1 Wednesday, 7 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Higgins.
7 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honour, just before Mr. Nice begins his
8 cross-examination, can I just clarify in relation to the five documents
9 that were shown to General Jelic by Mr. Milosevic towards the end of
10 yesterday, four of them have been previously admitted through the
11 testimony of General Delic. One has not been, and it might be thought
12 prudent in analysing the testimony of this witness that the five short
13 documents are readmitted as a subtab, and the liaison office is preparing
14 copies for the Chamber and the parties this morning.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Would you just identify the
17 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honour, the first document, which was dated the
18 2nd of March, 1999, was Delic D300, tab 449.
19 The second document, which was the only document not previously
20 admitted, was in fact dated the 29th of the 10th, 1998, and it was
21 originally D300, tab 166, but not admitted through Delic.
22 The third document, which was admitted through Delic, dated the
23 3rd of March, 1999, was D300, tab 450.
24 The fourth document was D300, tab 456, and it's difficult for me
25 to see the date. I think it's the 8th of the 3rd, 1999.
1 And the fifth document, dated the 4th of January, 1999, was
2 previously D300, tab 265, for the record.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you, Ms. Higgins.
4 In the third and final session of tomorrow's hearing, the Chamber
5 will hear submissions on the question of extension of the time allocated
6 to the accused for the presentation of his Defence. Each party will be
7 allowed 15 minutes.
8 Mr. Nice.
9 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
12 Q. Mr. Jelic, did you serve in the Croatian conflict?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you serve in the Bosnian conflict?
15 A. No, never.
16 Q. Where were you based in the period of time 1991 to 1995?
17 A. In the Nis garrison. I was the commander of the police and the
18 commander of a Light Infantry Brigade.
19 Q. Did you have anything to do with staffing or providing forces for
20 the Serb side in either the Croatian conflict or the Bosnian conflict?
21 A. I don't understand. I was a brigade commander, holding the border
22 towards Republic of Bulgaria.
23 Q. Did any of your troops ever go and fight in Croatia or in Bosnia?
24 A. None of my troops except for those who ended their term of
25 military service and went to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. Did you understand in the course of 1992, 1993, 1994 or 1995 how
2 it was that Serb troops were sent to fight in the Krajina or in the
3 Republika Srpska? Did you understand how that was done?
4 A. Not a single unit of mine went to the Republic of Croatia or to
5 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The units that did go went under
6 orders from the superior command. Those were neighbouring units who gave
7 part of their troops within the scope of the JNA.
8 Q. What was the method by which it was done, sending troops within
9 the scope of the JNA?
10 A. Whenever units are sent somewhere to carry out an assignment,
11 whether inside or outside their area of responsibility, it's done pursuant
12 to an order.
13 Q. Yes, but what was the actual mechanism? Did you understand
14 whether troops were sent frankly, candidly, openly and honestly to serve
15 for the RS or were they sent to some fictional destination?
16 A. I didn't know about that because nobody from my units went there.
17 As for other units, I know they went in compliance with orders. I was not
18 familiar with the content of the orders. I had some information about it,
19 but I was not fully informed. I was in Nis up to 1994. In 1994, I was at
20 the Urosevac garrison.
21 Q. And where were you in July 1994?
22 A. In July 1994, I was in Urosevac; from May onwards.
23 Q. You were now with the 243rd already, were you?
24 A. Yes, the 243rd Armoured Brigade.
25 Q. We've heard something called -- we've heard evidence about things
1 called the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres. Do you know anything about
3 A. I heard that this personnel centre existed, but I did not have
4 access to those documents or orders, and I was not fully informed about
5 its functioning. My unit was not covered by those orders.
6 Q. I see. You had no dealings with the 30th and 40th Personnel
7 Centre, which took Serb soldiers to fight in Croatia or in Bosnia; is that
9 A. No, I never had any dealings.
10 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... take a look at this, please.
11 I'm afraid it's only in B/C/S and we haven't got copies at the moment, but
12 if we can lay it on the overhead projector. Perhaps you would like to
13 look at the second page first.
14 Bottom of the page, please, Mr. Prendergast, so we can see the
15 signature and everything.
16 This appears to come from you in 1994 in your role as commander of
17 the 243rd.
18 If we go back to the first page now, please, Mr. Prendergast.
19 Can you just read out the first paragraph, please. You can see
20 the date. Just read out for us starting from --
21 A. "The 27th of July, 1994. Urgent."
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker read more slowly, please.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you please read more slowly for the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "From the 26th of July, 1994, we
1 hereby submit the requested information, a list of officers of Serbian and
2 Montenegrin nationality who were born or sent for schooling or admitted
3 for military service from the territory of the Republic of Croatia and the
4 former Bosnia and Herzegovina. 30th Personnel Centre. Jovan Tomic, son
5 of Simo, Serb captain."
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... see another list of the 40th
7 Personnel Centre. So it appears you did know about the 30th and 40th
8 Personnel Centres in 1994. Yes?
9 A. Just let me have a look. I did know that the centres existed.
10 None of these officers in the period while I was brigade commander was in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina or in Croatia.
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
13 A. Just a moment.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... marked under the 30th or 40th
15 Personnel Centres. What were they doing, sitting in Belgrade in an office
16 headed 30th or 40th Personnel Centre? What were they doing?
17 A. I was not present at the conversations they had. I was the
18 garrison command. I did not leave the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
19 These officers went to attend meetings and this was one of those meetings.
20 However, not a single one of those officers went either to Croatia or to
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Up to the 16th of June, 1999, they remained in my
23 Q. And you're here clearly identifying officers under the heading
24 30th or 40th Personnel Centre. You've now referred to a discussion. What
25 was it all about? Did officers who were born in particular places go and
1 have meetings together or something?
2 A. These are persons who were born in the Republic of Croatia and the
3 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Q. So what were they doing in the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres?
5 Please help us.
6 A. It says here that they joined the army from the territory of the
7 Republics of Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's where they joined
8 the army. And they originate from Bosnia and Herzegovina or Croatia, and
9 -- they originated from those areas.
10 Q. Well, if you can't explain the heading 30th and 40th Personnel
11 Centres, we'll move on.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'd ask for the document to be exhibited,
13 marked for identification pending a translation.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be MFI 932.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Mr. Jelic, we've been looking at the map on the board behind
18 you --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would a copy of the document please
22 be given to me as well.
23 MR. NICE: Everybody will have a copy as soon as I've got them
24 brought downstairs.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that is to be done.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Jelic, the map behind you has got markings on it, and
3 there's no suggestion that the Bench or I or anybody else in this court
4 has military expertise, so we mustn't assume that we do. Who drew this
6 A. The Pristina Corps decision on -- decisions on the use of the
7 brigade are made by the corps commander. This was most probably drawn up
8 by the operations organ of the Pristina Corps. It says here that this is
9 an excerpt for the 243rd Mechanised Brigade. These are documents for
10 subordinate units.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
12 A. It's not the entire map that is delivered to them.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... that exhibit
14 so that we don't lose track of what you're looking at.
15 MR. NICE: Tab 1 of this witness's exhibits, which are Defence
16 exhibit --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: That's fine, thank you.
18 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. I'll get the Defence exhibit
19 number but --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: 329.
21 MR. NICE: 329, but from now on I'll just use tab numbers. 329,
22 tab 1.
23 Q. When was it drawn, Mr. Jelic?
24 A. This map was drawn just before the aggression against the Federal
25 Republic of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Very well. That's what you say. Where did this particular
2 document come from?
3 A. The document is from the command of the Pristina Corps, the
4 commander, and it's sent to the brigade.
5 Q. This particular document that the accused has produced through you
6 and is now on the easel, where did it come from?
7 A. The collaborators of the accused showed it to me in the tabs.
8 Q. So you don't know where it came from.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you. Let's look at another exhibit which is an existing
11 exhibit, Exhibit 319, tab 62, which has been -- just on the overhead
12 projector will do, I think -- which has been highlighted, just to see if
13 you agree with what I'm going to suggest to you, and it may help matters.
14 In general terms, if we look at this map, do we see -- thank you
15 very much, that's fine. Do we see the four parts of Kosovo at the
16 material time, divided up as between the 549th Brigade on the south-west;
17 your brigade, the 243rd, on the south-east; the 125th on the north-west;
18 and then the 150th on the north-east? 15th, I beg your pardon, on the
19 north-east. Is that division of the territory as between those four units
20 roughly correct? We're going to come to precision later so I just want,
21 in order to help the Court, to see if you accept that that is roughly
23 A. Yes, it is roughly correct.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Now, the Pristina Corps is in charge of one,
25 two, three, or four of those sectors?
1 A. The Pristina Corps commands all the brigades, not sectors. All
2 the brigades listed here are subordinated to the Pristina Corps.
3 Q. Let's go back, please, to the map tab 1. Can we look at tab 1
4 now, please?
5 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a Prosecution, the 319.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 JUDGE KWON: Must be -- I think you're mistaken with the number.
9 MR. NICE: Did I say 319?
10 JUDGE KWON: Could you check it out. Thank you.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Mr. Nice,
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Thank you. Now that we've established in general terms and
15 reminded the Chamber what this is, now please look at the map on the
16 easel. You say this is an extract and you say this was, what, prepared in
17 1999? Is that what you're saying?
18 A. No, I didn't say that. The army commander then was General
19 Samardzic. As you can see, it's not the same signature on this map where
20 it says "I approve." This is the original map, the one on the board
22 Q. Yes. When was this map produced?
23 A. This map was produced in March, just before the aggression.
24 Q. And it was produced by the Pristina Corps you're telling us?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the little map we've looked
2 at that the Pristina Corps covered your area of operation, Delic's area of
3 operation, the 125th and the 15th. Now if you'd look at what you say is
4 an extract from this map can you explain to us, please, why there are no
5 military markings to the west of the markings that relate to your unit,
6 your brigade.
7 Take the pointer, please. Point to the figure of the 549th. Now,
8 to the west of that there is no military marking. So if what you're
9 telling us is true and this is the extract of a Pristina Corps map, it's
10 rather curious because it hasn't marked what it should have been marking
11 for Delic's area of operation. Can you explain that to me?
12 A. Of course. Every brigade or every subordinate unit, when it is
13 given an assignment by the subordinate command, receives its assignment in
14 detail. The neighbouring units to the left and to the right, in front or
15 behind, their tasks are entered only in principle, only roughly, and the
16 same goes for written orders as well as for maps.
17 Q. So for some reason you're provided with information that doesn't
18 include what's happening in the adjoining territory.
19 A. As you can see, only the neighbouring unit next to the brigade is
20 entered, and the brigade is entered as a whole.
21 Q. Well, what does this map show us, please? Tell us. What does it
23 A. This is the initial disposition of the brigade before the
24 aggression. The brigade carried out full mobilisation. It took up its
25 positions, fortified them, and took all security measures to protect the
1 state border, that is the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
2 to protect the men and the equipment, bearing in mind that at the border
3 terrorist forces were building up in a strength of five brigades and NATO
4 forces, one Mechanised Brigade, two Armoured Brigades --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... was the map marked
6 subsequently or is what we've got a map frozen in time at a date mid-March
8 A. This map covers the period in the end of March 1999. This is the
9 initial disposition.
10 Q. You understand my question? It's frozen in time. It doesn't
11 reflect things that happened after the initial disposition.
12 A. I do not understand. How can you say frozen in time? This is the
13 deployment of the units. Could you please rephrase your question. I
14 don't understand.
15 Q. We're not military men here. You have to help us. People may
16 have seen, either in entertainment films or in documentaries, military
17 people taking maps and marking them with events as events unfold. Is this
18 a map which has been marked with events as they unfolded, with changes of
19 disposition of troops, with local battles, whatever it might be, or is it
20 a map frozen in time; this is the initial disposition of troops?
21 A. Precisely, just as you put it. This map shows the initial
22 disposition of the troops, especially for blocking defence. The other
23 thing is completely different. That is a working map following
24 developments in the theatre.
25 Q. And somewhere the working map?
1 A. I don't have the working map here.
2 Q. Well, where is it?
3 A. I have -- well, like all documents, they were handed over to the
4 command of the Pristina Corps in Pristina.
5 Q. And they still exist somewhere but they haven't been brought to
6 court, yes?
7 A. I cannot say because parts of commands were destroyed, like my
8 own, so I really cannot answer that question whether it still exists or
10 Q. Have you looked at those maps?
11 A. When I was transferred to be head of the higher military academy
12 when I left the Pristina Corps, I practically had no further access to the
13 unit where I was before, and nobody asked me to do that, to seek these
14 documents, and I don't think that would be my obligation.
15 Q. I'll come back to that in a second.
16 Mr. Prendergast, if you would be so good. Could you lay on the
17 overhead projector this copy of tab 1. There are three places I've marked
18 with stickers so that we can -- there's no legend. I've been -- no
19 explanation of the entries on it and therefore I'm going to have to try to
20 find out what this map means if you're going to refer to it.
21 So if you just look at three entries on this map. The ones on --
22 that's fine as it is at the moment. And if you could focus in on the two
23 yellow stickers. Thank you very much.
24 You'll see these little entries here. One is at Kacanik to the
25 north and is a black oval filled with yellow. What does that mean? Put a
1 sticker by it with an arrow. What does that circle or oval mean? Down a
2 bit. There it is. What does that oval mean?
3 A. These were the envisaged areas where chemical weapons could be
4 used. Most probably you see that it is in the blue disposition.
5 Q. Please -- remember, we're not military men. You've been pointing
6 at this map without the advantage of a legend, with no explanation. It's
7 your map. You tell us, what does that oval mean? Very simple. And if
8 you can't explain it to us, that's fine. We'll then forget all about it.
9 A. Most probably this is the area where the NATO forces or, rather,
10 the units carrying out the aggression used chemical weapons.
11 Q. That can't be --
12 A. That is how these areas are marked.
13 Q. That can't be right because you've told us this is a map frozen in
14 time with initial dispositions. Now, you're a general. This is your map.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you understand the map or not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If you don't, we'll throw it away, metaphorically speaking. Do
19 you understand this map?
20 A. I understand it perfectly.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. Have a look at it.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... General, tell us, please,
24 what this map, created before the aggression, as you describe it, in March
25 1999 means by the black oval with the yellow filling. What does it mean?
1 A. These ovals, I've already said that. These are most probably the
2 regions where the potential aggressor would be likely to use chemical
3 weapons. Now, you say that this map was frozen in time. Can you see the
4 blue, the aggressor, being marked even in-depth in the territory of Kosovo
5 and Metohija? NATO forces never reached that area and the terrorists from
6 Albania never reached that area either, but this shows probably what their
7 likely action would be in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
8 Q. We have your answer. South-east of that you'll see another little
9 sticker - perhaps you'd like to point to it to make sure you understand
10 where we're getting to - which is a little, small, round thing. There it
11 is. That one. So what does that mean?
12 A. Let me just compare the two. It's most probably this one here.
13 That is the PVO system, the anti-aircraft system, air defence.
14 Q. That means that an anti-air system is going to be installed there
15 or located there; is that right?
16 A. That's right. That's right.
17 Q. Mr. Prendergast -- Mr. Prendergast --
18 A. Equipment.
19 Q. -- last of the three stickers. Now we've put this one here for
20 two reasons. Is this area definitely within your area of operation? It's
21 slightly to the west of Slapuzane.
22 A. This, right?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Where the arrow is. That is an anti-armour detachment of the
25 549th Brigade, its reserve position.
1 Q. So that although this is in part -- I beg your pardon. Although
2 this shows your brigade's disposition, perhaps, as we suspected, this is
3 something that is not part of the 243rd.
4 A. That's right. It's not part of the 243rd Brigade.
5 Q. And the symbol means what? You've mentioned it but I just want
6 -- it's anti-armour detachment, is it?
7 A. Anti-armour detachment. That is to say equipment that is
8 envisaged for anti-armour combat. That is the symbol for that area. It
9 is oval shaped, and it's coloured black.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. And also it is written here.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, let's just -- thank you. Can I have that map
13 back, please, Mr. Prendergast.
14 Can we share another document that is in the process of
15 preparation but until we had your answers we weren't quite sure. It
16 doesn't need to be given an exhibit number at the moment or even --
17 doesn't become a candidate for an exhibit number at the moment. I just
18 want to check certain things, if you'd like.
19 If the audiovisual booth could come back. This is a map that's in
20 preparation, Mr. Jelic, seeking to identify material locations and events
21 within your area of responsibility. You'll see that the possible extent
22 of your area of responsibility has been marked with locations inside it,
23 but you'll see if you look at the west that there have been a number of
24 places of some uncertainty that we just want to be sure don't relate to
25 you. So if, for example, we start at the bottom: Geljance, Grejkovce,
1 Djinovce, Trnje, Vranic, Budakovo, Bukos. Is any of those in your area of
2 responsibility for do they all belong to Delic?
3 A. What you see here on the left-hand side are for the most part
4 Jezerska Planina, and it is the 549th Motorised Brigade, its area of
5 responsibility, although we don't have strict boundaries, so his zone and
6 my zone overlap considerably. Suva Reka, though, is in his area of
8 Q. Very well, then. Please look at those places. Perhaps -- you
9 start at Papaz and work your way down: Papaz, Bukos, Budakovo, Vranic,
10 and so on. Are there any of those place names that are place names where
11 your brigade functioned and in respect of which you should have knowledge?
12 If so, tell us with ones.
13 A. Papaz is in my area of responsibility. Budakovo is not, Vranic is
14 not, Trnje is not. Djinovce is not, Grejkovce is not -- is in my area of
15 responsibility, and that is on the road to Strpce or Stimlje, on the
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and then I think that leaves
18 Geljance and Prizren.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Whose area of responsibility --
21 A. All of that is in the area of responsibility of the 549th Brigade.
22 Q. Thank you very much. To the north we can see north -- top
23 left-hand side of the map we can see Belanica. Is that something over
24 which you have authority and should have knowledge or does that belong to
25 the next-door brigade?
1 A. Belanica was in front of the units at Dulje, Belince also, Racak
2 in my area of responsibility, Jezerce, that's the boundary --
3 Q. That's fine.
4 A. -- and Banjica and --
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
6 A. -- these other places.
7 Q. Let's just look at the east. We've seen places like Gnjilane,
8 Vladovo, Zegra, Vitina, Drobes, Ljubiste. Is any of those an area over
9 which you had responsibility and for which you should have knowledge? And
10 finally, Smira. Any of those areas over which you had responsibility and
11 over which you should have knowledge? If so, which ones?
12 A. No. I never commanded that because that was under the command of
13 the 175th Brigade, which is --
14 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the end of the
16 MR. NICE: Can we get that map back, please. We'll get it
17 prepared to reflect what the witness has said.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us hear the end of that sentence.
19 General, would you repeat the answer. The interpreter did not
20 hear the end of your sentence.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Because the general was facing the map and not
22 speaking into the microphone.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These places you identified or,
24 rather, that I showed here are in the municipality of Vitina and Gnjilane.
25 They were not under my command. They were under the command of the 175th
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Were you approached by the VJ Commission for Cooperation?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So you made no --
6 A. What commission do you mean? For cooperation? I don't
7 understand. VJ Commission for Cooperation?
8 Q. VJ Commission for Cooperation presided over by Terzic, I think.
9 It's been dealing with the evidence from military officers. Did it have
10 contact with you?
11 A. They did not establish contact with me. They did not address me
12 in any way.
13 Q. You made no statements for them?
14 A. I made no statements to them.
15 Q. Were you aware of their existence?
16 A. Already in 2002 I retired. Nobody called me. I heard people
17 talking about the existence of that commission. However, since I do not
18 live in Belgrade, since I live in Nis, I could not have contact with them
19 or, rather, nobody contacted me.
20 Q. You -- you told us yesterday of your war diary. Where is your war
22 A. I mentioned this in one of these reports. All my documents,
23 according to the decision of the corps commander, were handed over to the
24 command of the Pristina Corps at the Pristina garrison. As for what
25 happened later, I do not know. I don't know anything about them.
1 Q. You said you mentioned this "in one of these reports." Which
2 report are you referring to?
3 A. This is a report that went to the corps command. That's what it
4 said in a telegram, if I'm not mistaken.
5 Q. So --
6 A. But these are the usual kind of documents that are kept at brigade
8 Q. You told us yesterday that every officer from the rank -- or every
9 unit from the rank of battalion up in time of war has to keep a war
10 diary. So all the battalions answering to you kept war diaries.
11 A. That's right. Every battalion level unit has a war diary, keeps a
12 war diary, but in war, once a state of war is declared.
13 Q. So from the end of -- of March 1999 at the latest, as well as your
14 war diary, there are all the battalion diaries in existence, so far as you
15 know, and stored in an archive?
16 A. I've said that it was handed over to the command of the Pristina
17 Corps. I don't know of their fate after that. The command was partly
18 destroyed, just like my command. I cannot really say anything about how
19 much is left, whether anything is left.
20 Q. Well, why do people keep war diaries?
21 A. That is one of the basic documents. In addition to the order that
22 is written in the text part as a basic document, and the maps, the
23 decision is then depicted on a map and then this is a document where
24 important events are recorded at units which are at the level of a
25 battalion and higher up.
1 Q. But why keep one? Because it enables you to know what happened?
2 Would that be roughly right?
3 A. A diary is kept -- I mean, the word itself is linked to the word
4 "day," so it records daily events that are relevant. It's a document
5 that has a particular form, a way in which it is kept. The essence is
6 that the most important things that happen during the course of a day are
7 recorded there, as well as orders issued.
8 Q. So that if you ever need to know what happened, you go to the
9 diary. That's why you have a diary.
10 A. Yes. It is kept in the operative organs, and if an order came a
11 day earlier, then you turn the page, you look at the order, you see
12 whether it was carried through. If not, it is then carried through and
13 then the superior command is informed about this. So the point is that it
14 records everything the brigade does, but it mainly relates to combat
15 activities, not mere correspondence, mail.
16 Q. The witness before you, a man called Sel, who was a captain
17 promoted to major in charge of a company, kept a personal diary and he
18 made -- gave evidence - we are going to hear more about this - that he'd
19 need such a document if there was ever any, I think, court issues
20 involved, if he ever had to give evidence, or something like that. Did
21 company commanders keep diaries or notebooks as a matter of routine or
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Yes?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the microphone please be adjusted. The
1 interpreters cannot hear.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the microphones be adjusted. The
3 interpreters cannot hear.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. This is an incredible
5 assertion. Major Sel never said during his testimony that a war diary is
6 kept if something is supposed to be discussed before a court of law.
7 MR. NICE: He said something about it and we have to discover what
8 he said, but I want to --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did he actually say that, Mr. Nice?
10 MR. NICE: I haven't got exact quote, but I want -- I still want
11 to know from this witness, not from the accused, if I may say so, what the
12 position --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, but if you are quoting the evidence, then you
14 must do so accurately.
15 MR. NICE: As far as I know I am. I'll try and find it for you.
16 But -- perhaps Ms. Dicklich can do that for me. May I ask the witness a
17 question, please?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead. We'll come back to that.
19 MR. NICE: Yes, come back to that.
20 Q. Do company commanders keep contemporaneous diaries of one kind or
21 another for whatever purpose?
22 A. Company commanders keep work notebooks. That is the lowest
23 ranking officer who can write orders, but not necessarily. Company
24 commanders; that's them.
25 A work notebook, which is verified with a list of soldiers and all
1 information about the unit, that is kept in that company. A war diary,
2 though, is kept by the commander of the battalion or of the artillery
4 Q. Staying with just the company commander level, again his notebook,
5 it's not a personal choice whether he keeps such a notebook; he has to
6 keep such a notebook. Is that right?
7 A. Yes. There are two types of work notebooks: A work notebook that
8 includes all elements for the unit, that is to say the list of personnel,
9 the list of equipment, and that is an official work notebook. Then there
10 is a notebook because he doesn't work in the office, because he is out in
11 the terrain, in the woods, under a tent, on a truck, then he takes notes
12 regarding the orders he receives in that notebook. So then he personally
13 uses it as an aide-memoire.
14 Q. And he -- but he is obliged, either by regulation, by rule, or by
15 practice of the army, he is obliged to keep such a diary or notebook,
16 whatever we call it. Call it a notebook. He's obliged to keep such a
18 A. Yes. He is obliged because this work notebook is registered, so
19 every company commander, battery commander, is issued with that document,
20 that work notebook. When he fills it out, then he returns it, he is
21 issued with a new one, and he has to copy the basic elements from the
22 earlier notebook.
23 Q. And his notebook, company commander's notebook will show where he
24 and his company were and in general terms or specific terms what they were
1 A. In general, yes, but a company commander for the most part issues
2 orders orally.
3 Q. Yes. But as -- the record he keeps -- well, I'll come back to
5 You gave an example about somebody, a company commander, going out
6 in a truck and leaving his notebook back at the headquarters. If he did
7 that, he'd still be under an obligation to make daily recordings of what
8 he did when he was away from headquarters, wouldn't he?
9 A. If I understood the first part of your question correctly, none of
10 my officers took a truck to leave their vehicles behind in headquarters.
11 Their notebooks have to be kept in their bags. And then he writes down
12 everything that he considers important, especially the orders he receives
13 and the orders he issues.
14 Now, it depends from one commander to another. It is not strictly
15 defined what he is going to write down. It is his own judgement. But as
16 a rule, orders received and tasks assigned to subordinate units, that is
17 what he would write down in that notebook.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: I think the question was based on an answer you
19 gave that there were two types of work notebook, and you gave the
20 impression that one of them was a book that the officer would have with
21 him when he was not in his own base, in his own headquarters. Has that
22 been wrongly interpreted?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The company commander does not have
24 headquarters. He is always with his troops, and he is the only one who is
25 with his troops round the clock, 24 hours a day.
1 In this notebook of his, the basic notebook, which is registered,
2 he has all basic elements in it, all basic elements that he needs in terms
3 of the life and work of his company or battery. I repeat, he has to have
4 a list of personnel, a list of equipment, who was issued with what, the
5 vehicles that he was issued with, the ammunition. All these basic
6 elements have to be in that notebook.
7 As for the other notebook, through wire communications, wireless
8 communications, courier, he has to record what he received from someone or
9 what he sent out or if he has certain remarks to make when he is touring
10 his troops. A day or two later, for example, he would go and see the same
11 platoon and check with the platoon commander and see whether things were
12 done the way he ordered them to be done. So this other notebook is a
13 personal aide-memoir to him for resolving questions on a daily basis.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Nice.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. What the previous witness, Sel, said at 1324 and 5 seconds - I'm
17 afraid I don't have the page number - of the second day of his evidence, I
18 think, was this, and I'll just read it to you slowly. He said of his
19 notebook -- and he was a company commander: "... all the orders I
20 received orally I entered in there, and later I would receive orders in
21 writing. So in this notebook I would have that -- for example, if I did
22 something wrong, a court of law would only admit the kind of evidence that
23 is contained in a work notebook."
24 Now, that's the transcript. He then went on to say: "That is the
25 regulation -- that's the way regulations are in our country."
1 Does that explanation of his for the significance of notebooks for
2 legal proceedings make sense to you?
3 A. If this is a question addressed to me, I don't want to make any
4 comments regarding his statement, but documents are not written for courts
5 of law, and that is quite erroneous if Mr. Sel said that. They are
6 written for documentation and to analyse later the combat tasks carried
7 out. And at a higher level it is used for archives or, rather, history
8 that is being written.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. None of us would accept to write documents for a court of law. We
11 would not accept that kind of job.
12 Q. Depending on what he may say about this, it may be that what he's
13 saying is that if by chance you land up in a court, then you require your
14 notebook and the court will -- the courts of Serbia or the former
15 Yugoslavia would require to see evidence in that notebook. I'm only
16 guessing at the moment. Would that make sense to you, that this type of
17 notebook would be generally required by a court if you landed up in a
18 court? Does that seem to be sensible?
19 A. Probably when an important event takes place, when there's some
20 kind of disaster, of course documents are sought that have to do with it ,
21 as evidence either for the Prosecution or for the Defence, because it
22 would show whether all measures were taken to protect whatever was at
23 threat and whatever is the subject of the proceedings. But the document
24 itself is not written for a court.
25 Q. No, I understand that. Thus far, then, we have this picture: For
1 your brigade, there will be three records prepared on a daily basis from
2 the moment that the war started -- the conflict, whatever we describe it,
3 started in March. Three documents -- actually, rather more than three.
4 There will be many -- three types of documents. There will be many
5 company commanders' diaries, there will be several battalion commanders'
6 war diaries, and there will be your war diary, and those documents will
7 give a day-by-day account of the disposition of troops and of what they
8 were doing.
9 A. Yes. As a rule, yes. The units keeping these documents enter the
10 most important events on a daily basis, and they inform the superior
11 command of this.
12 Q. Moving up from your position as a brigade commander, there will be
13 a Pristina Corps war diary. So that's a fourth tier of record.
14 A. Yes. Yes, with respect to command. They don't receive war
15 diaries but combat reports. When I get a combat report from a battalion
16 commander, a summary is entered into the war diary and a report is sent to
17 the commander of the Pristina Corps or, rather, to other units at the
18 corps level. And those units also enter the most important events in the
19 units without going into details.
20 Q. Assume for the time being, please, that none of these documents
21 has been destroyed by any NATO attack, because that's never been claimed
22 for these documents by the authorities. Assume that, please. The
23 Prosecution in this case has been trying through various means for several
24 years to get hold of the diaries from the battalion level and up, and none
25 has been provided.
1 Is there any reason known to you as a former officer, now retired,
2 is there any reason known to you why those documents should not be made
3 available to a court inquiring into these events?
4 A. I don't think there is a single reason why they should not be made
5 available. I'm referring to war documents or any other kind of documents.
6 Unfortunately, most of the documents have been destroyed. I'm not
7 referring to combat documents. I don't want to appear partial, but I will
8 tell you that the families of our officers are still suffering huge
9 problems. They cannot exercise their rights because of the vast amount of
10 documentation that has been destroyed pertaining to their life and work,
11 whether they were members of the army of Yugoslavia, whether they were in
12 the garrison. They cannot solve their housing problems, welfare problems,
13 or any other problems.
14 Q. Assuming again, carry on with the assumption that none of these
15 documents has been destroyed in NATO attacks, because that's never been
16 claimed, locating a war diary in a headquarters or archive at the
17 battalion level or above should be an easy matter, shouldn't it?
18 A. If this is kept in a certain place, it's very simple: You find
19 the number and you look it up. However, knowing the actual situation,
20 that the barracks were destroyed, it's impossible for all the documents to
21 be still in existence. Part of the documents, perhaps, have remained
23 Q. Why do you say that now?
24 A. Because documents are packed into crates. If the command where
25 the documents are kept is hit, it's more than certain that the documents
1 are destroyed. If this was not done, and we see that almost all the
2 commands were hit, then of course the documentation would be complete.
3 Q. You were in the headquarters, were you? Where was your
5 A. You're referring to the command in wartime?
6 Q. Uh-huh.
7 A. In wartime, my command was constantly on the ground. I spent the
8 least time in the barracks because as of the 25th of March, the command
9 building was hit, and the brigade before that had left. It was in the
10 Urosevac garrison, about two kilometres to the east. And during the war
11 -- shall I explain? During the war, the command divided into several
12 parts to avoid being destroyed, so that if part of the command is
13 destroyed, another part can take over and take command over the whole
14 brigade. The brigade for a while was in the village Doganovic, and it's
15 marked here 43.
16 Q. Pause for a moment. Because I want to save time, but I'm trying
17 to get to the point to help the Court, and I'm sure you want to help us,
18 Mr. Jelic. The Pristina Corps command is the place where these documents
19 would have been sent, and that was not destroyed by bombing and there has
20 been no suggestion that the -- any documents in it were; correct?
21 A. The command of the Pristina Corps as a building was not destroyed.
22 However, it was abandoned before the beginning of combat activities. At
23 least seven days before, to the best of my recollection. The entire
24 command pulled out of the building of the Pristina Corps.
25 Q. I still want you to carry on on the assumption -- I think we've
1 done this now. Just tell us roughly how many battalion war diaries exist
2 to cover this period, assuming they haven't been destroyed.
3 A. That's a hypothetical question to which I cannot provide an
5 Q. Well, how many battalions were there in your brigade? How about
7 A. Eighteen.
8 Q. Fine.
9 A. Battalions and divisions.
10 Q. And if we wanted to identify the 18 battalions and divisions by
11 name so that we can make a request, or it may be even an order if the
12 Court is so minded, to produce those documents today, can you please give
13 us the identity of those 18 battalions so that we can be specific in our
15 A. I think you have it on the map here, all the commanders of the
16 battalions and artillery battalions, starting from the Armoured Battalion,
17 the Mechanised Battalion, the other Mechanised Battalion, the anti-armour
18 detachment, the Howitzer Artillery Battalion, the Police Battalion, the
19 252, the -- and so on. These are all the units listed here in the brigade
20 area of responsibility.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, can I ask why you spend so much time with
22 witnesses on carrying out Prosecution investigations? Is there not
23 another way of doing this exercise with official channels rather than
24 using all the limited time you have for cross-examination to further the
25 investigation process? Because it doesn't help me in the least, this
1 exercise, I have to say this morning. It's getting nowhere.
2 MR. NICE: I'm sorry about that but in fact it's absolutely
3 essential for the following reason: We've made requests for these
4 documents for years. The Chamber decided that the response of the
5 authorities that the original request was over-broad and burdensome was
6 justified. We narrowed the request down. We got nothing. We reduced it
7 ultimately to a single request for the Pristina war diary. We got
8 nothing. Last week, the Chamber had enormous success in a particular
9 document by an order.
10 Now, the Prosecution's view is that these trials would have been
11 enormously assisted and reduced in length if the original documents that
12 would or should provide contemporaneous accounts had been available.
13 They've all been kept from us, and I'm going to ask this witness some more
14 questions about these documents so far as he is concerned. The only way
15 we can now get them is through the Court.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: But since this issue came to light in the evidence
17 of Delic, what discussions have you had with the authorities in Serbia to
18 get these documents which you were then alerted to existed?
19 MR. NICE: We've known they've existed. We've tried every method.
20 And since --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: That's not answer I'm looking for. I'm looking for
22 have you been actively discussing with the authorities in Serbia getting
23 these documents, which is a Prosecution task, and you only involve the
24 Court when you fail in your own negotiations to get it. Now, have you
25 been building on what information you got from the likes of Delic and
1 others rather than -- or are you waiting to build some sort of case based
2 on cross-examination of witnesses, which seems to me a method of carrying
3 out inquiries rather than presenting evidence.
4 MR. NICE: Certainly not the latter. We have no interest in
5 spending time in this way if there was any other way of avoiding it. Not
6 only have we gone through all the RFA methods, not only have we tried the
7 54 bis method, with the success of which -- or limited success of which
8 the Chamber is aware, but there have been direct negotiations at the
9 highest level, leading to promises of the production of documents, all of
10 which have melted away as the traditional snow in spring. And we have got
11 almost nothing.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Be that as it may, Mr. Nice, you must bring this
13 exercise to an end now.
14 MR. NICE: Well, as Your Honour wishes, but can I ask the witness
15 something -- two other questions.
16 Q. And if you'd be good enough, please, Mr. Jelic, to go to any one
17 of these tabs. If you go to tab 12, please, in your documents.
18 Now, tab 12 is just an example. If we look at the top of it, this
19 is a document of yours within a series, and it's confidential 305/2. That
20 may be one series of documents. If we go on to a later period, just have
21 a look at it, go on, please, to tab 19 as an example. Can you go to tab
22 19, please. We see a document headed 400-336. Do you see that? That's
23 the number at the top.
24 A. Are you referring to 12 or 19 now?
25 Q. I'm now looking at 19. Number 19. It's strictly confidential,
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And if you'd take as another example tab 43. You see there at the
4 top of that page 400-1166. So it would appear to be in the same series of
5 documents but 800 further on.
6 First of all, is it right that there were perhaps two different
7 numbering systems, the second of which begins always with 400, and the
8 earlier system of which begins with different numbers?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where did these documents -- who produced, who found these
11 documents that are contained in your file?
12 A. It was the accused and his associates. I see here the numbers
13 that were entered in that period, and at the same time they were
14 registered in the war period.
15 Q. And there is no suggestion that this selection of documents that
16 we have here from obviously a very wide selection, a very long list of
17 documents, there's no suggestion that any of these documents has been
18 destroyed, any in the, say, 400 series or in the earlier series of
19 documents coming from your brigade. There's no suggestion any of those
20 have been destroyed.
21 A. These documents were not in my brigade. They were all outside the
22 brigade because they were handed over to the command of the Pristina
23 Corps. We have not kept any documents in the brigade. According to
24 orders, all documents were handed over to the command of the Pristina
1 Q. So it would appear - and that's all I need to ask you on this -
2 from the production to you by the accused's associates of these documents
3 that the correspondence files exist and are complete.
4 A. I can't say that. I don't know how they corresponded or from whom
5 they sought the documents or where the documents were.
6 Q. Very well. In coming here to give evidence, did you seek to refer
7 to any of the various contemporaneous documents that we've established
8 existed, and probably still exist, other than the particular exhibits that
9 were selected by the associates for you to look at?
10 A. It was not my job to procure documents. The documents shown to me
11 here were documents that I saw and studied.
12 Q. But you didn't seek to look at anything else; your war diary, your
13 own notes if you have any other notes. You didn't seek to look at any of
14 that material preparatory to giving evidence?
15 A. It's not that I didn't want to. I have no right to request
16 documents, to go to archives, to take documents, or to actively look for
17 them. I feel that the documents I received from them are authentic,
18 they're signed, and I conclude that they were copied from the originals
19 and that they are firsthand documents.
20 Q. But you really didn't even ask to see your own war diary in order
21 to remember what happened?
22 A. Please bear in mind that I live almost 400 kilometres away from
23 Belgrade. I have neither the time nor the funds to travel to Belgrade and
24 spend days there. I have my family obligations. I cannot enter into an
25 investigation. That's not my job. I have been called as a witness with
1 the documents shown to me. I have been asked whether I wished to testify
2 or not, and I agreed.
3 Q. You see, reality here is that we've had a lot of military
4 witnesses from various sides, and people with military background, and
5 military witnesses called by the Prosecution for the most part, or if not
6 all of them, have sought to and have referred to contemporaneous notes in
7 order to remind themselves of what happened. Can you explain why it is
8 that you, and if it's a matter of culture that we should understand, other
9 VJ witnesses don't seek to refer to war diaries or notes made
10 contemporaneously. Is there a cultural thing that we should understand,
11 or is there a regulation we should understand?
12 A. I don't know who used what here or how they presented materials
13 and facts. I'm telling you only about things I know about and only about
14 myself. I studied the materials I was given, and on this basis I came
15 here to testify. I was in no position to obtain documents, to search
16 archives, to look for records, looking for what was destroyed and where.
17 Please don't forget that the corps was moved from its area, that the
18 documentation has been scattered or destroyed, and the documents I
19 received from the accused's associates are the ones that I looked at. I
20 don't know what else to say.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, how long will you be in
23 MR. NICE: I hope to finish today.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because you have spend an hour and 20 minutes and
25 you have not yet reached the essentials of this witness's evidence.
1 MR. NICE: Let me make my position quite clear, because it may be
2 that in some way I'm not making it clear.
3 The Prosecution takes the view, which it has advanced in its
4 application for assistance from the Court, that contemporaneous documents
5 should have been provided, and it takes the view that witnesses of this
6 kind who don't seek to rely on them may be witnesses against whom there
7 are observations to be made as to credibility. It seems to the
8 Prosecution arguably incredible people should not, when there are such
9 contemporaneous documents available, seek to refer to them.
10 Whenever we have found these documents, and it is we who have
11 found them in the court process because we haven't been able to get them
12 by other means, they have proved to be of great value to the truth-finding
13 function of this Court. I would respectfully remind the Court of what we
14 discovered from the diaries of Delic, Vukovic, Djosan, and what we're
15 going to discover in due course, and I hope it's tomorrow if not next
17 I maintain the position that it is significant and valuable to
18 know that witnesses of this kind make no effort --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you spend too much time on it. You must move
20 on to the events to which his testimony relates.
21 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You spend far too much time. Let me just say
23 that Mr. Sel, Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Nice and Mr. Kay, will not be
24 testifying this week.
25 MR. NICE: Very well.
1 MR. KAY: Just on Mr. Sel, I know that Mr. Nice is having passages
2 of his notebook translated, and it would certainly help us if those
3 translations were handed over to us as soon as the Prosecution get them in
4 sections, rather than springing them on us when he is in court and relying
5 on passages that way. We would like to see the translations ourselves in
6 advance, because I know that that's being undertaken.
7 MR. NICE: I'll deal with that --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That would be helpful, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: I'll come back to that perhaps a little later when I
10 know what the position is.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice said that witnesses are not
14 making use of contemporaneous documents. All the documents that have been
15 tendered through witnesses - he mentioned General Jelic, General Delic,
16 General Djosan, Colonel Vukovic - all these documents are contemporaneous
17 documents. This claim cannot be made.
18 As for what he says about Djosan's, Vukovic's and Delic's diaries,
19 he found only things that go against what he is saying.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. Let us move on.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I would press the Court, please, to
22 assist the Prosecution in this problem area by ordering the production of
23 at least four war diaries; the brigade war diary, and the three mechanised
24 battalion -- the three mechanised battalion war diaries, which are likely
25 to be the most valuable ones. The Court's orders made in the course of
1 the trial have so far been respected and swiftly. Any other method -
2 we've tried every - doesn't work.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll consider that.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you.
5 Q. Let's turn, then, please, to 1998. Turn to 1998. You went -- or
6 you were in Kosovo in 1998. In the spring of 1998 your function was what,
7 you say?
8 A. If it's a question for me, I said that from 1994 to the 15th of
9 June, 1999, I was the commander of the 243rd Armoured Brigade, which was
10 later the Mechanised Brigade.
11 Q. And what were your duties in Kosovo in 1998, the spring of 1998,
12 for example?
13 A. I've already said that I was a brigade commander in 1998, also the
14 commander of the Urosevac garrison.
15 Q. What was your brigade doing in the territory? There was no state
16 of emergency. What was it actually engaged in doing?
17 A. The basic tasks of the brigade. Because it's an old garrison,
18 almost a hundred years old, it's an A brigade, and it was carrying out
19 combat training. That was its basic task. Securing military facilities
20 and the state border.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. And --
23 Q. Look at a part of this exhibit that wasn't looked at when the
24 accused was exploring it. Tab 3. The first paragraph says this, if you
25 put it on the overhead projector. "The latest operations carried out by
1 units of the Corps in coordinated action with units of the Serbian MUP in
2 curbing terrorism ... were carried out very professionally and
3 responsibly, with sound assessment and prudent use of forces."
4 So first of all, you were actually engaged by August in curbing
5 terrorism, yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is this a proper military activity when there is no declared state
8 of emergency?
9 A. Yes. According to the rules of service of the army of Yugoslavia,
10 the army can be used for fighting against terrorists and renegade groups.
11 For me, the order of the corps commander is law, and it has to be carried
13 Q. And it says this a sentence or so later on -- the following
14 sentence: "An analysis of the achievement of the tasks showed that some
15 units overused combat equipment the consequence of which was greater
16 damage to buildings in areas of combat operations. Specifically, a large
17 number of houses were destroyed and torched."
18 Well, how come, if you were doing the action that you initially
19 told us you were engaged in in 1998, how come your troops were destroying
20 and torching houses?
21 A. This is an order of the commander of the Pristina Corps and it
22 pertains to all units in the corps. What is stated here is that there was
23 great damage of buildings in the area of activity. If one bears in mind
24 the way in which anti-terrorist fighting takes place, especially in urban
25 areas, the balance of power has to be 15 to 20 in order to carry out this
1 assignment, and that is according to world standards. That's the ratio.
2 The corps commander will probably carry out an analysis in the corps
3 command, together with his subordinate officers.
4 He came to the conclusion that there was excessive use of force.
5 Perhaps equipment and ammunition were used excessively in order to carry
6 out specific tasks.
7 In order to prevent that from happening, he is issuing an order as
8 to what should be done.
9 Q. Torching -- the word "torched" means, does it not, intentionally
10 setting fire to property? How could it be, please, that units of a
11 Pristina Corps were intentionally setting fire to property in August of
13 A. I cannot see here that there was any intentional torching. I
14 don't know what passage you saw that in. Fires are possible, though. If
15 there is firing in part of a populated area, if there is mutual fighting,
16 often fires break out due to the ammunition used, and at the same time
17 electric installations, and particularly in summertime, can be set on fire
18 and then sometimes haystacks would start burning, too, and that is how
19 buildings were burned. So the -- it doesn't say here that there was
21 Q. Well, that's the way we have it in translation. You better read
22 the sentence that begins, "Specifically, a large number of houses were
23 destroyed ..." Can you read that sentence to us and the interpreters will
24 provide a translation -- interpretation. "Specifically, a large number of
25 houses ..." please.
1 A. If I'm not mistaken, that is paragraph two?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's at the beginning. It's at the
3 middle of the paragraph. That's what it says here.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Most of the objections of the
5 international community came due to the unnecessary --"
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's the wrong sentence, General. It's the
7 sentence -- it's the third sentence in the first paragraph, beginning
8 "Specifically ..."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "An analysis ..." is that the first
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: The next one.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The basis of the reactions of the
13 international community --" is that it?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. No.
15 MR. NICE: It may be the sentence has been divided in
16 interpretation where not in the original. Can the witness begin the
17 sentence and read through "Analizom ..."
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's practically after the first
19 sentence. "An analysis of the achievement of the tasks showed that some
20 units overused combat equipment the consequence of which was greater
21 damage to buildings in areas of carrying out combat activities."
22 Do you want me to go on? "On the basis of the reactions of the
23 international public opinion, especially intelligence services and
24 diplomatic representatives, most of the objections from the international
25 community came with regard to the unnecessary destruction and burning of
1 houses in inhabited areas, which can jeopardise all efforts being made to
2 crush terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija and create conditions for a
3 political resolution of the political crisis in Kosovo and Metohija."
4 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'll have to go back and discover, if I
5 can, with --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: But where is the sentence, "Specifically, a large
7 number of houses were destroyed and torched"?
8 MR. NICE: -- that needs to be explored now.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: That requires an investigation.
10 MR. NICE: Can I ask one last question about the last passage
11 which I wanted an answer on.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, and then we have to break.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. It ends, as it's translated, that the international community was
15 concerned about the destruction of houses, the destruction and burning of
16 houses, and it goes on to say, "... which can jeopardise all efforts being
17 made to crush terrorism ... and create conditions for a political
18 resolution ..."
19 Do you understand that to mean that the international community
20 would impose a political resolution? Is that what you understand General
21 Pavkovic to mean by that?
22 No, it's "... can jeopardise all efforts being made to crush
23 terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija and create conditions for --"
24 JUDGE BONOMY: No, that's efforts to create conditions.
25 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, perhaps I'll leave that and I won't
1 come back to that. I'll investigate this sentence as well.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: I asked for the witness to be kept out for just a
7 couple of minutes. With your leave, may we deal with something in private
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session. Yes.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 47091-47094 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are we in public session?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in public session.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should say that logistical problems do not make
13 it possible for Mr. Sel, we understand, to return home and back here for
14 Monday, so he will be here. In that event, Mr. Nice, we would wish to
15 have your cross-examination of this witness terminated - end - today, so
16 that we can conclude Mr. Sel's testimony tomorrow. For that purpose, we
17 may start at 8.00 a.m., but we haven't yet decided.
18 MR. NICE: Thank you. And while the witness is coming in, the
19 interpreters have explained that the document -- the line in the document
20 that was there should not have been there at all. It's an incorporation
21 from another sentence, as it were. So I've struck it through and it
22 simply shouldn't be there at all.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a very bad mistake.
25 Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, in relation to what you
2 mentioned just now, whether it would be possible to start working at 8.00
3 in the morning, please bear in mind the fact that my floor, which is the
4 last one, is moving to a different building tomorrow, and all my time has
5 been planned in order for me to finish certain things in relation to that
6 before I come here. It's a purely technical matter, and - how should I
7 put this? - it would be highly impractical for me to be deprived of that
8 time for an additional hour.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take that into consideration,
10 Mr. Milosevic.
11 WITNESS: KRSMAN JELIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
14 Q. We parted from that last document, Mr. Jelic. The line that we
15 were asking you about is not in the original and has been deleted from the
16 copies. Nevertheless, my suggestion to you is this: That in 1998, you
17 were a loyal officer serving an army that was regularly exceeding what was
18 lawful in the use of violence on the population, and you knew that to be
19 the case.
20 A. That is what you're saying, that I -- well, I was loyal. Of
21 course I was loyal since I made an oath of allegiance to my country and to
22 my people that I would defend my country. Otherwise, I completely reject
23 the other thing you said.
24 Q. You of course were serving in an army to begin with presided over
25 by or led by General Perisic. Were you aware or have you become aware
1 that he complained about the misuse of the army to this accused and was
3 A. The chief of General Staff, General Perisic, toured the units in
4 Kosovo and Metohija several times. It so happened that he visited my
5 brigade three or four times, and he toured the units at Dulje, Stimlje,
6 and Birac. In addition to the military protocol and the obligations I had
7 as the brigade commander and the commander of the garrison, I had no other
8 -- I had no other obligations vis-a-vis him.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, could you answer the question there.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to answer the question.
11 I don't know what Mr. Perisic stated before Mr. Milosevic or the Supreme
12 Defence Council or, rather, in that time to the minister of defence.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the answer. The rest of it was immaterial.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Wesley Clark, the American general, expressed the view that
16 Perisic was replaced because he wasn't supporting the accused's policy of
17 using military force against the population in Kosovo. Is it right that
18 it was effectively this accused's policy in 1998 to use the army against
19 the population? Not just to maintain borders or things of that sort but
20 actually to use the army against population.
21 A. I'm not aware of what Mr. Clark said. The army had its tasks
22 exactly defined by the rules of service and the laws. So the basic tasks
23 were providing security for the border, training soldiers, and all of that
24 is done in peacetime; and in wartime, defending the country from
1 Q. Let's look at another document, a new document. 8th of August,
2 document, please.
3 This document is a document of yours, 8th of August, 1998. It
4 goes to the command of the Pristina Corps concerning their telegram
5 identified. Perhaps we can put it on the overhead projector.
6 It says this: "In accordance with orders issued, an analysis has
7 been completed of combat operations carried out and cooperation with MUP
8 military units ... The report is as follows:" And then it deals with the
9 combat group in the Dulje pass, gives the strength of those deployed.
10 Over the page, please. At B -- we can read the document for
11 ourselves. Well, there's already reference to the use and deployment of
12 tanks in Dulje, then in Stimlje, C sector, there are seven tanks deployed.
13 Go over to the next page just so that we don't miss the point.
14 Paragraph 3 asserts that: "MUP and VJ members behaved correctly towards
15 civilians and property without abuse of rights or resorting to theft or
17 4 says: "The units had fair success ... but with the following
18 problems ..." and then complains about the police refusing to take part in
19 attack on a DTG. A DTG being?
20 A. Sabotage terrorist group.
21 Q. So that it's clear, isn't it, that the army was engaged in using
22 heavy weaponry on the territory with no state of emergency being
24 Mr. Jelic, that's right, isn't it?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you hear the question, Mr. Jelic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the question.
2 This is an assertion. I didn't understand it in the form of a question,
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. He's asking whether the position is that
5 the army was engaged in using heavy weaponry in the territory in the
6 absence of a state of emergency being declared.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army used all resources
8 available in order to provide security along the roads. We had orders
9 from the corps command to carry out every one of our tasks and
10 assignments. Not a single assignment was carried out if it was not based
11 on an order. This pertained primarily to roads that were supposed to be
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. -- General, the point of the question was
14 whether that was being done without a state of emergency being declared.
15 Just a question of fact. We're not dealing now with the constitutional
16 implications. Yes. Okay.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: The order can be read for itself. May it be produced
20 as an exhibit.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 933.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. The use of the army continued, and we come to Racak, which I must
25 deal with in a limited amount of detail. You gave a lot of evidence about
1 the army and Racak, and the position, I think, is that the army really had
2 nothing to do with Racak; is that right?
3 A. That is right.
4 Q. We have seen Radosavljevic suggesting that it was a joint -- on an
5 interview with a television programme - we won't rerun it now - we've seen
6 him suggesting that it was a joint operation. Can you explain at all why
7 Radosavljevic should have said that?
8 A. I don't know which Radosavljevic you are referring to.
9 Q. The chief of the police who was in charge of the operation, that
10 one, known as Gurij. Do you know who I mean?
11 A. Goran Radosavljevic, a major. I am not aware of his interview. I
12 haven't seen that.
13 Q. Very well.
14 A. He was subordinated to his own command in Pristina, and he carried
15 out orders of his superior command.
16 Q. Go to tab 8, please. Now, tab 8 precedes, if we look at it,
17 precedes Racak by a few days, about six days. It refers to strictly
18 confidential order, command number 49/1. Have you been shown that
19 document since you've been here?
20 A. Yes, I have the document.
21 Q. This document. The document --
22 A. You mean 107-2?
23 Q. No, I mean the document that is referred to in the first
24 paragraph. It says: "Pursuant to the strictly confidential order of the
25 Pristina Corps Command no. 49-1 ..." Have you seen that document since
1 you've been here?
2 A. No. I don't think it's here. That was an original document of
3 that time, and on the basis of that document I drew up my own order.
4 Q. Because the same paragraph goes on: "... and with a view to
5 ensuring the required level of combat readiness in the forthcoming period,
6 I here by issue the following," and then there's an order. And at number
7 5 we can see reference to Siptar terrorists. What was the combat
8 readiness that was required of you and why, according to your recollection
9 of that order?
10 A. This order, which was issued by the Pristina Corps command is an
11 order from which this order here followed. Following the rules of issuing
12 orders in the army, apart from the document on which this order is based,
13 all the other elements have to be enumerated. It has to contain all the
14 elements given by the superior command. The focus has to be expressed.
15 Q. Combat readiness for what combat?
16 A. Combat readiness is something that the unit constantly has to
17 have. That's what the army is for. It has to be always ready to respond
18 to any challenge concerning the security of the country, the security of
19 the border, and the protection of the people.
20 Q. Not specifically related to anything that was going to be
21 happening, say, in Racak in the days to come?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Tab 10, please.
24 A. You can see that from the context here.
25 Q. You issued an order on the 15th of January. Again, this is
1 pursuant to, as we can see, a strictly confidential order of the Pristina
2 command number 105-1 of the 15th of January. Have you seen that document
3 since you've been here?
4 A. No. No, I have not seen that document.
5 Q. Very well. Over, then, please -- we're going to start looking --
6 A. I don't think it's here.
7 Q. Let me just check one or two things that you said about Racak
8 itself. You spoke of a blockade, and you spoke of the MUP forming the
9 blockade about 3.00 a.m. and between then and 7.00 a.m.; is that right?
10 A. According to the information given to me by the chief of the
11 Urosevac MUP and the plan he had in his staff, the MUP units in the early
12 hours of the morning - and the time is mentioned in several places but I
13 wasn't there so I can't tell you what the precise time was - the MUP
14 forces carried out a blockade of the area where Siptar terrorists forces
15 were believed to be before dawn, and --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 A. The army, when you say "blockade," you mean the area designated,
18 which has to be surrounded by designated units.
19 Q. Or, I suppose, if not surrounded, certainly blocked in respect of
20 one particular direction of possible escape. Would that be an appropriate
21 use of the word "blockade"?
22 A. You could say that, but it's not usual to say that. Usually it's
23 when a large area, more than half, is taken by units and then the place is
24 practically under a blockade. The main roads, of course, have to be
25 closed in that case.
1 Q. I just want you to have a look at a map that's been used in this
2 trial from time to time. Not a map, an aerial view. While that's being
3 brought in, what was the position so far as your training unit was
4 concerned? You had a training unit, didn't you, engaged at this time in
5 the area of Racak?
6 A. I think it's wrong to say that, because we had no units undergoing
7 training in the area of Racak. As I explained last time, the unit was at
8 Dulje, according to the agreement. And that unit held the communication
9 or the road from Stimlje to Birac and carried out training on these axes.
10 Racak is to the side of that.
11 Q. If you look at this map on your right-hand side.
12 If the audiovisual booth could focus on it for us, please. It may
13 be -- yes, I think it can. And if it would draw back so we can see all of
14 the map.
15 Where do you say on this aerial view - if you can take just a
16 second to familiarise yourself with it - the army was located? Would the
17 figure A be about right?
18 A. It's this place here, if I understand A correctly. The troops
19 were in this area here, in Borovo Suma, or Borovo forest. The upper part
20 of the forest had already been cut down, and this is where the troops were
21 from April until the beginning of the aggression, part of the combat group
22 the command of which was at Dulje.
23 Q. Now, if you look, then, to the left of that, B, and the feature
24 running pretty nearly north/south, slightly north-west/south-east. From
25 B, if you look at the bottom of that red area, you will see something that
1 says in English "VJ MUP tank and vehicles." Is it right that there were
2 VJ tanks and vehicles in that area?
3 A. I don't know who was there in this period but there were no troops
4 or tanks there.
5 Q. Well, how do you know that?
6 A. Because I was the commander of the unit. Of course I knew where
7 my units were on a particular day in a particular period of time. There
8 had to be a plan, an order from the superior command. I had to issue my
9 own order, the subordinate commander of the subordinate units had to issue
10 his command, and only then could a task be carried out.
11 Q. Further south on the map we can see, I think, C on the bottom
12 right-hand corner. May have to move the map across. We see there "VJ/MUP
13 tanks and vehicles." There has been evidence to this effect, that there
14 were tanks and vehicles there. Do you accept the possibility that those
15 tanks and vehicles were there or do you again say that, because you issued
16 the orders, no such tanks?
17 A. Not because I issued the order but because I did not issue the
18 order that they should be there, so there were no troops there.
19 Q. If you look at those three positions, just for the time being
20 assume that they may be correct: A, the second position marked with tanks
21 and vehicles, then the position C, would that operate as something of a
22 blockade to stop people retreating in an easterly direction?
23 A. First of all, I cannot assume, because the army was not there.
24 The blockade, as it's shown here, this does not actually show a blockade
25 of a village.
1 Q. Very well. The -- tell us, please: The General Staff's operation
2 centre was based where at this time?
3 A. Did I understand correctly the General Staff's operation centre?
4 I had my corps command, and as for the operations centre of the General
5 Staff, I assume it was in Belgrade. That's where its place was.
6 Q. Orders -- I beg your -- yes. Operations of the kind I'm
7 suggesting happened, that is joint operations between the MUP and the army
8 before the declaration of a state of war, to take out a substantial KLA
9 unit, would such an order have to be -- have to originate in Belgrade?
10 A. Certainly it had to originate in Belgrade. However, the commander
11 of the strategic rotation group has the right to issue certain decisions
12 about the use of troops at a certain point in order to protect an element
13 of the army combat disposition or part of the territory until the Supreme
14 Council reaches a decision. There was no need in this case because the
15 army was not engaged at all. Only the corps commander could issue an
16 order binding on me, and I could only take measures, and all the
17 subordinate commanders from the lowest level, from company commander to
18 brigade commander, could take measures for the protection of people
19 without orders if they were at threat, but then he would have to
20 immediately inform his superior commander.
21 Q. Where were you on the 15th of January? Where were you yourself?
22 You weren't at Racak, so where were you?
23 A. I have never been in Racak. On the 15th of January, I was in the
24 brigade command in Urosevac.
25 Q. And you know perfectly well, Mr. Jelic, that your brigade was
1 actively engaged in firing rounds into Racak and elsewhere in joint
2 operation with the MUP, and what you're telling us is quite untrue. Am I
4 A. First of all, I don't know anything about this. I deny it. It's
5 not true.
6 Q. How did communications pass between the General Staff in Belgrade
7 and your brigade; via Pristina?
8 A. According to all the rules and instructions about command and
9 control of units, a superior commander commands his subordinate units. In
10 exceptional cases, a second superior can issue a command to a second
11 subordinate, but this is very exceptional and I have hardly ever come
12 across it in my career. I always received issues from -- I always
13 received orders from the Pristina Corps command while I was in the
15 Q. Now, you told us that your first -- your -- just to complete
16 that: Communication back up to Belgrade would be via the Pristina Corps
17 in the same way as orders coming down to you would come via the Pristina
18 Corps, yes?
19 A. You've skipped over a rung in the ladder. Issues from the --
20 orders from the General Staff had to go to the strategic unit, which is
21 the army. The army issued orders to the corps, and the corps to the
22 subordinate units. The subordinate units issued orders to their
23 subordinate units. So this was the chain of command.
24 Q. And you described a meeting you had, or an encounter you had, a
25 couple of days before Racak, the purpose of which was simply to inform
1 you, is that right, or for someone to be informed that the Racak exercise
2 was going to happen; is that correct?
3 A. I don't know what meeting this applies to. You haven't been
4 specific. But if you mean a meeting with the chief of the SUP, then you
5 are right. It's quite normal, when combat operations are being carried
6 out, if my neighbouring units or I are carrying out combat activities,
7 it's normal to inform your neighbouring units. There is reason for that:
8 They have to take precautions, to prevent infiltration of their territory
9 by terrorists. They have to protect their own troops and their own
10 equipment. They have to protect their own area.
11 Q. And I think you said there has to be the avoidance of friendly
12 fire and the consequences of friendly fire; is that right?
13 A. I didn't understand. What fire are you referring to?
14 Q. Where troops of the same side accidentally damage each other. If
15 you don't know where they are and you're firing, there's always a risk
16 you'll damage your own side, injure or damage your own side. That's what
17 "friendly fire" means. Was that something that you were concerned about?
18 A. We don't usually call it friendly fire. We use a different term
19 for it. If units are acting together, then they have to establish lines
20 where they don't fire at each other, and if they're acting in built-up
21 areas or so on or where they adjoin.
22 Q. Well, your only involvement on the 15th, you say, was to fire in
23 another direction and because somebody fired at you. What time of the day
24 on the 15th was that?
25 A. I'm not only saying it, I'm asserting it. On that day when the
1 MUP units blocked Racak looking for terrorists, fire was opened and the
2 unit that was in the pine wood immediately took up positions. In the
3 meantime, fire was opened on it at around 8.00 or 9.00. It was opened
4 from an elevation that has no name overlooking the village of Belince,
5 some 3 or 400 metres to the south. Not from the village itself but from a
6 nameless elevation.
7 Q. And this whole incident was completed by what time of the day?
8 A. Fire was opened intermittently. Several bursts. Three shells,
9 82-millimetre mortar shells, and this was confirmed by your witness who
10 was in the brigade. I think his name was Sukrim Bura [sic].
11 Q. And the incident was concluded by what time?
12 A. Around 10.00.
13 Q. How --
14 A. But the unit remained in full combat readiness.
15 Q. And how was that reported, if at all, to Pristina and upwards in
16 the direction of the General Staff?
17 A. You mean the incident that occurred toward the army?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Yes. It's usual for the commander of the battalion, after taking
20 measures to protect his men and equipment and taking up positions for
21 circular defence according to previously approved plans, after he has
22 taken all these measures and repelled the attack, he then sends a report
23 up the chain of command. That's the chain of reporting.
24 Q. But your report on this incident would not have linked it in any
25 way to the Racak exercise of the MUP, would you?
1 A. My report could not have had anything to do with the operation
2 because I did not have the information, the elements about what was going
3 on there. I could have known that only if I had participated. In that
4 case, it would have been my duty to report, yes.
5 Q. Reporting what happened between 8.00 and 10.00 would have
6 contained no reference to Racak because this had nothing to do with Racak.
7 A. You always have to give specific information, not general
8 information, about where fire was opened from. You say where fire was
9 opened from, what was done, whether there were any casualties or losses of
10 equipment, vehicles, weapons, and so on.
11 Q. Have you seen your report up the chain of command since you've
12 been here, your report on this incident on the 15th of January?
13 A. I think the report is here in the file, if I recall. I don't know
14 what tab number.
15 Q. We have the -- go -- tell us which one you say is the necessary
16 report. You've started about 12, I think, or 11. Tell us which one you
17 say --
18 A. I'll have a look now.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. I think it's 17, if that's the one you mean.
21 Q. Well, it may well be 17 because that does indeed cover these
22 topics. Let's go and look at 17 and see how you expressed yourself then.
23 17, if we can put it on the overhead projector, please - we must
24 be brief - deals with on the 15th of January the unit from Dulje carrying
25 out regular training, which is why I asked you about training. "While the
1 training programme was in progress along the above-mentioned axis, heavy
2 infantry and RB fire was opened from Rance ... mortar fire from the
3 village ... We fired back ..." No reference to Racak there.
4 "Our forces suffered no consequences."
5 Then this: "In the early hours of the 15th of January, forces of
6 the MUP/Ministry of the Interior/ ... set up a blockade ..." So it was
7 they, the MUP, that set up the blockade.
8 And then over the page, please. 0700 hours, at the top.
9 "... heavy infantry fire opened at MUP forces ... training ..." And then
10 again at the end of this: "MUP forces set up a blockade and searched the
11 village of Racak ..."
12 By the way, the preceding line -- before I come back to the
13 immediate topic, I want you to answer this: Why did you write here:
14 "None of our vehicles entered neither the village of Racak nor any of the
15 surrounding villages"? Why do you think it necessary to put that in your
17 A. Precisely because fire was opened and returned from our weapons,
18 the corps commander had to know what happened on the ground. That's why I
19 had to report that not a single vehicle from the area entered the
20 village. And this here refers to the village of Racak. Because use of
21 combat vehicles requires that you report exactly where the vehicle went,
22 how far it went, and when it came back.
23 Q. Saying where it did go is different from saying where it didn't
24 go. I'm just wondering why you made a reference in this report to what
25 you didn't do at Racak. Was that because it was a joint operation and you
1 were identifying the limits of your involvement?
2 A. There was no joint operation. If you look at the part here which
3 refers to the opening of fire, it says that the unit returned fire and did
4 not enter the village of Racak. Returning fire is something that's not
5 stationary. These are all highly mobile units, and they respond with fire
6 and assault. They go, take up an area, destroy the target or go on.
7 They're not static, like artillery, linked to one spot so that you have to
8 search for a position for them. That's why this was done.
9 Q. You're not telling us the truth, Mr. Jelic, as the following
10 document, I'm going to suggest, makes clear.
11 A. That's your conclusion and your opinion. You have the right to
12 it, but I'm telling you how I reported and answered to my command.
13 Q. This is from the VJ General Staff. It's dated the 16th of
14 January. On the overhead projector.
15 Did daily operation reports get sent down to your level of
16 command? Did they? Did daily --
17 A. Operations reports of the command of the General Staff. They
18 couldn't have been sent to us. It was we who sent operations reports to
19 our superior command.
20 Q. Well, this is their report for the 16th of January, covering the
21 period 6.00 a.m. the 15th to 6.00 a.m. on the 16th. And for want of time,
22 there is no need to go to any part of it apart from, in the English, page
23 4 and -- I've now mislaid my copy of the original. It's under the heading
24 "3rd Army." Have you found the bit that's headed "3rd Army"?
25 A. I don't see the translation here. Where is it?
1 JUDGE KWON: Second page.
2 MR. NICE: Second page. I'm grateful to His Honour Judge Kwon.
3 Thank you very much.
4 Q. If you find the paragraph immediately before number 9, the
5 cross-heading 3A, for 3rd Army. Do you see that?
6 A. I see that.
7 Q. And if you look at the second bullet point of that paragraph,
8 perhaps you would just like to read it out for us from the original to
9 make sure there's no ambiguity in the interpretation or error in the
10 interpretation. Can you just read it out.
11 A. It would be best for me to read out the whole thing so that we'd
12 have the context. That way you can understand it the best.
13 "While a tactical --"
14 Q. My time is limited, but if you want to read the previous
15 paragraph, read that, because it refers to your unit. Yes, by all means.
16 Go ahead.
17 A. Yes, yes. "... the 243rd Mechanised Brigade Urosevac in the
18 sector of the Dulje pass near the village of Sefer, Siptar terrorists
19 opened fire with infantry weapons after which they retreated towards the
20 Dara Glava feature. Our forces were unharmed.
21 "Part of the forces of BG-243-1 were deployed to seal off --"
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please read slower if the
23 interpreters are supposed to interpret what he's saying.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please read more slowly for the benefit of the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "... where MUP members were
2 conducting an operation against Siptar terrorists who had killed a MUP
3 member." That is what is written --
4 JUDGE KWON: Could you read the second paragraph again.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Part of the forces of Combat Group
6 243-1 were deployed to block the village of Racak, Stimlje municipality,
7 where MUP members were conducting an operation against Siptar terrorists
8 who had killed a MUP member."
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Fine. Would you like to explain --
11 A. But this is not the original. It's not from the corps or from the
12 army. It does not originate from the corps, from the army, or from the
13 brigade. That's where the unit is. And if it is considered that the unit
14 was there in a blockade, then it was, yes, in Stimlje.
15 Q. Mr. Jelic, you've explained how orders of the kind I suggest you
16 were responding to, that is, orders to establish joint operations of this
17 scale would have had to have come from Belgrade. That means they didn't
18 come on the morning. They had to come a day or days before.
19 You explained how the reporting chain went back from you, via
20 Pristina, to Belgrade in respect of, for example, the firing on you of
21 infantry weapons. This document is prepared in Belgrade. If there hadn't
22 -- do you understand this? If there hadn't been a planned deployment to
23 assist the MUP members, then Belgrade would have known about it.
24 How can it be that on the 16th of January Belgrade is recording
25 that part of your forces, number 1 unit, were deployed to seal off --
1 sorry, to -- to block the village of Racak?
2 A. You presented a few different things here, but I have to respond
3 to all. First of all, I personally never received orders from Belgrade.
4 We never got a single document from Belgrade in my brigade. Everything
5 went down the chain of command, through the command of the Pristina Corps.
6 The command of the Pristina Corps has my report, and that report is the
7 only valid one for commanding or, rather, for assessing the situation in
8 the unit. The corps commander is the one who accepts or does not accept
9 the report. It is most probable that the gentleman who dealt with this
10 document - and I don't know who it was who dealt with this document, I
11 cannot recognise the initials - he probably thought that the combat group
12 was already there, as approved by the verifiers, and he said that it was
13 there in the blockade.
14 Now, you look at this. You said yourself a few moments ago that
15 this blockade --
16 MR. NICE: Just pause. As approached -- as approved or something
17 by verifiers. What verifiers say isn't going to be reflected in a record
18 of what your group is doing. What your group is doing is -- in a report
19 like this, reflects what you report.
20 Now, can you explain, please, how what you reported or what has
21 already on ordered comes to be reflected in this way? That's what we
23 A. The signature on this document is the same like -- or, rather, the
24 description in this document is like what you said by way of a description
25 of this blockade. We saw during the examination yesterday, too, that
1 there is something that represents a blockade for someone, at least as far
2 as movement is concerned, because through the areas of the units, the
3 combat dispositions, that is, you cannot walk about normally like in a
4 free territory where there are no troops, where there is no army, because
5 it would certainly have been stated here in this report had any part of
6 the unit actually been used.
7 Q. I must suggest to you that it's as clear as can be that you were
8 engaged in a joint operation authorised in advance from Belgrade, reported
9 back to Belgrade, and that this document proves the lie of what you've
10 been saying.
11 A. Thank you for the compliment you've just paid me, but that's not
12 true at all.
13 Q. Look at this document, please.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this to be exhibited?
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes, please.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please give it a number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 934.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. I'd just like you to look at this exhibit, already before the
20 Court. You see it relates to the 15th of January between 3.00 and 8.30 in
21 the morning, if you look at the legend at the top left. And it suggests
22 that the 243rd Brigade was present in the position north of Racak, roughly
23 where A is on the overhead view. If you look to the right, right to the
24 east, you'll see another marking, anti-aircraft marking of the army. Was
25 that you there? Just point -- see the place we're pointing to or
1 indicating? Was the army deployed there in the east?
2 A. This is not a complete map. I don't know whose map it is, but the
3 PVO system -- the PVO system, the anti-aircraft system -- well, it's not a
4 complete map.
5 So this is not the way you deploy a PVO system. One was at the
6 top of Canovica Brdo - that is here - and one was here by the point, and
7 one was here by Kostanjevo [as interpreted]. Tanks were here and APCs
8 were inside. That is what is contained in the report sent to the corps
9 command. This is a bit distorted. This was after fire was opened at the
10 area of the unit.
11 Q. You see, this is a map that's been produced by Janicevic, the
12 chief of the SUP, and he says that you were at least present in two
13 places; up there in the north and there in the east. Is he right or is he
14 wrong? He's a Defence witness.
15 A. He's quite right, but I've said that the symbols were drawn upside
17 Q. So whereas you told us that you were only present in one place,
18 you now accept that you were present in two.
19 A. You've got things a bit confused here. This is a combat group or
20 part of a combat group for Dulje. When fire was opened, units took up
21 positions for defence, and the PVO system was by the point, which is
22 marked here. Then the second unit was above Canovica Brdo; and the third
23 one, Kostanjevo. That is the system of defence. Tanks were not standing
24 in a column. They were to the east of the area of deployment, and APCs
25 were in the middle, and howitzers were on the western side. I'm giving
1 you the details regarding this particular group now.
2 Q. Help me, Mr. Jelic, because I may have missed it. At any time in
3 the evidence you gave yesterday or in the previous day of hearings, did
4 you mention the presence of that unit at Kostanjevo?
5 A. The village of Kostanje, that's where one Praga was. I don't
6 remember whether I mentioned it yesterday. There was one Praga, the one
7 here, and then one up here, 671 on the top here.
8 Q. You were asked very extensive questions by the Court and by the
9 accused, trying to identify precisely where your troops were located and
10 the short answer is you never mentioned Kostanjevo at all, did you?
11 A. I never even mentioned 671, not only Kostanje. The question was
12 how come the combat group was here and how come the unit that was training
13 was here, towards the village of Rance? If I remember correctly, that's
14 what it was, and you can look it up in the transcript. And whether their
15 command was at Dulje or not.
16 Q. Would you look, please, at the board again, the aerial photograph
17 on your right, and at position C. You've denied this morning that there
18 were any troops at position C. It's quite close to Kostanjevo, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, that's quite close.
20 Q. Now --
21 A. But the unit was not blockade as you had put it. You asked
22 whether these were the units that were engaged in the blockade in those
23 early morning hours, the units that blocked Racak.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... go back over the transcript
25 if time allows. You were given every opportunity to say if there were any
1 troops in the Kostanjevo area which you then understood to be the subject
2 of only Prosecution evidence, and you denied it. You're not telling us
3 the truth about what the army did in Racak because you know that the army,
4 along with the MUP, exceeded all conceivable lawful use of force in what
5 turned out to be a dreadful massacre, don't you?
6 A. No, that's not true at all. That is what you're saying. Not a
7 single shell, not a single bullet was fired at the village of Racak. And
8 if you look at the map, carry out an analysis and see whether it was
9 possible to engage this equipment that was up here or only perhaps here on
10 the rim of the village of Racak. I think that that was confirmed to you
11 by the chief of SUP, who was, after all, carrying out this action. And
12 there is no need to conceal where we carried out joint operations, because
13 we have documents for that. We have orders from the superior command.
14 Q. Which war diary or similar contemporaneous document would record
15 the various movements of troops, including, for example, the movement of
16 the troops to Kostanjevo?
17 A. A war diary exists only in wartime. This is peacetime. Units are
18 carrying out training in the ground, and that is what I allow for. So
19 there is no war diary for this period. The unit has --
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... record will reveal --
21 A. -- the plan of defence. Then there is an order to go out into the
22 field where all tasks are defined; size, numbers, and the tasks of the
23 unit on the ground. It has its plan, and the commander of that group
24 elaborates a plan of defence of a feature, and that plan is strictly
25 confidential, and he defends his unit by taking up new positions outside
1 the camp. That is to say that the unit is not only on the camp premises.
2 Once it is attacked, its equipment and personnel take up positions and
3 defend their units.
4 Q. You see, we do have an operations log that has been provided for
5 your unit or the relevant unit. I can make it available to you, perhaps
6 over the break. There seems to be no reference of any kind to what
7 happened on the 15th of January. Could you explain that? We'll let you
8 have a look at it.
9 How could the operations log not make reference to these events on
10 the 15th of January?
11 A. I can just guess now, because I don't see anything in front of me,
12 I don't have the documents, and I don't know what you're talking about at
14 Q. Have a look at this document which has been provided to us, and
15 you can tell us what it amounts to because it's one of your documents.
16 Perhaps we can just lay this on the overhead projector and you can
17 follow, if you would be so good, the original handwritten entries, which
18 we hope are correctly translated. That is a combat group for Dulje
19 Heights, as we can see on the left, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Dragan
20 Todorovic. Is that about right for the unit you've been describing in the
21 single position in which you've said there were troops?
22 A. Yes. If I'm not mistaken, that's from that period. But it's not
23 very well written, so I'd really have to have a look to see what this is
24 all about. I cannot really comment on it straight away.
25 Q. Well, I'll take you, for your consideration, item 1 deals with
1 something that happened on the 14th of January. Then item 2 simply says
2 that the composition -- disposition of the unit is unchanged. It deals
3 with Frasna and Boja. It deals with Birac. It deals with the consumption
4 of fuel. Nothing else. And then the next day is the 16th of January.
5 Any explanation how this isn't covered at all in this document?
6 A. I have to have a look first.
7 MR. NICE: May the witness have the opportunity to look --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that --
9 MR. NICE: -- at it over the break, if he wants to, to save time?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes --
11 MR. NICE: I'm not encouraging the Court to break now because I
12 would be very grateful for the opportunity of asking one more question for
13 preparatory purposes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
15 MR. NICE: Can we distribute this map again now, please.
16 Different topic but I'm trying to save time. Place it on the overhead
17 projector, please.
18 Q. This is another updated version of the document we were looking at
19 earlier which you helped us with. Now, in giving evidence yesterday, you
20 spoke on no occasion of being present at any particular alleged crime site
21 on the occasion of any particular alleged crime. You only ever told us
22 what you'd been told.
23 This map attempts to analyse, so far as is possible - and again,
24 this may not be a final version so I only want you to use it for reference
25 purposes at the moment - it attempts to analyse the material before this
1 Trial Chamber concerning alleged VJ criminal behaviour between 1998 and
2 the end of 1999, with dates. I'm not suggesting it's an exhaustive
3 document, but it's doing its best to guide us through a great deal of
5 Would you please look at this document and tell us if you were in
6 fact personally present at any of the events on the dates referred to so
7 that, for example - I know sometimes the dates are not precise - the first
8 one, top left-hand corner, says that something happened at Jezerce in
9 September 1998 and also in 1999. We can see what it is a bit later if we
10 have time. But then going around, Belince on the 4th of April. Racak, we
11 know you weren't there. Stimlje three dates. Muhadzer Babus, two dates
12 in March. Urosevac, dates in March and April.
13 I want your help, please, Mr. Jelic - and it may be again that the
14 Chamber will allow you to take this document with you to save time - I
15 want you to tell us, either now or after a break, whether you were present
16 at any of these places on the times indicated. Do you follow?
17 A. I have understood your two questions. First you said that these
18 were crime scenes, and then you asked me whether I was there at the time.
19 So, practically, you are giving ambiguous questions. You are stating that
20 a crime was committed somewhere where people are fighting with arms in
21 their hands and where young men who swore an oath of allegiance to defend
22 their country are getting killed, and you are trying to rehabilitate those
23 who got killed as terrorists in order to --
24 Q. You misunderstood the question. I'll make it clear.
25 A. -- our crime.
1 Q. These are places where various crimes or criminal behaviour is
2 said to have been committed by the VJ. It's your area of responsibility.
3 And so far as possible, dates or precise dates have been given.
4 You, yesterday, on no occasion asserted that you were present at
5 any of the scenes that the accused referred to where crimes were said to
6 have been committed on the material dates. Can you please look at these
7 various entries and tell us, perhaps after the break, whether indeed you
9 Let's have a look, for example, at the one that was covered.
10 Slatina, middle of the map, 13th of April, 13th to 15th of April. Were
11 you ever present at Slatina between the 13th and the 15th of April, 1999?
12 Yes or no.
13 A. I cannot remember. That's a very brief period of time. It's just
14 one day or two days.
15 Q. Very well. That may apply, then, for Vata and Dubrava. What
16 about Bicevac on the 25th of May? Were you present there in May of 1999?
17 A. I was in that area for over a month, in this total area. But in
18 the village itself, I was never there. I've already said that the command
19 post of the brigade was there.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I will allow the witness to take the document
21 with him during the break and have a look at it, and then equip yourself,
22 if you can, to answer questions. Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, there was reference at the beginning of
24 this session to the order of the 31st of October, which I've now had an
25 opportunity to read. It's a clear prescription of how to obtain
1 documents. It was never -- it doesn't at any stage involve a denial, an
2 outright denial of any part of the Prosecution's application.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In relation to this, I just wish to
6 make an objection, in relation to this question that was put to the
7 witness, telling him to have a look at during the break.
8 Mr. Nice is putting questions to the witness as if he were a
9 tourist and whether he happened to be somewhere. This is a commander of a
10 brigade who is testifying about what happened in his area of
11 responsibility. He is present in the entire area of responsibility
12 throughout his units, and he cannot be questioned as if he happened to be
13 an accidental passerby, whether happened to be somewhere or not on a
14 particular day. He is there 24 hours a day, and General Jelic has already
15 said that he never left his area of responsibility and that he was with
16 his troops on the ground all the time.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I don't see the difficulty. The
18 document identifies a number of alleged crime sites, and the question is
19 fairly simple. The witness will look at the document, and if he can, he
20 is to say whether he was present. If he doesn't remember, he can say so.
21 So let us adjourn for 20 minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. The daily operations log that you looked at, which makes no
2 reference to any event on the 15th of January of the kind you've
3 described, can you now explain, please, if at all, why not?
4 A. This was written by the commander of the combat group who was up
5 there, and his report for the most part corresponds to the report provided
6 in tab 17, which I have before me and which I put forward here two days
7 ago. This lists mainly the combat activities on two axes; those of
8 Luznica and Rance, and there is nothing here about combat operations being
9 carried out. The commander of the combat group probably was of this
10 opinion. He was the one who had to decide what was to be included at any
11 given point in time.
12 Q. But you do see the problem, don't you? Here's the man preparing
13 his daily report who should have set out all the detail about Dulje
14 because he was there. Nothing in his record.
15 You were at Urosevac. You would have a daily record of the same
16 kind. We've applied for that and it's been denied us or simply has never
17 been provided to us despite specific requests for it, so we have no idea
18 what appears in your daily record. And Belgrade records that you were
19 engaged in effectively a joint operation with the MUP, but also records
20 the firing to and from Rance.
21 It's impossible, on the material provided, to understand why this
22 man's record is so woefully incomplete.
23 A. You have made certain claims here, and you've twisted the word
24 order a little bit.
25 In the Belgrade report, it never says that we participated but
1 that the unit was allegedly in a blockade in the area where it was. The
2 commander of this combat group had the right to make a personal judgement
3 as to what he was to enter into the diary.
4 In my report to the corps command, in tab 17, there is a detailed
5 description of what went on during those two days, the 14th and the 15th.
6 That's in tab 17.
7 Q. I quite understand that tab 17 is a long time later -- not a long
8 time later. It's the 17th of January, two days later. It's not the
9 contemporaneous record that we're looking for.
10 Now, in Urosevac police station, if that's where you were, your
11 daily record would set out what you were receiving by way of information
12 and what you were send on, presumably, to your superiors, and we don't
13 have it, and we don't know what you wrote.
14 A. I don't know why I would be in the police station and ask them for
15 reports. I didn't give them our daily reports, nor did they give me their
16 daily reports. In the police station in Urosevac and Stimlje in this
17 period, I didn't go there. I neither received reports from them nor sent
18 them reports. There was no reason. Had we been carrying out a joint
19 operation, we would have had a Joint Command post, we would have commanded
20 the units jointly and written joint reports, each to our own superior
22 Q. I didn't mean to say Urosevac police station, your headquarters
23 there, there should be the record of your communication with the Urosevac
24 police, or with anybody else, setting out what you did. That's what I
25 intended to say. Sorry about that.
1 How were you able to right tab 17, then, if you didn't have
2 information from the police, if we look at it, if you weren't in
3 communication with the police? It sets out clearly what the police
4 apparently claimed to do. Where did you get that from?
5 A. The first information I said we had a meeting at the invitation of
6 the chief of the MUP, Bogoljub Janicevic, in Urosevac. On that day they
7 were to carry out an anti-terrorist action in the broader area of the
8 village of Racak.
9 I saw their plan concerning that action. In the plan, the army of
10 Yugoslavia was nowhere mentioned, nor was there any written order for the
11 army of Yugoslavia to be involved. I only received information from him
12 as to what they would be doing there.
13 In view of the fact that what was planned was carried out for the
14 most part, on the basis of this I compiled a report about events in the
15 area of responsibility of the whole brigade, and especially in the
16 immediate vicinity of my unit. There are no details here as to what the
17 MUP was doing or anything concerning the events in the village because I
18 had no elements and no need to deal with that.
19 Q. Look at your own document. You set out what they did, not what
20 they planned to do. You say that they set up a blockade. You say that
21 they returned to base at 1600 hours.
22 Of course you were in contact with the police. You couldn't
23 provide that information otherwise.
24 A. Yes, in the exchange of information, but only in exchange of
1 MR. NICE: Your Honours, can this daily record be produced as an
2 exhibit, not in a sense because it's particularly valuable, it may become
3 valuable later, but because in our efforts to provide a complete file of
4 Racak materials this is the best we've been provided with so far by the
5 authorities because, as I explained, the record of this particular witness
6 has not been provided.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Jelic, very rapidly, where were you on the 16th of
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let that be admitted.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 935.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Where were you on the 16th of January, please?
13 A. On the 16th of January, as far as I can recall, I was in the corps
14 command, attending a meeting.
15 Q. The corps command in?
16 A. In Pristina.
17 Q. And you knew, then, did you, that Maisonneuve tried to make
18 contact with you and spoke instead to Petrovic?
19 A. I didn't know that he was trying to have an interview with me. He
20 established contact with Petrovic and talked to him. That's what I know.
21 Q. Very well. And we know -- if we can lay tab 28 of the Racak
22 documents on the file -- on the overhead projector - thank you very much -
23 which is Exhibit 178. I gather I'm failing to identify existing exhibits
24 by number often enough for the assistance of those who properly require
25 it, and I apologise for that.
1 You see, you haven't brought with you, have you, any record of
2 this meeting, the meeting on the 4th of February? This is in English, I'm
3 afraid. Have you brought with you your own record of the 4th of February?
4 A. I'll just have a look now. I haven't brought any documents nor do
5 I have any documents. I have no private archive anywhere, but I do have
6 the documents I was given here, if this is it. I'll just have a look.
7 Q. It's not there unless you've got more documents in your file than
8 I have.
9 And did you keep a record of your encounter with Maisonneuve on
10 the 4th of February; and, if so, where is it?
11 A. The whole meeting with him was held in the garrison command, and
12 it was chaired by the liaison officer.
13 Q. Did you keep a record of it? Where's your record?
14 A. I noted the main points in the document I had with me, and that is
15 a notebook which was later handed over to the command, along with all the
16 other documents. The corps command, I mean.
17 Q. Well, can I just take you to the second page - please,
18 Mr. Prendergast - so that we can see if you agree with the record that has
19 been made by those who did make the record which is available to us. Your
20 notebook isn't. You appear as J. I'm sorry it's only in English because
21 I suspect you can't necessarily follow that.
22 And is it right that Maisonneuve explained in your presence that
23 Petrovic had explained the role of the army to him on the earlier
25 A. I really cannot recall what Petrovic told him before that at the
1 meeting. We had a joint meeting, the two of us, with him, and I can't
2 remember the details because a lot of time has elapsed and I don't have
3 the documents with me.
4 Q. You confirmed, if we look at the second page, that you were
5 responsible for the whole region. You said that the commander of the
6 operation was a professional soldier and every soldier gets his orders and
7 acts accordingly. You went on to say: "The main thing, the VJ did not
8 conduct this operation but were in a position to defend themselves from
9 their own position." Did you say that to Mr. Maisonneuve?
10 A. Yes, more or less. I cannot remember the details but every
11 professional soldier is responsible for his unit. I was responsible for
12 the entire area of responsibility where my units were. If I understood
13 you correctly, that was the essence of your question.
14 Q. Did you go on to say, when asked if the village had been
15 surrounded, that the military defended its position. "If you were in
16 Racak, you could see that the hills and mountains with trees are not good
17 for tanks." And did you then later say that you weren't attacked from the
18 village but from the high ground between Racak and Belince? "This was not
19 a military operation, nor were the VJ responsible for any destruction in
20 the town. Our operation happened at the same time as the MUP operation."
21 Did you say those things to Mr. Maisonneuve?
22 A. We partially agree here. The army had no plan and no orders to
23 block the village of Racak. Look at the mountains here. You can't
24 actually see it here, but if you have a map on a smaller scale you will
25 see what the hills were like, and the mountains. In view of the
1 configuration of the terrain, tanks and combat vehicles cannot reach the
2 point overlooking the village of Racak. It's impossible.
3 Q. I must suggest to you that by the time of this meeting where
4 Maisonneuve explained how Petrovic had been embarrassed as a result of
5 what had happened, didn't on the note set out what he had said
6 specifically but said that he was embarrassed, I must suggest that by the
7 time of this meeting there was already a plan and you were acting in
8 accordance with that plan to try and eliminate the VJ from Racak because
9 you knew what a terrible event it had been, and that guides both what you
10 wrote in your memorandum, in your document at tab 17, and what you said to
11 Maisonneuve when he managed to reach you. Is that the truth?
12 A. That is not the truth. There was no plan, either from the
13 superior command or the corps command. That is, there was no document
14 issued by me or my subordinates. The only document I saw the day before
15 was at the Ministry of the Interior, that is with the chief of the SUP in
17 Q. Thank you. No, something else. I'll move on. Oh, yes. His
18 Honour Judge Bonomy, I gather -- I understand last week was raising, maybe
19 with you or with another witness, I think with you, the question of a
20 report by the VJ into Racak. Now, has there been such an inquiry or such
21 a report, to your knowledge?
22 A. On the part of the army, no report was sent to the corps command.
23 There was no investigation, because there was no reason where the army was
24 concerned. The investigation was by the MUP. They recruited a lady, I
25 can't recall her name right now, and --
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... concerned, then apart from
2 the document we've looked at and has been produced by an exhibit coming
3 from the General Staff, is it your evidence that there is unlikely to be
4 any other document coming from the army analysing what happened at Racak
5 on the 15th of January?
6 A. There is no document investigating that part.
7 Q. Let's turn --
8 A. -- either in connection with officers or civilians.
9 Q. Now, let's turn to this document that we've produced.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it's an aide-memoire. You'll see -- it's
11 an aid. You will see it's the same format as the document produced for
12 Delic. Of course it isn't evidence in itself. It identifies where
13 evidence may be found and it may that the Chamber will find both documents
14 helpful, and I'd ask therefore that consideration be given to marking it
15 as an exhibit on that basis.
16 Q. Mr. Jelic, have you been able to look at this map; and if so, are
17 you now able to tell us whether you have firsthand knowledge of any of
18 these identified scenes of alleged crimes? Firsthand knowledge; you
20 A. There is not a village in which the unit was deployed that I did
21 not visit more than once. I told you where the brigade command was, and I
22 spent days and days there, especially in Bogdanovic and Djeneral Jankovic,
23 where the focus of the defence was. If I put this map over my map where
24 the decisions are, it's almost identical, and this confirms what I have
25 been saying over the past few days.
1 Q. Now, did you understand my question or not? Is there any of
2 these --
3 A. I understand your question fully. You probably expect a different
4 kind of reply from me. These are units where my units were attacked,
5 where allegedly innocent civilians were killed, only don't forget that
6 these civilians were armed. Nobody's asking about the soldiers who were
7 killed. Twenty-four soldiers.
8 Q. Pause, Mr. Jelic. You haven't answered my question. You've
9 answered another one. Let's go back to my question.
10 Is there any instance drawn from this map where you are in a
11 position to give us firsthand evidence, because you were there, of what
12 happened? Take any one of them. Sojevo, north-east, 8th of April, 1999.
13 Were you in Sojevo on the 8th of April, 1999? Yes or no.
14 A. I can't recall the date. I can't recall the exact dates on which
15 I visited various places. I had this plan, but I don't have it any more.
16 I don't know when I visited which unit.
17 Q. Well, you see, the next thing is the answer you gave me was this,
18 you said: "These are units where my units were attacked, where innocent
19 civilians were killed -- where allegedly innocent civilians were
20 killed ..." but don't forget the soldiers.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you saying that looking at all these points that we've
23 identified here, you recall that these are all places where your units
24 were attacked?
25 A. These are mostly places where units were attacked by two brigades
1 of terrorists which were in the areas of Kacanik and Stimlje, and another
2 one was later established. In the brigade, that's where there were the
3 most casualties, especially on the road leading from Doganovici towards
4 Globocica and Brezovica.
5 Q. I see. So you now remember these places as scenes of attacks but
6 you have no contemporaneous document with you of any kind that can tell us
7 what was reported to you of what happened; is that right? There is no
8 contemporaneous document with you of any kind?
9 A. I don't have those documents and those reports. Yesterday, in a
10 part of the tab shown here, I listed the names of soldiers from these
11 combat groups who were killed, from privates to lieutenant colonels. We
12 had enormous casualties. These casualties did not occur by accident.
13 These were attacks by terrorists on military vehicles and the positions of
14 the army of Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Well, then, I'm going to deal very briefly with the crime sites
16 because you simply can't help us with any detail. But before I come to
17 that, my general suggestion to you and one further exhibit. The truth is
18 that from the launch of events in the middle of March, there was a
19 campaign to move people out of areas and to be prepared to kill them when
20 those operations were happening. Right or wrong?
21 A. This is something that is unknown to me and the army, and it's not
23 Q. If we look at your tab 19, just to refresh our memories, this is
24 the only order that you've produced -- not only order, but this is an
25 order that you've produced for this particular day, the 26th of March, and
1 the previous document that we've been shown is dated -- undated. Undated,
2 the previous one, but in any case, this is the 26th of March. And if we
3 look at it very rapidly, this is to do with the enemy who is identified in
4 three ways under the bullet points as NATO, then as Albanian terrorists,
5 then again as Albanian terrorists from Kosovo and Metohija. So this
6 focuses on NATO but it deals with Albanian terrorists, or alleged
7 terrorists or whatever. It sets out what the various decisions are and
8 what you've got to do. And you told us yesterday about your functions at
9 this time, which were what, to deal with the border principally at this
11 A. First let me add to your comment. It's not "alleged terrorists,"
12 but they really were terrorists. Every country in Europe and in America
13 called them terrorists up to about six months ago. Later, when they
14 organised them, they called them the KLA. I cannot respond if the
15 question does not correspond to the truth. I cannot talk about alleged
16 terrorists but only about terrorists, because that's what they were, and
17 the entire world was calling them that.
18 If we want to analyse this order, I cannot skip over certain
19 things and answer only questions about some bullet points. I have to go
20 into a detailed analysis. We have five brigades on a border where there
21 are terrorists.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: General, just answer the question that is asked.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot answer a question that is
24 pulled out of context because then I have no response. In order to give a
25 response, I have to explain what this is about and then base my answer on
1 that. So I would like to explain this in greater detail.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: What do you understand the question to be?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Three kinds of terrorists or enemy
4 are being asked about.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You weren't asked that question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I misunderstood the question.
7 Could it be repeated.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Put the question again.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. On your evidence yesterday this document admittedly identifying
11 three parts of the enemy; NATO, SDS and STS, this document, you told us,
12 says what you were to do; is that correct? I know it's your order but it
13 sets out what you were told to do.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do we have the order coming to you from higher command of which
16 this is a reflection?
17 A. I don't have that order with me, nor is it here.
18 Q. Would you now please look at this document, which is dated the
19 24th of March, two days earlier.
20 MR. NICE: I don't know if the Court wants to make a decision
21 about exhibiting the aid, dealing with the aid as an exhibit.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: It appears to partake more of an internal aid,
23 Mr. Nice.
24 MR. NICE: I'm entirely -- it's a matter for the Chamber's
1 Q. Now, the order that I've now handed to you is dated two days
2 earlier. It comes from something called the Joint Command. Just tell us
3 what the Joint Command was.
4 A. I'm just looking to see if I received this order. I don't see
5 that it has anything to do with this order of mine.
6 Q. Well, if you'd go, please, to paragraph 5.4, which is on English
7 page 6, it clearly has to do with your brigade.
8 A. Yes. The combat group of my brigade is referred to here, yes.
9 Q. If you go to the last page, you'll see it's signed by the Joint
10 Command for Kosovo and Metohija.
11 A. Exactly. That's what it says, the Joint Command for Kosovo and
13 Q. This is one document that has been provided by the authorities.
14 First of all, you were the man receiving this order, what was the Joint
16 A. I never saw the Joint Command nor do I know who was at its head.
17 If this did exist, it existed at a higher level, but I would have to know,
18 when I receive an order, who signed it. Like any order, all orders I
19 received were signed by the corps commander. So the brigade is used
20 exclusively by the commands of units.
21 Possibly this is a plan that was made in coordination with
22 somebody else from the system of the armed struggle or, rather, units of
23 the army of Yugoslavia in order to carry out coordination with all units.
24 In principle and in actual fact the commands of brigades, or at least I'm
25 talking about myself, I only had orders from the corps commander
1 registered, and that is how I had them registered, uncertain numbers. I
2 don't know about this command because I didn't participate in it. I am a
3 tactical unit, a joint tactical unit and --
4 Q. Let me go to paragraph 5.4, and while you're going back to that,
5 let me just inform you that your brother brigade officer, Delic, accepted
6 receiving a broadly -- a broadly similar order relating to his unit. It's
7 tab 356 of the Delic exhibits, with which the Chamber will be familiar. I
8 provide with you that piece of information. Now, look at 5.4.
9 "The 243rd Mechanised Brigade is to be brought in from the
10 deployment sector on the 25th of March to the planned sector in Lapusnik
11 and from the seal-off line of Orlate village - Belince village - Mlecane
12 village, supporting MUP forces in the attack.
13 "Task: Support MUP forces in defeating and destroying the STS on
14 the axes of ..." and then it gives several villages: Mlecane, Murga,
15 Donje Obrinje, Orlate, and so on, "... and destroy the STS in the sector
16 of Plocica."
17 Now, it goes on: "Continue the attack, destroy any straggling
18 parts of the STS on the attack axes ... Use some of the forces to seal
19 off the line ..."
20 Understand, Mr. Jelic, this has been provided to us as a
21 legitimate order existing, of the Joint Command, on the 24th of March,
22 1999. Did you receive those instructions?
23 A. I really cannot recall whether I received this order. As for the
24 Joint Command, I repeat: I never participated in it, nor do I know who
25 was on it and who made the decisions in this Joint Command. I claim that
1 all orders for using units were issued to me by the corps commander.
2 Nobody else but him.
3 Now, again I'm saying that it's possible there was some
4 coordination involved here as to what should be done and that was derived
5 from that was an order, either on the basis of a telegram or as an order.
6 I'm not sure because I didn't participate in this and I cannot make any
7 comments and it would be unfair vis-a-vis the document, vis-a-vis the
8 people who were there, if they were there.
9 Q. Mr. Jelic, amongst the various contemporaneous documents that
10 existed and probably still exist, there will be one recording the receipt
11 of written orders; correct?
12 A. That's right. All documents that come in have to be registered
13 and signed by appropriate individuals.
14 Q. Next, you say you don't know if you received this order. Did you
15 in fact receive orders in some way so that the description of what you're
16 to do here matches what you did?
17 A. Specifically it relates to this example, and I cannot remember, in
18 view of the time, whether it corresponds or not or whether it was in that
19 area or not. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Well, let's just look at it. "Support MUP forces in defeating and
21 destroying the STS ..." That's what you were engaged in as from the 24th
22 of March, wasn't it?
23 A. It depends. Not every day, but where communications were
24 threatened, where accessibility was threatened, and where units of the
25 sabotage terrorist groups were, in breaking them up, that is.
1 Q. So it appears you did receive an order somehow in line with that.
2 And you were there to defeat and destroy the STS, weren't you?
3 A. As for every activity to support the MUP forces, there had to be
4 an order, written traces, a telegram at least.
5 Q. Here's an order, and coming in the way it does from the
6 authorities, the reasonable inference is it went to you, and you can't
7 deny it because we haven't got the contemporaneous documents. You acted
8 in accordance with what's instructed here, didn't you, and when you -- let
9 me just finish it. And when you produce to tab 19, which we didn't have
10 time and don't have time to go through in detail, suggesting that you were
11 much more engaged in perhaps looking at NATO and in guarding the border,
12 matters of that sort, you're actually misleading us, and that's what I'm
13 suggesting to you, Mr. Jelic, because this order shows the truth. From
14 the 24th onwards, you were unequivocally in joint operations with the MUP
15 to destroy the STS.
16 A. Your conclusion is completely wrong. The 24th of March is D-Day
17 for the army of Yugoslavia. You know how the decision was made, and
18 before that, with our units, for the most part we took up defence regions.
19 This is only the final part of the document that I issued and that we got
20 from the corps commander. That is to say, taking up the borders in order
21 to have a blocking defence of the state territory.
22 I think that it is sufficient evidence that on the map it says
23 where the map comes from and what the source is. So it is approved, the
24 Pristina Corps, excerpt from my brigade. So there is no reference to some
25 Joint Command on this map.
1 Q. Finally, on this document, which I'd ask to be exhibited in a
2 minute, here you are in charge of a brigade. Who did you understand to be
3 your political masters once a state of war had been declared?
4 A. Political leaders for my brigade? Primarily for me? Were the
5 decisions of -- and the decision of the Assembly. No political leaders or
6 political parties. You know, if you looked at our rules, that in the
7 military, in the army, it is professional soldiers and civilian soldiers
8 employed in the army are actually banned from being members of any
9 political party.
10 Q. Armies at war respond to civilian leaderships unless they are in
11 -- under martial law. Who was the civilian authority giving instructions
12 to you, the brigade commanders, through Pristina Corps and other higher
13 authorities? Who was the civilian leadership that you understood?
14 A. No civilian leadership issued orders or decisions. It was the
15 Supreme Defence Council or, rather, the Assembly that declared a state of
16 war. I personally did not contact anyone. It's not that somebody came to
17 me and gave me instructions or support or told me in any way what I was
18 supposed to do during the course of the war.
19 MR. NICE: May this become exhibited, please?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am saying that I don't understand
22 what document Mr. Nice wants to have admitted into evidence.
23 MR. NICE: The Joint Command document produced by the authorities
24 pursuant to a request and apparently relating to this witness's brigade
25 and in respect of which it appears he acknowledges acting in some
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Has its authenticity been established?
3 MR. NICE: Well, documents coming from the authorities are
4 typically regarded as what they appear to be. We can see one other way in
5 which I can verify it -- not verify, but at least ask about it.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are not objecting to this, are
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand. I think this
9 document was admitted while General Delic was giving evidence, and I
10 tendered it. I think it's the same document. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe
11 it's just similar.
12 MR. NICE: It's similar.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. In any event, we'll admit it and
14 we'll have it checked out as to whether it was already admitted.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. You see, Mr. Jelic, if you go to --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's have the number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 936.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. If you go to your tab 19, paragraph 5.1, English page 3, in a
21 document that may focus on other topics such as NATO, we nevertheless do
22 find a reference to crushing and destroying the STS. We can see it in the
23 first part of that. It says: "In the current deployment sector be on
24 standby ..." and so on for various things, and: "... destroying the STS
25 along the following axes: Dulje village, Belanica village, and
1 Semetiste-Kravoserija, by separate order ..."
2 Now, what do you understand by "separate order"?
3 A. Do you understand what a separate order is? So if an order is
4 issued, then this is an order as to what the battalion commander is
5 supposed to do. He took up positions in the Dulje pass and he was given a
6 task. It has to be carried through, just like when anti-aircraft defence
7 is concerned. That is to say that if forces move against him, he should
8 attack those forces and destroy them.
9 Q. What I'm interested in your observations on is this: Is the order
10 I've just presented to you and that has now been exhibited an example of
11 the separate order dealing with destruction of the STS, even though you
12 may now say you don't remember it? Isn't this an example of that separate
13 type of order?
14 A. No, no. No. First of all, this order that you showed me just now
15 does not pertain to my order, the order I issued, at all. Not in terms of
16 its content, not in terms of the tasks involved. So that's a document
17 that you brought in here from the Joint Command. This is a combat order
18 pertaining to this map on the basis of the decision of the corps commander
19 or, rather, my decision and my order. The order is complete if it is on a
20 map and if the text is written out.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honours, the Court was aware yesterday that I
22 wasn't going to pass on all the documents I indicated of things to raise.
23 In the time available that's probably the only one I'm going to be able to
24 deal with because there is an enormous number of documents here, but
25 that's one of the ones I wanted to touch on.
1 Q. Just tell us, please, you gave some evidence about Kotlina, and I
2 just want to explore one aspect of that with you. When did you get
3 information about Kotlina?
4 A. I have stated here that our forces did not enter Kotlina but they
5 were just carrying out a blockade from the western side. I received
6 information about this. I think it was in the evening, or perhaps in the
7 morning, in view of communications and in view of the breakdown in
8 communications, and also since there were intercepts, we used wire
9 communications, wireless only exceptionally, and couriers.
10 As for Kotlina and Combat Group 3, I think that six or seven times
11 it was attacked.
12 Q. Who communicated with you?
13 A. What do you mean who communicated with me?
14 Q. Who told you what happened at Kotlina?
15 A. The commander of the combat group.
16 Q. Who was that?
17 A. The commander of the combat group; Major Markovic.
18 Q. Was what he said to you written down somewhere?
19 A. Probably. I cannot tell you now whether it was written down. The
20 commander is duty-bound to keep this in his documents. He was not freed
21 from that, just like any other commander wasn't. Proper documentation,
22 combat documentation, had to be kept.
23 Q. And what do you say he told you? Because you have no
24 contemporaneous documents to look at. You're simply looking back over six
25 years. What do you say he told you?
1 A. As far as I can remember from this period of time, although it's
2 been quite a while, the forces from Kotlina and Ivaja, several times - I
3 don't know the exact date and I do not recall the exact date - attacked
4 the combat group that was providing in-depth security for the border,
5 probably with the objective of making them suffer the greatest losses
6 possible and getting them out of there so that terrorist forces from
7 Macedonia could get into the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
8 Q. And how did the deaths and so on happen? Tell us about that.
9 A. I don't know what deaths you're referring to specifically. All
10 the corpses that we found or, say, all the wounded persons that we found,
11 or possibly prisoners, we acted in the spirit of the documents that I
12 mentioned to you yesterday, within the tabs. I'm not aware of any corpses
13 there. I don't know of any deaths there, because we did not enter the
14 village of Kotlina itself.
15 Please understand me when I say this. When we are saying
16 something like this, we mean not the village itself but tactical notions.
17 Q. You see, the evidence about Kotlina, including the reality that
18 some of the people there were KLA, is all before the Court, and it says
19 that men were led away to a hole which was dug to make a well. This comes
20 from the Exhibit 144, if the Chamber wants to cross refer, the statement
21 of Hazbi Loku, where the men were beaten and dragged by about 150 police
22 and VJ soldiers, and that the witnesses then heard a loud explosion
23 consistent with the people being blown up, having been pushed into the
25 Now, that's not where it ends and this is what I want your comment
1 on. A Swiss disaster victim team, in September 1999, identified of 25
2 individuals of Kotlina found at a site in Kacanik cemetery. Cause of
3 death in 84 per cent of the cases was by explosion, and only 12 per cent
4 from gunshot.
5 Can you explain from what you were told by the, you say, commander
6 on the ground, how it would be - if the Chamber accepts this evidence in
7 due course - that the vast majority of the people from Kotlina who died on
8 this occasion or at about this time died of explosion and not of gunshot?
9 A. There are a few things that I don't understand here. How come in
10 Kacanik if this is the village of Kotlina? But then never mind. The army
11 did not enter Kotlina, and I'm really not aware of any pits, although the
12 57th Border Battalion is in this area, and it was providing border
13 security there for years. I never heard from them that there were any
14 pits, depressions, whatever, in that area. So I cannot give you any
15 specific information that would pertain to --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'm reminded there is another trial, so
17 we have to adjourn. Are you at the end?
18 MR. NICE: I'm at the end if the Court determines that it doesn't
19 want to hear any more. Otherwise, I would, of course, have a mass of more
20 material to deal with with this witness. I would prefer, in any event, to
21 keep the position open until tomorrow morning in case there's anything
22 critical I would want to raise. If the Chamber decides that that is the
23 end of cross-examination in principle subject to that, of course I will
24 abide by that decision. I hope I've made it plain to the Court how we put
25 our case in the absence of contemporaneous documents and how we would be
1 assisted in helping the Court --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean, I would like to certainly hear the end of
3 this particular chapter and to have the point about the distinction
4 between Kacanik and Kotlina clarified so that we get a clear answer to
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes. That I would prefer to deal with
7 tomorrow morning, and I would actually -- if the Chamber's minded to bring
8 cross-examination to a conclusion, subject to what it may decide about --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How much longer will you be?
10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I can be as long or short as the Chamber
12 JUDGE KWON: How long --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would like a responsible answer.
14 MR. NICE: With the Chamber's approval, I would like to deal with
15 at least one more or possibly two more of the sites as briefly as I've
16 dealt with this, and probably that would be all I would ask to do
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Two more.
19 MR. NICE: Thank you.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, I want to turn, Mr. Nice, to the documents
21 in relation to which you are requesting the assistance of the Chamber.
22 MR. NICE: Yes.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you identify them with greater specificity?
24 There's the brigade war diary and the three Mechanised Battalion war
1 MR. NICE: Yes. Your Honour, it seemed to us that we should at
2 this stage be economic in our request because simply the ability to handle
3 the material is restricted. And I think those four would exhaust a great
4 deal of our resources at this stage, and they're probably the ones with
5 the most material, and we would like those at this stage.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber will authorise you to have these
7 documents collected from the relevant department. The witness has that
8 said they are available, and the Chamber would expect the government, as
9 it did last week, to cooperate to ensure that these documents are
10 produced, and we would expect them to be produced by Friday.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm very much obliged.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn until 9.00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 8th day
15 of December, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.