1 Wednesday, 14 July 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.29 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
12 Could we please have appearances for the day.
13 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
14 Good morning everyone in and around the courtroom. Mark Harmon and
15 Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. And for the Defence.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
18 morning to everyone in and around the courtroom. On behalf of
19 Mr. Perisic today, Tina Drolec, Alex Fielding and Novak Lukic.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
21 Good morning to you, Mr. Kovacevic. Just to remind you that you
22 are still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of your
23 testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 Mr. Lukic.
3 WITNESS: DUSAN KOVACEVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kovacevic. Before I pick up where I left off
7 yesterday, and we were talking about fuel, there is an additional
8 question I would like to ask you in relation to something that we were
9 talking about yesterday. You were answering questions yesterday in
10 relation to the personnel structure of the VRS. You explained that some
11 of the officers and NCOs of the VRS were actually the former active-duty
12 JNA officers who grew up around those parts and who were now joining this
13 new army. You remember talking about that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you have any information at the time as to what became of
16 active-duty members of the JNA before the war, Croats, Macedonians,
17 Slovenians, Muslims, were they now joining these newly established armies
18 such as these men that we referred to awhile ago were now joining the
20 A. What I know is that as early as during the actual clashes between
21 the JNA and the armed forces in Croatia, there was an interstate
22 agreement allowing for the possibility that the Croats, ethnic Croats,
23 who were then in Croatian territory were entitled to draw their pension
24 from the then-Yugoslavia, which at that point was still the SFRY, and
25 draw their pension from the JNA, regardless of whether they were in fact
1 members of the JNA or whether for a brief while perhaps they were members
2 of the Croatian army.
3 Something similar occurred in May 1992, when the decision was
4 taken for the JNA to withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ethnic Croats
5 and Muslims, or at least those who were for awhile with the HVO or the
6 armies of the BH TO could now --
7 Q. Perhaps we are talking at cross-purposes here. I'm not talking
8 about pension. I'm talking about something else. Do you know who made
9 up the body of officers of the BH army and the HVO and the Croatian army?
10 Do you know that?
11 A. The members of the former JNA, those who were ethnic Croats and
12 Muslims, were able to join the VA. It was certainly like that. Members
13 of the BH army, on the other hand, were for the most part ethnic Muslims,
14 or ethnic Croats. There were Serbs among them too, not so many though.
15 More or less the same situation applied in the HVO, the Croats' army.
16 Even in the VRS later on there remained a number of ethnic Croats and
18 Q. I don't think you've answered my question fully.
19 A. Can you please repeat.
20 Q. Who -- who -- which kinds of officer made up the BH army? Where
21 did they hail from in terms of status? Were they former civilians or
22 perhaps coming from another body or army? If you know, please answer.
23 A. I know that the first men who were there who -- first leaders of
24 the BH army were members of the former JNA. Former members of the former
25 JNA. Some of them I knew personally. Rasim Delic, Colonel Vehbija Karic
1 and others as well. There were, nevertheless, quite a number, especially
2 of brigade commanders, who were former civilians or people from the TO,
3 the kind of men then referred to as self-styled brigade commanders, such
4 as Juka Prazina and Celo, as well as others.
5 Q. Thank you very much, I would like to go back now to the topic
6 that we discussed yesterday, fuel and fuel supplies to the VRS during the
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the following
9 document drawn up: It's a 65 ter document, Defence document, 00761D.
10 Wrong document, I see the B/C/S. I'll just repeat, maybe it wasn't --
11 just a minute. Just a second.
12 Again, 65 ter Defence document 00761D. We do have that document
13 on our screens. That's it. Thank you.
14 Q. Have a look, sir. This is self-explanatory. I will have a
15 question about something in particular, a single sentence, General. This
16 is a document from the Drina Corps Command. It was dispatched to all the
17 Drina Corps units.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please pull this up a little
19 so the General can see the bottom of this page.
20 Q. General, I would like you to comment on a particular sentence.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's right under that
22 lengthy paragraph which I'm about to read out.
23 Q. The assistant logistics commander of the Drina Corps says:
24 "In conversation with these individuals, they claim to be able to
25 supply fuel and that they are doing too. Nevertheless, no command has
1 reported to their staff about any quantities received. The logical
2 conclusion is that some units even have a surplus of fuel."
3 General, this is the summer of 1993, you were at the time defence
4 minister. What did you know about the fuel supplies in certain units in
5 the VRS and the supply levels?
6 A. This is correct. It tallies with what I knew at the time, namely
7 that the units had sufficient supply levels of fuel.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a number for
9 this document, Your Honours. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
11 please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
13 Exhibit D411. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Who in the VRS made decisions regarding the distribution of such
17 fuel as was made available to the VRS? At what level was that decision
18 taken and how?
19 A. I know that the commodity reserves of the RS for the most part
20 stored any fuel obtained also for the purposes of the army. They would
21 then inform the Main Staff, the defence ministry, as well as the
22 government that there was a certain commodity reserves depot where a
23 certain amount of fuel could be found that was to be used for the army's
24 purposes. Under the regulations that prevailed, it was the Main Staff
25 alone who could decide on the distribution of fuel to all of its
1 subordinate units and this is something that they did. They would then
2 inform units or send orders to the corps saying that a certain amount of
3 fuel was allocated to them that was there to be picked up from one of the
4 depots, and they were now free to use it for their own ends.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Another 65 ter document, Defence
6 document, 00832D. As for the previous document -- all right, I
7 apologise. I apologise, this is not the right document. Can I have a
8 minute, please. It's not about this topic. Just to see whether we can
9 do it while it's on the screen.
10 Q. This is not just about the topic that we discussed, namely fuel.
11 The document talks about something else that we mentioned earlier on.
12 General, can you please comment on this. Who is this delivered
13 to; who is dispatching this document to whom; and what is this procedure
15 A. The document is about the following procedure: The Main Staff
16 draws up a distribution list for mines produced for the army's purposes.
17 Other kinds of equipment are also involved specifically from the
18 Elektromechanika Enterprise where they produced 1.260 impact rifle
19 grenades. The Main Staff is now to draw up a distribution chart and
20 specify the units to be allocated ammunition.
21 Q. We have a small discrepancy in the heading of the document.
22 General, who is this delivered to? What is KM and PKM, what does that
23 stand for?
24 A. It reads "Delivered to," and I will give you the full title:
25 "The Main Staff of the VRS command post, rear command post."
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] You see, Your Honours, the
2 discrepancy is what we find in parentheses there in the English, but I
3 think the General has now sufficiently clarified this. "PKM" means "rear
4 command post." For my purposes we could admit this document into
5 evidence without requesting a retranslation of the entire document just
6 because of this single discrepancy.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
8 Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: The matter has been corrected on the record. I'm
10 satisfied with that correction and I have no objection to its admission.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Let the Chamber be clarified. This
12 document is from the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska Army, strictly
13 confidential number that, of 26 of September. It is to be delivered to
14 the General Staff of the VRS of Republika -- rear command post. Now,
15 what I would like to understand is where physically is the rear command
16 post in relation to the main office of the Main Staff of the army?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you remember, Your Honours,
18 General Skrbic testified to that. I could ask General Kovacevic the same
19 question, nevertheless.
20 Q. General, in relation to the location -- or rather, first of all,
21 tell us where was the Main Staff of the VRS located, and then tell us
22 where the rear command post was located?
23 A. The VRS Main Staff was located at Crna Rijeka. The distance
24 between Han Pijesak and Crna Rijeka being about 5 to 6 kilometres. It
25 was in the middle of the woods. The facility was built and equipped
1 during the time of the former JNA. There were a number of huts there, as
2 well as an underground facility to be used in the eventuality of a
3 nuclear war.
4 At Crna Rijeka and in those huts, General Mladic,
5 General Milovanovic, and General Gvero were often to be found, as well as
6 other security officers.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The rear command post --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just tell us where the rear command post was.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Crna Rijeka, next to
11 Han Pijesak.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: So the Main Staff was in Crna Rijeka. The rear
13 command post was in Crna Rijeka, next to Han Pijesak. That's the answer.
14 Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that we had an interpretation
16 issue now. Let me repeat what His Honour just said.
17 Q. Where was the rear command post?
18 A. In the centre of the town of Han Pijesak in Hotel Planinka, a
19 civilian hotel.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. The document is admitted into
21 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
23 Exhibit D412. Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up Defence document
25 from the 65 ter list 00831D.
1 Q. Let us go back to the issue of fuel.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I wish to apologise to Mr. Harmon.
3 I'm told by my colleague that we omitted to place this document on the
4 list because it's 00832 and 00831 was placed on the list. So if
5 Mr. Harmon has an objection to that, I will withdraw the document, but it
6 was a typo.
7 MR. HARMON: If I can have just a minute to look at the document,
8 Your Honour. We can proceed, Your Honour. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Just briefly, please. We discussed this already when you said
12 who made decisions on how to distribute fuel, so just look at the
13 document and tell us if it's consistent with what you've just been
14 telling us?
15 A. Yes, this document speaks to the fact that the Chief of the
16 Main Staff of the VRS, General Milovanovic, distributed the stated amount
17 of fuel and ordered that the said amount be set aside for the purposes of
18 this unit.
19 Q. Let us clarify one issue, General. There is an acronym here
20 which was not translated. Where it says "order RDRR," what does this
21 stand for? Can you see that?
22 A. Commodity reserves, or rather, war-time state commodity reserves.
23 Q. Has that got anything to do with the directorate you mentioned?
24 A. Yes, the reserves were under the sole authority of the
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I tender this document into evidence,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted. May it please be given an exhibit
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
6 Exhibit D413. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We will move to a different topic now, General. We will go back
10 to the issue we broached yesterday but we'll now speak specifically of,
11 and that's the budget of the Republika Srpska and specifically the budget
12 line for the VRS. I will make a distinction between the period up until
13 the end of 1993 and the subsequent period. What were the basic sources
14 of revenue for the RS budget up until the end of 1993?
15 A. I know that the source of budget revenue was customs, various
16 other types of revenue as envisaged under the law. However, most of the
17 revenue originated from the loans granted by the National Bank of
18 Republika Srpska which covered the budget, in fact.
19 Q. Do you know that in the course of 1993 the loans were in fact
20 also funded by the FRY?
21 A. Yes, I do know that the RS National Bank also took loans from the
22 FRY National Bank.
23 Q. Did this continue in 1994 and onwards?
24 A. I don't think so, especially not when sanctions were imposed and
25 when a new tender, the new dinar was introduced in the FRY.
1 Q. We heard evidence here that in early January of 1994, the
2 so-called economic programme of the new FRY government was pursued and
3 these were, in fact, specifically Mr. Avramovic's economic and financial
4 policy. So has this got anything to do with the loans coming from the
5 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
6 A. To the best of my knowledge, it was impossible to obtain loans.
7 I know that decisions were taken to secure additional sources of revenue
8 to the budget by selling --
9 Q. Sorry, I'm interrupting you there, but just tell us in what
10 sentence what the gist of the programme of Governor Avramovic was with
11 regard to the stability of the dinar? What changed? What was there
12 before and what changed afterwards?
13 A. Well, the gist of the policy was to cut the spending and to
14 separate the financial obligations of Republika Srpska from those of the
15 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Was hyperinflation curbed through these measures?
17 A. I believe so.
18 Q. Was the money printing from the primary emission put a stop to in
19 this way?
20 A. Yes, I believe it was.
21 Q. From the beginning of 1994 onwards, what were the sources of
22 budgetary revenue in Republika Srpska?
23 A. Tax collection, customs revenue, various levies, taxes levied on
24 Republika Srpska citizens employed abroad which revenue was collected
25 indirectly, then the sale of various goods and capitals present in
1 Republika Srpska, and loans from the RS National Bank.
2 Q. Was the budget itself sufficient for the needs of and
3 requirements of the army?
4 A. The budget was not sufficient to cover all the needs.
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, perhaps this question could be
6 clarified as to time because it would be more helpful to everybody if we
7 knew the time when we are talking about.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Everything that we will now be
10 discussing is the period from the beginning of 1994 when new economic
11 programmes were introduced in the FRY onwards. And I'm interested in
12 knowing how the army was financed from the budget and outside of the
13 budget at the time when the so-called sound or solid dinar was introduced
14 up until the end of the war.
15 MR. HARMON: Then perhaps a foundation could be laid,
16 Your Honour, because this witness stopped being the minister of defence
17 at a certain point in time, and I think if we're going to have a broad
18 expansive inquiry into the sufficiency of the budget, then a foundation
19 has to be laid as to how this witness knows about the budget after he
20 ceased being minister of defence.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, it would also be helpful for the
22 Chamber to know when the solid dinar was introduced.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think the Torkildsen spoke to this,
24 if I recall. But I don't want to testify.
25 Q. General, can you tell us if you remember, when was Avramovic's
1 dinar introduced, as it were, or in fact the convertible dinar, when was
2 it introduced in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
3 A. I don't have a precise figure to give you, but I know that from
4 the start of 1994, through to the end of my term of office, at my
5 proposal, at the proposal of the Supreme Command and at the proposal of
6 the government, the National Assembly of Republika Srpska carried two
8 Q. Let us first deal with the objection by Mr. Harmon. So you don't
9 know the exact date when the new dinar was introduced. Let's move on
10 from there, then.
11 My next question, up until what time were you defence minister?
12 I think you said it on the first day.
13 A. It was roughly until the month of August of 1994.
14 Q. Which position did you take up subsequently?
15 A. For awhile I was deputy defence minister.
16 Q. Up until when was that?
17 A. All the way to the period when I was -- I became eligible for
19 Q. You said this, I think, on the first day to Their Honours, but
20 can you repeat it, when was this?
21 A. Well, it was six months before my actual date of retirement and
22 you will find the date, the exact date, in my personnel file.
23 Q. I put to you that it was June 1995 since you were retired in
24 January of 1996; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. During your term in office as deputy defence minister, were you
2 privy to the information in possession of the government and defence
3 ministry about the budgetary funds and non-budgetary funds that were made
4 available to the army?
5 A. Yes, I was privy to that based on two sources. One was the
6 ministry itself, and the other was the state committee for centralised
7 procurement for the purposes of the VRS.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, Mr. Lukic, I thought you said at
9 page 13, line 13:
10 "I put it to you that it was June 1995 since you were retired in
11 January 1996; is that right?"
12 I see the transcript says "2006," so I just want to make sure
13 that that is corrected.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, you were right in noticing this.
15 Q. So can you tell us again which year were you retired?
16 A. In 1996.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May we proceed.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of course. That's all I wanted to correct.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You mentioned this committee, which I can't repeat its title
21 correctly, you'll tell us, but tell us, please, when was this committee
22 formed, who composed it and what did it do?
23 A. Well, I don't know exactly. I think it was in mid-1995. The
24 committee was composed of quite a few people. It was headed by the
25 then-president, Radovan Karadzic. There was General Mladic as well as
1 the prime minister. I know that it was decided that I should be the
2 secretary of this state committee for centralised procurement for the
3 armed forces of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. What was the basic role of the committee? Tell us in a sentence,
6 A. The procurement of all manner of goods was to be conducted in a
7 centralised manner in one place, that's to say, this committee headed by
8 Radovan Karadzic and within presence of General Ratko Mladic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness has shown
10 with his answers that he is capable of telling us how the army was
11 financed, through what means, in 1994 and 1995. I can see Mr. Harmon
12 nodding. So I would like to proceed with this line of questioning then.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we get your nod on the record, Mr. Harmon.
14 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, I'm satisfied.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You said that, according to what you knew at the time, the budget
19 was not sufficient, not sufficient in order to make sure sufficient funds
20 were available to the army. You said the other day that the needs
21 expressed by Republika Srpska were one thing, but the actual allocation
22 is a different thing altogether, needs being expressed by the VRS in
23 relation to its real needs. What happened with these in that period and
24 throughout 1995? Were their needs realistic or exaggerated?
25 A. In my experience, the way they expressed their needs was somewhat
1 exaggerated in relation to what was actually necessary.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go into private
3 session, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
5 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. And I note that we started
22 late but it's the time for break. We'll take a break and come back at
23 quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.44 a.m.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, Mr. Guy-Smith
3 and our intern, Oonagh O'Connor, are here with us for the following
5 Q. General, we are back in open session and I would like to pick up
6 where we left off before the break about extra budgetary funds.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have Defence
9 65 ter document 00830D. Could we please pull this up a little so the
10 General can see the date and who signed the document. To the left,
11 please. Thank you.
12 Q. General, are you familiar with this document? If so, what can
13 you tell us about it?
14 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it. It's a government decision on
15 procuring supplies of all derivatives to be included in the commodity
16 reserves. The Ministry of Trade is hereby put in charge of implementing
17 this decision.
18 Q. Paragraph 2 talks about funds, the funds for the payment of this
19 amount, 4.600.000 German marks will be secured by taking out a loan with
20 the National Bank of Republika Srpska. Is that in keeping with what you
21 said before? What about this loan for this particular job, is that
22 something that comes from the budget or is this an extra budgetary
23 transaction being bankrolled by the National Bank of Republika Srpska?
24 A. This is extra budgetary.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I have a number for this
1 document, please, Your Honours. Thank you.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document be given a number and admitted
3 into evidence.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this document shall be assigned
5 Exhibit D414. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Another document that I'd like to
8 show the witness while we are still on this topic, 65 ter Defence list
9 00722D -- rather, I'm sorry.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could counsel please
11 repeat the number.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please repeat the number.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 00722D. Defence ministry document,
14 the 25th of November, 1993, delivered to the Main Staff -- or rather,
15 addressed to the Main Staff of the VRS. Can we have page 3 in the B/C/S,
16 please, showing who authored the document.
17 Q. We see a stamp there and the signature of the assistant commander
18 for moral guidance and religious affairs. I suppose he worked in a
19 particular unit, but that's not what I want to know about. Right above
20 where it says there, General, do you know who produced this document?
21 A. Yes, I believe that this comes from the defence ministry but I'm
22 not familiar with the document's substance.
23 Q. I'll be reading back to you a number of different paragraphs just
24 to make sure whether --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you do that. Sir, you say you believe
1 it comes from the defence ministry but you are not familiar with the
2 document. Do you by any chance know who the defence minister
3 Dusan Kovacevic is who is written at the bottom of that document as one
4 of the co-signatories?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's me.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you remember you authoring this document?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm confused by one thing, the
8 document says the accuracy of the transcript is hereby certified by
9 assistant commander Colonel Vukelic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see that.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then the corps seal. Or the
12 corps stamp. I find that confusing. That is precisely why I said I
13 would like to be given an opportunity to familiarise myself with the
14 substance of this document. Once I've done that, I could perhaps give
15 you more informed opinion.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: It would be helpful that you do familiarise
17 yourself with the document and tell us whether indeed you are the
18 co-author of the document.
19 Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We went through this document during our proofing perhaps --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Give the witness an opportunity to --
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 1 of this
24 document. It numbers three pages in total. And perhaps we should give
25 the General a chance to read some of this, have a look to see for
1 himself. Maybe that will jog his memory. Could we pull it up, please.
2 Thank you.
3 Q. General, now that you've had a look, do you remember anything in
4 connection with this document? Were you involved in the production of
5 this document?
6 A. Yes, this document was produced in the defence ministry.
7 Everything stated here is accurate in terms of the document's substance.
8 I am one of the signatories jointly with Mr. Lukic, the president of the
10 Q. I would like to elicit several comments from you because a number
11 of different topics are mentioned here. Perhaps you can shed some light
12 on some of these, specifically government decisions. Paragraph 1, a
13 little lower down page 1 where it reads: "At the 84th session of the
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you can see that too, I
17 Q. The government adopted a decree imposing the obligation of the
18 municipalities and enterprise to provide and distribute to the army
19 personnel and so on and so forth, in the reserve force. Do you remember
20 whether that decree was in fact adopted and did it get ever off the
21 ground, in a manner of speaking?
22 A. Yes, that decree was adopted and it was about compensating
23 members of the army, soldiers in lieu of salaries, financial
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have page 2 now, please,
1 both English and the B/C/S.
2 Q. I would like to have your comment on paragraph 5, which is where
3 you state:
4 "For the next session of the People's Assembly of the VRS, the
5 government has proposed a bill on loans to be used to finance the VRS.
6 If the bill is passed, its implementation will start by the
7 1st of December, 1993."
8 Do you remember whether the bill was actually passed by the
9 Assembly, and would that loan be within the framework of the budget or an
10 extra budgetary loan in terms of funding the VRS?
11 A. Yes, I remember. I was one of the people who were involved in
12 drafting this bill. The bill was then reviewed at a government meeting,
13 certain amendments were made and the bill was then duly adopted. It was
14 submitted to the People's Assembly of the RS, after which a final
15 document was adopted and published in the "Official Gazette" of the RS.
16 It then took effect, but the results were not those expected.
17 Q. Paragraph 7 of this document:
18 "The government adopted a conclusion that 10 per cent of the
19 income in the timber and wood processing industry would be allocated on a
20 monthly basis to fund the army."
21 Do you remember if that conclusion was adopted and were any steps
22 taken in accordance with that?
23 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this conclusion and it was adopted by the
24 RS government. The conclusion was forwarded to the management of the
25 RS forestry which was the central state company in charge of the
1 country's woodlands. The conclusion orders the company to put aside
2 10 per cent of its overall proceeds in the sales of timber and earmark
3 those funds to be used by the army.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could I have a number
5 for this document, please.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
7 please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
9 Exhibit D415. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to have a look at an OTP
12 exhibit and that is P1534. It addresses an issue that we have been
13 discussing. Can we also have the left-hand side of the document in the
14 B/C/S zoomed in. Thank you.
15 Q. We have before us the report on the work of the defence ministry
16 for the period between August 1994 and November 1995. Are you familiar
17 with this document, General?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. I will skip the introductory remarks, and tell us first who the
20 report was addressed to and what were the sources that was based on?
21 A. The report was addressed to the government of Republika Srpska,
22 the Main Staff of the VRS, the president of Republika Srpska, the office
23 of the speaker of the parliament, that's to say, the president of the
24 National Assembly, and specific ministers.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to page 3 in B/C/S and
1 5 in English. This is the portion entitled "Military Economy" --
2 "Military Industry."
3 Q. The report reads:
4 "The Ministry of Defence focused its military industry work on
5 providing production materials and increasing production and repairs in
6 the territory of Republika Srpska."
7 It goes on to say:
8 "Assets that could not be produced or repaired in the republic
9 were purchased according to the needs of the VRS and the ability to fund
10 the army's requests." What follows is a chart.
11 General, can you explain for us the entries under number 1, which
12 I suppose are typical of the chart? What can we read in row 1?
13 A. Under 1, we have rifle ammunition. The amount produced and
14 repaired in Republika Srpska, 864.000 bullets, that is to say; the amount
15 purchased and donated, 61.590.737 rounds of ammunition; and finally, the
16 sum total.
17 Q. Where it says "purchased," where was the rifle ammunition
18 purchased, if you know?
19 A. To the best of my knowledge, it was purchased in the
20 special-purpose industry companies present in Federal Republic of
22 Q. 7.62 rifle ammunition specifically, where was it produced?
23 A. In the special-purpose industry company Prvi Partizan in Uzice.
24 Q. The sentence below reads:
25 "According to the plan of supplies for the VRS established by the
1 state committee for procurements ..." Is that the committee you were
2 referring to earlier on?
3 A. Yes. This is the reporting period during which the committee
4 you've just referred to was active.
5 Q. The sentence continues:
6 "... 72 per cent of the level planned was indeed achieved."
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you asked a question: "7.62 rifle
8 ammunition specifically, where was it produced?" Which one is it under
9 these? I've got this page 1 that goes up to item 9, I don't see any
10 7.62 ammunition there.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No. Unlike the document we looked at
12 yesterday, the ammunition has not been listed here by calibre, it only
13 says "rifle ammunition." Still my question for the witness --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question to you is: If it is not mentioned by
15 calibre here, how do you know that it's a 7.62-millimetre calibre? Why
16 do you ask that question about the 7.62-millimetre calibre if it's not on
17 the document?
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Because since I'm being asked this
19 now, according to witness's testimony yesterday, 7.62-millimetre calibre
20 was 99 per cent of the ammunition used. This is something that he said
21 yesterday. Of course, it's not mentioned in the document here.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are not asking what he said yesterday, you are
23 asking him about this document. Some of us have had the fortune of not
24 being military people, so we are not able to know these things unless we
25 read them.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I put the question to the
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm far from being knowledgeable in
5 these matters. I myself have been learning throughout this time.
6 Q. General, this term here, "rifle ammunition," in your view what
7 calibre does it refer to?
8 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm going to object to that.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed, Mr. Harmon, yes.
10 MR. HARMON: I think this calls for speculation. Unless this
11 witness can give us precise information on this, he is speculating and I
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are asking him in his view, sir. You know,
14 look, you should --
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will not ask him about his opinion.
16 I'll ask him if he knows what this referred to, what the entry in row 1,
17 what calibre it referred to.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: You go ahead.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General, the figure in column 1 of your report, do you know what
21 calibre of ammunition it referred to?
22 A. I know full well that the VRS had as part of infantry weapons
23 7.62-millimetre automatic rifle Kalashnikov, and 7.62-millimetre
24 semi-automatic rifle. With these two types of rifle --
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm going to object. Sorry, that's not
1 responsive to the question.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry? Sorry, Mr. --
3 MR. HARMON: That is not responsive to the question.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness should first
6 give a complete answer to my question, if he knows which calibre the
7 ammunition listed under 1 here refers to.
8 Q. And this is my question for the time being, General. Can you
9 answer that, the ammunition listed under 1, what calibre does it refer
11 A. 7.62 calibre for automatic rifle --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, with all due respect, unless the
13 witness has such a photogenic memory and unless he himself in fact drew
14 this, you are really calling for speculation. It doesn't matter how you
15 ask the question. And I do -- I'm not quite sure how important it is for
16 your case to establish that this rifle ammunition is a 7.62-millimetre
17 calibre ammunition. It is ammunition whatever calibre it is, you know.
18 I don't think it is very important to your case, but you might be
19 thinking differently, but I think you really are moving into the realm of
20 speculation if you persist with that question.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I do consider this to be important
22 for my case. Secondly, if you look at all the remaining columns in this
23 document -- perhaps we can ask the witness to leave the courtroom if you
24 want me to pursue this? Based on the columns and the figures contained
25 therein and based on witness's knowledge dating from the period, I'm sure
1 that he can give precise answers in relation to all the columns in this
2 document when it comes to the calibre involved. He has first-hand
3 knowledge of this, of the information listed in the report.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that and you, yourself, have told us
5 already that the witness told us yesterday that 99 per cent of ammunition
6 was 7.62-millimetre calibre. To the extent that you expect him to
7 remember in minute detail what each little order or each little
8 ammunition was, I really wonder. But, you know, you go ahead, and if
9 Mr. Harmon objects, he will object. Go ahead and ask your question.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, please look at all the columns before you.
12 A. I have looked at them already and it's all clear to me.
13 Q. Based on the information contained in the columns, can you tell
14 us what calibre they involved in view of the textual representation?
15 A. Yes, I can.
16 Q. Column number 1, what calibre does it relate to?
17 A. 7.62 millimetre for automatic and semi-automatic rifles.
18 Q. Column 2?
19 A. The other infantry ammunition relates to the ammunition for
20 pistols, rifle launchers.
21 Q. Artillery ammunition, what calibres does it relate to?
22 A. 105, 155, 152, 122, and 130, and 100.
23 Q. I will not pursue this line of questions further. I'll go back
24 to my previous question to you. The report says that 72 per cent of what
25 was planned wasn't achieved. This 72 per cent, does it relate to what
1 the army sought within its request or does it relate to what the
2 committee established was indeed necessary for the army?
3 A. I think it refers to the requests put forward by the army.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In order for Their Honours to be able
5 to follow, the question I put to the witness has to do with the sentence
6 that is on the next page in English. It is right below the chart.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right below the chart, I'm not quite sure what
8 that means?
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's the first sentence beneath the
10 table. Actually what you see on the page in English is the latter part
11 of the table or chart, and there follows the sentence which my question
12 referred to.
13 Now, let's look at another part of this report entitled
14 "Financing the Defence." And let's look at page 9 in B/C/S and page 18
15 in English.
16 Q. This is the chapter dealing with how the defence was financed.
17 The first paragraph is self-explanatory. It speaks of the insufficiency
18 of the budget, and then it says:
19 "For this reason, additional funds were secured from the state
20 reserves for fuel to be obtained from abroad, and this is the information
21 contained in the report."
22 Do you know if the Supreme Command also discussed the need to
23 obtain additional foreign currency funds for financing the defence
25 A. Yes, I know, and this was one of the subjects most frequently
1 discussed at the meetings of the Supreme Command.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us turn to the next page, where
3 various budget allocations intended for the army are discussed.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, on this page what does the
5 acronym "VK" mean, Mr. Kovacevic? There is a paragraph that says:
6 "For these reasons, additional foreign currency funds were
7 provided by VK from the state foreign currency reserve for the
8 procurement of fuel and imported ammunition, the details of which are the
9 subject of this report."
10 What does VK mean?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the customary acronym for
12 the Supreme Command.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's the same page in the B/C/S,
16 could we just move the document a little to the left. Thank you very
17 much. And in the English it's the following page. As for the English
18 could we pull it down slightly. Thank you. But we need the next page in
19 English, not this one.
20 Could we go into private session, Your Honours, please.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 12716-12719 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
16 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, I would like to have more information about Pretis. In
19 the former SFRY how important a company was this, in terms of their
20 production activity back then?
21 A. I know that Pretis Holding was one of the largest companies
22 throughout the former Yugoslavia. It comprised about 20 different
23 factories with different production programmes. It also had several
24 factories that were involved in military purpose production, for the most
25 part ammunition and systems required to use that ammunition.
1 Q. The Chamber knows about the location of Pretis, but can you tell
2 us something about the size of the compound in Vogosca specifically?
3 A. That was their HQ and all of their administration was there, all
4 the projects were piloted from there, all of their technology was dealt
5 with there. The mainstay of their production and the production lines
6 for artillery ammunition were also based there.
7 Q. What was the distance between Pretis and the front line, the
8 lines held by the enemy?
9 A. I know that Pretis straddled the confrontation line, the distance
10 being no more than several hundred metres.
11 Q. I asked you about the overhaul centre in Hadzici. Where was the
12 overhaul centre located in relation to the line held by the enemy?
13 A. The Hadzici overhaul centre also straddled the confrontation
14 line. The distance never exceeding 200 metres.
15 Q. You've explained about how the system operated and we heard about
16 the manager too. Nevertheless, I would like to use some documents to
17 illustrate that, the relationship between the defence ministry and
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have a 65 ter document,
20 Defence document, 00779D.
21 Q. Did Pretis continue to operate and produce artillery ammunition
22 throughout the war?
23 A. Yes, it continued production throughout the war with several
24 brief interruptions due to shelling.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we just pull this up slightly
1 to see who signed the document.
2 Q. All right. First of all, are you familiar with this document and
3 what can you tell us about it? I'm talking about the format rather than
4 the substance. The substance is there for all to see.
5 A. I first set eyes on this document, I believe, when the Tribunal's
6 investigator spoke to me, or perhaps it was when I talked to you. The
7 document was signed by the ministry secretary, Dragan Kapetina, on my
8 behalf. The fact is, I didn't sign this document and that can only imply
9 one thing, I was not involved in formulating the substance of this
10 document or indeed deciding who the document would be addressed to.
11 Q. Other than that, do you perhaps know if the defence ministry
12 normally was in the business of granting approval for this kind of
13 commercial transaction such as the one here involving Pretis and other
14 commercial companies? If not, who was in charge of granting that kind
16 A. Yes, the ministry did grant approval for the purchase and import
17 of certain components on Pretis's behalf, making sure it was able to make
18 contracts with special-purpose production companies in the FRY, depending
19 on the calibre of the ammunition or other component parts, as covered by
20 the agreement between the RS defence ministry and Pretis factory itself.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] May this document please be
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
24 please be given an exhibit number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
1 Exhibit D416. Thank you.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document I'd like to show
4 the witness is from the 65 ter list of the Defence, 00754D.
5 Q. This is a document of the VRS Main Staff, dated the
6 3rd of December, 1994, and signed by Ratko Mladic, which is on the next
7 page. Have a look at the document, please. I'm specifically interested
8 in your comments on paragraph 2.
9 Tell me first, in keeping with the regulations, which state
10 agency or body of the army was in a position to be informed at all times
11 of the production and placement of products from the Pretis factory?
12 A. The funds that the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska agreed
13 with the Pretis factory should be used for purchases from them made it an
14 obligation on the Pretis factory to inform the Ministry of Defence at all
15 times of the amount of products produced, and they had to keep informed
16 the Main Staff of these matters, as did the Ministry of Defence, which
17 had to inform the Main Staff of the state of affairs with regard to
18 ammunition and the distribution of ammunition. This was standard
20 Everyone else who commissioned, purchased, or otherwise obtained
21 ammunition from Pretis did not need to report on this to anyone, I
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we move into
24 private session for a moment.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
1 [Private session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Defence
12 Exhibit D53.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you go --
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, I wish to tender the
15 previous document into evidence.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: 00754D is admitted into evidence. May it please
17 be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
19 Exhibit D417. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Now, what do you want now?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like us to look at a
22 document, which is Defence Exhibit D53.
23 Q. Look at the document, General, please.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the bottom of the document
25 so that the General can see who signed it. Let's scroll up now so that
1 the General can see the entire body of text.
2 Q. It's April 1995, Djordje Djukic addresses the Ministry of Defence
3 and Pretis company on behalf of the Main Staff. I'm interested in what
4 is stated under 1. Can you tell us what this is about and what was the
5 purpose of this correspondence?
6 A. In order for the Pretis company to be able to manufacture
7 ammunition for the purposes of the VRS, the Main Staff decided to set
8 aside for Pretis from its own reserves a certain amount of explosives. I
9 think it's TNT. Now, the Ministry of Defence was requested to buy the
10 explosives that were promised to Pretis in the special-purpose industry
11 companies in Yugoslavia.
12 Q. Do you know in this instant case whether the extent mentioned in
13 the document was indeed acted upon?
14 A. I believe it was, yes.
15 Q. Where were explosives produced in Yugoslavia, if you know?
16 A. In the explosives and gun powder company Prva Iskra in Baric.
17 Q. And did this company have the same status as Prvi Partizan that
18 we referred to yesterday? Is it a company from the special-purpose
20 A. Yes, it applied to all the special-purpose industry companies
21 present in the FRY.
22 Q. I have another question about Pretis. Do you know if the
23 Army of Yugoslavia was interested in certain assets held by Pretis, and
24 were there some talks about it?
25 A. Yes, I'm familiar with this case. I was personally involved in
1 it. There was a specific production line machine in Pretis. It was a
2 press, in fact. It was a very large machine. Now, the FRY Ministry of
3 Defence wanted us to disassemble this machine and transport it to
4 Yugoslavia. At the highest level in the country, at the level of the
5 government, this request was denied.
6 Q. Yes, yes, complete your answer, please.
7 A. I personally called President Karadzic, President Krajisnik, the
8 prime minister, the manager of the Pretis company, representatives of the
9 SDS party, presidents of the municipalities of Vogosca and Rajlovac, as
10 well as some other individuals, to attend a meeting which I chaired. At
11 this meeting I lobbied for the machine to be disassembled and transported
12 to Yugoslavia, and the reasons I put forward for it were that the machine
13 was a very precious and expensive, one of a kind in the Balkans, that it
14 would really be a pity if it were to be damaged by combat activities.
15 However, they categorically rejected my proposal and this was something
16 that I had to pay the price for in my subsequent career.
17 Q. I will move on to a different topic now. Did the military
18 judiciary operate in Republika Srpska?
19 A. Yes, it had been set up and it was operational, but I have to
20 tell you that I am not that familiar with that particular field.
21 Q. Do you know if within the VRS there existed and operated military
22 disciplinary courts?
23 A. Yes, they had been set up. I know that they operated but I don't
24 know to what extent they were indeed efficient.
25 Q. At the time you were a member of the VRS and, later on, of the
1 defence ministry, did you know that somebody from the Army of Yugoslavia
2 could actually initiate disciplinary proceedings against you for
3 something that you may have done within the VRS?
4 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, sir. Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, first of all, the witness is answering
7 the questions very quickly, which makes my objecting very difficult
8 because the answer is given as I stand on my feet. This witness is being
9 asked a series of questions about the military judiciary and he has
10 testified he is not familiar with that particular field, that was the
11 answer he has given. So unless there is a proper foundation laid to
12 asking questions where my colleague is going, I'm going to object and I'm
13 going to object to this last question.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, yes, you are right that the witness
15 said he didn't know just how efficiently the military judiciary operated,
16 but I do not think that the question that was put to him is a question
17 that he may not necessarily have knowledge about. He might know it, he
18 might not know it, and I really don't think it's -- it doesn't go to the
19 operation of the judiciary. It goes to whether somebody from the
20 Yugoslav could initiate. If he knows, he knows; if he doesn't, he
22 MR. HARMON: I'll withdraw my objection to this particular
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
25 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, can you answer the question, or should I repeat
4 A. Please repeat it.
5 Q. At the time you were a member of the VRS and minister of defence,
6 did you know that someone in the Army of Yugoslavia could, against you as
7 a member of the VRS, initiate disciplinary proceedings for actions taken
8 in the VRS?
9 A. I know that disciplinary procedure for any breach of discipline
10 had to be dealt with by a military court of Republika Srpska under the
11 prevailing rules and regulations. I had never heard of a procedure where
12 the Army of Yugoslavia would have jurisdiction or the VJ courts would
13 have jurisdiction in relation to any breaches of discipline committed in
14 the VRS.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I see that we are two
17 minutes away from the break and I would like to move on to a different
18 topic. Perhaps now would be the time to take the break.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. We'll take a break and come
20 back at half past 12.00. Court adjourned.
21 --- Recess taken at 11.58 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, was the defence ministry in any sense involved in
1 regulating the service status in relation to certain ranks, specifically
2 the defence minister? If so, which?
3 A. Yes, it was, under the Law on the Army and the law on the --
4 rather, the defence ministry was in charge of appointments, defining
5 establishment posts, and promotions of officers to the rank of colonel.
6 Q. Did the the Supreme Command ever discuss promotions or
7 appointments for certain officers? Was that ever raised at any of these
9 A. For the most part, no.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Our next document, it's part of the
11 personal file which did not become a P exhibit in relation to
12 Mr. Kovacevic, nevertheless it is on the OTP 65 ter list, 07841.
13 Page 129 in the B/C/S. And the ERN for the English is 0611-5816-ET.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is this a Defence document, is it 07841D, or --
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I just called it up as a
16 65 ter document, OTP. The personal file from the OTP 65 ter list, we've
17 got that in our 65 ter list as well but this is how I've called it up. I
18 think it might be easier to find like this. I just want to look at this
19 one page.
20 Q. General, are you familiar with this document?
21 A. Yes. This is the decree on my promotion to the rank of
22 major-general, signed by the president of Republika Srpska,
23 Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
24 Q. You are promoted to the rank of major-general in which army?
25 A. It was in charge of promotions and appointments of generals in
1 the VRS.
2 Q. Yesterday or two days ago, you told us when you were appointed
3 defence minister. You said that the position had something to do with
4 the rank. Does the date tally with the time of your appointment as
5 defence minister?
6 A. I think there is a discrepancy in terms of the actual dates
7 because that one said the 19th of January, 1993, as far as I remember,
8 and it should be easy enough to check; whereas here it says promoted as
9 of the 1st of February, 1993, or promotion to take effect on the
10 1st of February.
11 Q. You see the date in the header for this decision?
12 A. Yes, the decree bears the date of the 19th of January. I do
13 apologise, it does appear to be consistent. What I said a while ago was
14 because I had not paid sufficient attention to the date stated here. The
15 19th of January is the right date.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Kovacevic, just correct me, did you not say at
17 the beginning of your testimony that when you were appointed minister,
18 you were promoted to colonel-general?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I don't think I
20 said that.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's fine.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a number for
23 this. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted. May it please be given
25 a number.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm advised that it is already in evidence.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excellent.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: P1906.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. General, at one point in time did you receive the rank of
7 major-general in the VJ?
8 A. Yes, it was at one of the Supreme Command meetings.
9 General Mladic informed me that my promotion to the rank of general had
10 been approved by the Supreme Defence Council of the FRY, approved and
11 ratified, because all of the legal conditions had been met.
12 Q. When one is given the rank of general, does that affect one's
14 A. Yes, it does. The salary is higher than that which pertains to
15 lower ranks.
16 Q. Do you remember when exactly you got a pay rise, in relation to
17 this date, when Karadzic promoted you or later on when Mladic informed
18 you about the decree in Yugoslavia?
19 A. The pay rise came after my promotion was ratified in Yugoslavia.
20 Q. Were you served this decree, a copy of this decree promoting you
21 to the rank of major-general in the VJ?
22 A. No, never. Nor indeed have I ever seen a copy of that document.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move on to an entirely different
25 What can you tell us about the Contact Group plan and the view of
1 the political and military leaders of the RS regarding that plan on a
2 peaceful solution to the crisis in Bosnia.
3 A. I know that the leaders of the RS, at least to the extent that
4 this was debated at Supreme Command meetings, and President Karadzic were
5 committed to finding a way out of the existing crisis by peaceful means.
6 They were committed to putting a stop to the war. The Contact Group was
7 to try and understand the position of Bosnian Serbs. They were not to be
8 forced into a position where they would be vanquished or crushed in any
9 of the enclaves. Rather, they should remain within the framework of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina as internationally recognised country, nevertheless as
11 a separate entity which in territorial terms would have links it to the
12 territory of the then-FRY.
13 Q. Did you attend any of the Supreme Command meetings at which this
14 was debated, the solution proposed by the Contact Group?
15 A. Yes, I did attend some meetings where that was discussed.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am afraid we'll have to move into
17 private session now, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
19 [Private session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to seek the Chamber's
23 approval now for me to look at something from Ratko Mladic's documents
24 with this witness. For familiar reasons it was not in our previous
25 65 ter list. This 65 ter 03378D. That's the Defence list. This is from
1 folder 31, for the benefits of my friends from the OTP. The
2 Supreme Command meeting dated the 14th of July, 1994. I would like to
3 seek the Chamber's approval to orally introduce this document to our list
4 and then comment on a number of things with the witness.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: I have no objection.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You may, sir.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's about to appear on our screens.
9 Q. The 14th of July, 1994, Supreme Command meeting of the RS. We
10 see the agenda there as stated:
11 "1. Discussion of the implications of accepting or rejecting the
12 Contact Group plan.
13 "2. Supplying the army.
14 "3. Personnel issues."
15 General, there's one thing I would like to ask you to do. We
16 cannot tell who attended the meeting and your name is not among those who
17 contributed. Nevertheless, during proofing I had you read this document.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to page 2 for a
19 moment and then we'll be going back to page 1.
20 Q. On page 2 -- then we are about to look at the English too.
21 "General Mladic: Reject the plan, win the war." In capital
23 During proofing I read this back to you. Did that jog your
24 memory in any way? Were you there?
25 A. Yes, I'm looking at this utterance by General Mladic:
1 "Reject the plan, win the war."
2 I fully remember hearing these words at the Supreme Command
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please go back to the
5 previous page.
6 Q. And may I have you comment, please, on the following, what it
7 says under number 1: "Karadzic, item 1."
8 And then in parentheses it says:
9 "(Speaking spontaneously, as usual)" or extemporising as usual,
10 "and then 48 per cent is being offered and it is believed that we will
11 get 1 per cent in Sarajevo. We told Herd yesterday that 49 to 51 was a
12 one-day offer from the Serbs and the Croats."
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I see a discrepancy with the English
14 there. It reads: "We told Hertz."
15 Q. Do you know who Herd was at the time?
16 A. I don't remember Herd.
17 Q. Douglas Herd, doesn't that ring a bell?
18 A. The name does ring a bell but I can't remember his specific role
19 in these talks.
20 Q. Karadzic is quoted there as saying something. Does that jog your
21 memory? What he is telling the Supreme Command here?
22 A. Yes, I remember that. There is was this permanent offer that
23 Mr. Karadzic was telling the Supreme Command about as well as the
24 government in parliament. It's entirely consistent with my memory of how
25 things happened at the time.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just wanted to find out from Mr. Kovacevic if he
2 remembers what a "one-day offer" means in context?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It means the offer has been on the
4 table a long time because it's on the table every day.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, can you comment on the following sentence, it's right
8 underneath. Please look at that:
9 "The impression is that he is hesitant and inclined more to
10 accept than to reject."
11 And then next to that we see "RM" and then under lined, the two
12 letters. Can you see that?
13 A. Yes, I can.
14 Q. Can you explain what that means?
15 A. I fully agree. My impression was always, based on my knowledge
16 of such information, that President Karadzic was more inclined to accept
17 and less inclined to refuse. The remark is consistent with my own view.
18 "RM" stands for "Ratko Mladic," that means he wrote that.
19 Q. Does this take you back to the meeting? Did Ratko Mladic
20 actually utter this in public, or is it an observation that he jotted
21 down in this notebook? Also what it says in parentheses, "extemporising
22 as usual"?
23 A. No, he didn't actually voice this. He secretly or covertly made
24 a note to himself.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move on to page 3.
2 There are some sections here that are quite self-explanatory. Page 3 in
3 the B/C/S.
4 Q. We looked at the agenda a minute ago. Number 2 is supplying the
5 army, number 3 is personnel issues. So again I'm looking at the words
6 attributed to President Karadzic. It reads:
7 "Some of the officers are behaving towards the SDS and the
8 civilian authorities as if they were not theirs."
9 Does that take you back, sir? Was this the position expressed by
10 Karadzic at that meeting?
11 A. Yes, I remember that. That was an ongoing problem and here it
12 found this expression and was expressed by this assessment.
13 Q. The next thing it reads:
14 "3 per cent of the budget has gone to the army. It is a
15 catastrophe. Had the entire GDP gone to the army, it would have been
16 still very little."
17 What exactly did Karadzic mean by that?
18 A. That was another problem between Karadzic and Mladic. It is
19 quite true that Karadzic held this view; namely, the view that the army
20 was asking too much and that no budget could cope with such demands.
21 Q. The last sentence, again I see a discrepancy between the B/C/S
22 and the English. I'll read it the way I see it and you correct me if I'm
23 wrong, please.
24 "250.000 dinars was in the HK," that's what I see, "for two and a
25 half months." And the translation reads "KK." Can we agree that the
1 abbreviation there is "HK" and what is that a reference to?
2 A. I'm tell you what I know and what it actually says.
3 250.000 dinars remained for two and a half months in the Herzegovina
5 Q. Why would he say something like this at a Supreme Command
7 A. Because he personally used some extra budgetary funds - when I
8 say "he," I mean Karadzic - to send funds to the Herzegovina Corps so
9 they could make some purchases on their behalf. Nevertheless, they did
10 not do that. And they did not use the funds. The funds had been unused
11 for two and a half months by this time.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can this document be exhibited and
13 for the time being can it be placed under seal, and can we also go back
14 into open session, please.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
16 please be given an exhibit number, kept under seal.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
18 Exhibit D418, admitted under seal. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, we have heard a great deal of evidence before this
25 Chamber what the decision of the authorities of the RS was in relation to
1 this Contact Group plan. We also heard what had happened between the FRY
2 and Republika Srpska thereafter.
3 Did you, yourself, feel any consequences flowing from the failure
4 to accept the Contact Group plan, and if so, which ones?
5 A. The consequences were indeed heavy and negative for the entire
6 government, and the authorities as a whole. I personally had great many
7 problems, as did other leaders, and I mean Mladic, Karadzic,
8 Biljana Plavsic, Koljevic, and several other ministers --
9 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm going to object.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: The question was a very narrow question. It was
12 whether he felt any consequences flowing from the failure to accept the
13 the Contact Group plan, and now we are going into potentially
14 consequences for other people. He has named Plavsic, Koljevic, Karadzic,
15 et cetera. So it's not responsive to the question and I object on that
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the objection is
18 premature. The witness is answering for himself and the fact that he is
19 mentioning other individuals as well does not mean that he has gone
20 beyond the scope of my question. I'm sure that he can explain why he has
21 been referring to other individuals as well.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just so that we avoid objections. Can you ask him
23 to stick to the consequences that he personally felt, like the question
24 said; and if you want to know about consequences for other people, then
25 you can put that question later.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. General, please try and give answers that will focus on my
3 questions and so your stay in The Hague will be much shorter. So you
4 personally, which were the consequences you felt as a result of the
5 rejection of the Contact Group plan?
6 A. I was forfeited my salary. I was banned from physically entering
7 into the FRY. My photograph, together with my particulars, was held by
8 the staff at all the border crossings. It was a sort of a wanted list
9 issued by the organs of the FRY. They were instructed that should I be
10 seen at one of the border crossings, that I should be banned from
11 entering the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Such were the measures
12 implemented against me and the result was that I did not have any means
13 of livelihood and I could not visit my family in Belgrade.
14 Q. Do you recall how long the measures you've just described for us
15 were in force?
16 A. All the way through to the end of 1995.
17 Q. For how long did you go without your salary?
18 A. I think four or five months.
19 Q. Do you know if the measures of forfeiture of pay were applied to
20 other individuals, and if so, which ones?
21 A. I do know that all the officers who had their status settled in
22 Yugoslavia were forfeited their pay. However, I was the only one who was
23 banned from entering Yugoslavia.
24 Q. The ban of entry to Yugoslavia was it enforced in relation to any
25 other individuals but for yourself and the ones that you said did not
1 have that measure?
2 A. Well, I know that my photograph had been distributed to all the
3 border crossings with such instructions. I don't know about the others.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you asked that question, the witness
6 "However, I was the only one who was banned from entering
8 You asked exactly that question after he has given you that
9 answer. And now he gives you a different answer, he says he doesn't
10 know. Just before you asked, he said he knew that he was the only one.
11 Now we are confused, we don't know which one to accept.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness is the best
13 placed to explain this if we created this confusion.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By your leave, the ban of entry,
15 complete with the photograph and particulars, related to Karadzic,
16 Krajisnik, Biljana Plavsic, Koljevic, and myself. And I was the only
17 officer -- the only general of the VRS among them. That was why I said
18 that I was the only one because I meant in relation to my membership of
19 the army and my generalship. I was the only one who had that ban of
20 entry that was present at all the border crossings.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let us proceed in chronological order, General. You told us when
24 it was that you were replaced as defence minister. Can you tell us what
25 was the information you had regarding the reasons for your removal, and
1 did you know who was behind it?
2 A. I didn't have this information, not any reliable information,
3 until I was served the decree signed by the FRY president, Lilic. I
4 turned to President Karadzic with the request for an explanation as to
5 why I was being retired.
6 Q. General, pause there. We haven't got to that point yet. We want
7 to cover the period between mid-1994 and mid-1995. I only wanted to know
8 whether you knew why you were replaced as defence minister in the summer
9 of 1994. Did you ever learn the reasons why and the individuals behind
10 your removal?
11 A. Yes, I did. President Karadzic told me that the Main Board of
12 the Serbian Democratic Party had asked him to replace me as the defence
13 minister because they did not trust me, and because I was not a yes man
14 and did not obey the party.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could you clarify this little confusion in my
16 mind. You first answered this question by saying you did not know until
17 you were served with a decree signed by the FRY president, Lilic. Now
18 you say you were advised by President Karadzic that the Main Board of the
19 Serbian Democratic Party asked that you be replaced because they did not
20 trust you, because you were not a yes man.
21 How come that -- first of all there are two things. You said you
22 didn't know about this until you were served with a decree, which means
23 you couldn't have heard it from Karadzic. Now, I don't know when
24 Karadzic told you that the board said this, but more importantly, I don't
25 know -- can you explain why you were being replaced by a decree issued by
1 an FRY president?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I caused the confusion and I
3 apologise truly. By your leave, the answer I gave to the last question
4 put by Mr. Lukic is correct. I was replaced as defence minister for the
5 reasons I stated and which originated from the executive committee of the
6 Serbian Democratic Party. As for my retirement, my later retirement,
7 that's where I can explain in the context of Mr. Lilic's decree.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Once you were replaced as defence minister, you were appointed
11 deputy defence minister, as we heard from you, and this -- you continued
12 in this position until the summer of 1995. Did you continue to have
13 contacts with Karadzic and Mladic in that new position of yours, and if
14 so, what did this contact have to do with?
15 A. Yes. I had contact with them but only at the meetings of the
16 state committee for centralised procurement of goods for the armed forces
17 of Republika Srpska. And possibly if they had any requests to make of
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just explain something for me again. They didn't
20 trust you as a minister but they trusted you as a deputy minister? Was
21 that the situation?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They only trusted me insofar I was
23 able to perform technical duties that nobody was trained or equipped to
24 deal with at that point in time. They did not want to dispense with me
25 fully, but they did place me in a position that was in the side-lines
1 completely. And they used the professional technical services I could
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say that as a deputy minister you were used to
4 do technical work, not political work?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh. We learn every day. Thank you so much.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We will now complete the picture you
8 just touched upon, Judge Moloto.
9 Q. Can you tell us who was appointed your successor, i.e., the new
10 defence minister?
11 A. Ninkovic was, who had previously been SDS president for the
12 region of Doboj and deputy of the SDS in the National Assembly of
13 Republika Srpska. Milan Ninkovic.
14 Q. Was he an officer too, as were you?
15 A. No, he was a civilian.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For the next topic we will have to
17 move into private session again.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
19 [Private session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar. Yes,
22 Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Again we are dealing with documents
24 belonging to Mr. Mladic, but we will be dealing with a document that we
25 got a year ago. I talked to Mr. Harmon and none of us are sure whether
1 the confidentiality status was abolished in relation to this diary from
2 Mr. Mladic, which I know was admitted into evidence through a bar motion.
3 So for the time being we should remain in private session and once all
4 these documents are declassified, we will apply for this to be public.
5 This document is not on our list --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, do you confirm?
7 MR. HARMON: Yes, I do, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's 65 ter Defence document 03375D.
10 This is a meeting at the command post held on the 11th of March, 1995.
11 Q. General, we went through this during proofing. This is a lengthy
12 entry and I only wish to dwell on a number of details. It says
13 "Kovacevic," and then it says, "a job in Greece." To make it easier for
14 the Trial Chamber to later analyse the document, can you just tell us
15 briefly when this meeting took place, what it was about, and against what
16 background the meeting was held?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Once we are done with this page,
18 could we please flip to the next page in both the B/C/S and the English.
19 Q. There is mention there of $2 million at the beginning of this
20 document. Could you just explain what that means.
21 A. I informed General Mladic that one should expect about $2 million
22 in terms of proceeds from the goods that were sold. That is what I had
23 been told by President Karadzic. The payment was to be made to one of
24 the accounts in Greece.
25 Q. On page 2 --
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, you can see that,
2 I'm reading directly.
3 Q. It reads:
4 "From Israel - they offer joint combat against extreme Islam.
5 "- offer the training of our men in Greece at their expense.
6 They offer us special weapons for 500 men - sniper rifles for free - they
7 said it came to Bihac. I don't know whether it was given to Serbia."
8 End of quote.
9 General, this entry, what is it about, who is it about?
10 A. Yes, I remember this. I made two visits it to the Greek prime
11 minister, Mr. Papandreou. I also had a meeting with their foreign
12 minister, Mr. Papoulias, and their defence minister as well.
13 During one of these visits I was contacted by the Israeli
14 intelligence service. They informed me about quite a large number of
15 Mujahedin being dispatched to Bosnia-Herzegovina. They told me all about
16 the channels along which this operated and all about who was bank-rolling
17 the whole operation. They said the objective was to drive Serbs out of
18 certain areas altogether, specifically Ozren and Doboj.
19 They offered both weapons, a minor amount albeit, and to train
20 our men for free, but this was only to apply to fighting the Mujahedin.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, let me interrupt you, Mr. Kovacevic. In
22 your answer you tell us how you met the Greek prime minister and the
23 foreign minister and the defence minister, and that they offered to train
24 your men for free. But the question that is put to you is about an entry
25 that relates to Israel, not Greece. Look at the question that was put to
1 you on the screen.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I had to answer
3 like that. I was the one who was contacted. It wasn't something that
4 happened at my request. It was the Israeli intelligence service who
5 contacted me during my visit to Greece while I was visiting these
6 ministers. I did not at any point in time say that anyone from Greece or
7 indeed anyone from the Greek government made this offer. It was the
8 Israeli intelligence service and their representatives alone. More
9 specifically, the Mossad.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that. But if you had said that in
11 your answer that while you were in Greece you met Mossad people, rather
12 than tell us about Papandreou and other people, because those are not the
13 sources of your information. You confuse us. If you can please try to
14 focus on the question and answer the question. You see now you're --
15 instead of answering where you get the information from, you are giving
16 us the context, that you got the information while you were in Greece
17 meeting these people, and that's not part of the answer. And you will go
18 home sooner if you can do that. Thank you very much.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I truly apologise for my
20 clumsiness, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are not being clumsy, but it's in the manner
22 of speaking.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Next page, please, both the B/C/S and
24 the English. The last entry on that page, please.
25 Q. General, it reads, again your words, apparently:
1 "Through a certain (Nikolas) we can export plane engines to Iraq
2 and Libya - Iraq also asks for R/D spare parts for tanks. Libya owes
3 them a lot."
4 Can you please comment on that, what was that supposed to mean?
5 A. Yes, that's true. There was a mediator, a wealthy Greek offered
6 this kind of arrangement. He was entertaining business links to Libya
7 and Iraq.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Two pages further into the document,
10 both the B/C/S and the English, please.
11 Q. It reads:
12 "I'm still a freelancer. The problem is, Radovan thinks that I'm
13 working for you, and you think that I'm working for him. I can work a
14 lot, quietly and peacefully."
15 What did this entry mean, because you are quoted as saying that?
16 A. I was trying to let them know that I was under pressure from all
17 these insinuations to the effect that I was working for someone, be it
18 Karadzic or Mladic, which was in the way of my professional and technical
19 commitment. My commitment was to get this job done. I was trying to let
20 them know that I could achieve a lot on the quiet, but as long as no one
21 was meddling with my work and as long as no one was insinuating that I
22 was doing the work on for someone or on someone's behalf. This was a
23 purely professional endeavour for me.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] There is one thing that I would like
25 to repeat because of the English translation. The interpreters could
1 give me a hand with that. I don't think the English translation is
2 appropriate. Again, this one sentence:
3 "The problem is that Radovan thinks that I'm working for you, and
4 you think that I'm working for him. I can do or achieve or work a lot,
5 quietly and peacefully."
6 I think the context is much clearer now in relation to what the
7 official translation says. With regard to that, we have the correction
8 entered and may this please be received under seal.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted. May it please be given
10 an exhibit number and kept under seal.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
12 Exhibit D419, admitted under seal. Thank you.
11 Pages 12750-12754 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.
12 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, I would like to move on to a different topic, and namely
15 that of the relationship between Republika Srpska and the Republic of
16 Serbian Krajina. Can you tell us first of all, had you heard of the --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can the counsel repeat what sort of declaration
18 it was.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, can you please repeat what declaration it
20 was, Mr. Counsel.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Had you heard of the Prijedor declaration? Can you answer the
23 question, General?
24 A. Yes. A session was held of the Republika Srpska
25 National Assembly together with the deputies of the National Assembly of
1 the Republic of Serbian Krajina in the town of Prijedor. At that point,
2 a declaration was adopted which stated that a unified body of -- a single
3 body of territory would be set up, a single system of defence, a single
4 army which was supposed to be headed by General Ratko Mladic. A single
5 government would be introduced and a number of other issues were
6 addressed in other decisions.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up 00772D, a document
8 from the 65 ter list of the Defence.
9 Q. This is the Prijedor declaration about -- on the unification of
10 the RSK and the RS. The date is the 31st of October, 1992.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can look at paragraph 3,
12 we could scroll down the document.
13 Q. It reads:
14 "The two Assemblies proclaim that Republika Srpska and the
15 Republic of Serbian Krajina shall form a defensive alliance with the task
16 of providing equal protection to the freedom and integrity of the two
17 republics until a final political solution is reached."
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will read out another paragraph
19 which is on the following page, Your Honour. And I would like the
20 witness's answer to address both. I'm interested in the penultimate
21 paragraph, the 13th paragraph of the declaration. It's on the next page.
22 Q. Paragraph 13 reads:
23 "The Assemblies of Republika Srpska and the Republic of
24 Serbian Krajina proclaim the determination of the Serbian people in these
25 republics to unify their state. This unification will be postponed until
1 the expiry of the UN plan for the protection of the Krajina."
2 It's a document dating from October and I'm interested in the
3 subsequent period where you held the position we heard of. Did there
4 persist among the VRS and the political leadership of the RS to be
5 committed to the substance of this declaration?
6 A. Yes, I do know that there remained the desire for the unity and a
7 unified system of defence for the two countries.
8 Q. Do you know what the position of the FRY leadership was in
9 relation to the declaration and the commitments stated therein on the
10 part of the RS and the RSK?
11 A. I know that the FRY leadership wanted to prevent this. What I
12 saw as the problem was particularly the unification of special-purpose
13 industry companies. The governments of the RS and the RSK had charged me
14 with producing a programme to that effect. However, the leadership in
15 Belgrade explicitly forbade this. What I heard was that
16 President Bjelosevic forbade this and this programme was, in fact, never
18 Q. When it came to the unification of the political leaderships of
19 the RS and the RSK, did you know or hear of any other meetings or
20 agreements as a follow-up to the Prijedor declaration?
21 A. I heard from President Karadzic, at the time of my term within
22 the committee for centralised procurement, that he would personally see
23 to it that a unification is achieved above all of the defence systems of
24 both territories.
25 Q. Did you hear of the Drina plan?
1 A. No, I didn't hear of the plan.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. And I would like to stop
3 here for today, and I would like to tender this document into evidence.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
5 please be given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
7 Exhibit D420. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 Once again, Mr. Kovacevic, I remind you that you may not talk to
10 anybody about the case while you are still in recess until you are
11 completely excused from testifying. We have to break up for today.
12 We'll come back tomorrow at 9.00, same courtroom. Court adjourned to
13 Courtroom II, 9.00 in the morning, tomorrow.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 15th day of July,
16 2010, at 9.00 a.m.