1 Thursday, 18 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom.
10 This is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
13 Could we have the appearances for the day, starting with the
15 MR. THOMAS: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
16 everybody in and around the courtroom. Carmela Javier, Barney Thomas,
17 Salvatore Cannata, and Dan Saxon for the Prosecution, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
19 I see a brand new team from Defence. Good morning. Could we
20 have appearances for the Defence.
21 MR. GUY-SMITH: That's correct. Good morning, Your Honour.
22 Gregor Guy-Smith, Chad Mair, and Tina Drolec on behalf of
23 General Perisic.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
25 Just before we call Mr. Guy-Smith, last week the last witness
1 we -- a document was tendered through him XN195 which became P2914 which
2 was supposed to be MFI
3 that it must be MFI
4 for identification.
5 Mr. Guy-Smith.
6 MR. GUY-SMITH: Yes. With the Court's permission, our next
7 witness will be Mr. Jevdjevic, and he will be led by Mr. Chad Mair.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
11 [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration. I'm
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: MILENKO JEVDJEVIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
20 You may be seated, sir, and good morning to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mair.
23 MR. MAIR
24 Good morning to everyone in the courtroom.
25 Examination by Mr. Mair:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jevdjevic.
2 A. Morning.
3 Q. Could you please state your whole name for the record.
4 A. Milenko Jevdjevic.
5 Q. And I know you've testified here several times previously and I
6 think you're pretty familiar as to how this works, so we'll just go ahead
7 and get started. Could you start by stating where you were born and
8 when, please.
9 A. I was born on the 11th of December, 1963, in Rogatica.
10 Q. And what country is Rogatica in?
11 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Have you lived in Rogatica your entire life?
13 A. I lived in Rogatica during the first 14 years of my life, that is
14 to say, until I completed elementary school.
15 Q. After you turned 14, where did you go after that?
16 A. After elementary school, I completed the military high school in
18 department, in Belgrade
19 Q. When did you complete the military academy?
20 A. 1986.
21 Q. What rank did you graduate with?
22 A. Second lieutenant.
23 Q. After you completed the military academy, what did you do
24 following that?
25 A. Then I was transferred to the garrison of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army in Uzice.
2 Q. How long did you remain in Uzice?
3 A. I remained in Uzice for five years.
4 Q. Did there come a point in time when you left Uzice?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where did you go then?
7 A. I was sent with a unit of the Yugoslav People's Army to carry out
8 assignments in the territory of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, the
9 present-day territory of the Republic of Croatia
10 Q. What was your position within the unit that you went to the
11 Republika Srpska Krajina with?
12 A. I was commander of the signals battalion of the
13 1st Operations Group that covered part of the theatre of war in the
14 Republic of Srpska Krajina.
15 Q. When did you go to the Republic of Srpska Krajina?
16 A. On the 23rd of September, 1991.
17 Q. How long did you remain on the territory of Croatia
18 A. I remained there until the beginning of May 1992.
19 Q. What happened at that point?
20 A. At that point an order arrived that the Yugoslav People's Army
21 should withdraw from the territory of the Republic of Srpska Krajina
22 after the UNPROFOR units arrived.
23 Q. Do you remember who issued that order?
24 A. I think that that order was issued by the Presidency of the
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Did you ever see that order or did you just hear about it --
2 sorry, let me back up. Did you hear about the order at the time?
3 A. Yes.
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. MAIR
6 Q. Did you see the order at the time?
7 A. No.
8 MR. MAIR
9 screen, please. Thank you.
10 Q. You can see in the upper left-hand corner it says the federal
11 secretariat of national defence, office of the federal secretary,
12 strictly confidential number 5-34, 6 May 1992.
13 Are you familiar with this order?
14 A. I did not have an opportunity to see this order.
15 Q. Is this the order that you believe you're referring to regarding
16 the JNA withdrawal?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. MAIR
19 the bottom of the B/C/S page. Page 2 in the B/C/S as well I think.
21 Q. And can you see there who issued the order?
22 A. The order was issued by the Chief of General Staff,
23 Colonel-General Blagoje Adzic.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. MAIR
1 in each of the documents.
2 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, do you remember when you were made aware of this
4 A. I've already said, sometime in the beginning of May 1992, the
5 commander of that unit that I was serving in on that mission told us what
6 the content of this order was.
7 Q. Excellent. And what did you do, if anything, at that point in
9 A. At that point in time, I asked for the following possibility, to
10 stay in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, although the unit was
11 withdrawing into the Republic of Serbia
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by then the civil war had already broken out.
13 Q. Who did you ask for that -- the possibility to stay in the
14 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 A. I asked the commander of that unit of the JNA that was in that
16 part of the theatre of war in the Republic of Srpska Krajina and that was
17 given the task of returning to Serbia
18 Q. Do you recall what his response was?
19 A. He said that all officers who were born in the territory of the
20 former Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina could, if they so wish, remain in
21 the territory and join the units of their people who had already started
22 organising themselves in certain units.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I understand a little point. I thought you
24 said your unit was in the Republic of Srpska Krajina?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was a unit of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army that was in the territory of the then- -- I mean
2 it was sent from Serbia
3 Republic of Srpska Krajina.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. That's what I was saying. But I
5 see -- I haven't read through this entire order, but on the heading here,
6 the first paragraph seems to refer to the territory of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: So this couldn't have been -- this couldn't refer
10 to you in the RSK, could it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Yugoslav People's Army at that
12 period of time was given the assignment of withdrawing from the territory
13 of the Republic of Croatia
14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina or whether it would go directly to the
15 territory of the Republic of Serbia
16 that point in time. Simply, the JNA received --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're not answering my question. My question is:
18 You were in the RSK. This order applies to the area of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It couldn't have been referring to you, to your
20 unit, could it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander conveyed the content
22 of this order to us. I had not seen this order, but he conveyed the
23 content of the order to us, namely, that all --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I take it you're not able to answer my question.
25 You may proceed, Mr. Mair.
1 MR. MAIR
2 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, when you left Croatia, where did you go?
3 A. I went to Bosanska Krupa, to a unit of the Army of
4 Republika Srpska that was being organised in Bosanska Krupa.
5 Q. What country is Bosanska Krupa in?
6 A. Bosanska Krupa is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. Approximately when, if you recall, did you go to Bosanska Krupa?
8 A. I think it was the beginning of the month of May, probably around
9 the 4th or 5th or 6th.
10 Q. Do you recall if you went by yourself, did you go with a unit?
11 A. Four of us officers who were in that previous unit and who had
12 been born in the territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina all went
13 to that unit together.
14 Q. If you could focus your attention on paragraph 1, number 1, of
15 the document on this screen, it's at the bottom.
16 MR. MAIR
17 If I could have a moment, Your Honour.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. MAIR
20 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, if I could just ask for your comment on
21 paragraph 1 -- number 1, paragraph number 1.
22 A. In order to carry out the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY
23 dated the 5th of May, dealing with the further position of the
24 Yugoslav People's Army in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to
25 say that the position of the Yugoslav People's Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 was being looked into, and then the Supreme Command Staff looked at the
2 status of active military personnel and civilians serving in the
3 Yugoslav People's Army to whom the mentioned decision pertained.
4 Q. If we could just clarify a couple of points that you just raised
5 there. Who -- the Supreme Command Staff of which army?
6 A. The Supreme Command Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army.
7 Q. When you got to Bosanska Krupa, what did you do next?
8 A. When we returned to Bosanska Krupa, we reported to the command of
9 the brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska that had been established in
10 Bosanska Krupa. Actually, this was a unit of the organised Serb people
11 in the area.
12 Q. When you say "a unit of the organised Serb people in the area,"
13 who organised it, if you know?
14 A. The people organised themselves.
15 Q. Do you know if they were part of a larger organisation?
16 A. At that moment, I know that they corresponded to other similar
17 units of the Serb people in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. You stated initially that it was a command of the brigade of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska before you edited that. Were you aware of the
20 Army of Republika Srpska? Had it been created at that point in time?
21 A. No. I hadn't been aware of that particular formulation.
22 Q. Do you recall when the Army of Republika Srpska was created?
23 A. I think that was sometime in May, in the second half of May.
24 Q. How long did you remain in Bosanska Krupa?
25 A. About two weeks.
1 Q. While you were there, what were your duties -- we'll just start
2 with that. What were your duties?
3 A. I was chief of signals for that brigade.
4 Q. Did you -- were you part of a chain of command?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who did you report to?
7 A. When we arrived there, the brigade commander was a reserve major.
8 His name was Milan Sarac or Strbac. I can't remember his exact last
9 name, Sarac or Strbac I think. So when they organised themselves, they
10 appointed as commander this reserve major from that particular town. I
11 know that when I arrived there or while I was there a colonel was
12 appointed to that position who came together with us from that former JNA
13 unit on which we served.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, I -- sir, you say this Sarac or Strbac was
15 appointed as a commander and then you go on to say that a colonel was
16 appointed to that position. To what position? And who is this colonel,
17 this colonel who came together with you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know his last name exactly,
19 but that information can be found in files, dossiers.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, but what position did -- was this colonel
21 appointed to?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was appointed brigade commander.
23 And the previous commander, reserve Major Sarac, was then appointed as
24 his Chief of Staff.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
1 MR. MAIR
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mair.
3 MR. MAIR
4 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, you said that you were chief of signals for the
5 brigade. How did you come to be in that position?
6 A. Since that is my specialty, signals, it was most logical for me
7 to carry out that duty in that brigade. The commander of that brigade
8 gave me that duty.
9 Q. When you say that he gave you that duty, what do you mean?
10 A. He ordered me to carry out the duty of signals chief, and I
11 started getting to know the units, the equipment, the plans, and the
12 organisation of signals in that brigade.
13 Q. And just so there's no confusion, when you refer to "signals,"
14 what are you actually referring to? Can you just elaborate briefly?
15 A. The organisation of the system of communications of command in
16 that brigade.
17 Q. The -- who's the brigade subordinated to, if anyone?
18 A. The brigade was subordinated to the command of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska, or, rather, that's what we considered it to be,
20 the superior command, the command that was superior to us.
21 Q. If we could just clarify that. I believe you said that the
22 Army of Republika Srpska was not created until the second half of May. I
23 think that you said you arrived here on the 6th of May. So between that
24 time-period, do you -- who was that unit subordinated to, if anyone?
25 A. It was subordinated to the superior command which was in Bihac in
1 that time-period.
2 Q. You said that you were in Bosanska Krupa for approximately two
3 weeks. What happened after that?
4 A. After that, I asked the brigade commander to be transferred to
5 the eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in view of the fact that that is
6 where my family was. I did not know what was going on with them in that
7 war situation.
8 Q. What was the response of the brigade commander?
9 A. He told me that I could hand over duty to my deputy, and he
10 allowed he me to go to the area where I was born.
11 Q. Did you do that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And just so we're clear on the chronology, about when did you go
14 to the eastern part of Bosnia
15 A. I went to the eastern part of Bosnia in late May 1992.
16 Q. Where specifically did you go in the eastern part of Bosnia
17 A. I went to the Han Pijesak garrison.
18 Q. What was located at Han Pijesak?
19 A. The command post of the Main Staff of the
20 Army of Republika Srpska was in the vicinity of Han Pijesak, as was the
21 signals unit, the 67th Signals Regiment, which served the needs of that
22 staff, that headquarters, that is.
23 Q. Who did you report to at Han Pijesak?
24 A. My superior officer was Lieutenant-Colonel Gvozden Bosko, who was
25 the commander of the signals regiment.
1 Q. And I'll ask you the same question that I asked you before, how
2 did you come to be in the -- actually, you don't know the answer to that.
3 What position did you fill when you went to Han Pijesak?
4 A. I was the company leader of the radio company in that unit.
5 Q. How did you come to be in that position?
6 A. I was appointed by the commander of the signals regiment whom I
8 Q. How large was your company, the radio company?
9 A. It had some 30 to 40 men. That was the unit I was in command of
10 and the equipment appropriate to the purpose of the unit.
11 Q. Okay. If we could just spend a moment on the structure of the
12 unit there. Who did your company report to? Where did it fit in within
13 the structure?
14 A. There was the radio company, the telephone/telegraph company, and
15 the company for stationary communications.
16 Q. And were those part of a larger unit? Were they off on their
18 A. They were all part of a larger unit.
19 Q. What unit was that?
20 A. They were part of a battalion which was part of the signals
21 regiment of the army of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. Did you undergo any sort of formal procedure or ceremony within
23 the VRS?
24 A. In connection with what?
25 Q. Well, at this point in time you've just said that the battalion
1 was part of the army of the Main Staff of the VRS. Did you -- you didn't
2 simply just come there. Did you join the VRS? Was there any sort of --
3 any sort of procedure that -- to become part of the VRS?
4 A. Yes. On arrival, I reported to the regiment commander. He
5 already had vacant posts which he needed to fill for the better
6 functioning of his unit, so he issued an order appointing me company
7 leader of the radio company.
8 Q. Yes, I understand that. We've covered that. But as far as
9 joining the larger VRS, was there any sort of procedure, anything that
10 you did, a ceremony, an oath, papers, anything like that?
11 A. I know that on the Vidovdan holiday, the 28th of June, when the
12 young generation of soldiers, the first generation of conscripts serving
13 in the Army of Republika Srpska, together with all the commanding
14 officers who were there, were lined up, and they took an oath to the
15 Army of Republika Srpska. At that point in time, however, I was at
16 Milici engaged in combat tasks, so I personally did not attend that
18 Q. Did there ever come a point in time that you took the oath?
19 A. I personally did not, because I felt it was a pure formality,
20 something that was nothing but protocol. And this was understood among
21 us, my colleagues and myself.
22 Q. What do you mean when you say that it was nothing but protocol?
23 Could you just elaborate on that?
24 A. Well, the oath-taking ceremony is simply a ceremony, something to
25 do with protocol. But what is stated in that oath was something that we
1 had spoken to ourselves long before that ceremony, because we belonged to
2 that army. There was no need to declare it officially and ceremoniously
3 and solemnly.
4 Q. Do you know more specifically what the oath said, what was stated
5 in the oath?
6 A. The text of the oath was the usual one that all armies use, and
7 it's that we would defend the constitutional order and the territory of
8 what was then called the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 Q. Did you have to sign anything, to fill out any paperwork?
10 A. All the soldiers taking the solemn oath sign a copy of the text
11 that they had spoken. Due to pressing reasons of combat, I was unable to
12 attend that ceremony.
13 Q. That's understood, but did you still sign the oath?
14 A. I don't recall.
15 Q. Did you receive anything from the VRS? Were you given anything?
16 A. I had a military booklet, a military ID card, that is, and all
17 the duties and the -- everything that an officer was issued with:
18 weapons, a uniform, an office, equipment, men, tasks, responsibilities.
19 Q. Okay. Let's break that down briefly. When you said a military
20 ID card, do you recall when you received that?
21 A. I don't recall, but I know we had a military ID card, and I have
22 kept mine. I still have it.
23 Q. Can you give us a rough estimate, year, month even?
24 A. I really don't remember, but it may not have been right at the
25 beginning. However, I can't remember the date. It's probably on the ID
2 Q. Okay. Did you have an ID card from the JNA, from your time in
3 the JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What did you do with that card, if anything at all?
6 A. When we were leaving the JNA, we were duty-bound to return the
7 ID card to the unit that had issued it to us.
8 Q. Did you do that?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. You also mentioned a gun. Do you recall when you received the
12 A. I received weapons when I reported to this brigade in
13 Bosanska Krupa.
14 Q. And again I'll ask you the same question. Did you have a gun
15 from your time in the JNA?
16 A. Yes, while I was in the JNA I had both a gun and a rifle.
17 Q. What did you do with those, if anything?
18 A. We returned those weapons to the JNA units we had served in.
19 Q. When did you do that?
20 A. I gave back my weapons when I set out to join the unit in
21 Bosanska Krupa.
22 Q. Let me go back for a second and ask that same question with
23 regard to the ID card. When did you give back the ID card? The JNA ID
24 card, excuse me.
25 A. I don't recall precisely what time or what date it was, but as my
1 home unit was in Uzice and I had family in Uzice, I think that on my
2 first visit to my family after my stay in Bosanska Krupa I reported to my
3 unit in Uzice, formally informed them I was staying on the territory of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the Army of Republika Srpska, and that on
5 that occasion I gave back my military ID card.
6 MR. MAIR
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. MAIR
9 Q. How long did you remain in Han Pijesak?
10 A. I remained in Han Pijesak until November 1992.
11 Q. What happened then?
12 A. Then, a new corps was formed within the Army of Republika Srpska.
13 It was called the Drina Corps, and I was appointed battalion commander --
14 signals battalion commander, that is, in that corps.
15 Q. Who appointed you to that position?
16 A. The corps commander appointed me.
17 Q. Do you recall who that was?
18 A. General Milenko Zivanovic.
19 Q. Where was the -- the signals battalion, where was that located?
20 A. It was within the corps command at Vlasenica.
21 Q. How large was the signals battalion?
22 A. The battalion at the outset had about 20 privates and three or
23 four officers, and by the end of the war it had grown to between
24 60 and 70 men.
25 Q. How large is a battalion if it is fully staffed?
1 A. About 300 men.
2 Q. You said by the end of the war it had grown to between 60 and 70.
3 At any point in time was it larger than that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. How was your signals battalion organised?
6 A. The Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, which had the
7 67th Regiment for communications, we were given some 20 men and the
8 minimum quantity of technical equipment we needed to establish
9 communications with subordinate units and the superior command.
10 Q. Let's spend a moment there. You said to establish communication
11 with subordinate units in the superior command. What were the duties,
12 the obligations, of your battalion?
13 A. My task was to establish and maintain communications with the
14 superior command and the subordinate units based on the plans drawn up by
15 the signals chief of the corps command.
16 Q. Okay. We'll come back to the plans in a little bit. The -- if
17 we could focus on the Drina Corps for a second. What unit -- what army
18 was the Drina Corps part of?
19 A. The Drina Corps was part of the Army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Who was the Drina Corps subordinated to?
21 A. It was directly subordinated to the Main Staff of the
22 Army of Republika Srpska.
23 Q. And the Main
24 subordinated to, if anyone?
25 A. It was subordinated to the Presidency of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. How long were you in the Drina Corps?
2 A. Throughout the time until the beginning of February 1996.
3 Q. And at that point in time, had the war ended?
4 A. Yes, the war was over by then.
5 Q. Okay. If you could just quickly summarise your positions and
6 your roles after February of 1996.
7 A. From that time, for a year, I was the commander of the infantry
8 brigade in Sekovici, which was part of the Drina Corps and later on the
9 3rd Corps of the VRS. After that, I was chief of signals of the
10 5th Corps of the VRS. After that, I was commander of the infantry
11 brigade in Visegrad of the VRS. Then I was sent by the VRS for training
12 in the Army of Yugoslavia, the General Staff school, for a year. On my
13 return from that school, I again took up duties in the VRS and I was
14 commander of the brigade in Visegrad again. Then I was chief of the
15 department for morale, information, legal and religious affairs in the
16 Army of Republika Srpska in the 5th Corps, and that was the end of my
17 professional career.
18 Q. What year was that?
19 A. 2001.
20 Q. Well, you say that was the end of your professional career. Did
21 you retire or you pensioned off? What do you mean that that was the end
22 of your professional career?
23 A. I retired, yes.
24 Q. What army did you retire from?
25 A. The Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Q. If we could just go back in time for a minute. You referred to
2 completing the General Staff academy in 1999. Was that your first time
3 at the General Staff academy?
4 A. Yes, that was the first time I had attended that academy.
5 Q. Was there a time previously that you had applied to the academy?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When was that?
8 A. In 1994.
9 Q. Can you just give us some of the circumstances, explain to us
10 what happened? And actually, let me clarify so you have a little idea of
11 where I'm going. Did you attend the academy in 1994?
12 A. I was admitted, but I did not attend.
13 Q. Who admitted you?
14 A. The Army of Yugoslavia because I applied to go to that school or
15 academy as one of the conditions facilitating admission was that officers
16 who had the rank of captain and who had had an average grade of over 9 in
17 their previous schooling could be admitted. I took advantage of that and
18 I was admitted in 1994 as the first, top of the list of candidates
19 admitted. So when the decision of the chief of the personnel
20 administration [Realtime transcript read in error "admission"] of the
21 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia arrived saying that I should be
22 relieved of my duty and sent for schooling at the academy, in the Main
23 Staff of the VRS they did not approve this.
24 Q. Hold on. Let's break this down a little bit. You said the
25 decision of the chief of the personnel -- it says "admission," I believe
1 that should be "administration" arrived. Was that an oral decision or a
2 written decision?
3 A. It was a written order that I should be relieved of my duty as
4 commander of the signals battalion of the VRS in Vlasenica and that I
5 should be sent for schooling. When the personnel council in the
6 Main Staff of the VRS considered that decision, General Mladic --
7 Q. Before we get there, before we get there.
8 Was that document signed, the decision that you received, was
9 that signed?
10 A. I did not have an opportunity to see the order; however, all
11 orders of that kind have to be signed.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. MAIR
14 Q. Okay. I cut you off there. You started to say the personnel
15 council of the Main Staff. Could you explain what that is? Sorry, the
16 personnel council of the Main Staff of the VRS.
17 A. That is a body in the Army of Republika Srpska that consists of
18 the commander of the Main Staff, with his assistant commanders, and the
19 commanders of the corps. They discuss all important matters related to
20 personnel in the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 Q. Okay. So they received your -- they received the decision
22 regarding your admission to the school -- the General Staff academy; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What was their role in the decision, meaning?
1 Why did they receive it?
2 A. Because they were the ones in charge of implementing that order
3 later and relieving me of my duty and thereby permitting me to go to
5 Q. Okay. And what did they do?
6 A. After returning from the personnel council, General Zivanovic,
7 corps commander, invited me to come to his office. He told me that that
8 order had arrived, that they discussed it, that General Mladic was very
9 surprised, that he literally tore up the order and said, Tell Jevdjevic
10 that he will go to school when the war is over and when I personally send
11 him there.
12 Q. Very well. Let's move on to a different topic. I want to
13 discuss your leaving the JNA. You mentioned that you gave back your gun,
14 your card. What did that mean for you? What was the effect of giving
15 those items back?
16 A. For me personally this meant that in that way my status in the
17 Yugoslav People's Army was terminated.
18 Q. Are you familiar with the 30th Personnel Centre?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you familiar with the 30th Personnel Centre during the
21 time-period of the conflict?
22 A. During the second half of the war, I was familiar with it; during
23 the first half, I did not know about it. But during the second half, I
25 Q. During the second half, could you be more specific? When did you
1 first hear about it?
2 A. Towards the end of 1993.
3 Q. And did you see any sort of documentation? Did you receive
4 anything? How did you find out about it?
5 A. My understanding was that this was an administrative department
6 that was in charge of dealing with administrative matters related to
7 professional officers in the Army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. My question was actually if you received anything. Did you
9 receive any sort of documentation? How did you actually find out about
10 the existence of the personnel centre?
11 A. I didn't receive any documents whatsoever. I just heard that
12 this existed.
13 Q. Okay. Now, if we could go back to the answer that you just gave,
14 that in a your understanding this was an administrative department in
15 charge of dealing with administrative matters. Could you be more
16 specific? What sort of administrative matters did you understand the
17 personnel centre to be dealing with?
18 A. I meant that they deal with administrative matters related to
19 status, specifically my own status, that this was a way in which I could
20 receive a salary and other income that was due to professional officers.
21 Q. Let's spend a moment on your salary. Who did you receive your
22 salary from?
23 A. I received my salary the same way all the time from the moment I
24 joined the Yugoslav People's Army, that is to say, it was paid into my
25 current account with the post office bank.
1 Q. Where was that account located?
2 A. It was opened in the post office bank of Serbia.
3 Q. Did there come a point in time that you were not being paid?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you recall when that was?
6 A. I think it was in 1994.
7 Q. Do you recall why you were not being paid?
8 A. I think that that was a consequence of certain political
9 pressures between Belgrade
10 Q. And are you aware how long this consequence of certain political
11 pressures went on?
12 A. Six months -- I don't know actually about the consequences, but I
13 know that I did not receive my salary for six months.
14 Q. Thank you. That's an answer to a better question. So you were
15 not paid for six months. That's what you've just said; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you receive any sort of compensation during that time-period?
18 A. Not in terms of money, but we received some kind of compensation
19 from the Army of Republika Srpska. Like all other fighting men, we
20 received food supplies and other things that our families needed.
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 MR. MAIR
23 Q. What sort of food supplies and other things for the family are
24 you referring to?
25 A. Flour, sugar, cooking oil, things like that.
1 Q. You said "our families." Did you receive this, or did your
2 families receive it? Who received these -- the food supplies?
3 A. We in the Army of Republika Srpska received that, and we could
4 send it to our families that lived either in the territory of
5 Republika Srpska or in the territory of Serbia
6 that point in time lived in the territory of Serbia
7 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, were you promoted in the VRS at all during your
8 time of service?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many times were you promoted?
11 A. Twice. It was a fast-track promotion.
12 Q. Okay. Let's start with the first one. Do you recall when that
14 A. 1993.
15 Q. And what rank were you promoted to?
16 A. Captain first class.
17 Q. Let's talk about what the effect of a promotion is. What
18 actually happens when you get promoted? I mean, are there benefits that
19 go along with being promoted?
20 A. One of the basic benefits was that on the basis of higher rank
21 one received a bigger salary.
22 Q. And when you were promoted in 1993 to captain first class, did
23 you receive a higher salary?
24 A. Yes, during a certain period of time after that.
25 Q. What do you mean by a certain period of time? Does it happen
1 immediately? Is there a time lag?
2 A. Once we would be promoted to a higher rank in the
3 Army of Republika Srpska, then our personnel organs from the corps to the
4 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska would send information to that
5 effect to the 30th Personnel Centre. It was only when conditions were
6 met within the Army of Yugoslavia for early promotion, that rank would be
7 recognised by them and, accordingly, they would raise our salary.
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 MR. MAIR
10 Q. I don't believe you've actually answered my question. I was
11 asking if there is -- when the change in pay actually took place
12 regarding the 1993 promotion.
13 A. Well, immediately after the promotion.
14 Q. Were there any other changes that took place? Was there any
15 other -- within the VRS, were there any other consequences as a result of
16 your -- the promotion?
17 A. I don't know specifically what you have in mind.
18 Q. That's fair. Let's actually move on to the second promotion.
19 When did that take place?
20 A. 1994. That's when I was promoted to the rank of major of the
21 Army of Republika Srpska.
22 Q. And again, did a higher salary come with the promotion and rank?
23 A. Not immediately.
24 Q. What do you mean by that?
25 A. Well, in the 30th Personnel Centre, that rank was verified for me
1 only in June 1995 in accordance with their regulations. So it is only
2 from that moment onwards that I was entitled to a higher salary.
3 Q. Could you be more specific about when your promotion in the VRS
4 took place. You said 1994. Was there a month that you recall?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Let's move on to a new topic. Throughout your testimony
7 you've talked about signals or communications. Did you specialise in
8 anything when you were at the military academy?
9 A. Yes, I did. It was the signals department of the military
10 academy that I graduated from, so I'm a specialist in that area.
11 Q. Is it safe to say that through all of your postings within the
12 VRS that you -- and the JNA that you were in a signals unit or battalion?
13 A. Yes, up until February 1996.
14 Q. What is your current occupation?
15 A. Currently I work at the Telekom of Srpska as an engineer in
16 maintaining basic stations for mobile telephones.
17 Q. How long have you worked at Telekom?
18 A. It's been almost nine years now.
19 Q. Have you received any other specialised training or education
20 with respect to communications?
21 A. No.
22 MR. MAIR
23 a new topic now, so I was wondering if this would be a convenient time to
24 take the break.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: If it is convenient to you, Mr. Mair, we will take
1 a break and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mair.
5 MR. MAIR
6 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, I would just like to go back briefly on one topic
7 I forgot to ask a question before. At page 23, line 24 of today's
8 transcript, you referred to receiving money at your bank account in
10 it was deposited into that account?
11 A. My family.
12 Q. Was that throughout the war that your family picked it up?
13 A. That's the way it was throughout the war.
14 Q. Okay. Let's move on now to communications systems. Speaking
15 generally in a broad sense, could you describe how the JNA communications
16 system operated, how it worked?
17 A. The JNA had its own General Staff, and large formations were
18 subordinated to it. In my day it was the so-called military districts.
19 Then the General Staff had direct communication with all these military
20 districts. They, in turn, had direct communications with their
21 subordinated units, and that is how the vertical line went down all the
22 way to the lowest ranking units of the JNA.
23 Q. And the communications from the General Staff to the military
24 district, how did that take place?
25 A. From a technical point of view, that took place through
1 stationary communications centres and stationary communications nodes.
2 Q. What's the difference between a communication centre and a
3 communication node?
4 A. Stationary communications centres were located in towns where
5 JNA units were stationed. Usually these were bigger buildings that had
6 stationary equipment. They were linked up, and they could thereby ensure
7 the necessary communications for certain JNA units. Stationary
8 communications nodes were primarily located on elevations, mountaintops.
9 For them it was indispensable to have proper visibility, thereby having
10 proper communication with various JNA units.
11 Q. Could you elaborate on the last sentence there, that it was
12 indispensable to have proper visibility. Why was that?
13 A. Well, because there is equipment, there are the so-called radio
14 relay equipment pieces which basically require optical visibility.
15 Q. What happens if there is no optical visibility?
16 A. Then it was not possible to communicate along those lines, then
17 other solutions had to be sought.
18 Q. If we could just spend a moment here on the radio relay
19 communications and connections. How does that actually work, briefly,
20 for us who may not be -- may not be as well aware as how these
21 communications systems work?
22 A. Radio relay communications are channelled radio communications,
23 as it were. That is to say that if two points anywhere on the ground
24 wish to communicate, there has to be optical visibility between the two.
25 The basic feature of radio relay communications is the fact that
1 transmitter and receiver antennae have to face each other, look at each
2 other, as it were, so that there could be communication.
3 Q. Is there any sort of distance limitation? What sort of
4 distance -- when you say that they have to be facing each other, is there
5 a particular range that has to be taken into account?
6 A. The prescribed range for radio relay equipment that we had is
7 50 kilometres at an optimum. However, if weather conditions were good
8 and if the equipment involved performs well, then the distance could be
9 increased up to, say, 80 or 100 kilometres.
10 Q. If you know, across the territory of the former
11 Republic of Yugoslavia
12 nodes were there?
13 A. In the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
14 at that point in time, there were a great many stationary communications
15 nodes. In my view, in my assessment, it was, say, 30 or 40, but I
16 wouldn't know the exact number.
17 Q. Fair enough. Did these communication nodes require personnel to
18 be on location?
19 A. Yes. Yes. There was a permanent crew there all the time with at
20 least one officer or one NCO and several soldiers.
21 Q. What about the communications centres, do you know approximately
22 how many of those were on the territory of SFRY
23 A. There were quite a few of them as well. I assumed that there
24 were more of them than stationary communication nodes.
25 Q. Why would you assume that?
1 A. Because there were quite a few garrisons of the JNA and every one
2 of these garrisons of the Yugoslav People's Army is a unit that is
3 located basically in that garrison, and every such unit had its own
4 communication centre.
5 Q. How many people would be within the communications centre?
6 A. In the stationary communications centre, depending on its size
7 and purpose, there would be 10 to 20 men.
8 Q. And how would that be organised? How would the communications
9 centre operate?
10 A. All kinds of indispensable communications are brought together
11 within a communications centre, and then there is commutation within that
12 centre in order to meet the needs of certain commands and units.
13 Q. Could you explain the term "commutation," please.
14 A. In stationary communications centres there was equipment that
15 would relay certain communications, and there would be switchboards for
16 switching, as it were, lines and communications. That is what
17 switchboards are for, exchanges. Then also there were teleprinters for
18 sending and receiving coded messages. Also there was personnel that was
19 there to service all that technical equipment.
20 Q. So thus far I think we've just been talking about radio relay
21 communication. Were there any other sorts of communications being used
22 during the time of the JNA?
23 A. Yes. In the Yugoslav People's Army, radio communications were
24 used also, then wire communications, signal communications, and courier
25 communications. That is the division according to type.
1 Q. Okay. Let's take those one at a time starting first with the
2 radio communications. Can you explain to us -- first, if you could just
3 explain how radio communications work.
4 A. Radio communications have certain -- special characteristics.
5 Electro-magnetic waves from antennae and radio equipment spread radially
6 in all directions. In order to have that kind of communication, it is
7 not indispensable to have optical visibility. In radio communications,
8 different kinds of equipment are used, depending on the wishes of the
9 organisers, depending on the range that they wish to have. They are very
10 sensitive communications. They are prone to intercepts. For the most
11 part, they are used only when absolutely necessary and at lower tactical
12 levels of command.
13 Q. You just said that they were used only when absolutely necessary.
14 Was there any sort of policy in place? Was there any reason that they
15 were only used when absolutely necessary?
16 A. Yes. Only in cases when there was an interruption and other
17 kinds of communications failed. I'm referring primarily to radio relay
18 and wire communications.
19 Q. Okay. Let's move to the wire communications. Again, can you
20 explain briefly how -- how wire communications worked.
21 A. Wire communications are something most people probably understand
22 best. There are permanent cables above and below ground or on posts. So
23 the signal travels through a wire or a cable which can be placed either
24 below or above ground.
25 Q. What was the wire communications system like in the former -- in
1 SFRY -- on the territory of the SFRY? What -- how developed was it?
2 What was the communications system like?
3 A. In an earlier period of time, wire communications in the JNA were
4 quite important because in that period telecommunications technology for
5 radio relay and stationary communications, optical cables, and so on, had
6 not been developed to a great extent. So that there were wooden posts
7 supporting cables like the public telephone system operated by the PTT,
8 the post office company. And these communications were used for the
9 needs of the JNA. Some 40 years ago the JNA embarked on a large-scale
10 project and placed a large telephone cable underground, running through
11 the central part of Yugoslavia
12 used to establish and maintain certain communications between units and
13 commands, but it was also used for civilian purposes in parallel.
14 Q. The central, as you called it, what did that run between? What
15 were the locations covered by that cable?
16 A. It connected points from Ljubljana
17 Banja Luka, Sarajevo
18 Q. Was the central operational throughout the war for all of those
20 A. No, I know about the area of responsibility stretching from
22 where I was the commander of the signals battalion.
23 Q. When you talk about the area of responsibility stretching from
25 would be covered by this stretch of the central?
1 A. I know about the condition of that cable and the fact that it was
2 technically not in good order on the stretch from Sarajevo to Visegrad,
3 the Drina
4 in the course of the war.
5 Q. You said it was technically not in good order. What does that
6 mean? What do you mean when you say that?
7 A. In 1992, in the village of Pesurici
8 this is between Rogatica and Visegrad - there was a sabotage carried out
9 by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So the cable was dug up and cut off.
10 On another spot near Visegrad, some sort of earth-moving equipment that
11 was being used to construct a road cut off that cable as well so that it
12 stopped operating, and it is not operational yet.
13 Q. Were any attempts made to fix the cable?
14 A. There was a lot of discussion about that. A lot of ideas were
15 put forward because we were forced to organise other kinds of
16 communications with all the units in that area. I'm referring primarily
17 to radio relay communications. But in the course of the war, we did not
18 have the spare parts we needed, the cables, the parts used to join parts
19 together and so on. It had to be constantly in a vacuum. It had to be
20 free of moisture so that when the cable was cut water seeped into it and
21 poured down the cable for some 100 metres causing a short circuit. So it
22 would not have been rational to try and fix it without the proper spare
24 Q. You mentioned that there were -- the portion going from Sarajevo
25 towards Visegrad, that there were two points on that line that were cut.
1 Where does that line continue on to?
2 A. That underground cable went on from Visegrad towards the border
3 with what is today Serbia
4 Q. Okay. What was the effect of the wire being cut in two places on
5 the wire communications system on the territory of SFRY
6 A. The consequences were such that due to the cable being cut both
7 the army which had used that cable and the civilian structures that had
8 used it were unable to use it for communication purposes. They had to
9 seek other technical solutions.
10 Q. Thus far we've just been talking about the underground cable.
11 Were there other sorts of cable that were in use?
12 A. There were permanent wires supported by posts, but this
13 technology was already becoming outdated, both for civilian purposes and
14 for military purposes. There were other kinds of communications that
15 supplanted those, so that when the VRS was formed in the
17 not have nor did we ever draw up a plan for setting up these permanent
18 cable communications supported on posts.
19 Q. I believe the next type of communication that you mentioned was
20 signals communication. What does that entail?
21 A. Signals communications are communications of a limited character
22 used mostly in smaller units, primarily tank units or in the navy when
23 little flags and hand movements are used to send signals across a short
25 Q. And the last type of communication you mentioned was courier.
1 What does that entail?
2 A. Courier communications, to put it simply, mean carrying certain
3 oral or written information by a courier who can move on foot, on a
4 motorcycle, or in a motor vehicle. Courier communications may be
5 considered to be the safest kind of communication, but we used them only
6 for messages that were not urgent and for telegrams or other documents
7 which had many typed pages or for instructions that were not urgent.
8 Q. At the beginning of your testimony you discussed the JNA
9 withdrawal first from Croatia
10 withdrew from the territory of Bosnia
11 A. Yes, they took with them their technical equipment and weapons.
12 Q. Regarding the communications system that was in place in Bosnia
13 did they take any part of that?
14 A. Yes. They took, in my estimation, the best technical equipment,
15 but some technical equipment did remain on the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and it was used by all three armies in
18 Q. First let's talk about the technical equipment they took. You
19 said it was the best. Can you be more specific? What types of equipment
20 did they take?
21 A. At that time, the JNA was equipped with quite up-to-date
22 equipment for radio relay communications, for telephone communications,
23 and for encryption devices so that the devices that were most important
24 to ensure secure, good-quality, and reliable communications between
25 operative units were taken back to Yugoslavia
1 Q. You also mentioned that all three armies took over parts that
2 remained. First, what three armies are you referring to?
3 A. I'm referring to the VRS, the BH army, which consisted of two
4 components, the HVO, and the Muslim component. So those are the three
5 armies I'm referring to.
6 Q. And just so I understand your answer, you're dividing the BH army
7 into two, the HVO and the Muslim component. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Are you saying that those were separate armies or what are you --
10 how do you get to three armies from that?
11 A. In the course of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all these three
12 armies fought among themselves on many -- in many theatres. The VRS
13 fought both the Muslim army and the HVO, the Muslim army fought both the
14 HVO and even their own Muslim army on the territory of Cazinska Krajina
15 That's why I say what I say.
16 Q. When you say the "Muslim army," did that army have a name?
17 A. Both the Muslim army and the HVO together made up the
18 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They were the two components of the BH army,
19 but those two components fought one another. They were mutually opposed
20 in many places and at different times.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification. What sort of -- you
22 said that there was certain materials that remained that the three armies
23 took over. How did that occur? How did that happen?
24 A. After the withdrawal of certain JNA units, parts of their
25 equipment stayed behind. Whether this was something that had been agreed
1 on, whether the equipment had been captured, or whatever. Some of that
2 equipment came from the Territorial Defence staffs, which together with
3 the JNA had made up the armed forces of Yugoslavia, so that some
4 communications equipment remained behind, both belonging to the JNA and
5 belonging to the Territorial Defence. And that was the equipment we
7 Q. Remained behind where? Where was this material located?
8 A. The material was in depots of the Territorial Defence or, quite
9 simply, in the barracks that were handed over.
10 Q. And so how was the material divided up? Was there some sort of
12 A. There was no agreement.
13 Q. Okay. So how was the material divided up? How did the VRS come
14 upon that equipment which it obtained?
15 A. As for the Territorial Defence staffs, it took equipment from the
16 Territorial Defence depots which it could place under its control when
17 the war broke out. Some equipment they obtained from units of the JNA
18 which were withdrawing to Serbia
19 Q. What type of equipment was the VRS -- did it take from these
20 Territorial Defence depots?
21 A. Most probably it took weapons and other technical communications
22 equipment which was in those Territorial Defence depots, but the quality
23 of that equipment was far lower than the quality that the JNA had.
24 Q. So what was the effect of the JNA withdrawal on the
25 communications infrastructure left in Bosnia?
1 A. The effect was such that, quite simply, by withdrawing, the JNA
2 withdrew its entire communications system, both as regards technical
3 equipment and organisation and plans. The communications system that had
4 previously existed on that territory was, quite simply, no longer in
6 Q. So what did that mean for the VRS?
7 A. It meant that the VRS had enormous problems because the system
8 had been disrupted to such an extent that the VRS had to set up its own
9 communications system with the equipment it had available.
10 MR. MAIR
11 And, Your Honour, we have a binder prepared for the witness. I
12 believe the Prosecution has reviewed it and accepts it. If that could be
13 handed over to the witness.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. Show it to the witness. They must see
15 that one that you are giving to the witness.
16 MR. MAIR
17 e-court. If we could have the first one, 0060-7339 ET-1.
18 Q. And, Mr. Jevdjevic, if you could please turn to tab 24 in your
19 binder. This is the analysis of the combat-readiness and activities of
20 the Army of the Republika Srpska in 1992. Mr. Jevdjevic, are you
21 familiar with this document?
22 A. No.
23 Q. And we can see that it was -- a little bit down it says
24 Han Pijesak April 1993. Were you aware that this document was created at
25 that time?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. If we could go to page 31 in the English and page 29 in
3 the B/C/S, and I believe that it will be page number 29 for you,
4 Mr. Jevdjevic. And you can see -- in the English version there are two
5 boxes on the page.
6 MR. MAIR
7 like to refer to the the first paragraph after the second box. It starts
8 with stationary wire communications.
9 Q. And, Mr. Jevdjevic, that would be the first paragraph below the
10 figure for you. If I could read the second sentence, it says:
11 "Overall, we had a rather well developed aerial wire network of
12 about 95.000 kilometres as well as a somewhat less developed cable
13 network, especially in the hilly and mountainous regions of former BH.
14 However, the use of that kind of communications in the zone of the former
15 JNA was very limited and in certain areas ... impossible."
16 Mr. Jevdjevic, do you have any comment on that sentence -- those
17 two sentences?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
19 MR. THOMAS: Just before Mr. Jevdjevic answers, Your Honours,
20 he's pointed out that he's not aware of this document, he's not seen it
21 before. I have no difficulty him commenting on parts of the document,
22 but he would need to know the context in which this remark is being made,
23 what area does it refer to, what period does it refer to, perhaps who
24 made the statement and for what purpose. At the moment, Your Honours,
25 any answer that he can give is of no assistance without more information.
1 MR. MAIR
2 pages in e-court. It would be page 30 in the English and page 28 in the
3 B/C/S, I believe. Forward a page in the B/C/S I think, page 29 --
4 no, 27. Sorry, wrong direction. Yes. That's the one.
5 Q. If we see at the top there it says:
6 "126.96.36.199 Conditions under which the communications system of the
7 Army of RS was developed in 1992."
8 Do you see that, Mr. Jevdjevic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If you go to the second paragraph there, it says:
11 "Disrupted from the very beginning of the war and increasingly as
12 it gained momentum, the stationary part of the communications system of
13 the former JNA and the communications of other operators (PTT,
14 Ministry of Interior, television, radio, power generation, and
15 distribution enterprises, and railways) as well as the power generation
16 and transmission systems suffered major damage, and part of the war
17 weaponry and equipment of the communication corps was left in the
18 territory of the opponent."
19 Does that accord with what you were just referring to a few
20 minutes ago about the withdrawal of the JNA and that communication
21 equipment which was taken and left?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. MAIR
24 MR. THOMAS: Your Honours, now we understand the context in which
25 he was answering the question. I have no further comment to make.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Thomas.
2 MR. MAIR
3 So if we could go back to the -- page 29 in the B/C/S, 31 in the
5 Q. And if you could answer the question that was posed before, and I
6 can repeat it to you if you've forgotten it.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you will, please.
8 MR. MAIR
9 Q. I had read to you the last two sentences of the first paragraph
10 after the figure beginning:
11 "Stationary wire communications ..."
12 And actually I believe I just asked you to comment on those
14 A. This corresponds to what we have just been talking about.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just have a little point for you to clarify for
16 me here, sir.
17 When you explained the various communications systems, radio,
18 wire, signal, courier, you described wire as a system that uses cable,
19 telephone wires. Now, this paragraph talks of a well developed aerial
20 wire network and a somewhat less developed cable network, suggesting that
21 these are two separate networks. Your explanation suggested that this is
22 one and the same network. Can we explain that?
23 MR. MAIR
24 Q. Are you able to answer His Honour's question?
25 A. Cable lines and aerial lines in military terminology are
1 considered to be wire communications.
2 Q. So cable communications is a subpart of the wire communications;
3 is that correct?
4 A. Yes, yes. Even the man in the street knows that both are
5 essentially wires.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed, and that's why you made -- you explained
7 them as one and the same thing. You said cable and wire are one and the
8 same thing. Now, I don't understand what you mean that cable is subpart
9 of wire. You see, what is said here is different from what you explained
10 to us a little earlier when you explained what you called wire
11 communications system. When you did explain that, you said wire
12 communications system is a system that uses cables, and therefore, lay as
13 I am, I was left with the impression that wire and cable are used
14 interchangeably to describe one and the same thing. Now this paragraph
15 separates the two and suggests that there is wire on the one hand and
16 there is cable on the other hand. Now, I'm just asking -- or I see you
17 shaking your head. Maybe you can explain. You just clarify me.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With pleasure, Your Honour. This
19 chief of communications of the Main Staff who compiled this report starts
20 with this paragraph with the following wording:
21 "Stationary wire communications ..."
22 So it is stationary wire communications, and further down he
23 subdivides them into cable and wire networks. For everyone that means
24 that permanent aerial lines and cable lines are both wire communications.
25 If you have the translation, you will see here that he is referring to
1 these subtypes of wire communications.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see there is an addition of the word "aerial" to
3 the wire network. Do I understand that the wire network is the one that
4 goes on telephone poles and the cable is the one that goes underground?
5 Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... I wanted to
9 MR. MAIR
10 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, if we could move two paragraphs down, it says --
11 actually, before we do that, if we could just go to the next paragraph
12 which says that:
13 "This represented a major problem in the planning and organising
14 of this type of communications in the zone of the
15 Army of Republika Srpska, and especially at the corps-brigade level."
16 Do you have any comment on that?
17 A. Yes, because these stationary aerial wire lines -- well, this
18 analyst speaks about them in the past tense and says "we had" such and
19 such, which means that already by the time the war started they could not
20 be used, both due to damage and their lack of functionality. Therefore,
21 further down he says that this was one of the major problems in the
22 organisation and planning of these communications, and we did not have at
23 corps or brigade level or some other levels this type of communications
24 as had been planned because they had been disrupted, it was very
25 difficult to maintain them, they went along poles from one city to
1 another. It had to do with copper wire which was often stolen. Also it
2 was difficult to maintain when it snowed. So throughout the war, we
3 could not count on this type of communications.
4 Q. And to now go down to the next paragraph which says:
5 "Reconstruction of this network would be unprofitable. It is
6 susceptible to interference and countermeasures, and its functionality in
7 this war is limited."
8 Do you know if that position ever changed during the period of
9 the conflict?
10 A. It did not change during the course of the conflict. I
11 personally tried to get this kind of communication working, aerial
12 communication, between Vlasenica and Han Pijesak. I personally tried to
13 repair that. It functioned only for a month. But then again it was
14 damaged when it snowed. The cables and the wires were cut by motor saws
15 by certain individuals who wanted to use them, civilians, and therefore
16 the army thought that this was not a viable way of working.
17 MR. MAIR
18 the English and page 36 in the B/C/S.
19 Q. This is a topic we will go into a little bit further down the
20 line, but I just wanted to pause on it while we're in the middle of this
21 document. If we could focus on the middle of the page, I believe, in
22 both 188.8.131.52. And number 1 there refers to the:
23 "... revival and continuation of manufacture of communications
24 equipment and crypto-protection apparatuses for their repair in the
25 Rudi Cajevac electronics and telecommunications factory in Banja Luka."
1 Are you familiar with that factory?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What sort of factory was that?
4 A. It was a factory that functioned within the military industry.
5 Q. When you say the military industry, are you referring to the
6 special purpose industry?
7 A. Yes. I'm referring to special purpose industry. This was
8 electronics; it had to do with the manufacture of electronics equipment
9 and communications equipment for the needs of the military.
10 Q. Who controlled that factory, if you know?
11 A. The Ministry of Defence of the former JNA. As the
12 Yugoslav People's Army withdrew, it was under the control of the
13 Ministry of Defence of the army -- of Republika Srpska.
14 MR. MAIR
15 and B/C/S.
16 Q. And just above 1.1.7, two lines above that, it says:
17 "I judge the combat-readiness of the signals system and corps for
18 1992 to have been very good.
19 "I propose that this grading be adopted."
20 Mr. Jevdjevic, do you agree with that assessment?
21 A. This grade was presented by the signals chief of the Main Staff
22 of the Army of Republika Srpska. I was at a far lower level, and I
23 therefore cannot comment on this grade.
24 Q. That's fair.
25 MR. MAIR
1 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, you've talked about the condition of
2 communications system in the VRS. Was it necessary then for the VRS to
3 accumulate additional communications equipment?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And why did they have to do that again? If you could just be a
6 little bit more specific.
7 A. Because we did not have the right amount of such equipment. What
8 we had barely made it possible to carry out planned communications, but
9 at a significantly decreased capacity.
10 Q. How did the VRS go about obtaining -- actually, before we go
11 there. Did the VRS obtain additional equipment, communications
13 A. I know that the procedure in terms of looking for the kind of
14 equipment that we needed was as follows: We always turned to the
15 superior command.
16 Q. My question was actually if the VRS obtained any additional
17 equipment. Do you know if that -- if they did during the period of the
18 conflict? We'll limit it to your time-period in the Drina Corps, from
19 1992 to 1996.
20 A. Throughout my stay in the Drina Corps, we got a negligibly small
21 amount of communications equipment from the Main Staff of the
22 Army of Republika Srpska. For part of the equipment, we made do on our
23 own. We bought some in the market.
24 Q. If we could spend a moment on that last sentence. You first say
25 "we." Who is "we"?
1 A. I'm referring to the Army of Republika Srpska.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, then I don't understand you, sir. Your
3 full answer at line 15 says:
4 "Throughout my stay in the Drina Corps, we got a negligibly small
5 amount of communications equipment from the Main Staff of the
6 Army of Republika Srpska. For part of the equipment, we made do on our
7 own. We bought some in the market."
8 Now, when you say "we," refers to Republic of -- the Army of
9 Republika Srpska, then I don't understand why in the previous answer you
10 separated the Republika Srpska army from the "we."
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I consider myself to be a member of
12 the Army of Republika Srpska. I was referring to myself, that is, the
13 Army of Republika Srpska.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
15 Go on, Mr. Mair. I don't think it will serve any purpose to
16 pursue this point.
17 MR. MAIR
18 Q. Perhaps if we clarified the market that you're referring to.
19 A. All our brigades were primarily established in the territory of
20 towns. We as an army had a very modest system of supplies on all
21 grounds. Therefore, the business community of that particular town would
22 organise itself to buy on their own for the soldiers of those units in
23 that town uniforms, fuel, cigarettes, et cetera. Among other things,
24 they would also buy some communications equipment. That's what I
25 actually meant when I was saying "we." I meant brigades, I meant the
1 Army of Republika Srpska.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did they buy anything else, these business people?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I can tell you exactly
4 which factories in Vlasenica and in the other towns where I was. They
5 bought for us the following: Motorolas, communications equipment that
6 were sold in the free market. These are not classical military
7 equipment, but they're very good for communications. They also bought
8 cables for us, for field telephones. From various companies we received
9 their switchboards that were in their buildings, and then we used these
10 switchboards for military purposes. So that's the kind of thing I had in
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: You indicated that they also bought uniforms for
13 you. My question is: Apart from communications equipment, did they buy
14 you anything else?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a signalsman and that is what
16 mattered the most as far as I was concerned. And that is what I know the
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I know what mattered to you. If you do know if
19 they bought you anything else, you can tell us, even though it didn't
20 matter to you. The question to you is: Do you know if they did buy you
21 anything else outside uniforms and telecommunications systems? Whether
22 it mattered to you or not is not important.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware of anything.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, sir.
25 Yes, Mr. Mair.
1 MR. MAIR
2 Q. Were there any other sources of communications equipment?
3 A. Those were the sources for the most part; generators, Motorolas,
4 cables, switchboards, et cetera.
6 or entities or organisations from which the VRS or, more specifically,
7 the Drina Corps received communications equipment?
8 A. The Drina Corps, specifically I, also received part of our
9 equipment from the Main Staff of the VRS.
10 Q. Anyone else from which you received communications equipment?
11 A. I do not recall.
12 Q. Do you know if the VRS received communications equipment from
13 anyone else?
14 MR. THOMAS: Objection, Your Honour --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Thomas.
17 MR. THOMAS: Before Mr. Jevdjevic can answer the question, I
18 think you need to state the grounds upon which he can answer that
19 question. He's already answered on the basis of his position within the
20 Drina Corps, what the Drina Corps could receive. If he's being asked
21 about what other units or other parts of the army received, a foundation
22 would need to be laid for that first.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Mair.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. THOMAS: Perhaps I've been hasty, sir. I see from the
1 transcript that he actually did answer the question. He can't shed any
2 light on it. I can withdraw my objection and we can move on.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where did he answer your question, sir -- where
4 did he answer the question?
5 MR. THOMAS: At line 10, sir. Just as I was objecting, he
6 answered "I don't know."
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
8 Yes, Mr. Mair, you may proceed.
9 MR. MAIR
10 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, if you know, what was the relationship of the
11 VRS communications system to the VJ communications system?
12 A. I don't know about that.
13 Q. Okay. If we could move on to talking about communications plans.
14 First, was there a general communications plan for the army?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you aware -- how often was that -- actually. Who drafted
17 that plan, if you know?
18 A. Communications plan for the Army of Republika Srpska was drafted
19 by the signals chief of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska,
20 General Radenko Prole.
21 Q. Did you see that plan?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Are you aware of when the plan was drafted?
24 A. Immediately when the war started.
25 Q. Was it updated throughout the war, or did the same plan remain as
1 it was when it was drafted, as you say, immediately when the war started?
2 A. It remained the same, basically. Like at the beginning of the
3 war, it was just updated when a new unit would be established within the
4 Army of Republika Srpska.
5 Q. Were you aware of the contents of the plan?
6 A. No. I was just aware of the excerpt of the plan that pertained
7 to the Drina
8 Q. What sort of information would that excerpt contain?
9 A. That excerpt included several orders and several documents from
10 the communications plan.
11 Q. What sort of orders are these -- are you referring to?
12 A. The Drina Corps received an order for communications containing
13 basic information about how, when, and where communications should be
14 established between the Drina Corps and the Main Staff and how the
15 Drina Corps could establish communication with its subordinate units.
16 That order was accompanied by a few other documents and schematics.
17 Q. Your answer -- previously you referred to several documents from
18 the communications plan. Is that what you're -- just now referred to
19 when you talked about accompanied by a few other documents and schematics
20 or was there more to the plan than that?
21 A. That order for communications and these documents comprise that
22 plan of communications.
23 Q. Were there any other communications plans in addition to the
24 general communications plan that we've been talking about?
25 A. No.
1 Q. If there was an operation or some sort of exercise to take place,
2 would there be a plan created for that?
3 A. For particular operations, every unit and command carrying out
4 that particular operation would create a separate plan.
5 Q. Can you just walk us quickly through how that plan would be
6 created. How would that originate?
7 A. If a particular operation were to take place, specifically in the
8 area of responsibility of a corps, then the signals chief or
9 communications chief of that corps would turn to the commander and the
10 Chief of Staff of the corps from whom he would receive specific
11 information as to which units participate, where the combat operations
12 would take place, where the command posts of these units would be, and
13 other such information. On the basis of that information received, the
14 signals chief of the corps would create a mini plan, if I can call it
15 that way, for that operation only.
16 Q. And again, just to make sure we're using the same language, you
17 said the signals chief of the corps would create a mini plan. Are we
18 referring to communications or just signals, the signals communications
19 that you were referring to earlier when we talked about the types of
21 A. He would create a mini plan of communications only for carrying
22 out that particular operation in that locality, and that plan of
23 communications is null and void once that operation is over.
24 Q. Generally speaking, what sort of communications -- what types of
25 communications may be involved in the mini plan that you're referring to?
1 A. Most frequently in such mini plans we used short-wave radio
2 communications to communicate with subordinate units and one channel of
3 radio relay communications in order to communicate with the corps
5 Q. Okay. And once that mini plan is created, what happens after
7 A. When the mini plan is drawn up, the chief of communications on
8 orders from the corps commander would give the plan to me as the
9 commander of the communications battalion in order for me to carry out
10 the plan. An excerpt from the same plan would be given to all the
11 subordinate units participating in carrying out the task so that we could
12 all communicate with each other.
13 Q. When you say that the chief of communications would give the plan
14 to you, are you referring to only the mini plan, the communications plan,
15 or would you receive the entire plan?
16 A. Only the mini plan.
17 MR. MAIR
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: You note the time. Thank you very much. We'll
19 take a break and come back at half past 12.00. Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Mair.
23 MR. MAIR
24 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, have you ever heard of something called the
1 A. No.
2 Q. Have you ever seen any documents related to the Drina plan?
3 A. No.
4 Q. During the period of the conflict, did you ever hear any sort of
5 information about something called the Drina plan?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, I would like to briefly go back to one topic that
8 we discussed earlier which was your going to school at the General Staff
9 academy. Do you recall that testimony?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you remind us again when you attended the academy?
12 A. From September 1998 to August 1999.
13 Q. At that time, were there other members of the VRS that attended
14 schools or academies outside of the territory of the Republika Srpska?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you aware of what some of those -- or where some of those
17 schools or academies were located?
18 A. Some of us completed schools and academies in Belgrade, in
20 schools in Greece
21 Q. Are you aware of any other locations where VRS members attended
23 A. I know of such locations because I know colleagues who went to
24 school in those countries. There may have been others, but I don't know
25 about them.
1 Q. Okay. I would now like to move to our last topic. Have you ever
2 met General Perisic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Have you ever had a -- the opportunity to talk with Mr. Perisic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you recall when that was -- excuse me. How many times did you
7 have the opportunity to talk with Mr. Perisic?
8 A. Once on the phone.
9 Q. And do you recall when that was?
10 A. In April 1994, or rather, in the spring of 1994.
11 Q. Can you give us some of the circumstances around that phone call.
12 How did that take place?
13 A. In that period, the VRS was engaged in an offensive operation on
14 the forces of the BH army in the area of Gorazde. Some 15 days of
15 fighting ensued under the direct command of General Mladic, and then the
16 units of the VRS managed to crush the BH forces, resisting them, and
17 entered the town of Gorazde
18 at the forward command post of the Drina Corps in Rogatica. At one point
19 in time, the telephone rang; they were calling from the Main Staff. As
20 General Mladic was not there and they were looking for him, I said that
21 he was somewhere at the front line and that I did not have any
22 communications with him because he never carried communications equipment
23 with him. They told me there was something important that had to be
24 conveyed to him regarding the political situation and political pressures
25 from the FRY, for that operation to be stopped, and for the VRS to be
1 prevented from entering the town of Gorazde
2 Half an hour later, the telephone rang. I answered. It was
3 someone from the office of Slobodan Milosevic, the
4 President of Yugoslavia
5 understood that this was a very urgent and important matter, but I was
6 unable to help them establish communication with him because he was
7 somewhere at the front line. And that's what I told them. I said it was
8 impossible to reach General Mladic.
9 Sometime later, the telephone rang again, and I was surprised
10 when General Perisic introduced himself. He asked who he was talking to,
11 and I introduced myself. He asked whether General Mladic was there, and
12 I said the same thing to him I had told all the others. He then spoke in
13 a tone of entreaty, asking me to try to reach General Mladic by any kind
14 of communication I could and to tell him that General Perisic was under
15 strong pressure from the political leadership of Yugoslavia and that I
16 should convey to him that he should establish contact. He wanted -- or
17 rather, Perisic wanted to establish contact with Mladic and ask him to
18 stop the offensive activities of the VRS. I promised him I would do my
19 best to reach General Mladic.
20 In the evening when General Mladic turned up at the forward
21 command post, I conveyed to him the contents of all these conversations.
22 And he simply said to me, If any of them calls again, tell them you
23 didn't find me.
24 That was my only conversation with General Perisic.
25 Q. Mr. Jevdjevic, I'd like to thank you for your time.
1 MR. MAIR
2 I believe Mr. Thomas has a submission which I don't have any problem
3 with, but he can probably explain it better than I can.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
5 Mr. Thomas.
6 MR. THOMAS: Thank you, Your Honours. My request, Your Honours,
7 is that we adjourn and begin the cross-examination tomorrow morning. I
8 appreciate that there's still plenty of time left in the session, but
9 there are a number of documents related to the cross-examination and
10 Mr. Jevdjevic upon which we're still awaiting translations. It's a
11 matter that I need to resolve obviously before I cross-examine, but also
12 for the Defence to be able to make sense of the disclosure that I've
13 provided to them in preparation for Mr. Jevdjevic's testimony.
14 There isn't, unfortunately, a discrete topic that I can deal with
15 with a complete range of translations available at the moment, otherwise
16 I would suggest that we could begin and at least get that done. But I'm
17 not in that position, unfortunately. I do believe that I can resolve
18 these matters pretty easily this afternoon with my learned friends, and I
19 think we'll also have a more stream-lined cross-examination tomorrow.
20 I understand there isn't any other witness who's able to testify
21 follow Mr. Jevdjevic tomorrow, so we have the day, and I will easily
22 conclude tomorrow.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what I wanted an assurance on. You will
24 conclude tomorrow?
25 MR. THOMAS: I will conclude tomorrow, sir. No problem.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And we will be able to have time for
2 re-examination and questions from the Bench and questions arising?
3 MR. THOMAS: Absolutely. Understood, Your Honour. That's no
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's understood.
6 Sir, we are not able to finish today, but we're not done with you
7 yet. You have to come back tomorrow. But I must warn you that now that
8 you have taken the -- made the declaration and you are already in the
9 witness box, you may not discuss the case with anybody, least of all the
10 lawyers for Mr. Perisic, until you are excused.
11 So we'll come back tomorrow, the 19th, at 9.00 in the morning,
12 same courtroom. Court adjourned to tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning,
13 Courtroom II.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.43 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of
16 March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.