Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18823

1 Wednesday, 9 April 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. It's all right now.

7 Before I continue, I wish to tender this extract from the

8 appropriate article of the criminal law of Yugoslavia which the witness

9 mentioned as the basis for his conviction. [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

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19 [redacted]

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well. We'll take the next exhibit number,

21 if we may.

22 THE REGISTRAR: The next exhibit number is D126.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume we're in open session now,

25 Mr. May?

Page 18824

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

3 WITNESS: WITNESS B-104 [Resumed]

4 [Witness testified via videolink]

5 [Witness answered through interpreter]

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 104, please tell me, in connection with the

8 events you describe in the area of Bajina Basta, can you tell me when

9 exactly you were in Bajina Basta, in what precise period of time, from

10 when to when?

11 A. I was there in different periods of time. This was in 1993 and

12 1994. But I have a poor memory for dates, so if I make a mistake, please

13 make allowances for me. A lot of time has elapsed since then.

14 Q. Well, when in 1993 were you there? If you have a poor memory not

15 just for dates but for years, I don't understand how you can testify about

16 events. When were you there? You say you were there in 1993 and 1994?

17 JUDGE MAY: He's given you the answer. He says 1993 and 1994, so

18 we can't take the matter any further than that. If you want to ask him

19 when in 1993, you can.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I'm asking

21 him.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. When were you there in 1993 and when in 1994? Do you have any

24 idea of the period of time you were active there?

25 A. This was in the spring and summer, approximately.

Page 18825

1 Q. Spring and summer of 1993; is that correct?

2 A. More or less. As I said, I can't remember the exact years.

3 Q. And until when were you there in 1994?

4 A. I wish to repeat that I was there at different intervals of time.

5 I would spend 15 days there and then go away and come back again.

6 Q. Very well. It seems to be difficult to establish this, but can

7 you then explain, when was the last time you were there in 1994? Do you

8 remember that, at least?

9 A. No, I don't.

10 Q. You don't remember that either? Very well. Well, were you there

11 in 1995?

12 A. No.

13 Q. You weren't. Very well. As you weren't there in 1995, how is it

14 possible that on page 8 in paragraph 9 you say that Franko Simatovic left

15 Bajina Basta when the area was ethically cleansed in late 1995? You

16 weren't there after 1994 and yet you claim that he was there until the end

17 of 1995 when the area was ethnically cleansed. Where did you get this

18 statement, then? Did you make this up just as you made up everything

19 else?

20 JUDGE MAY: That's a comment. That's a comment, Mr. Milosevic.

21 Ask the question in proper form.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that it is a proper form,

23 Mr. May.

24 JUDGE MAY: No. It ended with a comment.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 18826

1 Q. Well, where did you get this, then? You weren't there in 1995,

2 and you say he was there until the end of 1995 and that he left the area

3 when it was ethnically cleansed. Where did you get this statement?

4 A. I said that I heard that from people who were there.

5 Q. You heard that from hearsay, from people who were there?

6 A. Yes.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this is ridiculous, but

8 I'll continue my examination.

9 JUDGE MAY: No. No. That's a comment. You can make it in due

10 course, but at the moment you're simply asking questions. You're wasting

11 time with comments of that sort.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Do you know that Bajina Basta is in Serbia?

15 A. Yes, Bajina Basta is in Serbia.

16 Q. So what sort of ethnic cleansing are you talking about? Because

17 you say he left Bajina Basta when the area was ethnically cleansed. Who

18 was it cleansed of ethnically? Of whom was Bajina Basta and that area

19 cleansed?

20 A. I wish to say that the units were only stationed in Bajina Basta

21 but their activities were carried out over the River Drina and their

22 operations.

23 Q. Yesterday to my direct question as to whether you participated and

24 whether you had any kind of combat activity, you said all you did was

25 reconnaissance flights and some sort of transport flights and medevacs. Is

Page 18827

1 that correct?

2 A. That's what I did, but other units had other tasks.

3 Q. What do you know about the assignments of other units?

4 A. Nothing specific, but I know in general that they were in the area

5 of the River Drina and that's where they carried out their combat

6 operations. They crossed the River Drina.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let's clarify one point. It's put to you that you're

8 wrong about something, but let us clarify it. When you were referring to

9 an area being ethnically cleansed in 1995, which area were you referring

10 to?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was referring to the area across

12 the River Drina, the area of Skelani, Osmace, that part of the territory.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Well, how do you know this?

15 A. I've already answered that question.

16 Q. You only said you heard some rumours about this. Very well. Tell

17 me, as you said that you yourself did not take part in combat operations,

18 I will ask you about what you wrote on page 8 of your statement, something

19 contained on page 8 of your statement. I will not mention names so we

20 don't have to go into closed session, but please pay attention. You have

21 the statement before you, page 8, paragraphs 3, 4, and 5. You say that

22 Frenki arrived from Belgrade and that he called some names I won't

23 mention. These were colleagues of yours, pilots, and you yourself.

24 That's what you say. You say you were present, and that he told you he

25 had met me, although he never met me, and that I ordered him that four

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Page 18829

1 villages should be destroyed in the area of Srebrenica in the following

2 four nights. That's what it says in your statement. You say you don't

3 know the names of the villages and so on, and then you go on to explain

4 how events proceeded after that.

5 Tell me, did somebody destroy those villages, and is your

6 statement correct in this?

7 A. As regards this task --

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't hear very well, although

9 I've put these earphones on. The sound is very poor.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness answer.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as regards this task,

12 Mr. Frenki did come back from Belgrade and he asked us what could be done

13 with a helicopter, what a helicopter could carry.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Answer me first, did he tell you that he visited me? Did you

16 mention me in this conversation, in your interview with the investigators?

17 A. I don't remember this.

18 Q. So you don't remember this. Well, and what about this task? Can

19 you explain what happened? What assignment did he give you?

20 A. He didn't give me any assignment.

21 Q. Well, you say he invited four of you; you were the fourth.

22 A. He asked us to see him because he wanted to know what a helicopter

23 could carry and what could be done from a helicopter.

24 Q. Well, he asked you what a helicopter could carry, but please, you

25 say in the very next paragraph that you were told that they threw down

Page 18830

1 four barrels full of liquid chemicals, poisons. "Frenki told them that

2 the contents of a single barrel would kill all the people in an area the

3 size of a football field." That's what it says in your statement. Do you

4 know whether in the civil war on the territory of the former Yugoslavia

5 any side used chemical weapons, poisons?

6 A. I said that that's what I heard.

7 Q. So they threw barrels of poisons on villages to destroy entire

8 villages. That's what you say in your statement. Is this what you said,

9 the way it's written here in the statement, or did you say something else?

10 A. I've answered your question.

11 Q. No, you haven't answered. Did you tell the investigators that

12 they threw barrels with chemicals, this whole science fictional account

13 about destroying villages with chemicals? Did you say that?

14 A. I repeat: That's what I heard they had done.

15 Q. Did you ever hear that poisons were used, either from a helicopter

16 or on the ground or in any other way?

17 A. I think I've answered your question.

18 JUDGE MAY: No. Did you hear -- the question is: Did you hear

19 that poisons or a toxin or a chemical had been used? Which is what it

20 says in your statement. Is that what you heard?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. And when was this, tell me, please.

24 A. I really can't remember the date now.

25 Q. Oh, so you can't remember that either.

Page 18831

1 A. No, I can't.

2 Q. Very well.

3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Witness, can you tell us from whom you did hear

4 that? You can say it in private session, if you wish.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I want to be in private

6 session when I say that.

7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.

8 [Private session]

9 [redacted]

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Page 18832

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19 [Open session]

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Very well. Can we then say that what is stated here in your

22 statement is not correct? Because you say that he called and then he

23 names certain people, including yourself, then he issued this assignment

24 regarding four villages, and now you're saying that he wasn't present when

25 he gave that assignment.

Page 18833

1 JUDGE MAY: I think we have spent enough time on this. The

2 witness has given his evidence, and we've heard you cross-examine. Let's

3 move on to another subject.

4 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]

5 JUDGE MAY: You're not on the microphone.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Let us move on. There are quite a number of other questions.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you hear me now?

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we can hear you.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Can you hear me, Mr. 104?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Yesterday, in answer to a question from Mr. Kwon, who noted that

14 Jadar was a river, you said that it was a hill. And as a pilot, you are

15 well versed with maps. Jadar is a river, Mr. 104. Do you know that? And

16 Zeleni Jadar is a village, not a hill. Do you know that?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said that it was

18 Jadar. I said -- I was talking about Zeleni Jadar.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Yes. But Zeleni Jadar is a village, not a hill.

21 And what happened in Zeleni Jadar?

22 A. I don't understand the question.

23 Q. You mentioned Zeleni Jadar. Now, explain to me what happened in

24 connection with Zeleni Jadar. Did you have an operation there or what?

25 A. I answered yesterday that I didn't have any operation at Zeleni

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Page 18835

1 Jadar. Now I wish to answer your other question that you put to me. At

2 Zeleni Jadar there were operations conducted by the 63rd Parachute Brigade

3 and the Vukovi from Drina.

4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness --

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. How do you know that when you weren't there?

7 A. I know about it because the gentleman who was working with me was

8 there. He was in Osmace at Zeleni Jadar. And the other gentlemen who

9 were there told me about those combat operations.

10 Q. Very well. Then we would have to ask those gentlemen that you

11 mentioned rather than you.

12 Very well. Do you know what Frenki was?

13 A. As far as I know, he was the head of the unit that was stationed

14 in that area.

15 Q. Do you know that he was the head of the Intelligence Department of

16 the security service and that he collected intelligence information? Do

17 you know that or not?

18 A. I don't know that.

19 Q. Was he a JNA officer?

20 A. As far as I know, he was not.

21 Q. No, I see. But in your statement you say he was in command of the

22 63rd Parachute Brigade, the 74th Guards Brigade, et cetera. So explain,

23 please, was that an error that you made or are you still claiming that he

24 was in command of those military units even though he was not an officer

25 of the JNA?

Page 18836

1 A. To clarify what you asked me, Mr. Frenki was not in command of the

2 63rd Parachute Brigade, nor of the Guards Brigade. I said that there was

3 a commander of the Parachute Brigade who was with me at the time; however,

4 Mr. Frenki was in charge of all those operations around Bajina Basta.

5 That was my impression, the impression I gained.

6 Q. But Mr. Groome asked you yesterday whether he issued orders, and

7 you said that you personally had not noticed him giving orders to anyone.

8 And then he asked you whether he was saluted to as a superior officer, and

9 he [as interpreted] said you didn't see anyone saluting him as a superior

10 officer. Is that right? That's what you said yesterday.

11 Well, then explain, please, how did you get the idea that the head

12 of the Intelligence Department of the security service could be in command

13 of some military units. Where did that idea come from in your statement?

14 A. I will repeat. My unit, my part of the unit that was in the area

15 had a superior officer who cooperated with Mr. Frenki and who agreed on

16 any operations that were carried out in the area.

17 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. That was his evidence

18 yesterday, Mr. Milosevic. It's not true that he never said that he was

19 saluted. He did say that. The point he made, what he said was he never

20 saw Frenki giving orders to members of the JNA or being saluted by them,

21 but he was superior to the police units and the Wolves and was saluted by

22 them. He was in charge of everything going on in Bajina Basta but there

23 was always a VJ officer in charge of communications with him. So that

24 distinction he did make yesterday.

25 Yes.

Page 18837

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Very well. Were you present when these orders you mention were

3 issued?

4 A. I didn't hear your question.

5 Q. Were you present when any orders were issued to a JNA officer or

6 when there were agreements being reached with a JNA officer?

7 A. I don't remember exactly. I think I was, but I can't remember

8 precisely.

9 Q. Oh, so you can't remember. Very well. You say on page 6,

10 paragraph 8, that Frenki and Arkan established the unit the Drina Wolves

11 and that they established it in Knin under the name of Knindze. Is that

12 what you say?

13 A. That was said to me by Mr. Max, Mr. Nedjo, and the other gentlemen

14 who were in the area.

15 Q. Very well. Can you tell me what you yourself know personally in

16 your testimony. You probably know because you say that you know where

17 they're from. These Drina Wolves were people from Bosnia; is that

18 correct? Was this a police unit of the Republika Srpska? Is that

19 something that is not sure?

20 A. Please put me one question at a time.

21 Q. This unit that you call the Drina Wolves, was it a police unit of

22 Republika Srpska?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Whose unit was it?

25 A. This unit, the Drina Wolves, were composed of the police of the

Page 18838

1 Republic of Serbia and local villages from the area of Bajina Basta and

2 Skelani and Bosnia.

3 Q. Very well. And these villages, were they from Bosnia?

4 A. These villages were from Bosnia.

5 Q. Very well. Then explain to me, how could this unit have been

6 established in Knin under the name of Knindze? Because that's what you

7 say.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this unit which was

9 established in Knin was called Knindze. Part of that unit arrived and

10 established the Drina Wolves in Bajina Basta.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Well, so this means that they arrived from the Krajina, the

13 Knindze did, to Bajina Basta, and then they established the Drina Wolves.

14 Is that what you're saying?

15 A. I'm saying that certain individuals arrived who were the basis of

16 that unit, who were from the unit called Knindze, and they established the

17 Drina Wolves.

18 Q. How do you know this?

19 A. I think I've answered that.

20 Q. Were you ever in Knin?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Do you know that these people were in Knin? How do you know this?

23 JUDGE MAY: He's answered that. He said he was told that.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, all right. All right, Mr. May.

25 JUDGE MAY: And time is almost up, Mr. Milosevic. You've got

Page 18839

1 another two minutes.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Two minutes is not enough for me,

3 Mr. May. This nonsense has to be clarified.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Tell me, please, you said that the army had green camouflage

6 uniforms, the police blue camouflage uniforms, and the Drina Wolves black

7 uniforms; is this correct?

8 A. The army had green camouflage uniforms, and the police and the

9 Drina Wolves wore blue camouflage uniforms.

10 Q. Very well.

11 A. A part of --

12 Q. Yes, please continue.

13 A. A part of the Drina Wolves also wore black uniforms.

14 Q. Very well.

15 A. Some of the Drina Wolves also wore green uniforms.

16 Q. So they wore green and blue and black uniforms, these Drina

17 Wolves, but you cannot remember how many of them there were. I asked you

18 yesterday how many of these Drina Wolves there were whom you saw there.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these Drina Wolves,

20 their number, I don't know that because most of the members of the unit

21 were engaged in combat operations across the River Drina. It was only the

22 corps of the unit and the logistical support that was located in the hotel

23 in Bajina Basta.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. But the people you describe whose uniforms you saw, you say they

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Page 18841

1 were not on the other bank of the Drina. You saw them in Bajina Basta.

2 How many of them did you see?

3 A. I saw these people who made up the corps of the unit in Bajina

4 Basta, and I also saw them in white jeeps, Defender-type jeeps, owned by

5 the police of the Republic of Serbia. I saw them crossing the Drina.

6 Q. Well, how many of them were there, the ones you saw?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I said yesterday that

8 there were about 100 of these men whom I saw, but I don't know the exact

9 number because I never counted them.

10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this must be your last question.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this is absolutely

12 insufficient. This cannot be allowed because this witness has said all

13 sorts of things and his statement is very long. I don't know how you

14 think I can -- I can cross-examine him --

15 JUDGE MAY: His statement, in fact, is I think eight or nine

16 pages. So compared with many of the statements we have in this case, it's

17 not long. You were told the time that you have, and you must tailor your

18 cross-examine accordingly. But you can ask another question.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Tell me, please, in your statement I did not see you say that

21 there were any convicts in this unit. Yesterday Mr. Groome asked you

22 whether there were convicts in the unit and you said there was a man

23 nicknamed Pacov, is that correct, Pacov meaning "rat"?

24 A. Yesterday, when asked, I responded that the lady who was

25 Mr. Frenki's secretary had told me that Mr. Pacov was a former convict

Page 18842

1 from a prison in Kosovo and that Mr. Frenki took him out of prison and

2 brought him to that battlefield.

3 Q. So Frenki's secretary told you this?

4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the answer.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].

6 Q. Did she tell you anything else? Were there any other convicts?

7 A. I don't know.

8 Q. Do you feel that as a soldier or a former soldier that this fact

9 was important, that there was a convict in a unit?

10 A. I think it is important.

11 Q. If you think it's important, why is it not in the statement that

12 you made when you were interviewed by the investigators? Why did you

13 withhold this important fact?

14 A. I don't know. I probably forgot to mention it.

15 Q. Well, how did you manage to remember it yesterday, then?

16 A. I did remember it.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Mr. Tapuskovic.

18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

19 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

20 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, first of all, I should like to ask you

21 something about the things that you told us yesterday in the

22 examination-in-chief answering questions from the Prosecution. You said

23 yesterday that on one occasion you saw in the area of Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina in certain locations a large number of victims; is that right?

25 A. No.

Page 18843

1 Q. You didn't say yesterday that on one occasion you saw victims as

2 you were flying in your helicopter?

3 A. No.

4 Q. You didn't mention victims at all yesterday?

5 A. Yes, I did.

6 Q. Can you explain to Their Honours in what connection you mentioned

7 those victims.

8 A. I said that a colleague who was with me had told me about it.

9 Q. So you personally didn't see it?

10 A. No, I didn't.

11 Q. And is it true that you said yesterday that on two occasions you

12 took part in deliveries of certain material?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Was that weapons?

15 A. I don't remember any more.

16 Q. But you didn't say that when you were interviewed by the

17 investigator of the Prosecution. In your first statement you did not

18 mention at all your participation in any such activities. Can you explain

19 that to Their Honours?

20 A. I don't know.

21 Q. Thank you. You said that you did not belong to a unit that was

22 under the command of Frenki.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. But in your statement which you gave to the investigators -- I

25 don't know whether you have it in front of you over there.

Page 18844

1 A. I don't.

2 Q. It is page 5, paragraph 6 of the English version. And I'll read

3 what it says in the B/C/S version. You said that going to Bajina Basta,

4 you were assigned to a unit under Frenki's command. Is that right or not?

5 A. Yes, it is true that I was assigned to a unit of which Mr. Frenki

6 was the boss.

7 Q. You said that you were in a unit under another commander a moment

8 ago.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I explained how the

10 command structure functioned there.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Very well. Here in your statement, page 5, paragraph 5 of the

13 English version, it says that you arrived in Bajina Basta and Skelani in

14 the winter of 1993. A moment ago you mentioned the spring and the summer.

15 Which is true; what you said here or in your statement?

16 A. When I was there for the first time in Bajina Basta and Skelani,

17 that was between the winter and the spring.

18 Q. Very well. Thank you. But what you said at the time, you said

19 that the very first time that you were in Bajina Basta you stayed at a

20 hotel in Bajina Basta; is that right?

21 A. I spent only one night in that hotel.

22 Q. But where did you stay otherwise?

23 A. In the elementary school in Skelani.

24 Q. And how many times did you take Frenki in your helicopter?

25 A. I don't remember.

Page 18845

1 Q. Not even approximately?

2 A. Not even approximately.

3 Q. And when you took him to Belgrade, as you said yesterday, where

4 were you sitting when you were driving?

5 A. In the back.

6 Q. Why in the back, when you're an operator, navigator, and a pilot?

7 Who was sitting in your place as the operator?

8 A. Mr. Frenki.

9 Q. Wasn't this dangerous for the flight?

10 A. In a sense, yes.

11 Q. And can you tell me something else: You said on a number of

12 occasions that you had heard from other people in Frenki's unit what was

13 being planned and what was being done, but in your statement you said that

14 they never mentioned what assignments would be carried out by men in his

15 unit. Is that right? This is page 8, paragraph 1 of the English version.

16 Is that true, that they never spoke about the actions they were

17 undertaking?

18 A. They and his men never spoke about operations or activities that

19 they were undertaking, but from stories, from conversations when they

20 returned from those operations, one could learn of various details.

21 Q. Thank you very much.

22 MR. GROOME: Just a couple of questions, Your Honour.

23 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:

24 Q. B-104, in response to a question that Mr. Tapuskovic just put to

25 you, you said that on most occasions when you were in Bajina Basta you

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Page 18847

1 stayed at an elementary school in Skelani; is that correct?

2 A. Only the first time I went there.

3 Q. The time that you stayed in the elementary school in Skelani, were

4 you directed to that school by somebody at -- in Bajina Basta who was in a

5 position of responsibility or was that your own decision to go and stay at

6 that elementary school?

7 A. I was told to go to that elementary school by Mr. Maksi [phoen].

8 He gave instructions to me and my associate.

9 Q. And Skelani is in what republic?

10 A. Skelani is in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

11 Q. Thank you.

12 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.

13 Questioned by the Court:

14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. B-104, to clarify this matter, I'd like to ask

15 this question once again. I'll read out some passages in your statement.

16 It is on page 7, around the sixth paragraph. "I remember an occasion but

17 not date or even year when Frenki came back from Belgrade. He called ..."

18 Some colleagues of yours; I will not name it here, "... and me, telling us

19 that he met with the president (Milosevic) who had ordered the destruction

20 of four villages in the Srebrenica area within the next four nights."

21 To the question put to you by the accused, you said that you don't

22 remember this. Could you clarify this. Is this also what you heard from

23 your colleagues, or you don't remember this at all? How come this passage

24 could appear in your statement?

25 A. Your Honour, Mr. Frenki, when he returned from Belgrade, invited

Page 18848

1 us to an informal meeting and asked us about ways in which it was possible

2 to act from a helicopter, as I have explained. However, who Mr. Frenki

3 met with in Belgrade, I really don't know.

4 JUDGE KWON: That's enough. Thank you.

5 JUDGE MAY: Witness B-104, that concludes your evidence. Thank

6 you for making yourself available to give it. You are now free to go.

7 [The witness's testimony via videolink concluded]

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

9 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution's next witness is

10 outside. And there's also Mr. McKeon here, if the Court would wish to

11 deal with the 92 bis matter now; whichever the Court prefers.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll go on with the evidence now.

14 MR. GROOME: It's a protected witness, the next witness.

15 JUDGE MAY: We need protective measures. Well, we've made the

16 order, have we, in relation to that?

17 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. There was an order. I can get the

18 date, if it's necessary.

19 JUDGE MAY: It's merely a question of getting -- before we forget,

20 the accused produced an exhibit, and I don't know if we have it or not.

21 Did we have -- did we have the exhibit from the accused? If so, perhaps

22 it could be collected.

23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

24 JUDGE MAY: I think better, if we can, to hear the evidence.

25 We'll find a moment towards the end of the day to deal with the legal

Page 18849

1 argument.

2 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.

3 The Prosecution calls B-1493.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]

7 JUDGE MAY: Your microphone is not on.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 JUDGE MAY: The order has been made, so we're not going to go back

13 on that. We will see what the position is when he gives his evidence.

14 [The witness entered court]

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

18 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1493

19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 JUDGE MAY: Would you like to take a seat.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, in an exercise of caution, could I ask

23 the registrar to check whether that last bit of colloquy was done in open

24 court. It appears in the transcript that the discussion about the

25 witness's position may have been done in public court.

Page 18850

1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it was in open session. So I will redact it,

2 if requested.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

4 Yes. Let's go on.

5 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that the witness be shown tab 1 of

6 the -- an exhibit binder. And if possible, I ask that it be assigned a

7 number at this stage.

8 THE REGISTRAR: P425.

9 Examined by Mr. Groome:

10 Q. Witness B-1493, I'd ask you to take a look at Prosecution Exhibit

11 425, tab 1. Is that your name and date of birth at the top of that sheet

12 of paper?

13 A. I have looked at the document, and all the information it contains

14 is correct.

15 Q. And is your name contained on that document?

16 A. Yes. I signed this document on the 24th of March, 2003.

17 Q. And does that document also contain a summary of your educational

18 and professional background?

19 A. The document does contain all the information regarding my

20 educational background and working experience.

21 MR. GROOME: Thank you. I'm finished with that document.

22 I'd ask that we briefly go into private session for a few

23 background questions.

24 [Private session]

25 [redacted]

Page 18851

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Page 18853

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24 [Open session]

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

Page 18854

1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't think that this can be a

3 reason for the witness to testify in secret.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 JUDGE MAY: He is not examined secretly. As you know quite well,

9 much of it is in open session. Some of it is in private session. That is

10 not in secret. It's in private session. There's a distinction.

11 Now, let's go on.

12 MR. GROOME: Can I just ask that that last question be redacted,

13 as it reveals his identity.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

15 MR. GROOME:

16 Q. Sir, we are now in open session. My first question to you is: In

17 March of 1991 as a high-ranking member of the JNA, did you become aware of

18 the formulation of an emergency plan?

19 A. Yes. In March of 1991, my command, in which I had a very senior

20 position for operative and wartime planning, received an order to prepare

21 a plan for the use of units in the case of an emergency. When I examined

22 that plan, up until then and from 1988 I had compiled a number of plans,

23 but it seemed rather strange to me because this was the first time for us

24 to be doing something like that. I personally was involved on a part of

25 that plan, that is, the preparation of maps, ethnic maps for the territory

Page 18855

1 in Croatia. We had to indicate clearly and highlight even the smallest

2 village in the colour corresponding to ethnicity and indicate the exact

3 number of inhabitants, Croats, Serbs, and others. Also, we had to mark

4 every important bridge, radio relay transmitter, communication centres,

5 and both civilian and military.

6 Q. Sir --

7 A. And --

8 Q. Sir, you said that this plan was different than other plans you

9 had worked on in the past. How was it different?

10 A. It was different because up until then we hadn't prepared any

11 plans based on ethnicity, but we were devising plans that would involve

12 all the inhabitants of Yugoslavia without any consideration given to

13 ethnic composition.

14 Secondly, the plan mentioned the possible -- a possible internal

15 enemy.

16 Q. Did it specify who this internal enemy was?

17 A. Yes. The plan mentioned the potential internal enemies could be

18 extremist parts of the HDZ.

19 Q. Now, this plan, did this plan have an imagined scenario that was

20 used to develop particular points about the plan?

21 A. As I said, I worked on only a part of that plan, that is, the map.

22 The first document of the plan consisted of the order for the use of JNA

23 units and units of the Territorial Defence. And each unit would be

24 attributed an area of responsibility within that zone.

25 Q. Did you complete your work on this plan?

Page 18856

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And from -- from whom did you receive the directive to work on

3 this plan?

4 A. It was called an excerpt or an abstract for the preparation of a

5 plan. My unit received it from the command of the 1st Military District

6 in Belgrade.

7 Q. You've talked about March 1991 as the time that you were asked to

8 do this plan. Was the plan completed around that same time period or did

9 it take longer than March?

10 A. Towards the end of the plan, there was a deadline indicating when

11 the plan had to be completed and a copy of the plan had to be forwarded to

12 the command of the 1st Military District in Belgrade, and the deadline was

13 April 1991.

14 Q. I want to now draw your attention to events in Croatia in May of

15 1991.

16 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, I need to clarify something.

17 Let's go into private session.

18 [Private session]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 18857

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12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

14 MR. GROOME:

15 Q. Sir, I want to draw your attention to events in Croatia in May of

16 1991. I would point out to the Chamber that the locations that he will

17 refer to can be found on mapbook -- Prosecution Exhibit 336, page 23, and

18 it would be the intersection of D2.

19 Sir, in May of 1991, were you involved in a joint detachment that

20 was sent to the Borovo Selo area of Croatia?

21 A. In May -- to be more precise, on the 2nd of May, 1991, after the

22 events in Borovo Selo, I was called by my commander and given orders to be

23 the commander of a joint detachment which needed to go and station itself

24 in Vinkovci, where it would be given more specific assignments.

25 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber what were the individual units

Page 18858

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Page 18859

1 that made up this joint detachment?

2 A. It's called a joint detachment because it is not a unit that is a

3 part of the establishment but is composed of several diverse units so that

4 it consisted of one platoon of APCs, one platoon of Pragas - or air

5 defence - one platoon of military police, one platoon of scouts, one

6 platoon of engineers.

7 Q. When you use the word "Praga," what are you referring to?

8 A. Praga is a combat armoured vehicle of Czech manufacture intended

9 for targeting in the air, and it is very effective for use with the

10 infantry.

11 Q. At the time you left for this mission, what was your understanding

12 of the task that was being given to this joint detachment?

13 A. When I went on that mission, I knew roughly because I had been

14 informed that a similar such detachment had been formed in Slavonia and

15 that it was already on its way along the route Osijek-Nustar-Borovo Selo

16 and that our assignment was to prevent inter-ethnic conflicts in the area.

17 Q. Did your part of this detachment arrive in Vinkovci at some point?

18 A. We arrived, as planned, around 9.00 or 9.30 in the evening in

19 Vinkovci. We stationed ourselves in the barracks in Vinkovci. I told the

20 troops to take a rest and I also rested in the night between the 2nd and

21 3rd of May, 1991.

22 Q. On the first night that you were in Vinkovci, could you hear

23 anything in the area?

24 A. Throughout the night shooting could be heard, firing mainly from

25 infantry weapons.

Page 18860

1 Q. And could you tell the direction from which that fire came?

2 A. Yes. One could tell that it was coming from the direction of the

3 villages of Mirkovci and Jankovci.

4 Q. Now, those villages, can you tell the Chamber what is the ethnic

5 make-up of those two respective villages.

6 A. The village of Mirkovci is about 7 and a half or 8 kilometres from

7 Vinkovci. The village of Jankovci about 10, 10 and a half kilometres from

8 Vinkovci. Mirkovci is 100 percent Serb populated. The village of

9 Jankovci is about 95 per cent Croat populated. There are six households

10 that were occupied by Serbs.

11 Q. And so it's clear, it appears that on the map there are two

12 locations with the name of Jankovci in it. Is there another name or a

13 more precise definition of Jankovci?

14 A. There's a road going from Vinkovci to the village of Mirkovci, and

15 then as you go on you will come across the village of Jankovci.

16 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that page 23 of the mapbook be

17 placed on the overhead projector.

18 Q. Sir, I'd ask you just to take the pointer in front of you and

19 indicate Jankovci that you're referring to in your testimony.

20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. There we note two Jankovcis, one Stari Jankovci

21 and another Novi Jankovci. Could you clarify that.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So we're moving from Vinkovci, the

23 village of Mirkovci, and then the village of Old Jankovci, Stari Jankovci,

24 where it says "Stari Jankovci." But Stari and Novi Jankovci are virtually

25 linked together and now they are one village. And it was in the area of

Page 18861

1 Stari Jankovci, at this crossroads here, in the direction of Mirkovci,

2 right next to the road there are three Serb households. One house is

3 across the way from the crossroads.

4 MR. GROOME:

5 Q. Sir, I want to draw your attention now to the first full day that

6 you were in Vinkovci. Can you please describe what, if anything, you and

7 this joint detachment did.

8 A. In the morning, when we got up, we had breakfast as usual and

9 engaged in preparations. And about 11.00 I was called up by radio link,

10 and I received on the printer an order from my commander for the use or

11 deployment of the unit.

12 Q. And how were you to deploy the unit?

13 A. Let me add that that morning, too, the shooting could be heard,

14 and the order said that I had to organise a column in combat formation to

15 head along the indicated route to investigate what was happening between

16 the villages of Mirkovci and Jankovci and possibly to link up with the

17 next joint detachment, which had been dispatched from Osijek.

18 Q. And did you in fact do that?

19 A. At a quarter past 11.00, roughly, I set off with a column. I

20 reached the first houses prior to the village of Mirkovci, and on the road

21 I came across a roadblock, a barricade. That was the first time I saw any

22 such thing since I have been an officer of the Yugoslav People's Army.

23 Q. When you say "roadblock," can you describe in a little greater

24 detail what it was that was blocking the road.

25 A. On that road there were four iron hedgehogs. To the left and the

Page 18862

1 right there were sandbags piled up. And behind this protective pile was a

2 machine-gun pointed towards Vinkovci. In the middle of that obstacle was

3 a soldier. He was wearing a uniform. That's why I called him a soldier.

4 But when I saw him, I was astonished, flabbergasted. He was wearing

5 complete Chetnik uniforms; he had a firm hat on his head, bandoliers

6 across his chest, he was holding a machine-gun in his hands, he had

7 special kind of trousers. He stopped the column. He stood in front of us

8 and stopped us and said that we couldn't pass until we were given approval

9 by his commander.

10 Q. Sir, you've used the word "hedgehog." Am I correct in thinking

11 that what you were referring to is a set of iron girders bolted together

12 in such a way as to make it impossible for a vehicle to drive over them or

13 around them?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And you're indicating an X-shape with your fingers to indicate

16 what the appearance of a hedgehog looked like?

17 A. Hedgehogs are mostly made from old iron girders, and they consist

18 of three such girders and are usually used to block roads.

19 Q. The person that you've described being in this Chetnik uniform,

20 did you have a conversation with this person?

21 A. No. He just said to me, because I was at the head of the column,

22 "You can't pass until you're given permission by my commander." And I

23 asked him, "And who is your commander?" And he said, "He's in that

24 house." It was about 20 metres away. And I said, "Can you call that

25 command of yours?" And then he actually did go off, and in about ten

Page 18863

1 minutes a man came out dressed in the same manner as he, and he came up to

2 me and asked me, "Who are you?" And I told him that we were a unit of the

3 Yugoslav People's Army whose assignment was to establish order in the

4 area, and I said, "Please remove these hedgehogs so we can pass." He

5 answered, "To remove the hedgehogs, I have to receive permission from my

6 commander." Then I asked him, "And who is your commander?" And he said,

7 "My command is in Sremska Mitrovica, so please allow me to go and

8 telephone, to ask for permission or not, and then I'll let you know." And

9 indeed he went off, returned very quickly, and said, "I have been given

10 permission from Sremska Mitrovica," and this soldier who was there before

11 him removed two hedgehogs and we went on through the village of Mirkovci

12 towards the village of Jankovci.

13 MR. GROOME: Before I ask my next question, what time would the

14 Chamber want to break this morning?

15 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.

16 Witness B-1493, we are going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.

17 During this adjournment and any others there may be in the case while

18 you're giving your evidence, don't speak to anybody, please, about it

19 until it's over and don't let anybody speak to you about it, and that does

20 include the members of the Prosecution team.

21 We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes. If you'll be back then.

22 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

23 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.

25 MR. GROOME:

Page 18864

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Page 18865

1 Q. Sir, before we continue, I want to ask a few more questions about

2 this roadblock. Is it true that altogether there were three men manning

3 this roadblock?

4 A. That's correct. There were two men manning the machine-guns and

5 one man standing in the middle of the barricade.

6 Q. That three men, does that include the person or the commander who

7 was up in the house?

8 A. No.

9 Q. You've described the uniform that one of them was wearing. How

10 were the other men at this roadblock dressed?

11 A. All four of them, in fact, including the commander, were wearing

12 the same uniforms with the same insignia.

13 Q. Now, you said that the first person you talked -- or, I'm sorry,

14 the commander of the roadblock, when you spoke to him, he said that he had

15 to check with his commander in Sremska Mitrovica. In what republic is

16 Sremska Mitrovica?

17 A. Sremska Mitrovica is in the Republic of Serbia.

18 Q. Now, did any of the men at the roadblock identify the name of the

19 unit or organisation that they belonged to?

20 A. Neither the commander who came nor the soldiers manning the

21 barricade revealed to me what unit was stationed in Sremska Mitrovica.

22 Q. How many men did you have in the column?

23 A. There were about 120 men in total in the column.

24 Q. Can you explain to us why it was you followed this procedure of

25 allowing him to get permission rather than simply forcibly going through

Page 18866

1 the roadblock?

2 A. First of all, I was surprised when I saw that on the road, men

3 wearing such uniforms, although I had heard before that that such things

4 were happening. But this was the first time I had experienced personally

5 a barricade and people in those uniforms, and the main reason I didn't use

6 force to go through the barricade was that this was not my task. My task

7 was quite the opposite. My commander had told me to restore order and to

8 make sure that there was no shooting, no firing in the area.

9 Q. How long were you held at the barricade before they allowed you to

10 pass through it?

11 A. This all lasted about 25 minutes or half an hour.

12 Q. And where did you go when you passed through the barricade?

13 A. When I passed through the barricade, I passed through the village

14 of Mirkovci, and then there is a small bend. And when I arrived at the

15 bend, I saw that at the end of the village of Jankovci there was a house

16 on fire and that there was shooting there, so I went with the column in

17 the direction of the village of Jankovci.

18 Q. Let me ask you about Mirkovci. As you passed through that

19 village, did you notice anything unusual, such as evidence of fighting or

20 houses on fire?

21 A. In the village of Mirkovci, there was nothing very unusual. You

22 could hear shooting coming from the direction of Jankovci. But in the

23 village itself there was nothing going on. But I didn't see anyone in the

24 street. There was almost nobody around, or around the houses next to the

25 road.

Page 18867

1 Q. What did you do when you arrived in Jankovci?

2 A. Before I arrived in Jankovci, when I saw that there was a house on

3 fire about half a kilometre or a little more away, I stopped the column, I

4 deployed the APCs in battle order, I called the military police and sent

5 him off with a Praga to see what the shooting was about, why the house was

6 on fire, simply to reconnoitre.

7 Q. During your time in Jankovci, were you able to speak with one of

8 the community leaders of that village?

9 A. When my military police patrol came back, they reported that there

10 was a group of armed men who fled in the direction of the village of

11 Mirkovci when the patrol arrived. I redeployed the joint detachment in a

12 house in between the two villages, and I sent couriers and my assistant to

13 look for the presidents of the local communes of Mirkovci and Jankovci.

14 Q. The military police that reported back to you, did they describe

15 what, if any, uniforms these armed men were wearing?

16 A. Yes. They said they had seen those four men. One had even

17 dropped a walkie-talkie which was handed over to my command, and they said

18 they were wearing the same sort of uniforms as the men we had seen at the

19 barricade.

20 Q. The walkie-talkie that was handed over to you, did you recognise

21 this as a piece of equipment from the Yugoslav People's Army?

22 A. At that time the Yugoslav People's Army did not use such means of

23 radio communication. The smallest radio station was RUP 3. And that was

24 used at squad and company level.

25 Q. Did there come a time when you convened a meeting between the

Page 18868

1 local municipality presidents of both Mirkovci, the Serb village, and

2 Stari Jankovci, the Croat village?

3 A. First the representative of the MUP from Vinkovci arrived. About

4 ten minutes later, the president of the local commune of Jankovci arrived,

5 and about half an hour later - and it was already evening, about 6.30 -

6 the president of the local commune of Mirkovci arrived. Then we started a

7 meeting of all of us in that house.

8 Q. Can I ask you to summarise briefly what was told to you at --

9 during the course of that meeting.

10 A. I have to point out, I said that in the village of Jankovci the

11 first three houses before the crossroads and one after the crossroads were

12 Serbian houses. The people from that house came and they asked that the

13 army remain there to protect them and the village. They said that some

14 people had been infiltrated, that they were not even from Mirkovci. And

15 as I said, the joint detachment had been sent there to protect the people.

16 With the presidents of the local communes and the representative of the

17 MUP from Vinkovci, I explained to them first of all what my task was, the

18 task I had been given by my superior officer, and I said that all

19 operations had to be stopped; otherwise, I would have to use force in

20 order to calm down the situation.

21 Q. Did the people at this meeting identify or describe these

22 infiltrators that they told you about?

23 A. It was the president of the local commune of Mirkovci who said

24 that the men who had set up the barricade in Mirkovci and who had done

25 what they had done in the village of Jankovci, that these were not local

Page 18869

1 people from the village of Mirkovci, that they were people who had been

2 infiltrated from outside. Then they told me that between the two villages

3 there had been no conflicts for centuries, that co-existence was

4 exceptionally good, that they always exchanged visits at Christmas and

5 Easter, that there were many marriages between the villages -- between the

6 inhabitants of the two villages.

7 Q. So that the record is clear, is it your testimony that you were

8 informed that the infiltrators were the people who damaged these three

9 houses in Jankovci?

10 A. I was told that these were people who had been infiltrated. The

11 president of Mirkovci told me this. And they damaged a Croatian house

12 which was next to the first Serbian house behind the crossroads. There

13 was an inn on the ground floor and there were two floors above where

14 people resided, and that was the only house that was set on fire.

15 Q. Now, during the evening of the 3rd of May, did you send a report

16 to your superiors regarding your observations of the situation in this

17 area?

18 A. On completion of every combat task in the JNA, the commander was

19 duty-bound before 2200 hours to send a regular daily combat report. And

20 after the meeting I have described, that's what I did. I sent a report to

21 my command directly where I described how I had set out, what I had found,

22 and what I had done. I also told them how I had deployed my units, what

23 kind of obstacles I had come across, what people. And this was received

24 by the head of the operations centre in my command who forwarded it

25 immediately to the command of the 1st Military District in Belgrade.

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Page 18871

1 Q. Did you in this report recount the events at the roadblock?

2 A. I described everything, everything that I have just said in my

3 testimony. All this was in my report.

4 Q. Now, you've testified that the military police, your military

5 police, informed you that this group of infiltrators had fled in the

6 direction of Mirkovci. After that point in time, was there any other

7 shooting or conflict in that area for the time that you remained there?

8 A. During the night, between the 3rd and the 4th of May, 1991, for

9 the most part there was not much shooting. You could hear sporadic

10 shooting at the end of the village of Mirkovci, but you couldn't describe

11 it as firing on the village of Jankovci. It was probably to intimidate

12 people or shooting by drunken men, but the situation was quite calm,

13 actually.

14 Q. Did you deploy the men under your command in such a way as to

15 attempt to separate and to prevent further conflicts?

16 A. As I said, when I brought the column to the area between Mirkovci

17 and Jankovci, I did that right away because, when I arrived, that's when

18 the conflicts were at their highest point and that's when I deployed my

19 unit. When the military police patrol came back, we simply improved the

20 deployment a little bit and we had to secure people. We had to provide

21 for security during the night to avoid surprises.

22 Q. Now, did there come a time when you received a response to the

23 report that you filed with your superiors on the 3rd of May?

24 A. On the 4th, in the morning, I received a reply from my superior

25 officer that I should remain and provide security with the same kind of

Page 18872

1 deployment I had set up up to that point.

2 On the 4th of May, in that area you could hear sporadic shooting

3 here and there but there were no operations going on.

4 Q. What happened on the 5th of May?

5 A. On the 5th of May, at around 10.00, a colleague of mine arrived in

6 a 101 vehicle with an order from my superior commander saying that he was

7 now appointed commander of that joint detachment and that I was to return

8 to my command. So we carried out a handover of duties and I was ordered

9 to stop in the village of Sid, where I was to pick up two soldiers on

10 their way from Belgrade. And that's what I did.

11 Q. Was this unusual for you to receive such an order in the middle of

12 carrying out a mission?

13 A. Yes. Probably, yes.

14 Q. After you left this area, did you learn what happened with the

15 joint detachment that was now stationed in this area?

16 A. After my departure, around the 7th of May, between the 7th and the

17 8th, there were intense conflicts in the area between the villages of

18 Mirkovci and Jankovci and one might say that that's when war really broke

19 out in that area. I can say that the heads of the households in those

20 four houses sent a letter to my superior command on the 6th of May asking

21 for me to be sent back to the area. This document is in existence in the

22 operations centre of the 1st Military District.

23 Q. Now, when you returned to your command, did you have a

24 conversation with your superior officer regarding the events in this -- in

25 Croatia?

Page 18873

1 A. When I returned to my command, of course in the line of duty I

2 went to see my commander who had appointed me to that post to give him an

3 oral report. But as soon as I entered his office, he said to me, "What

4 kind of report did you send?" And I said, "Well, it was a regular combat

5 report." And he said, "What sort of Chetniks did you see? You saw

6 tomcats."

7 Q. And what was your response?

8 A. I said, "Commander, I saw real men, Chetniks, the kind I've seen

9 in films, the films entitled "Kozara," "Sutjeska," and "Neretva." And he

10 said, "That's impossible."

11 Q. Did he tell you whether or not he -- did he tell you about the

12 response of the 1st Military District to your report?

13 A. He didn't tell me that. I heard that from the chief of the

14 operations centre, that there had been a reaction in the 1st Military

15 District. They criticised my superior officer because of the report that

16 had been forwarded to them. They said he should have checked it first.

17 Q. Now, around the same period of time, was the composition of the

18 officers in your corps changing, the ethnic composition?

19 A. At that time, in my command, the superior -- I was the only

20 non-Serb, along with another officer of Croatian ethnicity, who were in

21 high-ranking positions. Otherwise, the head and -- or the chief and all

22 his assistants were Serbs.

23 Q. Had it always been like that?

24 A. Always? No, it had not always been like that, from the time my

25 unit was established. But after -- or rather, from 1988, when it was

Page 18874

1 established, it was mixed. The corps command was mainly of that

2 composition, but at brigade level there were non-Serb officers. However,

3 in 1990, practically not a single commander from battalion level upwards

4 was a non-Serb.

5 Q. Around this period of time, the summer and going into the fall of

6 1991, was your access to information that you previously had access to,

7 was that restricted in any way?

8 A. I told you in the beginning that in my superior command I had a

9 very important role in operative and war planning. But after my return

10 some 15 days later, I was ordered to hand over this duty, and I was denied

11 access to the operations room where war planning was conducted. I

12 continued carrying out duties in that department, but they were not duties

13 connected with war planning.

14 Q. Had you been cited for any misconduct or were there any pending

15 accusations against you which could have explained this change in the

16 access that you had to this information?

17 A. I was never disciplined, but it was a punishment for me that I was

18 not allowed to continue doing the job I had done since 1988.

19 Q. Around the same period of time, were you witness to a speech made

20 before a large group of JNA soldiers that caused you concern?

21 A. Sometime in the autumn, I think it was October, I was part of a

22 team that had the task of carrying out the mobilisation of a brigade in

23 Bijeljina. I remember that Colonel Novica Simic had been designated a

24 commander of that brigade, and after mobilisation the brigade was to march

25 and take part in war operations in the area of Okucani and Gradiska. We

Page 18875

1 had various tasks to do with mobilisation, and at the time I was one of

2 the officers in charge of mobilisation. I had been completely removed

3 from my previous duties and sidelined and sent to a completely different

4 department. The mobilisation went on for two days, and one battalion of

5 that brigade was mobilised from the area of Bijeljina and its surrounding

6 area, while another battalion came from the area of Sabac and the

7 surrounding villages, and the third one was from Sremska Mitrovica and the

8 surrounding area.

9 The battalions arriving from Serbia were wearing JNA uniforms, but

10 90 per cent of them were not wearing on their caps the insignia worn by

11 the JNA. Instead, they had Chetnik insignia. There was no reaction to

12 this. The leader of our team did not react. We carried out the

13 mobilisation, we formed the brigade. And at about 1500 hours, the brigade

14 was lined up. At this line-up the leader of my team received a report.

15 He was at the rank of general. And he held a speech. We called this

16 moral, political preparation of the brigade for carrying out their task.

17 He did not greet the brigade with the greeting that had previously

18 been used in the JNA. He did not say, "Comrade soldiers, I greet you" but

19 he started with, "God help you brave men." Then he said, "You are brave

20 Serbian heroes who are to set out from here to protect and defend the

21 Serbian people in the Republic of Croatia." And he said other things to

22 that effect, but this is what I remember.

23 My colleagues and I, even those who were Serbs, were surprised by

24 this speech.

25 Q. Sir, just a few questions regarding this event. Can you tell us,

Page 18876

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Page 18877

1 how many men are ordinarily in a brigade?

2 A. That depends on the brigade. This was a light brigade, and it

3 numbers about 1.500 to 2.000 men.

4 Q. So the speech that you're describing for us now was in front of

5 1.500 to 2.000 men; is that correct?

6 A. Yes, precisely so.

7 Q. You described that the people that were mobilised from Serbia had

8 different headgear on than was ordinarily worn by the JNA. Would that

9 have been considered a violation of JNA regulations?

10 A. The soldiers who were mobilised in the area of Sabac and Sremska

11 Mitrovica, a large number of them did not wear the Titovka caps as were

12 worn by JNA members. They were wearing Sajkaca, another type of cap, and

13 on those caps they didn't have the five-cornered star but a Chetnik badge.

14 Q. And would that have been in violation of JNA regulations?

15 A. Under normal conditions, this could not have happened. But under

16 those conditions, when already things were -- this was certainly a very,

17 very serious violation of the rules and regulations in the Yugoslav

18 People's Army at the time. And before that people would be held

19 responsible and sent to prison for such an act.

20 Q. With respect to the content of the speech that was made to these

21 men, would that have been considered an appropriate way to address members

22 of the Yugoslav People's Army?

23 A. This was the first time that I heard anyone addressing a unit of

24 the still-JNA in that way.

25 Secondly, never until then had I heard anything like that being

Page 18878

1 said to a unit that was being prepared for an assignment, even in

2 peacetime. I had never heard a speech along those lines before.

3 Q. Sir, I want to now draw your attention to another subject. Did

4 you become aware during the course of your official duties of members of

5 the Territorial Defence from the Republic of Serbia being deployed outside

6 of the Republic of Serbia?

7 A. While performing my duties, I learnt and saw members of the

8 Territorial Defence from the Republic of Serbia being used or deployed in

9 territories outside the Republic of Serbia. A brigade of the Territorial

10 Defence of Loznica on a number of occasions would come from Loznica to

11 where I was located to rest there, to be replenished, spend the night, and

12 from there it would go on to perform wartime assignments in the Republic

13 of Croatia.

14 Similarly, I know that a battalion of the Territorial Defence from

15 the Republic of Serbia during the attack on Zvornik was used for that

16 attack.

17 Q. Now, just so the record is clear, in what republic is Loznica?

18 A. Loznica is in the Republic of Serbia.

19 Q. Can you describe for the Chamber what is your understanding of

20 what has to be done or who has to give approval before members of one

21 republic's Territorial Defence can be deployed outside of that republic.

22 A. The Territorial Defence in Yugoslavia was formed at the level of

23 republics and there was a republican staff of the Territorial Defence

24 which was subordinated to the political leadership, virtually to the

25 president of the republic, and the republican staff was subordinated in

Page 18879

1 all of Yugoslavia's republics to the presidents of the republics.

2 Q. I want to draw your attention now to another topic. Were you

3 aware during the course of your official duties that there was an effort

4 to take the arms from the territorial depots in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

5 A. An order was issued by the general staff of the Army of Bosnia --

6 no, an order was issued by the general staff of the JNA that all the

7 weapons of the Territorial Defence which used to be stored in the

8 warehouses of the TO, it was secured there, cleaned, and used during

9 military exercises, that it should be seized from the Territorial Defence

10 and placed in warehouses under the control of the JNA. This was carried

11 out 100 per cent in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost also in

12 Croatia but they didn't manage to do that in Slovenia because the Slovenes

13 did not agree.

14 Q. To your knowledge, in the area of which you have knowledge, was

15 this done uniformly despite the different ethnic compositions of the

16 respective municipalities?

17 A. The weapons of the Territorial Defence were seized and placed

18 under the control and in the warehouses of the JNA uniformly regardless of

19 ethnic affiliation, of ethnicity.

20 Q. Did you later learn that some of these weapons were redistributed

21 after they had been taken and placed in the control of the JNA?

22 A. In the spring of 1992, in February, March, weapons of the TO

23 started to be issued and transported from JNA warehouses and started to be

24 distributed mostly to municipal staffs of the Territorial Defence in

25 municipalities inhabited by Serbs.

Page 18880

1 Q. How did you learn this?

2 A. I personally saw the loading of weapons and columns driving the

3 weapons away, columns of vehicles.

4 Q. Can you name some of the specific locations that you have personal

5 knowledge were armed in this way?

6 A. From my location, weapons were taken to Vlasenica, Sekovici,

7 Lopare, Ugljevik. That is what I saw, the columns leaving and the weapons

8 being loaded. This was roughly around March 1992.

9 Q. Now, the Chamber has already heard evidence regarding withdrawal

10 of troops from Slovenia and Croatia. I want to ask you not to focus on

11 the withdrawal itself, but can you comment on your observations regarding

12 where the withdrawing troops, if they did, where they took up positions in

13 Bosnia.

14 A. Mostly the units that were coming from the Republic of Slovenia

15 and the Republic of Croatia would come to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they

16 were deployed. In the area where I was stationed, a very strong unit

17 arrived, known as the 4th Armoured Brigade from Jastrebarsko, in Croatia,

18 and it was deployed mostly in locations where the municipalities with a

19 majority Serb population were located. I can say that this brigade

20 consisted of a battalion of tanks, T-84 tanks, and two battalions had

21 T-55. And they were deployed -- one battalion was in the area of Sekovici

22 and the villages in Sekovici municipality; one battalion from Zvornik

23 towards Bijeljina; and a third battalion secured the airport.

24 Q. Can you tell us how many tanks would be in a battalion of tanks?

25 A. A battalion consists of 31 tanks.

Page 18881

1 Q. And as best you can recall, what were -- what was the time period

2 when this occurred?

3 A. This brigade arrived in the autumn of 1991, and I know that the

4 brigade commander, together with the other commanders in that area of

5 responsibility, was received by the president of that municipality, which

6 was the largest municipality in that area, towards New Year's Eve.

7 Q. Did there come a time when the primary warehouses in your command

8 were emptied and the goods therein transported to somewhere else?

9 A. Regarding the warehouses, the commands, and the units in the

10 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, attempts were made to avoid all the

11 weaknesses and omissions made by the JNA in Slovenia and especially in

12 Croatia. Namely, all warehouses and all units and commands that were in

13 areas with mixed populations or majority Croatian or Bosniak populations,

14 that those warehouses be moved from there and relocated to areas with

15 majority Serb populations. The same applied to all headquarters or

16 commands. They, too, were relocated to areas and towns with a majority

17 Serb population. And by the end of March 1992, this process had been

18 completed.

19 Q. What was the reaction of the officers in your command to these

20 events, this transfer of troops and transfer of munitions?

21 A. In those days, we non-Serb officers had already realised that

22 something was in the offing in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well. It became

23 clear to us in the first place because not a single non-Serb officer went

24 together with his high command to a new location, but usually non-Serb

25 officers, and also Serb officers who were married to a Croat or a Bosniak,

Page 18882

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Page 18883

1 would remain at the old location of the command and would perform

2 subsidiary activities.

3 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, may I address the Chamber before I put

4 this next exhibit to the witness?

5 The witness very recently has provided a videotape to the Office

6 of the Prosecutor. In fact, the copies for disclosure won't be available

7 until 9.00 tomorrow morning. I just at this point seek to mark it for

8 identification, ask the witness a couple of questions regarding its

9 origin, and then when a transcript is available and when both sides have

10 had an opportunity to view it, at that point possibly tender the exhibit.

11 But simply marked for identification at this stage.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

13 MR. GROOME: I'd ask that this exhibit, which is tab 5 of

14 Prosecution 425, be shown to the witness.

15 Q. Sir, I ask you: Yesterday, did you view a copy of a tape that you

16 provided to the Office of the Prosecutor recently?

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 Q. Is that the copy that you're holding in your hand?

19 A. Yes, it is. Yes.

20 Q. How do you know that that's the copy?

21 A. Because I reviewed it and I signed it on the 8th of April, 2003.

22 Q. Can you just in a sentence or two summarise for the Chamber, what

23 is this tape? What's contained on this tape?

24 A. On this tape the commander of the 2nd Military District, General

25 Colonel Kukanjac, in June 1992 is giving an interview to Risto Djogo, a

Page 18884

1 journalist of the Serbian television station SRNA. What is important

2 regarding this tape - and I shall put it briefly --

3 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to -- I'm going to interrupt, if I may. I

4 think we may need to consider the admissibility of this tape before we go

5 any further. When we've got a transcript, we can look at it and decide

6 whether it's admissible or not. I notice the type of evidence it is.

7 There are sometimes objections. It may be in this case there won't be,

8 but we ought to consider it before we go any further or hear any other

9 evidence about it.

10 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MAY: But we'll mark it for identification.

12 MR. GROOME: Can I just ask him how he came into possession of the

13 tape?

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course.

15 MR. GROOME:

16 Q. Can you please tell us how you came into possession of this tape.

17 A. This tape was a recording from the Serbian television SRNA

18 programme.

19 Q. And during the course of your duties, were you familiar with the

20 voice -- did you have interaction with Lieutenant General -- or General

21 Colonel Kukanjac?

22 A. I worked with General Kukanjac for many years.

23 Q. And is that his voice that's on the tape?

24 A. His voice, his image.

25 Q. Thank you. I want to now draw your attention to the referendum in

Page 18885

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina in March of 1992. Can you please tell us what your

2 reaction and the reaction of some of the other soldiers in your command

3 was to this referendum.

4 A. First of all, in those days I didn't have any soldiers under my

5 command because, as I had told you, I had been sidelined to a less

6 significant position. I can say that most of the officers in my command,

7 even some Serbs, voted at that referendum. And in view of the

8 developments and the course of events in Yugoslavia, it was quite normal

9 for such a referendum to be held in the territory of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina when all the other attempts, the attempt at confederation or

11 nothing else was successful, Croatia and Slovenia had already been granted

12 independence, so that we considered it normal.

13 JUDGE MAY: We've already heard evidence about this. I think we

14 will deal with what the witness himself saw or heard.

15 MR. GROOME:

16 Q. I want to draw your attention now to the latter part of May 1992,

17 after the JNA officially withdrew from Bosnia. Can you describe for us

18 what, if any, personal knowledge you have regarding the involvement of the

19 Yugoslav army in Bosnia after that date and time.

20 A. After the withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army from the

21 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the virtual cessation of its

22 existence as the Yugoslav People's Army on the 4th or whether it was the

23 19th of May that it became the Army of Yugoslavia, I am familiar with the

24 participation of units of the Army of Yugoslavia in activities in the

25 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Page 18886

1 Q. Can you please tell us the specific instances which you have

2 knowledge about.

3 A. First of all, I can say that the involvement of the Novi Sad Corps

4 occurred on several occasions in the area of the corridor, Posavina

5 Corridor, especially in October 1992, when the Posavski corridor was being

6 secured and broadened. And this fact was confirmed by an officer who,

7 during the operation of the Novi Sad Corps, was captured together with

8 three other soldiers and who was interrogated by our organs and he

9 confirmed that he belonged to the Novi Sad Corps. And this same person

10 several months later was exchanged.

11 Q. Are there any other examples of which you have personal knowledge?

12 A. I know about this and I had personal contact with this major. I

13 also am aware of the participation of the Uzice Corps in the region of

14 Skelani, near Bratunac, and Srebrenica, also the involvement of the Uzice

15 Corps in the region of Gorazde and in those places in -- along the Drina

16 River Valley. And it is known for certain that those units were under the

17 direct command of General Ojdanic, as he was the commander of the Uzice

18 Corps.

19 Q. I would ask you to be as precise as possible in telling us when it

20 was that the Uzice Corps was involved in these different areas.

21 A. The Uzice Corps in the area of Skelani and Gorazde participated

22 from May 1992 up until about July 1992. That is the information I

23 received from my intelligence organs.

24 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the question of

25 paramilitaries. Can you please describe what you know about the use of

Page 18887

1 paramilitaries in some of the events in Bosnia.

2 A. In the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as in the territory of

3 the Republic of Croatia, the event that I described in Mirkovci, the

4 aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina started with the infiltration

5 and activities of these paramilitary units. The first such unit, very

6 well organised unit, very well trained and very well organised, was

7 infiltrated from the Republic of Serbia into Bosnia and Herzegovina in the

8 region of Bijeljina, and we are aware of the event that occurred in

9 Bijeljina so that I don't have to describe it.

10 Also, the use of these paramilitary units - I would never call

11 them paramilitary, I'd call them special, well-trained units - they were

12 used throughout the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And the very use of that

13 unit in 1995, when the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was about to liberate

14 Bijeljina, Arkan's brigade arrived, joined in, and virtually halted the

15 further progress of the units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina at a most

16 important point of the line.

17 Q. Can you describe, based upon your military experience, what

18 function these special troops performed in the military plans or the

19 military events as you became aware of them.

20 A. Again, I won't call them anything but special units. And their

21 task was the same as during the aggression on Bosnia-Herzegovina; at the

22 beginning of the war, to infiltrate certain areas, shall we say Bijeljina

23 Zvornik, to cause chaos there, to kill 30, 50, or several civilians,

24 mostly men of some prestige. That was always done, that people of repute

25 be liquidated in a particular town. To loot, to cause disruption and

Page 18888

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Page 18889

1 thereby lead to JNA units blocking the area and in fact taking part in the

2 occupation of those areas.

3 Q. Was the command that you were part of in the JNA aware of the

4 presence of and the activities of these special units, as you call them?

5 A. As soon as the first unit arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the

6 command, of which I was a member, knew about it, knew that the unit had

7 arrived from the Republic of Serbia, and what it had done in Bijeljina.

8 Q. What was your -- the position of your commander or the commander

9 of your corps regarding these special units?

10 A. The commander of the corps at the time, together with units of the

11 Yugoslav People's Army, as it was still the Yugoslav People's Army, did

12 not react or respond at all to the activities of this special unit. There

13 was no reaction to the fact that from another state, which was by then

14 another state, a unit had been infiltrated and had actually committed a

15 crime against the civilian population, though this was the duty of the

16 Yugoslav People's Army to do so because it said in black letters in our

17 rules that in addition to the protection of the integrity of Yugoslavia,

18 it was the task of the JNA to protect the security and safety of the

19 population of Yugoslavia.

20 Q. I want to draw your attention to Bijeljina. The Chamber has heard

21 extensive evidence on what has happened in Bijeljina. I want you to

22 describe for the Chamber to the extent you're able what resources of the

23 JNA were present in Bijeljina or in the vicinity of Bijeljina at the time

24 of the end of March, early April 1992.

25 A. In Bijeljina itself, the division command was stationed. From

Page 18890

1 Zvornik toward Sepak-Janja, most of the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Armoured

2 Brigade were deployed. At the entrance to Bijeljina, from one direction

3 -- in any event all the approaches to Bijeljina were blocked by units of

4 the Yugoslav People's Army.

5 Q. Can you assist us by putting in very simple terms the number -- or

6 the size of the JNA presence there. Maybe simply by telling us the

7 approximate number of men that would have been deployed and the different

8 types of equipment that would have been deployed.

9 A. In Bijeljina itself, there weren't many men in the barracks

10 itself. There may have been 100 or a little over. I know that for

11 certain. Less than 200. But around Bijeljina, there were deployed about

12 18 tanks and three infantry and one motorised battalion.

13 Q. And what would comprise -- or what would a motorised battalion be

14 comprised of?

15 A. A motorised battalion mostly consists of infantry units on motor

16 vehicles, so it's an infantry battalion -- a motorised infantry battalion.

17 As for weaponry, it has all infantry weapons; it has 82-millimetre

18 mortars, 120-millimetre mortars, and anti-aircraft guns of 40 millimetres.

19 Q. According to the rules and regulations of the Yugoslav People's

20 Army, what would have been the required response if, given this presence,

21 there was an incursion of an armed non-regular force of men?

22 A. According to the regulations and the tasks of the JNA, my

23 commander, according to all the rules and regulations then in force,

24 should have issued an order that this group should be arrested and placed

25 under control.

Page 18891

1 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the latter part of the first

2 week in April 1992. Did you see on the television a video clip of

3 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic's visit to Bijeljina?

4 A. After the events in Bijeljina, the massacre that was carried out,

5 Biljana Plavsic, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, arrived

6 there, as well as Fikret Abdic, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and

7 Herzegovina, and Colonel General Prasovic arrived, the chief of staff of

8 the 2nd Military District. I saw Biljana Plavsic embracing and kissing

9 the man who had carried out the massacre in Bijeljina. I saw Colonel

10 General Prasovic practically reporting to Arkan and praising him for

11 having completed his task well instead of doing what I have just

12 mentioned, arresting the entire group.

13 Q. The 2nd Military District, over what area did that military

14 district have responsibility?

15 A. The 2nd Military District was established after the dissolution of

16 the 5th Military District, which was the Zagreb district. It had its seat

17 in Sarajevo, and Colonel General Milutin Kukanjac was at its head. The

18 Chief of Staff was General Prasovic, and its area of responsibility was

19 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of the Knin Krajina, parts

20 of Slavonia and Baranja, and practically the territory as far as the

21 Danube and the Drina Rivers.

22 Q. I want to now ask you to look at a video clip.

23 MR. GROOME: If I might say to the Chamber, the portion of the

24 video that I'd like to witness to comment on goes by very quickly. So

25 I've actually made two stills of the video, and I would like to show the

Page 18892

1 stills first so that when the video does play, everyone in the court will

2 be attuned to the moment in time that I will ask the witness to speak

3 about.

4 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look at the monitor in front of you.

5 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the usher to set it up for Sanction.

6 Q. Do you recognise the photograph before you?

7 A. On this photograph, I recognise the chief of the 2nd Military

8 District, General Prasovic, with his hand raised in salute, reporting to

9 Arkan.

10 On this picture, he is greeting Arkan after reporting to him.

11 Q. And are both these photographs from a video of this event?

12 A. These photographs were shown on the television of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the same day.

14 Q. I'm going to ask that the clip be played, and I will ask for your

15 comments afterwards.

16 MR. GROOME: And I would note that this is a clip from Serbian

17 television, and this is Prosecution Exhibit 425, tab 4.

18 [Videotape played]

19 A. Here we can see again the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Military

20 District in the centre, Lieutenant General Prasovic. To his right is

21 Fikret Abdic, and to his left is Biljana Plavsic.

22 MR. GROOME: I want to now ask that the witness be shown

23 Prosecution Exhibit 425, tab 2. I'd ask that the original B/C/S version

24 be handed to the witness.

25 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to take a look at this document, in particular

Page 18893

1 the person who authored the document.

2 A. This is a document that was drawn up every day, and by 2000 hours

3 it had to be sent to the superior command. This was a daily operative

4 report sent by the command to its superior command.

5 Q. I'd like you to read the first -- the first sentence following the

6 number 2. If you could just read that aloud for us, the first sentence of

7 number 2.

8 A. "The combat readiness of corps units ensures fulfilment of the

9 task. All units are at the highest level of combat readiness, especially

10 the forces of Operative Group 1 and those in the Bijeljina Garrison."

11 Q. Please stop. I just want to ask you to comment on that one

12 sentence. Does that sentence indicate that the JNA in the Bijeljina

13 Garrison was at full capacity or full combat readiness?

14 A. According to this report by the commander dispatching this, the

15 units in the Bijeljina area are fully manned, fully equipped with materiel

16 and equipment, and they are in a state of full combat readiness.

17 Q. Based on your experience, would the Bijeljina Garrison at this

18 state of readiness been equipped and able to have dealt with the incursion

19 of Arkan and his men into the Bijeljina area?

20 A. The units that are in Bijeljina, not to mention those in the

21 immediate vicinity of Bijeljina near Janja where there was a large number

22 of tanks, could very easily have dealt with this special purpose unit

23 brought by Arkan which carried out an aggression and which was armed

24 neither with tanks nor with APCs. They had mainly light weapons and

25 anti-aircraft guns with single-barrel and three-barrel guns. So there

Page 18894

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8

9

10

11

12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.

14

15

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18

19

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21

22

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24

25

Page 18895

1 would have been no problem for the JNA units, those in the barracks, to

2 have dealt with Arkan.

3 Q. I'd ask you now to read the first sentence following the number 4.

4 A. "The situation in the territory is extremely complex. The town of

5 Bijeljina is controlled by the SDS and Arkan's men, who do not even allow

6 our anti-tank unit to reach certain positions in the town."

7 Q. Can I ask for your comment on that sentence.

8 A. I have information from a lieutenant colonel who was a commanding

9 officer that there were two tanks in Bijeljina, and with one tank and one

10 platoon of soldiers he had tried to go out of the barracks and he had been

11 slapped by Arkan. His superior command ordered him to return to barracks.

12 Q. I want to draw your attention to two other sentences in the

13 document, the next one being the first sentence following the number 8,

14 "Conclusion."

15 A. "The security and political situation in the corps' zone of

16 responsibility is very complex and in certain areas it's even critical

17 (Bosanski Brod and Bijeljina). There is a real danger that the situation

18 might considerably deteriorate in the municipalities of Zvornik, Tuzla,

19 Zivinice and Brcko, including the threat of inter-ethnic conflicts with

20 incalculable consequences."

21 Q. As a matter of ordinary course of operations for the JNA, would

22 the chief of staff have been made aware of this commander's assessment of

23 the situation in these municipalities mentioned in this document?

24 A. The chief of staff had to be completely aware of the situation

25 because he was the one planning and conducting combat operations.

Page 18896

1 Q. And the last sentence I would ask you to read is the last sentence

2 of the document, just above the commander's name and signature.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have the impression that there is

6 something unclear here. I understood Mr. Groome to be asking whether the

7 chief of the general staff of the JNA had to be aware of this, and the

8 witness was speaking of the chief of staff of a lower-level unit. To

9 clear up this misunderstanding, I ask for clarification.

10 JUDGE MAY: If you can clarify it, Mr. Groome.

11 MR. GROOME:

12 Q. I was asking you about the chief of the general staff. Can you

13 please comment on whether he would have been made aware of the situation

14 under the ordinary course of operations.

15 A. In principle, according to all the military rules and regulations

16 then in force in the JNA, the chief of staff was the highest-ranking

17 officer in charge of a staff and he was responsible for the planning and

18 execution of all military operations, and from the highest to the lowest

19 level, the chief of staff would have to be completely informed of the

20 whole situation on the ground and the situation in the units of the JNA.

21 Q. Now could I ask you to read the last sentence of the document.

22 A. "The measures of heightened combat readiness in commands and units

23 have been taken to ensure adequate protection of people and lives, weapons

24 and equipment --" "The measures taken of heightened combat readiness in

25 commands and units ensure adequate protection of people and lives, weapons

Page 18897

1 and equipment in all the units of the corps."

2 Q. Would this line -- would this particular sentence indicate that it

3 was this commander's view that he was in a position to adequately protect

4 the people and lives of the people within his area of responsibility?

5 A. In my personal opinion, when it says here "adequate protection of

6 people and lives," that the commander who sent this combat report was

7 referring to his men and his units, that he was not referring to the

8 population in his area of responsibility.

9 MR. GROOME: I'd ask now that the witness be shown Prosecution

10 Exhibit 425, tab 3.

11 Q. This is a telegram. I want to draw your attention to a

12 handwritten note on the telegram. Do you recognise the handwriting of

13 that handwritten note?

14 A. Yes, I know the handwriting very well. I have seen it many times.

15 I also know the signature; I recognise it. The handwriting belongs to

16 Lieutenant General Milutin Kukanjac, the commander of the 2nd Military

17 District.

18 Q. I'm going to ask you to read a portion of this telegram. I'm

19 going to ask you to read the first line, and I will, if you don't mind,

20 interrupt you about halfway through it.

21 A. "I hereby inform you that in Mali Zvornik the chief negotiator

22 with the representatives of the Zvornik Municipal Assembly and the Serbian

23 Municipality of Zvornik was Arkan. The negotiations were also attended by

24 Captain Dragan Obrenovic as well as Alija and Abdulah and Jovo Mijatovic.

25 Arkan was the chief negotiator on behalf of the other side, and two

Page 18898

1 representatives were previously beaten up. Zvornik needs to lay down its

2 arms, and the Crisis Staff of the Zvornik Municipal Assembly should make a

3 decision on the ultimatum by 1600 hours. I do not think that the

4 ultimatum will be accepted and I believe that this will lead to an

5 unprecedented massacre of the unprotected and innocent population and to

6 horrible environmental consequences as a result of suicidal action by the

7 probably desperate --" it probably means desperate -- "population. I send

8 you this dispatch as a cry to heaven and an appeal to you to in line with

9 the most illustrious traditions of the JNA and the highest moral norms of

10 our people to protect the --" it says here "respectable population" --

11 "from a disaster --"

12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it says -- it

13 doesn't say "respectable," it says "endangered," the endangered

14 population.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, one letter is missing. All

16 right. All right. "Endangered."

17 "... the endangered population from a catastrophe such as they

18 have never before experienced, probably, in their history." Experienced.

19 MR. GROOME:

20 Q. Thank you. Who is the author of this cable?

21 A. This telegram was written by Izet Mehinagic. He was the director

22 of the public company for the construction of the Tuzla-Zvornik railway

23 and a great friend of General Milutin Kukanjac. I know that they

24 socialised while the gentleman was in Tuzla.

25 Q. Can you briefly describe the resources of the JNA that were in the

Page 18899

1 area of Zvornik and Mali Zvornik that would have been in a position to

2 have interceded when Arkan arrived in Zvornik.

3 A. I said that when the 4th Armoured Brigade arrived from

4 Jastrebarsko one battalion of that brigade was deployed in Zvornik, and

5 the brigade on its own could have challenged Arkan. This battalion of the

6 armoured brigade on its own could have dealt with him effectively.

7 However, in the vicinity of Zvornik, there were far more significant

8 units, some 30 or 40 kilometres away. These were motorised units, they

9 were well armed, and they could have arrived in Zvornik very quickly. And

10 had such an order been issued, they could have responded and prevented the

11 massacre that was carried out in Zvornik.

12 Q. Sir, before --

13 JUDGE KWON: If you could read the handwriting portion also.

14 MR. GROOME: That was my next question.

15 JUDGE KWON: Yes.

16 MR. GROOME:

17 Q. Could you please read the handwritten note of General Kukanjac.

18 A. "To Jankovic to take all measures to protect citizens in Zvornik."

19 Q. To your knowledge, were --

20 A. First it says, "Inform General Jankovic." That's precisely what

21 it says. "Inform General Jankovic to take all measures to protect

22 citizens in Zvornik."

23 Q. In your view, were all measures taken to protect the citizens of

24 Zvornik?

25 A. We know what the result was of the activities of Arkan and the

Page 18900

1 other units attacking Zvornik. Practically not a single unit of the JNA

2 was activated to prevent what Arkan did in Zvornik.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.

5 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes. We will allow

6 time for discussion of the procedural matters concerning the witnesses

7 under Rule 92 bis at half past 1.00. We'll continue with

8 cross-examination after the 20-minutes' adjournment.

9 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.

10 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.

12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, my apologies. I neglected to ask a

13 couple of questions regarding cultural property, which this witness has

14 personal knowledge. May I reopen my examination?

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

16 MR. GROOME:

17 Q. Sir, were you ever present or do you have any personal knowledge

18 regarding the destruction of mosques and other cultural property?

19 A. In the area of responsibility of which I was in command, I was

20 present and I did see quite a number of religious and cultural buildings

21 being blown up or hit by artillery during the aggression against

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

23 Q. Can I ask you to just list the municipalities where you have this

24 knowledge of cultural property and religious property being destroyed.

25 A. In the municipality of Gradacac, all the mosques were destroyed,

Page 18901

1 mostly with artillery. In the municipality of Brcko, all the mosques have

2 been destroyed, mostly by being blown up. In Bijeljina municipality, all

3 five mosques were destroyed by planting explosives and blowing them up.

4 In the municipality of Kladanj, the minaret of the mosque was directly hit

5 and destroyed.

6 Q. Based upon your own personal knowledge, are you aware or were

7 there any indications to you that with respect to the artillery used to

8 damage this religious property, that it was used in such a way that

9 indicated to you that it was not collateral damage but intended damage to

10 the property?

11 A. Religious property was destroyed not in the course of combat

12 operations but by being directly targeted. That is, the minaret was

13 targeted and they would be cut in half. In a locality called Rahic, the

14 mosque was destroyed by a direct hit with a plane bomb. I was nearby when

15 it was destroyed. So that these religious buildings were not destroyed in

16 the course of combat operations but by intentional destruction of

17 religious buildings so that no trace of them would remain.

18 Q. Thank you.

19 MR. GROOME: No further questions.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

21 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1493, you started your testimony this morning

23 by explaining how plans were made. And as I have noted down here, the

24 words you used were "the danger of a possible internal enemy, that is,

25 extremists of the HDZ"; is that right?

Page 18902

1 A. I said that the plan was headed "Engagement of units of which I

2 was in command in the event of the introduction of a state of emergency,"

3 and in the text of the order mention was made as a potential internal

4 enemy extremist sections of the HDZ.

5 Q. Very well. That is what I wish to establish. You received that

6 assignment to prepare the plan in March 1991; is that right?

7 A. Yes, quite.

8 Q. Very well. And were you aware of the events in Croatia in 1990

9 and up until March 1991 when you were assigned to compile that plan? What

10 was going on? What was happening to the Serbs in Croatia up until that

11 date?

12 A. I do know what was happening in those areas in Croatia. I know of

13 the Balvan or log revolution in the Knin Krajina, I am aware of the events

14 at Plitvice lakes where policemen were killed, and some other such

15 incidents.

16 Q. And do you know that in precisely that period of time, that is, in

17 1990 up until March 1991, persecution in the broader sense of Serbs in

18 Croatia were -- was underway? Are you aware of that?

19 A. As a good portion of Croatia was in the area of responsibility of

20 the unit of which I was a member and I went to areas quite a number of

21 times that were mostly inhabited by Serbs, I do not know of a single

22 example of Serbs being persecuted in Croatia.

23 Q. In the area of responsibility of the unit of which you were a

24 member, includes the parts of Croatia known as Eastern Slavonia, Baranja,

25 Western Srem, Pozega, so on.

Page 18903

1 A. I am referring precisely to those areas, and I do not know that up

2 until 1991 there was a single case of an organised persecution of the

3 civilian population in those areas.

4 Q. And do you remember that there were a series of silent

5 liquidations of individual Serbs in those areas? Do you recall the

6 activities of groups headed by Tomislav Mercep in Eastern Slavonia? Do

7 you still remember the secret arming of the HDZ? Do you remember the

8 dismissals, especially from the police, the state administration and

9 public services of --

10 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with these one at a time. So the first

11 question was -- just a moment. It's -- I know you say it's cumulative,

12 but the witness can't answer a list of questions. He can only answer one

13 question at a time.

14 Now, the first question is: Do you know about the liquidation of

15 individual Serbs? Was there any, to your knowledge?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the knowledge I have,

17 the authorities in power at the time in the Republic of Croatia did not in

18 an organised manner carry out silent individual liquidations. If there

19 were any such liquidations, there may have been settling of accounts

20 between debtors or political opponents. But as I was saying, in the area

21 of responsibility in which I was working and living, there is -- it is

22 quite certain that there were no organised liquidations of Serbs by

23 non-Serbs. I am saying this up until May 1991.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Very well. What about these other tendencies that I mentioned?

Page 18904

1 Do you remember that Serbs were expelled from the constitution as a

2 constituent nation? Do you remember the decision on the secession of

3 Croatia? Do you remember --

4 JUDGE MAY: One moment. Before we get on to the political

5 matters, you were asked about the activities of Tomislav Mercep. Do you

6 know anything about them?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regarding the activities of the

8 mentioned group, I know nothing about them.

9 JUDGE MAY: Or it's suggested the -- there was a secret arming of

10 the HDZ. Do you know anything about that, if there was?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Regarding secret arming, that is

12 common knowledge that there were -- that it did take place.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Very well. Did you in the JNA have then and up until then, when

15 you were assigned this task of preparing the plan, that there was a

16 resurrection of the Ustasha movement in Croatia and that forcible

17 secession from Yugoslavia was about to take place?

18 A. Up until our work on that plan, that is, until 1991, I was not

19 aware that in the area where I was a single unit was formed or any

20 organised Ustasha groupings.

21 Q. So you knew nothing about secession?

22 A. Yes, I did know about secession.

23 Q. And did you know anything about large-scale dismissals of Serb

24 members of the police and public services?

25 A. In the police of the Republic of Croatia, after 1991 I did come

Page 18905

1 across in Zagreb and in Slavonski Brod and in Osijek policemen of Serb

2 ethnicity. Probably there were dismissals of those who did not abide by

3 the laws and regulations.

4 Q. Very well. A moment ago you said that you did know about

5 secession; is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And did you in the army consider it to be the duty of the JNA to

8 protect the integrity of the country? Is that one of its priority duties?

9 A. I said that the Yugoslav People's Army, its first and foremost

10 task was to protect the unity and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.

11 Q. Why, then, was it not logical for the army to prepare a plan to be

12 able to carry out that task, to protect the integrity of the country,

13 which unfortunately didn't succeed but at least to try to protect it? Why

14 is that unusual?

15 A. According to my modest knowledge as a high-ranking officer of the

16 JNA, it is my conviction that the top-level military leadership came under

17 the very powerful influence of the political leadership and it did not

18 undertake the measures which the general staff, headed by the federal

19 secretary, should have undertaken because it succumbed to influence and

20 the orders of the political leadership that was at the time at the head of

21 the state.

22 Q. Do you know that then, that is, in March 1991 and before March

23 1991 and even after March 1991, this top-level military leadership was by

24 ethnicity least of all Serbian?

25 A. The chief of the general staff in those days was Adzic.

Page 18906

1 Q. A Serb from Bosnia?

2 A. A Serb from Gacko and Nevesinje.

3 Q. The federal secretary was Veljko Kadijevic, from Imotsko, who was

4 from a mixed Serb-Croat marriage.

5 A. He was a Yugoslav.

6 Q. Yes, a Yugoslav. And who was the commander of your army district?

7 A. For a short period, Spirkovksi was the commander of the 1st

8 Military District and he was replaced shortly after that.

9 Q. And who was commander of the 5th one in Zagreb?

10 A. At first it was a Croat and he was replaced shortly.

11 Q. When was that?

12 A. In 1991.

13 Q. So in 1991 he wasn't the commander.

14 A. In 1991, Spegelj was no longer the commander.

15 Q. So he was commander only in 1990, was he?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Very well. Let us move on to the next matter that you addressed

18 at the very beginning of your examination-in-chief. On the 2nd of May,

19 you were given an order and went to Vinkovci with a joint detachment; is

20 that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. This was a joint detachment consisting of five platoons, as you

23 said, and the strength was about 120 men; is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And the assignment you were given was to prevent inter-ethnic

Page 18907

1 conflicts in the area to which you were dispatched; is that right? That

2 is, the broader area around Vinkovci; is that right?

3 A. Yes, from Vinkovci towards Borovo Selo.

4 Q. And what happened in Borovo Selo immediately prior to that? Are

5 you aware of the incursion of the police that opened fire on the citizens

6 of Borovo Selo?

7 A. I am aware of that.

8 Q. And this was their reaction; the sending of two JNA detachments

9 came after that.

10 Q. And were you aware that having been sent there for that particular

11 reason, what was the reason for the police to open fire on peasants in

12 Borovo Selo?

13 A. Because fire was opened at the police.

14 Q. I see. So the police came to Borovo Selo for it to be fired upon.

15 A. The police was already in Borovo Selo.

16 Q. Don't you know that the police came to Borovo Selo in two buses

17 and several other vehicles, came out of those vehicles and opened fire

18 quite unreasonably on the population?

19 A. Yes, I know that. But the police had come to intervene after a

20 conflict had broken out.

21 Q. Who was the conflict between in Borovo Selo?

22 JUDGE MAY: There's no point, Mr. Milosevic. This witness has no

23 direct evidence of these events in Borovo Selo. There's no point really

24 arguing with him about it. Let's move on to something he does know about.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, Mr. May, I

Page 18908

1 will move on.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. In the night between the 2nd and 3rd of May you arrived in

4 Vinkovci, and then in the morning you started off to Mirkovci and you then

5 described the incidents in the area between Mirkovci and Jankovci; is that

6 right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You explained that in front of Mirkovci you came across a

9 roadblock manned by a total of three men; is that right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Did you see any other barricades in Mirkovci on the way out

12 towards Jankovci?

13 A. Upon leaving the village of Mirkovci, there were no barricades.

14 Q. Apart from those three men and their commander who they called to

15 talk to you, did you see any other men with arms?

16 A. According to the report of my military police patrol, they -- from

17 a house that was burning, they saw four armed men dressed in the same

18 uniforms as those at the roadblock.

19 Q. Very well. So you established as the head of that unit, you had

20 three men at the roadblock and their commander, and you also established

21 that there were another four men that were seen in Jankovci; is that

22 right?

23 A. I saw that, but from the president of the local community of

24 Mirkovci, at a meeting with them, I was told that a unit had come to

25 Mirkovci, a large unit, which had spread out in the village.

Page 18909

1 Q. Did you see that unit?

2 A. I did not see the unit. As I say, I only saw the three men at the

3 roadblock -- or rather, four, and I was informed by the patrol that there

4 were another four who had set fire to the house.

5 Q. And you had a detachment 120 strong, a regular JNA unit. You say

6 that you saw men in some sort of Chetnik uniforms. And we have now

7 established that you saw three of them, or rather, four of them -- plus

8 four, a total of seven. So tell me, please --

9 A. Eight. I'm sorry, eight.

10 Q. Fine, eight. Why did you not -- considering them to have provoked

11 the conflict -- was that your conclusion, that they had provoked the

12 conflict?

13 A. My conclusion when I came across the roadblock was not such that

14 those men at the barricades had caused anything. People were lying down

15 next to the machine-guns and they had bandoliers on them and the

16 machine-guns were pointing towards Vinkovci, that is, the direction from

17 which my detachment was coming, and they were not opening fire. But

18 obviously those other men were firing where I had sent the police patrol,

19 and they set the house on fire, so it was them who had provoked the

20 clash.

21 Q. But as far as I was able to see, they were members of one and the

22 same unit, weren't they, they were one and the same group?

23 A. I don't understand.

24 Q. So these three at the roadblock, and the four you saw burning a

25 house in Jankovci, they were surely members of the same group?

Page 18910

1 A. They were not the same group because these ones remained at the

2 roadblock, and the four of them who were burning the house, they fled --

3 or rather, withdrew towards Mirkovci.

4 Q. But you were already between Mirkovci and Jankovci, so you were in

5 a sense in control of Mirkovci by then.

6 A. I had passed through Mirkovci. I've explained that. And the head

7 of the column reached the village of Jankovci. When I saw the house on

8 fire and I heard the shooting, I explained that I stopped the column and I

9 ordered the detachment to deploy in combat formation.

10 Q. Tell me, as you were a high-ranking officer then and later, was it

11 clear to you that this was a paramilitary formation?

12 A. The one at the barricade and the other four you mean?

13 Q. Yes, both.

14 A. It was clear to me that this was not a unit belonging to the JNA.

15 Q. So it could have only been a paramilitary unit or a group of

16 criminals or something like that.

17 A. Yes, precisely what is known as a paramilitary formation. But I

18 think it was a well-organised unit since this commander who came out to

19 the roadblock and said that he would let me through when he is given

20 permission from his commander in Sremska Mitrovica, so it seems -- it

21 appeared that the control and command system in the unit was well

22 established.

23 Q. Let us not talk about the control and command in a unit of eight

24 men. But tell me, since you were sent there to re-establish order, why

25 didn't you disarm and arrest those men?

Page 18911

1 A. I didn't do that because I would have probably provoked a conflict

2 between my detachment and that unit.

3 Q. But wasn't that your job to do that, to -- since you yourself say

4 that you were given the assignment to restore order, isn't it the job of

5 an armed group of soldiers of the JNA who have the assignment to restore

6 order to disarm such a unit and arrest those men? Why were you going

7 there otherwise?

8 A. I went there in order to prevent an inter-ethnic conflict between

9 two villages of different ethnicities.

10 Q. Well, was it clear from what you say that those people were

11 participating in the conflict?

12 A. Precisely so.

13 Q. Well, why didn't you stop them?

14 A. Because that was not my task.

15 Q. So your task did not include the use of your unit but only an

16 inspection of the situation.

17 A. And preventing a conflict between the inhabitants of Mirkovci and

18 Jankovci.

19 Q. Well, who was it who was having a fight among the inhabitants of

20 Mirkovci and Jankovci? Was it a fight between Serbs, among themselves, or

21 was it Croatian forces and Serbian forces that were in conflict there?

22 A. When I arrived, there was no conflict of local people from

23 Mirkovci and Jankovci. I explained that a house was on fire. In the

24 basement of that house -- or rather, on the ground floor there was an inn

25 and the local Serbs whose houses were right next to that inn - there were

Page 18912

1 four Serb houses - they explained to me that this group had arrived,

2 driven out all the people who happened to be in the pub, driven out the

3 owner of the house, that they had then set the house on fire, and that

4 they were causing disruption and disorder. So the local people asked to

5 be protected from that unit.

6 Q. So the Serbs living there asked you to protect -- asked you to

7 protect them from them.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. But still you didn't arrest them. You have just said you didn't

10 want to arrest them in order not to cause a conflict between the two

11 villages. You were informed that these were not local people, that this

12 was a group that had arrived from elsewhere, and yet you did not disarm

13 and arrest them, even though they had come from elsewhere. And then it

14 was clear that this would not have caused a conflict between the two

15 villages.

16 A. Well, the tactics were to introduce a paramilitary unit to cause

17 disruption, to cause a conflict, and then to send in larger units, and

18 that was a scenario. Very soon after I left, the unit -- there was an

19 attack from Mirkovci to Jankovci and Jankovci was practically occupied.

20 Q. Well, was that not an even stronger reason for you to intervene?

21 A. I did introduce order there. The shooting stopped while I was

22 there.

23 Q. Very well. Evidently we cannot agree on this.

24 A. It's precisely because I introduced order that I was replaced and

25 another commander was brought in. After a few days of his arrival, a

Page 18913

1 conflict broke out where the detachment I had arrived in participated in

2 the conflict and practically blockaded the village of Jankovci and then

3 made it possible for that situation to be forced out, for that population

4 to be expelled.

5 Q. So the detachment you brought there later acted against the

6 civilian population in Jankovci.

7 A. Yes, together with the paramilitary units.

8 Q. Well, this seems quite incredible to me. But you sent a written

9 report about what had happened and what you had seen on the ground; isn't

10 that correct?

11 A. Yes, I sent a regular combat report to my superior command.

12 Q. Do you have this report?

13 A. No, I don't. I wasn't allowed to keep it.

14 Q. You couldn't keep a copy of the report you were sending? It was

15 your report you were sending? You don't have your own report?

16 A. We never had the right to keep copies of our reports because this

17 was of a strictly confidential nature and it was sent only to the command

18 that had given us our orders.

19 Q. Very well. So you sent this report, and on the basis of this

20 report, the answer you received was that you should stay there and make

21 sure that the situation was calm; is that correct?

22 A. Yes, it is.

23 Q. Well, the person who came to replace you, was he of a lower rank

24 than you?

25 A. He was of the same rank.

Page 18914

1 Q. Of the same rank? And how do you explain the reason for this

2 switch?

3 A. I didn't have to explain this to anyone. I received an order from

4 my superior commander that I should hand over my duty and return to my

5 home unit.

6 Q. And you say that your superior officer, when you got back and

7 explained that you had seen some kind of Chetniks, as you say - I've

8 written down the word you used here - that he said to you that this was

9 impossible.

10 A. He didn't say it was impossible. He said, "You have seen

11 tomcats."

12 Q. Doesn't this confirm to you that there would have been no conflict

13 had you carried out your task, arrested those people, and performed the

14 task that you were supposed to perform there?

15 A. There probably would have been a conflict because in that village

16 there were more members of that unit and there would have been an armed

17 conflict, and I was not ready for this, nor was this my task.

18 Q. So you were not prepared to perform your role?

19 A. I performed my role very well, and this was recognised by the

20 local inhabitants of the village of Jankovci, the four families of Serb

21 ethnicity who, on the 6th or 7th of May, asked my superior command to send

22 me back to the area.

23 Q. And what happened? Who was it who decided that you should not be

24 sent back or that the situation should not be cleared up?

25 A. My superior officer.

Page 18915

1 Q. Very well. So you feel that you performed your task, although you

2 engaged in no operations and that's why you were sent there.

3 A. I think that my first wartime assignment I carried out with honour

4 and I am proud of this. I have been praised for this by the villagers of

5 Jankovci who sent a letter to my superior command asking me to be sent

6 back there.

7 Q. Very well. Let's move on to the next event you spoke of. You

8 spoke of the mobilisation of the brigade in Bijeljina, and you said that

9 one of the generals - you said he was a general - gave an unusual address

10 and that he did not behave as members of the JNA were supposed to. What

11 was the name of this general?

12 A. The general's name was Rajko Lapcic.

13 Q. Was he the commander of that brigade, or what was he? What's the

14 problem?

15 A. He was the chief of staff of a high unit.

16 Q. The chief of staff of a high-level unit.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. In your assessment and according to what you say, his speech ran

19 completely counter to the behaviour expected of a high-ranking JNA

20 officer; is this correct?

21 A. I made my statement in which I said that this was the first time

22 in my long military career that I heard this kind of greeting and this

23 kind of moral political preparation of soldiers for the execution of their

24 task.

25 Q. What you heard for the first time was in your opinion against all

Page 18916

1 the rules of the JNA; is that correct?

2 A. Precisely so.

3 Q. As you were a high-ranking officer, did you inform your superior

4 command of this and did you initiate what it was your duty to do, an

5 initiative to take measures against such behaviour?

6 A. I told you that at that time I was no longer holding a high-level

7 post because in September 1991 I was removed from my important post and

8 assigned to an insignificant post in the Department for Mobilisation.

9 Secondly, I can confirm that General Kukanjac was the corps

10 commander in Macedonia, and the same evening, since I knew him well - we'd

11 worked together for a long time - at around midnight I rang him up and

12 informed him of what had happened because previously he had been this

13 man's commander. And I can say this: The gentleman who made the speech

14 was very quickly replaced and moved to Belgrade.

15 Q. Well, explain how this was possible. As far as I could

16 understand, you phoned General Kukanjac in Macedonia to inform him of this

17 and you did not go to the authority that was in charge and which was

18 certainly accessible to you to inform them of this and to ask that

19 appropriate measures be taken.

20 A. There were higher-ranking officers in that team who should have

21 informed the commander of what had happened, so it was not my duty nor did

22 I have the right to report to my commander about this. And I rang up

23 Kukanjac precisely because we had worked together for a long time, because

24 I knew him well, and because for many years Kukanjac had been in the area

25 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I informed him out of friendship and not

Page 18917

1 out of my command duty.

2 Q. And you had no duty to inform anyone else?

3 A. Yes, that's what I'm saying, because I was one of the

4 lowest-ranking officers of the 20 of us taking part there. My post was

5 one of the lowest in that team, and the -- others should have reported to

6 the commander.

7 Q. So if the one whose duty it is doesn't do it, the others don't

8 have to do this?

9 A. It is not their duty.

10 Q. Very well. Let's clarify one more point: You explained the use

11 of the Territorial Defence; is that correct? You spoke of the Territorial

12 Defence.

13 A. I explained the chain of command in the Territorial Defence in

14 Yugoslavia.

15 Q. Is it correct that the republican staff of the Territorial Defence

16 was in charge of the TO in every republic?

17 A. That's what I said.

18 Q. Is it correct that the republican Territorial Defence staff of any

19 republic was exclusively subordinate to the general staff of the JNA?

20 A. The republican TO staff was the republican staff, and it was

21 subordinate to the republican authorities.

22 Q. Well, I'm saying the opposite. Have you read the law? I tendered

23 this into evidence here.

24 A. When the weapons were taken from the Territorial Defence and when

25 all the preparations were being made for what would take place, not only

Page 18918

1 were the weapons taken from the Territorial Defence but the law was

2 changed and the republican staffs were placed under the chain of command

3 of the general staff.

4 Q. So the republican staffs were under the command of the general

5 staff of the JNA.

6 A. Well, just before the war.

7 Q. Yes, well, that's what matters. It was the JNA.

8 Did the general staff order that weapons be taken from the TO and

9 that it was not done only in Slovenia?

10 A. This order came from the top control and command staff.

11 Q. And you say that weapons were taken, regardless of ethnic

12 affiliation?

13 A. Yes, that's correct. In the area where I was, regardless of

14 ethnicity, all the weapons were placed under the control of my command.

15 Q. Of the JNA?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In JNA depots, under the guard of the JNA?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Well, tell me now: You say in February and March some kind of

20 distribution of weapons to municipal staffs of the Territorial Defence

21 began in areas where there were Serbs. That's what you're saying.

22 A. I didn't say "some kind of distribution," I said "organised

23 removal of weapons of the Territorial Defence of the municipal staffs,"

24 and I listed Sekovic, Vlasenica, Lopare. I -- anyway, in places where the

25 majority population was Serb. It is not "some kind," but it was organised

Page 18919

1 taking of weapons and equipment. Columns were formed, the weapons were

2 transported, and there was a place called MZ where the weapons were

3 distributed. I was personally present at the distribution of such weapons

4 in the village of Sekovici, on the playing field.

5 Q. Very well. This morning you testified to seeing weapons being

6 driven off, that you saw this personally. Is that correct?

7 A. Yes, I did.

8 Q. How, then, could you have known where the weapons were being

9 taken? You were at the point from which the weapons were being taken

10 away, so how do you know where they were taken? Were they taken to some

11 safer depots, or were they distributed? You couldn't have been in both

12 places at once.

13 A. I was also present at places where weapons were distributed. I

14 repeat: In the village of Sekovici, I was present when weapons were

15 distributed.

16 Q. Let me just look in your statement. I'm following the same order

17 as in this morning's examination-in-chief. Just a moment, please.

18 I have noted it down here. You say that a referendum was held in

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina. You mentioned it this morning, didn't you? Is

20 that right?

21 A. Yes. It is well known that there was a referendum on the 1st of

22 March. That is common knowledge.

23 Q. Yes. But you said this morning that it was normal, because, you

24 see, Croatian Slovenia was seceding, so it was only normal for Bosnia and

25 Herzegovina to do the same. However, I hope you have the statement in

Page 18920

1 front of you. On page 3, in paragraph 8 of your statement, you say that

2 you, both Serb and non-Serb officers, considered the referendum for an

3 independent Bosnia and Herzegovina held in March 1992 to be a betrayal of

4 SFRY.

5 A. That is not my statement. I don't have the statement in front of

6 me, but that is not what I said.

7 Q. Very well. I'll show it to you.

8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let the witness have the witness statement.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. There's no need for us to argue over that.

11 Please find page 3, paragraph 8 and read it, please. Read it out

12 loud.

13 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, to be sure that we're talking about the

14 same document, there are actually two statements, one dated the 20th of

15 April, 2002 and one dated the 22nd of May, 2002. Which statement is Mr.

16 Milosevic referring to?

17 JUDGE MAY: Can you tell us that, please.

18 Wait. Let's just make sure we've got the right statement.

19 Which statement are you referring to? What's the date, please, on

20 the front?

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't find it just now, but I

22 think he has it in front of him.

23 JUDGE MAY: [Previous interpretation continues] ...

24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I may be of assistance, Your

25 Honours. I think it is the statement of the 20th of April, 2002. And it

Page 18921

1 is quite correct what has just been quoted. It is on page 3, second

2 paragraph from the bottom.

3 Would you be kind enough to read it out.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me say first of all that I never

5 made such a statement, as I was one of the first, maybe the first, to go

6 to the ballot box where a vote was being cast for the independence of

7 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whether it is a slip, an error in the

8 translation...

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Would you be kind enough to read out that very brief paragraph of

11 two lines, please, from your statement.

12 A. I can't read it, when that is not my statement.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Just -- let somebody else read it out, then.

14 Perhaps, Mr. Tapuskovic, you read it so we can hear what it says.

15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is one sentence,

16 and it reads as follows: "We (Serbian and not Serbian officers of JNA)

17 considered the referendum for the independence of BH which was held in

18 March 1992 to be a betrayal of SFRY." That is what it says.

19 JUDGE MAY: You've heard what the explanation of the witness is.

20 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, two more minutes and then we'll adjourn.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We have heard that he said it wasn't

22 his statement, but we've also heard that I quoted correctly from what I

23 have received as his statement, so I hope that that is not at issue.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Also, tell me, Mr. 1493, do you remember that all of us in

Page 18922

1 Yugoslavia, in SFRY, considered Bosnia and Herzegovina to be Yugoslavia in

2 miniature, especially and particularly because it was inhabited by three

3 ethnicities?

4 A. While there was Yugoslavia, such as it was, all of us in Bosnia

5 and Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia were proud of that Yugoslavia. However,

6 after the death of Comrade Tito, after all kinds of changes, this

7 gradually disappeared and what happened happened.

8 Q. Very well. Tell me, please: For you, without entering into the

9 ground of morality but talking about political, economic material things,

10 was it logical for such a Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Yugoslavia in

11 miniature, composed of three different nations, to separate from

12 Yugoslavia? Was that logical to you? You said you were the first to vote

13 for that.

14 A. I think that at that polling station I was the first to vote. It

15 was quite logical after the sequence of events that took place and the

16 betrayal by the top political and military leadership. Slovenia was being

17 written off as a state, or rather, a republic, and independence was being

18 granted to it. Croatia -- none of the proposals by members of the

19 Presidencies of the republics in those days for Yugoslavia to remain

20 within its borders, for all peoples to lead normal lives, for it to be

21 organised as a confederation, but exclusivity mostly on the part of the

22 Serbian leadership insisted on Yugoslavia remaining the way they had

23 wanted it to.

24 JUDGE MAY: We must continue this tomorrow. We have to go on to

25 deal with procedural matters.

Page 18923

1 Mr. Milosevic, you can have an hour and a quarter tomorrow morning

2 to conclude your cross-examination of this witness. It will be yet again

3 longer than the Prosecution.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Will you please take into

7 consideration the possibility of giving me a little more time than one

8 hour, 15 minutes.

9 JUDGE MAY: We'll see how -- we'll see how we get on tomorrow.

10 Witness B-1493, that concludes your evidence for today. We have

11 to deal with some other matters. Would you be back, please, at 9.00

12 tomorrow morning to conclude your evidence.

13 [The witness stands down]

14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before Mr. McKeon deals with the 92 bis,

15 can I remind the Court, but more particularly the accused, through Your

16 Honours, that tomorrow's witness is to be the financial expert,

17 Mr. Torkildsen, and to alert the accused to the fact that I will probably

18 be very brief in examination-in-chief, not of course in order to restrict

19 the accused to the same amount of limited time that I will take but

20 because that is the appropriate way to deal with expert witnesses wherever

21 that can properly be done. It shall take some time, but not very much

22 time with him, I hope, in chief, and it will then be for the accused to

23 cross-examine him.

24 The only other general administrative matter I'd make is this: If

25 the Chamber is going to say anything about the examination-in-chief by the

Page 18924

1 means of 92 bis or otherwise, although we have pretty well fixed in our

2 order of witnesses and number of witnesses for the period until the Easter

3 break, we are in a position to change and to increase the rate of

4 witnesses for after the Easter break.

5 JUDGE MAY: We'll have that in mind.

6 Now let us turn to these 92 bis witnesses. The list which I have,

7 1154, 1168, 1187, 1230, 1232, 1234, and Mr. McKeon has added 1197 and

8 1210. We'll try and get through as many as we can.

9 Dealing first with 1154, this is a doctor, my note has it, from

10 Beli Manastir in Baranja, who performed a series of autopsies. We've

11 admitted such evidence without cross-examination. In this case, Mr. Kay,

12 any objection to that?

13 MR. KAY: I don't have any additional observation at all.

14 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

15 Then moving to the next one, 68. This is another witness from

16 Baranja who deals with the arrest of her husband and his mistreatment and

17 subsequent murder and her efforts to find him. Yes. Anything about that

18 one, Mr. McKeon?

19 MR. McKEON: Just, Your Honour, I would note that this particular

20 witness has already been described by witness -- I'm sorry, the victim has

21 been described by Witness C-25, so this would be cumulative to that

22 testimony which is already before the Trial Chamber.

23 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps so we can let -- give Mr. Kay a minute or two.

24 1187 is a very similar witness. Her son was arrested from the

25 same area by, I think, people she describes as two Serbs, although I may

Page 18925

1 be wrong about that. And he hadn't been seen since. Again, anything as

2 to that one?

3 MR. McKEON: Just to -- to add, Your Honour, the Court has already

4 allowed us to put in under 92 bis the testimony of Witness C-1052, which

5 is very similar to this witness except that it involves -- C-1052 involves

6 the first Dalj massacre and this witness essentially provides similar

7 testimony as to the second Dalj massacre.

8 JUDGE MAY: And is -- is that one, that second witness, required

9 to attend for cross-examination?

10 MR. McKEON: Yes, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, if you could deal with those two, please.

12 MR. KAY: Yes. 11 -- C-1168, which is tab 41, it's cumulative

13 over the white minivan issue, which the Trial Chamber may be aware of by

14 -- from C-25. There's an issue from the -- a JNA captain, which is a

15 matter of hearsay, reporting about the husband.

16 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't know where -- where would we -- can you

17 tell us where that one is? Oh, yes. "My husband had to report twice a

18 day. He told me most of the time he reported to a JNA captain." Yes.

19 MR. KAY: That's the issue on that.

20 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's -- it's one sentence. If that sentence was

21 taken out, which as you rightly point out it's hearsay anyway, there's no

22 reason why it shouldn't be admitted without cross-examination.

23 MR. KAY: The issue of the white minivan is quite an important

24 issue in the case. It features within the indictment as to the taking

25 away of these people.

Page 18926

1 JUDGE MAY: And 1187?

2 MR. KAY: In looking at 1187, I couldn't find any apparent link to

3 C-25 when I was going through the statement and the evidence after a

4 number of -- of careful checks. I may be wrong about it and have missed

5 something of -- of relevance, but I couldn't actually see any link there

6 to that particular witness. I don't know if the Prosecution is able to

7 help the Trial Chamber in relation to that.

8 JUDGE MAY: Well, it may be something that we'll have to look at.

9 Yes, Mr. McKeon.

10 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I was just going to point out that C-25

11 testified about the arrest of -- of people in the Baranja area. This was

12 a particular victim who was transported as -- as that witness testified

13 about, to Dalj, where other evidence would show that he was subsequently

14 murdered, and that's the connection with C-25.

15 JUDGE MAY: The next three we're moving to a different area.

16 I'm sorry, were you going to -- did you want to add something?

17 MR. KAY: I didn't want to add anything to that.

18 JUDGE MAY: The next three are dealing with I think it's the

19 Saborsko area. I could be wrong. But Poljanac and Saborsko. One deals

20 with -- C-1230, I should say, the first one, deals with an attack on

21 Poljanac, but he identifies the Nis special unit of the JNA. And I

22 suppose, Mr. Kay, you would say that's rather a crucial issue.

23 MR. KAY: Yes, that's the running objection.

24 JUDGE MAY: The next one is 1232, the execution, again shelling of

25 the Poljanac, the execution of the witness's husband and father by people

Page 18927

1 identified as Serb soldiers. Again, what -- what would you say about that

2 one?

3 MR. KAY: It's going back to the Babic evidence which, if read,

4 describes Poljanac being attacked in this way and describing in 1991 that

5 there was fighting there. But he only saw it abandoned and destroyed in

6 1994 and mentions Vukovici. So it's an issue as to how genuinely

7 cumulative this evidence is. It's in the region, but as to the specific

8 place, his evidence was unspecific, we would say.

9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. McKeon, anything you want to say about those

10 witnesses?

11 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I would just observe that this is -- is

12 at least cumulative in the sense described by the Court on 7 April, in the

13 sense of alleged attacks on villages and killings by the JNA and other

14 Serb or Croatian Serb forces. These villages are all in the same general

15 area as Saborsko, in fact, they're mentioned in the same paragraph of the

16 indictment, and have been referred to by other witnesses and so should be

17 admitted on that basis.

18 JUDGE MAY: There are two other from Dubrovnik which Mr. McKeon

19 has raised. There's 1210, dealing with a Croat -- a Croatian attack on

20 the JNA in Foca, Dubrovnik, a naval base, and gunboats firing on the town.

21 Again, Mr. Kay, I suppose that's something you would say should be

22 cross-examined.

23 MR. KAY: Yes, there are heavy references to the JNA in this

24 statement.

25 JUDGE MAY: And 1197, Mr. McKeon, can you help us as to what this

Page 18928

1 is about?

2 MR. McKEON: Yes, Your Honour. This particular witness was

3 accused of being an Ustasha because she didn't leave the village like most

4 of the other villagers and will testify about that, and civilians detained

5 in Kumbor. Her 16-year-old son and husband were detained in Morinje and

6 her husband was killed. She was taken to Kumbor camp but only for one

7 day. She will testify about the area of persecution, looting, burning of

8 houses, restrictions on movement, and so forth. The -- the village that

9 she's from, Zvikovica, has been referred to by two other witnesses. That

10 would be Poljanic and Hausvicka.

11 JUDGE KWON: And her husband was a member of ZNG; right? Yes.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kay.

13 MR. KAY: It's a JNA issue again, reference to this witness being

14 picked up by the JNA and the involvement of the JNA in the area, moving

15 out in October 1992.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

17 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, we haven't overlooked your submissions or the

18 fact that you come at the end and therefore sometimes get less than

19 everybody else, but we'll hear what you have to say. Do you want to say

20 anything more both these particular witnesses that we are dealing with?

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not worth any comment in view

22 of everything that has been done by this illegal prosecution against me in

23 these proceedings and also against my family with their cooperation simply

24 because they're --

25 JUDGE MAY: No. We are dealing with -- we are dealing with

Page 18929

1 specific issues here, and general submissions of that sort are totally

2 irrelevant.

3 Mr. Nice, there is one thing which I should mention. It concerns

4 you, Mr. Milosevic. It's this: That we have in mind your complaint about

5 your lack of time for preparation. And although we haven't yet got to the

6 bottom of this matter of disclosure, and we're going to do so, we have

7 identified a week in May which you can have free from sitting, and that's

8 the week involving the 14th and 15th of May. It's a very short week,

9 there are only two days. It would seem convenient, in fact, to cancel

10 those two sittings and allow the accused extra time.

11 You'll also have an extra week in April, after Easter,

12 Mr. Milosevic, where we're not sitting. So you'll have more time then.

13 MR. NICE: And the Court may like to know that the material on

14 disclosure is -- already exists in chart form. We're going to have it

15 further developed and I'll be able to assist with certain observations as

16 to the material that's been coming the accused's way at a convenient time,

17 perhaps tomorrow or Friday.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could you add to it, if you haven't, any

19 disclosure since the 31st of January, which I think is the last --

20 MR. NICE: Oh, yes, certainly.

21 JUDGE MAY: It's to date.

22 MR. NICE: It's going to be probably difficult to deal with the

23 precise amount of material that's been duplicative because the whole

24 process of helping the accused by providing him with relevant material a

25 second time makes it complicated to do so, but we'll do our best.

Page 18930

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

2 We'll adjourn now. 9.00 tomorrow morning.

3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

4 at 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,

5 the 10th day of April, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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