1 Monday, 29 March 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Mr. Petrovic, or is it Mr. Rodic has
6 something to raise? Yes.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I wished,
8 before the evidence continues, to address you with regard to a particular
10 On Friday, when we finished our work, at the very end, at my
11 intervention, you notified the witness that he was not supposed to
12 communicate with anyone until his evidence continued and was brought to an
13 end ultimately. However, the lawyers, Mr. and Mrs. Nikolic, on Friday
14 visited Admiral Jokic. That is one matter I wish to raise.
15 Secondly, during the last three days of the examination-in-chief,
16 although it was said that the presence of the lawyers in the courtroom was
17 only a matter of courtesy, during every break during our working hours,
18 there was communication, brief communication in all fairness, but
19 nevertheless communication between the witness and his lawyers. That is
20 to say, during every break. Also, there was communication during these
21 breaks between the lawyers and our learned friends of the Prosecution.
22 I believe that in this way the evidence is being compromised, the
23 testimony given by Witness Jokic. That was the objection I wished to
24 raise, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
1 Ms. Somers.
2 MS. SOMERS: First of all, Your Honour, we take issue with
3 communication about the case. Exchange of pleasantries, I think, is never
4 banned. And my understanding of the admonition that is given to witnesses
5 with regard to communication, the sequestration, the order to sequester,
6 is that they are never to discuss the case with anybody.
7 JUDGE PARKER: They are precisely the words I used on Friday.
8 MS. SOMERS: That is my understanding in virtually every Chamber
9 of the Tribunal. And so, I'm sorry, but I believe this is unfounded. And
10 I -- it would help if the Chamber understands that in all manner and
11 means his -- your admonition of course is respected. At least insofar as
12 my understanding of what the admonition is.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention,
14 Mr. Rodic. The position of the accused is that he may not discuss his
15 evidence in this case with anyone else. He may speak to you. He may
16 speak to his own lawyer. He may speak to court officers. He may speak to
17 the Prosecutors on other matters. I'm sure as his counsel is present in
18 the Chamber he will have heard what has been said. He will understand
19 that the evidence being given by his client is not to be discussed while
20 his client is in the course of his evidence. And perhaps I could mention
21 that frequent and unnecessary contact between them will only excite the
22 sort of concern that you have expressed. But at the moment, I think the
23 Chamber can proceed on the basis indicated by Ms. Somers, that there may
24 have been social chat or just personal reassurance or other matters that
25 may have been discussed. We will accept the position that the direction
1 given by the Chamber has been observed. Thank you.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I address you just
3 briefly. I understand what you're saying, if these are brief contacts
4 during the workday, during the breaks, for a few minutes, to walk up to
5 the witness, et cetera. However, on Friday, it was a two-hour visit. So
6 I do have justified doubts as to the purpose of that visit. I cannot
7 believe that it was only the family or the weather that were discussed
8 over two hours. And especially in this situation, when such important
9 evidence is being given. That is one problem.
10 And the other one, I wish to say is the following: We're working
11 in a very small courtroom, but we have Admiral Jokic's lawyer sitting very
12 close to us. So it is very hard for us, the Defence counsel, to discuss
13 things amongst ourselves, and also to discuss things with the accused
14 since the witness's lawyer is sitting so close to us. So could that
15 please be redressed as well. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It's quite possible, given the recent events that
17 have affected the affairs of the witness, that there may have been reason
18 for a lengthy interview with his lawyers about other matters. So we'll
19 leave that where it is for the moment. We can't change anything that is
20 past. But I think we have made it very clear that there should not be
21 discussion of the evidence as the case continues.
22 I have just looked around the courtroom. I don't see where else
23 it is possible to sit. I'm afraid you will just have to be discreet in
24 your conversations between each other. I'm sorry about that, but we have
25 no control over the fact that this week we must be in this very small
1 courtroom. In the other courtrooms, alternative arrangements are
2 possible. But as you can see, it's pretty much a full house. Almost
3 every seat in the house is taken as it is.
4 Now, Ms. Somers, are you ready for the witness?
5 MS. SOMERS: Yes. We are, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE PARKER: We will have Admiral Jokic in, please. Could we
7 have the witness in, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Admiral. May I remind you of the
10 affirmation you took at the commencement of your evidence, which still
12 Ms. Somers.
13 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Ms. Somers: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning, Admiral Jokic. I would ask all parties, all persons
18 to please turn their attention to a document which has been
19 supplementarily placed before all of you. It is -- I don't believe it is
20 assigned a number. But it is the agreement for cease-fire of 7 December
21 1991. And it should be on your Sanction screens, and I believe it has
22 been distributed as well, if it will assist. If you just take a very
23 brief look at it, and then I will move on very quickly.
24 Admiral Jokic, do you see before you a document which at the end
25 of it bears your name and has a date of 7 December 1991, 1530 hours at
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is this document also the agreement that is signed by
4 Ministers Davorin Rudolf, Ivan Cifric, and Petar Kriste of the Croatian
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is this a cease-fire agreement, Admiral, that was negotiated on
8 the 5th of December and was to have been brought into full implementation
9 on the 6th of December following a morning meeting with the parties who
10 have signed?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And Admiral, just by way of asking you which particular provision
13 may have been the one that required a little looking after. If you could
14 take a look at Article 3, please if it's on your copy, Article 3 which is
15 in English on the second page. Do you see it, Admiral? Is it there?
16 A. No, I haven't got it here on the monitor. No.
17 Q. It isn't on the monitor, okay. Perhaps a hard copy might be
18 helpful, if that's...
19 Okay. Do you see it now, Admiral Jokic?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Is Article 3 the control of traffic? Is this the particular --
22 A. This is in English.
23 Q. Do you have the Serbo-Croatian version? Okay, thank you very
25 A. Yes, now I do, yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. If you can just comment, is Article 3 the provision that needed
2 some additional consideration as of the 5th, but otherwise it was the only
3 article that -- I'm sorry. It was otherwise a cease-fire that you
4 understood to be implemented right away?
5 A. Precisely because of this Article 3, on the 5th of December, the
6 agreement was not initialled because we could not agree where the ships
7 would be checked, at sea or in Gruz harbour. And then it all became
9 Q. And other than this provision everything else was understood to be
10 effectively a done deal as of the 5th?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to move this document in evidence,
15 JUDGE PARKER: Two things --
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: May I first have a correction made in the
18 transcript of my remarks earlier on page 2, line 10. I think I may have
19 said, "The accused." I meant, "The witness." If that could be corrected.
20 Now, Mr. Rodic, you have a submission?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to mention
22 something. This agreement, among the other documents contained in the
23 binder, it was included when Witness Hvalkov Pero testified. Will it
24 remain within that single number it was assigned then? Are we going to
25 give it another number? How are we going to deal with it?
1 JUDGE PARKER: Very good question, Mr. Rodic. Ms. Somers, are you
2 wanting to tender it twice?
3 MS. SOMERS: No, Your Honours. We had checked yesterday, and it
4 didn't come back as having been tendered. So if we're in error, if it is
5 tendered -- okay. In which case, my apologies. It just didn't show up in
6 our search. So I simply would ask, no need to have it retendered. It's
7 not necessary.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Can we be reminded of the exhibit number.
9 MS. SOMERS: It appears P61. Thank you very much to counsel for
10 bringing that to our attention. We weren't able to confirm it. Thank
12 Q. Admiral Jokic, I wanted to move along at a rapid rate. I want to
13 just remind you where we left off on Friday. My last question to you
14 before we broke was -- my last two, so you have a context. "Speaking
15 about the morning of the 6th, are we speaking about the same date. Did
16 you on the morning of the 6th when this attack on the Old Town took place,
17 did you issue after you learned about the attack an order not to attack
18 the Old Town?" Your answer was: "Absolutely, yes." My next question
19 was: "Did General Strugar issue that morning an order not to attack the
20 Old Town?" Your answer was: "I don't know. I mean in his order, in his
21 written order and the decision to order operations, that's the name of the
22 document, that was written on the evening of the 5th or the 6th, and it
23 was valid for the 6th. His organs wrote that what is prohibited is the
24 opening of fire starting from 1200 hours on the 6th of December. That is
25 what it says quite literally in that order. As for the other orders of
1 his, I mean, I don't know."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
3 MS. SOMERS:
4 Q. Did General Strugar ask as to -- when it became known that there
5 was, in fact, an attack on the Old Town, did he ask what was going on, or
6 did he not indicate or did he indicate that whatever was going on as to
7 Old Town needed to be stopped? Do you know?
8 A. No. This is what I know: General Strugar called me and told me
9 that General Kadijevic had called him, and he said that he was very angry,
10 furious because Dubrovnik was being attacked. This came as a major
11 surprise to me. I was practically in shock. How was this possible? How
12 did he know? Who informed him, et cetera? What did he mean, Dubrovnik.
13 I just know that at 6.00 my --
14 Q. Admiral, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but my question to you, if
15 you can just give it a brief answer since we are really under time
16 constraints, is did General Strugar ask what was going on, or did he in
17 some way say to you or to any subordinate that you know of that whatever
18 was happening to the Old Town that morning needed to be stopped? That is
19 my question to you.
20 A. No.
21 Q. You stated that Captain Kozaric informed you that Captain
22 Kovacevic requested artillery fire, or support. What artillery in terms
23 of calibre did he request from Captain Kozaric? And what formation did
24 that artillery belong to?
25 A. He asked for support from my artillery for support, 130-millimetre
1 guns and 105-millimetre howitzers. I beg your pardon, I stand corrected.
2 130 millimetres and 85 millimetres. Those that belonged to my command.
3 Q. Did you allow them to be given to Captain Kovacevic?
4 A. No. I gave strict orders that not a single shell should be fired.
5 Q. And when you say, "My artillery," are you referring to sector
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And where was it located?
9 A. It was located in the area of the Cilipi airport runway.
10 Q. You have stated that you instructed Captain Kozaric to find the
11 captain of the battleship, Zec, and Colonel Kovacevic. At any stage
12 during this time did you succeed in contacting Captain Zec? If so, how?
13 A. No, I did not contact any one of them. I ordered him to find them
14 and to send them both to Zarkovica. Actually, the Zec should call me
15 first, and Kovacevic, he should send him immediately to Zarkovica in order
16 to stop the attack.
17 Q. And where was Zec at the time when you made the request to find
18 him? Do you know?
19 A. He was in his apartment. That is what I was told. His apartment
20 in Herceg Novi.
21 Q. Did Captain Zec call you?
22 A. Yes. I think he called me from Kupari, from Kozaric, because we
23 could not get any contact with Zarkovica.
24 Q. What did you tell him to do?
25 A. I ordered him to go to the observation post immediately, to the
1 commander of the 3rd Battalion, to stop the attack immediately and to
2 return the unit to its initial position.
3 Q. And where was that observation post?
4 A. Well, that was at the Zarkovica feature. That was the observation
5 post of the commander of the 3rd Battalion, Captain Kovacevic.
6 Q. Did you succeed in contacting Colonel Kovacevic? If so, how,
8 A. I met Colonel Kovacevic when I went to Cavtat in the meantime, in
9 order to talk to the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik. I met him in his vehicle
10 on the way. I stopped him, and I ordered him, too, to go to Zarkovica to
11 see Captain Kovacevic and to stop the attack. If he could not do so, he
12 should replace Captain Kovacevic. He should remove him from his duty. He
13 should remove him from his command position, that is.
14 Q. When you say, "Him," to whom are you referring? You say, "Remove
15 him." Whom do you mean?
16 A. I meant Colonel Kovacevic because he was my assistant commander
17 for land forces. And he was in this area [as interpreted] all the time,
18 and his task was to control the work of Captain Kovacevic.
19 Q. Right. When you say he should remove him, remove who?
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we just have to
21 clarify the transcript. I'm sorry for interrupting. The witness said
22 that Colonel Kovacevic was all the time in that battalion. And in the
23 transcript, it says, "In that area." So the difference is significant.
24 What I'm referring to is on page 10, line 8.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MS. SOMERS: May I just reask the question. I think it might be
3 Q. Sorry, Admiral, for any confusion, but let's start again.
4 My question to you after you said -- I said did you succeed in
5 contacting Colonel Kovacevic? If so how, where? Answer, I met Colonel
6 Kovacevic when I went to Cavtat. I met him in his vehicle on the way, I
7 stopped him, and I ordered him if he could not -- I'm sorry, ordered him,
8 too, to go to Zarkovica to see Captain Kovacevic and to stop the attack.
9 If he could not do so, he should replace Captain Kovacevic. He should
10 remove him from his duty. He shall remove him from his command position,
11 that is. Then my question do you is when you say, "Him," "Remove him," to
12 whom are you referring? And I'll go to the next point that Mr. Petrovic
13 asks about. "Remove him," who is the him?
14 A. I thought that Colonel Kovacevic should replace the commander of
15 the 3rd Battalion, Captain Kovacevic.
16 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. Now, the next point is -- let's
17 see, sorry. Okay. You -- you originally answered: "I meant Colonel
18 Kovacevic because he was my assistant commander for land forces, and he
19 was in this area all the time and his task was to control the work of
20 Captain Kovacevic." Would you please indicate what Colonel Kovacevic's
21 assignment was? Did you mean "area"? I think you heard Mr. Petrovic's
22 question. Perhaps you could clarify what you meant by where Colonel
23 Kovacevic was all the time.
24 A. No, I did not mention "area" at all. I just said that Colonel
25 Kovacevic, as my assistant for the land forces, was in charge of that
1 unit, the 3rd Battalion, of the Trebinje Brigade. And also for Captain
2 Kovacevic, he was supposed to monitor his work and to assist him in his
3 command. And that is what he did all the time.
4 Q. Thank you for clarifying, Admiral.
5 What other steps did you take to stop the attack? Did you send
6 any other officers up to the area? Besides Captain Zec and Colonel
8 A. In the meantime, I made contact on the telephone, before I left
9 Kumbor. I spoke to Gojko Djurasic, Major Gojko Djurasic, who was
10 commander of Mokosica. He asked me to deal with something. And in that
11 telephone conversation, I told him to go to Zarkovica urgently and help to
12 stop this attack. He was a very good officer. Also, I spoke to Captain
13 Kozaric on the phone, and I told him, since he didn't have any connection
14 with Zarkovica, I told him to call the command post in Brgat and to order
15 the deputy commander of the battalion, Captain Soldo to go to the
16 observation point in Zarkovica and to convey a message to the battalion
17 commander to stop the attack.
18 Q. If you are able to give approximate times, when did you dispatch
19 Captain Zec to Zarkovica?
20 A. I don't know exactly. It could have been between 8.00 and 9.00,
21 around half past 8.00. As soon as I got in touch with him.
22 Q. When did you dispatch, if you recall, approximate time is okay,
23 Colonel Kovacevic?
24 A. Sometime later. First Zec reported to me while I was still in
25 Kumbor. And for the lieutenant colonel, I met him on the road to Cavtat.
1 That was a bit later.
2 Q. And what about Colonel Djurasic?
3 A. I can't be sure of that. Most probably later, maybe even after
5 Q. Did you confirm that all the officers you just spoke of actually
6 got to Zarkovica?
7 A. Yes. I received reports from Kozaric, because I did not have
8 communication with Zarkovica. He was the one who confirmed to me that
9 both of them had gone there.
10 Q. Admiral, the three officers whom you sent up there were part of
11 the 9th VPS. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Can you tell us or do you know if the second operational group
14 command sent any officer to stop the attack?
15 A. I don't have such information. I only know that General Grubac
16 who did not belong to the 2nd Operations Group or the 9th sector at the
17 time was in Kupari. And immediately after that, he went to Zarkovica.
18 Q. Who is Grubac?
19 A. General Grubac was sent from the General Staff to monitor combat
20 operations and to report on that with a view of writing an expert report
21 or something like that.
22 Q. Did the officers on Zarkovica have any success in stopping Captain
23 Kovacevic immediately?
24 A. No, they didn't manage to stop him. It took quite a while.
25 Q. Were you given any explanation as to why not, why they were not
1 effecting your order?
2 A. Around 10.00 or half past 10.00, when I had already spoken with
3 Dubrovnik twice, I heard a very short report from my deputy Zec. He told
4 me that it was very difficult for him to withdraw his units because of the
5 losses that Kovacevic had suffered and that -- for that reason it was very
6 difficult for him to withdraw because Kovacevic's units had come under
7 fire from the city of Dubrovnik.
8 Q. And what happened in the interim period between the time you
9 dispatched these officers and the time that fire ultimately ceased? Do
10 you know what was going on up in Zarkovica? Were you getting any types of
12 A. Yes. Zec reported to me once and told me that withdrawal was very
13 difficult, that Kovacevic was suffering losses, that there was a lot of
14 casualties, a lot of wounded and dead, and that he was endeavouring to
15 stop the attack as soon as possible. The order that I issued was that at
16 11.00, all the artillery fire should stop because I had made such an
17 arrangement with the citizens of Dubrovnik. And the fire did indeed stop
18 around half past 11.00. I was on my way to the Cilipi airport, and I was
19 to fly from there by helicopter to Podgorica. However, once I left
20 Dubrovnik, fire continued.
21 Q. So despite your attempts to have a cease-fire, there was fire
22 beyond the point of 11.00, 11.30?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you give to the best of your understanding or at least what
25 you were able to learn when fire ceased?
1 A. I believe that according to information that I have, this was
2 after 2.00. And according to the information that we received from
3 Dubrovnik, this happened around 1400 hours or 1430. I believe that the
4 truth is somewhere in the middle.
5 Q. So continued at least from 5.45 in the morning until mid or
6 perhaps -- if you're not sure -- but at least mid-afternoon?
7 A. I believe that it lasted between 6.00 in the morning and the early
8 hours of the afternoon, yes.
9 Q. When you returned -- when you returned from your journey to
10 Belgrade, was there still fire going on?
11 A. No.
12 Q. What time did you return?
13 A. Around 1730 I was in Trebinje.
14 Q. What did you do in response to General Strugar's telephone message
15 regarding General Kadijevic's instructions?
16 A. I did everything possible in order to stop the attack. I called
17 the Crisis Staff in Dubrovnik to explain that I wasn't the one who had
18 ordered the attack, that it was a decision made by my inferior commander.
19 And I also tried to establish the situation and see who it was who issued
20 an -- the order for the attack and how the attack had started in the first
22 Q. I was thinking more -- I was -- perhaps I wasn't clear. But
23 logistically, what did you do to get yourself to see General Kadijevic?
24 Can you tell us, did you meet General Strugar? Did you go individually?
25 How did you get to Belgrade?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. General Strugar gave me the message. He told me what General
2 Kadijevic had ordered him. Whenever I did all it took to stop the attack,
3 I was to be prepared to go to Podgorica and then to join him on his way to
4 Belgrade, to the General Staff where the two of us were to report about
5 this incident.
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Line 15 -- page 15, line 16, in the
9 transcript, it says, "He told me what Kadijevic had ordered to him." And
10 the Admiral said, "He told me what Kadijevic had ordered me to do."
11 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
12 MS. SOMERS: May I reask the question so we can get clarification.
13 Q. Admiral, you heard Mr. Petrovic's comment. Perhaps you can
14 revisit the question and clarify for us. The question was did you go
15 individually? How did you go to Belgrade? Your answer as read
16 is: "General Strugar gave me the message. He told me what General
17 Kadijevic had ordered him." What should your answer be?
18 A. I believe that this is the correct interpretation. He ordered him
19 to tell me. After 13 years, it is very difficult to remember every word.
20 But this is the essence. General Kadijevic ordered General Strugar for
21 the two of us to come to Belgrade to report to him. And that is the
22 essence of my answer.
23 Q. That was my next question. And the order, as you understood it,
24 was for both you and General Strugar to report to General Kadijevic?
25 A. Absolutely.
1 Q. At this stage -- well, excuse me. Let me just...
2 How did you travel to Podgorica?
3 A. By helicopter from Cilipi airport. This is near Cavtat. I was
4 there. I conducted negotiations with the people from Dubrovnik. I
5 arrived at the airport near Podgorica. General Strugar was already there.
6 I was about half an hour late.
7 Q. Which would have put you at what time approximately?
8 A. It was around 1.00 when we took off for Belgrade. It was around
9 1300 hours.
10 Q. At this stage, how did you feel, how did you as a person and as a
11 commander feel about the shelling of the Old Town and the imminent meeting
12 with General Kadijevic, particularly in the context of the pending
13 cease-fire and the instructions which General Kadijevic gave on
14 December 3rd to keep the troops under control?
15 A. I was very concerned. I was still in a state of shock. And all
16 this time, while travelling to Belgrade, I was so concerned that I did not
17 even speak to General Strugar. We did not engage in any meaningful
18 conversation at all. All this time, I was telling him how this was
19 possible? Where did he muster the courage from to attack Srdj? At that
20 time, I still didn't know the extent of damage in the town of Dubrovnik,
21 and I was all the time asking myself questions as to how this had been
23 Q. To clarify something you just said, please --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. SOMERS: I beg your pardon.
1 Q. To clarify something you just said. You said: All this time I
2 was telling him how was this possible? Where did he muster the courage to
3 attack? When you say, "He," who do you mean? "He muster the courage."
4 A. I'm referring to Captain Kovacevic all this time.
5 Q. And when you say, "I was telling him," who are you referring to
6 when you were telling him?
7 A. General Strugar.
8 Q. Did -- from the conversation, if you're able to, or from just the
9 general atmosphere during your travel, did it appear to you that General
10 Strugar knew about the shelling of the Old Town? And if so, did he seem
12 A. He was not as worried as I was, of course, because my
13 responsibility was more direct. He comforted me, and he told me that
14 General Kadijevic wouldn't do anything to me, that he couldn't do anything
15 to me, that all this would pass, that he probably responded to the
16 provocation of the Croats from Srdj. And the damage was not that great.
17 And all such things along these lines.
18 Q. When you say, "Because my responsibility was more direct," what
19 did you mean by that? Can you explain that.
20 A. Because that battalion was under my direct command. I was its
21 immediate superior.
22 Q. And was General Strugar the commander over all the battalions,
23 over all the formations, including the one that is the offending
25 A. Yes. Yes, of course.
1 Q. Admiral Jokic, could you have ordered such an attack outside of
2 General Strugar's order? Could you have done that?
3 A. No, no, of course not.
4 Q. When you say -- let me just get the -- excuse me one second. I'll
5 get the phrase. When you indicated that he told you, he, I guess --
6 by "he," whom do you mean? You said: "He comforted me, and he told me
7 General Kadijevic wouldn't do anything to me, that he wouldn't do anything
8 to me, that it would all pass." What did you mean "he"? Who is he?
9 A. I'm referring to General Strugar because there were just the two
10 of us engaged in that conversation, in that dialogue.
11 Q. The two of you are going to Belgrade to meet the -- with General
12 Kadijevic. Now, General Strugar is going there as your commander?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you surprised by this attitude of General Strugar's,
15 considering the orders prohibiting the attacks on the Old Town, as well as
16 the orders relating to the imminent cease-fire?
17 A. I don't know what to say. At that time, I was so preoccupied with
18 my own worries that I didn't pay too much attention to that. It somehow
19 did not come home. The comforting words that he said to me when he said
20 that Kadijevic wouldn't do anything to me just didn't reach me.
21 Q. My question to you was did it surprise you that he was saying that
22 in light of all the circumstances and what you were feeling?
23 A. Yes, one may say so.
24 Q. What in particular were you concerned about? Why -- excuse me,
25 I'll wait for a second.
1 Why were you -- what were you actually concerned about when
2 meeting General Kadijevic?
3 A. The fact that a battalion commander under my command who had been
4 ordered not to open fire still carried out such a wilful attack, even
5 after the agreement had been reached. I was worried as how this would all
6 end up because there was a possibility that I would be removed. I was
7 going to resign myself anyway, but I was concerned that this would come
8 across as - how shall I put it - those circumstances were of such a kind
9 that were unpleasant for any soldier. So what I'm talking about is me
10 being removed from my duties.
11 Q. Did you think that as your commander General Strugar should have
12 had the same concerns?
13 A. I didn't think about that. He was not so concerned. He knew more
14 than me because he was directly subordinated to the General Staff and
15 Kadijevic. So he was better informed about the relationships and how
16 things were done.
17 Q. And now what do you think? Do you think that he should have been
19 A. Absolutely.
20 Q. Were you concerned that General Kadijevic would get a picture of
21 the real condition of the command in the 2nd Operational Group at all
22 levels and its failings?
23 A. Yes. I presented my situation very sincerely as far as that case
24 was concerned, the attack of the battalion on Srdj and what arose and what
25 transpired after that, the attacks on town afterwards and so on and so
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 forth. And I also spoke about the command, but I didn't speak about the
2 2nd Operational Group. I didn't have the right to speak about that.
3 Q. Where was the meeting with General Kadijevic held and who was
5 A. The meeting was at the General Staff, and in addition to General
6 Kadijevic there was also the Chief of Staff, General Blagoje Adzic, and
7 the chief of the operational administration, General Simonovic.
8 Q. What happened at that meeting in Belgrade? What was General
9 Kadijevic's response to the shelling of the Old Town and the attack in
11 A. General Kadijevic was very angry. All this time, he was pacing
12 around his office. He couldn't sit down. He was very sick at the time.
13 I saw him for the first time after the beginning of October. He kept on
14 attacking us, both of us, General Strugar and myself. When he spoke to
15 us, he addressed us in plurals, so I believe that he referred to both of
16 us. And he said, "I ordered you not to approach Dubrovnik and get within
17 the range of their cannons. They provoked you. You didn't react wisely.
18 You allowed yourself to be provoked into this and to open fire. You did
19 not react wisely," and so on and so forth. "You know that they tend to
20 exaggerate every reaction, every provocation of ours. You know that the
21 representatives of the European Union are on their side. There has been a
22 lot of -- there was an outcry about this attack in the international
23 community. And we have to make sure that this is resolved in the best
24 possible way." This is the essence of the words that he said to us at the
1 Q. And did you consider as you were hearing these words the fact that
2 you yourself after the shellings in November, which were directed against
3 the Old Town, did you not agree that the weaponry should have been -- did
4 you not agree that they should have removed the weaponry, you should have
5 removed it from the proximity of Dubrovnik, that it in and of itself
6 placed an additional danger in the hands of a particular battalion?
7 A. Yes. I agreed with General Kadijevic's word in myself. However,
8 I was very sorry that I didn't know what he had ordered. I didn't receive
9 his orders. So this did not refer to me. All of his orders, the orders
10 of the General Staff, went to the command of the 2nd Operational Group.
11 And I received these orders from other people. So I was not aware of the
12 exact ideas of the General Staff about the blockade. Does it have to be a
13 strict blockade? I was not aware of the real operational goals. And I
14 was very sorry that my commander, General Strugar, didn't ask the floor.
15 He did not talk. Everything was addressed to me. Kadijevic actually
16 spoke to both of us using the second person plural. But I was the only
17 one who spoke at that meeting. Nobody else but me asked the floor at that
19 Q. So whom was he addressing concerning the orders, then? Was he
20 addressing General Strugar?
21 A. Well, that's what I have been saying all along, he kept saying, "I
22 ordered you," you in the second person plural. And I kept wondering to
23 myself how could I be included when I never received orders from the
24 General Staff and General Kadijevic. But that is what he kept saying, "I
25 ordered you."
1 He must have meant General Strugar, but he wasn't direct. I don't
2 know why he didn't actually say it, who it was that he gave these orders
4 Q. You earlier - or just a few moments ago - said you didn't have the
5 right to speak about the 2nd Operational Group. Why not? Or speak for
6 the 2nd Operational Group.
7 A. Well, because in the Yugoslav People's Army, a command is far more
8 centralised than perhaps in other armies. Before the chief of General
9 Staff, or rather the minister of defence I cannot criticise the work of my
10 Superior Command at such a meeting. That's at least what my view about
11 this was. If this were an investigation, though, if direct questions were
12 put in this regard, then perhaps. But for me to speak up, to be the first
13 to speak about this, I thought I didn't have the right to do so.
14 Q. And your superior commander was at that time?
15 A. My superior commander was General Strugar. I thought that he was
16 the one who should proffer an explanation.
17 Q. Did General Strugar proffer any explanation at that particular
18 meeting with General Kadijevic, General Adzic, and General Simonovic?
19 A. No. He did not ask for the floor at all.
20 Q. And what was General Kadijevic's response with regard to Captain
21 Kovacevic? What did he say about Captain Kovacevic?
22 A. He asked me who this man was, how it was possible that he should
23 undertake such an attack. I gave him an answer by way of the remarks I
24 made, that I did not know him, that I first met him on the 10th of
25 November when that battalion was resubordinated to me, and that is when
1 this attack was launched, that this was a capable, young brave officer,
2 but it seems that his braveness was of the crazy type. But at that time,
3 I did not know him.
4 He had assumed duty from his seriously wounded commander, and that
5 he certainly was not up to the level required for leading such a unit.
6 Q. When you say, "Of the crazy type," are you suggesting
7 recklessness, or what are you suggesting by that term?
8 A. Well, I mean all of it put together, especially later on when I
9 investigated all of it.
10 Q. What casualties did Captain Kovacevic's battalion take as a result
11 of his attacking on the 6th?
12 A. On the 6th of December, he had 5 dead and 14 wounded. But
13 otherwise, that battalion had sustained their greatest casualties, more
14 than the entire brigade together in the totality of these operations. So
15 this shows this crazy braveness of his and recklessness.
16 Q. Did General Strugar know about the recklessness of Captain
18 A. I don't know what he thought about him. But I do know that he
19 looked up to him as an officer. In his opinion, he was an ideal officer
20 in terms of all of his characteristics and also in the opinion of others
21 at the time.
22 Q. When you say, "He looked up to him," are you saying General
23 Strugar looked up to Captain Kovacevic?
24 A. Yes. Yes, absolutely, yes.
25 Q. Did you tell General Kadijevic that you had proposed the
1 withdrawal of the 472nd Brigade earlier in time following concerns about
3 A. I think so. For the most part, I said things by way of an answer
4 to what he had asked. But for a while, I gave a free interpretation of
5 what was going on around the town.
6 Q. How did you feel about General Strugar's silence in the face of
7 the criticism being expressed by General Kadijevic and leaving you to do
8 the explaining?
9 A. I was very hurt on account of that because I realised that I was
10 left out in the open on my own, and that General Strugar did not want to
11 explain more extensively how this happened on the 6th of December, or at
12 least to protect me in some way or anything.
13 Q. Did you convey this to General Kadijevic at the time, how you were
15 A. No, no, no, I did not.
16 Q. From what you've just said, did you view yourself as what we refer
17 to as a scapegoat?
18 A. Well, that's not how I viewed myself. But all the circumstances
19 led to me turning out to be the main perpetrator, and I had taken every
20 measure in order to stop this from happening, as if someone was pulling
21 all the threads so that all of this would happen to me. And I never
22 dreamt of any such thing.
23 Q. Did you explain to General Kadijevic that whatever measures you
24 had tried to take as to this incident or previous incidents involving
25 shelling of the Old Town had not met with support of General Strugar?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. When did you return to Podgorica or when did you leave Belgrade?
3 A. I think sometime around 1630 hours, around 1700 hours, I believe.
4 I don't know exactly. I had proposed some measures to General Kadijevic.
5 Q. Can I ask you, please, you have just a moment ago mentioned
6 that, "I had taken every measure in order to stop this from happening, as
7 if someone was pulling all the threads so that all of this would happen to
8 me." Who did you mean by "someone"? Did you have anybody in mind when
9 you said, "Someone was pulling the threads"?
10 A. No, no. At that time, of course, I didn't know anything about it.
11 It was only later that I investigated this. And during all these 13
12 years, I tried to establish the truth, how this attack came about. And I
13 think that the truth is out now, except for some minor details.
14 Q. And after -- at this point in time, looking at it now, do you have
15 any view of who that someone who was pulling the threads may have been?
16 A. I cannot point a finger, and I cannot say that it was General
17 Strugar who ordered that. That would not be right. That would not
18 correspond to the facts, or rather I cannot prove that. But I do believe
19 that many or some people who were close to him were giving support, or
20 rather encouraging the attack on the 6th of December. General Strugar --
21 General Strugar supported the story of Kovacevic, and he was saying that
22 he was not responsible or guilty on account of that.
23 Q. That who was not responsible or guilty?
24 A. I'm saying that General Strugar supported the story of Captain
25 Kovacevic, that he did not intentionally attack Srdj, that he did not
1 intentionally shell Dubrovnik and so on. He supported that story, and he
2 protected him.
3 Q. And what I'm asking you, though, is you said that: "He was not
4 responsible or guilty on account of that." Who are you referring to when
5 you say, "He is not responsible."
6 A. Well, I meant Captain Kovacevic because I investigated --
7 Q. And are you of a different opinion?
8 A. Absolutely.
9 Q. Are you suggesting, from the vantage point today, that persons
10 under the command and control of General Strugar are the persons you're
11 referring to as having supported the activities on the 6th of December,
12 the attack and all that followed on the 6th of December?
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. On the return from Podgorica, did you discuss with General Strugar
15 the measures to be taken in relation to the shelling?
16 A. Yes, I did. From Podgorica, we went to Trebinje, to his command
17 post. And then from Trebinje to Kupari, to my command post. As we
18 travelled, we talked, especially at his command post in Trebinje, about
19 the further steps that were to be taken. It was accepted that the
20 official version of the events of the 6th of December, which was composed
21 at the command of the 2nd Operational Group on the basis of information
22 provided by Captain Kovacevic, which was given by his officers, that this
23 official version of the event should be sent to Belgrade to the General
24 Staff, and that I should stand by that story, that version, at the press
25 conference on the following day. And that press conference was held in
2 Likewise, I suggested, and General Strugar agreed, that on the
3 following day, I sign the peace agreement, initial the peace agreement, or
4 rather the cease-fire, and that I send my team of officers to Dubrovnik to
5 assess the damage in the Old Town.
6 Q. Who accepted? It was accepted. What did you mean by "accepted"?
7 Who accepted it? Who gave the instructions to adopt a certain version of
8 the facts?
9 A. General Strugar instructed me as to what we should accept, what we
10 should do. It was this official version of the events that took place on
11 the 6th of December. That is to say, that I should stand by that at the
12 press conference.
13 Q. Did you suggest the removal of Captain Kovacevic to General
14 Strugar on the way back?
15 A. Well, I tried to say that a while ago. During the meeting with
16 General Kadijevic, towards the end of my remarks, I offered my
17 resignation, and I proposed that Captain Kovacevic be removed from the
18 position of the commander of the 3rd Battalion and that an investigation
19 be carried out and that he be sent to Court. Those were my proposals and
21 Q. Did General Strugar agree with the removal of General Kovacevic?
22 A. No. General Strugar did not say anything at the meeting. But
23 after that, he did not agree with it. I'm sorry. I forgot. I proposed
24 that the 3rd Battalion be taken out of the combat deployment because of
25 their lack of reliability. However, he did not agree with that. Also, he
1 did not agree with the removal of Captain Kovacevic.
2 Q. Did the version of the facts that you indicated you were
3 instructed by General Strugar to adopt prove to be false? Or was it
4 apparent at the time that it was false?
5 A. At that time, everything was not clear. It wasn't clear to me for
6 sure, but I believe that everything was not clear to him either.
7 Q. Did you propose to issue an apology or an expression of regret to
8 the Croatian side and to the intermediary European monitors for the
9 events, for the shelling of the 6th?
10 A. Yes. That's what I suggested to him, but he did not accept that.
11 Not only then, but also before that when they informed me around 9.00 from
12 the Crisis Staff in Dubrovnik, that's when I expressed my regrets, when I
13 established that it was actually true that shells were falling on the
14 town. I expressed my regrets then, and I said that I had not ordered
15 that, that this was an arbitrary attack by a lower-ranking commander and
16 that he would be taken to task and held responsible. I ordered fire to
17 stop. And then I sent a telex to Minister Rudolf. In this telex, I
18 repeated this yet again stating that General Kadijevic had also ordered an
19 investigation. Although I was not quite sure of that, but I did write it
21 However, General Strugar said to me that we would not apologise to
22 anyone, and that extremists from Srdj were to be blamed, volunteers.
23 Something was said along that lines -- along those lines, because of the
24 losses that Captain Kovacevic had sustained on account of that and that
25 that is why he set out to take revenge for those killed soldiers. I
1 absolutely accepted this first part, and that is what I said to the
2 journalists, that --
3 Q. Which first part is that?
4 A. Well, the first part, that the commander of the battalion was
5 provoked by the attack from the Croatian side, that he had one casualty,
6 that is to say, one man dead and two men wounded, and that is why he
7 launched an attack, in order to avenge his soldiers. I said that to
8 journalists, that that sometimes happens during war, that a commander
9 loses it and then he wants to take revenge. However, I said further on
10 that this was an arbitrary attack and that this battalion commander would
11 be held accountable, that an investigation would be ordered and that it
12 would be carried out. I said that because I believed that that is what
13 would really happen.
14 Q. You knew at the time, did you not, that this was not the case,
15 that this was false and that you could not justify any type of shelling
16 with retaliation or reprisal? That is not acceptable --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When I asked you about apologies, you said "I told him." To whom
19 where you -- when you said "him" and that he did not agree, to whom were
20 you referring?
21 A. General Strugar.
22 Q. What was your assessment as to which units shelled the Old Town
23 on the 6th of December?
24 A. Until I came from Belgrade, I thought that it was only the 3rd
25 Battalion of the 472nd Brigade took part in the shelling. However, when
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I came to my command post in Kupari, they notified me that in addition to
2 the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, this attack upon the request
3 of Captain Kovacevic was supported twice by the 3rd Battalion of the 5th
4 Brigade which was across Rijeka Dubrovacka. And --
5 Q. Before you proceed, my question to you was about the Old Town.
6 Which formations, which units shelled the Old Town? You have answered me
7 that other units were involved in the attack generally, but which units
8 shelled the Old Town as far as you determined?
9 A. As for the shelling of the Old Town, only the 3rd Battalion of the
10 472nd Brigade could have done it, and they were the only ones who did
11 operate against the Old Town.
12 Q. Who was the commander of that formation, that unit?
13 A. It was Captain Vladimir Kovacevic.
14 Q. Is this the same battalion that was introduced in November, and
15 after its introduction to the combat theatre, the Old Town was shelled?
16 A. Yes. Let me just add one thing: However, at that time, it was
17 not on its own in front of Dubrovnik. At that time, we were not sure
18 because there were other battalions of the brigade there, and at that
19 time, in November, it was the entire brigade artillery that could have
20 targeted the Old Town. So we were not sure that it was only that
21 battalion that did it, although there was suspicion even then.
22 Q. Does the fact that it was one of the battalions that could have or
23 that was -- yes, that could have been involved in the November shellings,
24 is there a relationship to your conclusion also about its involvement in
25 the December shelling? Did you factor that into it?
1 A. Yes, yes, yes, of course. Absolutely.
2 Q. You were telling us about the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade.
3 Can you please continue. Just indicate what you learned about the
4 involvement of that battalion during the attack and how it came to be
5 involved. Did you yourself know at the time it was involved?
6 A. No. At that time, I did not know it. When I returned from
7 Belgrade, I heard about how this had happened. When Captain Kovacevic
8 took Srdj, and when he started suffering lethal artillery fire from the
9 town of Dubrovnik, and since he did not have the artillery support
10 from my units because Captain Kozaric sent him a message that he would
11 never be supported by sector artillery, he then asked his colleague, the
12 commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade who was behind Rijeka
13 Dubrovacka to target with his artillery those points that he could not
14 reach outside the Old Town. That was Lapad, Babin Kuk, where there were
15 cannons belonging to the Croatian Defence, cannons that were of larger
16 calibre. From there, he was targeting his soldiers at Srdj, and he did
17 sustain losses.
18 This colleague of his, Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic, engaged in
19 fire twice with his mortars of 120 and 82 millimetres.
20 Q. I will ask you in a minute about the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MS. SOMERS:
23 Q. I will ask you in a minute about the weaponry of the 3rd Battalion
24 of the 5th Brigade. But I have a question based on something you said.
25 Considering that the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade was one of the
1 battalions that you viewed as having potential culpability in the November
2 shellings against the Old Town, and considering that you had wanted the
3 entire brigade removed, is it your view that if the 3rd Battalion had been
4 removed, the shelling that occur on the 6th of December may not have
5 occurred? Do you see a relationship between the two events?
6 A. Absolutely. Absolutely, I do see a relationship, because had
7 there been a mixed unit of the Territorial Defence that was still there or
8 a battalion of the Territorial Defence of Trebinje or any other unit,
9 these events of the 6th of December would not have happened. That's for
11 Q. In your view, leaving in place heavy weaponry with units who had
12 shown willingness to use such weaponry against areas prohibited from being
13 shelled, do you see a link between that and the - I'm referring to
14 November - do you see a link between that and the events of the 6th of
15 December, the shelling of the 6th of December?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you continue to hold the view that troops should be thinned
18 out and that weaponry should be withdrawn? And if you did, do you see a
19 link to the failure to implement that to the events of the 6th of
21 A. Well, now that this event already happened, now the mosaic has
22 fallen into place, and now everything is quite clear. It was hard for me
23 to make an additional request to pull out the 3rd Battalion or, rather,
24 for it not to remain in those positions at all, because I did not have
25 clear grounds. There had not been an investigation in November that had
1 established that Captain Kovacevic and his battalion were the sole
2 perpetrators. So all of this had to do with suspicions only, reasonable
3 doubt certainly, but we didn't have more than that in terms of him being
4 the sole perpetrator. However, if that unit had not been there, the Old
5 Town would not have been shelled on the 6th of December.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, is that a convenient time?
7 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. It is.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 Q. Admiral Jokic, your conclusion as to the unit which shelled the
13 Old Town, you've identified as the 3rd Battalion of the 472nd Brigade, can
14 you please give us some of the bases for your conclusion.
15 A. One did not have to investigate in order to establish that it was
16 only that unit with regard to the position of their arms that could shell
17 the city on that day, on the 6th of December.
18 Q. Your notification about the shelling of the Old Town, as you
19 indicated earlier, came through Mr. Rudolf, Minister Rudolf?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you conduct an investigation into the shelling?
22 A. Yes, I tried to carry out investigation upon my return from
24 Q. What did you do? Explain how you carried out the investigation.
25 A. When I came to the command post in Kupari, I asked all the
1 participants, the battalion commander, the Chief of Staff, my deputy Zec
2 and Colonel Kovacevic and Kozaric, the captain, I asked them to give me
3 their written reports, and I investigated as much as possible what had
4 happened on that same evening. I was told then they issued their reports.
5 I listened to them. And then I was told that Captain Kovacevic was in
6 such a state of shock that he was beyond control because of the losses
7 that he had suffered in his units, and that he was not able to issue any
8 statements or reports and that he was not able to come and see me in
10 Q. So you were not able to have any interview with Captain Kovacevic,
11 neither you nor any of your officers who may have been designated to speak
12 with the parties involved?
13 A. That's correct. I sent my officers to his battalion. My four
14 officers went there to talk to others, to establish what had happened, and
15 to help this unit to reinforce their state of morale after all the losses
16 that they had suffered. I asked them to spend the entire night with that
18 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, Admiral. What type of losses?
20 A. There were 5 dead and 14 wounded.
21 Q. Over the course of the Dubrovnik combat, did you have any
22 observation about the numbers of losses that Captain Kovacevic's battalion
23 suffered relative to the overall losses for the brigade?
24 A. Yes, I believe that this battalion had more losses than the entire
25 brigade up to that moment.
1 Q. And were these losses incurred -- who was commanding the battalion
2 when these losses were incurred?
3 A. Up to the 25th of October, the commander was Ekrem Devlic, Major
4 Devlic, and he was seriously injured on the 24th of October. And then
5 Captain Kovacevic took over. Up to then, he was deputy commander.
6 Q. And at all times Captain Kovacevic was in one way or the other
7 either commander or deputy commander of this battalion. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, the losses that were incurred, do you know how they were
10 incurred? Where they were incurred? Was it perhaps in response or from
11 responsive fire from Croat positions? Did you have any information?
12 A. I didn't know exactly about all the circumstances before the
13 brigade came under my command. However, very often I would receive
14 information that losses were incurred by wrong command, lack of
15 discipline, fire, a lack of reconnaissance, failure to take shelter,
16 provocation on both sides.
17 Q. On the 6th, the losses on the 6th of December, did you come to
18 learn how they were incurred?
19 A. They were incurred in battles for the mount -- for Mount Srdj.
20 When Mount Srdj was taken, then the entire artillery from the city of
21 Dubrovnik opened fire on that unit. The terrain was not covered, and
22 that's how losses were incurred.
23 Q. Can you ask you to clarify something. You have in the past
24 referred to the town of Dubrovnik and the city. When you use the
25 term "town" or "city" without the term "Old Town," are you referring to
1 the overall municipal Dubrovnik area? Just so we can distinguish.
2 Excluding the Old Town.
3 A. Yes. I'm talking about the artillery outside the old city walls.
4 I'm talking about the fire positions of the artillery that belonged to the
5 defence of the town of Dubrovnik, which was outside of the Old Town.
6 Q. Okay. The reason I ask you is earlier on, much earlier in your
7 testimony, you talked about warning sent to the Dubrovnik Crisis Staff
8 that civilians and citizens of Dubrovnik should be removed from the
9 weapons of, and you said, "The town," that were being used to fire in
10 order to reduce civilian casualties. Was that reference to the city, the
11 main part of the city outside the Old Town?
12 A. Yes, precisely so. It was on the 10th of November that the call
13 came from the Crisis Staff.
14 Q. Thank you, Admiral.
15 What did you find out from the statements of the individuals that
16 were taken by the officers you assigned to interview them? What had the
17 company commanders of the 3rd Battalion and those at Zarkovica informed
18 your officers? I'm going to ask you to try to move at a relatively rapid
19 pace given the time considerations.
20 A. At that time, there were not that many details with regard to the
21 conversations with company commanders. They were not willing to talk
22 because of the losses, because of the casualties. They were very sad. So
23 they didn't offer too much information to my officers. The only thing
24 that was clear was that fire had been opened from Srdj on Captain
25 Kovacevic's unit, and according to that information he had one dead and
1 two injured soldiers up to 6.00 in the morning of the 6th of December.
2 Based on that, he decided that one part of the battalion, the 3rd Company,
3 would start moving towards Srdj and that the 1st Company from Bosanka
4 forward, that he would also start moving towards Mount Srdj in order to
5 prevent provocations and take the facility on Mount Srdj.
6 When he took it, around 10.00 in the morning, fierce fire was
7 opened from town. More losses were incurred. And that's when the drama
8 started with regard to the withdrawal of his units and shelling of the Old
9 Town and some parts of the area outside the Old Town walls. However,
10 their statements, according to which the artillery of the 3rd Battalion
11 opened fire on the weapons that had inflicted losses upon them in the
12 vicinity of the Old Town, in the vicinity of the towers of the Old Town
13 where they had discovered mortars. And according to them, they did not
14 shell the Old Town directly. The only thing that they wanted to do was
15 neutralise those mortars that were incurring their losses. And that's the
16 essence of what they had learned from them.
17 The same story repeated that was offered in November.
18 Q. How did they tell you the losses that were incurred? What was
19 their version?
20 A. Their version was as follows: Cannons and mortars from the town
21 outside the Old Town or in the vicinity of the towers of the Old Town
22 opened fire on them in an encovered [as interpreted] area and incurred
23 their losses. And there was also suspicion that there were arms in the
24 Old Town itself. This, however, was never confirmed.
25 Q. So if I understand it, this is their version, the version given by
1 the officers involved in the attack on that day, on the 6th. Did you
2 necessarily accept this version as having truth, or as the true version of
3 the facts?
4 A. Yes, I had my doubts about that from the very beginning, and I
5 expressed my suspicion. And I said to the Chief of Staff that I couldn't
6 believe that he could not stop the attack together with Colonel Kovacevic
7 and prevent the shelling while it lasted.
8 Q. Did you come to learn -- or did you ever come to find that fire
9 was, in fact, not initiated from Srdj, but rather initiated by the 3rd
10 Battalion of the 472nd Brigade?
11 A. Subsequently I established that. And especially during the period
12 when I managed to get hold of company commanders and battalion commanders.
13 And then I spoke with Captain Kovacevic when he was free, and I managed to
14 talk to him openly about certain things.
15 Q. When was this?
16 A. That was before my departure to The Hague. He told me that
17 Captain Zec had told him when he arrived at Mount Zarkovica that the
18 Admiral was very angry, that he would not get artillery support, that he
19 should finish off what he had started and withdraw. These were his words.
20 And I quote him.
21 Q. When you say, "This is before my departure to The Hague. He told
22 me that Captain Zec told him," who is "he"?
23 A. Captain Kovacevic.
24 Q. Where did this take place, this conversation?
25 A. In Belgrade, just before my departure for The Hague. I had a
1 meeting with him. I wanted to learn the truth, regardless of how serious
2 it may have been for any of the parties involved. And it was then that I
3 finally concluded that both of them, Colonel Kovacevic and Captain Zec,
4 sabotaged my decision and my request to cease fire immediately. I had my
5 doubts about that, even before, but it was then that I reached my final
6 conclusion to that effect.
7 Q. Did you factor into your conclusion about believing or not
8 believing Captain Kovacevic's version the type of weapons that were at the
9 disposal of the Croatian forces at Srdj? I say that as the indication or
10 the allegation that there was lethal fire coming from Srdj and that an
11 artillery attack by the 3rd Battalion had to be undertaken. What was your
12 view of that?
13 JUDGE PARKER: I'm sorry, Ms. Somers. I haven't understood there
14 was lethal fire from defenders from Srdj. I understood it was from parts
15 of Dubrovnik, but not the Old Town --
16 MS. SOMERS: The city, that's correct.
17 JUDGE PARKER: -- directed at Srdj.
18 MS. SOMERS: That's correct, Your Honour. I withdraw that.
19 Q. The type of fire that was coming from Srdj, what could that have
21 MS. SOMERS: Thank you for the correction.
22 A. Are you referring to Srdj or to the Old Town?
23 MS. SOMERS:
24 Q. Srdj.
25 A. It was infantry fire from automatic rifles, and they also had two
1 machine-guns on Mount Srdj. But they didn't have artillery. And it could
2 not have been lethal for the unit.
3 Q. What type of response, if there were any truth to the allegation
4 that the Croatian forces attacked that morning, what type of response
5 would a reasonable commander or would a commander of a battalion have
6 taken to that type of fire?
7 A. If that fire had been lethal, as they claimed, from the front part
8 of the defence, from Srdj and Nuncijata and the Belvedere Hotel, a
9 reasonable commander should have responded with adequate fire which he had
10 at his disposal and neutralise that fire. So he had to prevent that
11 infantry fire, and he had at his disposal everything in order to do that.
12 He should not have used artillery and mortars. Because the attack was
13 still not fully fledged up to the point when the town had to be shelled.
14 Only the front lines of the Croatian Defence from which provocation fire
16 Q. You indicated that you believe that Captain Zec and Colonel
17 Kovacevic had sabotaged the operation or the mission you had sent them to
18 do. What -- can you explain that, please. Did you sense these officers
19 individually, or was there some collusive action you're referring to?
20 A. I'm not saying that this was a concert activity, that this was
21 organised. However, from 8.00 in the morning when Captain Zec arrived in
22 Zarkovica and immediately upon that Colonel Kovacevic followed, up to
23 12.00, so for the period of four hours, they could talk Captain Kovacevic
24 into abandoning the position. And they could prevent further artillery
25 attack on the town, if they had been determined to do so, and if they
1 acted -- had acted professionally, and if they had executed my express
2 order for the unit to be stopped and returned to their initial positions.
3 Q. Admiral Jokic, did you undertake any discipline toward Captain
4 Kovacevic for submitting what you believed to be a false report?
5 A. I didn't manage to go -- to get hold of Captain Kovacevic at all.
6 At my request for him to finally come and see me, I was told that he had
7 previous commitments, that he had to attend funerals of his dead soldiers,
8 and those funerals were taking place all over Montenegro. Once this was
9 done, then General Panic visited, and this is the first time I saw him
10 after the incidents that took place on the 6th of December. But it seems
11 to me that he was given advice to leave the unit for a while. However, I
12 can't prove that.
13 Everybody knew that I wanted to remove him from this position.
14 Q. Admiral, in his report, did Captain Kovacevic allege or assert
15 that his positions had come under fire from the Old Town and was this
17 A. In his official report which he actually didn't write himself as
18 far as I understand, I don't know who participated in the writing of this
19 report, he claimed that fire had been opened on his unit from the front
20 part, from Srdj and Nuncijata and Belvedere Hotel, as well as from the
21 town itself.
22 Q. When you say the town, are you referring to the parts outside of
23 the Old Town?
24 A. He is not referring to the Old Town; he's referring to the town of
1 Q. Did you forward to General Strugar the report of Captain
2 Kovacevic? And if you did, what was General Strugar's reaction or
3 attitude towards it?
4 A. His attitude was that this report reflected the truth, that it was
5 credible, and he believed in that all this time.
6 Q. In the course of your investigations, you mentioned that you
7 learned that the 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade had become involved.
8 Who was the commander of that battalion and was it under your command?
9 A. The commander was Major Srboljub Zdravkovic. He was absent from
10 his unit at the time. His deputy was Lieutenant Miroslav Jovanovic. He
11 had been sent by his unit in Podgorica to replace the commander of the
12 battalion during his absence.
13 Q. And how can you explain getting support from another -- from one
14 battalion to another? Did it go through you? Did it go through your
15 operations officer? How could this happen? Are you necessary in that
16 particular activity?
17 A. Absolutely. That was a battalion under my command. And without
18 my express order, they were not supposed to open fire or participate in
19 operations. Until my return from Belgrade, I didn't know that they had
20 opened fire because they only opened fire on two occasions for ten
21 minutes. Its positions were far from Kupari, and we did not hear fire
22 being opened from their artillery. The distance between their positions
23 and the command post was about 25 kilometres.
24 Q. Then explain if you had to be -- if you had to give your
25 authorisation, how did they communicate? How did they get the support?
1 How did Captain Kovacevic get support from Jovanovic? Support fire.
2 A. Yeah, I did not explain that. It all starts with the units.
3 Their initial positions are able to communicate between themselves. The
4 3rd Battalion of the 472nd can communicate with the 5th Brigade
5 independently of me. They can communicate through the communications
6 centre without my knowledge. And when they started suffering losses,
7 Captain Kovacevic did not receive my artillery support. He phoned his
8 colleague and asked him to neutralise the artillery fire in the Babin Kuk,
9 Lapad, Petka sector, and some hotels were -- mortar positions were outside
10 of the Old Town. This battalion could not reach as far as the Old Town
11 from their position. The 3rd Battalion of the 5th Brigade couldn't do
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MS. SOMERS:
15 Q. Were you aware of the use of naval units in the course of the day
16 in connection with the attack on the 6th of December?
17 A. The naval units, that is, ships, did not open fire on the 6th of
18 December. This was not planned. We didn't know that it would occur. The
19 ships did not have any orders. And this can be confirmed by the commander
20 of the defence of the town of Dubrovnik. He can confirm that the ships
21 did not open fire on that day or around that time.
22 Q. Based on all of the information that you have assessed, how would
23 you characterise the shelling of the Old Town of Dubrovnik on the 6th of
24 December 1991?
25 A. Well, in no other way but this being a wilful attack, illegal, in
1 contravention of all explicit orders of Superior Commands. And it was
2 only the commander of the 3rd Battalion who could have been responsible
3 for it because he was the one who had issued the order to shell.
4 Q. Do you have any views on other factors that -- or what factors may
5 have supported your conclusion that it was a deliberate attack?
6 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection. This
7 word "deliberate" cannot be found in the previous answer. I cannot see
8 it. And I did not hear that word being used in B/C/S. I did not hear the
9 Admiral use it.
10 MS. SOMERS: I'll be happy to substitute that word for "wilful."
11 I see them as synonymous, but I will be happy to use the word wilful.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. Admiral, let me rephrase my question. Do you have any views on
15 other factors that have supported your conclusion that it was a wilful
17 A. I think -- well, first of all, when we are talking about a wilful
18 attack, I mean the way the attack started against Srdj. That's how the
19 attack started. This attack later on developed further due to the losses
20 sustained when the attack was launched further on the town.
21 Q. Admiral, I want to make sure we're understanding each other. When
22 you say "wilful," what do you mean by wilful? And I'm talking only about
23 the shelling of the Old Town of Dubrovnik on the 6th of December 1991.
24 A. What I wish to say is the following: That the attack was wilful.
25 But at first, it was not aimed against the Old Town. That's not what I
1 meant. I think that it was aimed at Srdj only. And in order to take Srdj
2 and destroy all of those who were at Srdj. That was the idea of those who
3 were planning this, protecting it, supporting it. But the idea was not to
4 attack the Old Town. That is what I mean.
5 Q. When the Old Town was attacked, how do you come to the conclusion
6 that it was wilful once it was attacked? And it may help, Admiral, if I
7 say attack --
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Your Honour, I think
9 we have a problem which has been appearing for a few days now due to the
10 interpretation. In the B/C/S language, the witness has been
11 saying "samovoljan," in the sense of not having been ordered, that is to
12 say, an arbitrary decision of someone who launched an attack. I have the
13 impression, though, that this description is being interpreted
14 as "wilful." I'm not sure that the word "wilful" in the English language
15 corresponds to what the witness means when he says "samovoljan," what he
16 means when testifying before this Trial Chamber. I believe that there was
17 confusion on that account, a very meaningful one, because these are two
18 completely different things, or rather in the Serbian version of the B/C/S
19 language. So I think that this should be clarified in detail because the
20 witness keeps talking about "samovoljan."
21 THE INTERPRETER: Arbitrariness, wilfulness says the interpreter.
22 MR. PETROVIC: But it turns out to be different. So what the
23 interpretation of "samovoljan" should be self-initiative, or at his own
24 initiative. That is what it should say, not "wilful."
25 Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, if you could explore that.
2 MS. SOMERS:
3 Q. Admiral Jokic, you have heard the discussion about linguistic
4 differences, and so that we are clear, I want to ask you what factors --
5 first of all, if by the term "wilful" in your language you are referring
6 to the -- let me ask you, what aspect are you referring to when you use
7 the term "wilful"? Can you explain that, and then perhaps we can explore
8 that a little further.
9 A. What I wish to say by that is that the decision concerning the
10 attack was made by Captain Kovacevic, without receiving orders from his
11 Superior Command.
12 Q. Considering the duration of the shelling of the Old Town, the
13 intensity of the shelling of the Old Town, the weapons used during the
14 shelling of the Old Town, what is your view -- how would you characterise
15 the shelling of the Old Town?
16 A. I don't know. It's hard for me to say that from the very first
17 moment the idea of the battalion commander was to attack the Old Town
18 straight away. It is hard for me to say that. And I cannot claim that.
19 However, as soon as he started suffering losses, it is hard for me to say
20 at what time, what the hour was. But I think that already as of 8.00 in
21 the morning, shells started falling on the Old Town because I heard about
22 that during the telephone conversation I had with Minister Rudolf. Now,
23 whether he intended to attack the Old Town immediately in the morning is
24 something that I cannot believe at all, but the shelling of the Old Town
25 did start at 8.00 in the morning.
1 Q. Given the weaponry that was used or that was available to the
2 battalion, is it your view that Captain Kovacevic knew he was shelling the
3 Old Town, he or units under his command and control were shelling Old
5 A. I think that absolutely, from the position where he commanded from
6 and from the observation post, that he had to know that and see that.
7 Q. From Zarkovica, would you -- is there an obstructed or
8 unobstructed view of the Old Town of Dubrovnik from Zarkovica?
9 A. Unobstructed. Everything can be seen clearly.
10 Q. Did you question the three senior officers you sent to Zarkovica
11 regarding the incident? The senior officers Zec, Colonel Kovacevic, and I
12 think it's Djurasic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what were the results of your inquiry of these three persons?
15 A. Well, I said that the result was that he was responding to the
16 gunfire coming from Srdj and from the front end where he had incurred
17 losses from, and that therefore he was out to destroy the defenders
18 at Srdj.
19 Q. Sorry. You said: As I said that the result was that he was
20 responding to, could you please clarify? Did you mean to say, "I said"
21 or, "He said"?
22 My question was: And what were the results of your inquiry to
23 these three persons? And the transcript shows is, "Well, I said that the
24 result was that..." Who was speaking? Who said?
25 A. No. These officers of mine said that they had found out that
1 Captain Kovacevic had started the attack because he was provoked by
2 gunfire coming from the front end of the Croatian Defence and because of
3 the losses that he had suffered. And that that is why he started this
4 wilful attack.
5 Q. Did you view that your senior officers then as well were giving
6 false reports?
7 A. At that time, of course, I had suspicions regarding that.
8 Q. Was there a commission of investigation that you ordered to be put
9 into action to conduct an assessment of damage to the Old Town?
10 A. Yes. As for the damage, yes, I did propose this, and General
11 Strugar accepted it, and Minister Rudolf did, too, that a team of officers
12 should be sent from my command who would tour the Old Town and assess the
13 extent of the damage.
14 Q. And did this happen? And who were the officers, please?
15 A. Yes. This was done on the 8th after the agreement had been
16 initialled. On the 8th of December.
17 Q. On the 8th of what?
18 A. On the 8th of December, a three-member commission from my command
19 toured the Old Town and compiled a report about it.
20 Q. And that was the 8th of December 1991, some two days after the
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who were the officers whom you sent? The names, please, if you
25 A. Well, I can't recall this very instant. But the names are on the
2 Q. And was there a means of recording the damage that these officers
4 A. Yes. They mentioned point by point the damage that they had
5 established for themselves and seen for themselves.
6 Q. How did they memorialise it? Was there some form of
8 A. Well, they made a report. I'm sorry. I forgot to mention
9 something. They also recorded two diskettes about this damage.
10 Q. Audio or video?
11 A. Videocassettes.
12 Q. Did you see the videocassettes? Did you see whatever they --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How would you have rated or how would you have characterised the
15 damage resulting from the 6th of December that you observed in the
16 videofootage? Would you have characterised it -- well, how would you have
17 characterised it?
18 A. Well, what I saw, and which was presented on these diskettes, were
19 not terrible damages. It wasn't total destruction. I characterised it as
20 damage. I don't know whether I gave any particular qualification as to
21 the level or degree of that damage. But I don't think that it was major
22 damage. I don't think that it was destructive. I think that's the word I
23 used, and perhaps that's the word I could use now, too.
24 Q. Is that the word that you used at the time?
25 A. I think so, yes.
1 Q. And were you presented with a finding of the commission, a report
2 which you had to author -- to sign off on?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Was -- at the time, was there a complete, transparent, thorough
5 investigation conducted as to the damage in the Old Town?
6 A. No. Perhaps I should explain this better. In that report of
7 mine, I did not qualify the damage as far as I can remember. I just
8 signed the report. And I said the following: That these were the
9 findings of the commission --
10 MS. SOMERS: I was just going to ask if everyone would turn to
11 tab 32 of their binders, please.
12 Q. Do you recognise this document, Admiral?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And is it --
15 A. That's the document, yes.
16 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... that came out of your
18 A. Yes. That's the document dated the 9th of December and sent to
19 Admiral Stane Brovet, deputy Federal Secretariat for National Defence,
20 with my signature.
21 Q. Was this investigation carried out in connection with orders by
22 General Kadijevic to investigate?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And who is Admiral Brovet?
25 A. He was General Kadijevic's deputy.
1 Q. And was General Strugar aware of the fact that there was an
2 investigation ordered by General Kadijevic?
3 A. General Kadijevic did not order an investigation of the entire
4 incident of the shelling of the Old Town on the 6th of December. I just
5 said to you that I had proposed to have an investigation and to have
6 Captain Kovacevic removed and so on. However, towards the end of what I
7 was saying, and when I also offered my resignation, General Kadijevic said
8 something to the effect of, "Go down there, repair the damage, let there
9 be no greater consequences, finish this successfully," and so on and so
10 forth, along those lines. He did not explicitly order to carry out an
12 Q. Was General Strugar present at this conversation you just talked
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Looking at this document, Admiral, it is, "Conclusions of a
16 commission." Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And identifies a commission of 9th Naval District Boka
19 compromising of Major Boskovic, Colonel Pesic, and a Savo Jovanovic, a
20 cameraman, visiting old parts of Dubrovnik on the 8th of December, 1991,
21 between 1000 and 1400 hours. This is the group that you were referring to
22 before whose names you were not necessarily able to recall?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And are these are the people you had in mind?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Sorry, your answer?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Thank you. A quick question. How did these individuals from the
4 JNA, from your formation which is part of the 2nd Operational Group of the
5 JNA, how did they manage to get into Dubrovnik? What was their means of
6 being allowed into the city? What were the logistics of this, if you can
7 very briefly describe it?
8 A. Well, on the 7th of December, when I initialled the agreement, I
9 agreed with Minister Rudolf that he should let the team members in because
10 they were to investigate the damage. So they entered Dubrovnik as there
11 was a cease-fire in place, so they had free passage. And they were met
12 there. And together with the members of the Crisis Staff, they toured all
13 the places where the destruction had actually occurred.
14 Q. And above the -- sorry. A very quick run through, literally just
15 a moment on each point: "First point, visible traces of damage on some
16 houses caused by small-calibre shells. Damage is minor and can be
17 repaired in a short time. Signs of damage were noticed on the following
18 facilities and were recorded. One, Church of St. Blaise, slightly damaged
19 in two places on the facade from shell ricochet and one metre of the
20 fence. Two, the Stradun pedestrian promenade, street damaged in 15 places
21 in the form of superficial holes with a radius of 35 to 50 centimetres.
22 Three, a house of Rudjer Boskovic, the parapet demolished and one lintel
23 slightly damaged. Four, opposite house on Siroka Street, one corner at
24 the top of the building slightly damaged. Five, five buildings burned
25 down, the cause of the fire could not be determined on the spot. Six, the
1 Onofrio fountain, one hit to the dome."
2 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers, there are 20 items listed. Do you need
3 to read all of them?
4 MS. SOMERS: No, Your Honour, I wanted to give a sampling of the
5 description. I have no intention of going through --
6 JUDGE PARKER: All right.
7 MS. SOMERS:
8 Q. Admiral, when you saw that these items as described were in a
9 protected area, did you ask for any further clarification, any further
10 investigation of the damage that's reported? Or did you just accept what
11 the commission gave you at the time?
12 A. I accepted the findings of the commission because that is what
13 Admiral Brovet had asked for first and foremost. So I just signed this
14 and sent it. I did not give any qualifications. I did not present any
15 opinions of my own.
16 Q. And at the very end: "It is the opinion of the commission that
17 there is no substantial damage to the cultural and historical monuments.
18 The origin of all the damage cannot be stated with certainty or the
19 perpetrators named because it is obvious that a lot of the damage was not
20 caused by attacks from outside of the Old Town centre."
21 Now, Admiral, was this part of the climate of denial that appears
22 to have been permeating through all the discussions about culpability as
23 to the attack on the 6th of December?
24 A. Yes, I think you're right, yes. If you wish, I can explain on
25 this specific example.
1 Q. I have another question, though. The damage that is listed here
2 and the damage that was seen, would you really -- do you concur that it is
3 minor? Did you come to learn later about a different state of description
4 of damage?
5 A. Yes. At that time, it was considered that this was not major
6 damage, that it was damage of smaller proportions. It was even being said
7 that some of the damage was done intentionally, meaning the torching of
8 wooden houses or houses that had wooden roofs, not to go into all of that
9 now. However, later on, of course, it was established that the damages
10 were of greater proportions.
11 Q. You began to explain my question about the climate of denial.
12 Would you please continue with what you were going to say.
13 A. This is what I meant to say: This denial or shifting the guilt to
14 the other side, it did exist then. And I think that this was another
15 example of hushing things up or hushing the guilt of JNA units up. My
16 opinion was then, and today I think, that evident facts cannot be hushed
17 up and that professionalism of the units of the Yugoslav People's Army
18 cannot be proven by shifting the blame to the other side. Had an
19 investigation been ordered and carried out then, a true investigation
20 regarding the shelling of Dubrovnik, I think that the JNA would have
21 gained far more in terms of its reputation and dignity, rather than that
22 mountain of orders stating that we should not target the Old Town, that we
23 should be disciplined, that all sorts of measures should be taken. And in
24 practice, these orders were not observed.
25 I think that that is the truth of the matter.
1 Q. "Not observed" by whom, Admiral? These orders were not observed
2 by whom?
3 A. Specifically in this case, the commander of the 3rd Battalion.
4 But also certain officers who gave support or protection to such an
5 arbitrary and grave offence.
6 Q. And was this non-observance tolerated by all levels of command
8 A. Yes, I think so.
9 MS. SOMERS: I would like to ask at this point, please, to move
10 into evidence the 9th -- I'm sorry, I'm informed that it has a number. It
11 does. P61 for reference for the Registrar. Apparently, it's a
12 previous... And it's tab 39 of P61. It must have been a composite
13 exhibit. Thank you.
14 Q. What was the reason in your view that a thorough, complete
15 investigation was not conducted by you? Why did you not complete a
16 thorough investigation?
17 A. First of all, this unit, the 3rd Battalion, was temporarily
18 resubordinated to me. It was not within my establishment. It was within
19 the establishment of the 472nd Brigade, which was subordinated to the
20 2nd Operational Group. So for an investigation that I would carry out
21 with my authorities, I would have to receive orders from the commander of
22 the 2nd Operational Group.
23 Q. Did such orders come through? Did you receive such orders for an
25 A. No. No. A thorough and real investigation regarding this case
1 was not wanted.
2 Q. By whom?
3 A. I think everybody from the General Staff -- let me start from
4 there, and the commander of the operational group, and at my level, my
5 level, including me. But I personally wanted even then, and I did do what
6 I was in a position to do. However, when General Panic came and when
7 orders were issued that there should be decorations and commendations for
8 persons participating in this event, that was something that came as total
9 discouragement to me. And officially, I could not do anything any more.
10 Q. Please indicate, who is General Panic? When did he come and where
11 did he come to?
12 A. At that time, he was deputy chief of General Staff. And he came
13 to the command of the 2nd Operational Group. And near Dubrovnik --
14 Q. When?
15 A. I think it was on the 12th of December. The 12th or the 14th of
16 December. So he came to establish, as far as I know, what had happened on
17 the 6th of December and to see this for himself. And then he observed
18 from Zarkovica both the Old Town and listened to the explanations of the
19 commander of the 3rd Battalion and some of his company commanders in the
20 presence of General Strugar and in my presence, too.
21 Q. Did General Strugar make any particular request of Captain
22 Kovacevic in the presence of General Panic?
23 A. At the end, when he finished, he asked Captain Kovacevic to
24 propose two commanders for decoration, the ones that were the most
25 prominent during the events.
1 Q. During the events of what? During what events?
2 A. That was on the 12th or the 14th of December, and the events were
3 combat operations in which those commanders played a prominent role. So
4 we're talking about the month of November and the events on the 6th of
5 December in which this certain battalion participated.
6 Q. I want to make sure I understand because it is not entirely clear
7 to me. Who recommended that the names be presented for commendation for
8 these combat operations? Who recommended to General Panic?
9 A. Not to General Panic. I didn't say General Panic. I said General
10 Strugar had ordered Captain Kovacevic to propose the names of two of his
11 company commanders who played the most prominent role in the combat
12 operations that took place on the 6th of December and between the 10th to
13 12th of November.
14 Q. And was done in the presence of General Panic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did Captain Kovacevic do that? Did he obey the order of General
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. Were you there? Did you witness this yourself?
20 A. Yes, I was there.
21 Q. After that, did you attempt to have any further investigation,
22 inquiry, or discipline inquiry concerning the events of the 6th of
24 A. No.
25 Q. After that, were you aware of any steps that were taken within the
1 command of the 2nd Operational Group to investigate the incident or to
2 take any measures against those responsible for the shelling on the 6th of
3 December, the shelling of the Old Town on the 6th of December?
4 A. No. I'm not.
5 Q. Were you aware of any promotion that Captain Kovacevic may have
6 gotten during that period? Actually, if we can turn to tab 41, I believe.
7 MS. SOMERS: It is an exhibit with a number of pages. And perhaps
8 if the hard copy could be given to Admiral Jokic, it would be helpful.
9 Q. Admiral, you have before you a document which is a personnel file,
10 part of a personnel file of Captain First Class Vladimir Kovacevic. Are
11 you familiar with this type of document, Admiral?
12 A. No, I have not seen this before.
13 Q. Are you familiar with personnel files, Admiral, this type of
14 dossier? Is this something that you have -- generally?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Does this appear to be a personnel file with Captain Kovacevic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you turn to the page that has at the top of it the numbers
19 03390469. That is in B/C/S. And let me see if I can find the...
20 MS. SOMERS: And in English, Your Honours, it would be, on the
21 translation, page -- looks like it's page 1 of the translation, where it
22 says, "For permission, promotion."
23 Q. Can you find there any promotions that occurred in the year 1991?
24 If you find such a promotion, can you read across and indicate what is
25 said about the promotion.
1 A. Yes. Here, what is described is an extraordinary promotion in to
2 captain first class. This was ordered by the Federal Secretariat for
3 National Defence on the 14th December 1991. And the number of this order
4 is 7-173. The extraordinary promotion was carried out on the 11th of
5 November 1991.
6 Q. Does that mean it was retroactive? It went back to the time of
7 11 November 1991?
8 A. Yes. This was an extraordinary promotion, and it was retroactive,
9 referring back to the 11th November 1991. All the regular promotions in
10 the JNA took place on the 22nd of December. This, however, was an
11 extraordinary promotion, and the order was issued on the 14 December. And
12 it was retroactive as of the 11 November 1991.
13 Q. Do you see any other promotions for Captain Kovacevic listed on
14 that page? And if so, the date, please.
15 A. Yes. On the 11th November 1995 -- I apologise. On the 21st of
16 February, 1996, Captain Kovacevic was promoted to the rank of major.
17 Again, retroactively as of 11 November 1995.
18 Q. If you move along a bit, do you see any document that indicates
19 when Captain Kovacevic separated from his military service? If you look
20 at the top of 03390501 in Serbo-Croatian, the document that bears the
21 signature of Commander Colonel Miroslav Filipovic. Do you see that
22 document, Admiral?
23 A. Yes, I can see that. Again, this is a decision issued by Colonel
24 Miroslav Filipovic on the termination of service for Captain Kovacevic.
25 Q. What is the date for termination of service?
1 A. The 5th of April 1999.
2 Q. And just briefly, who was Miroslav Filipovic?
3 A. Miroslav Filipovic was the -- Major Kovacevic's commander in
4 VP2322, Pozarevac.
5 Q. Was he a part of the 2nd Operational Group during October,
6 November, and December of 1991?
7 A. Yes, he was the chief of the operational department in the command
8 of the 2nd Operational Group.
9 Q. Going back to what you've described as an extraordinary promotion
10 in 1991, from December 14th, 1991 retroactive to November, on whose
11 recommendation would a subordinate officer be given a promotion?
12 A. It was on the recommendation of his command, of his unit, I
13 assume, the unit that was superior to the 3rd Battalion, which means that
14 his brigade was his Superior Command, the 472nd Brigade. And it was only
15 this brigade that could issue such proposal, such recommendation.
16 Q. Did you recommend this promotion, or did you have any support for
17 his promotion?
18 A. No. I believe that everybody was astonished about this
19 extraordinary promotion, the person who had to be taken to task and who
20 had to stand trial for what he did.
21 Q. Can a promotion like this go through if the command of the 2nd
22 Operational Group does not agree with it or does not recommend it or does
23 not veto it? Either approve, recommend, or veto?
24 A. The procedure is as follows: All the subordinated commands,
25 subordinated to the 2nd Operational Group deliver their proposals for
1 extraordinary promotions. This is then gathered in the operational group.
2 It is approved or not, and the approvals are then referred to the General
3 Staff. That is the procedure. And if the 2nd Operational Group rejects
4 the proposal, it would not be forwarded to the General Staff.
5 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to move this document into evidence,
7 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This is Document P133.
9 MS. SOMERS:
10 Q. Just in summary, then, Admiral, based on what you just explained,
11 what is your understanding of General Strugar's approval or disapproval of
12 the promotion of Captain Kovacevic? Talking about the one in 1991.
13 A. He approved it.
14 Q. If I can ask, please, to take a quick look at tab 33.
15 Admiral, before I ask you to look at the document in front of you,
16 I want to ask you something -- one more point about the promotion, and
17 we're talking about Captain Kovacevic still. If he receives a promotion
18 with effect to -- retroactive effect to 11th of November, what is that
19 for? What type of activity is that type of promotion for, given what is
20 happening -- given what the units are doing?
21 A. We were talking in great detail about the period between the 10th
22 and 12th of November when this battalion took Strincjera and Gradac for us
23 and the entire area of Dubrovnik in front of Srdj. So this promotion
24 would refer to the successful activities of that battalion and the taking
25 of Vitares in front of Mount Srdj during the Dubrovnik campaign which took
1 place in November.
2 Q. Are those the same combat operations during the course of which
3 the Old Town of Dubrovnik was shelled?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Taking a look at what is admittedly only two pages of a larger
6 bulletin, I wanted to ask you simply about language. This is a bulletin
7 that is for -- it is a bulletin. Do you recognise this type of
8 publication? Are you familiar with it?
9 A. Yes. This is the information service of the Federal Secretariat
10 for National Defence which carries information about various events. In
11 this particular case, we're talking about promotions.
12 Q. And in this particular case, we're looking at communication of the
13 service. It's called FSND Information Service, Belgrade, November 29th,
14 by decree of the Yugoslav Presidency of November 28, 1991, the following
15 officers have been promoted to higher ranks for successful directing and
16 commanding exceptional conduct in action and carrying out combat
17 assignments of a particular importance for the armed forces in the defence
18 of country.
19 And then it lists some names. To the rank of Colonel General,
20 Lieutenant Generals Panic, Pavle A. Strugar, and Nikola M. Uzelac. Are
21 you familiar with the promotions that are referred to in this particular
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 MS. SOMERS: I ask to move this document into evidence, please.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P134.
2 MS. SOMERS:
3 Q. And the reference to 28 November, that is eight days before the
4 shelling of the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And language indicates: "Successful directing and commanding."
7 They are talking about General Strugar's promotion for successful
8 directing and commanding?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. I would ask you to look at tab 42, please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Just before we leave that tab, I wonder whether the
12 Admiral can clarify the rank to which this promotion was. Can you tell
13 us, Admiral, whether this is a rank of three-star or how many stars?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this rank is of a
15 general, three-star.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
17 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Admiral, in front of you is a document which is personnel file.
19 Again, you have indicated that you're familiar with personnel files. And
20 you've shown that some of the entries there include promotion. This is a
21 file for General Pavle Strugar. I would ask you to take a look in the
22 Serbo-Croatian version on page that has at the top 03390543. Do you see a
23 section that deals with promotions on that page?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And at the bottom of the page, is there an indication of a
1 promotion for General Strugar? If so, to what rank, what type of
2 promotion, and what date?
3 A. Yes. Lieutenant Colonel by degree of the Presidency of the SFRY.
4 The number is 1/64. The date is 28 November. Extraordinary promotion
5 effective as of 26 November 1991.
6 Q. And just moving very quickly to the page that has 03390668 in your
7 language, a document signed by General -- Lieutenant Colonel General
8 Momcilo Perisic, does that document indicate the date of General Strugar's
9 separation from military service?
10 A. Yes. This decision was issued on the 31st of December, 1993. And
11 by this decision, General Strugar was separated from his active military
13 Q. And what was his rank at the time of separation?
14 A. Colonel General.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to move this into evidence, please.
17 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P135.
19 MS. SOMERS:
20 Q. Admiral Jokic, in your view, what are the underlying reasons for
21 the 6th of December shelling of the Old Town?
22 A. I cannot be absolutely sure about the motives because those
23 motives were neither rational or reasonable.
24 Q. I'm not asking motives. What do you view, based on what you have
25 told us today, what do you view, not just today but over the course of
1 your testimony, as the underlying reasons for the shelling of the 6th of
2 December of the Old Town?
3 A. I would like to give you all the reasons, the reasons that were
4 put forth and were not correct and those that were actually correct. One
5 of the reasons that was given to me in this half-investigation was that
6 cannons around the Old Town were shelled in order to neutralise them. And
7 that's why shells started falling on the Old Town. I'm now going to give
8 you the true reasons.
9 Q. I'm not asking you for justifications. I'm asking you for
10 underlying reasons that have to do with what was going on in your command
11 area. I'm not asking for justifications for the various excuses. The
12 reasons that the shelling of the Old Town of Dubrovnik on the 6th of
13 December could occur given the history of everything that you have told
15 A. As I've already said, one of the reasons was to shell the weapons
16 around the Old Town. The second one was to inflict damage on the
17 Old Town. Another one was to retaliate for the dead and wounded in the
18 3rd Battalion. Also, to punish the command -- the former commander of the
19 472nd Brigade who had fled to Dubrovnik. And they considered this to be
20 one part of the retaliation as well. So there were multiple reasons. But
21 the main reason was to inflict damage on the town, on the Old Town.
22 Q. Do you find a connection, a link, between the enforcement of
23 orders toward the Old Town prior to the 6th of December, the enforcement
24 or non-enforcement, and the events of the shelling of the Old Town on the
25 6th of December?
1 A. Yes, I do. There is a link. In November, there was an
2 investigation -- if there had been an investigation and if the culprit had
3 been identified, there wouldn't have been the shelling on the 6th of
4 December. And I can agree with that.
5 MS. SOMERS: I'm going to try to skip through things really
6 quickly. I just need a second to review.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I think we might skip through them after the
8 break, Ms. Somers. We'll have a break now.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Ms. Somers.
12 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 Q. Admiral Jokic, having indicated just before the break that there
14 was a link between the lack of investigation in November and the failure
15 to take measures for the shellings against the Old Town in November and
16 the events of the 6th of December, can you explain why you did not take
17 stronger measures to bring Captain Kovacevic under your control in that
18 interim period.
19 A. Why I did not take any measures?
20 Q. Why you did not take stronger measures to keep Captain Kovacevic
21 under your control during that time period.
22 A. In the month of November, I asked for the removal of the commander
23 of the brigade and the Chief of Staff. At that time, it was not
24 established what the explicit guilt involved was in terms of the shelling
25 of the Old Town in November. I did not have evidence to prove that this
1 was done by Captain Kovacevic. But there were no orders for an
2 investigation. There was no removal of the brigade command. And I did
3 not have a free hand or orders to carry out an investigation and to
4 request a removal of the commander of the battalion. What I established
5 was not sufficient for me to act on my own in order to take measures
6 against Captain Kovacevic.
7 Q. What do you mean when you say you did not have a free hand? Was
8 there some element that interfered with your taking control or taking
10 A. Well, there was not an order of the command or there was not a
11 general feeling in favour of such an energetic measure or an independent
12 investigation on my own. That's what I thought then.
13 Q. In favour where? Where was there not a general feeling?
14 A. I mean the Superior Command. There has to be a general feeling.
15 I mean, let me just add this -- to this, one more fact: In November --
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] The transcript does not reflect
19 when he speaks about the higher command. He said, "At the highest level,"
20 or something to that effect, at that level of the JNA. But it is not
21 contained in the transcript.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can explain.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the month of November, if you
25 remember, there was a letter written by General Kadijevic to the
1 representative of the European Community, van Houten. In this letter it
2 says that the JNA did not shell the town or the Old Town. I could not
3 refute that by my own statements, or my own investigation, or the removal
4 of Captain Kovacevic. Secondly, after that the 6th of December happened.
5 The chief of the administration for information of the Federal Secretariat
6 for National Defence, General Milan Gvero, in the official statement
7 claimed that Dubrovnik was not shelled and that no dust fell on the town.
8 How can I now deny what the top brass of the General Staff is saying? And
9 how can after that I remove the commander of the battalion and take
10 independent measures on my own if no one ordered me to carry out a
11 thorough investigation aimed at establishing the actual truth regarding
12 the shelling of the Old Town?
13 So at the level of the JNA, there was not a general feeling or
14 determination, an intent to establish the truth, and my Superior Command
15 did not order me to do anything in that direction either.
16 MS. SOMERS:
17 Q. When you refer to your Superior Command, do you also include the
18 2nd Operational Group, or is that what you are referring to?
19 A. Yes, absolutely. General Strugar, as my superior officer.
20 Q. How would you characterise the tone or the climate of the command
21 of the 2nd Operational Group toward carrying out the investigations and
22 putting into place measures which might be required following
23 investigations into the shelling of the Old Town?
24 A. Well, I think the command of the 2nd Operational Group certainly
25 did not take any energetic action or issue orders in that direction aimed
1 at even a superficial investigation, let alone a thorough and real one.
2 Q. After the shelling of the 6th of December against the Old Town of
3 Dubrovnik, why did you not attempt to have Captain Kovacevic removed or
5 A. I could not replace him because the commander of the 2nd
6 Operational Group did not allow it. He protected him and said that he was
7 a good lad. Those were his words. And that everything remained as it
8 was. The battalion remained in place, and he remained in place.
9 Q. Did you, Admiral Jokic, issue an order to shell the Old Town or to
10 attack Srdj on the 6th of December 1991?
11 A. No, absolutely not.
12 Q. Is there anything that indicates to you that there may have been
13 such an order in effect?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you believe that there is any room in the doctrine of the JNA
16 and the regulations which -- for a battalion commander to initiate an
17 attack without prior approval from his command?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Can you explain the extent of planning and coordination that would
20 be required for such an attack, such as took place on the 6th of December?
21 And depending on your answer, would you be able to comment on whether or
22 not the 6th of December attack went beyond the scale of a spontaneous
24 A. Yes. I think that -- I mean, I did not quite understand your
25 question. The proportion -- the scale of planning and attack?
1 Q. Let me rephrase it for you, Admiral, so it's perfectly clear. Was
2 there any evidence to you that might indicate that there may have been
3 some prior planning behind the attack? And I would ask you to look at the
4 extent of coordination of materiel, of weaponry that went into that
5 attack, as well as the time period during which the attack continued, the
6 duration of the attack. Do you understand my question now, Admiral?
7 Is it consistent with a spontaneous reaction?
8 A. Yes. It was not a spontaneous reaction. I knew it, then, too.
9 But I did not know about all the preparations. As for the scale of
10 preparations for such an attack, I think that at that level of battalion,
11 it could have been carried out during the day, on the 5th, before the 6th
12 of December. During the 5th of December, the battalion commander had to
13 carry out preparations with his company commanders. Also, carry out
14 agreement on acting in concert between certain parts of the battalion and
15 preparing artillery fire for limited targeting of Srdj. So he did need
16 several hours to carry out these preparations. And that shows that it was
17 not a spontaneous attack.
18 Q. Do you know anything about Captain Kovacevic's movements on the
19 eve before the attack?
20 A. At that time I --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Somers, please.
22 MS. SOMERS:
23 Q. The evening before the attack, so you're clear, meaning the 5th of
25 A. At that time, I did not have any knowledge whatsoever. I know
1 that he did not come to my command post on the 5th of December.
2 Q. Did you learn anything subsequently about his movements?
3 A. Yes, I did, absolutely. As I investigated this, long after that,
4 and that included all his company commanders, and when I talked to him,
5 too, I established that he was carrying out preparations for an attack on
6 the 5th of December and that he went to the command post of the
7 2nd Operational Group on the eve of the 6th of December.
8 Q. And was anything said about the events that were to take place on
9 the 6th of December? Did anyone ask any questions as to why he was at the
10 command post of the 2nd Operational Group as opposed to the command post
11 of the unit to which he was subordinated, your command post?
12 A. Well, I wondered myself. I found that very surprising, that he
13 went to the command post of the Superior Command, of my Superior Command,
14 and without my knowledge, and I did not know of the intentions and
15 objectives involved. Also, without reporting to me, or rather my command
16 about going there.
17 Q. Did you indicate earlier that in notification of the units about
18 the cease-fire that Captain Kovacevic himself did not appear? Or did he
19 appear? Tell us, how was Captain Kovacevic's battalion made aware of the
20 cease-fire arrangements on the 5th.
21 A. He was informed by telephone from the forward command post of
22 Kupari. He was informed in the afternoon on the 5th of December. He was
23 informed by Captain Zec and Kozaric. One of the two of them.
24 Q. Who informed you that Captain Kovacevic visited the command post
25 of the 2nd Operational Group on the eve of the 5th of December?
1 A. I was told by two officers from the command of the 2nd Operational
2 Group, and Rambo told me, or rather Captain Kovacevic.
3 Q. About being present on the evening of the 5th of December.
4 A. Yes, precisely.
5 Q. When did Captain Kovacevic, Rambo, confirm this to you?
6 A. He said that to me before I went to The Hague. During a long
7 conversation of several hours, I was questioning him. And I wanted to
8 establish exactly what had happened on the 5th and 6th of December.
9 Q. Did you yourself visit the command post of the 2nd Operational
10 Group on the 5th of December? And if so, what time?
11 A. Yes. As soon as the talks at Cavtat ended, I went to Trebinje and
12 informed General Strugar about the conclusion of the negotiations, about
13 the fact that an agreement had been reached, that there was only one point
14 that remained undefined, and that that was a pure formality. As for the
15 rest, everything had been agreed upon. And a cease-fire order was
16 supposed to be issued to all units.
17 Q. Do you have any idea what time Captain Kovacevic would have gone
18 to the 2nd Operational Group on the 5th of December?
19 A. He went after that time, sometime between 1700 hours and 1900
20 hours. Sometime between the two.
21 Q. Are you able to give us an idea of what time of day you had gone
22 to the command post of the 2nd Operational Group?
23 A. Well, sometime between 1600 and 1700 hours, or rather between 1500
24 and 1600 hours. Sometime around then.
25 Q. Was General Strugar present at the command post when you went?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you personally speak to General Strugar?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Did you understand whether or not or did you know whether or not
5 General Strugar moves about regularly when he's in Trebinje, or is he
6 constantly -- I'm sorry. Does he move about regularly or is he constantly
7 at his command post? What do you know about General Strugar's movements?
8 A. You mean on the 5th of December?
9 Q. In general.
10 A. I cannot know at all where he was and what his movements were. He
11 covered a broad range because his units were from Mostar to Dubrovnik, and
12 he had Podgorica where he had to go, too. But I think that on the 6th of
13 December, he was not at his command post. I think, but I'm not sure.
14 Q. Were you aware of any high-level negotiations in which
15 General Strugar may have played a part as commander of a 2nd Operational
16 Group in 1992 in connection with issues settling Croatian territories?
17 A. Yes. I know after I was relieved, he took part in negotiations
18 with General Bobetko on a destroyer sometime in 1992. I don't know
19 exactly which month. Zec told me about that, but I wasn't there then.
20 Q. What was the subject matter, if you know, if you were told, of the
21 discussions? Did it concern Dubrovnik area?
22 A. Yes, these were talks, final talks, regarding the final withdrawal
23 of units from the area of Dubrovnik on the basis of the Vance Plan that
24 had been adopted in order to have the JNA withdraw from Croatia.
25 Q. I would like to ask you if you know of any protests that may have
1 been lodged against the attack on the 6th of December and what your
2 response was to those protests?
3 A. Yes. As for me, not to repeat everything that I've already said,
4 I said to Minister Davorin and in the fax that I sent to Dubrovnik, I
5 expressed my regrets over what had happened and so on. The protest, the
6 official protest, went to the command of the 2nd Operational Group. I
7 don't know exactly what General Strugar's response was. I know what he
8 said to me, but I don't know officially what his response was.
9 Q. I would ask you, please, to turn to tab 39 in your binders.
10 MS. SOMERS: I'm terribly sorry. I'm corrected. I have 39. It
11 should be 34.
12 Q. Admiral Jokic, looking at this document, do you recognise it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it's dated 6 December 1991, and it reflects a fax time of
15 15.36, but it says at the bottom, "Received at approximately 1400." And
16 who is it to?
17 A. It was addressed to the Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik, or rather,
18 Minister Davorin Rudolf.
19 Q. Would you please just very quickly read the first lines of the
21 A. Yes. This is what it says, "These talks would be issued, continue
22 tomorrow, 12.00 after my return from Belgrade" --
23 Q. Perhaps you're not -- under message, where it says, "Your
24 Excellency," at the very beginning of your message.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you read that, please.
2 A. "I express my sincere regret for the difficult and unfortunate
3 situation that has been created. This was not our order, neither was it
4 ever in my mind to act this way. General Kadijevic sent a message to you
5 and to the ECMM in Dubrovnik on undertaking an energetic investigation at
6 our responsibility and the guilty ones for this event. At the same time,
7 we expect responsibility to be established on your side, too, for the sake
8 of a thorough clarification of all circumstances with regard to the events
9 from last night and this morning."
10 Q. I appreciate that.
11 MS. SOMERS: I would ask to move this document into evidence,
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: This document is P136.
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. Moving quickly to tab 39, please.
17 Admiral Jokic, in front of you is a document. Do you recognise
19 A. Yes. This is a directive.
20 Q. And the date of the directive, Admiral?
21 A. The date is the 10th of December 1991.
22 Q. And who is it from, this directive?
23 A. It's a directive of the Federal Secretary for National Defence on
24 the use of armed forces in the coming period.
25 Q. Can I ask you to turn your attention to paragraph 6, please,
1 under -- where it says, "Zadatke." If you could just let us know, what
2 does paragraph 6 say?
3 A. The paragraph says, "In all areas of combat activity, place in
4 command the most senior officer of the JNA all units of the JNA and TO, as
5 well as volunteer units which agreed to be subordinate to that command and
6 wear JNA and TO insignia. All other armed formations should consider to
7 be paramilitaries and should be disarmed and removed from the zone of
8 combat activities. Take all steps to prevent looting and genocidal,
9 vengeful behaviour. To this end, establish necessary control by engaging
10 military police organs and units designated for that purpose as well as
11 criminal prosecution organs."
12 Q. Thank you, Admiral. Now, this was issued after the attack on the
13 6th of December. Do you know why?
14 A. Well, probably because previous orders were not obeyed in respect
15 of command and using different units, diverse units, including volunteers
16 and paramilitary units that probably did exist in certain areas. Also, in
17 terms of this vengeful behaviour and looting.
18 MS. SOMERS: I'd ask to move this document into evidence, please.
19 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This document is numbered P137.
21 MS. SOMERS:
22 Q. Admiral Jokic, you have discussed your having come to The Hague.
23 And I want to ask you if you were charged by the Office of the Prosecutor
24 with violations of the laws or customs of war relating the shelling of the
25 Old Town of Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991. Were you charged with
1 violations? Were you indicted?
2 Was there an indictment against you for the attacks, your role in
3 the attacks against the Old Town of Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And did the counts indicate -- I'm sorry. Did the counts include
6 murder, cruel treatment, unlawful attack on civilians, devastation not
7 justified by military necessity, unlawful attack on civilian objects,
8 destruction or wilful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion,
9 charity, and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and
10 works of art and science?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are these the same counts that General Strugar is charged with?
13 Same charges?
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. Did you enter a plea of guilty to all counts before another Trial
16 Chamber of this institution on the 27th of August 2003?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Were you sentenced to a period of seven years' incarceration on
19 the 18th of March 2004?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And are you currently in the Detention Unit of the United Nations
22 prior to any further action on that imposition of sentence?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, as a final point, there is a video that
1 has some reference to the individuals that Admiral Jokic has mentioned
2 tour the Old Town on behalf of the JNA. I fear because of time the most I
3 could try to do would be to show the video enough to identify it - I'm
4 proffering what I would do - and then seek admission. And whatever
5 weight the Chamber wishes to affix to it, simply leave in your hands. But
6 I think time would prohibit anything more than that. If that is --
7 JUDGE PARKER: What is the playing time?
8 MS. SOMERS: I believe it's over 20 minutes. And I think that
9 would be not appropriate to have the Chamber wait beyond this time.
10 JUDGE PARKER: The timing at the moment, we would be delaying the
11 cross-examination of Admiral Jokic until after the evidence of -- or the
12 completion of the evidence of the Ambassador. I wonder whether you would
13 want to finalise dealing with that tape at the commencement of the next
14 session of the Admiral's evidence. In other words, not close your case
15 now; deal with it when the Admiral resumes as the one last thing.
16 MS. SOMERS: We could do that. The Defence was given this video.
17 It had not been on the original exhibit list. It was given prior to the
18 commencement of testimony. And I hope that has offered enough time to
19 review it without any objection.
20 JUDGE PARKER: What I propose will give them even further time. I
21 know that Mr. Petrovic was anxious to say something. He might say it at
22 the resumption of evidence of the Admiral.
23 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: What we might do is interrupt at this point the
25 evidence of Admiral Jokic for him to return certainly not tomorrow, but
1 probably the day following. And we will hear any submissions there may be
2 tomorrow about the resumption date of Admiral Jokic's evidence. We
3 will -- on the resumption of his evidence, whenever that is, you will deal
4 with that tape and any submissions of the Defence.
5 Now, is it still proposed that the Ambassador will give evidence
7 MS. SOMERS: Yes. The Ambassador is actually here today, but I
8 believe the time is not favourable to starting.
9 JUDGE PARKER: It would be impractical, yes.
10 MS. SOMERS: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE PARKER: What we will do is adjourn for today, resume
12 tomorrow morning. At the resumption tomorrow morning, we would hear brief
13 submissions on the way the Tribunal should deal with the medical condition
14 of the accused; that is, whether it should be dealt with on the written
15 record or whether we should hear oral evidence. We will hear those
16 submissions tomorrow morning. They need only be brief. And we will then
17 hear the Ambassador, and we will then hear any submissions that are to be
18 made about the resumption date and time of the evidence of the Admiral.
19 At the moment, we would anticipate that could be Wednesday.
20 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. May I just bring to the
21 Chamber's attention that from the binder, there were several tabs from
22 which we did not draw, so you know. I think tab 40 is already in
23 evidence, if I'm not wrong. But I didn't refer to it here. Tabs 35, 36
24 were not tendered. 40 and 36 -- I'm sorry, I have that backward. 40 and
25 36 were not tendered. 35 is in evidence.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. On the basis that I've indicated, we
2 will now adjourn for the day to resume tomorrow morning.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 30th day of March,
5 2004, at 9.00 a.m.