1 Thursday, 1 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Firstly, the Chamber would like to
6 deal with some decisions that remain to be delivered. There will be filed
7 today and distributed the Chamber's decision in respect of the question of
8 two expert witnesses which the Prosecution wish to call. We -- reasons
9 are set out in that decision. The conclusion to which we have come is
10 that the Chamber should hear the evidence of the two witnesses, but that
11 they should be available for cross-examination. And we recognise that
12 many of the matters raised by counsel for the Defence in their submission
13 will be relevant to and have to be weighed by the Tribunal as a matter of
14 weight in our evaluation of the evidence.
15 With respect to the motion of the Defence requesting assistance in
16 the matter of the recent interviews that were made available to them with
17 the witness Miodrag Jokic, interviews conducted by the Prosecution this
18 year which have been made available in disk and/or tape form, it was
19 thought that we should order or require that these disks and tapes be
20 produced in transcript form and that cross-examination of Admiral Jokic be
21 further delayed until that could be done. There have been earlier
22 submissions on more than one occasion with respect to this matter, and
23 earlier decisions of the Chamber. I won't go over those matters again.
24 They remain pertinent in respect of this decision.
25 In our view, it is not a case which raises the principle of the
1 equality of arms, as is submitted by the Defence. The Defence has had,
2 for some time, notice of the essential evidence upon which the Prosecution
3 would rely in respect of Admiral Jokic. The Defence has been provided
4 very late, regrettably late, with this additional interview material with
5 the Admiral, but the Defence has now had that material for a time enough
6 to review and evaluate its content. It's not that they are deprived of
7 this material; the pertinent issue is that they will not have the
8 advantage of it in transcript form as well as in disk and tape form when
9 it comes to cross-examination. In the Chamber's view, that does not
10 preclude the adequate use of this material by the Defence in the
11 cross-examination of the Admiral. It may make the process slower and less
12 efficient. For that, there can be no fault put on the Defence. It is due
13 entirely to the late making available of that information to them. But
14 nevertheless, the cross-examination, so far as this material may raise any
15 material new matter, apart from that which the Defence had already
16 adequate notice, in our view, may be adequately dealt with in
17 cross-examination, despite the inconvenience to which we've adverted.
18 In our view, there's no question of any basic right to a fair
19 trial being effected in this matter. So having regard to the fact that it
20 would involve, we are told, at least some two weeks' work to translate,
21 and there will be difficulty fitting in that work - I use the word
22 "translate," I should have said "transcribe" - and that there will be
23 difficulty fitting that work in for those responsible for performing the
24 task, we think there will be less interruption and delay in the trial if
25 the evidence now continues and cross-examination is conducted without the
1 added assistance of a transcript.
2 With respect to the Defence motion for cross-examination of
3 medical witnesses as to the question of the fitness of the accused to
4 stand trial, we would observe immediately that this is not an issue
5 regulated by rule. It must be determined according to the particular
6 circumstances affecting this issue, and the Chamber must be guided by
7 fairness and the interests of justice. In that light, we find ourselves
8 persuaded by some of the submissions of Mr. Petrovic, but we could more
9 reliably evaluate the competing reports if we had the advantage of hearing
10 cross-examination in which the opposing party can test the qualifications,
11 experience, the approach, and the conclusions of the author or authors of
12 the main expert report of the other side.
13 In the Chamber's conclusion, therefore, there should be an
14 opportunity for cross-examination. However, we make it clear that this
15 opportunity will not be unrestricted. These are expert medical reports.
16 There is no wide factual divergency, as with most of the ordinary
17 witnesses in this case. The points of professional divergence and their
18 merits can be adequately identified and explored in a limited time.
19 Further, where more than one expert has joined in a report, it is not, in
20 our view, necessary for every one of the authors to be called, to be
21 available for cross-examination, as the relevant issues for present
22 purposes can be identified and explored with any one of the authors.
23 Therefore, in the Chamber's view, first, at least one of the
24 expert authors of the primary Prosecution report should be called to give
25 evidence. We would indicate that more than one may be called, should the
1 Prosecution see reason for this, but in our view at least one should be
3 Secondly, the expert author of the Defence report should be called
4 to give evidence.
5 Thirdly, expert authors may give evidence by videolink, if that is
6 more practical. If this is desired in any particular case, any necessary
7 formal procedural steps, including any further orders that may be
8 necessary, should be dealt with and obtained by the party calling the
9 particular witness. So we leave it to each party to make any
10 administrative steps and obtain any further orders that prove necessary.
11 Fourthly, when each expert author is called, we do not presently
12 anticipate the need for other than short formal evidence-in-chief,
13 essentially identifying and tendering the report or reports that have been
14 produced by that party. As we have indicated, we accept the views
15 advanced by the Defence. The main purpose of the hearing is to enable
16 cross-examination, and that should be the area to which time is devoted.
17 We will limit the time of cross-examination. Our intention is
18 that we should be able to deal with this whole issue in one sitting day.
19 That means that we would normally anticipate that cross-examination of a
20 particular witness should not take longer than one hour. Given the nature
21 of the issues which we have briefly indicated earlier, in that time it
22 should be possible to identify areas of significant divergence and put
23 opposing views and principles. Re-examination will, again, be limited. We
24 cannot imagine that it would take longer than 10 or 15 minutes.
25 Fifthly, the parties should liaise with each other and with the
1 Chamber's senior legal officer, Ms. Musser, to coordinate a suitable date
2 for the evidence of these witnesses. In this respect the Chamber would
3 remind both parties for the need the Chamber strongly feels to conclude
4 consideration of this critical issue. It's been outstanding for too long,
5 in the Chamber's view.
6 Sixthly, while we have confined our order to the two primary
7 reports, one of the Prosecution and one of the Defence, leave is given for
8 the Prosecution to formally prove the MRI scan, which was performed this
9 year in The Hague, and the expert evaluation of it. And leave is also
10 given to either party to call any other expert whose opinion has been
11 taken into account of the expert author of the primary report of that
12 party. We give that leave and open that possibility in case either party
13 is concerned that there may be some subsidiary expert issue that ought at
14 least to be more formally placed before the Tribunal. If there is such a
15 need, and apart from the MRI scan we don't see it at the moment, but if
16 there is such a need we would expect that the treatment of that issue will
17 be brief indeed, and it too can be accommodated in the one sitting day
18 along with the other matters.
19 So we've granted those leaves, more out of caution and for
20 convenience rather than out of a concern by the Chamber that there really
21 is something there that must be dealt with. So please understand that
22 neither party needs to think they must come along with somebody else;
23 that's not the position. But if you see that there is a need for somebody
24 whose work is identified but perhaps not sufficiently explained in what is
25 before us, the opportunity is there.
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13 English transcripts.
1 Now, that will be quite a bit for the parties to absorb and
2 evaluate, but I think within what has been indicated by the Chamber is
3 sufficient to indicate the course and the format which we propose with
4 respect to the dealing with this important issue. We certainly think it
5 ought to be possible to get the evidence over in one sitting day with the
6 sort of discipline and restraints that we have indicated, but with
7 considerable advantage to the Chamber, as Mr. Petrovic has submitted, in
8 having the opportunity to hear the opposing view put to each witness and
9 any potential or submitted deficiencies in the expert's approach,
10 identified, and exposed, and tested. We hope that day when that evidence
11 can be dealt with will occur in the near future, and we would certainly be
12 prepared to interpose that day in the course of other evidence that is
13 progressing, as soon as convenient times can be identified.
14 I think we are now ready to proceed with the evidence of the
15 witness, if the witness could be brought in, please.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Admiral. If I could remind you of
18 the affirmation you took at the commencement of your evidence, it still
20 Now, I think you have matters to finalise, Ms. Somers.
21 MS. SOMERS: I do. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
22 WITNESS: MIODRAG JOKIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examined by Ms. Somers: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, Admiral Jokic.
1 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, in conclusion, I wanted to just cover a
2 couple of matters upon review of the transcripts that I thought needed to
3 be addressed, and then proceed with a video we discussed with the Chamber
4 before we retired with Admiral Jokic the last time.
5 Q. Admiral, can you confirm that General Strugar, as the commander of
6 the 2nd Operational Group, was commanding both land and naval forces?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The Prosecution has tendered into evidence through you during the
9 previous days of your testimony several combat orders -- shall I start
10 again? Are you hearing me okay, Admiral? Can you hear me?
11 A. I can hear you well, yes.
12 Q. The Prosecution has tendered into evidence through you during the
13 previous days of your testimony several combat orders issued by the 9th
14 VPS. Can you confirm that all such combat orders issued by the 9th VPS
15 were pursuant to orders of the 2nd Operational Group command?
16 A. Yes, absolutely.
17 Q. In connection with the shelling of the Old Town in October of
18 1991, in November of 1991, and in December, particularly
19 December -- speaking of December 6th, 1991, do you know if the JNA or the
20 JA, however you wish to refer to it, ever removed or brought formal
21 criminal charges - again, to your knowledge - against General Strugar,
22 Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, yourself, Milan Zec,
23 Colonel Gavrilo Kovacevic, Major Komar or Colonel Gojko Djurasic. We'll
24 go one by one. Were any charges in connection with the shelling
25 incidents, charges or removal, brought, to your knowledge, against
1 General Pavle Strugar?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Against yourself, Admiral Jokic, in connection with these
5 A. No.
6 Q. Against Captain Vladimir Kovacevic, the commander of the
7 3rd Battalion of the Trebinje -- of the 472nd Brigade?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Colonel Gavrilo Kovacevic?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Major Komar, the Chief of Staff of the Trebinje Brigade?
12 A. No.
13 Q. May I also add Obrad Vicic, the commander of the Trebinje Brigade?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Colonel Gojko Djurasic?
16 A. No, he had nothing to do with it.
17 Q. Admiral, did you retire with an honourable discharge? Excuse me,
18 before I ask you this question. I've just given you a list of names of
19 persons. Is there any other person that the JNA brought criminal charges
20 against or removed as a result of the shellings that I have indicated
21 against the Old Town of Dubrovnik? I've only given you a list. Is there
22 any other person you can cite that was criminally charged and/or removed
23 for these acts, that you're aware of?
24 A. As far as I know, no.
25 Q. Admiral, did you retire honourably, with an honourable discharge?
1 A. Well, I can say how I left, then you can assess it. In the
2 decision on my retirement, it said that I retired at my own request, which
3 was not true. I then said that I did not want to retire under those
4 conditions. I did not ask to retire; they were retiring me prematurely, a
5 few years prematurely. I did not have an order on appointment,
6 appointment as commander of the sector. This order stayed back in
7 Belgrade and I never received it. I also got a pension that was much
8 lower than that that my assistants got. That's all.
9 Q. Do you believe -- well, perhaps you can explain why you were
10 prematurely retired. Would you explain what your belief is.
11 A. Well, I can say that there were some differences in terms of
12 command. First of all, I did not mince my words. And from time to time I
13 disagreed with the way in which the operation was being conducted. And
14 before that, I was very critical vis-a-vis the regime, and the euphoria
15 that prevailed then in society, in politics, and in the military. That
16 was manifested earlier on when I was a cabinet member, and then I was
17 removed from that government. And then I was, temporarily, sector
19 Q. When you say "the regime," you were critical of the regime, which
20 regime were you referring to?
21 A. I'm talking about the regime of Slobodan Milosevic at that time.
22 Q. Thank you, Admiral.
23 Do you know whether or not General Strugar retired with an
24 honourable discharge?
25 A. As far as I know, yes.
1 Q. What about captain of the battleship, Milan Zec? Did he stay in
2 the military and did he achieve any further positions after the Dubrovnik
4 A. Yes. He was battleship captain, and he reached the rank of three
5 star admiral, and then he retired quite normally.
6 Q. Admiral of the naval -- forces -- the naval forces of the JA?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know when he retired?
9 A. He retired I think in 2000 or 2001, I think.
10 Q. Admiral, in May of 1992 was a group of high-ranking officers,
11 generals included, retired by the regime? Was there a number of -- were a
12 number of persons retired out by the regime?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 You had testified that officers of the 9th VPS and a cameraman had
16 been sent to assess the damage caused to the Old Town as a result of the
17 shelling of the 6th of December, and you sent them, I believe, on the 8th
18 of December. You indicated that there had been video footage that they
19 had taken. Had you seen that footage?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. SOMERS: I would ask, if we may, please, show a video, which
22 by way of introduction is a video taken by the Croatians who are escorting
23 the JNA officers who appear in plain clothes. And I will ask Admiral
24 Jokic if he can assist us with identification of those officers. I also
25 indicate to the Chamber that it is evident that this video was taped over
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13 English transcripts.
1 another video. There are, I think, two instances where you see -- it may
2 have been stopped and then a commercial sector of what looks like a movie
3 appears, a black and white. It appears to simply have been a re-tapeover
4 [sic], so by way of explanation. Thank you. I think there's sound as
5 well. Thank you
6 [Videotape played]
7 MS. SOMERS: There should be some sound, if we can stop for a
8 moment, please. Yeah, it's background -- it may not be of much
9 assistance, but there is some background sound that is ...
10 If we're unable to proceed with sound, I ask that we go on and
11 move ahead. I think it speaks for ...
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. SOMERS: The date shown is 12th -- 8th of December, 1991.
14 Stop please. Stop please. Could you go back for just a moment.
15 Q. Admiral, I'm going to ask you if you can identify --
16 MS. SOMERS: Stop please.
17 Q. These persons -- sorry. If you know or can identify these persons
18 who are in raincoats or trenchcoats.
19 A. Yes. In the middle is Captain Boskovic, my officer from the
20 sector command.
21 Q. Is this -- when you say "in the middle," is this the gentleman in
22 the dark trenchcoat?
23 A. Yes. That's right.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MS. SOMERS: If I can ask my colleague, Ms. McCreath, to go back
1 and get another still of the other gentleman, please, and to stop it as
2 soon as he appears on the screen.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MS. SOMERS: Stop. Stop please.
5 Q. Do you recognise another person in civilian garb in this picture?
6 Is it clear enough for you to see? Perhaps cut it to the side -- I'm
7 sorry, it's not a very --
8 A. Yes. This is Pesic. I think it's Lieutenant Pesic. He's a
9 lawyer. He spent very little time in the command. We took him in, I
10 don't know how much before all of this happened. But it's him, yes, he
11 was dealing with legal matters.
12 MS. SOMERS: If we move along as we get a better still, I will ask
13 my colleague to stop.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour. Something is not in
15 the transcript. The transcript does not reflect that he was lawyer in the
16 command of the sector.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic.
18 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
19 Q. Who is that, please?
20 A. No, it's him. This is the Pesic, the man Pesic, the one in front.
21 I mean, it's clearer now.
22 Q. Okay. And you had seen him before -- you had seen him at the
23 time, in December of 1991?
24 A. Yes, yes, of course.
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would just like
1 for -- to ask for a brief pause, please. The person that the person
2 indicated now is quite different from the previous person.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, we've identified that.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] He said that the previous person was
5 also Pesic. So can he state his views accurately? Can he be shown both
6 persons and say which one is Pesic.
7 JUDGE PARKER: I think he has indicated clearly enough that this
8 person in the light trenchcoat is, in his view, Pesic. He accepts that
9 earlier he was mistaken when he identified another man. We would have to
10 evaluate that in due course. Thank you, Mr. Rodic.
11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. Admiral, is that -- do you know, is that a cameraman who was also
15 part of the contingent, if you know the face. Or if you don't, do you
16 know a cameraman was, in fact, sent?
17 A. I cannot be certain. I don't know who the cameraman was. My
18 memory fails me as far as that's concerned. I just know about the
19 officers. A cameraman was engaged, but now who it was -- it was a
20 civilian person. That's why I don't know him.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MS. SOMERS:
24 Q. Admiral Jokic, can I ask you, first of all, there were several
25 individuals in white-type outfits, white-style outfits. Do you know from
1 which organisation those persons have come that have joined the group of
2 JNA officers, in the white outfits?
3 A. I think they were the representatives of UNESCO or observers from
4 the European Monitoring Mission. I know that some had white outfits, and
5 others wore normal civilian clothes.
6 Q. Thank you, Admiral.
7 Was the video footage which you viewed recorded by the officers
8 from the JNA or from the 9th VPS similar in content to what you have just
10 A. Yes. With regard to substance, it is similar. But I cannot
11 actually claim that I now identified all the details that I saw at the
12 time. I seem to feel that this is far more impressive now. They have a
13 greater impact, the images of the destruction and everything else now,
14 looking at this footage now. But I would like to make two remarks in that
15 regard, having said that. As far as I remember, on the footage I saw - or
16 perhaps I got this mixed up - but above Onofrio's fountain, on the wall
17 there was something written above that, and I think I saw that shown
18 during the Milosevic trial. There was footage of what it said above the
19 fountain. It said "What Onofrije built, Sofronije destroyed." Now I
20 didn't recognise that or see it on this particular footage, and I remember
21 the actual hit to the bell tower itself, the bell tower of the monastery
22 in actual fact. At the top, there was a hole caused by a shell. I'm not
23 sure if I missed it on this footage, but I don't recall having seen that.
24 So those are my only two comments with respect to what I have just seen.
25 All the rest I do believe corresponds.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise for interpretation
2 purposes. The witness said the bell tower of the monastery. It's not
3 recorded in the transcript and it's important that it be recorded.
4 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
5 Q. To your knowledge, Admiral Jokic, was this the only contingent of
6 JNA officers or representatives to tour the Old Town and record the
7 damage -- now this damage is two days after the shelling, this is 8th of
8 December. Do you know of any other group or contingent that was sent by
9 you or by any in the 2nd Operational Group command or anyone else on
10 behalf of the JNA to record the damage?
11 A. No, that was the only group with that purpose in mind.
12 Q. When you commented a few moments ago that this particular video
13 was more impressive, what did you mean or what do you mean by that?
14 A. What I meant was that my impression, having seen this now, if I
15 compare it to my impressions while I looked at it at the command in
16 Kumbor, at the headquarters there.
17 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the translation of that last part. It
18 was not -- I got it. Thank you.
19 Do you know if you were shown or if the video which you saw had
20 less damage shown, if you recall?
21 A. Well, it's very difficult for me to say that now and to remember.
22 Q. The damage which you have just seen on this video, in your view is
23 it substantial or minor?
24 A. These are substantial damages.
25 Q. Thank you very much.
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13 English transcripts.
1 MS. SOMERS: At this time, this concludes the
2 examination-in-chief. And I would like to tender into evidence, please,
3 this video.
4 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be marked as P145.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Ms. Somers.
7 Mr. Rodic.
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Rodic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Jokic. Admiral, I am lawyer
11 Goran Rodic, and I am Defence counsel for Pavle Strugar. I'm going to ask
12 you some questions with respect to the answers you gave during the
13 examination-in-chief, answers you gave to my learned friend of the
15 My first question to you is this: Did General Strugar ever order
16 you to attack or hit Dubrovnik and the Old Town?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Do you know whether he issued these orders to anybody else to
19 target Dubrovnik and the Old Town?
20 A. No, I don't think so. No.
21 Q. If I understood you correctly, during the examination-in-chief you
22 even said that in his orders there was express prohibition on opening fire
23 on Dubrovnik and the Old Town. Is that right?
24 A. Yes, absolutely so.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me please, from what year to what year
1 did you spend doing active service in the Yugoslav People's Army, between
2 what period?
3 A. I went to the naval academy in 1954, and I was retired -- I
4 retired in 1992.
5 Q. That makes it 38 years, I believe, of working service?
6 A. No. You don't count the academy. From 1957. I misspoke. I
7 joined the JNA in 1957, in actual fact, and worked there until 1992.
8 Q. Tell me please, in view of the duties and posts you held in the
9 navy, did you have extra years of service?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So with this extra years of service, did you have more than 40
12 years of service in actual fact? Did you surpass the necessary number of
14 A. I think so, but I wasn't old enough so I could stay on in the army
15 for another four or five days [as interpreted], in view of the rank I had,
16 just as other officers did and generals did, General Strugar being a case
17 in point.
18 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me. Was it four or five days or four or five
19 years, as we think we may have seen. The transcript says "days," "four or
20 five days."
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, years.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In the course of your years of service in the army, were you
25 promoted ahead of time?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many times did you receive fast promotion?
3 A. Once, two years prior to the regular date.
4 Q. Were you ever punished in any way during your years of service,
6 A. No, never.
7 Q. Were you always given good marks by your officers during your
8 years of service?
9 A. Yes. I always had very good and excellent marks accorded me.
10 Q. Was your brother an active duty officer as well?
11 A. Yes, he was.
12 Q. Can you tell us, please, what he was.
13 A. He retired at his own request as a three star admiral in 1991, at
14 the end -- or rather, during 1991.
15 Q. That means that you served the army at the same time, is that
16 right, in the navy in actual fact?
17 A. Yes, in part that would be true.
18 Q. I assume that he held high military functions during his military
19 career as well. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, of course.
21 Q. Can you enumerate some of them and tell us what the post was from
22 which he retired.
23 A. He was chief of staff in the fleet, then for many years he was
24 head of the centre of military schools in Split and then served a time in
25 Belgrade, where he was head of the high military schools. And his last
1 post was assistant federal secretary for logistics.
2 Q. When you say assistant to the federal secretary for logistics, or
3 the rear, was he assistant to General Kadijevic, is that what you mean?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How long during his actual term of office was he there occupying
6 that post?
7 A. I think for about a year and a half, almost two years.
8 Q. I should just like to ask you to make a break between question and
9 answer, because we're speaking the same language and they'll probably tell
10 us to slow down and pause between question and answer.
11 Is it true and correct that you were commander of the 9th Military
12 Naval Sector between 1983 and 1988?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. After that, what was your next post and position, your job?
15 A. In 1988, I was sent for extra training and education for one year.
16 Q. What happened after that period of training?
17 A. After that period of training, I went back to take up my duties as
18 sector commander. And then subsequently I was sent to the government of
19 Serbia, where I became secretary for defence.
20 Q. So that roughly corresponds, that post actually in a government
21 corresponds to defence minister. Would that be it, although that's not
22 what it was called at the time, but it would correspond to the function
23 and post of Minister of Defence. Would I be right in saying that?
24 A. Yes. In the first government of Prime Minister Stanko Radmilovic,
25 that post was called Secretary of Defence. And then later on it became
1 Minister of Defence.
2 Q. You said that you were sent from the post of commander of the
3 military naval sector to the government of Serbia take up your duties
4 there. Can you tell us a little bit more about how that came about, who
5 sent you and so forth.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be allowed to
7 explain how this came about, with the Court's indulgence?
8 In 1988, I was already proposed and nominated for the Secretary of
9 Defence, I don't know who put me forward, but I went to the command of the
10 then-military naval district Admiral Grubisic and told him I didn't want
11 to take up that duty, that post, because I wasn't not well versed in that
12 kind of business. I was a naval officer, that's the training I received,
13 and I was educated as a naval officer, to perform that duty, so I said I
14 didn't want to take up this new post.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Could you give me the name of the person who put you forward and
17 how it came about from commander you went to take up the post of minister
18 in the republican government of Serbia.
19 A. I would like to state once again that I do not know who put my
20 name forward for that post. And apart from that, I didn't complete what I
21 was saying.
22 Q. Well, go ahead.
23 A. After I rejected this offer, another officer was put in that post.
24 His name was Colonel Slobodan Mikic, he was appointed. And that was in
25 1988. And when I went to Kupari on one occasion for my holidays, I think
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that was in 1989, in the summer of 1989, when as part of my normal duties
2 I received the federal secretary and I welcomed him at the airport, he
3 said to me: "This time you won't be able to escape the post. And it
4 would seem that we have to send you to Belgrade to take up your post."
5 Q. I do apologise, but could you tell us who the federal secretary
6 was at the time.
7 A. General Kadijevic. I tried on that occasion, once again, to say
8 that I don't think this would be a happy solution for me to take up that
9 post. I tried to evade the issue. However, he said to me that this time
10 that's how it had to be and that the officer, Mikic, that they had major
11 problems with Officer Mikic and that he had to be replaced. That's all.
12 Q. And did you obey the federal secretary at the time, the federal
13 secretary of national defence, General Kadijevic? Did you act
15 A. Well, there was nothing I could do. I listened to orders. I was
16 sent to that structure and institution as an officer. I was dispatched
17 there, as was the case in all other Yugoslav republics of the day.
18 Q. What about the federal secretary, Kadijevic, was he the man who
19 put your name forward to occupy the post of minister?
20 A. I don't know that. I can't say.
21 Q. Well, do you know who did put you forward, if it was someone else?
22 A. I've already said that I don't know. Quite possibly it might have
23 been another general. I can't remember his name just now, but I'll
24 remember it in due course, I'm sure. Anyway, he knew me and he would come
25 to the coast for training exercises. At the time, he was the federal
1 minister for internal affairs.
2 Q. Tell me, please, do you know Dusan Mihajlovic?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Would Dusan Mihajlovic at that time be the man who occupied a post
5 in the government of the Republic of Serbia perhaps?
6 A. Yes. Now, I understood your question to mean general, which
7 general proposed me.
8 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm sorry to interrupt, but
9 it's unclear about an answer that was just given to Mr. Rodic's question.
10 The question was page 21, line 15: "Well, do you know who put you
11 forward, was it someone else?"
12 And the answer then goes on, and the last line says: "At the
13 time, he was the federal minister for internal affairs."
14 Is that a correct translation? Thank you. I apologise.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be allowed to
16 explain. I have fully understood the question now, what is being asked of
17 me --
18 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Jokic. Not to waste time, because we're going
20 to need a lot of time. Would you please answer my questions. Now, if I
21 do something incorrectly, then Their Honours are there to caution me. So
22 please do your best to answer my questions as succinctly as possible. I
23 see that you are looking at the screen to see whether what I have said has
24 been interpreted in the transcript, but that takes up quite a lot of time.
25 It will be sufficient just make short breaks between my questions and your
1 answers. Do you understand me?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Specifically let me ask you this: Was it perhaps Dusan
4 Mihajlovic, who at the time was a member of the Serbian government, who
5 proposed you for Minister of Defence in the government of Serbia, that you
6 should occupy that post?
7 A. Yes, but he wasn't in the government of Serbia at that time.
8 Q. What was he at that time, Dusan Mihajlovic, if he wasn't a member
9 of the government?
10 A. At the time, as far as I understood him, he was given the mandate
11 of composing the Serbian government. However, when the government was
12 actually formed, he became the first deputy prime minister. He didn't
13 become the prime minister of that government.
14 Q. Tell me, please, who gave him the mandate to form a government for
16 A. Well, the person in charge of that. I assume the president of the
18 Q. Well, who was the president of the republic at that time?
19 A. It was Slobodan Milosevic.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, it is.
22 JUDGE PARKER: We will have a break then.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Jokic, when Dusan Mihajlovic put your name forward for
3 minister in the Serbian government, you said that at that moment he was
4 not a member of government himself, if I understood you correctly. Is
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How much later after you had become minister did he, too, become
8 member of the Serbian government?
9 A. It happened at the same time.
10 Q. What was his position?
11 A. He was vice-president of the government. He was in charge of
12 political issues. There were four vice-presidents. He, I assume, was the
13 deputy in charge of political issues.
14 Q. Can you tell me what Dusan Mihajlovic did just after he became a
15 member of government. What did he do?
16 A. He had been president of Valjevo municipality.
17 Q. You two knew each other well from Valjevo, didn't you?
18 A. Yes, I hail from Valjevo.
19 Q. You are friends, aren't you? How long have you been friends?
20 A. Yes, we were at the time. We had met each other and we were
21 friends, yes.
22 Q. When did you meet?
23 A. We were introduced by the then-president of the executive council
24 of Valjevo municipality, Slobodan Djukic. We had grown up together, and
25 he was the person who introduced me to him.
1 Q. How long was that before Mihajlovic put your name forward for
2 Minister of Defence?
3 A. I think that was a year earlier.
4 Q. Is it true that at the time he put your name forward for that
5 position, Mihajlovic was not involved in any private business?
6 A. Not as far as I know. He had founded a party at the time.
7 Q. What was the name of his party?
8 A. The New Democracy.
9 Q. Can you tell me specifically the period of time that you spent as
10 defence minister in the government of Serbia.
11 A. From November or December 1989 to the 31st of July, 1991.
12 Q. As this was not a full term of office with the government, how did
13 it come about that you left the position?
14 A. I left that position because a conclusion had been reached that I
15 was not supporting the government's policy. This was founded on several
16 examples. They were not happy with my work as defence minister.
17 Q. What was this opposition between the government on the other hand
18 and you as minister on the other reflected in?
19 A. Specifically, there were several times when I voted against the
20 government's decisions. As far as I remember, the first time was about
21 Slovenia and about the prices about of merchandise rising. I spoke out
22 about this as a session of the government and I voted against it.
23 Furthermore, I was asked to give my position on the Kosovo situation after
24 I had been there. This was a coordination meeting, as they called it,
25 which was also attended by President Milosevic. I put forward my
1 position. I said that repression at Kosovo was counterproductive and that
2 the policy should be changed -- or rather, that the rallies that were
3 very -- that were massive at the time would become a rebellion. After I
4 said that, I was never called again to offer my opinions at these
5 coordination meetings.
6 Also, when they were drafting the law on the national defence of
7 Serbia, I proposed several solutions that were based on the federal law,
8 meaning that the president of the republic had no authority to appoint the
9 commander of Serbia's Territorial Defence, to promote him, or to remove
10 him, or to command the Territorial Defence forces himself. I was in open
11 opposition to that, so I was called by President Milosevic in connection
12 with two articles that were related to that particular problem.
13 Q. Very well. As for your opposition in the government, your friend
14 Mihajlovic, did he also vote against those decisions, or did he vote
15 differently? Briefly, please.
16 A. I don't remember anything about that, but I know that he
17 criticised the government and he was in negotiations with the opposition
18 parties at the time. And that's why he was removed from the government.
19 Q. At the same time as you were or later?
20 A. That was a little before I was.
21 Q. Briefly, while you were minister, did you work on any substantial
22 projects or laws as a member of the Serbian government?
23 A. My most substantial task was to have this law on national defence
24 passed as well as a plan of Serbia's defence.
25 Q. So were these passed during your term of office?
1 A. Yes. However, neither were applied eventually, neither of these
3 Q. Can you tell me what you did from the 31st of July, 1991, to the
4 7th of October, 1991, when you arrived in Kumbor to take up your duty as
5 commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector?
6 A. I had been thrown out of the government on the 31st of July, and I
7 was not assigned another duty. I was replaced by General Simovic. I left
8 for the countryside, where I did some farming in my garden, my father's
10 Q. Were you thrown out of the government or were you simply not
11 re-elected? What was it really?
12 A. There was a reconstruction of the government, and three ministers
13 were left out, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence,
14 and I believe the minister who was in charge of liaising with Serbs
15 outside Serbia, however I'm not sure about this latter.
16 Q. What was your role in 1990 and 1991 in relation to the areas in
17 Croatia that were populated by Serbs in terms of arming?
18 A. I had no role in that. I was not involved. Specifically, there
19 were requests by certain representatives who came to the government asking
20 for assistance in terms of money, weapons, manpower, and so on. On
21 several occasions I spoke to Prime Minister Zelenovic in order to arrange
22 to give those people the assistance they requested. I remember two
23 specific examples in connection with that.
24 At that time, the Ministry of the Interior had taken over this
25 work. I was not involved myself. My task --
1 Q. Were weapons being sent to Croatia at the time? That's my
3 A. While I was minister, I didn't send any. I collected weapons that
4 belonged to the Ministry of Defence, and then an order came for those
5 weapons, communications equipment, to be handed over to the Ministry of
6 the Interior.
7 Q. When you say that you had collected weapons in your capacity as
8 defence minister, can you please elaborate on that. Where did you get the
9 weapons from? What sort of weapons were those and where did you have it
11 A. Serbia's Ministry of Defence didn't have an army or weapons to
12 give to the army. In our storages there were weapons that were no longer
13 in use, infantry weapons, Soviet- and American-produced. There was a
14 product, an idea, to sell these weapons, since the weapons were out of
15 date. And there was an offer, or rather, a request by a man named
16 Vasiljkovic who was willing to buy those weapons. However, this never
17 materialised, because this was a form of assistance and these were not to
18 be sold.
19 Q. So you sent those weapons as assistance to the Krajina, didn't
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. Did anyone else do so?
23 A. Later on after I had gone, those weapons were handled through the
24 Ministry of the Interior. I'm not sure through what channels exactly, but
25 I heard later from General Simovic and others that the weapons had been
2 Q. When you arrived in Kumbor on the 7th of October to take up your
3 new duty in the military naval sector, how did you get there and who
4 travelled with you?
5 A. After reporting, I took a plane from Belgrade with
6 General Kadijevic and the president of Montenegro, Momir Bulatovic was
7 also with him. We travelled as far as the Golubovci airport in Podgorica.
8 Q. During your flight with General Kadijevic, did you discuss your
9 new position and the tasks awaiting you in the 9th Military Naval Sector?
10 A. No, we didn't discuss that. Back in Belgrade I was told by the
11 chief of staff of the General Staff, General Adzic, that I would take up
12 my duty as sector commander to replace Captain Djurovic, who had been
13 killed. I expected that I would be briefed in greater detail as soon as I
14 arrived in Podgorica, or rather, in Kumbor.
15 Q. You had spent three months without an assignment, and you were at
16 home. And you, of all people, were selected. Do you think that the fact
17 that you had been commander of the military naval sector for many years
18 before that and the fact that you knew people in that military formation,
19 that you enjoyed a position of authority among them, do you think that
20 affected your appointment?
21 A. Yes, I think those reasons did affect my appointment.
22 Q. When you retired in May 1992, did you continue to live in Valjevo?
23 A. Yes. Until the end of 1992, I stayed in Herceg-Novi, but I
24 suffered attacks there, personal attacks. So I had to sell my flat and go
25 to Belgrade. I spent some time in Belgrade and some time in the
1 countryside, near Valjevo.
2 Q. Why did you come under attack in Herceg-Novi?
3 A. The immediate reason was for me to leave immediately. I was
4 assaulted once; there was an attempt. The way I ran the war, why I was so
5 lenient with the Croats, why I allowed the Croats to get as far as
6 Prevlaka. They said I was a traitor and so on and so forth.
7 Q. Was it one of your subordinate officers who told you this?
8 A. No, there was a group of civilians from the village of Zvinje
9 near Prevlaka. They believed that I was to blame because of the lenient
10 way in which combat was conducted and the way I treated the Croatian army.
11 Q. Village of Zvinje, is it the same village that in late September
12 1991 on the border of Montenegro was shelled by the Croatian forces?
13 A. Yes, that's the village.
14 Q. This occurred before the Dubrovnik operation had begun, didn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Following your retirement, did you become a member of the New
17 Democracy, Dusan Mihajlovic's party?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. This party, was it part of Slobodan Milosevic's government until
20 the year 2000?
21 A. No, it wasn't.
22 Q. How long was it for then?
23 A. When I joined that party, it was not part of Serbia's government;
24 it was in opposition. In 1993, I believe, when Dusan Mihajlovic became
25 part of the government, I opposed that and I broke up relations with him
1 for a year or two.
2 Q. Wasn't Dusan Mihajlovic in that government from 1993 to 1997?
3 A. Until 1996, something like that, I think.
4 Q. Let me remind you, was it perhaps until the autumn of 1997 in the
5 government of Slobodan Milosevic?
6 A. I know that in 1996 I was invited by the New Democracy to make our
7 peace, and that I should work on the partnership for peace programme. In
8 1997, after the election results were rigged in Serbia - this was an
9 election that had been lost by Slobodan Milosevic - I took part in the
10 demonstrations for three months every single day.
11 Q. All right, Admiral. I asked you another question and I wanted an
12 answer to that question. Let's not go beyond that.
13 Can you tell me what position you held in the New Democracy party.
14 Just briefly, please.
15 A. I was president of the committee for defence and counsellor for
16 military affairs to the president of the party.
17 Q. Tell me, after you were retired when you became a member of the
18 New Democracy, was that when Dusan Mihajlovic got into private business?
19 A. I think the answer is yes, but I have nothing to do with that. I
20 lived on my retirement pension. I --
21 Q. All right. Tell me, in the year 2000, after Milosevic was
22 removed, did Dusan Mihajlovic become Minister of the Interior in the new
23 Serbian government?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Tell me, from October 2000 until October 2001 when the
1 Prosecutor's indictment against you was unsealed, what did you do in the
2 party or for Mihajlovic?
3 A. At that time, I didn't do anything. I was totally passive at the
5 Q. Again, General Aco Vasiljevic, was he in Dusan Mihajlovic's party?
6 Did he hold a particular position in that party?
7 A. Yes. When I worked on that partnership for peace programme, there
8 were a few generals in the New Democracy party who assisted in this
9 effort, among them General Aco Vasiljevic.
10 Q. Is it correct that at the time when these things took place in
11 2001, General Vasiljevic was head of the security administration of the
12 JNA -- in 1991, I stand corrected?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that after that, after a short break, he again held
15 high positions within the security service in the Army of Yugoslavia later
17 A. No, no. In 1991 he was arrested, tried, and he spent about a year
18 in prison.
19 Q. When was he activated again?
20 A. Until 1999, until the aggression against Yugoslavia, until the
21 bombing, he was passive. That's when I met him. I did not know him
22 before that. When we worked on the project related to Yugoslavia's
23 joining the partnership for peace. I worked with him then for about a
24 year perhaps.
25 Q. In October, November, and December 1991, was General Vasiljevic
1 head of the security administration in the JNA?
2 A. Yes, he was.
3 Q. Are the two of you friends?
4 A. I've already explained this to you. At that time, I did not know
5 him. I met him in 1996, when I worked on the partnership for peace
6 programme. He lived near my brother, and that's when we met and started
8 Q. Is it true that Dusan Mihajlovic, Minister of the Interior,
9 brought you to The Hague himself -- or rather, that he accompanied you to
10 The Hague?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was he Minister of the Interior in February 2002, if I'm not
13 mistaken, when you were provisionally released?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. After you returned from The Hague, did he give you an official car
16 and a security detail?
17 A. Yes, he did. This was upon the request of The Hague Tribunal.
18 Q. Did The Hague Tribunal ask that you be assigned an official
19 vehicle and a personal security detail?
20 A. The explanation I was given when I came to report, he explained to
21 me that this was in line with the agreement on keeping me under control
22 and protected while I'm provisionally released, and that this was at the
23 request of The Hague Tribunal.
24 Q. I'm asking you specifically whether in the written decision
25 allowing your provisional release, did you see anywhere in that document
1 that the MUP of Serbia was supposed to assign an official vehicle to you
2 and a personal security detail? Or are some other conditions set forth
3 there regarding your provisional release?
4 A. I'm not aware of these details; I don't know what you're referring
5 to. I just know what the core of the matter is, that I had to be given
6 protection, that I had to be under control, that there had to be reporting
7 I think every month, in view of my movements. And those were the
8 requirements of The Hague Tribunal. I'm not aware of the details
10 Q. Were members of the MUP assigned to your personal security detail?
11 A. There were always two men with me.
12 Q. In the period from when you were provisionally released until you
13 returned to The Hague -- or rather, the 27th of August, when you entered
14 your guilty plea, did you prepare your defence during that period?
15 A. Yes, I did. Yes.
16 Q. For the purposes of preparing your defence, did you talk to
17 several witnesses who could have given you information that was useful for
19 A. Yes, I did. Yes. With the investigators -- together with the
20 investigators, for the most part.
21 Q. Did you come to see these witnesses with a police escort in an
22 official vehicle of the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia?
23 A. Yes, I could not go by myself.
24 Q. Was Dusan Mihajlovic Minister of the Interior in the government of
25 the Republic of Serbia when you entered your guilty plea before The Hague
2 A. Yes, he was. Yes.
3 Q. Vladimir Kovacevic, nicknamed Rambo, indicted before this
4 Tribunal, stated in the courtroom that through Minister Mihajlovic you
5 organised a break into his apartment and that then his documents and cards
6 were taken out of his apartment.
7 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. Quoting from another Chamber
8 of the Tribunal, that is inappropriate.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not necessarily. I don't
10 have to quote a different Trial Chamber -- proceedings before a different
11 Trial Chamber. I can quote the media. This was published in
12 newspapers --
13 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues]... Simply put the
14 question, Mr. Rodic, whether the witness knows of a break-in and whether
15 he had any part in it, if that's what you're wanting to ask.
16 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your Honour.
17 Q. So, Mr. Jokic, do you have any knowledge about this, about the
18 organisation of this break-in into Kovacevic's apartment, when his
19 documents were taken away as well as military maps? Was that done in the
20 organisation of the MUP of Serbia?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I explain this?
22 May I give a broader explanation in this regard, or should I briefly
24 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Answer the question I put to you.
1 A. I have no knowledge that is even close to what you are talking
2 about, and there is not a shred of truth in this.
3 Q. Did you contact Kovacevic when you were provisionally released?
4 A. No. I contacted him before I came to The Hague, and if you wish I
5 can tell you about it.
6 Q. There is no need for you to do that.
7 So these assertions made by Kovacevic are not true?
8 A. There is not a grain of truth in that.
9 Q. During the examination-in-chief, you said that Vladimir Kovacevic,
10 when you met him once, said that General Strugar gave him an apartment in
11 Podgorica and that in return he gave him a passenger car. Is that what
12 you said?
13 A. Yes. It's not only that he told me about this; several officers
15 Q. Did you work operationally in the field? Did you gather
16 information for this kind of statement?
17 A. I worked on my defence. This is what I was told by officers who
18 were still active officers at the time and who knew the nature of this
19 relationship and the details that I had no idea about whatsoever at the
20 time of my command.
21 Q. Are you sure that you are not speculating with these data to the
22 detriment of General Strugar?
23 A. Absolutely not.
24 Q. You claim that's the truth, what you said just now?
25 A. I claim that this is what I was told, what Captain Kovacevic said
1 to me, at least two or three other officers as well.
2 Q. Did people talk about you and was it even written in the
3 newspapers, that you took war booty from the Dubrovnik theatre of war?
4 A. Yes, but I can explain that, and there is evidence.
5 Q. Please, I just put a brief question to you. Is that what was
6 written and is that what people talked about?
7 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers?
8 MS. SOMERS: The witness did not complete what he wanted to say.
9 JUDGE PARKER: He has answered the question. He wants to give a
10 full explanation I suspect. It's something you could raise in
11 re-examination, if Mr. Rodic doesn't pursue it.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Since you answer in the affirmative, was it that several persons
14 said such things about you?
15 A. No. The example is not the same. There was ambiguous writing
16 about me in the newspapers, and what I claimed had to do with specific
17 statements made by persons who knew about this.
18 Q. All right. This person who wrote about you in the newspapers, do
19 you know him personally?
20 A. In Vecernje Novosti which was the first newspaper to write about
21 this, it was signed as: "A group of journalists from Vecernje Novosti".
22 When I wanted to sue them, then they kept giving me these explanations.
23 Who are you going to sue?
24 Q. You could have sued the editor-in-chief.
25 A. The editor-in-chief was linked to a man who led to the fact that I
1 was attacked by given him presents, not only in Vecernje Novosti, but also
2 newspapers in Montenegro, and television in Montenegro.
3 Q. I have no intention of pursuing this in depth, but my question was
4 whether, bearing in mind what you said just now, it must have been several
5 persons who talked about this.
6 A. It's not a question of persons. It has to do with a problem. If
7 the Honourable Trial Chamber wishes, I can explain how come this campaign
8 came to be, that I was proclaimed to be a robber and that the newspapers
9 wrote about that and that Montenegro, General Strugar, and all other
10 protagonists who took part in the looting decided to blame me. I can
11 document this.
12 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to
13 distribute some documents, please.
14 Q. Could you read out what it says -- or rather, read through this
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Does this certify that the housing institution of 1313 military
18 post Belgrade issues this certificate, according to its records, which
19 show that Novica Vladimir Kovacevic, a retired army pensioner from
20 Belgrade did not receive an apartment on any grounds from the military
21 housing fund in the barracks of Podgorica. And that this certificate is
22 being issued for purposes of the proceedings before the International
23 Tribunal at The Hague and that the certificate was issued by the
24 department for housing affairs in Belgrade.
25 Is that correct?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be allowed to
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Please just answer my question.
5 A. No. This is only part of the truth.
6 JUDGE PARKER: First of all, would you please say whether that is
7 what the certificate suggests.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
9 JUDGE PARKER: And if you would then tell me what you believe is
10 the explanation for this certificate.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the explanation is as
12 follows: Captain Kovacevic was -- received an apartment but did not
13 receive a document certifying to this allocation of an apartment and he
14 told General Strugar: Unless I get it down in paper, I'm going to take
15 the car back. When he didn't receive it on paper, because he wasn't able
16 to get a document legally, then he took the car back and that was a new
17 Peugeot car, and that's the real truth of it. After that their relations
18 deteriorated and Captain Kovacevic was reassigned to Belgrade from
19 Podgorica and that's the truth, the real truth.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And Captain Kovacevic told you all that?
22 A. Not only him but two or three other officers have said so and I
23 can confirm that.
24 Q. Captain Kovacevic also said with respect to the people who stormed
25 his flat -- apartment. Is that true?
1 A. No. There's not a grain of truth in that either, and if you --
2 Q. I don't like anything. Just answer my questions, please.
3 A. Well, I've answered them.
4 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this document as a
5 Defence exhibit into evidence.
6 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
7 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This document will be marked D40.
9 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I'd now like to move on to another area. Is it true that the
11 armed forces of the SFRY make up an entity and are composed of the
12 Yugoslav People's Army and Territorial Defence? Of course I'm talking
13 about the 1991 period, the material time.
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Is it also correct that for the organisation and preparation of
16 the armed forces, within the framework of their duties and competencies,
17 pursuant to the constitutional law, it was the socio-political
18 organisations that were responsible for that in basic organisations of
19 associated labour and others, and the local community at that particular
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is it also correct that the competent authorities in the
23 federation determined the basis and grounds for the organisation of the
24 armed forces, the system of command and control, and all the bases for
25 development plans and deployment plans for the use of the armed forces and
1 also secure the unity of their action, and in keeping with that, organise
2 and prepare the JNA as such?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is it also correct that in keeping with the fundamental premises
5 for devising plans that the federal secretary of national defence passes
6 regulations as to the manner and way in which plans are elaborated,
7 development plans and deployment plans relating to the armed forces of the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is it correct that the presidency of the SFRY as the highest organ
11 of control and command over the armed forces is the supreme organ of
12 control and command of the armed forces. Is that correct?
13 A. It is, yes.
14 Q. As a component of the armed forces of the SFRY, the Yugoslav
15 People's Army is composed of the commands of the units and institutions.
16 Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it also correct that the General Staff represents just one of
19 the command structures or, to be more precise, just one level of command
20 in a united chain of command within the JNA as a component part of the
21 armed forces of the SFRY?
22 A. Yes, the General Staff is the staff of the supreme command. That
23 is what it is in actual fact.
24 Q. When we talk about the organisational aspects, the JNA is made out
25 of the ground forces, the navy, the airforce, and anti-air defence forces.
1 Would that be right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell me, please, how the full complement of the SFRY armed
4 forces was reached.
5 A. Usually through mobilisation, if we're talking about the JNA.
6 However, with the armed forces there was another way as well, volunteers
7 would sign up to become members of the units.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. So this was through the reservists and the
9 volunteers. That would be the method. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And is it correct that the volunteers, from the moment they are
12 accepted into the organisation by the unit commands to which they are
13 attached, represent a component part of the armed forces themselves. They
14 are part and parcel of the armed forces, and as such are subordinated to
15 the united command of the armed forces themselves?
16 A. Yes. Pursuant to the federal law on defence, that would be the
18 Q. And when we're talking about the deployment and use of the armed
19 forces, that is to say the JNA and the Territorial Defence of the
20 then-SFRY, only the supreme commander - which meant the Yugoslav state
21 presidency - had the power to decide on the deployment and utilisation of
22 the armed forces and not the republican leaderships at all or the
23 presidents of the republics. Would you agree with that?
24 A. Yes. That is what the law stipulates.
25 Q. Is it also correct that the republican leaderships in Croatia and
1 Slovenia during that period of time prohibited their citizens from
2 responding to the call-up from the JNA, and that those who were in its
3 ranks already as soldiers or officers were told to leave the JNA without
4 further ado?
5 A. Yes, that was what the situation was.
6 Q. During 1991, that is -- and I'm talking about 1991, a significant
7 portion of the command cadre of the JNA, were they Slovene and Croat -- of
8 Slovene and Croat ethnicity at the time?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Tell me, please, paramilitary groups, did they represent armed
11 formations of individual political parties, that is to say party armies
12 but that they were never part of the armed forces of the SFRY. That's
13 right, isn't it?
14 A. Yes, that's how it should have been by law; however, practice
15 proved otherwise.
16 Q. When we're talking about 1991, at the time of the united SFRY,
17 with its constitution, its laws, its military rules and regulations and
18 all the rest of it, with the JNA and the Territorial Defence as the sole
19 legitimate components of the armed forces of the SFRY, then the Croatian
20 National Guard's corps would represent a paramilitary formation, a party
21 army of the HDZ, which was the leading party on the Croatian political
22 arena at the time. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. At the time, you were the Minister of Defence. And I assume that
25 you were aware of the fact that the Yugoslav state presidency, as the
1 supreme commander of the armed forces of the SFRY in wartime and in
2 peacetime, already on the 9th of January, 1991, issued a decree on the
3 disarmament of paramilitary formations with the deadline being the
4 following ten days. Is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. During that period of time, did the JNA show a film to the
7 Yugoslav public about the arming of Croatia, illegal arming of course, of
9 A. Yes. And the film was organised by General Vasiljevic and it
10 showed the arming of Croatia, Croatian formations being armed, led by
12 Q. Do you remember that individual members of the Yugoslav state
13 presidency, the supreme command in fact, that is to say, individual
14 presidency members, opposed the disarming and abolition of paramilitary
15 formation, and they called them legal [Realtime transcript read in error
16 "illegal"] armed forces of the republics within the composition of the
17 SFRY. Do you remember that?
18 A. Yes, probably that's how it was.
19 Q. I'm sure you'll remember similarly that after this order by the
20 Yugoslav state presidency, the Croatian representatives, that is to say,
21 Mr. Mesic and Mr. Tudjman, called for an additional two days for this
22 disarmament process and that afterwards, after holding consultations with
23 their allies from the Western countries, they refused this, to abide by
24 this order on disarmament for the paramilitaries. Do you remember that?
25 A. Yes. I do believe that that's how it was, that that's what
1 happened. They actually restructured these units and made them units of
2 the legal SUP. I think they did something along those lines, and that's
3 how they came to accept that presidency decision.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Rodic, can I just interrupt. An issue on the
5 transcript confuses me. 44, line 12 it's put there, "illegal formations."
6 At least in the English translation your question was "legal formations,"
7 not "illegal." Is that correct?
8 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Legal formations, yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. It just completely reverses the meaning in
10 the transcript at the moment.
11 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Do you know that after this order issued by the presidency, the
13 federal secretary for national defence and the staff of the supreme
14 command four times put a proposal before the presidency to issue the order
15 for disarmament, but that that never came about precisely because of the
16 opposition by the secessionists, principally the Slovenian and Croatian
17 secessionists within the presidency itself, of the SFRY?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Do you know that pursuant to a decision by the leadership of
20 Croatia in the month of August 1991, a blockade was effected of all the
21 garrisons and institutions of the JNA on the territory of the Republic of
23 A. Yes, that's right.
24 Q. Of course those attacks on the facilities and members of the JNA
25 had taken place even before August. Do you know about that, in view of
1 the fact that you were a naval officer, I'm sure you'll remember what
2 happened in May 1991, for instance, in front of the headquarters of the
3 naval military district in Split?
4 A. Yes, I do know what happened. It was the famous case of a soldier
5 being strangled in an armoured tank in front of the headquarters.
6 Q. And is it true that on that occasion that soldier was killed?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Do you happen to know how many soldiers and officers of the JNA in
9 the course of 1991 were killed and massacred in different towns throughout
10 Croatia in the barracks and outside the barracks?
11 A. Well, I can't give you an exact figure, but I know that the number
12 was considerable. There were quite a number of soldiers and officers that
13 suffered that fate.
14 Q. Were there any attacks being carried out by the paramilitary units
15 of the Republic of Croatia against military convoys? Was there any
16 looting of JNA property?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it true that the Federal Government, as early as June 1991,
19 started proceedings before the institutional -- constitutional court to
20 stop the establishment of the National Guard's Corps as a military
21 formation and to characterise it as an illegal and unconstitutional act?
22 A. Yes, that's true.
23 Q. Do you know that on the 16th of October, 1991, the constitutional
24 court passed a decision on the illegality and nonconstitutionality of the
25 establishment of the ZNG?
1 A. Yes, probably. I can't remember any details, but I'm sure this
2 was the case.
3 Q. I assume you were in touch and were familiar with the situation in
4 the garrisons of the military naval district in the period of 1991 under
5 consideration. Can you tell us more about this. Were there any attacks
6 being carried out against soldiers, military officers, their families
7 perhaps, any military facilities? Were there any blockades of barracks
8 within the military naval district?
9 A. Yes. In the barracks for the most part. The Ploce garrison had
10 been attacked I believe in August 1991 and losses were inflicted on the
11 soldiers who were standing guard near the warehouse in which weapons were
12 being kept. There were attacks in Sibenik as well.
13 Q. What about Zadar, Pula?
14 A. Yes, Zadar too. As for Pula, I think the situation was more
15 peaceful there, in Pula, and in Rijeka. The most difficult situation was
16 in Zadar and Split.
17 Q. Split is where the headquarters of the military naval district
18 were. What was the situation like over there?
19 A. Yes, there were several attacks in Split on the two barracks.
20 Weapons were being seized. There was a convoy of APCs that was attacked
21 once, and a company of APCs was seized and so on and so forth.
22 Q. What about the command of the military naval district, did it have
23 to move from Split?
24 A. Yes, because conditions became unbearable. It was impossible to
25 exercise command. The command of the military naval district was
1 evacuated to the island of Vis.
2 Q. What about the other units belonging to the command of the
3 military naval district? Did they remain on the blockade? What happened
4 to Divulje, Lora, the military ports?
5 A. Yes, the Divulje garrison was blocked at the time as well as the
6 military port of Lora.
7 Q. The JNA members who were under blockade, was their electricity cut
8 off, their water supplies? Did they have problems getting food supplies
9 into their barracks?
10 A. Yes. Those were the first moves that were made, cutting off their
11 water and electricity supply, making sure that no food reached them inside
12 the barracks, that sort of thing.
13 Q. Were there any operations carried out by paramilitary units
14 against the barracks and garrisons? I mean operations in terms of firing.
15 A. Yes. Attacks were carried out against the barracks in Split and
16 other barracks, too. I remember the military command post of the military
17 naval district, which was in a building near Split.
18 Q. Did anyone get hurt, any members of the JNA?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The JNA and the presidency of the SFRY, did they demand the
21 removal of blockade against their facilities on several occasions? What
22 happened in terms of that?
23 A. Yes, there were daily contacts or very frequent contacts at any
24 rate between the top leadership of the JNA and the presidency on the one
25 hand and the Croatian authorities on the other. There were contacts with
1 the leadership and with local authorities in some of the towns.
2 Q. Is it not correct that several times during those negotiations,
3 and even when agreements were signed, Republic of Croatia promised to
4 remove the blockade of military garrisons and military facilities in
5 Croatian territory?
6 A. Yes. There were promises that were being made all the time.
7 Q. Is it not true that those demands were never met and the
8 agreements were never complied with, but rather that the attacks against
9 the military facilities intensified, if anything?
10 A. I know more about the military facilities along the Adriatic
11 coast. As for the other facilities, I know from the press, from the
12 media, while I was on duty.
13 Q. The situation is more or less the same, but at least as far as you
14 know about the Adriatic coast, about the military naval district, is it
15 true that I said a while ago, what I stated, about those agreements being
16 violated by the Republic of Croatia and that the attacks against those
17 facilities continued or grew in intensity, if anything, in the military
18 naval district?
19 A. On the whole, that's true. I'm only talking about some details
20 that I can't confirm, but on the whole, yes, that's true.
21 Q. What about the units of the military naval district in 1991? Were
22 they being transferred, or rather, evacuated from garrisons in Croatian
24 A. Yes. Based on agreements that were reached concerning the
25 evacuation of units from the Republic of Croatia, the evacuation commenced
1 of all the garrisons between the Italian border in the north, I think that
2 was the Pula sector, and as far as south as Dubrovnik.
3 Q. This evacuation of the units of the military naval district from
4 the Republic of Croatia, when did it reach a peak in terms of intensity?
5 A. In terms of intensity, it peaked between November and January,
6 November 1991, January 1992.
7 Q. Can we say the period between November 1991 and January 1992 then?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In that period of time in the course of the evacuation, did
10 attacks against members of the JNA, their property and families, continue?
11 A. Yes, they did.
12 Q. Units of the military naval district, where were they evacuated to
13 for the most part? Into which other area?
14 A. Those units were evacuated to Montenegro between the Boka Kotorska
15 coast and as far as the port of Bar.
16 Q. What about a lot of military equipment, weapons, military
17 resources, was it left behind in the Republic of Croatia?
18 A. Yes. They just couldn't evacuate everything.
19 Q. Did this later come into the possession of the paramilitary units,
20 the National Guard Corps, the Croatian navy, and other military units
21 within the Croatian army?
22 A. Yes, of course.
23 Q. I'd like to move on to something else now. Can you tell us,
24 please, in the territory of the former SFRY at the time, there existed the
25 1st Military District with headquarters in Belgrade, the 3rd Military
1 District with headquarters in Skopje, the 5th Military District with
2 headquarters in Zagreb, military naval district. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is it correct that these formations of the JNA in terms of
5 military districts throughout SFRY territory were not necessarily limited
6 in terms of territory to the republican borders?
7 A. Yes. That was the whole idea, that military districts should not
8 coincide with republican borders in order to avoid identification of the
9 army with a certain republic.
10 Q. This means that each of the military districts covered a certain
11 area or a certain territory or extended over the territories of at least
12 two, some military districts even three republics, that made up the SFRY?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Can I have the usher's assistance,
16 Q. Mr. Jokic, what you have in front of you is a map of the SFRY.
17 Can I please ask you to use a felt pen or a marker. Just make sure it's
18 not red or blue. Can I ask you to please mark on the map just next to
19 Belgrade. Can you put the 1st Military District, the abbreviation there,
20 the 1st VO, I think that was the reference at the time. Is that the
21 abbreviation that stood for the 1st Military District?
22 A. Yes, it did.
23 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, may the marking be done while
24 the map is on the ELMO so we can observe the process.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Skopje and Macedonia, we have the headquarters of the 3rd Military
3 District, don't we?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In Zagreb we have the headquarters of the 5th Military District,
6 don't we?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In Split, the headquarters of the military naval district. Right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. This mark, VPO, can you just please draw an arrow to Split from
12 A. [Witness complies]
13 Q. Do you perhaps remember, roughly speaking, the territorial borders
14 under the jurisdiction of these military districts and the military naval
15 district. Can you please first tell me if you remember the respective
16 borders of each of these.
17 A. As for the military naval district, it extended from the Italian
18 border as far as Kopar [phoen], covered part of Slovenia, Istria, the
19 Rijeka general area, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, part of the Ploce area,
20 Dubrovnik, the Montenegrin coast extending as far south as the Albanian
22 Q. Can you please use this blue felt pen and draw the borders of the
23 military naval district. You can put it in front of you, if you find that
24 more convenient.
25 A. [Witness complies]
1 Q. Can we please have that placed on the ELMO for all to see.
2 Tell me, please, do you think you could draw the borders for the
3 other military districts in the same way, roughly speaking. I'm not
4 asking for any great degree of precision. The 5th Military District, for
5 example, did it cover Slovenia, Croatia?
6 A. Yes, the 5th Military District covered the Republic of Slovenia,
7 with the exception of the coastal area; Croatia, but not entirely; part of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Bihac area; something like this.
9 Q. What about the 1st Military District?
10 A. The 1st Military District --
11 Q. Let me remind you, Sarajevo was also included in the 1st Military
13 A. Yes, the largest part of Serbia except for the area around Nis and
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, so this entire area.
15 Q. Within the Skopje area, if I'm not mistaken.
16 A. Yes, that's right. I don't know the exact details right now.
17 Q. The 3rd Military District included Macedonia, part of the Nis
18 area, and part of Montenegro.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask that this map be
21 assigned a number, please. I would like to tender it into evidence.
22 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This map is marked D41.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
25 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. It is a convenient
2 JUDGE PARKER: We will have a break, then.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Rodic.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Jokic, we have explained -- or rather, before the break, we
8 explained the territorial distribution of the military districts of the
9 Yugoslav People's Army, and I should now like to ask you to tell me the
10 military naval district, how many men -- or rather, how many sectors did
11 it have within the district and which they were, please?
12 A. The military naval district had three military naval sectors, five
13 in the military naval district of Pula -- or rather, there was Pula --
14 Q. Do you mean the 5th Military District or Sector?
15 A. I misspoke, I meant the sector, and the headquarters of that 5th
16 Military Naval Sector was in Pula, the 8th with its headquarters in
17 Sibenik, the 9th Military Naval Sector in Kumbor, in the Bay of Kotor.
18 Q. So the entire military naval district had three military naval
19 sectors, regardless of the numbers in the heading of each sector?
20 A. Yes, that's right. There were three sectors.
21 Q. And can you explain the competencies and authority -- or rather,
22 the territory that was covered by the 9th Military Naval Sector, for
23 example, in Boka, the bay of Kotor, or rather in Kumbor?
24 A. The 9th Military Naval Sector of Boka covered the territory from
25 Neum, and then in the hinterland from 5 to 20 kilometres in depth to the
1 border with Albania. The broader region around Ulcinj.
2 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the usher for her assistance
3 now, please.
4 Q. Mr. Jokic, would you do what you did a moment ago with the other
5 map and mark on this map the territory covered by the 9th Military Naval
6 Sector. Would you draw the line around the territory covered by that
7 sector, the 9th Military Naval Sector.
8 A. [Witness complies]
9 Q. Underneath, there's the Adriatic Sea, and could you put in the
10 9th VPS underneath that, please, military naval sector. Thank you.
11 So the upper borders were the town of Neum. That was where,
12 within the frameworks of the Bosnia and Herzegovina republican frontiers,
13 you have the outlet to the sea. Is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the last reaches were in Montenegro, below Ulcine, bordering
16 on Albania?
17 A. Yes, that's right. And the lake Skadar, because of the facilities
18 on the lake also came under the authority of the 9th Sector.
19 Q. Within the frameworks of these borders, these territorial borders
20 that you have outlined for us, does that include Trebinje?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I should now like to have
24 a number assigned to this document, to the Prosecution exhibit.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Defence exhibit, interpreter's correction.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This map will be marked D42.
3 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you know at that time that in the SFRY there existed military
5 courts which were in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Nis,
6 and Skopje?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. The military court in Split, territorially speaking, did it come
9 under the competence and authority of the entire territory covered by the
10 entire military naval district?
11 A. Yes, it did. That's right.
12 Q. By the same token, that would mean that the military court in
13 Split, territorially speaking, covered the area of the 9th Military Naval
14 Sector. Would that be correct?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Now, if you know about this, in view of the situation, during
17 1991 - and I think you've already explained to us what was happening to
18 the command of the military naval district in Split - do you know what
19 happened to the military court in Split?
20 A. What I remember is this: When I arrived to my command or
21 headquarters towards the end of October/beginning of November, the
22 military court from Split was evacuated to the Bay of Kotor. And I- at
23 their request, at the request of the court itself- I provided them with
24 accommodation in the JNA centre in Tivat.
25 Q. Is it true and correct that only two judges from -- or the team of
1 judges in the Split military court, which had its headquarters there, came
2 to Tivat, were evacuated to Tivat with all the archives belonging to the
3 military court?
4 A. I know that there were very few of them. I remember Stanivuk. I
5 think he was the prosecutor, I believe, and that he communicated with me
6 with respect to putting it up. There were very few people with them and
7 they needed a month or two to set themselves up and create the necessary
8 conditions for work, to have all the manpower they needed to function.
9 Q. As far as I know, they didn't have the requisite number of judges
10 necessary to make up a trial chamber, for them to be able to function
11 according to the letter of the law. Is that right?
12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I understand the technique
13 used is to make a statement and then ask: Is that right? But it's
14 bordering very much on Defence counsel's testifying.
15 JUDGE PARKER: It would be much more persuasive and helpful,
16 Mr. Rodic, if you were to see whether the witness knew the answer rather
17 than you telling him the answer and then asking if it was correct. Just a
18 mild modification of the way you approach it.
19 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. I will reword
20 the question.
21 Q. Is it correct that the military court, which was put up in Tivat,
22 did not have a requisite number of judges for it to be able to function
23 pursuant to the law governing military courts?
24 A. In that communication with the prosecutor, Mr. Stanivuk, he told
25 me that they were having problems and they couldn't function because they
1 didn't have enough people to work with them. Now, I don't know what they
2 lacked, whether they didn't have enough judges or prosecutors or other
3 members of the staff, I can't say.
4 Q. But did you know at the time that the judges of the military court
5 who were Croats by ethnicity, they stepped down from the military court,
6 they left, and stayed on in Croatia and were not evacuated with the other
7 staff? They didn't go to Tivat.
8 A. Yes, I know they remained in Split. And my legal advisor who I
9 had in the command also left. He was allowed by the command to leave and
10 he went to Split. His name was Captain Barbaca.
11 Q. In response to a question by my learned colleague in the
12 examination-in-chief, when she asked you about an indictment raised in the
13 military court in Sarajevo against a military recruit by the name of
14 Veselin Simovic [phoen] for multiple killings of a number of civilians in
15 a village near Trebinje, you said you were aware of that event, that you
16 knew of it. Is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. That military recruit, was he within the framework of the
19 composition commanded by General Eremija, the conscript in question?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Did you happen to meet General Eremija on the occasion of the
22 command post of the 2nd Group in Trebinje after that event?
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. What were your impressions of General Eremija at that time? Did
25 he tell you what had happened at the command post?
1 A. Yes. He was sick with worry over that case -- or rather, his
2 ulcer was playing up as a result of it. And I don't know whether he went
3 to hospital, whether he was hospitalised, but he was very ill. He looked
5 Q. Did he say he had had a heated discussion with General Strugar
6 about that?
7 A. Yes, he did say that General Strugar cut him short, if I can use
8 that rather military term.
9 Q. When you say "cut him down" or "cut him short," would that mean
10 that General Strugar was angry and told him off with respect to that case
11 or something along those lines?
12 A. Yes. That's how it was.
13 Q. In 1991, while you were the commander of the military naval sector
14 of Boka on the 7th -- from the 7th of October, in October, November, and
15 December 1991, in that period, was a state of war declared?
16 A. No. A state of war was not declared then.
17 Q. In view of the situation on the ground in the area and the tasks
18 assigned to the unit, their life and work and the prevailing conditions
19 during October, November, and December 1991, the fact that a state of war
20 had not been declared, did that represent a great obstacle to command and
21 control over the JNA units?
22 A. Yes, that was absolutely right. It was a considerable obstacle.
23 Q. Could you explain that to Their Honours, please, at least this
24 comparison that you had to work as if it was peacetime, whereas in fact
25 the situation was quite the reverse and different and the commanders had
1 quite different competencies and authorisations.
2 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. Counsel is testifying.
3 JUDGE PARKER: You are there, very clearly, giving a lecture,
4 Mr. Rodic. You're not the witness; the witness is sitting over there.
5 Could you let him do the speaking. Thank you.
6 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. I'll
7 reformulate my question.
8 Q. This difficult situation for purposes of control and command,
9 because a state of war had not been declared, can you elaborate and tell
10 us how these difficulties were reflected on the situation.
11 A. Well, the fact that the units were engaged in operations, that
12 people were being killed and wounded, meant that we had a war situation in
13 which the laws applied during wartime should have been applied at that
14 time, too. However, the commanders engaged in combat activities and who
15 commanded the units themselves frequently were not in a position to behave
16 as they would otherwise and to bring to task anybody who was engaged in
17 unlawful acts.
18 Q. Now, these laws and regulations and rules that come into force
19 once a state of war has been declared, are they much stricter than the
20 laws, rules, and regulations that are implemented in peacetime?
21 A. Yes, of course, naturally.
22 Q. Those laws, rules, and regulations that come into force during a
23 state of war, are they far more summary in character when it comes to
24 sanctions for any negative conduct? Let me just add, do they have greater
25 powers and authorities, that is to say the commanders. Do they wield
1 greater power and authority in enforcing sanctions against any negative
3 A. Absolutely correct. And I remember one specific example, if I
4 might be allowed to expound, Your Honours. When I asked my legal officer
5 what I could do in order to punish individuals who violated regulations
6 with respect to the use of weapons, he consulted the law books. And
7 pursuant to that law in wartime, there are no discussions of this kind for
8 disciplinary errors or transgressions, and I wasn't clear on that, what he
9 meant by that or misdemeanors, whether because there was time to do so,
10 whether that was why just more grievous acts were punished, those that
11 came under the military courts to be dealt with.
12 Q. You should like to ask you for the transcript - it doesn't seem to
13 be clear looking at the transcript - what your legal officer actually told
15 A. My legal clerk at the headquarters explained to me that during a
16 state of war, small misdemeanors and offenses, which would otherwise be
17 punishable during peacetime and the perpetrators punished, during wartime
18 go unpunished because military courts have to focus on crimes, actual
19 crimes, rather than offenses and misdemeanors.
20 Q. Now, those laws, rules, and regulations which are effective during
21 wartime are stricter and more effective, that is to say, are all the
22 proceedings speeded up in wartime?
23 A. Yes, they are stricter, and that's why they are very often
24 referred to as court martials or something like that, which are
25 established, if the need arises, in addition to regular military courts.
1 Q. The laws, rules, and regulations which are effective during a war
2 situation, do they help commanders in being more effective in their
3 functions of command and control?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. When a state of war is declared, are war military courts
6 established then, attached to headquarters of military districts,
7 divisions, units, et cetera?
8 A. Yes. I think that that is how the law regulates that.
9 Q. So instead of one military court that works in peacetime, if a
10 state of war is declared, four or five courts are established for a
11 certain military formation. Is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's the way it is, according to the law.
13 Q. Is it correct that in the period of October, November, and
14 December 1991, such a situation did not exist -- or rather, there were no
15 war military courts because a state of war had not been declared?
16 A. Yes. That was the situation.
17 Q. Tell me, please, what is the role of the organs of military
18 security and military police in the JNA in terms of crime prevention and
20 A. Their task was in accordance with the law in peacetime and of
21 course in war that whenever military men in various units broke the law in
22 any way, they were supposed to investigate, to file criminal reports and
23 to hand this over to an investigative judge in order to have the
24 proceedings carried out.
25 Q. Security organs and the competent authorities of the military
1 police, when engaged in crime prevention and control, were they
2 independent in the JNA, in the exercise of these duties?
3 A. Yes. They did have their independence, but within the command.
4 The commands could have some influence in terms of their own requests
5 regarding particular cases. But independently of the command, they were
6 duty-bound by the rules of service to do their job.
7 Q. The security organs of the military police, in peacetime are they
8 attached to commands of units and institutions in the JNA?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The security organs of the military police, from the point of view
11 of military establishment, are they subordinated to the security
12 administration of the JNA as well?
13 A. Yes. Along the vertical line, they are subordinated to the
14 security administration, especially in this professional line of work of
15 theirs, in the protection of the units that they are in charge of.
16 Q. When we talk about the military police in the JNA, within the
17 military police are there duty services with officers who are engaged in
18 crime control?
19 A. Yes. There is a duty service, and I think that there is a crime
20 technician or something like that.
21 Q. Is there a difference in terms of work in the control and
22 prevention of crime between the officers who are in charge of that
23 particular line of work and the crime technician on the one hand and
24 ordinary military policeman on the other hand?
25 A. Yes. There has to be a difference.
1 Q. Is it correct that an ordinary military policeman cannot be
2 engaged in that line of work, that he has other tasks within the activity
3 of the military police?
4 A. Yes. An ordinary military policeman is not trained to carry out
5 such work.
6 Q. When we previously discussed the situation in the SFRY in 1991,
7 the situation in the JNA in that particular time and at that particular
8 place, did this negative situation have any bearing on the work of
9 military security and military police in view of all the difficulties that
10 we've been talking about?
11 A. Well, yes, of course. It had to have a bearing, like on all
12 commands and units.
13 Q. Can you tell me in terms of members of the JNA and the armed
14 forces as a whole, how were they affected by a situation in which some
15 members of the supreme command were opposed to disarming paramilitary
17 A. Well, this had to have a negative effect, certainly, on all
18 members of the Yugoslav People's Army. Namely, that there was a certain
19 lack of confidence.
20 Q. Does it have a negative affect on the military when some members
21 of the supreme command desert?
22 A. Certainly.
23 Q. What is the effect on the military when top military officers, for
24 example, the commander of the air force, commits desertion and becomes
25 chief of the General Staff of the opposite side, which was a paramilitary
1 formation at that time?
2 A. It certainly has a negative effect. I'm sure that you bear in
3 mind General Tus, that is who you mean.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. At that time, he was a retired man. I think that he retired in
6 the month of August.
7 Q. Is it correct that he immediately came to the head of the General
8 Staff of the Croatian forces?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you know Nojko Marinovic well?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Can you tell me how this came about.
13 A. When I was commander of the sector, in the period from 1983 until
14 1988, Nojko Marinovic was a major and chief of staff of the 472nd Brigade.
15 And I then cooperated with him because at that time the brigade was
16 subordinated to the Boka sector. He was a highly professional officer,
17 well-trained, strict and brilliant from every point of view. I had also
18 put his name up for a speedy promotion.
19 Q. As for the military of the 472nd Brigade, did his abandoning that
20 brigade in the situation when he had mobilised it have a negative affect?
21 A. Yes, an absolutely negative affect.
22 Q. As for the military of the 472nd Brigade, was it adversely
23 affected by the situation when he, although he had previously mobilised
24 that unit and developed that unit and then aware of its positions, shelled
25 the brigade from the other side and on the 1st of October kill eight
1 soldiers from his former brigade?
2 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, we're relying on facts not in
3 evidence. Objection.
4 JUDGE PARKER: How can you justify that, Mr. Rodic?
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the foundation is in the
6 testimony of some witnesses. I'll remind you of one witness at least who
7 confirmed this, Nikola Samardzic who at that time was a minister in the
8 government of Montenegro. He testified before this Honourable Trial
9 Chamber. There are also documents.
10 JUDGE PARKER: I don't think any of the evidence has gone into the
11 detail that you're dealing with here. There is detail of Major Marinovic
12 having joined the Croatian side, but you were putting in your question
13 here very specific actions by him and their consequences, none of which I
14 recall in the evidence.
15 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the killing of eight
16 soldiers at Ivanjica, there certainly was a reference to that because I
17 asked Witness Samardzic a question in relation to that. My only mistake
18 may have been to phrase the question immediately in terms of
19 Nojko Marinovic killing someone, which I apologise for. But I would be
20 happy to rephrase my question along the lines of Nojko Marinovic as
21 commander of the Croatian forces, which means that the forces under his
22 command perpetrated those acts, which led to the killing of some soldiers
23 from his former brigade.
24 JUDGE PARKER: Yes. Well, you see the problem and you see the
25 solution. Go ahead, Mr. Rodic.
1 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Jokic, is it true that these soldiers from Trebinje Brigade,
3 eight of them, the soldiers I referred to at the beginning, on the 1st of
4 October were killed by the Croatian forces at that time that time under
5 the command of Nojko Marinovic?
6 A. Yes. They were killed at Ivanjica by a mortar shell, a
7 120-millimetre mortar shell.
8 Q. Can you please enumerate for me which units establishmentwise were
9 part of the 9th Military Naval Sector, that's as far as you can remember?
10 A. You mean establishmentwise, which units?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. In terms of the naval components, it had the 16th Border Naval
13 Detachment with patrol boats to secure the sea border; it also had a mixed
14 division on ships for military landing used for transport and for
15 landings; it also had a rocket battery, a sea/land rocket battery, the
16 69th Rocket Base; and anti-aircraft defence division; the 367th Military
17 Naval Logistics base; there was a unit for reconnaissance observation and
18 reporting, so-called 9th Company; and prior to my arrival there was also
19 the 472nd Brigade within its composition until as late as the 25th of
20 September, which is when it was resubordinated directly to the command of
21 the 2nd Operational Group. And there was the 2nd Staff Unit. If
22 necessary, I can enumerate them for you.
23 Q. I don't think that's necessary. Thank you.
24 The 472nd Brigade from Trebinje, establishmentwise, was it part of
25 the 9th Military Naval Sector?
1 A. Yes. As I said, it used to be in peacetime.
2 Q. In the period of time between 1983 and 1988 or 1989, which is when
3 you were also commander of the 9th Military Naval Sector, this brigade,
4 472, establishmentwise, even then was it part of the 9th Military Naval
5 Sector or not?
6 A. Yes, it was.
7 Q. In terms of establishment, its composition did not change
8 throughout 1991, with the exception of the period when the operation
9 began, the one we're talking about. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct. It didn't change much, but there was a large
11 turnover in terms of the command staff, in terms of the officers, and
12 manpower. It was no longer the same unit.
13 Q. When you talk about changes to the composition of manpower and
14 officers, what was this caused by?
15 A. This was caused by a disturbance in relations, which led to an
16 internal conflict within the Republic of Croatia. So that areas under the
17 Croatian authorities refused to contribute to the mobilisation into the
18 JNA units that had been trained in those areas --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, that had been set up
20 in those areas.
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Regardless of all these changes for example in the period between
23 1983, which is the first time when you were sector commander, and the 25th
24 of September, was this brigade still under the control and command of the
25 9th Military Sector?
1 A. Yes, as I said before, it was.
2 Q. In relation to these problems in connection with the manpower and
3 officers of the 472nd Brigade, as well as other units, was this affected
4 by the negative circumstances prevailing in the country, the sort of thing
5 we've referred to, mobilisation problems and so on?
6 A. Yes, by all means.
7 Q. Were there problems with maintaining manpower levels as far as the
8 regular units were concerned in that brigade?
9 A. Yes, the problems were huge. The biggest problems were there.
10 Q. All together this affected the combat readiness and the level of
11 training of that particular brigade, didn't it?
12 A. Yes. Certainly this would have had a very negative effect on
13 combat readiness and combat morale and the way the unit was used in
14 combat, and what the unit was capable of.
15 Q. Following this restructuring in September until as late as the
16 16th of October, 1991, the 4th Battalion of the 472nd Motorised Brigade,
17 was it directly resubordinated to the 9th Military Naval Sector?
18 A. Yes. On my arrival, I found the 4th Battalion there. On the 8th
19 of October, it had been taken out of combat and it was on leave in Igalo.
20 Q. Is it true that the 4th Battalion of that brigade was only
21 transferred from your jurisdiction on the 16th of October?
22 A. Yes, that's true, but they did not receive any kind of combat
23 orders from me between the 8th and the 16th.
24 Q. But that's not what my question was about, so if you could just
25 please briefly answer my questions specifically. We'll get to that later,
1 the combat orders.
2 What about the other units under your command in the period
3 between the 16th of October and the 25th of October, 1991? Did they have
4 any contact or coordination with that battalion, the 4th Battalion, of the
5 472nd Brigade?
6 A. I'm afraid I don't understand your question.
7 Q. When the 4th Battalion of the Trebinje Brigade was transferred,
8 moved, from your zone of responsibility on the 16th of October between the
9 8th of October -- between the 16th of October and the 25th of October, did
10 the remaining units under your command have any point of contact or any
11 cooperation with that specific battalion?
12 A. No, they didn't. This battalion left for the left flank. It was
13 still part of the brigade. And between my units and that battalion, you
14 had Croatian units. That's until the 25th.
15 Q. Very well. Is it true that after the 25th of October, the whole
16 472nd Brigade returned to their original unit, the 9th Military Naval
17 Sector, and were again under your command?
18 A. That was only a temporary thing. This lasted a couple of days
20 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Rodic?
21 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may just be allowed
22 one final question in connection with this.
23 Q. The 472nd Motorised Brigade, between the 25th of October and the
24 21st of November, 1991, was it part of the 9th Military Naval Sector and
25 as such directly subordinated to you?
1 A. Yes. Formally, yes, but I should need to explain this to Their
2 Honours, this is no simple fact, the way you make it seem.
3 Q. Mr. Jokic, we're running out of time.
4 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour.
5 MR. RODIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. But my questions will be along the same lines, so you will get a
7 chance to explain this.
8 MS. SOMERS: It seems that if Your Honour would be good enough to
9 allow the question, that a complete answer should be allowed without
10 interruption from counsel.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I think we're going to follow the matter up when we
12 resume tomorrow.
13 We will adjourn for the day now, and the evidence will continue
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
16 at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
17 the 2nd day of April, 2004,
18 at 9.00 a.m.