1 Wednesday, 25 August 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.12 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody and welcome all back
6 from recess. I hope you all had a good break and are all ready to start
7 work and work hard.
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
10 everyone in and around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo
12 Perisic. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 May we have the appearances for the day starting with the
15 Prosecution, please.
16 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel,
17 everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, Salvatore Cannata, and
18 Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 And for the Defence.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
22 morning to everyone in the courtroom. Mr. Perisic is represented today
23 by Novak Lukic, Boris Zorko, and our intern Ms. O'Connor.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
25 Before we start, there's a little housekeeping matter to deal
1 with. At the last appearance we were told that Exhibits P33 and P39 were
2 admitted as public documents, and Registry informed the Trial Chamber
3 that they contained confidential information about the identity of
4 protected witnesses and requested that the Trial Chamber give an order on
5 their status. The Trial Chamber indicated that it required the
6 submissions of the parties before it can make that order, and the parties
7 agreed that they would make such submissions after the recess. This is
8 now after the recess.
9 Mr. Harmon.
10 MR. HARMON: I will be prepared to make some submissions after
11 the first break, Your Honour. I was -- I'm taken aback by this. I was
12 not informed of this, so I am not prepared. I apologise. After the
13 recess I will make submissions on this, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, are you equally taken by surprise?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I would actually say the same
16 thing that Mr. Harmon said.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. That being the case then, we'll hear the
18 parties after the break on -- these are Exhibits P33 and P39. Okay.
20 Mr. Lukic, your next witness.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are prepared to call
22 our next witness, Mr. Mile Novakovic.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: MILE NOVAKOVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated, sir.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before I hand you over to your counsel, I just
7 want to say thank you very much for coming to testify. The Trial Chamber
8 is advised that you may be requesting certain breaks as we go along, and
9 should you feel the need to do so, please don't hesitate. Just ask and
10 we'll listen.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. It's clear.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
13 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. Would you be kind enough
16 to tell your full name for the transcript.
17 A. I am Mile Novakovic.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, may I interrupt you. I'm very sorry to
19 do this.
20 Just for the record may the record show that the Chamber is
21 sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis in the absence of Judge Picard -- in the
22 absence of Judge David. Judge Picard is right here next to me.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, when were you born and where?
25 A. I was born on the 29th of April, 1950, in Kirin municipality of
1 Vrginmost in the former SFRY.
2 Q. And in which former republic was Vrginmost?
3 A. It was in the people's Republic of Croatia. That was what it was
4 called when I was born.
5 Q. General, I'm going to go quickly through your CV because that
6 will be important for us and the topics that we will be presenting to the
7 Court. I'm going to put a leading question to you, and you can add if
8 you have anything, because during our preparation for the testimony you
9 gave some remarks regarding your CV in view of certain duties.
10 When did you complete the military academy, General?
11 A. The 31st of June --
12 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the year.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I'm going to remind you about what we talked about during our
15 preparations. After my question, would you kindly wait before you begin
16 answering so that it can all be translated.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I hope you can notice that the
18 interpreter says she didn't hear the year. She heard the 31st of June
19 but didn't hear the year, neither did we.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 31st of July, 1972
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. After that, you completed a higher school, that is, the staff
23 command academy. When did you finish that approximately?
24 A. I finished that academy in Belgrade in 1981 -- actually, I
25 attended the academy from 1981 to 1983.
1 Q. After that, you completed your post-graduate studies. Could you
2 tell us the subject that you graduated in, and where did you attend your
3 post-graduate studies?
4 A. I completed my Ph.D. in the methodology of science or the
5 methodology of warfare. I completed that two-year study in Belgrade
7 Q. We will see in your personnel file that you began your studies at
8 the national defence school, and you suspended that education pursuant to
9 an order by the SSNO at the time; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that is correct. This top military school for war studies
11 was where I was sent on the 1st of September, 1991. I was there until
12 the 23rd of September of the same year, when pursuant to an order by the
13 SSNO I was sent to the war-affected area of the then-Yugoslavia. I went
14 to the territory of the former Yugoslav Republic
15 Q. And this interruption in your education, did that affect only you
16 in your class or everybody else in that class?
17 A. The education was suspended for all those who were attending the
18 school as well as the lower school that they were attending. This is the
19 command staff academy.
20 Q. General, the schools that you completed, can you tell us what
21 your grades were, what were your marks, generally, in those schools?
22 A. I was always given the top grades in all of the schools that I
24 Q. Now we're going to go through all of your duties, and we can see
25 from your personnel file that in your military professional career you
1 carried out all duties from the bottom up.
2 A. Yes, that is correct. I performed all command duties from the
3 lowest to the top one, practically the commander of the army.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at Mr. Novakovic's
5 personnel file on the screen now, please. This is Exhibit P1777. And
6 this is pages 6 and 7 in the B/C/S and pages 4, 5, and 6 in the English.
7 And we're going to go through some of the items in this personnel file.
8 Q. General, you will see on the screen in front of you a part of
9 your personnel file.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is ET 00611-7592
11 [as interpreted]. This is that page in the English. In the B/C/S this
12 is 06 -- Ah, you have it in the B/C/S. Yes, that is right.
13 Your Honours, I'm going to start from the entry of the
14 27th of April, 1990. This is the date in the right-hand column.
15 The English page is not the right page. This refers to
16 promotions. Can we look at the next page, please. The previous page in
17 the English, please.
18 We see this entry in the middle of the page, Your Honours.
19 Q. General, first we can see that from 1988, pursuant to the order
20 of the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, until 1990 you were in
21 the Koprivnica Garrison; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then you were assigned, pursuant to an SSNO order in
24 April 1990, to the 5th Military District to the 73rd Motorised Brigade,
25 and your rank at the time was colonel; is that correct?
1 A. No. At the time I was lieutenant-colonel, and I was assigned to
2 a duty that was supposed to carry the rank of colonel and that was the
3 commander of the 73rd Motorised Brigade as it is stated here.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you. The next entry we can see, and it's a
5 chronological gap there, and I want to see what happened here, and that
6 is that from August 1990, that is, the entry below the next one, pursuant
7 to the SSNO order you were assigned as assistant chief of training of the
8 commander of the 5th Military District in Zagreb. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. After that, you were sent to this training at the School for
11 National Defence from Zagreb
12 the 11th of April, 1999 [as interpreted]. As it says here in this entry,
13 the schooling was supposed to finish on the 1st of June, 1992, but you
14 had to leave early, and that is why the date, the 1st of July, 1992, is
15 there -- the 1st of June, 1992, is there; is that correct?
16 A. You've got the date when the order was drafted. The actual
17 schooling was supposed to start on the 1st of September of that year, and
18 it should have been completed in the summer of the following year.
19 Q. But the education was suspended. And then on the
20 27th of September, 1992, by an order of the Federal Secretariat for
21 National Defence, you were temporarily assigned to the
22 5th Military District, to the 1st Operations Group; is that correct?
23 A. I think we need to be precise here. I was not sent to the
24 1st Operations Group. What happened was that the command of that
25 operations group in charge of Banija and Kordun was formed in Belgrade
1 and I was one of the members of that command of the operative group,
2 which, as a command that was formed in Belgrade, was sent to the area
4 Q. We're going to discuss this further during your testimony. I'm
5 just going through all your posts chronologically. We will deal with all
6 of those details to the extent that they're relevant for these
8 After that, you were temporarily sent to the 4th Partisan Brigade
9 in Vrginmost as part of this 1st Operations Group by a decision of the
10 28th of October, 1991, for a period of three months. How long were you
11 there as the commander of the 4th Partisan Brigade?
12 A. During this time, I wasn't a commander of the
13 4th Partisan Brigade at all, but the commander of that TO group was
14 Captain Mladenovic. I was in that area as an operative from the superior
15 command, the command superior to this brigade, co-ordinating the work of
16 several units of the JNA and the Territorial Defence in this territory
17 where this 4th Brigade was. And you can understand this also if you see
18 that here there is no establishment rank that would be appropriate for
19 that particular duty. This is an operative assignment. It's not an
20 assignment to a duty by establishment.
21 Q. Thank you. Then it says that in December 1991 you were sent to
22 the TO in the Krajina, to the TO staff 3 OZ - I don't know what that
23 means - in Glina. The name of the unit was Banija-Kordun.
24 A. Since the Yugoslav People's Army at the time was being
25 restructured, the units that were in that area, and that was followed by
1 the arrival of UNPROFOR, the area that was under the responsibility of
2 the command of the 1st Operations Group for Kordun and Banija actually
3 formed two operations zones. That's what it means, OZ, operations zone.
4 One was in charge of Kordun and the other one was in charge of Banija. I
5 was assigned to the 3rd Operations Zone; that was responsible for Kordun.
6 Q. With an order by the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, in
7 April 1992 you were sent to the special units of the police of the MUP of
8 the Government of the RSK to the Vojnic Garrison; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I'm interested in the following entry in your personnel file,
11 which states the following: That on the 30th of May, 1992, you were sent
12 by an order of the Personnel Administration of the General Staff of the
13 Army of Yugoslavia
14 I'm asking you whether you were ever in the 1st Army of the Army of
16 A. I was never in the 1st Army of the Army of Yugoslavia. This
17 order was written at the time when the Yugoslav People's Army was
18 withdrawing from the Serbian Krajina territory. In order to maintain the
19 status of members of the Yugoslav People's Army in some way, it was
20 formally decided that officers of the Yugoslav People's Army, according
21 to their wishes, could state where they would be formally assigned within
22 the Yugoslav People's Army. And this is where this entry comes from.
23 One of the main intentions here was aimed at resolving some questions of
24 their status of senior officers who were withdrawing with the units and
25 the commands of the Yugoslav People's Army to the territory of
2 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether you withdrew or you
3 remained in the territory of the Serbian Krajina and what happened after
4 that in terms of your career. We don't actually see that here.
5 A. I didn't have any dilemmas there. I remained in that area
6 because I thought that if the people in that area were in danger, I as an
7 officer for whose education the taxes of those people paid, I should stay
8 there and defend them together with the people whose only given task by
9 the state was to pay taxes and to send their sons to the army. It would
10 have been immoral if I hadn't stayed.
11 Q. We're going to talk about that later, but the Serbian Army of the
12 Krajina was formed later. Did you have any duties within that army; and
13 if so, which ones and when? If you can please tell us.
14 A. This question, Mr. Lukic, arises from the fact that I gave a
15 slightly broader answer to your previous question, and I didn't actually
16 answer the question that you put to me. You asked me about these special
17 units of the milicija, and I didn't respond to that question.
18 The special police units existed before the formation of the
19 Serbian Army of the Krajina; and as you can see, from here I was sent to
20 those special police units pursuant to a formal order, and I was assigned
21 as the commander of the 80th Brigade of the special police units which
22 remained in the area. After that comes what you asked me. In late 1992,
23 I became a commander or the commander of the Serbian Army of the Krajina.
24 Q. How long were you commander of the Army of the Serb Republic
25 the Krajina?
1 A. From the end of October 1992 until February 1993.
2 Q. After that -- just a moment, please. Maybe I have to correct
3 you; you said February 1993.
4 A. 1994. Mistake. Mistake. And I see that that's the way it was
5 written here as well.
6 Q. Thank you. We'll go through the document later.
7 After February 1994, where were you, which duties did you
9 A. The particular post was called the Deputy Commander-in-Chief for
10 National Security and International Relations, and more often it was
11 defined as Assistant Supreme Commander for National Security and
12 International Relations.
13 Q. Supreme commander of which army, and which state does this
14 pertain to?
15 A. The Serb Army of the Krajina in the Serb Republic
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic, at page 10, line 18, the
17 question is:
18 "How long were you commander of the Army of the Serb Republic
19 the Krajina?"
20 And we are given the period as October 1992 to February 1994.
21 Now, at page 25, line 3, the witness now says:
22 "The particular post was called the Deputy Commander-in-Chief for
23 National Security and International Relations ..."
24 Now, was he a commander of the SVK or was he a deputy
25 Commander-in-Chief for national security and international relations, and
1 what is the difference between these two?
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. It was probably with the
3 question that I put afterwards.
4 Q. I perhaps confused you. Perhaps it wouldn't be right --
5 actually, after you were no longer commander of the Serb Republic
6 Krajina, that's what I meant.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Did he have any other duties after
8 that, that is to say, after February 1994, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I then understand that after February 1994 he
10 came down from being commander of the SVK to a lower position?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's right.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we get an answer, please, Mr. Witness.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, you heard the question put by His Honour Judge Moloto.
15 A. Well, I could not talk about the ranks involved in terms of these
16 two posts in any definite terms, but I can give you my opinion. I think
17 that His Honour is right, that in a way it was a lower-ranking position.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: And why was that? Why were you demoted?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The immediate cause, as I
20 understood it, was the conflict with Mr. Martic concerning certain views
21 and conclusions in terms of assessing the situation and concluding what
22 it was that should be done.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: This conflict with Mr. Martic, who did he have it
24 with? Was it with you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Martic was in conflict
1 with me partly as well. I think that one of the immediate pretexts for
2 this conflict was the deterioration of the internal political situation
3 of the Serb Republic
4 president of the republic.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for my own information, when you were then
6 removed as commander of the SVK, who then became the commander after you
7 of the SVK?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Celeketic.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. I just wanted to complete that
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I had actually intended to deal with
12 these questions in greater detail a bit later because I think they are of
13 relevance to our trial.
14 Q. Mr. Novakovic, we have yet another entry there, and I would just
15 like to put a brief question to you now and we will discuss it later.
16 It says that on the 12th of December, 1994, you were appointed by
17 decree of the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the
18 position of head and also assistant head of the Army of Yugoslavia for
19 the land forces in that particular administration of the Army of
21 General, did you ever actually perform those particular duties?
22 A. I never held that position. I never carried out those duties.
23 Q. We are going to discuss the facts related to this entry later.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we have the next page in B/C/S,
25 please, the last page. It's this page in English too -- no, it isn't.
1 No. The last page in English, please. The next page, please.
2 Q. General, it says here that your professional military service was
3 terminated by a decree of the president of the Federal Republic
5 of professional military service as of the 30th of December, 1994. Is
6 that when you were pensioned off, General, on that particular day, in
7 fact? Just briefly for the time being. We are going to discuss that
8 particular subject as well during your testimony.
9 A. This order on my retirement was communicated to me on the
10 17th of October, 1995.
11 Q. Tell us one more thing: Until the 17th of October, 1995, in
12 relation to the position that you had, the deputy supreme commander of
13 the SVK, did you hold any other position in any other army?
14 A. A duty in terms of establishment? Well, I didn't have that. I
15 mean I did not hold an establishment position with a particular
16 establishment rank. There wasn't an order appointing me to such a
17 position in the army. What we mentioned a moment ago, the chief of the
18 administration of the -- for the infantry, there were some other duties,
19 though, that I did carry out.
20 Q. In which army?
21 A. Well, in the Serb Army of the Krajina.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we clear one point up here. Part of the
24 question at page 13, starting from line 21, was that your professional
25 military service terminated on the 30th of December, 1994, by an order
1 dated the 22nd of December of that same year. Now, a little later you
2 say this order was communicated to you on the 17th of October, 1995
3 My question to you is: Between the 30th of December, 1994, and
4 the 17th of October, 1995, what were you doing by way of work, if
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From a professional point of view,
7 I was still deputy or assistant supreme commander for national security
8 and international relations, and in that period of time, up until the
9 people and army left the republic of the Serb Krajina, that is to say
10 until the 6th or 10th of December -- no, actually, the
11 10th of August, 1995, I performed that particular duty.
12 From the 10th of August and then up until sometime at the end of
13 September 1995, I was in Banja Luka, in Republika Srpska, and I did not
14 have any position whatsoever because the Republic of the Serb Krajina no
15 longer existed.
16 Towards the end of September 1995, I came to Belgrade. I did not
17 have any position then either.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: And how was this order communicated to you on the
19 17th of October, 1995?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was communicated to me
21 personally by Mr. Perisic.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was it by -- in written form or orally?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, he was given this
24 task by the Supreme Defence Council, to communicate this to us orally.
25 The orders about that were expressed in written form, of course.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, I ask the question again. Was the order
2 communicated to you orally or in written form?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this order was
4 communicated to me orally and the order, or rather, the decree of the
5 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in written form was given
6 to me as well.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: And did it retire you with effect from the
8 30th of December, 1994? You're getting it in 1995, but it retires you a
9 year earlier; is that correct?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it's a question of
11 antedating the decision on retirement. There was a legal --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Novakovic, please don't anticipate my next
13 questions. Just answer the question as I ask it. Were you retired on
14 the 17th of October, 1995, with effect from the 30th of December, 1994
15 Did the order say that in fact your term of retirement takes effect on
16 the 30th of December, 1994, even though you received it in October 1995?
17 You can say yes or no.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I wanted to go through all of these
22 questions later on with the witness, Your Honour, through specific
23 documents, but I understand your interest, of course. Of course, I fully
24 understand your point.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... and what is
1 being discussed must make logical sense to us, and if we don't
2 understand, then we get to ask a question.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I believe that all in the
4 courtroom know, but we were all on leave, there was court recess,
5 et cetera.
6 Q. When you say that you came to Serbia on the 10th of August, 1995
7 what was it that happened in August 1995 that made you leave the
8 Republic of the Serb Krajina? Could you just tell us in one sentence.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think he was in Banja Luka, in the Republika
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, yes, yes. Yes. That's
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 10th of August, I left the
14 territory of the Republic of the Serb Krajina after a general Croatian
15 offensive started on the 4th of August against the UN protected area,
16 that is to say, the Republic of the Serb Krajina. On the 10th of August,
17 as His Honour said, I came to Banja Luka.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
19 microphones please be switched off when the witness is speaking. We can
20 barely hear him anyway.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the interpreter ask that when the
22 witness is speaking could all the mikes be switched off because they
23 don't hear him. So when you've put your question, please switch off your
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll do my best. I'll
1 make a maximum effort, although I have a bit of a problem with this
2 machine in front of me.
3 Q. Let us now look at your personnel file in terms of the ranks you
4 held, General. Let us see your promotions, et cetera.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So let us look at B/C/S page 4 in
6 this document, and in English let us see 0611-7591, page 1. I will only
7 deal with this last period that is relevant to our trial.
8 Q. These are your promotions as stated in your personnel file in the
9 Army of Yugoslavia
10 you got an exceptional promotion to the rank of infantry colonel; right?
11 A. Yes, that is right.
12 Q. Then it says below that by a decree of the president of the
13 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the 10th of November, 1993
14 promoted to the rank of major-general of the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 First of all, I'm going to ask you whether that is correct, what
16 is written here?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. Were you promoted previously or later to this same position of
19 major-general in the Serb Republic
20 perhaps when that happened?
21 A. I was promoted to the rank of major-general of the Serb -- of the
22 Army of the Serb Republic
23 I cannot remember exactly. That is to say, more than a year before than
24 what we see here in terms of the Army of Yugoslavia, major-general,
25 10th of November, 1993. That was at the time when I was appointed
1 commander of the Army of Serb Republic of the Krajina.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: So Mr. Lukic was incorrect to say that you were
3 made a major-general of the Army of Yugoslavia; you were actually made a
4 major-general of the Army of Serbian Krajina? Thanks.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, on the 27th, or
6 sometime in October 1992, I was promoted as major-general of the
7 Serbian Army of the Krajina.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just to avoid confusion, this decree
10 of the president of the FRY is the decree issued by President Lilic on
11 the 10th of November, 1993, promoting him to the rank of major-general of
12 the Army of Yugoslavia
13 recall. I'm actually then going back to what happened previously in the
14 Serbian Army of the Krajina.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you for the explanation.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I'm -- perhaps I interpreted
17 something erroneously, but that was the gist of what I read from the
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fortunately or unfortunately, this document is so
20 unreadable that I'm not even looking at it, so I can't even look at it.
21 There's nothing I can see there. So I'm trying to make sure that what is
22 said between you and the witness is absolutely correct. And where there
23 is a little discrepancy, that's why I keep interjecting, because I can't
24 verify from this document.
25 I see this is a Prosecution exhibit. Do you have no better copy
1 than this, Mr. Harmon?
2 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we have an excellent copy. I have a
3 hard copy here --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have an excellent copy?
5 MR. HARMON: We have an excellent copy. I can give Your Honour,
6 if you like, my hard copy or a spare hard copy we have.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just if we could upload it into the record because
8 when we arrive at the judgement this is what we're going to rely on and
9 it's hardly readable.
10 MR. HARMON: My copy, Your Honour, I will say, on my monitor is
11 readable. I'm not sure if there's a problem with Your Honour's monitor,
12 but mine's very legible.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Maybe the problem is with my monitor.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Harmon. Mr. Registrar will
16 try and help me.
17 You can continue, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And we can finish with this last entry about your promotions in
20 your personnel file, and that is that by a decree of the president of the
21 FRY on the 31st of December, 1994, you're exceptionally promoted to the
22 rank of lieutenant-general. This is again by decree of the president of
23 the FRY, Lilic, to the Army of Yugoslavia
24 promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general in the army -- the Serbian
25 Army of the Krajina and do you know when this was?
1 A. I was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general in the Army of
2 the Serbian Krajina sometime in the course of 1994. I don't remember the
3 exact date. I don't have that order.
4 Q. Very well. I have now completed my questions about your
5 professional background. I have a few other general questions.
6 Have you ever testified before the Hague Tribunal?
7 A. No.
8 Q. And I think that Mr. Harmon will not object to a leading question
9 on this topic. Twice the OTP interviewed you in the capacity of witness.
10 I think this was in October 2000 and February and March of 2001; is that
12 A. Yes, that is correct. The first interview took place in
13 Banja Luka when the OTP investigators were still not allowed to come to
16 Q. General, how long have you known General Perisic? Since when
17 have you known him?
18 A. I've known General Perisic since 1989.
19 Q. You were then serving in Koprivica; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you recall where he was at the time?
22 A. I was commander of the 73rd Motorised Brigade in the
23 Koprivica Garrison at the time, and Mr. Perisic was in the artillery
24 school in Zadar, training commissioned and non-commissioned officers in
25 the artillery.
1 Q. Since we're going to hear a lot about meetings when he became the
2 chief of the armed forces of Yugoslavia
3 August 1993, did you see him?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the last time the witness made
5 reference to a date was when he talked about 1989. Now you are putting
6 your question to him and you say "... in that period, in 1993,
7 August 1993 ..." I'm not quite sure what you're talking about. Just read
8 from page 21.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I just think the
10 translation is bad and that's what's creating a problem. In the period
11 from 1989 until August 1993 when General Perisic became the Chief of the
12 General Staff; that was my question. Did they see each other in that
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what you should add in your question, 1993
15 when General Perisic became the commander of the General Staff. Then we
16 know why you are asking -- you are putting the date 1993. There's
17 nothing wrong with the translation; there's everything wrong with the
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I answer the
20 question now?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, sir, if you now understand it. I didn't
22 understand it. You may.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do understand the question now.
24 In 1989, I saw him on several occasions at an artillery
25 training-ground where I had my artillery unit to train in the artillery
1 training centre. My soldiers and cadets were there for training. After
2 that, General Perisic came to the north-western front command in Zagreb
3 to the operations and training organ, and that was when I saw him perhaps
4 two or three times, during 1989 and early 1990 this was. From that time
5 until August 1993, I did not see him at all.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. Now we're going to move to some direct questions, and
8 that is for you to tell us briefly what I'm interested in when you were
9 in Zagreb
11 JNA officers in Zagreb
12 tell us?
13 A. As a consequence of the unrelenting propaganda, it was very
14 intense propaganda which would use seven insulting terms in the same
15 sentence, as the JNA and members of the JNA were considered as the
16 greatest enemies, of course when the commands and the units in the
17 barracks were thought of in the same way all of a sudden.
18 Q. And what did you know at the time? Was there any kind of secret
19 arming outside of the structure of the state organs, and how was it, and
20 what happened as far as you know?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do think, Mr. Lukic, even though Mr. Harmon may
22 not be objecting, that that's a very leading question. And I think
23 you're now beginning to talk about the beginning of the war, and I think
24 it's only fair that the witness begin to tell us what he knows.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you do, would you appreciate a break of
2 30 minutes to rephrase your question and we come back?
3 We'll take --
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I will do my best. I will use my
5 time as much as I can.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. We'll take a break and come back at
7 quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I believe the parties are now ready to make
12 submissions on P33 and P39.
13 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much. During the recess, I was
16 apprised of the problem; I discussed the issue with Mr. Lukic; and we
17 have a proposal. I understand that P33 and P39 both as presently in the
18 system contain sensitive information. The proposal that I have and
19 that -- which Mr. Lukic agrees with is that we be granted permission to
20 upload redacted versions of P33 and P39. We will take out the sensitive
21 information. We will keep in the other information. And it would be a
22 public document then, as redacted.
23 So if the Court gives us permission to upload new versions of P33
24 and P39, which I understood were draft transcripts and not the official
25 transcripts, then we will upload the official transcripts with the
1 sensitive information redacted from it.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand that to mean that in the system we
3 are going to have two versions, the redacted version and unredacted
5 MR. HARMON: No --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Because currently we have an unredacted version
7 but it is under seal.
8 MR. HARMON: My proposal would be that we put in a new -- we
9 substitute new documents for P33 and P39. The substituted documents
10 would be redacted, the sensitive information would be redacted out of it.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. My problem with that is that -- and the
12 Chamber is not apprised of the sensitive part.
13 MR. HARMON: I see. It was --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question really that came from Registry was:
15 Should we keep it under seal or should we not keep it under seal?
16 MR. HARMON: Well, obviously if it contains sensitive
17 information, we should keep it under seal for the time being.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is under seal for the time being.
19 MR. HARMON: Yes.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, the question is: Should it be under seal
22 MR. HARMON: Well, that's -- that's the rut. It should not be
23 under seal permanently if it doesn't have the sensitive information in
24 it. If we are permitted to upload a new version of P33 and P39 into the
25 system but -- having taken out the sensitive information relating to
1 witnesses or identification factors that relate to protected witnesses,
2 if we can remove that and upload then a redacted version of P33 and P39,
3 then there's no reason why that can't be public.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That is true, and I hear that that's the rut. The
5 flip side of that rut is that then the Chamber does not know the
6 identity. And we would like to know the identity when we do arrive at
7 judgement; we would like to know who we are talking about. And we
8 undertake, if you permit us to keep the documents under seal permanently,
9 we undertake not to reveal the sensitive information.
10 MR. HARMON: Well, that's fine as far as the Prosecution is
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic?
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] From what I understood in my
14 conversation with Mr. Harmon is that for the needs of this trial the
15 information which is public is needed. Mr. Harmon and I, as parties, are
16 not interested in the confidential information contained in that
17 document. So if the parties agree, then the things that the parties do
18 not wish to present in the trial should not be of consequence to you
19 either. If there was some items that were confidential but that were of
20 interest to Mr. Harmon, then there would be some point in keeping the
21 documents confidential. But, actually, the confidential parts of those
22 documents are not relevant for this particular trial. So in that sense,
23 this arrangement would then be quite appropriate. At least that's how I
24 understood matters to stand.
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if I may, I'm also -- what I've been
1 told is what's contained in P33 and P39 is the -- on one of the pages,
2 apparently, there's information that relates and identifies a --
3 protected witnesses. And what we're seeking to do is merely remove the
4 page that has the sensitive witness identification from the respective
5 exhibits. The 92 ter packages don't relate to those protected witnesses
6 whatsoever. Apparently it was -- must have been a copying mistake or a
7 copying error when they uploaded the document into court. The
8 transcript, I am told, on one of the pages, either the beginning or the
9 last page, there was -- or the last page, there was the next witness who
10 must have appeared and whose identity was exposed in what is now P33 and
12 So the intent is merely to take off that last page that
13 identifies the next witness.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, if -- from the Chamber's point of view - and
15 here let me not even say from the Chamber's point of view, let me talk
16 for myself - I'm a bit slow on the uptake, and I find it very difficult
17 to comprehend documents which are redacted all over the show. And I
18 would like to get the full picture. My question is: If you take off
19 that page, will I be able to get the full picture?
20 MR. HARMON: I am told yes, you will be, because it's just one
21 side of a page that has the sensitive information.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I'm in your hands.
23 MR. HARMON: I think the Registrar will confirm that,
24 Your Honour.
25 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I'm in your hands. You may upload the
2 redacted version.
3 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
5 Can we call the witness, please.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Will the parties advise the Chamber once they have
8 uploaded that redacted version so that the Registrar might be advised
10 MR. HARMON: We will, Your Honour. And then since they are
11 currently under seal, I am requesting that the redacted versions then not
12 be under seal but be public.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Indeed they will be public.
14 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is so ordered.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. General, in the old SFRY, what comprised the armed forces of the
21 A. There were two components of the armed forces: The Yugoslav
22 People's Army and the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. Outside of those components, would anybody be able to dispose
24 with the weapons; and if so, in which context, weapons and ammunition?
25 A. There were units of the police as well. They were armed and
1 their reserve forces were also able to have weapons, of course only
2 regular rifles, not any other kind of weapon.
3 Q. And were there any changes in relation to these formations after
4 the multi-party elections in late 1980s and early 1990s?
5 A. At the time, I was serving in the then-Republic of Croatia
6 as an officer, I had information that according to the laws at the time
7 there was illegal arming going on, organised and implemented by the new
8 authorities in Croatia
9 Q. Can you please tell us what was illegal about that arming and
10 what were the sources of it?
11 A. Perhaps it would be best if I gave some examples. At one point
12 in time, a plane landed at the Pleso Airport
13 20.000 rifles. We had information about this in the sense that the
14 weapons were being shipped by trailer trucks from Croatia, that it was
15 secretly obtained, and that it was being distributed on the basis of
16 party affiliation. And it was being given to newly admitted members of
17 the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia
18 the weapons were arriving from Bulgaria
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. I would like you to clarify your answer,
21 Mr. Novakovic. You told us that a plane landed in the Pleso Airport
23 information that the weapons were being shipped by trailer trucks from
25 from Pleso Airport
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, if
3 that's how I put it. As far as the aeroplane is concerned, it landed at
4 Pleso Airport
5 shipment of weapons. The trailer trucks brought the weapons across the
6 border from the neighbouring country of Hungary.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're talking about two different shipments? The
8 one shipment came by plane, another shipment came by trucks across the
9 border. If you could please -- yeah. Okay.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And as you said earlier, this component of the armed forces, the
15 TO, did it also have weapons and ammunition, and what happened to that in
16 that period?
17 A. As far as I understood, because of the deteriorating political
18 situation a decision was made at the level of the -- of Yugoslavia, and
19 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence that was in charge of that
20 area issued an order that weapons of the Territorial Defence should be
21 transferred to depots under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army.
22 The same thing was done with the weapons which were intended for the
23 reserve forces of the Ministry of the Interior.
24 Q. I already referred to the period. Can you please tell us
25 approximately the period to which this refers to, what you just
1 described, approximately, if you can just tell us.
2 A. This was -- this was in the summer of 1999 -- actually, it was
3 the end of summer and early autumn of 1990.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not 1999?
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. The witness
6 corrected it.
7 Q. You corrected yourself, sir; right? It's 1990?
8 A. Yes, that is correct, 1990.
9 Q. And what was the attitude of the political leadership of Croatia
10 in relation to these decisions for the TO weapons and ammunition to be
11 placed in JNA depots?
12 A. They objected to this decision. But as far as I know and as far
13 as I was able to find out, the decision was implemented.
14 Q. And what was the position of the leadership of the Republic of
16 A. At the time, the Croatian leadership aspired to simply turn the
17 Territorial Defence into a republican army. However, the commander of
18 the Territorial Defence of Croatia
19 Croat, refused that because the way he understood it this was something
20 that was counter to the provisions of the constitution.
21 Q. Were organised armed forces set up in Croatia; and if so, when?
22 A. From that time onwards, armed forces were being created in the
23 territory of Croatia
24 and Croatia
25 paramilitary. These oversized units were first set up within the
1 Ministry of the Interior, and then a formation was established that was
2 called the National Guards Corps.
3 Q. General, have you heard of Imre Agotic?
4 A. Mr. Agotic was a colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army, a
5 security officer who was serving in the command of the 5th Air Corps in
7 were - perhaps I could even say - friends.
8 Q. How long did he stay on in the JNA -- or, actually, I don't want
9 to lead. Did he stay on in the JNA throughout? If not, what happened to
11 A. As far as I know, I remember that on the 23rd of July, 1991
12 were in Sisak together at a celebration commemorating -- no, no, it was
13 in 1990, the 23rd of July, 1990. We attended the commemoration of the
14 day when the uprising against the occupier started, and that had happened
15 in 1941. This was a date that had been commemorated throughout the
16 existence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Later on - I
17 cannot say exactly when - but at any rate it was in 1991, in the
18 beginning of 1991 at the latest, Mr. Agotic joined these newly
19 established armed forces that were under the control of the new
20 authorities in Croatia
21 Q. Do you perhaps know whether he held a particular position within
22 the ZNG later, Mr. Agotic?
23 A. I don't know what position he held in this National Guards Corps
24 as it was called, the ZNG. However, I know that later on during the war
25 he was in the military office of the president of Croatia,
1 President Tudjman.
2 Q. Does the name of General Stipetic mean anything to you, and can
3 you just tell us in a few words whether he stayed on in the JNA; and if
4 not, where did he go?
5 A. General Stipetic was General Perisic's boss in Zagreb for a while
6 too. He was my boss as well during 1991, that is, while we were together
7 in the command of the north-west field in Zagreb. It commanded most of
9 Q. At one point did he leave the JNA, and where did he end up?
10 A. Sometime in the summer, June or July 1991, this command of ours
11 in Zagreb
12 the armed forces of these newly established units that were under the
13 control of the new Croatian authorities. General Stipetic was on leave,
14 on vacation. At one point, while he was on vacation, these forces
15 carried out an armed attack, a fire attack, against the command building.
16 On the next day, General Stipetic --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]... Mr. --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was surprised. He saw what the
19 effects of the attack were, and then it was publicly declared that he had
20 joined the new Croatian armed forces, as he had put it.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Novakovic, we -- it does interest us from a
22 historical purpose -- point of view to hear all this detail, but may I
23 implore you to please listen to the question and try to be as brief as
24 possible in answering the question.
25 The question was: "At one point did he leave the JNA, and where
1 did he end up?"
2 Yes, he did leave the JNA. He ended up being part of this group.
3 Then we follow you nicely. You see? Okay. Thank you so much.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. At the time, were you aware of any secret arming of the Serb
7 people in the territory of Croatia
8 A. I think that there was such arming. First of all, in these Serb
9 areas, guards were organised and patrols. They used sports weapons and
10 hunting weapons. At one point in time, it became noticeable that some
11 old types of weaponry appeared. To tell you the truth, I didn't know
12 exactly where that had come from. That is what I can say about this
13 secret arming.
14 Q. At the time, was there any official mobilisation; and if so, who
15 responded to these calls?
16 A. At the time, the Yugoslav People's Army tried to mobilise some
17 war-time units. When I say "war-time units," that means units that do
18 not exist in peace time. When necessary, they are developed in
19 accordance with mobilisation plans. Call-up papers were sent out, but it
20 was mainly Serbs who responded to them.
21 Q. Do you know whether these Serbs who had been mobilised were being
22 armed by the JNA; and if so, what happened with those weapons?
23 A. There was a normal procedure involved. Once these people
24 reported to where they were supposed to report, as stated in the call-up
25 papers, they were issued with a uniform. Most military conscripts had
1 uniforms anyway, so they were supposed to be issued with uniforms and
3 Q. General, from your point of view, what was the reason for this
4 extensive arming in the way you had described it? What kind of
5 inter-ethnic tensions were there in the area, if any?
6 A. Mr. Lukic, please put a more specific question to me. Are you
7 asking me about the Serb side and the Croatian side or just one of them?
8 Q. I had put a general question in -- on purpose, but I fully concur
9 with what you said just now. There should be a distinction.
10 What were the intentions of the Croatian side when they were
11 arming themselves as you had described it?
12 A. The intentions were to create a fully Independent State, to be
13 separated from Yugoslavia
15 Q. On what kind of information do you base this fact that you just
16 communicated to us?
17 A. I had this kind of information as a JNA officer on the one hand,
18 and on the other hand everyone who followed political developments in the
19 media were aware of that too because the Croatian authorities had
20 publicly declared this goal of theirs.
21 Q. In your view, what were the reasons why the citizens of Serb
22 ethnicity started arming themselves in Croatia at the time?
23 A. The Serb people in Croatia
24 impartial because I belong to the same people. There was a historic
25 memory in the minds of these people, and they remembered what happened to
1 them when they were an Independent State
2 1945 these people were exposed to genocide, drastic genocide. There was
3 fear too, but there was also a realistic assessment as to what would
4 follow and what would happen to them if the Croatian side is armed on the
5 basis of party affiliation and party arming and if they remain unarmed.
6 Q. Were there open clashes?
7 A. Could you please ask me now in terms of the exact time-period
8 you're referring to.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me ask you. In answering the last question,
10 you referred to a historical memory of 1941. The question is: Now, in
11 1990/1991, why did the Serbs arm themselves? Can you just answer that
12 question. Why did they respond to the mobilisation by the JNA? Forget
13 about 1941.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, on the one hand, there
15 is the mass arming of Croats. In Croatian villages, gun-fire was heard
16 from automatic weapons, that is to say that they did have automatic
17 weapons. Serbs, only Serbs, responded to the mobilisation call-up of the
18 JNA. Croats were not responding. So already there were two sides
19 involved, and conditions were being created for an armed conflict.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]... is your --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for -- therefore, it was obvious
22 that the people felt that an armed conflict would happen, the kind they
23 still have in their historic memory from the 1941-1945 period. If I'm
24 not being too extensive, I can give you an example. I can --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, no, I don't need an example. Do I understand
1 your short answer to be the Serbs armed themselves -- the JNA mobilised
2 and the Serb responded to this call-up in response to the secret arming
3 by the Croats? Is that your short answer?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your help,
5 Your Honour. That's the way it was. And that is what is important when
6 we discuss this at greater length, if we do so. The Serb side believe
7 that the JNA would, if they respond to mobilisation call-ups, would carry
8 out its constitutional role, and that is to say the protection of the
9 constitutional order within which they will continue to live safely.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
11 Yes, Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, do you know whether there was any incident in Plitvice;
14 if so, did you personally participate in it in any way?
15 A. During the Catholic Easter of 1991, at Plitvice there was a clash
16 between the members of the special units of the Croatian Ministry of the
17 Interior and the local Serbs. At the time, I was serving in the command
18 of the theatre of operations in Zagreb
19 General Raseta and a logistics officer and an intelligence officer to go
20 to Plitvice to set up an operative group of the Yugoslav People's Army
21 and to separate the two parties that were in conflict.
22 Q. Did you actually do that? Did you act in accordance with that?
23 You said that you were given that task. Did you act accordingly?
24 A. Of course.
25 Q. At the time, General - you said that this is April 1991 - what
1 was the attitude of the JNA vis-à-vis these conflicts? What was the
2 position of the JNA in relation to these conflicts? I believe that the
3 case of Plitvice was not an isolated one.
4 A. We were establishing a buffer zone between the conflicting
5 parties, and we tried to prevent an escalation of the conflicts.
6 Literally, physically, we were separating the two parties.
7 Q. At one point in time did the JNA actively take part in the
8 conflict; if so, could you tell us what period that was and what the
9 reason was?
10 A. The Yugoslav People's Army at one point actively joined the
11 conflict. The initial reasons, the reasons which led to the first
12 instances of the JNA actively taking part in the conflict, were attempts
13 to deblock the units of the commands and institutions of the
14 Yugoslav People's Army which were being blockaded by the Croatian
15 paramilitary formations. At their positions in barracks, commands,
16 depots, their electricity supply was cut off, they were prevented from
17 getting food and water-supplies, and were exposed to fire. They were
18 threatened with destruction. So these were the initial reasons due to
19 which the Yugoslav People's Army joined the armed conflict.
20 Q. I don't want to go into details, but can you just please tell us
21 when these attacks on the barracks began, approximately. And perhaps you
22 can just mention some of those cases without going into too much detail.
23 A. This began in the summer of 1991, and perhaps it would be best to
24 give you the example of Vukovar which was presented in quite a different
25 form, actually. The conflicts began with an attempt of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army to deblock the barracks of the JNA in Vukovar. A
2 friend of mine happened to be in that barracks. For 36 days, they
3 resisted with major casualties and they were without bread for 21 days.
4 I was also witness of such an attack in Zagreb on a unit which was going
5 to relieve the guards of the theatre operations command, and it was
6 attacked while it was crossing the bridge over the river.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the last sentence
8 of what the witness said.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreter didn't catch the last sentence of
10 what the witness said.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, could you please repeat the last sentence. I apologise
13 to the interpreters.
14 A. There were many such attacks, and if necessary I can list them.
15 But I think that they are well-known.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Novakovic, could you just repeat the last
17 sentence of your last answer. You were telling us about the Vukovar
18 attack, so don't go to many other examples. Just finish off this
19 example. If you remember. If you don't remember the answer -- the last
20 sentence, that's fine.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I recall saying that there were
22 many such attacks.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, you're not a historian and I'm not asking that of you,
1 but do you know when the referendum of the Serbs in the Krajina was held
2 and what was the referendum question and the decision? If you know when
3 this happened or perhaps Mr. Harmon would agree that it's okay for me to
4 give the time-frame; that way we will not be in dispute about it.
5 MR. HARMON: Well, I was about to object because it was a
6 compound question. I thought we should take each question one at a time.
7 I would rather see if the witness recalls rather than have Mr. Lukic
8 testify, and I would ask that he ask one question at a time.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which is why you called the witness, to come and
10 testify, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree, absolutely.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this was sometime in
13 late 1990. I did not take part in the referendum, so I don't really
14 remember it clearly.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Very well.
17 A. But I think that this was at that time, and the referendum
18 question had to do with whether you wanted to stay in Yugoslavia.
19 Q. Are you aware that at one point in time the Krajina milicija was
20 formed? Do you know who formed that institution?
21 A. As far as I know - and I would like to say that at that time I
22 was not in that structure; I belonged to the Yugoslav People's Army
23 then - but the Krajina police was formed by the new authorities of the
24 Serb autonomous region of the Krajina and it existed as such.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was the Krajina police the same thing as the
1 Krajina milicija?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, let's now deal with this period when your schooling
6 for -- at the national defence school was suspended and you became part
7 of the operations group command. Could you please tell us who formed it
8 and what was the task of that operations group. We're talking about
9 September 1991. That is what we saw in the entry from your personnel
10 file, isn't it?
11 A. The centre of military higher schools in Belgrade, I was issued
12 an order to join this operations group. We were all assembled, and that
13 is when I saw that the commander of the Operations Group 1 for Kordun and
14 Banija was General Koturovic, who up until then was the chief of the
15 Artillery Administration in the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's
16 Army. The Chief of Staff and his deputy in that period was Colonel
17 Rakovic. I was assigned as the operations officer in that command. That
18 command had about 15 to 20 officers, and I know that all ethnic groups
19 were represented in that group.
20 Q. What was the assignment of the operations group?
21 A. Perhaps it would be useful if we could see a map of the Banija
22 and Kordun area. I don't know if you deem that necessary, but I think
23 the answer would be better if we did have the map.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at D164 on the screen,
25 please. Perhaps the map will create some confusion. Perhaps we should
1 look at P469. This is the map of Yugoslavia
3 Q. General, you hail from the Kordun and Banija area; isn't that
4 right? We mentioned that when we spoke about your CV.
5 A. Yes, I come from Kordun.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues]... in Kordun?
7 MR. LUKIC: I didn't understand you, sorry.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is Vrginmost in Kordun?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, the usher will help you and you can use the special pen
13 to indicate where the Banija and Kordun area is on this map. Can you
14 circle it, approximately.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. If you can indicate -- if you can mark that area circled with
17 blue with the letter B.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Very well. So you marked Kordun with a K and Banija with a B.
20 A. Some units of the level of the brigade were there, and the
21 TO units were also mobilised. The command which was responsible for that
22 area was the command of the 10th Corps of the Yugoslav People's Army.
23 That command was blocked in Zagreb
24 It was encircled by the armed formations of Croatia and was not able to
25 reach this area, and that's why there was a need to form a command that
1 would be able to command the TO and the JNA units in this area.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] perhaps we can save and admit this
3 document so that we don't lose the information -- actually, for now we
4 are finished with this map, so I would seek that it be admitted, please.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May this document please be given an exhibit
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
8 Exhibit D433. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just have an intervention for the
11 transcript, Your Honours. On page 42, line 8, the witness said, At the
12 level of the JNA brigades were in that area and TO units.
13 I just want to be precise.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, when you say the TO, do you know if the SAO Krajina TO
17 was formed at the time, and were those units of the TO those units that
18 had that title at the time?
19 A. If we're talking about September 1991 when this command was
20 formed, the Operations Group 1 command, at the time there was still no
21 Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina. There was the
22 Yugoslav People's Army and there were units of the Territorial Defence
23 which were part of the Yugoslav armed forces.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at a document,
25 please, that is Exhibit P1196. This -- the Prosecution sought to admit
1 only some articles from this document. We're talking about the Law on
2 Defence of the Serbian autonomous region of the Krajina, and we can see
3 that the law was adopted on the 2nd of December, 1991.
4 Your Honours, since this exhibit is quite big but the Prosecution
5 sought to tender only some articles from the law, I just wanted to
6 comment on a couple of the articles. I have prepared a draft translation
7 in English. I would like to read it in the courtroom, though, so that I
8 don't have to give you a draft translation. And we could perhaps use the
9 exhibit in this way. It's only three articles that I will be dealing
10 with; otherwise, I would have to give you a hard copy so that you can
11 also follow the draft translation that we had done.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't think I understand what you are saying,
13 Mr. Lukic. We -- you're talking about two different things. You're
14 complaining that the Prosecution sought to admit only parts of this
15 document. Do you want to admit the entire document? Let's deal with
16 that first.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. And do you want to admit certain parts that
19 were not admitted by the Prosecution? Right.
20 Now, are those parts translated?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have a hard copy of the
22 translation, but this has not been uploaded into e-court yet. So I
23 thought perhaps I can recommend for me just to simply read aloud, and
24 then that part of the transcript could be relevant for you, so that then
25 we don't have to translate them and upload those additional articles.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question was: The documents that are already
2 uploaded, the part that you want to deal with, has not been translated,
3 there's no translation of it? Now, I think you must show the Defence
4 your draft --
5 MR. LUKIC: The Prosecutor.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon, the Prosecution - your draft
7 and then seek to tender it, and we'll have to mark it for identification
8 until you get us an official translation.
9 MR. LUKIC: Okay.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't think you should just read it, because
11 then that's you testifying and not the witness.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I agree. I agree,
13 Your Honours. I have prepared a hard copy draft translation, and perhaps
14 then we can comment on these articles or we can have the witness comment
15 on these articles.
16 I'm going to leave this topic for later, and I can see that this
17 was given to the interpreters. This is not that essential to me, and
18 perhaps we can even upload it in the meantime. This is not that
19 important right now for me.
20 Q. General, when was this Krajina TO formed, do you know? And what
21 was its relationship to the JNA?
22 A. The staffs of the TO of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina,
23 after the Republic of the Serbian Krajina was formed on the
24 19th of December, 1991, and then after that, in 1992, these staffs were
25 formed. However, these were staffs that were neither here nor there.
1 This meant that those TO staffs did not command any of the units. They
2 didn't have any connection with any of the units or communications. They
3 did not provide logistical support to those units. They didn't issue
4 orders to those units, and the units did not report back to them. And
5 this was because everything in that area, until the withdrawal of the
6 Yugoslav People's Army in May 1992, was subordinated to the commands of
7 the operation groups of the Yugoslav People's Army.
8 Q. When you say "units," you are referring to TO units, aren't you?
9 That's the distinction that you're making between the staffs and the
10 units; right?
11 A. JNA units, of course, and also, of course, units of the
12 Territorial Defence, in response to your question that is.
13 Q. In your view, what was the point of these TO staffs when they did
14 not have what every staff is supposed to have? Who established them and
15 with what interest in mind?
16 A. In my view at the time - and not only in my view - the
17 establishment of these staffs was an element in the political rivalry
18 between Mr. Martic and Mr. Babic. Mr. Martic at the time had under his
19 control the milicija of the Krajina, whereas Mr. Babic - as he wished to
20 strengthen his own position within that rivalry - then established staffs
21 that were manned by retired officers. I am not aware of a single
22 active-duty JNA officer on any one of these staffs. He established these
23 staffs from the ranks of retired officers that were loyal to him in his
25 Q. Please take a bit of water; it will clear your throat.
1 What was the attitude of the JNA then towards the leadership of
2 the Serb Krajina; Babic, Martic, and Hadzic?
3 A. I would say, on the basis of my own experience, one of ignoring.
4 Q. General --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was your -- am I right to say your question was:
6 What was the attitude of the JNA then towards the leadership of the Serb
7 Krajina ..." and by "Serb Krajina" you mean Babic, Martic, and Hadzic?
8 Oh, okay.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Specifically at that time.
10 Q. General, have you heard of the Vance Plan?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. What can you say to us? What was the Vance Plan? When it
13 signed? Let's do it one thing at a time. What is the Vance Plan and
14 when was it signed?
15 A. As far as I know, the Vance Plan was a plan to overcome the
16 conflicts that came into being in the area of the Krajina.
17 Q. Do you know who it was that signed the Vance Plan?
18 A. For me, that was a document of the United Nations. I am not in a
19 position to say who all the signatories were. I know that the political
20 representatives, as they were, such as they were, of the Republic of the
21 Serb Krajina took part in its implementation; and I also know that in its
22 formulation the representatives of the SFRY also took part. And, of
23 course, representatives of Croatia
24 in the conflict.
25 Q. Do you know whether President Milosevic participated in the
1 negotiations and the acceptance of the Vance Plan at all, the
2 then-president of Serbia
3 A. I know as much as anyone else knows, whoever followed the media
4 at the time, that by virtue of his political authority he took part in
5 its creation and he contributed on the Serb side to have the plan
7 Q. Do you know what the position of the leadership of the
8 Republic of the Serb Krajina was in view of the acceptance of that plan?
9 A. As far as I know, Mr. Babic was explicitly against that plan.
10 First of all, due to the fact that what is being referred to is the
11 involvement of UN forces in Croatia
12 UNPROFOR was not supposed to be at the line of conflict and to separate
13 the conflicting parties. As far as I know, he thought that such a plan,
14 although it said that it did not prejudge a political solution, in a way
15 it did so. I know with certainty that pressure was brought to bear and
16 that ultimately he was replaced.
17 Q. General, to the best of your knowledge, what was the mandate of
18 UNPROFOR according to the Vance Plan? First of all, what was created
19 according to the Vance Plan? Was something new created in the territory
20 of Croatia
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm going to object to that compound
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 Mr. Lukic, I think by the nod of your head you admit that your
25 question is compound. Could you ask it simply. Make it a simple
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I assume I shouldn't ask for a
3 break now because I should complete this subject before the break,
4 shouldn't I?
5 Q. General --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: We were just about to give you that time.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, could you just tell us in a brief sentence, to the best
9 of your knowledge, what was it that the Vance Plan brought?
10 A. All right. Let's say that the nature of the question has been
11 changed now. The essence was to establish a zone under the protection of
12 the United Nations and that protection forces should be brought into that
13 zone, UN protection forces. What I viewed as the most important thing
14 within this mandate was to prevent armed conflicts and for the population
15 in those areas under the protection of the UN should live without fear of
16 any kind of conflict.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that we can now take the
19 break, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at half past
21 12.00. Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, the last question that you responded to had to do with
2 the tasks of UNPROFOR in accordance with the Vance Plan. So you
3 responded to that. Tell me, do you remember when it was that UNPROFOR
4 was deployed in the territory of the UNPAs?
5 A. That was in the early spring of 1992.
6 Q. Tell us, did UNPROFOR carry out this task as envisaged by the
7 Vance Plan? What is your view on that?
8 A. I think that UNPROFOR was resolved to carry out these tasks. I
9 have no reason to doubt that. However, very soon in practice it became
10 clear that this kind of UNPROFOR deployment, according to the ink-stain
11 principle and without going to the line of separation itself, was not
12 good and it did not prevent conflicts, or rather, it did not ensure the
13 implementation of that part of that mandate which required that all the
14 population there should not live in fear from attacks.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: According to what principle?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, UNPROFOR was deployed
17 in accordance with the ink-blot principle. UNPROFOR was deployed in
18 certain limited areas within the UNPAs. Its mandate was not as it should
19 have been in my view, in my assessment; namely, they should have been
20 deployed along the separation line.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
22 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please.
24 Q. What about the armed formations that were in the territory of the
25 UNPAs; what was it that the Vance Plan envisaged, and what was done in
1 that regard?
2 A. The Vance Plan envisaged that the UNPAs should be demilitarised.
3 That means that the Territorial Defence that had stayed on as armed
4 formations after the withdrawal of the JNA should be disarmed and they
5 should hand-over their weapons to depots that had double keys. That is
6 to say that one key was supposed to be kept by the UNPROFOR commands and
7 the other key was to be kept by Territorial Defence staffs that existed.
8 However, the units had been disbanded, and the weapons were under double
9 key, as it were.
10 As for armed persons, this plan envisaged that the regular police
11 should stay on in that area.
12 Q. Was action taken in accordance with that plan? Is that what was
13 actually done in relation to arms, ammunition, and the disarming of armed
15 A. Yes, that is what was done. I don't know whether you have a
16 report here of a UN official. No, his name was Marrack Goulding. He
17 sent a report at that point in time either to the Security Council or the
18 Secretary-General of the UN, but he did state in that report that the
19 Serb side had complied.
20 Q. General, in this period after the start and the implementation of
21 the Vance Plan, that is to say from the spring of 1992 when UNPROFOR was
22 established and deployed, did you personally have contact with UNPROFOR
24 A. Yes, I did have contact with UNPROFOR representatives.
25 Q. With who -- with whom did you personally have contact?
1 A. I had contact with UNPROFOR officers in the then-Sector North.
2 That happened quite frequently. And I also had contacts with
3 General Nambiar of India
4 Q. Can you tell us what kind of relationship you had with
5 General Nambiar and what kind of co-operation?
6 A. I don't know. If I were to describe our relationship, that would
7 mean that we had ongoing contacts. I can just say what the nature of my
8 meetings with General Nambiar was, if that is what you're interested in,
9 Mr. Lukic.
10 Q. Yes, yes.
11 A. It seems to me that General Nambiar was very correct, fair, in
12 terms of understanding the UNPROFOR mandate and in his attitude towards
13 us as well, from our point of view. I think - and I remember that very
14 well - that at least in contacts with our side General Nambiar also
15 viewed possible problems due to the employment of UNPROFOR units as it
16 actually was. At the time, at the same time, General Nambiar never
17 raised as a problem the question of whether our side was complying with
18 the requirements of the Vance Plan.
19 Q. Did you see Mr. Kirudja?
20 A. Yes, I did see that gentleman as well.
21 Q. And from your contacts with him, are you able to tell us what his
22 position was regarding your implementation of your obligations from the
23 Vance-Owen Plan?
24 A. All that I can say about the UNPROFOR commander, Mr. Nambiar, is
25 something that I cannot say would apply to Mr. Kirudja. It was the
1 assessment of all of us who contacted -- were in contact with Mr. Kirudja
2 from the Serb side was that Mr. Kirudja was hostile towards our side.
3 This was first of all reflected in the demands that he set, in political
4 terms first of all. Well, I can summarise the conclusions from a
5 conversation that he had with our side. He set off immediately and in
6 all contacts with us what the political solution would be. He was
7 prejudiced in a way, and it was our conclusion that Mr. Kirudja already
8 saw us in Croatia
9 Q. General, have you ever heard of the term "Posebne Jedinice
10 Milicije," special units of the police, and what is that?
11 A. Of course. Of course I have heard the term "Posebne Jedinice
12 Milicije," PJM, special police units. But I cannot answer that in one
14 Q. Well, I didn't ask you to do that. Can you please explain what
15 you know about that, what it is, and police give me your complete answer
16 on this term.
17 Perhaps I can be precise, because this term is used in documents
18 and by interpreters. I said "Posebne Jedinice Milicije," and I used
19 the -- and I would like to refer to the special abbreviation which is
20 used for these units in documents and that is PJM.
21 A. When we're talking about the term "Posebne Jedinice Milicije," I
22 would first like to point to the fact that these Posebne Jedinice
23 Milicije existed in the former Yugoslavia
24 part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, and as part of the
25 republican ministries of the interior of all the socialist republics of
1 former Yugoslavia
2 In essence and by the type of training, equipment, and the
3 assignments they were issued, these were anti-terrorist units. These
4 units were used for more serious forms of threats to security, and they
5 exist in all police forces of numerous countries in the world, and these
6 units exist in Serbia
7 Interior. That's what I can say about that. The Posebne Jedinice
8 Milicije which we formed in 1992 in the Republic of Serbian Krajina
9 formed following our awareness that the UNPROFOR will not be on the
10 confrontation lines and that the people - and I would like to emphasise
11 that - if the people were to stay and live in those areas at all, we had
12 to find a way to form some kind of shield, curtain, establish some kind
13 of control on the lines towards Croatia
14 lines towards the UNPAs. So we needed to have some kind of police force
15 which would guarantee security to that population, and this is why these
16 PJMs were formed.
17 Q. And to whom were these PJMs subordinated?
18 A. The PJMs were subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior of the
19 Republic of the Serbian Krajina which had a special administration as an
20 organisational unit in charge of these PJMs.
21 Q. Who was the minister of the interior of the Republic of the
22 Serbian Krajina at the time?
23 A. Mr. Martic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at a document on the
25 screen, please. This is a document from the financial file of
1 Witness Novakovic, and it's on the Defence 65 ter list, 00182D.
2 Q. This is a document of the 30th of September, 1992, and I would
3 like your comment on the document, General, please. What is this
4 document? Why was it issued?
5 A. This is actually my agreement to be deployed in the PJM. It's
6 dated of the 30th of September, and I was already carrying out those
7 duties as of the 2nd of August of that year, and I remember that very
9 Q. Can you look at the bottom of the document, the last sentence:
10 "The said request may be used only for the purpose of regulating
11 the status in the service ..."
12 And it's confirmed by -- I'm putting some questions to you about
13 your service status. General, when did the JNA leave the territory of
14 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina?
15 A. In mid-May 1992.
16 Q. And do you know when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the
17 Army of Yugoslavia
18 A. I think it was either in May or April of that same year.
19 Q. After the JNA left the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, who did
20 you receive your salary from until you retired?
21 A. After I left the Republic of the Serbian Krajina --
22 Q. Well, from the forming of the FRY and the Army of Yugoslavia,
23 after they left the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, who paid your
25 A. Well, it was very difficult, let me tell you, Mr. Lukic. So I
1 can tell you how it was.
2 Q. Yes, that is what I'm asking you to do.
3 A. Sometime from the time that I left the national defence school in
5 sometime -- I came back sometime in July. So up until August 1992, I did
6 not receive a salary from anyone. And I heard later that they wanted to
7 suspend my salary because they said they didn't know where I was. So
8 this paper here is an official confirmation for the financial organs in
10 time that I retired, I received my salary from the Army of Yugoslavia.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Novakovic, you said:
12 "So up until August 1992, I did not receive" my "salary ..."
13 Starting from when?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the 27th of September, 1991
15 when I left the School for National Defence to go to the command of
16 Operations Group 1 in Kordun and Banija. The salary was not paid
17 directly to me, and in the area where I was there was no place to go
18 where you could collect your salary.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you say it was not paid directly to you, what
20 do you mean? Was it paid indirectly?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The salary was on my account. It
22 was deposited into my account. All I'm saying is that I was practically
23 unable to take it, and I did not take it.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: So it was not correct of you to say "Up until
25 August 1992, I did not receive a salary from anyone." You did receive a
1 salary; you just could not access it? It was there in your account, but
2 you just couldn't access it. So you were paid during that period?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes. That is correct.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: By whom were you paid?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise if I was not precise in
6 the way I said it, yes. That is correct.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: By whom were you paid during that period?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The salary was deposited to my
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: By whom? That's -- my question is: By whom? Who
11 was the authority who was paying you? Who was your boss? Who was your
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My employer was still, as far as
14 salary is concerned, the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. And after -- after August 1992 you
16 continued to be paid by the Army of Yugoslavia; no longer the JNA this
17 time, but now the VJ?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
20 Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Other than issuing your salary, was the Army of Yugoslavia in any
23 other way your employer?
24 A. No, not in any other way.
25 Q. One more question related to what we were saying earlier, and let
1 us clarify. At the beginning we saw and you were shown a document
2 indicating that you were pensioned off in December 1994 but the document
3 is from October 1995. So from December 1994 until the decision was made
4 in 1995, did you receive a salary?
5 A. Yes, I did. I received a salary as an active-service officer of
6 the Army of Yugoslavia
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: So you were not pensioned off as at the
8 30th of December, 1994, unless you are saying you received both a salary
9 and a pension for that period?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour. I didn't
11 receive a salary and a pension. Earlier when you asked me -- I'm
12 actually uncertain how to answer you and to be correct. As of the
13 17th of October, 1995, I didn't know that I was retired. There was no
14 such document. So I was receiving my salary just like any other
15 active-service officer. It was from that time on that I began to receive
16 my pension.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And this document that you received on the
18 17th of October, 1995, was retiring you as at what date?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the document that I received on
20 the 17th of October, 1995, it states that I was retiring as of the
21 31st or the 30th of December, 1994, 31st of December, 1994. Thus, in
22 December 1994; yes, that is correct.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: And to your recollection, from the
24 17th of October, 1995, did you receive any pension covering the period
25 31st of December, 1994, to the 17th of October, 1995?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was receiving my salary, but
2 then from that time on I received my pension.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may carry on, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] There is a small discrepancy in the
5 translation. This is an official translation, but you can see,
6 Your Honours, at the top in the English translation in parenthesis after
7 the letters "MUP" the translation service translated it as "Ministry of
8 Defence," but I think it's indisputable that we're talking about the
9 Ministry of the Interior of the RSK. I would just like to note this for
10 the transcript. I think this is not in dispute. Where it says the MUP
11 of the RSK, that is the MUP of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
12 Q. General, other than your salary, what other rights did -- and
13 benefits did an active-service officer of the Yugoslav People's Army
15 A. An officer was entitled to an allowance for working in a
16 situation when he was separated from his family. Also, there was a
17 hardship allowance. There were some special benefits for pilots and so
19 Q. What about health and pension insurance; did active-duty officers
20 of the JNA have that regulated through the JNA?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. In relation to resolving housing problems, did an active-duty JNA
23 officer have the right to have his housing problem resolved?
24 A. As for resolving the housing problems of the active-duty
25 personnel of the JNA, there was a bylaw based on the law of the army. On
1 the basis of several criteria, people exercised this right; their age,
2 years of service, the number of years you spent without having an
3 apartment of your own, number of family members, and so on. On the basis
4 of all of that, people were assigned a particular position on a list in
5 terms of when they would get an apartment for their use.
6 Q. All of these rights that we referred to now, that you had as a
7 JNA officer, after the JNA had left the territory of Croatia
8 cease for you personally?
9 A. When leaving -- when the JNA left the territory of Croatia
10 the Krajina, we were told that we who had decided to stay on in the
11 Krajina had the right to housing, as it were, as it was put at the time,
12 as if we were still in the Army of Yugoslavia
13 were asked to say in which garrison in the territory of the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia we would like to have an apartment
15 allocated to us. If you think it is necessary, I can describe my own
16 case which shows that things were not exactly that way.
17 Q. Just tell us, did you act on the basis of that proposal and did
18 you resolve your personal housing issue?
19 A. I did act in accordance with that proposal, but it was only in
20 January last year that I received an apartment, as the only general who
21 did not have an apartment. I got the kind of apartment that I was
22 entitled to when I became a major some 28 or 29 years ago.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please admit this document
25 into evidence if we haven't done so already -- oh, but we have.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: First of all, there's no document on the screen
2 now. You're talking about 00182D?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: It has not been admitted just yet. Okay. You
5 want it admitted?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I'd like to have it admitted.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's admitted into evidence. May the document be
8 given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
10 Exhibit D434.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I now have P1783 on our screen,
14 Q. Please have a look at this document, General, and could I hear
15 your comment then? What is this about, and what do you have to do with
16 this document?
17 A. This is a document from a poll that was carried out among the
18 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time when the decision was
19 taken for the JNA to leave that area. As you can see, towards the bottom
20 of the document you see what the possible wishes are: to be transferred
21 to the FRY, to be assigned to the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
23 Serb Krajina.
24 Q. So what was your decision?
25 A. Well, it is written here, that I opted for being appointed in the
1 TO of the Republic of the Serb Krajina, that is to say, to stay on where
2 I had been working.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness, on page 61, line 10, he
4 said the place where he was born.
5 Q. It says here, General, that you then stated that you had
6 citizenship of the SFRY. I'm going to ask you whether you ever received
7 FRY citizenship?
8 A. As for citizenship of the FRY, as far as I can remember I got
9 that in 1997, that is to say, more than two years after I came to the
10 FRY, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. What status did you have in the period from the autumn of 1995
12 when you arrived in the FRY up until the moment when you were given
14 A. I had the status of refugee, like all the people who had come
15 from there. I had a refugee ID. I was an ordinary refugee with one
16 distinction, though. I did not receive any aid from international
17 humanitarian organisations. I had a pension, after all. But my social
18 status was that of a refugee without citizenship.
19 Q. General, what military ID did you have after you left the JNA in
20 the territory of the Republic of Croatia
21 A. After leaving the territory of the Republic of the Serb Krajina,
22 I had the ID of an officer of the JNA as I had had before the war. I
23 never had the ID of an officer of the Army of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This document has already been
1 admitted into evidence, and now I'd like us to move on.
2 Q. When you were appointed to the position that we saw a few moments
3 ago and that you described in terms of the PJMs, what was your task?
4 What were your duties?
5 A. I was commander of the 80th Brigade of the PJM in the area of
6 Kordun. When I spoke of the PJM, I referred to the line, a curtain, as
7 it were, a line of observation actually vis-à-vis the Croatian forces
8 that were on the other side without any UNPROFOR control. But they did
9 have combat deployment.
10 Q. How many members did this brigade have?
11 A. I cannot remember exactly anymore, but I think it was about
12 2.000 members. As for the area, or rather, the length of that line that
13 it observed -- that these men observed and controlled - of course not all
14 of them at the same time on the line; some were on the line while others
15 were resting at that point in time - it was about 140 kilometres long.
16 Q. General, what was the ethnic structure of the population that
17 lived in the territory of the zone that you covered?
18 A. Mr. Lukic, are you asking me about the structure of the
19 population before the war started or at the time that we are discussing
20 right now?
21 Q. The time that we are discussing right now. That's what I'm
22 interested in.
23 A. Most of the Croat population left that area, together with the
24 MUP and ZNG forces, when they were pushed out of the area. I have to say
25 one thing, and it's easy to check that: Namely, that the Croatian
1 population in the territory of the municipality of Vrginmost
2 unfortunately is no longer known by that name, I had some influence
3 because I knew some people personally -- but anyway. Part of the Croat
4 population that was in the area that was controlled by the Serb
5 Territorial Defence, it was Serb by its character and it was also
6 controlled by the JNA, the armed forces of Yugoslavia, these people who,
7 from the very beginning of the conflict, were on the territory that was
8 our control stayed on until the end of the war. And in August 1995 they
9 met their own army there. I'm going to give you the names of these
10 villages: Lukinici, Viseci, Bjeljevine.
11 Q. Thank you. What was the attitude of the population living there?
12 What was their position in view of the fact that the JNA was leaving the
13 territory of the Republic of the Serb Krajina?
14 A. At that point in time, it would have been better for you to be
15 anything but a member of the JNA among these people in that area. As I
16 had already said in response to His Honour's question in the beginning,
17 as for the JNA and the Territorial Defence, they responded to their
18 call-up because they thought that the JNA would protect them by
19 protecting the constitutional order that existed until then. Now this
20 was being considered as classical treason, something shameful.
21 Q. How did you feel then as a former JNA officer?
22 A. Well, it is certain that I did not feel good. I said that to
23 some officers of the JNA as well. Since I'm staying there, among -- as I
24 was staying there among these people, the best thing for them would be to
25 abolish my rank because that would only enhance my reputation among these
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me just get clarity here.
4 What was treasonable here? You mentioned that it was considered
5 classical treason after you have said:
6 "As I had already said in response to His Honour's question in
7 the beginning, as for the JNA and the Territorial Defence, they responded
8 to their call-up because they thought that the JNA would protect them by
9 protecting the constitutional order that existed until then."
10 And then you say that this was treason.
11 The expectation to protect the constitutional order was treason?
12 Tell us what was treason.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honour. It
14 seems to me that I wasn't being specific enough.
15 These people who reported to these units, they believed that they
16 were now being betrayed because their expectations were let down. They
17 had expected the JNA to protect the constitutional order and thereby
18 protect their safety. That is the essence of my answer.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's the view of the people who were -- reported
20 to the PJMs?
21 THE WITNESS: [No verbal response]
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, you mentioned a moment ago in respect to another
1 question you mentioned corridor and breaking through the corridor. Now
2 I'm going to ask you what that was, what kind of action was this --
3 actually, let me not put words into your mouth. What do you mean when
4 you say "corridor" and "breaking through the corridor"?
5 A. In the spring of 1992, after UNPROFOR came, the Croatian army
6 started operating primarily in Bosnia
8 sake of his military glory, but that's not the question. It was the
9 Bosnian part of Bosnia
10 the book about the 2nd Guards Brigade of the Croatian army, you have an
11 exact list of the places where members of that 2nd Guards Brigade lost
12 their lives in the territory of Bosanska Posavina. The objective of
13 these operations, as stated by Zdravko Tomic who was then a minister in
14 their government, the book is called "Behind Closed Doors," the objective
15 was - to use his words - was to strangle the Krajina. He says that he
16 thought, and that that was indeed the position of the Croatian
17 leadership, that in that way it would be the easiest to resolve the
18 problem of Knin and the rebel Serbs, as he had put it.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we put P469 on the screen once
21 Q. And could you please indicate to us what the corridor was and
22 what breaking through the corridor meant. So could you please continue.
23 A. I can say that for me as a soldier this map is quite small for me
24 to be able to point this out precisely.
25 Q. Well, we're not asking you to do that. This is not an exact
1 professional debate. It's only for the purposes of us being able to
2 orient ourselves.
3 Anyway, General, please continue. Tell us what happened.
4 A. These units of the Croatian army, regular Croatian army,
5 including units of the Croatian Defence Council from Bosnia and
7 road leading from the Serbian Krajina and the Bosnian part of the Krajina
8 towards Serbia
9 beginning to crop up. There was no electricity. There was nothing to be
10 bought in the shops in terms of food. If you had something growing in
11 the fields, that was it. There were no medicines. There was no fuel,
12 oil. There was nothing that was essential for normal day-to-day life. I
13 think that the sick were particularly in danger, especially the
14 chronically sick, as well as children. And in this situation the
15 decision was made to resolve the question of survival by breaking through
16 the corridor towards Belgrade
17 time where all of these problems could be resolved. There was no
19 Q. Did you take part in this operation of breaking through the
20 corridor, and who engaged you in this operation?
21 A. I did take part in the breakthrough of the corridor as a
22 commander of a tactical group. I was not sent to the corridor by anyone.
23 I went there as a volunteer. I was appointed as commander of the
24 tactical group by Mr. Martic and General Talic after the first failed --
25 the first failed attempt to breakthrough the corridor. That was when it
1 was decided that I should head up this tactical group which was on that
2 axis and to try to break through this corridor.
3 Q. Are you able to tell us what duties General Talic was performing
4 at that time?
5 A. The actions were underway in the area of the 1st Krajina Corps,
6 whose commander he was, and this was in his -- in the area of
7 responsibility of his first subordinated group, that was the
8 1st Operations Group Doboj.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in on the map a little
11 Q. And, General, are you able to mark for us where these combat
12 operations were conducted? Well, let's wait for us to zoom in on the map
13 a little bit.
14 A. Yes, yes, this is it. I can see sufficiently.
15 Q. Can you please draw the line of where the corridor was that
16 linked the ...
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. Yes, and you can put the number 1 on the right-hand side.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And the corridor linked up which territories?
21 A. You can see that it linked up the territory of the Republic of
22 the Serbian Krajina, then this area here. Let's say that we can mark
23 that with a 3. And it also linked the territory of the Bosnian Krajina
24 from Banja Luka via Sanski Most, Drvar, Petrovac, Grahovo, this area
25 here. So when I say 3, that would cover this whole area here and also
1 this area here which is in the Bosnian Krajina. This is on the Bosnian
2 side of the border and the area of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina on
3 our side, including Banja Luka here as well.
4 Q. What you indicated with the number 2 here, can we just note what
5 that is for the transcript.
6 A. That is the Bosnian Krajina. That is also called the Krajina,
7 but it's an area that is on the Bosnian side of the border.
8 Q. And can you mark here with the letter B the place where this
9 corridor was broken through by the Croatian army?
10 A. This is a wider area. I am looking for the towns of Brod and
11 Derventa from here, and now I'm trying to find Doboj. It's more or less
12 like this. For a map of this scale, this, I think, is all right.
13 Q. Could you please mark that with the letter B.
14 A. [Marks]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now first of all, Mr. Novakovic, when you were
16 asked to draw the corridor, you drew that line which you marked 1.
17 Should we then understand that that line actually extends up to 3 because
18 you want to join the Bosnian Krajina and you're also trying to join the
19 Croatian Krajina? So that line should start from 1 and go up to 3; is
20 that how we should understand it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as the need to
22 communicate, yes, you're right. It should reach all the way to 3. But I
23 actually marked only that part of the corridor which was not under our
24 control and where we had to fight to get through in order to create a
25 passage. This area that was under Serbian control, I am taking it as an
1 area where we were free to pass.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Well, we can finish with the map as long as we still have it in
5 front of us. So this operation, corridor, what did it achieve in terms
6 of this area that you marked with the letter B?
7 A. As a soldier - and this is something that General Simic who was
8 later Chief of the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska also
9 talked about - it was a victory in a way. If you look at books today by
10 Croatian generals who wrote about it, they said that they could not stop
11 their army from running away. They kept escaping, if the Court will
12 permit me to say that. Why, Your Honours? This is what I would like to
13 tell you. I'm not boasting or anything like that. I would like to say
14 this because it was because of the morale of our fighters. We did not
15 have anywhere to return to if we didn't create this corridor. It wasn't
16 a question of whether we were going to pass or not; it was just a
17 question of when we were going to do it and how many of us would die in
18 the process. I am very sorry when I hear today that I was in this way
19 creating a Greater Serbia. This was actually a question of life and
20 death for a part of the people there.
21 Q. Thank you, General.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document,
23 Your Honours, please.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
25 please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This document shall be
2 assigned Exhibit D435. Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at another document
4 on the screen, please. This is a document marked P1782, so P1782.
5 Q. General, can you please tell us when the Serbian Army of the
6 Krajina was formed; do you know?
7 A. We formed the Serbian Army of the Krajina in late October 1992.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to Mr. Harmon. I would
9 like to explain. We marked this document as a 65 ter Defence document,
10 00181D, but then we saw that it was already an exhibit. And this is why
11 I called it up in this way, in order to avoid duplication.
12 Q. I apologise, General, for interrupting you. What was the reason?
13 A. Well, Mr. Lukic, you asked me and I answered. If you want, we
14 can continue.
15 Q. Yes, I've read the answer and I'm not going to ask you to repeat
16 it. I want to ask you: What was the reason for forming the Army of the
17 Serbian Krajina?
18 A. From the time the UNPROFOR came, there were a number of
19 incursions which, speaking today, using the terminology used in the
20 world -- in today's world, I would describe that as a terrorist incursion
21 by armed Croatian groups and terrorist activities in the territory of a
22 zone under the protection of the United Nations which we called the
23 Republic of the Serbian Krajina. For example, Nuskalik is a Serbian
24 village on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, a little bit more to the south
25 from Zadar. There was an incursion and mostly the elderly population was
1 killed, men and women.
2 There was an incursion at the Miljevac plateau which is
3 south-west of Knin and to the west of Drnis. There were massacres,
4 killings, and bodies thrown into the fields.
5 There were incursions in Slavonia against people who were
6 harvesting the corn. Killings -- and as far as I know, the bodies were
7 taken as far as Velebit, some 3- to 400 kilometres from there.
8 This is one aspect of it. On the other hand there were
9 occurrences when the Croatian army, in negotiations with our Serbian
10 side, did not try to bring closer their political positions and to try to
11 find a solution in that way. They were just bringing up suggestions in
12 order to achieve control over that territory. They never mentioned the
13 question of the population in those territories. All that they were
14 concerned about was control over the territory. It was thus evident that
15 something had to be done.
16 In spite of the UNPROFOR being the way it was, it was necessary
17 to begin, to start with more serious preparations for defence, if
18 necessary, without actually going beyond the mandate set by the UNPROFOR.
19 From the time -- and you can see this decree here, this is in
20 late October, on the 21st of November we got an order to form the Army of
21 the Serbian Krajina. I don't remember the date exactly. We were
22 implementing organisational preparations, drafting papers, lists of how
23 these units should look. But all of our weapons were still under lock
24 and key and under the control of UNPROFOR.
25 Q. Thank you. We can see from the document the decree on
1 appointment to post, that you were appointed by the then-president of the
2 Republic of the Serb Krajina Goran Hadzic, the document was signed by
3 him. Can you tell us, at the time, did you find out how come that the
4 leadership of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina picked you? Who had a
5 share in coming to this decision?
6 A. At the time, in the Republic of the Serbian Krajina,
7 unfortunately there was something which could be described as distrust,
8 disagreement, and sometimes even conflicts among the TO staffs and the
9 PJMs. As far as I know there were even some physical settling of
10 accounts amongst groups or individuals. This then also carried over or
11 spilled over into the leadership.
12 And the way the leadership of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina
13 was thinking about my authority as a military man and the reputation that
14 I had among the police and the TO and the army, the decision was reached
15 that I should be the one. I didn't really consider that as an honour. I
16 thought about it as a big job and a major obligation, and I didn't think
17 that they could surmount these disagreements, which were so dangerous, in
18 such a dangerous situation. There were these sensitivities, these egos,
19 who was bigger than who. And I believe that this was a luxury that we
20 could not afford, and I believed that I had some kind of authority among
21 all the sides, and I believed that we could then do something properly,
22 as I thought about it at the time.
23 Q. General, at the time or later, did you hear of anyone from the
24 Army of Yugoslavia
1 position of commander of the SVK?
2 A. I'm not aware of any such thing. Before I accepted this
3 position, I talked to the then-Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of
4 the Serb Krajina, with the president of the Republic of the Serb Krajina,
5 and with Mr. Martic, who at the time was a greater political authority.
6 I wanted to talk to him too. He had quite a dilemma, but it was probably
7 his assessment that there wouldn't be a better solution, so they
8 ultimately agreed to that as well.
9 Q. General, after being appointed to this position, did you see
10 Slobodan Milosevic?
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters did not hear your answer,
15 Mr. Novakovic.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you see Mr. Milosevic after you were no longer commander of
19 the SVK?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Since we are now going to adjourn, we will be discussing these
22 other things tomorrow. But just tell us this: When you saw
23 Mr. Milosevic -- actually, these encounters with President Milosevic,
24 what form did they take?
25 A. In a group with several persons, in a group with a smaller number
1 of persons, or in a tête-à-tête.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to suggest that we
3 adjourn and then move on tomorrow with respect to this subject and
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Novakovic, we are not done with you, and we'll
6 have to come back tomorrow. But before we adjourn, I need to warn you
7 that now that you have taken the witness-stand you may not discuss the
8 case with anybody until you are excused from further testifying. In
9 particular, you may not discuss it with the Defence team.
10 The matter stands adjourned to tomorrow at 9.00 in the
11 morning - am I right? - yes, 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom II.
12 Court adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 26th day
15 of August, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.