1 Tuesday, 31 August 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.45 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. And could we have appearances
11 for the day, starting with the Prosecution.
12 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
13 counsel, everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, Salvatore Cannata, and
14 Carmela Javier for the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much, Mr. Harmon. And for the
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
18 afternoon to everybody in the proceedings. Appearing for Mr. Perisic are
19 Mr. Lukic and Mr. Zorko.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good afternoon, Mr. Novakovic [Microphone not
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Pardon. Good afternoon, Mr. Novakovic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. The microphone is
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Just to remind you,
2 Mr. Novakovic, that you are still bound by the declaration you made at
3 the beginning of your testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
4 nothing else but the truth. Thank you so much.
5 Mr. Lukic, how much more time are you still going to be with this
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The whole of today's day and a part
8 of tomorrow. I can provide an additional explanation for that, if
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to warn you that you are very close on to the
11 time-limit that you had given, and the Trial Chamber is concerned about
12 the time consumed in presenting the evidence, and, in fact, the Trial
13 Chamber has sought that your attention be drawn to the provisions of
14 Rule 90 so that now henceforth as you go along you bear them in mind.
15 90(F). You are aware of it? I can read them to you:
16 "The Trial Chamber shall exercise the control over the mode and
17 order of interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to, A,
18 make the interrogation and present for effective for the ascertainment of
19 truth; and, B, avoid needless consumption of time."
20 So please bear that in mind. The Trial Chamber has been warning
21 you about this but has been fairly lenient and the intention is to be a
22 little more strict about it.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I fully believe that you are going
24 to -- I'm going to reserve, but Honourable Judge Moloto, may I indicate
25 several factors which brought me into such a situation with this witness
1 and why I think that his examination should be conducted within this
2 framework. One of the reasons is when we drafted our summary for this
3 witness and estimated the time necessary for him, as I recall, we
4 estimated around three days being necessary, at that time we did not have
5 in our possession the so-called additional material disclosed
6 subsequently, meaning General Mladic's diary. And in this respect, I
7 focused with this witness only on three entries in those diaries which I
8 deem material for these proceedings, as you saw yesterday, and I'm going
9 to conduct the interrogation in such a manner today, is to focus only on
10 those things which help illuminate the matters for the benefit of the
12 The second reason is what has already been the position of the
13 Defence during the presentation of the Prosecution case. The Prosecution
14 adduce some 1500 documents in the courtroom without them being adduced
15 through witnesses. We have not had a single viva voce word being said
16 about those documents, and it's been left to you, the Bench, to rely on
17 those exhibits and what is written in those documents, to draw your own
18 conclusions. But among those there are many documents which directly
19 speak about the issues that this witness can testify about and, what is
20 more important, they are documents authored by this witness.
21 For you to get a full picture, I believe that 25 reports have
22 been adduced as special P exhibits by the Prosecution concerning reports
23 from commander of the SVK to President Milosevic, and you have not heard
24 a single word of testimony about those, and the rules and the guide-lines
25 determine what is a priority way of establishing facts. My intention has
1 always been, and the gist of what I'm saying, is to go through certain
2 documents with this witness which are P exhibits, exhibits of the
3 Prosecution. Through this witness, I've adduced only a handful of
4 Defence exhibits. My intention is to work on Prosecution exhibits that
5 we have not had testimony about in this courtroom.
6 If the Bench believe that my questions fall outside the framework
7 of what is necessary to determine the facts, I'm in your hands and you
8 may of course ban any such questions. What I've asked the question and
9 what I intend to ask the question -- the witness is I believe essential
10 for these proceedings.
11 Finally, we are going to give up some witnesses from our 65 ter
12 list if we are able to fully use this witness to be more economical.
13 This is the first witness testifying about the SVK and could prove to be
14 the only witness discussing this matter in these proceedings.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much for that explanation. Let me
16 just say for the record, Mr. Lukic, that in fact none of the points that
17 you raise is a concern of the Chamber with respect to consumption of
18 time. The concern of the Chamber is that starting with you, you preface
19 your questions with a whole long background. Yesterday, I pointed to you
20 that you spoke for two-thirds of the screen only to then put one little
21 question at the end which didn't need any background information
23 Similarly your witness does the same, not only this one, most of
24 them have been doing that. I'm asking you to, one, control yourself;
25 two, control the witness.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I fully understood your instructions
2 and I'll do my best to follow them. Thank you.
3 Let's go back to the document that we discussed with the witness
4 concerning the 8th of November, 1993, meeting at the Presidency of
6 prepared, Your Honours, copies of the document. I would like the Serbian
7 version to be placed on the ELMO, if possible. We are supposed to
8 receive additional hard copies for you any moment. For the time being
9 I've just got one paper copy for your benefit.
10 WITNESS: MILE NOVAKOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Before starting with the document, General, let
14 me ask you a question. As far as we can see, this reflects the third
15 such visit that you had with General Mladic and General Perisic. To the
16 best of your recollection, I'd like to find out what was the behaviour
17 and conduct of General Perisic at such joint meetings at the time at the
18 beginning of his career as Chief of General Staff?
19 A. What I recall is that Mr. Perisic conducted in a very reserved
20 manner at those meetings. He spoke very generally about what General
21 Staff of the VJ knew about the enemy, about the other elements, about the
22 condition within the VJ with a focus on logistical support.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have one copy for the General
24 to keep in front of him.
25 Q. General, you have a copy in front of you. Could you please turn
1 to page 3. We'll wait for the other participants in the courtroom to do
2 likewise. What I'd like to hear is the bottom part of the document, if
3 possible. Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friends,
5 where we left off yesterday is page 3 of the document at the place where
6 at the bottom of the document, at the bottom of the page you see a line
7 saying "General Perisic."
8 Q. Then let me turn another page, I'd like to hear your comment,
9 General, and we are not going to focus on the first entry but what is the
10 most important thing.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If you could turn to the next page on
12 the ELMO, please.
13 Q. "We must ensure united platform for waging a war."
14 General, does this trigger your memory as to the actual words of
15 General Perisic at that meeting, and what was it all about?
16 A. Yes, I do recall what General Perisic said and this does remind
17 me of what he said at that meeting. The essence of this entry to secure
18 or ensure a united platform for waging a war is -- was in essence his
19 request that the basic united platform be created and the one without
20 which everything else is irrelevant is the funding of the army for the
21 army to have what it needs for waging a war in terms of materiel,
22 supplies, et cetera. This is how I understood his words.
23 Because, first and foremost, of the situation in the VJ, and then
24 but not as the most important thing in the armies of Republika Srpska and
25 the Republic of Serbian
1 Q. Towards the bottom it is said: "The army has done the following:
2 1, we have determined our western borders. The FRY has been created and
3 lives in peace."
4 And under 3: "The army is resilient. It is an effective organ."
5 Do you recall what Mr. Perisic was referring to?
6 A. I remember perfectly because the context of his words and his
7 intervention were clear to me. As you saw, state organ representatives
8 attended the meeting, both of Republic of Serbia
9 figures from Republika Srpska, and representatives of the Republic of
10 Serbian Krajina. From the outset, I understood that General Perisic was
11 conducting an argument with some leaders from Republic of Serbia
12 was a certain dose of rivalry between the army, the government, state
13 security, those most important institutions. Who did what, who was good,
14 who was bad, and why they were bad and why somebody who is good was good.
15 So when General Perisic states here that we've determined our
16 western borders and when he refers to the army, I'm not sure whether he
17 said "we determined" or "we've done our work concerning the western
18 borders," he refers to the VJ [as interpreted]. He did take part in the
19 western-most part of the front line as an officer of the JNA. And he is
20 discussing the army.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On page 7, line 12, he referred to
22 the Yugoslav People's Army, and the transcript reflects the words VJ. I
23 do believe that the witness said the JNA.
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, can we just have the witness confirm
25 that, as opposed to Mr. Lukic --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm still trying to find out exactly where we are.
2 We were supposed to be on page 3, Mr. Lukic says we are now going to
3 page 7. I've tried to go four pages forward, so I seed to see that
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, Mr. Lukic, I think, was referring to
6 the transcript page 7 as opposed to the diary entry page 7. He was
7 directing the witness's attention and the court's attention to page 7, my
8 line 12, where the letters VJ is noted. My request is that the witness
9 confirm what his language was as opposed to Mr. Lukic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Novakovic, part of your answer said:
11 "So when General Perisic states here that we've determined our
12 western borders and when he refers to the army, I'm not sure whether he
13 said 'we determined' or 'we've done our work concerning the western
14 borders,' he refers to..." can you mention the name of the army that he
15 is referring to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. General Perisic
17 here had in mind the Yugoslav People's Army. And when he spoke about the
18 western borders, he was referring to what the JNA had done in the
19 conflicts during 1991 because the VJ as an army did not participate in
20 anything concerning any western borders, be it RSK or the RS. Later on
21 in my reply, I continued and I said --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Novakovic. All we wanted to know
23 is you said the JNA, Yugoslav People's Army. Thank you so much.
24 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, just a bit ago you mentioned the rivalry that existed
2 within the various establishments of authorities of Federal Republic
4 respected best?
5 A. To my knowledge, Mr. Milosevic had most respect for his political
6 party and people from his political party which was the Socialist Party
7 of Serbia
8 had more respect for the state security than for the army. That was the
9 feeling that I had.
10 Q. Under item 2 where the words of General Perisic are presented.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that's page 4 in the
12 hard copy.
13 Q. It says under item 2: "The FRY has been created and lives in
14 peace." Do you see that bit? What is the meaning of these words of
15 General Perisic at the time?
16 A. Yes, that's what General Perisic said. This was his statement
17 concerning how he saw this as one of the great achievements that had been
18 accomplished until that time.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to the following page,
21 Q. On the first bit on this page seem to be the words of Prime
22 Minister Sainovic. In his second sentence, as is presented in the
23 document, he says:
24 "It is not yet time to speak about merits, and I would say this
25 to General Perisic."
1 Do you have recollection of these words of
2 Prime Minister Sainovic in this context as is presented here?
3 A. Yes. And this was this discussion that was somewhat concealed at
4 the highest level -- conducted at the highest level between Mr. Sainovic
5 and Mr. Perisic. Mr. Sainovic obviously thought that he had to prevent
6 General Perisic from scoring a point in presenting what the army, as one
7 of the structures of the government, the VJ, had done up until that time
8 from 1991 until this time which was October 1993.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: One intervention -- two interventions. Can you
10 give us the reference page, the page reference where you say -- you said
11 we must go one page forward, and I don't see any Sainovic talking there.
12 Number one. Nor do I see the quotation that --
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 4. On page 4 you see the
14 name Sainovic and then if you turn to page 5, the second entry, the
15 second line --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just so that we are aligned, Mr. Lukic. The
17 document I have starts at page 19, the pagination on the document. Can
18 we use that pagination. Is it page 23.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. Yes.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Page 23. I don't have Sainovic talking at all.
21 Even on page 22. Okay. Now I see him. Now, where is it where he says
22 it is not, what?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for the fact that our
24 work is complicated when it comes to hard copies.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's understandable, Mr. Lukic. It's not your
1 fault, it's the system that is broken down. Just before this disappears,
2 if you look at page 9, line 24, again the interpretation talks of the VJ
3 had done up until that time from 1991. Now, in 1991 there was no VJ.
4 Now, I want to find out whether the witness said the VJ or
5 something else.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, will you please repeat what you said, briefly, please.
8 A. What the army as an institution had done, that is to say the JNA
9 in the conflicts in 1991 and in 1992. I meant army as an institution, as
10 one of the state institutions. I have not mentioned the VJ, Your
11 Honours. At the time it was the JNA.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Well, the interpretation
13 mentioned the VJ. May I again ask then the interpreters to -- we realise
14 all of us that it is important to distinguish between the JNA and the VJ
15 and to the extent necessary between the VRS and the SVK, so let's listen
16 to the testimony carefully and if the witness says JNA, let us note that
17 he said JNA and translate it as such. Thank you so much.
18 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. A bit lower down under item 5 we see the words uttered by Martic
21 at the time. Could you please comment on them. On the second sentence,
22 which you can see before you, Your Honours, where it is stated that he
23 had said: "We should have a united army." And then "(the FRY, RS and
24 the RSK) and the same should be done with the police." And then below
25 that it says: "We should have one state security."
1 Based on your recollection, is this what Mr. Martic said at the
2 time and was there any reaction, if so, which one?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Martic said that at the time, and there was no
4 particular reaction to what he had said.
5 Q. Later on was a united army and united police force created or
7 A. No.
8 Q. I would like to skip over the words of Mr. Karadzic, and then on
9 the following page, Your Honours, we see once again the words uttered by
10 President Milosevic, which is at the bottom of page 24 and then goes on
11 to page 25. Here it says:
12 "We have been working for weeks trying to set up a meeting with
13 the Muslims. RS has become reality to end the war in Bosnia as soon as
15 And then on the following page it says:
16 "The Croatian-Muslim issue will come to surface and so will the
17 Serbian-Croatian issue. Try to organise a secret Serbian Muslim meeting
18 in Thessaloniki
19 this regard."
20 General, what can you tell us about this entry?
21 A. I know that Mr. Milosevic said this because for me this was
22 something completely new, something I hadn't known until that time. In
23 explaining this position of his, he said that it was necessary to achieve
24 piece with the Muslims. That's how he put it. He also anticipated a
25 possibility - on the second page we can see that - of a Croatian-Muslim
2 At the time he said that he was trying to organise a meeting
3 between Serbs and Muslims via Greek diplomats and officials, a meeting
4 that would lead to -- that would help end the conflict.
5 Q. A bit lower, General, under item 11, we have something concerning
6 you, and this entry is a bit unclear so I will ask you, do you remember
7 what you said at the meeting? Do you remember what this entry is all
9 A. Yes. At the time I requested what I needed in order to organise
10 defence in the eastern part for the 11th Corps, and I thought that in
11 order to organise defence in normal defence, we would need additional two
12 tank companies and one support division, artillery division.
13 Q. Did you receive that later on; did you get that?
14 A. I didn't because they said to me that should I really need that,
15 perhaps these forces could enter that area during the conflict, at the
16 time of the conflict, and that deployment of that military equipment at
17 that point in time would be politically dangerous.
18 Q. And who told you that?
19 A. Mr. Milosevic said that.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is this something that was not noted in this
21 minute, or is there anything in the minutes here under Mr. Milosevic that
22 points to that statement?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in this entry here in
24 the diaries, only the words -- only part of the words I uttered are
25 reflected. They wrote down what it is that I requested and not the
1 reasons for me requesting that. And as for Mr. Milosevic, he said that
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: He didn't say it in response to you right here
4 when you were making this request?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At such meetings it wasn't
6 customary, Your Honours, to give responses.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: So he didn't give you an answer at that time?
8 Just say yes or no. Very well, I understand. He will give the answer
9 when his turn comes to speak. It's just that his turn came to speak
10 immediately after you here, and I would have thought that you would
11 respond to your request and what you tell us he told you would have been
12 minuted. Okay. Thank you.
13 You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We will now skip the next part and
15 then move to the bottom of page 26, Your Honours. And again we see the
16 words of President Milosevic under item 17.
17 Q. In the second sentence he says:
18 "We will draw conclusions that we will send to you while the
19 conduct of this leadership..."
20 I don't know whether this can help you refresh your memory,
22 A. Yes. This is what Mr. Milosevic said, that they would draw up
23 the conclusions that they would send to us, which is to say that he took
24 it upon himself to do this together with his closest associates, to draw
25 up these conclusions. And when he says this leadership, he was referring
1 to the people who were at that meeting in a leadership capacity, and also
2 about the responsibility of these people at the meeting whom he was
3 referring to as the leadership.
4 Whereas I saw it as a sort of a temporary working organ, and when
5 it comes to the responsibility of this leadership, you see that he did
6 not complete the sentence, there are three dots, but he was referring to
7 the people who were present there at the meeting who were there in a
8 leadership capacity and who were to abide by the conclusions that were
9 yet to be drawn up.
10 Q. And then the bit that comes underneath it, under item 1 and then
11 all the way down to item 10. We don't need to discuss all of this, but
12 under item 1 it says:
13 "Start compiling a single war plan and define how to continue
14 waging the war, a single plan for all three armies."
15 A. I understood this at the time as a first topic for those
16 forthcoming conclusions whose contents were supposed to be what is jotted
17 down here.
18 Q. We are going to discuss a document shortly -- well, let me ask
19 you, was there a single war plan being drafted after that meeting?
20 A. Yes, a single war plan labelled "Drina" was drawn up.
21 Q. Did the single plan to continue waging the war was -- this single
22 plan for all the three armies, did it ever come to fruition, was it ever
24 A. This document as the highest synthesis at the very highest level
25 enumerating the war goals and objectives, political and other resources,
1 the military doctrine and the military strategies, such a document was
2 never defined on the Serb side, and serious people and individual say
3 that this was one of the major failures of all the Serb leaderships.
4 Such things were never defined.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have an intervention concerning the
6 transcript. On page 15, line 13 concerning my question, which is based
7 on what is written here, the witness's answer, the first word in his
8 answer was "ratovodstvo" or plan to wage the war, or waging the war.
9 Q. To clarify those terms, let me ask you this, General. Is there a
10 difference between a war plan and "ratovodstvo" or war waging plan?
11 A. The term "ratovodstvo" is a much broader term which encompasses
12 both political goals and diplomatic goals and military goals. Whereas
13 war plan is just an individual technical document for the carrying out of
14 what represents a military activity within this "ratovodstvo" or a
15 broader war-waging plan.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I make also an intervention. On the same
18 page, 15, at line 16 you say "such a document was never defined on the
19 Serb side." What do you mean by the "Serb side"? That's how you were
20 translated or interpreted.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't referring to a document,
22 Your Honours. I discussed a concept of war waging as a notion, as an
23 effort to define war goals and involvement of political, diplomatic,
24 economic, and military resources to achieve those goals, and I also said
25 that such a defined concept of war waging, or "ratovodstvo" was never
1 defined on the Serb side. There were ad hoc decision, however --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is what do you mean by "on the Serb
3 side"? Who are you referring to when you say "the Serb side"? There are
4 Serbs in the Krajina, there are Serbs in Serbia, there are Serbs in the
5 Republika Srpska, there are Serbs -- I'm not quite sure who you are
6 talking about. Are you talk that the Serb people of former Yugoslavia,
7 all of them, wherever they are, didn't define this concept in their
8 minds, it was only defined by the Croats and the Muslims, or do you mean
9 by the Serb side a particular area, particular entity, particular
10 community? That's what I want to know.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I mean those people
12 attending this meeting, state leaderships of Serbia, Republika Srpska,
13 and the Republic of Serbian Krajina who are discussing direction of war
14 and whereas basic principles of waging the war were never defined.
15 Mr. Milosevic said this is a united leadership, a single leadership, but
16 this was not true, simply it wasn't true.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe we could take a break at this stage, I know
18 we started late but just so that we synchronise with time. We'll take a
19 break and come back at 4.00. Court adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. General, I am going to continue on this page.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And for your benefit, Your Honours,
1 that would be page 27 of this document.
2 Q. Just the last entry, General, under 9 it says:
3 "Put together a programme regarding traffic, how to enable this
4 and RH to the extent that it does not threaten RSK interests."
5 Could you please comment just this entry as reflected here under
6 item 9?
7 A. Mr. Milosevic uttered those words, and this was not the only one
8 that he said something to that effect. This entry contains his position
9 that Republic of Croatia
10 naturally be achieved through certain negotiations, to communicate with
11 those parts of the territory with which communication had been disrupted
12 because we held under our control parts of the territory through which
13 those lines of communications passed. First and foremost, this refers to
14 those roads and other communication lines through Western Slavonia and
15 communications with Dalmatia
16 Q. We may continue. What was Mr. Milosevic's interest in holding
17 such a position at the time, in your opinion?
18 A. Such his opinion coincides with all his other positions expressed
19 at the time that in the Republic of Serbian Krajina and in the
20 Republika Srpska a peaceful process should be conducted. On the other
21 hand, he -- to the leadership of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
22 suggested that it would be in their best interest to reduce tensions by
23 allowing Croatia
24 territory with continued existence of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
25 the same time.
1 Q. Let's go to page 29 now, and that would be the last page of the
2 document. General, you see the third sentence. It is stated here:
3 "A question as to giving instructions for RP, when should we put
4 it together and everything which follows below."
5 This is something I showed you in proofing. Could you please
6 take a look at this entry and tell us whether this was another topic
7 discussed then and whether this entry reflects that.
8 A. This entry refers to what I remember to wit his guidance that
9 Mr. Milosevic issued to the effect that the basic elements of the comment
10 war plan that was supposed to be prepared should be put in place, and RP
11 means "ratni plan" or war plan.
12 Q. Then subsequently, could you please read the entries until the
13 end of the page, Saturday, 13th of November, meeting of the working party
14 or team for putting together the RP, what is it all about?
15 A. Those entries below the line above which reference is made to RP
16 when should we put it together, that portion of the text is not what
17 anybody at the meeting said. These are notes or aide-memoire to
18 Mr. Mladic. He notes down tasks for himself about what he should be
19 doing together with his Main Staff, and you see here it says, the 19th of
20 November for the RP to be completed. In effect, he issues tasks to the
21 Main Staff of the VRS to perform the elements of that joint war plan.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this document
23 and for it to be MFI
24 verifications of the translation, at least of some parts.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number and marked for identification.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI D442.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, a minute ago you mentioned something and I'm going to
6 ask you about that. Did you -- first of all, do you know what the Drina
7 directive is?
8 A. Each war plan at the strategic level contains a general part
9 which is labelled directive. Directives are drafted at the highest
10 possible level at the General Staff level which means before drafting of
11 the war plan started, and that a war plan was subsequently labelled
13 Staff of the SVK had first to prepare the dispositional element of the
14 plan, and that would be that directive.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am afraid we will still bound to
16 use the ELMO and the hard copies, although I do see something on the
17 screen. P215, if we could have that put on the screen. I'm hopeful that
18 the e-court is now functional since I see something on my screen, but in
19 any case, I have a copy of paper versions of a part of P215 for your
20 benefit. I didn't want to print everything, just the portion that we are
21 going to work on with the witness, and that is the directive.
22 Q. General, could you please in a couple of words say whether you
23 took part in drafting this document? And if anybody else from the SVK
24 took part, could you please indicate who?
25 A. As you saw from the preceding document on page 29, General Mladic
1 determined his team to work on preparing the war plan, first of all the
2 directive. The same was done by me. When it comes to the Main Staff of
3 the SVK, I nominated that working party. Me and my assistants took part
4 in drafting the directive.
5 Q. Could you please describe where was this document drafted, was it
6 drafted separately or jointly, at which location?
7 A. The assessment of the situation at the level of the RSK and the
8 drafting of conclusions of the assessment and the basic elements for the
9 directive were drafted in Knin. Harmonisation and the wording in
10 drafting of the final version of the directive was done at the General
11 Staff in the war room at the General Staff of the VJ.
12 Q. General, please turn to page 6.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this
14 would be page 8 in the English version.
15 Q. Heading "Ideas for Manoeuvres."
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to discuss the second
17 paragraph, if we could go up or down -- scroll down for the benefit of
18 the witness, I'm interested in the last paragraph. The paragraph starts
19 with the words: "In the case of an aggression of HV on the RSK." "In
20 the event of HV aggression on the RSK." I'm not sure, I don't have an
21 English version so this is why I'm saying this, I'm trying to give you
22 reference points to the best of my recollection. If I may proceed.
23 Q. The paragraph reads:
24 "In the event of HV aggression on the RSK by the integrated use
25 of armed forces of the Serbian people, decisive defence and offensive
1 operations on the selected axes and regions of the RSK to crush the
2 coalition forces in Dalmatia
3 armed rebellion in crisis regions of FRY, with the main VJ forces
4 simultaneously preparing for the crushing of Ustasha and Muslim forces
5 and the eventual termination of war."
6 And then the next sentence states:
7 "In the RSK, by decisive events prevent surprises and rapid and
8 deep penetrations of the HV, while at the same time engaging parts of the
9 VJ in Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, and Western Srem, and the VRS in Western
11 conditions for offensive operations."
12 General, when this document was being drafted, did you believe
13 that what is written here will materialise in an event of an aggression?
14 A. To tell you the truth, Mr. Lukic, it was difficult for me to
15 believe something like this.
16 Q. And did there come a time when there was aggression by the
17 Republic of Croatia
18 A. Yes. There was a general offensive that started on the 4th of
19 August, 1995.
20 Q. And before that --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
22 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, there appears to be a missing portion
23 of the text --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour, I am sorry. There appears to be a
1 missing portion of the text. In the English text, there is a portion in
2 the first paragraph that was read by Mr. Lukic. The words on the third
3 line of the English "defend the RSK." That appears to be the missing in
4 the text of the transcript, and I think those are words that should not
5 be -- if they exist, they should be incorporated into the transcript.
6 It's on page 21, line 14, is where the transcript apparently omits the
7 words "defend the RSK," so I'm trying to reconcile what is the text
8 before me in English and what appears on the transcript.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I notice that in fact there are words such as
10 distortions in Dalmatia
11 in the text of this document. Maybe there was a mishearing here.
12 Mr. Novakovic, if you could maybe just go through that paragraph
13 one more time so that we can get it on the record correctly. You can
14 just read it as it stands there so that it gets on correctly, and take it
15 slowly so that the stenographer can keep pace with you. Starting "with
16 in the event of HV aggression." Start there, just that paragraph.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In the event of the aggression of
18 the Croatian army on the Republic of Serbian Krajina, by the integrated
19 use of armed forces of the Serbian people, decisive defence and offensive
20 operations on the selected axes and theatres defend the RSK, the Republic
21 of the Serbian Krajina, route or crush the coalition forces in Dalmatia
22 and the former Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as a possible armed rebellion
23 in the crisis region of the FRY with the main Yugoslav Army VJ forces
24 simultaneously preparing for the crushing of Ustasha and Muslim forces
25 and for the eventual termination of war."
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So I asked you if there was an aggression, you said that there
3 was in August, and I put another question to you, whether even before
4 August there was aggression by the Republic of Croatia
5 Republic of the Serbian Krajina, and we didn't get an answer to that.
6 A. When you said "aggression," that is how I understood it, and that
7 is how I replied. By "aggression" I understood you to mean a general
8 offensive in the entire area. Before that there was a limited attack, an
9 offensive on the Western Slavonia area in early May 1995.
10 Q. General, this limited attack in May 1995 and then in August when
11 the aggression took place in 1995, was there anything from this plan that
12 is mentioned here and this plan that you took part in drafting, was
13 anything from this plan something that actually occurred in the actual
14 events on the part of the Army of Yugoslavia?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Based on the conversations and contacts and information that you
17 had at the time, did President Milosevic have any political interest in
18 having a document of this nature adopted?
19 A. At the time I also thought that he did. This was a very elegant
20 solution. On the one hand, there were demands by the leadership of the
21 Republic of the Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska for the Federal
22 Republic of Yugoslavia
23 for the defence and in the execution of this defence of those territories
24 if a general attack were to take place.
25 On the other hand, Mr. Milosevic at the time was exposed to quite
1 strong pressure from the opposition in Serbia. In Serbia
2 there was a very strongly formulated anti-war and isolationist movement,
3 I could describe it like that. In the belief, that Serbia should not be
4 waging war at all and this was something that most of the citizens
5 believed. The development of this war plan would satisfy the
6 requirements of the Republika Srpska and the Republic of the Serbian
7 Krajina leadership, and at the same time this plan as a top secret, top
8 state secret, would remain concealed and no one could accuse him of
9 supporting any kind of war option.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have finished with this document,
12 and now I would like to move to a different topic. Again we have to look
13 at a document, this is P1023 [Realtime transcript read in error "P2023"].
14 It's a Prosecution exhibit. I hope, Your Honours, that you have been
15 provided with a hard copy of the document. We are just going to be
16 dealing with this document briefly.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, Mr. Court usher? Mr. Court
18 Mr. Court usher, can we show those documents to the Prosecution before
19 you give them to the witness, please. Could you please show the
20 Prosecution those -- the copies of those documents before you pass them
21 on to the witness. Thank you so much.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have now returned to an older
23 system of work that some in the courtroom used to like.
24 Q. General, do you recognise this document and what can you tell us
25 about it?
1 A. This is my order from November 1993 dealing with the points that
2 a combat report should contain, a combat report that the General Staff of
3 the Army of Yugoslavia -- a report in which we are informing the General
4 Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia about all the important issues relating
5 to the defence in the territory of the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
6 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, just a moment, just the document is
7 recorded in the transcript at page 24, line 24, as being
8 Prosecution Exhibit 2023. The correct number is Prosecution Exhibit
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, why is this information that is required to be in the
13 report important for the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia?
14 A. The General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia is the General Staff
15 of the army that is along or right next to the zone that is engulfed by
16 war. Also, it is the General Staff of a state that we considered to be
17 our ethnic home state. This is the General Staff of the army that we
18 were constantly asking things from. So it's quite normal that we should
19 inform them about the situation. Had we had any other friendly General
20 Staffs, we would probably have been sending similar information to them
21 as well.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P1051. This is a
23 Prosecution exhibit. This is now a document bearing the date the day
24 after the date on the previous document. We can easily compare that.
25 Q. General, first of all, can you tell me who drafted this document?
1 You can look at the last page.
2 A. I don't need to look. This is a document drafted by the
3 operations organ of the Main Staff of the Army of the Serbian Krajina in
4 co-operation with other organs of the Main Staff and which I signed in my
5 capacity as commander.
6 Q. Well, we are just going to go through a couple of entries. You
7 are addressing the document to the Supreme Defence Council of the FRY,
8 you can see that here; right?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Does that have anything to do with this previous document in the
11 context of noting or listing what a report should contain?
12 A. Yes, we thought that it would have more force if we addressed it
13 also to the Supreme Defence Council, and this would go through the
14 General Staff. We thought that they would have to submit it to the
15 Supreme Defence Council which was also interested in being informed about
16 the basic elements of the situation in our territory.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you please look, we don't have to read it out
18 loud. If you can look at page 2 of the document where the heading is
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, I don't know
21 what the page is in English.
22 Q. Well, if you can tell me in terms of what is said in the
23 document, why was this relevant to you at the time? And I would
24 particularly like you to comment on the last sentence:
25 "Soldiers are refusing to accept their salaries en masse even
1 though that is for many of them the only source of living."
2 A. This is an accurate description of the situation as it was in the
3 Republic of Serbian Krajina, or rather, the situation in which members of
4 the Serbian Army of the Krajina were, and the Serbian Army of the Krajina
5 itself. And you can see where it says here the soldiers' salaries amount
6 to 1 to 2
7 Borovo, that is an industrial plant in the eastern part of the area, in
8 the Vukovar area, 40 to 50 marks. Vupik, that is an agricultural farm
9 that manufactures agricultural products, 70 to 90 marks. The
10 agricultural combines, 100 German marks or more. Some were actually
11 receiving their salary in German marks. Municipal services,
12 approximately 40 marks, and most were also receiving assistance in
13 foodstuffs. So those who were working in any agricultural cooperative
14 was paid the sum that was actually issued to 40 or 50 soldiers. Those
15 who had uniforms, that was something -- those who were wearing uniforms
16 refused to receive such a salary because they thought that that was
17 something insulting.
18 Q. And how important were salaries to you officers at the time?
19 A. Salary was not important to me at all. I remember that my aide
20 told me once, General, your salary has arrived, it's worth 12 marks, and
21 I told him to go buy coffee for it. Next time he came and said that your
22 salary has arrived and it's worth 6 marks. And I said very well. And
23 then the following time my aide said to me, your salary is here and it's
24 worth 3 marks, and I told him not to mention my salary anymore to me.
25 That was the period of hyperinflation.
1 Q. We heard evidence before this Chamber that the highest
2 hyperinflation was in the end of 1993. On the following page, this
3 document discusses personnel and mobilisation issues. This is sub-item 2
4 and then item 3 underneath. And then the last paragraph just before the
5 word "security." Could you please comment on this sentence, General. We
6 need to point out that a large number of active servicemen has a status
7 within FRY and that they are sending to the territory of Krajina
8 not amount to much, especially when it comes to reinforcements. Is this
9 consistent with what you spoke of earlier so as not to waste too much
11 A. Yes. The essence was that they had a proper status over there,
12 they resolved all issues within the VJ, and they were not interested in
13 coming to the territory of Krajina
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We are done with this document. We
15 would like to see another similar document. Again this is a Prosecution
16 Exhibit P1017.
17 Q. Again a similar report dated 21st of December, 1993.
18 General, I see that you are looking at your watch, are you tired,
19 do you need a break?
20 A. No, I don't need a break.
21 Q. Very well. Let us cover this document quickly. Do you recognise
22 the signature, whose signature is this?
23 A. This signature is mine and the document was drafted by my Main
24 Staff and me.
25 Q. I'm interested in the following: This report is addressed
1 differently. This one is addressed to the office of the president of the
2 Republic of Serbia
3 simultaneously to the Chief of the General Staff of the VJ. My question
4 is, why did you address this to President Milosevic?
5 A. You have seen in the previous document that it was addressed to
6 the Supreme Defence Council. We did it thinking that this document
7 should reach Mr. Milosevic personally. And in this particular case, in
8 this document, we addressed it specifically to Mr. Milosevic personally.
9 As for Mr. Perisic, the document was addressed in this manner so that
10 they wouldn't take it to the operations centre and place it among other
11 documents without General Perisic seeing it at all.
12 We thought that he should be aware of the basic elements of the
13 situation given the position that he held at the time.
14 Q. We heard here ample evidence indicating that at the time
15 Zoran Lilic was president of the Supreme Defence Council who was
16 president of Serbia
17 THE INTERPRETER: Rather, Mr. Lilic was president of Yugoslavia
18 at the time -- interpreter's correction.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So I would like to know why it was important for you for
21 Mr. Milosevic, president of Serbia
22 A. Mr. Milosevic frequently when I addressed him as Mr. President
23 said to me we have only one president, those are the words that he said
24 to me. And based on that, and based on my understanding of the situation
25 and everything I had seen, it was clear to me that the real political
1 authority was actually Mr. Milosevic and not Mr. Lilic.
2 Q. In this first part where they analyse enemy, could you please
3 comment on this bit that begins with the following words: "In the
4 autonomous region of Western Bosnia..." Would you please read this
5 paragraph to yourself, and then I will ask you why in your view this
6 portion containing the analysis of the enemy, why it was important for
7 you to use this portion to inform Milosevic and Perisic about what was
8 happening in the autonomous region of Western Bosnia? Remember during
9 the first day of your testimony we drew it on the map.
10 A. For the survival of the RSK and also for the activity of the RSK
11 army, this region was very significant. It was significant because the
12 existence of enemy forces in that area meant that our three corps had
13 front line back to back. What is written here is quite interesting when
14 it comes to our interests and it has to do with the conflict between the
15 forces of Fikret Abdic, who had declared this autonomous region on the
16 one hand, and the forces which remained loyal to Alija Izetbegovic within
17 the 5th Corps on the other hand.
18 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to turn to page 3 in B/C/S. And
19 it's right above the segment headed "Co-operation with UNPROFOR." And
20 the paragraph begins with the words:
21 "When it comes to the situation concerning the elections in the
22 RSK ..." Do you see that General? That's page 3, the top part of page
23 3. Do you see that portion?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Will you please explain it to us without us actually reading it.
1 What was actually happening at the time, when did these elections in the
2 RSK actually take place, and what is it all about?
3 A. This document is dated 21st of December 1993, after the first
4 round of elections for the office of the president of the Republic of
5 Serbian Krajina. It was that period of time. The candidates were
6 Mr. Martic and Mr. Babic. Mr. Martic received fewer votes than he
7 expected after the first round. He believed, and he also tried to inform
8 people in Belgrade
9 fault as well as the fault of minister of defence, Admiral Rakic, and
10 commanders of two corps, Banja Corps and another corps, rather the 7th
11 and the 39th Corps.
12 Q. And how come he believed that it was your fault, would you please
13 explain that?
14 A. This was caused by the fact that Mr. Martic had requested that I,
15 Main Staff, and the commands of the formations in the depth of the
16 territory of RSK all support his candidacy. And I refused to do that
17 because within the RSK Army, some supported Babic and some supported
18 Martic. I was not a commander and I could not put myself in the position
19 where I would command only those people who supported Martic, and it was
20 absolutely offensive to me for somebody to treat the army and the Main
21 Staff who were supposed to take care of the fate of the people during the
22 war to treat them as a political tool. The army always had a president
23 at the top, this is how the constitution regulated it, and the army
24 should not opt for any candidate in the elections. This was simply not
1 Q. Thank you. What you just told us, did it affect your career at
2 the position you held at the time, commander of the RSK army?
3 A. I wouldn't call it a career. It was one great misfortune, not a
4 really great successful career. But in the second round when Mr. Martic
5 was finally elected, he expressed that he mistrusted me and one day he
6 simply declared that he would remove me from office, even though
7 according to the constitution only the parliament of the RSK could remove
8 the commander of the army from that position. However, I did not want to
9 play a role in creating any divisions or in deterioration of the
10 situation in the Army of the RSK, and I wanted everything to be based on
11 objective and realistic assessments.
12 Q. General, who was appointed commander of the Army of the RSK after
13 you had been removed from that position?
14 A. General Celeketic who did not originally hail from Krajina.
15 Q. And whose decision was it?
16 A. The decision of President Martic.
17 Q. What position did General Celeketic hold prior to that?
18 A. He was appointed commander of the 18th Corps in Western Slavonia
19 by way of my decision.
20 Q. And what did you know, what was his record as commander of the
21 corps while you were his superior?
22 A. General Celeketic was subordinated to me as a lieutenant-colonel,
23 even in the period of the Yugoslav People's Army when I was a commander
24 Chief of Staff and he was -- rather, I was commander of the corps and he
25 was Chief of Staff while we served in Koprivica. And when he served as
1 commander of the corps, the position to which I appointed him, he did not
2 exhibit any special qualities because he was not in a position to exhibit
3 anything that would distinguish him. In my view, he was appointed to
4 replace me in order to obediently follow instructions of the new
6 Q. General, did you learn at that time or later what position
7 President Milosevic had in relation to your removal?
8 A. Two days after the announcement on my dismissal on the part of
9 Mr. Martic, we were invited by Mr. Milosevic. Mr. Martic and
10 Minister Rakic and I, minister of the defence, Admiral Rakic. He said a
11 lot of things to Mr. Martic, using in reference to General Celeketic
12 terms which would not be gentlemanly for me to repeat here, and the gist
13 of it was revert to the previous state, what kind of rubbish are you
14 doing, undo what you've just done.
15 And so we went back to Knin, but the next morning this no longer
16 held. A change had happened overnight and Mr. Milosevic kept quiet, and
17 after a couple of days he asked me whether I wanted to become minister of
18 defence. I refused to sit at government sessions which took longer than
19 the sessions here in this courtroom. So it was decided that I become
20 deputy and assistant supreme commander for strategic national defence and
21 international relations, and the decision was based on the fact, among
22 other things, that I believed that the situation we found ourselves in
23 should be resolved through negotiations.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Of which government did Mr. Milosevic want you to
1 become a minister of defence?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the government of the Republic
3 of Serbian Krajina.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was Mr. Milosevic's wish; am I right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now let's go through another
7 document with the witness. That would be P2156. I can see that it has
8 appeared on the screen, but let's continue with this method regardless.
9 Q. This is an aide-memoire for co-ordination for the General Staff
10 of the VJ for the 19th of November 1993. I'm revisiting a topic that we
11 discussed yesterday. We are going to go through this document very
12 quickly because I believe that it speaks for itself. On page 2 of this
13 document, there is a heading: "Analysis of the Achievement of Tasks."
14 "Since the last co-ordinating meeting, there are tasks which have
15 been achieved and those which have not."
16 Can you see that, General?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Generally speaking, those tasks which had been achieved, how
19 important were those for you at the moment in terms of what you received?
20 A. Out of what you can see written here, first of all, these are
21 routine operative reporting. We saw a couple of examples of that a
22 couple of minutes ago. One automatic telephone switchboard was repaired.
23 Two technicians, some communications equipment, tactical radio stations
24 for communication between battalions and companies were delivered, then
25 three or four Galeb aircraft which are training aircraft, but could be
1 used for reconnaissance and air support to very low extent. And then
2 anti-aircraft motorised self-propelled artillery pieces. They were
3 repaired and delivered, but since you do not have a command facility, you
4 can treat those pieces as junk iron. Then some equipment was delivered
5 which was the sum total of everything we got but the equipment for the
6 operations centre for the control of the territory for air surveillance
7 and guidance, nothing of the sort was delivered while I was commander
8 there. And then there were 50 recruits sent to us.
9 Q. But that's irrelevant. He wants to explain something further.
10 A. When I said that this was insignificant, part of the battalion
11 for anti-aircraft defence, it is insignificant because, as you can see
12 under B, tasks which have not been achieved then in the next row with
13 respect to air surveillance identification, the following has not been
14 achieved, radar of this type, some other types of radar, communications
15 equipment for units to maintain air surveillance and to guide our
16 anti-aircraft fire. This has not been achieved.
17 Q. Is it known to you that those radar systems were subsequently
19 A. To the best of my knowledge. To the best of my knowledge what
20 was necessary for the missile battalion was delivered subsequently just
21 for one battery. This is a medium range system which can be used to
22 defend a small area occupied by a single unit or a small portion of the
24 Q. I'm going to skip some text until the item 5, the situation in
25 the territory. What is discussed here is an extreme wing of the SDS
1 monarchist who invite a revival of the Chetnik movement and advocate
2 attacks against the former JNA members. I would like you to explain this
3 segment. Why was it important for to you include this in the report to
4 be discussed at such co-ordination meetings?
5 A. We deemed this important so that both the VJ and
6 President Milosevic be informed about attempts to organise paramilitary
7 units. In other words, to create armed units outside the SVK which would
8 use -- be used to support the certain politicians. We had precise
9 assessment about those attempts. They tried to arrest certain people but
10 there was no political support for such arrests.
11 Q. Where was -- where there was a dearth of political support in the
12 Republic of Serbian Krajina, or in Republic of Serbia
13 A. In the RSK.
14 Q. And the last thing I'd like to elicit a comment from you about,
15 it's not the last one but it's under item 6, sub-item (4)
16 "communications," it contains quite a lot of technical gobbledegook. And
17 there is on the next page a column "requests." Can you see that,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What I'd like to hear, do you recall whether those things which
21 were requisitioned here were delivered by the VJ?
22 A. That was not received while I was commander of the SVK. And what
23 is requested here are tactical communications systems which means
24 communications within a switchboard or communications between companies
25 and battalions or for communications at positions of artilleries, except
1 for the teleprinter which could be used for communications between a
2 corps and the Main Staff.
3 Q. Did you try to obtain important communications equipment in some
4 other ways?
5 A. Whenever we had money, the Main Staff, not particularly I, bought
6 the most up to date telecommunications equipment abroad, first and
7 foremost for radio surveillance and sophisticated electronic systems.
8 Q. I'm going to ask you two questions. How did you get the money
9 and what kind of systems are you referring to, just the labels or the
11 A. The army seised contraband cigarettes, and the proceeds, and I'll
12 remember that well, were used to buy topnotch electronic surveillance,
13 wire-tapping equipment, and the most up-to-date GPS equipment for our
14 scouts for reconnaissance deep into enemy territory.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next document is a similar type.
16 It's an aide-memoire for the co-ordination meeting on the 17th of
17 December, 1993. That would be P317 for Your Honours.
18 Q. General, let's take a look at page 3 of the document. Analysis
19 of the achieved tasks since the last co-ordination meeting.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That would be below the Roman numeral
21 I for your benefit, Your Honours.
22 Q. Can you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'm going to ask you about the achieved results, and it says
25 here: "Utilisation plans had been drafted up to the level of corps."
1 What does this mean? What has been achieved up to the corps level?
2 A. After a joint war plan had been drafted, we updated our war plan
3 at the Main Staff level to the extent necessary by the modifications of
4 the joint war plan and its schedules, meaning the entirety of the joint
5 war plan. However, at the corps levels and lower, we did not draft the
6 war plan. If you wish me to explain, it was not done because we never
7 found out which specific units would be coming to our territory and
8 because the commanders of those units, which is customary procedure,
9 inevitable procedure, was supposed to come to the zone where they would
10 have to be located in accordance with their war deployment, and I mean
11 those VJ units. They never arrived to those locations, and for that
12 reason we did not elaborate and draft those plans. I simply did not dare
13 issue such a task to avoid rumours about treason, about fraud, et cetera.
14 I thought if I'm sure that nobody is going to come, let's not draft any
15 such plans.
16 Q. Very well. Let's continue. I'm trying to speed up the
17 proceedings. Under B, tasks not realised. And under C, tasks which have
18 been presented at the previous co-ordinating level as not achieved, have
19 not been achieved in the meantime, especially highlighting the problem
20 with respect to rear guard supplies, and further on conclusions, it is
22 "As priorities we express the realisation of tasks, in terms of
23 logistics and rather guard action, particularly supply of ammunition and
24 spare parts."
25 Could you please explain those entries?
1 A. Well, Mr. Lukic, it means what is stated here. A previously
2 expressed requests was not heeded and was not heeded for the second time
3 round. No ammunition and no spare parts that we had requested have been
4 delivered up to that point for our equipment, for our combat vehicles,
5 et cetera.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Would it be the right time to take a
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, if it's convenient to you. Thank you very
9 much, and we'll take a break and come back at quarter to 6.00. Court
11 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
14 Q. General, I have a question to follow up on what we did in the
15 previous session. In the period after the Medak pocket operation in
16 September 1993 and all the way up until Operation Flash which was in May
17 of 1995, were there any active combat operations, if I may call them
18 that, to your knowledge in which the Army of SVK participated?
19 A. There was partial engagement of the Army of SVK in the area of
20 Western Bosnia
21 Q. Was that throughout this period or just during some time within
22 this period, which is quite extensive?
23 A. In one of the reports that we saw here, it was mentioned that
24 there was partial support to the forces of Fikret Abdic in the operations
25 against the forces loyal to Alija Izetbegovic.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question was, was it for the entire period or
2 was it for a limited time during this extensive period?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it was limited to the late
4 fall of 1993 and also in winter between -- in winter of 1993 to 1994 with
5 even fewer forces. These were operations limited to occasional artillery
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. These operations, these activities, did they cause additional
9 depletion of resources of SVK in that period after the Medak pocket
10 operation until Operation Flash?
11 A. There was no significant reduction in resources because there was
12 no significant use of ammunition, to speak of.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, let us go back to the document.
14 General, could we see item 6, mobilisation and personnel matters.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in English that's page
16 8 and 9 in the document before you.
17 Q. In the beginning we see "accomplished tasks," and they say, "The
18 creation of the 40th Personnel Centre is underway." General, we need the
19 heading "Mobilisation and Personnel Matters."
20 A. I'm looking for it.
21 Q. It's the page where there is a graph, on the page ahead of the
22 graph. It's not a page we see on the screen now. I think it's two pages
23 further down. I did initially say page 6, but it was my mistake. Thank
24 you. The first sentence in this subsection reads:
25 "The creation of the 40th Personnel Centre is underway. It will
1 deal with the replenishment of the SVK, the Army of RSK."
2 Let me ask you briefly, have you heard of these personnel
3 centres, and where were they created? Very briefly, please.
4 A. The 30th and the 40th Personnel Centres were established within
5 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia
6 Q. Have you seen, have you had occasion to see enactments on the
7 creation of these personnel centres also regulating how they were to
9 A. No.
10 Q. And how were you informed about the tasks of these centres?
11 A. The creation of the 40th Personnel Centre which dealt with the
12 issues of replenishment of the Serbian Army of Krajina with active
13 servicemen, that is to say professional officers and non-commissioned
14 officers who used to be members of the Yugoslav People's Army came as a
15 result of our request to establish such centres. The creation of this
16 separate organ within the General Staff of the VJ meant that the General
17 Staff of the VJ started dealing with this problem in an organised manner;
18 that is to say, that people were engaged, were hired, to have an overview
19 of the situation, survey so to speak of the situation, and also have
20 records concerning the deployment of forces.
21 Q. In your evidence, you mention several times that there were no
22 proper records of personnel. Why was it important in your view to have
23 records on personnel and what did the personnel centres have do with
24 these records?
25 A. The basic problem was that when it came to certain people, you
1 simply did not know their whereabouts. Some left the Army of RSK saying
2 that they needed to go back to their establishment position within the
3 Army of Yugoslavia
4 establishment position or not, whether they did indeed serve in one army
5 or the other army during a certain period of time, those were outstanding
6 issues and we simply had no records concerning them.
7 Another goal that we wanted to accomplish by way of these centres
8 was to have an exact accurate information as to the availability of such
9 personnel. We also wanted to make it possible for those who were members
10 of the SVK to have a place where they could go, to have an organ where
11 they could go to regulate certain issues concerning their status.
12 Q. Thank you. Would you please look at the end of the page under D,
13 we see "personnel replenishment," "personnel reinforcement." I think
14 that this part of the document speaks for itself, but let me put this
15 question to you: With the establishment of personnel centres, the influx
16 of the officers of the VJ who went to SVK, did it increase, did it
17 stagnate, or did it -- or was there a reduction in the influx in the
18 following period of time? What do you know about that?
19 A. After the initial period of stagnation, there was a reduction in
20 the number of such personnel. However, the numbers seemed to be -- the
21 numbers seemed to be maintained at the same level. However, that was
22 just a matter of appearance, and you can see it on the last page of this
23 document. Some of the people listed here, we simply didn't have them,
24 and the people that did come to us were older and we didn't need them.
25 We needed people who could serve as commanders of platoons and commanders
1 of companies and such people never came to us.
2 Q. And how did you fill such positions in your army?
3 A. When it comes to platoon commanders and company commanders,
4 people who were soldiers, who were sergeants and non-commissioned
5 officers of the former JNA, and who served in that territory in that area
6 as soldiers of the SVK, we used them to fill those positions. We used
7 those who seemed to be more able than others.
8 Q. Who paid their salaries?
9 A. Mr. Lukic, the most accurate answer to your question would be
10 nobody because the 1 or 2 German marks that they were to receive never
11 arrived, so essentially they did not receive their salaries at all.
12 Q. Was that the reason for them to leave their positions, to stop
13 serving as soldiers of the SVK?
14 A. In reply to your question, Mr. Lukic, perhaps we should clarify
15 one matter. The Serbian Army of Krajina was not a -- an army organised
16 in the barracks. It was simply people under arms. We within the SVK, we
17 never managed to turn it into a regular army. If we analyse all of its
18 features, all of its characteristics without going into professional
19 specifics, we will see that it was people under arms. It was not a
20 professional army.
21 Q. You are giving us an answer much broader than I was interested
22 in, so let us stick to what Judge Moloto said earlier to us. And my
23 question was quite simple.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The question to you is from whom or from what
25 authority did the 1 or 2 German marks come from?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the government of the Republic
2 of Serbian Krajina, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So would you please answer my question. The fact that salaries
6 were so low and that they were seldom paid, did that prompt them to leave
7 the SVK, to go away?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, let us look at another entry from this document
10 concerning co-ordination, and it has to do with logistics, and that would
11 be on the following page.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] At the bottom of that report, which,
13 Your Honours, is page 9 in your copies. Or rather, 13, I apologise.
14 They speak about fuel reserves. I think it was on the following page.
15 Q. The page is marked as page 8 on the paper and it says "with
16 completely depleted fuel reserves..." do you see that? Would you please
17 read that paragraph to yourself.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if you can follow, Your
19 Honours, that is the last paragraph in this section and that begins with
20 the words "with completely depleted fuel reserves, an inability to
22 Q. General, you reacted -- or rather it says here you reacted to
23 this by banning any further fuel distribution. So who was it who banned
24 this further fuel distribution?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's page 14, Your Honours.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The fuel that was processed in the
2 Pancevo refinery arrived in the territory of RSK
3 was stored in fuel warehouses of the Army of Yugoslavia in Bubanj Potok
4 which is near Belgrade
5 recorded as our fuel, we had simply none left. And the previous
6 arrangements made by logistics people was that they would give us some of
7 their supplies and then once the new fuel arrived, we would give it back
8 to them. And it is obvious that the logistics people of the VJ simply
9 did not think of it.
10 Q. Thank you. I have finished with this document. Before I move to
11 the next document I want to ask you this: General, was there
12 co-operation between the intelligence organs of the Serbian Army of the
13 Krajina, the Army of Yugoslavia
14 A. Since I'm not able to definitely say that it did not exist, you
15 could say that it did exist.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is your direct answer that you don't know? Is
17 that what we should understand from that answer? Don't go into a story.
18 I'm asking you this because you are basing your answer that it did exist
19 on the fact that you cannot say definitely that it did not exist. Now
20 that cannot be an answer. You either knew or you didn't know. Do you
21 know whether it did exist or don't you know?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know that it did
23 exist but it was of a very, very limited degree.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Well, would you please tell me just in a few words something
2 about that co-operation, and were you satisfied with that co-operation?
3 A. As far as the co-operation among intelligence organs between the
4 Main Staff of the Army of the RSK and the intelligence organs of the
5 General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, that co-operation was
6 intermittent. As far as the Main Staff of the Army of the RSK is
7 concerned, while I was commander, the intelligence administration of the
8 General Staff of the VJ never actually sent us any useful or actionable
9 information. Often we would receive confusing information of the type
10 the Croatian army will be attacking you or is attacking you tonight with
11 15.000 brigades, or it will be attacking you with 7 brigades at such and
12 such a place. Most of this information was actually misinformation.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 15 brigades, not
14 15.000 brigades.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All right. We are going to look at the next document. This is
17 Exhibit P2622. It's a very short document. This is a document after you
18 were relieved of duty. This is from June 1994. This is a document by
19 General Celeketic sent to General Perisic. The document speaks for
20 itself. What I would like you to explain to us, though, is that the
21 topic that is supposed to be the topic of the meeting is the development
22 of command and information systems of the SVK. Very simple question, at
23 the time and later was such a command information system of the SVK ever
24 established or set up?
25 A. The command information system of the Army of the RSK was not set
1 up until the end of the war. I know this for a fact. This is pure
2 fantasy in relation to our financial possibilities at that time. I mean,
3 this was something that not even the Army of Yugoslavia developed for
5 Q. Thank you. Let us move on. Let's look at document D175. Very
6 briefly again, this is a document that was created after you were
7 relieved of duty as commander. It's a document from November 1994. It's
8 a document by the Commander Celeketic sent to General Perisic, and I will
9 put the same question, what is being discussed is this military system
10 that you had already talked about, and some possible solutions in terms
11 of that. Are you aware if that system Voj was ever set up that was asked
12 for from the Army of Yugoslavia
13 A. In the western area of the territory of the republic of the
14 Serbian Krajina, meaning in Dalmatia
16 up in the territory of the 11th Corps, which is touching upon the zone
17 under the control of the Army of Yugoslavia and that system is being
18 referred to here in the document. That is something that I don't know.
19 Q. And if it were set up only in the area covering the area of the
20 11th Corps, could it have been formed a uniform system with the rest of
21 the area of the Army of the RSK?
22 A. Yes, it could have been part of a united system.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at Prosecution
24 Exhibit P1127. We will be changing topics now.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second. I didn't see Mr. Novakovic's lips
1 move, but there is an answer attributed to him: "Yes, it could have been
2 part of a united system." Number one.
3 Number 2, then, if indeed that's his answer, then my question
4 would be he just said that in the area of Kordun it was not there, so how
5 could it be united when it is not existent in some other part. Did you
6 answer, Mr. Novakovic? The question was:
7 "And if it were set up only in the area covered in the area of
8 the 11th Corps, could it have been formed -- a uniform system with the
9 rest of the area of the Army of the RSK?"
10 Did you answer that question?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that that in
12 the western part of our territory in Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun, Banja,
13 Western Slavonia was never established completely and that I don't know
14 if at the time when I was no longer commander that was set up in the area
15 of the 11th Corps in the eastern part of the territory, which was
16 touching on the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. If it
17 had been set up it would not have been unified Vojin system on the
18 territory of the entire Serbia
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You know, Mr. Novakovic, it would be very helpful
20 if you could listen to the question and answer the question. What you
21 have told me I had heard and I heard it. I read you a question and I
22 asked you did you answer that specific question? You should either say
23 yes I answered or no. And my next question would be what was your
24 answer. You did not -- did you answer the question?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for my
1 inexperience in participating in this type of communication and in the
2 precision and in directing my answers exactly to what you need. I'm
3 really doing my best to do this.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand. And that is why I keep reminding
5 you because I understand that you are not used to this kind of talking.
6 You are used to conversations outside. But here questions are asked for
7 a reason and answers are needed to those questions. My question, I
8 repeat, Mr. Lukic said:
9 "And if it were set up only in the area covered in the area of
10 the 11th Corps, could it have been formed a unified system with the rest
11 of the area of the Army of the RSK?"
12 Now, the transcript says you answered and said yes, it could have
13 been part of a unified system. My question is, did you say so?
14 Because -- yes, did you say so?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's why when I first asked I said I didn't see
17 your lips move. I heard Mr. Lukic talking further. Now, thank you.
18 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I really want to contribute to the
20 efficiency of our work today, and again I have to make an intervention to
21 the transcript because what you have just quite properly clarified with
22 the witness. On page 49, line 2, the witness said "the entire republic
23 of the Serbian Krajina." That is what he replied to you now. So I'm
24 hoping that we don't have to again clarify that and that all of that is
25 now quite clear.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You confirm that, Mr. Novakovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, you see in front of you now --
6 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Page 49, line 2, that I'm reading says that, the
9 sentence reads: "If it had been set up, it would have not have been
10 unified Vojin system on the territory of the entire Serbia."
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's what they've just corrected.
12 MR. HARMON: Fine. Okay.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: They say -- the witness said --
14 MR. HARMON: Should have said Republika Srpska -- Serb Krajina.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Serbian Krajina.
16 MR. HARMON: Okay. I apologise for my intervention.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 Sorry, did you call P1127? Yes, you did.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That is correct.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, you can see this document in front of you, and you
23 have -- you are designated as the drafter of this document. Can you
24 please tell us something about the document, why was this done?
25 A. The gist of the essence of this order is that individuals were
1 going to their friends, their acquaintances, their colleagues in the Army
2 of Yugoslavia
3 those sources there.
4 Q. This is December 1993 now. What was the position of Mr. Perisic
5 at the time in terms of the material situation and status of the Army of
7 Army of the RSK?
8 A. Mr. Perisic had an identical position to the one I voiced in this
9 order. If something were to be given, then that had to be done at the
10 level of the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, the Main Staff of
11 the SVK Army because in that way accurate records could be maintained of
12 what was going where, if anything was going anywhere.
13 Q. Why was it important for General Perisic to have a record of what
14 was going where, if any funds were being directed from the VJ?
15 A. It would not be a serious army if it were to issue any resources
16 to anybody without permission of its General Staff. The main difficulty
17 was that somebody could trade in resources that were not registered
18 anyway. They could say, well, I gave that to the Republic of the Serbian
19 Krajina, but perhaps he could have given it to some Mafia types or he
20 could have sold those resources to the enemy. So it was important and
21 essential to keep a record of all resources.
22 Q. And was this control important in view of the existing status of
23 the reserves of the Army of the RSK at that time? We are talking about
24 December 1993. We talked about this period last week.
25 A. The status of the resources in the VJ at the time was at its
1 lowest time ever, but that was not the concern of Mr. Perisic or myself.
2 It was a question of the basic principles of functioning in the army and
3 it was an important element in preventing any kind of illegal activities.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at P1143 now. I think
6 that that is prepared, a hard copy of the document. Well, it doesn't
7 matter, we will skip that then.
8 Q. General, we saw on the first day of your testimony when we were
9 going through your CV and we saw the promotions that were granted by the
10 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, President Lilic. We
11 don't have to bring the document up on the screen, but I will ask you
12 this: The fact that your rank was verified, first major-general, then
13 colonel-general, those ranks that you were given in the Army of the RSK
14 were verified by the Army of Yugoslavia. How much did that mean to you?
15 A. Well, I cannot say that as an officer it didn't mean anything.
16 It meant a lot for me to know that I was considered to be a general from
17 there as well and not considered as some paramilitary member. As for the
18 reputation and the authority of the Army of the RSK and my reputation
19 among my subordinates and fighters, those ranks were irrelevant. That is
20 not a way to earn authority and respect by just sticking some ranks on
21 your uniform. That is not the way to win respect in war, no.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at P2843.
23 If we could place it on the ELMO, please.
24 Q. General, do you recognise this document as one of your own?
25 A. Yes, this is my signature.
1 Q. What is this?
2 A. This is a proposal on the promotion of former JNA officers and at
3 the time officers of the SVK who had, at the same time, the status of
4 officers of the VJ. Proposal was that in the VJ their ranks be verified
5 so that they could have entitlements and rights deriving from status of
6 officers in that army, in the VJ.
7 Q. In the last sentence you state that this goes for officers of the
8 VJ. Why was this worded in this way?
9 A. This is expressly stated here because we wanted them to
10 understand that these were not our reserve officers who had not been
11 members of the JNA, rather, that it went who had not been active JNA
12 officers, but reserve officers who after the withdrawal of the JNA stayed
13 in the Territorial Defence and later on in the SVK.
14 Q. Were those ex-JNA officers, did they at some point become
15 officers of the SVK?
16 A. Of course they did. All those who stayed in the area later on
17 became officers of the SVK.
18 Q. I'm going to show a document about that tomorrow. It was too
19 voluminous for me to photocopy it for today.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's take a look now at P2531, Your
22 Q. I'm not going into the contents of this document, rather I would
23 like to ask you the following question. I've shown you this in proofing.
24 Did you have occasion to take a look at this document during proofing?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you please tell us what was the approximate percentage of
2 those persons named here who returned to the SVK?
3 A. One-fourth, approximately.
4 Q. Is it known to you in the case of those whose names you
5 recognised and who returned, had they been forced, had any pressure been
6 exerted on them, had disciplinary measures been threatened against them
7 since, as is stated here, they left those units of their own volition?
8 A. No, those who returned ...
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, this is very vague testimony and it
10 would be very helpful to the Prosecution if the witness could identify
11 the people who he knows returned and for whom he now asserts there was no
12 pressure put on them for their return because we will follow up on this
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You agree with that?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I agree with that.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. If you do agree, can I just add a little
17 point so that you can deal with the two together. This document
18 says: "We report that the following responded to the call-up." Did they
19 respond to the SVK call-up, and are these, up to 15, those who returned
20 to the SVK and the remainder didn't go back to the SVK? Okay. Thank
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So, General, there are two categories so to speak. In respect of
24 the first 15 persons, that first group, is it known to you whether they
25 returned to the SVK following coercion or pressure being exerted on them
1 or not?
2 A. I cannot claim whether or not pressure was exerted on them while
3 they were in the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, nor
4 could I state that no pressure was exerted on them. Pursuant to the
5 contact that I had with some of those officers, and I could name some
6 names, some colonels, Colonel Adola [phoen] for instance,
7 Colonel Stjepanovic, Colonel Banic, artillery officer; lieutenant-colonel
8 Alavanja [phoen], the anti-biological chemical nuclear weapons; then
9 Pero Gladic [phoen], a warrant officer 1st Class. Those are people with
10 whom I had immediate communication and contact. None of them mentioned
11 that any kind of pressure had been exerted on them. What they cited as
12 reasons for their leaving their positions of their own volition were
13 either personnel or family obligations that were not sanctioned by their
14 superior officers in terms of compassionate leave or something of that
16 Q. It would be best if you cite the ordinal numbers with respect to
17 the other group of those persons to tell us whether you know whether they
18 returned and if you had any information what were the circumstance of
19 them returning, and that would be in a period subsequent to the date of
20 this document?
21 A. Colonel Grahovac, ordinal number 1, he returned. Then
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Bosnic, that would be number 4. Then
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Ivosevic [phoen], that would be number 5, who later on
24 left because of poor health and subsequently he unfortunately died not
25 long after that. Under 22, Captain Miletic Gojka [phoen] Bogdan.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 28.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The warrant officer 1st class under
3 49, and then 52, 57, then 72, then 79. Allow that some others returned,
4 but I cannot really know about those lower-ranking officers. I can only
5 speak of those who I personally know.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Those higher-ranking officers that you personally knew and who
8 did not return, did you have any information about them feeling some
9 consequences in the VJ?
10 A. I don't know if they had any consequences, were there any
11 repercussions, I cannot confirm anything of the sort.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm done with this document. Just a
13 second, Your Honours. We are going to proceed without paper because we
14 did not manage to produce copies.
15 Q. I'm going to ask you the following: You said, and I'm going to
16 skip some issues, about your removal from your post, we've heard your
17 testimony about that. The new post that you were appointed to, first of
18 all, what was your job description until the end of the war in that post?
19 A. The basic tasks that that post included was to maintain relations
20 with international factors and to conduct negotiations with the Croatian
21 side. Certain counter-intelligence and intelligence tasks which some
22 people might surmise as being part and parcel of national security, they
23 did not fall within my remit.
24 Q. Those negotiations with the Croatian side, what were they about?
25 A. First negotiations with the Croatian side focused on an agreement
1 on the cessation of facilities or a cease-fire agreement. After that we
2 had other negotiations, first and foremost about certain economic issues.
3 The last negotiations that I attended took place on the 3rd of August,
4 1995, in Geneva
5 Q. Let's focus on the first negotiations, those before Geneva
6 else took part in those negotiations with the Croatian side alongside you
7 on behalf of the authorities of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
8 A. Let me be specific in my answers if you were to ask me about
9 specific negotiations, otherwise people from the leadership of the
10 Republic of Serbian Krajina took part in those negotiations.
11 Q. Were there any negotiations in re-opening the highway between
13 A. The negotiations on re-opening the Belgrade-Zagreb highway in the
14 part which was under our control, took place at the Pleso airport in
16 place in Knin which is where the Croatian delegation came. The gist of
17 those negotiations was to find conditions which would be acceptable for
18 both sides for the unhindered use of highway by both sides again.
19 Mr. Mikelic, the prime minister, also took part in the negotiations.
20 Q. Could you give us the time-frame when these negotiations took
22 A. I can't give you the dates, I don't remember after all the time
23 that has passed, but I know that it was in 1994. Certainly after the
24 agreement on cease-fire from the March of 1994.
25 Q. What was the position of President Milosevic when it comes to the
1 re-opening of the Belgrade-Zagreb highway?
2 A. The leadership of the RSK was to accept this re-opening, and
3 Mr. Milosevic motivated it with the following view: He said let the
4 highway be put in use, let the the Croats get used to it, and let the RSK
5 continue with its existence within Croatia
6 economically from the use of this highway.
7 Q. And what was the position of President Martic when it comes to
8 the re-opening of the highway?
9 A. His position was different. He believed that this was not a good
11 Q. Did you know what was the position of Republika Srpska, Karadzic
12 and other leaders on the same issue?
13 A. The leadership of Republika Srpska also believed that this was
14 not a good idea.
15 Q. Was the agreement ever signed? Was the highway ever re-opened?
16 A. Yes, the highway was re-opened, and the agreement on the issue
17 was signed.
18 Q. Did the international community support such an agreement?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In 1995, in early 1995, and all the way up until Operation Flash,
21 based on what you know what was the relationship between Martic,
22 Karadzic, and Milosevic, if we can describe it in general terms or we can
23 take it case by case?
24 A. Well, I can describe it in several sentences. I can tell you
25 what I know. I think that they went further apart, both in their
1 positions when it comes to Karadzic and Milosevic, and when it comes to
2 Karadzic and Martic, they became closer, when it comes to their views.
3 Q. We saw in your personnel file there was an entry and in December
4 1994 there was a decree of President Lilic appointing you assistant Chief
5 of Staff of the General Staff of the land forces in VJ or something to
6 that -- something along those lines, and you said that this never came
7 about, but to go back to that entry, in December 1994, the entry
8 concerning the position you held in the VJ?
9 A. The decree of the president of FRY, Mr. Lilic, appointed me to
10 the position of chief of the land forces administration -- infantry
11 administration. And at the same time I was also appointed assistant
12 chief of the land forces sector within the General Staff of the VJ.
13 General Staff of land forces. I did not accept that position. I learned
14 that Mr. Martic had called Mr. Lilic to create this position so that I
15 would leave the SVK. I called Mr. Lilic and I told him that I wouldn't
16 leave Krajina, that I had no intention of moving to the General Staff of
17 the VJ, that I simply didn't see my future within the VJ, and if there
18 was no other position for me in Krajina, I would remain there as a rank
19 and file soldier, but I wasn't going to leave Krajina for as long as the
20 war went on.
21 Q. Have you heard of a plan called Gvozd?
22 A. Yes, I have.
23 Q. What did you hear and what do you know about this plan?
24 A. This was the plan on the use of the SVK at the time when I no
25 longer was the commander. So I don't know anything about the main
1 elements of that plan.
2 Q. Very well. We will not proceed with this further. Let me ask
3 you something else, can you tell us what the Supreme Defence Council of
4 the SRK
5 A. According to the constitution, the Supreme Defence Council was
6 supposed to be the supreme commanding body in charge of the defence, not
7 only of the SVK, but the defence of the SRK. It was appointed by the
8 prime minister, president, minister of defence, minister of the interior,
9 and commander of the SVK, or, rather, the constitution set forth that
10 these people were part of the Supreme Defence Council.
11 Q. Did you participate in the work of this body while you were the
12 commander of the SVK?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Did this body continue functioning after you were no longer the
16 A. Yes, it did. I would occasionally learn of some of their
17 decisions, analyses, conclusions, and so on, those that were the result
18 of the sessions of this council.
19 Q. Thank you. I will no longer go over this with you, and I will
20 now ask you something about Operation Flash. We have heard here how this
21 operation came about, how it started, and let me ask you this now: Tell
22 me, please, weapon called Orkan, did the SVK have it -- or, rather, this
23 is an adjudicated fact from another case, so let me reformulate my
24 question, to whom was this weapon Orkan directly subordinated within the
25 chain of command within the SVK?
1 A. Depending on the situation, this -- the Main Staff would give it
2 to corps commands whenever necessary.
3 Q. General, did you know that within the concept of the strategy of
4 the SVK, there was the concept of retribution against civilians, or
5 civilian targets?
6 A. The concept of retribution against civilian targets. While I was
7 the commander and while we had our plan our views did not exist.
8 Q. Did you hear that there were artillery attacks on Zagreb
9 2nd and 3rd May, 1995, and what was your reaction to this?
10 A. Yes, I did hear of it. My reaction was of a personal nature and
11 it was expressed to people who were in my immediate vicinity at the time.
12 I said that it was unacceptable. It was unacceptable because they fired
13 on civilian targets --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, given the fact that at that time
15 Mr. Novakovic was no longer the commander of the army, of what
16 consequence for purposes of this case is his reaction?
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If possible, could we go to private
18 session so that I can give you the explanation.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Page 13281 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry about that, Mr. Novakovic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, after these events, was there a change in the command
1 structure of the Army of RSK?
2 A. You mean after the attack?
3 Q. I meant Operation Flash?
4 A. Yes, General Vrsic was appointed commander.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure of the name.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What about General Celeketic, what happened to him?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, the interpreter is not sure of the name
9 of General Vrsic, and now you are talking about Operation Flash, you are
10 no longer talking about the shelling of Zagreb. These took place at two
11 different times, didn't they.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Or it was around May 1995.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This was on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of
16 Q. Would you please repeat the name of the new commander of the SVK?
17 A. General Mile Mrksic.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mrksic. Okay.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. And we are going to finish for today. Just one thing, General,
21 do you know what happened to General Celeketic? Do you know which post
22 he occupied after his removal from office?
23 A. I don't know exactly. He was an advisor of sorts of Mr. Martic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm finished for today, Your Honours.
25 I can tell you that I'm going to be through with this witness within the
1 first session of tomorrow's work. I've tried to speed things up. I'd
2 like to apologise to Mr. Novakovic as well.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic. We will hold you to that
5 You know the warning, Mr. Novakovic, you don't talk to anybody
6 about the case until you are excused hopefully tomorrow after the first
7 session. Tomorrow we are sitting in the morning at 9.00, same courtroom.
8 Court adjourned.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
11 September, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.