1 Wednesday, 1 September 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
8 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
10 is case number IT-04-81-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
12 Could we have the appearances, starting with the Prosecution,
14 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, everyone
15 in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, Salvatore Cannata, Carmela Javier for the
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon.
18 And for the Defence.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
20 morning to everyone in the courtroom. Mr. Perisic is represented by
21 Novak Lukic, Tina Drolec, and any minute now Boris Zorko should enter the
22 courtroom. He is copying the documents right now so that we can use them
23 in our work today -- well, here he is.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic.
25 Good morning to you, Mr. Novakovic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. To remind you again to tell
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing else but the truth. Thank you so
5 Mr. Lukic.
6 WITNESS: MILE NOVAKOVIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Novakovic, good morning.
10 A. Good morning to you.
11 Q. You heard the promise I gave to the Trial Chamber last night, so
12 I would like to ask for you to bear that in mind so that we can complete
13 it within the first session today. I don't know whether e-court is
14 functioning now, but I would like to call P1048 if possible. If not,
15 then we have hard copies here for everyone. This document is dated --
16 or, rather, it comes from the Main Staff of the SVK dated 19th of August,
17 1994. It is called: "Operative Report on the Situation in Western
19 And, General, what I wish to cover briefly is what we can see in
20 the lower part of this document. It says that Fikret Abdic has
21 personally taken over the command, and then underneath would you please
22 read to yourself what is written there. And just tell us briefly what it
23 is that this document is about, what was going on at the time.
24 A. This is the last phase of the conflict in Western Bosnia between
25 the forces loyal to Fikret Abdic and the forces loyal to
1 Alija Izetbegovic. At this stage of the conflict, the forces loyal to
2 Alija Izetbegovic are about to win, to defeat the forces loyal to
3 Fikret Abdic. And from this request of Fikret Abdic we can see that he
4 is asking for more ammunition and that he is getting ready to leave the
5 territory of this autonomous region of Western Bosnia that he had
6 proclaimed and that his only option is to pull out the people via the
7 territory of Serbian Krajina into Croatia and then further on to the
8 west. That was his intention.
9 Q. Is that what happened after this?
10 A. It happened immediately within the next day or two. I had
11 occasion to observe this. The refugees came to the Serbian territory and
12 then moved on towards the border crossing in Turan, near Karlovci which
13 was a town under the Croatian control. They were halted there by
14 Croatian authorities and Croatian armed formations, and they were not
15 allowed to pass further on into Croatia.
16 Q. How many members of the units of Alija Izetbegovic were there as
17 well as civilian population, according to what you know?
18 A. Are you referring to Alija Izetbegovic's army or --
19 Q. No, no, no. I made a mistake. I apologise. I had in mind the
20 units of Fikret Abdic and the civilians. Can you give us an approximate
21 number of the people who crossed into the territory of Serbian Krajina?
22 A. That was between 25.000 and 30.000 people. That was the total
23 number, which was greater than the population that lived in Kordun at the
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I see that LiveNote is not working,
1 but I will continue nevertheless following transcript on the screen.
2 Q. General, one of the positions that you held at the time was
3 deputy commander for security and logistics, so let me ask you from that
4 point of view, from the point of view of security, was this situation a
5 security risk or a security threat at the time?
6 A. Potentially this could have been a problem, and this is why
7 members of the people's defence of autonomous region of Western Bosnia
8 who came to our territory were disarmed. All weapons they had were
9 confiscated from them, so that we could take care of them in an organised
10 manner. Temporary refugee camps were set up in order to ensure that
11 these people were safe in the territory under our control.
12 Q. Who was Serif Mustedanagic, General?
13 A. Mr. Serif Mustedanagic was the commander of the army of
14 Fikret Abdic which was called People's Defence of the Autonomous Region
15 of Western Bosnia.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at P1141.
17 Q. This is an enactment of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and then
18 underneath we see Pauk command. The date is November 1994. And then
19 underneath we see your signature and your name. General, let me ask you
20 first, what was it, Pauk command, or Spider command?
21 A. Pauk command consisted of two parts. One part comprised the
22 Supreme Command of People's Defence of the Autonomous Province of Western
23 Bosnia. The other part comprised a group of officers of the Serbian Army
24 of Krajina, SVK, headed by me pursuant to an order from Mr. Martic. Our
25 responsibility was to assist in planning of combat operations and in
1 control or direction of combat operations. Before carrying out combat
2 operations and following their completion, our Serbian part which
3 consisted of four to five officers had no further responsibilities nor
4 were they authorised to command anybody.
5 Q. Now tell me, please, about the content of this document. Do you
6 remember this? Do you remember submitting such a request? And what was
7 the reason for it?
8 A. This document hails from the period when the temporary operations
9 group Pauk was established and based on what Mr. Fikret Abdic agreed on
10 in Belgrade, and he told me that he had agreed with Mr. Milosevic and
11 with Mr. Karadzic based on which some financial assistance had been
12 promised to him. This financial assistance was provided by the SVK and
13 it consisted mostly of equipment and ammunition. And what the SVK didn't
14 have itself, as you can see from this request, I tried to obtain from the
15 General Staff of the VJ.
16 Q. Thank you. I'm done with this document.
17 How long was this Pauk command in operation?
18 A. Pauk command existed until the 5th of August, 1995, that's how
19 long it was in operation.
20 Q. And this is the time when the Operation Storm, Croatian Operation
21 Storm, began? I apologise --
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. I apologise for formulating my question in this manner.
24 Did -- we saw the document, and after August of 1994 were the
25 forces of Fikret Abdic active at all? Did they try to regain their
1 territory; and if so, did they have any success in that?
2 A. In late 1994 after a grave humanitarian situation which existed,
3 these forces attempted to regain their territory by force.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. -- Mr. Novakovic told us that Pauk
5 command existed until the 5th of August, 1995. And then you asked after
6 August 1994. Was it August 1994 you meant or did you mean August 1995?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I meant 1994 because we were dealing
8 with the document which provided information that the forces of
9 Alija Izetbegovic would push them out of that territory. So from that
10 time on for the following year, that's the period I had in mind.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I have finished with this topic, and the next issue that I'm
14 interested in is something that we have touched upon yesterday. So the
15 next document that I would like us to look at is from the Defence 65 ter
16 list 00748D, which is a decision on uniting RSK and Republika Srpska
17 dated the 20th of May --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the year.
19 Yesterday --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The interpreters didn't hear the year. They heard
21 up to the 20th of May. I don't know what year.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 20th of May, 1995.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, yesterday at the end of your evidence we touched upon
1 the relationship that existed between Martic and Karadzic, and during
2 your proofing I showed you this document. So I'm asking you now, do you
3 know something about this decision, do you know what was the political
4 background to this decision, and what was Milosevic's reaction to this
5 decision at the time?
6 A. Mr. Lukic, this was the third instance since 1992 that such a
7 decision was being passed on uniting Republika Srpska and RSK. This
8 decision was adopted based on very similar political views of Mr. Martic
9 and Mr. Karadzic, and Mr. Milosevic believed this to be a provocation
10 addressed to the international community because they -- there had
11 already existed two internationally recognised states: Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina and Croatia. And in their territories they tried to create
13 something that was unacceptable for the international community, a
14 state -- a new state.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now admit this into
17 evidence, Your Honours, this document.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D443.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, you mentioned something yesterday and I would like to
24 develop it further; namely, your participation in negotiations in Geneva.
25 Would you please tell us what negotiations those were and who
1 participated in them.
2 A. These negotiations were planned and were held on the 3rd of
3 August, 1995. Mr. Stoltenberg headed the negotiations. On the Croatian
4 side there were Mr. Pasalic and Madam Skare Ozbolt, General Stipetic,
5 Admiral Domazet, and on our side I was the one who headed the delegation
6 comprising another three persons Mr. Macura, Mr. Prijic, and
7 Mr. Vojnovic. On the Croatian side those were fake negotiations and we
8 knew that ahead of time. Their intention was to present their requests
9 which we in turn would reject, and then they would have a basis for
10 international recognition and acceptance of the aggression. We knew that
11 this was their position before we went to Geneva, and I'm saying this for
12 the first time here, that this is something that Mr. Stoltenberg very
13 honestly admitted to me in Geneva during negotiations.
14 After --
15 Q. Let us go step by step. What did Mr. Stoltenberg tell you and
16 what situation during those negotiations?
17 A. Initially negotiations were conducted in such a manner where
18 international intermediaries would hold several talks with both
19 delegations, that of the Republic of Croatia, those -- that of the
20 Republic of Serbian Krajina. I was informed by Mr. Stoltenberg, as the
21 chief of the delegation, that the Croats were insisting on holding a
22 joint plenary session. Mr. Stoltenberg said to me then that
23 they - meaning the international mediators - will draft a proposed
24 agreement that would be supposed to be accepted as a result of those
25 negotiations. He thought it would be the most useful thing for our side,
1 for their paper or their draft created by international intermediaries
2 for us to accept it in its entirety, including the acceptance of the
3 then-still-contentious plan labelled Z-4.
4 After consultations with my delegation members, I decided to go
5 along with that proposal. At the plenary session which ensued, if you
6 wish me to explain this, the Croatian side came up with a torrent of
7 abuse and they sought that we raise our hands, sign unconditional
8 capitulation, they wanted all of us in the RSK to be tried as war
9 criminals, et cetera. I was the only one who spoke on behalf of my
10 delegation, and I said that I don't want to use such vocabulary and such
11 term of voice. I stated that the Serbian delegation was supporting in
12 its entirety the international mediators' proposal of the agreement, and
13 I repeated that after the negotiations in front of 70, 80 international
15 Q. What was the reaction when you said that you accepted the
16 proposal coming from the international community?
17 A. The Croatian side up-to-date has ignored this fact, and they
18 don't even want to mention it. Their interpretation was and has been
19 that they reject -- that we rejected their proposal, but the fact is that
20 the Serbian side never even expressed their opinion of their proposal;
21 rather, the Serbian side accepted the proposal coming from the
22 international community, international mediators, in its entirety which
23 includes the Z-4 Plan. And in the paper that was put forward by
24 international mediators, that contained the dates and issues for the next
25 subsequent meeting and negotiations, and the date was - if I remember
1 correctly - the 10th of August, 1995.
2 Q. On page 9, line 15, I asked what was the reaction of the Croatian
3 side, and you see the answer goes in that direction.
4 What was the reaction of Mr. Stoltenberg and the international
5 mediators when you accepted their proposal?
6 A. The international observers, Mr. Stoltenberg,
7 Ambassador Volebaek, Ambassador Arhens, General de Lapresle, greeted and
8 hailed my decision, but probably because of knowing what was to come and
9 after what the Croats said. After the end of those negotiations, in my
10 opinion they were very worried and this is the atmosphere that we parted
11 ways in.
12 Q. Could you please repeat the names. They are not well --
13 A. Mr. Stoltenberg, Ambassador Geert Arhens, Ambassador Volebaek,
14 General de Lapresle, Belgian Brigade General Peters, maybe Petars, but
15 maybe Peters.
16 Q. Thank you very much. That would be enough. In deciding to
17 accept the international mediators' proposal, did you consult anybody
18 else except those in your delegation before you took the decision?
19 A. I consulted only with my delegation.
20 Q. What happened the next day?
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The next day general Croatian
23 offensive ensued against the UN protected area, and as we saw it an
24 aggression against the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Our delegation was
25 not allowed to return the same day. We were allowed only around midday
1 on the 4th of August and the attack started in the morning hours of the
2 4th of August. So our delegation only in the afternoon on the 4th of
3 August landed at Belgrade airport in a UN aircraft.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. General, in a couple of words, tell us - although I know that you
6 can speak volumes about that - what did you do after that and what were
7 you active in in the subsequent period?
8 A. I departed towards Krajina from Belgrade immediately. It took me
9 all night because the roads were congested. I could see that there were
10 many refugees on the roads and what was the strangest in my opinion was
11 that I saw that the Serbian settlements that I passed along the way were
12 under intense artillery and missile fire of the Croatian forces. Also, I
13 found a dispatch from Knin, which was one of the last ones, that I was
14 appointed deputy commander for Kordun and Banija. Probably it was
15 expected that the communication between Knin and the northern parts would
16 be severed, which eventually did happen.
17 Q. Could you please tell us who appointed you to that post?
18 A. General Mrksic, the then-commander of the SVK. That was his
19 dispatch that reached me.
20 Q. Did you take part in the defence of the Republic of Serbian
21 Krajina and for how long?
22 A. Communication with Banija was severed on that day as well, and
23 from then on we were cut off. Croatian forces connected on the flanks of
24 the Kordun corridor with Alija Izetbegovic's forces in Lika and drew
25 closer to Alija Izetbegovic's forces in Western Bosnia through Banija. I
1 had to organise the defence at Kordun; we were successful in that. Until
2 the 6th of August, Sunday evening, we did not budge to the Croatian
3 forces. Chaos ensued. Only when refugees from Lika entered our area and
4 thus blocked and congested all communications and roads. After that on
5 the 6th in the evening, together with the commander of the corps, Chief
6 of Staff of the corps, minister of the interior of the RSK who was there,
7 and people from police at their initiative I took a decision to try to
8 break through towards Dvor Na Uni and that -- a part of our forces
9 effected that breakthrough, despite the fact that the Croatian forces had
10 cut off the road at Glina. The fight followed until the 10th, and I
11 fought there as a common soldier with a rifle in my hand.
12 On that Sunday I contacted General Janvier, commander of the
13 UNPROFOR on several occasions, and this is the first time that I
14 disclosed this. As opposed to Generals Cot and General de Lapresle,
15 General Janvier seemed completely confused and lost out at sea. When I
16 demanded that he protect the columns of refugees on the road and to
17 threaten the Croatian forces with NATO aviation and air-strikes if they
18 were to shoot at the refugees, General Janvier kept saying, "General,
19 please, General, please, make sure that my soldiers are safe."
20 I told General Janvier, "Mr. General, your soldiers would be the
21 safest if they were left at home. Why did you bring them here? Why
22 would their safety be the most important thing? Why don't you protect
23 the people in that area," but to no avail.
24 Q. Thank you. How long did combat operations last or your
25 activities in that area?
1 A. Combat activities on the road between the town of Glina and the
2 river of Una, Dvor Na Uni, and Novi Grad and the bridge over the Una
3 towards the territory -- Serb-controlled territory of the Republika
4 Srpska, with the goal of defending the people on the road because we had
5 nothing else to defend, they lasted until the 10th of August.
6 Q. General, what happened with the RSK after the 10th of August,
8 A. The briefest possible answer: Nothing.
9 Q. Did it continue to persist as a political reality? I'd like you
10 to be more precise.
11 A. No. Not even what has been written in Croatia's constitutional
12 law about two autonomous districts in the territory of Croatia has not
13 been abided by in those areas where Serbs were a majority. This has not
14 been implemented up-to-date. Those areas are empty, destroyed,
15 including - if I may make a personal note - the house and farm of my
16 parents who suffered the same fate back in 1941 and then in 1995, where
17 everything was destroyed.
18 Q. What happened to the SVK after the 10th of August, 1995?
19 A. I don't know who, where, or when decided or made arrangements for
20 members of the SVK immediately upon entering the territory of the RS to
21 be disarmed. I saw that and it felt ugly, as if they were entering enemy
22 or alien territory. I don't know why such decision was taken.
23 Q. Did the SVK continue to exist, the Main Staff, corps, did they
24 exist after August 1995?
25 A. Only the 11th Corps continued existing -- in existence in the
1 eastern-most part of the RSK.
2 Q. Let me revisit another topic before the final part that I could
3 not --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does the 11th Corps still exist to date or when
5 did it come to its end?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in -- during 1995
7 negotiations started on peaceful reintegration of that territory into the
8 territory of the newly established Croatian state. That process was
9 completed in a way that those areas were integrated or reintegrated into
10 the territory of the newly established Croatian state, which meant the
11 end of the 11th Corps. What happened to their weapons, I don't know. I
12 wasn't in the loop. I simply have no way of knowing.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: When did the life of the 11th Corps come to an
14 end? Are you able to give a date, a month, a year?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the corps still
16 existed in 1995. I know that with some degree of reliability, but in
17 1996 it no longer existed. I cannot remember precisely the elements of
18 those -- this agreement. There were stages, and if I were to try to be
19 specific I would be speculating.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
21 Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let us go back to a document.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we adduce it under
25 different numbers. This is the Law on the SVK which has been adduced
1 only in parts as opposed to the Law on the VJ and the VRS; although, I
2 tried to have it admitted in its entirety. That would be D170. Let us
3 take a look at an article which is part of that exhibit, and then another
4 article which has not been tendered, which has not been given an exhibit
5 number but is important from our purposes and I believe it should be
6 commented upon by the witness. We have provided a draft translation of
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have made a speech here which I don't
9 understand, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The Law on the Serbian Army of
11 Krajina is a voluminous document, just like the other two laws; it has
12 over 300 articles. The Law on the Army of Yugoslavia and the Law on the
13 Army of Republika Srpska were tendered into evidence in their entirety;
14 whereas, the Law on the Serbian Army of Krajina was unfortunately
15 tendered into evidence only in a limited manner, only some articles were
16 admitted. And now I will comment with the witness on some articles which
17 are already in evidence as part of D170, and then I want to look at some
18 other articles which have not yet been admitted and I will -- it is quite
19 unfortunate in my view that they have not been admitted, and I will ask
20 that they be admitted eventually and joined with D170.
21 Q. General, you are quite familiar with this document --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you saying this law is D170? This document is
23 D170 that we've just got?
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, this is D170, except for the
1 additional articles that I will mention.
2 Q. General, we see that this law was adopted on the 22nd of April,
3 1993. At that time you had already been commander of the SVK.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at Article 320,
5 which are transitional provisions and final provisions at the very end.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm advised that in e-court this document appears
7 as D85, not 170.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, D85 is just this one article and
9 D170 are other articles.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Article 320 is D85?
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Correct.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: But ...
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you see that, General, do you have Article 320 before you?
15 A. Yes.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you go on with the General, I'm also
17 trying to find out where you find it in this document that you have given
18 us that it was adopted on the 22nd of April, 1993, because that's what
19 you proposed to the witness.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please. I can see the
21 B/C/S version very clearly, but I don't know whether the same is true for
22 you. Because the B/C/S version has the date in the heading.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask that the ELMO --
24 that -- be focused a bit more because we can't read the text on the ELMO.
25 Could that be corrected, please.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: We have a problem with the system here. I'm not
2 quite sure whether the ELMO can work, Madam Interpreter. Okay. Yeah.
3 It's faded, I can't see either, and unfortunately you don't have the hard
5 I can guarantee you, Mr. Lukic, that on the English copy that I
6 have there is no date. The question is: Are we looking at the same
7 document in the English and B/C/S?
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please look at the
9 heading of the document. I'm trying to cover it as quickly as possible.
10 It says Law on the Army of the Serbian Army of Krajina, Official Gazette
11 of the Republic of Serbian Krajina 2/1993. Do you see that?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see that, but there's no date, there's no 22nd
13 of April, 1993.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please. Now, if we
15 were to put the B/C/S version on the ELMO, would that be of assistance to
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, it would not be of assistance to me because
18 I'm not sure whether we are looking at the same document. If your B/C/S
19 document has a date, my English document must have a date. We must look
20 at the same thing. The question is: Has -- are we looking at the same
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] What was translated into English were
23 just excerpts from the document, not the document in it entirety, because
24 the CLSS has refused to translate the entire document and only certain
25 articles were translated. And this is how we proceeded with
1 Witness Starcevic.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: You see, what is on the ELMO right now I do have,
3 but there is no date there. You see, my problem --
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- my problem is that when you make introductory
6 remarks before you put your question, you put statements which we are not
7 able to verify from the document. You've suggested to the witness that
8 this document is dated the 22nd of April, 1993. We don't see that date
9 on this document. Now, shall we accept that as correct or not? Now,
10 rather just don't prefix your questions. Show the witness the document
11 and start asking your questions. That avoids, one, leading; two, giving
12 information that is unverifiable, like you've just done.
13 Okay. Put your questions. Now we accept that you are talking
14 about the Law on the Serbian Army of Krajina, Official Gazette of the
15 Republic of Serbian Krajina number 2 of 1993. You may proceed.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. General, I apologise. I apologise to the Chamber. This was
18 something that was evident for me in the B/C/S version, and I had no idea
19 that it was missing in the English version.
20 General, can you see based on the document in front of you when
21 this law was adopted?
22 A. On each page of this document in the Serbian it says:
23 "Thursday, 22nd April, 1993," which is - as far as I can
24 remember -- I know it was April. I can't claim that it was on the 22nd
25 precisely that this law was adopted.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm going to have to mark this for identification
2 until we have the correct translation.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what I was going to suggest.
4 Q. Article 320, General, says:
5 "On the date of entry into force of this law, active officers and
6 active junior officers of the Army of Yugoslavia who, in addition to the
7 citizenship of the RSK, are also citizens of another Serbian state and
8 have been appointed to duty in the Serbian Army of Krajina (hereinafter
9 SVK) are hereby transferred into professional officers and professional
10 non-commissioned officers of the SVK in the rank they held on the day
11 this law entered into force."
12 General, when did you become a member of the Serbian Army of
13 Krajina, the SVK?
14 A. De facto, I became a member of that army the day SVK was
15 established. At that time we still did not have the Law on the Army and
16 the Law on Defence.
17 Q. Let's now look at Article 324.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is a draft translation,
19 Your Honours.
20 Q. "Professional active officers, junior officers, and military
21 clerks of the Army of Yugoslavia, as well as civilians in -- serving in
22 the Army of Yugoslavia who do not accept to be transferred into SVK as
23 professional officers, professional non-commissioned officers, or
24 civilians serving in the SVK, shall have their service terminated within
25 30 days from the day this law enters into force."
1 I'm just interested in this particular paragraph of this article.
2 Did you have any situations where you had somebody there who considered
3 themselves a member of the VJ and were serving in the SVK and could you
4 command such people?
5 A. This pertains exclusively to dealing with those who left the SVK
6 and were no longer in the SVK, and logically they could not be considered
7 members of the SVK any longer.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, to avoid any potential
9 problems, I will ask for official translation of both of these articles,
10 of both of these pages, and then I would ask that that official
11 translation replace the draft translation and that these two articles be
12 added to the existing exhibit. I think that this is technically the most
13 viable solution. For the time being we can keep the existing exhibit
14 number and indication of MFI.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll add it to D85, and we'll make a note that
17 this part is marked for identification.
18 Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. General, on the first day of your evidence when we discussed your
21 career and we saw how you were retired and what entry was made concerning
22 your retirement, you gave answers to His Honour Moloto about the factual
23 and formal date of your retirement, so I will now deal with that. In
24 that document that we saw, which is your personnel file, OTP exhibit, it
25 says that you were retired on the 30th of December, 1994, by way of the
1 decree of -- presidential decree. And you told us that factually you
2 retired only the 17th of October, 1995, if I'm not mistaken.
3 A. Yes, it was then that I was informed that I had been retired.
4 Both dates that you said are correct, and also please look at the date
5 when I was appointed chief of the infantry administration. They
6 antedated my retirement date subsequently.
7 Q. I think it was on the 14th of December?
8 A. Yes, it was in December.
9 Q. Let me ask you this now: Who told you this, who talked to you,
10 and what did they talk to you about concerning your retirement?
11 A. General Perisic.
12 Q. Were you alone there or was there somebody else present?
13 A. General Mrksic, the then-commander of SVK and the last commander
14 of SVK; General Bjelanovic, who was assistant for logistics; and myself.
15 The three of us were together with General Perisic.
16 Q. What did General Perisic tell you at the time, whose decision was
17 it and what kind of a decision it was?
18 A. General Perisic said that that was the decision of the Supreme
19 Defence Council.
20 Q. And when it comes to the date of your retirement, what did he
21 tell you about that?
22 A. That the date of retirement had to be what it was because in late
23 1994 Article 107 of the Law on the Army became invalid [as interpreted],
24 and that article enabled servicemen to retire based on their years of
25 service and their age.
1 Q. Tell us, how did you accept this decision?
2 A. I took it well in the sense that I wanted all of this to be done
3 and over with because I no longer had any intention of serving in
4 anyone's army.
5 Q. Why did you no longer want to serve in anyone's army?
6 A. No, after everything that had happened and the way it had
7 happened, I no longer wanted it.
8 Q. Do you remember whether you signed any documents on the basis of
9 that decision, and were you aware then that the official date of your
10 retirement would be the 30th of December, 1994?
11 A. Yes. They told me then that the Supreme Defence Council, guided
12 by such a possibility provided by the legislation, made that decision and
13 that that decision pertained to me.
14 Q. General, were you aware at the time, did you know that there was
15 some sort of a negative attitude to you as officers of the SVK and the
16 fall of the SVK among the general public and among the leadership and
17 among the authorities?
18 A. Yes, it was well-known, and the case of us three generals -- the
19 three of us knew that. We knew that in the top echelons of the state at
20 the time existed a negative attitude towards us and that General Perisic
21 shared that view as well.
22 Q. Did you know why, why did the political leadership and military
23 leadership have this negative attitude towards you?
24 A. The public in -- were revolted over what had happened and how it
25 happened in the Republic of the Serbian Krajina. It was our
1 understanding that the state and the military leadership at the time was
2 the best option for the FRY at the time, and in that option the officers
3 and then the other leadership in the Republic of the Serbian Krajina
4 could be blamed for everything. General Perisic even mentioned something
5 like that in his conversation with us three generals.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I make an intervention here.
7 Madam Interpreter, I thought you moved away from the mike and you
8 didn't tell us where this public revolted.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The public in Serbia, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 I do not understand your answer, Mr. Novakovic. You say:
12 "It was our understanding that the state and the military
13 leadership at the time was the best option ..."
14 How can -- what do you mean the state is the best option and the
15 leadership -- "... was the best option for the FRY at the time, and in
16 that option the officers and then the other leadership in the Republic of
17 Serbian Krajina could be blamed for everything."
18 I really don't understand what that sentence is saying, unless
19 you have been misinterpreted.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I said was that
21 for the state and military leadership at the time of the Federal Republic
22 of Yugoslavia, in order to preserve their position of power, the best
23 option in terms of the revolt of the population was the -- was to blame
24 us from the Republic of -- from the Serbian Republic of the Krajina for
25 everything that happened.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That makes better sense. Thank you so much.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And what was the position of the political and the military
4 leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in terms of the security
5 of the FRY and in terms of what happened with the exodus of the Serbs
6 from the Krajina, particularly the Serbian -- the Army of the Serbian
8 A. Mr. Lukic, are you asking me when you're talking about security
9 are you talking about internal security situation or some kind of
10 external danger?
11 Q. To be more precise, I'm talking about internal security situation
12 and the political situation.
13 A. According to what I know - and this has not been disproved by
14 anything to date - there was a concern that, first of all, dissatisfied
15 Serbs from the Krajina who were refugees at the time could, in an
16 uncontrolled outburst of dissatisfaction, turn to some kind of expression
17 that would no longer be possible to control. To tell you the truth, I
18 believe that perhaps I myself contributed to that to a degree when I saw
19 before going to Geneva a kind of nonchalant attitude. I did state a
20 sentence in Belgrade in the sense of, "You just keep on playing if here
21 in the Nemanja and Kneza Milosa Street where these main institutions of
22 the state are located find themselves surrounded by 300 [as interpreted]
23 people from the Krajina, the space will be quite small and tight for
24 everybody, and then later when the column of refugees started no one
25 could enter Belgrade." But General Mrksic or I were not able to cross
1 the Drina itself to enter either.
2 Q. You said 300.000, this is page 24, line 23.
3 A. Yes, I did, I said 300.000.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: And does that quote end at the end of the
5 sentence, "... but General Mrksic and I were not able to cross the Drina
6 itself to enter either." Is that where your quotation ends? I thought
7 you were quoting something. The stenographer start here:
8 "I did state a sentence in Belgrade in the sense of, "You just
9 keep on playing if here in the Nemanja and Kneza Milosa Street where the
10 main institutions of the state are located to find themselves surrounded
11 by 300.000 people from the Krajina, the space will be quite small and
12 tight for everybody, and then later when the column of refugees started
13 no one could enter Belgrade."
14 Is that what you say you said in Belgrade and is that where you
15 end? Thank you, sir.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The quotation ends with that, and I
17 also said later that refugees could not enter Belgrade later and that
18 General Mrksic and I were also stopped from entering Serbia over the
19 Drina River, which is the official boundary entering into Serbia.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And where were you in the meantime, after the 10th of August
22 until this conversation with General Perisic?
23 A. From the 10th of August until the 23rd of September, I was in
24 Republika Srpska, in Prijedor and Banja Luka. And then I crossed into
25 Serbia incognito. From that time until the 17th of October I was in
2 Q. General, I'm only going to have a couple more questions and I'm
3 sure I will make you happy when I tell you that I have almost finished
4 with my examination. I'm sure everybody in the courtroom will also be
5 relieved. General, we spoke about the meetings that you had with
6 General Perisic, with Milosevic, and we also saw that General Mladic was
7 present sometimes. Judge Moloto asked you yesterday, I think, about the
8 levels of the top professional officer of an army. At one point in time
9 you were the commander of the Serbian Army of the Krajina; General Mladic
10 was the commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska; and
11 General Perisic was the Chief of the General Staff of the Army of
13 What I would like to know particularly is this: At that level,
14 based on what you know about the events, General Mladic -- was
15 General Perisic an authority to him? Did he have any kind of a
16 subordinated relationship to him and did that perhaps also apply to you?
17 A. Formally, no, of course not. General Perisic, first of all let's
18 clarify that, did not have any kind of formally superior position in
19 relation to General Mladic. Informally, the case was even less so; it
20 wasn't the case at all. Because General Mladic is a man who believes in
21 his knowledge and in his ability. At the time he was in touch with
22 foreign ministers, foreign generals, from Greece, Russia, UNPROFOR
23 generals, in contact with ambassadors. The questions that needed to be
24 resolved in Yugoslavia he would resolve with Mr. Milosevic. So generally
25 at that point in time as far as he was concerned, General Perisic was an
1 audience that at some points was supposed to provide him with resources.
2 As far as I'm concerned, just like Mr. Mladic, I was at this
3 function before General Perisic took on the duty of the Chief of Staff of
4 the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia. So my fate did not depend
5 on General Perisic. Very quickly I realised that as far as I was
6 concerned General Perisic was not an important address in Belgrade for
7 me. Everything that had to be done was really not referred to
8 General Perisic. If I were to exaggerate I could say that he wasn't to
9 be asked about anything. Perhaps that wasn't quite true, but basically
10 none of the decisions were under his authority or jurisdiction. I found
11 this out in the following way. The supreme political and military
12 authority was in the hands of Mr. Milosevic. If the army was supposed to
13 resolve something then he would call his man from his political party,
14 Mr. Lilic, who could possibly have a say in this. He could possibly tell
15 General Perisic something in the sense that some decision would need to
16 be implemented.
17 To tell you the truth, throughout the whole time that I was the
18 commander of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, it was my sense that
19 politicians have some kind of base or foundation in Belgrade. Policemen
20 had some kind of base in Belgrade, but my company, the one that I should
21 be relying on in Belgrade, it was the least important one. I realised I
22 had no base to lean on in Serbia.
23 Q. When you say "my firm, my company," you're thinking of the Army
24 of the Serbian Krajina; is that correct?
25 MR. HARMON: That's leading, Your Honour. I object to that.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And when you're saying "police,"
2 you're also saying police of the RSK.
3 MR. HARMON: I object, Your Honour. That's leading.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that it was not translated
5 correctly into the English, Your Honours, please.
6 Q. Who were you thinking of when you said "our politicians" and "our
8 A. Speaking about the situation during the time that I was the
9 commander of the Serbian Army of the Krajina, it is clear that I
10 meant - and I confirm that now - the politicians and the policemen from
11 the Republic of the Serbian Krajina, for whom I said that they were
12 looking for some kind of backing in Belgrade, when the General Staff was
13 a body that provided the least backing as far as we were concerned.
14 Q. General, I have finished my examination-in-chief, and I thank you
15 for your answers.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just to make everything quite clear, when you say
17 "the General Staff was a body that provided the least backing as far as
18 we were concerned," what General Staff are you referring to?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the General Staff of the
20 Army of Yugoslavia, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 We'll take a break and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court
24 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honours. Counsel.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Harmon:
4 Q. Good morning, General Novakovic.
5 A. Good morning to you too, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: If I could have P177 on the monitor. I'm referring
7 to English e-court translation 06117595, page 4 in the English and the
8 B/C/S page 6.
9 Q. What we'll be looking at in just a moment, General Novakovic, is
10 your personnel file. It's P1777.
11 MR. HARMON: I need the next -- that is not the page I'm looking
12 for in English. Let me -- it should be page 4 in the English. All
13 right. That's the correct page. Thank you.
14 Q. What I'm interested in examining with you just briefly, and very
15 briefly, General Novakovic, is your career trajectory as reflected in
16 your official personnel file. And I'd like to focus your attention on --
17 the first entry I'd call your attention to is the entry that -- wherein
18 you are assigned as command of the 5th VO Zagreb garrison as the
19 assistant chief of training. Do you see that entry? It is the third one
20 from -- should be the third one from the bottom in the English on the
21 right-hand side? Do you see that entry, sir?
22 A. Mr. Harmon, is that the entry where it says: Assistant chief
23 training department of organ for operational and training activities,
24 command of the 5th Military District Zagreb garrison?
25 Q. Yes, that's correct. And that was -- you were assigned, were
1 you, to Zagreb, in Croatia, pursuant to an order of the SSNO; is that
3 A. This is an order of the SSNO because it went for an appointment
4 to a post of a colonel as per establishment.
5 Q. Okay. Then following that you were temporarily assigned to work
6 in the 5th Military District, 1st Operations Group, and that was pursuant
7 to -- it says NPU of the SSNO. Can you tell us what the acronym NPU
8 stands for?
9 A. Mr. Harmon, that would be the last row or the last column. This
10 is the Chief of Personnel Administration of the Federal Secretariat for
11 People's Defence.
12 Q. Now, where were you stationed when you were assigned to the 5th
13 Military District, 1st Operations Group, was that still in Zagreb or was
14 that elsewhere?
15 A. Mr. Harmon, I was not in Zagreb. I was seconded to the war
16 college, College for People's Defence, in Belgrade pursuant to a special
17 order on -- to that effect which was not entered here. And in the centre
18 of high military schools, I was told about this order of the Chief of the
19 Personnel Administration of the Federal Secretariat for People's Defence
20 where I'm deployed in the command of the operations group 1 which was
21 then being established in Belgrade.
22 Q. Okay. And your next entry reflects that you were assigned to the
23 1st Operations Group, the 4th Partisan Brigade in Vrginmost. And who
24 ordered you to that assignment?
25 A. I'm a bit confused by this entry, Mr. Harmon, because at that
1 time I was not a brigade commander. The brigade commander, as I've
2 already stated here, Lieutenant-Colonel Mladenovic who previously had
3 been in the Karlovac garrison which was the domicile garrison of the
4 aforementioned 4th Partisan Brigade.
5 Q. Sir, what I'm interested in is the last entry on the page that
6 reflects an assignment to the 1st Operations Group, 4th Partisan Brigade
7 in Vrginmost. Did you receive such an assignment?
8 A. I was assigned to that post on the 18th of May, 1992, when the
9 Yugoslav People's Army - and then Lieutenant-Colonel Mladenovic who
10 hailed from Serbia - withdrew to Serbia.
11 Q. So this entry in your personnel file that reflects the assignment
12 date being -- the order date being the 28th of October, 1991, is that
13 correct or incorrect?
14 A. I cannot say because I never saw that order.
15 Q. All right. And at the time you received that order you were in
16 the JNA, were you not?
17 A. I never received this order, Mr. Harmon, because -- because my
18 superior command was -- well, the superior command to the command of the
19 1st Operations Group was the command which previously had been in Zagreb,
20 and that was the command of the north-west front line and theatre, which
21 then went to Sarajevo and subsequently there occurred those events in
22 Dobrovoljacka Street, but I've never seen this order issued by the SSNO
23 and I've never acted upon it.
24 Q. Okay. Did you ever go to the 1st Operations Group, the 4th
25 Partisan Brigade, in Vrginmost? And that calls for a yes or no answer?
1 A. I went to the 1st Operations Group, that's one thing. But I
2 repeat, I went to the command of the 4th Partisan Brigade on the 18th of
3 May, 1992, after the JNA had withdrawn and after there was no command of
4 Operations Group 1.
5 Q. When you went to the 1st Operations Group, were you a member of
6 the JNA?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. HARMON: Now if we could turn the page in English. I'd like
9 to look at the next entry in order.
10 Q. This entry says:
11 "Assigned to TO of the SAO of Krajina to the STO," which means
12 territorial defence staff, "of the 3rd Banija-Kordun operations zone in
14 Did you assume that particular position?
15 A. Mr. Harmon, instead of the command of the operations Group 1,
16 there was established one operations group for Kordun and another
17 operations group for Banija instead of the command of the Operations
18 Group 1 which was in charge of Kordun and Banija both. I was in charge
19 of the operations group for Kordun.
20 Q. And at the time you assumed that position were you a member of
21 the JNA?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
23 Q. Now, this entry reflects that this was pursuant to an order. It
24 says "NPU." What does NPU stand for?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought you asked that question.
1 MR. HARMON: I think I did ask that, Your Honour. I'll withdraw
2 the question.
3 Q. It says pursuant to the NPU of the SSNO, and it gives a number
4 and a date. Did you receive a copy of that order?
5 A. No, Mr. Harmon.
6 Q. And so how was it you moved from the operations group in Belgrade
7 to the Krajina as a JNA officer without an order?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think that the witness's answer was
10 not that he was in operations group in Belgrade. I believe that
11 Mr. Harmon has misinterpreted the witness's answer given previously.
12 MR. HARMON: I understood --
13 Q. Maybe I understood, General -- but let's clarify this point right
14 now. Were you in an operations group -- were you assigned in Belgrade
15 before you went to the Krajina?
16 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. I told you that I was sent for schooling to Belgrade.
19 Q. Okay. Then my question -- I maintain my question. How was it
20 you went from schooling in Belgrade to the Krajina without receiving an
21 order from the JNA?
22 A. I don't know where you get that from. I did not say that. I
23 stated that I received that order. I don't believe we should skip from
24 one order to another and create confusion. So the order stating
25 temporarily seconded to the 5th Military District of the 1st Operations
1 Group, no garrison assignment, chief of personnel administration of the
2 SSNO, 24-286, 27th September, 1991, that order was given to me while I
3 was in Belgrade in military school by Mr. -- General Koturovic, and this
4 means that I did not go to Krajina without an order.
5 Q. Then we understand each other. You did go to the Krajina
6 pursuant to an order of the JNA?
7 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
8 Q. Now, let's look at the entry that states that you were assigned
9 for the purpose of representation to the MUP of the Government of the RSK
10 to the formation of the special police unit, Vojnic garrison. Was
11 that -- at the time you -- did you assume that position?
12 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
13 Q. At the time you assumed that position, were you a member of the
15 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon. The JNA still existed at the time.
16 Q. And did you -- were you assigned to that position pursuant to the
17 order that is reflected in the right-hand column of this entry?
18 A. I believe so. I do not recall that order specifically, but I
19 believe that this was so.
20 Q. Okay. Now you've told us in your direct examination about the
21 next two entries, and I won't go into those two entries. You see the two
22 entries I'm referring to?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we continue in your personnel file, sir, we then --
25 MR. HARMON: If we could turn the page in the -- both the B/C/S
1 and in English.
2 Q. Now, the next entry that appears in your personnel file is the
3 entry that relates to your termination -- your retroactive termination
4 from the VJ on -- in December of 1994. Can you -- having looked at this
5 personnel file, is there any reflection in your personnel file, in this
6 portion of your personnel file, that shows that when you accepted duties
7 at the SVK you terminated your service in the VJ?
8 A. As far as my duty, Mr. Harmon, it is true that I terminated my
9 service in the Army of Yugoslavia. However, I maintained the status of
10 an officer of the VJ.
11 Q. So in the personnel file there is no reflection that you
12 terminated your service from the VJ, is there?
13 A. Please, Mr. Harmon, shall we go back to the previous or preceding
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. HARMON: If we could assist the witness and go back to the
17 preceding page.
18 Q. Can you show me on this page where it is that you terminated your
19 service in the VJ.
20 A. The penultimate entry in the Serbian language, it states here --
21 it's -- he's deployed to the 1st Army, garrison not yet determined, dated
22 30th of May, 1992.
23 Mr. Harmon, in reality there must exist a document that I saw
24 with Mr. Lukic where I declare and sign that I stay in the
25 Territorial Defence of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. This is not
1 recorded here in those entries, and this reference, deployed to the
2 1st Army, garrison not yet determined, refers to the offer to those who
3 stayed in the Territorial Defence of the RSK in order to regulate the
4 housing issues. The very fact that the garrison has not yet been
5 determined means that I was not assigned a duty in the Army of
6 Yugoslavia. And the last entry on this page in the Serbian language,
7 I've already commented upon it in my previous testimony. By a decree of
8 the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, at one point I did
9 at the request of Mr. Martic get an appointment to the General Staff of
10 the VJ to the post of --
11 Q. Sir, sir --
12 A. -- head or chief of the infantry administration --
13 Q. -- let me interrupt you. My question to you was: Where is it
14 reflected in your personnel file that you terminated your service in the
15 VJ prior to the entry that shows you were retroactively retired?
16 A. Mr. Harmon, the very fact that in this personnel file you can
17 find the duty that I was assigned to confirm what I've been stating, and
18 which is true, that I did not hold any post in the VJ. I reiterate, I
19 maintained the status of an officer in the VJ after having the status of
20 an officer of the JNA, but I held no duty in the Army of Yugoslavia,
21 apart from this one that I tried to tell you about but you interrupted
22 me, which I never assumed.
23 Q. Okay. So I take it, sir, that we are in agreement then that your
24 personnel file does not reflect that you terminated your service in the
25 VJ? Now, you testified earlier, General Novakovic, about Article 107 of
1 the Law on the VJ, which deals specifically with termination from
2 professional military service. And one of the bases of --
3 MR. HARMON: Mr. Lukic is standing so I will --
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I do not recall that at any point
6 General Novakovic testified about Article 107 of the VJ act. I have not
7 shown it to him. If Mr. Harmon were to broach that subject, it would be
8 useful to have this document placed in front of the witness.
9 MR. HARMON: He did discuss Article 107 this morning. He said
10 that General Perisic told him at the -- when he had a conversation with
11 General Perisic that Article 107 was invalid. I think that's on page 22
12 or 23 of this morning's transcript. I'm happy to place Article -- if we
13 could have P197 put on the screen, please. And the reference to Article
14 107 was page 21, line 23. If we could turn to Article 107 in this
15 document. It's page 25 of the English, and in the Serbian language --
16 just a moment, please. Page 9. The English is on page 25.
17 Q. Sir, this is the Law on the Army. It is Article 107 of the Law
18 on the Army, and it indicates under what circumstances a professional
19 military officer or non-commissioned officer shall be terminated. And
20 you can see a number of sub-points, 1 through 6, and you can see
21 thereafter it -- that it -- there is also a reference to military service
22 being terminated when there are 30 years of pensionable service, years of
23 service, and if the needs of the service so require, and et cetera.
24 So my question, sir, is: Did you terminate your service in the
25 VJ at your own request when you started your service in the SVK?
1 A. I did not have an occasion to send a personal request. Rather,
2 as I stated, I was told that the Supreme Council decided that the three
3 generals, the three of us, be pensioned off.
4 Q. Sir, you've misunderstood my question. My question was: Before
5 you were retroactively retired and at any time prior to or during your
6 service in the SVK, did you voluntarily terminate your service in the VJ,
7 yes or no?
8 A. Mr. Harmon, if under service in the VJ you mean formally
9 maintaining the status of an officer of the VJ, then I can tell you that
10 I sent no such request ever. However, if under service in the VJ you
11 mean also performing a duty and existing within the forces of the VJ in
12 the organic sense, then it was not the case [as interpreted].
13 Q. Now, while you were serving in the SVK, General Novakovic, what
14 remuneration did you receive from the authorities in the RSK?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think on page 38, line 10, it says
17 "then it was not the case," and I think it's a wrong translation. I
18 think the witness said something different.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Witness, can you remember your answer and can you repeat your
21 answer, please. You said:
22 "However, if under the service in the VJ you mean ... performing
23 a duty ..."
24 Can you complete that sentence for us, please, because there may
25 be a problem.
1 A. Yes. Performing a duty or being a part of the VJ in the organic
2 sense, then it is not true.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now can we continue with the question I asked
4 you. Can you tell us, sir, while you were serving in the SVK what
5 remuneration you received from the RSK for your services?
6 A. None.
7 Q. Who paid your salary?
8 A. If you can call it a salary, then it came from the General Staff
9 of the VJ.
10 Q. Who paid your pension and who continues to pay your pension?
11 A. Nowadays, it is the Republic of Serbia. However, Mr. Harmon, I
12 think we're skipping over some important matters by your leave --
13 Q. Sir, let me ask the questions. And if you need to explain
14 something -- but my questions I think are fairly clear and concrete. Who
15 paid your pension? I'll ask you a slightly different question.
16 Who paid your pension after you were retroactively retired?
17 A. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Do they continue to pay your pension to this day?
19 A. No, no longer. Nowadays it is the Republic of Serbia.
20 Q. While you were serving in the SVK, who paid your medical benefits
21 and insurance?
22 A. Just like other former officers of the Yugoslav People's Army who
23 maintained their status within the VJ were paid -- had their medical
24 insurance through the Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia. I think that it came under their jurisdiction.
1 Q. And who resolved your housing issues? Who was in charge of your
3 A. Mr. Harmon, my housing was provided only in January of last year,
4 something to what I was entitled to. My suffering, if I can say so,
5 lasted for a long time and I had to move nine times within that period of
7 Q. And so -- do I understand you to say that you received no housing
8 benefits from the date of your retroactive retirement until last year
9 from any governmental source of any kind?
10 A. No, Mr. Harmon. That is not true. Until January of last year I
11 did not have housing. During that time I received certain compensation
12 specified by legislation because my housing had not been provided.
13 Q. Thank you for that clarification, General. Who provided you with
14 those compensations?
15 A. The Republic of Serbia, whose citizen I am.
16 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday we touched upon the topic of your salary,
17 and you testified you didn't care much about the salary you were
18 receiving. Do you remember that testimony?
19 A. I do. I remember it very well, Mr. Harmon.
20 Q. Sir, while you were serving in the SVK, did you receive
21 additional compensation in addition to your normal salary?
22 A. I think that there was an amount paid for serving in hardship
23 circumstances, whether it was paid to us at that time or retroactively I
24 really couldn't tell you right now.
25 MR. HARMON: Could I have P177 [sic] on the monitor, and I'm --
1 would like English -- e-court English translation 06117677 ET and the
2 B/C/S page 86 on the monitor, please.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it 177 you want or 1777?
4 MR. HARMON: I thought I said -- I made a special effort to say
5 three 7s, Your Honour. Apparently I didn't. I failed.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Both occasions you failed.
7 MR. HARMON: I failed. Triple 7.
8 Q. Sir, before you is a decision dated the 10th of February, 1994.
9 Can you take a look at that, sir, and does this refresh your
11 A. I don't know. I'm not sure that I have ever seen this and that
12 this was ever given to me. If this was indeed drawn up, it was drawn up
13 for the personnel centre. I don't remember seeing this.
14 Q. Well, this is a document, sir, that grants you additional
15 compensation for service under difficult or special conditions, and that
16 means during the period of time that you were serving in the SVK. Do you
17 remember receiving that additional compensation over and above your
19 A. I don't remember, Mr. Harmon, and I don't see that this was
20 indeed decided that way here. Do -- you see here basic salary and then
21 blank times factor. So --
22 Q. Sir, let me direct your attention -- let me direct your attention
23 to sub-part (C) of -- it looks to me like it is about a third of the way
24 down the page and it says that you were granted additional compensation
25 in the amount of 4 per cent of the basic salary. Do you see that?
1 A. I don't see that. It says 4, but what this figure 4 is about, I
2 don't know. If it's 4 per cent of the basic salary -- then when you see
3 what the salary was, then you can calculate what 4 per cent of that
4 salary it was.
5 Q. All right. Let's see if we can make it larger for you to see,
6 and -- is that better for you to see now, sir? We can -- can you read
7 that, sir? If you're having difficulties, sir, let me give you a --
8 [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. HARMON:
11 Q. If you're having difficulty, I can provide you with a hard copy
12 of this document, sir. It might assist you in reading it.
13 A. I can see.
14 Yes. This is percentage. Under (C) after figure 4 it says per
15 cent. That's what it looks like to me.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. I'm finished with that document.
17 Sir, in addition to that compensation did you apply on the 19th
18 of December, 2000, for the VJ to compensate you for unused annual leave
19 which you had not taken in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994?
20 A. I did, Mr. Harmon. I followed suit after a number of officers
21 did it, inquiring why I hadn't done it myself. This is when I did it.
22 MR. HARMON: And could I have P1880 on the monitor, please.
23 I'm not seeing the B/C/S version on the stand -- on the monitor.
24 So again I have a hard copy. I can provide this to the witness. I'm
25 sorry. If we could have page 23 of the B/C/S then it will appear on the
2 Q. Okay. Sir, can you read that? Otherwise I have a hard copy. I
3 can provide you with a hard copy. It might make it easier for you to
4 read. With the assistance of the usher --
5 A. Yes, yes, I can.
6 MR. HARMON: Could we scroll up on the English version, please.
7 Q. Now, sir, have you had a chance to look at that decision?
8 A. Yes, I have seen this decision.
9 Q. Did you receive a copy of that decision, sir?
10 A. Yes. I received it from Colonel Begovic. I know him personally
11 and this decision was given to me and they acted upon it.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm finished with that document, sir.
13 I want to focus on your retroactive retirement. You told us
14 today that there was a sentiment that was against you from the highest
15 political and military levels as a result of the loss of the Krajina.
16 That's how I understood your testimony. Did I understand it correctly?
17 A. If you're referring to the period after August 1995, then yes
18 that's correct. That's the period I had in mind in my answer.
19 Q. And were you and the other generals, General Bjelanovic,
20 General Mrksic, and General Celeketic considered responsible in some --
21 in the eyes of the political establishment and the military establishment
22 for the loss of the Krajina?
23 A. Are you asking me whether political and military establishment of
24 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia considered us responsible for that?
25 Q. That's what I was asking you, sir.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. You testified that you were informed that there was a
3 decision of the Supreme Defence Council that you were to be retroactively
4 retired. Did you see a copy of that decision or that session of the
5 Supreme Defence Council?
6 A. I didn't see the decision of the Supreme Defence Council then.
7 They handed me the presidential decree of the Federal Republic of
8 Yugoslavia, Mr. Lilic, which I have in my possession to this day, as well
9 as the decision of the personnel administration which was drafted
10 pursuant to the presidential decree. Both of these documents pertain to
11 my retirement.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MR. HARMON: Could we have P766 under seal, so we'll have to go
14 into private session.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
16 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 MR. HARMON: Could we have -- and I would like to have English
20 page 2 and B/C/S page 2 on the monitor, please. I can give the witness a
21 hard copy. It might be of assistance to him.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't need it, Mr. Harmon. Thank
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. All right. Now, this, sir, what is before you are the minutes of
1 the 45th Session of the Supreme Defence Council that was held on the 5th
2 of October, 1995. And if you kindly read that, and then when you get to
3 the bottom of the page in your language would you let me know and we can
4 turn the page and we can see the remaining text.
5 MR. HARMON: And, Your Honours, I'm directing Your Honours
6 obviously to item 3.
7 Could we turn to the next page in the Serbian language version.
8 Q. Have you read that, sir?
9 A. Mr. Harmon, I have page 3 rather than item 3.
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And item 3 was previously on the
13 MR. HARMON:
14 Q. I have -- I'd given you an opportunity to read, sir. It appears
15 to be item 3. It's the highlighted portion in yellow. Have you read the
16 highlighted portion in yellow? That was the portion I wanted to direct
17 your attention to.
18 A. Yes, I've read it.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. What's on this page, yes, item 3.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. Now, this is the document that
22 generated your retroactive retirement. This reflects the debate and the
23 discussion and the decisions that led to your retroactive retirement.
24 Now, I'm interested in your comments on this text.
25 A. I can repeat what I stated earlier today, and that is that it
1 seemed to me that the then-state and military leadership of the Federal
2 Republic of Yugoslavia thought that it was most convenient to blame us
3 entirely for the fall of Krajina. I do not want to pardon myself or
4 anybody else for what had happened. And this is why they passed this
5 decision. To tell you the truth, I don't know what other decision they
6 could have made.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. HARMON: We can go into public session, Your Honour. Thank
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Were you aware, General Novakovic, that General Perisic
17 contemplated criminal and disciplinary proceedings to be taken against
18 you and against Generals Celeketic, Bjelanovic, and Mrksic for the
19 responsibility that he asserted you had in the fall of the Krajina?
20 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon. At one point he told us that when he informed
21 us of the decision of the Supreme Council on our retirement. I
22 immediately commented on that by saying that that would have been the
23 most beneficial solution for all three of us, but if they were to try us
24 that would be a trial against the Army of Yugoslavia primarily. And this
25 is what he should count on, and that for us the best way to establish the
1 truth about what had happened would be to have that trial take place.
2 Q. What was it precisely that General Perisic informed you about in
3 respect of proceedings, criminal or disciplinary proceedings?
4 A. Just a note for interpreters. He uttered just one sentence,
5 namely, that there was a possibility for that. He did not expand on it.
6 Q. I see. So he said there was a possibility of what? I'd like you
7 to try to recall because -- to the best of your recollection precisely
8 the words he used.
9 A. That there was a possibility that a court would look into our
10 responsibility. That's the sentence I remember because it was of great
11 importance for me.
12 Q. Okay. Now, who was -- sir, who was Colonel Bulat?
13 A. The late Colonel Bulat, his first name was Cedomir, was commander
14 of the 21st Kordun Corps. He was removed from that post subsequently.
15 When on Saturday, the 5th of August, 1995, I returned from Geneva and
16 found a dispatch of General Mrksic appointing me deputy commander of the
17 Serbian Army for Kordun and Banija, commanders of brigades of the
18 Kordun Corps requested that Colonel Bulat be appointed corps commander so
19 that they -- because they, soldiers and the people, had more faith in him
20 than the then-commander, Colonel Bosanac. I accepted that, and from the
21 5th of August until the end Colonel Bulat was the corps commander.
22 MR. HARMON: Could we have Prosecution Exhibit 2202 on the
23 monitor, and I'm interested in e-court English translation 06187763 ET,
24 page 1; and B/C/S page 12.
25 Q. Sir -- and this is a text taken from the collegium of the
1 General Staff dated the 30th of October, 1995. And you will see a
2 portion of -- I want to direct your attention to the portion that deals
3 with Risto Matovic, the second entry for Risto Matovic. There are two
5 MR. HARMON: And I direct Your Honours' attention as well to the
6 second entry for Risto Matovic.
7 Q. Sir, have you had a chance to read that text?
8 A. Now I have the chance to read what it says here, Mr. Harmon.
9 Q. Okay. Having read that text, sir, first of all, can you tell us
10 who General Risto Matovic is?
11 A. I don't know what -- which duty he held in the General Staff,
12 maybe for mobilisation call-up -- well, one of the top brass within the
13 General Staff, but I don't know his precise duty or post.
14 Q. Now, this text reads:
15 "In the sector we have launched an investigation against Bulat
16 and it is completed. Five witnesses and suspects were interviewed. The
17 committee with General Ristic at the helm proposes to institute
18 proceedings against him to inculpate him and to punish him. We have the
19 complete material now."
20 Were you aware that the VJ had launched an investigation against
21 Colonel Bulat?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
23 Q. What -- when did you become aware that the VJ had launched an
24 investigation against Colonel Bulat?
25 A. From Colonel Bulat himself.
1 Q. And when was that? When did you learn that, in 1995, 1996, 1997?
2 A. I think it was immediately in 1995. It seems to me to be so,
3 Mr. Harmon. I cannot be too precise about that, but I believe it was
4 still 1995 or maybe the beginning of 1996. Of course after August 1995.
5 Q. And Colonel Bulat was being investigated for what reason?
6 A. Mr. Harmon, I think it went for military disciplinary courts and
7 tribunals which existed in the army at the time which tried disciplinary
8 infractions and had certain jurisdiction over certain matters.
9 Q. And for what reason was he being --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to be more precise. I
12 think it's important when it comes to the use of the term. Mr. Harmon
13 mentions investigation and here it is stated "examination" or "inquiry."
14 I think those -- this distinction is important.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where does it say "inquiry," Mr. Lukic?
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm reading the B/C/S version, the
17 second paragraph of Mr. Matovic's intervention. It is stated here:
18 "In the sector we instituted inquiries against Bulat..."
19 et cetera.
20 As you see in English, the term is followed by a question mark
21 and it says "investigation" question mark. And the interpreters in the
22 booth in my opinion correctly translated that very specific legal term
23 with a very important legal distinction.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Interpreter, are you saying -- when you say
25 the interpreters in the booth in my opinion, are you telling us your
1 opinion or you are translating?
2 THE INTERPRETER: I'm interpreting Mr. Lukic's words.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
4 Anyway, Mr. Lukic, I -- in the translation that we have before us
5 we don't have a question mark after "investigation." We've got a
6 question mark before "an," after "launched" and a slash. I am prepared
7 to accept that you are saying that somebody is querying the
8 interpretation there or the translation there.
9 Mr. Harmon.
10 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I asked the witness if he was aware if
11 there was an investigation opened against Colonel Bulat, and he answered
12 affirmatively. So I think that resolves the issue, not the issue of
13 whether the text is right but the issue of whether the fact is right.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Now, sir, I had asked you before the intervention by my colleague
17 Mr. Lukic: And Colonel Bulat was being investigated for what reason?
18 Why was he being investigated?
19 A. A disciplinary inquiry and not investigation against
20 Colonel Bulat, my mistake. I failed to notice that - was initiated
21 because of the surrender of the 21st Kordun Corps to the Croatian Army at
22 the time while he was corps commander.
23 Q. Okay. So this was a disciplinary inquiry being conducted by the
24 VJ for Colonel Bulat's actions in surrendering the 21st Corps of the SVK
25 to the Croatian army; do I understand you correctly?
1 A. This is evident from this document, Mr. Harmon.
2 Q. So I take it the answer is I did understand you correctly and
3 that's the reason why he was being -- there was a disciplinary inquiry?
4 A. This disciplinary inquiry did take place. It's stated here that
5 I was interviewed. I remember that correctly. And -- but he -- no
6 disciplinary sanction was meted out to Colonel Bulat.
7 Q. Was Colonel Bulat brought before a disciplinary -- a VJ
8 disciplinary inquiry panel and questioned himself?
9 A. I couldn't know that, Mr. Harmon. What I do know is that I gave
10 my statement to General Ristic in the presence of that general and
11 Mr. Bulat.
12 Q. Okay. So, General, how was it that you were -- what were the
13 circumstances under which you gave a statement to General Ristic? Were
14 you summoned to appear before General Ristic at a certain date and a
16 A. No, Mr. Harmon. First Colonel Bulat came to me to ask me to
17 provide a statement during that inquiry. After that, he arranged with
18 the gentleman who was in charge of that inquiry, and it's stated here
19 that this was Mr. Ristic, for me to get somewhere at a certain date -- on
20 a certain date at a certain time. There was no official summons or writ,
21 and I just came there and told them what I knew.
22 Q. Now, the recommendation of General Ristic was that proceedings be
23 instituted against Colonel Bulat. Were they ever instituted? Were any
24 sanctions ever imposed against Colonel Bulat for giving up the 21st Corps
25 to the Croatian Army?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that the witness answered
3 this question on page 50, line 5.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Page 51, line 5.
5 MR. HARMON: I asked the question if there were any sanctions.
6 That's a broader question, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, at page 51, line 5, it says:
8 "I remember that correctly. And -- but he" -- sorry, my page is
9 running away, "but he - no disciplinary sanction was meted out to
10 Colonel Bulat."
11 So you're saying you're asking about sanctions. He's talking
12 about sanctions there.
13 MR. HARMON: Disciplinary sanctions. I'm asking if there were
14 any sanctions imposed against him and the question is different.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Yes.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Sir, you can answer -- with the Court's permission you can answer
18 the question.
19 A. Mr. Harmon, what I stated, that he did not receive any sanction,
20 I state that on the basis of the following. Colonel Bulat, who was a
21 close friend of mine, never told me that any disciplinary measures had
22 been meted out in connection with these events.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, it's 12.00 and this would be an
25 appropriate time to take a break.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: We'll take a break and come back at half past
2 12.00. Court adjourned.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
6 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. General, I want to focus your attention on the documents that you
8 were provided that resulted in your retroactive retirement.
9 MR. HARMON: If I could first of all have P1912 on the monitor.
10 Q. Sir, do you recognise this document as being the presidential
11 decree of President Lilic retroactively retiring you from professional
12 military service, and it's dated the 22nd of December, 1994?
13 A. Yes, I do believe I have an original of this document.
14 Q. Okay. Now, we know that this date of the 22nd of December, 1994,
15 as being the date of the decree is false; correct?
16 A. I think it is not, Mr. Harmon.
17 Q. Well, the decree -- this decree was not promulgated on the 22nd
18 of December, 1994, because you were still in service in the SVK until I
19 think you told us the 17th of October, 1995. You were still actively
20 serving in the military. So do you accept, General Novakovic, that the
21 date of this decree was not in fact the 22nd of December, 1994?
22 A. In terms of the time when I was told about it and the time during
23 which I was treated from the date on this document until the 17th of
24 October, 1995, I do believe that this document was not created on that
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, I want to direct your attention, sir, to
2 the last paragraph in English, and it is the second paragraph under the
4 MR. HARMON: And if we could scroll up in the English version so
5 we can see. Yes, thank you.
6 Q. I'm directing your attention to the paragraph that reads:
7 "In view of the above it was concluded that there are grounds for
8 the professional military service of the above-named person to be
9 terminated pursuant to Article 107, paragraph 2, of the Law on the
10 Yugoslav Army."
11 Now, this morning you testified - and I'm referring to your
12 testimony at page 21, lines 22 to 25, and I want to clarify this
13 point - your testimony in response to a question from Mr. Lukic was that:
14 "The date of retirement," this is what General Perisic allegedly
15 told you, that: "The date of the retirement had to be what it was
16 because in late 1994 Article 107 of the Law on the Army became invalid
17 and that article enabled servicemen to retire based on their years of
18 service and their age."
19 Is that what General Perisic told you?
20 A. I understood it to be -- that the needs for this date to be
21 determined so stemmed from that circumstance. I cannot claim that
22 Mr. Perisic told me. What I can say that Mr. Perisic or somebody else
23 told me, that this would be the legal basis for my retirement to be
25 Q. So really, General Novakovic, I'm just focusing on the word
1 "invalid" that appears in the text of the transcript today. Were you
2 told that Article 107 became invalid or that it was valid?
3 A. I think it was said that the Article 107 was in effect until the
4 31st of December of the preceding year.
5 Q. Fine. That clarifies the transcript error that -- that's all I
6 was attempting to do, General Novakovic.
7 MR. HARMON: Now, if we could turn to P1913 and put that on the
8 monitor, please.
9 Q. Sir, have you seen this document before?
10 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
11 Q. This is the decision implementing the presidential decree
12 terminating you retroactively; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And again in this document on its face we can see a number of
15 false statements. One, direct your attention to -- under statement of
16 reasons to the first paragraph where it says this decree was delivered to
17 you on the 25th of December, 1994. That statement is false, isn't it?
18 A. That's not correct, Mr. Harmon.
19 Q. Was the decree -- this decree that you have before you delivered
20 to you on the 25th of December, 1994?
21 A. What is written in this decision, that the decree was delivered
22 to me on the 25th of December, 1994, it's not true.
23 Q. Okay. Thank -- that's what I was asking you. Let's look at the
24 next sentence. The next sentence says on the 30th of December, 1994, you
25 submitted a report stating that you had handed over your duty on that
2 Did you submit a report stating that you had handed over your
3 duty on the 30th of December, 1994?
4 A. No, I didn't.
5 Q. Okay. Now, you received both the presidential decree, which we
6 looked at before this exhibit, and this decision, you received that --
7 those copies of those documents when?
8 A. Sometime after the 17th of December or maybe on that date or a
9 couple of days afterwards in 1995.
10 Q. Okay. And --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, is it December or October? [Microphone not
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it after the 17th of October or 17th of
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, October, October.
17 My mistake.
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. Now, sir, when you received copies of those two decisions, did
20 you sign a delivery note?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you backdate the delivery note to reflect the 25th of
23 December, 1994?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
25 Q. Why was it, sir, that you backdated the delivery -- the receipt
1 note to December the 25th, 1994? Why didn't you put the correct date
2 when you received those two decisions on the delivery note?
3 A. Because this was the only way for this whole situation to be
4 resolved and because this was the position as related to me of the -- of
5 both the Supreme Defence Council, president of the republic, president of
6 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and chief of the personnel
7 department. It was explained to me that I should place such a date on
8 that document for this document to be valid.
9 Q. And who told you to place the false date on the document?
10 A. The personnel officers who technically drafted those document.
11 Q. You -- by name do you recall who those personnel officers were
12 who drafted these documents?
13 A. I think chief of personnel administration was General Zoric or a
14 lieutenant-colonel who was involved in drafting those. I know that he
15 graduated from the military academy, but I cannot recall his either first
16 or last name.
17 Q. Okay. Now, let's -- I want to explore with you another topic.
18 The retirement, retroactive retirement, retired you back until -- on the
19 30th of December, 1994. You were in actual military service until
20 October of 1995; correct?
21 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
22 Q. And as an officer serving through October of 1995, you were
23 entitled to certain benefits, including pension benefits; correct?
24 A. When we discuss duty, Mr. Harmon, maybe we should be more
25 precise. In actual fact I held a duty in the SVK until the 10th of
1 August, 1995. I held no other duty after that date. And whatever I
2 received was the salary.
3 Q. So with those dates in mind, let's frame the time-period. From
4 the date of your retroactive retirement, you continued serving a duty in
5 the SVK until the 10th of August, 1995, for which you would have accrued
6 certain pension benefits; isn't that correct?
7 A. That would mean higher pension, maybe a housing issue being
8 resolved, et cetera.
9 Q. Sir, I'm trying to focus on one narrow issue here: Your pension
10 benefits. As an acting military -- professional military officer serving
11 in the military, under the VJ you were entitled to receive pension
12 benefits until your service was terminated; correct? I'm sorry that's a
13 bad -- that's a poorly framed question. Let me rephrase the question.
14 General Novakovic, you were entitled -- you were earning pension
15 benefits and rights as long as you were in active military service.
16 That's the normal procedure, isn't it?
17 A. As far as I know, yes.
18 Q. Okay. Your active military service you've just told us ended the
19 10th of August, 1995; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You were retroactively terminated in December of 1994. We know
22 that from the documents. My question, sir, is: Did you and do you
23 receive pension benefits for the time you were in active military service
24 between December of 1994 and the 10th of August, 1995?
25 A. Frankly speaking, Mr. Harmon, those were minor details for me.
1 What was important for me was to conclude my active military service --
2 Q. Let me interrupt you for a minute. My question was very clear
3 and quite precise. I'll repeat it. Did you and do you receive pension
4 benefits from the time you were in active military service between
5 December of 1994 and the 10th of August, 1995?
6 A. In reality, yes. But if I was retired as of 30th of December,
7 1994, if that's what you want to hear, I think that that bit was not
8 calculated into my years of service, did not count for the pension
10 Q. Okay.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: And I don't understand. You started off by saying
12 "in reality, yes," meaning that yes you do receive pension for the period
13 of the 30th of December, 1994, to August 1995. And now your next
14 sentence is but you think that that bit was not calculated. Surely, if
15 you -- if the answer -- first answer is yes, yes, you do receive it, then
16 it was calculated.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in accordance with
18 the laws in force then, had I been retired with the actual factual date
19 when I served in the SVK, then the period between the backdated date of
20 retirement and -- which is the 30th of December, 1994 - and the later
21 date, the 10th of August, 1995, which is when factually my engagement in
22 the SVK was terminated and during which period of time I had status in
23 the VJ, would be calculated as years of service for which pension
24 benefits accrue, as Mr. Harmon says. This is how I understood it.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: So your answer to his question is: Yes, you
1 were -- you are getting pension for that period, 30th of December, 1994,
2 to 10th of August, 1995, that's the short answer?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it did not get included. Had
4 it been done in accordance with the law, it would have been included; but
5 since this was done with backdating, then obviously it was not.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: So you are not receiving it. Okay.
7 MR. HARMON: Okay.
8 Now, let me turn now to a different document. If I could have
9 P1914 on the monitor.
10 Q. While we're waiting for P1914 to appear on the monitor, General,
11 can you tell -- is there a reason why you didn't receive the housing
12 benefits to which you were entitled as a general until last year?
13 A. When I addressed the housing organ in the Belgrade garrison in
14 1995, they told me that I was not entitled to housing from the army
15 because I was a pensioner. Then I went to the fund for pensioners and I
16 applied to them for housing as a pensioner. Two years later in the fund
17 for pensioners for veterans, they told me that they were not competent to
18 give me housing because I was denied housing in Zagreb as an active
19 officer of the JNA and not as a military pensioner. And they directed me
20 to apply to the housing organ of the VJ in the Belgrade garrison. When I
21 went there they told me that I was not entitled to apply for housing
22 because I had not done it while I was in active duty. It wasn't until
23 General Mrksic and Colonel Bulat intervened and all of us knew that we
24 had all applied for housing while in Krajina, they managed to find the
25 cover of my personnel file which had been sent to Raska garrison,
1 where -- which I never -- where I never was, and I only passed through
2 the town of Raska once in my life. And it wasn't until then that I was
3 allowed to apply for housing.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you see on the monitor in front of you, sir, a
5 document. That's a document that bears your signature; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, can you slowly read that document into the record. And I'm
8 only referring to the portion under the word "statement." There's a
9 single sentence. Can you read that into the record, please.
10 A. "I hereby state that in accordance with the order of the Chief of
11 the General Staff of the VJ, I accept to be assigned as required by the
12 service in the Army of Yugoslavia."
13 Q. Can you tell me the circumstances under which you prepared this
15 A. At that time General Mrksic, the then-army commander;
16 General Bjelanovic; me; and some other officers were in Banja Luka, in
17 Republika Srpska. General Mrksic at one point in time went to Belgrade.
18 I know he had a problem. He had to go there illegally by crossing the
19 river in a boat. And after that visit he told us that all of us had to
20 write this sort of a statement and all of us did.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just understand what you mean by "at that
22 time ... the then-army commander ..." do you mean on the 16th of
23 September, 1995? You have been asking us to be very precise. I want to
24 know whether on the 16th of September, 1995, General Mrksic was a
25 commander; and if so, in which army? Because I think by then the SVK was
1 no longer there, isn't it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. It pertains to
3 this very date. As you can see in the heading, it says "Banja Luka,"
4 which is in Republika Srpska. We were all together and we considered
5 ourselves the remnants of that army, which in reality no longer existed.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. So he was not a commander on that day
7 because the army didn't exist on the 16th of September.
8 Just so that we understand, two years down the line when we read
9 what you wrote here we want to know exactly what you meant by this.
10 Okay. Anyway, I understand now. Thank you very much.
11 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON: Okay.
13 Q. Who prepared the text of this document?
14 A. I think that I worded this myself, bearing in mind the words of
15 General Mrksic.
21 MR. HARMON: We have to go into private session. I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session
23 and may we see that P766, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Yes.
25 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in private session.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON: Okay.
5 Your Honour, we will have to redact, if we could, lines 18 and 19
6 on page 62. I quoted in part a protected document.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: May it be, please, so redacted.
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. General, if we have -- we're going to have to go to the item 3 of
10 this document in English and in B/C/S, please, page 2 of the English.
11 And I think the portion of the paragraph that I want to cite is on page 2
12 of the Serbian language as well.
13 MR. HARMON: And I want to direct Your Honours' attention to the
14 second paragraph under item 3.
15 Q. And, General Novakovic, I'd like to do the same to you. This
16 paragraph says that:
17 "Prior to passing the enactment, the Chief of the General Staff
18 is tasked with conducting an interview with the above-mentioned persons
19 in order to inform them of the decision of the Supreme Defence Council of
20 their duty to place themselves at the disposal of the 30th Personnel
21 Centre following the termination of their professional military service
22 in the Yugoslav Army."
23 Now, this -- were you ever informed, sir, of your duty to place
24 yourself at the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
1 Q. Who told you that and when were you told that?
2 A. Mr. Perisic told me that when informing me of the decision on
3 retirement. I think it was then that I had to sign a statement to that
4 effect. The 30th Personnel Centre kept records for the persons in the
5 VRS, but on the 16th of September, which is the date of this document, I
6 still knew nothing about that.
7 Q. Okay. If you were not a member of the VJ, what duty did you have
8 to place yourself at the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre?
9 A. Mr. Harmon, I would kindly ask you to put specific questions to
10 me so that I can give you specific answers. Whether a member of the Army
11 of Yugoslavia to you means the same as a person with the status within
12 the VJ, when asking me whether I was a member of the VJ do you think it
13 is the same as having the status in the VJ while at the same time being a
14 member of the SVK in the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
15 Q. My question to you, sir, was: If you were not a member of the
16 VJ, what duty did you have to place yourself at the disposal of the 30th
17 Personnel Centre? Can you answer that question, please.
18 A. When I was retired, it was not clear what duty I had when I was
19 no longer member of the VJ. I think that we're dealing with a political
20 position at this point in time. How could the General Staff of the VJ
21 order me as a pensioner to put myself at the disposal of another army,
22 because I was to be placed at the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre,
23 and I learned of this information simultaneously with learning about my
24 retirement, by way of the presidential decree, et cetera.
25 Q. Did you put yourself at the disposal of the 30th Personnel
2 A. It did not even occur to me, Mr. Harmon, ever.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: While Mr. Harmon is still looking at his monitor,
5 can I ask a question. When you did not put yourself at the disposal of
6 the 30th personnel army -- personnel centre, were there any consequences
7 for your not doing so?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There weren't, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Nobody tried to punish you or tried to inquire why
10 you don't obey this order?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. In your answer, General Novakovic, you say:
17 "Mr. Perisic," this is at page 64, line 1.
18 "Mr. Perisic told me that," that is the duty to place yourself at
19 the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre, "when informing me of the
20 decision on retirement."
21 That was your answer. General Perisic told you to place yourself
22 at the disposal. What did you tell General Perisic?
23 A. As for my duty to place myself at the disposal of the 30th
24 Personnel Centre, I didn't tell him anything in relation to that.
25 Q. Sir, when did you have that -- what was the date of that
1 conversation with General Perisic?
2 A. Based on my recollection - and I have repeated it several
3 times - it was on the 17th of October, 1995. However, I don't know
4 whether the presidential decree and the decision were handed to me and
5 whether I was supposed to sign the statement accepting to be placed at
6 the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre on that same day.
7 Q. So you're telling us that at no time did you place yourself at
8 the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre?
9 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon, that's true.
10 Q. Did you ever place yourself at the disposal of the commander of
11 the Army of Republika Srpska?
12 A. Never, Mr. Harmon.
13 MR. HARMON: Could we have Prosecution Exhibit 177 --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you still want to stay in --
15 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And is it one -- two 7s --
17 MR. HARMON: Three 7s.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Three 7s. Okay.
19 MR. HARMON: Three 7s. And could we go into public session.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into open session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.
24 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: Could we have P1777 e-court English translation
1 0611-7673 ET 1, B/C/S page 82 on the monitor.
2 Q. General Novakovic, is that your signature at the bottom of this
4 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
5 Q. Now, would you read in the last sentence in that document.
6 A. "I also hereby accept to be placed at the disposal of the
7 commander of the Army of Republika Srpska."
8 That's the last sentence, Mr. Harmon.
9 Q. Now, when did you write this document and where did you write
10 this document?
11 A. Apparently in Belgrade, Mr. Harmon, and I think that it had to be
12 on the 17th of October, not on the 7th, as is stated here. I think that
13 this document was created on the 17th of October, and I think that I
14 repeated twice in the last hour or so that I did sign a document of this
16 Q. And this was a document -- was this with General Perisic present
17 or was this a result of a meeting that you had with General Perisic on
18 the 17th of October, 1995?
19 A. The position of the Supreme Defence Council about us having to be
20 placed at the disposal of the 30th Personnel Centre is something that
21 General Perisic told us then, on the 17th of October. I did not sign
22 this statement before him. I signed it at the same time when I signed
23 the other paperwork, namely, the presidential decree, the decision, and
24 so on.
25 Q. So you signed this document after you met with General Perisic on
1 the 17th of October?
2 A. Yes. Based on my best recollection, that's how it was,
3 Mr. Harmon.
4 Q. Now, sir, when you -- in October of 1995, did you also return the
5 stamp of the SVK -- a rubber stamp of the SVK to the VJ General Staff?
6 A. The stamp of the SVK and the diplomatic passport, I turned that
7 over later and I have a record of that hand-over; I have it in my
8 possession to this day.
9 Q. And to whom did you turn that over, both the diplomatic passport
10 of the SVK and the rubber stamp of the SVK?
11 A. According to what I remember, I turned it over to the
12 General Staff. As for the specific organ, I think it was the personnel
13 administration. I'm not entirely sure. I would need to check the
14 document that I have, but it's at home.
15 Q. And, sir, why did you turn over to the General Staff of the VJ
16 the rubber stamp of the SVK?
17 A. I didn't know whom else I could give it to, Mr. Harmon, and I
18 needed to have an official certificate that I no longer had it in my
19 possession. So the most logical thing for me was to go to the
20 General Staff, to hand it over to them, so that they could put it in the
21 military museum.
22 Q. And was it your intention to have it put into a military museum?
23 A. I apologise. That was just a comment I made in passing. I
24 simply wanted to turn it over because I no longer was authorised to have
1 Q. Didn't you turn it over because it was property of the VJ?
2 A. It was by no means the property of the VJ, either the diplomatic
3 passport or the stamp.
4 Q. All right. Thank you very much on that particular topic. We're
5 going to turn to another topic, General Novakovic, and the topic we're
6 going to turn to is your assignment to the special police. You testified
7 earlier that -- you said that you -- that an operations group in charge
8 of Banija and Kordun was formed in Belgrade and that you were one of the
9 members of the command of that operative group. That testimony is found
10 at page 12999, line 25.
11 In connection with that testimony, you made the following
12 statement, you said:
13 "This is an operative assignment. It's not an assignment to a
14 duty by establishment."
15 That testimony is found at page 13000, line 19.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do we have a date for this assignment?
17 MR. HARMON: The assignment to the operative group, I understood
18 from the evidence, was pursuant to an order of the SSNO of 27 September
19 1991. The General can correct me if I'm not correct, but that's my
21 Q. But my question to you, General Novakovic, is: Can you explain
22 to us the distinction you're trying to make when you say "this is an
23 operative assignment. It's not an assignment to a duty by
24 establishment." What does that mean?
25 A. That it wasn't something that would require an establishment rank
1 or established formation. It was just a structure which was being
2 created then, and people I appointed who were available, those who
3 organised that thing thought I was supposed to be in Kordun and in this
4 respect there was no establishment book, there were no establishment
5 ranks. And this is why I expressed myself in this way.
6 Q. So an assignment by establishment would mean -- would it mean an
7 assignment to a specific location with a specific duty post number? Is
8 that how I'm to understand an assignment by establishment?
9 A. In essence, that would be so, Mr. Harmon. But the reality was
10 thus, the order that you have - and I unfortunately cannot see it - was
11 dated on the 27th of September, if I remember it correctly. A brigade of
12 special units of police for Kordun, where I was appointed commander, was
13 established on the 2nd of August, 1995 [as interpreted]. I know this to
14 be a reliable fact. In the presence of the then-chief of the
15 administration for special units of police in Krajina, Mr. -- General
16 Borislav Djukic in the village of Pijesanica [phoen], close to Vrginmost.
17 Q. Yeah, I -- Mr. Cannata has pointed out an error in the
18 transcript, General. It says that you were appointed commander -- I'll
19 just see the still transcript because I can't follow on this thing. The
20 year 1995 has been inserted into your answer. It says:
21 " ... where I was appointed commander -- a brigade of special
22 police units for Kordun, where I was appointed commander, was established
23 on the 2nd of August, 1995."
24 1995 is not correct. It should be a different year, shouldn't
1 A. 1992. If I said "1995," I'm mistaken. It is known that it was
2 1992, but ...
3 Q. Okay. Now, let's deal with your unit. You said that in your
4 evidence at -- that you commanded the 80th Brigade of the special police
5 that had about 2.000 members. That testimony is found on 13055, line 12.
6 Would you consider, General Novakovic, that a police force of 2.000 men
7 was a large police force?
8 A. Mr. Harmon, I don't know what interpretation you receive. I hear
9 "special police" in my headset. It was not called special police. It
10 was called special units of police, which indicate their purpose. And my
11 answer to your specific question would be as follows. It was a large
12 formation if you talk about normal security circumstances and conditions.
13 But if you take into account the fact that more than 100 kilometres of
14 the line of conflict which stayed the same after UNPROFOR's arrival with
15 Croatian forces on the other side, that front line had to be observed,
16 manned 24/7, 365 days a year. This would be the minimum to be achieved,
17 and that was the basic purpose of that unit so that that population there
18 would feel safe to a certain extent.
19 Q. Were there other brigades of special units of police in the RSK
20 beside the 80th Brigade?
21 A. I don't know why the interpreter mentions SVK. SVK did not exist
22 at the time.
23 Q. I said "RSK," sir. Were there other brigades of special units of
24 the police in the RSK beside the 80th Brigade?
25 A. Yes, Mr. Harmon. I received SVK in the interpretation into
1 Serbian. This was the cause of my confusion. There was a special
2 brigade of police in the area of Dalmatia, then special brigade of police
3 in Lika, special brigade of police in Kordun, special brigade of police
4 in Western Slavonia, and a special brigade of police in the eastern part,
5 apart from the 80th Brigade which existed in Kordun.
6 Q. What was the total number of special policemen in these units?
7 How many were there?
8 A. I don't know that, Mr. Harmon. General Djukic would be familiar
9 with that piece of information. I've never dealt with it.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Lukic asked you a number of questions about the Vance
11 Plan, and your testimony was that the Vance Plan envisioned that the
12 UNPAs would be demilitarised and the armed forces would be disarmed.
13 That testimony is found at 13043, line 1. Your testimony was that the
14 disarming of the armed formations was done, that's at 13043, line 15.
15 And you testified that UN under-Secretary-General Marrack Goulding said
16 that the Serb side had complied. That's at 13043, lines 12 through 19.
17 You further testified, General Novakovic, that General Nambiar, who was
18 the UNPROFOR commander at the time, "never raised as a problem the
19 questions of whether our side was complying with the requirements of the
20 Vance Plan." That's at 13044, line 16. In fact, General Novakovic, the
21 UNPAs were never demilitarised, were they?
22 A. I don't know what you use as a basis for your claim, Mr. Harmon.
23 Q. Okay. Well, we'll see that in just a minute, General Novakovic.
24 Now, another fact, General Novakovic, is that these special police forces
25 were really not police forces. They weren't policemen. They were
1 soldiers, weren't they?
2 A. Mr. Harmon, if I were to follow your logic then I would have
3 drawn a conclusion that in the Serbian Army of Krajina there were no
4 soldiers or were very few because they were peasants. There were neither
5 soldiers nor policemen nor nothing.
6 Q. So were the members of the 80th Special Police Brigade soldiers
7 or were they policemen? Let's start at that level.
8 A. They were members of special, or "posebne," units of police, not
9 those units of police who were intended to maintain law and order, fight
10 crime, and control traffic. Rather, of those units of police within the
11 structure of regular police within the Ministry of the Interior of the
12 Republic of Serbian Krajina who were in charge of the most important
13 security task, and that would be to prevent the infiltration and
14 incursion of armed forces from the areas where those Croatian forces were
15 in a war deployment without being controlled by anybody or without being
16 controlled by the UNPROFOR.
17 Q. In fact, General Novakovic, UN officials, including
18 General Nambiar and Marrack Goulding, repeatedly complained that the
19 special police were paramilitary forces, isn't that right, and that their
20 presence was a violation of the Vance Plan?
21 A. Mr. Harmon --
22 Q. You can answer that yes or no, sir. I don't want a lengthy
23 explanation. I want to try to conclude this portion of my examination.
24 Is that true or not? Did they repeatedly complain and protest that the
25 special police were paramilitary forces and that their presence was a
1 violation of the Vance Plan?
2 A. In contacts with me - and this is something I can testify about
3 as a commander of a local brigade, I cannot expand on this - Mr. Kirudja
4 held such a position in contacts with me.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. HARMON: Could we have 65 ter 5991 on the monitor, please.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Yes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that a Prosecution document?
10 MR. HARMON: It is, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is it being used for?
12 MR. HARMON: Impeachment, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, any comment?
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If the purpose of this document is
15 exclusively what Mr. Harmon said, then I do not object to it being shown.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Harmon.
17 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. HARMON: Now, in this document I'd like to have page 2 of the
19 English and page 2 of the B/C/S, please.
20 Q. Page 1 you'll see in the caption, this is a further report of the
21 Secretary-General pursuant to the Security Council Resolutions 743 and
22 762. It is dated the 28th of September, 1992.
23 MR. HARMON: And I'd like to direct Your Honours' attention to
24 paragraph 4.
25 Q. And as soon as it comes up in your language, General Novakovic, I
1 will ask you to focus on paragraph 4, please. Okay. If -- this
2 paragraph says:
3 "The first two phases of demilitarisation proceeded well. The
4 Yugoslav People's Army completed its withdrawal from Croatia, with the
5 single but significant exception of the Dubrovnik area and the
6 Territorial Defence forces demobilised, placing their weapons in storage
7 depots under a double-lock system. However, the complete
8 demilitarisation of United Nations protected areas has been delayed by a
9 violation of the United Nations plan, which was referred to in my report
10 of 27 July. This is the creation of new Serb militia forces designated
11 variously as 'Special Police,' 'Border Police,' or 'multi-purpose police
12 brigades,' made up of former members of JNA, Territorial Defence forces,
13 and irregular elements, which may total as many as 16.000 armed men
14 equipped with armoured personnel carriers" --
15 A. I don't see that.
16 Q. Okay. We'll turn to the next page in the Serbian language,
17 please. Okay. Let me then partially carry on where I was:
18 " ... which may total as many as 16.000 armed men, equipped with
19 armoured personnel carriers, mortars, and machine-guns. The authorities
20 of the so-called Republic of Serbia Krajina (hereinafter referred to as
21 'Knin authorities') claim these are police units. The Force Commander
22 considers that their level of armament and their almost total ignorance
23 of police work show that, in reality, they are paramilitary forces.
24 UNPROFOR has vigorously protested this violation of the" -- and if we
25 could turn to the next page in English, please -- "United Nations plan
1 and has pressed repeatedly for the demilitarisation of those newly
2 created units and for the regular police to be armed only with side-arms,
3 in accordance with the plan."
4 Now, sir, if we could focus your attention on paragraph 7.
5 MR. HARMON: And I'd like to focus the Court's attention on
6 paragraph 7.
7 Q. Because this is where reference is made to General Nambiar. If
8 we could go to the second sentence it says:
9 "General Nambiar has repeatedly stressed to the authorities in
10 Belgrade and Knin that it is UNPROFOR that exercises the protection
11 functions of the United Nations protected areas and that the presence of
12 these paramilitary units is contrary to the United Nations plan and has
13 caused the Croatian Army to retain some of its forces at the
14 confrontation line."
15 Now, -- so this document, General, contradicts your earlier
16 evidence that General Nambiar indicated that your side was complying with
17 the Vance Plan.
18 MR. HARMON: If we could turn to paragraph 8 of this document,
19 we're going to see a reference to UN Under-Secretary Marrack Goulding.
20 And I think you have 8 in front of you. And I'm only going to read a
21 couple portions of paragraph 8. Paragraph indicates that:
22 "On the 4th of September, Under-Secretary ... Goulding reached an
23 agreement with the Knin authorities that demobilisation of these forces
24 would be undertaken in accordance with an agreed timetable."
25 And if we go to paragraph 9 we'll need to turn to the next page
1 in the Serbian version of this document so General Novakovic can follow.
2 And paragraph 9, sir, reads:
3 "Despite the passage of the dead-line for the first stage of this
4 process, however, demilitarisation has not begun."
5 So there was an agreement with Under-Secretary-General Goulding
6 that dealt with the demobilisation of these forces. And now let's -- I
7 want to direct your attention to another document, General, which
8 deals --
9 A. Mr. --
10 Q. Sir, let me just -- sir, just let me finish and I'm going to give
11 you a chance to answer.
12 MR. HARMON: If we could turn to 65 ter 5989. This is also a
13 document that is from the Prosecution's 65 ter list, and it is for
14 purposes of impeachment only.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I beg your pardon.
18 What do you want to happen to this one, 5991?
19 MR. HARMON: Could it be given an exhibit number, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is so given an exhibit number. May it please
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P2919.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: P2919.
24 MR. HARMON: Could we turn then to 5989. I'm interested in
25 quickly looking at the first page which will identify what this document
1 is and --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I've not expressed myself. Let the
4 record reflect that I do not object to showing the next document for
5 impeachment purposes only.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, sir.
7 MR. HARMON: So if we could -- the first page, Your Honours,
8 indicates that this is a further report of the Secretary-General pursuant
9 to Security Council Resolution 743. This is dated the 24th of November,
10 1992, and if we could turn to paragraph 12 which is on page 3 of the
11 English and on page 4 of the B/C/S.
12 Q. We'll now focus on what UN Under-Secretary Marrack Goulding had
13 to say about Serb compliance in the UNPAs. This also references
14 General Nambiar, who was the force commander. So if I can direct your
15 attention, General, to paragraph 12, I can see that you only have --
16 there we have it. Thank you. It reads:
17 "Despite many interventions at the highest level in Belgrade
18 and/or with the various local authorities by the co-chairman of the
19 Steering Committee of the ICFY, Mr. Vance and Lord Owen, by
20 Under-Secretary-General Goulding, by the Force Commander, and by senior
21 UNPROFOR personnel, no progress has been achieved towards demobilisation
22 of these elements."
23 Now, "these elements," sir, are elements that are referred to in
24 the paragraph above, and I would like to direct your attention to what
25 the reference to is. And I'll start on the -- in the English version six
1 lines down. It will start with the word:
2 "These authorities have replaced the JNA and the TDF with Serb
3 militia forces under various guises comprising former JNA and TDF
4 soldiers as well as irregular elements. They may total 16.000 personnel
5 or more and are equipped with armoured personnel carriers, mortars,
6 machine-guns, and other arms prohibited under the peacekeeping plan.
7 They are sometimes claimed by the Knin authorities to be police, but
8 UNPROFOR does not accept this; they are not trained or equipped as
9 police, nor do they perform police functions. Instead, they are" --
10 MR. HARMON: Paragraph 11, Your Honour. I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Let me just -- I'll read the last sentence I intend to read.
14 "Instead, they are often deployed along the borders of the UNPAs
15 and at the edges of the 'pink zones,' serving as a paramilitary force in
16 blatant violation of the plan."
17 So, General, your testimony earlier was that Marrack Goulding
18 never complained about what the Serb side had done and that they had
19 complied, and General Nambiar never raised a question as to what your
20 side -- whether they were complying with the requirements of the Vance
21 Plan. It appears that that's not correct, that's not true. They were
22 very dissatisfied with compliance with the Serb side in particular. They
23 were very distressed by the forces that you commanded and alleged that
24 they weren't police. What do you say, General? Now that you've seen
25 these documents where Marrack Goulding, Lord Owen, Cyrus Vance, Nambiar
1 make rather serious - in fact significant - complaints, what do you say,
2 General, and how do you reconcile your previous testimony with these
4 A. First, let me ask you, Mr. Harmon, what was the basis for you
5 claiming that I was chief or at the head of those forces? I was not at
6 the head of them. I headed one brigade which was deployed in Kordun. It
7 seems to me, Mr. Harmon, that it's slightly unfair to heap so many things
8 that I am supposed to respond to, particularly your claim that I was the
9 chief man in the -- of those forces. Let me take matters in turn.
10 Q. Let's be perfectly clear. You were the commander of the 80th
11 Special Police Unit. I assert no more. Okay. Please proceed.
12 A. In my testimony I exclusively spoke from my then-position,
13 commander of the 80th Brigade -- special brigade of police in Kordun.
14 And I said that I on occasion met with General Nambiar and that he never
15 uttered any objections to the level of our demilitarisation. Whether he
16 uttered such objections somewhere else and sometimes else -- the same
17 goes for Mr. Goulding. The only time I could hear of such things was in
18 the press. And now, Mr. Harmon, that you claim that those forces,
19 special units of police, may have been regarded as paramilitary units --
20 well, I can claim to you that there were no APCs or mortars in my
21 brigade. We had -- we had rifles and light machine-guns. We did -- if
22 we could go to the preceding document, paragraph 2, so that we could
23 reach some truth -- if you could please show me paragraph 2 of the
24 document where you read paragraphs 11 and 12.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't want to interfere in the
2 cross-examination by Mr. Harmon, but I believe that given that this
3 witness has not seen this document before and since it's a voluminous
4 document, it would be only fair that the witness be given that document
5 and we continue tomorrow. It would be only fair for the witness to
6 familiarise himself with the document if Mr. Harmon seeks some specific
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not necessary, Mr. Lukic.
9 Whichever way the Court decides, it's fine by me.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's past --
11 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, it's past the time we're to adjourn, so
12 I don't want to continue this at this moment.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Then --
14 MR. HARMON: We can return to the issue that General Novakovic
15 raises in the morning. I would be happy to do so.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
17 Once again, sir, you may not discuss this case with anybody, and
18 least of all with the Defence team. Please come back tomorrow at 9.00 in
19 the morning, same courtroom.
20 Court adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of
23 September, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.