1 Friday, 10 September 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning to everybody in and around the
7 courtroom. Mr. Registrar, will you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case number IT-04-81-T,
10 the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Perisic. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Could we have appearances for
12 the day.
13 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel,
14 good morning everyone in the courtroom. Mark Harmon, April Carter, and
15 Inger de Ru for the Prosecution.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon. Before we go to
17 you, Mr. Lukic, I'm on channel 4 but I'm hearing a language that is not
18 English, and I don't know what it is I'm hearing. I think I'm hearing
19 B/C/S. Does any other person have the same problem?
20 MR. HARMON: I didn't have my headset on, Your Honour, but I'm
21 told by Ms. Carter that she had a B/C/S and English overlay.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't have English at all.
23 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I can --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I heard you direct.
25 MR. HARMON: Okay.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If the stenographer heard you and could type you,
2 that's fine.
3 Okay. Mr. Lukic.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
5 morning to everybody in the courtroom. Mr. Perisic is represented today
6 by Novak Lukic and Boris Zorko.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic. Just to place it
8 on the record, the Chamber is sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis today in
9 the absence of Judge Picard.
10 Good morning, Mr. Petrovic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President, Your
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Petrovic, just to remind
14 you that you are still bound by the declaration that you made at the
15 beginning of your testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
16 nothing else but the truth.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Lukic.
19 WITNESS: RAJKO PETROVIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Petrovic, good morning to you.
23 A. Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
24 Q. We shall continue where we left to off two days ago. There's a
25 document that I would like to finish off.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce D464
2 MFI, which is the excerpt from your financial file about the amounts
3 received by yourself. As for the English, we can stick to the page that
4 we have on the screen right now and can the box with number 1 be zoomed
5 in for the witness, where it says "payments as per rank." This is
6 exactly what has been translated into English actually.
7 Q. Mr. Petrovic, the day before yesterday we looked at the bottom
8 part and the data in the bottom part. I would like to see what data is
9 entered in the box where it says Payment By Rank, and could you please
10 provide a comment on the last entry. What does it refer to in this box?
11 What promotion?
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could it be zoomed in a bit further
13 for the witness on the screen. The left upper portion so I can see it.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, Your Honours, in the
15 column where it says Payment By Rank, this contains data on promotions
16 pursuant to the orders on promotions, and the last or the fourth box
17 means that there was an order pursuant to which I was promoted into
18 captain 1st class on the 7th of January, 1993. It was an interim
19 promotion and the order was issued by the commander of the Main Staff of
20 the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Was that the one and the same order on promotion that we saw two
23 days ago? Was the data from that order transferred into this box?
24 A. Yes, that's the data that was transferred.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We no longer need this document. I
2 will move on to a different topic.
3 Q. I would like you to tell us in just a few words, Mr. Petrovic,
4 what did your administration deal with, what were its main tasks and
5 duties, and within that framework what was your duty in that
7 A. The administration where I was affiliated with was the
8 administration for planning, development, and financing. Its task was to
9 plan the required monetary resources for the Army of Republika Srpska.
10 It also had to organise the execution of any such financial plan. It had
11 to control, or rather, the internal control of the execution of the plan,
12 it had to undertake analysis, reporting envisaged by the regulations.
13 Its task was also to deal with regulations and the issues of
14 bookkeeping and accountancy of property, moveable property of the army.
15 It also dealt with the payment of salaries and a number of other
16 activities that arose from the area of financing of the Army of Republika
17 Srpska. Its tasks stemmed in practical terms from the nature of its
18 organisation. Last time I told you what departments it had comprised, or
19 rather, which departments made up the administration.
20 Do you want me to repeat all these departments?
21 Q. No, you don't have to. What were your tasks within your
22 department, very specifically?
23 A. Since I had been appointed as a member of one department, the
24 department for plan and analysis, my task was to collect the information
25 on the requirements of the corps, to analyse them, to summarise them, to
1 prepare appropriate documents and enactments that would be signed by the
2 commander of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
3 I then forwarded those documents to whoever they had to be
4 forwarded to. I was involved in the execution of the financing plans.
5 In 1992 there was a sub-account --
6 Q. Let's just stop here.
7 A. I also --
8 Q. Hold on, I have some other questions for you in order to cover
9 this topic thoroughly. Before this Trial Chamber we already heard
10 testimony about the budgetary part of the financing of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska. In technical terms, how were budgetary allocations
12 transferred to the end users? How was it done in different years?
13 A. In 1992 one and only possible modality of the execution of the
14 budget was found. Those finances were approved by the Ministry of
15 Defence to the Army of Republika Srpska. Because of the whirlwind of the
16 war, sub-accounts were opened. There was the sub-account of the Main
17 Staff and the sub-accounts of the corps. In keeping with the
18 requirements which we received for the approval of financing and we
19 forwarded to the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska, the funds were
20 paid into the account of the Main Staff. In co-operation with the
21 logistics sector of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, we
22 analysed the requirements and needs of each of the corps and funds were
23 transferred on to the sub-accounts of those corps and were segregated by
24 different purposes.
25 Q. Who was it who made those decisions for the funds to be
1 distributed per different users?
2 A. That decision was made by the commander of the Main Staff, based
3 on proposals and documents that had been prepared by the administration
4 for planning. There was already co-operation in that area with the
5 logistics sector.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. I.e., for the rear sector.
8 Q. Were there any changes to that technology of the distribution of
9 funds? What happened? Who was it who decided on any possible changes?
10 A. Of course there were different changes that took place, depending
11 on the war circumstances. Better ways were sought and found to execute
12 the budget. In late 1992 a decision was made on the setting up of the
13 military accountancy centre based in Banja Luka. Its main task was to
14 act on behalf of the units of the Army of Republika Srpska and to carry
15 out payment transactions, to also carry out the internal control of all
16 the documents based on which payments were executed.
17 The accountancy centre also had all the records segregated by
18 corps, purposes, or accounts of the then account classification that was
19 applied in companies and offices. It also had to carry out a certain
20 number of analyses, the same one that the administration had been engaged
21 in while payments were executed via sub-accounts. Those analyses were
22 then forwarded to the superior administration. That was the
23 administration for planning, financing, and analysis of the Main Staff.
24 Q. Thank you. I wanted to put that as a sub-question. You spoke
25 about the military accountancy centre. Who was it subordinated to
2 A. The military accountancy centre in Banja Luka was directly
3 subordinated to the chief of the administration for planning,
4 development, and financing.
5 Q. Thank you. And now I would like to move on to a different topic.
6 In addition to the budgetary sources of financing, were there any other
7 sources of financing for the Army of Republika Srpska?
8 A. Of course. The budgetary funds represented only one of the
9 sources of financing for the Army of Republika Srpska. There were also
10 numerous donations, assistance, aid that came from citizens,
11 associations, companies, both at the local level as well and especially
12 so those contributions came from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 In addition to the things that I've just mentioned, a significant
14 source of financing, as it were, were donations of citizens' associations
15 of Serbs who worked abroad. As for the local level of financing,
16 companies that still operated or were still able to operate that employed
17 people through work obligation, they also ensured quite a considerable
18 amount of money for the army. Also, this was based on the decision of
19 the local authorities or the government of the Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Just a moment. You said that these donations came from the
21 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When you say that, which natural or
22 legal persons do you have in mind?
23 A. Well, citizen associations, companies who would get organised and
24 send aid and foodstuffs, clothing, or anything else which could be of use
25 and which could meet the needs of either the Army of Republika Srpska or
1 the population at large. Whenever the population received provisions, it
2 brought relief to troops as they could focus on defence rather than worry
3 about them.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can you now call up 65 ter document
7 Q. Mr. Petrovic, how did the Main Staff view the donations coming
8 from such organisations locally? We'll have a look at a document. Did
9 the Main Staff support such self-organised efforts or was it opposed to
11 A. The Main Staff supported all manner of aid whilst working toward
12 having some sort of control over the aid by placing it into a central
13 storage facility where the army would be able to manage them. The Main
14 Staff was aware of the focal points which needed aid and where such goods
15 needed to be siphoned to. There were disorganised ways of dealing with
16 aid locally so that some units would have aid in stock while others would
17 be lacking the necessary assets which would enable them to complete their
19 Q. Was the Main Staff fully informed of the assets received by units
20 at lower levels?
21 A. What can definitely be said is that there was no reliable
22 information as to the quantities involved. At the local level due to the
23 various quarters exerting influence, including political influence, there
24 was a need for control, and this caused concern for the Main Staff.
25 Primarily, as I said, because priorities needed to be identified and
1 assets needed to be redirected where they were needed most.
2 Q. Have a look at the document that we have on our screen. We
3 looked at it during proofing. Were you familiar with this order issued
4 by the commander of the Main Staff on the very topic we discussed just
6 A. As far as I remember, I may not have seen this specific order but
7 there were orders of this kind and quite a few which came from the Main
8 Staff. There was chaos, if I can put it that way. Everyone -- well, not
9 everyone, many tried to get their hands on this sort of assistance in the
10 form of assets and equipment in order to secure their own rating, as it
11 were, at the local level. Rating or standing. And it led to some
12 anomalies. There were war profiteers and so on.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we have a number
15 assigned to this document.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
17 please be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
19 Exhibit D465. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now that we've come to the issue of donations, I have two more
23 follow-up questions. Were you aware of the instances of individual
24 donations coming from citizens of the Republika Srpska in relation to
25 their duty to do their military service? What was the situation in that
2 A. I was familiar with some specific cases and some that I only
3 heard of. There was one businessman who was a native of Sokolac. He
4 showed me a receipt testifying to his donation made for the defence
5 effort which had been signed for him personally by President Radovan
6 Karadzic. And based on this donation, he was thus released of his duty
7 to do his military service.
8 Q. Do you recall the amount involved in this donation?
9 A. To the best of my recollection, the amount was in excess of
10 300.000 German marks. I can't recall the exact amount, though. This
11 individual, whose name I forgot, I knew because he socialised frequently,
12 and I don't know on what basis, and was in contact with my superior,
13 Colonel -- or rather, General Stevan Tomic. That's how I knew the man.
14 Q. What was it you heard of him? You said that -- or rather, what
15 was it that you heard of such donations? You said that you had personal
16 knowledge and second-hand knowledge.
17 A. On one occasion I told my best man, who was my best man at my
18 wedding in 1994 in Bijeljina, I told him the story. He laughed upon
19 hearing it and said that it was a ridiculous sum because in Bijeljina
20 individuals of this sort - let's call them businessmen - would give as
21 many as several million marks to that end. This is what I heard.
22 Q. Did you hear of Ivan Lesic? Milan
23 A. Yes, I heard of him. I believe that I even had the chance of
24 making his acquaintance at some point.
25 Q. On the issue of donations, what can you tell us about Milan
2 A. Milan Lesic was one of those individuals who brought to the Main
3 Staff the aid coming from an association of citizens from Canada, I
4 believe. And not just once; I believe he did that on several occasions.
5 I think it was mostly in 1994 and 1995 that he brought the aid.
6 Q. In addition to this particular association from Canada, were
7 there other diaspora associations that provided donations to the Army of
8 Republika Srpska?
9 A. Of course there were. People came from the far-flung Australia
11 Q. Thank you. Did you know of any such donations coming from the
12 diaspora at lower levels, i.e., at the level of brigades and corps?
13 A. From conversations with individuals down on the ground, i.e.,
14 corps, the financial organs of the corps to which my administration was a
15 superior organ by the speciality line, by the chain of command line, it
16 was the corps command that was their superior, indicated that such
17 donations were even more ample or abundant at the local level because
18 people would make donations to their native areas.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, what is war booty and did it exist
20 as an extra budgetary source of income for the Army of Republika Srpska?
21 A. By all means there was war booty which included real assets, I
22 don't recall there being financial assets, and they could be used in the
23 service of the defence effort in order to provide supplies to the army.
24 These were, therefore, materiel assets. This is as far as I know. It
25 was the logistics sector of the Main Staff which was charged with this
1 area as well as the commands of the units down in the field. Such assets
2 could include vehicles, foodstuffs, ammunition at times as well, and any
3 other goods. The cattle stock, that's something I forgot.
4 Q. Thank you. In addition to these sources of income for the Army
5 of Republika Srpska, were there other ways and means of obtaining monies,
6 and what can you tell us about it?
7 A. In truth there were. There were some sources of revenue which
8 were absurd, if I can put it that way. The influx of foreign currency
9 assets came to a treasury that was set up by the Main Staff of the VRS
10 was the result of -- or rather, there was also the revenue based on
11 income made as a result of loaning heavy artillery to the HVO in around
13 elsewhere, which were subsequently repossessed.
14 Q. Let me ask you quite specifically about what you've just told us.
15 What it is that you give and what it is that you get in return, tell us
16 in no uncertain terms.
17 A. Well, I don't know who made decisions to give or rent such
18 property, if you want. This was heavy weaponry, heavy artillery pieces
19 that were rented out, basically. In return, we would be paid a certain
20 compensation. In foreign currency, of course. As far as I remember, the
21 first time such foreign currency monies were received, they could have
22 amounted to 30.000 German marks, I think, but not all such activities
23 could, in fact, be detected.
24 Q. Thank you. So what you just mentioned a moment ago, this foreign
25 currency treasury, can you tell us where it was and what its purpose was?
1 A. At the level of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska
2 there was a foreign currency treasury which was set up pursuant to an
3 order of the commander of the Main Staff of the VRS. The source of
4 income for the treasury were certainly the donations similar to the ones
5 that you have mentioned in respect to Mr. Lesic, as well as some other
6 donations that I mentioned, which were not as big as the former ones.
7 Certain monies were also withdrawn from the bank. The head of
8 the foreign currency treasury was me and I was appointed as the head of
9 the treasury pursuant to an order of the commander of the Main Staff.
10 The issue and receipt of monies were carried out based exclusively on
11 decisions issued by the commander of the the Main Staff. Such orders had
12 to contain the following information: The monies will be used for the
13 priority supplies of the army, primarily the procurement of fuel, and the
14 production and procurement of ammunition.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have a small intervention, Your
16 Honours. Page 12, line 25. I said "donations" and the word that I read
17 in the transcript is "nations."
18 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Petrovic --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Actually [Overlapping speakers] ... the witness
20 has said it. I did see that. That's fine.
21 I have a question that I would like to ask before the page
22 disappears. You were asked, sir, at page 12 line 10:
23 "Let me ask you quite specifically about what you have just told
24 us. What is it that you give and what is it that you get in return?
25 Tell us in no uncertain terms."
1 And you say in answer:
2 "Well, I don't know who made decisions to give or rent such
3 property, if you want. This was heavy weaponry, heavy artillery pieces
4 that were rented out, basically. In return, we would be paid a certain
5 compensation, in foreign currency, of course. As far as I remember, the
6 first time such foreign currency monies were received they could have
7 amounted to 30.000 German marks, I think. But not all such activities
8 could, in fact, be detected."
9 My question is on this inability to detect. How is it so that
10 these activities could not be detected when there were transactions
11 between members of the VRS and other people who are renting this
12 property? To me, this is something that actually should be obvious to
13 everybody because there's an agreement, there's a contract here, of
14 renting property in return for something. Can you tell us why was it
15 difficult that some of them were not detected?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I may have used an
17 inappropriate word. I was not privy, or rather, I didn't have all the
18 information with regard to such matters. From my point of view, I spoke
19 about detection or things being detected. If such monies are received,
20 if foreign currency monies are received, the record of such receipt
21 usually stated as follows: Received from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, or
22 Received from the Herzegovina Corps, and I am talking from my own point
23 of view, and I'm saying that I was not always privy to the sources of
24 such receivables. And that's why I used the word "detect." Only from my
25 point of view, I was not always able to detect where the monies came
1 from. Those people who were in charge of such activities, who
2 implemented such money transactions, of course they knew where the money
3 came from, but I myself did not have all the information at my disposal.
4 And when you asked about the weaponry that was issued alone, of
5 course I, as an economist, as a finance man, didn't need to hear more but
6 the words "heavy artillery," cannons, howitzers. There were other people
7 that were more versed in heavy artillery. I was not one of them.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private
11 session, Your Honours, just for a brief moment.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
13 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, Mr. Lukic, you may
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And now, let's go back to the foreign currency treasury. You've
2 explained the procedure for us. When an order is issued, and you did
3 mention orders for the withdrawal of monies, so when you received such an
4 order, what did you do? How did the procedure evolve?
5 A. I said that we had received an order on the setting up of the
6 treasury and on appointing its head. Later on, the commander of the Main
7 Staff issued decisions on the use of the foreign currency amounts. We
8 prepared those decisions in the administration pursuant to his strict
9 orders, and the orders were very specific as to who should receive the
10 money for what purposes, very specifically, and whoever received the
11 foreign currency amount in question had to report to the commander of the
12 Main Staff in person about any task which was accomplished with the help
13 of that money. Usually such payments were considered to be solvent.
14 Q. Thank you. To the best of your recollection, Mr. Petrovic, how
15 much money was paid in and paid out from that foreign currency treasury
16 during the war?
17 A. Throughout my entire career I've been working with numbers. I'm
18 really trying very hard to forget them as quickly as possible. I don't
19 want to be burdened by figures. I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to
20 understand that whenever I mention a figure 18 or 20 years after the
21 events, those figures can only be from memory, and if you are speaking
22 from memory, it's difficult to say but it could have been anything
23 between 12 and 15 million German marks.
24 Well, there were all sorts of foreign currencies. Most payments
25 were made in German marks but there were also American, Canadian, and
1 Australian dollars, Swiss francs, French francs, Italian lira, Austrian
2 shilling, English pounds as well. There may have been some other
3 currencies, but I don't remember.
4 Q. Did you hear of the company called Prvi Partizan, or First
5 Partisan in Uzice?
6 A. As for the First Partisan, or Prvi Partizan Company, in Uzice, I
7 heard of it, of course. It's one of the special-purpose industries.
8 Q. Did you personally ever pay a visit to the company during the
9 war; and if you did, why?
10 A. I had just one occasion to go there, to pay a visit to the First
11 Partisan Company in Uzice. As far as I can remember, it was probably in
12 the latter part of 1994. I accompanied the chief of the technical
13 services. The purpose of the visit was to look at production capacities
14 and the possibilities for this company to deliver ammunition and to be
15 paid in foreign currency. Of course, the professional body of our
16 administration was in charge of all that. My role was to establish
17 whether there were any possibilities to pay the company in foreign
19 Q. Thank you. When you spoke about the tasks of your
20 administration, you also mentioned accounting records. What was it that
21 you did and that you termed bookkeeping or accountancy records?
22 A. One of the organisational segments of my administration was the
23 bookkeeping and accountancy department. The task of that department was
24 to draft certain regulations, or better said, to prepare appropriate
25 orders that would be sent to the commander of the Main Staff for his
1 signature. All of those documents should have been drafted with a view
2 to establishing records and bookkeeping, or rather, records of supplies.
3 The information of that nature was very significant in terms of the
4 functions of control and command. That was an on-going activity, and in
5 order to fully implement that task and in order to fully establish
6 records both in the logistics bases as well as the -- at the level of
7 brigades, we had to circumvent all the problems that resulted from war.
8 At the level of brigades, there was some resistance as well to
9 establishing the exact quantity of supplies. People didn't share that
10 information voluntarily. Everybody wanted to hide at least some of the
11 supplies in view of all the uncertainties as to how long the war would be
12 going on.
13 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to a different topic. Did there come a
14 time when your salaries were no longer paid? And when, and why, if you
16 A. As soon as the early days of the inception of the VRS were gone
17 and the problems that we discussed at the last session were overcome,
18 there arose problems in the payment of salaries sometime in mid-1994.
19 Basically, salaries were not paid out as of the month of September 1994.
20 Based on what I knew about it, this was due to some political decisions.
21 I'm referring to the salaries due to the members of the VRS, which were
22 financed and paid out through the accountancy centre of the Ministry of
23 Defence of the FRY.
24 Q. What was your emotive response to hearing that payments were no
25 longer paid out? How did you react to that?
1 A. Well, I was indignant about it. It wasn't a positive experience.
2 We tried to overcome this, not to have it impact our spirits, and we went
3 on about carrying out our tasks. Let me add that there were 20 of us in
4 the Main Staff -- or rather, that those of us who were in the Main Staff
5 worked around the clock, 24 hours a day. We gave it our all, let's put
6 it that way.
7 Q. Did you know that any of the officers who received salaries from
8 that source decided to leave the Army of Republika Srpska?
9 A. As far as I know, nobody left the ranks of the Army of Republika
10 Srpska for that reason.
11 Q. At that point when you no longer received your salary, were you
12 paid out any sort of a compensation; and if so, which one?
13 A. I recall sometime in September General Tomic arriving and saying
14 that again in some political quarters a decision was taken to provide
15 non-commissioned and commissioned officers of the VRS, as he put it in
16 his very words, a one-time loan. We did indeed receive it. I think we
17 were paid out 200 dinars, roughly, across the board, the same amount to
19 He, of course, was not the one who provided the money. He
20 delegated the obligation to the financial bodies of the corps and the
21 financial organ of the staff. In other words, on to those bodies that
22 were charged with executing such tasks for certain organisational units.
23 As far as I remember, he said that, depending on who it would be
24 who would be paying our salaries, the Ministry of Defence of Republika
25 Srpska or the Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic
2 this sum, we would definitely have to pay that money back.
3 Q. Thank you. Members of the VRS who did not receive their monies
4 from the FRY, did they receive any sort of additional fringes to the
5 salary, any sort of bonds?
6 A. So you mean those -- you were asking about those who did not
7 receive their salary from the FRY, but rather from the Republika Srpska?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Well, they received the salaries in the amount that they existed,
10 however little it was. I was charged with that. However, they received
11 other forms of aid which were higher in value than the salary itself, in
12 terms of foodstuffs and other sort of assistance that they would receive
13 in their local communities from companies who were able to provide such
15 As I said, such aid was much higher in value than the salaries
16 that they received, even higher than the salary received by the VRS
17 members who were paid them out through the accounting centre of the
18 Ministry of Defence of the FRY.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we move into private session for
20 a brief moment again.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
22 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I suggest that we take the break now.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. We'll take a break and come
1 back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.45 a.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up 65 ter document of the
6 Defence 00763D.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: And while we are waiting for that document, may I
8 just find out from the witness, Mr. Petrovic, you indicated that there
9 was a time in 1994 when the salaries of the officers who were paid from
10 the FRY were not paid. Was there ever a time when the salaries of
11 soldiers who were paid by the Republika Srpska were not paid?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as regards salaries
13 financed from the budget of Republika Srpska via the Ministry of Defence
14 intended for the VRS members, there existed problems of a different
15 nature. Whenever assets were set aside, the problem was of actually
16 having money in cash since the amount required for the salaries was very
17 high. But there was not a period when salaries were not paid at all.
18 There were periods when salaries were paid belatedly.
19 Other remedies were sought to address the situation, for
20 instance, where there was not enough money in cash and the amount
21 required was perhaps even as high as 180.000, the remedy was to print
22 securities or bonds in lieu of money. These were like coupons that could
23 be exchanged for foodstuffs with certain companies, which soldiers could
24 take home for their families. It was only logical that if one of the
25 corps was paid in such coupons that -- one month, that the next month
1 that particular corps would be paid in money and another corps would
2 receive coupons. There were late payments but there were no instances
3 when salaries were not paid at all.
4 Are you happy with my answer?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, I am. Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 JUDGE DAVID: Mr. Petrovic, I have a question in relation to what
7 you said on page 19, line 14 and 15. Basically, you said, salaries were
8 not paid out as of the month of September 1994. "Based on what I knew
9 about it, this was due to some political decisions." I would like you to
10 elaborate on the political decisions you referred to in your answer.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The interruption in the payment of
12 salaries was between September and February, unless I'm mistaken.
13 Unfortunately, I did not hold such a position at such a level that would
14 enable me to be familiar with all the developments in the policies of
15 either the civilian or military bodies. The information I had was one
16 that could reach me as a captain 1st class. I didn't always have all the
17 necessary information.
18 At any rate, this was probably the result of some sort of
19 disagreement between the leadership of the FRY and the political
20 leadership of Republika Srpska, a disagreement surrounding the way in
21 which the war activities were to unfold or stop, in fact. I was a
22 lower-ranking officer, of course.
23 JUDGE DAVID: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Let me follow up on the question put by His Honour Mr. David.
3 Did you hear of the Contact Group Plan for the resolution of the conflict
4 in Bosnia
5 A. Of course I did. There were several such plans. I don't know
6 exactly what the time-line was, the Contact Group Plan, Vance Plan.
7 Q. Do you recall a time when a decision was made to impose sanctions
8 on Republika Srpska on the part of the FRY?
9 A. I do recall this. One of the elements entailed by the sanctions
10 was the interruption of the payment of salaries, which ensued in the
11 second half of 1994.
12 Q. This document has to do with His Honour Moloto's question. This
13 is a report of the Ministry of the Interior which deals, however, with
14 the payment of salaries of the members of the 1st and 2nd Romanija units,
15 and can you first tell us, the units mentioned in this document, who did
16 they receive their salaries from?
17 A. Members of the 1st and 2nd Romanija Brigades which belonged to
18 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps received their salaries from the Ministry of
19 Defence of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. The document is self-explanatory. What I'm interested in -- or,
21 rather, have a look at the document and then I'll have a question.
22 A. Well, yes, that's the problem I discussed earlier on, namely,
23 when at some point there would not be sufficient cash and they would
24 resort to coupons, which were not a very popular choice. They could be
25 used only in some companies which had appropriate goods, such as
2 Q. Thank you. This is what I'm interested in. In the last
3 paragraph, we see a comment made by the signatory of the document. Since
4 you were familiar with the issue of salaries, did you know that such
5 difficulties in the payment of salaries had a bearing on the regular
6 military activities and proper fulfillment of tasks? Did anyone refuse
7 to carry out their tasks on this account?
8 A. Well, as far as I remember, there were no such reactions in
9 response to the non-payment of salaries.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can this document be
11 assigned a number, please.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is so assigned. May it please be given an
13 exhibit number.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
15 Exhibit D466.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. During the last session we spoke of the foreign currency treasury
19 kept by the Main Staff and you spoke of the assets that were earmarked
20 there. Can you tell us, sir, when exactly the treasury was set up. I
21 think your previous answer was an approximation.
22 A. Well, I think it was just before the end of 1992, and it all
23 started with the case I related here, namely, the renting of heavy
25 Q. In this period between the end of 1992 through to the end of the
1 war in 1995, was there a period when the influx of monies into that
2 treasury was higher? Was it in the early days or at a later date?
3 A. Well, in the early days the influx of assets was rather modest.
4 What I can say, in retrospect, that as the popularity of the commander of
5 the Main Staff grew, so did the influx of monies into that treasury
6 increase, so 1994, 1995.
7 Q. Now the last topic, Mr. Petrovic, and that is your transfer into
8 the Army of Yugoslavia
9 you joined the Army of Yugoslavia in 1999 sometime, in the spring of that
10 year. Let me ask you, before that had you expressed a desire, had you
11 applied to be transferred to the Army of Yugoslavia; and if so, when,
12 approximately, did you do that?
13 A. I believe that in 1996, after the end of the war, I applied to
14 become a member of the Army of Yugoslavia. I had been irritated and
15 dissatisfied as a result of all the problems that could be felt after
17 Q. Problems where?
18 A. In the Army of Republika Srpska, not because the commander of the
19 Main Staff had been removed at a certain point but because I had
20 experienced different problems in addition to the two and a half months
21 long complete blockade of my unit in Zagreb
22 Bihac, I had experienced a third blockade which affected me the most.
23 Due to some internal conflicts within the leadership of the Army of
24 Republika Srpska, the removal of the commander of the Main Staff, a lot
25 of MUP members, perhaps even battalions, surrounded the Main Staff
1 building and held it under siege, as it were, for a few days. I didn't
2 find it easy to cope with the situation.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] With the permission of the Court, I
5 would like to add another document to our 65 ter list. It's a document
6 from Mr. Petrovic's personnel file. I marked it as 04010D. Could
7 Ms. Carter please say -- state her opinion, and then I would like to show
8 the document to the witness.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Carter.
10 MS. CARTER: If I could get some clarification for the documents.
11 Unfortunately, I was never given the 65 ter numbers, I only have e-mail
12 document 1 and 2.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It's a request -- just a second, I
14 can give you the ERN number. 0677-5448 for the B/C/S version. It is a
15 letter written by several officers who applied to be transferred to the
16 Army of Yugoslavia
17 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, I have no objection to the use of this
18 document. I would seek for it to be MFI'd until we can get a
19 read-through for the translation.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may use the document, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] That's what I meant, yes. What we
22 can see here is a document dated 13 December, although in the English
23 version I can see that the date is July. Mr. Zorko must have made a
24 mistake when he translated this. But let me ask the witness.
25 Q. Witness, can you see the date?
1 A. I apologise, it's not easy to see the date. It is the 13th. Is
2 it December? I don't know, it's typed in letters. It should be December
3 199 ... It should read December, the 13th December, right? The 13th
4 December, 1996
5 according to an unwritten rule, transfer applications were filed. It was
6 usually done towards the end of the year, hence the 13th December, 1996
7 Q. Here, under 2, who is that? Whose information is this?
8 A. Petrovic, Rajko, son of Marinko, captain 1st class. That's me.
9 Q. Let me ask you this: Just awhile ago you gave us your motives
10 and reasons for leaving in 1996, or rather, for applying to be
11 transferred to the Army of Yugoslavia. What happened after your
12 application was filed? What was the decision made and on whose behalf?
13 A. The application that I filed -- I don't know about the others --
14 was turned down a priori, and I believe that that came from the Main
15 Staff, and I don't know whether the name in the 1996 was still the Main
16 Staff or perhaps the General Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
17 Therefore, I was not allowed to join the Army of Yugoslavia. The Main
18 Staff turned me down.
19 Q. Thank you very much. In that time in 1996 did you know, were you
20 aware of any needs of the Army of Yugoslavia to apply experts of your
22 A. As far as I know, experts of my profile were always in short
23 supply. This is corroborated by the fact that the administration that I
24 worked for only employed three people although by establishment there
25 should have been 10 employees. And I believe that the situation was
1 similar, if not the same, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I'm
2 sure that there was room for me per establishment.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could this document be MFI'd, Your
4 Honours, please.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence, marked for
6 identification. May it please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
8 Exhibit D467, marked for identification.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This brings my examination-in-chief
11 to an end. Thank you very much, Mr. Petrovic, for having answered my
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Lukic, for your
14 understanding and I would also like to thank the Presiding Judge and the
15 other members of the Chamber.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Madam Carter.
17 MS. CARTER: [Microphone not activated] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 If I could have just a brief moment to consult with co-counsel.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MS. CARTER: May it please the Court.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Carter:
10 MS. CARTER: If we could please move into private session, Your
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 13784-13788 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 MS. CARTER: Sir, in your --
4 THE REGISTRAR: Hold, please. We are in open session, Your
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Madam Carter.
7 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Sir, this morning you were discussing Milan Lesic. Can you tell
9 me if -- what monies did Milan Lesic give to the VRS after the Dayton
11 A. Believe me, after the Dayton Accords, I don't remember that he
12 donated anything. I remember that he arrived sometime in 1994 and 1995.
13 I don't know if anything happened after the Dayton Accords. The Dayton
14 Accords were signed towards the very end of the war, so I don't know if
15 there was any influx of money. I can't tell you the exact dates, but I
16 know that he turned up on a couple of occasions, that he attended
17 meetings with General Mladic and General Tomic.
18 I also attended a meeting on one occasion, and as far as I can
19 remember, on that occasion I read a letter sent in by an association of
20 citizens from Vancouver
21 extended to us in that way as well. And he recorded that, as far as I
22 can remember, if that's the occasion in question. He actually videoed
23 the entire event. And I suppose that that was Milan Lesic, that he was
24 the one who was there when I was reading that letter. It was a long time
25 ago, mind you, and after the Dayton Accords, I really can't identify the
1 time and say whether he turned up after that, whether he brought any
2 money after that, and if he did, what currency it was in.
3 I said that the foreign currency treasury was made up of some ten
4 different foreign currencies. I don't know what Milan Lesic brought in,
5 whether it was Canadian dollars or American dollars, I really don't know.
6 You are asking me things that my brain does not even want to remember.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Petrovic, so that we can finish quickly, when
8 you have told us once that you don't know, you don't have to repeat
9 yourself many times. Just cut your sentence -- your answers short.
10 Thank you, sir.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll stop explaining, yes.
12 MS. CARTER:
13 Q. I asked you about the VRS payments. Do you know about the
14 payments that Milan Lesic made to General Mladic after the Dayton
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I thought he said he doesn't know about any
17 payments by Milan Lesic after the Dayton Accords.
18 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, I had asked initially in relation to
19 the VRS. Now I'm asking particularly as a separate issue in relation to
20 General Mladic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
22 MS. CARTER:
23 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, you discussed earlier today about the
24 cessation of your salary payments in September of 1994. I'd like to
25 explore your salary a bit. Can you tell us, up to this point, how much
1 were you being paid monthly?
2 A. In 1994 the practice reverted to the convertible dinar. Rather,
3 the convertible dinar was introduced. Because there was not enough funds
4 and because it was impossible to secure the requisite amount of the
5 convertible dinar, salaries were paid out in various installments. At
6 some points, the salaries amounted to 20 dinars, in others to 40
7 convertible dinars.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Petrovic, please listen to the question and
9 try to be as brief as you possibly can. The question is very simple and
10 straightforward: What was your monthly salary up until September 1994?
11 A million dinar, 10.000 dinar, two dinar; that's the answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It varied from month to month.
13 100, 150, 200, 250, up to 450, 500. And --
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let's sort of agree on one point, Mr. Petrovic.
15 We understand that, because of the shortage of cash, it fluctuated.
16 However, what were you entitled to as a salary up until that time,
17 whether you did get it or not. I guess this is the question, ma'am.
18 Madam Carter.
19 MS. CARTER: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No two months was the salary the
22 same. It always --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I stop you there. In terms of the paper on
24 contract when you were told now you are now 1st class captain, and this
25 is now 1994 September, what were you supposed to be paid, if the money
1 was there? You can tell us what -- My salary was supposed to be 100
2 dinar per month, however, because of the the problems no two months did I
3 get a consistent figure. One day I got one dinar, the next day I got
4 1.000 dinar. But what was the legal entitlement in terms of your salary?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps before the month of
6 September it amounted to 600 dinars.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, madam.
8 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Now, you indicated after September of 1994 that you had become
10 indignant due to the cessation of those payments; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, there was indignance, yes.
12 Q. Were others who were similar to your situation also indignant?
13 A. Well, there were individual cases, I suppose, and I wasn't there
14 to assess the level of the morale; some were more indignant, others less.
15 Q. However, there was a change in morale after the cessation; is
16 this correct?
17 A. Well, and I'm judging by how I felt, I tried to gather strength
18 to continue performing my duties. What I was able to observe did not
19 indicate that there were any disruptions in the activities of the VRS,
20 and particularly not in those of the Main Staff.
21 Q. You indicated at some point a loan was given. Can you tell us
22 when that loan was received?
23 A. I think it was in the second half of September.
24 Q. Can you recall the general --
25 A. Of 1994.
1 Q. Can you recall the general amount of that loan?
2 A. I received 200 dinars, as did everybody else across the board,
3 non-commissioned and commissioned officers alike. As far as I remember,
4 the amount involved was of some 500.000 dinars, which corresponded to the
5 head count of non-commissioned and commissioned officers of the VRS. If
6 you multiply the number of officers with 200 dinars, it amounted to 500
7 dinars, roughly.
8 Q. Moving on from September 1994, you ultimately made a claim within
9 the military courts for payment of those five months of salary, didn't
11 A. Can you repeat again the date that you mentioned?
12 Q. I'm saying moving on from September 1994, subsequent to that time
13 did you make a claim within the military courts to receive payment for
14 those five months?
15 A. Yes. I didn't approach the military court right away. I filed
16 my claim with the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska. I think
17 that prior to that I wrote to the 30th Personnel Centre. Now, the Main
18 Staff, or rather, the individual charged with these duties, General
19 Skrbic, did, as far as I remember, issue a decision whereby I was
20 entitled to the amount of pay due to me. This was a result of an
21 internal agreement between me and Mr. Skrbic. We agreed that this was to
22 be a sort of guinea pig, or a trial, because our status in law remained
23 the same whereas our salaries were not forthcoming, so this constituted a
24 sort of challenge to me at that point.
25 Q. The status under law, according to that decision, is that you as
1 a professional soldier of the Yugoslav Army had to have your salary
2 calculated on the basis of those regulations; isn't that true?
3 A. The status, which remained as it was through the 30th Personnel
4 Centre and which constituted a way of payment of salaries and providing
5 assistance to the families of members of the VRS was in fact the basis
6 through which we exercised our entitlements --
7 Q. Thank you, sir.
8 A. -- through the Ministry of Defence.
9 Q. Sir, you were transferred to the Military Post 3001, which
10 corresponds to the 30th Personnel Centre, on the order of the Chief of
11 the General Staff, Mr. Perisic, were you not?
12 A. I myself didn't know, nor was it within my power to know this,
13 who took the decision to set up the 30th Personnel Centre as an
14 administration and overseeing vehicle which kept track of those former
15 JNA personnel who became members of the VRS.
16 Q. Thank you --
17 A. It was a way, in my view, of --
18 Q. Thank you, sir, you've answered my question. I'd then like to
19 move on to --
20 MS. CARTER: One moment, Your Honour.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MS. CARTER: Before we leave the topic of your salary, I'd like
23 to call up P2817.
24 Q. Sir, what you have before you is a letter from General Mladic in
25 which he is expressing concern about these salaries. He has indicated
1 that as of the date November 4th of 1994, that:
2 "This situation has been created in which attention is
3 unnecessarily drawn from combat tasks and people are now focused on
4 solving this problem and deferring of this issue is making the matters
5 worse for professional soldiers of the VJ and their families."
6 Sir, were you aware of these occurrences in November 4th of 1994?
7 A. This document does not originate from my administration. It came
8 from the sector for organisation, mobilisation, and personnel affairs, so
9 General Skrbic, who was the head the administration, could have been
10 familiar with this document. It must have been drafted under his
11 authority. I wasn't privy to that.
12 MS. CARTER: If we can move to the second page in the English.
13 Q. Sir, were you aware at this time that meetings were being held
14 with the VJ in order to solve the problem in a way that is acceptable to
15 all, and in fact in the last few days they had requested from the VJ
16 General Staff to solve the salary issue as soon as possible as it was the
17 case with other VJ members? Were you aware of those occurrences?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] For the benefit of the witness, the
20 document should be turned to page 2 in the B/C/S so that what Madam
21 Carter has read out the witness can read for himself. We don't have it
22 on our screen.
23 MS. CARTER: With all due respect, the -- what I was reading
24 from, actually, if the numbers do line up, should actually be on the
25 first page. They were numbered number 2 and 3 of the first series.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] What Ms. Carter read out just now was
2 on page 2 in the B/C/S, under items 1 and 2.
3 MS. CARTER: [Microphone not activated] Since I cannot read
4 B/C/S, I'll defer to Mr. Lukic.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MS. CARTER: Since I cannot read B/C/S, I'll defer to Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we turn to page 2, I'll read this
8 out and Ms. Carter will say if this is really the portion she intended to
9 read out. Mr. Petrovic, please read item 1 aloud and slowly and we'll
10 see if it has to do with Ms. Carter's question.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 2:
12 "The problems arisen around the abolishment of salaries should be
13 resolved across the board as well as for all the members of the VJ, in
14 keeping with the systematic practices, merits, and gravity of the tasks
15 carried out by us. In this way, we will do our best to preserve the
16 dignity of our task and profession."
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. What Ms. Carter read
18 out is under item 3 on page 1, I suppose.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you now deferring to Madam Carter insofar as
20 knowledge of the B/C/S is concerned?
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
22 MS. CARTER: I think that's scary for all involved.
23 Q. Sir, for your ease, I'm pointing out there's several enumerated
24 small passages in the middle of the page. The pieces that I was recently
25 reading were actually number 2 and number 3. Ultimately were you aware
1 of the meetings that the VRS was holding with the VJ in order to solve
2 the salary problems?
3 A. I was not a member of the collegium of the Main Staff, or rather,
4 a member of the collegium of General Mladic. Based on some information
5 that I got on the record and off the record, I heard discussions were
6 taking place with the government of the VRS to have payments made through
7 that channel and other discussions as well. I didn't have any specific
8 information. Perhaps Mr. Tomic, who was the head of the administration,
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, it would be helpful if you say No, I
11 didn't have any knowledge.
12 MS. CARTER:
13 Q. Moving on from number 3, it indicates:
14 "These measures that we have taken have not given any concrete
15 results yet, but we are not going to stop finding solutions to this
17 Sir, this implies that no loan had taken place by November 4th of
19 A. I don't see why this should imply it since I received 200 dinars.
20 It was a one-off payment.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, going back to your service, you had
22 indicated that by April of 1999 you had transferred into a division of
23 the VJ; is that correct?
24 A. Into a brigade of the Army of Yugoslavia.
25 Q. If I have indication from your personnel file that that took
1 place, that the re-assignment took place on 15 April 1999, does that
2 correspond or jog your memory as to the day you arrived there?
3 A. It could not have been the 18th [as interpreted] of April under
4 any circumstances. I know that for a fact. My transfer took place
5 shortly after the commencement of bombing. The order dated back to that
6 period whereas I was able to transfer between the 5th and the 10th of
7 April. The 18th of April is too late a date.
8 Q. Choosing the transfer date between the 5th and 10th of April, you
9 referred to some bombing. At that point in time are you referring to the
10 declaration of war that had been declared in the former Yugoslavia?
11 A. I'm referring to the 23rd of March and what transpired in the
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. And on the 23rd of March, 1994, a declaration of imminent threat
14 of war was established in the former Yugoslavia, with the declaration
15 taking place on the 24th; is that correct?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I don't know if the year that I heard
18 is correct.
19 MS. CARTER: I believe I said 1999, but I do see 1994 on the
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I heard 1994.
22 MS. CARTER: My distinct apologies.
23 Q. Sir, on 23rd March of 1999 an imminent threat of war was
24 declared, following the next day with a declaration of war; is that
1 A. As far as I know, only a state of an imminent threat of war was
2 declared. As far as I know, a state of war was never declared. I'm
3 telling you what I know, but there are more pertinent individuals who can
4 talk about it, not me.
5 MS. CARTER: I do have just a few more minutes with the general,
6 however, I do see that it's a break. I'll be finished in less than five
7 minutes. I'll leave it to the Court as to what they'd like to do.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Take the five minutes.
9 MS. CARTER:
10 Q. Sir, the warring parties at issue were the Kosovo Liberation
11 Army, NATO, and the VJ; is that correct?
12 A. Mr. President, as an officer of the Army of Yugoslavia and
13 pursuant to a decision taken by the government of the FRY, I am only
14 mandated to answer the questions concerning the financing of the VRS, my
15 status within the VRS, some questions about the 30th Personnel Centre. I
16 do not have authorisation from the government to talk about any other
17 issues. I don't have the mandate of the government of the Republika
18 Srpska to answer any other questions, so please bear that in mind. And
19 even if I was authorised to discuss these matters, I am not the best
20 person to talk about them. I don't have the requisite knowledge.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
22 Mr. Lukic, I see you are standing up.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just clarify: We know that
24 this is an active officer of the Army of Serbia and he was released from
25 his duty to keep the state secret, and this is precisely what he was
1 discussing, the waiver that was given for the ICTY in respect to certain
2 issues, and that's the government of the Republic of Serbia
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Carter, it looks like this is getting
5 protracted. We might as well take our break now and come back at half
6 past 12.00.
7 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Carter.
12 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Sir, I'll try to ask my line of questioning in a way that doesn't
14 offend the waiver that you possess. Can you tell me, was the VRS a part
15 of the hostilities that began on March 23rd of 1999?
16 A. Was the Army of Republika Srpska a part of the hostilities?
17 Which army? The Army of Republika Srpska? I don't understand.
18 Q. When we left off before, I was trying to confirm who was involved
19 in the bombing that you were referring to at the end of March. I had
20 initially asked you if the warring parties were NATO, the VJ, and the
21 KLA, and you took issue with that question. So I'm trying to ask you in
22 reverse, was the VRS a part of that bombardment campaign?
23 A. At that time I was a member of the Army of Yugoslavia immediately
24 after the beginning of bombing. I mentioned the beginning of that
25 bombing campaign only because about that time I was transferred and
1 became a member of the Army of Yugoslavia. I'm not a strategic leader so
2 I have no way of knowing what was done at the strategic level and who did
3 it, but I don't think it was involved, no.
4 Q. And you you personally were not involved in any activities in
5 March of 1999 in relation to the bombardment campaign?
6 A. Your Honours, Mr. President, throughout my entire career I have
7 dealt with finances in different militaries, the JNA, the Army of
8 Republika Srpska, and to this very day I only deal with financial issues.
9 This is my area of expertise. And when you are putting these questions
10 to me, it is almost the same as if you were to ask me how to do an open
11 heart surgery. You should ask a heart surgeon how do it.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, if this question is not covered by your
13 waiver, then the question is very simple. You are a financial person,
14 you have right through your professional life practiced your financial
15 expertise within armies. The question is, were you yourself involved,
16 did take any part, in whatever capacity, during the hostilities that took
17 place in March 1999 in Kosovo and the FRY? Now, start off by telling us
18 whether your waiver bars you from answering the question, and if it
19 doesn't, carry on to answer.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My task to testify here is relative
21 to the Army of Republika Srpska and those duties that I discharged in the
22 Main Staff with regard to finance. I've never been involved in any acts
23 or misdeeds or anything else but that mission of mine which is finances.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are still not answering the question, sir.
25 You can tell us if you feel you don't want to answer the question for
1 whatever reason, but if you feel you have to answer the question, then
2 you must answer the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not involved in any
4 activities of a military nature, military movements, or any such
5 activities. I dealt with finances. I was in Belgrade at the relevant
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, did you deal with any financial issues within
8 any army during the bombing on the 23rd of March, 1999?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have a mandate and
10 I can only talk about financing and the issue of financing of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska. My mandate does not extend any further. I am now
12 employed by the Army of Serbia. I'm involved in finances, in financial
13 issues, and I don't think that this Tribunal is concerned with what I do
14 today. Please spare me from answering questions that I'm not capable of
15 answering. There have been so many other people who have testified
16 before this Honourable Chamber, other generals. It is not that I don't
17 want to answer. I either can't answer because I do not know or I do not
18 have the mandate to answer them. But primarily I don't know, I can't
19 answer your question because I don't know, I don't know anything about
20 any strategic issues.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question was very simple and you should know
22 because it involves your personal involvement. The question was simply
23 whether you yourself, in any capacity within any army, you were involved
24 in the hostilities that took place in March 1999. Now, you can say you
25 don't have the right to answer that question but you can't say you don't
1 know. You would know if did you something or didn't do something.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not in -- Mr. President --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second, I didn't hear, you started off with
4 "I was not in --" and then the interpretation wasn't complete. Madam
6 THE INTERPRETER: It was complete. The witness didn't continue
7 because the B/C/S interpretation was going on at the same time.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, sir, are you able to answer, then? What were
9 you going to say?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not involved in any
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Yes, madam.
13 MS. CARTER:
14 Q. Sir, you indicated you arrived in Belgrade between the 5th and
15 the 10th of April, 1999. I would like to know, which army were you
16 serving in between March 23rd, 1999
18 A. In the Army of Republika Srpska.
19 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, at this time the Prosecution would seek
20 to use a portion of this gentleman's personnel file that's been uploaded
21 as XN418, and as that is new evidence, we seek leave from the Court to be
22 able to present that with the witness.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could Ms. Carter tell us the purpose
25 for which she wishes to use these documents.
1 MS. CARTER: For impeachment only, Your Honour.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No objection.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Madam Carter.
4 MS. CARTER: Thank you, Your Honour. I'd like to call up XN418.
5 The B/C/S page will be 89. And the English translation that I'm
6 interested in is 0677-6350.
7 Q. Sir, the document that you have before you makes up a portion of
8 your personnel file and it addresses the years of pensionable service of
9 your time.
10 MS. CARTER: If we can move to page 2 in the English.
11 Q. Sir, you indicated between March 23rd, 1999, until the time that
12 you arrived in Belgrade
13 member of the VRS. However, you received additional pension
14 consideration for being a part of war service in the VJ beginning 24
15 March 1999. Can you tell me how you as a VRS officer received war-time
16 credit beginning at the Kosovo bombardment?
17 A. Could this be zoomed in a little, please?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not quite sure whether this is serving the
19 purposes that you want to achieve. If you see that even the dates before
20 that date you are referring to he is always referred to as a VJ officer
21 and he has always said that even when he was in the VRS he was paid from
22 the FRY, and we have heard ample evidence here to that effect, that for
23 purposes of payment and benefits and pension, he was regarded as VJ
25 MS. CARTER: Certainly, Your Honour. The distinction here,
1 however, is that those same soldiers, when they were receiving war-time
2 credit, they always received it in relation to a war in which the VRS
3 were participating. In the case of this witness, however, he was
4 receiving war-time credit for what was occurring completely within the
5 confines of the FRY and, more specifically, in relation to the Kosovo
6 conflict. That's what makes this witness different than the other ones
7 that we've heard because there's been a separation between Kosovo and the
8 service that we've seen there and these witnesses.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I don't understand you, but carry on.
10 MS. CARTER:
11 Q. Sir, you indicated that you were a VRS officer at the inception
12 of the Kosovo conflict. Can you tell me why you were receiving war time
13 double counting of your pension?
14 A. I can't say why the date is 24th of March, 1999. At that time I
15 was in the Main Staff in Bijeljina, so I really can't say, I can't answer
16 your question.
17 MS. CARTER: I have no further questions of the witness and I
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Carter.
20 Mr. Lukic, any re-examination?
21 Mr. Lukic, before you start, what do you want to do with this
22 exhibit, ma'am.
23 MS. CARTER: Your Honour, we would tender its admission.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No objection.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: May it be admitted into evidence and please be
2 given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
4 Exhibit P2929. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
7 Q. Just one question. Madam Carter asked you on page 42, line 7 of
8 today's LiveNote if you are aware that you you became a member of the
9 30th Personnel Centre pursuant to General Perisic's order. And you
10 answered. My question is this: You've told us about your status
11 entitlements in the year 1992 when you became a member of the Army of
12 Republika Srpska, that was during the war. Before this Trial Chamber
13 we've heard testimonies about the 30th Personnel Centre to have been
14 established on the 30th of November. My question to you, sir, is this:
15 Did your status rights change in any way from 1992 to 1995, or were they
16 absolutely the same all the time?
17 A. They were the same all that time save for one period when
18 payments were interrupted for four months during the year 1994.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I have no
20 further questions for this witness. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
23 Mr. Petrovic --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: I am sorry. I am sorry. I am sorry.
1 Mr. Petrovic, that brings us to the conclusion of your testimony here.
2 Thank you very much for taking the time to come and testify. You are now
3 excused, you may stand down, and please travel well back home.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. President, I
5 would like to thank you for having given me an opportunity to tell the
6 truth and nothing else but the truth, as the declaration goes, and I hope
7 that what I've testified about will contribute at least a little to the
8 outcome of this case and the acquittal of this honourable man and
9 exquisite professional, General Perisic. Thank you very much once again.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Petrovic. You are now
11 excused and may stand down.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. President. Thank
13 you very much.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our next witness is
17 ready to appear in this courtroom on Monday.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, then, in that event, we will stand adjourned
19 to Monday, 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom II. Court adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.49 p.m.
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 13th day of
22 September, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.