1 Tuesday, 17 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in addition to the normal parties --
7 parties normally present, there are other representatives here. The
8 Chamber may wish to identify who they are. There's the lawyer for
9 Mr. Lilic himself and there's the representative of the government.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes. If the lawyers would identify themselves,
11 please. Yes.
12 MR. PANCESKI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. My name
13 is Miodrag Panceski. I am first secretary of the Embassy of
14 Serbia-Montenegro in The Hague. Together with me today is my colleague,
15 counsellor in the embassy, Mr. Slavoljub Caric. Thank you.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes.
17 Yes. Counsel for the witness, I believe is here. Would he
18 introduce himself, please.
19 MR. SAPONJIC: [Interpretation] My name is Dragan Saponjic. I am
20 legal counsel to Mr. Lilic.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
22 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may the witness be brought in.
23 The Chamber was provided yesterday with a file of papers or a clip
24 of papers. I'm having it recopied so that the lawyers attending this
25 morning for the government and for the witness may have copies themselves.
1 There's one additional document that was provided last night by
2 Mr. Lilic that I'm also having copied, which should be added to that.
3 Unfortunately, it's in Cyrillic only at the moment. It's a document that
4 identifies the documents that he is being allowed to refer to. So it's a
5 further constraint upon him that was provided to him. When that's
6 available, I'll distribute it without further notice. And perhaps it can
7 form the last two pages of the existing small bundle.
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We've read the statement. There does seem
9 to be quite a lot of irrelevant matter in it, which no doubt you'll avoid.
10 Also, the witness's views on the constitution. He's not an
11 expert. Of course he can talk about the practice the way he saw it, but
12 he can't of course give expert evidence upon it, if there's any danger of
14 And the final comment is this, that we have three days available
15 at most for this witness. And of course we must allow for proper time for
17 MR. NICE: Yes. There's a summary produced. You'll see it's
18 quite extensive. And it only -- it has yet to be completed by the
19 addition of Kosovo. But the Chamber will be heartened to know that it
20 includes simply all the material that the witness has been providing so
21 there can be no question of omitting material that should be Rule 68. It
22 includes material that we won't be leading for various reasons. And I'm
23 hopeful to be able to deal with the evidence comparatively swiftly. And I
24 will review my progress from time to time and if necessary cut material
25 from the latest sections.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
2 Yes, we'll have the witness, please.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
6 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: ZORAN LILIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
11 Examined by Mr. Nice:
12 Q. Your full name, please.
13 A. My name is Zoran Lilic.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there's a file of exhibits for use with
15 this witness. May it be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecution Exhibit Number 469.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. And if first exhibit -- the first tab of 469 is the relevant
19 curriculum vitae of this witness. I don't propose to go through it in
20 detail. It's available for the Chamber.
21 Mr. Lilic, were you a member of the SPS [Realtime transcript read
22 in error "SDS"] party from 1990, holding various posts in that party until
23 in 1993 you were elected president or you were made president of the FRY,
24 a post you held until 1997, you replacing Dobrica Cosic?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. A vote of no confidence had been passed in respect of your
2 predecessor. We may hear more about that later.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
4 JUDGE MAY: What is it?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is a mistake in the question,
6 and I see that the mistake was repeated in the transcript. Mr. Lilic was
7 not a member of the SDS. He was a member of the SPS.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Sorry, I didn't hear that bit.
9 I'm sorry. Of course the other is right.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lilic, could you not respond at this stage to the
11 accused directly. You're giving evidence to the Court.
12 In any event, that correction is now clarified. Yes.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Following your text as president of the FRY in 1997, were you
15 appointed deputy president of the government and reappointed in 1998,
16 leaving that position or position of deputy prime minister in 1999,
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. For some time now you have been in contact with the Office of the
20 Prosecutor of the ICTY. In the course of that time, have you ever sought
21 anything from the Office of the Prosecutor?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Has anything been offered or provided to you by way of assistance
24 by the Office of the Prosecutor?
25 A. No, nothing.
1 Q. In the course of your negotiations with the Office of the
2 Prosecutor, have you identified with particularity a range of documents
3 that it is considered might be of assistance to the Tribunal in the
4 resolution of its task?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Some of those documents indeed provide stenographic notes, that
7 is, verbatim notes of things said at important meetings where you yourself
8 were present?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Have you reinforced efforts made, to your knowledge, by the Office
11 of the Prosecutor to get those documents, reinforce them by personal
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. To your knowledge, has the majority of those documents, and in
15 particular records of the SDC and of one other body to which we will
16 return later, have those -- the majority of those documents not been
17 provided by the authorities, despite well over a year's pressure following
18 your identification of documents?
19 A. According to the list that I received from the national committee
20 for cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, that is correct. I mean, the
21 list of documents I received, the list of documents that were provided to
22 The Hague Tribunal.
23 Q. And you are giving evidence subject to a waiver from the
24 government that limits your -- the topics you can give evidence about
25 where you would be at risk of revealing state or military secrets?
1 A. In relation to request 219 that you submitted to the national
2 committee for cooperation with The Hague Tribunal in Belgrade, in which
3 was submitted to me by the national committee for cooperation with The
4 Hague, that is correct.
5 Q. I turn to paragraph 8 of the summary.
6 MR. NICE: And the Chamber will recall that it may be worth
7 repeating for those observing the proceedings that I'm going to deal with
8 evidence in the order identified to the government as topics that would be
9 covered by the evidence of this witness, for everybody's convenience. The
10 first topic is the role of the SPS in the legislative process.
11 Q. Mr. Lilic, is it right that the SPS had the majority in both
12 federal and republic assemblies at the time we start this evidence --
13 start the account you can give, when the accused was president of Serbia
14 but also president of the party?
15 A. The SPS from its very inception in 1990 all the way up to 2000 was
16 the leading political party in Serbia. Sometimes it was in a position to
17 form a majority government, sometimes a minority government, and sometimes
18 with coalition partners with whom they found a joint interest. So the
19 answer would be yes, this is correct.
20 Q. Apart from one period, the accused was president of the party;
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you explain how the party featured in the legislative
24 process. What role did it play?
25 A. The Socialist Party of Serbia, as the leading party in the
1 political arena in Serbia, particularly drew on the great authority
2 exercised by its president, President Milosevic. It was in a position to
3 set up a republican government and also a federal government, or the
4 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the elections, when it had a larger
5 number of seats in parliament that was actually required to set up a
6 majority government, practically all the ministers were from the SPS and
7 from some of the coalition parties. Also, the majority of MPs, either in
8 the republican parliament or in the federal parliament belonged to, if I
9 can use the word, our party, the Socialist Party of Serbia. The Socialist
10 Party of Serbia also exercised influence on the drafting of bills and of
11 course eventually made them passed as laws.
12 Q. Were the smaller parties in a position to do more than operate as
13 pressure groups? Were they in a position to make laws themselves?
14 A. The parliamentary life of Serbia, it was possible for all the
15 parliamentary parties to propose bills and to effect the legislative
16 process in the Assembly of Serbia. However, in view of the vast majority
17 we had in 1990 and later on in 1992, after the elections, and then also in
18 1996, their bills remained bills, and our bills were passed as laws
20 Q. Looking, please, at tab 8 of Exhibit 469, and at one aspect of
21 law-making at that time, we have the minutes of a Supreme Defence Council
22 meeting held before your Presidency. I'll turn to the reason -- I'll
23 emphasise that later. And maybe if it's possible for the usher to put the
24 English version on the overhead projector, I'd be grateful.
25 We can see that this is the 7th session of the supreme Defence
1 Council held on the 10th of February. The date would appear to be wrong.
2 But if we go to the second page of the English, under item 3 -- no, we'll
3 stay on if first page, I'm sorry. The supreme Defence Council approved
4 the agenda, which was the bill on the Yugoslav army and the bill on the
5 defence. What role would the supreme Defence Council, a body to which
6 we'll turn later, have in the legislative process, paragraph 10 of the
8 MR. CARIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry, because I'm disturbing you. I
9 would like to know -- I would like to know the exactly date of that
10 document, because Mr. Nice didn't tell us.
11 MR. NICE: According to the --
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. NICE: According to the B/C/S version, it's the 10th of
14 February, 1993. The English version is an obvious translation error.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
16 JUDGE MAY: Have the various representatives got these documents?
17 Have you got this binder of documents?
18 MR. CARIC: We -- we didn't receive anything, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: You should. Very well.
20 MR. CARIC: Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Tapuskovic, you wanted to say something?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know if I
23 heard Mr. Nice properly, but he mentioned the date of the 10th of
24 February; isn't that right? In the Serbian version, in the B/C/S version,
25 the date is the 22nd of February, 1993.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Referring apparently to a meeting on the 10th of
2 February. Yes. Yes.
3 Yes, Mr. Caric.
4 MR. CARIC: 1993. In that case -- in that case, we request
5 private session with your permission, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, I wonder if at this stage we -- let us simply
7 mark this document for identification and you can return to it in due
9 MR. NICE: I'll ask the question in general terms.
10 Q. Mr. Lilic, would there be circumstances --
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. -- Mr. Caric, what we'll do is we'll -- we'll not
12 stop at the moment. We will leave this document on one side and we can
13 return to it in due course and you can have a private session then.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Mr. Lilic, would the Supreme Defence Council, a body whose --
17 MR. CARIC: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. -- We will explore more later, would the Supreme Defence Council
20 have any role in the legislative process?
21 A. The Supreme Defence Council certainly, when this kind of an
22 important law was concerned, like the law on defence, it was supposed to
23 give its opinion, if that's what you're referring to. As for other legal
24 documents, indeed its role is not all that important. It is more of a
25 consultative nature.
1 Q. You've referred already to the accused having one period of time
2 when he was not president of the SPS. Can you give the period roughly and
3 explain why he ceased to be president of the party for that period.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters ask to connect the second
5 microphone of Mr. Lilic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992, when the position of president
7 of the Socialist Party of Serbia was ceded to the member of the Presidency
8 of Yugoslavia until then, Mr. Borislav Jovic. There could have been two
9 reasons for that. One was that Mr. Jovic no longer held a political
10 position at federal level. And the second possibility is that the
11 constitution of the Republic of Serbia, and if I'm not mistaken, it is a
12 particular article that defines carrying out the duties of the president
13 of the Republic of Serbia -- practically the president of the Republic of
14 Serbia cannot be engaged in other public duties. But I believe that the
15 first reason is more important because afterwards, it was only logical,
16 President Milosevic took over this other important political office yet
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. In 1995, did the accused's wife found or take part in the founding
20 of a political party called JUL, the Yugoslav United Left?
21 A. Yes. There is a general belief that towards the end of July 1995
22 the Yugoslav Left was founded by Mrs. Markovic. Now, whether it was
23 founded by Mrs. Markovic or President Milosevic is a question I cannot
24 really give an answer to.
25 Q. Following its founding, what influence and control did the SPS and
1 JUL in combination have?
2 A. I really wish I could distinguish between the influence of the SPS
3 from the influence exercised by the Yugoslav Left. But in view of the
4 question that was put, I usually say and I would like to repeat it here
5 that the Yugoslavia Left practically took over all important functions in
6 the Republic of Serbia and later on in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
7 as well; and in that they relied upon the enormous resources, including
8 human resources, that the SPS had. At any rate, the Yugoslav Left and the
9 SPS were under the domination and the authority of President Milosevic.
10 They certainly controlled all financial flows, the members of the Yugoslav
11 Left did, in the Republic of Serbia, in the Federal Republic of
12 Yugoslavia, also the media. I think that the leading members of JUL
13 practically held all important positions in the Republic of Serbia.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
16 MR. NICE: I apologise.
17 Q. Tab 2 of Exhibit 469.
18 MR. NICE: I don't know if the Judge's versions have the
19 English-language versions. Mine doesn't.
20 Q. You can look at them quickly to see what they are.
21 Mr. Lilic, are these charts that record the share of the vote
22 obtained by parties in elections in 1990 and 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2000,
23 first for the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and one can see the
24 largest segment being the SPS, reducing in size in 1993, enlarging in
25 1994, and then in 1997 being the SPS and JUL combined, smaller again, and
1 then much smaller in 2000?
2 On the second sheet, the Court can see the election results for
3 the FRY Assembly for the 4th of June, 1992, and the following pages deal
4 with 2003, perhaps of less value. Those first two charts show the
5 majorities held by the SPS and by the SPS and JUL in combination; correct?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, earlier Mr. Lilic said that the leading
7 members of JUL practically held all important positions in the Republic of
9 Could you give us one or two examples of that.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I can. I can give a
11 multitude of examples. But for instance, the Minister of Health,
12 Mrs. Leposava Milicevic; Vice-president of the Republican Government,
13 Mr. Bojic; directors of various funds for health, first Mr. Djordjevic and
14 then Mr. Djokic. In the federal government, Mr. Borisa Vukovic, through
15 him all foreign trade was carried out; then Mr. Matic, Minister of
16 Information; then Mr. Markovic in the federal government, and a great many
17 other names that I could mention. They all held positions that were
18 dominant, especially from the economic point of view and from the media
19 point of view.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Paragraph 18 of the summary - we turn from the charts - how did
23 decisions in the SPS, as initially formed, come to be made? Where did the
24 decisions start? How did they develop?
25 A. The SPS was first and foremost one of the most significant if not
1 the largest party in that part of Europe or that part of the Balkans,
2 relative to the number of members it had, local boards, more than 10.000
3 of them, virtually in every constituency there was a local board, and a
4 number of prominent members who were first in the SPS and when the
5 coalition was made with the Yugoslav Left their number went down and I
6 must say that the SPS took part in the elections independently for the
7 first time in the year 2000, so that its support was very low as compared
8 to the authority and powers it had. So the decision were mostly taken
9 within a limited circle of people - and I am talking about the period I am
10 familiar with, that is, in the second half of the 1990s - and I think that
11 the decisions were conceived primarily by President Milosevic in his home
12 and then through the narrow circle of associates, those decisions were
13 passed on to the executive board or were immediately made public, even
14 prior to the executive board having met, and that board actually only
15 approved the decisions already taken by President Milosevic and then
16 through loyal cadres, through district and local boards those decisions
17 were actually implemented, so that no decision of any significance could
18 not have been taken without the approval and authority of President
20 Q. Could you name, please, the inner circle to whom you've referred
21 and which I believe you sometimes refer to as the shadow cabinet.
22 A. With regard to members of the Socialist Party of Serbia, a certain
23 number of people rotated, but there was a constant group of people that
24 were in the inner circle of President Milosevic. In the first place,
25 Mr. Mirko Marjanovic, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, who
1 headed that republic for seven years, if I'm not mistaken, who was also
2 general manager of the -- one of the leading foreign trade companies,
3 thanks to state sponsored arrangements.
4 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... so Mirko Marjanovic?
5 A. Then I should like to mention Mr. Dragan Tomic, president of the
6 republican assembly; Mr. Minic, who was president of the chamber of
7 citizens; later Mr. Milan Milutinovic, then after that Mr. Zivadin
8 Jovanovic, Gorica Gajevic, and a very interesting member of that team is
9 Mr. Uros Suvakovic, and as the need arose other people too.
10 Q. We know of a man called Sainovic. Did he ever feature in this
11 inner circle or not?
12 A. Yes. I omitted to mention his name.
13 Q. Just, please, confirm, because we may deal with the detail in
14 another way later, that Dobrica Cosic was removed on an accusation of
15 violating the constitution because he had a meeting with the chief of the
16 general staff which was a topic not previously discussed at an SPS
17 meeting; is that correct?
18 A. Dobrica Cosic was replaced as president because of the meeting he
19 held in Dobanovci with the senior staff of the general staff headed by
20 Mr. Panic, Zivota Panic.
21 Q. This was then -- excuse me, this was then taken to the federal
22 assembly by the accused and impeachment proceedings led to his being
23 removed from office; correct? Just let me know if it is roughly correct
24 or correct.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What happened - paragraph 20 - to SPS members who opposed policies
2 advanced in the way you've described from the family and the inner circle?
3 A. They would very quickly cease to be members of the SPS, either of
4 their own free will or were excluded from the Socialist Party of Serbia.
5 Q. You've set out in the summary the details of how you lost office.
6 Much of this will be a matter of public record. In a first round you had
7 by far the largest number of votes, more than Seselj. Eventually you
8 withdrew your candidature and Milutinovic recorded a landslide victory, in
9 your judgement, because their involvement of the accused and his wife in
10 the election in a way that was adverse to you? Just yes or no.
11 A. These were the elections in 1997 for the post of president of the
12 Republic of Serbia. And from this distance in time, certain members of my
13 own party played a highly dishonourable role. I can say that. And in
14 view of the way in which such instructions were made, there's no doubt
15 that Mr. Milosevic and Mrs. Markovic played a significant role. Certainly
16 I wouldn't have been a candidate at all if they hadn't wanted it in the
17 first place.
18 Q. That will probably do for these purposes. Thank you, Mr. Lilic.
19 And I'm sorry to have to take things quickly, but you understand the real
20 pressures of time we face, because we -- well, because we do.
21 Let's go to tab 3 of Exhibit 469 to see a little bit more about
22 the programme of the SPS.
23 MR. NICE: And if the Chamber would look at the top right-hand
24 page numbering, I shall be going first to page 11 in a document that is
25 the programme of the Socialist Party of Serbia, as set out in the first
1 congress on July the 16th, 1990. At page 11 of 13 in the English version,
2 under the headings "The Serbian Diaspora," was the platform of your policy
3 as follows -- platform of your party as follows: "The Socialist Party of
4 Serbia will regularly monitor the living conditions and development of
5 Serbs living in the other republics and abroad and maintain extensive" --
6 it's right towards the end. I'm sorry, Mr. Lilic. "And maintain
7 intensive relations with their political, cultural, and other
8 organisations, believing it to be only natural for other nations to
9 maintain such relations with their fellow countrymen living in Serbia, she
10 will extend material and moral assistance to them, help improve their
11 living conditions, and preserve their national identity and cultural
12 traditions, and ensure more intensive cultural development."
13 And at the foot of the same page -- at the foot of the page in
14 English and two-thirds of the way down the page in your version,
15 Mr. Lilic, does it say: "The new Yugoslav constitution should allow for
16 the forming of autonomous provinces in Yugoslavia on the basis of the
17 expressed will of the population and national, historical, cultural, and
18 other specificities"? Is that part of the policy of your party?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At the Second Congress, on the 23rd and 24th of October of 1992 -
21 tab 4, please. Thank you very much. And here if the Court would look at
22 page 31 of 40. And if the usher could take the witness to page 30 of 38.
23 For the witness, page 30, please. I think it may start, actually, on the
24 foot of page 29, 29/30.
25 At this congress was the following made clear, under the title
1 "Yugoslav - A Free Federal Republic." Page 31 of the English for the
3 "The option for Yugoslavia is based on a variety of grounds. It
4 makes a community with the Montenegrin nation possible. By maintaining
5 Yugoslavia, the Serbian nation preserves its homeland, an essential
6 guarantee of the protection of all the remaining parts of the Serbian
7 nation. It enables legitimate concern for the Serbs outside Serbia and
8 creates the institutional possibility for the Federal Republic of
9 Yugoslavia to be joined, in future, by Krajina and the Serbian Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Regardless of all resistance to the recognition of
11 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from the aspect of international law,
12 its international legal continuity is more difficult to contest than the
13 establishment of the sovereign state of Serbia, therefore in this context
14 too, the reorganisation of Yugoslavia is the optimal solution."
15 Was that the expressed opinion at the Second Congress?
16 A. Yes. This was when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had already
17 been constituted. And in the constitution of the Federal Republic of
18 Yugoslavia, this possibility existed and this was one of the important
19 activities of all of us in the SPS, including activities in the area that
20 you referred to a moment ago.
21 Q. In your judgement, paragraph 32 of the summary, did the accused
22 have any wider political or military strategies with which the SPS
23 policies were or not consistent?
24 A. I have to admit that I don't quite understand the question. Could
25 you be more specific, please.
1 Q. Yes. At that time, did the accused demonstrate by his statements
2 any intention to unite Serbs in a single state?
3 A. All Serbs in a single state is a thesis that has been put forward
4 for many years, and it was only the SFRY that was the state in which all
5 Serbs were in one state and every effort was made to preserve that
6 territory so that Serbs would remain in such a single state.
7 Q. Can we look at tab 5 briefly, which is an English version only, I
8 think. The British Broadcasting Corporation report on a speech by the
9 accused. If you'd be good enough to listen to this, in translation if
10 appropriate -- a speech by the accused in 1991 was to this effect, third
11 paragraph: "We hold that each nation has the equal right to decide freely
12 about its destiny. Such a right can be constrained solely by the same,
13 equal right of other nations. As far as the Serbian people are concerned,
14 they want to live in one state. Hence, divisions into several states,
15 which would separate Serbian people and force them to live in different
16 sovereign states is, from our point of view, unacceptable, that is - let
17 me specify - out of the question. The Serbian nation will live in one
18 state and every nation wanting to live with the Serbian people in the same
19 state on an equal basis is welcome. Confederation is not a state."
20 Is that consistent with the views publicly expressed by the
21 accused at the time?
22 A. Yes. Only as far as we were concerned in the SPS, this applied --
23 involved the right of a referendum, so that people who wanted to stay
24 could stay and those who wanted to leave could leave. So I assume that
25 this relates to that period, and my answer is yes.
1 Q. Tab 6, please. The Third SPS Congress held on or about the 2nd of
2 March, 1996, includes speech of -- well, it may be by the accused, and
3 it's about six lines down, the first paragraph in both the English and
4 B/C/S versions, where the accused said this: "Serbia has assisted
5 materially and morally all afflicted Serbs, those at war where a war was
6 waged, those in peace who could not work, those in exile, and those here,
7 and all this while she was under sanctions, which after all has been
8 imposed precisely as a consequence of this moral and material support to
9 Serbs outside Serbia."
10 Was that part of the general policy advanced by the accused and
11 indeed, I think, repeated at the Fourth Congress, in February 2000?
12 A. Yes, that is true.
13 Q. Going back to the question I asked you earlier: These political
14 statements advanced in the setting of the political party, were they
15 consistent with, as you could judge it, the political and military
16 strategies of the accused at the time?
17 A. As far as extending aid is concerned and everything else regarding
18 the activities within the SPS of Serbia, the answer is yes.
19 Q. And the next topic to which you've been given leave to give
20 evidence by the government. It's paragraphs 37 and 8 under the general
21 heading "The De Jure Powers of the President of Serbia." I think it's
22 actually probably appropriate to deal with that under the next section,
23 really, which is the de jure powers of the president of the SFRY.
24 Just help us, please, Mr. Lilic. So far as your position as
25 president was concerned, was it an office with real authority? Was it an
1 office of formality? In a couple of sentences, help us.
2 A. The position of the president of the Federal Republic of
3 Yugoslavia, as defined in the constitution by Articles 135 and 136 is a
4 protocol position. It is the chancellor system of government that was
5 established when all powers in the hands of the prime minister, so that as
6 I said, the post of president of FRY was of a purely protocol nature.
7 Q. Did that position change when the constitution of the FRY was
8 amended in 2000?
9 A. Yes, to a certain extent it was changed in the year 2000, with the
10 amendments to the articles of the constitution defining the mandate,
11 method of election, and term of office. As according to the previous
12 constitution was indirectly elected in the federal assembly by the
13 majority who had the majority, and in this way the possibility was given
14 to extend the mandate. The term of office used to be four years, and then
15 it was extended to two mandates of four years, and the president was
16 elected directly, which gives him greater legitimacy and greater powers;
17 whereas, at the same time, the powers of the president of the federal
18 government were reduced.
19 Q. I move, then, more formally to the title "De jure powers of the
20 president of the FRY" with a number of subdivisions in respect to which
21 leave has been given for you to give evidence, even if some points would
22 otherwise be revealed, paragraph 39.
23 Can you help us please, with just very briefly, the manner of
24 command over the VJ exercised by the president of the FRY, and what was
25 the role of decisions of the Supreme Defence Council in that chain of
2 A. You have given excessive authority to the president of Yugoslavia
3 when you say that the army was in his hands. That wouldn't be a good
4 thing. If the president were to act in that way. The president of
5 Yugoslavia was one of three equal members of the Supreme Defence Council.
6 When we talk about the president of Yugoslavia, in relation to Article 4
7 of the law on the Army of Yugoslavia, it can be said that the president
8 was in command of the Army of Yugoslavia in war and peace primarily and
9 exclusively in accordance with the decisions of the Supreme Defence
11 Q. Paragraph 42. To what extent was the president of the FRY able to
12 receive reports from the Serbian DB?
13 A. The president of FRY was one of the institutions that regularly
14 received reports from the state security. However, if I would be
15 interested in a particular situation, I would receive such reports, but I
16 would regularly receive them from others.
17 Q. What authority, if any, did the president of the FRY - paragraph
18 43 of the summary - have in respect of promotion of military officials?
19 A. There are different interpretations, but as a rule I respected the
20 principle defined by Article 136 of the constitution of FRY and a decree
21 passed by the federal government on the promotion of military personnel,
22 but the president did have the right to promote generals to major general
23 and up rank and also to promote the first group of cadets upon graduation
24 from military academies. But I certainly, I consulted and conferred with
25 the Federal Defence Council, but all such promotions were made on the
1 proposal of the general staff and the college of the general staff
3 Q. Now, the next exhibit, tab 9, is or would be the minutes of the
4 5th Session of the Supreme Defence Council held on the 9th of June, 1998,
5 after the witness was out of office. I have been notified of no national
6 security concerns in respect of this particular document, but I observe
7 what happened the previous occasion, so it may be that the government
8 representative wishes to say something about it. I don't know?
9 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to deal with this now? I mean, it may
10 be -- there could be a series of these documents which we could deal with
11 it together.
12 MR. NICE: I'm happy to deal with it on that basis. I simply
13 don't know whether this is one that was objected to or not.
14 JUDGE MAY: Okay. Let's just see. Tab 9, yes, Mr. Caric.
15 MR. CARIC: Yes, that's correct. We -- we haven't any remarks --
16 any objections concerning that document.
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
18 MR. NICE: Tab 9, then, please, is the minutes. If the witness
19 can have it. And it's the 5th Session of the Supreme Defence Council held
20 on the 9th of June of 1998. I think the Chamber's document may be marked,
21 I'm not sure, on the first page under agenda number 2 is personal issues.
22 If the Chamber would go to the bottom right-hand corner numbering pages 4
23 of 8. And if the accused -- the witness would go to -- I think it's
24 page -- the top right-hand corner, 01132438 I think is the right place to
1 Q. We see, Mr. Lilic, at this minute of a Supreme Defence Council
2 meeting that the accused asked General Perisic to distribute copies of
3 material with proposals for issues amongst attendees of the session and
4 then to explain the proposals and Perisic notified the attendees that the
5 committee -- the chiefs of the general staff had discussed it and the
6 proposals were brought in consent with the Ministry of Defence or the
7 Federal Ministry of Defence. And then we see reaching a decision on the
8 seizure [as interpreted] of professional military service, Bozidar Babic
9 and Markovic Mihajlo were referred to and so on. And then we see further
10 down promotions to higher ranks.
11 This document, how does it fit with your understanding of the role
12 of president and of the SDC in promotions of military officers?
13 A. This is what I was referring to a moment ago, and I assume that
14 list had previously been agreed upon in a certain sense. But in any
15 event, I think that the proposal of the general staff, the chief of the
16 general staff, was respected, and that the Supreme Defence Council fully
17 accepted this proposal, which I think is quite in order.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: Seizure is a mistranslation.
19 MR. NICE: I guessed it was, and the word should be ...?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Cessation.
21 MR. NICE: I thought so. Thank you very much.
22 Q. I'm going to move straight on at the moment to paragraph 51 to
23 save time. During your term of office, please, help us with the
24 subordination of MUP to the VJ. In what circumstances did that -- or
25 could that happen?
1 A. The MUP or, rather, individual units of the police from both
2 republics could be subordinated in the command sense to the Army of
3 Yugoslavia only under certain conditions. In the case of immediate threat
4 of war, and the existence of a threat of war, or a state of war in the
5 whole republic or a part of the republic, and that could be a motive for
6 introducing a state of emergency.
7 Q. Paragraph 52. Can you help us with the terms with which we are
8 becoming familiar, Supreme Command and Supreme Command Staff. What was
9 the Supreme Command?
10 A. The Supreme Command exists only in times of war. The Supreme
11 Command Staff is the most qualified body implementing decisions taken by
12 the Supreme Command. The Supreme Command is formed on the basis of the
13 strategy of armed struggle and the doctrine of the defence for the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia. The Supreme Command consists of members of the
15 Supreme Defence Council and then, only then, is the president of the
16 Supreme Defence Council at the same time the Supreme Commander of the
17 armed forces, and then the armed forces act together by certain units of
18 the MUP joining them. Which those units are, I cannot talk about them.
19 In addition to permanent members of the Supreme Defence Council, the
20 Supreme Command also includes the Minister of Internal Affairs, the
21 Minister of Foreign Affairs, the presidents of both chambers of the
22 Federal Assembly, and the Supreme Command Staff is in fact the general
23 staff that takes over the role of the Supreme Command Staff.
24 Q. The Federal Minister of Defence --
25 A. Yes, I forgot to mention him. Of course. The Minister of Defence
1 of course is a member of the Supreme Command.
2 Q. The mandate and obligations of the Supreme Command Staff and the
3 Supreme Command, in case we need to research this, are to be found, I
4 think, in two documents. Can you name them?
5 A. Those two documents are adopted by the Supreme Defence Council, so
6 I assume that as the NATO bombing began on the 24th, that a state of
7 emergency and state of war was introduced that same day, so I assume that
8 by decision of President Milosevic the Supreme Command was set up on the
9 strategy of armed struggle and the military doctrine of the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia. Those are the two documents. And you'll be able
11 to find them in the federal government -- or rather, the Federal Ministry
12 of Defence, the military doctrine and strategy of armed struggle or
14 Q. Paragraph 56. You may have covered this, but just for
15 clarification or detail, the defence plan when formed is adopted by which
17 A. The plan of the country's defence was adopted by the Supreme
18 Defence Council. It is a document which is highly confidential and is
19 donated with a state secret. And all I can say is that it contains
20 detailed defence plans for the entire territory of the FRY. So a decision
21 to deploy it is made by the president of the Federal Republic of
22 Yugoslavia. Of course, it can undergo certain changes and amendments,
23 depending on the political and security situation in the region and within
24 the country as a whole.
25 Q. To your knowledge or understanding, was it changed regularly or
1 only infrequently?
2 A. The country's defence plan is changed very rarely. That is
3 logical and that's how it should be. And during my term of office, I
4 don't think it was changed at all, even once.
5 Q. Do you know or have a belief as to whether it changed before the
6 NATO bombing campaign?
7 A. I don't know. But in view of these specific features and
8 circumstances of the war, it probably did undergo certain changes. But I
9 just can't say which.
10 Q. Next heading, under "Constitutional framework of the Federal
11 Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia." Mr. Lilic, were --
12 we've heard a lot about the various constitutions of these bodies, and
13 you've heard the Chamber say that you're not an expert -- perhaps you
14 hadn't heard it, but you're not an expert on law. But nevertheless this:
15 Were the republic and federal constitutions ever properly brought into
16 line, the ones with the other?
17 A. Unfortunately, for the most part, or at least in the essential
18 aspects, the republican constitution was adopted in 1990, the federal ones
19 in 1992, and of Montenegro in the autumn of 1992. It is my impression, in
20 addition to the various efforts made, that this did not correspond to
21 either the republican governments or presidents and so the influences of
22 the republic were lost?
23 A. That is to say, they were not brought in line with the
24 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And the best example
25 of this was the intensive desire on a federal level to constitute a united
1 system of national security in order to tie up all the republics and
2 security systems into one single system and thus have a collection of
3 information. But this was not accepted by any of the parties.
4 Q. In your judgement, was there one and only one institution that
5 operated on a truly federal level? And if so, what was it?
6 A. At federal level?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. As far as it was possible, the Army of Yugoslavia functioned and
10 Q. Thank you very much. I turn now to the next heading, something
11 called the State Council for coordinating positions on state policy,
12 paragraph 58 and following.
13 Did you become aware through records you were able to read of --
14 or by other means -- of a body called the State Council for coordinating
15 positions on state policy that was effective during the reign of the --
16 during the period of your predecessor, Dobrica Cosic?
17 A. Yes. When I became president, I did have occasion to see all the
18 minutes from the meeting of the council to dovetail the state policy of
19 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And, as far as I remember, they were
20 strictly confidential or, rather, came under the heading of state secret.
21 So I won't be able to comment on them, in keeping with Rule 90.
22 Q. Records of that meeting were made how, Mr. Lilic?
23 A. If you mean the council, if you're referring to the council for
24 coordinating positions on state policy, they were shorthand notes.
25 Q. Did that mean that there was a verbatim record of what people said
1 at those council meetings?
2 A. For the most part, yes.
3 Q. And are the records of that body something that has been sought
4 pursuant to the same request for assistance, number 219, to which you've
5 already referred, a request made in June of last year?
6 A. Yes, they are on list 219. And I personally asked to have insight
7 into the minutes and records that I didn't have a chance to read, but
8 unfortunately I didn't have that opportunity.
9 Q. Was this body complementary to the Supreme Defence Council, to
10 which we'll turn in detail a little later?
11 A. What is certain is that that particular body was composed of the
12 most influential and most important officials of the Republic of Serbia,
13 the Republic of Montenegro, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And
14 of course also present were members of the Supreme Defence Council, which
15 means that the membership was even broader than just the members of the
16 Supreme Defence Council. Although, that body did not have any de jure
18 Q. Now, this council, in your judgement, was it more or less
19 influential than the SDC itself, the Supreme Defence Council itself?
20 A. If we look at it de facto, look at the competencies and
21 authorisations of the persons attending the council meeting and who
22 through their authority could make decisions and later on implement the
23 decisions reached at the council, to dovetail state policy, of course
24 looking at it from the aspects of the decisions made, then the council had
25 a much broader importance than the Supreme Defence Council.
1 Q. The council ceased to exist when you became president, I think.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Indeed, from that moment on, is the position that the -- there was
4 no political organ capable of dealing with the Republika Srpska or the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina except for something called the Serbian
6 Ministry for Cooperation with Serbs Outside Serbia?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So that before your time, there's this wider council which --
9 which did have representation as needed, I think, of members of the
10 Republika Srpska and the Republika Srpska Krajina?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It had a wide and extremely influential membership, and there are
13 verbatim notes of what was said at the meetings.
14 A. I just said that in response to your previous question, that there
15 were shorthand notes that were taken and that the council discussed topics
16 from fields that were important for negotiations to be conducted at that
17 time with the International Community and other subjects too.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why did it cease to exist when you became
19 president? Was there any particular reason?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Robinson. The council,
21 according to my knowledge, it was -- this was by decision of the former
22 president, President Dobrica Cosic. He considered the council to be
23 necessary, and that's how it came into being. I considered that we should
24 respect the authorities of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia within the
25 frameworks of his competencies on the constitution and also there were
1 state institutions that could deal with matters of this kind, such as the
2 Serbian government, the federal government, the prime minister of the
3 Serbian government, and so all the activities that were linked to the
4 negotiating efforts with respect to the International Community were
5 transported from President Milosevic, because his activities were made,
6 legitimised, by Serbs outside the border of Serbia and so on. So quite
7 simply it ceased to exist. It wasn't actually abolished, but it died an
8 actual death. It withered away.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. And how many --
11 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, continue.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. How many meetings all together, to your knowledge, did this
15 council have?
16 A. I had an opportunity of reading four shorthand records from the
17 four meetings, the first meetings, because I was interested in them. And
18 so to the best of my knowledge, there were about seven meetings in actual
19 fact of that type. In view of the relatively short period of time during
20 which President Cosic was president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I didn't appreciate that the
22 lawyers of the government don't have a copy of the outline. They must
23 certainly have that. And I'm going to invite them to turn their attention
24 to paragraph 61 immediately, on page 17.
25 While they're doing that, can I remind the Chamber that these
1 documents were dealt with in certain application, and they're numbers 48
2 and 49. And the resistance to production of the documents was on the
3 basis of overbroad and unduly onerous, but not on any other grounds. And
4 if the Chamber would be good enough to look to paragraph 61 of the
5 summary. The witness is in a position, I understand it, to help us with
6 what's set out there. And I'm going to ask him to do so in my next
8 But I'm sorry that the officials didn't have the summary in
9 advance. They now do.
10 JUDGE MAY: It may be you should ask the question -- whether the
11 witness feels he can answer it or not will depend on him and whether
12 there's an objection or not. But at least you can ask the question and
13 we'll see what the response is.
14 MR. NICE: Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Lilic, are you in a position to give an account of what you
16 understand to be recorded in those notes, if and when they're produced to
17 us, from the meeting of the 9th of January of something said by the
18 accused in the presence of representatives of the Republic of Serbia, FRY,
19 Montenegro, the Republika Srpska, and Republika Srpska Krajina, touching
20 on de jure and de facto issues? Long question, but the question is
21 susceptible to a yes or no answer. Are you able to give an account of
22 what he said in that setting?
23 A. I can try and tell you, recount, what it says in a part of that --
24 those shorthand notes, in view of the fact that it's been quite some time
25 since I've read through them. Of course, linked to 1993.
1 MR. NICE: In the absence of objection, I'd ask the witness to
2 give his answer, please.
3 A. What this was about, as far as I recollect, is a specific
4 sentence, actually, which I remembered very well. And later on, out of
5 respect towards Mr. Milosevic, bearing in mind the time that he led this
6 and said -- and I think the sentence would be as follows: You can give up
7 everything for your own people and sacrifice everything except your own
8 people. But it was in the context of saying that by peaceful means he
9 wanted to have de jure things that had already been achieved de facto. He
10 meant negotiations, the unity that had been achieved, political, economic,
11 cultural, with respect to Republika Srpska, Republika Srpska Krajina, et
12 cetera. So that would be the gist of it, to the best of my knowledge,
13 that is, to make legitimate what had already existed in the field, on the
14 ground, make it legitimate in the eyes of the International Community.
15 Q. Thank you. We'll move on to the next topic, the Supreme Defence
16 Council itself, starting at paragraphs 65.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am unable to find the text of what
20 was quoted a moment ago by Mr. Nice. Has it been disclosed to me at all?
21 JUDGE MAY: Paragraph 61.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 61, you say? I can read
23 that, yes, in the summary. However, Mr. Nice mentioned some shorthand
24 notes and records of a council that was set up by the first president of
25 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic. However, in all my
1 documents I don't seem to have come across any shorthand notes and minutes
2 from the council meetings, in all the material that I've received in the
3 past few days.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, they haven't been disclosed, so you haven't got
5 them. But you can ask questions about them in due course, when you
6 question the witness, but there aren't any available.
7 Yes, Mr. Nice, go on.
8 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
10 MR. NICE: My apologies.
11 Q. Paragraph 65, we've already heard a lot about the Supreme Defence
12 Council. Its composition was the presidents of the FRY, Serbia, and
13 Montenegro. Did those three members have voting rights and were they
14 technically equal in their rights and powers?
15 A. Yes, all three members of the Supreme Defence Council and the
16 presidents of all three republics were equal in the Supreme Defence
17 Council and also equal with respect to decision-making. The only right
18 that was different was the right enjoyed by the president of the Federal
19 Republic of Yugoslavia, on the basis of decisions taken by the council to
20 convey them through orders to the Army of Yugoslavia, via the chief of the
21 general staff, of course.
22 Q. Look, please, at tab 12, which perhaps can conveniently go on the
23 overhead projector -- I beg your pardon, tab 11. Tab 11. Does this in
24 diagramatic form show the council with its component voting members with a
25 chain of authority down to the chief of the general staff and then down to
1 the armed forces with off to the left Serbia, including Kosovo and
2 Vojvodina, and Montenegro and the FRY marked separately? Is this
3 schematically a fair reflection of how the Supreme Defence Council fitted
4 in and worked?
5 A. I'm afraid the picture on my monitor isn't a good one. But let me
6 have a look to the side here. All that remains here is the Federal
7 Defence Minister. But otherwise, yes, this schematic or diagram does
8 correspond to the composition of the Supreme Defence Council and its
10 And of course other members could have been added without -- could
11 have been added to inform the council without the right of voting, so they
12 could advise the council but they did not have the right to vote.
13 Q. The chief of the general staff, can you outline his
14 responsibilities and who he reported to and who he controlled?
15 A. It is logical that the chief of the general staff reports within
16 the framework of the orders he has received and in keeping with the
17 Supreme Defence Council decisions first of all to the president of the
18 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and also the president by virtue of office
19 is the individual who was to see that the Supreme Defence Council
20 decisions were put into practice, and at a subsequent meeting should
21 inform the other two members of the Supreme Defence Council thereof.
22 Q. Did he, along with other people, attend the Supreme Defence
23 Council meetings, although they didn't have voting powers?
24 A. The presence of the chief of the general staff, by virtue of the
25 work that the Supreme Defence Council did was obligatory. So he had to
1 attend Supreme Defence Council meetings, yes, regardless of the fact that
2 he didn't have any voting rights but he was there to inform them, to
3 report to them, to present them with analyses, and to participate in the
4 council's work.
5 Q. Typically who else attended Supreme Defence Council meetings?
6 A. As a rule, they were the three members of the Supreme Defence
7 Council with voting rights, that is, the president of the Republic of
8 Yugoslavia, the president of Serbia, and the president of Montenegro as
9 permanent council members, and always a representative of the federal
10 government of Federal Yugoslavia, the chief of the general staff of the
11 Yugoslav army, Yugoslavia, the Defence Minister, and the Defence
12 Ministries of the FRY, and as needs be there could be another expert
13 present from another field, depending on what the Supreme Defence Council
14 was discussing or what it was interested in. And the reverse solution
15 could also be possible, that one of the members or all the members of the
16 Supreme Defence Council wanted to transfer the knowledge and information
17 to an expanded superior staff of the general staff, the senior staff, and
18 then an expanded session would be held.
19 Q. Were SDC sessions recorded - paragraph 71 - in two ways, both by a
20 stenographic -- whatever it is, a stenographic record, but also by tape
22 A. Sessions of the Supreme Defence Council, at the beginning, when it
23 started working - and I have to say here that during my term of office
24 there were a lot of meetings that were held, over 50 in fact - and they
25 were all recorded in two ways, that is quite right. One were the
1 stenographic or shorthand notes, and the other kind was audiotapes. But
2 later on this practice of tapes was no longer -- and an audiotape was also
3 used, but not later on.
4 Q. Why was the audiotape practice abolished, to your knowledge and
6 A. What I know is this: In view of the fact that President Milosevic
7 told me that he considered that it was enough to just have the
8 stenographic shorthand minutes and that we didn't need this additional
9 technology which implied the presence of technicians.
10 Q. In addition to the stenographic notes, which are extensive record,
11 there are minutes of the meeting in a few or several pages; correct?
12 A. Yes. But if I may just explain this: The minutes were recorded
13 as excerpts of the most important parts of the meeting, but of course an
14 additional minutes recorded the entire proceedings.
15 Q. Now, despite efforts to obtain these documents for over a year, in
16 fact for much longer periods of time as far as some of these are
17 concerned, they haven't been available, and in absence of either the
18 stenographic notes or of the minutes and a full record of either, do you
19 feel capable or incapable of dealing with any of these meetings in any
20 detail at all?
21 A. Absolutely not, and that for two reasons: The issues are too
22 important, so any improvisation would not be proper, either towards the
23 Tribunal, the Court, you, or Mr. Milosevic. And the second very important
24 reason is that these are high -- very confident documents, and these are
25 not on the list for which I have received a waiver of liability.
1 Q. That additional list has been copied. It will be distributed in
2 due course. But it does further limit the witness. And it may be
3 appropriate in due course to explore with the authorities what their
4 attitude with regard to that is going to be.
5 Nevertheless, speaking in general terms - paragraph 68 - was an
6 SDC decision required either to mobilise or demobilise the Army of
8 A. Of course, the Supreme Defence Council had to take part in
9 discussing a decision of that nature; although, I don't know what period
10 you have in mind.
11 Q. The representatives of the government might like to look, please,
12 to tab 14, which I would turn to in the absence of objection and will
13 otherwise turn to at a later stage compendiously with other such
15 MR. CARIC: Your Honour, we haven't any objection.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Then tab 14 is a record of the 6th Session of the SDC for the 9th
18 of December of 1992. And in line with the evidence you've just given,
19 Mr. Lilic, on the agenda item number 1 is this: Preparation of the
20 Yugoslav army to face the threat of military intervention in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, possible aggression by Croatia against the Republic of
22 Serbian Krajina and a possible secessionist Albanian uprising in Kosovo.
23 We needn't look at the detail. That reflects the necessary role of the
24 SDC in these matters; correct?
25 A. Absolutely, so yes. I have to just ask you this: The minutes are
1 not on the list of documents that I am able to comment on. But if I
2 understood what the government representative said, he accepts -- he takes
3 over part of the responsibility for that, he takes it upon himself.
4 MR. NICE: It would be helpful for the witness if the government
5 representative could make that clear.
6 MR. CARIC: Your Honour, this document doesn't cover the period
7 from 1993 to 1997, but for any precaution we -- it depends on Trial
8 Chamber to decide concerning that.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, it -- it may be convenient if you would have a
10 word with the Prosecution and tell them the pages or the documents that
11 you object to so that they can know in advance, and then we will deal with
12 them all compendiously at some stage later in the proceedings.
13 It may be sensible during the adjournment, Mr. Nice, if you can at
14 least make some progress on that.
15 MR. NICE: Certainly, I will. I'm very anxious, incidentally, to
16 conclude if I possibly can - it may be a tall order - the evidence by the
17 end of today's session or straying into tomorrow's only to a limited
18 extent. I'll see how I'm doing. I'm not doing too badly so far. I may
19 have to cut certain topics to achieve that objective. If I do achieve
20 that objective, I hope that there will be a -- a reasonable period of time
21 for re-examination, because of course by abbreviating my
22 examination-in-chief I allow more time for issues to be joined by the
23 accused with the witness, the accused being in a position to know fully
24 what the witness would say on various topics from the summary and the
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lilic, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.
2 I must warn you, as we warn all witnesses, not to speak about your
3 evidence until it's over, and that does include speaking to members of the
4 Prosecution team. Could you be back, please, in 20 minutes.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was my understanding a short
10 while ago, from the explanation provided by Mr. Nice, that he wants to
11 shorten to a maximum this examination-in-chief. This is a witness who is
12 testifying about all of ten years, from 1990 until 2000. This is a
13 witness who held the highest political offices in the country and in the
14 party in that period. He spent an entire term of office as president of
15 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, then also Deputy Prime Minister.
16 JUDGE MAY: Now, look, it's up to -- it's up to Mr. Nice how long
17 he takes, if he wants to shorten things. When it comes to your turn to
18 cross-examine, of course we'll bear it in mind. If it's been
19 foreshortened, you won't be prejudiced.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wish to add one more thing,
21 that Mr. Nice is introducing through this witness a great many important
22 documents, and I need time to go through all of them. So I ask to be
23 given time that is not somewhat longer than the time Mr. Nice will have
24 but much more time than Mr. Nice will have, because there are a great many
25 questions about which I have to ask Mr. Lilic and these are questions that
1 he can certainly give me answers to.
2 JUDGE MAY: All that we'll have in mind.
3 MR. NICE: I think the witness has before him tab 14, which we've
4 looked at already, the preparation of the Yugoslav army. And we can move
5 on from that. I can say I've spoken to the representatives of their
6 government. Although Mr. Lilic's presidency fell within the years 1993 to
7 1997, at the moment they have a general blanket objection to documents
8 that fall in any part of the years 1993 to 1997, and so any such documents
9 we'll deal with compendiously at the end. But other than that, I think
10 they have no objections and they'll notify me -- or the Court, rather, if
11 they do.
12 Q. If we can go now, please, to paragraph 74. Mr. Lilic, in your
13 time as president, by what method were SDC decisions made, vote or
15 A. As a rule, irrespective of the rules of procedure for the Supreme
16 Defence Council, decisions were passed by consensus, although the rules of
17 procedure did provide for the possibility of passing decisions by majority
19 MR. NICE: Tab 15, please. There are two versions of these rules,
20 I think, slightly unhelpfully in the reverse order. Sorry about that. If
21 the Chamber would go through about four sheets to the rules of the Supreme
22 Defence Council for 1992 and then turn to the second sheet to Article 7.
23 The rule operative at the time of Mr. Lilic's presidency was to the effect
24 that the Supreme Defence Council should conduct its work in sessions and
25 adopt final decisions when the majority of council members are present.
1 The council may also, when circumstances require, adopt decisions and
2 conclusions on matters within its jurisdiction without holding a session
3 on the basis of consultation amongst council member.
4 Q. Mr. Lilic, dealing with that last point, what was envisaged as
5 consultation? Was it telephone discussion, matters of that sort?
6 A. Yes. They could consult through special telephone lines that were
7 protected. They're very rare, these situations. I think that I only had
8 one of them.
9 Q. I'll come back then to the first part of the document as produced,
10 which is the amended rules. The first sheet of the exhibit, the
11 amendments being effected, I think, in March 1999, after Mr. Lilic's
12 presidency. You can see under Article 3 for this period of time sessions
13 of the Supreme Defence Council -- it's Article 3, second paragraph --
14 "sessions of the council must be attended by the Federal Ministry of
15 Defence and the Chief of the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army or by
16 persons standing in for them and a session cannot be held without their
18 And then it say this is under Article 4: "The Supreme Defence
19 Council shall do its work at all sessions; all its decisions shall be
20 taken by consensus and shall only be valid if so taken."
21 Then it goes on to say: "...decides by consensus on appointments,
22 promotions, and the cessation of professional military service for
23 generals and admirals," and sets out more detail of that.
24 Any comment you want to make on those changes to the rules of the
25 Supreme Defence Council beyond what you've already said, Mr. Lilic?
1 A. Article 4 practically confirms how the previous Supreme Defence
2 Council operated. Although, in Article 7 it did not say that decisions
3 are reached by consensus. The presence of the chief of general staff was
4 obligatory at that time as well. It is a fact that after 1997 the Supreme
5 Defence Council did not reach all its decisions by consensus. So this
6 gave a definition to everything that was actually going on. For example,
7 when President Djukanovic disagreed to the replacement of the chief of
8 general staff. It is interesting that this was adopted only a day before
9 the bombing. It doesn't really have to be of any significance, but it is
11 Q. Because the council members had equal voting powers, theoretically
12 any two could -- in your day could outvote the third. Did that ever
13 happen? And in particular, did it ever happen that the accused was
15 A. I do not remember whether something like that ever happened, that
16 Mr. Milosevic was outvoted. As for the first part of your question, I
17 think that Mr. Perisic was replaced by a two-to-one vote. Although, this
18 was the legitimate right of President Milosevic. This kind of an
19 important decision should have been reached by consensus though.
20 Q. Paragraph 76. What percentage of the FRY's budget was provided by
21 Serbia, as opposed to Montenegro?
22 JUDGE MAY: Do you want the -- any documents shown, or can the
23 usher return?
24 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. Yes, the usher can return.
25 Q. Mr. Lilic, what percentage of the FRY's budget was provided by
2 A. Well, during my term of office, from 1993 to 1997, this
3 percentage, that is to say, the share of the Republic of Serbia and the
4 overall budget of Yugoslavia, was about 95 per cent; whereas, Montenegro
5 accounted for about 5 per cent. Of course, these were budget estimates at
6 the time of the adoption of the budget and hardly ever were they actually
7 carried through during the year. I think that at a point Montenegro
8 practically stopped paying even that share, and the entire financing of
9 the state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fell on the shoulders of
10 the Republic of Serbia. I think that this is identical today.
11 Q. And what effect did that financial contribution have on the
12 realities for outvoting Serbia in the SDC -- or outvoting the accused in
13 the SDC?
14 A. I've already told you that during my term of office the Supreme
15 Defence Council indeed did not pass a single decision that required
16 outvoting, where there was a two-to-one vote in relation to Montenegro or,
17 anyway. As for the influence of Mr. Milosevic, I think that his influence
18 in the Supreme Defence Council was a major one indeed, not only due to the
19 fact that Serbia financed 95 per cent of the budget but absolutely because
20 of Mr. Milosevic's authority.
21 Q. In which case let's turn, because we've dealt with paragraph 78,
22 to paragraph 79. How did the accused impose his political will, if he
23 did, on the SDC?
24 A. It would be hard to talk about imposing will on the SDC. I don't
25 know whether you have any concrete examples.
1 Q. How, if at all, did the accused influence or how was his influence
2 felt at the SDC?
3 A. I said a short while ago that at any rate, his influence was
4 dominant, because of the overall strength of the Republic of Serbia and
5 its overall influence, in terms of the budget of the FRY, in terms of
6 financing the Army of Yugoslavia. Of course, there were mutual
7 consultations between the two republics, and it is hard to draw a line in
8 terms of his dominant influence over the SDC or perhaps if agreement was
9 reached on a particular point before a session or at a session itself.
10 Q. The accused was - it's obvious, I think - a member of the SDC from
11 its beginning to its end, 1992 to the year 2000; correct?
12 A. From 1992 until the year 2000, from the day the Federal Republic
13 of Yugoslavia was constituted.
14 Q. In the course of your presidency, four years, from 1993 to 1997,
15 is it right that the SDC met on some 53 occasions?
16 A. I'm not aware of the exact number, but there were certainly tens
17 of sessions that were held. It must have been over 50.
18 Q. Do you know how many sessions there were in the remaining period
19 of the council under the presidency of the accused between 1997 and 2000?
20 A. I am not aware of that particular piece of information.
21 Q. Was it more or less or about the same frequency as with your
23 A. Well, I assume less, but it is an assumption merely.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lilic, just a moment.
25 He doesn't know, Mr. Nice. I don't see any point in pursuing it.
1 MR. NICE: Very well.
2 Q. And finally, so far as the workings of the SDC are concerned - at
3 paragraph 83 - there came a time when Mr. Djukanovic became the
4 Montenegrin representative on the SDC. Are you able to help us with the
5 relations as you understood them between the accused, Djukanovic and
6 Milutinovic from your position in government at the time?
7 A. Well, unrelated to the Supreme Defence Council, I think that this
8 is a period of intensively bad relations between the FRY and Montenegro
9 and in terms of Serbia's and Montenegro's participation in the FRY in
10 general. In Montenegro, it was the bad relations between Mr. Djukanovic
11 and Mr. Bulatovic, and of course this was reflected in Serbia, and it was
12 also reflected on relations in the SDC. As far as I knew about the work
13 of the SDC in that period, it was clear that Mr. Djukanovic was opposed to
14 the passing of some very important decisions. I think that later on he
15 attended these meetings of the SDC less and less, if they were held and to
16 the extent to which they were held, which I really don't know.
17 Q. Can you turn to the next title, "The VRS and SVK Officer
18 Salaries," paragraph 85. Did the FRY provide financial assistance to VRS
19 and SVK officers?
20 A. The answer is yes. But if possible could I please explain it in a
21 bit more detail?
22 Q. Yes. I think first of all you can tell us, did you inherit this
23 situation when you became chairman of the SDC? And did you formalise it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you formalised it by the creation of, I think, a couple of
1 bodies. Tell us about those.
2 A. This was done through a decision passed by the SDC. If I'm not
3 mistaken, it was towards the end of 1993, in November 1993. The order to
4 establish the 30th and 40th so-called personnel centres is one that I
5 signed. Now, how did these centres come into being? I think that this is
6 the core of this matter, why part of the VRS and part of the SVK were
8 During 1992, as the Yugoslav People's Army was withdrawing from
9 everything that was going on in the territory of the former SFRY - and it
10 is not contested that the SFRY was the only internationally recognised
11 state by the UN - therefore, the Yugoslav People's Army was the armed
12 force of that recognised state. I don't want to go into lengthy
13 explanations of this nature. At any rate, when the JNA was withdrawing, a
14 great many officers of the JNA who originally came from the territory of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina wished to remain in the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to the information that I saw, we are
17 talking about 1800 people, either civilians employed by the JNA or NCOs or
18 commissioned officers of the Yugoslav People's Army.
19 At the same time, the presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic
20 of Yugoslavia during the second half of the year, during the second half
21 of 1992, passed a decision that all citizens of the Republic of Serbia and
22 the Republic of Montenegro who are within the Yugoslav People's Army
23 outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be
24 withdrawn to the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and
25 practically this was how the Army of Yugoslavia was created. This was the
1 base for doing that. However, there were people who remained within the
2 JNA but outside this territory who were not citizens of the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia or, rather, they were not citizens of the Republic
4 of Montenegro or the Republic of Serbia, and therefore they could not be
5 members of the Army of Yugoslavia, and that was the basic reason why the
6 30th personnel centre was established, primarily to resolve the
7 existential status of these people who formerly belonged to the JNA and
8 who were outside the territory of the FRY and who were citizens of the
9 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 The centre was established precisely with that aim in mind, in
11 order to have the documents taken care of properly, to take care of their
12 own needs, to take care of the needs of their families primarily, because
13 most of them were refugees in the territory of the Federal Republic of
15 Q. Paragraph 87. From November 1993, what was the approximate
16 expenditure per month - or if you want to deal with it per year - per year
17 on payment of salaries and other benefits to VRS personnel and their
19 A. Of course I will do that. The monthly allocations for the members
20 of the 30th personnel centre amounted to about 1.600.000 Deutschmark or
21 about 800.000 Euros. In the period from 1993 until 1997, there were 4.000
22 recipients of this aid, a bit over 4.000. The annual allocations were
23 about 8 million Euros. And then after 1997, or to be more precise, on the
24 28th of March, 2001, Mr. Kostajnica abolished this centre all together.
25 After this, this assistance was received by a remaining 1600 people until
1 an annex were to be made, which is -- an agreement were to be made which
2 is an annex to an agreement between Republika Srpska and the Republic of
3 Serbia and which is quite like the agreement signed between the Republic
4 of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the next exhibit would be tab 16. It's
6 outside the presidency of the witness but is 10th of November, 1997. If
7 Mr. Caric confirms that he's like that put on the basis of the previous
8 exhibits, we'll put that aside and come to it later.
9 It would perhaps be better to come to it later, in any event, and
10 give the government time to think about it.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE: I'll move on, paragraph 89.
13 Q. I'm sorry, you may have covered this. Was there a break in the
14 provision of funds to the 30th Personnel Centre at the time of the embargo
15 against the Bosnian Serbs in August 1994?
16 A. There was a break. The decision was passed on the 4th of August,
17 1994. This was a decision passed by the federal government. If I can use
18 an expression which was quite a burden on the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia to practically sanctions were imposed against Republika
20 Srpska. This was an economically motivated decision but it was also
21 political because the leadership of Republika Srpska did not accept the
22 plan of the contact group. It went on for about a year or a bit more, and
23 the allocations amounted to social welfare practically and it did not
24 exceed average salaries in the Republic of Serbia -- or rather, the
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. So there was a break of about one year or
1 perhaps a bit more than that.
2 Q. Next topic, the accused's control over Serbian or Federal MUP,
3 paragraph 93, page 25. The accused's attitude in the time of your
4 presidency to the VJ and to the MUP, did he trust one -- or have
5 confidence in one more than in the other?
6 A. From the point of view of finance and providing technical
7 resources and all other resources, one may reach the assessment that the
8 VJ was subordinate, in terms of President Milosevic himself and the
9 Republic of Serbia, because it is the police of the Republic of Serbia
10 that was given primacy.
11 Q. To what extent did his financial -- did the financial steps he
12 took influence the army? How badly was it affected?
13 A. During all those years, from 1993 until 1997 - I'm talking about
14 the period while I was aware of this information and had access to it -
15 not only due to the wishes of President Milosevic or anybody else from the
16 government of Serbia but because of the overall situation - but let's move
17 along these lines - I don't think that in any single year the army did not
18 get even the allocations that were originally earmarked for it. In 1996,
19 as a matter of fact, all the bank accounts of the Army of Yugoslavia were
20 blocked, so this was quite a move made by the Republic of Serbia -- or
21 rather, its government, namely that the army was not meeting its financial
22 obligations, vis-a-vis the government of Serbia. At that time it was a
23 truly inconceivable thing to do.
24 Q. Following the appointment of Momcilo Perisic to the position of
25 chief of the general staff of the army in August of 1993, were you able to
1 effect some change or was there some change effected as to the type of
2 officer appointed to the VJ general staff?
3 A. In view of the period which in a way followed a period during
4 which most generals who were in top positions then, either in the JNA or
5 the VJ were pensioned off for one reason or the other, the appointment of
6 new generals to the general staff could have been very selective because
7 they were supposed to be professionally capable, and perhaps I can put it
8 that way, they should properly carry out the constitution and laws,
9 everything that meant the preservation of Yugoslavia. So the army was
10 supposed to be this truly cohesive factor that was supposed to safeguard
11 the former Yugoslavia. I'm convinced that such generals were chosen and
12 I'm very glad that that proved to be so at a later stage when they acted
13 the way the rules of service required of them.
14 Q. Did the accused accept this new cadre or different cadre, as you
15 would say it was, of generals? And if so, in your judgement, why?
16 A. Well, of course he did, because had he not accepted, they would
17 not have been appointed. I think the reason is a very simple one: He
18 thought that after all, in case there is any misunderstanding in relations
19 with the army, it was all possible to remove these generals. On the other
20 hand, there was a considerable force among the police itself.
21 Q. To what degree had the police by this sort of time become
23 A. I don't know whether the expression "militarised" is a good term,
24 but I think that it was technically very well equipped and that it had
25 very good special units and also that the logistics that was lacking at
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 22596 to 22603.
1 the request of senior police officers was obtained through the Army of
2 Yugoslavia by a decision of the federal government as the titulary of the
3 property of the Army of Yugoslavia is the federal government, which is a
4 quite a legitimate and legal transfer of weapons and supplies towards the
6 Q. What comment, if any, do you have on the introduction of military
7 ranks into police hierarchy and the appointment of Radovan Stojicic, known
8 as Badza?
9 A. I personally do not think that when Mr. Milosevic accepted this,
10 he had any last intentions. He wanted to do a service to Mr. Stojicic.
11 At the same time, I can say with responsibility that this decision caused
12 dissatisfaction within the Army of Yugoslavia, in view of these ranks and
13 the level of education and the way in which ranks were acquired in the
14 army, which is far more complicated than it was at the time in the
15 police. So I think he had no ulterior motives in doing this.
16 Q. Was Stojicic, known as Badza, apparently a man suitable for the
17 high rank he was given?
18 A. He did acquire that rank. Probably it was assessed that it was a
19 suitable rank. I can give you a comparative qualifications of a colonel
20 general in the army. He had to have a Ph.D.; he had to have graduated
21 from the national military school; he must have had the highest marks
22 during his years of service. And if you compare Mr. Stojicic with an army
23 officer with the identical rank, then my answer would be no.
24 Q. Paragraph 96. In peacetime, the MUP reported to whom?
25 A. The MUP, by nature of things, when we're talking about MUP, we
1 have to make a distinction between its component parts. But in any event,
2 the Minister of the Police is the number-one figure in the Ministry of the
3 Police, and he is accountable to the prime minister.
4 But if I may go back to the previous question, the ranks were
5 introduced only in the public security sector, not in the state security
6 sector, within the MUP of Serbia.
7 Q. Zoran Sokolovic, please. Tell us about his role and his
8 relationship to the accused.
9 A. Sokolovic, I think, was president of the Assembly of Serbia in
10 1990, if I'm not mistaken, when the constitution of Serbia was being
11 adopted. Later on -- I'm not familiar with his biography. Please forgive
12 me. But I think later on he became minister in the Ministry of Police in
13 the Republic of Serbia, and I could say freely that he was a loyal person
14 to President Milosevic and that until 1997, if I'm not mistaken, he
15 remained Minister of the Police.
16 Q. In your judgement, did Zoran Sokolovic have any -- exercise any
17 real power?
18 A. Real power within the Ministry of the Police, no, if we are
19 talking about any powers within that ministry.
20 Q. Jovica Stanisic next. How influential was he in the Serbia MUP
22 A. Mr. Stanisic who was head of the state security department until
23 he was replaced in 1998. I think it was in October of that year. I think
24 that he was a man of great authority, a good professional, and that his
25 authority in the MUP of Serbia was among the greatest, especially in the
1 state security department.
2 Q. Was he formally obliged to report? Who in fact do you understand
3 he reported to?
4 A. As I've already said, he certainly should have reported to the
5 Minister of the Police in the first place, and I think he did that during
6 Mr. Sokolovic's term of office. Later on those reports went to the prime
7 minister and the president of the Republic of Serbia. What I do know is
8 that when Mr. Stojiljkovic took over, this practice was changed, and that
9 Mr. Stanisic, as far as I know, upon personal inquiry, I had occasion to
10 see a decision by President Milosevic on the basis of which he reported
11 directly to Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honours, we've seen Exhibit 277 as recently as
13 yesterday. I don't think there's any need to remind ourselves of it
14 again. I think it was yesterday.
15 JUDGE MAY: 227, was it?
16 MR. NICE: 277. I don't think we need look at it again. I think
17 the Chamber will be familiar with it.
18 JUDGE MAY: We have it, yes. 277.
19 MR. NICE: So we can move on from that.
20 Q. Paragraph 99, a word or so about telephone tapping and the like.
21 As of 1993, which service, according to General Dimitrijevic, had the
22 right to deal with telephone tapping?
23 A. According to information that I had from Mr. Aleksandar
24 Dimitrijevic, general and head of the -- in security administration of the
25 Yugoslav army, the exclusive right to tapping or secret control of
1 telephone conversations as of 1993 was, according to his words, in the
2 hands of the state security service of the Republic of Serbia. Until
3 then, it was equally shared by the counter-intelligence of the army and
4 the state security service, but this was regulated by adequate decisions
5 by the Office of the Prosecutor of the Republic of Serbia. The federal
6 police no longer existed in this sense after 1992, in terms of security.
7 As far as I know, Mr. Kostajnica restored that right to be jointly shared
8 by the Army of Yugoslavia and the state security in 2000.
9 Q. That's probably outside our period of interest for these purposes.
10 You described the process of the accused favouring the MUP over
11 the VJ - paragraph 100 - did that process reverse? If so, when?
12 A. In my judgement, and according to information that I received from
13 Mr. Perisic, I think that this process was changed in relation towards the
14 Army of Yugoslavia sometime around 1998.
15 Q. Next topic, the accused de facto control over the JNA or the VJ in
16 1995, paragraph 101. Your judgement, Mr. Lilic, does it amount to this,
17 that the accused had some control over senior officers -- some senior
18 officers in the JNA?
19 A. I don't know whether one could use such a strong word as
20 "control." But certainly Mr. Milosevic had in the Yugoslav army generals
21 who were closer and others who were outside his influence in a sense.
22 Q. Can you name those who were closer to him?
23 A. Certainly one could include in that group of generals, for
24 example, Mr. Ojdanic, who signed the capitulation in Kumanovo. That group
25 of generals should certainly also include in a sense General Ivanovic,
1 maybe General Ojdanic, maybe General Stefanovic. It is difficult to list
2 the names of the generals who were closer to them in relation to a group
3 of generals who saw that cooperation between the president of Serbia and
4 the Army of Yugoslavia differently.
5 Q. How, if at all, would you rank the relationships of any of the
6 following to the accused: Zivota Panic or Nedeljko Boskovic, Pavkovic and
7 Perisic himself? How would you rank in closeness or otherwise to the
9 A. Zivota Panic could certainly be ranked in that first group.
10 General Boskovic, I know him barely, so I couldn't be able to say anything
11 with any certainty, but it is a fact that the promotion of generals
12 depended to a high degree on Mr. Milosevic, and some of them saw that if
13 they were closer to him they would make a career more quickly. General
14 Pavkovic is not one of those generals who made such a good career on that
15 basis, but he was certainly very close to Mr. Milosevic.
16 Q. What was the accused's de facto ability to appoint or dismiss
17 high-ranking officers? Paragraph 103.
18 A. I don't know whether you're referring to the period of 1993 to
19 1997 or after 1997, when Mr. Milosevic was president of the Federal
20 Republic of Yugoslavia.
21 Q. 1993 to 1997.
22 A. I have told you that all decisions regarding retirement,
23 promotions, transfers to other duties within the Supreme Defence Council
24 were made by consensus. There is no doubt that he played a very important
25 role there. But in those days such decisions were taken in the Supreme
1 Defence Council upon the proposal of the chief of staff -- of the general
2 staff and the senior staff of the general staff, and that was the rule I
3 respected and was guided by.
4 Q. How significant, if at all, to an officer's promotion would be his
5 membership of the SPS or of JUL?
6 A. I don't know by name the officers who were explicitly members of
7 the Yugoslav Left or of the SPS, but it was certainly a good reference to
8 move up the ladder more quickly. Some of the generals which also caused
9 dissatisfaction in the top echelons of the Army of Yugoslavia would attend
10 official meetings of the Yugoslav Left in uniform, and this, on the other
11 hand, was considered to be their right, but the army itself felt it was
12 not a good idea to get the army politicised, and every effort was made to
13 keep it out of politics as far as possible.
14 Q. Were you aware that General Perisic had private meetings or
15 meetings with the accused without your being present?
16 A. That he met separately outside meetings of the Supreme Defence
17 Council, yes. And I was not informed about it; that is also true.
18 Q. We're now going to turn to exhibit number -- or tab 18 of Exhibit
19 469. It's within the period of 1993 to 1997. It's the 7th of December,
20 1994, but it's within the topics covered by the waiver. And I'm not sure
21 that there's any objection to the production of this document, in which
22 case may we look at it, please.
23 MR. NICE: English on the overhead projector; B/C/S for the
25 Q. Dated the 7th of December to the president of the Republic of
1 Serbian Krajina. Mr. Milan Martic, "On the order of the President of the
2 Republic of Serbia, Mr. Milosevic, urgently to facilitate the passage of
3 UNPROFOR humanitarian aid for two reasons, because...Mr. Martic had
4 promised this to Mr. Akashi," and "because the decision on UNPROFOR's
5 withdrawing from Bosnia is at stake. Inform UNPROFOR in writing that you
6 will perform this task" and to submit a report to the president of the
7 republics --
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's no
9 interpretation into the B/C/S.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have that looked at.
11 MR. NICE: And we see it's on the authority of the accused, but
12 over the name of also Mr. Perisic.
13 Q. Your comment on this document, please, Mr. Lilic.
14 A. This is a highly positive decision by Mr. Perisic, though I'm not
15 familiar with it and I don't know why Mr. Perisic is involved to convey
16 such a message to Mr. Martic. It sounds like an order, though it is a
17 good one. I think this dates back to the period when there was a lot of
18 obstinacy on the part of the leadership of the Republic of Srpska and the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina. I don't know why Mr. Perisic was used here
20 as some sort of an envoy.
21 Q. Paragraph 109. Did you learn of the organisation of a training
22 centre, volunteers from the Republika Srpska and the Republika Srpska
23 Krajina in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, organised by a man known as
25 A. Yes. I think we're talking about the autumn of 1995. I received
1 information from the head of the security department, Mr. Dimitrijevic,
2 that within the Army of Yugoslavia volunteers were being trained for the
3 Army of Republika Srpska and that this was happening even under the
4 supervision of our own experts. I asked for additional information from
5 Mr. Perisic, and I think those documents exist. And I've seen them.
6 Mr. Perisic responded that he did so upon instructions from
7 Mr. Milosevic. I was surprised and astonished in view of the fact that
8 we're talking about September or end of September or beginning of October
9 of 1995, after enormous efforts that Mr. Milosevic himself had made above
10 others for the Dayton Agreements to be signed, that this should be done
11 after Srebrenica, when I'm sure -- I'm quite sure that Mr. Milosevic has
12 nothing in common with what happened in Srebrenica, that this was a crime
13 committed by individuals for which they should be certainly held
15 Q. Mr. Lilic, I was going to ask you about that later, but can we
16 just focus on what I'm asking you about at the moment. The particular
17 documents to be referred to, tab 18, please.
18 A. I'm trying to explain why --
19 Q. Yes. Let's just look at the orders you've got concerning -- I'm
20 sorry, no, we talked about that already.
21 The training centre established by -- or under the control of the
22 man Dragan, the steps you took in relation to it yourself were what?
23 A. I was just trying, Mr. Nice, to explain that. This refers to
24 Captain Dragan, who with the agreement of the Army of Yugoslavia set up a
25 camp for the training of volunteers for Republika Srpska. I insisted
1 through my military office, the head of that office, to be quite -- to get
2 detailed information from General Perisic. I first received information
3 from head of the security department, Mr. Dimitrijevic. Mr. Perisic
4 responded that the camp had been organised, formed, established, whatever
5 you like, with the approval and permission of President Milosevic. I was
6 really astonished, as this was the period prior to Dayton. And by my own
7 order, after talking to Mr. Captain Dragan himself, who wanted to come and
8 tell me what it was about, I abolished that centre because I was convinced
9 that that was another provocation to draw the republic -- the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia into the war, which was a constant wish on the part
11 of Republika Srpska and partially of Krajina too, and this camp was
12 disbanded because I was -- throughout my presidency I felt that members of
13 the army, special forces, volunteers being trained in this way in our
14 camp, I was opposed to them being sent to the Republika Srpska, as they
15 had their own forces and that camp could have been organised on their
16 territory, and this camp was abolished.
17 Q. Tab 19. My mistake. Four documents. We'll look at them briefly.
18 MR. NICE: If we can put them on the overhead projector in the
19 English very swiftly, one after the other. The first is, in fact, the
20 order of the witness, Mr. Lilic, dated the 29th of September, prohibiting
21 the receiving and training of persons, including volunteers who are not
22 Yugoslav citizens in the Yugoslav army.
23 The second document, same date, 29th of September, 1995 to General
24 Perisic, passing to your jurisdiction the order of the president, banning
25 the reception and training of persons.
1 Third document, a report to you on the training of volunteers,
2 coming from Perisic, where he said that -- notified you that "In order to
3 assist the Army of Republika Srpska and Republic of Serbian Krajina you
4 organised a training of reserve volunteers" and says, "We've decided to do
5 this kind of training because of the request of the Republika Srpska, the
6 Republic of Serbian Krajina, the and the approval of the President of the
7 Republic of Serbia to send them volunteers." He goes on to say, "Since we
8 did not have enough volunteers from the formation of the Yugoslav Army and
9 the response of the reserve formation is also poor, we were obliged, with
10 the help of 'Captain' Dragan to receive volunteers and, under the command
11 of the commanding officers of the Special Units to train and prepare
12 them." And then there's a cover letter containing a report by the chief
13 of the general staff about training volunteers.
14 Thank you very much.
15 Q. Can we under the same title -- I'm not going to overlook the
16 matter that you were dealing with earlier, but we'll come back to that in
17 another place in the narrative -- can we under the same title --
18 MR. NICE: Yes. I'm finished with that document. Thank you very
20 Q. -- deal with the removal of a number of generals in late 1998. As
21 a matter of record, the accused -- I beg your pardon. As a matter of
22 record, the following were removed from office: Generals Perisic,
23 Martinovic, Samardzic, and Dimitrijevic. Why did the accused do that?
24 A. General Perisic was replaced by a decision of the Supreme Defence
25 Council or President Milosevic in November 1998. According to his
1 allegation, because he insisted on introducing a state of emergency in
2 part of the territory of the Republic of Serbia and because he was
3 allegedly too long in that office. General Dimitrijevic, whom I
4 considered to be an excellent counter-intelligence officer, one of the
5 best the army had, was replaced in March 1999. General Martinovic, who
6 was a career general - he was very young; I think he's 50 only now - also
7 in 1999. And General Samardzic was transferred to another position and
8 then pensioned off. He was commander of the 3rd Army, covering part of
9 the Kosovo and Metohija. General Grahovac was an excellent air force
10 officer. These were people who were not willing, as far as I know them,
11 to deviate in any sense from what is called the use of the Army of
12 Yugoslavia in accordance with the law, the law about the army, the law on
13 defence, and the constitution of the Republic of Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Next title, "The accused and the RS and RSK leadership." We've
15 heard of financial assistance and we've heard of the contribution by
16 Serbia to budgetary matters generally. What control, if any, did the
17 accused have over the leadership of the Croatian and Bosnian Serbs?
18 Paragraph 111.
19 A. I said a moment ago that the word "control" in my opinion is too
20 strong. But he certainly wielded a great deal of influence over them.
21 But it is a fact that that influence was not sufficient for them to do
22 everything required of them, for instance, with respect to peace plans,
23 Cutileiro, the Vance Plan, the contact group plan, right up to Dayton. In
24 any event, the aid coming from the Republic of Serbia and the Federal
25 Republic of Yugoslavia. But when I say "the Federal Republic of
1 Yugoslavia," I really mean mostly the Republic of Serbia was the only way
2 to correct their behaviour, and this proved true in 1994, when sanctions
3 were enforced against the government of the Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Paragraph 113. Were Bosnian Serb leaders seen in the building of
5 the Serbian presidency? If so, with what regularity?
6 A. Yes, they could be seen. And I think they would come quite
7 frequently for various consultations prior to travel, prior to
8 negotiations, and so on.
9 Q. Your assessment of the accused's relationship with Mladic you set
10 out as being in some sense cyclical. Can you just amplify that by a
11 sentence or so?
12 A. Mladic -- Mladic is a man who I would say is unpredictable, so
13 that in certain situations relationships with President Milosevic and
14 others varied. But in any event, I think that the relationship between
15 President Milosevic and Mladic, up until the refusal to accept the Vance
16 Plan, was correct and good. Later it deteriorated significantly, and
17 after the contact group plan was rejected an attempt was made to improve
18 that relationship so as to bring influence to bear on the relationship
19 between General Mladic and Mr. Karadzic. That is why I said that it had
20 its ups and downs, that is, their relationship.
21 For instance, Dayton again improved that relationship. The
22 relationship became correct.
23 Q. Paragraph 115. In your judgement at the time, was there any
24 prospect of Sarajevo not remaining under Muslim control?
25 A. Do you mean with respect to the Dayton Agreement?
1 Q. Before, yes.
2 A. I think it was impossible that Sarajevo should not be under Muslim
3 control, were not to be. I don't understand the question, actually. Could
4 you be more specific.
5 Q. I think that's enough for the purposes of my questioning at the
7 Paragraph 117, you've touched on this already. After the fall of
8 Srebrenica and when the details of the massacre were discovered, the
9 accused's reaction was, as you've already told us, but just remind us.
10 A. Yes. I tried to link that up to the constitution of the centres.
11 And one of the fears was, in which I issued an order for this to be
12 stopped, that President Milosevic himself -- actually, I was in a
13 situation in which I could directly at the beginning of August have
14 intensive meetings to discuss other issues and problems within the Federal
15 Republic of Yugoslavia. I know that he was personally very upset and
16 angry, and I think that he was very sincere in his behaviour and conduct,
17 and he even said at one point that that leadership from Pale, that they
18 were mad, if they had actually done that. And I'm quite sure that as far
19 as he is concerned, he could not have issued an order of that kind. I do
20 believe that Srebrenica, unfortunately, is the result of individuals who
21 allowed themselves to perpetrate an act of that kind, and it is my deep
22 conviction that it cannot be placed in the context of any participation on
23 the part of the Yugoslav army at all, and that is why I said that
24 Mr. Milosevic, which was exceptionally angry, his reaction was very
25 strong, and he considered that this kind of behaviour and conduct would
1 worsen our positions with respect to preparations for the Dayton
2 Conference. I think he even said that at one of the meetings. Of course,
3 nobody would take on this great burden on the side of the Bosnian Serbs,
4 that is.
5 Q. You realise, of course, that these are matters of fact ultimately
6 for the Judges, but I'm not going to of course stand in the way of your
7 expressing that opinion.
8 You participated with Bosnian Serb leadership at two meetings, on
9 the 25th and 29th of August, 1995, in Dobanovci?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You can answer further questions about that if asked. I don't
12 propose, in light of time constraints, to take you through it at the
13 moment in detail.
14 You -- paragraph 119, where at Dayton Sarajevo was -- were given
15 up, do you regard that as a reflection of the accused's influence over
17 A. No.
18 Q. Very well.
19 MR. NICE: Can we have a look at tab 20, please. Except that I
20 think this is -- sorry.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
24 MR. NICE: I'll have to come back to this one later. I gather
25 there's some problem with the tab numbering. I'll deal with it later. It
1 may also be a document which the government will take some exception. So
2 I'll deal with it after the break.
3 Q. Paragraph 120 -- or 121. The replacement of Milan Celeketic as
4 chief of the general staff of the SVK in May of 1995 by Mile Mrksic,
5 what's your view on the involvement or approval or whatever of the accused
6 for that?
7 A. May 1995 is highly specific for the Republic of Srpska Krajina,
8 especially that beginning part of May, the start of May, because Western
9 Slavonia, due to a mistake, it fell, and the Belgrade-Zagreb motorway was
10 closed and we saw the first stages of the Vance-Owen Plan implementation.
11 This error was ascribed to General Celeketic. However, as far as I knew,
12 it was Mr. Martic who ordered the road closed. But anyway, it brought
13 into question the Republic of Srpska Krajina. And General Mrksic, who was
14 otherwise a pensioned general of the JNA and was born in the area, he knew
15 the area very well, and as far as we thought had very good military
16 qualifications for the post. So he was brought in. And I think that the
17 proposal did come from President Milosevic personally. I'm not quite
18 sure, but I think that that might have been the case.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
21 MR. NICE: Sorry.
22 Q. Next heading, "Relations between the VJ and the VRS and the role
23 of the accused," starting at paragraph 122. Did the general staff of the
24 VJ brief presidents of the FRY and of Serbia and of Montenegro about the
25 position in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia on a regular basis?
1 A. The general staff of the Army of Yugoslavia did provide briefings
2 of that kind.
3 Q. In fact, was this the only source of information those presidents,
4 including yourself, would have received, or were there other lines of
5 communication that would have kept the accused and the president of
6 Montenegro informed of what was happening in those other territories?
7 A. I assume, that is to say, certainly there were other lines of
8 communication, yes.
9 Q. Paragraph 125. Were VJ officers serving in the VRS and the SVK?
10 A. The officers of the Army of Yugoslavia, on the principle of
11 volunteerism, could have been on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
12 is, as volunteers in the Republic of Srpska Krajina and therefore in both
13 armies, and they were first and foremost officers who had stayed on, who
14 he remained when the Yugoslav People's Army had disintegrated or, rather,
15 withdrawn. And there were volunteers from the Army of Yugoslavia as well,
17 Q. Paragraph 126, a matter of detail. Fikret Abdic, did you see him
18 in Belgrade? Or was he to be seen in Belgrade?
19 A. I myself did not have a chance of meeting Mr. Abdic in Belgrade.
20 I didn't meet him. But I do know that he did attend some meetings in
21 Belgrade, yes.
22 Q. With whom?
23 A. He would come to see President Milosevic.
24 Q. Logistical support, paragraph 130. Do you allow of the
25 possibility of support being given to the SVK or the VRS on -- on orders
1 or instructions of the accused?
2 A. What I can say is that the Supreme Defence Council of the Federal
3 Republic of Yugoslavia never passed a decision of that kind. Now, whether
4 there was some other way in which that equipment was brought in, it's
5 difficult for me to say.
6 Q. Very well. Next heading, "Financial control of the RS and RSK
7 leadership by the accused," paragraph 134 and following. I think you've
8 already covered paragraph 135. Let's move to paragraph -- sorry, 134.
9 Let's move to paragraph 137. So far as the economy is concerned, what
10 role did the accused take in appointing people to, for example,
11 state-owned companies and what role did the party or the parties, the JUL
12 and SPS, have in all that? You've probably covered it already, and don't,
13 I hope, be irritated if you have, because it's convenient to take it at
14 this time.
15 A. Well, there's no reason for me to be irritated. At all events in
16 the large economic systems and economies, the role of the SPS or JUL, if
17 you like, in those recent years, particularly JUL, was highly important,
18 so the general managers were appointed in conformity and agreement from
19 President Milosevic. And what is incontestible is that at the head of the
20 largest so-called public companies, where you had the most intensive
21 financial transactions and flows of money taking place, were indeed
22 representatives of the Yugoslav Left. So people were appointed who could
23 in one way or another be cooperative.
24 Q. One man we may have heard of already, Jovan Zebic, held the
25 position of Minister of Finance both in Serbia and at the federal level
1 and was therefore responsible for putting together budgets. What was his
2 relationship to or his loyalty towards the accused?
3 A. Mr. Jovan Zebic, first of all, is a good financial expert, and
4 they say he's a good budget man. That's an unwieldy term, but that's what
5 it is. And a specific situation which can illustrate his relationship
6 towards President Milosevic referred to 1999, for example, that particular
7 year, when the federal government was supposed to state its views about
8 the Kumanovo Agreement, which was -- by which the capitulation of the
9 federal Yugoslavia in relation to the NATO pact was signed. I was the
10 sole person to vote against the agreement. Mr. Zebic protested and said
11 there's nothing that should not be done if it was something that was
12 stated and put forward by President Milosevic. And I think that his
13 statements exists in the records. I didn't understand him at the time,
14 and I don't think he actually knew why I voted against.
15 Q. What influence did the accused have over --
16 A. I think he respected President Milosevic.
17 Q. What influence did the accused have over the National Bank of
19 A. Well, the National Bank of Yugoslavia was an independent
20 autonomous institution. And the governor of the National Bank of
21 Yugoslavia was the individual in charge of monetary policy, the quantity
22 of moneys, the flow of moneys, and so on. However, our situation was
23 highly specific at that time, especially in 1992 and 1993, with the level
24 of inflation which came to hundreds of millions of percentages, so that I
25 assume that in view of the fact that the governor of the national bank was
1 always the individual that had to inform either the prime minister or
2 President Milosevic about how things stood, his influence was not small.
3 It was no small influence that he wielded. I don't know what sense you
4 have in mind when you say "influence."
5 Q. Mr. Lilic, when we, for example, recognise, as we've been told,
6 that there was financing by the issue of money, by the printing of money,
7 would that be something that the accused would be involved in, in your
9 A. Well, the sole source of financing, in view of the sanctions that
10 were introduced in 1992, or one of the rare sources of financing, was the
11 primary issue, as it was called, in view of the large number of people who
12 were left without a job and became social cases. So quite certainly
13 President Milosevic did have to wield influence on decisions of that kind.
14 Q. Mihalj Kertes. Tell us about him. He held what position?
15 A. Mihalj Kertes, as far as our party leadership was concerned,
16 unless I'm mistaken, he was a member of the main board. I think that for
17 a time he was a member of the executive board too, but I'm not quite sure
18 about that. He was of course a member of the regional board. He was a
19 deputy in the National Assembly of Serbia. I'm not quite sure whether he
20 was a deputy in the Federal Assembly. And he occupied the post longest of
21 the director general of the federal customs department.
22 Q. And did that give him control over customs revenues?
23 A. Absolutely so, yes.
24 Q. Was he a close associate of the accused?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I see the time, but I'm hopeful we can get
2 to the end of this section.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. NICE: Which would leave us with only Kosovo by the time you
5 break, if that's convenient to the Chamber.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: Paragraph -- I'm not going to trouble with the annual
8 accounts. They're available for consideration and inspection. We don't
9 need them for the time being.
10 And if I trickle into tomorrow with this witness, because of the
11 speed at which I've gone today, there may be a few topics to tidy up which
12 I'll review overnight, but that's all.
13 Q. Paragraph 147 we've covered. Paragraph 149: Did budgets need to
14 be approved by the FRY assembly where the SPS had a majority?
15 A. The budgets did have to be adopted in the Federal Assembly, just
16 as the financial accounts of the budget for the previous year had to be
17 adopted and approved. If it was not approved in the Federal Assembly, it
18 wasn't viable.
19 Q. And of course the government was an SPS majority government.
20 A. Well, either a member of the SPS or a member of JUL or JUL and SPS
21 or some other coalition partners.
22 Q. What, if anything, do you know or understand about diversion of
23 revenues, for example, customs revenues, to particular purposes?
24 A. What I know is this: I know that there were a lot of stories
25 going round and a lot was written about it, but from that period of time I
1 do know that the federal government was very angry because all the customs
2 revenues were not registered through the federal government, and that
3 certain state commissions were set up by President Kontic in order to
4 ascertain the exact quantity of resources that should be paid into the
5 budget because in the way this was to the detriment of the army and other
6 federal institutions. And it's no longer difficult to say whether these
7 resources were diverted or not because there are -- is personal
8 recognition that that was done on the part of Mr. Kertes.
9 Q. Very well. I'll move finally, then, to paragraph 154 and 153,
10 under the heading of "Control of foreign policy of the FRY." We're
11 finally at this part of the hearing.
12 Were foreign ministers or ministers for foreign affairs all from
14 A. From the day the Ministries of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic
15 of Serbia was abolished - and this was a good step to align the
16 constitution of Serbia with that of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -
17 as far as I know, yes, all the federal ministers of foreign affairs were
18 from the Republic of Serbia and the deputies were for the most part from
20 Q. What influence did this give the accused over foreign affairs?
21 A. Well, in view of the fact - and here we're going back to the
22 essence and substance of his overall authority and the force that
23 Mr. Milosevic had, not only his personal authority, but it was the deputy
24 majority and the ministers who belonged to one of the parties who were
25 subordinated to him, so they wielded great influence on his appointment
1 and vice versa. And I think that the foreign minister was the sole person
2 from the federal administration who was -- who attended most of
3 Mr. Milosevic's talks with representatives of the International
4 Community. So the conclusion is quite clear from that, that his influence
5 was dominant.
6 Q. I think at meetings was there somebody else present called Goran
7 Milinovic sometimes?
8 A. Goran Milinovic was the Chef de Cabinet of President Milosevic.
9 And quite logically highway attended all the meetings even when there were
10 no ministers, perhaps even narrower meetings with smaller circles of
11 people taking part.
12 Q. Did he make notes, Goran Milinovic?
13 A. I assume he did, and that's why his presence was required.
14 Q. Paragraph 153. Did these international negotiators ever ask to
15 deal with you, Mr. Lilic?
16 A. As most of the international negotiations had to do with Republika
17 Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina and that critical area, not counting
18 what happened later on in Kosovo and Metohija, all international relations
19 were linked to those areas therefore. So from the President of the
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for a time, while he occupied that post,
21 Dobrica Cosic had that privilege, if I can put it that way. Later on,
22 everything that was linked to international negotiations to all intents
23 and purposes was in the hands of Mr. Milosevic and the International
24 Community accepted that, so that the federal institutions except for the
25 ministries of foreign affairs, as far as I know, in the majority of cases
1 were not included in negotiations of that type. But there were foreign
2 delegations, of course, who would come to see the president of Yugoslavia
3 at his invitation, such as presidents or heads of state, protocol
4 meetings, and the president of the Republic of Serbia was duty-bound by
5 virtue of office to receive them. But as to these international
6 negotiations, no, I was not included.
7 Q. And finally, perhaps before we break, if this is convenient to the
8 Chamber, were you used to some extent as a conveyor of the accused's
9 instructions or as a communicator to the accused?
10 A. Well, probably. There were a lot of messages that I conveyed to
11 him and many things he told me and passed on to me. But in the context of
12 what was said in court, this was the protocol role of the president of the
13 FRY who by virtue of the constitution - and this was his daily right and
14 duty - was to attend to receiving and sending out messages of
15 congratulations. So that would be it. That's probably what you have in
16 mind. And this was done by -- presented by Mr. Lazarevic here in this
17 courtroom, but that is not correct.
18 MR. NICE: Kosovo next, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
23 MR. NICE: Paragraph 156, we'll turn to Kosovo. Was the accused
24 informed of developing problems in Kosovo? And if so, by what sources and
25 to what effect?
1 A. I believe that he was informed. He could have been informed from
2 several sources. He could have been informed by the state security, by
3 the public security. He could have been informed from sources close to
4 the civilian authorities and certainly sources that are sources of the
5 Army of Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Were there reports to your knowledge of looting and the seizing of
7 property in Kosovo? And if so, by whom were these operations being
9 A. The first time I heard that piece of information was during my
10 tour of Kosovo in Djakovica when there was a meeting of the head of state
11 security who was there in his capacity as head of state security and he
12 was in charge of some of the anti-terrorist actions that were underway.
13 And at this meeting that was said inter alia, that some members of the
14 reserve police force are seizing the property of Albanians, if I can use
15 that expression, and that they should be treated very seriously and that
16 they should be criminally prosecuted and arrested.
17 Q. Well, then let's move to the paragraph 157. And towards your
18 fact-finding missions and all under the title of missions to Kosovo, in
19 respect of which your waiver has been granted.
20 You began your involvement, I think, your particular detailed
21 involvement, after you had given up your role as president in May of 1998,
22 when with various other politicians and officials you were concerned about
23 the information flow; is that right?
24 A. My term as president of Yugoslavia expired on the 25th of June,
25 1997. In July, President Milosevic was appointed to that office. In
1 1998, I as deputy prime minister of the federal government, since I wanted
2 to help as much as possible, I accepted that position. As a matter of
3 fact, I made a suggestion to President Milosevic that I should hold that
4 position. And twice when I went on tours of critical areas in Kosovo,
5 Metohija, that is to say, practically all towns, the border areas, the few
6 villages, everything that the Army of Yugoslavia thought should be toured
7 at that point in time.
8 Q. By whom were you asked to go and conduct this fact-finding
10 A. The initial proposal was the proposal of General Perisic, who was
11 then chief of staff of the Army of Yugoslavia, of General Aleksandar
12 Dimitrijevic as well, and certainly Mr. Kontic was informed about that
13 too, whereas immediate consent was given by President Milosevic. So the
14 proposal came from the Army of Yugoslavia.
15 Q. And was there a desire at that stage to legalise the use of the
16 army in Kosovo?
17 A. Well, according to the words of General Perisic, and some requests
18 that he had made allegedly in April to introduce a state of emergency, he
19 did have a great deal of problems then because he was asked that the Army
20 of Yugoslavia take part in all the activities in which the MUP of the
21 Republic of Serbia took part in. And I don't think that's a problem.
22 It's not the use of the army that's a problem, but the way in which it
23 should have been used, that's the problem.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... your missions I think on the
25 17th, and either between that date or on the 27th -- on the 27th of May,
1 1998; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In your judgement on that first mission, was there a state of
4 emergency, even if not technically declared, or not?
5 A. According to what could be heard, since in all the towns I toured
6 I met with the local authorities and the local political leaderships and
7 these meetings were attended also by the members of the police from that
8 particular town, the situation in Kosovo had already had quite literally
9 all the characteristics of a state of emergency and the only thing that
10 was missing was declaring it so formally.
11 Q. On the second fact-finding mission or the second day, whichever it
12 is, on the 27th of May, that's when you visited Djakovica; is that right?
13 A. Yes. Among the other towns, I visited Djakovica too, yes.
14 Q. On this occasion, who was with you?
15 A. On this occasion, General Dusan Samardzic was with me, commander
16 of the 3rd Army of the Army of Yugoslavia. Then there was also Mr. Nikola
17 Sainovic. Also there was Mr. Nebojsa Pavkovic, who was then commander of
18 the Pristina Corps. There was a group of leaders from the province
19 itself, from the executive, and also from the political side. And there
20 were also a few colonels of the Army of Yugoslavia. I don't recall their
21 names -- from the Pristina Corps, certainly.
22 Q. Very well. Did you judge there was a lack of coordination in what
23 was happening down there between the DB and another body?
24 A. Well, this second visit was supposed to give an answer to that
25 question in particular. Although, this was sort of hanging in the air.
1 Mr. Jovica Stanisic actually did report on this in Djakovica. He said
2 what was going on really in the struggle in Kosovo and Metohija and what
3 kind of actions were underway and that there is a lack of unity of command
4 between the state security and the Ministry of Police and that the Army of
5 Yugoslavia is not offering the kind of logistics support that they may be
6 needing. It seemed impossible to him to carry out the assignments that he
7 was entrusted to carry out by the Republic of Serbia -- rather, by the
8 government of Serbia. So there was a lack of general synchronisation
9 between the state security, the public security, and the Army of
11 Q. Did that have any effect on the drive to have the army involved or
12 on the momentum to have the army involved?
13 A. That became obvious only later, at a second meeting, that that was
14 the objective, to have the Army of Yugoslavia involved in overall
15 operations in Kosovo and Metohija. At that time, Mr. Stanisic only
16 referred to that as a problem, that there was a lack of overall
17 coordination between these three segments of the armed forces.
18 Q. This second meeting or the second visit had been done with the
19 approval of the accused; is that right?
20 A. Yes, by all means, the first one and the second one.
21 Q. Between the first and second meetings, when you reported to the
22 accused - paragraph 165 - did the accused express concern about Kosovo SPS
24 A. In view of the fact that at this meeting that was held then in
25 Pejic with the presence of most of the presidents of the municipalities
1 from that part of Kosovo and Metohija, great dissatisfaction was expressed
2 over the overall situation in Kosovo and Metohija from a security,
3 political, and economic point of view. I think that this did cause
4 concern with President Milosevic, precisely because of this general mood
5 of the political leaders.
6 Q. At that stage, were people being killed in Kosovo on a regular
8 A. At that time, there were intensive activities of the terrorist
9 units of the Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija. Certainly there were
10 adequate responses of the anti-terrorist forces from the MUP of Serbia.
11 At that time, there were two such units there. Had they acted in concert,
12 they certainly would have resolved these problems differently, these
13 problems that later culminated in Kosovo and Metohija. Obviously the
14 greatest problem there was that the terrorist activities of the Albanian
15 terrorists would turn into an armed rebellion of the entire Albanian
16 population in Kosovo and Metohija and that would yet lead to a new
17 problem. So there were quite a few killings and this happened with great
18 frequency. The Army of Yugoslavia, the police, police facilities were
19 attacked often but also there were responses too.
20 Q. And must the accused have been aware of this level of killing that
21 was going on?
22 A. Well, I believe that he did know, because there were daily reports
23 about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, unless somebody wrote them in
24 a different way.
25 Q. If you'd just have a look at tab 33 of Exhibit 469, please.
1 MR. NICE: It's just been distributed to add to the Chamber's
2 exhibit bundle.
3 Q. And we can see from the front page of this a document dated the
4 25th of May, 1998 that Milan Vlajkovic is submitting a report on the
5 activities of the army in Kosovo to the deputy prime minister, Your
6 Honours. And on the second page - you don't have to read all of it, but
7 we can see a summary of Albanian forces against the SRY, as it's
8 described, intensified observation of the FRY territory continues from
9 observation posts. The observation is done by persons and then it's
11 These activities coincided - last sentence - with the activities
12 of Siptar terrorists which points to the fact that they are coordinated
13 with terrorist activities in KiM.
14 Ask then in detail. Terrorists opened automatic fire and detail
15 set out there, an attack on security organs, a unit returning from the
16 Morina border post set out after that with VJ units returning fire. The
17 capture of five terrorists, attack on the broader area of Ponosevac
18 village, a soldier in hospital, no information about losses sustained by
19 terrorists, unit fired on, and then an ambush group referred to on the
20 following page, no losses of their units and the losses of Siptars not
22 Was that the sort of report that was available to you but also to
23 other SDC members -- not to other but also to SDC members? Because you
24 were no longer a member of the SDC.
25 A. Yes, I was no longer a member of the Supreme Defence Council, so I
1 could not receive reports that were coming in to President Milosevic,
2 President Milutinovic, and I assume to the third member of the SDC as
3 well. This is a report that was sent to me first and foremost upon
4 instructions of General Perisic, chief of general staff, in order to give
5 a clear illustration of what the arguments were for the letter that he was
6 practically preparing by then, the letter he addressed to President
7 Milosevic, and it also has to do with the general situation in Kosovo and
8 Metohija, irrespective of the letter. Obviously the terrorists in Kosovo
9 had excellent logistics, in terms of support from the Republic of Albania,
10 also from some international missions and also regrettably - this we found
11 out at a meeting much later - within our own security organs. And the
12 report itself shows that actions had culminated by then and that there
13 were many, many attacks. This was a few days before my second visit to
14 Kosovo and Metohija.
15 Q. Paragraph 169. At this stage, did the accused favour considerate
16 response or in your judgement did he still favour a more controlled
17 response, or limited response?
18 A. You mean by way of reaction to terrorist activities?
19 Q. And did he -- did he favour use of the police or the army or what,
20 or don't you know?
21 A. Well, this is the time that unfortunately Mr. Stanisic, who was
22 later replaced as chief of state security, warned against that there was
23 no coordination between the public security, state security, and the Army
24 of Yugoslavia and Kosovo. So it was hard to say what the right decision
25 would have been, because there was this lack of coordination. I
1 personally think that what was preferred was use of police force, as
2 probably with some logistics support of the Army of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. In reality, was Kosovo within or outside the control of the
4 accused at this time, or don't you know?
5 A. I don't know whether you mean from a political point of view or
6 from a security point of view.
7 Q. From a political point of view.
8 A. Well, that's the time when in Kosovo and Metohija there was a
9 great deal of dissatisfaction from the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija. And
10 I personally believe that the political influence of Belgrade was
11 considerably weakened and that it would be difficult to say that Kosovo
12 and Metohija was under the political control of Belgrade from that point
13 of view then.
14 Q. So we turn to paragraph 172, where you had a meeting with the
15 accused after your second visit. What was the nature of your report to
16 the accused? What was the substance of it?
17 A. I conveyed to him in great detail my own impressions from Kosovo
18 and Metohija, also my impressions from the briefing of Mr. Jovica Stanisic
19 about the security situation. I also said what I thought should be done
20 from the point of view of this joint command between the state security
21 and the public security, but I also conveyed positions regarding the bad
22 behaviour of the reservists from -- some reservists from the public
23 security of Serbia. It so turned out that the activities of the Army of
24 Yugoslavia should be institutionalised and also other activities should be
25 undertaken at political level in order to stabilise that area.
1 At any rate, the report showed precisely what General Perisic was
2 trying to prove, that the situation in Kosovo was one of emergency, that
3 communications were practically severed. It was very difficult to move on
4 land in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, practically that it was
5 known that Jablanica, Drenica, Smonica, and the mountains were centres of
6 terrorist activity. And I even told President Milosevic then -- or
7 rather, I gave him a map with very precisely marked locations of terrorist
8 centres, and I think that this called for different activity on our part
9 and we discussed that. President Milosevic told me that I should convey
10 this --
11 Q. Sorry. Sorry to have interrupted you. And perhaps you better
12 finish what you were going to say about what the accused said.
13 A. President Milosevic listened to me carefully. Of course I told
14 him what happened at this political meeting too, that was apart from the
15 security aspect. And he told me that as for all these impressions of mine
16 and all the information I obtained, I should convey this at a meeting that
17 would be chaired by Mr. Milan Milutinovic, who was then president of the
18 Republic of Serbia. This meeting was supposed to be one of coordination,
19 since Milutinovic in a way coordinated the activity of all three staffs
20 from Kosovo and Metohija, the military staff, the staff of the public
21 security, and also of this state security or, if you wish, of their
22 leading echelons, and also this was supposed to be done at the level of
23 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia.
24 Q. In the event, did the accused do what you advised him to do in
25 relation to these particular centres of terrorism, as they were being
1 described or whatever?
2 A. No. These centres - and I don't know the reason for this - these
3 centres were never attacked and never eliminated from the territory of
4 Kosovo and Metohija.
5 Q. And indeed had Stanisic made a recommendation about focussing on
6 terrorists? Did you convey that?
7 A. Stanisic did present this information at the meeting in
8 Djakovica. His idea was - and not only his idea, but this was the idea of
9 a number of generals of the Army of Yugoslavia, and I personally agreed
10 with this too - that the attack against terrorist centres should be
11 intensified, that anti-terrorist struggle should be intensified as such,
12 but what should be borne in mind is that civilian targets should be taken
13 care of and that political negotiation should also be conducted, and this
14 is what I later conveyed in Belgrade too.
15 Q. Did you make reference to the possibility of confidence-building
16 measure, economic programmes, and the like?
17 A. Yes. I forgot. Djakovica is a very interesting town, from the
18 point of view of its significance for Kosovo and Metohija. I think that
19 most of the top Albanian people from Kosovo come from that area, from that
20 town. It has an interesting structure, and I suggested to President
21 Milosevic that perhaps we should tap these potentials, to start the
22 production process in Djakovica so that we would show Albanians from
23 Djakovica too that Serbia was taking care of them, and through influential
24 Serbs in Kosovo who were originally from Kosovo we should work on this
25 confidence building.
1 President Milosevic accepted that, and I think that it was
2 precisely Mr. Dusko Matkovic from Sartrid [phoen] who was charged with
3 this and then he was supposed to set up this kind of process from the
4 Republic of Serbia.
5 Q. And then did anything come of these suggestions?
6 A. Unfortunately, no.
7 Q. Did the accused suggest that your report should be relayed to a
8 meeting held on the 13th of June, coordinated by Mr. Milutinovic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you have a view as to what that achieved for the accused by
11 way of distribution of responsibility?
12 A. I personally think that the fact that Milutinovic was president of
13 Serbia meant that in accordance with his constitutional powers he was
14 supposed to use them, and for everything to evolve quite differently in
15 Kosovo from what was actually going on. It is hard for me to say whose
16 influence was decisive there and to the extent to which Milosevic's
17 influence was decisive there. At any rate, it was Milutinovic who was
18 chairing these meetings.
19 My impression was, because my presence at the meeting was only on
20 that occasion - that was the first and last time I was there - this was
21 probably supposed to prevent the dismissal of Mr. Stanisic in that period.
22 So in a way I was there to support the positions of Mr. Stanisic at that
23 meeting. So if that was the objective, the objective was attained.
24 Q. Now, the third fact-finding mission was in November of 1998. Did
25 you have a meeting with the accused after it?
1 A. In November 1998, I had a meeting before the visit. After the
2 visit, I sent a detailed analysis to Mr. Milosevic, to provide him with
3 information. The analysis was made on the basis of a great deal of
4 intelligence data, both from the Yugoslav services and services outside
5 the territory of the FRY, which showed the seriousness of the situation in
6 Kosovo and Metohija and also the great problems that Serbia and Yugoslavia
7 would have if the question of growing terrorism is not dealt with and also
8 if the question of relations with the International Community are not
9 dealt with and also the relations between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo
10 and Metohija, at least from a preliminary point of view.
11 Q. At tab 31 - it's a long letter, we shan't go through all of it -
12 but if you can identify this as the letter, please. Is this the letter
13 you spoke of?
14 A. Yes, that's the letter I sent to President Milosevic. It shows
15 what was going on at the borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
16 It shows the accumulation of troops of NATO and also what was going on in
17 terms of the leading Albanians from either Albania or Kosovo and Metohija
18 and also the intensive arming of the Siptar terrorists.
19 Q. And it sets out towards the end your proposal for urgent measures,
20 reinforcing borders, combatting terrorism, intensify efforts at the
21 international level. And for want of time, if you identify the letter as
22 yours, it's available to be read in detail later. Thank you very much.
23 Did you receive at the same general time a letter from General
24 Perisic, tab 32? Have a look at that.
25 MR. NICE: And again to save time, I'm not intending to go through
1 the documents exhaustively, but they're here for record purposes. This is
2 a document addressed to the prime minister, and it comes from General
3 Perisic, and it's dated the 19th of June, 1998.
4 Q. So far as you know, would the accused have received a copy of this
6 A. I really don't know. It's hard for me to say. It doesn't say
7 that a copy was sent to him here.
8 Q. Have you spoken --
9 A. This has to do with the financing of the Army of Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Have a look at the third as well, if we may. And perhaps you can
11 help us with that. This says from Perisic. "Dear Zoki," who's that?
12 A. That's a letter addressed to me.
13 Q. "I am sending you two versions of the arguments for introducing a
14 state of emergency in part of Kosovo and Metohija. These are sufficiently
15 well reasoned and provide a basis for legal revision."
16 Now, have you spoken to General Perisic about this? Do you know
17 where copies of this argument went?
18 A. Yes. General Perisic came to see me and we discussed this. I
19 told him that it would be best if he could inform President Milosevic
20 about this, being the president of the Supreme Defence Council. And I
21 must point out that according to the constitution of the Republic of
22 Serbia, the president of the republic is allowed to do that even without
23 the Supreme Defence Council. And you have a detailed explanation of the
24 security situation in Kosovo and Metohija from which it is obvious that it
25 was absolutely indispensable to -- and unavoidable to introduce a state of
1 emergency. As far as I know, General Perisic did send that letter to
2 Mr. Milosevic. Now, whether he actually did or not, all I have to go by
3 is his assurances.
4 Q. If we go to the attachment at the back of this exhibit. In the
5 English, it's bottom of the page, number 2. And in the Cyrillic, it's not
6 got a page number that's visible. There's a paragraph that reads: "Since
7 MUP organs cannot ensure protection of the population, there are more and
8 more requests by both citizens and the authorities that this role should
9 be assumed by the Yugoslav army."
10 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. It's the penultimate page I think
11 of the -- no, it's the last page, top of the last page in the Cyrillic.
12 Q. And then further down, thank you very much, it says: "We propose
13 the following: That the supreme military council prepare a state of
14 emergency (measures) in certain areas of Kosovo and Metohija pursuant to
15 the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." And number 3:
16 "That the Yugoslav Army be charged with implementing the decision of the
17 Supreme Defence Council, and that the MUP forces and other factors be
18 engaged in carrying out the tasks of the Supreme Defence Council." Thank
19 you very much. So that's the argument that he's -- he supported his
20 position with.
21 Can we also look at tab 9, please, if there's no objection to this
22 one. Tab 9 is, Your Honour, one we looked at earlier. We withdrew it at
23 that stage because of concerns by the government representatives. But
24 they've now clarified their position. And I'm not sure whether there's
25 any remaining objections to this document. I think not. They've narrowed
1 the dates about which they have concern to the 2nd of June of 1993 and to
2 the 12th of June of 1997. So a Supreme Council of Defence document dated
3 the 2nd of June, 1998, falls outside that period and they don't desire any
4 protection for it.
5 If we see that the agenda refers to personnel issues. And on the
6 agenda was the interpretation of the military and political situation in
7 the region and the situation of the state board of the Republic of
8 Albania. And if we go over in the English to page 2, towards the bottom,
9 and in the Cyrillic it's page -- top right-hand corner 2445, just over
10 halfway down the page, we see a reference to the chief of the general
11 staff speaking about the engagement of the army in accordance with its
12 peacetime purpose exclusively in a border zone between 2.5 and
13 3 kilometres.
14 And then if the Chamber would be good enough to go over one more
15 page to page 3 of 8, the witness going to the foot of page numbered 2446
16 at the top, predictions of the general staff in case of an outcome of
17 political talks with --
18 Q. Mr. Lilic, if you can find it. It's at page 446 at the top, but
19 it's at the foot of that page. And it sets out the predictions of the
20 general staff and --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have that page.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, may I assist the witness?
24 In the Serbian text, they are not -- the Serbian text is not marked in the
25 same way. The minutes begin with 2436 and ends with 2442, so probably the
1 numbering has changed in Mr. Nice's document. So with reference to
2 General Perisic, that is on page 2437 in the Serbian version. The
3 predictions of the general staff are on the same page.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you.
5 Q. "Predictions of the General Staff: In case of a positive outcome
6 of the political talks with siptar representatives the tension in Kosovo
7 and Metohija will weaken. If the outcome of the talks should not be
8 positive, then there are two possibilities.
9 "First, to increase the intensity actions, having in mind the
10 fact that some communications are already endangered. This applies above
11 all to the municipalities of --" and then there are a number listed --
12 "part of Djakovica.
13 "Second, if the talks turn out to be positive, then the danger of
14 an escalation of the conflicts to other areas decreases."
15 Skipping the next two paragraphs: "In the conclusion of his
16 interpretation General Perisic underlined that everything had to be done
17 to prevent a negative course of events --"
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
19 MR. NICE: Yes. I will slow down. I apologise for having gone
20 too fast.
21 Q. "In case we don't succeed, then we have to engage our military
22 forces according to the escalation of the conflict. In case of an
23 external danger, we have to mobilise the military forces, whereas the
24 Supreme Council of Defence and other federal organs have to bring that
1 Skip a paragraph: "Regarding this item of the agenda, President
2 Milosevic proposed and the council unanimously adopted the following
4 "First, the interpretation of the chief of general staff has
5 been accepted;.
6 "Second, if terrorist activities of the Albanian separatist
7 movement escalate, the army will intervene;
8 "Third, the army will be ready to oppose any kind of external
9 intervention that could endanger sovereignty and territorial integrity."
10 Now, personnel issues then followed, but I think we've covered
11 those in the documents now available for the Chamber to look at them and I
12 don't need to return to them tomorrow morning.
13 Does this part of this session of the SDC as recorded reflect your
14 understanding of the position at the time, Mr. Lilic?
15 A. This excerpt from the minutes of the 5th Session, I don't know
16 everything that was covered except for the brief summary given by the
17 chief of staff, and I don't know whether that coincides with what he said
18 when the two of us met. But in any event, this was the generally accepted
19 position, if an escalation of terrorist activities should occur, the army
20 would be used. But this would imply certain decisions regarding the use
21 of the army, and I assume that the Supreme Council discussed that. And
22 the third position was generally accepted position in the Federal Republic
23 of Yugoslavia at the time.
24 Q. At tab 23, please.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we're slowing down a little because of the
1 exhibits, but there are not so very many more to be dealt with, and I'm
2 happy that I'll be finished early tomorrow morning.
3 Q. This is a letter to the accused of the 23rd of July of 1998.
4 Mr. Lilic, it's in the Cyrillic in - one, two, three - five pages. On the
5 first page of that and the first page of the English version we see that
6 the author, General Perisic, is reporting to the accused. There's
7 negative facts:
8 1. Constant tendency to use the VJ outside the institutions of
9 the system;.
10 2. Separating VJ units from the Yugoslav army;.
11 3. Attempt to command VJ units by unauthorised persons;.
12 4. Bypassing levels of command in official talks with VJ members;
13 5. Conducting personnel policies of an illegitimate basis;.
14 6. Supplying material extra-legally.
15 Any comment you want to make on that part of this letter?
16 A. I think there's no need. I had occasion to see this letter by
17 General Perisic. I myself was surprised by its contents. There's no need
18 for any comments, except that it shows that it was probably written out of
19 a revolt to some extent because there was persistent insistence on a state
20 of emergency so that the Army of Yugoslavia should settle accounts with
21 the terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija and the only possibility at the time
22 was for units of the police to be subordinated to the Army of Yugoslavia.
23 To comment on each of these paragraphs here I don't think is required of
24 me, is necessary for me to do.
25 Q. Well, as you know from the summary - you've gone through these
1 before - we're at paragraph 185, the comments of the -- or anticipated
2 comments or forecast comments of the witness on this area.
3 It goes on to say, just looking at the letter again itself,
4 "Specific examples of the facts: 1. Tendency to use VJ outside the
5 institutions of the system." And then towards the bottom of that
6 subparagraph A: "Since this was not send by you - the situation has
7 escalated and so representatives of the MUP and you too sought the use of
8 the VJ, some smaller units were used directly and indirectly - which is
9 from a legal aspect against the law."
10 And B: "So that the relevant and professional conclusions of the
11 session of the VSO, Supreme Defence Council, on the 9th of June might be
12 implemented, we requested the FRY government to assure us (by proclaiming
13 one of these states: of emergency, immediate threat of war, or war)
14 legitimate material and financial resources. This has not, to date, been
15 done, which means that any engagement of the VJ in combat operations
16 outside the border zone and beyond is still illegal."
17 And then it says: "Further use of the VJ in this way is untenable
18 for three reasons, at least: Not being utilised the effectively - the
19 results are minor; utilisation does not ensure attainment of legal goals -
20 so they accuse us of --"
21 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, please.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. "Such utilisation does not go unnoticed by observers and might
24 cause reprisals by the International Community and NATO."
25 That's what he wrote, and we've got your comments on it.
1 Let's look at the second passage, please, paragraph 86 -- 186 of
2 the summary. In his letter, General Perisic refers to separating units
3 from the VJ and said that "The Guards Brigade was separated from the VJ by
4 your decision. See attachment 3. Such a decision has no basis in law, no
5 necessity, and no logic." It goes on to explain that the accused
6 commanded in keeping with the decision of the Supreme Defence Council.
7 Now, the brigade of guards, what was its mandate? How well was it
9 A. The Guards Brigade is one of the elite units of the Army of
10 Yugoslavia. It was used for ceremonial purposes but was also composed of
11 highly qualified and good elite troops. But what Mr. Perisic is saying is
12 quite correct, that is, that Mr. Milosevic had no right to separate the
13 Guards Brigade out of the Army of Yugoslavia. I think you made a slip
14 when you said that he was in command of the decisions of the Supreme
15 Command Council. It should say that it should be command, because such a
16 decision is not in accordance with the decisions of the Supreme Defence
18 Q. It's not open -- I understand you to be saying it was not open to
19 the accused to give commands to this unit in the way suggested as having
20 been given by General Perisic.
21 A. Yes, because it violates the principle of subordination or the
22 principle of a unity of command that exists in all armies in the world,
23 the singleness of command, and therefore in the Army of Yugoslavia as
25 Q. Back to paragraph 3 of the letter. "Attempt to command the VJ by
1 unauthorised persons." The letter reads: "The constant desire of members
2 of the MUP that we subordinate a VJ unit to them causes disputes if it is
3 not permitted them, if one is granted them then it is used purposelessly
4 and unprofessionally, which proves counterproductive. The best example is
5 Decani and Orahovac.
6 "The attempt by the civilian part of the Staff to command the
7 Corps," and then it goes on to deal with that in detail. "In practice,
8 the commander of the Pristina Corps plans what he has been ordered to, and
9 this is at the request of Sainovic and Minic and the MUP, and so turns
10 into something like a service of theirs for planning an execution. Since
11 it is his wish and that of all of us that the plan be realised, if others
12 cannot or will not, he executes it with the Pristina units, which leads to
13 an illegitimate, unsystematic, and inadequate utilisation of VJ units."
14 Now, what do you say about this? Were you aware of there being
15 any request by the MUP for VJ units to assist?
16 A. MUP was constantly requesting assistance from units of the Army of
17 Yugoslavia, but we were in a situation to keep discussing how, whether it
18 should be done legitimately through a state of emergency and through the
19 Supreme Defence Council or in the way here described by Mr. Perisic, which
20 is quite unlawful and non-military, to say the least.
21 Q. Identification of Sainovic leads us to something we will come to a
22 little later. But what body is being referred to there?
23 A. This was the time when this so-called coordinating team for Kosovo
24 was formed, if that is what you're referring to, consisting of Sainovic,
25 Minic, Andjelkovic, and Matkovic. Their coordination was intended to be
1 of a political nature. I don't think that they were qualified for any
2 kind of security assessments or activities in this sense. If they did
3 engage in those activities, then it was to the detriment of -- and at the
4 expense of everything that happened in Kosovo. Obviously that is what
5 they wanted to do, since Mr. Perisic refers to this in his letter.
6 Q. Let's move on to the next section of the letter. "Bypassing
7 levels of command," it's number 4. "Bypassing levels of command in
8 conducting official talks and distributing assignments.
9 "By the Rules of Service of the VJ you have the right to conduct
10 official conversations with all members of the VJ. However, sometimes" --
11 this is addressed to the accused -- "you do this without the knowledge of
12 the NGS, which is contrary to military subordination and the unity of
13 command." NGS being ...?
14 Mr. Lilic, NGS being, for these purposes ...? Chief of the
15 general staff, isn't it?
16 A. It is the abbreviation for the chief of the general staff. In
17 this case, it was Mr. Perisic.
18 Q. So what do you have to say about this beyond what it says itself?
19 A. That is why I said what I said at the beginning of the document.
20 The part you're referring to now follows on to what was said before. Had
21 there been subordination and singleness of command, there wouldn't have
22 been any excesses in the sense of the army acting together with the police
23 and people being in command who are not qualified or called upon in a
24 situation that was not legally proclaimed a state of emergency. So
25 someone else is responsible, not the institution that should have been
1 proclaimed a state of emergency.
2 Q. Item 5 of the letter: "Conducting personnel policies without
3 legal basis and without criteria or decree. Generals and colonels are
4 frequently promoted, within and without the VSO, without a law or a decree
5 or criteria, which has far-reaching negative consequences within the army.
6 "Laws, decrees, and criteria for promotion must be respected, and
7 especially the opinion and proposal by the chief of staff...and he is
8 responsible for the situation within the VJ and the behaviour of the
9 generals and Article 46 of the Law of the army states these precisely."
10 The nature of the complaint here, your understanding of it, its
12 A. Obviously, General Perisic was displeased because one of the
13 generals had been promoted to a higher rank without him knowing about it
14 or being consulted about it, which was quite natural in view of the
15 previous way in which decisions were taken at the Supreme Defence
16 Council. And I can speak from the point of view of the practice applied
17 while I was a member of the Supreme Defence Council, and I don't know how
18 Mr. Milosevic did that afterwards.
19 Q. Finally -- or nearly finally, the -- number 6, "Supplying
20 materials without regard to regulations.
21 "You frequently order me," says General Perisic, "to provide
22 movable and immovable property for the needs of the MUP.
23 "Under the provisions of the FRY law and property, you are not
24 authorised to give me orders in relation to supplying materials outside
25 the VJ, nor am I authorised to execute such an order."
1 The suggestion here being that the VJ has been asked to give
2 military support of that kind. Proper or improper, Mr. Lilic?
3 A. Mr. Perisic's commentary is proper, as the owner of the property
4 of the VJ is the federal government of the Federal Republic of
5 Yugoslavia. Of course, it does happen that sometimes those supplies are
6 exchanged with the police when necessary, but I think the principle
7 referred to in this letter had to be respected.
8 Q. The letter ends with the following paragraphs, which I extract,
9 highlighted at the foot of -- towards the foot of page 4 of the English:
10 "Thus I have the obligation, the right, and moral human officers in
11 general strength and honour to point out to you in your capacity as
12 president of the FRY and of the Supreme Defence Council with regard to the
13 army, people, and state in this decisive moment the need for you to
14 respect the institution of the VJ and its functional principles and to
15 behave towards it in a manner determined by the constitution, the law, and
16 the regulations. If not, then you will transform this, the only
17 functioning high-level Yugoslav institution into a non-functioning and
18 disunited amorphous mass." And his last paragraph reads: "While I am in
19 the Yugoslav army, in the interest os the state and the people I will be
20 compromising and continue to build and strengthen and build up the VJ and
21 I shall not permit it to dismantled, the wrecking of principles on which
22 it and its unity is based."
23 We've looked at the letter in some detail and your comments on it,
24 but paragraphs 181, 182, and 183 of the summary. Your general
25 observations on what General Perisic was doing by this letter. First of
1 all, what was the inevitability for him of his writing this letter?
2 A. Personally I believe that he wanted to draw attention to the
3 seriousness of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. He wanted to
4 underline the misuse, significant misuse of the Army of Yugoslavia, and he
5 wanted things that were happening to change in the way he described. It
6 is a fact indeed that the Army of Yugoslavia was the only cohesive factor
7 of the common state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Any
8 undermining of it in this way would weaken its position further. So I
9 think that I fully understand the revolt felt by Mr. Perisic and the way
10 in which he wrote this letter. However, as far as I know, several months
11 after this letter, he was replaced from the position of chief of staff of
12 the Army of Yugoslavia.
13 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Was there any reason, Mr. Lilic,
14 that you could see why the accused didn't follow the recommendations to
15 set up or establish a state of emergency or follow the recommendations
16 which are set out in this letter?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, there are several
18 reasons. One of the more significant ones is certainly that in that case
19 all the -- the full seriousness of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija
20 had to be recognised. And I think Milosevic didn't want to accept this
21 because of his relationship to the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.
22 A second, maybe even more significant reason, is the fact that in
23 the event of a state of emergency, units of the police are united,
24 attached to the Army of Yugoslavia, and get involved in the overall
25 activities of the anti-terrorist struggle which is under the command of
1 the Army of Yugoslavia. And it is quite possible that Mr. Milosevic had
2 in mind this foreign policy dimension, because he thought that if he
3 introduced a state of emergency, the negotiations he was conducting would
4 be affected. But I think that a state of emergency was absolutely
5 indispensable to improve the quality of the anti-terrorist activities in
6 Kosovo and Metohija.
7 So those are at least three reasons, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
9 Just before we leave this letter, we've already had a copy of it
10 exhibited elsewhere, as I recollect, from -- a copy which was taken from a
11 book. We'll not stop now, but perhaps you --
12 MR. NICE: I'll get the cross-reference for you, and then we can
13 either delete this one and -- withdraw this one and leave the other one.
14 It's in a book.
15 JUDGE MAY: Or vice versa. I should think this one seems to be a
16 better exhibit, a better copy.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Before we turn from this letter, if everything or even substantial
19 things in this letter were in fact false, the accusations of misuse made
20 by General Perisic, to what sanction might the general have been
21 vulnerable? Paragraph 183 of the summary.
22 A. In any event, I believe that he would at least be replaced or
23 transferred to some other position. I don't believe that the statements
24 contained in this letter were inaccurate.
25 Q. Did you yourself raise this letter with the accused from time to
1 time in conversation and with a particular purpose?
2 A. This letter?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I really don't remember whether Mr. Milosevic and I discussed this
6 Q. Very well.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you said, Mr. Lilic, that General Perisic
8 was replaced within -- within six months. Do you know exactly how long
9 after this letter he was replaced?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was replaced, Your Honour Judge
11 Robinson, in November 1998, which means four months later. I don't know
12 the exact date, but it's quite certainly it was in November.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: In view of the -- the character and tone of the
14 letter, would you have considered that a short time or a long time for the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In view of the letter itself, I
17 think one could say that the replacement took place quite late, in
18 relation to the tone of the letter, on condition that what is written in
19 the letter is not true.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Nice, please.
23 MR. NICE: I was going to turn to another exhibit, or not as the
24 case may be, I expect.
25 JUDGE MAY: How much longer do you think you might be in the
2 MR. NICE: I suspect I'll be able to abbreviate what follows and
3 sweep up, probably an hour.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. There is still the matter to be dealt with
5 in private session too, which we -- we must not overlook, unless they've
6 already been resolved by --
7 MR. NICE: Well, we certainly have resolved one. We may have
8 resolved nearly all. But there may be one outstanding matter.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, if we can resolve it, so much the better,
10 without necessity of a private session.
11 Yes. We'll adjourn now.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE MAY: The Registry, with commendable efficiency, have found
14 the number. It's number 150. Perhaps you might like to look at that.
15 Perhaps you'd like to withdraw that one, rather than the other way around.
16 MR. NICE: Very well.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lilic, would you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
20 at 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
21 the 18th day of June, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.