1 Monday, 17 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we are awaiting the arrival of the accused.
6 [The accused entered court]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I continue, I have the
9 impression, Mr. May, that you didn't bear in mind that we were rather late
10 starting on Friday as well due to transportation problems. So I would
11 kindly ask you to consider giving me a little more time tomorrow, because
12 we were half an hour late on Friday, and now we're again ten minutes late.
13 And also, Mr. Nice spent some time on Friday.
14 JUDGE MAY: We have in mind the times which have been lost in your
15 cross-examination. I don't know why we were late today. We should have
16 started on time. But we will make some inquiries about that. But any
17 delay is noted. However, we will consider whether you should have more
18 time. It will partly depend -- you asked for a little more time tomorrow.
19 That will partly depend on how we get on today and whether any time is
20 wasted or not in cross-examination. Now, let us begin.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope we will be efficiently using
22 the time available and as rationally as possible.
23 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
1 Q. [Interpretation] So let us now make an excursion to your first
2 information about the crimes in Kosovo that you testified about mostly.
3 You testified here that you first learnt about that sometime in May. Is
4 that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You informed the Chief of the Supreme Command, General Ojdanic,
7 about what you had learnt; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you have your notes on you, those that I saw you using?
10 A. I didn't use any notes.
11 Q. I'm talking about the notes you used, your notes that you used
12 when you were making the statement to the investigators.
13 A. I don't have them on me, but I know what is written in them.
14 Q. Is it true that in your notes it says that General Ojdanic, on
15 that occasion, explicitly stated his own position as well as the position
16 of the Supreme Staff and the Supreme Commander - that is my position -
17 emphasising both, that crimes committed may not be concealed and that the
18 perpetrators have to be punished?
19 A. General Ojdanic didn't say that. My notes say that you said that.
20 Q. Yes. But he also said that. Before the meeting with me, he had
21 conveyed my position to you; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes. On the 16th of May, in the evening, he said that.
23 Q. I have a tape here which can be played if there is something you
24 do not remember.
25 A. I remember everything. There is no problem.
1 Q. So there's no dispute that as soon as you learnt about the crimes,
2 my position was conveyed to you, the position of the Supreme Command, the
3 position of the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command, that crimes may not
4 be concealed and that the perpetrators must all be punished.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true that the Chief of Staff at the time, General Ojdanic,
7 ordered also that General Pavkovic, the commander of the 3rd Army now,
8 should come to Belgrade to report about the information that your organs
9 had collected?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Is it also true that on that occasion Ojdanic ordered you and
12 Pavkovic to collect the relevant documentation about the crimes and that
13 he said that a joint meeting had been scheduled with the civilian security
15 A. This was after the meeting. At the meeting on the 17th of May,
16 you gave the task that the two services, the military and state security
17 services, must not clash amongst themselves, that it was in the interest
18 of the nation that they cooperate, and this was at the meeting of the 17th
19 of May. We did not discuss that on the 16th of May or the 13th of May.
20 At the meeting on the 17th of May, you gave instructions that the
21 top leadership of both services should meet and resolve any problems they
22 may have.
23 Q. So that was my reaction having heard of the problems that the
24 military and the civilian, that is the army and the police, are shifting
25 the blame from one to the other?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did I say then that the state may not tolerate a single crime?
3 A. You said that major crimes must necessarily be addressed and
4 sanctioned and that the state may not allow the two services to clash
5 amongst themselves, and that you wished to be informed about any problem
6 that may arise in that cooperation and that whoever obstructs that
7 cooperation, he was harming the interests of the state. And you used the
8 expression that that was equal to sabotage.
9 Q. Yes. And I insisted that the bodies whose duty it was should
10 cooperate amongst themselves on both the military and the civilian sides
11 and that nothing may remain hidden or concealed; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Very well. We'll be saving time now. Is it true -- maybe we'll
14 save time regarding the tapes -- that according to Pavkovic's reports, 271
15 persons were registered as killed as the responsibility of the army, 326
16 for which the MUP was responsible, which makes a total of over 600.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Were the figures given by the MUP higher than those given by the
19 army? Was the number given by the MUP larger than that given by the army?
20 A. According to information conveyed by General Pavkovic on the 16th
21 of May at the preparatory meeting for the meeting with you, it was stated
22 that the MUP was accusing the army of being responsible for almost 800
23 deaths. And then there was some coordination, 271 and 326. So this
24 amounted to less than 800.
25 Q. But MUP gave its estimates, its figures, the figures it had
1 available to it, according to which those figures were higher than the
2 ones presented by the army.
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Does that imply that MUP was not concealing figures when it gave a
5 figure that was higher than the one you had?
6 A. It depends who the figures are being hidden from. If we're
7 talking about the army, I assume they were not concealing it.
8 Q. It's not a question of the army, but it was a joint meeting of the
9 civilian and military bodies. You told us who attended the meeting.
10 There was the top military leadership, the Chief of the Main Staff, the
11 staff of the Supreme Command, you as the person reporting.
12 A. The coordination of the figures, that is 271 and 326, was not done
13 at the meeting you attended.
14 Q. Of course not. You submitted a report on the details at the
15 meeting with me and what it was all about. But before that, you
16 coordinated your figures with the police.
17 A. That was probably done by General Pavkovic over there in Kosovo.
18 Q. In any event, the figures agreed on indicated that the number was
19 higher for which the police was responsible. Can we infer from that that
20 the police was not seeking to conceal any crime committed by anyone for
21 whom they were responsible?
22 A. I cannot give judgements as to what they thought. I gave the
24 Q. So that is a fact, that they presented a higher number. Is it
25 true, according to your knowledge and according to what your services were
1 responsible for, the military security services, the civilian security
2 services, the military prosecutors and civilian prosecutors, the military
3 judiciary and civilian judiciary; isn't that so?
4 A. What for?
5 Q. For the prosecution of these crimes. So did the bodies, as far as
6 you knew - I'm referring to the military security - take every possible
7 measure for all the acts to be discovered and the perpetrators taken to
9 A. As far as the military organs are concerned, yes. Even upon the
10 completion of military operations, one person was found and arrested who
11 was in hiding, and he was found on the 26th of June in Valjevo.
12 Q. In addition to what I have already emphasised, that not a single
13 crime may be concealed, that I emphasised and named the entire top
14 leadership of the Ministry of the Interior and said that not any one of
15 them had any reason to protect anyone, because there was reference to
16 certain paramilitary formations that had or, rather, whose members had
17 committed certain crimes. Is that what is stated in your notes?
18 A. It is not only stated in my notes but that is how it was. That is
19 what you told Rade Markovic to pass on to Rodja and Vlajko, you said.
20 Q. And I said that nobody would have any reason to protect anyone?
21 A. Yes, but that their heads would not roll.
22 Q. Yes, but they must be held responsible?
23 A. Yes, they must be held responsible.
24 Q. So can we say then that these were individual perpetrators of
25 crimes and not something for which any, I would call it, institution can
1 be blamed within the chain of command?
2 A. According to my knowledge and on the basis of that meeting, that
3 could be only partially true, because at that meeting we reported about a
4 group, saying that after having committed a crime in Podujevo, instead of
5 being arrested, they were returned to Gnjilane where again they committed
6 a crime.
7 Q. Did I say in response to that that that group must be held
9 A. Yes, you did, but your question was not that. Your question was
10 in the chain of command.
11 Q. Yes, precisely. In the chain of command, did anyone order
12 something to be committed that could be called a crime? As for this group
13 - I won't mention the names because you don't wish the names to be
14 mentioned in public session - didn't I say with respect to that group that
15 the persons that you reported had committed a crime had to be held
16 responsible? Is that what I said?
17 A. Yes, you did.
18 Q. Did I point out on that occasion precisely because of this matter
19 of the shifting of the blame from one to the other that both services have
20 to work for the state and not for anyone else and that they have to
21 cooperate amongst themselves in state affairs and that the state must not,
22 may not tolerate a single crime? I was very categorical about that,
23 wasn't I?
24 A. You said that we respect to the cooperation between the services,
25 and you said that major crimes have to be resolved, that the state would
1 not tolerate them.
2 Q. I said all drastic acts have to be resolved, and every crime is a
3 drastic act. There is no rape that is a minor crime or a killing that's a
4 minor crime. But every drastic act had to be resolved. Is that what I
6 A. Yes, that's what you said.
7 Q. Do you remember well this meeting - because you also mentioned
8 this group which you said had committed crimes and I said that they must
9 be taken to task - did I say that you had to check whether there was any
10 other paramilitary formation in Kosovo that might crop up a week later
11 with a new crime? Did I say that?
12 A. Yes, you did.
13 Q. Do you know that from the very outset the presence of any
14 paramilitary formations was absolutely prohibited and that the commanders
15 had strict orders to disarm any paramilitary formation immediately and to
16 arrest them?
17 A. I am aware of that order regarding the army.
18 Q. Well, you're a general, so you have to know about that. After
19 all, you spoke about the order of the Supreme Command given to strategic
20 groups in the form of a directive; isn't that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you remember that that directive contains the obligation and
23 duty strictly to respect the law of war, to take care of prisoners of war,
24 and especially of the civilian population and all these other matters that
25 we're mentioning now and which this fake indictment is charging me with?
1 A. There was even a small memo given to each member of the army to
2 use, even myself.
3 Q. So there was even a memo reminding people of the obligation to
4 respect civil rights and so on, and to protect the civilian population and
5 so on; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Since you headed the intelligence -- no, sorry, the security
8 administration, do you remember their - and when I say "their" I'm talking
9 about the KLA - notes which your bodies managed to get hold of and from
10 which it is evident that at the moment NATO attacks Yugoslavia, the army
11 and the police has to be attacked and the civilian population should be
12 pulled out, as they say, to safer regions, and that is Macedonia, Albania,
13 and Montenegro. That can be found in their diaries.
14 A. I know that -- I don't know that. Probably because I was not in
15 active service at the time.
16 Q. And do you know that the scenario was to chase the civilians out
17 of Kosovo, and that was the scenario on the basis of which we were accused
18 of deportation of Albanians from Kosovo?
19 A. I don't know that.
20 Q. And do you know, since you headed the security department, that
21 anybody at any level, even at the municipal level, ordered the deportation
22 of Albanians out of Kosovo, forcing them out of Kosovo?
23 A. I am not aware of any such orders, but I know of the case that I
24 mentioned in Kaludjerski Laz, that a group, Kaludjerski Laz, that a group
25 was chased to Rozaje municipality and executed there. I testified about
1 that case.
2 Q. But that is one of the crimes that I said the perpetrators of
3 which had to be taken to court. So there's no dispute over that. My
4 question is whether anyone --
5 JUDGE MAY: Let us have the answer recorded. This crime to do
6 with Rozaje, the accused suggests it's one of the crimes that he said the
7 perpetrators had to be taken to court. Is that right or not, General?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said what this was all about
9 during my previous testimony. I also mentioned the name of the person who
10 took part in that group that was chasing this group of Albanians. I
11 mentioned the example of two women and little girls that had been wounded
12 and had put up by the military police into a hospital. And they also
13 carried out an investigation, however, what was ultimately done is
14 something I don't know. This is information I got while I was still not
15 in active service. It was on the 23rd and 24th of April. And also I
16 presented an example from Mitrovica and how certain groups behaved there
17 towards civilians. But I don't know about any position or order to do so.
18 I just know that things like that did happen.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The position and the order was that such cases should be arrested
21 and brought before a court of law.
22 A. I know that such an order was issued for sure in the army.
23 Q. And whose position could it have been that little girls should be
24 killed and that people should be chased to Rozaje, et cetera, except for
25 some criminal?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I don't know what was done. I can give a wider answer to that
3 Q. Please let's just not waste any time. Please.
4 A. All right. I'll give brief answers.
5 Q. Please. You were staying in Kosovo on the 2nd of June precisely
6 because of crimes that had been committed?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You were there from the 2nd until the 7th?
9 A. No. I was there from the 1st until the 7th.
10 Q. Precisely because of these crimes that we discussed at that
11 meeting on the 15th of May?
12 A. No. It was not only due to the crimes but this was an all-around
13 tour of the security organs and also to look into the question of crimes
14 in greater detail.
15 Q. Please. Is it true that you managed to record then when you were
16 there everything; killings, liquidations, rapes, lootings, especially what
17 was done by individuals from the ranks the army?
18 A. Not everything; some characteristic cases about which the organs I
19 toured informed me of.
20 Q. Tell me, did you ascertain anywhere that anyone, even the
21 lowest-ranking commander, commander of a company or whatever, did any
22 commander ever issue an order to have a crime committed, or were these
23 arbitrarily committed crimes by individuals? Did you establish that any
24 commander at any level, of the lowest ranking unit, had ever issued an
25 order to commit a crime?
1 A. There was no information that anybody had issued this kind of
2 order. There were two cases where there was a tolerant attitude towards
3 those who had committed that arbitrarily.
4 Q. Those who had this tolerant position, were they also held
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. All right. Let's move on then. Let's move on then. Is it
8 correct that for the most part the crimes that you investigated, that is
9 to say where the members of the military were considered to be
10 responsible, were primarily perpetrated by reservists or volunteers who
11 were included in the units? There was a vast number of people, and among
12 them certainly there were such individuals as well. Is this the
13 predominant characteristic, that these were primarily reservists or
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And do you remember that the main criterion when volunteers were
17 taken in was supposed to be their - how should I put this? - psychological
18 stability and only then establishing whether they were physically fit? Of
19 course they'd have to be physically fit, but emphasis was laid on the fact
20 that people who were unstable and who had frayed nerves should not be
21 taken into the units; they might violate the law.
22 A. Yes, and a selection was made. Fifty per cent were taken in.
23 Q. Oh. That means that 50 per cent of those who had volunteered were
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. We don't have time to deal with these matters any
2 longer. We've saved time because we don't have to play the tapes. So now
3 I'm going to go back to where we had left off.
4 Is it correct -- I'm going back to Vukovar now, General. Is it
5 correct that crimes, at least according to what we know, in that area were
6 primarily committed by local criminals?
7 A. I don't know whether they were local or whether they had been
8 criminals before that, because the Dusan Silni detachment that I mentioned
9 was not from that area.
10 Q. We established the origins of that, and I don't think that there
11 was any controversy involved.
12 And is it correct that in 1998, you had a meeting with
13 Sljivancanin, an encounter with Sljivancanin, and is it correct that on
14 that occasion he said to you that he had had a clash with local civilians
15 who wanted to kill him as well because he protected prisoners? And when
16 he started taking them out and treating them in accordance with the rules
17 of service, I mean the prisoners, and that therefore, they had to provide
18 security for these prisoners so that nothing would happen to them. Is
19 that right or is that not right?
20 A. This conversation that I had with him took place in 1997, and you
21 interpreted it correctly.
22 Q. Did he also tell you that when some of the prisoners at the
23 barracks in Vukovar were set free, these same civilians or territorials
24 broke into the barracks and therefore the army had to transport civilians
25 to a safer place precisely in order to save them from the enraged
1 territorials who reacted to the crimes that had been committed before
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Did he act as an honourable man, believing that the crimes that
5 they had committed cannot be a justification for any other crime? One
6 crime cannot be justified for by another?
7 A. That's right.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, just a moment. It's not for the witness to say
9 whether Sljivancanin behaved in an honourable way or not. All he can tell
10 us is what Sljivancanin himself said. It's not for the witness to say
11 whether it was an honourable action or not. Yes.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Please. After that, the only competent organs in the territory,
14 were they the organs of the SAO Krajina? After the fall of Vukovar?
15 A. I don't know. This organisation of government, the way it was.
16 However, since the army remained there, then I know that later on military
17 commands were established of particular towns. That is to say that the
18 position was that there was a civilian government as the executive
19 government, but then there were also military organs for a while.
20 Q. When you say "military," you are not actually referring to the
21 JNA, you are referring to the local Territorial Defence, aren't you? Is
22 that right or is that not right?
23 A. Until the end of 1991, I think there were still town commands in
25 Q. Tell me, you say that you first heard of the Ovcara case from a
1 person whose last name is Muris, who was commander of the anti-terrorist
2 platoon; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. However, he was not at Ovcara as far as I managed to understand
5 your explanation. Did I understand you properly or not? Did I understand
6 your explanation properly or not?
7 A. According to what he said to me, he had been sent to go to Ovcara
8 because it was known that there were some problems there. And when he got
9 close to Ovcara, he heard gunshots and informed the command about that.
10 How far he got, whether he got to the area where the prisoners were, or
11 close to that area, is something that I don't know. He said quite
12 literally, "When I got to Ovcara, I heard gunshots and I reported about
14 Q. But he did not know who was going on there. He could not
15 establish what was going on there.
16 A. Not then. Later on, he found out too.
17 Q. Later on, like you, he only could have found out from someone who
18 perhaps could have been a direct witness, but he had not been there; is
19 that right? But is it correct that as for all your further knowledge, you
20 obtained that when talking to, if I understood your statement correctly,
21 the journalist Jovan Dulovic first, and he said Radic, Mrksic, or
22 Sljivancanin had nothing to do with what was going on at Ovcara; is that
23 right or is that not right?
24 A. Not only through him. There are several persons. I made a
25 statement before the military court, and I mentioned all these persons in
1 succession as to what I heard from whom. However, most of the details in
2 the first stage I got from these journalists, and it is correct that they
3 said to me what you mentioned just now.
4 Q. All right. In addition to what you heard from him, because he's
5 independent, he's a journalist, he has nothing to do with the crimes,
6 except for what you heard from him, what you compiled later as
7 information, did that precisely corroborate what he had told you about and
8 what others said, that Radic, Mrksic, and Sljivancanin had nothing to do
9 with what had happened in Ovcara; is that right or is that not right?
10 A. Yes, that is right.
11 Q. And did you come to learn that the JNA had anything to do with
12 what happened at Ovcara?
13 A. It did have something to do with it because these prisoners were
14 practically, at that time, under the control of the JNA, under the control
15 of the 80th Motorised Brigade in whose area this area where they were
16 guarded was.
17 Q. Are you trying to say the area of responsibility of that brigade?
18 A. Within the deployed area where that brigade was.
19 Q. However, as far as I managed to understand, it is precisely some
20 people that you had talked to who told you about what had happened there
21 and that actually the army had nothing to do with it. Is that right or is
22 that not right?
23 JUDGE MAY: He just answered that question. He's given you the
24 answer: Because the prisoners were practically under the control of the
25 JNA, the 80th Motorised Brigade, where they were guarded.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, before the crime was committed, were these people in the
3 hands of the army?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When they were killed, were they in the hands of the army?
6 A. No.
7 Q. In the examination-in-chief, did you speak about your meeting with
8 Mrksic who, according to what you said, had said, "Had we known what would
9 have happened, we never would have handed them over to those local organs
10 over there"? Is that right or is that not right?
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. In connection with Ovcara, you talked to the then military
13 prosecutor who was conducting a detailed investigation. Did he tell you
14 that the trial had not started yet because the Prosecution had
15 established --
16 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... make a complaint in
17 the way the matter is put, but that evidence was not given in chief and it
18 was not given in chief quite specifically. I confined my -- as far as I
19 can recall, I confined my evidence of what Mrksic said to the fact that he
20 said at the end of the discussion, We found out what they did to them, we
21 swore to keep it secret. Actually, on reflection, he may have given the
22 longer bit first, but that was the passage I relied upon and the only
24 JUDGE MAY: We ought to have the record right.
25 MR. NICE: I now actually can't immediately recall whether,
1 although that was my intention to get that passage out as something upon
2 which I relied, the witness may have given voluntarily a longer answer,
3 which of course --
4 JUDGE MAY: What my note is, is in 1998, Mrksic told the witness
5 in answer to what happened at Ovcara, "I swear by my children, had I known
6 what they would do to them, we would never have handed them over."
7 MR. NICE: In which case my recollection is wrong. My intention
8 remains as stated.
9 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MAY: And then he was asked, to complete the note, why he
12 didn't inform the line of communication. Mrksic said when he found out
13 what they'd done, they swore to remain silent.
14 MR. NICE: Grateful.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very good that you reminded
16 everybody of that.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Since those who knew about it kept silent about it, isn't that
19 right, how could anybody else have known about it?
20 A. I don't know which period you're referring to.
21 Q. Until it was found out. Considerably later, considerably after
22 these events actually took place.
23 A. I said when I first found out about this.
24 Q. All right. You talked to the then military prosecutor who was
25 carrying out a detailed investigation. Did he tell you then that the
1 trial had not started because the prosecution had established that Radic,
2 Mrksic, and Sljivancanin were not responsible for the crimes in Ovcara?
3 Is that right?
4 A. Yes. And that it was established who the suspects are and that
5 the materials were handed over to the civilian prosecutor's office in
7 Q. Very well. We are not now going into any explanations as to
8 whether one crime can justify another crime. There should be no
9 discussion about that. But I would like you to answer me the following
10 question: Like then, what happened before and what happened after, is it
11 correct that Marin Vidic, nicknamed Bili, who was a commissioner of the
12 Croatian government for Vukovar whose diary you seized when you arrested
13 him, he was held accountable after that, but you did have a diary that you
14 seized, and he was a high official of the HDZ and of the authorities in
15 the Srem and Baranja region, and you saw from that that he levelled grave
16 accusations against Mercep, that he was the main guilty party for all the
17 conflicts in that area. Is that right or that is not right?
18 A. That's what he said.
19 Q. Did you have any information about the following: That as far back
20 as 1990, the meeting at the Trpinje road, where Seks and the others were,
21 a plan was made to have Serbs laid off and intimidated and thrown out of
22 the area altogether, and if all of this proved to be unsuccessful, that
23 they should ultimately be liquidated? Do you remember that?
24 A. I don't know about a plan having been established, but I know that
25 this had been advocated. And within that concept, groups for silent
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 liquidations were established.
2 Q. To the best of your knowledge, General, these groups for silent
3 liquidations, how many Serbs did they kill before there was any kind of
4 rebellion in that area, any kind of rebellion of the Serb population
5 against this violence and terror?
6 A. I don't have this information about the killed civilians. I know
7 and you also presented some figures concerning the killings of officers
8 and soldiers.
9 Q. But you do have to have some knowledge about civilians as a
10 citizen, if not as a security officer. You don't have any knowledge about
12 A. No, I don't, unfortunately. I'm not saying that no such thing
13 happened, but I don't have any information about that.
14 Q. But you know that this did happen and that there was a
15 considerable number of such cases?
16 A. I don't know about that.
17 Q. Well, all right. Isn't it true that this same Marin Vidic, in
18 this same diary that you confiscated when you arrested him for Borovo
19 Selo, Serbs are not the ones to be blamed, he says, and the Croat
20 authorities did not take any action to stop Mercep although everything was
21 known about the bad things he did.
22 A. Yes. This is in his statement.
23 Q. And do you know about attacks against the garrison in Vinkovci
24 when over 6.000 projectiles landed on the garrison, according to the
25 report that was established then?
1 A. I know about that. This figure is correct, and that is in the
2 context of -- in the context of what happened then when a wax figure was
3 made to the likeness of the head of the commander of that garrison.
4 Q. Let me ask you something about Dubrovnik. In Western Herzegovina,
5 were armed -- were armed units of the HOS established?
6 A. Yes, that is correct. That is the first half of 1991. And on the
7 24th of May, they were discovered or, rather, three truckloads of weapons
8 that were brought from the warehouse in Lucka to Capljina, and they were
9 distributed to members of the HOS.
10 Q. Is it correct that from -- that from Dubrovnik people from
11 Metkovic and Opuzen came, members of the National Guards Corps?
12 A. That is correct. And then the president of the Municipal Assembly
13 of Neum, the Minister of the Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina asked for a
14 meeting in order to intervene to have this prevented, that is to say so
15 that Bosnia would not be dragged into the war.
16 Q. Is it true that members of the ZNG in Dubrovnik made a garrison
17 although Dubrovnik was a demilitarised city? There were no military
18 facilities, no military installations, no military crews in the
19 municipality of Dubrovnik or the coast area or Konavle until they
20 militarised it? Is that correct?
21 A. We had information that there were armed forces of the ZNG in
23 Q. Is it true that precisely after these complaints that you just
24 mentioned of the president of Neum, which is the territory of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina - this is the only place where Bosnia-Herzegovina has an exit
1 to the sea - that on the 29th of November, 1991, from the airport in
2 Mostar, a military pilot was kidnapped, Dragan Stojicevic, whereas a
3 policeman of the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina was killed, who was securing a
4 bridge in Capljina?
5 A. That happened on the 28th of November. And the captain was Dragan
6 Stojcinovic. That piece of information is correct. And he was later
7 detained in the military prison in Split.
8 It is also true that this policeman of Bosnia-Herzegovina who was
9 securing the bridge in Capljina was killed.
10 Q. Considering what you just said about the beginning of the year
11 1991 and the creation of armed formations, was it clear to you as security
12 organs that there was an intent to annex Herzegovina to Croatia?
13 A. I don't know that there was an official declaration or a written
14 stance to that effect, but the entire climate and the events that happened
15 in this area reflected the situation as if Herzegovina was already a part
16 of Croatia.
17 Q. All these operations conducted by Bobetko, is it true that there
18 were no defence of Dubrovnik? Is it true that they amounted to a division
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an effort to inflame a war in the territory
20 of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. I can't say that, because this came at a later time in relation to
22 my service.
23 Q. Do you know anything at all about the reasons why the JNA blocked
25 A. From the military point of view, I know that on the 20th of
1 September, 1991, since the garrisons in the military naval district were
2 blocked and the military port of Lora in Split, parts of the Uzice Corps
3 were brought there and parts of the Podgorica Corps were introduced into
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina. And a reinforced security detail of the airport
5 in Mostar was taken over. And from Nevesinje towards Mostar, and from
6 Gacko towards Capljina. Forces of the JNA emerged onto the left bank of
7 the Neretva. That was supposed to reflect a threat and a sign of their
8 alertness and readiness, for the forces of the military naval district to
9 be deblocked from the rear, whereas the forces of the ZNG which entered
10 Dubrovnik were practically in the rear of these forces which had emerged
11 onto the bank of the Neretva River. And they started actions with these
12 forces, because attacks were mounted in Eastern Herzegovina. When forces
13 were brought in from Stolac towards Capljina, an attack was mounted on the
14 column of the 3rd Partisan Division and several members of the JNA were
15 killed on that occasion.
16 Also, in another village further to the west, there was another
17 attack on a military unit, resulting in about ten or 11 deaths.
18 So attacks had already started in the rear and on the flank of the
19 forces that had emerged on the Neretva River. That's as much as I know
20 about the military aspect.
21 Q. So what you know, does it confirm that the JNA mounted no attack?
22 On the contrary, it was the target of an attack?
23 A. These cases that I spoke about are what I know.
24 Q. So an attack was mounted on JNA units.
25 A. I said exactly which places and which case.
1 JUDGE MAY: Let's try and clarify the witness's evidence. As I
2 understand it, you're saying that -- General, that the JNA was being
3 reinforced in order to reflect a threat, and then you say there were
4 actions in Eastern Herzegovina. Can you tell us from your information,
5 rather than what you might have read about or anything of that sort after
6 the event, but from your information at the time, can you tell us what was
7 happening around Dubrovnik?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically as far as actions
9 around Dubrovnik are concerned, I had no direct observations reported to
10 me by security organs. I received my information through the line of
11 communication in security organs about security aspects. And in cases of
12 attacks on JNA units, I got information if sabotage units were involved.
13 And I mentioned this attack on the column of the 3rd Partisan
14 Division which was going via Stolac towards Capljina.
15 As far as actions specifically around Dubrovnik are concerned, I
16 have no knowledge of them.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Do you have an explanation as to why it was blocked in
19 the first place? As far as I understood your explanation, although you
20 have no knowledge of direct action, your explanation why Dubrovnik was
21 blocked was that it was an intent to exert pressure to deblock barracks
22 that had been blocked at the time and the garrisons that were jeopardised.
23 A. No.
24 Q. Explain then why.
25 A. I said -- I said that the forces were located, deployed on the
1 flank and in the rear of the JNA units. So Dubrovnik was not blocked in
2 order to deblock the Lora port. It was not a parallel activity.
3 Q. I understand.
4 A. In fact, forces of the ZNG were on the side and behind the forces
5 that emerged on the Neretva River. And part of these forces, not from
6 Dubrovnik but from those inserted from Metkovic, mounted an attack on
7 certain columns of the JNA that had been extended, stretched in the
8 process of insertion. I suppose that because actions had already started
9 from Dubrovnik against the JNA forces, this is the way the military
10 operations developed in this area.
11 Q. You just said that there were actions mounted from Dubrovnik
12 against the JNA and that is why the conflict in Dubrovnik started.
13 A. That's what I know.
14 Q. Do you know that tyres were set on fire in order to attract media
15 attention and to insinuate the JNA setting Dubrovnik on fire by artillery?
16 A. I know that.
17 Q. Is that true?
18 A. According to our information, it was true. A lot of smoke was
19 raised and a media show was created in order to create mistrust and to get
20 the international public opinion to condemn the actions against Dubrovnik.
21 Q. You explained -- let me not interpret you because we have
22 everything on tape and transcripts; you just explained the real reasons
23 for these operations.
24 Tell me, give me a straightforward answer to a short question:
25 Did Serbia have anything to do with actions around Dubrovnik?
1 A. Not as far as I know.
2 Q. Let us move to another topic. This is not the best map I've seen.
3 It is a map of demarcation of military districts in the SFRY, but since
4 claims were made here that Serbia intended to become a Greater Serbia and
5 to set some sort of new borders with Karlovac, Karlobag, Virovitica being
6 mentioned all over the place, have you ever heard anyone mentioning any
7 points, lines, and so on and so forth to which Serbia should extend in
8 Croatia or which JNA should conquer in Croatia in order for Serbia to
9 become larger? Have you heard anything about the idea of Greater Serbia?
10 A. I didn't hear it from anyone in the military leadership. But as
11 an ordinary citizen, I heard many stories about it at rallies, and I
12 quoted examples in my previous testimony.
13 Q. What rallies?
14 A. I already said at what rallies. The rallies where it was said
15 where there are Serbian graves, there are Serbian lands.
16 Q. You mean Vuk Draskovic and others. Did you hear anyone from the
17 government or the Socialist Party saying that?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. I'll skip some questions. Is it true, General, that in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, as far as back as in mid-September 1990, the JNA discovered
21 paramilitary organisations of the Party of Democratic Action headed by
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Mid-September 1990.
25 A. The 17th of September, to be precise.
1 Q. Is it true that on the 15th October 1990 and the 24th December
2 1990, two sessions of the military leadership and the Presidency of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina were held to discuss the security situation and the
4 prevention of internecine conflict?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. And this paramilitary organisation of the SDA was based on Islamic
7 fundamentalism; is that correct? In September 1990.
8 A. I cannot speak as to what it was based on. I can quote elements
9 from their organisational orders. Basically, it was all about the defence
10 of Muslims and the areas they populated.
11 Q. In September 1990, tell me, who was it who jeopardised Muslims and
12 the areas they populated? Was it, in other words, defence or something
14 A. Not September 1990. September 1991. So that was discovered in
15 September 1991. And from that order on organisation, it transpires
16 characteristically that the Patriotic League of Nations had 11 subregional
17 and one main military staff, and two staffs, one for Sandzak and one for
19 Q. So two on the territory of Serbia and nine on the territory of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were populated by Muslims?
21 A. Not only areas populated by Muslims, but according to the then
22 territorial division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, these subregional staffs were
24 Q. So on the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in two areas of Serbia, Sandzak and Kosovo; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what did that tell you?
4 A. That Muslims too were organising themselves for defence outside
5 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. To defend themselves from whom?
7 A. As it said there, from the aggressor JNA.
8 Q. Did you, the JNA, attack Muslims anywhere?
9 A. Not as long as I was in the army.
10 Q. You were in the army until the spring 1992, as far as I
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you attack Muslims anywhere?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did anyone attack Muslims, for instance, in the territory of
16 Serbia since they had in Sandzak a centre for defence? Not in 1991, 1992,
17 but even later, 1999, and 2000, did anyone attack them anywhere ever?
18 A. You know about the case at the railway station.
19 Q. You mean Strpce?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Strpce is in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as you well
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That's where the railroad passes. And you know and I informed
25 Stoltenberg that after this event, although it is the territory of another
1 republic, I ordered a platoon to be stationed there to guard this station
2 so that another scoundrel could not stop a train again and kill our
4 A. I'm not commenting on this from the territorial angle. I'm just
5 saying that Muslims from the territory of Serbia were killed.
6 Q. Yes, but in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not Serbia. Do
7 you know that at that time we charged that it was done intentionally, to
8 cause a conflict between Muslims and Serbs in Serbia and transfer the
9 conflict across the border?
10 A. I was in the military prison at the time.
11 Q. Then I will not question you about it.
12 A. But I know that this investigation was not conducted in the best
13 possible way.
14 Q. Tell me, since I asked you about these two sessions of the
15 military leadership and the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina about the
16 security situation, is it true that Izetbegovic, in order to accuse the
17 JNA as being a Serbian army and no longer a Yugoslav army, ordered in 1991
18 that military records should be put away, that conscripts from
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina should not be allowed to join the JNA, and that in
20 cahoots with Tudjman, he addressed a general call to officers not to go to
21 the JNA or, rather, to desert it? Are you aware of what?
22 A. Military records in those days were kept in all the republics in
23 the Secretariats for National Defence. That's right. And the order was
24 from the General Staff to take over those records, and that order was not
25 observed, not complied with, because the records were put away. And it is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 true that Tudjman made a call in favour of obstructing the mobilisation.
2 Q. And when was this? Was it in middle of 1991 when both among the
3 Muslims and from the top Croatian leadership there was insistence on
4 obstructing the JNA?
5 A. Particularly as from the 15th of September, 1991, and onwards. So
6 from the beginning of war operations against military facilities in
8 Q. Very well. Since we have established that I could not have
9 influence over the military leadership like General Kadijevic, for
11 A. I don't think you could have.
12 Q. And General Kadijevic was in his position until January 1992.
13 A. Yes. Until the 8th of January, 1992.
14 Q. So was there any possibility for anyone from Serbia and I
15 personally to influence the changes that had taken place up until then?
16 Any kind of personnel changes in the army.
17 A. Until the end of 1991, there was no possibility. There were
18 attempts, but not -- not really.
19 Q. And who made those attempts?
20 A. I said Zoran Sokolovic.
21 Q. Did he give a name of somebody that you need to appoint or replace
22 or did he just inquire generally about things?
23 A. He inquired into general information about generals.
24 Q. He didn't attempt to impose anyone on you or to remove anyone.
25 A. Well, I broke off the conversation straight away.
1 Q. I don't know which conversation you stopped.
2 A. No. I'm just saying I don't know how the conversation would have
3 developed if I had allowed it to develop.
4 Q. And when Kadijevic explained that he was getting on and that his
5 health was not at its best, do you remember the explanation that he gave
6 for leaving the position of Federal Secretary and that he was succeeded by
7 Blagoje Hadzic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Blagoje Adzic, had he been anyway the number two man in the
10 military leadership?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did anyone influence the appointment of Adzic?
13 A. There was some influence over him when he retired.
14 Q. And when did Adzic retire?
15 A. After the 8th of May, 1992.
16 Q. Can we then state that on the basis of what you are testifying
17 about, until the 8th of May when Blagoje Adzic retired, there was no
18 theoretical possibility for someone from Serbia and I personally to
19 influence the army, the JNA? Is that right or not?
20 A. That is not right. I've already said, I don't know whether it was
21 in private session or public session, but never mind, I can say this in
22 public session as well, I mentioned the example of the retirement of 33
23 generals in February 1992 when General Blagoje Adzic addressed you in
24 connection with the reasons for the retirement of my deputy. So he didn't
25 address himself to Branko Kostic who signed the decrees but he addressed
2 Q. You've already explained that. But would you allow for the
3 possibility for Blagoje Adzic to address me for me to intervene with the
4 Presidency? Because I'm not the decision-maker. Someone may address
5 someone to ask him for his assistance, in fact, for a particular case that
6 he needs assistance for. Would you allow for that possibility or do you
7 believe that I was the one deciding that you should be pensioned off or
8 someone else?
9 A. General Blagoje Adzic had authority as a senior officer and as a
10 personality. And of course in view of that position, he could have easily
11 addressed Branko Kostic.
12 Q. How do you know that he didn't?
13 A. Because I was present when he called you up and you told him to
15 Q. Yes. But how do you know that he didn't call up Branko Kostic,
16 and Boro Jovic, and Bogic Bogicevic and all the other members of the
17 Presidency over there and me as well as president of Serbia? How do you
18 know who else he called on? Why do you believe that it was only me?
19 A. Because he spoke only to you and he didn't mention having talked
20 to anyone else about it.
21 Q. Yes, he did speak to me. Are you claiming he spoke to no one
23 A. I cannot claim that but I do claim that he didn't tell me that.
24 Q. So you're claiming that he didn't tell you that he had spoken to
25 anyone else?
1 A. He's an honourable man, and I have no doubts that he would give
2 any false information here.
3 Q. But let's continue. In connection with the events in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina, is it true that it was agreed at the Presidency session that
5 a joint plan be devised to disarm all paramilitary units in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina? And this was on the 19th of January, 1991.
7 A. No. On the 24th of December, 1991, at a session of the Presidency
8 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the military leadership, it was agreed that such
9 a plan be prepared. The plan was reviewed on the 19th of January, 1992,
10 together with the MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. And what happened?
12 A. Our joint proposal was - that is of the security administration
13 and the MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina - that the plan could succeed only
14 if adequate political support is given to it by all three national leaders
15 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that support was not forthcoming.
16 Q. They couldn't agree?
17 A. Each one of them claimed that the plan was good but that his
18 people did not have weapons but that the other two people's did. And
19 because that plan was not accepted, I went, on the 5th of February, to
20 talk to Mr. Alija Izetbegovic.
21 Q. Tell me before that, please, since you mentioned the Patriotic
22 League of Nations and its headquarters and arming, this Patriotic League
23 of Nations was a Muslim terrorist organisation, wasn't it?
24 A. You've already asked me that, and I said I cannot give you an
25 overall answer for the whole organisation, but in that organisation and
1 each subregional headquarters, there was a special sabotage unit. So
2 special diversionist terrorist units were formed in each of these
3 headquarters of this so-called Patriotic League of people.
4 Q. Subregional. I see, subregional terrorist platoons.
5 A. Diversionist terrorist platoons.
6 Q. Very well. And this league of people or nation implies only
7 Muslims, doesn't it?
8 A. No. In the programme, they allowed for the possibility for any
9 member of the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to take part, and there were
10 individual cases, small -- in small numbers of people who joined the
11 Patriotic League who were not Muslims.
12 Q. And you mentioned terrorist units or, rather, sabotage terrorist
13 units. So not to split hairs as to the difference between the two, is it
14 true that Izetbegovic at first denied the existence of these headquarters,
15 but when you showed him the evidence, he said that he would conduct a
16 detailed investigation and the perpetrators would be punished and he did
17 nothing about it? I've asked you several questions now.
18 Is it true that Izetbegovic denied it, and when you showed him the
19 evidence, that he said he would look into it and the perpetrators would be
20 punished? Is that right?
21 A. It is right that at first he denied it, and when a part of the
22 evidence was shown to him, he said that he had not been aware of it and
23 that he would take measures. And he added that for as long as he was
24 president and for as long as he was consulted, nobody would attack the
1 According to our information, in the next month, some measures
2 were carried out upon his orders. Cases were looked into of the abuse of
3 funds that had been collected for weapons, and they were probably
4 investigating our presence and how we had managed to discover this
6 Q. Did he keep his promise that no one would attack the JNA?
7 A. The JNA was attacked for the first time in an organised manner at
8 the JNA centre in Sarajevo when Izetbegovic was not present in Sarajevo.
9 He was on his way back from Lisbon, on the plane. And that is when an
10 all-out conflict started between the JNA and the Patriotic League in
11 Sarajevo. The next day we had the event in Dobrovoljacka Street.
12 Q. So that is when attacks and killing of members of the JNA started.
13 A. There was a case of a -- when eight soldiers were captured from
14 the Sarajevo garrison, and we established later that they were executed in
15 the city's park by members of the Green Berets, so special forces. These
16 were individual attacks, but the all-out generalised attack started with
17 the JNA centre and onwards.
18 Q. So there were individual cases following Izetbegovic's promise,
19 and this all-out attack occurred while he was on the plane, flying back
20 from Lisbon. Do you know how long he was in Lisbon?
21 A. I don't know when he left. I know when he was on his way back.
22 Q. Well, surely you can assume that this was a brief visit to Lisbon,
23 and the fact that he was on the plane at the time of attack does not mean
24 that he has no responsibility for this. The Patriotic League was under
25 his command, was it not?
1 A. In the political sense, in the operative, direct responsibility
2 was Ejub Ganic, but --
3 Q. Was he his deputy?
4 A. Yes, he was his deputy.
5 Q. Did he transfer to him the position of Supreme Commander on
6 television in fact?
7 A. Yes, in the barracks in Lukavica.
8 Q. So Izetbegovic is directly responsible for the crimes committed by
9 this so-called Patriotic League of Nations when absolutely no one was
10 jeopardised -- jeopardising anyone in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't give evidence of this sort. This
12 may be a matter for the Trial Chamber, but it sounds like a judgement or
13 conclusion which the accused is trying to have made, and it's not a matter
14 for the witness to make.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I will just
16 focus on facts.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So please, General, let's economise with time. Is it true that on
19 the 6th of April, 1991, a rally for Yugoslavia was organised in front of
20 the Holiday Inn hotel? On the 6th of April, 1991, a rally of support for
22 A. Yes. I'm not sure whether it was on the 5th or the 6th.
23 Q. Very well. Let's say the 5th or the 6th. Is it true that at this
24 rally attended by about 100.000 people, which is an enormous number for
25 Sarajevo, you will admit, among whom there were miners from Ilijas,
1 Kakanj, Breza who had come to support Yugoslavia? Is it true that
2 propaganda was used to say that Chetniks would open fire from the premises
3 of the Serbia Democratic Party at the participants from behind?
4 A. That was a planned provocation through certain members of the
5 Green Berets who were accommodated in the building of the secondary
6 technical school next to the Holiday Inn, and they fired a shot into the
7 crowd from behind, and the allegation was made that it was the Chetniks,
8 members of the SDS that were firing from the Holiday Inn, because the
9 premises of the SDS used to be there before, which had already been
11 Q. They had already left it then?
12 A. Yes, there were some people there still.
13 Q. And tell me, the people that opened fire, as you established, and
14 you said that they were the Green Berets, to make it known here, to make
15 it clear, who are those Green Berets?
16 A. The Green Berets were the first name given to this institution
17 which later became the Patriotic League. Typical of them were the green
18 berets that they wore on certain occasions, and they also wore green
19 scarves as a mark of identification.
20 Q. This unit was operating from the municipality Stari Grad. Was
21 that a terrorist act? Not just a provocation but a terrorist act?
22 A. I've given you the facts. I cannot make any judgements.
23 Q. Was that the first case of fire being opened by the Muslims to
24 blame the Serbs, and then came the bread line, Vasa Miskin, Merkale 1,
25 Merkale 2? Was this the beginning of a practice to kill one's own people
1 and put the blame on the Serbs? Was this the first case?
2 A. I don't know about the subsequent events, Merkale and everything
3 else that happened I know only from the media, but regarding this rally,
4 one man was not killed but wounded.
5 Q. The fact that he was wounded was not the -- the merit for that
6 does not belong to the person who opened fire?
7 JUDGE MAY: That's a very serious allegation, as you appreciate,
8 to suggest that one side was firing on, killing its own members as a
9 provocation. Will you tell us what the basis your knowledge of that
10 incident is? I take it you weren't there in Sarajevo at the time.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wasn't in Sarajevo, but I had
12 security organs in Sarajevo who intercepted a message through radio
13 communications used by the Green Berets, indicating that the operation
14 should begin. And then came the shot. And we also found a TV clipping.
15 I think this was Caco - that was his nickname - and a shot was taken of
16 the secondary school building from which they came out. So there was an
17 audio recording from radio communications and a part of a TV clipping,
18 showing them coming out of the secondary school. Then there was also a
19 part of a special MUP unit that immediately stormed the Holiday Inn, and I
20 know of the order that everything should be broken up inside, that nothing
21 should be left intact. I think three or four persons were arrested who
22 were in the SDS premises. And forensic evidence was never produced to
23 prove that they had opened fire; paraffin gloves, bullet casings or
24 anything like that. And afterwards they were released. One of those
25 persons is now living in Belgrade.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So these were some not very important members of the SDS who
3 happened to be in the premises. They were arrested. They were blamed for
4 the shooting, and then, without any explanation, they were released; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Because they had no grounds to press charges. And you know full
8 well this was committed by the Green Berets. Is there any doubt in your
9 mind about it?
10 A. No, none. I have some names also who led the operation, who was
11 in charge of it.
12 Q. Did Juka Prazina enter the technical school building?
13 A. No. He was the one who ordered fire to be opened from the school
15 Q. Tell us briefly, who was Juka Prazina?
16 A. One of the criminals, local criminals who was released from prison
17 and who joined the Green Berets, similar to such cases in other areas,
18 Croatia and elsewhere.
19 Q. Yes, but I'm asking you about Juka Prazina now and that he was a
20 member of the Green Berets. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did people from Sandzak headed by Mirza Jamakovic, a member of
23 the SUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina, break into the Holiday Inn?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And their task was to destroy the Holiday Inn and the SDS
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And they arrested those three men? They found -- releasing them
4 without any explanation later on; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now for a moment let me mention the event in Dobrovoljacka Street
7 because of Izetbegovic's strategy that we have mentioned. Was there quite
8 reliable information from the military security service that the operation
9 in Dobrovoljacka Street were also carried out by the Green Berets and in
10 the operative sense is it true that the direct commander of the operation
11 was Zaim Backovic, known as Zagi, who was, at the time, deputy commander
12 of the Territorial Defence, a deputy of Hasan Efendic who was Staff
13 Commander at the time?
14 A. No.
15 Q. I have asked you several questions in one. But the gist of it is
16 the event in Dobrovoljacka Street, who committed that act and what
18 A. It was committed by the Green Berets of the Stari Grad
19 municipality that were under the command in the operative sense of Emin
20 Svrakic, and Zaim Backovic was at the command post, if I can call it that,
21 in the Presidency building on the 2nd floor, in an office there, and Alija
22 Izetbegovic's son was also there, Bakir. His name is Bakir. And Ejub
23 Ganic would come there too to monitor the situation regarding the pull-out
24 of the command of the 2nd Military District through Dobrovoljacka Street.
25 Q. So, General --
1 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. It's past time for a break.
2 We'll adjourn -- we will adjourn now for 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, is it being challenged that that crime in Dobrovoljacka
8 Street was commanded directly from Izetbegovic's office, from the
9 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the best of your knowledge?
10 A. That was not Izetbegovic's office. This was a small office across
11 the corridor from the meeting room.
12 Q. When I say "office," I don't mean his actual office where he sits,
13 the room where he sits, i mean the president of the Presidency whose
14 president he was. So I'm talking about his seat, his headquarters, his
15 office in that sense.
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before we move on, I'm not seeking to stop
18 this line of questioning, but the Chamber will observe that the witness
19 did not deal with Bosnia in his examination-in-chief for reasons that he
20 explained to us when he was being prepared to give evidence. Questions
21 that are asked on Bosnia now will no doubt be reflected in the scope and
22 possibly even the timing of re-examination because it's basically covering
23 a whole new topic.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're not going to stop the examination, it may
25 be relevant to issues which we have yet to cover, and the accused should
1 have the opportunity of calling the evidence on it and asking questions.
2 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, in relation to what
4 Mr. Nice said just now, I believe it is highly relevant to establish how
5 the conflicts started in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to stop you.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is it correct that the unit of the Green Berets on the ground was
9 commanded by Mustafa Hajrulahovic, nicknamed Talijan, and the unit of the
10 Patriotic League that we already mentioned and defined, Stari Grad, was
11 commanded by Emin Svrakic, and according to the vertical line on the
12 ground, he was actually subordinated to Hasan Cengic; is that correct?
13 A. I don't know about the vertical line, that it was subordinated to
14 Hasan Cengic. These two persons you mentioned are persons about whom we
15 did have this information. And as far as Hasan Cengic is concerned, I
16 know they came to the building of the Presidency after the command
17 function was transferred to Ejub Ganic.
18 Q. When you talk about the transfer of this command function, is it
19 correct that on the 2nd of February, in the evening, when the JNA centre
20 was attacked, when Fikret Abdic came from Zenica to Sarajevo and spoke to
21 the people on radio and television, addressing an appeal for peace - that
22 was around 1955 hours - after that, Alija Izetbegovic was seen and heard
23 from the Lukavica barracks, and he transferred all presidential powers to
24 Ejub Ganic, and practically Ejub Ganic assumed the position of presidency?
25 A. This was probably a slip of the tongue. It was not the 2nd of
1 February, it was the 2nd of May.
2 Q. Oh, of course, that's right, it was the 2nd of May.
3 A. What you said is correct.
4 Q. And the attack against the military column in Dobrovoljacka
5 Street, was this attack commanded by Ejub Ganic himself and did he
6 afterwards state in public that he was actually in command?
7 A. I know that he came to this command room from which the
8 communications went to the units on the ground, and I know that he gave
9 statements later that allegedly it was not agreed that the entire command
10 of the 2nd Army should get out, led by General Kukanjac, rather, only
11 General Kukanjac was supposed to be exchanged for Alija Izetbegovic and
12 that there was no agreement reached that the army should leave barracks,
13 that they were supposed to remain there under blockade. And this is how
14 he was trying to justify the attack against that column.
15 Q. This column of soldiers leaving the barracks, they were not
16 engaged in any kind of combat operation. They were simply withdrawing
17 from that barracks that was under blockade.
18 A. No one fired a single gunshot from that column.
19 Q. Is it correct that officers and soldiers were dragged out of
20 vehicles, that four officers and one woman and one young soldier were
21 killed immediately while the others were transferred to the physical
22 education centre where they were interrogated by the commander of the
23 military police, Kerim Loncarevic and Fikret Muslimanovic, a former JNA
25 A. Fikret Muslimovic, not Muslimanovic. That is correct.
1 Q. Is it correct that with regard to the liquidations of eight JNA
2 soldiers in the city park, according to reliable knowledge, the arrest of
3 these soldiers and their later execution was carried out by a person under
4 the pseudonym of Miso who was a member of the military police of this
5 so-called Patriotic People's League with the immediate assistance of Ismet
6 Bajramovic, nicknamed Celo, who was a criminal and released from prison
7 before that in order to join the Green Berets?
8 A. I already referred to this incident earlier.
9 Q. So it is correct?
10 A. This is operative knowledge as to who are the persons who carried
11 out the liquidation. It is correct that eight soldiers were liquidated.
12 Q. Is it correct that Izetbegovic, on the 26th of April, 1992, in
13 Skopje at a meeting with Branko Kostic, inter alia all sorts of aspects
14 were discussed there, he said in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were no
15 paramilitary units and that when he was shown the order of Hasan Efendic
16 as the new commander of the Bosnian TO which ordered the blockade of all
17 military facilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and attacks against units that
18 would try to leave the mentioned facilities, he answered that this was
19 done without his knowledge and approval?
20 A. I was not at that meeting, and I do not know how it went. I know
21 that Blagoje Adzic, General Blagoje Adzic gave us information when he came
22 back from that meeting.
23 Q. Was that the information he gave you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it true that you talked to Izetbegovic on the 5th of February,
1 1992, in Sarajevo?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is it correct that after an unsuccessful agreement with the MUP of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina to have the paramilitary units of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 disarmed, the Chief of General Staff decided that you should talk to
6 Izetbegovic and tell him about the facts that the military service knew
7 about the preparation of this so-called Patriotic People's League that had
8 to do with attacks against the JNA?
9 A. The reasons why I went to this meeting are partially correct. One
10 was that the plan dated the 19th of January was not accepted, and the
11 second one was that after that we sent information regard -- information
12 to the then four members of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, and we proposed
13 to take an independent action of disarmament. However, the Presidency
14 returned this information to us without any position of their own taken.
15 Q. Tell me about the preparations of the so-called Patriotic People's
16 League regarding attacks against the JNA. Is it true that during this
17 conversation, Izetbegovic for a long time refused to admit that this kind
18 of organisation existed in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina at all, and
19 only when part of the original documents were shown to him, he said that
20 these paramilitary units, objectively speaking, could not be disarmed any
22 A. You mean his conversation with me?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Is it correct that he said then that it should be made sure that
1 they do not attack and block the JNA but then actually in the second half
2 of April, it is precisely the commander of the Territorial Defence that
3 wrote a directive about the general blockade of the JNA in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that right or is that not right?
5 A. Yes. The general blockade of military facilities in
7 Q. General, do you have any knowledge regarding the armament of the
8 HDZ in Slavonski Brod and the SDS in the area of Derventa in 1991 and in
9 1992 while you still held your post?
10 A. We did have information about this entire area.
11 Q. Do you know who Mujkic Resad and Sefik are?
12 A. I know of the name of Sefik, and I think the last name is Mujkic.
13 I don't know the name Resad.
14 Q. Do you know anything about two trucks with Ljubljana licence
15 plates that in March 1992 arrived in Slavonski Brod and were then
16 transferred to Derventa, accompanied or escorted by the Bosnian MUP?
17 A. I did not have this information. I can't remember that.
18 Q. Do you know who Petar Ocausanin is?
19 A. Ocausanin was a security organ, I think, at the Brcko garrison, if
20 I'm not mistaken.
21 Q. He was a security organ at the JNA barracks in Derventa, precisely
22 when these trucks came, when this transport took place.
23 A. Possibly he was in Derventa. I know that he was in the area.
24 Q. Do you know that Resid Mujkic at that time was president of the
25 SDA for Slavonski Brod and vice-president for all of Croatia?
1 A. I cannot remember that.
2 Q. And do you know that the owner of the privately owned company
3 called Colt was precisely this Resid Mujkic from Derventa and that this
4 company bought 1.798.390 ammunitions?
5 A. This was not information. This was launched through a campaign
6 that had to do with the alleged arming of Croats via the Muslims in that
7 area. I don't know about that. I don't have any operative information in
8 this regard.
9 Q. All right. Do you know then about your own report of the 5th of
10 August 1991 that you submitted to the General Staff regarding the
11 situation -- I have it here. It says, handwritten, "Head of the security
12 administration, General Aco Vasiljevic submits this report to the General
13 Staff." And then there is further typewritten text. At the General
14 Staff, on the 5th of August, 1991. Do you remember this presentation of
15 yours and the situation you described?
16 A. I don't remember that. I remember that on the 6th of August. I
17 have that written down, actually.
18 Q. Possibly you have a mistake because you have the 5th of August
19 here. Perhaps the meeting was held then.
20 A. I don't know what the topic was.
21 Q. I'm going to read this to you, and then I'm going to give it to
22 you to have a look at it. You say that: "In Croatia, the JNA was
23 proclaimed an occupational force and that it should be expected in the
24 coming period major efforts would be made to name the JNA as an aggressor.
25 The leadership of Croatia is in a great hurry in order to provoke a war
1 with the JNA so that Croatia would be portrayed as a victim of aggression,
2 and in this way, they would cause a military intervention of the West in
3 order to protect "democracy." This is probably one of the main reasons
4 why in the critical areas, according to the orders of the MUP and the ZNG,
5 the JNA is attacked on the sly."
6 A. I don't remember having submitted such a report. Perhaps these
7 are notes that I made regarding a presentation that was made by some other
8 JNA officer.
9 Q. All right. So a presentation made by some other officer. I'll
10 give you these -- this outline so that you can see it because it says here
11 that this is an outline of what you said at this meeting. Now, are these
12 facts and assessments correct, the ones that were presented?
13 A. They are not in dispute.
14 Q. What was that? They are not in dispute?
15 A. They are not in dispute.
16 JUDGE MAY: Let's see the document so we can have the matter
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We are going to have it clarified.
19 I just want to read something else out.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Here it says, "In BiH, the legitimate and legal authorities
22 extended for another seven days the sending of conscripts to the JNA. The
23 party organisation of paramilitary units of the HDZ, SDA are under way and
24 party officials are attacking the JNA in an increasingly impudent manner.
25 The units, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, are constantly being observed
1 by the Croatian intelligence services. The main organiser of the
2 anti-army activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina is Jerko Doko, the Minister of
3 Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The agreement between the SDS and the MBO
4 does have prospects if Alija Izetbegovic accepts this reality in order to
5 alleviate the situation."
6 A. I remember that part.
7 Q. And then you say in -- you talk about Serbia, about the activity
8 of some opposition parties, that the Serbs do not have an interest in
9 being under the symbol of the communist JNA. And you quote the Serbian
10 Renewal Movement there, the SPO, and you say that the objective of all of
11 that is to compromise and break up the JNA, and at the same time the
12 creation of the Serbian Guard is the creation of a paramilitary formation
13 that will forcibly take over power in Serbia and do away with the JNA. As
14 for what the SPO wants to do with active military personnel of the JNA is
15 something that is spoken about in public. And then you quote: "We are
16 going to keep in the Serbian Guard persons up to the rank of captain,
17 physicians, and the like, and the rest we are going to deal with in our
18 very own way."
19 Do you remember that?
20 A. Not the last part.
21 Q. Have a look at this. This is an outline of your very own
22 presentation. Perhaps this is going to jog your memory. What I quoted to
23 you just now, it's at the end of page 3, where you speak about the attacks
24 of the MUP on the sly. They attack the JNA. It's what I quoted to you
25 about the attacks against the JNA. So you can have a look at the entire
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 JUDGE MAY: General, would you look at that, just remind yourself
3 of it --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
5 JUDGE MAY: -- and then there will be a few questions from the
6 Trial Chamber about it.
7 Could you tell us, first of all, General, what is it that you're
8 looking at.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember this document
10 in this form, not at all. I don't even see my handwriting here. This was
11 done as some sort of outline for a presentation, a speech. I usually
12 wrote down all my speeches in my own notebook and only very rarely did I
13 have written text to read out, a typewritten text. But a part from what
14 the accused read out here is correct. However, the outlines, as I see
15 them here, I used to write down in my own notebook, and I usually asked
16 somebody -- it was not my custom to ask somebody else to type out my
17 presentations. Whatever I had to read out at meetings, I usually wrote
18 down in my notebook.
19 I don't remember that it was on the 5th of August. I remember the
20 6th of August. That is the first date I remember. And I remember it by
21 the fact that it was the first time we got information about illegal
22 weapons in the Constanza port, and that is when I had a meeting in General
23 Kadijevic's office. I can read the whole text now and see if anything
24 corresponds to my recollection or does not correspond, but I don't
25 remember this text as such.
1 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. Is there anything in
2 the document to connect it with you, to show that it is your text?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I haven't read it in its
4 entirety, and I can categorically state that I did not draw it up. This
5 text can be something prepared by a team to be given to me before I make
6 my report. I repeat, this text or any similar text is something that I
7 never had before a meeting as something I was supposed to read out. I
8 usually made my own preparations for meetings. I noted down whatever I
9 had to say in my own notebook. And when I made my reports, I didn't read
10 from a page. I spoke --
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I extemporised. If you allow me
13 just one more word. It is customary, according to the procedure in the
14 security administration, that if something like this was typewritten for
15 the head of administration, it should be written military secret, strictly
16 confidential, copy such-and-such number. So in the right top corner it
17 would be written routinely. There would not necessarily be a stamp if it
18 were a working draft, but there would be this mark of secrecy.
19 Another unusual thing is that at the end of the text, in the lower
20 left-hand side, there are no initials of the person who drafted the text
21 and no initials of the person who typed it.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may the witness, possibly at the next
23 break, have the opportunity to review it in full? It's always asking a
24 lot of a witness to look at what I think it is a five-page document when
25 he's in the witness box. If he can review it at the next break, possibly
1 extending the next break by a couple of minutes, I would be very grateful.
2 JUDGE MAY: Of course. What we'll do is this: We'll have this
3 marked for identification. But before we do, there was another document
4 which was produced by the accused which was the, I think, the ethnic
5 structures of the JNA generals. That will be given the next exhibit
6 number, and this document which the witness has can have the following
8 Perhaps the registrar will just deal with that formally.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The list would be marked
10 Defence Exhibit 101, and this letter will be marked Defence Exhibit 102
11 marked for identification.
12 JUDGE MAY: General, would you during the next break review that
13 document when you have a chance to do so rather more at your leisure.
14 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Let us put aside the usual format of this document, because it
17 says, "Outlines for the report of the head of the security
18 administration." That was you. Let us put this aside. We will not debate
19 now whether it is your document or not, considering at that Mr. May gave
20 you instructions to read it during the break. Please bear in mind that I
21 will be asking you questions regarding the content of these outlines,
22 whether various things are correct or not in view of the time of this
24 You said that what I quoted was correct, but please read out the
25 entire document, and you will tell me whether certain things are correct
1 or not.
2 A. I said that some of the things were correct. I recognised them.
3 Q. Okay. You recognised some of them. But I will ask you during the
4 break to point out what is not accurate, because the material truth is
5 what matters, not the format of the document which you may have forgotten,
6 as well as whether somebody else drafted this outline for you. That's not
7 what matters. What matters is the content.
8 At that time, is it true -- saw unprovoked attacks on the JNA, the
9 JNA centre, the Dobrovoljacka Street, is it true that at that time
10 Croatian units made incursion into Bosnia and Herzegovina and carried out
11 the liquidation of Serbs a while later but this was the first major attack
12 in the village of Sijekovac, Bosanski Brod on the 27th of March 1992?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Was that the first attack by armed formations of Croatia in the
15 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in general, the first attack of
16 any armed forces outside the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
17 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Before that, there was the destruction of the bridge of Orasje on
19 the Sava River which linked Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatia, and I
20 think there was some firings from the territory of Croatia towards the
21 Bosnian side. However, this major incursion was one of the first.
22 Q. Is it true that this action was carried by the 108th Brigade of
23 the National Guard Corps of Croatia which operated on the territory of
24 Slavonski Brod and that the commander of that so-called Patriotic People's
25 League for Northern Bosnia, Vahid Karavelic, later general, in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina had in his possession original documentation on the purchase
2 of weapons and ammunition for the Patriotic People's League for the area
3 of Zvornik, precisely from the warehouses, from the depots of that 108th
4 Brigade of the ZNG?
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, one question at a time. Now, what do
6 you want the witness to answer in relation to this?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. First, is it true that, according to your knowledge, this
9 operation was carried out by the 108th Brigade of the ZNG?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it true that the purchase of weapons and ammunition for the
12 units of that so-called Patriotic People's League was also made from the
13 depot of that brigade, from the area of Zvornik?
14 A. According to the documentation found with the then Captain Vahid
15 Karavelic, it is true.
16 Q. Thank you. And tell me, is it true that the incursion into
17 Bosanski Brod was then carried out with 30 vehicles, 15 tanks? And then
18 in the village of Sijekovac, Serbian families of Zecevic, Basic,
19 Radovanovic were liquidated?
20 JUDGE MAY: First of all, 30 vehicles, 15 tanks. Do you know if
21 that's right or not?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you now the exact
23 figure, how many tanks or how many vehicles were used, nor can I know
24 these families by name, the families that were liquidated. But I know
25 that it was a combat group of some force which had military combat
1 vehicles, and I know about the crime committed against local Serbs -
2 bodies were later thrown into the Sava River - but I don't have the
3 details quoted by the accused.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Okay. We can move on now. Considering that the Croatian
6 leadership and Izetbegovic both wanted war on Kosovo, is it true that the
7 security service of the army much earlier discovered first illegal groups
8 in Kosovo within the JNA?
9 A. That's correct. The first group, the first such group in the JNA
10 was discovered in the beginning of 1991 -- 1981.
11 Q. Back in 1981?
12 A. Before the demonstrations in Kosovo on the 11th of March, the
13 first such group was exposed in the JNA with about 20 members, and it had
14 its basis in the garrison of Sarajevo.
15 Q. Is it true that your service in 1994 exposed the military
16 organisation of Albanian emigres around the world with national centres?
17 A. Yes. In July 1984, a unification of all illegal organisations in
18 Kosovo was discovered. That was carried out on the 17th of February,
19 1982. And the name of this new unified organisation was the Movement for
20 the Albanian Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia or, in an abbreviation,
22 Q. Is it true that your service in 1990 exposed illegal importation
23 of arms into Kosovo?
24 A. I talked about the import of pistols through the Kintex company
25 for Kosovo.
1 Q. Is it true, General, that in 1990 and 1991, neither generals nor
2 officers of the JNA were involved in politics but engaged in their
3 professional duties, expecting the Presidency of the SFRY and political
4 factors to find political solutions?
5 A. For all I know, that's true.
6 Q. You know the name of Candic who was a security organ in your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I want to ask you not in relation to his statement, because that's
10 not your job, but in relation to only one part of his statement where he
11 quoted you, presumably. He said here that at a meeting of security
12 organs, you spoke angrily about the fact that Milosevic is conducting
13 activities geared at getting generals to sign an oath of loyalty to him.
14 Is it true that you said that Milosevic was asking generals of the JNA to
15 sign an oath of loyalty to him?
16 A. No. That's not true.
17 Q. Then I can skip a number of questions. When you speak about the
18 officers who were in the army of Republika Srpska or the army of the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina or in general about the events which you can
20 competently speak about, is it true that it is precisely your security
21 administration availed itself of the opportunity whenever a former member
22 of the JNA went to visit his family from the Republic of Serbian Krajina
23 or Republika Srpska, to invite him for an informal meeting to find out
24 about the situation, gather information, and so on and so forth? Since
25 they had no formal competencies over such officers, they used various
1 informal occasions to contact with them and gather information from such
2 conversations or interviews; is that correct?
3 A. I was not in the army of Yugoslavia then, but from what I know,
4 they were not even invited to visit their former superiors for such
5 interviews. I know, however, that they came of their own accord, possibly
6 because they wanted to find out whether a place would be available for
7 them again in the Yugoslav army.
8 Q. Is it true that General Mladic, as a high-ranking officer of the
9 JNA who was originally from Bosnia, was appointed to the Chief of General
10 Staff of the Republika Srpska by the leadership of Republika Srpska?
11 A. I don't know who appointed him.
12 Q. I want to ask you about one more thing that Candic said. You
13 should know about it. He spoke about a reservist of the JNA by the name
14 of Goran Nikolic. He said that he had liquidated four soldiers, after
15 which, according to Candic, he was only formally arrested and then
16 released. Since this seemed very unlikely to me, I wanted to ask you when
17 you come to testify, is it possible for a soldier to liquidate another
18 soldier in the JNA and then be formally arrested before being released
19 altogether? Do you know anything at all about this event?
20 A. I know about one case. Goran Nikolic -- I don't know about Goran
21 Nikolic liquidating four soldiers. I know that he liquidated four
22 prisoners from the National Guards Corps.
23 Q. The ZNG.
24 A. Yes. But after that, he was taken into custody, interrogated, and
25 a criminal report was filed against him and he was turned over to the
1 military prosecutor. He spent time in the military prison until the end
2 of the state of immediate threat of war, when he was turned over to the
3 civilian prosecution organs, and I think he was later convicted and
4 sentenced. I don't know what sentence was meted out, exactly.
5 Q. So that was the point of my question. If somebody committed a
6 crime and then he is arrested and released, the person who released him is
7 an accessory to the crime.
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. He was arrested, he spent time in the military prison, turned over
10 to civilian authorities, and convicted.
11 A. Yes, I know about that. I don't know about what happened later
12 because I was pensioned off.
13 Q. Do you know anything about the Candic's claim that members of the
14 JNA killed an Albanian in the village of Ljubace and, according to
15 information that was made available to me, it was true that this commander
16 of the platoon of the military police was killed at a barricade put up by
17 Muslim extremists, and he intervened then in relation to the disarmament
18 of JNA soldiers who were transporting food. Do you know anything about
20 A. I know even the details. It is true what you said. First
21 soldiers were disarmed and the food they were transporting was taken away,
22 and then the commander of the platoon of the military police intervened,
23 this lieutenant who was an Albanian. He was killed at this barricade.
24 Q. By whom?
25 A. I don't know the names of these people from the Patriotic People's
1 League who kept the barricade.
2 Q. So he was killed by the Muslims.
3 A. Yes. Captain Karavelic Vahid was their superior. After that,
4 Karavelic was arrested along with another three officers from the
5 headquarters which was then based in Zivinice.
6 Q. Very well. So we've cleared that up as well. Now, tell me,
7 please, is it true that in the JNA there was never any decision taken to
8 form the army of Republika Srpska or, as they called it, the army of
9 Bosnian Serbs at any level within the JNA? No one ever planned to form an
10 army of Republika Srpska, that was something that the authorities of
11 Republika Srpska did. So my question is: Did anyone in the JNA make any
12 decision on the founding of the army of Republika Srpska?
13 A. I do not know that anyone in the JNA undertook anything in that
14 direction. I even know of a conversation recounted by General Adzic upon
15 his return from Skopje at Sarajevo airport. I think the conversation was
16 with Karadzic and Koljevic who inquired about the agreement reached the
17 previous day in Skopje - that is, on the 26th - and that at the time,
18 according to General Adzic's interpretation, they were happy to learn that
19 they would get a state of their own and that the JNA would become their
20 army. And this was referred to, ironically, by General Blagoje Adzic. So
21 I'm saying not only did the JNA not participate in it but it even
22 considered it quite impossible.
23 Q. Very well. General, you mentioned a meeting in my offices in
24 March 1992. I personally do not have as good a memory as you, but as far
25 as I can remember, Zoran Janackovic, that you mentioned, asked me to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 receive you because you had information that you wished to pass on to me.
2 Is that right?
3 A. I can't say who suggested it. I described how I came to see you.
4 So I was told by Zoran Janackovic. I said literally what he said. "The
5 boss wants to see you." What preceded that, I don't know.
6 Q. What preceded it was that he explained to me that you had some
7 information that you wanted to convey to me. Is it true that I didn't ask
8 you anything? I said, "I'm listening to you, please go ahead, General.
9 Tell me what you have to say."
10 A. First of all, Zoran Janackovic in those days was not head of the
11 state security service.
12 Q. I'm not saying that. He was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
13 A. I was going to say that I couldn't -- I didn't communicate with
14 him in those days, nor could I let him know that I had certain
15 information. I described how the conversation went, and it is true that
16 at the time you said you had nothing to ask me because my report was
18 Q. So I was listening to what you had to say; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it true that you spoke to me about the influence of the foreign
21 factor and about future demonstrations that were due to be held in March
22 that had been planned for the 9th of March, 1992? And is it true that the
23 foreign factor was behind the first and the subsequent demonstrations,
24 according to the information that you had?
25 A. I cannot recall clearly all the things I briefed you about, but it
1 is certain that I spoke about the activities of the foreign factor, and it
2 is quite certain that most of my presentation was devoted to what we had
3 learnt through the military service as to how the demonstrations would
4 develop. Because you know well that both I and General Blagoje Adzic had
5 contacts in February with Vuk Draskovic precisely in order to caution him
6 not to provoke a civil war in the streets in Belgrade through destructive
8 Q. Very well. Let's leave aside for a moment the information you
9 provided me with on that occasion. My question is: Do you know that the
10 foreign factor was behind those demonstrations of the 9th of March as well
11 as those of 1991 and 1992?
12 A. You see, all the leading opposition figures had numerous contacts
13 with various foreign representatives. I cannot now give you a precise
14 judgement and say that such-and-such a service had given them orders to
15 organise the demonstrations, but it is without any doubt that they were in
16 contact with various foreign representatives, diplomatic representatives
17 and others.
18 Q. Let's not insist further, as you obviously don't wish to go into
19 any details about that, but did I ask you for any kind of information
20 about generals or any specific information about the army? Did I ask you
21 to inform me further about any details regarding the army?
22 A. No. You didn't make any specific inquiries about the subjects you
23 have just listed. You just said that you were aware that I was preparing
24 information in the administration and that you would like to see them,
25 that is, reports.
1 Q. As far as I remember, you said that you assumed that I was
2 receiving reports coming from your service and that I said that I was not
3 receiving any reports from your service and that probably there must be
4 some kind of a -- I don't know how to put it. Some kind of filter that is
5 preventing those information -- that information from reaching me. Is
6 that right or not?
7 A. No, it's not right. I answered that I was filing reports to the
8 MUP of Serbia, to the MUP of Montenegro, and the federal MUP on a daily
9 basis, and you said that you were receiving some of that but that you were
10 not sure whether some things were concealed from you from time to time,
11 and that is why you would like me to supply you with those reports.
12 I said that if you don't receive the report on the 1st of May, on
13 a state holiday, it means they had been removed and concealed from you,
14 because we were preparing those reports on a daily basis and forwarding
15 them on a daily basis.
16 Q. Were you ever present when I called in any general for a
17 conversation? Do you know that I called any general to talk to me from
18 the JNA or the army of Yugoslavia?
19 A. I don't know about that. I do know what General Adzic told me
20 when I reported to him that I was going to have a talk with you.
21 Q. And what did General Adzic say?
22 A. He said, and I quote, "Thank you for telling me that, but I do
23 know that Slobodan is calling them in, and I'm sure that you will be the
24 first and the last to inform me about it."
25 Q. So no one had told him that, because he assumed that I was calling
1 people in.
2 A. No, he said he didn't assume, he said he knew.
3 Q. Very well. Let's clear up this matter with Bozidar Stevanovic.
4 A. That part was in private session.
5 Q. Very well. Shall I leave it out or --
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session.
7 [Private session]
13 Pages 16266-16270 – redacted – private session
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, let's go back to Kosovo now but not from the point of
9 view of the questions we dealt with straight away but from a general point
10 of view, rather.
11 Is it correct that in Kosovo we had terrorism, not only terrorism
12 of the KLA but many other terrorist organisations, and that in 1999, that
13 is to say at the time when you were reactivated, the army in Kosovo was
14 faced with well-organised terrorist units? Of course not only them, but
15 they also had to face the NATO aggression that was taking place
17 A. I had information from contacts with some persons who were
18 familiar with the situation in Kosovo. As far as back as 1997,
19 objectively speaking, a paramilitary had been established there
20 practically throughout the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and that these
21 were strong and well-armed forces. I also knew of some officers who had
22 previously been in the JNA, and who had been tried for organised hostile
23 activities, to have been heading this paramilitary organisation. That is
24 what I know. I also know that there were other groups, armed groups,
25 smaller groups at the time when I was reactivated and that the blocking
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and the removal of these groups was primarily under the MUP of Serbia. At
2 the time I went to Kosovo, that's the way it was.
3 And I know there was a dispute -- well, not a dispute, but at this
4 meeting on the 17th of May at your office, you mentioned the spokesperson
5 of the army of Yugoslavia. You said that unconsciously, unnecessarily he
6 made statements to the public that all groups in Kosovo were more or less
8 Q. Which was not correct.
9 A. Yes. That was not correct. And secondly, that that could have a
10 detrimental effect, because it could mean that now the army could withdraw
11 and NATO could enter Kosovo because there were no such groups and,
12 therefore, what was the army doing in Kosovo? So I'm just confirming in
13 broad terms what you said just now.
14 Q. All right. In view of the fact that until 1992 you were
15 uninterruptedly in active service and for a while you were head of the
16 security administration, do you know, according to the information that
17 you had in general regarding the situation in Kosovo, how many citizens of
18 Serb ethnicity during those two decades - let's take these two decades
19 while you were in very active military service - how many had to leave
20 Kosovo because of the pressure that was brought to bear upon them by
21 Albanian extremists?
22 A. I do not have the exact figures. I don't even have tentative
23 figures as to how many Serbs had left Kosovo. But in that period from
24 1981 when we had to follow the activity of the extreme forces in Kosovo,
25 as it were, there were many examples of pressures of different kinds;
1 rapes, beatings, of Serbs, that is, pressures to have them sell their land
2 and that they move out. So it is evident that part of the extremists in
3 Kosovo did bear -- did exert such pressure.
4 Therefore, in that period it was not even simple to get permission
5 to move out from Kosovo from the authorities. The Serbs wanted to leave
6 Kosovo in big waves, but before they would leave, they would have to get
7 permission from the local authorities stating that they really had a
8 reason to leave, because there was this danger that Kosovo would become
9 ethnically pure.
10 I don't have the actual figures.
11 Q. This period that you're talking about from 1980 to 1990, say from
12 1980 until 1992, while you were still in active military service, was
13 there any pressure exerted by the Serbs against the Albanians, or was this
14 only one-way pressure of the Albanian extremists against the Serbs for the
15 Serbs to move out?
16 A. Well, a minority could not exert that kind of pressure. But among
17 the Serbs, there was a smaller extremist group. You know about it. You
18 know who these people are.
19 Q. Who? Who are you referring to? I don't know.
20 A. For example, Kecmanovic, Bulatovic, and others from Kosovo Polje.
21 Q. Did they kill someone?
22 A. Let me just say what I'm saying. I did not say that they killed
23 anybody, and that's not the question.
24 They were actually heating up things, they were trying to make
25 people resist this. I'm not denying that there were problems, but in the
1 Serb establishment there was also this extremist part that had some very
2 radical extremist views.
3 Q. Wait a minute. For example, Bulatovic's positions, why would they
4 be extremist if we stated just a minute ago that the Serbs were victims of
5 pressure? Extremist positions are protests against such pressures, and
6 that this protest is exclusively verbal. It did not resort to violence at
7 all. Is that right or is that not right?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did they carry out any kind of violence?
10 A. They could not apply any violence. But you remember the
11 transports and the trains that were organised from Kosovo that came to
12 Belgrade in order to exert pressure.
13 Q. For them to protect themselves.
14 A. Well, to redefine the position of Serbs in Kosovo and the
15 relations there.
16 Q. So there was this manipulation that was carried out. People were
17 manipulated and solutions were sought in Belgrade.
18 A. Now, if we were to go 12 years back, the Serbs would probably wish
19 for the situation that existed in 1990 rather than the situation that they
20 have now.
21 Q. Well, you know who broke up Yugoslavia and who occupied Kosovo.
22 A. I don't know which Yugoslavia you're referring to. There are
23 several Yugoslavias.
24 Q. Well, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and also --
25 JUDGE MAY: We're now moving into general argument. Have you got
1 any other questions about the activities of the Serbs in Kosovo? That was
2 the topic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I am trying to link certain
4 things up.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Is it correct that after Kosovo, most of the Serbs, before the
7 conflicts broke out in the former SFRY, precisely due to various
8 pressures, were leaving the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Before this
9 broke out.
10 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 Q. Also the territory of Croatia. Do you know, before the conflicts
12 broke out, how many Serb refugees were coming in from Croatia, coming to
13 Serbia, for example? Did you have any information about that?
14 A. These are different time periods. I know about the number of the
15 members of the JNA who with their families had left the territory of
16 Slovenia and Croatia. That was about 18.500 people, and about 5.000
17 families. The fact remains that wherever there were crises or wherever a
18 war broke out, the population migrated accordingly. Not only Serbs.
19 Muslims and Croats were also fleeing from Bosnia-Herzegovina, those who
20 didn't want to take part in these events.
21 This migration, if I can call it that, was particularly
22 characteristic starting February, March 1992, after the first roadblocks
23 were set up in Sarajevo, after the killing of Garudasevic at the Serb
24 wedding there.
25 Q. What happened? Was this the first killing?
1 A. That is usually considered to be the first killing. However,
2 before that, we already mentioned that officers had been killed, junior
3 officers, non-commissioned officers of the JNA. Ceh Vojko was killed near
4 Listica as far back as August 1991. And then Mihajlovic, another NCO, was
5 killed in the village of Sapna between Tuzla and Zvornik. However, they
6 are not considered to be casualties, victims. It is always Garudasevic
7 who is referred to as the first victim.
8 Q. The civilian victim, the first civilian victim.
9 A. No, it's not put that way. It's always said that the first Serb
10 who was killed was Garudasevic, whereas Sergeant Mihajlovic was also a
11 Serb. So these killings started from the month of August from the area of
12 Western Herzegovina, and then this other case in Tuzla, and then a
13 lieutenant, an Albanian, was killed also in the area near Tuzla by the
14 warehouse of Ljubace between Tuzla and Zivinice, so there were military
15 personnel who were victims before that. But the killing of Garudasevic
16 caused the blocking of Sarajevo that was organised by the SDS. But other
17 parties straight away as well, that is to say the SDA and the HDZ, there
18 were 19 roadblocks on the 1st of March. 12 roadblocks were held by the
19 Serbs, four were held by Muslims, and three were held by Croats. That is
20 when the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the JNA, in a joint action, removed
21 these roadblocks, and then Sarajevo calmed down on that 1st of March.
22 Q. All right. General, can it be said that over these many years
23 there was an explosion of Islamic fundamentalism that had primarily turned
24 itself against the Serbs?
25 A. Well, you know what? These are global assessments, and I prefer
1 dealing with facts. I would rather talk about the spectre of ethnic
2 passions that was fanned in all environments. And instead of being
3 stopped by an organised political action of all the factors that were in a
4 position to do so, objectively speaking, this was fanned. And it was
5 always the other ethnic group that was blamed for something that had been
6 done, whereas one's own people were, in the interpretation of those
7 leaders, victims.
8 The so-called travelling circus, the meetings of the Presidency of
9 Yugoslavia that were having meetings all over the place, saying that they
10 were trying to save Yugoslavia, unfortunately, this proved to be an
11 exercise in futility.
12 Q. Do you know that this confrontation and this instigation of
13 Islamic fundamentalism, this reinstatement of ideas from the Second World
14 War, that this was part of --
15 JUDGE MAY: No. You have not been paying attention to his answer.
16 His answer was quite plain, that did he not wish to deal with matters in
17 this way. So to try and put words in his mouth is not a proper way of
19 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Before I move on with my questions from where I stopped, since we
25 said that the general would read this document which is called "Outline
1 for the presentation of the head of the security administration at the
2 General Staff on the 5th of August, 1991," did you manage to read it?
3 A. Yes, I did. Yes.
4 Q. Just give me a brief answer: Is there anything that you're
5 contesting in this outline or not?
6 A. First of all, what is being contested is that it is not a
7 presentation of the General Staff, as it says here, at the General Staff
8 -- or, rather, the staff of the Supreme Command. This is the first thing
9 that is incorrect.
10 This is the monthly report at -- presentation at the staff, and
11 this is rarely attended by the chief of the security administration. One
12 of the heads of divisions within the security administration goes there,
13 either the first or the second. This is done by one of the officials, the
14 clerks there, and it was prepared for one of his superiors. And this is
15 rather partial preparation. I'm sure that that chief did not present
16 things this way. So there are controversial parts. There are statements
17 that should not be made by any means. For example, on page 3. The
18 announcement of the European peacekeepers who had come to Yugoslavia
19 without any opposition of the federal authorities, even the federal
20 Secretary for National Defence. Then it says in parentheses, "In his
21 interviews, the Federal Secretary for National Defence several times
22 pointed out that any crossing of the Yugoslav border of foreign troops in
23 any capacity," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
24 So absolutely this is in contrast to the actual relations existing
25 in the General Staff and the authority that General Kadijevic had. No
1 officer could present this kind of assessment, criticise his Federal
3 I'm not saying that this is not an authentic paper. I am not
4 saying that this was rigged or anything, but at any rate, this is a clerk
5 who saw things this way and who thought that his chief was supposed to
6 make this kind of presentation.
7 So what is correct, in my opinion, what are the assessments that
8 are correct? That's on page 3, the situation in Croatia. That's what it
10 Q. Well, that's what I quoted to you.
11 A. Yes. These assessments are correct.
12 Then on page 4, what is absolutely unacceptable is this
13 assessment, that somebody, anybody of responsibility from the
14 administration to have said this. Now I'm quoting: "In this way, the
15 leadership of Croatia is forging its ranks, and at the same time, they are
16 importing high-quality weapons, and they are not going to hesitate to
17 attack all JNA facilities, including the building of the Federal
18 Secretariat of National Defence." I cannot say anything else but that I
19 find this kind of assessment ridiculous, because first of all at that time
20 in that period there were no arms imports. Channels were severed for the
21 most part, and they certainly could not have any weapons in Zagreb that
22 could target Belgrade.
23 There is another thing that is correct, though, in the next
24 paragraph, that there are Howitzers, 122 millimetres and 152 millimetres,
25 but it is also correct that they were working on the procurement of
1 anti-armour missiles and anti-aircraft missiles. These were Stingers and
2 other missiles.
3 Another thing is correct -- I mean, the entire following paragraph
4 is correct.
5 Not to go into all the details, but on page 5, the penultimate
6 paragraph which refers to paramilitary organisation in Kosovo and
7 Metohija, that it was completed, that in this province there is about
8 400.000 military conscripts who are not deployed, et cetera, et cetera,
9 and that they are working on anti-tank barriers. I can't remember that.
10 And now as for the substance of page 6, that is correct,
11 especially the third part pertaining to the situation in the JNA. I think
12 that that is right.
13 So, Your Honours, this is some kind of a working version of a
14 working paper compiled by one of the clerks at the security administration
15 for speaking at the operative centre of the General Staff but not speaking
16 to the Federal Secretary or the actual General Staff. So I'm sure that I
17 did not attend that presentation, because as chief of the security
18 administration, I very rarely went to the operative centre of the General
19 Staff for presenting a report there because I was subordinated to the
20 Federal Secretary himself.
21 Q. All right. I believe that this is sufficient, but it is not in
22 dispute that what I quoted to you, that is to say attacks against JNA
23 units by the MUP and the ZNG, that this is something that was ongoing and
24 that this is a material truth that you can confirm regardless of whether
25 this was your very own presentation or the presentation of one of your
1 subordinate officers.
2 A. In the military terminology, in the security administration, we
3 did not use terms like foul attacks. This was a service -- this was an
4 army of Yugoslavia, and every attack against us was foul. It is an
5 adjective that was not customary in the terminology of the security
6 administration. It is enough to say attacks on the JNA, whether they were
7 foul or not.
8 Q. You said yourself every attack is foul.
9 A. Yes, when we are talking about a legitimate force.
10 Q. Let us go back to where we left off. We were talking about this
11 activity in Bosnia, in Kosovo, aimed at breaking up Yugoslavia, about
12 terrorism, about the year 1999 and the existence of the terrorist
13 organisation, conflicts with the army, the police, et cetera. Is it true
14 then, according to your own assessment and from what the events -- from
15 the events and the information at your disposal, that attacks by NATO in
16 Kosovo were in open support to Albanian terrorists in their struggle
17 against Yugoslavia and the legal authorities in Yugoslavia, in Serbia?
18 A. Again this is a global assessment. Whether this was a form of
19 support, it is certain that these forces used it as a form of support to
20 them. But whether this entire aggression was aimed at supporting them or
21 at stopping the conflict in Kosovo, I don't know.
22 Q. Before the aggression of NATO in Kosovo, was there any large
23 movement of population from Kosovo?
24 A. I suppose not, but I'm not sure. I don't know.
25 Q. Tell me, is it true that in certain media and in certain public
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 statements monstrous crimes were mentioned allegedly committed by the army
2 of Yugoslavia in Kosovo and that it was precisely your service which
3 verified the authenticity of such reports and the measure in which they
4 were true? Was that accurate or was this sensationalism?
5 A. I can speak about only one case involving a journalist from
6 Kraljevo who gave foreign media an article talking about heinous crimes
7 allegedly committed by members of the army of Yugoslavia such as a case
8 when fire was opened from an anti-aircraft machine-gun into the head of a
9 child at a distance of only a couple of metres. All these allegations
10 were checked, and during the investigation, the process of verification,
11 he was not able to quote a single piece of information which would confirm
12 that something like that actually happened. It turned out that he had
13 heard about this in various cafes and taverns from former reservists who
14 recounted these events.
15 Our own attempts to verify it on the ground failed to confirm the
16 writings of this journalist on any point, and he was tried in Nis for
17 spreading false rumours.
18 So this is one case I know about. We verified it and nothing
19 turned out to be true. And he justified himself, saying that he was duped
20 by stories, and he couldn't even name the persons he heard it from.
21 Q. Okay, General. Before you gave your statement to the
22 investigators, is it true that you were called several times by Natasa
23 Kandic at your home from the so-called front for humanitarian -- human
25 A. It was not several times that she called me. I think it was only
1 once or twice at most. I gave an interview to her on Studio B television
2 where we -- where we marked the anniversary of sufferings in Srebrenica.
3 And she was trying to find out what had happened in Kosovo according to my
4 knowledge. I refused, and I said that there are organs to which I would
5 tell what I know, and I meant precisely this Tribunal. I refused to talk
6 to her, and she did not pester me any further, nor did she call again.
7 Q. So is this the person who placed in Yugoslav and foreign media the
8 information about the so-called Horseshoe action against Albanians?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Did you hear about this story about the Horseshoe Operation which
11 was meant to expel Albanians from Kosovo?
12 A. I was asked whether I knew about this term, and I said I didn't.
13 Q. Do you know anything at all that would point to the existence of a
14 plan at any level at all in the line of command aimed at expelling
15 Albanians from Kosovo?
16 A. From the period when I was actively serving, I don't know of any
17 such plan, but it is a fact that many people left the area. And I believe
18 that in the first part of my testimony, I recounted exactly what I knew
19 about how this area of Kosovo looked like. Apart from large urban areas,
20 everything was completely empty. Under what conditions people had left, I
21 don't know. I assume that a certain part of them left fleeing the war,
22 but based on the examples I quoted regarding certain places, it is obvious
23 that some people left as a consequence of the conduct of certain groups in
24 this area.
25 Q. Can you name at least one unit or a single commander in the army
1 who acted in such a way or issued any orders to that effect, meaning that
2 Albanians should be expelled?
3 A. I don't know of any such thing, but if I knew, I would certainly
4 be tried, I would be brought to justice.
5 Q. So you would be tried. During the NATO aggression in 1999, you
6 occupied one of the highest posts in this security administration, the
7 military security administration. Is my assumption true that you did not
8 receive daily reports from every army, considering the fact that
9 communications were often interrupted and there were delays in receipt of
11 A. It is true that we did not receive daily reports from every
12 subordinate group, but we did reports every day. Not from every group,
14 Q. Was it possible then that even the Chief of Staff of the Supreme
15 Command did not have a daily inflow of information about developments in
16 Kosovo for that day, because Kosovo was the area in the greatest danger at
17 the time?
18 A. The Chief of Staff of the general -- of the Supreme Command could
19 not have data on all developments and all details in Kosovo, because his
20 post was too high. But he did get an operative report every day, because
21 through electronic communications, subordinate commands made available to
22 the operations centre their daily reports summarising the situation on the
23 battlefield for that day, and every Chief of Staff had the daily report of
24 the operation centre. So it's only a question of volume and contents of
25 that report.
1 Q. All right. You talked here about the Joint Command in Kosovo
2 during 1999. Is it true that these meetings represented exclusively a
3 coordination of the work of the competent state authorities and nothing
4 that was supposed to be a command jeopardising the regular chain of
5 command in the army and the Ministry of the Interior?
6 A. I attended only one such meeting, let me say. It was a relatively
7 short meeting, and I described it. I also told you about the opinion of
8 the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command on who was getting more
9 information, the Joint Command or he. I don't want to say any more unless
10 we go into private session.
11 Q. This is not a matter for private session. Kosovo was then under
12 heavy bombing. As you know, 40 per cent of all bombing was concentrated
13 only on the territory of Kosovo, which represents 10 per cent of the
14 territory of Serbia. Is that correct?
15 A. I don't know about that figure.
16 Q. Is it in dispute that the problems that existed in Kosovo had
17 certainly their military aspect and their security aspect and a political
18 aspect as well and an internal political aspect, a foreign political
19 aspect, a social and economic aspect, as well as major problems in terms
20 of supply, health care? It was a large, complex problem which cannot boil
21 down to the question of military units. It was something that encompassed
22 the entire population of Kosovo and Metohija who lived under conditions of
23 constant bombing and actions by terrorist groups; is that correct?
24 A. Every war imposes numerous problems for the territory concerned.
25 Not only the war in Kosovo, but every other war in every other territory.
1 So basically it is true that war triggers a number of problems.
2 Q. What could be more logical than this? Since large problems are
3 concentrated in Kosovo, somebody from the federal government should be
4 seconded to serve there, such as Nikola Sainovic from the federal
5 government, somebody from the republican government, Zoran Andjelkovic who
6 was also Deputy Prime Minister, and they, in communication with all
7 political, military, police, and other factors, gather information about
8 the complexity of problems and together with others take part in the
9 coordination of these activities which are aimed at facilitating life for
10 the population, and on the other hand, they should enable an efficient
11 defence from both aggressors and terrorists. Is that correct?
12 A. I don't think it is, for this reason: If it was only a question
13 of gathering information for state structures about the situation in this
14 territory from the angle of the military and political situation, this
15 could be achieved through papers and reports.
16 Second, this meeting which I attended, it was not a discussion of
17 the situation in this territory from this aspect that you are talking
18 about. This meeting heard a report on military activities taking part
19 there, the activities of the MUP for the previous day, and it was a
20 planning of activities for the following day. This group made up a
21 command, and it was not disputable that somebody should handle the
22 coordination between the forces of the army of Yugoslavia and the forces
23 of the MUP, because in the previous period, according to the concept of
24 All People's Defence, we had so-called committees for All People's Defence
25 and social self-protection. They had a similar heterogenous composition
1 and we also had state authorities that coordinated these activities.
2 However, this was something else. This was a dislocated command
3 post, because all these things could have been resolved at the level of
4 the General Staff.
5 Q. Didn't the General Staff deal with things that related to the line
6 of command in the army and the MUP? Are you saying that the unified line
7 of command and the unified single command was somehow cut off, severed by
8 the activity of this body in Kosovo?
9 A. It would be simpler to say that the commander of the 3rd Army was
10 in a sandwich of sorts in command terms, that is, between the General
11 Staff to which it was subordinated and the Joint Command to which it was
12 reporting. Therefore, from the documents which I was shown here, indicate
13 that this body was giving advice to its superior, saying that they should
14 change their orders regulating the method of views of the body in order to
15 change the decision made in the Joint Command. So it was an unnatural
16 development in the line of command.
17 Q. Why it was -- why was it unnatural for somebody who was on the
18 ground, closer to the problems, to advise their superiors, saying that
19 they should change something in their decisions because it was more
20 appropriate to the situation on the ground? Wasn't it usual for the
21 subordinate to have some initiative while nevertheless executing orders of
22 the superior?
23 A. Even according to the procedure, the subordinate body had to
24 suggest his opinion to the superior. However, when the orders arrived,
25 and the orders did arrive from the General Staff, then it is no longer
1 subject to discussion or suggestions.
2 Q. What if circumstances change and the subordinate thinks that it is
3 appropriate to suggest a change or an adjustment to the situation on the
4 ground? What if that happens?
5 A. The problem is that the circumstances were changed by the Joint
7 Q. It can't be that the Joint Command changed the circumstances. It
8 is the situation on the ground that changes circumstances. And what is
9 the problem with Pavkovic saying something to the Chief of the General
11 A. We would have to analyse the problem further. But we don't even
12 have this original document based on which Pavkovic was saying that the
13 previous decision should be amended.
14 Q. What are we talking about then?
15 A. We are talking about this: The commander of the 3rd Army was
16 between two commands, and when we are discussing this, we should ask the
17 question why at a meeting of this Joint Command he didn't intervene, in
18 view of the failure to execute orders on resubordination of forces in
19 Kosovo? Because that is the place where this issue should have been
21 Q. Why should he have intervened if resubordination was carried out,
22 in fact? Let us clear up one thing. Are we clear about this: The order
23 was for MUP units in the area of combat operations during combat
24 operations should be resubordinated to commands of the army, and that is
25 normal practice. So while combat operations are under way in the area of
1 responsibility of a certain military unit, MUP in units this territory are
2 subordinated to the command of that military unit, regardless of whether
3 it is a brigade, a corps, or any other unit. For the duration of combat
4 operations, they are subordinated. They are not subordinated as the
5 Ministry of the Interior in the part of their activity which concerns the
6 issuing of passports, the regulation of traffic, et cetera. They are only
7 resubordinated in the area of responsibility of the military command
8 responsible for these combat operations. Is that correct?
9 A. No, it isn't.
10 Q. Are you saying that MUP units in Kosovo in the area of combat
11 operations at the level of brigades or corps were resubordinated to the
12 military command?
13 A. Yes, that is what it says in the intervention by General Pavkovic,
14 but it seems to me that this dates back to the end of May 1999 when he
15 describes that particular situation to the Chief of Staff and complains to
16 him that the resubordination has not been done because from the MUP of
17 Serbia, such an order did not reach subordinate units, and that is why
18 General Ojdanic intervened with you and complained of this situation. And
19 according to what he told me, you answered that that order had not been
20 issued because of the problems in cooperation between the MUP and the army
21 in Kosovo but, rather, because of the problems with the MUP in Montenegro.
22 Q. So you're claiming that the MUP and the army did not collaborate
23 adequately pursuant to my order or, rather, the order of the Supreme
24 Command, for MUP units to be resubordinated during combat operations to
25 the commands of the army of Yugoslavia.
1 A. I have said clearly what is stated in General Pavkovic's
2 intervention with General Ojdanic.
3 Q. Very well. We'll discuss that. General Ojdanic is here. At
4 least he is accessible. I do not know he had a problem of that kind. On
5 the contrary, I thought that they were cooperating quite well on the
6 ground, that he personally didn't have that problem.
7 A. The cooperation was not good, because you yourself said that we
8 had to get together and resolve these problems.
9 Q. Yes, after you had blamed one another for the problems, I said
10 that you have to deal with those problems and that that kind of
11 relationship was equal to sabotage and that all of have you to work in the
12 interests of the state, that that was your duty, rather than to clash
13 amongst yourselves. That was quite true.
14 So there is no dispute over that.
15 A. But -- you said that correctly.
16 Q. Please let me ask you further --
17 A. Allow me to answer your question. Up until the 9th of June --
18 July, sorry, it was not possible to convene a meeting with the state
19 security services. So from the 17th of May until the 19th of July, the
20 chief of the state security service was not accessible to the chief of the
21 security administration of the army of Yugoslavia, and it was only after
22 General Ojdanic's intervention that the meeting took place on the 9th of
23 July. So problems did exist.
24 Q. Did I order then at that meeting that if there should be any
25 problems I should be informed about them?
1 A. I don't know whether anyone informed you.
2 Q. And the meeting was held upon the intervention of General Ojdanic?
3 A. Yes, on the 9th of July.
4 Q. So when he intervened, the meeting took place. He didn't have to
5 come to me for the meeting to be held.
6 A. The Chief of General Staff had to intervene, but his -- that is
7 not his level.
8 Q. I agree, but the meeting was held upon his intervention.
9 Please tell me, could General Pavkovic, as commander of the 3rd
10 Army, regardless of the fact that you will not acknowledge that this was
11 some kind of coordination, could he have acted in any sense outside the
12 orders of the Supreme Staff? Could he have taken any decision? Let us,
13 for instance, say that he's attending this coordination meeting that you
14 call the Joint Command. Could he have taken any decision outside the
15 frameworks of the orders he received from the Supreme Command, and did he
16 make any decision outside the directives of the Supreme Command Staff
17 under the influence of this Joint Command and this same Sainovic that you
18 claim issued orders?
19 A. I don't know about that. I didn't participate, so I cannot give
20 you an answer.
21 Q. So you don't know whether he took any decision that would be in
22 contrast with the uninterrupted chain of command from the Supreme Command
24 A. I don't know. I didn't follow the work of the command.
25 Q. But did you know that Sainovic was vice-president of the federal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And that he had been tasked by the Federal Government to be
4 present at Kosovo? Is it logical for the vice-president of the Federal
5 Government to meet with the commander of the 3rd -- with a commander of
6 the corps, the commander of the police, the president of the provisional
7 Executive Council, with other political figures? Don't you find that
8 logical and normal?
9 A. Yes, that's logical.
10 Q. Do you know that same provisional Executive Council of Kosovo and
11 Metohija was composed of Serbs, Albanians, Romanies, Turks, Muslims,
12 Egyptians, that is, representatives of all ethnicities, and that the Serbs
13 were in the minority in that same Executive Council or government? They
14 addressed all problems, ranging from social problems, problems, questions
15 of refugees, electricity supply, medical problems --
16 JUDGE MAY: You're running on. Quite impossible for the witness
17 to answer.
18 The first question was about the provisional Executive Council and
19 its composition. Do you know about the composition of the Executive
20 Council, General?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not aware of the composition in
22 concrete terms, but I knew that it was multi-ethnic.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So it was multi-ethnic.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You said that Sainovic had certain competencies. You attended
2 that meeting. Was it up to him to approve or order or do anything at that
3 meeting? You yourself said that the atmosphere was informal and that
4 everyone presented his views of their area of responsibility and made
5 their suggestions, each one within their competencies. Pavkovic within
6 the framework of his orders from the Supreme Command, Lukic from the
7 Ministry of the Interior, Sainovic from the federal government,
8 Andjelkovic as president of the provisional Executive Council and member
9 of the republican government. So each one within the framework of his
10 competencies. Was that clear to you or not? You said yourself it was an
11 informal meeting, Sainovic was not issuing any orders. And could Sainovic
12 issue any order to Pavkovic?
13 A. Again there are many questions in that one question. First, I
14 said and it is a fact that Mr. Sainovic was respected on the basis of the
15 post he had as vice-president of the federal government or as the person
16 sent by you to Kosovo, and without any doubt he had the authority of the
17 most senior person at that meeting.
18 Q. Wasn't he the most senior?
19 A. Yes, that's what I'm saying.
20 Q. Well, surely the federal Prime Minister is the most senior person.
21 A. Yes. Allow me to answer. Secondly, his word was the last. He
22 agreed that MUP forces be used next day regarding remaining terrorist
23 groups in the area of Drenica. So he said that briefly. Nobody stood at
24 attention to receive that as an order, but his word was the last.
25 And also, you yourself have already said that the MUP in Kosovo
1 was not subordinated to the army of Yugoslavia, to the command of the 3rd
2 Army, because you said that surely the MUP receives orders, the MUP forces
3 in Kosovo receive orders from the republican MUP in Belgrade, just as the
4 commander of the 3rd Army receives orders from the General Staff in
6 Q. General, let's be fair. Are you making a distinction between the
7 normal chain of command established by law and the fact that also in
8 conformity with the law there is an order of the Supreme Command with my
9 approval or, rather, at my request in which it is stated that units of the
10 MUP in the area of responsibility in areas of combat operations by units
11 of the Yugoslav army are resubordinated to the commands of the army of
12 Yugoslavia? And that is the most reasonable possible measure to avoid
13 mutual conflicts, one killing another, because there's a lack of unified
14 command, because there's a lack of a unified position on the ground,
15 because there is not a clear distinction of tasks as to what each should
17 JUDGE MAY: This is not a question. Now, you can ask what you're
18 saying in the form of a question so the witness can answer it, instead of
19 a speech.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood the question. So
21 the justification of that order issued by you is not disputed. What is
22 disputed is that this order, through the MUP line, was not passed on to
23 subordinate units in Kosovo.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Isn't proof the meeting at which they discussed what each would
1 do, what the army, what the MUP would do? Isn't that evidence of their
3 A. There can be no coordination in the army. Measures are proposed,
4 and the senior officer issues orders.
5 Q. Well, isn't Pavkovic the most senior officer, the commander to
6 which these MUP units have been resubordinated?
7 A. I've already told you that General Pavkovic had complained to the
8 Chief of Staff in writing that the MUP was not subordinated to it.
9 A. Very well. We have here someone who will be able to explain this,
10 and I'm afraid I'll be wasting time polemicising with you over something
11 that is quite logical and clear. You know in law there is lex specialis
12 derogat lege generalis, there are general chains of command, and my
13 particular order was that they should be resubordinated for as long as
14 combat operations lasted. But of course not in every respect. Not for
15 their regular peacetime duties.
16 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... You have rightly
17 said that you will not continue polemicising, as it was translated, with
18 the witness. I take that to be arguing. Now, move on to another topic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. If you say that through Sainovic I wanted to have control over the
22 army and the MUP, and if I did control the army and the MUP, as the
23 opposing side says, why would I need Sainovic to control them?
24 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer that, General Vasiljevic? It may be a
25 matter which we're going to have to answer at the end of the trial. But
1 if you can add anything, do.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't claim that you were in
3 command directly of the 3rd Army through Sainovic. That is not what I
4 claimed in the form you have put it. I said that you had the practical
5 power and that Sainovic had his own authority, thanks to the position that
6 you held, and he acted down there as the person on the basis of whose
7 positions people acted. And the commander of the 3rd Army was, as a
8 result, sometimes in a position to have to propose to the General Staff a
9 change of decisions already taken. And we'll again be wasting time.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I agree. It's better not to waste time, and let's move on to
12 another topic because I think this is quite clear. Please, you mentioned
13 a group of Jugoslav Petrusic from France called Dominik and somebody
14 called Orasanin that were infiltrated down there.
15 A. Not during the testimony here but during the interview, yes.
16 Q. Well, I saw this on the tape. And you called it the 10th Sabotage
17 Unit, Pauk, Spider.
18 A. No, I didn't call it that. I didn't say it was the 10th Sabotage
19 Detachment, but I said that certain individuals from the 10th Sabotage
20 Detachment were members of at that group. That is the first matter. And
21 the 10th Sabotage Detachment, as far as I know, was a detachment from the
22 army of Republika Srpska.
23 Q. That's why I'm asking you that, General. Is there any dispute
24 that that group was under the control of the French service?
25 A. There were attempts to prove that later on through the Pauk or
1 Spider affair about which you were informed. The fact is that Jugoslav
2 Petrusic was a member of the French intelligence service, the DST.
3 Q. So there's no dispute over that?
4 A. No. But what is disputed is to draw the conclusion on that basis
5 that it was upon assignment from that service that he formed a group and
6 went to Kosovo. With Orasanin he was in detention in a military prison
7 for one month. And the allegations were that it was the French service
8 that had dispatched this group to Yugoslavia. That information was given
9 to you on the 6th of May by the state security service of Serbia. During
10 our investigation, these allegations were never confirmed. And in
11 agreement with the state security department, a decision was taken to
12 expel those persons from Yugoslavia as they were not citizens of the
13 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
14 And then several days later, they were arrested again by the state
15 security service and accusing them of even preparing your assassination.
16 Q. Was that true or not?
17 A. Judging by what we knew, it was not true, nor was this confirmed
18 through court proceedings later on.
19 Q. Weren't they in prison and released by these new authorities
20 subsequently, much later? Is that so or not?
21 A. No. No, that's not so. They were in military detention for 30
22 days. The documents, after preliminary investigations, were given to the
23 military prosecutor who said that there were no elements for criminal
24 prosecution. The state security was informed about it. They agreed with
25 this assessment, and a few days later we learnt from the press that they
1 had been arrested, that they had prepared to assassinate you, that this
2 was a group sent by the French service, and probably the wish was to
3 create the impression with you and the public that the military was not
4 capable of finalising the situation but that the state security had saved
6 Q. So they wanted to create a false impression with me and the public
7 whereas none of it was true.
8 A. May this be my impression, that is my view as to the impression
9 that they wanted to create. In any event, none of it was true except that
10 Yugoslav Petrusic was a member of the French intelligence service and who
11 was given leave to participate in the operations in Kosovo.
12 Q. I see. So the French service is generously granting leave to
13 their colonel to go and join in the operations in Kosovo.
14 A. As far as I know, he was not a Colonel, but that's how they called
16 Q. Well, many people were called different names, but I don't know
17 about that. All right. Is that the same group that took part in the
18 crime at Srebrenica?
19 A. I don't know about that.
20 Q. You don't have any knowledge about that?
21 A. No knowledge about that.
22 Q. Very well. I'm not going to ask you about that any more.
23 All right. When you talk about the Albanians leaving Kosovo, is
24 it true that large Albanian families, and many of them, were leaving
25 Kosovo together with those family members who were members of the KLA as
1 they were retreating from Kosovo?
2 A. There were such cases. There was no rule, but there were such
4 Q. Is it correct that a large number of members of the KLA found a
5 way to escape, precisely that way, by mingling with the civilian
6 population, that -- and the civilians were leaving in an organised way.
7 They were organised by them, and they were going to cross the border?
8 A. I cannot go along with what you said just now, that this was done
9 in an organised fashion. I saw this being done under pressure. However,
10 it is quite possible that they were trying to get out, together with
11 civilians who were retreating.
12 Q. Do you remember that there was an order that even as far as highly
13 visible noticeable members of the KLA should not be fired at if there was
14 danger of injuring civilians? Do you remember that?
15 A. I do.
16 Q. All right. A general question: In your opinion, in your
17 assessment, because you were a superior officer, the officers of the army
18 of Yugoslavia, the security officers in Kosovo during the NATO aggression,
19 did they carry out their duties in accordance with regulations? Did they
20 try to investigate each and every crime that was committed, and did they
21 do their best to have the perpetrators found?
22 A. On the basis of the reports I received in Kosovo from perhaps even
23 up to 20 security organs, we came to the conclusion that the security
24 organs carried out their duties professionally. However, the
25 investigation of circumstances of crimes is not the job of the security
2 After a case would be reported, this is what the investigation
3 agencies dealt with and the military prosecutor's offices. And if these
4 organs would charge them with carrying out particular measures, then they
5 would do that as authorised by them.
6 Q. At any rate, as far as I understood your answer, although it was a
7 bit extensive, your assessment is that the security organs of the army of
8 Yugoslavia in Kosovo in 1999 conscientiously carried out their duty?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You said here that after I was elected President of the FRY, the
11 state security service was subordinated to me directly through a certain
12 enactment. The security service of Serbia at that.
13 A. If we are going to discuss that, I would kindly ask for a private
15 Q. I'm afraid we're going to lose a lot of time over there. I'm just
16 asking you did you ever see this document, this particular enactment? And
17 how do you think it would be possible for an organ of the Republic of
18 Serbia to be --
19 JUDGE MAY: We are going to go into private session.
20 [Private session]
13 Pages 16304-16309 – redacted – private session
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since I have very little time left
6 during this session, I hope that you're going to give me some more time
7 tomorrow, at least briefly.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm just going to read something out to you and ask you for your
10 comment. Since you testified about Rakitje, saying that there wasn't a
11 centre there and people have been watching this, I'm going to read out to
12 you what I got. I'm not making suggestions to you, I'm just asking you
13 for your comment.
14 A. Can I just say something before you read this?
15 Q. Go ahead.
16 A. You said that there was a prison in Rakitje and that members of
17 the ZNG were released from that prison and I said precisely that there was
18 a training centre in Rakitje.
19 Q. Now I'm going to read this to you: "A soldier of the JNA, Utrzan
20 Marko, born in 1971, the father's name Radovan, mother's name Vera, from
21 Kikinda [phoen] was taken prisoner by the ZNG in September 1991 at the
22 military facility of Precac near Zagreb, together with about 20 of his
23 friends, members of the JNA. The commander of his unit was a certain
24 Captain Radulovic. Members of the National Guards Corps took them to
25 Rakitje to the former centre for People's Defence where they were selected
1 according to ethnic background. First and foremost they released Croats,
2 Slovenians, Albanians, and Muslims while the Serbs and Montenegrins were
3 detained and subjected to torture. After several days of physical
4 torture, this soldier, Marko Utrzan, was killed by firearms by the members
5 of the ZNG, by shooting into his head. His body was handed over to the
6 family on the 5th of October by the JNA in a coffin. The family, at the
7 request of the JNA, allowed for a post-mortem to be carried out, and
8 members of the Military Medical Academy took part in this as well as
9 relevant authorities of the JNA."
10 JUDGE MAY: We're going well beyond the time which was allotted.
11 Do you know anything about this particular -- just a moment. Just
12 a moment.
13 Do you know anything about this particular incident, General?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please let me just finish.
15 JUDGE MAY: No. Just let's deal with it in this way.
16 Yes, General. Do you know anything about this incident or not?
17 If you'll just tell us.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about this specific
19 incident, but in terms of the way in which things were happening at the
20 time with members of the JNA in Croatia, I believe that this is reliable
21 information, that this is authentic.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Please just bear in mind the following: This information was
24 presented by Mrs. Nana Loncarevic from Belgrade. Her address is here and
25 also the number of her ID. She is the sister of Marko Utrzan's mother and
1 she is doing this with the consent of his parents after she watched
2 television, following The Hague proceedings, when she heard that
3 Vasiljevic was challenging the existence of a prison in Rakitje
4 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to pursue this further. Time is up.
5 We can to return it tomorrow morning.
6 Mr. Milosevic, we've considered your application for more time.
7 We will give you, if you want it, the first morning session to conclude
8 your cross-examination.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
10 JUDGE MAY: General Vasiljevic, would you be back tomorrow
11 morning, please, finish your evidence at 9.00. If you'd like to go now.
12 We've got one or two administrative matters to deal with.
13 While the witness is withdrawing, there are two matters I want to
14 raise. They're purely administrative in relation to the witnesses under
15 Rule 92 bis. I've looked at the statements of the first section of
16 witnesses. I find missing, at least from my binders, the annexes attached
17 to the statement of the witness known as B-1732. There should be a number
18 of annexes. I only have Annex I, and those annexes include a note of a
19 meeting with Mr. Milosevic. So perhaps those could be found.
20 Likewise, the attachment, there's an attachment to a statement of
21 C-1150. That witness, the attachment is RMCM01. Perhaps that too could
22 be found.
23 MR. NICE: Certainly. I'm sorry you've been inconvenienced by
24 that. Unless there is anything else the Chamber wants to raise, can we go
25 into closed session, private session.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 [Private session]
13 Pages 16314-16316 – redacted – private session
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of
10 February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.