operations centre, and on the basis of which can you draw that conclusion
4 if so.
5 A. This is a document or actually a report submitted by the Main
6 Staff of the VRS. We can see to who it was addressed. Among others it
7 was sent to the Chief of Staff. In this document --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Chief of staff of which ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This, I repeat, is a document of
10 the Main
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. But the Judge actually asked about the staff, which staff?
13 A. To the Chief of General Staff of the VJ. And to my mind this is
14 a high-quality comprehensive document signed by the Chief of Staff,
15 General Milovanovic, and it was received by the General Staff of the VJ.
16 Q. If such a report was received by you is that something that the
17 operations centre would consider including in their daily operational
19 A. This is directly addressed to the Chief of General Staff. It was
20 common practice for a document addressed personally to the Chief of the
21 General Staff of the VJ rather than to the operative centre of the
22 General Staff was handed directly to the Chief of General Staff with the
23 daily operations report.
24 Q. Very well. Let us now look at another document. It's also a
25 Prosecution exhibit, P901.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Again, I have a hard copy for the
3 Q. This is a directive for further operations, number 6, issued by
4 the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the Republika Srpska. It is
5 dated 11 November 1993
6 here I mean the operations centre of the VJ?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Nor to anybody in the VJ?
9 A. No.
10 Q. How can you tell?
11 A. Well, firstly you can see that the person who drafted this
12 directive enumerated the commands to who this was meant to go, the 1st
13 and 2nd Krajina Corps, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, the Eastern Bosnian
14 Corps, the Herzegovina Corps, the Drina Corps, the air force, and
15 anti-aircraft defence. So we are not mentioned at all. And secondly, if
16 it had been sent to us, although no mention of us is to be found here, it
17 would have been registered at the General Staff of the VJ.
18 Q. This is a serious military act. Do you remember that at any time
19 while you were there this directive number 6 was sent to anybody in the
21 A. Not as far as I know. And to your remark that this is a serious
22 document, I can add that this is a document from the highest level of
24 Q. Very well. Could we now please see Prosecution Exhibit P903.
25 This is a similar document at least with regard to its format as the
1 previous one. This is a document issued by the Supreme Command of the
2 armed forces of Republika Srpska. This is directive number 7 dated 8
3 March 1995. I will now --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, we are still on number 6. If you could
5 just wait for us.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Yes, let's wait for
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Here it is.
10 Q. General, the same question to you, can you tell by looking at
11 this document that one of the recipients of this document was the VJ or
12 any of its institutions or any personality belonging to the VJ?
13 A. No.
14 Q. I suppose that the reasons are the same as before?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So it cannot be seen that one of the recipients is the VJ?
17 A. No, the VJ is not a recipient.
18 Q. No, I said that it cannot be seen that it is -- can you please
19 repeat. No, no, not necessary. The answer has been recorded. Fine.
20 I showed you this document during the proofing. Do you remember
21 from the time when you were in that position of yours, at that time did
22 you hear of directive number 7 of the Army of Republika Srpska?
23 A. I saw it when you showed it to me during the proofing. Earlier
24 or, as it were, in real time I never saw it or heard of it.
25 Q. I'll phrase my next question very briefly, so we don't have to go
1 through the entire document, and I also asked you these questions during
2 the proofing. Have you heard of Operation Spreca 95?
3 A. Yes, I heard of some other names too, but only when you were
4 proofing me but not at that time.
5 Q. Let me be more precise then. When you were chief of an
6 administration, did you hear of Operation Zvijezda 95, Star 95?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Lukavac 95?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Krivaja 95?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Sadejstvo 95?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Let us look at another document. It's from the 65 ter list of
15 the Defence. [In English] 00424D.
16 [Interpretation] We have a copy for you, General. And the
17 question will be the same. Take your time to look at the document. This
18 is a report of the Main Staff of the VRS dated 19 July 1995. Can you
19 tell us whether this document, among others, was sent to the VJ or
20 anybody in the VJ?
21 A. This document did not arrive at the General Staff of the VJ.
22 Q. Is the document similar to the one before that you called a
23 high-quality report? By its format does it resemble the other, the one
24 from 1994 and which did arrive?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Very well. Could we please see on the screen document P2183.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, what is the Defence's intention with --
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honours. And I
5 apologise. I seek to tender this document into evidence.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Exhibit Number D208.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 Now what is the document you're asking for now, Mr. Lukic?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is the Defence Exhibit -- this
12 is a Prosecution Exhibit P2183.
13 Q. This is an intelligence report of the intelligence affairs sector
14 of the Main Staff of the VRS dated 25 May 1995. My question to you,
15 Mr. Simic, is: Did this report reach anybody on the VJ, and did you
16 receive it at the operations centre? What can you tell by the format of
17 the document?
18 A. What I can conclude is that this is an intelligence security
19 report and that it was submitted to the General Staff of the Army of
21 Army of Yugoslavia
22 This is an example showing that the security administration received --
23 security administration received this kind of information through its own
24 duty centre, but the operative -- but the duty centre did not. The duty
25 officer at the security administration assessed what would be taken from
1 that report and put into the daily operations report for the Chief of
2 General Staff and what the chief of the security administration will
3 report directly to the Chief of General Staff. To put it in very simple
4 terms, not a single sentence from this report necessarily has to be part
5 of the daily operations report since it was sent to a different
6 organisational unit of the General Staff, that is to say the security
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: How do you determine, sir -- we only see the first
9 page. How do you determine that it was sent to the security staff of the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on page 2 it says
12 towards the bottom the security administration of the General Staff of
13 the Army of Yugoslavia
14 telegram at the security administration.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 3 in English and page 2 in
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you so much. Now in your answer,
18 sir -- I'm trying to -- in your answer at page 15 starting from line 20
19 you say:
20 "If you allow me, I will elaborate a bit. This is an example
21 showing that the security administration received -- security
22 administration received this kind of information through its own duty
23 centre, but the operative -- but the duty centre did not."
24 When you say "the duty centre did not," are you talking about the
25 duty centre of the operative centre?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if that is what is
2 written there as was interpreted to me then it was not put right. I
3 repeat once again. This information that arrived to the chief of the
4 security administration and in the security administration there is no
5 operations centre. There is an operations duty officer, a single person.
6 Then that person at 2100 hours, when he comes to the operations centre to
7 compile the daily report, he can give part of the content of this
8 information and put it into the report but not necessarily. He consults
9 his own chief of administration, who will decide whether he will in
10 direct contact with the Chief of General Staff inform him about that.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. A few moments ago you mentioned, General, that these reports of
14 the Army of Republika Srpska and Krajina -- I think that we actually need
15 the next page in English --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait, wait, wait, before you go to the next page
17 in English, I accept that when we got to the distribution list that the
18 VJ would be mentioned here or the security centre of the VJ would be
19 mentioned. I still don't see it. So my earlier question as to how he
20 determined -- yes, Mr. Saxon.
21 MR. SAXON: If I can help, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, please do.
23 MR. SAXON: I believe on page 4 of the English we'll find it.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 Can we go to page 4, please.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I had wished to.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, a few moments ago you mentioned that these reports from
5 these two other armies arrived from time to time and that you - I'm
6 speaking now about the Army of Yugoslavia - sometimes saw these reports
7 more frequently. We're going to show another document now, P1617, it's a
8 Prosecution exhibit. [In English] P1617.
9 [Interpretation] This is a document of the operations
10 administration, or rather, the operations centre of the General Staff of
11 the Army of Yugoslavia dated the 6th of February, 1993. I would like to
12 ask you for a brief comment with regard to this document.
13 A. When I spoke previously I pointed out that while General Panic
14 was still Chief of General Staff requests were sent to one or the other
15 army for them to submit reports so that the Army of Yugoslavia could be
16 kept abreast of how the situation developed. We see in this specific
17 document that the assistant Chief of General Staff of the Army of
19 Stojkovic. That is to say, that even back then it was necessary to
20 monitor the situation in the territories of these armies.
21 Q. Perhaps it's a very run-of-the-mill question, but for the
22 transcript, if somebody has authority over somebody else in military
23 hierarchy, does that person then make requests to the other party or
24 issue orders?
25 A. As far as control and command is concerned, in our military
1 doctrine and strategy of armed struggle it is defined who issues orders
2 to who and where one speaks in a tone which implies a request. That tone
3 underlying a request is used vis-à-vis those institutions that are not my
5 Q. Just a moment, please. A small correction in view of the English
6 translation in the document. It says "please," and I'm pleased with the
7 word "please" used in the English translation; however, the interpreters
8 in court are using the word "request." Could the interpreters please
9 correct themselves. The witness said "could you please" "molimo vas" so
10 could we have an exact interpretation of that?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that "molimo vas" is "could
12 you please."
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Could we now see on our screens document [In English] 65 ter
16 Q. General, unfortunately we don't seem to have a hard copy of this
17 document, so I'm going to ask for the B/C/S to be zoomed in. Yes, now I
18 see that it's being enlarged for you, and you will be able to see this
19 document better. Can you read it now?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you please read the document slowly to yourself -- not
22 aloud, no, no, just to yourself. Just to yourself. Just to yourself and
23 then could I have a brief comment. I have a hard copy for the general
24 now. I do apologise.
25 This document is addressed to the Chief of the General Staff of
1 the Army of Yugoslavia
2 Major-General Blagoje Kovacevic. What can you say about this document?
3 A. On the basis of the first sentence of this document that I have
4 to read - and it reads as follows:
5 "Due to lack of organisation on the part of the Main Staff of the
6 Republic of Serb Krajina army, and the Main Staff of the Army of
7 Republika Srpska in providing ..." and so on and so forth. And "in order
8 to overcome these shortcomings and improve the co-operation between us,
9 we hereby propose ..." That is to say that the chief of the
10 administration, General Kovacevic, due to difficulties in carrying out
11 the orders of the Chief of General Staff hereby informs him of the
12 problems that are there, and he proposes to him which measures should be
13 taken because this goes beyond the powers of the chief of administration.
14 Q. You said due to difficulties in carrying out the order received
15 from the Chief of General Staff. What was that order of the Chief of
16 General Staff that was sent to General Kovacevic?
17 A. When we said that from time to time they should send reports, and
18 from the previous report when General Zoran Stojkovic is asking them to
19 please do such and such a thing we saw that there was a problem. Now the
20 problem continues. While Blagoje Kovacevic is the chief of
21 administration and he is asking the Chief of General Staff the following:
22 If he wants the administration to prepare the right kind of information
23 for him about the situation in those areas, that he should take certain
24 measures. I did not deem it necessary to read out all those measures.
25 Q. I agree.
1 A. When the Chief of General Staff agrees to that, then the
2 administration uses this same tone presenting a request by saying
3 "please." And only then is this sent on further, to the Main Staffs
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please sit closer to the
6 microphones. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could the witness -- Madam interpreter, who do you
8 want to sit close to the microphone?
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter was asking if the witness could
10 come closer to the microphones, he's a bit far from the microphones.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we have the witness please -- and try to get
12 the microphones closer to him.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, page 20, line 18, the witness
14 said -- the previous request when General Stojkovic, et cetera.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: He didn't say the previous request, he said a
16 previous report.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It was request as to
18 please do such and such a thing. That was the interpretation at the
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. Just a moment, please.
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, this document does not have a date. However, can you
25 give us a tentative period of time when this document could have been
1 reported on the basis of when General Kovacevic held that post?
2 A. The document was written in mid-1993, tentatively.
3 Q. The previous one was written in 1993 at the time of
4 Mr. Stojkovic?
5 A. No --
6 MR. SAXON: Well --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All right. I apologise.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Saxon, I didn't even hear you.
10 MR. SAXON: I believe my colleague anticipated the objection that
11 I -- that I was going to make, so I can sit down now.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Do you know at what time General Blagoje Kovacevic was chief of
15 this sector?
16 A. Blagoje Kovacevic received the position of chief of sector in
17 November 1993 when he handed over the position of chief of first
18 administration to me.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document into
21 evidence, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] That will be Exhibit Number D209.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Judge, please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry.
4 Before you carry on, you indicated that the operations centre was
5 doing this in order to get information from your neighbours. Did you get
6 similar reports as you did from the RSK and the VRS, did you get that
7 from the Croatian army, and perhaps the Bosnian army, telling you about
8 the situation in their respective areas?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we did not receive
10 reports from them, but the situation in those areas was dealt with in the
11 reports of these armies. That was one route, and the other was through
12 the intelligence administration.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any reason you didn't ask for reports from the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the simple reason is that we
16 were receiving reports from friendly armies in simple terms.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: In even simpler terms, do I understand you to say
18 that those armies of Croatia
19 armies to you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, tell us, please, what -- what the term "team on duty"
24 means. What's the meaning of that phrase? I started with a general
25 question and then I will give you a document. So please explain the
2 A. Possibly I should have explained previously what the Chief of
3 General Staff relied upon to establish such teams. In the first
4 administration of the General Staff, that is, the General Staff had a
5 directive about special measures of permanent combat-readiness. That is
6 a complex document which contains provisions for the Army of Yugoslavia
7 to be brought into full combat-readiness by implementing certain
8 measures. One of these measures was the establishment of operative duty
9 teams. These teams were established with the intention that a larger
10 number of more complex problems that the operations centre is faced with
11 should be -- that it should be possible to assess them better. And based
12 on that, that high-quality proposals be made to the Chief of Staff of the
13 VJ so that he may take adequate measures. This will -- this can also be
14 seen from the preamble of the order of the Chief of General Staff by
15 which he appoints or establishes operations duty teams.
16 Q. Very well. Let us now look at the document. Can we see P859 on
17 the screen, please, and for my learned friends from the Prosecution let
18 me add that this is the very same document that -- on our 65 ter list is
19 marked 00877. It has the status of exhibit already.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could you please pass a copy of this
21 document to General Simic, please.
22 Could we now see page 2 in both B/C/S and English. This is just
23 a cover sheet. I'm interested in the order itself. Actually, what I
24 would like to show is on page 3 of the English translation.
25 Q. So this is an order signed by the Chief of General Staff of the
1 VJ, and it's dated 12 April 1994
2 operations duty teams. Witness, tell us who drafted this document?
3 A. This document was drafted by the first administration. I have
4 said that the preamble reads:
5 "Pursuant to the VJ Rules of Service item 197 and the directive
6 on special measures of permanent combat-readiness of the VJ, chapter 1,
7 item 1, sub-item 3, and chapter 3, items 1 and 4."
8 And "in order to monitor the readiness of command and the
9 creation of conditions for the constant assessment of the situation in
10 the VJ, I hereby order ..."
11 And it goes on to deal with the establishment of these teams.
12 Q. Yes, the document speaks for itself, but who heads these teams in
13 terms of the chain of command and why is that so?
14 A. Depending on the complexity of the situation in the country and
15 in neighbouring countries and depending on the degree of threat that
16 arises from that situation, different variants are possible so that
17 either the chief of administration can be the head of that team and it
18 can go to the level of chief of sector. And the members in that case are
19 the chiefs of administrations.
20 This shows that it was paramount to assist the situation in a
21 timely fashion and correctly and likewise this also applies to the -- to
22 proposing measures. On the other hand, the Chief of Staff considered it
23 necessary for the -- for the personnel in the General Staff not to be
24 exhausted too much, but rather that this operative duty team be only used
25 from time to time if there's a need to have one.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this
2 is -- that it's time for the break.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is indeed. We'll take a break and come back at
4 4.00. Court adjourned.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll have to move to a private
10 session for a moment.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
12 [Private session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
15 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 document P861. It's a document under seal and that was the reason I
18 asked for a private session. We also have a copy for the witness.
19 Q. General, a while ago we discussed the duty team, and you
20 explained to us what it was, and we saw a document about how they were
21 structured. Let me ask you this about this document in particular. We
22 see that this is a report of the 26th of May, 1994, and we see here that
23 it says "duty team." Can you tell us a few words about this document.
24 A. This is a duty operations officer report about the activities in
25 the former BiH, the Army of Republika Srpska, and the Army of the
1 Republic of Serbia
2 Q. Let me just correct you, please, maybe it's a mistake. It says,
3 Report on the situation on the activities in the former B&H, VRS, and RS.
4 There is no mention of the Serbian Republic
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Does that mean that when this report was compiled, a duty team
7 was established based on the previous order that we saw?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When we have this kind of duty team functioning, does the
10 operations centre continue to perform its regular duties?
11 A. Daily operations reports were much more complex documents. It
12 encompasses more information, both in the territory and in the VJ.
13 However, this particular report refers only to the situation in the
14 former BH and the Army of Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska itself.
15 And when this kind of report is made, a daily operations report is
16 drafted as well.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what is meant by the former BiH? What is it
18 called now that it is no longer BiH?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we know that the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was a single republic incorporated into the Federal
21 Republic of Yugoslavia
22 two armies and between two political leaderships. For that reason this
23 term "former" is being used.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. And I want to know what -- now that it's
25 been divided into two, what does "former" mean? Does "former" mean the
1 two areas that have been divided put together? Does it mean Republika
2 Srpska? Does it mean BiH minus Republika Srpska? What does it mean? Or
3 does it mean the whole of them -- of the two of them put together?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means the entire Republic of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina and its constituent parts.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Including Republika Srpska?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Republika Srpska as well.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: And -- okay. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In order not to try and guess, this item 4 entitled "continue to
11 observe the signed truce, particularly in the protected areas," do you
12 know what the provenance of this information that arrived at the
13 General Staff?
14 A. This information was received from their subordinates from their
15 operations centre, and it reached us. On that basis they have compiled
16 these bullet points.
17 Q. Their, whose?
18 A. The report of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We can go back to an open session,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move back into open
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will the court officer please help us by opening
1 the blind.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll now look at another document.
3 it's Prosecution Exhibit P1017.
4 Q. This document comes from the Main Staff of the Serbian army of
5 Krajina of 21st December 1993. We see who it is addressed to. Can you
6 tell us whether this regular operations report was submitted to your
7 operations centre or not?
8 A. This specific report was not forwarded through the operations
9 centre but was submitted to the Chief of General Staff, because the Main
10 Staff of the Serbian army put it like that. It says: "To General
11 Momcilo Perisic personally." And if it's not sent from the
12 communications centre and it's sent encrypted, then it is forwarded
13 directly to the Chief of General Staff.
14 Q. Can we now have called up document of the Prosecution, and it's
15 an entirely different subject. I have finished with this topic relating
16 to operation centres. It's P1123. It's another document issued by the
17 first administration, and I would kindly ask you to comment on this
18 document in the context of the time when you were in your position. It's
19 dated the 23rd of February, 1995. It was addressed to the Main Staff of
20 the Serbian army of Krajina.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I note that the English version is dated the 23rd
22 of March, and I can see it's the 23rd of February in the B/C/S.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I see the difference as well,
24 Your Honours. If that's the only discrepancy, we can just state this for
25 the record instead of asking for a new translation. Hopefully there are
1 no other mistakes.
2 Q. There is reference in this document to a letter, but I'm
3 interested in item 1. First of all, the Chief of General Staff signed
4 this, but can you tell me who the author was of this document?
5 A. The first administration was the author. It was signed by the
6 Chief of General Staff. It is addressed to the Main Staff of the Serbian
7 army of Krajina from the very response, because it says, Reference your
8 telegram, strictly confidential, et cetera, I presume that it was Momcilo
9 Perisic's response to some of the requests or demands posed by the
10 Serbian army of Krajina. Item 1 reads literally as follows:
11 "In the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia it is not possible to
12 organise gathering of volunteers by relying on the structures of Yugoslav
13 Army, but rather that activities should be done through the structures
14 outside of the Army of Yugoslavia
15 Q. Was that how it was in practice?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Would you please comment item 7 of this letter.
18 A. Item 7 speaks about sending officers from the Yugoslav Army to
19 the Serbian army of Krajina, and it reads that this secondment can only
20 be regulated on the voluntary basis; which means that they requested the
21 Chief of General Staff to force all the officers originally from that
22 area, but he didn't agree with that and that is why he sent this kind of
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, have you ever heard of the so-called co-ordinating
2 meetings of the three armies, all the so-called co-ordination activities?
3 A. Given that I was in one of the administrations, I have heard of
4 and I am aware of and I took part in the preparation of certain tasks and
5 in solving certain tasks deriving from this kind of meetings and
6 co-ordinating activities. I wasn't personally present at this
7 co-ordinating meetings myself.
8 Q. Since you have some information about that, what can you tell the
9 Chamber about it? What kind of meetings were those, just in few words,
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, can this witness tell us what kind of
12 meetings they were if he never attended them? Or can he tell us of the
13 kind of tasks that he carried out that came from the meeting?
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand your point. I
15 wanted to ask him that on the basis of information he received would he
16 be able to tell us something about the nature of those meetings.
17 Q. Well, let's start from the beginning. Who gave you tasks
18 relating to these meetings?
19 A. Co-ordination meetings were held not on a regular basis, for
20 instance, once a month, but as the need arose and based on the requests
21 that came from Main Staffs of the armies. But since my head of sector
22 was always present at these meetings he himself had to prepare based on
23 the requests and Main
24 meetings. So through my head of sector I became familiar with the tasks,
25 but that took place in the aftermath of these meetings. And these
1 particular requests referred to the first administration specifically.
2 Q. Do you remember any specific task that the head of the sector
3 gave you that stemmed from these meetings?
4 A. Well, the most common requests made at these meetings was to
5 provide assistance in literature to be provided by the first
6 administration. Also, we were asked to provide topographic maps because
7 the military geographical institute had the maps of the entire Socialist
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at Prosecution document
10 P25177, please.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do we have that number?
12 MR. LUKIC: P2177, exhibit, prosecution.
13 [Interpretation] I ask the usher to show this hard copy to
14 General Simic.
15 Q. The document is self-explanatory. My question is: This was made
16 by the first administration. Why was it important to you to know the
17 exact disposition of the units of the SVK and the disposition of the
18 enemy forces?
19 A. For security reasons, that is, because of the security of our own
20 country and to be able to take certain measures. But this document also
21 shows what I have spoken about before, namely, that their reports were
22 not submitted regularly nor were they complete. They sent them when they
23 deemed necessary. The very beginning of the document reads:
24 "For the next co-ordination meeting please bring..." et cetera.
25 I believe that the rest is not so important.
1 Q. No, you don't have to read it out till the end. Do you know
2 whether you requested information from the operative centre by phone when
3 you didn't get it from them?
4 A. Oftentimes I was sore at my officers and they were sore at me
5 because we intervened through their duty officers in the operations
6 centre, and they would simply reply, "No news, everything's fine."
7 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to a different topic now. We have
8 seen that one of the tasks of your administration was strategic
9 camouflage or masking. Can you explain that notion in a few words,
11 A. One of the duties of the first administration of the
12 General Staff was strategic masking or camouflage. In simple terms, this
13 refers to documents - and that's the plural here - that are meant to
14 deceive other parties about the real intentions of the VJ; or we can put
15 it this way: We protected the commands and units of the VJ.
16 Q. Can we see Prosecution -- sorry, no, not Prosecution document but
17 our 65 ter document 01196 on the screen, please. I apologise, I didn't
18 add the letter D at the end. So 01196D is the proper reference from the
19 Defence list. Yes, this is it.
20 What is this, General, can you enlighten us?
21 A. This is one of the documents of strategic masking or camouflage.
22 If you look at it you will think that this is a missile system.
23 Specifically, this is the Neva
24 down that F-117 in 1999. But this is only a structure made of wood and
25 sheet metal that is actually a look-alike. So this is meant by
1 operational strategic masking or camouflage.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we assign an exhibit number to
3 this photograph, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, you say this is just a
5 look-alike. Does it work like a missile system, or it doesn't work?
6 It's just a look-alike that doesn't work?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is just a model
8 of a missile system used to deceive the adversary about the position of
9 the real missiles. This is not a missile.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 I guess the short answer is: It doesn't work like a missile.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given
15 an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number D210.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And we'll quickly go through another
19 I apologise, but I repeat 01195D.
20 Q. So let's follow up on Judge Moloto's question, and I'll ask you
21 whether these are real missiles or just models?
22 A. This is just a model.
23 Q. That which served the same purpose as the one you spoke about a
24 minute ago?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And your administration among others had this kind of
2 responsibility too?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. We needn't repeat.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we assign an exhibit number to
6 this document and then we'll move on to the next topic.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted. May it please be given
8 an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number D211, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Simic, could you please tell the Court what the plan of the
13 use of the army is.
14 A. Every army, thus also the VJ, drafts a plan of its use. That
15 plan is a complex document that elaborates how a country decided to wage
16 war in case it's attacked. It is compiled in peacetime. The situation
17 in the country and around it is monitored, and depending on need, it is
18 updated. Every plan of use must contain some essential elements. There
19 must be a directive, there must be a decision on a map, and there must be
20 a plan of action. To elaborate the plan of use, the Chief of General
21 Staff drafts an organisational order which regulates what must be done,
22 who was to do it, who will know about it, the places where this is done,
23 security measures to be applied, and finally a code-name for that plan.
24 Once we have that, or rather, all those, the first administration
25 together with other organisational structures as listed in the order of
1 the Chief of General Staff starts elaborating the details of that
3 Q. Who takes part in that process?
4 A. The leading persons of the organisational units of the General
5 Staff take part in that elaboration process with a minimum number of
6 their subordinates or members of their organisational units. They are
7 appointed by an order, and they must sign a special declaration that they
8 will keep a state secret, and only then can they be involved in the
9 elaboration of such a document.
10 Q. You mentioned three elements of the plan of use. One of these is
11 a directive. What is a directive? What does it contain? And what is
12 its format? Is it a document, the form of which is strictly prescribed?
13 A. A directive is a highest -- the highest-level commanding document
14 at the highest strategic level. And in our case it would be at the level
15 of General Staff. Just like lower-level documents that stem from the
16 directive, that is, orders of army commanders and lower-ranking
17 commanders, it has a strictly prescribed format. So that in item 1 --
18 I'm now referring a strategic level directive. In item 1 it deals with
19 the general military and political situation in the world, then it
20 focuses in on the closer surroundings, and it presents the estimate of a
21 certain state as to what degree it is threatened. In keeping with that
22 estimate, the objective of the directive is subsequently stated. But
23 first our forces are presented, et cetera. It is customary for a
24 directive with regard to its being very general cannot be changed often.
25 It is made for an entire war sometimes because it defines the positions
1 of a country as to how it will wage war. That is why we do not see such
2 directives regulating the use of the entire forces of an army often.
3 Q. What about a plan of action?
4 A. A plan of action is an integral part of the plan of use, as is
5 the directive, and the plan of action lays out how the individual
6 branches of the armed forces are to act in wartime.
7 Q. How precise must the information be that is contained in the
8 directive or the plan of action?
9 A. They are at a very -- or it is at a very general level. Once
10 excerpts are taken from such a plan of use, they are worked out in more
11 detail so that it is precisely defined who does what, where, and when
13 Q. These extracts that you refer to, what should their form be? Who
14 compiles them? Who are they sent to?
15 A. Well, I'm still speaking about the global plan of use. I have to
16 say that it is approved by the supreme commander. The supreme commander
17 signs the directive for use and the map decision is approved by the
18 supreme commander. What is a map decision actually? A map decision is
19 actually a graphic representation of what is expressed by way of text in
20 the directive. That is why it is also approved by the president, or
21 rather, the supreme commander, and it is signed by the chief of General
22 Staff as the elaborating party, as it were. Now, in this hierarchy there
23 is another link that is important though not unimportant, and that is
24 approved by the Chief of General Staff, and it is elaborated by the
25 assistant -- or rather, it is signed by the assistant Chief of General
1 Staff for operations and staff affairs. That is the sequence involved in
2 the hierarchy so that a directive would -- or rather, so that a plan of
3 use would be valid.
4 Q. The question that I --
5 A. Sorry, if you allow me. I don't want it to be understood that
6 the plan of use contains only these three documents. Later on all arms
7 and services elaborate their own attachments for the realisation of the
8 tasks from the directive, and then once this plan of use is completed it
9 has three or four volumes this big, and that is the plan of use.
10 Q. You said "this big" and you showed it with your hands and we
11 cannot have that in the transcript. Can you tell us specifically, say
12 how many binders like this it should contain?
13 A. Well, looking at your binder, perhaps it would be about ten of
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: We still don't have Mr. Lukic's binder on the
16 record. Can you make sure that we have an idea what size this is.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Could you tell us roughly how many pages? Perhaps that would be
19 the most specific way of doing it.
20 A. I cannot give you an exact page number because it contains maps,
21 it contains graphs as to how units will be brought in, also calculations,
22 and all the rest. So it's very hard for me to say anything specific in
23 that regard. However, if you allow me to show it with my hand, it is
24 this high, it is this many documents.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: From the table or from the floor?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the table.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It will be best if you were to
4 establish it, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Moloto, please.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is tens of thousands of pages.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
9 Q. General, what I asked a few moments ago, but let's be very
10 specific. You said the word "extract," you said the word "extracts."
11 Can you explain to us what extracts are and in what form they are
12 compiled. Let us be specific. Who is it that compiles these extracts or
13 writes them?
14 A. The protagonist or the proponent is the first administration, the
15 proponent or the protagonist of the plan of use, and it involves all the
16 organisational units of the General Staff.
17 Q. So what are extracts?
18 A. Extracts -- extracts are parts of the plan of use that pertain to
19 certain subordinates, particular subordinates. Imagine if all of that
20 were to be submitted to the army command, they would need ten days to
21 study all of that and then when are they going to carry it out? So it is
22 this group that actually elaborated the plan of use that extracts only
23 what is essential for carrying out the task of that particular army, then
24 the air force, the navy, because many things are important for me but are
25 not important for others.
1 Q. Now, these armies, or rather, all the arms and services, do they
2 work on this in depth, on this plan of use, from the lowest-ranking unit
4 A. Plans of use are elaborated in written form from regiment level
5 upwards via brigades and artillery battalions, then corps, all the way up
6 to the General Staff. May I also note that for a variety of reasons,
7 primary security-related reasons, all plans are written in two copies.
8 The first copy is always kept in a special room for safe-guarding the war
9 plan. It is secured technically and physically. The second copy is kept
10 in the superior command, in the same kind of room for keeping the war
11 plan. That is for security reasons so that if for some reason the
12 command of the brigade is destroyed, they should not be without a plan of
13 use. It has to exist, say, in the corps command.
14 Q. General, have you heard of a Drina plan?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you personally take part in the elaboration of Drina
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have on our screens
19 document P2125. I know that earlier on it was a protected document, but
20 I think it is no longer so. It's a public document now. I checked that.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, Mr. Lukic.
22 Mr. Simic, you've told us that the first copy is always kept in a
23 special room for safe-guarding the war plan. And then you said the
24 second copy is kept in the superior command. Where is the first copy
25 kept? This one is in the superior command, where is that other one, the
1 first one kept? Or is that top secret that we are not supposed to know?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command that elaborates plans
3 of use has a special room that is technically secure, and there is always
4 a guard in front of the door. And there is an opening there so he can
5 see inside the safe boxes where the plan is kept. The second copy is
6 submitted to the superior command, that safe-guards it along with their
7 own plan in that same kind of room or one perhaps that is even bigger
8 depending on the capacity of the rooms involved.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Document Prosecution Exhibit P215,
13 P215, page 1.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: 215 what?
15 MR. LUKIC: 215.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: 215.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, I have a copy of the document for you. The first thing
19 I'm going to ask you pertains to this very first page. It has a stamp
20 showing that it was locked in your administration on the 14th of
21 November, 1993. Sorry that I've been leading.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What can you tell us about this? Do you know this document, and
24 what was it that you did in relation to this document?
25 A. I am fully familiar with this document because I was one of the
1 participants in the elaboration of this document. It shows what I spoke
2 about in terms of directives in general, the military/political
3 situation, what is going on and where. Then there is a reference to
4 possible threats, that is point 2, aggression against Serb lands. Then
5 there are the objectives of the aggression, then there is an explanation
6 of how this aggression would probably take place, then how the forces
7 taking part in the aggression could be supported. And then finally on
8 page 6, Roman numeral II, there is a reference to our own forces, general
9 objective, what the state actually wants, then the concept of activities
10 in general, how that is envisaged to be implemented within this general
11 objective. On page 8, Roman numeral III
12 tasks of the armed forces of the Army of Yugoslavia, the Army of
13 Republika Srpska, the Serb Army of the Krajina, then the use of RV, that
14 is to say the air force and air defence, and then -- then there are other
15 aspects such as the moral, political, logistics support for combat
16 activities, and so on. That is to say that this is a complex directive,
17 as you can see on the basis of what I've been saying, and it is one of
18 the key parts of the plan of use. This directive is used for the map
19 decision and for the action plan. They operationalise what is defined in
20 its text.
21 Q. There are some attachments there as well, but the document is
22 self-explanatory so we really don't have to refer to them right now, I
23 mean, after the directive itself, there are these attachments.
24 You said that you took part in the elaboration of this directive.
25 It says here November 1993. Does that perhaps jog your memory? Did you
1 work on this document roughly at that time, as is written on this
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. In addition to yourself, do you remember who else worked on this
6 A. I've already said that from the General Staff the top people of
7 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia were involved. So I don't
8 have to enumerate them all by name specifically because I cannot remember
9 exactly who held which position then. I know that in addition to
10 officers of the Army of Yugoslavia there were other active participants
11 in the elaboration of this directive, namely, General Manojlo Milovanovic
12 from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska and General Mile
13 Novakovic, also from the Main Staff of the Serb Army of Krajina. Along
14 with them there were a few officers whom they had brought along in order
15 to facilitate the elaboration of the document. The directive was signed
16 by the president of the Supreme Defence Council, Zoran Lilic.
17 Q. Let us just comment upon a few parts of the directive itself.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I please have page 3 in B/C/S
19 and page 3 in English concerning item 2 Entitled "Aggression against Serb
21 Q. I'm going to read it out and ask for your comment.
22 "The general objective of the aggression is to break up the FRY,
23 prevent the creation of a single Serb state in the Balkans, and ensure
24 the relocation of NATO forces from CEV to JEV." What does that mean, CEV
25 and JEV?
1 A. And ensure the relocation of NATO forces from the central
2 European front to the south-east -- south European front.
3 Q. Thank you. With the objective of acquiring full control of the
4 sources of raw materials in Asia
5 in the former USSR
6 within its administrative borders; (B), the Muslims' objective continues
7 to the creation of a unified Muslim state in the territory of the former
8 BH with access to the sea, the Drina
9 objective of the Croatia Republic of Herceg-Bosna continues ..."
10 I don't want to read the whole text. On the basis of which
11 information is this entered into the directive?
12 A. This comes from intelligence on the basis of intelligence
13 gathered, knowledge acquired in the immediate area over a longer period
14 of time, the intelligence people came to the conclusion that a possible
15 aggression could evolve in this way.
16 Q. Next page, please, page 4 both in B/C/S and in English. We see
17 that the document is from November 1993. Now I'm going to read (A)
18 "probable mode of action of the Croatian army," and it says:
19 "The aggression would start with an all-out attack of the
20 Croatian army on the Republic of the Serb Krajina with a radical
21 objective. In the beginning they would engage their main forces in
22 Western Slavonia and Baranja with the objective to simultaneously draw
23 Republika Srpska and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into the war and
24 condemn them before the international public and ask for help from the
25 organisation of the United Nations, with a view to protection."
1 Who enters this information into the directive, on the basis of
3 A. An intelligence man, but let us be clear about this. This is not
4 the fruit of the work of one person, but rather all the personnel of the
5 General Staff who estimated or made estimates about the objectives of the
6 aggression based on the development of the situation in the immediate
7 vicinity up to that time and based on orders received from the
8 leadership. But basically it's the intelligence people.
9 Q. General, do you know about the events termed Operation Flash?
10 Have you heard about it, and can you say in a few words what happened in
11 that operation?
12 A. You have already read out some of that in the previous text and
13 it was quite implemented in May 1995 in Operation Flash when the Croatian
14 army attacked Western Slavonia, evicted the population, and occupied
15 those areas.
16 Q. Let us now look at page 7 in the B/C/S and page 8 in the English.
17 We're now referring to that part of the directive that is called, "The
18 Use of the Armed Forces." I'm interested in the part referring to the
20 It's under item 2. It's probably the previous page in the English where
21 it starts, that is the bottom of the previous page. About the Army of
23 "Repel the potential aggressors by combat-readiness of the Army
24 of Yugoslavia
25 rebellion ..." and it continues on the following page, "and thus make the
1 leadership of the Republic of Croatia
2 situation in the theatre of war."
3 A. Sorry, I couldn't follow because I couldn't find it.
4 Q. It's -- the page reference is 6 in B/C/S and then toward the --
5 in the centre part of this paragraph. I skipped the part referring to
6 the RS and the RSK, and it starts --
7 A. Oh, yes, I've found it, combat-readiness of the Army of
9 Q. Yes, well, do explain to us what that means, combat-readiness --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Saxon.
11 MR. SAXON: I'm sorry, very sorry to interrupt. Mr. Harmon and I
12 are -- have lost the plot. If you could specific which page we are in
13 the English version.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Welcome to the club.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, well, I didn't want to read.
16 What the page reference is in the English is page 7 and page 8. It
17 starts at the bottom of page 7. Let's see whether that is correct.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where do we find combat-readiness on that page?
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's been suggested by Mr. Harmon
21 that there are small or slight differences between the interpretation,
22 the live interpretation, and the translation as we can see it in the
23 document. So I would -- I ask the interpreters to stick to the written
24 translation because I don't think it's wrong.
25 Q. It says:
1 "Armed forces of the Serbian people west of the Drina
2 rivers, preserve territorial integrity of the RS and RSK" --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Saxon.
4 MR. SAXON: If we could know where Mr. Lukic is right now at
5 least in the English.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: "Plan of operations and objectives of manoeuvres."
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, exactly, it's heading 2 or
8 paragraph 2. [In English] "Plan of operations and objectives ..."
9 [Interpretation] And if you could turn the page, I don't want to
10 read out the entire document, so the next page of the English version.
11 And in the Serbian version we can read combat-readiness of the Army of
13 Q. I'm interested in the notion of combat-readiness of the VJ.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now you must tell us where you are.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, you must go back to the previous
16 page in the English because it starts on the previous page. I wanted to
17 avoid it, but this has already taken more time than it would have if I
18 had read it out all. Perhaps ... [In English] By combat-readiness of the
19 Yugoslav Army of prevent potential aggressors from endangering
20 territorial --"
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, we're with you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So I'm actually only interested in the notion of combat-readiness
24 of the VJ. What does it include, and what actions of the VJ are meant by
25 that? What is its task?
1 A. In simple terms, the VJ in certain areas must have part of its
2 forces in full combat-readiness, and combat-readiness can be either
3 peacetime readiness, heightened combat-readiness, or full
4 combat-readiness. Full combat-readiness means that the units are ready
5 to start carrying out a combat assignment when ordered to do so.
6 Q. And what follows now are -- what is envisaged in case of Croatian
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So can we now please see page 8 of
9 both versions.
10 Q. Could you now please tell us what the FRY does in that case or is
11 supposed to do. And I'm going to read it out. In your version it's on
12 page 7, sir. Now I'm reading the following:
13 "In the FRY using stand-by forces, close off axes leading from
14 the neighbouring state deep into the territory, vigorously strike at the
15 root potential armed rebellion in crisis areas in the shortest possible
16 time, conduct mobilisation and strategic development, while part of the
17 forces in co-ordinated action with the SVK is to crush the attack of the
18 aggressor in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem, and the VRS in
19 the Drina Valley
20 I'll ask a question about what I have just read out. When
21 Operation Flash happened in May 1995, did the VJ act in accordance with
22 this document? Did it act in co-ordination with the forces of the SVK?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So you -- this may be clear, but let me ask you nonetheless.
25 What does acting and co-ordination mean in military terminology?
1 A. In military terminology that means that two neighbouring units,
2 in this case two neighbouring armies, should jointly act in performing a
4 Q. Are they on equal footing there, or is one subordinated to the
6 A. In this case they are on equal footing.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you will bear with me for a
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] After the break I will be able to
11 tell whether I have a correction to the transcript.
12 Q. Now let us look at page 10 of the B/C/S and page 10 of the
13 English. We are now dealing with the tasks of the armed forces --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just interrupt a little bit.
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you leave this topic.
17 Are you able to tell us, Mr. Simic, why the VJ did not act
18 according to this direction during Operation Flash?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it didn't because
20 this document is not the genuine plan of use of the VJ. It is -- it
21 belongs to the realm of strategic masking and camouflage, which I spoke
22 about. We looked at the Neva
23 wanted to achieve with this directive as regards the adversary.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You wanted to achieve -- what was achieved by
2 Operation Flash, that Western Srem and Eastern Slavonia be attacked and
3 you don't come to the rescue, or am I misunderstanding you?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to be clearer. This plan
5 was made with the attention to deceive. We wanted to have the adversary
6 think that Yugoslavia
7 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which means that this -- the character
8 of this plan is a deterrent, just like that model deterred play --
9 airplanes. In the same fashion we wanted to threaten the adversary that
10 we would enter the war if they commit an act of aggression against the
11 Republic of Serbia
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see. So you let this document slip into the
13 hands of the enemy so that he can -- the enemy can see what the
14 camouflage says?
15 JUDGE DAVID: General --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, he didn't answer the question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just say yes or no.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE DAVID: General, you have just said that the two armies
21 participated on equal footing. Could you elaborate on this. Is equal
22 footing in practice or in theory?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're speaking about three equal
24 armies. I'm now speaking about the Republic of Serbian Krajina
25 there is this link with Flash in Western Slavonia. They are two equal
1 and separate armies, and co-ordination is achieved between two
3 JUDGE DAVID: In your experience, in the various meetings of the
4 three armies, could you testify that both of -- the three of them acted
5 on equal footing, that no one of them had more power than the other two?
6 Or could you identify the one who really carries the power to decide at
7 the end of the day?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In practice every army made
9 decisions for itself. The General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia for
10 the Army of Yugoslavia
11 for its own army, and the Main Staff of the Serb Army of Krajina for its
12 own army.
13 JUDGE DAVID: I again repeat the question. If there were no
14 unanimity in the decision to be taken, who was the ruling vote, the
15 deciding hand, if any?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do beg your pardon. I did not
17 understand your question. Does it pertain to this specific directive or
18 to general practice?
19 JUDGE DAVID: General, you have before said that you had
20 participated in various concerted meetings at various points, you know,
21 or carrying out tasks in relation to these meetings. My question is: In
22 cases of discrepancies in formulating plans of actions, directives, and
23 so on, when there was discrepancy how these discrepancies were solved?
24 Was there one predominant voice to decide the issue or not? Or the three
25 parties were always on equal footing?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge David, these
2 armies were always separate and equal. One was not superior or
3 subordinate to another. In your question you mentioned co-ordination.
4 Let us please bear in mind the following: Co-ordination is resolved in
5 terms of a specific moment in life, whereas this is a document that is
6 done at a very high level.
7 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think you will have to keep your question until
9 after the break, Mr. Lukic, if you don't mind.
10 And for the sake of the need to do transcript corrections, we'll
11 come back at ten past -- I beg your pardon, at five to 6.00 instead of
12 quarter to. Court adjourned.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have on our
17 screens -- or rather, I saw a problem in the transcript. It's nothing
18 drastic so I'm not going to raise the issue.
19 Q. Page 17 in B/C/S and page 17 in English, General, in your copy
20 it's page 16.
21 A. I'm sorry, what was the page number?
22 Q. It says 16 in your document, the last page of the directive.
23 Let's just wait for the English version to appear on our screens. The
24 document was signed by the president of the Supreme Defence Council,
25 Mr. Zoran Lilic. That's right, isn't it? And it has the seal of --
1 well, I can't see exactly what seal it is, but there is a stamp, a seal,
2 at any rate, right next to the signature?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In the English version the signature is on the next page if you
5 want to have a look at it, but I think that what I discussed just now can
6 be seen in the B/C/S version.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move into closed
8 session for a moment, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into closed session --
10 closed session, not private.
11 MR. LUKIC: Closed session.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Closed.
13 [Closed session]
11 Page 10060 redacted. Closed session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You said that one plan of use has three elements; namely, a
14 directive, a map decision, and an action plan. Did I remember that
16 A. Mr. Lukic, these are three basic parts from which the
17 operationalisation of all other attachments is derived. This is just one
18 that we've read out, but at any rate it is the most important part of the
19 directive. I stand corrected, the main part of the plan of use.
20 Q. Now we are going to look at Prosecution Exhibit P1563. Could we
21 please have page 10 on our screens. The witness is going to tell us what
22 this is, and then I'm going to tell you, Your Honours, what my intention
23 was, how I'm going to do this with the witness. I hope that the
24 Trial Chamber will find this to be of benefit.
25 Would you just tell us, General, what this is. We are going to
1 zoom in a bit.
2 A. This is from the directive, and it is entitled - you can read it
3 up here - "Expected Model Of Attack." This is related to the air force.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is an English
5 translation of the text on the map, but I'm afraid that you will not be
6 able to follow this. I would suggest that we read what these parts of
7 the map say and it's going to be easier for you to follow in this way
8 what it is that I want to put to the witness.
9 Can we have a look at page 9 of this document. On the other
10 pages we actually see parts of the map. Right.
11 Q. Now, General, you see this down here, what does it say? Who is
12 the signatory, and has this document been signed at all?
13 A. This document was written up by an air-force man, commander of
14 the RV and the PVO of the air force, Major-General Milivoj Pavlovic.
15 Q. Just take it easy. Did he sign this part here?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now could we have page 6 of this
19 Q. Who was supposed to approve this document? I'm going to read
20 this out -- or rather, you read out what is written in the upper
21 left-hand corner.
22 A. "I hereby approve, Chief of Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia,
23 Lieutenant-General Momcilo Perisic."
24 Q. Did he sign this document?
25 A. More specifically, whether he approved it; no, he did not approve
1 this document because he did not sign it.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now have page 19 of this
4 exhibit, could we have a look at that.
5 Q. Could you please read out what is written there or perhaps if
6 it's easier for you I can read it out.
7 A. "Decision for the joint use of armed forces."
8 Q. Was this document signed anywhere?
9 A. I cannot see.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back to page 18 now.
11 Q. Do you see anything here?
12 A. No, but I assume and know that it was not approved.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 24, please.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Judge Moloto.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry.
17 You can't assume and know, you either assume or you know.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume from the point of view
19 that I did not see it on the screen, and I know that the -- that it was
20 not approved.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I still say you can't do both. You either know or
22 you don't know.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You know?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This document is entitled "Plan of
3 use of forces of the air force and air support against 'D.'"
4 Q. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now see page 20 of this
7 document where a certain part is enlarged.
8 Q. In the left-hand corner it says: "I hereby approve, Chief of
9 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
11 Is his signature there?
12 A. No.
13 Q. General, in order for this directive to be carried out in
14 practice, what else had to be done after this directive had been written
15 up so that the plan of use could function?
16 A. In order for the plan of use to be valid and for it to be able to
17 take effect if necessary, as I've already said, this textual part has to
18 be materialised through the decision and the action plan. Through the
19 other attachments it should be operationalised in greater detail, or
20 rather, the set tasks should be operationalised. We can see here that
21 the participants in the elaboration of this document signed this
22 document, but it was not approved by the Chief of General Staff. When I
23 spoke about plans of use, I said that a decision has to be approved by
24 the president and the plan has to be signed by the assistant Chief of
25 General Staff and approved by the Chief of General Staff. In this
1 specific case the directive was signed by the president of the Supreme
2 Defence Council, but all other necessary documents, I mean for the plan
3 to -- or rather, in order to make it possible for those who are supposed
4 to carry out -- to carry it out in that way, it was simply not
6 Q. Just a moment, please.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, can we see where the
8 participants in the elaboration of this document signed, please. If you
9 can scroll, let's see where the signatures are on this document.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we go back to page 24, I believe
11 that you --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, Mr. Lukic. The witness is talking
13 about this page, and he's saying that the participants in the elaboration
14 signed this page, and I want to see the signature of this page.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I wanted. I --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say we must go to another page.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's because the image that we saw
18 earlier is just one enlarged portion of this, which is the whole
19 document. This is the whole map and what we saw earlier was only part of
20 it. I believe that the witness will be able to provide an answer and now
21 that he can see the entire map.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
23 Who are the signatories, Mr. Simic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the plan of
25 use for the forces of the anti-aircraft defence, and it was signed by the
1 commander of the air force and anti-aircraft defence, Major-General
2 Milivoj Pavlovic, commander of the air force and anti-aircraft defence as
3 I said.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 You may proceed.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Before the break you were explaining to Judge Moloto, following
8 up on my question about Operation Flash why no action was taken, and you
9 answered that question. While you were working on this document, did you
10 believe that you were working on a genuine plan of use.
11 A. From the very beginning of my work on this plan, I fostered some
12 doubts as to the seriousness of these documents because the methodology
13 of working out a war plan or plan of use was not adhered to. When I
14 spoke generally about a plan of use, I said that there must be an
15 organisational order which regulates what is to be done, by who, where,
16 how, et cetera. And that all participants were required to sign special
17 declarations about keeping state secrets, just as I made a solemn
18 declaration here. But that wasn't respected.
19 Q. Just a minute. I have a follow-up question. Does that mean that
20 you, participants who were working on this document, did not sign such
21 solemn declarations as are usually signed before starting work on a plan
22 of use?
23 A. Yes, and once we had elaborated the directive and these few
24 attachments, subsequent work was interrupted suddenly. I knew that
25 something was wrong, and I asked my superior officer, the late General
1 Kovacevic, I asked him jokingly, "Blagoje, what is this about?" And he
2 replied to me calmly, "Simke you know the same that I know, and don't ask
3 questions, do what you're told to do." And then I understood that
4 something was wrong with regard to the completeness and the seriousness
5 of the plan.
6 Q. Did any part of the Drina
7 from 1993 on?
8 A. From this plan, no.
9 Q. When you replied to Judge Moloto about strategic camouflage, did
10 anybody tell you that the idea behind this plan was strategic camouflage,
11 or was something else the matter?
12 A. This is camouflage at the highest strategic level so that only
13 the Supreme Defence Council and possibly the Chief of General Staff were
14 the only ones that were privy to the real intentions behind this plan.
15 Nobody else was allowed to know what objective -- what the objective of
16 this plan was. If it hadn't been that way, the goal of deception
17 couldn't have been achieved.
24 (redacted) And finally, none of those who should have been tasked with
25 implementing the plan was ever sent an extract to enable them to
1 elaborate their own plans. While I was working on this, I did not know
2 that the real intention was deception, but later on Flash, Storm, and
3 what is written there clearly indicated to me that the high state
4 authorities wanted to deter Croatia
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry --
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would request a correction on page
8 61 of the transcript from lines 12 till line 16. Only that should be
9 redacted. We can leave the rest.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. You want a redaction of lines 12 to 16 on
11 page 61? Can we do that, please?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Up to line 16.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, Mr. Simic, if I understand how your testimony
14 thus far, you can't say while I was working on this, I did not know that
15 the real intention was deception. You must have known right from the
16 beginning, and I'll tell you why, which is one of the reasons you've
17 given us why you say this was deception, because you didn't make a
18 declaration before you did this job, number one. At the end, the chief
19 of the General Staff didn't sign this plan. So in addition to the couple
20 of reasons that you have given us is that two other reasons, one of which
21 you were aware of before you started the job, so you knew at the
22 beginning that this was camouflage because you did not make a declaration
23 before you started the job. Am I right?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, not fully. When I
25 with my colleagues started elaborating this plan, nobody told me
1 explicitly, "You are working on a plan of deception," because if that had
2 been communicated to a group of people, the purpose of the plan couldn't
3 have been achieved. The intelligence services would have come by the
4 information that this is a plan for deception purposes, but even then I
5 had my doubts, or rather, I had some knowledge about that being the case.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand all that, Mr. Simic. All I'm saying
7 is that from the position you held and from your general knowledge of the
8 procedures for a genuine plan you knew that for a genuine plan before the
9 participants can participate they make a solemn declaration to keep state
10 secrets. You were not made to make such a declaration when you started
11 this job. So from your general knowledge you could assess, even as you
12 asked your superior, Kovacevic, "What is this for," I'm sure it was a
13 rhetorical question. You knew that this was not genuine based on your
14 own evidence.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with you, Your Honour, that
16 I knew it at the time. But nobody had told me so explicitly from above,
17 no one -- none of my superiors.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I suspect that, because as you rightly say if
19 anybody told you then it defeats the whole purpose of the plan. So
20 you've got to read in between the lines, and as a senior officer, I'm
21 sure it was virtually on the lines for you, not in between.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with this document.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, have you heard of the Gvozd plan?
3 A. No, except during the proofing with you.
4 Q. Before I showed you the document we're about to discuss, you had
5 never heard about it?
6 A. No.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we see document P494 on the
8 screen. I again have a hard copy for General Simic.
9 Q. Let's wait for it to appear on the screen. General, as compared
10 to the document that we saw earlier, the Drina directive, please look at
11 page 1 here and tell us whether you see any differences between this
12 document and that one when it comes to the format of the first page.
13 A. Page 1 is exactly the same as that of any directive.
14 Q. Does this directive have a registry stamp?
15 A. Yes, it can be on the cover page, but it can also be inside the
16 directive. But there is no stamp showing that it was registered.
17 Q. In the Drina
18 administration, but we cannot see one here. Please turn to page 18 of
19 the B/C/S version. I believe that I got the page right this time. It's
20 the last-but-one page. It's page 19 in the B/C/S. In the English we'll
21 find it, it's the last-but-one page. Yes.
22 We have seen on the Drina
23 stamp. Does this document also bear a round stamp?
24 A. No, not only is the round stamp missing, which round stamp means
25 the verification of the validity of the document, but there's also the
1 name of the supreme commander of the SVK missing because his name should
2 have been mentioned.
3 Q. I believe that a short while ago when you were answering
4 questions about the Drina
5 copies of the plan to be produced, are such rules in force for all plans
6 and directives?
7 A. I mentioned that a directive is made for either the entire war or
8 for a longer period of the war and reflects the positions of the highest
9 authorities of the state with regard to the waging of war. This
10 directive is made operational by orders issued by lower levels.
11 Q. Is it in accordance with this doctrine that copies are produced
12 without an indication which copy it is out of how many. Maybe we can
13 return to the cover page. Wait a minute, please. The Trial Chamber must
14 be able to see. Let us see the cover page in the B/C/S also.
15 With regard to the importance of such a document, can such a
16 document be produced without an indication of which copy it is out of how
18 A. I've already mentioned that a directive is made in two copies.
19 And in case of war activities, one copy is kept in the principal command
20 post and another copy in the secondary command post if one of them should
21 be destroyed.
22 Q. Is the number indicating which copy it is mentioned on each such
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You were able to read the document while I was showing it to you.
1 Do you know, General, whether anybody from the General Staff of the VJ
2 from your administration took part in the production of this document --
3 but no, you said that you knew nothing about the document. Do you know
4 that any of your subordinates went to co-operate with anybody from the
5 SVK in making such a directive?
6 A. No, nobody from the first administration went to work on such a
7 document, otherwise I would have had to know because an order of mine was
8 required for them to be able to go there and carry out their task.
9 Q. Did anybody else in the General Staff of the VJ work on such
10 documents without belonging to the first administration?
11 A. This is the main task of the first administration, and no one
12 else can go and work on such documents.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the last page in
14 B/C/S and in English. I haven't got the number, but I hope we'll find
15 our way. I think it's page 20.
16 Q. Now, in this document, General, certain units are mentioned. You
17 see here in line 2 -- well, actually why don't you read these numbers
18 slowly because there are a lot of abbreviations here, and please tell us
19 whose units they are, the units mentioned there.
20 A. In this specific document that I have in my hands it is stated
21 that this is an annex to the plan of use of the Serbian army of Krajina,
22 and in the task for the 11th Corps it says, The 11th Corps with
23 Operations Group 2 (18th and 138th Motorised Brigade, 453rd, and 1st
24 Armoured Brigade, 51st Mechanised Brigade, 16th Motorised Brigade, 12th
25 Mixed Anti-tank Artillery Battalion, 1st Artillery Battalion of the 240th
1 medium self-propelled air defence rocket regiment, and 155th Light
2 Infantry Brigade). Obviously this is some kind of a newly-formed command
3 of a temporary composition, that's why it was called Operations Group 2.
4 These units are units of the Army of Yugoslavia, more specifically of the
5 Novi Sad
6 Q. Let us be specific. This 11th Corps that is mentioned in the
8 A. The 11th Corps is a corps of the Serb army of Krajina. However,
9 according to this annex the commander, or rather, the elaborating party
10 reinforced that corps with an operations group consisting of these units
11 that I mentioned, that I read out.
12 Q. Do you know, General, whether any one of the units mentioned here
13 ever received this document or excerpts from this document on the basis
14 of which they would know what their possible task might be?
15 A. According to the methodology of work, this 11th Corps which got
16 this operative group on the basis of this document would have to go to
17 its own plan of use and provide an extract from it to the commander of
18 the operations group so that that commander of the operations group could
19 work out an order for the implementation of this task for each and every
20 one of the units mentioned.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I appreciate that you might probably be
22 understanding each other, but, Mr. Simic, can I ask you to please listen
23 very carefully to the questions put to you and answer the question that
24 is put to you. The question put to you is: Did any one of these
25 components of the operation group receive either this document or
1 excerpts from this document so that he or she knows what his task is
2 supposed to be? Now, a direct answer to that question is: Yes, somebody
3 did receive; or no, nobody received it; or I don't know. That long
4 sentence that you gave really -- it skirts around the question, and we
5 never know what the actual answer to the question is. It makes it very
6 difficult at the end of the day to know what you actually intended to
7 say. And we rely on what you are telling us to come to a conclusion at
8 the end of this case.
9 Now, can you answer that question: Did any one of the components
10 of the operational group receive this document or excerpts from this
11 document so that he or she knows what his task is going to be to the best
12 of your knowledge?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, there was no command
14 of Operations Group 2, and none of these units received any extracts
15 regarding this task.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General Simic, please just give me a yes or a no now in response
19 to my next question. Your operations administration, would it have to
20 have information of this nature if your VJ units were to be attached to
21 someone else? Just say yes or no.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you have any information about that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thank you. Is there anything else here - I don't want to
1 lead - but is there anything else on this page, in this document, that is
2 contrary to military doctrine?
3 A. In the composition of units of this operation group 2 there is a
4 reference to the 16th Motorised Brigade. And towards the bottom the
5 penultimate sentence says, Support AV and PVO and 16th Motorised Brigade.
6 This has to do with support. A motorised brigade cannot provide support
7 if it's a motorised brigade. What he probably meant was the 16th
8 Artillery Brigade --
9 Q. We are not going to speculate now. Can one and the same unit be
10 both in an operations group and in the support force?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm done in this document. Let us move on. We're
13 going to move on to a completely different subject.
14 General, are you tired? Can we continue working?
15 A. It's not for me to decide about that. It is for the honourable
16 Trial Chamber.
17 Q. All right.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you say you are tired, we will take that into
19 account. We have 15 minutes to go before we end the day. Can you carry
20 on for another 15 minutes?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you can, I can
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I can.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Very well. General, we have quite a few documents, and I would
1 like to move through them quickly. We are going back to the operations
2 centre to specific information and specific reports. I'm going to show
3 you document -- it's from the Defence 65 ter list 00668D -- actually,
4 since I'm sure that we're going to be dealing with these documents
5 tomorrow as well, but if the Prosecutor agrees, could we have an entire
6 set of documents placed before Mr. Simic because he will have to deal
7 with a series of very short documents?
8 MR. SAXON: It would be helpful if we could see them one at a
9 time, Your Honour.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what I meant, but I thought
11 that the entire set of documents should be there with Mr. Simic so that
12 we wouldn't have to go all the way through the courtroom rather than
13 giving them to him one by one.
14 MR. SAXON: [Previous translation continues]...
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I thought the OTP could have a look.
16 Yes, that's right, yes, yes. A few today. Right. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me just understand you. You're not suggesting
18 that we give him those documents overnight. You're suggesting that
19 tomorrow you give him a batch of documents which the Prosecution will
20 have seen --
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. Yes, tomorrow, that's
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Bear in mind you've got to give them an
24 opportunity to go through those documents first.
25 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 [Interpretation] We've already provided them with a list and they
2 are aware of it.
3 Q. Mr. Simic, let us look at this document in front of you. What is
4 this? Actually, my first question is: What is this?
5 A. This document is information from the intelligence
7 Q. Very well. Who is it being provided to? You can see it down
9 A. Submitted to the Chief of General Staff of the Army of
12 immediate subordinate units related to the Chief of General Staff.
13 Q. Is this information one of the sources that later becomes part of
14 what is known as the daily operations report of the operations centre?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The information is dated the 1st of May, 1995. Do you know what
17 it refers to? Just one sentence?
18 A. I know that at that time the aggression against Western Slavonia,
19 the Republic of Serb Krajina took place.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please receive a number for
21 this document.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit Number D212.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document I'd like to show to
2 the General is [In English] 65 ter 00669D.
3 [Interpretation] Let us just wait for the document so that the
4 Trial Chamber can follow.
5 Q. This is a document similar to the previous one. It also pertains
6 to the same period. Let us just clarify this for the Trial Chamber.
7 Where can we see on this document that your operations centre is a
8 recipient of this document too?
9 A. Down here in the lower left-hand corner it says, OC of the
10 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
11 Q. Very well.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please receive a
13 number and then we can move on. We don't need to comment upon it for the
14 time being. I think that this will do for the time being, and then we'll
15 deal with other documents.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
17 please be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that is Exhibit Number D213.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document is 65 ter number
22 [In English] 00695D.
23 Q. [Interpretation] I would like us to comment upon this document.
24 It says here, Report, and the previous document said, Information. In
25 essence is this something we should pay attention to or not? It's the
1 second administration again, right, the intelligence information that is
2 providing this document, and it was submitted to your centre? It's not
3 that I want to lead but --
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where do we see that?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you scroll down the English
7 version. I don't want to lead. The next page, Your Honour. Do you see
8 the end?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, sorry, we'll have to deal with this document a bit
12 longer. Why is this document called Report and the previous one was
13 called Information? Do you know anything about that?
14 A. In essence there is no difference between information and
15 intelligence report. That was information due to the urgency of the
16 problem at hand, and it is sent to the Chief of General Staff. So
17 therefore, it has more specific weight in terms of the security of the
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Here the processing person thought that
19 that was not the case and he simply sent it to the operations centre and
20 through the daily operations -- through the daily operations report, the
21 Chief of General Staff will be made aware of it.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the previous English
23 page back, and I'm going to read one sentence out. The date of this
24 document is the 7th of July, 1995, and we see that there is a reference
25 to the forces of the 1st Corps of the Muslim army, right, and then there
1 is the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, and 7th Corps of the Muslim army. And now the
2 sentence says -- the sentence I'm interested in is the following one.
3 Your Honours, it's towards the middle of the page.
4 "The Muslim forces in the enclaves of Gorazde, Zepa, and
5 Srebrenica are maintaining a high level of combat-readiness and have
6 intensified reconnaissance, sabotage, and surprise operations against the
8 That's what is written here. I had to read this so that we don't
9 have to put the document here twice. The information from this document,
10 is it entered into the daily operations report as deemed relevant by the
11 processing party?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now we're going to look at the daily operations report of that
14 day, but first could we have an exhibit number for this document?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
16 please be given an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit Number D214.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So this was a document dated the 7th of July, 1995. Now let us
22 look at [In English] 00489D. [Interpretation] It's a document from the
23 65 ter list of the Defence. I thought this was a document that is
24 directly linked to the previous one, but no, it's another. You are about
25 to receive the next document, sir.
1 Let us now wait for the document to appear to enable the
2 Trial Chamber to look at it.
3 General, this is what we have mentioned several times, both
4 yesterday and today. What kind of document is this, judging by its
5 format, and what does such a document contain?
6 A. This is a daily operations report which is made in the operations
7 centre of the General Staff of the VJ. It contains under 1, the
8 activities of the armed forces of neighbouring countries; under 2,
9 situation along the state border; and then it deals with attempts to
10 cross the border illegally; under 3, we can see the situation,
11 activities, and changes in the units of the VJ. Here in this item the
12 units mentioned are the 1st Army and others. Under 4, we can see
13 extraordinary events, and there was one such event in the 2nd Army.
14 There was an extraordinary event in the General Staff and then there were
15 searches and the conclusion.
16 Q. Is this a format according to which every daily operations report
17 was made?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And can we see the time-period covered by the report?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I would just ask you for a comment about this document. This is
22 dated the 9th of July, 1995, and the activities of the armed forces of
23 neighbouring countries are also mentioned. But what I'm really
24 interested in is the situation on the state border. Under 2 it says:
25 "On the 8th of July the monitoring mission of the UN visited the
1 border post of Zavina of the 16th Battalion from Bajina Basta and they
2 had no remarks or no objections."
3 Where is Bajina Basta, which country does it border on?
4 A. The small town of Bajina Basta is in the valley of the Drina
5 River which is western Serbia
6 we received this report from the 1st Army as this border battalion, the
7 16th, the command of which is in Bajina Basta, sent it to the command of
8 the army, and we extracted it from there.
9 Q. All right.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we get an exhibit number for this
11 document, please.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The exhibit is admitted into evidence. May it
13 please be given an exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D215.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we break for today, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sure we can, Mr. Lukic.
18 Mr. Simic, I know you know, however, it is my duty to warn you
19 again that you may not talk to anybody while you are in the witness stand
20 about the case, and especially your lawyers.
21 We'll come back in the same court tomorrow at quarter past 2.00
22 in the afternoon. Court adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
25 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.