1 Monday, 30 August 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
6 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, so much, Mr. Registrar. Could we have
10 the appearances for the day, starting with the Prosecution.
11 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon
12 counsel, everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, Salvatore Cannata, and
13 Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon. And for the
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
17 afternoon to all participants in the proceedings. Novak Lukic and Boris
18 Zorko representing Mr. Perisic today in this courtroom.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. You may call the
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Mr. Novakovic. Just to remind you
23 that you are still bound by the declaration you made at the beginning of
24 your testimony to tell truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the
25 truth. Thank you so much.
1 Mr. Lukic.
2 WITNESS: MILE NOVAKOVIC [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
5 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. I hope you had a good rest with this wonderful weather that we
8 have been having in The Hague these days. I'm going to continue where we
9 left off on Thursday last week; that is to say, let's discuss the meeting
10 referred to in 65 ter document number 03382D.
11 A. Mr. Lukic, I'd like to ask you a question, if it's okay with you.
12 Q. If you have any questions, you should address the Bench, but
13 maybe first you have to ask for their leave if you would like to address
14 me. Depends on what you are going to ask?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Novakovic, what do you want to ask
16 Mr. Lukic, you can ask. We can only tell you whether the question is
17 permissible after you've asked it. Go ahead.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to ask, or I should have
19 asked you instead of Mr. Lukic, is whether I can give my account of this
20 particular meeting and what is currently on our screens?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's put it this way, you are going to answer
22 Mr. Lukic's questions. I think Mr. Lukic knows what account he want to
23 put on the record about this meeting. So just answer his questions and
24 if at the end of his questions you feel you want to add something, let us
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, I'm going to ask you a few questions about this meeting
3 and at the end if you would like to add something or clarify something,
4 we are at your disposal. But before we continue where we left off last
5 week, can we please have on our screens, just as a reminder, the document
6 related to the meeting held on the 24th of September, 1993, as recorded
7 in Mr. Mladic's notebook. It was held in the attendance of
8 Mr. Milosevic, General Perisic, yourself, and General Mladic.
9 Let us look at page 3 where we left off last week when we
10 adjourned on Thursday. But before we go on, let me ask you a couple of
11 general questions relating to your meetings with President Milosevic. On
12 the first day of your testimony, you told us briefly that you had quite a
13 few of meetings at the time when you were the commander of the Army of
14 the Serbian Krajina, sometimes those were group meetings or sometimes you
15 met tete-a-tete with the president. Now, I'm interested in the period
16 starting from the date of your appointment as commander of the Army of
17 the Serbian Krajina and let us remind ourselves that was in October of
18 1992 until September 1993. Over the period of that year, can you
19 remember how frequently you met President Milosevic?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, just look at the screen. You have used
21 almost two-thirds of the page just to ask how frequently you met with
22 Mr. Milosevic. I know that you were trying to give background, but this
23 whole background is already on the record. Just try to be brief with
24 your questions, please. Okay.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to make this as a kind
1 of introductory just to remind ourselves what we discussed on Thursday.
2 I do apologise.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: All I'm saying is that your introduction is very
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
7 You may answer, Mr. Novakovic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Just tell me how many times you met approximately, as far as you
10 can remember?
11 A. During those 10 or 11 months, there were some 20 meetings.
12 Q. General, what kind of conclusions did you draw from these
13 meetings with President Milosevic? What was his position at the time
14 regarding the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, specifically in Croatia
15 and Bosnia
16 A. I believe that on the Serbian side, that is to say both the
17 Serbian side and representatives of the international community that was
18 involved in seeking the solution to this conflict, he was considered to
19 be an absolute authority on the Serbian side.
20 Q. Maybe my question wasn't clear enough. What was your conclusion
21 about his personal attitude, and in view of his position of his function,
22 what was his attitude, was he supportive of the conflict or was he
23 opposed to it?
24 A. I obviously misunderstood your question. I'm glad that you asked
25 me that and I'm going to answer it in the following way: Whenever I went
1 to see Mr. Milosevic I knew in advance that what was to follow was
2 guidance or direction to become lenient and to resort to negotiations.
3 Whenever I saw in the media that a representative of the international
4 community of high authority came to visit, I immediately expected him to
5 invite the leadership of the Serbian Krajina and that after that he would
6 try to explain the need for entering negotiations, and he would even
7 issue directions to start specific negotiations either with the Croatian
8 side or with representatives of the international community.
9 Q. What was his position at the time, and we talking about the
10 period that I limited to the period from the beginning of your duty until
11 September 1993, how much was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia involved
12 in that conflict, in any sense? What was his position towards this
14 A. About the involvement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in
15 the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, I can say that
16 Mr. Milosevic tried hard to have the FRY involved in the war itself to
17 the least possible extent, whereas as far as diplomat efforts were
18 concerned towards ending the conflict was at its maximum.
19 Q. Can you tell us in more detail what you have just told us now
20 about the efforts to have the FRY involved in this conflict as little as
21 possible, did that position pertain throughout the whole period or did he
22 change his mind at any point in time?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, you've confined Mr. Novakovic to the
24 period when he was in office from 1992 to September 1993. Now, your
25 question says throughout the whole period, which period? Is it that
1 period or the whole period of the war?
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General Novakovic, did you continue to meet President Milosevic
4 after you were removed from the position of commander of the Serbian Army
5 of Krajina?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Will you please repeat your answer?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I had a problem, I heard the
10 translation into English. I hope there won't be any further problems in
11 that respect.
12 Q. Now, I'm asking you about the whole period of war from the moment
13 you first met him until the end of war, what was the position of
14 Mr. Milosevic vis-a-vis the involvement of Yugoslavia in the war?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: I do have an objection. Well, he says -- well,
17 General Novakovic says he did meet with Milosevic after the period he was
18 the commander, he doesn't say when or how long or during what period of
19 time, so now we jump from the simple answer of yes he did to a question
20 that's very broad. Now he's asked his opinion about his -- the opinion
21 about Milosevic's attitude toward the entire war, and we don't have a
22 sufficient foundation still for that question to be properly answered.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure whether we are all on the same
24 wavelength. I understood Mr. Lukic at the beginning of his examination
25 today to limit witness to the period when the witness was in office.
1 MR. HARMON: I agree with that, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: He now asked a question about Mr. Milosevic's
3 attitude towards the FRY's involvement in the war during the entire
4 period of the war. And just hold it.
5 MR. HARMON: Yes, I know.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I then said to him, Mr. Lukic, you began by saying
7 the witness must tell us about the time when he was in office, now you
8 are asking him about the entire period of the war. Having -- I after
9 asking that question, he then asked the question, did you meet with
10 Mr. Milosevic after you were out of position, after you had been removed
11 from your position. And the witness says yes, I did.
12 MR. HARMON: I agree with that so far, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then he says, based on the fact that they did meet
14 even after, he is now asking the question of Mr. Milosevic's attitude
15 during the entire period of the war. Unless you are saying they didn't
16 meet at the beginning of the war.
17 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour. My objection is this: We've gone
18 part of the way in of getting to the proper foundation. We don't know
19 how many times after General Novakovic became the commander he met with
20 Milosevic. Maybe - and I'm just speculating for the sake of example - he
21 met with Milosevic after he resigned or after he was terminated as the
22 commander of the SVK in October of 1993. He met with him once or twice.
23 The war ended in 1995 in December of 1995.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear what you say now. Okay, fine. Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think this is more appropriate to
1 tackle this subject in cross-examination if Mr. Harmon is disputing
2 anything I am asking the witness. All I'm asked him is whether he met
3 him and what his impressions were. I can go into further detail
4 regarding these meetings if you deem this to be necessary.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's true, that Mr. Harmon could go into --
6 could deal with it in cross-examination, but it's a simple question to
7 put to the witness just how many times did you meet with Mr. Milosevic
8 after you had been removed from office, and he will tell you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree. I agree.
10 Q. General, you were removed from your position of the commander of
11 the Serb army of Krajina in February 1994 until the end of the war, which
12 I think was marked by the Operation Storm.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was it February 1994 or October 1993 -- September
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It was February 1994. I think
16 Mr. Harmon was mistaken and I think I have given you a more precise
18 MR. HARMON: I was operating, Your Honour, off the answer and the
19 question that was at page 3, I believe, line 16, where he was asked to
20 affirm whether he was the commander from, I think October of 1992 until
21 September of 1993 --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what I remember.
23 MR. HARMON: -- and therefore I think the witness has affirmed
24 that and that's why I made an objection.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, Mr. Lukic, you are going to have to be
1 consistent with your periods. At page 3 you said:
2 "But before we continue where we left off last week, can you
3 please have on our screens, just as a reminder the document, relating to
4 a meeting held on the 24th of -- I am sorry, that's not it. Right. At
5 page 3, from line 13:
6 "Now, I'm interested in the period starting from the date of your
7 appointment as commander of the Army of the Serbian Krajina, and let us
8 reminds ourselves that was in October 1992 until September 1993."
9 Your actual words, Mr. Lukic. Now you jump into February 1994.
10 Which is the correct one?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, the whole of my thesis
12 concerning those questions, Your Honours, was to elicit from the witness
13 information about his meetings with President Milosevic before the
14 meeting we are discussing now, and this is why I took the September
15 because it refers to this meeting. Before this point, I did not make
16 references to his dismissal which happened in February 1994. I apologise
17 if I've introduced any [indiscernible] of misunderstanding here.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: You did because you're saying let us remind
19 ourselves that the period of his appointment as commander of the army
20 Serbian Krajina was from October 1992 until September 1993. This is what
21 you are saying in that sentence. It can only have the ordinary meaning
22 of the words used there. Okay.
23 Now, you are saying he was terminated in February 1994, and
24 therefore the meeting that you are now about which you have a document on
25 the screen is a meeting that took place after he had been terminated or
1 before he was terminated.
2 MR. LUKIC: Before.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. The fewer words we use, the
4 more precise and succinct we shall be.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. General, you did not answer my question. From the moment you
7 were terminated from the position of the commander of the SVK until
8 August 1995 when Operation Storm took place, how many times was it that
9 you met President Milosevic?
10 A. Well, maybe four or five times.
11 Q. Did you used to meet with him tete-a-tete on occasion?
12 A. At least once, yes.
13 Q. Let's go back to this document, please. Let's take a look at
14 page 3, please. This is where we left off on Thursday. That would be
15 page 3 in B/C/S. I'm going to focus on certain segments that I deem
16 important that you, as a witness, confirm to the best of your
17 recollection in terms of what were the topics discussed. With respect to
18 this page, I'd like to discuss the last sentence or the last entry where
19 it states:
20 "In Krajina (RSK) everything must be placed in a subordinate
22 Do you recall President Milosevic being referred to as the author
23 of those words? In what context did he utter those words?
24 A. Yes, I do recall quite well because I do recall what was the
25 occasion when this sentence was uttered. It was a consequence of
1 different conflicts politicking in the Serbian Krajina answering from --
2 was a situation where para-military armed formations were being set up.
3 The Main Staff of the SVK reacted to this, and some of those people were
4 brought to account. The basis for such para-military organisations was
5 an idealogical one. Some people thought that we who had been in the JNA
6 were professional -- had been professional officers were not true Serbian
7 officer material. They thought that we were supposed to be more Serb, in
8 a way, and which means that we were supposed to hold more extreme
9 opinions. Mr. Milosevic by saying this was trying, as far as I could
10 understand, to suggest that this could be very dangerous for an otherwise
11 weak defence.
12 Q. What was the position of the leadership of the Republic of
13 Serbian Krajina, Babic and Martic, with respect to those units that you
14 referred to a minute ago?
15 A. This rivalry did not stop, that rivalry between the two of them.
16 Sometimes it would go up or down in intensity. It goes with information
17 that the Main Staff of the SVK had at the time we thought that Mr. Martic
18 was behind the attempts to organise some of those para-military units.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to page 4, the next page,
21 Q. This entry, the second sentence attributed to President
23 "All plans are to be made as if the war will not stop, and on the
24 political front work to achieve peace." Do these words reflect generally
25 President Milosevic's words to the best of your recollection?
1 A. Yes, that's correct. He could not have said anything else
2 because some ten days before that, Croatian operation in the Medak pocket
3 had been completed where they applied the principle of scorched earth.
4 On the other hand, he held that under those circumstances, and as he put
5 it, we should not escalate the conflict in any way and to focus in
6 Krajina towards achieving peace.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to skip the following
8 two pages and let's go then to page -- just a sec, bearing page 6, I
9 think, please. That's correct. Let's wait for the English translation.
10 Q. These are supposed to be the words of President Milosevic because
11 I do not see anybody else as participating in the conversation. So the
12 first paragraph, General, could you please read for yourself, or should I
13 read it out for everybody's benefit?
14 "We now must achieve the final verification of RS which covers
15 around 28.000 kilometres, and that's the size of two Slovenias. We are
16 effectively one country at this moment, informally ... We must have" and
17 then it states "Pol co-ordination" or political co-ordination, "Lilic,
18 Mil, Kar, and Hadz. Government co-ordination (civilian co-ordination)
19 prime minister without Montenegro
20 co-ordination of political power." And below that it is stated something
21 that I'm going to ask you something special about, but before that, can
22 you recall what these words reflect, to the best of your recollection?
23 A. These are President Milosevic's words. I remember them quite
24 well because they reflected, in my opinion, a very important political
25 position. Mr. Milosevic here expresses an attitude that we were
1 effectively politically united, although at that moment for me this was
2 more of a goal or a vision of the future. I would not concede that that
3 was the realistic state of affairs at that time. As far as the final
4 verification of RS is concerned, this refers to the Republika Srpska
5 where he mentions the land area of the RS, at the time 28.000 square
6 kilometres, and warns of something which at the time and later on was
7 problematic among the leadership of the Republika Srpska, and that was
8 that they kept maintaining that in terms of ownership in land registry,
9 two-thirds of land in Republika Srpska was in the hands of Serbs. And
10 this is why he makes this reference about the RS is twice as large as
12 By the same token, my memory allows me to say that this entry,
13 political co-ordination, Lilic, Mil, Kar, and Hadz refers to the
14 president of the FRY, the then president Mr. Lilic; then the president of
15 Republic of Serbia
16 Mr. Karadzic; and president of the then Republic of Serbian Krajina
17 Mr. Hadzic.
18 Q. Just a second, please.
19 A. Further on he thinks that co-ordination should be done at
20 government level first and foremost in economic terms, or in economic
21 affairs, as it's stated here, economic co-ordination.
22 Q. Thank you. Just a second, please. Let's go on with this, when
23 Milosevic uttered those words and when he said we are effectively one
24 country, did you believe in accordance with your information that he
25 believed that you were effectively one country, and by this I mean, the
1 RS, Republic of Serbian
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you answer that, can we just look
3 properly at the words used. Mr. Milosevic doesn't use the words
4 "effectively," he used the word "informally," and I think there is a
5 difference between those two. Look at the document on the screen and
6 look at your question, Mr. Lukic. Oh, okay. He does say "effectively"
7 but he says "informally," too.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Both terms are used in the B/C/S
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in the English too, I am sorry, are used in
11 the English too. But I think we mustn't emphasise the one against the
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. General, which means those words as stated that I read out as his
15 words "we are effectively one country at this moment, informally,"
16 whether those words really reflected Mr. Milosevic's opinion of the time,
17 when those words were uttered?
18 A. Well, I believe that those words more reflected his projections.
19 It was more of something that was supposed to become and that at that
20 moment for us -- for us in the Republic of Serbian Krajina and those in
21 Republika Srpska, those words were supposed to be an encouragement
22 reflecting the fact that he was one hundred per cent behind us. I took
23 that as his intention of the time.
24 Q. Thank you very much. And then the final entry on this page:
25 "Military component: (Per M.H.) performed the function of joint
1 GS or Main Staff."
2 I'm reading out those acronyms as stated here. Does this entry
3 trigger any of your memories?
4 A. Yes. After stating positions on the political co-ordination and
5 co-ordination at the level of the governments as primarily economic
6 business co-ordination, he also stated a position on the need for
7 military co-ordination, and it says military component in parentheses,
8 Perisic, Mladic, Novakovic play role of joint General Staff. As far as I
9 understood it at the time, this was an expression of a political
10 orientation which in the event it was actually implemented could have
11 been a very important thing for us in the Serbian Krajina, I believe.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you see the discrepancy
13 here between what was written in the English language and between what
14 the witness just said, and I'm stating my opinion again but I agree with
15 Mr. Harmon that this should go for official translation. The translation
16 service with [B/C/S spoken]. These are two separate words that the
17 witness explained. As you can see, it says here "performed" as something
18 in the perfect tense, and I see that the interpreting service in the
19 booths adequately translated it as "play a role," so not perfect as is
20 stated in the official translation which I believe is quite significant.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe you might cast light, I'm not sure what we
22 are talking about.
23 MR. HARMON: I have no problem with this passage and other
24 passages that we discussed earlier being submitted to CLSS. The witness,
25 however, was asked to, if this entry triggered any of his memories and
1 his answer deals with what this -- memories were triggered by this
2 particular passage. So there's two separate matters we are dealing with.
3 One is the translation on this page, whether it's correct or not correct,
4 that we'll deal with CLSS, but this witness has given us what memories
5 were triggered as a result of that and that answer is part of our record.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. And I really didn't follow Mr. Lukic why
7 suddenly he wants to go to his -- yes, go ahead.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the witness. We are
9 talking about an abbreviated word in the Serbian here, and you cannot see
10 from that abbreviated word whether it's past tense, present tense, or
11 future tense. The translation service translated it in the past,
12 "performed the function of the joint Main Staff."
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: So? That's what we've got before us. We have I
14 agreed this is going to go back for retranslation. I am not quite sure
15 why your comment. And you are now commenting on -- you're saying you are
16 going to ask a question and you are commenting before you ask the
17 question, so I'm not quite sure what effect your comment is going to have
18 on the answer that we are going to get, and that's my concern. I would
19 rather get the answer first and then your comment later, if your comment
20 is necessary at all.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not going to dwell on this
22 any more. We can move on and then the translation service can give its
23 official answer.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page now,
2 Q. This first entry, General, and we'll see the English version in a
3 minute, is what I'm interested in. And these are also supposed to be the
4 words of President Milosevic where he says:
5 "I have to speak with the leadership of Republika Srpska. They
6 cannot -- they are not to go into some vulgar capitalism. It was not
7 prof. who won the war, but the poor. One cannot speak about any kind of
8 a system which the people will not accept; the people are not to be
9 enslaved by a few of some rich people among them."
10 General, do you remember this entry and do you remember what this
11 referred to that I have just read?
12 A. Yes, I remember this clearly as well because we are talking about
13 an occurrence that was really very obvious. If you walked or took the
14 road, if you took the road from Belgrade
15 able to see many petrol stations, large catering facilities, restaurants,
16 people with expensive cars, and on the other hand you would be stopped by
17 a fighter from the front asking you if you perhaps had a cigarette or a
18 packet of cigarettes or something like that to spare. This is what
19 Mr. Milosevic is talking about, these kinds of real problems of the
20 accumulation of capital on the part of some people during the war which
21 was something that was quite destructive for army morale.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the following page
23 now, please.
24 Q. We will see that these are then still the words, which according
25 to this entry should be the words of President Milosevic. This asterisk
1 at the beginning where it says:
2 "Issue an order to decide who needs to go, and those who refuse
3 must leave the army." That is underlined. Is this something that
4 refreshes your recollection of the words of President Milosevic which are
5 recorded here?
6 A. Yes, I remember this very well, this position, because as an
7 orientation for me personally it meant quite considerable encouragement.
8 Some several thousand people in the Army of Yugoslavia are referred to
9 here who, up until that time, did not think they should be with their
10 people, with their parents, in a war that nobody asked whether it should
11 be or not and where their place was.
12 Q. When you say several thousand people in the Army of Yugoslavia,
13 which structure of members of the Army of Yugoslavia are you referring
15 A. I'm thinking of the officers and non-commissioned officers from
16 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina who originated from there. People
17 who were born in the Republic of the Serbian Krajina and those who were
18 born in the Republika Srpska but did not go to that -- to join that army.
19 Q. General, do you know that later an order was adopted expelling
20 from the army those who did not want to or who refused to go to the Army
21 of the Serbian Krajina or the army? Were there any such cases, let me be
22 more precise, that anyone who refused to go to the Army of the Serbian
23 Krajina or the Army of Republika Srpska was expelled from the army?
24 A. I don't know of any such case. The official explanation given
25 later was that there was no legal framework for something like that.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page. I am
2 skipping some parts that I consider from the point of view of the Defence
3 are not essential, and we don't have to put questions on those sections.
4 Q. What is said here, there is a subheading:
5 "Question in the RSK." And I'm interested in all of these
6 entries, but I don't have to read them all. General, are you able to
7 read that or do you need me to read it?
8 A. No, I think I can read this, this subheading, in the RSK --
9 Q. Yes. That's right, and everything that is written until the end
10 of that page.
11 A. "A, stopping local break-throughs. B, actions along or behind
12 the lines Croatia
13 this on to the political arena. B, no actions from deep within the area
14 of Croatia
15 against the RSK. We should not provoke through continuous actions an
16 all-out attack against the RSK."
17 This is an entry that corresponds exactly to what Mr. Milosevic
18 said. It means that it confirms what I said here earlier, that in this
19 period that we are talking about, he was saying that even in the
20 conditions of Croatian incursions, we should not do anything that would
21 lead to an escalation of the conflict. At the same meeting, he was also
22 speaking about a possibility which he felt was realistic, especially
23 after his conversations with Croatian President Tudjman, and you have
24 that somewhere here on one of these pages. That is also noted, that the
25 conflict should and must, and it would be favourable for us, first of
1 all, that it was in our interest, in our best interest, for the conflict
2 to be resolved peacefully and for us to move in the direction of
3 negotiations avoiding the war option.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that we can skip the next
5 entry, the next page, and we can immediately go to two pages after this
6 entry. This is also then actually the last page. Sorry, can we look at
7 the following page.
8 Q. You could see on the previous page, and I don't want us to dwell
9 on that, where you could see "with Cot," what does that remind you of,
10 that entry? But I don't want to dwell on that.
11 A. I think that was a suggestion for General Mladic to pay attention
12 in his conversations with General Cot, the commander of UNPROFOR at the
14 Q. And at the time did you also meet, do you recall meeting
15 General Cot then?
16 A. Yes, I had separate talks with General Cot at the time.
17 Q. This last page, at the top it says, the first sentence:
18 "Prikspar [phoen] on cessation of hostilities."
19 Does this abbreviation mean anything to you?
20 A. That is a continuation, actually, of what we were talking about
21 so far about what Mr. Milosevic said, that again at the end he emphasised
22 that we, that's what the entry says, are for accepting a cessation of
23 hostilities agreement. That is what he said and that absolutely fits in
24 with what he was saying before.
25 Q. And if we can now scroll up the document, and the last question
1 that is related to this entry is related to what it says at the end in
2 large letters.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Actually, can we scroll the document
4 down. Thank you.
5 Q. And it says as follows:
6 "Joint General Staff - that we are treated as the 4th Army in
7 the RSK, as the 5th or some other ..."
8 What does this entry remind you of, General? What is stated
10 A. I know exactly what this is. This is not what Mr. Milosevic
11 said. It's not a statement by him. This is Mr. Mladic's position that
12 he stated then and that he would put forward quite frequently later.
13 That was his demand, and you can see from what is said, you can see we
14 are to be treated as the 4th Army, this means the Army of Yugoslavia had
15 three armies at the time and he is saying we should be treated as the
16 4th Army, meaning the Army of Republika Srpska. In the RSK as the 5th or
17 some other, we were more to the west even. And his proposal was for us
18 to be treated as the 5th, or however it would be marked otherwise, army
19 but as part of the joint General Staff.
20 Q. General, was this joint General Staff ever set up?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. Was the Serb army of Krajina treated as an army of the Yugoslav
23 Army regardless of any designation?
24 A. No, unfortunately it wasn't.
25 Q. Why do you say "unfortunately"?
1 A. Well, if it had been treated in that way, I suppose that if they
2 came under attack, all the armies would be involved in the defence, not
3 only one.
4 Q. Can you be more precise, attacked who?
5 A. I was referring to the Republic of Serbian Krajina coming under
6 attack, or as you put it, a potential 5th Army.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to tender
8 this document into evidence, but before that I think we should have it
9 MFI'd pending a revised translation from the CLSS.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence, marked for
11 identification. May it please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit MFI D440.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Since we started a bit later today
15 than usual, should I continue now or should we take a break as usual?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think we'll take a break as usual. Take a break
17 and come back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.27 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we for a moment go into private
22 session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
24 MR. LUKIC: I think we must go in closed session according to
25 this particular document.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into closed session,
2 Mr. Registrar.
3 [Closed session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are now in closed session.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have on our screens
6 document P372.
7 Q. General, while we're waiting for the document to appear, we saw
8 in the notebook that this meeting was held on the 24th of September,
9 1993. My question is, do you remember if you had any meetings in those
10 days with General Cot, and if you did, can you tell us where you met with
11 him and what was it that you discussed?
12 A. Yes. We met in Belgrade
13 regarding joint efforts that General Cot and myself made in order to
14 overcome the situation that was created to find some sort of solution.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't see the document on the
16 screen. I don't know how about others in the courtroom. I can continue.
17 I have a hard copy provided that other participants in the proceedings
18 don't have any problems, but now I hear that General Perisic also cannot
19 see the document.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I suppose it is important for General Perisic to
21 see the document, and if he can't see it, we'll have to wait for him to
22 be able to see it.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please put the B/C/S version
24 on the ELMO. If Mr. Harmon agrees, I just made some notes myself, but if
25 that is all right, I think we can use it.
1 MR. HARMON: I have a clean copy I can give. I think it might be
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Even better still.
4 MR. HARMON: It's two-sided, so.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreters also
6 don't have the document on the screen.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the interpreters also don't have the
8 document on the screen. Now, if it's on the ELMO, will the interpreters
9 be able to see it?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, we can. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are welcome.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. General, you can see this document on your screen. I will
14 discuss it very briefly because I think it's self-explanatory. My first
15 question is, according to what you can remember, were you alone with
16 General Cot on this occasion or were you accompanied by someone else?
17 A. I met General Cot on that occasion by myself.
18 Q. Since I don't have a copy in front of me, can we just scroll down
19 and look at item 4, which is actually a description of the document
20 referring to the meeting with you. And I'm going to read only one
21 sentence and then ask you to comment on it.
22 "General Novakovic" --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you do so, can we get clarification.
24 General Novakovic says he met Cot alone this time. The heading says
25 meeting with General Perisic, Mladic, and Novakovic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, this document has a subtitle which says "meeting with
3 General Perisic, Novakovic, and Mladic in Belgrade on the 25th of
4 September." Now, I'm asking you were these persons, i.e., General
5 Perisic and General Mladic present at this meeting?
6 A. I repeat again that I had a separate meeting with General Cot.
7 Why this is written as it is in this report, I wouldn't know.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then it must be another meeting. Because you if
9 you look at paragraph 3, it actually says "General Perisic did not
10 discuss substantive issues, he only mentioned the violation of
12 this minute. Maybe you got to put another exhibit on the screen.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I would like to
14 put a question to the witness. Perhaps if we turn to page -- or rather,
15 item 5, and then perhaps you will have the same impression about this
16 document that I have gathered. Because item 5 reads:
17 "During a meeting with General Mladic," and I'm not going to
18 comment on this in front of the witness, but I believe that in this
19 respect this report speaks about a completely different issue. Not about
20 a joint meeting.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you are -- you are now commenting.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, but the witness gave us an
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Go on, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, did you attend a meeting with General Cot in the
2 presence of General Perisic?
3 A. No.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if you followed my
5 question and the witness's answer, I think that it's now clear what the
6 witness's position is.
7 Q. Now, just a brief comment what is written here about your meeting
8 with General Cot, and it says that in a conciliatory tone,
9 General Novakovic expressed a desire to have the problem of the entry by
10 the Serbian police into the Medak pocket resolved as soon as possible.
11 Do you remember that?
12 A. Yes, I can, but I don't have the previous page.
13 Q. If you look at item 4, it says -- can you see this?
14 A. I can see it in English, but not in Serbian.
15 Q. So I'm going to read it out to you:
16 "General Novakovic going back to the current problems in Krajina
17 in a conciliatory tone expressed a desire to have the problem of the
18 entry by the Serbian police into the Medak pocket be resolved quickly."
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: Perhaps to assist the witness, we have a spare copy
21 in the Serbian language, if the usher could give this to the witness, it
22 might facilitate the examination.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Harmon. I have two
25 corresponding copies and everything is perfectly clear. The sentence
1 that you quoted refers to the implementation of one segment of the
2 agreement that I signed on behalf of the Serbian side, and
3 General Stipetic on behalf of the Croatian side through mediation of
4 Generals Cot and General Pellnas. One of the provisions contained in
5 this agreement was for the sides or the parties to withdraw to their
6 initial positions, at which point this zone would be re-entered by the
7 Serbian police which was guaranteed by General Cot. And that is
8 something that he told me that he will support this with his word of a
10 However, having in mind realistical ability of General Cot, who I
11 highly appreciated as an officer, I realised that he didn't have the
12 required strength to implement which was one of the elements in the
13 agreement. And I didn't want to put him personally in an awkward
14 position because I saw that he couldn't resolve that and that he couldn't
15 exert pressure to have it resolved. I don't think that was a realistic
16 option for him.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I ask, you were interpreted as having signed
18 this segment on behalf of the Serbian side. Did you sign on behalf of
19 the Serbian side or the Serbian Krajina?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we do have a copy in
21 the archives. I'm sure there is a copy of that agreement somewhere. I
22 cannot state precisely whether I was referred to as the signatory on
23 behalf of the Serbian Krajina or a signatory on behalf of the Serbian
24 side. My memory tells me that was done on behalf of the Serbian side.
25 The UNPROFOR and the international intermediaries usually used terms such
1 as parties to the conflict, the Serbian side, the Croatian side, and
3 most frequently used terms. To the best of my recollection, the wording
4 was "the Serbian side" and the "Croatian side" in this agreement, I
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your official designation at the time was that of
7 commander of the SVK.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but because of different
9 perceptions of our status, the difference between how we saw it and how
10 the Croatian side saw it, sometimes those official designations were
11 dropped so that those formalities would not become stumbling blocks and
12 prevent the resolution of the merits of each particular case.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Novakovic.
14 Yes, Mr. Lukic, you can continue.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm done with this
16 document. We may go back into open session.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am sorry, I was talking to the Registrar when
18 you asked to go into open session. May the Chamber please move into open
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic, you may
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I should consult with the
25 secretariats. I should go into another set of documents, a voluminous
1 set of documents, and we could use e-court. For instance, the next
2 exhibit I intend to discuss has 15 pages. It's a P exhibit, so I'm not
3 sure how again to proceed, without e-court.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, are you able to proceed with that
5 exhibit using the ELMO? If you are not, we will have to take an
6 adjournment and we are told by the technicians that it will take them 30
7 minutes to correct the problem, so you can break for 30 minutes --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would prefer we continue working.
9 If Mr. Harmon should tell us whether P2175 is something they have in this
10 courtroom, a clean copy, that would greatly aid us because my copy has
11 been annotated heavily. My learned friend says that they have one, so we
12 can continue.
13 Q. Mr. Novakovic, General Novakovic, we are going to broach another
14 subject. Does the term "co-ordination meeting" mean anything to you and
15 what do you understand that term to mean?
16 A. After this meeting that we discussed, the one that took place on
17 the 24th of September, a practice was established whereby once a month
18 representatives of the Main Staff of the SVK and the General Staff of the
19 VJ would hold an official meeting which we labelled "co-ordinating
20 meeting" or "co-ordination." If there are documents pertaining to those
21 meetings, to those conferences, then you would be made aware of the tone
22 which was very characteristic of those meetings, that it was identical
23 throughout at all such meetings to wit we would be requiring, asking
24 matters to be resolved, some of them would be resolved, but most of them
25 would not.
1 Q. Who took part in those meetings? I'm asking you generally.
2 A. On the part of the VJ General Staff, Chief of Staff would attend
3 those meetings together with his assistants, as far as I could judge. I
4 did not know the positions of everybody in the room. On the part of the
5 SVK, initially I took part and my assistants, and later on I let Chief of
6 Staff General Djokic to take part in those meetings.
7 Q. Why did you let your chief of general or Main Staff
8 General Djokic to take part in those meetings? Generally, do you recall
9 how many such meetings you attended and what was the reason you stopped
10 attending them and he then started in your place?
11 A. I think I attended the first two or three meetings. After that I
12 delegated that to the Chief of the Main Staff. The reason was quite
13 simple, basically we would be repeating our request and those requests
14 kept being unheeded, and therefore I concluded that those meetings were
15 not of import because they were not beneficial to us.
16 But I pointed this my finger at the screen, indicated my
17 inability to follow the speed of the transcript and interpretation. I'm
18 not sure whether I was too slow or too fast.
19 Q. Rest assured, the interpreters will let you know if you are
20 speaking too fast.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to ask you this question, Mr. Novakovic,
22 simply because you said you delegated your Chief of Staff. Who was the
23 chief of the staff of the VJ at the time? You said on the part of the VJ
24 General Staff, the Chief of Staff would attend. Who was the Chief of
25 Staff of the VJ?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Perisic. He was the Chief
2 of General Staff of the VJ. And, Your Honour --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in the SVK, what was your official
4 designation? Commander of the Main Staff? And General Perisic was not
5 called commander of the General Staff, he was called Chief of the
6 General Staff? But he was at the same level as you, not at the same
7 level as your subordinate? You were the highest military officer in the
8 army of the SVK, he was the highest military officer in the VJ?
9 You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that's correct,
11 General Perisic was the highest-ranking officer in the VJ. And I was the
12 highest-ranking officer in the SVK.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Novakovic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, we are going to discuss the Law on SVK. We are going to
16 broach those subjects, but not for very long. I'm not sure whether we
17 should go into details for the purposes of this trial. I can see that we
18 have the document I requested on the screen. Thanks to the technical
20 General, I requested P2175, a Prosecution exhibit to be brought
21 on the screen. This is page 1 of that document. It is a multi-page
22 document. I'm going to dwell on certain segments. Could you please read
23 what is stated here and tell us whether you remember what was the reason
24 for its generation, what was the issue discussed here since you are
25 indicated as the author of the document.
1 A. In the document it is stated Republic of Serbian Krajina
2 Staff of SVK --
3 Q. Do not read it out loud. The date is the 30th of September.
4 Could you please tell us the reason for you drafting this document?
5 A. As you saw, at the 24th of September meeting we concluded that
6 co-ordination meetings should be initiated and six days after that
7 meeting I request from the General Staff of the VJ to set a date for such
8 a co-ordinating meeting to be held between the Main Staff of the SVK,
9 Main Staff of the RSK, and the VJ, and I proposed that this be held in
10 the latter part of October.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The document appears and disappears
12 from the screen. Since we have a hard copy, we better proceed with the
13 help of the ELMO. Let's go now to page 5 in the B/C/S. Let's place it
14 on the ELMO. In English that would be page 0630-5895ET.
15 Q. What I'm interested in, General, is the document dated the 15th
16 of October, 1993. I can see that you signed it.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for placing this on the
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What is the purpose of this document, could you please comment?
22 A. As far as I can see, this is a proposal of issues that agreement
23 should be reached at those meetings that we labelled co-ordinating
24 meetings. As you can see, the document states issues, analysis, and
25 implementation of tasks and missions during the month, assessment of the
1 enemy, results of combat operations of our forces.
2 Q. You don't have to read it out loud. I believe that the document
3 speaks for itself. What I'm interested in is what is stated are issues,
4 use of directives, et cetera. My question is, at the time did you have
5 your plan of utilisation of the SVK and documents pertaining to that?
6 A. Of course we had. The plan had been prepared and every army
7 should have a plan of that sort.
8 Q. It is stated here a little below:
9 "Elements of joint operations of 11 VK [as interpreted] and 12 K
10 VJ and 11 K SVK." What did this refer to?
11 A. In the eastern part, which is dislocated in the Baranja and in
12 Western Slavonia and Eastern Srem, we had our 11th Corps stationed there
13 of the Serbian Krajina, and on the other bank of the river Danube, the
14 12th corps with headquarters in Novi Sad of the VJ. We thought that if
15 two such operative groups were -- whose areas of operations are
16 contiguous, then everything concerning their missions and tasks in that
17 area, that they should be in a way co-ordinated.
18 Q. Did this ever come to life, this joint actions and joint
19 activities of the 12th Corps of the VJ and the 11th Corps of the SVK?
20 A. The answer to your question has to be broken down into two parts.
21 As far as joint actions through plans, that was partially achieved. As
22 far as practical joint actions in the combat zone or the theatre of the
23 11th Corps, that did not materialise.
24 Q. We are going to dwell on that subject a bit later. Slightly
25 below it is "stated communications issue, problems of setting up of
1 digital communication system with RS and FRY." Did you discuss this
2 matter and did this digital communication system ever come to be?
3 A. No, it was not established because allegedly there were no funds
4 to set it up. The same as in the case of the preceding task.
5 Q. When I ask you whether it was set up, I know the answer, we know
6 that you were the commander until February 1994 after your dismissal and
7 until the end of the war, whether in that period, did this digital
8 communication system -- was it established or not?
9 A. As far as I know, it has never been established.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: How do you know that if you had been dismissed?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that would bring
12 about such a huge change that the people who were in the army at the time
13 would definitely have informed me about that.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: So because they didn't inform you that, you then
15 say that it didn't happen? Is that the basis for you saying it didn't
16 happen, because they didn't tell you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time the Yugoslav Army, and
18 I know that for sure, Your Honours, did not procure such communication
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am aware of that, Mr. Novakovic. But I ask you
21 to please listen my question and answer my question. My question is, are
22 you basing your answer that it never happened even after you left on the
23 fact that nobody informed you that it happened because you say it would
24 have brought such a huge change that they would have told you. Now, they
25 didn't tell you, and is that the basis for you saying it didn't happen?
1 You can say yes or you can say no.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I wasn't privy
3 to this directly but that's how it happened.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: In fact, you are making an assumption that it
5 didn't happen. And I'm not suggesting it did happen, I am just saying --
6 I just want to be sure that your testimony is either based on factual
7 knowledge on your part or on an assumption?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I left my post, I maintained
9 very good relations with various officers including communications
10 officers, and I'm quite sure that they would have been so delighted about
11 something like that happening, they would have told me definitely. On
12 the other hand, I still continued to use --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't have to repeat your answer. Listen to
14 my question. I'm just wanting to make sure that your answer is based on
15 assumption and not on fact.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tried to say one
17 more sentence in my previous answer and that is that I continued to use
18 this communications system. And at the end stations of this system, I
19 used to spend a lot of time at Petrovo Gora where there was one such
20 station and I know until the end of the war all the obsolete equipment
21 was still there.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you mean by this communication system? Do
23 you mean the co-ordinating meetings? Because this is the co-ordinating
24 meetings at which you came to know that you are not able to get the
25 assistance you required, so when you say you continued to use the
1 communication system, what is that communication system?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the existing communication
3 system that I found in place when I took over my duty, and that was an
4 analogue system.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I suppose if I persist we'll spend the rest of the
6 day arguing on this point, so I hand you over to Mr. Lukic. Maybe
7 there's something I don't understand.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Nevertheless, as a follow-up in connection with this topic, can
10 you please tell us what post did you hold after your dismissal?
11 A. It was called deputy, some called it assistant, of the supreme
12 commander for national security and international relations.
13 Q. In the light of that post, did you know what the financial
14 material situation of the Army of the Serbian Krajina was at the time?
15 A. Not fully, and by that I mean I didn't receive any official
16 reports. However, as for some basic information relating to the
17 resources available, I was definitely privy to that.
18 Q. Was the communications system of the SVK one of the resources
19 that was of vital importance for the functioning of the army?
20 A. Yes, it was.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please now move to page --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, just while we're on this document
25 before we turn to a different part of this document, just to correct the
1 record, on page 32, line 18, Mr. Lukic was reading from this document the
2 portion that he quotes elements of joint operations and then there is
3 inserted in here, perhaps by error, of 11 VK, and 11 VK does not appear
4 in the document itself, it appears in the transcript only. So there is
5 an error in the transcript, and I want to just direct counsel's attention
6 to that and the Court's attention to that.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
8 Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I accept that. It's
10 probably due to a mistake and of course the original document is in
11 evidence, and I agree with this objection by Mr. Harmon which contributes
12 to us avoiding any misunderstanding.
13 Q. Now, let us move a few pages forward, namely page 9 in B/C/S, and
14 there's a title of this document which says "Issues to be Discussed
15 Through Co-ordination at a Meeting to be Held on the 19th of October
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And the last four digits in B/C/S are
19 Q. Now, General, there's mention here of the date 19th of October,
20 1993. Can you tell us the names listed underneath are members of which
21 armies? This may sound as a trivial question, but I need an answer for
22 my next question.
23 A. On one side we have members of the General Staff of the VJ and on
24 the other side we have the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now, can we move to the next page,
2 Your Honours. The English version says "Issues to be Discussed at
3 Co-ordinating Meeting on the 21st of October 1993." I don't have it in
4 front of me, I don't know if you can follow this in English. It should
5 be 0630-5859 most probably -- 00. 5900ET.
6 Q. Now, this is a document which contains questions to be discussed
7 on the 21st of October, 1993, and below towards the bottom of the page
8 you can see the list of the attendants, and I'm again asking you, the
9 members of which armies are cited in this document?
10 A. Here we have members of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army on
11 the one hand and members of the Main Staff of the Serb army of Krajina on
12 the other.
13 Q. We see two different dates. I would like to ask you if you
14 remember whether these co-ordination meetings with one of the armies were
15 joint meetings or were they held separately?
16 A. Those meetings were always held separately. There was never a
17 meeting which we attended alongside the officers of the Main Staff of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska and with the General Staff of the VJ.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now move to page -- actually,
20 to the next page.
21 Q. Now, we have items to be discussed at the meetings by both staffs
22 on the 23rd of September 1993?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] ERN page, Your Honours, is in English
24 063055902 in English.
25 Q. Now, there are several subjects listed here, and I would like to
1 have the document scrolled down, or rather, let's skip this, I don't
2 think these things are so important. I'm sorry, General. It says on
3 this page what should be done and how it should be done if --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, please repeat the question slowly.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic, the interpreters request that
7 you repeat the question slowly. They didn't hear your full question.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreters.
9 Q. So this document which is "Topics for a Discussion." That's the
10 title of the document. In one of sub-items it says "what should be done
11 and how if 50.000 men are dispatched from NATO?" According to you, what
12 was all this about?
13 A. This is about an estimation and a possibility for the UNPROFOR
14 mandate that had already been deployed in our territory be substituted by
15 a peacekeeping mission. There was a realistic possibility for NATO
16 coming to this area with a peacemaking mission. That is to say that they
17 would be entitled to use force in the areas where they assess was
18 necessary and against the party that they decide should be treated by
19 force. All of this was centred about seeking a resolution for
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Will you please now turn to page 14
22 in B/C/S in electronic version, and the English designation is
23 0630-5902STR3. There's a title there, "Personnel Issues." Page 3 in
24 English. It's all right now, I can see it's on my screen.
25 Q. General, can you see this in front of you?
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. There's a subtitle here which says "Problems" and there are
3 several bullet points. Would you please read it to yourself and tell me
4 everything you know about this particular entry?
5 A. I don't know if we made it sufficiently clear at the beginning.
6 These are the topics that had been prepared for General Perisic by his
7 office staff and he was supposed to impart those topics to
8 representatives of the SVK and the Army of Republika Srpska. Under this
9 subtitle "Problems," the first bullet point refers to "the dispatch of
10 officers born in RSK and RS - difficult to achieve (high ranks)."
11 Mr. Lukic, would you like me to go on reading and commenting on
13 Q. You need not read all this. Can you just comment on the facts,
14 that is to say, whether everything that is stated here about these
15 problems, does that reflect the factual situation as you knew it at the
17 A. What is stated here was known to me as the explanations that were
18 given by the VJ General Staff. However, I cannot say exactly that I
19 found that to be acceptable. It says here that in the Serb army of
20 Krajina there were fewer than 1.000 commissioned and non-commissioned
21 officers, that these officers, when they came to our areas, were
22 complaining about being ill-treated by the local population, that they in
23 the VJ did not know exactly where everybody was deployed because there
24 was no specific organ that was dealing with the dispatch of these
1 Q. Just a moment, please. Yes, you can proceed. Let me just ask an
2 additional question. What you said that the citizens of the RS and RSK
3 did not treat the officers in there properly, can you tell us what
4 exactly you meant by that, although you said something to that effect on
5 Thursday as well?
6 A. It goes for non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers
7 who were born in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The common people
8 resented openly without mincing words that it wasn't fair of them as
9 people who had been trained for war to hide somewhere in Belgrade,
10 whereas your common peasant was manning the front line and that they were
11 coming there only when they had to.
12 Q. When they had to, what do you mean by this phrase?
13 A. When they are coerced to come for a period of time, for a couple
14 of months somewhere, and to return as quickly as possible, and ...
15 Q. Whether their refusal to be seconded, did it bring about any
16 consequences in the VJ to the best of your knowledge?
17 A. On several occasions there were such consequences. There were
18 occasions where people were called up to fill 10 to 15 buses and they
19 were supposed to muster up at a certain location in Belgrade, and the
20 number of people showing up could not fill a single bus, but no measures
21 were taken against such people who failed to show up.
22 Q. The next page.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you go to the next page,
24 Mr. Novakovic, a few questions. What does the abbreviation AVL stand
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, which acronym?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Under problems, second bullet, and clear positions
3 on the status of AVL." What is AVL? Oh come on, now they've changed the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that. This is an
6 acronym, AVL, denoting active-duty military personnel, refers to
7 professional commissioned and non-commissioned officers.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Could we please go back to
11 that page. Thank you. And what does CL mean? Oh, civilians. Okay. So
12 this is the same bracket as civilians. Okay. Thank you very much.
13 Yes, Mr. Lukic, you can go to the next page.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me speed up since, as you can
15 see, this document contains several subdocuments. Now, I'd like to deal
16 with a portion which would be on page 23 in B/C/S and in English that
17 would be 0630-5913ET. That would be the rear guard sector. That would
18 be the heading. This is a four-page document. However, I'm -- well, I
19 believe that we have this in e-court and hopefully there will be no
20 longer any need for ELMO.
21 Q. The first paragraph concerning possibilities of the VJ to provide
22 rearguard support to the VRS and SVK, and then the technical support,
23 please read this whole paragraph for yourself, General, and then I'm
24 going to ask you a couple of questions.
25 A. I've read it.
1 Q. To the best of your knowledge, derived from the contacts with the
2 representatives of the General Staff of the VJ, where did those facts
3 particularly in the latter part of the paragraph correspond to the actual
4 state of affairs in terms of the rear guard sector of the VJ at the time?
5 A. Mr. Lukic, the only sources of my knowledge would be what I was
6 told by General Perisic and his assistants. I had no reason to believe
7 otherwise either then or now. For instance, they say here:
8 "We have nothing but what is no longer useable by the VJ, which
9 has no perspective of being used there. We can give you those. If
10 you've got the funds, you can buy for yourself if you need anything
12 Q. Did you procure anything of the sort? And if so, how you secured
13 the funding for such procurement?
14 A. I did not deal with procurement. The Ministry of Defence and the
15 government dealt with that, the government of the Republic of Serbian
16 Krajina. And as far as I know, they gave oil from the Djeletovci oil
17 fields and converted that into funding for fuel and other supplies.
18 Alternatively some funds, most probably money printed by the national
19 bank, was received from the government of Yugoslavia.
20 Q. After 1993 in 1994, is it known to you after this Avramovic
21 programme had been introduced, the so-called Avrams dinar, did you
22 receive any such funds coming from the central banks print shop? Is it
23 known to you?
24 A. The gist of the monetary reform as far as I could understand it
25 was to stop printing money without foreign currency backing, so it was no
1 longer possible for you to print money and say go buy something with it.
2 Q. You mentioned the Djeletovci oil fields, where are they, those
3 oil fields, what facilities were there, and what was it all about
4 concerning the Djeletovci agreement or agreement concerning Djeletovci?
5 A. I visited that area once when I visited the front line towards
6 the enemy lines. What I know of that is that in that area there was an
7 oil field controlled by the government of the Serbian Krajina. And I
8 know there was talk about arrangements whereby as far as I know Pancevo
9 refinery would receive crude oil and in return the Pancevo refinery would
10 give oil derivatives to the RSK or funds for procuring something else. I
11 also know that the government, in an effort to deal with the financial
12 issues, in the eastern part of the RSK, they organised some timber
13 felling. There were rumours flying around that as well. But to the best
14 of my knowledge these were the methods to obtain the necessary funding
15 that were used at the time.
16 Q. Is it known to you where those -- this equipment and supplies
17 were obtained from, so who did they buy when they were buying from?
18 A. Manufacturers in Serbia
19 Q. Here under 3, item 3, it is stated:
20 "VJ has no other possibilities of supplying RSK and SVK with fuel
21 because the reserves are below the statutory minimum. Therefore,
22 supplies have to be obtained -- further supplies have to be obtained from
23 the market."
24 General, what do you know about those facts? Did you as the SVK
25 receive oil and fuel from the VJ?
1 A. I don't know whether there was anything before this document, but
2 after that for sure nothing else came. They themselves did not have
3 enough fuel to meet their every-day daily minimum requirements.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm through with this document and
5 since I'm conducting this examination of Mr. Novakovic in a chronological
6 order, I would like to go to another document. I'm going back to
7 General Mladic's notebook. Let us -- first I would like to seek leave
8 from the Bench to introduce into the 65 ter Defence list something
9 referring to a meeting in Belgrade
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Defence counsel repeat the date of
11 the meeting, please.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, could you repeat the date of the
13 meeting, please.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The 21st of October 1993
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon do you have any objection to that being
16 introduced to the 65 ter list of the Defence?
17 MR. HARMON: I do not.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon.
19 Yes, Mr. Lukic, it is so introduced.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's bring to the screen this entry
21 from the notebook. That would be 65 ter 03383D. This entry is slightly
22 shorter than the previous ones. We'll be able to go through it faster.
23 Q. It's stated here:
24 "Meeting with the representatives of the FRY, Serbia
25 Republic of Serbian
1 Slobo, Karadzic, Perisic, Mladic, and Novakovic. The date is the 21st of
2 October, 1993
3 A. Yes, I do recall.
4 Q. My first question, as we can see, the president of the Republika
5 Srpska, Karadzic is presents here, but I can't see anybody else
6 representing the civilian authorities of the Serbian Krajina, Republic of
7 Serbian Krajina. Wasn't it unusual for you to be the only representative
8 of the RSK? What was the reason for that?
9 A. I cannot state unequivocally. Maybe it was a political message
10 to those political leaders of ours to stop the political bickering that
11 occupied the whole time and to focus more on problems.
12 MR. HARMON: I'm going to object. This calls for speculation. I
13 object to the answer.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You should object to the question.
15 MR. HARMON: I should have. Once I realised -- once I could see
16 that the witness was speculating, then I was a little bit tardy, but I
17 nevertheless assert my objection.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I accept Mr. Harmon's objection.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could that be a convenient moment? We'll take a
21 break and come back at quarter to 6.00. Court adjourned.
22 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Welcome, Mr. Saxon. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The e-court now is working fully, I
1 hope. And I would just like us to look at the bottom of this document,
2 of this page. We can begin with that.
3 Q. First thing that it says at the end of this first page about this
4 meeting, says next:
5 "Status questions of officers (resolved)."
6 General Novakovic, has this entry reminded you perhaps of what
7 this referred to? We don't see who wrote it. Can you tell us anything
8 about this entry?
9 A. It says that the status issue of officers should be looked at.
10 The officers and non-commissioned officers of the former JNA who are
11 currently serving in the Serbian army of the Krajina and the Army of
12 Republika Srpska. Until that time there was some different problems
13 relating to their status, and we requested that these matters be resolved
14 in such a way as to first define the political will to resolve this
15 matter. And this could only be resolved only in this way, at the
16 political level. If you wish, I can list these status issues that made
17 up the bulk of these problems.
18 Q. Yes, please, go ahead.
19 A. Besides the fact that often they didn't know who was where, the
20 officer who did not have the military post number entered in his medical
21 booklet, military post in the territory of the Republic of Yugoslavia
22 could not ask for medical assistance in military medical facilities.
23 What was even more important was that the members of his family, his
24 children, were not able to seek medical assistance if they did not have
25 their medical ID cards certified in the proper way.
1 The next question, for example, is that such an officer or
2 non-commissioned officer couldn't buy a uniform.
3 Q. Well, we already discussed some of those problems that you were
4 facing before, if you remember. I would like to put the question to you,
5 do you remember at that meeting what was the conclusion, if there was a
6 conclusion adopted?
7 A. This was the conclusion by Mr. Milosevic that this status issue
8 should be resolved, and it should be that they have equal status
9 regardless of which members of the former JNA were in the Army of
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have an intervention for the
13 transcript, Your Honours. On page 46, line 18, the witness said in the
14 Serbian Army of the Krajina and the Army of Republika Srpska.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Instead of "in" you want "and."
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is correct.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page, both in
19 the B/C/S and the English.
20 Q. And I would like to ask you, General, for one -- well, I'm not
21 going to say comment, but testimony on another of the entries.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a problem again
23 here with the official English translation by CLSS, and I have already
24 talked about this with Mr. Harmon.
25 Q. General, I'm going to read this part in -- listed under number 2
1 and you can tell me, General, if I've read it correctly:
2 "The financing of the army. What the VRS RJ has it will give, a
3 share of the materiel we will have to obtain."
4 General, who does this refer to?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you answer, Mr. Novakovic, the translation
7 "What the VRS RJ has it will give. A share of the materiel we
8 will have to obtain." But I thought it says "what the Army of the FRY
9 have, they will give." Look at page 48, line 10.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. It's possible -- well, the
11 title was a little bit different. I'm going to say it again:
12 "Financing of the army. What the Army of the FRY has ..."
13 Literally that is the name given, the term Army of Yugoslavia is not used
14 this time. It will give, and a part of the funds or means or equipment
15 we will obtain.
16 Q. General, do you remember who said this and what does this entry
17 refer to?
18 A. These are also the words of Mr. Milosevic and that's how it was
19 said, what the Army of Yugoslavia has it will give and a part of the
20 materiel we will obtain from those who produce it, I assume, and what the
21 army doesn't have. If you wish, I can say how I understood this.
22 Q. Exactly. This is what I would like you to do.
23 A. As far as the Army of Yugoslavia
24 practically meant was that they would not give us anything because they
25 didn't have anything. This is what they told us. Only something that
1 they didn't really have much use for, that is what they would give
2 because they didn't have enough for their own elementary needs either.
3 Q. When Mladic says here "we will have to obtain this," what is he
4 thinking of? What does he mean here?
5 MR. HARMON: I'll object to what is he thinking, Your Honour.
6 That calls for speculation.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, I'm not asking the witness to
9 speculate. Perhaps the question is formulated in that way.
10 Q. But could the witness based on what Milosevic said tell us to
11 whom does this part about obtaining things refer to? Who is it that was
12 supposed to obtain these things?
13 A. This was very important for me and that is why I remember clearly
14 that this meant that as far as I was concerned, the government of the
15 Republic of the Serbian Krajina would have to care about getting those
16 funds, and if we are talking about the government of Republika Srpska,
17 that would imply their Ministry of Defence.
18 Q. Whose Ministry of Defence, let us be precise?
19 A. The Ministry of Defence, as I said, of Republika Srpska, and the
20 Ministry of Defence of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
21 Q. General, I apologise, but perhaps I'm a little bit too fussy
22 somewhere. But I would like to draw your attention to the last part on
23 this page where it says "questions" and underneath that it says
24 "Milosevic." Now, again I'm going to read this out because again I have
25 a problem with the official translation. What is says is this:
1 "The RS is under a significant threat. A couple of units were
2 transferred to Lika from Eastern Slavonia, but we cannot man these forces
3 from Eastern Slavonia."
4 General, who transferred the units, do you remember, from Lika to
5 Eastern Slavonia
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
7 MR. HARMON: I have a different translation in the English from
8 what was read. I have the RSK is under a significant threat, and what
9 was translated at page 50, line 9, it says the RS is under a significant
10 threat. So there seems to be a difference in both what was read and what
11 is in the text. Perhaps that can be clarified.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's true.
13 Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Obviously this refers to
15 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, so I agree with this objection by
16 Mr. Harmon in any event that that is what it should state in this place,
17 page 50, line 8, RSK.
18 Q. Mr. Novakovic, does this remind you of the conversation on this
19 topic at the meeting?
20 A. Yes, that is the assessment by Mr. Milosevic that the Republic of
21 the Serbian Krajina is under significant threat. I recall that this was
22 about a month after the incursion of the Croatian forces in the Medak
24 Q. And now I'm asking you what it says here, who transferred a
25 couple of units from Lika to Eastern Slavonia?
1 A. No one transferred these units from Lika to Eastern Slavonia.
2 Actually, it's the other way around.
3 Q. Oh, I'm sorry, I think I'm getting a bit tired myself.
4 A. The Main Staff of the Serbian Army of the Krajina transferred two
5 battalions from the 11th Corps from the eastern sector to Lika because
6 people there had been at positions for over a month without any relief,
7 without the possibility of going home, having a bath, resting, doing
8 something else.
9 If you would like me to continue with my answer?
10 Q. Yes, please, go ahead.
11 A. Mr. Milosevic, for reasons unknown to me, said that this should
12 not be done, this transfer of units which are units of the Serbian army
13 of the Krajina. They should not be transferred from the 11th Corps area
14 in the eastern part to Lika where the incursion into the Medak pocket was
15 carried out. What he is saying is that Boric and Talic should give them
16 assistance amounting to some 3- to 5.000 men in that area. General Boric
17 at the time was the commander of the 2nd Krajina Corps of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska. And General Talic was the commander of the 1st Krajina
19 Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska. And Mr. Milosevic, and I know
20 this very well, I mean, it was a bit unclear to me, fought or suggested
21 that they should provide these men. And they did send a battalion each
22 to relieve these other units, but not 3- to 5.000 men as it is stated
23 here. They just didn't have that.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at the next page,
25 please. This is a continuation of this entry.
1 Q. And the first sentence says:
2 "By October 27th, 1993, two brigades, about 3.000 men to be given
3 to the RSK to Lika." My question is, and you have just said that, is
4 members of which army went to Lika, if any went at the time?
5 A. They went from the 1st Krajina Corps of General Talic and the 2nd
6 Krajina Corps of General Boric, about 500-strong battalions each from
7 these corps was sent to certain parts of the front so that those people
8 from the Serbian Army of Krajina could be relieved and could rest.
9 Q. And --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Lukic. Just so that at least we follow
11 you, this entry tells us of something that is to be done. The witness is
12 testifying about something that was done, sending 500 each from each of
13 those corps, and he is using the past tense but this entry talks about
14 the future, to be done. To be given to the RSK.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, my question to the witness, in
16 fact, was occasioned by this entry and I wanted to ask whether at a later
17 stage -- let me just check whether the question was recorded properly.
18 If you look at page 52, line 9, it says whether anything was done later
19 in compliance with this entry.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, General, do you remember how long they stayed in the area
23 and what happened afterwards? I am talking about these two battalions.
24 A. Between three and four weeks.
25 Q. Pursuant to whose decision did they return to the VRS and what
1 happened with them subsequently?
2 A. There was no decision taken subsequently. At the time when they
3 were dispatched, it was said that they would stay there about one month
4 to give an opportunity to our men to rest and that after that they would
5 return to their units.
6 Q. And now, could you please look at what is written next underneath
7 the previous statement, and it reads -- it says here VSRJ, and I suppose
8 that this refers to the army of the FRY, it says:
9 "Call all officers and non-commissioned officers from the army of
10 the FRY by the end of the next week," and then there's an arrow.
11 And it says:
12 "Officers are to go to the VRS and the VRSK."
13 General, based on this entry, can you remember what was discussed
14 on that day, what does this refer to?
15 A. Yes, this was said by Mr. Milosevic as well. And it was a kind
16 of declaration that he made, but he didn't mean it in actual fact. If
17 necessary, let me remind you that among the topics prepared by
18 Mr. Perisic's office staff for a meeting with us, it was said that this
19 was not feasible, that that could not be done because there was no legal
20 basis for such a move.
21 Q. General, do you know whether at that time before or after there
22 were any rallies organised where officers and non-commissioned officers
23 were invited together?
24 A. I think that these kind of rallies were organised within the Army
25 of Yugoslavia
1 their moral obligations first and foremost, and I myself did not attend
2 any of such rallies.
3 Q. Did you receive any feedback information about the reaction by
4 the officers who were called to go to and join the Army of the Serbian
5 Republic of Krajina
6 A. To tell you the truth, Mr. Lukic, I did not dwell too much on
7 their reactions. I was rather interested to see what the response was
8 and it was negligible.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can this document please be given an
10 exhibit number and for the time being I would like it to be marked for
11 identification only.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
13 please be given an exhibit number and be marked for identification.
14 THE REGISTRAR: You Honour, that will be MFI D441.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And the last document that I would
17 like to go through with this witness relating to this particular format,
18 that is to say, General Mladic's notebook, is an entry from the meeting
19 held on the 8th of November, 1993, at the Presidency of Serbia, and on
20 our 65 ter list, it is marked 03384D.
21 I'm just waiting for Mr. Harmon to hear what he thinks about
22 including this into our list, and then I would like to go through it with
23 this witness.
24 MR. HARMON: We have no objection.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
1 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, this is a multi-page document and it speaks about a
4 meeting at the Presidency of Serbia. As you can see stated here it was
5 held on the 8th of November, 1993, in Belgrade
6 before that, during proofing have I shown you this document?
7 A. Yes, you have.
8 Q. Did this document refresh your memory concerning this meeting and
9 your presence in the meeting?
10 A. Yes, it did. We have the full leadership of the republic of the
11 Serbian Krajina present here.
12 Q. Let us just identify only a few of the participants who are
13 listed here. I will skip Milosevic and Lilic. Tell me who Sainovic is?
14 A. He was the prime minister of Serbia at the time.
15 Q. Then we have Perisic, then Sokolovic. Who was Sokolovic?
16 A. At the time Sokolovic was the minister of the interior of Serbia
17 Q. Stojsic?
18 A. He was the chief of public security in the Ministry of the
19 Interior of Serbia
20 Q. Stanisic?
21 A. Mr. Stanisic was the chief of the state security department of
23 Q. Since there's another Stanisic mentioned here, do you know his
24 first name, the one that attended this meeting?
25 A. Jovica Stanisic.
1 Q. Then we have Karadzic, Krajisnik, Mladic, Hadzic. Who was Hadzic
2 at the time?
3 A. He was the president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
4 Q. Bjegovic?
5 A. Djordje Bjegovic was the prime minister of the Republic of
6 Serbian Krajina.
7 Q. Then we have Martic and Novakovic. We mentioned that before.
8 Who is this person Rakic?
9 A. Admiral Rakic was the minister of defence of the Republic of
10 Serbian Krajina.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say Sainovic was the president of Serbia
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I didn't understand you,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say Sainovic was the president of Serbia
15 did I hear you to say that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was the prime minister.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of Serbia
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of Serbia, yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Lilic was the president of the Federation -- FRY
20 and Milosevic was the president of Serbia. Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Let us now look at -- first we have a contribution by Milosevic
23 who -- I'm going to speak this, and it says: "Today's agenda, important
24 element of policy and military strategy, current situation." I would
25 like to skip this whole part because I think this document is
1 self-explanatory in this particular segment, and I would like to move on
2 to the next page. Somewhere in the middle there is mention of the
3 leadership of the Serbian Radical Party and the SPO. In your view, why
4 was it important for Milosevic to mention these political parties that
5 existed at the time as part of the political system of Serbia and
7 A. What was known to everyone, to all members of the public was that
8 at the time in Serbia
9 position and opposition. At that time, the fiercest conflict was between
10 the socialist party of Serbia
11 on the one hand, and the Serbian Radical Party on the other led by
12 Mr. Seselj. Our assessment was that the mention of these issues in a
13 meeting with the political leaderships of Republika Srpska and the
14 Republic of Serbian Krajina by Mr. Milosevic signified that he was
15 actually seeking political support from us for maintaining and preserving
16 his political position in Serbia
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I explain now?
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. May the Chamber please move into private
10 session. And could we please redact that portion starting at page --
11 line 18 of page 57 up to page 58, line 8.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 13206 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are now in open session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
19 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, let's work through this document. These words are also
22 Milosevic's, and it is stated: "Our objective: First, unconditionally
23 strengthen the integrity of Serbia
24 independent state. 3, in the RSK, the Serbs must have complete power."
25 I would like you to testify about your recollections of what this
1 entry refers to.
2 A. It is important to notify the nuances here because they are
3 important when we talk about those items 1, 2, and 3, because they
4 represent the gist of the whole issue, and this is how I understood them
5 at the time. First of all, unconditionally strengthen the integrity of
8 where in the SPS is in government without any serious challenges to that
10 Second item, set up RS or the Republika Srpska as a completely
11 independent state. That is a request to the military and political
12 leadership of Republika Srpska to be satisfied with what they've got, and
13 that they should strive towards something which would mean making
14 progress towards peace and acceptance of the RS on the part of
15 international actors.
16 Q. Acceptance in what form?
17 A. And item 3 --
18 Q. No, let's just set up RS as a completely independent state, in
19 light of your answer, in what form should the international community
20 accept Republika Srpska? What was Milosevic's stance on that?
21 A. What is jotted down here is "as an independent state." I did not
22 remember that as such. I remembered it as a state. I believe, to the
23 best of my recollection, this was jotted down by Mr. Mladic as an
24 independent state, but I understood it to be a state, some entity, which
25 has fought for its acceptance and that, as such, it should be accepted by
1 international community and actors, and for me that was the most
2 important -- what was the most important thing for me was under item 3.
3 The gist of this entry is -- corresponds to the gist of what
4 Mr. Milosevic said at the time, in the RSK, the Serbs must have complete
5 power. Serbs in the Republic of Serbian Krajina were a majority. They
6 would be a majority if -- even if all the refugee Croats and others were
7 to return, which would be desirable for the RSK, but here Mr. Milosevic
8 does not state that it should become a state, and this is something which
9 I noticed. I noticed that difference. I'm not sure whether other
10 participants in the meeting from the RSK noticed it, but this was an
11 important difference.
12 Q. The next sentence, let's discuss it, please:
13 "The basic precondition: Confront the strategy of exhaustion
14 with a strategy of offensive initiative. Prove to the US," SADs, but
15 you'll confirm whether this stands for the US, "that their policies in
16 the Balkans are pro-German..."
17 Now, please, tell us whether you remember what this first
18 sentence meant, that sentence confront the strategy of exhaustion with a
19 strategy of offensive initiative. Do you recall what this entry refers
20 to in that meeting?
21 A. This entry refers to what Mr. Milosevic said when in analysing
22 the situation he drew a conclusion that the Croats, because of strong
23 logistical, diplomatic, and other support on the one hand, and the Muslim
24 or Bosniak side in Bosnia
25 on the strategy of exhaustion, of attrition due to or through war means
1 or war -- state war stresses, and that such strategy should be countered
2 with a strategy of diplomatic, not military offensive, meaning diplomatic
3 initiatives. And then also discusses what had always been subject to
4 speculation, which I could not really dwell on, and that would be the
5 relationship of US and German strategies in the Balkans, which is
6 something above my head. I would rather refrain from discussing that.
7 Q. I'm not asking you to take sides or to express your statement,
8 but I'm asking you whether you recall what Milosevic's position was on
9 this issue during that conversation? Do you recall?
10 A. Yes, I -- Mr. Milosevic expressed his conclusions based on an
11 analysis of the relationship between the US and Germany
12 refers to his estimate or assessment that the US would notice that their
13 policy in the Balkans was pro-German.
14 Q. What was the opinion and attitude of Milosevic of the time in
15 relation to the German policies in the Balkans?
16 A. His assessment was that after the unification of Germany, Germany
17 wanted to define its place in Europe
18 to flex its muscles was the Balkans.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's go to the next page of this
20 document, please.
21 Q. Again, let me skip something. What I'm after would be row 4.
22 RSK, what your memory tells us about this entry, this sentence?
23 A. On the basis of what had transpired beforehand, Mr. Milosevic
24 stated that the Republic of Serbian Krajina should be defended with the
25 help of the RS and the Republic of Serbia
1 gists of his opinion.
2 Q. Did you believe at the time while he was uttering those words
3 that this help of the RS and FRY would materialise in terms of aiding the
5 A. My most frank answer would be I wanted to believe. I'm not sure
6 whether you are satisfied with this answer or not.
7 Q. I'm not going to comment. You spoke about the position of
8 General Perisic within the VJ and its any possible involvement in the
9 conflicts and that was on Thursday. Let me ask you again, initially we
10 discussed your knowledge about the position of Mr. Perisic within the VJ
11 and the attitude of the FRY towards the war. Did you believe when this
12 sentence was uttered that the VJ would get embroiled into the conflict in
13 order to defend the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
14 MR. HARMON: Object to that, Your Honour. The question has
15 already been asked and answered, frankly. At page 64, line 5, he says "I
16 wanted to believe it."
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That was his answer concerning what
18 was stated as support on the part of the FRY. My question is whether he
19 believed that the VJ could help the defence of the Republic of Serbian
20 Krajina at the time.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon, a distinction is being drawn.
22 MR. HARMON: Well, I withdraw my objection, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon.
24 Yes, Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So, General, you understood my question. Did you at the time
2 believe that the VJ could help the defence of the Republic of Serbian
4 A. I believe that the VJ could in a very limited scope defend -- to
5 help the defence of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
6 Q. Could you expound on what you term "limited scope," what was that
7 limited scope of aid or assistance to the Army of the Republic of Serbian
9 A. The VJ as per the then assessment of the Main Staff of the SVK
10 while limited by two important factors had a political decision been
11 taken to -- for them to help the defence of the Republic of Serbian
12 Krajina. The first was the disastrous equipment and material, financial
13 state of affairs in the VJ. And the second, the non-existence of
14 political will among the people in Serbia to take part in war. That was
15 brought about the very dire economic situation in Serbia.
16 Q. Well, we may revisit this issue through the entry. The next line
18 "Concept of defence and the army. Have the army for defence and
19 to fight the enemy in case of German invasion." I will skip the next
20 sentence. Can you follow or shall I read it out? "The concept of a
21 professional army does not suit us, not even the concept of a Serbian
24 "The concept of ONO must not be discarded because it is proven.
25 It is based," and then there are some other entries.
1 First of my question would be what is the concept of ONO; what
2 does this acronym stand for?
3 A. The concept of All People's Defence.
4 Q. This is precisely why I asked this question because we have a
5 different translation here. And then it says number 1, "It can be
6 applied to our own country." Number 2, "The people must be prepared to
7 fight." And number 3, "The army must be prepared to fight even under
8 exacerbated war conditions."
9 And after that it says:
10 "There can only be one army."
11 This last sentence, to whom does it refer? Do you remember?
12 A. Look, you have here the concept of All People's Defence as a
13 concept of Defence for the FRY [as interpreted]. This concept was as
14 much based on expert and military premises as it was based on idealogical
15 premises. In other words, they believed that all people's and ethnic
16 groups led by the communist forces would defend our country to the last
17 drop of blood if it were to be attacked from the outside. So this is an
18 idealogically painted concept. Now, Mr. Milosevic is trying here to
19 revive it in a certain manner. I didn't understand that at the time
20 because the conditions have changed completely in the meantime. However,
21 this contains an answer to your question about the meaning, there can be
22 only one army. This is a comment that actually means what is a new
23 aspect that even in his view was not feasible within the concept of the
24 All People's Defence.
25 In the All People's Defence concept, there were two components of
1 armed forces, the Yugoslav People's Army and the Territorial Defence, and
2 that led to a plethora of problems. Now, when referring to the concept
3 of All People's Defence, he is saying that in spite of everything, there
4 can only be one army. There could not be two armies in a single country
5 as was the case before the war, and I'm talking about the JNA and the
6 Territorial Defence, because that undermines the most significant
7 principles on which an army is founded.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just correct the transcript.
9 On page 66, in line 10, the witness said SFRY when he talked about this
10 concept of defence.
11 Your Honours, I would like to propose that we adjourn for today
12 because we are going to deal next with the statements of Mr. Perisic and
13 his contributions, and anyway, Mr. Saxon asked for us to adjourn earlier.
14 I see that the Judge has a question.
15 JUDGE DAVID: You said exacerbated war conditions in your
16 question. Exacerbated war conditions, point number 3. And I have here
17 in my English version "unclear war conditions." You have the original
18 there, could you --
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] With the assistance of the
20 interpreters in the booth and General Novakovic, I'm going to read this
21 entry once again.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Should -- perhaps Mr. Novakovic not read that?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, perhaps that's best.
24 Q. I fully agree. General, please look at item 3 and can you please
25 read it and help us with this handwriting.
1 A. "The army must be prepared to fight under intensified war
3 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic, you were saying you would want us
5 to stop now because?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Because Mr. Saxon would like to
7 address the Chamber, and I think that the witness can be excused because
8 it has to do with housekeeping matters.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
10 Mr. Novakovic, you are excused. You may stand down now. We are
11 not done with you. You are still in the witness-stand, but you are
12 excused for the day. Once again, you may not discuss the case with
13 anybody until you are finally excused from further testifying. Have a
14 good rest tonight, we'll see you tomorrow at quarter past 2.00 in the
15 afternoon. Same courtroom.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, Mr. Lukic, before I hand over to Mr. Saxon,
20 Defence Exhibit 03384D has not been tendered. I don't know what you
21 intend doing with it?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I still have to go through this
23 document with the witness tomorrow and after that I will make a
24 submission. Are you referring to this document?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
1 Yes, Mr. Saxon.
2 MR. SAXON: Thank you very much, Your Honours. I have two
3 matters to raise this evening with the Trial Chamber. First of all, is
4 related to a particular exhibit, an exhibit that has been MFI'd as P2894.
5 Your Honours will recall that during the testimony of
6 General Miodrag Simic during the cross-examination, the Trial Chamber
7 admitted a number of documents related to the so-called Drina
8 the purposes of impeachment only. And, Your Honours, in Exhibit P2894 as
9 it was admitted and as it presently resides on e-court, there are several
10 pages, as you can see in my hand, that appear to have information
11 redacted, they are here in black. But subsequent to the testimony of
12 General Simic, the Prosecution re-examined the original copy of this
13 material and discovered that actually in the original version, and what
14 is now a better scanned version, those items that appear in black, that
15 appear to be redacted are simply highlighted in read highlighting and
16 there is information that is visible below the highlighting.
17 I've brought this to Defence counsel's attention and they have no
18 objection that this more readable version of the exhibit be uploaded into
19 e-court, but I seek leave of the Trial Chamber before we ask the
20 Registrar to do that, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree and I have no objection.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. It may be uploaded,
24 Mr. Saxon. Thank you so much.
25 MR. SAXON: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Secondly, Your Honour, tomorrow will be, officially anyway, my
2 last day of work at this Tribunal. I don't believe you will be seeing me
3 in this courtroom again, and so I would like to express to the Trial
4 Chamber my appreciation for having the privilege of appearing before you
5 during this past two years. Also, I'd like to express my great regard
6 for my colleagues on the Defence side of the bar for their diligence and
7 skill in defending General Perisic during the course of this trial. I
8 wish them the best of luck in the final months of this case, and I
9 certainly wish Your Honours the best of luck in the process of completing
10 your judgement. So all I can say is thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Saxon. I think I'm
12 speaking on behalf of the Chamber when I say that the Chamber regrets
13 that you are leaving us in the middle of the job before we are finished
14 it. We -- the Chamber is less the luckier for the lack of your wisdom
15 that you have contributed to this case and we hope, however, that the
16 remaining team will still be able to take us through to the end of the
17 case. Whatever you are going to be doing in the future, may you have
18 blessings and best of luck in your future endeavours and future career
19 and you will be sorely missed, and your contribution to this case will be
20 sorely missed.
21 MR. SAXON: Thank you, very much, Your Honour, and I have
22 absolutely no doubt that may colleagues on the Prosecution team will
23 bring this case to a full and successful conclusion.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Is that it? Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Defence team, I
1 would just like to say a few words. According to the common practice,
2 the relationship between Defence and team resembles a relationship
3 between a cat and a dog; however, it was my great pleasure to have on the
4 opposite side Mr. Saxon, and I appreciate the professional attitude that
5 he exercised in his work. Although he was our opponent, he told me that
6 he was contemplating going into education system and I was greatly
7 impressed by that, and I would like to wish him on behalf of all of us
8 who were greatly beneficial in learning so much in this kind of cross
9 fertilisation in the courtroom. I hope that what he learned will impart
10 to his future students, and I really wish him all the success in his
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Congratulations on your new appointment,
13 Mr. Saxon.
14 I guess that brings us to the end of the day's proceedings.
15 Court adjourned to tomorrow, quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon,
16 Courtroom II.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 31st of August,
19 2010, at 2.15 p.m.